Digital Downloads

If you are interested in our downloads of high quality live recordings from the venue and exclusive digital releases from some of our favourite labels, it might be worth considering becoming a Digital Member. Members can choose 3 digital downloads a month from any label we stock, as well as receiving a discount on records, books and more from our website.

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OTOROKU Downloads

"A wonderful album of crunch ‘n’ roll, as Manchester drumming -legend Phillip Marks leads Rex Casswell (electric guitar), best known for his tenure in Stock,Hausen & Walkman, and Paul Obermayer (sampler) through some entertaining and very original music. They’ve managed to inject the rhythmic humour of Thelonious Monk into all the abraded textures favoured in post-rock and electronica, vanquishing its tendencies towards Enoesque pretension with ribald physical beats. Casswell is an astonishingly original guitarist, reconstituting the instrument from pick-up to amplifier. His beautifully-judged architectonics provide a cool spritzer to the others’ heat, as well as providing a bridge between the actuality of the drums and the virtuality of the sampler. Obermayer disdains the use of off-the-peg samples which plague much trendy electronica. He uses his sampler to bring tiny sounds into audible range. The resulting timbres are like microscopic slides in the hands of a master surrealist. Swing sans nostalgia achieves electrified materialism. Short track timings add to the decisive feel. Historic!" - Ben Watson --- Rex Casswell / electric guitarPhillip Marks / percussionPaul Obermayer / electronics --- Tracklisting: 1. mal - 3:152. swing - 7:453. meshes - 6:494. Pavo - 10:465. nobody's sweetheart - 3:166. aise - 2:347. Vela - 5:248. Grus - 12:569. swerve - 8:38 --- Recorded at LMC Sound, London, England on 10th April and 18th of September 1999. Front cover: Philip Marks

Bark! - swing

Mark Wastell has been organising larger formations of musicians, collectively known as THE SEEN, for over 10 years. Using predominantly improvised material with occasional instructions or themes distributed to individual musicians just prior to performance. No formation has ever been repeated, THE SEEN never stays static.  Register of previous participants include Tetuzi Akiyama, Mattin, Michael Duch, Graham Halliwell, Andrea Neumann, Rhodri Davies, Paul Hood, Takehiro Nishide, Annette Krebs, Lee Gamble, Matt Davis, Joe Williamson, Wolfgang Fuchs, Burkhard Beins, Tomas Korber, Paul Abbott, Ben Owen, Jonathan McHugh, Jane Dickson, Olie Brice, Dimitra Lazaridou-Chatzigoga, Bertrand Denzler, Angharad Davies, David Toop, Chris Burn, Richard Sanderson, Dominic Lash, Yoni Silver, Graham MacKeachan, John Butcher and Jason Kahn. “With The Seen, everything is up for grabs. Even the act of listening – so sacrosanct in the world of improvisation – becomes problematized, for in such a tapestry of sound and silence how can one process what’s happening at any one moment? Yet this impossibility of total response provides opportunities to form clusters within the whole, that break apart and reform in different configurations as things develop. For listeners, too, there are possibilities for moments of both detailed focus and wider-scale immersion.” (Paul Margree) This product page is only for Volume V, but you can buy the whole set at a reduced price here.  Volume V:THE SEEN // CAFE OTO, LONDON 26.06.2009Mark Wastell : tam tamJohn Butcher : acoustic & feedback saxophoneDominic Lash : double bassMatt Davis : trumpetJane Dickson : piano, electronics Phil Durrant : maschinePhil Julian : electronicsJonathan McHugh : analogue synthesiserPaul Abbott : electronicsBenedict Drew : Roland 101, electronicsBen Owen : shortwave radio

THE SEEN: ARCHIVE : Volume V

Mark Wastell has been organising larger formations of musicians, collectively known as THE SEEN, for over 10 years. Using predominantly improvised material with occasional instructions or themes distributed to individual musicians just prior to performance. No formation has ever been repeated, THE SEEN never stays static.  Register of previous participants include Tetuzi Akiyama, Mattin, Michael Duch, Graham Halliwell, Andrea Neumann, Rhodri Davies, Paul Hood, Takehiro Nishide, Annette Krebs, Lee Gamble, Matt Davis, Joe Williamson, Wolfgang Fuchs, Burkhard Beins, Tomas Korber, Paul Abbott, Ben Owen, Jonathan McHugh, Jane Dickson, Olie Brice, Dimitra Lazaridou-Chatzigoga, Bertrand Denzler, Angharad Davies, David Toop, Chris Burn, Richard Sanderson, Dominic Lash, Yoni Silver, Graham MacKeachan, John Butcher and Jason Kahn. “With The Seen, everything is up for grabs. Even the act of listening – so sacrosanct in the world of improvisation – becomes problematized, for in such a tapestry of sound and silence how can one process what’s happening at any one moment? Yet this impossibility of total response provides opportunities to form clusters within the whole, that break apart and reform in different configurations as things develop. For listeners, too, there are possibilities for moments of both detailed focus and wider-scale immersion.” (Paul Margree) This product page is only for Volume IV, but you can buy the whole set at a reduced price here.  Volume IV: THE SEEN // CAFE OTO, LONDON 19.02.2009 Mark Wastell : tam tam & shrutti boxMatt Davis : trumpetPhil Durrant : maschineDominic Lash : double bassPhil Julian : analogue electronicsPaul Abbott : electronics

THE SEEN: ARCHIVE : Volume IV

Mark Wastell has been organising larger formations of musicians, collectively known as THE SEEN, for over 10 years. Using predominantly improvised material with occasional instructions or themes distributed to individual musicians just prior to performance. No formation has ever been repeated, THE SEEN never stays static.  Register of previous participants include Tetuzi Akiyama, Mattin, Michael Duch, Graham Halliwell, Andrea Neumann, Rhodri Davies, Paul Hood, Takehiro Nishide, Annette Krebs, Lee Gamble, Matt Davis, Joe Williamson, Wolfgang Fuchs, Burkhard Beins, Tomas Korber, Paul Abbott, Ben Owen, Jonathan McHugh, Jane Dickson, Olie Brice, Dimitra Lazaridou-Chatzigoga, Bertrand Denzler, Angharad Davies, David Toop, Chris Burn, Richard Sanderson, Dominic Lash, Yoni Silver, Graham MacKeachan, John Butcher and Jason Kahn. “With The Seen, everything is up for grabs. Even the act of listening – so sacrosanct in the world of improvisation – becomes problematized, for in such a tapestry of sound and silence how can one process what’s happening at any one moment? Yet this impossibility of total response provides opportunities to form clusters within the whole, that break apart and reform in different configurations as things develop. For listeners, too, there are possibilities for moments of both detailed focus and wider-scale immersion.” (Paul Margree) This product page is only for Volume III, but you can buy the whole set at a reduced price here.  Volume III:THE SEEN // RED ROSE THEATRE, LONDON 15.11.2007 Mark Wastell : double bassDominic Lash : double bassJoe Williamson : double bassMatthew Lovett : double bassAshley John Long : double bassMatt Davis : laptopDavid Toop : laptopLee Gamble : laptopBenedict Drew : laptopPhil Durrant : laptop

THE SEEN: ARCHIVE : Volume III

Sebastian Lexer (piano+) and Steve Noble (drums and percussion) first played together in the winter of 2011 and what seemed like an unlikely, even oppositional, pairing quickly proved itself to be an extremely well-matched one. Noble's sharp vertical hits and Lexer's sustained horizontal textures echo, disrupt and enrich each other, producing music full of complex slants and intricate resonances. "They sync together immediately, entwining natural resonances of strings and cymbals, percussive attack of keys and drums, and the variegated textures of electronic processing and shuddering, abraded percussion. The two leave behind any notion of conversational give-and-take, instead diving in to the development of a constantly morphing collective voice." - Michael Rosenstein, Point of Departure "a dialect nourished by sequential superimposition and counteraction of alien, nigh impossible noises, they spawn incongruous yet mesmerizing musical patterns" - Antonio Poscic, The Free Jazz Collective "the descriptions 'drummer' and 'pianist' are barely adequate, only scratching the surface of what each of them does" - John Eyles, All About Jazz "It’s incredible what strange and beguiling music they make. As well as the tinks, plinks, taps and crashes that you might expect, here are planar whorls and laminal tones closer to electronic music than anything in orthodox pianism; and amid the stacked metal clatter, percussive emphases and taut skin and rim shots of Noble’s playing sit shimmering tones and plaintively vocal-like sounds, either scraped-up or bowed from sympathetically resonating materials. These sonics out-strange anything most percussionists ever dream of. And better yet, this is all done with as much restraint and sensitivity as animation." - Tim Owen, Dalston Sound --- Sebastian Lexer / piano+ Steve Noble / drums and percussion --- Recorded by Giovanni La Rovere at Cafe Oto, London on 25 October 2011 (1) and 18 June 2014. Mixed by Sebastian Lexer. Mastered by Rupert Clervaux at Gray’s Inn Road. Artwork/Design by James Vickery. Music by Sebastian Lexer and Steve Noble. Produced by Trevor Brent

Sebastian Lexer & Steve Noble - Muddy Ditch

About Trumpet and Saxophone brings together New York based trumpeter Nate Wooley and London based saxophonist Seymour Wright for a series of intensely material duo improvisations that inhabit the tricky overlap between these two instruments. Recorded on their second encounter, there's an intriguing balance of freshness and reflection in the music here, one that matches their deep knowledge of improvised music's various pasts as well as their commitment to experiment and discovery. "a spiky, raw collection of brief improvisations that see them pushing at each other rather than slipping into comfort zones . . . full of a palpable tension but somehow also very simple and unadorned . . . a fine set of recordings that showcase the act of improvisation in its bared boned glory." - Richard Pinnell, The Wire "Wooley and Wright have both made extraordinary solo recordings: these duets might represent their sum and difference or their square root. About Trumpet and Saxophone is eminently worthy of close listening. It might enrich or impoverish a listener in a new way." - Stuart Broomer, Point of Departure "if the history of jazz can be told via great trumpet/saxophone pairings (Bix/Tram, Diz/Bird, Chet/Gerry, Miles/Trane, Don/Ornette, Kenny/Evan...add your own favourites) separated by stylistic quantum leaps, then the pairing of Nate/Seymour might just represent the latest such leap." - John Eyles, All About Jazz — Nate Wooley / trumpet Seymour Wright / alto saxophone — Recorded by Rick Campion at City University Music Studios on 4 July 2012. Mixed and mastered by Rupert Clervaux at Gray’s Inn Road. Edited by Trevor Brent. Cover painting by Geoff Wright (Svetlana, 1968). Music by Nate Wooley & Seymour Wright

Nate Wooley & Seymour Wright - About Trumpet and Saxophone

At times barely more than breathing, at others breaking into full-throated song, A Doughnut's End is a highly concentrated sequence of solo improvisations that captures the full range of Minton's vocal powers. As he says in the accompanying notes, while there is continuity between this record and previous "doughnut" albums, this latest offering is "less optimistic than forty years ago" when he still "thought stuff would get better", an optimism diminished by the continued political dominance of "slush-spraying doughnut-scoffers". A Doughnut's End is a stark and affecting testament to one man's ongoing exploration of the potential of the human voice. "Minton has forged an alternative lexicon, one that seemingly forgoes the constraints of tradition and language. The result is a perverse, evocative set, the kind of performance that forces a reaction and demands attention be paid to it — music that has the power to cause unrest and revulsion in the listener. . . . An air of fragility lingers throughout, a reminder that even Minton’s finely honed, idiosyncratic delivery is all too susceptible to the inevitable pitfalls of existence. . . . The primal outpouring of A Doughnut’s End is all-consuming, and without language to dirty the proceedings, it is as much a personal meditation as it is a display of pure virtuosity." - Soe Jherwood, Tiny Mix Tapes "Many of the sounds on the album’s 15 short tracks are unpleasant, but they’re all the more powerful for it. This work is in no way deprived of wonder, and you have to marvel at the breadth of what Minton can do. “Breaking News” bleeds from high pitched warbling to multiphonic density, the throat pushed to the weirdest limits of its potential. “There’s A Reason” reprises this sonic field, almost electronic in texture, while “Set In Stone” takes these techniques and flirts with the operatic. “Grandish”, the album’s final track, works through a series of high pitched peeps that could come from an as yet unidentified beast." - Matt Krefting, The Wire "Things flap and billow a bit more than they used to, which Minton accentuates in the formation of starker, more striking vocal shapes – unstable vibratos, phlegmy belching baritones. What if it isn’t volume and clear articulation that renders a voice audible amongst the masses, but visceral wordless eccentricity?" - Jack Chuter, ATTN Magazine --- Phil Minton / voice --- Recorded (April & June 2013) and mixed by Rick Campion at City University Music Studios. Mastered by Rupert Clervaux at Gray’s Inn Road. Photography by Jocelyn Low. Music by Phil Minton (PRS) Produced by Trevor Brent

Phil Minton - A Doughnut's End

"it is odd to talk about a piano/bass/drums trio as a radical departure. But it is impossible to think of this meeting between bassist John Edwards, drummer Mark Sanders, and pianist John Tilbury in any other way . . . from the first notes, the three erase any notion of piano trio conventions . . . the three build tensile drama from moments of fractured intensity which break against pools of calm . . . you should jump on this one quickly" - Michael Rosensten, Point of Departure "this one-off encounter is truly an exceptional listening experience" - Burning Ambulance "London has long had a pedigree of crossbreeding improv's various styles and generations, but few have been as successful as this" - Richard Pinnell, The Wire --- In his review of Exta, the critic Brian Olewnick commented that “there's a tendency on the part of [John Tilbury's] younger companions to defer a bit to him”, adding that, in his view, this was not “necessarily a bad strategy”. In this encounter, their first as a trio, John Edwards and Mark Sanders do not defer to Tilbury at all, and it proves to be perhaps the best strategy of all. This is a vigorous music of equals, the democratic clamour of three distinct personalities committed to occupying a common space and working together to create something collective without erasing their differences in the process. There's tension, even friction, at times between Edwards and Sanders' quickness and Tilbury's more measured approach, but it's a productive tension and one that enables all three to explore areas of their playing that perhaps aren't always foregrounded: Edwards' ability to wait and patiently twist long resonant notes out of near nothingness; Sanders' sense of space and sharp delicacy with small sounds; and Tilbury's thunderous density and energetic attack. It's a startling performance and one that, like all great improvisation, exceeds, and perhaps even upsets, expectations. --- John Edwards / double bass Mark Sanders / drums and percussion John Tilbury / bird calls, piano and tape --- Recorded by Katherine Arnold at Cafe Oto on 17 June 2013. Mixed and mastered by Rupert Clervaux at Gray’s Inn Road. Title from Martha Rosler, Culture Class (Sternberg Press, 2013). Music by John Edwards, Mark Sanders and John Tilbury (PRS). Produced by Trevor Brent 

Edwards / Sanders / Tilbury - A Field Perpetually at The Edge of Disorder

Diverse musical elements - coruscating cymbal scrapes, shimmering amplifier hum, melancholy saxophone circlings, sharp hits of snare, string and reed, slow motion guitar riffs, deep tam-tam surges and floor tom rasps, hypnotic prepared piano figures, and hovering fragments of song-like melodies - fracture and coalesce in this single intense improvisation. Featuring two of the foundational figures of free improvisation alongside a younger arrival, this recording captures the first meeting of this trio. They had all played together before separately, and the combination of familiarity and unfamiliarity proved productive: there's plenty of divergence and convergence here, and plenty of tension too - most interestingly, perhaps, in their differing approaches to repetition and tonality. At times coming uncomfortably close to each other, at times standing far apart, the trio moves inexorably towards a beautiful - and, in its simplicity, startling - conclusion. " . . . everything here is circular. While the musicians are often playing continuously they only enter the foreground at distinct and isolated moments, as if circling through patterns in which they sometimes move into temporal zones indicating high volume. That sense of a score (or scroll or star map) is strong here. Parker employs circular breathing, initially for brief passages, later at greater length, reiterating short scalar phrases. The phrases are varied, first incrementally and then expansively, multiplying through overtones. There’s a sense that certain sounds – the tenor phrases, a particularly abrasive cymbal scrape – are being looped, entering at irregular intervals, sometimes triggered by one another, creating a sense of ongoing structure that’s further magnified by Coxon’s drones, occasional squiggly guitar figures and subtle references to blues. It’s subtle, continuous work." - Stuart Broomer, Point of Departure "Something is going on here but we do not really know what. Coxon, who is a very unusual guitarist, can make his instrument sound like a toy clock or the zither in “The Third Man”, together with Parker’s elaborate sax techniques and Prévost’s almost unbearable high-pitched bowed sounds these sound splinters create an uncomfortable world, as if a man was on the run, afraid of something horrible." - Free Jazz Collective --- John Coxon / guitar Eddie Prévost / percussion Evan Parker / saxophone --- Recorded by Tom Bugs live at The Cube, Bristol on 8 March 2008. Mixed by Rick Campion at City University Music Studios Mastered by Rupert Clervaux at Gray's Inn Road. Many thanks to Mark & Chiz (Qu Junktions) and all at The Cube. Artwork by James Vickery. Music by John Coxon, Evan Parker and Eddie Prévost

John Coxon, Eddie Prévost & Evan Parker - Cinema

MIE

Blood n guts folk from the Anglo-American duo. Searing harmonies and sparse, vital instrumentation breath new life into timeless tales of love, loss and death. Originally released to critical acclaim by No-Fi Recordings and then reissued by MIE Music in 2011, Dumb Supper is by all means one of the most interesting and exciting revivalist recording of traditional songs we've heard in years. Cath and Phil believe in folk retaining its original storytelling function, so all the songs on the album are adaptations of songs they have unearthed or which have been passed on to them through family members, musical collaborators, and their own love of the original information highway - folk music. If you missed the physical, snap this up and get yourselves down to see them here this Thursday. “Dumb Supper is one of those rare modern folk albums that will find a home in both the longstanding ‘traditional’ music community and among those attracted to the form’s more experimental and lo-fi possibilities….It’s a weird looking-glass effect many folk fans will be familiar with: the straighter you play it, the stranger it gets…Shirley Collins always understood this and so do Cath & Phil Tyler.” – Frances Morgan, Plan B Magazine --- All songs traditional except: Farewell My Friends & Morning - adapted from Sacred Harp. Death of Queen Jane - Words trad. Music Tyler Yellowhammer - Tyler Dewdrop - Words trad. Music Tyler Wild Stormy Deep - by Homer Cornett Slumber Boats - by Alice Riley/Jessie Gaynor  --- Recorded at Summerhill Square, Newcastle Upon Tyne in the first half of 2007. Arranged by Cath and Phil Tyler. Artwork by Jim Oss. Produced by Andrew Hodson. 

Cath & Phil Tyler - Dumb Supper

Effigy is Pelt's first new batch of new recordings since 2007, and their first album since Jack Rose's death in 2009. Simultaneously frenetic and meditative, it's a raga seared in pulsating low-end piano, scorned and mournful strings and swarming harmonium.  “What separates Pelt … is the willful sonic escalation from monk chant and Appalachian bowed sitar to Blue Ridge mountain grinding ear-death. … They’ve not become giants; they’ve become the mountain.” - The Washington Post From the original MIE press release: MIE Records are unbelievably honoured to be releasing, the first album recorded since 2007 by the acoustic-only droners Pelt. Recorded live in June 2011 in an old yoga studio in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin and a decommissioned synagogue called the Gates of Heaven in nearby Madison, the band have laid down their most accomplished and fully realised work to date. Epic in every sense of the word, Effigy is a sprawling journey through their singular plan on the musical map. Layer upon layer of droning strings melt over never-ending harmoniums which threaten to engulf you whilst peals of gongs ring out to mesmerising effect. Effigy sees Pelt reaching their blissful sonic enlightenment. Effigy is a testament to the ancient animal shaped mounds called ‘effigy mounds’ which dot the landscape in and around Madison, Wisconsin. No one has yet managed to work out who built these creations. Over the centuries they have greatly reduced in size but still the largest can measure up to 400ft in length, and the outlines of birds, lizards, deers and bears are all clearly visible to the observer. Soil would have been carried from afar to construct these huge monuments with only crude implements to hand. The erection of the monuments would have surely have to have been carried out by practically an army of workers or inhabitants and taken a very long time to build indeed. --- Recorded by Pelt. Mixed by Jason Meagher. Mastered by James Plotkin. Artwork by Jake Blanchard. With thanks to Henry MIE. 'Ecstatically dedicated and indebted to eternal spirit of Jack Rose.'  

Pelt - Effigy

Long out of press mighty gamelan collab from members of US drone collective Pelt, the UK's Part Wild Horses Mane on Both Sides and New Zealand guitarist Michael Morley aka Gate. Recorded at 2012's TUSK festival in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the huge ensemble folded up into a mid-size room in a little corner of England and tapped into the music that has long transfixed the world - but with as much raga and hillbilly influence as Indonesian. Be warned, this is not 100% holy. Soon, avain hymns give way to drones akin to those of Vibracathedral Orchestra, and low, slow tones eat at your redeeming thoughts. A one time super-group and damn were they super. Official MIE press release: "In October 2012, at the Tusk Festival at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, noise emissaries from three continents came together on a Sunday to make music for an hour or so. From the United States came Mike Gangloff, Nathan Bowles, and Patrick Best of the mighty Virginia drone collective Pelt. Representing the United Kingdom were sonic pilgrims Pascal Nichols and Kelly Jayne Jones of Part Wild Horses Mane on Both Sides. And from Oceania came the transcendent New Zealand guitarist Michael Morley of Gate and, of course, the legendary Dead C. This summit proceeded without words. Their chosen means of deliberation was the gamelan: an array of gangsa and saron metallaphones and singing bowls sprawled out on the patchwork oriental rugs; a rig of gongs; the flurry of hammers and mallets; a few dozen onlookers seated cross-legged or just laying prostrate on the floor. And everyone and everything was transported. - Brent S. Sirota ---  Recorded at TUSK Festival 2012 at Star & Shadow Cinema, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. Live sound by Steve Nicholson and Stosh. Recording by Sam Grant. With thanks to Henry MIE.  www.tuskfestival.com

Pelt Part Wild Gate - Hung on Sunday