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'A collection of material from old cassettes, CD-r releases etc from the English guitarist Jon Collin. Now based in Stockholm, Sweden, Collin has besides issuing several limited releases on his own Winebox Press/Early Music imprints also released several volumes of the ongoing 'Water And Rock Music' series on Feeding Tube Records. Swirling and absolutely mesmerizing instrumentals often incorporating field recordings, alternating between acoustic and electric modes. 'Music From Cassettes' was initiated after witnessing Jon Collin perform at a birthday party in Gothenburg 2019, one of the last truly memorable pre-Covid shows in town. Pulling shining diamonds from his discography and putting them in a new context with more recently recorded segments, Collin has carefully edited and sequenced the recordings to flow like a album. Pressed in 300 copies. Insert with liner notes by Byron Coley and Jon Collin. Vinyl master by Giuseppe Ielasi. "From 'John Train's Blues', with its classic Charalambides amp-hover, to 'Was That Me (Part 2)', which sounds like what might have happened if Manfred Eichner had asked a bumblebee to record a solo album in '74, to 'From the Portico Library', which builds a sky-bridge between Hendrix and Connnors, the music here is unifomrly superb." - Byron Coley' released December 4, 2020 With contributions from Andrew Cheetham (drums), Tom Settle (guitar), Edwin Stevens (guitar). Front cover and label photos from the Chorley Library archives (photographer unknown); back cover and insert photos by Alice Kelly

Jon Collin – Music From Cassettes, Etc. 2008-2017

Oz Echoes peels away another layer of Australia's '80s DIY hive mind. The Oz Waves successor exposes a deeper circuit of micro-run cassettes, community radio archives and irrationally abandoned studio sessions, as Steele Bonus sequences a ten-track compendium of drone pop, psyche-electronics and agitated tape cut-ups. From the Sydney cassette network, The Horse He's Sick returns with an industrial car crash, alongside Wrong Kind of Stone Age's pagan cacophony and primal riddims. M Squared dynamo Patrick Gibson appears in both Height/Dismay and Mr Knott, his respective studio-as-an-instrument collaborations with Dru Jones (Scattered Order) and ex-Slugfucker Gordon Renouf -- the former's worn out apparition hails from an instantly deleted 1981 7", while Mr Knott entrust one of the compilation's five previously unreleased tracks. Matt Mawson represents Brisbane music media-printed matter collective ZIP, as Adelaide's Three D Radio grants access to their vaults of live-to-air recordings and aspiring demo submissions, rescuing the slap-happy punk-funk of The Frenzied Bricks and Jandy Rainbow's prodigious beginnings in Les Trois Etrangers and Aeroplane Footsteps. Synchronously in Melbourne, Ash Wednesday (Karen Marks, The Metronomes) leads Modern Jazz's improvised proto-techno and EBM pioneers Shanghai Au Go-Go home record their sardonic synth-wave. A cherry-picked cast of unusual suspects, Oz Echoes' unfamed artist and non-band narratives are detailed by track-by-track liner notes with rarely published archival visions and artwork from Video Synth, prompting further rabbit hole ventures into this golden era of creative risk-taking and instant action --- Efficient Space, 2021

V/A – Oz Echoes: DIY Cassettes and Archives 1980-1989

It’s been almost three decades since Japanese guitarist and songwriter Masami Kawaguchi first broke cover, with his group Broomdusters and their debut album, 23 hours 30 minutes (Purifiva, 1997). In the intervening years, Kawaguchi has maintained single-minded discipline, through his membership of some of the Japanese underground’s greatest groups (Miminokoto, LSD March, Los Doroncos, Usurabi, and his projects with Keiji Haino: Aihiyo and The Hardy Rocks); the exhilarating music made by his own band, New Rock Syndicate; and a small clutch of intimate (mostly live) solo recordings. But nothing in his history has been quite as distinctive, nor as singular, as Self Portrait. The title’s a strong clue, of course, but the real tell is in the consummate nature of the eight songs here – this is Kawaguchi articulating most clearly his vision of what rock music could and should be, and what it means to him. His first studio solo album, it’s both dedication and hymn to the music that keeps Kawaguchi moving. Deftly crafted and sweetly intimate, Self Portrait is bursting with great songs, shufting from gorgeous acoustic folk-blues melancholy – see “Visions Of Marianne”, and the dreamlike closer, “On The Rooftop”, which Kawaguchi describes as his answer song to the Rolling Stones’ “As Tears Go By” – to storming rock monsters. To that end, it’s a goddamn thrill to hear Kawaguchi and friends jamming on a James Brown riff through “Awake”, squeezing all the nuance out of its stop-start, staccato rhythms. Elsewhere, Kawaguchi lazily strums a psychedelic air, on the Syd Barrett-esque “Blindfold Blues”, and rifles through his backpack to find one of his earliest songs, the strung-out, levitating “Nothing”, which he wrote when he was nineteen years old. “Song For Golden Hair” pays tribute to the psychedelic sixties; “Drinking With Mr. K” remembers Japanese psych-rock legend Jutok Kaneko of Kousokuya. Kawaguchi’s been playing the long game, slowly whittling away at a unique and personal take on rock and the blues, one that’s equal parts reverent and forward-thinking, playful and deeply committed. Self Portrait is the clearest articulation yet of his dedicated vision. And it’s a total blast.  --- An'Archives, 2021

Kawaguchi Masami – Self Portrait

Remains Of The Light, the debut album by Japanese trio Usurabi, is a gorgeous thing – six generous, deftly melodic songs that stretch out slowly, breathing deeply, yet never outstaying their welcome. The members of Usurabi started playing together in 2017, but they’d known each other for several decades, meeting via their involvement in a music club at university. Led by songwriter, singer and guitarist, Toshimitsu Akiko, previously of psych-pop duos Doodles and Aminome, the trio is completed by Kawaguchi Masami (New Rock Syndicate, Hardy Rocks, Miminokoto) on bass and guitar, and Morohashi Shigeki (Majutsu no Niwa, Uchu Engine, peaflan, Alraune) on drums. Kawaguchi and Morohashi had already played together in the legendary Broomdusters, a group they formed when they were both university students. Toshimitsu, long a fan of Broomdusters, formed Usurabi to explore what she describes as “rock music that features vocal mainly and floating sound like waves.” It’s a clear, simple and apt description of what they do. Toshimitsu’s songs are graceful, each having a dynamic arc to their construction, while allowing for all kinds of subtle inflection from her guitar, sometimes tussling with Kawaguchi’s flinty, overloaded blues; Toshimitsu drives the songs with subtletly and wit, sculpting waves of energy from his kit. Throughout, Toshimitu’s songs hint at questions, complexities, metaphors: allusions and illusions. Songs like “Brunnera” and the closing “Constellation” are adrift, beamed out on rays of light, the trio’s empathic playing harnessing a subtle kind of psychedelia. “Constellation” explores Toshimitsu’s thought, “Am I allowed to turn the feeling I can nothing to do into a constellation, like ancestors did?” The lovely, shaded pop of “Autumn Rain” translates a Toshimitsu solo arrangement into a stripped-back, delightful slice of happy-sad nostalgia; “The rain is always sweet to me,” Toshimitsu says of the song. Ask the trio what other music informs Usurabi, and they share names, some expected, some surprising: Kaneko Jutok, Les Rallizes Denudes, The Doors (“The first real rock experience to me,” Toshimitsu recalls), Captain Beefheart, The Rolling Stones. You can hear elements of all of this music in their songs, but mostly it’s more a hint, or a tint, than an obvious acknowledgment; the playing certainly shares the hopeful freedom of Kaneko, and the stridency and sensitivity of the Stones at their best. It also recalls the independent music of groups like The Pastels; like that outfit, Usurabi have absolute integrity in their sound. It’s quietly ambitious, and quite beautiful.  --- An'Archives, 2021

Usurabi – 灯の名残り Remains Of The Light

3LP wooden box set, edition of 275. These are incredible, Will go quickly! An'archives presents three documents, three vinyl records carved by the illuminations of Masayoshi Urabe, six performances engraved like epitaphs in the stone that covers the Living World. These are recordings made in small suburban venues in Japan where Urabe would play in front of a meagre audience: the Bitches Brew in Yokohama, the Groove in Okinawa and the Gari Gari in Tokyo. In the corridors of cult label P.S.F. Records, Urabe came across the likes of Kan Mikami, Chie Mukai, Rinji Fukuoka, Hiroshi Hasegawa, with whom he played, and sometimes recorded albums of unfathomable beauty. But he is most disturbing, luminous and dark, violent and poignant, during his solo sets. Hideo Ikeezumi (the cultural ambassador behind P.S.F.) supported him more than others and tried to offer him all the space he could hope for. His only kindred spirits are Kaoru Abe and Albert Ayler, with whom he shares a sense of tragedy, the same jealous string to swing into the sound, to turn the heavens over to our feet. Urabe mates with his alto sax, assaults it, snuff jazz calling fallen angels to come and haunt us. Death, like Eros, haunts Masayoshi Urabe’s body of work, and unravels through copper sounds. He follows the sound, inhales it, spits it like an air bag turned inside out until exhaustion, violent, playing and dancing, willing the front rows to give in to his murky eroticism. Urabe is a magnificent musician, even though he ends up trashing everything, leaving only a mutilated musical body behind. Strangled notes, no melody, just breath, spat air, un chant d'amour - Michel Henritzi ---

Masayoshi Urabe – Mobilis In Mobili

Tomaga's seventh and final album, "Intimate Immensity" was completed just before the untimely death of Tom Relleen, who had been recording with percussionist Valentina Magaletti since 2013. This set was mostly put together at Relleen's self-styled "Bunker" studio during off days from incessant touring, and explores the concept of intimacy and space while dragging in influence from artists as disparate as Muslimgauze and Pauline Anna Strom. The result is a fluid selection of jams that speak to Magaletti and Relleen's confidence performing together as well as their insatiable hunger for exploration and creative betterment. If there's an overwhelming mood it's the groove-led psychedelia that often accompanies Italian arthouse/trash axis movies or the kind of private press goodness that Light in the Attic might repackage for wider consumption. There's an expertise and jazz root that hints at library music chops, but each track belies an interest in more experimental modes, from the Religious Knives / Dead-esque jammer 'The Snake' to the furious club-in-dub funque explosion of 'More Flowers'. Genre agnostic, potent stuff for anyone who's exhausted the soundtrack reissue industrial complex and fancies something more challenging and way more exploratory --- Intimate Immensity: featuring Agathe Max’s violin, it is the heartfelt never-ending crescendo of a recursive spleen that is flourishing into peace – an end and the beginning of a new form of life --- Thank you Tom x

TOMAGA – INTIMATE IMMENSITY

Elodie’s Andrew Chalk & Timo Van Luijk present their soundtrack for Peter Hutton’s ’Skagafjörður’, responding to the film’s desolate imagery of Iceland with half an hour of exquisite, weather-beaten, smoke-curl atmospheres, highly recommended if yr into the cold tonalities of Kevin Drumm's 'Imperial Distortion' or Aphex Twin's 'SAW II'... Recorded as part of ‘Night of Experimental Film’ event in Ghent, Belgium, 2018 that also saw screenings of Derek Jarman’s ‘The Angelic Conversation’ and performance by Tom James Scott, the recording captures the quintessence of Chalk and Van Luijk’s richly evocative music and the natural mystery of Hutton’s film, which is handily available on YouTube for you to synch with its suggested soundtrack for optimal zoner times.  Following a cassette edition in 2020, this vinyl edition gives the performance more room to breathe, with Chalk and Van Lujik’s patented atmospheric magick seeping out from the peripheries to best envelope the listener in their tantalising descriptions of the Icelandic landscape. Chalk & Van Luijk are masters of this kind of layer-within-layer rendering, where you no longer know if you’re listening to vast winds or analogue interference, where harmonic washes are often punctuated with frequency fuckries; feedback, jolts of electricity. The effect is quietly stunning and effortlessly transfixing; like so much of their peerless catalogue --- Faraway Press 2021

Andrew Chalk & Timo van Luijk – SKAGAFJORDUR

Newly reissued on vinyl (and digitally) with beautiful new artwork, Paradise Lost was originally released as a cassette back in 2019.  As is the norm for many Andrew Chalk releases, additional details beyond the fact that it exists are quite thin, but this one takes that to an amusing extreme, as the Discogs entry for the original cassette notes "label and artist name are not listed on the release."  That said, I believe I can say with moderate certainty that these two longform pieces were recorded on an 8-track reel-to-reel between 2016 and 2018 and that Chalk primarily played a synthesizer.  Also, his Ghosts on Water bandmate Naoko Suzukicontributed some very well-hidden vocals and created the artwork for the original tape.  To some degree, it makes sense that this album originally surfaced as a very limited-small run tape, as it does not feel like one of Chalk's more significant opuses, but it is quite an enjoyable and interesting release nonetheless.  In fact, the title piece feels like legitimately prime Andrew Chalk material to me, though I suspect many longtime fans will be more fascinated by the surprising and divergent "This Pendent World."  Faraway Press  One interesting bit of information that I stumbled upon while researching this album was a blurb from Daisuke Suzuki's Siren Records noting that this album "strongly recalls the atmosphere of home recording in the '80s."  I got exactly the same impression myself from the opening "This Pendent World," as I had scribbled down that it felt like a duel between two very different artists from the golden age of private press New Age: one kosmische-inspired synth wizard hellbent on taking me to space and another guy who just wants to lull me into a blissful, bucolic reverie with some pretty string swells.  There are also some traces of a third guy who closely resembles contemporary Andrew Chalk, as there is a loose melodic theme of wobbly, liquid tones likely originating from an electric piano.  While that is certainly an odd collision to encounter on a Milton-themed Andrew Chalk record, it works surprisingly well, amiably and amorphously drifting and curling like a trail of smoke.  The following "Paradise Lost" is similarly form-averse, but in a much more compelling way, as its frayed and smeared swells of warm synth tones feel teasingly just out of focus.  Additionally lurking within the artfully blurred dream-fog are a slow-motion tumble of acoustic guitar fragments, ghostly traces of Naoko's lovely singing, and probably some pedal steel too.  I am tempted to make a wince-inducing pun on the album title here, but "Paradise Lost" is simply too beautiful of a piece to deserve such an indignity, vividly evoking the slowly streaking and shifting colors of an especially gorgeous sunset --- Released Faraway Press, 2021

Andrew Chalk – Paradise Lost

New release from London's Mosquitoes out on Knotwilig Records, due to land in April. *UPDATE - NOW DUE MAY 12th* "Music fans, journalists and so on have been puzzling words and phrases to describe the impact of the music of Mosquitoes. I am indeed talking about "impact".Lumping them in the nowave/postpunkdub/rockdeconstructivism bin is way too easy. Of course there are references, but then again: not really. I honestly believe every single second they released not only set a bookmark, but also stands out as a landmark in music history such as PIL's Metal Box, Oval's Diskont and Stockhausen’s Kontakte for instance.Every note is an evolution in an oeuvre which specialises in having an immediate impact on the listener. Reverse Drift / Reverse Charge is a natural progression, and a step forward from their previous output. Like ocean waves gently invading dune territory.Muffled vocals, haunting bass fragments, deconstructed loops/guitars and a crumbling rhythm in a world which barely holds itself together. This music deserves to be played through grant speakers, even in silenced mode.Everyone who ever had the chance to catch them on a stage know what impact they have on an audience. Mostly baffled, speechless and holding breath because your guts just tell you so. The new tracks are of a similar calibre. They immobilize you instantly in whatever you are doing. You simply need to surrender and listen to it, again and again and again... What would the world be without these 22 minutes of sheer beauty?"

Mosquitoes – Reverse Drift/Reverse Change

The Ici Bientôt label arm of wonderful Parisian record store Geminicricket returns with another gem plucked from the world of uncategorisable 80’s French private press records, following up Nef’s ‘Mais Alors!!?... C'est À L'Envers’ with a welcome reissue of Nyssa Musiques’ 1985 percussive deluge ‘Comme Au Moulin’.  Their sole self-release is a breathtaking and staggeringly wide-referencing avant-jazz masterpiece, smelting down varied strains contemporary minimalism, spiritual jazz, Indian classical, traditional gamelan and traditional Central African folk whilst retaining an unbelievable sense of cohesion and not confining themselves to a specific genre tag.  It’s no surprise that members of the group studied and graduated from one of the most prestigious musical schools in France - the playing and musicianship is sublime - maintaining consistency and rhythm through complex marimba passages that draw obvious comparisons to Midori Takada’s work with Mkwaju Ensemble whilst other members fill the spaces in between.  Elsewhere the group evoke Steve Reich with the use of repetition to build tension and climax, whereas the rainforest atmosphere and track titles ‘Route De Sumatra’ evoke worldly inspiration and an obvious 4th world approach.  Genuinely one of the most amazing records of its kind - huge tip for fans of Polish group Osjan or the recent ‘Balafon Sketches’ LP from Contours.

Nyssa Musique – Comme Au Moulin

Golden Teacher was born in early 2013, when members Ollie, Laurie, Rich, Sam, Cassie, and Charlie gathered at Glasgow’s legendary Green Door Studios and packed seven cassettes with raw, rhythmic improvisations. These instrumental sessions, dubbed Green Door Disco Band (or G.D.D.B.), were a covert prologue for the band’s infectious and hallucinatory dance music. Originally issued via cassette on Golden Teacher’s own Akashic Records, this vinyl edition compiles G.D.D.B.’s most commanding moments for an explosive re-introduction to the band’s emergent boogie. Golden Teacher’s method was simple: Pack the studio with instruments, position a tape recorder on the floor, and then just go for it. Whenever the vibe was right someone would hit record. The members swapped instruments at random, mutating across primal electro-disco and swirling, psychedelic house. Jerry-rigged rhythms breach the delectable fry of tape hiss. Melodies dissolve into throbbing ambience as percussion lurches in and out of focus. The band achieves a contagious blend of hazy atmospherics and crystalline frequencies that suffuses each groove with club-level delirium. G.D.D.B. captures Golden Teacher’s kinetic genesis, transposing the dynamics of their freest and most elastic live performances onto plastic. As an exclusive bonus, the album is offered with or without a companion cassette, compiled by the band from two live performances on February 2nd, 2013. Side A is Golden Teacher in classic dance floor motion; Side B documents a baffling reinterpretation of Ludwig van Beethoven via abstract electronics. The tape is only available from House Rules.  --- Released, 2018

Golden Teacher – G.D.D.B.

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