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Download only arm of OTOROKU, documenting the venue's programme of experimental and new music.
"At each concert that I have ever given ( quite a few) at Cafe Oto I have tried to do something different or at least with a different line up.This concert in 2017 I was lucky enough to be able to call on two long time collaborators in Pat Thomas and Tim Hill, one that I have never played with before, Orphy Robinson and Michael Thieke with whom I have collaborated with both in Rome and Berlin on a few occasions in recent years.
This concert was another version of my Spirit Songs collection of text made by cutting up Thomas Pynchon’s two novels, Gravity’s Rainbow and V, and singing them over a freely improvised score. There are a few versions, obviously all different and it was a great pleasure for me to have this group to help me help indulge in yet another version.
Thank you and thanks to Cafe Oto for being. The text/poem ‘Rum’ is by the great poet trumpet player Shake Keane and is from an edition of his collected poetry work titled The Angel Horn published by The House Of Nehesi, that I picked up in St.Lucia. I particularly liked this poem because it reminded me of The Caribbean Club in Reading where I learned to love many things including the sound of dominos being played on sunday in the back bar by the elders.
William Burroughs said something like ‘Cut into the present and the future will appear.’ The future will be improvised and the subtext will be cut up, re-arranged and tweeted I am sure."
Mike Cooper - Lap Steel Guitar / Electronics / Vocals and All Song Text Apart from Lord Franklin (traditional)Pat Thomas - Keyboards / ElectronicsOrphy Robinson - Midi Vibraphone / ElectronicsTim Hill - Baritone and Alto Saxophones / ElectronicsMichael Thieke - Clarinet.
Recorded by Tom Mudd at Cafe OTO on 29.9.17
Mixed and mastered by Oliver Barrett
Mike Cooper / Pat Thomas / Orphy Robinson / Michael Thieke / Tim Hill – 29.9.17
For his first solo show in the UK, Vainio side-steps the direct intensity that Pan Sonic are so well known for and instead subtlety plays with the potential of the room's PA. Carefully modulated frequencies create a surprisingly warm and seductive narrative that is openly personal but yet less brooding than much of his other work. Download as a FLAC and rejoice in its technical composition.
1. 11.01.13 - Mika Vainio (45.24)
Recorded by James Dunn at Cafe OTO on Friday 11 January 2013. Mixed by James Dunn. Mastered by James Dunn. Photograph by Fabio Lugaro.
Mika Vainio – 11.01.13
A rare solo set from composer, percussionist and sound artist Susie Ibarra. Using the full breadth of a unique set up, Ibarra takes a meditative journey across her kit, taking time to find familiar rhythms and knots and allowing them to offer up new space and sound. Delicate, dynamic and extremely focused, Ibarra finds expressive harmonics in gongs and brushes alike, with refreshingly melodic, even pastoral, results.
"Rhythm Cycles is a drum solo that I consider as a performance meditation. I love to perform this piece as it is possible to always arrive at new places while returning to familiar cycles that make so much sense to me. This piece is constructed to weave through certain tempos and hit points during a solo performance that arrive at melodies and textures and phrases grounded in specific rhythms and polyrhythms. The piece cycles through each of these sections and allows me to improvise through a flexible structure, sometimes returning to a section at moments and other times moving forward to create a new rhythmic environment.” - Susie Ibarra.
Recorded live at Cafe OTO on Thursday 7th November 2019 by Shaun Crook. Mixed and mastered by James Dunn.
“Rhythm Cycles” by Susie Ibarra is a commissioned solo performance by the Bagri Foundation for their series " At the Cutting Edge" performed at Cafe OTO. Many thanks to the Bagri Foundation for the support of this release.
About Bagri Foundation
The Bagri Foundation is a UK registered charity, inspired by unique and unexpected ideas that weave the traditional and the contemporary of Asian culture. The Foundation, with its roots in education, is driven by curiosity and a desire to learn, and aims for each project to challenge, engage and inspire. Through a diverse programme of film, visual arts, music, dance, literature and talks, the Bagri Foundation gives artists and experts from across Asia and the diaspora, wider visibility on the global stage. Recent projects include At Home in the World, a series of digital commissions; Tantra: enlightenment to revolution at the British Museum; Object, Story, Wonder: Museum Collections Revealed; and From Here to Eternity: Sunil Gupta, A Retrospective at The Photographer’s Gallery, London. www.bagrifoundation.org
Susie Ibarra – 7.11.19
Live recording and a full film from Viridian Ensemble's show at OTO in February 2020. An ethereal blend of image and noise, reimagined folklore and femininity, Viridian Ensemble's performances evoke dissociative states, keening and supernaturalism. Utterances and nonsensical languages entwine collective rhythm, tone, and resonance. Using improvised sound and image (digital and analogue), the group produce a collective sound which reimagines female narratives; lacing ambiguity through feminist tropes & reaching for a punk solidarity in the classical.
Download includes access to both audio and video. Thanks to VE for putting this together.
Dali de Saint Paul / vocals
Tina Hitchens / flute
Caitlin Alais Callahan / double bass
Esme Betamax / percussion
Laura Phillips / 16mm films, sound responsive projections, waterphone
Recorded live at Cafe OTO by Shaun Crook on 29th February 2020. Mixed and mastered by James Dunn.
Viridian Ensemble – 29.2.20
New duo from ex-CalArts electronic composer Carl Stone and minimalist musician Miki Yui. Subtle, slight and spooky, the pair deploy the tiniest sounds to create soundscapes at the edge of perception. Less cut and glitched than Stone's solo work, Realistic Monk's sound seems to hardly be moving at first, only to shift underfoot and reveal delicate oscillations and MSP mappings. In time, narrative builds in ways similar to that of James Rushford and crys cole, and eerie vocal lines akin to a nomadic Ghedalia Tazartes loop and shudder in the periphery.
Carl Stone / MAX/MSP, microphone
Miki Yui / sampler, solar-oscillator
1. 5.3.17 - 55:17
Recorded on Suday 5th March by Simon Holliday. Mixed by Shaun Crook. Mastered by Shaun Crook and Carl Stone. Photograph by A.C.Baur.
Realistic Monk (Carl Stone & Miki Yui) – 5.3.17
Wizard noise unit FEN (Far East Network) favour the exploration of texture and timbre over melody and harmony. Whilst rarely forming any traditional rhythmic structure, the trio find temporal freedom in clockwork, vibration and distortion, and give out a humming electrical pulse with impossibly natural warmth.
---Otomo Yoshihide / guitar, objects, effects
Yan Jan / electronics
Ryu Hankil / electronics, objects
Recorded on Thursday 4th February 2010 by John Chantler. Mixed by John Chantler. Mastered by James Dunn.
Original photo and video by Fabio Lugaro.
1. Ryu Hankil solo - 6:27
2. Yan Jun solo - 10:28
3. Otomo Yoshihide solo - 12:36
4. FEN - 36:58
Fen (Far East Network) – 4.2.10
Wayward American outsider ensemble Smegma perform 40 years of music in one 34 minute movement including- Vout #1&2, Mystery Riff, Majestic Hydra, L.S.D. Bomb, The Bub Walk, and others.
All Music Composed and played by Ju Suk Reet Meate, Dennis Duck, Ace Farren Ford, Rock and Roll Jackie, Madelyn Villano, and with Special Guest, Rogue Iiniki. Recorded 10 October 2013 at Cafe OTO by Jonathan McHugh. Mixed by James Dunn. Mastered by Andreas [LUPO] Lubich at Calyx, Berlin. Photo by Fabio Lugaro.
Smegma – 40 Years of Smegma (Tour Set)
Fine trio bringing together Evan Parker with AMM - John Tilbury and Eddie Prévost - recorded as part of the week of concerts in October 2014 organised to celebrate Evan Parker's 70th birthday.
Evan Parker / saxophonesEddie Prévost / percussionJohn Tilbury / piano
Recorded live at Cafe OTO on Wednesday 22 October 2014 by James Dunn. Mixed by John Chantler. Mastered by Andreas [LUPO] Lubich at Calyx, Berlin.
Evan Parker & AMM – Title Goes Here
All three sets from December's double 75 Dollar Bill shows. Settling into the Cafe from afternoon to late at night, this special trio formation of the band features long-time collaborator Andrew Lafkas on upright bass. Given the time their music stretches into half hour reveries, warmed through with the chatter and clink of the audience. Refracted Mauritanian and Arabic modal music, New York minimalism and blown-out folk combine here to create a moving space for contemplation.
1. Like Like Laundry - 30:252. WZN#3 - 19:433. 15 - 13:514. WZN#4 - 7:185. (intermission) - 3:356. intro/WZN#4 - 17:497. WZN#4 - 12:078. Water in the Lock - 5:309. Beni Said - 11:1710. I Was Real - 41:2711. WZN#3 (reprise) - 20:18.
Recorded live at Cafe OTO by Shaun Crook on Thursday 19th December 2019. Mixed by 75 Dollar Bill and mastered by James Dunn. Photo by Bradford Bailey. Thanks to Rick, Che and Chris Eckman.
75 Dollar Bill – 19.12.19
After rinsing us clean of 2k15, Jamal Moss returned to OTO on New Year's Day for a totally improvised set with London legends Mark Sanders and Orphy Robinson. By the power of the third eye the trio tune into sub-conscious frequencies to cancel your Netflix subscription, corrupt your hard-drive and re-align your chakras. Weirdly therapeutic.
"In his spoken word passages, Moss presents a dystopian vision of a planet ravaged by rapacious capitalism - its people disconnected from their history and culture by consumer technology." Stewart Smith, The Wire
Jamal Moss / turntables, electronics
Mark Sanders / percussion
Orphy Robinson / vibraphone
Recorded by Shaun Crook on Friday 1st January 2016. Mixed by James Dunn. Mastered by James Dunn. Original photo by Dawid Laskowski
1. Priming The Population Thru Subversive Experimental Sonic Gestures (62mins)
Jamal Moss, Mark Sanders & Orphy Robinson – 01.01.16
Pleased to present the full recording of Pat Thomas' moving tribute to Duke Ellington on the occasion of the 120th anniversary of his birth. According to Thomas, Ellington "never stopped discovering, never played the same tune in exactly the same way twice", and the same could be said here. The tunes are all there, but they emerge unpredictably, warped and hammered through the body of the piano in Pats own way. The second set was an hour long, with Pat rolling through 'Rockin’ in Rhythm', 'Isfahan' and 'In a Sentimental Mood' in a collage of heavy harmonics, serious swing and a wicked appreciation for exploration. An absolute pleasure to be in the room for this one, and tremendously happy to share the recording.
"Deconstructing and reconstructing as part of the interpretative process is second nature to Thomas. The obvious is kept at his arm’s length so from tangential start points, unforgettable melodies would creep back to plant flags firmly in the ground." - London Jazz News
1.Prelude to a KissSolitudeTake the ColtraneSophisticated LadySatin DollSerenade to Sweden
2.Rockin’ in RhythmMood IndigoIsfahanIn a Sentimental MoodI Got It Bad and That Ain’t GoodHeavenDo Nothing Till You Hear From MeDay DreamCome SundayCaravan
Cover art by Billy Steiger.
Pat Thomas – Plays Duke Ellington
A sweaty palmed recollection of the night we first saw Triple Negative - three defiantly generous and original beings who shook us warmly out of a stupor with this show. Split between the baffling overlay of audio and their completely compelling presences onstage it was hard to know how to process what was happening, at once riveted to the spot and then overwhelmed with the fierce urge to leave the room until we could come back with something better to say for ourselves. Will leave an indelible mark on your brain.
1st ever TN live show, Cafe OTO, Jan 6 2018
Putative track sublisting: Go Decay!; Mercurial Seal; The Fire of Hate; Towers, Open, Fire; Fresh Borg Shining Fight/Agitator; Born in the Wrong Time/Destroyer/Buddy/Under the Void
(ft. Brigitte Fontaine, Babyfather, Areski, David d'Ath, Peter Gutteridge, Cameron Bain, Herman Meville, Peter Perrett and Celia Mancini)
Madame Tlank / voice, violin, glockenspiel, grand piano
D.Velimirovich / soprano saxophone voice
clinical wasteman / backing tape, voice, Yamaha SU-10, gtr
Mixed live & recorded by James Dunn; post-mixed/"mastered" by clinical wasteman (i.e. James is not to blame for anything)
Triple Negative – 6.1.18
One of Stockholm’s most versatile and probing pianists returned to OTO last Autumn, and we're pleased to release both sets from the evening - a solo and a special duo. Having met in 2014 when playing with Johan Arrias, Lisa Ullén and Welsh violinist Angharad Davies reunite for a gorgeously spacious set. Both extremely technically accomplished but led by a sensitivity to so many musics, their duo set is a highlight.
Lisa Ullén / piano
Angharad Davies / violin
Recorded live at Cafe OTO on Sunday 14th October 2018 by Shaun Crook. Mixed and mastered by James Dunn.
Lisa Ullén & Angharad Davies – 14.10.18
Textures Festival returned to OTO back in April, opening with a ferocious new quartet featuring Swiss composer and saxophonist Antoine Chessex together with free music giants Pat Thomas, Steve Noble and John Edwards. Dissonance dominates and condenses the quartet to near saturation, then respirates - chopped up by Thomas' hammered clusters and shaken down by Steve Noble into a grinding tenor saxophone and double bass texture. This is a wonderfully paced and fierce first meeting.
Antoine Chessex / saxophone
John Edwards / double bass
Steve Noble / drums
Pat Thomas / piano
Recorded live at Cafe OTO by Shaun Crook on Sunday 12th December, 2016. Mixed and mastered by James Dunn. Photo by Dawid Laskowski.
Chessex, Noble, Edwards, Thomas – 24.4.19
First time trio of Lebanese musician, writer and illustrator, Mazen Kerbaj, joined by Angharad Davies on violin and Sholto Dobie on self built organ and wind chime. Mazen's super extended technique often sees him morph his trumpet into a collection of metal tubes and bells; adjustable passageways for air to pass through and mutate into sound. A meeting with Davies and Dobie makes sense - both are incredibly talented at finding new phonetics in their practice with a sly sense of humour. Unearthly drones materialise, surprisingly delicate as they hover, burble and destabilise.
Mazen Kerbaj / trumpet
Angharad Davies / violin
Sholto Dobie / self built organ, wind chime
Recorded live at Cafe OTO by Shaun Crook on Wednesday 25th September, 2019. Mixed and mastered by James Dunn. Original image for artwork by Mazen Kerbaj.
Kerbaj, Davies, Dobie – 25.9.19
Tongue Depressor (New Haven, CT) is the duo of Henry Birdsey and Zach Rowden. They write, improvise, and perform music that draws from the fields of drone, harsh noise, and church music, often using microtonal tunings. Soon to have an LP on Kali Malone & Maria W Horn's label Xkatedral, the pair are super prolific, having issued eleven releases already on a host of small cassette labels (Thalamos, Pidgeon, Obsolete Staircases, via their own fair hand). Primarily fiddle players, they switched up the instrumentation for their OTO show, bringing in a microtonal organ and lap steel. The result is spooky, sensitive and totally saturating.
Henry Birdsey / lap steel, fiddle
Zach Rowden / microtonal organ, fiddle
Recorded live at Cafe OTO on Saturday 9th November by Shaun Crook. Mixed & mastered by Tongue Depressor.
Tongue Depressor – 9.11.19
Diane Cluck was one of the earliest people to play at Cafe OTO, first performing in in June 2008, just a few months after we first opened. We’ve been lucky enough to have her return to OTO half a dozen times since. This recording is taken from her sold out April 2014 residency where she performed over two nights with cellist Isabel Castellvi. Hang player Manu Delago also guests on four of the songs.
Diane Cluck / voice, guitar, squeezeboxIsabel Castellvi / cello, voice, autoharpManu Delago / hang (7, 8, 17, 18)
Recorded by James Dunn at Cafe OTO on Friday 11 April 2014. Mixed by James Dunn. Mastered by Rupert Clervaux at Grays Inn Road, London. Photograph by Dawid Laskowski.
Diane Cluck – Live at Cafe OTO
Super happy to have dug this out of the archives - the final night of the great French double bass player, improviser and composer, Joëlle Léandre's 2015 residency. Léandre was joined by Scottish improvising vocalist and dancer, Maggie Nicols, and drummer Roger Turner for both nights, and the second of the two saw sparks fly. Solo, Léandre is formidible - melodious, angry, rousing. Her voice breaks through the bass like McPhee's through a trumpet - there's joy, there's humour, and it's 100% intense.
Léandre and Nicols have a long history together - 1982's Live at The Bastille with Lyndsey Cooper still stands strong - and their trio with Irène Schweizer as 'Les Diaboliques' is totally unique. Here, both performers are totally at home with with each other and with their sounds - there's depth, unpredictability, intensity and delirious humour.
A treasure to share all five pieces, and we hope for another Léandre residency some day soon!
“A true, real artist. Stubborn. Visionary. Uncompromising. Intense. Tender and poetic at moments, raw and angry with the world at other times. She is unconcerned by style, and definitely stays far away from stylistic and formal mannerisms that are needed to placcate the reviewers and the hip audiences. She integrates music as music, and delivers it as music, using elements from tribal rituals over classical finesse to jazz expressionism and avant-garde search for new approaches, yet turning it all into something else, something more authentic, more innovative and - interestingly enough - also more universal.” – The Free Jazz Collective
Joëlle Léandre / double bass, vocals
Maggie Nichols / vocals
Roger Turner / percussion
Recorded live at Cafe OTO on Wednesday 18th March, 2015 by Mark Jasper. Mixed and mastered by James Dunn. Photo by the wonderful Dawid Laskowski.
Leandre / Nicols / Turner – 18.3.15