John Butcher - Bell Trove Spools (4 stars)

John Butcher - Bell Trove Spools

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.

John Butcher

  • Written by: John Butcher

The saxophonist performs his own work, Tarab Cut.

Elaine Mitchener, John Butcher, Edward Perraud, Frederic Blondy

  • Written by: John Butcher

A performance of works by John Butcher and Frederic Blondy played by the saxophonist and pianist and featuring vocals from Elaine Mitchener.

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