Jazz / Free Jazz
Drone / Ambient
Outsider / Art Brut
Sound Art / Spoken Word
Indie / Rock
Folk / Song
Happy New Year! A festive freebie to celebrate 2018:
Hailing from Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania, Bamba Pana and Makaveli send up nearly two hours of singeli sound. Producer Pana gets legs dead with a consistent blistering of 180bpm whilst Makavelli spits defiant, satirical lyrics about everything from police corruption to dating while broke. Raw, fast, and with a DIY aesthetic that smashes together Zanzibari taraab, noise, gabber and happy hardcore, Bamba Pana and Makavelli sound like no other.
Bamba Pana / cdjs
Makavelli / vocals
Recorded live at Cafe OTO on Friday 6th April by Shaun Crook. Mixed & mastered by James Dunn.
Bamba Pana & Makavelli - 6.4.18
First time trio ft. Bobby Glue aka you know who, (Guttersnipe) and legendary Leeds freak-out collective Vibracathedral Orchestra members Neil Campbell and Michael Flower. Cambell and Flower have been moonlighting as a parallel universe rock'n'roll duo since early millenia, taking some of the archetypes of garage rock and dragging them through a muzzy haze of blown-out multi-phasing repetition to head out toward the unknown region. Joined by breakless Bobby Glue, Leeds' latest lightning bolt, the trio spare no energy whatsoever.
Bobby Glue / drums
Michael Flower / guitar
Neil Campbell / electronics
Recorded live at Cafe OTO on Friday 9th March 2018 by Chris Penty. Mixed & mastered by James Dunn.
Neil Campbell / Bobby Glue / Michael Flower - 9.3.18
Subterranean saxophones and self made instruments from the first time collaboration between Takahiro Kawakuchi and Seymour Wright. Using everyday horns powered by homemade airpumps, Kawaguchi generates swelling peals and perforates them with pinches of his tabletop valve box. Having laid three saxophones on the floor, Wright live mixed their feedback from the back of the room, producing undulating gargles which bubble under Kawaguchi and surface in the gaps. Neither artist simply 'investigates the specifics of space' but instead fully regurgitages the innards of their dreamt up instrument with devilish humour.
Takahiro Kawaguchi / self-made instruments, self-made objects
Seymour Wright / 3 alto saxophones and their feedback
Recorded live at Cafe OTO on Tuesday 7th August by Shaun Crook. Mixed and mastered by James Dunn. Photo by Seymour Wright. Artwork by Oli Barratt.
Takahiro Kawaguchi & Seymour Wright - 7.8.18
One of the final Incus releases and one that was written up in The Penguin Guide to Jazz as ‘an essential document of modern music’. Otoroku is proud to release the first ever vinyl re-issue of Evan Parker’s legendary recording The Snake Decides. Featuring 4 solos recorded in 1986 in St. Paul's Church, Oxford by the late Michael Gerzon. The Snake Decides is a groundbreaking example how far the language of a particular instrument can be taken.
From Brian Morton’s liner new notes:
“The Snake Decides attracts a certain array of adjectives - intense, radical, fearsome, hypnotic, virtuosic – and occasionally allows a more ambitious reviewer to avoid platitude by talking more specifically about 32nd harmonics, circular breathing, multiphonics and Gerson's exact choice and placement of microphones. But this misses a point, too. Listening to this record, either for the first or the fortieth time, is an arousing experience.”
Remastered by Giuseppe Ielasi and housed in a reverse board sleeve with new liner notes by Brian Morton this is the ultimate document of one of the most important recordings in all of Parker’s extensive and exploratory catalogue. Edition of 500 copies.
Evan Parker - The Snake Decides
Glorias Navales are five member ensemble based in Santiago, Chile. Their jam is somewhere between Chilean folk music (ala Violeta Parra) and ramshackle post-Velvets psychedelia. Crafted on acoustic guitars, rabel and bombo chino (drum), this recording teases out lines from their stunning debut LP 'Cofradia Nautica' on Graham Lambkin's KYE, taking new, fuzzed out trips along the way. This particular show made Clive Bell's end of year list. ---
1. 12.4.17 - 41:19
Recorded live at Cafe OTO by Shaun Crook on Wednesday 4th April 2017. Mixed and mastered by Jimmy Dunn good again.
12.4.17 - Glorias Navales
Nearly an hour of rhythmic explorations from tonbak player Mohammad Reza Mortazavi. His first vinyl release on Padre Himalaya was stocked by Hardwax - the comparisons between his technique and techno are evident. Live in a hot room, his playing barely ceases, and the organic polyrhythmic patterns he creates command a hypnotic force. ---
Mohammed Reza Mortazavi / tonbak, daf
Recorded live at Cafe OTO on Friday the 8th of June by Shaun Crook.
Mohammed Reza Mortazavi - 8.6.18
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.
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.
(…\ /..)\….\ /…./ \….\ /…./ \…./´¯\/.¯`\ /… |….|..(¯¯¯\ /I….|….|…¯| \ \\I…..|´¯|´¯|..\…)\…..` ¯..¯ ´ ….'\__________ / |oo o o oo| |oo o o oo| |oo o o oo|
Wolf Eyes - 02.08.14
This week we’re pleased to be sharing a solo set from composer, improviser, performer and creative polymath, Alex Ward. Predominantly a guitar and clarinet player, Ward is regarded as one of the most technically accomplished performers of both free and composed music, and has recently played shows in the UK and US as part of the phenomenal This is Not This Heat. Having had his debut record put out on Derek Bailey's Incus, Ward has continued to play at an astonishing level ever since. His current work ranges from his formidably knotty guitar playing in avant-rock two piece Dead Days Beyond Help to his compositions-for-improvisers including Forebrace, the Alex Ward Quintet/Sextet, and his new ITEM series which returns to OTO in September.
After releasing his solo clarinet album in 2017 on the Weekertoft label, Ward's solo performances strive to bring acoustic and amplified playing into closer integration. '15.2.18' is a reminder of what a singular player he is, pulling open the full range of the instrument - from warm trills and woody overtones to overblown, amped up blowouts.
Alex Ward / clarinet, guitar
Recorded live at Cafe OTO on 15.2.2018 by Martyn Larcombe. Mixed by Alex Ward and mastered by James Dunn.
Alex Ward - 15.2.18
Digital download version of this recording originally issued as a one-sided limited edition 12" made available as part of a fundraiser for Cafe OTO to acquire some new equipment.
Thurston Moore / Guitar Alex Ward / Clarinet, Amplifier
Recorded 20 March 2012 at Cafe OTO by John Chantler & Jonny McHugh. Mixed by Alex Ward, Vinyl cut by Nick @ Curved.
Cover image courtesy of Matti Braun.
Thurston Moore & Alex Ward - Live at Cafe OTO
Members of psychedelic Russian / Israeli collective Staraya Derevnya rarely get to perform live together, so it's with huge pleasure that we are uploading this one. After spending a week holed out in our Project Space, the group emerged to present 45 minutes of curious, home-brewed folk psych wonk made with objects, percussion, vocals and homemade instruments. Live animated projection makes a large impact on each of their improvisations so be sure to check out the video of the night too."They play a kind of psychedelic folk with wind-up toys, shouting, buzzy sounds and with live animated drawings – out of some foggy scribble emerges a head, then a bug thing grows tentacles and sucks ectoplasm out of the head, then stuff starts spinning around and then a phoenix rises." - Lee Fisher, NARC magazine
"Staraya Derevnya make bewitching music that seems impossible to place in terms of direction and intention, like climbing into a cab only to realise its not a cab at all." - TUSK
Amos Ungar / dulcimer, sampler
Danil Gertman / digital drawing
Gosha Hniu / percussion, toys, cries and whispers
Grundik Kasyansky / feedback synthesizer, objects
Maya Pik / synthesizer, rocking chair, melodica
Ran Nahmias / silent cello, theremin
Lyrics by Arthur Molev. Mixed and mastered by Gosha Hniu from the original recording made by Shaun Crook. Filmed by Heliana Trovato, Sam Way, Filippo Mira and Patrick Farrell. Video edited by Heliana Trovato. Huge thanks to Tsip Nahmias and to the wonderful people at Cafe OTO and Tusk Festival - this wouldn't have happened without you!
Staraya Derevnya - 13.10.17
A pair of solo sets from two of the most individual voices exploring new forms of percussion. Both artists transgress the boundaries between acoustic and electronic, analog and digital, and find themselves in a curious midway between various forms of radical music - free-jazz, footwork, and music concrete.
Paul Abbott / real and imaginary drums
Jake Meginsky / electronics
1. Paene (Paul Abbott) - 35:282. Live at Cafe OTO I (Jake Meginsky) - 6:233. Live at Cafe OTO II (Jake Meginsky) - 39:28
Recorded live at Cafe OTO on Monday 9th April 2018 by Shaun Crook. Mixed and mastered by James Dunn. Artwork by Oli Barrett.
Paul Abbott & Jake Meginsky - 9.4.18
Solo set from French hurdy-gurdy player Yann Gourdon. One third of the drone trio France and part of the La Nòvia collective, Gourdon's practice focuses on acoustic phenomena and dynamic relationships with the environment. Having learned to play traditional music from Auvergne by listening to field recordings, Gourdon re-orientates tradition via minimalism, honing in on a place or location's unique vibratory fields, volumes and surfaces.
Yann Gourdon / hurdy gurdy
1. 15.10.15 - 41.18
Recorded on Thursday 15th October 2015 by Luca Consonni. Mixed and mastered by James Dunn. Photo by Mattias Launois. Artwork by Oliver Barratt.
Yann Gourdon - 15.10.15
We were delighted to have Sudanese funk group The Scorpios return to OTO after their self titled album came out in spring on Afro 7 - a great new label that focuses on "new and old music from East Africa", so we're especially pleased to make this one available. The collective is made up of Sudanese and European talents based in West London, and together they take a new stance on traditional Sudanese forms. They meld bass synth, horns, percussion and gorgeous vocals to drive new energy into haqibah scales, and though you can hear the influence of Sharhabil and His Band and Abdel Karim el Kably in their mix, they're really pushing it somewhere else.
Dawid Frydryk / trumpet
James Connor / percussion
Michael Ofiri / drums
Ronnie Maxwell / bass
Adam Bulewski / rhythm & lead guitar
Abdelsalam Kamaleldin / lead and rhythm guitar
Ragaia Ishag / vocals
Izumi Kobayashi / keys
Sue Lynch / sax
Ahmed Mohamed Ali Osman / percussion & vocals
Karl Amata / percussion
1. Yadob Yadob 2. El Sheikh Sairo3. Yaelhajarok4. Haja5. Benreed El Etam6. Meshena7. Kifaya Mosa8. Garnar Alsebou9. Saparna10. La Shaftak Tabel Elshoog11. Safar12. Yadob Yadob13. End Song
Recorded live at Cafe OTO by Adam Matschulat on 23rd June 2017. Mixed & mastered by James Dunn. Original photo by Laurent Orseau. Artwork by Oli Barrett.
The Scorpios - 23.6.17
Chugging, dark, spacey blues - Akiyama's solo guitar is focused "on the tone and wildness of the instrument." A hard rock fan at 11 years-old, Akiyama started playing electric guitar at the age of 13. Later, with a growing interest in free improvisation and classical music, Akiyama sought to create his own genre "solo rock guitar." A treat to have him play in the early days of OTO, and even better to dust this one out the archives, re-mix and master.
Tetuzi Akiyama / electric guitar
Recorded by John Chantler on the 17th October 2010. Mixed by John Chantler. Mastered by Toshimaru Nakamura. With thanks to Lee Etherington.
1. 17.10.10 - 31:40
2. 18.10.10 - 12:39
Tetuzi Akiyama 17.10.10
Once a member of the national ensemble of Tuva, Sainko Namtchylak left the remote republic in the south of Siberia and lived in Moscow. There she met jazz musicians and started a new career - playing and making records with musicians such as Peter Kowald, Joelle Leandre and Evan Parker. After recording Like A Bird Or Spirit, Not A Face with members of Tinariwen last year she has formed a new group, SainkhoKosmos, with the help of reedsman and long-time collaborator Ned Rothenberg. Sainkho's seven octave vocal range combined with an ensemble with such a vast wealth of experience makes for compelling listening - an ancient pulsing within a modern framework.
Samm Bennett / drums, vocals
Sainkho Namtchylak / vocals
Ned Rothenberg / clarinet, alto sax, shakuhachi
Peter Scherr / electric upright bassKazuhisa Uchihashi / guitar, daxophone
Recorded on Sunday 6th August 2017 by Tom Mudd. Mixed & mastered by James Dunn. All music improvised by SainkhoKosmos. Original photo by Anton Klimov. Artwork by Oli Barrett.
SainkhoKosmos - 6.8.17
Rattle are Katharine Eira Brown and Theresa Wrigley, both on drums and both on vocals. They played their first set at OTO as part of The Ex’s 2016 residency, and returned in 2017 to deliver their gleefully deconstructed and hypnotic songs in support of Sacred Paws. Stripped of ego, spacious and infectious, Rattle make structured minimalism unnerving, awkward, but mainly fun.
"Rattle, however, aren't about racket or ego. When Katharine Elra Brown and Theresa Wrigley sit on their separate thrones, they turn their beats into building blocks. With just two kits and their beguiling voices, the duo have created a jigsaw of a debut – and not one of those frustrating puzzles with 1000 tiny pieces, but a fast-paced game full of constant discovery and reward." - Lee Adcock
Katharine Eira Brown / drums, vocals
Theresa Wrigley / drums, vocals
Recorded by Shaun Crook on Sunday 29th January 2017. Mixed and mastered by James Dunn. Photo by Dawid Laskowski. Artwork by Oli Barrett. All songs are from Rattle's first album 'Rattle' released in August 2016 on I Own You / Upset The Rhythm Records.
Rattle - 29.1.17
Having been on our wish list for a long, long time we were delighted to have Patty Waters take up a two night residency at OTO last December. Accompanying her on double bass is Tjitze Vogel, and on piano is Burton Greene with whom she recorded 'Sings' for ESP Disk back in the 60s. Greene's scratching and tugging of the piano strings during their first ever rehearsal had encouraged Waters to turn ballads inside out, and the same is true today. Before 'Nature Boy' Waters asks Greene to play inside the piano once more; the song's refrain is shredded by Waters with total control. Her voice has shifted but her unique command remains. The trio hold the room on a breath as they deliver renditions of classics unheard anywhere else. Huge thanks to all three musicians. ---
Patty Waters / vocals
Burton Greene / piano
Tjitze Vogel / bass
Recorded live at Cafe OTO on Thursday 6th December 2017 by Shaun Crook. Mixed and mastered by James Dunn. Photo by Maiken Kildegaard and artwork by Oli Barratt.
Patty Waters - 6.12.17
We're very pleased to announce Pat Thomas's ‘The Elephant Clock of Al Jazari’ on our in-house OTOROKU label.
Recorded live at OTO in May 2015 and mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi, the LP comprises four typically genre-defying and sonically dexterous pieces from one of the UK's most extraordinary pianists.
In Pat's own words:
The title for this Album, was inspired by the incredible automatic water clock invented by Badi' al-Zaman ibn al-Razzaz al-Jazari. Al Jazari refers to the fact he was born in Al Jazira which lies between the Tigris and the Euphrates in what is now Northern Iraq. Badi al Zaman means prodigy of the age. He is known by historians of technology as the father of modern robotics. The Elephant Clock at seven metres high is a testament to his engineering genius, it utilizes Greek water raising technology, combined with an Indian elephant, Egyptian phoenix, Arabian figures, Persian carpet and Chinese Dragons celebrating the diversity of cultures in the world. This and other marvels of engineering can be found in his Book of the Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices translated by Donald Hill (Pakistan Hijra Council). Over 50 devices are mentioned. Amongst them the first analog computer, his remarkable Castle Clock, however, the debt the world owes this muslim genius is found in his remarkable water raising devices, particularly water raising device number 4 where for the first time a crank connecting rod system is used. The crank is considered to be the most important single mechanical device after the wheel, by 1206 this is found fully developed in Jazari`s machines predating Francesco di Giorgio Martini by 3 centuries.
'For Al Haytham' is dedicated to the great polymath genius who wrote the great book on vision, the first person to give us a true understanding of how we see. 'Lubb' is an Arabic word meaning innermost consciousness whilst to conclude proceedings 'Done' is loosely based on a well known standard.
- Pat Thomas 26TH May 2017
Pat Thomas began playing piano at the age of eight. He studied classical music and reggae was an early interest. Thomas was inspired to take up Jazz after seeing legendary pianist Oscar Peterson on television. By 1979, Thomas was performing seriously as an improviser. In 1980 he became a member of oxford based group Ghosts with Pete Mcphail and Matt Lewis. Has worked with Mike Cooper, Steve Beresford, Geoff Hawkins, Chuck Berry, Tim Hill, Alex Ward, Eugene Chadbourne, Steve Noble, Jimmy Carl Black, Thurston Moore, Mats Gustafsson, Evan Parker, Oliver Lake, Alan Silva, Bill Dixon, Joe Gallivan, Alan Wilkinson, John Edwards, John Zorn, John Butcher, John Russell and a duo with Mark Sanders since 1986 a duo with Steve Noble (who first met in 1979). Current activities include Black Top with Orphy Robinson, Valid Tractor with Lawrence Casserley and Dom Lash, About Group with Alexis Taylor and John Coxon, Albert Newton with Charles Haywood and the Founder Effect with John Coxon, a duo with Han Bennink and a trio with William Parker and Hamid Drake.
Pat Thomas received Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Composers in 2014.
Pat Thomas / piano
Recorded live at Cafe OTO on the 4th May 2015 b Mark Jasper. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi. Photo by fabio Lugaro. Design by Maja Larsson.
Pat Thomas - The Elephant Clock of Al Jazari