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This set of improvised pieces is made up of Montréalers Raphaël Foisy-Couture (bass), Vicky Mettler (guitar), and Vancouverite Lisa Cay Miller (piano). There's a relaxed atmosphere among the trio, despite seemingly disparate elements that swing and play with a tight cohesion; networked fistulas convey and receive.
Along with their industriousness, this keeps their music light and exploratory, appealingly collectively-minded throughout. Miller only occasionally breaks out into fitful knots of block chords, her and Foisy's slyly executed extended techniques keep flowing a steady variety of sounds, and Mettler's crafty instrumental resourcefulness (as in the prismatic folk of her project Kee Avil) results in a deeply pleasing group improvisation that often feels wonderfully domestic.
Lisa Cay Miller/Vicky Mettler/Raphaël Foisy-Couture – Grind Halts
This recording documents the first time meeting between two great double bass players, Tom Wheatley and John Edwards.Recorded at the Hundred Years Gallery on 22.02.14 as part of the ongoing Earshots concert series.released May 20, 2015
John Edwards (PRS): Double BassTom Wheatley: Double BassRecorded by Daniel KordikMastered by Rupert ClervauxCover image by Daniel BlumbergDesign by Earshots/DEPT2
John Edwards & Tom Wheatley – Yoke
This is Ute Kanngiesser's first cello solo release, recorded direct to tape at two locations: The Cafe Oto Project Space, and the clock room at St Augustine's Tower, Hackney.
Recorded and mixed in Spring 2015 by Edward Lucas and Daniel Kordik.Embroidery by Meghan SpringerInlay design by Earshots/Dept2
Ute Kanngiesser – Geäder
Iz’s classic album Kөlêngkê (meaning “shadow” in Kazakh). Arguably the most well-known work of Mamer’s group projects, the album was recorded in 2010 when Iz was in the middle of transformation from a Kazakh folk group to an avant-garde music project under various contemporary influences including industrial, progressive, and psychedelic rock.
The album took almost a year to record during which Mamer decided to start all over several times. In Kөlêngkê, the band mixes the acoustic sounds of traditional Kazakh instruments, such as dombra and kobyz, with distorted electronic effects and harsh metallic percussion. Drummer Zhang Dong assembled his own kit, replacing snares and cymbals with barbed wires, a giant caged iron fan, and various metal scraps collected from factories. The result is a bricolage of dark, rusty, and confrontational industrial sounds underlying the traditional Kazakh surface, a forceful and sincere anti-world-music type of “world music”.
Mamer / vocal, dombra, bass, guitar, kobyz, jew’s harp
Nurtay / bass, vocals
Zhang Dong / drums, percussion
Recorded in 2010, Originally Released in 2011, Reissued on Cassette in 2015
IZ – 影子 = SHADOW = KӨLÊNGKÊ (Tape)
Puppet is a rock band started in 1991 in Urumqi by Xinjiang musician Feruh (法茹克), and it has gone on to become one of the longest living rock bands in China. The backbone of Xinjiang’s underground scene, Puppet has gone through numerous line-up changes while Feruh remains the only constant member and the mastermind behind the project. In 1997, Mamer joined Puppet and has since maintained a close relationship with the band. The band went on hiatus from 2002 to 2005, reformed in 2006, and finally released their full-length debutUrumqiin 2008, a sophomore titled32 Daysfollowed in 2014. Feruh is currently working on his new band 6501, named after the first four digits of identity card numbers in Xinjiang, 6501 released their debut Endgame in 2018 under Modern Sky’s Bad Head sub-label.
This is Puppet’s first greatest hits album, compiled by Feruh himself, with songs selected from different periods of the band’s history, the song “3 O’clock Xinjiang Time” is previously unreleased. It is gold.
Puppet – PUPPET: SELECTED WORKS 1995 - 2014 (tape)
"Born in 1945, Guo Yongzhang has performed zhuizi - a traditional Chinese style of narrative singing - for half a century. An artform whose history spans over a century, zhuizi originated in Henan province. Its main musical instruments are the zhuihu, a two-stringed bowed lute, and the zhuibang, a wooden percussion played with foot tapping.
Almost completely blind, Guo Yongzhang is known for his peculiar, resounding yet smooth vocal style. He sings with deep feelings and great verve. Lyrics deal with both the hardships and good values of life while always maintaining a sense of humour. Despite being long regarded as a folk master, Guo has continued to play tirelessly among ordinary people, often travelling from village to village and performing for a whole day at a time. As he nears the end of his life, Guo regrets that nowadays, few people wish to learn the art ofzhuizi. He worries that this precious art form may soon be lost.
This release, titled after one of Guo Yongzhang’s most well-known songs, Lao Lai Nan, commemorates his performance at the 5th Tomorrow Festival. Guo co-headlined the last day of the festival with French prog-rock act Gong on May 20, 2018. His performance was recorded live and is due to be released on both CD and LP by the Old Heaven label in November 2019.
Guo Yongzhang / Zhuihu, Zhuibang, Vocals
Recorded in the late-1980s, Released in 2018
GUO YONGZHANG – LAO LAI NAN (OLD MAN’S BLUES) Tape
The clouds have rolled away leaving a barren landscape, but as what happens, the crocus and other flowers burst from the ground. With "Het Vlier Een Hommels Dauwe", LINUS VANDEWOLKEN looks up to once again see colors and light. The feeling of loss is still present but we hear the transformation of his days in Niemandaal to leafy green. On this recording, the third to be released on cassette by the Brussels based Herberg Rustiek, Linus shares other creations, shakers, and flutes which have not been heard since "Hommel Op Aarde" have come back, perhaps signifying the renaissance of his voice, though not present on this collection, we can hear that it will once again sing.Linus Vandewolken plays the hommel, a traditional stringed instrument from Flanders.
released October 20, 2017
Linus Vandewolken – Het vlier, een hommels Dauwe
This studio recording of Jason Kahn (voice) and Ilia Belorukov (modular synthesizer) is tense and taut, as dry, crumbling sonic swathes manifest both as machine and human, facilitating an almost ceremonial liberation. Kahn has historically been known for electronic sounds exhibiting stasis and abrasive, enduring minimalism; as of late his work has been primarily concerned with his own unaltered voice. Belorukov’s work exists within the realm of improvised noise and electroacoustics, as he prioritizes a wide range of collaborations. Kahn's voice provides a stark contrast to Belorukov's jagged synthesis, like examining oneself close-up in a mirror. Here, these prolific musicians share a unique, intimate intensity through drastically different approaches.
Ilia Belorukov/Jason Kahn – Studio Album
Olive and Naka's collaboration pairs two musicians working with lo-/mid-fi sonics and modified/self-made instruments. Through extensive recording and touring, the duo has honed a patient aesthetic, allowing each other's sounds to unfold with minimal, sure-footed interactions, akin to moving along a path up the mountain for which this release is titled.
Naka's sources here consist mainly of "long loops of sagging/distressed cassette tape winding into and out of similarly distressed portable tape players, with real-time analog processing." Olive uses magnetic pickups and analog electronics. This leads to sounds of uncertain provenance, playfully emerging from a thick analog haze, building toward surprising, subtle crescendos. This is work that results from, and produces, an active semblance of stillness.
Takuji Naka/Tim Olive – Minouragatake
Notice Recordings’ Chicago origins were heavily galvanized by regularly seeing sets by cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm and multi-instrumental improviser Zoots Houston. Both have since separately relocated to Kingston, NY, where they continue to engage with the kinds of musical exchanges exemplified here. This set, recorded live at Chicago’s Elastic Arts, finds them performing with percussionist Ben Bennett. Bennett, a musician and performance artist, is a notable figure in the current and vibrant free improv and jazz scene in NYC; recent collaborations include Michael Foster and Jack Wright, among others. All three players metaphorically deconstruct their instruments while scattering pockets of agitated hot air on the performance floor, augmented with pedals, radioesque static sweeps, tightly propelled breaths, and extended techniques. This is dry, heavily structural, bristling stuff, with periodic digressions into melody and a strong control of focused and at times uncomfortably magnified timbres. Much of the material is urgent and electronic, filling the space and remaining firmly gestural. These two sidelong sets display slices of time coming from strong voices within this niche of contemporary improvisation.
released November 18, 2019Ben Bennett - percussionZoots Houston - synthesizer, objectsFred Lonberg-Holm - celloRecorded live at Elastic Arts, Chicago by Dave Zuchowski, July 21, 2016Mastered by Branic Howard, Open Field, Portland, ORArtwork and layout by E. Lindorff-ElleryLetterpress printed by Small Fires Press, New Orleans
Ben Bennett/Zoots Houston/Fred Lonberg-Holm – Pinkie No
Mamer’s signature dombra solo album Kêngistik (meaning “sky” in Kazakh), arguably one of his best-received and widest-known works to date. Apart from tracks 3, 7, 9, 11 which are Mamer’s own composition, all tracks are interpretations of tradition Kazakh tunes. Instead of showing off his skills in the high-speed type of playing typical of dombra virtuosos, Mamer plays the dombra note by note, slowly and calmly, with heavy reverb. His approach to the instrument here, as in his other solo releases, reflects Mamer’s unique and contemporary understanding of the music tradition of his people.
The album was recorded in 2010, during the same session of Iz’s album Kөlêngkê. In the studio, Mamer involved in an argument with his friend Fei when the latter asked whether Mamer had “abandoned” the Kazakh tradition for rock music. Mamer turned the light off, recorded the whole album on dombra in one go, and left his friend with his answer: “This is my kind of tradition.”
MAMER – 星空 = SKY = KÊNGISTIK (Tape)
Live recording of a totally weird collaboration between flutist Lao Dan and multi-instrumentalist Li Daiguo. A new interpretation of Chinese folk instrumental music.
"The collaboration between flutist/saxophonist Lao Dan and multi-instrumentalist Li Daiguo began in 2018. The duo named themselves “Benbo’erba & Babo’erben” (奔波儿灞与灞波儿奔, BBB & BBB for short), after two minions from the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West. Delivering whimsical, improvisation-based melodies woven around the backbone of Li Daiguo’s quirky pipa and Lao Dan’s spiritual flute, Benbo’erba & Babo’erben take their listeners to a grotesque fairy world which presents a radical but light-hearted re-interpretation of traditional Chinese music.
In 2019, the duo released their debut on cassette titled Benbo’erba & Babo’erben at Old Heaven, a remixed live recording of their performance at the Old Heaven bookstore in December 2018. In this album, tribute is paid to Fei, owner of the Old Heaven bookstore and pivotal figure of the Chinese avant-garde scene, whose magnetic voice and demonic laughter can be heard at the very beginning of side A."
Lao Dan / chinese bamboo flute, bawu, jews harp, vocals
Li Daiguo / pipa, mbira, synth, vocals
Recorded in 2018, Released in 2019
LAO DAN & LI DAIGUO – BENBO’ERBA & BABO’ERBEN AT OLD HEAVEN (Tape)
Senyawa are a contemporary duo originating from Jogjakarta, Indonesia. Rully Shabara (extreme vocals) coupled with Wukir Suryadi's deft instrumentals (and homemade instruments) produce one of the most profound examples of experimental via traditional music happening anywhere today. By weaving Indonesian folkloric moods with various shades of modern genre hybrids, Senyawa has been navigating unexplored musical terrain for more than a decade. Sujudtheir premier release on the Sublime Frequencies label, is the latest chapter of this very special and singular sound of the past, present, and future. The basic theme of the record can be summed up with one extremely powerful Bahasa Indonesian word, "tanah", which translates to "soil-ground-land-earth". Shabara's vocals are an expressive force, conjuring spirits from the soil with a deep humility and respect for the land and their existence in the universe. Suryadi has built a new guitar for these tracks and pushes the Senyawa sound into new territory, utilizing delay, loops, and other effects creating grounded backdrops of folk metal, punk attitudinal, and droning earthscapes - providing Shabara the perfect context to explore his whispering poetry and jagged, sharp-as-a-kris animistic powers.
There is simply no other sound like it and Sublime Frequencies is thrilled to present this new direction in their discography.
Senyawa – Sujud
Limited edition in lettterpress cover.
These blues in different scales & imagery are provided by Tori Kudo & his project Maher Shalal Hash Baz captured live on cassette at Hameau de la Brousse, on the 26 of June 2007 during their first tour in France.
Maher Shalal Hash Baz – bleus de la brousse
The second of the Machine Bass recording series, MB-S2-600/10 is a record in an edition of 1. 600 minutes long, it is split into 10 equal parts, 1 hour each. Each of these cassettes is one of those parts. The parts, without chronology, are identifiable only by the unique data rendered cover of each cassette.
Tom Wheatley – Machine Bass Series 2
No input noise from Taiwan.
"Activist and underground young pioneer from Taipei scene, Xu uses chaotic frequency manipulation and carefully textured post-apocalyptic soundscape. "Formless" includes his full live performance recording at Cafe OTO in 2016.""Born in 1997, Xu set out performing and producing harsh noise under the alias “Berserk” since 2015. Initially, he focused on playing rough feedback from handmade instruments and synthesizers before carrying on specializes in no-input effects. Influenced by Japanoise, Death Metal, Hardcore Punk, his live performance is known for highly intense physical energy and massive volume. In 2017, he turned to combining various equipments including no-input mixer and shortwave radio to session with Free Improvisation musicians and folk narrator. His works as Chia-Chun Xu emphasize more on the interaction between sounds, space, and the others. Besides working on his projects, he also runs his music label “MKUltra Productions”, promoting Taiwanese and worldwide noise and experimental musicians."
Semi-transparent pro-cassette and tape case, insert printed with special satin paper, limited to 133 copies.Side A recorded at Senko Issha Records, TaipeiSibe B recorded live at Cafe Oto, London, 2016.5.27No-input Electronics / Vocal / Recording / Mixing / Mastering: 徐嘉駿 Chia-Chun XuArtwork (Film destroying): Jesse TsengLayout: 若潭 ruò tán
Beserk – Formless
Machine Bass - Series 1The first of the Machine Bass recording series, MB-S1-900/45 is a record in an edition of 1. 900 minutes long, it is split into 45 equal parts, 20 minutes each. Each of these cassette is one of those parts. The parts, without chronology, are identifiable only by the unique data rendered cover of each cassette
Tom Wheatley – Machine Bass Series 1
"A classically trained Chinese bamboo flutist, Lao Dan picked up the saxophone again around 2013 as he went wildly astray in the world of avant-garde jazz and free improvisation. While demonstrating an ever-growing ability to deliver explosive force and intensity in his free playing, Lao Dan keeps a brutal honesty in his approach to the instrument. He plays ‘jazz’ as what it is, not what it’s supposed to be. Navigating constantly between the East and the West, Lao Dan embraces a unique aesthetics which fuses all his past influences into a voice of glorious mayhem and sheer zaniness.Recorded in June 2019, this is a solo set in which two instruments – tenor saxophone and Zheng, also known as the Chinese zither – were played successively and simultaneously by hands and feet. The recording was made in one go with no overdub or effect added. Lao Dan never learned to play the Zheng properly before this very first attempt. As a result, he didn’t struggle at all to play it in an awkward way, while with the saxophone he did, as always, try very hard to do that.The cover art, created by Shenzhen-based artist Tiemei, is a portrait of Shennong, the Deity of medicine and agriculture in ancient Chinese mythology. The three tracks in Chinese Medicine are named after three species of herb each believed to have unique medicinal properties. It is our responsibility to remind you to take them with extra caution. In Chinese medicine, after all, every drug is a thirty-percent poison."
Lao Dan – Chinese Medicine