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Recorded during Ken Vandermark's residency titled "The Unexpectable", in Krakow in 2017 at Klub Alchemia, plus concerta at Hevre and Black Box in Germany, with duos, trios and quartests in a variety of configurations with artists including Ken Vandermark, Nate Wooley, Ikue Mori, John Butcher, Kent Kessler, Steve Noble, Mette Rasmussen, Eddie Prevost, Joe McPhee &c. ... Click to View


Formanex w/ AMM / Christian Wolff / Keith Rowe / Ralf Wehowsky / John Tilbury / Phill Niblock / ONsemble / Seth Cluett / Radu Malfatti / Michael Pisaro / Julien Ottavi / Kasper T. Toeplitz : 20 Years Of Experimental Music [10 CDS] (Mikroton Recordings)

Their first release in 2000 performing Cornelius Cardew's "Treatise", for 20 years the Formanex quartet of sound artists, conceptualists and experimenters Anthony Taillard, Christophe Havard, Emmanuel Leduc, and Julien Ottavi are heard here in collaborations with Keith Rowe, Kasper T. Toeplitz, Ralf Wehowsky, Seth Cluett, Michael Pisaro, Radu Malfatti, &c. ... Click to View


Flying Luttenbachers, The: Imminent Death (ugEXPLODE)

The ever-shifting lineup of jazz/no-wave/avant/aberrant improvisers The Flying Luttenbachers, anchored by drummer Weasel Walters, brings multi-reedist Matt Nelson, two guitarists (Brandon Seabrook & Henry Kaiser), bassist Tim Dahl and Brad Laner on synth for an aggressively informed and exitingly unpredictable album of superb playing and possibly bad intention; recommended! ... Click to View


Satoko Fujii / Orchestra New York: Entity (Libra)

Satoko Fujii leads her 13-piece big band through 5 thrilling and insightful compositions with a who's-who of NY improvisation: Nels Cline (guitar), Ches Smith (drums), Joe Fiedler & Curt Hasselbring (drums), Oscar Noriega, Ellery Eskelin, Briggan Krauss, Andy Laster & Tony Malaby (sax), Herb Robertson, Natsuki Tamura & Dave Ballou (Natsuki Tamura) & bassist Stomu Takeishi; wow! ... Click to View


Le Quatuor De Jazz Libre Du Quebec : Musique-Politique Anthologie 1971/1974 [4 CDS] (Tour de Bras)

Le Quatuor de Jazz Libre Du Quebec was a collective of jazz musicians in the 1960s & 70s, bringing together free jazz musicians in Quebec who rejected commercialism while exploring modern improvisation, performers including Tristan Honsinger, Jean Martineau, Yves Charbonneau, Jean Prefontaine, &c, documented here in a 4-CD set with a 24 page book of images & text in French. ... Click to View


Peter Brotzmann : I Surrender Dear (Trost Records)

Iconoclastic legend of the European Free Jazz movement, saxophonist Peter Brotzmann surprises with a (mostly) lyrical album of jazz standards (and some of his own compositions), interpreting pieces by Harry Barris/Gordon Clifford, Sigmund Romberg/Oscar Hammerstein II, Herbie Nichols, Dizzy Gillespie, George Gershwin/Ira Gershwin, and Sonny Rollins. ... Click to View


Peter Brotzmann : Solo - I Surrender Dear [VINYL] (Trost Records)

Iconoclastic legend of the European Free Jazz movement, saxophonist Peter Brotzmann surprises with a (mostly) lyrical album of jazz standards (and some of his own compositions), interpreting pieces by Harry Barris/Gordon Clifford, Sigmund Romberg/Oscar Hammerstein II, Herbie Nichols, Dizzy Gillespie, George Gershwin/Ira Gershwin, and Sonny Rollins. ... Click to View


Radical Empathy Trio: Reality and Other Imaginary Places [VINYL] (ESP-Disk)

Recorded during Thollem's 2017 residency at Brooklyn's multi-discipline center Pioneer Works, the trio of Nels Cline on electric guitar and Michael Wimberly on drums apply treatments, alterations and processes to acoustic-electro improv, their unusual approach often inviting the listener to discover organization under a wonderful commotion of sound. ... Click to View


Mr. Stonecipher / Joshua Marquez: Faux [CASSETTE] (910 Noise)

A split cassette between Wilmington sound artists Joshua Marquez, a Filipino-American composer, guitarist, and activist who explores the liminal space between tone and noise; and Mr. Stonecipher, aka Ryan L Lewis IV, a sound artist and filmmaker who works with dramatic sound and feedback of a cinematic quality, often employing unusual objects as source. ... Click to View


Mars Williams Presents: An Ayler Xmas Volume 3 Live in Krakow (Not Two)

The 3rd volume of saxophonist Mars Williams' Albert Ayler-infused holiday records, bring free jazz to the holidays in a unique holiday mash up of songs with titles like "Noel Omega - Twas The Night Before The Frosty Island Harvest Xmas", in a quintet with Jaimie Branch (trumpet), Knox Chandler (electric guitar), Mark Tokar (bass) and Klaus Kugel (drums). ... Click to View


Karl Berger / Jason Kao Hwang: Conjure (True Sound Recordings)

Subtle, beautiful, haunting, masterful and delicately commanding, the duo of pianist and vibraphonist Karl Berger and Jason Kao Hwang on violin and viola recorded these 8 dialogs in Berger's Woodstock studio, their familiarity from Hwang's participation in Berger's Creative Music Orchestra summoning lyrical and sensitive music, finding profundity in restraint. ... Click to View


Pat Thomas / Dominic Lash / Tony Orrell: BleySchool [VINYL] (577)

Referencing the deceptively simple and memorable melodies of pianist Paul Bley, the trio of Pat Thomas on piano, Dominic Lash on double bass, and Tony Orrell on drums & percussion pay homage to the late pianist through his own work, plus compositions from Cara Bley, Ornette Coleman, Duke Ellington, and one collective improvisation; a sensitive and lyrical modern jazz album. ... Click to View


Variable Geometry Orchestra: Mare Tranquillitatis (Creative Sources)

A dynamic and exciting concert captured during the 2018 CreativeFest XII of a conduction by Ernesto Rodrigues leading an ensemble of 28 free improvisor performing on a mix of traditional acoustic & modern electronic instruments, plus a toy piano, with powerful wind & string sections, as Rodrigues directs the musicians into both passionate and peaceful sections. ... Click to View


Marie Takahashi / Ernesto Rodrigues / Guilherme Rodrigues / Hui-Chun Lin : Double X Double (Creative Sources)

A string quartet of doubled cello and viola, recording in the studio in Berlin in 2018, as free improving innovators. Creative Sources cellist and violist Guilherme Rodrigues and Ernesto Rodrigues, meet contemporary compositional and improvising cellist and violist Hui-Chu Lin and Marie Takahashi, their complementary approaches bringing unique voices to a captivating encounter. ... Click to View


Anil Eraslan / Antonis Anissegos : Dark Matters (Creative Sources)

First meeting in 2015 at a music festival, the Berlin-based duo of pianist Antonis Anissegos and cellist Anil Eraslan worked together in different ensembles, and formally declared their duo project in 2018, this their first album, a superb set of both spirited and contemplative dialogs, intricate yet clearly unfolding interaction of masterful skill. ... Click to View


Akiyama / Field / Vidic: Interpersonal Subjectivities (Astral Spirits)

The Field/Vidic duo of Slovenian saxophonist based in Switzerland Gregor Vidic and London born drummer Niclas Field is expanded with Japanese free improvising guitarist TEtuzi Akiyama, recording at Gok Sound in Tokyo in 2017 for three exceptional and suspenseful and electroacoustic improvisations, merging melodic and abstract approaches in uniquely detailed ways. ... Click to View


Akiyama / Field / Vidic: Interpersonal Subjectivities [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD] (Astral Spirits)

The Field/Vidic duo of Slovenian saxophonist based in Switzerland Gregor Vidic and London born drummer Niclas Field is expanded with Japanese free improvising guitarist TEtuzi Akiyama, recording at Gok Sound in Tokyo in 2017 for three exceptional and suspenseful and electroacoustic improvisations, merging melodic and abstract approaches in uniquely detailed ways. ... Click to View


KVL (Kirchner / Van Duerm / Lux / Branch): Volume 1 [VINYL] (Astral Spirits)

The first of many projected volumes from the Chicago trio of Quin Kirchner on drums, percussion, sampler & electronics, Daniel Van Duerm on electric piano, organ, mellotron & electronics, and Matthew Lux on bass & electronics, with guest Jaimie Branch on trumpet, presenting three extended improvisations the maintain peaceful contemplation in captivating grooves. ... Click to View


Amirtha Kidambi / Lea Bertucci: Phase Eclipse [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD] (Astral Spirits)

A wonderfully unique and idiosyncratic album of voice and electronics from the duo of Amirtha Kidambi and Lea Bertucci, in active and surprising pieces using word-less vocal expresion and abstract utterance, altered live by electronics as the two interact in complement and confluence; the final piece was captured live at NYC's The Kitchen. ... Click to View


Steve Dalachinsky / The Snobs: Massive Liquidity (Bam Balam Records)

Late NY poet and writer Steve Dalachinsky met with the French electro-rock duo The Snobs of Mad Rabbit and Duck Feeling in Paris in the winter of 2011, recording vocals that Rabbit & Feeling then edited and set to experimental music using guitar, bass, sitar, electronic organ, percussion, effects &c. creatinvg effective settings for Dalachinsky's profound and fascinating words. ... Click to View


Daniel Bernardes / Drumming GP: Liturgy of the Birds - in memoriam Olivier Messiaen (Clean Feed)

Pianist Daniel Bernardes pays homage to French composer Olivier Messiaen, augmenting his piano trio of Antonio Augusto Aguiar on bass and Mario Costa on drums with the Drumming GP Ensemble of Miquel Bernat on marimba, Jeffrey Davis & Pedro Gois on vibraphones, and Joao Dias on glockenspiel, a wonderful merging of contemporary percussive composition and modern jazz. ... Click to View


Avram Fefer Quartet (w/ Marc Ribot / Eric Revis / Chad Taylor): Testament (Clean Feed)

For this album saxophonist Avram Fefer opened up his working unit by adding legendary Marc Ribot on guitar, expanding the sound of the trio with bassist Eric Revis and drummer Chad Taylor, while digging deep into North African inspired spiritual hymns with beatiful melodies, many taken from some of his previous trio records but adding new shape and sonic explorations. ... Click to View


Gorilla Mask: Brain Drain (Clean Feed)

The 4th album from German saxophonist Peter Van Huffel's Gorilla Mask, the 3rd on Clean Feed, is another powerful blending of jazz and rock forms in restless and profoundly determined music, energetic but intelligently structured, with great riffs and melodic grooves from Roland Fidezius (electric bass) and Rudi Fischerlehner (drums and percussion). ... Click to View


Gorilla Mask: Brain Drain [VINYL] (Clean Feed)

The 4th album from German saxophonist Peter Van Huffel's Gorilla Mask, the 3rd on Clean Feed, is another powerful blending of jazz and rock forms in restless and profoundly determined music, energetic but intelligently structured, with great riffs and melodic grooves from Roland Fidezius (electric bass) and Rudi Fischerlehner (drums and percussion). ... Click to View


Jose Lencastre Nau Quartet: Live in Moscow (Clean Feed)

The collective free jazz Nau Quartet led by alto saxophonist Jose Lencastre with Red Trio pianist and bassist Rodrigo Pinheiro and Hernani Faustino and drummer Joao Lencastre are caught live at Moscow's DOM Cultural Center for this album of thoughtfully informed improvisation, using open and spontaneous structures as they evolve each conversation in organic ways. ... Click to View


Tim Stine Quartet: Knots (Clean Feed)

After his debut on Astral Spirits, Chicago-based guitarist Tim Stine assembled this quartet with Nick Mazzarella on saxophone, Matt Ulery on bass, and Quin Kirchner on drums, all skilled as bandleaders themselves, to realize Stine's avant compositions, precise harmonically and rhthmically interesting works with a Threadgill feel in surprising shifts of direction. ... Click to View


Kimchi Moccasin Tango (Nyberg / Bjora / Andersen): Yankee Zulu (Clean Feed)

Three active Norwegians musicians based in Oslo-- guitarist Karl Bjora (Yes Deer, Megalodon Collective), drummer Dag Erik Knedal (Saka, Akode) and saxophonist Karl-Hjalmar Nyberg (Left Exit, Megalodon Collective)--in their debut album as a performing trio, showing both assertive collective playing in a free jazz mode and deeply introspective exploration. ... Click to View


Almeida / Duynhoven / Klein: Live at the Bimhuis (Clean Feed)

This is the 2nd release by this trio on Clean Feed, with Tobias Klein (alto saxophone, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet), Goncalo Almeida (double bass) and Martin van Duynhoven (drums) captured live at Bimhuis in Amsterdam in 2017, taking on compositions by Ornette Coleman alongside original compositions from all three players in a free jazz mode. ... Click to View


Egil Kalman / Fredrik Rasten: Weaving a Fabric of Winds (Shhpuma)

Swedish bass player Egil Kalman, here on modular syntheizer, joins Norwegian guitarist Fredrik Rasten for a lovely album of drifting electronics and beautifully entwining acoustic guitar, unhurriedly developing environments of warm, slowly evolving chord structures that show influences from players like Catherine Lamb or the Wandelweiser collective. ... Click to View


Egil Kalman / Fredrik Rasten: Weaving a Fabric of Winds [VINYL] (Shhpuma)

Swedish bass player Egil Kalman, here on modular syntheizer, joins Norwegian guitarist Fredrik Rasten, for a lovely album of drifting electronics and beautifully entwining acoustic guitar, unhurriedly developing environments of warm, slowly evolving chord structures that show influences from players like Catherine Lamb or the Wandelweiser collective. ... Click to View


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


  
   review by Darren Bergstein
  2019-05-21
Thanos Chrysakis / Sue Lynch / James O'Sullivan / Joe Wright: Iridescent Strand (Aural Terrains)

The latest reorganization and redistribution of electroacoustic improv tropes from the consistently fascinating Aural Terrains label finds a quartet of red-taloned sprites traversing blasted landscapes, leaving a broadly splattered residue of sonic detritus in their wake. Iridescent Strand is another in AT main-man Thanos Chrysakis's ever-persistent forays into the netherworlds of arcane texture, surreptitious drone, and choice instrumentation bent into heretofore unnatural and arresting shapes.

The five untitled sections proffer abrupt track outros and are indexed separately, ostensibly for random playback, yet they are all of a single piece, an interconnected suite whose parts import a more visceral power and intensity when experienced as a whole. And the intensity level is there, as are the variegated sounds, smartly-positioned 'movements', and the rest of the telepathic nuance required to keep the attendant squawk, brap, and bleet unified, focused, and inviting to the ears. Chrysakis is a seasoned, old hand at this; it might well be his orchestrations that provide the necessary conductivity to hold his three contributors' sinew in place, but regardless, it's clear this is a group effort. And those contributors aren't exactly novices either. Both Sue Lynch and Joe Wright let their horns rip through the surrounding fug with a vengeance, not in an overtly Coltrane-ian sense but in a manner carefully calculated, prone to stealthily moving about the soundfield, often engulfing Chrysakis's circuit-warped voodoo like obstreperous wraiths. Meanwhile, James O'Sullivan's shredded guitar bits weave and bob, happily channeling the firth of Frith and Elliott Sharp's myriad, boiling entanglements.

Is there a method to all this madness? The ends in this case surely justify the means, and when all is said and done, with music of this stripe that's really all that matters. The requisite 'madness' here lies in the visceral, sharp elbows of the music; spiky, confrontational, and piquant for its breadth, the quartet ingrain their evolving textures with a perfect amount of curatorial grit. There's no doubt that the historical antecedents for Chrysakis and Co. lie in the work of such venerated outfits as AMM and Musica Elettronica Viva, all three sharing a distinct, nearly intuitive ability to cultivate sounds, gestures, and the odd 'silence' to augur furtive environments where sounds intermingle and clash when appropriate. And the various "Strands" on display here all tickle the lobes with great facility. Even when the different sections sound alternatively like a robot being systematically eviscerated, the innards of a spaceship taken apart with childlike glee, or the babbling scree of a thousand cybernetic organisms being birthed through liquid lava tubes, the imaginative performances on display are never less than galvanizing. Supercharged EAI, as fleet as a flyby.



Thanos Chrysakis / Sue Lynch / James O'Sullivan / Joe Wright: Iridescent Strand
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