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Brainhack Musicbox (Bobrytsky / Lisovsky / Boldenko):
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Amalgamated (Bengsten / Newell / Klampe / Richards):
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Bob Bellerue (feat. Brandon Lopez / Luke Stewart / Jessica Pavone):
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David Myers Lee:
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PEK Solo:
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PEK Solo:
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Before initiating the live improvisation that makes up Complex & Real Dimensions, reedist and multi-instrumentalist David Peck built a foundation track including electro-acoustic instruments created by Tim Kaiser, particularly the loop-capable "Large Spring Box", creating tone, timbre and interludes over which PEK passionately performs. ... Click to View


Evan Parker Electroacoustic Quartet:
Concert in Iwaki (Uchimizu Records)

Requested to organize a Japanese tour focused on the electroacoustic aspects of Evan Parker's work, the saxophonist distilled his larger Electracoustic Ensemble to the quartet of himself, Paul Lytton on percussion & live electronics, Joel Ryan on computer and Lawrence Casserley on signal processing, heard here in the resonant space of the Iwaki City Art Museum in Fukushima. ... Click to View


Satoko Fujii:
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A stunning sound collage made from recorded fragments of Fujii's studio piano, captured inside and out using traditional piano sonorities and preparations that often microscopically detail the instrument, then edited into two electroacoustic compositions of startling and unexpected expansiveness and wonder; a unique and fascinating release in Fujii's large oeuvre. ... Click to View


Flying Luttenbachers, The:
Negative Infinity [VINYL] (ugEXPLODE / GOD Records)

Adhering to the tenets of "Dissonance, Speed, Aggression, Weirdness, and Singularity", Weasel Walter leads his Flying Luttenbachers in their 15th album of no wave, punk jazz & brutal prog, Weasel switching to guitar and yielding the drum chair to Sam Ospovat, as the band rips through ridiculously complex twists and turns, even taking on Albert Ayler's strange '66/'67 musical suites. ... Click to View


Forbes / Young / Walter:
Hard Living (ugEXPLODE)

Merging Tiger Hatchery's tenor saxophonist Michael Forbes and bassist Andrew Scott Young and newly arrived to NYC Flying Luttenbacher leader & drummer Weasel Walter, for classic hardcore free jazz of articulate and demanding improvisation; this a recently unearthed studio recording from 2010, captured two years after their first encounter in a quartet with Jeb Bishop. ... Click to View


Rodrigues / Carvalho / Rodrigues / Valinho:
Eclipse (Creative Sources)

Emulating a solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse in two evolving improvised chamber works that take the quartet of Guilherme Rodrigues on cello, Mariana Carvalho on piano, Joao Valinho on percussion and Ernesto Rodrigues (switching from viola to harp & deploying electronics) through mysterious soundwork that move from darkness to light in detailed and subtle ways. ... Click to View


Four Letter Words (Piet / Wark / Harris):
Pinch Point (Amalgam)

The first fully improvised album from the Chicago trio of Jake Wark on tenor saxophone, Matt Piet on piano and Bill Harris on drums, recording at Experimental Sound Studios in 2018 for seven numbered and concise improvisations, running the gamut from rapidly active yet controlled interaction and investigatory conversations of confident expression and creative drive. ... Click to View


Yoon-Ji Lee :
Padong (zOaR Records)

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Ciao Ciao Cello:
Quiero Ver A Ese Monstruo (zOaR Records)

The Berlin-based trio of guitarist Beat Keller performing on feedbacker electric guitar & acoustic guitar, innovative tuba improviser Jack Adler-McKean and Spanish vocalist & performance artist Lorena Izquierdo Aparicio take on their monsters in five unique and disturbing improvisations recorded in the studio, as they "dance on the fine line between terror and joy". ... Click to View


Elliot Sharp :
Binibon (Henceforth)

A modern spoken opera by NY composer Elliott Sharp and librettist/narrator Jack Womack (Terraplane) with several narrators, reflecting the events surrounding a 1981 killing in New York's East Village, set in a darkly instrumental soundtrack developed by Sharp using guitars, saxophones, clarinets, synthesizers, bass, percussion, drums programming and samples. ... Click to View


GPS Trio (Chris Pitsiokos / Luke Stewart / Devin Gray):
Blast Beat Blues (Rataplan Records)

Hard-edged NYC free jazz in a limited EP CD release from the trio of alto saxophonist Chris Pitsiokos, bassist Luke Stewart and drummer & composer Devin Gray, who explains that the music reflects "the modern world we're all trying to live in, with that odd mix of the comfortable and uncomfortable", as heard in the edgy and dynamic power of his group. ... Click to View



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   review by Kurt Gottschalk
  2004-02-24
Hoahio - Peek-ara-boo  (Tzadik);
Haco and Hiromichi Sakamoto - Ash in the Rainbow  (Detector/ReR)
Yesterday’s Heroes - 1979  (La Louche)

Without cutting short a 13-year career, singer and popstress Haco might have hit her peak with Ohayo! Hoahio!, released by Tzadik in 2000. Its blend of koto, sine wave, electronics and the catchy melodies she’s been mining since her days leading After Dinner was nearly perfect, more fully formed than Hoahio’s first disc and glossier than her previous projects.

The group’s third record, Peek-ara-boo, finds Haco and Michiyo Yagi (one of the best avant koto player around, and there are others) joined by percussionist Mari Era, who takes the place of departed sine wave maven Sachiko M. With light percussion and ringing tones, Hoahio come off as more of a pop band, and unabashedly so. The album opens with the rocking groove “DJ Hashimoto,” which is as good as anything on Ohayo! From there they work more or less like the old band, with delicate koto songs, odd little interludes and great off-kilter pop, augmented by nice textures from the percussionist’s vibraphone, bass marimba and bamboo xylophone. Even with the bar as high as they set it, Peek-ara-boo more than satisfies.


Haco is capable of gallons of tenderness and melancholy, and it’s in full effect on her collaboration with cellist and composer Hiromichi Sakamoto. Ash in the Rainbow is a set of songs she composed around Sakamoto’s 1999 album Zero-shiki, saying she found melodies buried within his sound constructions, and then remixed and edited it into a new work (bringing Mari Era in to round out the sound). His soundtracks are perfect for her sad songs, and the pairing works easily. Like Bjork or Tricky, Haco often floats her vocals above a soundscape with little or no direct musical support. The tracks aren’t far from Hoahio’s recordings, although occasionally – as on “Airhead” – she gets pushed in new directions. The strings, singing saws and electronic whooshes make Rainbow one of her best releases, and aside of After Dinner and Hoahio probably her best. In a just world, it would carry a “contains the hit single ‘Zero Hills’ sticker on the shrinkwrap.


Yesterday’s Heroes is a project perfectly realized by Haco and Terre Thaemlitz, although it is by it’s nature mediocre. The title, 1979, refers to the year we are to imagine the record came out, and on the title track (also “Yesterday’s Heroes,” a nod to band theme songs of the time) Haco intones “We don’t want to be/Yesterday’s heroes” over a scratchy “Whiter Shade of Pale” backing track. That spills into “New Wave, New Days,” the band’s icy call to arms. Elsewhere there are such small tributes as a Kraftwerkesque vocoder and a buried “O Superman” vocal pulse and plenty of vinyl pops. Haco and Thaemlitz have reimagined the forgotten bands of the 1980s (it sounds more like 1982 than 1979, but perhaps Yesterday’s Heroes are the fantasy forgotten forebears to groups like Altered Images, Missing Persons and Human Sexual Response). They work the beat-driven electronics and cold female vocals, the sort of stuff that would become alt dance music a few years later – in fact, what might have influenced After Dinner in the early ’80s. There’s even an homage to their would-have-been followers Men Without Hats with a short, sparse cover of their “No Dancing.” Many’s the musician that goes back to their roots. In a curious way, Yesterday’s Heroes became them.

- Kurt Gottschalk





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