Today

£10 £8 Advance £6 MEMBERS

NEW IN THE SHOP

The heavyweight trio of Keiji Haino, Jim O’Rourke and Oren Ambarchi return with their 12th and most epic release to date, the triple LP With pats on the head, just one too few is evil one too many is good that's all it is. Documenting the entirety of their final performance at the dearly departed Roppongi home of Tokyo underground institution SuperDeluxe in November 2018, the music spread across these six sides splits the difference between the guitar-bass-drums power trio moves and experiments with novel instrumentation that have defined the trio’s decade of working together. Containing some of the most delicate music the three have committed to wax since the gorgeous 12-string acoustic guitar and dulcimer tones of Only wanting to melt beautifully away is it a lack of contentment that stirs affection for those things said to be as of yet unseen (BT011), this wide-ranging release also offers up some of their most blistering free rock performances yet. The side-long opening piece finds Haino on a single snare drum in duet with O’Rourke on unamplified electric guitar, playing in the lovely post-Bailey vein heard on his classic 90s recordings with Henry Kaiser and Mats Gustafsson. Spiky dissonance and ringing harmonics interweave with flowing melodic fragments as Haino single-mindedly explores the resonance of the snare like an untutored Han Bennink. On ‘Right brain, left brain; right, left; right wing, left wing. Just how many combinations can be made from these?’, O’Rourke moves to synth and electronics, joined by Ambarchi on drums, who at first focuses on sizzle cymbals before hypnotic cycles of gentle tom rhythms combine with electronic burbles and flutters to suggest a dream collaboration between Masahiko Togashi and Jean Schwarz. Ambarchi’s percussion is then joined by Haino on wandering, overblown flute, before the man in black switches back to the snare for a bizarre, stuttering drum duet. For the first trio performance, Haino makes another new addition to his seemingly infinite catalogue of instruments, this time a homemade contraption he refers to as ‘Strings of Dubious Reputation’. Joined by O’Rourke on increasingly spaced-out electric guitar and Ambarchi on skittering percussion, Haino’s wonky, slack strings adds a definite ‘musique brut’ edge to this side-long performance, certainly one of the most enchantingly odd in the trio’s discography. When the group reconvene for the second set, spread out across the final three sides, they seem ready to breathe fire from the first instant. O’Rourke slashes distorted chords on the six-string bass, Ambarchi breaks into his signature irregular caveman thump, and Haino squeals and squawks on heavily delayed oboe before unleashing an overpowering electrical storm when he first picks up the guitar. For over half an hour, the trio pound out one of their most relentless performances, a constantly rearranging kaleidoscope of tortured fuzz guitar, insanely busy bass riffing and propulsive, tumbling drums. A hushed atmosphere initially reigns on the final long piece, given the mournful title ‘There are always things I wish to say but I can only convey them in this language August 6 August 9’. Haino’s clean guitar strumming calls up the shimmering tones of his PSF classic Affection, gradually building to a surging wall of sound, bass and drums lumbering through a roar of jet-engine guitar. Arriving in a deluxe trifold package with photos by Lasse Marhaug alongside inner sleeves with extensive live images, this epic release is perhaps the most remarkable document yet of this unique trio’s stamina and continuing inventiveness. 

Jim O'Rourke, Keiji Haino, Oren Ambarchi – With pats on the head, just one too few is evil one too many is good that's all it is - 3LP

LP - Edition of 300 copies, handmade textile artwork w/ printed inner / CD Edition of 150 copies, handmade textile artwork Sylvain Chauveau has been releasing quiet and minimal compositions on various labels for more than two decades. ultra-minimal marks his debut for Sonic Pieces and takes the minimal approach even further, centring on reduction and limitation. The album was recorded live at Café Oto, London in March 2022 - one of Sylvain’s rare solo concerts and the first time he performed publicly with only acoustic instruments; no machines, no recorded sounds have been used, only piano, guitar, harmonium and melodica, played one at the time. While some of the compositions are completely new, others are live versions of previously released pieces which have either been performed close to their original or stripped-down, reduced to a single instrument and partly rearranged. This reveals a predilection for repetitions and variations that Sylvain shares with Jim Jarmusch, and at the same time it is a personal attempt to avoid electronic devices as a tool for live music. The artwork and track titles follow this reductionist idea and an aesthetic of miniaturization that Sylvain has developed for many years. They refer to the minimalist, concrete poetry that he writes regularly. In this context rewriting some of the original titles was a consistent implication to achieve a complete work, an album that perfectly represents Sonic Pieces’ aesthetics, both musically and visually.

ultra-minimal – Sylvain Chauveau

'Solos for _ _ _ _ spaces' is the debut release from London-based percussionist and sound artist Regan Bowering. Her music is created by placing snare drum, amplifiers and microphones in configurations which trigger volatile yet malleable flows of sound. Across these four tracks, percussion and amplifier feedback are carved into crescendos and diminuendos where coarse textures move in intricate constellations. The album charts this process travelling through different contexts, moving from live improvisations in a large, reverberant hall to micro-edited versions on a laptop. Bowering’s interest in feedback is an extension of research into how, historically, technology (such as mics, amplification, instrumentation, and recording processes) have affected the ways improvisers approach rhythm. “I wanted to explore ways to use the drums that extended beyond typical rhythmic gestures or the need to hit the drums to generate sound,” Bowering explains. “To create a continuous texture which doesn’t need continuous input. The unpredictability of feedback is what draws me to it. It’s similar to playing with another musician. Things can happen unexpectedly, just like in a group improvisation.” To our ears, touchstones for Bowering’s use of space and feedback could be Alvin Lucier, or perhaps even Ryosuke Kiyasu’s radical approach to percussion, amplification and setting. However, there are fluctuations between frenzy and gentleness, a sensitivity to mood and affect on 'Solos for _ _ _ _ spaces' which are uniquely hers. This is far more intricate than a simple bridging of minimalism, free-improvisation and electro-acoustic techniques. This is perhaps explained by some of the musicians that Bowering mentions having a long-running impact on her practice, from percussionist Seijiro Murayama to saxophonist, composer and Art Ensemble of Chicago founder Roscoe Mitchell. While their influence may not be explicitly audible in these four tracks, their unique approaches to texture, space and improvisation are undoubtedly present. Bowering treats what might typically be cacophonous – drums and feedback – with subtlety and nuance. “I like exploring the possibilities in feedback beyond just harshness, and drums beyond being loud and rhythmically dense,” she reflects. “The detail that’s possible. The emotional intensity you can get from different sounds. The feelings that come when you move between extremes, such as from loud and abrasive to almost silent. The feedback gives me a different set of colours to work with, a different material to carve as part of my sonic and rhythmic pallet as a percussionist.” System, organism, ecosystem – there’s a litany of metaphors which could be used to describe how her music is produced. All make sense, and all feel slightly inadequate. Her music originates in processes, but its realisation comes through liveness and response. Bowering manipulates the sound by bending drum skins to change pitch, moving mics to alter intensity. Striking the snare to trigger dramatic upheavals in the circuit. But her music is a balancing act, a compromise between her own actions and the context they’re happening in. “It’s a system I improvise within, but it’s also always affected by the space I’m playing in. The acoustics, the number of people in a room and if they move. How I’m feeling at the time. These subtle dynamics all affect the sound.” This variation is highlighted throughout the album. The recordings here document performances in vastly different settings. A reverberant hall at Goldsmith’s University. An intimate gig at Avalon Café where the audience enclosed Bowering, and on track 3, an empty studio. For the final track, a DAW is used to rearrange components from the preceding three into a new composition. Here feedback and drums enter the possibilities of another space, a computer, and the different means of response it offers. More than a live album, this tape charts a consistent practice applied to inconsistent contexts, capturing in real time how the outcomes are determined by the player, the moment and the situation. credits -- Mastered by Billy SteigerAll sounds by Regan Bowering.

Solos for _ _ _ _ spaces – Reagan Bowering

New Events

Tuesday 7 May 2024

Chinabot presents:

MEMESHIFT + AYANKOKO + KEPLA + OISHI

£15 £13 Advance £8 MEMBERS

Saturday 27 April 2024

Chinabot presents:

JAEHO HWANG + NEO GEODESIA + TANAT TEERADAKORN

£15 £13 Advance £8 MEMBERS

Wednesday 13 March 2024

LOWKEYCCTV PRESENTS:

MIDDDLE WURLD

£12 £10 Advance £5 MEMBERS

Tuesday 19 March 2024

Ink-Paper-Sound: Setlist 3 Zine Launch

Khabat Abas / Dee Byrne / Bell Lungs + David Birchall / Kate Carr / Tullis Rennie + Sloth Racket

£14 £12 Advance £7 MEMBERS

Coming up

Friday 1 March 2024

LAURA CANNELL + STICK IN THE WHEEL

SOLD OUT

Monday 4 March 2024

Michael Speers / John Wall (duo) + Lee Fraser + Eye Measure

£14 £12 Advance £7 MEMBERS

Tuesday 5 March 2024

Upset the Rhythm: THE PHEROMOANS + APOSTILLE + DEAN RODNEY JR. & THE COWBOYS + FLEX DJs (HP Sorcery & The Plague)

£12 £10 (DICE)