Vinyl

أحمد [Ahmed] – the quartet of Pat Thomas, Antonin Gerbal, Joel Grip and Seymour Wright – make music of heavy rhythm, repetition and syncopation set deep into an understanding of jazz and the obscure depths of its history. Across the 2 LPs which make up ‘Super Majnoon [East Meets West] ’the group work and rework the music of the late musician Ahmed Abdul-Malik to create a stamping, swinging, relentlessly propulsive record where profundity and physicality root right back to ecstatic feeling.  Abdul-Malik was a NYC bassist, oudist, composer, educator and philosopher who fused aspects of American, Arabic and East African thought, ethics, meanings and beliefs in open and experimental ways to make vital, forward leaning jazz. [Ahmed] reimagine the notes of Malik as they push for new ground. Melodies respirate, swell, escalate and combust in a driving jazz which yes is technical, yes is accomplished, but ultimately just foot-to-the-floor swings.  ‘Super Majnoon [East Meets West]’ is a title fused from the leader of the Master Musicians of Jajouka Bechir Attar’s description of [Ahmed] after hearing them in Switzerland last year (Majnoon is the arabic slang for ‘crazy’), and Abdul-Malik’s 1959 album East Meets West. Arriving as a double LP, the first comprises studio recordings of [Ahmed] at Hong Kong’s Empty Gallery in 2018 and the second a scorched live recording at OTO from August 2018. The record features photos by Bert Glinnand Taku Unamiand ‘in and out’ liner notes by James G. Spady – historian and journalist from Philadelphia, the author of books on Marcus Garvey and the trilogy of groundbreaking books on hip hop (Nation Conscious Rap, Street Conscious Rap, The Global Cypha).  --- [Ahmed] are: PAT THOMAS / piano  ANTONIN GERBAL / drums  JOEL GRIP / bass  SEYMOUR WRIGHT / alto saxophone  --- LP 1 recorded by David Sum at Empty Gallery Hong, March 31, 2018. LP 2 recorded by Paul Skinner at Café OTO London, August 25, 2018. LP1 mixed by David Sum. LP 2 mixed by Pat Thomas. Mastered by James Dunn. Liner notes © James G. Spady. Cover photo © Burt Glinn/Magnum Photos. Design by Maja Larsson. Produced by John Hawthorn, Jens Löwius and Seymour Wright.

أحمد [Ahmed] – Super Majnoon [East Meets West]

Please note this is a ticket and 2LP order. You will receive your LP on the night of the launch (5th December)  https://www.cafeoto.co.uk/events/ahmed-lp-release-show/ أحمد [Ahmed] – the quartet of Pat Thomas, Antonin Gerbal, Joel Grip and Seymour Wright – make music of heavy rhythm, repetition and syncopation set deep into an understanding of jazz and the obscure depths of its history. Across the 2 LPs which make up ‘Super Majnoon [East Meets West] ’the group work and rework the music of the late musician Ahmed Abdul-Malik to create a stamping, swinging, relentlessly propulsive record where profundity and physicality root right back to ecstatic feeling.  Abdul-Malik was a NYC bassist, oudist, composer, educator and philosopher who fused aspects of American, Arabic and East African thought, ethics, meanings and beliefs in open and experimental ways to make vital, forward leaning jazz. [Ahmed] reimagine the notes of Malik as they push for new ground. Melodies respirate, swell, escalate and combust in a driving jazz which yes is technical, yes is accomplished, but ultimately just foot-to-the-floor swings.  ‘Super Majnoon [East Meets West]’ is a title fused from the leader of the Master Musicians of Jajouka Bechir Attar’s description of [Ahmed] after hearing them in Switzerland last year (Majnoon is the arabic slang for ‘crazy’), and Abdul-Malik’s 1959 album East Meets West. Arriving as a double LP, the first comprises studio recordings of [Ahmed] at Hong Kong’s Empty Gallery in 2018 and the second a scorched live recording at OTO from August 2018. The record features photos by Bert Glinnand Taku Unamiand ‘in and out’ liner notes by James G. Spady – historian and journalist from Philadelphia, the author of books on Marcus Garvey and the trilogy of groundbreaking books on hip hop (Nation Conscious Rap, Street Conscious Rap, The Global Cypha).  --- [Ahmed] are: PAT THOMAS / piano  ANTONIN GERBAL / drums  JOEL GRIP / bass  SEYMOUR WRIGHT / alto saxophone  --- LP 1 recorded by David Sum at Empty Gallery Hong, March 31, 2018. LP 2 recorded by Paul Skinner at Café OTO London, August 25, 2018. LP1 mixed by David Sum. LP 2 mixed by Pat Thomas. Mastered by James Dunn. Liner notes © James G. Spady. Cover photo © Burt Glinn/Magnum Photos. Design by Maja Larsson. Produced by John Hawthorn, Jens Löwius and Seymour Wright.  

أحمد [Ahmed] – Super Majnoon [East Meets West] [LP + Launch Ticket]

"Our music was born from the sounds of jazz, funk, soul, noise -- sounds with no other reason so exist, except because they did, sounds which occurred like putting one step in front of the other to see if the way was clear to take the next step. The plan was, there is no plan, just start at the beginning, end at the end and party like it's 1999" - Joe McPhee. Black Truffle invite you to an evening of drunken revelry in the Batcave! After a chance meeting at a local supermarket in Poughkeepsie, New York, Joe McPhee and Graham Lambkin have performed together as a duo extensively in recent years, in addition to their joint work excavating some of the wildest tapes from McPhee's archive for Lambkin's now defunct Kye label. Live in the Batcave documents an evening the two friends spent together in the company of Joe's brother Charlie and Lambkin's son Oliver in November 2017 at Charlie's house in Poughkeepsie. The LP captures seven increasingly drunken snapshots of the four shooting the breeze, playing flutes and whistles, drumming on anything at hand, and playing records. Edited together in Lambkin's distinctive style of lo-fi domestic tape collage, the multiple simultaneous cassette recordings of the shenanigans abruptly cut in and out and fall out of sync, creating disorientating, woozy echoes. Mics are bumped, stories are told, drinks are poured, text messages arrive, and AACM-esque flute jams are interrupted by violent bursts of laughter and wet-mouthed sound poetry. All the while, classic soul records play, initially in the background, but coming increasingly to the fore until the record culminates in a strangely moving free-associative singalong. Live in the Batcave is a truly unique document that exists somewhere between free jazz, audio verité, performance art, and everyday life. File next to your copy of Das Kümmerling Trio. Gatefold sleeve with extensive photographic documentation and liner notes from Joe McPhee. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin.

Joe McPhee / Charlie McPhee / Graham Lambkin / Oliver Lambkin – Live In The Batcave

Empty Editions presents Palina’tufa, the newest work from saxophonist Seymour Wright and percussionist Paul Abbott’s long-running duo XT. Wright and Abbot’s respective practices have been marked by a simultaneous engagement (with) and desire to challenge the limitations (of) the British tradition of improvised music - represented by groups such as AMM and John Stevens’ Spontaneous Music Ensemble. This album charts a new trajectory for Wright and Abbott, as they draw on recent live collaborations with RP Boo and Container in developing a sound which hybridizes the spontaneous interplay and timbral experimentation of free improvisation with the recursive formal structures of dance music. The album’s title is an enigmatic portmanteau of “Palina” (taken from the name of a species of butterfly sighted by the duo during recording) combined with the word “Tufa” -- a type of rock composed of ash ejected from a vent during a volcanic eruption; the bedrock of the island of Hong Kong. Compellingly, the green sheen of the Palinurus butterfly is not produced by pigments, but emanates from the microstructure of it’s wing scales. Similarly, XT’s Palina’tufa contains a brilliant internal logic of stacked component parts all amalgamated into a singularly iridescent instrumental structure. Recorded during a two week studio residency in Hong Kong, Palina’tufa departs from XT’s previous albums - primarily documentations of live performances - in its embrace of the recording studio as a form of instrumentation: a tool to sculpt, overdub and (re)assemble their chimeric sounds. The result is a striking cybernetic version of the classic sax-and-drums duo pioneered by legendary groupings such as John Coltrane and Rashied Ali, Evan Parker & Paul Lytton, and Jimmy Lyons & Andrew Cyrille. Palina’tufa turns the implied (and frankly, somewhat tired) tropes of this form on its head, pushing restlessly forward into the domain of a synthetic post-genre music. Wright's unconventional use of feedback and Abbott's heavily deconstructed electro-dance textures expand upon this simulated space, unfurling their instrumentation into an authentically liberated territory. Across four dynamic fifteen minute cuts, the duo craft an esoteric response to the real (and imagined) landscape(s) of Hong Kong. Interpreting their experience of the island as a kind of extended metaphor, Palina’tufa translates chance encounters, pockets of cultural history, vernacular architecture, and local wildlife (among other phenomena) into organizing principles for the creation of speculative music. Palina’tufa is a brilliant showcase of Wright and Abbott’s composite sound: naturally synergistic, with careful attention paid to how psychogeographical experience is transposed into the deeply considered interplay of their respective instruments. A stunning listen, the album’s various movements respond to scenes in proximity to the Tin Wan (Aberdeen) area: the past/future poise of Permanent Cemetery; the human densities of Duck Tongue Island; the black garlic/gypsum of Empty Gallery itself. Palina’tufa expands on this emerging style of electronically mediated improvised music by further compartmentalizing their playing through a series of concepts, limits, and methods to organize their materials into distinct classifications. This approach creates an album architecture, a time/space organized into “Stacks” (recalling vertical cylinders, tubes, pipes, columns), “Orbits” (recalling Chinese folk music, weather systems, paths travelling upward), and “Angles of Incidence,” (a concept inspired by Pere Portabella and Cecil Taylor) that responds to the social, physical, and temporal forces of a city. Loosely, these structures spatially reorganize the “time” in their playing, reversing, eliding, truncating, and magnifying content. This technique recalls everything from Anthony Braxton’s diagrammatic lines, colours, and figures that encode structural and vibrational elements of sound, through the pentatonic scale of Chinese folk music that was integrated into a symbolic matrix referencing the movements of the seasons, planets, and body-politic, to Alejo Carpentier’s search for a musical origin in fiction.

XT – Palina'tufa

"Originally released in 1983 on the Japanese VAP label, ‘East Plants’ is an essential album in the J Jazz canon. It’s an album that distils several key characteristics of Moriyama’s music: clearly articulated and inventive rhythms, open yet orderly arrangements, and an accessible groove balanced with a graceful control.‘East Plants’ features no piano, just percussion, bass and reeds. From the luxurious raga-like build of the album’s hypnotic title track and the fierce post-bop workout of ‘Fields’, to the stately modal track ‘Kaze’ ( as featured on the sell-out BBE compilation, ‘J Jazz: Deep Modern Jazz From Japan 1968-1984’), the album was, until now, a rarely acknowledged masterpiece. ‘East Plants’ shows Moriyama’s quintet at their most transcendent: delicate layers of percussion by Yoji Sadanari, a warm and pliant bass from Hideki Mochizuki, with colour and texture provided by the eloquent reed work of Shuichi Enomoto and Toshiko Inoue. And, overseeing it all, Moriyama’s discreet yet commanding drumming. A genuine ‘under the radar’ album known only to a handful of Japanese jazz collectors, ‘East Plants’ is now available once more, reissued for the first time as a double 180g LP, with exact reproductions of the original artwork, obi strip and insert. It also comes with the original notes fully translated.'The BBE J Jazz Masterclass Series is curated by Tony Higgins and Mike Peden and is dedicated to presenting the very finest in Japanese jazz. The series will feature rare, long-lost and unreleased material presented in the highest quality reproductions of the original releases, fully licensed and authorised."

Takeo Moriyama – East Plants

Paradigm Discs present a reissue of Amnon Raviv‘s Mirror, originally released in Israel in 1983 and only available in a handmade edition of just 50 copies. As such, this edition is the first widely available issue of this LP, giving it a chance to reach an audience beyond the 50 hardened collectors who got to hear this strange experimental record back in the ’80s. There’s nothing else quite like it from that era, let alone from Israel, although it does have some parallels with earlier avant-garde/outsider music from the US and Europe. It may well be the strangest, as well as one of the most obscure records to come out of Israel. The instruments used are flamenco and acoustic guitar, flute, violin and sax. Some of the playing is free form and some is complex notation, but all the tracks contain collages of effects and noisy field recordings which often dominate the picture — bubbling water, a chicken farm, feedback, transistor radio, metal percussion, vacuum cleaner, etc. There are some comparisons to be made with Anal Magic and Rev Dwight Frizzell‘s Beyond The Black Crack from 1976, also reissued on Paradigm (PD 006CD/LP). Mirror has a similar wild and fried atmosphere sitting amidst the open sonic spaces, coupled with some skilled instrumental playing. A notable difference with the Frizzell album is that Frizell’s pieces are always titled — the six pieces here are all untitled. Amnon Raviv is still active as a musician, but he also holds a PhD in medical clowning and his main work these days is as a medical clown, incorporating smiles and laughter as a therapy to help recovering patients on Tel Aviv’s cancer wards. This edition comes with new artwork showing Raviv working as a performance artist on the streets of Amsterdam in 1984. Includes 12×12″ insert which replicates the original artwork from one of the 50 unique sleeves and contains liner notes by the artist that give insights into the concept behind this album; edition of 500 (numbered).

Amnon Raviv – Mirror

Delighted to see this Cafe OTO recording get a vinyl pressing. 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. Published by Vlek in Belgium. "Sometimes, precarious habitations - those places of freedom stolen from their abandonment and which are less and less commonplace - make you understand more and more the extent to which a growing world can seem more and more unequivocally to be in some of the last inhabited places on earth. Dreams and explorations of worlds, renewed fantasies, air bubbles, washed up beings and the most tenacious music lovers have drawn from the past and demonstrated that the diversity of sound instruments created by man doesn’t go back to the space age, even though everything has accelerated since. Thomas Bloch and his crystal organ or, in this case, Julie Normal and her Ondes Martenot have appeared, from Tokyo to Brussels, on stages usually reserved exclusively for rock’n’roll and its heirs. The audience, always hungry for the bizarre, took the bait. By pure coincidence, both characters are originally from Alsace, and Julie Normal has now shacked up in Rome where she is one of the French escapees who have taken it upon themselves to breathe new life into this eternally charged city which, if it’s not in flames as I write these lines, is nevertheless infested with trash cans and tourists. Her partner in Accident du travail, whom we know from the undeniably charming Parisian garage outfit Cheveu, is half of the Heimat duo alongside the wonderful Armelle Oberle, the manifest connection of the Triple Alliance de l’Est that spawned the most highly regarded rock/garage out of France from the last twenty years. Through the act of travelling, the feeling of going around in circles, and certainly of being fed up with “playing music while Rome burns”, the mastery of this “classical” instrument which opens doors to unknown territories, the Ondes Martenot, like the theremin before the Beach Boys in Man or… Astro Man made their entrance with the mandatory delay, in squats from Strasbourg to Rome, and also Brussels. It’s not only garage rock and no-wave. This music now holds its place next to garage post-punk disco, despite its static appearance and perhaps thanks to its slowness and the introspective quality of an equivalent nature for those who also wish to accept the invitation to introspection offered by said music.Vlek, coming from a different background, that of electronic music stricto sensu, continues its exploration beyond the established binary paths and henceforth starts on the road taken by this arrhythmic music with a mini live album by Accident du Travail, recorded during a concert at the mythical Cafe OTO in London. Opening the album are very strong tracks, which are at once the most essential. Ouverture All’Inglese, a definite wink at a different song, the beautiful Merluzo. With La Boule, the group revisits a song previously released so one can get a better sense of their roots, descended from rock, such as the passage through Krautrock bands in the Kosmisches Musik vein (Klaus Schultze, Cluster) - subaquatic, exploratory music. With La Reine we take off towards the noisiest patches that approach us with the clearest of drones upon which the calm and luminous keys of the Martenot are scattered about. It’s perhaps the most nervous song, considering the live setting  to which the Londoners’ applause bear witness. After these peaks we are brought down towards something more terrestrial through Lycaon, with playful percussive sounds brought to the fore and which completely contrast the melodic and almost narrative virtuosity of the ondes in the background. Encore loops the loop, with the live sound coming from a tone of a blocked synth, peppering notes from a melodica or an accordion and once more, taking a trip on the Martenot towards celestial zones; a layered construction, a return to the outset of the trip which started at the beginning of this record and which we soon wish to repeat. To be played on all good turntables.

Accident du Travail – Live at Cafe OTO

GUO - a multidisciplinary duo formed of Daniel Blumberg and Seymour Wright - collaborate with Crystabel Riley (drums), Fran Edgerley [Assemble] (text) and Peter Strickland (film). GUO - a multidisciplinary duo formed of Daniel Blumberg and Seymour Wright - announce GUO4, a new release on Mute available on vinyl and digitally on 20 September 2019. On GUO4, their first release for Mute and the latest in an ongoing series, the pair have collaborated with Crystabel Riley (drums), Fran Edgerley [Assemble] (text) and Peter Strickland (film). Peter Strickland's film has just been announced to premiere at the 76th Venice Film Festival on 6 September. Watch a teaser for the film - a confrontation between two swimmers in a locker room - here: https://youtu.be/f031c56f_5E Strickland explains, “The framing of traditionally macho scenarios in a homoerotic context takes its cues from the covert porn of Bob Mizer. The combination of muscle and beat-up lockers somehow evoked the music in my mind.” The name ‘GUO’ itself is ancient Chinese for a metal vessel, or cooking pot, and the resulting work layers alto saxophone, electric guitar, feedback and metal distortion alongside the distinctly-voiced 'ekphrasis' response from a range of collaborators operating across different mediums. The album was mixed by Marta Salogni. It also features original etchings by GUO and stills from the film. Previous releases have included ekphrasis by the English musician, author and professor, David Toop (GUO1) and the American filmmaker (Childhood of a Leader & VOX LUX) Brady Corbet (GUO2).

Guo – GUO 4

“a notea voice, screamsa batterysounds, grating noise, scratcheshere it startsMusic, musicYou who shudderWho makes you dance, singWho moves the buttand now begins Humming Dogs” - Florence Decourcelle, Humming DogsAn absolute pleasure to present ‘Les Borigènes’ - the first LP from France’s Humming Dogs. Born from the radical ‘Oiseau Mouche’ (Bird-Fly Company) - a troupe of actors and comedians who focus on the theatre of gesture - Humming Dogs make joyful, avant rock music, which pooh poohs the po-faced in favour of a party.Humming Dogs are made up of eight members - David Bausseron, Mathieu Breuvard, Florence Decourcelle, Thierry Dupont, Chantal Esso, Léa Le Bars, Florian Spiry, and Valérie Waroquier, who each write and create songs, swap instruments and sing collectively. Guitars, bass, drum kit, and keyboards mix with toy percussion, amplified pine cones, pot lids, iPads, a zither and an arsenal of effects. ‘Ha Ha Ha’ opens the record with the group dispersed and growling at one another, only to break out in infectious laughter, a free word riot and a thick bass melody. The traditional French song, ‘Karnaval’, gets totally sent by keyboards and a slung low guitar scrawl, egged on by the bands hooting and hollering. ‘Ça Me Gratte’ haunts and grates until it splits with a rising synthesizer and squeaking Bonios. The spitting, itching, near exhausted vocals from Chantel Esso are unlike much else we've heard.‘Les Borigènes’ contains the self taught, simple charm of the Shaggs ‘Philosophy of the World’, performed in the spirit of village revelry and recorded and edited beautifully in the tradition of the GRM. Democratized experimentation, low ego rock’n’roll - Les Borigènes is a truly joyous, remarkable and wild record. It arrives in an edition of 500 140g black vinyl LPs, with artwork from London’s Submit to Love Studios and Taylor Silk.Humming Dogs have performed at Sonic Protest, Cafe OTO, and Counterflows and are due to tour again in 2020. 

Humming Dogs – Les Borigènes

'Patty Waters is a visionary avant-garde vocalist and composer, best known for her groundbreaking 1960s recordings for the legendary free jazz label ESP-Disk. Captivated by the music of Billie Holiday, she sang with Bill Evans, Charlie Mingus, Chick Corea, and Herbie Hancock before coming to the attention of Albert Ayler, who introduced her to ESP-Disk’s Bernard Stollman. The rest is history. Recorded with pianist Burton Greene, Waters’ haunting 1966 debut Sings juxtaposes a side of hushed self-composed jazz ballad miniatures with an iconoclastic take on the standard “Black Is the Color of My True Love’s Hair.” Sharing Ayler’s affinity for the deconstruction of folk idioms, Waters dismantles the tune through a series of anguished wails, moans, whispers, and screams that cemented her reputation as a vocal innovator, predating the extended techniques of Yoko Ono, Joan La Barbara, and Linda Sharrock, and cited as a direct influence to Diamanda Galás and Patti Smith’s own freeform vocal excursions. The mythic side-long exposition stands as one of the 20th century’s most harrowing expressions of madness and grief, its incantatory mutilation of the word “black” into a full-spectrum monochrome resounding with a particular potency at a time when battles for civil rights were erupting across the country. After recording a second ESP-Disk album Waters disappeared from the music scene, moving from New York to California to raise her son. It wasn’t until 1996 that she returned with a new recording of jazz standards associated with Billie Holiday and began performing sporadically. Her Blank Forms concert—with original pianist Burton Greene as well as bassist Mario Pavone and percussionist Barry Altschul, both veterans of Paul Bley’s ensembles—was Waters’ first New York appearance since 2003. Dedicated to Cecil Taylor, who had passed away moments before she took the stage, Patty Waters Live preserves the mournful tension that was in the air that night. Her first new release on vinyl since 1966’s College Tour, the record divides the session in the spirit of her debut. Side A features a set of desolate ballads, including Waters’ own classic “Moon, Don’t Come Up Tonight,” while the B-side puts into stark relief the fact that the fight for civil rights that Waters invoked over 50 years ago is far from over. Beginning with her rendition of “Strange Fruit,” a 1937 song written in protest of black lynching and American racism, the suite’s form-bending contortions also features the second-ever recording of Waters’ original, exceptional lyrical take on Ornette Coleman’s “Lonely Woman.” Equally adept at channeling the heartbroken intimacy of Lady Day and the catharsis of The New Thing, on April 5th, 2018 Waters proved that she has lost none of her fire, remaining one of the greatest living jazz singers.' - Blankforms

Patty Waters – Live

"It's been nearly five decades since Joe McPhee assembled a group of musicians to perform the weekend concerts that would become Nation Time. It was December 1970, thirty-one-year-old McPhee was inspired by Amiri Baraka's poem 'It's Nation Time,' and the students at Vassar College didn't know what hit them. 'What time is it?' shouted the bandleader. 'C'mon, you can do better than that. What time is it?!' "The music on Nation Time came out of the fertile, but little-known creative jazz scene in Poughkeepsie, New York, McPhee's home base. Two bands were deployed, one with a funky free foundation featuring guitar and organ, the other consisting of a more standard jazz formation with two drummers and the brilliant Mike Kull at the piano. Across the concert and the next afternoon's audience-less recording session, the band was ignited by McPhee's passion and his gorgeous post-Coltrane / post-Pharoah tenor. On 'Shakey Jake,' they hit a James Brown groove filtered through Archie Shepp, while the sidelong title track is as searching and poignant today as it was during its heyday. "Originally released in 1971 on CjR, an imprint started expressly to document McPhee's music, Nation Time has a sense of urgency and inspiration. Additional material from those December days would later appear on Black Magic Man, Hat Hut's first release. In fact, the first four records on this seminal Swiss label all featured McPhee. "Nation Time was largely unknown a quarter century or so later, when it was first issued on CD through Atavistic's Unheard Music Series. On Corbett vs. Dempsey, we reissued the album along with all known tapes leading up to and around it as a deluxe box set, but the standalone LP has long remained incredibly rare. Now is the time for a new generation of freaks to lose their shit when settling into the cushy beat of 'Shakey Jake' and answer McPhee's call with the only appropriate response: It's NATION TIME." – John Corbett

Joe McPhee – Nation Time