Covid-19 Survival

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.

XPER. XR'S HAMMER

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A rare document of the 1960s Black Arts Movement featuring Albert Ayler, Amiri Baraka, Milford Graves, Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor, and many more, The Cricket fostered critical and political dialogue for Black musicians and writers. Edited by poets and writers Amiri Baraka, A.B. Spellman, and Larry Neal between 1968 and 1969 and published by Baraka’s New Jersey–based Jihad productions shortly after the time of the Newark Riots, this experimental music magazine ran poetry, position papers, and gossip alongside concert and record reviews and essays on music and politics. Over four mimeographed issues, The Cricket laid out an anticommercial ideology and took aim at the conservative jazz press, providing a space for critics, poets, and journalists (including Stanley Crouch, Haki Madhubuti, Ishmael Reed, Sonia Sanchez and Keorapetse Kgositsile) and a range of musicians, from Mtume to Black Unity Trio, to devise new styles of music writing. The publication emerged from the heart of a political movement—“a proto-ideology, akin to but younger than the Garveyite movement and the separatism of Elijah Mohammed,” as Spellman writes in the book’s preface—and aimed to reunite advanced art with its community, “to provide Black Music with a powerful historical and critical tool” and to enable avant-garde Black musicians and writers “to finally make a way for themselves.” This publication gathers all issues of the magazine with an introduction by poet and scholar David Grundy, who argues that The Cricket “attempted something that was in many ways entirely new: creating a form of music writing which united politics, poetry, and aesthetics as part of a broader movement for change; resisting the entire apparatus through which music is produced, received, appreciated, distributed, and written about in the Western world; going well beyond the tried-and-tested journalistic route of description, evaluation, and narration.” --- David Grundy is the author of A Black Arts Poetry Machine: Amiri Baraka and the Umbra Poets (Bloomsbury Academic, 2019) and coeditor, with Lauri Scheyer, of Selected Poems of Calvin C. Hernton  (Wesleyan University Press, forthcoming). He is currently a British Academy Fellow at the University of Warwick, United Kingdom, where he is working on two manuscripts, Survival Music: Free Jazz Then and Now and Never by Itself Alone: Queer Poetry in Boston and San Francisco, 1943–Present  (Oxford University Press, forthcoming), and a further edited collection on Umbra.  A.B. Spellman is a poet, music critic, and former director of the Arts in Education Study Project for the National Endowment of the Arts.

THE CRICKET: BLACK MUSIC IN EVOLUTION, 1968–69

'The latest entry in An’archives’ ‘Free Wind Mood’ series, Ki is a trio that pits long-time collaborators Tamio Shiraishi (saxophone, voice) and Takahashi Michiko aka Mico (drums, voice, vocoder, melodica, piano, percussion) against drummer, percussionist and vocalist Fritz Welch. They each bring a wealth of experience, from Shiraishi’s early moves in the Japanese underground of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s – he was a founding member of Fushitsusha, and played with Taco and Machinegun Tango – to his legendary, late-night solo New York subway performances; he and Mico also spent some time playing with No Neck Blues Band, while Welch, currently based in Glasgow, has a long history taking in stints with Peeesseye, Lambs Gamble and FvRTvR. Tearful Face Of My Cute Love (Is Begging To Me), named after a yakuza song, is Ki’s first LP, after CD-Rs on Chocolate Monk (Ki No Sei, 2009) and Unverified (Stops Dropping, 2010). Documenting two live performances from 2008, it’s a startling, wild freedom chase, each piece stretching languorously across one side of the vinyl, giving the trio maximum space to thunder their way through space and time. Their West Nile 2008 show, on side one, opens with a battery of drums, fierce and livid, before Shiraishi’s unmistakable and remarkable whinnying, high-zone tone slithers into earshot. The stage is set, the battle moves forward, yet there’s remarkable simpatico between the three players, with Mico and Welch volleying guttural vocal exhortations at each other. When it does offer respite – see the sudden swoop into near- silence at around 12:30– everything’s still tense; who knows what’s around the corner? For all its fury, though, Tearful Face Of My Cute Love… is full of oddly lyrical moments, too – see the sweet melody that winds out, with gentle melancholy, near the very end of the West Nile performance. This lyricism also haunts the second side of the album, a performance from Glassland, Brooklyn, which seems more focused on the intersection of incidents, from clattering cymbals to ghostly swarms of sax scream, to dive-bombing spirals of vocoder. There’s an appealing sense of audio verité here, as though you’re in theroom with the performers, shaken and stirred by every movement, lost in the interlocking maze they’re weaving in real time. It’s a bracing, thrilling document of very immediate, human music – of three bodies moving through the world, sounding their environment.' - John Dale

Ki – Tearful face of my cute love [is begging to me]

Takuroku

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

When we asked Mariam Rezaei to submit a Takuroku release late in 2020 she responded by saying “I want to do something, but I want to make sure it's something special”. Almost a year later Mariam decided to team up with vocalist Alya Al-Sultani, presenting a first time duo on turntable and voice, sending lightning fast sonorisations bouncing off the walls of OTO. Mariam and Alya come from different but overlapping disciplines. After growing up as a classically trained pianist, Mariam has built a reputation over time as a prolific turntablist, DJ and improvisor, never shying away from interdisciplinary and experimental projects. Alya meanwhile is a British-Iraqi soprano, but has spent the last few years integrating improvisational techniques, microtonal ideas and Eastern influences in her music. Together their dexterous lungs and nimble fingers birth forms that dance in and out of each other: shifting, soaring, dipping, diving, but never sitting still.Mariam takes Alya’s vocals as content to throw back into the mix, forming multiple layers of chops and edits that ricochet back and forth. Alya’s vocals move between tender refrains, textural flurries and righteous bursts of operatic expression, meeting Mariam digital fx, textural drones and sonic swells in ecstatic symbiosis. Alya’s repeated aphorism “I want you, female,” throughout the start of the set spells it out. This is music about desire and liberation: fiery, sonically rambunctious and forever reaching for new heights. -- Alya Al-Sultani - voice Mariam Rezaei - turntables -- Recorded in Cafe OTO by Shaun Crook on the 30th of June, 2021 Mixed & mastered by Oliver Barrett

Alya Al-Sultani & Mariam Rezaei – Sister

Since 2006 the Portugese duo of Marta Ângela and João Artur (CALHAU!) have been quietly labouring away on their wonderfully tilted practice, embracing music, text, film, and visual arts on a path that has included performances, exhibition projects and several artistic residencies. For this new release on Takuroku they take influence from medieval Galician-Portuguese songs/poetry of insult and mockery called cantigas d'escarnio e maldizert. A carnivalesque sense of play, pathos and absurdity haunts the 33 minutes run time as they shift between sung and spoken incantations, baroque organ dirges, junk-yard musique concrete, layers of tape mush and sonic trickery. Although medievil in theme, there is a particular timelessness to proceedings. One of the main instruments CALHAU lists is "the ghosts of an old cassette re-recorded thousand times during the last 20 years" - with sounds fermented and rendered into beguiling forms. Another is "a crappy electric organ from 1980 called ORION", which dispels both baroque and twisted sonics from its tired engine. When first listening to this it instantly brought to mind the late Ghédalia Tazartès, who sadly passed away this year. Similar to Ghédalia's work this is ageless, contradictory, old, new, sad, strange and often hilarious music. Music that fearlessly reveals its multiple facets to slowly unfurl its twisted, tender core. -- CALHAU are Marta Ângela and João Artur -- Mastered by Oliver Barrett

CALHAU! – orioNoiro

OTOROKU

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

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

Blue Notes – Blue Notes for Mongezi

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

Blue Notes – Blue Notes for Johnny

Full recording of one of the most engaging and beguiling Late Junction live sessions we’ve ever heard - the one off first meeting between Korean multi-instrumentalist Park Jiha and writer and performer Roy Claire Potter. Park Jiha plays the saenghwang, a Korean mouth organ which she blows in long multiphonics to set pace for Potter’s words. Together they unfurl a scene slowly in front of you, rich and focused, shifting your field of vision and drawing you in, elsewhere. It’s impossible not to follow, not to look for where they point. When the piri sounds for a flooded town on the B side, the water flows between your own feet; Potter’s words a sometimes frightening hörspiel in scouse.  Though the details are fine, the space each artist gives one another and their instruments, their language, is given to the listener in turn. A careful melody picks out a route for words with no fixed meaning, a body with no fixed direction, and we are invited to listen and see a kind of music made visible in its inference. A truly very special record we are very proud to share. --- Influenced by linguistics and performance theory, Roy Claire Potter makes performance, text, drawing, installation and film, and often collaborates with musicians and sound artists to make audio for music festivals and radio. Across the wide range of their practice, Roy tells stories built from fragmented, intense images that depict moving bodies or domestic scenes and architectural settings. Roy’s interest in subtext and narrative sequencing is felt in the way they use fast-paced talking or reading speeds, and restricted or partial views of space. Complicated social or group dynamics and the aftermath of violent events are common themes in Roy’s work and are usually treated with a dark, sometimes wilful humour. Park Jiha creates exploratory music rooted in traditional Korean instrumental performance. To this session she brings three instruments: a Korean hammered dulcimer called a yanggeum, a saenghwang which is an instrument made of 24 slender bamboo pipes attached to a bowl and played like a harmonica and a double-reed bamboo flute called a piri, which sounds similar to an oboe. --- Park Jiha / yanggeum, saenghwang, piri Roy Claire Potter / voice --- Recorded and mixed on: 30 January 2020 by Rob Winter, Pete Smith and Andy Rushton at Maida Vale Studios, London for “Late Junction - Roy Claire Potter and Park Jiha in session”. Produced by Rebecca Gaskell, Katie Callin and Alannah Chance at Reduced Listening for BBC Radio 3. Originally broadcast on Friday 28th February 2020, apart from Track 4 which aired on Late Junction the 21st February 2020.  Mastered by Katie Tavini. Original artwork: “Three Boys” by Claire Cansick. Liner notes by Frances Morgan.

Park Jiha & Roy Claire Potter – To Call Out Into The Night

"Reissue of Derek Bailey and Tristan Honsinger Duo, originally released by Incus in 1976. Born in Burlington, Vermont, and conservatory-trained in the US, the cellist Tristan Honsinger moved from Montreal to Amsterdam in 1974, quickly linking with Han Bennink and Misha Mengelberg and opening a long and fruitful musical relationship with Derek Bailey. Recorded in 1976, Duo displays a performative musical approach already characterized by the lack of inhibition which would later endear him to The Pop Group: he is knockabout, exclamatory, explosively rhythmic; burping Bach and folk melodies with spasmodic lyricism, in amongst the garrulous textures and accents of his scraping, bowing, and plucking, and gibbering like a monkey; throwing out his arms and stamping the floor, grappling with his instrument like an expert clown, always tripping himself up. You can hear Bailey reveling in the company, as he ranges between scrabbling solidarity and an askance skewering of his partner's antics, on prepared (nineteen-string) and standard electric guitars -- and a Waisvisz Crackle-box, for the garbled, quizzical, cross-species natter which closes "The Shadow". Throughout, the spirited interplay between laconic, analytic wit, and guttural, sometimes slapstick physicality is consistently droll, often laugh-out-loud funny; vigorously alert, alive, and gripping.” --- Tristan Honsigner / cello, voice Derek Bailey / electric guitar, crackle box --- Recorded at Verity's Place 7th February 1976, except for A1 and B2 which were recorded at Tangent Studio 6th February 1976.

Derek Bailey & Tristan Honsinger – Duo

At the tender age of twenty-five, while he was working part-time at an Italian restaurant in Tokyo’s Kamata district Kazuki Tomokawa released his debut record, fittingly titled Finally, His First Album. While he had already penned hundreds of songs, including his first single “Try Saying You’re Alive!,” written on a long train ride past fields and rice paddies, it was this  recording that introduced  Japan to one of its most unique musicians of the postwar era. Each track, as record label exec Kiichi Takahara writes in the LP’s liner notes (here translated for the first time), is not a song but a “flesh-and-blood human being,” birthed by the singer-songwriter and the raw, guttural cries that would become a hallmark of his incomparable sound. 1970s Japan was a time and place marked by a profound desire for authenticity amidst the onset of television and media saturation. Tomokawa arrived on the scene as a musician with“the personality of a hydrogen bomb,” to borrow a phrase from his frequent collaborator Toshi Ishizuka. In an unwieldy interview included here, members of the notorious leftist band Zunō Keisatsu (Brain Police) put it bluntly: here was a man surrounded by the “disingenuous,” the “wishy-washy,” and the “superficial,” who was delivering “real life, unvarnished.” These songs are lullabies for the lost, staring not into the void but—as the fourth track declares—from inside it. Finally, His First Album is the first of three Tomokawa records to be reissued by Blank Forms Editions in conjunction with the US release of Tomokawa’s memoir, Try Saying You’re Alive!, the first-ever English translation of his writing. This debut captures the self-assured trademarks that Tomokawa would hone over the course of decades. Multiple tracks are performed in his native Akita dialect, a distinct and highly regional vernacular of northern Japan seldom heard outside the prefecture—and even more rarely heard in music. Tomokawa’s lyrics locate profound interiority in the rituals of everyday life, and are sung against sparse folk arrangements of tender, lilting chords—a prelude to the rock and electronic stylings to come in later years. A self-proclaimed “living corpse,” Tomokawa wallows, whispers, shouts, and cries, yet still, through his existential doubt, asks to be heard

KAZUKI TOMOKAWA – FINALLY, HIS FIRST ALBUM

In a generation of musicians that came of age in postwar Japan, Kazuki Tomokawa stands as a pioneer of radical individualism—forging a sound and sensibility marked by shocking intimacy and blistering honesty. In his third album, A String of Paper Cranes Clenched between My Teeth, released by Harvest Records in 1977, Tomokawa creeps “ever more inward,” as Kiichi Takahara writes in the record’s original introductory text—embracing an attitude pervasive amongst musicians of the time who interrogated the prosaic and the profound alike, eschewing politics and society in favor of an “attitude of total self-containment.” Tomokawa recorded the album over the course of a month—from August 24 to September 25, 1977—at Tokyo’s famed Onkio Haus studio in the bustling Ginza district. The arrangements, accordingly, are amped up: paired with the Black Panther Orchestra, Tomokawa’s “screaming philosopher” vocals find their match with the orchestra’s electric guitar, bass, piano, tuba, and ground-thumping drums played by the Brain Police’s Toshi Ishizuka—who appears on Tomokawa’s first three records and remains his collaborator to this day. “This is Kazuki Tomokawa in the flesh,” concludes Takahara. A String of Paper Cranes Clenched between My Teeth is, in Tomokawa’s uncanny way, able to cut through facade and artifice in pursuit of truth. “You call that life?” he heckles, exhausted by the melodrama and nihilism of youth counterculture, “try saying you’re alive!”

KAZUKI TOMOKAWA – A STRING OF PAPER CRANES CLENCHED BETWEEN MY TEETH

First LP by Nina Garcia, aka Mariachi.Guitar, pedal, that's it.  "Mariachi is Parisian guitarist Nina Garcia’ solo project, started in March 2015. Mariachi experiments between improvised and noise music. The setup is ultra minimal: 1 guitar, 1 pedal, 1 amp. Everything is focused on the gesture and the sound research of the instrument: its resonances, limits, expansions, impurities, all the audible parts of the guitar: to go with or against it, to contain it or to let it go, to support it or to hurt it. You’ll probably find: feedback, crackling, short circuits, impacts, harmonics, grindings noises, overflowings, notes and an almost perfect chord. Her first LP was released in October 2018 on No Lagos Musique and Doubtful Sounds. Nina Garcia was born in 1990, she lives and works in Paris." (Shape) "I find that there's never any point in sharing your impressions and feelings about a piece of music, but precisely when I say to myself that this music feels like a mountain weather report passed directly into my brain, it's not about feeling. Or maybe it is, and I can't help it. A short fifteen minutes of the concert, and a long, sharp, mountainous song that sinks into the skull like the echo of bad weather reverberating in the mountains. I don't know what it's about, maybe the simplicity of the sound arrangement, the brutal and purposeful simplicity of the onstage manipulations, but there's something very physical about this sound, something all muscle and tension." (No Lagos Zine)

Mariachi (Nina Garcia) – Mariachi

"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 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

A project born from the mind of Yan Jun, who has edited this beautiful velvet hardback book and CD. Yan Jun gave friends and contemporaries very simple instructions - "what comes to mind when you hear the phrase 'music will ruin everyything'?" The responses came in the form of both text and audio. This very special limited run book and double CD is the collection of these results. --- “the very reason i initiated this project was vanished in time. however, it’s not very long time since it has suspending into this “physical object is dying” and “society is dying” situation. and it’s long enough to coming back with ideas of “connecting objects and bodies over language” and “connecting an outer territory”. so i have diving back to the files again, starting editing and translating, inviting few more physical entities and fortunately yihao joined as designer at this perfect moment. The way this project runs is very simple: i show my friends this sentence “music will ruin everything” then ask them to contribute audio track and text or images. i tried my best to show it while we meet physically. but some were sent by emails, exceptionally. there is no rules and no clue. i don’t explain why this title because i have no idea what it means. for me what these people doing is a huge cluster of mass such as constellation. they are connected and growing. there are much more alikes surrounding them. the way they are connected is more important than their works. if you dig more on any one of them, you will find its own genealogy of sense and mind. which i have spent years to following and enjoying. so pls, you make it anything and everything. thanx everybody who participate this project ! you have ruined some parts of me.”Yan Jun - 2016 ---

Yan Jun – music will ruin everything

The mighty Sun Ra Arkestra, under the direction of the maestro Marshall Allen, release their first studio album in over twenty years, ‘Swirling’. Recorded at Rittenhouse Soundworks in Philadelphia, the new recording represents the continuation of a heartfelt rebirth of the Arkestra under Allen’s guidance since Sun Ra left the planet in 1993, gaining new generations of followers from their regular touring across the globe. With a big band line-up featuring long-standing Arkestra members including Danny Ray Thompson (RIP), Michael Ray, Vincent Chancey, Knoel Scott, Cecil Brooks, Atakatune (RIP), Elson Nascimento and Tyler Mitchell, the album is a full-blooded celebration of Sun Ra’s legacy. Tracks include brand new arrangements of Arkestra staples ‘Angels And Demons At Play’, ‘Satellites Are Spinning’, ‘Door Of The Cosmos’ and ‘Rocket No. 9’ alongside lesser known gems; the rousing blues ‘Darkness’ is recorded here for the first time, resurrected from the Ra archives by Marshall Allen. Other highlights include an epic version of ‘Seductive Fantasy’ (first recorded on Ra’s ‘On Jupiter’ LP in 1979), the freeform sonic blast of ‘Infinity / I’ll Wait For You’ and a first ever recording of the Marshall Allen swing composition, ‘Swirling’. “We truly hope that this recording brings much joy to a planet which is so deeply in need of a spirit sound and vibration,” states saxophonist Knoel Scott. “We hope it contributes to a change in the ominous direction of man’s journey through the cosmos.” “This new release is the Arkestra’s love offering to the world,” concludes Marshall Allen. “Beta music for a better world.” Sun Ra Arkestra’s ‘Swirling’ is released on 9th October 2020 on Strut on all formats. The album was produced by Jim Hamilton at Rittenhouse Soundworks. Cover artwork is by Lewis Heriz. SUN RA ARKESTRA Under the direction of Marshall Allen Marshall Allen: Alto Saxophone, EVI Knoel Scott: Alto Saxophone James Stewart: Tenor Saxophone, Flute Danny Ray Thompson: Baritone Saxophone, Flute Michael Ray: Trumpet Cecil Brooks: Trumpet Vincent Chancey: French Horn Dave Davis: Trombone, Vocals Farid Barron: Piano Dave Hotep: Guitar Tyler Mitchell: Bass Wayne Anthony Smith, Jr.: Drums Elson Nascimento: Surdo Drums, Percussion Stanley “Atakatune” Morgan: Congas Tara Middleton: Vocals, Violin

Sun Ra – Swirling

2LP / CD

Double CD documenting the magic meeting of one of the all-time great rhythm sections in jazz: percussionist Hamid Drake and bassist William Parker, with London’s brilliant Black Top (Orphy Robinson and Pat Thomas) and Elaine Mitchener. Across two sets the quintet are infectiously energetic and inspired, striding from synchronised heavy groove to star bright solos, whilst incorporating dub effects, guimbri and sumptuous blues piano playing.  Formed by Orphy Robinson and Pat Thomas but always realised with an ever changing number of invited musicians, Black Top's blend of lo-fi samples, dub effects and experimental electronics has been daring free improvisation since 2011. Their virtuoso performances draw on their Afro-Caribbean roots with delicious spontienty and humour; the histories of Ridley Road Market, the LIO and Islamic West Africa are sounded out side by side on iPad, marimba and vibraphone. Having met in 2006, Black Top played with bassist William Parker and drummer Hamid Drake as part of their residency at Cafe OTO in 2016; forming a quartet grounded in transatlantic kinship but which looked outward to the Carribean, calypso music and Saharan gnawa rhythms. When Parker and Drake returned to OTO in 2019 Black Top reformed again, but this time with the brilliant addition of vocalist Elaine Mitchener.  Over the last few years the clarity with which Mitchener has explored vocal expression in the global Black Avant Garde has been stunning, but here the range in her influences is manifest, moving effortlessly between phonetic and poetic experimentation and spoken word, all the while at ease with soul soaked jazz and dissonant free fall. A hand drum duet with Hamid Drake astonishes before being laced perfectly with cosmic theremin and Parker’s fantastic acid shehnai.  --- Recorded live at Cafe OTO on Sunday 28th July 2019 by Paul Skinner and mixed and mastered by James Dunn. Photos by Dawid Laskowski and artwork by Oliver Pitt. 

Black Top Presents: Hamid Drake / Elaine Mitchener / William Parker / Orphy Robinson / Pat Thomas – Some Good News

Creel Pone rendition of this elusive 1975 Cramps Nova Musicha series (N.7) LP by the Romanian Composer Costin Miereanu, “put on the map” (so to speak) by its inclusion in the infamous Nurse With Wound list. I've always found it baffling that; of all of the Cramps titles reissued and re-reissued over the past few years, this piece, considered by many followers of the “Dark Side-long Aleatoric Electro-Acoustic Collage” aesthetic - see Dub Taylor, Luis De Pablo, Jean Claude Eloy, et.al - to be one of the finest examples of said, was never given its due time in the warm, contemporary sun. Kudos, then, for the Nth time, to Mr. P.C. C.P. for his prescient, timely efforts.Do, aside from “Dark Side-long Aleatoric Electro-Acoustic Collage,” what does it sound like you ask? imagine Xenakis’ bells-and-trinkets epic “Bohor” overlaid with Basil Kirchin’s “Worlds within Worlds” and generations of pan-linguistic self-help / instructional programs - at any given time in the piece there are at least 4-5 separate layers of gated textures, field recordings, dissonant / glassy ensemble playing, and a bed of Synthesized Drone-sound. The voices that dominate the first half in strident, authoritative tones give way in the second half to sparse moaning and sustained ululations, leaving more room for the woozy “Instrumental” textures. An ominous, creepy piece; not for the weak of constitution. --- Creel Pone, 2007

Costin Miereanu – Luna Cinese

What are you supposed to do with a stray dog? From the smallest acts of kindness to the grandest acts of love, every single variation on an empathetic response to this question ends up becoming the same: you find them a space in which they can live. Stray Dog is one of these spaces, within which a disparate cast of artists, designers, poets and musicians gather around a shared tension between displacement and connection, otherworldliness and physicality. To dream of life is to dwell in the liminal beauty of earthly transience, to float free from waking reality while keeping an eye on the world below. A dream of life might amplify that which is other, shine gauzy light on the strange and surreal while gesturing towards some ecstatic truth, trapped under the weight of the eye’s closed lid. Here, lysergic collage unfolds onto a colossal cloud bank, rendered even more impossibly enormous by an errant shred of tobacco, caught precariously in the instant of a scan. Distorted figures herald alien landscapes scraped from Google Earth, “lifewithallitsbeauty.” Quotidian scenes are brushed with a milky patina, bio-mechanical entities, smudged in alchemical smoke, haunt dreamlike scenes of weird familiarity, nostalgia bleeding into deja vu. Skeletal details are scratched in ink spindle, a bone, a thread and an arrow all woven together in delicate lines. Lynchian visions run into narcotic prophesies, Rorschach angels, printed thick, spark up against pale wraiths captured in alabaster shades. Leather, latex and rough-hewn rope are stretched taut, while someone, somewhere, is tending to an ancient garden, another space in which a stray might live, even if only for a moment. We close with another dream, “How good it would be / If I lived in a world where meaning does not become meaning.” If nothing else, Stray Dog offers a space in which to explore whether such a world is possible, a space in which to search and to stray.’ (Henry Bruce-Jones)

Straydog 2

What are you supposed to do with a stray dog? From the smallest acts of kindness to the grandest acts of love, every single variation on an empathetic response to this question ends up becoming the same: you find them a space in which they can live. Stray Dog is one of these spaces, within which a disparate cast of artists, designers, poets and musicians gather around a shared tension between displacement and connection, otherworldliness and physicality. To dream of life is to dwell in the liminal beauty of earthly transience, to float free from waking reality while keeping an eye on the world below. A dream of life might amplify that which is other, shine gauzy light on the strange and surreal while gesturing towards some ecstatic truth, trapped under the weight of the eye’s closed lid. Here, lysergic collage unfolds onto a colossal cloud bank, rendered even more impossibly enormous by an errant shred of tobacco, caught precariously in the instant of a scan. Distorted figures herald alien landscapes scraped from Google Earth, “lifewithallitsbeauty.” Quotidian scenes are brushed with a milky patina, bio-mechanical entities, smudged in alchemical smoke, haunt dreamlike scenes of weird familiarity, nostalgia bleeding into deja vu. Skeletal details are scratched in ink spindle, a bone, a thread and an arrow all woven together in delicate lines. Lynchian visions run into narcotic prophesies, Rorschach angels, printed thick, spark up against pale wraiths captured in alabaster shades. Leather, latex and rough-hewn rope are stretched taut, while someone, somewhere, is tending to an ancient garden, another space in which a stray might live, even if only for a moment. We close with another dream, “How good it would be / If I lived in a world where meaning does not become meaning.” If nothing else, Stray Dog offers a space in which to explore whether such a world is possible, a space in which to search and to stray.’ (Henry Bruce-Jones)

Straydog 1

Although Theodor W. Adorno is best known for his association with the Frankfurt School of critical theory, he began his career as a composer and successful music critic. "Night Music" presents the first complete English translations of two collections of texts compiled by Adorno - "Moments musicaux", containing essays written between 1928 and 1962, and "Theory of New Music", a group of texts written between 1929 and 1955. In "Moments musicaux", Adorno echoes Schubert's eponymous cycle, with its emphasis on aphorism, and offers lyrical reflections on music of the past and his own time. The essays include extended aesthetic analyses that demonstrate Adorno's aim to apply high philosophical standards to the study of music. "Theory of New Music", as its title indicates, presents Adorno's thoughts and theories on the composition, reception, and analysis of the music that was being written around him. His extensive philosophical writing ultimately prevented him from pursuing the compositional career he had once envisaged, but his view of the modern music of the time is not simply that of a theorist, but clearly also that of a composer. Though his advocacy of the Second Viennese School, comprising composer Arnold Schoenberg and his pupils, is well known, many of his writings in this field have remained obscure. Collected in their entirety for the first time in English, the insightful texts in "Night Music" show the breadth of Adorno's musical understanding and reveal an overlooked side to this significant thinker.

Theodor W Adorno – Night Music: Essays on Music 1928-1962 (The German List)

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

PATTY WATERS – TWO DAY RESIDENCY A2 SILKSCREENED POSTER

The first cover and acoustic guitar feedback album by Shanghai guitarist MAI MAI.The first in a series where MAI MAI focuses on the feedback and textures of favourite Beatles song.'It should be a noon of 1997, when I was in the 2nd grade of middle school, I saw the music video of the Beatles “I Want to Hold Your Hand”on MTV channel. A live performance, black and white. It was the first “thriller” The Beatles brought to me.   The second “thriller” was in 1999, when I was in grade one of high school. The day before, I bought the so-called “white album” in a cracked cassette shop. That day I went to attend a kind of “little campus writer seminar” with my schoolmaster and a senior. On my way back home by bike, I began to listen to the double-cassettes. After this “thriller”, I talked with the senior who also loves rock music about grouping a band. But neither of us had learnt or even had any instrument. We just talked about it and thought we were in a band for quite a long time.   In 2001, I was a restudy student in a boarding high school. On the Christmas Eve, I listened to John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” lying in the bed in my dorm, which was rebuilt from a shower room. I cried out. It should be count as a “thriller” brought by the Beatles, the third one. After that, it never happened again.' MAI mai April, 2016 --- 卖卖 MAI MAI uses: Martin M-38 acoustic guitar Yamaha hs8 powered speaker system Rode NT-5 pair microphones --- Released: Zoomin' Night Released June 1, 2016

卖卖 MAI MAI – MAI mai plays the Beatles vol.1

out of stock