We need your help – please
Hockey Night was born accidentally at the Colour Out Of Space Festival in Brighton in 2008. It's a free jazzy brainchild of four Finnish musicians: Arttu Partinen, Jaakko Tolvi, Jonna Karanka and Sami Pekkola.Recorded live at Lal Lal Lal Festival 2012 by Élg and Jussi Ahonen.Mixed by Élg, mastered by Pentti Dassum, covers by Jonna.
Drums – Jaakko Tolvi Performer – Arttu Partinen, Jonna Karanka Tenor Saxophone – Sami Pekkola
Hockey Night – Neutral Zone Trap
Premiere loop-age and analogue slurping from Brighton’s F.Ampism. Put simply this record is a jitterbug in a bubbling pond, coz this collection of nine fine sound pieces are all about fluid movement and itchy digit fidgets. Songs like ‘The Loosest Caduceus’ ripple like time waves, setting off yeasty fireworks behind my eyes. ‘Sand/Blood/Glass’ becomes a relic from my formication nightmare. And ‘Absolute Beyond Ill’ drives gravity back into a wood-lined barrel. Oh yeah Ampish-man YEAH! The exotic is never far from your soft lugs in this particular sound centre – picture Colin McPhee dropping his early Gamelan recordings in rose water – the bronze gongs get sticky with heady perfume right? This record is the perfect partner for reflective fellowship and riotous merry making." - Joe Posset / Radio Free Midwich blog
Released on vinyl LP in October 2017. Edition of 250 copies.
F. Ampism – The Unstruck Sound Centre
Originally released on cassette by Corpus Hermeticum (Hermes003), 1994. All sounds by Alastair Galbraith and Bruce Russell.
"New Zealand is on summer holidays all through the month of January. For some reason I had the house to myself, the wife and kids were elsewhere. Alastair Galbraith brought over some instruments and we plugged in a cassette recorder. We spent the sunny afternoon setting up combinations of instruments and seeing what happened. We had recorded the Concord LP the year before and done two gigs at the Empire tavern that became The Philosophick Mercury. The idea of Dust was taking shape through experimental practice. Some of it worked better than other bits, but it all made sense as a collage of sound, pointing in the direction of freedom. Our collective practice was making leaps and bounds; and starting to get heard abroad. In Australia the young Jon Dale was listening: 'The Eightness Of Adam Qadmon was one of the first releases I heard from A Handful of Dust… I've always been drawn to this cassette for its utterly unique, acroamatic sensibility - it seems less interested in third-eye-rupturing … and more about a late night session, bleeding into early morning, under the influence of heady wisdom and headier substances… What we had here was very much the real deal, collective and solo eviscerations from the heart of sound itself. I love it, unconditionally.' Jon got the time of day wrong, but not much else. Going back to this session recently, I became aware of the strange, ungainly and unrepeatable shapes our practice assumed during these first forays into total free improvisation. Re-mastered with help from Lasse Marhaug, at the request of some visionary Finns; here Adam Qadmon, the ur-Golem, comes again. Walking from the graveyard of the past, blinking in the autumn sun, and shaking twenty-five years of clay from his coat." Bruce Russell, Lyttelton 2019
Ikuisuus Records/ Hyster Tapes Released on vinyl LP, 7th May 2019 Edition of 300 copies
A Handful of Dust – The Eightness of Adam Qadmon
Bruce Russell and Noel Meek return with their second harsh noise collaboration. Their first, 'Classical Music' (2018) was an all-electronics wrestling bout that simulated engine testing on a long-haul passenger jet. Their new album combines guitar, violin and electronics and was recorded in a wood workshop. You can hear the power tools, even though none were actually used. Extreme noise can sometimes be associated with offensive, racist or extreme-right views. The New Zealand duo have chosen to spotlight that problematic tendency by recording their new record in Christchurch, scene of that country's worst right-wing terror atrocity, and calling it 'Say No to Hate'. It is an affirmation of life and collaborative solidarity, one of the signature characteristics of the fully international scene from which it springs.
Released on LP, February 2020 Edition of 200 copies
Noel Meek & Bruce Russell – Say No To Hate
Following her debut LP (KRAAK, 2018) and a string of tapes and 7-inches, Red Brut drops her second album, Cloaked Travels. It is a joint release by the Finnish labels Ikuisuus and Lal Lal Lal. In many aspects, Cloaked Travels is an amazing realisation of what Red Brut does best: molding the absurd, the amateurish, and the crude into beautiful and elegant sound pieces. These eight “songs”, organised in two suites, dwell between abstract avant-garde and pop sensibility. Working with cassette tapes, Red Brut enhances the ambiguous qualities of her sounds with the warm distortion and background hiss typical of the medium. The music leaves the listener to him- or herself, happily lost in small universes that contain many layers of beauty, discomfort, and intimacy. Susan Sontag once claimed that diaries, despite secretly kept by the author, are meant to be read by others. Red Brut’s intimate and highly personal take on musique concrète is characterised by a homely feeling: sounds of doors, kids outside her house, a synth that sounds like a house pet, muffled whispers of her voice. Her compositions sound like you are secretly reading her diary. You are in the uncomfortable position of watching someone chasing her own tail, unaware of the fact that she is being the object of our gaze. Unaware? Cloaked Travels displays on a certain point the sound of a squeaking door. Over and over until it starts sounding like a wild free jazz solo. Is Verbiesen playing tricks on our minds? Is she actually the Unconsciously Watched? Or is she cloaked as that character, and in fact very well aware that we are peeping into her inner emotional universe; maybe she is even projecting a fake version of what sounds like here day-to-day, intimate environment — making us conscious of our own gaze? Again Sontag comes to mind: she deliberately projected a well-constructed character in both her diaries as in public life. Cloaked Travels contains distinct and carefully composed pieces that play upon the tension between the concrete and the abstract. Every song acts like a Cave of Plato: we are unable to see what is actually happening, we only see the shadows of a door moving or the sounds of someone gurgling. The album suggests some fundamental questions: is what we conceive as reality nothing but a derivative of the Ideal? Is there really something behind the shadow, or is the shadow the actual reality?
Released July 2020, Ikuisuus and Lal Lal Lal.
Red Brut – Cloaked Travels
Altaat is a Finnish duo by Niko Karlsson & Miki Brunou, that has been active since 2011. On this album they are playing with Jari Koho, who is known from his own solo projects, and also from Vapaa, Keijo & The Free Players, Aan, Uton etc. Their track "Palava palaava" was recorded in 2014 - and now finally released on Altaat's first vinyl release. 20 minute long improvised track, with bowed strings & droney synths, melting in a cosmic mind. Euter is a mysterious duo, and these two tracks are from their recordings from 2019-2020. Experimental psychedelic noise - droning, crackling and rumbling from various sound sources. Strange encounters with a charm & carefully composed.
Released January 4, 2021, IKUISUUS
Altaat / Euter – Split
Super sweet South African jive from the style’s royalty, The Mahotella Queens, surveying the dawn of electrified mbaqanga vibes circa 1964, all remastered from original tapes and dusted down for posterity
“The 1966 debut album from the legendary Mahotella Queens and the very first LP on the iconic MOTELLA label. "Not long ago - about two years - the country was swept by a craze for a fantastic new kind of jive. First presented and popularised by The Mahotella Queens, it shows no signs of decreasing - in fact it gets bigger and bigger with the release of each new "Queens" record. Demonstrating the dance all over the country, The Mahotella Queens (not to forget their "King", Mahlathini Nkabinde) have become the idols of the young "with it" crowd. Growing from original "Jive Motella" many other fads and variations have recently hit the scene - all of them introduced and demonstrated by The Queens and their King: Jive Mgqashiya (which is available on MO 33 and, incidentally, is named after the word meaning the Bantu traditional way of dancing), Jive Jibav (on MO 50) and most recently a wild, crazy jive called 'S'modern.'
The charm, vivacity and ultra-modern, go-ahead spirit of these vital young artists fully deserves to have captivated the country. Ever since they started, back in Johannesburg in 1963, their fame has been growing by leaps and bounds. Today they have no equal in their field. But although they are the ones who glory in all the limelight, they owe an enormous debt to the "man behind the scenes". He is the "brain" who guided, formed and trained the group - Rupert "Bops" Bopape."
Original release: Motella LMO 101 in 1966 Original production: Rupert Bopape and Shadrack Piliso Recorded at the Gallo Studio, Johannesburg, 1964-66
Released 2019, Umsakazo Records
Mahotella Queens – Meet The Mahotella Queens
First ever vinyl reissue of highly sought after French experimental jazz from the legendary Jef Gilson Remastered from the master tapes. * In 1971, the day after the death of Igor Stravinsky, Jef Gilson and his Unit (Pierre Moret and Jean-Claude Pourtier) made this curious homage to classical music. It is jazz, contemporary and electroacoustic music that the trio interrogate through a wild ‘noise’ session evoking as much John Cage as Pierre Henry, John Coltrane as the Percussions de Strasbourg, the Art Ensemble of Chicago as the Tacet by Jean Guérin.
Le Massacre du Printemps, (the Massacre of Spring) is a strange kind of homage to Igor Stravinsky, who had just died when, in 1971, Jef Gilson recorded this not-to-be-missed album of French experimental jazz. “Too many pieces of music finish too long after the end” the Russian composer was quoted as saying and here is Gilson offering us... six!
A funny bird (of fire) was Jef Gilson. Clarinetist who came up playing in the basement clubs with Claude Luter and Boris Vian, he turned to piano and multiplied his experiences in jazz: bebop, choral, modal, free, fusion... As a free spirit, Gilson welcomed many ‘up and coming’ French musicians in his bands (Jean-Luc Ponty, Bernard Lubat, Michel Portal, Henri Texier...) as well as being associated with Woody Shaw, Nathan Davis or Byard Lancaster. Later he would go on to create, Europamerica, a transatlantic formation in which Butch Morris, Frank Lowe, and Joe McPhee would play...
But for the time being it’s a massacre! With Pierre Moret on organ and Jean-Claude Pourtier on drums, Gilson improvises with style and gusto. On the eponymous title track of the album, he also plays tuba and invites Claude Jeanmaire to get involved on prepared piano. Spring, for the four musicians here, is windswept: billowing, rumbling, frantic, it sounds like Stravinsky played by the ‘Percussions de Strasbourg’ without a scoresheet!
After which, behind his electric piano, Gilson with Moret and Pourtier offers us five more “unpremeditated spontaneous expressions”, as he wrote on the back of the album sleeve. Five wily and electric expressions which are like the soundtrack to a film which could also have been played by the Art Ensemble or Jean Guérin. So, when, in the same text, Gilson expresses the hope that we will get “from this album the same pleasure that we had making it”, we can but reply: how could it be otherwise?
Released December 2020, Souffle Continu
Jef Gilson – Le Massacre Du Printemps
First ever reissue of highly sought after french jazz funk fusion nugget from Alain Bellaïche featuring, Jerry Goodman (Mahavishnu Orchestra), John Hicks (Strata-East) & Fabiano (Fabiano Orchestra). Remastered from the master tapes. Restored artwork + 12 page booklet & Obi Strip
A Frenchman who is returning (but who we seem to discover!) from the USA is something unusual. Everything seemed to start out well for Alain Bellaïche: Born in Tunis, childhood in Cannes, studies at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, his first folk concerts folk in youngsters’ houses and clubs where everyone was well behaved …
Then, in 1973, he left for the States. Bellaïche would settled for around ten years, with, as a soundtrack, the two albums that he would record there. Metropolitain, which was the fruit of his collaboration with the Heldon guitarist Alain Renaud, and Sea Fluorescent. In the catalogue of Asylum, David Geffen’s first label, Bellaïche’s music was listed alongside that of the Byrds, Tom Waits, Joni Mitchell, and Bob Dylan.
In a Rock & Folk interview, Bellaïche expressed his regrets as to the prudence of French musicians: “I never had a group… perhaps the guys here are not motivated to play this kind of music”. We should note that the influences of our expatriate were, for example, Led Zeppelin, John McLaughlin, Weather Report, Herbie Hancock, The Spencer Davis Group…
Bellaïche, a multi-faceted and iconoclastic musician, composed Sea Fluorescent just following his desires: from a cosmic ballad (St Andrea), to West Coast funk (California), dreamlike Spanish influences (Spanish Roots), optimistic blues (Foolin’ Myself), a solar track (I’m Angry, Sun Blues) … And the Frenchman was in good company: Jean-François Fabiano (from Fabiano Orchestra) on drums and percussions, Jerry Mahavishnu Goodman on violin on Got My Place In That Country, Wornell Jones on bass or John Hicks whose cascades of notes bring Reggae & Western closer to the ‘reassembled’ jazz that the pianist was playing at the time…
Released: October 2020, souffle continu records
Alain Bellaïche – Sea Fluorescent
Outernational Sounds proudly presents one of the most unusual and mysterious private press albums of all — Betty Lou Landreth’s Betty Lou, a stunning, under-the-radar soul-jazz set, available again for the first time since its original 1979 release.
Beautiful, one-of-a-kind blends of funk, disco, country, soul and jazz, from lush head-nodder I Can’t Stop to the snapping disco funk of Get Up And Dance.
An outsider classic featuring heavyweight Detroit insiders like Tribe trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, Motown’s Funk Brothers, Geri Allen, Grant Green sideman Emmanuel Riggins (Karriem’s dad), and Isaac Hayes collaborator Travis Biggs. Licensed from the Landreth family.
Betty Lou Landreth – Betty Lou
Long out-of-print album marking the watershed of Harari’s evolution from Soweto soul (as The Beaters) to the afro-centric rock and funk that brought them fame and changed South Africa’s musical landscape forever.
The Beaters – Harari was released in 1975. After changing their name, Harari went into the studio late in 1976 to record their follow-up, Rufaro / Happiness. In 1976 they were voted South Africa’s top instrumental group and were in high demand at concert venues across the country. Comprising former schoolmates guitarist and singer Selby Ntuli, bassist Alec Khaoli, lead guitarist Monty Ndimande and drummer Sipho Mabuse, the group had come a long way from playing American-styled instrumental soul in the late sixties to delivering two Afro-rock masterpieces. Before these two albums the Beaters had been disciples of ‘Soweto Soul’ – an explosion of township bands drawing on American soul and inspired by the assertive image of Stax and Motown’s Black artists. The Beaters supported Percy Sledge on his 1970 South African tour (and later Timmy Thomas, Brook Benton and Wilson Pickett). But their watershed moment was their three month tour of Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) where they were inspired by the strengthening independence struggle and musicians such as Thomas Mapfumo who were turning to African influences. On their return, the neat Nehru jackets that had been the band’s earliest stage wear were replaced by dashikis and Afros.
released February 26, 2021, Matsuli Music
Harari – Rufaro Happiness
Evocations of experimental and improvised jazz, chansonesque songs, bluesy folk, and outsider music from Klimperei and David Fenech using everything from music boxes and walkie-talkies down to plastic straws, various stringed instruments such as the charrango and banjo, kazoos and snake-charmer ocarina and flutes, all the way through the sweet accordion and melodica, found and traditional tuned percussion
"What germinates as an imaginative and emotional chord progression played by Klimperei, evolves with Fenech layering additional recordings, which would then find their way back home to Klimperei yet again, and so on, and so forth. This recursive compositional and improvisational loop, combined with Fenech’s musique-concrete-like mixing and editing techniques, transforms the acoustic recordings by way of compression, saturation, and reverberation or simple pitch changes - resulting in the duo’s recordings seemingly sound like they may very well be an octet in real time. While the majority of the recordings have been ping-ponged remotely, David and Christophe unite under one roof to record the closing track of the album.
The pieces presented on ‘Rainbow de Nuit’ treat the ears to a carousel ride waltzing through a multiverse made up of surrealist puppet theaters, dramatic film noir act changes, and a mosaic of polyphonic instruments and toys alike. In other words, a score to a fable brought to life with haunting yet charming melodies and occasional hallucinatory voices reminiscent of laughter and infantile epiphanies which we hear on Tarzan en Tasmanie and Madrigal for Lola. This is taken a step further by Fenech, to a brief libretto of incomprehensible tongues on Pocarina. Amid the mysterious and dark (Septième Ciel and Rugit Le Coeur) also lies tender and simple compositions (Rainbow de Nuit and Chevalier Gambette), murky suspenseful melancholy (Levy Attend and Eno Ennio), and casually slipping into pensive psychedelic backdrops (Un Cercueil à Deux Places) - forming a colorful blend of sounds. A world of echoes. A tale of tales. One persistent earworm that you’ll likely be whistling and humming along to on a first listen.”
Written and Produced by David Fenech and Christophe Petchanatz (Klimperei) Drums and percussion on A5, B1, and B2 by Denis Tagu (Tagubu) Mastered and cut by Noel Summerville Artwork by Benjamin Kilchhofer
Marionette, Jan 2021
David Fenech & Klimperei – Rainbow de Nuit
Brazilian post-punk, art rock and DIY from 1988, released here for the first time, by the duo Celso Alves and Kodiak Bachine (whose records with the band Agentss are desperately sought-after nowadays).
Dubwise and rhythmic, percussive and synthy, with tangy Brazilian roots, and a droll humour to its reflections on embalming, LSD and zombies, the music freewheels roughly and vividly from the truffling, chattering, tropical atmospherics of the opener, through to the machine-funk, Romeroesque terrors of the Greenhouse Massacres, to close. Sung in Portuguese and English, studded with Spanish, French and German, the lyrics are reproduced on an insert.
KODIAK BACHINE Synthesizers Electronic percussion Samplers Vocals Production Mixing CELSO ALVES Synthesizers Electronic percussion Samplers Vocals
Lugar Alto, released July 23, 2020
Mumia – Mumia
Icepick is the super-power trio of some of the busiest musicians on this planet – American, Brooklyn-based trumpeter Nate Wooley, Norwegian, Austin-based bass player Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, and American, Upstate New York-based drummer Chris Corsano. Hellraiser is already the third album of this trio and was recorded live in February 2018, on the occasion of a gathering supporting the Option series at Experimental Sound Studios (ESS) in Chicago. Originally, this performance was slated for another Wooley-led group, and only last-minute travel issues led to the rare occasion where all three members of Icepick happened to be free for the date in Chicago. The ESS continues to host and facilitate online Quarantine Concert Series even in this coronavirus lockdown era, reminding all of us what we used to celebrate not so long ago.
The infrequent meetings of this trio do not affect the immediate flow of the music and the profound, telepathic interplay of Wooley, Håker Flaten & Corsano, all are masters of free-improvised format. The three collective, improvised pieces highlight their great experience and focus on structuring loose compositions through improvisation techniques, on account of powerful, wild eruptions but, still, with the fiery excitement of such a performance.
Håker Flaten & Corsano build mighty yet quite flexible rhythmic patterns on the opening piece «El-Bound», fueling the soaring flights and deep whispers of Wooley. Wooley sketches «Chicago Deader» as a moving ballad while Håker Flaten & Corsano color his singing melody with disturbing, restless colors, slowly building a massive pulse. The last and longest piece, the 17-minutes «Blueline» cements the reserved atmosphere of this performance.
The fractured rhythmic patterns of Håker Flaten & Corsano are the basis for Wooley’s intense employment of an array of extended breathing techniques, but soon enough all three musicians calibrate perfectly on their own dance. First in wild moves but later in more suggestive, poetic moves, repeating, again and again, the simple, melodic theme, all the way until the ecstatic coda, without raising hell, but still in perfect shape.
NATE WOOLEY - Trumpet INGEBRIGT HÅKER FLATEN - Bass CHRIS CORSANO - Drums
Released 2020; Astral Spirits
Icepick – Hellraiser
The Other Side of Time is the first album to be released by Chicago based percussionist Quin Kirchner. The album features the excellent ensemble of Nick Broste on trombone, Nate Lepine on flute and tenor saxophone, Jason Stein on bass clarinet, and Matt Ulery on bass. The album is comprised of roughly half original tunes by Kirchner and half covers of music by Sun Ra, Charles Mingus, Andrew Hill, Arthur Verocai, Paul Motian, and Kelan Phil Cohran.
Quin Kirchner - drums, percussion, kalimba, sampler, wurlitzer Nick Broste - trombone Nate Lepine - tenor saxophone, flute Jason Stein - bass clarinet Matt Ulery - bass Ben Boye - piano on Together...
Recorded at Minbal & Future House in Chicago, IL
Released 2018, Astral Spirits
Quin Kirchner – The Other Side of Time
“The Reinvention of Romance,” a new work for percussion and cello that examines the care and empathy that emerge when two lives share space. Over the course of 90 minutes, a series of repeating patterns creates a peculiar kind of harmony in which two musicians are rarely “playing together” but are nonetheless intimately bonded. The Knoxville-based duo Two-Way Street (Ashlee Booth and Adam Lion) commissioned Hennies to compose “a very long piece;” for this recording they step into its two intertwining roles.
Composed by Sarah Hennies Performed by Two-Way Street: Ashlee Booth, cello & Adam Lion, percussion
Released 2020; Astral Spirits
Sarah Hennies – The Reinvention of Romance
"Back in 2018, I was invited by Dave Rempis to participate in the Exposure Series at Elastic Arts in Chicago. The Series was for me a shining example of artist-lead organizing of different yet connected communities around the Music. From my standpoint, it is yet another in the continuum of such actions, specifically in Chicago, and has been a major inspiration for my work as an artist and for the material on this recording. The ensemble was assembled by Mr. Rempis, and was the first time the group had ever played together. The experience was immensely moving and was a major event in my own musical development, having the chance to lead a collective ensemble of true pillars in Creative Music. Later that year, I was invited back to Chicago by Ken Vandermark for the Option Series at Experimental Sound Studio. It was then when I was able to schedule a recording and subsequent concert with the group, revisiting the material conceived by the ensemble earlier that year. As for the actual composition, I wanted to showcase the collectivism of the sounds produced in that first meeting. With that in mind I listened back to the first recording and transcribed different movements, motifs, and themes, plus added a few original composition ideas. We then recorded these collective compositions, first in a private recording session, second in front of an audience at Elastic Arts, where the Quintet first met. What is presented here on this double album is a collection of both sessions. I want to convey again the collectivity of the Quintet. The concept of being a (C)omposer is a result of centuries of musical hierarchy, regarded and celebrated as the ultimate form of a musical artist. The example set out by the journeys of many in Improvised Music, including the gentlemen on this recording, allows for exploration of "composition" in true collective non-hierarchical form. There are no single series of notes, timbres, and dynamics conceived previously by an individual that was then imposed. Rather the Music was allowed to be presented with equal representation from each individual. The "Composer" here, is merely the organizer of the spirit energy of the ensemble. This is the nature of the beautiful offering that This Music provides." -- Luke Stewart, July 2020.
Luke Stewart - Bass, Compositions Edward Wilkerson, Jr. - Reeds Ken Vandermark - Reeds Jim Baker - Piano Avreeayl Ra - Drums
Released: Oct 2020, Astral Spirits
Luke Stewart – Exposure Quintet
Saxophonist Mars Williams is most famous as a member of The Psychedelic Furs, but has proven his jazz bona fides with Peter Brötzmann and Ken Vandermark, and while guiding Liquid Soul and Hal Russell's NRG Ensemble, to name just a few. Williams also leads the Albert Ayler tribute band Witches & Devils, and out of their holiday concerts grew a unique tradition. One listen and you'll hear that, as odd as that concept may seem, it's brilliantly effective, with the disparate melodies working together in their common projection of joy and celebration -- which is painfully needed at this point in time amidst the current climate.
For the last four years, along with the annual Chicago performances, Williams brough "An Ayler Xmas", to select cities in the US & Europe, featuring local improvisers from each host city. This particular album showcases two specific group performances from the 2019 touring in Chicago and NYC. These recordings highlight the unique personalities of the individual players Williams convenes, using some of the same material as jumping off points, each group creates an entirely unique sound that pays tribute to Ayler, the spirit of xmas and joyous improvisatio
Side A: Chicago
MARS WILLIAMS – SAX, TOY INSTRUMENTS JOSH BERMAN – CORNET JIM BAKER – PIANO, VIOLA, ARP SYNTH KENT KESSLER – BASS BRIAN SANDSTROM – BASS, GUITAR, TRUMPET STEVE HUNT – DRUMS
Side B: New York
MARS WILLIAMS - SAX, TOY INSTRUMENTS STEVE SWELL - TROMBONE HILLIARD GREENE - BASS CHRIS CORSANO - DRUMS NELS CLINE - GUITAR FRED LONBERG-HOLM - CELLO
Released Nov 2020, Astral Spirits
Mars Williams – Mars Williams Presents An Ayler Xmas Vol. 4: Chicago vs. NYC