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Figueras,Toop & Burwell - Cholagogues [School Map - 2009]

This is a rather active, quirky, textural varied and enjoyable long form  piece of improv that was original recorded and put out in 1977 and here returns in a digital remaster form.

Over the pieces 40 minute ark the trio play and make noise with a mixture of wind instruments taking in: water whistles, bone trumpets, stopped-end flutes, bamboo pan pipes, dog Whistles, c- flute, alto flute and new guinea Initiation flute. Percussive matter that takes in: gongs, body percussion, metal, cymbals, woodblocks and drums. And lastly an array of stringed instruments that take in: Deerbone fiddle, one string fiddle and model airplane elastics. With all theses different elements at play one might think this is going to be crowded and dense affair and through at times this can be dense it’s never over crowded and suffocating. As the trio manage to keep the improv fairly open, lose and spread-out, yet  they never let it become too broken–up. 

The piece always keeping ones attention & never drifts down the path of lets make this sound to be clever or arty- there is always a feeling of logic and reason here. The piece shifts from clanking and rushing percussive-ness, to whining and whistling hazes, to piping and droning tropical-ness. If one could compare this to anything maybe the more noisy and improv end of Teiji Ito work- as this often has quite a world music exotic feel to the proceedngs.

If you enjoy your improv shifting, varied, playful and quirky this will be right up your street. With the trio managing to keep your attention, joy of sound and enjoyment alive through-out the pieces 40 minute runtime.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Roger Batty
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