by Showa 44

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Orneon (Kimnara)
(Rating: 4/5)
John Shand 25/09/2010

Sydney Morning Herald - Spectrum Page: 18

Fusae Ikeda's kaleidoscopic cover images carry something of the painter Max Ernst's ability to imbue inanimate objects with vaguely menacing life. Showa 44 - the Sydney duo of guitarist Carl Dewhurst and drummer-percussionist Simon Barker - do the same with sound. These two long improvisations are a further distillation of ideas first explored on their previous Ormus album. The focus is entirely on mood and texture: eerie, subterranean noises that may well put the frighteners on kiddies and even adults if the lights are out.
Not only is the music cliche-free, so is the actual process of improvising. Just as a painter begins with a blank canvas, Barker and Dewhurst begin with silence and then jointly hide the silence behind sound, working in perfect harmony with each other but totally eschewing any crude question-and-answer methodology. They also eliminate that great enemy of art: style.
Where once they flirted with various stylistic elements to explore the possible breadth of their collaboration, they now know it is boundless - and so their music has become extremely pure. This is free improvisation without the mannerisms that often bedevil that activity.
Like a Jackson Pollock canvas, there is an extraordinary depth to the weave of notes. You can immerse yourself in this or use it as rather
disquieting ambient music. Oh and did I mention it is beautiful?


released July 23, 2019

Carl Dewhurst - guitar
Simon Barker - drums

Recorded and mixed by Chris Townsend at BJB studios
Mastered by Philip Rex
Artwork by Fusae Ikeda


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Carl Dewhurst Sydney, Australia

Carl is a guitarist from Sydney, Australia. He is one of the country's most highly regarded jazz and improvising guitarists. His creative interests are diverse and he can easily be heard over the course of a week effortlessly traversing jazz, blues, R&B, free jazz and improv.
Carl is a lecturer in Jazz and Improvised Music at Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
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