Avant-Garde / Contemporary

353 products

Showing 1 - 24 of 353 products
Hidden Rung - Happier (CS+DL)Hidden Rung - Happier (CS+DL)
Hidden Rung - Happier (CS+DL)Good Morning Tapes
Matthew Linares aka Hidden Rung makes his solo debut on Good Morning Tapes. Having previously released on the label as a member of Pataphysical, Matthew is no stranger to the wizardry of GMT. "Happier" charts into uncanny territory, with it's deep, dubby sonics and fleeting spoken dialogue treading the line somewhere between a familiar land and a new and slightly unnerving horizon. Really lovely stuff. We can't get enough. Highly recommended every time!
Merzbow - Door Open At 8 AM (Remastered + Bonus Tracks) (2LP)Merzbow - Door Open At 8 AM (Remastered + Bonus Tracks) (2LP)
Merzbow - Door Open At 8 AM (Remastered + Bonus Tracks) (2LP)Aurora Central
Limited edition of 200 copies. Merzbow is a Japanoise legend who has been advocating and practicing thoroughgoing ahimsa. This is the first analogue/cassette version of their very popular CD-only release "Door Open At 8 AM" released in 1999. Recorded at his home studio, Bedroom, Tokyo, in April/May 1998 using EMS VCS3, EMS Synthi 'A', Moog Rogue, Theremin, etc., this is a career-defining album. Recorded around the same time as one of Merzbow's most adventurous works, Aqua, it pays homage to the free jazz musicians he admires. Tony Williams and John Coltrane were also sampled. Remastered at Munemihouse in 2020. Remastered at Munemihouse in 2020 with new artwork by himself. Includes additional bonus tracks.
Anja Lauvdal, Joakim Heibø - All My Clothes (LP)
Anja Lauvdal, Joakim Heibø - All My Clothes (LP)Actions For Free Jazz
This is the first release in a series of albums on Smalltown Supersound with Norwegian freeform pianist Anja Lauvdal. On All My Clothes Lauvdal teamed up with her friend, the reclusive and now retired (?) Norwegian drummer Joakim Heibø for a session in the great tradition of piano and drums at Flerbruket Studios at Hemnes outside of Oslo. The result is 4 untitled tracks and 42 minutes of spontaneous compositions and melancholic ecstacy - and one of the strongest statements in the label's 20+ years history of releasing free-music. Fun fact: Anja Lauvdal is from the small town Flekkefjord in the south of Norway where Smalltown Supersound were founded - and from the age of 12 she was following the label's free jazz output - so it is really something of a full circle when she now debuts on Smalltown Supersound with a free jazz album. Anja Lauvdal (born 1987) has collaborated with Jenny Hval (both live and on records), Hamid Drake, William Parker as well as members of The Necks. This is the first release under her own name. Recently Lauvdal compiled a double album of Norwegian improvised music titled Frijazz mot rasisme (Free Jazz against Racism). She also runs Oslo’s festival for improvised music All Ears that takes place at the Munch Museum in Oslo. All My Clothes was recorded by Magnus Nergaard. Mixed and mastered by Lasse Marhaug. Artwork by Kim Hiorthøy.
Merzbow - Hybrid Noisebloom (2LP)Merzbow - Hybrid Noisebloom (2LP)
Merzbow - Hybrid Noisebloom (2LP)Urashima
Merzbow stands as the most important artist in noise music. The moniker of Japanese artist Masami Akita was born in Tokyo in 1979. Inspired by dadaism and surrealism, Akita took the name for his project from German artist Kurt Schwitters's pre-war architectural assemblage The Cathedral of Erotic Misery or Merzbau. Working in his home, he quickly gained notoriety as a purveyor of a musical genre composed solely of pure, unadulterated noise. Embracing technology and the machine, first in an absolutely analog way and then welcoming digital innovation, Merzbow broke boundaries and pushed toward new territories of the extreme, arriving at a sonic space of uncontaminated, straight noise that, from its base in Tokyo, has continued, now for over 40 years, to set the pace for the entire genre of noise. When it comes to Japanese noise, few projects have pushed boundaries or risen to a more iconic status than Merzbow. Hybrid Noisebloom, originally issued by Vinyl Communications on CD in 1997, is the latest in this trilling bread crumb trail. It is also the first time that this seminal document from Merzbow’s '90s period has ever appeared on vinyl. Composed and performed on EMS and Moog Synthesizers, Theremin, Metal Devices, Noise Electronics, and Voice, all recorded at extreme volumes, Hybrid Noisebloom's five tracks present a fascinating sonic assault, heavily driven by the presence of electronic sounds, played against the sparse interjections of Akita’s heavily processed vocals, that push toward new territories of the extreme, while subtly nodding toward historical gestures from the early years of the avant-garde. A side opens with Plasma Birds comprising a series of banner that investigate timbral relationships, the fragmentation of melody, and abrasive, provocative noise - shifting from the sparse, airy, and restrained, to dance clusters of interplay and back again. Follows enclosed in just over ten minutes, Minotaurus, finding a strange middle ground between the intuitive logics of their instruments; synth and electronics taking on decidedly percussive approaches, while metal device’s fractured polyrhythms and beats often veer toward the presence of a notable tonality. B side is filled with a single long track, Mouse Of Superconcetion, formed by screeches and from swinging and chugging to stepped back and sparse combinations of rhythm and tone - moving from the lingering sensibilities of straight-ahead synth to radically out hard blow fire. Launching from a total wall of sound, C side track Neuro Electric Butterfly takes the listening on an endlessly surprising journey through its devices’ inner world, shifting between airy open passages that feature endless combinations of one or more effects, to furious moments of sonorous lashings where the sound falls in together in brilliant dialogical periods of conversant texture and psychedelic intervention. Closes The Imaginary Coversation Of Blue embedding bristling fragments, percolating tones, and poignant dissonances within a sweeping field of echoes rumbles and drones, taking sonic abstraction to startling heights. Despite its undeniable intensity, Hybrid Noisebloom is arguably one of Merzbow’s most accessible and engaging releases. Noise at its best - sophisticated and refined, more than twenty-five years after it first appeared, this album is long overdue for a return to the world, retaining every bit of potency and power as the day it was laid to tape. Never before available on vinyl, this beautiful pressing is issued as a deluxe double vinyl LP edition, limited to 299 copies. Needless to say, we can’t possibly recommend it enough.
Merzbow / Lawrence English - Merzbow Mix Tape (CS)
Merzbow / Lawrence English - Merzbow Mix Tape (CS)Room40
Masami Akita is one of the most influential noise artists of our time. Known as Merzbow, Akita has developed a recognisable sound with his harsh, confrontational and abrasive sonic emittance. Lawrence English is a curator of sound, vision and thought. As the founder of Room40, English has released countless records and has worked alongside some of the most notable and adorned sound pioneers of our time – in turn becoming one himself. To coincide with Akita and English’s involvement in issue 02, English compiled a Merzbow Mixtape of hidden gems from Merzbow’s expansive archive.
Mats Gustafsson - Contra Songs (LP)
Mats Gustafsson - Contra Songs (LP)Actions For Free Jazz
Liner notes by Mats Gustafsson: Alone at night. Large church room. Lots of air. Stone. Wood. Glass. Quietness. Stillness. The dead and the alive. Surroundedness. Existentialistic matters spinning. Peaceful state of mind. The dialectic equilibrium of complete stillness and deeper thoughts on contra- resistance on local and global levels. Fighting (y)our stupidities. Contra. I have never ever before gotten myself into such an unusual setting for a recording project. And yet, so simple. So naked. So peaceful. Alone at night. As we all are. I borrowed the keys to the beautiful church of Gustafsberg, from my neighbor Rune. I went there at midnight. Set up my recording gear. Old school DAT machine, tube pre-amps and two AKG 414s in an extreme stereo set-up, close to the horn. The horn of choice. The contrabass sax. The monstrous sax-machine “Tubax” made by the German engineer Benedikt Eppelsheim at the turn of the century. I sat down in the first row of benches. Breathing. Preparing. Contemplating. The saxophone positioned in the very middle of the church, close to the altar. More than 6 hours straight of low-end sax noise and many breaks later: the sun set. At around 7 am… I was done. I was alone the whole night. And yet, not all alone. Some things were going on in that church. In that room. I kid you not. Never audible. But strongly felt. Whatever presence of the old or new gods - old and new dreams - it effected the music and my mind. I let it happen. I let it all flow. Alone at night. There is nothing to explain. -Mats Gustafsson 2003/ 2021
Michael Anklin - Mekonium (LP)
Michael Anklin - Mekonium (LP)Sais Records
Mekonium is Michael Anklin’s solo debut. He is a drummer, electronic musician and producer living in Switzerland. To expand his sound spectrum, he uses field recordings, analog synthesizer, tape machines, as well as self-constructed instruments and sound objects. His sound is characterized by prepared acoustic drums, various objects and sound manipulations. Anklin collaborates with artists such as Dim Grimm, Kilchhofer, Janiv Oron and Wordcolour. He is one of the founding members of the open structured band «UFO» and the science-fiction ritual band «Liebeslied». He produces music for theater, dance and sound installations. Inspired by the pureness of ritual and traditional music, Mekonium sounds like a documentation of a fictional ceremony. Topics such as temporal consciousness, minimalism and anti-virtuosity as well as sounds barely perceptible by our auditory system influenced the production process Drones, soundscapes and slowly morphing repetitive patterns establish a state of time. To represent the concept of reduction, each track starts off with a single instrument or sounding object on which the composition slowly started to grow. Like grapes fermented into wine, acoustic sounds developed into different sound manipulations, still preserving the „taste“ of the original sound sources. The Tracks „Exon“ and „Zymosis“ contain a musical deconstruction of Lucas Rössner’s bassoon. Sounds from the Instrument were dissected with different types of microphones and rejoined into a collage. Hagneck, a hydroelectric powerplant next to Lake Biel was stocked with a number of contact microphones resulting in a huge powerful drone which built the fundament of the track. Mekonium deals with the feeling, condition and dilation of time. Musical fragments are played simultaneously at different speed, acoustic sounds were frozen, deformed, stretched and rearranged.
Timothy Archambault - Chìsake (LP)
Timothy Archambault - Chìsake (LP)Ideologic Organ
Chìsake [Algonquin]: to chant; to conjure; to cast a spell; this generally involves a shake-house, or shaking tent, in which the conjurer goes into a trance; the conjurer then has an out-of-body experience, going into the future to predict coming events, or into the past; as well as going into any locality in the universe to seek out someone or something generally practiced for ancestral divination. The unaccompanied flute pieces within this album are adaptations of Anishinaabeg shaking tent chants. The Anishinaabeg also known as Anishinaabe are a group of culturally related Indigenous peoples that reside in areas now called Canada and the United States. They include the Odawa, Saulteaux, Ojibwe (including Mississaugas), Potawatomi, Oji-Cree and Algonquin peoples. The word Anishinaabeg translates to “people from whence lowered”. The Anishinaabeg origin myths describe their people originating by divine breath. The shaking tent or conjuring lodge was the setting for a divinatory rite performed by specially trained shamans otherwise known as Chìsakewininì. During the shaking tent ceremony the Chìsakewininì would construct a special cylindrical framework typically of birch or spruce uprights planted in the ground with respective wood hoops to bind it together. This created a tensile structure of which birch bark, deer skin, or cloth was used as a covering. Rattles of caribou and deer hooves, or cups of lead shot, were tied to the frame. The floor was usually softened with freshly cut spruce boughs. The vertical axis of the shaking tent represents the realm of mediating beings, while the horizontal axis the earth or world of humans. The Chìsakewininì would enter the shaking tent at night and once inside would not be visible from onlookers. The singing of chants and drumming would summon the Chìsakewininì’s spirit helpers, whose arrival was signified by animal cries and erratic tent shaking. During this transcendent state, the Chìsakewininì could dispatch these spirit helpers or Manidò to distant regions to answer questions from the onlookers about the most auspicious places to hunt, the well-being of a distant relative, and what would happen in the future. The chants were usually sung using vocables before, during, and after the Chìsakewininì entered the shaking tent. Like many other similar divination ceremonies, singular or collective, the opening chants begin lyrically. They gradually turn to more reductive abstract structures midway and then end in lyrical chants. This symbolizes the performer and listener leaving the external literal world, entering a more abstract state of mind, and then returning. Traditionally all songs were carved on birch bark for record-keeping with mnemonic pictographs or other marks for future use. Tally mark clustering, sometimes used for song-keeping throughout the Anishinaabeg, is used for this album’s track titles and numerical sequence. The album intro begins with the shaking of a necklace of otter penis bone, fish spine, bear teeth, elk teeth and deer hide, gifted from Algonquin Elder Ajawajawesi. It is meant to focus the listener’s attention before the flute pieces begin. The warble or multi-phonic oscillation prevalent in the middle tracks traditionally represented the “throat rattling” vocalization of the tonic note or sometimes known as the horizon of which the melody floats off of. Due to the repetition of multi-phonic oscillation the performer will breathe erratically creating an altered state correlating with the Chìsakewininì ceremonial actions. All songs are repeated seven times to signify the seven sacred directions: east, south, west, north, above/sky, below/earth, and center. -Timothy Archambault
The Music Improvisation Company - 1969, 1970 (2LP)
The Music Improvisation Company - 1969, 1970 (2LP)Honest Jon's Records
Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, Hugh Davies & Jamie Muir's pointillistic classic as The Music Improvisation Company is the latest in Honest Jon's righteous Incus reissue programme, out now in a handsome gatefold 2LP edition. "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. "The original concepts of vocal and instrumental music are utterly different. The instrumental impulse is not melody in a 'melodious' sense but an agile movement of the hands which seem to be under the control of a brain centre totally different from that which inspires vocal melody. Altogether, instrumental music, with the exception of rudimentary rhythmic percussion, is as a rule a florid, fast and brilliant display of virtuosity... Quick motion is not merely a means to a musical end but almost an end in itself which always connects with the fingers, the wrists and the whole of the body. "The inclusion of the above passage from Curt Sachs' The Wellsprings of Music with this album, the recording of which predates the Music Improvisation Company's only other release, the eponymous ECM outing, indicates a clear intention to stake out territory for European Free Improvisation markedly different from that of the (American) Free Jazz it sprang from. The African-American heritage that led to jazz was melodious, vocal, field holler / church-inflected, and the Germans and the Dutch never made any secret of their affection for it, but British free improvisers in the late 1960s were looking elsewhere. Even so, and though the music press made a big deal a while back about the release of a 1965 rehearsal tape by Derek Bailey's earlier Joseph Holbrooke trio (with Gavin Bryars and Tony Oxley), their early efforts were mere tentative steps along a cliff edge wearing a line safely attached to Coltrane, and there's still a faint but distinct aftertaste of jazz in 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 Hugh Davies and his electronics from way out leftfield in the avant garde / experimental world, the MIC leapt right off that cliff. As Nina Hagen screamed later, "1968 is over! Future is Now!" These six tracks – tight, electric, pointillistic, brilliant, uncompromising and exhilarating – sound like nothing else that came before. In a word, seminal."
Jacques Thollot - Watch Devil Go (LP)
Jacques Thollot - Watch Devil Go (LP)Souffle Continu Records
To write these few lines, we spoke to saxophonist François Jeanneau, an old friend of Jacques Thollot who also played on several of his albums, including the “Watch Devil Go” which interests us here. He told us a story which, according to him, sums up the personality of Thollot. A noted studio had reserved three days for a Thollot recording session. The first morning was devoted to sound checks and putting some order in the score sheets which Jacques would hand out in a somewhat anarchic manner. Then everyone went for lunch. When the musicians returned to the studio, Thollot had disappeared. He wasn’t seen again for the three days. When he reappeared, he had already forgotten why he had left, The music of Jacques Thollot is in the image of its’ author: it takes you somewhere, suddenly escapes and disappears, returning in an unexpected place as if nothing had happened. Four years after a first album on the Futura label in 1971, Jacques Thollot returned, this time on the Palm label of Jef Gilson, still with just as much surrealist poetry in his jazz. In thirty-five minutes and a few seconds, the French composer and drummer, who had been on the scene since he was thirteen, established himself as a link between Arnold Schoenberg and Don Cherry. Resistant to any imposed framework and always excessive, Thollot allows himself to do anything and everything: suspended time of an extraordinary delicacy, a stealthy explosion of the brass section, hallucinatory improvisation of the synthesisers, tight writing, teetering on the classical, and in the middle of all that, a hit; the title-track - that Madlib would one day end up hearing and sampling. “Watch Devil Go” was in the right place in the Palm catalogue, which welcomed the cream of the French avant-garde in the 70s. But it is also the story of a long friendship between two men. Jacques Thollot and Jef Gilson had known and respected one another for a long time. Though barely sixteen years old, Thollot was already on drums on the first albums by Gilson starting in 1963 and would play in his big band (alongside François Jeanneau once again), ‘Europamerica’, until the end of the 70s. In a career lasting half a century and centred on freedom Jacques Thollot played with the most important experimental musicians (Don Cherry, Sonny Sharrock, Michel Roques, Barney Wilen, Steve Lacy, François Tusques, Michel Portal, Jac Berrocal, Noël Akchoté...) and they all heard in him a pulsation coming from another world.
Alain Bellaïche - Sea Fluorescent (LP)
Alain Bellaïche - Sea Fluorescent (LP)Souffle Continu Records

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.
Licensed from Alain Bellaïche.

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…

When, finally, after the fabulous declinations of the title track of the album, we hear a bonus on which Bellaïche sings in French, it is time for a Chacha émotionnel on which offers this horrible confession: “I’m not from around here, I come from a backward country”. Thanks to Souffle Continu, France is finally catching up.

Mixed Band Philanthropist - The Impossible Humane (LP)
Mixed Band Philanthropist - The Impossible Humane (LP)Staubgold
Recorded from 1984 to 1986, The Impossible Humane is the sole album from The New Blockaders side project Mixed Band Philanthropist. Originally released on the German Selektion label in 1987 and impossible to find nowadays, Staubgold makes this rare gem of industrial-goes-musique concrète available again in a strictly limited edition of 400 copies. Furthermore, the reissue contains two bonus tracks taken from the 7" single The Man Who Mistook a Real Woman for His Muse and Acted Accordingly. The album is assembled of exclusive source material by the who's-who of the industrial music scene of the time, including contributions from Nurse With Wound, Organum, Andrew Chalk, The New Blockaders, Etant Donnes, H.N.A.S., P16.D4, Asmus Tietchens, Controlled Bleeding, Smegma, Merzbow, and many more. "A classic chunk of destroyed concrète. Assembled from a variety of musical and spoken sources, this is a nonstop barrage of genius. Filled with headsnapping changes, sexual innuendo and general confusion, it's a totally great listening experience," said The Wire. Idwal Fisher wrote: "This car-crash tape collage still stands today as one of the best examples of the genre. Its perpetual barrage of split-second samples are a dizzying mess of '60s pop songs, scrapes, industrial whirr, uncategorizeable racket, ghostly voices, electronic beebles and burrs, sped-up records, tape whizz, machine rumble, snatches of reggae, bucket damage, kazoo farts, disco spots and about three-thousand or more (I'm guessing) other samples that really shouldn't work, but, by some sleight of hand or genius, actually do. On paper, snatches of steel bands shouldn't be found on the same side of tape as Geordie MCs, Michael Jackson, pneumatic drills, early Merzbow and '50s doo wop, but here they are and it works. Totally. Then comes the added bonus of being able to listen to this to the point of ad nauseam, mainly due to the fact that there are so few reference points that every listen brings something new."
Michael Ranta - MU V / MU VI (LP)Michael Ranta - MU V / MU VI (LP)
Michael Ranta - MU V / MU VI (LP)Asian Sound Records
Original dead stock. "MU V / MU VI" released in 1984 by Michael Ranta (1942-), an American percussionist known for his collaboration with Toshi Ichiyanagi and Takehisa Kosugi on "Improvisation Sep. 1975"! This is a great album recorded and mixed at Conny Plank's Studio in 1984, featuring Mike Lewis and Conny Plank performing the masterpiece "Mu" No. 5 and No. 6.
Michael Ranta - Taiwan Years (CD)
Michael Ranta - Taiwan Years (CD)Metaphon
More than any other of Ranta's releases this album shows his multiple roots and ideas as a composer, percussionist and concrete/electronic musician, building a seamless bridge between Eastern and Western avantgarde. Ranta is one of those rare composers able to organically melt his wide artistic span into a singular but yet diverse universe morphing his rich vocabulary as a percussionist with the Oriental esoteric tradition, the psychedelic underground and the realm of electronic minimalism.
Michael Ranta - The Great Wall / Chanta Khat (CD)
Michael Ranta - The Great Wall / Chanta Khat (CD)Metaphon
Michael Ranta has collaborated with Takehisa Kosugi, Toshi Ichiyanagi, Jean-Claude Eloy, Conny Plank, Mike Lewis, and Hartmut Geerken, just to name a few. He was also assistant to Harry Partch and performer in the Gate 5 Ensemble in the 1960s. Additionally, Ranta performed in Stockhausen's ensemble during the 1970 World Expo in Osaka. Ranta's resume also includes recordings by Helmut Lachenmann, Herbert Brün, Toru Takemitsu, Josef Anton Riedl, Mauricio Kagel, among others. Throughout his extensive recordings and live performances, Ranta has furthered the trajectories of contemporary percussion composition alongside works for tape and electronics. His works are fully immersive which evoke vast spaces, ritual, and create an expansive presence for his accompanying multimedia commissions. For this CD release, two of Ranta's longform pieces are included: "The Great Wall" and "Chanta Khat". Originally scored for the HT Chen Dance Company as a theater production, "The Great Wall" premiered in 1984 at the La MaMa experimental theater in New York. This highly detailed composition for electronics, voice, percussion, and tape offers a massive drone-based accompaniment for Chen's stage presentation of the legend of Meng Jiangnu. Yet, Ranta's composition also creates a fully formed soundtrack that stands beautifully on its own. The atmosphere is very much in the spirit of Kosugi's multimedia masterwork Catch Wave and Jean Clade Eloy's large-scale production Yo-In which also features Ranta. "Chanta Khat" was completed in 1973. An early version of this piece originally premiered as part of a multimedia installation at the 1972 summer Olympics in Munich. This powerful work for tape and electronics includes Ranta's field recordings documenting his travel in Laos during a lunar eclipse earlier that same year. The piece is a haunting and equally frantic work where the local villagers are heard responding quite emotionally and viscerally to the celestial event of the day. "Chanta Khat" was later reworked and remixed in 1973 at the NHK electronic music studio in Tokyo. This version is featured here in its entirety. Packaged in a six-panel digipak with fully remastered and restored audio. Includes detailed notes by Michael Ranta and features new artwork by Timo van Luijk.
Osuwa Daiko & Masahiko Sato - Suwa Ikazuchi (LP)Osuwa Daiko & Masahiko Sato - Suwa Ikazuchi (LP)
Osuwa Daiko & Masahiko Sato - Suwa Ikazuchi (LP)Via Parigi
The Suwa Daiko is a tradition of Kagura (= sacred music and dance) and drums of the SUWA TAISHA Shrine that enshrines the life of the TAKEMINAKATA (= one of god in Japanese mythology). It is a folk performing art that is recorded in an ancient document of the “Koshin-etsu-Senroku (=Koshin-etsu War Record)”. The document says that it is also medieval military music. Shingen TAKEDA(1521-1573), who was a great warlord in 16th-century known for his equestrian corps said to be the strongest in Sengoku period, formed 21 people of Suwa Daiko and raised the spirit and willingness of the Takeda army soldiers by Suwa Daiko at the battle of Kawanakajima (1553-1564). Mr. Daihachi OGUCHI has collected traditional drums with different tones of various sizes and created an original group drum. He opened 15 branches nationwide, 12 branches overseas such as San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Toronto, Singapore etc. and helped spread the Suwa Daiko world wide. Osuwa Daiko Preservation Society is an intangible cultural property that inherits the will of Daihachi OGUCHI. This album was recorded at the Osuwa Daiko Preservation Society dojo in Okaya City, Nagano. One of the two songs is created as DTM by veteran jazz pianist Masahiko SATO (studied at Berklee College of Music in 1966-68 and has many awards). His DTM adds unique musicality to this traditional sound and makes it lively and original. Also, the artwork was licensed to use “Shingen TAKEDA statue” drawn by Tohaku HASEGAWA (=Tohaku HASEGAWA (1539-1610) was the highest painter played an active part from the Azuchi Momoyama to the early Edo period. Now many of his works designated as national treasures.) It is an important cultural property in the Seikei-in Temple at Mt. Koya.
The New Blockaders ‎- Changez Les Blockeurs (LP)The New Blockaders ‎- Changez Les Blockeurs (LP)
The New Blockaders ‎- Changez Les Blockeurs (LP)Urashima
Within the history of noise music, there are few artefacts, as seminal as The New Blockaders' Changez Les Blockeurs. Anyone who has even a casual interest in noise music should need no introduction to The New Blockaders. Hailed by Ron Lessard (of legendary US noise label RRR) as, ‘The first truly devoted noise artists,’ TNB self-released their debut LP in 1982. That original LP is now one of the most sought-after (and expensive) noise records ever. The fact that Changez Les Blockeurs is held in such high esteem by the likes of Steven Stapleton (Nurse With Wound), who was the first person to hear the LP back in 1982 and recently reworked the album as NWW Plays Changez Les Blockeurs, David Jackman (Organum), Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth), Masami Akita (Merzbow), Toshiji Mikawa (Incapacitants) and countless others is testament to its greatness and well-deserved legendary status. Laying in wait for almost 40 years, the LP emerged again in 2004 as a limited edition on the German Vinyl-On-Demand label, and since then has remained rare, elusive, and coveted - until now. 2022 will mark the 40th anniversary (or, more accurately, antiversary) of Changez Les Blockeurs and in celebration of this Urashima is proud to present a limited reissue which has been expertly remastered at Audiplex Studio in Hamburg by Asmus Tietchens, himself a well-know German avant-garde composer. ‘’Changez Les Blockeurs caused a lot of fuss back in the early ’80,with its two ‘tracks’ of disorientating junk noise, squeaks, scrapes and the pitter-patter of rain on a tin roof. Lumps of metal get thrown around in a bid to resurrect the ghost of Tristan Tzara, two invalids in wheelchairs fencing with broken car aerials, two elephants fencing on bicycles, two squeaky wheelchairs fighting over a slack spring, it could or an army of tin men dismantling a Jean Tinguely sculpture while bouncing around on pogo sticks in need of 3-in-1. We’ll never know, and that’s half of the appeal. Changez Les Blockeurs sounds like nothing else before or since. It’s magnificent in its absurdity. Its construct is simple but yet devastatingly effective. Today you’d be hard pressed to find anyone involved in Noise who doesn’t cite TNB as an influence. ‘’Mark Wharton Pressed on 100% black virgin vinyl to ensure optimum audio quality, Changez Les Blockeurs is a true wonder to behold. A beautifully presented LP which includes a 12”x12” insert, limited to just 199 copies. Absolutely essential.
Andrea Centazzo - Ictus (LP)
Andrea Centazzo - Ictus (LP)Wah Wah Records
A real masterpiece....dreamy improvised music with eastern influences and electronics!! "Before his magnificent experiments with electronic music on Elektrictus (previously reissued on Wah Wah), Andrea Centazzo was already an accomplished musician who had issued his recorded works on the PDU and RCA labels. His first release was Ictus, a free-form avantgarde jazz oddessey on which he already started to experiment with electronic generated sounds. Ictus was a band formed by Centazzo, Armando Battiston and Franco Feruglio, although back in the day the sleeve of the PDU release credited the work only to Centazzo, and as if Ictus was simply the title of the album. This was a big mistake that we have been asked to correct in our reissue. A brave drummer and percussionist, on this album Centazzo also played flute, synths and sang. He was joined on some tracks by Franco Feruglio on bass and double bass and Armando Battiston on keyboards. It has been compared to Soft Machine’s Third or Wolfgang Dauner’s Et Cetera. " Label press
Bizarre Ko.Ko.Ko. - 00 Time (LP)
Bizarre Ko.Ko.Ko. - 00 Time (LP)Wah Wah Records
Released on Karl Kronfeld's Synoptik Records, it was the label's only release, thus becoming a rare, sought after, private pressing. Weird, intriguing atmospheres and a plethora of synthesized sounds, sequencers, cold sounding keyboards and even mellotron parts make this a darker offering than Aphorisms Insane. Venturing into stark, spooky post-industrial territories it manages to combine the primitive cosmicism of early Tangerine Dream with the dystopic sound-scapes of Asmus Tietchens, 80's Conrad Schnitzler or the synthetic gothicisms of Peter Frohmader. An album that should appeal not only to fans of cosmic synthetic music, but also those interested in the more experimental strains of cold wave & minimal synth (Robert Rental, Dome, a.o.) The Wah Wah edition is the first ever reissue of this rare sought after collector's item. 100% analogue lacquer cut direct from the original master tape by Moritz illner @ Duophonic Gmbh and reproducing the original Dalí-esque sleeve artwork in a strictly limited edition of 500 copies only.
Eliane Radigue - Chry-ptus (2LP)
Eliane Radigue - Chry-ptus (2LP)Important Records

Eliane Radigue's Chry-Ptus is her very first piece for the modular synthesizer. It was composed in 1971 using a Buchla 100 which had recently been installed at NYU by Morton Subotnick. This double-LP was mastered by Golden and pressed at RTI for maximum fidelity.

From the original press release: "Chry-Ptus (1971). Originally two tapes which were to be played simultaneously, with or without synchronisation, which does not affect the structure of the work, but creates changes in the game of sub-harmonics and overtones. Three variations on this piece were performed at the New York Cultural Center in 1971, with variations of amplitude and location modulation as well as synchronisation. Realized on the Buchla Synthesizer at the New York University. The booklet contains a text by painter Paul Jenkins, who also realised the watercolor on the front cover, written on occasion of Radigue's first concert in New York, April 6th, 1971. "It's with the Buchla that I constructed Chry-ptus, a piece made up of two tapes with an analogue duration, 22 or 23 minutes, which could be played either simultaneously or with a slight time difference, so as to establish slight variations every time the piece was played. I spent the first months eliminating everything I did not want; I even used a notebook in which I tried to determine a writing system resembling chemical formulae." --Eliane Radigue

Mecanica Popular - Baku: 1922 (LP)
Mecanica Popular - Baku: 1922 (LP)Wah Wah Records
A welcome departure from their first effort, the record has gained greater reconection in recent years when contemporary audiencies could fully aprreciate the strenght and harsher direction the duo decided to take for their follow-up album. More rhythmically-oriented tunes whilst revisiting some old-favorites like Daguerrotipo or La Edad del Bronce (both off their first album, but albeit in new mixes). The Wah Wah edition has been mastered from the original tapes by Eugenio Muñoz, reproduces the original sleeve artwork and and features an insert with photos and info. It is a strictly limited edition of 500 copies only
Mecanica Popular - ¿Qué Sucede Con El Tiempo? (LP)
Mecanica Popular - ¿Qué Sucede Con El Tiempo? (LP)Wah Wah Records
Recorded over the course of 4 years during late-night, afterhours sessions at RCA's Studio @ Calle Carlos Maurrás in Madrid (one of Spain's best and bigger studio around that time), it was the result of the duo's interest in unorthodox sound-sources which they manipulated in a sort proto-sampling collage technique based on random tape-loops and best heard in their original percussive studies; their dreamy, surrealist-like lyrical passages or the sort of deep primeval atmospheres first conjured by Cluster or Kraftwerk in the early 70's.The studio as an instrument: pure sound alchemy at work. The Wah Wah edition is the first ever vinyl reissue of this legendary LP reproducing the original gimmick cover, with sound mastered from the original tapes by Eugenio Muñoz, and featuring an insert with photos and info. It is a strictly limited edition of 500 copies only.
Takayanagi Masayuki New Direction for the Art Complete - La Grima (LP)Takayanagi Masayuki New Direction for the Art Complete - La Grima (LP)
Takayanagi Masayuki New Direction for the Art Complete - La Grima (LP)Aguirre Records
Famed free jazz concert registration of an early New Direction for the Art performance. Recorded in 1971. Old-style Gatefold LP, with rare photographs & extensive liner notes by Alan Cummings. The performance by Takayanagi Masayuki New Direction for the Art at the Gen’yasai festival on August 14, 1971 was an intense, bruising collision between the radical, anti-establishment politics of the period in Japan and the febrile avant-garde music that had begun to emerge a few years before. The ferocious performance that you can hear here was received with outright hostility by the audience, who responded first with catcalls and later with showers of debris that were hurled at the performers. Takayanagi though described the group’s performance to jazz magazine Swing Journal as a success, “an authentic and realistic depiction of the situation”. In 1962, Takayanagi, bassist Kanai Hideto and painter Kageyama Isamu went on to form an AACM-style musicians’ collective called the New Century Music Research Institute. Every Friday, members gathered at Gin-Paris, a chanson bar in the fashionable Ginza district of Tokyo, to push the outer limits of jazz creativity. But the pivotal moment for his music was the creation a new trio version of his New Directions group in August 1969, with the free bassist Yoshizawa Motoharu and a young drummer Toyozumi (Sabu) Yoshisaburō. Experiments eventually led to the creation of two basic frameworks for improvisation that Takayagi referred to as Mass Projection and Gradually Projection. “La Grima” (tears), the piece that was played at the Gen’yasai festival, is a mass projection and listening to it, you can get a clear sense of what Takayanagi was aiming at. Mass projection involves a dense, speedy and chaotic colouring in of space that destroys the listener’s perception of time, and thus of musical development. The ferocity of the performance of “La Grima” at the Gen’yasai Festival in Sanrizuka on August 14, 1971 was consciously grounded by Takayanagi in a particular historical moment, ripe with conflict and violence. A month after the festival, on September 16, three policemen would die during struggles at the site. This was the context that the three-day Gen’yasai Festival existed within. The line-up reflected the radical politics of the movement, with leading free jazz musicians like Takayanagi, Abe Kaoru, and Takagi Mototeru appearing alongside radical ur-punkers Zuno Keisatsu, heavy electric blues bands like Blues Creation, and Haino Keiji’s scream-jazz unit Lost Aaraaff. New Direction for the Arts trio topped the bill on the opening day, playing an aggressive, uncompromising “mass projection” set of polyphonic improvisation. Alongside drummer Hiroshi Yamazaki and saxophonist Kenji Mori, Takayanagi soloed hard and continuously for forty minutes. This was performance as precisely calibrated metaphor: three musicians responding to the demands of the moment with instinctive force and fury, untethered by rules, leaderless yet not rudderless (the direction part of the group’s name was no accident). The piece was entitled La Grima – tears - and the fusion between the palpable anger of the performance and hopeless sadness of its title were also perfectly apt for the situation. This was a fight that the state was always going to win. Yet, by all accounts, the band’s set went down like a fart at a funeral. The band were showered with catcalls and debris throughout, and by chants of “go home” when the music finally came to an end. However, looking back at the event in the year-end issue of Japan’s leading jazz magazine, Swing Journal, Takayanagi was surprisingly upbeat: New Directions brought a solid political consciousness to our performance and succeeded in an authentic and realistic depiction of the situation. But journalism revealed its superficiality in its inability to penetrate the core of the music. I don’t know much about anyone else, but we at least left behind a competent record. It’s a fascinating statement in many ways. Perhaps on one-hand it can be read as stubborn, solipsistic and self-justifying, yet in conjunction with his statement in 1971 there are points that guide us towards an understanding of just what Takayanagi intended with his performance at the festival. As Kitazato Yoshiyuki has argued, it becomes an almost religious act, directed at the earth deities of the land. A union of anger, sorrow and malevolence that can be placed nowhere effective, all it can do is find expression and channeling. The forcible land seizures at Narita, the eviction of farmers from land that had been in families for generations, the destruction of communities: none of this can be prevented, not least by an artistic action. All that can be done is an attempt to mark the land itself, to soak it with the combined force of emotions and the volume of the performances, to bury something there that cannot be drowned out, even by the coming roar of jet engines.
Seikatsu Kōjyō Iinkai (LP)Seikatsu Kōjyō Iinkai (LP)
Seikatsu Kōjyō Iinkai (LP)Aguirre Records
Ferocious JP / US free jazz bomb. A rare meeting between the NYC free jazz scene and the Japanese free music scene. Old-style Gatefold LP, with rare photographs & liner notes by Alan Cummings. Following hot on the heels of the first, mid-sixties generation of Japanese free jazz players like Kaoru Abe, Masayuki Takayanagi, Yōsuke Yamashita, Motoharu Yoshizawa, etc., an exciting second wave of younger players began to emerge in the seventies. Two of its leading members were the saxophonist Kazutoki Umezu and multi-instrumentalist Yoriyuki Harada. Both were post-war babies and immigrants to the city, Umezu from Sendai in the north and Harada from Shimane in the west. They first met as students in the clarinet department at the Kunitachi College of Music, a well-known conservatory in western Tokyo. Harada was already securing sideman gigs on bass with professional jazz groups and was active in student politics, making good use of his connections to set up jazz concerts on campus. It was around this time that the two began to play together in an improvised duo, with Umezu on clarinet and bass clarinet and Harada on piano. They also experimented with graphic scores and prepared piano. These experiments eventually led to the creation of a trio, with a high-school student called Tetsuya Morimura on drums, that they decided to name Seikatsu Kōjyō Iinkai (Lifestyle Improvement Committee) in joking reference to the Marxist discourse of the student radicals of the time. Around 1973, Umezu and Harada decided to call it a day and go their separate ways. Umezu began playing with the Toshinori Kondo Unit and Harada with the Tadashi Yoshida Quintet. In 1974 Harada formed his own trio and began to play at jazz coffeehouses across Japan. Then, in September 1974 Umezu travelled alone to New York, where he set about building connections with the loft jazz scene in the city. It was a fortuitous moment to arrive in New York. Rents were cheap in the Lower East Side, possibilities for squatting existed, so many musicians and artists had moved to the area. Umezu soon became known on the scene as Kappo and he started to make connections with some of the young musicians like David Murray, Arthur Blythe, and Oliver Lake. He recalls making the rounds of the lofts every evening, checking out the performances, and getting the chance to sit in with many groups including Juma Sultan’s Aboriginal Music Society and trumpeter Ted Daniel’s orchestra. Things were going so well that Umezu wrote to Harada and invited him to come to New York. He accepted and arrived in the city in July 1975. Harada and Umezu took the opportunity to resume their artistic collaboration. Their first concert together in over two years took place on July 20th at another loft, Sunrise Studios at 122 2nd Avenue. Umezu remembers Sunrise as an unusually sunny loft with the rarest of things, a grand piano. He invited along Ahmed Abdullah, a trumpeter he had got to know while playing with Ted Daniel. Abdullah led his own group and was a long-term Sun Ra sideman. William Parker, one of the key figures in the loft jazz scene of the period, was on bass. Abdullah also brought along Rashid Sinan on drums. Sinan drummed in Abdullah’s units throughout the seventies, but he had also played on Frank Lowe’s immortal Black Beings album and collaborated with Arthur Doyle, playing on Doyle’s Alabama Feeling album. By all accounts the evening was a huge success, with speed and dynamism of Harada’s piano playing gaining him lots of support. Since they had managed to save some money from their day jobs, Umezu and Harada decided to set up a recording session with the same line-up on August 11 at Studio We, where there was a well-equipped studio on the third floor. Umezu recalls the session as follows, Of course, we recorded our performances in one take, with zero retakes as far as I remember. On all the tracks we recorded, we moved as one unit, sharp and fast. That was the nature of Lifestyle Improvement Committee, New York Branch. Umezu and Harada would later become known for the elements of parody and entertainment that they brought to their music, a freewheeling blend of pastiche, humour and on-stage performativity that paralleled the approaches of the Art Ensemble, Sun Ra, and Holland’s ICP. But here, on their first recordings, the humour element is not yet present. Instead, there is a febrile sense of joy in creation and connection. On the Umezu-penned “Kim”, for example, Harada opens the piece with a speedy exploration of the full-range of the keyboard, hitting hard on the bass keys to create a rhythmic bed out of which patterns begin to emerge. Umezu enters at a much slower pace, longer held notes that at first float weightlessly over the urgency of the piano before they begin in splinter and accelerate. When Parker and Sinan kick in, it’s a rollicking tempo with Parker plucking deep and hard and the left-handed Sinan skittering hard across the topside of his kit. Abdullah kicks in a glorious solo twelve minutes in, bright and breathy at once. The piece slows and grows more spacious towards the end, giving Parker a chance to showcase some arco work that shades beautifully into the air against Abdullah’s trumpet.

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