We are very pleased that we brought all the way from Dalston area to our beloved Kentish Town, 3 releases from Cafe Oto‘s label, OTOroku. The latest one (from late summer), a trio of Daichi Yoshikawa, Paul Abbott and Seymour Wright or lll人 (pronounced /el/) as they call themselves, a heavyweight lp of four brilliant musicians Broetzmann / Adasiewicz / Edwards / Noble and a farly older one from Mats Gustafsson & Thurston Moore.
lll人 – ‘gjērhan’ (LP)From subterranea, sweat, haze and dedication emerging out of intimate and intense weekly meetings begun in 2009 – their first, 2012 public performance, squeezed into a London basement was a sheer, vexed and exhilarating smack of organic, heterodyning ideas, and taut, lowbeating lumps.
With the economy of familiar/traditional raw tools feedback, drumkit, altosaxophone, time, space and emotion lll人 move from molten musical pasts to grow future pleasures in sound.
The ingredients are familiar, but the listening is not.
At its heart is a still, undecorated concentration fuelling an extreme testing of limbs, language and order. This has no concern with collapsing difference into a vogueish flattened mass froth, but searches – forensically, ceaselessly – for something to chew, in the challenge of discretion and integrity or asylum in the body of its instruments.
Finding, twisting and hammering out an expanding musical universe balanced only by its own logics – lll人 have few obvious comparisons. Their performances are consistent radical negotiations of the emotional, physical and social energies of the environments they sound out.
Broetzmann / Adasiewicz / Edwards / Noble – MENTAL SHAKE (LP)OTOROKU’s tenth release sees a return to the group that kick-started the label – the veteran German reedsman and free jazz pioneer Peter Broetzmann with the long-running London bass/drums partnership of John Edwards and Steve Noble. After the release of ‘…The Worse The Better’ that group went on to play a series of devastating shows in Europe and to emerge as one of Broetzmann’s finest working groups. Over the same period Peter was developing a deep rapport with Jason Adasiewicz, the upstart vibraphone player from Chicago. What seems on paper like an awkward pairing reveals itself on stage and on record as a symbiotic revelation. Adasiewicz’s physical attack matching Broetzmann for impact whilst the extended sustain of the vibes opens up an eerie space for some of Broetzmann’s most fertile lyricism.
The recording is from the last set of a two-day residency at Cafe OTO that brought these two groups together for an astonishing quartet. Adasiewicz and Noble struck up an immense partnership in rhythm. Edwards wrestled with a broken house bass and failing amplifier and still managed new levels of invention – stoking the others onwards. Broetzmann was clearly energised – I swear I saw him dancing at the side of the stage whilst exchanging a shattered reed. And for all the usual rhetoric of Free Jazz bluster and machismo, this is a meeting characterised by the joy of communal creation that makes you want to dance – even if only in your head.
Mats Gustafsson & Thurston Moore – Vi Är Alla Guds Slavar (LP)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”