Artist: Windemo & Strid | Wärnheim & Ingves
Title: Split Series Vol. 1
Label: FRIM Records
Cat nr: FRIM3
Style: Free Jazz/Avant-garde Jazz/Impro
1. Bugs want some peace and quiet in the garden 13:22
2. The invisible old bench in the garden 04:46
3. Flowers claim their space in the garden 07:22
4. Life and death are eternal in the garden 06:24
5. Jag ser ovädret 21:46
The first album in FRIM Records’ new split-series is combining two thrilling and radically different duos. Percussionist Raymond Strid and guitarist Mattias Windemo represent an older generation with decades of experience. Pianist Karin Ingves and saxophonist Marcus Wärnheim reflect a new wave of Swedish improvisers. The album is the third release from FRIM Records, a label run by the concert organizer FRIM (active since 1976).
Raymond Strid: cymbals, drums and percussion
Mattias Windemo: guitar
Marcus Wärnheim: alto saxophone
Karin Ingves: piano
All music by Mattias Windemo and Raymond
Strid; Marcus Wärnheim and Karin Ingves (STIM/NCB).
Produced by FRIM.
Recorded at Fylkingen in Stockholm on May 13th, 2021.
Engineering, Mats Äleklint.
Mattias Windemo & Raymond Strid
Windemo and Strid’s co-operation began in 2005 when they lived close to each other and met by a common acquaintance. After a while a duo was crystallized, focusing on free impro and a completely acoustic instrumentation. The duo has since then been jamming regularly and at the same time having creative conversations about music. In the beginning of 2018, the duo started to record their first album and the album Mattön Sessions No.4 was later released that year. The album has been highly appreciated both by the audience and the press. While Windemo has his roots in jazz and contemporary music, Strid has his background in free improvised music. This has been enriching for the duo and has contributed to give the duo its distinctive character and sound. Both Mattias and Raymond are known as two of the most established Swedish musicians in their respective genres.
Raymond has played with musicians such as Barry Guy, Evan Parker, Paul Lytton, Mats Gustafsson. He’s also a member of Gush, The Electrics and many other renowned ensembles. Mattias has played with musicians such as Karin Krogh, Joakim Milder, Mats Öberg, Lindha Kallerdahl, Rigmor Gustavsson, and also participates in groups like, e.g., Flux (Windemo, Landin, Fält) and WE (Windemo, Axelsson, Lindal).
Marcus Wärnheim & Karin Ingves
Marcus and Karin have been active as a workshop duo since early 2019, exploring musical boundaries through concepts, ideas and free improvisation. The duo offers focused and intricate interplay, with great patience and meditative qualities.
Furthermore, in addition to their duo work, Marcus (who’s currently residing in Amsterdam) is active in the bands such as Marcus Wärnheims Verklighetsflykt and Marcus Wärnheims Fria Orkester and he is also continously performing in the solo format. Among his frequent collaborators is drummer Kristian Remnelius. Karin currently resides in Copenhagen. She frequently appears as a soloist and is active in a number of ensembles. She plays piano in fellow Swedish pianist Alex Zethson Ensemble, who released their debut album on Relative Pitch Records in October 2021. She’s also part of vocalist Hedda Åberg’s band, who released the album 368 dagar, in November 2021.
FRIM3 album liner notes, by Peter Margasak
”Two duos, two generations, two approaches. These duo dualities are manifest in the third release of the label established by FRIM in 2021, plotting a new path in the organization’s rich history as a platform for free improvisation in Sweden. While only percussionist Raymond Strid was active when FRIM got started back in 1976 (as a founding member!), the music featured here casually traces how the practice has evolved over time. The aesthetic of each pair—percussionist Strid and guitarist Mattias Windemo representing an older generation with decades of experience, and pianist Karin Ingves and saxophonist Marcus Wärnheim a current wave of improvisers—is radically different, but there is no disconnect in collecting some recent performances together here. All the music was performed on May 13 at Fylkingen as part of FRIM’s ongoing series during one of the pandemic-related lockdowns at the storied space.
The consistently brittle, frictive interplay between Strid and Windemo thrives on gestural give-and- take and tension. Each player has developed their own sophisticated vocabulary of extended techniques over the decades, and both emerged from a life-long engagement with jazz, so there’s an inherent sense of propulsion in their machinations regardless of how abstract things get. Strid’s mastery of astringent bowing and scraping, deploying an arsenal of objects atop his kit which he rubs and thwacks, is legendary, yet for all the rhythmic shifts and sudden redirections, there’s an inexorable forward motion with every sound he makes. You can’t take that swing out of a jazz guy. Windemo’s sour chords and their attendant overtones, to say nothing of percussive string snaps and jagged single note runs, seem to drape over Strid’s percussive armature like gauze, weightlessly hanging, dripping, and filling in space. Naturally, there’s no shortage of anticipatory action, as well as serendipitous sounds of unison, but these players, who’ve been working together in informal sessions since first crossing paths in 2005, revel in surprise and adjusting to off-balance sallies. There’s something classic in their sound while the energy and spark of their flinty interactions couldn’t feel more contemporary.
A generation younger, pianist Ingves and saxophonist Wärnheim have only been working together since 2019, but this performance makes plain that they possess a deep rapport and powerful empathy. They embrace a much different approach to improvisation, with a more fluid and continuous production of sound that avoids the kind of charged fits-and-starts of Strid and Windemo. The foundation in the pianist’s playing is rooted far more in classical tradition than jazz. Her playing is darkly rhapsodic, as she unspools phrases of melancholy and ambiguity, building lines of subtle power through motific invention while simultaneously remained locked in and receptive to the vulnerable long tones, lilting phrases, and atmospheric extended techniques of the saxophonist. Rather than conveying a hyperactive partnership, the pair builds a long-form meditation that quietly wends through an ever-changing landscape strewn with needling melodic fragments, blustery harmonies, and elegant interplay. Ingves and Wärnheim chart a different sort of motion without feeling the need to be explosive, as if watching a slow motion video of a flag billowing in the wind. Some of the movement might seem similar, but the reality is that the pair are carving out something new with each successive phrase.
Of course, in 2021 it’s no longer odd that these two disparate approaches make sense together. They’re cut from the same cloth, but each duo has found its own way of putting the material together. It’s where free improvisation stands today, and it’s where FRIM has been for 45 years.
–Peter Margasak, November 2021, Berlin”
FRIM (The Association for Free Improvised Music) is a musician-driven association that was founded in 1976 to create a platform for free
improvised music in Sweden and to promote the ongoing discussion about improvised music as an artform. These days FRIM arranges concerts and festivals of improvised music in Stockholm. Since 2017, FRIM is running a monthly concert series at Fylkingen and organizes concerts and festivals at various venues in town. In 2021, a pod – FRIM-Podden – was launched; as well as a record label: FRIM Records.