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The Wire

Newly Refurbished and Tussock Moth (review)

Published: May 19, 2009
Tags: esc.rec.21, Press

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Review in The Wire:

The musical world of English improvisors Adam and Jonathan Bohman, who on this release contribute vocals, balalaika and assorted objects, is a fantastic assemblage of creaks and crunches, sounding like a couple of kids rummaging around in a toybox in the middle of the night trying not to wake mum and dad. But on Newly Refurbished And TussockMoth there’s plenty of room in the playpen forthe delicate twitters of Anne LaBerge (flute, electronics) and the guitar curlicues of guitarist Lukas Simonis, both of whom are based in the Netherlands.

The music is as elegant and fruity as the group name they’ve chosen forthemselves.Its openness to anything, from recollections of a Bohman tonsillectomy (“My Rubber Gloves Leak”) to oompah babyfart playpen pop (“The Usable Aspects”), harks back to the chaotic glory of English Improv legends Alterations, but whereas they took perverse pleasure in colliding into each other like stylistic dodgem cars. Nobody pushes anybody else about in Apricot My Lady. The average duration of the 18 tracks on Newly RefurbishedAnd Tussock Moth is about two and a half minutes, but many feel longer than they actually are – there’s enough gurgling, rustling, grunting and fizzing on “Wav My Socks” to keep most improvisers busy for an entire album. And yet, miraculously, events seem to unfold at a leisurely pace throughout. a comfortable midtempo between traditional Improv’s nervy chatter/clatter and electroacoustic improvisation’s ‘hmm, now what shall I play next?’ adagio.

WIRE june 09 Dan Warburton

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