released February 5, 2012
Performed, Recorded and Produced by Mark Browne between 21st April 23:00 and 22nd April 23:00 2012.
Mark Browne- Soprano and Sopranino Saxophones, Burnt Piano, Percussion, Game Call, Boiling Liquids, Synthesizer, Field Recording and Guitar
Aylesbury’s multi-instrumentalist, experimental artist Mark Browne recently recorded a 7-track mini album within an inspiring 24 hours in April 2012.
He has kindly offered the recording, titled ‘Malapert and Erratic’, as a free download through Linear Obsessional Recordings.
The album see’s Mark utilise conventional instruments such as his trademark sax, along with guitar, piano and synth, however he also dabbles with field recording, and even boiling liquids!
As well as his solo work, which began in the early 80′s, Mark has been performing with cult Aylesbury experimentalists the Alpha Males over the past few years.
(Subsiren - subsiren.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/this-is-mark-browne/
Mark Browne‘s Malapert and Erratic is an expansive and ambitious project: seven tracks, one over twenty minutes in length, none shorter than six minutes, all with lengthy titles somewhere between a Dickensian subtitle and a Fluxus manifesto, such as “Adjusting the Windows in the Loneliness of My Car so That the Wind Whistles Through at an Ill Defined Pitch and Volume.” But the true mark of the album’s broad goals is the way it mixes such seeming disparate elements as improvisation, jazz, field recordings, and noise into one rich associative endeavor. The strongest track may be the longest, “From the Diaries of the Too Numerous Cursed Poets.” It is a deeply coded narrative of dark intonations and frazzled nerves. Browne’s sound may be abstract, but he isn’t uncomfortable explicating his maneuvers in text. Accompanying the album is a lengthy PDF, with track-by-track notes. This is what Browne says of his “From the Diaries”:
This piece was devised for boiling water, hot fat, synthesizer and sopranino saxophone. This is the second piece I have recorded using this instrumentation and approach and is largely the result of finding the appeal in listening to Noise Music at low volume levels. The piece uses four frying pans initially containing only water. Variation is created by allowing the pans to nearly boil dry, adding and melting fat into the water, and adjusting the gas. The synthesizer uses a touch pad that can be operated using a small stone allowing the saxophone to be played.
Get the full album at linearobsessional.bandcamp.com
. It was released by the London-based netlabel linearobsessional.weebly.com
. This is the first Linear Obsessional release to be featured on Disquiet.com
If the beauty of free improvisation is that it dismantles the ideas of composition, melody and harmony that confine other sound making approaches, the frustration for listeners is that too often these old rules are simply replaced with new practices that are followed slavishly. Exploration becomes programmatic.
Not so the work of Mark Browne. His fiercely individual approach gives his recorded work a unique feel, as if he is remaking the world with each new recording. The sonic territory he is mapping touches combines the spikiness of European free improvisation and the soul of free jazz with the jarring jump cuts of musique concrete and the textures of contemporary electronic music.
Browne has been active since the 1980s, and also plays as part of free improv outfit Crush!!! but his recent solo recordings continue to demand attention. His two albums for Linear Obsessional, Malapert and Erratic and The Prejudices of History, are full of teeming glory, eccentric musical collages that showcase Browne’s virtuosity with saxophone and guitar, as well as his omnivorous appetite that sees him devouring all manner of sound making objects.
Although the records use a similar sonic palette, the results are wholly different. Malapert and Erratic carves out an austere and ruined musical landscape, brooding and hostile, while The Prejudices of History is aggressive, ritualistic, dissonant.
Vertiginous saxophone flurries sit side by side with caustic scrabbles of percussion, gongs and metallic scrapings, animal howls and mouth harp squiggles. At one point in Malapert and Erratic, an weathered and decrepit piano in Browne’s garden is whacked with bunches of canes, their woody rustlings contrasted with some pleasingly atonal yet resonant clonks and bangs.
Elsewhere an arcane construction of boiling water, hot fat, synths and saxophone is manipulated, offering up a carpet of low-decibel purrs and spaced out drones. In The Prejudices of History, a rudimentary trumpet, formed from a human thighbone, blows ancient whistles and game calls screech horrifically.
These two albums are like walks through shifting alien landscapes, an anti-Alice in Wonderland perhaps, or the bewilderingly non-human ghost world in Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away. It’s an impression heightened by the baleful animal skulls and decorated bone relics that stare balefully out from the pages of their accompanying PDF booklets.
Paul Margree - We Need No Swords