Jazz / Free Jazz
Drone / Ambient
Outsider / Art Brut
Sound Art / Spoken Word
Indie / Rock
Folk / Song
Download only arm of OTOROKU, documenting the venue's programme of experimental and new music.
All proceeds from this release will be donated to MAP (Medical Aid for Palestinians): https://www.map.org.uk/
Thrilled to be able to share the phenomenal first meeting of this ensemble, consisting of Washington DC's Blacks' Myths - aka Luke Stewart (electric bass) and Warren Crudup (drums) - alongside Pat Thomas and Orphy Robinson's longstanding Black Top project plus incendiary sax and guitar work from Soweto Kinch and Dirar Kalash.
From the first stirrings it's clear that something very special has been captured here, the sextet slowly circling and building with inexorable momentum until the energy fully coalesces and nobody looks back. There's a dexterously symbiotic interplay that would be impressive for a group a couple of decades in; that you can hear this level of chemistry from a first performance together is extraordinary.
There's so much to unpack across the set that it's hard to know where to start, the group covering more ground in just under an hour than most would manage over the course of a week-long residency. The long-honed, multilayered grooves of Blacks' Myths' bass and drums blend seamlessly with Black Top's ecstatic sonic range to weave an utterly immersive sound that drives relentlessly forward to thrillingly propulsive effect. Add the incredible musicianship of Soweto Kinch and Dirar Kalash weaving deftly throughout, and the result is this joyful, galvanising rallying cry of a performance which doesn't so much lift the spirits as cast them into the stratosphere. Here's hoping this meeting is not the last.
Recorded by Billy SteigerMixed and mastered by Oli BarrettCover design by Dirar Kalash
5.9.23 – Blacks' Myths meets Black Top featuring Dirar Kalash & Soweto Kinch
Thrilled to present a re-interpreted set from ENGLAND'S COUNCIL OF LEGISLATION AND GOVERNING BODY OF HYPER REAL SIMULATIONS AND CONSTRUCTS - a.k.a ecolagbohrac2021 - who, across 25 breathless minutes, crafts a giddily frenetic, genre-phobic hyperreal space that feels both viscerally corporeal and expansively liminal all at once.
From start to finish, there’s a sense of relentlessly shifting ground, with fragments and snatches of different styles and sounds held briefly up to the light and then just as quickly whisked away in the dizzyingly forward momentum. This constant sense of ephemerality is not in any way unfocused though. This is a sound which seems to have a clear destination in mind at all times; there’s just an urgency in getting there which isn’t going to hang around for you to keep up.
The common thread across all these tracks is a level of joyful hyperactivity and information overload that’s as exhilarating and it is disorientating, leaving with you with the sense that you’ve passed through some sort of digital hailstorm, emerging battered and buffeted but galvanised at the same time. It's a vital, cathartic journey.
Recorded by Billy SteigerMixed by ecolagbohrsac2021Mastered by Oli BarrettCover image by ecolagbohrsac2021
ENGLAND'S COUNCIL OF LEGISLATION AND GOVERNING BODY OF HYPER REAL SIMULATIONS AND CONSTRUCTS [a.k.a ecolagbohrsac2021] – 29.8.23
An intoxicating and incredibly immersive set from Tokyo-born, Dusseldorf-based artist, Miki Yui, who over the course of 35 minutes crafts a burbling, chirruping sonic petri dish where strange electronic-organic hybrid life is conjured into being.
Yui effortlessly blurs the boundaries between the electronic and the organic to a degree where it’s often hard to tell whether the result is real or only imagined. The sounds that Yui creates have such a tactile, physical quality that it almost makes you feel as if you could take schematic slices from the air in the room.
Nothing is careless here, everything is considered, yet the listener has the impression that this is a soundworld spontaneously emerging into being in realtime. There is a precision to the frequencies, but it is the precision of natural balance; everything having its place in relation to everything else, as part of an artfully created auditory ecosystem. There is space for you here too.
Recorded by Billy SteigerMixed and mastered by Oli BarrettCover photo by Foto Schiko
Miki Yui – 3.4.23
Stunning duo from France's Julie Normal and Olivier Demeaux (Cheveu, Heimat). At the centre of their sound is one of the last remaining ondes Martenot's - an instrument loved by Messiaen and Varese, and carefully packed up and shipped across the channel to OTO last year by a worried Julie. Beautifully paced, the pair create a sort of precarious evensong for an alternate universe. Includes previously unreleased tracks "La Reine", "Lycaon" and "Txwo".
Julie Normal / ondes martenot
Olivier Demeaux / harmonium + pedals
1. Ouverture all'inglese - 6:59
2. Txwo - 5:47
3. Merluzo - 3:13
4. Le Noir Pays - 6:08
5. Lycaon - 2:56
6. La Reine - 8:14
7. Encore - 5:20
Recorded live at Cafe OTO by Adam Matschulat on Thursday 29th September 2016. Mixed by Olivier Demeaux. Mastered by James Dunn.
Accident Du Travail – 29.9.16
Recorded over their two day residency, 9.9.16 spans the pastoral, the brooding, and the free-form progg moments of Trad Gras in one oozing zip folder. Their seemingly endless, bucolic bass lines and humble DIY approach create an ever expanding atmosphere of good will - these are surely the nicest guys in rock? The opening 'track' is a 25 minute wigged out version of Harvester's 'När Lingonen Mognar', and 'Stina' is a never before recorded folk-rock track written by the band's close friend Mats G Bengtsson. Spread the word my friends.
Reine Fiske / guitar, vocals
Sigge Krantz / bass, vocals
Tom Watts / drums
Jakob Sjöholm / guitar, vocal
1. När Lingonen Mognar - 24:18
2. Kaffe med Tårta - 12:52
3. Down in the Basement - 11:07
4. Stina - 7:12
5. Sommarlåten - 13:54
6. Silverffloden - 11:39
Recorded live at Cafe OTO on the 9th and 10th of September, 2016 by Simon Holliday and Shaun Crook. Mixed & Mastered by James Dunn. Photo by Dawid Laskowski. Many thanks to Jakob.
9.9.16 – Trad Gras Och Stenar
While Haino theatrically sweeps between bleak and uninhibited paranoia, deep-level zoning and bluesy contemplation, Noble's huge set up and graceful approach brings space, light and shade - so much so that at one point Haino unplugs his guitar and picks up a small wooden flute. Dynamic, dramatic and surprisingly uplifting.
Keiji Haino / electric guitar, feedback, flute
Steve Noble / a lot of percussion
Recorded by John Chantler on Tuesday 28th February 2012. Mixed by John Chantler. Mastered by James Dunn. Photo by Dawid Laskowski.
Filmed by Andy Newcombe.
Keiji Haino / Steve Noble – 28.2.12
Sequel to Sean McCann's heavy reggae/dancehall mix of 2020 which bedded the late Jean-Marie Massou's cave recordings under the likes The Summertaires, Barrington Levy and Freddie McKay. Vol 2 marries Caetano Veloso's sound poetry with the Jack Ruby Soundsystem, Horace Andy and The Wailers. Very much what we need to drag us into 2022 - thanks Sean.
Sean McCann is a Los Angeles-based composer, sound artist, curator, and audio engineer. He concurrently operates Recital, a label dedicated to sound poetry, new music, and Fluxus archival recordings. In 2022 Recital will celebrate it's 10 year anniversary - congrats to Sean and all the artists who make it such a special label.
We should say that we initially wrote to Sean asking him to contribute to our festive mailout with a mix, and we were a little slow with the idea - Silk House shared a brilliant choral / sound poetry mix he made in December. Definitely worth checking out after this.
Barrington Levy - Mine Yuh MouthWailing Souls - Old BroomAugusto de Campos & Caetano Veloso - Dias Dias DiasFreddie McGreggor - BanduloIcho Candy - Selassie IAugusto de Campos & Caetano Veloso - QuazarCornell Cambell - Broken Hearted GirlDon Carlos - Infra Red DubAugusto de Campos & Caetano Veloso - PulsarTenor Saw - Roll CallSugar Minott & John Wayne - Jamming In The StreetLenox Miller - Better Must ComeCarlton Livingston - 100 Weight of Collie WeedHorace Andy - ElementaryHubert Lee - Pressure & SlideAngus MacLise - Humming In The Night SkullThe Wailers - I Need YouToots & the Maytals - Oh YeahThe Martinis - Second That EmotionIcho Candy - Where Do They PlayNoel Ellis - Marcus GarveyBarry Brown & Brigadier Jerry - ChaliceJack Ruby Soundsystem
Sean McCann – The Games of the Leaves Vol. 2
Dream rhythm section John Edwards and Steve Noble bring lush colour and shade to Kjær's imaginative compositions. Playful on the surface but subtly introspective, the trio lead you to an otherworldly landscape full of familiar hooks and lilting rhythms, but tinged with an air of the uncanny. Four compositions springboard the set - 'Out of Sight', 'Crescent', 'Face', and the as-yet-not-on-record 'Peripatopsis'.
Julie Kjær / alto saxophone
John Edwards / double bass
Steve Noble / drums
Recorded live at Cafe OTO on the 12th January 2015 by James Dunn. Mixed by John Chantler. Mastered by James Dunn. Photo by Dawid Laskowski.
12.01.15 – Julie Kjær 3 ft. John Edwards & Steve Noble
Legendary soul-folk musician Tomokawa Kazuki's first ever show in the UK. With his wild lashing on an acoustic guitar and devastating vocals, Tomokawa is a troubadour from hell. Beginning his career as poet and peddling on the streets of Kawasaki in the early 70's, his personal universe is detailed, dark and vicious. Whether you speak Japanese or not, his bugged-out and torn-up delivery will both comfort you and keep you awake at night.
Kazuki Tomokawa / vocals, acoustic guitar
Recorded on Wednesday 10th April 2012 by John Chantler. Mixed by John Chantler. Mastered by James Dunn. With thanks to Naohito and Naoki.
1. Runaway Lad (5:23)
2. My Big Brother’s Record (5:20)
3. Look at the Sky, it's like the Ocean (3:50)
4. Pistol (3:29)
5. Sonny Boy (5:58)
6. Flower Trumps (5:18)
7. A Lonely Man Becomes a Painter (4:36)
8. Ask For Jean Genet (4:36)
9. Can’t Comprehend the Meaning Behind these Emotions (3:41)
10. Senko issha (4:17)
11. Good Fellows (3:52)
12. The God is Crying in The Well (3:40)
13. Fat in the Morning Light (3:49)
14. A Don-Pan Bushi Carousa (2:51)
15. Waltz (3:40)
16. Kara Bran (3:27)
17. A Classroom at Night (2:27)
18. Say that You Are Alive (4:50)
Kazuki Tomokawa – 10.04.12
Two duos - one new and one perhaps having always existed - each at opposite ends of contemporary improvisation.
On the first night, Wright’s alto weaves through Parker’s dizzying melodies, unravelling the lyrical with textural shadow play. Wright maps Parker's circular breathing, triple-tonguing, false fingering with physicality - gasps, dry-lipped blasts.
Recorded just a week later, amidst the seabed of Nakajima’s ticking and clicking objects, Wright uses motors too, scrapes the windows, sucks a single reed, spits down steel tubing, and pushes feedback to awkward thresholds. In the mp3 version of a very visual show, individual sounds lose their identity to fill and measure the dimensions of OTO.
Somewhere between chance, the inanimate and extraordinary technical ability, Wright's approach prods at the limits of control and command, and physicality and presence. Fresh and radical - a double whammy.
Seymour Wright / alto saxophone
Evan Parker / tenor saxophone
Recorded on Tuesday 23rd February 2016 by James Dunn. Mixed and mastered by James Dunn.
Seymour Wright / alto saxophone
Rie Nakajima / objects
Recorded on Monday 1st March 2016 by Shaun Crook. Mixed and mastered by James Dunn.
23.2.16 – Seymour Wright with Evan Parker & Rie Nakajima
Istanbul-based free music ensemble Konstrukt perform alongside special guest Alexander Hawkins. Having played with the likes of Joe McPhee, Peter Brötzmann, William Parker and Marshall Allen, Konstrukt have carved a niche for themselves at the very forefront of Turkish free music. Their heady mix of electronics and traditional instrumentation sets Hawkins swinging, and the group get an irresistible groove going in the sweaty OTO summer. ---
Korhan Futacı / alto & tenor saxophones, gralla, flutes, voice, loops
Umut Çağlar / electric guitar, zurna, gralla, flutes, tape echo, rythymbox
Barlas Tan Özemek / electric bass
Berke Can Özcan / drums, electric drum module
Alexander Hawkins / acoustic piano, melodica
Recorded on August 10th 2015 by Luca Consonni. Mixed & Mastered by Barlas Tan Özemek in Istanbul. Photograph by Dawid Laskowski
Konstrukt & Alexander Hawkins – 10.08.15
A powerfully lyrical improvisor, Akira Sakata returns to OTO with Italian pianist Giovanni di Domenico and London favourites Roger Turner and John Edwards. Based on a traditional folk song, 'Kaigara-Bushi' is both meditative and theatrical - Sakata-san's cracked vocals complementing Domenico's classical-style piano. The quartet swell and prickle, open the room up with melodic clarity, and then tear it down with 'Tornado' - a screaming sax-led five minute freak out.
Recorded by James Dunn on Wednesday 15th January 2014. Mixed by John Chantler. Mastered by Adam Matschulat. Original photo by Fabio Lugaro.
15.01.14 – Sakata / Di Domenico / Turner / Edwards
Strange storyteller and prop master Cameron Stallones meets chief London vibes player Orphy Robinson. Together they welcome you to ORPHEUM Theatre - a shimmering rhythmic underworld, where Miles Davis' 'Another Unity' is sat down sipping on a hot chocolate. If you enjoyed the far-out excursions of Stallones' Belomancie then this one is for you. Hella chill.
Cameron Stallones / electronics, guitar
Orphy Robinson / electronics, vibes
Alex Gray / computer synthesis, bamboo saxophone
Jon Leland / congas, percussion
Recorded by Tom Mudd on Monday 21st September 2015. Mixed by Cameron Stallones. Mastered by James Dunn. Photo by Andy Newcombe.
Sun Araw & Orphy Robinson – 21.09.15
Astor’s ‘live’ set from October 2014 is a strange melange of voice, field recordings, electronics, the concrete and the uncanny.
Astor – 18.08.14
One of the most inventive and eclectic figures in contemporary music, guitarist and composer Fred Frith made a welcome return to OTO in 2015. Recorded on the first night of his residency with collaborators Theresa Wong and John Butcher, Quintillions Green is an improvised epic with titles inspired by Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. Visual Artist Heike Liss energized the evening - trailing delicate threads of color across textured film sequences to mirror the expansive, unspooling free verse of the trio.
John Butcher / saxophones, feedback
Theresa Wong / cello, voice
Fred Frith / guitar, voice
Recorded live at Cafe OTO on 29 May 2015 by James Dunn. Mixed by James Dunn. Mastered by Rupert Clerveaux. Original image by Heike Liss.
Quintillions Green – Fred Frith / Theresa Wong / John Butcher
Once there were 3 boys from the haunted bits of Michigan who found a dark tunnel in the side of a hill that had 'TRIP METAL' written on the walls (in blood, probably). They entered on a skateboard and emerged as rabid beasts, their hair long and their mouths forever open.
Later, in 2014, 3 men climbed out of an underground lair for a show at Cafe OTO. Upon hearing the first 'note' of the 'music', the crowd spat out their salted caramel brownies and stamped on them, screaming "WOLF EYES RULE." Mysteriously no iPhone footage of this evening remains, so all we have left is this brutal recording - yours for just £6.
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02.08.14 – Wolf Eyes
Fatten up the reindeer, it's our Christmas release!
Master throat singers from Tuva, a tiny republic in the heart of Central Asia, expand on the vocal tradition of nomadic herdsmen to include their love for Jim Hendrix and Sun Ra. A sold out show in May 2015 blended sing-a-longs with sincerity and heritage with humour.
Recorded at Cafe OTO on the 10th May 2015 by James Dunn. Mixed by John Chantler. Mastered by Rupert Clervaux.
10.05.15 – Alash
Portland-based composer, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Marisa Anderson's headline show at Cafe OTO. Twisted, powerful improvisations blend with her own compositions and the traditional tunes she adores to make hairs bristle and feet stomp. Likely to make you sweat in your own front room.
Marisa Anderson / guitar, voice
Recorded live at Cafe OTO by James Dunn on 06.07.15. Mixed by James Dunn. Mastered by Rupert Clervaux. Photo by Dawid Laskowski.
06.07.15 – Marisa Anderson