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ask the axes

by david watson and tony buck

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beating 22:49
exhale 19:28


besom presse announces "ask the axes," the first collaborative release by the duo of experimental bagpiper david watson and famed percussionist of the necks, tony buck. watson and buck’s premiere recording documents two twenty-plus minute tracks featuring the hallucinatory sound palette of the highland bagpipes, drums and percussion.

ask the axes leads with watson blowing out a grounding and sonorous fundamental tone. moments later it’s redoubled with the serrated buzz of a higher register saw wave, suggesting a startling revelation of the untapped potential of the highland pipes. as watson steadily accumulates layers, the sound takes on a prismatic effect. from the droning choir of reeds, phantasmic overtones suddenly surface and are submerged in a fizzing backdrop like aural phosphenes. when buck enters he manages to do so without interrupting watson’s uncanny suspension of time. his toms and snare splinter with a giddy phasing effect as he shakes a number of bells into a thrumming substratum.

on side b, the duo evolve into an ecstatic kinesis, expanding and accelerating sensations of space and time. buck’s measured crescendo conjures the trance-inducing meditations of the sufi dervishes while watson’s pipes peal out glossolalic spasms that sound like a long lost maclise ritual. as the record closes in heaves and gasps, a warm afterglow settles in ahead of a startling conclusion.


released July 30, 2019


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besom presse Los Angeles, California

besom presse is a los angeles–based publisher concerned with *perceptually activated* and rigorous works on paper and sound media.

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