Five CD box set in DVD size metal tin with PVC jacket. Very limited edition, 100 copies only ! Five factory pressed CDs. Five postcard inserts. Individually numbered. Mark Wastell has been organising larger formations of musicians, collectively known as The Seen, for over 10 years, featuring John Butcher, Wolfgang Fuchs, Rhodri Davies, David Toop, Phil Durrant, Lee Gamble and many more. Using predominantly improvised material with occasional instructions or themes distributed to individual musicians just prior to performance. No formation has ever been repeated, The Seen never stays static. Each disc contains an entire concert given by The Seen spanning the years 2005 to 2009.
CD 1 : Volume I. The Seen // Jacksons Lane, London 04.06.2005. With Mark Wastell : double bass. Rhodri Davies : harp. Matt Davis : laptop. David Toop : laptop. Lee Gamble : laptop. Benedict Drew : laptop. Phil Durrant : laptop.
CD 2 : Volume II. The Seen // Teaterhuset Avant Garden, Trondheim, Norway 12.05.2006. With Mark Wastell : tam tam. Wolfgang Fuchs : record players. Bertrand Denzler : saxophones. Angharad Davies : violin. Burkhard Beins : percussion. Graham Halliwell : feedback saxophone. Tomas Korber : electronics. Benedict Drew : electronics. Dominic Lash : double bass.
CD 3 : Volume III. The Seen // Red Rose Theatre, London 15.11.2007. With Mark Wastell : double bass. Dominic Lash : double bass. Joe Williamson : double bass. Matthew Lovett : double bass. Ashley John Long : double bass. Matt Davis : laptop. David Toop : laptop. Lee Gamble : laptop. Benedict Drew : laptop. Phil Durrant : laptop.
CD 4 : Volume IV. The Seen // Cafe Oto, London 19.02.2009. With Mark Wastell : tam tam & shrutti box. Matt Davis : trumpet. Phil Durrant : maschine. Dominic Lash : double bass. Phil Julian : analogue electronics. Paul Abbott : electronics.
CD 5 : Volume V. The Seen // Cafe Oto, London 26.06.2009. With Mark Wastell : tam tam. John Butcher : acoustic & feedback saxophone. Dominic Lash : double bass. Matt Davis : trumpet. Jane Dickson : piano, electronics . Phil Durrant : maschine. Phil Julian : electronics. Jonathan McHugh : analogue synthesiser. Paul Abbott : electronics. Benedict Drew : Roland 101, electronics. Ben Owen : shortwave radio.
"Ever since the turn of the millennia, there has been a thriving underground music scene brewing in and around London with dozens of musicians collaborating in several small venues and gallery spaces. Thanks to workshops run by AMM percussionist Eddie Prevost plus elder statesmen like Paul Dunmall, Keith Tippett and Louis Moholo, are all working with a number of younger, up & coming musicians. One of the centers of this ever-growing scene are/is the members of the trio known as IST: Graham H Fell, Mark Wastell and Rhodri Davies. Both Mr. Fell and Mr. Wastell have their own labels: Bruce’s Fingers and Confront, both of which have done a great job of documenting this compelling scene.
Mr. Wastell used to run an independent record store in north London and he still organizes concerts at places like Cafe Oto and elsewhere. Although, Mr. Wastell started off playing mostly cello in IST, he has slowly been adding other instruments to his arsenal: tam tam, shruti box and other odd sound devices. His label Confront and another UK label called Another Timbre, both have been documenting an ever-evolving series of concerts and sessions which often embrace a similar aesthetic of lower case/reductionist/minimal sonic explorations. The New York school composers like John Cage and Morton Feldman seem to cast a long shadow on both of these labels.
Since getting in this impressive 5 CD box set earlier this week, I have been listening to each disc carefully, one at a time and trying to not let anything distract me from my Deep Listening experience. The personnel and instrumentation on each disc is very different although it often sounds like someone is directing the flow. CD 1 features double bass, harp and five laptops. Once I turned the fan off in my kitchen, where I review discs, I started to hear those microscopic, insect-like sounds. The distant whir of electronic static, soft drones, low tones of a bowed bass, rubbed surfaces… The closer I listened, the more ultra-subtle sounds I heard. Wastell’s bowed bass is often at the center here, wheezing, buzzing, expanding and contracting. Considering that there are 7 musicians involved, the music never gets very dense. There is a good deal of spaciousness going on here as if the even the silences are directed. Each one of the five discs here are worthy of serious exploration and deep listening. I keep hearing more subtle layers each time I dive in. The entire box-set is superbly recorded, organized and manufactured with great care. And it does capture an entire SEEN on several levels." Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music