Pat Thomas - Moog Theremini & IPad based electronics
John Butcher - Saxophones
Stale Liavik Solberg - Drums & Percussion
Performing in concert at Iklectik in London in 2017, the UK and Norwegian free improvising trio of Pat Thomas on Moog Theremini & IPad based electronics, John Butcher on saxophones, and Stale Liavik Solberg on drums & percussion impress through a mix of masterful free playing and eclectic electroacoustic conversations, an adventurous and wonderfully unpredictable set.
After almost a year of carrying this one around in my devices and listening only through earbuds, I finally played Fictional Souvenirs through the stereo in the apartment. "Ohh, spooky alien music," said my wife. We typically agree on these things, and I was hearing nothing to suggest anything different. Pianist and electronics player Pat Thomas' oscillating waves cast a distinctly otherworldly pallor to our otherwise light filled room (he's credited here on the Moog Theremini and iPad). Next came drummer Stale Liavik Solberg's accents and light, precise hits, followed by saxophonist John Butcher's trilling entrance. In fact, at first it's hard to tell if it is electronics or sax, but after a few fluttering runs, the separation becomes more obvious, especially as Thomas' sound palette expands.
The opening track 'Dust' certainly introduces the fascinating experimental context of the recording and it only gets better from there. The group reaches a peak around 3/4 of the way through the track, Solberg and Thomas begin to weave a dense and pulsating foundation for Butcher. He lets go, and the three make a compelling go of it. This is followed by 'Heartaches', which begins with what sounds like a saw cutting through wood. Thomas adds some percussive droplets of sound, it's a bit like a wood workshop now. Butcher comes in some nearly inaudible tones, then with some deeper some deeper tones. The combination is alluring and unique, and quite quiet, but by the last third of the track, the group is trading much more muscular tones. The....... więcej