Quietus review of “I didn’t mind you improvising, I just wish you’d done it better”

Thoughtful review of the tape that came out recently on Tombed Visions featuring myself, Sam Andreae and Andrew Cheetham.

“In many ways, a guitar-sax-drums trio is the most liberated improvising lineup possible. Forty five years on from Derek Bailey, Han Bennink and Evan Parker’s seminal freeform blowout The Topography Of The Lungs (which, incidentally, was reissued by Otoroku at the end of last year), it’s clear the possibilites of the setup have still barely been breached. This recording of tenor saxophonist Sam Andreae, electric guitarist David M Birchall, and drummer Andrew Cheetham reopens that door once kicked by Topography Of the Lungs (coincidentally, the panning and general sound is almost identical on both records – guitar on the left, drums in the centre, sax on the right, all crystal clear and clean), and across four dynamic improvisations, the trio cross swords, hold hands and generally go nuts in an often brutally feral jam session. Opener ‘Eric Frohm Where’ builds crunchy guitar drones and sax blasts into a gathering storm which erupts as the stunning Cheetham kicks into action. A calming eye of the storm passes over, before a maddening climax throughout its twelfth minute more akin to some Napalm Death face smasher than any Coltrane shit (including that Live In Japan album). Mimicry is a theme throughout, and when one considers the atonality of Cheetham’s percussion, it’s no surprise this leads to some pretty weird parps and scrapes from guitar and sax. ‘Post Nasal Space’ is mostly sparse and skittering, while ‘Dude You Look Like Sea Sick Steve’ blasts right in our face, as wave upon wave of snare rolls underpin an increasingly similar guitar and sax. The musicianship is typically inventive and stunning, but more uniquely like Topography Of the Lungs, this trio seem to have evolved their own logic, evoking stark imagery through what sounds like total and utter chaos.”



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