For the 1983 edition of Company Week held at London's I.C.A. in May of that year, guitarist Derek Bailey once more invited a typically eclectic collection of guests. Cellist Ernst Reijseger is a mainstay of Dutch new jazz (ICP Orchestra, Clusone Trio...), American wind virtuoso J.D.Parran a veteran of the Black Artists' Group and Anthony Davis and Anthony Braxton ensembles, while saxophonists Evan Parker and Peter Brötzmann, as titans of European free improvisation, need no introduction. French bassist/vocalist Joëlle Léandre is equally at home playing free or performing works by Cage and Scelsi, while Vinko Globokar is an acclaimed composer as well as a trombonist of monstrous virtuosity. He and British electronics pioneer Hugh Davies served time with Karlheinz Stockhausen, and before a brief stint with Robert Fripp's King Crimson, percussionist Jamie Muir was, with Davies, on the very first (Music Improvisation) Company outing in 1970. Bailey once described playing solo as a "second-rate activity"; while at the other end of the spectrum, large improvising ensembles can, if they're not careful, descend into the musical equivalent of a rugby scrum: dangerous, but thrilling -- listen to what happens when Brötzmann comes barreling into the final track here. Sometimes one instrument takes center stage, as Parker's circular-breathing soprano does at the beginning of "Trio Five", but knowing when to lie low, as he does in the brief austere "Trio Three", is just as crucial to the success of the whole. Muir makes sure he doesn't get in the way of Globokar and Parran's leisurely exchanges on "Trio Four", but the trombonist is all over the place on "Trio One" -- transcribe what Globokar does here and it might be the most difficult trombone music ever written -- with Léandre racing up and down her bass and Davies all spikes, squeaks and squiggles, after which "Trio Two" is a lighter affair, Parran's flute and Léandre's vocals twittering together while Derek's acoustic twangs merrily along. With a touch of dry Bailey humor, two of the seven tracks aren't trios at all: "Trio Minus One" is his duo with Reijseger, running the gamut from crazed polyrhythmic strumming (imagine Reinhardt and Grappelli playing Schoenberg and Nancarrow simultaneously) to what must be the fastest cello pizzicati ever recorded. And on the closing ecstatic nonet, Brötzmann and trumpeter John Corbett prove that too many cooks don't necessarily spoil the broth but sure as hell spice it up.
Company – Trios
Back in the early 2000s, after locating those first Moondog 78s, and adding them to the mix at Honest Jons, assembling the compilation that became The Viking of Sixth Avenue, was a kind of musical cloud nine - a voyage of discovery, attempting to chart the worlds that Moondog had created. Now it's Spring again - as winter encroaches - and Mississippi expose us to some never before heard material. It's killer grade, recorded by yet another genius, Tony Schwartz, the pioneering Folkways field recordist, the first man to record Louis Hardin, aka Moondog, who in the 1950s also recorded a day in the life of a dog [canine variety] and a New York cab driver, among many others.Behold! A survey of Moondog’s earliest recorded works - many of them unreleased until now - through a collaboration by Mississippi Records and Lucia Records. From 1954 - 1962 field recordist Tony Schwartz frequently checked in with Moondog, his favorite street musician. Tony Schwartz made recordings of Moondog’s earliest compositions as they were coming into focus. Sometimes these recordings were made right on the street as Moondog busked, sometimes they were made in Schwartz’s studio, and sometimes they were made on NYC rooftops. The resulting recordings, many of which had never been released, were deposited at the Library Of Congress as part of the Tony Schwartz Collection in 2006 when Schwartz passed away, and this record was culled straight from these original tapes.Side one kicks off with an unreleased version of Moondog’s classic composition “Why Spend The Dark Night With You?” followed by the first ever complete recording of his “Nocturne Suite,” a beautiful piece of classical music performed with members of the Royal Philharmonic. The side ends with the complete “On The Streets Of New York” 7” EP, which was released on Mars records in 1955 and subsequently re-released by Honest Jon’s Records in 2004 on their excellent Moondog anthology. Side B features sketches of Moondog compositions never released, many with the man himself howling and chanting over his homemade percussion set.Moondog’s music is as universal as it gets - part classical music, part Native American, part European folk, and part something completely unique. Moondog is one of the towering figures of 20th century music. This record comes with liner notes featuring never before released interviews with Moodog by Tony Schwartz and is housed in an old school “tip on” cover. All tracks fully licensed from the Library of Congress.
Moondog – On The Streets Of New York
It was one of the most peculiar landings of the Sun Ra Arkestra.Time: 7 December 1986, Polish People’s Republic, still separated from the West by the Iron Curtain. It's a grey and poor twilight of a real socialism era. In three years the Eastern Bloc would collapse, but what still occupies the minds of Poles now is mostly the martial law imposed by the Pro-Moscow regime in 1981, when the country wanted to free itself from the influence of the Soviet Union.Place: Kalisz, one of the oldest Polish cities dating back to the 10th century, historically connected with the first kings of Poland, grew into a multinational centre with time as not only the Czech Brethren escaping the Habsburg monarchy found refuge here, but also prominent rabbis known across Europe used to operate and expound in the local Jewish community. In the 20th century, Kalisz became a provincial city and its presence in the cultural life of Poland was most significantly marked with the International Jazz Piano Festival. It was during the 13th edition of the festival that Sun Ra Arkestra performed.What turned out to be most memorable for the concert-goers was the closing procession of musicians who left the stage to walk around the audience, circle the venue, and return. Researchers of the Sun Ra mysticism recognized such gestures as rituals of passage corresponding to the cosmic cycles of death and resurrection. From a European perspective, Sun Ra's work turns out to be a dream come true for Wagner and Stockhausen. His music brought the myth to life. The myth connecting the past with the future – above the unfavourable present – which created a sphere of freedom. However, Ra used to say that it was not freedom that was at stake here, but precision and discipline.
Danny Ray Thompson (bassoon, sax)Laurdine Kenneth "Pat" Patrick (baritone saxophone, alto saxophone, and Fender bass)Marshall Belford Allen (alto sax)Tyler Mitchell ( Bass )Ronald Wilson ( Tenor Sax )John Gilmore ( Tenor Sax, Clarinet )James Jacson ( Bassoon, Ancient Egyptian Infinity Drums )Leroy Taylor ( Alto Sax, Alto & Bass Clarinet )Tyrone Hill ( Trombone )Earl "Buster" Smith ( Drums )Carl LeBlanc ( Guitar )Sun Ra ( Piano, Synthesizer )
LIVE IN KALISZ 1986 – SUN RA ARKESTRA
"Derek Bailey’s guests for Company Week at London’s ICA in July 1982 were contemporary classical pianist Ursula Oppens, folk/jazz singer-turned-improviser Julie Tippetts and her partner pianist Keith Tippett, violinist/electronics wizard Philipp Wachsmann, guitarist Fred Frith, trombonist George Lewis, harpist Anne LeBaron, and from Japan free jazz bassist Motoharu Yoshizawa and sound artist Akio Suzuki.
Altogether they performed the stunning extended improvisation Epiphany.In different, more intimate lineups they detonated numerous Epiphanies.
Here, to start, Yoshizawa and Oppens (both on the keyboard and inside her piano) bounce ideas off each other like ping-pong balls.
Then Tippetts, Wachsmann and Bailey do extraterrestrial cubist flamenco; and Lewis and Frith rumble at everyone magnificently.Tippett and Oppens kaleidoscope the entire history of the piano into just over fifteen minutes (Fourth and Fifth) with added seasoning from LeBaron and Wachsmann.
To close, Akio Suzuki — despite once describing himself as “pursuing listening as a practice” — makes one hell of a racket with his self-made instruments: a flute, a spring gong and his analapos (two single-lidded cylinders attached by a long steel coil, which he can manipulate and strike, besides vocalising into the tube). Yoshizawa and Bailey give him a real run for his money, and it all builds to an ecstatic, swirling, grinding climax, with Suzuki whooping and hollering wildly."
Company – Epiphanies I-VI
"Mike Cooper returns to Discrepant with a recording of a live set recorded at the Controindicazioni Festival of Improvised Music in Rome in 2003The music moves very slowly through four movements: ‘’Reluctant Swimmer’’, ‘’Movies is Magic’’, Virtual Swimmer’’ and ‘’Dolphins’’. 'Floating in out of the exotic ether and disappearing like smoke, engulfed in the alien hugeness of nature... a very elegant set by a visionary artist.'Mike Cooper says 'the first half is played on my old 1920s National tri-plate lapsteel guitar and the second half on my vietnamese electric lap steel. I also sing two songs along the way. ‘’Movies is Magic’’ by Van Dyke Parks and “Dolphins” by Freid Neil. It was the first time I had ever sung the last song.'"With beautiful artwork collage by Evan Crankshaw.
Mike Cooper – Reluctant Swimmer / Virtual Surfer
"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
"Though music journalists made a big deal recently about the release of a 1965 rehearsal tape by Derek Bailey’s Joseph Holbrooke trio with Gavin Bryars and Tony Oxley, those early efforts were mere tentative steps along a cliff edge wearing a line safely attached to Coltrane. There’s still a whiff of jazz to Bailey and Parker’s work with the Spontaneous Music Ensemble up to and including 1968’s Karyobin but with the addition of Jamie Muir — the first great free improvising percussionist who didn’t start out as a jazz drummer — and the way-leftfield electronics of Hugh Davies, the MIC leapt right off that cliff.
These six tracks — tight, electric, pointillistic, brilliant, uncompromising and exhilarating — sound like nothing else that came before.
In a word, seminal." - Honest Jon's
The Music Improvisation Company – 1969, 1970
"Quite simply, Company produced some of the most stimulating improvised music you will ever hear." - John Eyles
1982 line-up of Company. Keith Tippett, Fred Frith and George Lewis are joined by concert pianist Ursula Oppens and composer & harpist Anne LeBaron. After playing more frrequently in Japan in the late seventies, Bailey had also invited Motoharu Yoshizawa on bass and Akio Suzuki on assorted instruments like glass harmonica.
Derek Bailey / guitarJulie Tippetts / guitar, voice, fluteMoto Yoshizawa / bassFred Frith / electric guitar, electronics, percussionAkio Suzuki / glass harmonica, spring gong, kikkokiririkiAnne LeBaron / harpKeith Tippett / pianoUrsula Opens / pianoGeorge Lewis / trombonePhil Wachsmann / violin, electronics
Recorded by Jean-Marc Foussat. Produced by Derek Bailey & Evan Parker. Design by Karen Brookman. Financial assistance by The Arts Council.
Company – Epiphany
"Previously unreleased recordings by various lineups drawn from Derek Bailey, Tristan Honsinger, Christine Jeffrey, Toshinori Kondo, Charlie Morrow, David Toop, Maarten Altena, Georgie Born, Lindsay Cooper, Steve Lacy, Radu Malfatti and Jamie Muir.
Journalists often make the brief history of Free Improvisation conform to the idea that the history of music is a nice straight line from past to present: Beethoven… Brahms… Boulez. Thus Derek Bailey, Evan Parker and John Stevens — together with Brötzmann and co across the Channel — were the trailblazing ‘first generation’, forging a wholly new language alongside contemporary avant-garde and free jazz. Figures like Toshinori Kondo and David Toop, willing as they were to incorporate snippets of all kinds of music, were the pesky ‘second generation’, happily cocking a snook at the ‘ideological purity’ of Bailey’s non-idiomatic improvisation.
‘Company 1981’ shows up the foolishness — the wrongness — of such storylines. Check the eclectic collection of guests Bailey invited to Company Weeks over the years. He had clear ideas about the music, but he was no ideological purist.
One of the founders of Fluxus, Charlie Morrow injects blasts of Cageian fun into half the recordings here, whether blurting military fanfares from his trumpet, or intoning far-flung scraps of speech. Cellist Tristan Honsinger and vocalist Christine Jeffrey join in the joyful glossolalia, while Bailey, Toop and Kondo contribute delicious, delicate, hooligan arabesques, by turns.
The remainder are performed by a different ensemble: Bailey, bassist Maarten Altena, former Henry Cow members Georgie Born and Lindsay Cooper on cello and bassoon, the insanely inventive Jamie Muir on percussion, and trombonist Radu Malfatti, showing his mastery of extended technique. Were that not enough, there’s the inimitable purity of Steve Lacy’s soprano ringing high and clear above the melee. Glorious!
There’s always been this idea that Free Improvisation is somehow Difficult Listening, but when the doors of perception are thrown open and prejudice cast aside, you realise that it’s not difficult at all. “Is it that easy?” chirps Morrow, at one point. Indeed it is.Enjoy yourself."
1981 – Company
"More buried treasure from Company Week 1982: seven previously unissued Epiphanies by lineups involving Derek Bailey, Ursula Oppens, Julie Tippetts, Keith Tippett, Philipp Wachsmann, Fred Frith, George Lewis, Anne LeBaron, Motoharu Yoshizawa and Akio Suzuki.
Fred Frith is a stellar improviser — 1974’s Guitar Solos is still a seminal album of free improv — and he has three opportunities here to showcase his considerable talents. Eleventh is a tour de force of extended technique, with George Lewis working slowly but surely through a variety of trombone mouthpieces, while Frith’s guitar, strummed, bowed or prepared, could be a theremin, a koto, a mouse trapped inside a grandfather clock or a lion cub inside a shoebox. Bookending the album, on Seventh he swaps Webernian shards with Lewis and harpist Anne LeBaron and on Thirteenth, with pianist Keith Tippett, he condenses a whole lifetime of musical exploration into a mere twelve minutes. When it’s over both musicians are so amazed they burst out laughing.
Elsewhere, on Eighth, Wachsmann reveals his understated mastery of both his violin and the electronics he’s devised to extend its range, and pianist Ursula Oppens proves she’s as adept as conjuring forth magic from inside her instrument as she is at the keyboard. Major and minor triads too!
Ninth is spikier, with Lewis quacking, spitting and wheezing like a flock of geese let loose in a fairground, while Derek Bailey and Motoharu Yoshisawa patiently explore the outer limits of acoustic guitar and double bass. Bailey and Lewis team up again on Twelfth to take on Oppens — and everybody wins. Voice is more to the fore on Tenth, with Julie Tippetts’ coloratura and flute and Akio Suzuki’s analapos and spring gong flying high, while LeBaron, Wachsmann and Yoshizawa weave intricate webs of pizzicati, spiccati and glissandi beneath."
Epiphanies VII-XIII – Company
Please note this is a ticket and 2LP order. You will receive your LP on the night of the launch (5th December)
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).
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]
"Australian born, Sweden based artist John Chantler returns to Room40 with his fifth solo edition. Tomorrow Is Too Late was commissioned by INA GRM for their Présences Électronique festival in 2018 and sees Chantler significantly expand the horizons of his acoustic palette. Moving from subtle microtonal movements to passages of intense harmonic saturation, Tomorrow Is Too Late is his most dynamic work to date. A powerhouse of reductive intensity that bares witness to Chantler’s uncompromising sonic articulations." — ROOM40
"A dizzying time scrambler that belies both a reverence for this canonized innovation of his chosen instrument and an intrepid inclination to push offshore with it." - Tiny Mix Tapes
John Chantler / synthesizers, pipe organ
Synthesizers recorded at 1703, Stockholm and INA GRM, Paris. Pipe organ recorded at ELB Philharmonie, Hamburg. Tomorrow is Too Late was commissioned by Francois Bonnet at INA GRM for RÉSENCES ÉLECTRONIQUE FESTIVAL 2018. Released in co-operation with 1703 Skivbolaget. Supported by the Swedish Arts Council. Mastered by Lawrence English. Vinyl cut by Andreas [LUPO] Lubich.
John Chantler – Tomorrow Is Too Late
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
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
Three great jazz masters are demonstrating their best abilities of improvising - This album is a great occassion to hear a marvelous record of three great stars of avant-garde jazz – Avantscena, 2018
True to their name they play like a force of nature, something substantial to be reckoned with akin to an aural tsunami - A decidedly enjoyable listen, I recommend it at maximum volume. - Nick Metzger, Free Jazz Blog, 2018
The speed that the sound is presenting is astonishing, with gales of saxophone, notes of bass that become a blur and lightning fast drumming- The music is more than raw noise however, there is depth and breadth to it and it exists in three dimensions plus time, enveloping the stage with its relentless power and glory – Jazz´n´Blues Blogspot, 2018
Peter Brötzmann / reedsMarino Pliakas / e-bassMichael Wertmüller / drums
Recorded by Pedro Azevedo, João Paulo “Binos” Franklin. Mastered by Martin Siewert. Artwork by Peter Brötzmann.
Full Blast – Rio
A set of solo percussion studies played in locations near Eddie's home in Matching Tye. Artwork by Ross Lambert.
Eddie Prévost – Matching Mix
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