‘Estigate’ is the first release in a planned series of improvised duos from the Linear Obsessional label. This album pairs Colin Webster playing tenor and baritone saxophones, with Graham Dunning who employs turntables, mixer, and dubplates, occasionally manipulated with brushes, dentistry tools, and pencils. The music they create is fascinating, the sound is fibrous and often timid; coaxed into being, as if from a hiding place, brought into unaccustomed exposure. Sighs, pops, and short darting flurries from Webster are tossed into Dunning’s drifting net of soft threads; he conjures rough tapping scrapes, hissing crackle, and undulating moans, all bedded in a surreal fumbling clickscape.
‘Estigate’ seems austere at first; a minimum of sounds and movements combined in communication; but a closer examination reveals a profusion of activity, albeit within a minimal framework. Both instruments are explored intimately and expansively, micro-gestures magnified until they appear divorced from their source, the individual contributions of each artist disguised in a closely knotted dusty melee. The two artists entwine in tentacular fashion, sounds curling together in a perpetually collapsing helix.
Linear Obsessional has a large catalogue of idiosyncratic creations, a gallery of the bizarre that deserves a deep dive; a singular label releasing regularly amazing music with an accessible ‘pay what you like’ download policy and a commitment to producing high-quality physical editions. ‘Estigate’ is another imaginative entry into this already distinguished warehouse of brilliant avant-weirdness.