28CD - Beck Drenching Pleasure - A low carbonation - CD plus downloadTweet
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From what seems at first to be the most minimal and restricted of sonic pallettes, the trio creates a detailed activity field with all the articulation and dynamic you might expect from a more conventional lineup.
The Album: A Low Carbonation immerses you in the interface between plumbing and low tech - this sound of music is more about construction of new forms than Mary Poppins.
Bricks have been made at least since 4004 BC; bassoons since Roman times; Dictaphones? There's no reason why anachronisms should sound like this. There's every reason for giving the subliminal its head and enjoying the differential equations of office, suction and percussion.
9 tracks, 48 minutes of intrigue and invention. The odd numbered tracks are the trio in studio in the Flat of Angles, Levenshulme, Manchester, and one concert at Over The Top, Sheffield (track 9). The even numbered tracks give another side of Pleasure.
The Beck/Drenching/Pleasure press spoxperson issued the following statement: "They specialise in the manufacture of rotating provisional structures. Bits fall off, bits drive forward, bits shrink back in myriad states of unity and disassemblage. Amid the interrogative inputs of toddlers and the howls of audience, A Low Carbonation, their second album, inks in some unlikely frescos on the imitation security fences which hedge the perimeter of musical life. Pleasure's solo flute interpolations offer a welcome periscopic view into the ambrosial middle distance."
(Spox has since left to be right on).
About the Trio: Drenching and Pleasure formed a partnership 5 years ago of unlikely instruments and mutual miscellaneous bodily functions. In improvised music they are best known for their work with Derek Bailey on the Incus release, Limescale. Drenching is also a poet, and Pleasure a composer. Beck began to work with them in 2000, producing one previous album "Beck/Drenching/Pleasure Live at HOTS-OD" (released on Fenland Hi-Brow Recordings and reviewed The Wire 214 and 217). The Trio has performed in various settings in London and elsewhere in England.
Mick Beck - tenor saxophone, bassoon, voice & calls
T H F Drenching - dictaphones
Sonic Pleasure - bricks, flute
"Doing whatever it is they do in a seditious huddle.....mostly avoiding any connotations of Music with a capital M. The sounds they make are negligible and real with plenty of scope for irritation if you're looking for grand gestures and conciliatory attitudes.....After a couple of plays I found I was liking it a lot" - Julian Cowley, WIRE
"Sounds like some French avant garde outing from the early 1970s, with the bricks adding to the feeling we're inside a large wooden crate as a mason bricks us in" - Audion
"Scientifically approached free improvisation musing about sandpit inner life. Various real time experiments with wind instruments and objects result in fringe sonorities busily interacting with one another and the concrete sources tailored for the occasion." - Modisti
"Taking almost to its limit the recognition that what some define as noise is in reality music, this British trio dispenses with conventional instruments along with conventional harmonies on this CD. Manchester-based T.H.F. Drenching does most of his improvising on dictaphones, while his partner Sonic Pleasure, provides the rhythmic impetus with bricks – weight and number unknown. Sheffield’s Mick Beck moves between strident whistles and the outermost pitches of his bassoon. Overall the microtonal interludes of squeaks, scrapes, crackles and hisses produce an original and perversely fascinating session. In fact, the CD’s only dispensable tracks are four less-the-one-minute lyrical interludes played by Pleasure on flute. Pleasure and Drenching have record earlier sessions with top Brit improvisers like guitarist Derek Bailey, while Beck often plays with drummer Paul Hession. Here Beck’s oral textures that replicate at various times nose blowing, aviary chirping and canine-like expositions empathetically blend with the others’ output. One highpoint is a contrapuntal duet on the final track between the woodwind’s glottal punctuation and the dictaphone’s squeezed breaths and whimpers. Pleasure’s blunt object resonation and chafing textures match Beck’s playing as well. Ironically the low-key atonality from her and Drenching eventually induces listeners to eschew puzzling out the source of the calculated noises. Meanwhile Beck’s instrumental command – which encompasses bubbling lip pops, key percussion and discontinuous split tones – shows that impressive techniques can also be expressed by traditional instruments if not tuning. Overall, most of A Low Carbonation’s effervescence comes from Beck’s skills." - Ken Waxman, Jazz Word
Scarse le notizie afferrate in giro - per via web e non solo - incuriosite dal testimoniare l'attività artistica e 'operativa', con una classe da sicuri outsider, concretizzata - individualmente - dalla coppia di musicisti che risponde ai nomi di Sonic Pleasure e T.H.F. Drenching. Tra le rarissime voci corse nei corridoi ombrosi dell'improvvisata radicale, più oltranzista e 'punk' che ci sia, si viene a conoscenza di un loro passaggio mirato per vie capitoline; i due sono stati protagonisti di un live, spalla a spalla, inserito nel variopinto programma della seconda (fantomatica quanto interessante) "Conferenza Internazionale di Zappologia Esemplastica": in cui tutti i partecipanti, invitati ad intervenire, cimentano il loro gusto per le musiche di Zappa, dando respiro ad opere/performance/improvvisazioni dove il trait d'union e la forma mentis traggono linfa vitale dall'opera di Frank. Valicata questa parentesi su due figure poco note, conosciamo l'altro componente del trio che, nella fattispecie di Mick Beck, non desterà (spero) ulteriore curiosità ai lettori di Kathodik*, vista la sua militanza stagionata dentro il giro Discus-siano con Martin Archer e l'estesa vicinanza alla scena improv-jazz di Sheffield - e britannica in generale. Proprio un accostamento bizzaro di strumenti, quello che viene realizzato dai tre: fagotto, sax tenore, dictaphones, voci, flauto e mattoni, quest'ultimi, suonati nel vero senso della parola dalle mani-animiste di Sonic Pleasure. Un terzetto che appare giovane nella vita e nelle idee il cui merito è quello di unire, in modo bilanciato ed originale, attimi di micro-improvvisazione zen con frangenti più grezzi ed informali. Getti di lontana e naturale Animist Orchestra (l'indimenticabile combo guidato dal californiano Jeph Jarman) si infiltrano qua e là: negli interstizi corrosi di For Sue, con dei curiosi dialoghi di jazz o nella title track, con scampoli di improvvisazione scombinata ed a larga presenza di oggetti percossi. I quattro momenti distaccati di Case Study aiutano ad intercettare in maggior misura la verve de-frammentata del trio, ma anche il loro versante spirituale, del quale si colgono spunti rilevanti durante il solo di flauto - stemperato - del no.4 che emana in 'lontananza' scampoli di melodia ispirata all'Oriente. - KATHODIK