Tristan Bath (Spools Out/ The Quietus/The Wire) looks into all things folk, experimental & avant-garde in Ireland over at Bandcamp Daily. Fixity & Woven Skull folks feature along with words from Paul Condon (Fort Evil Fruit), Roslyn Steer (KantCope) & lots more.
Check it out here:
A project of Cork drummer Dan Walsh, Fixity has released a tape on KantCope and an LP via Penske Recordings. Walsh also runs a weekly improvised music night in Cork, and his latest album comes augmented by a trio of Swedish improvisers (sax, guitar, bass) noodling their way around Walsh’s loose compositions. Far darker and colder than any free jazz, yet looser and freer than any space or krautrock album, The Things In The Room is a deep experience. The atmosphere is similar to the black caverns in Japanese legend Keiji Haino’s earliest Fushitsusha albums—or even the funereal ambient jazz of German outfit Bohren & der Club of Gore. The loose-limbed core of Walsh’s drumming keeps things in unpredictable motion, hinting at motorik one moment, and the pensive impressionistic cymbals of a young Tony Williams the next. “There is a lot happening in Cork right now,” says Walsh. “Music people are unafraid and resourceful.”
Woven Skull are a trio comprised of guitarist Aonghus McEvoy, percussionist Willie Stewart, and Natalia Beylis playing mandola (an ancestor of the mandolin often found in Italian and Irish folk music). Unanchored by a bassist, the group’s improvisations often lean on rhythmic interplay and minimal repetitions instead of noodling and freakouts. The belly of the beast can cycle upon rhythms akin to the Celtic war dance of a bodhrán, but rather than lingering on any Irish modes, the trio have improvised their way into all sorts of psychedelic territory over a series of tours, tapes, and a vinyl release. With the controlled chaos of albums like Lair of the Glowing Bantling, Woven Skull blur the lines between raga rock, Celtic folk, and free improvisation.