Photo: Bryony McIntyre

John Butcher & Ingar Zach


17 Oct 2004  •  The Arches, Glasgow

Originally billed as a duo of Ingar Zach and Derek Bailey, John Butcher stood in for Bailey at the last minute. 

What we wrote about them at the time:


Ingar Zach  is one of the most distinctive and impressive percussionists to break cover in recent years. He has a particular bent for sounding his kit without conventional attack, utilizing fans, shavers and wind-up toys to blur the edges of his sound, muffling the references to his kit while mixing in judicious use of an Indian sruti box, small bells or singing bowls. In the right situation though, he’s capable of unleashing direct, walloping, rhythmic pulses. 


I think John Butcher is the most exciting saxophone player in Europe today.  Bent to his will, a saxophone can sound like almost anything.  I’d swear that in his playing I’ve heard unbelievable sounds, far beyond any notion of traditional technique: the reverberation of dub like echo, gulps of breath and animal yelps, the clatter and noise of farm machinery or of skittering daisy wheel printers, that internal rush you hear when breathing in cold winter air, trilling gasps of birdcall or moaning train whistles, the far off call of steeple bells. The fact that this teeming and apparently limitless palette is balanced in a way that produces performances of both structure and unpredictability, and that they’re constantly so approachable and engaging is, to be honest, quite staggering.

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