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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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  In Brief: Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Kato Hideki, People Like Us 

   review by Phil Zampino
  2007-06-18

3 recent releases that i feel compelled to write about, having nothing to do with each other... - phil

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum: In Glorious Times
(The End Records)

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum's fourth studio release keeps the torch alive on theatrical rock while making their own road. Somehow the band manages to nod to Rock in Opposition (RIO), avant prog, and dark metal with the same set of movements. In fact one review refers to them as Metal In Opposition, and the official review quote from The End Records calls them Rock-against-Rock.

The music is incredibly well crafted complex and demanding rock, intelligent and expressive and letting go a lot of energy. It incorporates an extended orchestration that's generally pushed by guitar, but also includes found and built instruments, percussive devices, samples, drop-in recordings, some odd electronics (electric pancreas??), and some lovely acoustic instruments.

The two lead vocalists are active musicians outside of Sleepytime: Frykdahl is also heard in Faun Fabels, while violinist Carla Kihlstedt, beside her own 2 Foot Yard, is a prolific improviser in both the improv and avant rock scenes.Comparisons might be Present or Art Zoyd for the dark chamber rock element, Cop-Shoot-Cop for aggressive energy and percussive elements, Magma for the sense of drama and extended orchestrations, name your favorite dark metal band for that certain sensibility on the rockers, Gabriel era Genesis on-stage and in costume, and Art Bears for the irony and articulation.



Hideki, Kato: Hope & Despair
(Extreme)

Curious compositional improvisations from Downtown New Yorker Kato Hideki, working with Zeena Parkins, John Zorn and a percussive and electronic ensemble, playing Hideki's compositions inspired by black & white photography. The title comes from photographer Robert Frank, which is written over the left page of the insert: "Black and white is the vision of hope and despair." Hideki explains: "Physically photos don't have time in terms of actual movement. But I feel good pictures have a sense of time, even though they don't move like films. While you are looking at the pictures, they have their own lives. I believe this is the beauty of photography."

Further inspiration came from the concept of time in music from Eastern cultures. Hideki used the form of Japanese Noh theater when developing "Hope & Despair". Noh has a specific structure consisting of Jo (introduction), Ha (break) and Kyu (fast): to start the action moves very slowly - it is said, "one step is a thousand miles." - followed by a sudden movement, completely out of context with the introduction, and last a sudden series of quick actions and the piece ends abruptly. Hideki explains: "I have been influenced by this culture, and so I abstractly imported this concept into my music. Indeed it is demanding for an audience to pay such close attention, to watch what is happening during every single second of the performance. But when you do so, you can actually feel the expansion of time. The more attention you pay, the greater the impression."


People Like Us / Ergo Phizmiz: Perpetuum Mobile
(Soleilmoon)

Fun, frequently bizarre, and sometimes serious plunderphonic-oriented release with a huge vocabulary of genre, rhythmic and erratic sample sources used in strange ways. "A Bastards Waltz" sounds like Ranaldo and The Loaf being weirder than even they themselves were...

"Perpetuum Mobile" is the result of a uniquely schizophrenic "open source" compositional process: the UK's finest collage composers (collage-posers?) Ergo Phizmiz and People Like Us (aka Vicki Bennett) uploaded files to a shared server, downloaded and processed each other's work, and flung the resulting fragments back at each other. The result is an interpenetrating audio-collage so intricate that neither party can recall who did what to whom.

So far, so avant-garde; but what makes this record different is that Ergo and Vicki then wrote and sang their own vocals on top of their Frankenstein creation. Here you will find slyly absurdist lyrics replete with monkeys, carousels, trousers, apple trees, tinkling bells, dogs, sausages, whiskey, and cannibalism. No matter how fraught with trauma, these ballads and ditties are sung with a straight face and mixed front and center, and the results feel like 1930s British music hall standards from an alternate universe: half Ivor Cutler, half George Formby."-Soleilmoon





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