Shiver
Meets Matthew Bourne Volume 2
Discus 170CD
(2024)
Available formats: CD/DL

 

“This companionable home session finds both unity and freedom, physical presence and its processed erasure.” – Nick Hasted, JAZZWISE

“Luciferian virtuoso insistence, which escalates rumbling and screaming until the wings sink in exhaustion and the wheel of fortune comes to a complete standstill.” – Rigobert Dittmann, BAD ALCHEMY

“There is a very natural chemistry between these four musicians that leaves a listener wanting more.” – Peter Thelen, EXPOSÉ

 

Matthew Bourne – piano, memory moog
Andy Champion – electric bass
Joost Hendrickx – drums
Chris Sharkey – electric guitar

On July 16 and 17 2021, Shiver  met up with Pianist Matthew Bourne at his house in Airedale, Yorkshire.

Hungry to make music following various lockdowns, cancellations and disappointments, the quartet embarked on a ferocious two-day journey of exploratory music-making. The weather was good, the connection was immediate. There was much laughing, tea-drinking and storytelling. In the evening, the stove was lit and we listened to music: Stanley Clarke, Paul Simon, Sarah Vaughan, Scott Walker, Eugene McDaniels.

The music from this two day session is released as 2 volumes.
Volume 2 comprises the pieces played on the second day of recording.

Matthew shifts from Piano to MemoryMoog throughout. Each member of the band spends time in the foreground and background without ever dominating. The group is what’s important here, everyone improvising without explicitly soloing. Ideas come, are explored, then fade before new ideas emerge with confidence and patience.

This music is a good memory from a difficult time and it’s our pleasure to bring it to you now.

149CD - Shiver
149CD
Shiver
Meets Matthew Bourne Volume 1

Reviews

Matthew Bourne’s extensive hunger for collaboration was starved during lockdown, and the second of two summer days playing with Northeastern trio Shiver at the pianist’s Yorkshire Dales home, stove lit and tunes and yarns shared at night, has a happy intensity. Bourne switched between piano and the radically rebuilt, polyphonic analogue MemoryMoog, while Shiver guitarist Chris Sharkey electronically processed the quartet live, making instruments slip identities. The result is intimately experimental. ‘Chromakode’ begins in an unfixed, ambient mist, the players swooping and chasing like birds on the wing, low and heavy to the ground, Bourne’s piano bass notes acting as drums while drummer Joost Hendrickx adds percussive colour, before Bourne rips into rapid, hummingbird shimmers. ‘Flight of the Leather Bird’ sees Bourne settle into a passage of classical beauty which Sharkey’s warp-factor fractures like glass, them switch to moog on ‘Pasadena Gravy’, sculpting SF soundscapes in sustained, slow waves. ‘From Ohio’ moves from West Riding dales to Midwest plains, guitar-like, before distortion summons stampeding buffalo ghosts. The 19-minute ‘Cactus & Roulette’ is a near-symphonic climax, piano ringing clear, before a movement led by Sharkey’s horn-like electric guitar shreds amid dub echoes. Only Andy Champion’s bass holds his traditional rhythmic ground as musical natures transition around him. This companionable home session finds both unity and freedom, physical presence and its processed erasure. – Nick Hasted, JAZZWISE

It has been a year or so since the initial volume of the Matthew Bourne and Shiver collaboration and the anticipation for this follow-up can finally settle. Recorded over two post-lockdown days, these recordings are consumed by a desire to play together in a room again after such a lay-off and that air of desire is palpable. This recording, encompassing the second day of the session, is alive with the possibility and their interaction and generosity is plain to hear. This second disc is an extraordinary suite of pieces that, although clearly coming from the same session, are very different in feel to the first volume. You can imagine that by day two, they are warm and comfortable, conscious of what the other players have to offer and how far they can be pushed so the spangly, discordant start is portentous with its misbehaving echoes and doomy stumbling. The four players produce an integrated melée, a piano-led monstrosity with bass like an AT-AT or some blind, multi-limbed beast. It is an intriguing and slightly unsettling opener; but Matthew’s mischievous and secretive piano, jumping between the high and low register like some parkour runner, resets the balance. It wants to be romantic but can’t deal with the conformity; and when Shiver appears, it all becomes stranger, like a hall of mirrors. You think you recognise the sounds, but they veer away, lurking at the edge of your hearing. Chris Sharkey‘s processing is disruptive, like a bad influence on some already tearaway kids. The piano and bass try to behave, but all around sounds quake and quiver, percussion flitting in between, filling in spaces whether invited or not and we find familiar piano motifs subsumed under the playful rubble. After the hubbub of the opening two pieces, “Pasadena Gravy” is strangely removed; a deserted, dust-laden outpost where sounds are scorched and stretched. Golden chains move listlessly in the nearest thing to structure so far, a sun droning strongly with an odd sense of revolution that dissolves into a heat haze. Each piece is a dramatic change from what came before so the slow, disparate spiral assailed by rhythmic gestures of “From Ohio”, with its pugnacious bass-broken typewriters, gives no indication of the slow burn finale “Cactus & Roulette”. A contemplative piano étude and creaking hull percussion make for a long, slow build. Tension lurks in the spaces and the juxtaposition of human piano and ethereal, discordant electronics is bashed in by the searing guitar solo that emerges. It feels like they are stretching for nirvana but trying to compress time simultaneously. As the foundations shake, so it all starts to become intangible, drifting and dying. If you liked the previous issue then this is essential; but to be honest, if you like to be tested sonically, then this is just the ticket. A tour de force and a lesson in what can be accomplished in a weekend. – Mr Olivetti, FREQ https://freq.org.uk/reviews/shiver-meets-matthew-bourne-volume-2/

Electric guitar, bass and drums meet piano and synthesizer, freely sound-painting, jazzy scurrying, edgy rocking or floating echoing. They improvise on a jazzy foundation, intersect with all kinds of electronic sounds, hear nervous drumming, various guitar plings and howls, the intricately growling bass and the virtuoso strumming of Bourne. The music is very disciplined, at a high technical level and carefully coordinated, without the tonal result being too wild or weird. Of course, light fare is not on offer either, has a lot of rough edges, but often radiates a decidedly rousing, almost hypnotic drive. As with the first album, I have to think of the music of the Necks when listening to “Volume 2”, but also of free-jazzy excursions from the King Crimson environment (ProjeKct One for example), but Shiver and Bourne are a bit more edgy active. One or the other recent production of Moonjune Records moves in similar realms (e.g. the excellent “Bleed”), which also applies to the debut of the label mates of This Celestial Engine, which I recently reviewed. People who appreciate something comparable should definitely check out the two parts of “Meets Matthew Bourne”. “Volume 2” is a bit more varied than the first part, and therefore gets one point more. – Achim Breiling, BABYBLAUE SEITEN. https://www.babyblaue-seiten.de/album_21526.html#oben

With SHIVER Meets MATTHEW BOURNE Volume 2 follows the second half of what came about on July 17th, 2021 at Bourne in Airedale – the music from Friday the 16th is already available. The rapport between Andy Champion, Joost Hendrickx and Chris Sharkey on electric bass, drums and electric guitar with the host, who used MemoryMoog in addition to the piano, was enhanced by the beautiful weather, tea, good conversation and the evening enjoyment of Stanley Clarke, Sarah Vaughan, Scott Walker… so fired up that the creative imagination ran wild. For excursions into psychedelic, horse-head-nebulous realms, for electro jazz in pink, for ‘Chromakode’ or ‘Flight of the Leather Bird’, trips that reveal the often underestimated side effects of tea. The keys sound as if a unicorn were dancing with its silver hooves, but through the E and Sharkey’s live processing the music begins to fly and morph surreally, the softly bubbling bass pulse and the fluttering, hacking and clattering beats reinforce this Flow. Even if the beat drags on, the others drag it along to Pasadena, which is as good a code for the We’re Not In Kansas Anymore feeling as any. ‘From Ohio’ initially rocks on flamingo feathers, oblivious to time, to a rapidly rumbling, rasping beat, but Bourne rakes with his left hand and the sound is so rough that Ohio obviously stands for something approaching something unpleasant. ‘Cactus & Roulette’ brings the pink back, with ghostly harmonica, silver fingers, dreamy guitar. Until dark piano chords and ominous sounds, also from the guitar, turn the mood in an elegiac minor key, turning into a pleading lament of, of course, Luciferian virtuoso insistence, which escalates rumbling and screaming until the wings sink in exhaustion and the wheel of fortune comes to a complete standstill. – Rigobert Dittmann, BAD ALCHEMY

From the opening track ‘Chromakode’ the musicians open the portal to an intriguing dimension. The introduction of the then popular TV series ‘The Twilight Zone’ is the ideal description for what can be heard on this CD. “There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge.” Keys and strings are played in an unorthodox way while ‘industrial’ effects alternate with acoustic games. To get an idea of what this could mean, we refer to the thirteen-minute long ‘Flight Of The Leather Bird’, which contains the entire range of working methods. The quartet crosses boundaries, but clearly consciously and always with attention to the possible consequences. However, surprises remain guaranteed. Uncompromisingly and doggedly, they shift, accentuate, simulate and prospect to their heart’s content. In ‘Cactus & Roulette’ they even flirt with prog in which guitarist Sharkey plays a prominent role. For an hour, this quartet immerses the listener in the mists of an improvised world. The appropriate way to listen is to isolate yourself with headphones and fearlessly press the start button towards an unknown cosmos. – Georges Tonla Briquet http://www.jazzenzo.nl/?e=5207

Shiver is apparently the trio of drummer Joost Hendrickx, electric bassist Andy Champion, and guitarist Chris Sharkey, who also doubles on live processing and production. For these two sessions in July 2021, they teamed up with Matthew Bourne, who plays piano and Memory Moog, all for a couple improv sessions, the first on July 16th (which corresponds to Volume 1), and another session on July 17th (Volume 2). With a powerful attack, the quartet launched this two-day marathon session following months of lockdowns and cancellations from the covid pandemic, which all happened at Bourne’s house in Airedale, Yorkshire, UK. For both sessions these musicians were primed and ready to explore in a thoroughly free improvisational setting where each brings something to the table as the sessions unfold; there are no rules, no cadence, no solos per-se but that said, each player gets plenty of time in the spotlight as well as the background to make their case, joining with the others in various rolling configurations as their music evolves in real time. From the point of view of the listener, the session is mixed such that no instrument dominates for long and one can focus on any of a number of instrumental interactions as each piece goes through a very natural evelution, and thus it never gets old. Volume1 is a marathon 42-minute non-stop session (released in the fall of 2023), while Volume 2 consists of five shorter improvs for a total of about an hour of music. The opener “Chromakode” is particularly interesting as it unfolds with Champion’s brutal bass leading the way, but every piece offers some thing different; it’s not just a rehash of what the group did on Volume 1. So is there more on the cutting room floor? If the Bandcamp notes are to be believed, the two sessions are all there is, but this writer certainly wouldn’t be broken-hearted if more improvisations from these sessions found their way out — there is a very natural chemistry between these four musicians that leaves a listener wanting more. – Peter Thelen, EXPOSÉ

Shiver delight in the muddiness of the sounds that electric bass and guitar can make, building lines that merge, in slow-time, death metal and math-rock with dub-heavy funk to create rhythms that are often disorientating, and which are manipulated into even odder patterns through drumming that is less a matter of time-keeping than vocalisation. The recording on this album comes from day two of the reunion. Bourne, bouncing between piano and MemoryMoog, finds ways to deconstruct the trio’s music and create dialogues within the spaces that this creates. Taking such a well-established and tight trio as Shiver that has an identity and life of its own, and allowing this to be opened to insert a foreign body could have been risky. We know from volume 1 that the fusion was a joyful collaboration. On volume 2 the synergy has developed yet further. There is an absence of boundary between the instruments and between the ideas that are improvised, so seamless is the blending of the four voices. The only track title that hints at the direction of the music is ‘Chromakode’, the opening track (although I have no idea what this might mean, I’m interpreting it as something to do with a set of rules to define the combination of colours). Beyond this, the other titles presumably say a lot to the group but not to the listener (‘Flight of the leather bird’, ‘Pasadena gravy’, ‘From ohio’, ‘Cactus and roulette’). Whatever the titles might, or might not, mean, the music is alive and squirms around a labyrinth of musical ideas, all of which grow, develop and resolve in completely satisfying ways. I for one hope that there was (or will be) a third day of recording to give us volume 3 as soon as possible. – Chris Baber, JAZZ VIEWS https://jazzviews.net/shiver-shiver-meets-matthew-bourne-volume-2/

We open with the shortest track here “Chromakode” coming in at seven minutes & nineteen seconds. And this a decidedly chilling & moody start to proceedings- with evenly bounding keys, cold guitar scaping, uneasy percussive detail, and disquieting bass tones. It sounds like a slowly but surely becoming more deranged take on Howard Shore’s soundtrack for David Cronenberg’s Crash. Moving on we have “Pasadena Gravy” which finds indie fuzzed melodic guitar tones swimming with lightly electro seared bass rumbles, ambient glide ‘n’ simmer, and gently building/ rustling/ shifting percussive detail. The album plays out with the longest track the nearing nineteen-minute “Cactus & Roulette”. It starts with a mix of spaced/plaintive key tones & gently twirling ambience, which sounds like it’s of a modified guitar origin. As we move on, we shift into a shadowy abstract vibe that rises with eerier percussive knocks, cold guitar texturing, and brooding key runs. Before shifting into a mix of moody guitar solo scaping, bass tone atmospheric, and detailed percussive tension. This part of the track brings to mind Frank Zappa’s late 80’s instrumental guitar-based stuff, before the track later shifts into more brooding waters with tolling keys, bass, percussive creak, and blues-tinged guitar scaping. I thoroughly enjoyed what was on offer here, and I’ll certainly be checking out the first Vol in this series…here’s hoping there’s a Vol 3. This will appeal to those who enjoy nicely fluid & atmospheric genre-blending, within an improv/jam-like setting. – Roger Batty, MUSIQUE MACHINE https://www.musiquemachine.com/reviews/reviews_template.php?id=10375

In the enchanting realm of musical collaboration, Shiver Meets Matthew Bourne Volume 2 emerges as a tantalizing sequel to their inaugural rendezvous. This second instalment in their creative escapade not only builds upon their initial fusion of jazz and electronic experimentation but also pushes the boundaries of sonic exploration with an audacious flair. Matthew Bourne, the maestro of keys, gracefully pirouettes between piano and Memory Moog, effortlessly blurring the lines between foreground and background. Each ensemble member, like a seasoned alchemist, contributes their unique essence without overshadowing the collective brew, resulting in a sonic concoction that is as rich as it is beguiling. The album’s beating heart lies within the tracks birthed on the second day (Volume 2) of recording, where ethereal melodies dance hand in hand with free-flowing improvisations, transcending the mundane confines of musical genres. From the haunting whispers of “Chromakode” to the eerie allure of “Flight of the Leather Birds,” each composition is a portal to uncharted sonic landscapes. “From Ohio” unfurls like a winding journey through the vast expanse of the imagination, with synth-laden motifs echoing into eternity while drummer Joost Hendrickx, a rhythmic sorcerer, conjures intricate beats amidst a cacophony of electronic whispers and cosmic echoes. Meanwhile, the epic saga of “Cactus & Roulette” unfolds like a cosmic ballet, with Bourne’s keys painting celestial vistas as guitarist Chris Sharkey adds layers of celestial stardust with his ethereal melodies and hard-edged, distortion-fuelled soloing. With this album, Shiver and Bourne emerge as modern-day magicians, weaving spells of sonic enchantment that ensnare the senses that can transport listeners to distant realms of the mind. The seamless fusion of dark electronica and jazz sensibilities creates a sonic penchant that is as immersive as it is intoxicating, beckoning audiences to lose themselves in its labyrinthine depths. As the presentation unfolds, it becomes apparent that what truly sets this collaboration apart is not just their technical prowess but also their insatiable thirst for exploration, forever pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the realm of music. So, let the melodies weave their enchanting spell, the laughter ripple like gentle waves, and the stories unfold like ancient scrolls as we surrender to the mesmerizing allure of this musical escapade. – Glenn Astarita, ALL ABOUT JAZZ https://www.allaboutjazz.com/shiver-meets-matthew-bourne-volume-2-shiver-meets-matthew-bourne-discus-music

Chris Sharkey’s Shiver trio emerged out of Leeds, England, around a decade ago, with this 2021 session underlining their ongoing vibrancy. Pianist Matthew Bourne is also embedded in the Leeds scene, hosting Shiver at his home to lay down tracks that have made up two albums. This second volume must surely be among the more impressive recordings made by these four players.
Perched between composition and improvisation, it sounds like the musicians have directions but are not firm on the journey’s details. There’s a stately presentation, as “Chromakode” makes a gooey cascade into the ether. “Flight Of The Leather Bird” opens with solitary acoustic piano, which remains central as Shiver weighs in. We can still discern the instrumentation throughout, but the production brings textures and spatial qualities closer. Bells and shakers wade through the swamp on “Pasadena Gravy,” Sharkey’s scythe-like strokes adding to the shimmer. Three minutes into “From Ohio,” a magical locking is found, with a growling bass run, low-end piano tolling, mushroomed guitar picking and shape-shift ed drums skittering with grace and sharpness. FOUR STARS — Martin Longley, DOWNBEAT

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