The Squid's Ear
Recently @ Squidco:

Tony Buck: Unearth (Room40)

Starting from nearly inaudible rumbling, Necks percussionist Tony Buck takes his listeners on a wild ride of sound, from quiet moments to introspective sound onto the densest potency, slowly unfolding his detailed journey in rhythmic, harmonic, melodic, and concrete moments, like an impressive storm brewing until it slowly overwhelms you. ... Click to View


Roscoe Mitchell : Discussions (Wide Hive)

Four original improvisations, taken from legendary AACM composer, improviser and saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell's "Conversations" album transcribed and performed by a twenty piece Bay Area orchestra, along with two orchestral improvisations and two duets with Roscoe Mitchell and flutist Wilfredo Terrazas. ... Click to View


Akira Sakata / Manuel Mota / Giovanni Di Domenico / Mathieu Calleja: Jomon [VINYL] (Holidays Records)

Named for the Jomon period of Japanese history, when Japan was inhabited by a hunter-gatherer culture, the trio of radical saxophonist Akira Sakata joins forces with frequent collaborator, keyboardist Giovanni Di Domenico, Portuguese guitarist Manuel Mota, and drummer Mathieu Calleja to record these powerfully cathartic and ritualistic improvisations. ... Click to View


Massimo Pupillo / Alexandre Babel / Caspar Brotzmann: Live At Candy Bomber Studios, Vol.1 [VINYL] (KARLRECORDS)

The insanely powerful work of this new trio--bass player Massimo Pupillo (Zu, Laniakea), drummer Alexandre Babel (Sudden Infant) and Caspar Brotzmann on guitar--captured live at Candy Bomber Studios, in Berlin for two monumental free improvisations of raw energy that blend noise rock, drone, and improvisation into something uniquely fearsome and wonderful. ... Click to View


Zeitkratzer / Svetlana Spajic / Dragana Tomic / Obrad Milic: Serbian War Songs [VINYL] (KARLRECORDS)

Reinhold Friedl's Zeitkratzer ensemble and special guests, vocalists Svetlana Spajic, Dragana Tomic, and diple / gusle player Obrad Milic, explore the possibilities found in traditional Serbian songs from and about World War I, including the classic epic "Assassination In Sarajevo", and songs chosen specifically by Spajic and Tomic. ... Click to View


Zeitkratzer + Elliott Sharp: Oneirika: Live at Berghain Berlin [VINYL] (KARLRECORDS)

Commissioned by Berlin's Maerzmusik Festival and premiered in 2014, Elliott Sharp's composition & soundscape is named after the Greek waking dream and inspired by John Cage, Sharp using a methodology to filter and process his musical manuscripts via Photoshop, which are interpreted through amplification of acoustic instruments by the Zeitkratzer ensemble. ... Click to View


Charlemagne Palestine : The Lower Depths [3 CDs] (Alga Marghen)

Charlemagne Palestine conceived this composition of unique piano sonorities in 1977 as a trilogy, taking it's name from the potential of his Bosendorfer piano, writing the first section for the middle keyboard, the second section for two octaves above, and the third at the bottom of the keyboard, producing a deep and singular work of minimalism. ... Click to View


Hermann Nitsch: Orgelkonzert Jesuitenkirche 20.11.2013 (Trost Records)

Austrian avant-garde musician and multimedia artist performed these powerful and mesmerizing solo organ drone works during the 2013 "Shut up and listen" festival in in the Jesuit church of Vienna, releasing the 4 recordings with an 8-page booklet of art and an essay from Nitsch himself, with mastering by Martin Siewert. ... Click to View


Hermann Nitsch: Orgelkonzert Jesuitenkirche 20.11.2013 [VINYL 2 LPs] (Trost Records)

Austrian avant-garde musician and multimedia artist performed these powerful and mesmerizing solo organ drone works during the 2013 "Shut up and listen" festival in in the Jesuit church of Vienna, releasing the 4 recordings with an 8-page booklet of art and an essay from Nitsch himself, with mastering by Martin Siewert. ... Click to View


Haco: Qoosui (Someone Good / Room40)

An hypnotic, lush and beautiful album of sound and lilting voice from Japanese vocalist and electronic experimenter Haco (After Dinner), seven songs of subtle sophistication that create dreamlike environments of floating tones and invoking voice, refined from decades of experimentation and investigation to yield enchanting music. ... Click to View


Pat Patrick And The Baritone Saxophone Retinue: Sound Advice (2017 Repress) [VINYL] (Art Yard)

Baritone saxophonist and flautist Pat Patrick was a member of Sun Ras's Arkestra for 35 years, and also played with Duke Ellington, Eric Dolphy, Thelonious Monk, and John Coltrane; in 1977 he assembled this 12-piece band with 8 baritone sax players, 4 of them doubling on flute, to present incredible versions of original work and modern standards. ... Click to View


Nate Wooley / Daniele Martini / Joao Lobo : Legacy of Ashes (Creative Sources)

A free jazz session recorded in Brussells between trumpeter Nate Wooley and half of the Daniele Martini Quartet--saxophonist Martini himself and drummer Joao Lobo--stepping in and out of modal jazz with a contemplative approach, using extended techniques to great effect, Lobo handling the foundation and rhythm in absolutely impressive ways. ... Click to View


Dafna Naphtali / Gordon Beeferman: Pulsing Dot (Clang)

Gordon Beeferman and Dafna Naphtali perform duet pieces and improvisations for piano and voice with kinetic sound processing, fractal rhythms, and polyphonic/kaleidophonic disturbances, as Beeferman creates solid structures which are augmented by Naphtali's live processing, as she employs extended vocal techniques and hand & voice activated electronics. ... Click to View


String Theory [Boston, USA]: Condensed Phases of Matter (Evil Clown)

String Theory was formed as the string section for Boston's Leap of Faith Orchestra, the core being David Peck on reeds, game calls, fog horn, sirens, &c, and Glynis Lomon on cello, aquasonic and voice, with Jane Wang (cello) and Mimi Rabson (violin), creating a wonderfully assertive and somewhat skewed approach to improvisation, captured live at Mobius in Cambridge, 2016. ... Click to View


The Elks (Kai Fagaschinski / Liz Allbee / Billy Roisz / Marta Zapparoli): This Is Not The Ant (Mikroton Recordings)

An extremely balanced group of electroacoustic improvisers, Kai Fagaschinski on clarinet and Liz Allbee on trumpet make up the acoustic side, though sounding as electronic and other-worldly as Billy Roisz on e-bass and electronics and Marta Zapparoli on reel-to-reel tapes and tape machines, creating incredibly wide-ranging and psychedelic sonic environments. ... Click to View


Junk & The Beast (Petr Vrba / Veronika Mayer): Trailer (Mikroton Recordings)

Petr Vrba and Veronika Mayer use non-idiomatic improvisation to research the combination of textural materials, crossing them with vibrations of objects on the speakers, pure sound waves, feedbacks, tones coming from trumpet, accordion, electronics, and laptop culminating in creation of a muscular frenetic soup and tense energy fields. ... Click to View


Kurt Liedwart : Tone (Mikroton Recordings)

Kurt Liedwart creates a personal journey through multiplicity of intense abstract layers of electronic and synthetic sound, constructing atmospheres of dronescapes, and cryptic songs, keeping the listener on edge in this album of intense "Tones" wrought from sythesizers, electronics, light controlled electronics, electromagnetic devices, and radio. ... Click to View


Alice Kemp: Fill My Body With Flowers And Rice [VINYL] (Fragment Factory)

Sound composer and multi-disciplinary artist Alice Kemp's first full length vinyl album is a mysterious and beautifully paced album blending acoustic and electronic sources, field recordings, voice and inexplicable sound to create dream-like sonic environments, subtle and suggestive sound that contains clues of ritual, longing, and beauty. ... Click to View


String Theory [PORTUGAL]: Gravity (Creative Sources)

A sense of both lightness and weight drawn from Portuguese viola player's Ernesto Rodrigues' 18-piece String Theory, in a large and detailed improvisation using an incredible array of string sources, including viola, harp, violin, cello, viola da gamba, double bass, classical, acoustic and 12-string guitars, mandolin, zither, harpsichord, and piano. ... Click to View


Eryck Abecassis / Francisco Meirino: La Gueule Du Loup (Fragment Factory)

Recording at the GRM Studios, the French duo of Eryck Abecassis and Francisco Meirino (phroq) use unpatched modular sythesizers that they program during performance, adding a level of risk and unpredictability to their detailed and rich sonic conversation, informed by decades of research and performance that both musicians bring to this intensely interesting album. ... Click to View


Christian Wolff / Eddie Prevost: Uncertain Outcomes [2 CDs] (Matchless)

Two concerts of experimental improvisation from two of giants of conceptual improvisation and composition, recorded at IKLECTIK in London in 2015 and at Dartmouth College, in Hanover, New Hampshire in 2016; with superb pacing and brilliant execution, these dialogs between keyboard and percussive instruments explore unique sound worlds with depth, inquisitiveness, and a sense of wonder. ... Click to View


Borbetomagus: A Pollock of Sound [DVD] (Taping Policies)

The first feature documentary of the Borbetomagus free improvising noise trio of Don Dietrich, Jim Sauter and Donald Miller, alongside a live concert at Instants Chavires, Montreuil in 2009; documentary interviews and footage include Byron Coley, drummer Chris Corsano, guitarist Thurston Moore, Japanese noise unit Hijokaidan, and Switzerland's Voice Crack. ... Click to View


Leap of Faith: Unbounded Sets (Evil Clown)

Two live recordings of the Boston area Leap of Faith quintet of David Peck (reeds and winds, percussion), Glynis Lomon (cello, percussion), Dan O'Brien (winds, percussion), Zach Bartolomei (sax, percussion), and Yuri Zbitnoff (drums and percussion), captured in Somerville in 2016 and New York City in 2017, for detailed, assertive, unique approaches to improv. ... Click to View


Georg Graewe / Mark Sanders: Affretando (Confront)

Working together since 1995 as a duo, and in The George Graewe Quintet, the Frisque Concordance Quartet, and in groupings with Evan Parker, Gail Brand, Paul Dunmall, and John Edwards, heard here at the essence of their collaboration, captured live at the 21st Jazz Cerkno Festival in Sloveniain, 2016, for a sophisticated and intricate dialog of lyrical free improvisation. ... Click to View


Ernesto Rodrigues / Ulrike Brand / Olaf Rupp : Traintracks, Roadsides, Wastelands, Debris (Creative Sources)

Three string improvisers--Ulrike Brand on cello, Ernesto Rodrigues on viola, and Olaf Rupp on electric guitar--approach their instruments from all angles excepting the most traditional ones, from scraping and granulating to creating resonant sonic environments, an apt reflection of a journeying musician, enhanced by text and images in the CD package. ... Click to View


Christian Wolfarth / Jason Kahn: Percussion / Voice (Confront)

An absorbing album of percussion and voice from the working duo of Christian Wolfarth on drums and percussion, and Jason Kahn on voice, for two extended improvisations of cathartic vocal expression and assertive rhythmic and reflective percussive accompaniment, balancing eccentric and mesmerizing sound in gripping and compelling ways. ... Click to View


Udo Schindler: Botenstoffe (Confront)

A series of duo recordings between saxophonist, clarinetist and cornet player Udo Schindler and pianists, all recorded at Schindler's Salon for Sound and Art at Krailing, Germany between 2013 and 2016, with Claudia Ulla Binder, Masako Ohta, Elisabeth Harnik, Katharnia Weber, and Lisa Ullen; song titles taken from SONDAGEN (Soundings) in memory of poet Thomas Kling. ... Click to View


Deep Tide Quartet (Archer / Macari / Cole / Shaw): See One, Do One, Teach One (Discus)

Originally a studio project, The UK Deep Tide Trio of Martin Archer on sax, Kim Macari on trumpet, Laura Cole on piano and Walt Shaw on percussion & live electronics evolved into a performing organization based on the strength of their open-ended approach to free jazz and improvisation, heard here balancing melody and structure in well-paced and thoughtful improv. ... Click to View


Orfeo 5 (Blezard / Bourne / Jafrate with Prince / Oliver / Kane): In The Green Castle (Discus)

Orfeo 5 are Shaun Blezard on electronics, Keith Jafrate on saxophone, Matt Bourne on keyboards & cello, Tamlin Cook on guitar, Mary Oliver doing spoken word, and Simon Prince on saxophone & flutes, blending jazz, improv, folk, dub, sound art and electronica to create evolving, improvised narrative music that create a sense of place and journey. ... Click to View


Eckard Vossas 4 (Vossas / Fields / Henkel / Nabatov): Conference Of Analogies (Creative Sources)

A live concert of collective free improv recorded at Cologne's Loft from electronic from Eckard Vossas leading his impressive quartet of Brad Henkel, Simon Nabatov and Scott Fields, Vossas performing on synth, electronics, Kyma Sound System, and Continuum Fingerboard, pianist Nabatov also on Crackle board, Henkel on trumpet, and Fields on electric guitar. ... 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
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Recent Selections @ Squidco:


Haco:
Qoosui
(Someone Good /
Room40)



Akira Sakata /
Manuel Mota /
Giovanni Di Domenico /
Mathieu Calleja:
Jomon
[VINYL]
(Holidays Records)



Alice Kemp:
Fill My Body
With Flowers
And Rice
[VINYL]
(Fragment Factory)



The Elks
(Kai Fagaschinski /
Liz Allbee /
Billy Roisz /
Marta Zapparoli):
This Is Not
The Ant
(Mikroton Recordings)



Georg Graewe /
Mark Sanders:
Affretando
(Confront)



Christian Wolff /
Eddie Prevost:
Uncertain Outcomes
[2 CDs]
(Matchless)



Larry Ochs /
Sax and Drumming
Core:
Wild Red Yellow
(RogueArt)



Matthew Shipp :
Magnetism(s)
(RogueArt)



Nicole Mitchell :
Mandorla Awakening II:
Emerging Worlds
(FPE Records)



Nicole Mitchell :
Mandorla Awakening II:
Emerging Worlds
[VINYL]
(FPE Records)



Michael Foster /
Ben Bennett:
In It
[CASSETTE]
(Astral Spirits)



The Seen:
Archive:
Volumes I-V
(2005 - 2009)
[5-CD BOX SET]
(Confront)



Steve Lacy:
Free for
a Minute
(1966-72)
[2 CDs]
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Barry Guy:
Frogs
[VINYL 7-inch PICTURE DISC]
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Simon Rummel Ensemble:
IM MEER
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Lean Left:
I Forgot
To Breathe
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Lean Left:
I Forgot
To Breathe
[VINYL]
(Trost Records)



Pat Thomas:
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of Al Jazari
[VINYL]
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John Butcher:
Resonant Spaces
[VINYL]
(Blume)



Burkhard Beins /
Lucio Capece /
Martin Kuchen /
Paul Vogel:
Fracture Mechanics
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