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District Five (Ruegg / Svosve / Huter / Amereller): Decoy (Intakt)

Lyrical and creative modern jazz from the young Swiss quartet of Xaver Ruegg on double bass, Tapiwa Svosve on alto saxophone, synths, electronics, Vojko Huter on guitar, synths, electronics, and Paul Amereller on drums, members of the Gamut Kollektiv and aiming to extend conventional acoustic improvisational forms with rich sonic additions and modern grooves. ... Click to View


Metamorphic: The Two Fridas (Discus)

This excellent London-based contemporary jazz/folk sextet formed in 2011, the instrumentalists having met at Middlesex University in 2001, and adding vocalist Kerry Andrew (Juice), pianist Laura Cole composing most of the music and text based on her personal experiences; pieces include two collective improvs and 2 reworkings of Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman". ... Click to View


Chris Meloche / Martin Archer / Gino Robair / Lyn Hodnett: The Sincerity Of Light (Discus)

The quartet of Canadian electronics composer Chris Meloche, label leader Martin Archer on woodwinds and electronics, who orchestrated these pieces, performed with improvsations from Gino Robair on percussion and electronics and Lyn Hodnett on voice, a 3 part work of rich interactive loops, drones and soundscape, ranging from spine-chilling to lush and lovely environments. ... Click to View


Eclectic Maybe Band: The Blind Night Watchers' Mysterious Landscapes (Discus)

Univers Zero bassist Guy Seger brought this eclectic group of improvisers into the studio to develop the music on this genre-defying album, informed by a sextet of musicians who have performed and recorded with projects and artists including Vanishing Pictures, X-Legged Sally, Wrong Object, Tony Levin, Tony Bianco, Paul Schutze, Trevor Watts, Zeena Parkins, Jim O'Rourke, &c. ... Click to View


Martin Archer & Engine Room Favourites: Safety Signal From A Target Town (Discus)

Saxophonist Martin Archer composed the five works on this, the 3rd release for Engine Room Favorites, his AACM-influenced big band with a tremendous orchestration of horns with drums, vibes, piano and bass, here with their most complex yet melodic and rich, including melodic elements of folk music, powerful rhythms from prog-oriented rock, and free improv and jazz. ... Click to View


Laura Steenberge : Harmonica Fables (Nueni)

A truly unique album of solo harmonica and voice from Bay Area performer and composer Laura Steenberge, who's studies in folk music, psycholinguistics, acoustics and medieval Byzantine chant brings a sense of the ancient to modern experimentalism, transforming the instrument in a variety of illusive ways that are both enigmatic and entirely embraceable. ... Click to View


Florian Stoffner / Albert Cirera: I'm A Resonant Aircraft (Creative Sources)

Swiss electric guitarist Florian Stoffner (Manuel Mengis Grupp) and Spanish/Portuguese saxophonist Albert Cirera (Agusti Fernandez Liquid Trio) present the 8 part "IRMA" in concise free improvisations, restrained but alert and quick-witted dialogs that explore their instruments with alternate approaches to each in articulate ways. ... Click to View


Niklas Fite / Alexander Frangenheim: Sugar Is A Necessary Fluid (Creative Sources)

Two string players, Swedish acoustic guitarist and banjo player Niklas Fite, and German double bassist Alexander Frangenheim, recording in the studio in Berlin in 2017 for 10 succinct improvisations ranging from quick interactive discourse of a pointillistic nature to near silent meditations using unusual and extended techniques, a quirky and informed album. ... Click to View


Paul Flaherty / Gene Moore / Gene Janas / Federico Ughi: Morfina [VINYL + DOWNLOAD] (577)

First conceived during the 2016 Forward Festival when noise guitarist Gene Moore and NYC experimental bassist Gene Janas invited noted avant-garde drummer Federico Ughi for the second part of their set, the results being so impressive that they asked saxophonist Paul Flaherty to join them to record this album and to perform at the Forward Festival 2017. ... Click to View


Daniel Carter / Tobias Wilner / Djibril Toure / Federico Ughi: New York United [VINYL + DOWNLOAD] (577)

An excellent blend of electronics and acoustics as saxophonist, flutist and trumpeter Daniel Carter meets sound artist Tobias Wilner from world-renowned electronic pop band Blue Foundation, with Wu-Tang Clan bass player Djibril Toure and drum wiz Federico Ughi rounding out this forward-thinking album of hazy and rhythmic electroacoustic environments. ... Click to View


Silvan Schmid Quintet: At Gamut (Hatology)

Swiss trumpeter Silvan Schmid is a cofounder of the Gamut Kollektiv, organizing festivals and concerts, here caught live in 2016 at Gamut Series No 1 at Amboss Rampe in Zurich with his own quintet of Tapiwa Svosve on sax, Silvan Jeger on cello, Vincent Glanzmann on drums, and Lucas Wirz on tuba performing 6 Schmid compositions of profoundly lyrical free jazz. ... Click to View


Bucher / Tan / Countryman: Tributary (Self Released)

American ex-pat and Philippines-based alto saxophonist Rick Countryman joins with Philippines bassist Simon Tan and visiting Swiss drummer Christian Bucher to capture this live concert in the that starts by paying homage to Eric Dolphy, amongst a strong set of jazz and blues influenced numbers and the two part building and flowing "Tributary". ... Click to View


Bucher / Countryman: Estuary (Self Released)

A live concert in the Philippines from American expatriate saxophonist Rick Countryman and visiting Swiss drummer Christian Bucher, a classic free jazz drum and sax duo informed by creative playing and superb rhythmic interplay, balancing lyrical progressions with a wonderful stream of concepts, this is a great example of the far reach of free jazz. ... Click to View


Sabu Toyozumi / Rick Countryman / Simon Tan / Stella Ignacio / Isla Antinero: JYA-NE (Self Released)

Four configurations of free jazz recorded live during a vist by trombonist Sabu Toyozumi to Manila: first in a duo with alto saxophonist Rick Countryman; then in a duo with drummer and erhu player Sabu Toyozumi; then expanded to a quintet with vocalist Stella Ignaci and electric bassist Simon Tan; and last as a free jazz trio with Countryman, Tan, and Toyzumi. ... Click to View


Leap Of Faith: Thought Experiment (Evil Clown)

The core trio of Leap of Faith Orchestra--David Peck on clarinets, saxophones, clarinets & flutes, Glynis Lomon on cello, aquasonic & voice and Yuri Zbitnoff on drums & percussion--joined by Mimi Rabson on violin, the quartet recording with the full Leap of Faith Orchestra arsenal of instruments; plus an expanded LOF recording of the Orchestra work "Possible Worlds". ... Click to View


Leap Of Faith: Gravitation (Evil Clown)

The core of Leap of Faith Orchestra--David Peck on reeds and winds, Glynis Lomon on cello, aquasonic & voice and Yuri Zbitnoff on drums & percussion-- joined by Eric Zinman on piano, recorded at Outpost 186 in Cambridge, MA, where Evil Clown has a residency on the third Saturday of each month, presenting a variation of subunits one of their larger units. ... Click to View


PEK Solo: Fulcrum (Evil Clown)

Extracting the leader from a multitude of ensembles, David Peck's solo album has him performing on tenor saxophone, bass saxophone, clarinet, contraalto clarinet, bassoon, tarota, hand chimes, accordion, [d]ronin, wood, metal, aquasonic, daxophone, Atlantis gong, plus pre-recorded mixes adding a "soloist with tape" aspect to his complex and rich performance. ... Click to View


Turbulence: Amorphous Solids (Evil Clown)

Turbulence is the extended horn section for the Leap of Faith Orchestra, a varying-sized ensemble, recording here at Boston area's Outpost 196 as a quartet with PEK on reeds, Bob Moores on trumpet and Dan O'Brien on sax, clarinets & flutes, all playing an assortment of percussive devices, with Leap of Faith core member Yuri Zbitnoff as a dedicated percussionist. ... Click to View


Metal Chaos Ensemble: Shape Memory (Evil Clown)

Wind player David Peck and percussionist Yuri Zbitnoff formed Metal Chaos Ensemble to explore chaotic rhythms on metallic instruments, employing an arsenal of percussion, electronic and wind instruments, becoming one of Evil Clown's most prolific sub-units, here with Bob Moores on space trumpet & guitar, Eric Woods on analog synth, and Eric Zinman on percussion. ... Click to View


Mekaniks: The Great Klown Panik of 2017 - Klownpocalypse (Evil Clown)

A collaboration of Leap of Faith members, percussionist Yuri Zbitnov, multi-reedist and wind player David Peck, with guests from the Evil Clown roster, adding electroacoustic elements including looping, sampling and electronic processing to their improvisation, here with Joel Simches on real-time signal processing, alongside sound artists Greg Grinnell & Bob Moores. ... Click to View


Anthony Braxton : Braxton: (Willisau) 1991 Studio [2 CDs] (Hatology)

Reissuing and remastering the two studio albums from the 1992 4-CD boxset of Anthony Braxton's Quartet with Marily Crispell (piano), Mark Dresser (double bass) and Gerry Hemingway (drums & marimba) recording in Willisau, Switzerland, realizing 10 Braxton numbered compositions with masterful skill and virtuosity, an exceptional set of modern jazz. ... Click to View


Matthew Shipp : Symbol Systems (Hatology)

Originally issued in 1995 on the No More Records label, this was New York pianist Matthew Shipp's 6th release as a leader and first solo album, still a rarity in his discography, as we hear Shipp in 14 succinct improvisation that explore texture, tone, and his frameworks that embrace a structured approach to theoretical aspects of the music with warmth and lyricism. ... Click to View


Henry Threadgill 14 or 15 Kestra: Agg: Dirt... And More Dirt (Pi Recordings)

Composer, saxophonist and flutist Henry Threadgill presents 2 full-length works for his 15 piece band "14 or 15 Kestra: Agg", as he explores new ways of integrating composition with group improvisation, here using an entirely new system of improvisation based on preconceived series of intervals realized in multi-layered counterpoint, rigorous polyphony, and timbral contrasts. ... Click to View


Henry Threadgill : Double Up, Plays Double Up Plus (Pi Recordings)

Composer Henry Threadgill's Double Up band does not include Threadgill himself, but for this second release with the group he adds a 3rd piano (also doubling on harmonium) alongside two alto saxophones, cello, tuba, drums and percussion, the octet performing Threadgill's complex yet effortlessly intricate and distinctive compositions that allow his performers to shine. ... Click to View


Globe Unity Orchestra: Globe Unity - 50 Years (Intakt)

Fifty years after pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach joined the Manfred Schoof Quintet with the Peter Brotzmann Trio and named it the Globe Unity Orchestra, the ensemble is larger and stronger than ever, here celebrating the milestone in a band of 18 of the globe's most impressive improvisers, recorded live in a commanding concert at Jazzfest Berlin 2016. ... Click to View


Espen Eriksen Trio w/ Andy Sheppard: Perfectly Unhappy (Rune Grammofon)

Pianist Espen Eriksen's Trio with bassist Lars Tormod Jenset and drummer Andreas Bye in their third album of melodic and inventive creative jazz, here with 8 new lyrical pieces informed by their extensive touring, and charged by the addition of legendary UK saxophonist Andy Sheppard, for whom Eriksen wrote a set of tunes tailored to his playing. ... Click to View


Espen Eriksen Trio w/ Andy Sheppard: Perfectly Unhappy [VINYL + CD] (Rune Grammofon)

Pianist Espen Eriksen's Trio with bassist Lars Tormod Jenset and drummer Andreas Bye in their third album of melodic and inventive creative jazz, here with 8 new lyrical pieces informed by their extensive touring, and charged by the addition of legendary UK saxophonist Andy Sheppard, for whom Eriksen wrote a set of tunes tailored to his playing. ... Click to View


Joe Talia: Tint [VINYL] (Black Truffle)

Known more as a drummer than a composer, Australian-born and Tokyo-relocated Joe Talia composed and organized this two-part, album-length electroacoustic composition using his skills as a percussionist. performing on modular synths and tape machines, and using his vast studio skills as an engineer and producer to create these impressive electronic works. ... Click to View


Variable Geometry Orchestra: Ma'adim Vallis [2 CDS] (Creative Sources)

Two mesmerizing, diverse, and incredibly sophisticated large scale conductions led by Ernesto Rodrigues and an ensemble of more than 30 performers on reeds, guitars, strings, electronics, pianos, voice, megaphone, brass, drums and percussion, rich yet restrained with moments of mystery and excitement, in two complete concerts from Lisbon in 2017 & 2018. ... Click to View


Christoph Schiller / Eric Ruffing: Trance (Creative Sources)

Finding common ground between the acoustic past and the electronic present, the duo of Christoph Schiller on spinet and Eric Ruffing on analogue synthesizer present two extended improvisations of tempered interaction, exploring periods of extended sound, timbre and decay, scrabbling inside playing, restrained electronic whines, and active pointillistic playing. ... Click to View


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Op-Ed (Opinions and Editorials)


  Internet Radio, MusicWorks, Blossom Toes & Rational Diet!  
   review by Phil Zampino
  2007-07-29

Before talking about new releases, I'd like to mention that Internet Radio, while granted a reprieve recently, still urgently needs your moral and vocal support, and probably a call to your Senator. If you haven't been following the issue, on July 13, 2007 the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to stop the increase in mandatory royalties issued against Internet radio stations, an increase that amounts to three times the current rate.

Don't get me wrong, it's important that musicians are paid by anyone making money from their music. But the issue here is far more complicated, aggravated by the very nature of computers: for the first time the Copyright Royalty Board can require broadcasters to tell them how many listeners they have. Broadcast radio and satellite radio don't have this requirement, and in fact broadcast radio couldn't provide it if they wanted to. So broadcast radio and satellite radio don't have to pay based on the number of listeners they have; internet radio stations will, if Copyright Royalty Board has their way. This is an unreasonable requirement that can only shut down the majority of internet radio, which at last count has 70 million listeners every month.

A more reasonable idea is to base royalties around the broadcaster's revenue, so that not-for-profit stations can broadcast to as many listeners as are interested without breaking the bank and forcing them to shutdown. Satellite Radio pays royalties in this way, while AM, FM and other land-based radio stations pay no royalties, just a yearly fee.

When you think about that payment structure it's overwhelmingly ironic that the stations most profit oriented, the Clear Channels and their like, pay no royalties. Meanwhile the little guys and the new businesses get squashed. For listeners of obscure music this couldn't be a bigger issue, as we've all benefited greatly from the underdog radio stations playing music that would never get onto the big profit-oriented stations. Don't stand by - Eff.org has a lot of information to help you voice your opinion.



MusicWorks: #98 Summer 2007
Musicworks magazine is a Canadian quarterly music magazine that, since 1978, has covered the more serious end of improv and avant-garde music, often drawing from the music community for it's writers. In this month alone Tim Brady, John Luther Adams, and John Oswald have written for the magazine. The scope of the subjects covered is broad but consistent, introducing the reader to interesting artists, many of whom are concerned with innovative applications of theory and concept.

Currently we're selling the magazine only version of the magazine, and we've also sold the CD version a few times. Magazine sales don't really benefit our business, but we sell them to promote and preserve the printeed arts, the few magazine writing about these kinds of music, of which there is far too little.



Rational Diet: Rational Diet
(AltrOck Productions)
Hailing from Belarus, which is wedged between Russia and the Ukraine, Rational Diet create RIO-oriented chamber rock and improvised rock with a strange sense of humor that reflects their East-European roots. They quote their influences as Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Webern, Ives, Henry Cow, Art Bears, Universe Zero, Present, Debile Menthol - an interesting set of comparisons that gives an idea of the complexity of the music, but not of the odd combination of styles from dark and demanding rock to avant-humour and other inexplicable approaches. It's an intense and rewarding album for those interested in complex compositional and experimental rock.



Blossom Toes: We Are Ever So Clean
(Sunbeam Records)
Blossom Toes put out two albums between 1967 and 1969 that are advanced examples of heavy psych rock; in fact the band's problem live was that the complex orchestration and use of studio trickery couldn't well be recreated live. Brian Godding and Brian Belshaw were the core of the band, having met as apprentices at the Hilger and Watts scientific instrument factory in Islington. The band was initially an R&B outfit named The Ingoes. The band took off when Yardbirds' manager Giorgio Gomelsky got involved, bringing them to Paris to develop a cult following, in the hopes of recording on his new Marmalade label, a subsidiary of Polydor. The strategy worked, and on return to England Blossom Toes was able to record the 15 track inventive masterpieces that makes up we are ever so clean. It's a clever record that embraces pop music and plays with it with quirky wit and melodic adventure. It's quite an achievement, one that lasted through two albums, with Godding moving on to a career in the 80's that included work with Robery Wyatt, Julie Driscoll, Keith Tippett, Magma and Mike Westbrook.

This is we are ever so clean's first official reissue, timed to coincide with its 40th anniversary, and was produced with the band's full involvement. It also includes ten bonus tracks taken from non-LP singles, demos, out-takes and live performances; a full-color 12-page booklet with rare photographs and band history, and an introduction from Brian Godding. A classic.


Blossom Toes: If Only For A Moment
(Sunbeam Records)
Blossom Toe's second and final studio album followed 1967's we are ever so clean's by two years. If Only For A Moment shows the band settled down into more complex song forms, and working with other artists including Julie Driscoll or US folk singer Shawn Philips. Produced with the band's full involvement, this first CD reissue includes seven bonus tracks taken from non-LP singles, demos, out-takes and live performances; a full-color 12-page booklet with rare photographs and band history, and an introduction from Brian Godding.





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Recent Selections @ Squidco:


District Five
(Ruegg /
Svosve /
Huter /
Amereller):
Decoy
(Intakt)



Metamorphic:
The Two Fridas
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Martin Archer &
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Paul Flaherty /
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Bucher /
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Anthony Braxton:
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