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John Butcher: Saxophones (with motors on 1 and 4)
Gino Robair: Energized Surfaces

"Since John Coltrane's Interstellar Space (Impulse!, 1967) there has been a small but ever-growing canon of albums pairing saxophonists and drummers. This album deserves its place in that canon but Butcher and Robair continue to radically redefine the relationship between sax and drums for the twenty-first century --- and long may they do so when it sounds this good." -- John Eyles, All About Jazz.
(Read the full review here.)

"This is a great CD of improvised music from a superbly talented duo that know each other well, but clearly refuse to settle into one way of playing and instead push and pull at each other, bouncing in and out of comfort zones and making music that feels thoroughly alive and energetic." -- Richard Pinnell, The Watchful Ear.
(Read the full review here.)

Apophenia is the culmination of 12 years of duo playing with John, and we both feel that this session represents the levels interaction we've been striving for. Recorded during a live radio broadcast on KFJC, October 15, 2009, I simplified my setup to a few acoustic items: the "surfaces" were a snare drum, a floor tom, and a variety of metal objects (tubes, cymbals, gongs, etc.); the "energizers" were bows, brushes, Ebows, and battery operated devices (stirrer and pencil). John used the motorized pencil (a Squiggle Wiggle Pen, to be exact) on his saxophone, while opening and closing various keys to tune the motor's resonance. It's a technique he first used on his duo recording with Rhodri Davies, Carliol.

What I enjoy most about Apophenia is the timbral interplay that develops over the course of the four tracks: There are times when it's difficult to tell which of us is playing, particularly when the motorized implements are contributing their rhythmic complexities.

The title of the disc references a condition where we perceive "patterns or connections where none exist," which seems like an apt metaphor for how listeners react to music.

This edition is limited to 300 copies, packaged in a digipak rather than a jewelcase. The artwork was designed by Dennis Palmer of the Shaking Ray Levis. (He did the designs for I, Norton (an opera in real time.)
Copyright © 2011 Rastascan Records. All rights reserved. Updated April 30, 2011