New project by Apolline Schöser (half of Nina Harker) & Thomas Coquelet. Apolline & Thomas have been performing since 2022 under the KOU guise with 24 electronic harmoniums. Producing dense layers of tones & overtones. On their debut album KOU steers in another direction. The harmonium appears occasionally, but more prominent are delicate guitar pluckings, distant vocal effects, synths, flutes, piano strokes, a touch of musical magic and Apolline’s jazz not jazz vocals. As soon as the needle drops it’s clear we are jump-cutting straight to the other side of the mirror. Cats purr, a woman sings as if asleep, drum machines stutter and warp and Alvin Lucier is not 'sitting in a room that is not different to the one you are not in now’. If you’re already confused, join the club. But, it’s the good kind of confused, a bewildering experience akin to the first time hearing the Faust Tapes or watching Inland Empire. Wait though, as pigeons coo and the tape machine clunk-clicks a gorgeous weirdo version of Roger's and Hart’s Blue Moon emerges to let you know this isn’t just dada splurge, there’s a genius pop sensibility at work here too. Side two takes us further into the murk with mournful detuned brass, stoned Joan La Barbara-esque vocalese and a droning Farfisa hymn, before ending with another too-tempting snatch of DIY pop. Some of the references are recognisable. All kinds of 70s/80s European art prog - think early Battiato, Pierot Lunaire’s Gudrun, Lucia Bosè and Gregorio Paniagua's Io Pomodoro etc etc. There’s a strong whiff of 90s us goof-off surrealism too- Bongwater, Siltbreeze, Royal Trux’s Twin infinitives, the damaged folkier side of Alastair Galbraith, Half-Japanese, early Beck even all feel relevant. Like an oddball group of friends you might meet by chance and end up weirding-out with for days, the minds behind this deliciously odd music allow you to stay for a while in their strange subcultural world. You might not want to live here forever but a short trip, while it lasts, rewires your brain for the better.


Κλίμα (Klima) is the third album by CV & JAB, the duo of Christina Vantzou and John Also Bennett. An assertive step forward in the two artists' investigations into melodic interplay, acoustic processing and field recordings, the full-length conjures the modus operandi of archaeologists searching for unheard soundscapes. Structured as an itinerant mise-en-abyme, Κλίμα (Klima) summons worldwide submarine circuits and tropospheres populated by sudden findings and progressive re-encounters - hazy dreams amalgamate with mosaics of reality. Catalyzed by a 2021 invitation to perform at the UNESCO world heritage site Santuário Bom do Jesus do Monte in Braga, Portugal, the music of Κλίμα (Klima) then fermented across a period of two years, during which live experiments, cyclical studio sessions, and travels across the Island of Tenerife’s effervescent ambiences gradually contributed to its completion. It is on the volcanic island that the narrative core of the album materialized, prompted by a month of recordings across the radically different microclimates populating the landscape. CV & JAB’s flashing transpositions from desert to rainforest are evoked over ten tracks operating as an abstract audio-guide of the outer and inner realms permeating the pieces. Κλίμα (Klima) is conceived as a rhizomatic composition rather than a sequential excursus; percussion, refracted voices, chirps and gurgles, other-worldly synthetic winks, reverberated piano chords, and yearning flute circumnavigations all surface sometimes in solo, sometimes synchronically to eventually dissipate again. The remote and enigmatic atmospheres that characterized previous CV & JAB albums acquire an intimate intensity in the solo piano excursions - “Klima” and “Lands of Permanent Mist” - and a penetrating emotional resonance with the instrument’s flirtatious entanglements with JAB’s bass flute on “Dwelling” and “Pottery Fragments” or with CV’s flickering plasma voice in “Jetstream”. Suggesting timeless wanderings in ambient études and classical minimalism, the album deploys as a mirage, inducing listeners into a contemplative state through mellifluous repetitions and offshore sci-fi inflections. The palpable depth of the recordings bestows each track with a distinctive density and presence: sounds and chords materialize and dematerialise as landscapes at which we gaze, half-asleep over a long journey. Ten sips of a familiar rapture which ooze a renewed sense of expansion in sound, informed by more than five years of CV & JAB’s continuous sonic wanderings and wonderings together. The labyrinthine and meteorological odyssey becomes tangible in the artwork, realized by the duo’s long-time collaborator Zin Taylor, mind and hand behind their two previous albums’ covers. Κλίμα (Klima)’s simulacra evokes a map in which curves transform into a score with “small systems of differences emerging side by side”.

Κλίμα (Klima) – CV & JAB (Christina Vantzou and John Also Bennett)

Lucy Railton trusts in the nuance of her own creative instincts on an intensely modern, quietly radical new album, her second for Modern Love. Following her 2018 solo debut Paradise 94 (LOVE 108LP), and countless collaborations in the time since, Railton's diverse musical circles here bleed into each other, creating an insoluble testament to a lifelong pursuit of sound. The multi-instrumentalist further articulates her own tonal register, embracing her solo strengths and trusting the process to reveal vulnerable and compelling emotional facets through a fluid mix of composition, and pure expression. On the simplest level, Corner Dancer is a record that revels in the momentum of creation. Through a range of approaches, Railton gradually loosens her grip and allows her identities to expose themselves; cut to the bone, sinew and spirit of music making. Reaching outside tried and tested zones, she lands at a charged space characterized by unmetered pacing and an embrace of imperfection, using cello, viella (a medieval cello), Buchla, 808, a fan, synths, horse hair whips, a handheld harp and her own voice, across eight tracks that arc from an opening sequence of ruptured asymmetries, to something bordering the sublime on "Blush Study," the album's masterful closing flourish. In between, Railton invokes psychoacoustic, heady spins and repetitions, while also allowing space for live performance, a mode to which she feels most attuned, and here captured best on "Held in Paradise" (her violin debut) and "Rib Cage." Collapsing boundaries, Railton harnesses a lifetime of formal training in order to patiently trace more ambiguous, intimate and sometimes deviant shapes, operating to a fuzzed logic that loops back to themes with an ingenious underlying dramaturgy of energies, dismantling the form from the inside out, in a way that bends through feeling, rather than design.

Corner Dancer – Lucy Railton

Trances, Jules Reidy’s follow-up to the celebrated World in World (2022), takes place in between states, tracing a kind of restless movement in search of—or is it away from?—a center. The twelve tracks shift between fragment and epic, returning to familiar phrases between forays outward into uncertain expanses. Through its exploration of the cyclical movements of grief and emotional turbulence, Trances produces a sonic world as raw, absorbing, and surprising as anything Reidy has created to date. Trances’ primary instrument is a custom hexaphonic electric guitar tuned in Just Intonation. Reidy’s combination of fingerpicked phrases, open strums, and corrugated processing push on the grammar of guitar-driven experimentalism, locating expressive heft in open-ended harmonics and the odd angles formed by overlapping elements. Chords are slowed and stretched as if to examine their resonance, then overtaken by subterranean motion. The effect is that of oceanic depth, but the rippling that passes between the compositions’ sedimentary layers often takes on a metallic edge. The addition of synthesizers, sampled 12-string guitar, field recordings, and half-submerged autotuned voice further denaturalize the compositions. Reidy’s vocal interjections—their particular linguistic content rendered inaccessible—are based on counting and self-observational techniques for bringing oneself back into the present; at times Reidy’s picking also assumes a mantra-like quality, though ultimately the flow of the composition subsumes both. There is a heavy sense of the strange throughout these songs, which bleed at their edges into a continuous, questioning whole. That Reidy’s compositions here have a tendency to engulf the listener, like a wave or a squall, can be variously comforting and disorienting. Either way, we are fortunate to follow Reidy on such a journey. 

Trances – Jules Reidy

Biarrezgaur (not tomorrow, today) is a blissful and misty set of guitar tones entangled with effects and reverberation. Dreamy and reflective proto-blues-folk sketches that suggest a sense of matured serenity that only comes with years of practice. Spontaneous, gentle and free-flowing in equal parts, Biarrezgaur is a perfect autumnal recipe for those looking in the direction of Six Organs of Admittance, Loren Connors with Alan Licht, or even Robbie Basho or Albert Gimenez if you listen to the closing track Itzulera. Bidai (Trip) is the new collaborative project between two emblematic figures of the rich Basque musical heritage, Xabi Strubell & Mikel Vega. It took more than 30 years for their paths to cross, but we are very pleased they finally did in 2022. Entirely improvised with two guitars and effects, it was recorded at Bonberenea, the independent and self-funded cultural hub housed in an abandoned warehouse in Tolosa (in the valley of the river Oria). Xabi is a writer, poet and musician from Hondarribia, a fishing village on the border with France. He started his career as a member of Dut, the seminal Post Hardcore band that any Basque kid growing in the 90’s and interested in feedback and distorted guitars will sorely remember, still a cult these days. He formed Zura in 2005, a solo mature project focusing on acoustic guitar. Mikel is an accomplished musician and all-around cultural activist from Bilbao. Has collaborated in numerous projects (Conteiner, Killerkume, Loan, Orbain Unit) and more recently with Miguel A. Garcia (also a member of Dopelganger, Heg008) and Joseba Agirrezabalaga (Lepok, Urpa i Musell beginning of 2023).

Biarrezgaur – Bidai

Dopelganger is the project in collaboration between classically trained accordion player and singer Garazi Navas (Usansolo, Bizkaia-Biscay, 1995) and Miguel A. Garcia (Vitoria-Gasteiz), an artist living in Bilbao with an extensive career in the fields of experimental music and sound art. Sainen Hildo is an album based on Miguel’s original compositions, recomposed and rearranged for accordion and voice by the two composers. Using the natural resonance and harmonics of these two instruments to influence their introspective interactions, resulting in evolving drones and tones and puzzling percussive outbursts. Unusual and at times unsettling, they manage to create a calibrated, deep and complex exploratory universe of ambience and drone where listening becomes a ritual. Highest recommendation for fans of Pauline Oliveros, Eliane Radigue or Phill Niblock. Garazi Navas was classically trained at Musikene School of Music in San Sebastian with a masters in traditional music, Garazi, is a restless accordionist who, despite her young age, has taken part in a multitude of projects in theater, poetry, ballet, art installations and even playing with the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra. Her works are a personal interpretation of the close relationship which she feels exists between cutting-edge and traditional music. Miguel A. García has performed extensively in Europe, America and Asia, both as a solo artist, improvising and in multiple ensembles. He has collaborated with dozens of artists (Al Karpenter, Jean Luc Guionnet, Sébastien Branche...) in studio and live, and appeared in more than a hundred albums. At the same time, he is organizer and curator of events, being founder of Club Le Larraskito, director of Zarata Fest, and part of the coordination of the cycle Hotsetan at Azkuna Zentroa itself.

Dopelganger – Sainen Hildo

Michael Atherton is a writer, composer and educator from Sydney, Australia. Originally born in Liverpool, England, to Welsh-Irish and German parents, his family later migrated to Australia in 1965. Moving to the suburbs in La Perouse, he grew up in a mixed, multicultural community, where he fostered friendships with existing indigenous members and Iberian migrants. His formative migrant experience and his curiosity about vernacular, as well as notated music, led him to study music formally where he was attracted to ethnomusicology. From a self-taught guitarist to an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, Michael’s recorded output spans many different genres and styles – he was a member of the Renaissance Players, an early music group; Sirocco, a pioneering cross-cultural folk group; and Southern Crossings, an innovative ethno-classical ensemble. By 1990, he had moved beyond his earlier musical endeavours, and away from Australia, with ‘Windshift’ seeing him draw on resources from the Asia-Pacific and Europe. With an impressive arsenal of instruments, such as the didjeridu, hurdy gurdy, kulintang, saron and jaw harp, to name but a few, Michael adds intense colour to the recordings using samplers, synths and modulating effects. Recently remastered by fellow Australian-based musician and engineer, Mikey Young, and visually re-imagined by Glasgow-based artist, Jamie Johnson, ‘Windshift’ is now presented once again by Infinite Expanse with a first-time reissue on vinyl.

Windshift – Michael Atherton

OTOROKU is proud to present the first vinyl reissue of Blue Notes for Johnny - a defining statement by one of the greatest ensembles in the history of jazz. Recorded in mid-1987 by Blue Notes - then reduced to the trio of Dudu Pukwana on alto sax, Louis Moholo-Moholo on drums and Chris McGregor on piano - it encounters the band 25 years after their founding embarking on an inward meditation through collective music making dedicated to Johnny Dyani, their former bandmate and friend.  Blue Notes were founded in Cape Town in 1962, and stand among the most important ensembles in the history of jazz. Artistically brilliant and groundbreaking - gathering, within a few short years, a devoted following that included Don Cherry, Steve Lacy, Abdullah Ibrahim, Dexter Gordon, Kenny Drew, Keith Tippett, Evan Parker, John Stevens and numerous others - they were also the first widely visible multiracial band in South Africa. As a mixed race band under apartheid, this group of friends and like-minded artists - Chris McGregor, Mongezi Feza, Dudu Pukwana, Nikele Moyake, Johnny Dyani and Louis Moholo-Moholo -  existed within a context that viewed their mere existence as a dangerous and subversive act. In 1964 they joined an exodus of musicians leaving for Europe and eventually settled in London the following year. Sadly, not long after arriving and facing continued economic peril, the group buckled. Johnny Dyani left to join Don Cherry’s band. Moholo-Moholo and Dyani followed suit and joined Steve Lacy on tour, and the remaining members morphed into a number of ensembles that eventually grew to become Chris McGregor's Brotherhood Of Breath.    Following the death of Mongezi Feza in 1975 the remaining members of the group had come back together to record Blue Notes For Mongezi, reigniting a sporadic period of activity over the coming years. Following the untimely passing of Johnny Dyani in late 1986, the last three members of the original line-up - McGregor, Pukwana and Moholo-Moholo - reformed to pay tribute to yet another of their fallen brothers.  Blue Notes for Johnny, the group’s second musical memorial to a band member, incorporates a considerably broader range of touchstone and practices than its predecessor, nodding toward the band’s foundations in be-bop and post-bop without abandoning where they had journeyed along the way. Internalising equal elements of hard-bop, modalism, and free improvisation, it is a startling creative statement, imbued with a tension that renders an equally radical and sophisticated challenge; a furious tide - slow in pace and it slow to reveal itself - masquerading in gentler forms.  A celebration and a memorial. Joyous and tragic. A real time resurrection of personal experience, Blue Notes for Johnny dodges, dances, and transforms across its two sides, refusing to be nailed down. As the trio pushes against each other, bristling tonal and rhythmic collisions leave the impression that something is bound to explode, without ever fully letting go.  Blue Notes for Johnny’s memorialisation is unwittingly doubled by capturing the final time that the Blue Notes would come together in the studio. Both Dudu Pukwana and Chris McGregor would pass away three years later in 1990, leaving Moholo-Moholo - who continues to carve a groundbreaking trajectory across the world of jazz - as the last surviving member. The album remains as a journey between an imaged future and the beginning of it all. Six friends meeting and communing through sound. Six friends who had triumphed against the odds, becoming some of the greatest creative voices of their generation. Six friends who were five, then four, and then three, before they were done. Friends who never failed, in whatever form, to come together and play. It is a story begun 60 years ago that remains just as prescient today. --- DUDU PUKWANA / alto sax CHRIS McGREGOR / piano LOUIS MOHOLO / drums  --- This 2022 re-issue has been made with permission and in association with Ogun records. Transferred from the original masters and featuring an exact reproduction of the original artwork. Remastered by Giuseppe Ielasi. All music by the Blue Notes. All music published by Ogun Publishing Co. Cover design by Ogun.

Blue Notes for Johnny – Blue Notes

Hassan Wargui is a self taught musician, composer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and an expert in the songcraft and poetry of the Tachelhit speaking Amazigh tribes of the Anti-Atlas mountains in the south of Morocco. He was born in 1985 in the rural community of Issafen, which lies between Taroudant and Tafraoute in the Anti-Atlas mountains of Southern Morocco. His music draws from the deep well of Amazigh, or Berber, cultures that have long been suppressed across North Africa after the region underwent a process of Arabization following the Arab invasions of the 7th Century. Hassan grew up in an isolated mountain community in which art and music is embedded into daily life. This allowed him to develop an excellent musical sense, a deep understanding of the complex poly-rhythms that underpin Amazigh music, and time to become proficient on the banjo which, since the ascendency of the popular modern folk movement involving groups such as Nass El Ghiwane and Jil Jilala in the late '60s and early '70s, has been the preferred instrument of the region. Like many musicians from the region, Hassan built his first instruments himself, and it wasn't until he moved to Casablanca in his teens to find work which was scarce in his local community, that he was able to save for his first real banjo. Since then Hassan has been active in the Amazigh musical community and has worked with a number of groups, notably Groupe Lbouchart, Imanaren and Etran Tiznit, as well as recording prolifically as a solo artist using Fruity Loops as a home studio. In 2009, Jace Clayton (DJ/Rupture) stumbled across a CD by Imanaren on a stall in Casablanca medina and this led to a fruitful series of collaborations in 2009 and 2011 (you can learn more about their work together here: Tiddukla (which translates to Friendship) is one of Hassan's numerous group projects and he recorded the album with friends in 2015 and self released it through YouTube due to the lack of music infrastructure in Morocco. The Tiddukla album is raw and hypnotic and sees Hassan and his group channeling the deep and contemplative sounds of classic Amazigh groups such as Izenzaren, Archach, Izmaz, all of whom risked their freedom by daring to sing in Tachelhit at a time when the language was still forbidden, and when Amazigh people were fighting for their rights to be recognised. Hive Mind are thrilled to be able to release Hassan's beautiful music, and to introduce the fascinating rhythms of the Anti-Atlas Mountains into the wider world. We're incredibly proud to be able to support this fiercely independent and hugely resourceful and tenacious artist who has been able to continue creating music for over a decade without any real support from Morocco's music industry and while holding down a variety of day jobs. We really hope you enjoy his music as much as we do. 

Hassan Wargui – Tiddukla

Hive Mind and Sing-A-Song Fighter are delighted to present to you their first collaborative release, the amazing solo guitar album from legendary Congolese guitarist Kahanga Dekula aka ”Vumbi”. At last, Mr Dekula is finally releasing an instrumental solo guitar album after more than 40 years of playing lead guitar in numerous great bands and orchestras. Vumbi, who now lives in Sweden, is one of Europe's greatest ambassadors for Congolese music, has got a special story to tell and he uses his magnificent, infectious guitar playing to do so... Vumbi and the guitar go back a long time. Born with polio in the Kivu province of North Eastern Congo, Vumbi grew up in a Swedish missionary home and picked up the guitar at an early age. Listening intently to the radio, he learned the style and rhythms of Rumba and Soukous from the giants of the Congolese guitar sound, Dr Nico and Franco. "Listening and playing Soukous music makes you feel happy to be alive and you just have to dance to it no matter what". In the early 80’s Vumbi emigrated to Tanzania where he successfully auditioned to play lead guitar for the legendary group Orchestra Maquis. He toured extensively with the band, and from them he earned the nickname Vumbi, his solos being one of the main attractions of Orchestra Maquis' live shows. He moved to Sweden in the early '90s and played in numerous bands including the Makonde Band with Ugandan artist Sammy Kasule and Ahmadu Jarr's Highlife Orchestra. In 2008 Vumbi put together his own group, The Dekula Band, playing his beloved rumba and Soukous every saturday night to an eager crowd of dancers in a worn and faded restaurant in Stockholm called Lilla Wien. Vumbi has since taken the group's infectious and hypnotoic sound to Stockholm Jazz Festival, Face Z in Geneva and festivals and shows around Europe. Swedish producer Karl-Jonas Winqvist (founder of Sing-A-Song Fighter and member of Senegalese/Swedish act Wau Wau Collectif) has been a longtime fan of Vumbi Dekula’s artistry which led to him releasing The Dekula Band's debut album ”Opika” in 2019 with the Dekula Band. While watching the band perform was always a blast, says Karl Jonas, his desire to hear Vumbi play on his own, without the thunderous drums, wailing saxophones and chanting vocals grew in his mind, “Because, in a way, Vumbi’s guitar playing is like an orchestra on its own. And the idea of just concentrating on all the amazing riffs and beautiful, uplifting melodies was just so appealing”. Karl-Jonas proposed the idea of producing a solo album to Vumbi, and within a week the production process began Recorded in two days during lockdown at the Helter Skelter Studios in Stockholm, Karl and Vumbi allowed the music to guide them. Vumbi was inspired to play 2nd guitar adding some harmonies and melodies here and there, and on the final track (”UN Forces Get Out of the DR of Congo”) he introduced a banjo into the world of ”Congo guitar”. Karl Jonas started up his old rhythm box machine to some of the songs to see how Vumbi and his playing would react to it. Elsewhere, wordless backing vocals from Karl-Jonas and Emma Nordenstam were added to Maamajacy, bass melodica by Karl-Jonas appears on Weekend, and a little piano tinkering from Emma adds some sparkle to Zuku. But clearly, Vumbi's virtuoso playing remains the star of Congo Guitar. 

Congo Guitar – Vumbi Dekula