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OTOROKU

In house label for Cafe OTO which documents the venue's programme of experimental and new music, alongside re-issuing crucial archival releases.

Delighted to present a series of solo double bass improvisations and compositions from London-based musician, Caius Williams, recorded in March 2023. Across Gwannach's eight tracks Williams' playing spans a wide range of texture and tactility, that at times seems to conjure forth every bit of weight and heft of the instrument’s body and at other times barely seems to graze the strings. Williams gives the impression of being fully present in every aspect of the performance, with the recordings capturing each hiss and rasp of bow on string, each shift and knock of palm on (wooden) body; embracing all of these aspects as being just as much of the whole as the resultant vibration of the strings. There’s an undeniable abundance of technical prowess on display here, but this is no dry academic exercise, and the medium is never the totality of the message. Each of these tracks encompasses a broad swathe of approaches, from gritty fuzz and burr to harmonic-inflected lyricism, and an almost playful curiosity in approach that never feels forced. Above all you get the sense of a fully embodied performance, with each track being given just the right amount of space and depth that it requires. The 'weakness' of the album's title can, at times, stand in stark contrast to the physicality of the performances, but perhaps we shouldn't take this too literally. After all, the relative strength of a single strand of horsehair may not withstand much, but it can still bring forth as much beauty as can be found here. -- All music by Caius WilliamsSession engineered by William LydonMixed by Caius WilliamsMastered by Oli BarrettArtwork by Kit Derbyshire Thanks to Theo, Tara, and Noah for their advice, to Kit for the artwork, and a huge thanks to Abby Thomas, Oli Barrett, and OTOROKU. Special thanks to Tom Challenger for the support.

Caius Williams – Gwannach

LP reissue of Collective Calls, the first duo LP from Evan Parker and percussionist Paul Lytton. Mythically alluded to as ‘An Improvised Urban Psychodrama In Eight Parts”, Collective Calls utilises electronics, pre-records and homemade instruments to wryly in/act self investigation. Having just recorded the cliff jumping Music Improvisation Company with Derek Bailey, Christine Jeffrey, Hugh Davies and Jamie Muir, Parker was at the point where [he] was thinking, ‘what’s the next thing?’ On Collective Calls, only the 5th release to appear on the newly minted Incus label, percussionist Paul Lytton arrives with an arsenal of sound making sources to push Parker into ever new territory. Recorded in the loft of The Standard Essenco Co on Southwark Street by Bob Woolford (Topography of the Lungs, AMM The Crypt), Collective Calls has more in common with noise or music concrete than with jazz; sitting comfortably alongside Italian messrs Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza or the husband-wife duo of Anima Sound. According to Martin Davidson, it was a Folkways record called Sounds of the Junkyard that Lytton was obsessed with around the time of this release - its track titles like “Steel Saw Cutting Channel Iron in Two Places” working to give you a good idea of the atmosphere of Collective Calls. Paul Lytton had encountered the use of electronics in music in 1968 when he was invited to play drums on the recording of An Electric Storm by White Noise (along with David Vorhaus, Delia Derbyshire and Brian Hodgson). He had seen Hugh Davies using contact mics in the Music Improvisation Company, and soon set about assembling a Dexion frame akin to drummer John Stevens’, except that his own was armed with several single-coil electric guitar pickups, long wires and strings with connected foot-pedals to modulate pitch. Influenced as much by Stockhausen, Cage and David Tudor as he was by Max Roach and Milford Graves, Lytton’s percussion is abstract, expressionist and at times totally mutant. Sometimes rolling extremely fast, then screeching almost backwards over feedback, Lytton gives Parker room to play some of his weirdest work. Parker is listed as performing both saxophones, his own homemade contraptions, and cassette recorder - regularly thickening the already murky brew by playing back previous recordings of the duo. Imagining their set up in a 70s loft, it’s an assemblage more akin to what today's free ears might see at a Sholto Dobie show, spread out on the floor of the Hundred Years Gallery, the shadow of Penultimate Press lurking in a corner. It’s a testament to Parker’s shape shifting sound - the ever present link to birdsong being at its most warped here - terrifically free and unfussy, wild and loose from any of the dogma that might come in later Brit-prov years.

Evan Parker and Paul Lytton – Collective Calls (Urban) (Two Microphones)

Recording of the stunning first set performed by the trio of Peter Brötzmann, Steve Noble and John Edwards at Cafe OTO in January 2010 during Brotzmann's first residency at the venue. This was also the first time the trio had played together. Recorded at Cafe OTO by Shane Browne, mixed by John Edwards and Mastered by Andres [LUPO] Lupich at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. REVIEWS "On an east London side street, Café Oto hosts a programme of international experimental sounds to shame subsidised arts temples, drawing demographic-defying crowds of all ages through its doors. The first release on Oto's own label, available as an authentic vinyl slab or a slippery download, is a 40-minute splurge of sax, drums and bass skronk, live at the venue in 2010, from the German free-jazz giant Brötzmann and two stars of the London improv scene. Unrepeatable moments of collective inspiration and sudden sunlit shafts of modal near melody punctuate the continuing energy blur. Business as usual down Dalston Junction." Stewart Lee, The Sunday Times  "Since it opened in Dalston in April 2008, Café OTO has become London's new music venue of choice for the likes of the Sun Ra Arkestra, Joe McPhee, Mats Gustafsson – and Peter Brötzmann, whose first residency at the club in January 2010 yielded this inaugural release on OtoRoku, Café OTO’s new in-house label. The night in question was the first time Brötzmann had played with bassist John Edwards and drummer Steve Noble, and the decision to team them up was inspired. With Alan Wilkinson, or in Decoy with Alex Hawkins and NEW with Alex Ward, Edwards and Noble have a deserved reputation as a thrilling high-energy rhythm section. And as Brötzmann is no slouch when it comes to high-energy playing, the combination is explosive. Right from the start of the set – the first that evening – it's obvious why this was selected to christen the label. All three players jump straight into top gear, with Brötzmann setting a cracking pace, his torrent of sound characterised by that hard-edged tone which makes him such compelling listening. ...the worse the better sets a high standard for subsequent releases to match. But, as every night at Café OTO is recorded and there's a wealth of fine music waiting in the wings, including quality recordings from Otomo Yoshihide and Wadada Leo Smith, OtoRoku looks like a label to watch." John Eyles, Paris Transatlantic "These two extended improvisations, recorded in January 2010 during Brötzmann’s first residency at OTO, finds the group attaining near-telepathic modes of interconnectedness, despite this being the trio’s first outing together. From the off, Brötzmann’s gills are gurning, throwing up torrents of molten roar, while Noble’s mule-kicking at the traps reels out ride hits like a baby sporting a bonnet of bees." - Spencer Grady, BBC Music "Does the world need another Brötzmann album? Probably not, but as the inaugural release on Cafe OTO's in-house high quality vinyl-only label, this one is cause for celebration. Recorded there - superbly well, too - during Brötzmann's residency in January 2012, this is no frills straight-up free jazz, solos and all, pitting the Firebreather of Wuppertal against the might local rhythm team (yes, they can and do swing hard) of John Edwards and Steve Noble. All three are on outstanding form, from the opening yelp - when it comes to Big Bang beginning, nobody does it better than Brötzmann - to Edwards's snarling drone 38 minutes later. Shame engineer Shane Browne slammed thos faders down so brutally: for once, you feel like joining in with the whoops and hollers of the punters." - Dan Warburton, The WIRE

THE WORSE THE BETTER – BROETZMANN / EDWARDS / NOBLE

Captivating and deeply felt new audio work by Blanc Sceol, aka the duo of Stephen Shiell and Hannah White. Originally commissioned for broadcast on the deep sea 'Radio Amnion' sound project, the piece is written for and performed on the bespoke, one-of-a-kind Orbit instrument, designed and made by Stephen and Hannah in collaboration with master luthier Kai Tönjes. Over the course of thirty minutes the piece drifts and unfurls in an entrancing, enveloping flow, utilising the instrument's unique sonic qualities to create something truly special. This recording is Blanc Sceol's response to a commission from Jol Thoms to create a new audio work for the June edition of his deep sea sound project 'Radio Amnion', where, each month at the time of the full moon, the abyssal waters of Cascadia Basin resonate with the deep frequencies and voices of invited artists, relayed in the sea through a submerged neutrino telescope experiment’s calibration system. Through the duo's sound and ecology work with Surge Cooperative on the Channelsea river they have found connection to Abbey Mills pumping station, Joseph Bazalgette’s Victorian ‘cathedral of sewage’, his overground homage to the underground network of pipes, an operational site that still moves water and humanure beneath the city today. This audio work captures the spinning frequencies of the Orbit, recorded in the chambers of the sewer substation, to be played out to the depths of the deep sea, creating a poetic resonance between these sounds and spaces, a spell of connection between the clear, linear, progressive features of our engineered water networks and the dark, wet, yielding, cyclical unknowns of the deep sea, where the sub station searches for neutrinos and on the full moon translates human-made frequencies into light and vibration for the seafloor. The words in the piece are a series of ‘one word poems’ created by participants from Blanc Sceol's ‘Sonic Meditations with the Full Moon’ sessions over the last year. Working with moon time through our deep listening practice, and the tidal phases of the Channelsea river, Orbit coordinates these cyclical flows in celebration of the fullness of the cosmic body that holds the tension between the earth and its inhabitants, and gives us all rhythm. Orbit the instrument:The Orbit consists of a red cedar decagon body, the resonating chamber, which is spun by one set of hands, bringing rhythm and flow with the changing pace of the orbit, as the other hands hold a bow to the ten strings, seeking out the varying chords and harmonic frequencies. As the two work together so the orbit begins to sing and soar, a myriad of changing, whirling pitch shifting drones. In 2017 Stephen created a prototype instrument, inspired by Uakti’s ‘torre’ and Walter Smetak’s ‘Ronda’, a plastic barrel strung with ten strings and played by two people - one who turns the barrel, and one who holds a bow to the strings. Many years and many tweaks later, in early 2023 we finally collaborated with master luthier Kai Tönjes to create an upgraded version, and ‘Orbit’ was born. -- Mixed and mastered by Ian ThompsonCover design by Oli Barrett from photos by Joe Thoms Originally commissioned by and broadcast on Radio Anion: https://radioamnion.net/

Orbit – Blanc Sceol

Musician, writer and filmmaker, Sunik Kim follows up ‘The Bent Bow Must Wait to Be Released’ (Takuroku 2021) with their second LP - a deadly serious dismantling of the limits of contemporary computer music, delivered with playful dexterity and a touch of slapstick humour, a la Henry Cow.  Enlisting General MIDI to create frenetic, vital patterns of dis-organisation made up of gleeful synthetic trumpets, wry orchestral sweeps and brutal key clusters, Sunik Kim explodes a kind of simplistic sound into complex, beautifully uncertain structures. Rather than attempting to overwhelm or stun the listener into subjectivity, ‘Potential’ is ever shifting; regularly breaking form and unfolding, discreetly nibbling at the concept of the Spectacle and un-doing fatally closed systems of cyclic music.  On first listens we recalled Cecil Taylor’s Unit Structures, Stockhausen’s Gruppen, and even those weirdo attempts at making music from inside the world of Animal Crossing, Lil Jürg Frey. The overflowing ideas of Henry Cow (to which Kim dedicated a fantastically blended mix for the Wire in 2021) never drift too far from view, but contemporary counterparts lay few except for Yorkshire's most eminent polyceleratrix, Gretchen Aury, who we asked to write the liners. Gretchen’s words are unsurprisingly as extraordinary as the record itself, so we’ll close out the call to elicit a Media response to possibly the wildest OTOROKU yet with their words: “Potential reads as a rare honest response to the disaster capitalist era of the apparent nearing end of the anthropocene, a cyborg music which is not hopelessly psychotic like so much contemporary and especially computer-requiring music, but lucidly possessed with rapture, pain, madness, empathy, ecstasy, torment, fragility; all those vital feelings and incentives which our atrociously depressing times seem engineered to quash and bleed out of us. This sound is a blistering Electro Magnetic Pulse wave of revolutionary hope, exclaiming defiantly that History is not over, that the future is not ‘history,’ that there is still a vast multitude of ideas and identities burning brightly and resiliently, despite the fact that they are inconceivable to the tyrannical Hegemonic axis of global capitalist tech-culture. I ask of you, listener, if you truly wish to plunge beyond The Known, give yourself over in full to this record.” — Artwork by Sunik Kim Layout and design by Jeroen Wille  Liner notes by Vymethoxy Redspiders Mastered by Anotine Nouel at Sound Love Studios Track 1 edited by John Wall —

Sunik Kim – Potential

Takuroku

Our new in house label, releasing music recorded in lockdown.

"Having brought together two entirely independent solo improvisations like this, one from near the start of the lockdown and the other very recent, and finding that they fit together so well that I must have been  following the same pattern albeit on two very different instruments, what does that tell me? Have I merely folded time on itself without any corresponding fold in space and thereby gone precisely nowhere? Have those intervening months vanished in the attempt? And what can I call the fruits of that attempt? An imaginary duo between present me and early-lockdown me, made real by a stray thought taken too far (because I hadn't intended to put the two together when I recorded them). Have I learned nothing? By themselves, each is both an attempt to reach beyond time in itself, by touching the infinite variability of the reality beyond illusion and, by that very variability (and unpredictability) a blow struck against the homogenising forces of consumerism, a wrench thrown in the gears of the satanic mill. But when combined, then, the variability is multiplied. Not by dialogue (since each was blind to the other) but the stark fact of their separation in time and the events that they book-end. 50,000 dead, give or take. Have we learned nothing? Must the same battles be fought over and over again every single time? Will we still follow the same pattern, when this is all over?" - Massimo Magee, London, 11 May 2020 Cover image: '144 Pills' by MiHee Kim Magee

Wormhole to Nowhere – Massimo Magee

OTOROKU Downloads

Download only arm of OTOROKU, documenting the venue's programme of experimental and new music.

Take a deep breath, this one doesn’t let up for a second! Stockholm-based trio Kyosaku create a swirling maelstrom of sound from guitar, bass and drums that doesn’t so much press you back in your seat with its intensity as send you tumbling out the door and down the road. Recorded in September 2023 under their previous name of Missnöje, the group waste no time setting the pace but charge out of the gates as though this might be the last chance they've got. Finn Loxbo's squalling electric guitar and electronics setup races around the room whilst Elsa Bergman's gnarled and driven electric bass effortlessly weaves between the gaps with a playing style that is no less nimble for it's stomach-rumbling brawn. Through it all, Ryan Packard's seemingly indefatigable drumming rucks and surges in a way that leaves you reeling. This is no empty bedlam though; rather, there's a euphoric, galvanising joy to the sheer, relentless energy of it all. Kyosaku create the clamour; all you have to do is give yourself up to it. In Zen Buddhism, the keisaku is a flat wooden stick or slat used during periods of meditation to remedy sleepiness or lapses of concentration by administering a strike or series of strikes. No worries here, the strikes come thick and fast with an unrelenting fervour that should almost have you levitating by the end. But the Zen aspect is not lost, simply approached from a different direction. Noise can be meditative too, and Kyosaku create such an Augean tumult that by the end of this set's 35+ minutes you're left with a mind that feels shiny, gleaming and new. --  Recorded by Billy SteigerMixed and mastered by Oli BarrettCover photo by Erik Viklund

Kyosaku – 11.9.23

All proceeds from this release will be donated to MAP (Medical Aid for Palestinians): https://www.map.org.uk/ Thrilled to be able to share the phenomenal first meeting of this ensemble, consisting of Washington DC's Blacks' Myths - aka Luke Stewart (electric bass) and Warren Crudup (drums) - alongside Pat Thomas and Orphy Robinson's longstanding Black Top project plus incendiary sax and guitar work from Soweto Kinch and Dirar Kalash. From the first stirrings it's clear that something very special has been captured here, the sextet slowly circling and building with inexorable momentum until the energy fully coalesces and nobody looks back. There's a dexterously symbiotic interplay that would be impressive for a group a couple of decades in; that you can hear this level of chemistry from a first performance together is extraordinary. There's so much to unpack across the set that it's hard to know where to start, the group covering more ground in just under an hour than most would manage over the course of a week-long residency. The long-honed, multilayered grooves of Blacks' Myths' bass and drums blend seamlessly with Black Top's ecstatic sonic range to weave an utterly immersive sound that drives relentlessly forward to thrillingly propulsive effect. Add the incredible musicianship of Soweto Kinch and Dirar Kalash weaving deftly throughout, and the result is this joyful, galvanising rallying cry of a performance which doesn't so much lift the spirits as cast them into the stratosphere. Here's hoping this meeting is not the last. -- Recorded by Billy SteigerMixed and mastered by Oli BarrettCover design by Dirar Kalash

5.9.23 – Blacks' Myths meets Black Top featuring Dirar Kalash & Soweto Kinch

Parkwuud Entertainment

Klein's self run label.

Floating Limb

Floating Limb is a hub for the various projects of Oli Barrett.

A piece, split into four parts, attempting to imagine and evoke the interior world of a Common Swift (apus apus) in its first four years of life. After dropping from its nest and taking its first flight, a swift will spend this period almost entirely airborne, going months or years at a time without ever landing and then only briefly. Feeding and even sleeping in flight, swifts will only come back down for an extended period when they are old enough to mate. Even after this point, the vast remainder of their lives will be spent in the air, during which time they can travel over a million kilometres. I’ve always loved swifts, but they’ve held special meaning for me ever since I moved into my current flat in North Somerset a few years ago and realised that some were nesting in the roof here. Not three feet from my desk where I wrote and recorded this piece, I can hear them shuffling and rustling above me in the early summer. Seeing them scream and swoop overhead with seemingly boundless freedom for a couple of months of the year is one of my favourite things about living where I do. Common swifts spend most of the year in Africa, arriving back in the UK and across the rest of Northern Europe in late April / early May to breed and raise chicks. I started writing and recording this album when they left at the start of August in 2022, with the aim of finishing it by the time they returned. I heard my first swift of the year last week, so I think I just about managed it.

Four Years on the Wing – Oliver Barrett

Three pieces named for three people alleged to have been the executioner of King Charles I. The execution of King Charles I in 1649 was the defining act of the English Civil War, resulting in a temporary abolition of the monarchy and symbolising a significant step towards potential democracy in this country (one day, maybe). The identity of Charles I's executioner has never definitively been proved, as the executioner and his assistant wore face masks and wigs in order to avoid identification. Numerous people have been alleged to have carried out the act (including, implausibly, Oliver Cromwell himself) but there is no overall consensus. I've chosen two of the likeliest candidates - Captain William Hulet and Richard Brandon, who was the common hangman at the time - as well as one fringe candidate, parliamentarian soldier William Walker, who confessed to carrying out the execution several times and who has the same name as the Victorian diver that I previously devoted an entire album to; a coincidence too large to ignore. I'm not condoning murder, obviously. But it would have been nice if the royals had taken the hint in 1649. "We fought for the public good and would have enfranchised the people and secured the welfare of the whole groaning creation, if the nation had not more delighted in servitude than in freedom." - Prosecutor of Charles I, John Cook, shortly before his execution for "high treason" following the restoration of the monarchy with Charles II in 1660.

Sphagnum Moss – Three Royal Headsmen

  “a notea voice, screamsa batterysounds, grating noise, scratcheshere it startsMusic, musicYou who shudderWho makes you dance, singWho moves the buttand now begins Humming Dogs” - Florence Decourcelle, Humming DogsAn absolute pleasure to present ‘Les Borigènes’ - the first LP from France’s Humming Dogs. Born from the radical ‘Oiseau Mouche’ (Bird-Fly Company) - a troupe of actors and comedians who focus on the theatre of gesture - Humming Dogs make joyful, avant rock music, which pooh poohs the po-faced in favour of a party.Humming Dogs are made up of eight members - David Bausseron, Mathieu Breuvard, Florence Decourcelle, Thierry Dupont, Chantal Esso, Léa Le Bars, Florian Spiry, and Valérie Waroquier, who each write and create songs, swap instruments and sing collectively. Guitars, bass, drum kit, and keyboards mix with toy percussion, amplified pine cones, pot lids, iPads, a zither and an arsenal of effects. ‘Ha Ha Ha’ opens the record with the group dispersed and growling at one another, only to break out in infectious laughter, a free word riot and a thick bass melody. The traditional French song, ‘Karnaval’, gets totally sent by keyboards and a slung low guitar scrawl, egged on by the bands hooting and hollering. ‘Ça Me Gratte’ haunts and grates until it splits with a rising synthesizer and squeaking Bonios. The spitting, itching, near exhausted vocals from Chantel Esso are unlike much else we've heard.‘Les Borigènes’ contains the self taught, simple charm of the Shaggs ‘Philosophy of the World’, performed in the spirit of village revelry and recorded and edited beautifully in the tradition of the GRM. Democratized experimentation, low ego rock’n’roll - Les Borigènes is a truly joyous, remarkable and wild record. It arrives in an edition of 500 140g black vinyl LPs, with artwork from London’s Submit to Love Studios and Taylor Silk.Humming Dogs have performed at Sonic Protest, Cafe OTO, and Counterflows.

Les Borigènes – Humming Dogs

Yes, indeed! The emphatic duo of Laurie Tompkins and Otto Willberg return for their third release, ‘Rotten Luck’ - a record we fell in love with watching the two of them gleefully headbanging in time, shrouded in the much beloved fog of Spanners club.Their first LP ‘Exorcise’, clobbered those that dared drop the needle with a brand of shrieking dadaism that lay impermeable but to the insane. It freaked us out, that cacophony soup. On ‘Rotten Luck’ - their funkiest number yet - there are tunes instead, good ones, meaty ones, soaked in bass riffs and lairy lyrics. There are hooks to grip on to and little silly grins to catch in the gloaming synth holds.Around the time of Yes Indeed's last release I was listening to a lot of Blue Gene Tyranny, working in the shop and selling loads of copies of the boxset that sadly marked his death. Listening to Willberg's squelching synth slap on ‘Our Dads’, I’m reminded of Blue Gene’s ‘Any Fine Afternoon' - a goofy kind of song whose bass line caused me to listen to the whole Theme Hospital soundtrack in earnest appreciation. ‘Awe’ on ‘Rotten Luck’ has a kind of Dreamtime energy to it, it’s jazzy double bass laced with wavy keys. It would seem I wasn’t the only one listening to the boxset.Primarily a composer, Laurie Tompkins is one third of the energy behind pop mulchers Slip. In the year between Yes Indeed releases, Tompkins has done 3 more CDs (33–33, Entrac’te and Hyperdelia), in a marvellous flurry of productiveness. Otto Willberg is bass player in Ray (alongside Ashley Paul and Yoni Silver) and Historically Fucked - a band who make songs as quick as they can and tear them down even faster. The mutual ground between the two is rich then, in pop, rock and the nonsensical. On ‘Rotten Luck’ it seems at its most fertile. Weirdness isn’t a mask - it’s not self conscious. It’s headbanging without realising it, slaying your arranged oddities with your mate, grinning the whole time and giving that out generously.  Extra samples on 5 by Gwilly EdmondezSax and melodica on 8 and 10 by Sam AndreaeMusic by Laurie Tompkins & Otto WillbergMastered by Mark KlonArtwork by FridgeLayout by Carey Alborough

Rotten Luck – Yes Indeed

First LP from Donna Candy, the bass-vocal-drums trio trawled from the sub genres of experimental rock and busy pushing to the front of heavy music. Nu metal bass riffs, switch-pitched fuzz vocals and big, splashy drums layer over unsettling narratives and extreme loops to bring a bit of the pit to the dancefloor.Begun as an off the cuff party band with the idea of finding a live sound that would fit between 4am trance sets, the trio soon found themselves addicted to the euphoric sludge they created. Swapping their usual guitar for a bass, JS Donny drives Donna Candy with simple riffs, split half clean and half shredded with Boris / Sunn O))) like distortion. Head-banging the whole way, they’ll switch speed or stop suddenly, bending and drawing out notes to ratchet things up for release. Nadja's vocals tear through the top layer - heavily processed and warped with weird imagery. Together there’s a feeling of what it might be like to see Sightings slowed by codeine but with Elvin Brandi on the mic.Always set up facing each other, off stage and surrounded by the audience, Donna Candy encourage catharsis - reciprocally transforming energy between themselves and the crowd. They build a queer euphoria that pulls apart metal’s narrow dichotomy of nihilistic machismo vs. hyperfemininity, and begins to make the visceral faux-hybridity of nineties nu metal feel possible this time around. ‘Blooming’ brings us six offerings from the band on a four way split release that speaks for itself - once on board with the DC energy you’ll want to be a part of it.  --- Music by Donna Candy Alex (drums), Js Donny (bass), Nadja Meier (vocal) Produced and recorded by Anotine Nouel at Sound Love Studio, Grrrnd Zero (Lyon) Mixed by Anotine Nouel and Js Donny. Mastered by A.P. Mastering and Post.

Blooming – Donna Candy

The latest chapter in the unfolding musical story of Bill Wells finds the Scottish jazz outsider’s compositions played by a trio of tuba players with contributions from young brass players from his adopted hometown of Glasgow.The results, The Viaduct Tuba Trio Plays The Music Of Bill Wells, are alternately ruminative, playful and profound, ranging from the cyclical opener Fanfare For Three Tubas to a mischievous interpretation of The Midges, a comic tribute to the entomological scourge of the Highlands by Scottish singer Kenneth McKellar, and the doleful Chorale 4K before the arresting finale of Stone Throw Dream Anthem. Throughout the record you are reminded of both the power and tenderness of brass instruments – their capacity to astound and reassure, to soothe and tickle.The trio in the title – Antony Hook, Danielle Price and Mark Reynolds – formed in 2018 to perform in the lee of the Glenfinnan Viaduct as part of the Loch Shiel Festival. Built on the West Highland Line and opened in 1901, the 21-span viaduct is nowadays best known for its appearance carrying the Hogwarts Express. Wells contributed three tunes for the performance, including Fanfare For Three Tubas, and composed the remainder after being commissioned by Glasgow’s underground/experimental festival Counterflows as a direct result of the Glenfinnan Viaduct performance. The trio subsequently performed Wells’ tunes in Glasgow with the Gorbals Youth Brass Band, who play on three of the album’s 10 tracks, sharing a bill with a duo featuring Chicago composer, flautist and educator Nicole Mitchell and London-based percussionist Mark Sanders. The Viaduct Tuba Trio Plays The Music Of Bill Wells represents another creative achievement for the prolific composer and multi-instrumentalist, whose output in recent years includes an album for an Estonian indie label (Remixes For Seksound, 2018), the eponymous debut LP by The Sensory Illusions, his guitar-and-tuba duo with Danielle Price (Karaoke Kalk, 2019), and Standards Vol V by his mischievously titled National Jazz Trio of Scotland (Karaoke Kalk, 2019), featuring the voice of Gerard Black (Rozi Plain, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Francois and the Atlas Mountains).Prior to these Bill collaborated with artists including Yo La Tengo, Amy Allison and Syd Straw on Nursery Rhymes (Karaoke Kalk, 2015) and Aidan Moffat on Everything’s Getting Older (2011) and The Most Important Place In The World (2015), both on Chemikal Underground. He has also recorded albums with Jad Fair, Maher Halal Hash Baz and Stefan Schneider of To Rococo Rot among others.The Viaduct Tuba TrioMark Reynolds studied in Glasgow and Munich. During his time there he performed with, among others, the Munich Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Orchestra, Bavarian State Opera and the Munich Symphony Orchestra. In 2001, he was appointed principal Tuba of the Royal Philharmonic of Flanders, Belgium and became a founder member of the Ottone Brass Quintet. He has frequently performed as a soloist including performances of the Vaughan Williams Tuba Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic of Flanders and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.Rising star Antony Hook was Loch Shiel Festival’s Young Artist for 2018 and currently studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.Supported by the Countess of Munster Trust, Danielle Price studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and graduated with distinction from the Master of Music Course in 2013. She has since enjoyed a versatile career playing in a range of projects and ensembles including Pure Brass Quintet, The Sensory Illusions, Dopey Monkey, Red Note Ensemble, The Old Fountain Jazz Orchestra, New Antonine Brass Quintet (current Live Music Now Scotland artists) besides traditional jazz ensembles The Copper Cats and The Red Hot Rhythm Makers. She has also performed in the bands of Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat, Ashley Paul, Bella Hardy and Oxbow, and as an extra musician with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Royal Scottish National Orchestra.The Gorbals Youth Brass BandThe band was formed in 2012 in Glasgow to offer local children free instrumental tuition. Each child is provided with a brass instrument and attends weekly lessons and rehearsals. GYBB also attend competitions, masterclasses and concerts.    The Viaduct Tuba Trio Plays The Music Of Bill Wells was recorded at Castle of Doom studios in Glasgow by Tony Doogan, mixed by Bill at Loathsome Reels and mastered by Norman Blake of Teenage Fanclub. The cover art is by longtime collaborator Annabel Wright.

The Viaduct Tuba Trio Plays The Music Of Bill Wells – Bill Wells

"Fast Edit is the second LP by Still House Plants, the Glasgow and South London-based three-piece collective made up of Finlay Clark, David Kennedy, and Jessica Hickie-Kallenbach. Written aided by mobile phones, dictaphones, laptop recordings of rehearsals, conversations and live shows, Fast Edit is a collage of different fidelities and headspaces, most tenderly exhibited on album centrepiece “Shy Song”. Overlays of past and current sit things on top of each other, fall over one another, get stuck, predicate. Fitting now, but reflective of a period doing shows in South America.The sentiment of the record is probably best described in part of an intervention written for what would have been the 2020 edition of Glasgow's Counterflows Festival by Frances Morgan:"Getting used to the idea of never getting anywhere except for between these three notes, these two words, getting tired, getting beyond it, getting locked in. Trying to get it down, trying to get it written. Like the song that didn’t get anywhere: it still moves, it doesn’t move.It is getting to you that this is heaviest verb to get across. Loaded and overloaded. Getting as in becoming, as in acquiring, as in catching, as in having, as in receiving, as in changing, as in arriving, as in moving through and over, it’s the same....How do you think we should do this. The song does something different now, puts the other foot forward. How do you know when it’s done. End on a verb and it becomes a command: run! Towards the next thing. Do – towards the next thing to be done.What have you been doing today, a day with nothing doing: watching a nesting falcon on a webcam, what’s it going to do. Googling the appropriate prayer, what does it say you should do. Bouncing the sticks off the snare, what does the sound do. How are we all doing. Doing, never done. Listening, never done."www.counterflows.com/intervention-one/     ---   Recorded & mixed by Shaun Crook and Darren Clark at Lockdown Studios, London. Mastered and cut by Helmut Erler at Dubplates and Mastering.Typeface by Still House Plants, layout by Maja LarrsonProduced in partnership with Blank Forms, New YorkBlank Forms Editions 013BIS005

Fast Edit – Still House Plants

Black Truffle

Oren Ambarchi's Black Truffle Records "experimental/improv/noise/abstract/etc" label. Big reissues and Aussie relations. 

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

Black Truffle is pleased to announce the first LP documenting master khene player Sombat Simla, the label’s first collaboration with Japanese sound artist, field recordist, and researcher Yasuhiro Morinaga. Simla is known in Thailand as one of the greatest living players of the khene, the ancient bamboo mouth organ particularly associated with Laos but found throughout East and Southeast Asia. His virtuosic and endlessly inventive renditions of traditional and popular songs have earned him the title ‘the god of khene’, and he is known for his innovative techniques and ability to mimic other instruments and non-musical sound, including, as a writer for the Bangkok Post describes, ‘the sound of a train journey, complete with traffic crossings and the call of barbecue chicken vendors’. Aided by a group of Thai friends, in 2018 Morinaga travelled to the Maha Sarakham province in the Isan region, arranging to meet Simla in a remote spot surrounded by rice fields. Then and there, Morinaga recorded the solo performances heard on the LP’s first side. At Morinaga’s request, Simla began with a rendition of the train song ‘Lot Fay Tay Lang’. Beginning with long tones that seem to mimic a train horn, the performance soon moves into a rapid chugging rhythm, interrupted at points by vocal exclamations and the remarkable timbre Simla produces by singing through the khene. To listeners unfamiliar with Thai music, the pentatonic scales and rhythmic chug of many of the pieces can have surprising echoes of the rawest American blues. The range of Simla’s performance is astonishing, moving from compulsive rhythmic workouts on single chords and rapid-fire runs of single notes to gentle sing-song melodies, and using a fascinating array of techniques, including a rapid tremolo that sometimes sounds almost electronic. Later the same day, Morinaga followed Simla to a cattle shed where he met percussionist Mali Moodsansee to play some molam (folk songs found in Isan and neighbouring Laos), with Pattardon Ekchatree joining in on cymbal. At times, these molam songs have a wistful, romantic character quite different from the solo pieces. Backed up by the propulsive hand drums, Simla again dazzles with his melodic fluidity, rhythmic drive, and wild displays of unorthodox technique. As Morinaga writes, ‘It felt like they had been playing together so long that their breathing was perfectly in sync, and it was like listening to the precision of James Brown’s funk’. Accompanied by extensive liner notes by Morinaga detailing the day of recording, this is a stunning document of a master musician, seamlessly integrating tradition and innovation. 

Sombat Simla – Master Of Bamboo Mouth Organ - Isan, Thailand

Following on from the psychoacoustic concrète of Outside Ludlow / Desert Disco LP (BT075), Sam Dunscombe returns to Black Truffle with Two Forests / Oceanic. Dunscombe has been active in recent years on multiple fronts, including as a key member of the Berlin community of Just Intonation researchers and practitioners; working with composers like Taku Sugimoto, Mary Jane Leach, and Anthony Pateras; and the release of Horatiu Radulescu - Plasmatic Music vol. 1 (the result of many years performance research into the thought and music of this seminal Romanian spectralist). In parallel with these activities, Dunscombe has been deeply involved in research on the role of music in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, prompting these two side long pieces, composed using field recordings and digital synthesis. As Dunscombe explains in the accompanying liner notes, music plays a key role in psychedelic-assisted therapy, yet it is often restricted to stock forms of New Age, ambient and electronica. Taking seriously the potential for spatio-environmental sonic experiences to add to the therapeutic process, these two pieces are intended to suggest how ‘a music-as-environment approach may help to add options to the therapist’s toolbox’. ‘Two Forests’ begins in a central Californian sequoia grove. Bird songs and buzzing insect life are treated with a variety of time-based processing methods (slicing and recombination, primitive granular synthesis, delay, and so on), which strip the field recordings of their linear, documentary character, reframing them in an enchanted web of traces and echoes. Analysing the pitches found in the original recordings, Dunscombe used them to generate a large Just Intonation pitch set. These tones are woven slowly into the field recordings, gradually building in density and complexity until the forest has been transformed into an unreal space of infinite proportions. Emerging from this cosmic expanse in the final minutes of the piece, we find ourselves in the Amazon rainforest outside Manaus, Brazil. As Dunscombe writes, the piece creates ‘a sense of place-gone-strange, of space and time simultaneously expanding and contracting across octaves, miles, and minutes’. On ‘Oceanic’, several recordings of different beaches fade in and out to create a texture both homogenous and constantly shifting in both the rhythm of the waves and each recording's sense of depth and distance. Tones relating in simple ratios to the average rhythm of each beach float over each other, colouring the white noise texture of the field recordings with shifting hues. In both pieces, Dunscombe forgoes the easy consonance that bogs down much contemporary ambient music for a richer harmonic array informed by extended tuning practices and spectralism. The end results suggest a hitherto undreamt-of meeting of Radulescu’s undulating sonic masses and the discreetly processed location recordings of Irv Teibel’s ‘psychologically ultimate’ Environments. Looking beyond the insularity that can afflict experimental music culture, Dunscombe’s work is a moving argument for the healing power of expanded approaches to sound and music. Even outside of a psychedelics-assisted therapy, frequent immersion in Two Forests / Oceanic is almost guaranteed to produce beneficial psychological results. 

Two Forests / Oceanic – Sam Dunscombe

Black Truffle present In Real Life, the latest in a flurry of releases from Berlin-based guitarist and composer Julia Reidy. Having drawn acclaim for solo performances on 12-string acoustic guitar that bridge microtonality, ‘American primitive’ stylings and classic minimalism, Reidy’s recent releases have utilised an increasingly broad sonic palette, fleshing out guitar-based composition with electronics, field recordings, and – most strikingly – heavily auto-tuned vocals. On In Real Life, Reidy pushes one step further, crafting an epic LP-length suite that moves from abstracted song to lush electronics and explorations in contemporary musique concrète. Beginning with a passage of eerie electronics and creaking percussive interjections, Reidy’s heavily auto-tuned voice quickly takes centre stage. Surrounded by explosions of electric guitar and synthesised arpeggios, the auto-tuned voice delivers a melancholic ode, bringing together poetic images to reflect on the instability of experience and mutability of identity in a contemporary world saturated by digital technology. This concern with the unsettled relationship between the physical and digital is reflected musically by the constantly shifts in emphasis between Reidy’s physically demanding guitar-picking and the various forms of synthesis deployed. Similarly, the dynamic imagery of cutting, shattering, and ‘racing streams’ present in Reidy’s lyrics also serves to characterise the structure of In Real Life, which ceaselessly shifts between distinct episodes. The song-based opening, long sequences of frenetic 12-string guitar shadowed and eventually overtaken by synth tones, passages of delicate chiming harmonics, electro-acoustic cut-ups – each flows seamlessly into the next, often recurring throughout the record’s duration, which lingers over interstitial moments between these episodes. -- Mixed and mastered by Joe Talia at Good Mixture, Tokyo. Vinyl cut at 45rpm for maximum fidelity by Rashad Becker at D&M, Berlin. Artwork by Suze Whaites. LP desgn by Lasse Marhaug.

In Real Life – Jules Reidy

Black Truffle is pleased to announce World in World, the latest solo offering from prolific Berlin-based guitarist-composer Julia Reidy. Where the recent trilogy of LP releases – brace, brace (Slip, 2019), In Real Life (Black Truffle, 2019), and Vanish (Editions Mego, 2020) – focussed on increasingly lush electronic settings for Reidy’s propulsive fingerpicking and auto-tuned vocals, arranged into wide-ranging side-long epics, World in World finds Reidy refocusing on the core elements of their approach while simultaneously pushing into challenging new areas. Comprising nine pieces ranging between two and seven minutes in length, the album’s opening title track promptly introduces the distinctive palette of just-intoned electric guitars, subtle electronic processing, and voice that is rigorously explored throughout.Where much of Reidy’s guitar work on previous recordings explored rapidly pulsed cycling figures, here notes often hang in the air in a more spacious, lyrical fashion. The elasticity of rhythm and non-linear repetition of pitches initially suggests improvisation until the listener becomes aware of the precise arrangements of spatialised lines. At times, World in World suggests classic bedroom electric guitar works of the 1990s such as Loren Connors’ Airs or Roy Montgomery’s Scenes from the South Island; like those works, Reidy’s possesses a wonderfully live ambience, with frequent pedal clicks adding to the music’s powerful sense of intimacy. In Reidy’s case, however, the yearning, melancholic mood of Connors or Montgomery is tempered by the unorthodox guitar tuning, which at points produces a unique and uncomfortable effect somewhere between the hyper-precision of Harry Partch or Lou Harrison and Jandek’s slack-stringed descent into the void.While World in World plots out its terrain with a bold single-mindedness that allows some pieces to appear almost as variations on a common theme, subtle changes in emphasis distinguish each track. Tactile percussive interjections skitter across the tremolo tones of ‘Paradise in Unrecognisable Colours’, while ‘Ajar’ ramps up the role played by the electronics, with glitching pitch-shifted and back-masked textures threaded through the guitars and thickly harmonised vocal layers. Ranging from autotuned melodic lines to buried murmurs, Reidy’s voice is a frequent presence throughout these nine pieces, at times creating the impression that a more conventional series of songs lurks underneath the chiming microtonal guitars. On the stunning ‘Poised’, whispers and distant, ghostly wails surround the layers of guitars, at times suggesting the foggiest outer reaches of Liz Harris’ Grouper. Both rigorously experimental and emotive, World in World is undoubtedly Julia Reidy’s finest work yet. 

World in World – Jules Reidy

vinyl copies have a seem split on top, and are marked down / cheap to reflect that Black Truffle is pleased to announce The Leisure Principle, a new solo LP from London-based bassist and sound artist Otto Willberg. A key player in the London underground, Willberg is often heard on acoustic and electric bass in free improv settings and bands with Laurie Tompkins (Yes Indeed) and Charles Hayward (Abstract Concrete), as well as the fractured No Wave unit Historically Fucked. His previous solo releases have ranged from extended technique double bass to explorations of the acoustics of a 19th century artillery fort. But nothing Willberg has committed to wax so far prepares a listener for The Leisure Principle, six unashamedly melodic improvisational workouts created almost entirely with heavily filtered bass harmonica and electric bass.On the opening ‘Reap What Thou Sow’, a single-note bass harmonica loop pulses along underneath a roaming bass solo, the side-chained envelope filtering (where the dynamic behaviour of the bass determines the filter for both bass and harmonica) fusing the two instruments into a single stream of burbling shifts in resonance. After several minutes of patient exploration of this low-end landscape, the music suddenly opens up in widescreen with the entrance of Sam Andreae’s graceful melodica chords, spreading out across the stereo field. From this epic opener, each of the remaining pieces goes on to explore a slightly different aspect of the terrain. On ‘Shadow Came into the Eyes as Earth Turned on its Axis’, a similarly buoyant harmonica bass line provides the foundation, but this time playing a soulful descending riff, its almost R&B feel abstracted and half-obscured by the filtering. On ‘Mollusk’, echoed bass arpeggios skitter between elegiac chords somewhat reminiscent of the opening of John Abercrombie’s ‘Timeless’, before settling into a hypnotic groove.On the record’s second half, Willberg pushes further into the possibilities of his idiosyncratic instrumentation. On ‘Wetter’, bass and harmonica come together into a monstrous, growling jaw harp; on ‘Had we but world enough and more time’, the subtly shifting pulsating patterns start to feel almost like a kind of evaporated, drum-less dub techno until an eruption of wheezing bass harmonica gives the piece a comically folkish turn. Willberg’s melodically inventive and virtuosic bass performance calls to mind any number of fusion touchstones, from Jaco Pastorius to Mark Egan’s singing tone in the early Pat Metheny Group—even Anthony Jackson’s work with Steve Kahn. But with its radically reduced instrumentation, The Leisure Principle is also an exercise in minimalism, and the absence of percussion gives even its funkiest moments a strangely abstracted quality. At times, its uncanny blend of the abstruse and the immediate suggests the fried pop experiments of David Rosenboom or the skewed but deeply musical DIY of 80s underground groups like De Fabriek. Both easy on the ear and profoundly strange, The Leisure Principle proudly takes its place among the most eccentric offerings on the Black Truffle menu. 

The Leisure Principle – Otto Willberg

1703 Skivbolaget

Label run by John Chantler, who also heads up Edition Festival in Sweden. Releases of his own work on organ and synthesizer, alongside one off duos and trios of comtemporary experimental musicians. 

A duo for saxophone and synthesizer. Johns/John lock into a series of cycles and frequency systems that while loosely in the tradition of the patterned saxophony and accompanying string drone of La Monte Young and the Theatre of Eternal Dream Music’s B Flat Dorian Blues. The pair obliterate the instrumental hierarchy that Young espouses for an altogether more unknowable intensity of experience. -- John Chantler / synthesizer Johannes Lunds / alto saxophone  --- Liner notes: Two Dreams For Endless Skies Music makes my mind drift uncontrollably. When I saw John Chantler and Johs Lunds perform at Copenhagen’s Mayhem venue I had a vision: I awake suddenly to discover that I have been sleeping on a beach. It’s a rainy early morning and I’m laying on my back in the open on the sand, the hood of my jacket blinding my peripheral vision. I have no idea how I got there and only see grey clouds above and hear the waves and wind. I stare into the sky blinking from light speckles of falling rain, my mind reeling from two dreams. I try to stem the rapid decay that dreams inherently suffer from: 01 Static I’m a child living on a west coast Canadian island and the nights I hate most are the silent ones. To fall asleep to anything other than silence is preferable – rain the best, howling wind reassuring, a violent storm just fine – it’s an emptiness broken sporadically by a creaking tree, a snapping branch and other terrifying small sounds that emanate from the encroaching forest. It’s the terrifying absence of background sounds that makes me aware of how far away from everything I am here. It makes me claustrophobic – the dark edges of the forest encroach, the only thing keeping them from closing in is the light outside the front door washing the dark green trees, ferns and rocks with a creepy dim light. Around this time, while I start to understand my fear of silence, I am given a portable radio. I spend nights slowly panning the tuning dial through the shimmering static noise of the radio spectrum, picking up the odd AM channel that somehow has made itself audible all the way out here where I am. Faint songs blend into speech into rich hisses into warbling glissandi and squeaks and pops – engrossing noises that I imagine come from orbiting satellites, distant planets and other worlds. 02 Waves In the next dream I travel with my father to the northern tip of Vancouver Island. We hike through the forests of Cape Scott Park towards the sea. It takes us all day to get there. Along the trail I listen to the relentless roar of the wind and crashing waves coming off the ocean. The coast persistently seems just over the next hill but doesn't appear – the white noise grows more wearing and the hike turns to a slog. The park we are in contains a series of overgrown fields and dilapidated farm houses. Built by late 19th century Danish colonists, they were abandoned just over a decade later when the roads and utilities the government had promised didn't materialise. The settlements have a spooky peacefulness, beautiful but mournful in the subsuming nature. Through ghost farms and fields, then some low bushes, we finally arrive at the shore. Here the white noise of wind and waves takes full hold. The white-capped sea churns out to the horizon and the pale bright sandy beach stretches to either side of us for kilometres. Far down the beach we see a number of large dark lumpen shapes plonked upon the sand. As we walk towards them the shapes slowly reveal themselves to be a colony of recently deceased sea lions. In the heat of the blaring sun some of the giant cadavers have become bloated enough to cause their boiled and steaming guts to explode out onto the beach. Dotted in constellations around the carcasses and across the shore are hundreds of brightly coloured size 10 Nike running shoes, all for the left foot. A shipping container must have fallen off a freighter during a heavy storm, breaking apart and dumping the left footed shoes into the sea, where they drifted to the shore and washed up on this beach. They look so peculiar and fake against the guts and endless nature – vibrant running shoes, floating through infinite space, bobbing across the swelling grey sea, in the brilliant rays of sunshine, or the luminous light of the moon, blown on by howling wind through the slow motion murk of my memory. A large black bear emerges from behind one of the giant sea lion carcasses and raises itself up onto its hind legs. I jump up but instead of the beach I am back in the venue and my ears are ringing. Finish There’s an idea that the essential human use of music is as a mask – that at its core music is a way to drown out all the external noises that our most inner primordial self automatically processes as a warning, setting our nerves alight. What this understanding of music might mean for, say, love songs, dance or noise music is hard to fathom, and the idea becomes too reductive to be interesting. But it is useful sometimes, inasmuch as the idea connects music directly to animals, landscape and endless cosmos – dumping us humans and our machines and activities into what was once called nature. Sound and silence drift uncontrollably, endlessly, until they find music. Music makes our minds drift uncontrollably but gives us an interface with the world. Nathaniel Budzinski 

Endless Sky – John Chantler & Johannes Lundes

Download

Still Light, Outside is the fourth album by John Chantler, and one which marks his departure from London and his relocation to Sweden. Over the four month period leading up to his departure, Chantler made several hours of raw recordings of the pipe organ at London’s St John-at-Hackney church. These were then subject to extended processing at Stockholm’s Elektronmusikstudion EMS and combined with additional electronic parts created there. Still Light, Outside is an extended suite in four parts that combines passages of stark minimalism centred at the bodily invasive extremes of the organ’s register with striking explosions of colour; massed chords shot through with heavy distortion and electronics that operate according to their own dream logic. --- Recorded August–November 2014 at St John-at-Hackney, London & Elektronmusikstudion EMS, Stockholm. Additional recording/mixing January–March 2015. Mastered by Andreas [LUPO] Lubich at Calyx, Berlin. Design: John Chantler / Photography: Fabio Lugaro  --- John Chantler / pipe organ, processing --- Recorded August–November 2014 at St John-at-Hackney, London & Elektronmusikstudion EMS, Stockholm. Additional recording/mixing January–March 2015. Mastered by Andreas [LUPO] Lubich at Calyx, Berlin. Design: John Chantler / Photography: Fabio Lugaro. Thanks to Bradford Bailey, Lawrence English, James Hammond, Mike Harding, Carina Thorén & Kate Walters. This work was made possible with support from the Australia Council for the Arts, the Australian Government’s arts funding and advisory body.

Still Light, Outside – John Chantler

Fresh output from John Chantler's 1703 Skivbolaget - the new duo from two masters of very different string instruments. ‘The Air Around Her’ beguiled its audience when recorded live in a bakery at Edition Festival in 2016, and carries beautifully through to this release. Microtonal timbres meet gnarled defiance - the result is surprisingly symbiotic. Ellen Fullman’s Long String Instrument has been a long-term life-work of incredible ambition and dedication. The result is immediate, exciting and inspirational. Okkyung Lee has completed rewritten the possibilities for the cello in solo and group improvisation whilst maintaining a steadfast defiance to the many attempts to contain her work within pre-defined genres. ‘The Air Around Her’ was recorded on 20 February 2016 during the First Edition Festival for Other Music in Stockholm, Sweden at Kronobageriet — the former bakery to Swedish Royalty that dates back to the 17th Century and is now the site of the city’s Performing Arts Museum. The Edition Festival was given access to the space while renovations took place and Fullman allowed the requisite time to install and tune her long string instrument along the full 26 metre length of the room. --- Music by Ellen Fullman and Okkyung Lee. Recorded during the First Edition Festival for Other Music, Stockholm on 20th February 2016. Concert producer: John Chantler. Recording Engineer: Maria W Horn. Mixed by Ellen Fullman and Thomas Dimuzio. Mastered by Andreas [LUPO] Lubich at Calyx, Berlin. Artwork by Bill Nace. Made possible in part by a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists (2015). The title, "The Air Around Her" is a quote from "Vermeer Interiors" a poem by Margaret Rabb, from her book, "Granite Dives". This release has been supported by the Swedish Arts Council. © 2018 Ellen Fullman (BMI) / Okkyung Lee (ASCAP) Released by 1703 Skivbolaget in cooperation with Ideell Edition

The Air Around Her – Ellen Fullman & Okkyung Lee

Bezirk

A label run by Daryl Worthington (Beachers) and Tristan Bath (Spool's Out / Missing Organs). Splitting its existence between London and Vienna.

'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

On Bespoke, Omphalopticon presents a raucous, wheezing, intricately detailed audio scrapbook. A sequence of gleefully off-kilter compositions where drills and creaking gates are instruments. Where cacophonous cut-ups tangle with volcanic sand and snippets of conversations into a head-spinning collage. Omphalopticon is the solo recording project of US-born, London, UK-based Andrew Ciccone. Bespoke marks his first physical release, following a series of digital only albums. His solo recordings conjure a curious space. Electro-acoustic strategies and a world view where everything is an instrument collide with a gleeful penchant for the peculiar. It’s heard immediately on Bespoke’s opener: ‘This is a Drill’. A stop-start cacophony of DIY tools and street chatter is punctuated with a comically loud crow’s call, before the machine returns in increasingly sideways fashion. On second track, ‘The Sniffle-Sneeze’, a sneeze which Ciccone self-induced while on holiday in Iceland is followed by a deluge. With a few exceptions, most of the sounds here were recorded in Ciccone’s neighbourhood in north-east London between 2022 and 2023. They’re assembled like a one-person game of exquisite corpse, bizarre associations and playful manipulations sending everyday sounds off their axis and into forms surreal yet captivating. For Bespoke, Ciccone faced outwards in his compositional approach. “My previous work has been more formalistic, more sequestered from day-to-day life. Here there was a reactive approach, absorbing any and all things/ people/places which happened to be around at the time,” he explains. “I wanted to impose my own day-to-day surroundings onto the process, and vice-versa. There’s very little hands-off field recording here - virtually all the source clips have wacky backstories.”These backstories include leaving a recorder running in his knapsack while attending one of London’s Skronk free-improv events (‘Skunktronic’), or running around his flat capturing the sound of leaky taps on ‘The Going From Room to Room’. That track, the longest here, points to the space-time bending-nature of Ciccone’s collages, the domestic adventure interspersed with street recordings taken from Flores, Guatemala. “One thing that sound collage entails - for me anyway - is curating clips from much longer source recordings. So, you develop an ear for what to select. I’m drawn to whatever moves me: whether something provokes laughter, fright, emotion, confusion, memory, imagination, whatever… Everything else gets discarded. The humour obviously sticks out but all those qualities are present,” he explains. Alongside the overheard conversations come more planned fragments of speech, including a disarmingly sombre spoken word intervention by improvising guitarist Bettina Schroeder, who Ciccone collaborated with on the title track, and Ciccone himself reading a lecture by physicist Richard Feynman. “I latched onto the Feynman voice at some point as it’s almost like an exaggerated version of my own voice, one which I’m more comfortable inhabiting. I’ve steadily incorporated it into performance, where appropriate.” While Bespoke resonates with the playful musique concrete of Graham Lambkin, the fixation on unconventional instrumentation that bridges the Bohman Brothers to Matmos, and the frantic tape collage energy of Aaron Dilloway, the world Omphalopticon creates is distinctly his own. -- Omphalopticon is Andrew Ciccone: Voice, movement, field recordings, piano, drill, Richard Feynman voice, volcanic sand, bass clarinet bell, self-induced sneezing, shower, faucets, doors, gates, objects, tape machines, curation, composition, arrangements, mixing. All sounds on Track 2 “The Sniffle-Sneeze” were recorded on Snaefellsnes peninsula, Iceland in October 2022. Track 6, 'Bespoke', is a collaboration with Bettina Schroeder All sounds between 5:11 and 8:08 of Track 7 “The Going From Room To Room” were recorded in Flores, Guatemala in January 2023. All sounds on Track 4 “Skunktronic” were recorded at Skronk 118, New River Studios, London in November 2022. All other sounds were recorded in other parts of northeast London in 2022 and 2023.

Bespoke – Omphalopticon

Perfectal Bum is a pop record, but one which gleefully messes with the form; zooming in, zooming out, deconstructing and reconstructing to engineer something uniquely surreal. It engages with conflict and resolution, experimental synthesis alongside deceptively catchy melodies. The tracks range from eccentric sound experimentation in the vain of The Residents or Snakefinger to italo disco, surreal spoken word to B-movie influenced synth pop. Alternate versions of songs from "Live On Your Yard" (Alter Records 2011) are included - original solo takes rather than full band interpretations. The tracks that make up Perfectal Bum were recorded in 2007. This isn't some thrown together compilation of old demos and rarities though, but a carefully crafted album. Both sides are intricately sequenced, each track flowing into the next, pushing the album format to the extreme. Tom Hirst, aka Design A Wave, explains: "Perfectal Bum was always intended to be an expression of something but what that was was always changing. Every song needed to some how mix into the other but also encapsulate it's own little world. The track order is also pretty much the chronological order that the songs were recorded in." "I've never really thought "I'm going to make playful music" but that does seem to be what happens. I think it comes down to valuing the way that musical forms and gestures play with your perception. I think this sensibility stems from really getting into music in the 90s when things like IDM and post-rock were happening - really enjoying the way a novel rhythm/harmony/melody can confuse your brain - I guess that's psychedelic?"

Design A Wave – Perfectal Bum

Derichan sees London based Lafidki, aka Saphy Vong, exploring the rituals and traditions of his Cambodian heritage while protesting the repression increasingly prevalent in the country. Vong was born to Cambodian parents in a Thai refugee camp. He has lived in cities across Europe and Asia, from Paris to Phnom Penh to Riga. These experiences have seeped into his music – a vivid, high energy collision of synths, samples and off-kilter polyrhythms. A key inspiration for Derichan is the more than 20 ethnic groups residing in Cambodia’s uplands and mountains whose unique cultures, languages and histories are at risk. “Historically, these peoples have been referred to as ethnic minorities, hill tribes, and other, more dehumanising terms associated with wildness, primitivity, savagery. ‘Derichan’ means bestial,” Vong explains. “I wanted to give a voice to ethnic minorities, indigenous people, environmental activists who’ve been killed or jailed in Cambodia. I used samples from field recordings of Cambodian tribes, made in 2015 with the help of ethnomusicologist Julien Hairon.” Alongside these field recordings, the record’s high energy electronics imagine a world where the stories passed down through Cambodia’s history collide with a dystopian present. “The song Poan Pasda is about the story of the banana tree ghost, but with deforestation, there is no more place for this ghost.” Ceremony of the Drowned covers similar ground, as Vong explains: “The souls of the drowned become water ghosts, causing shipwrecks and pulling swimmers under by their legs. The Ceremony of the Drowned coaxes the spirits out of the water so that they may find their way to the next life or proceed to the heavenly plane. But drought is touching Cambodia because of dam construction so these ghosts are also homeless now.” Ghosts from Cambodia’s more recent history are also addressed, The Death of Chut Wutty acting as a tribute to an environmental activist killed in 2015. Like previous Lafidki releases, Derichan is a record of bombastic, widescreen synthesis. But it weaves itself into a broader narrative of preserving identity in the face of oppression and homogenisation. “I want to allow myself to embody the past, present, and future all at once so I created this album that explores sound with traditions and technologies. Cambodia is growing fast but not everyone is ready, so a parallel world inspired me.” Vong concludes. Co-released by Bezirk and Chinabot

Lafidki – Derichan

Gareth JS Thomas is a London based musician and composer, a guitarist in USA Nails and Mayors of Miyazaki, and drummer for Silent Front (and previously Sly & The Family Drone). Cruising Hits is his latest solo release, a churning, crushing slab of minimalism, unnerving ambience and cracked pop music. It's a record rooted in cold, hard reality; evoking the faded greys and sharp edges of post-industrial Britain. As much as anything, Cruising Hits was shaped by Gareth's interest in photography. "I take a lot of photographs, I have a bit of a thing for old cameras and crapped out underexposed images. The photowork on the cover is my work, I work in black and white a lot, and kind of thought of this project as being in black and white. I don't have synæsthesia though." Opening track ‘Sons, Love Your Mothers’ twists and contorts Gareth's voice over muffled percussive loops and metallic drones. An epic piece of minimal composition designed to viciously confront rather than serenely lull. It's the start of an album that twists, bends and evolves in unexpected ways. "All the vocals apart from those on ‘Pekeng Pagkain’ are me. That track is an edit of a set of found recordings that are (allegedly) from a factory in China, where counterfeit rice is manufactured from plastic. I got interested in the story after hearing one of my (Filipino) aunts talk about it, and found a bunch of rushes on the internet that were said to be recordings from said factory (‘Pekeng Pagkain’ is Filipino for ‘Fake Food’)." Cruising Hits is the culmination of a decade collecting field recordings and sonic detritus, composition and collage mixed with the "why not" attitude of DIY hardcore shows. "I've been collecting samples and field recordings for over a decade. A bunch of stuff was sourced when I lived in Cardiff, some from a factory in China, a bunch done in my living room. Some moments were carefully calculated, others were experiments that just came off."

Gareth JS Thomas – Cruising Hits

On their debut album, 'once upon a time there was a mountain', Oishi use warped tape loops, field recordings and digital manipulation to explore how everyday sounds can carry unexpected paths of expression and meaning. Evoking fictional vocabularies and car radios via motorbike rides down imagined mountains. Zheng Hao and Ren Shang are two artists from China, currently-based in London, UK. Their music as Oishi is a playful, joyful, and at points absurdist exploration through musique concrete, diaristic field recordings and digitally augmented realities. once upon a time there was a mountain documents several facets of Oishi’s shifting interactions. For the a-side, Hao plays laptop, while Shang is on cassette player, the duo switching roles on the b-side. The raw material of the a-side is a field recording of Hao walking a friend’s dog in Urbana, Illinois. Effects both analogue (changing the speed of the tape) and digital are applied to shift a potentially familiar sound world into something concretely unfamiliar. The b-side poetically simulates the sound of a motorcycle engine, and is also inspired by the instability of car radio. Illuminating the collision between frenzied activity and apparent serenity involved in a vehicle’s movement, it also toys with the affect these sounds can carry, and how it can be captured or altered. The duo explain that the album is partly driven by a desire to explore what an ‘Oishi-style’ blues would be. Hao: “the idea is for us to be the neighbours that live in the mountain - or farmer - people that would use their own original language to express their feelings, less compositional concepts, more direct, romantic expressions. therefore, using the word blues could probably be the simplest way for the audience to understand the feeling, and oishi-style means we are trying to deliver the bluesy feeling for you in our own musical way.” Hinting at how the tape could be experienced, and the fact both sides are simply title ‘a side’, Hao explains: “If a mountain has two sides, then either side of the mountain can be the front, the back, or ‘one of the sides’ – a side. Therefore the mountain’s sound can be heard going up, but also going down.”

once upon a time there was a mountain – Oishi

Diafani

Huge catalogue headed up by Wandelweiser associate Eva-Maria Houben. Documents her solo works and compositions by her contemporaries. 

Archive Officielle

Archive Officielle is a multidisciplinary platform and a physical archive focused on conceptual work. Founded in 2016

Point of… by Philippe Vandal is a piece of work inspired and conceived from a series of readings dealing with architecture theory, hearing (in the philosophical and scientific sense) and issues surrounding certain principles of perception and listening. These readings are used as starting points. They generate different sound explorations that attempt to illustrate the theories studied under an instinctive and formal approach. Interested in the great italian theaters from the Renaissance and, in particular, the relationship between the spectator and the stage, Vandal proposes a work which tends to encourage the participation of the listener. When one realizes the particularity of the sound landscape, a process of analysis is almost inevitable. This landscape is constantly being defined and redefined, sometimes gradually, sometimes drastically, with elements that seem to test their own limits and possibilities. From this incessant flow of information, the artist presents his understanding of perception versus apperception notions through a generous spectrum of sounds that constantly demand to be recontextualized and re-evaluated: « our perception of the sound of the sea is said to be composed of the sounds of each single wave we hear without being aware of doing so » (ERLMANN on Leibniz). Some passages, in that sense, reveal a trick played on our ear when a time can be observed between the disappearance of an element and the moment the impact of its absence is felt. The opposite is also true. The sounds are re-sampled, re-used and reorganized. Vandal’s approach shows a great attention to detail and a particular attention paid to the relationship between the different elements, the places they occupy and their size hierarchy: « natural scaling hierarchy influences the viewer because it facilitates the process of human cognition. We are able to perceive a complex structure easily by reducing it to a number of distinct levels of scale » (SALINGAROS).

Point of... – Philippe Vandal

Fonograf Editions

A vinyl record poetry press! Established in 2016, based out of Portland, Oregon as an arm of Octopus Books.

"Charles Mingus’s classic 1963 album The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady is swerved into Harmony Holiday’s classic 2018 album The Black Saint and the Sinnerman. The albums are not the same, not at all. But they speak to one and other across time and language, motion and sound. A man and a woman meet in the marketplace. She is selling her body and he is beating his drum. A man and woman meet in a concert hall. She is thinking the music he spins loose as tantrum. Ah Um and other standards of misused/freedom. A man and woman meet on the radio. He calls her a hoe and she calls him a prince. Jokes are science. She wears white lace and he wears no rubbers. What eagles, also shrugs. Slugs Tavern smells like burnt wheat and hussies. A man and a woman meet there to touch. A man and a woman meet at University. She is studying Frederick Douglass and he is learning to count the bones. Jesus was a geneticist and we are mapping our way home. A man and a woman meet on the way home. He tries to corrupt her as if the sins of the father are being visited in prison. Dial tone. Heart bone. Copper and carbon make electricity. Ringing and spinning into thought. The copper in your pineal gland and the carbon in your cerebral cortex. A man a woman meet in the mind. She is electric and he is legba, the trickster, sluggish under her lucky sun. Not every love story is a fairy tale. In fact the best ones simulate the process of waking up from a nightmare; a man and a woman meet in that glare, fuzzy-hearted almost despair of morning. This is a story about the body. Brown in white lace, disgraced and redeemed. There are no more sour grapes. My teeth glow like a railroad. A man and a woman meet on a train. Your brother and your sister don’t speak to you, and I don’t blame them. Do you blame them? Sin is not as simple as breaking a man made rule. Sainthood is not as simple as being good. This is a story about the body. Sweet grapes. Sweetback. Sweet race. Sweet runner. Sweet earth/rising." The Black Saint and the Sinnerman was recorded live at Machine Project in Los Angeles, CA on September 9, 2016. The album was mastered and engineered by Gus Elg at Sky Onion in Portland, OR in the Fall of 2017.

Harmony Holiday – THE BLACK SAINT AND THE SINNERMAN

Featuring poems written over the past 15 years, some of them from her recently published collection Partly: New and Selected Poems 2001-2015 (Wesleyan, 2016) and some of them previously unpublished, Rae Armantrout’s Conflation interrogates the difference between texture and tactile; thing unspoken versus thing unseen. The world largely exists in the interstices and Rae Armantrout’s poetry makes that clear. As she elucidates on “Scumble,” the 15th poem on  Conflation: What if I were turned on by seemingly innocent words such as “scumble,” “pinky,” or “extrapolate?” What if I maneuvered conversation in the hope that others would pronounce these words? Perhaps the excitement would come from the way the other person touched them lightly and carelessly with his tongue. What if “of” were such a hot button? “Scumble of bushes.” What if there were a hidden pleasure in calling one thing by another’s name? A Rae Armantrout poem is a space where no word is safe from speculation. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award for her 2009 collection Versed, Armantrout is the poet for the Twitterified 21st century and Conflation allows its listener to lapse and bathe in her voice’s nuanced measure. --- Featuring poems written over the past 15 years, some of them from her recently published collection Partly: New and Selected Poems 2001-2015 (Wesleyan, 2016) and some of them previously unpublished, Rae Armantrout's Conflation interrogates the difference between texture and tactile; thing unspoken versus thing unseen. The world largely exists in the interstices and Rae Armantrout’s poetry -previously awarded the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award - makes that clear.

Rae Armantrout – CONFLATION

Mana

UK Contemporary label run by Andrea Zarza and Matthew Kent.

Swooping, sub-heavy sci-fi from Riz Maslen. Leda Maar is a new moniker for the established artist who’s released a crop of downtempo and electronic music as Neotropic and Small Fish With Spine, as well as collaborated with the likes of Future Sound of London, filmmaker Andrew Kötting, and featured in PSP-era Grand Theft Auto soundtracks. Mana’s long lasting love of Riz’s 1996 Laundrophonic EP, released under her Neotropic name, spurred this new release. That 12” was a deep and dark web of rhythm and ghostly urban found sound that one Discogs reviewer aptly named “coin-slot Dubstep”. With elements mostly sourced from tape recordings made in and of her local laundromat, it still stands out as a remarkably contemporary feeling work; more like a post-Fisher, post-hauntology observation of urban life from the last decade, taking the ambient temperature and undercurrent pressures of the 90s. Asking if she had anything in continuity with this slice of her discography, and describing our interest in her take on “space and bass”, Maslen returned to us with Stairway 13. Heavy-lidded and ethereal in long form, Stairway 13's balance of bass weight, mechanical metre, and darkly tinted new age feels like a cinematic re-approach to some of the textures, moods, and themes of Laundrophonic. Originally composed for an installation, Stairway 13 folds in her decades’ experience in sound design and theatre, along with shards and elements abstracted from her more recent folk-like music, zoning into a deep, retreated, altogether dreamlike and expansive atmosphere. The scale and soundscape is reminiscent of Geinoh Yamashirogumi and their Ecophony album series, resonating to similar frequencies and exploring themes of chaos and rebirth in feature-length form. Stairway 13’s four parts spread and swoop as single extended sides across this double LP. Carried by waves of sub bass and heavenly chorus, and later punctuated with autonomic clicks of machinery, whirrs, and pulses -sometimes reminiscent of FSOL’s weirder and more clipped staccato sampling in sections of their cyberpunk ISDN-the work forms a gothic, otherworldly ambience. A subtle space opera. credits

Stairway 13 – Leda Maar

Somewhere between ambient, soundtrack, and an audio play. The tragicomedy and melancholy of a halted art project and a restless mind turning in on itself; as daydreams, farce, and the surreal transform into a blue and beautiful narrative. “In January, 2018, I travelled to Lithuania. I was staying in a small wooden cabin in the middle of a forest and was there to photograph all 3000 sculptures in the nearby Devil Museum. The project was funded by the Mondriaan Fund but two months earlier I’d lent the entire budget (8,000€) to my friend, Martin. He’d just gotten a new job at Rainbow Solutions. I’m not sure what they did but they'd given him a company car with a huge sunroof and a big rainbow printed on the bonnet.Over the following four weeks in Lithuania I kept an audio diary and recorded sounds in and around my cabin. I met no one and spoke about meeting no one. I remembered Crow Man and the time I sold my mum a kilo of scallops. I listened to the door hinge and I recorded the river, with its small islands of ice brushing up against the banks like a pulse. It’s a nice word, ‘pulse’; the motion of an artery as blood is driven through it by the heart.The Devil Museum is an audio drama made up from these recordings. It’s scored with original compositions by Kareem Lotfy and was put together and mixed in collaboration with Jacob Oostra.” --- Jacob Dwyer (UK) is an artist based in Amsterdam. His work often centres around personal encounters that could equally be seen as fables or heresy. He studied Experimental Film at Kingston university and completed a residency at De Ateliers (Amsterdam).

The Devil Museum – Jacob Dwyer

"First commissioned by the French Government in 1981, the LP Rose Des Vents Action Musicale evolved out of a six year project by Swiss composer Pierre Mariétan to document and musicalise the sound environment of urban landscapes within France, creating an inter-geographical auditory map of cities and townships located in the suburban reaches of Paris, including Bezons, Herblay, Montmagny and l’Isle Adam. Through a mix of field recording, interviews, vegetable market catcalls, braying animals and urban hubbub, Mariétan paints a broad, psycho-acoustically vivid and decentralised profile of metropolitan life from the period; carried to the ear through a coupling with musical studio performance and serialist compositional technique. Over an hour and forty minutes, the recording provides an intersectional and ambient passage through environmental and urban narratives, the radiophonic voice of Ana de Carvalho offering fleeting, poetic orientation with announcements of each titled scene, divining and evoking the sonorous qualities of each landscape as it comes into focus. Each scene tangible yet non-specific, the artist arranging and signalling the possibility of civic and pastoral space as a musical container for spontaneous, sonorous interactions. Mariétan’s profile is of a rigorous yet open and exploratory composer, utilising principles of chance and curiosity in organising found sound and often negotiating or encouraging encounters with improvisatory gesture or incidental and occurring sound. In 1966 he established the outfit GERM, grouping composers and musicians dedicated to developing new meeting points between composition and improvisation. Members assist in contributing recordings and performances throughout Rose Des Vents, including musical passages on piano, synthesizer, horn and saxophone. These studio pieces, played on saxophone by Daniel Kientzy or piano by Gerard Fremy, recall and redeploy techniques developed over the lifespan of the project, where site- specific actions and concerts were performed within each of the towns. In many ways, the album is a folding of each facet of the author’s life and work into a single representative culmination. A sympathy towards radiophonic or documentary production values is recognisable—Mariétan produced two iterations of Rose Des Vents. Action Musicale for Alain Trutat and Jean Tardieu’s ground-breaking Atelier De Création Radiophonique on Radio France Culture ahead of this LP release—alongside the influence of his work in urban acoustics and research into forms of sound ecology. So too is the obvious pleasure taken in introducing the sweetness of music to children, with notable samples from his educational workshops and sound installations helping to internalise and evoke a sense of inquisitive delight. It’s these components, combined with themes and concerns about the acoustic environment that resonate 30 years later and establish Rose Des Vents as such an approachable, listenable and lovely piece of experimental sound art. The conjuration of an emotional or psychological plane through musical and metaphorical synthesis allows the listener to situate themselves within the montage in a near cinematic manner, discovering an underlying sonority embedded in the psychic atmospheres of communal life."  

Rose des vents – Pierre Mariétan

Rie Nakajima and Keiko Yamamoto are joined by violinist Billy Steiger and percussionist Marie Roux in a dozen deconstructions of Japanese folk music, for this pacy, engaging debut album. Rie’s baby orchestra of rice bowls, toys, clock workings, balloons and motors is by turns haunted, teased, adorned and laid waste by Keiko’s chanting, rumbling, whispering and stamping on the floor. The production by David ‘Flying Lizards’ Cunningham deepens and spooks the mix, which brims over with energy and wit, intimacy and presence, grace and mystery. "Suddenly we are closer to music being made than we have been for many years or longer even, so alarmingly close as to feel warmth and discomfort, as if studying the sole of a foot from a few centimetres away or holding a private whisper within an enclosed hand and feeling its trembling desire to be free; but also so far away distant as to feel each vibrant, pungent ingredient within its box or jar or bowl or packet or bottle or air-tight translucent container or brown paper bag painstakingly stirred, shaken, scattered, poured into the heated cauldron of what we call recording, its imaginary rooms and its production, though my better self prefers not to speak about or analyse the notion of ‘the studio’, this being a working up of spaces that are social, a vision of something beyond us but not quite beyond us because its existence as a listening object is real enough to make us pause and question how it was lost or never found." - David Toop --- Keiko Yamamoto / voice, melodica, flute, recorder, floor percussion, toy dog (1-7, 9-12) Rie Nakajima / objects, whistles, flute, cards, taisho koto, xylophone, piano, abacus, drain horn (1-12) Billy Steiger / violin (2,4,7-9,11,12) Marie Roux / percussion, thumb piano (2,4,7,9,11,12) --- All composition by Nakajima/Roux/Steiger/Yamamoto apart from Yobu, Hebi, Iroha, Kitsune and Are Kore (Nakajima/Yamamoto) and Futari (Nakajima/Steiger). Words by Yamamoto except 5 and 11. Iroha is a Japanese classical alphabet. Sojarobai is a working song from Miyazaki, Japan. Produced by David Cunningham.  Cover image by Marie Roux. Sleeve design by Ayako Fukuuchi.

O Yama O

“Puzzle Music is the desire to create images out of diverse pieces of sound. To collect timbral colours in a gradient procession and connect them until they create reason. Principally not knowing how the image will turn out, or what the picture even is. It is the act of placing sound shapes next to one another in the hope that clarity will gradually be revealed.When grouping the songs together I was thinking of them as mechanisms in a timepiece. I have something of an obsession with Swiss watchmaking, although I think this stems from a desire for creative mastery and the design of an energy source independent of electronic needs. Hopefully the songs all serve a purpose towards the end goal of the album... but also, the way the Oberheim Xpander pans sounds is in a very clear circular pattern, which makes me think of gears turning.”- Madalyn Merkey --- Interior sounds from Madalyn in an album that flits between eerie ambience, environment, and hermetic logic. The music’s timing and sequencing feels distant, the elegant constructions conjured and organised semi-consciously, drawing the listener deeper into the dream and towards a zone where watch hands tick forward accurately and their perception of time unspools. Here each neatly tuned conversation and clockwork assemblage harmonises, spinning tantalisingly just out of range and understanding.  --- Artwork by Casey LeungVinyl mastered and lacquer cut by Kassian Troyer @ Dubplates and Mastering, Berlin.

Madalyn Merkey – Puzzle Music

Originally released in 2000 on the Hot Air label, this album was deleted for a very long time."You can find lower quality audio rips of this album online for free, as you can a lot of People Like Us. It was us that put it there! However, we do appreciate it if you purchase things from us to help us sustain this kind of work. Many thanks." - Vicki Bennett --- "No really, she's laughing with you... With all the sneaky charm of a car commercial that leaves you inexplicably in tears, this latest romp from People Like Us serves up the emotional complexity of, say, the complete works of Proust, crammed into bite-sized snacks for the easily distracted. In some sense Vicki Bennett's work could be seen as companion volumes to Neil Postman's incisive mid-eighties critique "Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business". Her assemblages of found samples and oddball artifacts, punctuated by peculiarly catchy little synthpop interludes, are populated with all the random and irrelevant crap with which most of us are bombarded daily, skillfully crafted into preposterously pointless exchanges and easy-listening jingles which slyly undermine the intention and substance of their original forms. Bennett has an uncanny ability to transform the trivial, ephemeral, boring and banal into deliciously naughty indictments of our media-saturated culture. In this her work is not unique; artists like Negativeland explore similar territory, and it could even be said that mockery and pastiche, as hallmarks of the post-modern, have become something of a staple gesture. What is truly singular and surprising about her work, given its penchant for deconstruction, is simply its overwhelming gentleness towards its subjects. Never smugly clever or bitter, Bennett's real human warmth manifests in the strangest places, moving what would otherwise be searing sarcasm towards a genuinely fun and good-natured laugh at ourselves and our collective predicament. Ultimately it is her kindness that gives her work both its distinctiveness and its effectiveness: while her commerical Muzak jingles at times lead you to believe you are being lulled into a bludgeoning, her manipulations and surreal juxtapositions are never cruel, offering instead an uplifting glimpse into the possibilities of meaningful communication within (or despite) a sea of chitchat, of real emotion inside the sentimental, and ultimately of an ennobling critical method which is engaged, insightful and diabolically effective without being condescending or overly self-absorbed. "Thermos Explorer", her ninth solo album, is my favorite PLU to date. Each listening finds me singing along and grinning like an idiot. Why is listening to this so much fun? It's like having a sleepover with your hilarious best friend, where everything they say makes you giggle—behind all the music is the irresistibly sweet Vicki Bennett, and you just can't help but like her. "

Thermos Explorer – People Like Us

Originally released in May 2011 when People Like Us aka Vicki Bennett became stranded in the US after the Icelandic Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption closed much of northern Europe’s airspace, Welcome Aboard was reissued by Discrepant in the limboland of 2021. Volcanically marooned in Baltimore and NYC, Bennett utilized some of her “free” time to work on the album and even gained audio contributions from fellow experimental musicians Jason Willett (of Half Japanese) and M.C. Schmidt (of Matmos) via her extended stay.Bennett derived thematic material of displacement, travel, and a longing for elsewhere from the natural disaster that caused her own predicament. Now strangely echoed by the Covid-19 outbreak and the various grounding of planes and stay at home policies worldwide.While the general mashup culture often centres on the instant gratification of seamlessly juxtaposing hooks, People Like Us tracks transform the source material into collages that are equal parts dissonance and pleasure, making artful commentaries on our culture and Bennett’s own existential amusement within such a wondrous world. No one could have predicted how relevant this album would have been 10 years later.Volcanoes or Viruses, Welcome Abroad is what happens when you’re stranded due to a freak natural occurrence trapping people all over the world and causing mass plane cancellations.

People Like Us – Welcome Abroad

Previously released on accompanied by “Gone, Gone Beyond”, “The Mirror” is the dreamy soundtrack of an a/v project from collage artist extraordinaire Vicki Bennett aka People Like Us.With ‘’The Mirror’’ Bennett continues her eternal disassembling of popular music by exploring how the narrative of familiar sounds/songs can change dramatically under a new context, with that context always changing, in a never-ending flow.Each song is singular. And each song is a collage of and undefined number of other songs from other artists. It sounds familiar because that has been the modus operandi of People Like Us since the early 1990s. But “The Mirror” plays with the notion of familiar, driving around a collection of famous pop songs/artists, messing around with the memory of the listener and, of course, his unique comprehension of those specific songs applied in a new context.Because of the use of familiar pop sounds, “The Mirror” is often grandiose. Like an epic film only with highs, never letting the listener down or letting him doubt the power of pop. Even, of course, when the coordinates are twisted, mixed, over or underrepresented. Each moment feels like something that could only happen in a parallel universe. Although that may sound naïve, it’s just a lost thought of reaction to the beautiful collages of People Like Us in “The Mirror”. This mirror doesn’t reflect an image of ourselves or an image of pop. But an image on the way memories drift and are being constant rebuilt. An unfinished collage. 

People Like Us – The Mirror

First released on Mess Media in 2002 on CD, and then reissued on cassette in 2018 on Sucata Tapes, we've combined the digital files of both to bring this to you all on one place. This was compiled as a Best Of People Like Us from pre-2000. Amazing to think it is almost 20 years later that we write this. This represents an earlier life of PLU, some of which carries through to now, some left long behind...“The work of People Like Us rests gingerly between two dangerous positions: on the one hand, the risk of fashioning merely stylish pastiche out of borrowed finery for the sake of self-conscious kitschiness; on the other hand, the risk of making simplistic, heavy handedly “topical” audio-jokes at the expense of one’s raw material to a smug effect. If the lounge creeps uncritically snack on their sonic ingredients and coast on being “groovy”, the cads of pseudo-critique take cheap shots at straw men and call it subversion. Happily, Vicki Bennett has yet to fall down either precipice, but yodels down contentedly from her own Alpine audio-cottage. There, with loving care, she snips and tucks at the lycra jumpsuit until the fit is snug, places every plastic shrub on the Happy Valley Ranch just so, and throws another dance record on the bonfire. Undercutting her own utopian mirages with formal breakdowns and sneaky semantic pranks, Vicki Bennett is One Funny Lady, with a deadly sense of comic timing that puts her in my personal pantheon of edit intensive music makers: -Steinski and Mass Media, Hank Shocklee, Tod Dockstader, Teo Macero, the Hanatarash, John Oswald, Runzelstirn & Gurgelstock. Serving her birthday cake with a turd, her gags are always lined with a virulent creep factor. You get the feeling that the vacancy and pointlessness of empty speech is being lampooned and mourned in equal measure. In sticking to this balance of celebration and critique, People Like Us genuinely hates and loves People Like You. The least you can do is head up to the Happy Valley Ranch for a spell and have a listen.” – Drew Daniel (Matmos) 2002 

People Like Us – Recyclopaedia Britannica

Open Mouth

Heavy experimentation out of Northampton, Massachusetts. Operated by guitarist and graphic artist Bill Nace. 

"Below a shuffling cabasa-like rhythm, a pair of taut drum patterns is punctuated by swirling electronic crackle and a deep bass drop. Slowly and almost imperceptibly, layers of spongy beats accumulate until they’re wiped out dub-style by an echoing sonar moan that suspends the track in a dark and undulating aquatic reverie, a lull broken by jittery bass tones and reverberant knocks that surge into an intricate percussive maelstrom. Jake Meginsky’s music is distinctly low end and percussive. While nodding to minimal house, dub, and noise, Meginsky’s electronica bears ample evidence of his apprenticeship with fiery avant-jazz percussionist Milford Graves and his training in West African djun djun and djembe. There’s nothing rigid or mechanical here. On the contrary, Meginsky’s rhythmic sensibility is supple and flexible – rumbling, fluttering, and bouncing in elastic configurations of enchanting complexity. All rhythm and squall, the pieces on Vandals can’t be called “songs”; but they’re too non-linear to be called “tracks” and too structurally unpredictable to be “compositions.” Rather, Meginsky builds little electronic ecosystems that seem to breed sounds in all their timbral and textural diversity, and to observe what results as they ally and skirmish with one another." - Christoph Cox --- Jake Meginsky / electronics --- Recorded April 2015 . Additional mixing at sonelab by Justin Pizzoferrato. Mastered by Carl Saff. 

Jake Meginsky – Vandals

"Gorgeously psychedelic debut by this new guitar/violin duo, created by two of the form's great maestros. Samara Lubelski and Bill Nace are both veterans of the American sub-underground. Between them they have many projects under many names on many labels. Most recently, however, the two have been focused on string-based duo aktion, Samara in cahoots with Marcia Bassett, and Bill with Kim Gordon in Body/Head. These two ensembles explore different expanses of the genre. The Lubelski/Bassett Duo focus on the powerful beauty of drone rainbow landscapes, while Body/Head venture into dialogues dealing with subconscious dream language. On this album Bill and Samara create a hybrid between these approaches, offering textual interactions that blaze like fire. On the five tracks of their eponymous LP, Samara's violin creates a base of long form string distention, against which Bill's amp-shudder creates event surges that fill your brain with frozen images of walls caught in mid-collapse, and continents sinking into a sea. Their motion has tectonic implications. About all I can compare it to is momentary flashes of A Handful of Dust (the Bruce Russell/Alastair Galbraith unit), but the intent here seems quite different, and as mentioned before, the results feel bracingly psychedelic. Have not had a chance to spin this after an acid drop yet. Will wait for the actual LP to do that, but I'm thinking it will make for a most excellent pairing. I suggest you consider the same. Tout de suite." - Byron Coley --- Samara Lubelski / violin Bill Nace / guitar --- Cover art Spencer HerbstScreened on Stoughton Tip On Covers by Alan Sherry

Samara Lubelski / Bill Nace

Dinzu Artefacts

Los Angeles based label releasing experimental sound across modern composition, improvised music, noise and field recordings since 2016.

Old Heaven Books

Label based out of a book shop & cafe in Shenzhen, China.

"Born in 1945, Guo Yongzhang has performed zhuizi - a traditional Chinese style of narrative singing - for half a century. An artform whose history spans over a century, zhuizi originated in Henan province. Its main musical instruments are the zhuihu, a two-stringed bowed lute, and the zhuibang, a wooden percussion played with foot tapping.  Almost completely blind, Guo Yongzhang is known for his peculiar, resounding yet smooth vocal style. He sings with deep feelings and great verve. Lyrics deal with both the hardships and good values of life while always maintaining a sense of humour. Despite being long regarded as a folk master, Guo has continued to play tirelessly among ordinary people, often travelling from village to village and performing for a whole day at a time. As he nears the end of his life, Guo regrets that nowadays, few people wish to learn the art ofzhuizi. He worries that this precious art form may soon be lost.  This release, titled after one of Guo Yongzhang’s most well-known songs, Lao Lai Nan, commemorates his performance at the 5th Tomorrow Festival. Guo co-headlined the last day of the festival with French prog-rock act Gong on May 20, 2018. His performance was recorded live and is due to be released on both CD and LP by the Old Heaven label in November 2019. --- Guo Yongzhang /  Zhuihu, Zhuibang, Vocals --- Recorded in the late-1980s, Released in 2018

Guo Yongzhang – Lao Lai Nan (Old Man’s Blues)

Huge compilation of remarkable Chinese musicians in and around the Old Heaven scene in Shenzen, China. Recorded live at Tomorrow festival in Shenzen in 2023, there is music from bigger names Mamer, IZ & Lao Dan alongside local musicians Yang Yi, The Two Other Comrades and Wu Tun. If you're wondering what the festival is like, this is a great taster, or if you're already into Mamer then get to know his peers. Folk / blues / industrial / rock / electronic out of Shenzen. Not ur everyday. “Encore 72 Hours” is a special project including some remarkable Chinese domestic musicians. This release is a live recording compilation of the project. The album set is available on 3LP and 3CD+1DVD. All mixing and mastering are done by famous mixing engineer Liu Ying’s studio thus possess extraordinary quality. The album is not only a recording and a reproduction but also a necessary supplement to a live performance, even an artistic reinvention of acoustic. We hope to strike resonance among some listeners." - Tu Fei Track 1~2
杨一 Yang Yi - 吉他 Guitar / 人声 Vocals / 口琴 Harmonica  Track 3王凡Wang Fan - 笔记本电脑 Laptop Track 4~5马木尔 Mamer - 吉他 Guitar / 人声 Vocals夏力 Xalhar - 吉他 Guitar / 和声 Backing Vocals别克 Araybek - 打击乐 Percussion Track 6~7欢庆 Huang Qing - 吉他 Guitar / 合成器 Synthesizer / 人声 Vocals李琨 Li Kun - 钢琴 Piano / 合成器 Synthesizer / 人声Vocals Track 8~9法茹克 Ph - 吉他 Guitar / 主唱 Vocals翟晓明 Zhai Xiaoming - 贝斯 Bass / 主唱Vocals法如克 Faruk - 鼓 Drums Track 10~12马木尔 Mamer - 贝斯 Bass / 人声 Vocals夏力 Xalhar - 贝斯 Bass / 人声 Vocals别克 Araybek - 鼓 Drums老丹 Lao Dan - 萨克斯 Saxophone(Track 10) Track 13~14吴吞 Wu Tun - 人声 Vocals / 吉他 Guitar / 自行车 Bicycle / 鼓风机 Wind Blower  Track 15~16
小河 Xiao He - 主唱 Vocals / 吉他 Guitar张玮玮 Zhang Weiwei - 手风琴 Accordion郭龙 Guo Long - 打击乐 Percussion Track 17李剑鸿 Li Jianhong - 吉他 Guitar/ 人声Vocals韦玮 VAVABOND - 笔记本电脑 Laptop / 合成器 Synthesizer / 人声 Vocals   Track 18小河 Xiao He - 人声 Vocals / 吉他 Guitar杨一 Yang Yi - 人声 Vocals老丹 Lao Dan - 人声 Vocals / 萨克斯 Saxophone   现场调音 Live Sound Engineer & 录音 Recording:曾君 Zeng Jun,罗绿野 Luo Lvye现场灯光 Stage Lighting Engineer:张坤 Cheung Kwan混音 Mixing & 母带处理 Mastering:刘英 Liu Ying制作人 Producer:涂飞 Tu Fei主视觉设计 Main Visual Design:林溪 LINXI’s Office唱片设计 Album Design & 统筹 Coordinator:尹思卜 Yin Sibo影像出品 Video Production:大發錄像 DAFA“明天音乐节特别策划:返场七十二小时”现场,录制于深圳B10现场,2021年5月21日~23日Live at “Tomorrow Festival Special Project: Encore 72 Hours”, recorded at B10 Live, Shenzhen, May 21~23, 2021旧天堂书店 & 深圳B10现场 联合出品Published by Old Heaven Books & B10 Live, Shenzhen 2022  

Encore 72 Hours – VA

Ping Pong

Studio recorded free improv from the outside lanes. Started by Steve Noble in the late '90s.

Confront Recordings

Mark Wastell's label, operative since the mid 90's. Documents live free improvisation, based out of London. 

Mark Wastell has been organising larger formations of musicians, collectively known as THE SEEN, for over 10 years. Using predominantly improvised material with occasional instructions or themes distributed to individual musicians just prior to performance. No formation has ever been repeated, THE SEEN never stays static.  Register of previous participants include Tetuzi Akiyama, Mattin, Michael Duch, Graham Halliwell, Andrea Neumann, Rhodri Davies, Paul Hood, Takehiro Nishide, Annette Krebs, Lee Gamble, Matt Davis, Joe Williamson, Wolfgang Fuchs, Burkhard Beins, Tomas Korber, Paul Abbott, Ben Owen, Jonathan McHugh, Jane Dickson, Olie Brice, Dimitra Lazaridou-Chatzigoga, Bertrand Denzler, Angharad Davies, David Toop, Chris Burn, Richard Sanderson, Dominic Lash, Yoni Silver, Graham MacKeachan, John Butcher and Jason Kahn. “With The Seen, everything is up for grabs. Even the act of listening – so sacrosanct in the world of improvisation – becomes problematized, for in such a tapestry of sound and silence how can one process what’s happening at any one moment? Yet this impossibility of total response provides opportunities to form clusters within the whole, that break apart and reform in different configurations as things develop. For listeners, too, there are possibilities for moments of both detailed focus and wider-scale immersion.” (Paul Margree) This product page is only for Volume V, but you can buy the whole set at a reduced price here.  Volume V:THE SEEN // CAFE OTO, LONDON 26.06.2009Mark Wastell : tam tamJohn Butcher : acoustic & feedback saxophoneDominic Lash : double bassMatt Davis : trumpetJane Dickson : piano, electronics Phil Durrant : maschinePhil Julian : electronicsJonathan McHugh : analogue synthesiserPaul Abbott : electronicsBenedict Drew : Roland 101, electronicsBen Owen : shortwave radio

ARCHIVE : Volume V – THE SEEN

Mark Wastell has been organising larger formations of musicians, collectively known as THE SEEN, for over 10 years. Using predominantly improvised material with occasional instructions or themes distributed to individual musicians just prior to performance. No formation has ever been repeated, THE SEEN never stays static.  Register of previous participants include Tetuzi Akiyama, Mattin, Michael Duch, Graham Halliwell, Andrea Neumann, Rhodri Davies, Paul Hood, Takehiro Nishide, Annette Krebs, Lee Gamble, Matt Davis, Joe Williamson, Wolfgang Fuchs, Burkhard Beins, Tomas Korber, Paul Abbott, Ben Owen, Jonathan McHugh, Jane Dickson, Olie Brice, Dimitra Lazaridou-Chatzigoga, Bertrand Denzler, Angharad Davies, David Toop, Chris Burn, Richard Sanderson, Dominic Lash, Yoni Silver, Graham MacKeachan, John Butcher and Jason Kahn. “With The Seen, everything is up for grabs. Even the act of listening – so sacrosanct in the world of improvisation – becomes problematized, for in such a tapestry of sound and silence how can one process what’s happening at any one moment? Yet this impossibility of total response provides opportunities to form clusters within the whole, that break apart and reform in different configurations as things develop. For listeners, too, there are possibilities for moments of both detailed focus and wider-scale immersion.” (Paul Margree) This product page is only for Volume IV, but you can buy the whole set at a reduced price here.  Volume IV: THE SEEN // CAFE OTO, LONDON 19.02.2009 Mark Wastell : tam tam & shrutti boxMatt Davis : trumpetPhil Durrant : maschineDominic Lash : double bassPhil Julian : analogue electronicsPaul Abbott : electronics

ARCHIVE : Volume IV – THE SEEN

Mark Wastell has been organising larger formations of musicians, collectively known as THE SEEN, for over 10 years. Using predominantly improvised material with occasional instructions or themes distributed to individual musicians just prior to performance. No formation has ever been repeated, THE SEEN never stays static.  Register of previous participants include Tetuzi Akiyama, Mattin, Michael Duch, Graham Halliwell, Andrea Neumann, Rhodri Davies, Paul Hood, Takehiro Nishide, Annette Krebs, Lee Gamble, Matt Davis, Joe Williamson, Wolfgang Fuchs, Burkhard Beins, Tomas Korber, Paul Abbott, Ben Owen, Jonathan McHugh, Jane Dickson, Olie Brice, Dimitra Lazaridou-Chatzigoga, Bertrand Denzler, Angharad Davies, David Toop, Chris Burn, Richard Sanderson, Dominic Lash, Yoni Silver, Graham MacKeachan, John Butcher and Jason Kahn. “With The Seen, everything is up for grabs. Even the act of listening – so sacrosanct in the world of improvisation – becomes problematized, for in such a tapestry of sound and silence how can one process what’s happening at any one moment? Yet this impossibility of total response provides opportunities to form clusters within the whole, that break apart and reform in different configurations as things develop. For listeners, too, there are possibilities for moments of both detailed focus and wider-scale immersion.” (Paul Margree) This product page is only for Volume III, but you can buy the whole set at a reduced price here.  Volume III:THE SEEN // RED ROSE THEATRE, LONDON 15.11.2007 Mark Wastell : double bassDominic Lash : double bassJoe Williamson : double bassMatthew Lovett : double bassAshley John Long : double bassMatt Davis : laptopDavid Toop : laptopLee Gamble : laptopBenedict Drew : laptopPhil Durrant : laptop

ARCHIVE : Volume III – THE SEEN

Mark Wastell has been organising larger formations of musicians, collectively known as THE SEEN, for over 10 years. Using predominantly improvised material with occasional instructions or themes distributed to individual musicians just prior to performance. No formation has ever been repeated, THE SEEN never stays static.  Register of previous participants include Tetuzi Akiyama, Mattin, Michael Duch, Graham Halliwell, Andrea Neumann, Rhodri Davies, Paul Hood, Takehiro Nishide, Annette Krebs, Lee Gamble, Matt Davis, Joe Williamson, Wolfgang Fuchs, Burkhard Beins, Tomas Korber, Paul Abbott, Ben Owen, Jonathan McHugh, Jane Dickson, Olie Brice, Dimitra Lazaridou-Chatzigoga, Bertrand Denzler, Angharad Davies, David Toop, Chris Burn, Richard Sanderson, Dominic Lash, Yoni Silver, Graham MacKeachan, John Butcher and Jason Kahn. “With The Seen, everything is up for grabs. Even the act of listening – so sacrosanct in the world of improvisation – becomes problematized, for in such a tapestry of sound and silence how can one process what’s happening at any one moment? Yet this impossibility of total response provides opportunities to form clusters within the whole, that break apart and reform in different configurations as things develop. For listeners, too, there are possibilities for moments of both detailed focus and wider-scale immersion.” (Paul Margree) This product page is only for Volume II, but you can buy the whole set at a reduced price here.  Volume II: THE SEEN // TEATERHUSET AVANT GARDEN, TRONDHEIM, NORWAY 12.05.2006Mark Wastell : tam tamWolfgang Fuchs : record playersBertrand Denzler : saxophonesAngharad Davies : violinBurkhard Beins : percussionGraham Halliwell : feedback saxophoneTomas Korber : electronicsBenedict Drew : electronicsDominic Lash : double bass

ARCHIVE : Volume II – THE SEEN

Exclusively released through OTO, 'Priest's House' documents The Seen's Dorset outing, with a line up including Dominic Lash and Seth Cooke alongside local improvisers. Mark Wastell has been organising larger formations of musicians, collectively known as THE SEEN, for over 10 years, and thanks to Stuart Riddle the group were able to travel to Wimbourne Minster to form a new South West iteration. Using predominantly improvised material with occasional instructions or themes distributed to individual musicians just prior to performance. No formation has ever been repeated, THE SEEN never stays static.  Register of previous participants include Tetuzi Akiyama, Mattin, Michael Duch, Graham Halliwell, Andrea Neumann, Rhodri Davies, Paul Hood, Takehiro Nishide, Annette Krebs, Lee Gamble, Matt Davis, Joe Williamson, Wolfgang Fuchs, Burkhard Beins, Tomas Korber, Paul Abbott, Ben Owen, Jonathan McHugh, Jane Dickson, Olie Brice, Dimitra Lazaridou-Chatzigoga, Bertrand Denzler, Angharad Davies, David Toop, Chris Burn, Richard Sanderson, Dominic Lash, Yoni Silver, Graham MacKeachan, John Butcher and Jason Kahn. “With The Seen, everything is up for grabs. Even the act of listening – so sacrosanct in the world of improvisation – becomes problematized, for in such a tapestry of sound and silence how can one process what’s happening at any one moment? Yet this impossibility of total response provides opportunities to form clusters within the whole, that break apart and reform in different configurations as things develop. For listeners, too, there are possibilities for moments of both detailed focus and wider-scale immersion.” (Paul Margree) --- Adrian Newton / electronicsTom Cleverly / guitar, trumpetPaul Allen / drums, percussionStuart Riddle / soprano saxophone, electronicsSeth Cooke / resonatorDominic Lash / double bassMark Wastell / tam tam --- Recorded at the Priest's House, Wimbourne Minster, 21.09,2018 by Adrian Newton. Mixed by Adrian Newton. Thanks to volunteers at The Priest’s House Museum.

The Seen – Priest's House

Badhead / Modern Sky World Music

Two experimental strands from China's Modern Sky label, publishing left field local music and folk gems.

Red Scarf has been described as “a trio of madmen” who deconstruct, reassemble, and then decimate genre after genre, are clearly having a blast with their take on rock, free jazz, and noise. Consisting of guitarist Li Xing, drummer Deng Boyu, and saxophonist/flutist Lao Dan and formed in 2014, the band released their self-titled debut in 2016 on BADHEAD. In 2018, Red Scarf released their sophomore They Know We Know They’re Lying. Later in that year they supported krautrock legend Damo Suzuki on his Chinese tour.  Unlike their improvisation-based debut, They Know We Know They’re Lying showcases the bands ability to deliver tightly structured and carefully balanced prog-rock compositions characterized by harsh textures, rich dynamics, and wicked black humour. As reviewed by Live Beijing Music: “Take the soundtrack to Tom and Jerry, douse it in bath salts and you only have the slightest sense of the glorious mayhem found within Red Scarf’s frantic and beautifully assembled 2018 releaseThey Know We Know They’re Lying. A deep dive into the mouth of madness that pits renegade sax, high-pitched souna against a fierce battle between guitar and drums, eventually transforming into a symphony of metal-tinged breakdowns and free jazz roar before it once again jack knifes elsewhere…”  --- Li Xing / guitar, synthesizer Lao Dan / saxophone, bamboo flute, suona  Deng Boyu / drums   --- BADHEAD (B-052). May 2018. All Music: Red Scarf

They Know We Know They're Lying – Red Scarf

Astral Spirits

Nate Cross' cornerstone label for jazz and improvised music based out of Austin, Texas and influenced by Cross' time in Chicago.

Pavone’s interest in the effects of sonic vibration is integrated into this new collection of pieces for the J. Pavone String Ensemble. By emphasizing the use of sustained sounds, notes, or tone clusters, the compositions are intended to impact the audience physically and mentally, beyond the aesthetic experience of just listening to the music, existing both within and beyond music’s canonical role. Pavone both borrows from and elaborates upon traditional notation and improvisatory techniques. She experiments with ways of alternating between metered and clock-time approaches, as well as improvised and notated instructions. Pavone relies on a digital clock as a conductor to mark sections, duration, and cues. Indicated time frames on the score direct musicians to move freely between sections creating an overlap of sonic textures. These textures and improvisations can sometimes land in an entirely different notated section of music within a given composition. The ensemble approach is focused on a vision of collective improvisation that prioritizes a collaboratively-sewn musical fabric, in contrast to the traditional improvisatory approach that prizes the individuality and uniqueness of the soloist. The ensemble’s rehearsal method is influenced by Pavone’s solo work which includes concentrated long tone practice, an interest in repetition, exploring sympathetic vibrations, and attending to the way the body plays a role in sound and intention.

Lost and Found – J. Pavone String Ensemble

حمد [Ahmed] – the quartet of Pat Thomas, Antonin Gerbal, Joel Grip and Seymour Wright – make music of heavy rhythm, repetition and syncopation set deep into an understanding of jazz and the obscure depths of its history. Recorded live at Cafe OTO at the launch of the previous record 'Super Majnoon [East Meets West]’ the group work and rework the music of the late musician Ahmed Abdul-Malik to create a stamping, swinging, relentlessly propulsive record where profundity and physicality root right back to ecstatic feeling --- "The journey of self-discovery, communing with the eternal sound. A musician steeped in multiple worlds; oceans apart yet closely connected in ancestral memory. Musicians such as Ahmed Abdul-Malik were able to experience the global community of sound warriors, drawing inspiration from ancient cultures to support personal investigation. The connection was made clear, the music of Africa would certainly influence the African in America despite the atrocities of the Middle Passage, chattel slavery, and continued racist violence that sought to sever any connection to the continent. The beauty of Malik’s investigation is this original fusion of new music (Jazz) of the African in America with ancient music of Africa. It is a shining example of collaboration in culture, where the music is allowed to shine for itself. This is the inspiration that is being tapped, being explored in this collaboration where rhythm is the basis for the sound. Just like Malik, they allow the spirit of the collective push the sound as the music develops into exalted chaos. Joy Be Upon Us!" - Luke Stewart --- Arranged by [AHMED] Pat Thomas - Piano Joel Grip - Bass Antonin Gerbal - Drums Seymour Wright - Alto saxophone --- Recorded live at Cafe OTO, London, December 5th, 2019. Recording: Shaun Cook Mixing: Billy Steiger Mastering: Mikey Young --- Inner-sleeve text: ' Origins Revisited' by Pat Thomas (2004) Cover photo of Ahmed Abdul-Malik at the Cabana Club, New York City, 1965 Produced: Astral Spirits / Seymour Wright --- Released: Astral Spirits, 2021

[Ahmed] – Nights on Saturn (communication)

The Nick Mazzarella Trio was formed in 2008 and for several years remained one of the most active working bands in Chicago’s vibrant jazz scene, performing regularly at clubs and festivals across the city, and recording three albums before drummer Frank Rosaly moved to Amsterdam in 2016. When Rosaly returned for a visit in early 2018, Mazzarella composed a suite of six new pieces for a concert commemorating the trio’s tenth anniversary. That performance, given before a full house at Co-Prosperity Sphere in the south-side neighborhood of Bridgeport, was recorded live on reel to reel tape, and the complete, uncut recording is now available as the trio’s fourth album, Counterbalance. On Counterbalance, the members of the trio bring to bear the collective creative experience they have accumulated over the past decade, displaying a new level of maturity in their interpretation of Mazzarella’s latest compositions—which draw as much from contemporary classical music as from the jazz tradition—and a new level of patience and communication in their highly personal improvisations. As critic John Corbett asserts in his liner notes for the album, the trio’s music is "magnificent, relaxed. It has nothing to prove. The sound is proof enough.” --- NICK MAZZARELLA - alto saxophone ANTON HATWICH - bass FRANK ROSALY - drums --- All compositions by Nick Mazzarella (BMI). Recorded by David Allen and Dave Vettraino on January 19, 2018 at Co-Prosperity Sphere in Bridgeport, Chicago. Mixed & Mastered by Dave Zuchowski. Cover artwork by Morris Barazani, untitled, c. 1950, gouache and varnish on cardstock, 11 x 15 inches, private collective. (Courtesy of Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago). Sleeve photograph by Scottie McNiece. Liner notes by John Corbett. Layout by Drew Liverman. Produced by Nick Mazzarella. Exective production by Nate Cross for Astral Spirits & Quin Kirchner for Spacetone. For Mary A and Nick J—Mom and Dad

Nick Mazzarella Trio – Counterbalance

Love Waves Ecstatic Charge uses visual material to construct sonic architecture. The visuals are one hundred and six still images taken from an experimental video which was initially shot when Mazurek was in residency at Abbaye Royal de Fontevraud, France, 2005. Upon his return from the residency he discovered the camera broken and barely operational other than the fact of being able to extract frame by frame 106 distorted still images and fragmented skipping sound that would on occasion burst through. This material sat untouched for numerous years until recently, whereupon a reinvestigation of the material had such a depth of feeling to it that he used these images and sound to start to construct sonic pieces based on color shifts, granulation, bursts, shape, distortion, textrue and finally text. The text is an affirmation of Life and Breathing, Love and Ecstatic Charge, the constant shifts that occur in daily life creating Waves of Joy and Sorrow and everything in between. Other Sound was eventually collected from various sources, specifically in and around Mies van der Rohe's iconic Farnsworth house in Plano, IL and processed through modular synth and computer. Some of this sound can be heard inside the film he made in collaboration withfilmmaker Lee Ann Schmitt titled: The Farnsworth Scores. Excerpt here: vimeo.com/250349662"I have been making electronic music since the mid 90's as a way of challenging my own way of composing and hearing and seeing and by intense experimentation, to move closer to an all enveloping resonance that has been just out of reach ... but there! ... and over time have created some kind of vocabulary that I hope at the very least is "interesting" at the very most "shattering" In the most cathartic of ways." - Rob Mazurek ---Rob Mazurek / modular synth (digital/analog), computer---Recorded and Mixed, at M.E.S. (Marfa Experimental Studio), Marfa, Texas 2017-18. Mastered by David Allen

Love Waves Ecstatic Charge – Rob Mazurek

Terry Day Archives

Previously unreleased recordings of compositions, improvisations, songs, lyrics & poetry from 1965 up to the present. 

Stellan Veloce’s first record for Hyperdelia is not only their debut album but simultaneously the inception of a band: Stellan Veloce’s Complesso Spettro. At Veloce’s disposal, the players have turned into a Frankensteinian super group: with Andreas Dzialocha on electric bass, Bridget Ferrill doing electronics & processing, Julia Reidy on guitars, Marta Tiesenga on baritone sax, Earl Harvin and Jesse Quebbeman-Turley on drums, Elena Kakaliagou playing horn, Carlo Spiga aka Makika at the launeddas, Pierpaolo Lorenzo playing harmonium and Stellan Veloce on cello.The A-side (‘Brackish’), initially recorded live at Robbie Moore’s Impression Studio, is the result of hours of improvisations loosely based on Veloce’s graphic scores. In the hands of the composer, the recording material soon turned into an abstracted collage. Despite the asynchronous addition of further drums and saxophone, the piece remains the outcome of a noisy live band due to the heavy leakage on the different takes and spatial distancing effects inherent in the recordings. The B-Side (‘Briny’) responds to the staggering layers of space and time. ‘Briny’ is a drone piece that emerges from the interplay of cello, bass and horn and acts as a Romanticist counterpart to ‘Brackish’ while the addition of launeddas – a Sardinian woodwind instrument –, harmonium and electronics returns it to rougher timbral territories.Stellan Veloce’s Complesso Spettro is an exceptional music that combines the power of band playing with Veloce’s sense for deconstruction and rearranging. The record takes its cues equally from Talk Talk’s meticulous recording and editing processes, the grand narratives of Nate Wooley’s Seven Storey Mountain, Animal Collective’s textured noise or the free-wheeling play of Zeena Parkins. The album is the work of a shoegaze ensemble that is indebted to Italian prog rock and Free Jazz as much as to pastoral post rock and spectral composition.Stellan Veloce is a Sardinian composer, performer and cellist living and working in Berlin. They compose pieces for acoustic instrumental ensembles and develop installations and performance pieces focusing on timbre, repetition and sound densities. Veloce also works as a touring band member and studio musician, recently with Peaches, Kat Frankie, Dear Reader, Kenichi & The Sun. They have collaborated with composers Marta Forsberg and Neo Hülcker, choreographer Sheena McGrandles and others. They are co-founder of the collective and online platform Y-E-S.org and are part of the group Fem*_Music*_.  ---   Composition, editing, production by Stellan VeloceStellan Veloce - cello, additional bass (A, B)Andreas Dzialocha - electric bass (A, B)Bridget Ferrill - electronics, processing (A, B)Julia Reidy - guitars (A)Marta Tiesenga - baritone sax (A)Earl Harvin - drums (A)Jesse Quebbeman-Turley - drums (A)Elena Kakaliagou - horn (B)Carlo Spiga aka Makika - launeddas (B)Pierpaolo “the coach” Lorenzo - harmonium (B)Recorded by Robbie Moore, Stellan Veloce, Andreas Dzialocha and Ole Jana in Berlin; and by Marta Tiesenga and Jesse Quebbeman-Turley in Los Angeles. Mixed by Robbie Moore at Impression Studio, Berlin. Mastered by Stephan Mathieu at Schwebung Mastering, Bonn. Artwork by Ale Rodriguez, Design by Xerox Martins.Grazie a Silvia e alla Monterico Fam.

Stellan Veloce’s Complesso Spettro – Stellan Veloce

On Hyperdelia’s first release 'Erster Teil - Zweiter Teil - Dritter Teil' the recording studio takes eight musicians on astral travelling. The Serenus Zeitblom Oktett’s album is the beautiful result of a complexly processed abstraction of a live acoustic jazz ensemble becoming a hyperdelic space tentacle, reaching into bass depths and pop dimensions: one moment zooming into microscopic miniature sounds only to branch out into free floating airy planes in the next. Erster Teil - Zweiter Teil - Dritter Teil is the debut LP of the Berlin based ensemble Serenus Zeitblom Oktett. The Oktett from Berlin consists of musicians with a broad pop, free jazz and contemporary music background. All eight musicians have worked in various formations and with various musicians, ranging from Efterklang’s Martyn Heyne (who also did post-production on the record) and Matthew Herbert to Ingrid Laubrock, Stargaze, Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra and many more. These diverse backgrounds inform the Oktett’s artificial but organic live sound-production aesthetic.The ensemble is accompanied by a ninth member, the Klanggestalter. Both in the studio as well as live every instrument is being amplified and processed by filters and live algorithms, neutralising the difference of acoustic and electric instruments.The LP comes with a special video documentary by Roman Hagenbrock (i am just a video girl). The video adds another poetic layer of abstraction: confusing sound, action and image. --- Andreas Dzialocha (electric bass, composition), David Meier (drums), Moritz Bossmann (electric guitar), Karsten Lipp (electric guitar), Els Vandeweyer (vibraphone), Isabelle Klemt (violoncello), Shasta Ellenbogen (viola), Richard Koch (trumpet), Matthias Erb (Klanggestaltung)Production: Andreas DzialochaRecording: Antonio Pulli (Vox-Ton Studio, Berlin)Mix Fuzz & Fairy Dust: Martyn Heyne (Lichte Studio, Berlin)Mixing: Matthias Erb, Andreas DzialochaMastering: Francesco Donadello (Calyx Mastering, Berlin)Video: Roman Hagenbrock

Serenus Zeitblom Oktett – Erster Teil - Zweiter Teil - Dritter Teil

Andreas Dzialocha creates an enchanting ghost music. Animated by his solo bass playing and haunted by aleatoric acoustics, 'For Always LP' unearthes the instrument’s low end harmonics.  For Always LP is produced in collaboration with Sam Slater (Hildur Guðnadóttir, Shapednoise, Zebra Katz, Mica Levi) and with support by composer/violist Marta Forsberg (Passepartout Duo, Ellen Arkbro, Stellan Veloce) and sound artist/singer Fågelle (Henryk Lipp). Dzialocha recorded the initial bass material residing at the Baltic Sea in Lithuania. Afterwards and in collaboration with Sam Slater, he reworked the material in Stockholm: there they re-amped the original stems and turned the studio itself into a living dub creature. Dzialocha, who is also a programmer, created an algorithm to sequence and filter the bass inputs. This software in turn randomly enables loudspeakers, headphones and tape machines that were placed in corridors and staircases. As an eerie result, we hear both Dzialocha’s stripped-down bass playing, the (non)logic of the algorithm as well as the specific resonances of the room acoustics: all of these have merged into one sentient instrument. ‘For Always LP’ is populated by a myriad of these machinic, acoustic and indeed personal traces. Marta Forsberg and Klara Andersson join by providing viola (on IV) as well as guitar, voice and lyrics (For Always). The record is animated by all of these forces and in ensemble they sing a wonderfully abstracted ghost music: for always.

For Always LP – Andreas Dzialocha

Resterecords

Run by composer and engineer Adam Matschulat, Resterecords focuses on contemporary electronic music.

Crow Versus Crow

Crow Versus Crow of Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire. Limited Edition tapes / CDRs / CDs / publications.

Crow Versus Crow is honoured to present 'The Waste Land', the fourth body of sonic exploration from Brutalust, the Huddersfield, West Yorkshire-based duo of Maria Sappho and Colin Frank. /////////////////We made noise that day, and this was what was most important. Putting forth sound with intermittent interjections. A heap of broken images///////////////// These seven pieces are composed primarily for piano and percussion, accompanied by musical saw, theremin, synthesizers, and voice, and layered with distortion and live electronic manipulations.Bricolage, in essence, layers of references to high Modernist poetry, masterful works of contemporary solo piano, and esoteric philosophies, shift within expansive juxtapositions of harsh discordance, delicate contrapuntal melody, structured rhythmic pattern, and open, wild improvisation, to form tactile, textural whorls of episodic flux. From deconstructing Russian composer Galina Ustvolskaya’s '6th Piano Sonata', to mangling doctrines that prize verifiable statements and ego-motivated pleasure, 'The Waste Land' articulates ideas of struggle with saturation, order, and clarity. /////////////////long after time had ceased to be noticed… we shared what we had found and then lost///////////////// All music composed and performed by Brutalust.Colin Frank - Percussion, Electronics.Maria Sappho - Piano, Saw, Theremin, Synth, Voice, Electronics.Recorded in Phipps Hall, Huddersfield, in March 2022.Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Colin Frank. Artwork, Layout and Design by Andrew Wild.

The Waste Land – Brutalust

Crow Versus Crow is delighted to present for your aural-spiritual consumption ‘Elvis Died and Everyone Is…’, from high-priest of vox-mung dicta-jaxx, Posset. Two threads of ‘vocals’ and ‘tape’ seem to run through much Posset’s work, each often abstracted to pure texture, to pure concrete, each overlapping and blurring the others’ boundaries. Elvis Died and Everyone Is… further pushes these threads, weaving absurdist skit, deep croak throat drone, sludged free verse, layers of clipped skittering utterances, and writhing whorls of golden dicta scree into a fevered patchwork of dreamy hiss and fluttering treble. “For fans of losing your train of thought in an important conversation, de-tuned longwave radio stations, fake Electronic Voice Phenomena, half-formed words dissolving on the tongue, lethargy, being too hot and itchy in an unfamiliar building, the intimate electric breath of damaged heater, overheard conversations on the bus, that faint tinkle, a relaxed confusion, nostalgic plimsoll squeak, getting lost in Leicester town centre, the wet crinkle of someone else’s leather jacket, watching the shopping channel with the sound off, cumin scented smoke, letting the wind take your breath away, not realising how long you’ve been staring into space, finding an old letter from an old friend, shopping list poems, dreams of drowning, DJ Screw mixtapes left out in the sun. Thanks for listening.” All recorded in and around Newcastle-upon-Tyne 2021 using dictaphones, tape recorders and crappy phone apps. Thanks to Fritz Welch for the vintage desk-top dictation machine you hear right at the start. Thanks to Andy at Crow Versus Crow for his endless patience and support. Sounds: PossetArtwork and Design: Crow Versus Crow

Elvis Died and Everyone Is... – Posset

AFinding My Feet / Who Put This Amp Here? / If Only This Phonebox Could Talk / Imprisoned / Up And Down / If You Put This Tape Against Your Ear You Can Hear The Ocean / What The Fuck Was He Thinking? BTribute To La Monte Young And Marian Zazeela's OCEANS (Recorded On Location At Cushenden Beach, Northern Ireland. Featuring Natalia Beylis, Willie Stewart And Ailbhe Nic Oireachtaigh) / Back To Work / Push The Button / Keep It Running / 25 Paintings / Phonecall From A Friend / A Little Thing / For Ailbhe -------------------------------------------------------------------- Sophie Cooper’s, 'The Curfew Tower Recordings' consists of two collages produced from recordings of various musical pieces, actions and field recordings taken during the artists week-long IMPOSE||LIFT residency, part of The Penthouse’s 18 month curatorial programme (thepenthousenq.com), at Bill Drummond’s, The Curfew Tower, Northern Ireland. The work presented here documents Cooper’s questioning of the potential for dialogue between trombone and voice within the song-writing process. These sketches document an intuitive exploration through improvisation. Cooper’s tribute to La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela’s Oceans is a wholly apt reference point in relation to The Curfew Tower Recordings, as the influence of Minimalist pioneers, along with the early electronic experiments of Daphne Oram, for example, can be heard through the undulating, shimmering abstractions that blur the lines between Cooper’s layers of effected trombone and vocals. Interspersed through these explorations are recordings of Cooper’s Dial-a-Bone project - personalised trombone improvisations, performed in response to random callers’ requests… from within a public phone box. All recordings taken during the IMPOSE||LIFT artist residency at The Curfew Tower, Cushendall, Northern Ireland, presented as part of The Penthouse NQ, Manchester's 2017/18 curatorial programme. Many thanks to Debbie Sharp and Roseanne Robertson for the opportunity. All music recorded, mixed and mastered by Sophie Cooper.

The Curfew Tower Recordings – Sophie Cooper

tsss tapes

Spanish born label set up in 2019, now based in Perugia, Italy. Textural, improvised free form music.

Ogun

Legendary South African & British jazz label started in 1973 by bassist Harry Miller, producer Hazel Miller and sound engineer Keith Beal. Still active. 

OTOROKU is proud to present the first vinyl reissue of Blue Notes for Johnny - a defining statement by one of the greatest ensembles in the history of jazz. Recorded in mid-1987 by Blue Notes - then reduced to the trio of Dudu Pukwana on alto sax, Louis Moholo-Moholo on drums and Chris McGregor on piano - it encounters the band 25 years after their founding embarking on an inward meditation through collective music making dedicated to Johnny Dyani, their former bandmate and friend.  Blue Notes were founded in Cape Town in 1962, and stand among the most important ensembles in the history of jazz. Artistically brilliant and groundbreaking - gathering, within a few short years, a devoted following that included Don Cherry, Steve Lacy, Abdullah Ibrahim, Dexter Gordon, Kenny Drew, Keith Tippett, Evan Parker, John Stevens and numerous others - they were also the first widely visible multiracial band in South Africa. As a mixed race band under apartheid, this group of friends and like-minded artists - Chris McGregor, Mongezi Feza, Dudu Pukwana, Nikele Moyake, Johnny Dyani and Louis Moholo-Moholo -  existed within a context that viewed their mere existence as a dangerous and subversive act. In 1964 they joined an exodus of musicians leaving for Europe and eventually settled in London the following year. Sadly, not long after arriving and facing continued economic peril, the group buckled. Johnny Dyani left to join Don Cherry’s band. Moholo-Moholo and Dyani followed suit and joined Steve Lacy on tour, and the remaining members morphed into a number of ensembles that eventually grew to become Chris McGregor's Brotherhood Of Breath.    Following the death of Mongezi Feza in 1975 the remaining members of the group had come back together to record Blue Notes For Mongezi, reigniting a sporadic period of activity over the coming years. Following the untimely passing of Johnny Dyani in late 1986, the last three members of the original line-up - McGregor, Pukwana and Moholo-Moholo - reformed to pay tribute to yet another of their fallen brothers.  Blue Notes for Johnny, the group’s second musical memorial to a band member, incorporates a considerably broader range of touchstone and practices than its predecessor, nodding toward the band’s foundations in be-bop and post-bop without abandoning where they had journeyed along the way. Internalising equal elements of hard-bop, modalism, and free improvisation, it is a startling creative statement, imbued with a tension that renders an equally radical and sophisticated challenge; a furious tide - slow in pace and it slow to reveal itself - masquerading in gentler forms.  A celebration and a memorial. Joyous and tragic. A real time resurrection of personal experience, Blue Notes for Johnny dodges, dances, and transforms across its two sides, refusing to be nailed down. As the trio pushes against each other, bristling tonal and rhythmic collisions leave the impression that something is bound to explode, without ever fully letting go.  Blue Notes for Johnny’s memorialisation is unwittingly doubled by capturing the final time that the Blue Notes would come together in the studio. Both Dudu Pukwana and Chris McGregor would pass away three years later in 1990, leaving Moholo-Moholo - who continues to carve a groundbreaking trajectory across the world of jazz - as the last surviving member. The album remains as a journey between an imaged future and the beginning of it all. Six friends meeting and communing through sound. Six friends who had triumphed against the odds, becoming some of the greatest creative voices of their generation. Six friends who were five, then four, and then three, before they were done. Friends who never failed, in whatever form, to come together and play. It is a story begun 60 years ago that remains just as prescient today. --- DUDU PUKWANA / alto sax CHRIS McGREGOR / piano LOUIS MOHOLO / drums  --- This 2022 re-issue has been made with permission and in association with Ogun records. Transferred from the original masters and featuring an exact reproduction of the original artwork. Remastered by Giuseppe Ielasi. All music by the Blue Notes. All music published by Ogun Publishing Co. Cover design by Ogun.

Blue Notes – Blue Notes for Johnny

"From the Miller box of tapes and other archives, this music has not previously been released, taken from live performances of different Ispingo formats in the UK and Europe. The music sounds a vibrants as when played in 1973 and 1976, so many memories." - Hazel Miller. "This previously unreleased material comes from 1970s Miller-led gigs in Britain and France, featuring two superb free-jazz pianists (the late Chris McGregor on the first; Britain's Keith Tippett on the second), legendary alto saxophonist Mike Osborne, and drummer Louis Moholo-Moholo. Gripping episodes abound, such as the sound of Osborne's vinegary, Ornette-meets-Ayler sax soaring over Miller's whipping bass figures on the gruffly tender Bloomfield, McGregor's fills on the riffy Quandry (made fortuitously more pungent by the off-pitch piano), and two versions of the springy, Mingus-like Touch Hungry – the first with a percussively Monkish McGregor, the second with some fine, Miles-like trumpet from Marc Charig. Those who remember Miller's heyday will love this rough-hewn document, as will fans of the South Africa-celebrating Townships Comets and Moholo-Moholo's current work." - John Fordham --- Harry Miller / bass Louis Moholo-Moholo / drums Keith Tippett / piano Mike Osborne / alto saxophone Mark Charig / trumpet Malcolm Griffiths / trombone --- Tracks 1 - 3 recorded in London, England on June 4th 1973. Tracks 4 - 7 recorded at Chateauvallon Jazz Festival, France, July 7th, 1976.

Different Times, Different Places – Harry Miller

OTOROKU is proud to present the first vinyl reissue of Blue Notes for Mongezi, one of the most passionate celebrations of a life in music ever laid to tape. Recorded in late 1975 by Blue Notes, then reduced to a quartet - Dudu Pukwana on  alto sax, whistle, percussion, and vocals; Johnny Dyani on bass, bells, and vocals; Louis Moholo-Moholo on drums, percussion, and vocals; and Chris McGregor on piano, and percussion - and issued the following year by Ogun, the album is a kairos; the first commercial release by one of free jazz’s seminal ensembles, captured them 13 years after their founding - at the height of their powers - delivering an explosive dirge dedicated to Mongezi Feza, their former bandmate and friend.  Blue Notes were founded in Cape Town in 1962 and stand among the most important ensembles in the history of jazz. Artistically brilliant and groundbreaking - gathering, within a few short years, a devoted following that included Don Cherry, Steve Lacy, Abdullah Ibrahim, Dexter Gordon, Kenny Drew,Keith Tippett, Evan Parker, John Stevens, and numerous others - they were also the first widely visible multiracial band in South Africa. As a mixed race band under South African apartheid; this group of friends and like-minded artists - Chris McGregor, Mongezi Feza, Dudu Pukwana, Nikele Moyake, Johnny Dyani and Louis Moholo-Moholo -  existed within a context that viewed their mere existence as a dangerous and subversive act. In 1964, as the pressure mounted, they joined an exodus of musicians leaving for Europe, eventually settling in London during the following year. Sadly, not long after arriving and facing continued economic peril, the group buckled. Johnny Dyani left to join Don Cherry’s band. Moholo-Moholo and Dyani followed suit and joined Steve Lacy on tour, and the remaining members morphed into a number of ensembles that eventually grew to become Chris McGregor's Brotherhood Of Breath. In late 1975 however, Mongezi Feza - in the midst of a fruitful period collaborating with Dudu Pukwana, Johnny Dyani, and Okay Temiz - suddenly passed away at the age of thirty from pneumonia. Nine days later, on the 23rd December, following the memorial service to their friend, Pukwana, Dyani, McGregor, and Moholo-Moholo gathered in a rehearsal room in London and set out to play. Fittingly, no discussion took place before or during the session. The music was left to say it all.   The resulting double LP coalesced into four long-form movements that occupy a side each, collectively unleashing an onslaught of free jazz fire, fluidly covering a remarkable range of moods and tactical approaches across it’s length. For anyone encountering the Blue Notes for the first time, the album must have felt like being blindsided by a brick, adding a profound sense of credence to Moholo-Moholo’s belief that free improvisation was intrinsically linked to the Pan-African temperament. In the band’s hands, the idiom sounds like nothing else and exactly as it should.  A frenzied funeral dirge, a cry, and catharsis, the record rises and falls between playful and joyous movements of deconstructed song, rhythmic and vocal tribalism, and churning, instrumental free expression. It indicates not only a possible future for musical expression - as all truly avant-garde music does - but also the very roots of music itself, illuminating, through abstraction, the far-flung, ancient roots currently carried by the New Orleans “first line” march to the grave. It is a decidedly African vision of free jazz, coalescing as a collective expression of celebration and loss on a cold London day. It is a masterpiece unfolding in real time - out on a limb and laden with risk - created by four of the most talented voices the idiom has known.   --- DUDU PUKWANA / alto sax, whistle, percussion, vocals CHRIS McGREGOR / piano, percussion LOUIS MOHOLO / drums, percussion, vocals JOHNNY DYANI / bass, bell, vocals and most of the words --- This 2022 re-issue has been made with permission and in association with Ogun records. Transferred from the original masters and featuring an exact reproduction of the original artwork. Remastered by Giuseppe Ilelasi and packaged in a high gloss sleeve. All music by the Blue Notes. All music published by Ogun Publishing Co. Cover design by Ogun.  Front cover photograph and photograph of Mongezi Feza by Geroge Hallet. Blue Notes photograph by Jurg. Back cover photograph by George Hallet and Peter Sinclair. Xhosa translation by Z. Pallo Jordan. Produced by Keith Beal and Chris McGregor. Ogun Recording would like to thank John Martyn for his assistance in making this album possible. Reissue for OTOROKU produced by Abby Thomas. Transferred from the original masters by Shaun Crook at Lockdown Studios. Remastered by Giuseppe Ielasi. Layout for reissue by Maja Larrson. 

Blue Notes for Mongezi – Blue Notes

Otoroku is extremely proud to present the first vinyl reissue of one of the most legendary free jazz records ever produced. Originally released in 1978 on Ogun recordings, Louis Moholo Octet’s Spirits Rejoice! is a high achievement in the movement of the era as it soars beyond oppression with a raucous and spiritually uplifting surge of movement and melody  Featuring Harry Miller, Johnny Dyani, Keith Tippett, Evan Parker, Nick Evans, Radu Malfatti and Kenny Wheeler, this is former Blue Note artist Louis Moholo’s first album under his own name and is a classic example of the cross-pollination between South African and British players. Mongezi Feza’s ‘You Ain’t Gonna Know Me ‘Cos You Think You Know Me’ alone is enough to make your life a better place. From Matthew Wright’s new liner notes:  The South African melodies, now so familiar, were wholeheartedly taken on board by the individual musicians, their unity of purpose mirroring the belief in the strength of the collective. Stunning solos, often close to the edge, feature throughout –  Evan Parker and Keith Tippett on “Shine Wherever You Are”; the contrasting trombone styles of Nick Evans and Radu Malfatti on “You Ain’t Gonna Know Me...”; the octet sounding like a full big band; and behind them, the relentlessly rhythmic urgency of the piano, bass and drums. Add to this Kenny Wheeler’s moving and all-encompassing trumpet on the elegiac “Amaxesha Osizi” and the joyous flamboyancy of “Wedding Hymn” with Parker’s relatively straight-ahead tenor and Tippett’s dextrous piano solo over a bed of riffing horns, (fast) walking bass lines and a supreme sense of swing. Louis’ early hero, Big Sid Catlett, would have loved it! This 2019 re-issue has been made with permission and in association with Ogun records. Features an exact reproduction of the original artwork and liner notes along with new liner notes from Matthew Wright. Remastered by Giuseppe IIelasi and packaged in a high gloss sleeve this is the definitive release of one of the absolute free jazz classics of the 20th Century. Edition of 1000 copies.

Spirits Rejoice! – Louis Moholo Octet ‎

Mappa

Label based in southern Slovakia with a particular interest in the physicalities of sound. 

sever, split, tearcome back freeze, forget, neglectcome back detach, withdraw, dreamcome back thrash, recall, engulfcome back allow, receive, swellcome back trust trust trust The wound, as the saying goes, is the place where the light enters you. Even without a god though, the sensation of trauma, and the phenomenon of healing can be a sacred and enlightening experience. Experience always imparts something on those of us still here, for worse or for better. It’s this journey, from trauma to healing and understanding, that inspired Andrew Oda’s beautiful new album: Come Back To The Body. More delicate and plaintive than his previous work, but no less adventurous in its broad palette of synthetic and acoustic sounds, this music is the topography of a descent into the wisdom of the body, “as frightening and unsafe as it may feel” as the composer puts it. A sweet piano, a gently plucked guitar, and a mournful cello sit alongside garbled synth melodies, rustling field recordings, and sweeping cosmic backdrops throughout, a mimic of the counterintuitive harmony of sensations that meet the traumatised body. Emotions become deformed and bleed into each other. A ruptured sense of oneself collides with engulfing thickets of tension, and yearning. Come Back To The Body demarcates a new step in Andrew Oda’s catalogue, evolving his previously synthesised sui generis ecosystem mockups, into a more natural reflection of the human self, in light of trauma and unknowable emotions best put into music. Creaking synth chords hove into view on several of Oda’s new pieces, resembling the first rays of dawn and an imminent sense of absolution. A dull electric hum and submersible bass rumble similarly haunts many moments, like lingering tinnitus, only to be swept away by a host of fresh musical lifeforms, sounds, pulse, and melodies wandering spritely into Oda’s music. Healing isn’t simply the forgetting of a trauma; it’s the process of attuning to a wound and evolving into something new. It’s about moving towards a place “where true intimacy can happen,” as Oda describes it. “A place of forgiveness of self and other.” -- Composed by Andrew OdaArtwork by Stephen Alexander ClarkLayout by h5io6i54kBonus artwork by Ádám HorváthMastered by Adam Badí Donoval --- Special thanks to:Landon-for being on this path with me, for everything.Greg-for invaluable insight, encouragement, and guidance.Gita-for being in the waves and sharing your own journey of healing.Kyra-for understanding the wisdom of the body and sharing your practice.Lauren-for your vortex and mirror. Words by Tristan Bath Photography by Zoltan Czakó

Back To The Body – Andrew Oda

To decay is also to transform. Rusting metal is the visible traces of passing time, as the oxidation process accumulates dampness in our atmosphere and imprints it as unpredictable patterns onto hard iron and steel. Working in construction for a year now, Kensho Nakamura sees rust all the time, clambering up ageing chunks of material. Normally discarded as waste, Nakamura began discerning beauty in the phenomenon, organically spiralling around and consuming some of the very hardest of manufacturing stuffs into unique new forms. ‘Electric Rust’ continues the conceptual electronic composition mode of Nakamura’s previous works with a series of fractured musical dioramas. These scurrying notes, sparse hums, and quivering bleeps explore the topics of rust and the accumulation of time. The music ticks like a clock, drips like a tap, and manifests unknowable inorganic shapes. Recognisable musical snippets of bells, pianos, or murmured voices are buried inside counterintuitive synthetic rhythms and tension. On ‘wet air’ piano notes tinkle and pipes gargle, digital detritus tap dances and arpeggios stumble. On ‘unique faces’, idle marimbas and malfunctioning animalistic squeaks flounder. This is music from the promethean space between being forgotten and being conceived. ‘Electric Rust’ is a topography of a world of rust, where corroding structures evolve into new — and beautiful — patterns of life. --- Composed, recorded and mixed by Kensho Nakamura in 2022Artwork and layout by Madzia ZalewaMastered by Adam Badí DonovalWords by Tristan BathPhotography by Zoltan Czakó

Kensho Nakamura – Electric Rust

A house is something that is so deeply temporary, yet it can hold so much energy. How do we carry or leave behind those energies while transitioning into new spaces? How does each space we occupy for some time shape us and how do we tear ourselves away from it and its influence once it’s time to go? These are some of the core questions behind CC Sorensen’s new album for mappa, ‘Phantom Rooms’ – it’s a record about movement, change, transformation, family, juxtapositions… but most of all, home. CC Sorensen was reflecting a lot on their childhood home in rural Kansas, USA while working on this music. The album could be characterised by a familial, chamber feel and both of CC Sorensen’s brothers, Ryan and Nyal Ruehlen, make an appearance on ‘Phantom Rooms’, among other instrumentalists. Using a wide palette of sounds – CC Sorensen alone in charge of keyboards, software instruments, voice, electronics, percussion, trumpet, guitar and field recordings, in addition to guests on pedal steel, voice, chimes, saxophone and drumset – the American musician crafts music as mysterious as it is inviting. The idea behind it would be almost surrealist – ghostly rooms in houses where we live – if we all didn’t know exactly what CC Sorensen means. Home isn’t something concrete, but it’s also not just an abstract concept. It’s a space beyond space; home in itself is a phantom room we enter. And what enables us to enter is the object of exploration here. CC Sorensen’s approach is playful – tracks like “Beat Bot” and “Plastic Portals” are almost fun – but also contemplative. They make thoughtful, meandering chamber music intertwined with field recordings and electronics. Reeds, strings and percussion often set the atmosphere – sometimes airy, gentle, at other points more insistent – as the music grapples with departure, instability, deep reflection and imagined future spaces. Especially in the closing “Bexar” there’s a tangible yearning for a stable home, a longing to rekindle and keep ablaze this beautiful familial connection to a physical place. It’s both music that invites to reflect and music that in itself reflects; desires, hopes and dreams. --- CC Sorensen - compositions, keyboards, virtual software instruments, voice, electronics, percussion, trumpet, guitar, field recordings Featured Artists:Damon Dennis - pedal steel (5)Alan Mudd - words & voice (4)Nyal Ruehlen - voice, chimes (3)Ryan Wade Ruehlen - saxophone (4,5,7)Scott Dean Taylor - drumset (5,7) --- Artwork and layout by Seth GrahamMastered by Andrew WeathersWords by Adam Badí DonovalPhotography by Zoltan Czakó

CC Sorensen – Phantom Rooms

"wavesI’m not sure if the ocean is our sequestered delirium; feverishly complex, almighty and delicate, irreconcilably teeming with life that we physically cannot co-exist with, or colonise. Effortlessly overpowering to our multicellular selves, yet an accommodating host for even the single-celled amongst us. Ancestral, integral but largely peripheral, a container for consumerist miscellanea and other sinister debris and, most urgently, it is something that needs to be dealt with… later. However, in Alexandra Spence’s listenings, it’s encouraged that you shed your perceived physical dimensions and terrestrial limitations. Let yourself be carried into the slipstream of these vast, poetic ecosystems and enjoy a newfound existence as a fleck or a mote trailing behind a monumental tail. A devotional offering, a careful investigation of form, periphery and weightlessness, of connection and communication. Spence shares a reimagining of ocean strata that buoys and shifts the listener through sonic intimacies and expanses, to dreamt seabeds with distant sunlight, until you eventually find yourself adrift on some opalescent vessel (dimensions unknown, a tiny shell?), refreshed, journeyed and gently forewarned that our oceans are not infinite. dream A Northern Pacific Seastar trespasses blurred borders in semi-deep waters, unaware that it has the reputation of a voracious predator. A territorial Blue Groper continues to gain popularity among bipeds in a local Sydney swimming spot. waterbugs, shells rock, queña A subspecies of the Eastern Blue Groper, the Pacific Red Groper (Achoerodus Rosa), was seen to have made a series of significant biological advancements in response to the proliferation of offshore wind farms, and other environmental factors. Due to the significant noise pollution emitted from these farms, breeding cycles were heavily impacted over generations and the Eastern Blue Groper suffered critically reduced numbers, nearing extinction towards the end of the century. tape recording submerged in seawater Its successors became capable of both sound absorption and diffusion due to a thickening of the inner layer dermis, unique patterns in scale growth, and a protracted caudal (tail) fin. It’s understood that the ecological impacts during the Global Temperature Events era also resulted in another reactionary response, and subsequent speciation*. Until this era, no example of large metamorphic water bodies had been positively identified, and it is believed that the Pacific Red Groper strategically adopted its flushed red appearance in order to mimic the extreme colour deviation of Australian coastal waters.*The formation of new and distinct species. a veil, the sea The Pacific Ocean as a home - not only to marine creatures and sea currents - but to the obscure movements of global trade, offshore data barges, and sunken satellites deactivated and dumped from space. Vast bodies may seem infinite, but nothing is - the depths hold mysterious, beautiful, and troubling things.Sunken satellites, deactivated and dumped from space.Bottlenose dolphins, ancient artefacts, Lego pieces, approximately 36 species of shark, underwater mines…a non-definitive list of things found in the Pacific Ocean ceramic pipes in water, bowed cups pontoon Shore, kit,skipper, school,dock, deck,buoy, freight; Dutch maritime words from 16th C trade routes.Obscure movements of global trade.Offshore data barges.Gasbubbles in seawater scatter sound.The sound emitted by bubbles by the breaking waves of the ocean helps track atmospheric carbon transfer between the ocean and the air. Bubbles can also be used to predict sounds of liquid methane lakes on Saturn’s moon,Titan.Unequal forms; breath with wave, fish with fishing lineblown bottles, submerged tape recording of waves, handssubmerged hydrophone tape loop recordings…and, do jellyfish breathe?" - Brigette Hart ---  

Alexandra Spence – a veil, the sea

Johannes Schebler's musical output is all about establishing a dreamlike territory where sonic settlements can spread at ease. While Grykë Pyje (Johannes Schebler's duo with Jani Hirvonen) presents musical landscapes as open and clear spaces, Baldruin's miniature pieces tend to narrow them down, zooming into domestic sceneries that shift like malleable rooms inside a magic building. These are the quarters where the inhabitants of Schebler's musical world are configured. Rendered in a tender manner, the tunes in Kleine Freuden (in English: small joys) unfold like a collection of fairy tales and bedtime stories. Fables and lullabies performed in whispering tones seem to carry us through a child's dream where images blend into each other. Compact, yet gauzy and free flowing melodies gather up revealing an ensemble of households where fanciful entities play care freely, leading us along their musical maze. The music is placid, childlike and playful. It wanders around in unwavering estrangement, organizing an unprecedented and intimate space as seen from a bird's eye view. In the landscape of a bedroom where the night lamp is the sun, we take part in a lively journey, as wonder is warrant and keeper of a warm and pristine environment. Perspective shifts as we rise from bed sheet folds that turn into fragile mountain ranges. We crawl behind furniture and take shelter in secret hideouts while dust falls upon us like a blizzard. Transfiguring notions of scale and time, we are left wondering how long have we been here, wondering if music is the only true measurement of time.  --- Recorded in Wiesbaden, Germany in 2019 and 2020 by Johannes ScheblerArtwork and layout by Johannes ScheblerMastered by Pentti DassumWords by José Badía BernerPhotography by Zoltan Czakó

Baldruin – Kleine Freuden

Very special release from filmmaker Lucia Nimcová and sound artist Sholto Dobie. Highly reccomended.  --- "I first discovered khroniky – Ukranian folk songs – in the Highlands of Scotland. I was watching a screening of Bajka, a mesmerising documentary made by the filmmaker Lucia Nimcová and sound artist Sholto Dobie. I knew nothing about these ballads beforehand, but I was fascinated by these odd, beautiful songs, especially the easy way in which they mixed misery and levity, where gentle melodies blend with tales of dark violence. The folk songs describe hardship, murder, torture, death in gulags, heavy drinking, outsmarting men, love affairs. But they’re often very funny too – many of the songs make fun of marriage, and there’s an amazing subcategory of khroniky songs called potka (vagina) songs.The khroniky have never been properly documented because they were considered too crude, or contained lyrics that were problematic, politically. When Ukrainian folk songs have been archived in the past, it’s normally a sanitised, more polite version of the ones that Lucia remembers from her childhood. Lucia grew up on the other side of the Ukrainian border in Slovakia. She is part of the Rusyn (Ruthenian) minority ethnic group found in the borderlands of Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Ukraine and Poland. Rusyn is a centuries-old Slavic language, looked down upon as a poor, uneducated dialect by the neighbouring Ukraine and Slovakia. It was forbidden to talk about Rusyn culture at Nimcova’s primary school, but the khroniky stayed in her memories.“I remember weddings when I was young,” says Lucia, who now lives in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia. “At the end of the night, when everyone was drunk and the young couple would go around their guests, people would sing in Rusyn. There was singing and dancing, and songs about being in prison or falling in love. I picked up the lyrics and sometimes my mum would make my sister and I sing them for people we met on the train. I was about five or six but the lyrics still come back when I sing to my kids.”Determined that these rich, nuanced, unique songs shouldn’t be forgotten, she decided to record them. Over two years, Lucia, joined by experimental musician Sholto Dobie, visited Rusyn villages high in the Carpathian mountains to rediscover the songs and make the documentary. It was at the beginning of war breaking out in Ukraine in 2014.“The Rusyn community is a very closed one,” explains Lucia. “Sometimes we’d have to wait several days to hear someone sing; we had to earn their trust before they shared something very personal to them. We’d stay up ‘til 5am at a wedding, then go straight to a morning baptism, or collect haystacks with the villagers, hoping they’d sing while they were working.”DILO is named after an important independent Ukrainian daily newspaper that was shut down when the Red Army entered Lviv in 1939. The four long tracks on DILO blur field recordings with song; an unpolished, privileged glimpse into a private world. We hear dogs barking and insects buzzing in the summer heat, then a blast of hurdy gurdy or violin will drift in, or a plaintive song soars softly over the rural background noise, with casually harrowing lyrics about a cuckoo, “lifeless in a world of misery”, as translated in the album’s booklet.For both Lucia and Sholto, it was important not to tamper too much with what they heard. “When you think about ethnography,” Lucia explains, “you have to have a lot of time, love and respect to document it with sensitivity.”“The songs all have their own atmosphere and intimacy from the spaces they were recorded in and it was important to maintain these particularities and move with them,” adds Sholto, who now lives in Vilnius, Lithuania. “They guide and sometimes interrupt a journey between interiors – domestic spaces; in kitchens, by the fire – and exteriors; marketplaces, cow sheds. We used contact microphones to record metal bridges and fences, and we spent one afternoon recording a wool processing machine, the details of the rattling and tuning wheels are the ground layer for the third track.”Lucia took rough notes and diary entries during the recording process, which are now shared in the booklet alongside a selection of lyrics, loosely translated, but revealing the depth and astonishing beauty that sometimes lies in the language of these folk songs.The feel of the album is intimate, flipping between laughter, where a woman sings about selling her pussy to buy a cow in one track, then shifts to a raw, painful truth; an adult son asks his mother why his dad won’t be back for dinner, as he’s gone to war.Since Lucia and Sholto began working together in 2014, they have shared the audio recordings on radio and film and shown photos in gallery spaces, making sure these special, smutty, poignant songs don’t get lost. This new record and booklet joins that same continuum, another glorious fruit from the same rare tree. " ---- Concept, photography, notes, and research by Lucia Nimcováwww.luco.skRecorded and mixed by Sholto Dobiesoundcloud.com/sholtodobieDesign by Ondrej Jóbwww.setuptype.comMastered by Tomáš Vtípil / dinn (dinn is not noise)www.vtipil.czWords by Claire Sawersclairesawers.comPhotography by Lukáš Rohárikbit.ly/2QT4r49Released by mappa as MAP025 in 2021This project has been supported using public funds provided by Slovak Arts Council.    

DILO – Lucia Nimcová & Sholto Dobie

Leo Records

Huge catalogue of free improvisation from 1979 to today, with a focus on Soviet musicians. 

After a successful tour supporting The Hour of the Star, the group's remarkable 2011 debut for Leo Records, Perelman decided to explore his relationship with each member of the unit in more intimate settings. Having worked with Matt Shipp and Gerald Cleaver on Family Ties (LR 630) Ivo Perelman continues to explore his relationship with each member of his quartet in a slightly different setting.  "This is more free than the previous album; yes, I agree with that. I think because Matthew is such a wonderful musician, and he has this antenna; and because Gerald can go any way the music goes...Since the piano is a harmonic instrument you would think it would limit the choices, but with Matthew it does not. And when I do venture out of tonal Western music, into noises and microtones, this doesn't scare him; he takes it as an opportunity to expand the music." - Ivo Perelman "The Foreign Legion is Perelman's eighth record named in honor of one of Clarice Lispector's novels. Emboldened by the stellar contributions of his empathetic sidemen, the leader's cathartic performances transpose the Brazilian author's emotionally charged narratives into pure sonic expression, continuing his fertile exploration of a vibrant new tradition." All About Jazz --- Ivo Perelman / tenor sax Matt Shipp / piano Gerald Cleaver / drums --- Recorded, mixed and mastered at Park West studios, Brooklyn, NY, December 2011.

The Foreign Legion – Perelman / Shipp / Cleaver

"Poco a Poco, the first Ganelin CD released by Leo back in 1988, was reissued late last year in a limited edition of 500 copies. If you missed it the first time around, don’t make the same mistake twice; this is not only one of the group’s finest documents, but one of the most distinctive visions of post-’60s avant-garde jazz available. The disc presents a concert recorded in Novosibirsk in February 1978. The recording quality, as might be expected, is brittle and thin; these are, after all, “officially” unauthorized recordings. Still, it takes little effort to get used to the sound, and the quality of the performance far outweighs such a caveat.Ganelin’s music does not prove so very foreign to those with an affinity for the A.A.C.M., especially in its members’ multi-instrumentalism and theatricality, and the Dutch avant-garde, with which the Trio shares a particularly European brand of whimsy and an informed thumbing of the nose at tradition. Tarasov’s barreling drum assaults are reminiscent of Han Bennink’s similar outbursts, but, like Bennink, Tarasov is capable of delicacy and can also swing mightily. Ganelin conflates stride, boogie, modern classical pianism and post-Taylor tumult into an impressive arsenal perfectly suited to the band’s compression of decades of jazz history-and on occasion, native folk music-into the span of a show or even a single piece. And Chekasin, inscrutable and often seemingly detached, mines a vein not far removed from Roland Kirk or the Art Ensemble’s reedmen Poco a Poco captures a vivid suite (the pieces are titled “Poco 1” through “Poco 11”) that displays the band at its best, and if the element of visual theatricality is absent, it is scarcely missed. - Steve Smith" "The Ganelin Trio in live performance must have been an impossibly seductive occasion. Most jazz life in the former Soviet Union centred around festivals which no doubt provided the usual opportunities for predictable caravans of musicians to practise their scales. The most important was the Autumn Rhythms Festival in Leningrad (present day St. Petersburg) where no band was invited to play two years in a row. The exception to the rule was always the Ganelin Trio. They played every year." - Steve Kulak "Maybe not since the first Ornette Coleman records appeared has Western European jazz experienced quite such a shock of the totally unexpected as the Ganelin Trio produced." - The Wire --- Vladimir Tarasov / drums, percussionVyacheslav Ganelin / piano, keyboards, dulcimer, guitarVladimir Chekasin / reeds, flute, ocarina, voice --- Recorded live in Novosibirsk, February 1978. Remastered by Alan Mosley

The Ganelin Trio – Poco-a-Poco

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