5 November 2011

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The third day of the Wels Unlimited Festival continued and possibly increased the creative intensity. The day started with me going to sleep after 7am, dancing all evening after the Friday night concerts to the tracks played by Paal Nilssen-Love: music from Ethiopia to Brazil to Russia and beyond. The late night/early morning meant I slept through the afternoon shows Saturday- a trio with Peter Brotzmann, Jason Adasiewicz, and Sabu Toyozumi; and a trio with Mats Gustafsson, Dieb 13, and Martin Siewert; both held at the MKH Fabrik gallery. When I finally woke up I had the rest of the day “off,” no concerts but final preparations and execution of my dj set of Soul, Funk, and Rock. Getting the last details done on this meant I listened to Keiji Haino’s solo set from backstage, though it was so loud I could hear the haunting combination of shredded guitar and voice quite easily. Peter Brotzmann then played the 2nd of 3 sets that day with Hamid Drake, Maallem Mokhtar Gania, and Bill Laswell; my focus was on listening to Hamid, who I would be playing with for the 1st time in nearly a year the following day; and there was some great rhythmic interplay between him, Gania and Laswell, with Peter soaring on top. Next was an ad hoc sextet featuring Jason Adasiewicz, Jeb Bishop, Tamaya Honda, Kent Kessler, Joe McPhee, and Mars Williams; but the sound imbalance in the concert hall made it impossible for me to stay and listen- when Mars Williams is inaudible while standing next to Joe McPhee something is wrong… Because of this I decided to listen to Hairy Bones from the stairwell below the backstage area and I’m very glad I did- the sound was clear and ripping, for me this was the best performance of the day, Paal Nilssen-Love and Massimo Pupillo laying down an unbelievable wave of rhythmic energy that Toshinori Kondo and Peter assaulted with perfectly communicated accuracy. There were 2 short ad hoc formations after this (how it was possible for any musician to follow this or an for audience to listen to more music after Hairy Bones was beyond me, but it goes to show what an extraordinary event this festival was- the room stayed packed until the end of the performances), but I couldn’t listen, I needed to get behind the bar to set up for my dj set, which started at 2 am and ended after 8:30am (I tried to stop around 7 but their were still people dancing and they shouted for me to stay, the place was jumping the entire time); a highlight for me was the look on Terrie Hessels face when, after dozens and dozens of Soul and Funk tracks, I put on “Cruiser’s Creek” by the Fall…