Mike Hansen / Tomasz Krakowiak / John Butcher Equation

A key to the success of this recording is the well balanced "equation” of these three specific musicians. Hansen is a Toronto based turntablist who tends more to Christian Marclay than Kid Koala. He explains "I started manipulating records back in high school during my school radio program. My sound comes from two old record players and a couple of guitar pedals." Krakowiak self-deprecatingly refers to his setup as "nothing else but a drum with a microphone attached to it, going further to an old digital delay/echo/reverb effect box." Butcher, one of Britain’s most renowned improvisers of the last decade, uses his sax as a wind, pad and spit amplifier rather than a single-toned instrument. Together, it’s hard to tell where one begins and the other leaves off. Equation is edited into two suites. The results sound like a greatest hits (greatest bits?) compilation, but each suite is coherent. The first suite, "Noise Temperature,” is the more subdued of the two. Hansen's turntable noise is almost absent of vinyl distractions and Butcher never seems to clear his throat, not that that’s a bad thing for him. Krakowiak gives the machinery and spit sounds greater shape with his contributions. His clatter of non-linear percussion meshes well with Butcher's pad sounds. The second suite, "Standing Wave,” features a more urgent tone and upfront group work. The snatches of recognizable LPs that do surface resemble micro-sampling in techno, and Butcher gets a chance to play off some tonal elements. By the end, one doesn’t feel overwhelmed — this is not your father’s energy music. (Spool)