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Birchall / Smal / Webster: Drop Out [CASSETTE] (Astral Spirits)

Two sides of the London trio of David Birchall on guitar, Rogier Smal on drums, and Colin Webster on alto saxophone, bringing a bit of madness into very free improv, the first side an immersion in unflagging collective improvisation of great detail, the second side bringing introspective dialog into an evolving collaborative free-for-all.

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product information:

Label: Astral Spirits
Catalog ID: AS042
Squidco Product Code: 23957

Condition: New
Released: 2017
Country: USA
Packaging: Cassette
Recorded at Drop Out studio, in London, England, on March 13th, 2016 by Tim Cedar.


David Birchall-guitar

Rogier Smal-drums

Colin Webster-alto saxophone

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track listing:


1. Drop 19:17


1. Out 12:44
Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Trio Recordings
London & UK Improv & Related Scenes
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers

sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Drop Out" is the first release from this trio and they waste no time jumping off on side A. Think Borbetomagus meets The Blue Humans (with a hint of Flying Luttenbachers in there too?). It's nervy and skronky but doesn't fall into any "free rock" or "noise jazz" cliches. To these ears, the trio sounds more in line with Brotzmann/Bailey/Bennink meetings on record (Brotzmann's Nipples/ICP's Groupcomposing) than a lot of modern sax/guitar/drums groups. This trio might not be the loudest or most intense group out there, but there is something that transcends genre cliches here and allows us to really see this for what it truly is - a brilliant improv record from three amazing and exciting players. The references above may be older, but the music is nothing but forward thinking."-Astral Spirits

Artist Biographies:

"David Birchall: Born in Leicester 1981.

A musician living and working in Manchester in real time with sound and instruments.

This performance practice as an improviser becomes a way to think more widely about how small elements make up bigger elements and how sound functions in space and the built environment.

Improvising solo and with others using guitars, objects and non-fixed instrument structures.

Making drawings to try and understand what I am doing and what I hear.

Designing, building and fabricating instruments and electronic units that can become parts of non-fixed instruments based on electromagnetic principles.

With Vicky Clarke designing, building and fabricating audio circuits which become instruments as part of the artist duo Noise Orchestra.

Doing some or all of these things at different times in Europe, Russia, North America and Japan.

Performing with many Manchester based/related improvisors including Sam Andreae, Andrew Cheetham, Otto Willberg, Greta Buitkute, THF Drenching, Richard Scott, Philip Marks, Adam Fairhall, Luke Poot, London based Colin Webster and Amsterdam native Rogier Smal. One-offs and random stage/studio collaborations have involved working with figures such as Marshall Allen, Rhys Chatham, Mick Beck, Phil Minton and Mark Sanders."

-David Birchall Website (

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

"Rogier Smal is a drumming man from Amsterdam. Imagine the long lost son of Han Bennink raised on a steady diet of dutch marching band music and anarcho-punk going renegade by venturing to the free jazz fold. His performances can be intense, inspiring, proper funny and totally awkward. All at the same time. If I try to think of him playing it's all like super fast paradiddles bouncing harmonics off the walls doubleforming pyscho-acoustics inside your own head, then a drumstick sculpture asking for "a nice cup of tea", then wearing a bin bag to play drums, then playing more amazing drums, then staring the audience out for a really long time and telling them weird Netherlandish farmers jokes. A true gent of jazzpunk quality (there is no sign of any spang-a-lang here) he holds down the drum stool on occasions besides: Marshall Allen, Dylan Carlson, Eugene Chadbourne, Asuna Arashi, Colin Webster, Mik Quantius, Cathy Heyden, Ryoko Ono, Royal Improvisers Orchestra, Nora Mulder, Lori Goldston, Schimmbad Jazz Pool, Johannes Lunds, Maria Bertel, Don McGreevy and many more.."-David Birchall

-Rogier Smal Website (

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

Colin Webster is an improvising saxophonist based in London. He is a frequent collaborator with Mark Holub, Graham Dunning, Andrew Lisle, John Dikeman, &c.

-Squidco 3/14/2018

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

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