The duo of Matěj Kotouček and Sima Hakalist emerged from the scene around the collective a few years ago
AVA and Bastl Instruments. Their joint abstract improvisation builds on a combination of electroacoustic instruments, synthesizers and field recordings, and oscillates between drone minimalism and gusts of kosmische musik. Last year, Thistle released their first studio record with Stoned To Death.
Simo Hakalisto is a Finnish musician, performer and documentary filmmaker, who also works in the Gnäw project or the soloist Shakali. Matěj Kotouček works solo as Loops of Decay or in the electronic project Sky To Speak. He is also involved in the Noise Kitchen community project focused on modular and DIY synthesizers.
Christian Winther is an Oslo-based guitarist-composer-vocalist-improviser. He is a driving force in the alternative, experimental and improvised music scenes with his personal and intuitive attitude towards the guitar and creative songwriting. He also runs the All Ears Festival for Improvised Music at MUNCH in Oslo, among several bands and projects. The most recent album, Urfuglen, got Norwegian Album of The Year in Klassekampen (Chris Monsen).
Before going solo, Winther has left his mark for a decade already, such as with the experimental trios Monkey Plot and Ich Bin N!ntendo, with the jazz collective Torg and with the alternative pop duo Listen to Girl. He has performed with musicians such as Mats Gustafsson, Frode Gjerstad, Anja Lauvdal, Susanna Wallumrød and Espen Reinertsen.
In autumn 2021, Christian Winther's debut solo album "The Clearing" was released on the Norwegian label Fysisk Format, and since then his output on stage has been both solo performances (songs and/or improvised) and backed with his experimental rock band.
TOMÁŠ NIESNER (Bečvou)
Since its release, Bečvou's album has only been spoken of in superlatives at home and abroad. In the annual ranking of Fullmoon magazine in the category of house records of 2022, the recording was ranked 5th. Tomáš Niesner also figures in the nominations for the album of the year 2022, published by the Vinyla Music Awards and the Apollo Czech Music Critics Awards. Boards with an environmental overlap have also been noticed abroad. Specifically, the famous server The Quietus or the cult magazine The Wire, in whose ranking of the top 100 albums for the year 2022, Bečvová appeared.
The Bečva is a Moravian river located in the eastern part of the Czech Republic. In September 2020, several chemical spills into the river caused the poisoning and subsequent death of forty tons of wildlife living in the watercourse. An unprecedented disaster. Bečva was an ever-present part of Tomáš Niesner's youth, who grew up in Přerov, and this ecological disaster deeply affected him. In an effort to better understand the river and inspired by Werner Herzog's book 'Of Walking in Ice', Niesner embarked on a journey of more than 100 km. From the source of the Bečva to its confluence with the Morava River.
The Bečvou album is in a way a travelogue and a sound chronicle of this journey. It consists of field recordings from the banks of the river and, unlike many of Niesner's previous recordings, he plays not only guitar, but also zither and a modular synthesizer. It combines elements of fingerstyle guitar, musique concrete and drone as an elemental tapestry of enveloping textures, shimmering guitar motifs and soaring synthesizer sounds. At one point, Bečvová resembles the meandering improvisations of East of the Valley Blues, at others it resembles the ecstatic minimalist compositions of Caterina Barbieri and oscillates between moods such as fear and hope. Bečvou is Tomáš Niesner's most complex statement to date, which fascinates both in terms of concept and execution.