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Peter Brötzmann (live at Café Oto)

Café Oto, London 19 February 2012

71 years old, and with the gravitas of a Prussian general contemplating one final glorious attack on Paris, free jazz saxophone legend Peter Brötzmann swings into Old London Town for a two night stand at Dalston’s Café Oto, E8’s achingly hip home of improvisation, experimentation and general squealing and freeping of every sort. Only a short hop, skip and jump from The Vortex, the difference between the audiences drawn by the two venues is immediately apparent: Oto-goers are a far more youthful and less beardy crowd than the elderly chin-strokers mostly present for a comparable event at The Vortex, an [post=evan-parker-live text=”Evan Parker”] gig, say.

For a start it’s packed. And I mean packed. There must be 200 or more people squeezed in, standing behind pillars here, sitting on the floor there, and that’s unparalleled for improv gig like this. And there are youngsters!

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Sun Araw and M. Geddes Gengras meets The Congos – Icon Give Thank

RVNG Int’l

This seems both unlikely and likely. The kind of thing you look at initially and sort of ‘Huh?’ but then creeps up at you as you stop thinking about it and suddenly seems like an obvious decision (cf. the Julianna Barwick, Ikue Mori release). Sun Araw can (almost) do no wrong in these parts but previously in collaborations I’ve always felt that the message is over-diluted. Sun Araw’s is a washed out sound, is woozy and indefinite and yet utterly singular and immersive – add others to the mix and the same sounds lose something, perhaps even seem a little forced. Sun Araw seems like it needs just the one centre, everything else needs to be fixed, like a beetle crawling in circles because it’s tied to a nail.

For this reason, I was apprehensive when Frkwys announced this was

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Ship Canal – Please Let Me Back Into Your House


This came in, slipped under the door like a thin slice of cranial pie…

A friend of mine was prone to petit mal seizures, seizures of absence, slow-wave spikes. They’d often occur in the middle of a sentence; she’d just… go away for a few moments, sometimes long minutes, sometimes the last word she was saying would simply repeat and slurrrrrrr ad infinitum: “The thing with Feynman is that he he he he he he he he he he he he he he…” and then sometimes she’d pop back, continuing the sentence, sliding seamlesssly into the world again “…always knew exactly which knot to start untying…” while at other times her eyes would close and she’d drift away for a few more moments, the echoes dying, the dark coming in.

My favourite track on Please Let Me Back Into Your House,

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Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. – The Ripper at the Heaven’s Gates of Dark

Riot Season

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso UFO - The Ripper at the Heaven’s Gates of DarkWith its pun title based on the Syd Barrett Pink Floyd album, the new Acid Mothers album seems to be one of their most scorching psychedelic yet, but in a very traditional way. The opening track “Chinese Flying Saucer” has Led Zepplin’s “A Whole Lotta Love” stamped all over it, from the opening riff to the faux Robert Plant vocals to the bizarre middle instrumental lead guitar work out. In a strange way it reminded me of a lot of bands who used to play at the Alice in Wonderland club in the Eighties and certainly would not have seemed out of place within their DJ set

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Pimmon – The Oansome Orbit


“Oansome” is a word coined by Russell Hoban, American author of the triumphantly bleak post-apocalyptic novel Riddley Walker, set in Kent after a nuclear war has ravaged the land and left the survivors scrabbling to survive and speaking in a language as changed by the Bomb as the landscape and people have been. Indicating a sense of despondent solitude, of being left abandoned and profoundly alone in a world ripped asunder, Oansome Orbits are Paul Gough‘s way of describing the microscopic sounds he has made live large on the eight tracks of the album, circling and reacting to each other in the void. Lonesome this album certainly is, drifting and sussurating on bowed and flexed metals and other substances, plucked and chopped digitally, arranged and stretched, shifted, uprooted and engrained with the results of processes and processing which is almost as

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Keith Fullerton Whitman – Antithesis


Well, I don’t hear a “lost krautrock classic,” though that phrase seems to be cycling through the blogs and reviews like a Manuel Göttsching guitar loop (and not just for this album; it’s appearing more and more in all kinds of guises – pretty sure it’s leaked malevolently into some of my reviews, so clearly I’m not immune; it’s a nasty little word virus) but neither is this slender little release like you (now) expect Keith Fullerton Whitman to be.

You’d need to rewind a little beyond the [post=fullerton-whitman-alien-radio-split-lp text=”recent excellent slabs of buttery modular electronics”] to get to where Keith’s coming from here, though these tracks are sort of leftovers from a number of years, shards and fancies mostly unrelated to electronics and instead built up of drones and clusters and scrapes (and scraps) from ‘real’ instruments, whatever that

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