Two wonderful reviews of the Fading Ground cd with Josué Amador and Dirar Kalash came in. First from Opduvel, in Dutch. It’s a detailed review, last paragraph here:
“Fading Ground contains an enormous amount of musical details, wrapped in a sometimes very noisy jacket. Amador, Ganga and Kalash play free improvisation with a rock attitude and the result is astonishing. It may be a lot to comprehend, but the repeat button is there for a reason. You are advised to listen this album with headphones, as it will bring forward the many finesses and little details amidst the noisy playing. This trio offers an album full of unpolished musicality and that is incredibly beautiful.”
And the other from absurdist review blog Yeah I Know It Sucks:
“(…) wow that’s pretty much amazing what josue amador, arvind ganga, dirar kalash can do with sounds…”
Tomorrow El Otro plays at West Wednesdays in Amsterdam. Interesting program and it’s free, hope to see you!
None of these names sound very Dutch but I believe they all live and work in The Hague, The Netherlands, and of the three I recognized only Arvind Ganga, who plays electric guitar here and of whom I reviewed music before. We find him in the right channel and playing the same instrument on the left channel is Josue Amador, while Dirar Kalash plays in stereo his violin and electronics. The five pieces on this CD were recorded in November of last year in their hometown. The music this trio plays is from the world of improvised music, which is of course something I expected, knowing Ganga’s own music but what I perhaps didn’t expect was that it sounded all a bit more noisy. The guitars are at times somewhat distorted and raw, and the violin is scraped, bends and plucked with some furious intent and all of this goes in quite some concentrated manner. There are five pieces on this album and quietness is not something that allow a lot, but it is certainly also not entirely away. These pieces are from the noisy of free improvisation, but a piece as ‘Dawn, Elevated’ has certainly also some kind of rock inclination, within improvisation, within noise, but no doubt also free rocking, without any drums of course. I very much enjoyed the groups interaction, the concentration on the repeating detail and the power it unleashes. Fresh power trio!
In august and september I went to Asia. It’s not really necessary to say .. it was amazing. My first show was at Jam cafe in Bangkok, where I shared the night with four local experimental acts: Acid Wall, F-, Otto Shane, Hon Narongrit, and Kota Taki. Wonderful night, and great to meet so many local musicians.
While in Bangkok, I met with Nitipat Ong Polchai and joined his movement improvisation class as a visiting musician. Through this I met some people of the experimental dance improvisation scene in Bangkok. Hope to get back there some day.
After Bangkok, I went to Yangon on Myanmar, where I played at Myanm/art, a wonderful gallery that is very open to all kinds of art. Quite an experience to play in this country I never visited before. There is an emerging experimental scene here that I definitely want to keep an eye upon.
Finally, I played at The Edge in Chiang Mai, a wonderful riverside open air bar. Again a good opportunity to meet some local Thai and expat musicians: the first performance of Thai musicians Cat Culture, a hard rocking kraut-like set by Michael J. Oakley, and a beautiful and loud mix of visuals and sound art by Arnont Nongyao, with dj action in between by Lucid Picnic. Another wonderful night.
New cd “Fading Ground” was released last august. This is a collaboration of Josué Amador on guitar and objects, Dirar Kalash on electric violin and electronics, and myself. Five improvisations in about 45 minutes, with strange music somewhere between noise, drones, free music, and psychedelics, played with a free rock spirit. Available through Dirar’s Al Bayan imprint or directly through me. Enjoy!
I seem to be too sloppy to update this site regularly. Still good to post about three performances I did last august as part of the annual Music/Dance Improvisation Workshop by the inimitable Katie Duck. I was lucky enough to play in three music/dance improvisations.
One week later I played with drummer Robbert van Hulzen and dancers Izabela Pacewicz-Wyzocka and Pawel Grala. I only played in the last few minutes to add to the climax of this explosive set. A lot of fun and energy release!
The last performance was something entirely else altogether. Naz Bushem proposed a performance about the objectification of the female body, with Pawel Grala. I think this was the most intense piece I ever played. Naz gave it all, and the audience was at the same time completely fascinated and totally disgusted. And we were exhausted.
With Philipp Ernsting at Helicopter, may 21st
El Otro at Present is Present festival, may 16th
Helicopter is the artist collective in Den Haag that I’m part of. Sunday we organize an afternoon together with local sustainabililty initiative Duurzaam Den Haag and local neighborhood initiatives, in the context of the biggest Dutch grassroots festival Fête de la Nature. People can donate a tile, and will get a free plant back in return to make the city a greener place. Additionally, there’s a tour through our building with open studios, and we have some nice performances by Janneke van der Putten, Schlemil & Schlemazel, and Philipp and I play a set. Come exchange a tile, hang in the sun, and enjoy some nice performances!
This week is the Present is Present festival in Amsterdam, a festival dedicated to free improvisation. A lot of great improvisers are playing this week in different venues and different constellations. I’m honoured to participate in the festival with El Otro, the duo with dancer Manuela Tessi. We play thursday may 16, at Zaal 100 in Amsterdam.