Will Guthrie & Ensemble Nist-Nah (FR)

Ensemble dreamt and put into action by drummer and percussionist Will Guthrie as a sequence to his solo expeditions around the Indonesian gamelan in its various cartographies recorded in the highly recommended Nist Nah from 2020. Comprised of nine musicians based in France, where Guthrie’s been living for a few years, this ensemble seeks to dilate the rhythmic, timbre and hypnotic potential of the demanding gamelan into unexpected directions, mixing it with drums, metallic percussion, homemade and found instruments, avoiding any risk of appropriation or fake exoticism through an insightful lens that pays due respect to the instrument and all the history within it, crossing it with traditions inherited from free jazz, drone or electroacoustics. Objects of study and practice by Guthrie for years and years, leaving an impressive trail on labels like eMego, Black Truffle, iDEAL or Ipecac and collaborations with musicians like Oren Ambarchi, Mark Fell or David Maranha. An impressive CV that goes from rock’s outer fringes, to libertarian jazz or electronic composition, far from being complete and accepting the idea that probably never will. Deeply thorough and honest in his approach, this ensemble and their debut release ELDERS appear as an ambitious homage to the gamelan and its different traditions, be it the ecstatic Javanese music or the more recent disruptions of Dewa Alit, creating one other present reality for it. Equally vital.

Their performance took place at the 2022 edition of OUT.FEST (October 5 – 9) as well as at a concert, organized by Kontraklang on September 10, 2022.