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

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


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

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

Caius Williams – Gwannach

First vinyl re-issue of Evan Parker’s duo with George Lewis. Transferred from the original masters, we discovered that the original Incus LP was cut at the wrong speed - and so, we present the first vinyl issue of the correct masters, or ‘mastas’ as Adam Skeaping, legendary engineer who is also responsible for Six of One and Compatibles, fondly calls them.  Skeaping, always working with the latest in recording technology for the time, has a knack for gaining access to remarkable spaces. Good spaces that were cheap because no one else had discovered them. The Art Workers Guild is a Georgian Hall in Bloomsbury, London, with lofty ceilings and hard wooden floors. It’s the perfect room to exercise an instrument to its full length, to ‘run the full length of the staircase’ in Parker's words. Two bells to ring off the floor and remain in dextrous, airy resonance. Recorded at 30ips on enormous reels, the recording captures all the fine filigree detail so celebrated on Parker’s later ‘Six of One’, though here we are treated to tenor as well as soprano, plus, of course, George Lewis’ trombone. Parker and Lewis first met at Moers festival, Lewis having just played excerpts of Coltrane’s ‘Giant Steps’ with Anthony Braxton. Living in Paris, it wasn’t so hard for a young Parker to invite him for a session on his new imprint, Incus. Though having been part of the AACM, toured with Count Basie and made records for Black Saint, this would be Lewis’ first foray into British improv, excited by the idea the Bailey and Parker were attempting to open up the notion of improvisation to include “the freshness of the immediate encounter”.  Lewis had not long recorded his solo LP, which mixes lively hints of Ellington and tender lyricism with total experimentation in three part overdubbed trombone. From Saxophone to Trombone veers towards his wilder end of technicality, and features some of Lewis’ rarer, starker improv - all avant garde burbles and bubbles, breath control and scalar flights. It’s a recording of two young masters, documented beautifully, and released for the first time on vinyl at its intended speed.  

Evan Parker and George Lewis – From Saxophone and Trombone

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

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

OTOROKU is proud to reissue Evan Parker's first solo LP "Saxophone Solos". Recorded by Martin Davidson in 1975 at the Unity Theatre in London, at that time the preferred concert venue of the Musicians' Co-operative, Parker's densely woven and often cyclical style has yet to form; instead throaty murmurs appear under rough hewn whistles and calls - the wildly energetic beginnings of an extraordinary career.  Reissued with liner notes from Seymour Wright in an edition of 500.  --- "The four pieces across the two sides of Saxophone Solos – Aerobatics 1 to 4 – are testing, pressured, bronchial spectaculars of innovation and invention and determination. Evan tells four stories of exploration and imagination without much obvious precedent. Abstract Beckettian cliff-hanging detection/logic/magic/mystery. The conic vessel of the soprano saxophone here recorded contains the ur-protagonists: seeds, characters, settings, forces, conflicts, motions, for new ideas, to delve, to tap and to draw from it story after story as he has on solo record after record for 45 years. ‘Aerobatics 1-3’ were recorded on 17 June 1975, by Martin Davidson at Parker’s first solo performance. This took place at London’s Unity Theatre in Camden. ‘Aerobatics 4’ was recorded on 9 September the same year, by Jost Gebers in the then FMP studio in Charlottenburg, Berlin. Music of balance and gravity, fulcra, effort, poise and enquiry. Sounds thrown and shaken into and out of air, metal and wood. It is – as the titles suggest – spectacular." - Seymour Wright, 2020.

Evan Parker – Saxophone Solos



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

A feature length film, directed by Tori Kudo (Mahar Shalal Hash Baz) This film is made by digital images from the early 00s to 2019, when I started taking pictures with cellular phones. You can see that upgrades in resolution have drastically changed "l'imaginaire" , as we move to smartphones. Most of the images are taken by myself, but my portraits are taken by others. I can't name all of them exactly. But if I had to name who, among them, are working as photographers in their honor, it would be Seiichi Sugita and Maki Abe.- Tori Kudo -- The cover of this release was selected from one of six images sent to us by Tori of a sculpture incorporating layered photographs made by his mother. Tori wrote to us saying: "These six photographs are almost like my mother’s posthumous work. The photographs show a Mobius ring of sheet iron onto which she sticked old photographs on top of each other. My mother’s father, my grandfather, was a painter who lived in Paris before the war. His style of painting was that he would layer paint very thickly. Georges Rouault scraped off layers of paint so he could create flat paintings. My grandfather’s paintings have 1cm thickness but they seemed more like 3D works rather than the perspective paintings. My mother piles up photographs on top of each other. So in a way her style resembles my grandfather’s technique from that point of view. It is quite interesting that I was doing something similar to my mother with the film I made for TakuRoku during lockdown. However in my case I displayed my photos side by side not on top of each other. All is shown, no layering, nothing hidden underneath. It may mean that I still have an attachment to this life. Archiving seems to be a theme of this time. The thing is what do we archive from history. “You could see the movement of power in the erased history “- I think Jacques Derrida was talking about something like that… Freud on the other hand, hated the idea of archiving…he said “it’s the end of one’s life once one started making their own autobiographical anthology.. that kind of wrapping up one’s life while you are still alive.” Yet recently I had an idea of looking into archiving from the perspective of a dead person looking back at their life. And this could fit into this time of pandemic as everyone is facing more or less this issue so I made this film. The first half of this year since the lock down I had done nothing as I received a state grant but the offer from TakuRoku label encouraged me to finish this work. It has been a good practice for me." -- Tori Kudo - film & direction -- Kota Takeuchi - Font for the title at the end Tori Kudo - The song "archive" that plays in the end roll. Recorded in March 2020. Oliver Barrett - artwork design

Archive – Tori Kudo

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

Wormhole to Nowhere – Massimo Magee

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

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

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

ultra-minimal – Sylvain Chauveau

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

Two Forests / Oceanic – Sam Dunscombe

Pre-order for the forthcoming, much anticipated and absolutely killer new Still House Plants ‘If I don't make it, I love u’ is Still House Plants’ third LP and the fullest embodiment of their sound to date. Where ‘Fast Edit’ formed with quick attachment and jump cuts, ‘If I don't make it’ is shaped by persistence - a commitment to the songs that makes the music solid, warmer and accepted. Marking the trio’s decade of friendship, this is the first record written whilst all live in the same city since 2017's ‘Assemblages’. The band rehearsed it relentlessly, playing for nobody except themselves, consistently building support for one another and growing the way they play. Jess’ voice is deeper. Fin’s guitar is full size, richer. David drums harder. Focused on one point together, everyone gets bigger and nothing falls apart. The guitar and the drums blend, raise the voice, make room for what is being said, what is felt. When able to finally record, production allowed layers, gave elasticity, a chance to fully stretch. Playing with length and connections, the band brought in analogue techniques - a Lesley cabinet on ‘Headlight’, sidechaining the snare with the guitar, pushing vocals through cheap DJ software - each process an attempt to bring one instrument closer to another, to give bass, body, backup. ‘If I don't make it, I love u’ seeks beauty, holds feeling maximum and builds surety with its sound. The most generous SHP record to date, the music is wide open, demands less. Play it again, it will come clear. releases April 12, 2024 Finlay Clark / guitar Jess Hickie-Kallenbach / vocals David Kennedy / drums

If I don’t make it, I love u – Still House Plants

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

Solos for _ _ _ _ spaces – Reagan Bowering

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

Bespoke – Omphalopticon

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

Four Years on the Wing – Oliver Barrett

Switchback - Plywie Kacza 201 Paradiso Infernal - Live 2022 Schlippenbach / Johansson - The Fox Let's Go 2017 Full Blast - Moods 2007 Uruk - Live 2019 Last Dream Of The Morning - Shaken Light 2021 Snekkestad / Guy / Fernandez - Ripples 2018 The End - Translated Slaughter 2019 Schnee - No Time 2018 Jim O'Rourke - Live 2010 InAWhirl - Nido IV 2021 Joelle Leandre - Live 2013 Also - Twelve 2021 Amado / Corsano - Seeking 2019 Caspar Brötzmann Bass Totem - When Black Days Never End Part 1 2021 Bruch - Sugary 2017 Vandermark / Kurzmann / Kern - Swan Song 2021 The Thing - Live 2017 Part 4 They Shall Not Pass  /  No Pasaran!Live on planet earth - in the spirit of freedom, peace and solidarityAs we saw the horrible events going on in the Ukraine, we wanted to do something as a label as well beside donating on a personal level. many (trost related) artists answered right away and were enthusiastic to participate. the material-collecting and mastering took some time, but sadly it is still an issue and no-one knows how long this despicable war will last. the title of the compilation is "No Pasaran" (they shall not pass) translated into Ukrainian. it was a shout in the 30s to defend democracy in spain, to fight against the fascists.big thanks to all artists, bookers, venues and helpers involved.the great work of Martin Siewert and Lasse Marhaug was happening in support of this project, longtime cd pressing company Gusstaff Records made a special price and the austrian SKE fonds gave financial support.all proceeds of this compilation are donated to an artist-run Ukrainian aid organisation helping victims of the war, recommended by Ken Vandermark

Вони не пройдуть - No Pasaran – VARIOUS

First Official Reissue of Conspiracy. NOT TO BE MISSED!! (due to a slight delay at the pressing plant, this release has been put back to the end of July) Jeanne Lee (1939-2000) was an African-American vocalist, poet, composer, improvisor, activist and educator. In her 40 year career she performed with Archie Shep, Marion Brown, Gunter Hampel, Frank Lowe, William Parker, Andrew Cyrille, Anthony Braxton, Ran Blake, Billy Bang, Cecil Taylor, John Cage, Rashsaan Roland Kirk, Pauline Oliveros, Reggie Workman, and many others. "jazz is a music that combines so many have to fined that balance, then you have a guideline between freedom and discipline, between rhythm and melody, between body and spirit, between mind and instinct" (Jeanne Lee) This is the first official reissue of "Conspiracy" since its limited release in 1975, it was her first record under her own name as a solo artist. It is a true lost gem, with a unique and beautiful sound. Musician Elaine Mitchener describes "Conspiracy" as "one of greatest free-form albums of the1970s". "i feel the music like a dance, I think it's an important part of the music, it has to be felt like a dance" (Jeanne Lee) --- Jeanne Lee - vocal Gunter Hampel - flute, piano, vibraphone, alto clarinet, bass clarinet Sam Rivers - soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, flute Steve McCall - drums Alan Praskin - clarinet Perry Robinson - clarinet Jack Gregg - Bass Mark Whitecage - alto clarinet Marty Cook -trombone Recorded in New York, 1974 Originally released in 1975 on "Seeds records" and Jeanne Lee's own "Earth-forms records"

Jeanne Lee – Conspiracy

LP / CD / Tape

Delta-Sleep-Inducing Peptide (DSIP) was founded in 1989 by Dieter Mauson, one half of Nostalgie Éternelle, and Siegmar Fricke, who was musically active at the time under his name and his Bestattungsinstitut alias. The duo was active until the summer of 1994, producing over 25 tapes over this period and releasing on a range of independent labels, including IRRE, Corrosive, EE and Toracic Tapes, as well as their own privately-run imprint, Delta-Sleep-Inducing Productions. DSIP’s music concentrated on the realisation of experimental and subtle soundtracks, described as mind-cinema of the subconscious, and sought to explore the different stages of sleep, and the phenomena of dreams, through their idiosyncratic sound approach. Recordings were made using a range of equipment, including a multi-track tape recorder, Roland sampler, analog synths, various drum machines and Dictaphones. Samples for their works were often taken from local radio which they were listening to at the time, much of which was Dutch (Hilversum 3) as they both grew up near the Germany-Netherlands border; Dieter in Leer and Siegmar in Wilhelmshaven. By the time they got in contact with one another in the summer of 1989, Dieter was living over 500 km away in Mainz, near Frankfurt, where he moved at the start of the year, so recordings were only made when Dieter was back seeing his parents and then able to visit Siegmar’s home studio in Wilhelmshaven. In June 1991, Dieter moved back to the North of Germany, Hamburg, and their recording sessions became much more frequent. Sometimes they would meet for a few hours, others for several days. The results were hugely diverse, though frequently centred on meditative and repetitive motifs, and are still so uniquely futuristic almost 35 years after the group was initiated. Evil, an album released in 1992 during the midst of this hugely productive period, encapsulates such expressions, and is presented with a first-time reissue in its original format.

Delta-Sleep-Inducing Peptide – Evil

C45 with on-body printing in jewel case, printed two-sided j-card and wrap-around o-card sleeveExperimental soundtrack to a play you probably didn’t think existed, and definitely didn’t think you’d hear, steeped in historical context, and comprising a sonic mixture of early digital synthesis with eerie tape loops, feedback and 80’s stomp box effects.Kolbe tells the story of a Polish Catholic priest who volunteered to die in place of another man in Auschwitz during WWII. In July 1941, a prisoner escaped from the camp, prompting the deputy commander to pick ten men to be starved to death in an underground bunker to deter further escape attempts. When one of the men selected, Franciscek Gajowniczek, a young husband and father, cried out, Maximilian Kolbe volunteered to take his place. According to an eyewitness, who was an assistant janitor at that time, in his prison cell Kolbe led the prisoners in prayer. Each time the guards checked on him, he was standing or kneeling in the middle of the cell and looking calmly at those who entered. After they had been starved and deprived of water for two weeks, only Kolbe and three others remained alive. The guards wanted the bunker emptied, so they gave the four remaining prisoners lethal injections. He died on 14 August 1941. Years later he was beatified as a Confessor of the Faith by Pope Paul VI in 1971 and canonised as a saint by Pope John Paul II in 1982, with a feast day celebrated since on the day of his death as part of the General Roman Calendar.Over the course of 1985-86, the production company Theatre of Poland, toured Kolbe, a play based on the book by Desmond Forristal, to Catholic churches around Europe. The recordings presented here are part of a cassette that sold on the tour, recovered in Lyttelton, New Zealand, and then mastered in Brisbane, Australia, in April 2023. Audio snippets have also been added to the cassette, including live recordings from the theatrical performance at St Edwards Church, Windsor, September 1986, as well as snippets from the films, Tag der Freiheit: Unsere Wehrmacht (1935), and Festliches Nuernberg - Ein Film aus der Stadt der Reichsparteitage (1937). Please note these are exclusive to this version and do not feature on the digital recording.

Martin Franklin & Michael O'Dempsey – Kolbe

X4 CD + DVD + Book edtion of this amazing collection! Long out of print. One copy onely The year 2007 saw one of the most remarkable findings in the long treasure-hunting history of Die Schachtel: the complete set of recordings of the early manifestation (1967-1969) of one of the most legendary improv group of all time, the Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza. Rescued by the private archives of Walter Branchi, one of the original founding members -- alongside Franco Evangelisti, Ennio Morricone, Ivan Vandor, Roland Kayn, Egisto Macchi, Mario Bertoncini, and John Heineman -- the tapes were then restored in their entirety. Only a part of them were published in a CD-only boxset in an edition of 500, titled Azioni 1967-1969, which also featured a DVD with the original film Nuova Consonanza shot by Theo Gallher during the rehearsal and concert that the group held on March 19th and 20th, 1967, at the Galleria darte Moderna in Rome. Spanning from free-jazz to total abstract noise to wild electronic sounds, their music was -- and remains -- one of the most dynamic, original, and uncompromising expression of a period defined by intense experimentation and musical bravery, anticipating experiments to come in years following. Or, to put it simple, They were utterly unique," as per the words that John Zorn, who expressively wrote for this edition. To mark the ten-year anniversary of its original release, Die Schachtel present Azioni/Reazioni 1967-1969, the complete cycle of improvisations -- which includes thirteen additional, never before published pieces -- taken from the original tapes. Remastered by Giuseppe Ielasi.


out of stock

Covid-19 Survival


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 if you have any queries, otherwise we will drop you a line after purchase to arrange delivery when possible.