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Thursday, July 16, 2020

Sippy Cup – On Independence, On Isolation (self-released, 2020) ****

This self-released, digital only, recording came out during the harsh days of the lockdown in Britain. Sippy Cup is the underground (but does this term even apply today?) duo of Kate Armitage and THF Drenching. Both of them utilize various sippy-silly sounds that I might not even recognize. Percussion and wind instruments, voices and various objects. Quite fascinating and unpredictable sounds. It’s improvisational music all right and one of those who prefer not to be defined by the good old mannerism that even in those parts of the musical spectrum lives.

On Indepedence, On Isolation consists of two tracks. The first comes from a live recording at Manchester in July of 2019 (oh, those good old days) and the second a live recording on Instagram from March 2020. Both of them are on the spot improvisations, with a, it seems, linear structure. They seem to know each other very well, their interaction never stopped to amaze throughout the forty five minutes of the two recordings.

I must admit that the second track, 'On Isolation', which is the newer of the two, has some dark energy flowing inside it. It might be my idea, could be the global feeling of isolation, mistrust towards authority and despair that makes it a document of this period. Both of them seem more focused and aggressive. They never resolve into loud outbursts though.

'On Indepedence' on the other hand has a more playful approach, one that could be deriving from the fact that there’s some audience there and, guess what (in case we forget it…), it’s always more thrilling to perform in front of real people. I believe that this non-verbal communication we call music, worked out really well here between musicians and people attending. This contradiction between the two tracks makes On Indepedence, On Isolation a unique recording. Both artists are too serious to take themselves seriously as they ponder each time and every second of both tracks, in what to do next. You can feel their quest, their disagreements maybe, their struggle to exercise the need to self expression.

I’ve written here before about a surprisingly big amount of people in Britain right now who work below the radar and produce fine music – be any genre you like. Armitage and Drenching make it easily on this list. They do need our support though; because, yes they are workers, call it art workers or whatever else. Before I start writing about class solidarity, do check their bandcamp page.




If you checked the bandcamp page and liked it, watch out, cause soon there will be a trio release (with Dave Jackson) from the guys...