String Theory is the ambitious third release from Partikel (Duncan Eagles, Max Luthert and Eric Ford), a band that's been performing non-stop the last few years and is largely heralded in the UK as one of the most exciting new groups working in improvised-based music. This latest project sees the band pushing their own sonic and compositional boundaries by teaming up with four of the most in-demand string players on the UK scene, fusing their love of jazz, rock and world music with the sounds and textures of a string quartet to create a high energy album that merges a bewildering array of unique soundscapes. The string quartet have been integrated seamlessly into Partikel's trademark style of raw emotion and fiercely interactive improvisations, striking an intriguing balance between intensity and rich harmony. It's an excellent example of a band not content with resting on their laurels.The approach to this album has been very different to the last two albums where the band went through periods of non-stop rehearsing and fine-tuning on arrangements before going into the studio.
Says Eagles on the process, "With this album the charts I wrote for the trio were purposefully more open and melodic than previous material and the arrangements were developed through touring with the band, rather than all the rehearsing, which I think gives the trio performance on this album a much more natural and spontaneous dynamic." A great example of what Eagles refers to is the second track “Seeking Shadows” which is a product of their live set. "On that track the band would begin playing freely each show we developed this and discovered more parts that we liked, slowly over time building a structure that now sounds completely composed, but really there was never a chart for this track. When we recorded it in the studio there was still an air of unknown whilst playing the section for the album." The band has also started to incorporate electronic effects into their live set, which they touch upon in the production of this album, giving it a different overall feel from the previous two in that they solely featured the acoustic trio.