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Jazz / Free Jazz
Drone / Ambient
Outsider / Art Brut
Sound Art / Spoken Word
Folk / Song
Our new in house label, releasing music recorded in lockdown.
Anything to do with crisps (especially Tyrells) gets our resounding support here at OTO. Two of the most mischievious experimentalists in our community - Louie Rice & Luciano Maggiore - share with us an extended piece cyborg text piece that acts as an instructory rhythmic prompt to munch on the salty snack. Florian Hecker has experimented with similar computer voicings before, but there's not quite anything comparable to this gloriously dry, candid and obscene opus. Concrete poetry for the flaccid digital age (and for fans of crisps).
"58 minutes of music assembled using recordings of an online digital voice synthesiser reciting an exhaustive list of permutations of the words NO PA PA ON. Pauses in speech are punctuated with a bass tone and could act as a prompt to eat a crisp."
Recorded by Luciano Maggiore & Louie Rice in Norwich and edited in London, 2020
Text generated usinghttps://textmechanic.com/text-tools/combination-permutation-tools/combination-generator
Synthesised voices generated usinghttp://onlinetonegenerator.com/voice-generator.html
Additional audio material generated usinghttp://onlinetonegenerator.com/frequency-sweep-generator.html
NO PA / PA ON is a performance series that started in Cafe OTOs project space and is often mispronounced.
Luciano Maggiore & Louie Rice – Synthesised voices and low frequencies to eat crisps with
If the "WTF' & 'OMG' superlatives were created for anything, it would surely be to fill the tiny liminal gap that Goodiepal's wildly experimental practice exists in. Beyond any pre-conceived expectations of what lock-down music or art could mean, here he has treated us to this. Jump into the speedrun...
Goodiepal – Mujzik Monstrøsa Speedrun
Japanese electronic artist Foodman locks his fingers to his sampler for 7 jams recorded in real time - jump on and ride the rainbow! Often described as a footwork and juke artist, Foodman is clearly on his own tip, spinning out punctuated, splattering rhythms like a juiced up fruit machine playing out. Synthetic pan pipes, squirts of bass and sherbet tinged melodies dance around like a master gamer effortlessly slaying an end boss. Foodman describes the music on 'Skikaku' as inspired by the shape of a square, but to suggest that this could lead to any 4/4, dry or dogmatic electronic music is disengenious. Foodman attunes his rhythms to the body and to dancefloors, making music that dances with multiple limbs and in multiple colours. Recommended equally to fans of Just Dance, Skittles and Ripatti.
Foodman – Shikaku
London based artist Cam Deas presents a revelatory new stage in his practice. Following in the footsteps of the likes of David Tudor's Rainforest works, Cam studies in the liminal space betweenthe natural world & synthesis, conjuring deep, meditative and beguiling sound worlds. Some of his most singular and focussed work to date, following on from a series of impressive releases on Death of Rave and Alter.
"I wanted to make something which reflected a scene of nature, outside of the city, somewhere which has become more and more attractive to be over the last few months... So I made these synthesised percussion sounds to be almost real and wooden, which are weaving in and out across different tempos, playing patterns that are somewhat regular, but always changing slightly. This is meant to be analogous with the dawn chorus, or any scene of nature where lots of different small events are happening, layered, at once... But I only had the dawn chorus, so I recorded that at 4am on Monday morning. These individual bird songs weaving in and out, repeating, different birds joining and leaving throughout. So it's meant to be 3 different sound environments, or imaginary frames of an environment at 3 different moments." - Cam Deas
Cam Deas – Rhythmic Landscapes
Argentinian electronic artist Aylu's taste for wacked-out humour, interstellar synths, awkward funk bass lines and pointillistic computer music is tied together on elastic bands, thrown around and webbed into this kaliedoscopic new suite. Moments of hallucinogenic ambience emerge then elapse, tumbling into wiggling rhythmic patterns. The ghost of Jaco Pastorius haunts the mainframe, battling in real time with pinball machine synths and splattering digital percussion. The James Ferraro 'post-internet music' influence in Aylu's music is apparent, but there's something about her work that feels more rooted in the physical world. When sounds of percussion rattle like builders hard at work, and voices appear both singing and yawning, it serves as a perfect metaphor for practice; music that is made from hard graft, but with tongue firmly lodged in cheek.
"I like the temporal nature of music, being something that develops over time, which makes it different from a photograph or a painting. You can step into a narrative in a fictional world, not because it tells a story per se – I am not telling a concrete story in my music – but as a space you can enter and navigate. I like creating virtual, fictional worlds." - Aylu (interview in KRAAK's Avant-Guardian)
Aylu – Frida
London-based Aircode (Julia Svensson) weaves radical autonomist Marxist feminist ideology with her stripped back avant-electronics. Elapsed bass notes rumble over a dank tunnel exterior, as if the last remaining memories of a night at the club. Discordant jazz piano notes appear like little matches being lit in a thick fog of darkness, while dubbed percussion and electronic counterpoints are phased in a series of dulled hues. The singular narrative of exploration in opaque space is sustained throughout, and is brought to an end by Julia - manipulating her voice through a series of mutated fx - reading an extended passage by Silvia Federici:
“With the demise of the subsistence economy that had prevailed in pre-capitalist Europe, the unity of production and reproduction which has been typical of all societies based production-for-use came to an end, as these activities became the carriers of different social relations and were sexually differentiated. In the new monetary regime, only production-for-market was defined as a value-creating activity, whereas the reproduction of the worker began to be considered as valueless from an economic viewpoint and even ceased to be considered as work. Reproductive work continued to be paid - though at the lowest rates when performed for the master class or outside the home. But the economic function in the accumulation of capital became invisible, being mystified as a natural vocation and labelled “women’s labor.” […]Most importantly, the separation of production from reproduction created a class of proletarian women who were as dispossessed as men but, unlike their relatives, in a society that was becoming increasingly monetarized, had almost no access to wages, thus being forced into a condition of chronic poverty, economic dependence, and invisibility as workers. As we will see, the devaluation and feminisation of reproductive labor was a disaster also for male workers, for the devaluation of reproductive labor inevitably devalued its product: labor-power. But there is no doubt that in the “transition from feudalism to capitalism” women suffered a unique process of social degradation that was fundamental to the accumulation of capital and has remained so ever since.Also in view of these developments, we cannot say, then, that the separation of the worker from the land and the advent of a money-economy realised the struggle which the medieval serfs had fought to free themselves from bondage. It was not the workers - male or female - who were liberated by land privatization. What was “liberated” was capital, as the land was now “free” to function as a means of accumulation and exploitation, rather than as a means of substance. Liberated were the landlords, who now could unload onto the workers most of the cost of their reproduction, giving them access to some means of subsistence only when directly employed.”- Silvia Federici, 2004: 74-75. Caliban and The Witch
Julia Svensson (aircode) - all music & recording
Text: Silvia Federici - Caliban and The Witch, available to purchase here
Artwork design by Oliver Barrett
aircode – tunnel vision
"In Japan during the Covid-19 lock down we saw a movement. It was created from a woman who raised her voice to say NO via SNS to one of the controversial bills, a revision of the public prosecutor's office law* that was about to go through the Lower House without a fair public hearing. This tiny voice of hers went viral and formed an online demonstration to protect our democracy. It is very rare in Japan for the public to be actively involved in any policies. Alas the bill was temporarily suspended because many finally stood up.
When we threw lots of small stones, the mountain got moved a little. However we shouldn’t celebrate yet. We need to be calm and grounded and observe what the government will do.” says Kyoko Koizumi, an actress and a producer whom I respect dearly. Her phrases sums up things that do not change so easily.
*A proposed legal revision that would raise the retirement age for prosecutors became the centre of controversy this week when it was taken up by the Lower House. Unlike officials in other administrative organizations, prosecutors have wide powers to investigate, arrest and indict anyone, even prime ministers and other high officials. They must remain highly neutral and independent from other authorities and political powers. Since the proposed revision could allow the Cabinet to intervene in the personnel affairs of prosecutors’ offices, many experts fear it could jeopardize the independence of prosecutors and the separation of powers.
The music of Eric Dolphy lives with Breathing.
We never forget the day May 25th 2020 for the world we can freely breath in and out.
「Two Blue Kites」
June 4th 1989 , it is a very memorable day for me.
31 years ago I took part in a demonstration for the first time ever in my life. It was a small resistance held in Tokyo. I was with the Chinese people raising my voice out loud in the crowd. I couldn’t do anything but I felt that I had to do something.
In the beginning of the 90s I was going back and forth between Tokyo and Hong Kong making music. I was offered to make music for a film portrait the night before the Chinese Cultural Revolution called “ The Blue Kite”. The producer of this film invited me to make the music for the film. The film director was banned from making this film in mainland China and he escaped to Japan via Hong Kong. The film was finally completed in Japan. Hong Kong was still in British colony then. This film made my film music career begin.
June 4th 2020 The Hong Kong government banned the public to organise and attend the candlelight rallies to mark the Tiananmen Square massacre. Despite the harsh policing and the Covid-19 regulation many people (still) defied the ban and tried to attend the commemoration. I was thinking of many of my friends there at the moment.
I wonder how this little country, Hong Kong, that “brought me up” and “ shaped me who I am today” will be from now. My heart is full of concern for its future.
The film The Blue Kite is still banned in China to this date."
- Otomo Yoshihide
In Japanese / 日本語訳
「Two Blue Kites」
90年代初頭、わたしは香港と東京を行き来して音楽をつくっていた。そんな中1993年、文化大革命前夜の北京を描いた「The Blue Kite」という中国映画の音楽を作ることになったのが、わたしが映画の世界に入る切っ掛けだった。中国で作ることを禁じられ、香港経由でフィルムを持って日本に脱出した監督が東京で完成させた映画で、香港のプロデューサーがわたしを誘ってくれたのだ。当時香港はまだイギリス領だった。
「The Blue Kite」は今でも中国での上映が禁止されている。
Otomo Yoshihide – 「Small Stone」
Switch that light off.Switch that light off.Still the night appears in her relentless bright stupor.
A collection of unsung sleepless nights. A percussive collage of low-fi frequencies documenting a journey that never took place.
Il silenzio non arrivaIl conto è salatoIl sole riscalda i fallimentiNiente ma tutto è cambiato
Valentina Magaletti played and assembled percussion, drums, field recordings, vibraphone, toys, and oscillators.
Produced and edited by Leon Marks. Special thanks to: Tom Relleen, Marta Salogni, Evelena Ruether, and João Pais Felipe for the love and support. Cover design by Oliver Barrett.
Valentina Magaletti – A Queer Anthology of Drums
Naima Karlsson treats us to deep searching improvised recordings on 70s organ and vector synth. Originally recorded in Jan 2020 for an installation by Gery Georgieva at Cubitt Artists in London, Naima later reworked the piece, transmuting the material into '[Vital organs] I. Heart Protector. In it, slow winding motifs and melodic washes find their feet in a melancholic dirge. Lines of sound open up and unfurl, revealing over time a fragile inner structure. Like the work of her grandparents, Naima's music is rooted in the soil of the earth but gradually lifts itself skywards, finding solace in both the physical and digital world.
The track is accompanied by a video collage by Naima: "The video is a collage of still and moving found images that journey through the organ track on an internal and universal scale. Taking influence from the title, protection and the body are prominent themes. The images search for fluid interconnections between micro and macro bodies in the physical, digital and astral realms such as far-off stars, cell phone devices, Dogon astronomy drawings, bodies of water and our central heart space." - Naima Karlsson
Naima Karlsson - All instrumentation & video collage
Naima will be donating 50% of her profits from this release to the Movement for Black Lives.
Recorded by Maxwell Sterling2020
Naima Karlsson – [Vital Organs]: I. Heart Protector
What else could Han do during the time of corona - not being permitted to perform with the ICP orchestra (or with anyone else) for a live audience. He's always playing and studying for himself, but that’s just not enough. So he made a recording with the help of Mara's pianola (situated in the lovely Frisian village of Oldeberkoop), some local songbirds, the dogs Hansje and Lou, and Han's favorite technician Marc Schots.
Han used "Tiger Rag" on the pianola, it being the first record his father gave him.
This is the result: a Musical Collage for Mara.
Han Bennink - Snare, cymbals, cajon, horseshoe, some other kinds of percussion instruments, voice
Pianola – Marc Schots
Jeux de Boule Balls – Han Bennink & Annemiek Ebbink
Barking – Hansje & Lou
Recording – Marc Schots
Mix & Editing – Han Bennink & Marc Schots
Cover Photo – Annemiek Ebbink
Cover design - Oliver Barrett
Recorded May 2020
Han Bennink – Musical Collage for Mara
“Nostalgia (from nostos – return home, and algia – longing) is a longing for a home that no longer exists or has never existed. Nostalgia is a sentiment of loss and displacement, but it is also a romance with one’s own fantasy. Nostalgic love can only survive in a long-distance relationship. A cinematic image of nostalgia is a double exposure, or a superimposition of two images – of home and abroad, past and present, dream and everyday life. The moment we try to force it into a single image, it breaks the frame or burns the surface.”
- Svetlana Boym, “The Future of Nostalgia”
“I’m not deliberately out to antagonise an audience or spite them or anything like that, but if they adopt the attitude of ‘This isn’t what we expected’, then yippee, I’m gonna wallow in that, because you shouldn’t sit back and expect anything at all.”
- John Lydon, “Anger is an Energy”
Spring time. Three period instruments from the turn of the century: Yamaha CS1X, Korg MonoSynth 2000, MicroKorg Synth Vocoder. Fingers fumble, sounds happen - obnoxious, unapologetic, fragile like a wobbly cassette that you’ve listened to a million times on the Walkman you dropped before you could afford a Discman. I’m not playing the instruments, they are playing themselves, they are playing me and there is no forcing or fighting them. Faded-photograph sunshine sounds of ’90s electronica, caramelised sweetened condensed milk, the beach, rage, DIY chamber music for cats. Then, it stops: the end of nostalgia and the end of the world as you know it. We are getting old and the sounds have lost their innocence.
Thank you to Ed (Teddy) Bennett, Michael Keeney and Hannah Peel for the synth love.
Xenia Pestova Bennett - composition / performance / recording / mixing
Ed Bennett, production / creative & artistic concept
Antony Ryan (RedRedPaw), mastering
Oliver Barrett, cover design from a photo by Xenia Pestova Bennett
Xenia Pestova Bennett – Atonal Electronic Chamber Music For Cats
When Tatsuya Yoshida, Makoto Kawabata and Richard Pinhas were making their 2017 self-titled trio album for Bam Balam, Makoto made some spare loop tracks which were going to be melded together with guitar and drums to form a new piece of work. The resulting album was never made until now, where in lockdown Tatsuya and Makoto recorded the absent guitar, drum and synthesizer parts to complete an album for Takuroku. The outcome - a ravishing suite of cyber prog-rock - feels nothing near to fractals or pieces of loose meat. Tatsuya and Makoto push their technical prowess to the fore for 8 technicolour tracks, revelling in the sort of kinetic energy of Ruins and Acid Mothers Temple at their most full-frontal and ecstatic. Sounding like a machine being re-wired to operate at a different velocity - sparking, malfunctioning and panting clouds of smoke - it gives little room to breath in its overwhelming vacuum of sound. Elements hot-wire into overdrive and never cease to slow outside of their given track-length time frame. Bring a few bottles of water and a fresh towel - this a total trip, from two heroes of the Japanese underground.
SHLIMP WARC – THGIE DRSOW
Multi-instrumentalist, composer and improviser Yoni Silver lifts the roof off his garden shed and lets light and the outside world pour into his intimate rituals. With delicate hands moving between the objects around him, he scratches metal on metal, rubs circles of tonal washes on dishes and bows the strings of violins. Fragments of both melodic and atonal guitar notes appear in gentle waves of disquiet, punctuating the atmosphere alongside the comforting warble of garden birds. Whistling wind instrument notes rest and lean upon the pottery of percussion that dances around the swirl of sound, while guttural moans push from the depths of his stomach and out into the outside world. With an approach similar to Teijo Ito’s work in Maya Deren’s films, Yoni is able to conjure ethereal and beguiling material, but that of which is rooted in the nuts and bolts of the physical world.
Yoni Silver – Sun and sky and garden breeze
Ecka Mordecai is a relatively new figure in the London experimental music scene. After a nomadic creative life in the North of England, forming relationships with the likes of Andrew Chalk, Tom Scott, Holly Jarvis and Kate Armitage, 'Critique & Prosper' is her first solo album and presents the most recent development of her solo practice. Melodic mantras, wandering improvised passages and refracted blues vocalisations find each other in her domestic world, revealing glimmers of sensual songcraft that opens outward.
Critique + Prosper was developed and compiled within a collaborative project facilitated by artist-curator Katherine Ka Yi Liu and with artist Clarinda Tse. The text is a listening-response to the album as written by Clarinda Tse.
"Compass needle frantically spins near irregular electric fields of ghosts, and phones too. Receiving metallic frequencies of interconnected ghosts, stroked by scratchy fingers 1. astroturf melts into tufty faux fur. Strands of memory vibrate towards an open wound, lightly tapping on the soft box that withholds 2. mouth-a-boundary, finding space across fibres of a dried throat. The closure of lips contains a transcending hum, sealed an inhale but released an exhale into sweaty sticky-crisp air. Rubbery skins rub against each other in attempt to open 3. hot tarmax. We have to acknowledge skin as our biggest organ, shields against the losing of the individual, forming pockets of space in arrangement of skipping stones stirred into a dark glistening puddle. Before we notice, we are thrown off gravity and stuck onto some unknown surface, breathing with inflamed lungs. Outer fear unleash the voice of 4. critique + prosper to disjoin the cells of inner comfort. With wind brushing our eyes, we found a few hairs on the largest grassy rug, traces of inhabitation or passing. Consistency of domination. Air that passes through our head phones and ears, 5. did begun we hear or listen. Transmitting signals to the cell tower - Unarmed! Dismantle! 6. Show up or shut up in our library. Clashes of volatile shells, nails, the undead in the transparent vessel of bodily fluids." - Clarinda Tse
Written, performed, recorded and produced by Ecka Mordecai
Mastered by Miles Whittaker
Artwork design by Olver Barrett
Track 4 (Critique + Propser) recorded by Guillaume Dujat'
Ecka Mordecai – Critique + Prosper
Neil Campbell - one of the key figures in British experimental and underground music culture over the last 3 decades - treats us to a new set of acid-inflected jams; both a rarity under his 'Astral Social Club' alias and an aural harbinger for the future of the project. Made by throwing live electronic jams against a wall, seeing what sticks and sculpting from there in, Neil loses none of the turbulent energy at the heart of what he does. Like a machine malfunctioning at malignant speed, he re-ordains the language of acid house to his punk, noise and 60s pop upbringing in Corby (Northamptonshire), kicking out the jams with break-neck tempo. Towards the end of proceedings we hear sounds recorded in an abandoned warehouse within walking distance of his house (pictured on the album cover). The haunting of past raves, the rebellious graffiti on the walls and the possibility of mischievous exploration therein is lifted from the rubble and pierced into the present.
Astral Social Club (Neil Campbell) - electronics, mixing & mastering
--Artwork design by Oliver Barrett.
Astral Social Club – ACID BARF
Together in pandemic isolation we face things, including sound. These duo recordings were made in London confinement. Caroline Kraabel improvises on alto saxophone, John Edwards on double bass; gloves off was recorded on Tuesday 12 May 2020, at midday; masks off was recorded on Friday 15 May 2020, at midnight.
Photo by Régine Edwards.
Artwork design by Oliver Barrett.
© and℗2020 John Edwards and Caroline Kraabel, PRS, all rights reserved.
John Edwards & Caroline Kraabel – day night
Dusting the cobwebs off any dry free-improvisation dogma, Kazuhisa Uchihashi serves up some rainbow coloured explorations on his guitar and Daxophone - an electric wooden instrument invented by German guitarist Hans Reichel. All created in one take with no overdub, Uchihashi is able to explore a vast array of territory with the help of a few effect pedals: There's buzzing drones, writhing cycles of wiry noodling, elastic detuning jumps and lightning-speed tonal changes. Five Strings for solo guitar hits out with some seasick & emasculated math-rock, while 'Guitar Solo Reflect' revels in near-obscene spiral of multi-fx short circuiting, not too unlike Alan Sondheim's radical early work on ESP Disk. The ridiculous sense of play and FUN extends to his daxophone, where he focuses his energy on timbral qualities of the instrument: scrapping, tapping and creating little dancing rhythmic patterns. A real treat, this one.
Cover design by Oliver Barrett from an artwork by Ethan Barrett.
Kazuhisa Uchihashi – Breathing Vegetables
Stockholm-based, Seoul-native Lisa Ullen presents 'Gold', a home-recording, scribed on June 1st 2020 in her living room on a prepared piano with ZOOM H4. Using a selection of clustered chords, fragmented notes and buzzing timbral preparations, Lisa crashes waves sounds against a dam, letting the pressure of sound build vertically into a thick mass. Half way through the recording, when the dam appears to start leaking, the notes and chord arrangements swim in different directions. Allowing a frame for each to slowly develop and emerge, Lisa brings each tiny aural gesture into being.
"My intentions of the shape of the music is slow, oscillations without any intentional drama or directions, just me going through some chord changes and listening for glimmerings within each chord. Its layers at different speed..." - Lisa Ullen
Lisa Ullen / piano, recording & mixing
Mixing assistance courtesy of Mats Äleklint.
Artwork design by Oliver Barrett.
Lisa Ullén – Gold