The Untied Knot is London-based instrumental duo Nigel Bryant (electric guitar & synthesizer) and Matt Donovan (drums, percussion & synthesizer) who play improvised music. Their approach to free composition fuses elements of psychedelic rock, drone, electronic and folk musics.
The group’s sound has evolved from largely acoustic song-based forms – “Sketches for a Lost Summer” (2009) adding more electr(on)ics on “Rien n’existe” (2012) to the electrified drone-rock of “Description of a Flame” (2016) – an album consisting largely of studio improvisations recorded at Press Play Studio in London with Stereolab drummer, Andy Ramsay at the controls.
These albums, released on the duo’s own Sonic Imperfections label have received airplay on BBC Radio 3 Late Junction, BBC6 Music Freak Zone & Gideon Coe and NTS Radio in the UK, Canal Extremadura in Spain and on WFMU Shrunken Planet in the USA.
Rough Trade described “Rien n’existe” as “an accomplished step into a womb-like sonic existence, warm, enveloping and quietly brilliant in its dynamics”. The album was featured in an article in Harper’s Bazaar Art magazine about collaborative sound-art works by Dubai based artists Simon Coates and Zahra Jewanjee.
Their live appearances have included performances at the Union Chapel in North London and the Purcell Room in London’s Southbank Centre. The group has performed on bills with underground legends Daevid Allen, Chris Cutler and Charles Hayward.
Matt is a former member of acclaimed motorik disciples Eat Lights, Become Lights and played an improvised live performance with Damo Suzuki in London in 2014.
Nigel is a member of 9-piece acoustic guitar improvisers The Broca Ensemble and performed as part of Rhys Chatham’s electric guitar ensemble in “A Secret Rose” at Birmingham Town Hall in 2014. He also sang in Neil Campbell’s Massed Astral Choir at Supernormal festival in 2015.
He is co-organiser with Ian Faragher of the monthly live experimental music series Sonic Imperfections at The Montague Arms in South East London which has featured appearances by the likes of Laura Cannell, Sarah Angliss, Alison Blunt, Steve Beresford, Charles Hayward and Adam Bohman. A monthly Sonic Imperfections podcast presented by Nigel, Ian Faragher and Peter Challis runs in the Clear Spot on Resonance FM.