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Almost a decade since his classic album ‘Noi No’, NYC’s Madteo runs amok on Honest Jon’s with nine tracks of groove graffiti, scrawling on disco, hip hop, house and garage styles with inimitably thrifty, freehand tekkers
With the dance gee’d up by Madteo’s ’Str8 Crooked’ batch - his first 12” in years - 'teo continues to express a mix of deadly cool and charmingly frazzled dance trax in his patented rug-slipping/rug-cutting fashion on 5th studio album, ‘Head Gone Wrong by Noise.’ Club music by nature, but with an abundance of detail and chicanery that will come to light with headphones and home listening, it’s another masterclass in how to do it your own way with nary a fuck given for norms, but still loadsa love for the original forms.
Whether turning deep disco boogie into a psychoactive lather, as on ‘Since Man Crawled Out of The Slime’, or voicing the buzz in his head on ’Not This, Not That’, he simply can’t help but do it with properly slanted style. Upending the contents of local record shop bargain bins into a bucket-headed smoke out, the results spell out a sort of slippery, noirish soundtrack to nocturnal jags between greasy dive bars and backstreet pick-ups, getting progressively lost to its own lowlit world in the most absorbing way.
His avant B-boy/soundboy chops are at full flex on the slompy bomb ‘Big Stack Attack’, and framed at his longest and loosest in the album’s core trio of mazy jazz-house joints between ‘Deserts of Social Isolation’, the rangy swang of ‘Freeze The Cheese’ and the deep fried drums of ‘They Rolled Over For Him And He Rolled Over Them’, with a real future classic in the air-step strut of ‘People Impersonating Persons.’ Fans of everyone from Shake to Actress, Demdike Stare and Theo Parrish who don’t know this G owe themselves a check. Everyone else; you know the score!
Madteo – Head Gone Wrong By Noise
"Though music journalists made a big deal recently about the release of a 1965 rehearsal tape by Derek Bailey’s Joseph Holbrooke trio with Gavin Bryars and Tony Oxley, those early efforts were mere tentative steps along a cliff edge wearing a line safely attached to Coltrane. There’s still a whiff of jazz to Bailey and Parker’s work with the Spontaneous Music Ensemble up to and including 1968’s Karyobin but with the addition of Jamie Muir — the first great free improvising percussionist who didn’t start out as a jazz drummer — and the way-leftfield electronics of Hugh Davies, the MIC leapt right off that cliff.
These six tracks — tight, electric, pointillistic, brilliant, uncompromising and exhilarating — sound like nothing else that came before.
In a word, seminal." - Honest Jon's
The Music Improvisation Company – 1969, 1970
"Quite simply, Company produced some of the most stimulating improvised music you will ever hear." - John Eyles
1982 line-up of Company. Keith Tippett, Fred Frith and George Lewis are joined by concert pianist Ursula Oppens and composer & harpist Anne LeBaron. After playing more frrequently in Japan in the late seventies, Bailey had also invited Motoharu Yoshizawa on bass and Akio Suzuki on assorted instruments like glass harmonica.
Derek Bailey / guitarJulie Tippetts / guitar, voice, fluteMoto Yoshizawa / bassFred Frith / electric guitar, electronics, percussionAkio Suzuki / glass harmonica, spring gong, kikkokiririkiAnne LeBaron / harpKeith Tippett / pianoUrsula Opens / pianoGeorge Lewis / trombonePhil Wachsmann / violin, electronics
Recorded by Jean-Marc Foussat. Produced by Derek Bailey & Evan Parker. Design by Karen Brookman. Financial assistance by The Arts Council.
Company – Epiphany
Where To Now? cordially invite you into Lutto Lento’s ‘Dark Secret World’. After a string of releases on labels such as FTD, Proto Sites, DUNNO Recordnings and ourselves, we now find Polish artist Lubomir Grzelak ready to present a fully realised, full-length distillation of his distinctly exuberant and unique electronic narratives. ‘Dark Secret World’ takes it’s cues from a ridiculously diverse palette of influences… from Dancehall, Jungle, and American Sacred Hymns to more abstract influences such as Goosebumps, Caribbean magic beliefs, Rudolf Steiner, and Disney’s ‘The Godess of Spring’. Upon initial digestion of these influences your initial reaction is probably that this is an amalgamation of voices which appear too diverse to entwine, but for those who know Lutto’s work will also know that it’s exactly this psychedelic and wild stirring pot of source material partnered with Lubomir’s precise percussive and improvised sample led persuasions that make him stand out as a unique and flourishing figure in electronic music. ‘Dark Secret World’ is certainly a mystical trip, with Lubomir conversing with and pooling from a sampled palette that is ultimately a deep, personal, dark and twisted tale of horror and intrigue, melding this gambit with his signature air of light & wildly percussive beat led playfulness has allowed him to create something wholly other. ‘Dark Secret World’ stands as an expertly and clearly painstakingly crafted 43 minute movement through ethereal & fantastical unfamiliar realms to sudden sweeps of the totally familiar where rewinds, heavy breaks, bass waves, whistles, airhorns, sirens, etc weave together to form an album which is both extremely odd yet totally cohesive and absorbing.
Where to Now, 2017
Lutto Lento – Dark Secret World
Saltern present a remastered edition of Yoshi Wada’s The Appointed Cloud (1987), a work which Wada has often said is his favorite of his own. Staged at the Great Hall of the New York Hall of Science, The Appointed Cloud was Wada’s first large-scale, interactive installation and featured a custom pipe organ, among other homemade instruments, controlled by a computer equipped with a customized interface and software designed by engineer David Rayna, known for his work with La Monte Young. This recording captures the opening performance for which Wada brought together four musicians on bagpipes (Wada, Bob Dombrowski, and Wayne Hankin) and percussion (Michael Pugliese) to perform with the installation, operated by David Rayna. In Wada’s own words: “This performance [of The Appointed Cloud] was one of the most memorable performances I've done. The space itself—the Great Hall of the New York Hall of Science—was incredible. The building was designed for the 1964-65 World’s Fair and had spaceships hanging from the ceiling so people felt like they were traveling in outer space. It was an amazing experience with the sound of the pipe organ, sheet metal, pipe gong, and bagpipes all together. 60 minutes may seem like a long duration, but it didn't feel like it.”
Composed by Yoshi Wada Sound installation instruments—pipe organ, sirens, tall sheet metal, pipe gong, etc.—provided by Yoshi Wada Computer interface engineering and software: David Rayna Bagpipes: Yoshi Wada, Bob Dombrowski, and Wayne Hankin Timpani and tam-tam: Michael Pugliese Recorded live by John Driscoll on November 8, 1987 Digital transfer by Sonicraft A2DX Lab Mastered by Stephan Mathieu ---
Yoshi Wada – The Appointed Cloud
Black Truffle is pleased to announce the first-ever vinyl reissue of Remko Scha’s Guitar Mural 1 featuring The Machines, originally published as a rare cassette edition by Taal Beeld Geluid in 1982. A computational linguist by profession, Scha played an important role in the development of sound, installation, and digital art in the Netherlands from the late 1970s onward, co-founding the performance and exhibition space Het Appolohuis in Eindhoven in 1980. Alongside Paul Panhuysen and Jan Van Riet, Scha was a founding member of the radical improvisation group The Maciunas Ensemble, though he is best known for his work with mechanised electric guitars, documented on the legendary 1982 LP Machine Guitars. Guitar Mural 1 documents an installation of Scha’s mechanical guitar ensemble The Machines held at a Groningen gallery space in 1982. Five electric guitars hang from the wall, their strings sounded by rotating rubber strings and a sabre saw controlled by a mechanical apparatus, as well as four ropes criss-crossing the five instruments on the wall. Once the mechanism was set up, Scha’s only intervention was to vary the speed at which it operated. Where Machine Guitars presents short excerpts clearly distinguished by rhythmic and timbral variation, here we are confronted with four enormous side-long slabs of percussive string attack and the resulting clouds of harmonics. Variation is minimal across the duration of each side, making for a sculptural listening experience, as if we are patiently examining each facet of a static object. But significant variety exists between the four sides, each of which shows off a different facet of what The Machines were capable of. The first two excerpts feature open strings sounded at rapid tempos, dissolving the percussive attack into a continuous stream of sound reminiscent of Charlemagne Palestine’s ‘strumming’ technique. On the third side, the strings are partly muted and the tempo slightly lowered, resulting in layers of relentlessly chugging rhythm somewhere between an ensemble of hand drums and an early Velvet Underground bootleg. On the fourth side, havoc breaks loose in percussive waves of asynchronous repetition that bring Scha’s sound world close to that of another pioneer experiment in musical mechanisation, the Solar Music of Joe Jones. Presented as a limited edition 2LP set in a deluxe gatefold sleeve accompanied by stunning visual documentation of the original installation, remastered audio and new liner notes from Alan Licht and Van Lagestein, Guitar Mural 1 is an exhilarating document occupying a unique space between kinetic sculpture, hardcore minimalism and rock & roll.
Black Truffle, 2021
Remko Scha – Guitar Mural 1 feat. The Machines
Black Truffle is pleased to announce the latest offering from underground legend Richard Youngs. Hyperactive since the late 1980s, Youngs is widely celebrated for his remarkably extensive and varied body of recordings. His works range freely over a vast terrain, wandering from tender acoustic balladry to raging psychedelic noise and orchestral D-beat, always imbued with his distinctive, often mournful, melodic sensibility and irrepressible sense of joyous experimentation. Comprised of two side-long pieces, CXXI carried on the experiments with chance operations used to generate material on many of Youngs’ recent releases. On ‘Tokyo Photograph’, a slowly changing, randomly generated sequence of 121 minor chords played by sine waves and accented with a brushed snare hit on every change provides the harmonic foundation for Youngs’ fragile yet impassioned vocal performance, shards of field recordings and electronics and Sophie Cooper’s long, tape-echoed trombone notes. While the melancholic drift of the chords calls up prime Robert Wyatt sides like Old Rottenhat or Dondestan, only the most vestigial sense of song remains here, as Youngs arranges his minimal ingredients over a spacious fifteen-minute expanse that often drops to nothing more than the rich hum of sine waves. ‘The Unlearning’ carries on directly from the first side, presenting another, more harmonically varied, sequence of randomly generated chords played by sine waves, distressed with tape echo flourishes and sparsely sprinkled with electronic touches. Like some of Youngs’ most single-minded instrumental works in recent years, such as his recordings of foot-played guitar or his shakuhachi pieces, ‘The Unlearning’ is deeply meditative but entirely remote from ambient or minimalist cliches. Named after the number of chord changes on the opening piece and (Chicago-style) the number of records Youngs has released, CXXI arrives in a striking monochrome sleeve featuring play-along chord charts for both pieces. Both rigorously conceptual and endearingly off-the-cuff, CXXI is classic Richard Youngs.
Black Truffle, 2021
Richard Youngs – CXXI
Maxed out and burning hot nasty, Electric Rag brings together the electric organs, electronics and alto sax of Jean-Luc Guionnet, with the closely amplified drums and percussion of Will Guthrie.
After years of playing together in the minimalist pointillist free jazz noise core trio ‘The Ames Room’ (with Clayton Thomas on bass) Electric Rag offers up another point of view on a musical history of nearly 15 years of playing together.The 8 titles of Electric Rag draw on their various experience in electronic music, free improvisation and experimental sound research, however the music is deeply rooted in their love of jazz, in its most potent, aggressive and antisocial form.
Jean-Luc Guionnet & Will Guthrie – Electric Rag
It appears that the award-winning composer is here joined by their Curl collective in ‘Blue Alibi’ for an album that almost preternaturally collapses the vernacular of grunge rock, free jazz, indie-pop, rap, and chamber music, into scenes limned with the skill of a proper soundtrack scorer. At this point we’re just going to refer to this style as Mica Music, because for all intents and purposes, there’s just nobody making anything quite like it in the modern sphere. It’s the type of music that would puzzle a computer tasked with classifying its taxonomy, all asymmetric, bittersweetly discordant and metered off-centre in a way that defies categorisation.
While there’s no explicit mention of lockdown fuckries, aside from Brother May’s “middle finger to Boris Johnson and all the cops now” on the album’s bitterly puckered ace ‘Om Om Om Om’, the album’s sore blue pallor certainly feels like it was sculpted by the experience, or is implicitly realised as a salve for it. From the scratchy, free-jazz Company-isms and deadpan vox of ‘Whack’, to the mumbly introspection of ‘Rose’, thru the Sub-pop styles of ‘Liquorice’, and exquisite nap anxiety ambient in ‘Monk’ and ‘Blue Shit’, or the devastating torpor of ‘Waves’ and biley reflux of Flying Nun-esque guitars in ‘Outro’, it’s an ideal soundtrack to miserable, locked down times.
Mica Levi – Blue Alibi
Space Afrika follow last year's heartbreaking x perception-bending mixtape "hybtwibt?" with an anxious patchwork of drill bass, reflective musique concrete and after-hours surrealism >> singular deep headspace exploration to file alongside Mark Leckey, Perila, Burial or Klein. Assembled to accompany a short film from Manchester-born visual artist, poet and filmmaker Tibyan Mahawah Sanoh, Joshua Inyang and Joshua Tarelle’s newest is a cinematic audit of identity and ancestry. In the film, Sanoh works hard to visually illustrate an honest and vulnerable picture of her soul. Inyang and Tarelle respond by doing the same with sound, collaging disparate elements together in a way that should be familiar to anyone who heard "hybtwibt?" or their jawdropping RA mix from earlier this year. Warped field recordings, overdriven rhythmic pressure, syrupy pads and disorienting vocals are cut and pasted over each other, generating a living, breathing study of the duo's Northern working class Black British reality. Unlike the duo's acclaimed "Somewhere Decent To Live" full-length, elements mutate and transform: mushy noise bends into street sounds, haunted vocals into echoing drill melancholia and muffled howls into shattered digital remnants. The main event is the full 10-minute soundtrack, that's layered with Sanoh's disorienting and deeply personal poetry and echoes Mark Leckey's recent "In This Lingering Twilight Sparkle". Then the EP is bumped up with three sketches from the same sessions, two of which never made it to the final mixdown. 'Version 3' is a particular highlight, pasting heartbreaking piano and blowtorched vocal loops over winding drill bass > sounds like Burial remixing Unknown T into pure syrup.
Space Afrika – Untitled (To Describe You) [OST]
"Discrepant presents another unique document of Kink Gong's aka Laurent Jeanneau's collection of surreal soundscapes of augmented field recordings, this time turning into his love/hate relationship with China into a mesmerising and unique soundscape of unclassifiable music.
“Before becoming KINK GONG I had different names, one of my projects, designed by cultural circumstances in China at the beginning of the 21st Century, was DIAN LONG (electric dragon in Chinese). Starting a very long trip to nowhere I landed in Shanghai in 2000, with my gear in my bag in order to make music and recordings of whatever. Faced with the cruel tendency of modern China to reject tradition and embrace full on bling bling culture, my option was to attack this music industry commercial flavour by destroying it. I had in my bag a faithful portable CD player who knew how to turn syrup into crystal. Later, reaching Yunnan in 2001, I discovered the reality away from the bling bling of eastern towns and did a realistic soundscape of it.”"
Kink Gong – DIAN LONG: Soundscape China / Destruction of Chinese Pop
Over the past several years, the recorded output of Carl Stone has been turned on its head. In previous decades, Stone perennially toured new work but kept a harboring gulf of time between the live performances and their recorded release. This not only reflected the careful consideration of the pieces and technical innovations that went into the music but also the largely academic-minded audience that was themselves invested in the history and context of the work. The time span of Stone's recorded output in both sheer musical duration and year range was generously expansive. Following multiple historical overviews of Stone's work on Unseen Worlds and a re-connection with a wider audience, the time between Stone's new work in concert and on record has grown shorter and shorter until there is now almost no distance at all. Stone's work has often at its core explored new potential within popular cultural musics, simultaneously unspooling and satisfying a pop craving. On Stolen Car, the forms of Carl Stone's pieces have also become more compact, making for a progressive new stage in Stone's career where he is not only creating out of pop forms but challenging them.
Stolen Car is the gleeful, heart racing sound of hijack, hotwire, and escape. Stone carries the easy smirk and confidence of a car thief just out of the can, a magician in a new town setting up a game of balls and cups. With each track he reaches under the steering wheel and yanks a fistful of wires. Boom, the engine roars to life, the car speeds off into the sunset, the cups are tipped over, the balls, like the car, are gone. "These tracks were all made in late 2019 and 2020, much of when I was in pandemic isolation about 5000 miles from my home base of Tokyo. All are made using my favorite programming language MAX. However distinct these two groupings might be they share some common and long-held musical concerns. I seek to explore the inner workings of the music we listen to using techniques of magnification, dissection, granulation,, anagramization, and others. I like to hijack the surface values of commercial music and re-purpose them offer a newer, different meaning, via irony and subversion." - Carl Stone, Los Angeles, September 2020
Unseen Worlds, 2021
Carl Stone – Stolen Car
Latest in a standout line of collaborations between Japanese dynamo Haino, ingenious synthesist O’Rourke, and limitless shredder Ambarchi, was recorded on the night that Hideo Ikeezumi - a titan of Japanese psychedelic and experimental music, and long-term collaborator with Haino - passed away in February, 2017. In effect a bardo-like soundtrack of sorts, the results can’t help but remind us to Gaspar Noe’s use of Jean-Claude Eloy’s music in ‘Enter The Void’ as much as their own reference to David Behrman’s ‘Wave Train’ as the trio follow their nose along the axes of ‘Each side has a depth of 5 seconds A polka dot pattern in horizontal array A flickering that moves vertically’ to plumb deeply psychedelic, other dimensions and planes of existence.
The album is dominated by the sidereal scope of its side-long ‘Introduction’, where each member elides their respective electronics into an insoluble fluid mass of roiling white noise and starscreaming timbre where it’s difficult, and unnecessary, to pick out who’s doing what. However Haino takes the lead on the other side’s three-part suite, proper; piping up with spine-tracing effect on the suona (a Chinese double-reed horn) over O’Rourke’s descending synths and Ambarchi’s Leslie cabinet amp hum in ‘Part I’ and steering them into shattered bleeps, before the more concise ‘Part II’ erupts with angular free jazz drum machines and wrenched guitar squall, and ‘Part III’ passes out into space music recalling Rafael Toral.
Presented in a deluxe gatefold sleeve with artwork and design by Lasse Marhaug and an inner sleeve with live pics by Ujin Matsuo.
Black Truffle, 2021
Keiji Haino, Jim O'Rourke, Oren Ambarchi – Each side has a depth of 5 seconds A polka dot pattern in horizontal array A flickering that moves vertically
Very special release from filmmaker Lucia Nimcová and sound artist Sholto Dobie. Highly reccomended.
"I first discovered khroniky – Ukranian folk songs – in the Highlands of Scotland. I was watching a screening of Bajka, a mesmerising documentary made by the filmmaker Lucia Nimcová and sound artist Sholto Dobie. I knew nothing about these ballads beforehand, but I was fascinated by these odd, beautiful songs, especially the easy way in which they mixed misery and levity, where gentle melodies blend with tales of dark violence. The folk songs describe hardship, murder, torture, death in gulags, heavy drinking, outsmarting men, love affairs. But they’re often very funny too – many of the songs make fun of marriage, and there’s an amazing subcategory of khroniky songs called potka (vagina) songs.The khroniky have never been properly documented because they were considered too crude, or contained lyrics that were problematic, politically. When Ukrainian folk songs have been archived in the past, it’s normally a sanitised, more polite version of the ones that Lucia remembers from her childhood. Lucia grew up on the other side of the Ukrainian border in Slovakia. She is part of the Rusyn (Ruthenian) minority ethnic group found in the borderlands of Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Ukraine and Poland. Rusyn is a centuries-old Slavic language, looked down upon as a poor, uneducated dialect by the neighbouring Ukraine and Slovakia. It was forbidden to talk about Rusyn culture at Nimcova’s primary school, but the khroniky stayed in her memories.“I remember weddings when I was young,” says Lucia, who now lives in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia. “At the end of the night, when everyone was drunk and the young couple would go around their guests, people would sing in Rusyn. There was singing and dancing, and songs about being in prison or falling in love. I picked up the lyrics and sometimes my mum would make my sister and I sing them for people we met on the train. I was about five or six but the lyrics still come back when I sing to my kids.”Determined that these rich, nuanced, unique songs shouldn’t be forgotten, she decided to record them. Over two years, Lucia, joined by experimental musician Sholto Dobie, visited Rusyn villages high in the Carpathian mountains to rediscover the songs and make the documentary. It was at the beginning of war breaking out in Ukraine in 2014.“The Rusyn community is a very closed one,” explains Lucia. “Sometimes we’d have to wait several days to hear someone sing; we had to earn their trust before they shared something very personal to them. We’d stay up ‘til 5am at a wedding, then go straight to a morning baptism, or collect haystacks with the villagers, hoping they’d sing while they were working.”DILO is named after an important independent Ukrainian daily newspaper that was shut down when the Red Army entered Lviv in 1939. The four long tracks on DILO blur field recordings with song; an unpolished, privileged glimpse into a private world. We hear dogs barking and insects buzzing in the summer heat, then a blast of hurdy gurdy or violin will drift in, or a plaintive song soars softly over the rural background noise, with casually harrowing lyrics about a cuckoo, “lifeless in a world of misery”, as translated in the album’s booklet.For both Lucia and Sholto, it was important not to tamper too much with what they heard. “When you think about ethnography,” Lucia explains, “you have to have a lot of time, love and respect to document it with sensitivity.”“The songs all have their own atmosphere and intimacy from the spaces they were recorded in and it was important to maintain these particularities and move with them,” adds Sholto, who now lives in Vilnius, Lithuania. “They guide and sometimes interrupt a journey between interiors – domestic spaces; in kitchens, by the fire – and exteriors; marketplaces, cow sheds. We used contact microphones to record metal bridges and fences, and we spent one afternoon recording a wool processing machine, the details of the rattling and tuning wheels are the ground layer for the third track.”Lucia took rough notes and diary entries during the recording process, which are now shared in the booklet alongside a selection of lyrics, loosely translated, but revealing the depth and astonishing beauty that sometimes lies in the language of these folk songs.The feel of the album is intimate, flipping between laughter, where a woman sings about selling her pussy to buy a cow in one track, then shifts to a raw, painful truth; an adult son asks his mother why his dad won’t be back for dinner, as he’s gone to war.Since Lucia and Sholto began working together in 2014, they have shared the audio recordings on radio and film and shown photos in gallery spaces, making sure these special, smutty, poignant songs don’t get lost. This new record and booklet joins that same continuum, another glorious fruit from the same rare tree. "
Concept, photography, notes, and research by Lucia Nimcováwww.luco.skRecorded and mixed by Sholto Dobiesoundcloud.com/sholtodobieDesign by Ondrej Jóbwww.setuptype.comMastered by Tomáš Vtípil / dinn (dinn is not noise)www.vtipil.czWords by Claire Sawersclairesawers.comPhotography by Lukáš Rohárikbit.ly/2QT4r49Released by mappa as MAP025 in 2021This project has been supported using public funds provided by Slovak Arts Council.
Lucia Nimcová & Sholto Dobie – DILO
The new Sarah Davachi record is an 80 minute, 17 track double album meditation on impermanence and endings, framed by minimalistic organ études and careful harmonic layering. On two tracks the artist’s own vocals are also heard for the first time. This is the first release on the artist’s own label, Late Music.
Just as we thought Sarah Davachi couldn't tug our heartstrings any harder, she inaugurates her new label Late Music with "Cantus, Descant", a two LP set containing some of the wooziest, most affecting organ music we've heard to date. The entire album is an exploration of the unique, individual character of her instruments as she harnesses the power of various pipe organs in Canada, Europe and the USA as well as the electric organ, Mellotron and a handful of other elements. This gives the tracks an impossibly human feel as subtle tones wind and fall with elegance, and unpredictable grace. It's not even that Davachi is exactly attempting to center her work as anathema to a world fogged by emotionally empty scambient and bone-dry modular drone, but these tracks are so animated that it's hard not to feel awed by what's so often missing.
'The Pelican' is an early highlight, using the Mellotron's unmistakable tape loops to add a layer of Morricone-esque melancholy to the mix. Elsewhere, album centerpiece 'Play The Ghost' drowns echoing vocals in reverb, sounding like distant prog-gaze beamed in from another parallel timeline. "Cantus, Descant" is a special album, whisper soft but pointed and intentional. Sarah Davachi is among the most gifted composers operating right now and this album is a celebration of the old and the new that speaks assuredly to the complex simplicity of tone itself. We're floored.
Late Music, 2021
Sarah Davachi – Cantus, Descant
Rhythm has always been central to Fell’s work, from his icy, repetitive minimalist excursions with SND to his legendary run of unashamedly funked abstract house experiments as Sensate Focus. Here, he continues to excavate that rich seam with an ongoing collaboration with Aussie percussionist Will Guthrie; “Diffractions” pushing both artists’ interests into sharper detail, toying with polyrhythms and unusual tuning to uncover a suite of transformative fidget spins and sonic storm clouds.
“Diffractions” features another two lengthy pieces of future-facing percussive abstractions that blur the line between synthetic and organic. Taking the influence of gamelan and fusing it with the heaving computer music that Fell has obsessively picked-at over the last four decades, the duo here zoom into a sound that’s almost effortlessly engaging; each piece is almost twenty minutes in length but they shift and mutate into polyrhythmic outer-realms and eerie universes of microtonality that are hard to fathom in one sitting.
There are trace echoes of free jazz hanging from the rafters, the post-everything clatter of Humcrush and Food drummer Thomas Strønen’s mind-expanding solo material or even Autechre at their most confounding. The genius here is that just when you convince yourself that this music could only possibly have been generated by a computer, Guthrie’s unmistakably human flex edges into focus - playing with your perception - your expectations - in the most bold, innovative way imaginable. Basically, this record fucking rules.
Mark Fell and WIll Guthrie – Diffractions
A singular exercise in Will Guthrie's discography, “People Pleaser”, a series initiated in 2017, sees the Australian partially put down his drumsticks and wear a producer cap for a result offering a resolutely singular perspective of / on his work with a very personal dimension.
On the first volume, with a cover signed Stephen O'Malley sets the tone by diverting the chamaré Warhol influenced visual of the album “Unit Structures” by Cecil Taylor. The portrait of the free jazz pianist has been replaced by passport photos of Guthrie. The result is a diversion into a fairly “Pop” aesthetic whose musical content works in a fairly similar way.
Four years later, the cover art's undertones are slightly darker and Guthrie hasn't aged a bit on his new passport photo. The twelve tracks of this second “People Pleaser” combine and arrange field recordings, heady loops, twists, musical quotes stuck on bedside records, recorded moments captured during travels, ghosty voices from low-fi lands, a police interview tape and imagined exotic sounds ... Guthrie could walk us for hours on his hard drive like looking at a photo album but he chose to build pieces based on this very personal sound material, much like a mixtape, with special care given to how sounds articulate, overlap and collide. He thus invites his heroes and his friends to join him in skilfully chiseled and finely edited imaginary jams.
The first to take pleasure in this “People Pleaser” is undoubtedly its author as some of his finds are enjoyably playful; we are there embarked in an addictive sound patchwork at high speed where a Balinese Squarepusher is propelled via a defective cathode ray tube in a temple where the happy marriage of the saxophone and the gong is celebrated before this too short respite is interrupted by a sustained hip hop rhythm. The multiplicity and variety of sources give the whole a very pop format and the way in which Guthrie combines sounds, textures, rhythms and vocal elements quickly takes on a narrative dimension and poses this exercise between hip hop and a very personal plunderphonic, evoking as much J Dilla or RZA as the irreverent inventiveness of People Like Us or Wobbly.Will Guthrie has never been in as good company as on a solo album, he also lists on the cover the list of friends, heroes, members of his family and countries who inspired him and to whom he pays homage / collage on this new disc; An aesthetic exercise apart in his discography, both infinitely personal and self-centered and resolutely turned towards what animates him, the aptly named “People Pleaser” reveals the music DNA of the Australian and can be listened to on repeat.
Will Guthrie – People Pleaser Pt.II
Thomas Bonvalet is a self-taught multi-instrumentalist. Having commenced his vocation as a bassist he cemented it as a guitarist at the heart of the band Cheval de Frise (1998-2004). Progressively straying from the guitar, he began to integrate foot tapping and various wind and percussive instruments into his performance, incorporating mechanical elements and stray amped-up objects into the soundscape. This formed the guiding principle of his solo project, L'ocelle mare, initiated in 2005, and continues to form the core of his instrumentation.
The release of Serpentement in 2012 marked the end of a cycle of four progressive stages, homogeneous but distinct from one another, released with successive regularity, proceeding with the elaboration of his singular set up, implicating the human body into a simultaneity of associated gestures and sonic tools and forming a commonality of timbres and tremors. This structure remained fluid and adaptable, finding a balance which lent itself quite naturally to collaborations, entering into the fields of improvisation, folk, rock and contemporary music. In recent years Bonvalet has collaborated, most notably, with Powerdove, Arlt, Radikal Satan, Jean Luc Guionnet, Arnaud Rivière, Will Guthrie, Gaspar Claus, Daunik Lazro, Fred Jouanlong and Sylvain Lemètre.
Without renouncing his solo work, his interruption from it has allowed a slower and more elastic evolution, permitting ancient shapes to gradually metamorphose. In this way new compositions successively articulated themselves in an almost self-determining manner.
Temps En Terre is the fifth album release from L'ocelle Mare, and the first to have been recorded in a studio. The preceding releases were characterised by a marked acoustic: the echoey reverberations inherent to Serpentement were thanks to the protestant temple it was recorded in; Engourdissement was entirely recorded in forest expanses, upon ponds and enclosed within remote wood cabins; Porte d'Octobre was recorded entirely in urban spaces; and his first, unnamed album was entirely recorded in caves and churches. The pieces forming Temps en Terre however, are recorded under a harsher gaze, presented in far cruder light, comparable to that of a live recording.
The instrumentation is composite, rustic, yet paradoxically sophisticated: piano, 6 string bass banjo, mechanical metronome, tuning forks, claves, hand and foot clapping and tapping, mini amps, amps, subwoofer, microphones, small mix desk, bells, mouth organ fragments, concertina, componiums, "stringin it", audio ducker, drum skins, clockwork motors...
Kythibong - 2018
L'OCELLE MARE – Temps En Terre