John Dwyer forms improv-centric supergroup, Bent Arcana

The group’s focus is placed on developing off-the-cuff musical compositions.

John Dwyer onstage

Photo: Taylor Hill / Getty

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Oh See’s mastermind John Dwyer has lifted the veil on his newly formed supergroup, Bent Arcana. The project is said to put a focus on improv-centric compositions and “is very much on the ECM/70s hard fusion/prog-kraut tip,” according to Dwyer.

A first taste of the group’s sound has been issued with the 10-minute song, The Gate. Take a listen below.

In Bent Arcana, Dwyer is joined by an eclectic cast of veteran musicians with backgrounds spanning free jazz to punk. The troupe consists modular synthesist Kyp Malone of TV on the Radio, percussionist, and vocalist Ryan Sawyer, electric and double bassist Peter Kerlin, saxophonist Brad Caulkins, keyboardist Tom Dolas, guitarist Marcos Rodriguez, violinist Laena “Geronimo” Myers-Ionita, tenor saxophonist Joce Soubiran, and percussionist Andres Renteria.

Bent Arcana’s debut effort will be a self-titled LP of six songs, releasing on 21 August. According to Dwyer, the album’s recording spanned five days of “electrified and improvised sessions recorded at Stu-Stu-Studio,” which has been edited to 40 minutes for the benefit of our “earballs.”

On what listeners can look forward to with Bent Arcana, he wrote: “Bent Arcana is the inceptive chapter in what I hope to be several releases showcasing these types of off-the-cuff musical compositions. So you can try your fry on and turn off.”

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