mercredi 31 mars 2010

Art Bears - The World as It Is Today

Fred Frith: guitar, keyboards, violin, viola, xylophone
Dagmar Krause: vocals
Chris Cutler: drums, electronic drums, percussion, noises

If you thought Henry Cow was a pretty political band to start with, you may be even more taken aback by the Art Bears, which was put together following Henry Cow's demise by former Cows Chris Cutler (percussion), Fred Frith (guitar, violin), and Dagmar Krause (voice). On The World As It Is Today and its predecessor, Winter Songs, the Art Bears move away from the long-form art rock of Henry Cow and get much, much more politically explicit: song titles like "The Song of the Dignity of Labour Under Capital" and "The Song of Investment Capital Overseas" almost sound like Monty Python gags today, but if any humor was intended it was clearly meant to be mordant. Frankly, the lyrics are so overwrought and portentous that it's hard to take them seriously. But the music is something else again. Cutler and Frith are natural collaborators; Cutler's drumming always rides a very fine line between the scattershot and the funky, while Frith bounces his horror-show guitar noise and carnival piano off of Cutler's grooves with manic abandon and fearsome inventiveness. And Krause's singing is just as inventive; she whoops, croons and screams her way through the density of Cutler's lyrics without a hesitation or misstep. Easy listening it isn't, but it's sure worth hearing. Frith fans, in particular, should consider this album a must-own.


Art Bears - Winter Songs

Fred Frith: guitar, keyboards, violin, viola, xylophone
Dagmar Krause: vocals
Chris Cutler: drums, electronic drums, percussion, noises

Finding distribution on the Residents' Ralph Records label, the Art Bears' second album consists of 12 songs of various tensions: rest vs. speed, improv vs. pulse, space vs. density, Dagmar Kraus's vocals vs. everyone else. As usual, Chris Cutler's lyrics tell political allegories through medieval-tinged stories: slaves, castles, and wheels of fortune (and industry) dominate. Fred Frith explores discordance through his guitar, and European folk figures through his always enjoyable violin. Though not as confrontational as their other work, the centerpiece has to be the frantic "Rats and Monkeys" with three minutes of teeth-gritting, out-of-control insanity as all three players are plugged into a wall outlet and let rip. A guaranteed lease breaker if played often enough.


mardi 30 mars 2010

Art Bears - Hopes and Fears

Fred Frith: guitar, violin, viola, piano, harmonium, xylophone
Dagmar Krause: vocals
Chris Cutler: drums, electronic drums, percussion, noises
Lindsay Cooper: bassoon, oboe, soprano saxophone, tape
Georgie Born: bass, cello
Tim Hodgkinson: organ, clarinet

The first album from Dagmar Krause, Chris Cutler, and Fred Frith's post-Henry Cow project is one of the art rock masterpieces of the 1970s. It's as politically potent as Henry Cow's more strident work, but couched in more poetic and provocative terms. Opening with Bertolt Brecht's "On Suicide," with Krause declaiming the playwright's bitter lyrics in her semi-operatic style to the wheezing accompaniment of Frith's harmonium, the album continues in that uncompromising vein. Although most of the other members of Henry Cow guest, with reeds player Lindsay Cooper and keyboardist Tim Hodgkinson playing on a majority of the 13 songs, Hopes and Fears is considerably more focused and powerful than that group's often scattershot albums. The songs are built on Cutler's impressively varied drumming (often on electronically modified instruments), and the amazing variety of sounds Frith is able to coax out of a battery of electric and acoustic guitars, but there's enough space in the music for Krause's unique vocals to shine. Highlights include the epic, multi-part "In Two Minds," parts of which are as close as the Art Bears ever come to conventional rock music (which is to say, not very close at all, but there's an electric guitar solo), and the puckish instrumental, "Moeris Dancing."


Mick Flower & Chris Corsano - The Radiant Mirror

Mick Flower: shamisen
Chris Corsano: drums

Chris Corsano has gained a well-earned reputation as one of the hardest-working drummers around. Equally at home with intense kinetic explosions of energy and concentrated near-silence, he effortlessly flows from one idea to the next, always sympatico with his fellow musicians. He has recorded and gigged with, among others, Paul Flaherty, Thurston Moore, Jessica Rylan, Jim O Rourke, Nels Cline, Jandek, Greg Kelly, Daniel Carter, Six Organs of Admittance, Evan Parker, Sunburned Hand Of Man, MV&EE, Keiji Haino, Dredd Foole, Vampire Belt, Joe McPhee, Carlos Giffoni, Christina Carter and Heather Leigh Murray.

Mick is the founding member of the British avant garde collective Vibracathedral Orchestra, one of the most seminal UK acts in the free music scene pioneering an approach that has influenced a tribe of other outsiders. Mick occasionaly plays with Sunroof and Sunburned Hand of The Man.


lundi 29 mars 2010

Evan Parker & John Wiese - C-Section

Evan Parker: tenor & soprano saxophones
John Wiese: electronic, tape, computer (MSP)


James Chance & The Contortions - Buy

James Chance & The Contorsions
The Contortions were one of the most important -- and accessible -- bands in New York's short-lived No Wave movement, playing a noisy, clattering avant-funk that drew from punk and free jazz. The group was formed in 1977 by the flamboyantly dressed vocalist/saxophonist James Chance (born James Siegfried), also featuring guitarists Pat Place and Jody Harris, organist Adele Bertei, bassist George Scott, and drummer Don Christensen. The Contortions' live shows embodied the nihilistic ethos of No Wave, as Chance actively picked fights with the audience. The group contributed four tracks to the seminal Brian Eno-produced No Wave compilation No New York in 1978; the following year, Buy the Contortions marked their official album debut, by which time Chance was being billed ahead of the group name. Aside from a few live recordings, the original Contortions lineup didn't release much more material. Chance used most of the group for his funk/disco project James White & The Blacks (with the album Off White also appearing in 1979), and although he continued to lead versions of the Contortions through the early '80s, the original lineup split up in 1980. Place went on to join the acclaimed Bush Tetras, while Harris, Scott, and Christensen formed the Raybeats. [Steve Huey, All Music Guide]
1979 BUY

Teenage Jesus & The Jerks - Everything

Teenage Jesus and The Jerks
Teenage Jesus & the Jerks were an influential New York City No Wave music group of 1976-79 fronted by Lydia Lunch and James Chance, who later left the band after some conflict about their direction.

Reputed to play ten-minute sets of thirty-second songs (though "The Closet" and "I Woke Up Dreaming" extended to around three minutes and performances up to twenty), they sought to take music beyond what Lunch saw as the traditionalism of punk rock ("I thought punk was lousy Chuck Berry music amped up to play triple fast", she later commented). Their frenzied playing and Lunch's shrieked vocals gained them a renown quickly matching and even surpassing that of other No Wave bands such as DNA or the older Mars.

The group left behind little more than a dozen complete recorded songs, most of the surviving titles being assembled in 1995 into an 18-minute career retrospective CD only slightly incorrectly titled Everything (though other studio versions of several songs exist alongside a few live recordings). Few bands can have achieved quite such an impact with so slim a body of work, one felt not only in the US but also via (extremely limited) radio play in Britain where their assault on convention contrasted even more powerfully with the punk music of the day. Lunch and Chance went on separately to continued success in the New York underground music scene and beyond.

The group has been cited as a significant influence on post-punk groups such as Sonic Youth.

John Wiese & C. Spencer Yeh

Thanks to THE STATIC FANATIC for this unreleased bootleg

Free EAI harsh noise larsen

John Wiese: electronics and other
C. Spencer Yeh: violin and other


dimanche 28 mars 2010

samedi 27 mars 2010

Hans Koch, Martin Schütz, Fredy Studer - Hardcore Chambermusic

Hans Koch: clarinets, saxophones, sampling, sequencer and programming
Martin Schütz: electric 5-strings cello, acoustic cello
Fredy Studer: drums, percussion


dimanche 21 mars 2010

John Butcher & Phil Durrant - Secret Measures

John Butcher: tenor & soprano saxophone
Phil Durrant: live electronic manipulation and generation


John Butcher & Phil Durrant - Requests and Antisongs

John Butcher: tenor & soprano saxophone
Phil Durrant: live electronic manipulation, modular feedback


samedi 20 mars 2010

John Butcher, Miya Masaoka, Gino Robair - Guerrilla Mosaics

John Butcher: soprano & tenor saxophone
Miya Masaoka: 21-strings & laser koto
Gino Robair: percussion, faux dax, bowed metal, motors


lundi 15 mars 2010

Lionel Marchetti, Voice Crack, Jérome Noetinger - Double Wash


Totalitarian Musical Sect

Totalitarian Musical Sect:
Dmitriy Kakhovskiy - bass and objects
Vitaliy Kucherov - guitar and objects
Alexey Stavizkiy - trombone and clarinet and flutes and objects
Ilia Belorukov - alto and baritone saxophones
Maxim Pozin - alto and prepared alto sax and clarinet and flutes and objects

2007 WARM THINGS VOL.1, Live in GES21

Totalitarian Musical Sect:
Dmitriy Kakhovskiy - contrabass
Vitaliy Kucherov - electric guitar & flute
Ilia Belorukov - alto saxophone & flute

2008 WARM THINGS VOL.2, Live in GES21

Paul Flaherty, Chris Corsano, C. Spencer Yeh - A rock in the snow

Paul Flaherty: tenor, alto saxophones, voice
Chris Corsano: drums, voice
C. Spencer Yeh: violin, voice


mardi 2 mars 2010

Franz Hautzinger & Mazen Kerbaj

Franz Hautzinger & Mazen Kerbaj - Abu Tarek

Franz Hautzinger: trumpet
Mazen Kerbaj: trumpet


lundi 1 mars 2010

4 Walls - And the world aint square

Luc Ex: acoustic bass
Phil Minton: voice
Michael Vatcher: drums
Veryan Weston: piano.
  1. The anarchist's anthem (poem by John Henry Mackay) (04.05)
  2. Pliers (04.36)
  3. Hinged (01.27)
  4. Advertising salesman (Adrian Mitchell) (02.05)
  5. Bits of five (03.25)
  6. Fine weather (Ho Chi Mihn) (03.42)
  7. Night in Siberia (02.17)
  8. Rain or hail & Sluggo (poem by e.e.cummings/Sluggo by Michael Moore) (04.17)
  9. Grisly (02.32)
  10. Girder (02.05)

Recorded in September 2000 at the Bimhuis, Amsterdam and January 2001 at E-sound Studio, Weesp.

Front cover artwork by Isabelle Vigier.

2001 And the world aint square