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Tar & Feathers (feat. Mikolaj Trzaska, Rafal Mazur & Balazs Pandi)

A 6 track free improvisation album (54m 41s) — released July 28th 2014 on Gusstaff Records

This recording documents the galvanizing first-time meeting of saxophone and clarinet player Mikołaj Trzaska, acoustic bass player Rafał Mazur and drummer Balazs Pandi, which happened in Budapest on October 31st, 2012. The venue, Club A38, is a ferry on the Danube river in the very center of the city, making one wonder if it was genius loci, the steady and strong current of the mighty European river, or the strong potential between the musicians that made the evening magical. Perhaps it was both. This music is a unique fusion of free jazz and strong, though sophisticated rhythms that one associates more with metal or hardcore. Fortunately, the concert was recorded, while the night marked the beginning of further cooperation between the musicians.

Mikołaj Trzaska

Born in Gdańsk, saxophonist, bass clarinetist and composer, grew out of yass – a socio-artistic movement that in the 80-ties/ 90-ties opposed the rigidity of Polish jazz environment.
Together with Tymon Tymański and a group of other musicians free from any doctrine they changed the image of Polish jazz music. Trzaska was the co-founder of the most important yass group – legendary Miłość and of as creative Łoskot. Although the impetus of yass faded away many years ago he became the leader of national improvisation scene.
After the yass period he recorded a few concentrated and quiet albums with the section of Oleś brothers. He also accompanied poets – Świetlicki and Andrukhovych, he created muical – literary projects with Andrzej Stasiuk.

Today he is a leader of the international jazz trio Volume and a member of such groups as Ken Vandermark's Resonance, Joe McPhee's Magic or Shofar – who perform Jewish music. He gains really comes into his own, however, in music rooted in radical free jazz and has cooperated with bastions of the international free improvisation scene, such as Peter Brötzmann, Joe McPhee, Ken Vandermark, Peter Friis-Nielsen and Michael Zerang.

Rafał Mazur

Rafal Mazur's involvement with music began in his youth with violoncello studies in Krakow.

He switched to bass guitar in the late 1980's. Since 2000 he has played an acoustic bass guitar built to his own specifications by luthier Jerzy Wysocki. He has developed an advanced and individual approach to his instrument, and to improvisation in general, in which sonority, extended technique and gesture combine effortlessly in performance.

He has taken an important role in Kraków to support young artists and improvised music. A founder of the ImproArt studio of improvisation, he has performed jazz and improvised music in clubs and festivals across Poland and Europe, and in China, South Korea and Israel. In recent years he has collaborated with Lisa Ullen, Frederic Blondy, Charlotta Hug, Raymond Strid, Keir Neuringer, Zsolt Sores and others. His current focus is the band "Ensemble 56" and "Mazur/Neuringer Duo".

He is an organizer of the Laboratory of Intuition, a series of spontaneous art presentations in Kraków. Mazur's main field of interest and activity is collective and solo free/spontaneous improvisation. In his practice as an improvising musician and on his way to mastery/artistry he studys Chinese philosophy (Jagiellonian University).

He regards Taoism as a strong base for the enrichment of the improviser's attitude, and to this end he practices the Taoist's martial art TaiJi Quan Chen. For Mazur, following the masters of Chinese philosophy and martial arts is crucial in the development of a state of mind prepared for the unexpected situations an improviser encounters in the act of collective free improvisation.

During the Polish Sound Art in China tour in 2006, Mazur presented lectures in NiHiLo Gallery in Foshan and Zendai Art Museum in Shanghai, taking the opportunity to meet Chinese improvisers and discuss and compare his approaches to improvisation, Taoism and TaiJi. Mazur's most recent work is the first album of solo acoustic bass guitar free improvisation: 'Sonor Forms'. Released by independent label DTS Records in Krakow on its Transidiomatic series, the disc is the result of investigation into the practice of solo free improvisation.

Balázs Pándi

Balázs Pándi (born 6 August 1983) is a Hungarian drummer. He worked and toured with various acts from all around the world including Venetian Snares, Otto Von Schirach (under the alias 666 Cent), Last Step, To Live and Shave in L.A., The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble and Zu. He also played drums for Blood Of Heroes project. Since 2009 he is the live drummer of Merzbow, they also made three live records together. They were headlining the experimental stage at Scion AV Rock Festival in Tampa, FL in 2012.

Balázs started electronica-metal-breakcore project with Bong-Ra called Wormskull in 2010 (their first album "Sound of Hell" was released in 2011). Most recently he joined the Italian experimental instrumental band Zu. His current projects include Italian doom band Obake, Metallic Taste of Blood (featuring Colin Edwin of Porcupine Tree, Eraldo Bernocchi of Obake and Jamie Saft. From 2012 he started to play solo shows on selected festivals under his own name.

Rare Noise Records released "Cuts" a trio record with Merzbow and Mats Gustafsson in February 2013.

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