Vinyl

"Remastered double LP with 12 page booklet including liner notes by Tim Lawrence, Ernie Brooks and Arthur Russell. All material previously released on the Audika CD compilation First Thought Best Thought (2006). Before disco, and before the transcendent echoes, Arthur wanted to be a composer. His journey began in 1972, leaving home in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Heading west to Northern California, Arthur studied Indian classical composition at the Ali Akbar Khan College of Music followed by western orchestral music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, before ending two years later in New York at the Manhattan School of Music. Traversing the popular and the serious, Arthur composed Instrumentals in 1974, inspired by the photography of his Buddhist teacher, Yuko Nonomura, as Arthur described, 'I was awakened, or re-awakened to the bright-sound and magical qualities of the bubblegum and easy-listening currents in American popular music.' Initially intended to be performed in one 48 hour cycle, Instrumentals was in fact only performed in excerpts a handful of times as a work in progress. The legendary performances captured live in New York at The Kitchen (1975 and 1978) and Franklin St. Arts Center (1977) feature the cream of that eras downtown new music scene including Ernie Brooks, Rhys Chatham, Julius Eastman, Jon Gibson, Peter Gordon, Garrett List, Andy Paley, Bill Ruyle, Dave Van Tieghem, and Peter Zummo. Pitchfork lauded Instrumentals Vol. 1 as a masterpiece and one of Arthur's 'greatest achievements'. Americana touching on Copeland, Ives, and maybe even Brian Wilson. Instrumentals Vol. 2 is a moving, deeply pastoral work performed by the CETA Orchestra and conducted by Julius Eastman. Also included are two of Arthur's most elusive compositions, 'Reach One', and 'Sketch For Face Of Helen'. Recorded live in 1975 at Phill Niblock's Experimental Intermedia Foundation, 'Reach One' is a minimal, hypnotic ambient soundscape written and performed for two Fender Rhodes pianos. 'Sketch For Face Of Helen' was inspired by Arthur's work with friend and composer Arnold Dreyblatt, recorded with an electronic tone generator, keyboard and ambient recordings of a rumbling tugboat from the Hudson River. For this remastered vinyl edition, a key part of Arthur's musical life has been restored. The sparkling, multidimensional results take the listener closer to Arthur's coast-to-coast journey: his iconoclastic determination to combine pop and art music; and his desire to make music that would resonate in the present and, ultimately, across time."

ARTHUR RUSSELL - Instrumentals 2LP

The first-ever compilation of χαβάγιες ("havagies"), the nearly forgotten Hawaiian-influenced music of 1930s Greece, focused on the compositions of Kostas Bezos and his ensemble White Birds. A world-class slide guitarist, political cartoonist and sleepless Bohemian, Kostas Bezos created some of the most unique music of any era: surrealist guitar portraits blending Athens and Honolulu, haunting tropical serenades, wild acoustic orchestras, and heartbreaking steel guitar duets. Incredibly, this is the same musician responsible for the legendary "Kostis" rebetika recordings (see A. Kostis "The Jail's a Fine School" [OLV-002 / MRP-098]).Includes a 32-page booklet with extensive notes by Tony Klein and Dimitris Kourtis, many rare photographs, lyrics, obituaries and a bonus CD containing 18 additional tracks. Restored and mastered from original 78s by Michael Graves, this release is limited to 1,000 copies. Co-released by Olvido Records (OLV-002) and Mississippi Records (MRP-098) on January 30th, 2017. Produced by Gordon Ashworth, Tony Klein, Dimitris Kourtis. Articles by Tony Klein, edited by Gordon Ashworth. Newspaper Research and Bezos Drawings provided by Dimitris Kourtis. Photographs provided by the Kalliris Family, Stavros Kourousis, Lia Dimitriou, Hugo Strötbaum. Translations by Tony Klein, assisted by Dimitris Kourtis, Charles Howard and Vasilis Varelas. Audio Sources courtesy of Manthos Manios, Les Cook, John Marsden. Audio Transfers by Norman Field, Stavros Kourousis, Manthos Manios. Restoration and Mastering by Michael Graves at Osiris Studio. Lacquer Cutting by Adam Gonsalves at Telegraph Audio. Vinyl Production by Cascade Record Pressing. Design by Gordon Ashworth. Cover Production by Dan Fried. Offset Printing by Eberhardt Press.

Kostas Bezos and the White Birds LP

Born in Bolgatanga in rural Ghana, King Ayisoba was a prodigy on the kologo, playing locally until he’d outgrown the possibilities of the area. Moving to Accra, the country’s biggest city, he eventually released the song “I Want To See You, My Father.” There was nothing modern about it. No hiplife rap, no electronic beats. But somehow it conquered the country and brought the tradition firmly into the mainstream. “It was Song of the Year and Traditional Song of the Year,” says album producer Zea. “He also had a song called “Modern Ghanaians” that said we shouldn’t forget the tradition. Instead we should use it to fight modern problems.” With that mantra, King Ayisoba became the unlikeliest star. His music was a strong weapon for Ghana’s traditions. What he wanted, though, was to play with a band, to bring what he called the “man-power” to give the full drive to his sound. On the album Wicked Leaders, with Zea producing, that’s exactly what he did.After that Ayisoba toured Europe together with Zea, opening up solo, providing guitar, vocals and live electronics on stage, and Francis Ayagama joined King Ayisoba’s band on djembe and bemne drums Alone or with beats, ultimately the power that propels 1000 Can Die comes from the band itself, from the sense of history that forms every piece of music. It’s there in every musician. They all go home and farm. They’re connected to the land, and the songs are part of the harvest they bring from the fields and from their own families.“Ayisoba’s grandfather played the kologo,” Zea says. “But only in the house. He was a healer, a shaman. People would come and tell him their problems. He’d make a connection with the spirits, then play and start singing, and his stories would include solutions.” On 1000 Can Die, King Ayisoba is digging a new future from Ghana’s soil.

King Ayisoba - 1000 Can Die LP

Peter Brötzmann: tenor saxophone; Fred Van Hove: piano; Han Bennink: drums, voice; Albert Mangelsdorff: trombone. Recorded during the Free Music Market, August 27 and 28, 1971, in Berlin. Designed by Peter Brötzmann. Part of the legendary "Berlin Trilogy" originally released by FMP in 1971 (FMP 0040). 180-gram vinyl. One-time pressing of 500. First standalone reissue."Brötzmann's regular trio was joined by the trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff, one of the most respected German jazz musicians, who has managed to keep abreast of musical developments for more than a decade. Those who remember him only for those fine early-sixties albums (like Tension, on German CBS) will be in for a shock, because he's updated his playing all the way. On 'Couscouss De La Mauresque', for instance, his tonal distortions rival those of Paul Rutherford, as he backs Brötzmann's wailing with a rip-snorting obligato. He has the advantage of being a virtuous technician, so that some of his wilder flights are truly breathtaking. . . . Mangelsdorff's technique doesn't hinder his fire, either, and he's well able to stand up to the rest of this very hairy band. Van Hove and Bennink obviously know each other inside out by now, and you'll hear few more exciting passages of music than their interlude during the trombonist's solo on 'Couscouss'. Bennink is getting further into textures every day, and on this album makes great play with his steel-drum and many unidentifiable implements, thus giving the music a great deal of variety. If you wanted to buy just one of these records, it would be very hard to choose because the level is so high throughout." --Richard Williams, Melody Maker, February 5, 1972

BROTZMANN/VAN HOVE / BENNINK PLUS ALBERT MANGELSDORFF - Couscouss de la Mauresque LP

Peter Brötzmann: tenor saxophone; Fred Van Hove: piano; Han Bennink: drums, voice; Albert Mangelsdorff: trombone. Recorded during the Free Music Market, August 27 and 28, 1971, in Berlin. Designed by Peter Brötzmann. Part of the legendary "Berlin Trilogy" originally released by FMP in 1971 (FMP 0030). 180-gram vinyl. One-time pressing of 500. First standalone reissue."What reveals itself in the über energetics on display here is the ability of one quartet to take so much for granted and yet express so much in the process. Van Hove, for instance, shuns all conventions in his approach to the piano: he quotes Liszt and Schubert as well as Ellington and Peterson then wipes all of them out with his elbows as if erasing a chalkboard. His 'Florence Nightingale' is a perfect example. Texturally, he creates diversions from the fury while never disengaging from it. Brötzmann and Mangelsdorff are out and out challenging each other to see who can destroy their instruments first, and Han Bennick is the most proactive percussionist in jazz history. His use of anything and everything while simultaneously playing a trap kit that creates time is astonishing. Elsewhere, on Brötzmann's 'Elements,' African percussion and slow, long opened tonal drones by Mangelsdorff create a backdrop for the other two to explore without rushing in. Brötzmann enters almost tenderly, looking for a room to exit out of, but engaging himself in the microtonalities created by the rhythm section. Van Hove's long augmented chords create a mode for not opening but splintering that exit and Brötzmann ushers the band through in a hurry heading for the outer reaches of the possible. . . . one of the best documents of the period on any continent." --Thom Jurek, AllMusic, 1991

BROTZMANN/VAN HOVE/BENNINK PLUS ALBERT MANGELSDORFF - Elements LP

Four Perfect Balls Bohman Bohman Ghikas and Thomas Extremely limited £20 vinyl release: 200 numbered copies ‘Shopping list stickers‘ sleeve design by Vincent Oliver Includes digital download code  Four Perfect Balls is a blend of speech, layers of multi-tracked free improvisation using unamplified objects and modified instruments, field recordings and computer generated synthesis. Speech content is derived from a collage of original writing and Police Training Manuals, pulp potboilers, recipes, menus and information relating to the North Sea fishing economy. These improvised interactions took place in the headphone soundstage rather than the live space. The edited results are pieces that self-subvert, gyrating between pulseless baroque pointillism, post-rock-ist incoherence and word beats. For almost 20 years Adam and Jonathan Bohman, Panos Ghikas and Richard Thomas have worked together, as live performers in the large ensemble The Bohman Extended Family as well as in other splinter groups and ad hoc formations. This is their first LP as a quartet.   Adam Bohman: objects, voice Jonathan Bohman: objects, oscillator, guitar, voice Panos Ghikas: violin, bass, unreal-time audio Richard Thomas: guitar, voice, found sounds, other sounds   Performed over 3 sessions in 2014 at Boundary Studio, London. Edited and compiled by Panos Ghikas and Richard Thomas. Recorded, mixed and produced by Panos Ghikas Migro Records © 2016 

Bohman Bohman Ghikas and Thomas - Four Perfect Balls LP

William Burroughs was in and out of London from the mid-50s through to 1974 and for several years quite settled in a flat near Piccadilly. During this latter time he developed and refined the techniques he used for creating cut-ups on tape. Working closely with Ian Sommerville, who helped acquire, and no doubt maintain, the various tape recorders that Burroughs used and abused in these experimental works.The work here is in 2 sections, which in their original form lasted for over an hour and first appeared in 1998 under the name Electronic Revolution as a free CD with Issue One of the French magazine Crash. The CD was quickly withdrawn with maybe only 100 copies finding their way into circulation. This edition is edited down to 46 minutes and comprises the core of the original recording. It employs the now familiar techniques of random drop-ins and cut-ups of readings. The readings themselves also being cut-ups of words on the page. The first section of the tape uses further processing by means of a 2nd tape recorder. Recorded in Duke Street c1968, the tape was then passed on to Brion Gysin in Paris where it remained in his archive until 1998. This is the first readily available edition of an hypnotic and meditative recording that examines the hidden power of words. Closer to a work of sound poetry than anything literary.  The album includes a 12”x12” insert with an essay by Ben Harper and several previously unseen portrait photos of Burroughs, taken by Harriet Crowder in her Hammersmith flat during a drug experiment. The back cover uses another Crowder image - the very next frame after the famous shot that appeared on the cover of the English Bookshop/ESP “Call Me Burroughs” LP.

William S. Burroughs - Curse Got Back LP