Glasgow experimental music festival Counterflows set for 2013 outing

Attribution/author:Article by: Stewart Smith

Highlights of second edition include Peter Brötzmann, Loren Connors and Jandek

Now in its second year, Counterflows channels vital currents in experimental music and art into a world class three-day festival. This year, there’s a particular focus on mixed-media performance. Saturday sees the CCA reverberate to the intense drones, field recordings and films of Phill Niblock and Thomas Ankersmit. Earlier in the day, Lina Lapelyte presents Candy Shop, her détournement of misogynist hip hop lyrics, while Finland’s Sami Sänpäkkilä introduces films about the artists on his label Fonal. On Sunday afternoon, Trembling Bells’ Alex Neilson unleashes his new folk-damaged free-jazz trio, Death Shanties, featuring saxophonist Sybren Renema and artist Lucy Stein, whose live painting is projected over the band.

Neilson is also playing with radical Japanese blues singer Kan Mikami and Texan enigma Jandek. With his atonal guitar and a voice like sour blue smoke, Jandek has been recording his singular folk, blues and spoken word pieces since 1978, but only made his first public performance in 2004 at Glasgow’s Instal festival. Counterflows reunites him with Neilson and Richard Youngs, his band for that electrifying live debut.

Other highlights include spectral blues guitarist Loren Connors performing solo and with his partner Suzanne Langille, a family workshop with the restlessly inventive Daniel Padden and the high-energy hip hop of Glasgow duo Hector Bizerk. Pick of the bunch though, is Peter Brötzmann. With his walrus moustache and lung-busting tone, Brötzmann is often characterised as the wild man of European jazz, reducing buildings to dust with his baws-oot horn thunder.

But the 71-year-old is also a player of great subtlety and invention, breathing new life into the saxophone, clarinet and taragato. From his transcendent solo performances to his Japanese trio Yatagarasu, Brötzmann is currently making some of the greatest music of his life. His duo (pictured) with superhuman drummer Paal Nilssen-Love (The Thing, Atomic) is not to be missed.

Various venues, Glasgow, Fri 5–Sun 7 Apr

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