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KK 056CD KK 056CD

Glasgow's Bill Wells is a bassist, guitarist and pianist who has worked with the likes of The Pastels and the BMX Bandits, as well as recording an album with Isobel Campbell, formerly singer/cellist in Belle & Sebastian. Wells has always been interested in areas of the avant-garde that flourish on the borderline between electronica, folk, jazz and new music. His album Osaka Bridge, which he recorded with the Japanese amateur ensemble Maher Shalal Hash Baz, is legendary. And with his own trio and octet, he also creates a truly inspiring sound. He produced the album Pick Up Sticks in 2003, which was the first time he worked with Stefan Schneider (To Rococo Rot, Mapstation). Schneider and Wells developed the idea for Pianotapes together and presented it live for the first time at the piano festival Approximation, at Salon des Amateurs in Düsseldorf. Actually, what Bill Wells and Stefan Schneider are doing on Pianotapes is chamber music. Wells plays fragile scales on the Bechstein grand piano, while Schneider records them on two old reel-to-reel tape machines and plays the recordings back at altered speeds. This real-time recording process is reflected in Well's piano playing, who replies with modulation and key changes, building the sounds and ideas into his improvisation, playing with them and developing them. For the recordings, the two musicians only rehearsed the technical set-up, everything else came about through improvisation. And the result is a rich tapestry of sound. Occasionally, Schneider and Wells add synthesizer sounds into this counterplay of original and copy. The atmosphere has something of a fairytale quality to it, but it is never too eccentric. This is music that has been arranged with great clarity to make for something atmospheric and fascinatingly timeless. Cover design by André Niebur, part of the artist's collective hobbypopMUSEUM.