by Bowlcut

  • Digital Album
    Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $8 USD  or more

    You own this


  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Comes in cardboard digipack with painting and assemblages by Jeffrey Sanderson.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Semaphore via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 3 days
    edition of 100 

      $8 USD or more 

    You own this  




Bowlcut is:

Jake Wark - Tenor saxophone
Matt Murphy - Guitar, electronics, cassette tape
Bill Harris - Drums, percussion, microkorg

Recorded live at the Music Garage, Chicago, 2016 - 2017
Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Bowlcut

Artwork by Jeffrey Sanderson
Front cover: "March 2008", oil on panel, 11" x 14"
Assemblages (inside): Mixed media, 2017

Improvising trio Bowlcut shares its interactive acumen on its promising new Album, Semaphore.

On Bowlcut’s sizzling new album, Semaphore (Amalgam), it’s easy to hear the bond that saxophonist Jake Wark, guitarist Matt Murphy, and drummer Bill Harris have formed performing together over the last few years. The group cleaves to improvisation, allowing its deeply interactive attack to direct its proceedings even when employing loose structural devices, moving easily between raucous, abrasive free jazz and cool, harnessed sound sculpture. On “All Toes, Part 1” Harris generates a synthetic low-end vibrato that conjures the sound of a distant helicopter as Murphy spreads out a blanket of long tones embroidered by cool arpeggios and Wark unleashes a precarious balladic improvisation with a striated tone that hovers ominously on the brink of chaos—but the track effectively concludes before they surrender control. They relinquish that sense of measure on other pieces, including the lengthy “Catadramous,” which winds though nearly ten minutes of ebb and flow. As noisy, explosive blowing recedes into hushed friction, Harris skitters across his kit, Wark unfurls astringent, yet gently articulated, curlicues, and Murphy complements quiet tangles of flickering string scratching with elusive electronic abstractions—only to morph into explicit melody that embraces jazz orthodoxy in its harmonic interplay and shreds it to pieces in rhythmic mayhem. I admire that Bowlcut sometimes adds novel elements such as tapes, electronics, and synthesizer into its mix; the found audio on “Stereo Detective” is distracting, but that’s a minor miscue on an album rich with promise.

Written by Peter Margasak for the Chicago Reader.


released March 23, 2018


all rights reserved



Amalgam Chicago, Illinois

Amalgam is a Chicago-based, artist-run collective dedicated to showcasing works of experimental and improvised music.

contact / help

Contact Amalgam

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code