“These guys know what they’re doing and so there’s no faffing about. They’re locked in from the first seconds of Membrane 1, setting up a long, ringing sequence of notes, driven by Wastell’s metallic tam-tam murmurs. At first things are slow and sub aqueous, Wastell setting up a liquid sonic field that makes everything like it is taking place at the bottom of a cold, clear ocean. Butcher comes in sensitively at first, his breathy hisses moving through the shimmer like an eel. At around 11 minutes, he casts forth some simple, abstract phrases, before slipping back into the depths. Beins is even more circumspect and, occasionally, it’s tricky to figure out whether the electronic tones and chain-like rattles that occasionally ripple across the surface of this piece are him or one of the other two. There’s definitely something going on, however, something creating that sense of textured depth that seems, on the whole, organic but sometimes humming like a vast, dormant machine." - Paul Magree
Burkhard Beins / feedback, 28" concert bass drum, analog synth & live-electronics
John Butcher / tenor & soprano saxophones, acoustic & amplified feedbacking
Mark Wastell / amplified 32" paiste tam-tam & mixer
Recorded live at Cafe OTO, on 13 April 2014 by James Dunn. Mixed & mastered by John Butcher.
Available as 16bit FLAC or 320kbp MP3
1. Membrane 1 - 21:24
2. Membrane 2 - 17:54
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.
Mark Wastell is a versatile improvising musician who has played a central role in the British improvised music scene for over a quarter of a century. He has performed and recorded extensively and his varied resume includes projects with Derek Bailey, Phil Durrant, John Butcher, Lasse Marhaug, Rhodri Davies, Simon H. Fell, Burkhard Beins, John Tilbury, Mattin, Mark Sanders, Tony Conrad, Evan Parker, Tim Barnes, Bernhard Günter, Keith Rowe, John Zorn, Peter Kowald, Joachim Nordwall, Otomo Yoshihide, Paul Dunmall, David Toop, Alan Wilkinson, Max Eastley, Hugh Davies, Julie Tippetts, Alan Skidmore, Mike Cooper, Chris Abrahams, Stewart Lee, Clive Bell, Arild Andersen, Jan Bang, Maggie Nicols, Thurston Moore and David Sylvian.
Burkhard Beins, born 1964 in Lower Saxony, lives in Berlin since 1995. As a composer/performer working in the fields of experimental music and sound art he is known for his definitive use of percussion in combination with selected sound objects. Furthermore, he works with live-electronics/analog synthesizers and has conceived several sound installations.
Since the late 1980's he is performing at internationally renowned venues and festivals throughout Europe, America, Australia and Asia as diverse as the LMC Festival (London), Int. Ferienkurse (Darmstadt), SKIF (St. Petersburg), Musiktage (Donaueschingen), Musique Action (Nancy), Choppa Festival (Singapore), Cave 12 (Geneva), The Now now (Sydney), ZKM (Karlsruhe), Kaleidophon (Ulrichsberg), Kid Ailack Music Hall (Tokyo), Gaudeamus Festival (Amsterdam), Liquid Architecture (Australia), Meteo (Mulhouse), Taktlos (CH), Berghain (Berlin), Konfrontationen (Nickelsdorf), Serralves (Porto), Wien Modern (Vienna), MoMA (New York), New Music Festival (Hanoi), Irtijal (Beirut), or Maerzmusik (Berlin).
Alongside his solo work he is a member of the ensembles Polwechsel, Activity Center, The Sealed Knot, Perlonex, Sawt Out, Trio Sowari, Junk Orbit, Fracture Mechanics, and Splitter Orchester and also works with composers/musicans such as Sven-Åke Johansson, Andrea Neumann, Keith Rowe, Axel Dörner, Tarek Atoui, Chris Abrahams, John Tilbury, or Charlemagne Palestine.
Burkhard Beins gives workshops based on his graphic score system Adapt/Oppose, has published several articles on music theory, and is a co-editor of the book “Echtzeitmusik Berlin – Self-Defining a Scene” as well as the curator of a follow-up 3CD compilation featuring the Berlin Echtzeitmusik scene. Meanwhile he has released more than 50 CDs and LPs on labels like Zarek, Erstwhile, 2:13 Music, Hat Hut, Potlatch, Absinth, alt.vinyl, God Records, Mikroton, or Confront.