Archives by month/year

Pombagira – Maleficia Laminah

Black Axis

Pombagira - Maleficia LaminahPombagira‘s last album Iconoclast Dream was a revelation to me with the immense dirty darkness they presented. Upon receiveing a brand new CD from the duo, hopes for more dark dirtyness appears in my mind. But after the first spin, I was in doubt. I am not sure if it was the day, or anything else, but it didn’t do anything for me at the time. I was especially unsure about the second track. But when in doubt, it makes for doing something else; take it for a road trip!

Maleficia Laminah are two long tracks, and by the first look, appear to be about death and underwordly matters. The darkness in the music is not that apparent, although the sound is very

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NXP – Notes From the Field of Guilt

Requiem Productions

NXP - Notes From the Field of GuiltNXP is a solo noise project from Norway, focusing on ambient noise, sometimes rythmic, sometimes just dirty noise. He collects samples, field recordings and various sounds and instruments to create his world of darkness.

I see this album in two parts. The first three tracks are quiet dirty ambient noise. So quiet from the start that you have to go and check whether you have turned the volume way to much down. But ultimately this makes you listen even more, and I notice the murky darkness of a future sound of a barren landscape. The second half is also three tracks, and they come out much more apparent, and easier to relate to. Not that this is easy listening,

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Cassiber – The Way It Was

ReR Megacorp

Cassiber - The Way It WasMany years ago, I laid my hands on the Der Durchdrungene Mensch/Indianer Für Morgen LP by the multi-instrumetalist duo Heiner Goebbels and Alfred Harth, a fantastic avantgarde -New Wave/Neue Deutsche Welle/improv record. The way they blended jazz and improv with avantgarde classical and new wave style music triggered me to wanting to hear more of the work of these guys. The duo formed in 1975, and later met up with Chris Cutler from Henry Cow, and guitarist Christoph Anders to form a band that incorporated punk rock, free jazz and classical music, and thus formed Cassiber in 1982. Harth left the band in 1985. The Way It Was is a collection of live recordings and studio sketches from 1986-1989,

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Toshimaru Nakamura and John Butcher – Dusted Machinery


Toshimaru Nakamura & John Butcher - Dusted MachineryA couple of years ago a friend took me to Café Oto to see Londoners John Butcher and John Edwards teaming up with US guitarist Elliot Sharp. Not knowing what to expect, I was amazed by the gig, especially learning that Sharp never met the two others before, not to mention never played with them. This ended up being one of the best improv gigs I had seen for years. The interplay and attitude towards the music and each other was some of the things that moved me the most, as I recall. Later it came as no surprise having learned that Butcher has been very much sought after as a session musician or collaborator.

So getting a

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Colin Stetson and Mats Gustafsson – Stones

Rune Grammofon

Colin Stetson & Mats Gustafsson - StonesThe Swede Mats Gustafsson (The Thing, Fire!, and also appeared with Sonic Youth, Derek Bailey, Peter Brötzmann, etc.) and the Canadian resident Colin Stetson from the US (Arcade Fire, and has also appeared with Laurie Anderson, David Byrne etc.), met for the first time on stage at the Vancouver Jazz Festival in 2011. The performance was recorded, and the result is these four tracks on Stones. Both are young, inventive and uncompromising improvisers, having done remarkable work with their own bands.

When this album dumped in my mailbox, I was not sure what to expect. I am not an historian of jazz music, but the fact that Stones is an album of two saxophones duelling must make it a bit

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Pere Ubu – Lady From Shanghai


Pere Ubu - Lady From ShanghaiBeing a late explorer of Pere Ubu, my first encounter with them was The Tenement Year album from 1988, and I was sure I had found a pop band, but with something out of the ordinary still. Going back into their discography – to more experimental releases such as The Modern Dance or Dub Housing, not to mention the boxed set Datapanik in Year Zero, which also contained the early singles – showed me a band quite far from a pop kind of attitude, but still it had rhythm and beats and catchy pop songs in between all the experimental weirdness in their rock music. So when David Thomas – the only constant through all these years, and probably the main creative force –

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Lean Left – Live at Café Oto


The Ex has been around on the edge of Dutch punk and improv since 1979, veterans in the explorations of sounds and music on the wide outer side of mainstream. So when the modern energetic avant-jazz-improv duo of the US saxplayer Ken Vandermark and Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love, who has been performing together since the year 2000, meets up with The Ex guitars of Andy Moor and Terrie Ex, expectations of sonic fun rises above most gigs, at both separate punk or jazz venues can present to their audience. Café Oto being one of the busiest improv or avant-garde spots in London (and a friendly place it is!), makes for bands wanting to record their performances there. Lean Left did not come as a

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James Johnston – Hassan Falls To His Death


When James Johnston releases a solo album, it is really difficult to know what to expect. To my knowledge, this is his very first solo album. Being a bluesy rock star front man of Gallon Drunk, guitar hero in Lydia Lunch’s Big Sexy Noise, or session and live musician with The Bad Seeds is only one side of this multi-talented Englishman. Collaborating with Philippe Petit, and a couple of years as part of the line-up of Faust, has also proved him very capable of staying at the experimental-improv side of musical things as well.

So when I first played Hassan Falls To His Death, and at first heard his blues harp, I thought for an instance that

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Terrie Ex/Paal Nilssen-Love – Hurgu!


Terrie Hessels of the Dutch anarcho-punk-improv orchestra The Ex has never stopped with his raw punk attitude, but rather collaborated with numerous people over the years to get inspiration from and absorbing all elements of all music, but continuing to being raw and unpolished. In meetings with the Norwegian hard-hitting avant-garde drummer, Paal Nilssen-Love, two souls of similar attitude meet, although from very different background. Being a jazz drummer, Nilssen-Love holds his sticks well in the improvised area of music, much more than the average jazz musicians do today. Never letting any jazz-rules, however, decide who to collaborate with, has led him to perform with numerous exciting people, outside the jazz box. This makes for some exciting meetings, and exciting

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Slugfield – Slime Zone


A ping hits my mind, over and over again, record crackle from the turntable, strange voices talking to me, giving me unheard messages, drums moves frequencies back and forth in all kinds of directions. Subtle periods mixed with what sounds most people would argue does not belong in music. Repeat-loop train-tracks going to a playful sound together with jungle musique concrète. Stressed out or going through the motions with weirdness. Like a battle of the machines, a wall of sound, three people pushing the limits of what sonic space is left in my brain, rhythmic, not rhythmic, chaotic, almost sounding random but still focused. This time, the stage must have been packed with sound and noise.

The trio of Maja Ratkje,

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Gallon Drunk – The Road Gets Darker From Here

Clouds Hill

I must admit that the thought of a new release from Gallon Drunk was a bit exciting. Lead singer, guitarist and organist, James Johnston has been a revelation to experience in recent years with Faust, though mostly creating fantastic sounds and noises with his guitar and organ. Terry Edwards comes along as a guest with his saxophone occasionally, creating additional depth to whatever is happening on stage. Gallon Drunk did tour with Lydia Lunch for some time as Big Sexy Noise, and it was as that I saw them live in Germany a couple of years ago. Appearing as a steady rock act, and of course with Lydia Lunch, much is focused on her doings. That aside, Gallon

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Mats Gustafsson/Paal Nilssen-Love/Mesele Asmemew – Baro 101


The Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love has made a fast and hard-hitting impact on many recordings in the national and international scene of free-jazz and improv these last years. Whether as a band member of [post=peter-brotzmann-live text=”Peter Brötzmann”]’s Chicago Tentet, the assembly of some of the leading musicians of today’s free-jazz, or in the powerful Hairy Bones also including the said German. Also worth mentioning are the remarkable recordings with Lasse Marhaug, either in the jazz-strangeness Fire Room, also including Ken Wandermark, or their duo collaboration release Stalk of the more sound-noise-improv-less-jazz style. No surprise then, that he was invited to [post=ililta-new-ethiopian-dance-music text=”Ethiopia by the Dutch-weird-punks from The Ex“], to do the Free the Jazz saxophone project, alongside other acclaimed musicians such as Ken Vandermark and Mats Gustafsson. The Ex has been going to the Horn of Africa for many years, starting

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Anders Hana – Dead Clubbing

Drid Machine

I’m on a train a foggy winter afternoon, beats rocking me away into an unfamiliar yet known landscape. The steady beat accompanied by bass-noisy distorted guitar rhythms feeds to the familiarity of the sounds. Suddenly strange background screeching brakes hits, but without any effect on the speed, like the change of mood when entering a tunnel, but still continues when coming out of it, swirling through the narrow valley of winterly mountainous landscape. The feelings created by the first tracks on Dead Clubbing matches perfectly the dual sides of the experience of listening to the music, combined with the train ride I am on writing this. Almost like they where made for each other.

Anders Hana has made some hard impressions on the Norwegian scene of avant-rock, by his involvement with the heavy sides of Noxagt, or the free-rock combo

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Pombagira – Iconoclast Dream

Black Axis

I was never a fan of slow music. I have tried to get a kick out of Sunn O))), and my enthusiasm lasts for a while, but then I get bored. Same again if they have some interesting guests, but usually it never helps. But then I heard Kollwitz and their debut Like Iron I Rust. They really made me open my ears to doomlike music the way they managed to slow down, but not entirely, black metal, and also still keeping it deep down, dirty and rock hard. With Iconoclast Dream Pombagira manages this to an even wider extent. They create something even more dirty, with deep dark sludging guitars, and outstanding hard, and not slow (!) work on drums.

Pombagira started in 2006 originally as a three-piece band. This fourth album is done by the two remaining members,

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Alexander Rishaug – Shadow of Events


alexander rishaug - shadow of eventsAlexander Rishaug is a sound artist, producer and musician from Oslo, Norway, and one of the original members of the improv-collective ARM with Are Mokkelbost and Arne Borgan. He has also collaborated with artists such as Lasse Marhaug, Ingar Zach, Martin Horntvedt, and remixed albums by Jazkamer and metal bands Ulver and She Said Destroy.

A new release from the minimalist is a rare event, as this is his third solo album since 2001. This album has been under work since 2006, with Rishaug recording and composing, or collecting field recordings and editing, taking his time. This slow process is somehow reflected in the quiet slowness of this album. Although it is not entirely quiet. A mix of field recordings, organ sounds and piano, sometimes combined with digital sounds, creates some sort of minimalist space ambient.

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