DISTANT EARLY WARNING
Laurence Pike has said that his “goal is to get into a space where the music makes itself”, and no musician can have higher aspirations. That he reached this zone during a single day in a recording studio to make this album can be heard note by note, as cohesive conceptual ideas collide with equally cohesive improvised ones, generating enthralling interaction between sounds known and unknown, all emanating in real time from a guy sitting at a drum-kit.
Okay, he uses electronic treatments and sometimes his sampler pads create harmonic and melodic contexts for the percussive work, but it was all the fruit of his imagination in the moment, without leaning on the hindsight perspective of post-production. These six works are not “drum-solos” in any sense that most people will understand that term. They are one-act dramas; short films in which you supply your own images; stories. The wonder of Pike’s work has nothing to do with the brilliance of playing per se, but that, in real time, he heard and realised six complete musical experiences that keep the listener transfixed for 40 minutes – often in a rather spooked state!