MARK WASTELL -
CARESSED ON THE BROW BY UNSEEN HANDS
(confront collectors series ccs 23)
Tetuzi Akiyama : amplified acoustic guitar
Rhodri Davies : harp
Benedict Drew : laptop
Michael Duch : double bass
Graham Halliwell : amplified and feedback saxophone
Paul Hood : gp3 record player, mixer, objects
Annette Krebs : electroacoustic guitar
Mattin : laptop
Andrea Neumann : inside-piano, mixing desk
Nishide Takehiro : guitar, electronics
Mark Wastell : violoncello
Recorded at LMC Studios, Brixton, London on 17 June 2003 by Tom Wallace.
Originally issued on L'innomable in an edition of 300 in 2007 and subsequently sold out very quickly. This long overdue re-issue celebrates the unique encounter of eleven like-minded musicians (from Japan, England, Wales, Germany, Basque Country & Norway), brought together for one day only; encompassing a daytime recording session followed by an evening concert.
"In spite of the numbers, the music never gets crowded, and an ensemble character successfully emerges right at the top of this single, thirty minute piece. Instead of the usual tight focus and close-up sound, this is a more diffuse recording in a larger room. So the scale opens up like a stormy vista of dark clouds – the ominous atmospherics alternate with hovering, shifting drones, from stratospheric sines and feedback to bone-rattling bass tones. It’s not all restrained reductionism, and moments of drama occur throughout, giving the piece a satisfying arc. Individual contributions are unsurprisingly hard to identify, and the aim is clearly to construct an ensemble sound.
Wastell’s mini-orchestra also performed live in the evening of that same June day. I saw them in Hackney in a condemned building, where I recall feeling that if the gaping floorboards didn’t get you, the thick dust would. In spite of the odd, not to say life-threatening, performing environment, the concentration and focus of the playing was memorable. By the end of the evening some feverish brows certainly needed caressing."
(Clive Bell, The Wire)