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The Bureau of Atomic Tourism


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The Bureau of Atomic Tourism -- aka BOAT -- is an avant jazz and improvising sextet originally assembled by Belgian drummer Teun Verbruggen (Flat Earth Society, Jef Neve Trio, Too Noisy Fish) to perform at Antwerp's Follow the Sound Festival in November 2011.
Bandleader Verbruggen was featured on both drums and electronics, and he enlisted an impressive lineup of musicians from both sides of the Atlantic for the band: from the New York avant scene came saxophonist/bass clarinetist Andrew D'Angelo (Human Feel, Matt Wilson Quartet, Tyft); trumpeter Nate Wooley (Nate Wooley Quintet, Peter Evans/Nate Wooley Duo), and bassist Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle, Fantômas, John Zorn); from France came guitarist Marc Ducret (Marc Ducret Trio, Tim Berne) and Belgian-born, Paris-based keyboardist Jozef Dumoulin (Jozef Dumoulin Trio, Lidlboj, Zapp String Quartet). Dumoulin is also a member of Verbruggen's Othin Spake improvisational trio along with dEUS guitarist Mauro Pawlowski, and both D'Angelo and Dunn have performed with Othin Spake as guest artists.
The group alternates between exploratory collective improvisations employing extended techniques and experimental electronics, and focused, even powerfully groove-based pieces with fiery soloing from the front line. In addition to their performance at the Follow the Sound Festival (at Antwerp's de Singel arts center), BOAT played concerts at several other locations in Belgium (Leuven, Liège, Ghent), the Netherlands (Tilburg), and France (Lyon), recording their November 16 show at the Paradox venue in Tilburg for subsequent release. Second Law of Thermodynamics arrived in 2013 on Verbruggen's Rat Records label; the album featured three free improvisations and four compositions penned by D'Angelo, including "Meg Nem Sa," the title track from a 2006 album by Hilmar Jensson's Tyft (D'Angelo is a member of Tyft; Verbruggen plays in a group called Karanova also featuring Jensson). A companion limited-edition vinyl release, Arco Idaho (named after the location of the world's first fatal nuclear reactor accident), was also issued by the Rat label; it focused on improvisations from the Tilburg date with some duplication of material from Second Law of Thermodynamics.
Amsterdam-based bassist Jasper Stadhouders (Cactus Truck, Spinifex, Lily's Déjà Vu) later joined BOAT as a replacement for Dunn, and the group toured Belgium, the Netherlands, France, and Switzerland in April 2013. Recordings mainly from the tour date in Geneva, along with one track each from Paris and Brussels, were featured on BOAT's next album, Spinning Jenny, released by Rat Records during a spring 2014 tour of France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, England, and Slovenia. The 2014 tour lineup featured Verbruggen, Dumoulin, D'Angelo, and Wooley, with Jensson replacing Ducret on guitar and New York bassist Tim Dahl replacing Stadhouders. A limited-edition vinyl release was also issued for the tour; Scintigraphy featured four remastered tracks from Second Law of Thermodynamics and cover art by noted Belgian contemporary artist Pierre Alechinsky (b. 1927), whose works are included in a number of major modern art collections internationally (e.g., Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, the Tate [U.K.], and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City). Hapax Legomena, a new BOAT album featuring the lineup of Verbruggen, Dumoulin, D'Angelo, Wooley, Jensson, and Dahl, arrived on Rat Records in August of 2015. ~ Dave Lynch, Rovi


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