This Saturday, June 19th, DMG’s favorite bubbie, Bruce Lee Gallanter turns 67 years young! I just want to say thanks to everyone: all my friends, family, Creative Musicians and DMG supporters worldwide! I do appreciate your kind words of support and I am happy to be alive, smiling, dancing, singing and listening to all the music and sounds that still inspire me. I know it has been a difficult year for so many folks around the world, all of the mixed feelings and signals from everywhere which bring us up or down depending on how we deal with them. The funny thing is that I do not feel old, I still feel like a youngster inside, I still cling to hope for better days ahead and I do enjoy just being alive! To those of you who read this newsletter each week and those who come to visit in the store, it is you all who continue to inspire me by just listening to the music we still hold so dear. I find that the process of sharing, listening to music with friends is still one of the greatest things in life. A toast to be able to share music once more. Yo maestro, cue up “Comes a Time” one more time so I can sing along and act out those words. - BLG at DMG
This Week’s Goodies begin with a number of Great Guitarists:
GYAN RILEY - Silver Lining (Tzadik 4034; USA) Gyan Riley is a virtuoso guitarist and composer living in Brooklyn whose unique work expands the rich legacy of classical guitar music with influences from minimalism, flamenco, bossa nova, and the folk-jazz sounds of John Fahey and Leo Kottke. His second CD for Tzadik, recorded during the pandemic lockdown, is his best yet--a breathtaking and fabulous collection of music for solo guitar. Fluid, compelling, and beautiful, this is music you will return to again and again.
HELENE BRESCHAND / ELLIOTT SHARP - Chansons du Crepuscule (zOaR Music 074; USA) Featuring Helene Breschand on harp, voice, electronics, text & ambient sounds and Elliott Sharp on guitars, steel guitar, bass, analog synth, electronics, drum programming and voice. This is a fascinating collaboration between French harpist Helene Breschand and Downtown guitarist/composer Elliott Sharp. The music was inspired by sixties French chansons Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg, both of whom I’ve been appreciating ever since John Zorn released that wonderful Serge Gainsbourg tribute CD on Tzadik, more than 20 years ago. Our journey begins with “Admission” in which Ms. Breschand’s quaint voice is twisted into lots of odd fragments while Mr. Sharp adds quirky, quietly throbbing bass & drum sample grooves. Since I speak so little French, I don’t know what Ms. Breschand is singing about, I do find her voice most charming nonetheless and E# does a superb job of matching her soft whispered purr with subtle psych swirls, which are most hypnotic and ever enchanting. On each song, Sharp & Breschand add different elements: subtle funk bass & drum grooves, eerie steel guitar, electronic spices, slide bluesy guitar, lush harp and spacey vocals. When I walked back into my kitchen (where my computer & speakers are) from my listening room (where my stereo is), it felt as I had entered a dream-like scene from French movie from the 1960’s. It made me want to find some tasty French wine to sip on while I was listening and grooving. One of the interesting things about this disc is that the voice(s) is/are chopped up at times, with another layer or two of voices or electronics intersecting. I feels like our current reality or sonic environment has been manipulated so that we feel off balance. Spending the better part of the pandemic year mostly inside has a similar affect on us humans, at times it feels like we are suffocating from the pressures of being alone for so long. This is my favorite disc of the week since it has taken me away from my usual inner demons and put me somewhere else more mysterious and somehow inviting. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
DUCK BAKER with DEREK BAILEY / STEVE BERESFORD / JOHN BUTCHER / MARK DRESSER / JOHN EDWARDS / MICHAEL MOORE / ROSWELL RUDD / ALEX WARD / STEVE NOBLE / JOE WILLIAMSON - Confabulations (ESP-Disk 5065; USA) “In his five-decade career, finger-style acoustic guitarist Duck Baker has played in lots of styles, from folk (real folk, such as Scottish and Irish fiddle tunes) to blues to jazz, in the latter genre particularly focusing on bebop greats, with whole albums devoted to the music of Thelonious Monk and Herbie Nichols. But he has flashed an avant-garde side as well, and of course ESP-Disk was interested in exposing more of the latter work. This album of duos and trios with an all-star roster of players, mostly British, collects recordings ranging from 1994 through 2017.
This a fabulous and historical disc with several duos, trios & a quartet, all taking place from 1994 to 2017. Duck Baker is an amazing acoustic guitarist who has played all sorts of music from many types of jazz, folk, ethnic and blues traditions. He is also a gifted improviser who loves the challenge of working with diverse musicians from different backgrounds or places. Most of the tracks were recorded at different places and at different times. Although Ducker Balker plays on every track, his playing sounds different depending on who he is playing with. So nice to hear the warm, honey-toned alto sax of ICP’s Michael Moore on the first track. Both of these musicians have deep skills in the long history of jazz so it sounds like they are drawing from different eras. Mark Dresser is a master contrabassist with his own distinctive sound. Dresser’s superb, careful playing pushes Mr. Baker into another more cerebral space, slowing down to a more suspense filled place. Derek Bailey was the Godfather of Free Music Guitar and influenced many other younger pickers. Mr. Bailey’s unique approach again pushed Duck further out in outer or perhaps inner space. This duo is more oblique and doesn’t quite sound like any other duo, they are in their own world made of assorted fractured notes which sound perfect together. The duo with the late, great trombonist Roswell Rudd do a blues (“The East River Delta..), which breathes some righteous, swashbuckling sadness into the blend. It was recorded at Tonic, a wonderful bar/performance place which existed for nearly a decade, from 1997 to 2006. “Ode to Jo” features a fab trio with Baker, Alex Ward on clarinet & Joe Willamson on acoustic bass. This is/was Duck’s working trio since he moved to London. They swung up a storm and had me snapping my fingers throughout, yeah! Although Steve Beresford does have a twisted sense of humor (music-wise), he is also a gifted improviser on piano. Beresford with that Bailey-esque British quirkiness and is fine foil for Mr. Baker, the duo balancing between all sorts of inside and outside themes. John Butcher is yet another ultra expressive and experimental saxist with his own sound. He concentrates on each note, bending them ever so slightly one or two sounds at a time, giving Mr. Baker some space to place his own unique sounds. “Tourbillion Air” features a dynamic all-star quartet wit Baker, Alex Ward (clarinet), John Edwards (bass) and Steve Noble (drums). Extraordinary, British free improv at its best, outside and inside simultaneously. Another duo with Mark Dresser is also splendid. For the final duo with Roswell Rudd, they play “Taps”, which I recall from my days with the Boy Scouts!?! Mr. Rudd quotes all sorts of humorous songs which brings some brevity, laughs for the last bit and a great way to bring things to a solid ending. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
LARRY OCHS / DON ROBINSON - A Civil Right (ESP-Disk 5052; USA) This is Larry Ochs and Donald Robinson's second and definitive recording will be released on legendary free jazz label ESP-Disk'. Ochs is a founding member of the great ROVA Saxophone Quartet, one of the Bay Area's avant-garde treasures since 1978. Robinson -- "a percussive dervish", according to Coda -- was the drummer of choice for ROVA's revivification of John Coltrane's Ascension. The East Bay Express has said of the saxophonist's sound, "Ochs' full-bodied tenor is out of the John Coltrane/Albert Ayler 'free' tradition: forceful, passionate," while the Chicago Reader said about the drummer and his relationship with Ochs, "Robinson is neither flashy nor explosive, but his playing has heft and he covers lots of ground -- he can maintain a feeling of order while playing meter-less rhythms or transform the pulse of jagged post-bop until it's almost abstract. He's a good match for Ochs, and over the decades the two of them have developed a fine-tuned rapport." Although Ochs and Robinson have collaborated in various groups for more than 20 years -- including in the trio What We Live with bassist Lisle Ellis -- their duo is a recent phenomenon, having developed over the past couple of years. Ochs says, "Our playing together has evolved to a really special place, I think. We're definitely coming out of the tradition of horn-drum duos from John Coltrane and Rashied Ali to Wadada Leo Smith and Billy Higgins, but we've found our own space after a long stretch of shows together. Our set will include new, original material, with some high-energy playing and things that are more spatial, as well as some homages to more popular music. In a sparse setting like this, the music hits a listener right away -- nothing is obscured, everything is clear." Ochs and Robinson first performed together from 1991 to 1998 in The Glenn Spearman Double Trio. From 1994 to 2002, they worked in the trio What We Live. From 2000 until 2010 Robinson was part of the Larry Ochs Sax & Drumming Core featuring drummer Scott Amendola, as well as Satoko Fujii and Natsuki Tamura from 2007 to 2010. Throughout all this time, Ochs and Robinson jammed and rehearsed in Robinson's studio, easily done as they live only 15 minutes apart. Thus it seemed inevitable that they would -- eventually -- create a special repertoire for this duo. Personnel: Larry Ochs - saxophones; Donald Robinson - drums.”
MICHAEL BISIO / KIRK KNUFFKE / FRED LONBERG-HOLM - The Art Spirit (ESP-Disk 5053; USA) This music is inspired by Robert Henri (June 24, 1865 - July 12, 1929) artist, teacher, writer and an organizer of the group known as The Eight, a loose association of artists who protested the restrictive exhibition practices of the powerful, conservative National Academy of Design. Personnel: Michael Bisio - bass; Kirk Knuffke - cornet & soprano cornet; Fred Lonberg-Holm - cello & electronics. Recorded September 24, 2018 by Eli Winograd at Lone Pine Road, Kingston NY. This disc is also dedicated to Mike Panico, cofounder of Relative Pitch Records, who tragically committed suicide in October of 2018.”
This is a most intense, startling trio who are erupting right from the first note. Three of these pieces were composed by Michael Bisio, the others are group improvs. Bisio’s “r. henri” is most subdued with mournful bowed bass & cello and eerie cornet. Both Mr. Bisio and Mr. Knuffke have worked together in a duo & quartet situations so they sound like they are kindred spirits. Former Chicago-based cellist, Fred Lonberg-Holm, moved to upsate NY a few years back and has become an important part of the ever-evolving Downtown Scene so he is also a seasoned improviser and is often filled with surprising twists in his playing. There is something both and lovely going on here that I can hear inside this music, arco waves moving below, pumping bass at the center while Knuffke’s sublime, inventive cornet dances on top, a most winning combination of spirits. There is a strong balance/dialogue between the cornet and cello which is often flowing back and forth while the bass holds down the centering vibe. It makes perfect sense to me that the ESP label, which has been around for some 56 years, would release a disc like this of such spirited Free/Partially Written and truly Creative Music. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
TOM CORA & DAVID MOSS - Cargo Cult Revival (Klanggalerie 351; Germany) "Tom Cora made his musical debut as drummer on a local US television program. In the mid 1970s he played guitar for a Washington, D.C. jazz club house band. He took up the cello while an undergraduate at the University of Virginia and studied with cellist Pablo Casals' student Luis Garcia-Renart and later with vibraphonist Karl Berger. During this time he formed his own group, The Moose Skowron Tuned Metal Ensemble and began constructing instruments for it. In 1979 Cora moved to New York City where he worked with Shockabilly guitarist Eugene Chadbourne. He performed at improvising clubs and venues in New York with John Zorn, Fred Frith, Butch Morris, Wayne Horvitz, David Moss, Toshinori Kondo and others. Cora also collaborated with George Cartwright and Bill Laswell which led to the formation of the art rock band Curlew in 1979. Cora remained with Curlew for over ten years and appeared on five of their albums. In 1982 Tom Cora and Fred Frith formed Skeleton Crew, an improvising rock and jazz band best known for their live performances where they played various instruments simultaneously. David Moss' life was shaped by drumming and singing. First, his father's drum-set, Bertoia sound sculptures, duos with dancer Steve Paxton. Later, singing: at Berlin Philharmonie, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Salzburg Festival. In 2018/19 he received the German Music Authors Prize for experimental voice; sang in Olga Neuwirth's opera Lost Highway, sang Frank Zappa's music at the Venice Biennale; visited Taipei, Seattle and Bogota with Heiner Goebbels' Surrogate Cities; worked with video artist Lillevan. Moss received Guggenheim and DAAD Artist-in-Berlin Fellowships. He directs the Institute for Living Voice (and teaches). In 1983 Tom and David recorded the album Cargo Cult Revival together which was released on Fred Frith's label Rift Records. For this first ever CD re-issue, it was remastered by Martin Bowes."
THREE MORE GEMS FROM THE EVIL CLOWN LABEL:
PEK SOLO / AN ORCHESTRA OF PEKS - Coulombs (Evil Clown 9267; USA) A columb is defined as “…a unit of electric charge, equal to the quantity of electricity conveyed in one second by a current of one ampere.” Never before has Dave PEK titled one of his many unbridled works so accurately, because spending the lengthy time-frame erected by the unstoppable force of this album means staring into the maw of the great supercharged beast itself. PEK outdoes himself on this one (which is saying something), using his inimitable army of flutes, saxes, clarinets, and nameless reeds, not counting such instruments as duck call, goat horn, crank siren, and chromatic harmonica to blow winds of change across an ever-shifting landscape of percolating synthetic aberrations, discrete analog pulse-states, and many other decidedly alien tableau. These collective sounds mimic things not naturally found in nature, which makes for immersion in this particular PEK orchestra arcana a thing of abject wonder. And even as sand-blasted as the environs become when the man takes one of his patented horn solos, it is highly recommended you strap on the headphones to further sink yourself into PEK’s variegated maelstrom. All throughout, it beggars belief how the man can seem to effortlessly keep all his sonic balls in the air; every successive moment reveals new textures, sudden accelerations, radical course changes. Looking at the accompanying shots of PEK in his studio, he affects something of the navigator on the starship Enterprise, expertly maneuvering his way through a kaleidoscopic galaxy of meteoric anomalies, supernova detritus, and swirling, cascading nebulae. And when those horns periodically make their presence known amongst the circuit-coiffed starshine, they add a caustic, sometimes abrasive, but nevertheless human element that cries out from the proverbial heavens. When the whole recording concludes, after nearly seventy-nine minutes, you’re emotionally drained but intellectually wowed, senses disrupted, mouth agape. - Darren Bergstein, DMG
PEK SOLO - Complex and Real Dimensions (Evil Clown 9268; USA) Dave PEK solo records are, first and foremost, journeys. Each one represents a particular aural snapshot of where his muse is at that very moment, and prolific though he is, he exercises that muse with enormous breadth of imagination, resulting in a slew of fairly unique recordings that cross boundaries with ease and vision. Such multilayered contraptions don’t simply travel from point A to point B; on the contrary, when you listen to any given edition birthed from PEK HQ, you’re instantly thrust into a soundspace that simultaneously leads and engulfs you. This latest missive is a glorious index of metals, PEK embedding his collection of bells, chimes, glockenspiels, spring boxes, harps, etc. in lush fields of widescreen reverberation and cyberlogical delay, helped along thanks to his mighty loop station and Korg MS20 electronic rack. ‘Course, his trusty array of horns, comprised of numerous flute, clarinet and similar types, isn’t far away: twelve minutes in to this illustrious mindmeld of a solo, he indulges in a huge and acrid clarinet solo, the likes of which conjure the spirits of Ayler, Dolphy, and Chapin in a literal tearing at the very fabric of the universe, brought back ferociously from their infinite realms to breathe fire amongst the ghosts residing within PEK’s studio magnifique. Another far-ranging pictorial of mystic spiritualism imbibed with free-thinking experimentalism from the man with a thousand fingers. - Darren Bergstein, DMG
PEK SOLO / A QUARTET OF PEKS - Strange Beauty - Out of Chaos (Evil Clown 9269; USA) Taking a glimpse into anything that emerges from Dave PEK’s abstract wonderland requires a suspension of personal, literal, and metaphorical time. One has to submit in PEKwerk fully, to experience it without interruption, in one sitting, for it to engage you in full psychic lockstep. Recorded in early April 2021, the isolationist milieu underscoring our lives hasn’t dimmed PEK’s force for creation one iota. There is surely much in the way of an awry, strange beauty to this glimpse from the incorporeal beyond. PEK reincarnates all manner of free jazz, improv, and rugged experimentalists of epochs both past and present—Sun Ra’s untethered Arkestras, the skronk and instant abandon of the Spontaneous Music Ensemble and John Zorn’s more eclectic shout-outs, the rhythmic vortices and total alien entities imagined by upstarts like Musica Elettronica Viva and The Hub—but his characteristic overdubbed canvases remain immediately recognizable as his own. Piledriver sax bleats carve widening sinkholes that crumble into electronic voids that shudder with a pronounced malevolence. Galvanized tintinnabulations and synth baubles the color of pitch course through the music’s veins like sentient dark matter. Great struck gongs do their thunderstormic rumble in the distance. Call-and-response horns send distress calls out into the ether like ancient morse code, only to have their notes bounce back in mutated tonics of digital delay and electrostatic bitstream. Mad, bad, and dangerous to know—partake in this exuberantly bonkers slice of PEK’s evolutionary narrative and it’s guaranteed neither your ears nor your cerebellum will ever be the same. - Darren Bergstein, DMG
IANCU DUMITRESCU / ANA-MARIA AVRAM - At the GRM Paris (performed by Stephen O'Malley) (Ideologic Organ Soma 040; France) “A ghostly visage on a cosmic scale, these remains of shocked, glowing gas haunt planet Earth's sky toward the constellation of Cygnus and form the Veil Nebula. The nebula itself is a large supernova remnant, an expanding cloud born of the death explosion of a massive star. Light from the original supernova explosion likely reached Earth over 5,000 years ago. Also known as the Cygnus Loop, the Veil Nebula now spans nearly 3 degrees or about six times the diameter of the full Moon. That translates to over 70 light-years at its estimated distance of 1,500 light-years. In fact, the Veil is so large its brighter parts are recognized as separate nebulae, including The Witch's Broom (NGC 6960) pictured left of center. At the top right you can ﬁnd the Spectre of IC 1340.
In loving memory of Ana-Maria Avram (1961-2017). "Our GRM session with Iancu Dumitrescu 'Crepescule' and Ana-Maria Avram 'Metalstorm'. Primarily just the guitar parts (with some conversations and electronics in the background!) recorded at GRM December 2012. This session was kind of a tryout for these pieces ... which I wanted to record properly (as they never record their music in a studio that way). We used Neuman mics etc. A working session of the guitar mics with Iancu and Ana's computer music blasting on the studio Genelecs and bleeding through the mics, as well as conversation between the three of us and their verbal conduction. I find that the character of this recording and the performance is very interesting, and acts nearly as an x-ray into the personal experience I have had performing with Hyperion Ensemble and working with Dumitrescu and Avram, from the other side of the instrument... yes it's music but material which is close to the feeling of unhinged dynamic of phenomena that both composers embody in their individual and idiosyncratic ways, which were at the same time synchronized and other volcanic and nebulous ways which opened up like an oyster. In loving memorial to Ana-Maria." - S tephen O'Malley, Berlin May 2020
XORDOX A/K/A JG THURWELL - Omniverse (Editions Mego 283; Austria) “Throughout his vast career, the New York based Australian composer JG Thirlwell has adopted many masks as a means of infiltrating and subsequently subverting a wide range of pop cultural forms. His work under the Foetus moniker has taken on everything from big band to opera to noise-rock. Steroid Maximus embraced exotica and the world of soundtracks, while his Manorexia project continued his quest to the outer limits of contemporary composition and musique concrete. Thirlwell has also carved out a significant output in the field of the soundtrack via the large body of work created for the animated television shows Archer and The Venture Bros. In addition, he has been commissioned to create compositions by such notables as Kronos Quartet, Bang On A Can, Alarm Will Sound, String Orchestra of Brooklyn, and many others. Now we have Omniverse, the second release under the moniker Xordox. Xordox is a synthesizer-based project, and on this evocative album you see the project branch into many new avenues. The science fiction element brushes up against crime noir, even veering into areas that could well fit in the video game soundtrack genre. With an audacious attitude and an arsenal of machines Thirlwell serves up a selection of thrilling retro-future mind capsules. This is music made from a life saturated in culture, both underground and mainstream, high and low. Tense sequencing and noir-tinged keyboard lines invoke a powerful visual image of films and memory, of screens and speakers, of sound and space, all entering the cosmos and the subsequent galactic race. Thirlwell's decades long exploration of sampling and sequencing, composing and ingesting a daunting amount of audio and visual artworks speaks volumes for the bold assimilations exposed here. "Between Dimensions" lays out a tense theme which starts off like a score to a crime thriller before morphing into a simulacrum of Kraftwerk scoring a video game. The living ghosts of Giorgio Moroder and John Carpenter haunt "Oil Slick" as it permeates wormholes, updating lifeforms with its stealth sequencing and tense momentum. Omniverse is a synthesized soundtrack journey, one which embraces past forms whilst reshaping them for the new unknown. Omniverse is a thrilling liquid ride through fear and hope, and like all the best of Thirlwell's output, is simply one hell of an enjoyable journey to take.”
HECKER - Synopsis Seriation (Editions Mego 256; Austria) What you hear in Synopsis Seriation, Hecker's latest album with Editions Mego, draws upon current research in machine listening and music information retrieval, where the "ghosts in the machine" are unsupervised convolutional operators designed to extract auditory features from a signal. Experimental deployment of these virtual listening agents has only just begun, and Synopsis Seriation advances a general research program Hecker initiated through a series of publications, performances and installations since 2013. In A Script for Machine Synthesis (EMEGO 226CD, 2017), the third chapter in the trilogy of text-sound pieces in collaboration with the philosopher Reza Negarestani, both a resynthesized and a computer-generated voice modeled after the narrator's voice, reflecting on systems of language, automatons and chimerized synthesis. Articulação Sintetico (2017) -- a complete resynthesis of Hecker's album Articulação (EMEGO 180CD, 2014) -- features synthetic voice models of Joan La Barbara, Sugata Bose and Anna Kohler. Central to Inspection II (EMEGO 268CD, 2019) is a bespoke computer-generated voice, reciting Robin Mackay's libretto -- by means of deep neural networks and machine listening computation, perpetually crossing formal anticipations of sound analysis to the unexpected artefacts of synthesis. Synopsis Seriation does away with such staging of computer-generated speech. It dramatizes synthetic sound in all its unnamable intensities and detail by transforming four multichannel pieces Hecker produced since 2015. These have been analyzed, dissected and reconstructed utilizing information geometry, a subfield of mathematics at the interaction between statistics and differential geometry, designed by Vincent Lostanlen. His scientific work is at the forefront of the movement of computational auditory analysis out of the frequency domain model toward a more complex understanding of the auditory landscape and perceptual processing. Written and produced by Florian Hecker, 2015-2020. Information geometry and sound computation by Vincent Lostanlen. Mastering by Rashad Becker.”
2 CD Set $25
YANN NOVAK - Lifeblood of Light and Rapture (Room40 4159; Australia) “On Lifeblood of Light And Rapture, Los Angeles artist Yann Novak contours a phosphorescent listening experience that shimmers with a hazy glow; like neon in fog. Each piece bares his trademarked sense of patience and unerring harmony, but more so than any previous editions Novak opens up the presence of these elements to create a more absorbing sensibility. "A Biochemical Cascade" captures the experience in a snapshot, as gentle eruptions of harmony fold and melt over the top of one another, each eruption seemingly more luminous than the wave before it. The result is a wholly consuming sense of tidal ecstasy.
From Yann Novak: "When I began working on Lifeblood of Light and Rapture I was thinking a lot about both my personal and society's tendencies towards nihilism. When I was in grade school, I was taught that 2020 would be the turning point in our collective fight against climate change -- that if we did not change by then, there would be no turning back. After learning this at a young age, I watched helplessly as little was done to save the planet. It made me certain that I would not live to see past 2020 . . . Now that 2020 has come and gone, I have the luxury of hindsight. I can look back and see that so many of my decisions were made not to destroy myself, but in order to self-medicate. In my teens and twenties, the world was a difficult place to inhabit, but I could use chemicals and other distractions to cope. Similarly, as it turns out, this is also the story of the industrial, technological, and digital revolutions. Even though the intention of these eras was to make the world an easier place to live in, most of the progress attributed to them over the last two centuries has directly contributed to the climate crisis. On Lifeblood of Light and Rapture, I wanted to explore this parallel -- that so many of the things we do to try and make this world livable also contribute to its destruction. Formally, this album follows the path I set out on with Slowly Dismantling (RM 4112LP, 2019). I sought to express myself in a more immediate and honest way through the use of digital and analog synthesis. With Lifeblood of Light and Rapture, I built upon this same path; but I also tried to imagine the listening experience over the process of making it, focusing solely on the pure pleasure of listening..."
WES TIREY - The Midwest Book of the Dead (Dear Life Records 017; USA) Featuring Wes Tirey on vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, harmonica & songs, Ryan Gustafson on electric guitar, lap steel, banjo. bass, keyboards & fiddle and Tyler Hoskinson on drums plus Liliana Hudgens on backing vocals. Frank Meadows, manager for DMG, has worked here for the past 3 years and is only 28 years, as opposed to me, a youthful 66. Frank plays bass & keyboards, has produced concerts & recording sessions and is integral to keeping DMG sailing through the sometimes treacherous troubled waters of commerce & life. Both of us have big ears when it comes to listening to a variety of Creative Music, but we do bond when it comes to certain Americana & singer/songwriters. Frank is involved with certain labels and Dear Life Records is one of them. He just gave me this new disc by Wes Tirey, someone who I hadn’t heard of before now and someone who sounds much older than his youthful picture on the lyric book cover.
I like the way the opening song, “Red Corn, Yellow Corn” is stripped down to just a handful of words and the repeating of the chorus, “Red Corn, Yellow Corn”, does a great job of hypnotizing us. Mr. Tirey’s world-weary voice is accompanied by just acoustic & electric guitars and haunting lap steel. While listening to this disc for the third or fourth time, I had a vision of sitting on a front porch in the late Spring, sipping some lemonade, taking in the soft yet hot sum and somber breeze. On “Bang the Drums Slowly”, there is a drummer playing a soft, skeletal rhythm underneath the somber melody/groove. Mr. Tirey has a slight rasp to his voice, which he uses subtly to stretch out certain words, adding some resonance to that downhome vibe. Each time I listen to this disc, it gets better, more familiar, like an old pair of jeans that are slowly falling apart yet still feel comfortable to wear. These songs seem to move at a slower, more thoughtful pace so we have to slow down a bit to let them sink in. One of the things I like best about Mr. Tirey is the way his lyrics are stripped down so that we can all read or feel what he is saying without too much distraction or complexity to push us further from his view of the world. We can fill in the rest without own feelings or views. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
I’m gonna leave you all with a verse from “Monument Song” to consider:
“Make your life a testament
Make your word a sacrament
Make your love a monument
And rise, with everything to show
Strong and comely as a colt”
2 CD Set $15
2 CD set with 65 page book of lyrics & poems $20
FRED NEIL / VINCE MARTIN - Tear Down The Walls & Bleecker And MacDougal (Music on CD 14041; Netherlands) Fred Neil was the quintessential folk/psych songwriter & singer who was a guru/inspiration to many other sixties songwriters & bands: Tim Buckley, the Byrds, Jefferson Airplane and many more. His deep, soulful, resonant voice will grab you deeply and not let go. All five of his records, all recorded in the mid-to-late sixties, are superb and essential to any of you who appreciate his wonderful, stunning songs and his incredible voice. This disc contains Neil’s first two albums and both are great! The first album is a split album with another singer named Vince Martin who has a great, expressive voice and went on the record just one other obscure album. The second album, ‘Bleecker and MacDougal” is a masterpiece! Most likely you have heard the covered versions of these songs: “The Other Side of This Life” (Jefferson Airplane & the Youngbloods), “Candyman” (Roy Orbison) and “Blues on the Ceiling” (Karen Dalton & the Bintangs). I own this version of the CD and play it in the store often. Everytime, I play someone says, “Who is that singing? What an incredible voice!” You need this disc in order to uplift and inspire you so don’t miss out! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
OPIKA PENDE - Africa At 78 RPM (Dust-to-Digital 022; USA) “2012 Grammy nominee for Best Historical Album. Opika Pende: Africa At 78 RPM is a 4CD collection featuring 100 tracks taken from rare 78rpm recordings of African music (1909 to mid-1960s), none of which have ever been issued on CD until now. Pan-African in scope and wildly diverse, Opika Pende is a testament to the deep riches found in early recorded music across the continent. 112-page softcover book with 4 CDs in a separate portfolio -- all housed in a deluxe cloth slipcase. Jonathan Ward is a Los Angeles-based collector, researcher, and writer. In 2007, he began the well-known web site Excavated Shellac, which features a wide range of scarce, international 78rpm records from across the globe with extensive commentary. In 2010, Jonathan released his first LP in a series for Dust-to-Digital's vinyl imprint Parlortone. Titled Excavated Shellac: Strings (PT 2001LP), it contains 14 exemplary performances on string instruments from across the globe, all from his collection of 78s.”
4 CD BOOK $46
STEVE RODEN - I Listen To The Wind That Obliterates My Traces (Dust-to-Digital 020; USA) “Subtitled: Music In Vernacular Photographs, 1880-1955. I Listen To The Wind That Obliterates My Traces brings together a collection of early photographs related to music, a group of 78rpm recordings, and short excerpts from various literary sources that are contemporary with the sound and images. It is a somewhat intuitive gathering, culled from artist Steve Roden's collection of thousands of vernacular photographs related to music, sound, and listening. The subjects range from the PT Barnum-esque Professor McRea -- "Ontario's Musical Wonder" (pictured with his complex sculptural one-man band contraption) -- to anonymous African-American guitar players and images of early phonographs. The images range from professional portraits to ethereal, accidental, double exposures -- and include a range of photographic print processes, such as tintypes, ambrotypes, CDVS, cabinet cards, real photo postcards, albumen prints, and turn-of-the-century snapshots. The two CDs bring together a variety of recordings, including one-off amateur recordings, regular commercial releases, and early sound effects records. There is no narrative structure to the book, but the collision of literary quotes (Hamsun, Lagarkvist, Wordsworth, Nabokov, etc.). Recordings and images conspire towards a consistent mood that is anchored by the book's title, which binds such disparate things as an early recording of an American cowboy ballad, a poem by a Swedish Nobel Laureate, a recording of crickets created artificially, and an image of an itinerant anonymous woman sitting in a field, playing a guitar. The book also contains an essay by Roden. Hardback book, 8.5 x 6.5 inches, 184 pages, 150 photographs reproduced in full color and two audio CDs from the author's collection.”
2 CD BOOK $36
LP ONLY SECTION:
ALVIN CURRAN - The Works (Our Swimmer Welle 101; Germany) “The Works -- one of the most famous pieces by brilliant American composer Alvin Curran -- was not created by will and direct purpose but, as the composer himself states, as a "providential accident" which is to say quite organically. Combining piano and voice with found sound and a custom-built Serge modular synthesizer, The Works is a slowly developing piece where space and ambient tape are eventually overtaken by raga-esque chanting and frenetic piano playing, where synthesizer washes become full-on workouts all leading to a coda where the listener is "finally carried off on the wheels of the Berlin U-Bahn." Curran -- whose initial training and musical education was as a pianist -- had been living in Roma, Italy, in the mid-70s returning to his roots and performing regularly in cocktail lounges on Via Veneto. It was this return to piano and vocals that became the genesis for The Works. In relearning the piano, a five-note "motive" took hold. Added to this was "a recording I had made of our 14 year old dachshund Caspar just before he died. It was, in fact, a love song which he persisted in singing all day after meeting a lovely bitch in heat in Piazza Navona. This I knew would be the beginning of the piece." As the piece expands further the listener will hear "cows munching grass, the Rome-Florence express train, a horse-fly caught against a window pane, my footsteps approaching a Roman fountain and later going up the steps of my old studio, cicadas, an Amsterdam calliope, a tin can being kicked, and a series of sounds from La Serra di Lerici." Though The Works has been performed in many incarnations over the years, it's this performance -- captured on February 24, 1980, and originally released that same year by the short-lived Italian avant-garde label Fore -- that is the definitive version, and one of the finest recordings ever made by the celebrated composer.”
ANTHONY MOORE, DIRK SPECHT, TOBIAS GREWENIG - The April Sessions (Sub Rosa 512; Belgium) “This journey, this slowly drifting sonic meditation, is an "inner soundscape", a dialogue between the senses, the conscience and the world, inside / outside, interconnected. Like waking up from a long dream, and being stuck into its echo. The April Sessions submerges the listener into a drone-ish universe, full of random acousmatic events, inner monologues and a vast and unwritten subjective map to be drawn.
"The April Sessions has been living in a seedy hotel in Brussels for a few months. She listens to the sparse traffic outside her window, locked in and locked down. "Everything is constructed", she says to herself, "even the sound of a solitary aircraft at 25,000 feet traverses the sky no further out than the inside of my skull". Other weird sonic phenomena criss-cross the inner cosmos of her brain and streak across her private sky like comets. And then there is the unshakeable presence of that inner monologue, known to her variously as the Tacit Dictator, the Subvocaliser and, nightmarishly enough, the voice of the Merlucid Hake." --Anthony Moore, St Leonards, 10th of March 2021.
SUSAN ALCORN with ANTHONY PIROG / DOUG WEISELMAN / JESSIKA KENNEDY / SKULI SVERRISSON - The Heart Sutra (Arranged by Janel Leppin)(Ideologic Organ 038; France) Legendary pedal steel player Susan Alcorn presents her music as curated and arranged by cellist and composer Janel Leppin. This recording is from a live performance from her residency at Issue Project Room in July 2012. Leppin's arrangements and curation emotes the brilliance, transparency and resonance of the pedal steel guitar. Through this ensemble, the mastery of Susan Alcorn's compositions shine. Susan Alcorn has taken the pedal steel guitar far beyond its traditional role in country music. Having first paid her dues in Texas country and western bands, she began to expand the vocabulary of her instrument through her study of 20th century classical music, visionary jazz, and world musics. Struck by the music of Messiaen she began transcribing classical music from recordings and scores on her instrument. Soon, she began to combine the techniques of country-western pedal steel with her own extended techniques to form a personal style influenced by free jazz, avant-garde classical music, Indian ragas, Indigenous traditions, and various folk musics of the world. By the early 1990s her music began to show an influence of the holistic and feminist 'deep listening' philosophies of Pauline Oliveros. As her records gained a cult following she moved to Baltimore, MD. She performs internationally and is a key figure in the free improv scene in the US. Janel Leppin is a core member of the Washington, D.C. experimental, jazz, punk and improvisational scenes and is a celebrated visual artist as a weaver. DownBeat Magazine describes her as 'An absolute virtuoso', NPR Music says 'instrumental intimacy swept up in arrangements that cluster around her voice, as delicate and as imposing as a sheet of falling ice' Janel leads and writes for her free jazz sextet, Ensemble Volcanic Ash. Leppin and Alcorn also recorded the composition 'Thick Tarragon' by Eyvind Kang from the album Visible Breath on Ideologic Organ. Leppin appears as a string arranger on many recordings on labels from Dischord Records to Sacred Bones. Personnel: Anthony Pirog - guitar; Janel Leppin - cello, modified cello; Jessika Kenney - vocals; Eyvind Kang - viola; Skúli Sverrisson - bass; Doug Wieselman - clarinet, bass clarinet.
MUHAL ABRAMS FEATURING MALACHI FAVORS - Sightsong (Black Saint BSR 003; Italy) Reissue. Originally released in 1976. "The reputation of members of the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians), of which Abrams is a founding member, has long been one of adventurous, dangerous, and difficult music. But in fact, much of the music created out of this organization shows enormous appreciation of the blues and earlier jazz forms. Sightsong is a splendid case in point. The album opens with four duets (two dedicated to Chicago legends Wilbur Ware and Johnny Griffin) which have a swing, a groove, and a delicacy that no fan of 'straight-ahead' jazz could ignore. Favors, always one of the great underrated bassists in the music, provides a thick, soulful pulse and solos with huge imagination while Abrams always stays within the song's parameters which provide ample room for his creativity. As fine as these more 'traditional' numbers are, the standout piece is perhaps Favors' solo feature, the wonderfully titled 'Way Way Way Down Yonder.' Opening with what sounds like the riffled pages of a book, Favors then states the deep, bluesy theme with strutting authority and proceeds through one of the richest investigations of the string bass the listener is ever likely to hear. Sightsong is one of Abrams's finest recordings and is also perhaps the best showcase for Malachi Favors' talents outside of his seminal work with the Art Ensemble of Chicago."
THE ESP LABEL HAS BEEN PROMOTING AVANT-GARDE, EXPERIMENTAL & FREE-JAZZ MUSIC since 1964! Over the last decade ESP has gone back to releasing vinyl albums. Here’s a list of their rock, folk, psych, noise and assorted all purpose weirdness on LP:
THE EAST VILLAGE OTHER - Various Underground Artists (ESP-Disk 1034; USA)
Featuring: Steve Weber, Velvet Underground, Gerard Malanga and Ingrid Superstar, Marion Brown Trio, Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky, Tuli Kupferberg, Ishmael Reed, Ken Weaver and Ed Sanders. Originally released in 1966. The first North American CD release of the "electric newspaper," an archetypal '60s counterculture "happening" from August 6, 1966, this is also the first edition anywhere since the original vinyl to include the lengthy closing track, "Interview with Hairy." A legendary all-star cast of performers got together to make an anti-war collage of words and sounds that defies mere track listings -- one of the elements is "Silence" by Andy Warhol, which, contrary to at least one wrong-headed European reissue, is not actually a separate track (so don't write in complaining about its supposed absence). For some period of time, while the radio played and/or other performers did their things, Andy stood in the studio silently. Hey, it was the '60s. It's a concept, man. Track listing includes plastic clock radio; Steve Weber; The Velvet Underground; Gerard Malanga and Ingrid Superstar; Marion Brown, Scott Holt, and Ron Jackson; Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky; Tuli Kupferberg; Ishmael Reed; Andy Warhol; and Ken Weaver and Ed Sanders. RIYL: Revolution, The Fugs, owning EVERY Velvet Underground track.
ARBOREA - Fortress of the Sun (ESP-DISK 5002; USA) Among the most artistically successful alchemists of indie/psychedelic folk, Maine-based duo Arborea consists of Shanti Curran (vocals, banjo, "banjimer" (a banjo-dulcimer hybrid), harmonium, ukulele, sawing fiddle, and hammered dulcimer) and Buck Curran (guitars, vocals, sawing fiddle, flute, and banjo). Weaving together strands of indie rock, Appalachian folk, psychedelia, and ambient music into what has been called avant-folk, Arborea's songs combine delicate beauty and mystical lyrics with the timelessness of ancient songs (sometimes literally, as they occasionally rework old folk and blues songs into new shapes). Fortress of the Sun is their fifth full-length album, and their first on ESP-Disk'. Shanti Curran: vocals, banjo, guitar, harmonium, ukulele, hammered dulcimer; Buck Curran: vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, flute, Ebow banjo. With: Anders Griffen: drums on "Pale Horse Phantasm"; Greg Boardman: upright bass on "Daughters of Man" and "Rider" and viola on "Cherry Tree Carol"; Michael Krapovicky: electric bass on "After the Flood Only Love Remains." Produced, created, recorded, and mixed by Buck Curran and Shanti Curran; mastered by Harris Newman. RIYL: Espers, The Pentangle, Tim Buckley, Jeff Buckley, Sharon Van Etten, Mazzy Star, Robbie Basho. Fortress of the Sun appeared in AllMusic's "Favorite Folk Albums of 2013" and "Favorite Singer/Songwriter Albums of 2013" lists, as well as Acoustic Guitar Magazine's "Best Acoustic Albums of 2013" and the "Best of Echoes 2013 Listener Poll."
ROBBIE BASHO - Live in Forli, Italy 1982 (solo) (ESP-DISK 5024; USA) Robbie Basho (1940-86), who died young after a stroke, never got his due in the culture at large, but steel-string guitar enthusiasts have known for decades that he was one of the greats of "American Primitivism". Technically adept and compositionally imaginative, fusing the music of many cultures into a mesmerizing solo style, he has been an inspiration for many; his music has generated a surge of interest in recent years. This 1982 concert was part of a four-show Italian tour. It took place at the 18th-century Palazzo Gaddi that housed the local music high school and was mostly used for classical concerts, in an intimate space co-organizer Mario Calvitti (whose memories of the events surrounding this concert make up the bulk of the liner notes) says Basho called it "one lovely little room where I could play all night." Only previously released incompletely as a download, this show can now be heard in its full glory. This release is in cooperation with the Official Robbie Basho Archives. No. 2 in the RB-Archives-Live series. Produced by Buck Curran; Co-released with Obsolete Recordings.
"American musician Robbie Basho (1940-1986) is without doubt one of the greatest pioneers of world guitar music. To this day, his songs and compositions for the acoustic guitar remain wholly unique, contemporary, and otherworldy. Though largely unknown in Italy when he toured there in 1982 (in the company of Italian acoustic guitarist Maurizio Angeletti), the small to medium size audiences who attended his performances were overwhelmingly sympathetic to his musical vision and deeply entranced in the glow of his musical presence. From what is documented on this recording from Forlì, we are given witness to Basho's idiosyncratic spirit and musical artistry. Wielding only a six and twelve-string guitar and his powerful voice, we hear rapturous fingerpicking and singing. As the concert evolves, Basho's spirit rises high above terra firma as he transforms into a wild mythical winged stallion, riding waves of colour and sound ... charging across plains of cosmic light towards the outer regions of space and time." --Buck Curran, September 11, 2017, Bergamo, Italy
CROMAGNON – Cave Rock (ESP-Disk 2001; USA) originally released in 1969. Also known as Orgasm, this 1969 album has long been hailed as an underground classic. Included in Spin's 2013 list "The Top 100 Alternative Albums of the 1960s." Finally available again on vinyl in an ESP-Disk' 50th Anniversary Remaster version. "Two frustrated pop songwriters and the mysterious seven-person 'Connecticut Tribe' hole up in an Upper West Side studio and yell and moan and convulse until they discover a place more primordial than hardcore. The lone album from Cromagnon is true body music -- mostly a primal outpouring of wet swallows, warm gulps, creepy whispers, and glottal jungle animal noises; the feral yowls of sex, pain, or warfare -- but also occasionally grabbing people in the hallways to bang broomsticks on plywood. Its seven-minute bouts of throat'n'throttle anticipate the howl-and-hertz of power electronics and the full-contact gargle of '90s Japanese noise. But Orgasm's real claim to fame will always be opening track 'Caledonia,' a throbbing bagpipe-and-trash junkyard clangbanger that anticipates Einstürzende Neubauten, Nine Inch Nails, and Ministry in four raspy, thudding minutes" --Christopher R. Weingarten, Spin, "The Top 100 Alternative Albums of the 1960s." "An aural stew of experimental vocal sounds (tribal chanting, eerie whispering, animal-like screeching, monster sounding growls, ghostly howls, outright screaming, violent puking sounds, etc), various effects (over-dubbed sound bites played backwards, old sirens, common household sounds, manipulated electronics, field recordings) and the occasional use of a conventional instrument (spooky bagpipes, frantic rhythm guitar, scratchy fiddle) that are all meshed and held together with various forms of primitive percussion. A couple tracks have no rhythm instruments and are simply gravity defying acts of freeform music. Surprisingly, after being subjected to over 30 minutes of unintelligible voices, Cromagnon finally reap the benefits of evolution and use coherent words from the English language on the final two songs on the album. Cromagnon is ominous and experimental tribal music for the bad acid trip" --J. Scott Brubig, The Acid Archives. Austin Grasmere (lead vocals, music); Brian Elliot (lead vocals, music); Connecticut Tribe: Peter Bennett (bass), Jimmy Bennett (guitar, bagpipes), Vinnie Howley (guitar), Sal Salgado (percussion), Nelle Tresselt (honorary tribe member), Mark Payuk (vocals), Gary Leslie (vocals, multi-sound effects). RIYL: The Godz, Einstürzende Neubauten, Nine Inch Nails, Ministry.
BUCK CURRAN - Immortal Light (ESP-Disk 5014; USA) 160-gram DMM LP version. Limited edition of 350. Includes download code. Immortal Light is the debut solo album by psychedelic folk guitarist-singer-songwriter Buck Curran. Since 2005, Curran has recorded and performed as one half of the psych-folk duo Arborea. To date, Arborea has released five albums, including 2013's ESP-Disk' release Fortress of the Sun (ESP-Disk 5002 CD/LP). Curran's music has developed through a decade of playing with Arborea, and the experience of playing blues and folk throughout the 1990s. He also draws inspiration from the deep well of folk and rock of the 1960s (Robbie Basho, Tim Buckley, Jimi Hendrix, Duane Allman), American blues and folk music of the 1930s, British folk and psychedelic folk rock of the '60s and early '70s (Peter Green, Sandy Denny, The Pentangle, Davey Graham, Nick Drake, Led Zeppelin, Martin Simpson), Indian classical music (Pandit Nikhil Banerjee), and jazz of the '50s and '60s (Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane). Bob Boilen, the host of NPR's All Songs Considered, listed Arborea among his favorite concerts and recommended live acts in 2012. Arborea's fourth album, Red Planet, was released in 2011 to critical acclaim, appearing in Rolling Stone's "The Best Under-the- Radar Albums of 2011" (selected by David Fricke) and Uncut's "Top 100 Albums of 2011" and taking the "Editors Top Pick" in the December 2011 issue of Guitar Player Magazine. Fortress of the Sun appeared in AllMusic's "Favorite Folk Albums of 2013" and "Favorite Singer/Songwriter Albums of 2013" lists, as well as Acoustic Guitar Magazine's "Best Acoustic Albums of 2013" and the "Best of Echoes 2013 Listener Poll" -- and in 2014 Paste included Arborea as one of "Nine Maine Bands You Should Listen to Now," part of the magazine's "50 States Project." Immortal Light features Buck Curran on vocals, guitars, harmonium, flute, and banjo; Shanti Deschaine contributes backup vocals on "New Moontide" and "Bad Moon Rising," and lead vocals and harmonium on "Immortal Light."
BUCK CURRAN - Morning Haikus, Afternoon Ragas (ESP-Disk 5028; USA) LP version. On Buck Curran's second solo album, Morning Haikus, Afternoon Ragas, the emphasis switches to acoustic guitar, as compared to his first solo album, Immortal Light (ESP-Disk 5014 CD/LP, 2016). Side A, all solo acoustic instrumentals, seems to have fallen out of a wormhole emanating from Takoma Records in the 1970s. There's some of that on side B as well, but there are also vocals and other instruments, sometimes overdubbed, and the dedication of "Taurus" to Peter Green, guitarist extraordinaire of the original lineup of Fleetwood Mac (when they were a blues band), hinting at the breadth of Curran's influences. The introduction of other timbres and textures doesn't diminish the intimate, almost meditational mood, though. Co-released by ESP-Disk' and Curran's own Obsolete Recordings. Personnel: Buck Curran - vocals, guitars, harmonium, flute, banjo; Adele Pappalardo - vocals on "Dirt Floor". Mastering by Harris Newman at Grey Market Mastering.
BUCK CURRAN - No Love Is Sorrow (ESP-Disk 5056; USA) No Love Is Sorrow is the third solo album by American singer-songwriter-guitarist Buck Curran. The album's primary influence draws upon personal experience, along with an idiosyncratic musical style developed over many years as a solo artist and member of the psych-folk duo Arborea. The album presents a body of soundscapes... acoustic and electric instrumentals, psychedelic poetic folk songs... compositions inspired by visions of the surreal landscapes of life: love, hope, loss, fear, transformation, the light of expecting a newborn child, dreams, the realization of impermanence with the recent losses of family members and friends. Further inspiration was drawn from music as wide-ranging as experimental music, '60s, and '70s folk and psychedelic blues-rock, jazz, Western classical music, and Indian classical music. "Ghost on the Hill", "Deep in the Lovin' Arms of My Babe", "Odissea", and "One Evening" are very personal songs that include lyrical themes of love, memories, and fear: "Ghost on the Hill" is a haunting and poetic memoir of life past, "One Evening" (in the poetic style of Bob Dylan's "It's Alright, Ma, I'm Only Bleeding") is a harrowing statement charged with scenes of contemporary life: love and hope, uncertainty and fear created by society, technology, and politics. "Blue Raga", "No Love Is Sorrow", "Marie", "For Adele", and "Chromaticle", and "Lucia" are experimental tone poems created through improvisation on acoustic guitar. "Django (New Years Day)" is Curran's debut on piano inspired by the music of Claude Debussy and Erik Satie. CD version includes six additional tracks; includes "Lucia", an experimental tone poem created through acoustic guitar improvisation, "War Behind the Sun", a searing psychedelic electric guitar instrumental, and four alternate versions.”
OPTOC S - Human Indictive / Live (ESP-Disk 5055; USA) OPTO S formed in early 2018 in Brooklyn, but the genesis was almost ten years in the making. Argelis Liriano (The Boonies, Last Ones, Ghost Beaters) and Diana K (Hamish Kilgour Band, Giggle The Ozone, Ghost Beaters) befriended each other at Brooklyn basement psych-punk shows and had already been jamming for eight years within the confines of various rehearsal spaces when Diana responded to a social media post by Charles Dodson (Pelvi$$, Ghost Beaters) putting out feelers for a synth-driven new band that would draw on influences such as Sun Ra, Suicide, Oneida, and Silver Apples, to name a few. Charles and Diana had met separately through shows, and all three later determined they had been to many of the same shows, whether they knew each other or not at the time. They found that they were all native New Yorkers. The chemistry was instantaneous and the first few shows were booked within months. Credits: Argelis Liriano - bass, vocals; Charles Dodson - synth, guitar, vocals; Diana K - drums, percussion; with Ben Jaffe - tenor saxophone on "Lucifer Crawl" and "Downlow". Recorded in concert at The Broadway on January 4, 2020 and The Footlight on February 12, 2020. Mastered by Scott Anthony at Storybook Sound in Maplewood, NJ Produced by OPTO S and Steve Holtje.
PAINTED FACES - Tales from the Skinny Apartment (ESP-Disk 5052; USA) Painted Faces is the long (strange/trip) running voyage of weirdo David Drucker, which began in Florida in 2009 and decamped to NYC in 2011. It has sometimes been a loose band in the past with a revolving line-up of outsiders and interlopers (known as The Freak Band), but is usually a solo endeavor, and the bulk of the recordings have been done as such. PF has always been a home recording solo project, one-man-band style heavy on psychedelic/outsider folk/noise/experimental vibes. He started self-releasing CD-Rs in the early days and quickly jumped to tapes on a variety of labels including Already Dead, Lava Church, J&C, Null Zone, Tall Tapes. A "legendary" CD compilation on Gulcher Records and an LP from Already Dead and Almost Halloween Time in Italy brings us to the here and now. Tales from the Skinny Apartment is somewhere around the 20th or so Painted Faces release... he has long lost count. Drucker runs/curates gigs (and records at) the Skinny Apartment, his dwelling place in Ridgewood Queens, which some folks have called the "realest DIY zone in NYC". He also rips in Dead River Company, Big Hiatus, Shecky, Canyon River Blues, and countless other unknown subterranean improv zoner outfits. "Ripping" involves keeping it freaky and weird and ripping sets wherever/whenever, i.e. always being down to perform whether in a kitchen or a packed ballroom. Ridgewood Rippers are the crew of artists that populate Ridgewood and the loose "scene" around the Skinny Apartment. Much of it is in jest, a self-inflated mythology of nonsense which is pervasive in all rock and roll "scene" histories. As a student of rock/pop history, Drucker is fascinated by the loose associations that connect folks from various zones together... i.e. Miles Davis and The Grateful Dead... it's all the same though, the labels and genre distinctions are completely arbitrary. Drucker is known for falling apart on "stage", with performances heavy on humor, horror, stoned digressions, and cathartic bouts of therapy, part performance art/part standup comedy.
All music written and recorded by David Drucker at The Skinny Apartment in Ridgewood, Queens, 2017. Featuring Mike Green (Mezzanine Swimmers) on guitars on "I Took Too Much Acid in 7th Grade", Cop Funeral on electronics on "Seafood Special", Chris "Mr Transylvania" Shields on background vocals on "Massachusetts Is a Magical Place", Eva "Nighttime" Goodman on violin and backing vocals on "The Ridgewood Ripper".
YMA SUMAC – Recital – Live in Bucharest, Romania 1961 (ESP-Disk 4049; USA) With the release of Voice of the Xtabay in 1950, people all over the world were astounded by one of the most unusual voices to emerge on the musical scene: Peruvian singer Yma Sumac, who glides effortlessly from contralto to coloratura, her voice covering a range of no less than four octaves. The voice of Yma Sumac is indeed a miracle of nature. However, if that were all she was, the public's interest would not have gone beyond mere curiosity. What has made the singer's abilities so striking is the fact that she has managed to use the immense vocal resources at her disposal, resolutely striving for genuine artistry.
TALIBAM! / MATT NELSON / RON STABINSKY - Hard Vibe (ESP-Disk 5015; USA) Talibam! delights in creating music that cannot be pinned down within the safe-spaces of existing genres. With each new album, Talibam! reinvent their methodological palette in order to bolster a fresh clarity of joyous auditory surprise, something their fans have come to depend on. Talibam! focus on compositional clarity, with reverence for their diverse interest in genre. On Hard Vibe, they push the pulse of motorik rhythm through a psychedelic jazz filter. This time out, they have created a sonic edifice so radical, so intricate in its density that additional hands were required to bring it to life; thus was born the Talibam! Hard Vibe Band with Matt Nelson (Battle Trance, tUnE-yArDs) and Ron Stabinsky (Mostly Other People Do the Killing, Peter Evans Quintet, Relâche) joining Matthew Mottel (CSC Funk Band, Alien Whale, Nymph, Platinum Vision) and Village Voice "Best Drummer in New York" Kevin Shea (Mostly Other People Do the Killing, Rhys Chatham, People featuring Mary Halvorson). The scientists in the Talibam! laboratory describe the results thusly: The Hard Vibe composition transforms aspects of rhythm changes into a disciplined sequence of minor key modulations to create a rigorous Hard Vibe obstacle course for the soloists over a tight melodic/rhythmic grid. Inspired by Herbie Hancock's '70s cosmic music, long-form repetitive works such as Miles Davis's On The Corner (1972), Charlie Parker's "Salt Peanuts," tenor sax endurance soloists, Albert Ayler's New Grass (1699), the legendary organ brutality of Larry Young, and the NYC avant-garde rock minimalism of Rhys Chatham and Glenn Branca, Hard Vibe maintains an infectious pulse with virtuosic structural jazz improvisation. The Jan Hammer/'80s soundtrack-inspired keytar payoff (second half of side B) brings festival audiences to its feet in epic dance and ripping solo proportions. But those are inspirations more than ingredients. As ESP-Disk would say, "You never heard such sounds in your life."
TALIBAM! - Endgame of the Anthropocene (ESP-Disk 5016; USA) Endgame Of The Anthropocene marks Talibam!'s return to ESP-Disk, a partnership that started in 2009 with the highly acclaimed Boogie In The Breeze Blocks album (ESPDISK 4055CD). Talibam! is a 14-year working unit based in New York City that can be described in various ways -- as a classic keyboards/drums expanded-jazz duo, as Dadaist provocateurs with an innate love for the history of music, as a Fluxus-informed theater troupe, as an electronic ensemble inspired by Stockhausen, or as a rhythm section at the cross hair of agility, speed, punctuation, and intention. Since their inception in 2003, Talibam!'s ultimate goal has been to wed disparate ideologies through proficiency, controversy, inquiry, and compassion. Every Talibam! album attacks from a different angle; Endgame continues this tradition of each new release sounding completely different from everything they've done before, as does Hard Vibe (ESPDISK 5015LP). Talibam! has made a geo-psychic prediction: after it expires in 2048, the Antarctic Treaty System will be rejected. As the rest of the planet will have been rendered uninhabitable due to wars rooted in overpopulation, global warming, and the relentless exploitation of diminishing resources, human interference and the failure to ratify will lead to international war over the sovereignty and control of Antarctica's vast resources. Endgame Of The Anthropocene is Talibam!'s first cinematic album of through-composed eco-gothic geo-sonics. It is the soundtrack to 2048's despotic nationalism and crumbling international infrastructure, underscoring an eco-mercantilistic tragedy and the desperate plundering of the last pristine landscape on Earth. This inevitable destruction of Antarctica's purity marks the global-environmental endgame of the Anthropocene. Endgame Of The Anthropocene is a dystopian sonic pronouncement of failed socio-environmental memes, and features Talibam!'s emergence into hyperkinetic rhythm-based instrumental/electronic music. Syncopation via polyrhythmic electronic drum and synth pads create corporeal dance floor beats that would make a super computer perturbed. Kevin Shea is a master of cyber swing and eco-war rhythm -- on this record, he keeps it android yet anthropoid, like Aphex Twin meeting a hologram Phil Collins. Keyboardist Matt Mottel anchors wide sweeps of analog synthesis -- his sonic palette oscillating between the Silver Apples, Sun Ra, and Arca via an Arduino beta bass drop. This music is hallucinatory composition -- electronic muzik via an ethnographic sonic landscape influenced by Parmegiani, Don Cherry, Front 242, Hailu Mergia, Vangelis, Suicide, Islam Chipsy, Stockhausen, and DJ Shadow.
TALIBAM! WITH SILKE EBERHARD AND NIKOLAUS NEUSER - This Week Is In Two Weeks (ESP-Disk 5049; USA)Recorded direct to lathe cut, this pair of spontaneous creations teams two Berlin-based horn players with two New Yorkers of broad-ranging vision. Talibam! (Matt Mottel and Kevin Shea) is a 14-year working unit based in New York City that can be described in various ways -- as a classic keyboards/drums expanded-jazz duo, as Dadaist provocateurs with an innate love for the history of music, as a Fluxus-informed theater troupe, as an electronic ensemble inspired by Stockhausen, or as a rhythm section at the cross hair of agility, speed, punctuation, and intention. Since their inception in 2003, Talibam!'s ultimate goal has been to wed disparate ideologies through proficiency, controversy, inquiry, and compassion. This is their fifth release on ESP-Disk'. Silke Eberhard is the recipient of the prestigious 2020 Jazzprize Berlin. Twice she has been awarded a spot in the "Rising Star Alto Saxophone" category in the Downbeat Critics poll. Leader of the Silke Eberhard Trio and the Dectett Potsa Lotsa XL, she has also played with Maggie Nicols, Aki Takase, Gerry Hemingway, Ulrich Gumpert, Dave Burrell, Wayne Horvitz, and more, and is a member of the collective trio I Am Three. Nikolaus Neuser, also in I Am Three, has played with Gebhard Ullmann, Matthias Schubert, Maggie Nicols, Matana Roberts, Matthew Herbert, Tyshawn Sorey, Nate Wooley, Satoko Fujii, Benny Bailey, Herb Geller, etc. His main interest lies in the border areas between jazz, free improvisation, and transdisciplinary projects. Furthermore, he has composed music for several plays, was a guest professor at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana de Bogotá, and appears on more than 50 CDs. Personnel: Silke Eberhard - alto saxophone; Nikolaus Neuser - trumpet; Matt Mottel - piano, synthesizer, three-string guitar; Kevin Shea - drums. Artwork by the late New York poet/collage artist Steve Dalachinsky. Edition of 500.
TIGER HATCHERY - Sun Worship (ESP-Disk 5003; USA) Chicago power-jazz trio Tiger Hatchery proudly comes out of the ESP-Disk' free jazz tradition, as saxophonist Mike Forbes's playing makes clear, but there's an added noise-rock edge, especially in Ben Billington's aggressive drumming, that keeps the sound modern. Bassist Andrew Scott Young does much more than lay down the bottom, emerging as a fully equal member of their glorious cacophony. This is one of the most powerful albums in the storied history of ESP-Disk', and that's saying something! Liner notes by John Olson of Wolf Eyes. Mike Forbes, saxophones; Andrew Scott Young, basses; Ben Billington, drums. RIYL: Albert Ayler, Peter Brötzmann.
TIGER HATCHERY - Breathing the Walls (ESP-Disk 5013; USA) Chicago power-jazz trio Tiger Hatchery proudly comes out of the ESP-Disk' free jazz tradition, as Mike Forbes's playing makes clear, but there's an added noise-rock edge, especially in Ben Billington's aggressive drumming, that keeps the sound modern. Andrew Scott Young does much more than lay down the bottom, emerging as an equal member of their glorious cacophony. Their 2013 ESP release, Sun Worship (ESPDISK 5003CD/LP), earned huzzahs from press and free-jazz aficionados. Personnel: Mike Forbes - saxophones; Andrew Scott Young - basses; Ben Billington - drums. RIYL: Albert Ayler, Peter Brötzmann.
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.
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.
THE INFREQUENT SEAMS STREAMFEST Takes Place This Weekend:
This coming weekend, from Thursday through Sunday, I'm presenting Infrequent Seams Streamfest 2. As with the first such festival back in December 2020, we're presenting a diverse collection of improvised, composed, theatrical, and new media works. In total there are 66 performances in these four days.
Each day's performance will be livestreamed - from 7-10pm EST on Thurs, Fri, and Sat, and from 4-7pm EST on Sunday. Tickets to the livestream are $5 each night, via Bandcamp's new Livestream service.
Here’s the link: https://www.infrequentseamsstreamfest2.com/
THERE IS ALSO LIMITED SEATING IN PERSON AT SCHOLES STREET STUDIO IN WILLIAMSBURG BROOKLYN. This festival combines live performances at Scholes Street Studio with pre-recorded performances and video art from around the world. Anyone who can get to Williamsburg on any of these days should RSVP to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a space. My own contributions to the festival includes some work I'm quite proud of: - More duo playing with trombonist Steve Swell - A new video of my first piece for bass and electronics, entitled "I Saw Love" (a reflection on the firm commitment to human rights expressed by American athletes John Carlos and Tommie Smith and Australian Peter Norman at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City) - Trio improvisations with Sandy Ewen and Michael Foster - The amazing new video from Yuri Zupancic for "Aging V" from the recent album by Lucie Vítková and myself - trio improvisations with Dan Blake & Brian Chase - Anagram String Trio performing in the unreal video Re-Memberments/The Demon Rising by M Lamar and Hunt Hunt-Hendrix - The return of Trio Caveat - New Thread Quartet performing my sax quartet "Trust Fall" - Music For Your Inbox's video featuring Katie Eikham and myself performing meditative pieces by Pauline Oliveros and James Tenney - A trio performance with Muyassar Kurdi and Jonah Rosenberg I'm tremendously honored to be joined by so many friends and colleagues on the festival. As the experience of live, in-person music returns to our lives, I hope these semi-annual Infrequent Seams Streamfests can provide new capacities for us to strengthen our community across distances. - James Ilgenfritz
JAIMIE BRANCH ANTELOPER and
the Jaimie Branch trio
Friday, June 18. 8pm EDT
Anaïs Maviel & The Rhythm Method:
listen to the rain
Saturday, June 19. 8pm EDT
June 21 • Ka Baird: Proximity Exercises
June 24 • Luisa Muhr: Babəl
June 25 • Sonya Belaya: Cognitive Distortions / Ancestral Patterns
June 26 • Eddy Kwon: UMMA-YA
June 29—30 • Ayano Elson: A Gardener
Tickets must be purchased online by 6pm on the day of the performance.
Can't make it in person? All performances will be streamed live and available free of charge through roulette.org and on YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo, and archived for future viewing. Subscribe, like, and share to see every live performance this season!
Ridgewood Radio: The Korean Curve
Tune in: Wednesday, June 16 5–7pm EDT on WFMU.org and archived for future listening.
David Weinstein's Ridgewood Radio program on WFMU.org's Drummer stream this week: The Korean Curve, ancient instruments and techniques had a big impact on the downtown music scene. A radio sampler from Roulette concerts by CK Noyes and Sang-Won Park (1985), Steve Beresford with Okkyung Lee and Peter Evans (2008), Tori Ensemble with Ned Rothenberg, Nate Wooley, Ikue Mori (2011), and some reference materials.
Roulette Physical Address:
509 Atlantic Ave,
Brooklyn, NY 11217
FROM ARTS FOR ARTS:
Breaking Free Coming Home
25 Years of VISION
Pioneer Works - July 22, 23 & 29, 30
159 Pioneer St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
La Plaza at The Clemente - July 24, 25 & 31
114 Norfolk St, NYC 10002
Lineups and Tickets Available Now
This one is from CHRIS CUTLER, original member of Henry Cow, Art Bears, News from Babel, respected author and founder of Recommended Records. This is Chris’ wonderful podcast and I urge you all to give it a listen…
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 & improvisations on each episode.
Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/gary.lucas.5836/
Bushwick Improvised Music Series
downstairs @ The Bushwick Public House
1288 Myrtle Avenue (across the street from Central Ave M train)
$15 at the door gets you in all night (5 sets of music)
Monday August 2nd
7pm Ayumi Ishito's "Open Question"
w/ Ayumi Ishito - tenor saxophone
Daniel Carter - woodwinds
Eric Plaks - keyboard
Zach Swanson - bass
Jon Panikkar - drums
8pm Ben Stapp ensemble
9pm Bushwick Series House Band
w/ Stephen Gauci - tenor saxophone
Adam Lane - bass
Colin Hinton - drums
10pm Eli Wallace - synthesizer
Lester St. Louis - cello
Drew Wesely -guitar
11pm Pete Swanson - bass
Sana Nagano - violin/electronics
Kenji Herbert - guitar
Monday August 9th
7pm Patrick Golden - drums
Daniel Carter - woodwinds
Jim Clouse - bass
8pm Daniel Carter - woodwinds
Aron Namenwirth - guitar
Charely Sabatino - bass
Eric Plaks - keyboard
Colin Hinton- drums
Stephen Gauci - woodwinds
9pm Bushwick Series House Band
w/ Stephen Gauci - tenor saxophone
Adam Lane - bass
Colin Hinton - drums
10pm Adam Caine - guitar
Bob Lanzetti - guitar
Roberta Piket - keyboard
Adam Lane - bass
Billy Mintz - drums
11pm Henry Mermer - drums
Henry Fraser - bass
Monday August 16th
7pm Jared Radichel - bass
James Mckain - tenor saxophone
Leo Suarez - drums
Joey Sullivan - drums
8pm Santiago Leibson - piano
Ken Filiano - bass
Juan Pablo Carletti - drums
9pm Bushwick Series House Band
w/ Stephen Gauci - tenor saxophone
Adam Lane - bass
Colin Hinton - drums
10pm Igor Lumpert ensemble
11pm Joey Sullivan - drums
Kevin Eichenberger - bass
Cosmo Gallaro - guitar
Monday August 23rd
7pm James Paul Nadien - drums,
Cosmo Gallaro - guitar/bass
Brendan Rey - bass/synth
8pm Alex Weiss - saxophones
Dan Blake - saxophones
Dmitry Ishenko - bass
Yana Davydova - guitar
Vijay Anderson - drums
9pm Bushwick Series House Band
w/ Stephen Gauci - tenor saxophone
Adam Lane - bass
Colin Hinton - drums
10pm George McMullen - trombone
Ken Filiano - bass
Billy Mintz - drums
11pm Kaelen Ghandhi ensemble
Monday August 30th
7pm Juan Pablo Carletti's "Biggish"
Juan Pablo Carletti - drums
Yoni Kretzmer - tenor saxophone
Christof Knocke - clarinets
Rick Parker - trombone
Kenneth Jimenez - bass
8pm Nebula the Velvet Queen -theremin
Maria Nazarova - bass
Ayumi Ishito - saxophone
Damien Olsen - keyboard
9pm Bushwick Series House Band
w/ Stephen Gauci - tenor saxophone
Sandy Ewen - guitar
Adam Lane - bass
Colin Hinton - drums
10pm Cheryl Pyle -c flute /alto flute Michael Eaton -soprano sax
Roberta Piket -piano
Billy Mintz -drums,
Judi Silvano - vocals
11pm Aaron Quinn - guitar
Alex Koi - vocals/electronics
David Leon - woodwinds
Lesley Mok: Drums
Live at Scholes Street Studio, Friday August 27th
Brandon Lopez - bass
Ingrid Laubrock - tenor/soprano saxophones
Tom Rainey - drums
Two sets at 8 & 9:30pm
$15 at the door
Live audience/Live recording!
Scholes Street Studio
375 Lorimer St, Brooklyn, NY 11206 (718) 964-8763
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:
This final 'Stir Crazy Episode' is a gigantic mash-up of 20 previous episodes, and us reacting to them in one final layer. It seemed like the right way to go out...For the near future, we'll be working on our next duo recording for Relative Pitch Records.
Although the episodes were free, many of you donated. This meant we could give part of the proceeds to many local and international charities and, at times, other musicians. Thank you all for your generosity!
It’s been a blessing to be able to continue creating new music and to share it throughout such a difficult and unsettling ordeal. Many thanks to all of you who listened! And to our community of amazing musicians who contributed pieces for us to play and our musical heroes who’s songs we lovingly appropriated, thanks a million!! Below you’ll find the final credits.
Thank you all for your support and generosity, we truly appreciated it!!
Peace and .... Ingrid Tom