Tom Wheatley is a double bass and electric bass player based in, and native to, London. He plays to open the bass – sonically and physically, musically and surgically – as to open suppressed musics. He is actively involved in new music communities of London and elsewhere, playing with Eddie Prévost, John Edwards, CYNTHIA, Mark Sanders, Yoni Silver, Denis D’or, Ute Kanngiesser, Guillaume Viltard and others.
Paul Keene is a free-lance musician and researcher working as a pianist, composer, improvisor and multi-media artist. He has worked in various parts of the world in settings including orchestras and choirs, live electronic and acoustic groups, chamber ensembles and solo projects. He has performed with The Platters, Bobby Vinton and Louie Belson.
His work includes collaborations with dancers including Emma Dunn, multimedia artists such as Christopher Janey, film-makers such as Nick Gibbon and spoken-word artists including Lemn Sissay. He has performed on BBC Radio 3 on the Andy Kershaw Show with Rise Kagona of the Bhundu Boys as a member of Culture Clash. He has also appeared with DJ Sniff from STEIM, with the Chemical Poets, free improv group Hakemira and improvised electronica duo Kresch.
Annie Kerr + Kev Moore + Gus Garside
Double bassist Gus Garside plays in string trio Arc and in Static Memories, and is an instrumental part of the Safehouse team. Violinist Annie Kerr plays in a wide variety of settings and styles and also teaches music. Kev Moore uses electronics to create unusual sonic textures. As a trio they make a kind of improvised music that has echoes of radio plays and other narratives.
I Belong To The Band
Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg: voice
Adam Bohman: acoustic & amplified objects
Zsolt Sőrés: viola, toy synthesizers, circuit bent toys, dictaphone tapes, lo-fi sound sources, contact microphones, effects, objects
Oliver Mayne: vibraphone, synthesizers, contact microphones, effects, objects
I Belong To The Band is a Belgian-British-Hungarian improvisational quartet formed in 2010 in Budapest. The film-maker Peter Strickland, director of Berberian Sound Studio, has this to say about them:
“It was only meant to be for one night. In 2010, I invited Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg and Adam Bohman to Budapest to appear in a demonstration version of my second feature film, Berberian Sound Studio. Since these two wayward musicians were travelling all the way from Brussels and London for just a few hours of filming, it made sense for them to try and squeeze in another activity during down time. The Hungarian musician Zsolt Sőrés knew Messrs Van Schouwburg and Bohman well enough to organise an evening of musical improvisation with them and Budapest-based English musician Oliver Mayne. They christened themselves I Belong To The Band, and despite the ad hoc nature of their initial appointment, their first concert was a wonderful occasion and naturally, since then they have played again and again over the years.”
Adrian Northover: saxophone
Marcello Magliocchi: drums
Maresuke Okamoto: bass
Matilda Rolfsson – bass drum & percussion
Tim Fairhall – double bass
Tom Ward – bass clarinet & flute
“The group as a whole hits a nice seam somewhere between out-there fire music and the chitinous hustle of free improv, leavening their dissonant scrapes with shafts of melody and warm bass twangs poking through the scrapes and hoots. There’s an airy lightness to the trio’s playing, thanks to Ward’s occasion flute invocations, which roam across these four pieces like a summer breeze over a mountainside.” – We need no swords blog
Christophe de Bezenac: saxophone
Adam Fairhall: piano, keyboard instruments
Anton Hunter: guitar
Johnny Hunter: drums
Dave Kane: double bass
Corey Mwamba: vibes and misc instruments
The Spirit Farm bring quick instincts, an impressive shared understanding and a wealth of idiomatic approaches to the music. The musicians build on the achievements of previous generations of improvisers in fascinating ways; the upside-down use of the bass bow, often heard in free improv, might be used here to beat out a haunting riff like a 21st century diddley bow, or the post-cage piano preparations so common among free pianists might here be applied to a vintage tine piano.
In addition to full-band numbers which can reach stunning climaxes, the group explore smaller combinations, such as duos and trios, ensuring a constantly varied listening experience.
“Devastatingly creative ****” – Jazzwise
“Ecstatic free jazz remains a touchstone on their 2015 debut album, but it’s in the quieter moments that the session is lifted out of the ordinary by a mischievous take on timbre and instrumentation, with gamalan-like toy piano and distorted electric keys circling taut guitar pings and the hollow rattling of saxophone pads” – The Wire
“Hugely Impressive ****” – Jazz Journal
“It’s a set that declares intent, imagination and prowess and as such promises much for the future” – New York City Jazz Record
Vid Drašler, Tom Jackson and Daniel Thompson met for the first time in the spring of 2016 as part of the CRAM Records residency at FriForma in Ljubljana, Slovenia. During the residency the trio had the fortune to play and record as a trio in Vrhnika, Slovenia and immediately vowed to collaborate again.
Vid Drašler / Tom Jackson
Jost Drašler / Vid Drašler / Daniel Thompson
Cath Roberts: baritone saxophone, compositions
Sam Andreae: tenor saxophone
Anton Hunter: guitar
Seth Bennett: bass
Johnny Hunter: drums
Sloth Racket is a quintet of UK improvisers led by baritone saxophonist Cath Roberts, with Anton Hunter (Beck Hunters, Article XI) on guitar, Sam Andreae (Trio Riot, Silence Blossoms) on tenor saxophone, Seth Bennett (Metamorphic, En Bas Quartet) on bass and Johnny Hunter (Spirit Farm, Nat Birchall) on drums. The group play Cath’s compositions, combining written fragments with graphic notation to explore the balance between freedom and structure. The results range across musical territories from fiery free jazz, to minimal improv textures, to deep grooves.
‘Consider this an important contribution to the debate about spontaneity versus form.’
– Daniel Spicer, Jazzwise ****
‘The Sloth Racket sound is broadly comparable to that of Tim Berne’s Bloodcount, the mid ’90s New York quintet with the same instrumentation, or the earthier, brawnier sound of Chicago as filtered through Peter Brötzmann’s Tentet.’
– Tim Owen, Dalston Sound
‘an agreeably spicy goulash of free improvisation, grumpy riffs and bluesy themes’
– Stewart Smith, The Quietus
‘nobody in their right mind is going to call this row slothful’
– Spencer Grady, Record Collector
Martin Archer: saxophones
Corey Mwamba: vibraphone
Walt Shaw: percussion
Martin Archer is a mainstay of Sheffield’s fertile experimental music scene, and this trio finds him exploring new territory with Corey Mwamba and Walt Shaw.
“…the sense of considered, focused interplay between the participants is undeniable. An hour or so of abstract noise passes imperceptibly, then, suddenly, everything feels shockingly different.” – Stewart Lee, Sunday Times
“Every track is a modernist gem of mournful, elegiac, deeply moving instrumental music” – Ed Pinsent, Sound Projector
“Some of the most engaged and engaging music currently being played in England” – John Fordham, Guardian
“Fascinating … defies categorisation … an internal coherence which makes it compulsive listening … an art-rock mini-universe” – Joe Cushley, Mojo