Digital Downloads

If you are interested in our downloads of high quality live recordings from the venue and exclusive digital releases from some of our favourite labels, it might be worth considering becoming a Digital Member. Members can choose 3 digital downloads a month from any label we stock, as well as receiving a discount on records, books and more from our website.

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OTOROKU Downloads

Incredibly pleased to finally release this from the archives! Kumio Kurachi is truly one of the most original figures in Japanese music, and his music exists within its very own colourful world. Recorded across two nights way back in 2009, Kurachi is joined by Taku Unami and London improvisors Steve Beresford and Angharad Davies. These two shows still remain as Kurachi's only concerts outside Japan. "Kumio Kurachi depicts our mind and feelings with unthinkable and bizarre words which can be embarrassing to listen to. And yet he manages to create a world which is so familiar to us - small events of our everyday life that we don't pay much attention to. Whether it is a conversation between a funeral service conductor and his helper that you overheard in a supermarket (Supermarket Chitose), or about the people affected by a dam construction (A Dam with 30,000,000 Teardrops), his songs are fragments of our human behaviours and experiences. His lyrical world is made even more unpredictable by his unique guitar style which is apparently inspired by the koto. The music is so melodious that the mixture of the strange wording, guitar and variations of voices thrives all together and it can haunt you without noticing it, just like the small events of everyday life you can't escape from." - Midori Ogata --- Kumio Kurachi / guitar, vocals Taku Unami / guitar Angharad Davies / violin Steve Beresford / piano --- Tracklisting: 1. Train Song (poetry reading)2. Instrumental l3. Asahi4. Cling Film (Saran Wrap)5. Full of Miso (Miso Ga Ippai)6. Instrumental ll7. A Dam with 30,000,000 teardrops (30,000,000 Tsubu Dam)8. Best Camera9. An Event On An Island (Tsudoe Nokonoshima) ft Unami, Beresford10. Slow Walker (Yukkuri Aruku Hito) ft Unami, Beresford11. Supermarket Chitose ft Unami, Beresford12. Here Comes Tatamiya (Tatamiya Ga Kita) ft Unami, Beresford, Davies13. Steel Tower (Tettou) ft Unami, Beresford, Davies14. Soshu Yakyoku (蘇州夜曲) <cover> written in 1940. Lyrics by Yaso Saijo (西條八十) Music by Ryoichi Hattori (服部良一)15. Blues of Blue Natchan (Natchan Blue) --- Mastered by James Dunn from the original recording made by Pete Coward - thanks Pete! Artwork by Kurachi & Oli Barrett. Massive thanks to Midori Ogata, without whom this wouldn't have happened.

Kumio Kurachi - 6/8.12.9

"A wonderful album of crunch ‘n’ roll, as Manchester drumming -legend Phillip Marks leads Rex Casswell (electric guitar), best known for his tenure in Stock,Hausen & Walkman, and Paul Obermayer (sampler) through some entertaining and very original music. They’ve managed to inject the rhythmic humour of Thelonious Monk into all the abraded textures favoured in post-rock and electronica, vanquishing its tendencies towards Enoesque pretension with ribald physical beats. Casswell is an astonishingly original guitarist, reconstituting the instrument from pick-up to amplifier. His beautifully-judged architectonics provide a cool spritzer to the others’ heat, as well as providing a bridge between the actuality of the drums and the virtuality of the sampler. Obermayer disdains the use of off-the-peg samples which plague much trendy electronica. He uses his sampler to bring tiny sounds into audible range. The resulting timbres are like microscopic slides in the hands of a master surrealist. Swing sans nostalgia achieves electrified materialism. Short track timings add to the decisive feel. Historic!" - Ben Watson --- Rex Casswell / electric guitarPhillip Marks / percussionPaul Obermayer / electronics --- Tracklisting: 1. mal - 3:152. swing - 7:453. meshes - 6:494. Pavo - 10:465. nobody's sweetheart - 3:166. aise - 2:347. Vela - 5:248. Grus - 12:569. swerve - 8:38 --- Recorded at LMC Sound, London, England on 10th April and 18th of September 1999. Front cover: Philip Marks

Bark! - swing

London-based improvisors Jonathan McHugh and Mark Wastell fuse analogue synthesizer, mixing desk and 32” tam-tam into static, feedback, noise and drone. Hydriotaphia is a document of their first meeting as a duo. "A combination of ARP 2600, mixing desk and 32” Paiste tam tam, recorded in 2009 at the Electronic Music Studios of London’s Goldsmiths College. The name of the synthesizer might justify the snoopy inquirer’s thinking to a certain French lady working with the same brand of wave generator. However, in spite of the fact that the 45 minutes are – as expected – dominated by low frequencies, there’s not too much inHydriotaphia associable to Madame Radigue. The governing sonority is that born from the gong, which Wastell caresses and strokes following what should be done with a feline who responds purring, closing the eyes and looking harmoniously collaborative until you rub him the wrong way. The alternance between a sense of concentrated study and a prologue to a hypothetical awesome experience is mildly contrasted by the synthesizer’s subtle hisses and small fizzy noises keeping the listener’s feet partially planted in the ground, which is needed to observe the spectral gradations without getting lost in a cloudy bliss and losing focus. Occasionally, the muscle of the synthetic emissions defines the global texture’s shape a little more; those are the moments in which McHugh and Wastell ride their creature’s power, letting some weight grow in the music’s otherwise unearthly emergence. At any rate this is classy stuff, definitely recommended to cultists of serious static droning." - Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes --- Jonathan McHugh / arp synthesizer, mixing desk Mark Wastell / 32" paiste tam-tam --- Tracklisting: 1. Hydriotaphia - 45:04 --- Recorded by Jonathan McHugh at the Electronic Music Studios, Goldsmiths College, London 2009.  

Jonathan McHugh & Mark Wastell - Hydriotaphia

MIE

Blood n guts folk from the Anglo-American duo. Searing harmonies and sparse, vital instrumentation breath new life into timeless tales of love, loss and death. Originally released to critical acclaim by No-Fi Recordings and then reissued by MIE Music in 2011, Dumb Supper is by all means one of the most interesting and exciting revivalist recording of traditional songs we've heard in years. Cath and Phil believe in folk retaining its original storytelling function, so all the songs on the album are adaptations of songs they have unearthed or which have been passed on to them through family members, musical collaborators, and their own love of the original information highway - folk music. If you missed the physical, snap this up and get yourselves down to see them here this Thursday. “Dumb Supper is one of those rare modern folk albums that will find a home in both the longstanding ‘traditional’ music community and among those attracted to the form’s more experimental and lo-fi possibilities….It’s a weird looking-glass effect many folk fans will be familiar with: the straighter you play it, the stranger it gets…Shirley Collins always understood this and so do Cath & Phil Tyler.” – Frances Morgan, Plan B Magazine --- All songs traditional except: Farewell My Friends & Morning - adapted from Sacred Harp. Death of Queen Jane - Words trad. Music Tyler Yellowhammer - Tyler Dewdrop - Words trad. Music Tyler Wild Stormy Deep - by Homer Cornett Slumber Boats - by Alice Riley/Jessie Gaynor  --- Recorded at Summerhill Square, Newcastle Upon Tyne in the first half of 2007. Arranged by Cath and Phil Tyler. Artwork by Jim Oss. Produced by Andrew Hodson. 

Cath & Phil Tyler - Dumb Supper

Effigy is Pelt's first new batch of new recordings since 2007, and their first album since Jack Rose's death in 2009. Simultaneously frenetic and meditative, it's a raga seared in pulsating low-end piano, scorned and mournful strings and swarming harmonium.  “What separates Pelt … is the willful sonic escalation from monk chant and Appalachian bowed sitar to Blue Ridge mountain grinding ear-death. … They’ve not become giants; they’ve become the mountain.” - The Washington Post From the original MIE press release: MIE Records are unbelievably honoured to be releasing, the first album recorded since 2007 by the acoustic-only droners Pelt. Recorded live in June 2011 in an old yoga studio in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin and a decommissioned synagogue called the Gates of Heaven in nearby Madison, the band have laid down their most accomplished and fully realised work to date. Epic in every sense of the word, Effigy is a sprawling journey through their singular plan on the musical map. Layer upon layer of droning strings melt over never-ending harmoniums which threaten to engulf you whilst peals of gongs ring out to mesmerising effect. Effigy sees Pelt reaching their blissful sonic enlightenment. Effigy is a testament to the ancient animal shaped mounds called ‘effigy mounds’ which dot the landscape in and around Madison, Wisconsin. No one has yet managed to work out who built these creations. Over the centuries they have greatly reduced in size but still the largest can measure up to 400ft in length, and the outlines of birds, lizards, deers and bears are all clearly visible to the observer. Soil would have been carried from afar to construct these huge monuments with only crude implements to hand. The erection of the monuments would have surely have to have been carried out by practically an army of workers or inhabitants and taken a very long time to build indeed. --- Recorded by Pelt. Mixed by Jason Meagher. Mastered by James Plotkin. Artwork by Jake Blanchard. With thanks to Henry MIE. 'Ecstatically dedicated and indebted to eternal spirit of Jack Rose.'  

Pelt - Effigy

Long out of press mighty gamelan collab from members of US drone collective Pelt, the UK's Part Wild Horses Mane on Both Sides and New Zealand guitarist Michael Morley aka Gate. Recorded at 2012's TUSK festival in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the huge ensemble folded up into a mid-size room in a little corner of England and tapped into the music that has long transfixed the world - but with as much raga and hillbilly influence as Indonesian. Be warned, this is not 100% holy. Soon, avain hymns give way to drones akin to those of Vibracathedral Orchestra, and low, slow tones eat at your redeeming thoughts. A one time super-group and damn were they super. Official MIE press release: "In October 2012, at the Tusk Festival at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, noise emissaries from three continents came together on a Sunday to make music for an hour or so. From the United States came Mike Gangloff, Nathan Bowles, and Patrick Best of the mighty Virginia drone collective Pelt. Representing the United Kingdom were sonic pilgrims Pascal Nichols and Kelly Jayne Jones of Part Wild Horses Mane on Both Sides. And from Oceania came the transcendent New Zealand guitarist Michael Morley of Gate and, of course, the legendary Dead C. This summit proceeded without words. Their chosen means of deliberation was the gamelan: an array of gangsa and saron metallaphones and singing bowls sprawled out on the patchwork oriental rugs; a rig of gongs; the flurry of hammers and mallets; a few dozen onlookers seated cross-legged or just laying prostrate on the floor. And everyone and everything was transported. - Brent S. Sirota ---  Recorded at TUSK Festival 2012 at Star & Shadow Cinema, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. Live sound by Steve Nicholson and Stosh. Recording by Sam Grant. With thanks to Henry MIE.  www.tuskfestival.com

Pelt Part Wild Gate - Hung on Sunday

In ancient Roman religious ritual, exta were the organs of a sacrificed animal offered up to the gods - the lungs, heart, liver and gall bladder; here, Exta is a selection of four pieces (one in two parts) carefully extracted from a long studio session. "Butcher’s sax ranges from soft, whispery purrs to teeth-chatteringly spiteful blasts. Lehn’s analogue synth leaps in a moment from burbling tones to fiercely sizzling abstraction, and Tilbury slips from his familiar melodic interludes and fragmented arpeggios to crashing, seismic attacks on the inside of the piano. What sets this album head and shoulders above similar offerings is the understanding between the trio. It’s not just the way all three move together as one from subdued lull to explosive rupture, but how each pushes at the others, stopping the music from settling into routine. Throughout the two-part “Pulmo”, each of the trio takes the opportunity to wrench the music from one direction to another with a sudden attack just as it settles into a plateau. More than a routine outing for three old heads, Exta is as vibrant, powerful and testing as anything we have heard from any of them in a while, which in itself makes it an essential addition to Improv’s history. " - Richard Pinnell, The Wire  "This gloriously unhurried, constantly shifting music—each dynamic stimulus tempered by currents of textural stasis, notably on the initial stretch of 'lecur'—resists summation. It is an enthralling, exemplary piece of work." - Tim Owen, Dalston Sound --- John Butcher / saxophones  Thomas Lehn / synthesizers  John Tilbury / piano  --- Recorded by Rick Campion at City University Music Studios on 25 June 2012. Mixed by Thomas Lehn. Mastered by Rupert Clervaux at Gray’s Inn Road. Photograph by Andy Moor (The Ex) Music by John Butcher (PRS), Thomas Lehn (GEMA) & John Tilbury (PRS) 

Butcher / Lehn / Tilbury - Exta

A deeply enigmatic duo of trumpet and drums augmented by live electronics and an expanded percussive array (tam-tam, multiple high hats etc.), Stonecipher is a mesmerising work that operates in the blurred regions between the electronic and acoustic. Dörner's electronics have never been more effective, creating viscous clouds of sound which are illuminated by Sanders' sparse, precise formations, producing a dense fabric of insidious extended tones, gradual inclines and sudden drops, and sounds that slowly fold back into themselves or abruptly open onto unexpected plateaus. There's something wonderfully unhurried about the way that Stonecipher develops, but there's a real quickness bubbling under this apparent slowness that prevents the music from ever completely solidifying: just when you think you're on firm ground something moves and the whole landscape is reshaped. "Understated throughout, the pair fold together softly muted sounds – hissing, breathy escapes of air and their digitally transformed, equally subtle cousins from Dörner, and a masterfully restrained, widely varied palette of soft tones and brief peaking flurries from Sanders. The end result is a slow, naturally fermenting but never boiling-over landscape of beautiful, surprisingly restrained music formed with remarkable understanding." - Richard Pinnell, The Wire  --- Axel Dörner / trumpet, electronics Mark Sanders / drums, percussion  --- Recorded by Rick Campion on 19 June 2011 at City University Music Studios. Mixed by Axel Dörner. Artwork by Jane Millican (detail of Scene, 2010, pencil on paper) Music by Axel Dörner (GEMA) & Mark Sanders (PRS) 

Axel Dörner & Mark Sanders ‎- Stonecipher

A stunning series of duo improvisations from two of the world's finest string players, whose shared dynamism and intensity of purpose produces fluid, powerful music that ranges from dense viscosity to swift effervescence. With all-strings improvisation there's often a danger of pseudo-classicism, of sounding vaguely like modernist chamber music, replete with refined flourishes and familiar motifs. Edwards and Lee don't just avoid this but go nowhere near it, heading off in another direction entirely. White Cable, Black Wires is full of rude vitality, driven by an intensely physical interplay which encompasses growling blocks of noise, subtle melodies, and nimble rhythmic entanglements. "White Cable, Black Wires frontlines two obscenely talented improvisers who can sometimes take a backseat next to the “big names” they keep company with. If you’re anything like me, though, theirs are the names that draw your eye when seeking out exhilarating music. It also marks another resounding success for Fataka, quickly becoming a label to watch on the improv scene." - Dan Sorrells, Free Jazz Blog --- John Edwards / double bass Okkyung Lee / cello  ---Recorded by Sebastian Lexer at The Welsh Chapel, London on 25 May 2011. Mixed by John Edwards. Mastered by Rupert Clervaux at Gray’s Inn Road. Music by John Edwards (PRS) & Okkyung Lee (ASCAP). Produced by Trevor Brent. 

John Edwards & Okkyung Lee - White Cable, Black Wires