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This is Nathan McLaughlin’s latest installment of his Echolocation series. Following releases on Digitalis and Gift Tapes, #5 also continues the organic and thoughtful work of his duo Loud & Sad. Focused on tape loops, layers of delay, and some chordal forms, each piece is meticulously and methodically built, with each sonic element given its due. This sense of pacing and care given to every moment is a crucial element of McLaughlin’s work, and it’s deeply attuned here. The pieces reflect the environment in which they were composed, tight-knit and rural; they mass like storm clouds, and then are barely there, leaving just the fluttering of a distant echo. Stretches of silence, and windblown expanses. Rich chords swell into deeply contemplative passages that are gradually stripped away. A gorgeous, hushed set of tape music. --- "Echolocation #5 extends McLaughlin's exploration of the elegiac and the dirge, adding some crunchy, roiling passages as well. Often McLaughlin's loops gather, in small enough increments to avoid overt, ham-fisted drama, a strong sense of the ominous. These tensions, as well as the fine structural drift McLaughlin is patient enough to permit, make the Echolocation series a fluid one, without a start or an end. Echolocation #5 should be heard as an installation in a big-hearted work, issuing from a musician with an immense gift for subtle music. They are sent from a recondite artist who may well disappear before you receive them, so there's no time to waste." - Jesse Goin / Crow With No Mouth --- Mastered by Eric SteigerArtwork by E. Lindorff-Ellery and N. McLaughlin

Nathan McLaughlin – Echolocation 5

On the long-awaited Exaptations, Toronto-based composer Nick Storring presents two highly textural, side-long pieces. On “Field Lines”, originally composed for Yvonne NG Peck Wan‘s dance piece, Magnetic Fields, a certain fragmented, uncertain openness is conveyed: a series of brief, dreamlike clearings are vignetted by pregnant silences or various levels of waking or sleeping states. Storring plays with a variety of tonal instruments that swell and tumble along while being nipped at by expressive percussion. Organic clusters develop within event-based sequences, stretching attention across multiple timbres and rhythms. On “Yield Criteria”, shifting drones move about like independent layers of ice on a lake in the dead of winter, slowing crumbling, sliding, and cracking in perfect harmony. Storring has written for dance and other interdisciplinary settings, and here he brings the delicate resourcefulness of a skilled accompanist, as well as a narrative sense that belatedly, profoundly blossoms. --- Field Lines: Composed and recorded October 2013 - May 2014 for Yvonne Ng's dance piece, Magnetic Fields, which premiered in May 2014.Nick Storring / various percussion and found objects, vibraphone, glockenspiel, balafon, chimes, hand bells, toy pianos, thumb pianos, voice/whistling, electric (NS Designs NXT4) and acoustic cellos, electric bass, electric mandola, violin, hammered dulcimer, Hohner Pianet T, Yamaha CP60M, Hohner Clavinet D6, flutes, harpsicle, strumstick, guitalele, steel pan, harmonica, melodica, pitch pipes, hulosiSpecial thanks to Yvonne, Marie-Josée Chartier, Mairead Filgate, Luke Garwood, Christopher Willes. Thank you to Germaine Liu for the use of her vibraphone, and John Farah for the use of his Pianet.Yield Criteria:Composed and recorded February - June 2014.Nick Storring / NS Designs NXT4 electric cello, electric bass, electric mandola, thunder tubes, Yamaha CP60M, toy piano, harmonica, duck call, voice, hand bells, glockenspielElements were used in Eva Kolcze's film, All That Is Solid. Thank you to Eva, Spencer Barclay, Jason Doell, Brandon Valdivia, and Bryan Bray.Processing and manipulation performed on the above sound sources (and the sound of a blank, chemically-treated 16mm film sound-strip) using combinations of the following: transducer speakers on various resonant chambers, instruments and surfaces; talkbox; spring reverb; recordable cassette walkman; various speakers; (contact) microphones.Special thanks to Nicole Cultraro for her violin and kalimba, her support and inspiration, and patience with my process. Thanks also to Andrew Zukerman.Gratitude also to all who listened and offered feedback.Artwork and layout by E. Lindorff-ElleryPrinted by John Fitzgerald at Fitzgerald Letterpress, New Orleans

Nick Storring – Exaptations

Since the mid-aughts, Chicago trio Haptic (Adam Sonderberg, Joseph Clayton Mills, and Steven Hess—this time around featuring Salvatore Dellaria and The Necks’ Tony Buck) has delivered riveting, meticulously controlled live sets, as well as a handful of releases mainly on the Entr’acte label, all of which reflect the group’s unique attitudes toward collaboration and structure. This release features material sourced from a variety of past recordings; they are without form and yet architectural, and just as uniquely engaging as the group’s previous work.From the perspective of Notice, Haptic’s mixture of the organic and the industrial has been profoundly influential, and could even be said to define a quintessential Chicago ethos channeled through dark ambience: roiling waves of density, structure, work, beauty, and oppression constantly overtaking each other. However, the final silence will always be present—and is expected—just like the spare, steady late-night call of a single circling black bird. --- "While Sonderberg has recently returned to Chicago and Haptic to the stage, neither was the case when they assembled Excess of Vision. They took leftover, previously unused recordings from throughout their existence, including some early improvisations with Necks drummer Tony Buck and  contributions from Salvatore Dellaria, and assembled them into a sonic comment upon their discontinuous state. On “So for the Remainder,” which takes up all of side one of this album length cassette, the long, slowly evolving tones that used to get Haptic rather reductively characterized as a drone outfit are once more presented. But they are layered, interleaved, and twisted together so that they interfere with each other and are in constant low-key flux.  Heard inattentively, it might seem that nothing is happening, but if you get close enough you’ll notice that the constancy is an illusion." - Bill Meyer, Dusted --- Performed by Steven Hess, Joseph Clayton Mills, and Adam Sonderberg with Tony Buck (I) and Salvatore Dellaria (II)Assembled by Mills/SonderbergMixed by SonderbegMastered by Tomas KorberArtwork and layout by E. Lindorff-Ellery

Haptic – Excess of Vision

Takuroku

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

Pioneering Japanese sound artist Akio Suzuki has created improvised and transitory performances since the 1960s, investigating the acoustic qualities of selected locations and utilising an array a self-made instruments. For this beautiful and beguiling release for Takuroku, he presents new work using his ANAPOLAS instrument and “I wa fu e” stone flute.  -- Akio Suzuki - all instrumentation & recording -- Oliver Barrett - mastering & artwork design -- Artist’s Notes (English)  “ANAPOLAS -a” & “ANALAPOS -b” 2021 This ON-KI (sound instrument) is a variation of Voice ANALAPOS-a, an instrument which was created in 1970 while exploring the sound of echo at the “self-study event” of the 1960s. This instrument was used in the LP “ New Sense of Hearing” with Takehisa Kosugi, and in Sesshu Kai work “Interactivity for ANALAPOS.” It was also used in compositions by Aki Takahashi and for Toru Takemitsu’s film music… There was a time ANALAPOS was very active. ANALAPOS -a is mainly played by blowing a vice into one of the cylinders connected by a spring, while the -b type is made into a percussive instrument by arranging several of those cylinders upright and playing with drumsticks. In the 1980s, my ANALAPOS was invited to Derek Bailey’s “Company” of Free improvisation, and was able to presented for the first time in London. I also played with Steve Lacy, and more recently John Butcher and Aki Onda using these ON-KI. These groups of ANALAPOS let me play across the field of improvisation from contemporary music.  I’ve found it difficult to carry the heavy iron ON-KI so I have stored them, but I’m grateful that TakuRoku made these ON-KI see the sun again.  “i wa fu e” 2021 In Japan’s Jomon period, which lasted for about 13,000 years from now to 2500 years ago, according to archiological “i wa fu e” (stone flutes) samples may suggest that there have been a festival of blowing natural stones with holes.  There was a “i wa fu e” that I was given from my father, and it was a family treasure that has been passed down to the Suzuki family for generations. I always took it overseas as my mascot, but in the autumn of 2005, at the request of a filmmaker from London, I headed from Paris to Schiphol Airport on the way back from playing this “i wa fu e” at the old crater of the Italian volcanic island Stromboil. This family treasure disappeared from the net shelves of the train together with my suitcase!  Immediately a lost property request call was made on the page of THE WIRE magazine (issue 265), but still no luck after 16 years since then.  In 2019, Carlo Fossati, the owner of Torino’s gallery e/static contacted me that he managed to archive the documentation of me playing the family treasure at the Stromboil. This is the only video record of this “i wa fu e”.  And in February of last year 2020, when I was invited to perform in Auckland, New Zealand. Phil Dawson from Scratch gifted me another stone flute. This is the ““i wa fu e” I use now.  Phil remembered the incident that family stone flute got lost. He had picked up something similar to the lost stone at a nearby beach and kept it for me.  Phil and I have been “stone friends” for many years.  - Akio Suzuki  Notes on the title “ m e r i d i a n s c e n e r y “  As an Eastern person, I wonder if this is allowed, but I made up this word myself.  I put together “meridian” and “light” with a space in between each letter.  Tango, where I live, is the northernmost point on the 135 degree line of Japan Standard Time. I named it honestly according to where I recorded and in this particular time and season.  I dedicate this title to both the seasonal scene and Keiko, “the child of landscape”, too.   Artist’s Notes (Japanese) “ANALAPOS -a”& “ANALAPOS -b” 2021  ‘60年代の「自修イベント」で、エコーポイントを探るなか1970年に創作したVoice ANALAPOS -aのバリエーションがこの音器です。 Takehisa Kosugiと”New Sense of Hearing・・”というLPレコードの中で使用したり、Sesshu Kaiが、”Interactivity for ANALAPOS”の作曲をして下さったり、Aki Takahashiの委嘱で作曲をしたり、Toru Takemitsu の映画音楽にも登場したりと、活躍をした時期がありました。  ANALAPOS -aは、スプリングでつないだ片方のシリンダーに、主に声を吹き入れて演奏するのですが、それを立てにして幾つかを並べることにより打楽器に仕立てたのが -bタイプで、特性のバチによって演奏をします。  ‘80年代になって、Free improvisationのDerek Bailey “Company”に呼ばれてLondonで初演奏が出来たり、フリー・ジャズのSteve Lacyや、最近では、John Butcherや Aki Ondaと、この音器を使っての共演の例もあります。だから、現代音楽から即興の分野をまたいで遊ばせてくれたのが、これらANALAPOS群です。  現在は、鉄製の重い音器を運ぶのが億劫になって、お蔵入りをしていましたが、”TakuRoku”が、また陽の目を見させてくれて感謝しています。 “i wa fu e” 2021  今から2500年前までの約13000年間続いたという、日本の「縄文時代」には、穴の空いた自然石を吹きならす祭り事があったのではと、考古発掘例の「石の笛」から推測されています。  たまたま父から譲り受けた「石の笛」があって、それは代々鈴木家に伝わってきた宝でした。常に我がマスコットとして海外に持ち出していましたが、2005年の秋にLondonの映像作家の要請に応えて、イタリアの火山島Stromboliの旧火口でこれを演奏した帰りに、ParisからSchiphol空港に向かう列車 Thalysの網棚からケースごとこれが消えてしまったのでした。  直ぐに、THE WIRE Issue265の紙面に消息願いが出されましたが、あれから 16年が経ってしまいました。  2019年になって、Torinoの画廊 e/staticオーナーの Carlo Fossatiから連絡が来て、video document,2003 を 〈vimeo.com/364584092〉 登録したとの朗報をくれました。これが、動画としての唯一の記録です。  そして、昨年(2020)の2月に、ニュージーランドのAuclandの演奏に招かれた折、From Scratchの Phil Dadsonから矢庭にプレゼントされたのが、 この「石の笛」です。久しぶりに再会した彼は、以前無くした「石の笛」のことを覚えていてくれたのです。ぼくのために、近くの浜で似たものを拾っておいたんだと。 Philは、長年の”stone friend” なのです。 - Akio SUZUKI “ m e r i d i a n s c e n e r y “  と子午線と景(ひかり)をくっつけてしかも半角あけて作りました (東洋人が勝手にこんなことして良いのかナ) 意味はぼくの住む丹後は日本標準時の135度線上の最北地です この季節に演奏をしたので正直に名付けました 季節の情景でもあり景子さんに捧げてもいます

Akio Suzuki – " m e r i d i a n s c e n e r y "

Samuel D. Loveless' curious and implacable music arrived in our inbox late last year, and we've been spellbound since. Alone himself in a room, 'krɪstəfə [live crypt] is both an excavation of the voice and an improvised reckoning with space and temporality. The work is book-ended by a 25 minute long composed piece, 'Guardian', which turns the clock off, drifting the narrative into free-fall with slowly moving blocks of resonant piano notes. ˈkrɪstəfə, isn’t daring, or perhaps even very interesting in its audible output. It’s not been researched nor is it refined.ˈkrɪstəfə(tracks 1-6), was recorded live at the beginning of March 2021 on a stunning day in a cold, dark, damp room on Euston Road. The room, a crypt, has not been renovated or changed much at all since its construction in 1822, barring a few lights and minimal plug sockets. It is the resting place of so many. It is beautiful, grounding, harrowing and contemplative.ˈkrɪstəfə, is a duet between myself and the space. Nor I or the space are more important than the other. During the time 'krɪstəfəwas inspired, most of us had been between the same four walls for a large majority of the previous year and had experienced the foreign with our own company, for better or worse. For myself, Lent (of which March is in) is a very spiritual and meditative time of year for many reasons that I won’t go into now.  Within my work as a creative, whether it be sound, visual, performative, whatever, everything is purposed; everything is exactly there for a specific reason. It is hugely researched, deliberate and deliberated over. It comments on something. It is what is have to say. During Lent, on my own, within the same four walls, I wanted to introspectively just ‘be’; setting my main creative tools  aside (trumpet and composition) and simply saying what it is I have to say. Something, that although not daring for krɪstəfə, was and is for me. In order to simply ‘be’, it had to be done by my ’self’ alone. Not least of all because it had to encompass my whole being, but because singing, more specifically choral music, was my entry into the musical world as a chorister. Ironically,ˈkrɪstəfə goes right back to my roots in music, whilst also managing to be removed from anything I’ve done before, improvising with just my voice.  So whilst 'krɪstəfə may not be daring or perhaps even very interesting, it is nothing if not open and forth coming. Thank you.  - Samuel D. Loveless -- ˈkrɪstəfə (tracks 1-6) Improvised and recorded by Samuel D. Loveless Space by Crypt Gallery on Euston Road  Mixed by Josh Wolfsohn  -- Guardian  Piano by Roberto Boschelli  Composed and recorded by Samuel D. Loveless Mixed by Edward Cross -- Artwork by Robert George Sanders Mastered by Oliver Barrett

Samuel D. Loveless – 'krɪstəfə [live crypt]

Nour Mobarak is a compelling new artist from Los Angeles whose work, as she describes "excavates violence and desire – the compulsions, and glitches in both a person or nation state." We fell in love with what she does thanks to her 2019 album 'Father Fugue', released on Sean McCann's Recital label. In it, the left channel of the audio documents conversations with her father Jean Mobarak - a polyglot who has a 30-second memory and lives in the mountains of Lebanon - while the right channel is composed simply of improvised song. The result conjures a similar effect that of Godard's 'Numéro deux' - whereby documented, composed and improvised elements are projected through two channels, then coagulate to form a multi-faceted, beguiling whole. To understand Nour as a film-maker - someone who acts behind and in-front of the lens - is perhaps easier than that of a musician. When we asked Nour to do a release for Takuroku she kindly responded by offering us compositions used in her multi-disciplinary, multi-channel live performances over the past 2 years, mixed down to stereo as self-contained works. What we hear is just one part of her overall projection, but that of which delves deep; investigating the voices of others, her own voice and vocal material that forms human languages. It's poetry, a Cassavetes set piece, a walk in the park, a voice in abandon, a philosophical meditation on voice, agency and human beings - but of course much more than ideas projected on a flat canvas. Each piece moves and shakes, creating rhythms emanating from the syntax and intonation of language and the voice. Toothtone sounds like rippling streams of water running concurrently, splashing into themselves and overlapping one another. Allophone Movement and its arrangement of voices captures the immediacy of machine-funk sampling techniques, whipping the immediacy of vocal expression into a composition that swings back and forth, like a Ron Hardy edit stripped to its bones. On Phoneme Movement her own vocals take centre stage with spirals, gurgles, purrs and cries that reach ecstatic heights: the voice excavated from its bodily origins. Hopefully we'll be able to present Nour's work in Cafe OTO some time in the not too distant future. -- All music & recording by Nour Mobarak Photo: Performance of “Phoneme Movement II”, Los Angeles Contemporary Archive, December 8, 2018. Photo by Marco Kane Braunschweiler, design by Oli Barrett. “Allophone Movement” samples sourced from the UCLA Phonetics Archive. “Toothtone” voices recorded in Pershing Square, Los Angeles, September 2019.This project was supported, in part, by a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant. Editing technical assistance for “Allophone Movement” and “Toothtone” by Sean McCann & Juliette Amoroso

Nour Mobarak – 3 Performance Works

Ute Kanngiesser - cello Daniel Kordík - field recording The release is accompanied by a PDF of writing by Evie Ward in response to the release. -- Please note that the WAV recording of this release has been recommended by the artists involved. -- "At 4AM I slip out of the house to cycle east, towards dawn, with cello on my back and a stool strapped to the rack. The word 'essential' is turning over and around in my head. I am taking the quietest roads, trying to stay invisible, worried that someone might stop me and interfere with our plans. I find Daniel with recording equipment and hand sanitizer and together we walk another distance through dawn and smell of rain. We enter the Marshes, these essential lungs of East London. It is where he had come almost every day of these locked-down weeks to field-record and breathe. And it is where Evie and I met for walks and secret music - carefully bending the laws of the officially ‘essential’. I am wondering about places and times when public music was forbidden and never driven to extinction. This time it is for pandemic reasons and the severity of consequences is unspeakable and has turned into much noise in my head. But the birds, the wind, and the rain offer such relief and I feel so shy in their presence that my music can only become the smallest of offerings to them in the rainless window between 4.48AM and 5.15AM." - (Ute Kanngiesser, June 2020) -- Photography by Daniel Kordík Cover design by Oliver Barrett

Ute Kanngiesser & Daniel Kordík – 5AM

OTOROKU

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

Two totally infectious sets from Decoy - the trio of John Edwards, Steve Noble and Alexander Hawkins - reunited with pocket trumpet and saxophone player Joe McPhee on the closing night of his four day residency at Cafe OTO. In the eight years between the recordings which make up ‘AC/DC’ and their last release ‘Spontaneous Combustion’, Decoy and each of its members have been practicing individually at the very top of their form. Coming together again in such celebratory circumstances and in the good company of a fantastic crowd set the scene for a very special night.  As they begin, Alexander Hawkins casts a needling surface between his Hammond organ and John Edwards’ loose splatters and slaps of low end bass. McPhee skitters over them with his pocket trumpet by way of introduction; Steve Noble strikes his rims in anticipation. The mood in the room is that of a rock band reformed, of a certain number of “boys” being “back in town”. The first set sees moments of frenetic free jazz peel off into weirdo soul territory and when switched to saxophone halfway through, McPhee’s romantic lyricism is utterly beautiful. When a groove sets in, Hawkins’ B3 ascension in harmony with an ever powerful Edwards-Noble rhythm section sees the room thicken and swirl to the point of giddiness. There is one unreal part at 22:22 where we’re sure you can hear Edwards’ bass vocalising.  Regrouped for a second set, Steve Noble’s metallic textures meld with detuned arco bass to create an unholy atmosphere, ripe for Hawkins to play out the eerier end of the Hammond. When McPhee sounds a sax motif the band catches it quickly and it’s soon wickedly morphed and stretched by each player, recurring to absurdity in a stoned out funk free for all.  The whole recording bleeds enthusiasm and joyful imagination and is a brilliant document of an unforgettable evening. Decoy are a limitless band who play nowhere near enough. We cannot attest to them any more: Book them, buy this, go and see them if you can.   --- John Edwards / bass Alexander Hawkins / hammond b3 Joe McPhee / pocket trumpet, alto sax, voice Steve Noble / drums --- Recorded live at Cafe OTO by Shaun Crook on Friday 10th May, 2019. Mixed and mastered by James Dunn. Artwork and layout by Oliver Pitt. Photos by Dawid Laskowski. Printed in an edition of 1000. OTOROKU023CD. 

Decoy with Joe McPhee – AC/DC

New music from XT (saxophone player Seymour Wright and percussionist Paul Abbott) in the form of an exhilarating, super compressed, reflective re-assembling of a dozen years working together. Re-animating free improvisation with a Chicago house palette, Deorlaf X is made up of frenetic slabs of mutated multiphonics and triggered percussion, suspended in bouts of possessed reflexive quiet. Where the duo’s 2019 release Palina'tufa on Empty Editions focused primarily on a response to the real (and imagined) landscapes of Hong Kong, Deorlaf X is located in Dalston, and specifically at OTO. Wrung through Shuan Crook’s studio over three nights, the recordings dug from XT’s archive aren’t simply ‘duo’ - instead they actively draw on their public and social contexts, involving the influence of audience, engineers and other visiting musicians - Ghédalia Tazartès, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Senyawa, RP Boo and others. “A changing cast of OTO guests, audience and emotions hosted each time in a new London. XT structures sound an ongoing attempt to listen and learn about the rich and transformative affordances of the situations we occupy.” The resulting record puts a pin through a dialogue between Abbott and Wright, between histories, potentials, fact, fiction, ideas, friends, audiences, and spaces. The heavy use of referencing recalls the footwork or house traditions of sampling across all manner of influences; what’s recalled is primarily the structures of jazz - Ornette Coleman, Charlie Parker, Anthony Braxton - but also Ann Quin, Clarice Lispector, Anna Halprin. What’s created in recall is a kind of diary, a hyper re-membering - a blisteringly warped kind of future music. --- Recorded by James Dunn, Shaun Crook and Paul Skinner. Assembled, mixed and re-recorded 19, 20 and 21 January, 2020 by XT at Lockdown Studio, Cable Street. Engineer Shaun Crook. Sounds/design by XT. Cover painting Leon Kossoff 'Dalston Junction No.3, June 1973' oil on board, 20.5 x 25 cm. © The Estate of Leon Kossoff. ROKU026

XT – Deorlaf X

gjērhan, (!) From subterranea, sweat, haze and dedication emerging out of intimate and intense weekly meetings begun in 2009 – their first, 2012 public performance, squeezed into a London basement was a sheer, vexed and exhilarating smack of organic, heterodyning ideas, and taut, lowbeating lumps. Reemerge/revanish. With the economy of familiar/traditional raw tools feedback, drumkit, altosaxophone, time, space and emotion lll人 move from molten musical pasts to grow future pleasures in sound. The ingredients are familiar, but the listening is not. At its heart is a still, undecorated concentration fuelling an extreme testing of limbs, language and order. This has no concern with collapsing difference into a vogueish flattened mass froth, but searches – forensically, ceaselessly – for something to chew, in the challenge of discretion and integrity or asylum in the body of its instruments. Akilsakilan learning, Doughnut. Finding, twisting and hammering out an expanding musical universe balanced only by its own logics – lll人 have few obvious comparisons. Their performances are consistent radical negotiations of the emotional, physical and social energies of the environments they sound out. Perfectly Reasonable. [The second side was recorded at a summer fundraiser concert for Project Fukushima (This followed a solo performance by Evan Parker who later joined the group for a quartet) and the first as part of the inaugural INTERSECT festival four months later.] Recorded at Cafe OTO on 28 August 2013 (Fukshima) by Stuart Bannister and 7 December 2013 (Intersect) by Kate Arnold. Mixed by Paul Abbott. Mastered by Andreas [LUPO] Lubich at Calyx, Berlin. Design by Paul Abbott. Inner sleeve by Paul Abbott, Cara Tolmie and Conal Mcstravick

lll人 – gjērhan

Dedicated to the memory of Tony Marsh The recordings on this double LP are taken from the first night of Roscoe Mitchell's inaugural two day residency at Cafe OTO in 2012 and his first time playing with drummer Tony Marsh and double bassist John Edwards. It was one of those nights where the music electrifies the room. Everyone on edge. Everything alive with the possibilities. Although there was much talk after the concert of the group playing together again this would sadly be the first and last time the trio would play. Tony passed away unexpectedly just a few weeks later making this his last documented performance and a fitting tribute to a truly great drummer and percussionist. Roscoe Mitchell is one of the most important saxophonists and composers of the 20th Century. Active since the 1960s as a bandleader, mentor, collaborator and teacher. Mitchell was a founding member of Chicago's Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) and the legendary Art Ensemble of Chicago. He has been a pivotal figure in the collective re-imagining of what is possible in jazz, improvisation and beyond combining an instantly recognisable sound on the saxophone with staggering technique (check the lengthy stretch of sustained circular breathing on SIDE C) and an arresting, fractured melodic sensibility. On this date he quickly realised he was in the company of two musicians who could match his vision and create music that is more than the sum of its parts. John Edwards is a vital presence in London's creative music community. A true virtuoso, his staggering range of techniques and boundless musical imagination have redefined the possibility of the double bass and dramatically expanded its role. No one else played or plays drums like Tony Marsh. Richard Williams had previously described Tony's "marvelous ability to erase the boundary between time and no-time" and here, on the jerry-rigged suspended percussion set-up he'd developed (no kick or hi-hats) he opens up a beautifully resonant space, quietly directing the pulse whilst allowing you to fully hear the upper-register harmonic detail and flickering pizzicato of John Edward's bass. You'd be hard pressed to hear anything in the playing that would hint at his shock passing only a month later.
 "Listen closely, take a chance, keep going even if money's tight, and you'll find the real reward – that's why Tony was hip in the most meaningful sense … And he didn't need to play loud, or be loud, to get that intensity. It's like splitting diamonds or something. If you know exactly the right place to make the impact, you don't need to hit anything hard." - Evan Parker 

 (Quoted in John Fordham's Obituary for Marsh)

Roscoe Mitchell / Tony Marsh / John Edwards – Improvisations

For the time being we are unable to get to the post but if you order now your item will be posted as soon as things return to normal. Thank you for your support. Keiji Haino, one of the foremost exponents of the Japanese avant-garde, always provides a masterclass in constantly shifting improvisation. John Butcher is a saxophonist of rare grace and power, who has expanded the vocabulary of the saxophone far beyond the conventions of jazz and other musics, to encompass a staggering range of multiphonics, overtones, percussive sounds, and electronic feedback. Haino and Butcher met when Butcher opened for Fushitsusha at the show Cafe OTO arranged at St. John, Hackney - 5 years ago. In 2016 they were invited to play two duo concerts – at The Empty Gallery in Hong Kong and at Cafe OTO in London. Otoroku is proud to present the audio documentation of their first UK meeting. Recorded live at Cafe OTO in July 2016 the results are an uncompromising milieu of swirling sound played out as a total union of these two legendary performers.  Haino’s blues drenched guitar entices skittering notes from Butcher’s sax playing as numerous sonic clues unravel over the course of of this unique and compelling journey. Light Never Bright Enough comes in a limited edition of 500 LPs and 500 CDs with matt sleeves and japanese removable obi-strip. --- Keiji Haino / vocal, guitar, flutes   John Butcher / saxophones and feedback --- Recorded live at Cafe OTO on the 9th July 2016 by Luca Consonni. Mixed by John Butcher. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi. Photography and design by ORGAN. 

HAINO KEIJI / JOHN BUTCHER – LIGHT NEVER BRIGHT ENOUGH

OTOROKU Downloads

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

"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

Still House Plants – Fast Edit

  “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.

Humming Dogs – Les Borigènes

New album on bison from Kumio Kurachi, whos only performance outside of Japan was here back in 2009. "After 11 albums and unknown quantities of cassettes, compilations and split releases, Sound of Turning Earth is the first release outside of Japan for one of the most original figures in Japanese music, Kumio Kurachi. Recorded by Jim O’Rourke at his home studio, Sound of Turning Earth is Kurachi solo on vocals and guitar, mixing surreal lyrics and theatrical vocal personas with unorthodox tunings inspired by Japan’s national instrument, the koto. Lyrically Kurachi draws life from the small events of life, the hira, - the joy of choosing a lipstick in springtime, the business of changing the tatami, raindrops deciding whether to fall as snow. Set to his own brand of progressive folk in the Hirajōshi scale and laced with winding melodies which can be hard to forget, Kurachi maps his own territory for the people who inhabit his everyday. As much a visual artist as a musician, we are pleased to present Sound of Turning Earth in the form of a deluxe CD accompanied by new artwork by Kurachi and full translation of his poetic lyrics. These striking songs speak for a liberated imagination." “The music is so melodious that the mixture of the strange wording, guitar and variations of voices thrives all together and it can haunt you without noticing it, just like the small events of everyday life you can't escape from." - Midori Ogata  --- All songs written by Kumio Kurachi Guitars and vocals by Kumio Kurachi Recorded and mixed by Jim O'Rourke Mastered by Daichi Tokunaga (PLUM) Translation by Midori Ogata Design by Maja Larrson Special thanks to Midori Ogata --- Kumio Kurachi has performed actively in Japan since the 80's, and still plays shows in Fukuoka regularly. Past collaborators include Taku Unami and Tatsuhisa Yamamoto. He has played with Tenniscoats, Kazuhisa Uchihashi, Katsura Yamauchi, Tori Kudo, Jim O'Rourke and Eiko Ishibashi." 

Kumio Kurachi – Sound of Turning Earth

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.

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

“Urs Graf Consort, a collective with a corrupted genealogy, produce trail-blazing simulacra - songs nested within themselves, with the experimental accents of Ursonate. A protean duo operates under the name of Swiss engraver Urs Graf (1485 - c. 1529); Prune Bécheau and Adrien Bardi-Bienenstock are composers and performers for ensembles that are as varied as the motley company brought together in The Peasants War which Urs Graf depicted; Uva Ursi captures on-the-spot at acoustic vigils on the edge of amplified battlefields. Baroque violin, vièle-à-trou, bass, arranged drums, a broad spectrum of vocals, tuba, trumpet, synthesizer, spinet, sanza, shakers, bells and rattles... are all played in different concerts by: Simon Sieger, Mathias Pontévia, Jœl Grip, Samuel Burjade, Sam Langer, Paul Ferbos, Pierre Borel, Adrien Perron, Rachel Ramos, Emmanuel LeGlatin, Mathieu Cahuzac, Camille Émaille, Gabriel Bristow, Antoine Hummel, Makoto Sato, Arden Day, Olivia Scemama, Pascal Sieger, Geoffroy Gesser, Malgorzata Kasprzycka, Gwladys Le Cuff, and many others. The sheer number and differing degrees of participation by these musicians and their voices avoids genre - from passionate, rasping dialogues and the slow sedimentary effort of building the composition, to the use of six languages in various arrangements and surprise oral interventions. The same applies to the modes of recording, whether in the studio, live or by integrating direct sound recordings.The compositions on Uva Ursi - or bearberry, a medicinal mountain plant with small white flowers - confound expectations and established standards and attain new forms of interplay between Italian variety, free jazz, cabaret, instrumental theatre, Lettrist recitation, the disruptive intensities of improvisation and noise, and walrus songs. These disjunctive synthesis do not exclude humming or toe-tapping either, even though they may initially seem untenable as a whole: the airs are captivating but any dancing only arrives in passing, and either gets bogged down by weird meter or catches a chill from deceptive disintegrations and globbed down by macabre sounds.” Gwladys Le Cuff  --- Adrien Bardi Bienenstock : french, italian, spanish, danish, bassesPrune Bécheau : baroque violin, synthesizer, piano, organ, mandolin, french, german, danish Simon Sieger : trombone, accordeon, tuba, radiator, danish, frenchMathias Pontévia : drums (on pair tracks, except track 8)Joel Grip : double bass, danish, swedishSamuel Burjade : drums (on impair tracks)Sam Langer : electric guitarPaul Ferbos : spinetPierre Borel : saxophoneAdrien Perron : zarbRachel Ramos : pandeiro, bell, shakersEmmanuel Le Glatin : acoustic guitarMathieu Cahuzac : congasGwladys Le Cuff : Apocalypsis NovaEnregistré au Tuquet en Dordogne, à Ste Foy La Grande en Gironde, à Euphonia et au 51 rue du petit puits à Marseille. Tecnici di registrazione e mix : Loïc Lachaize, Prune Bécheau e Adrien Bardi BienenstockMastering : Loïc Lachaize and Jan Vysocky.Ooro hihi : frontière ronflanteHülle : Prune Bécheau und Adrien Bichon BardiGrafik : Maja LarssonEnglish translations : Sam Langer & Patrick DahnThanks for the technical support (and more) of Thomas Pujols, Samuel Burjade, Eloïse Burjade, Emmanuel Le Glatin, Mathias Pontevia

Urs Graf Consort – Uva Ursi

First released in digital-only form in 2004 exclusively for UbuWeb (ubu.com), this album includes Vicki’s John Peel session and performances for WFMU, amongst others, both from 2003, and now with brand new artwork designed by Vicki Bennett. "We strongly believe in the power of profit through free distribution. Often people have never heard of an artist because they aren't being distributed through as many channels as they should be, due to the very poor state of music/media distribution for non-major label music coupled with ignorance of the way that avant garde art forms infiltrate mainstream culture. Also many prints of a work are allowed to go out of circulation or are deleted for no reason other than cost effectiveness by a label/publisher. This makes perfect sense financially, but no sense whatsoever that a year's work by an artist should also disappear for such reasons. So get all of this while you can, and we completely endorse getting one's work out there, no matter what. If you don't share, your profit is limited." - People Like Us, 2004” People Like Us is audiovisual collage artist Vicki Bennett, who has been making work available via CD, DVD and vinyl releases, radio broadcasts, performances, gallery exhibits and online streaming for 25 years. Since 1992, she has developed an immediately recognisable aesthetic repurposing pre-existing footage to craft audio and video collages with an equally dark and witty take on popular culture. She sees sampling and appropriation as folk art sourced from the palette of contemporary media and technology, with all of the sharing and cross-referencing incumbent to a populist form. Embedded in her work is the premise that all is interconnected and that claiming ownership of an “original” or isolated concept is both preposterous and redundant.”

People Like Us – Abridged Too Far

The fruit of many years of work, this album began as People Like Us & Wobbly collected and collaged their way through various depictions of misfired communications and heartbreak sourced from popular culture for a series of live improvisations. Music For The Fire is a plunderphonic concept album depicting the lifespan of a relationship, as told through samples of hundreds of different songs and voices who had no idea they were all telling the same story until they were all spliced together.Strangely direct and evocative for an album assembled entirely from a patchwork of disparate sources and music both obscure and over-familiar, Music For The Fire comes with an illustrated lyric sheet which reproduces the countless sampled voices as a single if utterly schizophrenic text — a bedtime story that is wildly inappropriate for actual children. No reliable narrators, just the familiar and absurd, which on different spins of the disc might strike you as either maudlin, poignant or almost painfully hilarious. There is a way out of the maze, but it’s up to you to find it.Since 1991 British artist Vicki Bennett (aka People Like Us) has been an influential figure in the field of audio visual collage, through her innovative sampling, appropriating and cutting up of found footage and archives. She has shown work at, amongst others, Tate Modern, the National Film Theatre, Purcell Room, Pompidou Center, Sonar in Barcelona, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the BBC and Channel 4, released albums of her work on labels such as Tigerbeat6, Soleilmoon and Touch, both solo and in collaboration with Matmos, Ergo Phizmiz, Christian Marclay and members of Negativland. 2010 will see the completion of a commission for the Edinburgh Art Festival as well as concert appearances at the AV Festival, MACBA, Liverpool Sound City, Copenhagen & Jerusalem.Wobbly is the long-running collage project of Jon Leidecker (US), who improvises live with pre-recordings to coax the harmonies out of recorded sounds of individuals and animals from disparate cultures. Albums have been released on the labels Alku, Phthalo, Illegal Art, Tigerbeat6 and Vague Terrain. Previous and ongoing projects include the bands Chopping Channel, Sagan, the Freddy McGuire Show and Amen Seat, as well as various collaborations with Negativland, Matmos, Thomas Dimuzio, Blevin Blectum, Lesser, Tim Perkis & Xopher Davidson, Otomo Yoshihide and MaryClare Bryztwa. In 2009 he was commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona to produce “Variations”, a podcast and lecture series overview of the history of musical collage & sampling.People Like Us & Wobbly have been collaborating since her first visit to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1998. Early improvisations as a trio (with The Jet Black Hair People, aka Peter Conheim of Negativland) are documented by the online album What’s The Use, as well as archives of numerous radio and concert appearances recorded both in California and London, including on BBC Radio 3‘s “Mixing It”. The present album for Illegal Art is composed from live recordings, carefully and obsessively edited over a great deal of time, and is their funniest, darkest and yet somehow strangely compassionate work, Music For The Fire tells a story which every listener will recognize in their own unique way.--- "You can find lots of our work free on the internet. WE put it there! However, we do appreciate it if you purchase things from us to help us sustain this kind of work. Many thanks." - People Like Us

People Like Us & Wobbly – Music for The Fire

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

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

Open Mouth

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

Long sold out vinyl! "Nace and Dilloway make the perfect duo. For years, they've each kept their music fresh, always avoiding preconceived notions of what they're supposed to do. Dilloway's tape loops and electronics are routinely musical, which Nace's guitar always stretches to the edges of alien electricity. Both exude a refreshing and vehement disregard for cliché without leaving behind the necessity of tradition. One hears the earliest hints of electronic music, the conceptual and visceral assault of noise, the structural and spiritual liberation offered by free jazz, the delicate patience of extended techniques, and so much more." Matt Krefting. --- Bill Nace / electric guitarAaron Dilloway / tape --- Originally released on cassette as Silver Lining #2. Mastered by Carl Saff. "At long last, this recording sees a proper release. There's a story: Initially, I released this as a cassette on my own label, Silver Lining. To be fair, you can hardly call it a label. I have no right releasing my own music, let alone anyone else's. I'm bad at manufacturing things, I'm bad at promoting them, and I'm especially dismal when it comes to packing things up and mailing them out. And so this cassette had a brief brush with public life and then vanished, due primarily to my negligence and laziness. This is where Open Mouth, once again, comes to the rescue. The record comes in a gorgeous full-color sleeve, and the sound is so much finer than the cassette that even the more sweaty-palmed collectors out there will gladly welcome this object in favor of its previous incarnation, and join me in eagerly awaiting the day when these two release a proper full length. I like that they call this EP BAND. It's a subtle melding of the personal and the conceptual. The 'B' from 'Bill,' the 'A' from 'Aaron,' the 'N' from 'Nace,' and the 'D' from 'Dilloway.' It's simple. But they're not really a band. A band is a thing that exists over time and practices and builds its own identity. Or something. This is a duo. A meeting of the minds. A conversation. A lost weekend. At their best, duos illuminate the core tenets of individuals while pushing them into territory they might not otherwise occupy. It sounds easy but it's anything but. Just look at divorce rates. Nace and Dilloway make the perfect duo. For years, they've each kept their music fresh, always avoiding preconceived notions of what they're supposed to do. Dilloway's tape loops and electronics are routinely musical, which Nace's guitar always stretches to the edges of alien electricity. Both exude a refreshing and vehement disregard for cliché without leaving behind the necessity of tradition. One hears the earliest hints of electronic music, the conceptual and visceral assault of noise, the structural and spiritual liberation offered by free jazz, the delicate patience of extended techniques, and so much more. This collaboration though, like their back catalogs, works because it is beholden to none of these. Their individual voices are recognizable, yet the record's allure is found when those voices funnel into one another. In these moments, who's who becomes irrelevant, and the music is elevated to its rightful place, far above the concerns of personality or individualism. The gurgles, scrapes, moans, and loops build their own intoxicating fog, a metallic expanse with its own logic. After all these listens, I remain disoriented by it. It's the kind of thing you want to play again because you can't quite remember exactly what it sounds like. I'm reminded of J.G. Ballard: 'The slower the clock, the nearer it approximated the infinitely gradual and majestic progression of cosmic time.' And maybe that's the thing. Nace and Dilloway each embrace the immediacy of moments and the endless march of time equally, so for this record to finally see the real light of day is no minor event." (Matt Krefting, Holyoke, MA, 2016)

Aaron Dilloway & Bill Nace – Band EP

"John Truscinski has made a solo recording called ‘Bridle Path’, and it’s a document of a journey, a singular meditation - a universal landscape soundtrack. Reflections and refractions of sound swim around in their own subtlety. A conversation gets out of its own way, using an unknown language of letting go. A focused void. Drone slabs and microtones bend and waver, slipping beneath the surface of sound. Using a a mini brute and Korg synthesizer, John carved out time to occasionally sit in a room to work on these recordings. Over a span of two years, he visited this room when he felt like he needed to. Tones travelled through effect pedals and out of speakers, filling up the solitary space with shifting waves. A delicate arrangement of equipment allowed john to be still in the room with this music, immersing himself in it’s subtle guidance. The instruments and recording device were always present and ready when the connection felt right. It feels right. Music underneath. As much as Bridle Path is a venture inward, It’s also a balm for troubled world. There is depth to this recording, and to my ears it’s grounding and illuminating. I listened closely to 'Bridle Path' on my own wanderings, and it became the perfect soundtrack as the moving scenery folded into itself. My days were filled with long drives, airport lines, windy highways, and sweeping views. I I sat still, but also moved at a clip, feeling tired and awake as dramatic landscapes changed with every passing view. ‘Bridle Path’ helped me find stillness in all of the movement. I considered the music a gift. John and I once traveled out to the coast of a famous surf spot in Portugal, Praia Dos Supertoubos, and found ourselves in front of some enormous waves - the biggest I had ever seen. The oceans magnifying energy was surreal, and I sat on the beach with my camera, thrilled as John immersed himself in the wondrous ocean. The massive waves swelled, and there was John, brave and symbiotic - floating, rising, falling, and gliding. This music captures my own vision of him out there on the water. Countless performances, recordings, destinations, discussions, luke warm coffee, big hooded coats, foggy windows, gear in an elevator, junky practice spaces. There was momentum of feeling our own way, laughing, and listening. John always listening seriously. King Tubby pointing to his head. The kind of friend when you get to know their various cars over the years, and enjoy spending time in them. One channel of a stereo working. It always felt good. John has a valued ear and acute sensibility for sound, and ‘Bridle Path’ is new evenidece of his depth. There is a passage that has been offered, and I’m pleased to know that it now exists out there in the world. Listen for yourself." - Steve Gunn November 2019

John Truscinski – Bridle Path

Gates And Variations rounds out a loose trilogy of records by Jake Meginsky for Open Mouth. Not an intended trilogy on Jakes part but it has become one to my mind. It has come to be how I listen to them and experience them, all informing each other, echoing and challenging each other and growing into each other's space and light like a garden of plants that would never actually coexist anywhere in reality. Jake is always tirelessly reaching for something new yet I'd avoid using the word progression here. It instead feels to me like the last piece of a puzzle, or of a world created by some Jack Kirby demigod. Something has been completed and now all the pieces are interchangeable. The first can go last. The middle can be first. The whole thing becoming a universe looping in on itself with a multitude of entry points and not a lot of exits. These are dense environments where sections can move from microscopic to macroscopic, day to night and back again, so effortlessly that it's hard to tell if it's intended or if something imperceptible within you shifted the locus of your perception. But it is all very intentional, something carefully carved to give the feeling of something, though unfamiliar and strange, organic and grown. There's a sense of danger here like warning transmissions, concussive roiling rhythms and jagged disturbances. Yet also clear straight lines giving way to enveloping curve and staggering beauty. Supplant the beginning with the end with the beginning." --Bill Nace, Philadelphia, PA, September 2017.

Jake Meginsky – Gates & Variations

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)

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

Red Scarf – They Know We Know They're Lying

"In January 2018 we hosted the legendary drummer, artist, musician, person: Han Bennink. Together with him we planned 3 varied evenings. For the first evening his central guest was the notorious and also legendary guitarist Roland Van Campenhout." Roland Van Campenhout or in short Roland (Boom, 1945) is a Belgian blues musician.Roland grew up in the Rupel area. His father, a jazzmusician, drowned when he was 5. Roland left home at the age of 14. He did not get involved with music until the age of 20. He played in the skifflegroup, the William & Roland Skiffle Group, and the folk duo Miek en Roel. In 1969 he changed to another genre: blues, while also still experimenting with other styles during his career such as country, worldmusic, folk and rock. Roland discovered this genre when he saw John Lee Hooker perform in café De Muze in Antwerpen. He broke through during Jazz Bilzen, where he established his reputation as a live artist. Han Bennink (born 17 April 1942) is a Dutch jazz drummer and percussionist. On occasion his recordings have featured him playing clarinet, violin, banjo and piano. Though perhaps best known as one of the pivotal figures in early European free jazz and free improvisation, Bennink has worked in essentially every school of jazz, and is described by critic Chris Kelsey as "one of the unfortunately rare musicians whose abilities and interests span jazz's entire spectrum." Known for often injecting slapstick and absurdist humor into his performances, Bennink has had especially fruitful long-term partnerships with pianist Misha Mengelberg and saxophonist Peter Brötzmann. Han is a brother of saxophonist Peter Bennink.

Han Bennink & roland – Live Ateliers Claus

Astral Spirits

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

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

Desert Encrypts Volume 1 is a two-part suite based on observations from the desert in and around Marfa, TX. It also explores Mazurek's ongoing fascination with social, psychological, and physiological structures, both terrestrial and extra-terrestrial. The composition includes written music and graphic scores for improvisation. For Desert Encrypts Vol. 1 Mazurek has put together an awe-inspiring new ensemble featuring Kris Davis on piano, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten on bass & Chad Taylor on drums. Recorded live at the Crowley Theater in Marfa, TX during Mazurek's inaugural Desert Encrypts Festival in August 2018, Desert Encrypts Vol. 1 captures the quartet burning through Mazurek's newest compositions like they've been playing together for years (to be fair some of them have been playing together for years). Mazurek has always been associated with the Chicago scene he spent so many years in (as well as his time in Brazil thereafter), but Desert Encrypts Vol 1 is his first album that feels truly Texan to these ears, and we're excited to present a new exciting development in a long string of exciting developments that have marked Mazurek's long and illustrious career. --- Rob Mazurek / Piccolo Trumpet, Electronics Kris Davis / Piano Chad Taylor / Drums Ingebrigt Håker Flaten / Bass Lynn Xu / voice on The Blue Haze --- All music by Rob Mazurek OLHO ASCAP Double True Stereo + 2 Recording, Mix and Master: Ken Christianson, Pro Musica, Chicago   Recorded Live at the Crowley Theater, Marfa, Texas Produced by Britt Mazurek Thank You - Hotel St. George, Marfa Book Co., City of Marfa, Tim Crowley, Rob Crowley, Tim Johnson, Christopher Wool, Charline Von Heyl, Jeff Elrod, Robert Bielecki, Ken Bauso, Chris Newman, Nancy DeDakis, Paco Barba, Cody Barber, Anthony DeSimone, Nate Cross, Monofonus Press.

Rob Mazurak – Desert Encryps Vol. 1

On Exoplanet, Rob Frye generates an atmosphere in which drummers and improvisers orbit synthesizers, inhabiting a Goldilocks zone of electronic and biotic components. Some of the tracks were created spontaneously or composed of strict loops, but two of the arrangements are melodic adaptations of the song of Musician Wren. After working as a field biologist with the Institute for Bird Populations in California from 2012-2016, Frye began to slow down and transcribe birdsong, eventually developing a performative lecture called Hearing Hidden Melodies. "XC175020" and "XC222182" are not potential earth-like planets in another solar system, indeed they are individual birds recorded by Peter Boesman in the Amazon. This bird, known as Uirapuru in Brazil and La Flautista in Peru, reminds us of the mysterious sonic knowledge threatened on our very own home planet. On this, his first album for Astral Spirits and his first as a leader, Rob played woodwinds and synthesizers and directed a specialized crew, recruiting Bitchin' Bajas (Drag City) bandmates Cooper Crain and Dan Quinlivan on engineering and electronics. Ben Lamar Gay's cornet (International Anthem) and Macie Stewart's violin (OHMME) pitch and roll, fueled by the dual propulsion of drummers Quin Kirchner (Astral Spirits) and Tommaso Moretti (Amalgam), while Nick Ciontea (brownshoesonly) consults on modular synthesizer. Like the Uirapuru, Edbrass Brasil (Sê-Lo!) also searches through fallen leaves in some of his own work, though for sound not insects. On "Innercosmos" we he hear his unconventional wind tubes, and on "XC222182" his voice calling as instruments gather, playing the bird's melody. --- ROB FRYE - compositions, woodwinds, synthesizersCOOPER CRAIN - electric organ, synthesizersDANIEL QUINLIVAN - synthesizer, electronics, wurlitzerBEN LAMAR GAY - cornet and wurlitzerTOMMASO MORETTI - drums (right channel)QUIN KIRCHNER - drums (left channel)MACIE STEWART - violin on tracks 2, 5, and 7NICK CIONTEA - synthesizer on tracks 3 and 4EDBRASS BRASIL - wind instruments and voice track 3 and 5 ---Recorded by Cooper Crain at DecadeMixed by Cooper CrainMastered by Mikey YoungCover Art by Matias Santa MariaLayout by Dylan Marcus McConnellThanks to Uirapuru, Ted Parker, Peter Boesman, Emily Bax, Adam Wille, Martin Frye, Cristian Pinto, Will Faber, Tadeu Mascarenhas, Estúdio Casa das Máquinas, Nate Cross, Erik Rasmussen, NASA, University of Iowa Space Audio.

Rob Frye – Exoplanet

Terry Day Archives

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

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. 

First studio recording of Louis’s latest group creating great, joyous, South African influenced music. "From its gamelan-like-opening cut, to its closing peaceful moments, this is world-class improvisation and masterful compositional thinking. The star of this session is of course the leader who gives his name to the quartet. Louis Moholo-Moholo, a powerful, effusive and sensitive drummer who moved from his native South Africa to Britain in the 1960s and became an important voice in the then burgeoning improvised music scene seems to have lost none of his exquisite verve and can still lay down some mighty flourishes on his kit. He's joined here by three other blokes who are much younger men, but pianist Alexander Hawkins, bassist John Edwards bass and saxophonist Jason Yarde are all up to the task of matching the leader's drive. The insistent, irrepressible "For the Blue Notes" which starts off the set, alludes to the drummer's legendary band of the 60s. Other historical references include the piece "Tears for Steve Biko," which is part lament, part protest song. The title cut is one solid blockbuster of a tune, with everyone going full throttle. The most loveable thing about this session recorded in November 2013 is that there's a balance of what has often been called "inside" and "outside" playing, as this quartet, with a finely-honed telepathic sense, works as a tight unit, even when each musician is pushing at the limit of cohesion and coherence in some of the wilder moments, of which there are many. But the music can downshift to a lullaby softness, as in 'Something Gentle" and sway gracefully in the waltz-time of "Angel-Nomali." There's lots to praise here, but just the magic of Moholo's playing, with its inevitable echoes of his phenomenal free jazz style of the 60s makes this a memorable release well worth having.' --- John Edwards / bassAlexander Hawkins / pianoJason Yarde / saxophoneLouis Moholo Moholo / drums ---

Louis Moholo-Moholo Quartet – 4 Blokes

"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.

Harry Miller – Different Times, Different Places

Mappa

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

“The recordings were made over a period of a couple of years. The windmill is located about a mile north of the town where i live, on what i assume is ranch land used for raising cattle. It was once used to pull water from underground to fill a couple of large tanks nearby. It's in a bad state and no longer in use. There are two large crows nests at the top, and the inner workings are laying on the ground next to it.” The recordings were made using a mini-disc recorder and hand made contact microphone. They are monaural recordings. Jeph Jerman is appearing in a variety of musical groups and collaborative projects across different genres for more than three decades. From the nineties, we can see in his extensive work a great interest in the sole act of listening. Rather than a classical musician, he is more suggestive of a sound wanderer who sets off daily from his home to the surrounding Arizona desert (characteristically named Sonoran desert), where he records sound fragments or collects found objects which he uses in his improvisations and performances. As a contemplative walker without a set destination, he is interested in the pure sound without references. To what we listen is not so important, what matters most is the time, place and the way we listen. Unlike other field recording artists, Jerman is not interested in the aesthetic richness or sonic variety, but simplicity, gentle differences, vibrations, moderation, and the primordial animalism on the quiet edge of organic and inorganic nature. The 34° 111' 3" N 111° 95' 4" W named field recording is a collection of three pieces, in which Jerman maps a specific place and which carefully reflect his life philosophy. It’s a recording of an abandoned windmill in different times, stages of decomposition and weather conditions. The symbol of the circle and rotation and the moaning material shaped by nature elements subtly fit in the comprehensive sound diary and environment where Jerman moves and lives. "These days I don't try to evoke anything. I make sound that'll hopefully be listened to.“ Jeph Jerman has already collaborated with artists like Jon Mueller, Ben Owen, Taku Sugimoto, Tony Whitehead, John Hudak, Bernhard Günter, Greg Davis, Tim Barnes, Aaron Dilloway, and others. 

Jeph Jerman – 34°111'3"N 111°95'4"W

“This recording is based on a particular geographic area of Sydney: the industrial zone around Sydenham Train station. As with many inner city industrial areas in large cities all over the western world, this place is ripe for redevelopment. However, in this case, due to the zone being directly underneath the flight path to Sydney airport, as well as being flood prone due to environmental factors, unscrupulous property developers are not able to completely gut the place and erect hideous apartments. What is interesting to me, and what this recording aims to capture, is that these factors – the aeroplanes and the puddles – act as a form of resistance to the development.” (MP Hopkins) MP Hopkins is a hidden treasure from Australia, a sound artist known for his varied music projects and strange mix of lo-fi urban field recordings and intimate bedroom experiments. Sonic details of empty streets from close neighbourhood, subtle intervention and fragments of lonely voice comments are reminding distinctive forms of sound journalism or a diary for night adventurers. Aeroplanes & Puddles follows the previous Traipse - Marrickville (2015) album which is Hopkins's starting point for his walks along the Sydney suburb. Mappa presents the sonic evidence of this opposition; the non-human voices of resistance that the aeroplanes and water speak with in this acoustic environment. The work features field recordings of the area garnished with a text narrated by Hopkins which combines fragments of the 2017 Australian Federal Budget speech and parts of ‘The Powerhouse’ – a radio play by Richard Packer (Gargoyle Poets series, 1972).”Feel free floating in the holy sound voyeurism and thorough collection of evidence from the other world at the same time." --- Recorded, mixed and mastered by MP Hopkins. Artwork and design by Jakub Juhás, Richard Čecho. Photos by Nina Pacherová. Released by mappa as MAP09 in 2018

Mp Hopkins – Aeroplanes & Puddles

As a project, Line Gate has been undergoing a slow, steady transformation, much like the longform drone works that have come to characterise it. What began as a band in 2010 and most recently surfaced as a solitary hurdy-gurdy resonance on 'Den' in 2017 has now flourished into ‘Apex’, Michal Vaľko’s latest album. 'Apex', simultaneously an album about perceiving the beauty around us, about sacredness, and a meditation on a state of timelessness and seeming non-action, is divided into two 30-minute pieces.The gently modulating drone of the hurdy-gurdy remains present during the first piece, along with its very characteristic (almost psychedelic) resonances and overtones. However, the listener's ear is almost immediately drawn to another sound source - the human voice. 'Apex I' presents an interplay between these two instruments, which, strangely enough, are positioned in a similar space on the frequency spectrum. The result is a mind-bending interplay between the hurdy-gurdy and the voice; one weaving around the other in seemingly indeterminable patterns.'Apex II' takes Vaľko’s explorations of the human voice even further: the hurdy-gurdy is withdrawn. Layers of voice, some processed, some raw, are the only building block here. A resonant layer of sampled voice, not dissimilar from the hurdy-gurdy, acts as an unstable, shifting sonic bed around which a gradually growing choir of voices orbits endlessly. Sibilants, consonants and vowels recited in mantra-like cycles form a non-linguistic vocal tapestry, one without explicit meaning, but imbued with huge emotional gravity and a unique enchanting quality. 

Line Gate – Apex

"Mappa editions presents special project of Bruno Duplant and Pedro Chambel duo which connects field recordings (2 CD) and Duplant's photographic project emerging from the same concept. “All my new pieces with field recordings are "autofictions/self-fictions". Field recordings, like always with me came from lot of places. I don't care about where were recorded the sound, but much more how to create new entities, territories (the self-fictions/autofictions), which are both fictive, intimate and personal. I like the idea that listeners will enter in that fictive places like if they were real, like they did with a great novel.” Bruno Duplant is sound enthusiast, composer, improviser and multi-instrumentalist living in the north of France. In his work he is creating new fictional universes and uncharted territories using many field recordings collected in different parts of world. Architecture and culture of these sonic environments is created in two ways. First one is listening and collecting of surrounding sounds, not especially “natural” ones, but more “cultural” ones. Second one is shaping the sound and the composition itself. “Recording and editing are two different states, one more passive for me (the recording) and the other more active (the work on the sounds, the composition itself). The collection of sounds can be seen as fishing, an artisanal harvest in which one can have good surprises and less good ones. The whole approach is about accepting to make do with this. With this method of work I have to accept the hollow periods, failures and even the doubt.” In this case the role of active listening is shifted from recording in certain time and space towards studio work and to finding new sound elements, relations and spaces. “I see and name my compositional process (whether for instruments or for field recordings) as an "attempt at organizing chance". The composition allows me to assemble more or less logically and incongruously the different sounds collected. I never try to reproduce the sounds that surround me in a logical and precise way. I try to create something new, a new fictional entity that I have named “autofiction”, "self-fiction".” The result is discreet witness of everyday life, where the listening ear is trying to decode and create an imaginative model of well-known place. It is a timeless place, which is possible to visit again and again and explore its hidden corners and details. The orientation in space is not easy since whole surroundings is misted by electronic sounds of Portuguese musician Pedro Chambel. “The use of discreet electronic sounds came from the idea about to ask oneself the question: where does those sounds came from? Are they from the field recordings? Some sounds came from there, some other not, but which ones? I also like the idea of using those sounds as some disruptive elements, like in most of stories, novels or movies.” Duplant is autodidact who following and renewing concepts of John Cage, Luc Ferrari, Rolf Julius or Toshiya Tsunoda. In his work we can also find parallels to literary techniques and space or to forms of reading. “First of all, I am teacher, a librarian teacher. I only make music when I have time, in the evening, on the week-end, in my holidays. I spend most of my time surrounded in books. I have this opportunity. Some authors, some texts, some works have become great sources of inspiration for me. This is the case for all the poetry of Francis Ponge, the texts of Georges Perec, the philosophy of Gaston Bachelard. So, my life, my practices are not compartmentalized. Besides collaborative sound projects duo Duplant/Chambel is also known for their curatorial work in delicious label Rhizome.s. In past they collaborated with Ilia Belorukov, Lance Austin Olsen, Barry Chabala, Nate Wooley, Ryoko Akama, Manfred Werder. Quotes are taken from interview between Bruno Duplant and Tobias Fischer for 15 Questions. www.15questions.net/interview/fifteen-questions-interview-bruno-duplant/page-1/   --- Bruno Duplant / composition, field recordings & discreet electronics Pedro Chambel / discreet electronics  --- Dedicated to Georges Perec. Assembled in Waziers during 2016/2017. Mixed & mastered by Bruno Duplant. Photos from self-fictions/autofictions series by Bruno Duplant. Design by Jakub Juhás. Thanks to Alžbeta Halušková.

Bruno Duplant, Pedro Chambel – Autofictions

Among the musicians whose work closely reflects the reduced forms in experimental music, perhaps the most interesting is Cristián Alvear, a Chilean guitarist performing formally radical post-Cagean music, as well as Laurent Peter aka d'incise, a composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer, one of the key figures of the eclectic scene in Geneva. The numerous projects in which they participate prove their strictly defined artistic vision and active involvement in networking the music community, so it’s appropriate to consider them as transitory elements between several scenes on different continents. They have collaborated, among others, with Ryoko Akama, Cyril Bondi, Michael Pisaro, Sarah Hennies, Seijiro Murayama, Taku Sugimoto, Lance Austin Olsen and The Pitch.Bow Down Thine Ear, I Bring You Glad Tidings is a good example of the refinement of the style developed by Alvear and d’incise in recent years. One can observe here how their musical language and range of instrumental techniques in the use of guitar and idiophones got crystallised.The classical form of a musical piece organized in time and characterized by a set of elements that create a coherent narrative is replaced here by the primacy of repetition, pitch, precise articulation and reverberation. Sounds seem to be clearly rooted in specific acoustic spaces, which allows the space itself to be treated as a real instrument that adds another layer of meaning. Repetitive sound sequences operate in a similar way to the metronome, determining an obsessive rhythmic pattern, a kind of matrix on which all the details are inscribed. The static structure of the pieces allows the music to function as a sound sculpture - breaking time constraints in favour of continuous duration and acting in a multi-perspective way. This material, does not promise any solution, but strictly accompanies the listener and tries to close itself in the continuous present.At the same time Bow Down Thine Ear, I Bring You Glad Tidings is a clear dialogue with the work of Henry Purcell. The title of the album is a reference to the anthems written by the British composer (Z11, Z2) and the titles of the pieces refer to his sacred songs (Z192, Z342). Apart from a skillful attempt to decontextualize the lyrics (biblical or rooted in the tradition of baroque religious poetry), we can see here not so much an attempt to give the music a metaphysical character, but certainly Alvear and d’incise tend to replicate a similar mode of listening, as in the case of Purcell's compositions - meditative and at the same time oriented to all elements of the musical situation.  --- Cristián Alvear / guitard'incise / percussion (2 series of "tuned objects"), post-processings recorded in a different space ---Recorded at Insub.studio, Geneva, May 2019Processings recorded at La Senne, Bruxelles, May & September 2019Edited & mixed by d’inciseCover art by Nick Hoffmanpilgrimtalk.bandcamp.comMastered by Adam Badí Donovalabdonoval.comWords by Paweł Szroniakrozkurz.tumblr.comPhotography by Leontína Berkováleontinaberkova.com

Cristián Alvear & d'incise – Bow down thine ear, I bring you glad tidings

"Jani Hirvonen (Uton) and Johannes Schebler (Baldruin) reconstruct the mesmerizing world of the Grykë Pyje swamp tribe. Vinyl in your hands is a ceremonial sonification of the sacred herbarium, painted myths of the animal kingdom and voices behind the thicket. A return to the time when the forests, tree crowns, soil, thickets and heaven were full of continuous murmur. Or, on the contrary, a vision of a future in which the chaos of natural noises will reign. Slimy earthworms and phosphorescent bugs crawl out of the holes and gaze toward the sky. Brightly colored birds pick juicy fruits and there is no silence, because it is absorbed by the buzz of a virgin ecosystem. In the caves, marshes and hollows of trees, the most important questions are decided. A polyrhythmic rain falls from the sky and washes the prehistoric mud from mammalian hair. Somewhere to see human footprints, but those who have left them are long hidden under giant leaves. The light, reflected from the vibrant structure of life itself, dances for all, in full color. The feast of photosynthesis. Nothing to see from the top. Plants, moss and mushrooms grow at a tremendous rate. They climb each other to break through the lush green blanket. And above all, the orange disc shines pleasantly." --- All tracks recorded in Turku (Finland) and Wiesbaden (Germany) by Jani Hirvonen and Johannes Schebler in 2018 & 2019 Cover Art: "Encounter", 2019 by Mevlana Lipp & Gallery KUK Colognemevlana-lipp.com Mastered by Pentti Dassum Thanks to Jakub Juhás

Grykë Pyje – Collision And Coalescence

Leo Records

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

"Alexander Kan’s liners do a good job of setting the stage occupied by these pre-perestroika musicians; he recounts scenes that read like LeCarre. And indeed the strongest impression of this music is its urgency. Cliched reflections about the tormented Russian anima are almost unavoidable, but the fact is that music has great immediacy for people in times of crisis; I have seen it in such unromantic settings as an RAF base on the eve of the Falklands gambit. This urgency is what compels Vyacheslav Ganelin (piano, various instruments), Vladimir Tarasov (percussion) and Vladimir Chekasin (saxes, various) to free improvisations of sustained focus and intensity at live sets recorded in Leningrad and West Berlin. The latter appearance greatly impressed the Western critics, and the music stands up well. These men are playing for their lives, and have no time to worry about whether this or that transition might be difficult. As a result potential pitfalls vanish into thin air as they achieve a kind of mobility rare outside of Sun Ra and a freedom that must have been sweet indeed." - Duck Baker --- Vladimir Tarasov / drums, percussion, bells, talking drumVyacheslav Ganelin / piano, bassett, guitar, percussionVladimir Chekasin / as, ts, wooden flute, cl, bassett-horn, percussion, voice --- Part 1 recorded live in Leningrad, Nov 5, 1980. Part 2 recorded live in West Berlin, October 29, 1980. Tapes remastered by Alan Moseley. Special thanks to Liz Trott for smuggling out the tapes. 

The Ganelin Trio – Ancora Da Capo

This record of zany duets is among Eugene Chadbourne's wildest and dearest recordings, featuring selections from over two decades. These duets with Han Bennink, Derek Bailey, the late Charles Tyler, John Zorn, and others, showcase the woolliest side of Chadbourne's woolly playing and his dodging all over the musical and historical map. The first track is an acoustic version of John Lee Hooker's "Whiskey and Women," accompanied by Bennink playing a pizza box with brushes, a giant bass autoharp played with drumsticks, and, of course, a drum kit. Chadbourne plays the tune straight (for him) at the beginning, even getting all the words right, but then veers off his National Steel onto a "communist" five-string banjo, and he and Bennink run the course, carrying the off-meter 12-bar blues as off-world as they can go, laughing all the way. Next up is Derek Bailey and Chadbourne on two selections. The first, "In Search of Carl La Fong," is filled with commentary by both men. Bailey's guitar and Chadbourne's electric rake and electrified banjo trip and slip all over one another here, with respect and purpose, of course, but nonetheless sloppily. It's a rousing series of musical maneuvers at over nine minutes. When Bennink and Chadbourne reunite, it's a darker, more percussive show: feedback from rhythm and lead instruments becomes the M.O. by which they create something resembling a melodic idea from the wreckage. And it's quite beautiful, as Gershwin's songbook comes through as the melodic framework for the improvisation. The work with Tyler, "In Between Comme C and Come Saw," is balls-out space improv, though the master saxist uses his baritone in striking ways not usually becoming of the instrument itself. It becomes a kind of clogged, scraped, razor-voiced bell in the tower of noise. Tyler draws microtones out of the instrument we have literally never heard before, and Chadbourne is content to lend idiomatic support to this gracious unfolding. "Red Lightning, Pt. 1" by Chadbourne and Zorn is hilarious. This is more in line with Zorn's Classic Guide to Strategy than anything else, in both spirit and execution -- though there are no duck calls credited on this recording. There is space here, sometimes long periods of it, where what is happening between the pair is not readily apparent; there is plenty of trickery and tomfoolery as well, leaving the listener guffawing in more than a few places.

Eugene Chadbourne In Duets – Boogie in the Hook

Incus Recordings

British free improvisation label, established in 1970 by Derek Bailey, Tony Oxley and Evan Parker.

Penultimate Press

Run by Mark Harwood / Astor, Penultimate Press operates mainly in the fields of music concrète, electro-acoustic composition & processed sound. Unheard of underground alongside crucial reissues.

Roaratorio

Small batch operation imagined by James Lindbloom out of Minneapolis, USA. Big hitting free-jazz, composed works and music concrète. 

David Maranha’s recordings stretch back over 20 years with the Portuguese avant trio Osso Exótico, as well as collaborations with Z’ev and Minit. A followup to Marches Of The New World (2007), Antarctica is made up of two side-long excursions into monolithic drone-rock. In the vein of Tony Conrad & Faust, “Venus In Furs,” La Monte Young and Terry Riley, Maranha’s ensemble is driven by keyboards, strings, and hypnotized-heartbeat percussion. Like the great white expanse of the titular continent, it can be taken in simply as a glorious wash of sound; listen to it closely, however, and you’ll hear the smallest details jump out in high relief: a feather can move a mountain." "They started playing this album and there was this really heavy, slow, dragging rhythm to it, a bit like John Cale's viola drones, times a hundred. It sounded so warm that it was like embers from a bonfire." - Elias Rønnenfelt  “The keening violin nicely shorts out most higher thought, the buzzing organ evaporates the rest, and the music’s stolid trudge will lure your pulse into locked step. The textures are raw, the sound hypnotic, the effect nicely time-stopping.” – Bill Meyer, Dusted “Favoring intensity over sheer volume, Maranha and co achieve a focused minimalism that riff based drone rockers aspire to but cannot reach.” – Nick Southgate, The Wire “Sottilli le variazioni tra la prima e la seconda facciata (niente titoli): batteria che dipana un 4/4 lento e mortuario, organo che naviga e gorgoglia, violino dissonante che disgena, stira e allunga refrain insistiti, un suono che avvolge e stranisce i sensi colpendo al cuore con movimenti di nostalgia irrimediabile (splendido il lavoro di basso di Pilia e di chitarra di Wanke nel secondo late, un letterale capolavoro) che delineano scenari di ghiaccio immoto, solitudine – bianchissimi.” – Stefano I. Bianchi, Blow Up

David Maranha – Antarctica

“Not since the early days of MC5 at the Grande Ballroom in Detroit, circa 1968, had there been such an organic melding of sheer metalesque maelstrom and free jazz. These archival recordings from the legendary punk club CBGB capture a moment in time when open-minded musicians from the ‘downtown scene’ were exploring the possibility of bringing Lou Reed’s feedback-infested Metal Machine Music together with Albert Ayler’s Love Cry. Dissipated Face guitarist Kurt “Hologram” Ralske and special guest saxophonist Daniel Carter provided that implausible link between punk rock and avant garde jazz on these 1986 live recordings. Fueled by the throbbing rhythms of Steve “X Dream” Popkin and Ben “Face” Munves, who alternated on bass and drums, Ralske’s twisted, thrashing power chords and shrieking licks blend with Carter’s cathartic alto sax wailing to make the perfect union of disparate worlds." “Ralske would go on to attain a certain level of indie rock fame with Ultra Vivid Scene and subsequently make an impact as a London-based producer-conceptualist-avant-popmeister and visual artist. Carter would become one of the most ubiquitous figures on New York’s free jazz scene, recording with William Parker, David S. Ware, Billy Bang, Alan Silva and Matthew Shipp and the cooperative bands Test and Other Dimensions in Music. But for this one moment back in 1986, their paths crossed with bandmates Popkin and Munves, and the results were frighteningly intense.” – Bill Milkowski.  “Don’t let the Raymond Pettibon cover fool you—this ain’t exactly some SST discard that cluttered up the amerindie record collections of the late-eighties! Dissipated Face, although they could have made it as a fringe signing to that infamous label, are a tad different’n the reams of collegeboy experimental bleats that were getting a whole lotta hosannas from cloistered clods like myself. As if you actually knew, Dissipated Face were a hot trio that was romping through the post-fun era of NYC rock back when they laid these sides down at CBGB on July 31st of 1986, and their mix of everything from free jazz and late-seventies avant-prog to punk rock made for some of the wildest mergings of the form since Red Transistor. Nothing as out-there as that group, but better’n many a similar-minded excursion into freedom aesthetics. What’s best is that none other’n noted avant saxist himself Daniel Carter sat in giving a particularly Albert Ayler-ish air to these excursions, so if you were a fan of this guy’s various endeavors on the stage of the CBGB Lounge during the final days of Hilly you’ll be glad to know that he was in on the punk jazz game for a longer time’n you could’ve dreamed!” – Christopher Stigliano, Black To Comm “Oddball discovery of a live meeting of an early group led by Ultra Vivid Scene’s Kurt Raiske with the always amazing Daniel Carter guesting. Carter’s on sax here, and the blend – right near the end of New York City’s post-SIN Club trajectory – is a very cool collision between free jazz and lateperiod scum-rock readymades. Why was this not known of before?” – Byron Coley, The Wire “If you’re like me, and you got into standard rock music that had choruses and verses and bridges as a child, but always longed for something more extreme, you probably remember the moment you first heard Septic Death or Albert Ayler or Wolf Eyes or Mr. Bungle or whatever it was that destroyed the musical parameters previously established by your brain. I bet if I stumbled into CBGB’s in 1986, everyone probably would’ve been like “who the hell let a five year-old in here, where are his parents?”, but supposing I was a teenager or something, Dissipated Face probably would’ve cracked my skull open with their flailing, post-no-wave free-rock assault. They sound like one of those early ’80s downtown NY groups like Lounge Lizards or Material or Golden Palominos, had they crashed into Reagan Youth on the cab ride over with the few surviving members improvising live.” - Yellow Green Red “Frantic free punk, that reminds me of Easter Monkeys, then Flipper, then Pere Ubu… it’s wound up post VU sounds from the streets of NYC when that still meant something, inflections of no wave spurting saxophone and weirdly HC-esque guitars, but the swagger and fuck-you take over and overpower the skronk…It’s reminiscent of MC5′s incursions into jazz, not jam Ginn band shit, but fucked up on PCP Les Dirtbags out for blood, armed with Sun Ra and the Dead Boys. Sick Pettibon cover art too. Eat it or beat it!” – Layla Gibbon, MaximumRockNRoll “In the mid-1980s, Dissipated Face were one of a number of groups weaned on New Music Distribution Service catalogs, cut-out bins, and ready to occupy something of a vacuum. Punk rock, prog, free jazz, funk, modern composition and Downtown art scum were all part of the landscape and exactly what went into their melting pot. Consisting of guitarist Kurt “Hologram” Ralske and Stephen “X. Dream” Popkin and Ben “Face” Munves trading off bass, vocals and drums, their approach ranged from cut-throat punk slop to unhinged bluesy sleaze (the wonderfully bizarre “Streets Of New York” with its hardcore breakdowns). The guest appearance of alto saxophonist Daniel Carter on these four archival cuts recorded live at CBGB in 1986 adds an extra dose of fire to the proceedings. A regular in the groups of bassist-composer William Parker and a fixture in the New York free jazz environment since the mid-70s, his jubilant squall nudges Ralske’s wiry, feedback-drenched statements to unbridled heights. Given more room to stretch it would be interesting to hear what these players could accomplish, but the seven-inch format gives these tracks an extreme urgency, as though if one blinked the music’s gifts would be lost. Thanks are due to Minneapolis’ Roaratorio Records for releasing this snapshot (replete with Raymond Pettibon artwork) of an ecstatic DIY moment.” – Clifford Allen, Tiny Mix Tapes

Dissipated Face With Daniel Carter ‎- Live At CBGB 1986

At age 78, Joe McPhee shows no sign of slowing down. Plan B is the master improviser’s new trio, with James Keepnews on guitar & laptop and David Berger on drums. A soundtrack to a science fiction movie existing only in their heads, From Outer Space finds McPhee and company envisioning the first encounter between alien life and a delegation of earthlings (while giving a nod to jazz’s original man from another planet, Sun Ra, with a side-long suite dedicated to him). It’s quite unlike anything else in McPhee’s vast discography. Cover art by Judith Lindbloom. “Joe McPhee, who is one-third of the trio Plan B, was born in 1939. He’s old enough to have had the opportunity to see Buck Rogers in the newspaper, laser guns on projected in black and white on neighbourhood cinema screens, and Plan Nine From Outer Space upon its initial release. I can’t tell you if he actually did any of these things, but this much is known: McPhee is a science fiction fan of long-standing; he’s still making new work and taking real chances at the age of 78; and his playing is laser-like in its concentration of information drawn from his own life, the histories of jazz and improvised music, the complicated story of the USA and its relationship with its African-descended residents; and whatever is happening at the second he puts one of his several horns (pocket trumpet and alto and tenor saxophones on this record) to his lips. There’s always a lot of information in every note, reaction, and reference, and so it is with this LP.” - Francis Gooding, The Wire --- Joe McPhee / tenor saxophone, alto saxophone, trumpet James Keepnews / guitar, electronics David Berger / drums --- Artwork by Judith Lindbloom. 

Plan B – From Outer Space

Okka Disk

Founded in '94 in by Bruno Johnson to document some of the Chicago scene.

"Chicago-based multi-instrumentalist, composer and bandleader Ken Vandermark is widely known for paying homage to artists of various disciplines, regularly including dedications in his song titles to those who have inspired him. On 35mm, the studio debut of his newest ensemble, The Frame Quartet, Vandermark reveals his longstanding debt to cinema, not only in name, but in approach.  Filmmaking is an intensely collaborative medium, and The Frame Quartet embraces this concept implicitly; Vandermark is the sole writer, yet each of the album's five compositions is conducted by a different member of the quartet, except for "M.E.S. (for Merce Cunningham)." Though only "Lens (for Ennio Morricone)" is dedicated to an artist directly involved in film, all of the pieces embrace the art form's predilection for linear development. Eschewing conventional forms, these labyrinthine structures transition suddenly between modes, emulating cinema's narrative flow with dramatic shifts in tone that parallel the sudden splice cuts found in celluloid editing. Bringing these episodic works to life are some of Chicago's most resourceful improvisers, including cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm, bassist Nate McBride, and drummer Tim Daisy—all veterans of Vandermark's numerous ensembles. Utilizing an array of raw, electronic EFX, Longberg-Holm veers from austere acoustic cadenzas to amplified torrents of coruscating feedback. McBride alternates between upright and electric bass, while Vandermark reserves his clarinet for introspective moments, unfurling burly, pneumatic cadences on tenor saxophone elsewhere." - All About Jazz Recorded on 29 July 2009 at Strobe Recording, Chicago

The Frame Quartet – 35mm

"A simple superlative: DKV Trio is the best working band in Chicago jazz. That's no small feat considering that its members work in lot of other combinations. Assembled in 1994 by reedman Ken Vandermark specifically for his recording project Standards (Quinnah), the group forged an instant bond that mandated further investigation. Drummer Hamid Drake never fails to provide a spark and when he and bassist Kent Kessler get on the good foot you can expect a bonfire. Where many free groups avoid funky swinging or melodic materials DKV eagerly embraces them. The trio's open-ended, sometimes set-length improvisations unfold in sections: Drake and Kessler might set up a cyclical groove for Vandermark to dive into or soar above, then an insistent bass clarinet ostinato might free up the bassist to take one of his superb arco solos after which Drake might suddenly kick out a Max Roach high hat jam or hit the ground running with some infectious Afro-pop polyrhythms or reggae snare-centricity. All three players are respectful listeners cresting space and letting the music breathe but challenging each other as well. Kessler benefits greatly from this simultaneous relaxation and prodding, turning in consistently original performances. And Vandermark, already well-known as a firebrand, is quickly emerging as one of the finest young balladeers to tote a tenor. This selling allows him ample room to dip deep into both bags. Each time out DKV invents a new context where daring exploration and pure corporeal pleasure shake hands and get down to business."- John Corbett, Chicago Reader

Dkv Trio – Baraka

Slip

Contemporary composition crossed with experimental song and improvisation from 2012 onwards. Based out of Newcastle & Berlin. 

'Ample Profanity' is composer Laurie Tompkins and cellist Oliver Coates' collaborative debut: coagulated gristle surfacing from a Beal, Brooklyn-brown, Ray V, Bangs, GAN, Rugs and Works acid bath. The EP collects 5 pieces composed by Laurie and then co-edited and performed with Olly. The former plays keys, tape player, and samples, the latter cello with effects. Both sing.  Here is grazed, contorted classicism, here post-binge hallucinations, here gunky funk.  "I met [Laurie] when I was 16, at school. I don’t know where along the way he’s found that he can make a piece out of flower pots and shouting, and it can be genuinely moving. With Laurie, there’s this thing with Netflix culture and tropes in the promotion of electronic dance music. Like, “you must all listen to footwork now” because they market that at you. Ample Profanity is all about awkward juxtapositions: bits of music from House Of Cards coupled with RP Boo. That’s the headspace he’s in and he’s trying to articulate these as cello rhythms. I find that really satisfying. It looks really spidery and architectural on the page. You’ve got to repeat it 17 times and then shout the next thing, so it’s absurdly difficult to play. To play it physically, the energy of playing it, that’s why I do it." - Oliver Coates, The Wire, September 2018. --- Laurie Tompkins / vocals, keys, tape player, samples Oliver Coates / vocals, cello, effects --- Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi. Artwork by Laurie Tompkins and Suze Whaites.

Laurie & Olly – Ample Profanity

Trost

Ex tape label Trost now publishes free jazz contemporary classics on LP. 

"Found in the archives of FMP!
 The very first – never released – recordings of the Schlippenbach Trio." "Pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach along with Evan Parker on tenor and soprano saxophone and Paul Lovens on drums are one of the longest lasting and most well respected groups in free jazz improvisation. Apparently it all began here on April 2, 1972 during the Workshop Freie Musik at the Acadamy of the Arts, Berlin. It hardly sounds like a first recording, because they come out of the gate with almost telepathic unity on "Deals" which is a continuous collective improvisation lasting over thirty eight minutes. The musicians show an amazing degree of stamina considering that the music is played with a very exciting degree of high energy. While each of these musicians were well on their way to developing their own unique original sounds, Schlippenbach displays a fascinating degree of classical technique filtered through the funhouse fractals of Thelonious Monk's music and Evan Parker's love of John Coltrane is evident. A comparison for Paul Lovens escapes me, but perhaps the fast fleet form of Andrew Cryille or Sunny Murray would be apt. "Deals" is a wonderful roller coaster, most exciting for me when they are barreling ahead full blast with Parker's caustic tone leading the charge over percussive piano and drums. There is quite a bit of dynamism at play as well, the musicians throttle through different speeds and dissolve into solos and duos as the joyride plows onward. Far from exhausted, there are three more shorter improvisations: "Village", "With Forks and Hopes" and then appropriately "Then, Silence." These shorter tracks point to a sharper juxtaposition than the lengthy leading track and show that the group has a wide range and diverse manner of approaches at their command. This was a very enjoyable album, quite exiting in the rough and tumble way that I enjoy, since I often lose my way listening to very quiet and abstract music. This is a must for fans of European free improvisation and is quite interesting in that it shows where the heralded trio got its start." (Music and More) --- Alexander von Schlippenbach / piano 
Evan Parker / tenor and soprano saxophone Paul Lovens / drums --- Recorded by an unknown engineer april 2nd 1972 during the Workshop Freie Musik at the Acadamy of the Arts, Berlin.
All music by Parker/Von Schlippenbach/Lovens
Mastering by Olaf Rupp & Martin Siewert. Produced by Jost Gebers. Cover by Lasse Marhaug. Photos Dagmar Gebers

Schlippenbach Trio – First Recordings

Umlaut

European music collective born in Stockholm in 2014 and currently based in Berlin and Paris. New free music and old repertoires re-imagined. 

After meticulous historical research and recording transcriptions, Pierre-Antoine Badaroux and his orchestra built a new repertoire based on the work of European musicians who discovered and took over jazz - specifically between (1925-1940). These tracks give us a take on the story of the birth of jazz in this new territory at a very special time, and brings to life a music that made history. "Compositions from USSR, Spain or Tchekoslovakia are to be discovered! And maybe, among many others, you will re- discover the swing touch from the British pianist Jack Hylton, the Belgian saxophonist Fud Candrix or Léo Vauchant the French and then Californian trombonist." "The talented and festive 14 musicians of UMLAUT BIG BAND, coming from the new jazz scene (ONJ) and/or from the European improvisation avant-garde (Peeping Tom, Zoor), gathered in 2011 to celebrate with its ecstatic audience the energy of the good ol’ swing bands." --- The Umlaut Big Band are: Pierre-Antoine Badaroux / direction and saxophone alto  Antonin-Tri Hoang / saxophone alto, clarinet Geoffroy Gesser / saxophone tenor and clarinet Jean Dousteyssier / saxophone tenor and clarinet Benjamin Dousteyssier / saxophone alto and baryton  Brice Pichard, Louis Laurain, Emil Strandberg / trumpet Fidel Fourneyron, Michaël Ballue, Nicolas Grymonprez / trombone Romain Vuillemin / guitarBruno Ruder / piano Sébastien Beliah / bass Antonin Gerbal / drums --- Recorded on the 23-27 February, 2015 at Le Luisant, Germigny-L’Exempt. Mixed and mastered by Ken Yoshida. Design by Sven-Åke Johansson et Dominique Hamot.

Umlaut Big Band – Euroswing No. 1

Grip, Denzler and Johansson, respectively in their early thirties, early fifties and early seventies, found each other through the intertwining scenes between Paris and Berlin. When taking a look at their previous musical activities you will get an exquisite account of the contemporary history of experimental improvised musics (yes, plural!) in Europe. It is a dense heritage in service of forming a new model for a creative process. Emerged through the questioning of methods, Neuköllner Modelle combine bipolar procedures in creating something which could be likened with a retarding ballad of the insistent up-tempo murmur accelerating in the backdrop-world of today. "Neuköllner Modelle is a gathering of musical ideas which function really good together. Our instruments and unique way of handling them formed the model serving the creation of Neuköllner Modelle. First there was an idea of the music, then there was the band. Our language is individually different and slowly changing, therefore we have something to say when we play. We are common in being different. A common thought is sometimes more reducing than a dissident. Anyway, without tension or friction, no music. In my music these opposing elements are of great importance. "Sektion 1-2" is an ambitious production in the sense that we have made (and make) our best to make it reflect the first idea we had. The questions of our age-differencies are not so interesting for me. It is more of an obvious and natural fact. What is more sad, maybe, is that not so many musicians today work across the invisible generational borders.'' Joel Grip, interviewed on the Free Jazz Blog "Pairing Denzler, a musician with an astute approach to minimalist saxophone (check out Tenor (Potlatch, 2012)), with Grip, a collocating musician who ties many disparate European improvisational forms together, and Johansson, the Swiss army knife (although he is Swedish) of drummers, is a genius amalgam of musicians." - All About Jazz --- Bertrand Denzler / saxophone Joel Grip / double bassSven-Åke Johansson / drums --- Recorded by Andrew Levine at Sowieso, Berlin, November 2015. Mastered by Werner Dafeldecker. Cover design by Teresa Iten. Notes by Bastian Zimmermann. Produced with the support from The Swedish Art Council.

Neuköllner Modelle - Sektion 1 - 2

One of the best records of 2017 for sure. Four of the most idiosyncratic and creative voices at the margins of jazz, imagine their way into and around the music and philosophy of Ahmed Abdul-Malik. This is music to listen, dance and think to. A new jazz record, from a new jazz band. [Ahmed] make music about the music of Ahmed Abdul-Malik. They excavate, re-inhabit and use a-new the now overlooked documents, and fragmentary plans, of his mid-20th century synthetic vision to produce a new jazz imagination for the 21st century. Ahmed-Malik (1927-1993) was a NYC bassist, oudist, composer, educator and philosopher. A potent(ial) influence on Coltrane and Monk (we imagine), he was also a significant composer in his own right. (Ignored into creative obscurity, he spent his final decades teaching, and performing seldom). His albums Jazz Sahara (1958) and East Meets West (1960) fuse aspects of Arabic and East African musics and thought, his committed long-term relationship with Sufi Islam, and then-modern jazz and thinking – in revolutionary and vital ways. The product is exciting, radical, raw, and beautiful. But, as well as honouring these traditions, Abdul-Malik invented and imagined a lot*. Abdul- Malik’s straddling, synthetic and inclusive vision is one of the great projects of the imagination in jazz. He mixed sounds and ethics, meanings and beliefs in open, experimental ways without dogma. And so do [Ahmed]. They visit and (re)think his compositions and the process potential in them. They play the notes, but use them, and the ideas in and about them, as vehicles for their unique imaginations, instrumental approaches and ideas. Through his compositions they re-imagine and re-synthesize, moving from what they know into newly creative space. They imagine themselves into the future, free of the dogma, clichés and cloy neo-classicisms of current ‘improvised music’ and ‘free jazz’. ** Kelley, R.D.G. (2012) ‘Ahmed Abdul-Malik’s Islamic Experimentalism’ in Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times. Cambridge: Harvard University Press: 91-119 talks about this in his brief but fascinating study. --- Joel Grip / bass Antonin Gerbal / drums Pat Thomas / piano Seymour Wright / saxophone --- Recorded live at Hagenfesten in Dala-Floda, Sweden, August 6, 2016 by Arve Birkeland. Mixed at Studio206.de by Patrick Petzold Photography and design by Sven-Åke Johansson. Produced by Joel Grip and Seymour Wright. Sleeve notes by Robert Levin. 

أحمد Ahmed – New Jazz Imagination

Edition Wandelweiser

Publishing outfit from the Wandelweiser collective - an international group of composers/performers experimenting with silence.

Edition Wandelweiser co-founder Jürg Frey presents the starkly beautiful minimalism of ’24 Wörter’, a song cycle based around the album’s evocative song titles, and performed by the trio of Regula Konrad (soprano), Andrew Nathaniel McIntosh (violin), and Dante Boon (piano). They’re mostly very succinct works with no detectable fat to trim, forming a gorgeous, dreamlike archipelago of experimental contemporary classical compositions... “Jürg Frey in conversation with Thomas Adank: JF: The 24 words are the titles of the individual pieces, and they are at the same time the entire text. They are also a list that shows how the piece gets from a beginning to an end. It is, in a sense, a cycle not simply a collection of pieces - a cycle which begins, makes a journey and ends at a different place. TA: If I had to categorize this list of words, it seems to me they are addressed to quite different areas. Herzeleid (Heartbreak) for example, sounds old-fashioned, Einsamkeitsmangel (Lack of Loneliness) almost sounds like a neologism, as do Halbschlafphantasie, (Half-Sleep Fantasy) Sehnsuchtslandschaft (Landscape of Longing), Vergessenheitsvogel (Bird of Oblivion). Others, such as Tod (Death), Schlaf (Sleep), Glück (Happiness), Wind (Wind), are very often used in everyday life. Did you, as you compiled this list, consider these categories? Or did you tell yourself a story that made these words necessary? JF: I was thinking in categories. At first I really wanted to make an even more rigid sequence. As it now stands, with the long words at the end and the short words in the middle, you can still feel a little of this structure; also at the beginning, which has many words with "e" and "ei". However, now it is not so strict. The words developed lives of their own, and this displaced some of the original structure. Some are everyday words, others are made by combining words, and some words found individual paths into the piece, including some very personal things. L'oiseau d'oubli ("Vergessenheitsvogel",Bird of Oblivion) comes from Edmond Jabès and is a tribute to this author I adore. But I also think that here Jabès has given me the perfect word. --- Dante Boon / pianoRegula Konrad / vocalsAndrew Nathaniel Mcintosh / violin --- Recorded 16.17 September 2013, Aarau, Schweiz.

Jürg Frey – 24 Wörter

Three works - two for large ensembles of performers on sax, guitar, clarinet, voice, percussion, horn, flute, vibes, and objects that belie the size of the group in its fragile presences, with a shorter trio of Frey, Greg Stuart and Erik Carlson transitioning the large pieces; compositions conceived as both short presences within abundant orchestration.  We tend to connect the aspect of structure with safety and stability;the ephemeral, in contrast, in something uncertain and fleeting, something not easy to grasp. thus structure and ephemerality seem to be opposites. in a musical work, though, the can coexist equivalently.one on the one hand, the sum of constructive processes and clear formal decisions leads to a clear architecture.consistently taking it into spheres of lightness and evanescence.the persuasive, coercing power immanent to structure must be avoided. structure then becomes fragile and permeable, allowing the ephemeral to unfold its presence, and, in this presence, to evoke a gleam of permanence.a substantial part of my work takes place in this intermediate zone.a structure hardly touched gives rise to a music that simply wants sensation. a breeze, light and shadow,spaces of colour, a glimpse, a landscape. - Jürg Frey, sketchbook, 2007. ---  University Of South Carolina Emperimental Music Workshop Ensemble are: Jürg Frey / clarinetPhilip Snyder / fluteRachel Whelan / flute, pianoJames Easteppe / guitarJohn Kammerer / hornBailey Seabury / percussionBrian Bethea / saxophoneGreg Stuart / vibraphone, percussionErik Carlson / violinNikil Sairam / violinLogan McLean / voiceMichael Halbrook / objectsAJ Karp / objectsBrooke Rosenberg / objectsChris Ruggiero / objectsDrake Strobel / objectsEric Dennis / objectsJessica Russell / objectsKallam Ashmore / objectsLauren Phillips / objectsMichael Halbrook / objectsNeil Thomas / objectsOlivia Smithson / objects --- Recorded, mixed and mastered by Jeff Francis at Columbia, SC, April 2016. Made possible by a grant from SC honours college through generous support of jeannette and marshall winn ’74.

Jürg Frey – Ephemeral Constructions

"'Air" is yet another utterly impressive offering from, in my opinion, one of the most consistently extraordinary composers at work today, one who continues to unveil new facets of her persona. Hear it." - Brian Olewnick "And if you would ask me for a statement to composing, to my composing – I would answer: listening becomes the awareness of fading sound. Fading sound is the link between life and art; between perception in daily life and perception while performing, while composing. And the awareness of fading sound may become the awareness of presence.I am pianist and – in addition – organist. As organist I never forget that the organ is a wind-instrument. My pieces for organ and my “installations” for organ (the installations last many hours) ask: Am I realizing a piece? There is hardly anything you may hear in the church. The organ releases as a jewel each single sound; each stream of air; each noise: disappearing into the space of the hall. The listener will find the way to listening: in this particular room with this particular organ and its streams of sound/ air/ wind. All sound, all streams of air and noises are quiet; sometimes hardly recognizable. The sound of music; the noise of music; the sound and noise of everyday life: they cut into each other. Both sound and noise of music do not depend on silence as with a piece of music. Both sound and noise do not need any silent location: they are quiet themselves; their quietness creates silent rooms, which welcome all sounds. It is organ the machine and human beings working together. Man cannot breathe sounds of almost eternal duration; but the organ must not be considered a machine. My pieces for organ require the player: moving the keys; make the winds stream. Sounds, wind, noises of the organ as a wind-instrument and the silence at sacred spaces: not a coincidence. Churches’ sacred spaces turn into locations for people to nothing more than just be there and breathe; where people can listen – unhindered by any possible meaning of sounds and streams of air. In spite of the fact that the organ may have an endless breath – I composed one of my first organ pieces dazwischen (between) (2000) with two drones – you can hear “nearly nothing” by listening to the streams of air." - Eva-Maria Houben --- Recorded 2014, ref. church Elgg, Switzerland (ein schlummer), Hardstudios Winterthur, Switzerland (aufhören; atmen V: flutes), St Margareta, Dortmund-Eichlinghofen (atmen 5, organ)

Eva Maria Houben - Air - works for flutes and organ

Weighter

Contempary composition label started in 2013 by percussionist & composer Sarah Hennies. 

"Tim Feeney seeks to explore and examine the timbral possibilities inherent in everyday found and built objects. He treats his percussion setup as a friction instrument, using bows, scrapers, and rosined drumheads to capture and amplify frequencies that go unheard when an object is struck with a traditional mallet. He supplements this acoustic console with an electronic instrument, arranged from mixers, contact microphones, and effects pedals, that synthesizes and alters the spectral characteristics of low-fidelity tones, feedback, and noise. Tim worked for years within Boston’s timbral improvising community, a group of musicians interested in unstable sounds and silences, exploring austere#combinations of sound and the otherworldly ripple effects that pulse through#a silent space and alert ears. He has performed with musicians including thereminist James Coleman, cellist/electronic musician Vic Rawlings, pianist Annie Lewandowski, tape-deck manipulator Howard Stelzer, trumpeter Nate Wooley, sound artists Jed Speare and Ernst Karel, saxophonist Jack Wright, the trio Meridian (with percussionists Nick Hennies and Greg Stuart), and#the trio ONDA (with vocalist Ken Ueno and violinist Hillary Zipper. His concerts have been held at experimental spaces such as the Red Room in#Baltimore, Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art, Firehouse 12 in New Haven, Connecticut, the Knitting Factory New York, and the Stone, as well as the Center for New Music and Audio Technology at UC-Berkeley, the Stanford#Art Museum, Princeton University, and Dartmouth College." --- Performed and recorded by Tim Feeney in Berkshire, NY, and Tuscaloosa, AL, 2010-2013.

Tim Feeney – Caroline

“Fusées” isn’t the first collaboration between Thomas Bonvalet and Jean-Luc Guionnet, their first joint effort “Loges de Souffle” appearing on Be Coq last year. The same label also put out a vinyl edition of “Fusées”, but now Sarah Hennies’ label Weighter Recordings has thankfully stepped in with a CD and download release for the rest of us. Although the two artists are primarily known for their attachments to a particular instrument (guitar for Bonvalet, saxaphone for Guionnet), these instruments are only recognisably audible towards the end of the album, with the majority of sounds belonging to the percussive and analogue-electronic domains. In fact, so rhythmically driven is the album that I would’ve guessed that one of them was a percussionist. The album has a roughness and warmth to its timbres that is very appealing. Ideas unfold at a steady pace, not remaining static but not rushing anywhere either — a pleasure in sounds, but also in their organisation. The album title translates into English as ‘rockets’, and while there’s plenty of chemical energy and fire, there are also clear trajectories and flight plans. Whether these trajectories were planned out in advance or made up on the fly is, from the listener’s point of view, perhaps not so important. Developing structure can be clearly heard on tracks such as ‘2 mer D_v3’, where the interplay between synth stabs and pounding percussion twists and turns in an intricate dance. Even at its most off-kilter, such as in the broken ringtone melody of ‘1 mer B_v6_oct’, the music retains a sense of intention and direction; the transition through several shades of chaos is as detailed and as captivating as the harmonic micro-shifts of Hennies’ percussive rolls, just with much brasher colours. The guitar playing on ‘3 mar N_v3’ produces both percussive rhythm and modulating sinewave-like pitches, a synecdoche for the shapes of the album as a whole. Later in the piece, long single-note sax crescendos mould timbre and volume like clay on a potter’s wheel, inflected by stop-start percussion — a stunning effect. Only very rarely, such as on the last track, does the music slide into stock free improvisationish territory, competently done but already explored. “Fusées” is a propulsive album bursting with ideas, distilled into lucid and finely-balanced forms that dazzle and enthral." - Fluid Radio --- Thomas Bonvalet / audio ducker, microphones, amplificateurs, frappements de pieds et de mains, peau de tambour, banjo six cordes, componium, diapasons, plectre de pavot sec … Jean Luc Guionnet / deux vieux orgues électriques (Bontempi Tempest & Farfisa Matador), trois petits harmoniums, une table de mixage bouclée et quelques micros contacts et magnétiques, un petit trumpet speaker mobile, trompette de poche, saxophone soprano --- Recorded at Instants Chavirés, January 2014 by Adrian Riffo. Thanks to Instants Chavirés, Adrian Riffo, La Fonderie and François Tanguy.

Thomas Bonvalet & Jean-Luc Guionnet – Fuseés

Matchless Recordings

Run by percusionist Eddie Prévost, Matchless contains contemporary and classic free jazz, improvisation and noise.

Complete audio recordings of Evan Parker, John Edwards and Eddie Prévost's May 2013 residency at Cafe OTO.  --- Evan Parker / tenor saxophone John Edwards / double bass Edwin (Eddie) Prévost / drums Alexander von Schlippenbach / piano Christof Thewes / trombone --- "Given the different line-ups and the inclusion of both sets from each of three nights, the listener is presented with the chance to hear the music exposed and developing in many dimensions. Not only can each player be heard by himself and in shifting combinations - duet, trio or quartet - with the others, but the progression in mood and approach across an entire evening can be clearly appreciated. This is particularly marked on the second disc, where the careful exploration of the first set is succeded by the all-in surge of the second, which begins as if the four are resuming an interruped conversation. From the first night to the last, the music played over these three nights is of the highest quality. What can't be captured in the discs, but should never be underestimated, is the presence of listeners whose attentiveness cleared and charged the space in which the performers could do their work of creating a music as delicate in its inner workings as it is robust in its insistance on building for itself, night after night, a world without walls." - Richard Williams. --- Audio recorded by Giovanni LaRovere. Mastered by Rupert Clervaux. 

3 Nights at Cafe OTO