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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)

An amazing solo CD of free improvisation from guitarit David Stackenaus, showing incredible technique and melodic intent, equally at ease when exploring tonality and melody or abstract noisy textures; compelling and impressive playing! ... Click to View


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)

Berlin-based improvisers Christian Lillinger on drums and Tobias Delius on tenor sax and clarinet in an album of powerful rhythms, instant melodies, and quick-witted responses, bridging a generation of experience in dialog and give and take that works well head on and in reserve, a great encounter from two modern and active creative players. ... Click to View


Isabelle Duthoit / Franz Hautzinger: Lily (Relative Pitch)

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)


  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:


Christof Kurzmann /
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Failings
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Ned Rothenberg /
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Rene Lussier /
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