James Rushford & Will Guthrie

Recent LPs

published in The Wire No.452, London, 2021



James teams up with percussionist/drummer Will Guthrie for the collaborative Real Real World where they construct a free-rock assemblage somewhere between Edgar Varèse's Déserts (1954) and Pierre Henry's collab with Spooky Tooth for Ceremony (1969). That's my imaginary triangulation: listeners can elaborate their own when rock studiophonics meet extended technique at this point in time. Indeed, might we be saturated with the prolific gig-economics of avant musicians over-producing in these channels? Real Real World is actually a stunner, moving from Side 1's tense erotics to Side 2's exuberant rhythmatics. But I wonder how works which excel like this can carve their identity amidst a glut of similar creaky/scratchy/detuned/file-exchange projects. James and Will are top musicians, and their handling of these tropes shifts my listening from the obvious to the innovative. Best not to dwell on this; I'll crank up "Slakes" instead.


Text © Philip Brophy. Image © Black Truffle.