Avant-Garde / Contemporary

634 products

Showing 1 - 24 of 634 products
Steve Reich - Berkeley University Museum 11.7.1970 (LP)
Steve Reich - Berkeley University Museum 11.7.1970 (LP)Modern Silence
A live performance of four early works by Steve Reich: “Four Organs”, “My Name Is”, “Piano Phase” and “Phase Patterns.” This performance marked an important moment in San Francisco bay area new music history with the triumphant return to the east bay by Reich, who studied at Mills College with Luciano Berio, and who performed the 1964 world premiere of Terry Riley’s seminal work, “In C”, at the San Francisco Tape Music Center. The resonant acoustics of the University of California at Berkeley Museum’s concrete interior were especially appropriate for “Four Organs”, with its long additive sustained chords over a maraca pulse. Repressed in a limited edition of 500 copies on transparent vinyl.
Jon Scoville - Running Man Music (LP)Jon Scoville - Running Man Music (LP)
Jon Scoville - Running Man Music (LP)FOUNTAINavm
Running Man is a collection of music written in the early 1990s for various choreography projects and was initially released on cassette. It came at a time when I was learning the outs and ins of recording for commercial use. Cassettes were the device of choice in that era — with both the pluses (a warm sound due, in part, to the analog tape medium and equipment requirements which were relatively inexpensive) -but also minuses (a pervasive hiss in the tape format which was ignored when the music was loud — as so much of it was in that era; and a very small surface on which to print both the bios of performers and the details about the tracks). The world of vinyl was diminished considerably during the first appearance of cassettes, and with it went both the warm beauty of the analog sound and the large cover size, well-suited for both the memorable art on the cover and the details of who did what on which.
富樫雅彦&鈴木勲 Masahiko Togashi & Isao Suzuki - A Day Of The Sun (LP)富樫雅彦&鈴木勲 Masahiko Togashi & Isao Suzuki - A Day Of The Sun (LP)
富樫雅彦&鈴木勲 Masahiko Togashi & Isao Suzuki - A Day Of The Sun (LP)Cinedelic
A Day of the Sun is a spiritual jazz masterpiece full of poetry by two geniuses of the Japanese musical scene. Masahiko Togashi and Isao Suzuki, pivotal figures in jazz with a unique talent and sensitivity that transcends conventional jazz forms and styles. In addition to being skilled performers they demonstrate extraordinary compositional talent that transcends their sensibilities and wisdom of more conventional jazz. They are together a wonderful combination of techniques, but without the eyes and ears of these two artists, the mutual understanding, friendship and cooperation that only certain artists are able to recreate together, would never have given rise to this music. The album is based on Togashi's drums/percussion and Suzuki's bass, with occasional changes to cello and piano/synths, and is skillfully performed by just the two of them, creating a unique worldview; a performance that far exceeds expectations. The mystical melodies of the East, earthy percussion, and the sensibilities of the two intertwine to create a unique groove, resulting in a universal masterpiece that will never fade away and connects with today's sound makers and DJs. Top sound quality from original master tapes. Includes 4-sided insert with a very interesting interview at the time with the two musicians regarding the record.
Lloyd Miller - Orientations (2LP)
Lloyd Miller - Orientations (2LP)FOUNTAINavm
A raid on the values of oriental jazz master and pioneering ethnomusicologist Lloyd Miller. As we’ve said before on the rare encounters we’ve had with Miller’s work, he’s quite a unique figure within the worlds of jazz, traditional Middle-Eastern folk and musicology. Few in history seem to be so heavily embedded within local music scenes and have been capable of absorbing so much from their surroundings. His original works (almost all self-released) are extremely hard to find and are pretty much out of reach for most. This double LP ‘Orientations’ is really what we’ve been longing for though. With unrestricted access to Dr Miller’s archives, local Utah label FOUNTAINavm have combed through previously unreleased recordings from the early 60’s to the early 00’s, capturing the breadth and scale of this unique artist. The cultural clash between east and west underpins each piece, where Miller’s astonishing dexterity on at least 15 different non-western instruments is infused with European Jazz standards. Like listening back in time, the fragrant humid air of the old orient hangs heavy in the atmosphere, capturing a time of great change in the area where the osmosis of culture between East and West would really take off, not without its problems. But these are recordings we keep coming back to, like the lilting romance of piano piece ‘Shahin’ recorded in early 70’s Tehran, or the hypnotic South Indian inspired Carnatic Clarinet from 1960’s. Miller’s work exists at an interesting historical intersection where jazz, folk, spiritual and documentary aspects of music all overlap. (Mint / New - heavy 2LP gatefold). This double LP album is sourced from Lloyd Miller’s personal archives of masters and personal recordings. Archival, Curation, and Tape Transfers by Adam Michael Terry.

Arnold Dreyblatt, The Orchestra Of Excited Strings - Resolve (LP)Arnold Dreyblatt, The Orchestra Of Excited Strings - Resolve (LP)
Arnold Dreyblatt, The Orchestra Of Excited Strings - Resolve (LP)Drag City
Resolve acts in dialogue with the minimalist inspirations of the first Arnold Dreyblatt & The Orchestra of Excited Strings release, 1982’s Nodal Excitation – in effect, looking beneath the hood of several decades of progression to review and renew the revolutionary intent of their microntonal foundation credo. This new Orchestra – Oren Ambarchi, Konrad Sprenger and Joachim Schütz – combine effortlessly to explore new scalar dimensions. PLAY LOUD.

Jim O'rourke - Simple Songs (LP)
Jim O'rourke - Simple Songs (LP)Drag City
Tip-on gloss/matt sleeve. Printer inner sleeve.Recorded at Steamroom Tokyo and Hoshi To Neji. Mixed at Steamroom Tokyo. This one is for K.W.
Arnold Dreyblatt - Nodal Excitation (LP)Arnold Dreyblatt - Nodal Excitation (LP)
Arnold Dreyblatt - Nodal Excitation (LP)Drag City

Minimalist avant-rock from experimentalist Dreyblatt: ultra-rhythmic overtones created from striking piano strings strung to a bass.

LP originally released in 1982 by India Navigation Records

Francisco Mela featuring Leo Genovese and William Parker - Music Frees Our Souls, Vol. 3 (LP)
Francisco Mela featuring Leo Genovese and William Parker - Music Frees Our Souls, Vol. 3 (LP)577 Records
"Cuban-born, drum genius Francisco Mela is releasing the third chapter of the iconic tribute to his legendary mentor and bandleader McCoy Tyner. Featuring William Parker on Bass and Leo Genovese on Piano." Recorded November 13, 2020 by Jeremy Loucas at Douglass Recording, Brooklyn, New York. Assistant engineer: Juanma Trujillo. Mixed and mastered by Jeremy Loucas at Sear Sound, New York City.
Nico - The Desertshore (LP)Nico - The Desertshore (LP)
Nico - The Desertshore (LP)Domino

Nico's second solo album, 1968's The Marble Index, & third solo album, 1970's Desertshore, have long been out of print. These reissues include audio mastered from the original tapes and previously unreleased photos of Nico by Guy Webster.

Nico's haunting vocals predicted the Gothic movement and co-producer and Velvet Undeground's band mate John Cale's startingly modern classical production ensured The Marble Index's timeless appeal. The iconic music journalist Lester Bangs wrote, “The Marble Index is the greatest piece of 'avant-garde classical', 'serious' music of the last half of the 20th century so far,” and the New Yorker recently hailed both records as “austere miracles of will and invention.”

Valentina Magaletti - A Queer Anthology of Drums (LP)
Valentina Magaletti - A Queer Anthology of Drums (LP)Permanent Draft
Originally released digitally by Cafe Oto in 2020, "A Queer Anthology of Drums" is Italo-British percussionist Valentina Magaletti's most satisfying set - a future-fluid evolution of post-punk/industrial murk, free-jazz fizz, electro-acoustic trickery and avant-minimalist mischief. Think Chris Corsano, Morton J. Olsen, Thomas Strønen, Han Bennink. Best known as a prized collaborator who's put in work with Raime, Helm, Jandek, Floating Points, Nico Jaar and numerous others, and making up part of Moin, Vanishing Twin, Tomaga and CZN, Valentina Magaletti is also an accomplished solo artist, and this is where her skills really tend to shine. "A Queer Anthology of Drums" stands as a blueprint for her methodology, rolling through her studied musical philosophy centering percussion without sacrificing structure, cohesion and momentum. Anyone who's heard her performances before won't be completely caught off guard, but this record is the most complete collection she's assembled thus far, balancing lucid rhythmic ritualism with playful psychedelia and fragmented melodic elements. Magaletti recorded the album at home, collaging drums, field recordings, vibraphone, toys and oscillators into a fluxing symphony of rhythm and tone. And while the original album was eight tracks, an additional piece has been added to this new remastered edition to open the record: 'She/Her/Gone', that introduces us to Magaletti's sound in a shower of delayed piano, brushed drums and jangling bells. From here, the set takes a darker turn, pattering into cavernous, metallic spaces on 'The Unity of the Mind', and erupting into a chunky, limber rhythm on the tough-as-nails title track. The fog lifts a little as the set progresses, first with the Steve Reich-cum-Broadcast lounge minimalism of 'Rumors of Bread', and then with 'Per Strada', one of the album's most disarming moments that offsets Magaletti's gamalan-influenced percussive cycles with rousing choral sounds. She utilizes these elements to illustrate her understanding of musical history - her drumming is not tied to the instrument's expected function: it's not simply jazz, or punk, and it's definitely not free improv. Her interests are deep and literate, and her sound reaches thru global folk traditions and ritual practices, touching on pop and experimental forms without mimicking them or operating in template mode. But it isn't an academic exercise either, Magaletti queers her subject matter in a way that makes it accessible and humane. Absolutely essential listening for anyone interested in percussive music, ritual music - even experimental lounge.A Queer Anthology of Drums - "a percussive collage of low-fi frequencies documenting a journey that never took place" (Takuroku), a home recording capturing Valentina's ritualistic free-improv essence, is now being presented to audiences across the world by bié Records, via both streaming services and vinyl for the first time. *A Queer Anthology of Drums was originally released on Cafe Oto's label “Takuroku” with 8 tracks solely in MP3 format. The new version by the Beijing-based bié Records, whose associate acts range across Hualun, Yu Su, Lim Giong, Gong Gong Gong and many more, is specifically remastered for vinyl format and expanded to 9 tracks with the previously unreleased “She/Her/Gone”.
Nobuko Kondo - plays J.S. Bach Das Musikalische Opfer (CD)
Nobuko Kondo - plays J.S. Bach Das Musikalische Opfer (CD)ALM RECORDS

Emotion and Reason. Past and present.
The pianist Nobuko Kondo, who highly integrates conflicting elements to create a well-honed musical world, plays richly flavored Bach. While Kondo has expanded her international activities through first and second prizes at the Artur Schnabel Competition and prizes at the Busoni International Competition, she has also been active in premiering new works and performing contemporary music, including Stockhausen's works, Bach has always been present in her activities.
Included on this CD are six works that were featured in a 2014 recital and garnered rave reviews from all quarters. Each of the six works encompasses a completely different style, and Kondo sublimates them with a high degree of emotional and rational integration, while maintaining the philosophy of the works themselves. The unique, one-of-a-kind, and solitary Bach resonates from a unique piano and contemporary perspective.

[1]-[2] Chromatische Fantasie und Fuge d-moll BWV903

[3]-[4] Fantasie und Fuge a-moll BWV904

[5]-[6] Ricercar a 3 / Ricercar a 6 aus dem „Musikalischen Opfer“ BWV1079
Ricercar a 3
Ricercar a 6

[7]-[12] Capriccio B-dur sopra la lontananza de il fratro dilettissimo BWV992
1. Arioso. Adagio
3. Adagiosissimo
5. Aria di Postiglione. Allegro poco
6. Fuga all’imitatione di Posta

[13]-[16] Vier Duette BWV802-805
Duetto I e-moll BWV802
Duetto II F-dur BWV803
Duetto III G-dur BWV804
Duetto IV a-moll BWV805

[17]-[19] Concerto nach Italienischem Gusto F-dur BWV 971
2. Andante
3. Presto

[20] Ricercar a 6 aus dem „Musikalischen Opfer“ BWV1079 (Bonus Track)

Nobuko Kondo
D. in Instrumental Music from Tokyo University of the Arts. D. for her thesis and performance of Stockhausen's piano music, and received the Bunka Hoso Music Award. She was awarded the Bunka Hoso Music Prize, and studied at the Berlin University of the Arts as a scholarship student of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) from 1986 to 1988, graduating with the highest honors. He won a prize at the Busoni International Competition and was awarded the Nancy Miller Memorial Prize at the William Kapell International Piano Competition in 1990. He has performed with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra Berlin, Haydn Orchestra (Italy), Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo University of the Arts Orchestra, and many others. In 1993, she began the recital series "Piano Music of the 20th Century". In recent years, she has also concentrated on the works of J. S. Bach, especially her recitals in 2000 and 2005 of the complete works from "The Well-Tempered Clavier, Volumes I and II", which were highly acclaimed. She has also released the CDs "J.S. Bach Toccata Complete Works," "New Viennese Music School Piano Works," and "Nobuko Kondo Plays J.S. Bach" (specially selected for "Record Geijutsu"), which have been well received. In April 2017, he spent a year in Berlin as a long-term overseas trainee at Kunitachi College of Music, where he conducted research focusing on Beethoven's piano works. She is currently a professor at Kunitachi College of Music.

Cukor Bila Smert’ - Recordings 1990—1993 (2LP)Cukor Bila Smert’ - Recordings 1990—1993 (2LP)
Cukor Bila Smert’ - Recordings 1990—1993 (2LP)Shukai
The founders of Cukor Bila Smert’ (Ukrainian: Цукор – Біла Смерть, English: Sugar – White Death) band were Svitlana Okhrimenko (a.k.a. Svitlana Nianio), Oleksandr Kohanovs’kyi, and Tamila Mazur, who studied at the Reinhold Glier Kyiv Academy of Music in 1984-1988. In the summer of 1988, they got acquainted with Eugene Taran, a young guitarist and artist. He joined the band and also became the ideologist of Sugar – White Death. Moreover, Eugene coined the name for the band: the irony towards the Yellow Press. The musicians gathered at Kohanovs’kyi’s house, where they spent their free time not only playing music but also listening to and discussing new records and thinking about the conception of their new project. For two years, the band recorded a few home-made albums, such as “Rhododendrons Coral Aspides” in 1988 (which is considered lost), where Kostyantyn Dovzhenko took part as a guitarist and sound engineer. He also replaced Taran during the recording session because Eugene was passing an exam at that time. The band also recorded another album – “Lilies and Amaralises,” in 1989, which is also considered lost. Eugene remembers that the band made a lot of recordings but did not pay so much attention to them. Sugar – White Death played live occasionally but spent more time creating their own sound, which was named by Oleksii Dekhtyar (a founder of “Ivanov Down”) as a “sugar calypso sound.” At that time, the music was mostly created by Oleksandr Kohanovs’kyi, and the lyrics were written by Svitlana Okhrimenko and Eugene Taran. In February 1990, a quartet came to the Scientists House Studio in Kyiv, where they had one studio session only, recorded by Valerii Papchenko. Musicians played live for about one take. This session was represented on the “Mannered Music” compilation by several blocks – “Venus with Long Neck,” “The New Sissies,” and “Rhododendrons Coral Aspides,” which was shortened to “Rhododendrons” on the cassette (two songs from which – “Summer Will Not Come” and “The Great Hen-Yuan’ River,” dedicated to Grigorii Khoroshylov, the sinologist from Kyiv). The compilation cover design was created by Eugene Taran. Later, this tape got to Vlodek Nakonechnyj, the founder of Koka Records, a young Polish label, who released “Mannered Music” on cassettes and made efforts to invite Sugar – White Death to play several gigs in Poland. In November 1990, Sugar – White Death played their last gig as a quartet in Kharkiv. They were invited by Sergii Myasoyedov, who curated the art association “Nova Scena” (The New Scene). The band played selected tracks from the albums “The New Sissies” and “The Shellfishes in Gold Wrappers” (the last one is also considered lost). Due to Sergii Myasoyedov's efforts, the performance was documented: he saved a lot of photos and fragments of soundboard recordings on reel-to-reel tape. Later, Oleksandr Kohanovs’kyi and Tamila Mazur left Sugar – White Death: Oleksandr founded his own project Pan Kifared, and Tamila became a bass player of Shake Hi-Fi (whose co-founder was Eugene Taran). Sugar became a duo of Svitlana and Eugene. They started to focus on their next work: “Antinoy Is Leaving” in late 1990. In 1992, they were also invited by Sergii Myasoyedov for a studio session in Kharkiv, where due to the efforts of Oleksandr Vakulenko, Sugar recorded the new album called “All Secrets Of A Poem”. Some tracks from the work (“Dead Ceremony,” “Vienna Is Sleeping,” and “Untitled”) were released on their next and last album, “Selo” (“The Village”). The rest compositions were published as a part of the compilation for the first time. In the autumn of 1992, the musicians went to Poland, where Vlodek Nakonech- nyj, who wanted Sugar to come to a “real” studio, organized their last recording session. Although the journey’s beginning was unsuccessful (Eugene’s guitar was taken away by a customs officer when crossing the border), the musicians worked fast during the session at the Arek Waś studio at Marki on an 8-track reel-to-reel machine. Boleslav Blazhchyk took part as a cellist, playing the parts created by Svitlana. The album was completed in three days – the musicians spent two days recording and one-day mixing, mostly done by Eugene Taran. In 1993, this work was released as “Selo” (“The Village”) album on cassette tapes by Koka Records (remastered by Tadeusz Sudnik). Later, Sugar – White Death was disbanded.
Valentina Goncharova - Recordings 1987-1991, Vol. 2 (C45 CS)Valentina Goncharova - Recordings 1987-1991, Vol. 2 (C45 CS)
Valentina Goncharova - Recordings 1987-1991, Vol. 2 (C45 CS)Shukai
Following the unpublished works of the Ukrainian/Estonian musician Valentina Goncharova, Volume 2 of Shukai’s archival project sits in direct contrast to the solo works of Vol. 1. Spending her youth studying classical music first in Kyiv and then in Leningrad, Valentina began her musical career with rigorous compositional study and concert violin performance. This long player of duets as such casts a light on Goncharova’s experiences with early free jazz, democratic improvisation and introductions to pure electronic sound. Where Vol. 1 explored her home studio experiments and flirtations with musique concrete and new age, this volume seeks to give audience to similarly DIY recordings developed in collaborative environments away from the conservatoire. Properly documenting sessions revolving around smoky jazz cafes, art galleries, salons and theatre venues across Riga and Tallinn, these seven pieces add to the historical narrative of the soviet era avant-garde and show the broader spectrum of Valentina’s work. We begin in Riga with an adapted score for a delicately unfolding violin drone, voice and saxophone performance produced by Valentina and Alexander Aksenov. Describing the nineties as temporarily narrowing the content of cultural life and thus nullifying the interest of free improvisation in both Tallinn and Riga, Valetina’s bond with the multi-instrumentalist and theatre director Aksenov led to decades of close friendship and several demo recordings such as ‘Reincarnation II’. Their initial chance meeting at a jam session set in motion various cross-country performances and experimental theatre works. With its focus on extended harmony, it is perhaps ‘Reincarnation II’ that most recognisably follows on from Shukai’s first volume. Across the rest of the disc are collaborative duets with Sergei Letov and Pekka Airaksinan respectively, the three tapes with Letov an example of recordings as a ‘rehearsal process’. These evenings spent in Moscow apartments and St. Petersburg art studios challenged Goncharova’s preconceptions of musical expression; “I was surprised by his (Letov’s) artistic language. He composed here and now music that was so intellectually advanced that it was quite comparable to the compositions of my fellow students. Only, to achieve such a result, it took months for them. So, for the first time, I took part in free jazz collective creativity” (2020). Atypical violin/saxophone techniques and light, difficult to place percussive textures interplay across the three duets with Letov, the sense of spatiality alluding to the very nature of the recordings. They strike ultimately as private, freeform experiments with sound, never intended for the listener but documenting a practice which explores the dichotomy of improv’s ‘non-professionalism’ and its potential freedom from trained performance. Just one curious corner of Valentina’s musical path, they are included as a deliberate variance to the tapes with Pekka Airaksinen, an already well-regarded composer, early synthesiser fanatic and Finnish radical. At their time of meeting, Pekka had diverted his attention from punk-indebted noise and free jazz groups to a pursuit of spiritualism via contemporary electronic technologies. Already familiar with the ‘Buddhas of Golden Light’ LP, Valentina found in his work an attraction to the sacred and, after an encounter at a 1988 Helsinki festival dedicated to futurist art and literature, she prepared to visit his studio. After a failed attempt to record a joint album, fragments of the tapes are presented here, highlighting Goncharova’s first real experience of electronic music making in a compositional sense. The result is a marriage of stunning organ tones, processed violin murmurs and progressive minimalism a la Terry Riley or La Monte Young. Fragmented guitar and additional keyboard patterns push and pull through delay units in unison with Valentina’s two violins, at times mimicking the howl of the wind or even the human voice. Once again, the duality of the indistinguishable unfamiliar vs. the harmonic familiar. Recordings 1987-1991 Vol. 2 completes Shukai’s dive into the sound world of an important yet overlooked artist working within Soviet era electroacoustics.
Valentina Goncharova - Recordings 1987-1991, Vol. 1 (C90 CS)Valentina Goncharova - Recordings 1987-1991, Vol. 1 (C90 CS)
Valentina Goncharova - Recordings 1987-1991, Vol. 1 (C90 CS)Shukai
Historically informed violin player, prize-winning street musician, new age experimentalist, chamber ensemble performer and conservatoire deviant. The career of Valentina Goncharova (b. Kyiv 1953) shares parallels with those associated with the broader new music movement of the 20th century and the dissemination of home recording technologies. Valentina’s was a youth spent immersed in the world of classical music study under soviet rule, first in Kyiv and later in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) from the age of 16. With the supervision of professors M. Vayman and B. Gutnikov she learned concert violin and developed alternate playing styles alongside skilled pianists. A student of the Leningrad conservatoire during the years 1969 through to 1983, her repertoire included music for violin and later expanded to contemporary music composition. The improvisatory nature of free jazz and then budding experimental rock circles also intrigued Valentina during this period in Leningrad. Departing from the rules of the conservatoire, she briefly performed in underground rock clubs alongside future members of the industrial group Pop- Mechanika (Popular Mechanics). This perpetual state of flux is central to the variety found within ‘Recordings Vol. 1’, though as opposed to any degree of uncertainty Valentina’s practice is one in flux by way of earnest curiosity. Pushing further into an exploration of solo electro-acoustic sounds, she took to home taping on a modified Olimp reel to reel recorder. Intrigued by the manipulability of dubbing and the fresh sounds of DIY effects chains, Goncharova developed pickups alongside her husband Igor Zubkov. Her infatuation with the music of Stockhausen, Xenakis, Ganelin Trio and Pierre Boulez channels through considerations of space and erratic sound design, the three movements of ‘Metamorphoses’ embodying this textural approach to musique concrete. The compositional skills developed in Leningrad unfold in the romantic gestures of ‘Higher Frequencies’, whilst manipulated cello combines with synthesise keys across ‘Passageway To Eternity’. The slow, pulsating drone soundscapes recall the likes of Robert Rutman’s US Steel Cello Ensemble or even deep listening pioneer Pauline Oliveros. The juxtaposition of written notation and improvisatory flare is central to Goncha- rova’s sound world. This period of home recording documents a confluence of minimalism, free form and flirtations with new age tropes (inc. bell chimes and cavernous vocal mantras). Experimenting with unusual performance techniques, such as shouting into amplified cello strings, Valentina’s home studio functioned as a place to foster full artistic and creative freedom away from any academic strictures. Relocating to Estonia in 1984, and in parallel to the deeply personal music of ‘Recordings Vol. 1’, Valentina performed at jazz festivals and gave classical concerts across Eastern Europe. In a sense, the recordings on these discs offer only a glimpse into her lifelong body of work. Over the past few decades she has taught at Tallinn Music College, expanded and updated post- Soviet popular music repertoire, collaborated with the Russian Philharmonic Society of Estonia and given concerts and charity events alongside the Catholic Church. Hers is a life dedicated to the exploration of sound, a career forged through careful study and ceaseless intrigue. In a time where technological interconnectedness has allowed for music of the past to be continually mined and evaluated through new lenses, Shukai present an artist whose tendency for private home-taping had allowed recordings to go unheard for thirty years.
Oleksandr Yurchenko - Recordings Vol. 1, 1991 - 2001 (LP)Oleksandr Yurchenko - Recordings Vol. 1, 1991 - 2001 (LP)
Oleksandr Yurchenko - Recordings Vol. 1, 1991 - 2001 (LP)Shukai
Oleksandr Yurchenko (1966—2020) was a Ukrainian musician and illustrator. In 1990s and 2000s he took part in different bands from Kyiv, such as Electricians, Yarn, Blemish, Suphina’s Little Beast etc., and he also collaborated with Svitlana Nianio and Katya Chilly. Yurchenko is one of the brightest representatives of the Ukrainian independent scene in 90s. Meanwhile, he is one of the most mysterious musicians of this era, being a private person, especially in the late 2000s, when Oleksandr had to leave music because of his illness, but he focused on doing book illustrations and graphic works. In 2010s some of his early records were published, and he was asked for an interview, but he refused, suffering from a serious disease at that time. In April 2020, Oleksandr Yurchenko died, leaving behind a great musical legacy. His main work, “Count to 100. Symphony #1,” was documented in August 1994. Oleksandr used strings instrument of his own invention. Yurchenko took the longboard to make the instrument, installed guitar pickups and 4 strings, and played on it with a bow. It was lost in the 2000s, but the musician remembered that it looked like a long zither. The recording session was held by Oleksandr at home, using guitar delay effects, loops, and Oreadna portable cassette recorder. He tuned the instrument in a special tone, improvising on it for 25 minutes. This drone symphony can be compared with the works of such avant-garde composers as Glenn Branca. However, it sounds innovative, especially for Ukrainian music. Despite it, Yurchenko could not publish this work officially in the 90s and made only a few copies for his own friends. At the beginning of the 2000s, he decided to edit the original version of the symphony. Oleksandr tried to restore the recording a bit, using some effects to make the sound more massive and clear. At the end of the work on this project, Yurchenko left this version in his archive but decided to publish the original recording in the late 2010s. “Intro” is the most mysterious recording from Yurchenko’s archive. Nobody could remember where and when it was recorded, so we can assume that it was made at the beginning of the 90s like a sound experiment because it was found on cassette tape with others recordings of the band Yarn. Also, there is a suggestion that it might be a Casio SK-1 sampler and some old Soviet keyboards. Merta Zara was a family project of Yurchenko and his wife, Svitlana Neznal. They had only one home recording session in 1994. Oleksandr was playing an electric cello of his own invention, and Svitlana was playing on mandolin and singing. As a result, they recorded only one track, "Dress," which appeared on the cassette compilation "Skhovaysya" in 1995. Apart from it, they recorded a few instrumental playbacks, which were found on cassette tape in 2021. Yurchenko was a big appreciator and knower of Central Asia’s music, and it influenced his own music, including Merta Zara, where traditional music and his melodist skills are intertwined. Playbacks were recorded in the beginning of 1995. It was also a home session, making instrumental playbacks for the album “Znayesh Yak? Rozkazhy” (Know How? Tell Me), recorded in collaboration with Svitlana Nianio. It should be assumed that Oleksandr used the same instrument and effects as he used during the “Count To 100” session. Some of these playbacks survived in his archive, but the rest of them were lost. The first one is an 8 minutes drone composition, which was played on a string instrument with a female voice on the background, and the second is the weird track where whirligig was used as an accompaniment. So, we can consider these recordings not only as playbacks but as Yurchenko’s solo stuff. Solo recordings of Oleksandr Yurchenko, made in 1994—1995, are paying attention, especially in experimenting with sound, searching the new ways of creative freedom, and they give a possibility to learn more about the Ukrainian experimental scene in the 90s.

Svitlana Nianio - Transilvania Smile, 1994 (LP)Svitlana Nianio - Transilvania Smile, 1994 (LP)
Svitlana Nianio - Transilvania Smile, 1994 (LP)Shukai
Svitlana Okhrimenko (artist name: Svitlana Nianio) is a Ukrainian artist, musician, and signer. She is one of the most prominent representatives of the independent music scene of Kyiv in the late 1980s — early 90s. She has repeatedly recorded and performed in collaboration with other musicians and bands, such as Oleksandr Yurchenko, Sugar White Death (Cukor Bila Smert’), Ivanov Down, GeeNerve & Taran, and Blemish. Svitlana still performs and publishes new recordings today. “Transilvania Smile” is one of the first solo works recorded in 1994. During this time, Svitlana repeatedly visited Germany, where she had the experience of playing in parks and on the streets, gathering contacts of the local art scene. Her cooperation with the international choreographic group Pentamonia, based in Cologne and consisting of several girls who performed in theaters, took part in various performances, and were engaged in music. They met in the 1990s during joint performances with "Sugar-White Death." After that, they corresponded, and the idea of doing something together arose. Svitlana attended several of their performances, which inspired her to write music for a new project, and the band members helped to realize their creative ideas. Later, they started rehearsing together. The name “Transilvania Smile” was invented by the project participants, and it symbolized the mold on the mirror and the reflection of a smiling vampire. However, shortly before the premiere, they changed it to “Firefox”, as the participants actively used flashlights and the play of light and shadows in the scenography. The premiere occurred in the local Urania theater, previously a gallery. Isabel Bartensein directed the choreography, and Svitlana played, sang, and improvised. She said it was an excellent experience for her and the band. Besides Cologne, they also performed in Aachen. Later, Michael Springer offered Svitlana to record this material in his "Phantom" studio. They had already worked together and recorded music for their project (Svitlana Okhrimenko / Phanton). Michael was also interested in the Ukrainian independent scene and participated in the creation of several compilations that featured bands from Kyiv and Kharkiv. Svetlana played the piano and harmonium in the studio and also sang. After the recording, the material was never released in its entirety. Two compositions appeared on the cassette compilation “Shovaisia” (Hide) in 1995, some episodes were re-recorded for the “Kytytsi” album in 1999, but for a long time, the full version of this recording remained practically unknown to listeners and was kept in Svitlana's and Michael’s archives. This album is one of the most personal and insightful works of Svitlana Nianio from the 90s, which you can now get to know in its original form and sound.
Ryuichi Sakamoto - Thousand Knives Of (Heavy Vinyl LP)
Ryuichi Sakamoto - Thousand Knives Of (Heavy Vinyl LP)日本コロムビア株式会社
"The origin of techno. The original crystallization of the artists who created the era as big names, immortal monuments beyond the masterpieces." Limited vinyl version reissued in heavy vinyl. The heavy-duty vinyl version in the original jacket supervised by Ryuichi Sakamoto is available in a completely limited edition.
James Rushford - Turzets (LP)James Rushford - Turzets (LP)
James Rushford - Turzets (LP)Blank Forms Editions
The latest in a prolific string of solo and collaborative releases by James Rushford, Turzets collects a pair of new works primarily created and recorded last year while the Australian composer-performer was in residence at La Becque, an art center on Lake Geneva in Switzerland. The side-length piece “Fallaway Whisk” explores hesitation in its many forms—reticence of speech, sonic restraint—using live, abstracted translations of text from English to German against a lush and swelling soundscape. On the flip side, “Quire” is a work in ten movements influenced by the composer’s study of late medieval repertoire on portative organ, weaving the instrument’s woodsy interlocking melodies with angelic Yamaha CS-80 synth sweeps and stuttering glitches. The combined effort is somewhat a departure for Rushford, working in traces of Klaus Schulze, concrete poetry, and ars subtilior into a precise and ever-unfolding tapestry. Rushford’s work draws from a wide range of collagist and improvisatory musical languages, staking out an idiosyncratic stylistic space that has been variously described as “electro-acoustic experimentation with a beating heart” (Boomkat) and “haunted Jacobean ASMR” (The Wire). Investigating the creases, cracks, and folds in traditions ranging from early music to New Age, Rushford’s work subtly exaggerates seemingly liminal aspects such as atmosphere and the bodily presence of the performer until these take on a weight equal to musical elements such as pitch, rhythm, and timbre. In recent years, Rushford’s solo work has been guided by his theorization of sonic images, particularly the shadow, which has inspired pieces as diverse as an hour-long companion to Federico Mompou’s 1959–67 piano cycle Música Callada (2016) and a sumptuous translation of the play of light across flat surfaces into synthetic sound (The Lake from the Louvers, Shelter Press, 2021). His long-standing performance practice for piano, portative organ, synthesizers, and electroacoustic devices, is constantly infused with a delicacy of touch and a harmonic sensibility in which unorthodox tunings coexist with influences from fin de siècle Impressionism, the twentieth century avant-garde, and popular musical structures. He has worked with a vast range artists including Klaus Lang, Annea Lockwood, David Behrman, Tashi Wada, Haroon Mirza, Dennis Cooper, Ora Clementi, crys cole, Oren Ambarchi, Kassel Jaeger, Will Guthrie, and Graham Lambkin. He has performed as Golden Fur (with Sam Dunscombe and Judith Hamann) and Food Court (with Joe Talia and Francis Plagne).
Terry Riley & Don Cherry Quartet - WDR Radio, Koln, February 23, 1975 (LP)
Terry Riley & Don Cherry Quartet - WDR Radio, Koln, February 23, 1975 (LP)WHP
A thrilling collaboration between major experimental maestros from slightly different sound worlds. Don Cherry, in the middle of a very free-ranging phase, plays his majestic trumpet over the shimmering organ tones of Terry Riley, while Karl Berger adds vibraphone. Heady stuff. Reissue of a rare concert recording from 1975, in an edition of just 500. On Modern Silence.
Nico - The Marble Index (LP)Nico - The Marble Index (LP)
Nico - The Marble Index (LP)Domino

Nico's second solo album, 1968's The Marble Index, & third solo album, 1970's Desertshore, have long been out of print. These reissues include audio mastered from the original tapes and previously unreleased photos of Nico by Guy Webster.

Nico's haunting vocals predicted the Gothic movement and co-producer and Velvet Undeground's band mate John Cale's startingly modern classical production ensured The Marble Index's timeless appeal. The iconic music journalist Lester Bangs wrote, “The Marble Index is the greatest piece of 'avant-garde classical', 'serious' music of the last half of the 20th century so far,” and the New Yorker recently hailed both records as “austere miracles of will and invention.”

Anode/Cathode - Punkanachrock (2x7")
Anode/Cathode - Punkanachrock (2x7")Anode
This is a limited edition 2x7" edition of a wildly experimental and unique gem from 1981 (originally released on Japan's Pinakotheca). Spread over two records packaged in a bubble wrap outer sleeve - , the set features unreleased full length takes and unheard material from the band's master cassettes. All transferred and mastered with the blessing of the original musicians. The release features heavy involvement from Morioka based musician, Onnyk (key member of the near mythical The Fifth Column group) , an underground behemoth who's released music on seminal labels such as Vanity Records (JP), Insane Music (BE) & Thirdmind (UK) to name a few. 2 discs. 26 minutes of incredibly forward thinking music from 43 years ago... Ships with a scan code to liner notes - the information is as intriguing as the music.
Operating Theatre - Spring Is Coming With A Strawberry In The Mouth / Rapid Eye Movements (2LP)Operating Theatre - Spring Is Coming With A Strawberry In The Mouth / Rapid Eye Movements (2LP)
Operating Theatre - Spring Is Coming With A Strawberry In The Mouth / Rapid Eye Movements (2LP)Allchival
Presenting our second look at the music of Roger Doyle and Operating Theatre, a little known proto synth-pop act and experimental theatre group that he led, what you have here is a remastered and repackaged collection of two very different sides of this project. In reverse chronological order the second disc contains music from the United Dairies release of 1979 – ‘Rapid Eye Movements’. Experimental tape work heavily influenced by the French school of music concretists and recorded at various points during the 70s in Finland, Holland and Ireland, although it is most certainly a Roger Doyle solo record the label ran by Nurses With Wounds John Fothergill decided to release it under the group name for reasons now lost to the fog of time. After this a volte-face towards a more accessible sound, coming via his friendship with future Hollywood actress Olwen Fouéré and her connection to the theatre. It also featured the vocals of a young Spanish immigrant Elena López- bucking the 80’s trend by moving to, rather than, from Dublin. With Fouéré adding the theatrical element to the group (an almost essential part of any early 80s synth act) alongside pulsing synths, brass, a vocoder and the electro acoustic production talents of Doyle himself, it was the first time a Fairlight sampler was used in an Irish studio setting and gives a prescient but alternative take on the new wave sound that came to dominate the charts soon after. Doyle’s work on the newly released Fairlight sampler had brought him to the attention of U2’s Bono who had seen a feature about his sampling experimentations and reached out to him for piano lessons. This led to a deal on the bands embryonic Mother records for what Doyle calls his first “popular song” - Queen of No Heart - which alongside “Spring is Coming” made up the backbone of the EP which was released some years later (1986) on the Mother Records label. Established by U2 in 1984 and initially intended to launch Irish bands, many of the acts – including this one – were subsequently unhappy about the label’s haphazard approach to releases and lack of promotion. The record was released as a die cut 7 inch with the two main tracks and a 12 inch EP with additional tracks – ‘Part of My Make-Up’ / ‘Atlantean’ / ‘Satanasa’. The Mother experience was for Doyle and the rest of the group a frustrating one with no promotional plan and no tour. After that Operating Theatre as a quasi pop project ‘just kind of fizzled out’ says Doyle. Doyle, the musical maverick at the heart of the act, continues to produce to this day and has released 30 albums. A frequent collaborator we round out the record with a remix from another Irish outsider - Morgan Buckley of the Wino Boys.
Richard Teitelbaum - Asparagus (2LP)
Richard Teitelbaum - Asparagus (2LP)Black Truffle
Black Truffle is thrilled to announce a major archival release from legendary American composer and live electronics innovator Richard Teitelbaum, centred around his soundtrack for Suzan Pitt’s cult 1978 animation Asparagus. Best known to some listeners for introducing Europe to the Moog synthesizer as a founding member of Musica Elettronica Viva in Rome, Teitelbaum’s extensive and radically experimental body of work includes collaborative recordings with master improvisers like Anthony Braxton, Andrew Cyrille and George Lewis, intercultural experiments combining electronics with non-Western instruments such as the shakuhachi, works for computer controlled piano, and large-scale multi-media operas. Recorded at York University, Toronto in 1975–1976, ‘Asparagus (European Version)’ sprawls across both sides of the first LP. Discovered by composer Matt Sargent in Teitelbaum’s tape archive, this is a previously unheard major work for Moog modular and Polymoog synthesizers, unique in Teitelbaum’s oeuvre for its lushness and gently melodic quality. The music unfolds slowly, submerging lyrical melodies and burbling arpeggios into uneasy, glacially shifting harmonic swells, the luscious texture thickened with subtle changes of modulation and phase, calling up the shifting layers of Costin Miereanu’s classic Derives or the kosmische Musik tradition more than any academic synthesizer exercise. Teitelbaum incorporated much of this material into his soundtrack for Suzan Pitt’s Asparagus, which receives its first official release here. Asparagus, famously paired with David Lynch’s Eraserhead for a two-year run of midnight screenings at New York’s Waverly Theatre, uses hand-drawn and stop animation to unfurl an oneiric succession of images, beginning with a sequence in which the female protagonist defecates two stalks of asparagus, which multiply and float out of the toilet bowl to form the letters of the title. Teitelbaum’s soundtrack interweaves delicate drifting tones from the ‘European Version’ with contributions from Steve Lacy and Steve Potts on saxophones, George Lewis on trombone and Takehisa Kosugi on violin. Edited closely to the film, even without images the soundtrack proposes a surreal journey through floating synth tones, squealing horns, propulsive arpeggios, distant chatter, and an old-timey waltz. The final side of the set presents a new realisation of Teitelbaum’s text score ‘Threshold Music’, performed at a memorial concert at Roulette, New York in 2022 by Leila Bourreuil (cello), Alvin Curran (sampler and objects), Daniel Fishkin (daxophone), Miguel Frasconi (glass objects) and Matt Sargent (lap steel). The piece asks musicians to match their instrumental volume to that of the sounds of the environment in which they play, sometimes with the addition of recorded environmental sounds, reinforcing frequencies they encounter in listening deeply to their surroundings. Here the players use a field recording taken at Teitelbaum’s home in Bearsville, New York, their long tones and shimmering, glassy textures delicately emerging from the white noise of the location recording. Released with the full approval of both Richard Teitelbaum and Suzan Pitt’s estates, Asparagus is illustrated with striking images from Pitt’s film and accompanied by detailed liner notes by Francis Plagne. These previously unheard pieces shed new light on the work of a key composer in the American experimental tradition, offering up some of Teitelbaum’s most beautiful and engaging music.
MEV (Musica Elettronica Viva) - Symphony No. 107 - The Bard (LP)MEV (Musica Elettronica Viva) - Symphony No. 107 - The Bard (LP)
MEV (Musica Elettronica Viva) - Symphony No. 107 - The Bard (LP)Black Truffle
Black Truffle is pleased to announce Symphony No. 107 –The Bard, a previously unheard archival recording of the legendary improvising ensemble MEV (Musica Elettronica Viva), captured in concert at Bard College, New York in 2012. Formed by a group of American expat composers in Rome in 1966, the MEV ensemble played an important role in the development of free improvisation, bridging the live electronics tradition begun by Cage and Tudor and the high-energy squall of free jazz. Early recordings like Spacecraft or The Sound Pool unleash volleys of metal and glass amplified with contact microphones, howling winds, primitive synthesizer bleep and raucous audience participation, the intensity of which puts much later ‘noise’ to shame. In later decades, the ensemble would go through many iterations, often including legendary free players like Steve Lacy and George Lewis. In its final years, MEV settled into the core trio of founding members heard here: Alvin Curran, Frederic Rzewski, and Richard Teitelbaum, using piano, electronics, and small instruments. Curran, Rzewski, and Teitelbaum were life-long friends blessed, as Curran says, with ‘incompatible personalities’: major figures in the post-Cagean experimental tradition, they explored countless divergent and even contradictory paths as composers and performers, from agitprop songs to brainwave-controlled synthesis. MEV is the sound of these three personalities coming together, their contributions radically individual yet attaining a state of ‘fundamental unity’ that Rzewski, in a text written in the collective’s earliest years, defined as the ‘final goal of improvisation’. Of course, listeners familiar with aspect of the trio’s individual works might hazard some guesses about who is doing what: the crisp piano figures are probably Rzewski’s, the cut-up hip-hop samples most likely Curran’s, the sliding, squelching synth possibly Teitelbaum’s. But often these identities are dissolved in a constantly shifting hall of mirrors, the listener unable to tell which of these pianos is live and which is a sample of a past virtuoso, or whether a horn blast derives from ethnographic documentation or Curran cutting loose on Shofar. The two side-long sets here occupy a similar terrain of constantly shifting texture and instrumentation, unexpected interruptions, and moments of sudden beauty. The first set is sparser, at times almost ominous, as a bell repeatedly sounds across wheezing harmonica, seasick orchestral textures, and creaking wood, making room for episodes of yodelling and delicate prepared piano before exploding into a storm of buzzing synth and piano fragments. The second set is more frenetic, moving rapidly across centuries and continents: cars crash into post-serial piano pointillism, wailing voices collide with chopped and screwed hip-hop samples, Hollywood strings are buried under layers of electronic gurgles. The performance slows in its final moments, making way for a sampled voice repeating the phrase ‘protest and the good of the world’, reminding us that MEV’s idea of freedom was always more than musical. Symphony No. 107 –The Bard is a beautifully recorded example of the endlessly multi-layered later MEV sound, accompanied by new liner notes by Alvin Curran (now the only surviving member of the group) and a selection of previously unseen photographs from across the many decades of the group’s activity. Arriving in an elegant sleeve bearing a beautiful photograph by Francis Zhou of the Olin Hall at Bard College where the concert was recorded, this is an essential document from a major group in the history of experimental music. As Rzewski wrote, this music is ‘like life, unpredictable, sometimes making sense, mostly not’.

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