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Nakatani Gong Orchestra: Live Concert At Silo City (Nakatani-Kobo)

A full scale concert of Tatsuya Nakatani's Gong Orchestra with 15 performers bowing and striking Nakatani's collection large gongs under the conduction of Nakatani, recorded at the Silo City performance space in Buffalo, NY in 2017 in a rich, deep and mysterious album of large tones using the natural resonance of the Marine A Grain Elevator. ... Click to View


Jerome Noetinger / SEC_: La Cave Des Etendards (Mikroton Recordings)

Titled from the two venues where these concerts were recorded, the duo of Jerome Noetinger and Mimmo Napolitano both use revox reel to reel recorders, plus feedback systems, laptop and other electroacoustic devices to create strange and gripping aural narratives, built of abstract elements yet deceptively concrete, compelling stories; exceptional. ... Click to View


New Thing Unit: For Cecil Taylor (Creative Sources)

Dedicated to the late free jazz legend Cecil Taylor, this Lisbon sextet of Paulo Alexandre Jorge on tenor saxophone, Ernesto Rodrigues on viola, Eduardo Chagas on trombone, Manuel Guimaraes on piano, Miguel Mira on cello, and Pedro Santo on drums performs four energetic and well-balanced collective improvisations, respecting and evoking the incredible legacy Taylor left behind. ... Click to View


Brinicle (McCormick / Bjorgo / Antalova): First Frost (Creative Sources)

Dynamic and compelling improvisations from the Oslo-based international guitar trio of Brinicle is an improvising trio comprised of Norwegian Hakon Norby Bjorgo on upright bass, Canadian Mike McCormick on electric guitar and Michaela Antalova on drum kit, who met in 2015 to join their interestes in the intersection of avant improvisation and post-rock. ... Click to View


J@K@L (Keefe Jackson / Julian Kirshner/ Fred Lonberg-Holm): After A Few Days (Jaki Records)

The amalgamation of the names of Chicago mainstays, saxophonist Keefe Jackson, drummer Julian Kirshner and Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello, tenor guitar and electronics, J@K@L are captured live the Hungry Brain in Chicago in a concert of intricate, dynamic, fast-paced and expressive free improvisation with a unique palette and extraordinarily strong communication. ... Click to View


Polyorchard: Sextet | Quintet (Out and Gone Music)

Quintet and sextet recordings from the Polyorchard group of Jeb Bishop on trombone, Chris Eubank on cello, Bill McConaghy on trumpet, David Menestres on double bass, David Morris on tuba, Dan Ruccia on viola, Jeb Bishop on trombone, Jacob Wick on trumpet, recording at "The Store" in Raleigh, NC, for sublime and complex and collective free improvisation. ... Click to View


Simon Rose / Philippe Lemoine: Seance (Tour de Bras)

Tenor and bariton saxophones in an exchange of spectral interactions that emphasize harmonic overtones and intersections, unusual emanations from both instruments in a perfectly paced improvisations, each of the 12 dialogs named aptly for locations and crossing in Englad and France, adding a sense of journey to these mysterious and wonderful expeditions. ... Click to View


Michel Bonneau / John Heward / Scott Thomson : 4x3 (Tour de Bras)

An unusual mix of instruments from the Montreal trio of percussionist Michel Bonneau on congas & balafon, John Heward on drums, and Scott Thomson on trombone, all members of Ratchet Orchestra and Heward's Murray Street Band, in an album of active and uniquely layered confident rhythmic floors over which Thomson freely plays with remarkable technique. ... Click to View


Beaudoin-de-la-Sablonniere, Louis / Eric Normand / Louis-Vincent Hamel: Brulez les Meubles (Tour de Bras)

Seeking to extend the guitar trio into new and unique territory, the Quebec trio of Eric Normand on electric bass, Louis Beaudoin-de-la-Sablonniere on electric guitar, and Louis-Vincent Hamel on drums, reference performers like Jim Hall, Sonny Sharrock, John Abercrombie, Bill Frisell while focusing on harmolodic force and unusual melodic lines. ... Click to View


Bill Orcutt: Why Does Everybody Love Free Music But Nobody Loves Free People? [VINYL 2 LPs] (Palilalia)

An horribly recorded album of solo guitar that begins with the concert promoter screaming at the audience, as Bill Orcutt takes the stage and plays an amazing set of solo acoustic guitar, a visceral album that perfectly fits Orcutt's history and playing style. ... Click to View


Giles Thornton Jazz Orchestra: Be In Today (FMR)

A large band project from UK composer, arranger and conductor Giles Thornton, directing 29 musicians through original works and reinterpretations of ballads like Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You", in a blend of acoustic and electronic musicians that avoids overt fusion overtones while keeping the music melodic with the occasional exotica flair. ... Click to View


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 Wadada 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; impressive. ... 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 core members 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 + DOWNLOAD] (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 + DOWNLOAD] (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 + DOWNLOAD] (Astral Spirits)

Lithunian reedist Liudas Mockunas, Polish bassist and electronicist 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 + DOWNLOAD] (Astral Spirits)

Bassist and sound artist Luke Stewart is a Washington, DC 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 unique compositions blending conceptual composition and improvisation. ... 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:


Peter Brotzmann The Octet:
Machine Gun
[VINYL]

(Cien Fuegos)



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

(Cien Fuegos)



Amado /
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Corsano:
A History
Of Nothing

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Amado /
Mcphee /
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Corsano:
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[VINYL]

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Derek Bailey:
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Joelle Leandre :
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Matthew Lux's
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Samara Lubelski /
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