The debut album by The Winter: instrumental improvisations from Wellington, New Zealand, 2003. The band emerged fully formed on winter solstice day in June.
Builds from acoustic intimacy around the winter fireplace to the electric blizzard climax of ‘Parataxes 9‘.
“Derek Bailey on acid!” – Anthony Donaldson, Primitive Art Group
Photos by James Gilberd, from The Winter’s first gig at Photospace Gallery, Wellington NZ, August 2003.
Mike Kingston – cello, electronic composition (1,4,7), electric guitar (2), acoustic guitar and slide whistle (8)
Dave Edwards – acoustic and electric guitars, harmonica
Simon Sweetman – drums and percussion
“The Winter are a Wellington based improvising trio, and Parataxes is their 1st release. It documents both acoustic and electric live sets that drift from eastern sounding cello led pieces to fairly extreme feed-backy noise. A key member of the group is Wellington’s master of pseudo-autistic intensity, Dave Edwards, whose guitar and harmonica work definitely moves the whole into a fairly edgy sphere. Over such a duration this can make pretty harrowing listening, but sometimes such immersions are worth it.” – Antony Milton, Pseudoarcana
“A strange sonic brew that includes dissonant rock textures, rough outsider folk-blues mysteries, electric and acoustic improvisations and a considerable part of tasty feedback. Imagine equal parts Derek Bailey, New Zealand’s Pumice and classic ’60s blues/folk and you’re in the right ballpark.” – The Broken Face
“I can be pretty naive sometimes, and I often forget that it actually
gets cold in New Zealand. For many of us Americans, we think of New
Zealand as being somewhat tropical. It’s an island after all, and we
are brought up believing that islands are exotic places that exist in
the middle of the warm oceans. This is obviously a mistake. Although I
still forget that the seasons are opposite in the Southern hemisphere,
the existence of dreary weather in New Zealand is cemented in my mind.
A great deal of experimental music from New Zealand has a distinctly
desolate, overcast feeling to it.
“Appropriately named, The Winter hail from Wellington, New Zealand.
Most of you probably associate Wellington with the brilliant Pseudo
Arcana label, and keeping that sound in mind, The Winter offer up over
an hour of freeform aural explorations. These loose improvisations
range from processed field recordings to gritty blues dirges to
no-wave skronk. This trio consists of Simon Sweetman on drums and
percussion, San Shimla on cello, and Dave Edwards, whose great solo
albums have been circulating for years, on guitar and harmonica. All
three artists have a firm grasp of their respective instruments and
employ their talents well throughout “Parataxes.”
“One thing I enjoy most about this record is Edward’s playing. On the
second track, the highlight is when he gets into a real groove with
his guitar and harmonica. The two complement each other perfectly, and
it has this 1960s folk feel to it that somehow doesn’t seem out of
place. As Sweetman joins in using various metallic percussive
instruments, the two start playing off each other. Their interaction
is impressive, and adds a vague sense of structure to this otherwise
scattered piece. I love when long improv sessions flow like a wave. At
times, they’re completely disjointed, but during rare moments
everything seems to come together. These last few minutes of the
second piece on “Parataxes” is one of those. It’s excellent.
“Most of “Parataxes” is similar to the second track. Throughout long,
meandering jams, the trio searches through musty fog, searching out
common ground. As if in queue, they find each other, transfixed in the
middle somewhere. During the times when it all comes together, this is
as choice as any freeform improvisations I’ve heard in months.
However, these tracks wouldn’t this good if it weren’t for the journey
toward a collective state of mind. It might be all about the end
result, but the means of getting there is just as important…. The
Winter leave their mark. They soundtrack the devolution of autumn into
the coldest, cruelest of months. Using sparse sounds and sometimes
harsh instrumentation, “Parataxes” is all about finding the moment and
maintaining it for as long as possible. Recommended.”
– Brad E. Rose, Foxy Digitalis
9 thoughts on “The Winter: Parataxes”