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Christoph Erb / Jim Baker / Frank Rosaly: ...Don't Buy Him A Parrot... (Hatology)

Saxophonist and bass clarinetist Christoph Erb travels between Europe and Chicago, here in a trio with Chicago mainstays, pianist Jim Baker and drummer Frank Rosaly, for an intense and fierce album of collective improvisation captured live at their second-only encounter on the stage of the Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago in 2014. ... Click to View


Paula Shocron / German Lamonega / Pablo Diaz: Tenzegridad (Hatology)

Hailing from Buenos Aires, Argentina, the trio of Paula Shocron on piano, German Lamonega on double bass, and co-founder of her Nendo Dango Records label, Pablo Diaz on drums, for an exciting album of free jazz with lyrical intent and great technical skills, an unexpected gem from an part of world not well known for free improvisation. ... Click to View


David Stackenas : Bricks (Clean Feed)

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Tristan Honsinger / Nicolas Calioa / Jesse Zubot: In The Sea (Relative Pitch)

The transatlantic string trio of Amsterdam-based cellist Tristan Honsinger (also on voice) with Montreal free improvisers violinist Joshua Zubot and double bassist Nicolas Caloia in an album of informed improvisation that bring an upbeat approach to authoritative dialog which is bot sharp-witted and irreverent, but never less than engaging. ... Click to View


Christian Lillinger / Tobias Deluis: Dicht (Relative Pitch)

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French free vocalist Isabelle Duthoit met world traveling improviser and Zeitkratzer trumpeter Franz Hautzinger in New York City to record these highly unusual duos, using extreme techniques and inexplicable intent to create 9 uniquely aberrant accompaniments to your most subtle and strange dreams; reference Phil Minton, Axel Dorner, Freddie Kruger. ... Click to View


Orphax / Machinefabriek: Weerkaatsing (Moving Furniture)

"Weerkaatsing is the first collaboration by Rutger Zuydervelt (Machinefabriek) and Sietse van Erve (Orphax), both active players in the Dutch experimental electronic music field, in an album of mesmerizing sound and drone work, with one composition from each artist reworking a track from the other's previous work, and one new collaborative piece. ... Click to View


Machinefabriek: Assemblage (Zoharum)

A great collection of short film soundtracks and pieces that appeared on compilation albums and out-of-print CDRs, including the "Nerf" EP, the tracks for the book "Things That A Mutant Needs To Know" by Reinaldo Laddaga, and 3 soundtracks of which two are for a short movie and one for a video installation, alongside tracks from other compilations. ... Click to View


Lambs Gamble: Farewell Body Bags [VINYL] (Discombobulate)

Bizarre, disruptive, aberrant sound from twisted experts in the field Lambs Gamble, comprised of George Cremaschi on bass & electroncis, Fritz Welch on drums, percussion and voice, and Eric Boros (Vialka) on electronics and voice, recording in Switzerland for a fantastic album of intelligent abnormality. ... Click to View


Elton Dean Quintet: Welcomet - Live in Brazil, 1986 (Ogun)

In 1986 saxophonist Elton Dean toured Brazil with his quintet of Harry Beckett on trumpet, Liam Genockey on drums, Marcio Mattos on bass, and Paul Rutherford on trombone, capturing this exemplary band at Radio Culture Sao Paulo, the tapes now transferred by Michael King and mastered by Martin Davidson, presenting the entire concert for the first time. ... Click to View


Jean-Luc Guionnet + Eric La Casa: Reflected Waves [60 pages 21x25 cm + DVD video 1h48mn] (Passage d'encres)

Eric La Casa and Jean Luc Guionnet recorded this conceptual work in Melbourne, Australia, combining different scales of time, space, & attention, with different working strategies to create a gallery installation, and this book & DVD package exploring the acoustic phenomenon of "standing waves" to engage with the physical relationship between sound and space. ... Click to View


Anthony Pateras : Blood Stretched Out (Immediata)

A dramatic work for solo piano, exploring sound phenomena in fast repetitions that generate whirlpools of overtones, "Blood Stretched Out" is the primary track on composer & pianist Anthony Pateras' first solo album in 10 years, paired with "Chronochromatics", recorded live at The Loft in Cologne as part of the Plush Music Festival in 2013. ... Click to View


Jerome Noetinger / Anthony Pateras / Synergy Percussion : Beauty Will Be Amnesiac Or Will Not Be At All (Immediata)

Anthony Pateras was commissioned to compose this work by Synergy Percussion for their 40th birthday in 2014, performed with a six piece ensemble including electronic artist Jerome Noetinger, using the same instrumentation as Xenakis' "Pleiades" of more than 100 orchestral percussion instruments, including Xenakis' 17-pitch microtonal metallophones. ... Click to View


Eric La Casa : Paris Quotidien [CD+60 page booklet of photos & text] (Swarming)

Eric La Casa documents his home environment in Paris through audio investigation and field recordings, creating 3 large works that reveal the properties, singularities, banalities and features of his audio environment in perspective to his status as a citizen of the city, presented in a gatefold CD package with a color 60-page booklet of photos and text. ... Click to View


Electric Bird Noise: The Spider / The Christ Child / The Crow (Silber)

Guitarist Brian McKenzie is known best for his dramatic rock persona, where his multi-instrumental approach to song-writing shows great skill; on this album, McKenzie gets down to the guitar itself, with loops, effects and electronics creating a cohesive set of 9 pieces that maintain an edgy, discordant approach to enthralling sound. ... Click to View


Ezio Piermattei : Tre Madri Ludopatiche [CASSETTE] (Discombobulate)

Using an eclectic set of audio tools, objects, voice and electronics, Ezio Piermantel creates a bizarre sound world of concrete and inexplicable sound that fascinates the listener in a strange non-narrative that still manages to tell a story in sound and noise; truly unique. ... Click to View


Flamingo Creatures: Fisch Versucht Das Sprechenlernen (Discombobulate)

Ten tracks of unusual electroacoustic experiments from the duo of Ronnie Oliveras and Ruth Maria Adam, using sound boxes and a variety of instruments to create a psychedelic yet embraceable set of recordings that leave the listener scratching their head but still grounded by tangible music, albeit in the strangest of settings. ... Click to View


Mike Majkowski : Days and Other Days [VINYL] (Astral Spirits)

Following double bassist Mike Majkowski's previous Astral Spirts cassette "Neighbouring Objects", this vinyl release is Majkowski's 7th solo album, here using analog synthesizer, percussion, piano, vibraphone, samples, and field recordings to create an amazing sonic universe through sound, tone, timbre, deep cogitation and mutant interjections. ... Click to View


Christian Wolfarth : Spuren [VINYL] (Hiddenbell Records)

The two parts of "Spuren" from Swiss percussionist Christian Wolfarth cover each side in an album of concentrative timbre and strategy, evoking continuous sounds that are diverted into unexpected avenues, drawing the listener into trance-like states with rich resonance, tone, and malleable rhythms, then surprising with unforseen audio twists. ... Click to View


Peter Zumthor Conradin : Grunschall [VINYL] (Hiddenbell Records)

Percussionist Peter Conradin Zumthor presents a stunning debut solo album, capturing one of the truly independent voices in the Swiss musical landscape in a 7-part contiguous work recorded at Radio Studio 1 in Zurich with a great feeling for form, distances and dynamics, as an incredibly focused, virtuosic, creative and deeply felt story is told. ... Click to View


Joe McPhee / Damon Smith / Alvin Fielder: Six Situations (Not Two)

Frequent collaborators, West Coast double bassist Damon Smith and AACM charter member Alvin Fielder on drums travel north to join free improv saxophone legend Joe McPhee at Roulette in New York City in 2016, recording this excellent example of informed free improvisation. ... Click to View


Ernesto Rodrigues / Guilherme Rodrigues / Miguel Mira / Nuno Torres / Eduardo Chagas / Antonio Chaparreiro / Rodrigo Pinheiro / Carlos Santos / Jose Oliveira : Jadis La Pluie Etait Bleue (Creative Sources)

The second volume of the project heard in the previous Creative Sources album, "Suspensao", here in a 9-piece electroacoust ensemble with viola, cello, doublebass, alto sax, trombone, piano, electric guitar, computer and percussion, suspenseful lowercase music that unfolds in mysterious, beautiful and rewarding ways. ... Click to View


Various: 910 Noise Presents (910 Noise)

A compilation of sound artists within the 910 area code, the North Carolina coastal region including Wilmington, NC, the home of Squidco, with artists including Carl Kruger (Caucasians, Baby Daddy), Grant Stewart as subterrene, Ryan Lewis in Food World and Baby Daddy, Phil Zampino (CHANGES TO blind), Jason Ward, August Traeger, and Authorless. ... Click to View


Christiane Bopp / Jean-Luc Petit: L'eorce Et La Salive (Fou Records)

A uniquely voiced dialog between two skilled improvisers -- Christiane Bopp on trombone and Jean-Luc Petit on bass clarinet & soprano sax -- bringing experience and technique to improvisations that push their instruments into extreme territory yielding fantastic and original language while keeps their listeners on the edge of their seats. ... Click to View


Irene Kepl: SololoS (Fou Records)

Heard in our catalog on albums from Improvising Beings and Another Timbre, here we have a stunning solo album of improvised violin from Viennese violinist Irene Kepl, showing a great range of style and technique while keeping the music playful and interesting, invoking a quote from Trisha Brown: "Dancing on the edge is the only place to be." ... Click to View


Maria Capurso Luisa / Jean-Marc Foussat: En Respirant (Fou Records)

A live recording at POP in Berlin between synth and electronics player Jean-Marc Foussat and vocalist and electronicist Maria Luisa Capurso, subverting the voice through electronics and effects to create wildly encompassing sound environments that contrast Foussat's synthetics with the organic quality of the human voice; rich, hallucinatory, wonderful. ... Click to View


Christof Kurzmann / Mats Gustafsson: Falling And Five Other Failings [VINYL] (Trost Records)

Two versatile and innovative improvisers, Mats Gustafsson on saxophones and Christof Kurzmann on electronics and voice, extracted improvisations recorded in the studio to create the 7 parts of this rich, pulse-based and intensely understated work about Falling and Failing. ... Click to View


Johan Berthling / Martin Kuchen / Steve Noble: Threnody, At The Gates [VINYL] (Trost Records)

Urgent and inspired free jazz from the Swedish/UK trio of Martin Kuchen on tenor and soprano sax, flute and retardophone, Johan Berthling on double bass, and Steve Noble on drums and percussion, recording a series of "Gate" improvisations, anguished laments of power and pulchritude. ... Click to View


Peter Brotzmann / Heather Leigh: Sex Tape (Trost Records)

The second album between European Free Jazz legend Peter Brotzmann and US-born, Scottish residing pedal steel guitarist Heather Leigh, performing live at Music Unlimited Festival, in Wels, Austria in 2016 for a biting yet intimate set between the two, both players on fire as they weave long sinuous lines in an emotional and often brutal orgy of sound. ... Click to View


Ned Rothenberg / Hamid Drake: Full Circle - Live in Lodz (Foundation Listen)

Two legendary improvisers, Downtown New York multi-reedist and shakuhachi player Ned Rothenberg met Chicago drummer Hamid Drake at Ciagoty I Tesknoty, in Lodz, Poland in 2016 to record this effusive, extraordinary live concert of improvised music, demonstrating both enormous instrumental skill while imparting wonderfully upbeat energy; outstanding! ... Click to View


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Op-Ed (Opinions and Editorials)


  The Upside of Dowloading  
by Scott MX Turner

This is what it's come to: A 12-year-old girl in New York was sued by the Recording Industry Association of America, those asswipes, for fileswapping / filesharing / downloading.

The mighty mouthpiece of megacorporate music. Hey, I like that alluring alliteration, so much so I'm gonna upper case it. Those Asswipes, The Mighty Mouthpiece of Megacorporate Music ... suing a 12-year-old for acquiring "If You're Happy And Your Know It, Clap Your Hands" without paying for it.

A fucking campfire song.

As you know, Those Asswipes are suing hundreds of filesharers throughout the land in the belief that free downloads are killing music.

How adorable!

Those Asswipes are on a nostalgia trip, just like the rest of us. They're reliving the good old days of "home taping is killing music," "radio broadcasts are killing music," "recorded music is killing music" and "sheet music is killing music."

They're so cute!

Especially since it's music that's killing music.

More precisely, the music biz that's killing music.

Here's why sales are down so badly that Universal has reduced suggested retail prices by a whopping 30%:

1) CDs are obscenely overpriced;

2) The music biz promotes increasingly smaller numbers of acts of increasingly worse quality;

3) CDs are obscenely overpriced;

4) The biz capriciously switched formats, from vinyl to digital, and now has to lie in the cold and soulless bed it made;

5) CDs are obscenely overpriced;

6) Said format change has reduced fans' appreciation and need for artwork, making downloads a less unattractive alternative;

7) CDs are obscenely overpriced;

8) Politically and culturally conservative Clear Channel is locking up radio stations nationwide, rendering radio itself a wasteland of Lee Greenwood anthems and Timberlakeian pop drivel...the opposite of "limitless possibilities."

9) CDs are obscenely overpriced.

Since I subtly got you thinking about the retail price of today's compact disc, let's have a little look, a little see...

For indie artists like myself, a CD costs $1-2 to manufacture on an order of 1,000 discs - the standard order for most bands issuing their own releases. The larger the pressing order, the cheaper the discs. Indie bands have learned what the major labels haven't: You don't need to blow million$ to make a great album.

Obviously, the Megacorporate Music Labels get much larger bulk discounts on the manufacturing end. They just refuse to pass the savings on to you.

And obviously, Megacorporate Music Labels spend more on one artist's in-store posters than most indie bands make in a year.

They're entitled to the discounts - they do press a lotta discs. But not the immoral expenditures keeping their publicity juggernauts afloat.

Unlike P. Diddy and Sir Elton, indie bands don't generally put a gun to their labels head for overwrought videos, Courvoisier and Lear jets. More to the point, indie labels can't afford it. Major labels should urge spoiled brat superstars to experiment with anatomically impossible solo sex acts, and instead divert the money to signing good bands, getting 'em out on the road, and really bringing down the price of CDs.

Sticking to the basics means better music at cheaper prices.

The Megacorporate Music Labels haven't learned that one just yet, even though screams of "ohmyfuckingGodwe'redoomed!!!" can be heard coursing through the hallways at Bertelsman, AOL Time Warner, Sony, Universal and their megamates.

Now that the expected bumper crop of the analog-to-digital forced march - everyone buying the CD version of Dark Side Of The Moon to replace their vinyl copy - has waned, the big labels are running on fumes. Weirdly, they're only starting to learn how to use the Internet to make money. The biz is like your old, grouchy Uncle Fred, the one who never gets it and won't take anyone's advice.

Then again, how weird can it be when you're dealing with people who couldn't predict the utter ease of counterfeiting and bootlegging digital releases?

As for radio - the free downloading of choice in the '70s, '80s and '90s, thanks to blank cassettes - the Clear Channels are making sure that less, and less imaginative, bands are coming to the forefront. Very few commercial channels are freeform these days. Not the hippie freeform playlists of 20-minute live tracks, but rather djs being allowed to think for themselves ... having the freedom to choose tracks they believe in.

The last remaining bastion of alternative radio, smallpower college stations, are under attack from the FCC, local religious groups, conservative on-campus student organizations, and funding cuts at universities across the land. The FCC periodically makes noise about repealing college stations' exemptions and forcing commercial-standards compliance they can't possibly meet.

Know this: the battle over downloading is the same as any other socio/political/economic struggle in the world today, a war between the haves and the have-nots.

The haves, represented by Those Asswipes,

Here's how most musicians make money these days: live dates, touring and selling merchandise. Record sales are the primary source of income for a small percentage of musicians.

How could they be? The average pre-taxed take for major label musicians on their album sales is 3 to 7 cents on the dollar. If you're in the MetallicaLLCoolJ stratosphere, you're making a lot of money from cds. If you're on any of the lower levels, you simply use cds as portal to earning a living.

Those Asswipes and the Megacorporate Music Biz are gonna have to change their way of thinking, buying, selling and promoting. If they wanna stay in business, they're gonna have to sell cds at fair value prices, prices that support a decent salary for working musicians (whose pay scale must be increased) and trim the fat from label heads and superstar artists (whose pay scales must be slashed). The more radical idea - that times have changed and recorded music now plays a support role to live music, not vice versa - must be embraced, and music labels need to make the shift. It doesn't mean layoffs, it just means learning new modes and skill sets.

And what of the kids? Those sweeties who spend their campus days searching for WiFi hotspots to download music? Are they part of an evil cabal to deprive us musicians the right to earn a living? Do they truly hate Metallica and Dr. Dre and - no! - Those Asswipes? Are they ... are they ... un-American in their refusal to embrace free-market capitalism?

Probably not, since many support bands whose music they download by purchasing t-shirts, concert tickets, books and magazines with their heroes on the cover. A lot of 'em end up buying the albums anyway.

People who download become music fans. Or they already are, and want to expand their horizons. In other words, just the kind of informed consumer Those Asswipes fear. Because the more access music fans have to music, the more support they give to musicians. Downloaders don't sit in front of their computers, gleefully rubbing their hands and churlishly celebrating depriving musicians of a salary. Rather, they're trying to remain music fans in the face of overpriced cds of limited choice.

And that's terrifying to a business controlled by Those Asswipes, their megacorporate clients, and the Clear Channels of the world.

Musicians should be paid a fair wage. We shouldn't have to nickel-and-dime with club owners and record labels who, without us, wouldn't have a pot to piss in. There need to be more organizations like the old Noise Action Coalition, which worked hard to fuse labor activism with the New York downtown scene in order to earn fair pay for musicians on both fronts.

The thing is, downloading and filesharing ultimately aren't about who gets paid, but rather, about new models for the distribution of culture. That, and our increasing independence from the old models, which have stood for exploitation of music workers and condescension toward music buyers.

And if that makes you happy and you know it, clap your hands.



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