Counterflows Festival introduces some premier experimental and folk acts
Held across Glasgow, London and Berlin, Counterflows is a glorious stramash of experimental songwriting, clamorous avant-rock, and absurdist improv. In bringing Japan’s great Kazuki Tomokawa to Europe, the organisers have pulled off a real coup. A unique artist, Tomokawa’s music is a devastating combination of graceful folk melodies and harrowing guttural rasps. Also appearing in the UK for the first time is the remarkable Kim Doo Soo, Korean acid-folk troubadour and star of Damon & Naomi’s International Sad Hits compilation.
Austere and Old Testament-heavy, a Michael Gira solo set is, in its own way, as powerful an experience as his band Swans in all their elemental fury. An inspiration to a new generation of freak-folk artists, picker and lupine howler Michael Hurley shares a bill with the uncanny Josephine Foster, the latter performing a rare piano set. Grouper’s Liz Harris offers her spectral songcraft up to noise-techno mutants Diamond Catalog, while Bill Wells appears with his mischievously titled National Jazz Trio of Scotland (they’re neither jazz nor a trio). In a co-production with The Arches’ Behaviour Festival, artist Torsten Lauschmann and Red Note Ensemble present performance-installation Inconsistent Whisper. Independent promoters Cry Parrot and Tracer Trails are on board too, the former presenting the long awaited return of guitar brutalists Casper Brotzmann Massaker and the latter instigating a workshop/happening led by dada improviser and jazz renegade Sven-Ake Johansson and performance artist Ian Campbell F-W. Other highlights include drone-prog duo Volcano the Bear and relentless guitar army Opaque. Clear your diaries and open your minds.
Various venues, Glasgow, Fri 6–Sun 8 Apr.