blue forty-seven: Minaru


Minaru is a new group from four friends and leaders of their respective fields who have played together on an ad hoc basis for years.

Anna Homler you will certainly be familiar with - if not from her acclaimed contribution to Blue Tapes in the form of her and koto player Elizabeth Falconer’s split with Korean gayageum trio Hey String (blue thirty-seven), then from her legendary Breadwoman project, which originated in the 1980s and found a whole new audience and level of appreciation in the 2010s.

Sue Lynch, Adrian Northover and Dave Tucker are figureheads of the London free improvisation scene. Between them they are members of The London Improvisers Orchestra and founders of the Horse Improvised Music Club night, and have variously played with Thurston Moore, The Fall, Sharon Gal, Steves Noble and Beresford, Adam Bohman and many more.

Across blue forty-seven, the quartet conjure a beguiling and unique musical vocabulary, carving space out of sound through the restrained but decisive marks of Sue and Adrian’s saxophones and electronics and Dave’s guitar and double bass.

The collection opens with a stark aural sigil of inhaled and exhaled breaths from Sue that immediately grabs the attention, each inhale or exhale perfectly timed and musical, and overdubbed with Anna's mind-contorting talk of “Portals and allocations, opening and closing… Heroes and villains, vague and emotional, confused and shimmering.”

The intricate lattice of musical passages that coalesces beneath the vocals creates an evocative, invocatory aura. The words are cryptic and tantalising, filling your head with pleasingly surreal imagery. The music feels like it’s telling you stories, too.

When Anna’s voice returns to the non-verbal vocalisations she is famous for, you can feel instruments and voice working, building and breathing as one machine. It just happens to be a machine that constantly reconfigures itself into dazzling new shapes and has a function and motive indecipherable to human heads.

This is excellent music for anyone interested in the potential for transcendence in improvisation, or transcendence, generally.

Praise for Minaru

“The music they create together coheres with a sort of dream logic, by turns tentative, intense, exploratory, alarming, funny and beautiful. Standout moments include the patiently nuanced Picnic Guest One, carried by Northover's characterful and expressive electronics, and the slinky jazz of Sleeping Giant, Homler's circular chanting touching something familiar in my blood and remaining with me for days as a pleasant earworm." - The Wire