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Jaap Blonk's Retirement Overdue (w/ Petruccelli / Stadhouders / Rosaly):
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Albert Ayler Quartet With Don Cherry:
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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 :
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Frode Gjerstad / Fred Lonberg Holm / Steve Swell / William Parker:
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Cooper-Moore & Stephen Gauci:
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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:
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The third volume in this free improvising series, starting with the collaboration of Polish 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, ripping 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:
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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, tenor & baritone saxophones, 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



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  Ken Ganfield, Kurt Liedwart, Petr Vrba 
  Something Wrong There  
  (Mikroton Recordings) 


  
   review by Dave Madden
  2020-03-03
Ken Ganfield, Kurt Liedwart, Petr Vrba: Something Wrong There (Mikroton Recordings)

Mikroton label boss Kurt Liedwart cites literary great and Oulipo founder Raymond Queneau as an influence on his own composition and performance technique. While it would be a time-intensive endeavor to analyze and dissect the dense Something Wrong There with one of that collective’s methodologies — or doing so in the way you did with Schoenberg orchestral works during grad school — a few concepts from the Oulipian philosophy resonate when reading about Liedwart’s approach to the record:



•"Inspiration which consists in blind obedience to every impulse is in reality a sort of slavery.” (Queneau)

• “…once the Apollonian structure has been circumscribed, Dionysus can work his magic.” (Andrew Gallix, The Guardian 07-12-2013)

• “I set myself rules in order to be totally free.” (Georges Perec)

To step back, Something Wrong There is culled from improvisations by electronics specialists Ken Garfield, Petr Vrba and Liedwart. The latter reworked and molded said sessions to, per Mikroton, “create (the) sonically fresh sound worlds” that he didn’t achieve with the original results. In other words, Liedwart didn’t trust (or put trust in?) his instincts, experimented, and came back to his rulebook. Reverse Oulipo! Don’t fall into the abyss of freedom, Kurt. Anyway.

Beginning with “Unbearable”, the music is a fusion of continuously churning cyclones, hyper-rhythmic and overdriven sizzles and sputters, juggernauts of low end, and harmonically loose material courtesy of modular synthesizers, laptops and hacked devices. Avoiding idiosyncratic chaos, Liedwart corrals the various maelstroms of blips and crackles into a relatively organized casing and form; think of large cruise ships, full of bodies and objects moving according to disparate whims and moods, intermittently bumping into one another near the dock.

Over chugging rumbles, warbling melodies brighten and squirm back to the shadows, returning with more fire in arpeggio form; ascending glissandi fight with scratchy twitches for attention; mechanical rain showers fill the backdrop behind junky transports armed with sonar, Geiger counters and electric telegraphs. After 20 minutes of the near-24-minute piece, the storms recede, and we’re left with an ensemble of faintly pulsing bleeps, gravelly ticks and glitches, and a repeating garble that sounds like a kid imitating a rocket lift-off (“SHRRRRRRRRR”). A switch is flicked, and each element gradually powers down.

This abeyance carries into the first few minutes of the second half, “Nauseating”. Gentle whirring and breathy, filtered drones swirl around an animated bed of detritus. Deep, full-figured bursts of distorted square waves pop out of your right speaker, and a tense submerged beat periodically interrupt until…

There is one reoccurring, grounding theme that pops in several times across the two works, even closing the second half. A spectral transmission, this shimmering, palpable cloud escaped a ballroom where “In a Sentimental Mood” was performed a few too many times (and is forever trapped like smoke in the walled atmosphere). Each time it hits, one is reminded of a Lortab haze, or the first shot of whiskey you spent too much on, or both of those done from the superficially innocuous bar in The Shining. Rather than integrate with the sonic palette, it stands as a looming counterpoint of tension and release to disrupt — for better or worse (I’m still not sure what to make of it) — the narrative.

Speaking of which, despite Liedwart’s dislike of linear narrative (see the link in the first sentence), truly, the visual storyline this audio inspires is vast — as sound waves free from time signatures and a tonal center and purposely defying labels are prone to do; The Adventures of James Cameron in the Mariana Trench, A Tale of Two Star Destroyers, My Stratosphere Journals, and A Night in the Engine Room would be apt screenplays. As an author of 100 takes on the same anecdote, Queneau would be proud.



Ken Ganfield, Kurt Liedwart, Petr Vrba: Something Wrong There
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