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Thursday, August 4, 2022

Horse Improvisation Music Club - Horse Box 2 (Shrike Records, 2022)

By Ron Coulter

“The Horse Improvised Music Club was established in March 2012, when it held a series of gigs at The Horse pub in Waterloo, London SE1. The Horse Improvised Music Club, ran twice monthly concerts at The Horse Pub and other venues local to Waterloo. In December 2014, the club relocated to IKlectik Art lab local to Waterloo. Since 2012 we have programmed over 200 performers both from the UK and abroad. The Club places a strong emphasis on programming established performers alongside new musicians. A broad style of improvising, including conventional instruments, sound art, performance, electronics and poetry are promoted and so within an evening we present a wide spectrum of musical improvising styles.” Quoted from: Horse Improvised Music Club.

Horse Box 2 is a wonderfully wide-ranging collection of improvised music (no jazz or free jazz) that captures the spirit of the club’s activities and mission of presenting and documenting live improvised music, as well as representing the inclusive spirit of improvised music in general. This recording showcases the work of 41 improvisers, including well-known names such as John Edwards, John Butcher, Mark Sanders, Ute Kanngeisser, Steve Noble, and others.

Several very special gems from this 20-track compilation album include:

Track 5 by Adam Bohman

Track 7 “The Memnonian Call” by Winkhaus

Track 12 by Veryan Weston

Track 13 by Last Dream of the Morning

Track 14 by Greta Pistaceci

In particular, these five offerings are “must hear” tracks, as words would fail in adequately describing them…they are wildly diverse and idiosyncratic.

All of the 20 tracks are selected live recordings from the Horse Improvisation Music Club’s performance series, recorded between 2018 and 2021 live at IKlectik Art lab in the UK and released September 14, 2021. For live recordings, the sound recording is high quality and consistent across four years of very diverse instrumentations and music.

Compilations such as Horse Box 2, The Horse Box Vol. 1 and others, are fantastic ways to discover artists that one may not otherwise hear, and the purchase of such compilations will hopefully support organizations that create opportunities for improvisers in performance and on recording. So, check it out!