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«Educated Guess, Vol. 1»
577, 5833-1

British guitarist-electronics player Dave Tucker comes from the late ’70s Manchester Punk scene and had a short stint with The Fall. Since the mid-’80s, he lives in London and has become a part of its free-improv scene, and serves as guitarist and conductor with London Improvisers Orchestra. Tucker has an educated guess about the outcome of a live meeting of such disparate improvisers, brought by him to a performance at London’s Cafe Oto in March 2020, days before the Covid-19 lockdown. He guessed that the group of experienced improvisers – pianist-keyboardist Pat Thomas, guitarist Thurston Moore (of Sonic Youth fame, who lives in London) and drummer-percussionist Mark Sanders would be able to create something extraordinary through improvisation.

Tucker’s guess was right on spot. «Educated Guess, Vol. 1» is an experiment with eclectic sounds and risk-taking. This free-improvised is aptly titled «The New Normal» (divided into two parts) and integrates into its nuanced and layered texture sonic elements from art-rock, noise, extended techniques electronic manipulation and an infinite array of dissonant sounds. Somehow, throughout this 37-minute performance (the second volume is about to follow) this quartet manages to maintain a tension that triggers inventive contributions from Tucker, Thomas, Moore and Sanders.

The atmosphere of the first part of the performance is surprisingly subdued and slow-cooking, sound-oriented and reflexive, but focused on pushing the sonic boundaries and taking chances. The educated guess quartet explores abstract and alien sounds that add a mysterious aroma to the extended improvisation, often spiced with brief lyrical gestures. The second part is more intense and brings the vintage sci-fi, noisy and chaotic and tense sonic collisions of the quartet into deeper space.

Eyal Hareuveni   

Dave Tucker (g, elec), Pat Thomas (p, keys), Thurston Moore (g), Mark Sanders (dr, perc)

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