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Hymns for robots

Artist: UNschooLED

Date of Release: 23/09/2016

Catalogue no: SLAMCD 2103

Label: SLAM

Price: £9.99

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The three members of ‘UNschooLED’ studied at the Birmingham Conservatoire and were drawn together by their common musical preferences. Ed Gauden was the main ‘instigator’ but the trio did not have a ‘leader’ as such, working as a sort of mini collective creating their own brand of collective improvisation.

Ed says: “This music is the result of us just getting together and playing, nothing was said before we played and little after”

Mark Hanslip tenor sax, Barry Edwards guitar, Ed Gauden drums

1. Part 1 (Mark Hanslip, Barry Edwards, Ed Gauden)
2. Part 2 (Mark Hanslip, Barry Edwards, Ed Gauden)
3. Part 3 (Mark Hanslip, Barry Edwards, Ed Gauden)
4. Part 4 (Mark Hanslip, Barry Edwards, Ed Gauden)
5. Part 5 (Mark Hanslip, Barry Edwards, Ed Gauden)
6. Part 6 (Mark Hanslip, Barry Edwards, Ed Gauden)

Recorded 16th August 2015 at Oak Farm Studio, Ditton priors, England
Recorded by Olly Irwin
Mixed and mastered by Troglodyte

 

Reviews

 

26/12/2016 Ken Waxman

Probing into this instanced of advanced improvisations from the United Kingdom’s heartland is like being an anthropologist who discovers an advanced culture practiced by a hitherto unknown tribe. Although globalization is a modern catchphrase, Hymns for Robots confirms that, just as in other media, a country’s largest population centres don’t have a monopoly on its most accomplished artists. Although so-called territory bands may no longer exist, there still appears to be an ample number of gigs in the so-called hinterlands to keep outside players working.
Least known of the trio members who play on the six untitled improvisations here, is drummer Ed Gauden from Bridgnorth in Shropshire, who mostly is occupied being the unaccredited half of two-piece rock band the Jake Flowers Scandal. From Shrewsbury guitarist Barry Edwards has recorded with Paul Dunmal and Mark Sanders. Meanwhile Manchester-based tenor saxophonist Mark Hanslip, who elsewhere plays with such locals as Phil Marks and Stephen Grew, has worked in London with elders like Tony Marsh.
Despite the players’ mixed pedigree there’s no sense during this high-energy program of a city slicker coming along to demonstrate worldly techniques to the country bumpkins. The six-track CD, which is doubtlessly presented as it was recorded, captures three disparate musical personalities blending into one. Despite a tendency to overuse bass drum strokes, Gauden is more about clank and clatter than crash. This becomes increasingly noticeable and is most pronounced on “III” where his fanfare-like percussion introduction is the equivalent to setting up a big top performance. With suggestions of the ying and yang of both Barney Kessel and Derek Bailey in his technique, Edwards could be the half-man, half-woman in this runway show. Like the suave master of ceremonies, at least on “III”, Hanslip sounds positively balladic. This is in contrast to most of his near-ecstatic work on other tracks and posits that in this imaginary three-ring spectacle the MC may do double duty as a villain.
Cycling through tunes that meld reductionist ambling with splashes of Energy Music, folksy asides and technical exuberance, the trio demonstrates its story telling facilities. Unlike apocryphal camel designers – that’s a horse created by a committee – these blueprints result is the appropriate improvisational mammal.
By the final tracks “V” and “VI”, triple cohesion is achieved. On the first the saxophonist’s arching irregular pitches resonate alongside ragged twangs from the guitarist; and on the second a unique stop-time theme is established, That is once distinctive corkscrew reed howls are modified by Edwards’ percussive strategy which sounds as if he’s slashing taut stings with a Bowie knife. Still over-relying on the bass drum, Gauden manages to come up with a proper pulse that advances the themes without obtrusion.
There’s nothing robotic about the presentation on this CD. And it appears a bit presumptuous to think the mechanical folk need religious tunes. On the other hand a case for taking these boys out of the country is indisputably made. That would expose them all to a larger audience.
—Ken Waxman 26/12/2016

 

03/10/2016  Selwyn Harris

UNschooLED, an ex-Birmingham Conservatoire trio of ex-LOOP/Outhouse saxophonist Mark Hanslip, guitarist Barry Edwards and drummer Ed Gauden, perform an intuitive brand of free improve. with the spirit of collective extemporisation. Selwyn Harris, Jazzwise Oct 2016

 

01/10/2016 Vittorio Lo Conte

La Slam Productions di George Haslam presenta un disco di un nuovo trio che rappresenta al meglio quella che è l’improvvisazione inglese attuale. I tre si sono ritrovati intorno al batterista Ed Gauden, dopo lo studio al Conservatorio di Birmingham, che si definisce come “istigatore” di questa session. “This music is the result of us just getting together and playing, nothing was said before we played and little after” scrive nelle liner notes all’interno del disco. È la pratica dell’improvvisazione, il ritrovarsi in studio senza troppi appunti sul pentagramma, semplicemente con delle idee in comune che vengono esplicitate nell’ambito del dialogo musicale. Gli altri due musicisti sono Mark Hanslip al sax tenore e
Barry Edwards alla chitarra elettrica. Come si può leggere dai relativi siti i due comprimari di Gauden hanno fatto esperienze importanti nell’ambito della musica improvvisata, Edwards fra l’altro ha studiato con John Russell, uno dei capiscuola del genere sulla chitarra. La musica si sviluppa come una suite divisa in sei parti, è una lunga conversazione a tre in cui tutto è possibile, ma in cui gli strumenti mantengono la loro riconoscibilità, il batterista a volte inserisce dei ritmi, il sassofono improvvisa calorosamene e la chitarra cambia di volta in volta sonorità rappresentando l’elemento più sorprendente del gruppo. Si tratta di una musica nata all’istante, in cui non ci sono leader, si improvvisa collettivamente rendendo comunque il flusso sonoro coerente, senza sbavature o conflitti di personalità. I momenti interessanti non mancano, la Part V è costruita su un fitto dialogo del batterista con gli altri due, un sassofono tenore caloroso che trova sempre nuove idee e la chitarra che inventa suoni nuovi e spiazza l’ascoltatore. Tutto suona coerente, logico, al di là delle previsioni, ed invita ad un riascolto. Non mancano situazioni più complesse, la Part VI ad esempio, con la chitarra che trova sonorità inusuali per accompagnare gli altri due, o più tranquille, come nella Part IV, dove la chitarra inventa note dal suono notturno ben coadiuvata da un sax che con poche note disegna una ballad dall’aspetto “free”. Gran bel disco per chi apprezza il genere. The Slam Productions George Haslam has a new trio of a disc that best represents what is the current English improvisation. The three gathered around the drummer Ed Gauden, after studying at the Conservatory of Birmingham, which is defined as "instigator" of this session. "This music is the result of us just getting together and playing, nothing was said before we played and little after," he writes in the liner notes inside the disk. It is the practice of improvisation, finding oneself in the studio without too many notes on the staff, just with ideas in common that are made explicit in the context of musical dialogue. The other two musicians are Mark Hanslip on tenor sax and
Barry Edwards on electric guitar. As can be read by the relevant sites of the two supporting actors Gauden have made important experiences in the field of improvised music, Edwards among others he studied with John Russell, one of capiscuola like that on the guitar. The music develops as a divided suite in six parts, it is a long three-way conversation in which everything is possible, but where the tools retain their recognition, drummer sometimes puts rhythm, the sudden calorosamene saxophone and guitar changes from time to time it sounds representing the most surprising element of the group. It is a music born instantly, where there are no leaders, improvise collectively still making coherent flow of sound, with no obvious personality conflicts. The interesting moments there, the Part V is built on a close dialogue drummer with the other two, a warm tenor saxophone which always finds new ideas and inventing new guitar sounds and displaces the listener. Everything sounds coherent, logical, beyond predictions, and calls for a replay. Not missing more complex situations, the Part VI for example, with the guitar that is unusual sounds to accompany the other two, or more quiet, as in Part IV, where the guitar invented by the well-known assisted nocturnal sound from a saxophone that with few notes draws a ballad-looking "free". Great record for those who appreciate the genre. Vittorio lo Conte . http://www.musiczoom.it/?p=26628#.V-47DfArLct

GOOGLE TRANSLATION:
The Slam Productions George Haslam has a new trio of a disc that best represents what is the current English improvisation. The three gathered around the drummer Ed Gauden, after studying at the Conservatory of Birmingham, which is defined as "instigator" of this session. "This music is the result of us just getting together and playing, nothing was said before we played and little after," he writes in the liner notes inside the disk. It is the practice of improvisation, finding oneself in the studio without too many notes on the staff, just with ideas in common that are made explicit in the context of musical dialogue. The other two musicians are Mark Hanslip on tenor sax and
Barry Edwards on electric guitar. As can be read by the relevant sites of the two supporting actors Gauden have made important experiences in the field of improvised music, Edwards among others he studied with John Russell, one of capiscuola like that on the guitar. The music develops as a divided suite in six parts, it is a long three-way conversation in which everything is possible, but where the tools retain their recognition, drummer sometimes puts rhythm, the sudden calorosamene saxophone and guitar changes from time to time it sounds representing the most surprising element of the group. It is a music born instantly, where there are no leaders, improvise collectively still making coherent flow of sound, with no obvious personality conflicts. The interesting moments there, the Part V is built on a close dialogue drummer with the other two, a warm tenor saxophone which always finds new ideas and inventing new guitar sounds and displaces the listener. Everything sounds coherent, logical, beyond predictions, and calls for a replay. Not missing more complex situations, the Part VI for example, with the guitar that is unusual sounds to accompany the other two, or more quiet, as in Part IV, where the guitar invented by the well-known assisted nocturnal sound from a saxophone that with few notes draws a ballad-looking "free". Great record for those who appreciate the genre.

 

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