The Squid's Ear
Recently @ Squidco:

Keith Rowe / Mark Wastell:
Live At I-And-E [VINYL RSD] (Confront)

Performing at The Printing House, in Dublin, Ireland, the duo of Keith Rowe on guitar & electronics and Mark Wastell on amplified textures & electronics are heard in their final set of the evening, louder and more gestural, taking the audience on a long musically referential journey of theme, statement and variations, seemingly traditional yet using unique strategies. ... Click to View


The Residents :
Icky Flix: The Original Soundtrack Recording [2LP Vinyl RSD] (Ralph Records)

Colored vinyl double LP Record Store Day release of the soundtrack to the eyeballed band's 2001 "Icky Flix" DVD, 20 re-worked classic Residents tracks, originally released as a 14-track soundtrack CD, here in an extended edition that includes 6 additional tracks, "reimaginings" not included on the original version of the album. ... Click to View


Daniel Carter / Matthew Shipp:
Dark Matrix (Not Two)

A meeting in the studio of long-time friends and collaborators, pianist Matthew Shipp and Daniel Carter performing on alto, tenor & soprano saxes, clarinet & trumpet, having played together in many groupings this is only their first duo recording, in a thoughtful set of free improvisations with an innate lyricism and beautiful sense of pacing; masterful and evolved. ... Click to View


Jaap Blonk's Retirement Overdue (w/ Petruccelli / Stadhouders / Rosaly):
New Start [2 CDs] (Kontrans)

The first working band for Dutch vocal improviser Jaap Blonk in 20 years, as he passes 65 years and is clearly NOT ready for retirement, assembling Miguel Petruccelli (Native Aliens Ensemble) on guitar, Jasper Stadhouders (Cactus Truck) on bass, and Chicago ex-pat Frank Rosaly on drums for a double CD of new work, collective improvisation and reworked Blonk classics. ... Click to View


Antonin Artaud (Jaap Blonk):
To Have Done With the Judgment of God (Kontrans)

Vocal performer & musician Jaap Blonk presents a rendering of French dramatist, poet and theatre director Antonin Artaud's "Pour en Finir avec le Jugement de Dieu" (To Have Done With the Judgment of God), a work shelved by the French Radio in 1948 without broadcast as 'too scatological, political, anti-religious, random, and cacophonous through xylophonic and percussive sounds'. ... Click to View


Eric Brochard / Fabrice Favriou:
Derviche (Ayler)

Improvised and heavy forms of experimental rock from the French duo of piccol bassist Eric Brochard and drummer Fabrice Favriou, their music dramatic, ritualistic and urgent as they reference Maya Deren and mythological experience, their music hypnotically mesmerizing and sonically rich, slowly whirling dervishes in five varying sequences that growl and transfix. ... Click to View


What Happens In A Year (SInton / Neufeld / Merega):
Ceremonie / Musique (FiP recordings)

The 1st release of NY baritone saxophonist & bass clarinetist Josh Sinton's FiP label (Form is Possibility) is the debut of the "What Happens in a Year" trio with Todd Neufeld on electric guitar and Giacomo Merega on electric bass, an album of free collective improvisation fueled by a patiently ethereal and authoritative ethic through subtle dialog of tone, texture and pulse. ... Click to View


Dan Clucas / Jeb Bishop / Damon Smith / Matt Crane:
Universal or Directional (Balance Point Acoustics)

Three quartet improvisations and six duo combinations between Dan Clucas on cornet, Jeb Bishop on trombone, Damon Smith on double bass, and Matt Crane on drums, recording in the studio in Rhode Island, 2018, the various permutations of each player elucidating the full group interactions through focused and captivating investigations of instrumental combinations. ... Click to View


Otomo Yoshihide / Chris Pitsiokos:
Live in Florence [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD] (Astral Spirits)

Performing live at the Tempo Reale Festival in Florence, Italy in 2018, the duo of Japanese improviser Otomo Yoshihide on turntables & guitars and NY saxophonist Chris Pitsiokos fascinate with seven free dialogs, from extreme techniques of fragmented sound to jazz-oriented reference, a well-matched pair for both splintering collision and accomplished statement. ... Click to View


Iannis Xenakis:
GRM Works 1957-1962 [VINYL] (Recollection GRM)

Back in Stock: Recollection GRM assembles Greek experimental composer Iannis Xenakis' works for Groupe de Recherches Musicales circa 1957-1962: "Concret PH" (1958); "Orient-Occident" (1960); "Diamorphoses" (1957-58); "Bohor" (1962). ... Click to View


The Thing (Gustafsson / McPhee / Haker Flaten / Nilssen-Love):
She Knows... (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

Named for a Don Cherry composition included on this album, the core trio of The Thing--Mats Gustafsson on reeds, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten on bass, and Paal Nilssen-Love on drums--is joined by saxophonist and pocket trumpter Joe McPhee, recording classic free jazz and harmolodic pieces by Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman, James Blood Ulmer, Frank Lowe, & Joe McPhee. ... Click to View


Albert Ayler Quartet With Don Cherry:
European Recordings Autumn 1964 (Revisited) [2 CDs] (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

Essential radio and live recordings from saxophonist Albert Ayler's European tour in 1964 with Don Cherry on cornet, Gary Peacock on double bass and Sunny Murray on drums, a quintessential grouping for Ayler's compositions, here in outstanding renditions of classic works including "Spirits", "Ghosts", "Vibrations", "Mothers", "Childrens", plus Don Cherry's "Infant Happiness". ... Click to View


Joel Futterman :
Intervals (Fundacja Sluchaj!)

Each of the three parts of NY pianist Joel Futterman's "Intervals" is an unedited first take, a referendum on 40 years of playing and evolving his powers at free jazz that embraces tradition and future, alway engaging his listeners through fully formed figures, phrase and motifs, a great combination of familiar jazz elements and imaginative free invention. ... Click to View


Frode Gjerstad / Fred Lonberg Holm / Steve Swell / William Parker:
Tales From (Fundacja Sluchaj!)

After on a tour through upstate New York State with Chicago cellist and electronic artist Fred Lonberg-Holm, saxophonist Frode Gjerstad headed to New York City for a planned trio recording which evolved into this informed quartet with Steve Swell on trombone and William Parker on bass, tuba, cornet & flutes, an outstanding example of Transatlanic collective improvisation. ... Click to View


Cooper-Moore & Stephen Gauci:
Conversations Vol. 1 [VINYL] (577)

The first of two volumes from legendary Downtown NY pianist Cooper-Moore and saxophonist Stephen Gauci, recorded after a seven-month residency at Happylucky No. 1 Gallery in Brooklyn, allowing the two players to develop a natural dialog of unique and idiosyncratic approaches to their instruments, resulting in these 6 commanding recordings freely improvised in the studio. ... Click to View


Gadt / Osborne / Zakrocki / Olak:
Spontaneous Chamber Music Vol.3 (Fundacja Sluchaj!)

The third volume in this Polish free improvising series, starting with the collaboration of violinist Patryk Zakrocki and guitarist Marcin Olak, varying the additional players as they explore chamber-oriented free improvisation, here with the impressive vocal improvisation of Anna Gadt and cellist Annemie Osborne, as they rip apart the calendar in 14 monthly machinations. ... Click to View


Przemyslaw Chmiel Quartet:
Witchcraft (Fundacja Sluchaj!)

Led by Polish multi-reedist and composer Przemyslaw Chmiel and his quartet of Mateusz Gramburg on piano, Piotr Narajowski on double bass, and Michał Szeligowski on drums, this is their debut album, presenting a sophisticated set of structured compositions that allow for great spontaneity and lyricism, a strong start for this expressive young band. ... Click to View


Sun Ra And His Solar-Myth Arkestra:
The Solar-Myth Approach (Vol. 1 & 2) [2 CDs] (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Originally issued on the BYG label as a 2 volume set, these albums present a variety of tracks from various undocumented sessions in New York and Philadelphia in the 1960s, with similar personnel in the makeup of the Arkestra during this time, here fully remastered and presented as a 2-CD set including a bonus track correcting an original mastering problem; essential Ra! ... Click to View


David Myers Lee:
That Which Is It (pulsewidth)

Using electronic and digital tools similar to those that fuel his Arcane Device project, New York sound artist David Lee Myers presents an accessibly engaging set of compositions using modular electronics, feedback matrices, guitar textures, voices, and frogs in 11 polyrhythmic adventures; quirky yet non-chaotic, sublime experimental works of tone and texture. ... Click to View


Julius Gabriel:
Geminga (Creative Sources)

Using the natural resonance of the chapel of Oficinas do Convento, in Montemor-o-Novo, Portugal, saxophonist Julius Gabriel recorded these ten diverse solo improvisations, performing on soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, applying unusual and extended techniques to his playing in a mixture of technical prowess and implicit wit & melodicism. ... Click to View


Icepick (Nate Wooley / Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten / Chris Corsano):
Hellraiser [VINYL] (Astral Spirits)

The 3rd album from the improvising trio of Nate Wooley on trumpet, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten on bass, and Chris Corsano on drums, is a live recording at the 2018 Experimental Sound Studio's Option Series, a smoldering session of collective improvisation that builds tension through impressive rhythmic texture and releases it in cathartic and passionate passages. ... Click to View


Das Rad (Archer / Robinson / Dinsdale):
Adios Al Futuro (Discus)

The 2nd release from the UK instrumental rock band Das Rad of Nick Robinson on guitars, keyboards & electronics, Martin Archer on woodwind, keyboards, synth bass & electronics, and Steve Dinsdale on drums, keyboards & electronics, expand their sound and referenes as they tug on the heartstrings of prog, krautrock and other advanced rock forms with modern and mellotron-fueled orchestration. ... Click to View


Kaze (Fujii / Tamura / Pruvost / Orins) w/ Ikue Mori:
Sand Storm (Libra/ Circum-Disc)

The cooperative quartet Kaze of Satoko Fujii on piano, Peter Orins on drums, Christian Pruvost on trumpet, Natsuki Tamura on trumpet, joins with elextroacoustic improviser Ikue Mori for seven exploratory pieces recorded in the studio after a one-week tour in Austria, France, and Russia, their enthusiasm for their extraordinarily unique group sound clearly evident. ... Click to View


Gato Libre (Tamura / Fjuii / Kaneko):
Koneko (Libra)

The 8th album from Gato Libre with compositions from trumpeter Natsuki Tamura in a trio with Yasuko Kaneko on trombone and pianist Satoko Fujii here on accordion, Koneko translating to "Kitten", as Tamura explores 8 new cats from strays to shop cats through deceptively simple pieces of melodic appeal of warm color, tone & texture; absolutely charming. ... Click to View


Phil Wachsmann :
Writing In Water (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

UK-based violinist Phillip Wachsmann, an essential player bringing contemporary approaches of indeterminacy, conceptualism and electroacoustics to the early community of improvisers and experimentalists, in a reissue of his 1984 Bead Records album, presenting his astute and sophisticated live solo performance for violin and electronics at the Actual Festival in July 1984, London. ... Click to View


Francesco Gregoretti :
Solid Layers, Deafening Shapes (Toxo Records)

A solo percussion album from Francesco Gregoretti, employing traditional instruments and unusual object to create unique audio environment that use predictable rhythmic elements against capricious approaches, giving his playing a personal style fueled by resonance and natural feedback; an album that balances chaotic and structured environments in riveting ways. ... Click to View


Musicworks:
#137 Fall 2020 [MAGAZINE + CD] (Musicworks)

Fall 2020 issue of Canada's finest new music magazine, focusing on guitars--hollow, heavy, bowed, cracked, pedalled, flung, trusty companions & feedback demons; Plus articles on Casey Koyczan, Susan Alcorn, Amy Brandon, Aidan Baker, Eliza Kavtion, C. Diab, Markus Lake, Catherine Debard, Cloud Chamber, &c; and an 11-track CD with music from the aforementioned. ... Click to View


Milford Graves / Don Pullen:
The Complete Yale Concert, 1966 (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Originally issued in two volumes on their own SRP Records in 1966 & 67 as In Concert At Yale University and Nommo, the duo of drummer/percussionist Milford Graves and pianist Don Pullen are heard live in in this excitingly energetic and revelatory concert at Yale University, redefining the roles of their instruments during the most exploratory period of free jazz. ... Click to View


Schlippenbach Quartet:
Three Nails Left (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Remastered and with the original cover, the expanded Schlippenbach Trio of pianist Alexander Von Schlippenbach, saxophonist Evan Parker on soprano & tenor, drummer/percussionist Paul Lovens, and German double bassist Peter Kowald, a stellar group captured in two incredibly inventive concerts at Third New Jazz Festival Moers and at Quartier Latin in 1974 & 1975. ... Click to View


Peter Kowald Quintet:
Peter Kowald Quintet (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

First ever CD reissue of the only band under bassist Peter Kowald's own name, remastered; originally released by FMP in 1972, this is exemplary European Free Jazz from one of the orignal innovators in a quartet with Peter Kowald on tuba, bass, & alphorn, Gunter Christmann and Paul Rutherford on trombones, Peter van der Locht on alto saxophone, and Paul Lovens on drums. ... Click to View


Evan Parker / Agusti Fernandez:
Tempranillo (Fundacja Sluchaj!)

Reissuing this astonishing 1995 studio recording, capturing the first encounter between two legendary free jazz performers--UK saxophonist Evan Parker on tenor and soprano saxophones and pianist Augustí Fernández--in an 8-part dialog of mercurial speed balanced with moments of passionate introspection, resissued with new mastering, restoring this essential meeting. ... Click to View


Ivo Perelman / Arcado String Trio:
Deep Resonance (Fundacja Sluchaj!)

Saxophonist Ivo Perelman declares that he "metamorphosed into a string instrument" himself while playing with the dynamic string trio drawn of NY Downtown luminaries--cellist Hank Roberts, violinist Mark Feldman and bassist Mark Dresser--blending technical mastery with profound creative impulse as the quartet weaves a tapestry of free jazz and instant composition. ... Click to View



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  Stop and Smell the Sewers  

Psychogeographers Strive to Slow the Nonstop City


By Kurt Gottschalk and Urania Mylonas
Photos by Kurt Gottschalk 2003-06-24

On a rainy night in May in the Lower East Side, about 100 people stopped or slowed down traffic, and nobody got mad. Motorists actually smiled as the motley crew of costumed revelers, wearing skirts made from recycled magazines and hats made from household items, banged on cans, bottles, and washboards, anything they could make noise with, as they paraded up Essex Street, onto Houston and headed towards the confines of East River Park.

The event was part of Psy-Geo Conflux, a weekend dedicated to redefining how we experience the city. The parade itself was organized by the Toy Shop Collective, who previously won a competition organized by evolutionre zellen, a Berlin-based group dedicated to finding and funding those who can best answer the question: "How do you design your society?"

As the group traveled along Houston, several police cars trailed them, although they didn't try to stop the march. Many people along the way looked quizzically, as if wondering what was going on. One man stopped a member of the group and asked her why she was banging on an old dirty can. "Thats junk!" he said. The woman looked at her can, then reached inside it and pulled out a whistle and handed it to him. He seemed resistant at first, but the bright smiles and infectious enthusiasm of this group won him over and he jumped in, blowing on his whistle and abandonding self-consciousness, tuning in to the group's collective consciousness, which was best described by a banner some of them held: Is the Fear of Looking Stupid Holding You Back?

Street Grid
Psychogeographers Locate Street Scenes at ABC No Rio
Psychogeopraphy is a discipline discussed in universities and celebrated among anarchist collectives like the Lower East Side's ABC No Rio, where much of the weekend's festivities were centered. But it's not one that's easily defined. While some organizers and participants attempted long explanations of the small field of thought that concerns itself with how the environment affects an individual's inner state, others offered simpler, more utilitarian explanations. It's an effort to "stop taking for granted the things you take for granted," said Drexel University history professor Scott Knowles, who lives in Queens and took part in several of the events aimed at slowing down the nonstop city.

Knowles is a member of a loosely-knit group calling itself Psychogeography New York. In the last two years, they have undertaken such activities as collecting objects on the street and redistributing them around the city based on the object's aesthetic qualities; riding the length of the A train, starting in upper Manhattan and making the two-hour ride to have a party in Far Rockaway, Queens; and exploring the city using maps of other cities. Such projects, Knowles said, are intended to undermine their own expectations about what goes on in, and below, the streets of New York.

"To me, at the very simplest level, stripped of political meaning, it's making yourself aware that your surroundings not only effect what you think, they are what you think," Knowles said. "At the first level, it's what you are seeing and then what you are not. But there's a deeper level that people discuss where, as capitalism develops, more of the experience of the street is closed off and you are channeled to certain areas in the street.

"It's not a religion," he added. "It's not a life-changing philosophy. It's realizing that what you see on the street is effecting you."

Taking time to appreciate one's surroundings is, of course, hardly a 21st century innovation (although it may well be one that denizens of this century would be wise to recall). Psychogeography as a discipline dates back to Paris in the 1950s, but it has roots that stretch back much further. One could even argue that Socrates, who said "The unexamined life is not worth living," was the first psychogeographer. During a talk at ABC No Rio, photographer Colette Meacher, who has worked as a lecturer in Cultural Studies at the University of the Andes in Bogota, discussed the value of meditative walking through philosopher Immanuel Kant's work.

"Walking has always been a means to thought, not just for writers, artists and poets but for philosophers as well," Meacher said. Kant took the same walk at the same time every day, and used these walks as ways to discover the beautiful and the sublime, not just in his surroundings but in own experiential states, she said.

"The city itself, as landscape, offers moments of wonder by virtue of the wealth of diverse practices which, synchronously, and continuously, manifest therein," she said during the talk. "The sublime views which can be gained neither depend on perspectival privilege nor on a specific positionality within its spaces - a feeling of awe can be achieved irrespective of familiarity with it or whether it is approached wit a 'naive' eye."

Regaining that "naive eye" was the impetus for several self-guided walks during the weekend. People stopping by ABC No Rio could pick up photos taken around the Lower East Side, locate the site pictured, and then return to put them in the appropriate spot on a large map on the wall. A book was handed out that directed the reader around the city, steering participants in different directions based on hearing a car alarm or a cell phone or seeing a bicycle locked to a street sign or a woman wearing a hat. And groups were sent out to photograph and document the service entrances of New York's most prominent buildings.

Bill Brown
Bill Brown
If the psychogeographers want to get a fresh look at the city, they're not forgetting that they're being watched at the same time. Bill Brown maps security cameras around the city, and says there are at least 7,500 in Manhattan alone. And with cameras mounted on emergency vehicles, planes and satellites, "we are now visible from the ground all the way to the sky," he said.

The cameras are not a product of terrorism concerns so much as attempts to monitor drug sales, traffic infractions and consumer behavior, he said.

"We are now visible to those cameras," Brown said, pointing to a camera mounted on the side of a building aimed at the dozen people circled around him. "Because we are lingering, we are loitering. It is interesting enough to track us. It used to be in our society we divided people into two groups, the people that might commit crimes and the people that might not commit crimes. If you stand here on the corner of 14th Street and 8th Avenue, you are worth watching."

The sights and sounds of the city have often been the source of artistic expression, of course. The closing party, held at Subtonic, in the basement of the nightclub Tonic a few blocks from ABC No Rio, featured site specific sound work by percussionist Sean Meehan and sound manipulator Geoff Dugan.

Sean Meehan & Geoff Dugan
Sean Meehan & Geoff Dugan
Dugan used recordings of Meehan playing on the street as a sound source, layering it and altering it as Meehan sat quietly, as if trying to find away in to the sound, into aduet with himself, despite excessive chatter and onlookers who displayed no sense of the performers' personal space. Or perhaps Meehan was simply absorbing all the noise, the sounds of conversation and cash registers, before beginning. Eventually he entered into the dialogue, rubbing the rim of his snare with a fork, rolling the drum on the floor, pushing thin wooden rods against a cymbal, mixing in with the sound around. Whatever his reaction - annoyed, amused or inspired - it could only have been seen as appropriate by the psychogeographers gathered on a rainy Mother's Day night. Meehan and Meehan, and the sounds of a basement bar. To ignore the noise would, perhaps, have been to miss the point.



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Recent Selections @ Squidco:


Antonin Artaud
(Jaap Blonk):
To Have Done
With the Judgment
of God
(Kontrans)



Jaap Blonk's
Retirement Overdue
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Rosaly):
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The Chemical
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Joel Futterman :
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The Thing
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(ezz-thetics by
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Albert Ayler
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Icepick
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Das Rad
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Kaze
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Plan Kruutntoone /
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Morton Feldman:
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Tony Oxley:
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Phill Niblock:
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[CD + BOOK]
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Hedvig Mollestad :
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Conny Bauer /
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