KRONIX – Reviews

kronix cover


September 27th, 2016 – Jazz Buzz, Greece

REVIEW: Peter van Huffel/Alex Maksymiw / KRONIX
Review by Vangelis Aragiannis

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August 11th, 2016 – Jazz Word, Canada
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REVIEW: Peter van Huffel/Alex Maksymiw / KRONIX
Review by Ken Waxman

A reductionist take on improvisation by two Canadian expats who have joined Berlin’s ever-burgeoning music scene, Kronix indicates the spectrum of timbres that can be propelled by just saxophone and guitar. Still Toronto six-stringer Alex Maksymiw, who has worked with the Village Vanguard Orchestra and bassist Don Thomposon’s band, appears to be more stylistically conventional than Kingston-native, alto saxophonist Peter Van Huffel, whose background includes membership in punk-jazz trio Gorilla Mask. Being polite Canadians of course, the two don’t allow potential sonic incompatibility to upset neighborliness, and like your average federal-provincial conference, the 10 originals include both comfort and challenges.”

May, 2016 – Jazz Tokyo, Japan
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REVIEW: Peter van Huffel |Alex Maksymiw / KRONIX
Review by Kayo Fushiya

“The mention of Peter van Huffel will remind many of “Gorilla Mask”, instantly recalling anarchic sax yelling and flooding over with a touch of rock, but this album with the guitarist Alex Maksymiw is a softer beast and appears at first sight to be positioned at the opposite extreme. The calm mood blanketing the entire album is relaxed and shows two players enjoying their own established sound. Van Huffel produces a sonorous confident sound. Maksymiw’s guitar playing and convincing technique with his shining sharp sense of depth and stillness shows us a rich spatial form. Straight-ahead improvisation, very close to van Huffel’s usual style, can be fully enjoyed in “Anyhow” recorded as two takes(track 4 and 10). While the guitar’s electric sound has an increasing affinity with the alto’s tone color, they work to an explosive unison and come to fruition at the climax; this weaving flow is exhilarating. Their performance cuts to the bone, unavoidably exposing the skeletal framework of their music. In that sense, this album is proof of the finest composition and subtle arrangement. With its high density of sound transition, the magnetic attraction of the music is intense yet still pleasantly caresses the listener’s ear.”

April 1st, 2016 – Free Jazz Blog, Belgium
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REVIEW: Peter Van Huffel & Alex Maksymiw – KRONIX by Derek Stone

“Peter Van Huffel is a Berlin-based alto saxophonist who many readers might recognize for his work in Gorilla Mask (a high-octane, thrash-jazz outfit) and the Boom Crane trio. Alex Maksymiw is a guitarist who has played with various groups and orchestras, and last year’s Without a Word found him occupying the “leader” role for the second time in his steadily-accelerating career. Although the two have been playing together for around three years, Kronix marks their first recorded meeting – and what a meeting it is! Fans of Gorilla Mask should not expect the same scuffed-up intensity of that group; Kronix is more contemplative, more pensive, but it lacks none of the fire that one can hear in spades on albums like 2014’s Bite My Blues (see the review above). Instead of the uncontrolled, white-hot flames of that record, though, we get a muted glow – the fire has been subdued a bit, left to smolder.”

March 27th, 2016 – All About Jazz, USA
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REVIEW: Peter Van Huffel & Alex Maksymiw – KRONIX by Glenn Astarita

“Hailing from Canada, but now calling Berlin home base, saxophonist Peter Van Huffel and guitarist Alex Maksymiw (Marcus Strickland) are radiant stars in the progressive jazz universe. As a solo artist, Van Huffel’s Gorilla Mask band and similar undertakings have been wowing jazz audiences with a high-impact and kinetic modus operandi. And Maksymiw’s Without a Word (Double Moon, 2015) features formidable saxophonist Marcus Strickland and is a program devised on the guitarist’s perceptive compositional approach, tasteful riffs, strong soloing and ability to say more with less.

Diversity is a strategic factor here. For example, on “Excerpt Two” the duo generates an ethereal soundscape, aided by Van Huffel’s echo-infused and dreamy lines amid Maksymiw’s easy-going gait, but they follow-up with a modern mainstream flow on “Slow Burn,” sculpted by the guitarist’s walking chord phrasings and the saxophonist’s linear movements. Yet the plot thickens with “Anyhow,” as the musicians work through a free-form groove, amped by Maksymiw’s distortion-tinged notes, leading to complex odd-metered unison choruses and a rapid-fire attack. ”

March 24th, 2016 – Culture Jazz, France
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REVIEW: KRONIX by Thierry Giard

“Aujourd’hui, à Berlin, Kronix est devenu une entité duelle et ce duo possède un registre et un potentiel musical et sonore tout à fait captivants comme le prouve ce disque. Ces deux là ne manquent ni de ressources ni d’imagination : la technicité de leur jeu instrumental est constamment au service de leur musique aux couleurs et aux textures changeantes.     … L’un comme l’autre ne nous a jamais laissé indifférent et réunis dans ce duo, ils font vraiment la somme de leurs talents pour nous proposer une déclinaison moderne du dialogue sur le terrain du jazz, libre mais contrôlée où la musique sait aussi jouer avec le silence, où la force du jeu sait aussi se murmurer. Une réussite.”

March 8th, 2016 – Touching Extremes, Italy
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Review by Massimo Ricci

“A duet for saxophone and guitar can truly become a problem. Countless are the perils deriving from the vainglorious outpourings of average performers, which in the case of these specific instruments are usually summarized by the world-famous exclamation “too many notes”. If the protagonist’s genealogy lies somewhere between math rock and modern jazz, the threat of Boredom with the capital B turns into tangible annoyance more often than not.

Van Huffel and Maksymiw steered clear of these issues with ease. For starters, they mostly play upon compositions, including some that were originally conceived for a larger instrumental setup. This element alone warrants a layer of lucidity to begin with. Then again, the duo wisely chose to diversify their music’s ecosystem from a track to another – sometimes even within a single piece – thus preventing the listener from descending into the classic “same stuff, slightly modified” mental groove. They astutely amalgamate timbral components and effects, combining dry tones and echoing resonances. Ultimately, the repertoire is alluring enough to sustain the duration of a whole set.”

March 1st, 2016 – Longplay Recenzje, Poland

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REVIEW: Peter Van HUFFEL / Alex MAKSYMIW: KRONIX /2016/ – by Robert Ratajczak

“Znany z odważnych projektów muzycznych, kanadyjski saksofonista Peter Van Huffel ( albumy z formacją Gorilla Mask: Howl!, 2012 i Bite My Blues, 2014 oraz genialny album Boom Crane, 2013 z Michaelem Batesem i Jeffem Davisem) doskonale odnajduje się w każdej konwencji. Niezwykle agresywny sposób gry od 2008 roku zamieszkałego w Berlinie alcisty, pełen jest jednocześnie swego rodzaju duchowości (spod znaku Charliego Parkera i Erica Dolphy) emanującej prawdziwym uczuciem. Całkiem niedawno mieliśmy okazję słyszeć go na płycie kwintetu kontrabasisty Meinrada Kneera “Oneirology” (2015), a rok 2016 przynosi album “KRONIX” nagrany w duecie z gitarzystą Alexem Maksymiwem. Artyści występowali razem już w roku 2012 (także w Polsce), jednak materiał jaki poznajemy na tej płycie zarejestrowany został w Kolonii w roku 2015.”

February 20th, 2016 – Dragonjazz, Belgium
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REVIEW: KRONIX (Fresh Sound Records) – by Pierre Dulieu
“Kronix, le nouvel album du duo Peter Van Huffel / Alex Maksymiw offre une musique en mouvement, fraîche, décapante et visionnaire, marquée par la grâce télépathique de deux musiciens exceptionnels qui n’ont aucune idée de ce que mot “auto-indulgence” signifie. Sortie imminente. Chronique sur DJ.”

“Kronix, first album of the duo Peter Van Huffel / Alex Maksymiw, offers music in motion, unpredictable and visionary, marked by the telepathic grace of two exceptional musicians who have no idea what the word “self-indulgence” means. Imminent release. Review on DJ.”