PESH: Peshish

Polish-Norwegian quartet produces dark avant-garde composition and improvisation that seems rooted in the departures of the 1960s and 70s


Peek behind the scenes. Watch the magician’s hands in slow motion. It’s a thrill to see how things are made – and Peshish permits that surreptitious buzz. Loose compositions and free interplay give listeners a precious chance to experience each decision and observe the inner-workings of the band’s collective artistry in real time. It’s an immersive experience.

PESH is the debut release from a quartet of European youngsters. Trumpeter Emil Miszk and drummer Patrycja Wybrańczyk are from Poland. They’re joined by two Norwegians: Sondre Moshagen on piano and Håkon Huldt-Nystrøm on bass. The band has a stated goal of emphasising musical interaction and fluency. They successfully hit that shared target on every track.

Walc Majowy launches the album with a sweet piano opening. The track’s composer adds shivering percussion. There are moments of clamour and withdrawal throughout, as the musicians push and pull each other in new directions. At the halfway point, the trumpet enters with a repeated call. The group then gradually carries the song to a soft, shy close.

The album’s title track was written by Miszk and his trumpet is present from the first beat. It’s another loose-framed piece, with resourceful and engaging percussion dropping into every sonic gap. There’s no destination here, no task to complete. The band is creating, not producing.

We’re Going To Voss and A Feast of Association, An Idea feature swing-feeling passages and bebop bursts. The familiar vocabulary feels oddly jarring in this entrancing improvised landscape. The listener yearns to return to PESH’s less conventional terrain.

Peshish is a playful album that allows intimate insights into in-the-moment music. PESH brings together an international quartet of improvisers and their shared journey of exploration is fascinating to observe. It’s a bold and open-hearted debut that offers a thrill and a buzz too.

Peshish; Walc Majowy; Leitmotif; We’re Going To Voss!; Joseba; Idea, To Trust; A Feast Of Association, An Idea; Diatonic Jogger; Music 45 (53.14)
Emil Miszk (t); Sondre Moshagen (p); Håkon Huldt-Nystrøm (b); Patrycja Wybrańczyk (d). Warsaw, Poland, 2023.
AMP Music & Records AT0136