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The title 'Both Ends' seems innocent enough until you read the back sleeve of this record and discover the circumstances behind this recording. The experienced free jazz trio of percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love (also seen on an LP with Mats Gustafsson on Bocian this week) with sax pest Dave Rempis tooting the reeds and Fred Lonberg Holm handling cello and electronics played a gig in Warsaw immediat ...

LP £12.99 BCBE

Ltd black vinyl LP on Bocian.

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Both Ends by Ballister
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8/10 Mike Staff review, 11 April 2014

The title 'Both Ends' seems innocent enough until you read the back sleeve of this record and discover the circumstances behind this recording. The experienced free jazz trio of percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love (also seen on an LP with Mats Gustafsson on Bocian this week) with sax pest Dave Rempis tooting the reeds and Fred Lonberg Holm handling cello and electronics played a gig in Warsaw immediately after accidentally poisoning themselves with bad chicken and then dousing their insides with vodka in the hope of sterilising away any bacteria. I'm pretty sure (but not positive) that Rempis is only playing his sax from "one end" here though. I certainly hope so.

That drunken, feverish set was captured on tape for posterity and is here presented over the course of a dizzying LP, made all the more vivid by the descriptive sleeve notes (and indeed that title). If you didn't know about their bowel issues you wouldn't guess from the recording, although the sleeve does say that the set "wasn't typical". It's what I wanted to hear, though, which is playfully anarchic puttering and scraping in loose and amorphous formation and often quite a rhythmic focus. You probably already know if you like this awkward European avant jazz stuff by now. This is more of that noisy skronk business. It's making me feel a bit queasy but that might just be sympathy pains after reading the sleeve.


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