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
“a notea voice, screamsa batterysounds, grating noise, scratcheshere it startsMusic, musicYou who shudderWho makes you dance, singWho moves the buttand now begins Humming Dogs” - Florence Decourcelle, Humming DogsAn absolute pleasure to present ‘Les Borigènes’ - the first LP from France’s Humming Dogs. Born from the radical ‘Oiseau Mouche’ (Bird-Fly Company) - a troupe of actors and comedians who focus on the theatre of gesture - Humming Dogs make joyful, avant rock music, which pooh poohs the po-faced in favour of a party.Humming Dogs are made up of eight members - David Bausseron, Mathieu Breuvard, Florence Decourcelle, Thierry Dupont, Chantal Esso, Léa Le Bars, Florian Spiry, and Valérie Waroquier, who each write and create songs, swap instruments and sing collectively. Guitars, bass, drum kit, and keyboards mix with toy percussion, amplified pine cones, pot lids, iPads, a zither and an arsenal of effects. ‘Ha Ha Ha’ opens the record with the group dispersed and growling at one another, only to break out in infectious laughter, a free word riot and a thick bass melody. The traditional French song, ‘Karnaval’, gets totally sent by keyboards and a slung low guitar scrawl, egged on by the bands hooting and hollering. ‘Ça Me Gratte’ haunts and grates until it splits with a rising synthesizer and squeaking Bonios. The spitting, itching, near exhausted vocals from Chantel Esso are unlike much else we've heard.‘Les Borigènes’ contains the self taught, simple charm of the Shaggs ‘Philosophy of the World’, performed in the spirit of village revelry and recorded and edited beautifully in the tradition of the GRM. Democratized experimentation, low ego rock’n’roll - Les Borigènes is a truly joyous, remarkable and wild record. It arrives in an edition of 500 140g black vinyl LPs, with artwork from London’s Submit to Love Studios and Taylor Silk.Humming Dogs have performed at Sonic Protest, Cafe OTO, and Counterflows and are due to tour again in 2020.
Humming Dogs – Les Borigènes
'Patty Waters is a visionary avant-garde vocalist and composer, best known for her groundbreaking 1960s recordings for the legendary free jazz label ESP-Disk. Captivated by the music of Billie Holiday, she sang with Bill Evans, Charlie Mingus, Chick Corea, and Herbie Hancock before coming to the attention of Albert Ayler, who introduced her to ESP-Disk’s Bernard Stollman. The rest is history. Recorded with pianist Burton Greene, Waters’ haunting 1966 debut Sings juxtaposes a side of hushed self-composed jazz ballad miniatures with an iconoclastic take on the standard “Black Is the Color of My True Love’s Hair.” Sharing Ayler’s affinity for the deconstruction of folk idioms, Waters dismantles the tune through a series of anguished wails, moans, whispers, and screams that cemented her reputation as a vocal innovator, predating the extended techniques of Yoko Ono, Joan La Barbara, and Linda Sharrock, and cited as a direct influence to Diamanda Galás and Patti Smith’s own freeform vocal excursions. The mythic side-long exposition stands as one of the 20th century’s most harrowing expressions of madness and grief, its incantatory mutilation of the word “black” into a full-spectrum monochrome resounding with a particular potency at a time when battles for civil rights were erupting across the country. After recording a second ESP-Disk album Waters disappeared from the music scene, moving from New York to California to raise her son. It wasn’t until 1996 that she returned with a new recording of jazz standards associated with Billie Holiday and began performing sporadically. Her Blank Forms concert—with original pianist Burton Greene as well as bassist Mario Pavone and percussionist Barry Altschul, both veterans of Paul Bley’s ensembles—was Waters’ first New York appearance since 2003. Dedicated to Cecil Taylor, who had passed away moments before she took the stage, Patty Waters Live preserves the mournful tension that was in the air that night. Her first new release on vinyl since 1966’s College Tour, the record divides the session in the spirit of her debut. Side A features a set of desolate ballads, including Waters’ own classic “Moon, Don’t Come Up Tonight,” while the B-side puts into stark relief the fact that the fight for civil rights that Waters invoked over 50 years ago is far from over. Beginning with her rendition of “Strange Fruit,” a 1937 song written in protest of black lynching and American racism, the suite’s form-bending contortions also features the second-ever recording of Waters’ original, exceptional lyrical take on Ornette Coleman’s “Lonely Woman.” Equally adept at channeling the heartbroken intimacy of Lady Day and the catharsis of The New Thing, on April 5th, 2018 Waters proved that she has lost none of her fire, remaining one of the greatest living jazz singers.' - Blankforms
Patty Waters – Live
"Discrepant presents another unique document of Kink Gong's aka Laurent Jeanneau's collection of surreal soundscapes of augmented field recordings, this time turning into his love/hate relationship with China into a mesmerising and unique soundscape of unclassifiable music.
“Before becoming KINK GONG I had different names, one of my projects, designed by cultural circumstances in China at the beginning of the 21st Century, was DIAN LONG (electric dragon in Chinese). Starting a very long trip to nowhere I landed in Shanghai in 2000, with my gear in my bag in order to make music and recordings of whatever. Faced with the cruel tendency of modern China to reject tradition and embrace full on bling bling culture, my option was to attack this music industry commercial flavour by destroying it. I had in my bag a faithful portable CD player who knew how to turn syrup into crystal. Later, reaching Yunnan in 2001, I discovered the reality away from the bling bling of eastern towns and did a realistic soundscape of it.”"
Kink Gong – DIAN LONG: Soundscape China / Destruction of Chinese Pop
A classic mid-1970s outing from the Schlippenbach Quartett. Partially released on CD (tracks 2 & 3 only) as part of the massive FMP retrospective box, this is the only in-print edition of this crucial LP.
"On all 3 'live' pieces, one experiences the unrelenting intensity (even during quiet sections) that this quartet exudes. Schlippenbach is in sublime form, his two-fisted attacks pushing the pianos to their limits. Parker rips, tears and growls. His feature piece, 'Black Holes,' being an early example of his circular breathing techniques on soprano sax, which he uses to create piercing split tone walls. And Kowald and Lovens thrust and push, laying down textures as well rhythms." - Milo Fine, Sweet Potato
Evan Parker / soprano & tenor saxophoneAlexander von Schlippenbach / pianoPeter Kowald / double bassPaul Lovens / percussion
Side A (track 1) recorded live by Michael Krause on June 2nd, 1974, at the 3rd New Jazz Festival Moers.
Side B (tracks 2 & 3) recorded live by Jost Gebers on February 2nd, 1975, at the Quartier Latin in Berlin.
SCHLIPPENBACH QUARTET – Three Nails Left
Within our little bubble of avant-garde, experimental, and underground sound, with its endless web of recordings from the past and present day, it can be easy to forget that these contexts are rarely as hermitic as they seem. Many of the great creative accomplishments of the last century have been a result of interdisciplinary conversation - the marriage between image, action, and sound - collaborations reaching toward new forms of “total” art. This is particularly true of the historical dialog between experimental film and music. Countless composers at the vanguard of their craft - James Tenney, Tony Conrad, Terry Riley, Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Bernard Parmegiani, Luc Ferrari, etc, have composed specifically for film, helping to expanded the potential and meaning of both platforms. One of great examples of this can be found within the the revolutionary films of Frans Zwartjes (1927-2017) - one of the most important experimental filmmakers to have emerged from Holland. Zwartjes’ films were almost always comprised of an equal split between image and sound - each element as radical and psychologically effecting as the next. At long last, emerging in the hands of Purge, an imprint founded with the express purpose of highlighting the artist’s often overlooked efforts in, and relationship to, sound and, we have a stunning LP - Masterpiece / Spectator, featuring two beautiful works created by Frans Zwartjes & Lodewyijk de Boer and the Frans Zwartjes Sound System, respectively. A truly essential revelation, and a window onto an often overlooked tributary of experimental sound.
Regarded by Susan Sontag as "the most important experimental filmmaker of his time”, Frans Zwartjes covered a great deal of ground in the arts before he arrived at the medium for which he became most well know. Trained as classical violist, spending five years playing with the Netherlands Opera, before exploring the worlds of painting and sculpture, finally arriving at film. He created over 50 between the late 60s and death, many being grainy black-and-white efforts, known for being highly stylised, poetic, and claustrophobic, delving into the themes of voyeurism, and sensual and domestic intimacy and tension - forgoing dialog and letting disconcerting close-ups, distorted angles, rhythmic editing, and hypnotic, minimal sound design speak on its own. While fundamentally conceived dialog with filmmaker’s images, Zwartjes’ life as a musician clearly served him well. The sounds he constructed easily stand on their own.
The first side of Purge’s latest LP, part of a string of limited releases highlighting Zwartjes’s musical efforts, is dedicated to Masterpiece, created with his regular sonic collaborator, Lodewyijk de Boer, on synthesiser - weaving a network of minimal, repetitive tone. The second side’s work - Spectator, draws the ear toward the soundtrack of one of Zwartjes’s most radical and noted films of the same name, realized by the Frans Zwartjes Sound System, an officially sanctioned live music project by Stanley Schtinter (prepared piano, voice), Samuel Kilcoyne (moog, organ) and Takatsuna Mukai (violin), drawing on the filmmaker’s completely unique system of sonic creation.
A beautiful, often startling, expanse of sound. The depths of human psyche, which take us back to multidimensional realm of creative possibility and optimism which springs from the revolutionary unity of sound and image. Absolutely fantastic! Masterpiece / Spectator is released in an edition of 500 copies and there will never ever be a repress. The record is produced on 180 gram vinyl, with two custom inners and a screen-printed plastic outer (sealed). Each copy comes with a double-sided riso print of Zwartjes at work, along-with a separate insert featuring an original text on Zwartjes by Schtinter.
Frans Zwartjes – Masterpiece / Spectator
"Prolific Japanese artist Masami Akita aka Merzbow teams up with session musician, producer, and singer-songwriter Eiko Ishibashi for a work that showcases yet another side to Akita's monumental catalog.
Kouen Kyoudai consists of two side-long tracks that could be read as a contemporary take on the traditional avant-garde. With its skittering electronics, percussion, piano, doom, and noise, Kouen Kyoudai seamlessly incorporates many strands of experimental thought and practice. The tension that arises from the human use of the tool is made explicit as these works unfold in a storm of ecstatic human/instrument/machine interaction. Drums hammer alongside an ecstatic drone. Notes on a piano jostle with a storm of splintered electronics. Kouen Kyoudai highlights the pull between beauty and chaos; structure and the abyss -- leaving behind a thrilling display of the interplay between the human and the technological while opening up new paths for both musicians involved.
Masami Akita / noise electronics, computer, drums.
Eiko Ishibashi / piano, drums, synth.
Recorded at Gok Sound and SuperDeluxe, Tokyo. Recorded and mixed by Jim O'Rourke. Cut at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin 2015. Photography by Shunichiro Okada. Design by Jacob Cates."
Masami Akita / Eiko Ishibashi – Kouen Kyoudai
Another essential Incus reissue by Honest Jon's.
"Percussionist Jamie Muir was a member of King Crimson during the recording of Larks’ Tongues In Aspic, in 1973. Staying less than a year with Robert Fripp, the Scot had already cut his teeth with another master guitarist, Derek Bailey, as part of the Music Improvisation Company, along with Evan Parker, Hugh Davies and Christine Jeffrey, whose eponymous 1970 album was one of the first releases on ECM. Muir and Bailey recorded Dart Drug eleven years later, in 1981.
There’s no shortage of great percussionists in the brief history of free improvised music but on the strength of Dart Drug alone Jamie Muir deserves a place at High Table. Unlike for example Han Bennink and John Stevens, though, you can’t hear echoes of any particular jazz drummer in Muir’s playing, even if he has expressed appreciation for Milford Graves (who himself sounded like nobody else who’d come before him).
What on earth did Muir’s kit consist of? Some instruments are clearly identifiable (bells, gongs, chimes, woodblocks); others could be… well, anything. Old suitcases thwacked with rolled up newspapers? Tin cans and hubcaps inside a washing machine? Who cares? It sounds terrific – but if you’re the kind of person who faints at the sound of nails scraping a blackboard, you might want to nip out and put the kettle on towards the end of the title track.
Dart Drug is consistently thrilling, and often very amusing – but it’s certainly not easy listening. In music we talk about playing with other musicians, whereas in sport you play against another opponent (or with your team against another team). Why not play against in music, too? That’s precisely what happens very often in improvised music, and Bailey was particularly good at it. How can a humble acoustic guitar hope to compete with a Muir in full flight? Sometimes Bailey’s content to sit on those open strings, teasing out yet another exquisite Webernian constellation of ringing harmonics and wait for the dust to settle in Muir’s junkyard, but elsewhere he sets off into uncharted territory himself.
“The way to discover the undiscovered in performing terms is to immediately reject all situations as you identify them (the cloud of unknowing) – which is to give music a future.” Bailey evidently concurred with this spoken statement by Muir, including it in his book Improvisation.Derek Bailey is no longer with us, of course, and Muir gave up performing music back in 1989. All the more reason for seeking out this magnificent, wild album.
Very hotly recommended." - Honest Jon's
Derek Bailey & Jamie Muir – Dart Drug
"Their 5th album finds the band in a studio again, in their label Trost Records hometown Vienna, with time and the desire to try something new. Seven compositions in the disctinctive strong FULL BLAST nature get an exciting electronic treatment by Michael Wertmüller (sounds/electronics by Gerd Rische- head of Berlin Acadamy of Electro-acoustic Music 1995-2014) during and after the recording."
"With all the projects Peter Brötzmann is currently working on, Full Blast -- with the precise and dynamic Swiss rhythm section of Marino Pliakas and Michael Wertmüller -- is the most consistent and the longest-running. Their fifth album finds the band in a studio again, with time and the desire to try something new. Seven compositions in the distinctive, strong Full Blast nature get an exciting electronic treatment by Michael Wertmüller (with electronics by Gerd Rische, recorded months before his death in October 2015) during and after the recording. For mixing the band decided to work with Gareth Jones (well-known for his work with Einstürzende Neubauten and Depeche Mode), whom they have used with Pliakas's band Steamboat Switzerland before. Full Blast have created an album that in its nonconformity and richness in variety stands on his own in contemporary jazz."
Peter Brötzmann / reeds
Marino Pliakas / e-bass
Michael Wertmüller / drums
Gerd Rische / electronics
CREDITS:Recording: Martin SiewertProduction: Konstantin DrobilMix: Martin SiewertMastering: Martin SiewertArtwork: Peter Brötzmann
Full Blast – Risc
Kicking off a series of collaborations between Honest Jon's Records and Incus: Solo Guitar Volume 1, a reissue of Derek Bailey's Solo Guitar release on Incus in 1971, with additional tracks included on previous reissues and a performance at York University in 1972. Recorded in 1971, this was Bailey's first solo album. Its cover is an iconic montage of photos taken in the guitar shop where he worked. He and the photographer piled up the instruments whilst the proprietor was at lunch, with Bailey promptly sacked on his return. The LP was issued in two versions over the years -- Incus 2 and 2R -- with different groupings of free improvisations paired with Bailey's performances of notated pieces by his friends Misha Mengelberg, Gavin Bryars, and Willem Breuker. All this music is here, plus a superb solo performance at York University in 1972, a welcome shock at the end of an evening of notated music. It's a striking demonstration of the way Bailey rewrote the language of the guitar with endless inventiveness, intelligence, and wit. As throughout the series, the recordings are newly transferred from tape at Abbey Road, remastered by Rashad Becker, and available for download exclusively here.
Derek Bailey / guitar, synthesizer
Tracks 1-13 recorded by Bob Woolford and Hugh Davies. Photographs by Roberto Masotti. Mastered by Rashad Becker.
Derek Bailey – Solo Guitar Volume 1
"At last, the vinyl reissue of this masterwork, adding two hitherto unreleased gems recorded solo for Charles Fox’s Radio 3 programme Jazz in Britain, in the same few months of 1980 as the stunning Aida performances.
The phrase ‘in the moment’ is often bandied about with reference to free improvisation, and indeed there’s no better way to describe Derek Bailey’s playing. The acoustic guitar is notoriously lacking in natural reverberation — notes barely hang in the air for a couple of seconds before they disappear — which explains the almost non-stop flow of new material in these stellar performances. Bailey knew from one split-second to the next exactly where to find the same pitch on different strings, either as a stopped tone or a ringing harmonic, and there’s never a note out of place. ‘He who kisses the joy as it flies,’ in the words of William Blake, ‘Lives in eternity’s sunrise’ — and this music is forever in the moment, constantly active but never gabby, kissing the joy.
One of the special pleasures of the BBC set is the guitarist’s own laconic commentary, a deliciously deadpan description of what he’s doing while he’s doing it — “I like to think of it… as a kind of music” — and the interaction between words and music is a particular delight. “You may have noticed a certain lack of variety,” he quips, while unleashing a furiously complex volley. Is it a coincidence that the final seconds recall the famous cycling fifths of the coda to Thelonious Monk’s Round Midnight? Surely not — for Bailey, like Monk, was a note man par excellence. And they’re both still alive and well in eternity’s sunrise." - Honest Jon's
Derek Bailey – Aida
The third release in a series of collaborations between Honest Jon's Records and Incus: a reissue of Derek Bailey & Han Bennink, originally released in 1972. The tussling vegetables in Mal Dean's cover-sketch somehow befit perfectly this extraordinary duo of Bailey and the great Dutch drummer Han Bennink. Recorded in London in 1972, Incus 9 was their second record (after an Instant Composers Pool in 1969), becoming a blueprint and inspiration for generations of free-improvisers. It is paired here with a brilliant session from the following year, with the same power and friendly combativeness, and oodles of creativity, technique, and humor. It's obvious how much they loved playing together. Newly transferred from tape at Abbey Road, and remastered by Rashad Becker. Available exclusively for download here.
Derek Bailey / guitar, voice
Han Bennink / percussion, saw, reeds, brass, strings, voice
Engineered by Bob Woolford (tracks: A.1.-B.3.). Mastered by Rashad Becker. Cover by Mal Dean
Derek Bailey & Han Bennink – Derek Bailey & Han Bennink
"Reissue of Derek Bailey and Tristan Honsinger Duo, originally released by Incus in 1976. Born in Burlington, Vermont, and conservatory-trained in the US, the cellist Tristan Honsinger moved from Montreal to Amsterdam in 1974, quickly linking with Han Bennink and Misha Mengelberg and opening a long and fruitful musical relationship with Derek Bailey.
Recorded in 1976, Duo displays a performative musical approach already characterized by the lack of inhibition which would later endear him to The Pop Group: he is knockabout, exclamatory, explosively rhythmic; burping Bach and folk melodies with spasmodic lyricism, in amongst the garrulous textures and accents of his scraping, bowing, and plucking, and gibbering like a monkey; throwing out his arms and stamping the floor, grappling with his instrument like an expert clown, always tripping himself up. You can hear Bailey reveling in the company, as he ranges between scrabbling solidarity and an askance skewering of his partner's antics, on prepared (nineteen-string) and standard electric guitars -- and a Waisvisz Crackle-box, for the garbled, quizzical, cross-species natter which closes "The Shadow".
Throughout, the spirited interplay between laconic, analytic wit, and guttural, sometimes slapstick physicality is consistently droll, often laugh-out-loud funny; vigorously alert, alive, and gripping.”
Tristan Honsigner / cello, voice
Derek Bailey / electric guitar, crackle box
Recorded at Verity's Place 7th February 1976, except for A1 and B2 which were recorded at Tangent Studio 6th February 1976.
Derek Bailey & Tristan Honsinger – Duo
Originally released by Incus in 1974. Recorded at a private house in Catford, south-east London, the side-long title track is a masterwork: a twenty-two-minute, starkly personal, freely expressive, itchily searching re-casting of orders of rhythm and sound into a new, quicksilver kind of affective and musical polyphony. Never mind the guitarist’s championing of ‘non-idiomatic improvisation’, the poet Peter Riley gets the ball rolling in his identification of the various hauntings of Bailey’s playing at this time: ‘mandolins & balalaikas strumming in the distance, George Formby’s banjo, Leadbelly’s steel 12-string, koto, lute, classical guitar… and others quite outside the field of the plucked string.’
The five pieces on side two were recorded back home in Hackney around the same time — with the exception of Improvisation 104(b), from the year before (and issued by Incus in its TAPS series of mini reel-to-reel tapes) — opening with ventriloquised guitar feedback, and taking in some cod banter about colleagues like Mervyn Parker, Siegfried Brotzmann and Harry Bentink. Crucial.
"In 1974, when Derek Bailey was planning his second solo LP on Incus, he decided to include a side-long solo using his stereo electro-acoustic set-up. Unfortunately, he never seemed to have a 20-minute stretch of time free of interruptions in his home, so he asked if he could record it at my place. After a fairly lengthy drive across London on the arranged date, he discovered that he had brought all his gear except the actual guitar. So he had a cup of tea and a chat, then drove home again. He came again about a week later, on May 13th, this time with everything. I set the level too high for the first two takes, not quite allowing for his enormous dynamic range (which really was not suitable for analogue recording and reproduction equipment). The result was too much distortion for his liking. The level was corrected for the third take which was the one used as the title track on the LP, even though he preferred the music on the earlier takes.
All but one of the short pieces on the second side of the LP were recorded by Bob Woolford around the same time, probably at Derek's home. (The exception, 'Improvisation 104(b),' was recorded the previous year and originally released on one of the Incus TAPs -- mini reel-to-reel tapes that were an attempt to bypass the technical problems of going from tape to vinyl. They were reissued by Organ of Corti.) 'Pain In The Chest' and 'In Joke (Take 2)' feature the unamplified 19-string (approx) guitar, which was probably the only instrument that Derek modified -- he otherwise used standard guitars.
There was a shortage of good vinyl at the time, making it difficult to get decent pressings. (The original pressing of the solo Steve Lacy Emanem LP sounded as though it had been recorded in a hail-storm.) We were recommended to go to a pressing plant that specialized in 'classical' music. (At the same time that Derek was trying to get Lot 74 pressed, I was also working on his duo album with Anthony Braxton.) The first test pressing of Lot 74 was very muffled, and we discovered that the cutting engineer had played the tape up-side-down, so that the music had been filtered through the tape backing (used on professional tapes to reduce print-through). The cutting was subsequently redone correctly, resulting in an acceptable test pressing. However, the plant manager was completely incredulous and perplexed, as he was used to checking pressings using his library of scores of Beethoven sonatas and the like. How could he tell if the vocal and feedback howls at the start of side two ('Together') were correct?
Over thirty years later, advances in technology have eliminated most of the technical problems we had then, so that this magnificent music can be heard sounding better than ever. Every so often, I get someone asking me to issue things on vinyl -- my response is usually not very polite." Martin Davidson
Derek Bailey – Lot 74
The second release in a series of collaborations between Honest Jon's Records and Incus: three double-LPs of the legendary free-improvising guitarist Derek Bailey, solo (HJR 200LP) and in duos with Anthony Braxton and Han Bennink(HJR 202LP), augmenting the original releases with marvelous, previously unissued music. Recorded in 1974, at the Royal Hotel in Luton, with Braxton playing soprano and alto saxophones, and Bb and contrabass clarinets. Two volumes were planned; only one was issued, till now. This was an early transatlantic meeting between the leading free improvisers. Many of Braxton's signature techniques and ideas were gestated in such sessions. It still brims with inquisitive musical creativity and knockabout jazzbo allusiveness. Newly transferred from tape at Abbey Road, and remastered by Rashad Becker. Available exclusively for download here.
Derek Bailey / electric guitar
Anthony Braxton / saxophones, clarinets
Recorded during a concert played at the Royal Hotel, Luton, England on July 2, 1974.
Sides 1 and 2 were issued as Royal Volume 1 in 1984; 3 and 4 are released here for the first time by Honest Jons. Thanks to Karen Brookman-Bailey and Tim Fletcher.
Derek Bailey and Anthony Braxton – Royal
"Ears Are Filled With Wonder, the debut release from the duo of pedal steel player Heather Leigh and reedist Peter Brötzmann, blows the old adage about improvised music somehow not being best appreciated via the recordings to beautiful pieces. This is a music that demands re-visiting, that seems to alter, slightly, every time it is played, with new details emerging, new relationships of tone and style, new romance, even. Recorded during a mammoth stint in Kraków, Poland, where Brötzmann and Leigh played as part of big bands, trios, quartets, and duos, this duo performance represents the diamond heart of the sessions, an improvised set that bears little relation to what either of the players has achieved outside of its prodigious gravity. We mentioned romance and really Ears Are Filled With Wonder, a play on a line from the poet Kenneth Patchen, showcases the full reach of Brötzmann's rebel lyricism, his lover man style, now smoky, seductive, late night, now roaring and vibrating with energy. Leigh plays it extremely subtly, sometimes fixing on the most suggestive detail and from there spinning luscious webs of repeat-time bliss that make for some of the most psychedelic and otherworldly settings of strings and horn. Elsewhere the two of them tear the roof off with tactile fuzz and horn ascensions. It's a music of organic depth, of endlessly evocative unfolding, as themes bloom and sigh and disappear and arise and it feels curiously out of time, even as both players push their instruments into futuristic configurations. As such it doesn't sit neatly in either players' extensive catalogs. . . . Ears Are Filled With Wonder is a coming together of two of the most original voices on their respective instruments and the title reflects the joyful uncovering of a whole new way of listening and relating. Indeed, it might well be the first ever freely improvised electric pedal steel and saxophone duet ever put to tape. Either way it is one of the most startlingly beautiful combinations of players and temperaments to orbit the European jazz scene in years. And this is only the beginning. So hold tight." --Moshe Idel, Ronda, Spain, February 2016
Heather Leigh: pedal steel guitar. Peter Brötzmann: tenor saxophone, bass and B-flat clarinet, tárogató. Recorded November 8, 2015, in Kraków, Poland.
PETER BROTZMANN/HEATHER LEIGH – Ears Are Filled With Wonder
Recorded May 1968 at "Lila Eule", BremenPeter Brötzmann: baritone saxophone, tenor saxophonePeter Kowald: acoustic bassBuschi Niebergall: acoustic bassSven-Ake Johansson: drumsHan Bennink: drumsFred Van Hove: pianoEvan Parker: tenor saxophoneWillem Breuker: tenor saxophoneTHE european Free Jazz album finally re-issued on vinyl. Screenprinted cover.
PETER BRÖTZMANN OCTET – Machine Gun LP
Lieven Martens Moana's first album under his birth name marks an important shift in his oeuvre. While still indebted to the universe created under his moniker Dolphins Into The Future, 'Music From The Guardhouse' shows the Artist reaching the shores of his mental island, fully matured. This is where a new journey begins, a musical research program within the 'composer genre'.
Through literature and landscape painting Martens developed a language that is as close to the personal-spiritual documentary as to contemporary classical music. Quoting Percy Bysshe Shelley in its opening piece ‘Aria, The Cloud’ the tone is set for an intimate but extroverted modernist take on neo-romanticism. The album is conceived as a play for magnetic tape recorder, using field recordings and midi devices as its round characters. Rich musical intertextuality, ranging from Baudelaire to Toru Takemitsu and Messiaen, cleverly chaperones the theatre of sound, emphasizing every shift and every detail while still allowing time and space for reflection between the acts. More than ever Martens’s work is the result of a deep process of enlightening. It shows the becoming of a mediating poet who summons the spirits of Nature, of the Sensual, of the Unspoken. A quatrain of Emerson is whispered in a ghost appearance: All day the waves assailed the rock, / I heard no church bell chime; / The sea-beat scorns the minster clock / And breaks the glass of Time. All along the deliberately chosen archaisms are beautifully transcended, making these compositions a constant game of question and answer between past and present, between man and Art. This album lays bare modern man’s need of myth, of classic beauty. If it were up to us, ‘Music From The Guardhouse’ should be regarded a corner stone, a blue print for the future of composition to come, a lecture in honesty and depth.
Lieven Martens Moana – Music From The Guardhouse