Vinyl

"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

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

Joe McPhee: B-flat and E-flat alto clarinet, Roland MC202 Micro Composer synthesizer Bryan Eubanks: Open-circuit electronics (sinetones) What constitutes an unidentified sighting, the rarely heard ‘alien’ clarinet playing of Joe McPhee and the ineffable electronics of McPhee and Bryan Eubanks? Penultimate Press is extremely proud to produce My Undocumented Alien Clarinet: a strange sensual addition to the ever inquisitive McPhee canon. My Undocumented Alien Clarinet is a beguiling document of a performance held at Alternative Books, Kingston, NY, Sunday, August 6, 2006 under the auspices of the Pauline Oliveros Foundation’s New Vanguard Series. My Undocumented Alien Clarinet captures a unique intimate improvisation exploring the outer reaches of the form. Joe McPhee, (b.1939 USA) is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, improviser, conceptualist and theoretician. He has collaborated with Pauline Oliveros, Graham Lambkin, Peter Brotzmann, Evan Parker, Raymond Boni among many others. With a career spanning nearly 50 years and over 100 recordings, he continues to tour internationally, forge new connections and reach for music’s outer limits. .. His magical take on avant-garde sax remains one of the wonders of the scene. He still has one of the most beautiful tones on the planet, even when he’s reaching for jazz’s outer limits.” – Time Out NY Bryan Eubanks (b. 1977, USA) is a musician composing electronic and acoustic works for small ensembles, solo instruments, and custom generative software; improvising in collaboration; and working with acoustic holography, a stereophonic recording and diffusion technique. Artwork by Jerry Starpoli Liner notes by Joe McPhee In memory of Jerry Starpoli  

Joe McPhee and Bryan Eubanks – My Undocumented Alien Clarinet LP

This classic minimal music album is now available again on vinyl for the first time since the 70s.Primed with a glass of cognac Charlemagne Palestine sits at the keyboard of a Bösendorfer Imperial grand piano. One foot firmly holds down the sustain pedal while both hands perform an insistent strum-like alternation on the keys. Soon Palestine and his Bösendorfer are enveloped in sound and bathed in a shimmering haze of multi-coloured overtones. For 45 minutes this rich pulsating music swells and intensifies, filling the air.When Strumming Music first appeared on the adventurous French label Shandar during the mid-1970s, it seemed a straightforward matter to place Charlemagne Palestine in the so-called Minimalist company of La Monte Young, Terry Riley, Steve Reich and Philip Glass, whose work also featured in the Shandar catalogue. Palestine too used a deliberately restricted range of materials and a repetitive technique, but as he has often pointed out in more recent times the opulent fullness of his music would more accurately be described as Maximalist.Strumming Music, recorded in Palestine’s own loft in Manhattan, has no written score. In an age of recorded sound he still feels no need for traditional notation. The surging energy of this particular recording stands comparison with the improvising of jazz visionaries who impressed and inspired him while living in New York, as a young man. But, as Palestine himself has made clear, primarily he brings to music-making the sensibility of an artist rather than a musician.Although the technique of the piece has roots in Palestine’s daily practice, when a teenager, of playing the carillon at a church, hammering sonorous chimes from a rack of tuned bells, it also draws on his later work as a body artist, staging vigorously muscular, physically demanding and often reckless performances. In addition, Strumming Music can be heard as a sculptural tour de force, while its textures connect with the colour moods, plastic rhythms and tactile space of Mark Rothko’s Abstract Expressionist canvases.At the time when Philip Glass, Steve Reich and Terry Riley were becoming well-respected and widely heard composers, welcomed in concert halls and opera houses around the world, Charlemagne Palestine actually stopped making music altogether. He relocated to Europe and devoted his creative energies to the making of stuffed animal sculptures including the mighty God Bear, three-headed and six metres high. His involvement with music was revived and renewed during the 1990s, when younger generations of musicians and listeners, attuned to immersive noise and sensual sounds, were rediscovering Strumming Music and recognising that Palestine had blazed an idiosyncratic trail into their emerging world.Since then he has returned enthusiastically to musical performance and his formerly meagre discography has steadily grown. Still Strumming Music remains the essential index of Palestine’s singular creative vision. Fundamentally this fascinating piece is a collaboration between an artist and an instrument. Palestine had first encountered the Bösendorfer Imperial back in 1969. He had already been playing church organs for several years, relishing their power and presence. Now he had found a piano that satisfied his need for sonic depth and weight.  “The Bösendorfer at its best is a very noisy, thick molasses piano,” he has remarked. Charlemagne Palestine embraced its clinging sonorousness, its clangorous resonance and out of that embrace came the voluptuous sonic fabric of Strumming Music.“My rhythms are sexual, not machine-like.” Charlemagne Palestine, in 2013.TracklistA Strumming Music part I 26:05B Strumming Music part II 26:05Notes° Insert with liner notes by Julian Cowley° Comes with download code° Lacquer cut by Rashad Becker° Lay-out by Jeroen Wille° Re-mastered by Equus° Licensed from FGL Productions° Edition of 1000 copies

Charlemagne Palestine - Strumming Music LP

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

"Remastered double LP with 12 page booklet including liner notes by Tim Lawrence, Ernie Brooks and Arthur Russell. All material previously released on the Audika CD compilation First Thought Best Thought (2006). Before disco, and before the transcendent echoes, Arthur wanted to be a composer. His journey began in 1972, leaving home in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Heading west to Northern California, Arthur studied Indian classical composition at the Ali Akbar Khan College of Music followed by western orchestral music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, before ending two years later in New York at the Manhattan School of Music. Traversing the popular and the serious, Arthur composed Instrumentals in 1974, inspired by the photography of his Buddhist teacher, Yuko Nonomura, as Arthur described, 'I was awakened, or re-awakened to the bright-sound and magical qualities of the bubblegum and easy-listening currents in American popular music.' Initially intended to be performed in one 48 hour cycle, Instrumentals was in fact only performed in excerpts a handful of times as a work in progress. The legendary performances captured live in New York at The Kitchen (1975 and 1978) and Franklin St. Arts Center (1977) feature the cream of that eras downtown new music scene including Ernie Brooks, Rhys Chatham, Julius Eastman, Jon Gibson, Peter Gordon, Garrett List, Andy Paley, Bill Ruyle, Dave Van Tieghem, and Peter Zummo. Pitchfork lauded Instrumentals Vol. 1 as a masterpiece and one of Arthur's 'greatest achievements'. Americana touching on Copeland, Ives, and maybe even Brian Wilson. Instrumentals Vol. 2 is a moving, deeply pastoral work performed by the CETA Orchestra and conducted by Julius Eastman. Also included are two of Arthur's most elusive compositions, 'Reach One', and 'Sketch For Face Of Helen'. Recorded live in 1975 at Phill Niblock's Experimental Intermedia Foundation, 'Reach One' is a minimal, hypnotic ambient soundscape written and performed for two Fender Rhodes pianos. 'Sketch For Face Of Helen' was inspired by Arthur's work with friend and composer Arnold Dreyblatt, recorded with an electronic tone generator, keyboard and ambient recordings of a rumbling tugboat from the Hudson River. For this remastered vinyl edition, a key part of Arthur's musical life has been restored. The sparkling, multidimensional results take the listener closer to Arthur's coast-to-coast journey: his iconoclastic determination to combine pop and art music; and his desire to make music that would resonate in the present and, ultimately, across time."

ARTHUR RUSSELL - Instrumentals 2LP

Born in Bolgatanga in rural Ghana, King Ayisoba was a prodigy on the kologo, playing locally until he’d outgrown the possibilities of the area. Moving to Accra, the country’s biggest city, he eventually released the song “I Want To See You, My Father.” There was nothing modern about it. No hiplife rap, no electronic beats. But somehow it conquered the country and brought the tradition firmly into the mainstream. “It was Song of the Year and Traditional Song of the Year,” says album producer Zea. “He also had a song called “Modern Ghanaians” that said we shouldn’t forget the tradition. Instead we should use it to fight modern problems.” With that mantra, King Ayisoba became the unlikeliest star. His music was a strong weapon for Ghana’s traditions. What he wanted, though, was to play with a band, to bring what he called the “man-power” to give the full drive to his sound. On the album Wicked Leaders, with Zea producing, that’s exactly what he did.After that Ayisoba toured Europe together with Zea, opening up solo, providing guitar, vocals and live electronics on stage, and Francis Ayagama joined King Ayisoba’s band on djembe and bemne drums Alone or with beats, ultimately the power that propels 1000 Can Die comes from the band itself, from the sense of history that forms every piece of music. It’s there in every musician. They all go home and farm. They’re connected to the land, and the songs are part of the harvest they bring from the fields and from their own families.“Ayisoba’s grandfather played the kologo,” Zea says. “But only in the house. He was a healer, a shaman. People would come and tell him their problems. He’d make a connection with the spirits, then play and start singing, and his stories would include solutions.” On 1000 Can Die, King Ayisoba is digging a new future from Ghana’s soil.

King Ayisoba - 1000 Can Die LP

Peter Brötzmann: tenor saxophone; Fred Van Hove: piano; Han Bennink: drums, voice; Albert Mangelsdorff: trombone. Recorded during the Free Music Market, August 27 and 28, 1971, in Berlin. Designed by Peter Brötzmann. Part of the legendary "Berlin Trilogy" originally released by FMP in 1971 (FMP 0040). 180-gram vinyl. One-time pressing of 500. First standalone reissue."Brötzmann's regular trio was joined by the trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff, one of the most respected German jazz musicians, who has managed to keep abreast of musical developments for more than a decade. Those who remember him only for those fine early-sixties albums (like Tension, on German CBS) will be in for a shock, because he's updated his playing all the way. On 'Couscouss De La Mauresque', for instance, his tonal distortions rival those of Paul Rutherford, as he backs Brötzmann's wailing with a rip-snorting obligato. He has the advantage of being a virtuous technician, so that some of his wilder flights are truly breathtaking. . . . Mangelsdorff's technique doesn't hinder his fire, either, and he's well able to stand up to the rest of this very hairy band. Van Hove and Bennink obviously know each other inside out by now, and you'll hear few more exciting passages of music than their interlude during the trombonist's solo on 'Couscouss'. Bennink is getting further into textures every day, and on this album makes great play with his steel-drum and many unidentifiable implements, thus giving the music a great deal of variety. If you wanted to buy just one of these records, it would be very hard to choose because the level is so high throughout." --Richard Williams, Melody Maker, February 5, 1972

BROTZMANN/VAN HOVE / BENNINK PLUS ALBERT MANGELSDORFF - Couscouss de la Mauresque LP

Peter Brötzmann: tenor saxophone; Fred Van Hove: piano; Han Bennink: drums, voice; Albert Mangelsdorff: trombone. Recorded during the Free Music Market, August 27 and 28, 1971, in Berlin. Designed by Peter Brötzmann. Part of the legendary "Berlin Trilogy" originally released by FMP in 1971 (FMP 0030). 180-gram vinyl. One-time pressing of 500. First standalone reissue."What reveals itself in the über energetics on display here is the ability of one quartet to take so much for granted and yet express so much in the process. Van Hove, for instance, shuns all conventions in his approach to the piano: he quotes Liszt and Schubert as well as Ellington and Peterson then wipes all of them out with his elbows as if erasing a chalkboard. His 'Florence Nightingale' is a perfect example. Texturally, he creates diversions from the fury while never disengaging from it. Brötzmann and Mangelsdorff are out and out challenging each other to see who can destroy their instruments first, and Han Bennick is the most proactive percussionist in jazz history. His use of anything and everything while simultaneously playing a trap kit that creates time is astonishing. Elsewhere, on Brötzmann's 'Elements,' African percussion and slow, long opened tonal drones by Mangelsdorff create a backdrop for the other two to explore without rushing in. Brötzmann enters almost tenderly, looking for a room to exit out of, but engaging himself in the microtonalities created by the rhythm section. Van Hove's long augmented chords create a mode for not opening but splintering that exit and Brötzmann ushers the band through in a hurry heading for the outer reaches of the possible. . . . one of the best documents of the period on any continent." --Thom Jurek, AllMusic, 1991

BROTZMANN/VAN HOVE/BENNINK PLUS ALBERT MANGELSDORFF - Elements LP