Original Artwork by The Bohman Brothers
Numbered edition of 25 ex.
Date of Release: 10 August 2018
The Bohman Brothers are the creators of a unique and impure experimental music. Traces of Fluxus japery, musique concrete, sound poetry and free improvisation can be detected, yet ultimately the whole is greater and more arcane than the sum of it’s parts.
As a performing duo Adam and Jonathan Bohman have been operative since 1996(Adam Bohman is also a member of Morphogenesis and The London Improvisors Orchestra).Their sound art oscillates between states of the absurd and (sonically)grotesque to highly articulate explorations of extra-musical sound. One can hear various traces of out-noise lurking in the undergrowth of their 2002 debut album ` A Twist For All Pockets’ (Rossbin).
Electroacoustic music and free-improvisation could be regarded as co-ordinates on the grid. However,unlike the hermeticism of electro-acoustic music or the purism of free-improvisation, the Bohman’s freely quote from any source and aren’t afraid to show it. So you get Varesesian sound montage supporting spoken word material sourced from a pub menu, or frenetic juxtapositions between amplified shoe brushes and a frenzied tape cut-up of 17 th Century instruments. The Bohman aesthetic can be a dense and tangled thing to unpick and describe. Various and nefarious sounds and artistic influences merge and collide. Pinning it all down seem’s a bit reductive and, given the multiplicity and elusiveness of the Bohman genes, quite tough.Indeed, The Wire’s usually ebullient Ben Watson feel’s the same way but nonetheless makes a stab at it.
“It’s hard to describe the raw, explosive audio art they perpetrate.Everyday objects and sounds are worked on until they become saturated with lurid suggestion, resulting in a bizarre, hysterical immediacy. The convulsive beauty bears comparison to both composers Helmut Lachemann and James Dillon and to sound terrorisers Bark! and Furt. Nevertheless, in the traditions of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, the Bohman Brothers kitchen-sink realism laughs at the grand claims of lofty art.They will show you fear in a sponge from a drainer.”Ben Watson, The Wire Magazine, March 2002.
Not only do they show you `fear in a sponge’, they’ll more than likely play the sponge jacked-up through a crusty amp-combo. The use of amplified and unamplified objects is a distinctive feature of their work and it’s a pleasing coincidence that their Grandparents were antiques dealers, since the Bohman Brothers live set-up often resembles a hard-wired flea market.
The visual aspect, therefore, is also a strong, deliberated feature, alongside a pervading sense of the comedic. This is most evident in their deployment of spoken word material. Ridiculous advertising spiel and found texts are the sources for accompanied/unaccompanied speech, it’s a tactic that play’s on their duality, as the Brothers bounce-off or collide with each other. Reciting in blurred simultaneity, or wragged call and response.
The Bohman Brothers are also active in the support of other peoples music and other media. They have for two years run one of the handful of London’s experimental music clubs at The Bonnington Center, in Vauxhall south London. On the top storey of a Victorian terraced house, within earshot of the Spooks at the MI6 headquarters, The Bohman Brothers have curated over 80 shows featuring an international line-up of experimental music makers, freaks, free-improvisors and filmakers.
The Bohman Brothers themselves perform live frequently throughout the U.K and Europe. They also sometimes perform in a collaborative context and this has been cemented by the formation of a regular expanded unit, The Bohman Brothers Extended Family.
More on The Bohman Brothers: Tate Gallery
1. Coffee and Introductions
1. Upper Case
Recorded March & April 2018 in Chertsey, England
Edited and Mastered by Richard Thomas
(Photo on top of this page by Fabio Lugaro)
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Artwork Description: Screenprint. Squares on old LP Covers