Julius Hemphill-Dogon A.D. LP

Julius Hemphill-Dogon A.D.

Here’s a remarkable deeply original LP from Julius Hemphill. It was initially released & recorded in 1972 on Hemphill’s own label “Mbari” to much acclaim & was later reissued with enhanced distribution capacity by Arista/Freedom in 1977. Hemphill composes the albums triune of tracks & has summoned the intriguing expertise of Abdul Wadud on cello, Philip Wilson on drums & Bakidida Carroll on trumpet. Let’s kick off with the real clincher, the title track Dogon A.D. , a 14.30 minute masterpiece of lackadaisical desert maundering. the Founding formation is Wilson’s wonderfully disjointed drum-loop/beat that’s composed in a fast eleven (contrary to which the beat is actually very slow & loping) that trudges through the dunes stoically throughout with very little improvisation. It’s hypnotic, dope & has a quiet complexity despite it’s repetition & dogged preservation. Wadud wades in quickly & compliments with excellent groaning low-end bowing that interlocks with the groove, quickly followed by the horns. An excellent scripted interaction ensues, really gathering atmosphere before Wadud transmutes his cello pattern for an alternative arrangement & Hemphill starts his extensive soloing & improvisation that stretches out over the track in a passionate periphrasis, not completely going off the rails but pushing considerably over the boundaries of sonorous decorum & lucidity. He has a great style of playing, often quite piquant in pitch & clearly quite grounded in traditional formulas yet blatantly wilderness-savvy & hysteria prone. Baikida is the next up to proclaim his improvisational tensity with first class trumpet flamboyance.

Last on Side A is “Rites”, a hasty & disorderly ravel of raucous squabbling instruments & intensity over fast Swing pushing Tumble-Weed. It’s pretty manic, missing the out-of-hand urgency of many other records at the time but conjuring other novelties & by no accounts at all coming up short on the wild corybantic rashness of the medium. Good stuff!

Finally we arrive at The Painter, a fifteen minute tune taking up the full B side. Hemphill seems to have opted for a full versatility stratagem as this final track yet again completely polarises itself against the previous disparate duo. This is a sparser & far more abstract affair with Hemphill on flute & Wilson using whiskers. Spacious & heavy on experimenting & uber-Avant verve the song claws it’s way through an exotic environment of sound & shapes seemingly without full clarity or destination. Wadud seems to play his bass/cello like a guitar on this number. I am not so sure about the technique but this is certainly a very interesting advent with Hemphill playing very well & Wilson also generating some pleasing tight flurries amongst the uncertain sprawl.

Overall, this is a spectacular & idiosyncratic record with a great variety of conditions, themes & styles. Luckily, it’s still in print as a deluxe digi-pack (& rightfully so) & should be easily attainable.

Rekd-1977

Label-Arista/Freedom Records

John Coltrane – Offering (Live At Temple University) DBL CD

Coltrane-offering266

WOW! How this exquisite double-knock-out disk duo took so long to get the quality reissue treatment is beyond me (typical Industry impotence & pedestrianism I guess), but here it is at last. The disks capture the late Coltrane’s seething, steeple toppling, tectonic-shattering Temple University live concert from 1966, one of his last & most volatile.

The gigs controvertible wildness & further foray into Coltrane’s turbulent & draconian sector seems to have secured legendary notoriety. Tumultuous austerity aside, brief frivolities such as Coltrane’s singing whilst chest beating seem to have impelled tremendous disdain & shock from the conventionalists. For fucks sakes! This is free jazz, go stir your cocktails somewhere else trick! I suppose Coltrane’s expansion into the great out back was seen as sacrilege to his previous serenity whilst canalizing far too much hostility & heat for his ameliorated acolytes that had been enamoured by the more accessible & benignant “classics” he had laid down in previous years. God forbid you should ever slip your chains. This is bloody intense stuff though! & in many facets (often all commensurate). The kind of berserk & uncontrolled pandemonium that would wrest rampant on this critical evening was not for the etiolated, genteel or confined of consciousness. These recordings represent Coltrane at his most enigmatic, most inspiring & least compromising bar perhaps Om! In other words, the mrfkn’ lick kid!!!

Coltrane’s compositions & more traditional moments on these efforts act really as catalysts & springboards for voluminous peregrinations into the molten heart of exhaustive extemporization & extremity. Ruthlessly energetic & urgent histrionics over a squall of paroxysmal percussive percolation from a possessed Rashid Ali & a series of conga players. A seething strident mass of enraptured stupefaction & skull-splitting superlatives that aureate & prolix at enormous length. Perhaps two thirds of both disks fulminate under full hysterics with torrential improvised exaltation severing pretty much all restraints & conventional communications. Pharaoh Sanders inflicts some of the most absurdist phono-obscenities, with fuming siege, almost forgoing any notion of composure or melodic/sound topography, veering violently & implacably into the noise spectrum with about as much cogence as natural disaster, capable of disembowelling a being without breaking the skin. It’s terrific & terrifying, as is pretty much everything, even the more traditional/milder sections that I don’t really appraise. With such libertine-largesse on extremities & the enormity of the blow-outs (two guest saxophonists also donate further flammables), packed to bursting with jumbled, barley congruent percussion from up two four hand-drummers, they deliver excellent air-pockets & temporary cushioning to the inexorable hostilities & emergency pandemics that swagger supreme on the majority of the disks.

This is a very’ very special recording. I have only recently unearthed the profound fortune of locating Coltrane’s temerarious & tempestuous “Free” epoch after slogging through many of the “wrong” recordings (for one so disposed to the manic & megrim side o’ things). The discoveries have been incredible, but Offering may be the best yet. For the more adventurous listeners with substantial lorications & anti-flame retardant head-dress, this is a great place to start with Coltrane for that ultimate upper-cut in epilepsy & epicurean effulgence!

Rekd: 1966 (released 2014)

Label: Impulse!/Resonance Records

Henry Threadgill – X-75 Volume 1 LP

Henry Threadgill-X75 volume 1

Risk & vision from an illustrious pioneer of both composed & improvised/free excursion, along with much in-between. Side A exacts with Sir Simpleton! From the first cycle of the killer opening bass line, a sly, finagling creeper in ten (plucked simultaneously by two bassists), you know the subsequent events are going to be special. The track is swiftly festooned with an accompanying multitude of reeds, vocals & the third bass component (playing a separate pattern that embellishes the core composition maintained by the two initial bassists). Extensive soling & improvised theatrics effuse from two of the reed players & Myers whilst the remaining musicians conserve the structured chassis. It’s a brilliant song, crammed with unusual styling & methodology, excellent performance, imaginative & unorthodox instrument assignment (four bassists, four reed musicians & one vocalist) & a gloriously fatal bass-lick to spill your splanchnic but good, & this incredibly heteroclite deportment & allocation thrives for the albums duration.

Last on side A is Celebration. This is a slow, sweet & amiable Bluesy Folk song (at least that’s the appearance I perceive). It’s the least challenging, most conventional & coherent song on the album albeit with the abstruse instrumentation of the assemble. The song is quite sentimental or at least on the verge of such sentimentality. Nothin’ wrong with that, but talking from a strictly personal angle this track does not engage me & rarely gets a rotation.

Third of four is Air Song with all basses barred & all four reed players on flutes. This track is the most abstract & least direct, an oblique exploration that resides within the “Flot” (pensive, discombobulated, inconclusive, curious & amorphous type’ shit) margin. For me it works because there is quite a lot of content & a rich array of sounds & approach, something this intensely non-specific & vague style frequently lacks. I don’t get stultified or start shouting at the record player (mf git’ on wit it!) as much of this music impels me to do. it’s not linear, the versatility is copious & despite the somewhat subdued suggestion the musicians exert themselves (in fact the song ends on a crescendo of heightened agitation & kinetics that are developed in the last third). Impressive indeed.

Lastly, the wig-splitter, the cherry on top of the lamp-post, it’s the sublime Fe Fi Fo Fum! Cripes! I lud’ dis shit! Lets’ compartmentalize this complex mother…. Gorgeous walking bass strutting with amped-vamp throughout (who dat?), a knock out solo from Threadgill, marvellous but fairly standard ground. But it’s not long before the rest of the troop start to pile into the overcrowded vessel & rock the foundations with less & less rational playing & escalating histrionics shedding lucidity by the pale by the minute. It get’s more & more out of hand, but the lone lucid bassist just keeps on walking amongst the gathering maelstrom. Superb!

What a great album. Utterly disparate & individual!

Rekd: 1979

Label: Arista/Novus

Brigitte Fontaine – S/T LP

Brigitte Fontaine

Brigitte Fontaine was a mesmeric mandarin in early 70’s European Avant-Garde (with a delectable French vivant), transmogrifying a massive pastiche of genres, themes & instrumentations. I don’t know too much about her background, but it seems her professional radix originates from the theatrics of French Jazz crooning of the 50’s/60’s, ball-rooms, bobs, oil-spill mascara, bohemian mischief n’ the like (sorry, it’s not an era or genre I am knowledgeable on). The earliest material I have of her is a 1967 collaboration LP with Jacques Higelin (whom Brigitte worked with frequently) & is generally more straight, albeit clearly very thespian, hyper blithesome & keen to frolic in boundary contesting terrain with blatant Avant leanings & appetite. Anyway, she went on to do lots of really exquisite, weird, supra-diverse, challenging & adventurous recordings in the early 70’s, all brilliant & firmly in the allo-Avant expanse. For me though, having wallowed in the lot for some time now, I have no qualms with nominating my favourite from her as this s/t LP from 1972, for me not just her best but also her most outré & eccentric of the lot.
This is a particularly wonderful record. French Avant-Garde from the sixties sung by a sultry brunette is going to struggle to fall flat, but this LP really scales to the loftiest echelon, not just for it’s superb content & remarkable versatility but the perfect crafting/mixing of the LP that has such a conclusive & satisfactory entirety, unfurling like the perfect diagesis from sequence to sequence.

Unfortunately my French is terrible, so I understand very little of the lyrics in this beautiful language. No matter, as it’s totally transfixing & beguiling, but from what I can gather love, sex, revolution & socio-political subjects provide the bulk of sentiment & lyrical content. Brigitte sings beautifully, not at all in one style, harnessing operatic, choir, nursery rhyme, spoken word, screaming, crying & many more mediums & modals.

Organ, Synthesizer, hand drums, brass & reeds, cello, guitar & additional male & female vocals accompany. Like the moods & melange of styles, the miscellany of musicians & instrumentation constantly changes, occasionally deserting entirely with nothing but Fontaine’s bare voice performing solitarily. A lot of the arrangements seem very conceptual, perhaps trying to encapsulate the songs theme? (I don’t know of the composition process). Many of the tracks also have very cool micro epilogues embedded, garnishing a baroque twist to the closing sequence with cinematic evocations. I really love this stuff, it’s just so polymerous & unpredictable & manages to edge it’s way into the most surreal situations etched in pure emotive oddity.

I won’t break down the entire track codex, & they work exceptionally well when played as one piece (or two, side’s A & B), I’m sure considerable craft & deliberation has gone into the ergonomic-enjoining, but for me some individual songs need highlighting. On side-A, “L’Auberge” a rueful, elegiac, choiresque, ecclesial spoof that despite it’s beauty has bizarreness that belongs in the house of freaks. It’s two cello’s (or cello & violin) plus organ along with Brigitte’s mournful, supressed-pomp basilica. “Vingt Secondes” a distinctly peculiar twenty second flute & duel female vocal codicil that closes Side-A also needs notation.
Side-B’s incepting piece Eros is a intense, dark & beautiful ballad accompanied only by intermittent & minimal acoustic guitar. The following track “Une Minute Cinquante-Cinq” that has Fontaine & fellow vocalist Julie Dassin singing rousingly over another recording of Fontaine weeping is also really quite amazing & both beautiful & unsettling.

Really, we have one seriously fulgurating LP here, & personally for me the best & most abstruse from Fontaine’s incredible 70’s output. There’s so much coalescing, so many strange & novel ideas, detail & methods all swaddled in this irresistible Avant-Garde premium. Really glorious stuff.

Fantastically, this album is still in print along with pretty much all of Brigitte’s early stuff which is all worth picking up.

Label: Saravah

Rekd: 1972

Adjust – Release The Sharks 12″ LP

Tamvred-tintorama (Low Res)_ed

Woo boy! Another seminal secretion of mercurial IDM cross-breeding & first class Electronic gallimaufry & permutation. After one of the most atrocious nadirs of egregious postal misconduct, in which ample Low-Res packages stuffed with the finest waxology were erroneously returned to sender, back & forth over the Atlantic at great expense, dejection & exasperation to both parties EVEN THOUGH THE FUCKING ADDRESS WAS CORRECT & TOTALLY LEGIBLE, obstinate obsessions & irrepressible tenacities found a substitute route & Release The Sharks finally made it to my operating table. It’s been over a decade since the profound, irresistible beat-driven electronic exuberance of the previous four track Your Bad Luck LP in all it’s miscellaneous glory crashed into my sound spectrum & hooked it’s pixelated quills into my brain nexus indelibly. I was both excited & concerned as to whether this new LP would parallel with it’s predecessor, certainly no easy objective. Personally, I can confirm RTS as a veritable knock-out in pretty much every sense. With a richly varied dynamic of trenchant IDM, Dub Step, Brekcore, Speedcore, hard-Techno, Industrial Hip Hop & heaps of insane bass/synth/electronic-modulations veering in many directions, coexisting, discommoding & splicing, Adjust once again assembles a detailed & unpredictable network of vigorous master class & hard slammers & digital-disjunction. The conspicuous novelty of frequently using more extreme digital materials such as Breakcore, Glitch, Speedcore & yet with the inclusion of such abrasive & kinetic forms Adjust seems in no eagerness to compete or qualify for any accredited status or conclusion as an “extreme” purveyor & is content to wield these mediums almost sparingly, purely to the productivity & enhancement of the music at hand. The composition, production & phonetics are all of considerable expertise! Really good shit from front to back, let’s hope it’s not going to take another effin’ decade before the next screening with this excellent project materializes (it will however be worth the wait either way).

Label: Low Res

Rekd: 2010

Recent bleurk from the No-Skool-Noyzcore/Gunk micro-niche – Bollock Swine/Chappa’ai-split pink cassette

Bollock Swine-afrocentric ungulate

5yv new jolts rippling with unfathomable destructive prepotency & stuffed to bursting with hysterical femininity n’ insatiable Gunk frenzy User-Hostility, painfully pushing the body way beyond it’s natural abilities & thresholds resulting in truly cataclysmic & totally & utterly unrivalled pink-pandemonium-punishment & acme-ambulance utmost urgency. Chappa’ai really smash, bash, tear, rend, bray, mangle, shatter, demolish, level & tear down with inveterate Anti-Listener Torikowashi Blast-Noyz Gunk. Released on Tetsubishi Gob-Stopper Tapes, with lovingly hand-made sleeves, in a green cassette case, on a “plucky” pink cassette with hand sprayed on-bodies & limited to 377 individually numbered copies.

Tetsubishi Gob-Stopper Tapes- lofiordierex@hotmail.com www.jigokuki.org/bollockswine

Final Exit – Spreading The (S)hits CD:

Final Exit-STS

Further disturbance from veteran Tokyo turbulence trisectioned by/with/on/amongst “classical” genres & quality musicianship slamming headlong into Noise-Blur, Gunk expertise unt splendido spastication & non-musical No-Skool-Noyzcore spasm-spate & involuntary convulsion, projectile perspirations & priapism (probably, poku-poku). Excellent recording clarity, six new studio recordings & six live cuts from a recent central European tour, on Y-Records Japan.
Ryohei/Y-Records noise.no.wakadaishou@gmail.com

Reforester-Sylvanic Sprawl Demo CDR:

Reforester-ssd

Lofi, berserk, unforgiving Torikowashi NoiseGrind venerating trees, forestry & non-urban existence. Fucking fast as a mad beast of myth, non-stop (literally) ultra single-foot blasting from super sinews with improvised Grind, Noise & Metal guitars zipping through the foliage alongside. The ultimate verdant speed blast attack. Released on Kaz Records, Slovakia & limited to just 56 hand numbered copies.
Rado/Kaz Recordsradokaz@yahoo.com

all this bleruk is also available through the Gobbledy Gunk E-Orchard, www.jigokuki.org/gobbledygunk

Sam Rivers – Contrasts LP

Sam Rivers-contrasts LP

Yet another superb album from the incredible Sam Rivers. This 1979 recording drafts the exceptional talents of Dave Holland on double-bass, Thurman Barker on drums & George Lewis on trombone serving seven sedulous, versatile & dynamic tracks encompassing cryptographic compositional pieces, roving free-form & Avant-Jazz.

Continue reading Sam Rivers – Contrasts LP

Roscoe Mitchell – The Flow Of Things

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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

Kazuko Shiraishi – Dedicated To The Late John Coltrane & Other Jazz Poems LP

Kazuko Shiraishi LP

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.

Continue reading Kazuko Shiraishi – Dedicated To The Late John Coltrane & Other Jazz Poems LP

Dewey Redman – The Ear Of The Behearer LP

Dewey Redman-The Ear Of The Behearer

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.

Continue reading Dewey Redman – The Ear Of The Behearer LP