Erstwhile Records 005 The world turned upside down

Keith Rowe/Günter Müller/Taku Sugimoto

Keith Rowe, tabletop guitar, electronics; Günter Müller, electronics, selected drums; Taku Sugimoto, guitar.

  1. Phase two (34.44)
  2. Phase one (22.11)

Recorded in concert on 14 October 1999 at Les Instants Chavirés, Montreuil, Paris, France.

Front cover artwork (reproduced above) by Keith Rowe.

Press release from Erstwhile: Spring 2000

Keith Rowe and Günter Müller are both prominent members of the European improv circuit. Rowe, who is best known for his groundbreaking work with AMM (the seminal improvising collective he co-founded in 1965 with Eddie Prévost and Lou Gare), also currently leads the Music In Movement Electronic Orchestra, an all-star group featuring many of Europe's premier electronic musicians. Müller has released numerous records on his For 4 Ears label, including recent collaborations with Voice Crack, Otomo Yoshihide, Jim O'Rourke and Erik M. Taku Sugimoto is best known for his gorgeous solo CD, Opposite (hat Noir), for his projects with Kevin Drumm (on Meme and BOXmedia), and as a prominent figure in the Japanese improvising underground.

The World Turned Upside Down documents their first meeting as a trio (and the first meeting ever between Rowe and Sugimoto), captured in vivid detail in concert at Les Instants Chavirés in October of '99. The performance builds upon Sugimoto's guitar reflections, with Rowe and Müller slowly tracing jagged spirals around his ever-evolving line. Much like an AMM performance, this is a journey with no discernible beginning or end, striking a precarious balance between tranquility and turbulence. The front cover was painted by Rowe, and the gorgeous drawings and calligraphy which adorn the rest of the package come from a tour diary kept by Masae Tanabe.

"The trio evolves into an electroacoustic ecosystem of insect chirps, bog-creature glissandi and Sugimoto's lone guitar qua guitar, whose ghostly presence soaks the proceedings with a sober grace. No strangers to the art of palpable restraint, the participants create a masterpiece of understatement in an idiom as unforced as it is entrancing." - Robert Lim

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