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

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

To celebrate being open for 10 years we thought we'd share the very first show we hosted as a download. John Chantler organised Saya's first show outside of the UK and remembers it like this: Saya was in the UK for a short stint to work on the mix for the Pastels/Tenniscoats LP 'Two Sunsets' - travelling to Glasgow from Japan via London. I'd heard word of a new venue opening up in town with the Japanese name and got in touch to see if they'd be interested in having Saya play. Turned out they'd be (fingers crossed) open just in time, and as big fans of Tenniscoats would love to have play the venue's first show.   The paint was still fresh on the walls. There was no proper mixing desk (I brought my own and got a bit heavy-handed with the echo). The PA was far from the best and the sound meter that they'd had to install wasn't set up right. It tripped not once, but twice during 'Baibaba Bimba' (you'll hear the silence as the power cuts out on the recording) - leaving Saya to switch from keyboard to guitar to finish it off. Despite all that it was a magical early sunday evening. Saya was nervous playing her first solo show outside Japan, but the attentive crowd of 70 odd stuck with her and sat in rapt attention. No one show is going to capture the essence of cafe OTO, but if they say you should start as you mean to go on and that's what happened here. It's nice to finally be able to share this little slice of the venue's history. Enjoy. - John Chantler

Saya (Tenniscoats) - 13.4.08

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"Oxley and Bailey first played together in 1963. Although they come from the same city and share the same kind of background their meeting was, in a way, coincidental. Bailey - 10 years older than Oxley - after some years working away from their hometown, returned for what was initially intended to be a brief family visit. The musical situation he found there persuaded him to stay. Oxley and Bailey then worked together, continuously and intensively, for the next three years and developed, with Gavin Bryars who was then a bass player, their own particular approach to free improvisation. Since 1966, their working relationship, although intermittent, has continued in a multitude of different playing situations. Initially, during the late 60's and early 70's, much of it was in the context of Tony Oxley's small groups - quartet, quintet and sextet. From the late 70's on, it would sometimes be within Derek Bailey's improvisor's ensemble, Company. Throughout, and increasingly in the 1990's, they have played in duo. These recordings, a London studio recording made in 1977, and a concert recorded in New York 1995, are testament to the remarkable richness and sustained variety of their musical relationship." - Simon Kelly --- Derek Bailey / electric & acoustic guitars Tony Oxley / acoustic & electric percussion, violin --- Tracks 1-4: Recorded in Soho, London in February 1977 by Kevin Spencer. Tracks 5-10: Recorded at the Knitting Factory, NYC in September 1995 by James Mclean. PPhotographs of Derek Bailey &  Tony Oxley in concert (France, May, 1997) by Franz-Heinrich Busch. Post Production & design by Karen Brookman.

Derek Bailey & Tony Oxley - Soho Suites

Complete audio recordings of Evan Parker, John Edwards and Eddie Prévost's May 2013 residency at Cafe OTO.  --- Evan Parker / tenor saxophone John Edwards / double bass Edwin (Eddie) Prévost / drums Alexander von Schlippenbach / piano Christof Thewes / trombone --- "Given the different line-ups and the inclusion of both sets from each of three nights, the listener is presented with the chance to hear the music exposed and developing in many dimensions. Not only can each player be heard by himself and in shifting combinations - duet, trio or quartet - with the others, but the progression in mood and approach across an entire evening can be clearly appreciated. This is particularly marked on the second disc, where the careful exploration of the first set is succeded by the all-in surge of the second, which begins as if the four are resuming an interruped conversation. From the first night to the last, the music played over these three nights is of the highest quality. What can't be captured in the discs, but should never be underestimated, is the presence of listeners whose attentiveness cleared and charged the space in which the performers could do their work of creating a music as delicate in its inner workings as it is robust in its insistance on building for itself, night after night, a world without walls." - Richard Williams. --- Audio recorded by Giovanni LaRovere. Mastered by Rupert Clervaux. 

3 Nights at Cafe OTO

"Alan Wilkinson’s best known for his work with the high-energy Hession-Wilkinson-Fell trio. His discography includes just two duets, both with guitar players, but anyone who can stand up to both Derek Bailey and Stefan Jaworzyn comes out of a large and resource-rich bag. He is by far the most energy-oriented player to join Prévost in this particular ring, but the latter’s overriding determination to play exactly what the music of the moment requires serves him well here. Despite what I said a moment, ago, don’t get the idea that there’s any sparring going on here; while Wilkinson hits hard on both alto and baritone sax, this is a record where the two men work together, not against each other. Each is respectful of the other’s individuality and ability. Wilkinson does contribute some feral blowing; his unbridled snorts and whinnies on the title track are positively Ayleresque in their dimensions. But Prévost’s contributions take the music to a different place, unstable yet completely assured. His work in AMM has labeled him a percussionist, and rightly so, but listen to “Supa, Supa;” with its shuffling high-hat and dancing brushes – this is idiomatically aware jazz drumming of a very high order. Some of the best music occurs when they bring things down. On the lengthy and languorous “For Marlene,” baritone first sings quietly and then bubbles while toms rumble; a melody winds and twists whilst discovering itself in empty space. Exquisite." - Bill Meyer, Dusted Magazine --- Eddie Prévost / drums Alan Wilkinson / alto & baritone saxophones --- Recorded at Barefoot Studios, London, on 10th January 2006, by Mark Richie. Front cover by Gina Southgate.

Eddie Prévost / Alan Wilkinson - So Are We, So Are We

Collection of tracks from 1985-94, recorded by the Organum core of David Jackman, Michael Prime, Dinah Jane Rowe and Jim O'Rourke; further mastering of sound cluster presentation and development. "Veil of Tears" was first released on Aeroplane records (AR13) as a cassette which included a black on green paper inlay featuring photographs of a small boy seated on a model steam locomotive and a man checking a railway track with a gauge. Play this one REALLY LOUD.  --- "There's certainly no social statement behind the work and, philosophically, there's nothing consciously being projected into the sound. Apart from the blind desire to make sounds, the only thing that was at work in the beginning (...) was the wish to make something that sounded completely new. So it was invention that was the driving force, even to the point of eccentricity in the way the sounds got made, like an alarm-clock case being scraped round a rusty bicycle-wheel rim for 20 minutes. As it happened, nothing new got made at all. Instead, Organum music came out sounding really ancient, like something from the very beginning of music-making" - David Jackman---Veil Of Tears (Part 1) Performer [Recorded With] – David Jackman, Dinah Jane Rowe, Michael Prime Delta Performer [Recorded With] – David Jackman, Dinah Jane Rowe, Michael Prime, Roger Sutherland Obon Remix – Jim O'Rourke, Robert HampsonSounds [All] – David Jackman Lamentations Performer [Recorded With] – David Jackman, Robert HampsonSounds [Archive Sound] – Philip Rupenus, Richard Rupenus Veil Of Tears (Part 2) Performer [Recorded With] – David Jackman, Dinah Jane Rowe, Michael Prime ---David Jackman aided and abetted by Michael Prime, Dinah Jane Rowe, Roger Sutherland, Jim O'Rourke and Robert Hampson. The two parts of Veil of tears were recorded in 1992 with Michael Prime, Dinah Jane Rowe and David Jackman; Delta recorded live at Recommended Records, London 1990 with Roger Sutherland, Michael Prime, Dinah Jane Rowe and David Jackman; Obon was recorded in 1985 - all sounds by David Jackman, remixed 1994 by Robert Hampton and Jim O'Rourke; and Lamentations was recorded 1994 with Robert Hampson, David Jackman and with archive sound from 1985 by Philip and Richard Rupenus. Artwork by David Jackman

Organum - Veil of Tears

At age 78, Joe McPhee shows no sign of slowing down. Plan B is the master improviser’s new trio, with James Keepnews on guitar & laptop and David Berger on drums. A soundtrack to a science fiction movie existing only in their heads, From Outer Space finds McPhee and company envisioning the first encounter between alien life and a delegation of earthlings (while giving a nod to jazz’s original man from another planet, Sun Ra, with a side-long suite dedicated to him). It’s quite unlike anything else in McPhee’s vast discography. Cover art by Judith Lindbloom. “Joe McPhee, who is one-third of the trio Plan B, was born in 1939. He’s old enough to have had the opportunity to see Buck Rogers in the newspaper, laser guns on projected in black and white on neighbourhood cinema screens, and Plan Nine From Outer Space upon its initial release. I can’t tell you if he actually did any of these things, but this much is known: McPhee is a science fiction fan of long-standing; he’s still making new work and taking real chances at the age of 78; and his playing is laser-like in its concentration of information drawn from his own life, the histories of jazz and improvised music, the complicated story of the USA and its relationship with its African-descended residents; and whatever is happening at the second he puts one of his several horns (pocket trumpet and alto and tenor saxophones on this record) to his lips. There’s always a lot of information in every note, reaction, and reference, and so it is with this LP.” - Francis Gooding, The Wire --- Joe McPhee / tenor saxophone, alto saxophone, trumpet James Keepnews / guitar, electronics David Berger / drums --- Artwork by Judith Lindbloom. 

Plan B - From Outer Space

In an everlasting process that continuously repositions and reevaluates infinity as a consciously unachievable but ultimately rewarding goal since the early 90′s, David Maranha’s music has been riding that arc with ferocity and aplomb. A unique vision that has been translating the ETERNAL in a sprawling language through countless performances, approaches and records like Marches of the New World and the Roaratorio-released classic Antarctica. Always the unsettled mind, Maranha conveys his spiraling vision towards its core with this new ensemble. Comprised of Diana Combo on drums, Filipe Felizardo on electric guitar and David himself on organ and violin, they are a speculative tour de force around animic and sensory principles of movement, stillness and reaction. Long drawn out semi-riffs feedback along the drifting textures of the violin and the organ like rock’s ultimate coda stretched into nowhere. Drums plodding in restraint, sustaining the drone-like vortex of electricity without ever reaching any sort of conclusion in four pieces that inhabit their own universe continually. As it should.” – Bruno Silva “Sometimes a man’s just got to cut loose, and so it has been with David Maranha. The Portuguese multi-instrumentalist (organ, violin) has been exploring the sounds that escape when drones rasp against each other for some time, but recently he’s turned up the rock elements in his sound. On Sombras Incendiadas, his duo with cellist Helena Espvall, that involved the radiant amplification of savagely stroked strings, but the flow of energy reverses on this recording. Maranha, guitarist Filipe Felizardo, and drummer Diana Combo seem less unconcerned with progress or any other sort of outward-bound motion. Instead they bear down on the riffs and repeat the beats, pounding the music into a ground that’s shrinking and crumbling, drawn into a black hole core. Sure, feedback tendrils escape and swipe around like sea monster tentacles swiping hapless sailors off some old whaling vessel, but they’re inescapably drawn back into the deep. Imagine how White Light/White Heat might have sounded if Faust’s drummer had taken over the band, broken the vocal mics, and thrown out all the songs, and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what this record is like.” – Bill Meyer, Dusted Portuguese composer/EAI savant David Maranha has been in the game since the early ‘90s, having collaborated with artists as diverse as Z’EV, guitarist/cellist Helena Espvall (Espers), and Dirty Beaches’ Alex Zhang Hungtai. In this lineup, alongside guitarist Felipe Filazardo and drummer Diana Combo, he explores every centimeter of the rough surface between his violin and its bow, along with a prepared organ, as guitars buzz and slash away underneath, and martial drumming pounds out the time. The scrape of Maranha’s violin bow remains the heaviest and most deliberate element of this sound, like a rusty anchor dragging across a scrapyard of a record that fits more comfortably amidst a small group of bands (Swans, Nohome, Caspar Brotzmann Massaker) than in a genre. You won’t soon forget it.” – Doug Mosurock, Still Single --- Diana Combo / drumsFilipe Felizardo / electric guitarDavid Maranha / organ, violin --- Recorded John Klima at Scratch Built Studio, on the 29th of July 2015 (A1), and on the 14th of September (A2, B1, B2). Mixed by David Maranhaat Violante do Céu in October 2015. Mastered at Esme by Christophe Albertijn. Cover photo from the sculpture tríptico by David Maranha, Manuel Mota.

David Maranha Ensemble ‎– Salt, Ashes, Goat Skin

When psycho-spatial composer Nelson Gastaldi passed away in 2009 at the age of 77, he left behind a unique musical legacy that is only now beginning to be unveiled. A self-described “musical nihilist with noble and mystic origins” (as well as an accomplished visual artist), Gastaldi supported himself and his family with a job at an electric company in Buenos Aires, Argentina, while creating an astonishing body of work that went virtually unheard during his lifetime. Synthesizing his wide-ranging interests (medicine, linguistics, Chinese and German philosophy) into his music, he welcomed paranormal / initiatic experiences into the compositional process, creating homemade Sibelius-meets-Sun Ra symphonies. The only previous publication of his work was in Bananafish magazine, which featured an excerpt of Symphony No. 3 on an accompanying CD. The same issue also contained his sole English-language interview, in which he waxed: “The human being runs at the side of a river. When he is young, he runs faster than the river; in mid-life he runs at the same speed as the river; and at last he falls down and the river keeps going.” Take a dip into the strange and beautiful river of Nelson Gastaldi. Download coupon included. Bananafish has kindly allowed the interview with Gastaldi to be accessed here. “Argentinian outsider composer Nelson Gastaldi (1932-2009) comes across like a character from a Borges story, or maybe Don Quixote himself. ‘I’m a musical nihilist with noble and mystic origins,’ he confided in his one and only interview to Bananafish magazine. ‘I’ve experimented with pure sound — the crepitations of a fried egg, for example. Besides timbral explorations of specific objects, I have employed techniques like composing aleatory music based on feeding doves, listening to music inside dreams, and using numerology as a compostional tool.’
When Reynols member Roberto Conlazo met Gastaldi in Buenos Aires in 2003, he was astonished to behold him compile symphonic works using small cassette recorders and Casio keyboards, lots of toys, Chinese mechanical birds and a trumpet. Gastaldi clearly had colossal musical ambition, unconfined by his extremely limited resources: this is a symphony in three movements conceived along 19th century lines but with 20th century concerns such as micro- and polytonality stirred in. It takes a moment to adjust to his sound — lo-fi Bruckner with synth marimbas — after which it’s easy to be swept along.
The start of the second movement is orchestral, courtesy of Casio: strings hand over to brass, tympani crash in, but Gastaldi’s more emotional moments are even stranger, a ‘lost in space’ gamelan — and is that a wailing baby who has somehow made it onto the tape? Presumably he was constantly rerecording from machine to machine, so room sounds creep in and the whole work acquires a strange patina only possible in Gastaldi’s hyper-analogue world. As the composer himself put it, ‘With music there is always the possibility that you will fly.’ ” – Clive Bell, The Wire “The story goes that a cab driver in Buenos Aires once threatened bandoneon player and Nuevo tango composer Astor Piazzolla for his crimes against the tango. He might given himself the ceremonial Mohawk and gone totally Travis Bickle if he’d ever gotten Nelson Gastaldi into his car, because Gastaldi does things with this symphony that you just shouldn’t do. The most noticeable transgressions are instrumental. Gastaldi, who died in 2009 at the age of 77, never released an album and never got an orchestra to perform his music throughout his life. He got around these barriers by performing and recording his music himself using bicycle wheels, wind-up toys, and a pneumatic hammer. Symphony No. 3: Siddhartha Gautama Or The Power Of Nothingness, his first recording to obtain commercial release, is relatively conventional; the strings and brass are supplied by Casio keyboards, the percussion by what sounds like a toy xylophone, and the bird cries by one of those wind-up toys. On first listen it sounds a little bit like late-‘60s Sun Ra, mainly because of the murky recording (Gastaldi used Sony black box cassette recorders and normal bias tape), but also because of the music’s outsized drama. Once you get past the recording quality, the piece’s links to 19th century orchestral music are pretty plain. If this symphony is anything to go by, Gastaldi got off the bus before Webern got on; there’s not a lot of dissonance beyond that generated by his crude tools. But neither does it proceed on a path towards conventional development and resolution. Rather, it’s discursive, elaborating on melodic notions, then revising them, then jumping to some other idea that seems like a footnote but changes the scene like clicking on a hypertext link. Roaratorio, a label that still flies the Rodd Keith flag with pride, seems like a good home for this music, and they’ve treated it well; it comes on clean black vinyl, the sleeve looks suitably paranormal, and it comes with a download coupon for those late night walks in the park. Oh, while Gastaldi never got to conduct an orchestra, he did jam with Reynols, whose Anla Courtis supplied Bananafish magazine with a mind-bending interview with the maestro in issue 18. You can read it here - Bill Meyer, Still Single “A DELIGHTFUL AIRSCAPE. I RECOMMEND IT FOR ALL LOVERS OF EXPERIMENTAL COMPOSITION.” – Grant Hart --- Composed By Nelson Gastaldi. Liner notes by Roberto Conlazo. Mastered by Carl SaffT. Tapes restored by Pablo Fagoaga, Rob Conlazo. English translation: "Siddhartha Gautama Or The Power Of Nothingness." Recorded 1972-1997. Digital recording from the original Nelson Gastaldi home tapes.Photos: Reynols archives. ---

Nelson Gastaldi - Symphony No. 3

Roaratorio’s survey of the unheard Sun Ra continues with Sun Embassy. Consisting of recordings from Sun Studios (aka Ra’s house in Philadelphia) from 1968-1969, the album features nine tracks : six compositions which have never been heard before in any form, plus fresh coats of paint on such 1950s classics as “Sunology” and “Ancient Aiethiopia,” and an early rendition of “Why Go To The Moon?”. Essential listening for Sun Ra devotees. Download coupon included. --- Danny Davis / alto saxophone (tracks: A1, A3, A4, B2, B4, B5) flute (tracks: B1, B2)Marshall Allen / alto saxophone (tracks: A1, A3, A4, B2-B5) flute (tracks: A1, A4, B1, B2) piccolo flute (tracks: B4, B5)Ronnie Boykins / bassDanny Ray Thompson / bongos, flute (tracks: B1)John Gilmore / clarinet, tenor saxophone (tracks: A3, A4, B2-B5)Sun Ra / clavinet (tracks: A2, A4) organ (tracks: A3, B1, B3-B5) space master (tracks: B2)Carl Malone aka Nimrod Hunt / congas (tracks: B1)Lex Humphries / drums (tracks: A1, A3, B4, B5) Charles Stevens / trombone (tracks: A4)Walter Miller / trumpet (tracks: B2) --- "The Stranger" recorded 1968-05-14."Dance of Fire" and "Cosmic Strut" recorded 1968-06-21."Why Go To The Moon?" and "Ancient Aethiopia" recorded 1968-08-08."Walk Around Saturn" recorded 1969-06-28."My Reality Is Real," "Sun Embassy," and "Sunology" recorded 1969-10-21. Produced by Michael D. Anderson. Artwork by Emily Kaplan. Recorded at Sun Studios 1968-69)

Sun Ra & His Astro-Ihnfinity Arkestra - Sun Embassy

Still Light, Outside is the fourth album by John Chantler, and one which marks his departure from London and his relocation to Sweden. Over the four month period leading up to his departure, Chantler made several hours of raw recordings of the pipe organ at London’s St John-at-Hackney church. These were then subject to extended processing at Stockholm’s Elektronmusikstudion EMS and combined with additional electronic parts created there. Still Light, Outside is an extended suite in four parts that combines passages of stark minimalism centred at the bodily invasive extremes of the organ’s register with striking explosions of colour; massed chords shot through with heavy distortion and electronics that operate according to their own dream logic. --- Recorded August–November 2014 at St John-at-Hackney, London & Elektronmusikstudion EMS, Stockholm. Additional recording/mixing January–March 2015. Mastered by Andreas [LUPO] Lubich at Calyx, Berlin. Design: John Chantler / Photography: Fabio Lugaro  --- John Chantler / pipe organ, processing --- Recorded August–November 2014 at St John-at-Hackney, London & Elektronmusikstudion EMS, Stockholm. Additional recording/mixing January–March 2015. Mastered by Andreas [LUPO] Lubich at Calyx, Berlin. Design: John Chantler / Photography: Fabio Lugaro. Thanks to Bradford Bailey, Lawrence English, James Hammond, Mike Harding, Carina Thorén & Kate Walters. This work was made possible with support from the Australia Council for the Arts, the Australian Government’s arts funding and advisory body.

John Chantler - Still Light, Outside

A duo for saxophone and synthesizer. Johns/John lock into a series of cycles and frequency systems that while loosely in the tradition of the patterned saxophony and accompanying string drone of La Monte Young and the Theatre of Eternal Dream Music’s B Flat Dorian Blues. The pair obliterate the instrumental hierarchy that Young espouses for an altogether more unknowable intensity of experience. -- John Chantler / synthesizer Johannes Lunds / alto saxophone  --- Liner notes: Two Dreams For Endless Skies Music makes my mind drift uncontrollably. When I saw John Chantler and Johs Lunds perform at Copenhagen’s Mayhem venue I had a vision: I awake suddenly to discover that I have been sleeping on a beach. It’s a rainy early morning and I’m laying on my back in the open on the sand, the hood of my jacket blinding my peripheral vision. I have no idea how I got there and only see grey clouds above and hear the waves and wind. I stare into the sky blinking from light speckles of falling rain, my mind reeling from two dreams. I try to stem the rapid decay that dreams inherently suffer from: 01 Static I’m a child living on a west coast Canadian island and the nights I hate most are the silent ones. To fall asleep to anything other than silence is preferable – rain the best, howling wind reassuring, a violent storm just fine – it’s an emptiness broken sporadically by a creaking tree, a snapping branch and other terrifying small sounds that emanate from the encroaching forest. It’s the terrifying absence of background sounds that makes me aware of how far away from everything I am here. It makes me claustrophobic – the dark edges of the forest encroach, the only thing keeping them from closing in is the light outside the front door washing the dark green trees, ferns and rocks with a creepy dim light. Around this time, while I start to understand my fear of silence, I am given a portable radio. I spend nights slowly panning the tuning dial through the shimmering static noise of the radio spectrum, picking up the odd AM channel that somehow has made itself audible all the way out here where I am. Faint songs blend into speech into rich hisses into warbling glissandi and squeaks and pops – engrossing noises that I imagine come from orbiting satellites, distant planets and other worlds. 02 Waves In the next dream I travel with my father to the northern tip of Vancouver Island. We hike through the forests of Cape Scott Park towards the sea. It takes us all day to get there. Along the trail I listen to the relentless roar of the wind and crashing waves coming off the ocean. The coast persistently seems just over the next hill but doesn't appear – the white noise grows more wearing and the hike turns to a slog. The park we are in contains a series of overgrown fields and dilapidated farm houses. Built by late 19th century Danish colonists, they were abandoned just over a decade later when the roads and utilities the government had promised didn't materialise. The settlements have a spooky peacefulness, beautiful but mournful in the subsuming nature. Through ghost farms and fields, then some low bushes, we finally arrive at the shore. Here the white noise of wind and waves takes full hold. The white-capped sea churns out to the horizon and the pale bright sandy beach stretches to either side of us for kilometres. Far down the beach we see a number of large dark lumpen shapes plonked upon the sand. As we walk towards them the shapes slowly reveal themselves to be a colony of recently deceased sea lions. In the heat of the blaring sun some of the giant cadavers have become bloated enough to cause their boiled and steaming guts to explode out onto the beach. Dotted in constellations around the carcasses and across the shore are hundreds of brightly coloured size 10 Nike running shoes, all for the left foot. A shipping container must have fallen off a freighter during a heavy storm, breaking apart and dumping the left footed shoes into the sea, where they drifted to the shore and washed up on this beach. They look so peculiar and fake against the guts and endless nature – vibrant running shoes, floating through infinite space, bobbing across the swelling grey sea, in the brilliant rays of sunshine, or the luminous light of the moon, blown on by howling wind through the slow motion murk of my memory. A large black bear emerges from behind one of the giant sea lion carcasses and raises itself up onto its hind legs. I jump up but instead of the beach I am back in the venue and my ears are ringing. Finish There’s an idea that the essential human use of music is as a mask – that at its core music is a way to drown out all the external noises that our most inner primordial self automatically processes as a warning, setting our nerves alight. What this understanding of music might mean for, say, love songs, dance or noise music is hard to fathom, and the idea becomes too reductive to be interesting. But it is useful sometimes, inasmuch as the idea connects music directly to animals, landscape and endless cosmos – dumping us humans and our machines and activities into what was once called nature. Sound and silence drift uncontrollably, endlessly, until they find music. Music makes our minds drift uncontrollably but gives us an interface with the world. Nathaniel Budzinski 

John Chantler & Johannes Lundes - Endless Sky

"Below a shuffling cabasa-like rhythm, a pair of taut drum patterns is punctuated by swirling electronic crackle and a deep bass drop. Slowly and almost imperceptibly, layers of spongy beats accumulate until they’re wiped out dub-style by an echoing sonar moan that suspends the track in a dark and undulating aquatic reverie, a lull broken by jittery bass tones and reverberant knocks that surge into an intricate percussive maelstrom. Jake Meginsky’s music is distinctly low end and percussive. While nodding to minimal house, dub, and noise, Meginsky’s electronica bears ample evidence of his apprenticeship with fiery avant-jazz percussionist Milford Graves and his training in West African djun djun and djembe. There’s nothing rigid or mechanical here. On the contrary, Meginsky’s rhythmic sensibility is supple and flexible – rumbling, fluttering, and bouncing in elastic configurations of enchanting complexity. All rhythm and squall, the pieces on Vandals can’t be called “songs”; but they’re too non-linear to be called “tracks” and too structurally unpredictable to be “compositions.” Rather, Meginsky builds little electronic ecosystems that seem to breed sounds in all their timbral and textural diversity, and to observe what results as they ally and skirmish with one another." - Christoph Cox --- Jake Meginsky / electronics --- Recorded April 2015 . Additional mixing at sonelab by Justin Pizzoferrato. Mastered by Carl Saff. 

Jake Meginsky - Vandals

"Debut LP from Meginsky. Subterranean, nearly-inaudible restraint and a rushing, stuttering throb rule the night on this record. Its electric moods are so resolutely alien they suggest worlds unknown rather than create them. Irregular heartbeat thumps are set against high end atmospheres explored in microscopic detail. Haunting overlays of tones fluctuate and tremble, and not one moment feels forced. The music is meticulously constructed and consistently surprising. The electronics spin away, shooting off into bizarre and unexpected territory, and all the while Meginsky guides them with a benevolent, confident, endlessly fascinating hand. To hear him tell it, the record is 'a document of me looking for the experience I have not yet had, and maybe will never have. This is where the title comes from. The pull of the void.' Natural phenomena, like fog or mist, tend to render the environment and one's ability to see it nearly impossible, and if you tilt your head back like you have a nosebleed there is always the fear that the sun might set sooner. When you stop in a secret place there is no need to talk. These are streets full of sullen languid violence and grey phantoms." -- Matt Krefting Holyoke, MA May 2014 "By its closing track the album is in a state of malfunction, with rhythms splintering and disintegrating, peppered with fizzing tonal clusters and static blasts which sound more like Voice Crack than anything you’d expect to hear on a dancefloor." The Wire "All electronics, almost all smooth and clean sounds chosen, it references beat-driven styles with seemingly regular rhythms, but they're overlaid in non-obvious patterns and use very different textures, resulting in a fine sense of space where the relative absence of grit and inexactitude don't bother me nearly as much as is often the case in work I've heard that's tangentially related" Brian Olewnick --- Jake Meginsky / electronics --- Artwork by Bill Nace. Mastered by Mark Allen Miller. 

Jake Meginsky - L'Appel du Vide

Gates And Variations rounds out a loose trilogy of records by Jake Meginsky for Open Mouth. Not an intended trilogy on Jakes part but it has become one to my mind. It has come to be how I listen to them and experience them, all informing each other, echoing and challenging each other and growing into each other's space and light like a garden of plants that would never actually coexist anywhere in reality. Jake is always tirelessly reaching for something new yet I'd avoid using the word progression here. It instead feels to me like the last piece of a puzzle, or of a world created by some Jack Kirby demigod. Something has been completed and now all the pieces are interchangeable. The first can go last. The middle can be first. The whole thing becoming a universe looping in on itself with a multitude of entry points and not a lot of exits. These are dense environments where sections can move from microscopic to macroscopic, day to night and back again, so effortlessly that it's hard to tell if it's intended or if something imperceptible within you shifted the locus of your perception. But it is all very intentional, something carefully carved to give the feeling of something, though unfamiliar and strange, organic and grown. There's a sense of danger here like warning transmissions, concussive roiling rhythms and jagged disturbances. Yet also clear straight lines giving way to enveloping curve and staggering beauty. Supplant the beginning with the end with the beginning." --Bill Nace, Philadelphia, PA, September 2017.

Jake Meginsky - Gates & Variations

"When I first listened to Terrain (Confront), we were in the midst of an unexpected second snow in North Carolina. There was something alien and unpredictable about this circumstance, and it seemed to suit this lovely recording from Graham Halliwell and Lee Patterson. Halliwell’s stunning saxophone feedback seems perfectly apposite here, a presence in motion beneath and amidst the distinct environments that Patterson (field recordings and amplified devices) generates. The disc is quite simply one of the richest things I’ve heard this year. Throughout much of this recording there’s a lovely rubbed glass effect which, to my ears at least, partially recalls Bernhard Günter’s contributions to +Minus. These are frosty, icy laminations, amidst which Halliwell seems to be working in an almost imperceptibly intervallic fashion. Occasionally there are slow pulses – almost like homing beacons – that seem to well up. This is especially effective on the opening track, where it ushers in a series of suggestive changes, from a passage of relative density to a distant rumble at the margins and some soft watery drips – it’s almost like being in some cocoon and floated downriver, with everything outside only barely audible. Some similar effect is achieved on the fourth and final selection here, which plumbs the depths in what sounds like a contact-miked bathysphere (or some reverberant frame drum). Yet elsewhere the music sounds somewhat more direct in its articulation. The second piece deals openly with stark contrast in both tonality and dynamic – an emphatic low buzz here, and there a distant feedback whine of crystals singing together, with midrange hum slowly snaking throughout. The third track reveals a beatific glow from within a gentle gauze covering, but there’s no Fenneszian slumber here; rather, the piece delivers some intriguing dissonances and even a few arch harmonic moves. I suppose it’s in the distance between amorphous sound and definite gesture that Halliwell’s and Patterson’s music takes shape. Unpredictable in its beauty, it seems to come and go, almost like the ripples left by rocks skipping over the surface of a pond. (Jason Bivins, Bagatellen) --- Lee Patterson / field recordings and amplified devices Graham Halliwell / saxophone feedback and processing --- Recorded July 2006. 

Halliwell & Patterson - Terrain

Mark Wastell has been organising larger formations of musicians, collectively known as THE SEEN, for over 10 years. Using predominantly improvised material with occasional instructions or themes distributed to individual musicians just prior to performance. No formation has ever been repeated, THE SEEN never stays static.  Register of previous participants include Tetuzi Akiyama, Mattin, Michael Duch, Graham Halliwell, Andrea Neumann, Rhodri Davies, Paul Hood, Takehiro Nishide, Annette Krebs, Lee Gamble, Matt Davis, Joe Williamson, Wolfgang Fuchs, Burkhard Beins, Tomas Korber, Paul Abbott, Ben Owen, Jonathan McHugh, Jane Dickson, Olie Brice, Dimitra Lazaridou-Chatzigoga, Bertrand Denzler, Angharad Davies, David Toop, Chris Burn, Richard Sanderson, Dominic Lash, Yoni Silver, Graham MacKeachan, John Butcher and Jason Kahn. “With The Seen, everything is up for grabs. Even the act of listening – so sacrosanct in the world of improvisation – becomes problematized, for in such a tapestry of sound and silence how can one process what’s happening at any one moment? Yet this impossibility of total response provides opportunities to form clusters within the whole, that break apart and reform in different configurations as things develop. For listeners, too, there are possibilities for moments of both detailed focus and wider-scale immersion.” (Paul Margree) This product page is only for Volume II, but you can buy the whole set at a reduced price here.  Volume II: THE SEEN // TEATERHUSET AVANT GARDEN, TRONDHEIM, NORWAY 12.05.2006Mark Wastell : tam tamWolfgang Fuchs : record playersBertrand Denzler : saxophonesAngharad Davies : violinBurkhard Beins : percussionGraham Halliwell : feedback saxophoneTomas Korber : electronicsBenedict Drew : electronicsDominic Lash : double bass

THE SEEN: ARCHIVE : Volume II

Working both inside and outside the instrument's body, Pat Thomas presents a compelling vision of what the piano can do in the 21st century. At times playing with recognisable musical material and at others going deep into sonic abstraction, Pat's playing encompasses massive extremes: solidity and flow; seriousness and laughter; uproar and imperturbability. A major solo statement, Al-Khwarizmi Variations traverses the history and the physicality of the piano. Pat rules. "Thomas runs the gamut of techniques, splashing clusters, weaving contrapuntal lines and building elaborate structures from the inside out. Despite their variety, they share a fundamental quality – they truly sound like spur of the moment creations, not the final draft of ideas mulled over for weeks, if not months on end. Their impact is enhanced by one of the more effectively engineered piano sounds in recent memory, one that puts the piano right in your lap. The value of this is felt immediately, as the first variation is brimming with above-the-staves clusters that are wincingly bright. Conversely, Thomas creates china-rattling thunder when he plunges into the bass register." - Bill Shoemaker, Point of Departure  ---  Pat Thomas/ piano --- Recorded and mixed by Rick Campion at City University Music Studios on 19 June 2011. Mastered by Rupert Clervaux at Gray's Inn Road. Artwork from a 15th century Mamluk tile, adapted for print by Paul Abbott. With thanks to Trevor Brent  ---

Pat Thomas - Al​-​Khwarizmi Variations

Sebastian Lexer (piano+) and Steve Noble (drums and percussion) first played together in the winter of 2011 and what seemed like an unlikely, even oppositional, pairing quickly proved itself to be an extremely well-matched one. Noble's sharp vertical hits and Lexer's sustained horizontal textures echo, disrupt and enrich each other, producing music full of complex slants and intricate resonances. "They sync together immediately, entwining natural resonances of strings and cymbals, percussive attack of keys and drums, and the variegated textures of electronic processing and shuddering, abraded percussion. The two leave behind any notion of conversational give-and-take, instead diving in to the development of a constantly morphing collective voice." - Michael Rosenstein, Point of Departure "a dialect nourished by sequential superimposition and counteraction of alien, nigh impossible noises, they spawn incongruous yet mesmerizing musical patterns" - Antonio Poscic, The Free Jazz Collective "the descriptions 'drummer' and 'pianist' are barely adequate, only scratching the surface of what each of them does" - John Eyles, All About Jazz "It’s incredible what strange and beguiling music they make. As well as the tinks, plinks, taps and crashes that you might expect, here are planar whorls and laminal tones closer to electronic music than anything in orthodox pianism; and amid the stacked metal clatter, percussive emphases and taut skin and rim shots of Noble’s playing sit shimmering tones and plaintively vocal-like sounds, either scraped-up or bowed from sympathetically resonating materials. These sonics out-strange anything most percussionists ever dream of. And better yet, this is all done with as much restraint and sensitivity as animation." - Tim Owen, Dalston Sound --- Sebastian Lexer / piano+ Steve Noble / drums and percussion --- Recorded by Giovanni La Rovere at Cafe Oto, London on 25 October 2011 (1) and 18 June 2014. Mixed by Sebastian Lexer. Mastered by Rupert Clervaux at Gray’s Inn Road. Artwork/Design by James Vickery. Music by Sebastian Lexer and Steve Noble. Produced by Trevor Brent

Sebastian Lexer & Steve Noble - Muddy Ditch

About Trumpet and Saxophone brings together New York based trumpeter Nate Wooley and London based saxophonist Seymour Wright for a series of intensely material duo improvisations that inhabit the tricky overlap between these two instruments. Recorded on their second encounter, there's an intriguing balance of freshness and reflection in the music here, one that matches their deep knowledge of improvised music's various pasts as well as their commitment to experiment and discovery. "a spiky, raw collection of brief improvisations that see them pushing at each other rather than slipping into comfort zones . . . full of a palpable tension but somehow also very simple and unadorned . . . a fine set of recordings that showcase the act of improvisation in its bared boned glory." - Richard Pinnell, The Wire "Wooley and Wright have both made extraordinary solo recordings: these duets might represent their sum and difference or their square root. About Trumpet and Saxophone is eminently worthy of close listening. It might enrich or impoverish a listener in a new way." - Stuart Broomer, Point of Departure "if the history of jazz can be told via great trumpet/saxophone pairings (Bix/Tram, Diz/Bird, Chet/Gerry, Miles/Trane, Don/Ornette, Kenny/Evan...add your own favourites) separated by stylistic quantum leaps, then the pairing of Nate/Seymour might just represent the latest such leap." - John Eyles, All About Jazz — Nate Wooley / trumpet Seymour Wright / alto saxophone — Recorded by Rick Campion at City University Music Studios on 4 July 2012. Mixed and mastered by Rupert Clervaux at Gray’s Inn Road. Edited by Trevor Brent. Cover painting by Geoff Wright (Svetlana, 1968). Music by Nate Wooley & Seymour Wright

Nate Wooley & Seymour Wright - About Trumpet and Saxophone

At times barely more than breathing, at others breaking into full-throated song, A Doughnut's End is a highly concentrated sequence of solo improvisations that captures the full range of Minton's vocal powers. As he says in the accompanying notes, while there is continuity between this record and previous "doughnut" albums, this latest offering is "less optimistic than forty years ago" when he still "thought stuff would get better", an optimism diminished by the continued political dominance of "slush-spraying doughnut-scoffers". A Doughnut's End is a stark and affecting testament to one man's ongoing exploration of the potential of the human voice. "Minton has forged an alternative lexicon, one that seemingly forgoes the constraints of tradition and language. The result is a perverse, evocative set, the kind of performance that forces a reaction and demands attention be paid to it — music that has the power to cause unrest and revulsion in the listener. . . . An air of fragility lingers throughout, a reminder that even Minton’s finely honed, idiosyncratic delivery is all too susceptible to the inevitable pitfalls of existence. . . . The primal outpouring of A Doughnut’s End is all-consuming, and without language to dirty the proceedings, it is as much a personal meditation as it is a display of pure virtuosity." - Soe Jherwood, Tiny Mix Tapes "Many of the sounds on the album’s 15 short tracks are unpleasant, but they’re all the more powerful for it. This work is in no way deprived of wonder, and you have to marvel at the breadth of what Minton can do. “Breaking News” bleeds from high pitched warbling to multiphonic density, the throat pushed to the weirdest limits of its potential. “There’s A Reason” reprises this sonic field, almost electronic in texture, while “Set In Stone” takes these techniques and flirts with the operatic. “Grandish”, the album’s final track, works through a series of high pitched peeps that could come from an as yet unidentified beast." - Matt Krefting, The Wire "Things flap and billow a bit more than they used to, which Minton accentuates in the formation of starker, more striking vocal shapes – unstable vibratos, phlegmy belching baritones. What if it isn’t volume and clear articulation that renders a voice audible amongst the masses, but visceral wordless eccentricity?" - Jack Chuter, ATTN Magazine --- Phil Minton / voice --- Recorded (April & June 2013) and mixed by Rick Campion at City University Music Studios. Mastered by Rupert Clervaux at Gray’s Inn Road. Photography by Jocelyn Low. Music by Phil Minton (PRS) Produced by Trevor Brent

Phil Minton - A Doughnut's End

"it is odd to talk about a piano/bass/drums trio as a radical departure. But it is impossible to think of this meeting between bassist John Edwards, drummer Mark Sanders, and pianist John Tilbury in any other way . . . from the first notes, the three erase any notion of piano trio conventions . . . the three build tensile drama from moments of fractured intensity which break against pools of calm . . . you should jump on this one quickly" - Michael Rosensten, Point of Departure "this one-off encounter is truly an exceptional listening experience" - Burning Ambulance "London has long had a pedigree of crossbreeding improv's various styles and generations, but few have been as successful as this" - Richard Pinnell, The Wire --- In his review of Exta, the critic Brian Olewnick commented that “there's a tendency on the part of [John Tilbury's] younger companions to defer a bit to him”, adding that, in his view, this was not “necessarily a bad strategy”. In this encounter, their first as a trio, John Edwards and Mark Sanders do not defer to Tilbury at all, and it proves to be perhaps the best strategy of all. This is a vigorous music of equals, the democratic clamour of three distinct personalities committed to occupying a common space and working together to create something collective without erasing their differences in the process. There's tension, even friction, at times between Edwards and Sanders' quickness and Tilbury's more measured approach, but it's a productive tension and one that enables all three to explore areas of their playing that perhaps aren't always foregrounded: Edwards' ability to wait and patiently twist long resonant notes out of near nothingness; Sanders' sense of space and sharp delicacy with small sounds; and Tilbury's thunderous density and energetic attack. It's a startling performance and one that, like all great improvisation, exceeds, and perhaps even upsets, expectations. --- John Edwards / double bass Mark Sanders / drums and percussion John Tilbury / bird calls, piano and tape --- Recorded by Katherine Arnold at Cafe Oto on 17 June 2013. Mixed and mastered by Rupert Clervaux at Gray’s Inn Road. Title from Martha Rosler, Culture Class (Sternberg Press, 2013). Music by John Edwards, Mark Sanders and John Tilbury (PRS). Produced by Trevor Brent 

Edwards / Sanders / Tilbury - A Field Perpetually at The Edge of Disorder

MIE

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

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

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