Jason Bivins & Ian Davis: Benthic
An old fashioned duet with no rules: electric guitarist Jason Bivins and percussionist Ian Davis at the crossroads of American Underground Improvisation. Outside the near blazing solos and riffery of Van Halen proportions there are the clusters of shiny metal, the rattles of Han Bennink-like trappings that poke out like shrapnel. Then there is the roar of 1000 stuttering jazzbo guitarists and drummers with their hands tied down and jaws pried open and ready to feast on this. Now imagine the entire Incus roster growing up on DC hardcore (Bivins) and the South Carolina “chittlin’ circuit” (Davis). This is the place where the two meet: Benthic, the bottom layer of the ocean, where everything slowly sifts down towards, where only the blind fish can truly see. Using few tricks and slight of hand movements, these two players take their instruments at the base level, volume and technique are pushed back and forth. Davis’ use of tiny-spaghetti-like sticks pick apart the micro-placed notes Bivins can spin off the granular surface of his guitar strings. As leader of the Micro-East Collective and countless other North Carolina Triangle groups, Davis has kept his pace up for the past 20 years, backing everyone from Trailer Bride to Andrew Voight. Newcomer Bivins has kept up with the Micro-East and the Unstable Ensemble.