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Paolo Valladoid / Gary Rouzer: Directions for Viola and Cello (Confront)

Part of a trio of releases including "Reasons for Viola and Cello" and "Viola Cello Room", this album finds violist Paolo Valladoid and cellist Gary Rouzer in a large tunnel in Alexandria, Virginia, their music mixed with joggers, birds, traffic, flowing water, insects, &c. &c. ... Click to View


David Sylvian (w/ Jan Bang, Otomo Yoshihide, Toshimaru Nakamura): Playing The Schoolhouse (Confront)

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James Weeks: Mural (Confront)

A work for two quartets of voices about our relationship with the world, using four text sources from Rutherford Bowey & Westerberg, John Cage, Fernando Pessoa/Alberto Caeiro, and a critiques of "Vermeer's painting The Little Street", in a fascinating weaving of voice. ... Click to View


Maja Ratkje S. K. : Crepuscular Hour [CD+DVD] (Rune Grammofon)

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Maja Ratkje S. K. : Crepuscular Hour [VINYL 2LP / CD /DVD] (Rune Grammofon)

An epic, hypnotic work for three choirs, three pairs of noise musicians, and church organ, to be performed in a cathedral or similar location with musicians surrounding the audience, here from a live performance at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival 2012. ... Click to View


Frode Gjerstad / Jon Rune Strom / Paal Nilssen-Love: Steam In the Casa (PNL)

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Large Unit: Ana (PNL)

Drummer Paal Nilssen-Love's Large Unit recorded this ecstatic, Brazilian influenced material in 2015 after a mammoth European and North-American tour, hours after their performance at the 2015 Oslo Jazzfestival with an extended line-up with Brazilian percussion players. ... Click to View


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Japanese Koto virtuoso Michiyo Yagi joins the longstanding duo of drummer Paal-Nilssen-Love and electronics wizard Lasse Marhaug for a session of extended improvisations, driving the traditional Japanese instruments into non-idiomatic and percussive extremes. ... Click to View


Cage . Pisaro . Frey . Beuger: Accordion Music (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

... Click to View


Jurg Frey: Lucier . Wolff . Schlothauer . Frey (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Six compositions from Lucier, Wolff, Schlothauer, and Frey, exploring harmonic beats on the acoustic clarinet, deriving melody in unexpected ways; seeking static tones between sound and noise; and investigating melodic variations; inquisitive, thought-provoking, alluring work. ... Click to View


Clemens Merkel : Maderna . Beuger . von Schweinitz . Stiegler (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Violinist Clemens Merkel interprets compositions by Wolfgang von Schweinitz's "Sonata for Violine Solo"; Antonie Beuger's "Unwritten Page"; Bruno Madema's "Piece Pour Ivry"; and Thomas Stiegler's cycle "Kammerkomplex" ("quasi una fantasia", "gran partita" and "sonata facile"). ... Click to View


Large Unit: 2015 [BOOK + 2 CDS] (PNL)

A 2-disc + book release from Paal Nilssen-Love's Large Unit, the 1st recorded at the Casa del Popolo club in Montreal presenting smaller units of duos and trios, and the 2nd capturing the full orchestra as they ended their North American tour at Seattle's Earshot Jazz festival. ... Click to View


Fire! Orchestra: Ritual (Rune Grammofon)

The incredible Fire! Orchestra in a 21-piece rendition performs in the studio for an ecstatic album of free improvisation and song, with an amazing lineup including Mats Gustafsson, Mette Rasmussen, Johan Berthling, Hild Sofie Tafjord, Lotte Anker, &c. &c. ... Click to View


Fire! Orchestra: Ritual [VINYL 2 LPs + CD] (Rune Grammofon)

The incredible Fire! Orchestra in a 21-piece rendition performs in the studio for an ecstatic album of free improvisation and song, with an amazing lineup including Mats Gustafsson, Mette Rasmussen, Johan Berthling, Hild Sofie Tafjord, Lotte Anker, &c. &c. ... Click to View


John Zorn / AutorYno: Flauros: The Book Of Angels Volume 29 (Tzadik)

Zorn's Book of Angels series presenting the Masada composition books performed by a wide variety of groups, here with AutorYno, a wild power trio of three Paris avant rockers, taking Masada into heavy rock territory blanding Metal, Punk, Thrash, Dub and Surf rock. ... Click to View


David Shea: Piano 1 (Room40)

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Zeitkratzer: Grand Orchestra (Tochnit Aleph)

The "Grand Orchestra" of Zeitkratzer and guests create a complex sound using an assembly of players with 40 winds, including bagpipes, developed by both Zeitkratzer and lay people, playing not only pure intensity but also dense and complex sound aggregates. ... Click to View


Anthony Braxton : Live At The Rainbow Gallery '79 (Hi Hat)

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David Fiuczynski : Flam! Blam! Pan-Asian Microjam! (Rarenoise Records)

Dedicated to both composer Olivier Messiaen and hip-hop record producer J Dilla, David Fiuczynski uses non-Western tuning to show the connections between exotic bird calls and J Dilla's 'flam beats' while referencing Messiaen, Gagaku, and other Pan-Asian ingredients. ... Click to View


Iannis Xenakis: GRM Works 1957-1962 [VINYL REPRESS] (Recollection GRM)

Recollection GRM assembles Greek experimental composer Iannis Xenakis' works for Groupe de Recherches Musicales circa 1957-1962: "Concret PH" (1958); "Orient-Occident" (1960); "Diamorphoses" (1957-58); "Bohor" (1962). ... Click to View


The World Heritage (Yamamoto Seiichi / Katsui Yuji / Kido Natsuki / Nasuno Mitsuru / Yoshida Tatsuya): The Land of Light (Magaibutsu)

The Japanese improvising rock quintet The World Heritage--Yamamoto Seiichi, Katsui Yuji, Kido Natsuki, Nasuno Mitsuru, and Yoshida Tatsuya--with two guitars, violin, bass and drums, in a live recording of dynamic collective improvisation at Akihabara Goodman in 2013. ... Click to View


Huy (Junji / Kazuhisa / Yoshida): Huy (Magaibutsu Limited)

The Japanese trio of Hirose Junji on tenor saxophone, Innocence label founder Uchihashi Kazuhisa on guitar, and Yoshida Tatsuya on drums, initiating Magaibutsu's "Improv Session Series" with this on-fire album of controlled chaos, recorded live at Foxhole in Kichijoji. ... Click to View


PYN (Pittard / Yoshida / Nasuno): L'elan Createur (Magaibutsu Limited)

Following their 2015 album "Songs for children who don't want to sleep", the quartet of Yan Pittard on guitar & oud, Mitsuru Nasuno on bass, Maki Nakano on vocals, and Tatsuya Yoshida on drums present this soundtrack album, which translates to "the creative urge". ... Click to View


Kazuto Shimizu / Yoshida Tatsuya / Nasyuno Mitsuru: SYN LIVE (Magaibutsu Limited)

The Japanese improvising rock trio of Kazuto Shimizu on keyboards, Nasyuno Mitsuru on bass, and Yoshida Tatsuya on drums performing live at Club Goodman in Akihabara, Japan, 2016 for technically superb, fast paced, turn-on-a-dime, joyful prog-oriented playing. ... Click to View


Marc Baron : Un Salon Au Fond D'un Lac (Potlatch)

Beautifully paced and enigmatically interesting compositions from Marc Baron, using only analog processes in three compositions for reel to reel tape, blending field recordings, cut-up, noise, found sound, pre-recorded and degraded tapes in unusual and absorbing ways. ... Click to View


Mark Wastell : Vibra: Trent (3" CDr) (Linear Obsessional Recordings)

An extraordinary solo EP of a tam-tam performance by Mark Wastell, one of the founders of the "New London Silence" movement and Confront label founder, performing live at Nottingham Trent University for a rich and forceful album of timbre and tone. ... Click to View


Almut Kuhne / Gebhard Ullmann / Achim Kaufmann: Marbrakeys (Leo)

The Berlin-based trio of free improvising vocalist Almut Kuhne, pianist Achim Kaufmann and reedist Gebhard Ullmann for ten originals, on-the-edge, informed improvisation of great skill and melodic invention, taking their music into uncharted and unconventional territory. ... Click to View


Gebhard Ullmann / Achim Kaufmann: Geode (Leo)

Albert Mangelsdorf Award-winning pianist Achim Kaufmann and multi-reedist Gebhard Ullmann met in the studio for the first time in Berlin, Germany to record these upbeat free improvisations, intricate collective playing covering a wide range of moods and styles. ... Click to View


The Wire: #388 June 2016 [MAGAZINE] (The Wire)

June 2016 issue with articles on Gaika; Ian Brighton; Klara Lewis; Islam Chipsy; Sensational, Heather Leigh & Peter Brotzmann, Joan La Barbara; Chris Abrahams, Daevid Allen Weird Quartet, Oren Ambarchi/Kassel Jaeger/James Rushford, Sir Richard Bishop, Ava Mendoza; &c. &c. ... Click to View


The Wire: #389 July 2016 [MAGAZINE] (The Wire)

On the cover: Loren Connors; plus Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids; Valley Of The Sun; Group A; Beatrice Dillon; Cardiacs; Naama Tsabar; plus reviews of Autechre; Jack DeJohnette, Ravi Coltrane; Rob Mazurek & Emmett Kelly; Perelman & Matthew; Christian Fennesz & Jim O'Rourke; &c. ... Click to View


The Wire: #390 August 2016 [MAGAZINE + CD] (The Wire)

August 2016 issue with Wire Tapper VA CD; on the cover: Circuit Des Yeux; articles on Nate Wooley; Occult Rock; Black Spirituals; plus Li Daiguo; DDMMYY; Yeongrak; G-Bop Orchestra; Optimo; Michael Morley; Byron Coley; and reviews of recordings, live shows, print, &c. &c. ... Click to View


Stirrup (Lonberg-Holm / Macri / Rumback): Cut (Clean Feed)

Chicago free improvising mainstay Fred Lonberg-Holm's Stirrup trio with Nick Macri on double bass and Charles Rumback on drums crosses genres and grooves in an album balancing lyrical and hard-grooved tunes, with Lonberg-Holm taking up guitar on a number of tracks. ... Click to View


Killick Hinds & Henry Kaiser: Xenosynchronicity II (Self Released)

Appalachian guitarist Killick Hinds reunites with West Coast guitarist Henry Kaiser for their second album of sophisticated string interactions, using vast technical skills and creative intent to present an enjoyable and diverse set of textures and styles. ... Click to View


Tom Johnson / Samuel Vriezen : The Chord Catalogue. Within Fourths/Within Fifths (Edition Wandelweiser Records )

Pianist Samuel Vriezen performs Tom Johnson's work presenting what Johnson describes as a natural phenomenon within a musical scale: progressions in 1 to 5 voices of all possible combinations of notes with each voice being limited to 3 steps, a perfect 4th or a perfect 5th. ... Click to View


Hal Rammel: The Amplified Palette: A History in Pictures [BOOK + 2 CDS] (Penumbra)

A book and CD celebrating the 25th anniversary of this unusual and fascinating musical instrument designed and built by Hal Rammel, an artist's palette outfitted with a contact mic and vertically-mounted rods, played with a variety of uniquely designed bows and mallets. ... Click to View


Musicworks: #125 Summer 2016 [MAGAZINE + CD] (Musicworks)

Canada's premier new music magazine in their 125th issue, articles include Ayo Leilani; Ocean Bug and Bird Songs; Gabriel Dharmoo; crys cole; Thin Edge New Music Collective; plus a CD with tracks from Witch Prophet; Gabriel Dharmoo; Tim Brady; crys cole; Marc Saba; &c. &c. ... Click to View


Herve Boghossian : F.E.R. (for Eliane Radigue) (Confront)

French composer Herve Boghossian pays hommage to electronic composer Eliane Radigue while asserting his own approach to continuous electronic sound in textures and pulsations, using a laptop recording feedback, plus harmonicas, drums, brooms, tuner and voice. ... Click to View


Cremaster & Sophie Agnel (Fages / Monteiro / Agnel): Isotopic (Confront)

The results of years of collaboration between the Cremaster electroacoustic improvising duo of Ferran Fages and Alfredo Costa Monteiro with pianist Sophie Agnel, in a remarkable album of fragile yet rich tones and tonal punctuations, a feast of timbral possibilities. ... Click to View


10tet (Akiyama / Kamura / Malfatti / Kinoshita / Okura / Veliotis / Unami / Koike / Filip / Sugimoto): 10tet (Confront)

Ten prominents electroacoustic improvisers--Tetuzi Akiyama, Moe Kamura, Radu Malfatti, Kazushige Kinoshita, Masahiko Okura, Nikos Veliotis, Taku Unami, Toshihiro Koike, Klaus Filip, Taku Sugimoto--performing live at Ftarri in 2013, for subtle and exquisite lowercase sound. ... Click to View


Ian Brighton : Now And Then (Confront)

British guitar Ian Brighton was tutored by Derek Bailey, and was a member of John Stevens' Spontaneous Music Ensemble and the Tony Oxley Quartet; this release coincides with the guitarist's 72nd birthday, in a variety of setting with a great list of improvisers. ... Click to View


Rodrigues / Rodrigues / Hindi: Ur (Creative Sources)

A 5-part introspective improvisation from the trio of Creative Sources leader Ernesto Rodrigues on violin, viola, and electronics; Guilherme Rodrigues on cello, pocket trumpet, and radio; and Jassem Hindi on clarinet; subtle work with extended techniques and unexpected punctuation. ... Click to View


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  Fred Frith / Evelyn Glennie 
  The Sugar Factory  
  (Tzadik) 

   review by Kurt Gottschalk
  2008-06-04
Fred Frith / Evelyn Glennie: The Sugar Factory (Tzadik)

The most remarkable thing about percussionist Evelyn Glennie is not - by far - the fact that she's deaf. There is nothing about listening to her play that suggests "rising above" or "in spite of." The 2004 film Touch the Sound: A Sound Journey With Evelyn Glennie (available on DVD) is an excellent telling of her approach to hearing - one that is utterly unique and not so different (at least from her perspective) from a normally hearing person. Through training, Glennie - who lost her hearing as a child - has become acutely sensitive to vibration. As she explains in the film, most people sense sound waves and decode them with their ears; she does so with her entire body. She is an inordinately sensitive and musical player.

The film includes a considerable amount of footage of Glennie playing with Fred Frith in a resonant, old industrial space, and The Sugar Factory comes from those same sessions. The duo's improvisations were miked and recorded for the shoot, but it was only after the fact that Frith decided to assemble a record out of the material. There is a separate soundtrack recording for the film, but this is something else entirely: a beautiful session, full of the sense of the room they recorded it in, abstract and lush. Frith plays guitar, bass, organ, and adds some percussion, and Glennie is heard on drums, steel drums, gongs, vibraphone, marimba, cymbals, bells, toy piano and objects found in the room.

This was the first time the two had played together (they've continued to give concerts since). Scores of Frith meetings have been documented and released, but this one is something special - and not in any way because of curiosity about disability. His tasteful looping and building of soundscapes and his searing solos sound great in the big space, and Glennie walks a fine balance between challenge and response. The mix is totally satisfying.



Fred Frith / Evelyn Glennie: The Sugar Factory
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