Peter Bacon reports:
Remember Match&Fuse? Those pan-European tours and festivals of bands with a bit of an edge combining to do fresh and new things? They’re back.
While live events – hot, vital, sometimes sweaty – happening in small clubs was what Match&Fuse was all about, the current crisis means their improv roadshow needs to head down a different path. The upshot is two compilations of live music recorded at the Match&Fuse festival and tours, with a percentage of each Bandcamp download purchase (link below) going to live music champions and M&F’s London venue of choice, the Vortex club.
Match&Fuse’s last major event in the UK was their festival in London in 2016, though they subsequently held events in Dublin and Zürich as well as Japan.
Their press release states: “The eclectic selections, featuring acclaimed artists from across Europe, will be released digitally on Bandcamp Friday on 7 August and 4 September 2020. While the majority of the profits will be distributed to the artists, a share of 15% will be donated to the Vortex Jazz Club to support creative scenes during the COVID-19 pandemic.Match&Fuse promotes the widest sense of jazz, electronic, experimental and singer-songwriter music, mostly with a progressive zest. Featured across the two albums are musicians from France, Italy, Belgium, Finland, Sweden, the UK, Ireland, Norway and Germany. Part of our ethos is to ‘match’ then ‘fuse’ artists from different countries in order to encourage networking and extend opportunities for gigs abroad, so they can fully flourish. Volume 2 especially will highlight and celebrate collaborations of UK artists with their international counterparts.Alongside tracks by bands such as Snorkel and Brass Mask, there will be fuses of Alice Zawadzki with Alex Roth and Kalevi Louhivuori, Leafcutter John with Isabel Sörling (see picture), Rachel Musson with The Jist and Troyka with Pulcinella amongst others. Also featured are tracks from Match&Fuse founders Dave Morecroft (WorldService Project) – see picture below) and Matthew Jacobson (ReDiviDeR) and our close counterpart from Toulouse, Alfie Ryner. Genre-wise… if you can find a word for it, let us know. Expect piano trio sounds next to raw free improv, hard-hitting punk, pristine floating melodies, experimental electronics and ambient soundscapes.
These compilations are prompted by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on musicians, sound engineers, promoters and the many creative souls involved in live music. Venues like the Vortex Jazz Club needing help was another spur it meant so much to us at Match&Fuse – we had most of our UK events there (and our after-parties).Carlos Boix, one of Match&Fuse’s treasured sound engineers, suggested releasing live recordings taken from our previous UK festivals as a way of drawing attention to the impact. “I thought there were some really good recordings that I felt we could distill and use,” says Carlos. “Lockdown meant I had the time to go through them.” Match&Fuse producer Daniela Gerstmann and founder Dave Morecroft set about contacting musicians and making it all happen.The artists featured played a vital role by carefully selecting their own tracks from recordings of their gigs. Without these musicians, the music they create and the risks they take, our events would not exist. As Bandcamp showed its support for artists by waiving their fees on the first Friday of each month since the pandemic started, we decided to release the albums on Bandcamp Fridays in August and September.”
World Service Project in 2014 – Photo Credit: David Cardea