WILL GUTHRIE

2003 - 'Building Blocks' solo - CD - (antboy-04) - Melbourne

Westspace-Will Guthrie by Will Guthrie

Recorded, edited, mixed and mastered by James Wilkinson.
3 tracks, two recorded at Wilkisound, and pieced together in the studio, one recorded live at the Melbourne gallery WESTSPACE where at the time many concerts of experimental music happened.
On this disc I used percussion, amplification, objects, the cygnet, motors, record player, toys ...

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"Over the last several years, I’ve been hearing more and more fine electro-improvisatory music emanating from this strange continent called Australia, a place situated, I’m told, somewhere south of China. While I’m hesitant to draw any overarching conclusions (I understand that more than several thousand people occupy this territory, after all), I do tend to hear something of a consistency with regard to both drones and a subtle tonality—rarely (so far) have I encountered the sort of rough-cut, atonal herky-jerkiness that one hears elsewhere even when the music enters the rarefied air sometimes ventured into by, say, Philip Samartzis.

These two releases on Antboy are great examples of what’s been occurring: two recordings by hitherto unknown-to-me musicians that more than hold their own with most of what currently appears emanating from the usual suspects and realms. Will Guthrie’s solo effort, “Building Blocks”, is a wonderful exercise in solo amplified percussion as well as various toys, machines and whatnot. Awash in drones, he nonetheless maintains a scrumptiously rumbling undertone, always reminding the listener that, at heart, we’re dealing with struck objects. Guthrie goes for a very full sound, something that befits his personal history as a student of Tony Williams. There’s almost ceaseless activity, constantly churning, as one has the impression of peering into some alien hive bubbling with industry. He has a marvelous ability to coalesce a wealth of seemingly casual sounds, events that have no apparent relationship, into an entirely convincing, cohesive whole, as is the case on “Eleven”, the briefest of three tracks here. This and the first piece, “Blanket” were recorded in the studio while the final selection is a live performance and a lovely spatial expansion, a gorgeous mix of dry clatter and resonant clangs, underscored by subtle drones. It’s an excellent, fascinating disc and one of the finest solo percussion albums I’ve heard in recent years."

Brian Olewnick - Bagatallen