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NEWSLETTER - November 4th, 2011
Kick off the X word shopping season with new from:
Evan Parker/Zlatko Kaucic! Taylor Ho Bynum! Paul Rutherford/Derek Bailey/Barry Guy! Michael Veal! Scott Fields String Ensemble with Elliott Sharp/Jessica Pavone/Mary Oliver! Nordeson-Shelton! Burnt Sugar!
Tagaq/Martin/Zubot! Pierre Dorge New Jungle Orchestra! Piero Bittolo Bon/Danilo Gallo/Gerhard Gschloessl! Anderskov Accident! Qluster! Kenneth Knudsen/Palle Mikkelborg/Marilyn Mazur! Renzi/Senni/Weinstein!
Brian Eno! Orchestra Of Spheres! Teeth Of The Sea! Christian Wolff! Alva Noto! Eleh 3CD set! Michael Oosten! Dean McPhee! John Fahey and Kevin Coyne DVDs! Throbbing Gristle!
Jean Claude Vannier and other BMusic Label treasures! Screaming Tribesman! ESG! Vintage LP reissues including Miles Davis-Live/Evil and the legendary Harumi!
.an' did we say MORE?
The DMG Free Weekly In-Store Performance Series Continues With:
Saturday, November 5th at 6pm: AUAND LABEL CELEBRATION!
The Great Italian Jazz Label Auand is Celebrating their 10th Anniversary
With a Series of Gigs Around NYC! Two of Italy's Finest Modern Jazz Musicians will Play a Duo Here at DMG for Free! Come on down! Featuring Auand's
Francesco Bigoni - tenor sax & Francesco Diodati - guitar!
Sunday, November 6th Double-Header (note early start time)
5pm: FABIEN SEVILLA - Solo Acoustic Bass!
6pm: DEVIN GRAY / KIRK KNUFFKE Duo!
Sunday, November 13th at 6pm:
RAS MOSHE & MUSIC NOW ENSEMBLE featuring:
KYOKO KITAMURA/SHAYNA DULBERGER/ANDERS NILSSON/RAS MOSHE!
Sunday, November 20th: Two CD's Release Celebration Featuring:
6pm: KEN ALDCROFT - Solo Guitar Compositions & Duo with WILLIAM PARKER!
7pm: KEN ALDCROFT / WILLIAM PARKER / ANDY HAAS TRIO!
Sunday, November 27th at 6pm:
JESSE DULMAN & JASON CANDLER - Great Tuba & Alto Sax Duo!
Sunday, December 4th at 6pm:
TOM BLANCARTE / LOUISE D. E. JENSEN / DAMON HOLZBORN !
New Contrabass / Saxophone / Electronics Trio!
Sunday, December 18th - OutNow Records Double-Header featuring:
6pm: YONI KRETZMER - Tenor & ANDREW DRURY- drums!
7pm: ROY CAMBPELL, JR. - trumpet & x EHRAN ELISHA - drums!
TAYLOR HO BYNUM SEXTET With JIM HOBBS/MARY HALVORSON/BILL LOWE/KEN FILIANO/TOMAS FUJIWARA - Apparent Distance (Firehouse12 04-01-014; USA) Apparent Distance is a four-part suite, commissioned through a 2010 New Jazz Works grant from Chamber Music America and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. In the liner notes, Bynum writes "My goal is not just to blur the lines between composition and improvisation (a long-time pursuit), but to try to upend the listeners' expectations in other ways: circular melodies without beginnings or ends, disguised unisons and non-repetitive vamps, transitions that are simultaneously jarring and organic. Most importantly, I want to spotlight the striking individuality and virtuosity of all the players, albeit in a context where the needs of the ensemble reign supreme - a concerto for sextet, if you will." Since the composition's premiere in August 2010, the sextet has performed the work on tour and at the Saalfelden Jazz Festival (Austria), the Banlieues Bleues Festival (France), and the Crosscurrents Festival (New York).
Jim Macnie of the Village Voice writes "Whether they're lines that swirl upward, chasing their own tail, or lines that spill downward, like a Slinky on a staircase, the elemental motifs of the cornetist/composer's pieces are full of springy kinetics. But they're more than mere nu-jazz puzzles. Bynum wrings emotion from his crew. His use of texture and trajectory has to do with his appreciation of passion." Dan Barry reviewed a performance in the New Haven Advocate: "Composition-wise, the piece features Gordian melodies (more math-metal than post-bop), free jazz, blazing fast swing and segments of improvisation bound by pre-defined tonal sets. It's clear that Bynum has a specific vision for every musical moment ..It was radical. It was f***ing awesome!"
[in stock Monday]
New on Emanem and Psi!
ISKRA 1903 [PAUL RUTHERFORD/BARRY GUY/DEREK BAILEY] - Goldsmiths (Emanem 5013; UK) A previously unissued London concert by the original version of Iskra 1903 - PAUL RUTHERFORD (trombone), DEREK BAILEY (guitar) and BARRY GUY (double bass). Arguably their best extended concert captured on record. Plus two short extracts from another concert. 75 minutes.
BARREL [ALISON BLUNT/IVOR KALLIN/HANNAH MARSHALL] - Gratuitous Abuse (2009/10) (Emanem 5020; UK) ALISON BLUNT (violin), IVOR KALLIN (violin & viola), HANNAH MARSHALL (cello) Another very worthy addition to the series of string groups that have been featured on Emanem. These three musicians have been performing in various combinations with others on the London improvising scene for several years, including the London Improvisers Orchestra. About six years ago Blunt and Kallin were often playing gigs together either as a duo or with a third string player. They were impressive enough to be invited to the 2007 Freedom of the City festival, where they chose to add Marshall, with whom Blunt had previously performed duos. That first performance of this trio was so musically successful that they decided to continue as such, and chose to call themselves Barrel as they used a lot of scraping. Since then they have often played in various locations in and around London, and this album is their choice of the resulting recordings. 79 minutes
GRUTRONIC [STEPHEN GREW/NICK GREW et al] & EVAN PARKER - Together in Zero Space (2009) (Psi 11.09; UK) STEPHEN GREW (keyboard, processing), RICHARD SCOTT (wigi, buchla lightning, blippoo box), NICK GREW (transduction), DAVID ROSS (drosscillator) and EVAN PARKER (soprano saxophone) recorded live in Zero Space, Bratislava at the Next Festival of Advanced Music (2009). 'Through the process of free improvisation.. Grutronic.. have somehow rediscovered or reinvented complex, hyper-contrapuntal and molecular modes of group playing..' from the notes by Richard Scott.
New on Not Two!
EVAN PARKER/ZLATKO KAUCIC - Round About One O'Clock: For Mike Osborne (Not Two 863; EEC) Evan Parker soprano and tenor saxes; Zlatko Kaucic ground drums. Recorded live on July 4, 2009 at the 50th Jazz Festival in Ljubljana (Slovenia).
ANDRE GOUDBEEK/LE QUAN NINH/PETER JACQUEMYN - Uwaga (Not Two 859; EEC) Andre Goudbeek tenor sax; Peter Jacquemyn bass, voice; Le Quan Ninh percussion. Recorded live at the Alchemia, Krakow on October 23, 2008.
SCOTT FIELDS ENSEMBLE With ELLIOTT SHARP/DANIEL LEVIN/MARY OLIVER/JESSICA PAVONE et al - Frail Lumber (Not Two 858; EEC) Recorded on June 5, 2010 at the Loft, Cologne, Germany. Axel Lindner, Mary Oliver - violins; Jessica Pavone, Vincent Royer - violas; Daniel Levin, Scott Roller - cellos; Elliott Sharp, Scott Fields - electric guitars
KJELL NORDESON/ARAM SHELTON - Incline (Singlespeed 09; USA) An amazing album of improvised duets between multi-reedman Aram Shelton [Arrive, Dragons 1976, Jason Adasiewicz's Rolldown, and Fast Citizens with Fred Lonberg-Holm and Keefe Jackson] and Swedish drummer/percussionist Kjell Nordeson [AALY Trio, Exploding Customer]
Kjell Nordeson and Aram Shelton both found their way to the San Francisco Bay Area in the mid-2000s, from Sweden and Chicago respectively. Their first project together was Cylinder (Clean Feed CF219) with Darren Johnston and Lisa Mezzacappa. In 2008 they began playing as a duo, named simply Nordeson Shelton. 'Incline' was recorded over the course of a weekend in a cabin in the mountains near Lake Tahoe. Nordeson Shelton allowed their musical and personal relationship to shape these improvisations, rather than incorporating predetermined melodies, structures, concepts or dogmas. The resulting music created by these two virtuosic musicians is complex and subtle, adventurous and focused.
"There is something special going on here. It seems obvious to me that this duo have been playing together for a while since their is an assured connection between what they are playing. Fractured phrases, jumpy yet tight, rhythmically and melodically the duo are often playing similar patterns together as one. Like a spastic dance, both parties jump through hoops of fire time and again, balancing on the head of a pin. The first time I played this in the store, I was distracted by buisness and couldn't quite hear the connection. Now, it makes perfect sense. Each of the nine pieces explores a different mood or series of texture or strategies. Mr. Nordeson seems to focus on a certain area of his drum set or a certain evolving pattern, establishing the odd groove or pulse or something close enough to follow. Mr. Shelton does something similar, twisting his sax sounds into odd shapes and then slowly manipulating them until they become something else. Over the past few years instrumental duos have become more popular and musicians continue to explore a wide variety of combinations. This particular duo, Nordeson Shelton, is one of the best ones I've heard. Nothing here is overdone or overwhelming. It all fits just right." - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
MICHAEL VEAL & AQUA IFE With SAM NEWSOME/ALEX HARDING/AVRAM FEFER/STEVE LANTNER et al - Volume 1 [CD ep] (Nektonic 01; USA) Michael Veal on electric bass, talking drums & compositions with Sam Newsome, Alex Harding & Avram Fefer on saxes, Eddie Allen on trumpet, Steve Lantner on piano and Trevor Holder on drums. For the past decade or so Mr. Veal has visited our store on occasion and we've had a number of stimulating conversations through the years. I don't recall him mentioning that he was a musician before this, but he just left us with very fine CD-EP's. 'Aqua Ife' consists of two ten minute pieces, his ensemble contains some sixteen musicians (4 saxes, 3 trumpets, 3 guitars, 2 keyboards, bass & 3 percussionists). "Djerma New Drum Chant" reminds me of the infectious, interlocking guitars and groove of King Sunny Ade with some Fela-like Afrobeat as well. The various layers of interlocking horns, guitars, keyborads and drums is especially intoxicating and complex without showing off. The trumpet solo by Eddie Allen is an added plus as are spirited solos by Matthew Clayton on alto sax and Greg Boyer on trombone. What makes this magical is the jubilant vibe that makes me want to dance around and smile. "Late General (Chief) Odopa" is more mysterious and a bit more relaxed. The electric piano and organ play as if they were drifting in from a dreamworld, eerie the way Miles used to add just a few organ notes as selective spice. Matthew Clayton again takes a fine solo that soars elegantly. The overall vibe is most mesmerizing like we are entering another world free of the usual New York nuerotica. Completely enchanting. At only 20 minutes long, I put this disc on repeat and let it play over and over until my day felt better. Let it help yours. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
MICHAEL VEAL'S ARMILLARY SPHERE With BENNETT PASTER/NIOKA WORKMAN/TREVOR HOLDER - Anyscape [CD ep] (Nektonic 02; USA) Featuring Michael Veal on soprano sax & compositions, Bennett Paster on electric piano, Nioka Workman on 5-string cello and Trevor Holder on drums plus Rene Akhan on electric guitar and Chris Lightcap on bass. Michael Veal is longtime customer of DMG and someone with whom I've a number of interesting discussions through the years. He didn't mention to me that he was a musician but just left us with two impressive new discs (Nov 2011). It turns out that he also a professot at Yale and an author of a few books. His group on this disc much smaller than his large ensemble from the other disc he left us with. You should know a few of the musicians on this disc like Trveor Holder & Rene Akhan as members of Burnt Sugar, Nioka Workman (daughter of Reggie & Braxton collaborator) and Chris Lightcap (a leader & Joe Morris, Rob Brown collaborator).
'Anyscape' is quite a bit different from the Afrobeat-sounding disc Mr. Veal left us with at the same time. "Impluvium" employs slow, dreamy electric piano wandering over a hypnotic repeating drum figure. Mr. Veal plays exquisite soprano sax that floats like eerie ghosts over a haunted landscape. A layer of electronic echoes adds a mysterious quality to the proceedings. Trevor Holder's splendid, rustling drums provide a swirling cushion of cosmic percussion underneath the rest of the group on "Dune". Mr. Veal takes a fragile yet effective soprano solo while the rest of quartet play a Soft Machine-like repeating line over and over. More than the solos here, it is dream-like mood and drifting haze that makes this so enchanting. The final piece, "Oculus I" sounds like Herbie Hancock's Mwandishi band during their 'Sextant' era. The 'Sextant' album is one of the first (electric) jazz records I ever heard and remains one of my favorites to this day. Not a bad frame of reference. And just about as magical as well. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
Regular CD edition of this is IN STOCK!
BURNT SUGAR / THE ARKESTRA CHAMBER - All You Needs That NegroCity (Avantgroid; USA) So the new Burnt Sugar record is called ALL YA NEEDS THAT NEGROCITY. Any explanations of Negrocity forthcoming?
"Naw, not really. Be kinda redundant. Self-explanatory in a world where Three Six Mafia is winning Oscars and Rick Ross is a sex god. Negrocity has become a global necessity. It may have even joined the four essential food groups. Thing is, Burnt Sugar's Negrocity is more like Ralph Ellison's lead character. Hidden in plain sight but most likely to kick start a musical race riot at a moment's notice."
You're frequently asked to label or describe Burnt Sugar's music. After ten years of such maddening inquiries what have you boiled your answer down to?
"Never smooth jass just hella bumpy.. Really still just Black Music since black is still all the colors smutted together. All kidding and kibitzing aside, we simply play the game of Conduction. As we are for ever giving thanks to Butch Morris for showing us The Way."
There's a James Brown song on NEGROCITY which sounds quite 'bumpy'.
"The Cold Sweat Variations. Yes, I agree. Mad hella-bumpy for real. Features our trumpeter Lewis Flip Barnes. Who many of your readers know from his work with various Williams Parker projects.. We've been knowing Flip for about 35 years now. Met him on The Yard at Howard University, The Cap stone of Negro Education. He was always cross campus to class carrying around a trumpet case though he played in no school band. Mean while we were rocking our first instrument, this lil Pana sonic boom-box upon which we'd only blast the John Coltrane and Pharaoh Sanders Live In Seattle version of Out Of This World. We bonded over our mutually abstract and highly conceptual relationship to avant-garde musicality. BTW Please note that on The Cold Sweat Variations our drummer Qasim Naqvi gives you a vine like Zakair Hussain duking it out with Elvin Jones. Bent and slightly spastic head arrange ment by our departing Utah bound pianist Myles Reilly."
Might be the first arrangement of a James Brown song we've heard with not only no bass, no voice and no guitar but no discernible downbeat.
"Such a light and happy beginning for such a darkling album. For the record, Flip kinda hates it - a lil too avant-garde even for him. But he knows the deal: the game of Conduction has never claimed to be democratic. Band knows the deal. You don't want to hear it on a record, don't play it in the studio. Unless you're Lisala. She's The Queen Bee and we're all the drones a bit scared of her. Sister does these wicked impressions of every body in the band that can make your gonads snap off."
Well alrighty now. Lisala sings on NEGROCITY's version of Astor Piazzola's Libertango.
"With some adroit spoken word there provided by the wonderful avant-soul artist Maya Azucena. The violin of Mazz Swift is also a major mood factor in our interpretation of this very moody song. Maybe the best tune we know about a free woman being chased by her own shadow through the streets of Paris."
There tend to be a lot of free women in Burnt Sugar. More than usual for a band that traffics in the freer side of impro vised music. La Frae Sci, Shelley Nicole, Lisala, Moist Paula Henderson, Mazz Swift, Karma Mayet Johnson, Latasha Nevada Diggs, Imani Uzuri and Maya Azucena from time to time - and now the great Abby Dobson too.
"I'd like to say it was some enlightened act of gender-balancing to insure the chromosomal array of the music. But we're not that scientifically advanced. Its just when Nubian goddesses show up on your band stand what else can you but get the eff out way and say; 'Gwaan gyall gwaan and do that stuff'."
Abby Dobson kills on Burning Crosses. Some dense lyrics there. Inspired we take it by the link between the Civil Rights Movement, Abu Ghrabe, The Chicago Eight, and the Arab Spring.
"Abby strafes that track like a horde of Kamikaze Valkyries."
On the medley of The Gurus Lover/Claudine the album makes a shift from vocal-feature material to the long form improv you guys are better known for. Is this because you guys have spent the last two years being more of a glorified James Brown Melvin Van Peebles Miles Davis David Bowie cover band than playing the game of Conduction.
"Pretty much. All the more reason to come back with an album that had several excessive torturing minutes of that freeform funkdafied filth our instrumentalists do so wildly. Cats stretching out long and strong on their axes with out a parachute, a compass or a chainsaw in sight."
You say instrumentalists but Lisala turns up on the appropriately named Whut Rough Beast.
"Funny that. We consider OUR vocalists to be instrumentalists too. Especially when they make up lyrics, melodies and sound effects on the spot, in the bloody moment, when all about them are losing their heads and mor ph ing quite like mad. There's another good description of our music: Xenomorphic. Like The Alien that Nigerian brother Bolaji Badejo played in the original Ridley Scott flick. Also check the Whut Rough Beast bass line, where Jared Michael Nickerson is the tether AND mad pumping the low rider-nuss in that joint!"
The magnificence that is pianist Vijay Iyer appears on one cut too. As does Yale Professor Michael Veal who wrote those great books on Fela and dub music.
"Mike plays quite a mean bass and just ridiculous soprano sax o phone on the album. He'll kick your ass on guitar, traps, gamelan tanned bata drums if you let him as well. Some heads don't know Vijay is an original Burnt Sugar. Going back to those first studio jam sessions we did on 26th Street at Count Down Studios in the summer of '99. Jared on bass, Bruce Mack on synth, Trevor Holder on drums and our original 3 guitar line-up with Rene Akan, Morgan Craft, Ronny Drayton and that badass mofo Kirk Douglas who left us and ran off with The Roots."
Has Garage Band officially joined Burnt Sugar? How much did Steve Jobs pay y'all for that?
"Naught but a pittance and penny far thing. We've been struggling for three years to get the combination of GB loops and live sound mad-organic. Finally seems to have together on that track Vijay gets down on, Bliques Haff Moor Funn. Ditto Throne of Blood 33 1/3 (Encrypted Vernacular) which was just Garage Band, Mikel Banks on Freak-a-Phone and those tor rid twin guitar tyros Rene Akan and Andre Lassalle. Throne is also a homage to many a 90's night spent lost in the groove at these gone but not for got ten New York House Music clubs: Nells, The Shelter, Palladium, Lime light, Sound Factory. That's when and where we came to realize the Beethovens, Brahms and (James) Brown of today are all the true DJs - all the ones who respect and twerk The Mix at that master class level."
One more thing. About the ghost track, Start Thinking Like An African, who's that trying to sing on that joint in that crazy WTF pseudo-African Caribbean accent?
"We don't know what you talking about Willis."
New on El Gallo Rojo!
PIERO BITTOLO BON JUMP THE SHARK - Ohmlaut (El Gallo Rojo 314-51; Italy) Jump the Shark features Piero Bittolo Bon on alto sax, flute & compositions, Gerhard Gschoessl on sousaphone & trombone, Pasquale Mirra on vibes, Domenico Caliri on electric & 12-string acoustic guitars, Danilo Gallo on double bass & electric bass and Federico Scettri on drums. Mr. Bittolo Bon is involved with a few different projects like His Original Pigneto Stompers (CD on LongSong) with Jamaaladeen Tacuma and trio called Jaruzelski's Dream (on Clean Feed). Both trombonist Gebhard Schoessl and bassist Danilo Gallo can be found on a number of other discs both as leaders and as collaborators. I am not quite so familiar with the other members of this sextet although I did review a CD by Mr. Caliri not too long ago on the Caligola label.
The first song, oddly enough, is called "When Will the Bruce Lee", odd because Bruce Lee is my first and middle names. Mr. Bittolo Bon writes hyper, quirky Zappa-like tunes with quick, shape-shifting changes. The alto sax, electric guitar, trombone and vibes all take short, crazed, exciting solos. Bittolo composes songs which are complex yet playful and constantly shift in tempo as well as in construction. He keeps his players on their toes by switching direction and adding another layer of interaction when we least expect it. In most ways this is progressive music with a sense of humor, inventive without taking itself too seriously. This music is filled with surprising twists and turns...the more I listen, the more the inventive interconnections become more apparent. It is always great to hear truly progressive music on a label not known as Cuneiform or MoonJune. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
FALSOPIANO [ALFONSO SANTIMONE/GIORGIO PACORIG/DANILO GALLO/ALJOSA JERIC] - 8888 (El Gallo Rojo 314-46; Italy) Featuring Alfonso Santimone & Giorgio Pacorig on pianos, Danilo Gallo on double-bass and Aljosa Jeric on drums. We got this promo in more than a month ago and have been marveling at it ever since. Although there a handful of records with two pianists playing together (Hancock & Corea or Jaki Byard & Ran Blake), there are very few with two pianists and a rhythm section. The only musician here with whom I am previously familiar is bassist Danielo Gallo who has a couple of discs as a leader on the El Gallo Rojo label.
This disc consists of more than half collective improvs with a few originals by either pianist and a few select covers (Ligeti, Schoenberg & Ornette Coleman). On "Continoom" both pianists do a fine job of shadowing each other as well as play odd figures again each other. Although the collective improv are usually more sparse, there is still some spirited interaction between all four members of the quartet. There are a few pieces for just the two pianos which are pretty great since the pianists seem write so well for all four hands involved. One section might sound free while the other pianist interjects occasional seasoning to keep things off balance or surprising. Ligeti's "Musica Ricerata" seems like an appropriate choice since it fits so well into the skewered side of the way this quartet plays at odd angles. The twisted inside the piano work is what makes this so special, like a clock breaking down with its springs being pulled apart. Whether improvised or not, every piece is fascinating and mysterious. I can't say that I've heard anything quite like Falsopiano. A world of wonders. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
DANILO GALLO & THE ROOSTERS - Everything Is Whatever (El Gallo Rojo 314-52; Italy) This is the third disc from Danilo Gallo & the Roosters and the personnel remains Danilo Gallo on bass & most compositions, Achille Succi on bass clarinet, Gerhard Gschloessl on trombone and Zeno De Rossi on drums. You could say that this is an Italian all-star band since all members are involved in a variety of other projects on different labels from Leo to JazzWerkStatt to LongSong to Splasch, although Mr. Schloessl appears to be based in Germany some of the time.
Over the past few years there has been a number of reeds players that play bass clarinet only (Jason Stein & Rudi Mahall). Achille Succi is another one and is especially strong on that difficult instrument. The pairing of bass clarinet and trombone in the frontline is indeed a great choice and both of these fellows sound great together. Each piece involves compelling harmonies and crafty construction for the entire quartet. For "Arthur Fellig", they strip it down to a skeletal structure while trombone and bass clarinet slowly weave their way around one another gracefully with a somber, bluesy vibe at the center. This quartet are masters of evoking feelings and moods without playing too many notes. Everything is thoughtful and well-constructed without clutter or cliches. They don't sound like young men with a chip on their collective shoulder trying to prove anything other than making strong, spirited music. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
THE HUMANS [SILVIA DONATI/SIMONE MASSARON/ENRICO TERRAGNOLI/DANILO GALLO/MASSIMILIANO SORRENTINI] - It's Nine O'Clock (El Gallo Rojo 314-45; Italy) The Humans feature Silvia Donati on vocals & bamboo flute, Simone Massaron on electric guitar, dobro & carillon, Enrico Terragnoli on acoustic & electric guitars, Danilo Gallo on basses & melodica and Massimiliano Sorrentini on drums & percussion. Everyone in this quintet can be found on other discs from the El Gallo Rojo and LongSong labels. Even the fine singer, Ms. Donati has a previous CD with Standhard 310 on EGR. Although the vocals are mainly in Italian, there is a brief description of what the lyrics are about in the liner notes. The Humans have a unique, rather odd post-Beefheartian bent-line structure. The guitarists often move in separate directions yet wind up playing their lines tightly around one another in certain sections. "Outra Roda Vida" strips things down to a mysterious, throbbing groove with somber guitar, voice and churning drums. Kind of like Ambitious Lovers. "Calimeri Pulsanti" has a swell post-punk intensity with both guitars playing furiously in different directions and it still works. The brief descriptions in the notes often evoke a different scene to help set up the mood for each piece. Ms. Donati has a strong, well-weathered voice that changes from song to song as plays a different character and never over does it. Sometimes she sings, sometimes she speaks while every word is used wisely. I am often reminded of scenes from my favorite European movies, sometimes jumping from one film to the next without obvious reason but still somehow connected. This is quite a long disc and every piece covers a variety of moods and vibes. It is most impressive and ambitious but will take some time fully absorb like one of those somewhat difficult yet worthy European movies that we all love to watch and then argue about. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
MATT RENZI/STEFANO SENNI/JIMMY WEINSTEIN - 4 Stories (El Gallo Rojo 314-48; Italy) Matt Renzi on tenor sax & clarinet, Stefano Senni on bass and Jimmy Weinstein on drums. Although I am not familiar with saxist Matt Renzi, he does have four previous discs on Fresh Sound, all of which also include drummer Jimmy Weinstein. Bassist Stefano Senni can be found on other discs on the El Gallo Rojo label as well as in Jaruzelski's Dream (on Clean Feed) and another Italian label known as Improvvisatore Involontario. This is a completely improvised date, the '4 Stories' of the title refer to four fifteen minute stories or sections. The "First Story" unwinds slowly with Matt playing his warm-toned tenor superbly while the bass & drums comfortably support his soft waves. The piece builds slowly as the tempo increases a little at a time. Mr. Renzi doesn't start to bend his notes until the trio are two thirds of the way through the long journey-like piece. The "Second Story" begins softly with plaintive clarinet, minimal bass and even less drums. Again, the trio take their time to escalate through a few different levels of vibrations. What is interesting is that this music is free, yet focused and restrained simultaneously. The "Third Story" has a lovely, warm, angelic, melodic riff that the sax plays over and over building elegantly. The bass and drums play along a parallel course at a slightly quicker yet no less relaxed tempo. What a gorgeous tone that sax has. Mmmmmm mmm. On the final tale, the pace is just as relaxed, the sound is warm and glowing and pure. It seems like a rare treat to hear a disc that is free yet so melodic and completely enchanting at the same time. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
PIERRE DORGE & NEW JUNGLE ORCHESTRA - Sketches of India (Steeplechase 31738; EEC) India and Indian music have intrigued Pierre Dorge ever since his teenage. Here on his latest album Dorge compiles his impressions of several trips there and the result of his recent field studies. Donald Elfman of AAJ once remarked, "Pierre Dorge has what seems like a magical ability - he can re-imagine and re-think the way that music is voiced thus creating entire new worlds out of worlds we think we know." His magical ability is at full throttle here on this extraordinary musical depiction of a fascinating country. The personnel features: PIERRE DORGE guitar (pizz & arco), conductor, GUNNAR HALLE trumpet, KENNETH AGERHOLM trombone, MORTEN CARLSEN taragot, tenor sax, JAKOB MYGIND tenor- & soprano sax, ANDERS BANKE tenor saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet, IRENE BECKER piano, synthesizer, THOMMY ANDERSSON bass, AYI SOLOMON congas, percussion and MARTIN ANDERSEN drums, cajon. Bruce's review next week.
KENNETH KNUDSEN With PALLE MIKKELBORG/FREDRIK LUNDIN/MARILYN MAZUR et al - May Be [2 CD set] (Stunt 21112; EEC) A 2-CD set of electronic music composed and performed by Kenneth Knudsen with assistance from Oliver Hoiness (guitars), Christian Skeel (samplers & computers), Palle Mikkelborg (trumpet & flugelhorn), Marilyn Mazur (drums and percussion), and Fredrik Lundin (soprano and tenor saxophones).
2 CD set for $18
ANDERSKOV ACCIDENT [JACOB ANDERSKOV et al] - Full Circle (Ilk 178; EEC) The album Full Circle documents an unforgettable concert in Copenhagen, February 2011, at the end of a European tour. Expect Anderskov Accident at its best - visionary, spiritual, and enchanted by some incredible musicians. Featuring: Kasper Tranberg on trumpet & flugelhorn, Laura Toxvaerd on alto sax, Mads Hyhne on trombone, Jacob Anderskov on Wurlitzer electric piano, Nils Davidsen on bass and Tom Rainey on drums. "For those who still didn't know, there is by now no way around realizing that Jacob Anderskov belongs to the most extra-ordinary artists of contemporary music... A high point in improvised Music..." - Hans-Jurgen von Osterhausen, Jazz Podium, Germany.
TANYA TAGAQ With JEAN MARTIN/JESSE ZUBOT - Anuraaqtuq (Victo 121; Canada) Featuring Tanya Tagaq on vocals & movement, Jesse Zubot on violin & viola and Jean Martin on drums & electronics. Although Ms. Tagaq is a Inuit throat singer from the northern region of Canada, this doesn't begin to explain her exhilarating and incredibly intense performance at the Victoriaville Festival in May of 2010. I had caught her once at the Guelph Fest in a more intimate improv situation but her Victo debut was something else altogether. She wisely chose two of Canada's best improvising musicians to collaborate with: violinist Jesse Zubot (Vancouver-based & head of the Drip Audio label) and drummer Jean Martin (Toronto-based & cofounder of Barnyard records). Both visually and vocally, Ms. Tagaq was a bit over-whelming as she delivered her own strange, animalistic vocal sounds and danced like a demon in flames. It was a spectacle no one who attended will soon forget. Tanya's uses her voice in odd ways, twisting and bending it into shapes not so easy to describe. "Snarl" opens with just Tanya moving between two different vocal characters or inflections: a young woman with higher more fragile voice and an older woman with a breathing problem or hoarse witch-like quality. Slowly Jesse adds fractured strings and Jean adds subtle percussion, as the trio blends and builds the into a tight frenzy, casting their own spell over the attentive audience. Ms. Tagaq's throat-singing is much different from the Mongolian throat-singing that most of us have heard in the past, giving it an exorcist sort-of quality . Mr. Martin adds eerie electronic samples on ""Plush" and perhaps he is the one who adds echoes or manipulates Tanya's voice adding another layer or two. Being present at this concert, I was somewhat overwhelmed by the visual content and loud volume, but listening to the disc I hear more of the connection between the players and the overall music display or picture. Tanya often sounds as if she is playing different characters, from a crying little girl to a scary old lady. Jesse and Jean do a fine job of adding their own sympathetic interaction selectively and at times just laying out while Tanya creates another voice or presence. Like all CD's on the Victo label, the sound is superb and well-balanced. At times it hard to tell that Ms. Tagaq is making those sounds herself, they are completely captivating and sound like the language of a friendly alien. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
BRIAN ENO With RICK HOLLAND - Panic Of Looking [CD ep] (Warp 322; USA) "From the recordings that produced Drums Between the Bells--the acclaimed collaboration between Brian Eno and British poet Rick Holland--comes an all new EP titled Panic Of Looking. The six tracks continue the exploration of how lyric & song-writing are perceived in the post-everything era. As the Sunday Times (UK) suggests, 'the poems aren't sung, yet the pieces are undeniably songlike, first because the music refuses to act simply as background, but lurches frequently, sometimes unexpected to the fore, and second because we hear the meaning of the words in the way we normally pick up song lyrics,' while WIRED Magazine calls Eno's soundscapes, 'a tapestry of pillowy synths, minorkey melodies, chiming guitars and skittering drums.'"
CD ep for $11
also available as 12" vinyl ep for $19
QLUSTER [HANS-JOACHIM ROEDELIUS/ONNEN BOCK: aka CLUSTER] - Rufen (Bureau B 75; Germany) "Rufen is the second installment in a trilogy of Qluster music, following on from the Fragen (BB 076CD/LP) studio album. In four impressive live recordings, Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Onnen Bock unfold aural panoramas which can only be described, in the truest sense of the word, as fantastic. Had Claude Debussy not already composed 'Prelude To The Afternoon Of A Faun,' then Qluster would have been ideally placed to do so, their transparency and polymorphism so reminiscent of his high Impressionism. Shunning computers and discarding digital sound, Roedelius and Bock appear to have detached themselves from their own age, exclusively playing analog keyboards, such as the good old Korg MS 20 synthesizer. Nevertheless, they do not revert to earlier periods in search of their stylistic approach. Conventional rhythmic and harmonic patterns are wholly absent. Qluster's foreign sounds and lucidity bring their music closer to contemporary electronic chamber music; although, as paradoxical as it may sound, a form of chamber music which Qluster first had to invent. If this album's predecessor Fragen ventured into strange, unworldly musical territory, then Rufen pushes the boundaries still further. Qluster take the listener along a path which seems to disappear on an imaginary horizon. Roedelius and Bock neither drift off course, nor do they lose sight of their destination. As such, they prove to be reliable scouts who earn the trust of the wanderer at their side. Perhaps there is no goal in Qluster's music, unless it lies in cloud cuckoo land. The direction, however, is clear: head towards the sun, further and further, to a place where everything looks -- and sounds -- a little different. New land, terra incognita. Listening to Qluster feels as new an experience as the music they play. Rufen is not new just for the sake of it. That would not be enough. Rufen is new because two mature musical personalities have succeeded (effortlessly) in creating music which cannot be plotted on a timeline. Music which defies comparison in terms of form and sound. A chance occurrence -- very rare, to say the least." --Asmus Tietchens
and, still available
QLUSTER [HANS-JOACHIM ROEDELIUS/ONNEN BOCK: aka CLUSTER] - Fragen (Bureau B 76; Germany) Kluster -- Cluster -- and now Qluster. Fragen documents the extraordinary shedding of skin of one of the most important German electronic groups. Qluster's modus operandi guides the listener towards peaceful, pale blue rooms where airy veils of suspended matter sparkle, as if floating gently to and fro on the breeze. Beyond the veils one senses further rooms, in colors which have lost their names and become sound. To be perfectly clear: Qluster's music is not psychedelic, neither in the traditional, nor in a wider sense. This is no meditative soundtrack for a "journey to the inner self." In its own way, however, it does represent a trip to the realms of utopia, where particularly careful listening is required in order to appreciate the music in all its richness and splendor.
ORCHESTRA OF SPHERES - Nonagonic Now (Fire 247; UK) "Although distinctly their own, the band's sound draws on influences far and wide, with echoes of African rhythms, free jazz textures, electronic dance music, krautrock and Indonesian gamelan music. Nonagonic Now was recorded at the fittingly named Frederick Street Sound and Light Exploration Society, a venue run collectively by the band and others in the Wellington creative music scene. Creative and exploratory it certainly is, to a dazzling level matched only by the sequins and shine of their radiating costumes. If Orchestra Of Spheres illuminate themselves as a stellar, cosmic form, this record is grounded to this earth by a strong rhythmic force, which pumps continually from the opener 'Hypercube'. Setting a subconscious canon for the rest of the album that weaves in and out of tracks, it emerges in hypnotic guise on 'Rotate' and as space funk on 'Hypersphere'."
TEETH OF THE SEA - Your Mercury (Rocket Rec 40; UK) Teeth Of The Sea return with Your Mercury, their colossal second LP. Balanced elegantly between electronic exploration and incendiary psychedelic freakout, these 46 minutes showcase a band whose expansive mindset has birthed a unique sound, more dynamic, adventurous and vividly atmospheric than ever before. Your Mercury exists on a strange and beguiling astral plane, whereby the boundaries between the synth odysseys of the '70s, the guitar-noise-fuelled infernos of the '80s, horrorscore schlock, Reich-ian repetition, and a whole plethora of other cathode-ray and speaker-stack birthed epiphanies are blurred into one futuristic and fearsomely coherent whole. Teeth Of The Sea, the most exciting psychedelic band in the UK, have spun into a brand new orbit. In the vein of: Eno, Goblin, Emeralds, Butthole Surfers, Ash Ra Tempel and Liars.
also availble on LP for $22
TEETH OF THE SEA - Orphaned By The Ocean (Rocket Rec 31; UK) Originally released in 2009. In a time before Teeth Of The Sea, there was JAWS. A mythical beast that existed chiefly in its members' imaginations, it was to be the ultimate incandescent and unsavory aural burnout; a bracing, no-rules tarpit of abjection and intrigue. Then they actually had a band practice, and found that instead it sounded like an inept, drumloop-driven racket. Only mildly disheartened, the band lay dormant until a decidedly blurry, in-the-red evening at a show in one of the murkier quarters of the metropolis, when its entourage were excited enough in their addled state to forge a master plan once again: Their mission: to stand atop the scrapheap of modern avant-rock like some wayward, drunken colossus. Armed with freedom of intent, irreverence and sheer hedonistic spirit, they would banish the legions of laptop-tapping timewasters and po-faced noisemongers that habitually blighted their evenings out, forever. Then they actually had some band practices, and were pleasantly surprised to find that what emerged from the new line-up was a turbulent, fiery and atmospheric instrumental brew that encompassed searing cosmic psychedelia, melodramatic giallo soundscapes, mariachi melancholia and Kraut-tinged droning occultism. This band hence metamorphosized into Teeth Of The Sea. Two years and more have now passed since that fateful night, and though their sound has blossomed into the expansive, evocative and electrifying elixir you'll hear on their Rocket Recordings debut Orphaned By The Ocean, their modus operandi remains exactly the same: to forge onward irrespective of genre, fashion and occasionally common sense. To have no agenda save what thrills them at any given moment and to place reckless oblivion as the ideal destination for their quest.
CHRISTIAN WOLFF - Kompositionen 1950-1972 [2 CD set] (Edition RZ 1023/24; EEC) "Finally I realized that the kind of sound made in an indeterminate situation includes what could result in no other way; for example, the sound of a player making up his mind, or having to change it. In fact, the indeterminate notation I've used is, as far as I know, the only possible one for the kind of sound I should like. And don't forget, we also like to be surprised ...and the rhythm produced by that situation is like no other rhythm." --Christian Wolff; Most of the pieces collected for this portrait of Christian Wolff document the composer's early activity and were mainly recorded around the time of their composition. Each recording exemplifies the sound gestures from their time. Housed in a digisleeve including a booklet in German and English.
2 CD set for $40
GIULIANO D'ANGIOLINI - Simmetrie Di Ritorno (Edition RZ 10020; EEC) "Giuliano d'Angiolini is a positively unique figure in contemporary music. His profound, well-conceived and stubborn take on music has led him to what he calls "impersonal" music -- music that has fully abandoned the idea of development or form. Through successive states of presentation, which aim to elucidate, d'Angiolini wanted to "leave place in sound so that music could become less voluntary." This led him to favor the surface and present an approach that was by no means superficial: the surface as the immediacy in the propositional content of sound and the present as the very surface of the criterion of time. In his work, musical process and material are but one and are completely laid bare. What we are to hear is non-discursive, deliberately lacking formal organization. We are even free to turn away and come back of our own will -- as if the composer wanted to make positive use of the negative metamorphosis of today's urban listeners, listeners who are constantly assailed with stimuli." --Gerard Pesson
VOLKER HEYN - Sirenes (Edition RZ 1025; EEC) Performers: Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin, Steffen Tast, Pellegrini-Quartett: Antonio Pellegrini, Thomas Hofer, Fabio Marani and Helmut Menzler. Born in 1938, Volker Heyn is an "outsider," or perhaps an "unloved insider," an avant-gardist when it comes to experimental music, reaching beyond the trends of his generation of "New Simplicity," "Neo-Romanticism," "New Complexity" and so forth. In 1960 he left Europe to spend more than ten years in Australia where he joined a travelling theater company, making ends meet by singing in nightclubs and working the night shift in a metal works. Heyn's music is the mise en scene of an acoustic condition, whose manifold reflections perpetually interlock and shatter, like a box of mirrors. It investigates a process, which in itself is inaccessible and cannot be reproduced on paper. Volker Heyn is not interested in sound per se -- in the positive acoustic gesture -- but, and especially, in the negative form, in the responding tone gesture, in the duplicating of friction and in discontinuous movements. His composition patterns follow the resonance -- the overhang -- that we are able to perceive only by restricting our sensors almost to zero, in order not to succumb to its violence. And this must be enough, more would be too much. Then these remnants of sound will be drained and exhausted right up to the merest subversive unit. This is the soundscape that we are given: an intricate, though ultimately innocent structure of endless macro and micro sounding reactions. Housed in a digisleeve including a booklet in German and English.
ALVA NOTO [CARSTEN NICOLAI] - Univrs (Raster-Noton 133; Germany) Alva Noto's (Carsten Nicolai) Univrs follows on from and develops the concept of the album Unitxt (R-N 095CD/LP). Whereas the focus of Unitxt was on the processing of rhythmic patterns ("unit" = unit of measurement, element) and information ("txt" = data, language), with Univrs the focus is on the conceptual differentiation of a universal language ("universum/universal" = unity, entirety). The 14 tracks on Univrs have evolved from a live context, hence, the approach is more continuous and dense. For the track "Uni Acronym," Alva Noto works again with the French vocal artist Anne-James Chaton. The track is based on a number of 208 three-letter acronyms (set in alphabetical order), creating a random narrative. The audio-visual performance of Univrs is based on the real-time manipulation of software-generated test images by audio signals. A customized hardware box triggers the video signal according to the value of the audio signal. The resulting color patterns change constantly without repetition. The visualization of Univrs (Uniscope Version) -- an expanded screen projection setup -- on a digital level combines a variety of modules demonstrating different methods of audio analyzing. The resultant signal processing is shown as a relay structure and is performed in real-time. Each module can be zoomed in on the expanded screen, enabling greater visual detail. The Univrs (Uniscope Version) was developed with the Touchdesigner software in close cooperation with Derivative in Toronto, Canada. Alva Noto would like to thank Anne-James Chaton for his on-going inspiration, Martin L. Gore for providing a sample for the track "Uni Rec," and Daniel Miller for advice and support. The album was mastered by Rashad Becker at Clunk, Berlin.
BYETONE [OLAF BENDER] - Symeta (Raster-Noton 130; Germany) Byetone's new record Symeta opens with a combined track -- a transit -- since "Topas" and "T-E-L-E-G-R-A-M-M" could be seen as one single piece. Both tracks convey the atmosphere of a live session rather than the character of a studio production. The tracks are quite long and deal with repetition, layers of sounds, density and energy, more than melodic and engineering finesse. The whole album follows this approach, as it was fashioned within the context of live performances during the last two years. "Neuschnee" -- the third track -- has an obviously reduced tempo, creating a wide landscape of sound with an intimate aura, which works as a counter draft to the other tracks on the record. With "Opal," the tempo speeds up again, a polyrhythmic phrase whirls around a straight beat, filters are turned, all that evokes the impression of early-'90s minimal techno. Byetone is basically interested in remembering, in a way to preserve, in citing rock/pop styles, without getting stuck in the past, whereas none of the tracks really fit into a specific genre. Seen from this perspective, "Helix" opens the final, more rocky block of the album. Here, the tracks are offensive and rude and sound like a band in a rehearsal room. This part peaks with "Black Peace" in a high-speed heavy metal session. Finally, "Golden Elegy" closes Symeta and a band-like situation occurs. The track ends with a wired lament, presented by Jan Kummer in the tenor of Chemnitz, hometown of both artists. In former GDR-times, they started their musical activity with the brilliant, dilettantish AG.Geige, together with Frank Bretschneider (Komet). Symeta, the title of the album, appears mysterious. This synthetic word arouses associations with symmetry, synthesis or (meta-)structures. It doesn't stand for a definite object, there isn't any solution, and that is the reason why the title has been chosen. Byetone's music tries to create such associations without really fulfilling these expectations. In this sense, Symeta consequently follows Death Of A Typographer (R-N 092CD), this album's well-received predecessor.
KAMMERFLIMMER KOLLEKTIEF - Teufelskamin (Staubgold DIG 16; Germany) What is a "Teufelskamin?" A "Devil's Chimney" is a natural geological phenomenon, a natural rock formation built by tidal powers. Take for example, the natural shaft on the Crozon peninsula in Brittany, France. Waves push into this pit and spit out a giant jet of seawater. Watch out! It's a cold, Satanic soup coming from Hell's kitchen. When chef Satan starts cooking, wet showers come out of his hut, not dry smoke. At least the devil cooks with water. What is cooking when the old Kammerflimmer Kollektief invites you to sit on their Teufelskamin? There is a familiar electric guitar that takes you on a ride into black mountains. There is the ground making the sound of the breath of an Indian harmonium. There is the gentle, dark push from an upright bass. And there is the female voice amplifying wordless moods over wordless songs. For years now, the Kammerflimmer Kollektief have skillfully sailed waves of various musical genres. On Teufelskamin, a spooky guitar sound, a sort of "Surf Noir" is the new ingredient. And bravely, they call out for Albert Ayler's helping ghost. Kammerflimmer Kollektief has created a great, authentic dish over a nice long-running fire, and like the devil, they cook with water. Cool, cool water. Heike Aumuller, Johannes Frisch and Thomas Weber stir up some salty beauty from which no one can escape.
JOACHIM NORDWALL - Ignition (Ash International 8.9; UK) Joachim Nordwall is deeply interested in the power of sound, and how sound can create certain states of mind, but also the other way around; how certain states of mind can create sound. Since his teens in the late '80s, growing up in the remote, crude southeast Sweden, he has experimented with something he prefers to call "Psychic Broadcasting" rather than composition, at first in the still almost-active analog synth drone duo Alvars Orkester. Nordwall went on to play in various experimental music projects and spent time in Paris and London. Back in Sweden, he formed iDEAL Recordings in 1998 and joined the sweaty avant-punk rock group Kid Commando the year after, touring like mad, eventually hitting rock-bottom in 2005. After the death of KC, he formed the ritual rock/drone band The Skull Defekts, which has kept him busy ever since (recently releasing records on Chicago-based Thrill Jockey Records). In 2006, his first solo album was released under his The Idealist moniker. A few years in the making, the album offered was a deep study of Nordwall's interior life, during a time when everything was pitch-black inside. Today, Joachim Nordwall is very active curating his iDEAL label and organization for festivals, concert series and sound art exhibitions. He is also the chairman of the legendary Stockholm venue for experimental stage art, Fylkingen. Nordwall is a man that lives and breathes sound. A few years have passed and Ignition is here, Joachim Nordwall's second solo album. Recorded under brighter circumstances but still with many shadows present. Ignition is on one hand a solid, highly electronic trip, on the other hand, a very sensitive, analog and warm drone symphony. Ignition was released (and is still available) on cassette in 2010, thus asserting the primacy of the analog format. Received and recorded by Joachim Nordwall at Morgan Avenue (Brooklyn), Lampo (Chicago), iDEAL (Gothenburg), EMS (Stockholm) 2006-2010. Technical specifications: RITM-2, iDEALIST DRONE MACHINE, LITTLE BLACK BOY, GLAMOUR BOX, KORG MS-20, iDEALIST NOISE MACHINE, MacBook Pro (various software) and various effects. Analog sound sources, sometimes processed digitally.
ELEH - Floating Frequencies/Intuitive Synthesis Parts I II III [3 CD set; Ltd Ed of 1000 copies] (Important 344; USA) "First edition of 1000. This deluxe 3 CD set presents Floating Frequencies/Intuitive Synthesis in its completed three part entirety. Intuitive Synthesis/Floating Frequencies takes full advantage of the low noise floor and clarity provided by the digital medium. Mastered by Eleh specifically for the digital environment. This box is not intended to be a replacement of the analog records but an entirely different experience."
3 CD set for $44
RUSSELL HASWELL - ACID nO!se Synthesis (Editions Mego 134; Austria) "Pure audio-visual abstraction" or "true synesthesia?" For his new studio album, UK experimental artist Russell Haswell tackles the complex world of analog modular synthesis, alongside his regular live kit of electronics and pedals, or computer. At the same time as recording, the artist also monitored his material visually with an X-Y oscilloscope, revealing the movement of the stereo signal and phase correlation (try it for yourself). However, this is no hipster noodling, but a whole album crammed full of tracks that explode hard. Brutal acid lines fight for room against insane noisescapes and face-melting electronics, severe dynamics, brain-floss, collision-edits, oscillographic pervery, as well as a smattering of genuine, dark, metallic oddness and grimey immersive voids! ACID nO!se Synthesis could be your most fulfilling multi-sensory experience from a piece of plastic this year. Comes with a 16-page booklet with text and 15 vector oscillograms. Improvisation on either modular synthesizer, computer or electronics and pedals. Recorded and simultaneously monitored on stereo/phase scope (visual) and speakers or headphones (auditory). Performed, recorded (direct to HD - 2 channel - no overdub, no midi), edited, compiled and mastered by Russell Haswell in Suffolk, 2010-2011. For a multi-sensory experience (seeing sound, in this case, Lissajous patterns), connect a stereo/phase scope (Oscilloscope X-Y view or software equivalent) to your audio player: www.fluxhome.com/products/freewares/stereotool, www.audiofile-engineering.com/spectre. Recommended reading: Oscilloscope at work. Alfred Haas, Ralph Watson Hallows (Wireless World/Iliffe & Sons Ltd. 1956); Audio Metering. Eddy Bogh Brixen (Focal Press. 2011).
ROGELIO SOSA - Raudales (Sub Rosa 328; Belgium) This CD is a selection of recordings and electroacoustic music from 2003 to 2009. During this period, Sosa Rogelio has explored different approaches to music creation such as the micro-deconstruction and transformation of music recordings, the development of software that synthesizes organic sound compounds using digital signal feedback and voice improvisations with multi-processing workstations. Nevertheless, all these explorations have shared the same interest during these years: to create a visceral music that expresses itself through intense and complex sound flux and aims to vibrate and resonate within ourselves. Rogelio Sosa was born in Mexico City in 1977. His work explores a wide range of aspects that deal with sound morphology, structures of auditory reference, intensification of the acoustic space and performativity. His projects include solo and collective improvisations, music compositions, sound actions and sound installations. All of these are produced using electronic media. Part of Sub Rosa's Framework series. Limited edition of 400 copies.
JAMKA - Pari Passu (Sub Rosa 333; Belgium) Pari Passu is Jamka's fourth full-length album. It was recorded live with minimum overdubs in London between summer 2010 and spring 2011. It relies heavily on the use of hardware equipment, delivering a focused and full sound rich in detail, color and dynamics. Jamka is a music project set up by Monika Subrtova and Daniel Kordik, who first met as philosophy students in Slovakia. After playing in various hardcore and punk bands, Kordik had gradually become more interested in the idea of making music with electronic devices, and when Subrtova began to share his enthusiasm for synthetic sounds and misleading compositions, they decided to explore this territory together. Jamka played their first gig in autumn 2001 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava. Using a sequencer and a sampler, they generated raw-sounding rhythms and structures. In the same year, together with RBNX and Urbanfailure, they released their first common CD-R/tape, Urb Sound Systems, and founded the Slovakian Urbsounds Collective. Jamka now reside in London, where they have established themselves as part of the local experimental scene. Using synthesizers, sequencers, samplers and various FX boxes, they touch on the darker side of techno, industrial and noise music, approaching it in their own uncompromising way. Their music is a whirlwind of colliding rhythms and fractured structures, punctuated throughout with hard-hitting sounds. Sub Rosa's Framework series; limited edition of 400 copies.
Last copies found of..
ARNOLD DREYBLATT & THE ORCHESTRA OF EXCITED STRINGS - Nodal Excitation (Dexter's Cigar 15; USA) Originally released on LP in 1982 by India Navigation Records. Reissue of a key minimalist masterwork. Dreyblatt's documentation in the past has been slim, with albums on Hat Art, Tzadik and Table of the Elements. This album features a 39 minute performance by Arnold's group known as The Orchestra of Excited Strings, recorded in 1981/82 Dreyblatt, Michael Hauenstein (bass violas with Excited Strings), Peter Phillips (Midget Upright Pianoforte), Kraig Hill (Portable Pipe Organ) & Greg Lewis (Hurdy Gurdy)."
DEAN McPHEE - Son Of The Black Peace (Blast First Petite 47; UK) West Yorkshire's Dean McPhee releases his first full-length album consisting of four new tracks of his singular signature style of introspective, drifting instrumentals, masterfully-played eclectic electric guitar and efx meanderings. Quiet-time music; summer fields and winter fire-tending. Future dub folk from an olde English tradition that no one can quite put their finger on. Blast First Petite re-released his initial Brown Bear EP on CD in spring of 2010 to a growing press awareness of this young man's talents with Boomkat, Brainwashed and Foxy Digitalis giving him the big ears kudos and MOJO and Tom Ravenscroft firmly planting the McPhee flag as a talent to watch out for. A steady rivulet of live dates are planned with sympathetic souls old (Michael Chapman's Ecstatic Peace! tripping) and new (Richard Skelton psychogeographical seances with place).
MICHAEL OOSTEN - Michael Oosten (Way Gone 01; USA) "It was sometime during the mid-'60s that the countercultural and rock & roll lifestyles merged. Any kid with an acoustic guitar and songwriting ambition suddenly had accessible role models in the folk and rock worlds to emulate, and plenty of venues throughout America at which to try out their songs and pick up new, progressive musical tricks in the process. Michael Oosten began his musical journey playing in various rock bands. Keeping a band together was difficult. He had begun writing songs that veered away from pop-song copies; and then there was the relative ease and lack of responsibility required for hauling around a guitar. And so, Oosten began a solo career. With a Martin guitar in hand, he took off, playing in coffeehouses and clubs across the country. By the end of 1973, he was ready to record an LP. Oosten settled on five songs and rounded up a couple of friends to fill out his folk/rock/psych sound: some piano from Tom Hennick on 'Hey Babe,' vocals from Jan Reek on 'Garden,' and bass from Al Byla on 'Sunny Day.' True to Oosten's nature, the album was sunny and full of charm, and it reflected his itinerant philosophy of life at the time. University of Wisconsin art professor George Cramer, and Mercury Records graphic artist, John Craig, came up with airbrushed artwork which graces the album's sleeve, and Oosten and friend Lester D'ore (former editor of Chicago countercultural paper Seed and designer of the Yippie flag) holed up at D'ore's Wisconsin commune farm to silkscreen each LP jacket by hand. And what an odd record, full of buoyant psychedelic folk/rock--woodsy, spare, and warm--that sounds as if it could have been recorded on the front porch of a country house. Needless to say, considering the individualistic nature of the album's genesis, marketing and publicity for the album was limited to Oosten driving to radio stations in surrounding cities to hand-deliver copies to DJs. Still, 'Wayfaring Boy' received quite a bit of airplay in Madison, and the album as a whole gained solid play on college campuses. Columbia Records expressed interest in Oosten's music; but after a single meeting with the label, it was clear that the album would be too difficult for the mainstream honchos to market. Oosten's whimsical, wayward talk-singing puts us in mind of other meandering vocal faves from various eras (like the Incredible String Band, Perry Leopold, or the Meat Puppets, to name but three); not everyone's thing, I guess, but who cares! The album has plenty of lovely musical and instrumental bits, from the bouncy 'Hey Babe' to the brightly smiling 'Sunny Day,' while on the epic 'Hungry Horse Montana,' Oosten switches seamlessly from Celtic picking to Middle Eastern chord progressions. Oosten proves himself a stellar guitarist along the lines of John Fahey or Leo Kottke, only in a more eccentric and percussive mode. This new re-release has bonus tracks: three previously unreleased songs from 1973, to be exact. All told, the work of a true renegade, ripe for rediscovery."
LEE 'SCRATCH' PERRY - The Return Of Pipecock Jackxon (Honest Jon's 109; UK) Originally released in 1980, this album from Lee "Scratch" Perry is the final work to emerge from the Black Ark studio, before its permanent destruction. It concludes a series of such LP masterworks such as Super Ape, War In Babylon, Police And Thieves, and Return Of The Super Ape. Enthrallingly, it crosses the sound world of Roast Fish Collie Weed & Cornbread with new hybrids -- like the irresistible 11-minute opener, rolling and delirious, a kind of reggae prophesy of Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing," but musically richer, and more glazed, randy and visionary. Includes an insert with extensive notes by David Katz.
also available on LP for $16
JAZZ AT THE FLAMINGO [V.A.] - Ember Jazz Originals (Fantastic Voyage 125; UK) First released in May 1961 as a (slightly premature) 10th Anniversary celebration of the famous Soho jazz venue, Jazz At The Flamingo now serves as an ideal introduction to Fantastic Voyage's new series of competitively-priced Ember Jazz Originals. Founded in 1952, the Flamingo on Wardour Street played host to both the cream of visiting U.S. jazz musicians and also the emerging British talent. It is the latter on which Ember Jazz Originals will focus primarily. During the 1950s, Flamingo founder Jeffrey Kruger built up his interests in music publishing and also facilitated recordings of some of his favorite artists, initially placing them with established outlets including the Tempo label. Then in 1960, the first British jazz releases appeared on his own Ember label, both reissues of material previously placed elsewhere, and releases of entirely new repertoire. Jazz At The Flamingo was a collection of personal favorites, some previously released on Tempo, Decca, Parlophone and the nascent Ember itself, others new to vinyl. As such, it is a perfect primer for the Ember Jazz Originals series, which will reissue entire albums by many of the feature artists and others besides. To maximize the nostalgia of this reissue, Fantastic Voyage has faithfully retained the original album's artwork, and the CD booklet reproduces the album's original labels and sleeve notes (penned by Kruger himself). To increase the desirability of this release, Fantastic Voyage has added bonus tracks including all four tracks from The British Jazz Trio EP of September 1962 (again reproducing all original artwork) and two previously-unissued, longer outtakes from sessions for the Tommy Whittle Quintet album of 1959. Other artists include: Flamingo All Stars, London Jazz Quartet, Ronnie Ross Quintet, Eddie Thompson Trio, Tony Crombie Orchestra, Derek Smith Trio With Harry Klein, Ronnie Scott and Tubby Hayes And The Jazz Couriers.
LONDON JAZZ QUARTET - London Jazz Quartet (Fantastic Voyage 124; UK) Founded in 1952, the Flamingo on Wardour Street played host to both the cream of visiting U.S. jazz musicians and also the emerging British talent. It is the latter on which "Ember Jazz Originals" will focus primarily. During the '50s, Flamingo founder Jeffrey Kruger built up his interests in music publishing and also facilitated recordings of some of his favorite artists, initially placing them with established outlets including the Tempo label. Then in 1960, the first British jazz releases appeared on his own Ember label, both reissues of material previously placed elsewhere, and releases of entirely new repertoire. The London Jazz Quartet album was recorded in May 1959 and first released on Tempo. A year later it was reissued on Ember with new artwork, incorporating the striking "swirl" graphic, which would be a feature of many Ember jazz sleeves. The project leader, drummer Tony Crombie, had previously been associated with big bands, so this quartet recording was quite a departure for him, and one that saw him collaborating with eminent British musicians Tubby Hayes, Alan Branscome and Jack Fallon. It's a testament to the quartet's proficiency and agility that, while Fallon sticks to bass throughout, the rest cover ten instruments between them. Crombie contributes the majority of the atmospheric tunes, which also include compositions by Tony Kinsey, Alan Clare and Bill Le Sage. This reissue, mastered from stereo tapes, is housed in the original Ember sleeve, while the booklet reproduces the original Ember sleeve notes and labels, plus the sleeve to the earlier Tempo release.
JOHN FAHEY - 1978 Live At Audimax Hamburg [DVD] (Blast First Petite 37; UK) Shot live for TV by the legendary German music show "Rockpalast," this DVD represents the earliest example of a complete John Fahey concert performance, given on March 17, 1978. The multi-camera filming features detailed close-ups of Fahey's playing style, giving Fahey fans a rare insight into what Pete Townshend has called the William Burroughs of the guitar. Fahey's 1978 visit to Europe saw him in fine wild form, performing an 10-track set and, as an incredibly rare bonus, a short interview with the maverick iconoclast. All-Region NTSC-compatible DVD in CD digipak. Location: Audimax, Hamburg. John Fahey: vocals, guitar.
KEVIN COYNE - 1979 Live At WDR-Studio L Cologne [DVD] (Blast First Petite 39; UK) Kevin Coyne remains one of the UK's greatest lost cult talents; one of John Peel's all-time favorite musicians, and an acknowledged artistic hero of contemporary talents as diverse as Will Oldham and John Lydon. His then-record company Virgin described him as the ultimate anti-star. This super-rare recording was shot live in 1979 for the legendary German TV music program "Rockpalast," when Kevin was at the height of his considerable performing powers. The DVD features some 18 songs from across his then-career (1973 to 1979) and serves as almost a personal greatest hits set, and features him in a solo and duet (with Zoot Money) setting, for an intimate and energetic example of Coyne's unique charms. All-Region NTSC-compatible DVD in CD digipak. Kevin Coyne: vocals & guitar; Zoot Money: keyboards.
THROBBING GRISTLE [CHRIS CARTER/COSEY FANNI TUTTI/GENESIS BREYER P-ORRIDGE/PETER CHRISTOPHERSON] - The Second Annual Report Of Throbbing Gristle: Expanded Edition [2 CD set] (Industrial 001; UK) For the first time in 30 years, Throbbing Gristle are now back on their own original Industrial Records label. Industrial Records -- the sole representative of, and only official label representing and releasing records by the band -- present the re-release of TG's first five albums on vinyl and CD. Each album has been restored and remastered specifically for each format by Chris Carter from 24bit "baked tape" digital transfers of the original first generation analogue master tapes. Each of the CD special-editions are presented in a gatefold sleeve featuring restored and remastered cover artwork and an integrated 8-page booklet (the booklets feature different artwork and content than the vinyl editions). Each CD special-edition also includes an exclusive bonus CD containing content from the year of the album's original release, including live tracks and remastered singles. Originally released in 1977, TG's Second Annual Report features various recordings of "Slug Bait" and "Maggot Death," plus the 20-minute soundtrack to After Cease To Exist, a short film featuring a castration sequence. A scathing debut from these avant-garde legends. The bonus CD features additional live recordings from this period, plus the 7" single versions of "Zyklon B Zombie" and the strangely-accessible "United."
2 CD set for $22
Key Vintage Rarities reappear on LP!
MILES DAVIS With JOHN McLAUGHLIN/STEVE GROSSMAN/GARY BARTZ/HERBIE HANCOCK/CHICK COREA/KEITH JARRETT/DAVE HOLLAND/MICHAEL HENDERSON/JACK DeJOHNETTE/AIRTO MOREIRA et al - Live-Evil [2 LP set] (4 Men With Beards 809; USA) "Originally released in 1971, Live-Evil is one of Davis' most extraordinary records. Here, on a double album comprised of both live and studio recordings, the electric sound that Davis first unveiled the year previous emerges as a fully formed and powerful beast. Featuring one of his finest bands, which included John McLaughlin, Keith Jarrett, Gary Bartz, Jack DeJohnette, and Brazilian percussionist Airto, Live-Evil is a stunning exploration of the outer limits of jazz, and one of the most influential records of the '70s. Absolutely essential." Gatefold sleeve; on 180 gram vinyl.
2 LP set for $30
JUDEE SILL - Heart Food (4 Men With Beards 121; USA) "The second album Judee Sill made proved to be her last. A notoriously slow songwriter, this enjoyable outing took its toll on Sill during its making, turning her back to her recently kicked heroin addiction and away from the desire to create more music. Instead of using an outside arranger for the strings (as she did on her previous album), Sill did all of the work herself. Her lack of formal training and the immense amount of orchestral overdubs certainly would have made such an outing a hardship for anyone. It's a stellar example of the kind of singer/songwriter fare the music industry was mining in the early '70s. The supporting cast of top L.A. studio musicians solidifies Sill's unique brand country-flavored pop, which moves from introspective meanderings to loping rock, often within a single song."
JUDY HENSKE & JERRY YESTER - Farewell Aldebaran (Klimt 324; EEC) Timely reissue of this late '60s folk/psych classic from husband and wife team Jerry Yester and Judy Henske. Yester had previously enjoyed an element of fame courtesy of his stint with The Loving Spoonful, but following the band's demise in 1969, he set about producing this little gem with acclaimed folk singer Henske and a bunch of pals which were said to have included Ry Cooder and David Lindley. Farewell Aldebaran, which is often heralded as one of the most proficient and creative albums of its genre, with Henske's incredible range of vocal styles (during her short solo career she had effortlessly made the transition from comedian to folk singer and then onto an accomplished rock singer) elevating the album to a higher plane. Her mind-blowing vocals on the opening track, the hard-fuzz "Snowblind," gives an early clue to Henske's talent and range, and although this particular vocal style only features on the one song, the sheer diversity of her singing makes every track on this highly original and experimental album a unique experience. Yester and Henske attempted to scale the same artistic heights with their next collaboration, Rosebud, but sadly, it was not to be, and Yester, fearing that he had already peaked as a musician, turned his attention to production, working with other Californian bands and singers of the time including The Association, The Turtles, Tim Buckley and Tom Waits. Housed in a numbered, limited edition unique card wallet."
One of those truly special, holy grail, folk/psych wonders! - BLG
COSMIC JOKERS [KLAUS SCHULZE/MANUEL GOTTSCHING/HARALD GROSSKOPF/JURGEN DOLLASE/DIETER DIERKS] - Cosmic Jokers (Klimt 325; EEC) The Cosmic Jokers were a German space/electronic/psych supergroup, who recorded for the legendary Cosmic Couriers label in the mid 70s. The line up was Ash Ra Tempel's Manuel Gottsching, Wallenstein's Harald Grosskopf & Jurgen Dollase, Klaus Schulze and scene engineer/sideman Dieter Dierks. This album was their debut from 1974, and it's a pretty spectacular surge into 70s drugged byways, Gottsching's trademark acid guitar on top of instrumental waves of analogue synth gurgling and spaced out electronic effects. Until recently this stuff was largely unknown and way underrated, at least in American circles. This free-form freak out -- consisting of two epic tracks, the 22 min "Galactic Joke" and the 19 min "Cosmic Joy"--was first of five albums by the group to be released on Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser's Cosmic Couriers label in the coming months. A first rate slab of space rock up there with other classics of the genre.
HARUMI - Harumi (Klimt 322; EEC) "Originally released in 1968 on Verve, Harumi is a classic double album of obscure 'Japan meets Greenwich Village' psych with legendary producer Tom Wilson (Velvet Underground, Zappa, Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel) at the helm, desperately trying to reign in the talents of this enigmatic Japanese artist on the outer fringes of an East/West freak out. All songs are sung in English. Original gatefold sleeve." Housed in a gatefold sleeve.
"Recorded by Tom Wilson (who else?) for Verve in 1967 and 1968 in New York, this set originally appeared on a double LP (which has previously been reissued on both vinyl and CD by Fallout). This is one of the wildest and most unbelievably ambitious recordings to come from the psychedelic era. Harumi (a mystery man who recorded one more album before vanishing into the ether) could write pop songs and sing them. He also sounds like he did a lot of acid. Harumi (who sings and speaks in English), Wilson, arrangers Harvey Vinson and Larry Fallon, and engineer Gary Kellegren assembled a tripped-out collection of pop, Eastern folk, and experimental music and production techniques, with sounds, textures, and atmospheres that incorporated everything from strings and horns to Japanese folk instruments to vibraphones and (of course) plenty of guitars and drums and organ. Of the 13 cuts here, 11 are of conventional length and are utterly seductive in their hypnotic power and pop brilliance. The last two, "Twice Told Tales of the Pomegranate Forest" and "Samurai Memories," are 24 minutes and 18 minutes long, respectively. These two have plenty of cosmic spoken word by (Emperor) Rosko [legendary DJ at WNEW] and Harumi, and on the past by his parents and his sister. The first of these, the longer one, is a bit difficult to take with its slow pace, minimal orchestration, and nearly nonsensical story (that's what the remote is for). The second one, with its discotheque go-go boots beat and orchestration, phased sounds, and Japanese language, is an exotic masterpiece. It grooves throughout, especially when the electric guitars and strings play counterpoint to one another. Simply put, there is nothing at all like this record in the known universe. It has been compared to the adventurousness of the Mothers of Invention, but only insofar as its wide range. The music here, while a huge compendium of sources, is unlike anything you have ever heard when it is put together. Harumi's self-titled album is simply a classic from the underground brought back into the light." - Thom Jurek
2 LP set for $35
TAKESHI TERAUCHI - Nippon Guitars: Instrumental Surf, Eleki & Tsugaru Rock 1966-1974 (Big Beat Intl 297; UK) "The first ever retrospective in the west of one of Japan's guitar pioneers, Takeshi Terauchi. Charting his career from the surf boom, to groovy '60s instrumentals, fuzz freak-outs and funk rock. A must-have item for any collector of guitar 'n' beats from around the world or anyone with a curiosity for vintage Japanese and Oriental popular music. Big Beat International release, compiled by Howard Wiliams, previously held responsible for the Killing Melody album, a compilation of Japanese gangster soundtracks. Now venturing into the choppy waters of surf and electrified Japanese folk. Takeshi Terauchi was the main man behind the mid '60s Eleki (electric guitar) boom. A powerhouse of guitar pyrotechnics with an understanding of the circuit board; he made his own echo machines and the first Japanese-made PA system. With his two groups, the Blue Jeans and the Bunnys, he led the field and still plays today. The album Nippon Guitars is a sample of his huge catalogue, mainly focusing on hard-edged surf, adapted versions of traditional Japanese folk songs and '60s Japanese pop grooves. For beat scavengers there are breaks, backed with melodies in the Japanese pentatonic scale."
New releases on the bizarre BMusic label!
DON GERE - Werewolves On Wheels [sndtck] (BMusic 35; USA) "B-movie junkies, gather round and prepare yourselves for what could only be described as a cinematic speedball. Take a combined hit of two of the most potent strains of toxic cinema, dress it up in ritualistic robes and make it dance to the beat of a stoned, motoric, country commune soundtrack. Like an exploito double bill where both films merge into a single feature, this directorial debut by an ex-Roger Corman protege and future Russ Meyer art director (another heady cocktail) is the product of one writing duo's fleeting time in the driving seat as the moviedrome marathon approached its dwindling finish line. Werewolves on Wheels emerged in 1971 in a climate where the B-movie genre of the previous two decades began to make way for the early glimpses of imported slasher films and video nasties. Entirely out of popular context in 1971, the soundtrack music of Don Gere would perhaps reveal him as the most versatile actor involved in the whole production. Until this point, Don Gere had been a pop folk songwriter and a country music devotee, but while riding with the werewolves, Don Gere became a disjointed psych rock stoner making ritualistic commune country with more coincidentally in common with Germany's emerging Krautrock scene or the more localized stoner psych of Skip Spence (whose radically ahead of its time LP OAR was recognized by Columbia Records as their lowest selling record in the company's history). Imagine guitarist Sandy Bull jamming with Munich's Amon Duul 1 or some Swedish prog outfits like Trad, Gras och Stenar or a sedated Kebnekaise. In comparison to the Curb/Allan scores, for films like Wild Angels, Devil's Angels, Thunder Alley, and Born Losers (often released on Curb's own Sidewalk or Tower records), the new music made by Don Gere, only three years down the line, sounds like it's from an entirely different generation."
GOOGOOSH aka GOUGOUSH [FAEGHEH ATASHIN] - Googoosh (BMusic 34; USA) "The East's best kept secret? Despite being a national treasure to generations of free-thinking Iranians and one of the most well-known and loved songbirds from the East, Faegheh Atashin (most famously known as Googoosh or Gougoush) is ironically also the performer of some of the rarest, heart-melting pop music in the world. Originally pressed on the diminishing vinyl format in the mid-1970s her songs and performances were banned after the Iranian revolution of 1979 resulting in her records, and millions of others, being forbidden, hidden and destroyed. Preserved in some part via the rise of global compact cassette culture in the 1980s some of Googoosh's most famous songs have become anthemic amongst international Iranian communities whilst in darker contrast dozens of 45 b-sides and commercially stunted album tracks remain as distant and nonexistent memories in the mind of the most devout fans and fastidious vinyl librarians. Finders Keepers' first Googoosh release focuses on a handful of these lesser-spotted tracks - the ones that didn't get away. Herein many will find the singer at her beguiling best with an urgency and yearning in her voice that is arguably unrivaled by so many contenders under the often disposable femme-pop umbrella. Mid-tempo pop peons with pulsating rhythm sections awash with expertly orchestrated strings (akin to that of some of the most intense Italian or French film composers) provide the backdrop for unrequited love songs revealing poetic premonitions of impeding cultural heartbreak. Other carefully selected tracks take cues from Googoosh's most unlikely influences, such as jazz, bossa and early disco, unconsciously inducing political paranoia from the era's imminent anti-pop restrictive regime. Combining inspiration from a deep-rooted history of Persian poetic verse and indelible Arabic songcraft these lost tracks, from the artist known amongst Farsi speaking fans throughout the world as 'Iran's Daughter,' have most certainly, finally earned a place in the hearts of 'outernational' music lovers like yourself."
ABSOLUTE FUSIOON - Absolute Fusioon (BMusic 33; USA) "Who can ignore a band with a name this blatant? But if you think is 'Fusion' in a traditional sense, think again. An epic soundtrack to an era when Spain was adjusting to a new political era, with it's own Catalan swagger." -- Guillermo S. Herren aka Prefuse 73 (Savath Y Savalas)
"From the foundations of the Catalonian rock Laieta movement. An uber-legendary exponent of Ibizas' 1970 psychedelic club scene. An essential for fans of freak funk and symphonic jazz rock with no egg-ception. Imagine a Spanish mutation somewhere between Goblin and The Stark Reality. Featuring tracks from the cosmic studio of Jose Llobell (Enterprise/Oliver's Planet). Snap it up while you can... an Absolute Belter."
JEAN-CLAUDE VANNIER - Electro Rapide: Experimental Pop Instrumentals From Jean-Claude Vannier's Vintage Vaults (BMusic 38; USA) "Electro Rapide is a collection of rare and unreleased archive material from the studio vaults of legendary French orchestral pop composer Jean-Claude Vannier. Taken from the period before and during his revered creative period with Serge Gainsbourg, these tracks reveal rare glimpses of Vannier's self initiated instrumental projects which were crowbarred between an air-tight studio diary as one of Frances most in-demand arrangers and composers of the post Mai 68 generation. Electro Rapide combines a mixture of JCVs familiar trade-mark motifs and stylings from his coveted work for idiosyncratic French pop vocalists (such as Briggitte Fontaine, Claude Nougaro, Leonie and Anna St Clair) with the seldom heard experimental music for ballets, fashion shows as well as his infamous film music (such as the soundtracks for Cannabis and La Horse). Electro Rapide reveals a young Vannier in his embryonic stages before the birth of a true individual orch, pop funk legend, comprising some exclusive and previously unheard tracks alongside music culled from rare library music LPs, kids' records, radio themes and his earliest soundtrack work. This archive is the closest Jean-Claude Vannier fans will get to a lost instrumental LP outside of his previous Finders Keepers Insolitudes release and his conceptual Georges Brassens tribute LP and features his favored long-running session band featuring Arpardys & Brutus Drums percussionist Alain Pierre D'ahan and magma guitarist Claude Engel in their earliest assemblage. Utilizing a vibrant palette of sonic ingenuity JCV combines pulpit percussion, scholastic instruments and a host of oblique international sounds to create a unique breed of French instro pop that went on to influence future generations of international progressive and cinematic music."
JEAN-CLAUDE VANNIER - Roses Rouge Sang (BMusic 37; USA) "Exactly 40 years since the release of Histoire De Melody Nelson (his seminal and essential Serge Gainsbourg collaboration) Jean-Claude Vannier, France's most lorded arranger and composer of orchestral funk-rock and pop returns to the same artistic territory that has since come to represent his most iconic period and continually inspire five inclusive generations of experimental rock luminaries. The signature sound of JCV, complete with his brooding orchestral sweeps, pensive drum-drops, loudly plucked bass and biting clavinet has earned him a firm fixture in the top-ten album lists of virtually everyone with a passing interest in latter-day European rock and conceptual music. But don't call it a comeback. Unlike the many re-dux events or commercial updates of passed classics that we have recently come to expect, the latest LP by Jean Claude Vannier simply extends the authentic vintage winning-formula which he truly owns with utmost attention to every last detail. As pop music and technology changes with time some things are best left in their purest form which is why 40 years later JCV has returned to the same studio hands, with the same musicians and the same crystal clear vision that simply can't be equaled, despite the countless attempts. This all new LP comprises a personnel of the legendary European session players that appeared on classic Vannier & Gainsbourg scores such as Cannabis, La Horse, Slogan and Les Chemins de Katmandu as well as Melody Nelson itself, and his own bizarre and mythical follow-up LP, the truly bizarre 1973 avant-garde ballet L'Enfant Assassin Des Mouches (which was finally rescued from obscurity in 2005 by Finders Keepers as the labels debut release). The rhythm section line-up for the album alone reads like a European record collectors wet dream."
..and backcatalog still available includes..
JEAN-CLAUDE VANNIER - L'Enfant Assassin des Mouches (Insolitudes) (BMusic 01; USA) 2006 domestic US pressing (previously issued by Night & Day in France and Finders Keepers in the UK) of this classic Serge Gainsbourg associated album. This CD edition includes two bonus tracks and a bonus video of live footage taken from an on-set performance during an Yves Saint Lauren fashion show in 1971!" Recorded in 1972, at the same sessions as Gainsbourg's monumental Histoire De Melody Nelson, but never officially released until this CD came out. Incredible orchestral rock production, finally receiving it's due acclaim. Described as: 'A supernatural tale written by Serge Gainsbourg to music by Jean-Claude Vannier'. Jean-Claude Vannier's liner notes: "Paris, April 1972: A phone call this morning: a far-off murmur that I vaguely make out: 'it's me, you coming round?' It's like a game: when I don't understand, I know it's him. Verneuil Street is part of the route I take for my walks and we often spend the afternoon together. Uncomfortably seated in the black living room, him in his old dentist's chair and me on the prie-dieu, we listen to what I just recorded at the Studio des Dames. I know that Serge likes how I write and it is quite natural that he be the first to discover my brand new instrumental album. I like listening to music with musician friends: amused reactions, the complicity of caught out children, knowing smiles. But this time it's different: the score inspires Serge, a sort of ballet, a tale, 'a supernatural story with flies I think; give me the night to work on it'. And the next day to my amazement I discovered this King of the Flies, this Child and these Matches that he had thought up, dancing to the notes of my music. The record was never released: life, laziness, the weather at sea and death too. It gives me great pleasure for you to discover it today."
"A stone-cold classic. Vannier's a genius: making a musique concrete recording using a hot acid-psych band, a children's choir, field recordings, and a klaxon orchestra, setting the tapes ablaze with a box of sonic matches. It's important to note that Gainsbourg is NOT on this record, and there aren't any actual lyrics in regard to the story this record is based upon, so don't come to this expecting Melody Nelson Pt 2 - Serge wrote the liner notes inspired by Jean-Claude's vision, and that's as far as his involvement goes. The results are startling, and just when you think you've got things sorted, J-C lights another match and your preconcieved notions are up in smoke once more. An essential addition to anyone's collection of psych, prog, and avant-rock in general. Highest recommendation!" -Mikey IQ Jones @ DMG."
"This goes to the heart of WHAT 'PROGRESSIVE' SHOULD REALLY MEAN! Not that tired 'symphonic [keyboard] prog' but something truly creative that takes you on an unbounded musical voyage. All THUMBS UP!!! - MannyLunch
ILAIYARAAJA - Solla Solla (BMusic 32; USA) "Ilaiyaraaja, Ilayaraja, Ilayaraaja, Isaignani, The Maestro. The undeniable prince of Kollywood cinema, India's second largest film industry, Ilaiyaraaja is more than equal to his forward thinking contemporaries in Bollywood and Lollywood in both productivity and experimentation. However, once you have exhausted all possible leads using his various names (and the numerous misspellings) you're faced with the unenviable task of sifting through a 34-year career spanning more than 900 film scores in Tamil, Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada in order to unearth some the heaviest dancefloor friendly electronic pop to ever emerge from Southern India. This not-so-modest collection of lesser-spotted electronic Tamil pop features many tracks previously unavailable away from their original rare as hen's teeth vinyl pressings. Includes the viral Kollywood/Bollywood klassic 'Solla Solla.'"
ZDENEK LISKA - Mala Morska Vila [sndtck] (BMusic 31; USA) "The original orchestral/electronic score from Karel Kachyna's 1976 Czech film adaptation of Hans C. Anderson's The Little Mermaid, composed by Zdenek Liska (The Cremator/Fruits of Paradise) featuring Lenka Korinkova. Liska's legacy in the history of European cinema is huge in volume but relatively modest in its celebrity. Having already composed nine scores for Kachyna's films to add to his 1976 filmography of 150 completed soundtracks. Mala Morska Vila is one of the most idiosyncratic and haunting undiscovered scores in the annals of European cinematic history. Beautifully remastered from the original mastertapes with the full cooperation of the seminal Barrandov studios in Prague."
ANGELO MICHAJLOV - Saxana - The Girl On A Broomstick [sndtck] (BMusic 30; USA) "The previously unreleased spooked-out psychedelic jazz score to '70s Czech's 'other' favourite teenage witch flick. Directed by Vacalav Vorlicek (3 Nuts For Cinderella/Who Killed Jessie?) from the studios that brought you Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, Daisies and The Cremator. Finders Keepers presents the entire studio sessions, plus psychedelic effects by Angelo Michajlov (Marta Kubisova's arranger) performed by the Karel Vlach Orchestra. 'Imagine Gary Bartz and Nucleus meeting Swedish singer Doris at a Czech Pop Festival with the cast of H.R. Pufnstuff as the moody stage security.' Embodying the same dance floor sensibilities as tracks like Kubisova's own 'Tak Dej Se K Ruman' or a version of 'Beatmaker' by Sweden's Doris Svensson, the film's title track, played by the right DJ, could even transcend European retro dance floors. However, by 21st Century record nerd standards it might be an idea to use the 'Doris' gauge to judge the psychedelic jazz score to Czechoslovakia's favourite family witch flick. Don't get me wrong, these aren't pop songs, we're talking about instrumental and incidental music here (of the spooky variety) only to be found in European cinemas, and as soon as Karel Vlach puts down the brass and pulls out the electric bass and mid-tempo score sheets then Angelo Mikhailov's demands for backwards percussion samples and eerie manmade Hex F.X. begin to add extra colour to our screens and stereos. Take the music out of its visual context and imagine a banned Italian Giallo film with a laid back Bruno Nicolai score. We even get the sitars on one track." Includes a 28-page full-color booklet with photos and extensive notes.
JACKY CHALARD - Je Suis Vivant, Mais J'ai Peur De Gilbert Deflez (BMusic 28; USA) "Surrealist sci-fi psych concept LP combining the leading bastions of the French No-No rock scene with the Parisian cosmic-comic-art cognoscenti." "The combination of ex-members of French rock and roll bands The Mayfair Group (Chalard) and Jelly Roll (Jacques Mercier) founded the writing team behind one of France's top progressive pop bands of the early 1970s alongside The Martin Circus, Triangle and The Variations. After an unshakable discography of killer singles, including tracks like 'Le corbeau et le renard' and 'Faust 72,' the group won the enviable job as both backing band and support group for Michel Polnareff which would later take the four piece on a tour of Japan. Dynastie Crisis released approximately two and a half LPs (the middle one was a re-dux of their underexposed debut) for the labels of Francis Dreyfuss and the French leg of Harvest Records. Like most forward thinking LPs of the era Je suis vivant, mais j'ai Peur was too progressive for its 1974 release, and for an LP designed to sound like it was made 25 years in the future, it was quite clearly ahead of its time by design. Perhaps a reissue in 1999 might have bought the LP up to date but given an extra decade to hibernate, a lot like the story's leading protagonist, maybe the characters of Je suis vivant, mais j'ai peur can finally be unleashed on planet Earth to inspect how our musical tastes have developed. I wonder how he will react to the apocalypse?"
JANE WEAVER - The Fallen By Watch Bird (BMusic 22; USA) "Taking influences from Eastern European children's cinema, Germanic kunstmarchen, '70s television music and early murmers of '80s synth-pop The Fallen By Watch Bird is a new conceptual pop project featuring seven chapters of cosmic aquatic folklore by songwriter Jane Weaver ( Misty Dixon / Bird Records / B-Music). Combining the sonic sisterhood of seven other musical actresses drawn from the past 40 years of soft-rock and femme-folk history under the collective moniker 'Septieme Soeur' the new LP features rare appearances from Wendy & Bonnie (harmonic creators of '60s soft psych teen-pop rarity Genesis), Lisa Jen (Starry eyed Welsh language Volk singer and female voice of Gruff Rhys's Candylion), Susan Christie (1969 Philadelphian top-ten pop starlet whose lost acoustic pop recordings were eventually released by Finders Keepers in 2006) alongside traditional Bosnian singer Behar and members of Misty Dixon. Casually alluding to a floating storyline based around missing seamen, telekinesis, avian messengers, white witchkraft and death & re-birth, Jane's fifth release is her first fully realised concept album. Sharing themes explored in her acclaimed 2002 LP Like An Aspen Leaf (recorded with members of the embryonic band Elbow) The Fallen By Watch Bird also revisits collaborative production techniques explored alongside Dave Tyack in her previous synth-fuelled girl-groop band Misty Dixon, which drew comparisons to American Spring and Suicide in shining reviews across the board. The project, recorded sporadically over a 2 year hiatus was initially conceived after assembling a one-off supergroop featuring Susan Christie and Wendy Flower under the direction of Andy Votel and Sean Ohagan as part of Jarvis Cocker's Meltdown Festival in 2007. The Fallen By Watch Bird is a rare foray into the public eye for Miss Weaver, after leaving a trail of carefully placed musical crumbs marking her retreat from Manchester's municipal public-eye as one-time omnipresent ambassador of Manchester's vibrant indie scene as part of New Order's management team, recording early singles with leading Mancunian cinematic alt-rock groop Doves."
JANE WEAVER - Cherlokalate (BMusic 09; USA) "Effervescent songbird Jane Weaver once again takes flight with this spellbinding collection of heartrending recordings.... immersed in the sounds of Linda Perhacs, Karen Dalton, Josephine Foster, These Trails and The Pink Fairies. Jane Weaver is a rare creature in the vanity-stricken world of female singers, and perhaps with a more generous roll of the dice we might all have heard of her. Serving her apprenticeship in the mid-nineties girl-guitar-pop outfit Kill Laura, Jane would go on to front Twisted Nerve's Misty Dixon and release her critically acclaimed solo mini-album, Like An Aspen Leaf, as well as recording a slew of singles with the help of Doves and an album for Mancunian music maverick Rob Gretton's Manchester Records which went unreleased following his death until Jane dusted down the tapes and released it through her very own Bird imprint. Cherlokalate is the highly anticipated follow up to 2006's critically acclaimed debut album proper, Seven Day Smile. Stripped back and laid bare, Jane's songwriting has moved from strength to strength and her dulcet tones have lost none of their potency. Jane's quiet riot continues unabashed as word spreads of her unassuming but bewitching talent." "Her voice is a thing of ethereal, folk sweetness." -- Mojo
BEARDED LADIES [V.A. curated by JANE WEAVER] - Bearded Ladies (BMusic 08; USA) "Effervescent songbird Jane Weaver has joined forces with Finders Keepers to produce a B-Music certified canon of femme-folk, laden with finger-picked meandering melodies, ethereal harmonies and wistful psychedelic leanings. This bespoke, globe-trotting, decade-spanning collection traces a line between the acid-soaked protest rumblings of yesteryear and the forward looking/backward facing revivalists of today, as luminaries such as Wendy & Bonnie, Bonnie Dobson, Heather Jones and Susan Christie rub shoulders with the current cream of female songsmithery including Emma Tricca, Magphai, and Cate Le Bon."
EMMA TRICCA - Minor White (BMusic 24; USA) "Italian-born, London-based singer-songwriter Emma Tricca has had her life shaped by two key encounters with folk legends. While still only an apprentice songwriter just out of school she met John Renbourn when he played a solo show in Rome. After the gig, Emma got the opportunity to play John one of her own songs; his approval gave her the confidence to start writing and gigging properly and they remain firm friends. Given both her itchy feet and love of the Greenwich Village folk musicians, it was perhaps inevitable that Emma would make the pilgrimage to New York, living there and in Texas for a while before returning to the folk clubs of London. In the summer of 2006 she was spotted playing at the Green Man festival in Wales by DJ and Finders Keepers/Twisted Nerve record boss Andy Votel and his partner, the singer-songwriter Jane Weaver. The meeting led Emma to be invited by Jane and Andy to play a night they were involved in as part of Jarvis Cocker 2007 Meltdown festival. Both her performance and her contribution to the attendant compilation album were critically acclaimed by the international press, leading to a full UK and European tour and dates supporting John Renbourn. Recorded in Famous Times Studios, Minor White is the perfect summation of Emma's story so far -- a natural product of all those miles traveled and all those songs played. Indeed, the elegance and unvarnished charm of the songs here is only matched by the sense of well-traveled melancholy that reflects Emma's international upbringing. It's a truly timeless work, which means that these songs will endure as much as those that inspired Emma to pick up a guitar and start to sing in the first place."
TWINKRANES - Spektrum Theatre Snakes (BMusic 21; USA) "A self-described 'psychedelic power trio specializing in zone-out progressive pop musik,' Twinkranes dare to be different. Spektrum Theatre Snakes, their debut album, is triple-pronged, hammer-action psychedelia driven by tribal motorik, barking mad synthesisers, loose connections, dead ends and choppy waters. If you like Silver Apples, Wooden Shjips, car chases, krautrock and mind-bending grooves, you're going to love this. Hailing from Dublin, the trio comprises Anto, aka Blonde Fox (Vocals & drums), Rooster (guitars & tape manipulation) and Ray, aka Auburn Spinner (Korg synthesizer, rhythms and soundscapes). Together, they take influence equally from dance music and the weirder wings of pop history."
ERSEN - Ersen (BMusic 10; USA) "If any singular exponent of the powerful Turkish Anadolu Pop scene could be described as eclectic it would have to be Ersen. His chameleon image in Turkey has teetered on the edge of versatile and schizophrenic over his 40-year sporadic career and his versatile talents as a vocalist have served as a refreshing alternative to his contemporaries in one of the most progressive musical micro-cultures in the history of rock music. Catapulted into prominence by the first ferocious wave of the Anadolu Pop scene alongside the true cognoscenti of the fledgling phenomenon, Ersen would go-on to record a smash hit single and a string of stylistically disparate records which entertained, inspired, confused, rejuvenated and offend his divided audience in equal parts. By today's standards Ersen's erratic creative tendencies makes him one of the strongest Turkish rock contenders to transcend changing musical trends and geographic territories. As a singer he has one of the most unique softly spoken vocal deliveries on the Anatolian Rock scene and as a composer his use of long heavy rhythmical passages punctuated by his signature 'panting' vocalizations and throbbing basslines are unmistakable. To fans of early Eastern psychedelic music it will make sense that, although at times in his career Dinleten may have been regarded as an outsider, many attributes of his unique sound are accountable to his open armed acceptance by the originators of the Anadolu Pop scene - primarily, and namely Mogollar and 3 Hurel."
VOICE OF THE SEVEN WOODS - Voice Of The Seven Woods (BMusic 07; USA) "An unnamed elderly guitar repairman at a reputable music shop in South Lancashire is usually a mild-mannered character, but thanks to Rick Tomlinson this nimble-fingered technician is slowly coming to his wit's end. The fact that Rick is actually his best customer is of little consolation, and the recurring cautionary 'Don't do it again!' is falling on deaf ears, which are maybe the result of listening to too much loud music. The repeated damage inflicted on Rick's acoustic guitar by irresponsible baggage attendants at various international airports is not the problem. The fact that this reluctant leading light of the fickle 'nu-folk' movement has literally smashed his way out of a tight pigeonhole using his trusty wooden axe as a battering ram is evident by the blood-stained frets.
But this is only part of the old man's concern. It's actually Rick's latest requests to make this handcrafted German guitar sound like a mutant instrument from the Middle East that are really eating him alive. The exact problem that this man has spent his life trying to eradicate is now at the top of his leading client's menu, leaving this supreme craftsman's head in his skilled hands. Rick actually wants his strings to rattle and buzz. And if his well-traveled mahogany companion isn't willing to brave any more abuse, then imminent live shows (sharing double bills with mutually respected luminaries Bert Jansch and Davy Graham) might be the last acoustic guitar performances he will make."
SAROLTA ZALATNAY - Sarolta Zalatnay (BMusic 06; USA) "The protective packaging of this first ever compendium of Zalatnay's crown jewels would not provide anything close to the adequate ink space for a worthy account of her life in the Hungarian public eye (which has previously and periodically been documented in a series of autobiographies which are unlikely to ever benefit an English language translation). After ten successful albums, drawing together a veritable who's who of Hungarian progressive and psychedelic rock and utilizing some of the toughest dancefloor friendly metronomic drum breaks and a hard funk-rock sound years ahead of their Western European counterparts, the decline of communism in Hungary Western music, literature and cinema predictably infiltrated Hungarian culture overnight and the young record buying public began to turn their backs on home grown music and many faithful Eastern European artists were demoted to mum and dad's record shelf like musical photo albums. Don't worry though - Gal Costa is a huge name in Portugal but not many Portuguese people have heard Tuareg. The youth of Hungary certainly know who Zalatnay is but how many of them have heard that break at the start of 'Hadd Mondjam El'? All of Zalatnay's LPs have remained unknown outside of her native country. On a global scale, Zalatnay's releases sit alongside Did You Give The World Some Love Today Baby by Sweden's Doris Svensson, Marta Kubisova's Songy A Balady from Czechoslovakia, as well as early LPs by Greece's Elpida, Poland's Maryla Radowics and a host of French recordings from France Gall and the likes of Lulu and Pet Clarke in the UK."
SUSAN CHRISTIE - Paint A Lady (BMusic 02; USA) Domestic US version (previously issued by Finders Keepers in the UK). Slipcase packaging, with a pull-quote from Wendyt Flower! "Susan Christie was a Philly-based sophomore folk singer who had one novelty hit for a major label and never quite recovered...and afterwards, her psychedelic take on country standards and hand crafted tales of inner-city solitude that was backed by a break heavy folk-funk rhythm section was never accepted as a commercial viability by record company big-wigs: they obviously couldn't quite muster their 'Nostradamus' sensibilities to foresee what future hip-hop producers and DJs would be feeding into digital music-machines 30 years down the line! Luckily three-fifths of a handful (literally three!) privately pressed vanity copies were manufactured in early 1970, one of which became the source material for this B-Music release, nesting in the Finders Keepers' ever-expanding library of obscure, obtuse, obsolete and obsessive vintage music from the '60s and '70s. The uber-legend John Hill (who penned the mind-blowing acid rock floor-filler 'Love Love Love Love Love' for Wool) produced this release: which features 8 tracks including a twelve minute drugsploitation epic called 'Yesterday - Where's My Mind,' featuring the enigmatic Susan flipping vocal styles between Janis Joplin and Margo Guryan (who was in fact a close friend of Susan's at the time of recording......)"
SCIENCE FICTION DANCE PARTY [V.A.] - Dance With Action: Frankenstein Meets Alpha 7, et al (BMusic 16; USA) "Finders Keepers is proud to present the mythical follow up to Heribert Thusek and Horst Ackermann's horror cash-in album Dracula's Music Cabinet. Back in 1968 a pair of Germanic behind-the-scenes sound librarians called Horst Ackermann and Heribert Thusek left a tiny, but indelible, pinprick on the history of German pop in the misshaped form of a sexy horror cash-in concept album called Dracula's Music Cabinet. Shelved at a micro-cosmic axis where Krautrock meets lesbian vampire horrortica and easy listening meets psychedelia the delayed reaction of this mutant concoction eventually exploded in the mid 1990s in the hands of a generation of 'record diggers' sending currency-crushing tremors through the wallets of mods, rockers, hip-hoppers, psych-nuts and kraut-kompletists around the plastic pillaging planet. The vinyl junkies had resurrected a monster, but, like addicts do, they ravenously sucked it dry and moved on looking for the next fix to feed their habit. Luckily for some, Ackermann and Thusek were also creatures of habit. And it wouldn't take a genius to figure out that they were holding the next dose, but by the turn of the millennium the mad scientists had been given a 35-year head start on the pop-archeologists and their mythical sequel was literally light-years ahead of their previous draconian installment. Encouragingly the unclosed cabinet left a shiny white clue in the form of its closing track 'Frankenstein Meets Alpha 7.' Perhaps space was the place. Always read the label. The Ackermann and Thusek duo were far from dynamic. They were undercover agents hiding behind user-friendly mock-rock monikers and, like most BMusicians, the only way to sniff them out would be to read the small print. But when an unidentified record on an unknown label with a title like Science Fiction Dance Party crops up in the 'Eins Deutschmark' crates it's not exactly rocket science -- although the track titles might suggest otherwise. 'The End Of A Robot,' 'Monster On Saturn 1,' 'Galactic Adventures Of The Outer Space Fleet ,' 'The Whistling Astronauts,' 'Death Rays Out Of The Universe.' The telltale signs are all there and if that vintage psycoplasmodic coloured vinyl doesn't clench the deal then what will. When rumours about a space-age follow-up to Dracula's Music Cabinet hit the straXe Deutsche-o-phile diggers fingers started twitching nervously."
THAI? DAI! [V.A.] - The Heavier Side Of The Luk Thung Underground (BMusic 29; USA) "It's possibly a misnomer to label music recorded outside of the USA or Europe with terms such as 'psyche' or 'surf' as it is often just a stylistic innovation based on exposure to foreign records via the radio or music stores. It doesn't necessarily chime in with any of the social shifts or changes that accompanied the music's development in the West. Even in America, the concept of teen culture was relatively new during the height of these genres popularity. People who could afford to take advantage of these new freedoms often had the financial cushioning to do so. This factor was amplified in South East Asia, and the music shouldn't be considered nationally representative - it's a more scaled down phenomenon, relevant to a small cross-section of society. By the same token, this wasn't just bland copycat music to widen a band's audience, or to entertain expat patrons in bars or clubs. This was a sincere desire to experiment and repackage local sounds without necessarily needing to make a statement. The musical information was processed and partially recast amidst a blend of local music and arrangements, transposed onto drums, electric bass, guitar and keyboards. Although in the mid-70s there was a wider protest movement in Thailand that found it's musical outlet in the 'songs for life' of Caravan and Carabao, the music collected here was not part of the same aesthetic, although it's possible there was some musical overspill. The styles featured on this compilation fall somewhere between Luk Thung ('song of the countryside') and Luk Krung ('song of the city'). Bangkok was a particular melting pot for the evolution of these two genres, the former alluding to musical themes and lyrics aimed at the wider national population, the latter looking westwards with a more urban 'sophisticated' audience in mind. The tracks here were experimentations or dice rolling by both little known groups, as well as established figures like Plearn Promdan. Some tracks might represent a specific artist's only foray into this musical area. Even within Thailand the majority of these tunes remain unissued, so it's with great pleasure that we present this glimpse of the strange underbelly of Thai Luk Thung in all its unique, original and outlandish glory - a small snapshot of an otherwise forgotten era." Compiled by Chris Menist & Andy Votel with Maft Sai (of the ZudRangMa label)
CLOUD CUCKOOLAND [V.A] - Tracks from Eckart Rahn's KuckKuck Label (BMusic 27; USA) Rare prog rock from Ihre Kinder, Out Of Focus and Armageddon; proto-electronica from Sam Spence and Deuter; and rare music from the films of Rainer Werner Fassbinder. "Eckart Rahn is an untainted music lover in the purest sense. The original Kuckuck label founder came from a non-musical background in an obscure village in Germany with no money, few career prospects and little outlets for his creative energy. Sharing a common psyche with most young Germans after the Second World War, Rahn was literally starting from scratch, inventing his future with a blank canvas and taking risks with nothing to lose. The humble beginnings of the founder of one of the longest running European independents were simple - when he eventually heard music he fell in love with it and dedicated his life to it. A man in charge of his own destiny, from this point on, Eckart Rahn was only ever going to be his own boss. The ideologies of rebellion, rule breaking and risk taking, which would provide the foundation for the German rock explosion affectionately known as krautrock, were sewn into Rahn's DNA from the outset. When Eckart first heard a Blue Note recording of Sonny Rollins, Live At The Village Vanguard, he immediately spent his only money on the record with hope that he would soon be able to afford a record player to play the damn thing on. This unique approach to life would later lead Rahn through his career in the music industry taking gambles on forward thinking artists in the hope that the record buying public would eventually catch up. Christened with the German word for the cuckoo bird, the label was titled in reference to the way that Rahn would lay musical eggs under an unassuming parent company like the feathered brood parasite. Combining three key elements Rahn worked alongside two other collaborative forces to get Kuckuck off the ground. With himself taking care of A&R and contractual paperwork, he enlisted the services of American DJ and record producer Mike Sondeck who would bring American electronic composer Sam Spence to the label along with his imported Moog synthesisers (paid for by The American National Football League). Rahn would also share the company with a stylish design and advertising company from Munich called ConceptData who would supply Kuckuck's indelible graphic styling - exemplified by its cuckoo logo and typeface and their unmistakable record labels. Most of the music you will hear on this compilation is from the pre-1974 period, which is in no way intended to paint the full Kuckuck picture. This compilation intends to focus on Kuckuck's prog rock years that would be filed under the kosmiche or Krautrock banner. You might spot that some early artists that might be filed under blues rock, pop or SSW are not included here but should be explored on their own merit or as a piece of the full picture puzzle - a jigsaw that won't be complete until Mr. Rahn decides to take the key out of the cuckoo clock for good."
THE BYG DEAL [V.A] - Tracks From BYG and Actuel Recordings (BMusic 18; USA) "This is the untold story of the bloodline of a sprawling musical legacy that unites a freakish family of disparate, influential pop-cultural orphans and the estranged surrogate parent that lost-pop forgot it ever knew. Between 1968 and 1974 the combination of B [Jacques Bisceglia, famed jazz photograper], Y [Jean-Luc Young, who formed the Charly label] and G [Jean George-Karakos, who formed the Celluloid label] might not have been the surefire code to financial fulfillment but the indelible contribution to experimental pop, free jazz, spiritual prog rock and total space music would continue to send positive vibrations through future generations of progressive pop. Includes rare tracks from Vangelis, Gong, Brigitte Fontaine and many others." Other artists include Alice, Francois Wertheimer, Areski, Alan Jack, Coeur Magique, Valerie Lagrange, Alpha Beta, Jacques Barsamian, Ame Son, Rock Out, Freedom, Paul Semama, Inter-Groupie Psychotherapeutic Elastic Band, Banana Moon and Joachim And Rolf Kuhn.
ALL KILLER [FINDERS KEEPERS V.A.] - Finders Keepers Records 1-20 Mixed By The Gaslamp Killer (BMusic 17; USA) Late last year, in the Finders Keepers Manchester vaults we celebrated our 20th conquest. It was a dignified affair with a guest list consisting of mods, rockers, proggers, hip-hoppers, teenage vampires, Welsh dragons, fly killers, escaped convicts, Turkish protesters, studio chimpanzees, and Judo experts. But when the party ended, and the guests climbed back into the record sleeves, your humble Angleterrian subjects (Votel, Thomas and Shipton) set straight back to work, underground, digging away to find the next 20 nuggets in a deep grained ongoing quest. And we haven't stopped digging - deeper and deeper without looking up until we've realised that we're stuck in a 40 year old chasm devoid of contemporary pop culture making routine DJ trips into the wilderness, seldom distracted by rare shards of daylight. One such shard of light that regularly bounces around the B-Music mine shaft is beamed all the way from Los Angeles (via a global DJ schedule) and we call him The Gaslamp Killer - while the FK bloodhound digs backwards, GLK sails forwards. Like many of us he was raised by a family of Japanese turntables, loops and edits with the desire to take/break and remake without prejudice or regular food and water - but as part of a culture that's frequently sinking under its own lethargic weight The GLK is pushing the boat out and operating on full steam with a strong paddle and an open ear. With decades of music on his mind and youth on his side The Gaslamp Killer's endless supply of elbow grease puts him in good company. Flying Louts, Cherrystones, Prefuse 73, Cut Chemist, Andy Votel, The Heliocentrics, DJ Nobody are all fellow crew members and collaborators and his DJ mixes and sonic gifts for Mary Anne Hobbs, Hit + Run, Obey, Stussy & Dublab.com prove why labels like Stones Throw and Warp are salivating over drops of this man's blood. Finders Keepers didn't need to send GLK a bumper package of our entire discography, he'd already bought it and made continuous cross-continental phone calls to the UK to let us know how fresh he thought they sounded. We think that even though most FK records are almost 40 years old they sound more forward thinking than most of the music that'll be made next year and in the context of Will's new All Killer Finders Keepers mixtape we think you'll agree. GLK might be the youngest artist in the FK family but he's certainly not the greenest and in a world where if we do happen to converse with someone without having to consult a travelers phrase book its very unlikely that they'll be under the age of 60 then he's certainly the most gregarious sonic interpreter for the B-Music outernational modus operandi. Scrambled, sampled, angle-poised and untangled, All Killer hears GLK at his best - given envious carte blanche on our vast musical palette featuring tracks that have previously been savored and championed by the likes of Madlib, Oh-No, Artic Monkeys, Percee P, Erykah Badu, Jarvis Cocker, Koushek, Future Sound Of London and Morrissey amongst others!"
ANDY VOTEL'S TWISTED NERVE LABEL [V.A.] - Twisted Nerve 10th Anniversary Mix (BMusic 14; USA) "A 40 track masala of T.N. D.I.Y classics, b-sides, rarities and remixes celebrating a decade of teenage garage jams Mancunian psychsploitation, arkhestral communism and workshop pop Twisted Nerve Mixed features Voice Of The Seven Woods, Samandtheplants the first ever release by Badly Drawn Boy rare remixes From Cherrystones and Homelife and psyched-out side projects from Jane Weaver (Misty Dixon), Clearspot (Duophonic), Graham Massey (808 State) and CD debuts of vinyl only cuts from label stalwarts Sirconical, Dakota Oak and many more lubricated in custom-built sound effects and dialogue - Twisted Nerve's roster has never been so digestible! Accidentally conceived in 1998 when cut and paste graphic artist and obscure vinyl obsessive Andy Votel teamed up with screenprinter cum second-class songsmith Damon Gough (Badly Drawn Boy) and converted their own 4 track compact cassettes into cut-price vinyl 45s. Twisted Nerve is now ten years old. Consistently jarring with the status quo our thoroughly unreliable and schizophrenic release schedules fits like a fingerless glove on an octopus. Embracing the true nature of the independent record label with little regard to the impractical standards of the major music industry Twisted Nerve has conspired to bring you the closest thing to a community run industry with our privately pressed and handmade products."
And, from BMusic's UK affiliate Finders Keepers..
DAISIES [V.A.] - Daisies [sndtck] (Finders Keepers 13; EEC) "Back in the latter half of the 1960s, the burgeoning idiosyncratic group of alternative filmmakers coming out of (then) Czechoslovakia known as the Czech New Wave were taking art house cinemas in Western Europe and America by storm. The hour-long films that came out of the infamous Barrandov production house played a competitive rival to that of the French and Italian new waves with their very own immaculate and spell-binding takes on cinema verite, film noir, surrealism and cinema concrete. But after the Soviet Union invaded Czech in August 1968, the clampdown on non-conformist creative arts saw over 70 films either banned or withdrawn from production in a mass culling of film reels until 1970. It is not until recent years that the genre has become widely recognized as a veritable and virtually untapped source of inspiration for fans of experimental cinema, psychedelic cinematography, baroque costumes and scenery, music and graphic design. Daisies pulls together what you might call the 'Holy Trinity' of the Czech New Wave -- director Vera Chytilova, costume and set designer Esther Krumbachova, and cinematographer Jaroslav Kucera -- arguably the three most forward-thinking and truly experiMENTAL minds in the whole of the CNW collective. The follow-up to the critically-acclaimed release of (the previously unreleased) Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders -- another Czech masterpiece -- this release was previously unprepared for public consumption and taken from the original reels. This immaculate release has been compiled in close accordance to the original storyline and comes complete with unseen archive images, original international poster designs and new and extensive sleevenotes by Andy Votel and Professor Peter Hames. This release also carries personal endorsements from Jarvis Cocker, Trish Keenan (Broadcast) and Jim O'Rourke."
CHRIS HARWOOD - Nice To Meet Miss Christine (Finders Keepers 05; EEC) Previously reissued on Akarma, this version is probably a little bit more "legit", a little bit more desirable (4 bonus tracks, Andy Votel liner notes, mastered from original tapes). "Chris Harwood's debut LP for Miki Dallon's obscure British Birth label was the only record she ever made. No singles were ever released and it was seldom heard beyond these shores - the making of a record collector's holy grail. Alongside the obscure Vashti Bunyan LP, Shirley Collins and Julie Covington's early solo LP, Nice to Meet Miss Christine remains one of the most sought after English female folk records ever released."
JOHN HILL With GERRY MULLIGAN/WALTER SEAR/SUSAN CHRISTIE et al - 6 Moons of Jupiter (Finders Keepers 18; EEC) Finders Keepers uber legend John Hill proves his caliber once more as we rescue this previously unreleased masterpiece from the proverbial tin. Renowned and revered by beardy record collectors the world over, John's CV reads like a veritable who's who of US AM radio-friendly fuzz merchants, including penning the acid-filled floorfiller 'Love, Love, Love, Love, Love' for Wool and Pacific Gas & Electric, as well as producing our very own Susan Christie. Pulling together a veritable smorgasbord of US legends, John has enlisted the help of none other than Susan Christie, Moog pioneer Walter Sear, jazz legend Gerry Mulligan and Jimmy Valerio to produce this progressive break-heavy monster, once doomed never to see the light of day.
STANLEY MYERS - Sitting Target [sndtck] (Finders Keepers 04; EEC) "Alongside the recently resurrected (but previously unreleased) seminal scores for The Wickerman, Deathline and Psychomania, Stanley Myers' Sitting Target is another UK thriller soundtrack that has sat in the proverbial 'can' for over 30 years while cinematic sonic-enthusiasts have had to make do with homemade bootlegs taped from second generation video tapes in hope of soundtrack amnesty. After composing 'groovy-movie' music for films such as Otley and No Way To Treat A Lady, the Deer Hunter axe-meister brings us his most forward thinking fuzzed-out-orchestral-proto-hip-hop score to date (albeit three decades late). Maestro Myers provides the brooding soundscapes for the first-ever R-Rated British movie which saw Lovejoy's Ian McShane accompany the animalistic Oliver Reed on a Pentonville escape mission fuelled by a bleeding heart, a gallon of red mist and a diabolical lust for revenge. Never before released on any format! Re-mastered from the original quarter inch reels."
HOT KNIVES - Hot Knives (Grown Up Wrong 02; Australia) This stunning album is one of the archeological rock finds of the century. Recorded in 1976, never released and not even rumored to exist, this is classic stuff from a band that combined '60s folk rock with muscular rock'n'roll in a sound that was simultaneously a throwback to a more innocent time (think Beau Brummels, early Jefferson Airplane and Moby Grape) and a raw and rockin' alternative to the pop-smart mid-'70s Fleetwood Mac. This 14-track album has languished in a cupboard for over 30 years. Only two singles from it ever saw the light of day at the time; the second one, "I Hear The Wind Blow," prompted the greatest of pop pickers, the late Greg Shaw, to declare in his Bomp! newsletter that "The Hot Knives are the best thing happening in San Francisco right now; their second self-made 45 is just out... They're not punk rock, it's folk-rock with female vocals a la early Jefferson Airplane, with warm harmonies and gorgeous Byrds guitar." Includes stomping covers of Moby Grape's "Hey Grandma" and the Knickerbockers' "Lies."
THE SCREAMING TRIBESMEN - Bones & Flowers (Grown Up Wrong 04; Australia) The only album released by the classic Screaming Tribesmen line-up featuring former Radio Birdman/Hitmen/New Christs guitarist Chris Masuak, together with bonus tracks, including never-before-heard demo and live tracks. Recorded at the peak of their powers and popularity in 1987, Bones & Flowers took the band to the States where they came close to a hit single with I Got A Feeling. This CD features the album's original 10 tracks, plus the killer B-sides "Color Me Gone" and "Don't Turn Away" along with three 1986 demos of tracks that never ended up appearing on any Tribesmen release ("This Bar," "What You Said" and "Cold December"), and a scorching live track from 1988, again of a track that's never appeared on a Tribesmen record, "Teutonic." So, 16 tracks in all. The Tribesmen reached new fans in recent years through their inclusion in best-selling compilations like Do The Pop! and Tales From The Australian Underground.
THE SCREAMING TRIBESMEN - Date With A Vampyre + Top Of The Town + Live! (Grown Up Wrong 03; Australia) The two defining 12" releases from the Screaming Tribesmen, in their entirety for the first time ever on CD, together with nearly an album's worth of bonus tracks. The Tribesmen came out of Brisbane in the early '80s, recording two classic singles for Citadel. We pick up the story when former Radio Birdman/Hitmen/New Christs guitarist Chris Masuak joins the fray and the band becomes one of the hardest working in the land. This CD features their best-selling Date With A Vampyre EP from 1985 and its follow-up, Top Of The Town from 1986 and includes a number of tracks that have never been on CD before. As an added bonus, Grown Up Wrong have included nine live and rehearsal tracks, featuring one unreleased original ("It May Be Love") and a whole bunch of covers that the band made their own (and which their fans LOVED) back in the day, including Roky Erickson's "Two Headed Dog," Television's "See No Evil," the Dictators "Baby Let's Twist," the Vertebrats' "Left In The Dark," Lou Reed's "I Can't Stand It" and the Easybeats' "Good Time." The rehearsal tracks are from a short-lived line-up from 1984 that included Hitmen/New Christs drummer Mark Kingsmill just before he joined the Hoodoo Gurus, and Hitmen/New Christs bass player Tony Robertson.
YOUNG MODERN - Live At The Grace Emily 22.12.2010 (Grown Up Wrong 01; Australia) Grown Up Wrong presents the first power pop band from Down Under Young Modern, captured live last year, but sounding like it could have been recorded back in the day. Includes "She's Got The Money," "Countdown," "Sportsgirls," "Girl Of Mine," covers of "The Singer Not The Song" (Rolling Stones), "On Top Of The World" (Bluesbreakers) and more, including the definitive version of "Don't Go To Sydney" from Young Modern singer John Dowler's subsequent band The Zimmermen. Young Modern played their first gig in Adelaide supporting Radio Birdman in 1977, and quickly became the hottest band in town. They moved to Sydney the following year, where they were briefly a "next big thing" before splitting in '79. Their classic 7" She's Got The Money/Automatic remains a much-loved artifact of the early days of Australian independent releases, and their posthumous album Play Faster was indeed one of the first local albums of the indie era. This stunning 18-song live album, recorded in Adelaide in late 2010, finds the band sounding EXACTLY like it's 1978 again. With definitive versions of all their classic tunes, this is masterful power pop that will appeal to fans of Big Star, The Flamin' Groovies, Badfinger and The Nerves.
FILLING THE GAP [V.A.] - Vol s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 [5 CD Box set] (Psychic Circle BOX 007; UK) Finally available again, this terrific 5CD collection compiles a wealth of non-LP U.S. psych/garage tracks by artists who are better-known for their work on albums. Spanning legends like The Blues Magoos, The Human Beinz and The Lollipop Shoppe as well as obscurities like Homer, Stone Garden and The Federal Duck, the set is not only highly informative and entertaining, but will also save a fortune for collectors who would otherwise have to shell out a small fortune to hear many of the songs included. It comes complete with a full booklet containing detailed background information about each artist and many rare photos, making it a must-have for psych aficionados. Other artists include: Lincoln St. Exit, Writing On The Wall, Thee Sixpence, White Light, Bohemian Vendetta, The Glass Family, The Fredric, Negative Space, Pacific Sound, The Shadows Of Knight, Headstone, Mariani, The Weeds, Teddy & His Patches, Twentieth Century Zoo, We The People, The Seeds, 49th Parallel, The Magic Mushrooms, The Crome Syrcus, Marcus, Peanut Butter Conspiracy, Saddlesore, Front Page Review, Tripsichord Music Box, Gary Lee Yoder, Children Of The Mushroom, The Legend, Velvet Night, The Common People, Genesis, Jake Holmes, Moloch and Bead Game.
5 CD box set for $60
ESG - Come Away With ESG (Fire 156; UK) "ESG's 1983 debut record Come Away With ESG is reissued and available on Fire. Fresh off their well received debut EP the Scroggins girls, along with neighborhood friend Tito Libran, strike out to fully capture the potent brew that has emerged in their live show. Named one of the Top 100 Albums of the '80s by Pitchfork. Liner notes feature an exclusive interview with Renee Scroggins and artwork is designed by John Foster. Available as originally intended with the same track listing as the debut LP."
ESG - ESG (Fire 222; UK) Fire's reissue of "ESG's 1991 release" that "brought 'Erase You' and 'U.F.O' from the streets to the record player." With exclusive liner note content featuring an insightful interview with Renee Scroggins.
ESG - A South Bronx Story Vol 2 (Soul Jazz 167; UK) "Soul Jazz Records release an album of rarities and alternate versions from New York punk-funk legends ESG. ESG are the Scroggins' sisters Renee, Valerie and Marie, hailing from the South Bronx. Their place in history is legendary placing them at the heart of post-punk, hip-hop and New York dance music. >From playing the opening night of Manchester' Hacienda to the closing night of Larry Levan's Paradise Garage, ESG are a truly unique phenomenon. South Bronx Story 2 gathers together rarities from the group's 25 year career (and still going strong!). Featuring alternate mixes of classic tracks such as 'You're No Good,' alongside the legendary New York cut-up mix of 'Moody' and 'The Beat (Dance to the beat of Moody),' as well as super-rare tracks, out of print for over twenty years make this album essential for any ESG fan."
ESG - Keep On Moving (Soul Jazz 138; UK) "The legendary ESG return with their first new album in nearly five years on Soul Jazz Records. The new album features their trademark stripped down punk/funk style that has spawned a whole generation of fans and bands thirty years on from their first release, Moody EP on Factory Records (and the infamous 99 Records in America). First produced by Martin Hannett, ESG were instantly accepted into the worlds of punk/new wave, hip-hop and dance music -- a unique position which still holds true today. From playing at the opening night of Manchester's legendary Hacienda to the closing night of Larry Levan's equally legendary Paradise Garage in New York, ESG have remained one of the all-time cult-bands. Their track 'UFO' is one of the most sampled tracks in the history of hip-hop (Public Enemy, Big Daddy Kane, LL Cool J, Marley Marl) which lead them to record 'Sample Credits Don't Pay Our Bills' in the 1980s. Courted by the punk/new wave community they played with groups such as The Clash, A Certain Ratio, Public Image, Gang of Four. Through 99 Records in New York, they also became associated with the No Wave groups such as label-mates Liquid Liquid and others such as Mars, DNA, James Chance and The Contortions. The amazing history of ESG begins in the South Bronx where they grew up in the tenements. Four sisters, Renee, Valerie, Marie and Deborah Scroggins, encouraged by their mother, began playing music together as teenagers as a way to keep themselves out of trouble with neighborhood gang life. Taking their name from their birthstones -- Emerald, Sapphire and Gold -- this was soon shortened to ESG. Thirty years on and ESG remains a family affair with sisters Rennee, Valerie and Marie along with Renee's daughter Nicole and Valerie's daughter Chistelle."
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