Michael Rodham-Heaps tackles a trio of recorded documents from London’s Café Oto released for wider consumption on the ever-expanding Otoroku label…
Decoy with Joe McPhee – Spontaneous Combustion
This one grabs my attention first, the gritty screen-printed abstracts go well with first half of this tasty double, recorded back in twenty eleven. It’s a fragmented fermentation, loose dot-joining limbs avoiding the unusual scuffle cuffs jazzy improv seems to gravitate to. Little strangulations of trumpet here a there, weird auras of percussions taking the ear, then sliding back out on tantalisations on venting, pursed lips.
The Hammond trickling in the background, then foreground chasing. The trumpet crawling over it, full of bicycle bell and cymbal dopplegangers, everything surging in unsteady curving
Continue reading Otoroku label round-up (Decoy with Joe McPhee / Otomo Yoshihide, Sachiko M, Evan Parker, Tony Marsh, John Edwards and John Butcher / Brötzmann, Adasiewicz, Edwards and Noble) […]
I have a deal with a mate that if either of us ever manage to shout out ‘Baker Street!’ in the middle of a John Butcher performance, that person will receive a crisp £10 note and a hearty pat on the back. The irony being that, even if either of us weren’t excessively polite gig-goers, we’d still have problems remembering how to speak. Butcher’s entirely one of the most compelling performers doing the rounds at the moment, and is very much well worth catching if he’s visiting your locale.
So a couple of caveats: first, some free improv is a bastard to write about so if this goes a bit purple prose, blame the music. ALWAYS blame the music for the writer’s downfall; secondly, most people who are familiar with the scene are well aware of Butcher – he’s probably the most well-known, well-respected of the second-wave of free improvisers.
Continue reading John Butcher – Bell Trove Spools/John Butcher, Derek Bailey & Gino Robair – Scrutables/John Butcher & Rhodri Davies – Carliol […]
A couple of years ago a friend took me to Café Oto to see Londoners John Butcher and John Edwards teaming up with US guitarist Elliot Sharp. Not knowing what to expect, I was amazed by the gig, especially learning that Sharp never met the two others before, not to mention never played with them. This ended up being one of the best improv gigs I had seen for years. The interplay and attitude towards the music and each other was some of the things that moved me the most, as I recall. Later it came as no surprise having learned that Butcher has been very much sought after as a session musician or collaborator.
So getting a
Continue reading Toshimaru Nakamura and John Butcher – Dusted Machinery […]
London. 5 October 2012
Keiji Haino’s trademark wall-of-guitar noise, with its many layers and overtones, often puts me in mind of church organ music at its loudest and most resonant. so this mightily atmospheric and imposing place of worship felt like an oddly appropriate setting for his fabled power trio Fushitsusha’s headline slot at this triple bill.
First up were Temperatures, a bass/drums duo who took your jaded been-there-heard-that correspondents by complete surprise. Put simply: they don’t sound much like anything else, rather they seem to occupy some ruptured gap between genres, and they are brilliant. Astonishing fluid polyrhythms topped off with chanted underwater vocals, locked tight in a shambolic shudder, grounded with precision bass kicks. The best new band either of us have seen in a very long
Continue reading Fushitsusha/John Butcher/Temperatures (live at St John at Hackney) […]
Mark Sanders has been a professional drummer for almost thirty years. His diversity is unmatched, running the gamut between jazz, free improvisation, pop, avant-rock, modern classical, dance, new complexity, dub and folk. He’s one of the few free improvisers who integrates the learning that he accumulates from these broad activities: most improvising musicians’ approach rarely synthesises or overlaps their sets of experience from other styles. You would be hard pressed to find musicians currently working within free improvisation who he hasn’t worked with.
Continue reading An Audience with Mark Sanders […]