This Week’s Inspirational New Music Discs begin with a New Zorn / Simulacrum CD:
JOHN ZORN // SIMULACRUM with MATT HOLLENBERG / JOHN MEDESKI / KENNY GROHOWSKY / BRIAN MARSELLA - Chaos Magick (Tzadik 8380; USA) Nothing is true—everything is permitted. ‘Chaos Magick’ is a contemporary magical practice based on the ideas of Austin Osman Spare. Remarkably inclusive, it embraces and has influenced the work of William Burroughs, Robert Anton Wilson, Aleister Crowley and many others. Inspired by these magical practices, Zorn enlists the three members of his most powerful 21st century ensemble Simulacrum with special guest Brian Marsella on electric piano into this eclectic new quartet Chaos Magick. A fast moving, improvisational and intensely focused ensemble that draws upon classical, jazz, funk, improvisation, metal and more. This music is even crazier than Electric Masada—a must for all fans of the outer realms!
NATE WOOLEY with INGRID LAUBROCK / MARIEL ROBERTS / MATT MORAN / SYLVIE COURVOISIER / CORY SMYTHE / JOSH MODNEY / RUSSELL GREENBERG - Mutual Aid Music (Pleasure of the Text Records 1309; USA) Personnel: Nate Wooley on trumpet, Ingrid Laubrock on saxes, Matt Moran on vibes, Sylvie Courvoisier & Cory Smythe on piano, Joshua Modney on violin, Mariel Roberts on cello and Russell Greenberg on percussion. One of the main benefits from being locked down or locked in for the past year has been having some much needed time to consider our lives and where we fit in the big picture of humanity and history. Trumpeter/composer/editor, Nate Wooley, has been thinking long and hard about the balance of improvisation and composing. His new double disc set is called, ‘Mutual Aid Music’ and it bears the fruits of his ongoing research. He tells us at the beginning of his lengthy liner notes that “mutual aid” is about “considering what we have, being honest about what we truly need and being prepared to give & receive accordingly”. The music here is an example of this concept: how to use your gift (as an artist) to make your community (or ensemble) better. The 8-page booklet goes on the explain some of the concepts involved, some of which are technical and better understood by musicians. I found much of the notes to be illuminating and provide quite a bit of food for thought about what is going on here.
Mr. Wooley has gathered together an eight-piece ensemble drawn from the Downtown, avant-jazz and modern classical worlds, all names you should be familiar with. Each disc is broken into four parts and each piece is called “Mutual Aid Music” with a number attached. Mr. Wooley envisions this group as a double quartet, four of whom were the original members of his Battle Pieces personnel and the other quartet taken from the contemporary classical world. Although both of these quartet members approach their tasks differently, yet there is a mutual (aid) bond of working together and exchanging ideas as they go. “Mutual Aid Music I” opens slowly and thoughtfully, the trumpet on top as the sax, piano, bass and vibes create layers of drones underneath. As the piece unfold, different musicians carefully enter, interact and then fade from the action. A times, one musician will solo or just rise above whatever is going on under the waves. When that musician establishes a pattern, the others will join him or her to combine forces, bringing a them more into focus. The magic moments here are when it sounds as if we are entering another world, calm and poised, the notes stretched together into an enchanting, uplifting scene. Check out “M.A.M. III”, the trumpet, sax, string-drones and bowed vibes or subtle percussion (?) all float sublimely together. There often seems to be several things or lines going on at the same time, as certain players coalesce together, combine forces and reenforce or bend the parts creating something new. Although it is rare, as soon as the first disc ended, I had to go for the second disc. It was as if the half of a movie ended and we had to wait for the next half to begin. The second disc is even better as the octet or double quartet continue to work their magic, exchanging ideas and making for some rich rewards. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
2 CD Set $16
HIFIKLUB and EUGENE CHADBOURNE - Color Press (Weird Cry Product 068; Earth) The personnel for this disc is Jean-Loup Faurat - guitar & effects, Nico Morcillo — guitar, Régis Laugier - bass & vocals, Pascal Abbatucci on drums plus Eugene Chadbourne on vocals, guitar & banjo. HifiKlub are a French quartet who have been around since 2007 and have worked with Mike Cooper, Lee Ranaldo, Jad Fair and R. Stevie Moore. Now that’s a strange resume of collaborators. This disc is unlike anything else we’ve heard from Mr. Chadbourne in the past probably because the HifiKlub have been around and obviously have their own sound/approach. It turns out this disc is a reworking of an album by French new wave singer Lizzy Mercier Descloux which was released in 1979 and was an underground hit of sorts. This was the first of five records that Ms. Descloux recorded between 1979 & 1988, although I haven’t heard these since they were first released. The disc opens with “Tumour” which is the song “Fever” (yes, the Peggy Lee hit) with different words. It is sly and spooky, perfect for Doc Chad’s silly voice which he loves to stretch out like a jazz singer’s elastic chops. The cover of “Mission Impossible” (a sixties TV spy show) which includes a goof on the opening mission statement, is one of this discs highlights, both humorous and well-crafted. Another sixties hit was “Fire” by the Crazy World of Arthur Brown is certainly an odd choice yet it is pretty funny, not nearly as over-the-top as the original. “Wawa” is a cool instrumental with layers of el. guitars, each one with different effects employed: wah wah, sustained and other bent sounds all well utilized to a hypnotic, psych dreamworld. On “Torso Corso”, there are several layers of Dr. Chad’s voice singing in different (invented?) languages aside from bits of English. What I like most about this disc is that it does capture the quirky, new wave sound that made certain bands stand out without having anything to do with the more progressive side of rocj music at that point (late seventies/early eighties). This disc ends with Lalo Schifrin’s “Jim on the Move”. Schifrin was another jazz player/composer wrote wrote for the movies of the day. This piece ends with some mutant layers of tortured guitars and a Beatle quote, “I’ve got blisters on my fingers”. Yet another deranged gem from Dr. Chadbourne and his mighty clan. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
STEPHAN THELEN with DAVID TORN / HENRY KAISER / MARKUS REUTER / BARRY CLEVELAND / ANDY WEST / et al - Fractal Guitar 2 (MoonJune 113; USA) Featuring Stephan Thelen, Henry Kaiser, David Torn, Chris Muir, Bill Walker, Jon Durant and Barry Cleveland on various guitars; Fabio Anile on keyboard, Andy West on bass and Andy Brugger, Andi Pupato & Manuel Pasquinelli on percussion. This just showed up so I won’t have time to review it until next week. - BLG
MACHINE MASS SEXTET with MICHEL DELVILLE / TONY BIANCO / et al - Intrusion (MoonJune / Off Records OCD 049; USA) Featuring Michel Delville on guitar, Laurent Blondiali on trumpet, Manuel Hermia on saxes, Antoine Guenet on piano, Damien Campion on double bass and Tony Bianco on drums. True guitar freaks should know the name of Belgium guitarist, Michel Delville, from his work with the Wrong Object (backing Elton Dean), Doubt, the Eclectic Maybe Band and Machine Mass. This is the third disc from Machine Mass, who’ve recorded as a duo/trio until now and they’ve expanded to a sextet. I know of UK drummer Tony Bianco from his work with Paul Dunmall, Elton Dean & Evan Parker. Pianist Antoine Guenet has worked with Univers Zero and assorted projects for the MoonJune label.
This mighty disc begins and ends with two Spiritual Jazz covers: “Africa” by John Coltrane and “In a Silent Way” by Joe Zawinul & the title track of a great Miles Davis album from 1969. Commencing with Trane’s classic anthem, “Africa”, the soprano sax & trumpet horn team is simmering superbly on top of the cerebral repeating groove. Manuel Hermia on soprano sax, Laurent Blondiali on trumpet and Michel Delville on electric guitar all take strong, spirited solos, getting that swell Spirit Jazz vibe off to a great start. The real heart of this disc is the central six songs composed by three of the members of the sextet plus one group improvisation. Pianist Antoine Guenet’s “Intrusion” is the title track of this disc and it is something special: sublime, dreamy and hypnotic with some exquisite solos from the trumpet, soprano sax and the piano. It is the haunting harmonies and arrangements which make this even better. The appropriately titled, “Not Another Loud Song” begins with a slow, mysterious free intro before it gets into a haunting, mesmerizing, soft throbbing song with smoky muted trumpet, sizzling sax and a most impressive effects driven guitar solo which keeps getting better as it builds. Mr. Delville’s “The Roll” begins with a thoughtful contrabass solo before it breaks into a spirited, powerful Grand Wazoo-like progressive jazz opus with some smokin’ tenor sax, soaring trumpet and an incredible tail-spinning piano solo. This piece is so infectious that you don’t want it to end but go on forever! The closing piece is well chosen, a dark yet intoxicating re-invention of “In a Silent Way”, sped up, funkier and closer to Miles’ ‘On the Corner’ sessions than his earlier dream like version from 1969. This piece is quite a tour-de-force, a righteous, power closer which get stir up your feelings and get your butt! Get down! This is the great CD of the week, so do not miss out! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
ANDREAS WILLERS 7 of 8 with MATTHIAS SCHUBERT / FLORIAN BERGMANN / NIKOLAUS NEUSER / MEINRAD KNEER / CHRISTIAN MARIEN / JAN LUKAS ROBMULLER - The Goldman Variations (JazzWerkStaat 207; Germany) Featuring Andreas Willers on electric & acoustic guitars, Matthias Schubert on tenor sax, Florian Bergmann on clarinets & alto sax, Nikolas Neuer on trumpet, Meinrad Kneer on double bass and Christian Marien on drums plus guest Jan Lukas Robmuller on synth (1 track). I’ve been a fan of Berlin-based guitarist, Andreas Willers, since the early aughts, hearing him work with Paul Bley, Louis Sclavis, Gebhard Ullmann and Urs Leimgruber. I know of around half of the members from his septet/octet from other encounters: Matthias Schubert (w/ Simon Nabatov & Scott Fields), Nikolaus Neuser (w/ Silke Eberhard) and Meinrad Kneer (w/ Ab Baars & Jon Rose). Mr. Willers recently sent us two new discs to check, a this septet and a solo disc, both great in their own ways.
The band here is called 7 of 8 since Mr. Willers has had an octet running since 2013 and for this disc is using only 7 of those members. This disc starts off with a strong, tight blast of prog/jazz/rock, written in the first half and then going completely free at the end. “Die Post-Nationale” has a sly, laid back groove with some cool, skeletal written out horn parts. Willers directs the horns to play these quirky fractured phrases together while the rhythm team increases and decreases the tempo. Both Mr. Bergmann on bass clarinet and Mr. Willers on guitar takes their solos together on “Friede Den Huten” while the rest of sextet play their tight lines led by the guitar throughout the entire piece. The writing is closer to progressive/jazz/rock and very well played. What makes this session so great is the way that Mr. Willers has composed these complex parts for the sextet so that he can weave his way soloing or just adding assorted interactive lines within the written web. I like the way that Willers writes for the three horn to play their lines together with bent harmonies while the guitar-led rhythm team speeds up, slows down and adds some unexpected twists & turns. You can tell that Mr. Willers put a good deal of work into this discs as each piece show his different compelling arranging and impressive playing. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
ANDREAS WILLERS - Haerae (Evil Rabbit 31; EEC) Featuring Andreas Willers on two acoustic guitars: a 1930’s Bacon&Day Sultana archtop and a 1956 Gibson LG-2 flattop. I’ve been a fan of Berlin-based guitarist, Andreas Willers, since the early aughts, hearing him work with Paul Bley, Louis Sclavis, Gebhard Ullmann and Urs Leimgruber. In the two decades since I’ve been aware of Berlin-based guitarist, Andreas Willers, I’ve heard him play in various groups as well as a solo performer. Half of his dozen previous discs are with collaborators, the other half are solo efforts. For most of his solo efforts, Mr. Willers has played both electric & acoustic guitars, banjo, bass and with different effects. This disc seems to be his first with just playing acoustic guitars. From the gitgo, Mr. Willers is playing quick, sprawling flurries, speeding up, slowing down, bending & twisting certain notes, balancing between varied extremes, rubbing the body of the guitar with a wet finger or hand, detuning the guitar so that the strings hang loose, rubbing or banging on the strings in all sorts of weird ways. Mr. Willers slows down for the more sparse and cerebral, “Langh’s Arm 3-5”, giving us a chance to appreciate the space between the notes as much as the fragile played nots as well. It takes some time to adjust to the way Mr. Willers plays, he likes to assemble both fractured eruptions with spare moments so we rarely know what is coming up or how things resolve (if they in fact do). Once I adjusted, I started to hear the way these pieces fit together. There seems to be several conversations going on here between the more abrupt, frenzied sections and the more spacey, restrained parts. An excellent solo guitar offering which takes some work but is well worth the journey. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
SABU TOYOZUMI / RICK COUNTRYMAN - Sol Abstraction (Sol Disk 1901; USA) Featuring Sabu Toyozumi on drums & erhu and Rick Countryman on alto sax. Recorded in the Philippines in December of 2018. This duo has been working together for several years, doing duos, trios & quartet dates. The first track, “Sol Abstraction” is also the title piece and a powerful opening salvo where the duo take off together and soar for the stars. For the next two pieces Sabu switches to an erhu, a Chinese violin of some sort. There is a strong bond between these two musicians, a close-knit dialogue is going on throughout. Both parties are reaching deep within, a strong give and take, focused interaction. All the pieces here are relatively short (under 6 minutes) except for the final track. Even when the tracks are short, the intensity and interaction is strong and spirited. A dynamic force is blowing over us, pushing and pulling, coaxing the free spirits to take off and soar, higher and higher. It does feel great to let go and be taken along. So jump in and take a cosmic swim in the celestial ocean. Just don’t drown. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
THE J. & F. BAND with JAIMOE / JOE FONDA / TIZIANO TONONI / JON IRABAGON / EMANUELE PARRINI / et al - Me and The Devil (Long Song 158; Italy) Featuring Jon Irabagon on tenor sax & flute, Emanuele Parrini on violin, David Grissom, Scott Sharrard & Bobby Lee Rodgers on guitars & vocals, Paolo Durante on keyboards, Joe Fonda on electric & acoustic basses and Jaimoe & Tiziano Tononi on drums. Earlier last year (3/10/20), just before the lockdown erupted I caught an amazing gig: The (Allman) Brothers Reunion/Celebration at Madison Square Garden. Although both original Allman brothers (Duane & Greg) have passed away and there was only one original member (Jai Johnny “Jaimoe” Johannson), the night was phenomenal, three hours of cosmic/rock jamming bliss. It turns out that avant/jazz bassist and longtime Allman Brothers drummer Jaimoe are both neighbors (in CT.) and friends who enjoy jamming together. With the help of producer Italian Fabrizio Perissinotto, who runs this, the Long Song label, Jaimoe and Joe organized the J. & F. Band. This is their second release and good god, it is the best jammin’/rock album I’ve heard in ages! Their first album had a number of cover songs on it whereas this one only has two: the title song by Robert Johnson and “Spanish Moon” by Little Feat. The other five songs were written by members of the band. Oddly enough, it is the original songs that stand out here. The opener is called “Tizville” and was written by singer & guitarist Bobby Lee Rodgers. This song is a great righteous, uplifting, opener: funky, rocking with some simmering Hammond (sounding) organ, great growling horns, short superb bass solo, greasy Funkadelic-like vocals and sly guitars. Let’s all get on down to Tizville! Speaking of some great guitar, Robert Johnson’s “Me and The Devil Blues” is given a great treatment with some superb slide guitar & convincing blues vocals (by Scott Sharrard, formerly of the Gregg Allman Band & presently with Little Feat). “Hendrix Lane Long” was written by Joe Fonda and it features another great greasy groove with inspired vocals by Mr. Fonda with a great back-up chorus. We played this entire nearly 80-minute disc the other day at DMG (4/13/21) and you know what?!? It made life at DMG even better than usual. There is something about that combination of blues/rock/funk/jazz that really gets to us mortals who have been held down for the past year. We need to break free of lockdown chains, put on own dancing shoes and get down! Good god, it does feel great to be alive! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
MANUEL ZURRIA & DARIO CALDERONE - Bernhard Lang: Flute & Bass (Kairos 15089; Austria) "The work of Austrian composer Bernhard Lang (b. 1957) is difficult to fit into any one musical category. His oeuvre references a wide variety of musical styles and genres, ranging from free jazz and improvisation to hip hop and DJ culture. The three works on this release showcase an enormous amount of virtuosity. The incessant and rapid repetition of complex musical cells pushes the performers to the edge of their technical abilities. This makes for a highly concentrated and intimate experience for both the performers and their audiences."
MORE CHALLENGING MUSIC FROM THE KAIROS LABEL:
SONIA VISENTIN & EX NOVO ENSEMBLE - Claudio Ambrosini: Chamber Music (Kairos 15084; Germany) "In this anthology, which is a portrait of his compositional tendencies, Claudio Ambrosini is actually one of the most daring creators of utopian virtuosity; a virtuosity which is grounded in the invention of multi-formal, luminous, permutable, nocturnal sound, giving prerogative to an exasperation of extremes and matured in the workshop of the Ex Novo Ensemble, a permanently active workshop of constantly renewed research. It is also a dream of a liminal avantgarde that favors torrential energy but at times opens up into a voluble undercurrent of song: a furtive shadow of Maderna appears."
GERARD GRISEY // GARTH KNOX / ASKO ENSEMBLE / et al - Les Espaces Acoustiques (Kairos 12422; Germany) The unity of the whole is based on the formal similarity of the pieces and on the two acoustic points of reference: the overtone spectrum and periodicity
2 CD Set $28
ROMAN HAUBENSTOCK-RAMATI // KLANGFORUM WIEN - Konstellationen (Kairos 15003; Germany) Haubenstock-Ramati connects to his musical predecessors as much as he surpasses them. Though dodekaphony does play a noticeable role in his way of thinking, trespassing its rules, he proves his artistical and conceptual independence. His graphical way of notation tranfers an extraordinary amount of responsibility to the performers, inspiring the musicians of Klangforum to an amazing interpretation.
TOSHIO HOSOKAWA - Koto-uta (Kairos 12172; Germany) The Japanese composer Toshio Hosokawa, born 1955, about his work: "European art says: Time should not pass. As in the cathedrals, which stand for eternity. Japanese art stays abreast of the times and says: transience is beautiful. A sound emerges from silence, it lives to return to silence." (T.H.)
HELMUT LACHENMANN // STAATSOPER STUTTGART - Das Mädchen Mit Den Schwefelholzern (Kairos 12282; Austria) The little girl, who freezes to death on New Year's Eve, experiences a brief moment of happiness, as she dies, thanks to the matches....the sweet wretchedness is transposed into the existential sphere, but also into contemporary history.
2 CD Set $28
OLGA NEUWIRTH & VIENNA GLASS ARMONICA DUO - Goodnight Mommy (Kairos 15009; Germany) Soundtrack for highly acclaimed horror movie/psychological thriller „Goodnight mommy". To be one of the scariest movies of 2015/2016. Youtube trailer for the movie is beyond 8.000.000 views. The soundtrack itself can be heard as one nightmarish listening journey through mistrust, anger and alienation.The album includes thirteen extra tracks which were not used in the motion picture. The soundtrack has been remastered specifically for this edition.
HISTORIC & ARCHIVAL RECORDINGS:
JAMES BLOOD ULMER with AMIN ALI / CALVIN WESTON - Black Rock (Music on CD 14019; Netherlands) "If you are not familiar with James Blood Ulmer, you are certainly missing an important artist in your collection. This particular album is probably his best work. With Calvin Weston as one of two drummers, the music drives forward at a frenetic pace, while Ulmer dives in and out with short riffs. Irene Datcher, who sings on a few of the cuts with the gravel voiced Ulmer, has the vocal power to rise above the busy music and is a real stand out. Most impressive is the flying bass of Amin Ali! This album is not for the faint of heart. Ulmer's melding of harmonic-melodic Jazz (a la Coleman) rocks and takes some listening effort. The listener should relax and focus on James' guitar as the rest of the band comes to you like a steamroller."
DER PLAN - Save Your Software!! (The Never-Released Album of Der Plan from 1989)(Bureau B 362; Germany) “Shrouded in myth, Save Your Software is the long-lost album by Der Plan. Back in the mid-1980s, Moritz Reichelt, Kurt Dahlke (Pyrolator) and Frank Fenstermacher initiated the Fanuks project with the aim of making themselves immortal as Mensch-Maschinen or Man-Machines. "Fanuks" would produce music for all eternity, embarking on a never-ending world tour. By the end of the decade, the Fanuks, or their respective human alter egos, had crafted six pieces. These were only rediscovered in 2020 during a thorough inspection of the Ata Tak/Der Plan archives. Reichelt, Dahlke, and Fenstermacher augmented their six visionary masterpieces with three tracks based on compositions from the year 1989. In cooperation with the company "Second Life Inc", who had worked on similar ideas for George Lukas and Kraftwerk, they developed designs scratching the limits of technological possibilities. At the same time Japanese cutting-edge robot producer FANUK opened an office in Düsseldorf. The plans included not only the technical aspects of the hardware of the robot musicians, but also similarly sophisticated software. For this area of the project Der Plan asked a man with an excellent reputation of experience, the mysterious Nigelius Senada, a Bavarian philosopher and musician, who had developed a Theory of Obscurity, that fitted the ideas of Der Plan perfectly. Senada had a history of developing a non-existing band for a Californian supergroup. Senada's projections were based on the idea, that in the future man would transform into robots as much as robots would adapt characteristic human qualities. Under permanent supervision of Der Plan the first prototype under the internal name LP3 could be finished by 1988. For test purposes the robot was sold to a household in Italy, where he served as a house-keeper and loneliness companion. 12 months later conclusions could be drawn: despite great expectations and the use of expensive materials such as molybdane and carbon, LP3 turned out to be not reliable enough for the use on a stressful band tour. Meanwhile the production of robot music in the Düsseldorf studio of Der Plan continued. The ambitious goal was music made by robots -- and it was pretty successful, actually more successful than the processing of the hardware. A good half a dozen of songs were recorded, determined to be send on tour with the robots. The FANUK project was the last great concept of Der Plan before the band split up two years later. It is buried in history and memories and seemed to be bound for oblivion. This is the first time the public will hear six original tracks, plus three newly recorded ones, based on compositions from 1989.
BOURBONESE QUALK - Preparing For Power (Klanggallerie 335; Austria) "Bourbonese Qualk were an experimental music group from England who where active from 1979 until 2003. The group were always obsessively and uncompromisingly focused on controlling their work -- they ran their own record label, recording studio, tour organization and music venue (the legendary 'Ambulance Station') -- they refused to integrate into the commercial music racket turning down publishing deals from major labels -- stubbornly opting for total independence. Bourbonese Qualk were also known for their political activism which was formed in the crucible of the 1980s Britain: The Miner's Strike, Falklands/Malvinas war, anti-fascism, Thatcherism, monetarism, squatting/housing, local government corruption, anti-capitalism, and anarchism -- which was further re-enforced by touring Europe and meeting like-minded groups and organizations. Ethno, jazz, funk and EBM are all buried deep in the album as it seeks independence. The title, a critique of the Labor movements ineffective and limited call to arms against the prevailing Thatcherism of the mid-80s, encapsulates this wider oeuvre. From opening 'Return To Order', the acoustic gloom is offset by tight musicianship and countering melody. The switch of 'Outcry' precedes psychedelic anthem, 'Boggy Creek', with its VU remembrance. Blighted pulses 'Confrontation', 'Xenophobia', 'Backlash' and closer, 'Insurrection', sense the darkness, but the ground has shifted forwards with the legendary 1.51 minutes of man 'n' machine that is Lies, the enwrapping symphonic dub vocal of Born Left Hearted and incongruously pretty, Is It As It Was? At times, suffocating, uncomfortable, at others light appears as history progresses. Preparing For Power is BQ at their most uncompromising and essential. Available on CD for the first time now, with bonus tracks added that were not on the original vinyl LP."
UKO ARAKI - End Of Trilogy (Room 40 4137: Australia) “Yuko Araki is one of a number of young female artists emerging from Japan that are redefining the outer boundaries of noise, post-industrial techno and experimental electronics. Raised as a pianist, Araki's teenage obsession with metal opened a gateway towards various types of intense sonics. Exploring a range of diverse music projects over the past decade, her solo work resolved in 2019 after she developed an approach to freeform analog noise. Working with a reductive set of tools, her methodology was to create work that created a sense of timbral density and complexity through a weaving together of competing elements. End Of Trilogy pushes this approach outward, taking in almost kosmiche sensibilities, creating a sound that glints with the unsteady radiation of a dissolving pulsar. The album is an offering of competing states of tension and release. It merges polychromatic pulses against waves of sheering noise and uneasy ruptures of sound. End Of Trilogy is a record of unpredictable momentum and tempered ferocity. Even at its most intense. Yuko Araki's work maintains a sense of playfulness, and a determination not to succumb to mere sonic nihilism. Drawing on techniques borrowed from 70s prog-rock and even free jazz, she dissolves expectation and, in the process, reveals an utterly personal approach to noise and experimental electronics. End Of Trilogy is not merely a conclusion, but rather an interrogation of what comes next.
Multi-instrumentalist/composer based in Tokyo, Yuko Araki started playing piano when she was a small child and in her teenage years was inspired by hardcore and metal music, but she soon became really eclectic and took on a diverse range of projects, including drummer of the oriental/tribal dream psych band Kuunatic and founding members of the neo classical noise duo Concierto de la Familia and her solo project: harsh noise drones layered by analog synthesizers, cymbals and samples of Japanese traditional instruments creating abstract rhythms and dissonant harmonies that sound like a noise orchestra. Her exceptional sensibility in processing extremely heavy and dense sounds makes the result sounding like nothing else you heard before: a thousand leaves oscillation sound at the same time rooted in Japanese noise but also totally different. Intergalactic noisescapes.”
LISA CAMERON / SANDY EWEN - See Creatures Too (Astal Spirits 148; USA) Featuring Lisa Cameron on percussion and Sandy Ewen on guitar. Just last week (4/2/21), I reviewed a trio CD featuring Alex Cunningham on violin, Damon Smith on bass and Lisa Cameron on drums. All three musicians are or were based in Texas. I hadn't heard much about Ms. Cameron before this disc although she has played with bands like Glass Eye & Sky City. I've gotten to know and admire guitarist Sandy Ewen through the years especially since she moved to Brooklyn and has played here at the store on several occasions. Ms. Ewen plays mostly her guitar on her lap, using a variety of implements to coax all sorts of strange sounds. The first sounds we hear are soft, eerie feedback and with a hum underneath. There is quite a bit of space or silence between the sounds for a while. Ms. Ewen takes her time, allowing her sounds to be stretched out, varied layers of hypnotic feedback carefully created. Sometimes a bit disorienting, sometimes more or less intense. I recall that Ms. Cameron also played feedback on that recent trio disc. It takes a while to notice her presence here. The rubbed & tapped on strings, feedback and scraped sounds could come from either player so it is hard to tell who us doing what at times. The overall sound/vibe is almost too much at times, some folks might question if this is actually music but it really does work for me at creating its own world. Industrial sounding rather often. Kinda reminds me of the way they make the strange screaming vocals sounds for a Godzilla film, like the ripping of metal sheets. This entire 2 cassette set is filled with strong medicine which will turn you all inside outside out and upside down so dig in now! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
2 Cassette Set $15
ATTENTION ALL CREATIVE MUSICIANS OUT THERE, Around the world.
If you have a link, for some music that you are working on and want to share it with the folks who read the DMG Newsletter, please send the link to DMG at DMG@Downtownmusicgallery.com. Many of us are going stir crazy staying at home so if you want to inspire us and help us get through these difficult times, please show us what you got. I listed some these last week but have also a few more.
MORE THINGS TO DO WHILE YOU ARE WAITING AROUND FOR THE WORLD TO END OR GET BETTER: STILL STIR CRAZY AFTER ALL THESE YEARS!
THIS IS FROM MY GOOD FRIEND JESSICA HALLOCK,
This is from Jessica Hallock, please do check it out, there is so much to explore here and I know some of you are bored and need some inspiration/distraction:
Livestreams are obviously no replacement for live shows, but they're all the community we have right now––so experimental music calendar NYC-Noise.com now provides links to livestreams (with artist / curator donation info); a roundup of local musicians' releases; COVID-19-related resources, including links to grants, petitions, & a local venue donation list; & an Instagram account (@NYC_Noise) promoting artists and releases. Please let me know about your livestreams &/or new records at www.nyc-noise.com/submit.
ELECTRIC ASCENSION by ROVA with GUESTS - April 22-25
Special Guests include: Nels Cline, Fred Frith, Jenny Scheinman, Carla Kihlstedt, Ikue Mori, Rob Mazurek, Chris Brown and Hamid Drake:
This is Rova’s recreation of John Coltrane’s epic late work, Ascension. We have performed this piece with over 50 mavericks of improvisation since 2003, nearly annually, at festivals and venues in North America and Europe. This video performance was shot and recorded at the 2012 Guelph Jazz Festival. Produced and directed by filmmaker John Rogers of Ideas in Motion. The initial airing on Thursday April 22 at 7PM PDT will be followed by a live Q A with Rova. After that, the 2012 festival performance will be available for viewing through Sunday April 25.
Use this link to view the concert: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUCXPDaj4Ps
KEN WEISS interviews JAAP BLONK for the new Cadence magazine:
From the Ever-Amazing Violin Goddess - JENNY SCHEINMAN:
From Longtime DMG Customer Beni Fuchs:
Calvin Weston & Umbum Soundsystem
from Kaleidoscope, released March 7, 2021:
stephan wiedenbach -lead guitar
serge beck -rhythm guitar
martin 'smily' schmid -electric bass
sam bovey -percussion
beni fuchs (ben i sabbah) - electric phin, fx, ableton push
grant calvin weston -drums
recorded 2 feb /2021 at paradise underground, schaffhausen
drum lines by g calvin weston, philadelphia 2018
with kind permission (24bit 48000khz wav recording)
This comes from Multi-Instrumentalist/Composer/Futurist SCOTT ROBINSON:
https://youtu.be/amsOS00qieQ - This is the best music video I’ve seen in recent memory.
Here is a new SEAN ALI / MEGHAN DESMOND Music Video Collaboration:
Here is the video: https://vimeo.com/516694455
Here is just the audio:
Sean Ali plays acoustic bass and has played a number of solo & duo sets here at DMG. His bass playing is unlike anyone else I’ve heard and each set was fascinating. Meghan Desmond is one of my best friends and gig-going buddies. She was saved from a normal life by Downtown Music Scene Weirdness. Inspired by the music she heard, she picked up a camera and started to experiment. She has come a long way in the last few years, doing record covers, and photo/video collaborations with assorted Downtown Artists. Check out this new one, I think she and Sean Ali have really hit their stride! The video is in black & white and both the sounds and images are quite haunting so beware! - BLG/DMG
This comes from CHRIS CUTLER (Henry Cow, Art Bears & REcommended Records)
Chris has a podcast called Probes and this is Episode #29
During the earlier part of the pandemic/lockdown when I started going back to work at DMG in June, I listened to all of the Probes podcast series and on the train coming and going to NYC. Each one is fascinating as Mr. Cutler Probes the many aspects of Creative Music, unique instrumentation, the history of recordings and lots more. Please take some time and listen to these, they are most enlightening.
From INGRID LAUBROCK & TOM RAINEY:
Every Week for the entirety of this pandemic/lockdown INGRID LAUBROCK & TOM RAINEY have been posting a new duo offering. I have listened to every one of these as they were sent out and am much impressed by the way this duo continues to evolve and work their way through many ideas. You can check out each one here:
HENRY KAISER Continues with his Weekly Solo Series on Cuneiform’s Youtube page:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHUc8FYsWxg - new interview with Mr. Kaiser
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0-qbKTem9o - Tribute to Milford Graves
My good friend & guitar master GARY LUCAS is playing half hour sets at his apartment in the West village every Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday at 3pm EST on Facebook. Different songs on each episode. Here is the link: https://www.facebook