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På skive



Live is the second album of the Australian quartet Asteroid Ekosystem – pianist and bandleader Alister Spence, guitarist Ed Kuepper, double bass player Lloyd Swanton (of The Necks fame) and drummer Toby Hall, recorded during a series of concerts at the Great Club in Sydney in December 2022, following a year of touring.

The first, self-titled double album of this Australian supergroup presented it as Alister Spence Trio with Ed Kuepper, the legendary co-founder and chief songwriter for the seventies proto-punk band The Saints, and post-punk meets avant-jazz The Laughing Clowns, whom Spence has known and appreciated his improvisation skills for thirty years and since 2007 has recorded and played in a few of Kuepper’s bands.

On this live performance, Knuepper’s exploratory electric guitar which acted as an agent provocateur on the debut album of the quartet is now fully integrated into Asteroid Ekosystem’s aesthetics and becomes even more essential for its sound. Knuepper still ignites the natural, empathic dynamics of Spence, Swanton and Hall who share thirty years of performing together and pushes all for more adventurous and energetic, groove-based hypnotic terrestrial territories that correspond with The Necks’ sonic journeys.

The five pieces of Live capture Asteroid Ekosystem in top form. All are genre-defying, collective improvisations that focus on simple, infectious ideas, rhythmic patterns, or themes, but all stress musical intuition, inventiveness (especially with Spense’s samples), and the great experience of the four musicians the irresistible uplifting, joyful spirit of this performance. You can feel how the sonic ecosystem of this band expands into outer orbits (as the last piece is titled) and how the sense of fun of making this music is radiated to the appreciative audience and the listeners.

Eyal Hareuveni

Alister Spence (piano, percussion, samples), Ed Kuepper (electric guitar), Lloyd Swanton (double bass), Toby Hall (drums, percussion)