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"In Japan during the Covid-19 lock down we saw a movement. It was created from a woman who raised her voice to say NO via SNS to one of the controversial bills, a revision of the public prosecutor's office law* that was about to go through the Lower House without a fair public hearing. This tiny voice of hers went viral and formed an online demonstration to protect our democracy. It is very rare in Japan for the public to be actively involved in any policies. Alas the bill was temporarily suspended because many finally stood up.
When we threw lots of small stones, the mountain got moved a little. However we shouldn’t celebrate yet. We need to be calm and grounded and observe what the government will do.” says Kyoko Koizumi, an actress and a producer whom I respect dearly. Her phrases sums up things that do not change so easily.
*A proposed legal revision that would raise the retirement age for prosecutors became the centre of controversy this week when it was taken up by the Lower House. Unlike officials in other administrative organizations, prosecutors have wide powers to investigate, arrest and indict anyone, even prime ministers and other high officials. They must remain highly neutral and independent from other authorities and political powers. Since the proposed revision could allow the Cabinet to intervene in the personnel affairs of prosecutors’ offices, many experts fear it could jeopardize the independence of prosecutors and the separation of powers.
The music of Eric Dolphy lives with Breathing.
We never forget the day May 25th 2020 for the world we can freely breath in and out.
「Two Blue Kites」
June 4th 1989 , it is a very memorable day for me.
31 years ago I took part in a demonstration for the first time ever in my life. It was a small resistance held in Tokyo. I was with the Chinese people raising my voice out loud in the crowd. I couldn’t do anything but I felt that I had to do something.
In the beginning of the 90s I was going back and forth between Tokyo and Hong Kong making music. I was offered to make music for a film portrait the night before the Chinese Cultural Revolution called “ The Blue Kite”. The producer of this film invited me to make the music for the film. The film director was banned from making this film in mainland China and he escaped to Japan via Hong Kong. The film was finally completed in Japan. Hong Kong was still in British colony then. This film made my film music career begin.
June 4th 2020 The Hong Kong government banned the public to organise and attend the candlelight rallies to mark the Tiananmen Square massacre. Despite the harsh policing and the Covid-19 regulation many people (still) defied the ban and tried to attend the commemoration. I was thinking of many of my friends there at the moment.
I wonder how this little country, Hong Kong, that “brought me up” and “ shaped me who I am today” will be from now. My heart is full of concern for its future.
The film The Blue Kite is still banned in China to this date."
- Otomo Yoshihide
In Japanese / 日本語訳
「Two Blue Kites」
90年代初頭、わたしは香港と東京を行き来して音楽をつくっていた。そんな中1993年、文化大革命前夜の北京を描いた「The Blue Kite」という中国映画の音楽を作ることになったのが、わたしが映画の世界に入る切っ掛けだった。中国で作ることを禁じられ、香港経由でフィルムを持って日本に脱出した監督が東京で完成させた映画で、香港のプロデューサーがわたしを誘ってくれたのだ。当時香港はまだイギリス領だった。
「The Blue Kite」は今でも中国での上映が禁止されている。
Otomo Yoshihide – 「Small Stone」
Switch that light off.Switch that light off.Still the night appears in her relentless bright stupor.
A collection of unsung sleepless nights. A percussive collage of low-fi frequencies documenting a journey that never took place.
Il silenzio non arrivaIl conto è salatoIl sole riscalda i fallimentiNiente ma tutto è cambiato
Valentina Magaletti played and assembled percussion, drums, field recordings, vibraphone, toys, and oscillators.
Produced and edited by Leon Marks. Special thanks to: Tom Relleen, Marta Salogni, Evelena Ruether, and João Pais Felipe for the love and support. Cover design by Oliver Barrett.
Valentina Magaletti – A Queer Anthology of Drums
A Pure Solar World: Sun Ra and the Birth of Afrofuturism offers a spirited introduction to the life and work of this legendary but underappreciated musician, composer, and poet. Paul Youngquist explores and assesses Sun Ra’s wide-ranging creative output—music, public preaching, graphic design, film and stage performance, and poetry—and connects his diverse undertakings to the culture and politics of his times, including the space race, the rise of technocracy, the civil rights movement, and even space-age bachelor-pad music. By thoroughly examining the astro-black mythology that Sun Ra espoused, Youngquist masterfully demonstrates that he offered both a holistic response to a planet desperately in need of new visions and vibrations and a new kind of political activism that used popular culture to advance social change. In a nation obsessed with space and confused about race, Sun Ra aimed not just at assimilation for the socially disfranchised but even more at a wholesale transformation of American society and a more creative, egalitarian world.
372 pages | 6 x 9 | 23 b&w photos | Hardcover
Paul Youngquist – A Pure Solar World: Sun Ra and the Birth of Afrofuturism
More than half a century has elapsed since the founding of the legendary British free improvisation group AMM. We could say there would be no free improvisation as we know it today without AMM’s Eddie Prévost, John Tilbury and Keith Rowe. The mystery surrounding AMM has not faded; to the contrary, even nowadays it carries a particular appeal due to its engaged, intelligible and nonetheless radical message.As N.O. Moore writes in the ‘Until The Next Time’ liner notes:“The musician makes music audible. The improviser makes music differ from itself.AMM calls forth music at the same time as simply allowing it to arrive, unbidden, as if sound were as indifferent to us as any other natural phenomena.Against the egalitarianism of sounds (…), we reserve the right to fail – that is, we take the risk of evaluation. Next time, we will get it right? … That is the wrong question. AMM: the next time is to be heard here, now, sounding out … almost.”The 180g vinyl includes an insert with photos and liner notes by N.O. Moore.
Eddie Prévost – percussionKeith Rowe – guitar, electronicsJohn Tilbury – piano
AMM – Until The Next Time
Naima Karlsson treats us to deep searching improvised recordings on 70s organ and vector synth. Originally recorded in Jan 2020 for an installation by Gery Georgieva at Cubitt Artists in London, Naima later reworked the piece, transmuting the material into '[Vital organs] I. Heart Protector. In it, slow winding motifs and melodic washes find their feet in a melancholic dirge. Lines of sound open up and unfurl, revealing over time a fragile inner structure. Like the work of her grandparents, Naima's music is rooted in the soil of the earth but gradually lifts itself skywards, finding solace in both the physical and digital world.
The track is accompanied by a video collage by Naima: "The video is a collage of still and moving found images that journey through the organ track on an internal and universal scale. Taking influence from the title, protection and the body are prominent themes. The images search for fluid interconnections between micro and macro bodies in the physical, digital and astral realms such as far-off stars, cell phone devices, Dogon astronomy drawings, bodies of water and our central heart space." - Naima Karlsson
Naima Karlsson - All instrumentation & video collage
Naima will be donating 50% of her profits from this release to the Movement for Black Lives.
Recorded by Maxwell Sterling2020
Naima Karlsson – [Vital Organs]: I. Heart Protector
When Tatsuya Yoshida, Makoto Kawabata and Richard Pinhas were making their 2017 self-titled trio album for Bam Balam, Makoto made some spare loop tracks which were going to be melded together with guitar and drums to form a new piece of work. The resulting album was never made until now, where in lockdown Tatsuya and Makoto recorded the absent guitar, drum and synthesizer parts to complete an album for Takuroku. The outcome - a ravishing suite of cyber prog-rock - feels nothing near to fractals or pieces of loose meat. Tatsuya and Makoto push their technical prowess to the fore for 8 technicolour tracks, revelling in the sort of kinetic energy of Ruins and Acid Mothers Temple at their most full-frontal and ecstatic. Sounding like a machine being re-wired to operate at a different velocity - sparking, malfunctioning and panting clouds of smoke - it gives little room to breath in its overwhelming vacuum of sound. Elements hot-wire into overdrive and never cease to slow outside of their given track-length time frame. Bring a few bottles of water and a fresh towel - this a total trip, from two heroes of the Japanese underground.
SHLIMP WARC – THGIE DRSOW