The Remote Viewers' 10th album, with David Petts, Caroline Kraabel, Sue Lynch, Adrian Northover, John Edwards, Rosa Lynch-Northover, and Adam Bohman, in mysterious works of dissonance and wonderfully idiosyncratic expression.
Remote Viewers, The
Label: Remote Viewers
Released in: Great Britain
"Originally a trio formed of Adrian Northover (soprano and alto sax), Louise Petts (alto sax, voice and keyboards) and David Petts (tenor sax, keyboards), The Remote Viewers have been operating around the nucleus of Northover and David Petts since 2007, with regular contributors adding to the line-up over the years. The formation first appeared in the late nineties and released a string of albums as a trio between 1999 and 2003, most of which were published on improv label Leo Records, but things changed quite drastically with the 5CD set The Control Room, released in 2007 after a four year hiatus, as the band became a much looser entity, featuring a wide range of contributors, most of which have continued to work with Northover and Petts on a more or less regular basis.
The Remote Viewers' latest album, their tenth, comes on the back of two albums which saw them explore more beat-orientated compositions. Here though, Northover and Petts take on a much more angular and experimental approach. Leading a quintet formed of John Edwards (double bass, harp), Sue Lynch (tenor sax, flute) and Rosa Lynch-Northover (piano, percussion), with additional contributions from Adam Bohman (bowed objects) and Caroline Kraabel (baritone sax), the pair create a series of minimal cinematic avant jazz pieces. Whilst naturally centred around the sax, especially on pieces such as Hive Mind, War With The Outer Countries or Grids, where very little else has a place beside the four different saxophones found here, this album harbours some more elaborate instrumental formations, although these remain, for the most part, extremely contained. Edwards adds abrasive bowed sections on Full Universe, which are partly echoed later on when Bohman intervenes on Long Weekend, while sombre bass plucked touches give Forgotten Corners a definite earthy grounding.
Rosa Lynch-Northover weaves a delicate marimba backdrop, supplemented with occasional swirls of harp on Intricate With Spires, while three saxophones can be heard frolicking in the foreground. On "Full Universe" and "Nerve Cure", her contributions are sparser, alternating between marimba and piano on the former, focusing on piano and keyboards on the latter, each time adding an undeniable element of tension to the pieces.
It is however the saxophone which defines the sound of The Remote Viewers, and the exchanges between the various incarnations of the instrument can be in turn playful (Intricate With Spires, Hive Mind), gloomy and dense (Lost Weekend, War With The Outer Countries, Grids) or relatively peaceful (Forgotten Corners). Building from the wide sonic range found between soprano in the higher register and baritone in the lower, this album is a rich patchwork of tones which go much beyond jazz. Each of the four sax players brings their own texture and angle, and they all occupy a fairly equal space over the course of the record, which considerably opens up the possibilities of such confrontation.
Compared to its predecessors, Nerve Cure is a somewhat minimal affair. For the most part stripped of beat entirely, this gives the formation greater freedom to explore more extreme grounds, resulting in this album being, at times, quite a difficult offering, but it is also an extremely rewarding collection, which manages to continually surprise and impress."-The Milk Factory
• Show Bio for John Edwards
"After taking up the bass, around 1987, John Edwards co-formed The Pointy Birds who went on to win awards for their music for The Cholmondeleys and Featherstonehaughs dance troupes. The group appeared at festivals in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Moers, Leverkusen, Copenhagen. Around 1990, Edwards played his first gigs with London improvisers such as Roger Turner, Lol Coxhill, Maggie Nicols, Phil Minton.
Between 1990 and 1995 Edwards was a member of three touring groups simultaneously: B-Shops For The Poor, The Honkies and GOD. During this period he also became an increasingly regular player on the London improvised music scene and performed his first solo gigs; he composed and performed music theatre with the bass and cello duo The Great Explorers, street-busked a lot and appeared at many more festivals in Germany, Estonia, France, Italy, Czech, etc.
Since 1995 John Edwards has become a "mainstay" of the London scene, playing with just about everybody, an activity that has seen him clocking up between 150 and 200 gigs a year. He has become regular player with Evan Parker, in many groupings, and with Tony Bevan, Veryan Weston, and Elton Dean, often in collaboration with Mark Sanders on percussion. He has become a more frequent player on the European (and festival) scene, appearing at Taktlos, Ulrichsburg, Nickelsdorf, Budapest, New Zealand and in the USA. He continues to work on solo performances."-EFI (http://www.efi.group.shef.ac.uk/musician/medwards.html)
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• Show Bio for Caroline Kraabel
"Caroline Kraabel (born 1961 in Torrance, California) is a London-based American composer, improviser and saxophonist. She is known for her research into the implications of electricity related to recording, synthesis and amplification.
After living in Seattle, Kraabel moved to London while in her teenage years, at the end of the punk era. There she took up the saxophone and became active in London's improvised music scene, eventually developing a style based on the physicality of the instrument, extended techniques and acoustics. She has performed solo and collaborated with John Edwards, Veryan Weston, Charlotte Hug, Maggie Nicols, Phil Hargreaves, and the London Improvisors Orchestra among others. She has also organized and conducted pieces for Mass Producers-a 20-piece, all-female saxophone/voice orchestra and for Saxophone Experimentals in Space-a 55-piece group of young saxophonists, as well as with her two children during walks through the streets of London.
Recordings include Transitions with Maggie Nichols and Charlotte Hug, Five Shadows with Veryan Weston, Performances for Large Saxophone Ensemble 1 and 2 and Performances for Large Saxophone Ensemble 3 and 4 with Mass Producers and a solo work Now We Are One Two.
Caroline Kraabel has been hosting a weekly radio show on London's Resonance FM and is the editor for the London Musicians Collective's magazine Resonance."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caroline_Kraabel)
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• Show Bio for Sue Lynch
"Sue Lynch runs 'The Horse Improvised Music Club' with Adam Bohman and Hutch Demouilpied. www.horseimprovclub.wordpress.com/.Since 2014, The horse has been based at IKLECTIK Art Lab, so this and other projects have been in conjunction with Eduard Solaz. Lynch is currently a member of David Petts-'Remote Viewers',with John Edwards, Mark Sanders, Caroline Kraabel , Adrian Northover and David Petts. She also performs with Adam Bohman, Eddie Prevost,Hutch Demouilpied,Richard Sanderson,Steve Noble and Sharon Gal. Sue Lynch is organiser and arranger for Hogcallin' a Mingus tribute ensemble, performing at the London 2016 Jazz Festival.
In 2015 she performed with Maria Vatentina's opera 'Mannequin'. She has recently performed as part of Tarek Atoui's 'Reverse Collection' at The Tate Modern, with Pat Thomas,Mark Harwood, Angharad Davies + Luke Younger. Sue Lynch is currently one of the featured musicians in Julie Kjaer's Interviews with Female Musicians on The London Improv Scene for The British Music Collection."-Sue Lynch Website (https://suelynch.wordpress.com/)
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• Show Bio for David Petts
UK saxophonist David Petts is the leader and composer of The Remote Viewers, releasing 15 albums since 1999.2/22/2017
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European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
Objects and Home-made Instruments
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Shipping Weight: 2.00 units
Quantity in Basket: None
Label: Remote Viewers
Catalog ID: RV9
Squidco Product Code: 15332
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: Cardstock 3 page foldover
Recorded at Oxo Tower Studios, London, 2011.
Adam Bohman-bowed objects
John Edwards-double bass, harp
Caroline Kraabel-baritone saxophone
Sue Lynch-tenor saxophone, flute
Rosa Lynch-Northover-piano, percussion
Adrian Northover-soprano saxophone, alto saxophone
David Petts-tenor saxophone
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1. Full Universe 6:46
2. Intricate with Spires 3:52
3. Hive Mind 3:28
4. Long Weekend 6:00
5. Forgotten Corners 3:35
6. War with the Outer Countries 4:23
7. Grids 7:49
8. Nerve Cure 8:37