After last summer’s release of the exceptional Skene on Sean McCann’s Recital Program, it’s a pleasure to share Matthew Sullivan’s set from March this year. A percussive motif threads together obscured narratives and Sullivan creates totally new landscapes from his field recordings and their manipulation. Whilst some of the sounds are recognisable, the position you hear them from is frighteningly isolated - a gong becomes as eerie as office lighting static, a demonic football crowd celebrates your exit. One of our standout shows from this year for sure. If you're interested in Michael Pisaro, James Rushford or Mark Vernon this is one for you.
1. Untitled - 15:34
Recorded live at Cafe OTO on Wednesday 22nd March by Shaun Crook. Mixed and mastered by Shaun Crook.
Matthew Sullivan - 22.3.17
Strikingly sparse and meditative percussive duo from esteemed vocalist Julie Tippetts and Confront boss man, Mark Wastell. Both equipped with a wealth of percussion but perfectly restrained, the pair are near-still, bright and clear at first, until the surface of their glistening sound begins to prickle and rush with an unseen current. Tippett's voice effortlessly matches the bellows of the Wastell’s shruti box, and its gentle drone highlights her natural vocal warmth. Intimate, explorative and intuitive, each note struck or sung is turned over gently, explored, and put back down to rest - like a rare find in a rock pool. We hope to see this duo make a return to OTO soon!
Julie Tippetts / voice, Sri Lankan hand drums, bells, singing bowls, water bowls, thumb piano, seed pod shaker, Balinese mini xylophone, struck hand drum
Mark Wastell / tam tam, cracked ride cymbal, shruti box, chimes, hand drum, Indian temple bells, singing bowls
1. Unraveling the Waterfall - 30:55
Recorded live at Cafe OTO by James Dunn on Tuesday 17th of January 2017. Mixed and mastered by James Dunn.
Julie Tippetts & Mark Wastell - 17.1.17
Born in Bolgatanga in rural Ghana, King Ayisoba was a prodigy on the kologo, playing locally until he’d outgrown the possibilities of the area. Moving to Accra, the country’s biggest city, he eventually released the song “I Want To See You, My Father.” There was nothing modern about it. No hiplife rap, no electronic beats. But somehow it conquered the country and brought the tradition firmly into the mainstream.
“It was Song of the Year and Traditional Song of the Year,” says album producer Zea. “He also had a song called “Modern Ghanaians” that said we shouldn’t forget the tradition. Instead we should use it to fight modern problems.”
With that mantra, King Ayisoba became the unlikeliest star. His music was a strong weapon for Ghana’s traditions. What he wanted, though, was to play with a band, to bring what he called the “man-power” to give the full drive to his sound. On the album Wicked Leaders, with Zea producing, that’s exactly what he did.After that Ayisoba toured Europe together with Zea, opening up solo, providing guitar, vocals and live electronics on stage, and Francis Ayagama joined King Ayisoba’s band on djembe and bemne drums
Alone or with beats, ultimately the power that propels 1000 Can Die comes from the band itself, from the sense of history that forms every piece of music. It’s there in every musician. They all go home and farm. They’re connected to the land, and the songs are part of the harvest they bring from the fields and from their own families.“Ayisoba’s grandfather played the kologo,” Zea says. “But only in the house. He was a healer, a shaman. People would come and tell him their problems. He’d make a connection with the spirits, then play and start singing, and his stories would include solutions.”
On 1000 Can Die, King Ayisoba is digging a new future from Ghana’s soil.
King Ayisoba - 1000 Can Die LP
"More 1960s recordings of truly unique solo piano performances. Mariam Tsege Gebru is a true original - her playing is somewhere between Erik Satie, Debussy, liturgical music of the Coptic Ethiopian Church and Ethiopian traditional music. It is some of the most moving piano music you will ever hear! All original compositions available for the first time on vinyl beyond the original early 1960s editions, which are completely impossible to find. Old school 'tip on' cover with gold foil printing. A must have master piece for anyone who needs some spiritual comfort."
TSEGE MARIAM GEBRU - Tsege Mariam Gebru LP
"Great songs form one of Ethiopia's most beloved singers - Talhoun Gessesse (English spelling varies). These recordings span from 1969 to 1975 and cover the range of Talhoun's styles and moods. Some mystical modal songs, some straight up rockers, and some ballads. All totally killer songs from the golden age of Ethiopian Soul Music. Talhoun's voice, alongside Mahmoud Ahmed's, is one of the strongest in the land. Don't miss out on this monstrously good LP."
Tlahoun Gessesse - Sima! LP
New duo from ex-CalArts electronic composer Carl Stone and minimalist musician Miki Yui. Subtle, slight and spooky, the pair deploy the tiniest sounds to create soundscapes at the edge of perception. Less cut and glitched than Stone's solo work, Realistic Monk's sound seems to hardly be moving at first, only to shift underfoot and reveal delicate oscillations and MSP mappings. In time, narrative builds in ways similar to that of James Rushford and crys cole, and eerie vocal lines akin to a nomadic Ghedalia Tazartes loop and shudder in the periphery.
Carl Stone / MAX/MSP, microphone
Miki Yui / sampler, solar-oscillator
1. 5.3.17 - 55:17
Recorded on Suday 5th March by Simon Holliday. Mixed by Shaun Crook. Mastered by Shaun Crook and Carl Stone.
Realistic Monk (Carl Stone & Miki Yui) - 5.3.17
Shimmering compositions for solo accordion by Hague-based American composer and instrumentalist Leo Svirsky. Playing somewhere between sound and sense, Svirsky dwells on tonal chromatic harmony but never seeks stability. Tones shift, diffuse, are eaten up by the crowds conversation. Having studied under Antoine Beuger (a principal mover in the Wandelweiser collective) Svirsky continues a departure from Cage or Feldman - embracing Romanticism and affect to make radical and destabalising psychoacoustic sound. Highly recommended.
"With works for piano, orchestra, and ensemble, Svirsky lights corners of hidden musical worlds with a palm sheltering the flame." —Britton Powell, BOMB Magazine (from the introduction from a wonderful conversation betwen Svirsky & Michael Pisaro)
Leo Svirsky / accordian
1. Heights in Depths Cafe OTO - 20:40
2. Depths in Heights Cafe OTO - 19:13
Recorded live at Cafe OTO on Saturday 25th February by James Dunn. Mixed by James Dunn. Mastered by Shaun Crook.
Leo Svirsky - 25.2.17
Locusts follows up the highly acclaimed ‘Music for Church Cleaners’ release from Irish artist Áine O’Dwyer. Whilst continuing to explore the church organ as the primary instrument, this release steers away from Church Cleaners in both sonic content and themes explored.
Recorded & performed in 2015 at St James’s Church, Barrow-in-Furness, England & The First Unitarian Congregational Society Church, Brooklyn Heights, New York. Locustspresents itself as a celebration of the pipe organ’s acoustical abilities of tapping into electronic pulses along with O’Dwyer’s liturgical memories which are at times, pushed into horrorthon states.
Aine O'Dwyer - Locusts LP
Originally formed as DAWSON-DAVIES: HEN OGLEDD by avant folk savant Richard Dawson and improv harp pioneer Rhodri Davies, now they’ve dropped the surnames and become a trio with the addition of Dawn Bothwell, who also performs altered electronic torch songs as Pentecostal Party. It’s been a transformative move, Dawson playing guitar, iPad and a panoply of table top knick knacks, Rhodri cleaving new spaces open with his blazing harp splutterations, with Bothwell’s sweet and sour voice and electronics taking the three of them down unexplored avenues littered with hypnotic diversions and long moments of delirium.
Made over a day and night in the mid-winter 2016, BRONZE was recorded in the space of the former Star and Shadow Cinema. Hollow, cavernous and stripped back to its bare bones the dilapidated building-shell still vibrating with the near and distant sounds of crucial Newcastle expression.
Dawson, Davies and Bothwell are joined from afar by medieval traveller/ virtuoso Laura Cannell on double recorders and New Zealand free-jazz heavyweight Jeff Henderson on blink-and-you'll-miss-it Timpani, on this glistening and sinewy record.... A heady and funny-tasting punch of early 90's synth, dark-ages thumping, space boogie, wild plays and vocal delays, electric crow song, utter nothingness and folkish mumblings. A carnivorous shredding of the old and ethereal reach to new beginnings.
Hen Ogledd - Bronze LP
Issue 2 of the Cesura//Acceso, journal of music, politics and poetics. Featuring work by Paul Abbott, Larne Abse Gogarty, Kim O'Neil, Danny Hayward, David Morris, Nathaniel Mackey, Federica Frabetti and Mark Fell, Irene Revell and Annea Lockwood, ESW, Abject Subject Ensemble, Sophie Hoyle, Hannah Black, Naroder Bourniki, Paul Rekret, Clair Potter, Sacha Kahir, Byron Peters and Tyler Coburn, Pil and Galia Kollectiv and Verity Spott.
Cesura//Acceso - issue 2 Book
The Two Ronnies, The Pet Shop Boys, Suicide and now Dale 'n' Phil. 6.2.17 marks the first live outing of much new material from these two excellent human beings - and it also marks possibly the only time we’ve seen proper heckling in OTO’s usually library quiet atmosphere. “It’s not Whitehouse definitely!” some blogger shouts, but what is? We can't repeat Dale's real retort - you'll have to download the whole thing for that, but we can say it often sounds like a landscape of embarrassing human phrasing dug up by Dale and slung back at the audience, to be consumed while Phil's bass line slowly shifts out of sync beneath you. “Language is a nuisance” goes one of their ‘songs’, and they’re right, but if we’re going to keep on using it lets please put Dale Cornish in charge of the dictionary.
Dale Cornish / vocals
Phil Julian / electronics
1. Role (0:00-3:11)
2. Exhibition (3:11-5:43)
3. Chairs (5:43-9:33)
4. Language Is A Nuisance (9:33-12:33)
5. Part Human (12:33-16:14)
6. Chip Shop (16:14-19:45)
7. Laughing Out (19:45-end)
(Download comes as one uninterrupted set of 23:15)
Recorded live at Cafe OTO on Monday 6th of Febuary 2017 by Shaun Crook. Mixed by James Dunn and mastered by Phil Julian.
Dale Cornish & Phil Julian - 6.2.17
Joe McPhee and Ingebrigt Haker Flaten at the Sugar Maple/Okka Fest on Saturday, June 6th, 2015. Joe McPhee - tenor and soprano saxophone. Ingebrigt Haker Flaten - double bass. Recorded live by Dave Zuchowski. Mastered by Martin Siewert in July/August 2016.
JOE MCPHEE & INGEBRIGT HAKER FLATEN - Bricktop CD
Joe McPhee and Raymond Boni at Hulsey Recital Hall on the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) campus on April 20, 1985. Joe McPhee - soprano saxophone, electronics and voice; Raymond Boni - electric guitar and electronics. The complete was concert inspired by the words of Eric Dolphy: "When you hear music, After it's over, It's gone, In the air, You can never capture it again."
JOE MCPHEE & RAYMOND BONI - Live From The Magic City (Birmingham, Alabama)
Following the death of German trombonist Johannes Bauer in May 2016, Peter Brötzmann decided to pay tribute to the many years of comradery and collaboration he and Bauer shared, from Globe Unity in the '70s to the Peter Brötzmann Group and the Chicago Tentet. This disc presents a previously unreleased recording of a beautiful live duo performance from Osaka, 1997, which had been waiting in Brötzmann's archives for a release. Peter Brötzmann: tenor and alto saxophones, tárogató, B-flat clarinet; Johannes Bauer: trombone.
JOHANNES BAUER/PETER BROETZMANN - Blue City (Live At Blue City Osaka / Japan 16. October 1997) CD
ohan Berthling: double bass; Martin Küchen: tenor and soprano saxophones, retardophone, flute; Steve Noble: drums and percussion. Recorded by David Carlsson at Gula Studion, Malmö, Sweden, November 1, 2015. Mixed by David Carlsson. Mastered by Martin Siewert. Cover photo by Donald Boström.
JOHAN BERTHLING/MARTIN KUCHEN/STEVE NOBLE - Threnody, At The Gates CD
Is This Right? is Seymour Wright's third full solo record and comes as a 2 discs set in a beautiful oblong sleeve. 5 tracks recorded between 2014 and 2017 in Bologna, London and Paris. Is This Right? continues where his last solo - Seymour Writes Back - finished, further developing a set of relationships between ideas, places, people and time, as Wright puts it, documenting 'learning about the saxophone - actual and potential - as rhthym, shadow and text'.
Seymour Wright - Is This Right? 2CD
Cien Fuegos present a reissue of Peter Kowald Quintet's self-titled album, originally released by FMP in 1972. Personnel: Günter Christmann - trombone; Peter Kowald - tuba, bass, alphorn; Peter van der Locht - alto saxophone; Paul Lovens- drums; Paul Rutherford - trombone. Composed and produced by Peter Kowald. Recorded by Eberhard Sengpiel at Akademie der Künste, Berlin, on January 19th, 1972. First released on FMP as FMP 0070.
PETER KOWALD QUINTET - s/t LP
Peter Brötzmann: tenor saxophone; Fred Van Hove: piano; Han Bennink: drums, voice; Albert Mangelsdorff: trombone. Recorded during the Free Music Market, August 27 and 28, 1971, in Berlin. Designed by Peter Brötzmann. Part of the legendary "Berlin Trilogy" originally released by FMP in 1971 (FMP 0040). 180-gram vinyl. One-time pressing of 500. First standalone reissue."Brötzmann's regular trio was joined by the trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff, one of the most respected German jazz musicians, who has managed to keep abreast of musical developments for more than a decade. Those who remember him only for those fine early-sixties albums (like Tension, on German CBS) will be in for a shock, because he's updated his playing all the way. On 'Couscouss De La Mauresque', for instance, his tonal distortions rival those of Paul Rutherford, as he backs Brötzmann's wailing with a rip-snorting obligato. He has the advantage of being a virtuous technician, so that some of his wilder flights are truly breathtaking. . . . Mangelsdorff's technique doesn't hinder his fire, either, and he's well able to stand up to the rest of this very hairy band. Van Hove and Bennink obviously know each other inside out by now, and you'll hear few more exciting passages of music than their interlude during the trombonist's solo on 'Couscouss'. Bennink is getting further into textures every day, and on this album makes great play with his steel-drum and many unidentifiable implements, thus giving the music a great deal of variety. If you wanted to buy just one of these records, it would be very hard to choose because the level is so high throughout." --Richard Williams, Melody Maker, February 5, 1972
BROTZMANN/VAN HOVE / BENNINK PLUS ALBERT MANGELSDORFF - Couscouss de la Mauresque LP