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DUO - Live at DRG CD

DUO - Live at DRG CD

Frustration Jazz

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FJ022: A long-form droning industrial-blues, recorded live in 2011 by the Hobart-based avant-noise duo with the name DUO, aka Matt Warren and Scot Cotterell, who were active in this guise from 2009 until 2012. Both players have been consistently involved in experimental music, sound and media arts for two to three decades now and that’s no easy thing in a town as small as this, it says something about their respective dedication to the craft. The recording in question was actually made in an even smaller Tasmanian town, Devonport, improvised in front of an audience in that regional city’s main gallery space, hence the title ‘Live at DRG’ (Devonport Regional Gallery). Said gallery is housed in a former church building so you know right away that the acoustics will be good. The gig was in support of Axxonn, aka Tom Hall, who’s been based in the USofA for some time but who was also originally from Tasmania (a different Tom Hall to the one who released Particle Transport on Frustration Jazz in 2020.)*

The set begins with room ambience and slowly builds in waves of static, submerged drones and muted tremolo picking. From there it’s all ebb and flow, rise and fall as other sounds enter in and out of the space: siren-like feedback tones, low-register rumbles, sinister low-end riffs and for a time some beautiful chiming string work plays over a gentle washing drone. Things get darker again after the chiming strings disappear and the piece continues to evolve in unexpected ways as different textural, abstract and rhythmic elements appear and disappear within the sound field. For all the changes heard throughout the 30-odd minutes of this recording, the two players still know how to use restraint and there is definitely something very post-minimalist about the music they create together. Above all else though, this one is a total journey, atmospheric and transportive – I might not have been there but I have no doubt these sounds took the audience out of the space in which they were created and I don’t know but maybe that's a real important thing to experience in a small town.
- Tim P.