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The Knowledge Of Its Own Making

by Phil Minton / Simon H. Fell

  • 2014 Huddersfield Contemporary Records CD release; in 4-panel digipak.
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Beautifully-recorded acoustic duo improvisations, from Huddersfield in 2014.


released November 6, 2014

Phil Minton: voice
Simon H. Fell: double bass

2014 (47 mins.) in 4-panel digipak
© Huddersfield Contemporary Records 2014

full track listing:
1. Knotted Properties [41m02s]
2. Strange Constrictions [5m47s]

---------- press quotes ----------

"The relationship between voice and double bass is complex and subject to change; in 'Knotted Properties' they’re initially impossible to separate, insofar as they seem to embody dual aspects of a single entity, Minton’s whistles and breaths melding into Fell’s glistening, harmonic-strewn tremolandi (oftentimes they don’t even sound acoustic, the strangeness of their combined timbres resembling an electroacoustic soundworld). But this intimately connected interplay is soon questioned when the voice becomes increasingly constricted, as though Minton were struggling to communicate through vocal cords pulled taut. Thenceforth, the duo’s entire relationship is deeply fascinating and full of the most engrossing drama. Summarising it here in no way does justice to the work’s cutting-edge display of improvisational imagination and virtuosity; it is literally breathtaking, and by the end one feels almost as exhausted as Fell and Minton must have been... a masterpiece."
Simon Cummings 5:4

"Stark, inescapably open music, which captures Fell's talkatively expressive bass and the incomparably familiar vocals of Minton. The perfectly titled 'Knotted Properties' is an inspirational affair. Positioned between the two speakers, you get to hear Minton's abstractly loquacious chatter in one ear, and Fell's vivid attacks, strikes and grinding twists in the other. As a listener the sensation is almost as if you're intruding on an intimate yet often heated, conversation, such is the intimacy and honesty this meeting evokes. The music is sometimes quite spare, but it often rises rapidly into tightly knotted passages. There is something elementally simple about Fell and Minton's approach, and yet nobody else could have made this music. Fell and Minton are the perfect musical companions. They're two long term collaborators and masters of their trade, but the sheer pleasure of their explorations is evident in the music, and the opportunity to follow its beautifully snarled up entanglements shouldn't be missed."
Andy Hamilton THE WIRE

“The Knowledge Of Its Making comprises plenty of substance, of the type that needs a total focus and an almost physical engagement. The quiet and naturally echoing environment contributes to the interior improvement of the detected signals. Minton and Fell reassert both their individual talents and the compatibility of the respective timbres and performing kinetics. The conversation is informed by a graphic expressiveness interspersed with tense spikes and precious instants verging on complete silence. The distinction of the voices reveals a remarkable gamut of alterations and climates. Minton’s penchant for pressurized discharges of his breath amidst the innumerable vocal masks he wears complements Fell’s thorough command of the double bass, the latter a passe-partout of sorts across the no man’s land separating improvisational sinlessness from acoustic dehydration. Let me stress once again the nefariousness of a “creative” abundance which permits thousands of nobodies to float around at the expense of this level of prowess, suffocating authentic gems like this via a wicked ability in the self-promotion department ... go get a copy of this splendid release.”


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Bruce's Fingers Saint Dizier Leyrenne, France

Bruce's Fingers is a record label founded in 1983 by bassist, composer & improviser Simon H. Fell.
The label's publications (which also include books and scores) are centred around free / contemporary jazz, improvised music & contemporary / experimental composition.
Initially focussed on Fell's own work, the BF project has since expanded to include many other things besides...
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