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Recently @ Squidco:

Satoko Fujii: Ninety-Nine Years (Libra)

Composer-pianist Satoko Fujii's new Orchestra Berlin, a ten-piece ensemble, presents a powerful work written specifically for this ensemble, a thought-provoking compositions of and uninhibited energy, with performers including saxophonists Gebhard Ullmann, Paulina Owczarek & Matthias Schubert, trombonist Matthias Muller, bassist Jan Roder, and drummers Peter Orins and Michael Griener. ... Click to View


Kira Kira (Tamura / Spence / Fujii / Takemura): Bright Force (Libra)

Since 2007 Japanese pianist Satoko Fujii and Australian keyboardist Alister Spence have collaborated on performance and recording in several configurations, including work with Tony Buck, Raymond McDonald, Jim O'Rourke, &c.; this energetic and otherworldly quartet session with trumpeter Natsuki Tamura and drummer Ittetsu Takemura was recored live Knuttel House, in Tokyo, 2017. ... Click to View


Kevin Drumm: Inexplicable Hours (Sonoris)

Chicago experimenter and improviser Kevin Drumm releases the sequel to his 6-CD boxset "Elapsed Time", using audio generators and various electronic devices to generate beautiful ambient environments and drones, that are complemented by field recordings and short spoken sections, a rich work of subtle complexity, dark warmth, and mystery. ... Click to View


Kevin Drumm: Inexplicable Hours [VINYL @ LPs + CD] (Sonoris)

Chicago experimenter and improviser Kevin Drumm releases the sequel to his 6-CD boxset "Elapsed Time", using audio generators and various electronic devices to generate beautiful ambient environments and drones, that are complemented by field recordings and short spoken sections, a rich work of subtle complexity, dark warmth, and mystery. ... Click to View


Animals & Giraffes (Greenlief / la Rocco / Leidecker): Landlocked Beach (Creative Sources)

A fascinating work of spoken word and free improvisation from writer Claudia La Rocco and the duo of Phillip Greenlief on sax and Wobbly (aka Jon Leidecker) on electronics and live sampling, La Rocco's unexpected text of the mundane and the fantastic repeated, manipulated and mangled, bringing the words in and out of focus as the music and sonic environment. ... Click to View


Bill Dixon: Odyssey (Solo Works) [6 CD BOX SET] (Archive Edition)

This 2001 limited 6-CD box set of late trumpeter Bill Dixon's solo work in 5 CDs with 1 CD of him speaking, including two 32-page booklets containing essays, interviews, & writings, plus reproductions of 13 Dixon paintings, along with 3 inserts; an essential example of Dixon's incredible creative output, the final copies of which now discovered and available one last time. ... Click to View


Hong Chulki / Will Guthrie: Mosquitoes and Crabs (erstwhile)

Recording in Seoul, South Korea at Mullae Arts Village in 2016, the duo of Australian drummer/percussionist Will Guthrie and improvising noise artist Hong Chulki release 8 pieces with concise works under 1 minute to larger improvisations up to 8 minutes, contrasting interesting rhythms with indescribable electronics, found sounds, and unusual environments. ... Click to View


Christian Wolff / Antoine Beuger: Where Are We Going, Today (erstwhile)

Using piano, objects, charango, flute, voice, whistles, and a copy of the Editions Wandelweiser recording of Christian Wolff's "Stones", improvisers and composer Christian Wolff and Antoine Beuger present a two part "Where Are You Going Today", a series of punctuated silence and Beuger's brief recitations, creating great tension and mystery. ... Click to View


Toshiya Tsunoda / Taku Unami: Wovenland (erstwhile)

The liner notes give good detail to each composition from these Japanese sound artists and composers Toshiya Tsunoda and Taku Unami, reworking and transforming field recordings from a diverse set of environmental locations by changing pitch, playback speeds, frequency, amplitude, &., creating 11 compositions, imbuing the mundane with unusual and surprising aural attributes. ... Click to View


Michael Pisaro / Reinier van Houdt: Shades of Eternal Night (Gravity Wave)

Largely derived from piano recordings by Netherlands pianist Reinier van Houdt, a member of both the Ensemble MAE and the Ives Ensemble and heard on the Wandelweiser label, expanded by several field recordings recorded by Michael Pisaro in Syros (Greece), creating a work in three pieces of rich environments that contrast peaceful passages with powerful ambiance. ... Click to View


Michael Pisaro : Etant Donnes (Gravity Wave)

An unusual album for American composer Michael Pisaro: six works based almost entirely on samples, punctuating more characteristic work in keeping with his Wandelweiser and EMW work with rhythmic and popular forms, albeit with Pisaro's characteristic inclusions, surprising the listener in an illusionary approach to serious electroacoustic compositions. ... Click to View


Spectral (Dave Rempis / Darren Johnston / Larry Ochs): Empty Castles (Aerophonic)

Spectral, since 2012 the working horn trio of Dave Rempis on alto & baritone sax, Darren Johntson on trumpet, and Larry Ochs on sopranino & tenor sax, split their time between San Francisco and Chicago, in their 3rd album of spontaneous, complex free improv, here using the setting of Bunker A-168 in Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve, CA, to influence their performance. ... Click to View


Dave Rempis / Tim Daisy & Guests: Dodecahedron (Aerophonic)

Marking their 20th anniversary working together, the collaboration between Chicago improvisers, saxophonist Dave Rempis and percussionist Tim Daisy, release their third duo recording, inviting an incredible list of improvisers to perform live with them at Elastic Arts in Chicago in 2017: Jason Adasiewicz, Jim Baker, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Steve Swell, Katie Young, and Aaron Zarzutzki. ... Click to View


Peter Bruun's All Too Human (w/ Tranberg / Ducret / Toldam): Vernacular Avant-garde (Ayler)

Copenhagen drummer Peter Bruun leads a band with guitarist Marc Ducret, trumpeter Kasper Tranberg and synth player Simon Toldam, and upbeat electric free jazz album of powerful intent and compelling compositions performing melodic and insightful compoositions, the band well acquainted from work on Ducret's own albums and with Samuel Blaser; recommended. ... Click to View


Christophe Monniot & Grand Orchestre du Tricot: Jericho Sinfonia (Ayler)

A unique ensemble performing a long-form composition by French saxophonist Christophe Monniot performed with the 12-piece Grand Orchestre du Tricot, 12 movements that are punctuated by layered spoken words, a subtle and sophisticated work realized with performers including Roberto Negro, Florian Satche, Quentin Biardeau, Jean-Baptiste Lacou, &c. ... Click to View


Ivo Perelman / Matthew Shipp / Joe Hertenstein: Scalene (Leo)

Scalene describes a triangle having sides unequal in length, but there's nothing uneven in the back and forth from the NY trio of tenor saxophonist Ivo Perelman, pianist Matthew Shipp, and new to Perelman & Shipp's many collaborations, drummer Joe Herteinstein, in a 10-part studio recording of energetic spontaneous improvisation with a strong lyrical center. ... Click to View


Ivo Perelman / Matthew Shipp / Jeff Cosgrove: Live In Baltimore (Leo)

A rare live album from Brazilian-born/NY-based saxophonist Ivo Perelman, performing live at An Die Musik in Baltimore in 2017 in a trio with pianist Matthew Shipp and new drummer Jeff Cosgrove, for a single epic improvisation that takes the listener on an adventure from lyrical to energetic free jazz, all three players unhurried and absolutely focused. ... Click to View


Suspensao: Physis (Creative Sources)

The third album on Creative Sources for this 10-piece ensemble with 5 string players, piano, sax, trombone, electronics and percussion, freely improvising in an extended work themed for the Greek theological, philosophical, and scientific term typically translated as nature or physics, in a rich tapestry of meticulous detail and profoundly subtle communication. ... Click to View


Domeniconi / Schlegel / Suter : Quince Dreams (Creative Sources)

Three versatile improvisers with pedigrees including Christian Weber, Christian Wolfarth, Objets Trouves, Big Bold Back Bone, &c, the Swiss trio of Roberto Domeniconi on piano, Jan Schlegel on electric bass, and Sheldon Suter on drums use unusual and extended techniques integrated within free improv in this coproduction with RSI Rete Due Radiotelevision, Switzerland. ... Click to View


Baker / Glover: Love, Approximately (Bad Architect Records)

Bridging folk traditions with modern aesthetics, the duo of Evan Baker on guitar and Austin Glover on violin, both contributing songs, sing about every day events, music, and life, the songs having a bluesy and even early Kinks feel at times, made unique through a cappella moments and languid instrumental sections. ... Click to View


Cornelius Cardew / London Experimental Ensemble: Treatise (Split Rock Records)

The full two-hour performance of Cornelius Cardew's entire 193-page legendary Treatise graphic score, performed at Iklectik in London, England on January 28, 2017 in an 11-member ensemble of some of London's most interesting improvisers including participants in Scratch Orchestra, in a double CD release with liner notes by AMM founder Eddie Prevost. ... Click to View


Henry Kaiser / Ed Pettersen: We Call All Times Soon (Split Rock Records )

A series of acoustic guitar duos between Henry Kaiser playing on an 18-string harp guitar, and Ed Pettersen, playing an 8-string Weissenborn guitar, freely improvised and with a psychedelic/cosmic impulse as the two draw on elements of Americana and roots-based folk music in four extended recordings, the camaraderie and mutual intent evident in this fascinating album. ... Click to View


Simon Nabatov / Max Johnson / Michael Sarin: Free Reservoir (Leo)

An exciting and forceful album of free jazz from the trio of pianist Simon Nabatov, bassist Max Johnson and drummer Michael Sarin, recording in the studio in New York City with each player propelling themselves in dynamic, inventive collective free playing with an experimental bent, but never departing from the traditions of identifiable jazz music; recommended! ... Click to View


Ivo Perelman / Matthew Shipp / William Parker / Bobby Kapp: Heptagon (Leo)

Releasing albums at a furious pace, Brazilian/NY saxophonist Ivo Perelman continues his collaborations with some of New York's finest players, here in a quartet with Matthew Shipp on piano, William Parker on bass and Bobby Kapp on drums, in the appropriately titled 7-part "Heptagon" of lyrical free improvisation of great intensity and dialog. ... Click to View


Camarasa / Mahler: TbPn (Gigantonium)

Recorded in concert during "Culture with a Big Q" in Toulouse, France in 2017, the duo of Xavier Camarasa on piano/prepared piano and Matthias Mahler on trombone, take Camarasa's compositions and arrange them to alternate between melodic free sections and contemporary abstract passages using extended techniques, heard in this captivating and versatile performance. ... Click to View


Clement Janinet : O.U.R.S. (Gigantonium)

French violinist Clement Janinet composes music for quartet inspired by the lyricism of the free jazz melodies of the 60s (Ornette Coleman, Phoraoh Sanders, &c.) and the timbral and rhythmic textures of repetitive music (Steve Reich, Philip Glass, John Adams, &c) in several quartet configurations including bass clarinet, tenor sax, bass, drums, guitrar, and cello. ... Click to View


Jean-Brice Godet : Epiphanies (Gigantonium)

French experimental improviser Jean-Brice Godet, a frequent collaborator with Joelle Leandre and a member of Cuir, in a solo album of 8 etudes for dictaphone, radio, and clarinet, a unique album of extreme and eccentric technique on reeds punctuated by unearthly voice and radio transmissions, a curious album that rewards detailed listening. ... Click to View


Shed Metal (Daniel Kernohan / Dan Lander): Equivalent Insecurity (Spool)

Verge Music founder Daniel Kernohan aka Dee Kay and radio host Dan Lander developed this album of electroacoustic interaction between 1987-1989 in a dilapidated row house on "the wrong side of the tracks" in Toronto, using "instruments, toys, stuff, sound" to create an amusing, sometimes startling, and insightful series of interactions; unpredictable and interesting. ... Click to View


IKB: Rhinocerus (Creative Sources)

One of Portugal's most interesting large scale lowercase ensembles led by violist Ernesto Rodrigues, with frequent Creative Sources collaborators including Nuno Torres on alto sax, Carlos Santos on electronics, Guilherme Rodrigues on cello, Miguel Mira on bass, 14 musicians move with subtlety in a tapestry of electroacoustic resonance and mystique. ... Click to View


Wasteland Jazz Unit: Attuned To Ruin [CASSETTE] (Banned Productions)

Wasteland Jazz Unit is Jon Lorenz on saxophone and John Rich on clarinet, based in Cincinnati, Ohio that please their own ears by playing an amorphous, hyper-amplified free improvised noise of blasting screaming horn squeals, damaged contact mics, feedback tones and the like, in a cassette of dark, aggressive sound. ... Click to View


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Op-Ed (Opinions and Editorials)


  Cheek to Cheek Misdemeanors  

NYC's Cabaret Laws: Infracting Cheek to Cheek

When George Clinton wrote of a future where there was "no boomboxes and no live bands, they're all illegal," he was intoning his long-standing paranoia of a future without funk. But his anthem of contraband dancing, from 1996's The Awesome Power of a Fully Operational Mothership, described a future that was very nearly the present in New York City.

Under a little enforced ordinance that dates back to 1926 - at the time aimed at Harlem jazz clubs - dancing is illegal in New York in clubs which haven't paid for a seperate license to allow ass-moving. The original law also required that clubs with dancing employ musicians of "good character," a clause that was removed in the 1960s, a few years after the act was amended to allow only cabaret licenses in commercial and manufacturing zones.

The demonization of dancing stems from an era of puritan legislation (sex, of course, leads to dancing) and, it has been suggested, from efforts to put a rein on so-called “race music.” In prewar Chicago, it was illegal to play saxophone after dark, and likewise New York’s ordinance against dancing put a damper on Harlem nightlife, and left jazz as the sit-politely music we listen to today.

Whatever the roots, New York City is now taking measures to allow good people to mambo, cha cha, salsa or tango, to break a sweat, breakdance, step in time or cut a rug. In November, New York Consumer Affairs Commissioner Gretchen Dykstra announced an effort to repeal the laws that since 1999 have been increasingly enforced by a squad of "dance police" that would make Dr. Funkenstein shudder.

"They have to expend resources and energy telling people not to dance," Dykstra said at a press conference at the Knitting Factory. "They don't have any community problems, they don't have violations. But people can't shake their booties when they come to the Knitting Factory. And that strikes us as a little odd."

As the Knitting Factory has looked to build its audience from the sit-politely crowd to younger rock fans, the boogie ban has become a concern to the club's new management.

“The new DCA proposal is an elegant solution to a longstanding and seemingly intractable problem,” Knitting Factory President Jared Hoffman said in a prepared statement. “The real issue is minimizing community impact. It does not make sense for the city to legislate what types of music are acceptable. Some dance clubs are operated poorly and have considerable community issues, but many are operated impeccably. Many rock and roll or hip hop venues have impact issues and many don’t. It’s not about the style of music, it’s about the operation.”

But some are questioning the new legislation being promoted by the City/Knit partnership. Members of the New York Nightlife Association, a group of club and restaurant owners represented by former New York Civil Liberties Union executive director Norman Siegel, have challenged the new ordinance's swapping of regulations on dance for restrictions on sound.

The Department of Consumer Affairs plans to "focus on noise and not dancing," Siegel told The Village Voice. But they haven't actually addressed the zoning laws already on the books. "I hope this isn't a three-card monte," he said. "We won't have Consumer Affairs being the dance police but maybe the buildings department will. And no one can give me a straight answer."

In a city as densely populated as New York, noise restrictions are a necessity. The recent explosion of clubs in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn is just another part of a long history of venues opening in abandoned and industrial parts of town where there are few neighbors to disturb. But regulating noise has become a cottage industry for the city, and has only been exacerbated by the no-smoking ordinance. With smokers forced to stand outside, noise complaints have increased, and the Knitting Factory is a prime example of a place forced to keep watch on its patrons even after they leave.

A stricter noise ordinance would also be easier to enforce than the dancing ban: While police can't necessarily see dancing from outside, they can hear the music. And more violations, of course, would mean more money for a city so in need of new revenue that it is considering selling ad space on its trash cans. If the end result is dancing being allowed in clubs that are forced to keep the volume at a minimum, the victory might seem a hollow one. Until then, we can only suggest that clubbers heed another of Clinton's anthems: Shit, goddamn, get off your asses and jam.



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Recent Selections @ Squidco:


Simon Nabatov /
Max Johnson /
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Cornelius Cardew /
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Rudi Mahall /
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