John Butcher - Bell Trove Spools
- Stewart Smith
- 15 November 2012
Gorgeous and frequently astonishing collection of Coltrane-like sheets of sound and sound effects
Considering John Butcher’s PhD in theoretical physics, it’s tempting to think of him as a boffin painstakingly investigating the possibilities of the saxophone. Yet there is nothing drily academic about the Londoner’s avant-garde explorations: the sounds he conjures are mind-boggling, but also moving in their beauty.
Using the natural echo of an empty hall and his formidable circular breathing, Butcher layers Coltrane like-sheets of sound into an ecstatic thrum. Heady tones and atavistic noises vie for attention throughout ‘Perfume Screech’: lunar ballads and braying Daleks, gobstopper smacks and chattering monkeys, hunting horns and rainforest ambience. Gorgeous and frequently astonishing.