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Baritone and slide saxophone improvisations with live-electronic and bug treaments and other related activities, each track dedicated to artists like The Ex, Sten Sandell, &c.

Gustafsson, Mats
Needs! [VINYL]

Gustafsson, Mats: Needs! [VINYL] (Dancing Wayang)
Label: Dancing Wayang    
Released in: England    

"NEEDS! is a duo as much as a solo effort featuring Gustafsson on either his favoured baritone or the unusual slide saxophone (a rare antique instrument) as well as on a small selection of live power electronics. For the first time, he combines both the acoustic sounds of his saxophones with the amplified sounds of electronic devices in the same audio body mixing them as overdubs as well as live improvisations. From gasping to rasping to tongue slapping, nothing smoothes over the up close physicality of conjuring sounds from the instruments. While Gustafsson's acoustic playing is rich in dynamics with a sense of punctuation and spaces, some of his electronic concoctions are thick slices of condensed, compressed mass."-Dancing Wayang

"Woah, a new solo album from the mighty Mats Gustafsson; surely this will be a loud exhibition of powerful saxophone, the sound of one man squawking his lungs up through his instrument, the sort of record to set alongside solo albums by the likes of his sometime collaborator Peter Brotzmann. Well, no. Not at all. This isn't a solo record by the Mats Gustafsson who plays with Brotzmann or indeed in his usual band The Thing. So is it a solo record by the Mats Gustafsson who plays live electronics with Sonic Youth? Actually, it isn't quite that either. Perhaps it is best to think of this, as in fact the label (the consistently excellent Dancing Wayang) does, as a "duo" album: an album by two duelling Gustafssons with the sound made by the saxophonist Mats being slashed at by the electronics of the other Mats until it is disfigured way beyond the point where it could be recognised by Adolphe Sax himself.

So this really isn't a regular solo sax album. Even when Gustafsson is playing his horn on Needs!, he isn't doing so in anything approaching a conventional fashion. The source sounds he is more interested in are breath and clicks; he processes these in real time and adds layers of overdubs, moments of extreme quiet meeting moments of abrasive noise. The staccato saxophone pops at the start of the title track are quickly consumed by electronic static, so much so that this begins to sound more like an album that you'd find displayed with the power electronics records in Second Layer, rather than in the jazz racks of Honest Jons, which is in fact where I picked it up from. Serrated, crunchy shards of visceral noise are continuously and vigorously rubbed into your eardrums, if it wasn't for the gasping for breath (Gustafsson usually, me sometimes) I feel I could be listening to Wolf Eyes at times. The album even teases you with a title like "Ethiopian Swing", making you think that it might be a piece inspired by his work with The Ex, riffing on one of their Getatchew Mekuria pieces. Of course, it is nothing of the sort, it sounds more like an angry man letting the air out of a balloon whilst trapped inside a huge empty iron tank. The title of "It's Amore" is similarly misleading, leading you to follow the tiny winding metallic percussive trails that are being used to lure you into the depths of this most fascinating sound world, for Needs! is one of the most dynamic and sonically inventive things I've heard this year. God bless Mats Gustafsson. Both of them."-Mapsadaisical

"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 (

Numbered limited edition of 500 copies, 180 gm vinyl. Liner notes by Jim O'Rourke.

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Related Categories of Interest:

Vinyl Releases

Improvised Music
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
Electro-Acoustic Improv
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
London & UK Free Improvisation Scene
Mats Gustafsson
Free Improvisation

Get additional information at Mapsadaisical

Search for other titles on the Dancing Wayang label.

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(Fake) The Facts [VINYL 7-inch]
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Merzbow / Mats Gustafsson / Balazs Pandi
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Side By Side
Price: $28.95
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Product Information:

Numbered limited edition of 500 copies, 180 gm vinyl. Liner notes by Jim O'Rourke.

Label: Dancing Wayang
Catalog ID: DWR 005LP
Squidco Product Code: 13723

Format: LP
Condition: New
Released: 2010
Country: England
Packaging: Vinyl LP in a cardstock foldover with insert.
Recorded on April 11th, 2010 at Eastcote Studios, London by Anna Tjan.


Mats Gustafsson-live electronic and bug treatments and related activities of baritone and slide saxophones

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Track Listing:

Side A:

1. needs! - to the ex

2. sources of such - to sten sandell

3. ethiopian swing - to lello jarvis

4. language of y(our)s - to clay ketter

5. the written and spoken such - to leif elggren

Side B:

1. can yours bark? - to the thang

2. forever strictly forbidden - to sten hansson

3. surrounded by short reflexes - to raymond strid

4. it's amore - to johan, mariam & andreas

5. freak pipeline - to john corbett