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- I Love It When You Snore by Mats Gustafsson & Paal Nilssen Love
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The kind people at Weird Forest records have been kind enough this week to reissue this classic collaboration of free skitter and chontle from the legendary team of avant virtuoso madheads that is Gustafsson/Nilssen-Love. The two of them have played pretty much every variety of free skronk under the sun over the course of nearly 15 years, and that fact is celebrated by a bonus 7” which comes with this LP - a recording of the pair’s first ever collaboration in Stockholm way back in 1998!
The LP sees the pair putter and scrape their way through seven pieces, with Nilssen-Love throwing out some minimal loose-limbed free clattering with a deft delicate touch accompanying some restrained little squeaks and honks from Gustafsson, sometimes building to a clattery honking crescendo, sometimes just dropping down to reed flutter and mouth noise and the tap of fingers on valves. This is a brilliantly recorded and quite dynamic performance which really showcases the strength of the musical bond between these two free-expressos.
As for the accompanying 7”, this first jam between the two is much more searing and aggressive than the LP, with Mats going on a screech crusade like a man possessed while Paal positively pummels his drumkit with wild-eyed vigour...although the first half of the flipside is taken up by some very quiet talking before they get their pootle back on. The A side especially is an absolutely blazing jam, and a fascinating companion piece to the more restrained, laid back puffs and cruntles on the album.
Of course as with all the best saxophone records, it’s making Phil want to hit somebody. It’s consciously obtuse music, Gustafsson even has his own story about the Norwegians’ response to these ‘I Love It When You Snore’ recordings: “There's a great story about this specific CD being used to empty a bar in Oslo at closing time. It's a really great bar, very noisy and a lot of musicians and artists go there. But when the owners really want to empty the bar quick, they just put on I Love It When U Snore and the place is empty within seconds. We are very happy about this fact.”
If you’re into this kind of clattery, percussive free expression it’ll excite you a lot, though. Great musicians, a dynamic, virtuosic set of tracks, and an excellent recording. It’s no wonder Weird Forest wanted to put out a vinyl edition even after 12 years!
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