Adherence Factors

Cassette tape sent by Fritz Welch from Glasgow 14 September 2015 which may or may not be titled Adhesive Chameleon Shaded…on it, we hear his percussion work with my favourite organ player Jean-Luc Guionnet, plus the guitar of Neil Davidson who is a member of the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra. Davidson and Welch have often recorded and performed as With Lumps, producing documents of difficult and understated improvised music, which sometimes seems intent on raising questions about the meaning and purpose of music. This November 2013 recording made at Glasgow University Concert Hall is less hell-bent on presenting problematic barriers, and while still challenging throughout its forty minutes of duration it manages to project ghostly phantasmagoria and many chilling, spartan sounds that have a decidedly eerie beauty. The “spectral” tone hanging over the day’s work may have something to do with Guionnet’s shimmering organ tones, which are enough to dampen the spirits of an entire belfry of bats in the imaginary cathedral where I often fantasise about him playing. Davidson meanwhile is conducting a lecture with his guitar in an imaginary university, trying to explain complex recondite philosophical ideas using only words of one syllable, a task which is futile since the entire lecture hall is deserted in any case. Welch continues his somewhat brutalist agenda, seated behind a drumkit which hopefully comprises more junk metal than tuned drums, unsettling the listener with his take-it-or-leave-it stance. I could never call him a “violent” drummer, but I can’t account for the seething menace that seems to seep out from much of his work. You can even sense it when he isn’t actually playing; he just seems to infect the atmosphere simply by turning up. 80 copies of the cassette exist, each one with a unique hand-made sleeve it seems; you can get them direct from the artists. Excellent album!