The Apophonics are John Butcher, Gino Robair and John Edwards. With a focus on innovative textual playing, their sound is dizzyingly expansive. Stuttering birdsong meets metallic bass and lilting melodies emerge from guttural tension. Complex and playful, the trio hot-foot around each others interventions with delightful ease.
John Butcher / saxophones
John Edwards / double bass
Gino Robair / energised surfaces
Recorded by Kate Arnold. Mixed by John Butcher. Mastered by James Dunn. Photo by Günther Gröger.
1. Hunting (26.23)
2. Dodging (25.46)
3. Leading (7.24)
Availiable as a 24bit FLAC or 320k MP3
Butcher is well known as a saxophonist who attempts to engage with the uniqueness of time and place. His music ranges through improvisation, his own compositions, multitracked pieces and explorations with feedback and unusual acoustics. Since the early 80s he has collaborated with hundreds of musicians – including Derek Bailey, Rhodri Davies, Andy Moor (EX), Phil Minton, Christian Marclay, Eddie Prevost, John Stevens’ SME, Gino Robair, Polwechsel, Mark Sanders, John Tilbury, and Okkyung Lee.
Alongside long term projects he values occasional encounters; from large groups such as the EX Orkestra & Butch Morris’ “London Skyscraper”, to duo concerts with Fred Frith, Akio Suzuki, Paal Nilssen-Love, Keiji Haino, David Toop, Otomo Yoshihide, Sophie Agnel and Matthew Shipp.
Recent compositions include “Penny Wands” for Futurist Intonarumori, two HCMF commissions for his own groups, “Good Liquor Caused my Heart for to Sing” for the London Sinfonietta and “Tarab Cuts”, a response to recordings of early Arabic classical music which was shortlisted for a 2014 British Composer’s Award.
“English saxophonist John Butcher may be among the world’s most influential musicians, operating at the cutting-edge of improvisatory practice since the ‘80s. Whenever an acoustic musician starts to sound like a bank of oscillators, a tropical forest, a brook or an insect factory, Butcher’s influence is likely nearby.” – New York City Jazz Record.
John Edwards is a true virtuoso whose staggering range of techniques and boundless musical imagination have redefined the possibility of the double bass and dramatically expanded its role, whether playing solo or with others. Perpetually in demand, he has played with Evan Parker, Sunny Murray, Derek Bailey, Joe McPhee, Lol Coxhill, Peter Brötzmann, Mulatu Astatke and many others.
"I think John Edwards is absolutely remarkable: there’s never been anything like him before, anywhere in jazz." - Richard Williams, The Blue Moment
Gino Robair is a San Francisco Bay Area-based percussionist and composer who has performed and recorded with Anthony Braxton, Tom Waits, John Butcher, LaDonna Smith, Otomo Yoshihide, Eugene Chadbourne, John Zorn, Nina Hagen, Thinking Fellers Union Local 282, Myra Melford, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, and the Club Foot Orchestra. He is a founding member of the Splatter Trio and Pink Mountain. Robair's multimedia work "Grand Electric Skull" was commissioned and performed by the ROVA Saxophone Quartet with Ikue Mori in San Francisco in 2013, while his theater piece "The Amanuensis" was premiered at GIOfest VI in Glasgow the same year. His opera "I, Norton," based on the life of Norton I, Emperor of the United States, has been staged throughout North America, Europe, and Japan.
"[Gino Robair] holds the listener captive as he oscillates between the accidental and the intentional; between the tiniest, most delicate noise and a torrential outpouring of sound." - San Francisco Bay Guardian