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>> BLISTRAP (Mick Beck / Jonny Drury / Stefano Giust)




Mick Beck _ sax tenore _ palloncini _ fischietti
Jonny Drury _ chitarra elettrica _ elettronica
Stefano Giust _ batteria _ piatti _ oggetti

Quest'album contiene una selezione da tre dei cinque concerti tenuti da Blistrap nel dicembre 2008 in Gran Bretagna. Musica di libera improvvisazione, free jazz piuttosto duro e altamente energetico. On Stage fa seguito a Remotion, disco registrato in studio (vedi SM1410). Per maggiori informazioni sul gruppo ed i musicisti coinvolti potete consultare il sito

"(...) Tre lunghe improvvisazioni senza titolo registrate al The Klinker di Londra il nove dicembre 2008 la prima, al Noise Upstairs di Manchester due giorni dopo la seconda, al Grind Sight Open Eye di Edinburgo il tredici dicembre, la terza. Il tutto in presa diretta con un registratore digitale, dal suono grezzo, scuro, grumoso come scuro e grumoso è l'approccio sonoro di Blistrap, denominazione dietro la quale si celano tre improvvisatori dalla mente aperta come il sassofonista Mick Beck, il chitarrista Jonny Drury e il batterista Stefano Giust. Quella contenuta in On Stage è musica libera da preconcetti, aperta al rischio, nella quale l'improvvisazione radicale scivola nel noise, ma sono solo categorie, perché i tre protagonisti sfruttano ogni pretesto, ogni brandello materico per creare suoni e dare forma alla loro visione musicale. I primi ventitré minuti hanno l'impatto di una eruzione vulcanica, il flusso sonoro ha la densità di una colata lavica che inesorabile si infiltra in ogni pertugio, si espande viscosa negli spazi possibili e impossibili. I tre musicisti si fondono con i rispettivi strumenti che a loro volta si (con)fondono in una promiscuità timbrica senza respiro, in un rito tribale e sciamanico ossessivo. Il brano seguente prosegue lungo le direttive tracciate, aprendosi al contempo verso prospettive più ampie e variegate. Il suono schiarisce, lasciando per strada le corde più cupe, gli strumenti acquistano nitidezza e si riappropriano del loro ruolo più canonico, si insinua qualche idea di groove, si intuiscono accordi e progressioni. I trentatré minuti finali sono i più visionari, con un uso significativo dell'elettronica e di oggetti vari, decisivi nel creare effetti stranianti e aprire l'esibizione a paesaggi sospesi tra le leggerezza del sogno e la pesante concretezza della quotidianità. Coraggioso." Vincenzo Roggero, All About Jazz 2012.

"(...) Avevamo già recensito questa formazione qualche tempo fa, si tratta di un gruppo di nomi parecchio interessanti che comprende Stefano Giust alla batteria, Mick Beck al sax tenore e suoni affini e Jonny Drury alla chitarra elettrica e all'elettronica. Rispetto al disco, trattandosi di un live e di una produzione per forza di cose molto più grezza, il tutto rimane più crudo ma allo stesso tempo molto dinamico, facendo vedere un gruppo che dal vivo non fa certo complimenti quando si tratta di spingere. Vuoi per il taglio live o per la fisicità del lavoro, questo disco mi ricorda molto un CD ristampa di Lol Coxhill intitolato Toverbal Suite in cui, nonostante la registrazione tutto sommato mediocre, esce fuori un gruppo molto dinamico e molto affiatato. Si tratta per lo più di materiali free, ma non solo di continui assoli alla Crimson, non tanto di uno sfoggio di tecnica insensato, quanto di più di uno spingersi ai confini di ciò che si conosce, cercando di far rendere le improvvisazioni al meglio delle loro possibilità. Ascoltando questo live dubito che venga in mente si possa trattare di jazz per tutti, una formazione singolare ma con delle capacità decisamente sopra le righe." A. Ferraris, Sodapop 2011.

"(...) Beck, Giust and Drury deliver a tripartite blitzkrieg of full-spectrum dominance skronk, mind-bending improv noise, and a rhythmic assault ranging from butterfly light to neutron star heavy. In a good way, that is. A pantechnicon of dionysian treats for the synapses, sinuses and bowels: you're worth it!" Zali Krishna/The Klinker, London 2008.

"(...) Blistrap had a dark funk - a groove out of percussive arcs and balloons tied together with sneaky riffs into a tower of noise that had me rocking and howling." Grind Sight Open Eye, Edinburgh 2008.

"(...) An incredibly powerful trio driven by Italian drummer Stefano Giust, who never loses energy throughout the 40min improv. Complimented by the often textural, often piercing guitar of Jonny Drury and the ever-inventive Mick Beck on sax and slide-whistle. The three seem to blend well together and yet not afraid to follow their own ideas with conviction, a great combination for free playing. Afterwards a friend said to me 'amazing to be able to start with such intensity and then still take it up even higher.' This is free-jazz turned up to 11..." The Noise Upstairs, Manchester 2008.

"(...) [reviewed with the album by Weavels "At Nether Edge" Discus 34CD]. "Recorded by two ad hoc combos with different names, these releases actually each feature Sheffield-based multi-reedist Mick Beck, a different local guitarist and a third musician. That there is so much coherence in the playing despite On Stage being an out-and-out Free Jazz exploration and At Nether Edge more of a study in Free Music minimalism, is moreover a tribute to Beck’s talents and adaptability. Initially a tenor saxophonist with the improvising big band Feet Packets, Beck has had long-time association with drummer Paul Hession and shorter collaborations with other local and international improvisers. Today he is as apt to be heard playing bassoon or whistles as the saxophone. This instrumental unconventionality is taken a step further on the Weavels’ CD, with the band otherwise consisting of Alex Ward’s guitar and Chris Cundy’s bass clarinet. Self-taught the bass clarinetist works in a variety of ad hoc situation as well as in a duo with pianist Pat Thomas. Equally proficient on clarinet, Ward is part of a singer/songwriter duo as well as working in improv situations with drummer Steve Noble and bassist John Edwards among others. Similarly, Jonny Drury, Blistrap’s Sheffield-based guitarist, is self-taught, with his collaborators ranging from improvisers to outside rockers such as Genesis P-Orridge. Swiss-born, Pordenone-based drummer Stefano Giust completes the band. With, like Drury, an interest in electro-acoustics, the drummer has worked with the likes of saxophonist Gianni Gebbia, and cellist Tristan Honsinger. This electronic influence is obvious on the three extended improvisations that make up On Stage; so is what can be termed Giust’s overt Italianism. What that means is that at points during the performances it appears that the percussionist can restrain himself no longer and begins enthusiastically shouting, joined by verbal elucidation from the other as well. Not only is the outcome boisterous, but it’s also profoundly non-Anglo-Saxon. Similarly non-phlegmatic and unrestrained is the trio’s playing. On tenor on the first track for instance, Beck creates a montage of multiphonic overblowing, rugged slurs, horking honks and Aylerian puffs. These are met by ruffs and drags plus ratcheting cymbal slaps from the drummer and an undertow of splayed flanges and oscillated amplifier-pushed pulsations from the guitarist. As the church-bell-like chiming from Giust mixes it up with slashing licks from Drury, Beck, unfazed, brings out his slides whistles for passages that sound like a child chortling then bites hard on his sax reed for altissimo squeals. A subsequent drum-led turn to straight time relaxes the tension. Although the noise from a nearby radio or TV broadcast eventually leaks into the free-form wall-of-sound, the more-then-half-hour final track is even more spectacular. Drury’s slack-key-like exposition quickly melds with diaphragm vibratos from Beck and Giust’s pops and clicks, eventually creating a collection of mutual protoplasmic wiggles upon which the saxophonist deposits honks slurs and cistern-draining staccato bites. While the drummer’s speedy, but irregularly spaced pops and drags, involve all three in thick Energy Music, this concentrated mass is frequently interrupted by guitar reverb and striated reed notes. Midway though, the guitarist’s extruded tones meet the reedist’s ghost notes and pitch vibrations. Resolution finally arrives when saxophone’s chromatic tongue-stopping and lip-burbling plus the guitarist’s country-styled but linear finger-picking join Giust’s irregular patterning for climatic cacophony. Insect music consisting of unconnected timbres and scattered tones is a clichéd description of the British branch of EuroImprov. However on At Nether Edge, recorded a year earlier than On Stage, the Weavels make a conscious effort to avoid emphasizing singular sounds. Additionally attempts are made to avoid the nether edges as well. Each player gets a solo track, with Beck’s the most noteworthy, as he spins his tones into a near-scherzo of deconstructed squeaks, reed bites and body tube rustling. Still the Weavels’ watchword is textural collaboration, not blustering bravado. On “Sheep” for instance, Cundy’s slippery contralto lines intersect with pedal-point bassoon slurs on top of methodical strums from Ward. As the strings create a rhythmic bottom, the reeds tongue slap, snort, quack and finally harmonize in coloratura (clarinet) and chalumeau (bassoon) tones. Before disrupting their interaction with contrasting aviary cries, Beck manages to work in blurry slide whistle shrills and clown-horn-like beeps. Further notable cooperation is demonstrated on “Geese” – is there an anthropomorphic theme here? As Ward decorates the theme with staccato plinks and plunks, Cundy and Beck delineate separate reed paths. Moving from flat-line respiration to overblowing and tongue-fluttering the clarinetist stakes out a territory that is easily separated from the bassoonist’s. Beck’s timbres dynamically evolve from lyrical burbling to short bursts of pressurized air, attaining sequences of pedal-point snorts that could come from a hippo lolling contentedly. Segmenting his mellow growls with the odd slide whistle shriek, the bassoonist helps make the piece’s final variant polytonal as the guitarist’s top-of-neck staccato strokes and the bass clarinetist’s snorts and tongue stops reach satisfying counterpoint. Take your pick – or sample both – of the trios which create memorable Free Music here. Not surprisingly, it seems, the bonding factor is Beck’s matchless skill with saxophone, bassoon and most anything else he can put in his mouth." Ken Waxman, Jazzword 2011.

01 _ Untitled improvisations _ Live @ The Klinker (London, December 9th 2008) 22:28
02 _ Untitled improvisations _ Live @ Noise Upstairs (Manchester, December 11th 2008) 22:57
03 _ Untitled improvisations _ Live @ Grind Sight Open Eye (Edinburgh, December 13th 2008) 33:05

(C) + (P) 2009