Boomkat Product Review:
Outstanding freeform blow-out by free-jazz percussionist Will Guthrie, also incorporating combustible electronics and samples in feral but disciplined form. Mastered by Rashad Becker @ D&M, Berlin
“Nantes, France-based drummer and percussionist Will Guthrie presents People Pleaser. Initially rising to prominence in Australia as a drummer in the fields of jazz and improvised music, Guthrie later turned increasingly toward electronics and amplified percussion, developing an idiosyncratic style of electroacoustic performance characterized by shimmering metallic textures, rapid-fire textural transformations, and aggressively high volume.
Guthrie has since returned to the drum kit in both solo and collaborative work, pushing at the limits of his formidable technical abilities as a player in the free jazz tradition and working variations on short rhythmic units into an endless flow of non-metered pulse.
Although drawing on many aspects of Guthrie's past work, People Pleaser stands alone in his catalog. Working intuitively over a period of three weeks, Guthrie crafted a suite of song-length pieces that combine his drumming with electronics, field recordings, and sampled detritus. Inspired by the rough-and-ready sampling style of producers like the RZA, J Dilla, and Knxwledge, and by the endless possibilities of musique concrète, People Pleaser uses a highly divergent array of sound sources, building pieces from drum and percussion tracks left over from other projects, audio ripped from skate videos, noise electronics, fragments of a police interrogation, and anything else ready to hand.
Guthrie's unique rhythmic sensibility is the thread drawing all these elements together, his drum performances propulsively rhythmic yet insistently irregular in a way that sometimes brings to mind the uniquely open rhythmic space carved out by early Weather Report and other classic fusion. Drawing together manifold influences in an entirely sui generis way, People Pleaser is a raw, exciting, and surprisingly accessible peek into the laboratory of a unique sensibility.”