Interruptions (inventaire rétrospectif de Soli Day des années 70), Emanem (la maison de disques de Martin Davidson
qui procède à un extraordinaire travail documentaire de ce qui fut un jour bien nommé "free music" en en exposant les morceaux
de bravoures essentiels du passé et leurs joints présents), Emanem donc, présente le retour de Terry Day, poète musicien dessinateur et batteur souffleur à l'inspiration
doucement déterminante pour les musiques précitées dès les années 60.
Infaillible compagnon des sentiers de Chantenay-Villedieu (années 80), il y était l'honoré troubadour pirouettant avec les
fourmiliers de l'amour Ted Milton, Jean-François Pauvros, Arto Lindsay (Le Grand Amour), le prestidigitateur ventilant avec Raymond Boni et Max Eastley
(Les Mistrals), le jusque boutiste de la bouilloire enfantant les mots dans
l'instant des sons du monde avec le très grand groupe Alterations (My Favourite Animals), le beatnik insaisissable avec Tony Hymas (Look at me) et moultes autres facettes et facéties hautement graves en compagnie
de Steve Beresford, Toshinori Kondo, Kazuko Hohki, Peter Cusack, Jacques Thollot et tant d'autres.
Sa condition physique
avait obligé son retrait, sa condition poétique a obligé son retour. Le revoici avec, en toute logique, une série de duos
partagés en amitiés de toujours et de plus tard (Phil Minton, John Russell, Hannah Marshall, Rhodri Davies et Charlotte Hug)
donnant de la voix dans ses flûtes de bambou, façon primitive de bien envisager le futur et de se relier sans ambiguité au
temps qui passe.
Merci à Martin Davidson pour ces bonnes nouvelles : c'est un beau jour pour se nourrir (les oreilles).
Terry Day : 2006 DUOS (Emanem 4137)
Recorded at London's Red Rose at various
improv events (Freedom Of The City, Free Radicals, Mopomoso, a benefit for Lol Coxhill..) between April and September last
year, 2006 Duos is a rare opportunity to hear one of British improv's most distinctive performers, Terry Day (People Band,
Four Pullovers, Alterations) in five extended duos with, respectively, Charlotte Hug (viola and voice), Rhodri Davies (harp
and preparations), Phil Minton (voice), Hannah Marshall (cello) and John Russell (guitar). Rare because ill health has curtailed
Day's activities over recent years, but you'd be hard pressed to spot any trace of it here. Back in the glory days of Alterations,
his anarchic quartet with Steve Beresford, Peter Cusack and David Toop, Day was, like everyone else in the band, a multi-instrumentalist,
playing everything from drums to balloons, and often performing his own outlandish free punk poetry to boot. On Duos he concentrates
on three different sets of self-made bamboo pipes (as well as toy amplifier and plastic water bottle in places). In case you
think that sounds like something you might hear in a hip New Age Zen sushi restaurant , think again: the bamboo pipe sounds
more like a medieval crumhorn (if that means anything to you), a rich, reedy sound somewhere between a bassoon and a kazoo.
And in case you think that sounds awful, and awfully limited, it doesn't, because Day conjures a huge variety of sounds out
of it. As is usually the case with Emanem, the disc is jampacked full of music, and this time I'm not sure the inclusion of
the duos with Minton and Russell adds that much, especially considering both men have just had their own Emanem outings in
this same batch (see elsewhere). The most surprising and varied playing is on the tracks with Marshall (vicious!), Davies
(some of the harshest Rhodri on record) and Hug, whose use of different bows and a whole range of special effects (showcased
beautifully elsewhere on her Neuland, one of Emanem's strongest releases of the century so far) turns the duo into a veritable
micro-orchestra. My one reservation about this track is the inclusion of Day's vocals towards the end, which seems to push
Hug into "accompaniment" mode, as if in any combination of words and music music had to take second place. The nice thing
about Day's songs with Alterations was that his three chums quite simply rode roughshod over them, as they did with just about
the entire history of world music. But that was then and this is now - and on the strength of Duos 2006 it's clear we
should be hearing much more from Terry Day.
Dan Warburton 2007- paris transatlantic
(The People Band)
a most incredible encounter with this group happened during a MEV concert in 1969
at the Purcell Room. Inviting themselves past the stage doorman, the PB installed themselves quietly on stage during the intermission.
There was no problem as we were sort of expecting the group to show up to help us out with a SOUND POOL where the audience
is also invited to participate. And they did. Within 15 minutes the whole hall was a divine mad-house of singing, playing
and dancing, including an unforgettable ecstatic little old lady in tennis shoes. The establishment got terrified and called
the police and fire depts. to quell us. Does any one know who that little old lady was? or was it me?
From Alvin Curran (Jan. 1978)
1968, Charlie Watts led a group of musicians called The People Band into Olympic
Studios, London, and recorded an album with them.
The music they played was extraordinary: free improvisation with no barriers,
no restrictions, and all memory washed away.
It took 18 months for the album to appear, having been hawked round record
companies by Watts and the band for the whole of that period, and when it did surface it
was greeted with the well-known storms of apathy so often reserved for such forward looking projects.
In a sense Terry is one of those musicians who is harder to pin down than
most; he stands out-side of the various movements and cliques of the music business.
Kenneth Ansell - Impetus
-his style is complemented well by that of percussionist Terry Day whose contributions
have a restless quality, fluttering across his numerous drums, cymbals, beer cans, toys and instruments. He creates a loosely-woven
net of percussion activity and has a fine ear for texture and sound which he is capable of manipulating with great subtlety,
intensity and compression.
Kenneth Ansell - Zig Zag
Day is the most under-rated altoist I've heard - & he plays other instruments
too; it's time he had a record to himself. He has Han Bennink's knack of being able to turn his hand to any instrument, &
get something personal out of it; but he (mercifully) lacks Han's competitiveness. Terry plays with people, not against them.
He can, on alto-sax, sounds subtle & vulgar at the same time.
Richard Leigh - Musics
The high point
of this section however was Terry's discourse and demonstration on the art of playing a balloon. He showed many different
techniques, before finally, due to demands from the children, releasing the inflated balloon to fly around the school hall.
Menter - Musics
He is a specialist on his sundry collection of instruments, and creates an
associative music that defies the expected. He has succeeded in giving the balloon a place amongst the flora & fauna of
new musical instruments, lending itself, in his particular hands, to brass & percussive expressions.
- Jazz NU
He can get more out of a tin can than most would from a Gretsch.
Beresford - Musics
During the Kaleidoscopic performance by Terry Day, one of Englands first and best known improvisers, he demonstrated
his musical versatility with a hasty ease. Torrid Jazz bowing on the Cello; traditional blues bottling on the mandolin, the
sound of which was a cross between and oriental and Hawaiian steel guitar. Some finely pitched micro-scopic rhythms and timbres
on his drums and hardware. Harsh, angular but romantically European piano. Finale, Alto. Fast tongueing with concentration
on the tonal aspects of his simultaneous octave playing. Verdict, too short, but to the point.
Rob Leurentop - Nieuwe
I am glad that the duo Day/Waisvisz is on record because it will convince
everybody who is deaf to their music because of all the theatre on stage. They play a Chinese opera with good subtitles, in
about them minutes they say what John Cage could need a whole day for.
Dick Lucas - Nieuwe Muziek
He has a chameleon-like adaptability, on this tour he voices some original
lyrics, & plays on instruments usually gathered together shortly before the concert. It will be obvious that what
he is going to do, is not yet fixed.
New Music by Peter Cusack, Steve Beresford,
Terry Day and David Toop.
Never in the history of music have four people conspired to make such sounds. This quartet has
a European reputation as the more entertaining members of the English Avant Garde Spectro Arts Lab.
Before the interval Terry Day, Michel Waisvisz,
Peter Cusack and Misha Mengelberg will follow one after each other.
After the interval the ensemble will play.
Music which juggles the sublime with the ridiculous,
the familiar with the unfamiliar and which creates an ever-changing vista of sound deserve a good listen.
Alterations are a group who work both within
an improvising context and within the larger music culture, probing and exploring their own responses to popular and unpopular
music, past and present.
Imagine taking all the different forms of
music you can think of chopping them up like splicing frames of a film, putting them in a bag and then scattering them like
confetti from a tombola, then you'd come up with new formations in new contexts. The result is revelatory.
The group archive this panorama by working
on a multitude of levels, using a host of instruments as homely as guitars, piano and toy synthesizer and as banale as a toothbrush
or a bicycle bell. Still, these are just the tools, it's what they do with them that arrests and startles.
Bits of the music are like a street soundscape;
snatches of different musics flooding from shops and flat windows, traffic rumpus, the squabblings and chatterings of the
remnants of the urban bird community and the general distancing and focussing of sounds that we take for granted most of the
This is no easy attempt at street realism
though, nor at a patchwork collage. There's far too much of the unexpected, as the four musicians work in unison or at a tangent
to one another.
This music has the uninevitability of an early
"Tiswas" programme with a daring coexistence of moods and attitudes.
The reggae riffs and toy synthesizer effects
come courtesy of Steve Beresford and David Toop of Flying Lizards and Prince Far-1 associations; the range of rhythms and
squeakers come from Terry Day with all too little of his alto sax playing and the crackling and rippling guitar playing is
from peter Cusack.
Together they demonstrate different ways of
making music which turns corners with amazing rapidity and humour.
Ultimately this is music which leaves you
free to make of it what you want each time you hear it. Try it: it may well alter your listening habits.
CHARLTON. (melody maker)
MARRTEN ALTENA/ TERRY DAY/ JOHN RUSSELL/ GEORGE KHAN
Tiny contrasts, shifting gradations and solemn sensitivity was one side of
the coin of a bass, guitar and percussion trio. The other side was a lesson in how to plant triviality into the high intent
of the music, just in case it was taking itself too seriously, but then with percussionist Terry Day playing, the antennae
have to be alert for double meanings and playing on the associations and images of sounds.
He has a willing and skilful partner in this in the Dutch bass player, Maarten
Altena, who is more familiar over here in the context of Derek Bailey's Company, and who, far from disdaining melody and rhythm,
builds them into free playing in a lovely and appealing fashion, with an enormous wealth of ideas.
In between these two, guitarist John Russell was the mortar for the bricks:
with determined intensity, he concentrated on rasping, grainy textures, changing them with brittle, isolated pitch work or
melancholy asides. His single-mindedness was both at an angle to the other two and a stabiliser keeping a tension and a platform
Terry Day, one of the four corners of Alterations, is a superlative chameleon
of sound, constantly seeking out and finding different responses, whether they are the musical-box in a toyshop effect of
cymbals on the floor, the pure banality of squeaky tops or the way he can make loud drumming sound like a whisper or brushes
As a trio they work exceptionally well, and the result is intriguing and challenging
The combination of Wellingtons
and diamond paste is one way describing the really great baritone saxophone solo from George Khan "statutory member of the
People Band " which cut across the preceding strings music like a jumbo jet landing on a tiny air-strip.
With a twinkle in his eye, he served up deliciously vulgar and huge raw notes
from the bottom register and then, tiptoeing on oversize clogs, he teased the phrases sound the upper register in a way which
should make him the honorary Pied Piper for London transport in the rush house.
Excerpts from reviews:
"What I find very moving about INTERRUPTIONS is the fact that whatever instrument
or sound device you're playing, you find a beautiful, full sound within it and project that with great poise and feeling.
This has always been one of my definitions of a good musician as you know, there are lots of highly skilled musicians who
produce forlorn sounds for all their dexterity, but for me, somehow it works far more completely with the body, the whole
body, when sound is the key element of playing. There are also great melodies tender and funny and melancholic - emerging
at the strangest moments, along with such subtle rhythmic flow.
I'm amazed that from solitude you managed to make overdubbed
recordings sound so organic and of the moment, so full up in the room but so relaxed in their spaciousness. You also use reverb
in exactly the way I like, which is to suddenly give an otherworldly feel to a sonic environment that feels very natural.
These rooms seem to be full up with secret people, even though I know it's just you. But then I remember a solo performance
you did in Brussels, when Godfried-Willem Raes said he would
never book you again because you were drunk (hah! Now there's irony), and what he was missing was this place you are able
to inhabit, like many personalities all at once, and thinking it was mere alcohol. It's actually something very special and
for that reason, among others, this music is so original. I'm very happy that these recordings have finally been released."
TOOP email to TERRY DAY 2006
"A multi-instrumentalist wizard if ever one existed, Terry Day was one of
the founders of People Band (check out their CD on this same label). These recordings, captured on tape between 1978 and 1981,
reveal him as a spirited improviser able to get the maximum from every source, a true force of nature whose unprecedented
fantasy pushed him well beyond the walls of 'musical logic', up to those altitudes where sounds exist only to be seized and
re-transmitted by artists that are more 'aerials' than 'players'. Thanks to multitrack recording, Day created duos, trios
and group settings playing against himself, sometimes in a total frenzy (Drums/Altos/Balloons and the exhilarating Toy ensemble),
often in thoughtful pseudo-exotic wonders (Oriental theme, Theme continued). His solo flights on saxophones are astonishing,
the mandolin and the piano pieces sound like Eugene Chadbourne with Tourette. There are also three funny 'punk' songs where
Peter Cusack and Davey Payne conspire on guitar, drum machine and sax with Terry singing, while Crackle box & Altos is
a deranged ritual whose soul wets the nose of La Monte Young. I can't stress enough the naive, enthusiastic purity and the
absolute freedom from clich of this great, great music. Grab a copy of INTERRUPTIONS - one of the all-time best by Emanem
in my opinion - and tell your friend who's saving money to go to Berklee that he'll never be able to play like this anyway."
RICCI - TOUCHING EXTREMES 2006
"Unsurprisingly, in terms of aesthetic, the music on INTERRUPTIONS recalls
Day's other outfits of the time, notably Alterations, but here, with the exception of one brief appearance by Davey Payne
and two by Alterations' Peter Cusack, he's all alone, creating his own orchestra by (decidedly primitive) multitracking. The
number of instruments he gets his hands on is typically bewildering - in addition to your good old standard piano, cello,
saxophone and electric organ, the list includes bird toy warblers, bamboo pipe, Chinese flute, African thumb piano, mandolin,
poppers (?!), balloons, plastic trumpet, kazoo and a Michel Waisvisz crackle box - but if that isn't enough, fans of his raspy
singing voice won't be disappointed. On Be A Good Boy he sings along to a farty oompah that's as deliciously dumb as his lyrics,
and on It Ain't My Cup Of Tea there's more than a smattering of Johnny Rotten in the delivery and articulation. In terms of
recording quality I think we can safely say that this one isn't going to end up with a Grand Prix de Disque from the Academie
Charles Cros, but for sheer fun and raw creativity, it's hard to match. Let's hear it for Terry Day, the man that put the
mental into instrumental."
DAN WARBURTON - PARIS TRANSATLANTIC
"A restless collection, the 32 tracks of INTERRUPTIONS cut abruptly between moods
and means of expression. A strident piano solo gives way to an ensemble that includes bamboo pipes, toy bird warblers and
a plastic trumpet. A wildly scrawled bottleneck mandolin solo leads to the throb of a drum machine and Day's Dagenham twang
intoning caustic observations, while guest Peter Cusack supplies punkily chugging acoustic guitar accompaniment. An inexplicable
20 second swell of electric organ is followed by a knotty trio of Day's acid alto, bustling cello and drums. Whether he's
playing standard instruments or ping-pong balls, squeakers and balloons, there's a real sense that Day just has to get that
musical energy out into the open. Too much of his musical life has gone undocumented."
JULIAN COWLEY - THE WIRE 2006
Music for the People: An Interview
with Terry Day
“Look at me, look at me,
look at me look at me look at me, look at Meeeeeeeeeee! – A great big racket!” yells multi-instrumentalist Terry
Day as he leads the often introspective and contemplative London Improvisers Orchestra at the Freedom of the City festival
in 2002; they are only too willing to oblige, squalling, thumping rhythmically, responding in serio-comic terror to Day’s
shouts and exhortations in loose but pulsed frenzy. A cymbal rhythm pervades everything, nervously energizing the ensemble
and providing a backdrop for Day’s speech-song exhortations, by turn accusatory and beseeching.
“conduction” track, on which this mayhem occurs, exemplifies perfectly Day’s approach to music and to improvisation.
As he enters his 67th year this October, humanism and its implications, what he calls “humanity’s predicament”
are of the utmost importance to him. Like Whitman, he clearly wishes to glorify extended individuality, not the confined self-representation
of conservative rhetoric, but the all-inclusive vision of the species being. “Well I’m an animal, right? I mean,
my music is primeval, I just beat up the drums, and I have to taste it, to sample it immediately, know what I mean? It’s
gotta be right there – I mean, it’s the language of the universe really, isn’t it?” One of his recent
lyrics – he insists on calling them lyrics, not poems – encapsulates the scope of his concerns for liberty, equality
Save us from the self-appointed
Save us from the superior ones, …
Let our humanity win the day.
Day’s vision has remained
remarkably consistent over the last 40 years, coming into focus and into a degree of prominence with The People Band, a product
of the 1960s where all boundaries were blurred, most notably between performer and audience. However, as Martin Davidson’s
liner notes to their lone album’s reissue make plain, Day was playing free long before those 1968 recording sessions,
having played drums in an improvising trio in 1960 with bassist Terry Holman and keyboardist Russell Hardy. The case might
even be made that the impulse to play outside established formal lines came earlier, while Day performed in dance bands. Presumably
playing “time” for the most part, Day thrived on the freedom of stop-time. “On the four-bar break, my brain
went all over the place, but people liked what I was doing! I had no trouble hearing the beat, I just sometimes messed about
with it and played on another beat.” – this followed by a gale of laughter. He still speaks with reverence of
bebop’s innovations and revelations as gauged by the mind of a child. “People don’t remember how modern
that really was, how free it sounded. I grew up on that – my father was a drummer, all my brothers were jazz aficionados,
so I was hearing bebop as soon as it got to England in 1945.” His brothers
channeled musical interest in quite a different way than did young Terry. “Oh yes, they could hear the pop music of
the day, waltzes, dances, you name it, and they’d hear it for the first time at 6 a.m. and have it down to play that
night! I never worked that way. When it came down to Western harmony, these kind of conventions, I just didn’t work
A moment beautifully representative
of Day’s brand of musicianship occurs on the People Band album as “Home Trio” crashes headlong into “Part
1.” Jazz stylings, or at least shards and fragments of it, segue jump-cut fashion into a pan-African percussion ensemble,
only the slightest hint of jazz remaining. The texture is dense, tribal and fittingly primitive, and the resemblance to those
free-psych free-folk orgies currently emerging from Finland and Massachusetts is more than striking. As the disc proceeds, a layer
of distortion or two drives the point home. “Oh yeah, it was loud, so loud sometimes that you’d be playin’,
and you’d see somebody running toward the door and think ‘Wow, that person’s running toward the door screaming
their head off, cuz they’ve had enough.’ I could hardly blame ’em, but I couldn’t hear a thing they
Alterations, the 1980s improvising
band that featured Day along with David Toop, Steve Beresford and Peter Cusack, was at once more inclusive and more refined.
It’s amazing just how contemporary their material can sound, certainly appealing to any No-Neck Blues Band fan or any
follower of Sunburned’s activities. All manner of electronics, acoustics, small toys and combinations of the above can
be heard in the fray, and to Day, a fray it often was. “You’d be involved in a beautiful passage, going really
well and somebody comes along and wrecks it, or maybe you wreck it yourself, but that’s just it. We played with concepts,
with ideas, and the best thing to do was – David put it very well – to accept the conflict. You couldn’t
stay in your corner for long, cuz somebody’d pull you out; that or kick you out.”
Poor health put Day in a corner
of sorts for some 12 years, during which time he neither played nor listened to what was going on in the improv game. An invitation
from Steve Beresford to check out an London Improvisers Orchestra gig in 1999 changed everything. “I’d designed
these bamboo pipes back in 1967. Actually, Russell and I both made some while visiting a friend down in Spain. Steve said, ‘Why don’t you bring your pipes
down, see what happens?’” Day now performs with the orchestra as often as he can, health permitting, on the first
Sunday of every month, either singing or playing the pipes. It’s an unearthly yet primitively familiar sound, a mixture
of pure straight tones and buzzing slides, as heard to stunning effect on Caroline Kraabel’s “Notes for Terry
Day.” A kind of improvised concerto, the mood is quietly contemplative, wonderfully subtle changes in textural detail
providing a sense of motion throughout, both regarding the orchestral accompaniment and Day’s solo. He’s been
influenced by the electro-acoustic and laptop experiments coming out of Japan.
“I heard these guys, not believing at first that a machine could produce music like that, but I’m sitting there
having a spiritual experience! I love what they do with those computers – really beautiful, isn’t it?”
Detail, the amount and use of
it, in today’s improv is one of the things that impresses Day the most, having been the first thing he noticed when
he “got back in the game” six years ago. New detail informs his meditative but energetic solo on “Notes”;
however, Day’s not listening for that. “When I hear my stuff back, I hear the struggle, the constant searching
for new ideas, the way I explore them, you know.” New sounds, new ideas – I kept thinking of his comments on humanism,
on audience participation in People Band shows, so I asked Day if every sound was acceptable? “Music is sacred, but
no, every sound is not acceptable. I won’t accept the sound of war.” So Day’s vision, like Joyce’s,
is the nightmare of history from which we try to awake. Sublimated, it nevertheless continues and flourishes, leading Day
to end “Ruthless” by screaming of war, poverty, greenbacks and all that would limit humanity and its expression,
“What did it achieve, for cryin’ out loud, what did it achieve?”
By Marc Medwin
|Photo © Gerard Ruoy
ALTERATIONS. Improvisations. Peter Cusack, Steve Beresford, Terry Day, David Toop.
(all on various instruments). BEAD 9. £3.75. (Available from Bead Reords. 1 Chesholm Road,
The tinkles, plops, screeches,
thuds, crashes and baby screams which, together with more ‘musical’ sounds such as reggae piano and country and
western guitar, make up the bulk of this recording, are some of the characteristic sounds made by the large number of improvising
musicians working in England today. They
operate, if organised at all, through the musicians collectives now emerging in most major cities, and although they are deadly
serious about their unconventional art they hardly, if ever, are paid for a gig, they receive precious little aid from arts
subsidising bodies and bland incomprehension from local authorities, and they form a steadily growing musical subculture which
is remarkably free from the pressures (though not the hassles) of more traditional musical life. Their mouthpiece (and a remarkably
lively one it is too) is the magazine Musics, and their wholly non-commercial recordings
are produced through musician-owned and collectively run labels such as BEAD.
The improvisations presented
on this record were taped at concerts in Norwich and London,
and extracts from the descriptive (hand-written) sleeve-notes will give something of the spontaneous nature of such events,
and of the musicians’ approach to the whole business. ‘It’s a sort of piano concerto in the Eric Morecambe
tradition’, ‘Kazoo semi-idiotics’. ‘DT is immersing his flute in the water in his red firebucket’.
‘This is tastelessly interrupted by SB (he feels guilty about this now)’. ‘SB fantasises about Cecil Taylor
on toy piano’. ‘Bosun’s call and two dog whistles, with flapping bin liner. Ominous really’. ‘PC
plays a long irritable code.’ This kind of relaxed and humorous attitude has not been seen in European music for a long
You have to be in
tune with this type of music making and the philosophical stance it adopts, and you should probably have played some free
music yourself if you are to appreciate this record. This means that it will probably appeal to only a tiny minority of r+r
readers, but that minority will find it a fruitful experience. In true cooperative style full details of the cost of production,
design and printings are given on the sleeve -- 500 copies cost £505 to produce.
KEVIN STEPHENS (records & recording 79)
Your Sleeve” (Quartz 006)
Music which juggles the
sublime with the ridiculous, the familiar with the unfamiliar and which creates an ever-changing vista of sound deserve a
Alterations are a group
who work both within an improvising context and within the larger music culture, probing and exploring their own responses
to popular and unpopular music, past and present.
Imagine taking all the
different forms of music you can think of chopping them up like splicing frames of a film, putting them in a bag and then
scattering them like confetti from a tombola, then you’d come up with new formations in new contexts. The result is
The group archive this
panorama by working on a multitude of levels, using a host of instruments as homely as guitars, piano and toy synthesizer
and as banale as a toothbrush or a bicycle bell. Still, these are just the tools, it’s what they do with them that arrests
Bits of the music are like
a street soundscape; snatches of different musics flooding from shops and flat windows, traffic rumpus, the squabblings and
chatterings of the remnants of the urban bird community and the general distancing and focussing of sounds that we take for
granted most of the time.
This is no easy attempt
at street realism though, nor at a patchwork collage. There’s far too much of the unexpected, as the four musicians
work in unison or at a tangent to one another.
This music has the uninevitability
of an early “Tiswas” programme with a daring coexistence of moods and attitudes.
The reggae riffs and toy
synthesizer effects come courtesy of Steve Beresford and David Toop of Flying Lizards and Prince Far-1 associations; the range
of rhythms and squeakers come from Terry Day with all too little of his alto sax playing and the crackling and rippling guitar
playing is from peter Cusack.
Together they demonstrate
different ways of making music which turns corners with amazing rapidity and humour.
Ultimately this is music
which leaves you free to make of it what you want each time you hear it. Try it: it may well alter you listening habits. –
HANNAH CHARLTON. (melody
Alterations: “Up Your Sleeve” (Quartz)
The music of Alterations can be seen as the cumulative result of
the effect of the second-generation improvisers on the jazz-influenced work of the early free musicians. During their three-year
existence this highly articulate and adventurous quartet have mapped out an area which is now their own, bringing together
widely differing musical elements such as rock, reggae and various ethnic forms, and cross-fertilising them into an immensely
satisfying if somewhat crazy conglomeration. ‘Up Your Sleeve’ avoids the bittiness of their debut album, coming
across as far more cohesive and direct statement, whilst showing no compromising or softening up of the band’s characteristically
anarchic approach. Weaving through a mass of varying textures and situations the result vere from the subtlety of early morning
birdsong to the uncontrolled ferocity of a bunch of deranged demolition merchants. Although 1980 already bossts a healthy
supply of excellent releases from the artistic fringe, ‘Up Your Sleeve’ stands as one of that fringe’s most