Last November we were delighted to welcome back one of the most important musicians of the Japanese underground/avant-garde - Otomo Yoshihide - for his first show here since 2013. Joined by Japanese drummer Hiroshi Yamazaki (who has Kaoru Abe among his extensive list of past collaborators, and was also a member of Masayuki Takayanagi’s pioneering New Directions group) and legendary saxophonist Evan Parker, the two duos and extended trio mark the first time these three have collaborated. Yoshihide's guitar scrawl knots up Yamazaki's wide angled percussion and when Parker comes in for the trio it's not long before his familiar lines warp up into Yoshihide's strung out, high freq reverb for a dark, light and deep level wig-out. It's truly special when a trio works first time like this, and we hope they'll be back together before long.
Otomo Yoshihide / guitar
Hiroshi Yamazaki / percussion
Evan Parker / saxophone
1. One - 15:32 (Yoshihide / Yamazaki)
2. Two - 20:52 (Yamazaki / Parker)
3. Three - 46:37 (Yoshihide / Yamazaki / Parker)
Recorded live at Cafe OTO by Shaun Crook on Monday the 14th Novemeber, 2016. Mixed and mastered by the ever talented James Dunn. Photo by Dawid Laskowski.
Yoshihide / Yamazaki / Parker - 14.11.16
Composer, musical theorist, multi-instrumentalist, and one of the founders of Fluxus, Philip Corner's debut show at OTO was funny, sincere and inventive. Alongside his wife Phoebe Neville, the pair mixed relatively unheard compositions with stage interventions and brand new improvisations. At one special point, Corner and Neville - both blind behind Javanese masks - played a borrowed Casio and named the piece 'Understanding'. Gold.
Solo, Corner performed one of his more recent pieces, 'Agnesia', a one note near-Elemental number inspired by the painter Agnes Martin. 'An Ideal Amen' was derived from the final chords of the Berlioz Requiem and features Neville adding vocals. Corner and Neville closed by playing touching tribute to their dear friend and esteemed Fluxus collegue Ben Patterson - a piano version of Patterson's 'Paper Piece'. A generous and wonderous pair of people -- more high-jinks and meditations inside.
Notes for the show as printed for the audience:
to eat or drink
and then sometime during ……
consciously & explicitly
a sound with it.
Thus adding to the music …”
Philip Corner / piano, keyboard
Phoebe Neville / vocals, keyboard
Recorded live at Cafe OTO on Monday 19th September by James Dunn. Mixed and Mastered by James Dunn. Photo by Dawid Laskowski.
Philip Corner & Phoebe Neville - 19.9.16
Composer, saxophonist and sound artist Antoine Chessex is usually known for playing through distorting stacks of guitar amplifiers to create monolithic walls of noise and texture, but on 12.12.16 he teamed up with free music giants John Edwards and Steve Noble to play an all acoustic trio - an attempt to deconstruct the ‘classic’ formula of the tenor sax, bass and drums. Right off the bat Chessex's extended technique reaches combustable energy levels, and Edwards and Noble push pace and space to a taut intensity. Fresh, fierce and always under control - we very much hope this trio returns. For now though, dig in to this.
Antine Chessex / saxophone
John Edwards / double bass
Steve Noble / drums
Recorded live at Cafe OTO by Shaun Crook on Sunday 12th December, 2016. Mixed and mastered by James Dunn. Photo by Dawid Laskowski.
Chessex / Noble / Edwards - 12.12.16
1.10.16 documents prolific noise master Merzbow's double show here back in October. Rhythm driven and rammed with highly sculpted frequencies, Akita's sound is entirely remorseless. Furious squalls and delicate sine-warps post this one on the more psychedelic end of Akita's output. Truly relentless, it is still hard to believe he created Untitled Knife I on a casual Saturday lunchtime. Be careful with that volume.
Masami Akita / electronics
Untitled Knife I - 50:06
Untitled Knife II - 54:52
Recorded live at Cafe OTO by Shaun Crook on Saturday 1st October, 2016. Mixed and mastered by James Dunn.
Merzbow - 1.10.16
Authorised reissue of Lol Coxhill's legendary Ear Of Beholder, originally released in 1971. Ear Of Beholder is one of the most beguiling and adventurous records of the 1970s, which is saying a lot as that is a musical decade marked by groundbreaking creativity. Originally released on John Peel's Dandelion label, Lol Coxhill's sprawling double album debut is an avant-garde jazz masterstroke that features Robert Wyatt and much of the Whole World group, Kevin Ayers's backing band at the time (of which Lol was a member). Ranging from straight-up feedback to re-workings of standards, outdoor recordings to spoken word, improvisation to vaudeville, Ear Of Beholder covers more ground in two LPs than most artists do in a lifetime. Difficult, adventurous listening from one of British jazz's most brilliant innovators. 180 gram vinyl; Comes in a gatefold sleeve.
Lol Coxhill - Ear of the Beholder 2LP
Stunning duo from France's Julie Normal and Olivier Demeaux (Cheveu, Heimat). At the centre of their sound is one of the last remaining ondes Martenot's - an instrument loved by Messiaen and Varese, and carefully packed up and shipped across the channel to OTO last year by a worried Julie. Beautifully paced, the pair create a sort of precarious evensong for an alternate universe - perfect for this year! Includes previously unreleased tracks "La Reine", "Lycaon" and "Txwo".
Julie Normal / ondes martenot
Olivier Demeaux / harmonium + pedals
1. Ouverture all'inglese - 6:59
2. Txwo - 5:47
3. Merluzo - 3:13
4. Le Noir Pays - 6:08
5. Lycaon - 2:56
6. La Reine - 8:14
7. Encore - 5:20
Recorded live at Cafe OTO by Adam Matschulat on Thursday 29th September 2016. Mixed by Olivier Demeaux. Mastered by James Dunn.
Accident Du Travail - 29.9.16
Recorded over their two day residency, 9.9.16 spans the pastoral, the brooding, and the free-form progg moments of Trad Gras in one oozing zip folder. Their seemingly endless, bucolic bass lines and humble DIY approach create an ever expanding atmosphere of good will - these are surely the nicest guys in rock? The opening 'track' is a 25 minute wigged out version of Harvester's 'När Lingonen Mognar', and 'Stina' is a never before recorded folk-rock track written by the band's close friend Mats G Bengtsson. Spread the word my friends.
Reine Fiske / guitar, vocals
Sigge Krantz / bass, vocals
Tom Watts / drums
Jakob Sjöholm / guitar, vocal
1. När Lingonen Mognar - 24:18
2. Kaffe med Tårta - 12:52
3. Down in the Basement - 11:07
4. Stina - 7:12
5. Sommarlåten - 13:54
6. Silverffloden - 11:39
Recorded live at Cafe OTO on the 9th and 10th of September, 2016 by Simon Holliday and Shaun Crook. Mixed & Mastered by James Dunn. Photo by Dawid Laskowski. Many thanks to Jakob.
Trad Gras Och Stenar - 9.9.16
William Burroughs was in and out of London from the mid-50s through to 1974 and for several years quite settled in a flat near Piccadilly. During this latter time he developed and refined the techniques he used for creating cut-ups on tape. Working closely with Ian Sommerville, who helped acquire, and no doubt maintain, the various tape recorders that Burroughs used and abused in these experimental works.The work here is in 2 sections, which in their original form lasted for over an hour and first appeared in 1998 under the name Electronic Revolution as a free CD with Issue One of the French magazine Crash. The CD was quickly withdrawn with maybe only 100 copies finding their way into circulation.
This edition is edited down to 46 minutes and comprises the core of the original recording. It employs the now familiar techniques of random drop-ins and cut-ups of readings. The readings themselves also being cut-ups of words on the page. The first section of the tape uses further processing by means of a 2nd tape recorder.
Recorded in Duke Street c1968, the tape was then passed on to Brion Gysin in Paris where it remained in his archive until 1998. This is the first readily available edition of an hypnotic and meditative recording that examines the hidden power of words. Closer to a work of sound poetry than anything literary.
The album includes a 12”x12” insert with an essay by Ben Harper and several previously unseen portrait photos of Burroughs, taken by Harriet Crowder in her Hammersmith flat during a drug experiment. The back cover uses another Crowder image - the very next frame after the famous shot that appeared on the cover of the English Bookshop/ESP “Call Me Burroughs” LP.
William S. Burroughs - Curse Got Back LP
On the spectrum of The Dead C's sound output, Trouble could very well be seen as springing from the same realm as the massive "Driver UFO," one of the band's greatest tracks ever, off Harsh '70s Reality. There's a youthful aggression here, a churning anger, deadened by pounding drone. Much like H70s, this record serves as a gateway drug - if you were ever looking for an album to play to a newbie curious about experimental rock, this would be it. The visceral strength of their performance trembles out of the speakers. The magnificence of their stamina survives each album side.Tracklist:1. One2. Two3. Three4. Five5. Four
The Dead C. - Trouble 2LP
"This long-overdue vinyl reissue of Yoko Ono's seminal, but massively under-appreciated Plastic Ono Band has all the makings of a classic rock nostalgia trip: Ono, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Klaus Voorman and free-jazz legend Ornette Coleman. All the pieces are here to stir up a dangerous amount of nostalgia. But once the needle drops, the record achieves something exactly perpendicular to nostalgia. Released in 1971, the album not only influenced the approach of other musicians for decades, it also sounds absolutely modern 44 years out, eternally fresh despite the forward march of time. Plastic Ono Band not only predicted the intersection of the avant-garde and rock that would take place in the second half of that decade, the album would sound right at home at where that intersection is happening today."
Yoko Ono - Plastic Ono Band LP
One of the great 'free' avant garde lp's. As dynamic as it is frustrating. The glory of not caring about what anyone thinks in audio, on wax. "Life With The Lions is the sound of Ono and Lennon validating their love as something impenetrable and timeless. It's when we, the listener, begin to fully understand that the scope of their recording efforts was much more than a recording collaboration, and something closer to a performative documentary, a declaration of 'Our life and our love is our art - every nitty, gritty part of it.' "
JOHN LENNON AND YOKO ONO - Unfinished Music No. 2: Life With The Lions LP
"Turns out the very sound of falling in love is just as abstract, subjective and loopy as the concept itself. Yoko Ono and John Lennon are two of history's greatest lovers, and Two Virgins is the document of the pair falling in love in real time. The album is a curious and amazing suite recorded over one weekend in Spring 1968 at Lennon's Kenwood home: Distant conversations; comedic role playing and footsteps; laughter, birdcalls and plunking piano lines; silly songs and space; tape delay stretching shrieks, bass rumbles and moans to the moon and back again. The now-iconic cover (featuring Ono and Lennon standing nude together) not-with-standing, nothing about Two Virgins is safe. It would be a risky move today for artists in the larger, pop-culture conversation just as it was a risky move in 1969. But this is an uncomfortably private, two-person dialogue about - and celebration of experimentation, inspiration and play. And these two souls bravely let us look through the keyhole."
John Lennon and Yoko Ono - Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins LP
OG footwork DJ/producer RP Boo aka Kavain Space brought 3½ hours of footwork fire to OTO in November. Mixing his own tracks with cuts from Rashad and samples of Roy Ayres, Del La Soul, Jocelyn Brown and Gerald Levert to name a few, Boo kept his crowd on their toes the whole way - occasionally joining them to dance his adidas into thin air. Simple, sweaty and infectious - if you're stuck for something to play in the wee hours of New Years Day we reckon this will mix in nicely after 'Auld Lang Syne.'
RP Boo / cdjs
1. 10.11.16 - 3:33:37
Recorded by Tom Mudd live at Cafe OTO on Thursday 10th November, 2016. Mixed by Abby Thomas. GIF by Oli Barrett. Big thanks to Kavain and Pedro.
RP Boo - 10.11.16
High energy dose from truly singular Japanese producer 食品まつり a.k.a foodman a.k.a Takahide Higuchi. Whilst drawing from juke, house, techno and elements of ambient and pop, Foodman only sounds like himself. Silence and sine waves feature as much as live drum work and his unhinged, beatless moments feel techinically radical but always joyous. For an encore, Bo Ningan's Taigen Kwabe got up on the table for a nutty vocal freestyle. Japan's underground continues to move in its own ways.
Foodman - electronics, sampler
Taigen Kawabe - vocals
Recorded live at Cafe OTO by Shaun Crook on Wednesday 19th October 2016. Mixed by Abby Thomas. Mastered by James Dunn.
Foodman - 19.10.16
Slow, quiet and relaxed - Eva-Maria Houben’s first appearance at OTO touched all that heard it. Part of the Wandelweiser collective, Houben creates vast, incorporeal forms from almost nothing - music that lingers long after the last note has dissipated. Includes the premiere of Tiefe – Depth for Piano - a flawless study in decay and resonance.
Eva-Maria Houben / piano
Recorded live at Cafe OTO by Shaun Crook on Tuesday 30th August, 2016. Mixed by Abby Thomas. Mastered by James Dunn.
Transcipt from the evening:
“I’m very glad to be here. I had some very nice days here in London before this night, and I am very glad this night to be here. We spoke about the programme for this night and we decided upon 3 sections, and if you allow I would like to say some words. On the whole, I will play two first performances, and then I will play a few other pieces, and the first section will be a piece form 2014, Loosely Connected. It is not the first performance, it had already been performed in August in Germany, and it was a full experience for me. And then I will play the piece Depth - it’s short, and this will be the first performance. So, both pieces together will come I think, to twenty minutes. Two ten minute pieces. And then we have the first break, and you could take something, and then follows Sonata Number 10 that will have a duration of twenty four minutes, and then, at last, I will finish with Dandelion, a new piece, a first performance, and then The Hanging Garden or The Suspended Garden. Yes. And now, Loosely Connected and Depth. Thank you very much.”
"And now, the second set and it will be Sonata for Piano Number 10. This Sonata has a subtitle - it’s called in French, erm, Le Croche de Soils - Dreambirds. I have dreamt this piece and there were different sounds of birds from different countries and different towers and I listened before to a piece by Enescu, a Roman composer, and it was very impressive. And he imitated real birds by the piano, by sounds and keys which seemed to be wrong but they sounded like birds because there are birds which have disharmony partials - or harmonic partials but disharmonic partials too - and this was very fascinating for me and I tried to be on the traces of different composers. This sonata has 5 movements, and the first movement is dedicated to Mussorgsky, the second movement to Enescu, the third movement to Schumann, the fourth movement to Liszt, and the last and fifth movement to Olivier Messiaen. It is not their sounds but traces, smells, of those composers. Not more. You will listen to 5 movements and the whole sonata will have a duration of 24 up to 25 minutes. Then we will have the second break. Thank you."
"So or the last set we have at first, Dandelion. Dandelion could be a very long piece - it is a collection with many pieces of paper and every sheet is a world on its own, and I will play 3 pages, not more. But I could play many pages and could have played only Dandelion this evening, it’s a collection with many pages, but I play 3. It is a study on partials of the piano. And then follows Les Jardins Suspendus - The Hanging Gardens, yes, and this piece closes the night. And both pieces together I think will last I think 15 minutes. The first perhaps 8 minutes, and then 7 minutes."
"Thank you very much for your kind welcome. And I could play the famous Drei Choräles, they are very short. They have repetitions and I would think I will take about 4 or 5 minutes. Yes."
Eva-Maria Houben - 30.8.16
Black Truffle present the first vinyl issue of Keiji Haino's Milky Way. Originally released as a limited CD in Japan by the short lived Mom 'N' Dad Productions in 1993, this release documents a blistering live performance recorded in Kyoto in 1973, five years before the formation of the first line-up of Fushitsusha, and eight years before Haino's first solo album. Working with a mysterious set-up including primitive electronics, homemade acoustic instruments, piano and voice, Haino lets loose a single 48-minute psychedelic maelstrom, marrying the immersive echo-fields of kosmische music to the rough and ready hands-on feel of classic 1960s live electronics à la MEV or Robert Ashley's Wolfman. Despite the absence of guitar, this recording clearly lays the groundwork for the epic blowouts which were to make Haino's name in years to come, building up to a point of almost unbearable intensity in its final minutes as Haino's voice wails over a wall of distorted DIY electronics. At times presaging the psychedelic noise of C.C.C.C., Milky Way shows Haino's singular intensity and ritualistic performance style already in full flower at this early date in his long career. Presented in raw and immediate room fidelity (complete with dramatic tape drop-out), this is both an essential historical document and a classic performance in its own right. Presented in a deluxe heavyweight sleeve with an inner sleeve featuring Haino's poetry in Japanese, with an English translation by Alan Cummings. Original design by Keiji Haino & Yasunori Arai. LP reissue design via Stephen O'Malley. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at D&M, Berlin June 2016.
KEIJI HAINO - 天乃川 1973 Live - Milky Way LP
The remarkable series of releases from the trio of Keiji Haino, Jim O'Rourke, and Oren Ambarchi continues with I wonder if you noticed "I'm sorry" Is such a lovely sound It keeps things from getting worse, which presents the entirety of an 80-minute set performed at Tokyo's SuperDeluxe in March 2014. While the trio's 2012 performance was divided into two releases (BT 011LP (2014) and BT 012LP (2015)), the single extended performance presented here ranges widely over terrain both new and familiar, from acoustic strings and collective chants to thunderous power trio moves. Throughout all of its transformations, the music here is some of the riskiest and most abstract the trio have yet committed to record. Beginning with chiming percussion reminiscent of Haino's 1995 classic Tenshi No Gijinka, the first side is dominated by Haino's impassioned vocals and performance on the bulgari, a traditional Turkish string instrument. The end of the second side presents a special treat: Haino's first recorded outing on the contrabass harmonica, from which he coaxes bizarre, wheezing textures against a backdrop of spacious bass and percussion. O'Rourke and Ambarchi rarely adopt here the classic rock roles essayed on earlier releases. O'Rourke's bass, which takes center-stage surprisingly often, is sometimes so heavily processed by his array of pedals that it becomes a shifting electronic mass; at other times his roving chromaticism suggests a sort of fuzzed-out free jazz. Ambarchi spends much of the set exploring areas of tumbling free pulse; and even when he locks into a constantly repeated figure on the set's third side, he gestures as much toward Ronald Shannon Jackson's stuttering marching band funk as toward any classic rock moves. When the trio finally moves in the final quarter of the performance into an extended passage of rock riffing, the payoff is immense, as they craft a thudding one-chord epic reminiscent of some of the early Fushitsusha classics before Haino returns to the bulgari, bringing the set back to where it began. Continuing to explore new instrumental and dynamic possibilities while remaining grounded in the trio's previous work, this set also brings with it a unique pleasure for the non-Japonophone listener: for the first time Haino sings many of his metaphysically brooding lyrics in English. Gatefold sleeve with gorgeous photographs by Jim O'Rourke, designed by Stephen O'Malley. Cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin.
HAINO / O'ROURKE / AMBARCHI - I wonder if you noticed "I'm sorry"... LP
Special poster bundle from our archive – three randomly selected posters/prints for just £10 (£8 members)!
Pictured is just a small selection from our poster archive, stretching right back to some of the first shows at OTO in 2008. Screenprints, risographs and high quality prints for shows from the likes of Sun Ra Arkestra, Jandek, Konono No.1, Matthew Shipp, The Necks, Okkyung Lee, Tenniscoats, Awesome Tapes From Africa, John Butcher, Yoko Ono, Thurston Moore and many, many more.
Posters will be randomly selected and we'll try to include a good range of prints in each package.
Lucky Dip OTO Poster bundle – 3 posters