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Atlas To Rust



available as...
Auricle AMCDR 103 7.00
bandcamp download

duration: 79'29"

1. The Marie Celeste 9'03"
Possibly One Or Two Numbers 42'20"
Alan Freeman: Contact 7'24"
Steve Freeman: My Link Is Long 8'24"
Atlas To Rust 12'07"

Recordings of the Alto Stratus sets and solos from the "Improv Electronic" nights at Bambu, Leicester, 29 January, 21 March & 18 April 2007, collated and repaired as authentically as possible by Alan Freeman, 22-25 April 2007.

Alan Freeman: guitar, Roland SH32 & guitar synth, bowed spring-board & acoustic CD, sounds, (on 18 April gig: just acoustic CD, spring-board, bells, voice, effects)
Steve Freeman: bowed cymbal & acoustic CD, prepared sounds, tapes and loops, guitar, plus (21 March gig) Moog Rogue synth, (on 18 April gig: just acoustic CD, multi-track tapes & effects)

Way back in the early days we had the idea of performing as Alto Stratus live in concert, but it never happened as never did we expect to find a venue willing to put on such weird music. Eventually, we tested the idea as small slots at Endgame gigs. With Jim away in Australia it seemed a good idea to split our "Improv Electronic" sets into our two other active projects: Alto Stratus and Triax. This disc documents material from two such gigs in 2007, plus a third event that was billed as a "solos night" - which actually turned into a solos, duos, plus a big jam at the end night! Our solos and duo as Alto Stratus are included here, for a great value 79+ minute disc.

An evening with Alto Stratus & Triax - Bambu, Leicester - by Peter Smith
This was the third (I think) in a series of events hosted by Chris Conway and friends at a smallish club in central Leicester, this sort of event really does depend on the support of the individual in order to survive, and as such, with packed lunch in one hand, and British Rail ticket in the other, I got on board...
The venue itself couldn't have been better, comfortable seating, a great sound system, and seemingly no licensing curfew, added to this the fact that it was little more than a stones throw from the UT shop I was kind of expecting a good sized crowd in attendance. Ah well, you cant have everything I suppose, but those who did make the effort were treated to around two hours or so of some of the finest improvised sounds around, added to this the most oversized tropical fish aquarium known to mankind, a rare treat indeed for the inner ear!
Things kicked off with "possibly one or two numbers" from Alto Stratus, well, they got that one wrong, but what we had in its place was 45 minutes of one of the darkest, most unearthly journeys that its possible to make without the aid of medication, legal or otherwise. What was really special was that the instrumentation was kept to a minimum yet still the magic shone through, for a moment or two there we were down in that bunker with German Oak although of course this was Leicester and not Dusseldorf.
After the shortest of breaks it was time for Triax to take the stage, I guess if anything their set reminded me more of Dangerous Playground era material rather than their more recent explorations but it suited the event perfectly, once again we were treated to a 45 minute excursion in sound, this one quite possibly entitled "Do Androids Dream Of Electric Fish?" (or possibly not...).
As if this wasn't enough the group brought proceedings to a close by bowing to the demands of a by now wildly enthusiastic audience, and producing a "ten minute" (yeah, right!) short encore, possibly entitled "Improvisation For Squeaky Air Hockey Machine" Beginning in deepest space this one seemed to twist and turn like nothing before, best part for myself was the interplay between Hurdy-Gurdy and Bowed guitar, I've never really "got" the dronework stuff that Tony Conrad produced, upon hearing it I was always expecting something more, and suddenly, this was it, a pure tonal barrage of sound, overwhelming and yet, strangely alluring at one and the same time, this was where it all made sense like never before, I realised how limiting the studio can be for something like the sonics produced by Dave's Hurdy-Gurdy, you have to be there, to actually feel as well as hear it, this is what makes a live event so utterly unique.
Improvised music live: its a little like walking a tightrope without the benefit of a studio safety net, and by its very nature frequently contains both highs and lows, both a necessity really and almost interdependent upon each other This evening however, the highs most certainly shone through. When, for example, Dave switches from Hurdy-Gurdy to Flute there's a dramatic shift in the whole proceedings, almost empathetically the three musicians move as one along a strange hollow corridor of sound, truly magical.

CD-R - released 5/2007.
Bandcamp download - released 2/2/2012.
CD-R second edition - released 31/7/2015.

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Alto Stratus on Discogs

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