ink room |cs193








































Of these three performers me thinks that Steve Beresford is the best known one. Best known as an improviser with Derek Bailey,
Alterations, Portsmouth Sinfonia but also The Flying Lizards. His instruments are piano, trumpet, euphonium, double bass and toys, but on this recording just credits 'electronics' to his name.
Drummer/percussionist Stephen Flinn plays, along with Z'EV, in the Cutmen, but also with Jaap Blonk, Lol Coxhill, Phil Minton and other.
Dave Tucker was a member of The Fall in the early 80s, but after moving to London he is involved with improvised music, which he serves with his electric guitar. 'Ink Room' is a spontaneous improvisation which comes unedited. Maybe cut here and there to mark the seven pieces, but nothing more it seems. This results is some highly vibrant music, bouncing roughly in all corners of the room. Tucker's spikey guitar sounds, Beresford's electronics loud and noisy at times, soft and careful at other times, while Flinn seems to be the more traditional improviser, holding matters together with loosely played sounds, but rather conventional it seems. An excellent ride this one. Quite energetic and never a dull second around here. Frans de Waard (Vital Weekly)

Ink Room (cs193) ist die erste Gelegenheit, bei der ich STEVE BERESFORD ausschließlich Electronics spielen höre. Das mag bei einem derart vielseitigen und abenteuerlustigen Mann - ich erinnere mich immer wieder gern an die Alterations, Gestalt et Jive und seine Veröffentlichungen auf nato (etwas weniger an die Three Pullovers) - nicht wirklich überraschen, aber ich wage dennoch zu behaupten, dass man ihn lange nicht mehr so verspielt gehört hat.
An seiner Seite improvisiert DAVE TUCKER (von School of Velocity und Scatter) auf der E-Gitarre, erfreulicherweise so, als hätte er noch nie etwas von Derek Bailey gehört. Insofern wirkt der amerikanische Perkussionist STEPHEN FLINN als 'englischer' Musterschüler fast ein bisschen streberhaft. Der als 'Architect of Adversity' cs-einschlägige Knispler, Kratzer und Tickler ist der mit Abstand geräuschaffinste Bröselkacker unter den Dreien. Während Beresford seinem leicht spleenigen Spieltrieb mit offenbar simpler Krims-krams- und Spielzeugelektronik frönt, krabbelt und fitzelt
Tucker zwar pro forma mit, aber daneben lässt er doch ungeniert durchblicken, dass das nur e-i-n-e Möglichkeit des Improvisierens ist. Als Quereinsteiger mit einer Postpunksozialisation bei The Fall und als Headmaster der School of Velocity nutzt er, wenn nicht rockistische, so doch die erzgitarristischen Register seines Instrumentes. Flinn kann und will die Artsy-fartsyness des Plinkplonk (dieser Chimäre aus Hyperbebop und Action Painting) selbst dann nicht überspielen, wenn er mit Ketten rasselt und mit Schrott scheppert - es ist schlichtweg sein Element. Tucker klingt
darin so hirnerfrischend tuff (also cool, slick & bold), dass er diesem Trio durchwegs eine Spannung des innern Widerspruchs gibt, mit einer gitarristischen Klangfülle, die der Neigung zum skurrilen Klein- Klein als starke Medizin entgegen wirkt. rbd
(Bad Alchemy)

An earnest quest for the attainment of unusual sonorities from two “traditional” instruments (Flinn’s percussive arsenal and Tucker’s guitar) paired with Beresford’s electronics. Certain types of improvisation let some space for the listener’s brain to unscramble – at least partially – the signals deriving from bastard instrumental proceedings. In Ink Room this happens sporadically – the clarity of the participants’ mind is not in discussion – but there are also sections in which we found ourselves swamped by the sheer uncontrollability of the intertwined sounds, mostly tending to a harsh-yet-funny kind of boisterousness. Obviously noteworthy is the trio’s infatuation for inserting their nonconformity in obscurely spacious milieus characterized by the use of (supposedly) pedal effects such as echo and flanger; at one point, Tucker’s axe directly recalls a sputtering propeller aircraft, Beresford’s now scathing, now subdued ejections constituting an oil of sorts for the smaller wheels of the mechanism to spin a little quicker. In between, Flinn reconditions the conceptions that lie behind the verb “drumming”: barbed bowing, collapsing patterns and subtle cymbal dispatches live together in perfect harmony, as Stevie and Paul would have it. Wholehearted and genuine, worth of repeated listens – preferably with headphones to avoid missing the fine details, and there are many. Massimo Ricci (Touching Extremes)

Nice title. Electronics/percussion/guitar. I haven't kept track of Beresford at all over the years, though I recall enjoying his more straightforward efforts (Signals for Tea, the film disc on Tzadik) more than his free work and this, more or less and example of the latter, confirms my prejudices. It's less Beresford that's the problem than Tucker, whose rock-referential, harsher-than Frisell (which is to say, not very), gentler than Bailey approach wears thin quickly. Combined, the trio churns out something resembling a random, less than inspired set of music that wouldn't have been out of place in downtown NYC circa 1990. Retro-efi? Not for me. Brian Olewnick (Just Outside)

J'arrive à la fin de ma session CS, une session interminable qui a beaucoup tourné autour du timbre et des drones sous toutes leurs formes. Arrivé ici, je suis bien content de me retrouver avec ce trio qui se démarque beaucoup plus. Car Steve Beresford (électronique), Stephen Flinn (batterie et percussions) et Dave Tucker (ancien membre du mythique groupe post-punk The Fall, ici à la guitare) baignent dans une improvisation électroacoustique énergique et violente, saturée et asymétrique. Le trio anglo-américain verse autant dans la noise la plus harsh que dans une improvisation spontanée qui prend ses racines en Europe, et plus particulièrement en Angleterre.

Une musique pleine de ruptures dynamiques, de contrastes saisissants, et de fractures intensives vertigineuses. D'un instant à l'autre, on peut passer d'un volume excessivement puissant et d'un espace sonore saturé à un univers beaucoup plus espacé où l'interaction et le dialogue comptent plus que le son global. Comme une sorte de collage sans barrière esthétique ni technique, un collage de sons parfois proches du psyché, du rock progressif ou post-punk, de la noise et bien sûr des musiques improvisées. Souvent, je me suis imaginé une heureuse rencontre entre ce trio et Konk Pack, je me plaisais à imaginer le joyeux fatras qui pourrait résulter de ces deux trios franchement débridés et à l'énergie inépuisable. Ceci-dit, on a tout de même une impression de déjà-entendu, les sept pièces présentes ici n'apportent rien de bien neuf, mais apportent tout de même une énergie et une chaleur qui peuvent aujourd'hui se faire rares dans l'intellectualisme ambiant qui règne à l'intérieur des musiques improvisées

Un album pas très innovant, mais puissant, énergique, débridé, excité, spontané et surtout, chaleureux. C'est marrant et plaisant, ça divertit, mais ça n'apporte pas grand chose de plus qu'une énième version du free-rock omniprésent depuis Zorn et Eye. Hjulien (Improv Sphere)

Listeners who follow the improvisational music scene could have already heard the names of the three talented signers of this release, including the most meaningful moments of a recording session, held in 28th November 2010 in London, mixed and mastered by Wayne Peet without overdubbing. Arguably the most notorious one of this performing trio is Steve Beresdorf, one of the most active musician not only related to this particular stylistical field, even if I remembered him for having been member of the funny combo The Melody Four together with Lol Coxhill and Tony Coe, which released some bizarre stuff on Jean Rochard's Chabada, for his collaborative work with David Toop, named General Strike, and the grotesque madness of Double Indemnity, a collaration with the cellist Triston will easily find some other stuff by this many-sided musician, who's engaged in electronics on this occasion. In spite of their interesting experiences, Stephen Flinn and Dave Tucker are less known, even if the former is a very creative drummer and percussionist whose highlihgts on his CV is a collaborative experimental/industrial project called The Cutmen with the legendary Z'EV and the latter was member of the great Mark Smith's The Fall in the early 80ies, a seminal band from Manchester who brought what is known as indipendent pop into the fields of a rock who sounded genuinely clumsy, blunt and maybe unaesthetic, but it made sense so that I reccomend to check it if you missed it. In Ink Room, these grown lads scatter their tones on the score. A certain scantiness of phrasing, which is clear since the initial "At Night", as well as the gradual attainment of togetherness - quite normal for collective improvisations - don't entail a lack of expressiveness and even when the sound looks like "squeaking", this comb manages to give a kinematical appeal by evoking a sort of decadent hyperuranium, either they play little gigs (such as in "Mud Club" or "A Torn Couple") by constant decays of musical patterns (an approach which is clearer in the final collage titled "Fragments") or they seems to do their utmost into meaty progressions ("Investigations"). Repeated listenings are going to make you grab more nice preciosities than a first absent-minded one can do. Vito Camarretta (Chain DLK)

A free improvisation session recorded in November 2010, with the great Steve Beresford on electronics, percussionist Stephen Flinn, and Dave Tucker on electric guitar. Seven ebullient improvisations, very lively, just noisy enough. A deconstructed musical discourse, a tad bit chaotic, with a fine level of listening between the players. A strong proposition. François Couture (Monsieur Délire)

Ink Room is one of those albums carrying the information that it was recorded live, with no overdubs—and it needs to. Electronic manipulator Steve Beresford, electric guitarist Dave Tucker guitar and, from Los Angeles, percussionist Stephen Flinn produce a lot of music between them, to the extent that such reassurances are required. Recorded in November 2010, the album joins the ever-growing group of recordings which enhance the reputation of the London Improvisers Orchestra. Beresford and Tucker are both members of LIO, and are also regular conductors, a role in which each of them frequently demonstrates their ability to spontaneously shape the playing of the many members of LIO into coherent, vibrant music.

While the instruments played by this trio are nowhere near as diverse a selection as those in LIO, there is no well-established paradigm for combining improvised electric guitar and drums with electronics; consequently, the threesome is in uncharted territory and so negotiate their own set of rules and priorities. On guitar, Tucker mainly plays it simple, employing a vocabulary derived more from rock than improv—a combination of single notes, runs and chords, without many effects or tricks. Flinn largely follows his example, employing a battery of techniques that rarely grab the attention, but are good at what they do, namely providing support for the others, plus coloration and the occasional diversion.

Unsurprisingly, Beresford's electronics are the least predictable element of the music—the wild card, the joker in the pack—as he calls upon a diverse selection of tones across the frequency range, many familiar from old sci-fi movies or reminiscent of animal noises. The overall effect is of a complex but well-ordered soundscape which effectively walks the tightrope between familiarity and novelty and is easy to listen to with no sharp edges or nasty shocks lurking.

So, on the album's shortest track—the effective "The Torn Couple"—Tucker and Flinn lay down an unpretentious background riff, over which Beresford adds electronic interjections, creating a piece that is beguiling in its simplicity. Next up, "The New Advocate" is more garrulous but just as effective, with Tucker's guitar well to the fore.

While Ink Room is the title of a one-off album by this trio—as has happened with Foxes Fox (Emanem, 1999), The Contest of Pleasures (Potlach, 2001) and others—in time, it could well become the name of the group itself. Let's hope so, as it would be good to hear more from this threesome. John Eyles (All About Jazz)

Electronics, electric instruments and percussion can be a difficult mixture when it comes to improvised music. Juggle the components in the wrong manner and the freshness and freedom resulting from adding dial-twisting textures to performances can be lost.
That’s why Ink Room, while ultimately still far from perfect, presents a memorable program. The two Americans and one Brit collaborating on the seven-track CD use electronics’ properties to create something unique.
To deal with the London-record session first: Although expatriate American electric guitarist Dave Tucker has a Rock background, most notably with The Fall, he has been part of the British capital’s improv scene for years, most notably as part of the London Improvisers’' Orchestra (LIO). Thus on Ink Room, except for one guitar showcase, his pointillist, atonal and quivering style tries to overcome the outright “guitar-ess” of his instrument. Similarly, drummer Flinn is neither a heavy hitter nor a backbeat specialist. Instead the Los Angeles-based percussionist, who has recorded with New York guitarist Bruce Eisenbeil and Berlin-based multi-reedist Chris Heenan, dedicates himself to insinuating textures and suggesting rhythmic motion. London’s Steve Beresford, behind the electronics set-up here, is a polymath. Usually a pianist, he’s another LIO member. During his career he’s played everything from Pop music dates to improv sessions, with among others, saxophonist Evan Parker, and on everything from trumpet to toys.
Luckily his more Dadaist tendencies are kept in check here as he occupies himself with intermittent extrusions and excursions from the electronic interface with signal-processed buzzes and quivers, prominently flanking whistles, cracks and crackles. In other instances he advances organ-like slurs, what could be flanged tapes running backwards, toy train-like intonation, outlined shudders and curved jittering. At the same time Flinn is concerned with muffled slaps, cymbal slithers and popping knocks.
Only on pieces such as “One Girl Alone” and “Fragments” does Tucker subvert the group sound to step forward. Even so, while the first may be a guitar showcase, backed by waves of buzzing electrodes, clapping cymbals and a modified shuffle beat from the percussionist, no one would mistake Tucker’s strategy for that of an arena Rock guitar hero. For a start guitar licks are doubled and echoed – or is it mocked – by Beresford’s processing; while at points Tucker’s chording and long-lined pluses, sound more like a bassoon output than anything created on strings.
On the latter tune his runs are as pensive as they are agitated, with the guitarist’s staccato rubs and upwards slides again matched by Beresford’s electronics snapping and straining. Throughout Tucker emphasizes slurred fingering. Plus, notably as well, Flinn’s rim shots, rolls, pops and drags showcase and confirm his facility with pacing. Overall Ink Room could be characterized as a suite of low-key, broken-octave cooperation. Ken Waxman (JazzWord)