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This first-time vinyl reissue comes with bonus 7-inch, inserts and 20-page booklet.
Emerging out of Amsterdam's vibrant squat scene in 1979, The Ex - a name chosen for the ease and speed with which it could be spray-painted onto a wall - have for four decades been an entirely self-sustaining musical entity, charting a course through the global underground with a spirit of freedom and radical exploration.
Disturbing Domestic Peace, The Ex's debut album, appeared mere months after their first single, 1980's All Corpses Smell The Same. Originally released on the band's own Verrecords (they made up different label names with each record), the LP falls squarely within a punk idiom and, at the same time, shows this influential Dutch group's restless energy. Terrie Ex's guitar serves up vectors of percussive pulse, fraying the edges of the music's squared-off rhythms. Vocalist G.W. Sok - an anarchist Dziga Vertov with a mic - observes, declaims and condemns across a set of interrelated political concerns that would return in Ex-music for years to come. While The Ex channel the poise and principled attack of Crass or Flux Of Pink Indians, they create a unique declamatory sound all their own - trailing brilliant flashes of color in the wake of punk's monochrome palette. Offering ten songs in only twenty-two minutes, Disturbing Domestic Peace lays bare a vivid snapshot of a truly singular band who (at the time) were just finding their feet.
The Ex – Disturbing Domestic Peace
Offering some of her first original compositions, ‘The Time Has Come’ was a break from tradition in more ways than one for Anne Briggs. Where previous recordings displayed the unaccompanied melodies of her voice, this album – originally released by CBS in 1971 – brings additional instrumentation in the form of guitar and bouzouki. The result is that her vocals are not submerged, but heightened – the plucked strings providing the perfect foil for her crystalline inflection.
‘The Time Has Come’ is a mix of Anne’s own songs alongside some notable covers (Lal Waterson, Steve Ashley, Stan Ellison, Henry McCulloch). All are graced with the quietly self-assured elegance of Anne’s playing, with sounds ranging from the breezy ‘Clea Caught A Rabbit’ to the terrible beauty of ‘Wishing Well’ – each song typifying thebouzouki or guitar style. To say that Anne was an accomplished picker is to do her something of an disservice – the intricacy of her finger-work rivals – and more often than not eclipses – any number of her contemporaries.
Features liner notes by Colin Harper, alongside previously unseen photographs by Brian Shuel.
Released June 30th 2017, Earth Records
Anne Briggs – The Time Has Come
This record is divided into two sections. The first part is the title track and takes up most of side one. Ali's Smile was first published in 1971 and was privately released as a one-sided LP, in an edition of 99 copies. It came in a plain sleeve with a hardback copy of the spoken text, and was sold exclusively through Unicorn Bookshop in Brighton, UK. Bill Butler, the bookshop owner, was still paying off a viciously punitive fine and associated court costs imposed in 1968 after a guilty verdict in an obscenity trial. Burroughs, a "fellow American", was only too happy to help out by letting him have the rights to the recording. Rumors abound as to how many copies of the LP actually sold and how many were damaged after having been left on a heater, but, whatever the facts, this magnanimous gesture would still have been very handy. This is the first official reissue of this lost audio recording. A tale of revenge, heartless cruelty and amulet power, muddied with frequent recourse to Scientological references.
The rest of the LP is taken up with 33 minutes of audio tape supplied by Burroughs in answer to various questions mailed to him by a freelance journalist. It also includes several readings from material he was working on at the time. The recordings date from 1963, which places them as some of, if not the, earliest in-depth recordings of his readings and thoughts. As this material dates from just before the publication of Nova Express, much of it serves as a useful companion and commentary on his Nova mythology. In the end only about ten minutes of this material ever got broadcast, and was used as part of an illustrated talk on the BBC's Third Programme.
Sleeve notes on a numbered insert; edition of 1000.
Paradigm Disks, 2021
William Burroughs – Ali's Smile
Shapeshifting genius Mica Levi does dream-pop with scorched, screwed effect somewhere between MBV, Spacemen 3 and Arthur Russell, and now available on its first vinyl pressing with their own label.
Thanks to pressing plant lags the physical item ‘Ruff Dog’ finally appears six months after the digital release, and following very much in the vein of their back-to-basics garage scuzz album with Good Sad Happy Bad. However, this is Mica solo, stripped to raw, jangly guitars and drums that sound like they were recorded in her bathroom, emphasising a kind of janky, DIY directness and fidelity that’s always been at the heart of their music, but rarely heard so sore and wickedly strung out as they do here.
Has Mica Levi ever made a bad record?
Self Released, 2021
Mica Levi – Ruff Dog
The Works - one of the most famous pieces by brilliant American composer Alvin Curran - was not created by will and direct purpose but, as the composer himself states, as a “providential accident” which is to say quite organically. Combining piano and voice with found sound and a custom-built Serge modular synthesizer, “The Works” is a slowly developing piece where space and ambient tape are eventually overtaken by raga-esque chanting and frenetic piano playing, where synthesizer washes become full-on workouts all leading to a coda where the listener is “finally carried off on the wheels of the Berlin U-Bahn.”
Curran - whose initial training and musical education was as a pianist - had been living in Roma, Italy, in the mid-‘70s returning to his roots and performing regularly in cocktail lounges on Via Veneto. It was this return to piano and vocals that became the genesis for The Works. In relearning the piano, a five-note “motive” took hold. Added to this was “a recording I had made of our 14 year old dachshund Caspar just before he died. It was, in fact, a love song which he persisted in singing all day after meeting a lovely bitch in heat in Piazza Navona. This I knew would be the beginning of the piece.” As the piece expands further the listener will hear “cows munching grass, the Rome-Florence express train, a horse-fly caught against a window pane, my footsteps approaching a Roman fountain and later going up the steps of my old studio, cicadas, an Amsterdam calliope, a tin can being kicked, and a series of sounds from La Serra di Lerici.”
Though “The Works” has been performed in many incarnations over the years, it’s this performance - captured on February 24, 1980, and originally released that same year by the short-lived Italian avant-garde label Fore - that is the definitive version, and one of the finest recordings ever made by the celebrated composer.
Alvin Curran – The Works
"In the early 1980s, Pale Cocoon member Tsuyoshi Kawabata received the vivid image of springing forth from a cocoon as he was composing music in his hometown of Toyama, Japan. Having spent time arranging sounds on a 4-track recorder in the musical chrysalis of his home studio, Kawabata moved to a larger studio and converted his recordings to an open reel with the help of other musicians on the Pafe Record roster, leading to the musical metamorphosis of his full-length work 繭 (Mayu).
Like the Belgian symbolist paintings that served as inspiration during Kawabata’s musical process - the compositions featured on Mayu serve to elevate the nuanced elements of daily life, each sound intentionally crafted with a meticulous approach to best represent its objective nature. Sounds of the Japanese landscape in summertime parallel swirling synthesizers and noise; shimmering guitar sounds take the shape of a snowflake. In this way, Kawabata’s pure reflection on the objective nature of sounds evokes the deeper spiritual essence of their origins - taking on a symbolic role in order to elucidate a greater psychic nature… or as French poet Stéphane Mallarmé writes, “to depict not the thing but the effect it produces”.
The result is a musical soundscape evocative of Kawabata’s hometown of Toyama - a collection of compositions with inherent seasonality in their arrangement, mirroring the landscapes along the sea of Japan. The album opener “Sora” acts as a portal into Kawabata’s world, segueing from a dizzying whirlwind of processed recorder into an ecstatic atmosphere of guitar and synthesizer invoking the likes of Woo, Cluster, and the euphoric stylings of Penguin Café Orchestra. The next piece, “Shunmin”, waltzes deeper into Mayu’s fever dream, creating a gorgeous atmosphere with hypnotic drum machine programming leading a chorus of processed acoustic guitar and cosmic keyboard arrangements. At times, the listener may hear the dreamy post-punk influence of Cherry Red Records and peers The Durutti Column throughout Mayu - a group whom Pale Cocoon shared the stage with during their Japan tour of 1984. However, the album itself is undoubtedly the singular vision of Kawabata, informed by the musical landscape of Toyama - the same environs which fostered the sounds of Pale Cocoon’s label Pafe Record and fellow groups Funeral Party and Virgin Mayonnaise who perform on Mayu.
Conatala and Incidental Music are proud to present Mayu, remastered by Makoto Ohshiro and published for the first time on vinyl since its original cassette release on Pafe Record in 1984. Mayu will be available on 2LP vinyl pressed by Pallas."
Pale Cocoon – 繭 (Mayu)
Black Truffle is pleased to present Sylva Sylvarum, an epic new work from Ora Clementi, the collaborative project of crys cole and James Rushford. Primarily conceived and recorded over several months together in Melbourne, Sylva Sylvarum is a stunning step forward from the mumbled, creaking sound world of the duo’s debut, Cover You Will Softer Me (Penultimate Press, 2014). From the opening ‘Peach of Immortality’, which takes an unpredictable journey from layers of chiming bells, vocal harmonies and lush synth pads to a desolate landscape of half-animal, half-digital wooshes and cries, it is immediately clear that cole and Rushford are working here with an entirely unique sound palette. Throughout the record’s four sides, we hear a large array of carefully detailed synthesizer sounds (many of them recorded at the remarkable Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio), sparse drum machine hits, wind instruments and field recordings of animals, often with a twistedly late 80s/early 90s flavour that at various points calls up New Age references, Robert Ashley’s later operas or the thinned-out textures of early digital GRM. Threaded through this distinctive array of sounds are the two musicians’ voices, sometimes singing, sometimes speaking through varying degrees of manipulation. A guiding thread through the pair’s collaboration, beginning with their initial experiments with lip-readings, the presence of these two voices – cole’s crisp and sibilant, Rushford’s rich and low – reinforces the sense that the music is immersed in itself, less performed by two people than occurring between them. On Sylva Sylvarum, these voices first come to the forefront on the third piece, ‘Dialogue Between a Grandmaster of the Knights Hospitaller and a Genoese Sea Captain’, where in unison they intone fragments of a description of an imaginary space taken from a 17th century utopian text. The two voices resurface periodically thereafter, most stunningly in the unexpected turn into cushiony dream pop on ‘Magic Mountain’. At other points, the subtle manipulation of pitch and intonation in the close-miked vocal performances filters the recitations through a fog of abstraction that climaxes with the almost incomprehensible alternating syllables of the side-long closer ‘Forest of Materials’.
Black Truffle, 2021
Ora Clementi – Sylva Sylvarum
‘’In the interest of reverse osmosis, instead of entering into a microscopic world, we now enter into a Gigantic world. Roope Eronen, of the famed Finnish space rock band Avarus, has now expanded his entertainment of an emotive space lounge to the Largest media size know to man, giant disk.
Commissioned especially by Pacific City Sound Visions label chief and the creator of Monopoly Child Star Searchers, Spencer Clark, Roope was asked to craft short pop song versions of previously extended space-synth improvisations. This disk's music has been Enlarged to such an extreme size that the listener can now slowly float in and around the realms of the outer heavens to freshly reflect on Earth's material originality. The voices of angels are abound to imply the harmony of an over-sized life on XXXXL Nativity - an example of the Inflatable Worlds ability to be playful in the sights of the grandeur of heaven. "Space Walk Rentals" and "Bassmaster Mania" entertain Roope's huge focus on the exotic lounge-ness of Interstellar Musics. The largeness of Roope's vision contends that progress lies in the tranquillity of big thoughts - and enormous essences rather than physical largess. big ideas have no threat of gravity, as they are allowed to float into the ether until they are grabbed down by the hands of humans to reflect what they can of their massive impression of heaven.’’ - Spencer Clark, Tenerife 2021
Roope Eronen – The Inflatable World
Lucrecia Dalt’s Anticlines is a volume of bodily and geological substrates within poetic theory and sound. It is a place where skins and minerals dissolve and commingle, where gaseous subterranean leaks inflate lungs, where brain cavities echo interplanetary waves bent from passing through atmospheres. A former geotechnical engineer from Colombia currently residing in Berlin, Dalt’s concern with boundaries and edges shape the lyrics and music of Anticlines, her sixth album. Paying careful attention to pace, breath, and texture, Dalt microtonally shifts the distance between speech and song while using traditional South American rhythms to support her contemporary electronic composition. Lucrecia arrived at the atmosphere of Anticlines after several months of studying and creating new patches for the Clavia Nord Modular, forming a rhythmic feedback flow with it, a Moogerfooger MuRF, and her voice. The overall effect of cavernous space backdroping Dalt’s intimate vocal phrasing rewards contemplation, supported in the physical formats of Anticlines by a lyric booklet documenting Lucrecia’s collaboration with Australian artist Henry Andersen.Interspersed with the lyrical pieces of Anticlines are instrumental interstitials that demonstrate preceding concepts — as if to say, “this is what antiforms sound like, and this is what the universe’s indifference sounds like.” Dalt’s ongoing experiments with visual artist Regina de Miguel support these ideas, their practice allowing the objects of their attention to slip in and out of being. Mystic of matter, Lucrecia Dalt has previously performed and worked with Julia Holter and Gudrun Gut, her slippery spoken word and performative nature recalling the work of Laurie Anderson, Robert Ashley, Asmus Tietchens, or Lena Platonos. While touching stones, The Thing by Dylan Trigg, Cascade Experiment by Alice Fulton, and Wretched of the Screen by Hito Steyerl are but a few formative scripts that support Dalt’s exploration of the betwixt and between.In preparing a live set for Anticlines, Dalt plans to stage an uninterrupted configuration, like a kind of alienated lecture, aiming for “gestures that create tensions with non-existent objects.” Dalt intends “to provide meaning and a place for the listener to meditate or relate to the concerns and ideas” she presents.
Lucrecia Dalt – Anticlines
Following on from the acclaimed Tiger Balm / Amazonia Dreaming / Immersion LP (BT028), Black Truffle is thrilled to present two major new instrumental works from legendary sound artist and experimental composer Annea Lockwood. Demonstrating the ever evolving and radically open nature of Lockwood’s practice, these two recent works were developed in close collaboration with their performers. ‘Becoming Air’ (2018), developed with and performed by trumpeter Nate Wooley, uses extended technique and electronics to interfere with Wooley’s virtuosic control over his instrument, pushing him into areas of fluctuating pitch and timbral instability. Motivated by a desire for ‘the letting go of sound to be itself’, ‘Becoming Air’ unfolds as a series of texturally distinct moments separated by pauses, each fixing on a particular approach to the instrument (long tones, upper-register whistles, breathy wooshes) and maintaining it in an essentially static fashion, focussing our attention on subtle changes and variations. Dipping into near-inaudibility in the fragile high tones of its opening section, the piece dramatically increases in volume and intensity in its final third, climaxing with a passage of roaring distortion, where the interaction between feedback and trumpet pitches calls up the shuddering interference effects of Robert Ashley’s Wolfman. ‘Into the Vanishing Point’ (2019) is a collaborative work developed with New York piano and percussion quartet Yarn/Wire, who have performed work by major contemporary composers such as Olivia Block, Catherine Lamb and Klaus Lang. Carrying on the ecological and environmental concerns of some of Lockwood’s previous works, ‘Into the Vanishing Point’ was inspired by a devastating news article on the global collapse of insect populations. Discovering that the four members of Yarn/Wire had also read this text, Lockwood mapped out a loose structure for the piece that would allow the composer and four performers to explore their ‘feelings about what is happening ecologically’. Working with a huge variety of instruments, objects and techniques of sound production, the resulting work is an alluringly lush, organically unfolding tissue of unorthodox textures and haunting tones. Though not intended to sonically represent ecological issues in any direct way, its unique sound world of rubbed piano strings, gently handled objects and chiming pitches often calls up natural images: of insects and frogs, wind rushing through trees, a bird’s wings in flight. Presented in a stunning gatefold cover with liner notes by Lockwood, Wooley and Yarn/Wire, Becoming Air/Into the Vanishing Point is a testament to the generosity and experimentation that continue to characterise the work of this extraordinary artist, active for over fifty years.
Black Truffle, 2021
Annea Lockwood – Becoming Air / Into The Vanishing Point
On her captivating 4th solo album, Montreal’s Sarah Davachi - highly regarded for her majestic, coruscating synth compositions - divides her attentions equally between a purely instrumental palette of strings, piano, voice and organ with an enveloping, often ecstatic and mystic effect recalling Áine O’Dwyer’s recent Locusts wonder as much as Ellen Fullman’s works for long stringed instruments. We're completely blown away by it.
Rather than mining ancient synth hardware for its unique tones, in All My Circles Run, Davachi applies the same exploratory approach to acoustic instruments with glacially tense results that quietly light up the liminal borderland between the spheres of electronic and acoustic practice when contrasted with her previous recordings. As the title suggests, you can consider these new pieces as discrete strands in a sort of diffracted spectral venn diagram of her sound.
The results will ring true with anyone who has heard her previous releases, while also offering another perspective on her tonal ontology, pin-pointing her acute feel for pealing, plangent overtones in For Strings, which opens out with a raw beauty and scale reaching heights vaguely reminiscent of Áine O’Dwyer’s recent LPs, or by Charlemagne Palestine for that matter, whereas For Voice is a deeply sober, sombre piece again precisely focussed on those fluttering points where consonance/dissonance are near indistinguishable.
The solo piano piece, Chanter follows that slope into lower tones, slowing the heart rate to the point where we can almost perceive the notes as gauzy, keening and candle-flickering blurs, before her sound starts to coalesce in lustrous, upward facing drone in For Organ, burning with a quiet optimism which is sublimated into the exceptional parting passage of For Piano, where the pensile strings, gently cascading keys, and floating organ ebb and flow with a magic intensity redolent of an imagined, smudged meditation by Emahoy Tsegué-Mariam Guèbru and Pauline Oliveros.
Late Music, 2021
Sarah Davachi – All My Circles Run
Music and Poetry of the Kesh is the documentation of an invented Pacific Coast peoples from a far distant time, and the soundtrack of famed science fiction author, Ursula K. Le Guin’s Always Coming Home. In the novel, the story of Stone Telling, a young woman of the Kesh, is woven within a larger anthropological folklore and fantasy. The ways of the Kesh were originally presented in 1985 as a five hundred plus page book accompanied with illustrations of instruments and tools, maps, a glossary of terms, recipes, poems, an alphabet (Le Guin’s conlang, so she could write non-English lyrics), and with early editions, a cassette of “field recordings” and indigenous song. Le Guin wanted to hear the people she’d imagined; she embarked on an elaborate process with her friend Todd Barton to invoke their spirit and tradition.
Ursula K. Le Guin & Todd Barton – Music and Poetry of the Kesh
Black Truffle is pleased to announce Parampara Festival 13.3.1992, a stunning performance by Amelia Cuni captured live in Berlin almost thirty years ago. Milanese by birth and resident in Berlin for many years, Cuni lived in India for over a decade, studying the classical vocal style of dhrupad under masters of the form. Though perhaps known to many listeners primarily through her performances of the vocal music of John Cage and collaborations with Werner Durand and Terry Riley, she is recognised internationally as one of the great contemporary proponents of traditional dhrupad singing. These recordings document her performance at the 1992 Parampara Festival at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, a landmark event celebrating the global spread of Indian classical music, bringing together Indian teachers with their international students. Accompanied by Gianni Ricchizzi on vichitra vina (a plucked zither played with a glass ball slide) and her own tanpura, Cuni stretches out for a languorous side-long performance of the late night Raag Bageshri, the limpid tones of her vocal improvisations illuminating the droning strings like flashes of the moon revealed by rushing clouds. Initially working patiently through a series of subtle dialogues between Cuni’s melodic extemporisations and phrases in response from Richizzi’s vichitra vina, the performance builds to a series of strikingly beautiful, virtuosic held notes from Cuni at the beginning of its second half, before picking up some brisker rhythmic articulation on the way to its conclusion. On Devino Amor, Cuni presents her own composition, a setting of mystical texts by the 13th century Franciscan friar Jacopone da Todi, elaborated through various traditional raags. Like the words used for most dhrupad compositions, the text Cuni has selected from da Todi praises divine love, thus linking her otherwise unorthodox use of Italian text to the dhrupad tradition. The result is a performance of a yearning intensity that communicates across any language barrier. On the final performance, Cuni and Ricchizzi are joined by Helmut Waibl on the two-headed pakhawaj drum for a piece using a 14 beat rhythmic pattern that sets in motion a cycle of tension and release, metrical dissolution and resolution, possessing a subtle grandeur. Illustrated with archival images of the performance and accompanied by new liner notes from Peter Pannke and Lars-Christian Koch, Parampara Festival 13.3.1992 invites listeners to lose themselves in Amelia Cuni’s unique approach to ancient tradition
Black truffle, 2021
Amelia Cuni – Parampara festival 13.3.1992
Both responsible for some of the most beguiling releases in recent memory, Tomoko Sauvage brings her porcelain bowls, water sounds and array of hydrophones to Francesco Cavaliere’s dreamlike staging in ‘Viridescens’ for an utterly spellbinding suite that transcends the sum of its parts.
Both artists draw each other out of themselves and on to a shared plane of surreality, with Cavaliere opting to omit his usual vocals but still infuse his playfully oneiric spirit, while Sauvage’s elemental sounds feel unusually magnified and part of a far plusher ecology of environmental recording. The duo point to influences ranging from Henning Christiansen’s Green Music on a conceptual level, and a lineage of environmental music from Walter Tilgner to Knud Viktor and the likes of Kankyo-Ongaku and Hiroshi Yoshimura, and we can also hear analogs everywhere from Dolphins Into The Future’s field recording sojourns to Ora Clementi’s ambient inceptions or the liminal zones of Elodie.
Anyone previously snagged by either of their solo works will surely recognise the emergence of structures new to either of their oeuvres developing from the stroked bells of ‘a man with a green hat’ to the spikier, overgrown variegation of ‘Rainforest Synthesis’, with ‘≒ AO (blue light is green)’ finding tantalising new interstices of quietude that make the the album’s 9 minute standout ‘Twin Emerald Dolphins’ appear intoxicatingly lush in relief.
Francesco Cavaliere & Tomoko Sauvage – Viridescens
Honest Jon's reissue Lee Scratch Perry's 1980 masterpiece, the final record made at the Black Ark studio before its ultimate demise.
Appearing after his equally seminal series of 'Super Ape', 'War In A Babylon', 'Police And Thieves' and 'Return Of The Super Ape' LPs, it finds Perry during a turbulent period - his Black Ark compound has been occupied by occult Rasta factions, his wife has left him and nobody came to visit any more - but the music within is evidently some of the greatest he ever made.
It opens with the eleven minute sexual boast 'Bed Jammin', a psyched-out and heavy rolling session with nutty lyrics set to humid, grinding groove, besides the stunning, almost-baroque Casio keys and lagging steppers' drums of 'Untitled Rhythm' or the swooning 'Give Thanx To Jah', thru to the cuckoo soul of 'Who Killer The Chicken' and the blunted delirium of 'Some Have Fe Holla'.
This music is everything, there's pop, electronic experimentation, soul, and funk, all imagined with the most incredible, psychedelic vision - a combination which should only be ignored by the foolish. A stone cold classic record.
Lee "Scratch" Perry – The Return Of Pipecock Jackxon
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Originally released by Incus in 1974. Recorded at a private house in Catford, south-east London, the side-long title track is a masterwork: a twenty-two-minute, starkly personal, freely expressive, itchily searching re-casting of orders of rhythm and sound into a new, quicksilver kind of affective and musical polyphony. Never mind the guitarist’s championing of ‘non-idiomatic improvisation’, the poet Peter Riley gets the ball rolling in his identification of the various hauntings of Bailey’s playing at this time: ‘mandolins & balalaikas strumming in the distance, George Formby’s banjo, Leadbelly’s steel 12-string, koto, lute, classical guitar… and others quite outside the field of the plucked string.’
The five pieces on side two were recorded back home in Hackney around the same time — with the exception of Improvisation 104(b), from the year before (and issued by Incus in its TAPS series of mini reel-to-reel tapes) — opening with ventriloquised guitar feedback, and taking in some cod banter about colleagues like Mervyn Parker, Siegfried Brotzmann and Harry Bentink. Crucial.
"In 1974, when Derek Bailey was planning his second solo LP on Incus, he decided to include a side-long solo using his stereo electro-acoustic set-up. Unfortunately, he never seemed to have a 20-minute stretch of time free of interruptions in his home, so he asked if he could record it at my place. After a fairly lengthy drive across London on the arranged date, he discovered that he had brought all his gear except the actual guitar. So he had a cup of tea and a chat, then drove home again. He came again about a week later, on May 13th, this time with everything. I set the level too high for the first two takes, not quite allowing for his enormous dynamic range (which really was not suitable for analogue recording and reproduction equipment). The result was too much distortion for his liking. The level was corrected for the third take which was the one used as the title track on the LP, even though he preferred the music on the earlier takes.
All but one of the short pieces on the second side of the LP were recorded by Bob Woolford around the same time, probably at Derek's home. (The exception, 'Improvisation 104(b),' was recorded the previous year and originally released on one of the Incus TAPs -- mini reel-to-reel tapes that were an attempt to bypass the technical problems of going from tape to vinyl. They were reissued by Organ of Corti.) 'Pain In The Chest' and 'In Joke (Take 2)' feature the unamplified 19-string (approx) guitar, which was probably the only instrument that Derek modified -- he otherwise used standard guitars.
There was a shortage of good vinyl at the time, making it difficult to get decent pressings. (The original pressing of the solo Steve Lacy Emanem LP sounded as though it had been recorded in a hail-storm.) We were recommended to go to a pressing plant that specialized in 'classical' music. (At the same time that Derek was trying to get Lot 74 pressed, I was also working on his duo album with Anthony Braxton.) The first test pressing of Lot 74 was very muffled, and we discovered that the cutting engineer had played the tape up-side-down, so that the music had been filtered through the tape backing (used on professional tapes to reduce print-through). The cutting was subsequently redone correctly, resulting in an acceptable test pressing. However, the plant manager was completely incredulous and perplexed, as he was used to checking pressings using his library of scores of Beethoven sonatas and the like. How could he tell if the vocal and feedback howls at the start of side two ('Together') were correct?
Over thirty years later, advances in technology have eliminated most of the technical problems we had then, so that this magnificent music can be heard sounding better than ever. Every so often, I get someone asking me to issue things on vinyl -- my response is usually not very polite." Martin Davidson
Please note the LP available is the 2018 Honest Jons reissue
Derek Bailey – Lot 74
The first of three volumes: stomping, rollicking gospel music, intermingling with raw soul, searing blues, hard-rocking doo-wop and jazz, and storming r&b.
Infused and incandescent with the hurting, surging indignation of the Civil Rights movement, here are twenty-four precious scorchers by giants like the Staple Singers and Jimmy Scott, alongside devastating sides by less celebrated names like the Harmonising Five of Burlington, North Carolina, and teen-group the North Philadelphia Juniors, culminating triumphantly with slamming, sanctified versions of 'Hit The Road, Jack' and 'Wade In The Water'.
V/A – A Stranger I May Be : Savoy Gospel 1954-1966
Enchanting, expert guided 24-track tour of Ecuador’s Caife label circa the ‘60s, flush with suave fusions of jazz and indigenous traditional styles running counter to post-colonial, Eurocentric styles. A real holiday for the ears
“A dazzling survey of the last, bohemian flowering of the so-called Golden Era of Ecuadorian musica national, before the oil boom and incoming musical styles — especially cumbia — swept away its achingly beautiful, phantasmagorical, utopian juggling of indigenous and mestizo traditions.
Forms like the tonada, albazo, danzante, yaravi, carnaval, and sanjuanito; the yambo, with roots in pre-Incan ritual, and the pasillo, a take on the Viennese waltz, arriving through the Caribbean via Portugal and Spain. Exhumations like the astoundingly out-there organist Lucho Munoz, from Panama, toying with the expressive and technical limits of his instrument; and our curtain-raiser Biluka, who travelled to Quito from Rio, naming his new band Los Canibales in honour of the late-twenties Cannibalist movement back home, dedicated to cannibalising other cultures in the fight against post-colonial, Eurocentric hegemony. He played the ficus leaf, hands-free, laying it on his tongue. One leaf was playable for ten hours. He spent long periods living on the street, in rags, when he wasn’t in the CAIFE studio recording his chamber jazz-from-space, with the swing, elegance and detail of Ellington’s small groups, crossed with the brassy energy of ska — try Cashari Shunguito — and an enthralling other-worldliness.
Utterly scintillating guitar-playing, prowling double bass, piercing dulzaina, wailing organ, rollicking gypsy violin, brass, accordion, harps, and flutes. Bangers to get drunk and dance to. Slow songs galore to drown your sorrows in, with wildly sentimental lyrics drawn from the Generacion Decapitada group of poets (who all killed themselves); expert heart-breakers, with the raw passion of the best rembetica, but reined in, like the best fado."
Honest Jons, 2021
Various Artists – The Paths of Pain: The CAIFE Label, Quito 1960-68