Another Uneasy Night

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Missed Openings (SPIRIT OF GRAVITY GRAV104) is the latest from Noteherder & McCloud, the excellent Brighton duo who use saxophone and live electronics to make records that are always compelling and unusual, extemporising compulsively in the long-form way with gloriously generous outpourings of abstract jazz-noise. As ever, the impression I have that the aim is not necessarily to document the improvisations “accurately” in the old-school sense that Evan Parker working with Martin Davidson or Adam Skeaping would have insisted on. Which isn’t to say you won’t also hear some very inspired instrumental playing on this release. Rather the aim is simply to create interesting replayable aural events, listening experiences that are full of sonic goodiness and richness. To this end, incorporating outside noises, interference, mumbled muttering voices, rough edges and other “mistakes” is all part of the plan. To put it another way, at times when you might expect to hear the saxophone pitched “centre-stage” in the mix, instead the instrument appears to be playing from somewhere in the next room, or under a railway arch. A slightly melancholy sense arises from these extended and lengthy pieces, also much autumnal mystery and the sense of leaves blowing randomly in the chilly wind. If Lol Coxhill had joined forces with a low-key table-noise combo or a non-academic electro-acoustic composer, he might have resembled Noteherder & McCloud. Come to think of it, you can hear traces of N&M in some of Lol’s more unsual records, for instance those made with The Recedents, or the remarkable Digswell Duets record from 1979 which Lol made with the help of Simon Emmerson’s electronics. The cover photo continues an “architectural” theme which I think I have discerned in some of their other publications, that sense of music being made and integrated directly in urban spaces, even at times passing unnoticed. An online release, which also exists as a limited edition physical copy with art print signed by Bartosz Dylewski, the visual artist who also does their psychedelic light show on stage. From 2nd September 2014.