Incus Recordings

British free improvisation label, established in 1970 by Derek Bailey, Tony Oxley and Evan Parker.

"The Levis are accomplished masters of the warp-speed sound bite: 26 of them here, set out like a board of weird sushi. Though most clock in at between 30 seconds and pop-single length, there are two more substantial tracks in the middle of the set- the combative "All Against All" and "Lady Ms Girl Shine"- which confirm that this isn't just a comic put on." - Penguin Guide to Jazz --- Bob Stagner / percussion, fiddle, zither, cymbal, rototoms, drum machine, violin, cowbell Dennis Palmer / synthesizers, drum machine, effects  --- Tracklisting: 1. The Popcorn Gomer - 1:242. Rev Jim's Belly - 1:203. Quarrelsome Brother Love - 0:324. Sunday School Breakfast - 1:575. Green Eyed Lovely Chimp - 1:446. Big For My Size - 2:037. Humming Devil - 2:098. Bullet Proof Cross - 5:409. Dob On Ah Stob - 1:2910. All Sweet Like Babies - 1:4311. Vampires Like To Bite - 1:5712. Tiny Tarkus - 1:4313. Magic Pulpit Ride - 1:0814. All Against All - 7:4815. Lady Ms. Girl Shine - 4:0316. Heart Beam - 2:0417. Sissy Gladiators - 1:3918. Hip Oh Critter - 2:1619. Two Cycle Hell Harp - 0:4720. Jumping Devil "Seven Examples" - 1:5521. Merry Dang Soul - 1:3222. Astral Peeper - 1:0923. Where's The Bible? - 1:5524. Catbird Technique - 2:1325. Lil' Hellbender - 1:5926. Corpse O' Earth - 2:43 --- Produced by Ray Norwood. Tracks 1 to 11 were recorded mixed and engineered at the Sound Lab, Chattanooga, Tennessee, January-April 1992. Tracks 12 to 26 were recorded in Palmer's basement in June 1992.

False Prophets Or Dang Good Guessers – Shaking Ray Levis

Brilliant duo from underrated cellist Tristan Honsinger and Bailey. The latter tracks (7-13) came out on the wonderful Duo LP (INCUSLP20), and the proceeding documents some the pair's first duets - equally as captivating. There are parralels between this record and fellow sometime Parisian string pkayer Joelle Leandre's Taxi, but really, Honsinger's voice is like no other - there's less revulsion than Minton, and more slapstick. Bailey on Waiswich Crackle Box on track 12 is a real treat. --- "The first time I heard Tristan was when I joined a group of startled listeners surrounding a cello player playing on the street in Massey, a small town a few miles south of Paris. It was about then that I realised had there been no such thing as free improvisation, Tristan Honsinger would have invented it.  I was in Massey to play on a concert made up entirely of solo guitar players; a situation obviously leaving a lot of room for improvement. It was to that end that I invited Tristan to play with me on the concert and it was my great fortune that he agreed and we've played together in all kinds of situations since.  The Massy tracks are from that concert. The other tracks are from Duo, the record we made he following year (Incus LP 20) and date from a time when judicious editing, post production and allied techinical sophistications had not yet entered recorded improvised music, and are issues precisely as we put them out in 1976." - Derek Bailey, August, 2002.  --- Derek Bailey / electric guitar, 19 string (approx) guitar, Waiswich Crackle Box on track 12) Tristan Honsinger / cello, voice --- Tracks 1 - 6 recorded October 26 1975. Tracks 7-13 recorded by Bob Woolford 6th & 7th February 1976. Artwork by tony Monstrom. Design and layout by Tony Monstrom & Karen Brookman.   

Derek Bailey & Tristan Honsinger – Tristan (Duo)

Inspired by Bailey's duo with Han Bennink, Sonic Pleasure (Marie-Angelique Bueler) and T.H.F Drenching sent a brick-and-dictaphone improvisation they’d recorded in a Liverpool Airport disabled toilet to Bailey. Bailey, impressed by the collage artwork and a Manchester postcode, sent them his number and invited them to play at his house on Downs Road, with a very young Alex Ward and Tony Bevan. Built on the percussive duo of Pleasure and Drenching, what follows is one of the weirdest and most underrated Incus records.  "Recording it was lovely. We just did it more-or-less straight through. I think there was only one tune that we didn't include. Derek was in a good mood, and he'd brought mince pies for everyone since it was coming up to Christmas 2002. Everyone's playing really well, all of us are communicating really well. I was proud that Derek let me come up with the titles and the band name I miss Derek, because I didn't feel at all like I'd finished playing with him.”  -THF Drenching, 2017 “At the launch of the Incus CD Limescale aboard Sybil Madrigal’s Boat-Ting venue on the Thames I heard some punters complain at the back: ‘Where’s Derek? I came to see Derek Bailey and I can’t see or hear him!’ It was difficult to explain that, with Limescale, Derek had found the nirvana he stumbled on in drummer John Stevens’s Spontaneous Music Ensemble: the extinction of the ego in a musical collective. Limescale was built on the foundation of the Bueler–Calton rhythm section as surely as the SME was founded on Stevens (or the Joseph Holbrooke Trio on Oxley), and Derek loved it. So right near the end, he rediscovered the collectivity which he’d enjoyed when he first played free music in London.” –Ben Watson --- Tony Bevan / bass clarinet Alex Ward / clarinet Derek Bailey / guitar Sonic Pleasure / bricks T.H.F Drenching / dictaphone --- Recorded at The Moat Studio, London in December 2002 by Toby Hrycek-Robinson. Layout and design by Karen Brookman-Bailey.


Released in 1998, this was Bailey's first solo record after the magical number of 7 years - realised after a long period of playing with just about anybody that made sense to him. The artwork for the original CD is just textures in greyscale, the font Times New Roman and on the inside sleeve of there are no notes, just the word 'listen' in lower case. Ken Hollings wrote in The Wire upon its release, "this is the end of a dialogue."  'Takes, Fakes' starts with an abrasive 13 min live recording from a '97 concert and builds through eight gaunt and nuanced acoustic studio cuts, each snipped and selected by Steve Beresford. Once we get to 'Dead She Dances', arguably the keystone track on the record, each miniature starts to make sense as Bailey reads a deathly description of a female from his pal Peter Riley's poetry book 'Distant Point'. By the time he picks up his electric Gibson it feels like the perfect solo release - super raw and with purpose. A gem from '98 for sure. In fact, Brian Olewnick called it the best record of 1998. Oosh.   --- Derek Bailey / guitar --- 1 & 10 from a solo concert recorded by Paul Tyson, September 1997. 2-9 studio recordings by Dave Hunt, produced by Steve Beresford, May 1997.  Post Production by Tony Robinson, and desgin and layout by Karen Brookman.  Acoustic guitar built by German cello maker Henner Hardenberger.  Electric on 10 is a Gibson 175. 

Derek Bailey – Takes, Fakes and Dead She Dances