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Our new in house label, releasing music recorded in lockdown.

Takuroku has been supporting new work by artists made during lock-down, but now and again we’ll be releasing lost archival gems that we feel need to be heard. This is one of the latter: A fiery session between two key players in OTO’s international community, featuring Denmark’s Julie Kjær (saxophone) and Thurston Moore (guitar), recorded at neighbouring experimental music hub The Hundred Years Gallery. Fans of Rudolph Grey/Arthur Doyle, Kaoru Abe/Masayuki Takayanagi and Sonny Sharrock/Peter Brötzman's explosive symbiosis will relish here in Julie & Thurstons’ bellied roars, tonal dips and dives and thick sheets of sound. Ecstatic spiritual crescendos emerge and collapse, but during which never lose their sense of focus and imaginative interplay. Here’s hoping this duo can play again once things are back to normal (whenever that maybe be). 50% of OTO’s share of the proceeds of this release will be passed to Hundred Years Gallery. Please support their great work in the experimental music community. "As I was reviewing music files of live events I had been involved with since moving to London over seven years ago, I came across a duo concert with Julie Kjær and myself from 2018. We had played at an event set up by saxophonist Alan Wilkinson at the Hundred Years Gallery in Dalston, a stone's throw from Cafe Oto, and very much a part of the community of exploratory music venues we're so blessed to have here. Julie and her paramour, the composer Paulo Dias Duarte, had been living in the same London neighborhood as my paramour Eva and myself (as well as Alan W and his paramour Gina - it's paramour wild here, kids!), before they relocated to Julie's native Denmark a couple of years back. I had first heard Julie play at one of Alan's always fabulous Flim Flam series shows in the basement of Ryan's Bar in Stoke Newington and was struck by her free playing in the moment of sub/conscious inter/action with her compatriot players. I soon realized her dynamic and long-running breadth of engagement with the London improvisational music scene, as well as the European, primarily Scandinavian, scenes. It was an honor to be asked to play this particular concert, and with eyes, ears and hearts to the past, present and future we created the music presented here. While in a shared quarantine with the world in 2020, it is astounding to see and hear voices rising in collaborative positive energy towards a renewed and consciously just planet. On Saturday June 27 Julie gave birth to her and Paulo's son Hugo, new life, new light, new music and new promise. At a time when creativity is such a significant, and profound, key to our shared consciousness - in regards to the planet and all sentient life - to grace our lives with birth is the hope and truth, the wonder and the spirit, of nature's joy." - Thurston Moore -- Thurston Moore & Julie Kjær - Guitar & saxophone recorded by Graham MacKeachan at Hundred Years Gallery, 19.1.2018 painting by Gene Moore, 2020

Thurston Moore & Julie Kjær – New Life Music

Fergus and Dee have never met in person, but through written correspondence and a shared love of songwriting and music, they have come together and continue to work remotely - writing and sharing. The album, MORNINGHAIRWATER was written under lockdown between May and June 2020. A fervent correspondence of lyrics, ideas and sounds between London and Glasgow, musicians Fergus Lawrie of cult band Urusei Yatsura and Dee Sada of NEUMES/An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump come together as Paper Birch to share their mutual feelings of despair, fragility and hope in this collection of nine songs. The video was shot on 16mm by Scottish filmmaker Grant McPhee who has directed successful music documentaries, ‘Teenage Superstars’ and ‘Big Gold Dream’. Fergus Lawrie is a guitarist and songwriter who was a founder member of fondly remembered '90s geek rockers Urusei Yatsura who emerged from the celebrated Glasgow 13th Note scene that also fostered bands such Bis, Delgados, Yummy Fur, Mogwai and Franz Ferdinand. Known for their ferocious live shows and burnt out noise pop songs such as 'Kewpies like Watermelon' and 'Hello Tiger' the band released 3 full albums and toured extensively in Europe and America and were Radio 1 favourites recording sessions for John Peel and the Evening Session. In the 00s he released the album Yoyodyne as the band Projekt A-ko with other former members of Urusei Yatsura. He also released three experimental improvised noise rock albums as Angel of Everyone Murder with fellow members Lea Cummings (Kylie Minoise/Kovorox Sounds) and Sarah Glass (The Fnords). As artist Obscure Desire of the Bourgeoisie he presented several large scale installations featuring guitars and electric fans at Northampton Fishmarket, Dundee School of Art and Glasgow Museum of Modern Art. He also co-produced a documentary about the Glasgow experimental noise scene 'Send/Receive' which was featured at Cardiff Arts Festival. Multi-instrumentalist Dee Sada has created an eclectic and diverse collection of music over the last 10 years and has worked with a number of international musicians. Whilst in percussive noise band, An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump, she recorded an album with Steve Albini at Electrical Audio in Chicago. She has also been in electronic duo, Blue On Blue and performance art band ORAL ORAL, which is an ad-hoc group of improv artists that began performing together after a request by artist Wolfgang Tillmans. Dee also performs in the London-based trio, NEUMES who recently recorded a mini album at 4AD studios and supported composer Colin Stetson at the Round Chapel in 2019. She has curated a range of multimedia events which include screenings, spoken word and performances with Raindance Film Festival, Whitechapel Art Gallery and Cafe OTO.


“Nostalgia (from nostos – return home, and algia – longing) is a longing for a home that no longer exists or has never existed. Nostalgia is a sentiment of loss and displacement, but it is also a romance with one’s own fantasy. Nostalgic love can only survive in a long-distance relationship. A cinematic image of nostalgia is a double exposure, or a superimposition of two images – of home and abroad, past and present, dream and everyday life. The moment we try to force it into a single image, it breaks the frame or burns the surface.” - Svetlana Boym, “The Future of Nostalgia” “I’m not deliberately out to antagonise an audience or spite them or anything like that, but if they adopt the attitude of ‘This isn’t what we expected’, then yippee, I’m gonna wallow in that, because you shouldn’t sit back and expect anything at all.” - John Lydon, “Anger is an Energy” Spring time. Three period instruments from the turn of the century: Yamaha CS1X, Korg MonoSynth 2000, MicroKorg Synth Vocoder. Fingers fumble, sounds happen - obnoxious, unapologetic, fragile like a wobbly cassette that you’ve listened to a million times on the Walkman you dropped before you could afford a Discman. I’m not playing the instruments, they are playing themselves, they are playing me and there is no forcing or fighting them. Faded-photograph sunshine sounds of ’90s electronica, caramelised sweetened condensed milk, the beach, rage, DIY chamber music for cats. Then, it stops: the end of nostalgia and the end of the world as you know it. We are getting old and the sounds have lost their innocence. Thank you to Ed (Teddy) Bennett, Michael Keeney and Hannah Peel for the synth love.  -- Xenia Pestova Bennett - composition / performance / recording / mixing -- Ed Bennett, production / creative & artistic concept Antony Ryan (RedRedPaw), mastering Oliver Barrett, cover design from a photo by Xenia Pestova Bennett

Xenia Pestova Bennett – Atonal Electronic Chamber Music For Cats

All new work from OLAibi, a Japanese percussion-based experimental music project by AI from Osaka, an ex-member of OOIOO who regularly works with Takagi Masakatsu. In her music, OLAibi incorporates ancient Okinawan influences and melds electronics, steel drums, pianica, exotic percussion instruments and her voice into dizzying technicolor dream states. Since her childhood, AI was deeply inspired and mesmerized by Africa, and discovering Western African drums in later years mainly triggered her further musical activities. Using her manifold cross-cultural influences, she's created this deeply personal work, excavating her current feelings and sharing them with the outside world. -- Land where the water never dries up. Land where the soil is fertile. These were the only conditions for me. The earthquake. That attacked Japan. I was looking for a place to dwell. One day I stumbled upon an old estate agent man who gave me an old map. “I’ve never been there but you go and have a look.” I went there following the map, I got there but it didn’t seem right. It was a jungle. No space to enter. I entered into the dark woods clipping the branches in front of me one by one with a nata sword which I had with me. I had no idea where the borders were. It didn’t seem like there was no infrastructure. I had no idea this jungle even would fulfil my conditions. What sort of future had I imagined, I decided to live here to make this place my home. It's my 9th year since I have lived here. I can say that I live like a human. I spend about £7 a month on electricity. It’s for some pendant lights to avoid insects and musical machines to work. And wifi to connect to the outside world. At first I tried so hard to live harmoniously with nature. I tried not to chop down trees and stopped cooking meat dishes. After 8 years you finally realise that you change the organic system inevitably by simply just existing. Only humans cannot fit in this world. And I cry from the sadness and helplessness. We sway. We are creatures that sway. We try to adjust to fit in this world finding the harmonious point swaying. That made me feel less tearful and got up to live for the next day. I name all my music of food or flavour. Not to forget that everything I make is given from nature. The languages I chose in my music I call them -Fate community language. I mix up and use the phonetic of all the different foreign languages, And all I have to do is to follow the word souls and my instinct. - OLAibi -- OLAibi - all music & recording Written & recorded in spring 2020 -- Artwork design by Oliver Barrett

OLAibi – 「Song of the taste」

Okinawa-based artist Kanako Horiuchi centres her practice around her voice and the sanshin - an Okinawan musical instrument and precursor of the mainland Japanese shamisen – but opens the aesthetic possibilities of the instrument wide open, including excursions into electronic music, Senagelese music, minimalism and more. On 'Hope' she explores both the opaque nature of our current times and the glimmer of hope we can find in different places. ‘Darkness’ dives into the present with industrial synth washes and electronic drum cycles, before setting new co-ordinates on with the help of a drifting Okinawan Taiko on ‘Break Away’. On ‘Hope’ she shares vocal refrains with her 2 year old daughter, telling the tale of a buddha's arrival, world peace, mothers and the sea appearing. On final track ‘thanks’, recorded in Senegal before lock-down, she returns her instrument to folkloric traditions of the country, embracing the hope that can be gained through travel, exploration and generational love between mothers and children. “I never thought the covid-19 pandemic would affect my personal life, but it did. Somehow I wanted to formalise my thoughts and feelings I have had over this period into music. Okinawa, the county of Japan once used to be an independent country /kingdom, totally independent from Japan and any other country, has gone through and still has been going through the many layers of dark long history. I believe there are many places like Okinawa in the rest of the world. I wanted to make the music of Hope.” - Kanako Horiuchi Mastered and artwork by Oliver Barrett

Kanako Horiuchi – Hope

"In Another Place is constructed from the sounds of found materials, domestic objects and self-made mechanisms. Working between Lucerne, Montreal and Huddersfield, we followed simple cues as instructional starting points, responding to a single word to create a sonic response within a specific time-frame. These prompts became starting points for materially engaged, sonic exploration. Each take was a dislocated, improvisation to no-one, confined to our private studios and homes, our headphones and recorders. Sounds include recordings of ceramic hobs, seaweed, styrofoam, kitchen foil, balloons, resonant tubes, scrap metal, motors, water pumps, spark gaps, lightbulbs, water, wooden dowels and sand paper. The results were layered, re-situated and mixed by matching time-frames and timbre. In Another Place explores the musical potential of everyday materials through disconnection, interpretation and serendipity" - (Tim Shaw) -- "What if COVID-19 had never swept the globe? What if our lives were operating as normal? There would’ve been Anne-F Jacques from Montreal as ame’s fourth artist-in-residence collaborating, in different scales, with a gang of sound artists and musicians; Julia Eckhardt, Phil Niblock, Tim Shaw, Tania Caroline Chen, Yorkshire Sound Women Network and myself right now, here at Dai Hall, a venue for underground experimental music and art scene in Huddersfield. The luxury of chaos (I miss that now) would’ve been followed by high-spirited laugher. When Keiko invited me to make a mini album for Takuroku, I romanticised this hypothesis, the ‘what-if’ theory. Every event has a cause. This Takuroku opportunity has given us a chance to thrive, to get back to our individual creative zone, to listen to the world once more. Thanks to Cafe OTO." - (Ryoko Akama) -- Recorded by Tim Shaw, Anne-F Jacques and Ryoko Akama -- Mastered by Anne-F Jacques Artwork design by Oliver Barrett

Ryoko Akama, Anne-F Jacques and Tim Shaw – In Another Place

"Having brought together two entirely independent solo improvisations like this, one from near the start of the lockdown and the other very recent, and finding that they fit together so well that I must have been  following the same pattern albeit on two very different instruments, what does that tell me? Have I merely folded time on itself without any corresponding fold in space and thereby gone precisely nowhere? Have those intervening months vanished in the attempt? And what can I call the fruits of that attempt? An imaginary duo between present me and early-lockdown me, made real by a stray thought taken too far (because I hadn't intended to put the two together when I recorded them). Have I learned nothing? By themselves, each is both an attempt to reach beyond time in itself, by touching the infinite variability of the reality beyond illusion and, by that very variability (and unpredictability) a blow struck against the homogenising forces of consumerism, a wrench thrown in the gears of the satanic mill. But when combined, then, the variability is multiplied. Not by dialogue (since each was blind to the other) but the stark fact of their separation in time and the events that they book-end. 50,000 dead, give or take. Have we learned nothing? Must the same battles be fought over and over again every single time? Will we still follow the same pattern, when this is all over?" - Massimo Magee, London, 11 May 2020 Cover image: '144 Pills' by MiHee Kim Magee

Massimo Magee – Wormhole to Nowhere