Jazz / Free Jazz
Drone / Ambient
Sound Art / Spoken Word
Folk / Song
"Japanese bluesman Kan Mikami is nothing less than an unalloyed force of nature. A skin-shredding blast of frozen wind from the poor, rural north of Japan that he calls home. In the late 1960s, like thousands of other Japanese young people Mikami made his way to Tokyo in search of a life different from that of his parents. Since then he has forcefully carved out a space for himself in the culture as a modernist poet, a raging folk singer, an author, a actor, an engaging TV personality, and one of Japan’s most uniquely powerful performers.
For most of Mikami’s career as a singer, he has performed solo. Just him and his electric guitar against the world, creating jagged A-minor vamps to drive along the surreal wisdom of his lyrics. But he’s equally at home in more demanding improvisational contexts such as those provided here by John Edwards on bass and Alex Neilson on drums. Their dense propulsive textures seem to spur on Mikami, his voice arcing powerfully into fragmented spaces, his guitar darting, colliding, shedding jagged and angular splinters of sound. A pulsing, raging maelstrom of serrated-edged energy. Gruff, rough, honest and very, very real." - Alan Cummings
Kan Mikami / vocals, guitar
John Edwards / bass
Alex Neilson / percussion
Recorded live at Cafe OTO on 3rd April 2013 by James Dunn. Mixed by John Chantler. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi
Kan Mikami / John Edwards / Alex Neilson - Live at Cafe OTO
Keiji Haino, one of the foremost exponents of the Japanese avant-garde, always provides a masterclass in constantly shifting improvisation. John Butcher is a saxophonist of rare grace and power, who has expanded the vocabulary of the saxophone far beyond the conventions of jazz and other musics, to encompass a staggering range of multiphonics, overtones, percussive sounds, and electronic feedback.
Haino and Butcher met when Butcher opened for Fushitsusha at the show Cafe OTO arranged at St. John, Hackney - 5 years ago. In 2016 they were invited to play two duo concerts – at The Empty Gallery in Hong Kong and at Cafe OTO in London.
Otoroku is proud to present the audio documentation of their first UK meeting. Recorded live at Cafe OTO in July 2016 the results are an uncompromising milieu of swirling sound played out as a total union of these two legendary performers. Haino’s blues drenched guitar entices skittering notes from Butcher’s sax playing as numerous sonic clues unravel over the course of of this unique and compelling journey.
Light Never Bright Enough comes in a limited edition of 500 LPs and 500 CDs with matt sleeves and japanese removable obi-strip.
Keiji Haino / vocal, guitar, flutes
John Butcher / saxophones and feedback
Recorded live at Cafe OTO on the 9th July 2016 by Luca Consonni. Mixed by John Butcher. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi. Photography and design by ORGAN.
HAINO KEIJI / JOHN BUTCHER - LIGHT NEVER BRIGHT ENOUGH
In Tom Mudd's work, the conceptual and technological processes are paramount. For this particular release, both are embedded in the Gutter Synthesis algorithm and software which was created for and used in all six tracks. An inevitable consequence of this way of working is that masses of material can be created, which then requires both selection and editing. Once these decisions havetaken place a strange, apparently contradictory, perceptual shift takes place towards the material.
The listener is confronted with complex, intense and emotionally charged musical events. This was not Tom Mudd’s intention as he’s not overtly concerned with personal expression. A deep interest in algorithmic computer processes is his guiding principal. Yet from this apparently cold approach to making music comes vivid, dramatic, sound art, packed with rich emotional layers that never operate at the level of the trite and illustrative. There is also a strong formal and structural quality to his pieces that allows, in the best possible sense, the listener to ‘immerse’ themselves in this challenging sound world.
John Wall, London, December 2017Gutter Synthesis software
Gutter synthesis is a purely digital synthesis process that creates very physical, acoustic-like sounds using a network of resonant Duffing oscillators. The software was created specifically for this project, and is included with the release as an equal part of the creative output. The downloadable version uses an interrelatedset of eight Duffing oscillators and associated filter banks.
Tom Mudd - Gutter Synthesis CD/software
PRAH Recordings is delighted to present an extraordinary new release from the violinist Aisha Orazbayeva, following on from recent, critically acclaimed collaborations with artist Tim Etchells (Seeping Through) and pianist Mark Knoop (for the Another Timbre label).
Best known for her performances of music by postwar modernists, here Orazbayeva returns to the classical violin repertoire and boldly re-envisages Georg Philipp Telemann’s popular solo fantasias. Through a set of deeply personal interpretations, Orazbayeva brings her trademark palette of raw, delicate and extreme textures to Telemann’s baroque polyphony. The recordings comprise six of the twelve fantasias, and were first used in a 2015 production for Pina Bausch’s Tanztheater Wuppertal dance company, "In Terms of Time" by Tim Etchells.
Telemann was a key figure in the transition between the late Baroque and early Classical periods in western music. Like his other solo works, the violin fantasias (published in 1735) are often contrapuntal, demanding a weaving together of compound melodic forms by a single performer.
While seminal works like this were at the heart of Orazbayeva’s classical training, she has since tended to work instead with contemporary composers and on experimental and improvised projects. With their deep explorations of extended technique, these activities inform the whole spectrum of her work - including her approach to older repertoire:
“Some of the techniques used on the record are often used in works by composers including Luigi Nono, Salvatore Sciarrino and Helmut Lachenmann. What inspires me the most about pieces like Lachenmann’s Toccatina, Sciarrino’s 6 Caprices and Nono’s“La Lontananza Nostalgica Utopica Futura”is the way they radically change our perception of the violin which challenges musical expectations and conventions. This change in our perception of the violin is something that has become central to my everyday practice offering me more freedom to interpret new and old repertoire as well as my own music-making.“
Aisha Orazbayeva - Telemann Fantasias CD
2016 Re-Press. Pre-orders taken now. Shipping 4.7.16.
Recording of the stunning first set performed by the trio of Peter Brötzmann, Steve Noble and John Edwards at Cafe OTO in January 2010 during Brotzmann's first residency at the venue. This was also the first time the trio had played together.
Recorded at Cafe OTO by Shane Browne, mixed by John Edwards and Mastered by Andres [LUPO] Lupich at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin.
"On an east London side street, Café Oto hosts a programme of international experimental sounds to shame subsidised arts temples, drawing demographic-defying crowds of all ages through its doors. The first release on Oto's own label, available as an authentic vinyl slab or a slippery download, is a 40-minute splurge of sax, drums and bass skronk, live at the venue in 2010, from the German free-jazz giant Brötzmann and two stars of the London improv scene. Unrepeatable moments of collective inspiration and sudden sunlit shafts of modal near melody punctuate the continuing energy blur. Business as usual down Dalston Junction." Stewart Lee, The Sunday Times "Since it opened in Dalston in April 2008, Café OTO has become London's new music venue of choice for the likes of the Sun Ra Arkestra, Joe McPhee, Mats Gustafsson – and Peter Brötzmann, whose first residency at the club in January 2010 yielded this inaugural release on OtoRoku, Café OTO’s new in-house label. The night in question was the first time Brötzmann had played with bassist John Edwards and drummer Steve Noble, and the decision to team them up was inspired. With Alan Wilkinson, or in Decoy with Alex Hawkins and NEW with Alex Ward, Edwards and Noble have a deserved reputation as a thrilling high-energy rhythm section. And as Brötzmann is no slouch when it comes to high-energy playing, the combination is explosive. Right from the start of the set – the first that evening – it's obvious why this was selected to christen the label. All three players jump straight into top gear, with Brötzmann setting a cracking pace, his torrent of sound characterised by that hard-edged tone which makes him such compelling listening. ...the worse the better sets a high standard for subsequent releases to match. But, as every night at Café OTO is recorded and there's a wealth of fine music waiting in the wings, including quality recordings from Otomo Yoshihide and Wadada Leo Smith, OtoRoku looks like a label to watch." John Eyles, Paris Transatlantic
"These two extended improvisations, recorded in January 2010 during Brötzmann’s first residency at OTO, finds the group attaining near-telepathic modes of interconnectedness, despite this being the trio’s first outing together. From the off, Brötzmann’s gills are gurning, throwing up torrents of molten roar, while Noble’s mule-kicking at the traps reels out ride hits like a baby sporting a bonnet of bees." - Spencer Grady, BBC Music
"Does the world need another Brötzmann album? Probably not, but as the inaugural release on Cafe OTO's in-house high quality vinyl-only label, this one is cause for celebration. Recorded there - superbly well, too - during Brötzmann's residency in January 2012, this is no frills straight-up free jazz, solos and all, pitting the Firebreather of Wuppertal against the might local rhythm team (yes, they can and do swing hard) of John Edwards and Steve Noble. All three are on outstanding form, from the opening yelp - when it comes to Big Bang beginning, nobody does it better than Brötzmann - to Edwards's snarling drone 38 minutes later. Shame engineer Shane Browne slammed thos faders down so brutally: for once, you feel like joining in with the whoops and hollers of the punters." - Dan Warburton, The WIRE
BROETZMANN / EDWARDS / NOBLE - THE WORSE THE BETTER
Ten Years Alive On The Infinite Plain is the quintessential work of artist/filmmaker/composer Tony Conrad. Comprised of both film installation and minimalist score for amplified strings, Ten Years leaps across genre and medium to connect his revolutionary structural filmmaking with the experiments in long-duration sound that Conrad had begun in the 1960s as part of the Theatre of Eternal Music."Ten Years began with image before sound," writes Andrew Lampert, "a row of quadruple projections arranged side-by-side, all the shuffling stripes cascading into each other. Over the next two hours the music throbbed and the projectors incrementally shifted inwards, their beams gradually uniting to form one pulsating, overlapping picture."For its 1972 premiere at New York's The Kitchen, Ten Years included Conrad on violin as well as Rhys Chatham and Laurie Spiegel performing on instruments of the composer's own making. Chatham played the Long String Drone – a 6-foot long strip of wood with bass strings, electric pickup, tuning keys, tape, rubber band and metal hardware – while Spiegel carried out an arrhythmic bass pulse throughout.Superior Viaduct is honored to present this previously unreleased recording of Ten Years Alive On The Infinite Plain's breathtaking premier performance. As Chatham recounts in the liner notes, "When I first listened to this recording after not hearing it for over 40 years, it transported me back to the early Kitchen and the heyday of early minimalism, played outside the Dream Syndicate."Track Listing:Ten Years Alive On The Infinite Plain (1:28:18)
Tony Conrad - Ten Years Alive On The Infinite Plain 2CD
Op.192 UMWÄLZUNG – fluxorum organum 1990 EURASIENSTAB ist immernoch ANGELPUNKT is a previously unissued work by Henning Christiansen from 1990.
Around the formation of the European Union Henning approached his original Eurasienstab organ recordings from 1968 as a platform to remold a vast amount of audio he made over the subsequent years
This special 2CD release comprises two different mixes of UMWÄLZUNG that were made for Werner Durand in 1990 to be used as backing tapes for a performance at Ballhaus Naunynstrasse in February 1990.
UMWÄLZUNG is unique in Henning’s output as it resides in a more contemporary landscape positioning itself more as a ‘mix’ than a stand alone recording. One which retains the skewered sensibility that only Henning could conjure.
The two hour long versions of UMWÄLZUNG are haunted with tape hiss, weird interference and a deeply melancholic aura that moves from the original Eurasienstab organ recordings through to the somewhat hysterical 180 Hammer Blows Against War Monkeys resulting in an epic and hypnotic excursion.
As unusual and inspired as the best of Henning’s works Penultimate Press, in full cooperation with the Henning Christiansen estate, is extremely proud to release this 2CD in a mini album gatefold sleeve in an edition of 500 copies.
Henning Christiansen – Umwälzung 2CD
GUO is the duo of guitarist and singer Daniel Blumberg (Hebronix, The Howling Hex) and saxophonist Seymour Wright. Both use heavy distortion and extreme amplification which is later processed and manipulated with metal cassettes to create a multi-layered, lacquered object of sinister, fizzing, metallic beauty. GUO1 with text by David Toop, was the beginning of an on-going series of releases that include etchings made by the duo and a piece of ekphrasis from a creative writer responding to the music.
GUO - GUO1 CD
Poughkeepsie, NY, multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee organized a great double-bill at Vassar College in 1970, featuring himself and his local underground jazz peers. One disc in the 2-CD package of previously unreleased music consists of a complete set of music by McPhee's quintet - wild and deeplysoulful free jazz quite close in spirit to McPhee's legendary debut, NATION TIME, with clear connections to Pharoah Sanders; on the second disc, a simmering Hammond B-3 set introduces the Ernie Bostic Quartet and serves as an on-the-ground, in-the-crib soul-jazz foil to McPhee's political and astral explorations. Recorded April 30, 1970Ernie Bostic Quartet: Ernie Bostic, Otis Greene, Herbie Leaman and Charlie BenjaminJoe McPhee Quintet: Joe McPhee, Byron Morris, Mike Kull, Tyrone Crabb and Bruce Thompson
Joe McPhee Quintet / Ernie Bostic Quartet Live at Vassar 1970 2CD
John Chantler — synthesizerSteve Noble — drumsSeymour Wright — alto saxophone
This recording shares music from the first time public concert of a new trio formed by John Chantler — best known for his solo synthesizer recordings and work with pipe organs — and two of the most instantly recognisable voices in the scene loosely associated with London’s Cafe OTO — drummer Steve Noble and saxophonist SeymourWright.
Recorded 7 May 2017 at Cafe OTO by Shaun Crook. Mix/edit by John Chantler.Mastered by Stephan Mathieu.
John Chantler is a musician and organiser living in Stockholm, Sweden.
Chantler’s recent recordings are characterised by headlong dives into ravishing texture and extended stretches of surface stasis that are disrupted by abrupt cuts, deft variations of density and unexpected diversions that draw on a domestic reimagining of studio based electronic music/musique concrete and 20th century minimalism and delivered with brash, revitalized energy.
Steve Noble is London's leading drummer, a fearless and constantly inventive improviser whose super-precise, ultra-propulsive and hyper-detailed playing has galvanized encounters with Peter Brötzmann, Derek Bailey, Matthew Shipp, IshmaelWadada Leo Smith, Stephen O'Malley, Joe McPhee, Alex Ward, Rhodri Davies and many, many more.
In the early eighties, Noble played with the Nigerian master drummer Elkan Ogunde, Rip Rig and Panic, Brion Gysin and the Bow Gamelan Ensemble, before going on to work with the pianist
Alex Maguire and with Derek Bailey (including CompanyWeeks 1987, 89 and 90). He was featured in the Bailey's excellentTV series on Improvisation for Channel 4 based on his book ‘Improvisation; its nature and practise’. He has toured and performed throughout Europe, Africa and America and leads the groups N.E.W. (with John Edwards and Alex Ward) and DECOY (with John Edwards and Alexander Hawkins).
SeymourWright – saxophonist, investigator, artist – lives in London. His practice is about the saxophone – music, history and technique – actual and potential; an on-going, rigorous and exhaustive exploration of the instrument.The energy of this learning is applied to various collaborations and contexts to access/share what he has called the ‘awkward wealth of investigation’. His work is documented on two widely acclaimed self-released collections SeymourWright of Derby (2008) and SeymourWrites Back (2015). His current collaborations include lll⼈人 (with DaichiYoshikawa and Paul Abbott), GUO (with Daniel Blumberg) and XT (with Paul Abbott).
John Chantler / Steve Noble / Seymour Wright - Front and Above CD
John Butcher: tenor or soprano saxophones - plus feedback (1), motors (1, 3, 4), embedded harp speaker (5)Rhodri Davies: pedal harp, lever harp with embedded speaker and electric harp. Aeolian electric harp (7)
Tracks 1-6 recorded by Andrew Mills at Elipse Studio, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, May 2, 2008Track 7 recorded by Angharad Davies and Rhodri Davies at Crear, Kilberry, Argyll, UK, August 21, 2007 (aeolian electric harp); and by John Butcher in London, April 8, 2009 (soprano saxophone)Edited, mixed, and mastered by John ButcherDesign by Hirozumi TakedaPhotographs used by kind permission of Newcastle Libraries and Information ServicePackaged in a cardboard jacket
John Butcher is one of the leading sax players on the free improvisation scene. Rhodri Davies transcends conventional ideas about the harp--an instrument rarely associated with improvised music--in his wide-ranging projects. The two British musicians have worked together in a variety of contexts since 1997 and gave their first duo concert in 2000. As a duo they toured the UK and the U.S. in 2002, and Japan in 2004. In their performances they draw upon extended and unique playing methods mastered over the course of their careers, leaving far behind the imagined limits of their respective instruments. Carliol contains 7 tracks studio-recorded between August 2007 and April 2009. With its multi-hued timbres and textures, sonic beauty, conceptual freedom, experimental spirit and sophisticated structure, this CD dazzles on many levels. While the 2001 album Vortices & Angels (on the UK label Emanem) includes duo tracks by these two artists as well by Butcher and Derek Bailey, Carliol is the first all Butcher/Davies duo album to be released since the start of their duo collaboration a decade ago.
John Butcher/Rhodri Davies - CARLIOL CD
One of two different sets, along with Two City Blues 1 (TROST 126LP), recorded on one intense night at Tokyo's Shinjuku Pit Inn. A trio of three towering figures, German free jazz legend Peter Brötzmann, Japanese avant-garde wizard Keiji Haino, and wildly versatile American composer and musician Jim O'Rourke, recorded by Yasuo Fujimura on November 23, 2010. Brötzmann: alto and tenor saxophones, tarogato, and clarinet; Haino: guitar, voice, shamisen; O'Rourke: guitar.
PETER BROTZMANN/KEIJI HAINO/JIM O'ROURKE - Two City Blues 2 CD
Paul Abbott – Vagus
Publication & CD-R
Published by Porta (#11)
- - -
Paul Abbott - Drums, voice, texts and programming.
Part 1: 'Welcome'
Part 2: 'Hsiovidhe'
Part 3: 'Mung Pool'
Free download available at: http://www.portaaaa.com/porta11.php
Written and recorded in London, 2014-2015.
Double sided Black CD-R mounted on a 20 page, black & white publication.
Both inside a grey-transparent plastic envelope.
Edition of 100.
Paul Abbott - Vagus CD
This recording gathers all of the music from the final night of Otomo and Sachiko's first residency in 2009 which saw the pair joined by the long running trio of Evan Parker, John Edwards and Tony Marsh and special guest John Butcher. Butcher played duos with both Otomo and Sachiko and joined the quintet for a rousing sextet: stunning twin saxophone interplay, the unparalleled open-ness of the Marsh/Edwards rhythm pairing, Sachiko's deft high frequency interventions and Otomo's guitar at the centre - moving between abrasive textural invention and suggestive single note runs of ever-shifting melody.
"As for indicating a place in the curiously sculpted bridges between improvised music and sound art, well, the simple singularity of these daring and committed performances should bear out their significance." Clifford Allen, Tiny Mix Tapes
"This Quintet/Sextet album is recorded beautifully and it needed to be to capture all the nuance involved ... These are musicians at the top of their craft." Free Jazz Blog
"...fresh and inspired. The recording stands as a finely-honed classic of classically approached free improvisation: the players dance and flow smoothly and effortlessly with and around the sounds of their partners." - Henry Kuntz
Point of Departure Review
Otomo Yoshihide / Sachiko M / Evan Parker / Tony Marsh / John Edwards / John Butcher - Quintet / Sextet / Duos
This duet between bass clarinet and circuit-bent Casio SK1 sampler was recorded at the Pittville Pump Room in Cheltenham in January 2003. As one might expect, the music has some of that cold silence which pervades classical music institutions, and which is so repellent to ears used to the demotic bustle of jazz and pop. However, the musicians use one aspect of classical recital to their advantage, which is its staged singularity of performance. Where so much issued music has become calling cards for celebrity rather than a significant act in itself - the malign influence of free music’s reduction of music to the musician; the free jazz griot, the improviser genius - Cundy and Dunn have put everything they can do into one CD.
The musicians are fully in control of their pitches and the music often proceeds by finding a harmony and then forcing it into crisis, unbearable tensions resolved into rhythmic exchange. Cundy also uses a Tinnitus Analyser to detect noises and elevate them into audibility. This provides the musicians with a stimulating randomness - the difference between the unexpected shapes generated by looking and drawing rather than simply doodling and reproducing habit, the eversame.
Eric Dolphy’s example on bass clarinet allows Cundy to exploit the natural resources of the instrument: its old fashioned wood-panelled formalism, the humour of its duck quacks, the urban urgency of its sinuous high tones. Dunn’s electronics are a masterclass in the resources of outdated technology. After being exposed to so much laptop texturing, the ear appreciates the SK1’s limits. They give Dunn’s contributions a jagged starkness, like coming upon a crude screenprint in an exhibition of digital printouts. It’s possible that both musicians are a little too guarded to force the music into a contradiction that might unify an hours performance. However, the quiet care and intensity in the way they listen to each other is really touching.
Grace And Delete – Grace And Delete CD
Our tenth OTOROKU release sees a return to the group that kick-started the label - the veteran German reedsman and free jazz pioneer Peter Broetzmann with the long-running London bass/drums partnership of John Edwards and Steve Noble. After the release of '…The Worse The Better' that group went on to play a series of devastating shows in Europe and to emerge as one of Broetzmann's finest working groups. Over the same period Peter was developing a deep rapport with Jason Adasiewicz, the upstart vibraphone player from Chicago. What seems on paper like an awkward pairing reveals itself on stage and on record as a symbiotic revelation. Adasiewicz's physical attack matching Broetzmann for impact whilst the extended sustain of the vibes opens up an eerie space for some of Broetzmann's most fertile lyricism.
The recording is from the last set of a two-day residency at Cafe OTO that brought these two groups together for an astonishing quartet. Adasiewicz and Noble struck up an immense partnership in rhythm. Edwards wrestled with a broken house bass and failing amplifier and still managed new levels of invention - stoking the others onwards. Broetzmann was clearly energised - I swear I saw him dancing at the side of the stage whilst exchanging a shattered reed. And for all the usual rhetoric of Free Jazz bluster and machismo, this is a meeting characterised by the joy of communal creation that makes you want to dance - even if only in your head.
Broetzmann / Adasiewicz / Edwards / Noble – MENTAL SHAKE (LP)
1. lll人 = Daichi Yoshikawa + Paul Abbott + Seymour Wright2. Still finding, twisting and hammering out an expanding musical universe balanced only by its own logics – lll人 have few obvious comparisons. Their performances are consistent radical negotiations of the emotional, physical and social energies of the environments they sound out. 3. Fold out/roll up drumfeedbackreed sausage/pleat, holed and sliced. 4. [cropse after gannen begat gjerhan (ovo) ROKU11] 5. The tools are familiar, the listening is not; 6. The tools are familiar, the spaces are not. 7. Here are recordings of public longform negotiations of: a. the vast of V&A cast rooms (walkthru); b. the theatron of Spanish Fighters (sitdown). 8. June 28, 2013 VandA cast-coated Huge room full cast of plaster. BORC Ljubljan Friday Spanski - spanski 2013 the 11th year 15 months dark room Escapade Winton, we're playing in front of the emergency; 9. More lll人: absorbing protoplasm dances of doppelnut learnings.
lll人 Vjerhanxsk (!)
The Trost label presents a live recording from the trio Sonore, featuring Peter Brötzmann (tenor and alto sax, clarinet and taragato), Ken Vandermark (tenor sax and clarinet) and Mats Gustafsson (baritone sax). All compositions by Brötzmann, Vandermark and Gustafsson. Recorded at Café OTO, London, for Jazz On 3, BBC Radio 3, April 20th 2011.
SONORE - OTO CD