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Grip, Denzler and Johansson, respectively in their early thirties, early fifties and early seventies, found each other through the intertwining scenes between Paris and Berlin. When taking a look at their previous musical activities you will get an exquisite account of the contemporary history of experimental improvised musics (yes, plural!) in Europe. It is a dense heritage in service of forming a new model for a creative process. Emerged through the questioning of methods, Neuköllner Modelle combine bipolar procedures in creating something which could be likened with a retarding ballad of the insistent up-tempo murmur accelerating in the backdrop-world of today. "Neuköllner Modelle is a gathering of musical ideas which function really good together. Our instruments and unique way of handling them formed the model serving the creation of Neuköllner Modelle. First there was an idea of the music, then there was the band. Our language is individually different and slowly changing, therefore we have something to say when we play. We are common in being different. A common thought is sometimes more reducing than a dissident. Anyway, without tension or friction, no music. In my music these opposing elements are of great importance. "Sektion 1-2" is an ambitious production in the sense that we have made (and make) our best to make it reflect the first idea we had. The questions of our age-differencies are not so interesting for me. It is more of an obvious and natural fact. What is more sad, maybe, is that not so many musicians today work across the invisible generational borders.'' Joel Grip, interviewed on the Free Jazz Blog "Pairing Denzler, a musician with an astute approach to minimalist saxophone (check out Tenor (Potlatch, 2012)), with Grip, a collocating musician who ties many disparate European improvisational forms together, and Johansson, the Swiss army knife (although he is Swedish) of drummers, is a genius amalgam of musicians." - All About Jazz --- Bertrand Denzler / saxophone Joel Grip / double bassSven-Åke Johansson / drums --- Recorded by Andrew Levine at Sowieso, Berlin, November 2015. Mastered by Werner Dafeldecker. Cover design by Teresa Iten. Notes by Bastian Zimmermann. Produced with the support from The Swedish Art Council.

Neuköllner Modelle - Sektion 1 - 2

The 14 musicians of UMLAUT BIG BAND, mostly from the new jazz guard (Un Poco Loco, ONJ, Duke Orchestra) and European improvisation (Hochstapler, Peeping Tom, Bribes 4, White Desert Orchestra, ONCEIM), have been celebrating together since 2011 the golden age of swing in the tradition of big band orchestras, whether mythical or unfairly forgotten. In EURO SWING VOL. 2 , the Umlaut Big Band documents another history of jazz in Europe between 1925 and 1940: that of American smugglers. While a first part, "Euro Swing" (Umlaut Records, 2015), was interested in European composers and arrangers, this new opus focuses on the work of American musicians on the old continent. The aim is to shed light on the role of smugglers such as Benny Carter, Duke Ellington, Sam Wooding, Willie Lewis and Fud Livingston, who have been able to play across Europe. Always in search of a surprising and sharp repertoire of music, the Umlaut Big Band exhumes again beautiful treasures forgotten. --- The Umlaut Big Band are: Pierre-Antoine Badaroux / direction and saxophone alto Antonin-Tri Hoang / saxophone alto, clarinet Geoffroy Gesser / saxophone tenor and clarinet Jean Dousteyssier / saxophone tenor and clarinet Benjamin Dousteyssier / saxophone alto and baryton  Brice Pichard, Louis Laurain, Emil Strandberg / trumpet Fidel Fourneyron, Michaël Ballue, Nicolas Grymonprez / trombone Romain Vuillemin / guitarBruno Ruder / piano Sébastien Beliah / bass Antonin Gerbal / drums --- Recorded 23-27.02.2015, at the Luisant, Germigny-L'Exempt by Ken Yoshida. 

Umlaut Big Band - Euro Swing Vol 2

One of the best records of 2017 for sure. Four of the most idiosyncratic and creative voices at the margins of jazz, imagine their way into and around the music and philosophy of Ahmed Abdul-Malik. This is music to listen, dance and think to. A new jazz record, from a new jazz band. [Ahmed] make music about the music of Ahmed Abdul-Malik. They excavate, re-inhabit and use a-new the now overlooked documents, and fragmentary plans, of his mid-20th century synthetic vision to produce a new jazz imagination for the 21st century. Ahmed-Malik (1927-1993) was a NYC bassist, oudist, composer, educator and philosopher. A potent(ial) influence on Coltrane and Monk (we imagine), he was also a significant composer in his own right. (Ignored into creative obscurity, he spent his final decades teaching, and performing seldom). His albums Jazz Sahara (1958) and East Meets West (1960) fuse aspects of Arabic and East African musics and thought, his committed long-term relationship with Sufi Islam, and then-modern jazz and thinking – in revolutionary and vital ways. The product is exciting, radical, raw, and beautiful. But, as well as honouring these traditions, Abdul-Malik invented and imagined a lot*. Abdul- Malik’s straddling, synthetic and inclusive vision is one of the great projects of the imagination in jazz. He mixed sounds and ethics, meanings and beliefs in open, experimental ways without dogma. And so do [Ahmed]. They visit and (re)think his compositions and the process potential in them. They play the notes, but use them, and the ideas in and about them, as vehicles for their unique imaginations, instrumental approaches and ideas. Through his compositions they re-imagine and re-synthesize, moving from what they know into newly creative space. They imagine themselves into the future, free of the dogma, clichés and cloy neo-classicisms of current ‘improvised music’ and ‘free jazz’. ** Kelley, R.D.G. (2012) ‘Ahmed Abdul-Malik’s Islamic Experimentalism’ in Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times. Cambridge: Harvard University Press: 91-119 talks about this in his brief but fascinating study. --- Joel Grip / bass Antonin Gerbal / drums Pat Thomas / piano Seymour Wright / saxophone --- Recorded live at Hagenfesten in Dala-Floda, Sweden, August 6, 2016 by Arve Birkeland. Mixed at Studio206.de by Patrick Petzold Photography and design by Sven-Åke Johansson. Produced by Joel Grip and Seymour Wright. Sleeve notes by Robert Levin. 

أحمد Ahmed - New Jazz Imagination

Grip, Denzler and Johansson, respectively in their early thirties, early fifties and early seventies, found each other through the intertwining scenes between Paris and Berlin. When taking a look at their previous musical activities you will get an exquisite account of the contemporary history of experimental improvised musics (yes, plural!) in Europe. It is a dense heritage in service of forming a new model for a creative process. Emerged through the questioning of methods, Neuköllner Modelle combine bipolar procedures in creating something which could be likened with a retarding ballad of the insistent up-tempo murmur accelerating in the backdrop-world of today. "Neuköllner Modelle is a gathering of musical ideas which function really good together. Our instruments and unique way of handling them formed the model serving the creation of Neuköllner Modelle. First there was an idea of the music, then there was the band. Our language is individually different and slowly changing, therefore we have something to say when we play. We are common in being different. A common thought is sometimes more reducing than a dissident. Anyway, without tension or friction, no music. In my music these opposing elements are of great importance. "Sektion 1-2" is an ambitious production in the sense that we have made (and make) our best to make it reflect the first idea we had. The questions of our age-differencies are not so interesting for me. It is more of an obvious and natural fact. What is more sad, maybe, is that not so many musicians today work across the invisible generational borders.'' Joel Grip, interviewed on the Free Jazz Blog "Pairing Denzler, a musician with an astute approach to minimalist saxophone (check out Tenor (Potlatch, 2012)), with Grip, a collocating musician who ties many disparate European improvisational forms together, and Johansson, the Swiss army knife (although he is Swedish) of drummers, is a genius amalgam of musicians." - All About Jazz --- Bertrand Denzler / saxophone Joel Grip / double bassSven-Åke Johansson / drums --- Recorded by Andrew Levine at Sowieso, Berlin, November 2015. Mastered by Werner Dafeldecker. Cover design by Teresa Iten. Notes by Bastian Zimmermann. Produced with the support from The Swedish Art Council.

One of the best records of 2017 for sure. Four of the most idiosyncratic and creative voices at the margins of jazz, imagine their way into and around the music and philosophy of Ahmed Abdul-Malik. This is music to listen, dance and think to. A new jazz record, from a new jazz band. [Ahmed] make music about the music of Ahmed Abdul-Malik. They excavate, re-inhabit and use a-new the now overlooked documents, and fragmentary plans, of his mid-20th century synthetic vision to produce a new jazz imagination for the 21st century. Ahmed-Malik (1927-1993) was a NYC bassist, oudist, composer, educator and philosopher. A potent(ial) influence on Coltrane and Monk (we imagine), he was also a significant composer in his own right. (Ignored into creative obscurity, he spent his final decades teaching, and performing seldom). His albums Jazz Sahara (1958) and East Meets West (1960) fuse aspects of Arabic and East African musics and thought, his committed long-term relationship with Sufi Islam, and then-modern jazz and thinking – in revolutionary and vital ways. The product is exciting, radical, raw, and beautiful. But, as well as honouring these traditions, Abdul-Malik invented and imagined a lot*. Abdul- Malik’s straddling, synthetic and inclusive vision is one of the great projects of the imagination in jazz. He mixed sounds and ethics, meanings and beliefs in open, experimental ways without dogma. And so do [Ahmed]. They visit and (re)think his compositions and the process potential in them. They play the notes, but use them, and the ideas in and about them, as vehicles for their unique imaginations, instrumental approaches and ideas. Through his compositions they re-imagine and re-synthesize, moving from what they know into newly creative space. They imagine themselves into the future, free of the dogma, clichés and cloy neo-classicisms of current ‘improvised music’ and ‘free jazz’. ** Kelley, R.D.G. (2012) ‘Ahmed Abdul-Malik’s Islamic Experimentalism’ in Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times. Cambridge: Harvard University Press: 91-119 talks about this in his brief but fascinating study. --- Joel Grip / bass Antonin Gerbal / drums Pat Thomas / piano Seymour Wright / saxophone --- Recorded live at Hagenfesten in Dala-Floda, Sweden, August 6, 2016 by Arve Birkeland. Mixed at Studio206.de by Patrick Petzold Photography and design by Sven-Åke Johansson. Produced by Joel Grip and Seymour Wright. Sleeve notes by Robert Levin. 

After meticulous historical research and recording transcriptions, Pierre-Antoine Badaroux and his orchestra built a new repertoire based on the work of European musicians who discovered and took over jazz - specifically between (1925-1940). These tracks give us a take on the story of the birth of jazz in this new territory at a very special time, and brings to life a music that made history. "Compositions from USSR, Spain or Tchekoslovakia are to be discovered! And maybe, among many others, you will re- discover the swing touch from the British pianist Jack Hylton, the Belgian saxophonist Fud Candrix or Léo Vauchant the French and then Californian trombonist." "The talented and festive 14 musicians of UMLAUT BIG BAND, coming from the new jazz scene (ONJ) and/or from the European improvisation avant-garde (Peeping Tom, Zoor), gathered in 2011 to celebrate with its ecstatic audience the energy of the good ol’ swing bands." --- The Umlaut Big Band are: Pierre-Antoine Badaroux / direction and saxophone alto  Antonin-Tri Hoang / saxophone alto, clarinet Geoffroy Gesser / saxophone tenor and clarinet Jean Dousteyssier / saxophone tenor and clarinet Benjamin Dousteyssier / saxophone alto and baryton  Brice Pichard, Louis Laurain, Emil Strandberg / trumpet Fidel Fourneyron, Michaël Ballue, Nicolas Grymonprez / trombone Romain Vuillemin / guitarBruno Ruder / piano Sébastien Beliah / bass Antonin Gerbal / drums --- Recorded on the 23-27 February, 2015 at Le Luisant, Germigny-L’Exempt. Mixed and mastered by Ken Yoshida. Design by Sven-Åke Johansson et Dominique Hamot.

Eleven songs for voice and lute by the Swiss singer and composer Marianne Schuppe. Schuppe is part of the Wandelweiser collective and is known for her interpretation of works by Morton Feldman. Using the voice and sustained e-bow, Schuppe presents her first Wandelweiser solo record - eleven ‘songs’ which deconstruct melody, diction, duration and timbre. Engaged in an element of drone, ‘slow songs’ is part folk, part chant, part landscape - a stand out record in the Wandelweiser catalogue.  "The richness and detail that other artists appearing on Wandelweiser achieve with complex harmony is here achieved with a single note. This can clearly be heard by comparing the two versions of the songs ‘key’ and ‘pretty ride’: while the two versions are in different keys, the insides of the notes are also a whole different story." - Fluid Radio --- I see a deerI see a deer in a shield behind the trees in my sighthe is simplynot to be here with my kindwondering to bejust betweenon his shoulder he carries some lightwith an openingI haven't seenhim for long on his chairon his Hochsitzeven though it ispouring away some rain towipe out the writings in timecables go throughno rare earth to lure himsome batteries are with some risksome gazellas are with shieldsas one colouris amendedhe is standing kind ofhungry  --- Marianne Schuppe / voice, lute --- Recorded: August 26-28th, 2015, Le Puid, France by Willy Daum. e-bows by Peter Vittali. Mixed and mastered by Willy Daum. Special thanks to Peter Vittali and Antoine Beuger

We're very pleased to announce Pat Thomas's ‘The Elephant Clock of Al Jazari’ on our in-house OTOROKU label. Recorded live at OTO in May 2015 and mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi, the LP comprises four typically genre-defying and sonically dexterous pieces from one of the UK's most extraordinary pianists. In Pat's own words: The title for this Album, was inspired by the incredible automatic water clock invented by Badi' al-Zaman ibn al-Razzaz al-Jazari. Al Jazari refers to the fact he was born in Al Jazira which lies between the Tigris and the Euphrates in what is now Northern Iraq. Badi al Zaman means prodigy of the age. He is known by historians of technology as the father of modern robotics. The Elephant Clock at seven metres high is a testament to his engineering genius, it utilizes Greek water raising technology, combined with an Indian elephant, Egyptian phoenix, Arabian figures, Persian carpet and Chinese Dragons celebrating the diversity of cultures in the world. This and other marvels of engineering can be found in his Book of the Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices translated by Donald Hill (Pakistan Hijra Council). Over 50 devices are mentioned. Amongst them the first analog computer, his remarkable Castle Clock, however, the debt the world owes this muslim genius is found in his remarkable water raising devices, particularly water raising device number 4 where for the first time a crank connecting rod system is used. The crank is considered to be the most important single mechanical device after the wheel, by 1206 this is found fully developed in Jazari`s machines predating Francesco di Giorgio Martini by 3 centuries. 'For Al Haytham' is dedicated to the great polymath genius who wrote the great book on vision, the first person to give us a true understanding of how we see. 'Lubb' is an Arabic word meaning innermost consciousness whilst to conclude proceedings 'Done' is loosely based on a well known standard. - Pat Thomas 26TH May 2017 Pat Thomas began playing  piano at the age of eight. He studied classical music and reggae was an early interest. Thomas was inspired to take up Jazz after seeing legendary pianist Oscar Peterson on television. By 1979, Thomas was performing seriously as an improviser. In 1980 he became a member of oxford based group Ghosts with Pete Mcphail and Matt Lewis. Has worked with Mike Cooper, Steve Beresford, Geoff Hawkins, Chuck Berry, Tim Hill, Alex Ward, Eugene Chadbourne, Steve Noble, Jimmy Carl Black, Thurston  Moore, Mats Gustafsson, Evan Parker, Oliver Lake, Alan Silva, Bill Dixon, Joe Gallivan, Alan Wilkinson, John Edwards, John Zorn, John Butcher, John Russell and a duo with Mark Sanders since 1986 a duo with Steve Noble (who first met in 1979).  Current activities include Black Top with Orphy Robinson, Valid Tractor with Lawrence Casserley and Dom Lash, About Group with Alexis Taylor and John Coxon, Albert Newton with Charles Haywood and the Founder Effect with John Coxon, a duo with Han Bennink and a trio with William Parker and Hamid Drake. Pat Thomas received Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Composers in 2014. --- Pat Thomas / piano --- Recorded live at Cafe OTO on the 4th May 2015 b Mark Jasper. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi. Photo by fabio Lugaro. Design by Maja Larsson. 

"Japanese bluesman Kan Mikami is nothing less than an unalloyed force of nature. A skin-shredding blast of frozen wind from the poor, rural north of Japan that he calls home. In the late 1960s, like thousands of other Japanese young people Mikami made his way to Tokyo in search of a life different from that of his parents. Since then he has forcefully carved out a space for himself in the culture as a modernist poet, a raging folk singer, an author, a actor, an engaging TV personality, and one of Japan’s most uniquely powerful performers. For most of Mikami’s career as a singer, he has performed solo. Just him and his electric guitar against the world, creating jagged A-minor vamps to drive along the surreal wisdom of his lyrics. But he’s equally at home in more demanding improvisational contexts such as those provided here by John Edwards on bass and Alex Neilson on drums. Their dense propulsive textures seem to spur on Mikami, his voice arcing powerfully into fragmented spaces, his guitar darting, colliding, shedding jagged and angular splinters of sound. A pulsing, raging maelstrom of serrated-edged energy. Gruff, rough, honest and very, very real." - Alan Cummings --- Kan Mikami / vocals, guitar John Edwards / bass Alex Neilson / percussion --- Recorded live at Cafe OTO on 3rd April 2013 by James Dunn. Mixed by John Chantler. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi

Keiji Haino, one of the foremost exponents of the Japanese avant-garde, always provides a masterclass in constantly shifting improvisation. John Butcher is a saxophonist of rare grace and power, who has expanded the vocabulary of the saxophone far beyond the conventions of jazz and other musics, to encompass a staggering range of multiphonics, overtones, percussive sounds, and electronic feedback. Haino and Butcher met when Butcher opened for Fushitsusha at the show Cafe OTO arranged at St. John, Hackney - 5 years ago. In 2016 they were invited to play two duo concerts – at The Empty Gallery in Hong Kong and at Cafe OTO in London. Otoroku is proud to present the audio documentation of their first UK meeting. Recorded live at Cafe OTO in July 2016 the results are an uncompromising milieu of swirling sound played out as a total union of these two legendary performers.  Haino’s blues drenched guitar entices skittering notes from Butcher’s sax playing as numerous sonic clues unravel over the course of of this unique and compelling journey. Light Never Bright Enough comes in a limited edition of 500 LPs and 500 CDs with matt sleeves and japanese removable obi-strip. --- Keiji Haino / vocal, guitar, flutes   John Butcher / saxophones and feedback --- Recorded live at Cafe OTO on the 9th July 2016 by Luca Consonni. Mixed by John Butcher. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi. Photography and design by ORGAN. 

We're very pleased to announce Pat Thomas's ‘The Elephant Clock of Al Jazari’ on our in-house OTOROKU label. Recorded live at OTO in May 2015 and mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi, the LP comprises four typically genre-defying and sonically dexterous pieces from one of the UK's most extraordinary pianists. In Pat's own words: The title for this Album, was inspired by the incredible automatic water clock invented by Badi' al-Zaman ibn al-Razzaz al-Jazari. Al Jazari refers to the fact he was born in Al Jazira which lies between the Tigris and the Euphrates in what is now Northern Iraq. Badi al Zaman means prodigy of the age. He is known by historians of technology as the father of modern robotics. The Elephant Clock at seven metres high is a testament to his engineering genius, it utilizes Greek water raising technology, combined with an Indian elephant, Egyptian phoenix, Arabian figures, Persian carpet and Chinese Dragons celebrating the diversity of cultures in the world. This and other marvels of engineering can be found in his Book of the Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices translated by Donald Hill (Pakistan Hijra Council). Over 50 devices are mentioned. Amongst them the first analog computer, his remarkable Castle Clock, however, the debt the world owes this muslim genius is found in his remarkable water raising devices, particularly water raising device number 4 where for the first time a crank connecting rod system is used. The crank is considered to be the most important single mechanical device after the wheel, by 1206 this is found fully developed in Jazari`s machines predating Francesco di Giorgio Martini by 3 centuries. 'For Al Haytham' is dedicated to the great polymath genius who wrote the great book on vision, the first person to give us a true understanding of how we see. 'Lubb' is an Arabic word meaning innermost consciousness whilst to conclude proceedings 'Done' is loosely based on a well known standard. - Pat Thomas 26TH May 2017 Pat Thomas began playing  piano at the age of eight. He studied classical music and reggae was an early interest. Thomas was inspired to take up Jazz after seeing legendary pianist Oscar Peterson on television. By 1979, Thomas was performing seriously as an improviser. In 1980 he became a member of oxford based group Ghosts with Pete Mcphail and Matt Lewis. Has worked with Mike Cooper, Steve Beresford, Geoff Hawkins, Chuck Berry, Tim Hill, Alex Ward, Eugene Chadbourne, Steve Noble, Jimmy Carl Black, Thurston  Moore, Mats Gustafsson, Evan Parker, Oliver Lake, Alan Silva, Bill Dixon, Joe Gallivan, Alan Wilkinson, John Edwards, John Zorn, John Butcher, John Russell and a duo with Mark Sanders since 1986 a duo with Steve Noble (who first met in 1979).  Current activities include Black Top with Orphy Robinson, Valid Tractor with Lawrence Casserley and Dom Lash, About Group with Alexis Taylor and John Coxon, Albert Newton with Charles Haywood and the Founder Effect with John Coxon, a duo with Han Bennink and a trio with William Parker and Hamid Drake. Pat Thomas received Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Composers in 2014. --- Pat Thomas / piano --- Recorded live at Cafe OTO on the 4th May 2015 b Mark Jasper. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi. Photo by fabio Lugaro. Design by Maja Larsson. 

"Japanese bluesman Kan Mikami is nothing less than an unalloyed force of nature. A skin-shredding blast of frozen wind from the poor, rural north of Japan that he calls home. In the late 1960s, like thousands of other Japanese young people Mikami made his way to Tokyo in search of a life different from that of his parents. Since then he has forcefully carved out a space for himself in the culture as a modernist poet, a raging folk singer, an author, a actor, an engaging TV personality, and one of Japan’s most uniquely powerful performers. For most of Mikami’s career as a singer, he has performed solo. Just him and his electric guitar against the world, creating jagged A-minor vamps to drive along the surreal wisdom of his lyrics. But he’s equally at home in more demanding improvisational contexts such as those provided here by John Edwards on bass and Alex Neilson on drums. Their dense propulsive textures seem to spur on Mikami, his voice arcing powerfully into fragmented spaces, his guitar darting, colliding, shedding jagged and angular splinters of sound. A pulsing, raging maelstrom of serrated-edged energy. Gruff, rough, honest and very, very real." - Alan Cummings --- Kan Mikami / vocals, guitar John Edwards / bass Alex Neilson / percussion --- Recorded live at Cafe OTO on 3rd April 2013 by James Dunn. Mixed by John Chantler. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi

Keiji Haino, one of the foremost exponents of the Japanese avant-garde, always provides a masterclass in constantly shifting improvisation. John Butcher is a saxophonist of rare grace and power, who has expanded the vocabulary of the saxophone far beyond the conventions of jazz and other musics, to encompass a staggering range of multiphonics, overtones, percussive sounds, and electronic feedback. Haino and Butcher met when Butcher opened for Fushitsusha at the show Cafe OTO arranged at St. John, Hackney - 5 years ago. In 2016 they were invited to play two duo concerts – at The Empty Gallery in Hong Kong and at Cafe OTO in London. Otoroku is proud to present the audio documentation of their first UK meeting. Recorded live at Cafe OTO in July 2016 the results are an uncompromising milieu of swirling sound played out as a total union of these two legendary performers.  Haino’s blues drenched guitar entices skittering notes from Butcher’s sax playing as numerous sonic clues unravel over the course of of this unique and compelling journey. Light Never Bright Enough comes in a limited edition of 500 LPs and 500 CDs with matt sleeves and japanese removable obi-strip. --- Keiji Haino / vocal, guitar, flutes   John Butcher / saxophones and feedback --- Recorded live at Cafe OTO on the 9th July 2016 by Luca Consonni. Mixed by John Butcher. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi. Photography and design by ORGAN. 

"Japanese bluesman Kan Mikami is nothing less than an unalloyed force of nature. A skin-shredding blast of frozen wind from the poor, rural north of Japan that he calls home. In the late 1960s, like thousands of other Japanese young people Mikami made his way to Tokyo in search of a life different from that of his parents. Since then he has forcefully carved out a space for himself in the culture as a modernist poet, a raging folk singer, an author, a actor, an engaging TV personality, and one of Japan’s most uniquely powerful performers. For most of Mikami’s career as a singer, he has performed solo. Just him and his electric guitar against the world, creating jagged A-minor vamps to drive along the surreal wisdom of his lyrics. But he’s equally at home in more demanding improvisational contexts such as those provided here by John Edwards on bass and Alex Neilson on drums. Their dense propulsive textures seem to spur on Mikami, his voice arcing powerfully into fragmented spaces, his guitar darting, colliding, shedding jagged and angular splinters of sound. A pulsing, raging maelstrom of serrated-edged energy. Gruff, rough, honest and very, very real." - Alan Cummings --- Kan Mikami / vocals, guitar John Edwards / bass Alex Neilson / percussion --- Recorded live at Cafe OTO on 3rd April 2013 by James Dunn. Mixed by John Chantler. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi

Keiji Haino, one of the foremost exponents of the Japanese avant-garde, always provides a masterclass in constantly shifting improvisation. John Butcher is a saxophonist of rare grace and power, who has expanded the vocabulary of the saxophone far beyond the conventions of jazz and other musics, to encompass a staggering range of multiphonics, overtones, percussive sounds, and electronic feedback. Haino and Butcher met when Butcher opened for Fushitsusha at the show Cafe OTO arranged at St. John, Hackney - 5 years ago. In 2016 they were invited to play two duo concerts – at The Empty Gallery in Hong Kong and at Cafe OTO in London. Otoroku is proud to present the audio documentation of their first UK meeting. Recorded live at Cafe OTO in July 2016 the results are an uncompromising milieu of swirling sound played out as a total union of these two legendary performers.  Haino’s blues drenched guitar entices skittering notes from Butcher’s sax playing as numerous sonic clues unravel over the course of of this unique and compelling journey. Light Never Bright Enough comes in a limited edition of 500 LPs and 500 CDs with matt sleeves and japanese removable obi-strip. --- Keiji Haino / vocal, guitar, flutes   John Butcher / saxophones and feedback --- Recorded live at Cafe OTO on the 9th July 2016 by Luca Consonni. Mixed by John Butcher. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi. Photography and design by ORGAN. 

In Tom Mudd's work, the conceptual and technological processes are paramount. For this particular release, both are embedded in the Gutter Synthesis algorithm and software which was created for and used in all six tracks. An inevitable consequence of this way of working is that masses of material can be created, which then requires both selection and editing. Once these decisions havetaken place a strange, apparently contradictory, perceptual shift takes place towards the material. The listener is confronted with complex, intense and emotionally charged musical events. This was not Tom Mudd’s intention as he’s not overtly concerned with personal expression. A deep interest in algorithmic computer processes is his guiding principal. Yet from this apparently cold approach to making music comes vivid, dramatic, sound art, packed with rich emotional layers that never operate at the level of the trite and illustrative. There is also a strong formal and structural quality to his pieces that allows, in the best possible sense, the listener to ‘immerse’ themselves in this challenging sound world. John Wall, London, December 2017Gutter Synthesis software Gutter synthesis is a purely digital synthesis process that creates very physical, acoustic-like sounds using a network of resonant Duffing oscillators. The software was created specifically for this project, and is included with the release as an equal part of the creative output. The downloadable version uses an interrelatedset of eight Duffing oscillators and associated filter banks.

PRAH Recordings is delighted to present an extraordinary new release from the violinist Aisha Orazbayeva, following on from recent, critically acclaimed collaborations with artist Tim Etchells (Seeping Through) and pianist Mark Knoop (for the Another Timbre label). Best known for her performances of music by postwar modernists, here Orazbayeva returns to the classical violin repertoire and boldly re-envisages Georg Philipp Telemann’s popular solo fantasias. Through a set of deeply personal interpretations, Orazbayeva brings her trademark palette of raw, delicate and extreme textures to Telemann’s baroque polyphony.  The recordings comprise six of the twelve fantasias, and were first used in a 2015 production for Pina Bausch’s Tanztheater Wuppertal dance company, "In Terms of Time" by Tim Etchells. Telemann was a key figure in the transition between the late Baroque and early Classical periods in western music. Like his other solo works, the violin fantasias (published in 1735) are often contrapuntal, demanding a weaving together of compound melodic forms by a single performer. While seminal works like this were at the heart of Orazbayeva’s classical training, she has since tended to work instead with contemporary composers and on experimental and improvised projects. With their deep explorations of extended technique, these activities inform the whole spectrum of her work - including her approach to older repertoire: “Some of the techniques used on the record are often used in works by composers including Luigi Nono, Salvatore Sciarrino and Helmut Lachenmann. What inspires me the most about pieces like Lachenmann’s Toccatina, Sciarrino’s 6 Caprices and Nono’s“La Lontananza Nostalgica Utopica Futura”is the way they radically change our perception of the violin which challenges musical expectations and conventions. This change in our perception of the violin is something that has become central to my everyday practice offering me more freedom to interpret new and old repertoire as well as my own music-making.“

2016 Re-Press. Pre-orders taken now. Shipping 4.7.16. Recording of the stunning first set performed by the trio of Peter Brötzmann, Steve Noble and John Edwards at Cafe OTO in January 2010 during Brotzmann's first residency at the venue. This was also the first time the trio had played together. Recorded at Cafe OTO by Shane Browne, mixed by John Edwards and Mastered by Andres [LUPO] Lupich at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. REVIEWS "On an east London side street, Café Oto hosts a programme of international experimental sounds to shame subsidised arts temples, drawing demographic-defying crowds of all ages through its doors. The first release on Oto's own label, available as an authentic vinyl slab or a slippery download, is a 40-minute splurge of sax, drums and bass skronk, live at the venue in 2010, from the German free-jazz giant Brötzmann and two stars of the London improv scene. Unrepeatable moments of collective inspiration and sudden sunlit shafts of modal near melody punctuate the continuing energy blur. Business as usual down Dalston Junction." Stewart Lee, The Sunday Times  "Since it opened in Dalston in April 2008, Café OTO has become London's new music venue of choice for the likes of the Sun Ra Arkestra, Joe McPhee, Mats Gustafsson – and Peter Brötzmann, whose first residency at the club in January 2010 yielded this inaugural release on OtoRoku, Café OTO’s new in-house label. The night in question was the first time Brötzmann had played with bassist John Edwards and drummer Steve Noble, and the decision to team them up was inspired. With Alan Wilkinson, or in Decoy with Alex Hawkins and NEW with Alex Ward, Edwards and Noble have a deserved reputation as a thrilling high-energy rhythm section. And as Brötzmann is no slouch when it comes to high-energy playing, the combination is explosive. Right from the start of the set – the first that evening – it's obvious why this was selected to christen the label. All three players jump straight into top gear, with Brötzmann setting a cracking pace, his torrent of sound characterised by that hard-edged tone which makes him such compelling listening. ...the worse the better sets a high standard for subsequent releases to match. But, as every night at Café OTO is recorded and there's a wealth of fine music waiting in the wings, including quality recordings from Otomo Yoshihide and Wadada Leo Smith, OtoRoku looks like a label to watch." John Eyles, Paris Transatlantic "These two extended improvisations, recorded in January 2010 during Brötzmann’s first residency at OTO, finds the group attaining near-telepathic modes of interconnectedness, despite this being the trio’s first outing together. From the off, Brötzmann’s gills are gurning, throwing up torrents of molten roar, while Noble’s mule-kicking at the traps reels out ride hits like a baby sporting a bonnet of bees." - Spencer Grady, BBC Music "Does the world need another Brötzmann album? Probably not, but as the inaugural release on Cafe OTO's in-house high quality vinyl-only label, this one is cause for celebration. Recorded there - superbly well, too - during Brötzmann's residency in January 2012, this is no frills straight-up free jazz, solos and all, pitting the Firebreather of Wuppertal against the might local rhythm team (yes, they can and do swing hard) of John Edwards and Steve Noble. All three are on outstanding form, from the opening yelp - when it comes to Big Bang beginning, nobody does it better than Brötzmann - to Edwards's snarling drone 38 minutes later. Shame engineer Shane Browne slammed thos faders down so brutally: for once, you feel like joining in with the whoops and hollers of the punters." - Dan Warburton, The WIRE

Ten Years Alive On The Infinite Plain is the quintessential work of artist/filmmaker/composer Tony Conrad. Comprised of both film installation and minimalist score for amplified strings, Ten Years leaps across genre and medium to connect his revolutionary structural filmmaking with the experiments in long-duration sound that Conrad had begun in the 1960s as part of the Theatre of Eternal Music."Ten Years began with image before sound," writes Andrew Lampert, "a row of quadruple projections arranged side-by-side, all the shuffling stripes cascading into each other. Over the next two hours the music throbbed and the projectors incrementally shifted inwards, their beams gradually uniting to form one pulsating, overlapping picture."For its 1972 premiere at New York's The Kitchen, Ten Years included Conrad on violin as well as Rhys Chatham and Laurie Spiegel performing on instruments of the composer's own making. Chatham played the Long String Drone – a 6-foot long strip of wood with bass strings, electric pickup, tuning keys, tape, rubber band and metal hardware – while Spiegel carried out an arrhythmic bass pulse throughout.Superior Viaduct is honored to present this previously unreleased recording of Ten Years Alive On The Infinite Plain's breathtaking premier performance. As Chatham recounts in the liner notes, "When I first listened to this recording after not hearing it for over 40 years, it transported me back to the early Kitchen and the heyday of early minimalism, played outside the Dream Syndicate."Track Listing:Ten Years Alive On The Infinite Plain (1:28:18)

Following his investigation into experimental music and sound recording in Records Ruin the Landscape, David Grubbs turns his attention to the live performance of improvised music with an altogether different form of writing. Now that the audience is assembled is a book-length prose poem that describes a fictional musical performance during which an unnamed musician improvises the construction of a series of invented instruments before an audience that is alternately contemplative, participatory, disputatious, and asleep. Over the course of this phantasmagorical all-night concert, repeated interruptions take the form of in-depth discussions and musical demonstrations. Both a work of literature and a study of music, Now that the audience is assembled explores the categories of improvised music, solo performance, text scores, instrument building, aesthetic deskilling and reskilling, and the odd fate of the composer in experimental music. About The Author David Grubbs is Professor of Music at Brooklyn College and The Graduate Center, City University of New York, and author of Records Ruin the Landscape: John Cage, the Sixties, and Sound Recording, also published by Duke University Press. As a musician, he has released fourteen solo albums and appeared on more than 180 commercially released recordings. Grubbs is known for his cross-disciplinary collaborations with poet Susan Howe and visual artists Angela Bulloch and Anthony McCall, and his work has been presented at the Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Tate Modern, and the Centre Pompidou. Grubbs was a founding member of the groups Gastr del Sol, Bastro, and Squirrel Bait, and has appeared on recordings by Tony Conrad, Pauline Oliveros, Will Oldham, and Matmos, among other artists. Grubbs has written for The Wire, BOMB, Bookforum, and the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

"In London, in the fall of 1965, a group of four musicians dissatisfied with the constrictions they had encountered in the British jazz scene, came together with a highly thought-out agenda to revolutionize the way music was created, rejecting rules firmly in place then (and still today) among even the most forward-looking of musicians: no repertoire, no solos, no regular rhythms, no melodies, no fear of silence, 100% improvised. Keith Rowe was one of the founding members. They called themselves AMM and soon added the composer Cornelius Cardew, an associate of John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen, who was seeking to escape what he thought were equivalent strictures in the avant-garde classical world. As a quintet, AMM created music unlike anything else being done at the time and, being immersed in the London scene of the mid-60s in which musical boundaries were amorphous, found themselves on the one hand sharing bills with nascent bands like Pink Floyd, The Who and Cream while on the other working with and alongside Yoko Ono and Christian Wolff. "Rowe, a guitarist trained as a painter, adapted to his guitar the lessons he’d learned in the visual arts, placing it flat on a table or the ground as Jackson Pollock had done with his canvases, using it as a sound source to be approached with all manner of implements, opening up a vast new territory of exploration, one which would be enormously influential in rock, contemporary classical, and the field of free improvisation. "Over 12 years in the making and via exhaustive research and exclusive interviews Brian Olewnick has traced Rowe’s life from childhood through the present, with focuses on London’s mid-60s experimental music scene, the political unrest of the late 60s, the radical politics of the early 70s, the ongoing saga of AMM through the 90s and the accompanying advance of creative music over that time period, centered around Rowe’s participation in those events and his major contributions to the contemporary avant-garde environment. Through the many ups and downs of AMM and beyond, Rowe has become an éminence grise to generations of musicians and is still today continuing to push the boundaries of what is possible in the world of sound. "Brian Olewnick is a new music writer and visual artist. He helped run the avant-garde jazz loft Environ from 1976-1980 and was eventually seduced into writing about contemporary music in various forms from jazz to modern classical, free-improvisation and beyond. He has written for All Music Guide, The Wire, Time Out New York and other publications in addition to his blog, Just Outside, one of the principal sites for analysis of new music where he has published over 2,000 reviews since 2006. He has given talks on the craft of writing about contemporary music in Philadelphia, Västerås, Sweden and Sokołowska, Poland. He lives with his wife, Betsy, in Kinderhook, New York."

Reception is the first comprehensive examination of how Robert Rauschenberg and John Cage embraced and employed radio in some of their most sophisticated and experimental works between 1942 and 1991. This includes Rauschenberg’s artworks Broadcast (1959) and Oracle (1962-1965), and Cage’s compositions, Imaginary Landscape No. 4 (1951), Water Walk(1959), and Variations VII (1966). Author, Alana Pagnutti’s discussion considers how (influenced by renowned Canadian media philosopher, Marshall McLuhan), they both used the medium of radio to foster and provoke new qualities of experience and elicit the participation of their audiences. The foreword is written by Angus Carlyle, co-director of Creative Research into Sound Arts Practice (CRiSAP) at London College of Communication (UAL). As the UK prepares to switch off FM radio in favour of DAB (digital radio) between 2017-2022 (a transition happening globally), Pagnutti’s thoughtful and engaging book serves as a timely prompt to re-examine these radio-works before advances in technology change them forever. ‘Pagnutti makes us into fellow witnesses. After finishing the book for the first time I looked at the index, it was like reading a glittering recipe for some magical potion, the very thing I had only just inhaled.’  – Richard Wentworth To celebrate the launch of this book the first ever UK performance of Cage’s, Water Walk (1959) was hosted by Cafe Oto, London, in July 2017.

A Secret History of the Esoteric UndergroundRevised & expanded edition464 pages, hardback/paperback, 216mm x 156mmFully illustrated in colour with 240 images. * Full colour throughout* Two new chapters and a significant number of new images* Cover by Mark Titchner  Strange Attractor Press are proud to announce the release of a new revised and expanded edition of David Keenan’s seminal secret history of the UK’s esoteric underground, England’s Hidden Reverse. Based around hundreds of hours of interviews with members of Coil, Nurse With Wound and Current 93 as well as contemporaries, friends and associates, EHR illuminates a shadowy English underground scene whose work accented peculiarities of Englishness through the links and affinities they forged with earlier generations of the island’s marginals and outsiders, such as playwright Joe Orton, writers like death decadent Eric, Count Stenbock, ecstatic mystic novelist Arthur Machen and occult figures like Austin Osman Spare and Aleister Crowley.While functioning as an obsessively researched biography of the three interrelated groups EHRalso works to track the trajectory of their influences, explicating a reverse current that runs counter to the mainstream. Written over a period of six years and first published in 2003, the book flits between John Balance and Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson of Coil’s original Threshold House in Chiswick and the old boys’ school they later moved to in Weston-super-Mare to Steven Stapleton of Nurse With Wound’s goat farm and visionary art environment in Cooloorta in Southern Ireland to the roof of a house in Muswell Hill where David Tibet of Current 93 receives a vision of Noddy crucified in the sky. From there it moves further back and faster; to eye witness accounts of early Whitehouse performances; to the formation of Throbbing Gristle and the birth of industrial music; to the last moments of the visionary painter Charles Sims; to Angus MacLise, ex-of the Velvet Underground, casting his poem Year as a work of elementary magic; to Shirley Collins, AE Housman and Denton Welch’s visions of England in eternity.Long out of print and with the first edition demanding serious money from collectors, this much-anticipated expanded edition comes completely redesigned, with many new and previously unseen photographs and ephemera. It also comes with two new chapters, a final summing up of how the Reverse has changed gear since the book was first published and a new Chapter Zero entitled Crime Calls For Night where Keenan presents a daring argument that traces the transgressive urge that animates industrial culture all the way from Palaeolithic cave art through rock n roll and punk rock and up to contemporary noise music.About the AuthorDavid Keenan is an author and critic based in Glasgow Scotland. He has been a regular contributor to The Wire magazine for the past 20 years. From 2005 to 2015 he co-ran Volcanic Tongue, an online retailer and magazine dedicated to the enthused presentation of contemporary underground music. His debut novel The Comfort Of Women will be published by Strange Attractor in 2016.

Screenprinted on thick, quality paper. Design by Maja Larsson. Limited poster to celebrate the two day residency by the legendary and uncompromising Patty Waters.  From original listing:  Patty Waters must be acknowledged as a vocalist who has tested the limits of the human voice’s capabilities. Since her brief recording career in the mid-6O’s – after Albert Ayler brought her to the attention of ESP Disk – and despite performing very rarely, her influence has spread far beyond the realms of avant-garde and jazz. She has received much critical acclaim for her two ESP Disk recordings - Patty Waters Sings and Patty Waters College Tour. Waters' interpretation of Black is the Color of my True Love's Hair still remains a bold testament to the power of human expression. With a repertoire ranging from hushed piano solo ballads – in which her voice can fade to a whisper, barely audible – to performances using her voice as an instrument, conveying an incredible range of emotions, Waters is a singular artist and we're delighted to host her for a very rare two-night residency alongside Burton Greene (piano) and Tjitze Vogel (bass). “One of the best fucking singers alive.” – Rolling Stone “Praised by people like Miles Davis. her range moves easily from intimacy to introspection to rage. and her evocation of “Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair” has no parallel In musical history.” – San Francisco Sentinel “Hear her voice with the ears of wolves. A sound contour never before heard in American music and poetry. It transcends virtuosi vocalizing. It is presented as Shamanic ritual. The most perfect realization of Jazz song as siren song. Compels a revisioned understanding of the lure of the sweet woman's voice as a passage to paradise.” – Village Voice