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LISTEN: Sloth Racket
The Quietus , September 13th, 2016 15:15

Prime skronking creatures give up live track ahead of UK tour

Quietus-praised jazz quintet release are to tour their debut album Triptych across the UK over coming weeks, and we’ve got a live recording that you can listen to above.

Sloth Racket are a quintet led by saxophonist Cath Roberts, known as the co-founder of LUME, a London platform for improvised music. It features Anton Hunter (of Beats & Pieces Big Band, Article XI) on guitar, Sam Andeae (of Trio Riot, Silence Blossoms) on tenor sax, Seth Bennett (of Metamorphic, En Bas Quartet) on bass and Johnny Hunter (of Nat Birchall, Johnny Hunter Quartet) on drums. They have been playing together in different formations for several years, but the group in its current lineup was founded in 2015 for a performance at the Gateshead Jazz Festival.

Unsurprisingly, Triptych features three lengthy pieces, composed by Roberts for the purpose of improvising to them. The result is a 40 minute workout, permanently oscillating between sonic ex- and implosion, creating an exciting dynamic exploration of the players' individual voices. Sudden repetitive saxophone patterns burst out of nowhere at times, only to disappear right away, like in the brilliant ending of 'Circle'. Sometimes they build up suspense that gives the music a rock & roll-y feel. Instrumental in solidifying this perception is Anton Hunter's guitar playing with his consistent nodding to the blues and Keiji Haino-like electrified howling. The disparate elements are kept tight by the band's rhythm section at just the right moments of calm before another wave of drum rolls and poetic saxophone dialoguing sweeps over the listener.

Buy the album here.

Tour dates:


Wed 28 – IKLECTIK, London (with Colin Webster/Graham Dunning & Ti/om)
Thu 29 – Out Front, Blessingston Carriage, Derby


Sun 2 – Jazz North East, Bridge Hotel, Newcastle
Mon 3 – Old Hairdressers, Glasgow (with Jer Reif, Raymond MacDonal, Catriona McKay, Una MacGlone and Dougal Marwick)
Wed 5 – Islington Mill, Salford