NM030: mats gustafsson / cor fuhler - narrominded split lp series #3

NM030: mats gustafsson / cor fuhler – narrominded split lp series #3

format: lp / digital
released: may 9 2008


side one
mats gustafsson
1.sleeping instructions

side two
cor fuhler

The third installment in the Narrominded Split LP Series consists of new works by two important musicians from the world of European free improvisation. Pianist Cor Fuhler and saxophone player Mats Gustafsson have been exploring new possibilities for their instruments for the past twenty years. Not only by putting these instruments in radically different contexts, but more importantly by developing new ways of playing. Fuhler mainly works inside the grand piano, stimulating the strings with all sorts of magnets, ebows and customised handtools. Gustafsson has broadened the textural possibilities of his instrument with an extended array of tongue techniques.
While the explorations of these two musicians take them to very different musical and emotional terrain, the unrelenting sense of experiment is what connects them on this LP.

mats gustafsson

Mats Gustafsson (1964) has broadened the textural possibilities of his instrument with an extended array of tongue techniques. He has made recordings using all sorts of saxophones, even the rare contrabass saxophone and slide-saxophone. Gustafsson playts in groups all over the world, most notably his trio The Thing, Barry Guy’s New Orchestra, Peter Brötzmann’s Chicago Tentet and Otomo Yoshihide’s New Jazz Orchestra. He is a regular collaborator with member of Zu, Sonic Youth and The Boredoms.

cor fuhler

Cor Fuhler (1964) mainly works inside the grand piano, stimulating the strings with all sorts of magnets, ebows and customised handtools. He is also an builder and inventor of musical instruments. His most known invention is the keyolin: a violin that can be played through a keyboard. Fuhler works in a wide variety of groups such as that Music In Movement Electronic Orchestra (MIMEO), Otomo Yoshihide’s New Jazz Orchestra and his own Corkestra.

press downloads
hi-res image of cover
press release (english)
press release (dutch)
)toon) persbericht
)toon) flyer


duke cit presentation
april 27 2009
by byron coley & thurston moore

The final piece is a split LP with Dutch pianist Cor Fulher on Narrominded. Fulher uses some extended techniques to take his piano sounds into vast regions of new, and Gustafsson is equally adept at squeezing sounds from his sax that are beyond the ken of most of his peers. Using rolling sequences of tongue-clacks, overblowing, breath-splatter, he ends up doing things, making sounds, that seem impossible. But Mats is more than up to the task. Amazing shit.

original article

le son du grisli
march 24 2009
by grisli

Sur un trente-trois tours qu’ils partagent, Mats Gustafsson et Cor Fulher font état de l’avancée de leurs pratiques iconoclastes, et accordent à distance leurs préoccupations du moment.

Sur l’étendue de la première face, le saxophoniste amasse ainsi les effets d’un langage acoustique agité (souffles et sifflements, prises de bec et défilé de notes en chute libre) avant de revoir son emportement sur le crachin sonore qui prend peu à peu possession de la pièce. Haletant, conclut Sleeping Instructions.

De son côté, Fulher investit en deux chapitres le champ d’une électroacoustique ombreuse : introduction rampante de Tengam contre apposition de frêles notes de piano et de cordes vibrantes sur un bourdon électrique adhérant : Repus, qui rappelle ainsi quelques grands travaux d’Alvin Lucier. Lignes brisées et lignes claires, toutes en fuite, ainsi accommodées en split.

original article

september 2008
by roger mills

Narrominded’s reputation for eclectic releases is well known, and I must admit to wondering a little about their trajectory on occasions. However, with the guitars safely locked away, they have handed this new Split LP release over to the safe hands of Mats Gustafsson and Cor Fuhler. Not that Split LP #3 is necessarily an easy listen, far from it, but for those of us into our electro acoustics it is just what the doctor ordered.

Side 1
Swedish saxophonist Mats Gustafsson kicks the first side off with a 17 minute long improvisation aptly named Sleeping Instruction. His playing teetering between breathy harmonics, diffuse textures, to layers of screeching animalistic howls. Having finessed multiple mouthpiece techniques, Gustafsson constantly blurs the boundaries between timbre and tone, whilst also manipulating the instruments percussive possibilities with frenzied key pad hits and clicks. Subtle lower end harmonics also resonate from the instruments chamber as the sax enters a world of granular processing, creating a seamless illusion between the acoustic and the digital. As the synthesis becomes ever more audible, so does the meltdown of sonic detritus, which builds in crackly post digital noise, concluding in a hiatus that would wake even the hardiest somnambulist.

Side 2
Providing a complete contrast in tone and dynamics, Cor Fuhler contributes two stunning improvisations of prepared piano to side 2. Pioneering ever new directions from where predecessors like Messrs Cowell & Cage left off, Fuhler is one of a hand full of contemporary artists who have been experimenting with the textural and tonal possibilities of the piano for some time. In fact writing this from Sydney, his performance a few years ago at The NowNow festival is even now, still fondly remembered. Generating his sound from inside a baby grand, Fuhler employs any number of devices to create vast washes of metalic drones and harmonics. Stimulating the strings with magnets, ebows and more customised tools, these tone layers compound and evolve often with the grainy reverberation of the strings themselves, clearly audible. This sets up lush velvet timbres in which he embeds micro key note melodies, articulating a sense of space that can sometimes be lost in layered drone pieces. This is as much to do with the frequencies and harmonics of the drones themselves, but it has the desired effect in leaving you wanting more.

Having penchant for this genre I could probably wax lyrical about it all day, but for those interested in electro acoustic improvisation, I can heartily recommend this new addition to Narrominded’s Split LP series. Vinyl releases in electro acoustic music are also rare these days, so I can imagine this will be quite a collectors item in years to come. More examples and images available from the Narrominded site.

original article

august 2008
by jim faes

The ever so charming and diverse Narrominded label, started with their ltd split lp series in 2003. And for their third edition they’ve coupled two well known artists from the improv/jazz scene: Mats Gustafsson & Cor Fuhler.
For Mats Gustafsson, playin his sax is a pure physical event. Pushing air in various ways through the mouthpiece, focussing on subtle differences and nuances. This evolves to a rougher approach later on, using the keys of the sax more as an percussionative element. He occasionally switches from the sax to the laptop, developing his organic sound to a digital whirlwind of clicks and processed sounds, without creating transitions which are too abrupt. A very interesting piece by Gustafsson, showing that the man’s solo output is as important as his collaborations with other highly acclaimed artists.
Cor Fuhler’s instrument of choice is the piano. For years now he has been experimenting with different setups, manipulating the strings in various ways, and of course let’s not forget, strike the occasional key as well from time to time. These 2 tracks are the result of such experience. And it’s plain gorgeous. “Tengam” in particular tickles my eardrums the right way. Using ebows, magnets, and other tools, he creates these droning tones, a mix of highs and lows. At some moments you can even hear the strings trembling. In the midst of that, he plays the piano in a gentle way. Improvising around a certain set of keys, and creating a very minimal and delicate composition. I totally love this. And i guess i don’t have to say that this record is highly recommended, do i ?

the wire
july 2008


gonzo circus
july 2008
by rm


june 6 2008
by ed

Hyperstarkes Vinyl zweier junger Meister des abstrusen bis absurden Improjazz, der zum Glück wenig jazzt, dafür aber umso mächtiger die Ränder aller Instrumente neu steckt. Der Schwede bläst so einzigartig gewagt in sein Baritonsaxophon wie noch nie gehört. Kleinste Zungen- und Mundbewegungen reichen aus und die Geschichte der Holzblasinstrumente muß umgeschrieben werden, Unterlegt werden die Luftstöße von stets wachsender Zappelelektronik, zunächste als Percussionsgewaber, gegen Ende als fulminante Widmung an Kevin Drumm. Kein Wunder, dass solch geballte Kreativität bereits bei Sonic Youth und den Boredoms mitwirken durfte. Der Niederländer Fuhler hingegen zeigt sich in seinen zwei Pianoarbeiten äußerst ruhig und bedächtig. Die Pianosaiten werden mit normalerweise branchenuntypischen Gegenständen wie Magnet oder E-bow gestrichen oder gestreichelt und zuweilen werden einzelne Noten angeschlagen, die den dicht stehenden Drones eine gehörige Zerbrechlichkeit entgegensetzen. Umwerfend gut.

original article

subjectivisten – caleidoscoop
may 29 2008
by jan willem broek

Na de split lp’s van Living Ornaments & Accelera Deck en Hydrus & Kettel komt het label met de wijde blik Narrominded met nummer 3 uit de serie: Mats Gustafsson en Cor Fuhler. Beide heren hoef je niet te vragen zo maar een deuntje te spelen. Nee daarvoor zijn ze gewoonweg te avontuurlijk.

De Zweed Mats Gustafsson bewijst dat al jaren solo en zijn project The Thing maar ook bij artiesten als Peter Brötzmann, Otomo Yoshihide, Zu, The Boredoms, Derek Bailey, Ken Vandermark, Joe McPhee en leden van Sonic Youth. Zijn bijdrage op deze nieuwe split bestaat uit één lang stuk van 17 minuten, waarop hij geluiden heeft gemaakt met hoofdzakelijk de baritonsaxofoon en een handvol elektronica. Dat is als je het bijbehorende persbericht moet geloven. Als je op je oren durft te vertrouwen heb je het idee dat je met een zilte bries door je haren naar klotsende boten in de haven luistert die soms overgaan in een metaalwerkplaats, imitaties van “Muttley The Shivering Dog” en zo nu en dan herkenbare saxofoonklanken. Het is een intrigerend hoorspel dat je nauwgezet blijft volgen; je wilt immers geen seconde missen. In het slotstuk gaat het geheel over in een oorverdovende kakofonie van metalige, snerpende geluiden. En dat terwijl het stuk “Sleeping Instructions” heet. Imponerend virtuoos kunststukje, waarvoor je stevig in je stoel moet zitten. Dan heb je pas de helft gehad, want de andere zijde is voor de Amsterdamse toetsenist, uitvinder en instrumentbouwer Cor Fuhler. Ook hij heeft een behoorlijke staat van dienst met zijn eigen Corchestra, maar ook met Palinckx, MIMEO, Otomo Yoshihide en Han Bennink. Hij heeft twee stukken van bij elkaar 19 minuten gefabriceerd met piano en diverse bewerkingen. Het zijn bezwerende stukken geworden die het midden houden tussen ambient, minimal, jazz en musique concrète. Er is een prachtige spanning tussen de akoestische en elektronische geluiden, die al duellerend toch een hechte eenheid vormen. Het getuigt van grote klasse om met minimale middelen en geluiden zo te weten overtuigen als hier. En daar waar Mats nog wel eens tegen het kakofonische aanschuurt, weet Cor juist met het wonderschone en rustieke te flirten. Beide heren maken in ieder geval een enorme indruk.

original article

vital weekly
may 20 2008
by fdw

It’s been a while since Narrominded released the previous split LP (Hydrus/Kettel in Vital Weekly 414 and before that Living Ornaments/Accelera Deck in Vital Weekly) and now they return with two artists that also can be lumped together, just like the two previous editions. Both Cor Fuhler and Mats Gustafsson hail from the world of improvised music. Fuhler builds his own instruments, plays the prepared piano and is part of Mimeo, Otomo’s Yoshihide’s New Jazz Orchestra and his own Corkestra. For his two pieces here he plays the prepared piano, with magnets, ebow, hand drill and milk shakers. It’s hard to believe that this is so, certainly in ‘Tengam’, the longest of two. It doesn’t sound like, say John Cage, with strange blowing and plucking sounds, given a strange, direct in your face sound with lots of hectic movements. Towards the end the sound of what seems a geiger counter drops in and more loud noise. Quite a heavy weight piece, but the shorter ‘Repus’ brings a great counterpoint. A great room filling drone/tone piece. Gustafsson on the other side of the record has just one piece, ‘Sleeping Instructions’ for baritone saxophone and live electronics. Its hard to believe that Gustafsson is a member of anything free in music, as this sounds like a strictly composed piece of highly concentrated and condensed drone music, with long sustaining sounds and strange piano like tinkling qualities. A great piece that, as far as I’m concerned, could have lasted much longer than the thirteen something minutes that it does now. Fuhler does what he does best, I think and Gustafsson makes the real surprise here. Great record!

original article

may 10 2008
by yves

Die dritte Folge der Split LP Reihe des niederländischen Labels Narrominded hat mit Mats Gustafsson einen der meistbeschäftigten und gefragtesten Improvakteure am Start. Der schwedische Power-Saxer trifft hier auf Cor Fuhler, dessen Hauptinstrument das Klavier ist. Beide Musiker setzen zusätzlich “Electronics” ein, um Klangverfremdungen und Manipulationen vorzunehmen. Die Platte bietet prägnante und scharf akzentuierte Sounds, bleibt aber insgesamt eher ruhig und konzentriert-verhalten. Den Assoziationen sind somit freie Bahn gelassen.

original article

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