It comes in waves: troughs of slight respite walled in by rearing crests from which white fragments spray at dangerous velocities. Sometimes Scott McConnachie (alto and sopranino saxophones), Carl Dewhust (guitar) and Simon Barker (drums) invoke all the furies of hell, and the density and intensity of the collective improvising is like a physical weight in the room. But players of such calibre know the ears can easily be fatigued, and for every wave comes a trough of beauty, calm or even serenity.
When the two long improvisations (filling this superbly-recorded vinyl release) are at their most sparse, labyrinthine connections are still being made between the three players. Moments of anguish from the saxophone may be underpinned by a chatter of disquiet from the guitar and drums, for instance, rather an echo of the same emotion, and all three use contrast to lance bubbles of potential predictability. After playing alto on the opening Distal Watch, McConnachie turns to sopranino on Lupo, achieving an array of timbres well beyond the instrument’s usual piping shrillness, which Dewhurst and Barker meet with their endless textural ingenuity, and meanwhile the three-way narrative instinct is spellbinding.