|Drunk on Dreams - Norman Records
Rhodri Davies / John Butcher
Always a great pleasure to have a new record on Copenhagen based label Cejero. An imprint with a diverse and consistently adventurous roster from The Sun God (Jamal Moss), Aaron Dilloway, Robert Turman, Eric Frye, Senyawa etc. Now a fine collaboration from John Butcher & Rhodri Davies. The record comes beautifully presented in an edition of 300 copies, pressed on white vinyl and housed in artwork by Ultra Eczema bossman Dennis Tyfus.
Those familiar with the output of John Butcher will know his weapon of choice is the saxophone and he's been active in the world of avant jazz and beyond for several decades. Welshman Rhodri Davies utilizes the harp and like John Butcher has a wholly unconventional approach to his instrument. He is to the harp what Derek Bailey was to the guitar.
They recorded a session together in Paris for A l'Improviste - France Musique on Radio France, 8th June 2015. A session where each player elicits such peculiar and otherworldly sounds from their respective tools that often they are indistinguishable as saxophone and harp - rather together it becomes this strange ecosystem of alien sound. Although at times we can clearly identify the instrument responsible for the sound, they're played in such seemingly bizarre ways it's practically unfathomable how they're getting such sounds from these tried and tested traditional instruments.
I suppose you could call it jazz - somewhere between the intergalactic jazz of Sun Ra and the wild free jazz of Peter Brötzmann, but then the harp just takes it to another zone entirely.
A heavyweight collaboration with peaks and troughs of light and dark, quiet and solitude and more intense moments that make for quite the ride. The overall vibe I get is that I'm in some dream world, wandering inside an environment inhabited by magnificent iridescent butterflies and insects I've never seen before, creatures not of this earth. The next moment I could be intoxicated inside some scene from a William Burroughs novel. Yeah, this is waaaaay far out and I'm diggin' it.
© Norman Records