John Butcher / Phil Durrant

Secret Measures

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AllMusic Review by

Butcher improvises with master electronics manipulator Phil Durrant on this live recording at Ton Art 97 in Bern, Switzerland. Durrant actually reprocesses the saxophonist's sound (Butcher plays both tenor and soprano) and they each react to one another. The results utterly fascinate, as flutters, split tones, reverberation, and noise meld into a coherent (and sometimes incoherent) whole. Butcher never falls victim to cliché, and likewise, Durrant levels the playing field tastefully if often disconcertingly. Durrant is best known for his work on violin, although here he is heard solely in the electronics mode, in which he contributes a unique sensibility. Often difficult, but rewarding listening, there are endless layers to absorb and enjoy.

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