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Black Truffle present Peaks by Australian cellist Judith Hamann, her debut release of electro-acoustic music. Known mostly for her live performance work with composers including Sarah Hennies, Yvette Janine Jackson, Alvin Lucier, Tashi Wada, and La Monte Young, here she steps away from the cello, moving into an intimate dreamscape woven from recordings gathered over years of itinerant touring. Peaks is a work in two distinct parts, crossfading between different landscapes and apertures; from rooftop to church, from stasis to flares of momentary romanticism. Peaks considers summits as being both above and below, reframing the idea of apex from a more intimate perspective. Hamann considers how our domestic and personal geographies might form their own apogees, meridians, or nadirs.
Assembled in 2019 while an artist in residence in Krems, Austria, Peaks begins with Hamann's more familiar cello but soon unravels into resonant electronic interiors; Southern California nightscapes heard through windows, San Francisco bathroom fans, snatches of recordings of friends, hand organs, and engines. "signal/Centinela" draws primarily on recordings from Hamann's time living in San Diego, and carries with it a certain sense of nostalgia in the sense of homesickness, longing, and displacement of distance and time. Side B is composed from recordings gathered on a different continent, Europe, weaving piano with recordings of sleep, breath, church organ, and the act of climbing. "under/over" emerges as it recedes, overlapping moments of arrival to create another kind of "spire" in the sense of spir (breath). Peaks, with its omission of any recordings from Hamann's home of Australia, hints at how the very construction of home itself, might be restless, untethered, changeable, and malleable.
On Peaks, Hamann interrogates tropes of ambient concrète musics, intentionally pivoting formally around material which teeters on the edge of cliché. This exploration asks whether familiar frames of harmony, field recordings and narrative trajectories can excavate new territories, or be ruptured. Peaks untangles a very personal sense of tension between beauty and shame in experimental music: treating lushness and harmony as possessing potentially muscular musical properties that might wrestle with or construct senses of belonging and home.
Design by Lasse Marhaug.
Photos by Judith Hamann. Mixed and mastered by Alan F Jones.
Judith Hamann – Peaks
The is a pre-order. Releases 6th November.
Pat Thomas is one of the most extraordinary pianists of our time. In a first time duo with saxophonist Matana Roberts, the lyricism of his distinctly dexterous and curious approach to the piano paints pathways for Robert’s poignantly vocal saxophone. Together the two speak; locked grooves and neat switchbacks on the keys form dialogue with long deliberate lines on the alto, punctuated by Roberts’ ecstatic vocalisations.
The trio of improvised pieces which make up the record’s first side are rich phrases, pitched at each end of the piano and stretched and pulled by Pat. His simple, repetitive cycles yield space and colour for Robert’s song, then let sounds build to a flourish; an armed run on the keys and some wonderfully soft landings.
The second side, a whole part in itself, goes deeper - hammered armfuls of piano and torn top breath blasting from Roberts fall in a flutter of delicate keystrokes. Call and response halves collide in a wonderful thunder before finding the edge of another line to hang onto. There is a remarkable sense of purpose, precision and restraint at play, as well as a peaceful milieu, which no doubt stems from the two players' fierce individual intelligence, creativity and curiosity.
The record arrives housed in a screen printed Kraftboard sleeve, die cut to reveal photographs taken by Dawid Laskowski and Fabio Luguro. Mastered by Giuessepe Ielesi who also mastered Pat Thomas’ The Elephant Clock of Al Jazari, we pressed this on 180g black vinyl. You can’t press a work called ‘The Truth’ on much less, can you?
Pat Thomas / piano
Matana Roberts / saxophone
Recorded by James Dunn live at Cafe OTO on the 8th December 2018. Mixed by James Dunn and mastered by Guiseppe Ielasi. Photographs by Dawid Laskowski and Fabio Lugaro. Design and layout by Maja Larrson.
The Truth – Matana Roberts & Pat Thomas
New York no-wavers Ike Yard are perhaps best known for being the first American band signed to Factory Records, and it isn't difficult to hear why: the group's music has much in common with the existential frigidness of Joy Division and early New Order as well as the mutant noise-funk of Section 25 and A Certain Ratio. That said, the sound of Night After Night, the band's debut EP, is one that could only have emerged from the lawless dystopia of '70s New York City.
Vocalist/percussionist Stuart Argabright, guitarist Michael Diekmann, vocalist/bassist Kenny Compton and synth player Fred Szymanski traffic in a particularly foreboding rhythmic tension, creating in the process an unlikely amalgam of minimal wave, industrial and post-punk.
Recorded shortly after forming in 1980 and originally released on seminal Brussels imprint Les Disques Du Crépuscule, Night After Night suggests an alternate history in which Tobe Hooper and Jah Wobble provided the soundtrack to The Warriors. The atmosphere throughout is thick. Every cymbal is dubbed-out and spacey; every vocal utterance treated, alien and detached.
Fans of Chrome's damaged ice machine-guitar or Suicide's menacing, anything-can-happen m.o. will rejoice in the siren-sounds, metal clanging and metronomic death-pulse of "Sense of Male," while “Infra-ton" evokes the cacophonous rattle of gates being pulled down over bodega storefronts and the screech of subway brakes. Side two kicks off with "Motiv's" mechanical dread, and the squelchy din of "Cherish" recasts The Residents as streetwise, urban punks.
Night After Night remains primal evidence of the dank, uncompromising narcotica of Ike Yard's embryonic period.
This first-time reissue comes with original sleeve design.
IKE YARD – Night After Night
Ike Yard remain a legendary band of early '80s New York City – at once immensely influential, yet obscured by a far-too-brief initial phase. Their debut EP, the dark and absorbing Night After Night, sounds almost like a different group, so rapidly would Ike Yard evolve towards the calmly menacing electro throb of their self-titled LP.
Originally released on Factory in 1982, the album put Ike Yard's indelible mark on the synth-driven experimental rock scene then emerging all over the planet. While historical analogues would be Cabaret Voltaire's Red Mecca or Front 242's Geography, opening track "M. Kurtz" makes starkly clear that Ike Yard is a far heavier proposition.
With a thick porridge of bass, ringing guitar and strangled/stunted layers of voice, these six pieces are densely packed and perversely danceable. "Loss" sounds like a minimal techno track that could have been made last week, while "Kino" combines Soviet-era imagery with sparse soundscapes à la African Head Charge's Environmental Studies.
Ike Yard somehow pull off the toughest trick in modern music: making repetition hypnotically compelling through subtle variation. The effect of Ike Yard's first LP can be heard in many genres – from industrial dance labels like Wax Trax to electro-punk bands and innumerable European groups (Lucrate Milk, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, etc.).
The fact that the cover artwork does not include any photos of the band, but rather features the original catalogue number (FACT A SECOND) only further illustrates the release's importance and Ike Yard's timeless mystique.
Ike Yard – s/t
Axis/Another Revolvable Thing is the second installment of Blank Forms’ archival reissues of the music of Japan’s eternal revolutionary Masayuki Takayanagi, following April is the cruellest month, a 1975 studio record by his New Direction Unit. Comprised of recordings of a September 5, 1975 concert by the New Direction Unit at Yasuda Seimei Hall in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district, the two-part set showcases Takayanagi in deep pursuit of what he began calling “non-section music” after leaping beyond the confines of his prior descriptor “real jazz.” The quartet of Takayanagi (guitar), Kenji Mori (reeds), Nobuyoshi Ino (bass, cello), and Hiroshi Yamazaki (percussion) deftly explores the twin poles of Takayanagi’s spacious “gradually projection” and explosively virulent “mass projection” concepts across six pieces, titled Fragments I - VI. Originally issued in two individual LP volumes in rearranged order, this CD edition presents the Another Revolvable Thing concert in chronological sequence for the first time, with “gradually projection” pieces on the first disc and “mass projection” eruptions on the second.As part of his liner notes for the original records (newly translated for this edition), noted Japanese free jazz critic Teruto Soejima wrote:"New Direction Unit performances always emit the smell of blood. Fresh blood, never blood that is old or crusted. This is not the desiccated shell of music, it's sound through which pumps the blood of living human beings. Blood that seethes, that flows and counterflows, that blazes, runs, rises and congeals, blood that vomits and spurts. Vivid, scarlet blood. The ultimate beauty that Takayanagi aims at, is it not the color of this blood?Blood calls out to blood. For these four musicians, playing together means feasting on each other’s blood. It is also a summoning to a secret blood oath, to the creation of solidarity with the audience. In the moment, truly, the situation and beauty are instantaneously unified. To borrow the title of a movie by Kōji Wakamatsu: blood is redder than the sun."
Masayuki “Jojo” Takayanagi (1932 - 1991) was a maverick Japanese guitarist, a revolutionary spirit whose oeuvre embodied the radical political movements of late ‘60s Japan. Having cut his teeth as an accomplished Lennie Tristano disciple playing cool jazz in the late ‘50s, Takayanagi had his mind blown by the Chicago Transit Authority’s “Free Form Guitar” in 1969 and promptly turned his back on the jazz scene by which he was beloved, going as far as to call his former peers and admirers “a bunch of losers” in the press. Takayanagi had found a new direction, an annihilation of jazz and its associated idolatry of hegemonic American culture. Aiming his virtuoso chops towards the stratosphere, Takayanagi dedicated himself to the art of the freakout, laying waste to tradition left and right, most notably via the all-out assault of his aptly-named New Direction for the Arts (later New Direction Unit) and collaborations with like-minded outsider saxophonist Kaoru Abe. His innovations on the instrument parallel those of Sonny Sharrock and Derek Bailey and paved the way for the Japanese necromancy of Keiji Haino and Otomo Yoshihide, but even at its most limitless hurdling Takayanagi’s playing is propelled by the dexterous grasp of his foundations, to which he paid tribute with elegant takes on flamenco and Ornette Coleman’s “Lonely Woman.” In the autumn of his life, Takayanagi’s solo Action Direct performances made him one of the first guitarists, alongside but independent of Keith Rowe, to use tabletop guitar for pure noise improvisation.
Masayuki Takayanagi New Direction Unit – Axis/Another Revolvable Thing 2
Masayuki Takayanagi New Direction Unit – Axis/Another Revolvable Thing 1
Debut LP of contorted cosmic jazz and eccentric minimal electronics by Exotic Sin. The duo of Naima Karlsson and Kenichi Iwasa first came together for a performance celebrating the art and music of Karlsson’s grandparents, Moki and Don Cherry, before continuing as an independent unit that still incorporates some of the Cherrys’ instruments as well as their synergetic integration of music with artistic practice.Preferring the stark contrast of analog/digital, acoustic/electric, and natural/unnatural sounds, Karlsson contributes synthesizers in addition to piano, celesta, and bells, while Iwasa collides anachronistic 90s Yamaha keyboard and guitaret with contrabass recorder, drums, kalimba, and three of Don Cherry’s instruments: one of his trumpets as well as two of his “zen saxophones,” handmade woodwinds appending reed mouthpieces to plastic plumbing parts, also called Don’s kettles after their high-pitched sound. With such timbral juxtapositions, the spirit of Exotic Sin is reminiscent of a number of leftfield jazz-meets-electronics ‘70s duos from Don Cherry’s maverick collaborations with Jon Appleton and Terry Riley to Anthony Braxton’s work with Richard Teitelbaum, İlhan Mimaroğlu and Freddie Hubbard’s Sing Me a Song of Songmy, and Muhal Richard Abrams’ electronic works. On album opener “Dot 2 Dot,” Karlsson’s measured, monastic piano sets an elegiac stage for kettle bends and absurdist electro-percussive filtering courtesy of Iwasa before a flourish of cascading ebonies and ivories together with restorative circular trumpet motifs bring the sidelong piece to a majestic resolution. Named after the character from Ridley Scott’s 1989 film Black Rain, the schizosphere of “Charlie Vincent” interfaces ominous, dystopian synthesizer with permuted organ swells before album closer “Canis Minor” sets gentle sail for a distant bed of lonesome stars.A visual artist as well as an archivist and coordinator for the Cherry estate, Karlsson continues to learn and study Don’s compositions and approach to piano with her uncles Eagle-Eye and David, who were taught by Don himself, and his use of short piano compositions as loose scaffoldings for improvisation is prevalent across the record’s three otherworldly unfurlings. Improvisor and multidisciplinary artist Kenichi Iwasa is also known for his legendary Krautrock Karaoke night, his contribution to Beatrice Dillon’s 2020 album Workaround, and collaborations with visual artists and musicians from Linder Sterling to members of Can, Neu!, Faust, Cluster, and Wire. Recorded and mixed, with additional alto flute, woodwinds, and contrabass recorder by Robbie Lee.
Exotic Sin – Customers Copy
This is a pre-order.
Black Truffle announce Ashioto, the first international solo release from Japanese drummer-percussionist-composer Tatsuhisa Yamamoto. Active for over a decade, Yamamoto has performed and recorded extensively with artists such as Jim O'Rourke, Eiko Ishibashi, and Akira Sakata, as well as participating in innumerable improvised and ad hoc groups. Ashioto presents two wide-ranging pieces that combine Yamamoto's percussion work with piano, field recordings, electronics, and contributions from guest musicians Daisuke Fujiwara and Eiko Ishibashi.
Beginning with a passage of chiming metal percussion, the first side slowly builds into a rolling, open groove reminiscent of Yamamoto's work on Eiko Ishibashi's acclaimed Drag City LP, The Dreams My Bones Dream (2018). Spacious piano and synth notes, along with Ishibashi's spare melodic figures on processed flute, hover above this propulsive rhythmic foundation, the whole effect adding up to a more abstract take on the area explored on Rainer Brüninghaus's ECM classic Freigeweht (1981). The LP's second side opens up a cavernous space filled with ominous electronics and shimmering metallic percussion, which organically transitions into a passage of rumbling piano chords and mysterious concrète sound. Later in the piece, Daisuke Fujiawara's saxophone enters, playing melancholic melodic fragments that are looped and layered, creating a seasick swaying effect familiar to listeners of James Tenney's works with tape delay systems. Beginning as delicate bass drum pulses, Yamamoto's accompanying percussion eventually builds the piece into a raging torrent of free-improv splatter, processed sax and fizzing electronics.
Though grounded in instrumental performance, Ashioto is very much a studio construction, making inventive use of electro-acoustic principles in its editing and mixing. Together with its sister Ashiato -- a different take on the same "script" released simultaneously on Japanese label Newhere -- Ashioto demonstrates to an international audience for the first time the true breadth and ambition of Yamamoto's work.
Mastered by Jim O'Rourke.
Cover photos by Kuniyoshi Taikou.
Design by Lasse Marhaug.
Tatsuhisa Yamamoto – Ashioto
Black Truffle announce Undercurrent, the new LP from the long-running Milanese duo of Giuseppe Ielasi and Nicola Ratti. Following on from high-profile releases on Boomkat Editions and Shelter Press (SHELTER 080LP, 2017) in the last few years, the eight untitled pieces making up Undercurrent continue the pair's hypnotic and disorientating practice of improvisation based on tape loops.
Often sitting halfway between electro-acoustic technique and beat-based production, the music of Bellows obliquely recalls aspects of hip-hop, dub, and techno while skewing their rhythmic foundations. While consistent with the distinctive language the duo has developed over the last decade, Undercurrent moves away from the explicit references made to club music in their recent releases. It presents a suite of pieces that are markedly more minimal, at times reminiscent in their haunted introspection of the legendary Tolerance records on Vanity Records.
The pieces here often dwell for minutes at a time on single repeating tones, reverberating like distant bells in desolate landscapes of looped tape hiss. Where previous releases were primarily based on samples, Undercurrent uses recordings of the duo playing various instruments (guitar, drums, synthesizer) cut into tape loops and then used as the bases for song-length tracks, each of which establishes a central repeating motif while also opening up on close listening to reveal multitudes of improvised detail and subtle shifts in tone, texture, and tempo.
Beginning with the mournful sliding tones and obscured fragments of field recordings on the opening track, the album moves from lush synth pads to super-minimal pings and haunted drone. On "6" and "7", spacious, hanging guitar figures give the music an elegiac quality recalling the work of Dean Roberts and Ielasi's own earlier guitar-based music (such as the classic Gesine (HAPNA 021CD), released on Häpna in 2005). The record subtly builds to its final track, which works the barest of elements -- a slowed-tone loop of steel drums, a distant whistle, beeping electronics -- into a piece somehow imbued with a quiet grandeur, a fitting conclusion to a record that, like all of the duo's work, is both sonically exploratory and immediately accessible.
Bellows – Undercurrent
Originally recorded in 1977, following a limited release in 1979, Ghédalia Tazartès debut album, Diasporas, introduced listeners to the surreal, mysterious and truly unclassifiable statement of Tazartès and his out-of-time place in the French avant-garde canon. Born in Paris in 1947 to Judaeo-Spanish parents of Greek descent, Tazartès spent his early career as an autodidact utilizing his knowledge of repetition and collage, coupled with his Ladino linguistic heritage, to create some of the most unique recordings of the late 20th century. Interest in the works of Tazartès truly sparked when artist Steve Stapleton included his follow up album, Tazartès' Transports, in his famed “Nurse With Wound List,” thus adding endless curiosity to the folklore behind Tazartès and his mystical entrée. From the onset of Diasporas, looping incantations seemingly pile up at the behest of Tazartès. In almost a prayer-like decree, Tazartès chants to the gods in an undefined whail that is both haunting and spiritually divine. Tazartès unique use of tape loops to capture the disappearing traditions of his family’s past creates an atmospheric texture that unexpectedly complements his cut-up, manipulated vocal experiments. While contemporaries within the French avant-garde maneuvered academic theory and rigid tradition, Diasporas strays away from these boundaries, working in Tazartès’ invented practice of ‘impromuz’, a method in which he endlessly records for hours and edits only the moments that display any sense of spontaneous enlightenment. Further emboldening the obtuse nature of Diasporas are the seemingly random recitation of poet Stéphane Mallarmé and the traditional ‘Parisian-style’ piano accompaniment of experimental composer Michel Chion. Since its initial release over 40 years ago, both Dais Records and Alga Marghen have released reissues of Diasporas in various formats, with the initial Dais Records vinyl edition falling out of print. Dais Records presents an official reissue, newly remastered by Josh Bonati, utilizing the original artwork of Diasporas in its sole album form, for the first time in over four decades.
GHÉDALIA TAZARTÈS – DIASPORAS
New York, 1978, kindred composers Philip Corner and Carles Santos meet at the Bösendorfer piano of Charlemagne Palestine to record four-hand piano versions of Corner’s pieces “Chord” and “Gong!”. The result is a long-flowing distillation of the source of the two composers’ affinity: avant-garde practice of austere artistic devotion at play with perfect imperfections of the uncontainable human spirit.A small cassette edition appeared in the late 1980’s and is now presented in a new digital restoration by Stephan Mathieu, alongside a limited edition of 300 vinyl records cut by Lupo.
Philip Corner – Chord / Gong! (with Carles Santos)
Silvia Tarozzi, inspired by the poet Alda Merini and her studies with composer Garret List, worked with intimate personal history to write songs of love, motherhood, and the mystery hidden behind the curtain of everyday life. Over the course of nearly a decade, Tarozzi practiced setting the poetry of Alda Merini to music and then replacing it with her own to reflect her own life experiences. As a result, ‘Mi specchio e rifletto’ feels both poetic and earnestly autobiographical.A longtime collaborator of Eliane Radigue and a talented free improvisor, Tarozzi inspires as sensitive awareness while echoing progressive music forebearers. Past masterpieces reverberate throughout: the gentle chamber explorations of Penguin Cafe Orchestra, the science fiction of Franco Battiato’s 'Fetus', the abstract free jazz flourishes of Maria Monti’s 'Il Bestiario', the sweetness of Caterina Caselli’s 'Primavera'.As a solo performer, Tarozzi has collaborated with composers Eliane Radigue, Pascale Criton, Cassandra Miller and Martin Arnold. In duo with Deborah Walker, and as a member of Ensemble Dedalus, she has worked with Christian Wolff, Jürg Frey, Michael Pisaro, Catherine Lamb, Sébastien Roux, and many others. She previously released Philip Corner 'Extreemizms: early & late' on Unseen Worlds in 2018.
Silvia Tarozzi, voice, violin, keyboards, piano, casio sk-8, midi keyboards, slide guitars, accordion, field recordingsEdoardo Marraffa, tenor and sopranino saxDomenico Caliri, electric and acoustic guitarDeborah Walker, celloEnrico Lazzarini, double-bassVincenzo Vasi, electric bassCaterina Romano, flute, piccoloJessica Colarelli, clarinetTiziano Popoli, pianoValentina Malanot, voiceMusic and lyrics by Silvia TarozziRecorded and pre-mixed by Enzo Cimino between December 2015 and February 2016 at Vignola (home studio) and Bologna (SoundLab studio) and by Tiziano Popoli in January 2019 at Vignola (Popoli home studio), Italy.Mixed and mastered by Bob Drake between June 2016 and October 2019 at Studio Midi-Pyrénées, La Borde Basse (Caudeval), France.“Mi specchio e rifletto” and “Anna”, mixed by Silvia Tarozzi in April 2019.
Silvia Tarozzi – Mi specchio e rifletto
"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
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
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
Bill Nace and Graham Lambkin first played together in Fall 2018, in Kentucky, behind plastic. In that performance, they sometimes played the same instrument at the same time. Time passed, then they recorded this album in Fall 2019, in London. I was told that an acoustic guitar, a cymbal and tapes were used in the recording and I have no reason to doubt that. There are also voices, birds, a room, the outside world…; a bow is used. Bill & Graham both deal in different kinds of tension & discomfort and while this album is both like & unlike what I’ve heard from either of them, it is somewhat remarkably laid-back.
Though there are separate and distinct tracks, they flow into each other organically. Not without some jagged interruptions – in fact, many of the tracks *announce* themselves with a sudden cough, squeak or scrape – but the field recording aspects (passing cars, a siren, some banter) act as a leitmotif holding things together, adding a casual ambiance that *almost* invites a casual listen. But it is deceptive in that way. It is not a hermetic recording. As much as it doesn’t exclude the sounds of the outside world, it also lies open to interpretation. Themes recur just enough to create a connective tissue that frames some of the more seemingly disparate elements. Brief fragments of conversation invite the mind to try to understand and create its own narrative; a pizzicato, modal folksong played on guitar, then played back on tape at the end of Side A has a reprise midway through Side B; hints of ancient music are bowed or chanted… This is not a tapestry without thread, but you’ve also got to bring some of your own. —-Greg Kelley Somerville MA 2020
Bill Nace & Graham Lambkin – The Dishwashers
Unique improv / ambient album by two creative minds Lol Coxhill & Morgan Fisher. Originally from 1981 and now re-issued for the first time on vinyl in transparent green & black vinyl.Cherry Red generously gave Morgan Fisher musical carte-blanche by offering to distribute a label of his own so, like his studio, he called his label Pipe. For the first album he decided to record an album of ambient music. Rather than using synths, Morgan decided to invite soprano sax supremo Lol Coxhill to supply some raw material which he then processed in various ways. The opening track is based on Lol’s beautiful performance of Handel’s Largo, recycled through tape delays, VCS3 filters and octave shifts.The result (in Morgan's opinion) is somewhat like a Mexican funeral march. Other tracks transform the sound of the sax sound into bells (!) and lush orchestral soundscapes. The 20-minute title track is based on the melody of the short closing track (which Lol sang, accompanied by church bells!). Morgan recorded phrases from the melody using piano, guitar, bass and voice. He snipped off the beginning of each note (about 5mm of tape) making the sounds less recognisable, then looped each phrase and recorded long stretches of the loops onto individual tracks of his 8-track TEAC. Finally he created this piece in real time by fading tracks in and out through long tape delays. This pioneering work took weeks of intense experimenting and has been cited as an influence by several top Japanese artists such as Haruomi Hosono of YMO.Lol Coxhill passed away after a long illness, on July 10 2012, aged 79. RIP.
Lol Coxhill & Morgan Fisher – Slow Music
Originally composed by Maggi Payne between 1984-1987 for the performance group Technological Feets. Formed by video artist Ed Tennenbaum in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1981, the group combines dance, live video processing and music.Ahh-Ahh was first released in 2012 on Root Strata. Composed on an Apple II computer & various early sampling devices, Payne's compositions are a vibrant response to the call from the moving body. Populated with buoyant pulses, graceful analogue swells, dense fog-like drones and cascading rhythms that shift in space, AHH-AHH is a vital document of not only these early collaborations, but of computer based music as well. She studied with many greats in the field, including Gordon Mumma, Robert Ashley & David Berhman.
Maggi Payne – Ahh Ahh