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Roadworks (Gallio / Streuli): As If You Were Here / Glassware [2 LPS + CD + DOWNLOAD] (Percaso)

A deluxe 2 album release: "Glassware" on CD was composed by Swiss saxophonist Christoph Gallio for a commission by the Art Council Of The Canton Aargau, performed with Raphael Loher (piano), Ernst Thoma (synth), Dominique Girod (bass), and Nicolas Stocker (drums); then reworked into something creatively experimental in the 2 LP "As If You Were Here"; engaging and spellbinding! ... Click to View


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Brain Dead Ensemble (Eldridge / Kiefer / Polymeneas / Magnusson): EFZ (Confront)

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Harris Eisenstadt (w/ Wooley / Hawkins / Niggenkemper): Canada Day Quartet Live (Clean Feed)

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Arthurs / Khroustaliov / Sartorious: Hangkerum (Clean Feed)

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Joao Lencastre's Communion 3 (w/ Sacks / Opsvik): Song(s) Of Hope (Clean Feed)

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Turning to one third of his more familiar Red Trio setting, percussionist/drummer Gabriel Ferrandini enlists bassist Hernani Faustino and tenor saxophonist Pedro Sousa (Sousa/Berthling/Ferrandini, PeterGabriel Duo) to perform 9 Ferrandini compositions named after streets in Lisbon leading from Ferrandini's house to his studio and then to ZDB. ... Click to View


Oddly Imploded (Gregoretti / Argenziano): They Just Sit About (Shhpuma)

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Threnody (Berthling / Kuchen / Noble): A Paradigm Of Suspicion (Trost Records)

Previously a trio under their own names releasing the album "Threnody", the grouping of saxophonist Martin Kuchen (Angles), Johan Berthling (Fire!, Angles) and Steve Noble (St. Francis Duo, SFQ) now take the name Threnody as they burn through four extended improvisations of quickly shifting rhythm and dynamic and intensity; a remarkably passionate album. ... Click to View


Ted Daniel with Henry Grimes / Michael Marcus: Duology [VINYL] (Ujamaa Records)

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Brotzmann / Schlippenbach / Bennink: Fifty Years After... Live at the Lila Eule 2018 (Trost Records)

50 years after saxophonist Peter Brotzmann's Octet recorded the legendary "Machine Gun" album, the trio of Berlin pianist, composer Alexander von Schlippenbach and Dutch percussionist Han Bennink commemorated the album at Lila Eule in Bremen, the concert heard here so successful that the trio decided to release the album and continue on as a working trio. ... Click to View


Kodian Trio: III (Trost Records)

Recorded during their 2018 European tour, the 3rd album from the Kodian Trio of Andrew Lisle on drums, Dirk Serries on guitar, and Colin Webster on alto saxophone, is influenced by their active traveling and performing, evoking those experiences in inventive free jazz with experimental intention, from the boisterously energetic to the introspectively reflective. ... Click to View


Keiji Haino / Sumac: Even for just the briefest moment Keep charging this "expiation" [VINYL 2 LPs] (Trost Records)

The second collaboration between the American avant-metal rock trio Sumac of guitarist Aaron Turner, drummer Nick Yacyshyn and bassist Brian Cook and Japanese legendary guitarist and vocalist Keiji Haino finds the quartet settling down from their first blast of an album, here slowly building their heavy feedback-drenched, ponderous and epic music. ... Click to View


Keiji Haino / Jim O'Rourke / Oren Ambarchi: In the past only geniuses were capable of staging the perfect crime (also known as a revolution) Today anybody can accomplish their aims... (Black Truffle)

The ninth album from the enduring trio of Keiji Haino, Jim O'Rourke, and Oren Ambarchi, recorded in 2015 at Tokyo's SuperDeluxe, with both Ambarchi and O'Rourke performing on drums and percussion, O'Rourke also using a Hammond Organ and Ambarchi on flute, while Haino asserts himself on guitar, electronics and voice, in 2 groove-based pieces and 2 side-long epics. ... Click to View


Konstrukt + Ken Vandermark: Kozmik Bazaar [VINYL] (KARLRECORDS)

In November 2018, the groove-oriented Turkish electric improvising quartet Konstrukt of saxophonist & electronic artist Korhan Futaci, guitarist Umut Caglar, double bassist Apostolos Sideris, and drummer Berkan Tilavel, met with Chicago multi-reedist Ken Vandermark in Instanbul, recording these improvisation, a mix of muscular playing and psychedelic interaction. ... Click to View


Max Eastley / Fergus Kelly / Mark Wastell: The Map Is Not The Territory (Confront)

The 8th release on Confront's Core series of factory-pressed CDs brings together improvisers Max Eastley, Fergus Kelly and Mark Wastell, employing electroacoustic devices, invented instruments, metal percussion, a piano frame and tam tam to create a rich and mysterious sound world, darkly hopeful emanations in a nighttime traversal across unknown lands. ... Click to View


Chris Burn / Philip Thomas: as if as (Confront)

Contemporary composer, improviser and pianist Chris Burn in 4 lively, playful and fasciatingly structured works, as heard in Philip Thomas's renderings: "as if as"; "only the snow"; a transcription of Derek Bailey's "from ten, two, and three" in 6 parts; "pressings and screening" in 4 parts; and "the sky a silver dissonance" with Kate Ledger as a 2nd pianist. ... Click to View


Bill Orcutt: Odds Against Tomorrow (Palilalia)

After his recent work interpreting the American Songbook, guitarist Bill Orcutt returns to his own compositions in an album cleanly recorded through a Fender Twin in Orcutt's living room, with three pieces multi-tracked, the rest simply pure Orcutt, reflecting beautiful blues-tinged lyricism, jarring interwining of notes, and impressive passages of superb virtuosity. ... Click to View


Bill Orcutt: Odds Against Tomorrow [VINYL] (Palilalia)

After his recent work interpreting the American Songbook, guitarist Bill Orcutt returns to his own compositions in an album cleanly recorded through a Fender Twin in Orcutt's living room, with three pieces multi-tracked, the rest simply pure Orcutt, reflecting beautiful blues-tinged lyricism, jarring interwining of notes, and impressive passages of superb virtuosity. ... Click to View


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  Fred Lonberg-Holm and the Amphibians of the Everglades featuring Gustavo Matamoros 
  Bow Hard at the Frog  
  (Corbett vs. Dempsey) 


  
   review by Nick Metzger
  2018-12-06
Fred Lonberg-Holm and the Amphibians of the Everglades featuring Gustavo Matamoros: Bow Hard at the Frog (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

The prolific American cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm has always been particularly diverse in his selection of projects and collaborations. A member of the Vandermark 5 and Brotzmann's Chicago Tentet he also occasionally leads his excellent Lightbox Orchestra and has more than 60 releases to his name since the early nineties. He's also left his mark on Chicago's indie music scene working and playing with the likes of Jim O'Rourke, The Flying Luttenbachers, and Wilco. This terrific collection from Corbett vs. Dempsy finds the maestro in Florida's Everglades National Park, where his performance and surroundings were recorded by renowned composer Gustavo Matamoros as a part of Lonberg-Holm's January 2016 artists residency at the Audiotheque in Miami Beach, FL. The liner notes state that Matamoros regularly records the soundscapes of this Southern Florida locale for use in his own artistic practice, and his participation on this recording helps brings the writhing melodrama of the Everglades to the fore. The title of this collection alludes to a direction in the score of Iannis Xanakis' "Kottos", where the cellist is instructed to "Bow Hard at the Frog", meaning quite literally to play vigorously at the frog (of the bow). In the context of this recording however the phrase becomes multifaceted, as Lonberg-Holm attempts to engage the amphibious wildlife of the Everglades in dialogue.

The tracks are labeled either "NEAR" or "FAR" and are given an index (e.g. FAR1, the first track). I presume that they indicate the location of the microphones with relation to Lonberg-Holm and the order in which the tracks were recorded. The field recording expertise imparted to this project by Matamoros cannot be understated. The night air is filled with the sound of creatures, from high pitched chirps and veiled cricket bows to trombone like groans and abrupt buzzing noises; the native nighttime banter is captured in dizzying fidelity. Lonberg-Holm's approach to this experiment varies; his playing runs the gamut between texture and dynamics. Sometimes he gives his collaborators time to react between brief, moderately played statements; at other times his cello creaks and wails deafeningly for extended periods followed by irregular silences. This affects the wildlife bander in a variety of ways (it's hard to discern if the phenomena is real or a projection), but in general the faunae, particularly the amphibians, certainly take note of the alien sounds and sometimes even seem to take an interest. The album really shines in the silences between Lonberg-Holm's most violent outbursts, where we can hear the replies of native animals to this strange intrusion. The reactions range from careful, tentative silence to an excited clamor replete with highly animated croaks and grunts. I've played this release multiple times using both cheap car speakers and high-end head phones and it holds up well wither way, though I'm certain that this would be a revelation to hear in surround.

Lonberg-Holm's playing on the record, whether intentional or not, invokes another direction from "Kottos" where Xenakis instructs that it "not be beautiful or nice in the usual sense, but rough, harsh and full of noise." To his credit the cellist espouses Xenakis' appeal to discord, as his playing contains plenty of noise and plenty of harshness, but it is very nicely counter-balanced by the surrounding ambient noises and frog song. And even though it's a futile exercise, it's amusing to envisage what the frogs might be deliberating after some of the brasher playing. The album also speaks to the theme of communication, and what part sound might play in transmitting meaning between distinct and subjective experiences. A record of stillness and sudden contrasts, Bow Hard at the Frog makes for a unique and wonderful listen.



Fred Lonberg-Holm and the Amphibians of the Everglades featuring Gustavo Matamoros: Bow Hard at the Frog
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Recent Selections @ Squidco:


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