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» OXLEY, TONY: Unreleased '74-2016

OXLEY, TONY: Unreleased '74-2016
OXLEY, TONY: Unreleased '74-2016
100 points to Discus for releasing this important document. Tony Oxley – part of the first British wave of free improvisers and co-founder of Incus Records – was a pioneer in the use of amplification applied to percussion, which in his case included a range of additional contact-miked exotic items added to his already eccentric kit.
All the recordings here (except the last) feature Oxley’s electrified rig and the first 22-minute sequence in particular which, amazingly, dates back to 1974, sounds wholly contemporary: rich sonorities, exceptional balance, unpredictable but impeccable structure. As well as Oxley, Barry Guy (contrabass and bass guitar) Howard Riley (piano), Paul Rutherford (trombone) and Dave Holdsworth (trumpet), appear – a reminder of how timelessly great this generation of radical innovators was. The second long piece, made seven years later, features Hugh Metcalfe (guitar), Phil Wachsman (violin) Larry Stabbins (saxophones) and again Howard Riley and is a somewhat more generic, but still classic, example of the period form. On the final track, recorded in 2016, Oxley plays only electronics with Stefan Hoelker taking the acoustic percussion; it makes a strange contrast: though recent, it lacks the tension, surprise – and sound quality – of the earlier recordings… but this CD already made itself a classic with its first three tracks.


Code: Discus129CD
Price: £14.50