Saturday 27 September 2014

ORT010 : Chaos of the Haunted Spire / Live at Trix (Feat. Sickboy Milkplus and Pierre Vervloesem)

ORT010 : Chaos of the Haunted Spire / Live at Trix (Feat. Sickboy Milkplus and Pierre Vervloesem)

This is a Selection of a free trashjazzfreedub improvisation concert at Trix , Antwerp  in 2012. The new project from the most innovative and talented Belgian jazz drummer Teun Verbruggen, this time joined by Andrew Claes, Sickboy Milkplus and master of bass Pierre Vervloesem. 
Chaos is the name of the band but their music is an extremely controlled and powerful one! Enjoy!

Teun verbruggen : drums , electronics
Andrew Claes : Ewe , tenorsax , plastic sax and electronics
Guests :
Sickboy Milkplus : electronics
Pierre Vervloesem : bass

Recorded live @ Trix May 2012
mixed - edited - mastered by Pierre Vervloesem

The K7 original cover:

Already released as a 75 numbered K7 copies (RAT028) on Rat Records Here
Digital release on Off on the 29th of September 2014.

Tracklisting :
1. Djez
2. Schpluf
3. CRJyz
4. 123 piano

And in Bandcamp:

Tuesday 16 September 2014

OCD018 : Baby Fire / The Red Robe

OCD018 : Baby Fire / The Red Robe

Diabolita (songwriter, guitar, vocals & theremin) started Baby Fire as a solo project. She met Cha (drums, keyboards) in January 2010.
Baby Fire's influences are eclectic. Diabolita - who is also a member of In Heaven and von Stroheim - is a fan of Siouxsie and The Banshees, of the Riotgrrrl movement and alternative rock bands such as The God Machine and The Afghan Whigs. Cha (who is also in Lady Fucked Up and Lem) is greatly influenced by drummer Ches Smith.
Within a few months they had written enough songs to open for bands such as HRSTA (Canada), Part Chimp (UK), CJ Boyd (US), Lydia Lunch & Gallon Drunk (US/UK).
Their debut album No Fear was released in March 2011 on Cheap Satanism Records, featuring special guests Dana Schechter (Bee and Flower, The Angels of Light, Insect Ark...) and Eugene Robinson (Oxbow).
In November 2012 they were invited by Godspeed You! Black Emperor to be their support band at the prestigious Cirque Royal in Brussels.

Baby Fire’s second album The Red Robe was recorded at Exitstencil Studios in Essex (UK), at the former headquarters of legendary anarcho-punk band Crass. It was produced by Tony Barber (The Buzzcocks...) and it features special guests Eve Libertine (vocals on ‘Victory’), Seesayle (violin on ‘Sunrise with Sea Monters’), Penny Rimbaud (voice) and Raphaël Rastelli (guitar) on ‘The Lit Light’.

The album’s sound is raw and organic and its moods range from utter darkness (‘Cold’, ‘The Perfect Dress’, ‘A Secret Ceremony’...) to blinding light (‘Door of Mercy’, ‘Victory’...) The title song ‘The Red Robe’ refers to the suicide of French-Russian writer Romain Gary. Allegedly he donned a red robe before taking his life, choosing red in order to not shock those who would find his body.
Expressing a desire to veer away from doom and destruction, the record closes peacefully with ‘The Lit Light’, which features words spoken by Penny Rimbaud and Diabolita.

The CD sleeve was beautifully designed by British artist Alice Smith.

Diabolita (aka Dominique Van Cappellen-Waldock) has collaborated on a full album with Eugene Robinson under the name Las Vegas. She also recorded vocals for Doug Scharin (Codeine, June of 44, Bill Laswell...) and Joe Goldring (Swans, Enablers...). She has appeared on stage with Eve Libertine (Crass) for a special performance at Larsens in 2013. She’s part of the Ladyfest Brussels collective.
Cha left the band in May 2014 to pursue her musical endeavours with Lady Fucked Up and Lem. Alinovsky (Digital Dance, Tuxedomoon, Anna Domino, The Durutti Column...) replaces her on drums.

What they said about Baby Fire:
I've got a good feeling for this record. The material is so good. And different. » Tony Barber

« I've been following along a lot of your songs for a long time. I like the shape you are taking and it's so great that you've been collaborating and expanding your sound. » Carla Bozulich!
« Klasse van eigen bodem. » Gonzo Circus
« Watch this band closely, for there is something very special here. »

« The overall tone of the release is one that combines sexy nonchalant vocals (think Justine Frisch- mann of Elastica) with straightforward instrumentation, but the best songs are the ones that are spoo- kier and darker. As far as debut releases go, this one outlines where the collaboration could move in the future, and it certainly leaves a portrait of a band that has their future work cut out. » Foxydigita-!

Two nice reviews in French here and here, one in English here, one in Flemish in Dark Entries here, two in German in Kulturterrorismus here and in Wiener Zeitung here and one by Leslie Snyder in Jersey Beat here:
"Baby Fire is a great independent haunted rock duo that brings back the darkness of early alternative rock music with an exciting and frigid modern edge. The Duo’s second CD “The Red Robe” is a must have for fans of dark alternative rock music. Baby Fire lets listeners know that the world can often be a cruel and heartless place to live in."
Another one in Vital Weekly:
"I quite enjoyed the post-punk sound of this CD, especially when their sound is forceful and aggressive, which seems to be more in the first half of the release than in the second half. The Banshees influence is one that is very strong in this album, but also, especially in the vocals and lyrics, a (feminine) Crass influence. Songs are pretty short, two, three minutes, and have an excellent force. It works best when speed and aggression is left in tact for a song, a bit slower it doesn't seem to work as well. I quite enjoyed this album. Like Savages and Candelilla, another all girl group to watch out for." (FdW)

Review in New Noise Magazine ( French ) with a very very good 8/10!!!!
"Après avoir enflammé les amateurs de rock charbonneux avec No Fear, son premier album sorti en 2011 chez Cheap Satanism Records, Baby Fire - projet mené de main de maîtresse par Dominique Van Cappellen-Waldock, alias Diabolita - rallume joliment les braises avec The Red Robe, nouvel opus (au moins) aussi ardent que le précédent. Lancé comme un projet solo par Diabolita (chant, guitare, theremine), Baby Fire s'est assez vite transformé en duo avec l'arrivée d'une autre musicienne, opérant sous le doux nom de Cha (percussions, claviers). Ayant décidé de partir pour se consacrer à ses autres groupes (Lady Fucked Up et Lem), Cha a été récemment remplacée par Alain Lefebvre, alias Alinovsky. Enregistré avant ce départ, à Essex (Angleterre), dans les studios Exitstencil (légendaire fief des anarcho-punks de Crass) et sous la houlette de Tony Barber (ancien bassiste des Buzzcocks, reconverti producteur), The Red Robe porte encore la griffe, ô combien acérée, de ces deux jeunes femmes qui ne sont pas trop du genre à parler chiffons et conter fleurette, mais plutôt du genre à brûler chignon et calciner pâquerettes… Le lecteur l'a déjà compris : s'aventurer à l'intérieur de cet album à la beauté sépulcrale, traversé de martèlements lancinants et de feulements obsédants, de cet album fiévreux sur lequel planent les ombres intenses de PJ Harvey, Siouxsie ou Carla Carla R. Bozulich, s'aventurer là, au coeur de ce brasier sonore, n'est pas une expérience de tout repos. Nous la recommandons néanmoins très chaudement." Jérôme Provençal

The album will be release physically and digitally on the 19th of September 2014.

 Track listing:

1. Door of Mercy 
2. The Red Robe
3. TheWolf
4. Victory
5. Dogs
6. Sunrise with Sea Monsters 

7. Mother
8. Cold
9. The Perfect Dress
10.At the Very Heart of the Darkening of the Light 11.A Secret Ceremony
12.The Lit Light

Recording The Red Robe:

Recording The Red Robe by BABY FIRE from Lady Diabolita on Vimeo.

The Wolf by BABY FIRE from Lady Diabolita on Vimeo.

Sunrise with Sea Monsters by BABY FIRE from Lady Diabolita on Vimeo.

Victory feat. Eve Libertine remixed by EDH from Lady Diabolita on Vimeo.

And in Bandcamp:


Thursday 11 September 2014

ODG029-OUI021 : Beaker / Beaker

ODG029-OUI021 : Beaker / Beaker

Beaker, saxophonist Alec Harper and electronic musician Tyler Gilmore aka BlankFor.Ms, is a cross-continental collaboration between two performer/composers steeped in 21st century chamber music, improvisation, and experimental electronic music.  
This debut EP was assembled upon a series of textural improvisations. The duo found themselves shifting between complex drones and distortion-heavy beat tracks, and within this dynamic Beaker found it's sound; a combination of uniquely textural improvisation and beat-based composition.

Tyler Gilmore is a composer, electronic musician, and recording engineer. He has worked with Cuong Vu, Jenny Hval, Ted Reichman, Matt Wilson, Anthony Coleman, Ron Miles, Ken Filiano, John Fedchock, and many others. He has recorded two albums with his ensemble Ninth and Lincoln, including Static Line. In addition, he has composed for projects with Small Dream Ada, vocalist Clare WheelerBeaker, and Chav with Kevin Abdella. He won the 2009 ASCAP/Columbia College Commission in Honor of Hank Jones and won the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer’s Award in 2008, 2009, and 2010. His music has been reviewed in DownBeat and performed internationally by groups including Jon Faddis’s Chicago Jazz Ensemble, the New England Conservatory Jazz Composer’s Orchestra, Bobby Watson and The UMKC Concert Jazz Ensemble, The University of Northern Colorado Jazz Band I, The Playground Ensemble, The Henry Mancini Institute Overture Orchestra, and others. His work is published by UNC Jazz Press and Minor Ninth Music. Tyler grew up in rural Wyoming, attended the University of Northern Colorado and the New England Conservatory, and is now based in Brooklyn, NY.
Alec Harper is a freelance saxophonist and teacher based in London. He graduated in 2012 with a First Class BMus (Hons) in Jazz Performance from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London). Alec recently returned from Boston USA where he spent a year studying at New England Conservatory. Alec's teachers include Jerry Bergonzi, Donny McCaslin, Jason Moran, Stan Sulzman and Mark Hanslip. Alec has been involved in the London jazz scene for some years now, performing with his own quartet and as a sideman at many venues including The Vortex, The Spice Of Life, Charlie Wrights and Olivers Jazz Bar. He also had extensive performance experience at Guildhall, including slots in the London Jazz Festival with the Guildhall Big Band, and concerts with the Southbank Sinfonia.

A nice review  by Joe Stoddart in London Jazz News here:
"Beaker is a collaboration between Brooklyn-based composer and electronic musician Tyler Gilmore and London-based saxophonist Alec Harper. Their debut EP is "assembled upon a series of textural improvisations," with eight tracks either called ‘Improv’ or ‘Song.’ It begins with the emphasis largely on the electronic side in the ambient soundscapes on Improv 1 and Improv 2, before Harper takes on more of a central role on Song 1 in which, as with the other ‘Song’ contributions, there is a shift towards a slightly more beat-orientated approach under a mixture of melodious and exploratary saxophone sounds.
I would strongly recommend listening to the whole EP as one piece of music but for me Song 2 provides the highlight of the record. A sparse, lurching beat provides the background for intermittent lush chords under saxophone textures before disappearing through delay and reverb into silence.Overall, the record is a successful starting point for the duo, giving a good impression of the pair’s sound and musical objectives."

A full focus in Sandy Brown jazz webzine here:
"The Beaker project is experimental improvisation. One of our reviewers, Steve Day, and Alec Harper consider the EP that has emerged from the Beaker project.
Alec Harper: Tyler and I formed a strong connection whilst playing together at New England Conservatory in Boston where we were both studying for a Masters degree. We are both influenced by experimental improvised music both acoustic and electric. We are also very interested in electronic groups like Sigur Ross that write songs with an often long feel with rich lush harmony and a soundscape feel. 
Steve Day: I only listened to this through twice.  The first time just listening, the second time writing these words and giving it another hearing. This sounds similar to Precision Electro-Acoustics by David Novak and James Fei (Maestros) who were coming out of Brooklyn, New York way back in 2001.  Perhaps it’s in the water in that part of the world.  Beaker, a cupful. I wonder whether Alec Harper wants us to review the process or the result?  What we’ve got is some interesting white noise masking reeds blowing an approximation, maybe melody, certainly music.  But it is not straightforward in any sense at all.  The process is computerised cut-up.  In the 1960’s The Beat poets cut up paper, this is cut up sound. John Cage cut up both.
Alec Harper: In terms of a concept there wasn't really one. Not a concrete one at least. The process of improvisation is what brought us together. Myself on saxophone with all sorts of extended techniques (including playing the horn with no mouthpiece like a trumpet as featured on a lot of the EP). Tyler had sounds patched into a midi keyboard and also used many effects to manipulate or add to my sound, reverb, loops, harmonisers and other techniques and he also works with feedback loops to add layers to the improvisation. We certainly didn't have a vision to create anything completely original or unique and don't believe we have done that, but we want to be true to who we are and feel we had a strong sound together with very similar intentions of direction. It never felt hard to work together! 
Steve Day: Beaker is all improvisation despite the tracks being numbered and divided between Song and Improv.  It’s built on layers.  We relate to the horn because it has pitch and key.  There are beats produced by electronic oscillation and we are asked to relate to harmony which is dissonance. Track four, Improv 3 is treated saxophone manipulation with all the current accoutrements of the electro playground; there’s a keyboard, distorted and frayed.  What is the difference in the naming of ‘Song’ and ‘Improv’ here?  I can’t hear any change in the process.  I don’t think it matters.  The result is momentarily experimental.  ‘Song’ assumes melodic elements, but here most of it is abstracted by noise.  Of course, noise can be worth listening to......
Alec Harper:  We started the recording process by simply recording long improvisations together. These tended to be quite long! We then went about choosing sections that we liked, passages that leapt out at us. Some of these sections appear on the record exactly as we recorded them and are labeled Improv 1/2/3 etc. We also took some short sections of improv and deconstructed them, sometimes created loops and added beats and then recorded more saxophone over the top in the form of melodies (like on Song 1). These tracks were all labelled 'Song' as they weren't purely improvised. 
Steve Day: Track six, Improv 4 is rhythm via controlled static. Track seven, Song 1.5 one long stretched note with interference. Track eight, Improv 5 A bent multi-note final with more electronic dissonant ‘harmonies’.
Alec Harper: Putting the EP together was very interesting. We wanted to create one long piece and thought an EP would be a good place to start. We tried to put the different tracks together so the EP would flow and could be listened to in one go but there are a couple of tracks, like Song 2 for instance, which could perhaps be singled out and listened to on their own. 
Steve Day: Look, I listened to this recording in a safe warm place.  I was not under pressure nor was I tense.  Had I been in a less positive environment my reaction would probably have been quite different.  As it was, I heard an experiment but not what I would call a breakthrough.  Beaker, better than no Beaker but others have drunk from this cup before.  No reason for Gilmore and Harper not to crackle and pop.  So what now?  You can’t really do it again, or can you? 
Alec Harper: We recently performed an EP launch in Brooklyn NY which was great fun and reflected on the EP sound and process with some 'Songs' from the EP performed live (not playing along with the tracks but building them live and playing the melodies with them) and then improvisations that were done there and then. This EP has a mixture of improvisations and beat based songs and we would like to explore both of those ideas more now perhaps creating an album of just songs or just a long improvisation. Who knows but this was our starting point. 
Alec Harper: With regards to listeners for this album we would like anyone to be able to hear it. I feel the fact there are a few tracks (labelled 'Song' with a more beat orientated approach) mean that it could potentially appeal to people who aren't so used to hearing dense textural improvisations but it is probably an experimental album and not something that would feature at Ronnie Scott's for instance. I think it needs to be listened to with open ears and an open mind and not put in any genre but just received so not trying to latch on to melodies too much or thinking about what is happening but just trying to experience it in a sort of meditative way. It perhaps isn't the best train music but then some people have said they listen to it on the way to work so everyone is different. "

Digital release only on the 12th of September 2014.

Track listing:

1: Improv 1
2: Improv 2
3: Song 1
4: Improv 3
5: Song 2
6: Improv 4
7: Song 1.5
8: Improv 5

A nice video from Song 2:

And on Bandcamp:

Thursday 4 September 2014

OCD019-ODG028-OUI015 : Hanami Quartet / Hanami Quartet

OCD019-ODG028-OUI015 : Hanami Quartet / Hanami Quartet

Hanami quartet includes Andrew Trim and Charles Rumback who already have released the marvelous album ' Look at Me, So I Can Get Close To you' (here).

The Hanami Quartet is the brainchild of Chicago guitarist Andrew Trim. Second boy from the right on the cover, he spent his childhood in Japan for a while and developed a love for the country.
Collaborating with Chicago saxophonist and clarinetist Mai Sugimoto, the two have been cultivating their mutual Japanese roots and infusing their favorite Japanese folk, classical, pop, and children's music with improvisation and deconstruction to draw out an extremely personal sonic experience and breath new life into a wide range of Japanese music, both old and new. 
The band features some of the young veterans of Chicago's improvising scene including Jason Stein (Locksmith Isidore) and Charles Rumback (Colorlist).

The band

A nice review in the Chicago Reader here :
Guitarist Andrew Trim and reedist Mai Sugimoto live in Chicago now, but they both spent parts of their childhoods in Japan. Following the disastrous Tohoku tsunami in 2011, they put together Hanami Quartet (with bass clarinetist Jason Stein and drummer Charles Rumback), intending to raise funds for Japan’s recovery with a one-off benefit concert. But they were so happy with that performance that they kept the project alive, and this weekend they celebrate the release of the band’s self-titled debut on Off Records. For their repertoire, Trim and Sugimoto turned to the melodies they grew up with in Japan—children’s songs, Japanese classical music, and pop tunes made famous by Kyu Sakamoto. Some of them sounded familiar to me too, and after Trim provided some background, I realized that the 1961 Sakamoto smash “Ue o Muite Aruko” had become a top-ten hit in the U.S. after A Taste of Honey released it as “Sukiyaki” in 1981. The charged performances, which exploit contrasts between the instrumentalists (soft and loud, smooth and rough), create a tension that counterbalances the frequent sentimentality of the melodies. Rumback reveals the influence of Paul Motian more explicitly than usual, bringing a rumbling bottom end to his playing, and Stein and Sugimoto’s intertwined lines toy with a delicious sour-sweet dichotomy. Trim’s lovely underwater guitar tone softens the edges of his lines but retains a gentle bite, and he juggles two roles, sometimes playing harmonies and sometimes bass lines. He also solos occasionally, as does Stein—but where the guitarist is tender and lyrical, the bass clarinetist is biting and furious, especially on “Sakura Sakura,” where the group all but abandons the safety net of chords and keys to give him free rein. —Peter Margasak

And another one in Wondering Sound by Dave Sumner here:
Formed originally in the spirit of raising funds to aid Japanese victims of a recent tsunami, this quartet of guitarist Andrew Trim, drummer Charles Rumback, multi-reedist Mai Sugimoto and bass clarinetist Jason Stein enjoyed their project enough to eventually put together a studio recording. This cerebrally inclined modern jazz take on Japanese songs is wonderfully engaging, a potent mix of sonic fluency and cinematic ambiance. Even when a song grows increasingly volatile, there’s always a comforting lullaby nature to it. The more I listen to this recording, the more strongly I feel about it. Outstanding. Highly Recommended.

Released physically and digitally on the 5th of September 2014.
Cd is a limited 200 copies edition.

Track listing:
1. Haru No Umi (Traditional Japanese classical piece for shakuhachi and koto)
2. Koi Nobori (Japanese children's song about carp streamers)
3. Miagete Goran, Yoru No Hoshi Wo (Japanese pop hit made famous by Kyu Sakamoto)
4. Sakura Sakura (Traditional Japanese song about cherry blossoms)
5. Cloud's Theme (One of Nobuo's pieces from FFVII)
6. Ue O Muite Aruko/Sukiyaki (Another Japanese pop hit made famous by Kyu Sakamoto)
7. Aka Tombo/Yuuyake Koyake (Medley of two Japanese children's songs - one about the red dragonfly and one about dusk)

Itunes, Spotify, etc.: 

And on Bandcamp: