Szun Waves — Improv & Freedom

Alexander W. Raworth
12 min readFeb 3, 2019

It is 5:30 pm at Manchester’s Soup Kitchen — a tiny drop of excrement of a venue situated amongst all of the other tourist attractions of the ‘independent’ area of the city (Northern Quarter), with an equally excremental sound system and, perhaps to no surprise, a mishap in communications brings a vast unknowingness as to when exactly Szun Waves are going to conduct this interview that you are reading now.

6:30 pm: after witling around like a lonesome sociopath with a ragged Wilko’s A4 lined notebook that gives the illusion of a low-income professional writer who has consumed £12’s worth of black americanos, Luke, Jack and Lawrence emerge from the basement and head to whatever little space they can find on the wooden picnic benches that line the entirety of the middle section of the bar.

Amongst a crowded room, filled with the vibes of cosmic-jazz that had been specially planned for the night by the building’s resident DJ, they fit in. This is a somewhat contradiction as to what could have been expected and, in fact, it could be suggested that had I have not known the groups’ appearance, they would have waltzed by largely unnoticed.

Why the contradiction, you may be asking yourself. Well, labels are continuously placed Szun Waves’ music. Comparisons such as Sun Ra, the experimental later years of John Coltrane and Alice Coltrane have been thrown at them by notable writers such as Bernie Brooks in order to compare them to something. So, do forgive me when I say I expected the trio to stand out amidst a room full of squares.

In truth though, they are suitably independent of comparisons (hm, apologies, perhaps that previous notion was a tad confusing). One can hear the late experimental themes of Coltrane and Sun Ra’s grandiose cosmic work within Szun Waves’ sound, but this may only be apparent after having spent a large amount of time nit-picking and analysing. It could be suggested therefore that Szun Waves inhabit a planet that is occupied by only themselves, and whatever influence they have obtained retrieved from interspace satellite signals.

In reality though, Szun Waves are not a group that has arrived from another planet; Lawrence is from Sydney and is in the experimental rock group PVT, whilst Jack is a member of the electronic-jazz outfit, Portico Quartet, and Luke…