The Squid's Ear
Recently @ Squidco:

Morgan Evans-Weiler / Michael Pisaro: Lines And Tracings (Another Timbre)

Two compositions, one by composer Michael Pisaro and performed by the electroacoustic ensemble "Ordinary Affects" including violinist Morgan Evans-Weiler, then an acoustic composition from Evans-Weiler himself performed with violin, clarinet, cello, harpsichord and piano; both exquisite works that draw out tone and time in patiently unfolding fluidity. ... Click to View


Ferran Fages : Un lloc entre dos records (Another Timbre)

Submerging the listener into the immediacy of pure perception through the economy of materials and atemporality, Catalan guitarist Ferran Fages presents the 3rd piece of his trilogy for guitar and sinteones, referencing Feldman, Lucier and Szlavnics as he specific tunings for the guitar accompanied by pure resonating sinetones used as memory vehicles or shadows. ... Click to View


Viola Torros: Catherine Lamb & Johnny Chang: Viola Torros / Catherine Lamb / Johnny Chang [2 CDs] (Another Timbre)

4 compositions from violist/composers Catherine Lamb & Johnny Chang, the 1st focusing on the mysterious compositions of Vedic-era composer Viola Torros, exploring monady, melody and harmony; the second, one composition each from Chang performed with the Suidobashi Chamber Ensemble, and from Lamb using the secondary rainbow synthesizer she developed with Bryan Eubanks. ... Click to View


Mark Taylor R. : Aftermaths (Another Timbre)

Works for solo piano by Mark R Taylor, beautifully played by Teodora Stepancic, the first CD release by a remarkable but neglected English composer whose piano works present a metrically rhythmicized exploration of a generative spectrum, here featuring works dating between 1979 and 2018 and performed by Serbian pianist Teodora Stepancic. ... Click to View


Thanos Chrysakis / Sue Lynch / James O'Sullivan / Joe Wright : Iridescent Strand (Aural Terrains)

Very much in an AMM mold of electroacoustic improvisation, this album of intense cooperation and sonic depth presents five sections numbered by Roman numerals, performed in the studio by the adept and investigative quintet of Thanos Chrysakis on computer & synthesizers, Sue Lynch on reeds, James O'Sullivan on guitar, and Joe Wright on sax & dynamic feedback system. ... Click to View


Lisa Cameron / Sandy Ewen: See Creatures [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD] (Astral Spirits)

Essentially two guitarists with some very unusual outboard equipment and an odd oceanic attitude, as West Coast/NY transplant guitarist Sandy Ewens meets Austin, TX lap steel guitarist Lisa Cameron, both using objects, percussion and feedback to create a remarkably diverse set of deep sea and nautical sounds, a semblance of sailing on a very temperamental vessel. ... Click to View


Cyril Bondi & d'incise: Mem, Aleph & Lassis performed by The Pitch & Bondi / d'incise / Majkowski [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD] (Astral Spirits)

Two distinct version of this 2018 composition by organist Cyril Bondi & sound artist d'incise, based on three fragments of Michel-Richard De Lalande "Lecons de Tenebres", on one side performed by trio The Pitch of Boris Baltschun (organ), Koen Nutters (double bass) and Morten J. Olsen (vibes), and on the other side by Bondi, d'incise, and bassist Mike Majkowski. ... Click to View


DeDionyso / Meek / Rico: From The Land of the Wicked King [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD] (Astral Spirits)

A joint release between Noel Meek's New Zealand label Called God In The Music and Astral Spirits, the trio of Meek himself on electronics, Arrington de Dionyso on saxophone and Rodrigo Rico on drums are caught live at Gallery 1412 in Seattle, WA in 2017 for a freely improvised album of controlled chaos among intensely wicked and mischievous electroacoustic improv. ... Click to View


Gerrit Hatcher: Parables for the Tenor [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD] (Astral Spirits)

An extremely intimate album of solo saxophone improvisation from Chicago tenor saxophonist, improviser, and composer Gerrit Hatcher, known for his work with Mars Williams, Julian Kirshner, &c., in his second solo album, playing music that can be embraced and understood while sharing both vulnerabilities and conviction & strength on the horn. ... Click to View


Machinefabriek: Sahara Mixtape [CASSETTE+DOWNLOAD] (Machinefabriek)

Rutger Zuydervelt, aka Machinefabriek, presents 33 pieces made for the score of the VPRO-produced documentary series Sahara, in which Bram Vermeulen explores political turmoil, social issues and cultural heritage in the Sahara region, here in a beautifully heterogenous album presenting upbeat rhythmic, melodic, and lyrical music balanced by moody dark sonic environments. ... Click to View


Michael Foster / Steve Swell / Brandon Lopez / Weasel Walter: Throes are the Only Problem (Ugexplode)

Listed in Jazz Right Now's "Best Records of 2017", the New York City based quartet of Michael Foster (saxophones), Steve Swell (trombone), Brandon Lopez (bass) and Weasel Walter (drums) presents four collective free jazz improvisations, powerfully dynamic playing using masterful skill and extended techniques to convey the essence of the form. ... Click to View


Christiane Bopp : Noyau de Lune (Fou Records)

A tour-de-force of solo improvisation from French trombonist Christiane Bopp, flawlessly captured by sound engineer Jean Marc Foussat, as Bopp transforms her instrument through technical skill, lyrical ability, and unusual technique, creating virtual duets, furtive expression, and thundering emotion, an absolutely impressive example of modern trombone language. ... Click to View


Weasel Walter : Skhiizm (Ugexplode)

Drummer Weasel Walter turns to his love of furious metallic music in this intimidating album of chaotic, noisy skronk rock in a solo album played on guitars, drums and electronics accompanied by distorted grunts that add a disturbing layer to the madness; aggressively skillful and demanding, intended to be played LOUD, with a take-no-prisoners, no-apology attitude. ... Click to View


John Zorn: SALEM, 1692 (Tzadik)

NY Composer John Zorn and Dowtown luminary John Zorn's instrumental quartet of Trevor Dunn on bass, Kenny Grohowski on drums, Julian Lage on guitar, and Matt Hollenberg on guitar in their second album of fiery improvisation, focusing on the Salem Witch Trials of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1692 through superlative playing and passionate improvisation; burning! ... Click to View


Davis / Mitchell / Ortiz / Shipp: New American Songbooks, Volume 2 [VINYL] (Sound American/Pleasure of the Text Records)

The 2nd volume of Sound American's "New American Songbooks" turns from the 1st volume's group approach to the singular voices of 4 masterful pianists--Kris Davis, Matt Mitchell, Aruan Ortiz, and Matthew Shipp--as they interpret the music of traditional hymns, Carla Bley, filmaker/composer Ed Bland, and bandcamp era composers Ryan Power & Christopher Weisman. ... Click to View


Rudy Royston: Flatbed Buggy (Greenleaf Music)

The third album from drummer Rudy Royston features his new chamber-like quintet featuring Gary Versace (accordion), John Ellis (woodwinds), Hank Roberts (cello) and Joe Martin (bass) playing music inspired by Royston's upbringing in Texas, lyrical and sophisticated modern jazz from a drummer frequently called upon by jazz masters Bill Frisell, JD Allen, or Dave Douglas. ... Click to View


Parker / Bishop / Karayorgis / McBride / Gray: The Diagonal Filter (Not Two)

Uniting masterful players from across the East Coast into the Boston area, with Boston pianist Pandelis Karayorgis, Boston native/Chicago-based bassist Nate McBride, DC drummer Luther Gray, North Carolina/Chicago-based trombonist Jeb Bishop, and Chicago guitarist Jeff Parker, in a strong album of lyrical free jazz with compositions from all five players. ... Click to View


Greg Ward Presents Rogue Parade: Stomping Off From Greenwood (Greenleaf Music)

Returning to his native Chicago after a stint in NYC, saxophonist Greg Ward (Tortoise) formed this new group with Matt Gold and Dave Miller (guitars & effects), Matt Ulery (bass), and Quin Kirchner (drums), recording this impressive album of modern jazz: lyrical, funky and perfectly paced, engaging but never indulgent, with unexpected compositional twists and turns. ... Click to View


Dave Holland Feat. Evan Parker / Craig Taborn / Ches Smith: Uncharted Territories [3 LPS] (Dare2 Records)

Reuniting bassist Dave Holland with saxophonist Evan Parker, a longtime friend from their early days in London, and joined by Craig Taborn on piano and electronics, and Ches Smith on percussion, as the group performs as a quartet and also in a variety of permutations of duo and trio configurations, in a set of rich and informed dialogs of masterful skill. ... Click to View


Jason Stein's Locksmith Isidore: After Caroline [VINYL] (Northern Spy)

The fourth release from Chicago bass clarinetist Jason Stein's Locksmith Isidore, a trio with Jason Roebke on bass and New York drummer Mike Pride, playing modern creative jazz with a twisted melodic sense through Stein's original compositions, alongside one collective comoposition and John Coltrane's "26-2", a great example of 21st century jazz. ... Click to View


Quinteros / Gallio / Elgier / Von Schultz: Mokita (Creative Sources)

Cellist Cecilia Quinteros formed this free jazz quartet with Christoph Gallio on soprano and alto saxophones, Alex Elgier on piano and Marcelo Von Schultz on drums, recording in Buenos Aires, Argentina for four spectacular improvisations with idiosyncratic language on their instruments and unbridled enthusiasm in their playing, even in introspective moments. ... Click to View


Judson Hurd: Trouble Will Cause (A True Crime Documentary) (Bad Architect Records)

The original motion picture soundtrack for a true crime documentary about the Lawson Family Murders on Christmas Day in 1929 from pianist and sonic experimenter Judson Hurd, presenting six tracks that accompany the movie through dark and mysterious passages of keys, synth and percussive tones; the profits of each copy sold will benefit victims of Hurricane Florence. ... Click to View


Sandy Ewen / Weasel Walter: Idiomatic (Ugexplode)

Uniquely voice free improvisation from the duo of guitarist Sandy Ewen, rejecting effects in favor of extended techniques and non-standard approaches that employ Ewen's simple preparations made with ordinary objects, and Walter's applying unconventional rhythmic strategies and live electronic processing, resulting in 3 detailed and unexpected dialogs. ... Click to View


The Gate (Peck / Blancarte / Osborne): Island Virus (Tubapede)

NY Tuba-driven trio The Gate led by Dan Peck on tuba & effects, with Tom Blancarte on upright electric bass and Brian Osborne on percussion, in a studio album of shorter pieces exploring the dark side of the huge brass instrument and the band's dark, enormous sound, with tongue-in-cheek titles like "Black Bird of Death Spewing Death Puke"; ominously impressive. ... Click to View


Timespine (Sa / Kilma / Trips): Urban Season (Shhpuma)

Resonant and upbeat exploratory free improvisation in the 2nd album from the Portuguese trio of Dead Combo guitarist To Trips, and String Theory members, Adrian Sa on zither, field recordings & reactive software and John Klima on electric fretless bass, in beautifully rambling melodic work with unusual sonic environments and asides, an appealing and absorbing album. ... Click to View


Ikue Mori / Christian Ronn: Chordis et Machina [VINYL + DOWNLOAD] (Resipiscent Records)

A sublime album contrasting the physical acoustics of upright, grand and prepared pianos with elusively slippery electronics, plus some Buchla and Serge synthesizer additions, as New York electroacoustic improviser Ikue Mori and Danish experimenter Christian Ronn meet at the Elektron Musik Studion (EMS) in Stockholm to record this wonderfully hallucinatory album. ... Click to View


Peter Evans / Weasel Walter: Poisonous (Ugexplode)

"Poisonous" is an auditory hallucination created with simple tools--acoustic trumpet and drums--from NY free improvisers Peter Evans and Weasel Walter, presenting seven pieces of forceful, modern abstraction, blurring the lines between composition and improvisation in a display of impeccable technical skill, mindboggling energy, and wonderfully twisted inspiration. ... Click to View


Michael Foster / Michael Zerang / Katherine Young: Bind the Hand(s) That Feed (Relative Pitch)

Captured at Elastic in Chicago, the free improvising trio of Katherine Young on bassoon & electronics, Michael Zerang on percussion, and Michael Foster on soprano & tenor saxophones, use contrasting timbres and techniques throug wind instruments, percussion and electronics to create unusual and captivating dialog, evolving with great composure, a sense of wonder, and mastery. ... Click to View


Antoine Chessex : Subjectivation [VINYL] (Fragment Factory)

Using material from solo live performances in San Francisco, Berlin, Zurich and London between 2010 and 2015, composer and sound artist Antoine Chessex developed the two compositions of this album, extracting his electroacoustic altered saxophone work and developing them into larger works that bridge extreme and psychoacoustics approaches with great sonic depth. ... Click to View


Jean-Luc Guionnet / Thomas Tilly: Stones, Air, Axioms / Delme [VINYL 2 LPs] (Fragment Factory)

The 3rd phase of French sound artists Jean-Luc Guionnet & Thomas Tilly's art and research project, recorded at the Center for Contemporary Art at La Synagogue de Delme and joined by percussionist Will Guthrie, bagpiper Claude Grandjean, and violist Cyprien Busolini, creating a remarkably diverse installation of audio frequencies, voices, instrumental sections, rhythms and silence. ... Click to View


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The Squid's Ear
Squidco Sales

Op-Ed (Opinions and Editorials)
  • January 18, 2019:

    Squidco 16th Anniversay Sale

    Sixteen years ago, living in NYC, dedicated to improvised and unusual approaches to music, and feeling the excitement of the relatively new public internet and web, I made a leap and started Squidco. Having little idea what I was doing and what I was getting myself into! With a background in database and programming, and having worked for a variety of businesses, I launched our first shopping cart in 2003 with a handful of albums representing key labels and artists that I had personally collected in earnest. My concept was to sell physical media only, the tangible art objects that musicians release, which to my mind is their real recorded legacy.

    Those first years are a haze of relentless activity, attempting to improve a very simplistic store, launching our magazine The Squid's Ear, reaching out to labels, artist and distributors, and dragging boxes of albums to record shows and concerts in the hope of becoming recognized and known. At the time we worked out of a space in upper Manhattan, but at the 7 year mark family reasons prompted me pick up the business and move it to the beautiful city of Wilmington, NC. This freed us from the expenses of Manhattan rent, allowing us to move into a larger space, and to find opportunities to present music in our own and in local venues. We've moved three times in Wilmington, each to better spaces more suited to our needs, allowing us to organize and expand our catalog, and giving us a better working environment to develop new features for our online store.

    Our initial website storefront was, frankly speaking, an eyesore of ideas with little grace, but surprisingly similar in function and layout to the website we still present — see the image below to confirm what I write! Still, we offered reasonable prices and worked as hard as possible to provide excellent customer service, which is simply the same level of service I expect from any store I do business with. Over the years we've improved the site, increasing the amount of information we provide for each album — images, samples, biographical data, links to related albums — and reorganized the website to make it (hopefully) much simpler to use and learn from.

    Running Squidco has taught me more about music than I ever expected to learn. I have so much more to learn, and a strong desire to share what I learn with our customers. I humbly hope that we've improved and expanded on what we done over the years, that we've shared what we've learned in useful ways. I know that we've spread amazing music around the globe, and I hope its been done reliably and in friendly ways. I dedicate our store to continuing to improve and expand, and look forward to the years that come.

    We have only been able to accomplish what we've done because of our customers, and over the years we've worked with some of the nicest, most knowledgeable, articulate, and interesting customers that anyone could hope to find. The incredible thing to me is the number of customers who took a chance on us in 2003, and who are still buying albums from us 16 years later! I can never thank those people enough, and they continue to give me faith in the future. In sincerity, I want to tell all of our customers, old, new, and those we will meet in the future, that I can never thank you enough for making Squidco possible!

    Squidco 2003 Home Page
    Squidco's Homepage in 2003



  • January 16, 2019:

    Today's update on the website includes four new albums on Another Timbre, the forward-thinking UK label presenting modern compositional music, often bridging the worlds of improvisation or experimental music. From the standpoint of our catalog, the label fits in neatly between Edition Wandelweiser and Creative Sources, and in fact, share many of the same artists in their catalogs. Label leader Simon Reynell has charted an interesting course, and the consistency of his recordings is often a result of his own engineering skills. It's this hands-on approach that makes the label so interesting to me, and I've listened to a number of thought-provoking albums from the label that have enlightened my understanding of modern compositional approaches. Typically each album is accompanied by an interview with the artist(s) involved, which we duplicate in our own descriptions of those albums. Those interviews provide great insight into the artists, and help to give perspective to each album and the composer's intent.

    Of the four new releases, I found the Ferran Fages album the most interesting, a beautiful and haunting album developed over an extended period. It's also part of a trilogy of releases, and coincidentally we received the 2nd part of the trilogy from Edition Wandelweiser this week, Detuning Series For Guitar (2016-18).

    The album lines and tracings from Morgan Evans-Weiler and Michael Pisaro is also of great interest: Evans-Weiler is the glue that holds this album together, having formed an electro-acoustic ensemble, Ordinary Affects, to perform his own compositions and to commission other composers like Michael Pisaro. The Pisaro composition was one of the first his ensemble requested, the 6th in Pisaro's "Grey Series", and is a beautifully unfolding work with a Morton Feldman-esque pacing. Interestingly and in contrast, the second work is an acoustic composition from Evans-Weiler using violin, cello, clarinet, piano and harpsichord. Remarkably the two works have a similar feeling, pacing and aesthetic, and the inclusion or lack of electronics does not impart a significant difference to my ears, an illusory trick in tone and timing.

    The other two albums are Viola Torros and Mark R. Taylor Aftermaths. The former explores fragment of work from the somewhat mysterious Arabic composer and musician Viola Torros, in compositions written by Catherine Lamb & Johnny Chang, alongside a second CD with one composition from each composer. The history of Torros is fascinating and worth exploring, and I can think of few other historic women composers whose work still inspires artists to this day. For more information search Wikipedia, or read Edition Wandelweiser's interesting page regarding the composer.

    To round out the new releases, Mark R Taylor's Aftermaths is a beautiful album of solo piano compositions, performed by Serbian pianist Teodora Stepancic; if I were to sequence the four new releases I would end with this peacefully paced yet harmonically interesting album.

    Fages, Ferran : Un lloc entre dos records (Another Timbre)

    Submerging the listener into the immediacy of pure perception through the economy of materials and atemporality, Catalan guitarist Ferran Fages presents the 3rd piece of his trilogy for guitar and sinteones, referencing Feldman, Lucier and Szlavnics as he specific tunings for the guitar accompanied by pure resonating sinetones used as memory vehicles or shadows.



    Evans-Weiler, Morgan / Michael Pisaro: Lines And Tracings (Another Timbre)

    Two compositions, one by composer Michael Pisaro and performed by the electroacoustic ensemble "Ordinary Affects" including violinist Morgan Evans-Weiler, then an acoustic composition from Evans-Weiler himself performed with violin, clarinet, cello, harpsichord and piano; both exquisite works that draw out tone and time in patiently unfolding fluidity.



    Taylor, Mark R. : Aftermaths (Another Timbre)

    Works for solo piano by Mark R Taylor, beautifully played by Teodora Stepancic, the first CD release by a remarkable but neglected English composer whose piano works present a metrically rhythmicized exploration of a generative spectrum, here featuring works dating between 1979 and 2018 and performed by Serbian pianist Teodora Stepancic.



    Viola Torros: Catherine Lamb & Johnny Chang: Viola Torros / Catherine Lamb / Johnny Chang [2 CDs] (Another Timbre)

    4 compositions from violist/composers Catherine Lamb & Johnny Chang, the 1st focusing on the mysterious compositions of Vedic-era composer Viola Torros, exploring monady, melody and harmony; the second, one composition each from Chang performed with the Suidobashi Chamber Ensemble, and from Lamb using the secondary rainbow synthesizer she developed with Bryan Eubanks.








    A new addition from Fou Records, Jean Marc Foussat's impressive imprint releasing his own work in a variety of settings, and the work of great improvisers including Derek Bailey, Willem Breuker, Joëlle Léandre, George Lewis, &c. The new album is a solo CD of French improvising trombonist Christiane Bopp, an incredible album of unusual approach that is undeniably presented with confidence and conviction. As is sometimes the case, there is no English review or description of the album to be found, and the label itself provided no editorial text. Below is what I wrote about the album, along with a link into our store. Anyone interested in the trombone, or looking for something different in a solo album, would do well to pick up a copy of this one.



    Christiane Bopp plays trombone, but unlike any other's. Her playing, close-up or in the background, with mute or without, is gloriously unique to the instrument: always confident in the most private and most proclaiming moments. She approaches the instrument through technical skill, lyrical ability, and unusual technique, transforming the instrument in diverse and surprising ways. At times she creates furtive expression, evasive and environmental, whispering and cajoling. At other times she thunders, emotes, cries out in assertive ways that are undeniable. Her own, human voice, sometimes joins the playing. At times the trombone becomes a percussive instrument to which she accompanies. At points she carries on a virtual duet with herself, an illusion no doubt aided by the impressive work of engineer and improviser himself, Jean Marc Foussat.

    Bopp's improvisations grab the listener's ears and don't let go. Her playing demands to be heard, and in its unique qualities and approaches, in her unusual and creative instant narratives, she does not disappoint. She might startle you, you might lean in to hear something intimate only to be thrown back by her abrupt and meaningful changes in direction. But regardless of what point in her story you start, you will find yourself spellbound, mesmerized and curious what will come next. Absolutely impressive.



    continued...




  • The Squid's Ear presents
    reviews about releases
    sold at Squidco.com
    written by
    independent writers.

    Squidco

    Recent Selections @ Squidco:


    Thanos Chrysakis /
    Sue Lynch /
    James O'Sullivan /
    Joe Wright :
    Iridescent Strand
    (Aural Terrains)



    Cyril Bondi & d'incise:
    Mem, Aleph & Lassis
    performed by
    The Pitch & Bondi /
    d'incise /
    Majkowski
    [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD]
    (Astral Spirits)



    Viola Torros:
    Catherine Lamb & Johnny Chang:
    Viola Torros /
    Catherine Lamb /
    Johnny Chang
    [2 CDs]
    (Another Timbre)



    Morgan Evans-Weiler /
    Michael Pisaro:
    Lines And Tracings
    (Another Timbre)



    Christiane Bopp :
    Noyau de Lune
    (Fou Records)



    Jean Derome :
    Sudoku pour Pygmees
    (Ambiances Magnetiques)



    Martin Tetreault :
    Plus de Snipettes!!
    (Ambiances Magnetiques)



    John Zorn:
    SALEM, 1692
    (Tzadik)



    Parker /
    Bishop /
    Karayorgis /
    McBride /
    Gray:
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    (Not Two)



    Greg Ward
    Presents Rogue Parade:
    Stomping Off
    From Greenwood
    (Greenleaf Music)



    Davis /
    Mitchell /
    Ortiz /
    Shipp:
    New American
    Volume 2
    [VINYL]
    (Sound American/
    Pleasure of the Text Records)



    Ikue Mori /
    Christian Ronn:
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    [VINYL + DOWNLOAD]
    (Resipiscent Records)



    Peter Evans /
    Weasel Walter:
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    (Ugexplode)



    Antoine Chessex :
    Subjectivation
    [VINYL]
    (Fragment Factory)



    Daniel Carter /
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    Matthew Putman /
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    Satoko Fujii
    Orchestra Tokyo:
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    Anthony Braxton
    (w/ Taylor Ho Bynum /
    Bob Bresnan):
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    Flavio Zanuttini
    Opacipapa:
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    (Clean Feed)



    The Way Ahead
    (Roligheten /
    Alberts /
    Barno /
    Aleklint /
    Stahl /
    Hoyer /
    Ostvang):
    Bells, Ghosts
    nd Other Saints
    (Clean Feed)



    Drone Trio
    (Davis /
    Frith /
    Greenlief):
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    (Clean Feed)







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