Vinyl

Keiji Haino, one of the foremost exponents of the Japanese avant-garde, always provides a masterclass in constantly shifting improvisation. John Butcher is a saxophonist of rare grace and power, who has expanded the vocabulary of the saxophone far beyond the conventions of jazz and other musics, to encompass a staggering range of multiphonics, overtones, percussive sounds, and electronic feedback. Haino and Butcher met when Butcher opened for Fushitsusha at the show Cafe OTO arranged at St. John, Hackney - 5 years ago. In 2016 they were invited to play two duo concerts – at The Empty Gallery in Hong Kong and at Cafe OTO in London. Otoroku is proud to present the audio documentation of their first UK meeting. Recorded live at Cafe OTO in July 2016 the results are an uncompromising milieu of swirling sound played out as a total union of these two legendary performers.  Haino’s blues drenched guitar entices skittering notes from Butcher’s sax playing as numerous sonic clues unravel over the course of of this unique and compelling journey. Light Never Bright Enough comes in a limited edition of 500 LPs and 500 CDs with matt sleeves and japanese removable obi-strip. --- Keiji Haino / vocal, guitar, flutes   John Butcher / saxophones and feedback --- Recorded live at Cafe OTO on the 9th July 2016 by Luca Consonni. Mixed by John Butcher. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi. Photography and design by ORGAN. 

HAINO KEIJI / JOHN BUTCHER - LIGHT NEVER BRIGHT ENOUGH

Fresh output from John Chantler's 1703 Skivbolaget - the new duo from two masters of very different string instruments. ‘The Air Around Her’ beguiled its audience when recorded live in a bakery at Edition Festival in 2016, and carries beautifully through to this release. Microtonal timbres meet gnarled defiance - the result is surprisingly symbiotic. Ellen Fullman’s Long String Instrument has been a long-term life-work of incredible ambition and dedication. The result is immediate, exciting and inspirational. Okkyung Lee has completed rewritten the possibilities for the cello in solo and group improvisation whilst maintaining a steadfast defiance to the many attempts to contain her work within pre-defined genres. ‘The Air Around Her’ was recorded on 20 February 2016 during the First Edition Festival for Other Music in Stockholm, Sweden at Kronobageriet — the former bakery to Swedish Royalty that dates back to the 17th Century and is now the site of the city’s Performing Arts Museum. The Edition Festival was given access to the space while renovations took place and Fullman allowed the requisite time to install and tune her long string instrument along the full 26 metre length of the room. --- Music by Ellen Fullman and Okkyung Lee. Recorded during the First Edition Festival for Other Music, Stockholm on 20th February 2016. Concert producer: John Chantler. Recording Engineer: Maria W Horn. Mixed by Ellen Fullman and Thomas Dimuzio. Mastered by Andreas [LUPO] Lubich at Calyx, Berlin. Artwork by Bill Nace. Made possible in part by a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists (2015). The title, "The Air Around Her" is a quote from "Vermeer Interiors" a poem by Margaret Rabb, from her book, "Granite Dives". This release has been supported by the Swedish Arts Council. © 2018 Ellen Fullman (BMI) / Okkyung Lee (ASCAP) Released by 1703 Skivbolaget in cooperation with Ideell Edition

Ellen Fullman & Okkyung Lee - The Air Around Her

Before the spectral, romantic electric guitar miniatures for which he is celebrated today, Loren Connors recorded a string of nine solo acoustic guitar improvisations under the name of Loren Mazzacane between 1979 and 1980. The records feature Loren’s contorted impressions of Delta and country blues, persistently kneaded into sidelong guitar excursions entangled with wordless, mournful vocal utterances, hummed and moaned in imitation of the dogs that often howled outside his window. Originally released on Loren’s own Daggett Records—named after the street he lived on in New Haven, Connecticut—these LPs slipped into obscurity after Daggett’s distributor went bankrupt, forcing the guitarist, who didn’t have a car, to dispose of their unsold stock rather than drag the records home without transportation. Now, thanks to a recording found by Tommy McCutchon of Unseen Worlds, Blank Forms presents the tenth volume of the series. Recorded in Woodstock, New York in front of a live audience at the Creative Music Studio (the improvised music nonprofit founded by Karl Berger, Ornette Coleman, and Ingrid Sertso), Unaccompanied Acoustic Guitar Improvisations Vol. 10 provides a welcome addition to the canon of Loren’s early solo releases and is the first contemporary vinyl publication of material from his Daggett Street period. As with the original Daggett records, the LP is issued in handmade covers with paste-on art featuring a replica of a recent drawing included in Loren’s October 2018 art exhibition Wildweeds, presented by Blank Forms. One of the world’s most singular guitarists, Loren Connors is among few living musicians whose prolific body of work can be said to be wholly justified in its plenitude. On more than 100 records across almost four decades on labels like Table of the Elements, Drag City, Ecstatic Yod, and his own Daggett Records, Connors has wrung distinct shades of ephemeral blues from his guitar, its sound ever-shifting while remaining unmistakably his own. From his early, splintered take on the Delta bottleneck style through his song-based albums with Suzanne Langille and on to the painterly abstraction that defines his current work, Connors has earned the admiration of many, leading to collaborations with the likes of John Fahey, Jim O’Rourke, Keiji Haino, Kim Gordon, Thurston Moore, Alan Licht, and Jandek.

Loren Connors – Unaccompanied Acoustic Guitar Improvisations Vol. 10 LP

The recordings of Gaelic Psalm singing presented in Salm: Gaelic Psalms from the Hebrides of Scotland are among the best ever captured. They document a living tradition, a form of religious singing from the Hebrides in Scotland, which is still practiced in Lewis. In Gaelic psalm singing, a precentor leads, and from here voices follow, moving together in great swells like the murmurations of birds. These recordings of Gaelic Psalm singing were originally made over two evenings in the Back Free Church on the Isle of Lewis in October 2003. The singing was spontaneous and totally unrehearsed. The recordings are now presented on vinyl for the first time by Arc Light Editions. This is music that is transcendent and together, about the individual and the earth, movingly spiritual with or without belief. The sound comes in great waves, swells of sound that break and roll around the space. The texture relies on the individuals: this is group singing where the individual is preserved, elevated, but together. A precentor leads off with the first lines of a psalm, and the congregation follows, some faster than others, and each one remains discernible. In his notes to the original release, Calum Martin writes that the form, called precenting (where one person puts out the line and the congregation responds) while not exclusive to Gaelic free church traditions, is in Lewis particularly influenced by the pibroch style of free ornamentation. It's through this, he says, that the distinctive emotional swell of sound emerges. The sound relies on the congregation's individual responses to the melody and the individual precentor's leading. The musical term is free heterophony. Arc Light Editions has worked directly with DR Macdonald at the Bethesda Hospice and Calum Martin on this release. A portion of the profits from this release go directly to Bethesda Hospice, in accordance with the original release. Comes in a kraftliner sleeve printed in white litho; Artwork by Jennifer Lucy Allan.

Salm: Gaelic Psalms from the Hebrides of Scotland, Volume One

out of stock

Dedicated to the memory of Tony Marsh The recordings on this double LP are taken from the first night of Roscoe Mitchell's inaugural two day residency at Cafe OTO in 2012 and his first time playing with drummer Tony Marsh and double bassist John Edwards. It was one of those nights where the music electrifies the room. Everyone on edge. Everything alive with the possibilities. Although there was much talk after the concert of the group playing together again this would sadly be the first and last time the trio would play. Tony passed away unexpectedly just a few weeks later making this his last documented performance and a fitting tribute to a truly great drummer and percussionist. Roscoe Mitchell is one of the most important saxophonists and composers of the 20th Century. Active since the 1960s as a bandleader, mentor, collaborator and teacher. Mitchell was a founding member of Chicago's Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) and the legendary Art Ensemble of Chicago. He has been a pivotal figure in the collective re-imagining of what is possible in jazz, improvisation and beyond combining an instantly recognisable sound on the saxophone with staggering technique (check the lengthy stretch of sustained circular breathing on SIDE C) and an arresting, fractured melodic sensibility. On this date he quickly realised he was in the company of two musicians who could match his vision and create music that is more than the sum of its parts. John Edwards is a vital presence in London's creative music community. A true virtuoso, his staggering range of techniques and boundless musical imagination have redefined the possibility of the double bass and dramatically expanded its role. No one else played or plays drums like Tony Marsh. Richard Williams had previously described Tony's "marvelous ability to erase the boundary between time and no-time" and here, on the jerry-rigged suspended percussion set-up he'd developed (no kick or hi-hats) he opens up a beautifully resonant space, quietly directing the pulse whilst allowing you to fully hear the upper-register harmonic detail and flickering pizzicato of John Edward's bass. You'd be hard pressed to hear anything in the playing that would hint at his shock passing only a month later.
 "Listen closely, take a chance, keep going even if money's tight, and you'll find the real reward – that's why Tony was hip in the most meaningful sense … And he didn't need to play loud, or be loud, to get that intensity. It's like splitting diamonds or something. If you know exactly the right place to make the impact, you don't need to hit anything hard." - Evan Parker 

 (Quoted in John Fordham's Obituary for Marsh)

Roscoe Mitchell / Tony Marsh / John Edwards - Improvisations

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

"Japanese bluesman Kan Mikami is nothing less than an unalloyed force of nature. A skin-shredding blast of frozen wind from the poor, rural north of Japan that he calls home. In the late 1960s, like thousands of other Japanese young people Mikami made his way to Tokyo in search of a life different from that of his parents. Since then he has forcefully carved out a space for himself in the culture as a modernist poet, a raging folk singer, an author, a actor, an engaging TV personality, and one of Japan’s most uniquely powerful performers. For most of Mikami’s career as a singer, he has performed solo. Just him and his electric guitar against the world, creating jagged A-minor vamps to drive along the surreal wisdom of his lyrics. But he’s equally at home in more demanding improvisational contexts such as those provided here by John Edwards on bass and Alex Neilson on drums. Their dense propulsive textures seem to spur on Mikami, his voice arcing powerfully into fragmented spaces, his guitar darting, colliding, shedding jagged and angular splinters of sound. A pulsing, raging maelstrom of serrated-edged energy. Gruff, rough, honest and very, very real." - Alan Cummings --- Kan Mikami / vocals, guitar John Edwards / bass Alex Neilson / percussion --- Recorded live at Cafe OTO on 3rd April 2013 by James Dunn. Mixed by John Chantler. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi

Kan Mikami / John Edwards / Alex Neilson - Live at Cafe OTO