Jazz / Free Jazz
Drone / Ambient
Outsider / Art Brut
Sound Art / Spoken Word
Indie / Rock
Folk / Song
Live recording of the debut London performance for the duo of Limpe Fuchs and Evan Parker - two giants of avant garde music. Having met at Fort Process Festival in 2016 and seen each other perform solo in a tiny underground bunker, the two then paired up for a couple of duo concerts - one at OTO, and one in Brighton for the Alternative Jazz Festival. Fuchs brings her unique menagerie of sounds to the space - variable wood and stone blocks (marble and serpentinite sourced from Sondrio in Upper Italy), ringing bronze pendulum strings and a variety of skin and bronze drums sound out alongside her own voice and a two toned harmonic violin. Fuch's huge set up, spread out across the stage area and unique to each performance, means the music to develops through movement - as each instrument is played, another is left in silence. Their duo evolves in phases, navigated by Fuch's movement around the room, and Parker's intuitive finding of endings, of pauses and of ways to engage with Fuch's personal rhythms is perfect. Surely the beginning of a regular duo? We hope so.
Limpe Fuchs / percussion, vocals, violin
Evan Parker / saxophone
1. Set 1 - 28:58
2. Set 2 - 20:13
3. Set 3 - 16:02
Recorded liveat Cafe OTO by James Dunn on Monday 28th May 2017. Mixed and mastered by James Dunn. Artwork by Oli Barrett - original photograph by Edith Stocker.
Limpe Fuchs & Evan Parker - 28.5.17
Incredibly pleased to finally release this from the archives! Kumio Kurachi is truly one of the most original figures in Japanese music, and his music exists within its very own colourful world. Recorded across two nights way back in 2009, Kurachi is joined by Taku Unami and London improvisors Steve Beresford and Angharad Davies. These two shows still remain as Kurachi's only concerts outside Japan.
"Kumio Kurachi depicts our mind and feelings with unthinkable and bizarre words which can be embarrassing to listen to. And yet he manages to create a world which is so familiar to us - small events of our everyday life that we don't pay much attention to. Whether it is a conversation between a funeral service conductor and his helper that you overheard in a supermarket (Supermarket Chitose), or about the people affected by a dam construction (A Dam with 30,000,000 Teardrops), his songs are fragments of our human behaviours and experiences. His lyrical world is made even more unpredictable by his unique guitar style which is apparently inspired by the koto. The music is so melodious that the mixture of the strange wording, guitar and variations of voices thrives all together and it can haunt you without noticing it, just like the small events of everyday life you can't escape from." - Midori Ogata
Kumio Kurachi / guitar
Taku Unami / guitar
Angharad Davies / violin
Steve Beresford / piano
1. Train Song (poetry reading)2. Instrumental l3. Asahi4. Cling Film (Saran Wrap)5. Full of Miso (Miso Ga Ippai)6. Instrumental ll7. A Dam with 30,000,000 teardrops (30,000,000 Tsubu Dam)8. Best Camera9. An Event On An Island (Tsudoe Nokonoshima) ft Unami, Beresford10. Slow Walker (Yukkuri Aruku Hito) ft Unami, Beresford11. Supermarket Chitose ft Unami, Beresford12. Here Comes Tatamiya (Tatamiya Ga Kita) ft Unami, Beresford, Davies13. Steel Tower (Tettou) ft Unami, Beresford, Davies14. Soshu Yakyoku (蘇州夜曲) <cover> written in 1940. Lyrics by Yaso Saijo (西條八十) Music by Ryoichi Hattori (服部良一)15. Blues of Blue Natchan (Natchan Blue)
Mastered by James Dunn from the original recording made by Pete Coward - thanks Pete! Artwork by Kurachi & Oli Barratt. Massive thanks to Midori Ogata, without whom this wouldn't have happened.
Kumio Kurachi - 6/8.12.9
Delighted to release Brazilian composer-performer Manuel Lima's set from June this year. Features a live re-working of his brilliant release on Editions Verde (EV006: 36 English to Portuguese Lessons), plus some plus new & gold material. Lima works between language, sound & performance to make absurdist cocktail of confusion & absurd recontextalisation. Following randomly generated instructions dictated to him from a Python script, Lima fuses sound from Youtube videos, analogue synthesiser and cassette recorder, alongside English to Portuguese translation phrases to delightful effect. Synonymy slips, and simple translations evolve & mutate to the sound of Jorge Ben, baroque lute and submerged speech.
Manuel Lima / analogue synth, mixer, cassette recorder
1. 30.6.18 - 15:50
Recorded live at Cafe OTO by Paul Skinner on Friday 30th June, 2017. Mixed and mastered by Manuel Lima.
Manuel Lima - 30.6.17
Release 100 (!!!), and we're really pleased to make Jamal Moss' non-stop 6 hour New Year DJ set available for free. Half the night came out as a double cassette dubbed "The Hieroglyphic Being Experience Vol. 1" last year, but they're all sold out now and they dont seem to include the magic moment Jamal drops "I Feel Love" and re-works it in his unique acid house style. The set is huge, so we've split it half way to help with any bandwith issues. Thanks for your continued support of Cafe OTO, and hpe to see you New Year 2018!
Jamal Moss / cdj's
Part 1 - 2:02:15
Part 2 - 4:08:39
Recorded live at Cafe OTO on Thursday 31st December, 2015 by Shaun Crook. Mixed by Abby Thomas. Artwork by Oli Barratt. Many thanks to Jamal Moss.
Hieroglyphic Being - NYE 15/16
Live set from new and extremely good London band who create huge strung-out tracks with minimal kit. Their newest self released 12” should be in your top ten. Recorded in front of about forty people, a bass pawl thrums as the guitar ratchets the room up up up up, before a solo escapes that unzips the atmosphere completely.
“...A bass / drums / guitar trio that play somewhere between DNA de-tuning their instruments before practice or Sightings with the PA system and all their effects turned off.” – Yellow Green Red
Recorded live at Cafe OTO by Simon Holliday. Mixed by James Dunn and Clive Phillips. Mastered by James Dunn.
Mosquitoes - 20.5.17
Myriad interwoven textural fractures from Grace & Delete - aka no-screen laptop wizard James Dunn and bass clarinet boss Chris Cundy.
In The Screwtape Letters C.S Lewis defines music as a "meaningless acceleration in the rhythm of celestial experience," but it can also be a sped up inferno complete with the alien cries of the damned. Either way, the cat cannot get enough. She rolls on her back and flashes her claws in the air when this music plays. She is blown away by the concept of a bass clarinet; the longer a note lasts, the more she purrs; it seems to stretch her actual perception of time. She wriggles with pleasure; she twists and switches her tail; she forgets to close her mouth over her thirsty pink tongue. "Tinnitus!" she mews, "I have it! Come closer!"
"Dunn’s electronics are a masterclass in the resources of outdated technology. After being exposed to so much laptop texturing, the ear appreciates its limits. The electronics give Cundy’s contributions a jagged starkness, like coming upon a crude screenprint in an exhibition of digital printouts. The musicians are fully in control of their pitches and the music often proceeds by finding a harmony and then forcing it into crisis, unbearable tensions resolved into rhythmic exchange. Cundy also uses a Tinnitus Analyser to detect noises and elevate them into audibility. This provides the musicians with a stimulating randomness - the difference between the unexpected shapes generated by looking and drawing rather than simply doodling and reproducing habit, the eversame." - Ben Watson
Chris Cundy / bass clarinet, alien toy
James Dunn / electronics, tinnitus analyser
Recorded live at Cafe OTO by Paul Skinner on Friday 9th June. Mixed & mastered by James Dunn. Words by Patricia Lockwood - Priestdaddy
Grace & Delete - 9.7.16
Metaphoric, historical but also just as easily enjoyed without any context at all, Laura Cannell's approach to fiddle and recorder has echoes of medieval tradition with a folk vernacular. Recorded on the first night of her series ‘Modern Ritual’, her set framed an evening which evoked both real and fictional landscapes and explored ideas of ritual through music and words. Singling out tracks from her first and third records (Quick Sparrows Over The Black Earth and Simultaneous Flight Movement respectively), Cannell draws a chapter from her work based on ritual - both natural and supernatural. Overbowing the fiddle and dual blowing recorder, she blurs fiction with history and conjures a new kind of Black Hour - a melodic two tone drone which is both tame and wild, and the image of a Sacristan drowned in his own font.
Laura Cannell / fiddle, recorders
1. Simultaneous Flight Movement - 1:48
2. Winter Saltings - 3:09
3. A New Theory of Eclipse - 3:52
4. The Happiness of Both Worldes Part 1 - 2:58
5. The Drowned Sacristan - 3:10
Recorded live at Cafe OTO by Shaun Crook on Friday 17th March 2017. Mixed by James Dunn & Laura Cannell. Mstered by James Dunn. Lino print by Laura Cannell.
Laura Cannell - 17.3.17
Konstrukt's return to OTO after their killer show with regular London guest Alexander Hawkins back in 2015. This time around the band invited Alan Wilkinson and Daniel Spicer to join and form a seven piece ensemble who somehow crammed themselves in behind the monitors. Both multi-intrumentalists, Wilkinson and Spicer brought fresh textures and techniques to the group. From drum & bass and funk lines, to straight free jazz bursts and spiritual chantings, the range of sound in each set is incredible - and all given that classic dose of high energy by the Turkish free giants.
Korhan Futaci / alto & tenor saxophones, flutes, sipsi, kaba zurna, voiceUmut Çaglar / electric guitar, gralla, bamboo flutes, pocket drum machine, xylophones, percussion, tape echoBarlas Tan Özemek / electric bassEdiz Hafizoglu / drums, cymbals, bells, turkish hang drum+Alexander Hawkins / acoustic pianoAlan Wilkinson / baritone saxophone, bass clarinet, voiceDaniel Spicer / pocket trumpet, bugle, bamboo saxophone, shenai, recorder, pan pipe, whistle, cow bell, kalimba, voice
Recorded live at Café OTO by Shaun Crook on September 12th, 2016, London. Mixed and mastered by Umut Çaglar in Istanbul, Turkey. Artwork by Oli Barrett. Original Photo by Dawid Laskowski. We wish to thank Brighton Alternative Jazz Festival for inviting Konstrukt to the UK, and to Omlott recordings for their enthusiasm putting out the physical version of the recording, which you can purchase here.
KONSTRUKT featuring ALAN WILKINSON, ALEXANDER HAWKINS & DANIEL SPICER - Lotus
Totally brilliant set from local legends Pat Thomas & Orphy Robinson (Black Top). Scuzzy electronics, dub bass rhythms and Pat's perfectly timed acoustic interludes on keys fuse with heavy vocal samples to produce a truly diasporic sound. Sounds like a walk down Ridley Road market soundtracked by Thelonius Monk and Jamal Moss.
"When you arrive in England there should be a bus or a trainline you can catch to your hotel. Getting from one side of London to the other should cost you no more than your entire life savings or first born child. If possible, try not to eat the food. If you really must then your safest bet is battered swan, chicken pyramids or tea pie - which is a pie with tea in it. The English brain is divided into two hemispheres - the left which produces spheres of shame and self loathing, and the right, which produces spheres of shame and self loathing."
Pat Thomas / piano, keyboard, iPad
Orphy Robinson / vibes, xylosynth, cajon, iPad, laptop & effects
1/ 'Hugh Masekela in discussion "We're bad imitations of those who oppressed us..."
2/ Willie Williams- Stand Up (Jah Shaka)
3/ Exurb1a England a beginners guide...
Recorded live at Cafe OTO on Tuesday, April 17th 2017 by Shaun Crook. Mixed & mastered by James Dunn. Photo by Dawid Laskowski.
Pat Thomas & Orphy Robinson - 18.4.17
Duo from regular good guy Sholto Dobie (Mucklemouth) and Alvaro Daguer of Chile’s Glorias Navales (Kye Records). Sholto's on diatonic symphony hurdy gurdy, and Alvaro picks up his Casio SA-1 - a monophonic old school number. After playing together for the first time that morning (Sholto had kindly put Alvaro's band up) the pair decided they play the support slot that night. The two instruments meld surprisingly well, and what follows is a melancholic, minimal and lo-fi lament in the key of Conrad or Cale.
"In April, Alvaro and his brother Ivan (from Santiago, Chile) were touring Europe with their group Glorias Navales. They stayed one night at my house in Lewisham, we had fava beans for breakfast and afterwards me and Alvaro ended up playing music for a short time together in my kitchen. To us, it sounded fresh and we decided to perform together that night (the result of which is kindly documented here!). I named it 'Cat's Foot' after a symbol used in eastern european and russian embroidery - the flatness of the instrumentation and repetition of simple forms reminded me of weaves. The shimmering drones notes of the mechanical instruments - one acoustic and one electronic - create an wavy 'moire'-like effect. Although, weaving patterns would suggest structure, this music ambles, without any strict rhythm, agenda or narrative - a cat's foot is also playful!"
Sholto, July 2017
Sholto Dobie / hurdy gurdy
Alvaro Daguer / keyboard
Recorded live at Cafe OTO on Wednesday 12th April 2017 by Shaun Crook. Mixed & mastered by Mr J T Dunn. Artwork by Oli Barrett.
Sholto Dobie & Alvaro Daguer - 12.4.17
Two slabs of dark ambience from composer, electronic musician and co-founder of MEV, Alvin Curran, and incendiary bassist Massimo Pupillo. The pair’s mutual interest in ritual and spirituality combine with field recordings, live electronics, and improvised piano and bass. Chants whirr in a cloud of electronic static, full kit percussion plays behind locked doors and Pupillo's suspended bass tones build huge shoals of sound which turn and shift on an unseen apogee. 12.10.16 is maelstrom free from dogma - a caustic and consuming collaboration.
Alvin Curran / piano, sampler
Massimo Pupillo / bass guitar
Recorded live at Cafe OTO by Shaun Crook on Wednesday October 12th, 2016. Mixed and mastered by James Dunn.
Alvin Curran & Massimo Pupillo - 12.10.16
Last year we invited flutist, composer and educator Nicole Mitchell to make her London debut at OTO. Though originally lined up to play with semi frequent collaborator Joelle Leandre, Joelle had to pull out at the last minute. Instead, we asked Mark Sanders if he would like to play. Having never met before, Mark’s restrained approach to the kit, with skipping brushes on toms and light touches to a ride, a bell or wooden blocks gives remarkable space and air to Mitchell’s unique synthesis of flute and voice. Together they create a strikingly sparse and minimal sound, but one which is no less full of joyous melodic hooks and grooves reminiscent of a stripped back Art Ensemble.
Nicole Mitchell / flute, voice
Mark Sanders / percussion
1. One - 24:10
2. Two - 7:18
3. Three - 10:34
Recorded live at Cafe OTO on Saturday 14th May, 2016 by James Dunn. Mixed & mastered by James Dunn.
Nicole Mitchell & Mark Sanders - 14.5.16
After last summer’s release of the exceptional Skene on Sean McCann’s Recital Program, it’s a pleasure to share Matthew Sullivan’s set from March this year. A percussive motif threads together obscured narratives and Sullivan creates totally new landscapes from his field recordings and their manipulation. Whilst some of the sounds are recognisable, the position you hear them from is frighteningly isolated - a gong becomes as eerie as office lighting static, a demonic football crowd celebrates your exit. One of our standout shows from this year for sure. If you're interested in Michael Pisaro, James Rushford or Mark Vernon this is one for you.
1. Untitled - 15:34
Recorded live at Cafe OTO on Wednesday 22nd March by Shaun Crook. Mixed and mastered by Shaun Crook.
Matthew Sullivan - 22.3.17
Strikingly sparse and meditative percussive duo from esteemed vocalist Julie Tippetts and Confront boss man, Mark Wastell. Both equipped with a wealth of percussion but perfectly restrained, the pair are near-still, bright and clear at first, until the surface of their glistening sound begins to prickle and rush with an unseen current. Tippett's voice effortlessly matches the bellows of the Wastell’s shruti box, and its gentle drone highlights her natural vocal warmth. Intimate, explorative and intuitive, each note struck or sung is turned over gently, explored, and put back down to rest - like a rare find in a rock pool. We hope to see this duo make a return to OTO soon!
Julie Tippetts / voice, Sri Lankan hand drums, bells, singing bowls, water bowls, thumb piano, seed pod shaker, Balinese mini xylophone, struck hand drum
Mark Wastell / tam tam, cracked ride cymbal, shruti box, chimes, hand drum, Indian temple bells, singing bowls
1. Unraveling the Waterfall - 30:55
Recorded live at Cafe OTO by James Dunn on Tuesday 17th of January 2017. Mixed and mastered by James Dunn.
Julie Tippetts & Mark Wastell - 17.1.17
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
Shimmering compositions for solo accordion by Hague-based American composer and instrumentalist Leo Svirsky. Playing somewhere between sound and sense, Svirsky dwells on tonal chromatic harmony but never seeks stability. Tones shift, diffuse, are eaten up by the crowds conversation. Having studied under Antoine Beuger (a principal mover in the Wandelweiser collective) Svirsky continues a departure from Cage or Feldman - embracing Romanticism and affect to make radical and destabalising psychoacoustic sound. Highly recommended.
"With works for piano, orchestra, and ensemble, Svirsky lights corners of hidden musical worlds with a palm sheltering the flame." —Britton Powell, BOMB Magazine (from the introduction from a wonderful conversation betwen Svirsky & Michael Pisaro)
Leo Svirsky / accordian
1. Heights in Depths Cafe OTO - 20:40
2. Depths in Heights Cafe OTO - 19:13
Recorded live at Cafe OTO on Saturday 25th February by James Dunn. Mixed by James Dunn. Mastered by Shaun Crook.
Leo Svirsky - 25.2.17
The Two Ronnies, The Pet Shop Boys, Suicide and now Dale 'n' Phil. 6.2.17 marks the first live outing of much new material from these two excellent human beings - and it also marks possibly the only time we’ve seen proper heckling in OTO’s usually library quiet atmosphere. “It’s not Whitehouse definitely!” some blogger shouts, but what is? We can't repeat Dale's real retort - you'll have to download the whole thing for that, but we can say it often sounds like a landscape of embarrassing human phrasing dug up by Dale and slung back at the audience, to be consumed while Phil's bass line slowly shifts out of sync beneath you. “Language is a nuisance” goes one of their ‘songs’, and they’re right, but if we’re going to keep on using it lets please put Dale Cornish in charge of the dictionary.
Dale Cornish / vocals
Phil Julian / electronics
1. Role (0:00-3:11)
2. Exhibition (3:11-5:43)
3. Chairs (5:43-9:33)
4. Language Is A Nuisance (9:33-12:33)
5. Part Human (12:33-16:14)
6. Chip Shop (16:14-19:45)
7. Laughing Out (19:45-end)
(Download comes as one uninterrupted set of 23:15)
Recorded live at Cafe OTO on Monday 6th of Febuary 2017 by Shaun Crook. Mixed by James Dunn and mastered by Phil Julian.
Dale Cornish & Phil Julian - 6.2.17
Super brutal sounds from conductor Ilan Volkov from his support show here in February. Volkov's bow rasps and tears his un-tuned, un-tamed violin into fizzing electronic realms - sample moments of this you could be in power electronics world. Has the ingenuity and playfulness of early AMM, and the timbral breadth and simple gesticular approach of Billy Steiger or Ute Kangeisser. So often heard leading a group or improvising in one, this is a wonderful insight into Volkov's sheer joy and relentless drive to explore sound.
Ilan Volkov / violin
Recorded live at Cafe OTO by Shaun Crook on Thursday 16th of February 2017. Mixed and mastered by James McMultitalented Dunn.
Ilan Volkov - 16.2.17