The Squid's Ear
Recently @ Squidco:

This Is It! (Satoko Fujii / Natsuki Tamura / Takashi Itani): 1538 (Libra)

Part of pianist Satoko Fujii's "Kanreki" (60th Birthday) tour and monthly album release, the "This Is It!" Trio with trumpeter Natsuki Tamura and drummer/percussionist Takashi Itani is heard at Koendori Classics, in Tokyo, Japan, in January 2018, for an incredible album of Fujii's compositions that include quirky asides in coherent and effusive compositions. ... Click to View


Flamingo (Chris Heenan / Adam Pultz Melbye / Christian Windfeld / Roy Carroll): Loud (Relative Pitch)

This Berlin-based collaboration with sound engineer Roy Carroll performing on electronics and features the trio of Chris Heenan on contrabass clarinet, Adam Pultz Melbye on double bass, and Christian Windfeld on snare drum, percussion & objects, using a reductionist approach to deep sonic improvisation of mysterious origins, in an extended journey fo sound. ... Click to View


My Cat Is An Alien: The Sky With Broken Arms (Opax Records / Elliptical Noise)

The long-running Italian improvising duo of brothers Maurizio Opalio and Roberto Opalio, celebrating their 20th anniversary in this album using electric guitar, effects, loops, keyboards, and wordless vocalizations to create this hauntingly beautiful extended composition, an hallucinatory mediation with a repeating motif over which an interstellar tapestry of sound emerges. ... Click to View


Roberto Opalio : Once You'll Touch The Sky You Will Never Return To Dust (Opax Records / Elliptical Noise)

Half of the Italian improvising duo My Cat Is an Alien, Roberto Opalio uses prepared mini-keyboard, handmade shortwave receiver, alientronics, and vocalizations to create this improvised prelude and statement, a shifting work that draws the listener into mesmerizing sonic environments of alien origin and transports them deceptively between ringing and textured vistas. ... Click to View


DNMF (Machinefabriek + Dead Neanderthals): Smelter [CD] (Moving Furniture)

The DNMF collaboration of Netherland's sonic experimenter Machinefabriek (Rutger Zuydervelt) and the Dead Neanderthals duo of saxophonist Otto Kokke and drummer Rene Aquarius, in their second album of heavy, droning style, reveling in a resonant, high-volume, long-form work of hypnotic sound merging of metal, drone and dark ambience. ... Click to View


DNMF (Machinefabriek + Dead Neanderthals): Smelter [CASSETTE] (Tartarus Records)

The DNMF collaboration of Netherland's sonic experimenter Machinefabriek (Rutger Zuydervelt) and the Dead Neanderthals duo of saxophonist Otto Kokke and drummer Rene Aquarius, in their second album of heavy, droning style, reveling in a resonant, high-volume, long-form work of hypnotic sound merging of metal, drone and dark ambience. ... Click to View


DNMF (Machinefabriek + Dead Neanderthals): Smelter [VINYL] (Moving Furniture)

The DNMF collaboration of Netherland's sonic experimenter Machinefabriek (Rutger Zuydervelt) and the Dead Neanderthals duo of saxophonist Otto Kokke and drummer Rene Aquarius, in their second album of heavy, droning style, reveling in a resonant, high-volume, long-form work of hypnotic sound merging of metal, drone and dark ambience. ... Click to View


District Five (Ruegg / Svosve / Huter / Amereller): Decoy (Intakt)

Lyrical and creative modern jazz from the young Swiss quartet of Xaver Ruegg on double bass, Tapiwa Svosve on alto saxophone, synths, & electronics, Vojko Huter on guitar, synths, & electronics, and Paul Amereller on drums, members of the Gamut Kollektiv and aiming to extend conventional acoustic improvisational forms with rich sonic additions and modern grooves. ... Click to View


Bao Luo / Jean-Marc Foussat: Surface Calme (Fou Records)

A 5-part work of improvisations on keyboards, voice, guzheng and flute from French improviser Jean-Marc Foussat and Bao Luo (Beijing Talking), a mysterious album of nocturnal sounds, grand expressions, furtive language, and rich textures and timbres, as Bao Luo provides a guiding voice in song and speach to their beguiling dialog; an exotic and expressive album. ... Click to View


Metamorphic: The Two Fridas (Discus)

Having met at Middlesex University in 2001, this sophisticated London-based contemporary jazz/folk sextet formed in 2011, recently adding vocalist Kerry Andrew (Juice), as pianist Laura Cole composes music and text based on her personal experiences; pieces include two collective improvs and 2 reworkings of Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman". ... Click to View


Chris Meloche / Martin Archer / Gino Robair / Lyn Hodnett: The Sincerity Of Light (Discus)

The quartet of Canadian electronics composer Chris Meloche and label leader Martin Archer on woodwinds and electronics orchestrated these pieces, performed with improvsations from Gino Robair on percussion and electronics and Lyn Hodnett on voice, for a 3 part work of rich interactive loops, drones and soundscape, ranging from spine-chilling to lush and lovely environments. ... Click to View


Eclectic Maybe Band: The Blind Night Watchers' Mysterious Landscapes (Discus)

Univers Zero bassist Guy Seger brought this eclectic group of improvisers into the studio to develop the music on this genre-defying album, informed by a sextet of musicians who have performed and recorded with projects and artists including Vanishing Pictures, X-Legged Sally, Wrong Object, Tony Levin, Tony Bianco, Paul Schutze, Trevor Watts, Zeena Parkins, Jim O'Rourke, &c. ... Click to View


Martin Archer & Engine Room Favourites: Safety Signal From A Target Town (Discus)

Saxophonist Martin Archer composed the five works on this, the 3rd release for Engine Room Favorites, his AACM-influenced big band with a tremendous orchestration of horns with drums, vibes, piano and bass, here with their most complex yet melodic and rich release yet, including melodic elements of folk music, powerful rhythms from prog-oriented rock, and free improv and jazz. ... Click to View


Laura Steenberge : Harmonica Fables (Nueni)

A truly unique album of solo harmonica and voice from Bay Area performer and composer Laura Steenberge, who's studies in folk music, psycholinguistics, acoustics and medieval Byzantine chant brings a sense of the ancient to modern experimentalism, transforming the instrument in a variety of illusive ways that are both enigmatic and entirely embraceable. ... Click to View


Florian Stoffner / Albert Cirera: I'm A Resonant Aircraft (Creative Sources)

Swiss electric guitarist Florian Stoffner (Manuel Mengis Grupp) and Spanish/Portuguese saxophonist Albert Cirera (Agusti Fernandez Liquid Trio) present the 8 part "IRMA" in concise free improvisations, restrained but alert and quick-witted dialogs that explore their instruments with alternate approaches to each in articulate ways. ... Click to View


Niklas Fite / Alexander Frangenheim: Sugar Is A Necessary Fluid (Creative Sources)

Two string players, Swedish acoustic guitarist and banjo player Niklas Fite, and German double bassist Alexander Frangenheim, recording in the studio in Berlin in 2017 for 10 succinct improvisations ranging from quick interactive discourse of a pointillistic nature to near silent meditations using unusual and extended techniques, a quirky and informed album. ... Click to View


Paul Flaherty / Gene Moore / Gene Janas / Federico Ughi: Morfina [VINYL + DOWNLOAD] (577)

First conceived during the 2016 Forward Festival when noise guitarist Gene Moore and NYC experimental bassist Gene Janas invited noted avant-garde drummer Federico Ughi for the second part of their set, the results being so impressive that they asked saxophonist Paul Flaherty to join them to record this album and to perform at the Forward Festival 2017. ... Click to View


Daniel Carter / Tobias Wilner / Djibril Toure / Federico Ughi: New York United [VINYL + DOWNLOAD] (577)

An excellent blend of electronics and acoustics as saxophonist, flutist and trumpeter Daniel Carter meets sound artist Tobias Wilner from world-renowned electronic pop band Blue Foundation, with Wu-Tang Clan bass player Djibril Toure and drum wiz Federico Ughi rounding out this forward-thinking album of hazy and rhythmic electroacoustic environments. ... Click to View


Silvan Schmid Quintet: At Gamut (Hatology)

Swiss trumpeter Silvan Schmid is a cofounder of the Gamut Kollektiv, organizing festivals and concerts, here caught live in 2016 at Gamut Series No 1 at Amboss Rampe in Zurich with his own quintet of Tapiwa Svosve on sax, Silvan Jeger on cello, Vincent Glanzmann on drums, and Lucas Wirz on tuba performing 6 Schmid compositions of profoundly lyrical free jazz. ... Click to View


Bucher / Tan / Countryman: Tributary (Self Released)

American ex-pat and Philippines-based alto saxophonist Rick Countryman joins with Philippines bassist Simon Tan and visiting Swiss drummer Christian Bucher to capture this live concert in that starts by paying homage to Eric Dolphy, amongst a strong set of jazz and blues influenced numbers and the two part building and flowing "Tributary". ... Click to View


Bucher / Countryman: Estuary (Self Released)

A live concert in the Philippines from American expatriate saxophonist Rick Countryman and visiting Swiss drummer Christian Bucher, a classic free jazz drum and sax duo informed by creative playing and superb rhythmic interplay, balancing lyrical progressions with a wonderful stream of concepts, this is a great example of the far reach of free jazz. ... Click to View


Sabu Toyozumi / Rick Countryman / Simon Tan / Stella Ignacio / Isla Antinero: JYA-NE (Self Released)

Four configurations of free jazz recorded live during a vist by trombonist Sabu Toyozumi to Manila: first in a duo with alto saxophonist Rick Countryman; then in a duo with drummer and erhu player Sabu Toyozumi; then expanded to a quintet with vocalist Stella Ignaci and electric bassist Simon Tan; and last as a free jazz trio with Countryman, Tan, and Toyzumi. ... Click to View


Leap Of Faith: Thought Experiment (Evil Clown)

The core trio of Leap of Faith Orchestra--David Peck on clarinets, saxophones & flutes, Glynis Lomon on cello, aquasonic & voice and Yuri Zbitnoff on drums & percussion--joined by Mimi Rabson on violin, the quartet recording with the full Leap of Faith Orchestra arsenal of instruments; plus an expanded LOF recording of the Orchestra work "Possible Worlds". ... Click to View


Leap Of Faith: Gravitation (Evil Clown)

The core of Leap of Faith Orchestra--David Peck on reeds and winds, Glynis Lomon on cello, aquasonic & voice and Yuri Zbitnoff on drums & percussion-- joined by Eric Zinman on piano, recorded at Outpost 186 in Cambridge, MA, where Evil Clown has a residency on the third Saturday of each month, presenting a variation of subunits from one of their larger units. ... Click to View


PEK Solo: Fulcrum (Evil Clown)

Extracting the leader from a multitude of ensembles, David Peck's solo album has him performing on tenor saxophone, bass saxophone, clarinet, contraalto clarinet, bassoon, tarota, hand chimes, accordion, [d]ronin, wood, metal, aquasonic, daxophone, Atlantis gong, plus pre-recorded mixes adding a "soloist with tape" aspect to his complex and rich performance. ... Click to View


Turbulence: Amorphous Solids (Evil Clown)

Turbulence is the extended horn section for the Leap of Faith Orchestra, a varying-sized ensemble, recording here at Boston area's Outpost 196 as a quartet with PEK on reeds, Bob Moores on trumpet and Dan O'Brien on sax, clarinets & flutes, all playing an assortment of percussive devices, with Leap of Faith core member Yuri Zbitnoff as a dedicated percussionist. ... Click to View


Metal Chaos Ensemble: Shape Memory (Evil Clown)

Wind player David Peck and percussionist Yuri Zbitnoff formed Metal Chaos Ensemble to explore chaotic rhythms on metallic instruments, employing an arsenal of percussion, electronic and wind instruments, becoming one of Evil Clown's most prolific sub-units, here with Bob Moores on space trumpet & guitar, Eric Woods on analog synth, and Eric Zinman on percussion. ... Click to View


Mekaniks: The Great Klown Panik of 2017 - Klownpocalypse (Evil Clown)

A collaboration of Leap of Faith members, percussionist Yuri Zbitnov, multi-reedist and wind player David Peck, with guests from the Evil Clown roster, adding electroacoustic elements including looping, sampling and electronic processing to their improvisation, here with Joel Simches on real-time signal processing, alongside sound artists Greg Grinnell & Bob Moores. ... Click to View


Anthony Braxton : Braxton: (Willisau) 1991 Studio [2 CDs] (Hatology)

Reissuing and remastering the two studio albums from the 1992 4-CD boxset of Anthony Braxton's Quartet with Marily Crispell (piano), Mark Dresser (double bass) and Gerry Hemingway (drums & marimba) recording in Willisau, Switzerland, realizing 10 Braxton numbered compositions with masterful skill and virtuosity, an exceptional set of modern jazz. ... Click to View


Matthew Shipp : Symbol Systems (Hatology)

Originally issued in 1995 on the No More Records label, this was New York pianist Matthew Shipp's 6th release as a leader and first solo album, still a rarity in his discography, as we hear Shipp in 14 succinct improvisation that explore texture, tone, and his frameworks that embrace a structured approach to theoretical aspects of the music with warmth and lyricism. ... Click to View


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Op-Ed (Opinions and Editorials)


  Musical Activism: An Open Call  
By Marc Ribot

On tour in Europe during the first twelve days of the recent invasion of Iraq, I witnessed something close to bereavement among audience members at the apparent consent of most Americans to Bush's agenda of war and empire.

It was exhausting, in addition with all the other pressures of performance, to deal with expectations to represent "America" in this situation. Although it felt strange to speak about the war during performances - I'm a guitarist, not a lecturer - it felt even stranger not to. The one thing about which I felt certain was that the incredible level of anger and opposition I witnessed was no longer simply about one lousy political decision, but had become a critique of the legitimacy of the power of empire, and it wasn't going to stop when the war ended.

Indeed, it hasn't. It remains nearly impossible to get on stage without addressing (or failing to address) the context within which, whether we like it or not, our music is now heard.

This database project described below was conceived as a means through which artists and musicians will be able to say what needs to be said politically in the formats where it will do the most good, to help to change a political context which, simply put, has become intolerable.

We're inviting touring artists to participate in a pilot project version to be launched around February 1, 2004. Anyone can back out at any time, but expressions of interest/commitment (along with brief bios if possible) are needed to apply for grants to build the database.

Best regards, Marc Ribot Musicians Solidarity Database [correspondence may be sent to msolidarity@squidco.com]



WHAT: The Musicians Solidarity Database will connect internationally touring recording artists/musicians with anti-war and global justice organizations local to their touring dates.

The Database is an initiative of the Musicians Solidarity Network (MSN). Although open and useful to all artists regardless of origin or tour destination, the actual possibilities will probably reflect the current touring routes. The intent is for participating artists to be able to integrate whatever degree of activity on behalf peace/democracy/social justice organizations they feel able to commit to into their regular tour itineraries with a minimum of effort, and for the organizations to benefit from cultural support.

HOW: Touring artists enter their upcoming tour schedules, tech needs, and other necessary info and preferences into the database. Major peace/ democracy/social justice organizations access the info and cross-reference the dates of their planned events with touring artists' availability. The organizations then send the musicians/artists a set of proposals (for example: to speak or perform at a demonstration). The artist accepts whichever proposals they choose, and forward their acceptance along with whatever time or tech specs apply back to the organizations. The organizations confirm the date.

Even if tour schedules are too tight to allow for an artist's participation in outside events, artists can arrange, through the data bank, to make merchandise/ literature table space available to organizations they support.

Great care will be taken to make the data-base user friendly to both artists and organizations.

WHY?: An enormous divide has opened in political understanding between the US and most of the rest of the world, particularly in Europe. Most touring artists and musicians are already well aware of this.

But artists who speak out against Bush's agenda of war and empire, particularly in the US, run the risk of alienating fans or even being subjected to radio and other forms of blacklisting.

In Europe, things are different, at least for the time Being. Manu Chao's "Clandestino" was a hit because of, not in spite of, his close identification with the social forum movement. Whether this will always be true is difficult to say: the same forces that created Bush are also pushing Europe steadily rightward. But it's true now.

The database is a way to turn this political differential into a force for progressive change in the US, enable artists who want to be active to do so, provide organizations against war and for global justice with a constant stream of performing artist support, and build a global network of artists and activists.

It will help artists to limit the economic risks of activism by connecting them with activists and audiences who share their views.

For example, contact with non-US activists and anti-war audiences will enable US musical/cultural figures (and global cultural figures who wish to sell in the US market) to speak out. It's no accident the Dixie Chicks spoke out against the war while in Europe.

As more artists risk opinions outside the US mainstream, it will change the political math that has discouraged dissent by encouraging fans to question their mass-media enforced opinions. And contact between US audiences and European/international artists willing to speak out will help break the US media censorship of the depth of world opposition to war and empire.

Of course, the issues affecting us all aren't confined to the US: the same political/economic forces that put Bush in power in the US are alive and well in Europe and elsewhere. The problems are global and gestures of solidarity from touring musicians are needed to keep the spirit of opposition global as well.

A secondary benefit of the database involves musicians and artists rights issues. There are some issues of interest from anti-war, cultural, and labor perspectives. For example, the role of the Clear Channel monopoly in censoring opposition to the war, blacklisting anti-war artists, and even organizing pro-war demonstrations in the US is both an anti-war issue, and an infringement on artists' freedom of expression.

SPECIFICATIONS Filters, both passive/automatic and active/human will ensure that participating orgs are major and respected, and that participating artists are at a sufficiently professional level to be of use to them.

  • Access to the database will be strictly limited to approved organizations.
  • Contact between artists and organizations will take place within a database 'mailbox' so that artists/managers run no risk of having personal/business email accounts flooded with requests.
  • Whatever form of participation the artist chooses - be it a gig, a single song, or a brief statement - the database format will ensure that all necessary technical requirements and conditions are met, without extensive back and forth between artists, managers and organizations.
  • Artists will have access to full information about events they are being invited to participate in and about the organizations asking them to participate.
  • Artists' participation in the database will be confidential (although at this stage, we may need to list participating artists in grant applications) unless the artists themselves choose to make it public.



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reviews about releases
sold at Squidco.com
written by
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Recent Selections @ Squidco:


District Five
(Ruegg /
Svosve /
Huter /
Amereller):
Decoy
(Intakt)



Metamorphic:
The Two Fridas
(Discus)



Martin Archer &
Engine Room
Favourites:
Safety Signal
From A
Target Town
(Discus)



Chris Meloche /
Martin Archer /
Gino Robair /
Lyn Hodnett:
The Sincerity
Of Light
(Discus)



Kuhn /
Sewelson /
Cleaver /
Roland:
Our Earth /
Our World
(pfmentum)



Daniel Carter /
Tobias Wilner /
Djibril Toure /
Federico Ughi:
New York
United
[VINYL + DOWNLOAD]
(577)



Paul Flaherty /
Gene Moore /
Gene Janas /
Federico Ughi:
Morfina
[VINYL + DOWNLOAD]
(577)



Bucher /
Tan /
Countryman:
Tributary
(Self Released)



Anthony Braxton:
Braxton:
(Willisau)
1991 Studio
[2 CDs]
(Hatology)



Globe Unity
Orchestra:
Globe Unity
- 50 Years
(Intakt)



Joe Talia:
Tint
[VINYL]
(Black Truffle)



Henry Threadgill
14 or 15
Kestra: Agg:
Dirt...
And More Dirt
(Pi Recordings)



Henry Threadgill:
Double Up,
Plays Double Up
Plus
(Pi Recordings)



Christoph Schiller /
Eric Ruffing:
Trance
(Creative Sources)



Variable Geometry
Orchestra:
Ma'adim Vallis
[2 CDS]
(Creative Sources)



Frans de Waard /
Takuji Naka /
Tim Olive:
False Mercury
(845 Audio)



Leap of Faith
Orchestra:
SuperClusters
(Evil Clown)



Thanos Chrysakis /
Chris Cundy /
Peer Schlechta /
Ove Volquartz :
Music for
Two Organs &
Two Bass Clarinets
(Aural Terrains)



Joe Lovano /
Dave Douglas Sound Prints:
Scandal
(Greenleaf Music)



John Zorn:
Insurrection
(Tzadik)







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