LIVE @ BAMBU
CD-R Auricle AMCDR 103 £7.00
The Marie Celeste 9'03"
2. Possibly One Or Two Numbers 42'20"
3. Alan Freeman: Contact 7'24"
4. Steve Freeman: My Link Is Long 8'24"
5. Atlas To Rust 12'07"
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
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
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.
Auricle on Discogs
Alto Stratus on Discogs
LIVE @ BAMBU
Samples from this album can
auditioned using the built in
Discogs YouTube player.
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