Loren Connors and Bill Orcutt, two of the biggest polyphemes stalking the hinterlands of contemporary guitar music, are to collaborate on a new release.
Connors’ reputation as one of the most intricate and delicate guitarists of the last half century is pretty unquestionable. The enormously prolific Connecticut native has turned out over 50 albums: 1993’s impossibly grateful Hell’s Kitchen Park remains his best known work, but his discography – incorporating solo improvisations, song-based material, skewed blues – stretches way back to the late 1970s. His list of collaborators is pretty extensive too, taking in Thurston Moore, John Fahey, Jandek and, on 2009’s Two Nice Catholic Boys, Jim O’ Rourke. Despite having struggled with Parkinson’s disease for the last 20 years, he’s continued to record and perform, making a high-profile appearance at Cafe OTO in 2011.
Orcutt, meanwhile, made his name with Miami noise ensemble Harry Pussy in the mid 1990s; his scabrous, spastic playing still sounds enormously striking. After a pause in operations, he’s since recast himself as a demented bluesman, hammering seven shades out of a four-string guitar on 2009’s A New Way To Pay Old Debt,s and continuing to impress on last year’s How The Thing Sings for Editions Mego.
The pair have been united for NATCH 8, the latest in a series of collaborative recordings curated by Black Dirt Studio. The session was recorded at the Georgia arts space in New York, and was mastered by Patrick Klem. A trailer from the sessions is available to enjoy below. Previous participants in the series include Tom Carter and Stella OM Source.
NATCH 8 will drop imminently over at NATCH. The disc also comes with some dense but entertaining liner notes from Keith Connolly, which are available for your parsing pleasure below. [via Ad Hoc]
Keith Connolly’s Introduction to the Recording:
(The) Blues is information
An etymological aside:
John Mactaggart’s “Scottish Gallovidian Encyclopedia” (1824) containing odd words he had learned while growing up in Galloway and elsewhere in Scotland, has an entry for Thread o’Blue, “any little smutty touch in song-singing, chatting, or piece of writing.”
This “smutty touch” is responsible fr countless laquers, 78’s, 45’s, LPs, + equally endless conjecture in the form of grey to yellow to purple scholarship, dissertations, articles, liner-notes, + questionable tomes. It is also responsible fr Elvis, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones.
Some maintain that (The) Blues is black, but I do not think it is as simple as that.
(The) Blues is information, such as that engenders allure, immersion, repetition, solace, joy…
(The) Blues is information, such as that engenders debate, obsession, one-upsmanship, isolation, death…
But take away the words (these included), take away the matrix numbers + the AAB verses + cultural studies and what have ye? A keening has been spoken of, something of a wail, in the presence again of death.
(The) Blues, without words (even these) is information. It is the substance of an impulse, a cipher, a penetrating exchange. When asked where the tunes he played came from, the great bluesman Robert Pete Williams said that he was playing the sound came to him over the air, a sound perhaps that though passing, has always been there.
What follows is the product of an afternoon, an afternoon on which very little was said. These men are antennae. A singular duality without the asking, transmission ditto.