The Squid's Ear Magazine


Underflow, The (Gustafsson / Grubbs / Mazurek): Instant Opaque Evening [VINYL 2 LPs] (Blue Chopsticks)

The followup to their 2019 Corbett vs. Dempsey album and formalizing their trio name as "The Underflow", is an epic double LP of diverse and inspired free-ea from the trio of Mats Gustafsson on flute, fluteophone, baritone saxophone & live electronics, David Grubbs on electric guiar & voice, and Rob Mazurek on piccolo trumpet, wooden flute, electronics, percussion & voice.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Mats Gustafsson-flute, fluteophone, baritone saxophone, live electronics

David Grubbs-electric guiar, voice

Rob Mazurek-piccolo trumpet, wooden flute, electronics, percussion, voice


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UPC: 781484703419

Label: Blue Chopsticks
Catalog ID: LP-BCH-034
Squidco Product Code: 29969

Format: 2 LPs
Condition: New
Released: 2021
Country: USA
Packaging: Double LP Sleeve
Recorded live in January, 2020; tracks 1, 2 and 3 recorded at le Comfort Moderne, in Portiers, France, by Raphael Guitton; track 4 recorded at Les Ateliers Claus, in Brussels, Belgium, by Christophe Albertijn; tracks 5-10 recorded at Sala dei Giganti al Liviano, in Padova, Italy, by Jose Dicati/JD Service.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"An epic second installment from the trio of Mats Gustafsson, David Grubbs, Rob Mazurek, nearly 90 minutes of intense live performances from January 2020. They converge here on a wide swath of sounds: expansive free improvs, full-tilt electronics, alt-universe chamber music and spontaneous arrangements of three previously released Grubbs' songs."-Blue Chopsticks



"The sophomore album of the über-trio The Underflow - Swedish sax titan Mats Gusataffson and American guitarist David Grubbs and trumpeter (and visual artist who created the cover artwork) Rob Mazurek, Instant Opaque Evening, was recorded live during January 2020 shows in France, Belgium, Italy, and Poland, seven months after the recording of the self-titled debut album (Corbett vs. Dempsey/Underflow Records, 2019). The almost ninety minutes of the new, epic album testify best about the great creative power of this trio, when it explores spontaneous improvisations or when it dives into and out of Grubbs' poetic texts.

Gustafsson, Grubbs and Mazurek need no introduction. These masters of experimental, free-improvisation collaborated briefly already in the nineties when Gustafsson and Mazurek guested in Grubbs' Gastr del Sol albums (Upgrade & Afterlife and Camoufleur, Drag City, 1996 and 1998). Shortly thereafter Gustafsson and Grubbs recorded two albums (Apertura and Off-Road, Blue Chopsticks, 1999 and 2003). The Underflow has already established a wide sonic palette on its debut album, ranging from free jazz and abstract electronics to noise and post-rock, and suggesting rare performances by Gustafsson on flute (his first instrument), in addition to the flutephone and the baritone sax. Mazurk adds to the trumpet, wooden flute, percussion. Grubbs sings some of his songs.

>Instant Opaque Evening surprises with its lyrical, contemplating tone, in relation to the debut album of The Underflow and certainly in comparison to Gustafsson's recent projects - Fire!, The End or Anguish. Gustafsson plays the baritone sax and electronics on the opening 17-minutes title-piece with great restraint and focuses on detail, echoing the effects-laden resonant guitar of Grubbs and the floating, elegiac trumpet of Mazurek. Even in its most abstract noisy parts, this piece keeps its reserved atmosphere does not seek to reach a cathartic climax. Gustafsson's playing on the flute on "Planks" and "Purple Laquer Portal" is even more revelatory, introducing gentle, kind of chamber folk veins into these soundscapes, and taking the seminal influence of Don Cherry but drowning it on the latter piece in a stormy sea of electronics..

Mazurek's wordless voice reverberates beautifully in Gustafsson's flute playing on the sparse and intimate "A Thin Eternity". The following "Not at My Funeral" relies on extended breathing techniques of Gustafsson, Mazurek's natural gift to articulate instant melodies and Grubbs' subtle, guitar lines, and deepens the restrained, dark and mysterious tone of the album so far. Mazurek's effects-laden trumpet, and later his wooden flute, set the unsettling tone of "Sound of a Wet Leather Ball", disturbed later on by raw noises. The 14-minutes "Self-Portrait as Interference Pattern" is the only piece where The Underflow goes into extreme, sonic terrains, with apocalyptic, raw and noisy layers of electronics that even the brief trumpet cries of Mazurek can not pierce, but eventually, even this piece settles on a lyrical, fragile mode.

Grubbs sings three songs. The previously recorded "An Optimist Declines" and "Gethsemani Night" (from An Optimist Notes The Dark, Drag City, 2008) and the moving, last piece on this album, "Cooler Side of the Pillow". He recites-sings the poetic lyrics with a voice that is openly vulnerable, accompanied by his distorted guitar sounds, Gustafsson's sax wails and Mazurek's atmospheric trumpet, all serve brilliantly the suggestive, dramatic lyrics.

A beautiful gem. Each listening reveals more and more nuances of the unique free space that The Undeflow explored on stage."-Eyal Haeruveni, The Free Jazz Collective


Get additional information at The Free Jazz Collective

Artist Biographies

"Born 1964 in Umeå, Northern Sweden.Saxplayer, improviser and composer. Solo artist and international tours and projects with a.o. Sonic Youth, Merzbow, Jim O´Rourke, Barry Guy, Otomo Yoshihide, Yoshimi, Ken Vandermark and in working groups The Thing, FIRE!, Gush, Boots Brown, Swedish Azz and Fake (the facts). Large ensemble work with Barry Guy New Orchestra,FIRE! Orchestra and the NU - ensemble.over 1800 concerts and over 200 record productions in Europe, Australia, Africa, North & South America and Asia.Collaborations with contemporary dance, theater, art, poetry as well as projects with noise, electronica, contemporary rock and free jazz.Discaholic - running the discaholic corner website.Producer of international festivals and concert tours as well as work with own record labels Slottet, OlofBright Editions and Blue Tower Records."-Mats Gustafsson Website (http://matsgus.com/archives/category/bio)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"David Grubbs (born September 21, 1967), composer, guitarist, pianist, and vocalist, was a founding member of Squirrel Bait, Bastro, and Gastr del Sol. He has also played in Codeine, The Red Krayola, Bitch Magnet and The Wingdale Community Singers.

Grubbs' first band was a brief-lived punk/new wave group called The Happy Cadavers that released the four-song 7" record With Illustrations in 1982. Grubbs then formed a hardcore punk band called Squirrelbait Youth that later evolved into the influential Louisville, Kentucky group Squirrel Bait, releasing a 12" EP and an album on Homestead Records. Grubbs's next group was the post-punk power trio Bastro, which released and EP and two albums on Homestead.[1] In 1991 Bastro morphed into the more avant-garde Gastr del Sol.[1] This project soon became essentially a partnership between Grubbs and Jim O'Rourke after the band's first album.[1] The albums released by the duo include Crookt, Crackt, or Fly, Upgrade & Afterlife, and Camoufleur. In this period, Grubbs also contributed to other projects, including guitar for two tracks on Codeine's 1994 album The White Birch[2] and guitar, piano, and harmonium on recordings by Palace Music, Will Oldham, Royal Trux, Dirty Three, Matmos, Richard Buckner, Tony Conrad, Pauline Oliveros, Arnold Dreyblatt, and many others.

Since the breakup of Gastr del Sol in 1997, Grubbs has released numerous solo and collaborative records, mostly on the Drag City label, for which he co-directed the Dexter's Cigar sub-label.[3] In 2000, his album The Spectrum Between was named "Album of the Year" in the Sunday Times.

His 2017 album Creep Mission was described by The Quietus as "a typically playful and intellectually ambitious set - and is as good an entry into the world of Grubbs as any."

In 2018, Grubbs released Failed Celestial Creatures, a collaboration with Japanese guitarist and electronic musician Taku Unami. According to Pitchfork, the album "feels of a piece with Grubbs' last two records under his own name, Creep Mission and Prismrose, both nominal solo releases that each features a handful of guests. On all three albums, Grubbs uses the presence of collaborators to play with drones, repetition, and improvisatory interplay, taking his style to a more intuitive place."[4]

He operates his own label, Blue Chopsticks, which has released new and archival recordings from Luc Ferrari, Derek Bailey and Noël Akchoté, Workshop, Van Oehlen, and Mats Gustafsson. Grubbs is also known for his collaborations with writers Susan Howe, Rick Moody, and Kenneth Goldsmith, and with visual artists including Anthony McCall, Angela Bulloch, Stephen Prina, and Cosima von Bonin. He has composed the soundtracks for Angela Bulloch's installations Z Point, Horizontal Technicolour, and Hybrid Song Box.4, and his music appears in two installations by Doug Aitken. Grubbs's sound installation "Between a Raven and a Writing Desk" was included in the 1999 group exhibition Elysian Fields at the Centre Pompidou.

Grubbs's soundtrack work includes music with Matmos for Thierry Jousse's feature film Les Invisibles. Grubbs has also contributed music to the Red Krayola's soundtrack to Norman and Bruce Yonemoto's film Japan in Paris in LA and to three films by Augusto Contento (Parallax Sounds, Strade Trasparenti, and Onibus), to Braden King and Laura Moya's film Dutch Harbor: Where the Sea Breaks its Back, and to John Boskovich's film North. Music by Gastr del Sol appears in the PBS television series The United States of Poetry, Hal Hartley's film The Book of Life, and Doug Aitken's film The Diamond Sea. Grubbs composed the score for Karl Bruckmaier's radio adaptation of Peter Weiss's Die Ästhetik des Widerstands (Hessischer Rundfunk Hörbuch des Jahres 2007) and contributed music to Bruckmaier's adaptation of Alexander Kluge's Chronik der Gefühle (Deutscher Hörbuchpreis 2010, "Best Fiction").Grubbs solo in 2009.

From 1997 to 1999, Grubbs was a part-time instructor in the Liberal Arts and Sound departments at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is currently Professor of Music in the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College, CUNY.[5] He teaches in Brooklyn College's MFA program in Performance and Interactive Media Arts (PIMA) and Brooklyn College's MFA program in Creative Writing, and is a member of the faculty of the Brooklyn College Center for Computer Music (BC-CCM).

Grubbs received a Ph.D. in English from the University of Chicago. His criticism has appeared in Texte zur Kunst, Chicago Review, TDR, Conjunctions, Bookforum, and Purple, and from 1999-2007 he regularly contributed music criticism to the Munich newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. Grubbs received a 2005-2006 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award.

Grubbs is the author of two books for Duke University Press: Records Ruin the Landscape: John Cage, the Sixties, and Sound Recording (2014) and Now That the Audience Is Assembled (2018). Now That the Audience Is Assembled was described by The Washington Post as "a new book-length poem [that] reminds us that listening can feel stranger than dreaming."[6]

He is one of five musicians (with Steve Albini, Ken Vandermark, Damon Locks, and Ian Williams) profiled in Augusto Contento's 2012 documentary film Parallax Sounds.

Grubbs lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Cathy Bowman, and their son Emmett Bowman-Grubbs."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Grubbs)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Rob Mazurek is an American electro-acoustic composer, cornetist, improviser and visual artist living in Chicago, Illinois. As a composer, Rob Mazurek has written over 300 original compositions over the past 30 years, and has released 55 recordings on various labels. He currently leads a number of ensembles, including Exploding Star Orchestra, Pharoah and the Underground (featuring Pharoah Sanders), Chicago Underground, Pulsar Quartet, São Paulo Underground, Skull Sessions, Sound Is Quintet, Starlicker, Mandarin Movie and Throne of the House of Good and Evil, each of which possesses its own distinct musical personality.

He has collaborated with a wide variety of artists, such as Bill Dixon, Pharoah Sanders, Mike Ladd, Roscoe Mitchell, Yusef Lateef, Fred Anderson, Naná Vasconcelos, Mamelo Sound System, Kassin and Marcelo Camelo and others. Additionally, Rob Mazurek works as a visual artist (incorporating sound, painting and video) with numerous international performances, exhibitions and artist residencies."

-Rob Mazurek Website (http://robmazurek.com/)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



SIDE A



1. Instant Opaque Evening 16:58

2. Planks 05:18

SIDE B



1. An Optimist Declines 05:16

2. Self Portrait as Interference Pattern 13:42

3. A Thiny Eternity 03:48

SIDE C



1. Not at My Funeral 06:06

2. Sound of a Wet Leather Ball 08:58

3. Gethsemani Night 05:11

SIDE D



1. Purple Lacquer Portal 12:28

2. Cooler Side of the Pillow 08:24

Related Categories of Interest:


Vinyl Recordings
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Electro-Acoustic
Electro-Acoustic Improv
Trio Recordings
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Mats Gustafsson

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Blue Chopsticks.


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