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Vi Är Alla Guds Slavar is the latest missive from the long-running duo pairing of Mats Gustafsson (The Thing, Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, etc) and Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth, Chelsea Light Moving, Dream/Aktion Unit, etc).
Thurston had first come across Mats' playing on a duo disc with Barry Guy and had assumed he was one of those older beardy European improv guys - Remember this was before the internet and everyone knew everything. Their first actual meeting goes back to the early 90s at Blue Tower Records in Stockholm (now Andra Jazz - arguably the greatest jazz record store in the world) on one of Thurston's frequent soundcheck-skipping discaholic binges. The young guy behind the counter was blowing his mind with side after side of crazy rare jazz, test pressings, acetates and more. Running late, he offered Thurston a lift to the gig and en route asked if there was any particular records he was looking for. "There is this sax player - Mats Gustafsson - I'm looking for some of his stuff"
"That's me" says the young guy - and there started an intense friendship that has manifested intself in music through their discaholics anonymous trio (with Jim O'Rourke), Gustafsson's large scale HIDROS 3 composition for Sonic Youth and much more besides…
You can watch a video interview with Thurston where he tells the story of their first meeting here:
Mats Gustafsson & Thurston Moore – Vi Är Alla Guds Slavar
First solo LP from Maybe Noise collective member Sheng Jie.
"I always feel that the cello is a kind of instrument that is full of sorrow and narration, like an aged intoning the past repeatedly and sadly alone. In my ordinary work, the concept of “narration” is always excluded on purpose. Or, it is taken as a part that I don’t want to deal with but have to. Thus, the cello, which is particular but unitary for me, can express a kind of true emotion which is very “clumsy”, because true emotions always seem to be clumsy by being direct and parched. This album emphasizes the concept of “performer”, which refers to the one, the fingers, the power and the immediate state of the breath when playing the instrument, without overmuch decoration and editing, or splendid and adept performing skills. Each track was performed and recorded from start to finish once and once again, in which some mistakes were retained and chosen reasonably. The name of each track is made from the names of gods in Bon religion. Those gods are the creators of the beginning of the universe. Their original form is egg, which transformed into space. The time and space structure they created was bulks of passivity. That’s Bon religion’s descriptions of the universe and the world. If certain cognition of forms must be given to gods and time and space, the best description that breaks the linear conception would be the space of “passivity”, in which music was born. The world view of oviparity is full of uncertainty. It grows and dies under a set structure of bulk.-gogoj a.k.a Sheng Jie
Composed and electronic cello performed by gogoj a.k.a Sheng JieRecorded by gogoj a.k.a Sheng Jie in Beijing, China, 2018.Mixed and mastered by Cyril Meysson, In Saint-Etienne, France, 2018
Reverse-board heavy cover, 3-spines, printed with Pantone silver metallic ink. Limited edition of 300 copies, hand-numbered
Sheng Jie – Oviparity
This milestone of the avant-garde music, published in 1974 by the historic Opus One, was a very significant political awareness. With Coming Together and Attica, Rzewski celebrates in music the famous revolt of the American prison in 1971. The texts of Sam Melville and Richard X. Clark make pulsating and alive the invocations of the prisoners; full of pathos, these fragments of life oscillate between a confessional tone and the hymn to freedom, in a touching emblem of compassion. The fixity of the sound images is incisive, unnerving and melancholic, embroidering a solid minimalist repetition. The different combination of the verses produce a psychosis or obsession of a cathartic experience, at the same time emotional, physical and mental. Together with great guests such as Alvin Curran, Jon Gibson, Garrett List and Karl Beger, Rzewski seems to merge his radical vocation with the most meditative and suffered plots of the spiritual jazz; sealing all with Les Moutons Des Panurge, an amazing suite for percussion, a timeless masterpiece of polyrhythmic expertise.
Frederic Rzewski – Coming Together / Attica / Les Moutons De Panurge
"First of all, Bengt Berger - a pioneer of the Swedish underground of the 70’s and historical member of bands such as the Archimedes Badkar and Arbete Och Fritid – is a versatile drummer-percussionist and well-educated ethno-musicologist with several research sojourns in India and Ghana. Deeply influenced by Hindustani, Carnatic and West Africa music, he founded in 1980 the Bitter Funeral Beer Band, an ensemble of 12 elements, basing his ideas on the traditional funeral music of the people of Lo-Birifor, in the northern region of Ghana. The marriage between this afro polyrhythmic roots, with the spiritual jazz of the eternal Don Cherry and the indian sarod of K. Sridhar is in the direction to a pan-internationalism of profound spirituality, which blends different geographical traditions in a single contemplative gaze. It is the convergence towards a music without boundaries, where every instrumental voice shines and is well fermented and integrated. Music is unity."
Bitter Funeral Beer Band with Don Cherry – Live In Frankfurt 82
An amazing document of the life experiment that was the Organic Music Society. This super quality audio, recorded by RAI (the italian public broadcasting company) in 1976 for television, documents a quartet concert focused on vocals compositions and improvisations. Here, Don Cherry and his family-community’s musical belief emerges in its simplicity, with the desire to merge the knowledge and stimuli gained during numerous travels across the World in a single sound experience.
Don's pocket-trumpet is melted with the beats of the great Brazilian percussionist Nana Vasconcelos, the Italian guitar of Gian Piero Pramaggiore, and the tanpura drone of Moki. A pure hippie aesthetic, like in an intimate ceremony, filters a magical encounter between Eastern and Western civiliziations, offering different suggestions of sound mysticism: natural acoustics in which individual instruments and voices are part of a wider pan-tribal consciousness.
A desert Western landscape marries Asian and Latin atmospheres. Indigenous contributions with berimbau explorations find fossil sounds of rattles and clap-hands invocations. Influences of Indian mantra singing are combined with eternal African voices or with folkish-Latin guitar rhythms , while flute and drums evoke distant dances. In the Organic Music everything becomes an act of devotion and love, an ecstatic dwell in the dimension of a sacred free-rejoice.
Don Cherry – Om Shanti Om
More than half a century has elapsed since the founding of the legendary British free improvisation group AMM. We could say there would be no free improvisation as we know it today without AMM’s Eddie Prévost, John Tilbury and Keith Rowe. The mystery surrounding AMM has not faded; to the contrary, even nowadays it carries a particular appeal due to its engaged, intelligible and nonetheless radical message.As N.O. Moore writes in the ‘Until The Next Time’ liner notes:“The musician makes music audible. The improviser makes music differ from itself.AMM calls forth music at the same time as simply allowing it to arrive, unbidden, as if sound were as indifferent to us as any other natural phenomena.Against the egalitarianism of sounds (…), we reserve the right to fail – that is, we take the risk of evaluation. Next time, we will get it right? … That is the wrong question. AMM: the next time is to be heard here, now, sounding out … almost.”The 180g vinyl includes an insert with photos and liner notes by N.O. Moore.
Eddie Prévost – percussionKeith Rowe – guitar, electronicsJohn Tilbury – piano
AMM – Until The Next Time
Black Truffle’s documentation of the prolific recent work of legendary American composer Alvin Lucier continues with Works for the Ever Present Orchestra. This is a very special release for the composer as it presents pieces written for the thirteen-member Ever Present Orchestra, formed in 2016 exclusively to perform Lucier’s works. At the heart of the ensemble are four electric guitars, an instrument Lucier began composing for in 2013 with Criss-Cross (recorded by two core members of the Ever Present Orchestra, Oren Ambarchi and Stephen O’Malley, for whom it was composed, on Black Truffle 033).
Through the use of e-bows, the guitars take on a role akin to the slow sweep pure wave oscillators heard in many of Lucier’s works since the early 1980s, but with added harmonic richness. Like much of Lucier’s instrumental music, the pieces recorded here focus on acoustic phenomena, especially beating patterns, produced by the interference between closely tuned pitches. The work presented here is some of the richest and most inviting that Lucier has composed. Though all of the pieces clearly belong to the same continuing exploration of the behaviour of sound in physical space and make use of related compositional devices, each takes on a strikingly different character. Titled Arc, for the full ensemble of four guitars, four saxophones, four violins, piano and bowed glockenspiel inhabits a world of sliding, uneasy tones, punctuated by a single piano note. Where Double Helix, for four guitars, rests on a pillow of warm, low hum, EPO-5, for two guitars, saxophone, violin, and glockenspiel possess a limpid, crystalline quality. Accompanying the four new compositions are two adaptations of existing pieces for radically different instrumentation, demonstrating Lucier’s excitement about the new possibilities suggested by this dedicated ensemble. Works for the Ever Present Orchestra is an essential document of the current state of Lucier’s continuing exploration, as well as offering a seductive entry-point for anyone who might yet be unacquainted with his singular body of work.2CD release presented in a deluxe 4-panel digipak with cover artwork and liner notes from Alvin Lucier plus a 16-page booklet with live photos. Disc 2 of this release includes the bonus Adaptions for the Ever Present Orchestra featuring two pieces (“Two Circles” and “Braid”) that are not included on the vinyl version. Mastered by Rashad Becker. Design by Lasse Marhaug.
Alvin Lucier – Works for the Ever Present Orchestra
"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
First published in 1971 on Futura by Gérard Terronès, the first album by Théâtre du Chêne Noir is a protest: non-conformist and alive. According to Gelas’ own words, "Aurora is a fantastic tale of the fabulous story of the Earth and children who fight against terrifying bird men who fly from planet to planet to enslave the inhabitants and become the masters of the universe." Acted by ambitious, radical actors, the group also made for excellent musicians!
"In 1972, Steve Lacy recorded Solo, one of the gems in his discography, in the Théâtre du Chêne Noir in Avignon. The previous year (which was also the year in which Aurora appeared), the eponymous group of actors led by Gérard Gelas, took up residence in what was a 12th century chapel. The Théâtre du Chêne Noir is therefore not just the name of a space open to all kinds of artistic audacity, but also the name of the great Theatre Group which resides there. Gérard Terronès showed some flair when he published, in 1971 on Futura, the first album by Théâtre du Chêne Noir. It has to be said that the group run by Gérard Gelas was right up his street: non-conformist, eccentric, protesting, just so alive… Singing too, as we can still hear today on Aurora, recorded at Avignon the 22 and 23 June 1971. Aurora, which had been created a few weeks earlier at Ariane Mnouchkine’s Théâtre du Soleil, is according to, Gelas’ own words, a fantastic tale with actor musicians who play out the fabulous story of the Earth, and children who fight against terrifying bird men who fly from planet to planet to enslave the inhabitants and become the masters of the universe. It is an ambitious subject and thankfully (even more so for the album than for the play), the actors are also excellent musicians! If we can find «Chêne Noir» between Checkpoint Charlie and Chillum in the Nurse With Wound List created by Steven Stapleton and John Fothergill, Aurora is closer to Stances à Sophie by the Art Ensemble Of Chicago and the Divine Comédie by Bernard Parmegiani and François Bayle. So, we need to move forward cautiously in this landscape of recitals and songs, of mysteries and cries, where saxophones and flutes, electric guitars and percussions spring up… Could the tragic climax have been possible without music? The Théâtre du Chêne Noir replies no to the question and creates a fascinating mix of text and music without one dominating the other. Enjoy the show!
Le Théâtre Du Chêne Noir – Aurora
"Based around the married couple Paul and Limpe Fuchs, the group Anima, also known as Anima-Sound, was one of the most radically avant-garde and creative groups to emerge from the thriving Krautrock scene of Munich at the end of the 1960s. In fact, their improvised atonal sounds and unconventional instrumentation is much closer to the spirit of experimental free jazz than anything remotely close to rock music. The Fuchs began in the late '60s as part of the counterculture at the time. Adding to the conventional instruments such as drums, bass, and cornet, as well as wordless vocal yelps and screams, they created their own homemades, like the Fuchshorn, Fuchszither, and Fuchsbass to further enhance the strangeness of their structure-less music. A 1970 appearance of them in an X-rated exposé movie, Sex Freedom in Germany, finds Limpe, naked except for black body paint, banging away on drums and Paul on various inventions creating musical anarchy.
Anima-Sound's first album, Stürmischer Himmel, was recorded in a 1,000-year-old cottage and released by Ohr Records in 1971. That summer, they also played the Ossiach, a three-day outdoor festival organized by famed Austrian classical/jazz pianist Friedrich Gulda that included Tangerine Dream and Pink Floyd. By then, Gulda had become close friends with the Fuchs and even joined them on their next few albums, including Anima released by the Pilz label and Musik für Alle, both of which came out in 1972. During the next few years, the Fuchs would often tour with Gulda and make guest appearances on his records as well. "Anima" continued to release records of their eccentric music, from the double It's Up to You in 1974 to Monte Alto in 1977. Recorded between 1978 and 1982, the double LP Der Regt Mich Auf/A Controversy included new bandmember Zoro Fuchs, son of Paul and Limpe, on drums. This same lineup of the three Fuchs is also on the double album Bruchstucke für Ilona, recorded in the summer of 1985 and released later that year. By 1987's Via, Anima had become Limpe Fuchs' solo project. She continued this solo career after that with an album every several years in a similar vein to the Anima records, with a high emphasis on creativity." - Rolf Semprebon
Anima Sound – Monte Alto
"Colorful Troop - Dreaming Without Things"
"Colorful Troupe came together in 2017 and consists of Limpe Fuchs, Ruth-Maria Adam, Ignaz Schick and Ronnie Oliveras, who play a variety of percussion, wind and string instruments as well various electronic means in front of their audience. At this point it is absolutely necessary to point out how such a 'colorful troupe acts at the height of its time and improvisedly moves beyond so-called genre boundaries and musical conventions. Of course, this full-bodied announcement includes that the Colorful Troupe knows how to challenge their audience! Naturally.What else?
Evidence of historical contexts or other cultural contexts, such as that Limpe Fuchs has been internationally known as a musician since God knows how long (and many years of it in the free improv duo Anima-Sound) and is on the move, The fact that Ruth-Maria Adam and Ronnie Oliveras also make a noise at Datashock and the Flamingo Creatures, while Ignaz Schick hurries from artist residency to artist residency with the record player under his arm, is (not) important. It may also be (un) helpful to use one or the other international benchmark to classify the music for orientation. But before we get lost in the music library, we prefer to prick up our ears and dedicate ourselves to the astonishing sounds that this record contains: lively and seemingly carefree, But the colorful troupe starts to play with each other attentively and free themselves, and so supposedly incompatible, musically disparate things come together casually. The material does not want to be mastered, it has suffered enough." - Holger Adam
Bunte Truppe – Träumen Ohne Dinge
Black Truffle announce Genetic, the first release outside Indonesia from contemporary Balinese composer Dewa Alit and his Gamelan Salukat. Alit is a major force in contemporary Indonesian music, presenting his work extensively throughout Asia, Europe and North America and collaborating with renowned ensembles such as Bang On A Can and Ensemble Modern. Involved in the composition and performance of works for Gamelan ensemble since he was a teenager, in 2007 he founded Gamelan Salukat, a 25 member ensemble that perform on instruments specially built to Alit’s designs, using a unique 11-note scale.The single composition that unfurls over the two sides of Genetic is an enchanting introduction to Alit’s magical sound world. Beginning with a stately procession of isolated, hanging chords sounded on the ensemble’s uniquely-tuned metallophones, the piece abruptly launches into a stunning passage of rhythmically complex call-and-response motifs, making striking use of abruptly muted chords – one of many moments where the acoustic ensemble sounds uncannily electronic. The piece continues to alternate between spare investigations of resounding tones and sometimes frenetic ensemble interplay using unorthodox techniques, including a stunning moment around half-way when the entire Gamelan seems to transform itself into a single, gigantic zither. Later in the piece, drums and wind instruments enter, and the metallophones begin to play virtuosic, rapid-fire passages of fragmented scalar melody.As Alit explains in his liner notes, the music of Gamelan Salukat is grounded in the tradition of Balinese Gamelan; however, he approaches this tradition not as something static, but as a set of concepts and principles that can be used to create something radically new. For many listeners, Genetic will inhabit precisely this space between the familiar and the invigoratingly unheard, as it takes the stop-start dynamics, unison melodies, and much of the instrumentation familiar from traditional Balinese Gamelan and puts them in the service of rhythmic, harmonic, and timbral experimentation, crafting a work possessed by at once by mysterious grandeur and a joyous volatility.
Performed by Gamelan Salukat. Recorded at Antida Studio, Bali 2015. Special thanks to Made Mantle Hood for the recording space.Mastered and cut by Kassian Troyer at D&M, Berlin.Cover image and graphic design by Lasse Marhaug.LP includes liner notes by the composer.
Dewa Alit & Gamelan Salukat – Genetic
Black Truffle is pleased to present Realejo, the first vinyl release from Brazilian sound artist and composer Manuel Pessoa de Lima. Having composed works for diverse contexts including cinema, contemporary dance, theatre and television, Lima’s live appearances often take the form of self-reflexive lecture performances that combine electro-acoustic sound, red light, video and spoken text, moving unpredictably from the hilarious to the distressing.Realejo consists of two side-long pieces of highly idiosyncratic electro-acoustic collage, beginning with recordings Lima made of himself playing the organ in the Schloss Solitude Chapel in Stuttgart. Exploring the peculiarities of the instrument’s mechanics, Lima made hours of recordings with the organ stops half-way open, moving from haunting gliding tones to oddly tuned fair-ground melodies reminiscent of the record’s namesake realejo, a hand-cranked organ traditionally found in Brazil as the musical accompaniment to the work of fortune-telling parrots.To these organ sounds, Lima added recordings of a security guard made in São Paulo: ‘Just before coming to Stuttgart, I started making field recordings of a security guard in São Paulo. It's something pretty common in residential areas: they sit in a chair with a whistle, and use that to signal when people arrive, leave or pass by in the street. This particular security guard, Miguel Viana, works on the same street my parents live, and where I had my childhood, and he has worked there since I was a small child. He has watched the street at night, from 8PM to 6AM, every single day, except Sundays, for over 30 years’.The poignant sounds of the security guard’s whistles punctuate Lima’s electro-acoustic environment, which also includes raw digital synthesis, recordings of his friends’ infant child, audio lifted from Youtube, and, on the LP’s second side, elements taken from an earlier work, ‘36 English to Portuguese Lessons’. Finely chiselled from dozens of hours of source material into a detail-rich, mercurial structure, Realejo is alternately jarring and seductive, introducing listeners to a young composer with a powerfully individual voice.
Manuel Pessôa de Lima – Realejo
1977 Days of Free Music Festival recording, restored and released for the first time. "Paul and Limpe Fuchs played superbly. As archaic as the instruments may seem (sand shovel, circular saw, hand-knitted crumhorn, sheet metal), as simple as the musical patterns and structures are, far from all virtuosity, the two have meanwhile found a complete harmony in making music together. The most beautiful thing about this music is probably the unfamiliar; no role model is used here." - Baldur Brockhoff, Süddeutsche Zeitung
"In 1968, the Austrian classical and jazz pianist Friedrich Gulda organized the First International Music Forum of Ossiachersee with the theme "Improvisation in Music -- Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow". During the third edition of the festival, Gulda got to know the band Anima Sound and was fascinated by their "absolute free music", which they played on home-made instruments. Anima Sound was Limpe and Paul Fuchs, who had already released two albums in 1971, Stürmischer Himmel (Stormy Heaven) on Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser's OHR label and the self-released Musik für Alle. Musik für Alle developed during a 4,000-kilometer tour throughout Europe when the band and their two children hitched a handmade mobile home and stage to an old Hanomag tractor, bringing their anarchic, uncompromising improvisations to an impromptu public, free of charge. German documentary filmmaker Helga Tiedemann captured part of the tour for the film Mit 20 km/h durch Europa. Gulda and Anima Sound often toured together throughout the '70s and the band became regulars at Gulda's festivals of free music. In 1972, they released the simply titled LP Anima. In 1973, Tiedemann captured one of the shows, and the film Gruppe Anima in Salzburg. The International Music Forum of Ossiachersee ended in 1974.
In the same year, Gulda and Limpe and Paul Fuchs went on tour with some of their festival musicians and recorded the double-LP "It's Up To You." Gulda and partner Ursula Anders' festival in Ossiach attracted top-class guests, including among others Pink Floyd, Weather Report, Tangerine Dream, and many great jazz and world music musicians. The follow-up festival, Tage Freier Musik (Days of Free Music) at Castle Moosham in the Lungau region of Salzburg, Austria in 1976 again offered a high-class bill. A year later in 1977, the guests were Don Cherry and Moki, The Revolutionary Ensemble, Günther Rabl, Makaya Ntshoko, among others, and Anima Sound with Limpe and Paul Fuchs.
The recordings here were made during the 1977 festival and have been restored and are released for the first time ever. The music critic Baldur Brockhoff wrote for Süddeutsche Zeitung about the Anima Sound concert: "Paul and Limpe Fuchs played superbly. As archaic as the instruments may seem (sand shovel, circular saw, hand-knitted crumhorn, sheet metal), as simple as the musical patterns and structures are, far from all virtuosity, the two have meanwhile found a complete harmony in making music together. The most beautiful thing about this music is probably the unfamiliar; no role model is used here."
Anima – Im Lungau
"Star Trap presents a selection of hitherto unreleased 1990s recordings from Arnold Dreyblatt and his Orchestra of Excited Strings. Following on from Black Truffle’s wide-ranging archival Second Selection (2015), which presented a smorgasbord of unreleased material from between 1978 and 1989, Star Trap mines Dreyblatt’s extensive archive of unheard recordings from the 1990s, uncovering six pieces performed by three different iterations of the Orchestra of Excited Strings. While Dreyblatt often performs in his ensembles on his signature Excited Strings Bass (a double bass strung with piano wire), here we find him in the composer’s chair and behind the mixing desk, leading ensembles of modified percussion, string, and wind instruments.
Four of the pieces make use of Dreyblatt’s Dynamic Processing System (heard on a stunning pair of solo pieces for electric guitar featured on Second Selection), in which the opening and closing of digital noise gates are controlled by an external signal (in this case, a recording of faulty escalator). Rather than the relentless thudding rhythms of 1980s works like Nodal Excitations, the ensemble pieces here are closer to the propulsive, at times even funky rhythmic foundation of Dreyblatt’s classic Animal Magnetism (Tzadik, 1995), but further enlivened by the unpredictable accents of the Dynamic Processing System. On ‘Escalator’, a six-piece version of the Orchestra performs the notated stuttering rhythms and shifting accents of the gated escalator recordings, without the actual Dynamic Processing System being audible.
On the remaining two pieces, composed for the tenth anniversary of the Orchestra of Excited Strings in Europe, Dreyblatt made use of algorithmic software to generate material. But far from austere exercises, these pieces are perhaps the most immediate of all, as the Orchestra exuberantly tears through a sequence of repeating rhythmic and melodic cells, dazzling the ear with the overtones generated by Dreyblatt’s twenty-note microtonal scale. At times recalling aspects of the work of Peter Zummo or Arthur Russell’s Instrumentals, but with a massive dose of sonic heft, this is music for both the mind and the body."
Mastered and cut by Kassian Troyer at D&M, Berlin.Design by Lasse Marhaug.Includes liner notes by Arnold Dreyblatt.
Arnold Dreyblatt – Star Trap
"Premier recordings of two recent works by legendary American experimental composer Alvin Lucier. A friend and contemporary of pioneers like Robert Ashley, David Behrman, Gordon Mumma, and Christian Wolff, Lucier has been crafting elegant explorations of the behavior of sound in physical space since the 1960s.
Lucier is perhaps best known for I Am Sitting in a Room (1970), in which he repeatedly re-recorded his own speaking voice being played back into a room until the room’s resonant frequencies entirely obscure the spoken text. Beginning in the early 1970s, he has written a remarkable catalogue of instrumental works that focus on phenomena produced by the interference between closely tuned pitches, such as audible beating, often using pure electronic tones produced by oscillators in combination with single instruments. Demonstrating the restless creative drive of an artist now in his 80s, the two recent works presented here both feature the electric guitar, an instrument Lucier has just recently begun to explore.
In Criss-Cross, Lucier’s first composition for electric guitars, two guitarists using e-bows sweep slowly up and down a single semitone, beginning at opposite ends of the pitch range. The piece is a model of simplicity, exemplifying Lucier’s desire not to ‘compose’ in the conventional sense, but rather to eliminate everything that ‘distracts from the acoustical unfolding of the idea’. In this immaculately controlled performance of Criss-Cross by Oren Ambarchi and Stephen O’Malley, (for whom the piece was written in 2013), a seemingly simple idea creates a rich array of sonic effects – not simply beating patterns, which gradually slow down as the two tones reach unison and accelerate as they move further apart, but also the remarkable phenomenon of sound waves spinning in elliptical patterns through space between the two guitar amps. In the comparatively lush Hanover, Lucier draws inspiration from the beautiful photograph that provides the LP with its cover, an image of the Dartmouth Jazz Band taken in 1918 featuring Lucier’s father on violin. Using the instrumentation present in the photograph, Lucier creates an unearthly sound world of sliding tones from violin, alto and tenor saxophones, piano, vibraphone (bowed) and three electric guitars (which take the place of the banjos present in the photograph). Waves of slow glissandi create thick, complex beating patterns, gently punctuated by repeated single notes from the piano. The result is a piece that, like much of Lucier’s instrumental music, is simultaneously both unperturbably calm and constantly in motion."
Design by Stephen O’Malley. Mastered by Rashad Becker at D&M Belin. “Criss-Cross” recorded at Studios Ina GRM, Paris by Francois Bonnet and mixed by Alvin Lucier. “Hanover” recorded in Zurich and mixed by Alvin Lucier.
Alvin Lucier – Criss Cross / Hanover
Experimental music pioneer Keiji Haino, one of the most mysterious and influential figures to emerge from the Japanese psychedelic underground, teams up with Charles Hayward, British drummer and founding member of This Heat and Camberwell Now, on a new live album released on Thirty Three Thirty Three.
A loss permitted... (the full title of the record is the above poem in its entirety) comprises a live recording of the duo’s improvised performance at the Copeland Gallery in London in July 2016, presented as part of Thirty Three Thirty Three’s performance series Japan: London. The result is fascinating: a mix of air synths, distortions, improvised Japanese poetry and warped guitar sounds. Sedate harmonica and guitar sections give way to cosmic din or an equally unnerving silence, in a performance ALL ABOUT JAZZ described as having ‘no sense of logic, only silence where the tension seemed to build, then finally release’.
KEIJI HAINO & CHARLES HAYWARD – A LOSS PERMITTED TO OPEN ITS EYES FOR BUT THREE HOURS. AND THERE GLIMPSED, FINALLY IN FOCUS, A MYSTERY. THAT BEGS EARNESTLY, "ASK ME NOTHING". NOW, ONCE MORE THE PROBLEM IS YOURS ALONE
This is a pre-order. Releases September.
Deluxe boxed LP set of Graham Lambkin’s first four solo records, remastered, including an expansive book featuring essays and unseen photos.
LPs included are:
Poem (For Voice & Tape)
Softly Softly Copy Copy
Graham Lambkin (b. 1973, Dover, England) is a multidisciplinary artist who first came to prominence in the early ‘90s through the formation of his experimental music group The Shadow Ring. As a sound organizer rather than music maker, Lambkin looks at an everyday object and sees an ocean of possibility, continually transforming quotidian atmospheres and the mundane into expressive sound art using tape manipulation techniques, chance operations, and the thick ambience of domestic field recordings. His Kye imprint, founded in 2001, was an instrumental platform for the dissemination of and dialogue between work by an intergenerational cast of artists using sound, including Henning Christiansen, Anton Heyboer, Moniek Darge, and Gabi Losoncy. He began showing his visual art in 2014 with Came To Call Mine, an exhibition curated by Lawrence Kumpf and Justin Luke in conjunction with the publication of Lambkin’s children’s book (for adults) of the same name released by Penultimate Press.
Graham Lambkin – Solos