Saturday 30 May 2015

OCD026 : Controlled Bleeding - Sparkle In Grey / Perversions of the Aging Savant

OCD026 : Controlled Bleeding - Sparkle In Grey / Perversions of the Aging Savant

Split albums are generally record items not much loved by fans, often forced and incoherent combinations of musicians and songs without true relationships or conceptual connections between them. Exactly the opposite is what happens in the work originated from the lasting friendship and the interchange at distance between the Italian Matteo Uggeri of Sparkle in Grey and Paul Lemos, since 1983 at the head of the US band Controlled Bleeding. Perversions of the Aging Savant not only shuffles the cards with the additional "extra perversions" of the two groups placed symmetrically at the end of the album, but is also the result of mutual suggestions and course adjustments, throughout the preparation of the tracks. The laborious process of bilateral "influence" has allowed the development of a tangible affinity in the sonic climate and of a considerable stylistic consistency among the different sections of the album, without affecting the individual characteristics of the two projects.
On the one hand, we have the well-known eclecticism of CB, ranging from pages of confident guitar based prog rock (the aerial and enchanted notes of Brooklyn in Springtime recall the delicate touch of Tony Duhig of Jade Warrior) to rough industrial-noise excursions (the coarse-grained groove and the whirling distorted solos of Perks pt.1) or to jazzy improvisations now soberly melodic and now tangled and dissonant (the two parts of Birdcanned). 
On the other hand, there is the compact suite Idiot Savant by SGI, a poignant chamber lieder with neo-classical aplomb, gradually built from sparse notes of piano and a mournful violin around an emotional recurring theme, among mysterious choral breaths and subterranean cacophonies. In some moments of the album we even witness a sort of mimesis, therefore the Intro by CB, with its weird accelerated voices on a strident rhythmic mechanism, could very well be a creation of SGI, while the Italians’ Mevlano pt. 1 could pass for an episode by Lemos, Joe Papa and associates linking free jazz to drone ambient. The two projects also reveal a common and latent inclination towards dub, besides the propensity to explore different routes, aerial and solar but also misty and labyrinthine, often in a improvisational mode.
An (anti)split album in which two champions of the international underground scene join forces to concoct an exquisitely perverse juxtaposition of free-prog-jazz-noise-ambient courses and post-rock- electro-neo-classical tidbits.

Controlled Bleeding:
The experimental band was originally formed around 1978 by Paul Lemos. The band's classic first album, Knees and Bones, which now stands as one of the earliest documents of American power electronics, was issued in 1983. After this long career, Controlled Bleeding is now renewed and reinvigorated. Mastermind Paul Lemos put together a new, stripped-down lineup of the group featuring drummer Anthony Meola, who played in the very early formation. To complete the new band, keyboardist/sonic sculptor Mike Bazini also signed on. With the aid of a bass looper, the group is again playing live, returning to the direct, guitar-driven progressive sounds of their early "pre-industrial" days. Sounding like a combination of Mahavishnu Orchestra, Fripp and Eno and Oneida, the music is highly intense and more relevant than ever. Having recently recorded with producer Martin Bisi, the group will release a new full-length within the next six months.  
Material partially recorded at Martin Bisi studio in New York.

Paul Lemos

Sparkle in Grey:
Formed in 2005 in Milan, Italy, Sparkle in Grey’s instrumentation includes violin, bass, laptop, guitar, bagpipes, piano, polyrhythmic drums, melodica, field recordings, harsh noises and a bicycle. They cross many styles, from Industrial to electronic to Ukrainian traditional folk music to post-combat rock. One of their latest record, Thursday Evening, is an Italian-Swiss production, recorded by Andrea Serrapiglio (better known as a cellist for Carla Bozulich, Scott McCloud and Zu 93). Themed around riots and resistance against oppression and injustice, each copy of the album comes with a pebble. One of the songs was featured on The Wire Tapper #32.
Here they propose a mostly improvised session of more than 20 minutes of music, starting with the delicate notes of a piano, passing through a desperate rock melody, exploding in a noise drama and closing with an electronic slow pace coda.
Recorded at Andrea Serrapiglio BadInstruments in Alessandria.

Digital and physical release on the 1st of June 2015.
A nice review here.
The physical release is only on sale on the Off site (see under), except for a few shops in the US and in Japan.

Track listing:

FIRST SECTION : “The Perks of Being a Perv” by Controlled Bleeding:
1 : Intro

2 : Garage Dub
3 : Springtime in Brooklyn
4 : Perks Pt. 1
5 : Birdcanned Pt.1
6 : Birdcanned Pt. 2

SECOND SECTION : “The Rant of the Idiot Savant” by Sparkle in Grey:
7 : Idiot Savant Pt. 1
8 : Idiot Savant Pt. 2
9 : Idiot Savant Pt. 3
10 : Idiot Savant Pt. 4

Sparkle in Grey: 11 - Mevlano pt.1
Controlled Bleeding: 12 - Live in Brooklyn, 2012

Sparkle in Grey: 11 - Lurop, Pt. 2 
Controlled Bleeding: 12 - Untitled 


Monday 25 May 2015

ORT013 : Elko Blijweert - Frans Van Isacker / Atlajala Land

ORT013 : Elko Blijweert & Frans Van Isacker / Atlajala Land

Up until the year 2010 guitar hero Elko Blijweert and saxophone virtuoso Frans Van Isacker
brought jazz music to the rocking masses as key members of Franco Saint De Bakker. 
Now they have joined forces again to bring us "Atlajala Land", a voyage through time and space that takes the listener from avant-garde free jazz over melancholic melodies to the sensual sounds of a late-night make-out session in an abandoned castle. 
What better way to present this wide-ranging musical collaboration to the people than by a unique joint venture between Teun Verbruggen's avant-jazz label Rat Records and Rudy Trouvé's all-encompassing Heaven Hotel collective? 
Musical references include Brian Eno, Richard Thompson, Jackie Mc Lean, Boredoms, Bach and Beethoven. 
However, whimsical titles such as "A Welcome Sandwich For The Dancing Bear" and "Making Out At Chourouk's Castle" tell us more about the singular sounds Blijweert and Van Isacker bring us than mere name-dropping ever could.

Pic.: Mark Rietveld

Already released as a cd or vinyl here.
Original digital release on the 27th of May 2015, now in Bandcamp.

Track listing:

01: Silver Gates (Opening)
02: United Rivers of Atlajala Land
03: A Welcome Sandwich for the Dancing Bear
04: Baron vaillant conduit
05: Land of Atlajala
06: Giant’s Corner
07: Celestial Promise
08: Arc of Blackness
09: On Left Bank Bridge
10: Making out at Chourouk's Castle
11: Two Flags Waving at the Border
12: Melody for Atlajala
13: Blue Cabin in the Red Woods (Final)

Two videos showing the talented Elko live:

In Bandcamp:

Thursday 21 May 2015

ODG038 : Cyrod Iceberg / Routes II

ODG038 : Cyrod Iceberg / Routes II

Cyrod Iceberg could be best describe as a sonore craftsman living in a parisian apartment.
Teenager from the nineties, his self produced albums navigate in various genres: from indie-rock to minimalist ambient, from sad folk to soundtrack experimentation.
He has composed a few music pieces for short movies and plays in different musical projects with multiple identities: Red Space Cyrod, Oizak, Greenfield, Tadash, Cockchafer Goodbye!
His favorite musical instruments are an old left handed guitar and a glam microphone.
The album Route is a perfect exemple of his musical vision: a road music for an imaginary road movie. 9 songs for 9 different roads, 9 songs for 9 different travels!

Digital release on the 22nd of May 2015.

Track listing:

1: Route 1b
2: Route 5a
3: Route 2a
4: Route 3b
5: Route 5b
6: Route 1a
7: Route 4a
8: Route 3a
9: Route 4b

And in Bandcamp:

Thursday 14 May 2015

OPV011 : Manu Ribot / Ça

OPV011 : Manu Ribot / Ça

Self trained guitarist from France, Manu Ribot started playing in various punk-rock bands before coming to live and stay in Brussels in 1992. 
After spending 5 years playing with Amarak lab (already with Didier Fontaine on drums), he appeared on the Pierre Vervloesem’s album ‘Chef- d’Oeuvre’ (see OVD006) in 1998. 
They became friends since that time and never really stopped to play together time to time. 
Manu then returned to France for 4 years where he worked and recorded with French punk-rock band Weak. 
Back in Belgium he recorded and released ‘SSShhhTTTTT’ (see OPV004 - in OBX001), started playing in various punk-rock bands before recording his first album under the name The Claude Zac Ensemble, produced and mixed by Pierre Vervloesem.
This is his first solo effort, playing all the guitars, bass, keyboard and programming.
All instrumental, but full of humour and gimmicks to all sort of musics from the 60ties to now! 

Again produced and mixed by Pierre Vervloesem who also plays here and there.

Digital and physical release on the 15th of May 2015.

Track listing:

1: Ticky Tacky

2: St. Germ 
3: Canal
4: Dano The Blind 
5: Intermède 1
6: Ha Ho Hou
7: Kiloton
8: Intermède 2 
9: Outplaced
10: Intermède 3 
11: Ant Theme
12: Intermède 4
13: Ruta Cinco
14: Nanomarket
15: Intermède 5
16: Goof
17: Intermède 6
18: Intermède 7
19: Intermède 8 
20: Ego Concacaro 
21: Intermède 9
22: Intermède 10
23: Intermède 11

A video for the song Dano The Blind:

And on Bandcamp:

The cd is sold out

Sunday 10 May 2015

ODG040 : D Aimler Entertainment Group / Disco Discoveries Vol.1 & 2

ODG040 : D Aimler Entertainment Group / Disco Discoveries Vol.1 & 2

This is probably the strangest music I have ever encountered. 

Back in 2010, a friend who had travelled in Sweden offered me a K7 tape. It was a dj mix of very obscure disco hits from various Swedish bands, notably a few from a band called D Aimler Entertainment Group. Those songs amazed me by their strangeness and dark power.
It took me years before I succeeded to locate a certain Noah Brown, manager of the band at the time, as all original members of the band were unreachable.
He then send me the full recordings on K7 with a letter explaining that back in 1976 D Aimler and his friends decided to record their favorite disco themes.
At the time, they self released their songs via their own label: Daegillicord.
This is what Noah wrote in his letter:

"welcome to disco discoveries...
Having decided to record an album of all time favorites…a true tribute to great recordings artistes…we where faced with a problem, not, as is usually the case, deciding which tunes to include that have been made permanent favourites through the years…
well, we’ve done our best to give a cross section of hits on this offering and can only hope that we have included your particular favorites
of one thing we are certain: the performance given here by the d aimler entertainment group is, both in style and quality, a sincere tri-bute to the artistes who first made these tunes popular…"

noah brown
head of cabbage

And a picture of the band late 1976:

Jürgen Clause: drums, percusions
Ann Parlophone: percusions, vocals
Microman: piano, keyboards, fairlight
Gregory Cooler: bas moog, vocals
José Gormez: guitars, percusions, vocals
Barbara E.Smith: viola, chello
D Aimler: bandleader, sounds vocals

Listening test responses back in 1976:

”these tunes bring peace and serenity…not easy to come by and much appreciated”

”it didn’t make me feel happy or sad…i simple found it impossible to think of the things that disturb me, which, to me, is 
a higher form of inner peace

”the whole room seemed to change as the beam tracked the first groove…
very heavy stuff

surrealitic experience…the strange harmonics and super-reality of the sounds generate their own sense of reality”

”provides a mellow, 
relaxing atmosphere…very good quality”

”i was expecting electronic music-what i heard was totally diffrent..
truly beautiful sound

"the realism of theese recordings is 
truly exceptional...a true pleasure"

It a real pleasure for Off to finally offer to all of you those incredible songs.
Digital release only on the 11th of May 2015.

Track listing:

volume 1
01 Yado! Yado!
02 Love Bombs
03 Afrikaan Country
04 Don’t Go Away Little Girl
05 Flirty 30’s 
06 Bob Bachelor
07 Memories Valley
08 Micha’s Message
09 Music Memories And Martinis
10 Ocjoy
11 On A Clear Day You Can Smile Forever
12 Under A Royal Blue October Sky
13 September Song
14 Sheila Grooves On Me (Oh! Donny Donny)
15 Hum Hum Blue
16 Sleepy People
17 Such A Pretty Song
18 The Ballad Of The Sad Gang Men
19 The Beautiful Way Of Love
20 Final Episode Of Charmaine
21 To All Discrimating Music Lovers

volume 2
01 Theme From Sugar Candy
02 Alone Again On New Years Eve
03 The Golden Joint
04 A Guitar Coctail
05 Cryin’ Out For The Lost Space Child
06 California Daydream
07 Kea
08 Hey Mister Hardblower
09 Steppin’ With Ross
10 Dusty Star
11 Buzz Remember ’67
12 Goodbye Sweet Jane
13 My Little Grass Schack
14 Music People
15 Omadas Night With Joséphine B
16 Disc Jockey
17 164 Hypnotized Bees
18 The Breeze And I
19 Daisy Saw The Cat
20 If You Ever Got Rain In Your Heart
21 Let’s Have Popcorn!!!
22 Pulco’s Night With Doris Day
23 Why Don’t You Lough?
24 Do The Do Song

And on Bandcamp :


Monday 4 May 2015

OPV010 : Les Boucles Absurdes / Into My Brain

Cover art by Kiekebiche

OPV010 : Les Boucles Absurdes / Into My Brain

The return of one of the most absurdes Belgian duo for a second and terrific album! 
Formed by Jean-Pierre Jonckheere and maestro Pierre Vervloesem ( X-Legged Sally, Flat Earth Society).
They played together back in 1982 in Itza Uchen and reunited in 2014 for their first album ‘Boîtes à Tartines’ (see OPV008).
This time with a number one hit song : Broken line! 
Two other songs bring new horizons to the music of the band while the rest is their usual prog-psyche-avant-garde-jazz world of music! 
Once listened, never forgotten! A voyage into your brain!

Guest musicians are:
Dominique Van Cappellen-Waldock, vocals and lyrics on ‘Broken Line’ and ‘Glow’. 
She is most well known for her band Baby Fire (see OCD018) and LAS vegas (with Eugene Robinson from Oxbow, see OCD024).
Seesayle, violin, guitar, vocal and lyrics on ‘L’angoisse du chicon’.
Luc Van Lieshout, trumpets on ‘ Left Alone’. He plays in famed US band Tuxedomoon and also in FES (see ODG004).

German review in Ragazzi-music here:
"Pierre Vervloesem presents: a series of good music, whatever that means!
Several band projects have been published under this label at Off Records. 
According to the motto of the Belgian musician Pierre Vervloesem no album does sound like the other. 
This goal again has been reached and reached is the right word. 
Jean-Pierre Jonckheere and Pierre Vervloesem played together in 1982 in the band Itza Utchen.
2014 saw the resumption of their musical work with  the album "Boîtes à tartines".
Together with some guest musicians, the created again a pleasant sloping, extravagant album. 
It's 11 tracks and 57:02 minutes of play brings together crazy and unusual ideas  that never were united in this way and oppositely socialized in their original idea. 
Les Boucles absurd thank PIL, Laurie Anderson & The Mariner's Children. 
At the same time they could thank King Crimson and Frank Zappa, of which structural components and guitar work were involved. 
The album goes straight ahead with a hit. "Broken line" has a great Groove, is an extra-hard Electric Avant-funk song with New Wave or better No Wave vocals, shoot the whipping Drums and radical electronic sharp out of the speakers. Even the rather psychedelic inlay has its hit moments. 
But as such things happened in the early eighties or end seventies, the original was completely pop, not nearly as smart and tough and weird and extravagant. Les Boucles absurdes, progressivise 'the original idea-material in its own composition in which crazy avant-garde music stuff, in the catchy pop, gentle girls-voices, atonal electronic, ambiance poetry, zappa style guitar solos, crimson style instrumental disharmonies and No Wave arrive in 2015. 
Some fast pure material can be heard here on easy casual electric grooves, which break out in psychedelic monster parts and create atonal flair in which this hopeless moment of No Wave / New Wave is infiltrated. 
But the instrumental aesthetics is very today, here and now. 
Even new music can design itself, or strangely-mixed jazz fantasies that can erupt in extremely unusual directions as theater music. 
Last but not least, the duo worked out strangest Progressive Rock patterns  that not  in any case are easy, conventional or easily understood. 
The strange substance constitutes immensely to fascinating and rewarding multiple listening  with new experiences. 
For Progressive Rocker and Avant specialists who like to think about genre boundaries and in the instrumental wilderness this is rare gourmet food." Volkmar Mantei

Digital and physical release on the 1st of May 2015.

Track listing:

01. Broken line                                               
02. Skeleton                                                     
03. L'angoisse du chicon                              
04. No gods needed                                      
05. Glow                                                             
06. Into my brain                                            
07. Absence  
08. Dialogue de sourds                                 
09. Left alone                                                   
10. Captagon                                                    
11. Apnée du soleil                                                       

The video for 'Broken Line':

and the one for 'Glow':

Bandcamp download here