Splatter play improvised music that
is not quite many things. It isn't quite jazz, it isn't quite
free jazz, it isn't quite free improvisation, it isn't quite
avant rock or plain old rock, or folk music or
contemporary music - it is all of these things, mixed together
in the moment - sometimes in the same tune.
that Splatter 'feed shards of rock and black metal
into their freeform jazz Soundscapes". It's close
Splatter's principal line-up
Anna Kaluza (alto sax, from
Noel Taylor (clarinet, from
Pedro Velasco (guitar, from
Splatter have released three CD's to date, the most recent being 'cloudseed' which features a collaboration with Polish bass guitarist, Rafal Mazur.
Cloudseed - reviewed at www.jazz.pt by Paulo Chagas
"Taylor’s sound is crystalline and delicate, always keeping a certain amount of sweetness in the clarinets, especially the soprano, even during the most daring passages. When he switches to the bass it is like the steady swing of a pendulum. The alto saxophone of Berliner, Anna Kaluza, interpolates something of the fuller quality of the language of modern European jazz. The guitar of our fellow countryman, Pedro Velasco, fills every corner of the album with a filigree ambience that superficially appears understated, but is truly assertive. Mazur proves equal to the task, providing an exceptional bass that is always more melodic than rhythmic. The drums of Greenhalgh work as a sort of ‘boomerang’, switching the rhythm almost short of and almost beyond the pulsing time. All this movement of sound combined together is brilliantly paradoxical, taking us as close as possible as it gets to daydreaming." Paulo Chagas
Cloudseed played on taran's free jazz hour :17/02/2014
Our first CD,
which featured Raúl & Pharoah, 'Music for
Misanthropes' was reviewed by Stef
"The music is sweet, gentle and
accessible, free and quite mature, in contrast to the
adolescent scribblings on the back cover. And entirely
improvised. And I must say, well improvised. The lyricism and
interplay on some pieces make it sound as if it's thoroughly
rehearsed or at least pre-conceived, but apparently not. The
bass guitar of Monsalve is one of the most distinguishable and
defining factors of the music. He gives color, punch and
rhythm, allowing for the double reed front line to interlock
phrases and melodies, and giving the excellent drummer the
opportunity to play on or around the beat at leasure. Both
Kaluza and Taylor are really good and creative, not trying to
imitate, but making their own sound. It all Sounds young,
crisp, fresh, modern, with rock-influences of course, and with
vision and coherence. They give the Claudia Quintet as
possible reference, and in terms of sound there are indeed
analogies, but not conceptually. Chris Speed and Jim Black are
somewhat better for comparison, albeit a little more free.
And misanthropes? Not at all.
They have a sensitivity and emotional content that is too
gentle. A really strong and enjoyable
Splatter @ Ray's
Our second CD, 'Scraffiti'
features Pedro & Miichael in place of Raúl & Pharoah,
both of whom had left the UK.
"Splatter seems to be a four-bodied
one-mind entity, the communication, the mutual understanding,
the almost hypnotic ability to follow each other's ideas -
it's all here, crystal clear.
This music soothes your
soul, it allows you to travel slowly between the stars. In
fact it's quite uncanny how subtle and melodic those
improvisations are, how accessible this music remains, while
mantaining this elusive, emotionally gripping quality of the
improvisation. Or maybe the term of a real-time composition
would fit better? Never mind the terms, poetry doesn't need
Reviewed at allaboutjazz.com by
Luca Pagani, he writes:
"There is music that creates an
environment by using sound more as an element of space than of
time. It results in something unique, where the end of a piece
does not bring about an end to the listening experience, but
expands beyond the confines of time. This is what happens with
"High Plains," where long and protracted notes from the
saxophone and clarinet create an acoustic wave reminiscent of
"Tnoona" on The Art Ensemble of
Chicago's Fanfare for
the Warriors (Atlantic, 1973), with its depth of sound and
deep disorientation of memory.
There is obviously much more to
this second album by Splatter, a multinational band based in
London, England. Most of the space is dedicated to
improvisation, to collective musical creation. In "Alarums
& Excursions" the instrumental colors burn like a fire
that races and fights through the voices of the saxophone,
clarinet, guitar—and in particular the drums, which drive and
define the music. Splatter's music often opens delicately,
such as in "d-lite," which advances with strange liquid
noises, timidly disguising its poetic exaltation.
Sometimes the music offers a gift
of thanks, such as in "Low Thoughts," where the band plays
freely without any motive or rationalization. Splatter's
players don't focus on themselves as musicians, but as men and
women on a collective journey. The guitar Sounds ever more
distant, captured within some far-off memory where music that
might once have been is the music of the future.
At first glance this may sound like
a band far from modernity, one that has merely dipped itself
into the creative improvisation of the 1970s, but that would
be to ignore the moments of tension, or the complete fusion of
musical genres, such as in the groove of "Fresh Squalls,"
where gusts of wind breathe against the teasing feints of the
drums, or the trills and rhythmic outbursts of "Lobster
Quadrille"—another free tune —which encapsulates a thought,
and is the fruit of a precise intention and its eventual
Scraffiti is another dream, with
Sounds both fresh and familiar."
Splatter @ Plaza Beach Club, Krakow,
Splatter @ Plaza Beach Club,
Krakow, Poland (above)
Three members ofSplatter with
Rafal Mazur @ Laboratorium Intuicji, Krakow, Poland.
Splatter have been featured twice on
Taran's Free Jazz Hour, and been given air play on Resonance
FM's 'Disorder at the Border'. They have also performed live
on Resonance FM's Late Breakfast Show. They have
performed at Cafe Oto on more than one occasion, Ray's Jazz in
2010 and 2011, Leytonstone Festival, Utrophia, Flim Flam, the
Luna Lounge, Waltham Forest Literary & Arts Festival, the
George Tavern, the Luna Fringe, Plaza Beach (Krakow) & CSW Solvay i(Krakow).