Contact and The Thames Submarine present: Surfeit
The dry, wrinkled skin, crow’s feet and rheumy eyes of old women can be seen universally; yet the actual images and their meaning differ widely, and the very absence of these old women in certain settings also reveals both a discomfort with the aged and an ease in their invisibility. This is true in writing about art and often in the art itself. The physical markers of aging, even implications of death or the nearness of death, make many of these images of old women, haunting; in the 16th and 17th centuries, they become emblems of anger and avarice, though portraits of known elderly women are often created with a sense of awe, and in some cases, authority.
This book provides a frank examination of old women, from medieval “old wives” to contemporary reimaginations of shamans and witches and empowering self-portraits. Works from medieval Europe to colonial-time Polynesia, present West Africa, Japan, and the Americas, in a multiplicity of media are explored. These studies of varied representations of “old women” offer fresh perspectives and a dialogue about society’s values and preconceptions regarding the “golden years” in different times and cultures. Images of old women may be the very opposite of what one considers the ideal, but this discussion makes these often overlooked images seem fresh and highlights their many positive associations.
Women, Aging, and Art: A Crosscultural Anthology
Pre-order for the forthcoming, much anticipated and absolutely killer new Still House Plants
‘If I don't make it, I love u’ is Still House Plants’ third LP and the fullest embodiment of their sound to date. Where ‘Fast Edit’ formed with quick attachment and jump cuts, ‘If I don't make it’ is shaped by persistence - a commitment to the songs that makes the music solid, warmer and accepted. Marking the trio’s decade of friendship, this is the first record written whilst all live in the same city since 2017's ‘Assemblages’. The band rehearsed it relentlessly, playing for nobody except themselves, consistently building support for one another and growing the way they play. Jess’ voice is deeper. Fin’s guitar is full size, richer. David drums harder. Focused on one point together, everyone gets bigger and nothing falls apart. The guitar and the drums blend, raise the voice, make room for what is being said, what is felt. When able to finally record, production allowed layers, gave elasticity, a chance to fully stretch. Playing with length and connections, the band brought in analogue techniques - a Lesley cabinet on ‘Headlight’, sidechaining the snare with the guitar, pushing vocals through cheap DJ software - each process an attempt to bring one instrument closer to another, to give bass, body, backup. ‘If I don't make it, I love u’ seeks beauty, holds feeling maximum and builds surety with its sound. The most generous SHP record to date, the music is wide open, demands less. Play it again, it will come clear.
releases April 12, 2024 Finlay Clark / guitar Jess Hickie-Kallenbach / vocals David Kennedy / drums
If I don’t make it, I love u – Still House Plants
Emerging from the ethereal realms of sonic mastery, New Zealand’s most audacious experimental outfit, The Dead C, presents ‘DEUX NUITS A PARIS’, two complete live sets that ensnares and exemplifies their ever-evolving sonic journey. From the pulsating metaphysical city of Dunedin, the band - Bruce Russell, Michael Morley, and Robbie Yeats - became a testament to the country’s under ground music scene, stirring the waters with their unorthodox sound landscapes since the late ‘80s. Profoundly philosophical and unapologetically experimental, The Dead C gracefully brush strokes onto the canvas of sound that are those recordings. This double live album is not merely a recollection of a time and place but an exhibition of raw energy, spontaneous creativity, and the irreplaceable reverberations of improvisation and somehow, songs. The Dead C. places the listener at the center of a spiraling vortex of fractured guitar notes, sprawling feedback, cathartic drums manipulations and enigmatic, submerged lyrics -- a complete immersion into their aural architecture. Each night is a journey towards the unknown, challenging the listener to embrace the implicit tension between the familiar and the strange. Experiencing this double live recording which happened in Paris at the iconic venue LES INSTANTS CHAVIRES, is wading through streams of consciousness, where every moment springs forth a new sensory revelation, the echoes of sonic experimentation ricocheting off the walls of reality. The atmosphere thickens and lightens, enveloped in the three-piece’s enthralling ability to balance raw chaotic dissonance with a overwhelming overall flow of unfiltered expression. Decimation Sociale, 2024
The Dead C – Deux Nuts A Paris 2CD
Written between 2014-2024.
"A mountain-dwelling religion called Shugendō emerged in Japan as a syncretism between Vajrayana Buddhism, Shinto and Taoism in the 7th century, which stressed ascetic practices. One of these practices was sokushinbutsu (or sokushin jobutsu), connoting mountain austerities in order to attain Buddha-nature in one's body.
Ascetic monks in Japan practiced nyūjō (入定), which caused their own death by adhering to a wood-eating diet consisting of salt, nuts, seeds, roots, pine bark, and urushi tea. They were then buried alive in a pine-wood box full of salt connected by a tube for air, and would ring a bell signaling they were alive. When the bell stopped ringing, the air tube would be removed.
The practitioners of sokushinbutsu did not view this practice as an act of suicide, but rather as a form of further enlightenment."--
Recorded, arranged and produced by Oli Barrett.
Some field recordings on part 1 by Ben Gaymer.
Sphagnum Moss – Sokushinbutsu
First Official Reissue of Conspiracy. NOT TO BE MISSED!! (due to a slight delay at the pressing plant, this release has been put back to the end of July)
Jeanne Lee (1939-2000) was an African-American vocalist, poet, composer, improvisor, activist and educator. In her 40 year career she performed with Archie Shep, Marion Brown, Gunter Hampel, Frank Lowe, William Parker, Andrew Cyrille, Anthony Braxton, Ran Blake, Billy Bang, Cecil Taylor, John Cage, Rashsaan Roland Kirk, Pauline Oliveros, Reggie Workman, and many others. "jazz is a music that combines so many opposites...you have to fined that balance, then you have a guideline between freedom and discipline, between rhythm and melody, between body and spirit, between mind and instinct" (Jeanne Lee) This is the first official reissue of "Conspiracy" since its limited release in 1975, it was her first record under her own name as a solo artist. It is a true lost gem, with a unique and beautiful sound.
Musician Elaine Mitchener describes "Conspiracy" as "one of greatest free-form albums of the1970s". "i feel the music like a dance, I think it's an important part of the music, it has to be felt like a dance" (Jeanne Lee)
Jeanne Lee - vocal Gunter Hampel - flute, piano, vibraphone, alto clarinet, bass clarinet Sam Rivers - soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, flute Steve McCall - drums Alan Praskin - clarinet Perry Robinson - clarinet Jack Gregg - Bass Mark Whitecage - alto clarinet Marty Cook -trombone Recorded in New York, 1974 Originally released in 1975 on "Seeds records" and Jeanne Lee's own "Earth-forms records"
Jeanne Lee – Conspiracy
An overview of John Akomfrah's work, with contributions by Julia Grosse and Nelly Y. Pinkrah, an interview with the artist, along with a foreword by Sebastian Baden.John Akomfrah creates thoughtful video works of haunting audiovisual intensity. He tells of the radical changes and crises of the present and past on characteristic large-format screens. From November 9, 2023 to January 28, 2024, the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt is presenting for the first time a comprehensive overview of the artist's work in Germany, featuring a selection of three major multichannel installations from recent years: The Unfinished Conversation (2012), Vertigo Sea (2015), and Akomfrah's new work, Becoming Wind (2023). A co-founder of the influential London-based Black Audio Film Collective (established in 1982), Akomfrah's work interweaves newly shot film sequences with archival material to create multilayered, at times associative collages, frequently in the form of simultaneous narrative structures. Akomfrah's immersive installations critically examine colonial pasts, global migration, and the climate crisis. He addresses one-dimensional historical representations by allowing multiple perspectives to emerge in the narrative, disrupting the notion of linearity and the illusion of a one and only truth.Published on the occasion of the eponymous exhibition at Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt in 2023-2024.
John Akomfrah – A Space for Empathy