St Francis Duo
Stephen O'Malley and Steve Noble
|Available Formats||No. of Tracks||Price||Buy|
|Download Album (flac)||4 tracks||£6.99|
|Download Album (wav)||4 tracks||£6.99|
|Download Album (mp3)||4 tracks||£5.99|
Stephen O'Malley and Steve Noble - St Francis Duo
Noble is a regular at Bo' Weavil Recordings, having appeared on over nine recordings for the label, and a linch pin in London's improvising community. Steve Noble studied with Nigeria master drummer Elkan Ogunde and in the early 1980s and over the last 20 years has played with most of the great players from 4 corners of the globe.
Stephen O'Malley predominantly a guitarist, producer and composer from Seattle who has been at the centre of avant-garde/drone metal, best known for his group Sunn0))), and also a prolific collaborator with many of the finest improvisers.
So it was bound to be a memorable night of music to see these two to meet.
Noble sets the recording off with a full tribal charge, while Stephen instead of firing off a shard of ecstatic notes and chords, coaxed his guitar into singing a slow ever growing roar. But soon the two are of into some wildest creative rampages - exciting drum and guitar territory, sounding at times not too dissimilar to Haino's Fushitsusha, brutally beautiful shredded riffs from O’Malley met with Noble's exuberant rhythmic force . Over 2 slabs of vinyl and CD the memory of these 2 nights can be heard in full violent sonic attack.
ReviewsThis pair have collaborated before, in the quartet Æthenor with Kristofer Rygg and Daniel Sullivan of Norwegian Black Metal outfit Ulver (as evidenced on their 2010 album En Form For Blå), creating gloomy, improvised soundscapes – like a murkier and more mythically charged version of Supersilent. Shorn of two guitars and reduced to a duo, O’Malley and Noble actually generate more noise rather than less.
Playing in a duo is clearly a more vulnerable and exposed experience than a four-way jam – and Noble and O’Malley respond by trying harder to fill the space around them. Where Æthenor was all about ominously looming clouds, these improvisations (recorded during a two-night residency at London’s Cafe Oto) focus less on atmosphere and more on activity. That’s largely down to Noble – always an extremely busy drummer in any context. Here, with O’Malley’s electric guitar taking a largely textural role, Noble’s hyperactive fiddling with gongs, woodblocks, chimes and cymbals provides the shape and locus. At times, it’s almost as if the two instrumentalists have exchanged roles, with Noble soloing upfront while O’Malley hangs back, patiently marking time with lumbering swipes and rumbles. There’s a distinctly distant quality to O’Malley’s playing here. Low-end blasts and lofty, distracted gestures take the place of riffs, while the closest he comes to a solo is a kind of misty drizzle, as if he’s tickling the strings with his fingertips without paying much attention to chords.
Though they’re made by musicians best known for playing free jazz and avant Metal, there’s virtually nothing of either style in these tracks. It’s to be expected of Noble, who has had time during a long and rich career to develop his own dynamic style. O’Malley has had far less experience as an improvisor but seems committed to working out a language of his own which takes the grand scale of his work with Sunn O))) and cuts it free from the tyranny of the riff. If it weren’t for the long hair and T-shirts, would anyone ever have called his music Metal in the first place? Daniel Spicer
Stephen O'Malley and Steve Noble - St Francis Duo is not currently available in mp3 download format.
Stephen O'Malley and Steve Noble - St Francis Duo is not currently available in flac download format.
Stephen O'Malley and Steve Noble - St Francis Duo is not currently available in wav download format.