Spring Garden Music



RAWL: Evan Lipson, double bass....Zach Darrup, guitar......Ben Bennett, percussion.........Jack Wright, saxes

Spring Tour 2023: Schedule

RAWL is a free-playing quartet consisting of Jack Wright (saxophones), Evan Lipson (double bass), Zach Darrup (guitar), and Ben Bennett (percussion). These four constitute a Philadelphia-centered collective that for the past several years has been touring across North America and Europe in various configurations and monikers: Wrest (Wright/Lipson/Bennett), Roughhousing (Wright/Lipson/Darrup), Never (Wright/Darrup/Bennett), Virtual Balboa (Darrup/Lipson/Bennett), Durian Brow (Darrup/Bennett). They are drawn together by an approach to playing characterized by a twisted flux of bizarre sounds and morphing relationships, where exuberance, terror, gravity and comedy collide in a bewildering manifold of perspectives.

Jack Wright is a Philadelphia area saxophonist, one of the originals of American free improv. Now 80, he has lived some diverse lives--academic, then activist, then music full-time in 1979--free playing is all he's done since then. He started out in the free jazz direction, but now his playing consists of distorted pitches, precise timing, intrusive multiphonics, sudden changes of direction, obscene animalistic sounds, and occasional "real" notes. He published a book in 2017, The Free Musics, sold to most of the free players in the US, and just released a book of mostly political critique, drawing on his background, Shaky Ground. Upcoming tours are in Europe (April 2023 with Ben Bennett) and the US as Minimal Disturbance with Ron Stabinsky. For the books go here; for sounds, recordings, etc. see Spring Garden Music.

Evan Lipson has lived with the incurable disease of music since early adolescence, seeking the liminal realms in which intellect and instinct, history and myth, and creative and destructive force intersect. Drawn towards aberrant perspectives at an early age, his formative activities were primarily rooted in extreme and discordant forms stemming from various traditions of “underground” and ancient musics. He may or may not have some degree of affiliation with Rev. Fred Lane and a social scientific think tank known as MEINSCHAFT. Other presently active outfits: Wrest, Roughhousing, Virtual Balboa, and various ongoing collaborations with David Greenberger (Duplex Planet). Past units include Normal Love, Satanized, and Peckerwood Junction (feat. Jim Goad).

"Lipson easily stands among the best bassists I've heard in recent memory.” -Massimo Ricci (Touching Extremes)

“It's Disaster Amnesiac's wish that in, say, one hundred years, musicians such as Evan Lipson and their contributions to a truly creative culture are discussed and valued.” -Mark Pino (Disaster Amnesiac)

Zach Darrup is an improvising guitarist currently living in Philadelphia. During his early teenage years in the rural coal region of Pennsylvania a strange boy appeared like an angel, carrying a large cd booklet of wild musics of all sorts. This chance meeting at a pizza shop, plus tumultuous relationships with his home turf, school teachers, and other agents of law and rule enforcement led Zach to drop out and skip town, devoting himself to following music wherever it would take him--somewhere else.

Ben Bennett is a Philadelphia-based percussionist. He usually plays a compact pile of self-made drums, stretched membranes, and other objects which are continually rearranged in the course of playing, and sounded with techniques of the hit, rub, and blow varieties. A branching path of musical de-materialization has led to other forms of performance, including self-vitiating monologues, and the long and repetitive YouTube series, Sitting and Smiling and Walking and Talking. His work tends toward themes of pointlessness, paradox, and stupidity.

“The enigmatic musician and artist Ben Bennett has a mind-bogglingly wide variety of fascinating work that covers both poles of extremes. As a percussionist, his improvised performances are wild, exciting and constantly changing, using an arsenal of drums, cymbals, homemade instruments and found objects that are struck, rubbed or vibrated using air from his lungs, unlocking hidden universes of unfamiliar sounds.” -Ernie Paik


RAWL (Wright/Darrup/Bennett/Lipson) video

Never (Wright/Darrup/Bennett): audio

Virtual Balboa (Darrup/Lipson/Bennett) audio

Durian Brow (Darrup/Bennett) audio

Wrest (Wright/Lipson/Bennett) audio

Roughhousing (Darrup/Lipson/Wright) audio