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Ydivide, Clemens Kuratle: Lumumba (Intakt)

Ydivide is Swiss drummer Clemens Kuratle's multi-national quintet with Dee Byrne on alto saxophone, Elliot Galvin on piano & electronics, Chris Guilfoyle on guitar and Lukas Traxel on bass, a dynamic young band performing Kuratle's structured compositions allowing for energetic and enthusiastic soloing amidst collective group work and lyrically introspective moments.

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product information:

UPC: 7640120193829

Label: Intakt
Catalog ID: ITK382.2
Squidco Product Code: 32349

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2022
Country: Switzerland
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels
Recorded at Hardstudios, in Winterthur, Switzerland, on December 29th, 2021, by Andy Neresheimer.


Dee Byrne-alto saxophone

Elliot Galvin-piano, electronics

Chris Guilfoyle-guitar

Lukas Traxel-bass

Clemens Kuratle-composition, drums, electronics

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Artist Biographies:

Dee Byrne: "I am a saxophonist, composer and improviser based in London with an interest in pushing the boundaries of jazz. I collaborate with artists from the UK and Europe who occupy the area of contemporary jazz, avant-garde and free improvisation.

My area of interest is the meeting of structured, composed material with free improvisation. I love freely improvised music as well as contemporary jazz, but for me the magic happens in between, where a composition is given room to breathe and has the potential to go in unexpected directions.

After graduating from Trinity Laban with a Masters in Jazz Performance in 2011, I went on to compose and record two albums with my contemporary jazz quintet Entropi. Alongside this, in 2013, I created a platform for original and improvised music in London with saxophonist/composer Cath Roberts. Weekly gigs, a monthly residency at the Vortex, festivals and tours all provided a safe space for us to experiment with new ideas and keep our music-making fresh and inventive.

In 2018 I was awarded Arts Council's Developing Your Creative Practice grant, which enabled me to take a deep dive into my creative process using visual art as a medium to unlock fresh approaches to composition. This period of exploration has yielded a bunch of new music, which has been recorded with two ensembles: my new sextet Outlines and UK/Swiss collaborative sextet MoonMot. Outlines recorded nine of my compositions in October 2021 - the album will be released in Spring 2023 on the contemporary jazz label Whirlwind Recordings. MoonMot has recorded two albums, both featuring my compositions alongside those by the other band members (Cath Roberts, Simon Petermann, Oli Kuster, Johnny Hunter and Seth Bennett). Our first album was released in 2020 on Unit Records with accompanying European tour. Our second album is due for release in spring 2023 on the Enja Yellowbird label.

As a band member I play in European quintet Ydivide, which plays the music of Swiss drummer Clemens Kuratle and also features Elliot Galvin, Chris Guilfoyle and Lukas Traxel. In November we recorded our debut album in Zurich, which is coming out in August 2022 on Intakt Records. I also play in an experimental trio with Swiss musicians Oli Kuster (modular synth) and Cyrill Ferrari (guitar/effects). We released our first album in November 2021 on Efpi Records, with our second album coming out (also on Efpi) in June 2022.

The duo format has been an interesting setting to explore free improvisation: I have an acoustic duo with Cath Roberts, which looks like it will feature more electronics in the future as our sound and taste develops. I also have a long running duo Deemer with Dutch sound artist Merijn Royaards - it was in this duo that I first started experimenting with effects pedals. Deemer has released three albums on Luminous Label (LUME's offshoot record label) and the duo with Cath has released one album: Disembark! on Luminous.

I have recently joined a couple more original jazz projects: Inner Space, a chordless quintet led by Loz Speyer and Holding Hands, an octet led by Norwich based musicians Chris Dowding and Rob Milne. I have also been attending the London Improvisers Orchestra since March 2019. Finally, over the past few years I have been developing a solo project where I get to take a deep dive into the unknown, just me and my effects pedals. It's an intense experience, which I find very rewarding and strangely addictive!"

-Dee Byrne Website (

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"Elliot Galvin is one of the groundbreaking new talents in UK jazz, who blends colorful piano and keyboard playing with excursions to toy instruments, cassette deck and microtonal melodica. His compositions reveal influences from many different directions, from jazz to Stravinsky and Ligeti and from indie rock to films by David Lynch, the Dada movement and literature by James Joyce."

-Bimhuis (

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"Chris Guilfoyle is an up and coming guitar player on the Dublin jazz scene. He grew up in a musical family where his father Ronan Guilfoyle and uncle Conor Guilfoyle are household names in the Irish jazz scene. He has studied at Berklee College of Music - where he was awarded a scholarship from Fender Guitars and the Jazz and Improvised Music Salzburg conference in Austria. Chris was also selected to represent his college at the International Association of Schools of Jazz in The Netherlands in July 2010. In August 2011, Chris was accepted to study at Dave Liebman's Chromatic Harmony Workshop in Stroudsburg Pennsylvania, USA. Since graduating, Chris has been actively performing in the Dublin music scene as well as abroad. In November 2011 he performed in Paris with Ronan Guilfoyle's Lingua Franca as part of the Festival Jazzy Colours; in October 2011 he performed on a 3 day tour of Ireland with Dave Liebman, Ronan Guilfoyle and Finnish drummer Jussi Lehtonen; In March 2011 he performed with the great drummer Ralph Peterson in Dublin and in February 2011 he played with Greek pianist/organist George Contrafouris at the National Concert Hall in Dublin.

Chris also leads his own group Umbra, a quintet featuring some of the most promising musicians in the country who play all original compositions and Oxygen Thief, a new project aiming to expand the vocabulary of the jazz guitar trio. He also plays as a sideman in 3G (Ronan Guilfoyle, Conor Guilfoyle, Chris Guilfoyle), Kevin Higgins' Nature, Aleka and The Long Way Around. Chris also produces electronic music under the name Exit Introvert. Currently, Chris is part of the guitar and ensemble faculty of Newpark Music Centre's jazz performance degree where he teaches 1st, 2nd and 3rd year guitar as well as 2nd and 3rd year ensembles."

-Chris Guilfoyle Website (

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"The bass player Lukas Traxel from Uri lives in Zurich and is an internationally sought-after musician. For years he has formed the rhythmic and harmonic backbone of a number of Swiss jazz bands.

Without any net or double bottom and completely acoustic, a program is created in which Traxel's favorite songs serve as fundament for dreamy and daring improvisations, but without losing sight of the essence of the song."

-Lukas Traxel Website (

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Clemens Kuratle: "I was Born in Bern, Switzerland in 1991 and started playing the drums at the age of 6.

After highschool I studied with Gerry Hemingway, Norbert Pfammatter and Pierre Favre and then quickly managed to find my way into the small but thriving swiss music scene. Good technique is mandatory, and I want to keep reaching. Still, I often find myself playing quite sparse, delicate acoustic settings, trying to really hear everything and get everything heard.

I draw my inspiration from my countless peers and from music from all over the world, be it the drummers of Burundi, indonesian gamelan, gnawa music from Morroco or the intriguing female choirs of Bulgaria as well as the manifold fusions encounters create.I lead the critically acclaimed quintet Murmullo, and the international ensemble Ydivide. My work with the quartet of harpist Julie Campiche probably drew the most attention in recent years.

Swiss Bitwig wizard Guy Mandon has opened my ears for synthetic sounds and more electronic-oriented music. I joined him for his live set. I am a longtime member and arranger for neo-folk outlaw Moes Anthill and recently started working intensively for and with Kate Birch."

-Clemens Kuratle Website (

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track listing:

1. Lumumba 8:43

2. Another One For Rose 5:09

3. Marvelling 6:45

4. They Haven't Learned Anything 3:53

5. No Cynicism 5:39

6. Bwegshit 8:42

7. Dim The Lights 5:15

8. Optimism 4:40
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Many important drummers are great bandleaders. With their overview and their sense of rhythm and form they show the band the way. Young Swiss drummer Clemens Kuratle has made a name for himself in jazz and pop formations as a sensitive and accomplished musician. Now he has launched Ydivide: a quintet that unites the hip, young British and Swiss jazz scenes.

"International bands have existed for many years in the world of improvised music. Exciting things can happen when borders are crossed and curious individuals come together to create their own language in sound, even though they may have not have the same mother tongue or cultural references. Ydivide, a fine European ensemble, is a case in point. The discipline of composition and freedom of improvisation steer the music, and the presence or rhythms that crackle with dance-like energy as well as bursts of harmonic turbulence and meditative choruses point to Kuratle's embrace of both 'in' and 'out' sounds."-Intakt

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Quintet Recordings
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
New in Improvised Music
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