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Recently @ Squidco:

Polwechsel / Klaus Lang:
Unseen (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

The innovative acoustic free improvising ensemble Polwechsel bridging contemporary music and free improvisation in ways that sound deceptively electroacoustic, comprised of Michael Moser on cello, Werner Dafeldecker on double bass, and Martin Brandlmayr and Burkhard Beins on cymbals & percussion, are joined by Klaus Lang performing on the church organ of St. Lambrecht's Abbey. ... Click to View


Noah Kaplan Quartet:
Out Of The Hole (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

Noah Kaplan is a composer and saxophonist from Topanga Canyon, CA, associated with Anthony Coleman, David Tronzo, Peter Erskine, Rinde Eckert, Joe Morris, Mat Maneri, Joe Maneri, &c., here in his 3rd album with his Noah Kaplan Quartet, in a set of Kaplan compositions and one standard performed with Joe Morris (guitar), Giacomo Merega (electric bass) & Jason Nazary (drums, electronics). ... Click to View


Christopher Fox :
Music For Piano (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

Six compositions for solo piani written by English composerb Christopher Fox between 1991 and 2015, performed by Netherlands pianist John Snijders at Abbey Road Studios in London, each work uniquely approached in both writing and performance, each a concept or style that brings something unique to Fox's music while still retaining his voice and character in composition. ... Click to View


Burkhard Stangl / Dieb13:
Jardin Des Bruits (Mikroton Recordings)

Returning to their duo work together 17 years after their erstwhile records eh, guitarist Burkhard Stangl and turntablist Dieb13 explore and expand the sonic properties of their work in this new "Garden Of Noises", using electronics and recordings of soundscapes from Paris and Montreuil, recorded live at Instants Chavires in France, 2019. ... Click to View


Oyvind Skarbo / Fredrik Ljungkvist / Kris Davis / Ole Morten Vagan:
Inland Empire (Clean Feed)

A transatlantic all-star quartet of modern improvisers influenced by contemporary compositional music and creative jazz, with pieces from all four players--Fredrik Ljungkvist on tenor sax & clarinet, Kris Davis on piano, Ole Morten Vagan on double bass, and Øyvind Skarbø on drums--creating superb modern, unforseeable, and joyful music. ... Click to View


Patty Waters (w/ Greene / Pavone / Altschul):
An Evening In Houston (Clean Feed)

The distinctively unique voice and unconventional stylings of Patty Waters brings a set of standards and folk songs to a live quartet session in Houston, Texas in 2018 with the stellar backup of Burton Greene on piano, Mario Pavone on bass, and Barry Altschul on drums, covering songs by Billy Holiday, Nat King Cole & Hank Williams and a trio instrumental of Monk's "Off Minor". ... Click to View


Andre Moller O. / Christoph Nicolaus / Rasha Ragab:
Music For Stone Harps [2CDs] (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Christoph Nicolaus began working with the stone harp around 2007, a block of granite with a slanted top that is deeply notched to create fins that resemble a loaf of bread, played by "bowing" the sides with wet hands causing each to vibrate in unique and beautiful tones; this album collects 13 compositions & improvisations performed between 2008 and 2018, in rich and uniquely evocative sound. ... Click to View


Bruno Duplant / Pierre Gerard:
Soleil Clandestin (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Five "Soleil Clandestin" soundscapes using abstract voice, guitar, electronics, field recordings & percussion from sound artists Bruno Duplant and Pierre Gerard, on the surface peaceful, minimal and using space and silence, but buried inside are disquieting additions the vocal abstractions placed in unusual position to the sound; curious and captivating. ... Click to View


Milo Fine / Joseph Damman:
Acceptance Of Sorrow (Aural Terrains)

An album of improvisations culled from the long-running Minneapolis duo of amplified acoustic guitarist Joseph Damman and multi-instrumentalist Milo fine, recorded in concert at Studio Toile d'Angles in 2018, with Fine performing on percussion, a Bosendorfer imperial piano, B-flat clarinet & marimba, for 8 pieces of explorative and accomplished dialog. ... Click to View


Martin Archer :
Anthropology Band [2 CDs] (Discus)

Inspired by the music of 70's Miles Davis electric work, composer and saxophonist Martin Archer presents 15 compositions performed in two parallel sessions over two CDs, the first in a septet that includes Corey Mwamba, Pat Thomas and Dave Sturt, and the second an extended ensemble with brass and wind sections, each bringing distinctive life to these inspired compositions. ... Click to View


Tetuzi Akiyama / Herve Boghossian:
Suketchi (Tour de Bras)

Translating to "sketch", the duo of Japanese improvising guitarist Tetuzi Akiyama and French guitarist Hervé Boghossian recorded these sketches in the studio in Marseille, France, seven succinct free improvisations of an open and intuitively lyrical nature performed on acoustic guitars, in a gorgeous album of uniquely spacious interlaced string improvisation. ... Click to View


Sakina Abdou / Barbara Dang / Peter Orins:
Lescence / Gmatique (Tour de Bras)

Three musicians who are active members of the Lille-based collective Muzzix--Peter Orins on drums, Barbara Dang on grand piano, Sakina Abdou on saxophone & recorder--captured live at La Malterie, in Lille, France for two extended improvisations of minimalist conversation using extended techniques and unusual approaches to their instruments; fascinating. ... Click to View


Anticlan (Costa / Amador / Ernsting):
Close To The Bone (Creative Sources)

The second album of open-minded free improvisation of great drive, skill and and experimental determination from the Anticlan trio, a facet of the Albatre trio in the duo of Portuguese saxophonist Hugo Costa and German drummer Philipp Ernsting, with Mexican guitarist residing in Rotterdamn, Josue Amador, recording in the studio in Rotterdam, 2019. ... Click to View


Jean D. L. (w/ Hermant / Ranaldo / Young):
Forays (Shhpuma)

A set of beautiful electro-acoustic compositions, dream-like and rich in details using sources of acoustic instruments, field recordings, guitar, electronics and voice, organized into hazy and beautiful reflections, with contributions from Margaret Hermant on xylophone & violin, Jeremy Young on electroncis, and Lee Ranaldo providing field recordings and voice. ... Click to View


Dean Rosenthal:
Stones/Water/Time/Breath (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

American composer Dean Rosenthal's influential performance piece written in 2012 and performed more than 40 times throughout the world, a site-specific piece for any outside body of water with any number of performers, using stones to create percussive sounds in the water, here in five live performances from Newfoundland to New York to Wilbraham, MA (the composer's hometown). ... Click to View


Urs Schneider Peter :
Klavierwerke 1971 - 2015 [2 CDs] (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Four compositions for solo piano from Swiss composer Urs Peter Schneider, founder of Ensemble Neue Horizonte Bern, with four accompanying prose pieces with text in German from Schneider himself, Martin Luther, and Ita Wegman, unusual words to accompany Schneider's minimalist works of clear progressions, thoughtful direction and interesting concepts. ... Click to View


Guillaume Gargaud :
Miniatures (Self Released)

Twenty miniature compositions for acoustic guitar from French composer and improviser Guillaume Gargaud, each under one and a half minutes, the shortest just 53 seconds, each composed in 12 measures creating a lovely reflective and introspective set of abstract melodies, poetic and evocative music from a player dedicated to solo guitar work. ... Click to View


Weston Olencki:
Solo Works (Creative Sources)

New York City-based trombonist/composer Weston Olencki, specializing in the performance and production of experimental music & art, presents four compositions for brass instruments exploring a sound-based and psychoacoustic approach to solo performance, applying extended instrument preparations and fundamental principles of sound synthesis to this acoustic medium. ... Click to View


Simon Nabatov Quintet (w/ Speed / Robertson / Hebert / Rainey):
Plain (Clean Feed)

Russian-born Germany/NY-based pianist Simon Nabatov's Quintet with the new lineup of Chris Speed on tenor sax & clarinet, Herb Robertson on trumpet & cornet, John Hebert on double bass and Tom Rainey on drums, performing Nabatov's magnificently lyrical, sophisticated and often chamber-oriented compositions, an incredible achievement in writing and performance. ... Click to View


Luis Lopes Humanization 4Tet (w/ Amado / Gonzalez / Gonzalez):
Believe, Believe (Clean Feed)

Energetic and assertive jazzcore improv from Portuguese guitarist Luis Lopes' long-running Humanization 4Tet with saxophonist Rodrigo Amado and the near-telepathic rhythm section of Aaron Gonzalez on double bass and Stefan Gonzalez on drums, in an album recorded in the studio in front of an audience in New Orleans during their 2018 tour, finding the band in formidable form. ... Click to View


Carl Testa :
Sway Prototypes - Volume 3 (Sway)

The third volume of NY bassist, composer, and electronic/computer musician Carl Testa's amazing Sway project, giving an interactive electronic processor its own voice interfacing with any size ensemble, here with two new works--one for quintet among a set of Chicago improvisers, the other in Portland, Maine with a sextet--each uniquely voiced and excitingly unpredictable. ... Click to View


Joanna Mattrey :
Veiled (Relative Pitch)

The first solo record for NY violist Joanna Mattrey, performing also on the Stroh violin, in a deep exploration of the sound possibilities for both instruments, using preparations to alter the resonance of the viola, masking its overtly singing and beautiful nature and allowing for unexpected and unusual textures which weave around melodic lines; unique and fascinating. ... Click to View


Bedrnhard Meyer / John Hollenbeck:
Grids (Shhpuma)

Bringing together NY drummer/percussionist John Hollenbeck, also on prepared piano, with Berlin bassist Bernhard Meyer for an album that blends textural rock, electronic and jazz approaches in 9 elusively calm yet structurally turbulent pieces, using complex systems of cross rhythms against atmospheric immersion, occasionally disruptive but generally eccentrically controlled and exploratory. ... Click to View


Day & Taxi:
Devotion [VINYL 2 LPs] (Percaso)

A melodically subtle and sophisticated album of twenty improvisations composed by saxophonist Christoph Gallio and performed with Gerry Hemingway on drums and Silvan Jeger on electric bass, with Friederike Mayrocker providing words on several tracks, the compositions as short as 19 seconds and a long as 7:40, each dedicated to visual artists and colleagues. ... Click to View


Dominic Cramp / Mike Khoury / Philip Greenlief / Gino Robair:
Compassion & Evidence (Creative Sources)

Recorded live at Temescal Art Center in Oakland, CA as part of their Babylon 2018 evening, the quartet of Gino Robair (electronics), Phillip Greenlief (tenor sax and clarinet), Mike Khoury (viola) and Dominic Cramp, aka Lord Tang (lyra) improvise in 2 short and 2 extended electroacoustic conversations of detailed restraint, unique pointillism and unforseen atmospheres. ... Click to View


Jim Denley / Eric Normand:
Plant 3 [VINYL] (Tour de Bras)

The collaboration of Quebec bassist Eric Normand and Australian saxophonist Jim Denley, both dedicated experimenters, in their third duo album under the Plant name, here recording live at the 2019 Syndey, Australia NowNow Festival, with Denley also playing bass flute, fruits and objects, and Normand using objects and playing the bass amp itself. ... Click to View


Marc Edwards / Guillaume Gargaud:
Black Hole Universe (Atypeek Music)

A shredding session between French improvisational guitarist Guillaume Gargaud and NY free jazz drummer Marc Edwards (Slipstream Time Travel), recorded in Queens, NY in 2017, for 5 rapid-fire displays of pyrotechnics and attentive dialog, as they take themselves to the cliff's edge and back in a dizzying album of dense technical dexterity and harmolodic force. ... Click to View


The Necks:
Three (Northern Spy)

Three extended improvisations from the three Australian improvisers Chris Abrahams (piano), Lloyd Swanton (bass), Tony Buck (drums/percussion) in their 21st album of mesmerizing music, from the dynamic opener "Bloom" to the introspective "Lovelock" dedicated to Damien Lovelock of The Celibate Rifles, ending in the lyrical and rich groove of "Further". ... Click to View


MPH (Maguire / Pynew / Hewins):
Taxonomies (Discus)

A trio of legendary Canterbury, avant improvisation and contemporary compositional players come together for an album recorded live in the studio over two days, from Alex Maguire on piano and Hammond organ, Martin Pyne on vibraphone, drums, percussion & electronics, and Mark Hewins on guitars & electronics; inventive, sophisticated, hallucinatory & virtuosic work. ... Click to View


Alex Ward Item 4:
Where We Were (Relative Pitch)

UK guitarist Alex Ward's quartet featuring his compositions for improvisers, performed with a set of younger players on London's free improv scene--Charlotte Keeffe on trumpet & flugelhorn, Otto Willberg on double bass, and Andrew Lisle on drums--heard here in two intricately exciting 2018 concerts in London at Set Dalston Lane and at Cafe Oto Project Space. ... Click to View


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The Squid's Ear
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The Bottom Shelf is where artists keep the records in their collections that they might not want you to see. Revealing early influences, unusual appetites or just guilty pleasures, we offer a peek at the shelves of some of our favorite musicians.


  Ron Anderson  

I still have a lot of the records from my adolescence, some of my favorites were lost when about fifty or so were stolen by a roommate about eight years ago. One LP that I miss to this day, maybe my favorite record from that time, is Frank Zappa's Lumpy Gravy. That record really changed my life or at least my ideas about what music could be. I now have about 300 or 400 records (I still buy records sometimes), and went though the shelves and pulled out five that might surprise you. (To put this in the proper perspective, note that at the moment I'm listening to 5 pieces for Orchestra by Anton Webern conducted by Pierre Boulez.)

Chicago - Live at Carnegie Hall Before I knew anything about electric guitar, except the Hendrix songs that you would hear on Top 40 radio, the first guitarist to make a big impression on me was Terry Kath of the band Chicago. And the record was Live at Carnegie Hall recorded in 1971. Lots of long wah-wah guitar solos, with some great drumming by Danny Seraphine. But of course it was the guitar that got to me, fast, sometimes loose, and powerful. Needless to say, you have to skip through the record to avoid hearing all the saccharine pop songs.

Jan Akkerman - Profile Jan Akkerman was the guitar player from the Dutch rock band Focus and he put this record out in 1972. One side is pretty much just cheap blues, some classical Etudes, really cheesy. But the other side is a long, free-rock freak out. That side opens with a very short quiet intro followed by incredibly fast and brutal riffs over a scorching drum-and bass-groove. Really unbelievable. I have played this for many people over the years, and not one has ever even come close to guessing the date of the record, never mind the musician. The last person I played it for was Will Redmond who I was working with in PAK at the time. He is still bugging me to make him a tape.

Gentle Giant - Acquiring The Taste I really think that this band had some great ideas and made some complex rock music. Really. Like the first track Pantaguel's Nativity and the second track Edge of Twighlight, strange vocal harmonies, percussion sections that sound like they were lifted from Edgar Varese, and odd meters that groove.

Van Der Graaf Generator - Still Life Lyrics are based somewhat on the novel by Arthur C. Clark, Childhood's End. Most of the writing is very dark, just check out title track, Still Life. But I just love the overall sound of the record, the way the saxophones are mixed with the bass and the keyboards. There is also a great live Van Der Graaf record, Vital where they sound more like a punk band, released in 1978, two years after Still Life. As a side note: John Lydon of the Sex Pistols lists Peter Hammill (composer and leader of Van Der Graaf) as a main influence.

Lew Davies and his Orchestra - Strange Interlude 1961 About eight or ten years ago I started to buy a lot of thrift store records. In Oakland, CA, at that time, you could find some real gems for under a dollar. The title of this one says it all, with great arrangements using ondioline ("an electrically operated keyboard instrument which, unlike most other instruments such as the piano, can play only one note at a time. It is relatively small-only about a yard wide - and on its sides there are levers used for switching to such things as a woodwind sound or an electronic beep-beep that can be set at any tempo," according to the liner notes), cymbalum, theremin, contrabass clarinet in bizarre combinations. Really great and lots of fun. If you're ever lucky enough to see this record somewhere buy it.



Ron Anderson calls himself an "intuitive music maker." His primary instrument is electric guitar, but he has a fascinationwith old keyboards, recording effects and "anything that can make a sound." He has released 40 records under his name and with his groups Rat At Ratr, The Molecules and Ronruins (with Tatsuya Yoshida), among others, and has recorded or performed with Ulan Bator, Fred Lonberg-Holm, James Chance, Marc Ribot, Elliott Sharp, The Sun City Girls, Shelly Hirsch, Otomo Yoshihide, Gino Robair, Yamamoto Seiichi, Jack Wright, John Zorn, Donald Miller, Hoppy Kamiyama, Daniel Carter, Haco and Terrie Ex. His current project is the fast-cut rock band PAK.




Previous Bottom Shelf Articles:
Our Own Bottom Shelves
Anthony Coleman's Bottom Shelf
Gary Lucas


The Squid's Ear presents
reviews about releases
sold at Squidco.com
written by
independent writers.

Squidco

Recent Selections @ Squidco:


Polwechsel /
Klaus Lang:
Unseen
(ezz-thetics by
Hat Hut Records Ltd)



Noah Kaplan Quartet:
Out Of The Hole
(ezz-thetics
by Hat Hut Records Ltd)



Andre Moller O. /
Christoph Nicolaus /
Rasha Ragab:
Music For Stone Harps
[2CDs]
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)



Burkhard Stangl /
Dieb13:
Jardin Des Bruits
(Mikroton Recordings)



Oyvind Skarbo /
Fredrik Ljungkvist /
Kris Davis /
Ole Morten Vagan:
Inland Empire
(Clean Feed)



Martin Archer :
Anthropology Band
[2 CDs]
(Discus)



Jean D. L.
(w/ Hermant /
Ranaldo /
Young):
Forays
(Shhpuma)



Tetuzi Akiyama /
Herve Boghossian:
Suketchi
(Tour de Bras)



Carl Testa:
Sway Prototypes - Volume 3
(Sway)



Simon Nabatov Quintet
(w/ Speed /
Robertson /
Hebert /
Rainey):
Plain
(Clean Feed)



Day & Taxi:
Devotion
[VINYL 2 LPs]
(Percaso)



Luis Lopes
umanization 4Tet (w/ Amado /
Gonzalez /
Gonzalez):
Believe, Believe
(Clean Feed)



The Necks:
Three
(Northern Spy)



MPH
(Maguire /
Pynew /
Hewins):
Taxonomies
(Discus)



Ron Caines /
Martin Archer AXIS:
Dream Feathers
(Discus)



GGRIL:
Plays Laubrock
(Tour de Bras /
Circum-Disc)



Lisbon String Trio &
Gabriel Ferrandini:
Sediments
(Creative Sources)



Dopolarians
(William Parker /
Kidd Jordan /
Alvin Fielder /
Chad Fowler /
Christopher Parker /
Kelley Hurt):
Garden Party
(Mahakala Music)



Berlin Art Quartet
(Schubert /
Bauer /
Muller /
Bruggemann):
Live At B-Flat
(Unisono Records)



Carlos Zingaro /
Ernesto Rodrigues /
Guilherme Rodrigues /
Hernani Faustino /
Jose Oliveira :
Pentahedron
(Creative Sources)







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