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EXTREMITIES / HISTORY

Alan Freeman, Steve Freeman, Dave Powell, Jim Tetlow
free-improvised live electronics & other instruments


Endgame + a hurdy gurdy? Unique! Extremities live up to their name.

Extremities was actually born on the 21st of April 2002, at an Endgame gig at The Victory in Leicester, after Dave Powell had worked out how to play his hurdy-gurdy (that is an ancient viol like instrument with strings resonated by a rotating wheel - generally used in folk music for drone textures) with a contact microphone attached and played through a guitar effects unit. Keen to try it out, and his first ever live gig, Dave's contribution was an instant success, which led to further gigs and sessions with Endgame. Deemed a different beast to Endgame, Extremities gained their own name a year later issuing the double CD collection VIELLE A CRU.
On VIELLE A CRU the 12 tracks each inhabit a different world: The surreal opener sets the tone, although you'll find there's constant surprise, with sublime ethnic forgeries, Faustian, Krautrocky, diverse psychedelic intoxications, sonic nightmares and pure eccentricity. With lots of live electronic and electroacoustic work, analogue and digital synthesizers, sound canvas devices, lots of guitars, and some nifty percussive drives. And, yes, there's the hurdy gurdy - not that you'll always recognise it as such - processed and reinvented as a surreal disembodied Tony Conrad type sonic on occasions!
With QUANTUM MECHANICS Extremities often veered to more "rock" oriented realms, with Jim laying down percussion drives on several tracks, as a vehicle for crazed guitars, electronics and demented hurdy-gurdy to weave over. With nods to the Third Ear Band, Faust, This Heat, Limbus, and such-like, all purely coincidental, as these jams all started without any conceived planning, except with the aim to be different. With considerable post-production and editing, it's a refined and very different experience.
For a few years Extremities then became a once a year meeting, with sessions all the more bizarre every time! As in Triax, Dave also added other instruments to his roster, notably the flute on "Intrigue" which also has much bizarre use of computer sampling, resulting in some of the most unfathomable sound fabrics (almost classical avant-garde), and an ever more "twisted" rock footing. Extremities continued to live up to their name!
The project burnt out after a while, although Extremities still occasionally play together at Quadelectronic. It is quite possible that new session recordings in the future.

Discography...

VIELLE A CRU - 2xCDR Auricle AMCDR 034/35 (2003)
QUANTUM MECHANICS - CDR Auricle AMCDR 059 (2005)
TURBULENCE - CDR Auricle AMCDR 069 (2005)
INTRIGUE - CDR Auricle AMCDR 092 (2006)
FRACTURE - CDR Auricle AMCDR 112 (2007)
SYMBIOSIS - DVD-R Auricle AMDVD 007 (2008), 2xCDR Auricle AMCDR 242/3 (2017)
COLLISION THEORY - CDR Auricle AMCDR 141 (2009)
X-RAY - 2xCDR Auricle AMCDR 152/153 (2009)
DISCHARGE - CDR Auricle AMCDR 169 (2010)
CAULDRON - CDR Auricle AMCDR 184 (2012)
LIVE 2009 - DL extremitiesimprov (2014)

unique Extremities tracks on various artists releases...
BIJOUTERIE - CDR Auricle AMCDR 024 (2003) track: Fetchez La Vache
AURICLE 2005 SAMPLER - CDR Auricle AMSCDR 013 (2006) tracks: Quantum Mechanics and Turbulence remixes
QUADELECTRONIC - QE100 ‎ - DL Quadelectronic Documents (2017) track: Installation

Extremities also feature on the following Endgame live discs...
LIVE VOL. VII - CDR Auricle AMEGL7 (2002) track: I'm Not Messing With That!
LIVE VOL. IX - CDR Auricle AMEGL9 (2002) track: Over The Edge
LIVE VOL. XI - CDR Auricle AMEGL11 (2006) tracks: Industrial Head Band, Qu'est-ce Que C'est?

Extremities reviews in Audion - #51/3, #53/9, #54/32, #55/15

Extremities on radio...
"Vierte Ohren Band" in Clive Graham's "Sound Poets Exposed" show, Resonance FM, 20 November 2005
"Bite Me" in Stuart Maconie's Freak Zone, BBC Radio 6 Music, 17 February 2008

 

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