Ben Vince has many strings to his bow (reeds to his saxophone...?). He is a saxophonist, improviser, producer, you name it. Returning with his second solo LP 'Don't Give Your Life', you can expect sax experimentation that bridges the gap between Terry Riley and Gilbert Artman. Double elpee on Thirty Three Thirty Three.
Vinyl Double LP £23.99 TTTT006
2LP on Thirty Three Thirty Three.
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For those musicians who fancy themselves sonic explorers, the saxophone is handy ally. Playing an instrument where your hands are held in front of you, and which you can hold with one hand, lends the instrument very happily to electronic manipulation. Those opening sentences come from a place of envy (I play the trombone, an instrument that seems to have been designed to make fiddling with electronics awkward), but also admiration. I’ve seen Ben Vince perform live, and the fluidity with which he moves from blowing his horn to twisting knobs is clearly well practiced and thought out.
I don’t know if the tracks on Don’t Give Your Life were recorded in one take, but they could have been. As on his previous releases the heart of the music is Vince dueting, trioing, quarteting and more with himself. The advantage here is that it’s all Vince’s timbre. Where there are many members, there are many personalities. And while that can work (listen to Battle Trance please), here it creates a slippery effect. It’s hard to pick out individual melodies as they merge into and out of one another, it’s almost psychedelic.
Vince does branch out though, and occasionally allows the saxophone to fill the background. The record features a number of collaborators, most strikingly Bianca Scout, whose crystalline vocals float above Vince’s sax-y dirge. The contrast is elating.
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