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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.

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

Ute Kanngiesser & Daniel Kordík – 5AM

Takuroku

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

“Nostalgia (from nostos – return home, and algia – longing) is a longing for a home that no longer exists or has never existed. Nostalgia is a sentiment of loss and displacement, but it is also a romance with one’s own fantasy. Nostalgic love can only survive in a long-distance relationship. A cinematic image of nostalgia is a double exposure, or a superimposition of two images – of home and abroad, past and present, dream and everyday life. The moment we try to force it into a single image, it breaks the frame or burns the surface.” - Svetlana Boym, “The Future of Nostalgia” “I’m not deliberately out to antagonise an audience or spite them or anything like that, but if they adopt the attitude of ‘This isn’t what we expected’, then yippee, I’m gonna wallow in that, because you shouldn’t sit back and expect anything at all.” - John Lydon, “Anger is an Energy” Spring time. Three period instruments from the turn of the century: Yamaha CS1X, Korg MonoSynth 2000, MicroKorg Synth Vocoder. Fingers fumble, sounds happen - obnoxious, unapologetic, fragile like a wobbly cassette that you’ve listened to a million times on the Walkman you dropped before you could afford a Discman. I’m not playing the instruments, they are playing themselves, they are playing me and there is no forcing or fighting them. Faded-photograph sunshine sounds of ’90s electronica, caramelised sweetened condensed milk, the beach, rage, DIY chamber music for cats. Then, it stops: the end of nostalgia and the end of the world as you know it. We are getting old and the sounds have lost their innocence. Thank you to Ed (Teddy) Bennett, Michael Keeney and Hannah Peel for the synth love.  -- Xenia Pestova Bennett - composition / performance / recording / mixing -- Ed Bennett, production / creative & artistic concept Antony Ryan (RedRedPaw), mastering Oliver Barrett, cover design from a photo by Xenia Pestova Bennett

Xenia Pestova Bennett – Atonal Electronic Chamber Music For Cats

All new work from OLAibi, a Japanese percussion-based experimental music project by AI from Osaka, an ex-member of OOIOO who regularly works with Takagi Masakatsu. In her music, OLAibi incorporates ancient Okinawan influences and melds electronics, steel drums, pianica, exotic percussion instruments and her voice into dizzying technicolor dream states. Since her childhood, AI was deeply inspired and mesmerized by Africa, and discovering Western African drums in later years mainly triggered her further musical activities. Using her manifold cross-cultural influences, she's created this deeply personal work, excavating her current feelings and sharing them with the outside world. -- Land where the water never dries up. Land where the soil is fertile. These were the only conditions for me. The earthquake. That attacked Japan. I was looking for a place to dwell. One day I stumbled upon an old estate agent man who gave me an old map. “I’ve never been there but you go and have a look.” I went there following the map, I got there but it didn’t seem right. It was a jungle. No space to enter. I entered into the dark woods clipping the branches in front of me one by one with a nata sword which I had with me. I had no idea where the borders were. It didn’t seem like there was no infrastructure. I had no idea this jungle even would fulfil my conditions. What sort of future had I imagined, I decided to live here to make this place my home. It's my 9th year since I have lived here. I can say that I live like a human. I spend about £7 a month on electricity. It’s for some pendant lights to avoid insects and musical machines to work. And wifi to connect to the outside world. At first I tried so hard to live harmoniously with nature. I tried not to chop down trees and stopped cooking meat dishes. After 8 years you finally realise that you change the organic system inevitably by simply just existing. Only humans cannot fit in this world. And I cry from the sadness and helplessness. We sway. We are creatures that sway. We try to adjust to fit in this world finding the harmonious point swaying. That made me feel less tearful and got up to live for the next day. I name all my music of food or flavour. Not to forget that everything I make is given from nature. The languages I chose in my music I call them -Fate community language. I mix up and use the phonetic of all the different foreign languages, And all I have to do is to follow the word souls and my instinct. - OLAibi -- OLAibi - all music & recording Written & recorded in spring 2020 -- Artwork design by Oliver Barrett

OLAibi – 「Song of the taste」

OTOROKU

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

Vi Är Alla Guds Slavar is the latest missive from the long-running duo pairing of Mats Gustafsson (The Thing, Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, etc) and Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth, Chelsea Light Moving, Dream/Aktion Unit, etc). Thurston had first come across Mats' playing on a duo disc with Barry Guy and had assumed he was one of those older beardy European improv guys - Remember this was before the internet and everyone knew everything. Their first actual meeting goes back to the early 90s at Blue Tower Records in Stockholm (now Andra Jazz - arguably the greatest jazz record store in the world) on one of Thurston's frequent soundcheck-skipping discaholic binges. The young guy behind the counter was blowing his mind with side after side of crazy rare jazz, test pressings, acetates and more. Running late, he offered Thurston a lift to the gig and en route asked if there was any particular records he was looking for. "There is this sax player - Mats Gustafsson - I'm looking for some of his stuff" "That's me" says the young guy - and there started an intense friendship that has manifested intself in music through their discaholics anonymous trio (with Jim O'Rourke), Gustafsson's large scale HIDROS 3 composition for Sonic Youth and much more besides… You can watch a video interview with Thurston where he tells the story of their first meeting here:

Mats Gustafsson & Thurston Moore – Vi Är Alla Guds Slavar

Born in 1964, Yukihiro Isso is a Japanese Noh flutist (hayashi-kata fue-kata) from a family that has been playing this instrument since the 16th century. He received his initial instruction in flute playing from his father Yukimasa Isso and performed on the Noh stage for the first time at the age of nine. From his middle school years he began to listen to a variety of different kinds of music and studying new instruments including the recorder, flute and piano. An acclaimed performer of classical Noh repertoire, Isso is also an accomplished improviser and has performed with the likes of Cecil Taylor, Peter Brötzmann and John Zorn.. Born 1946, Roger Turner grew up amongst the Canterbury musical life of the 1960’s with a strong jazz foundation. Since 1974 work has been concentrated on exploring a more personal percussion language through the processes of improvisation. Solo work, collaborations with experimental rock musics & open - form song, extensive work with dance, film and visual art, involvements in numerous jazz-based ensembles, & workshop residencies have formed part of that development. Takanehishigu is the audio documentation of the first time these artists played together. The results are a breathtaking new music which remains respectful to the individual traditions whilst simultaneously subverting them. --- Yukihiro Isso / Nohkan (noh-flute), shinobue, dengakubue, gemshorn and recorder. Roger Turner / percussion --- Takanehishigu was recorded live at Cafe Oto on 23rd Sep 2015 by Shaun Crook Mixed by John Chantler. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi. Artwork by Paul Abbott. Edition of 500 copies.

Roger Turner / Yukihiro Isso – Takanehishigu

For the time being we are unable to get to the post but if you order now your item will be posted as soon as things return to normal. Thank you for your support.  We're very pleased to announce Pat Thomas's ‘The Elephant Clock of Al Jazari’ on our in-house OTOROKU label. Recorded live at OTO in May 2015 and mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi, the LP comprises four typically genre-defying and sonically dexterous pieces from one of the UK's most extraordinary pianists. In Pat's own words: The title for this album was inspired by the incredible automatic water clock invented by Badi' al-Zaman ibn al-Razzaz al-Jazari. Al Jazari refers to the fact he was born in Al Jazira which lies between the Tigris and the Euphrates in what is now Northern Iraq. Badi al Zaman means prodigy of the age. He is known by historians of technology as the father of modern robotics. The Elephant Clock at seven metres high is a testament to his engineering genius, it utilizes Greek water raising technology, combined with an Indian elephant, Egyptian phoenix, Arabian figures, Persian carpet and Chinese Dragons celebrating the diversity of cultures in the world. This and other marvels of engineering can be found in his Book of the Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices translated by Donald Hill (Pakistan Hijra Council). Over 50 devices are mentioned. Amongst them the first analog computer, his remarkable Castle Clock, however, the debt the world owes this muslim genius is found in his remarkable water raising devices, particularly water raising device number 4 where for the first time a crank connecting rod system is used. The crank is considered to be the most important single mechanical device after the wheel, by 1206 this is found fully developed in Jazari`s machines predating Francesco di Giorgio Martini by 3 centuries. 'For Al Haytham' is dedicated to the great polymath genius who wrote the great book on vision, the first person to give us a true understanding of how we see. 'Lubb' is an Arabic word meaning innermost consciousness whilst to conclude proceedings 'Done' is loosely based on a well known standard. - Pat Thomas 26th May 2017 --- Pat Thomas / piano --- Recorded live at Cafe OTO on the 4th May 2015 by Mark Jasper. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi. Photo by Fabio Lugaro. Design by Maja Larsson. 

Pat Thomas – The Elephant Clock of Al Jazari

First solo LP from Maybe Noise collective member Sheng Jie. "I always feel that the cello is a kind of instrument that is full of sorrow and narration, like an aged intoning the past repeatedly and sadly alone. In my ordinary work, the concept of “narration” is always excluded on purpose. Or, it is taken as a part that I don’t want to deal with but have to. Thus, the cello, which is particular but unitary for me, can express a kind of true emotion which is very “clumsy”, because true emotions always seem to be clumsy by being direct and parched. This album emphasizes the concept of “performer”, which refers to the one, the fingers, the power and the immediate state of the breath when playing the instrument, without overmuch decoration and editing, or splendid and adept performing skills. Each track was performed and recorded from start to finish once and once again, in which some mistakes were retained and chosen reasonably. The name of each track is made from the names of gods in Bon religion. Those gods are the creators of the beginning of the universe. Their original form is egg, which transformed into space. The time and space structure they created was bulks of passivity. That’s Bon religion’s descriptions of the universe and the world. If certain cognition of forms must be given to gods and time and space, the best description that breaks the linear conception would be the space of “passivity”, in which music was born. The world view of oviparity is full of uncertainty. It grows and dies under a set structure of bulk.-gogoj a.k.a Sheng Jie --- Composed and electronic cello performed by gogoj a.k.a Sheng JieRecorded by gogoj a.k.a Sheng Jie in Beijing, China, 2018.Mixed and mastered by Cyril Meysson, In Saint-Etienne, France, 2018 --- Reverse-board heavy cover, 3-spines, printed with Pantone silver metallic ink. Limited edition of 300 copies, hand-numbered

Sheng Jie – Oviparity

Black Truffle’s documentation of the prolific recent work of legendary American composer Alvin Lucier continues with Works for the Ever Present Orchestra. This is a very special release for the composer as it presents pieces written for the thirteen-member Ever Present Orchestra, formed in 2016 exclusively to perform Lucier’s works. At the heart of the ensemble are four electric guitars, an instrument Lucier began composing for in 2013 with Criss-Cross (recorded by two core members of the Ever Present Orchestra, Oren Ambarchi and Stephen O’Malley, for whom it was composed, on Black Truffle 033). Through the use of e-bows, the guitars take on a role akin to the slow sweep pure wave oscillators heard in many of Lucier’s works since the early 1980s, but with added harmonic richness. Like much of Lucier’s instrumental music, the pieces recorded here focus on acoustic phenomena, especially beating patterns, produced by the interference between closely tuned pitches. The work presented here is some of the richest and most inviting that Lucier has composed. Though all of the pieces clearly belong to the same continuing exploration of the behaviour of sound in physical space and make use of related compositional devices, each takes on a strikingly different character. Titled Arc, for the full ensemble of four guitars, four saxophones, four violins, piano and bowed glockenspiel inhabits a world of sliding, uneasy tones, punctuated by a single piano note. Where Double Helix, for four guitars, rests on a pillow of warm, low hum, EPO-5, for two guitars, saxophone, violin, and glockenspiel possess a limpid, crystalline quality. Accompanying the four new compositions are two adaptations of existing pieces for radically different instrumentation, demonstrating Lucier’s excitement about the new possibilities suggested by this dedicated ensemble. Works for the Ever Present Orchestra is an essential document of the current state of Lucier’s continuing exploration, as well as offering a seductive entry-point for anyone who might yet be unacquainted with his singular body of work.2CD release presented in a deluxe 4-panel digipak with cover artwork and liner notes from Alvin Lucier plus a 16-page booklet with live photos. Disc 2 of this release includes the bonus Adaptions for the Ever Present Orchestra featuring two pieces (“Two Circles” and “Braid”) that are not included on the vinyl version. Mastered by Rashad Becker. Design by Lasse Marhaug.

Alvin Lucier – Works for the Ever Present Orchestra

2LP / 2CD

Okinawa-based artist Kanako Horiuchi centres her practice around her voice and the sanshin - an Okinawan musical instrument and precursor of the mainland Japanese shamisen – but opens the aesthetic possibilities of the instrument wide open, including excursions into electronic music, Senagelese music, minimalism and more. On 'Hope' she explores both the opaque nature of our current times and the glimmer of hope we can find in different places. ‘Darkness’ dives into the present with industrial synth washes and electronic drum cycles, before setting new co-ordinates on with the help of a drifting Okinawan Taiko on ‘Break Away’. On ‘Hope’ she shares vocal refrains with her 2 year old daughter, telling the tale of a buddha's arrival, world peace, mothers and the sea appearing. On final track ‘thanks’, recorded in Senegal before lock-down, she returns her instrument to folkloric traditions of the country, embracing the hope that can be gained through travel, exploration and generational love between mothers and children. “I never thought the covid-19 pandemic would affect my personal life, but it did. Somehow I wanted to formalise my thoughts and feelings I have had over this period into music. Okinawa, the county of Japan once used to be an independent country /kingdom, totally independent from Japan and any other country, has gone through and still has been going through the many layers of dark long history. I believe there are many places like Okinawa in the rest of the world. I wanted to make the music of Hope.” - Kanako Horiuchi Mastered and artwork by Oliver Barrett

Kanako Horiuchi – Hope

"In Another Place is constructed from the sounds of found materials, domestic objects and self-made mechanisms. Working between Lucerne, Montreal and Huddersfield, we followed simple cues as instructional starting points, responding to a single word to create a sonic response within a specific time-frame. These prompts became starting points for materially engaged, sonic exploration. Each take was a dislocated, improvisation to no-one, confined to our private studios and homes, our headphones and recorders. Sounds include recordings of ceramic hobs, seaweed, styrofoam, kitchen foil, balloons, resonant tubes, scrap metal, motors, water pumps, spark gaps, lightbulbs, water, wooden dowels and sand paper. The results were layered, re-situated and mixed by matching time-frames and timbre. In Another Place explores the musical potential of everyday materials through disconnection, interpretation and serendipity" - (Tim Shaw) -- "What if COVID-19 had never swept the globe? What if our lives were operating as normal? There would’ve been Anne-F Jacques from Montreal as ame’s fourth artist-in-residence collaborating, in different scales, with a gang of sound artists and musicians; Julia Eckhardt, Phil Niblock, Tim Shaw, Tania Caroline Chen, Yorkshire Sound Women Network and myself right now, here at Dai Hall, a venue for underground experimental music and art scene in Huddersfield. The luxury of chaos (I miss that now) would’ve been followed by high-spirited laugher. When Keiko invited me to make a mini album for Takuroku, I romanticised this hypothesis, the ‘what-if’ theory. Every event has a cause. This Takuroku opportunity has given us a chance to thrive, to get back to our individual creative zone, to listen to the world once more. Thanks to Cafe OTO." - (Ryoko Akama) -- Recorded by Tim Shaw, Anne-F Jacques and Ryoko Akama -- Mastered by Anne-F Jacques Artwork design by Oliver Barrett

Ryoko Akama, Anne-F Jacques and Tim Shaw – In Another Place

"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

Massimo Magee – Wormhole to Nowhere

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

"Let's get the facts out up front: Lines Burnt in Light is pure insane genius. Evan Parker, for decades a master of the saxophone in various contexts, steps up about three levels on his new solo disc. As the inaugural release on his new Psi label, this is going to be a hard act to follow. Parker insistently pursues a high-level spiritual energy on these three extended improvisations for solo soprano saxophone. And he does not relent. Lines Burnt in Light documents a live performance with no effects or overdubs (apart from the rich acoustics of London's St. Michael and All Angels Church). Parker wastes no time firing up his engines during the first piece, recorded before the audience's arrival. His playing operates at many levels. At its most literal, the music cycles through a long series of short, high loops. As time moves on, these cycles drift fluidly through musical space, acquiring new elements, leaping up and down, and defining new tonalities. But this music is clearly about much more than the literal. Parker colors his fundamentals with an inexhaustible array of overtones, and it's at this level that these improvisations really come alive. Each note turns furry, spikey, or rounded, depending on how the saxophonist chooses to shape it. The high notes sail through the air with birdlike delicacy, chirps and whistles all about, as if a flock of songbirds have alighted on the microphone. As the recording proceeds, Parker meets his audience head-on with a similar urgency. While some listeners may find the sheer density and intesity of Lines Burnt in Light daunting, those with open ears and hearts can look forward to over an hour of pure invention and delicacy. The saxophonist's pursuit lies far beyond technical fluency (which he happens to have in great abundance), much as Coltrane aimed for a higher realm. It's this process of transcendence which lifts Lines Burnt in Light to a spectacular zenith of light and sound. Maybe it's the glow of the full moon outside as I listen, but this music provides express transportation to another world." - All About Jazz

Evan Parker – Lines Burnt in Light

Nantes-based Australian drummer and percussionist Will Guthrie returns to Black Truffle with Nist-Nah. Like his previous solo record on the label, the abrasive hip-hop concrète of People Pleaser (BT027), Nist-Nah finds Guthrie branching out in a new direction, this time in a suite of six percussion pieces primarily using the metallaphones, hand drums and gongs of the Gamelan ensembles of Indonesia. The music presented here is grounded in Guthrie’s travels in Indonesia and study of various forms of Gamelan music, from the stately suspended temporality of the courtly Javanese Gamelan Sekatan, to the delirious, thuggish repetition that accompanies the Javanese trance ritual Jathilan, to the shimmering acoustic glitch of contemporary Balinese composer Dewa Alit and his Gamelan Salukat. However, far from an exercise in exoticism, Nist-Nah develops out of Guthrie’s extensive work with metal percussion in recent years (as heard, for example, on his 2015 LP for iDEAL, Sacrée Obsession), where gongs, singing bowls and cymbals are used to build up walls of hovering tones and sizzling details. Though Guthrie is broadening his palette to explore Gamelan instrumentation and pay tribute to his love of this sophisticated yet elemental percussion music, the pieces presented here are equally informed by Guthrie’s interests in free jazz, electro-acoustic music and diverse experimental music practices, exploring long tones, extended techniques, and non-metered pulse.Nist-Nah presents a variety of approaches across its six pieces, from the crisp, precise rhythmic complexity of the opening title track to the droning textures of ‘Catlike’ and ‘Elders’. On the epic closing ‘Kebogiro Glendeng’, Guthrie offers an extended, layered rendition of a Javanese piece belonging to a repertoire primarily used for warmups, beginner’s groups and children first learning Gamelan, elegantly gesturing to his own amateur status while using the piece’s insistently repeated melody as an extended exploration of the hypnotic effects of repetition, falling in and out of time with himself to create woozy, narcotic effects until the piece eventually dissolves into a wavering fog. 

Will Guthrie – Nist Nah

Continuing Black Truffle’s series of releases documenting the recent work of legendary American experimental composer Alvin Lucier, String Noise presents three major works for violin solo and duo composed between 2004 and 2019. Lucier has developed his compositions in close collaboration with many instrumentalists over the years; the three works presented here are performed by the violinists for whom they were originally written, Conrad Harris and Pauline Kim Harris, who together make up the innovative violin duo String Noise, and have premiered works by a plethora of major figures in contemporary music. The long-form compositions presented here continue Lucier’s life-long exploration of acoustic phenomena, drawing on aspects of some of his most well-known compositions and extending them into new instrumentation. Tapper (2004) extends the experiments with echolocation – gathering information about an environment by listening to the echoes of sounds produced within it – that Lucier began with his classic 1969 work Vespers, where performers explore a space equipped with hand-held pulse oscillators. Here, the same principle is put into practice for solo violin, the body of which the performer taps repeatedly with the butt end of the bow while moving around the performance space. The result is a subtly shifting web of echoes and resonances produced by the reflection of the sharp tap off the surfaces of the room (in this case, the Drawing Center in New York). In Love Song (2016), two violinists are connected by a long wire stretched between the bridges of their instruments, causing the sounds played on one violin to also be heard through the other. As the two violinists play long tones using only the open E string, they move in a circular motion around the performance space, thus changing the tension of the wire, which creates a remarkable array of variations in pitch and timbre ranging from ghostly wavering pitches reminiscent of a singing saw to near-electronic tones. In Halo (2019), one or more violinists walk slowly through the performance space in a zig-zag pattern while sustaining long tones. As in Tapper, the consistent sound production reveals the sonic properties of the environment. As the title of the piece suggests, the outcome is a shimmering halo of sound produced by the reflection of the violin’s extended tones off the walls and ceiling of the performance space (in this case, Alvin's home).  

Alvin Lucier – String Noise

Why did Andy Warhol decide to enter the music business by producing the Velvet Underground, and what did the band expect to gain in return? What made Yoko Ono use the skills she developed in the artistic avant-garde in pop music, and what in turn drew John Lennon to visual art? Why, in 1980s West Germany, did Joseph Beuys record a pop single and artists such as Walter Dahn, Albert and Markus Oehlen, and Michaela Melián form bands? What role does utopia play in the pop music and art of Brian Eno, Laurie Anderson, and Fatima Al Qadiri? And, vice versa, did dystopias of transgressive imagery and noise lead the artist group COUM Transmissions to make music as Throbbing Gristle? In Double Lives in Art and Pop Music, Jörg Heiser argues that context shifting between art and pop music is an attempt to find solutions for contradictions faced in one field of cultural production. Ever since Duchamp’s readymade und Hugo Ball’s sound poetry, the definition of art has widened and dissolved to a point where nearly anything geared toward an art audience can be considered an artwork. Today it has become convention to praise art as a way of questioning conventions, not least in regard to conventional borders between disciplines, media, and genres. However, heroic claims of dissolving borders have become a way of kicking at doors that are already wide open—in a political and economic environment defined by neoliberal deregulation and flexibilization geared toward new markets, and permeating every social and cultural sphere. It has thus become increasingly important to discuss the relationship between different fields of cultural production. This book does just that, looking closely at the careers of artists and pop musicians who work in both fields professionally. Historically, these figures provoked cognitive dissonance, but the seeming acceptance and effortlessness today of current border crossings can be deceptive, since they might be serving vested economic or ideological interests. Exploring the intertwined histories of pop and art from the 1960s to the present, Heiser shows that those leading double lives in art and pop music may often be best able to detect these vested interests while pointing toward radical alternatives.

JÖRG HEISER – Double Lives in Art and Pop Music

Restock expected to ship 1st August The second issue of Spectres is devoted to the concept of resonances, with contributions by Maryanne Amacher, Chris Corsano, Ellen Fullman, Christina Kubisch, Okkyung Lee, Pali Meursault, Jean-Luc Nancy, David Rosenboom, Tomoko Sauvage, The Caretaker, David Toop, and Christian Zanési. To resonate: re-sonare. To sound again—with the immediate implication of a doubling. Sound and its double: sent back to us, reflected by surfaces, diffracted by edges and corners. Sound amplified, swathed in an acoustics that transforms it. Sound enhanced by its passing through a certain site, a certain milieu. Sound propagated, reaching out into the distance. But to resonate is also to vibrate with sound, in unison, in synchronous oscillation. To marry with its shape, amplifying a common destiny. To join forces with it. And then again, to resonate is to remember, to evoke the past and to bring it back. Or to plunge into the spectrum of sound, to shape it around a certain frequency, to bring out sonic or electric peaks from the becoming of signals. Resonance embraces a multitude of different meanings. Or rather, remaining always identical, it is actualised in a wide range of different phenomena and circumstances. Such is the multitude of resonances evoked in the pages below: a multitude of occurrences, events, sensations, and feelings that intertwine and welcome one other. Everyone may have their own history, everyone may resonate in their own way, and yet we must all, in order to experience resonance at a given moment, be ready to welcome it. The welcoming of what is other, whether an abstract outside or on the contrary an incarnate otherness ready to resonate in turn, is a condition of resonance. This idea of the welcome is found throughout the texts that follow, opening up the human dimension of resonance, a dimension essential to all creativity and to any exchange, any community of mind. Which means that resonance here is also understood as being, already, an act of paying attention, i.e. a listening, an exchange. Addressing one or other of the forms that this idea of resonating can take on (extending—evoking—reverberating—revealing—transmitting), each of the contributions brought together in this volume reveals to us a personal aspect, a fragment of the enthralling territory of sonic and musical experimentation, a territory upon which resonance may unfold. The book has been designed as a prism and as a manual. May it in turn find a unique and profound resonance in each and every reader. Spectres is an annual publication dedicated to sound and music experimentation, co-published by Shelter Press and Ina GRM – Groupe de Recherches Musicales.

Spectres #02 – Resonances

"A classically trained Chinese bamboo flutist, Lao Dan picked up the saxophone again around 2013 as he went wildly astray in the world of avant-garde jazz and free improvisation. While demonstrating an ever-growing ability to deliver explosive force and intensity in his free playing, Lao Dan keeps a brutal honesty in his approach to the instrument. He plays ‘jazz’ as what it is, not what it’s supposed to be. Navigating constantly between the East and the West, Lao Dan embraces a unique aesthetics which fuses all his past influences into a voice of glorious mayhem and sheer zaniness.Recorded in June 2019, this is a solo set in which two instruments – tenor saxophone and Zheng, also known as the Chinese zither – were played successively and simultaneously by hands and feet. The recording was made in one go with no overdub or effect added. Lao Dan never learned to play the Zheng properly before this very first attempt. As a result, he didn’t struggle at all to play it in an awkward way, while with the saxophone he did, as always, try very hard to do that.The cover art, created by Shenzhen-based artist Tiemei, is a portrait of Shennong, the Deity of medicine and agriculture in ancient Chinese mythology. The three tracks in Chinese Medicine are named after three species of herb each believed to have unique medicinal properties. It is our responsibility to remind you to take them with extra caution. In Chinese medicine, after all, every drug is a thirty-percent poison."

Lao Dan – Chinese Medicine