Friday, 15 October 2021

OJP061 : Ruben Van Rompaey feat. Toshinori Kondo / The Sakura Mixes


Cover art by A.L. from a revised portion of an original painting on canvas by Rachelle van Rompaey 

OJP061 : Ruben Van Rompaey feat. Toshinori Kondo / The Sakura Mixes

5 tracks that were recorded between 2014 and 2020 and a remix from the 'Tokyo Fusion' album (see the beautiful OJP057). 

Very introspective this time, more ambient and experimental, more relax and looking to another possible world, like the beautiful ending track of this mini album. 

Stop thinking, close your eyes and take your time to listen...

Digital release on the 15th of October 2021.

Track listing:

1: Dream Warriors - Aozara Edit
2: One Night at Shin-Ohashi Bridge -, Pt. 1
4: Majestic Mountains
5: One Night at Shin-Ohashi Bridge -, Pt. 2
6: Possible Worlds

And on Bandcamp:

Wednesday, 13 October 2021

OVX021 : Céline Lory - Gil Mortio / Vexations Vol.21


Cover art by A.L.

OVX021 : Céline Lory - Gil Mortio / Vexations Vol.21

What Céline says about her proposal:

"Vexations - the musical piece and its succulent title - have been with me for many years. Short, simple and original piece - I incorporated it in several of my shows, I also participated in its collective performance “marathon” in Bozar a few years ago. So I liked the idea that the musical piece would be on my path again in 2021 since its evocative title reflects our current experience. Calling on producer Gil Mortio was a way of breaking away from the routine of solo rehearsal and radically turning to a reinterpretation. Starting from a "classic" version revolving around the piano and its playing modes, he turned, kneaded and rearranged the piece. By playing, among other things, with the indomitable length prescribed by the composer, he creates a play of colors and shapes with acid tones aligned in spectral layers."


Hybrid, mutant, impure, transgender on the artistic scene, Céline Lory, classical pianist, explorer of songs, photographs, texts, music, piano and voice and body: she blurs the tracks and makes fun of hunters. The actual period abuses of a kind of house arrest: « from where are you talking? ", like an old police summon that is still current in the cultural field, to which she is loath to play while playing - check out her self-portraits which look at you, acid and tender! - her compositions are raw, beautiful nude and uncompromising. Her sound object “en Corps y-bride” - dilapidated as it should be, labyrinthine, well written and well played - is the first delirium on an album of a classical pianist who came to write songs where interludes and instrumental improvisations played by happy hands deliver powerful texts.


Gil Mortio is a well known multi instrumentalist who played with, recorded or produced a lot of bands. He's an aficionado who can adapt his creativity to a various genres of music.

Céline Lory: piano
Gil Mortio: other instruments and arrangement
Production: Sonar asbl

Bandcamp only release on the 6th of November 2021.

Track listing:

40x Vexations - Piano and extensive rework

Friday, 8 October 2021

OUC034 John Americus Witt / Litost


Cover art by Silas Plum

OUC034  John Americus Witt / Litost

The new album from the fascinating American contemporary composer John Americus Witt (see also ODG115OUC026 and OUC033) or another strange and emotional proposal turning around specific sensations going through your body.

Litost is a Czech word, loosely means 'a state of agony and torment created by the sudden sight of one’s own misery'. 
The album tracks the progress of this realization, and the movement of this sensation through the body.  The state described as Litost is in essence one of immediacy.  

The Heart is hit first, sharp and deep. It skips a beat, causes a sharp intake of breath.  The Gut is next, where emotion is most deeply felt.  It grabs and twists, holds tight.  Then comes the Head, doing its best to make sense, to categorize, to place some analysis on the situation. It is frenzied.  
Finally, once the fight is driven from you, the Bones. The realization is a part of you now, imbued in the frame.  

It will live with you forever.

Discover the beautiful works from Silas Plum HERE!

Digital release on the 8th of October 2021.

Track listing:

1: Heart
2: Gut
3: Head
4: Bones

And on Bandcamp:

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

OVX020 : Jozef Dumoulin / Vexations Vol.20


Cover art by A.L.

OVX020 : Jozef Dumoulin / Vexations Vol.20

What Jozef says about his proposal:

“Since long I have been fascinated by the idea of very long static performances based on very limited musical material mixed with improvisation. Some years ago I became aware of Erik Satie’s Vexations and in 2017 I convinced the people at Le Petit Faucheux in Tours (France), where I was artist in residence at the time, to set up a musical happening around the piece. For 9 hours straight (more wasn’t possible due to logistics) we would play Vexations, and whoever felt like could come up and join us, to either play the ‘text’ or to improvise around it. This allowed for people with very different backgrounds of level and experience to play together, which relates to another zone of interest of mine.

The performance in Tours was an extremely enriching adventure, albeit a little stiff, that made me aware of a lot of things I had never payed attention to before. 

One year later I got the chance to set up a similar happening around Satie’s Vexations at Werkplaats Walter in Brussels (Belgium), this time for a full 24 hours. Things were sufficiently loose there, and the place is connected to a big local network of artists, so a lot of different people of all ages, levels, and art-forms attended and participated, which made for an exhilarating and colourful event. 

Now, when Alain Lefebvre proposed me to be part of the 21 artists performing 40 repetitions of Vexations for his Off label, I said yes without having a particular idea in mind about how I was going to proceed. But at some point it became an evidence for me that I was going to do it with my family. I have 9 sisters and 2 brothers, and by now there’s more than 30 grandchildren. I always wanted to record something with them, and this was a perfect opportunity. I knew that if I told “Ok, I’m just going to sit in our mother’s garden and play 40 repetitions of that piece, you can come and play with me”, they would most probably do it. And if they didn’t, it would still make for a cool field-recording at a meaningful place.

When the set date became closer, a new, very determining and loaded element showed up: it happened to coincide with quite destructive works on our childhood house, right next-doors of my mother’s house, where one of my brothers lives now. The works caused a lot of emotion for most of us, and plain distress for some. With my brother we decided that we’d play there, right on the remains of what used to be our living room. This, combined with the fact that it was the first time we all reunited since my mom’s 80th birthday party right before the pandemic, gave the whole thing a very special flavour. Almost everybody showed up, and a whole lot participated by playing or by just hanging around. I’m super grateful for that, and happy to have captured the moment.

As for the final sound file, I’ve let the entire field-recording as such but choose to add two elements: synths playing the exact written material, and 2 kind of randomly dispatched and unrelated piano-loops. Those piano-loops are there to honour Satie’s spirit, to get the whole object in a kind of up-in-te-air zone that is always dear to me, and as an expression of the love and affection I feel for the whole of my family.”

Jozef and family in Ingelmunster, Belgium, on September 5th 2021

Pianist Jozef Dumoulin (Belgium) redefined the Fender Rhodes keyboard through a scope that is at the same time fully contemporary, eclectic and highly personal. He was the first to present a full solo program featuring the instrument. Furthermore he is known for his open and luminous approach to the piano and to music in general, always anchored in tradition without being burdened by it. Besides the Fender Rhodes solo, his own projects include The Red Hill Orchestra (a trio with Ellery Eskelin and Dan Weiss) a duo with Benoît Delbecq and a post-punk guitar-band called Trojan Panda. 

Jozef, pic by Peter Tümmers

Highly-demanded as a sideman, Jozef Dumoulin has recorded and toured with the finest of musicians in the domain of jazz, improvised music, rock, classical and traditional music. He currently lives in Paris.

The family:

Katrien Dumoulin: tuba

Siska Dumoulin: bassoon

Eva Claeys: cello

Pieter Dumoulin: cello, solo voice

Ayaan Dumoulin: toy saxophone, keyboards, drums

Ivo Dumoulin: bass, trombone

Tuur Dumoulin: saxophone, bass

Kasper Dumoulin: trumpet

Hilde Vanmaele: melodica

Barbe Dumoulin: saxophone

Mathilde Dumoulin: electric guitar

Mieke Dumoulin: violin

Anne Claeys: violin

Tom Meeuws: drums

Pieter Claeys: drums

Emine Meyrem Karamemet: drums

Daniele Martini: toy saxophone

Hilde Dumoulin: flute 

Jozef Dumoulin: piano, keyboards

+ quite some others on various percussion instruments and voice

Jan Claeys: display of repetition count

Recorded by Daniele Martini in Ingelmunster, Belgium, on September 5th 2021.

Mixed by Jozef Dumoulin and Daniele Martini

Mastered by Daniele Martini

Bandcamp only release on the 6th of November 2021.

Track listing:

40x Vexations - Ingelmunster family reunion

Friday, 1 October 2021

ODG149 : Mademoiselle Plume Rouge / Junkie Movie Music


Cover art by Janet McBurney

ODG149: Mademoiselle Plume Rouge / Junkie Movie Music

The duo Mademoiselle Plume Rouge was created in 2018 by Stéphane Povitch Augsburger (electric guitar, sampled voices, effect pedals, loopers) and Frédéric Minner (electric bass, soprano saxophone, effect pedals, loopers).

The two musicians have known each other and collaborated in various musical projects for the last 20 years. In 2018, they decided to launch a new project focused on the development of new instrumental sonorities. After several months of searching and experimenting, the duo decided to move away from the pure free improvisation they were playing in order to develop more constructed musical forms. During this time they performed several selected shows across Switzerland, with the highlight of a recent performance at Geneva’s La Cave 12 venue.

In the winter of 2021, they were offered a residency by the City of Geneva at La Cave 12 to record their debut album “Junkie Movie Music”. The 4 pieces of the album are dark, evocative and cinematic, using repetition to create a hypnotic atmosphere. They employ different compositional techniques like themes, quartal harmonies, atonalism, drones, riffs, works on textures and timbers, and clusters. These techniques draw their inspiration from composers such as Luciano Berio, György Ligeti, or Helmut Lachenmann but also from traditional Japanese music, contemporary jazz (Craig Taborn, Dave Liebman, Bobo Stenson), New-York avant-garde music from the 80s-90s (John Lurie, no-wave, John Zorn), and experimental doom (Sunn O))), Boris).

Edited by Léo Marussich at le Vélodrome in Geneva, Switzerland
Mixed by Freddie Murphy (Father Murphy) at Bombanella Soundscapes in Maranello, Italy
Mastered by John Dieterich (Deerhoof) in his home studio in Albuquerque, USA.

Stéphane “Povitch” Augsburger (born in 1975) is a guitarist, pianist, drummer, singer, writer and actor living in Geneva (Switzerland). He has recorded 4 albums with the band What’s Wrong With us? (working amongst others with producers like Bob Drake and Martin Bisi), with which he has toured in Europe and the USA. 

Frédéric Minner (born in 1978) is a bassist and saxophonist based in Zürich (Switzerland). He played in various rock, jazz, metal and experimental bands (like Poppins) and is a member of the Insub Meta Orchestra since 2010 with whom he recorded 3 albums and toured in Europe.

Digital release on the 1st of October 2021.

Track listing:

1: Scene 1: What Do You Wanna Hear Kid?

2: Scene 2: He Just Kept on Playing That over and over and over Again.

3: Scene 3: I Can't Seem to Sleep at Night. Not in This City.

4: Scene 4: I Should Go In a 3-Piece White Suit Like Charlie Parker.

And on Bandcamp:

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

OVX019 : Grażyna Bienkowski / Vexations Vol.19


Cover art by A.L.

OVX019 : Grażyna Bienkowski / Vexations Vol.19

What Grażyna says about her proposal: 

"A New Symphony"

" When Off-Record contacted me to participate in the Erik Satie's Vexations Series, I was immediately interested in the project. Erik Satie is a composer whom I love very much and have often performed as a pianist. However, I had never looked into this short piece to play 840x in a row. The unusual idea of Alain Lefebvre (Off-Record label) and Wataru
Iwata to interpret Vexations freely but under the instructions of 40 performances immediately appealed to me as a pianist, but especially as a composer. Challenge that I accepted as the opportunity to highlight my two favorite roles.

The first directive I imposed on myself was to respect the essence of the score as much as possible. So I based myself on the musical material that she offered and discovered that, despite the constraint of repetition, there were multiple possibilities to play with her writing. It opened up the composition space by touching different musical universes. Which was a real playground for my various musical influences ranging from baroque to jazz. The general form of the piece that I have chosen is like a classical symphony of the late 17th century articulated around 3 movements (vivid 20x, slow 10x, vivid 10x). The form is the first freedom taken from the starting point. I felt that this taking of liberty did not seem to me to be a betrayal of the composer's spirit, given his whimsical temperament. I wanted to create a kind of macro-work that integrates Satie's piece into mine. To continue to give a wink at the composer, I have added an evocative title to each movement as an illustration of the temperament.
My second directive was, despite the 40 executions, to keep the attention of today's listener as long as possible. The evolving architecture, spread over the 3 movements, is organized through mathematical games distributed via the notes of the theme from a
rhythmic in the lines and the resulting harmonic encounters. This allows an unwinding of the executions with more relief.
In terms of the instrumentation used, the piano remains central in a completely traditional game but with a touch of modernity brought to it thanks to the post-production tools in the studio. I worked on it with French musician Emmanuel Delcourt. Benoît Lavollée (Fr) plays the leitmotiv on the vibraphone and marimba in the 1st movement called ‘My Lewis Caroll Version’ (vivid 20x). Bruno Ramos (Fr) on the double bass supports the piece as a whole.

The 2nd movement ‘Through the Crystal Silence’ (slow 10x) is the most lyrical, it is the only one that is played in a slow tempo as requested on the score by Satie. This movement is a kind of historical unfolding of musical writing. At the beginning the treatment of the theme refers to the counterpoint then slides towards a more 19th century pianistic
aesthetic to end with harmonic jazz colors.

The 3rd movement ‘The March of the Janissaries’ (vivid 10x) is a movement so called « exit ». Its title, inspired by a choir from Mozart's opera ‘L’Enlèvement au Sérail’, is also a nod to the moment when, judged talentless by his teachers at the Conservatory of Music and dismissed after two and a half years of lessons, Satie decided to enlist in an infantry regiment.

For the mix and mastering, I worked with Erwin Autrique from ICP studios in Brussels gives breadth andthe finished touch to this "new symphony".

Composition: Erik Satie & Grażyna Bienkowski
Piano: Grażyna Bienkowski
Vibraphone & marimba: Benoît Lavollée
Double bass: Bruno Ramos
Post-production & additional instruments: Emmanuel Delcourt
Mix & mastering: Erwin Autrique 

Grażyna - pics by Lara Herbinia

Grażyna Bienkowski is born in Belgium to Polish parents, Grażyna Bienkowski is a pianist, cellist, composer and musicologist based in Brussels.
She started learning the piano aged 7 with Stéphane Stas and a few years later the cello with Etienne Capelle.
After graduating high school, she studied Musicology and Cultural Management at university and completed her training at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels. Passionate about jazz music,
she had become familiar with most major jazz great pianists by the time she completed her studies.
During her schooling, Grażyna also developed an interest in composition through film scores by composers such as John Barry, Zbigniew Preisner, Alberto Iglesias.
Grażyna has taken lessons, master classes, workshops in piano, cello, chamber music and music pedagogy with musicians from different backgrounds from classical to jazz music. Between 2006
and 2014, Grażyna worked at the Opera de La Monnaie and for BOZAR in Brussels as a cultural development officer and pedagogue. She also held the position of project coordinator in Passa Porta (International House of Literature in Brussels) for festivals and meetings for 5 years. She occasionally was invited as a freelance musicologist in debates, conferences or talks around music.
2005 marks her first steps in composition with neo-classical pieces for dance performances.
Drawing on influences as diverse as Sergeï Rachmaninov, Steve Reich, Mickael Nyman, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Keith Jarrett or Bill Evans, she has written many instrumental piano-based pieces for small musical formations.
In 2010 she released Antichambre, her first EP for piano solo.
Literature and poetry always played an important part in her inspiration and she naturally became a songwriter in 2015, when she initiated Wolves, a female duo in which she handled all composition and writing, played the piano, keyboards, cello and vocals. Products of Love, a 14 track LP was released under the Belgian label in 2018.
Grażyna Bienkowski has performed in many countries (Belgium,France, Germany, Italy, Morocco among others) under her own name but also under joint efforts with artists such as DAAN (B), Karin Clercq(B), Emmanuel Delcourt (F), Pierre Hurty (F), Ken Stringfellow(US) as a live/studio musician, and for radio and TV performances.
She is a member of the Belgian Screen Composers Guild and part of the team of composers in the Belgian film music company Rabada.
Today, she is dedicating herself to the composition and production of her most personal works.
From the beginning, her music was described as narrative and sensitive, with a very personal strength, escaping the rules of any style classification but subtly playing with them.

Bandcamp only release on the 29th of September 2021.

Track listing:

20x Vexations - My Lewis Caroll Version
10x Vexations - Through the Crystal Silence
10x Vexations - The March of the Janissaries

Friday, 24 September 2021

ODG146 : Von Stroheim / The Beautiful, Not the Damned


Cover art by David Crunelle

ODG146 : Von Stroheim / The Beautiful, Not the Damned

New Ep from Von Stroheim after their powerful single 'Bucketful of Bile (see ODG144 and also their previous album ODG101 and their intriguing reprise of the Buzzcocks hit 'Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've) ODG116). 

Self recorded in their basement during covid and, as ever, strongly telling the rest of the world about their feelings! 
It's rock, it's hard, it's doom, it's good!

Marry Me:

The 4 covers by David Crunelle that compose the complete one for the Ep:

Bucketful of Bile
Marry Me

Digital release on the 24th of September 2021.

Track listing:

1: Bucketful of Bile
2: Marry Me
3: Men
4: Poison