THREE FORKS - Seven Layer Ape
This collection of 2002-04 recordings by the recently deceased Dunedin trio Three Forks is the first widely available disc to feature guitarist Donald McPherson since 2001s solo effort Bramble (metonymic), praised for its originality and McPhersons obvious mastery of guitar picking, His longstanding weekend duo with Sandoz Lab Technician Tim Cornelius was expanded early in 2002 to include James Currin, and although they didnt play out for over a year they setttled down to regular jamming and recording, initially concentrating on shortish improv power-trio jams, on guitar, drums and cello respectively. This first phase is represented here by two tracks, Ums and Ahs and Peru, with McPherson way out front on electric guitar, his extraordinary improvising imagination leading the group down a line somewhere between rock and a giddy free-jazz cuckoo-fest. By the time of their first shows in 2003, the balance had spread out with Currin and Cornelius contributing on a wide variety of instuments, and McPherson mainly on acoustic. In this year they recorded Baby Ives, released as one half (with Eye) of a lathe-cut 10, which veered wildly in mood between the hideous and the gorgeous, with vocals, radio and drum machine used in addition to the acoustic arsenal - it was a pointer towards the strange, rickety beast that is represented on the 03/04 recordings here. The opener Dust Tea is a quiet beauty, simple violin and cello framing McPhersons entrancing home-made-guitar plucks. Otaru Vision and Trimming The Verge drone and saw, playing elevation against irritation with strong noise elements, while Page 99 and Drunken Traffic achieve a level of melodic layering that is extraordinary for a purely improvising group. The last in particular, a complete 15-minute jam recorded live at Dunedins Community Gallery, points out where this groups head was at when they were at their best - a near-wallowing in melodic intensities that never caramelizes, and never, ever heads in the direction you expect it to. Indeed like this track, almost every track on Seven Layer Ape is a complete, unedited, un-fucked-with performance (only Otaru Vision is an excerpt) with just their fronts and ends tidied up; and while the Community Gallery recording is a little cavernous, replete with the sounds of car alarms, engines, and passing late-night-shoppers, the rest of the disc features exceptionally clear and present sound, unusual in a band mining this area of the improv universe. James Robinson, who drew the cover art, is known NZ-wide for his massive, completely insane graphomaniac canvases, and each cover is handscreened and partially hand-painted by Currin and Cornelius. Were very happy to be able to present this bands work and in particular to present another side of Donald McPhersons world-class guitar playing. This label got its start with his Liquified lathe LP (a recording of a 2001 gig), and both Cornelius and Currin contributed to that record; and so it is that our first real CD release should be this impressive and singular album." - United Fairy Moons.
- Regular price $13.00