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  • Garden Stage
    Thursday 6•July•2023


If you ask the Ghent-based multi-instrumentalist Mattias De Craene what is one of the most important turning points in the history of jazz for him, he is likely to respond with "the moment John Coltrane and Rashied Ali recorded Interstellar Space”. The record - taken in one take and totally improvised - breathes freedom. The result achieved with only sax and drum continues to capture the imagination even now. The same can also be said for De Craene who, with MDCIII a few years ago, added a new project to his impressive universe. Inspired by Coltrane’s historic orchestration choice but with a firm dash of ambitious individuality. How? He doesn't do it with one but two drummers - Simon Segers and Lennert Jacobs - and broadens the possibilities by adding electronics to his instruments.

Last year, 'Drawn in Dusk’ came out and that record - perhaps even more so than its predecessor 'Dreamhatcher’ - plays with contrasts, with contradictions that do not feel like contradictions, no matter how direct and abrupt they are sometimes posed. Introspective, abstract intros explode in ecstatic moments. The two drummers sometimes play against and, sometimes with, each other. De Craene’s saxophone alternates between mysteriously low and then hysterically high. Above all, MDCIII creates music that feels free, which, all of a sudden, is many things. Music that is diverse in colour, tone, texture but still feels like part of the bigger picture. Music that invites you to listen, to move, to be amazed.