Trapist is the Vienna based trio comprised of Joe Williamson on bass, Martin Siewert on guitar and Martin Brandlmayr on drums. The trio formed when a friend invited them to play a concert at the famed venue, Rhiz in Vienna. The show, largely an improvised affair with each member bringing pieces not songs to the show, relied largly on the give and take most often seen by jazz and experimental musicians. The three were so pleased with the results that a few weeks later they decided to continue working together and their debut perfomance at the Rhiz became their debut record on Hat Hut. Ballroom is their second record. Trapist take their name from the Trappist fraternity who devote themselves to silence. Restraint is a key word in the Trapist musical vocabulary, thus the name makes for a good fit. The band also decided to drop the second \"p\" allowing the word to also make an obtuse reference to trapez, the German word for the free flowing trapeze. Trapist came to us through Martin Brandlmayr who also plays drums in the Thrill Jockey band, Radian. On a recent visit to Vienna, Martin passed a long a tape of new Trapist recordings to label founder, Bettina Richards and she immediately fell in love with it.
The band recorded the basic tracks for Ballroom in one day, once again relying on improvisation for the direction of the songs. Trapist then brought the recording into their home studio where they overdubbed and drastically edited the resulting record. Using are variety of instruments including the vibraphone, a collection of synthesizers and modulators, as well as a few softwarebased treatments, the band gave even more life to their improvised recordings.
Together the members of Trapist are a group of experienced improvisors who collectively like to explore and question familiar surroundings and contexts for both art and music. Thinking not only of melody and emotional elements in music, Trapist look additionally at structures and forms. Though relatively young, the members of Trapist have collaborated with a list of impressive players including Han Bennink, Evan Parker, Paul Lovens, Eugene Chadbourne, Elliot Sharp, Ken Vandermark, Christian Fennez, Kevin Drumm, Dean Roberts and Stefan Schneider among others. Trapist may be deliberate and sparse in nature, but Ballroom is a record that speaks volumes. Their unique blend of improvisation and delicate electronics is a welcome and refreshing change for fans of electronic, jazz and improvisational music.