featured releases...
1.
Musici (AMCDR 053) 74'18"
2.
Courteous (AMCDR 068) 47'49"

Scanner Game history, see also: The Planet Scanners, Endgame, etc.

Musici (Auricle AMCDR 053) CDR

The Scanner Game - Musici, artwork by Alan Freeman£7.00 + p&p

1. IN WARMER TIMES 14'13"
2. I SUPPOSE SO 18'15"
3. A STRANGE TWIST 7'15"
4. I TEND TO GET THROUGH HERE 16'23"
5. SORRY ABOUT THAT 5'45"
6. I FEEL LIKE A CHANGE 12'13"

Culled from 2 very long impromptu improvisations, recorded live at The Musician pub, Leicester, 20 January & 3 August 2004.

Minidisc recording & initial transfer by Chris Conway, with processing by Jim Tetlow (January recordings). Final edit and mix by Alan Freeman, September 2004.

Steve Freeman: live and prepared looping, turntable, guitar, voice.
Jim Tetlow: keyboard, sound canvas, guitar, voice, samples, tapes, gadgets.
Alan Freeman: guitar, synthesizers.
Chris Conway: keyboards, synthesizers, theremin, flutes, vocals, kalimba.
Andrew Fitzsimmons: congas, percussion.
Mick Oxtoby: electric violin, guitar.

Culled from the first 2 "Improv Electronica" collaborative gigs in 2004, this CD presents unique live jams by the 6 musicians of Endgame and The Planet Scanners (then unnamed, but since dubbed The Scanner Game), that add up to a total pan generic mixture of styles. Being purely free improvisation the mixture of styles is wide ranging, from the cosmic and weird, via strange Dadaist connections and conflicts, on to some space ethnic jazz and even some powerful synth rock. The 2 huge jams worked great as live pieces, but for an album, it was decided that the best choice elements could be better arranged to make a cohesive album of smaller morsels. The results sound like album that could have been intentionally composed, yet it all came together by chance!

Courteous (Auricle AMCDR 068) CDR

The Scanner Game - Courteous, artwork by Alan Freeman£5.00 + P&P

1. DAD, HAVE YOU BEEN DRINKING? I WAS COURTEOUS! 47'49"

Steve Freeman: live and prepared looping, turntable, voice.
Jim Tetlow: keyboard, sound canvas, voice, loops.
Alan Freeman: bowed and looped guitar, synthesizers.
Chris Conway: keyboards, theremin, synthesizers, flutes, vocals, kalimba.
Andy Fitzsimons: congas, percussion.
Mick Oxtoby: electric violin.
+
Dave Powell: electric hurdy-gurdy.
Simon Styring: guitar, claps, stamps, voice.

The complete big jam at The Musician pub, Leicester, 28 June 2005, with the 6 Scanner Game musicians augmented by a guitarist and hurdy-gurdy player. Such a powerful cosmic excursion, this is only mixed and balanced (not edited), for an as authentic as we can get it document of this extraordinary work.

This is quite unprecedented really, that such a great opus could spring out of nothing. The sound is big, dark, but never threatening, although on occasions the tumults and crescendos do reach quite ecstatic highs. Amazingly, virtually all the instruments make their mark and have their say, with melody riding against dissonance, and a great sense of space throughout. If you thought the free live improvisation just meant a random noise, this fine balance of music and weirdness may well make you think again!

A brief word about the track title, and a tradition that goes back to the days of The Rain Garden, with Planet Scanners titles being chosen by page and line number from the "latest cheesy sci-fi novel" Chris Conway is reading at the time. An intriguing and unique idea, resulting in some very odd titles!

Many years ago, when in Shapeshifter I (Alan Freeman) suggested the idea of getting together a live improvisation ensemble. The closest we got to it at the time was a "Shapeshifter Jam" gig. Later, the trio Endgame was formed, whose whole oeuvre is purely improvised. Meanwhile, Chris Conway had been trying out improvisational ideas with The Rain Garden and various jazz combos, eventually leading to the formation of The Planet Scanners. After both playing support at Shapeshifter gigs, we then came up with the idea "Why not do a whole improv night, with each band doing a set, followed by a big jam?" - and that's what we did!

The resulting daring adventure of Endgame together with The Planet Scanners, in totally improvised mode, is quite a beast to behold. I guess that we even amazed ourselves the first time round. It could have all been a big mess, but wasn't. Obviously, the fact that we'd all worked together in some combination before (5 of us had all played in Shapeshifter at some time) led to a certain intuitive way of reacting to each other. Chris Conway is obviously the key instigator of the melodic aspect, whereas Andy Fitzsimons tends avoid getting at all rhythmic if possible, giving ample room for Mick Oxtoby's violin and Endgame's range of extraneous noises to get up to all sorts of sonic mischief! Beyond that the experience is really indescribable. The Scanner Game is unique!

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