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Super Numeri - The Welcome Table

Super Numeri The Welcome Table
best of 2005Super Numeri - The Welcome Table
(2xLP/CD) Ninja Tune ZEN97/ZENCD97, 2005-11-28

Info :
Super Numeri est un collectif de Liverpool dirigé par 3 membres fondateurs: Pop Levi, Snap Ant & Karl Webb (ce dernier formant chez Ninja Tune le duo Loka avec Mark Kyriacou). Pop Levi joue des claviers (piano électrique, farfisa), du vibraphone, de la sitar, de la clarinette et des percussions. Karl Webb (Loka) joue de la guitare, du sax soprano, de la viole et du clavier (Digitone). Snap Ant joue de la basse et de la kalimba. Ajoutez-y une farandole d'amis musiciens qui apportent guitare, batteries, percussions, harpe celtique, violons, viole et contrebasse et vous obtenez un groupe de 13 personnes complètement dingue. Dingue? Oui dingue, frappé, habité, taré, incroyable... en d'autres termes psychédélique! Leurs influences vont en effet de Can à Miles Davis, en passant par Pink Floyd, Tortoise, le Fleetwood Mac de Peter Green ou bien Soft Machine (première époque), et ça s'entend! Prenez le track d'ouverture, par exemple, presque 25 minutes de transe psyché-rock explosive: voilà de la jam instrumentale, du mélange de rock psyché, de free jazz, de post-rock, de folk de l'école de Canterbury (psyché-folk anglais 60's et 70's), comme on en fait plus en Europe depuis une trentaine d'années! Certains objecteront qu'aux États-Unis on peut trouver depuis quelques années un groupe exactement dans le même esprit musical: j'ai nommé Mushroom (à San Francisco), bien sûr, encore plus inconnus que Super Numeri en nos terres ignares. Le parallèle avec la formation américaine est pourtant tellement évident... Daevid Allen avec son University Of Errors ou John Medeski avec Medeski, Martin & Wood (sur scène!) poursuivent eux aussi le même genre de paysages ultra-trippés mais le lien est beaucoup moins immédiat. En tous cas, vous l'aurez compris: on peut considérer la musique de Super Numeri aujourd'hui comme unique. Essentielle, oui, aux amateurs de jazz et de rock très psyché en premier lieu. Les fans de prog-rock pourront passer leur chemin, il ne s'agit pas ici de faire preuve de dextérité extra-terrestre mais surtout d'ouvrir la porte à l'auditeur vers un ailleurs tout en fluides et en gaz, de lui faire vivre une expérience au-delà de son corps, de l'emmener loin... loin... très loin. Pour résumer l'histoire, disons simplement que la consommation de champis, de champipis, de champignons ne pourrait pas profiter d'une meilleure illustration sonore que celle proposée par cet album, ce CD rempli à ras-bord (78 minutes et quelques), cet Olympe de la musique psychédélique du vingt-et-unième siècle. - Djouls

Super Numeri is a collective from Liverpool directed by 3 founder members: Pop Levi, Snap Ant & Karl Webb (who forms at Tune Ninja the duet Loka with Mark Kyriacou). Pop Levi plays keyboards (electric piano, farfisa), vibraphone, sitar, clarinet and percussions. Karl Webb (Loka) plays guitar, soprano saxophone, viola and keys (Digitone). Snap Ant plays bass and kalimba. Add there a parade of musician friends who bring guitar, drums, percussions, celtic harp, violins, viola and cello and you get a band of 13 nutcases. Nutcases? Yes nutcases, people who'd been hit on the head, inhabited, crazy, incredible... in other words psychedelic! Their influences go indeed from Can to Miles Davis, while passing by Pink Floyd, Tortoise, Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac or Soft Machine (first period), and you can hear it! Take the opening track, for example, almost 25 minutes of psyched-up explosive trance-rock: that's what I call an instrumental jam, a mixture of psychedelic rock, free jazz, post-rock, Canterbury folk, like it hasn't been done in Europe for about thirty years! Some will object that in the United States for a few years already you could find a band in the exact same musical spirit: Mushroom (in San Francisco), of course, who are even more unknowns than Super Numeri on our uncivilized grounds. The parallel with the American formation is yet so obvious... Daevid Allen with its University Of Errors or John Medeski with Medeski, Martin & Wood (on stage!) are on the same scale of over-tripped-out landscapes but the link is much less immediate. Anyway, you'll have understood by yourselves: you can consider music of Super Numeri today as unique. Essential, yes, to jazz and very-psychedelic-rock lovers in the first place. Fans of prog-rock can look somewhere else, it's not a question of extra-terrestrial dexterity here, but especially to open the listener's doors of perception towards an elsewhere all in fluids and gas, to make him live an out-of-body experience, to take him far... far... very far away. In short, let's simply say that the consumption of mush, mushrr, mushrooms could not benefit from a better sound illustration than the one proposed by this album, this CD filled up to the limit (78 minutes and some), this Olympus of psychedelic music of the 20th century. - Djouls

Super Numeri The Welcome Table
Super Numeri - The Welcome Table
(2xLP/CD) Ninja Tune ZEN97/ZENCD97, 2005-11-28

2xLP Tracklisting:
A1. The First League Of Angels (24:32)
B1. The Buzzard & The Lamb (10:40)
B2. The Chart (6:26)
C1. The Sea Wolves (10:58)
C2. The Welcome Table (7:08)
D1. The Spies Of St. Ives (11:09)
D2. The Babies (7:20)

CD Tracklisting:
1. The First League Of Angels (24:32)
2. The Buzzard & The Lamb (10:40)
3. The Chart (6:26)
4. The Sea Wolves (10:58)
5. The Welcome Table (7:08)
6. The Spies Of St. Ives (11:09)
7. The Babies (7:20)

Links :

Press Release :
In a world where a succession of shitty, manufactured pop bands hog the number one spot, Liverpool collective Super Numeri don’t so much seem from another era as from another dimension altogether. It’s one where the experimentalism of the sixties never stopped, where Altamont didn’t happen and Syd Barrett didn’t go mad, where tantric yoga is a staple of boardroom meetings and where, instead of splitting, the Beatles moved back to Liverpool and turned the city into a gigantic Ashram.

In this alternate universe, Super Numeri, after the platinum success of their first album, “Great Aviaries” and the EP which followed it, “The Coastal Bird Scene,” decided it was time to really go all out for the pop mainstream, to have the kind of hits which John Peel would never get tired of playing as he presented the Chart Rundown on a Sunday afternoon. Hence the epic, hypnotic 24 minute opener to “The Welcome Table”, “The First League Of Angels”. Nothing could set the tone better for the sort of cosmic rock that the group specialise in, rhythm and blues stretched out till it becomes abstract, a place where the beats are live but locked and the harpist is old enough to draw his pension.

And remember, this is a world where Prog rock never happened, where there’s no emphasis on virtuoso musicianship for its own sake, just a rather spaced out belief in groove and repetition, in texture and the ambience, in the emotional power of music.

Unless you write a very esoteric column in a very odd magazine, it’s unlikely that you’re going to come across many records like “The Welcome Table”. You may, however, have come across some of the group’s members in some of their other guises. Karl Webb is a member of Loka, who also record for Ninja. Snap Ant and Pop Levi both record and release records for Invicta Hi Fi Records, a label set up by Danny Hunt of Ladytron (the Snap Ant band recently supported them on tour). And if you’re very lucky you may have happened upon their “Enochian Way” mix cd on the Japanese Counter Records, possibly the only compilation to include Sonny Sharrock, Yoko One, Brigtte Bardot, Fairport Convention, Velvet Underground, the Beach Boys and John Lee Hooker.

And if you don’t live in the Numeri’s dimension - where Michael Moorcock is Prime Minister and schoolkids are given hallucinogens for lunch - well, here’s your chance to be a tourist for the day. All welcome…


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