This weekend sees the Glasgow leg of the inaugural Counterflows festival of underground and experimental music, which is in some ways a successor to Stirling’s Le Weekend festivals of the past. The difference is that, instead of being held in one town, it is taking place in three locations: Glasgow, London and Berlin.

Of most interest to jazz fans is the visit of some major figures on the European free improvisation scene: Sven Åke Johannson, Axel Dörner and Werner Dafeldecker.

Drummer Johannson was one of the initiators of free music in Europe, alongside figures like Evan Parker, Peter Brötzmann and Alex von Schlippenbach. He’s playing in a trio – Der Kreis des Gegenstandes (“Circle of Objects” if my bad German’s not letting me down) – with innovative trumpeter Dörner (a man who pioneered lots of extended techniques for the instrument) and bass player Dafeldecker at the Arches on Saturday night. He’s also playing a solo gig at the Kinning Park Complex on Sunday afternoon. This starts at 2pm and is free in both senses.

There’s lots of other interesting and unusual stuff on over the weekend, including a late night gig at Stereo by Caspar Brötzmann’s Massaker, a band who combine elements of heavy metal and free improvisation. Caspar’s father, Peter, is known for exploring the harshest, most extreme noises it is possible to produce from a saxophone, and Caspar takes a similar approach to the electric guitar.

So, what’s on at the Glasgow leg of Counterflows 2012?

Friday 6th April

St Andrews in the Square. 6.45 to 10.30pm.
Early Songs; Michael Gira (ex of the Swans); Grouper & Diamond Catalog

Mono. 10pm.
Volcano the Bear.

Saturday 7th April

The Arches.
2.30pm. Vincent Moon’s film about the singer-songwriter, poet and artist Kazuki Tomokawa.
4pm. Torsten Lauschmann with the Red Note Ensemble.
6.30pm – 10pm. Josephine Foster; Sven Åke Johansson with Axel Dorner and Werner Dafeldecker; Kim Doo Soo; Michael Hurley.
10.30 pm. Stereo.
Caspar Brötzmann’s Massaker

Sunday 8th April

Kinning Park Complex. 2pm to 5pm
Tracer Trails event, featuring Sven Åke Johannson solo set.
CCA. 6.45pm to 10pm.
Margareth Kammerer; Bill Wells’ National Jazz Trio of Scotland; Kazuki Tomokawa.

You can buy tickets for individual events as well as day or weekend passes. For more information about the festival go to the AC Projects website. More detailed information about Johannson, Dörner and Dafeldecker can be found on the Goethe-Institut site. To buy tickets online go to the Arches website.