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Please note that whilst postage costs are included in the price of these items, we may be unable to send this out until we re-open. Please email us at info@cafeoto.co.uk if you have any queries, otherwise we will drop you a line after purchase to arrange delivery when possible.

Many thanks to Xper. Xr - one of the pioneers of Chinese industrial noise music in the 80's - for donating this unique object with a history! "Relic, hammer, circa 1993" "Part of an instrument used at the 1st Hong Kong International independent Music Festival. At approx.10pm on the 3rd September, 1993, Xper.Xr. and the gang were shredding the stage with an angle grinder, hammers and other utility tools, while attempting to blow up a bicycle inner tube. At a crucial moment during the set, venue staffs intervened and decided to unplug the set; commotions ensued both on and off stage and in the heat of the moment, this fateful hammer broke off the handle, missiled through the air, and went straight into the forehead of a front row audience, drawing blood. The operator of this piece was an original member of the Orphic Orchestra, a childhood friend of the artist, who has unfortunately passed away on the 8th March, 2020, at 12:44pm. Traces of blood from that evening might still be present on this object, but will require forensic tests to reveal." One of a handful of experimental musicians to emerge in musically conservative Hong Kong in the eighties, the cryptically named Xper.Xr gained a measure of notoriety as arguably the first Chinese ‘industrial noise’ musician. Please note that whilst postage costs are included in the price of this item, we may be unable to send this out until we re-open. Please email us at info@cafeoto.co.uk if you have any queries, otherwise we will drop you a line after purchase to arrange delivery when possible.







Joseph Jarman (1937 - 2019) was a saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist best known as a founding member of trailblazing avant-garde jazz group Art Ensemble of Chicago. Jarman was responsible for the Art Ensemble’s signature face paint and elaborate costumes as well as the pioneering theatrical and multimedia elements of their shamanistic performances, which could include dance, comedy, performance art, surreal pranks, and—notably—the recitation of Jarman’s poetry. In 1977, Art Ensemble of Chicago Publishing Co. published Jarman’s Black Case Volume I and II: Return From Exile, a collection of writing conceived across America and Europe between 1960 and 1975. Comprised largely of Jarman’s flowing, fiery free verse—influenced by Amus Mor, Henry Dumas, Thulani Davis, and Amiri Baraka—the book also features a manifesto for “GREAT BLACK MUSIC,” notated songs, concert program notes, Jarman’s photos, and impressions of a play by Muhal Richard Abrams, the founder of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians of which Jarman was also an original member. Jarman writes poetry of personal revolutionary intent, aimed at routing his audience’s consciousness towards growth and communication. He speaks with compassionate urgency of the struggles of growing up on Chicago’s South Side, of racist police brutality and profound urban alienation, and of the responsibility he feels as a creative artist to nurture beauty and community through the heliocentric music that he considers the healing force of the universe. A practicing Buddhist and proponent of Aikido since a 1958 awakening saved him from the traumatic mental isolation of his time dropped by the US army into southeast Asia, Jarman sings praise for the self-awareness realization possible through the martial arts. With cosmic breath as its leitmotif, his poetry both encourages and embodies a complete relinquishing of ego. While some of the poems contained within Black Case have already been immortalized via performances on classic records by Jarman and Art Ensemble of Chicago, its republication in print form breathes new life into a forgotten document of the Black Arts Movement. --- With a new preface by Thulani Davis and an introduction by Brent Hayes Edwards  142 pages 8.25 x 6.75 inches Paperback, perfect bound edition of 2,000

Joseph Jarman – Black Case Volume I and II: Return From Exile

10 Albums – 91 total tracks – 594 minutes (10 hours) of all new music created expressly for this collection. That William Parker is a bassist, composer and bandleader of extraordinary spirit and imaginative drive is common knowledge among any with an interest in the progressive jazz scene of the past 25 years or more. What’s become increasingly apparent, though, is Parker’s stature as a visionary of sound and song – an artist of melody and poetry who works beyond category, to use the Ellingtonian phrase. The latest multi-disc boxed set from Centering Records/AUM Fidelity devoted to Parker’s expansive creativity underscores his virtually peerless achievement in recent years. Migration of Silence Into and Out of the Tone World (Volumes 1–10) is a 10-album collection of vocal and instrumental suites all recorded expressly for this set between late 2018 and early 2020, with women’s voices at its core. This is music as empathetic as it is intrepid, as philosophical as it is visceral, as resolutely modernist as it is attuned to tradition. Parker’s art not only draws from the deepest well of African-American culture; it breathes in inspiration from across the globe, with sounds drawn from Africa, Asia and Indonesia as well as Europe and the Americas; there is free improvisation and re-imagined sonic collage; there are album-length explorations of solo piano and solo voice, along with string ensembles and ancient wind instruments. There are dedications to jazz heroes, Native Americans and Mexican migrants, plus tributes to the great African-American culture of Harlem and the mix of passion and compassion Parker found in vintage Italian cinema. Migration of Silence Into and Out of The Tone World conjures a vast world of music and feeling, and its creation is a feat that ranks with that of the most ambitious talents in any genre.  --- MUSICIANS William Parker: compositions, bass & addt’l instruments Featuring: an international, inter-generational array of singers & musicians, drawn from both long-standing colleagues and a new generation of devoted artists. --- Composed, Arranged & Produced by William Parker for Centering Records, © Centering Music (BMI) Recorded, Mixed & Mastered by Jim Clouse at Park West Studios, Brooklyn, NY : November 2018 – February 2020 [ except THE MAJESTY OF JAH - click on 'lyrics' above, and as noted in booklet ] All text written by William Parker (except as noted in booklet) Artwork throughout this work by Jo Wood-Brown Box Set Production & design by AUM Fidelity

William Parker – Migration of Silence Into and Out of The Tone World – [Volumes 1–10]


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

Multi-disciplinary Parisian artist Jean-Luc Guionnet presents us a magnum opus: Totality. "Why "Totality"? I don’t know. Neither why, nor what, nor how, where, or when... You can be sure that no obvious rational issues drove any of my decisions. There are probably many secrets within this work, but no demonstrations, and not one rebus. There are neither prescriptions nor descriptions, or perhaps both compressed into a pellet, even if that sounds a little gross. Actually, if I now feel sorry for the people who were not included, I also feel sorry for those who were. I once had an old car with no stereo, so I use to sing while driving to keep myself alive, aware, awake, and sometimes I recorded those moments. One day, in 2017, while the machine was recording, I didn't sing but talked... something I never did and never do. My voice sounded like that of a stranger, as well as what I was saying. I nearly forgot about this recording until we started receiving bizarre commands, and for some reason it came back to mind. There are 83 voices, all of whom I know, some of them very well, 4 only friends-of-friends, in 20 or so languages. I’ll let you imagine the details of the whole process; your images are part of the piece. Furthermore : All sounds, all music I composed, played, recorded, mixed, commentated, sang, and so on. There are no quotations of any kind. Parts A, B & C are not to be listened to separately as 3 different pieces: they are like the 3 movements of a single composition. Knowing that the first part ("incipit cambodgien") is one of the loudest, please listen to "Totality" as loud as possible. (thanks to Lucas)" - Jean-Luc Guionnet -- Voices in order of appearence: Daravuth LyNicolas CarrascoElizabeth Saint JalmesJoe ColleyLoty NegartiAda DiaconescuPatrick GuionnetHoussam El BokeiliMattinIngrid SchmolinerSeymour WrightKlaus FilipNaomi VerdonSamo KutinLuke FowlerMarcus SchmicklerVincent BouchotÉric CordierCaroline PouzollesFrantz LoriotCyprien BusoliniSonia FleuranceShaul KohnTimothée QuostTchang YixinSacha AksinChing Ching CheungRay BrassierLaurent PascalYan JunSantiago GardeazabalLaszlo JuhaszYanik MiossecIris PoonXabier ErkiziaChristophe MacéJoel GripPavel TchikovAlexander LauThomas CharmetantAnnette KrebsJeremy KennedyJason KahnClaire BergeraultBertrand DenzlerAndrew ChoateGaudenz BadruttIban RegnierAnna GaïottiNicole KhouriLou Neva ZlatanovaEmma De LauraNatasa SerecLotus Edde KhouriÉric La CasaGael LeveugleTaku UnamiAli RobertsonXperXrFredie DecombeVéronique RusticiBarry EssonMartin MichaudAlessandro BosettiPeter KolovosMarc BaronFrançois DurifWill GuthrieClarence Pouzolles-CatelaNadia Bou AliClayton ThomasSophie DaullNikos VeliotisMarc FèvreRobert BastienRhodri DavisStéphane RivesNeil DavidsonCristian AlvéarLuka ZagoričnikMartin TétreaultMoussa SyPascal BattusSeijiro Murayama& myself

Jean-Luc Guionnet – Totality

Shofar was founded by Raphael Rogiński in 2007. From the very beginning, its program consists of music related to the mystical Jewish tradition. The pieces they perform come from pre-war musicological research from Ukraine, Poland and Moldova. They are most often "niguns", or "magical religious songs that are supposed to introduce into a trance and ecstasy". By keeping the sound material of the melody unchanged, it is possible to get to know the entire spectrum of Hasidic music and the culture associated with it. The enormity of this tradition is filtered at the end by the personalities of all three musicians. In this band, the music is the music of the present, not a museum specimen. The latest album was named "Right Before It Started" as it indeed happened to be recorded just the day before the first lockdown, back in March 2020. Out of confusion, anxiety and uncertainty of that moment came the music being quite opposite - meditative, balanced and hopeful. The record is also available on double vinyl (12"+8") via Gusstaff Records. -- Raphael Rogiński / guitarMikołaj Trzaska / saxophone, bass clarinetMacio Moretti / drumsElisabeth Harnik / prepared piano on track 4 -- right before it started was recorded by Shofar at Zolton/Morton Studios in Warsaw. Mixed by Paweł Krawczyk at Studio im. Kazimierza DeynyMastered by Sebastian Imbierowicz at home.All tunes traditional, except "Zay Zayer (Imperial)" by Shofar.Photos by Artur LądownikDesign by Macio

Shofar – Right Before It Started


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

"Japanese bluesman Kan Mikami is nothing less than an unalloyed force of nature. A skin-shredding blast of frozen wind from the poor, rural north of Japan that he calls home. In the late 1960s, like thousands of other Japanese young people Mikami made his way to Tokyo in search of a life different from that of his parents. Since then he has forcefully carved out a space for himself in the culture as a modernist poet, a raging folk singer, an author, a actor, an engaging TV personality, and one of Japan’s most uniquely powerful performers. For most of Mikami’s career as a singer, he has performed solo. Just him and his electric guitar against the world, creating jagged A-minor vamps to drive along the surreal wisdom of his lyrics. But he’s equally at home in more demanding improvisational contexts such as those provided here by John Edwards on bass and Alex Neilson on drums. Their dense propulsive textures seem to spur on Mikami, his voice arcing powerfully into fragmented spaces, his guitar darting, colliding, shedding jagged and angular splinters of sound. A pulsing, raging maelstrom of serrated-edged energy. Gruff, rough, honest and very, very real." - Alan Cummings --- Kan Mikami / vocals, guitar John Edwards / bass Alex Neilson / percussion --- Recorded live at Cafe OTO on 3rd April 2013 by James Dunn. Mixed by John Chantler. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi

Kan Mikami / John Edwards / Alex Neilson – Live at Cafe OTO

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


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

Louis Moholo Octet ‎ – Spirits Rejoice!

أحمد [Ahmed] – the quartet of Pat Thomas, Antonin Gerbal, Joel Grip and Seymour Wright – make music of heavy rhythm, repetition and syncopation set deep into an understanding of jazz and the obscure depths of its history. Across the 2 LPs which make up ‘Super Majnoon [East Meets West] ’the group work and rework the music of the late musician Ahmed Abdul-Malik to create a stamping, swinging, relentlessly propulsive record where profundity and physicality root right back to ecstatic feeling.  Abdul-Malik was a NYC bassist, oudist, composer, educator and philosopher who fused aspects of American, Arabic and East African thought, ethics, meanings and beliefs in open and experimental ways to make vital, forward leaning jazz. [Ahmed] reimagine the notes of Malik as they push for new ground. Melodies respirate, swell, escalate and combust in a driving jazz which yes is technical, yes is accomplished, but ultimately just foot-to-the-floor swings.  ‘Super Majnoon [East Meets West]’ is a title fused from the leader of the Master Musicians of Jajouka Bechir Attar’s description of [Ahmed] after hearing them in Switzerland last year (Majnoon is the arabic slang for ‘crazy’), and Abdul-Malik’s 1959 album East Meets West. Arriving as a double LP, the first comprises studio recordings of [Ahmed] at Hong Kong’s Empty Gallery in 2018 and the second a scorched live recording at OTO from August 2018. The record features photos by Bert Glinnand Taku Unamiand ‘in and out’ liner notes by James G. Spady – historian and journalist from Philadelphia, the author of books on Marcus Garvey and the trilogy of groundbreaking books on hip hop (Nation Conscious Rap, Street Conscious Rap, The Global Cypha).  --- [Ahmed] are: PAT THOMAS / piano  ANTONIN GERBAL / drums  JOEL GRIP / bass  SEYMOUR WRIGHT / alto saxophone  --- LP 1 recorded by David Sum at Empty Gallery Hong, March 31, 2018. LP 2 recorded by Paul Skinner at Café OTO London, August 25, 2018. LP1 mixed by David Sum. LP 2 mixed by Pat Thomas. Mastered by James Dunn. Liner notes © James G. Spady. Cover photo © Burt Glinn/Magnum Photos. Design by Maja Larsson. Produced by John Hawthorn, Jens Löwius and Seymour Wright.

Ahmed – Super Majnoon [East Meets West]

Pat Thomas is one of the most extraordinary pianists of our time. In a first time duo with saxophonist Matana Roberts, the lyricism of his distinctly dexterous and curious approach to the piano paints pathways for Robert’s poignantly vocal saxophone. Together the two speak; locked grooves and neat switchbacks on the keys form dialogue with long deliberate lines on the alto, punctuated by Roberts’ ecstatic vocalisations.  The trio of improvised pieces which make up the record’s first side are rich phrases, pitched at each end of the piano and stretched and pulled by Pat. His simple, repetitive cycles yield space and colour for Robert’s song, then let sounds build to a flourish; an armed run on the keys and some wonderfully soft landings.    The second side, a whole part in itself, goes deeper - hammered armfuls of piano and torn top breath blasting from Roberts fall in a flutter of delicate keystrokes. Call and response halves collide in a wonderful thunder before finding the edge of another line to hang onto. There is a remarkable sense of purpose, precision and restraint at play, as well as a peaceful milieu, which no doubt stems from the two players' fierce individual intelligence, creativity and curiosity.  The record arrives housed in a screen printed Kraftboard sleeve, die cut to reveal photographs taken by Dawid Laskowski and Fabio Luguro. Mastered by Giuessepe Ielesi who also mastered Pat Thomas’ The Elephant Clock of Al Jazari, we pressed this on 180g black vinyl. You can’t press a work called ‘The Truth’ on much less, can you? --- Pat Thomas / piano Matana Roberts / saxophone --- Recorded by James Dunn live at Cafe OTO on the 8th December 2018. Mixed by James Dunn and mastered by Guiseppe Ielasi. Photographs by Dawid Laskowski and Fabio Lugaro. Design and layout by Maja Larrson. 

The Truth – Matana Roberts & Pat Thomas

Icepick is the super-power trio of some of the busiest musicians on this planet – American, Brooklyn-based trumpeter Nate Wooley, Norwegian, Austin-based bass player Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, and American, Upstate New York-based drummer Chris Corsano. Hellraiser is already the third album of this trio and was recorded live in February 2018, on the occasion of a gathering supporting the Option series at Experimental Sound Studios (ESS) in Chicago. Originally, this performance was slated for another Wooley-led group, and only last-minute travel issues led to the rare occasion where all three members of Icepick happened to be free for the date in Chicago. The ESS continues to host and facilitate online Quarantine Concert Series even in this coronavirus lockdown era, reminding all of us what we used to celebrate not so long ago. The infrequent meetings of this trio do not affect the immediate flow of the music and the profound, telepathic interplay of Wooley, Håker Flaten & Corsano, all are masters of free-improvised format. The three collective, improvised pieces highlight their great experience and focus on structuring loose compositions through improvisation techniques, on account of powerful, wild eruptions but, still, with the fiery excitement of such a performance. Håker Flaten & Corsano build mighty yet quite flexible rhythmic patterns on the opening piece «El-Bound», fueling the soaring flights and deep whispers of Wooley. Wooley sketches «Chicago Deader» as a moving ballad while Håker Flaten & Corsano color his singing melody with disturbing, restless colors, slowly building a massive pulse. The last and longest piece, the 17-minutes «Blueline» cements the reserved atmosphere of this performance. The fractured rhythmic patterns of Håker Flaten & Corsano are the basis for Wooley’s intense employment of an array of extended breathing techniques, but soon enough all three musicians calibrate perfectly on their own dance. First in wild moves but later in more suggestive, poetic moves, repeating, again and again, the simple, melodic theme, all the way until the ecstatic coda, without raising hell, but still in perfect shape. --- NATE WOOLEY - Trumpet INGEBRIGT HÅKER FLATEN - Bass CHRIS CORSANO - Drums --- Released 2020; Astral Spirits

Icepick – Hellraiser

"Back in 2018, I was invited by Dave Rempis to participate in the Exposure Series at Elastic Arts in Chicago. The Series was for me a shining example of artist-lead organizing of different yet connected communities around the Music. From my standpoint, it is yet another in the continuum of such actions, specifically in Chicago, and has been a major inspiration for my work as an artist and for the material on this recording. The ensemble was assembled by Mr. Rempis, and was the first time the group had ever played together. The experience was immensely moving and was a major event in my own musical development, having the chance to lead a collective ensemble of true pillars in Creative Music. Later that year, I was invited back to Chicago by Ken Vandermark for the Option Series at Experimental Sound Studio. It was then when I was able to schedule a recording and subsequent concert with the group, revisiting the material conceived by the ensemble earlier that year. As for the actual composition, I wanted to showcase the collectivism of the sounds produced in that first meeting. With that in mind I listened back to the first recording and transcribed different movements, motifs, and themes, plus added a few original composition ideas. We then recorded these collective compositions, first in a private recording session, second in front of an audience at Elastic Arts, where the Quintet first met. What is presented here on this double album is a collection of both sessions. I want to convey again the collectivity of the Quintet. The concept of being a (C)omposer is a result of centuries of musical hierarchy, regarded and celebrated as the ultimate form of a musical artist. The example set out by the journeys of many in Improvised Music, including the gentlemen on this recording, allows for exploration of "composition" in true collective non-hierarchical form. There are no single series of notes, timbres, and dynamics conceived previously by an individual that was then imposed. Rather the Music was allowed to be presented with equal representation from each individual. The "Composer" here, is merely the organizer of the spirit energy of the ensemble. This is the nature of the beautiful offering that This Music provides." -- Luke Stewart, July 2020.  --- Luke Stewart - Bass, Compositions Edward Wilkerson, Jr. - Reeds Ken Vandermark - Reeds Jim Baker - Piano Avreeayl Ra - Drums --- Released: Oct 2020, Astral Spirits

Luke Stewart – Exposure Quintet

Saxophonist Mars Williams is most famous as a member of The Psychedelic Furs, but has proven his jazz bona fides with Peter Brötzmann and Ken Vandermark, and while guiding Liquid Soul and Hal Russell's NRG Ensemble, to name just a few. Williams also leads the Albert Ayler tribute band Witches & Devils, and out of their holiday concerts grew a unique tradition. One listen and you'll hear that, as odd as that concept may seem, it's brilliantly effective, with the disparate melodies working together in their common projection of joy and celebration -- which is painfully needed at this point in time amidst the current climate. For the last four years, along with the annual Chicago performances, Williams brough "An Ayler Xmas", to select cities in the US & Europe, featuring local improvisers from each host city. This particular album showcases two specific group performances from the 2019 touring in Chicago and NYC. These recordings highlight the unique personalities of the individual players Williams convenes, using some of the same material as jumping off points, each group creates an entirely unique sound that pays tribute to Ayler, the spirit of xmas and joyous improvisatio --- Side A: Chicago MARS WILLIAMS – SAX, TOY INSTRUMENTS JOSH BERMAN – CORNET JIM BAKER – PIANO, VIOLA, ARP SYNTH KENT KESSLER – BASS BRIAN SANDSTROM – BASS, GUITAR, TRUMPET STEVE HUNT – DRUMS Side B: New York MARS WILLIAMS - SAX, TOY INSTRUMENTS STEVE SWELL - TROMBONE HILLIARD GREENE - BASS CHRIS CORSANO - DRUMS NELS CLINE - GUITAR FRED LONBERG-HOLM - CELLO --- Released Nov 2020, Astral Spirits

Mars Williams – Mars Williams Presents An Ayler Xmas Vol. 4: Chicago vs. NYC

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

[Ahmed] – Nights on Saturn (communication)

"At each concert that I have ever given ( quite a few) at Cafe Oto I have tried to do something different or at least with a different line up.This concert in 2017 I was lucky enough to be able to call on two long time collaborators in Pat Thomas and Tim Hill, one that I have never played with before, Orphy Robinson and Michael Thieke with whom I have collaborated with both in Rome and Berlin on a few occasions in recent years. This concert was another version of my Spirit Songs collection of text made by cutting up Thomas Pynchon’s two novels, Gravity’s Rainbow and V, and singing them over a freely improvised score. There are a few versions, obviously all different and it was a great pleasure for me to have this group to help me help indulge in yet another version. Thank you and thanks to Cafe Oto for being. The text/poem ‘Rum’ is by the great poet trumpet player Shake Keane and is from an edition of his collected poetry work titled The Angel Horn published by The House Of Nehesi, that I picked up in St.Lucia. I particularly liked this poem because it reminded me of The Caribbean Club in Reading where I learned to love many things including the sound of dominos being played on sunday in the back bar by the elders. William Burroughs said something like ‘Cut into the present and the future will appear.’ The future will be improvised and the subtext will be cut up, re-arranged and tweeted I am sure." -Mike Cooper -- Mike Cooper - Lap Steel Guitar / Electronics / Vocals and All Song Text Apart from Lord Franklin (traditional)Pat Thomas - Keyboards / ElectronicsOrphy Robinson - Midi Vibraphone / ElectronicsTim Hill - Baritone and Alto Saxophones / ElectronicsMichael Thieke - Clarinet. -- Recorded by Tom Mudd at Cafe OTO on 29.9.17 Mixed and mastered by Oliver Barrett

Mike Cooper / Pat Thomas / Orphy Robinson / Michael Thieke / Tim Hill – 29.9.17

claire rousay is one of the most revelatory young artists to recently emerge from America. Flipping her tools between domestic musique concrete, voice recordings, percussion and multi-instrumentalism, claire has already amassed a wide array of both solo and collaborative works exploring human relationships and self perception. For this new piece she passes the mic away from herself, allowing a set of friends to respond to the open call of "tell me about someone you love". She also gives space to Twitter personality roche (aka @kvetchkween) to read out a selection of voice tweets. Melding these clips with her own domestic rumblings, oneiric synth washes, Mari Maurice's creeking violin and Derek Baron's wistful flute, claire acts as a documentary maker, an assembler of multitudinous lives, thoughts and feelings shot through her own subjective lens. With her careful editorial touch, claire reveals the intersection where the domestic and the banal meet the dramatic and near-mythic. An experimental micro documentary that's maybe about the meaning of love and our relationships with one another, lifted from her twitter news feed and shot into the metaphysical world. -- claire rousay - field recordings, synth & editing - Derek Baron - flute Mari Maurice - violin Voice recordings from Michael Schoeffel, Ryan Walker, sabrina ghieuw and Twitter personality, roche (aka @kvetchkween) Mastered by Andrew Weathers Artwork design by Oliver Barrett

claire rousay – ilysm

"Certainly always an enigmatic delicacy, this latest from Josephine Foster throws us further into the sublime. With two tracks that seem to complement and almost respond to each other, this latest from Café Oto’s series is a must listen and an exciting departure into fresh territory for this artist. On the first track, “Spellbinder”, Josephine takes us on a journey into the cyclical and interpenetrating layers of three humble instruments. Josephine plays them on top of each other, garnering chance encounters and interactions as she improvises in three through-composed layers, each time in partnership with her voice. She describes her instruments as beloved but imperfect, recalling the pump organ as having “a clumpy pump on the right with uneven delivery” and the folk harp as having “its flaws” but also realizing their advantages by embracing and embellishing their lack. This track is an ascent into the spiraling ephemeral state of being, with vocals weaving in and out chanting her setting of “om mani padme hum,” the sacred Buddhist mantra (translated into English as “Praise to the Jewel in the Lotus”) with each of the six Sanskrit syllables representing key aspects of the Buddhist teachings. In this piece, a cycle of chance encounters channeled through imperfect containers reaches some kind of noble truth here. On the second track “Experiment” Josephine truly goes into unchartered territory in this Cole Porter cover. In true homage to Porter’s lyrics, Foster has never presented a more “experimental” palette of synths and vocals and beats. “Experiment...Make it your motto day and night.Experiment...And it will lead you to the light.The apple on the top of the treeIs never too high to achieveSo take an example from EveExperiment… “ On Foster’s synth lines we almost think early Laraaji or Emerald Web but with the addition of Josephine’s voice I think more of the complex stylings of Robert Wyatt ‘s songcrafting. I also can’t help but think of Arthur Russell’s disco music experiments as it climaxes into a nice thick beat at the end created by Foster’s organ that seems to tie all the loose ends together. Both tracks on this record are cyclical in their own ways and their complementary nature to each other demands repeated listening, creating yet another cycle of the most experimental of earworms yet by Josephine Foster." -Ka Baird -- All music by Josephine Foster -- SpellbinderDouble trio for tenor recorder, lever harp, and pump organ and 3 voices Experiment (from Nymph Errant, by Cole Porter)synth/voice Recorded, mixed and performed by Josephine Foster Photo Silvia Camerin Mastering by Oliver Barrett

Josephine Foster – Spellbinder / Experiment

Akosh S. (Szelevényi) is a Hungarian saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist, improviser and composer. He has been living in France since '86. As the leader and founder of his group Akosh S. Unit, he has released many records at Universal. He once records and tours with the rock band Noir Désir, and he works with choreographer Josef Nadj, cultivates improvised music with Joëlle Léandre, Gildas Etevenard, Hamid Drake, etc. He composes music for theater, contemporary dance, films, and collaborates with French rappers Marc Nammour. Since 2016, he has been working with Hungarian musicians - double bassist Peter Ajtai and drummer Szilveszter Miklòs. These two young figures are already emblematic of current creative music in Hungary and a joy to see. the trio were invited to play in a trio at OCT-LOFT festival 2019, and the whole show was recorded and released as LP, DVD and CD here.  “Regarding the title of the album what I found by looking further is ‘Inside Out’. To explain in a few words from Hungarian: at the base, there is ‘itt’ = ‘here’, and ‘ott’ = ‘there’. From ‘itt’ derives ‘ide’ = ‘from there to here’, from ‘ott’ follows ‘oda’ = ‘from here to there’, so there is a dynamic in ‘ide’, which there is not in ‘itt’, which is stable. ‘Kint’ is ‘outside’. ‘Idekint' therefore means, that we are outside and we invite to be outside (while ‘Odakint’ would mean that we are inside, to designate the outside), not locked in our certainties, but in outside of it all, like free animals, or like homeless ones too, but also alive, outside our mother...” - Akosh S. --- 作曲 Composed by:Akosh Szelevényi (1, 3, 5, 7, 8);Akosh Szelevényi, Péter Ajtai, Szilveszter Miklós (2, 4, 6)录音 Recording:曾君 Zeng Jun;罗绿野 Luo Lvye混音 Mixing:刘英 Liu Ying;Akosh S.母带处理 Mastering:David Mascunan at Mastermixlabs制作人 Producer:涂飞 Tu Fei统筹 Coordinator:周雁朝 Zhou Yanchao;尹思卜 Yin Sibo Recorded at the 9th OCT-LOFT Jazz Festival on October 18, 2019B10 Live, Shenzhen, China  旧天堂书店出品 Published by Old Heaven Books 2020

Akosh S. Trio – Idekint / Out Here

Born in 1945, Guo Yongzhang is a true maestro of Henan Zhuizi, a traditional Chinese talking-singing art that has a history of over 100 years. Almost blind, he plays Zhuihu and Zhuibang to accompany his own singing. His vocal style is peculiar, resounding yet smooth, adopting various types of arias from traditional local operas such as Shandong Bangzi and Shandong Zaobang, and he always sings with deep feelings and great verve. Originated in Henan, Zhuizi is included in the national intangible cultural heritage list and has been popular in Henan and its nearby regions. Its main accompaniment musical instrument is Zhuihu, a two-stringed bowed instrument made of wood, and secondly the Zhuibang, a wooden percussion played with foot tapping. Since Zhuihu has a wide diapason with a soft sound and relatively high volume, the performer can use it to imitate the voice of human and animals. Guo was born with bad eyesight. Growing up in poverty, he never had enough food and had been living on begging in the nearby village with his parents. It was during that period he discovered Zhuizi for the first time, and was so obsessed with its unique charm that he decided to learn playing by himself. He bought a second-hand Zhuihu from the local opera troupe with wages from hard physical labor, and soon managed to play some short pieces by hard practice. However, it was still difficult for him to gain respect from the local folks without training under the traditional master-apprentice system that he couldn’t afford, and even worse, his eyesight went worse and worse to nearly blind. Not until he turns 17 was he reluctantly accepted by a Zhuizi master and has been assiduously learning and playing until now. Lyrics of Guo’s Zhuizi are about respecting the old, valuing the righteousness and compassion, while keeping a sense of humor. Today, he is widely-known in the border region of Suzhou, Shandong, Henan and Anhui, and is commonly regarded as a Zhuizi master. Guo has been playing among people tirelessly for decades. As he ages, Guo knows there is not much time left for him, and he feels sorry that nowadays only few people want to learn Zhuizi. He is worried that this precious art form would disappear someday. This studio album is recorded after Guo Yongzhang performing on the 5th Tomorrow Festival stage. Released by Old Heaven Books, 2019

Guo Yongzhang – Guo Yongzhang Zhuizi Selections

In response to the arguably self-righteous pronouncements made in the 1990s as to what jazz is and isn’t, Julius Hemphill (1938–1995) spoke up as he had done throughout his career. “Well, you often hear people nowadays talking about the tradition, tradition, tradition. But they have tunnel vision in this tradition. Because tradition in African-American music is wide as all outdoors.” This collection of music, this celebration of artistic collaborations that engaged Julius Hemphill throughout his life, adds much to what we know of his creativity in exploring the implications in that wide space.His work, done in what was not much more than twenty-five years, illuminated so many byways of that protean tradition, created in America against the direst of odds. Equally vital, Julius claimed, with great passion, his space to be expressive. He worked inward as much as he looked outward, in his artistic creativity and cultural engagements. --- Julius Hemphill with: Malinké Elliott, K. Curtis Lyle, Abdul WadudBaikida Carroll, John Carter, Olu DaraNels Cline, Alan Jaffe, Jehri Riley, Jack WilkinsJerome Harris, Dave Holland, Steuart Liebig, Roberto MirandaMichael Carvin, Alex Cline, Jack DeJohnette, Philip WilsonUrsula Oppens, Daedalus String QuartetRay Anderson, Marty Ehrlich, Janet Grice, John Purcell, Bruce Purse --- “Somehow I discovered I could write this music and play the saxophone. All that stumbling around and stuff, I ended up finally being able to play it a little bit. I ain’t the greatest by any means, not even close—but I think I’ve got depth, a broadness of my musical sensibility, that a lot of soloists don’t have, because they focus on that one thing, soloing. I want to develop the whole backdrop, the scenery. Once I found out that was possible, that I could collaborate with people, I came alive musically.” — Julius Hemphill This box set contains musical compositions and performances that have come to light from the Julius Hemphill Archive at the Fales Library of New York University. These performances present thirty-five Hemphill compositions culled from close to 180 audio and visual documents of his work. Twenty-five of these works did not receive a commercial recording in his lifetime. Also represented in this box set are ensemble contexts Julius formed which did not receive substantial, or in some cases, any public documentation. These performances put Julius’s improvisational work as a saxophonist and flutist to the fore, from solo to quintet contexts. (The one exception being Disc 4, where we hear pieces Julius wrote for others to interpret.) Equally important, these performances deepen our experience of Julius’s long associations in artistic collaboration. — Marty Ehrlich (from the liner notes)

Julius Hemphill – The Boyé Multi-National Crusade for Harmony

Garden of Jewels is a feast of ear food delivered with passion, fearlessness and a unity of purpose." –S. Victor Aaron, Something Else! --- Ivo Perelman / tenor saxophoneMatthew Shipp / pianoWhit Dickey / drums --- "Their collective sound is sophisticated in its inventiveness and elegant in its fury. Garden of Jewels demonstrates, once again, that Perelman is a uniquely accomplished artist whose prolific output is matched only by his brilliance. This intriguingly explorative work delights with its textured construct, thanks in great part to Perelman’s equally innovative colleagues. The sublime album is cerebral without being abstruse and visceral while eschewing self-indulgence and, as such, is a gem in its own right." –Hrayr Attarian, Chicago Jazz MagazineOne of the most exhilarating qualities shared by great improvising musicians is the ability to bring one’s immediate situation – the joys, sorrows, fears and desires of the day – into each unique performance. What made this most recent convening of the Ivo Perelman Trio so singular was the fact that not only were all three musicians – prolific saxophonist Ivo Perelman, pianist Matthew Shipp, and drummer Whit Dickey – immersed in the same present-day miasma, so was every potential listener, wherever they might be.Garden of Jewels was recorded in June 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic raged across the globe. On the day that these three longtime collaborators warily (and safely) entered the studio for the first time since the virus forced us indoors, the un-precedented circumstances provided the trio a profoundly urgent source of inspiration. At the same time, the country was in the midst of a series of turbulent protests that added an additional layer of vitality to the proceedings.“There was so much creative tension in the air,” Perelman recalls. “It was the first time that I came out of hibernation in my Brooklyn apartment, where I’d been focused on playing the saxophone for many, many hours every day while listening to sirens outside and wondering what life was about. Matt, Whit and I came together and cathartically created music out of all this mess.”While Garden of Jewels is only the second time that Perelman, Shipp and Dickey have recorded as a trio – the first, Butterfly Whispers, was released in 2015 – all three share a long and rich history. Shipp and Dickey, of course, worked together as integral members of the David S. Ware Quartet & in Shipp’s own Trio, while the pianist and Perelman have spent the last decade creating one of the most well-documented partnerships in improvised music history.The trio entered the studio without having discussed what might transpire at the session – the eight tracks that resulted provide vivid evidence of the band’s deft spontaneity, kaleidoscopic versatility and deeply felt camaraderie. It’s also the latest glimpse of the ongoing evolution of their collective identity. “We’re like scientists dealing with sound,” Perelman says with a chuckle. “Each recording is a means to check our development.”Also of note here is Perelman's revived interest in jewelry-making, which Perelman initially took up 20 years ago and resumed shortly before the pandemic. One example of his recent work graces the cover of Garden of Jewels. In addition to suggesting its title, the graceful, elegant piece seems to materialize the fluid swoops and whorls of Perelman’s tenor sax lines into golden arabesques.These pursuits not only provide an outlet for Perelman’s indefatigable creativity, but a source of light amidst the darkness of the present era. That balance is one that Perelman says the trio felt that June day in New York, and one whose energy pervaded beyond the studio walls.“There was a dark energy surrounding all of us, counterbalanced by the sheer power of creation. We had to become an antenna to capture the angst and anxiety of the times and transform it into art and catharsis. There was a social function to that music, not just for us but for anyone who might hear it one day. I left the studio with a new soul.” 

Ivo Perelman Trio – Garden Of Jewels

Lanaya is an instrumental trio from Bamako, Mali. They play music rooted in a centuries old tradition, in which the stories and sagas of Mali are musically preserved. The musicians are part of a professional caste, the griots or jalis. From generation to generation the knowledge is passed on; they are the keepers of the culture. All three Lanaya musicians are from one of the biggest and wellknown griot families, the Diabates. Djibril, the kora player (the 21-string harp-lute) is the nephew of the renowned Toumani Diabate, also his teacher. Fassery, on the balaphone, is the son of Keletigui Diabate, a key figure in the Malien music scene. Keletigui played with many African and western musicians, including Duke Ellington. Mohamadou Kamissoko is from a family of Ngoni players. The Ngoni is a small African guitar. His mother is Massara Diabate, a singer. All in their early twenties, Lanaya is the new generation. Within their own culture, this is traditional music still in full development. Each generation adds their own specific style, interpretation and arrangements. What stands out with Lanaya are their long, narrative improvisations and incredible virtuoso playing. The Ex met Djibril through Dutch master drummer Han Bennink, who played in Mali with, among others, Toumani. They invited Djibril for a tour in October '97. It was so amazing that in November '98 The Ex asked the whole group to come over, and it seemed like a good idea to release their first CD for that occasion. --- Balafon – Fassery Diabate Kora – Djibril Diabate Ngoni – Mohamadou Kamissoko --- Terp Records ‎– AS-01 Released April 27, 2017

Soun Soun, La Tradition Mandingue – Lanaya

The sixth journal from Blank Forms Editions presents archival documents and new writings on the intermedia collaborations of avant-garde jazz trumpeter Don Cherry and textile artist Moki Cherry --- Don Cherry and Moki Karlsson met in Sweden in the late '60s. They married and began to perform together, dubbing their mix of communal art, social and environmental activism, children's education and pan-ethnic expression "Organic Music." Their home in Tågarp became a locus of artistic production, attracting free-spirited musicians, poets, actors and artists with the promise of collective life. There, Keith Knox assembled Tågarp Publication Number One to document the collectivistic practices blooming under the Cherrys' guidance. Reproduced here, the text includes interviews with Terry Riley and Cherry, a piece on Pandit Pran Nath, a report on the Bombay Free School and a survey of the esoteric Forest University by Bengt af Klintberg. This book explores Don Cherry's work of the period through additional interviews by Knox, a piece on his Relativity Suite and an essay by Fumi Okiji. Moki Cherry's writings on her workshops are featured alongside full-color reproductions of her tapestries, used as performance environments by Don Cherry's ensembles. Cherry collaborators Bengt Berger and Christer Bothén contribute travelogues from the era. --- Edited by Lawrence Kumpf, Naima Karlsson, Magnus Nygren. Introduction by Lawrence Kumpf, Magnus Nygren. Text by Keith Knox, Rita Knox, Bengt af Klintberg, Iris R. Orton, Åke Holmquist, Pandit Pran Nath, John Esam, Michael Lindfield, Sidsel Paaske, George Trolin, Alan Halkyard, Moki Cherry, Don Cherry, Ben Young, Christer Bothén, Bengt Berger, Fumi Okiji. Interviews by Keith Knox & Rita Knox with Don Cherry, Terry Riley, Steve Roney.

Blank Forms – Blank Forms Journal 6: Organic Music Societies

Screenprinted on thick, quality paper. Design by Maja Larsson. Limited poster to celebrate the two day residency by the legendary and uncompromising Patty Waters.  From original listing:  Patty Waters must be acknowledged as a vocalist who has tested the limits of the human voice’s capabilities. Since her brief recording career in the mid-6O’s – after Albert Ayler brought her to the attention of ESP Disk – and despite performing very rarely, her influence has spread far beyond the realms of avant-garde and jazz. She has received much critical acclaim for her two ESP Disk recordings - Patty Waters Sings and Patty Waters College Tour. Waters' interpretation of Black is the Color of my True Love's Hair still remains a bold testament to the power of human expression. With a repertoire ranging from hushed piano solo ballads – in which her voice can fade to a whisper, barely audible – to performances using her voice as an instrument, conveying an incredible range of emotions, Waters is a singular artist and we're delighted to host her for a very rare two-night residency alongside Burton Greene (piano) and Tjitze Vogel (bass). “One of the best fucking singers alive.” – Rolling Stone “Praised by people like Miles Davis. her range moves easily from intimacy to introspection to rage. and her evocation of “Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair” has no parallel In musical history.” – San Francisco Sentinel “Hear her voice with the ears of wolves. A sound contour never before heard in American music and poetry. It transcends virtuosi vocalizing. It is presented as Shamanic ritual. The most perfect realization of Jazz song as siren song. Compels a revisioned understanding of the lure of the sweet woman's voice as a passage to paradise.” – Village Voice


Human Heads are an electro-pop sprechgesang duo from Glasgow. Human Heads deliver a whopping sensory twofer; a vial of fragrant oil for your proboscis and six doses of throbbing-synth-extrusions and poetry-speak-sung for your inky flappers. On listening, it’s the overall heaviness what mugs you first – narrative and synthetic. ‘You shouldn’t have met’ is a slice of crafty street recording, school kids on the blab rapping on death, that’s soon dive-bombing deeply like Sabbath picked up a couple of Korg SB-100’s rather than them dirty guitars. As the tracks unspool we follow stories (possibly reflections, possibly prophecies) on the full-body foxtrot and crucifixion. Pixelated piano is preceded by the delighted squeaking of a small child, a train’s rhythmic rattle and Scott Joplin’s entertaining hands. R.D. Laing is in a nostalgic mood so things end with the sort of dry-rot clunk Kanye would have chipped a tooth for on his self-titled Yeezus opus. --- Ben Ellul-KnightHannah Ellul --- They reverberate,they also absorb dregsthat came from our teenage diversionsCold and stony, the rubbery shadowBrought to lifeWith a whiff of a dank man-made holeAnd now a brightnessFeels higher and more determinedFuller now, gathering to block out extraneous letters, sightsMy own fingers trawling and trailinglips overstretchedRid the flavours from the mouthA narrative fading - goodMetallic churning // reaching out,receding again and overlaid with a negative etchingTryingA breathing cogNot circular but returning// familiar but not minea sweet spot between nape, pit, popper, pear //TryingA breathing cogNot circular but returningDo it with your eyes closedForA sweet spot between now, then, the rear of a dreamTrapped Doppler,Metal is cooling, becomes corkyLips overstretched, adjective snatchedSucked and blownTo reach equilibrium //Thinly domestic nowA drawn out teeter I can no longer perceiveBut it came from somewhere massive and hardA slow shock// A pattern cut from a metal sheetand now it’s on the movelays itself down over spoken undulationsuntil they form a new pattern, called a beat //received, pressing, driving,old and flammablesneaked up from within a refrigerated boxanother slow, pleasant shockThickly domestic now as we sinkSurvey the scatterManipulate the jointTiny and early, the echo ate its tailRebecca Wilcox --- Fractal Meat Cuts, 2021

human heads – in the afternoon

"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)