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Peter Brotzmann The Octet : Machine Gun [VINYL] (Cien Fuegos)

One of the exemplary albums of European free jazz originally issued on Peter Brotzmann's on BRO label in 1968, aggressive but astute music from now-legendary players Brotzmann, Evan Parker & Gerd Dudek on tenor sax (Brotzmann doubles on baritone sax), Peter Kowald on bass, Fred Van Hove on piano, Buschi Niebergall on bass, and two drummers - Han Bennink and Sven-Ake Johansson. ... Click to View


Peter Brotzmann The Octet : Machine Gun - Alternate Takes [VINYL] (Cien Fuegos)

First time issued on vinyl: alternate takes from the essential "Machine Gun" album on Brotzmann's BRO label in 1968, aggressive but astute music from now-legendary players Brotzmann, Evan Parker & Gerd Dudek on tenor sax (Brotzmann doubles on baritone sax), Peter Kowald on bass, Fred Van Hove on piano, Buschi Niebergall on bass, and two drummers - Han Bennink & Sven-Ake Johansson. ... Click to View


Derek Bailey / Jamie Muir: Dart Drug [VINYL] (Honest Jons Records)

A reissue of the 1981 Incus LP of guitarist Derek Bailey with one-time King Crimson percussionist Jamie Muir ("Larks Tongues in Aspic"), also a member of Bailey's Music Improvisation Company, an album of hovering harmonics from Bailey's feedback amidst Muir's kitchen-sink collection of items that creates a unique and riveting complement to Bailey's playing. ... Click to View


Derek Bailey: Aida [VINYL 2 LPs] (Honest Jons Records)

Extending UK improvising guitarist Derek Bailey's 1980 solo album on his own Incus label with a full additional album of solo guitar recordings from the BBC in the same year, giving a fuller story of Bailey's development of his self-defined non-idiomatic improvisation, wonderfully commanding playing of great technical skill and clear intention. ... Click to View


Amado / Mcphee / Kessler / Corsano: A History Of Nothing (Trost Records)

Following up their 2015 Not Two album "This is Our Language", the quartet organized by tenor saxophonist Rodrigo Amado with Joe McPhee on soprano saxophone and pocket trumpet, Kent Kessler on double bass, and Chris Corsano, a superb album of intense communication and soloing from a collective that merges free and lyrical playing, from ballads to full-on fury. ... Click to View


Amado / Mcphee / Kessler / Corsano: A History Of Nothing [VINYL] (Trost Records)

Following up their 2015 Not Two album "This is Our Language", the quartet organized by tenor saxophonist Rodrigo Amado with Joe McPhee on soprano saxophone and pocket trumpet, Kent Kessler on double bass, and Chris Corsano, a superb album of intense communication and soloing from a collective that merges free and lyrical playing, from ballads to full-on fury. ... Click to View


Spring Heel Jack / Wadada Leo Smith / Pat Thomas / Steve Noble: Hackney Road [VINYL] (Treader)

The Spring Heel Jack duo of guitarist and multi-instrumentalist John Coxon and keyboard & electronics player Ashley Wale are joined by UK improvising masters Pat Thomas on synth, keyboard & theremin, Steve Noble on drums, and US legend Wadaa Leo Smith on trumpet for a six "Scene" album of staggeringly intense improvisation over rich soundscapes; superb. ... Click to View


Fay Victor's SoundNoiseFunk (feat Joe Morris): Wet Robots (ESP)

SoundNoiseFUNK is New York free vocalist Fay Victor's quartet with Sam Newsome on soprano sax, Joe Morris on electric guitar and Reggie Nicholson on drums, a great collective group of leaders who perfect support Fay's wordless vocals and pointed statements, the title "Wet Robots" refererring to technology that is useless to help in an apocalyptic age; essential. ... Click to View


Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.:: Hallelujah Mystic Garden Part 1 (Important Records)

Two long sides of "blissed-out, super tight Acid Mothers Temple jams that somehow stretch into the future while staying strongly rooted in the group's celebrated psychedelic history" performed with AMT regulars Cotton Casino (voice), Kawabata Makoto (guitar), Higashi Hiroshi (keys), Mitsuru Tabata (guitar), Staoshima Nani (drums), and S/T Wolf (bass). ... Click to View


Buck Curran: Morning Haikus, Afternoon Ragas [VINYL] (ESP-Disk)

American singer, songwriter, and guitarist, known for the psych-folk duo Arborea with Shanti Deschaine, in his second solo album of mostly instrumental acoustic guitar work, rich, reflective and confident work that fits in a John Fahey mode, with Adele Pappalardo providing vocals on one track, and Nicolo Melocchi playing Basuri Flute on another. ... Click to View


Joelle Leandre : A Woman's Work [8 CD BOX SET] (Not Two)

A thorough overview of bassist and vocalist Joelle Leandre's recent work in a boxed set of 8 CDs and a 16 page booklet of essays, photos and credits, each CD bringing a unique grouping from Les Diaboliques to duos with Mat Maneri, Fred Frith, Lauren Newton, & Jean-Luc Cappozzo, plus one solo disc and a quartet with Zlatko Kaucic, Evan Parker and Augusti Fernandez; magnificent. ... Click to View


Samara Lubelski / Bill Nace: (Relative Pitch)

Issuing on CD the duo album of violinist Samara Lubelski and guitarist Bill Nace, originally released on Nace's Open Mouth label early in 2018, presenting a series of psychedelic textural works, Lubelski creating vibrant and reiterating structures that Nace uses as a foundation for swells and expressive emanations; hypnotic and mesmerizing. ... Click to View


Irene Aranda / Johannes Nastejo / Nuria Andorra: Inner Core (Relative Pitch)

Referencing geothermal physics in the titles of their improvisations, these three Spanish improvisers create a riveting and radical set of experimental works, with Irene Aranda working inside and out of the piano, Johannes Nastejo extending and adapting his double bass, and percussionist Nuria Andorra using an arsenal of metallic and percussive objects. ... Click to View


Matthew Lux's Communication Arts Quartet: Contra/Fact [VINYL] (Astral Spirits)

Chicago bassist Matthew Lux (Isotope 217, Exploding Star Orchestra) in an album of effusive and spiritual percussive grooves under electronic and acoustic leads, performed with Ben Lamar Gay on cornet, electronics and percussion, Mikel Patrick Avery on drums, percussion, mellotron and more, and Jayve Montgomery on various woodwinds, samples and percussion. ... Click to View


Andrew Barker / Daniel Carter : Polyhedron [CASSETTE] (Astral Spirits)

Four duos from New York multi-reedist, wind and brass improviser Daniel Carter and drummer/percussionist Andrew Barker, dedicating each of four pieces to each player's past collaborators--Roy Campbell, Sabir Mateen, William Parker and Charles Water--through informed dialog that push each player into passionate territory with strong lyrical affinity. ... Click to View


John McCowen: 4 Chairs In Three Dimensions [CASSETTE] (Astral Spirits)

Using only acoustic techniques and recording live, New York clarinetist and contrabass clarinetist John McCowen (Tweak Bird, Wei Zhongle) draws out an incredibly impressive array of harmonic difference tones, interference beats and inexplicable sound from these typically monophonic instruments, using circular breathing to create long drones and aberrant textures. ... Click to View


Liudas Mockunas / Jacek Mazurkiewicz / Hakon Berre: Live In Warsaw [CASSETTE] (Astral Spirits)

Lithunian reedist Liudas Mockunas, Polish bassist and electronicicst Jacek Mazurkiewicz (3Fonia, Warsaw Improvisers Orchestra, Modular String Trio) and Norwegian drummer Hakon Berre (Aram Shelton, Susana Santos Silva) are captured live in Warsaw at Mozg in 2015 for three exploratory improvisations with Mockunas on clarinet, soprano & tenor saxes. ... Click to View


Luke Stewart: Works for Upright Bass & Amplifier [CASSETTE] (Astral Spirits)

Bassist and sound artist Luke Stewart is a Washington, CD stalwart, a member of a variety of improvised and rock bands and active in Sonic Circuits, and also an Artist-In-Residence at Union Arts and Manufacturing; this solo work uses the resonant feedback of an amplifier with unusual double bass technique to coax a fascinating journey that accompanied his 2017 art exhibit. ... Click to View


Ghost Trees Big Band: Goodyear [2 7-inch VINYL RECORDS] (Future Recordings)

The hard-working duo Ghost Trees of saxophonist Brent Bagwell and drummer Seth Nanaa, extended their group to a 10-piece band of interesting orchestration--piano, vibraphones, sax, pedal steels guitar, bass, cellos and violas--taking over the Charlotte, NC Goodyear building to present their interesting compositions blending conceptual composition and improvisation. ... Click to View


Ghost Trees: The Fascination [VINYL] (Future Recordings)

Recording in Asheville, NC, the Ghost Trees Duo of Seth Nanaa on drums and Brent Bagwell on tenor sax release their 3rd album as a clear vinyl LP, 11 inventive dialogs of expressive and energetic jazz born from fifteen years working together, from the trio The Eastern Seaboard to their own hard-working duo and recent Ghost Tree Big Band project. ... Click to View


Jose Lencastre / Jorge Nuno / Pedro Santo : 08.30/18.09/10.10/10.18 (Creative Sources)

Three free improvisations from the Lisbon, Portugal trio of Jorge Nuno on electric guitar, Jose Lencastre on alto saxophone and Pedro Santo on drums, four pieces titled for the length of their dialog as they explore spacious sound sculpting and energetic free playing, a nicely balanced set of work that transition with finesse between ardor and tranquility. ... Click to View


Wilkinson / Edwards / Noble: 3 Of A Kind [VINYL] (Bo Weavil Recordings)

Recorded live at IKLECTIK, in London, 2017, the trio of Alan Wilkinson on alto and baritone saxophones and bass clarinet and the rhythm team of John Edwards on double bass, and Steve Noble on drums, perform a steaming and cathartic free jazz informed by decades of experience and a fierce energy and determination that only masterful players like these can create. ... Click to View


Clifford Thornton Memorial Quartet, The (McPhee / Lazro / Foussat / Sato): Sweet Oranges (Not Two)

An absolutely fitting and exceptional tribute to late trumpeter & trombonist Clifford Thornton from a quartet of NY and European free jazz musicians, particularly Joe McPhee who recorded with Thornton and cites him as an influence, plus Daunik Lazro (sax), Makoto Sato (drums) and Jean-Marc Foussate (synth), recorded live at Nickelsdorf's Konfrontationen Festival 2017. ... Click to View


Okkyung Lee: Cheol-Kkot-Sae (Steel.Flower.Bird) (Tzadik)

Cellist Okkyung Lee explores her Korean roots in an amazing long-form composition combining electronics, improvisation, composed melodies and noise with Korean traditional music, performed with the superb ensemble of John Edwards (bass), Ches Smith (drums), John Butcher (sax), Jae Hyo Chang (Korean percussion), Song Hee Kwon (Pansori singing), and Lasse Marhaug (electronics). ... Click to View


David Behrman: Music With Memory [VINYL] (Alga Marghen)

Unreleased pieces from David Behrman focused on his '70s work with microcomputers: "Interspecies Smalltalk" commissioned by John Cage and Merce Cunningham, performed with Takehisa Kosugi (violin) & David Behrman (electronics); an early version of "Leapday Night", here performed with Werner Durand on saxophone; plus "All Thumbs" for 2 electrified mbiras. ... Click to View


Chantal Acda / Bill Frisell: Live at Jazz Middelheim (Glitterhouse)

New York improvising guitarist Bill Frisell recording with Dutch/Belgian chanteuse Chantal Acda (Sleepingdog) at the 2017 Jazz Middelheim Fest, in Antwerp, Belgium, which they agreed to do based on mutual satisfaction of their collaboration on Acda's studio album "Bounce Back" that year, resulting in a wonderfully compatible concert of rich and beautiful music. ... Click to View


William Parker: Voices Fall From The Sky [3 CD BOX SET] (Aum Fidelity)

William Parker developed these works presented in three complementary albums titled "Voices Fall From The Sky", "Songs", and "Essence", bringing together new compositions with long unavailable or new versions of previous pieces, performed in various configurations from solo to large ensemble, the songs reflecting freedom, compassion, anti-oppression, anti-violence, a love of nature, spirit and creation; essential elements in Parker's optimistic oeuvre. ... Click to View


Szilard Mezei Septet: Hajnali APN (FMR)

Serbian violinist and composer Szilard Mezei's septet in a recording for KCNS Novi Sad from 2015, three tracks of contemporarily orchestrated free improvisation performing three extended Mezei compositions, sophisticated works with effortlessly elaborate structures affording his septet opportunity in group interplay and well-developed soloing, a great achievement. ... Click to View


Oren Ambarchi / Kassel Jaeger / James Rushford: Face Time [VINYL] (Black Truffle)

The 2nd release from the trio of Oren Ambarchi, Kassel Jaeger, and James Rushford in two side-long pieces, simmering stews of electronic smears, pitched-down animal moans, and mysteriously emotive microtonal organ chords, crossed with elements twisted from dub and techno alongside unusually treated percussive elements; chilling and disturbed music. ... Click to View


Luc Ferrari: Atelier De Liberation De La Musique [VINYL] (Alga Marghen)

Six recordings from Luc Ferrari's Atelier De Liberation De La Musique, a collective he created together with Martin Davorin Jagodic (electric piano), Philippe Besombes (synthesizer), and Alain Petit (sax, clarinet & flute) in 1975 for a series of performances at the Galliera Museum in Paris to take place within an audio-visual labyrinth. ... Click to View


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  The Manhattan Listening Tour  

A guide to galleries that aren't for the eyes.


By Nirav Soni 2002-12-07

Poking around Manhattan for any period of time will soon yield a steady stream of tourists, eyes welded heavenwards, cameras in hand, relentlessly scanning left and right for the next spectacle. One should have caution when around such birds; an errant digit poses a significant threat to eyeballs. Rarely, however, do you find out-of-towners armed with a minidisc recorder, or a DAT machine. Surely our fair city is as much an auditory all-you-care-to-eat as it is it is an ocular one!

Apocryphally, John Cage said that when he moved into a loft on 18th St. and 6th Ave, he never bought records again. Whenever he wanted to hear music, he just opened his window. What can compare to the subtle symphony of pedestrian and road traffic? How many composers harmonies subtle as that of a screaming baby and a fire engine or rhythms as complex as squealing breaks and car alarms? The ears reel at the wealth of such sonic stimuli!

Of course, the nuances of street sounds can be somewhat unwelcome in an undercaffinated morning. But the shock always subsides and the hum of traffic blends with howling winds, underscoring the subtle interplay of rustling leaves and grumbling pedestrians.

Noise pollution?! How can you even think a phrase like that? I'll fight to the death to hear the Long Island Rail Road every morning; there are few sounds as life-affirming as the 7 train rattling over Roosevelt Avenue in Queens at the break of dawn. The sweet sounds of this fair city are in my book nowhere paralleled. Sure, New Delhi is louder and more brash and les rues of Paris perhaps more refined, but how can you compare it to the delicate clinking of change in indigent cups, the idle chatter of trust-funded youth, sizzling kebabs, clomping boots and clicking heels? Give me street performers like Kalaparusha Maurice McIntryre, Kenta Nagai and a free-jazz subway combo like Test over whatever else another city's got any day.

With su ch a rich ambiance to work in, NYC has a number of galleries and spaces devoted to the creation and presentation of sound art, in its installed and performed incarnations. These galleries present an excitingly diverse range of work, from the rigorously formal and conceptual to the more spontaneous and organic. With this in mind, I present to you "The Squid's Ear Sound Art Tour of Manhattan"

A few preliminary remarks:

  1. Get a Metrocard Funpass. $4 will have you cruising the subways and buses all day.
  2. Sound art galleries are not available in the way that visual art galleries in Chelsea and Soho are. As they are not dedicated to the marketing of commodities, galleries like Engine27 and Diapason are generally not as accessible as "traditional" art galleries are. You'd be well advised to check ahead of time to see which days and times they are open.
  3. Turn off your cell phone.
  4. Leave your headphones at home.

Engine27

Whatever you hear at the Engine 27 sound art gallery, it is likely to be perceptually overwhelming. Housed in an ex-firehouse in Tribeca, the gallery is home to the most sophisticated and awe-inspiring multichannel sound playback system I've ever witnessed.

Engine27 is generally open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays, exhibiting sound installations and, on occasion, live performances. The rest of the week, the gallery becomes a studio for artists to work. The overarching majority of what is exhibited is created on commission, specifically for the space. As part the commission, each artist is given 30-40 hours of time with an engineer to create a work to be exhibited in the environment.

I stopped into Engine27 early on a weekday, and had the pleasure of seeing the gallery without it's dress shoes on.Fragments of Leopanar Witlarge's composition-in-the-working hovered in the space as I took a slow walk through the gallery. It's d isconcerting enough to walk through an ex-firehouse filled with speakers that are at least half your size suspended from the ceiling; imagine the cognitive dissonance you feel when you see two people amiably chatting while shards of a disembodied voice moves from one side of the space to the other.

http://www.engine27.org/
Address: 173 Franklin St., between Hudson and Greenwich
Directions: 1, 9 train to Franklin St. Walk 1 and 1/2 blocks west on Franklin.

The Dream House

La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela's Dream House has been a fixture of the New York creative community for 8 years. Since its creation, it has been employed in the realization of their collaborative project "The Base 9:7:4 Symmetry in Prime Time...." (Go to the website if you want to see the entire title), which ostensibly becomes an immersive sound and light environment.

What's most amazing about the Dream House is how the meticulously structured and calculated, para-scientific study sensory input is deployed in a space is so gentle and warm. Fans of drone based music will be taken by the complex webs of sum and difference tones that are synthesized in real-time, and the corollary light sculptures at once suggest 19th century retinal psychology, and 60's minimalism.

There are a few pillows alongside the walls, and the carpeting is plush, but aside from a small shrine to Pandit Pran Nath and the sound and light producers, the main space of the Dream House is bare. There's no one ideal location to experience the piece, and you're tacitly invited to create the composition for yourself by walking around and turning your head. Every time I go, I end up slumped up against the wall, gently nodding my head and thoroughly losing myself. There aren't really audible indicators of time, so if you don't have a watch, it becomes tough to tell whether you've been si tting down for 15 or 50 minutes.

The Dream House is a wonderful place to go in the wintertime, as it's much warmer than it's surroundings. There's a $4 donation requested at the door and shoe removal is mandatory (wear clean socks.)

http://melafoundation.org/main.htm
Address: 275 Church Street between Franklin & White Streets in Tribeca
Directions: 1,9 to Franklin St. Walk east to Church, cross the street, turn left, and walk 1/2 block.
From Canal St. Station (N, R, Q, W, J, M, Z, 6) Walk west to Church Street and head south.

Diapason

Diapason resides in the midst of office buildings and the financial mutterings. You'd hardly guess that this narrow entranceway in midtown would be home to some of NYC's most innovative sound art. Michael Schumacher and Liz Gerring continue Diapason in the tradition of their Studio Five Beekman, and present installations and performances in the galleries. Often you'll see video projected on the 3 screens in the galleries, adding an interesting visual component to the music.

You'll have to plan your trip around this visit. The gallery is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 6-12 pm, and since it's so far removed from the other stops on the tour, it's recommended that you leave plenty of time for it.

Diapason is comprised of two separate galleries: a large chamber that you enter when you walk through the door and a smaller room towards the far end of the room. The second room is easy to overlook, but is always worth spending time in.

Fred Szymanski presented his "Friction Sticky Rough" in the larger chamber in October, filling the space with dense clouds of sound particles, ebbing and flowing. On the wall were undulating, synthetic structures, a visual analogue to the tactile effervescence of the music. Bernard Gunter's installation in the smaller room wa smu ch more spare, a single red bulb illuminating the room, with speakers pushed against the wall almost sculpturally. The music was haunting, so quiet at times that the sound from the Szymanski piece became a very real presence.

http://www.diapasongallery.com/
Address: 1026 Sixth Avenue, between 38th and 39th
Subway: Subway: 1, 2, 3, 7, 9, B, D, F, Q, N, R, W to 42nd Street. Walk 3 and 1/2 blocks south on 6th Ave.

Sonic Garden at the World Financial Center

I applaud the curators of the Sonic Garden for their curatorial acumen and progressive tastes. It's not often that one can hear innovative sound art from the likes of Laurie Anderson, Marina Rosenfeld, David Byrne and Ben Rubin in as public an arena as the World Financial Center, where hundreds and hundreds of people pass every day.

However, these works are in an uncomfortable space. The Winter Garden, of which the Sonic Garden is a component, is located within the World Financial Center in lower Manhattan. For whatever reason, that didn't trigger enough bells for me, and I didn't mentally prepare myself for walking right next to the site of the World Trade Center last November in order to get to the Winter Garden.

Context is so important to the reception of artwork, and the Sonic Garden, while admirably presented, can't escape the larger shadow it stands beneath. It makes David Byrne's collection of jokes and one-liners seem a little trivial. Taken on their own merit, the works are nice enough. Ben Rubin incorporates market economics in his work, while Marina Rosenfeld's echoing sound particles evoke an image of a large, quiet imaginary dream garden. Laurie Anderson's work alone seemed appropriately elegiac, it's single processed violin, which feels delicate and reverent.

http://www.creativetime.org/sonicgarden/map.html

Subway: Take the 4/5/6 to Fulton Street, the N/R to Rector Street, or the 1/9 to Wall Street. Walk to Church and Liberty Streets and cross the South Bridge to 1 WFC. Follow signs within complex to the Winter Garden.



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

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Recent Selections @ Squidco:


Peter Brotzmann The Octet:
Machine Gun
[VINYL]

(Cien Fuegos)



Peter Brotzmann The Octet:
Machine Gun -
Alternate Takes
[VINYL]

(Cien Fuegos)



Amado /
Mcphee /
Kessler /
Corsano:
A History
Of Nothing

(Trost Records)



Amado /
Mcphee /
Kessler /
Corsano:
A History
Of Nothing
[VINYL]

(Trost Records)



Spring Heel Jack /
Wadada Leo Smith /
Pat Thomas /
Steve Noble:
Hackney Road
[VINYL]

(Treader)



Derek Bailey:
Aida
[VINYL 2 LPs]

(Honest Jons Records)



Joelle Leandre :
A Woman's Work
[8 CD BOX SET]

(Not Two)



John McCowen:
4 Chairs In
Three Dimensions
[CASSETTE]

(Astral Spirits)



Matthew Lux's
Communication Arts Quartet:
Contra/Fact
[VINYL]

(Astral Spirits)



Ghost Trees Big Band:
Goodyear
[2 7-inch VINYL RECORDS]

(Future Recordings)



Samara Lubelski /
Bill Nace:


(Relative Pitch)



Okkyung Lee:
Cheol-Kkot-Sae
(Steel.Flower.Bird)

(Tzadik)



Clifford Thornton
Memorial Quartet, The
(McPhee /
Lazro /
Foussat /
Sato):
Sweet Oranges

(Not Two)



Derek Bailey /
Evan Parker:
The London Concert
[VINYL]

(Otoroku)



Francois Carrier /
Michel Lambert /
Rafal Mazur:
Beyond Dimensions

(FMR)



Paul Dunmall /
John O'Gallagher /
John Edwards /
Mark Sanders:
Freedom Music

(FMR)



Frode Gjerstad /
Hamid Drake /
William Parker:
[4-CD BOX SET]

(Not Two)



DKV Trio
(Drake /
Kessler /
Vandermark):
Latitude 41.88

(Not Two)



Evan Parker /
Derek Bailey /
Han Bennink:
The Topography
of the Lungs
[VINYL]

(Otoroku)



Frode Gjerstad /
John Stevens /
Johnny Mbizio Dyani:
Detail 83

(FMR)







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