the duchess of oysterville |cs087








































Chris Forsyth plays guitar and Nate Wooley plays trumpet, but neither play the respective instruments in the "normal" way. Both are gifted improvisers who play in a variety of odd situations. Chris can be heard with All Time Present, in duos with Ernesto Diaz-Infante and with PSI. Nate Wooley is certainly one of the most diverse and in-demand players in NYC and has worked with Blue Collar (w/ Steve Swell), Evil Eye and Silo, as well as with Daniel Levin's and Reuben Radding's Quartets. Both of these musicians thrive on different and challenging situations. "The Duchess of Oysterville" is a one-track 25-minute piece that develops very slowly. It begins with a long stretch of layered breath-like sounds. Not unlike my old radiator in the winter. Are we in a windstorm in the desert? The wind textures build and expand with fragments of those extended trumpet sounds. Chris' feedback slowly enters and adds to the already tense situation, eventually dropping down to a minimum of sound. Hushed guitar sounds and scrapes float in the space left open as trumpet flutters are carefully tapped out. The mysterious hum and drone of soft fractured electric guitar sonics and occasional mouthpiece sounds litter the spacious soundscape. Slowly building things up once more as the density increases and the sounds eventually fade away. (BLG)

Guitarist Forsyth and trumpeter Wooley have collaborated since 2001, yet this CD is their first official duo release. It was recorded in 2005 in about three hours, two takes of a previously sketched improvisation that, once completed, Forsyth suggested to superimpose in order to create what he defines a "double exposure" with the resulting materials, warts and all. At less than 25 minutes, it's a short, compact and highly effective demonstration of less-is-more bravura. The first section is dominated by Wooley's subterranean vapours and prolonged hisses, Forsyth adding controlled feedback and inscrutable details in surge of charged pressure after which everything calms down. The remaining two thirds are mainly coloured by the spectral resonances elicited by the combination of Gibson Les Paul (with a couple of metallic tuning forks on the loose strings) and Fender tube amp, whose compressed noise is at the basis of the whole scheme. Jangling shapes of open-stringed chords define a plumbeous environment, which Forsyth renders even more oppressive with restrained twiddling and selected pluckings that made you feel like you're in jail, a guard locking the heavy gate behind your loneliness with a massive key. Wooley's almost inaudible pops constitute the skeletal pulse of a set that is as sober as it is full of information, a trademark Creative Sources highlight. Massimo Ricci (Paris Transatlantic)

Trumpeter Nate Wooley and guitarist Chris Forsyth meet up for the brief but satisfying The Duchess of Oysterville (Creative Sources 087). The quietest of quiet, nearly a minute goes by before faint breath, squeak, and amp noise. The pieces slow thickens and gets almost impossibly dense (any multi-tracking?), bursting with high whistles, low gurgles and prepared guitar mutterings. As feedback rises, Wooley does a scary wet breath thing like ghosts tormenting or crying for release. But the piece then cuts off abruptly, ceding into an extended period where Forsyth sounds like he’s gently thudding the body in order to get a nice series of overtones. The disc rides out on small percussive noises and amp hum. Nice stuff. Jason Bivins (Dusted)

[…] Wooley, who like Dörner, also plays in more conventional settings, teams up with long-time associate guitarist Chris Forsyth for one brief (fewer than 25 minute) out-of-the-ordinary improv on The Duchess of Oysterville.
Unique textures do arise from Wooley’s variations however. The Duchess of Oysterville involves hooking up barely-there breaths and ventilated squeaks with the disassociated oscillations and crinkling, interrupted current flow of Forsyth’s guitar. Throughout the entire piece an unidentified rhythmic tapping – is it the guitarist’s foot; the trumpeter’s palm? – is heard, yet it’s merely one of the sonic undercurrents. Elsewhere, for instance, a timbre could be ring modulator manipulation only to eventually reveal itself as the friction arising from harsh guitar-string strums. Then as Forsyth brushes the same strings, chromatic tongue-slapping echoing from the trumpet’s lead pipe and bell is heard as its counterpart. Ratcheting friction of breath against metal is another of Wooley’s motifs as is valve-depression. Meanwhile, the duo’s pronounced electronic signal pulsation, interrupted by mouth pops and short tonal vibrations lead to buzzing polyphonic layering. The CD’s climax: a single string stroke and amp waver.
Those interested in hearing a fine trumpeter showcase his command of the instrument can find much to praise in Backwards, which in retrospect may be an unfortunate title choice. Those fascinated by the potential forward motion of brass instruments may prefer The Duchess of Oysterville. Ken Waxman (

If you thought this label from Portugal was exclusively oriented in the direction of electro-acoustic music, here comes an interesting surprise after the minimalist electronic cd by Punck. This recording features a single suite twenty-four minutes long, but believe me after the listening there's nothing more you'd like to add to the track. This long suite is really well calculated and progresses in a way the "freak" inside of you can't but love, above all if you're into radical psychedelia, or narcoleptic jams. It starts as an electro-acoustic improvisation, but it after some slow dynamics ups and downs it turns into a desolated ghostly feedback that reminded me so much about Thela, and if you don't remember the band I've their record on Ecstatic Peace, it was a trio that featured Dean Roberts, Paul Douglas and Dion Workman. I'm sure mighty Thurston Moore would sit back and enjoy the trip if only he had the chance to give a listen. In the second half of this long track, the aura of the electric guitar becomes central and Nate Wooley keeps doing the same thing for a while and later leaves some imperceptible changes distributed slowly on the whole length, a smart choice for helps to reach the climax of your trance-experience. As you can imagine the metamorphoses brings an electro-acoustic beginning to turn into a quasi dronical piece. The ambivalent essence of the track emerges during the different movements in which Forsyth and Wooley have distributed the crescendos and diminuendos. Be it I'm I love this kind of works or the fact the "murderous" cover concept kicks ass, but if you ask me one release I recommend to the ex "deadheads" in search for something new but with that hallucinating side effect: this would be my personal suggestion. Andrea Ferraris (Chain DLK)