John Edwards / Crystabel Riley / Seymour Wright
"Stephen O’Malley teams up with one of the leading drummers of the avantgarde scene, Steve Noble, to build hypnotic soundsculptures and drones."
"Despite the overall linearity of the performance, there’s plenty of nuance and dynamic sensitivity at play in its relentless crescendo."
Steve Noble / drums & percussion
Stephen O'Malley / guitars & amplifiers
Recorded at St. Francis de Sales, Philadelphia, PA, May 19th 2014. Artwork by Peter Brotzmann.
St Francis Duo – Peacemaker Assembly
"The Blue Horse is a beautiful strange journey through a landscape where little is familiar but all are welcome. Made from predominantly acoustic sources, The Blue Horse gracefully hisses, puffs, wheezes, whirls, and clunks it’s way through a series of distinct musical and non musical environments. Sounding both at times like a dark and stormy night… and “an elephant trying to get laid”, the ambiguous style of The Blue Horse conceals the artists’ unsettling, fantastical and quietly humorous sensibility.
Whilst The Blue Horse lacks any obvious precursors, it’s elemental and environmental leanings potentially tread a path initially mapped out by Moniek Darge and Godfried-Willem Raes in the works coming out of the Logos Foundation in Ghent, Belgium in the mid 80’s.
The Blue Horse is the debut recording from Sholto Dobie and Mark Harwood and features a guest appearance from cellist Judith Hamann.
Sholto Dobie is an artist and performer born in Edinburgh and living in London. His solo output is marked by live performances that are characteristically delicate, evocative and absurd. He uses his own instruments, crudely assembled from materials such as reeds, whistles, bin bags, fans and air compressors, alongside loose performative structures, to respond to places and situations. He plays in Al Fresco (with Lia Mazzari & Tom White) and regularly collaborates with Ben Pritchard. He has also worked with Ashley Paul. He continues to run the event series Muckle Mouth which he founded in 2014.
Mark Harwood is a musician and performer born in Ferntree Gully and living in London. His output veers towards uncanny audio both delicate and unsettling whilst his performances rely on teasing out and playing with the mood embedded within any given environment and audience situation. He has collaborated with Graham Lambkin, Aine O’Dwyer, Timo Van Luijk and MP Hopkins and runs the Penultimate Press label which brings forth this very release."
“People say he looks blue under the moon”, is what Mhairi told me when I asked her about it.
I was walking along the roadside with my partner in the Cabrach, one of the most remote areas in northern Scotland. At a bend in the road, something directed my attention towards the hill and when I looked up I could make out a silvery-blue creature, moving slowly and gracefully, obscured by the trees. It wasn’t clear at first, but I soon clocked that it was a horse and I took a picture of it. Earlier in the day I came across a fairy ring of field blewits, mushrooms otherwise known as blue-legs, so I knew something was up.
By the time it was dark (around 4pm in November) we were the only customers in the Grouse Inn, a long-standing middle-of-nowhere tea room and whisky bar, beautifully cared for by Wilma McBain and her daughter Mhairi. Noticing the leather harnesses on display I asked Mhairi about the horse we’d seen earlier in the woods. I was somewhat enchanted just talking about it, and she wasn’t surprised.
Later in the evening, we ended up behind the bar in the refrigeration room (where Mhairi paints), she showed us her painting of the blue horse.
I didn’t sleep much that night.” – Sholto Dobie, 2019
Mark Harwood & Sholto Dobie – The Blue Horse
A collaborative release with the visual artist Shannon Ebner, STRAY: A GRAPHIC TONE features the poems of Susan Howe and Nathaniel Mackey. Produced and collated by Ebner, STRAY: A GRAPHIC TONE juxtaposes historic and recent material from Howe and Mackey between 1991 – 2018. The work brought together specifically examines the two writers’ lifelong preoccupation with subjects adrift in dispossessed narratives both real and imagined.
According to Ebner, “STRAY: A GRAPHIC TONE is the full-length version of what I started in 2016 when I began seeking exchanges with these two poets. I was drawn to their works for their experiments with poetic form – for their politics of poetic form, to be exact – for their poems’ stray figures and stray errant marks.”
1. Extract From A Letter - 1:512. Hope Atherton's Wanderings - 6:103. Loving Friends And Kindred - 0:444. Scattering As Behavior Toward Risk - 6:315. Abide - 1:086. Little Sir Echo - 0:457. An Excerpt From The Foreword To DEBTHS - 1:438. Intro - 3:509. Dogon Eclipse - 2:0110. Song Of The Andoumboulou: 1 - 1:5011. Song Of The Andoumboulou: 50 - 8:4812. An Excerpt From Lone Coast Anacrusis - 3:3813. Parlay Cheval Ou - 0:37
SUSAN HOWE & NATHANIEL MACKEY - STRAY: A GRAPHIC TONE
After touring together in 2016, Paul Dunmall's joyous Quintet returned to OTO last winter. Known for his past collaborations with saxophonist Elton Dean and drummer Tony Bianco, and his work with improvising quartet Mujician (with pianist Keith Tippett, bassist Paul Rogers, and percussionist Tony Levin), Paul's work as a writer really shines brightest with this Quintet. The first set showcases totally new material - The Soultime Suite - and the second an emphatic rendition of 2016's Dreamtime Suite. Pure melody switches through pennywhistle, trumpet, tenor and alto with an elated rhythm section keeping things high energy.
"When I listen to Paul, which is a great pleasure, and when I play with him, I hear the whole history of everything. You hear the history of the saxophone. You hear what Yusef Lateef called 'The Great Tradition'. That's the type of artist I want to be, one that reflects, as Paul does, the great tradition." Hamid Drake in conversation with Soweto, BBC.
“Ever since I heard UK sax colossus Paul Dunmall with Keith Tippett’s Mujician quartet, I knew that there was something special, spiritual about his (tenor) sax playing. Nobody has a sound like him, he is in a class of his own!” – Bruce Lee Gallanter, Free Jazz Collective
Paul Dunmall / tenor & alto saxophone, pennywhistle
Hamid Drake / drums & framedrum
Percy Pursglove / trumpet
Steve Tromans / piano
Dave Kane / bass
Recorded live at Cafe OTO on Thursday 8th November 2018 by Shaun Crook. Mixed and mastered by James Dunn. Artwork by Paul Dunmall.
Paul Dunmall Quintet ft Hamid Drake - 8.11.18
Black Truffle is thrilled to announce the reissue of legendary performance and sound artist John Duncan’s forgotten gem Klaar, originally released by Extreme in 1991 and partly created in collaboration with Andrew McKenzie (The Hafler Trio). Duncan is perhaps most well known for his notorious early performances pieces, which explored violence, self-denial, and the establishment of extreme psychological and physical states in both artist and audience.
Alongside these transgressive experiments, Duncan began to create audio works primarily using short wave radio. Where some of Duncan’s earlier recordings are composed of magnificently sculpted but abrasive walls of noise, Klaar, recorded while Duncan was living in Amsterdam, occupies a more meditative territory. Opening with ‘Delta’, which layers long tones seemingly sourced from slowed down voices over a distant, watery field recording, the remainder of the first side is occupied with the epic title piece, which arranges shortwave radio abstraction, vocal experiments, and field recordings (street sounds, fireworks, monastic chants) into an episodic cinema for the ear.
The second side is dominated by the long, brooding ‘The Immense Room’, where layers of shortwave interference and field recordings are gradually built up into a pulsing, wavering bed of sound infused with a subtly disturbing sense of psychological unrest. This rises to the surface near the end of the piece as sexual moans and ominous rumbles crisscross the stereo image before being abruptly brought to a halt. A singular work of electroacoustic composition, Klaar is both compositionally sophisticated and infused with a sense of mystery and a vital reality often lacking in more academic experimental music; it sits proudly alongside contemporaneous recordings by Duncan’s friends and collaborators Jim O’Rourke and Christoph Heemann and is a must for anyone interested in their work. - Francis Plagne
John Duncan – Klaar
“Not since the early days of MC5 at the Grande Ballroom in Detroit, circa 1968, had there been such an organic melding of sheer metalesque maelstrom and free jazz. These archival recordings from the legendary punk club CBGB capture a moment in time when open-minded musicians from the ‘downtown scene’ were exploring the possibility of bringing Lou Reed’s feedback-infested Metal Machine Music together with Albert Ayler’s Love Cry. Dissipated Face guitarist Kurt “Hologram” Ralske and special guest saxophonist Daniel Carter provided that implausible link between punk rock and avant garde jazz on these 1986 live recordings. Fueled by the throbbing rhythms of Steve “X Dream” Popkin and Ben “Face” Munves, who alternated on bass and drums, Ralske’s twisted, thrashing power chords and shrieking licks blend with Carter’s cathartic alto sax wailing to make the perfect union of disparate worlds."
“Ralske would go on to attain a certain level of indie rock fame with Ultra Vivid Scene and subsequently make an impact as a London-based producer-conceptualist-avant-popmeister and visual artist. Carter would become one of the most ubiquitous figures on New York’s free jazz scene, recording with William Parker, David S. Ware, Billy Bang, Alan Silva and Matthew Shipp and the cooperative bands Test and Other Dimensions in Music. But for this one moment back in 1986, their paths crossed with bandmates Popkin and Munves, and the results were frighteningly intense.” – Bill Milkowski.
“Don’t let the Raymond Pettibon cover fool you—this ain’t exactly some SST discard that cluttered up the amerindie record collections of the late-eighties! Dissipated Face, although they could have made it as a fringe signing to that infamous label, are a tad different’n the reams of collegeboy experimental bleats that were getting a whole lotta hosannas from cloistered clods like myself. As if you actually knew, Dissipated Face were a hot trio that was romping through the post-fun era of NYC rock back when they laid these sides down at CBGB on July 31st of 1986, and their mix of everything from free jazz and late-seventies avant-prog to punk rock made for some of the wildest mergings of the form since Red Transistor. Nothing as out-there as that group, but better’n many a similar-minded excursion into freedom aesthetics. What’s best is that none other’n noted avant saxist himself Daniel Carter sat in giving a particularly Albert Ayler-ish air to these excursions, so if you were a fan of this guy’s various endeavors on the stage of the CBGB Lounge during the final days of Hilly you’ll be glad to know that he was in on the punk jazz game for a longer time’n you could’ve dreamed!” – Christopher Stigliano, Black To Comm
“Oddball discovery of a live meeting of an early group led by Ultra Vivid Scene’s Kurt Raiske with the always amazing Daniel Carter guesting. Carter’s on sax here, and the blend – right near the end of New York City’s post-SIN Club trajectory – is a very cool collision between free jazz and lateperiod scum-rock readymades. Why was this not known of before?” – Byron Coley, The Wire
“If you’re like me, and you got into standard rock music that had choruses and verses and bridges as a child, but always longed for something more extreme, you probably remember the moment you first heard Septic Death or Albert Ayler or Wolf Eyes or Mr. Bungle or whatever it was that destroyed the musical parameters previously established by your brain. I bet if I stumbled into CBGB’s in 1986, everyone probably would’ve been like “who the hell let a five year-old in here, where are his parents?”, but supposing I was a teenager or something, Dissipated Face probably would’ve cracked my skull open with their flailing, post-no-wave free-rock assault. They sound like one of those early ’80s downtown NY groups like Lounge Lizards or Material or Golden Palominos, had they crashed into Reagan Youth on the cab ride over with the few surviving members improvising live.” - Yellow Green Red
“Frantic free punk, that reminds me of Easter Monkeys, then Flipper, then Pere Ubu… it’s wound up post VU sounds from the streets of NYC when that still meant something, inflections of no wave spurting saxophone and weirdly HC-esque guitars, but the swagger and fuck-you take over and overpower the skronk…It’s reminiscent of MC5′s incursions into jazz, not jam Ginn band shit, but fucked up on PCP Les Dirtbags out for blood, armed with Sun Ra and the Dead Boys. Sick Pettibon cover art too. Eat it or beat it!” – Layla Gibbon, MaximumRockNRoll
“In the mid-1980s, Dissipated Face were one of a number of groups weaned on New Music Distribution Service catalogs, cut-out bins, and ready to occupy something of a vacuum. Punk rock, prog, free jazz, funk, modern composition and Downtown art scum were all part of the landscape and exactly what went into their melting pot. Consisting of guitarist Kurt “Hologram” Ralske and Stephen “X. Dream” Popkin and Ben “Face” Munves trading off bass, vocals and drums, their approach ranged from cut-throat punk slop to unhinged bluesy sleaze (the wonderfully bizarre “Streets Of New York” with its hardcore breakdowns). The guest appearance of alto saxophonist Daniel Carter on these four archival cuts recorded live at CBGB in 1986 adds an extra dose of fire to the proceedings. A regular in the groups of bassist-composer William Parker and a fixture in the New York free jazz environment since the mid-70s, his jubilant squall nudges Ralske’s wiry, feedback-drenched statements to unbridled heights. Given more room to stretch it would be interesting to hear what these players could accomplish, but the seven-inch format gives these tracks an extreme urgency, as though if one blinked the music’s gifts would be lost. Thanks are due to Minneapolis’ Roaratorio Records for releasing this snapshot (replete with Raymond Pettibon artwork) of an ecstatic DIY moment.” – Clifford Allen, Tiny Mix Tapes
Dissipated Face With Daniel Carter - Live At CBGB 1986