Unconscious Archives, SONICA & Austrian Cultural Forum London present: Swan Meat + Natalie Sharp / Lone Taxidermist + Kutin | Kindlinger + Stray Landings (DJ)
Heat, War, Sweat, Law is British composer Laurie Tompkins’ debut solo recording: a desperate stomp on the bones of Heaven 17’s ‘The Height Of The Fighting’, replete with rabid voices, cracked pots, faltering pipes, spent IKEA bags and egg shakers, and spasmodic ghosts of Martyn Ware synths. Part foaming rant, part exercise routine, HWSL’s incessant shaking, hammering and yelling wear down soloist, tools, and the tolerance of an audience put upon by a dispersed mob seeking to recruit them in their inane howls and claps.
“…Glenn Gregory’s suave croons are a world away from these giddy bagatelles, evoking as they do a hurricane in a Sheffield charity shop…” – Paul Margree, We Need No Swords“…he cries meaningless bloody murder in nine tracks that resemble surreal playground games as much as they do compositions…” – Tristan Bath, The Quietus“…the receding hairline of an overwhelmed sound guy paying off the interest on his mic set case while pulling out hair…” – Tiny Mix Tapes
Mixed and mastered by Owen Roberts. Video for “Sweat” by Joel Wycherley.
Laurie Tompkins - Heat, War, Sweat, War
Lawrence Lek’s Unreal Estate is a speculative simulation in which London’s Royal Academy of Arts has been sold off as a luxury playboy mansion to an anonymous Chinese billionaire. First shown at the RA itself in 2015, and available to play online as part of Lek’s ‘Bonus Levels’ series, this dystopian and poignantly funny piece was the winner of the ICA Tenderflix award and the Dazed x Converse Emerging Artist Award.
Unreal Estate’s eerie landscape is underpinned by a soundtrack from cellist and composer Oliver Coates. Coates’ cello chorales are both tender and stark; glossy Reichian quavers, elephantine bass lines and cultivated waltzes reverberate within the gallery’s imaginary walls. Interspersed amongst Coates’ themes are selections from Unreal Estate’s narrator, whose advice to potential investors comes from a found text from Russian Tatler, translated into Mandarin by Joni Zhu.
The result is a music concrete mixture of snatched vocal samples, effluent drones and tear-heavy harmonics.
“…one of the most immersive ambient albums you are likely to hear this year…” – Bleep
“…the music is as grand and boldly delineated as any computer game soundtrack, making it a perfect fit for Lek’s virtual world…” – Nathan Thomas, Fluid Radio
Mastered by Rupert Clervaux.
Lawrence Lek & Oliver Coates - Unreal Estate OST
Dedicated to the memory of Tony Marsh
The recordings on this double LP are taken from the first night of Roscoe Mitchell's inaugural two day residency at Cafe OTO in 2012 and his first time playing with drummer Tony Marsh and double bassist John Edwards.
It was one of those nights where the music electrifies the room. Everyone on edge. Everything alive with the possibilities.
Although there was much talk after the concert of the group playing together again this would sadly be the first and last time the trio would play. Tony passed away unexpectedly just a few weeks later making this his last documented performance and a fitting tribute to a truly great drummer and percussionist.
Roscoe Mitchell is one of the most important saxophonists and composers of the 20th Century. Active since the 1960s as a bandleader, mentor, collaborator and teacher. Mitchell was a founding member of Chicago's Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) and the legendary Art Ensemble of Chicago. He has been a pivotal figure in the collective re-imagining of what is possible in jazz, improvisation and beyond combining an instantly recognisable sound on the saxophone with staggering technique (check the lengthy stretch of sustained circular breathing on SIDE C) and an arresting, fractured melodic sensibility.
On this date he quickly realised he was in the company of two musicians who could match his vision and create music that is more than the sum of its parts.
John Edwards is a vital presence in London's creative music community. A true virtuoso, his staggering range of techniques and boundless musical imagination have redefined the possibility of the double bass and dramatically expanded its role.
No one else played or plays drums like Tony Marsh. Richard Williams had previously described Tony's "marvelous ability to erase the boundary between time and no-time" and here, on the jerry-rigged suspended percussion set-up he'd developed (no kick or hi-hats) he opens up a beautifully resonant space, quietly directing the pulse whilst allowing you to fully hear the upper-register harmonic detail and flickering pizzicato of John Edward's bass. You'd be hard pressed to hear anything in the playing that would hint at his shock passing only a month later.
"Listen closely, take a chance, keep going even if money's tight, and you'll find the real reward – that's why Tony was hip in the most meaningful sense … And he didn't need to play loud, or be loud, to get that intensity. It's like splitting diamonds or something. If you know exactly the right place to make the impact, you don't need to hit anything hard." - Evan Parker
(Quoted in John Fordham's Obituary for Marsh)
Roscoe Mitchell / Tony Marsh / John Edwards - Improvisations
Musicians: Antonin Gerbal (FR) – drums, Joel Grip (SW) – double bass, Pat Thomas (UK) – piano, Seymour Wright (UK) – alto sax
Four of the most idiosyncratic and creative voices at the margins of jazz, imagine their way into and around the music and philosophy of Ahmed Abdul-Malik. This is music to listen, dance and think to. A new jazz record, from a new jazz band.
[Ahmed] make music about the music of Ahmed Abdul-Malik. They excavate, re-inhabit and use a-new the now overlooked documents, and fragmentary plans, of his mid-20th century synthetic vision to produce a new jazz imagination for the 21st century.
Ahmed-Malik (1927-1993) was a NYC bassist, oudist, composer, educator and philosopher. A potent(ial) influence on Coltrane and Monk (we imagine), he was also a significant composer in his own right. (Ignored into creative obscurity, he spent his final decades teaching, and performing seldom). His albums Jazz Sahara (1958) and East Meets West (1960) fuse aspects of Arabic and East African musics and thought, his committed long-term relationship with Sufi Islam, and then-modern jazz and thinking – in revolutionary and vital ways. The product is exciting, radical, raw, and beautiful.
But, as well as honouring these traditions, Abdul-Malik invented and imagined a lot*. Abdul- Malik’s straddling, synthetic and inclusive vision is one of the great projects of the imagination in jazz. He mixed sounds and ethics, meanings and beliefs in open, experimental ways without dogma.
And so do [Ahmed]. They visit and (re)think his compositions and the process potential in them. They play the notes, but use them, and the ideas in and about them, as vehicles for their unique imaginations, instrumental approaches and ideas. Through his compositions they re-imagine and re-synthesize, moving from what they know into newly creative space. They imagine themselves into the future, free of the dogma, clichés and cloy neo-classicisms of current ‘improvised music’ and ‘free jazz’.
* Kelley, R.D.G. (2012) ‘Ahmed Abdul-Malik’s Islamic Experimentalism’ in Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times. Cambridge: Harvard University Press: 91-119 talks about this in his brief but fascinating study.
[Ahmed] New Jazz Imagination LP
IST went to New York in April 2001 to participate in Derek Bailey's Company Week at Tonic. Before Company proper started however, the two UK groups (the other being the Derek Bailey / Will Gaines duo) took part in a preview concert playing in their habitual groupings. The resulting trio recordings have never been previously released; as a special bonus the album also includes an unreleased quartet of IST + John Zorn, which took place during the Company event itself.
Rhodri Davies / harp Mark Wastell / violoncello Simon H. Fell / double bass John Zorn / alto sax [track 6]
Recorded at Tonic, Norfolk St., New York, 17 & 19 April 2001
Ist Featuring John Zorn – New York
The first duo release of Anne Guthrie and Seymour Wright - made back and forth across the Atlantic between 2014 and 2016, of a duo that has existed since 2003.
recordings and assemblings, 2014 new york, ny, 2014 limehouse, london, 2016, elephant and castle to chelsea bridge, london and 2016 brooklyn, ny.
anne guthrie: french horn + ny recordingsseymour wright: alto saxophone + london recordings
listen to an excerpt
letterpress sleevedesign and print by ben owen
anne guthrie and seymour wright chelsea bridge cd