Here’s an outstanding example of why Roscoe Mitchell represents such a distinctive & singular plenary of terminal sonic extremity, quite clearly unmatched by any other saxophonist past or present. I am not exactly sure when Roscoe’s pioneering “circular-breathing” specialization emerged, but it seems to have surfaced in the eighties, instigating with an already explicit mastery/quality that presumably was perfected “off-record” before being unleashed. This remarkable four track album seems to be determined to austerely affirm & assert this technique/phenomenon from his inexplicable expiations of receptor shattering overdrive & overwhelming obstreperational onslaught. Think of ten minute tracks in the form of one giant diatribe, dissertation in destabilization with terrific quite literally almost unimaginable intensity in overextended euphoria & efflux that neither abates or relents & somehow manages to expand, in an inexorable periphrast of ant-upping, self-usurping invention that defies belief. Continue reading Roscoe Mitchell – The Flow Of Things→
Here’s a real esoteric erogenous oddity for die-hard crate-diggers & vault-robbers. Japanese poetess Kazuko Shiraishi delivers sensual, stern, spectral, ritualistic poetry/spoken-word/incant engirdled in richly atmospheric Avant-Garde & recherché Jazz derived oddness & ambience. Kazuko has convoked a wonderful collective with Abdul Wadud on cello, Buster Williams on bass, a percussionist by the name of Andrei Strobert & the elite virtuoso Sam Rivers on multiple reads & piano. This is undoubtedly an exceptionally novel record! Sam’s contribution is enough to swing it for me, but the erotocentric enigma Kazuko, cantillating like some kind of witch-seductress compels an allure of it’s own with the other musicians further fortifying with excellent contributions. I am uncertain as to whether this LP was recorded live or in pieces as a selection of independent over-dubs? All free-floating ambulation’s encircle Kazuko’s recitals, evidently with no premeditation or script.
Dewey Redman is an often unmentioned & overlooked arch-potentate of manic fully-frenzied tempestuous Free-Jazz & challenging Avant-Garde experimentalism as well as an almost paradoxical much more traditional formula of Jazz & Blues. A set of Redman’s early records contain a considerable flurry of fierce & mucronate tracks/compositions which from my fairly extensive study of his back-catalogue are massively reduced in intensity & adventurism by the mid 70’s as his craft underwent significant amelioration & restraint.
Here’s Dewey’s 1975 (recorded in 74) follow up LP to 73’s “The Ear Of The Behearer”, still fuliginous from the scorch radius. On Coincide the same line-up is conscripted (minus the extra Cello player & Percussionist from the previous outing) & also with the adjunct of Leroy Jenkins on violin. It ignites with Seeds And Deeds, an expeditious explosion of exhilaration & elation. As with before, this chaotic outbreak of erratic & acutely accelerated Off-Road euphoria is expelled with immense effusion from all accomplices. Lavish octopus-limbed percussion from Eddie Moore rains a “deconstructive” downpour of ceaseless precarious tumbling & invigoration as the base foundation for all manner of group/duo & solo summary exasperation from this fantastic gathering of sonic extremists. As usual with Dewey, it’s crammed to the rafters, rathe, delirious n’ deliciously cavalier & debauched with it’s excess of energy, flammability & flamboyance. The playing from all members is exquisite & the roof is thoroughly incinerated.
Here’s yet another fantastic display of stringent pyromania from the maverick Chicago collective & their first-class convulsive bedlam & eccentric Jazz/African/Avant-Garde medley. The album sounds to me like one track/take, that’s split over both sides of the LP but is noted as four separate pieces on the sleeve.
The A-side unfurls with lively African orientated percussion drenched clamour but proceeds into quite a subdued almost diffident juncture (certainly for the kind of inflammatory & exceedingly idiosyncratic ebullience that AEOC were so famed at compelling), messing more with sounds & atmospheric experimenting, seeming somewhat an instigation or warm-up.
Eradicate the evidence! Myth-manufacturing & selective documentation. Supress the remnants, concrete it over & set-up shop flogging the approved specimen where the temples once stood. It’s easier to look radical/unique/vanguard when all your peers/predecessors have been redacted, especially the formidable one’s. This is how the music industry generally likes to do it (these sub-human politician scoundrels too). So we go back to the truth, back to Choice, Bitches With Problems, Hoez With Attitude, Bo$$, Ghetto Girls, (Me-naj-ah-twa) & others for the true account/derivation of the hardcore female MC. How in the dastardly such originators have been expunged from the history files is just another shocking & unforgivingly shitty crime/further proof of the music Industries complete deficiency of commitment for the arts, quality or originality & the female MC’s that kicked it straight up the arse before Lil’ Kim got anywhere near a microphone. Nothing new there, but these warrior bitches & their almost total excision show the scale of unimaginable subterfuge/ignorance of industry failure & malpractice, underscoring an especially rank impression. Stunted off industry swill, historians/critics/writers/journalists seem to think/collectively assert that Lil Kim, who’s debut “Hard Core” surfaced in 1997 (that’s late on the scales), was the first female “hard-core” (explicitly raunchy, profane, hardcore/ganksta) Rap album/artist. Dunno’ where these deluded exegete’s get their deplorably erroneous shoddy-as-shit misinformation, but this is an out & out lie/irrefutable fallacy. To quickly clear something up, the lesser extreme female MC’s preceding Kim were artists such as Yo-Yo, Queen Latifah & MC Lyte. But none of the aforementioned were very vulgar, extreme, slab & hardcore. They were not exactly soft but there was a well-defined ceiling on their extremism, a respectability & a decorum benchmark that they would not exceed (which is respectable enough, I’m not criticising any of them for those artistic decisions just clarifying their intentional limits). The pre-Kim posse of female MC’s that completely fucked it up from a certified street perspective was Bitches With Problems, Choice, Hoez With Attitude, Bo$$, The Ghetto Girlz, The Conscious Daughters & (me-naj-ah-twa). Some have issued brilliant material, some cult classic, but due to the deplorable quality of journalism, industry conduct & disrespect for the craft/parentage have largely been excluded historically despite ground breaking contributions that will still knock a mothafukur straight into intensive-care. So lets set the bloody rekad str8 on these bitch-ass desk-job jerk-offs that don’t kno their arsehole from their mouth-piece…..
Just when yu thought it wuz sayf 2 come owt wit shabby as fuk gender stereotypes – Phlegm Fatales pt-2, full reviews of Choice-stick n move, The Ghetto Girlz-ain’t taking no shit, Hoez With Attitude- az much ass azz u want & Bo$$-born gangstaz on Bleg!
some years back Marco of Zas Records (lyk eight years now?) alerted me (after a mutually declared predilection for cult 90’s CyberGrind band Hate-Box) to the antagonists latest project, the thermo-phenomenon that is Divelto. i ended up with a succession of 3 tapes of the most brain-fuckingly awesome & genre-challenging Cybergrynd which i now conclude is th best i have heard from the Cyber-circumference. this material would eventually result in a split CD release on Tetsubishi Gob-Stopper years later. the stupendous individualism, drastic innovations & just sheer audio-brilliance that is Divelto are volleyed from the atrabilious coenobite passive-misanthrope that is the dastardly Fulvio Diverio & the following interview was carried out ages ago (2006) by a cluster of hand-typed letters (from his end at least) on ancient asymmetrical yellow paper…this is everything the underground should be –
Here’s one that’s very difficult to forget. Two unhinged & remarkably vicious MC’s assaulting with a psychotic misandry of almost unimaginable venom & runaway aggressive animus. I think these girls have been through a lot!!! The level of anger (bordering on apoplexy) which often sees the protagonists shouting into their microphones & the sheer extremity of their pretty much perdurable invective constantly splashing acid over testicles. These girls stomp so much cock & lop so many scrotums they end up making bollock chutney! It’s not just men that get cursed into the coffin, battered, shot & humiliated – massacring harassing police officers, whilst menstruating female boss’s & jealous bitches get utterly annihilated by these extraordinarily offensive & massively flagrant vulgarity viragos. To say this album pulls-no-punches would be a catastrophic understatement, it’s a ceaseless murrain of extremity fired at close range, either by absurdly pugnacious aversion or utterly salacious profanity. this may well be the nastiest most sexually explicit Rap album of all time! Seriously! Despite all the awful venereal horror that’s spilled out in the Rap world, I don’t know anything that’s as ridiculous as this album. Yu only have to listen to the ludicrous Is The Pussy Still Good or Teach Em with it’s revoltingly graphic excesses. it’s funny to think that regardless of being outnumbered by thousands of male rivals, the girls out-did the boys in terms of staggeringly explicit conduct. The anger & poor self-control levels also need to be noted as these girls are berserk! If you enjoyed the intensity of raw ultra aggressive Vagrant classics like The Geto Boys-s/t album, this heated, violent-altercation themed instability level that constantly escalates into shouting with tons of hate-saturated inflection infused into certain expletives will split your jam-jar! It’s completely over the top, clearly genuine & to me utterly brilliant. The group consists of the callous as fuck Lyandah who dominates the bulk of the album & also her psychotic apoplexic Brooklyn sidekick Tanisha. Mark Sexx, an obscure DJ/Rapper & producer from Miami (I think both the MC’s are from New York) who produced the album & released it on his No Face Label (& who supply’s some brilliant cameos on this album) graces the album with vintage early 90’s sample based beats. The album is a complete riot, utterly out of control. All disputes & gripes are resolved in the most extreme fashion imaginable with undeniable flair & confidence. Even on We Want Money, an appalling display of chronic materialistic female avarice at it’s most unforgiving apex, I can’t help but love this shit, delivered in such an irresistible brash, raucous & humorous manner by Lyandah the serrated, poison-dipped battle-axe with a spiked tongue that can strip flesh at sixty paces. Sexually impotent men are mass-slaughtered on Two Minute Brother & No Means No, whilst on Hit Man with an eerie 80’s synth sample Lyndah facilitates the shooting of two dudes in emphatic enmity with horrendous proficiency & deliberation to make any dick wilt. on Shit Popper, her response to domestic violence is to stealth into the bedroom & shoot her sleeping man in the head (3 times! just to be sure). The rapping from both MC’s to me is grade-A crude, & if you like the extreme hardcore oldskool shit with the intensity dial on max, this will pop ya’ cork! It’s a shame there is not more from Tanisha, but the little that she gets in leaves resounding damage, she is outrageous! This album/BWP is a crucial piece of Rap history. It’s too extreme to ignore as well as to me clearly being a hardcore classic with a terminal hostility that’s literally hard to contest. Also it’s importance is amplified by the fact that IT’S TWO FUCKING GIRLS!!! I honestly feel that you can competently put this up against any X-raided, Geto Boys, Convicts, Street Military, Too Live Crew, Convicted Felons or any of the coarser, nasty, hyper-aggressive, copiously offensive Rap albums. These girls/bitches/evirating warrioress testicle-cutters are totally obscene, I can’t even listen to trax like Is The Pussy Still Good & Teach Em regularly because even i find the stuff too much/foul!
BWP would return two years later with Life’s A Bytch in 93. In one of music histories most astonishing episodes the album was banned & confiscated before it hit the stores on obscenity charges!!!! It remains unissued to this very day! Considering the male stuff that was permitted (& I know my shit), with endless graphic violence, misogyny & downright gynophobia at momentous volumes, some serious sanctimony needs to be squashed. even if we dismiss the more under the radar releases, the high profile male acts such as The Geto Boys, The 2 Live Crew, Poison Clan to name just a few produced some of the most devastatingly extreme/explicit material/content, so how the fuck these girls get singled out & excluded by state intervention I don’t know? Perhaps it was that extreme? As Lyandah & Tanisha really are undisputed in their offensive genius, or more likely/typically some apprehensive shit-sack (no doubt a male one) just could not withstand/condone such fury & foulness from women MC’s. either way, clearly that album now needs to be released at last. I consider BWP one of the best & most unpleasantly jarring Rap groups of all time & I have yet to see anybody challenge the altitude of their obnoxiousness, The Bytches remains a shocking cult classic.
Amongst the ferocious masculinity of early Houston Rap, one young girl held her own & went toe to toe with the male rap community. This was Choice, a rapper of extraordinary power & class that anybody even remotely serious about Rap & it’s history needs to know & respect.
Choice sounds very young on this album (I reckon she’s in her very early 20’s), but raps with an authority & confidence that befits a veteran Southern Madame operating with effortless efficiency, she’s brilliant & breath-taking in her command of the craft with massive character & presence all utterly assured with typical shit-kicking Southern gall. Don’t ignore how immaculate this era of Houston Rap (& Rap in general) was. In 1990 G-Funk did not exist & so many of the tired formalities, slogans, catch-phrases & conventional lingo had not been established & homogenised. Rappers had to innovate or reflect their locality with it’s unique, non-nationalized idiolect. This meant not just a quality in passion/authenticity & vocal versatility amongst many MC’s, but also an incredible wealth of slang & personalized/regional lexicography. Houston was even more isolated & individual & came with some of the most fantastical Rappers, styles & verbiage with, to me, a pretty much incomparably hardcore/aggressive assertion/theme & manner that makes the early South stuff second to none. Choice was just one of the superbly impressionable Rappers from the region spear-heading the Southern cataclysm but I think that amongst such a community of incredible artist she deserves special distinction as she was such an amazing MC.
The album kicks-off with a massive castration session (The Big Payback) where Choice wages war on NWA, The Geto Boys & reserves especially excruciating castigation for Too $hort. Shit is totally out of control! The disses & degradation are so well landed, so humorous & inventive & yes, very fucking offensive with choice fired-up on pure rampageous tumult. It’s a carousel of calumny as she just cracks the lash hard over the lot of em’ with Eazy-E & especially Too $hort taking the majority of the blast.
Next is I Got My Own which you can take as yet another hardcore classic or as the epitome of female independence delivered with savage-grace & knock-out aggressive adroitness, this dame is completely on fire!
The next three tracks are much less profuse on the expletives, clearly with radio ambitions (but not commercial) going through the typical female rapper scenarios but with Choice’s originality & quality distinguishing them significantly. Minute Man sounds like it’s only just on the end of the 80’s (in a very cool fashion) with fast sixteen beat 808 cowbells whilst the heavy duty layered snares of Back Seat Betty, stippled with class Curtis Mayfield samples bring uncompromising & austere funk to dat ass. It’s around this time (if not earlier) & certainly by the next track that you should recognize just how extraordinarily good the production/beats are on this album. The powerful & cambered rhythms with excellent recording clarity must have been sourced from some of Houston’s finest (it does not say who generated them in the extremely terse album credits but my suspicions are on Crazy C, Bido 1 & The Terrorists). Some of the samples are familiar, but plenty have (for my ears) unidentifiable origins with some meticulous compositions, breakdowns, accentuations & excellent drum programming.
Bad Ass Bitch, which is cued by Scar Face (Willie D, Bushwick & I think Big Mike can also be heard in brief skits on the album) has Choice resume the classic early 90’s mantel & effectively just clean house. This shit is magnificent! The next lubricious number is Mr Big Stuff, a truly hilarious romp on priapic potency (or indeed impotency) with Choice basically tearing into insufficient men with such masterly hilarity & verve of truly epic scale. Following the superb Nothing But Sex we reach the notorious, slaveringly sordid & uber explicit Pipe Dreams. Choice ameliorates her devastatingly aggressive persona for a more coy, sexually frustrated sex-maniac pining for a good fuck from some imaginary super-satyr. I am sure it was the labels decision for her to assume this depiction of a hyper wanton pliant nymphomaniac. It seems almost sacrilegious to have such a harridan/arch ball-breaker in a more compromised roll, but I suppose it needs to be taken in isolation as this is the only track on the album in this style. It’s also really quite an extraordinary track, phenomenally explicit, complete with vocal climaxes & torrid details of amorous debauchery. The whole style is clearly supposed to titillate & arouse. The fucking production as well, who is this? The Terrorists? It’s got an ultra pitched-down, sombre & edgy synth & monstrous bass! some kind of early house sample with snares so layered they sound like iron doors slamming through 8bit compressors. It’s completely cult, singular & obviously classic.
We finally arrive at Cat Got Your Tongue, the compulsory cunnilingus cut that any um, “self respecting” female MC had to bust in retaliation for a million duck sick trax from the boys! The track/production is immaculate & Choice glides over it perfectly dispensing gender-justice with her astute awesomeness.
This is a Cult Cunnilingus Classic! I consider HWA’s livin’ in a hoe house & BWP’s-the bytches cult classics too, BWP being the most obscene & abrasive & Baby-Girl (HWA) just coming with her own jeering alpha-bitchiness, but in terms of rapping I think Choice definitely takes it. I would actually go as far as to say she is one of the greatest rappers ever! Yep! & I know others that agree with this analysis. Her fantabulous follow up, 1992’s Stick-N-Moov was another bulls eye (but considerably nastier/more explicit), but the balance, quality & fully formed finality on this unforgettable album really needs to be unequivocally stated. Let’s not forget that this is 1990 for shits-sake! Despite her phenomenal achievements/capability Choice remains super obscure. In an overwhelmingly dire act of appalling judgement & insouciance to black history/culture/art, Rap-A-Lot have never even reissued/repressed this CD! Even if it’s purely for historical purposes, this shit needs to be available. It’s also another example of how promotion & distribution are allowed to determine far too much in getting good shit to the enthusiasts. Like so much of the incredible early 90’s “Vagrant” obscure Rap, individuals/audiences fall head-over-arse for The Big Payback/Choice once witnessed. Epidemics of Choice mania have raged in many circles I have introduced them to, instigating months of fervour over the revelation of such a brilliant rapper/album. It’s not that people don’t want it, it’s that they don’t know about it & that it’s very badly represented. I am sure one day, once the early Rap gets the kind of dedicated attention, scrutiny & decent reissue treatment, The Big Payback will be appreciated as the blatant classic it is.
Here’s a fairly short & immensely intriguing four track CD made all the more distinguished amongst Coltrane’s considerable archives because it has a separately recorded (then spliced) classical orchestra coinciding through the bulk of the disk. Other sections of the original performances are also edited (certain instruments are at times muted in the mix or greatly reduced in volume allowing for elevated concentration on individual soloing) & I suspect some overdubs have made their way amongst the amalgamations. Coltrane really had three comportments – weltering Avant ferments of ecstatic smouldering free-flow intensity (for me Coltrane at his best, but I think his least popular amongst his majority fans), what I would refer to as his traditional mode & of course his “Spiritual Jazz”. Although I study Coltrane’s stuff extensively, I am completely fixated/biased to his mad uncompromising blow-out material, finding the traditional stuff too straight & his spiritual stuff too saccharine & quixotic. This of course is my own opinion & will contrast massively to the majority of his acolytes. Infinity is about my tenth Coltrane LP & is probably the most balanced I have heard pulling in all his versions/styles, not just between the trax but often within them.
The album opens with Peace On Earth. The Orchestra enter first with ginormous precipices of epic rise & fall, vast ascending & diving. some will have to forgive my levity but I find it quite pompous, especially when the saxophone eventually enjoins to disport amongst the clouds. With a title like Peace On Earth, y’ can imagine that this is immodestly idealistic stuff! & why the fuck not? It was 1966 & a laureate with a vision was on the cusp of revolutionary fervour. Spasming tambourines & inceptive homilies eventually give way to some jittering freeform from Coltrane & the orchestra before they reclaim their composure & continue with the spiritual basking. It then subsides to a rapid harp solo from Alice, I mean this is some Garden Of Eden panglossion overdrive. It’s a matter of personal taste, I’ll have to sit this one out because it’s too mawkish for me, but fascinating & obviously fantastically played. After a reprisal of the second theme, the strings go into what sounds like a North West African gait. This whole track almost feels like a costive primer, or inceptive ceremony to herald or prepare for the session/voyage ahead.
Living Space kicks in at track number two, beginning with grandiose themes not to dissimilar to the last but eventually falling into less conceptual/emotive & more musical/structured territory. It’s pretty traditional, but Coltrane shifts & flips in & out of extremities/approaches with his soling, threatening to go really berserk but never quite crossing states into his shredding hurricane prone offensive. The track ends with an undulating loop (played live).
Third up is Joy, which starts with more sparkling harp cascading & some pretty lachrymose string arrangements from the orchestra that once again nod towards Sudan or the horn of Africa region before Coltrane steams in with a jovial n’ jolly pattern over Elvin’s hard swing. I’m starting to think nothing on this album is going to crank the vaults before the tone entirely flips/drops & brilliantly the orchestra starts to play massive almost discordant lurches whilst Coltrane douses his soling with more urgency & threat. This is very cool indeed & has the momentum of Jones’s mid-tempo but hard swing. Unfortunately this is where to me one of the biggest mistakes of the album occur. Everything is on a fantastic trajectory, if it continues or better still escalates, brilliance is assured. Instead, it’s time for a bass solo, a massive bass solo. Nothing wrong with Haden’s playing, but nothing amazing here either, & for gods sakes not now, total coitus-interruptus. & I guess you can see the reasoning, a forced contrast & then a heightened reprisal of the initial excellence, but for me this is a grave mistake & although it does not ruin, completely disrupts a great track & diminishes it’s overall quality, especially regarding it’s replayability as wading through a standard solitary three minute bass solo every time I listen is not for me. The orchestra gets more & more agitated & noisy before eventually ending on a long drawn out note. Some very fine playing & arrangements here but the protracted bass soloing really deflates this one.
& finally it’s Leo! When you hear Leo & Coltrane in close vicinity you know you’re going to get your rump shredded. It’s pretty much straight in with the strangling & histrionics, the gloves are finally off, the spiritualists sated & the chaos can commence. It’s pretty fierce but extinguishes after just 3.30 minutes transgressing into an orchestral percussion section before Alice goes nuts on the Piano & then electric Organ in her own style. Her two solo’s beckon fast noisy communal free-fall from the Orchestra before Coltrane re-enters at full ferocity with Pharaoh Sander’s only just audible in the backdrop (a pity that). It’s a shame that everything could not just have been exploding together instead of things being constantly faded in & out. Too bad this is the only full-force kinetic track on the album.
Although to me clearly flawed, Infinity is a very interesting Coltrane disc. His three most distinct angles are displayed dynamically & the addition of the Orchestral wing is inventive & hugely intriguing. The album is very short but it’s duration feels satisfactory. His Spiritual stuff is an acquired taste, one that I as an intensity/kinetics fanatic don’t have any appetite for at all, but blatantly as a fantastic saxophonist & preponderate innovator Coltrane’s stuff is a source of ginormous interest & respect for me. I’m still figuring out which style is his prevailing motif (presuming there is one) but this album is an excellent elision of his 3 worlds.
Label: Impulse Records
Rekd: Jazz instrumentations: 1965-66 , Orchestral instrumentations: 1975