Will Guthrie- People Pleaser Vol.II (Kythibong)


Nantes based Australian percussionist Will Guthrie has returned with another frenetic burst of his everything but the kitchen sink People Pleaser series (?). We were big fans of Vol.1, (you can read our review here) where we intrigued and vaguely terrified by its uncontrolled nature.

Not much has changed with Vol II. There is this feeling that anything can happen at any time. It’s a really unique marriage between unpredictability and satisfaction because when you’re jolted out of the groove/ passage/ sequence that you’re enjoying it’s more often than not for something equally satisfying or at the very least confounding.

It’s a collage of sorts, a mixtape that he’s playing along to, alongside loops, field recordings, strangely recorded spoken word and weird electrics. Its experimental exotica, electro acoustic musique concrete that thinks its playing top 40 but is actually in a support slot at a noise show. What’s so incredible are the juxtapositions, gamelan into tentative piano into frantic percussion and it all makes sense. Large parts of this make no musical sense, though are quite musical at the same time. It’s repeatedly confounding. Does he even know he’s doing this? There’s also lots of jazz elements such as clarinet and saxophone, which leads me to believe that this is also a remix of some of Guthrie’s other lives such as his work with Ensemble Nist-Nah his gamelan orchestra or his various improv shows he often performs with numerous collaborators.

But most of all its fun. There’s a real exuberance coursing through these 12 tracks, where the discomfort you may have felt with the uncertainty of what was coming next on Vol.1 has been replaced by a desire to let go and embrace the ride – regardless of what it is, was or wants to be.


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Bob is the features editor of Cyclic Defrost. He is also evil. You should not trust the opinions of evil people.

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