Coming to the Vortex

The Dalston Culture House now houses the Vorte...
The Dalston Culture House now houses the Vortex Jazz Club. (October 2005) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From London’s Vortex Jazz Club:

THU 21 • 20.30 • £9 • MD


The Kandinsky Effect are a French/American trio based in Paris. Searching for new ways to improvise, they blend jazz, rock, electronica, hip-hop and sonic experimentation to create a unique sound. Improvisation is ever-present and spontaneity is paramount.

+ support from DOLLYman: Kerry Andrew (voice, keys, various) / Matt Dibble (clarinets, sax, voice, keys) / James Lindsay (cello, voice, keys) / Lucy Mulgan (bass) / Pat Moore (drums, voice)


TUE 26 • 20.30 • £9 • MD


Shatner’s Bassoon are a group of six Leeds-based composers/improvisers. Influenced by artists such as Tim Berne, Mr. Bungle, John Zorn, Tyshawn Sorey and a range of rock and electronic music, Shatner’s Bassoon have developed a unique collective sound based on developing complex compositional structures through improvisation, allowing the music to be naturally infused by their experiences.

+ support from Angler, a stripped down, purely live duo consisting of Cameron Reynolds on
piano/synths, and Tom Greenhalgh on drums.


THU 28 • 20.30 • £10 • MD


Monthly Vortex residency with master of free improvisation Evan Parker, featuring Dylan Bates (violin) and John Edwards (bass).

AMN Reviews: Richard Pinhas / Merzbow / Wolf Eyes – Victoriaville Mai 2011

A collaboration of the legendary Richard Pinhas (of Heldon fame) and Japanese noise artist Merzbow would be worthy of note. Add in Wolf Eyes, the trio of Mike Connelly, John Olson, and Nathan Young, and you have the potential for a truly chaotic sonic assault. But that doesn’t happen. Instead, this quintet provides a symphonic soundscape that maintains a slow boil.

Recorded live at FIMAV 2011, the release consists of a 48-minute performance, followed by a 9-minute encore. Unlike some examples of the “noise” genre, Pinhas and company avoid a free-form blowout that smacks of randomness. Instead, each piece has a beginning, a middle and an end. But that doesn’t mean that the result is easy listening by any stretch. The only recognizable instruments are the occasional guitar from Pinhas or Connelly, as well as Olson’s sax. But these contributions blend into a shifting, changing backdrop of electronics. While the performance was likely improvised to an extent, the result comes across as partially premeditated. Thus, each musician is given room to stretch, but not to excess. In particular, Merzbow is reigned in, and takes a more rhythmic, background role.

While the result is ominous and dark, it is never unpleasant to the ears. Jarring at times, but not acerbic. In a way, this release is a sum of its parts. If you are a fan of Pinhas, Wolf Eyes, and the mellower side of Merzbow, you won’t be surprised. But you will be pleased.

More info here.

‘Surface Image,’ by Tristan Perich, at Roulette Reviewed

Loud Objects at iMAL : Tristan Perich
Loud Objects at iMAL : Tristan Perich (Photo credit: Marc Wathieu)


So many wires and power cords were tangled on the stage at Roulette on Tuesday evening that the piano appeared to be nestled in a giant serpent’s nest. Forty loudspeakers, 20 on each side of the stage, and each wired to hand-built electronics, framed the instrument. The elaborate electronic setup was in place for a new piece by Tristan Perich, composed for the pianist Vicky Chow, a new-music specialist and member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars. In a preconcert discussion Mr. Perich said he had initially decided to call the work “Density of Air,” planning to write a “delicate, ephemeral piece.” But as the piece took shape with Ms. Chow, he renamed it “Surface Image.”

RIP Kevin Ayers


Kevin Ayers - whatevershebringswesing
Kevin Ayers – whatevershebringswesing (Photo credit: murkredi)

Kevin Ayers, legendary founder of Soft Machine, has passed away at age 68.