April 9, 2021:
Last week's ezz-thetics and Distribution Price sales kept us remarkably busy, and adding the installation of a shed at my house during the week (which had been reschedule several times to, of course, land on the worst possible week during our scheduled sale), I haven't had much time to write in this space. That said, thanks to all our wonderful customers who took advantage of these sales, as of this morning we are caught up with orders!
Despite my silence here, I do want to make a couple of notices. First, after a ridiculous shipping mistake on the part of a global shipper (not to be named) our Creative Sources package has finally arrived. That after crossing the Atlantic twice for no discernable reason... Along with the much delayed Wandelweiser delivery, we have a wealth of new albums that will systematically find their way onto our site over the next couple of weeks.
Second, we screwed up! Nick Vander's excellent Walk My Way 5-volume series of guitar solo works from a global cast of amazing guitarists were listed completely incorrectly on our site. So far we've listed four volumes, the first of which was listed properly, the second and third cloned from the first without correct audio tracks, listings of artists, recording data, &c &c. We discovered the error this week and corrected all four volumes. Apologies on our confusion!
If you've looked at the previous listings I ask you to look again, as you'll find them much more interesting and accurate this time around. And this week you can look at the 4th volume, with the final, 5th volume, coming next week. If you haven't paid attention to this series and you have interest in guitar playing of all genres and styles, this is an amazing and comprehensive review of the state of the guitar in the 21st century. Kudos to Nick Vander for assembling this excellent series!
Various Artists (curated by Nick Vander): Walk My Way, Volume One (Orbit577)
The first of a five-volume compilation series curated by Nick Vander, a testament to the incredible musical range of the guitar and the imaginative possibility of guitarists around the world, with tracks from L. Hein, Davaajargal Tsaschikher, Alan Courtis, Marco Cappelli, Elliott Sharp, Hery Ujjaya, Killick Hinds, Gilbert Isbin, and Nick Vander.
Various Artists (curated by Nick Vander: Walk My Way, Volume Two (Orbit577)
The second of a five-volume compilation series curated by Nick Vander, a testament to the incredible musical range of the guitar and the imaginative possibility of guitarists around the world, with tracks from David Stackenas, Jessica Ackerley, Jorge Espinal, Usui Yasuhiro, Scott Fields, Sebastian Sequoiah.Grayson, Sam Shalabi, Shinobu Nemoto and Nyctalllz.
Various Artists (curated by Nick Vander): Walk My Way, Volume Three (Orbit577)
The third of a five volume compilation series curated by Nick Vander, a testament to the incredible musical range of the guitar and the imaginative possibility of guitarists around the world, with tracks from Sergio Sorrentino, Christian Vasseur, Charbel
Haber, Misha Marks, Henry Kaiser, Nick Ashwood, Emil Palme & Taus Bregnhøj-Olesen, Sharif Sehnaoui, Colin Robinson, Martin Huba
Various Artists (curated by Nick Vander): Walk My Way, Volume Four (Orbit577)
The fourth of a five volume compilation series curated by Nick Vander, a testament to the incredible musical range of the guitar and the imaginative possibility of guitarists around the world, with tracks from Janet Feder, Martin Vishnick, Ikbal Lubys, Edward J. Gibbs, Joshua Weitzel, Guram Machavari, Eric Wong, Garth Erasmus, and Bill Horist.
Squidco Publishing Roundup:
As usual I end with the latest updates on Squidco & The Squid's Ear. As a reminder, you can ask us to inform you via email of any upcoming release that you're interested in, with no obligation to purchase. You can also see new albums listed as they enter our Just In Stock Section, meaning that we physically have an album and are able to ship it with an order, but that we're not satisfied that we've added all the information we can about that release. You can also see recent restocks of previous items at our Recently Restocked page.
April 8, 2021: New @ Squidco:
Evan Parker ElectroAcoustic Ensemble (w/ Sainkho Namtchylak) -Fixing the Fluctuating Idea [CD] (Victo)
Rempis Percussion Quartet, The (w/ Haker Flaten/Daisy/Rosaly) -Sud Des Alpes [CD] (Aerophonic)
Mike Cooper/Duck Baker -Cumino In Mia Cucina [CD] (Confront)
Damon Smith/Peter Kowald/Joelle Leandre/Bertram Turetzky -Bass Duos 2000-2007 [3 CDs + 3 Postcards] (Balance Point Acoustics)
Rhodri Davies -Wound Response [CD] (Amgen Records)
Rhodri Davies -An Air Swept Clean of All Distance [CD] (Amgen Records)
Various Artists (curated by Nick Vander) -Walk My Way, Volume Four [CD] (Orbit577)
Donald McKenzie II Sturge Anthony (feat. Elliott Sharp, Bill Laswell and Vernon Reid) -Silenced II - Views from the Auction Block [CD] (577)
April 8, 2021: New Review @ The Squid's Ear: Rachel Musson / Pat Thomas / Mark Sanders - Shifa - Live in Oslo (577 Records) by John Eyles.
April 6, 2021: New @ Squidco:
AMM (Tilbury/Prevost) -Industria [CD] (Matchless)
Fred Frith/Ikue Mori -A Mountain Doesn't Know it's Tall [CD] (Intakt)
Natsuki Tamura/Satoko Fujii -Keshin [CD] (Libra)
James Tenney (Ensemble Open Music Gera) -Acoustic Phenomena/Hymnic Sounds [CD] (Edition Wandelweiser Records)
Dave Tucker/Pat Thomas/Thurston Moore/Mark Sanders -Educated Guess Vol. 1 [CD] (577)
Dave Tucker/Pat Thomas/Thurston Moore/Mark Sanders -Educated Guess Vol. 1 [VINYL] (577)
Donald McKenzie II Sturge Anthony (feat. Nels Cline/Melvin Gibbs /Vernon Reid) -Silenced [CD] (577)
Rachel Musson/Pat Thomas/Mark Sanders -Shifa - Live at Cafe Oto [CD] (577)
Coultrain -Phantasmagoria [CD] (Positive Elevation/577 Records)
Coultrain -Phantasmagoria [VINYL] (Positive Elevation/577 Records)
April 6, 2021: New Review @ The Squid's Ear: Futari (Satoko Fujii / Taiko Saito) - Beyond (Libra Records) by John Eyles.
April 1, 2021: New Review @ The Squid's Ear: Phil Minton and dieb13 - With, Without (Klanggalerie) by Dave Madden.
March 25, 2021: New @ Squidco:
John Coltrane Quartet -Newport, New York, Alabama, 1963, Revisited [CD] (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)
Silvan Schmid -Augmented Space [CD] (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)
Alexander Hawkins feat/ Evan Parker + Riot Ensemble -Togetherness Music [CD] (Intakt)
Mark Feldman -Sounding Point [CD] (Intakt)
Aki Takase /Christian Weber/Michael Griener -Auge [CD] (Intakt)
Yuma Uesaka/Cat Toren/Colin Hinton -Ocelot [CDR] (577)
E. Gibbs Jason -Wolves of Heaven [CD] (Orbit577)
Sun Ra and His Arkestra -I Struck a Match on the Moon/Dreamsville [7-inch VINYL] (Corbett vs. Dempsey)
March 24, 2021: New Review @ The Squid's Ear: Morton Feldman (Judith Wegmann) - Triadic Memories (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd) by Brian Olewnick.
March 24, 2021:
The spring brings us some new color and a sense of hope as we emerge from one of the strangest years anyone could anticipate. New releases have continued to come through our doors, and it's been a busy couple of weeks here at Squidco, with new albums from 577 & Orbit577 Records, Discus, ESP, ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Ltd, Kettle Hole, Libra, Machinefabriek, Matier Memoire, Otoroku, Rune Grammofon, and Tzadik, along with some other miscellaneous albums and restocks. Below, I've detailed a few albums that engaged me through the change of season.
Matiere Memoire MMX Series:
The French Matiere Memoire label initiated a series of albums in 2020 under the title MMXX Series, inviting twenty experimental artists to create a 20 minute piece. Releasing 5 albums per quarter, each record is limited at 500 copies and comes as a crystal clear vinyl featuring an original track of 20 minutes on one side, and a laser engraved artwork on the other. The inserts for the album including the series logo, and a print of the artist. The engravings are shown as the image for our listings of the albums, rather than the series logo, giving you an idea of the beautiful production work for each album.
This series reminds me of my earliest years of collecting, which was all on vinyl, digging through bins of material with fascinating covers, inserts, packaging, 1-sided albums with etchings, &c. It reminds me that no download or streaming audio can present music in such a fine and interesting format, bringing music, art and design together. For me, that is the essence of culture and commitment to one's work, and why Squidco sells physical media and not vaporous bits. We've just started picking up Matiere Memoire albums this year, and this label is a great addition to our catalog, and a testament to the uniqueness that only tangible objects like these can provide.
We start with some of our catalog's most interesting audio explorers: Phil Niblock, Stephen O'Malley, and Charlemagne Palestine, along with a work from someone new to our catalog, Karbe Dinel.
O'Malley, Stephen: MMXX-11: Öst-Vast Sommaren [CLEAR VINYL] (Matiere Memoire)
A rich and beautiful drone work from Stephen O'Malley recorded at EMS in Stockholm, the title translating to "East-West Summer", as the piece emulates an accommodating evening, electronic crickets introducing and then settling into a slowly rotating and absorbing combination of tones, the flickering crickets returning to fade out the sense of restful night.
Palestine, Charlemagne: MMXX-06: VVVOOOODDDOOOO DDDDOOOOODDDDDOOOOO [CLEAR VINYL] (Matiere Memoire)
The expansive mind of composer and experimenter Charlemagne Palestine presents an extended drone work performed on organ, building from a peaceful single note to a harmonically rich combination of tones with a haunting vocal quality, subtly shifting and building in momentum then slowly fading out to the 20 minute mark; an epic journey in polyphonic transition.
Dinel, Karbe: MMXX-09: Ouroboros [CLEAR VINYL] (Matiere Memoire)
French sound artist Karbe Dinel creates a complex work of sound that shifts through diverse moods and seamlessly dovetailed sections, using synthesizer and effects to create deep resonating tones and high pitched complements, mysterious grainy ambience, haunting chambers of drifting electronics; a mysterious and compelling journey in the electronic realm.
Niblock, Phill [CLEAR VINYL]: MMXX-12: Browned (Matiere Memoire)
Recording in Cologne, Germany, the quartet of Arne Deforce on cello, Deborah Walker on cello, Erik Drescher on flute, and Dafne Vicent Sandoval on bassoon realize NY composer Phill Niblock's work of acoustic drone, using long sustained notes to create a seething combination of harmonic interactions with an ominous tone, ending somewhat abruptly to reveal its layers.
We picked up two other Niblock albums before starting with the MMXX series, an LP and a CD, listed here:
Niblock, Phill: Music for Organs (Matiere Memoire)
Two massive drone works for organ and pre-recorded tracks commissioned by Musica Festival Strasbourg for organist Hampus Lindwall, with tapes by Emanuel Schmelzer-Ziringer, each piece titled anagrammatically (ie. Nagro = Organ) and recorded with the composer at the Manufacture d'orgues Thomas and Orgelbau Klais organ in the Collegiale Sainte-Waudru, in Mons, Belgium.
Niblock, Phill / Franck Vigroux / Kasper T. Toeplitz: BestiaIRE [VINYL] (Matiere Memoire)
Two large works of complex sound and drone composed by New York avant composer Phill Niblock and performed by the French IRE ensemble of Kasper T. Toeplitz on electric bass, Franck Vigroux on electric guitar & electronics, and Helene Breschand on electric harp, exploring Niblock's work through the innovative merging of electronic instrumentation.
Unexpected Pandemic Positives:
The COVID-19 pandemic has posed a struggle for far too many performing artists, due to closed venues and the inability to travel. The response for many has been to turn to live video performance, to explore their recorded back catalog for unreleased material, and to turn inward to write and expand their playing. Japanese pianist, composer and band-leader Satoko Fujii has done a bit of all of these during the pandemic. Her Facebook page has presented a wealth of live performances of herself and husband Natsuki Tamura, keeping her music active and vivid during this time.
Fujii explains that she is typically home infrequently, spending most months of the year on the road. She has a small practice room in her home, and a piano that she has been playing on for more than 45 years — she affectionately explains: "We know each other well". Working with sound engineer Mike Marciano, she transformed her practice room into a recording studio and set out to record a solo album. Unique to her other studio work, this setting allowed Fujii the flexibility and freedom to re-record at will, to revise each work, and to give special care and attention to each composition.
The results are magnificent, one of the most intimate and engaging of her solo albums. Many of the pieces use the pandemic as thematic material, with titles like "Invisible", "Quarantined", "Cluster"; but the themes and compositions are not negative, they are simply pathways to her wonderfully reflective and rich playing. Given the frustration of the year, this may well be one of the most memorable and beautiful works of art to emerge from the global affliction.
Satoko, Fujii: Hazuki (Libra)
With the sudden cessation of touring due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Satoko Fujii turned to composing and recording herself in a home studio that she developed with the help of sound engineer Mike Marciano, freeing herself to explore new compositional methods and approaches to theory, this superb solo album the results of seven months of sublime self-expression.
Evan Parker Reissues:
Last week we added to essential reissues from saxophonist Evan Parker's early LP issues to our catalog. The first, Saxophone Solo is Parker's 1976 Incus album that brings together 3 live and 1 studio track recorded just 5 years after his Topography of the Lungs trio album. His unique style and confidence in presenting his then-very unusual technique and approach make this one of the most important albums in his discography. The second album, Six of One, finds Parker 6 years later taking his explorations farther, particularly into the technically challenging upper registers of the instrument. Parker also chose a venue rich in resonance to showcase the sound of his instrument, a concept that often accompanies his live and studio work going forward.
Parker, Evan: Saxophone Solos [VINYL] (Otoroku)
Virtually unprecedented for the time, Evan Parker's 1976 solo soprano saxophone album captures Parker's prowess and unusual harmonic approach to the saxophone in a 1975 concert at the Unity Theatre in London and in the FMP studio the same year, using the instrument in startling ways as he captivates his listeners through a unique revelation of logic, drama and staggering skill.
Parker, Evan: Six of One [VINYL] (Otoroku)
London's Otoroku label keeps this magnificent album in print with a 2021 reissue of the 1982 Incus release featuring Evan Parker performing solo on soprano saxophone, using the natural resonance of the Church Of St. Jude-on-the-Hill, in Hampstead London as he explores upper tones and high frequency split tones in a technically brilliant display.
What is left unsaid in the abstract, and even in the review attached to the Otoroku reissue of Parker's Six of One, is the stunning and mesmerizing aspect of his performance. Through continuous playing at a high speed Parker achieves something akin to a meditative state at full velocity, as his progressions enter into grooves that are not only technically impressive, but also logically satisfying. They push the listener into his mental state, following his perfectly executed motion wafted aloft by the resonance of the Church of St. Jude. I've witnessed other players using circular breathing and attaining something close to the rapidity Parker achieves, but this album demonstrates how he has taken this to a breathtaking level of achievement. Simply stunning, mesmerizing, hypnotic, virtually unbelievable.
Parker, Evan: The Topography of the Lungs (psi)
2013 reissue of the seminal London & European Free Improv trio release from 1970 with two additional tracks, making an amazing release showing the relationships between established jazz forms and the emerging modern language.
Squidco Publishing Roundup:
Last, here are updates on Squidco & The Squid's Ear. As a reminder, you can ask us to inform you via email of any upcoming release that you're interested in, with no obligation to purchase. You can also see new albums listed as they enter our Just In Stock Section, meaning that we physically have an album and are able to ship it with an order, but that we're not satisfied that we've added all the information we can about that release. You can also see recent restocks of previous items at our Recently Restocked page.
March 23, 2021: New @ Squidco:
John Zorn (Gosling/Hashimoto/Roeder/Smith) -Heaven and Earth Magick [CD] (Tzadik)
John Zorn -Gnosis: The Inner Light [CD] (Tzadik)
John Zorn -Teresa de Avila [CD] (Tzadik)
John Zorn and Jesse Harris -Songs For Petra [VINYL] (Tzadik)
Sana Nagano (w/ Apflebaum/Matsuno/Filiano/Herternstein) -Smashing Humans [VINYL] (577)
Devouring the Guilt (Gerrit Hatcher/Bill Harris/Eli Namay) -Prison Planet [CD] (Kettle Hole Records)
Gerrit Hatcher/Rob Magill/Patrick Shiroishi -Triplet Fawns [CDR] (Kettle Hole Records)
Joel Futterman/Ike Levin (w/ guest Benjamin Tomassetti) -Enigma [CD] (Charles Lester Music)
Joel Futterman -Transition One [CD] (Creation Music)
Jeph Jerman -Popular Fictions [CASSETTE w/ DOWNLOAD] (Tsss Tapes)