The Squid's Ear
Recently @ Squidco:

Charles Mingus:
At Antibes 1960, Revisited (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

Restoring and remastering the 1979 Atlantic album Mingus at Antibes from bassist & composer Charles Mingus, an extraordinary concert from the 1960 Antibes Jazz Festival with the masterful sextet of Eric Dolphy on alto sax & bass clarinet, Ted Curson on trumpet, Booker Ervin on tenor saxophone, and Dannie Richmond on drums, with Bud Powell or Mingus himself on piano. ... Click to View

CALATO / John Cage:
Variations + Four6 (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

Calato, the quartet of Javier Areal Vélez, Jorge Espinal, Agustín Genoud and Pablo Verón based in Buenos Aires, formed in 2010 as an improvisation and experimental composition group exploring music notation and graphic scores in convergence with free improvisation, performing on prepared electric guitars, drums, sampler and amplified voice, here taking on two works by John Cage: Variations I-III, and Four6. ... Click to View

Hans Koch / Christine Abdelnour:
FFlair (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

Born from a project from the "Jazz in Chur" association where Swiss jazz musicians team up with a musical partner from a country with a different language and cultural region, here between Swiss saxophonist Hans Koch and Lebanese saxophonist Christine Abdelnour, the two recording their half of the duo independently, joined in the studio and split left & right for a stunning and unanticipated collaboration. ... Click to View

Amadou / Cambien / Rempis:
On The Blink (Aerophonic)

After sharing a stage with Belgium bassist Farida Amadou--whose collaborations include Peter Brötzmann, Steve Noble, and Thurston Moore--Chicago saxophonist Dave Rempis and Amadou sought an opportunity to record together, joining with Amadou collaborator, pianist Jonas Cambien, to record these startling studio improvisations during a 2022 tour in Belgium and The Netherlands. ... Click to View

Rodrigues / Parrinha / Flak / Santos:
Die Zwitscher-Maschine (Creative Sources)

Referencing Twittering Machine, a 1922 painting by Paul Klee that depicts a group of birds on a wire connected to a hand-crank, interpreted as as a visual representation of the mechanics of sound, the ea-improvising quartet of Ernesto Rodrigues (viola), Bruno Parrinha (bass clarinet), Flak (electric guitar) and Carlos Santos (modular synth) present three hi-tension improvisations. ... Click to View

Francisco Meirino / Jerome Noetinger:
Drainage, In Six Parts (Klanggalerie )

Recording in Switzerland at La Becque Residency Center, the experimental improvising duo of Francisco Meirino on synth & field recording and Jerome Noetinger using electronics, tape, reel to reel player & radio, create a 6-part series of unusual sonic interactions, patiently exposing unidentifiable sounds and synthetic punctuation, neither subtle nor explosive but wonderfully engaging. ... Click to View

Kromeshna / Chefkirk:
Surfaces (Besperech')

Mysterious sonic collaborations between Russian experimental electronic musician Vitaly Maklakov, who runs the Torga Amun and Ostroga labels, and Oregon sound artist CHEFKIRK (of the Bicephalic label), merging field recordings and experiments with tape & synths to create five works of submerged sound amid enigmatic detail; mastered by Squidco's own Carl Kruger. ... Click to View

Songs for the Nervous System [VINYL] (thanatosis produktion)

An investigation into the depths of the body's neurological frontier from Swedish electronic artist Joakim Forsgren, presenting a series of intuitive compositions drawing from the latest medical research on how light and sound at specific frequencies has a potential to affect bodily functions, using analog synthesizers to create retro-rhythmic environments of flowing sound. ... Click to View

Leap Of Faith:
Coherent Alternatives (Evil Clown)

Leap of Faith is the core duet of the Leap of Faith Orchestra (LOFO) comprised of PEK on clarinets, saxophones, double reeds & flutes, and Glynis Lomon on cello, aquasonic & voice, here joined by John Fugarino performing on trumpet, slide valve trumpet, flugelhorn, trombone and leveraging the vast Evil Clown arsenal of percussion devices. ... Click to View

John Butcher / Pat Thomas / Dominic Lash / Steve Noble:
Fathom (577 Records)

The debut for UK saxophonist John Butcher on 577 Records is this exemplary 2021 live recording at Cafe OTO in London by the quartet of Butcher on tenor and soprano saxophones, Pat Thomas on piano, Dominic Lash on double bass and Steve Noble on drums, four of the UK's leading free improvisers demonstrating their prodigious abilities in concentrated conversation. ... Click to View

Matthew Shipp:
The Intrinsic Nature Of Shipp (Mahakala Music)

Recording in the studio in NYC in 2023, pianist Matthew Shipp presents ten concise improvisations, forcefully powerful statements from energetic complexities to contemplatively inventive abstractions, at times explicitly referencing jazz tradition with an innate lyricism, at times bulldozing through tradition to create something uniquely Shipp. ... Click to View

Scott Fields Ensemble:
The Songs of Steve Dalachinsky (Ayler)

Irish guitarist and composer Scott Fields has worked with the poems of late New York writer Steve Dalachinsky over the years, here bringing together an ensemble of improvisers, electronic and contemporary classical performers to set a suite of six poems by Dalachinsky sung by soprano Barbara Schachtner, with interludes between each weaving them into a larger and satisfying opus. ... Click to View

Fred Anderson Quartet (Anderson / Brimfield / Drake / Hayrod):
Milwaukee Tapes Vol. 2 (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

An original member of the AACM and owner & director of the Velvet Lounge jazz club leading Chicago's free and experimental music scenes, and a mentor to countless young jazz musicians, tenor saxophonist Fred Anderson is heard in the counterpart to the 2000 Unheard Music Series album, The Milwaukee Tapes, this 2nd unissued volume of material from the same 1980 concert. ... Click to View

Paul Lytton / Erhard Hirt:
Borne on a Whim: Duets, 1981 (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

The first release from Corbett vs. Dempsey drawing on the Paul Lytton Archives, this recording of electronic & acoustic improvisation from UK percussionist Paul Lytton and German guitarist Erhard Hirt was recorded in Belgium in 1981 for the German Po Torch label, founded in 1976 by Paul Lovens & Paul Lytton to release forward-looking forms of free improvisation. ... Click to View

Harri Sjostrom / Erhard Hirt / Philipp Wachsman / Paul Lytton:
Especially For You (Bead)

A concert recording on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Einstein Kultur in Munich from the quartet of Erhard Hirt on guitar & computer and Paul Lytton on drums, percussion & objects (half of the Quartet XPACT) plus Harri Sjostrom on soprano & sopranino saxophones and Philipp Wachsmann on violin & electronics, presenting a remarkable set of collective ea-improvisations. ... Click to View

Rodrigues / Lonberg-Holm / Flak / Madeira / Oliveira:
The Giving Tree Moving On (Creative Sources)

Adding Chicago cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm to their string-oriented improvisation, the Portuguese collaborative quartet of Ernesto Rodrigues on viola and crackle box, João Madeira on double bass, Flak on electric guitar and percussionist Jose Oliveira perform an 8-part suite of entwined strings and subtle punctuation, a selfless blending of masterful skill. ... Click to View

Jordan Dykstra:
14 Horse Bells (Editions Verde)

Recorded in Brooklyn by Jordan Dykstra performing on viola, electronics, percussion & programming, this is the second release in his subharmonic series "Seeing the Forest in a Tree", exploring one conceptual idea with four radically different realizations through arrangements contrasting the acoustic sources of viola & bells with prepared speakers and sine-tones. ... Click to View

Reincarnations (Evil Clown)

A quartet of collective improvisors focused on the merging of percussion and electronics from the Boston project Simulacrum in an extended transmigration, here with Bob Moores on guitar and synths, former Cecil Taylor bassist Albey onBass, keyboardist Eric Zinman also performing on drum kit, and David Peck on reeds, winds, electronics and percussive devices. ... Click to View

Simon Nabatov:
Extensions (Unbroken Sounds)

Based in Cologne but including improvisers from Europe, Australia and South America, pianist Simon Nabatov extends his quartet concept into a sextet (hence the title), allowing greater flexibility in the band's collective free improvisations with influences of chamber jazz, as heard in two sophisticated improvisations capture live in 2022 at Salon de Jazz, in Cologne, Germany. ... Click to View

Allemano / Oberg / Bauer / Fischerlehner:
Sog (Creative Sources)

Four improvisations titled for the way nature deals with water (The Whirlpool, The Vortex, The Whirlwind, Maelstrom) from the quartet of Lina Allemano on trumpet, Uwe Oberg on piano, Matthias Bauer on doublebass and Rudi Fischerlehner on drums & percussion, heard in this well-flowing, well-recorded and energetically upbeat set at Zentrifuge in Berlin in 2022. ... Click to View

Rob Mazurek & Exploding Star Orchestra:
Lightning Dreamers (International Anthem)

A compact version of the Exploding Star Orchestra, trumpeter & composer Rob Mazurek's octet with guitarist Jeff Parker, drummer Gerald Cleaver, pianists Angelica Sanchez & Craig Taborn, flutist Nicole Mitchell, vocalist Damon Locks and percussionist Mauricio Takara present a far-ranging set of electric jazz, Miles-atmospheres and lyrically compelling music. ... Click to View

John Zorn Incerto (Marsella / Smith / Lage / Roeder):
Full Fathom Five (Tzadik)

Zorn expands the canon for his lyrical jazz quartet Incerto of Brian Marsella on piano, Ches Smith on drums & Haitian Tanbou, Julian Lage on guitar and Jorge Roeder on bass, composing a suite of seven subtle and passionate nocturnes inspired by the night imagery of Shakespeare, merging jazz and chamber forms with a Downtown NY sensibility; gorgeous. ... Click to View

Camila Nebbia:
Una Ofrenda A La Ausencia (Relative Pitch)

Working in her native Buenos Aires, Argentina and in Berlin, tenor saxophonist Camila Nebbia (Habitable Records) presents sixteen succint, diverse and authoritative solo recordings captured in the studio in Bueno Aires, a mix of assertive harmonic statements and lyrical, often introspective works, at times narrating over her playing or adding effects. ... Click to View

O Monolith (Warp Records)

The second full-length album from the UK genre-merging rock band Squid, in eight new songs of quirky imagistic and insightful lyrics and playing, surprising instrumental combinations and an experimental approach to layering sound, born from onstage improv experiments during their 2021 tour, recording this album at Peter Gabriel's studio at the end of that tour. ... Click to View

Superposition (Todd A. Carter / Michael Hartman):
Glaciers (Kettle Hole Records)

Members of the Chicago free improvising, collaborative band TV Pow--Todd A. Carter and Michael Hartman--as a duo are Superposition, recording improvisations and composed improvisations primarily on piano, Rhodes, organ, and synthesizers, then mixing, adding and editing them into appealing tracks that merge electronics, jazz forms and soundscape. ... Click to View

Simulacrum (Peck / onBass / Moores / Simches):
Semblance (Evil Clown)

An offshoot of Metal Chaos Ensemble, Simulacrum features 3 the core members of that band--David Peck on winds, horns, percussion and electronics, Eric Woods on analog synth, and Bob Moores on space trumpet, guitar & electronics--substituting Joel Simches for Woods to provide maximum real-time signal processing for this extended and diverse set of free improv, jazz and soundscape. ... Click to View

Turbulence Orchestra:
Dynamos (Evil Clown)

Turbulence projects are orchestrated for multiple horn players drawn from the Leap of Faith Orchestra, here using David Peck's Broad Palate concept to introduce multiple sonorities, in an octet of four trumpeters (Ellwood Epps, Bob Moores, Vance Provey and John Fugarino), one lower brass (Duane Reed) and three reeds (Peck, Michael Caglianone and Jared Holaday). ... Click to View

Brotzmann / Van Hove / Bennink / Albert Mangelsdorff:
Outspan No 1 [VINYL] (Cien Fuegos)

Recorded a month after Outspan No 1, this album was captured live at 1974 Ost-West-Festival in Nurnberg, Germany from the legendary, masterfully amusing and absolutely serious trio of Peter Brötzmann on alto saxophone, tenor saxophone & clarinet, Fred Van Hove on piano, and Han Bennink on drums, clarinet, homemade junk, everything & anything. ... Click to View

Brotzmann / Van Hove / Bennink:
Outspan No 2 [VINYL] (Cien Fuegos)

Recorded a month after Outspan No 1, this album was captured live at 1974 Ost-West-Festival in Nurnberg, Germany from the legendary, masterfully amusing and absolutely serious trio of Peter Brötzmann on alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, clarinet, Fred Van Hove on piano, Han Bennink on drums, clarinet, homemade junk, everything, anything. ... Click to View

Mark Reboul / Roberta Piket / Billy Mintz:
Seven Pieces / About an Hour / Saxophone, Piano, Drums (ESP-Disk)

A sophisticated album of collective free jazz recorded in Brooklyn in 2004, from the trio of husband and wife improvisers Roberta Piket on piano and Billy Mintz on drums, with under-recorded saxophonist Mark Reboul rounding out the trio, as the three present "Seven Pieces" in "About an Hour" of stunningly elegant, implicitly melodic and impressively creative playing. ... Click to View

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  Chefkirk & Crank Sturgeon 
  Nice To Err With You  
  (Love Earth Music) 

   review by Jeph Jerman
Chefkirk & Crank Sturgeon: Nice To Err With You (Love Earth Music)

A whopping double dose of Dada from the duo of Chefkirk (Roger Smith) and Crank Sturgeon (Matt Anderson). Cheap electronics get poured into a large ornate mixing bowl and twiddled about to lovely effect. A hint of the ol' idiot glee is at work here methinks. Loops thick with pocket lint get submerged under squealy chipmunk trailer wheels amid an unintelligible mutter-line. I cannot stress enough just how dangerous driving became while listening to this on the car stereo. So keep it at home, obviously.

Writers used to refer to double albums as "sprawling" and I think that term might be a bit too gauche to apply here. From the eye-popping computer-made cover art to the long recitation of long-held truths, this is a tidy achievement indeed. What does it sound like? I guffaw at the very question, but I'll try to answer it anyway. A thick field of electricity welded to a roomful of barely articulated notions, corralled by a couple of giggling cohorts sharing a number of in-jokes simultaneously. Yes, there is crackle. And fizz, and chirp and whinny too. Plus a lot of stuff that's unnamable, so I won't even try. A clue might be the eagle, frog and ship-devouring squid that lie waiting under the pastel pink, yellow and lime green pasties on the front cover. This stuff is just plain fun. There's so much going on at times that you just have to sit back and let it rain down on you and be happy to catch the odd detail. Over time you'll learn to love it all. Unlike much that gets lumped under the general rubric of "noise" these gentlemen swing vary hard toward the idea that making a racket is one of the last joys known to mankind. Perhaps this will inspire you to your own revelry.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have witnessed Chefkirk in the flesh and over the years have bought handily crafted contact mics from Mr. Sturgeon. Neither of those occurrences in any way influenced this review.

Chefkirk & Crank Sturgeon: Nice To Err With You
Is On Sale at Squidco!

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Recent Selections @ Squidco:

Rob Mazurek &
Exploding Star Orchestra:
Lightning Dreamers
(International Anthem)

Simon Nabatov:
(Unbroken Sounds)

O Monolith
(Warp Records)

Allemano /
Oberg /
Bauer /
(Creative Sources)

Hermann Nitsch:
Das Orgien Mysterien Theater
Musik des 6 Tage Spiels
[2 CDs]
(Trost Records)

Mark Reboul /
Roberta Piket /
Billy Mintz:
Seven Pieces
About an Hour
Saxophone, Piano, Drums

Bill Orcutt:
Jump On It

Brotzmann /
Van Hove /
Bennink /
Albert Mangelsdorff:
Outspan No 1
(Cien Fuegos)

Brotzmann /
Van Hove /
Outspan No 2
(Cien Fuegos)

Schindler /
Rodrigues /
Rodrigues /
Conspiratorial And
Fulminate Things
[2 CDs]
(Creative Sources)

Ackerley /
Uesaka /
Petting Zoo
(Waveform Alphabet)

Leap Of Faith
Chinese Orchestra:
Jade Mirror of
The Four Unknowns
(Evil Clown)

Axel Dorner /
Allemano, Lina:
(Relative Pitch)

Meaning And Truth
(Evil Clown)

Rodrigues /
Madeira /
No Strings Attached
(Creative Sources)

Valentin Ceccaldi (
w/ Ziemniak /
Ottervanger /
Bonbon Flamme
(Clean Feed)

(zOaR Records)

Tatsuya Yoshida x
Satoshi Mishoiba:
Moonlight Sonata
(Magaibutsu Limited)

John Butcher /
Dominic Lash /
Emil Karlsen:
Here and Now

The Same Rivers
(Poverty Electronics)

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