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Mats Gustafsson

Hailing from Umeå in Northern Sweden, Gustafsson is a saxophonist/composer/improviser working across noise, electronics, contemporary rock and free jazz as well as contemporary dance, theater and art projects. He has performed both as a solo artist and toured internationally with Peter Brötzmann, Sonic Youth, Merzbow, Jim O´Rourke, Barry Guy, Otomo Yoshihide, Yoshimi, Ken Vandermark and in working groups The Thing, Sonore, FIRE!, Gush, Boots Brown, Swedish Azz and Nash Kontroll. He also participates in the large ensembles Barry Guy New Orchestra, Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet and the NU – ensemble. 

Featured releases

Vi Är Alla Guds Slavar is the latest missive from the long-running duo pairing of Mats Gustafsson (The Thing, Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, etc) and Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth, Chelsea Light Moving, Dream/Aktion Unit, etc). Thurston had first come across Mats' playing on a duo disc with Barry Guy and had assumed he was one of those older beardy European improv guys - Remember this was before the internet and everyone knew everything. Their first actual meeting goes back to the early 90s at Blue Tower Records in Stockholm (now Andra Jazz - arguably the greatest jazz record store in the world) on one of Thurston's frequent soundcheck-skipping discaholic binges. The young guy behind the counter was blowing his mind with side after side of crazy rare jazz, test pressings, acetates and more. Running late, he offered Thurston a lift to the gig and en route asked if there was any particular records he was looking for. "There is this sax player - Mats Gustafsson - I'm looking for some of his stuff" "That's me" says the young guy - and there started an intense friendship that has manifested intself in music through their discaholics anonymous trio (with Jim O'Rourke), Gustafsson's large scale HIDROS 3 composition for Sonic Youth and much more besides… You can watch a video interview with Thurston where he tells the story of their first meeting here:

Mats Gustafsson & Thurston Moore – Vi Är Alla Guds Slavar

Past events