Match&Fuse London 2015
“Collaborations like these, pointers to how the future really should be, are something precious.”
– Dan Bergsagel for London Jazz News

The 4th Match&Fuse London festival took place on 15-17 October at the Vortex, Rich Mix, Servant Jazz Quarters and Café Oto. Sold Out on the Saturday night, this 3-day festival featured 24 acts from 14 countries. It’s success was due to the spirit of generosity from the bands and audiences. A heart-warming experience.

A highlight was the commissioned collaboration between the fearlessly inventive electronicist, Leafcutter John (from UK band Polar Bear) and vocal adventurist, Isabel Sörling (SE) using a light-controlled interface and digital vocal tools.

Thu 15 October | The Vortex

Blue-Eyed Hawk (UK) traversing art-rock, jazz, folk and electronic soundworlds.

J=J (Poland) an acoustic wave, electric energy.

Mopo (Finland) accelerates easily from zero to speed of light.

JÜ meets Møster (Hungary/Norway) bridging freejazz and hellacious, distortion-laced guitar-driven hardcore rock (and the first Hungarians at Match&Fuse!)

Isabel Sôrling
Photo of Kaja Draksla by Steven Cropper
Kaja Draksler ©Steven Cropper
Fri 16 October | Rich Mix

Snack Family + Natali Abrahamsen Garner (UK/Norway) music for the times we’re sweating through – premiere of new collaboration.

Attwenger (Austria) folk with punk, rock and lederhosen – first time in the UK.

Alfie Ryner (France) jazz trash – release of their third album Raging Chicken.

Get the Blessing (UK) thumping tunes, monstrously infectious beats, joyous collective spontaneity and launch of their third album, Astronautilus and only London date of 2015.

2Henning ©Steven Cropper
Alarmist ©Sarah Houben
Brass Mask ©Steven Cropper
Sat 17 October | Vortex, Servant Jazz Quarters, Café Oto and Oto’s Project Space

The Jist (NO) + Rachel Musson (UK) dynamic, freely improvised, noisy electroacoustic.
Laura Moody (UK)  stretching the possibilities of cello and voice – catching her between touring with Björk.
Alexander Hawkins (UK) mercurial, melodic, roaring – one of the UK’s most innovative and imaginative pianists.
How Town (BE/LV) a voice-fest with the first ever Latvians at M&F and first time in the UK.
Leafcutter John + Isabel Sörling (UK/SE) fearlessly inventive electronicist meets vocal adventurist.
Brass Mask (UK) 8 piece horns and percussion delivering deft mix of musical influences of Mardi Gras Indians, jazz, and improv.
InterStatic (NO) scintillating power-trio that bounds through intense sonic landscapes.
2Henning (CH) Music is an amazing way to fly.
Alice Zawadski + Alex Roth (UK) + Kalevi Louhivuori (FI) new collaboration of 3 distinctive musicians.
Kaja Draksler (Slovenia) a riveting solo pianist, on a rocket.
The Great Harry Hillman (CH) heads-up for detailed arrangements mixing with hectic improv.
Magnus Loom (UK) a cornucopia of brightly burning pitches and rhythms, howling and whispering.
Alarmist (IE) genre-bending fusion of the melodic and the experimental.
Strobes (UK) big beats and a vast array of sonic possibilities.
Soccer96 (UK) stripped-down, amped-up analogue synth vs live drum assault.

And Eirik Tofte Match&Fuse Orchestra playing in Gillett Square

Sarah Houben

The music was captured, in real time paintings, by artist Gina Southgate and photographers Steven Cropper, Sarah Houben and Tim Ower.


Education Workshop and Professional Development

The festival included workshops for school pupils at Mossbourne and Hackney New School led by Swiss, French and UK musicians and an open seminar at The University Of London’s SOAS, entitled, ‘Is a Career in Music Possible?’ with a professional panel:

Joel Mills – British Council, Ruth Kilpatrick – PRS Foundation, Moses Boyd – winner of Best Jazz Act, MOBO 2015, Kerstan Mackness – Riot Management (GoGo Penguin and Portico etc) and Riot Squad PR and Denys Baptiste – award-winning musician and Arts Council England.


With Thanks:

Match&Fuse gratefully acknowledged support from the Arts Council of England, Rare Noise Records, Polish Cultural Institute, Music Norway, Hungarian Cultural Fund, French Bureau Export, Austrian Cultural Fund, Pro Helvetia, Swiss Culture Fund UK, MES Finland, festival partners and Sinema City, and media partner


It’s not every week that musicians from fourteen different European nations pitch up on your doorstep, but over three days this week we had the pan-european musical network Match&Fuse to thank for gathering the continents finest together.

“With human rights, economic zones and refugees dominating inter-European discourse, creative initiatives like Match&Fuse become more important than ever in cutting through the realpolitik. Collaborations like these, pointers to how the future really should be, are something precious.

Dan Bergsagel. Full review on London Jazz News