A collaborative touring project bringing together critically-acclaimed European bands Anthropods (AT) and Sloth Racket (UK), starting in Spring 2024 with four dates:
17 April – Sheffield: The Lescar
18 April – Canterbury: Free Range
19 April – London tba
20 April – Norwich: Ambition’s Graveyard
‘And it is this European tradition, in which archaic folk music, kletzmer, roma, classical, and jazz musical traditions warp and blend that Anthropods (because the music just feels so much bigger than one member of the group) draw on to great effect.’ – Jazz Views
Anthropods is the new band from American drummer and composer, Mark Holub. Holub, known mainly as bandleader of the acclaimed and Mercury Prize nominated Led Bib has with ‘Anthropods’ created his first project as a leader since starting Led Bib in 2003. Based in Vienna, Austria since 2012, for Anthropods Holub selected long-term Austrian collaborators alongside other improvisers he admired from the Viennese scene. The group’s debut album was released on Discus Music in 2022 to critical acclaim alongside European touring.
Mark Holub / drums, compositions
Clemens Sainitzer / cello
Irene Kepl / violin
Susanna Gartmayer / bass clarinet
Jakob Gnigler / tenor saxophone
‘Watching Sloth Racket perform is a thrilling experience, conveying a palpable sense that the musicians are navigating the scores by the seat of their pants, making real-time group decisions that sculpt the compositions into unique shapes each time they’re played.’
– The Wire
Sloth Racket is a band of improvisers from London, Manchester and Dundee. Baritone saxophone player Cath Roberts creates scores that form the skeleton of the music, and the band constructs a collective sound out of those pages in the moment. Since forming in 2015 they have toured regularly and appeared at numerous UK festivals. The band released their fifth album Organising Space on the Luminous label in 2022.
Cath Roberts / baritone saxophone, compositions
Sam Andreae / alto saxophone
Anton Hunter / guitar
Seth Bennett / double bass
Johnny Hunter / drums
Mark Holub is a drummer, composer and bandleader originally from the US and now based in Vienna, most notably known as the bandleader and composer for Led Bib.
With Led Bib, he was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize 2009 (One of 12 albums of the year) and he was also a winner of the Peter Whittingham Jazz Award 2005. Led Bib have topped college radio charts across the US and Canada and have played live across TV and radio in Europe including BBC 2, Channel 4(UK), WDR, BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, ORF(Austria), XFM, Radio 1 (Prague), BBC Radio 3, Radio 6(NL) ,BBC Radio 4 and many more. They have released 8 albums and have toured to some of the highest profile festivals in Europe including North Sea Jazz Festival, Jazzfestival Berlin, London Jazz Festival, Saalfelden Jazz Festival and many others.
Holub is also active in other projects including ‘Blueblut’ a power trio with Pamelia Kurstin – theremin and Chris Janka – guitar who have toured across Europe, Japan and South America and who’s third album was on the ‘bestenliste’ for the “Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik” , Falb/Holub/Satzinger a free jazz sax trio from Vienna, Perlin Noise, a contemporary classical/improv ensemble led by Sicilian composer and double bassist Alessandro Vicard. As an improviser, Holub works regularly with Colin Webster, Irene Kepl, Vinicius Cajado, Werner Zangerle, Villy Paraskevopoulos, Viola Falb, Jan Roder, Sofia Salvo, Noah Punkt, Jan Kopinski, Johanna Pärli, Bernd Satzinger and others as well as concerts and recordings with Evan Parker, Carl Ludwig Hübsch, Joëlle Léandre, James Holden, Marcus Hamblett, Seb Rochford, amongst others.
Alongside all this, Mark works as a composer for dance and theatre doing various commissions for numerous companies. He also has worked extensively as a contemporary dance accompanist working regularly for London Contemporary Dance School and CAT at The Place, London Studio Centre, Impulstanz, Hochschule für Musik und Tanz(Munich) as well as freelancing with various companies including Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, English National Ballet, Michael Clark Company, Rambert Dance Company, and Richard Alston Dance Company.
Recently, Holub has been leading a number of masterclasses and workshops. These have included work with Royal Northern College of Music, The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory(British Council), Aldeburgh Young Musicians, South West Music School and many others.
Holub is currently writing his PhD thesis at the University of Edinburgh about a bandleaders role in creating a group sound in improvised music.
Cath Roberts is a musician, artist and organiser whose work explores free improvisation, composition and the music at their meeting point. The primary outlet for this is the band Sloth Racket, formed in 2015 by Cath on baritone saxophone and compositions, which has toured widely and released several albums. More recently, improvisation using live electronics and objects has led to a solo release plus the beginning of several new collaborations.
In 2022 Cath was commissioned, with Mandhira De Saram, to co-devise a new work as a guest artist with Australian Art Orchestra. Developed collectively on residency in Melbourne, Fresh Water – Salt Water was a co-commission by AAO and hcmf//, with performances in Melbourne and Huddersfield in November 2022. Earlier that year Cath was invited to work with Chris Corsano as part of his three day residency at Cafe Oto, London. In 2021 Cath was commissioned to create a giant, fragmented graphic score for hcmf//, And then the next thing you know, improvising a piece from the score with Tullis Rennie and Otto Willberg. Notable earlier work includes an Artist In Residence and Headline Artist commission for Lancaster Jazz Festival 2016, and a Jazz North East commission for Gateshead International Jazz Festival in 2015, which led to the formation of Sloth Racket.
Cath has a long-standing duo with guitarist Anton Hunter (Ripsaw Catfish), as well as regular collaborations with Tullis Rennie, Benedict Taylor, Graham Dunning, Bill Thompson, Kate Carr and others, and performs bandmate duties in several groups including Alex Ward’s Items 10 and 7, Madwort Sax Quartet and Article XI.
As an organiser, Cath has co-run LUME with Dee Byrne since 2013, producing concerts, tours and festivals and releasing music on their offshoot label Luminous. Tom Ward, Colin Webster and Cath organise BRÅK, an improvised music series taking place in Brockley, South East London. Cath’s visual work can be seen on many Luminous releases, Sloth Racket tour flyers and LUME publicity materials. In 2023 Cath began the SETLIST series of mini-zines for improvisers, compiling, designing and publishing A7 20-page zines featuring the work of artists from the improvised/experimental music scenes and beyond.
Educational work has included improvisation workshops and courses for Aldeburgh Young Musicians (Britten Pears Arts), Trinity Laban, and various festivals, as well as guest lecturing on improvisation and composition. Cath currently leads the Experimental Ensemble at City, University of London.