* Will Guthrie / Martin Kuchen - split 3" CDR - (Compost & Height 011), 2009 - Brittany
Out of Print .... download available at the Compost & Height website.
Recorded in Brittany, France by Miguel Constantino, 8 july 2008, mixed by Will Guthrie.
Drum kit, percussion, objects, contact mic, hand held mic
Drums recorded with two overheads and bass drum mic, one hand held contact mic through a cheap guitar amp, one hand held cheap karaoke mic through an expensive guitar amp. 3 ways to diffuse and record the one take, no edits.
"The disc is the eleventh and penultimate release in the Compost and Height spilt 3? CDr series, this one pairing solo pieces by percussionist Will Guthrie and saxophonist Martin Küchen. Compared to his approach on what has been previously available on CD by Guthrie, the six minute long Drum Piece sees a slight departure in his choice of instrumentation. Rather than the table full of metallic detritus, springs and broken electronics that he usually sits behind, here Will plays a more conventional drum kit, with added objects and small percussion, but also with a cheap karaoke microphone held in one hand and a contact mic gripped in the other. The set was recorded by mics overhead, but presumably the input from the two forms of handheld microphone were also mixed into this recording, giving the final work a grungy, earthy feel. Maybe it is in part this gritty edge to the recording that helps make the piece sound just like a Will Guthrie piece despite the change in instrumentation, and despite the fact I have only ever heard him play with his more electronics based kit.
There are certain musical phrases in this short piece, little pieces of individual syntax that hark straight back to my close understanding of Guthrie’s solo music. Whether it is the way things are left to shudder to a halt, the way that a series of grey scrapes and metallic grazes are often followed by a metallic chime of colour, or just something about the fidgety pacing of the piece I’m not sure, but I would have instantly identified Will Guthrie as the musician behind this piece in a blind test. This is not a criticism at all either. Its a compliment to the musician that his music is so non-derivative that it can easily be indentified as his.
So it is itchy, scratchy, eager music that constantly nudges at you, poking and prodding the listener, not allowing anything to settle, constantly changing, different types of sounds placed against each other in quick succession as part of the flow. Although the music has a good pace to it and a natural momentum it isn’t rhythmic as such. there are actually very few occasions where a drum is properly struck with anything. All in all Drum Piece is very good, not the grade A Will Guthrie we have come to expect from other releases but a piece of music that stands up on its own at the same time as being something of an experiment."
Richard Pinnell - The Watchful Ear