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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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Re-engaging with a traumatic experience in the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona, the narrator of Roy Claire Potter's Entrance Song; last time tells their story through foggy wisps of memory, it's a refracted portal laid out and rendered hybrid in form. An ominous, experimental cross-artform publication brought to life by spoken text passages, recorded sound/music and additional visual PDF document. Rather than directly recounting their experience, the story's narrator focuses instead on Gothic Quarter's architecture, topography, history and people. These details unfurl as weighted shadows of the exterior world that loom over a corrupted memory: a memory that cannot be directly accessed. Accompanying and adding to the text are glimpses of music and field recordings. A piano performance of a piece of sheet music found during a research trip to the Abbey of Santa Maria De Montserrat, field recordings of a violin practice by a fountain and a hidden bass track gift a third eye to the dissociative memory and its surroundings, as well as breathe tonal hues to proceedings. A PDF document includes notes and edits of the text, as well as pictures of the towering churches and spires of the city: overwhelming pieces of architecture with spiked edges and webbed partitions. A fly-trap where words don't tread. A story instigated and evacuated, one last time. -- Entrance Song; last time was written, read and produced by Roy Claire Potter and includes the following field recordings by Lisa Lavery: Courtyard violin practice drippy fountain Rome; Calle de las Cortesías; Train platform bell Sicily. Hidden track Bass Piece was written, performed and recorded by Lisa Lavery. With special thanks to Bridget Hayden for piano instruction and Sam Mcloughlin for recording advice. Proceeds from the sale of this album will go to Rape Crisis UK and Safenet, a domestic abuse charity in Burnley.

Roy Claire Potter – Entrance song; last time

While neighbouring city Glasgow prides itself with the self-endowed banner 'People Make Glasgow', the cobbled street capital of Edinburgh lives under the cursed aphorism of 'Inspiring Capital'.  The biggest financial accumulator the city has each year, the Edinburgh Festival, is representative of this apparent 'inspiration': tourists arrive in their droves, Air B'n'b prices sky-rocket, corporate pop-up bars & restaurants lace the streets and the overwhelming majority of local residents get understandably disgruntled.Tucked in a spot in Lochend End Park, 2 of the usually disgruntled locals -  Ali Robertson & Firas Khnaisser - relish in the festival's covid-induced absence over the course of two days, engaging in a delectable jumble of scrape, rattle, pop, twang and whizz. The park is just 0.4 miles from Ali's house and 0.7 miles from Firas's , and it's clear they picked a space for comfy communion. Firas gently plucks shards of melodies and sheets of detuned wonder, while Ali creates tactile moments of intrigue and mischief with his menagerie of objects. Conversations are shared with chip-thieving feathered friends, who hover over the tumbling sound world, clearly intrigued with whatever its ardent creators are serving up. Who needs the Edinburgh festival when you can have a musical picnic with your pals instead?  -- Firas Khnaisser - classical guitar, drum and objects Ali Robertson - amplified objects -- Record live on zoom with almost no edits 0.4 Miles was recorded on 20.07.20, and 0.7 Miles on 24.07.20

Firas Khnaisser & Ali Robertson – Inspiring Capital

Takuroku

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

One of our favourite videos from OTO archive is a duo set by Makoto Oshiro and Takahiro Kawaguchi from Multitap Festival in 2014 . Embracing improvisation with a sense of mischief, the duo fill the space with motorised kinetic objects, hand-crafted instruments and a small mountain of inanimate miscellanea, transforming junk yard objects and erecting them into a hissing, buzzing and writhing rickety super structure. Created at home on his own, Makoto has kindly presented this new work for us, rendering both the imaginative tactility and sense of wonder of his practice in hypnotic audio form: "The sounds on this track are made by my hand-crafted instruments that I call "Kachi Kachi." They are quite simple; an electro-magnetic relay, which is an electronic component / physical switch driven by a coil and makes a "click (kachi)" sound, combined with a variable timer circuit that controls the frequency of the clicks.  These small components are commonly displayed in front of many market stalls selling electronics in Tokyo's Akihabara area, and they are usually sold in different variations from large to small. I'm using three different types for different textures, and place them on materials that resonate such as wooden boards and boxes. I think of them as acoustic oscillators, but at the same time, the outcome of the performance has a polyrhythmic, or parallel-rhythmic factor." - Makoto Oshiro -- Makoto Oshiro - various objects & machines -- Ryo Fujishima - artwork photography Oliver Barret - artwork design

Makoto Oshiro – Kachi Kachi

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 endhttp://kota-takeuchi.net/ Tori Kudo - The song "archive" that plays in the end roll. Recorded in March 2020. Oliver Barrett - artwork design

Tori Kudo – Archive

OTOROKU

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

The is a pre-order. Releases 6th November. 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

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

Black Truffle present Peaks by Australian cellist Judith Hamann, her debut release of electro-acoustic music. Known mostly for her live performance work with composers including Sarah Hennies, Yvette Janine Jackson, Alvin Lucier, Tashi Wada, and La Monte Young, here she steps away from the cello, moving into an intimate dreamscape woven from recordings gathered over years of itinerant touring. Peaks is a work in two distinct parts, crossfading between different landscapes and apertures; from rooftop to church, from stasis to flares of momentary romanticism. Peaks considers summits as being both above and below, reframing the idea of apex from a more intimate perspective. Hamann considers how our domestic and personal geographies might form their own apogees, meridians, or nadirs. Assembled in 2019 while an artist in residence in Krems, Austria, Peaks begins with Hamann's more familiar cello but soon unravels into resonant electronic interiors; Southern California nightscapes heard through windows, San Francisco bathroom fans, snatches of recordings of friends, hand organs, and engines. "signal/Centinela" draws primarily on recordings from Hamann's time living in San Diego, and carries with it a certain sense of nostalgia in the sense of homesickness, longing, and displacement of distance and time. Side B is composed from recordings gathered on a different continent, Europe, weaving piano with recordings of sleep, breath, church organ, and the act of climbing. "under/over" emerges as it recedes, overlapping moments of arrival to create another kind of "spire" in the sense of spir (breath). Peaks, with its omission of any recordings from Hamann's home of Australia, hints at how the very construction of home itself, might be restless, untethered, changeable, and malleable. On Peaks, Hamann interrogates tropes of ambient concrète musics, intentionally pivoting formally around material which teeters on the edge of cliché. This exploration asks whether familiar frames of harmony, field recordings and narrative trajectories can excavate new territories, or be ruptured. Peaks untangles a very personal sense of tension between beauty and shame in experimental music: treating lushness and harmony as possessing potentially muscular musical properties that might wrestle with or construct senses of belonging and home. --- Design by Lasse Marhaug. Photos by Judith Hamann. Mixed and mastered by Alan F Jones.

Judith Hamann – Peaks

New York no-wavers Ike Yard are perhaps best known for being the first American band signed to Factory Records, and it isn't difficult to hear why: the group's music has much in common with the existential frigidness of Joy Division and early New Order as well as the mutant noise-funk of Section 25 and A Certain Ratio. That said, the sound of Night After Night, the band's debut EP, is one that could only have emerged from the lawless dystopia of '70s New York City. Vocalist/percussionist Stuart Argabright, guitarist Michael Diekmann, vocalist/bassist Kenny Compton and synth player Fred Szymanski traffic in a particularly foreboding rhythmic tension, creating in the process an unlikely amalgam of minimal wave, industrial and post-punk. Recorded shortly after forming in 1980 and originally released on seminal Brussels imprint Les Disques Du Crépuscule, Night After Night suggests an alternate history in which Tobe Hooper and Jah Wobble provided the soundtrack to The Warriors. The atmosphere throughout is thick. Every cymbal is dubbed-out and spacey; every vocal utterance treated, alien and detached. Fans of Chrome's damaged ice machine-guitar or Suicide's menacing, anything-can-happen m.o. will rejoice in the siren-sounds, metal clanging and metronomic death-pulse of "Sense of Male," while “Infra-ton" evokes the cacophonous rattle of gates being pulled down over bodega storefronts and the screech of subway brakes. Side two kicks off with "Motiv's" mechanical dread, and the squelchy din of "Cherish" recasts The Residents as streetwise, urban punks. Night After Night remains primal evidence of the dank, uncompromising narcotica of Ike Yard's embryonic period. This first-time reissue comes with original sleeve design.

IKE YARD – Night After Night

Ike Yard remain a legendary band of early '80s New York City – at once immensely influential, yet obscured by a far-too-brief initial phase. Their debut EP, the dark and absorbing Night After Night, sounds almost like a different group, so rapidly would Ike Yard evolve towards the calmly menacing electro throb of their self-titled LP. Originally released on Factory in 1982, the album put Ike Yard's indelible mark on the synth-driven experimental rock scene then emerging all over the planet. While historical analogues would be Cabaret Voltaire's Red Mecca or Front 242's Geography, opening track "M. Kurtz" makes starkly clear that Ike Yard is a far heavier proposition. With a thick porridge of bass, ringing guitar and strangled/stunted layers of voice, these six pieces are densely packed and perversely danceable. "Loss" sounds like a minimal techno track that could have been made last week, while "Kino" combines Soviet-era imagery with sparse soundscapes à la African Head Charge's Environmental Studies. Ike Yard somehow pull off the toughest trick in modern music: making repetition hypnotically compelling through subtle variation. The effect of Ike Yard's first LP can be heard in many genres – from industrial dance labels like Wax Trax to electro-punk bands and innumerable European groups (Lucrate Milk, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, etc.). The fact that the cover artwork does not include any photos of the band, but rather features the original catalogue number (FACT A SECOND) only further illustrates the release's importance and Ike Yard's timeless mystique.

Ike Yard – s/t

Axis/Another Revolvable Thing is the second installment of Blank Forms’ archival reissues of the music of Japan’s eternal revolutionary Masayuki Takayanagi, following April is the cruellest month, a 1975 studio record by his New Direction Unit. Comprised of recordings of a September 5, 1975 concert by the New Direction Unit at Yasuda Seimei Hall in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district, the two-part set showcases Takayanagi in deep pursuit of what he began calling “non-section music” after leaping beyond the confines of his prior descriptor “real jazz.” The quartet of Takayanagi (guitar), Kenji Mori (reeds), Nobuyoshi Ino (bass, cello), and Hiroshi Yamazaki (percussion) deftly explores the twin poles of Takayanagi’s spacious “gradually projection” and explosively virulent “mass projection” concepts across six pieces, titled Fragments I - VI. Originally issued in two individual LP volumes in rearranged order, this CD edition presents the Another Revolvable Thing concert in chronological sequence for the first time, with “gradually projection” pieces on the first disc and “mass projection” eruptions on the second.As part of his liner notes for the original records (newly translated for this edition), noted Japanese free jazz critic Teruto Soejima wrote:"New Direction Unit performances always emit the smell of blood. Fresh blood, never blood that is old or crusted. This is not the desiccated shell of music, it's sound through which pumps the blood of living human beings. Blood that seethes, that flows and counterflows, that blazes, runs, rises and congeals, blood that vomits and spurts. Vivid, scarlet blood. The ultimate beauty that Takayanagi aims at, is it not the color of this blood?Blood calls out to blood. For these four musicians, playing together means feasting on each other’s blood. It is also a summoning to a secret blood oath, to the creation of solidarity with the audience. In the moment, truly, the situation and beauty are instantaneously unified. To borrow the title of a movie by Kōji Wakamatsu: blood is redder than the sun." --- Masayuki “Jojo” Takayanagi (1932 - 1991) was a maverick Japanese guitarist, a revolutionary spirit whose oeuvre embodied the radical political movements of late ‘60s Japan. Having cut his teeth as an accomplished Lennie Tristano disciple playing cool jazz in the late ‘50s, Takayanagi had his mind blown by the Chicago Transit Authority’s “Free Form Guitar” in 1969 and promptly turned his back on the jazz scene by which he was beloved, going as far as to call his former peers and admirers “a bunch of losers” in the press. Takayanagi had found a new direction, an annihilation of jazz and its associated idolatry of hegemonic American culture. Aiming his virtuoso chops towards the stratosphere, Takayanagi dedicated himself to the art of the freakout, laying waste to tradition left and right, most notably via the all-out assault of his aptly-named New Direction for the Arts (later New Direction Unit) and collaborations with like-minded outsider saxophonist Kaoru Abe. His innovations on the instrument parallel those of Sonny Sharrock and Derek Bailey and paved the way for the Japanese necromancy of Keiji Haino and Otomo Yoshihide, but even at its most limitless hurdling Takayanagi’s playing is propelled by the dexterous grasp of his foundations, to which he paid tribute with elegant takes on flamenco and Ornette Coleman’s “Lonely Woman.” In the autumn of his life, Takayanagi’s solo Action Direct performances made him one of the first guitarists, alongside but independent of Keith Rowe, to use tabletop guitar for pure noise improvisation. 

Masayuki Takayanagi New Direction Unit – Axis​/​Another Revolvable Thing 2

Axis/Another Revolvable Thing is the second installment of Blank Forms’ archival reissues of the music of Japan’s eternal revolutionary Masayuki Takayanagi, following April is the cruellest month, a 1975 studio record by his New Direction Unit. Comprised of recordings of a September 5, 1975 concert by the New Direction Unit at Yasuda Seimei Hall in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district, the two-part set showcases Takayanagi in deep pursuit of what he began calling “non-section music” after leaping beyond the confines of his prior descriptor “real jazz.” The quartet of Takayanagi (guitar), Kenji Mori (reeds), Nobuyoshi Ino (bass, cello), and Hiroshi Yamazaki (percussion) deftly explores the twin poles of Takayanagi’s spacious “gradually projection” and explosively virulent “mass projection” concepts across six pieces, titled Fragments I - VI. Originally issued in two individual LP volumes in rearranged order, this CD edition presents the Another Revolvable Thing concert in chronological sequence for the first time, with “gradually projection” pieces on the first disc and “mass projection” eruptions on the second.As part of his liner notes for the original records (newly translated for this edition), noted Japanese free jazz critic Teruto Soejima wrote:"New Direction Unit performances always emit the smell of blood. Fresh blood, never blood that is old or crusted. This is not the desiccated shell of music, it's sound through which pumps the blood of living human beings. Blood that seethes, that flows and counterflows, that blazes, runs, rises and congeals, blood that vomits and spurts. Vivid, scarlet blood. The ultimate beauty that Takayanagi aims at, is it not the color of this blood?Blood calls out to blood. For these four musicians, playing together means feasting on each other’s blood. It is also a summoning to a secret blood oath, to the creation of solidarity with the audience. In the moment, truly, the situation and beauty are instantaneously unified. To borrow the title of a movie by Kōji Wakamatsu: blood is redder than the sun." --- Masayuki “Jojo” Takayanagi (1932 - 1991) was a maverick Japanese guitarist, a revolutionary spirit whose oeuvre embodied the radical political movements of late ‘60s Japan. Having cut his teeth as an accomplished Lennie Tristano disciple playing cool jazz in the late ‘50s, Takayanagi had his mind blown by the Chicago Transit Authority’s “Free Form Guitar” in 1969 and promptly turned his back on the jazz scene by which he was beloved, going as far as to call his former peers and admirers “a bunch of losers” in the press. Takayanagi had found a new direction, an annihilation of jazz and its associated idolatry of hegemonic American culture. Aiming his virtuoso chops towards the stratosphere, Takayanagi dedicated himself to the art of the freakout, laying waste to tradition left and right, most notably via the all-out assault of his aptly-named New Direction for the Arts (later New Direction Unit) and collaborations with like-minded outsider saxophonist Kaoru Abe. His innovations on the instrument parallel those of Sonny Sharrock and Derek Bailey and paved the way for the Japanese necromancy of Keiji Haino and Otomo Yoshihide, but even at its most limitless hurdling Takayanagi’s playing is propelled by the dexterous grasp of his foundations, to which he paid tribute with elegant takes on flamenco and Ornette Coleman’s “Lonely Woman.” In the autumn of his life, Takayanagi’s solo Action Direct performances made him one of the first guitarists, alongside but independent of Keith Rowe, to use tabletop guitar for pure noise improvisation. 

Masayuki Takayanagi New Direction Unit – Axis​/​Another Revolvable Thing 1

Debut LP of contorted cosmic jazz and eccentric minimal electronics by Exotic Sin. The duo of Naima Karlsson and Kenichi Iwasa first came together for a performance celebrating the art and music of Karlsson’s grandparents, Moki and Don Cherry, before continuing as an independent unit that still incorporates some of the Cherrys’ instruments as well as their synergetic integration of music with artistic practice.Preferring the stark contrast of analog/digital, acoustic/electric, and natural/unnatural sounds, Karlsson contributes synthesizers in addition to piano, celesta, and bells, while Iwasa collides anachronistic 90s Yamaha keyboard and guitaret with contrabass recorder, drums, kalimba, and three of Don Cherry’s instruments: one of his trumpets as well as two of his “zen saxophones,” handmade woodwinds appending reed mouthpieces to plastic plumbing parts, also called Don’s kettles after their high-pitched sound. With such timbral juxtapositions, the spirit of Exotic Sin is reminiscent of a number of leftfield jazz-meets-electronics ‘70s duos from Don Cherry’s maverick collaborations with Jon Appleton and Terry Riley to Anthony Braxton’s work with Richard Teitelbaum, İlhan Mimaroğlu and Freddie Hubbard’s Sing Me a Song of Songmy, and Muhal Richard Abrams’ electronic works. On album opener “Dot 2 Dot,” Karlsson’s measured, monastic piano sets an elegiac stage for kettle bends and absurdist electro-percussive filtering courtesy of Iwasa before a flourish of cascading ebonies and ivories together with restorative circular trumpet motifs bring the sidelong piece to a majestic resolution. Named after the character from Ridley Scott’s 1989 film Black Rain, the schizosphere of “Charlie Vincent” interfaces ominous, dystopian synthesizer with permuted organ swells before album closer “Canis Minor” sets gentle sail for a distant bed of lonesome stars.A visual artist as well as an archivist and coordinator for the Cherry estate, Karlsson continues to learn and study Don’s compositions and approach to piano with her uncles Eagle-Eye and David, who were taught by Don himself, and his use of short piano compositions as loose scaffoldings for improvisation is prevalent across the record’s three otherworldly unfurlings. Improvisor and multidisciplinary artist Kenichi Iwasa is also known for his legendary Krautrock Karaoke night, his contribution to Beatrice Dillon’s 2020 album Workaround, and collaborations with visual artists and musicians from Linder Sterling to members of Can, Neu!, Faust, Cluster, and Wire. Recorded and mixed, with additional alto flute, woodwinds, and contrabass recorder by Robbie Lee. 

Exotic Sin – Customers Copy

Axis/Another Revolvable Thing is the second installment of Blank Forms’ archival reissues of the music of Japan’s eternal revolutionary Masayuki Takayanagi, following April is the cruellest month, a 1975 studio record by his New Direction Unit. Comprised of recordings of a September 5, 1975 concert by the New Direction Unit at Yasuda Seimei Hall in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district, the two-part set showcases Takayanagi in deep pursuit of what he began calling “non-section music” after leaping beyond the confines of his prior descriptor “real jazz.” The quartet of Takayanagi (guitar), Kenji Mori (reeds), Nobuyoshi Ino (bass, cello), and Hiroshi Yamazaki (percussion) deftly explores the twin poles of Takayanagi’s spacious “gradually projection” and explosively virulent “mass projection” concepts across six pieces, titled Fragments I - VI. Originally issued in two individual LP volumes in rearranged order, this CD edition presents the Another Revolvable Thing concert in chronological sequence for the first time, with “gradually projection” pieces on the first disc and “mass projection” eruptions on the second.As part of his liner notes for the original records (newly translated for this edition), noted Japanese free jazz critic Teruto Soejima wrote:"New Direction Unit performances always emit the smell of blood. Fresh blood, never blood that is old or crusted. This is not the desiccated shell of music, it's sound through which pumps the blood of living human beings. Blood that seethes, that flows and counterflows, that blazes, runs, rises and congeals, blood that vomits and spurts. Vivid, scarlet blood. The ultimate beauty that Takayanagi aims at, is it not the color of this blood?Blood calls out to blood. For these four musicians, playing together means feasting on each other’s blood. It is also a summoning to a secret blood oath, to the creation of solidarity with the audience. In the moment, truly, the situation and beauty are instantaneously unified. To borrow the title of a movie by Kōji Wakamatsu: blood is redder than the sun." --- Masayuki “Jojo” Takayanagi (1932 - 1991) was a maverick Japanese guitarist, a revolutionary spirit whose oeuvre embodied the radical political movements of late ‘60s Japan. Having cut his teeth as an accomplished Lennie Tristano disciple playing cool jazz in the late ‘50s, Takayanagi had his mind blown by the Chicago Transit Authority’s “Free Form Guitar” in 1969 and promptly turned his back on the jazz scene by which he was beloved, going as far as to call his former peers and admirers “a bunch of losers” in the press. Takayanagi had found a new direction, an annihilation of jazz and its associated idolatry of hegemonic American culture. Aiming his virtuoso chops towards the stratosphere, Takayanagi dedicated himself to the art of the freakout, laying waste to tradition left and right, most notably via the all-out assault of his aptly-named New Direction for the Arts (later New Direction Unit) and collaborations with like-minded outsider saxophonist Kaoru Abe. His innovations on the instrument parallel those of Sonny Sharrock and Derek Bailey and paved the way for the Japanese necromancy of Keiji Haino and Otomo Yoshihide, but even at its most limitless hurdling Takayanagi’s playing is propelled by the dexterous grasp of his foundations, to which he paid tribute with elegant takes on flamenco and Ornette Coleman’s “Lonely Woman.” In the autumn of his life, Takayanagi’s solo Action Direct performances made him one of the first guitarists, alongside but independent of Keith Rowe, to use tabletop guitar for pure noise improvisation. 

Masayuki Takayanagi New Direction Unit – Axis​/​Another Revolvable Thing 2CD

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

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

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

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