Jacques Demierre & Anouck Genthon / Shatner's Bassoon
The duo work of Jacques Demierre, voice, and Anouck Genthon, violin, is poetic and musical. They perform pieces influenced by the European experimental sound poetry and by the vocal and instrumental poetic touareg tradition. Both voice and violin draw on the poetic expression of speech and on the sung poetry with accompaniment by anzad (touareg one string fiddle from Niger).
Jacques Demierre is a pianist, composer and improviser. Whether acoustic or electro-acoustic, respectful of traditional music writing or embracing free improvisation, his experimentation feeds into music as well as sound poetry. It is all driven by the same constant search for consciousness of sound. Author of numerous pieces for ensemble or voice, he also explores the power of everyday noises. Extending the possibilities of the piano, he also interrogates the ways in which it can approach the sphere of language.
Anouck Genthon is a French violinist improviser and ethnomusicologist based in Geneva, Switzerland. Using her instrument, the violin, in both traditional and extended techniques, her work delves deeply into her own improvised language through sound experience. She is particularly interested in the process of listening, focusing on the listening experience be it with an electro-acoustic set up or while acting out a listening walk.
Together they play a heterophonic soundscape of voice and strings, an intense and clear
interweaving verbal and musical stuff, where sounds, breaths, frictions, silences, vowels and consonants trace their own way.
Steeped in malfunctioning improvisation, passive-aggressive minimalism, surreal avant-punk and free jazz trances, Leeds quintet Shatner’s Bassoon sound like little else. Since their formation in 2010, the experimental outfit’s intense maelstrom of beguiling yet disturbing noise has earned the group a reputation as a must-see live act. Now with three years of experimentation and refinement since their last release, Shatner’s Bassoon are set to untether their new album, ‘Disco Erosion’.
‘Disco Erosion’ captures the visceral energy of Shatner’s Bassoon’s live performances, retaining their brazen and uncompromising identity, which is not only drawn from their mesmerising resonance but largely from its bold and direct delivery. The band are comfortable to sit on the fringes continuing down their own path without conforming to trend and mediocrity. Each member has a wide and disparate influence and approach to making music which all filters into the bands overall sound.
As menacing as it is playful, the album is built on intricate yet often evasive structures, angular rhythms and anxiety inducing psychedelia. The distinct featured instrumentation includes circuit bent delay pedals for keyboard, a myriad of off-kilter sax, a slice of Theremin, clarinet, cowbell and a pinch of Transylvanian organ. The result is a glitchy and deranged carnival of paranoia, which blends influences from the likes of Mr. Bungle, Frank Zappa, The Cardiacs, Tim Berne, John Zorn, Man From Uranus and Fred Frith.
Shatner’s Bassoon’s aberrant amalgamation of styles, create an unforgettable spectacle, which has previously taken them to festivals such as North Atlantic Flux Festival, Copenhagen Jazz Festival, Manchester Jazz Festival, Lancaster Jazz Festival and Beacons Festival. Similarly, the band have toured extensively around the UK, previously playing alongside the likes of Melt Yourself Down, Matthew Bourne, Roller Trio, and more, whilst captivating audiences as if by hypnosis at every outing. ‘Disco Erosion’ captures this sensation perfectly and in doing has led Shatner’s Bassoon to create their most accomplished and urgent recording to date.