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På skive



Steve Hubback is Welsh free improviser-drummer-percussionist who began his career in the late seventies and is known for his ongoing work with Norwegian free improvisation pioneer and reeds player Frode Gjerstad and later also with drummer Paal Nilssen-Love, as well as his custom devised percussive instruments, including his own handcrafted cymbals, and his sonic installations and sculptures, his sonorous creations. Paolo Vinaccia, Marilyn Mazur and Audun Kleive played on his sonorous creations.

During the eighties, many of Hubback’s performances were all over Scandinavia, and Aarhus documents one of his solo performances from 1987 in the Danish city, where Hubback resided for a short while. Hubback was at that time also a member of the Danish, Aarhus-based experimental prog-rock band Atlantis Transit. This recording was found in a box of forgotten tapes that Hubback recovered from his sister’s house during the Covid-19 pandemic. Aarhus features the full recording of the solo set, but certain segments of the tape were too damaged to be recovered.

The two extended pieces highlight Hubback’s gift of orchestrating dramatic textures with strong and suggestive cinematic qualities. He knows how to build the tension and the ecstatic dynamics with great focus on detail and natural flow. These pieces – «Aarhus» and «Nordborggade 17» (most likely the location of the performance) – offer entangling narratives articulated by the rolling and often volcanic drums, the resonating cymbals and gongs, and the atmospheric and subtle electronics. Hubback sounds like a modern-day shaman leading engaging, kinetic rituals with his hypnotic and powerful vibrations and evocative, organic grooves, always with a sharp sense of irony, suspense and pathos.

Aarhus is a masterful and timeless recording, stressing the singular art of Hubback.

Eyal Hareuveni

Steve Hubback (dr, perc, elec)

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