The Squid's Ear
Recently @ Squidco:

Renzoku (Kondo / Kaiser / Goodman / Oswald):
Jump (Metalanguage)

Revealing 40 years of collaborations between late trumpeter Toshinori Kondo and West Coast guitarist Henry Kaiser, in configurations of duos between Kondo & Kaiser--most notably a beautiful and extended 2016 improvisation--then earlier duos from 1978, a 1980 trio with pianist Greg Goodman, a 1979 trio with saxophonist John Oswald, ending with a wonderfully idiosyncratic 2020 duo. ... Click to View


Sture Ericson / Pat Thomas / Raymond Strid:
Bagman LIve at Cafe Oto (577 Records)

The first trio collaboration between London pianist and innovator Pat Thomas and Swedish improvisers, Sture Ericson on saxophones, and Raymond Strid on drums, performing live at Cafe OTO in London in 2019 for four improvised soundscapes about the fictional character "Bagman", using extended and prodigious technique with both disruptive and melodic intentions. ... Click to View


Superimpose: Matthias Muller / Christian Marien (w/ John Butcher / Sofia Jernberg / Nate Wooley) :
With [3 CDs] (Inexhaustible Editions)

A three disc box set of impressive collective improvisations recorded in the studio by the Superimpose duo of Matthias Muller on trombone and Christian Marien on drums& percussion, joined on the first disc by John Butcher on tenor and soprano saxophones, then with improvising vocalist Sofia Jernberg for the 2nd disc, and on disc 3 with trumpeter Nate Wooley. ... Click to View


Quatuor Bozzini:
Michael Oesterle: Quatuors (Collection QB)

German-born Canadian composer living in Deux-Montagnes, Quebec Michael Oesterle has a long relationship with the Quatuor Bozzini beginning with their first commission 25 years ago, here in four works including a tribute to English mathematician Alan Turing, the large-scale "String Quartet No. 4", and a piece inspired by Quebec poet Nicole Brossard book Mecanique jongleuse. ... Click to View


Merzbow / Arcane Device:
Merzbow & Arcane Device (Important Records)

Two innovative sonic luminaries--Japan's Masami Akita, aka Merzbow, and New York City's David Lee Myers, aka Arcane Device--remix each other's work, bringing Myer's unique approach to feedback and ethereal electronics to harness Akita's agressive sounds, and in reverse, Akita's sense of disruptive sonics explode Myer's more contemplative feedback music. ... Click to View


OORT:
Meridian (Tour de Bras)

Each track of the Meridian, or Eastern desert land's traditional noon-time middle of the day, represents various stages, chronologically understood, of the day of an ανθρωπός (human), represented through deep double bass, drums, objects and electronics from Turin, Italy improvisers Michele Anelli and Nicholas Remondino. ... Click to View


Anna Kaluza / Jan Roder:
Am Frankfurter Tor (Relative Pitch)

Collaborating since 2004, Berlin alto saxophonist Anna Kaluza and double bassist Jan Roda--a member of Kaluza's Quartet with trombonist Christof Thewes and drummer Kay Lübke--in a studio album of duo improvisations, documenting their live performances in the same configuration since 2020, through ten succinct dialogs of informed affinity. ... Click to View


Linnea Talp:
Arch Of Motion (thanatosis produktion)

Performed with Stockholm musicians including pianist Alexander Zethson, wind player Martin Küchen and trombonist Mats Äleklint, organist Linnéa Talp explores the areas of sound that emulate breathing, push/pull or back & forth motion, in eight beautifully paced recordings led by the organ's rich and microtonal vibrations & timbre and imbued my the contributor's subtle additions. ... Click to View


Tolimieri / Rodrigues / Rodrigues / Stepanov:
Inner Lines (Creative Sources)

Six "Segments" A to F of powerful restraint and extended technique, recorded at Ausland in Berlin, Germany from the free improvising quartet of Quentin Tolimieri on piano, Ernesto Rodrigues on viola, Guilherme Rodrigues on cello and Fyodor Stepanov on double bass, the close associations between the Rodrigues' and Tolimieri & Stepanov evident through their shared aesthetic. ... Click to View


Louis-Michel Marion / Francoise Toullec:
Apocalyptic Garden (Creative Sources)

A strangely agitated garden sculpted from melody, dissonance and instrumental abberation through profound technique and unusual approaches to their instrument, by French double basist Louis-Michel Marion and pianist Françoise Toullec, bringing a sense of wonder and turbulent environment through a shared passion balancing ominous space with astute activity. ... Click to View


Erica Dicker / Dennis Sullivan:
Blood Luxury [CASSETTE w/ DOWNOAD] (Tubapede)

Delicate abrasions and corruption of their instruments from the NY duo of Erica Dicker (Till by Turning) on violin and Dennis Sullivan (Radical 2), 9 works of improvised soundscape and avant-raw chamber music through prepared strings, tapes, looped feedback, resonant metals, modified snares and liberally bowed surfaces, richly constrained and luxuriously blood-curdling. ... Click to View


Sam Rivers Trio:
Archive Series. Volume 6 - Caldera (NoBusiness)

Continuing NoBusiness' archive series of late reed & wind player Sam Rivers, this wild and sophisticated concert from 2002 was recorded at the Freeport-McMoRan Theatre in New Orlean's Contemporary Arts Center, by the long-standing Sam Rivers Trio with Doug Matthews on upright & electric bass and bass clarinet, and Anthony Cole on tenor sax & piano. ... Click to View


John Russell / John Butcher / Dominic Lash:
But everything now left before it arrived (Meenna)

A live performance at the 2010 GIO Fest III in Glasgow, UK, from three of the UK's leading free improvisers--late guitarist John Russell, John Butcher on saxophones and Dominic Lash on double bass--a superb concert in five improvisations of incredible technical skill through both energetic and restrained passages, a brilliant example reminding us of the loss of the great guitarist. ... Click to View


Alessandro Bosetti :
Plane / Talea 31-34 [VINYL 2 LPs] (Holidays Records)

An amazing album of vocal interactions from composer Alessandro Bosetti using his archive of samples developed from dozens of recording sessions with vocalists, used in polyphonic constructions of utterances to create textures, counterpoint and juxtapositions offset by spartan use of harpsichord, Ondes Martenot, Cristal Baschet, grand piano, analog synth and Hammond organ. ... Click to View


Novi_sad:
ΚΕΡΑΥΝΟΣ (Raster Music)

Using environmental sounds & field recordings from 5 continents--Oceania: Tarkine Rainforest; Asia: Okinawa; Europe: Ancient Olympia And Iceland; Africa: Uganda, Botswana & Namibia; America: Amazon Rainforest & Niagara Falls--sound artist Thanasis Kaproulias takes listeners on an incredible journey through sound from reflective to cathartic, from ominous danger to awe-inspired beauty. ... Click to View


Jean-Yves Bosseur :
Musiques Vertes [VINYL] (Holidays Records)

French composer Jean-Yves Bosseur, a student of Henri Pousseur and Karlheinz Stockhausen, in an amazingly detailed 1980 work of 11 sonic expeditions, using an instrument developed by Jean-Pierre Armengaud and performed with a collective of local musicians and children, incorporating field recordings from French ornithologist Jean Claude Roché; startlingly original! ... Click to View


Derviche (Borchard / Favriou):
Murs Absurdes (Ayler)

The 2nd Derviche album on Ayler Records from the French electric bass and drum improvising duo of Eric Brochard and Fabrice Favriou, in five sequences of assertive and masterful instrumental improvising rock, ecstatically heavy material of thick detail and ominous overtone, intended to be played as a continuous suite and clearly intended for maximum amplitude! ... Click to View


International Nothing, The:
Just None of Those Things (Ftarri)

Using harmonic intersections and extraneous sonic emanations from two clarinets, the duo of Kai Fagaschinski and Michael Thieke (also of The Magic I.D.) continue their long-standing International Nothing project of composed works through patient interactions of powerfully focused technique, here in their fifth album presenting a 42-minute work of delicate, dark beauty. ... Click to View


Amanda Irarrazabal / Miriam Den Boer Salmon:
Fauces (577 Records)

Using double bass, violin and objects to affect their instruments, Amsterdam violinist Miriam Den Boer Salmón and Chilean double bassist Amanda Irarrazabal present ten succinct sonic landscapes through fully free improvisation, their interactions building and scraping, intersecting and interacting in fascinating and frightening ways. ... Click to View


Wunschmusik (Wunsch / Steyer / Cavenati):
Muss Atonal Eigentlich Witzig Sein? (Creative Sources)

German vocalist Birgit Wunsch leads this improvising trio with Edith Steyer on clarinet & saxophone and Alberto Cavenati on guitar, using abstract and atonal melodies in a chamber improvised setting for freely improvised voice, text and sound, crossing a sense of pop music with non-idiomatic improvisation of great technical and creative intent. ... Click to View


Keiji Haino / Jim O'Rourke / Oren Ambarchi:
Each side has a depth of 5 seconds A polka dot pattern in horizontal array A flickering that moves vertically [VINYL] (Black Truffle)

Focused on powerful sonic environments, the 10th release from the trio of Keiji Haino, Jim O'Rourke and Oren Ambarchi find all three using electronics to create huge canvases over which Ambarchi performs on pedal steel, O'Rourke on synth and Haino on Suona, a Chinese double-reed, capturing this exceptional 4-part improvisation live at SuperDeluxe, in Tokyo, 2017. ... Click to View


Alvin Curran:
Fiori Chiari, Fiori Oscuri [VINYL] (Black Truffle)

Translating to "Light Flowers, Dark Flowers", Alvin Curran's 1978 release on his cooperative Ananda label receives its first remaster and reissue, bringing to life this joyfully surreal album of synthetic and acoustic instruments, field recordings and voice, unveiling itself like a cinematic work of dovetailed stories both reflective and energetically active. ... Click to View


David Behrman w/ Jon Gibson / Werner Durand :
ViewFinder / Hide & Seek [VINYL] (Black Truffle)

Three realizations of composer David Behrman's "Unforseen Events" work using computer algorithms to respond to pitch cues from an instrumentalist, first in Berlin in 1989 with Curran and Werner Durand on soprano sax, then in NY in 1999 with Jon Gibson on soprano sax; plus "ViewFinder" with Werner Durand using a motion-triggered camera to alter electronic & wind instrumental sound. ... Click to View


Ensemble Nist-Nah:
Elders (Black Truffle)

The debut of Ensemble Nist-Nah, a nine-piece collective group of French percussionists led by Nantes-based Australian drummer and percussionist Will Guthrie, incorporating a diverse set of influences including Gamelan performance, contemporary composition, noise and jazz into rich and ecstatic performances, an exciting album of informed approaches to modern and traditional percussion. ... Click to View


Ensemble Nist-Nah:
Elders [VINYL] (Black Truffle)

The debut of Ensemble Nist-Nah, a nine-piece collective group of French percussionists led by Nantes-based Australian drummer and percussionist Will Guthrie, incorporating a diverse set of influences including Gamelan performance, contemporary composition, noise and jazz into rich and ecstatic performances, an exciting album of informed approaches to modern and traditional percussion. ... Click to View


Heroes Are Gang Leaders:
LeAutoRoiOgraphy (577 Records)

Led by tenor saxophonist James Brandon Lewis and poet Thomas Sayers Ellis, this 12-piece ensemble of pointed and ecstatic free jazz and spoken word are heard at the 2019 Sons D'Hiver Festival in Paris, 2019, their sound influenced by chamber elements and sharpened through insightful and demanding observations and the influence of Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones). ... Click to View


Steve Lacy / Andrea Centazzo:
Clangs [VINYL] (Ictus)

Reissuing the first release on the Ictus Records label run by percussionist Andrea Centazzo, this 1976 album was the culmination of two weeks of touring through Italy with saxophonist Steve Lacy, presented as a set of improvised free duets investigating timbral relationships, the fragmentation of melody, and abrasive, provocative noise. ... Click to View


Ben Miller :
In the Moment (Two Rooms)

Destroy All Monsters and Sensorium Saxophone Orchestra guitarist Ben Miller in an album of experimental solo guitar works, augmenting his guitar with effects, synthesizer, bass, tapes and radio to create seven fascinating works that reflect on his rock background through solid rhythmic and melodic hooks, but also captivates through unusual and suprising sonic elements. ... Click to View


Ben Miller:
In the Moment [VINYL] (Two Rooms)

Destroy All Monsters and Sensorium Saxophone Orchestra guitarist Ben Miller in an album of experimental solo guitar works, augmenting his guitar with effects, synthesizer, bass, tapes and radio to create seven fascinating works that reflect on his rock background through solid rhythmic and melodic hooks, but also captivates through unusual and suprising sonic elements. ... Click to View


Peter Ablinger / Biliana Voutchkova :
An Den Mond (Inexhaustible Editions)

An den Mond--magic spells for a healthier life--was developed between Austrian composer Peter Ablinger and violinist Bilian Voutchkova during the pandemic, consisting of 16 sequences of chants written by Ablinger and performed entrancingly by Voutchkova on voice and violin; plus Albinger's richly harmonic work "Augmented Study" for seven violins. ... 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:


Novi_sad:
ΚΕΡΑΥΝΟΣ
(Raster Music)



Alessandro Bosetti :
Plane /
Talea 31-34
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Sam Rivers Trio:
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John Russell /
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Alvin Curran:
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