Sweet and sexy sounds from William Sheller – a rare French set from the early 70s – and a record we'd rank right up there with the best work by Serge Gainsbourg and Jean-Claude Vannier! Sheller's got a similar groove here – a way of compressing the instrumentation right down to the core, and slipping it around slinky rhythms and spacey production – both of which make familiar instruments sound really way-out! There's also a bit of darkness to the set too – which comes from Sheller's process of recasting a mass structure into a new sort of vision – and a few points feature vocalizations alongside the way-out instrumentation.
Gilgamesh (1975). Esoteric's 2011 remastered reissue of Gilgamesh's 1975 eponymous debut recording provides a 21st century opportunity to investigate a fine group that emerged during the waning days of Britain's Canterbury scene. These Canterbury stylists were formed in 1972 with the core of the band built around Alan Gowen on keyboards and Mike Travis on drums. At various times, the line-up included former Caravan and Hatfield & The North member Richard Sinclair, Mont Campbell (formerly of Egg) and Neil Murray. Gilgamesh is a classic of the Canterbury style and is sure to be a much sought after release by all aficionados of the genre…
‘Discretion’ is the brand new album by pioneering guitar legend Robert Fripp and flautist/saxophonist Theo Travis made available for Bowers & Wilkins Society of Sound in stunning 24 bit high quality digital format. The music follows on from the duo’s previous album releases and combines almost telepathic interplay with a deep understanding of musical texture and space, the building of long slow melodies, and the creation of slowly shifting harmonic soundscapes.
Although the titles to several of the tracks may be the same as those at Broad Chalke, the performance in front of a large audience has a much grander and at times, darker feel, to the previous evening. The difference can be heard almost immediately in the opening track. Whereas, The Apparent Chaos of Stone was a more languorous affair at Broad Chalke, here at Bishop’s Cleeve, Fripp begins to throw some startling curve-balls of pensive guitar after only a few minutes. Given the slow silky tones that makes up much of the opening piece it can be easy to miss some of the detailed interplay that occurs between the two players.
Following on from the previous evening’s performance at Wimborne Minster, Travis & Fripp decamp to Broad Chalke. Around 50 or so people gratefully exchanged the sweltering heat outdoors for All Saints’ cool stone walls and lofty wooden rafters. Working in a productive mixture of agreed areas (such as a key or a “feel”) and complete improvisation, the performance is a delicately tightrope walk between two worlds. Perhaps due to differences of venues, times and the occasion (this was ostensibly a fund-raiser for the local school), the music seemed lighter in tone compared to the more sombre mood struck the previous evening.