The Squid's Ear Magazine

Butcher, John / Dominic Lash / Emil Karlsen: Here and How (Bead)

Impeccably recorded in the studio, the long-running and varied collaborations of saxophonist John Butcher, double bassist Dominic Lash and drummer Emil Karlsen come together for the first time as a trio, recording eight succinct improvisations of remarkable technique and nearly telepathic dialog, allowing space for each player to display their masterful skill.

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product information:

UPC: 5904224872236

Label: Bead
Catalog ID: Bead 46
Squidco Product Code: 33732

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: UK
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded at Antenna Studios, in London, UK, on December 11th, 2022, by Jonathan Clayton.


John Butcher-saxophones

Dominic Lash-double bass

Emil Karlsen-drums

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Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Here and How is the first album by the trio of John Butcher, Dominic Lash, and Emil Karlsen. In fact, it documents the first occasion at which they played as a group. All three musicians have contributed to the Bead catalogue. Butcher's early work includes a duo with Chris Burn (Fonetiks, 1985), and Lash's a trio with Philipp Wachsmann and Bruno Guastalla (Imaginary String Trio, 2007). Karlsen appears as part of various projects such as Spaces Unfolding (2022), having recently joined Wachsmann in the running of the label."-Bead

"Restrained frenzy seems like an impossible thing, yet John Butcher, Dominic Lash, and Emil Karsen found the tools to unlock it (...) The technical skill on display is incredible, giving these wild, angular jaunts an undercurrent of precision that elevates them to new heights."-Brad Rose, Foxy Digitalis

"Butcher matches the drummer's light touch with a more quizzical, probing approach. Their dialogue has a balanced, self-regulating quality that reminds this listener of how Butcher has previously found ways not to overwhelm the quick decays and low volumes of acoustic stringed instruments. This leaves plenty of room for the session's actual string player, double bassist Dominic Lash, to wax both mercurial and economical; there's nothing spurious in his jumpcuts between buzzing resonance and carefully wrought shapes."-Bill Meyer, The Wire

"A "running" bass drum sax trio would have revealed its secrets and dark corners to you in a single listen, as happens to me when I write a poetic or fiery, reasonable or partisan report, but with this 'Here and How', I admit to needing to come back to the work to discover it and re-discover it with several listenings."-Jean Michel Van Schouwburg

Get additional information at Foxy Digitalis

Artist Biographies

"John Butcher's work ranges through improvisation, his own compositions, multitracked pieces and explorations with feedback and extreme acoustics.Originally a physicist, he left academia in '82, and has since collaborated with hundreds of musicians - Derek Bailey, John Tilbury, John Stevens, The EX, Akio Suzuki, Gerry Hemingway, Polwechsel, Gino Robair, Rhodri Davies, Okkyung Lee, John Edwards, Toshi Nakamura, Paul Lovens, Eddie Prevost, Mark Sanders, Christian Marclay, Otomo Yoshihide, Phil Minton, and Andy Moor - to name a few.

He is well known as a solo performer who attempts to engage with the uniqueness of place. Resonant Spaces is a collection of site-specific performances collected during a tour of unusual locations in Scotland and the Orkney Islands.His first solo album, Thirteen Friendly Numbers, includes compositions for multitracked saxophones, whilst later solo CDs focus on live performance, composition, amplification and saxophone-controlled feedback.

HCMF has twice commissioned him to compose for his own large ensembles. Other commissions include for Elision (Australia), the Rova (USA) & Quasar (Canada) Saxophone Quartets, reconstructed Futurist Intonarumori (USA), "Tarab Cuts" (based on pre-WWII Arabic recordings, and shortlisted for the 2014 British Composer's Award) and "Good Liquor .." for the London Sinfonietta. In 2011 he received a Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Artists.

Recent groupings include The Apophonics with Robair and Edwards, Anemone with Peter Evans, Plume with Tony Buck & Magda Mayas and a trio with Okkyung Lee & Mark Sanders.Butcher values playing in occasional encounters - ranging from large groups such as Butch Morris' London Skyscraper and the EX Orkestra, to duo concerts with David Toop, Kevin Drumm, Claudia Binder, Paal Nilssen-Love, Thomas Lehn, Fred Frith, Keiji Haino, Ute Kangeisser, Matthew Shipp and Yuji Takahashi."

-John Butcher Website (

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"Born Cambridge, England, in January 1980; played bass guitar since 1994; studied with Hugh Boyd and Pascha Milner and at Basstech (London) with Rob Burns, Terry Gregory and others. Played double bass since 2001; basically self taught, with grateful thanks to Simon H. Fell. First class BA in English Literature from Oxford University (2002). Received MA Composition from Oxford Brookes University in 2003, having studied with Paul Whitty, Ray Lee and others. Received PhD from Brunel University in 2010, having studied the work of Derek Bailey, Helmut Lachenmann and JH Prynne and been supervised by Richard Barrett and John Croft."

-Dominic Lash Website (

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"Emil Karlsen is a Norwegian improvising drummer currently based in the UK. Described as a "significant addition to the UK free jazz scene" and an "exceptional improv drummer", he's establishing himself on the improvised music circuit working the span from free improvisation to free jazz. Occupied with the exploring timbral possibilities of the drum kit, he performs with Philipp Wachsmann, Matthew Bourne, Phil Durrant, Maggie Nicols, Ed Jones, and the London Improvisers Orchestra to mention some."

-Emil Karlsen Website (

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Track Listing:

1. Gabbro 03:33

2. Jasper 03:04

3. Baddeleyite 08:45

4. Avalon 07:35

5. Chrysocolia 00:56

6. Spinel 05:23

7. Faden 04:01

8. Peridot 11:58

9. Idocrase 04:10

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
London & UK Improv & Related Scenes
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Trio Recordings
John Butcher
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers

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