Reviews of the solo Acoustic Textures and Spitting Feathers CDrs on Black and White Cat Press from Terrascope.
“Using a selection of found objects and an acoustic guitar, David Birchall has created an intriguing and listen-able improvisation on his latest album “Acoustic Textures”. Containing seven tracks, the album serves up a wide range of moods as an apple, windscreen wiper, plectrum and a twig are employed to great effect with “Signs of Hope on our Archipelago”, the album opener, setting the standard scraping and rattling into your ears with a preciseness and deftness of touch that ensures the sounds are never wasted. As the tracks bleed into each other, more chapters than individual pieces, it is hard to distinguish them, but the magnificent springiness of “City Smells” will make you chuckle, whilst the delicate shimmer of at the beginning of “Another Apocalyptic Vision at Breakfast” soon turns into a darker and intense drone, bringing the album to a conclusion that is far from the playful middle section. A fine piece of improv that flows wonderfully.
Also featuring David Birchall (Guitar), as well as Olie Brice (Bass) and Phillip Marks (Percussion), “Spitting Feathers” is an energetic free improv collection that finds the players in harmony with each other snatches of melody peeking out from behind shards of noise, scrapes, rattles and clunks, the moments of silence vital punctuation within the pieces. Over seven tracks the musicians prove themselves to be inventive and alive to the possibilities presented by the other players with “Wall of Horns” and the more percussion led “Fine Words, Butter No Parsnips” proving wholly satisfying to these ears, whilst opener “”Sat There Like Piffy on a Rockbun” has moments the sound like The Clangers on a large dose of LSD, or maybe that’s just me!”