Wire Assembly: Three Chairs [Electronic Musik em 193]
This EP in the form of a free download is the second release from Wire Assembly, the Sheffield, UK guitar trio of Neil Carver, John Jasnoch and Ian Simpson. The two longish tracks were recorded live this past spring at the Chorlton Arts Festival in Manchester, England.
Although experimental in nature, both of these high-spirited improvisations are notable for the predominance of straightforward sounds—often recalling the rounded tone of classic jazz guitar—from all three players. No effects seem to have been used, outside of some phase-shifting on Simpson’s guitar on the first piece. The second piece features some out-technique from Carver, but for the most part this is a recording of melodic and harmonic invention on the fly.
The playing is a pleasure to listen to. The improvisations never lose focus or momentum—all three guitarists are adept at throwing out and accepting gambits, and often finishing each other’s phrases while doing so. The tasks of comping, playing single note lines and even hinting at a bassline—as Jasnoch does on occasion—are continually shifted around, keeping the sound moving ahead. Particularly exciting are those moments when a spontaneous, obliquely jazz-like chord progression breaks out, as when Jasnoch and Simpson do the free improv equivalent of chase choruses over Carver’s motile harmonies.