Photo: Bryony McIntyre

Paul Hession & Stefan Jaworzyn


Publisher of cult/ horror magazine Shock Xpress, head of the Shock record label, briefly a member of Whitehouse (and their quest for "a sound that could bludgeon an audience into submission") and a founder/ key contributor to the blinding yowl of psychedelic guitar destruction purveyed by Skullflower in the late 80’s and early 90’s, (and it’s previous incarnation as Pure), Stefan Jaworzyn is up to his neck in underground associations, hook up’s and miscreant activities. 

But it’s his involvement with Ascension/ Descension that really peels your skull back; formed by Tony Irving (drums) and briefly Russell Hedges (bass) in 1992, Hedges left after hearing Jaworzyn and Irvine playing together “when he heard me and Tony play, he said that he never wanted to play music again as long as he lived”. Bassless, they proceed to lay it on thick and heavy over a slew of corrosive releases, morphing into a flattening power duo of extreme electric freedom and confrontation: a 2 headed, 8 limbed guitar and drum squall, an imploding storm in the Ray Russell/ Sonny Sharrock/ Rudolph Grey wall of grit school. And man their live shows were pretty legendary: a particularly incendiary Descension support slot for Sonic Youth in 1995 quickly descending into a flurry of flying glasses in the face of their all out sonic assault; one particularly accurate missile taking out Irvine’s bass drum and proving enough of a rise for him to leap into the crowd to knock a few heads together, his assailant following him back on stage to trade blows on the floor, as the rest of the band played on. “I’d say it was normal improvised music with guitar, saxophone, double bass and drums!’ deadpans Jaworzyn. After years of silence, Ascension has recently been reanimated by Jaworzyn, with mighty Leeds drum hero Paul Hession taking Irvine’s place.  Hession, a stalwart of the UK improv scene and collaborator with countless key cosmonauts including a totally killer side with Joe McPhee released last year, brings a dense polyrhythmic torrent to play on Jaworzyn’s reinvigorated piercing guitar.


Regarding documentation of the performance, Stefan asked us to include the disclaimer that 'the guitarist thought this was pretty much crap and it should only be approached by the most OCD of psychos'.

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    Credits / license
    • CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 DISCLAIMER "The guitarist thought this was pretty much crap and it should only be approached by the most OCD of psychos"