Forth Valley has a long history of emerging bands and musical talent. What it has lacked is the support network of professional practice for career-building; the infrastructure of venues, studios, promoters and music press. The Death Collective, a loose aggregation of musicians and supporters, has emerged out of this need for connection. Among those present at early gatherings of the Collective was clarinettist Peter Russell; long dedicated to experimental sound, though unburdened by any formal musical education. Peter spoke with The Fountain about his collaborative album 19-21 Fray, Dissolve into Fade as well as plans for the year, and venues with vigour.
TF: You have a new collaborative album out, what can we expect from 19-21 Fray, Dissolve into Fade?
The album 19-21 Fray, Dissolve into Fade offers the simple idea of a diverse group of musicians, united by their membership or association with the loose aggregation of Death Collective being invited to contribute songs to be subjected to additional layers of clarinet. The artist, Peter Russell, is particularly appreciative of the work of all DC artists, and friends, adding either very gentle support on some tracks, and wilder blowing on others. Influences of ragtime, blues, Klezmer, indie alt-folk, funk, ambient and jazz forms are spun into the fabric. The unifying aspects are the production and engineering by Constant Follower, and the clarinet.
TF: And can you sum up the record in one sentence?
In one sentence; Find genre-shifting surprise at every turn within a unified vision.
TF: What was it like to work with this lovely list of talent?
Pure joy of the recordings in 2019, watching the assembling of elements in a very satisfying process, not time-limited, but relaxed and friendly. The resuscitation of the Project through the agency of McAll/Constant Follower, has been prodigious with a formidable energy trained on pulling the streams together into coherent musical unity. Also a delight to behold, as integrity is realised.
TF: What is your plan for the remainder of the year?
My year-plan is very short-term, lurching from one demand to another. Live music, both as a listener, and as a participant, is very necessary to me, and setting up a new home, reviving my painting habit are also urgent needs.
TF: Where is your favourite venue for playing live, where is the next place you look most forward to gigging?
So many live venues have been threatened, but my surviving favourite, both for gigs I have attended, and for playing, is Glasgow’s Glad Café. To be able to return to Broadcast, or Blue Arrow would be grand, but playing in Nice n Sleazy would indicate that musical life was back in swing again.
19-21 Fray, Dissolve into Fade is out now, via Death Collective