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Kullhammar, Aalberg Zetterber & Santos Silva: Basement Sessions Vol.4 (The Bali Tapes) (Clean Feed)

The 4th volumes of this remarkable set of "basement session" from the Swedish trio of Espen Aalberg on drums & percussion, Jonas Kullhammar on saxophone & flute, and Torbjorn Zetterberg on bass, joined by Susana Santos Silva on trumpet, for a beautiful album of free hard bop, encompassing spiritual and ritual aspects of gamelan music in a unique and wonderful album. ... Click to View


Imaginary Numbers (McPhee / Niggenkemper / Solberg): Imaginary Numbers (Clean Feed)

Playing both pocket trumpet and tenor sax, Joe McPhee joins German/French/NY bassist Pascal Niggenkemper, and Norwegian drummer Stale Liavik Solberg, for an authoritative and bold album of collective free improv, three extended conversations that center on "A Supreme Love (For John Coltrane)", pointing to the history and sympathies of these impressive musicians. ... Click to View


Gard Nilssen's Acoustic Unity : Live in Europe [3 CDs] (Clean Feed)

Three complete 2016 concerts at North Sea Jazz Festival, Ljubljana Jazz Festival and Oslo Jazz Festiva, and 3 CDs to present them, from drummer Gard Nilssen's Acoustic Unity, a superb free/post-bop group with a core of Nilssen, bassist Petter Eldh, and saxophonist Andre Roligheten, featuring 3 saxophonists: Fredrik Ljungkvis, Kristoffer Berre Alberts, and Jorgen Mathisen. ... Click to View


Tree Ear (Strinning / Troller / Hemingway): Witches Butter (Clean Feed)

After percussionist and composer Gerry Hemingway migrated to Luzern, Switzerland he joined forces with the creative improvising community in that city, in particular with guitarist Manuel Troller and saxophonist and bass clarinetist Sebastian Strinning, the trio taking the name Tree Ear, blending free and idiomatic improv in bold, uncommon and spellbinding ways. ... Click to View


Eve Risser / Kaja Draksler: To Pianos (Clean Feed)

Two pianists dedicate to their instruments at the Gallus Hall of Cankarjev Dom during the 57th Jazz Festival Ljubljana: Paris-based pianist Eve Risser (Umlaut, En-Corps, &c) and Slovenian pianist Kaja Draskler (I/O, Draskler Octet, &c.), to record these inventive duos, weaving their keys together or working inside and out of the piano in incredible sonic approaches. ... Click to View


Joao Camoes / Jean-Luc Cappozzo / Jean-Marc Foussat: Autres Paysages (Clean Feed)

"Autres Paysages" or "Other Landscapes" pins the description on the rich, turbulent, and mesmerizing music this trio creates, with French violist Joao Camoes and Jean-Marc Foussat on the EMS Synthi AKS collaborating for their 3rd album, joined by trumpeter Jean-Luc Cappozzo, as acoustics and electronics subsume and survive seamlessly in an inspired set of recordings. ... Click to View


Parker, Moster Abrams & Herndon: Ran Do (Clean Feed)

Chicago and Norway free improvisers come together in the quartet of Kjetil Moster (tenor sax), Jeff Parker (guitar), John Herndon (drums) and Joshua Abrams (double bass), having played once in Chicago's bar Rodan in 2008, and finally reunited to bring this album, blending polyrhythmic, rock, jazz, free playing, textural and grooves together into an exhilarating music. ... Click to View


Nick Fraser (w/ Malaby / Downing / Clutton): Is Life Long? (Clean Feed)

Toronto drummer Nick Fraser leads the quartet of Tony Malaby on saxophones, Andrew Downing on cellos, and Rob Clutton on bass in their 3rd album together, presenting 6 Fraser original compositions, using both string players to create unique harmonic environments over which they combine lyrical and contemporary approaches to jazz and improv. ... Click to View


Sirius (Tembe / Trinite): Acoustic Main Suite Plus The Inner One (Clean Feed)

A beautifully complex album of resonant improvisation from Swazi born trumpeter Yaw Tembe, who is committed to bring Africa to the Portuguese free music scene, Yaw, and Paris veteran percussionist / objects manipulator, Monsieur Trinitee, blending patient sonic environments with percussive platforms, and both meditative and scrabbly trumpet work; an absorbing release. ... Click to View


FCT Trio meets Carlos Atti (Atti / Graziano / Evangelista / Cusa): From Sun Ra to Donald Trump (Clean Feed)

With humorous titles referencing everything from Sun Ra to Donald Trump, Italian drummer Francesco Cusa's quartet with Carlo Atti (sax), Simone Graziano (piano) and Gabriele Evangelista (bass), reimagine the concepts of traditional jazz standards and formats into contemporatry approaches of composition and playing, in a serious and lyrical album of modern creative jazz. ... Click to View


Joao Lencastre's Communion 3 (Lencastre / Sacks / Opsvik): Movements In Freedom (Clean Feed)

Communion is Portuguese drummer and composer Joao Lencastre's project to bring musicians from the American and international jazz scenes together, here in his 3rd release presenting a piano trio with two New Yorkers--pianist Jacob Sack and Norwegian bassist living in New York, Eivind Opsvik--for 3 Lencastre compositions, 1 Ornette Coleman piece, and 6 collective compositions. ... Click to View


Ada Rave Trio (w/ Nicola L. Hein / Wilbert De Joode): The Sea, the Storm and the Full Moon (Clean Feed)

Mixing free jazz and and open-minded collective improv using unusual techniques from Argentinian-born, Amsterdam based saxophonist Ada Rave and her trio with German prepared guitarist Nicola L. Hein and Netherland bassist Wilbert De Joode, blending lyrical formats as she seeks new paths in the combination of written composition and spontaneous improvisation. ... Click to View


Steve Swell (w/ Brown / Hwang / Ulrich / Boston / Pugliese): Music for Six Musicians: Hommage a Olivier Messiaen (Silkheart)

Steve Swell presents an homage to composer Olivier Messiaen in a sextet with Rob Brown (saxophone), Jason Kao Hwang (violin & viola), Robert Boston (piano & organ), Tomas Ulrich (cello), and Jim Pugliese (drums & percussion) performed live at Metro Baptist Church in NYC, 2017, a presentation of encompassing and passionate free music that knows little boundary. ... Click to View


Barbez w/ Velina Brown: For Those Who Came After: Songs Of Resistance From The Spanish Civil War (Important Record)

New York's literate and genre-encompassing rock band Barbez led by guitarist and journalist Dan Kaufman present their 5th album, renderings of protest songs from The Spanish Civil War in a tribute to the Spanish International Brigades, blending avant-rock, contemporary classical, and folk music styles into a compelling and historically important set of songs. ... Click to View


Barbez w/ Velina Brown: For Those Who Came After: Songs Of Resistance From The Spanish Civil War [VINYL] (Important Record)

New York's literate and genre-encompassing rock band Barbez led by guitarist and journalist Dan Kaufman present their 5th album, renderings of protest songs from The Spanish Civil War in a tribute to the Spanish International Brigades, blending avant-rock, contemporary classical, and folk music styles into a compelling and historically important set of songs. ... Click to View


Mark Helias / Tom Rainey / Tony Malaby: The Signal Maker (Intakt)

Double bass player Mark Helias leads his Open Loose trio, founded in 1996 and currently comprised of Tom Rainey on drums and Tony Malaby on tenor sax, taking Helias' compositions and reworking them live until they become the dozen magnificent pieces recorded on this album: a diverse, flexible and creative set of approaches to jazz and free improvisation. ... Click to View


Harry Bertoia: Sonambients: The Sound Sculpture Of Harry Bertoia [CD + DVD] (Important Record)

Italian-born American artist, sound art sculptor, and modern furniture designer Harry Bertoia in a CD/DVD package containing historic recordings made in Harry Bertoia's Sonambient barn, where he developed sculptures with sonic properties, including four recently discovered audio recordings and a DVD of interview footage, showing Bertoia at work. ... Click to View


Eleh / Christina Kubisch: Split: "Tesla's Dream" b/w "Ohmage/Resistor" [VINYL] (Important Records)

A split LP, with the first side from Christina Kubisch as she contemplates Nicolai Tesla and his concept of electrical remoteness as it applies to the modern world using electromagnetic field recordings from modern devices; side B presents Eleh's composition "Ohmage/Resistor" utilizing a new kind of spaciousness, composed for piano & Serge STS modular synthesizers. ... Click to View


Eleh: Home Age [VINYL] (Important Record)

The mysterious electronic musician Eleh in his first full length release since 2012, seeking to expose the inherent musicality of pure electrical currents via high resolution Serge STS synthesizers, a slowly developing work of subtle harmonic and melodic motion. ... Click to View


John Wall / Mark Durgan: Contrapt (Harbinger Sound)

After their 2012 album "139", the duo of UK electroacoustic experimenters John Wall and Mark Durgan return for a second album of unusual sound composed from improvisations between the two recorded in Wall's Utterpsalm Studio in London between 2012-1, restructuring their recordings into fascinating ecosystems of sound. ... Click to View


Ernesto Rodrigues / Carlos Santos: Piano (Creative Sources)

A unique take on the piano, with both participants--Ernesto Rodrigues and Carlos Santos--approaching the physical aspects of the instrument, somewhat beyond prepared piano, as the two record not just the strings but the wood, metal and most likely wheels of the instrument, creating a cantankerous display of sound that unfolds slowly; idiosyncratic and noteworthy. ... Click to View


Spontaneous Music Ensemble: Karyobin (1968) [2017 REISSUE] (Emanem)

The 2nd SME record to be issued, a 1968 classic of free improvisation as the quintet of John Stevens, Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, Dave Holland, and Kenny Wheeler, the 1st SME to feature their new organisational method, here remastered with far superior sound and balance than previous issues, with new notes by Evan Parker, Dave Holland and Martin Davidson plus session photos. ... Click to View


George Khan: Ah! (1968-2005) [2 CDs] (Emanem)

An essential retrospective of UK saxophonist and flutist George Khan's long career featuring 4 concerts: a 1980 duo with People Band percussionist Terry Day; a 1968 quintet with Peter Lemer (piano), Albert Kovitz (clarinet), Frank Flowers (double bass) and Terry Day; in 1975 with Terry Day and bassist Charlie Hart; and solo in London around 2005 at Mopomoso. ... Click to View


Musicianer (Sinton / Ajemian / Taylor): Slow Learner (Iluso)

Sidney Bechet referred to fellow musician as "musicianers", the title for New York baritone saxophonist Josh Sinton's trio with Jason Ajemian on acoustic bass and Chad Taylor on drums and percussion, in an outstandingly creative and compelling album of modern jazz showing the strong links between these three, dating back to their work together in Chicago in the 80s. ... Click to View


Josh Sinton: Krasa (Irabbagast)

New York reedist Josh Sinton takes the contrabass clarinet on a wild ride, performing live with no overdubs, using clip-on mics, a mixing board, a sans amp box, a volume pedal, and a bass amp, as he explores sonic possibilities and unexpected directions for this big reed instrument in his quest to redefine the old Slavic word for beauty or splendor: krasa. ... Click to View


Sista Maj: Series Of Nested Universes [2 CDs] (Space Rock Productions )

Organized by Camper van Beethoven violinist Johan Segal, Sista Maj is an instrumental psychedelic rock trio with Mikael Tuominen on bass, baritone guitar and sitar, and Andreas Axelsson on drums and percussion, with Segal also on organ, electric guitar, synth and bass, for a double CD exploring sophisticated heavy electric rock, jazz, hypnotic, and space music. ... Click to View


Schlippenbach Trio (Schlippenbach / Evan Parker / Lovens): Warsaw Concert (Intakt)

After 44 years, the UK/European free improvising trio of pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach with saxophonist Evan Parker and drummer Paul Lovens, present this, their 20th album, an incredible extended performance plus a brief coda recorded during the Ad Libitum Festival at the Polish broadcasting, a testament to masterful skill and the endurance of free jazz. ... Click to View


John Zorn: The Hermetic Organ Vol. 5 _Philharmonie De Paris (Tzadik)

During a week in April 2017 John Zorn travelled to Paris, where he performed several concerts including "The Interpretation of Dreams", presented an evening with guests, and performed solo on the organ at the Grande salle Pierre Boulez, the full concert of which is presented on this CD, along with 30 minutes of recordings made before the evening's concert. ... Click to View


Piiptsjilling: Fiif (Peter Foolen Editions)

Piiptsjilling is the duo of guitarist Romke Kleefstra and vocalists Mariska Baars & Jan Kleefstra, joined here by Rutger Zuydervelt, aka Machinefabriek, combining poetry with vocals, guitars and electronics in improvisational settings, creating rich sonic environments over which the voice guides the listener, speaking in one of the Germanic Frisian languages. ... Click to View


Tatsuya Nakatani : Cooked In My Van (H&H Production)

Anyone who follows the work of Japanese drummer/percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani knows that cooking on the road is an integral part of his traveling life, and this slender cookbook provides images, descriptions, and insight into this cooking and his life on the road, with suggestions for meals that would make the perfect accompaniment to an evening of Nakatani's music. ... Click to View


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  Stop and Smell the Sewers  

Psychogeographers Strive to Slow the Nonstop City


By Kurt Gottschalk and Urania Mylonas
Photos by Kurt Gottschalk 2003-06-24

On a rainy night in May in the Lower East Side, about 100 people stopped or slowed down traffic, and nobody got mad. Motorists actually smiled as the motley crew of costumed revelers, wearing skirts made from recycled magazines and hats made from household items, banged on cans, bottles, and washboards, anything they could make noise with, as they paraded up Essex Street, onto Houston and headed towards the confines of East River Park.

The event was part of Psy-Geo Conflux, a weekend dedicated to redefining how we experience the city. The parade itself was organized by the Toy Shop Collective, who previously won a competition organized by evolutionre zellen, a Berlin-based group dedicated to finding and funding those who can best answer the question: "How do you design your society?"

As the group traveled along Houston, several police cars trailed them, although they didn't try to stop the march. Many people along the way looked quizzically, as if wondering what was going on. One man stopped a member of the group and asked her why she was banging on an old dirty can. "Thats junk!" he said. The woman looked at her can, then reached inside it and pulled out a whistle and handed it to him. He seemed resistant at first, but the bright smiles and infectious enthusiasm of this group won him over and he jumped in, blowing on his whistle and abandonding self-consciousness, tuning in to the group's collective consciousness, which was best described by a banner some of them held: Is the Fear of Looking Stupid Holding You Back?

Street Grid
Psychogeographers Locate Street Scenes at ABC No Rio
Psychogeopraphy is a discipline discussed in universities and celebrated among anarchist collectives like the Lower East Side's ABC No Rio, where much of the weekend's festivities were centered. But it's not one that's easily defined. While some organizers and participants attempted long explanations of the small field of thought that concerns itself with how the environment affects an individual's inner state, others offered simpler, more utilitarian explanations. It's an effort to "stop taking for granted the things you take for granted," said Drexel University history professor Scott Knowles, who lives in Queens and took part in several of the events aimed at slowing down the nonstop city.

Knowles is a member of a loosely-knit group calling itself Psychogeography New York. In the last two years, they have undertaken such activities as collecting objects on the street and redistributing them around the city based on the object's aesthetic qualities; riding the length of the A train, starting in upper Manhattan and making the two-hour ride to have a party in Far Rockaway, Queens; and exploring the city using maps of other cities. Such projects, Knowles said, are intended to undermine their own expectations about what goes on in, and below, the streets of New York.

"To me, at the very simplest level, stripped of political meaning, it's making yourself aware that your surroundings not only effect what you think, they are what you think," Knowles said. "At the first level, it's what you are seeing and then what you are not. But there's a deeper level that people discuss where, as capitalism develops, more of the experience of the street is closed off and you are channeled to certain areas in the street.

"It's not a religion," he added. "It's not a life-changing philosophy. It's realizing that what you see on the street is effecting you."

Taking time to appreciate one's surroundings is, of course, hardly a 21st century innovation (although it may well be one that denizens of this century would be wise to recall). Psychogeography as a discipline dates back to Paris in the 1950s, but it has roots that stretch back much further. One could even argue that Socrates, who said "The unexamined life is not worth living," was the first psychogeographer. During a talk at ABC No Rio, photographer Colette Meacher, who has worked as a lecturer in Cultural Studies at the University of the Andes in Bogota, discussed the value of meditative walking through philosopher Immanuel Kant's work.

"Walking has always been a means to thought, not just for writers, artists and poets but for philosophers as well," Meacher said. Kant took the same walk at the same time every day, and used these walks as ways to discover the beautiful and the sublime, not just in his surroundings but in own experiential states, she said.

"The city itself, as landscape, offers moments of wonder by virtue of the wealth of diverse practices which, synchronously, and continuously, manifest therein," she said during the talk. "The sublime views which can be gained neither depend on perspectival privilege nor on a specific positionality within its spaces - a feeling of awe can be achieved irrespective of familiarity with it or whether it is approached wit a 'naive' eye."

Regaining that "naive eye" was the impetus for several self-guided walks during the weekend. People stopping by ABC No Rio could pick up photos taken around the Lower East Side, locate the site pictured, and then return to put them in the appropriate spot on a large map on the wall. A book was handed out that directed the reader around the city, steering participants in different directions based on hearing a car alarm or a cell phone or seeing a bicycle locked to a street sign or a woman wearing a hat. And groups were sent out to photograph and document the service entrances of New York's most prominent buildings.

Bill Brown
Bill Brown
If the psychogeographers want to get a fresh look at the city, they're not forgetting that they're being watched at the same time. Bill Brown maps security cameras around the city, and says there are at least 7,500 in Manhattan alone. And with cameras mounted on emergency vehicles, planes and satellites, "we are now visible from the ground all the way to the sky," he said.

The cameras are not a product of terrorism concerns so much as attempts to monitor drug sales, traffic infractions and consumer behavior, he said.

"We are now visible to those cameras," Brown said, pointing to a camera mounted on the side of a building aimed at the dozen people circled around him. "Because we are lingering, we are loitering. It is interesting enough to track us. It used to be in our society we divided people into two groups, the people that might commit crimes and the people that might not commit crimes. If you stand here on the corner of 14th Street and 8th Avenue, you are worth watching."

The sights and sounds of the city have often been the source of artistic expression, of course. The closing party, held at Subtonic, in the basement of the nightclub Tonic a few blocks from ABC No Rio, featured site specific sound work by percussionist Sean Meehan and sound manipulator Geoff Dugan.

Sean Meehan & Geoff Dugan
Sean Meehan & Geoff Dugan
Dugan used recordings of Meehan playing on the street as a sound source, layering it and altering it as Meehan sat quietly, as if trying to find away in to the sound, into aduet with himself, despite excessive chatter and onlookers who displayed no sense of the performers' personal space. Or perhaps Meehan was simply absorbing all the noise, the sounds of conversation and cash registers, before beginning. Eventually he entered into the dialogue, rubbing the rim of his snare with a fork, rolling the drum on the floor, pushing thin wooden rods against a cymbal, mixing in with the sound around. Whatever his reaction - annoyed, amused or inspired - it could only have been seen as appropriate by the psychogeographers gathered on a rainy Mother's Day night. Meehan and Meehan, and the sounds of a basement bar. To ignore the noise would, perhaps, have been to miss the point.



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Recent Selections @ Squidco:


Tree Ear
(Strinning /
Troller /
Hemingway):
Witches Butter
(Clean Feed)



Gard Nilssen's
Acoustic Unity :
Live in
Europe
[3 CDs]
(Clean Feed)



Eve Risser /
Kaja Draksler:
To Pianos
(Clean Feed)



Jonas Kullhammar,
Aalberg Zetterber
& Santos Silva:
Basement Sessions
Vol.4
(The Bali Tapes)
(Clean Feed)



Imaginary Numbers
(McPhee /
Niggenkemper /
Solberg):
Imaginary Numbers
(Clean Feed)



Joao Camoes /
Jean-Luc Cappozzo /
Jean-Marc Foussat:
Autres Paysages
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Steve Swell
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Hwang /
Ulrich /
Boston /
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Six Musicians: Hommage a
Olivier Messiaen
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Schlippenbach Trio
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Lovens):
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Spontaneous Music
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[2017 REISSUE]
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Musicianer
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Sista Maj:
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Hollis Taylor:
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Matthew Lux's
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Tomas Fujiwara :
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Mary Halvorson:
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