Now an unusual 1993 session comes to the fore, featuring Bailey and Oxley joined for part of the set by Pat Thomas on piano and electronics and Matt Wand on sampler. The quartet pieces make up about half the disc's 45 minutes and are good, cacophonous fun. "Gel" is a difficult word to use in relation to Bailey's work: He was more likely to try to counter his playmates than go with the groove, but even still the quartet doesn't seem to find itself. Chaos isn't the problem; Bailey's 2003 Incus release Limescale, for example, is a positively wonderful clutter with two reed players and a pair of performers on dictaphone and bricks. Such are the contexts in which Bailey thrived. But Thomas and Wand (who also get a duo track here) don't quite reach the same heights here, although as always it's a pleasure to hear Bailey negotiate treacherous terrain. The two duo Bailey / Oxley duets, falling as the centerpiece of the album, are the saving grace. Their frantically busy playing suggests that spirits were soaring that day, perhaps leaving little room for the others' bouncing bloops and alien voices plunging through the other tracks.
It should go without saying that at this point in time, any new recordings by Bailey an absolute pinnacle in the language of free improvisation are to be heralded. All the players here do sound quite at home, and what they produce is clearly the sort of madness Bailey loved.
Kurt Gottschalk - squidsear.com