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

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

XPER. XR'S HAMMER

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Originally recorded in 1977, following a limited release in 1979, Ghédalia Tazartès debut album, Diasporas, introduced listeners to the surreal, mysterious and truly unclassifiable statement of Tazartès and his out-of-time place in the French avant-garde canon. Born in Paris in 1947 to Judaeo-Spanish parents of Greek descent, Tazartès spent his early career as an autodidact utilizing his knowledge of repetition and collage, coupled with his Ladino linguistic heritage, to create some of the most unique recordings of the late 20th century. Interest in the works of Tazartès truly sparked when artist Steve Stapleton included his follow up album, Tazartès' Transports, in his famed “Nurse With Wound List,” thus adding endless curiosity to the folklore behind Tazartès and his mystical entrée. From the onset of Diasporas, looping incantations seemingly pile up at the behest of Tazartès. In almost a prayer-like decree, Tazartès chants to the gods in an undefined whail that is both haunting and spiritually divine. Tazartès unique use of tape loops to capture the disappearing traditions of his family’s past creates an atmospheric texture that unexpectedly complements his cut-up, manipulated vocal experiments. While contemporaries within the French avant-garde maneuvered academic theory and rigid tradition, Diasporas strays away from these boundaries, working in Tazartès’ invented practice of ‘impromuz’, a method in which he endlessly records for hours and edits only the moments that display any sense of spontaneous enlightenment. Further emboldening the obtuse nature of Diasporas are the seemingly random recitation of poet Stéphane Mallarmé and the traditional ‘Parisian-style’ piano accompaniment of experimental composer Michel Chion. Since its initial release over 40 years ago, both Dais Records and Alga Marghen have released reissues of Diasporas in various formats, with the initial Dais Records vinyl edition falling out of print. Dais Records presents an official reissue, newly remastered by Josh Bonati, utilizing the original artwork of Diasporas in its sole album form, for the first time in over four decades.

GHÉDALIA TAZARTÈS – DIASPORAS

This publication brings together the source material that has informed Marclay's visual practice over the past few years. It gathers nearly 600 black & white Xeroxes of found image collages compiled with the help of graphic designer Laurent Benner. “Maybe it's because I'm not a very good draftsman, collage feels like a more natural approach to sketching and developing ideas. I cut and paste and use my photocopier as a quick way to experiment and develop ideas. My work is all about finding, sampling, appropriating images and sounds, and transforming them. The found image is usually what triggers a thought process—formulating ideas or simply reaffirming latent thoughts. It's a way to instantly mediate an image and get a little distance from it. Accidents are also often revealing. Like the camera, or any video editing software, the photocopier is just another tool.” – Christian Marclay Marclay's compilation of hundreds of high-contrast black-and-white Xeroxes are like scribblings in a notebook, the first stages of experimentation towards more finished works, a glimpse into the artist's creative process. This book brings together the source material that has informed Marclay's practice over the past few years. It was designed in collaboration with Laurent Benner, a graphic designer who has worked with Marclay on various other books and record covers. Their shared sensibility informs this beautiful new book.

Christian Marclay – Index

Takuroku

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

Fragile strength is what i've been Radiant resilience Changing before your very eyes Though often unseen- (from 'Trilogy') As Takuroku hits the milestone of 100 releases over the past 6 months, we couldn't think of a better way to celebrate than a debut solo release (yes, the first ever!) by Maggie Nicols. Maggie has been a familiar name around OTO over our 13 year history, lending her voice and talents to a series of unforgettable performances, including a session with Joëlle Leandre and Roger Turner, which remains one of our favourite archived live performances to this day. While she might be best known as an improviser, most notably in the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, Feminist Improvising Group and more recently with the likes of 'Les Diaboliques', her talents stretch into song, dance, poetry, performance and composition. This release, modestly recorded on her computer after teaching herself how to use Garageband during lock-down, brings forth her doubts, anxieties, loves and desires in a 13-part musical journey. Webbed through piano ballads, playful improvised ditties, stories, poetry and multi-layered vocal arrangements, 'Creative Contradiction' feels like a long-overdue catch up with a close friend. There's reminiscing, there's laughter, there's tears, there's chatter that floats on and off topic, there's things shared you don't feel comfortable sharing with others. When the world around us makes these sorts of relationships difficult or rendered void, intimacy through art can feel like an act of generosity: a hand outstretched in the darkness. Thank you Maggie for gifting us just that. --  Maggie Nicols:  voice, piano, electric keyboard and ceremonial drum    -- Recorded at home in 2020Mastered by Oliver Barrett Photo from a workshop a ‘Learning, Transformation and Technique weekend at ‘Hecate’s Haven' What needs Nourishing’ guided by Portia Wintersduring Additional musicians on Track 8:  Katerina Koblizek - voice & Olitar (guitar made out of a Palestinian Olive oil can by cellist and guitarist Steve Moyes)  Ludek Salac - guitar

Maggie Nicols – Creative Contradiction: Poetry, Story, Song & Sound

German artist Tina Jander presents 'Ice Cubes', a durational piece for cello and field recordings. Pieced together from plucked melodic mantras and swelling bowed refrains on cello, Tina gifts each aural gesture space to gradually unfurl over time, elapse in and out of itself, and meet other gestures in a series of iterative phrases. Over the piece's duration new and pre-existing motifs are unveiled, creating patterns that seamlessly appear and disappear. The piece is peppered with occasional field recordings, providing an open window where these patterns meld into the everyday. Absorbing and sensitive work from an artist we look forward to hearing more from in the future. -- I think Tina’s work is brilliant, but what I love so much about ‘Ice Cubes’ is how it hovers around a particular place, detours then returns, without feeling forced or over thought. And this I think is a hard thing to do in a timeline - create a sense of time and pace that doesn’t feel too rushed or too static. There’s some great moments: the placement of an environmental recording, as if offered for our consideration and then just removed. And the underlying undulations of a cello placed outside its musical frame, simultaneously both fragile and grounded, a haunting subaquatic echo, a prelinguistic memory, drawing the listener impossibly close. - Mark Fell -- Tina Jander - Cello & field recordings -- Mastered by Oli Barrett

Tina Jander – Ice Cubes

False Self* works are electronic music compositions that explore identity, authorship and the delineation between self and other. The series so far, comprises of three albums: False Self plays music for six pianos (2021) A false memory of a sports party (2018) False Self (2016) The first two albums were created in collaboration, and sometimes antagonization, with a self authored SuperCollider algorithm — that I named False Self. I envision this algorithm as a fractured version of myself. False Self plays music for six pianos was composed whilst undertaking lessons with Jim Denizen Simm. Jim kindly indoctrinated me into his own working methods and some of the methods of his friends, many of whom are ex-Scratch Orchestra members; such as Michael Parsons, John White, Christopher Hobbs and Howard Skempton. These lessons led me to abandon SuperCollider in favour of working with more flexible, and to my mind, more interesting systems designed on paper. The compositions are experimental, system based works for six pianos. They deploy integer tables to arrange cells of slow, jazzy piano music. Each piano has eight cells of music and one silent cell. The cells mobilize as hypnotic cyclones of repetition, that move in and out of sync, to create complexity from simplicity. As the compositions progress, the cells extinguish themselves in a languid, stuttering fashion — before the process begins anew. Rudi Arapahoe 2021 Composed, recorded and mixed by Rudi ArapahoePerformed by False SelfProduced by Jim Denizen Simm Artwork by Oli Barrett *The term False Self is lifted from the psychiatrist Ronald David Laing's writing. I use the term to imply that there is another self working on the compositions with me.

Rudi Arapahoe – False Self plays music for six pianos

“Snow on snow, snow on snow” "Every year these words of Christina Rossetti’s run through my mind over and over. And so began my first piece of choral music, weaving together both Harold Darke's and Gustav Holst’s settings of In the Bleak Midwinter. Eight parts, or two quartets, repeat two bars of music in two keys at the same time. I premiered the piece with The Part Singers on my birthday in March 2019 accompanied by a recording of a silver fridge made from the inside. This winter I have stitched us together; each voice recorded separately from a different living room. Earlier in the summer I was mixing a remote performance of Charles Villiers Stanford’s Blue Bird and received a time-stretched version of the piece in my inbox from Duncan. The word “blue” - captured from the heart of Stanford’s setting and suspended like fog, gradually moving and yet absorbing everything into itself. I felt like I had caught the reflected image of the bird in Mary Elizabeth Coleridge’s poem and it dawned on me to release our pieces together." - Eleanor Cully -- The Part Singers: Louise Alp, Roshan Battiwalla, James Beattie, Ruth Bostock, Eleanor Cully, Frances Durning, John Harman, Chris Kneale and Ruairidh Pattie Snow on snow: composed, edited and mixed by Eleanor Cully Mastered by Jorge Boehringer In Blue: composed, edited, mixed and mastered by Duncan Chapman Cover image: Natalie Boon

Eleanor Cully / Duncan Chapman – Snow on snow / In Blue

Maria Chavez and Jordi Wheeler present their first recorded release for Takuroku, The Kitchen Sessions: 1-5, 2020, an audio result of a 2 day Recording Residency at the legendary theater The Kitchen in NYC. Due to Covid 19 quarantine restrictions, the Kitchen, like Cafe OTO, has had to temporarily close, but is still providing the venue as a resource for artists to use during this difficult time. The NYC venue offered Maria a 2 day Recording Residency in their main space with an onsite engineer and access to their Steinway B grand piano. Maria presented her new instrumentation set up for the Recording Residency: 4 Numark TTX turntables 4 RAKE Double Needles (8 needles in total invented by Randal Sanden Jr.) 2 Xone DJ mixers She invited one of her regular collaborators, Jordi Wheeler, most recently a member of Amen Dunes, to bring his multifaceted talents on prepared piano, bass guitar, and electronics to the session. These recordings are the result of active listening and improvisation with a new configuration of instruments inside the legendary theater space. The Recording Residency at the Kitchen provided a safe space for Maria, (currently on medical sabbatical while recovering from a rare brain surgery in the Spring of 2019 and who expects to return to public performance in 2022-23) accommodating her current condition while allowing the duo to experiment with her new/ larger set up at lower volumes frequencies and generally reacquaint themselves with each other after over a year and a half of not being able to perform together. Chavez and Wheeler have been performing as a duo since 2015. Their sound piece “Is Made Uneasy” is the intro to Maria’s long form sound piece, Between a Gunshot & a Whisper, as part of Every Time An Ear Di Soud for Documenta14 in Kassel, Germany. Their duo work has been presented by Cruces Espacio de Arte in Madrid, Spain, as part of the Abasement Series at Max Fish, NYC and has aired on KunstRadio, Vienna, 3cR Melbourne, Australia, the Lot Radio, Brooklyn.

Maria Chavez & Jordi Wheeler – The Kitchen Sessions: 1-5, 2020

OTOROKU

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

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

The Truth – Matana Roberts & Pat Thomas

Originally recorded and released in 1980, "Six of One" beautifully captures the detail in Evan Parker's high frequency split tones for which he is now perhaps better known. Five years on from "Saxophone Solos" and with circular breathing and polyphonics well worn into his live performances, Parker's experimentations here produce sustained passages of brilliant flight. Set into the echoes and resonances of a St Judes On The Hill church, the results are stunning.  "The recital commences with a split tone line of twining sine waves that expand and contract in telepathic collusion. Pitch dynamics narrow and redefine themselves more emphatically on the second piece where sliding legato rivulets born of Parker’s compartmentalized tonguing create the sonic semblance of up to three separate voices emanating from the single reed speech center. It’s a feat he’s accomplished innumerable times since, but every fresh hearing never fails to open an aperture into a style of improvisatory expression that is at once wholly alien and intensely mesmerizing. There’s also something strangely subterranean about the flood of sounds, like the rush percolating water through an underground aquifer system enroute to unknown tributaries. The third piece trades tightly braided tones for leaner and more linear phrases, but a vaporous trail of phantom notes still clings to the central line. And so it goes, with the illusion of repetition guiding the momentum, though Parker never explicitly repeats himself." - Derek Taylor, All About Jazz Transferred from the original master tapes and released in an edition of 500. 

Evan Parker – Six of One

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

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

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

Han Bennink & roland – Live Ateliers Claus

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

Silvia Tarozzi, inspired by the poet Alda Merini and her studies with composer Garret List, worked with intimate personal history to write songs of love, motherhood, and the mystery hidden behind the curtain of everyday life. Over the course of nearly a decade, Tarozzi practiced setting the poetry of Alda Merini to music and then replacing it with her own to reflect her own life experiences. As a result, ‘Mi specchio e rifletto’ feels both poetic and earnestly autobiographical.A longtime collaborator of Eliane Radigue and a talented free improvisor, Tarozzi inspires as sensitive awareness while echoing progressive music forebearers. Past masterpieces reverberate throughout: the gentle chamber explorations of Penguin Cafe Orchestra, the science fiction of Franco Battiato’s 'Fetus', the abstract free jazz flourishes of Maria Monti’s 'Il Bestiario', the sweetness of Caterina Caselli’s 'Primavera'.As a solo performer, Tarozzi has collaborated with composers Eliane Radigue, Pascale Criton, Cassandra Miller and Martin Arnold. In duo with Deborah Walker, and as a member of Ensemble Dedalus, she has worked with Christian Wolff, Jürg Frey, Michael Pisaro, Catherine Lamb, Sébastien Roux, and many others. She previously released Philip Corner 'Extreemizms: early & late' on Unseen Worlds in 2018.  --- Silvia Tarozzi, voice, violin, keyboards, piano, casio sk-8, midi keyboards, slide guitars, accordion, field recordingsEdoardo Marraffa, tenor and sopranino saxDomenico Caliri, electric and acoustic guitarDeborah Walker, celloEnrico Lazzarini, double-bassVincenzo Vasi, electric bassCaterina Romano, flute, piccoloJessica Colarelli, clarinetTiziano Popoli, pianoValentina Malanot, voiceMusic and lyrics by Silvia TarozziRecorded and pre-mixed by Enzo Cimino between December 2015 and February 2016 at Vignola (home studio) and Bologna (SoundLab studio) and by Tiziano Popoli in January 2019 at Vignola (Popoli home studio), Italy.Mixed and mastered by Bob Drake between June 2016 and October 2019 at Studio Midi-Pyrénées, La Borde Basse (Caudeval), France.“Mi specchio e rifletto” and “Anna”, mixed by Silvia Tarozzi in April 2019.

Silvia Tarozzi – Mi specchio e rifletto

Ballads of a troubadour from Gobi Desert in Central Asia. Wang Xiao was born in Karamay, Xinjiang in 1966. His parents are oil exploration workers. From childhood, he followed his parents to live and grow up in the wilderness of Gobi Desert. In 1989 he quit his oil field job and started traveling as a troubadour. He has lived in Tibet for 10 years and now resides in Yunnan. “In my memory, there is no ‘home’ concept, just keep moving from place to place”. The album is clearly not “indie city folk”, nor is it “world music”. However, after years of immersion in the vein of Central Asian culture, the influence of traditional music from various Central Asian regions is obvious. The whole album is dark and deep, like the rocks in the desert. The occasional overtone singing plays well with the dombra tone, the musician is seeking the divine nature of the universe. “Folk singers in the past were poets and sorcerers themselves. They could only sing after divination and sacrifice, or by helping people to predict diseases, fortunes, planting and family affairs. Folk singers should be the ones who atone for the lives.”The symbolic and poetic lyrics are also an important part for the album. With Lu (Heartless/Vergissmeinnicht/Mandarava), Edward Sanderson and Josh Feola's help, we included the full Chinese lyrics with English translation, it will help the listener to have a better understanding of Wang Xiao’s music.The album was recorded in the winter of 2007 in Beijing. “At that time, it was just me, Wu Junde and Wu Tun to do this recording. They bought me some wine, we drank them and recorded the album (dombra and vocal) for only two hours, then I went back to Tibet right after.” Wu Junde and Obul added tanbur, mouth harp, more vocals and percussions afterward. “We didn’t feel it’s a very good album at first. The tempo is not always right because we didn’t use a metronome, but as you listened to it for a long time, it was great. It's a record that can't be repeated, because it's made at one go, and it's very straight.”Previously self-published as CDr in 2010, now we reissue this album as a Ten Year Anniversary Edition, with new graphic design and a bonus track “Refugee of Faith on the Ancient River Bank” recorded in 2016. All tracks are carefully remastered by our friend Cyril Meysson.“Black Horse River, for me, is my real motherland.” – Wang Xiao“His voice is original, it’s a blend of a shaman and the characteristics of the nomadic people. His way to play dombra is unusual, not with the finger but a plectrum, that makes the music fiercer and more rhythmic. Wang Xiao spent many years in Lhasa, he also put the rhythm of the monks chanting into his music, all these make his works dialoguing with the sun and the earth, it contains the essence from the land and the passing time.” - Zhang Zhi 張智(旅行者樂隊)“I came up with the nickname ‘Folk shaman’. I met Wang Xiao back in 2002-2003, when he was still a rock-n-roll young guy in Shenzhen, but his mental state was like channeling with a shaman or a minstrel. It may have something to do with his life experience, mysterious and unique.” - Wu Junde --- Music/Lyrics/Vocals: Wang Xiao(Except "Wild Geese" Lyrics by Sa Dao & Wang Xiao, "Cover Song" Original singer Li Shirong, Music/Lyrics by Lei Zhenbang, rearranged by Wang Xiao)Dombra: Wang Xiao (Track 1-10)Guitar: Wu Junde (Track 1)Mouth Harp: Wu Junde (Track 5)Chorus: Wu Junde (Track 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10)Tanbur: Wu Junde (Track 4,8)Percussions: Obul (Track 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10)Recorded by Wu Weiyi in Beijing, China, winter 2007, previously self-released in 2010(Except bonus track “Refugee of Faith on the Ancient River Bank” recorded in 2016)Remastered by Cyril Meysson in Saint-Étienne, France, January 2019English lyrics translated by Lu (Heartless/Vergissmeinnicht/Mandarava)Proofread by Edward Sanderson & Josh FeolaCover art: Wang Yuanqing, Photography: Li Ming, Design & Layout: ruò tánSpecial thanks to Wu Tun & Wu Junde

Wang Xiao – The Son of Black Horse River (Ten Year Anniversary Edition)

Chinese free improvisation saxophonist / flutist 老丹 Lao Dan's debut saxophone solo album (previously released in cassette format, sold-out) reissue in 6-panel Digipak CD format, with new artwork. These recordings are from Qinglongdong Tunnel in Hangzhou, China. All natural cave reverbs, the free improvisation of Lao Dan's alto saxophone and the sound of the passengers and the cars were recorded, as every functioning individual."Lao Dan is a monster improviser. I'd never heard of him and I was completely swept away by his powerful playing and concept.""I have this feeling Lao is a soldier that cannot be silenced."Lao Dan is a freelance musician and wind instrument player, who started learning sax at the age of 8 and later turned to Dizi.During 2002 to 2006, he studied dizi in Beijing. In 2007, he was admitted with the highest score to Shenyang Conservatory of Music (SYCM), majoring in Dizi. During college, he served as the principal Dizi player of Youth Chinese Orchestra of SYCM.From 2012, he started his research on wind instruments from all over the world, including Jew's harp, Didgeridoo, Bansuri, Bamboo Sax, Duduk, etc. Lao Dan blends his own thoughts into the traditional way of playing Dizi, in which he pays a lot of attention on details of freedom, mood, thought and space. With plenty of performing and recording experience, Lao Dan has been experimenting more on his music since 2014. Based on Dizi and sax, adding various wind instruments and with new elements such as experiment, noise and improvisation, his music has been improved to a more substantial and creative level. He has also been actively cooperating with artists worldwide, including the legendary Japanese drummer Sabu Toyozumi.In 2013, he formed the music group Red Scarf with Deng Boyu and Li Xing, covering a variety of music genres including progressive rock, thrash metal, avant-garde jazz, funk metal and punk rock, and released their eponymous debut album in 2016.In May 2017, Lao Dan finishde recording his first Dizi solo album “Zhui Yun Zhu Meng (追云逐梦)” and it was ready to be released under Modern Sky World Music. In June, he joined a four-country avant-garde saxophone project raised by Japanese label Armageddon Nova, where his own composition “Self-destructive Machine (自毁机器)” is issued.  --- Lao Dan / alto saxophone, chinese flute --- Recorded by 老丹 at Qinglongdong Tunnel, Hangzhou, China23 August & 25 December 2017Mastered by Cyril Meysson in Saint-Étienne, France, January 2018Photography by 饒依爾 Rao Eer & 若潭 ruò tánTranslation by 呂立揚 Li-YangLayout by 若潭 ruò tán

Lao Dan – Functioning Anomie

The voice in the headphones says, “you’re rolling” . . .The Voice in the Headphones is an experiment in music writing in the form of a long poem centered on the culture of the recording studio. It describes in intricate, prismatic detail one marathon day in a recording studio during which an unnamed musician struggles to complete a film soundtrack. The book extends the form of Grubbs's previous volume Now that the audience is assembled, sharing its goal of musicalizing the language of writing about music. Mulling the insight that “studio is the absence of pushback”—now that no audience is assembled—The Voice in the Headphones details one musician's strategies for applying the requisite pressure to the proceedings, for making it count. The Voice in the Headphones is both a literary work and a meditation on sound recording, delivered at a moment in which the commercial recording studio shades into oblivion. It draws upon Grubbs's own history of several decades as a recording artist, and its location could be described as every studio in which he has set foot.   --- “David Grubbs's books are at once bravado poetic performances and incisive works of performance theory. He combines a deep knowing with a willingness to smash everything. I will follow him into any medium.” — Ben Lerner “It's decades now that David Grubbs has kept my head spinning with ideas about the creation, performance, and understanding of music. To hear or read his work is to be invited into collaboration. We are all audience, all of the time, and every creator worth her salt knows this. Grubbs turns this tenet into poetry.” — Will Oldham, music maker "Grubbs uses the set-up to extrapolate many philosophical questions surrounding the materiality of technology, the motivations of the performer, the collapsing of distinctions between different media and musing on the economics of entertainment – all within the crucible of the noble ruin of the recording studio, once the promised land for an aspiring musician and now an expensive obsolescence. . . . A kind of torrent of ideas and anxieties in the form of a visual score pouring forth from his three decades of recording in grungy studios and gilded arts academies all over the world." — Alex Neilson, Record Collector "At times, Grubbs goes into incredible detail: the buttons an engineer presses, the way a space looks, the feelings that arise from playing an instrument. However.just when it becomes almost tedious, such detail proves to be the book's greatest charm. As it progresses, one more fully appreciates how these descriptions illuminate the mindfulness that music-making can beget." — Joshua Minsoo Kim, The Wire "[The Voice in the Headphones] is an experience encapsulated in the space-time of the recording process of isolation booths, mixing boards, the room that not only floats acoustically but also is free from the flow of real time in the outside world. . . . This is an insider’s inside book about an inside experience, but Grubbs’ warmth will appeal to anyone who’s wondered just what goes on in those sequestered rooms." — George Grella, New York City Jazz Record

David Grubbs – The Voice in the Headphones

Located on the train journey between London St Pancras and Margate, Sonorama is an audio work by composer Claudia Molitor that offers sounds and voices for the otherwise silent view from the train. The work is downloadable as an app for listening with headphones.Imagining the journey itself as the ‘score’ Molitor has composed a cycle of works and collected interviews, readings and archival material which respond to both the present, and the history of the route. With each track relating to a different point or area on the line, the work has been informed through a collaboration with historian David Hendy and the British Library. The tracks imagine topics as diverse as visio-centricity, Roman history and hop-picking, with a variety of contributors such as flautist Jan Hendrickse, saxophonist Evan Parker and writer Charlotte Higgins.Sonorama: Listening to the view from the train, is a companion to the audio experience. It reproduces the complete graphic score of Molitor’s interpretation of the journey, locating the thinking behind the composition and the selection of other material.Claudia Molitor is a composer and artist whose work stems from a curiosity in unnoticed and fragile sounds, structures and thoughts, exploring the hierarchies at play in listening and seeing. Recent projects include Promming (with listening stick), a headphones piece for the 2012 BBC Proms Music Walk, Sounding the View, the culmination of a workshop exploring the sounds heard in the view from Tate Britain in 2013, the desk-opera Remember Me…, produced by Cryptic, which was performed over forty times around Europe throughout 2013/14 and Vast White Stillness, part performance, part installation, commissioned for Spitalfields Festival 2014 and performed at the 2015 Brighton Festival.

Claudia Molitor – Sonorama

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