Daniel Spicer is a writer based in Brighton, UK. He is a regular contributor to The Wire and Jazzwise magazines and has published work in The Guardian, The Independent, BBC Music Online, Signal To Noise, Plan B, Rock-A-Rolla and elsewhere. He presents a weekly radio show, ‘The Mystery Lesson’, on Brighton’s Radio Reverb FM, playing new releases in avant-garde improvised music. He also performs in the chaotic Brighton-based electro-acoustic improvising sextet, Bolide.
If you want brain-scouring, white-of-the-eyes, free-splurge-n-skronk, there’s no need to constantly revisit the classic albums of the 60s New Thing or 70s Loft Scene (fine as they are). As I try to show on my radio show, The Mystery Lesson, there’s plenty of monstrously heavy new stuff being released right now. So, here’s a list of five scorching albums released in the 21st century.
1: Akira Sakata & Chikamorachi – Friendly Pants
Veteran Japanese alto saxophonist and the young American rhythm section of drummer Chris Corsano and bassist Darin Gray. Absolutely scalding free jazz recorded in 2006. Last time I DJ’d in Cork, at Gulpd café, this was used to chase out some bar-hogging local rugby players and WAGS.
2: Scorch Trio – Scorch Trio
The first (and best) album, released 2002, by the trio of Finnish-American fret-shredder Raoul Bjorkenheim, and Norwegian dream-team, drummer Paal Nilssen-Love and bassist Ingebrigt Haker Flaten, also of The Thing. Imagine Hendrix sitting in with Albert Ayler. Yeah, that good.
3. Steve Noble / John Edwards / Alan Wilkinson – Obliquity
This drums / bass / sax trio are some of the busiest and most experienced free players on the London circuit. Old fashioned free jazz, released 2007, with Wilkinson flitting between alto and baritone saxes, and unhinged glossolalia vocals. Heavy.
4: Flower-Corsano Duo – The Radiant Mirror
Corsano again, this time jamming with Mick Flower, ex-member of the legendary Leeds-based freak collective Vibracathedral Orchestra. Here, Flowers’ plays the ‘Japan Banjo’, creating deeply psychedelic raga-ish curlicues. Melded with Corsano’s molten drums, this 2006 album really achieves lift-off.
5: Hession / Wilkinson / Fell – Two Falls & A Submission
Another heavyweight UK trio featuring saxman Alan Wilkinson – this time with bassist Simon H. Fell and drummer Paul Hession. It’s bullish, battering free-jazz with a surprising amount of swing bubbling under the surface. Nice to know someone’s making them like this as recently as 2011.
Black Sun presents a night of six touring gonzo free jazz hairies, moans, tones, tape, scrape, a Phil Collins duo on children’s drum kits, scratched and slashed super8 action, aural hemorrhoids, visual meteoroids and tonnes of drool leading you to Sugar Moon vegan cakes! A hooley, in short, so don’t miss out! In betweeny records from Black Sun DJs and Daniel Spicer + F Ampism (Bolide boyos).
Bolide, Hexenverfolgung, PCP and Max Le Cain
Sat June 2nd 8.30pm