30 settembre 2020

E c'è in distribuzione da ReR Megacorp ancora qualche copia del dvd Icepick to the Moon - da non confondere con l'album musicale con lo stesso titolo - in cui Skizz Cyzyk ricostruisce fatti e misfatti compiuti a suo tempo dall'ineffabile Reverend Fred Lane (cioè Timothy Reed) con The Raudelunas Pataphysical Revue

La presentazione di Cutler: "The Raudelunas Pataphysical Revue rates as one of the truly great productions of the 1970s, coming seemingly out of nowhere (in fact Tuscaloosa, Alabama), it was fully fledged, brilliantly competent, Dadaistic, funny - in a disturbingly ambiguous sort of way - and scarily musical in several languages: from Sinatra to pure noise. A bolt from the blue, completely original and right off the map - an unlikely coalescence of a whole group of dissident and talented artists who somehow gathered themselves into an active community, and made things happen - elaborate, complicated, ambitious things - with no hope of remuneration or popularity. And they weren’t messing about. Many of them went on to notable careers as artists, writers, composers and improvisers - like Davey Williams, Craig Nutt, La Donna Smith and Anne Le Baron, who all appear here. The film is centred on their front man, visual artist, writer and singer, the Reverend Fred Lane -  but spends most of its time following the actions and musical interventions of the early collective, with a lot of great documentation, photographs, footage and pictures that you’ll have to freeze-frame to study. And there’s concert footage, of course. A fascinating study of how, under the right conditions and in spite of a general disinterest real, enduring art gets made."


29 settembre 2020

C'è un nuovo episodio nell'imperdibile serie Probes curata e prodotta da Chris Cutler per Radio Web Macba, presso il Museo di Arte Contemporanea di Barcellona: è il numero 28, dedicato stavolta a seghe, martelli, lame, carta smerigliata e piccoli utensili da fabbro e falegname, così come a macchine da cucire, ricevitori radio e grammofoni, tutti impiegati come sorgenti sonore dirette o come fonti di ispirazione.

In the late nineteenth century two facts conspired to change the face of music: the collapse of common practice tonality (which overturned the certainties underpinning the world of art music), and the invention of a revolutionary new form of memory, sound recording (which redefined and greatly empowered the world of popular music). A tidal wave of probes and experiments into new musical resources and new organisational practices ploughed through both disciplines, bringing parts of each onto shared terrain before rolling on to underpin a new aesthetics able to follow sound and its manipulations beyond the narrow confines of ‘music’. This series tries analytically to trace and explain these developments, and to show how, and why, both musical and post-musical genres take the forms they do. In Probes #28, as new musical resources continue to expand we follow the incorporation into new works of saws, sandpaper and power tools, artisans and knitting machines – and go on to investigate the repurposing of radios and gramophones as musical resources.

28 settembre 2020

L'intero catalogo This Heat, rivisto direttamente da Charles Hayward e Charles Bullen in occasione di un nuovo trasferimento dagli antichi nastri, è finalmente disponibile in digitale presso le principali piattaforme di streaming e downloading. In un articolo per l'americana Npr ('Understanding The Impossibly Far-Reaching Influence Of This Heat') Grayhson Haver Currin sottolinea la singolare coincidenza delle passate riedizioni - e di quella attuale - con cruciali fatti storici: "As with so many foundational cult favorites, This Heat's records have sometimes been hard to find, prompting a string of pointedly timely reissues. The band offered its catalog on CD in 1991, while the Gulf War erupted and the Soviet Union collapsed. It arrived again as the box set Out of Cold Storage in 2006, in part because Hayward was devastated it wasn't more accessible after 9/11 - nations had returned to war 'to keep freedom's flag flying', just like he predicted on 1981's Cenotaph. Then, in early 2016, months before the Brexit vote and the subsequent election of Donald Trump, Seattle's Light in the Attic Records repressed much of This Heat's oeuvre into a definitive new vinyl edition. Now, amid the casualties and doubts of a global pandemic and civic unrest in so many corners of the world, This Heat are finally putting their music on streaming services. "There's a weird inevitability to This Heat - it comes back at the times it needs to come back," says Hayward, from his home in London. "If we're going to be addressing the problems of the world through something that happened 40 years ago, now is another good time."

27 settembre 2020

Le meravigliose reinvenzioni dell'Artchipel Orchestra rendono le musiche di Phil Miller, se possibile, ancora più nostre. Sinceramente nostre.


26 settembre 2020

Anche Domino accompagna l'uscita di Side by Side di Robert Wyatt e Alfie Benge con propria (e appropriata) iniziativa: il recupero in cd e doppio vinile dell'antologico His Greatest Misses - ne produsse un'edizione giapponese la Hannibal nel 2004, e lo rilanciò nel 2010 la stessa Domino - magnificamente illustrato da alcuni disegni realizzati dal piccolo Robert a sei anni. Che annota: "Blimey! My little drawings were done about seventy years ago... how retrospective can you get?"

A compilation spanning Wyatt's decades-long career. The collection, originally released as a Japanese edition, includes selections dating from Rock Bottom (1974) to Cuckooland (2003), although its running order is non-chronological. This makes the subtle point that Wyatt’s recordings are best considered as a non-linear catalogue - this is a world through which the listener can move at any pace in any direction. 

25 settembre 2020

Ad accompagnare l'uscita di Side By Side Alexis Taylor propone per Faber Radio una scaletta di suoi brani preferiti: "To celebrate the publication of Robert Wyatt & Alfie Benge Side By Side, Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor has curated a playlist of the influential artists’ songs. ‘These are just some of my favourite Robert Wyatt songs, and Robert Wyatt songs are some of my favourites, full stop. I hope you enjoy listening to this beautiful, challenging, tough and fragile music as much as I do.’ "

24 settembre 2020

Nella prefazione Jarvis Cocker avverte i lettori di prepararsi a decollare. Si può anche aggiungere che sarà molto difficile non commuoversi... Robert Wyatt & Alfie Benge: Side by Side

Side by Side presents the lyrics, poems, writings and drawings of innovative musician Robert Wyatt and his creative partner, English painter and songwriter Alfie Benge. Artist and collaborator Brian Eno said: ‘Whenever an aspiring musician asks me about songwriting I point them towards Robert and Alfie. Their work is so unusual, so perceptive, so playful and so grown-up… well, I don’t think there’s really anyone to compare. If you want songs that touch your mind as well as your heart, these are the best. Wide distribution of this book could improve the state of music dramatically.’ Published in hardback and beautiful limited edition, which includes four prints of Alfie’s artwork, this unique volume celebrates one of the most enduring creative partnerships of the last half-century.

23 settembre 2020

Prosegue l'impegno di Martin Archer per ottenere i diritti di pubblicazione di uno dei lavori di Keith Tippett rimasto a lungo inutilizzato negli archivi della BBC: si tratta di The Monk Watches The Eagle, commissionato dal Norfolk & Norwich Arts Festival e presentato in concerto nella cattedrale di Norwich il 14 maggio 2004 con Julie Tippetts, Paul Dunmall, Ben Waghorn, Kevin Figes, Chris Biscoe, l'Apollo Saxophone Quartet e The BBC Singers. Vedrà presto la luce in cd per Discus Music, grazie al decisivo intervento di un generoso sottoscrittore.

22 settembre 2020


E un secondo rinvio causa Covid-19 subisce purtroppo lo speciale concerto che Mike Westbrook con la Uncommon Orchestra avrebbe dovuto tenere a Londra al Ronnie Scott's il mese prossimo (recuperandolo da aprile): un omaggio a Ellington sulla falsariga dello storico On Duke's Birthday, però con molte differenze negli arrangiamenti, diversi brani di nuova composizione e la partecipazione di importanti ospiti. Bisognerà aspettare l'aprile dell'anno prossimo, se va bene. Nel frattempo il Duca è tutt'altro che dimenticato - ma quando mai? - in casa Westbrook: è a lui che si ispira Says the Duke, brano che Kate sta allestendo da remoto con la Granite Band, ed è (anche) a lui che si riferisce Mike in un recente scritto che sul Westbrook Notice Board accompagna Erme Estuary, pregiata perla estratta dagli scrigni The Cortège: "In February 1981 my father died. Among all the many things I owe him is a sense of his great love of music, and the theatre,- a love which my mother shared. He has my eternal thanks for introducing me, as a teenager, to the music of Duke Ellington. At that time he bought me a 10-inch LP of Duke’s 1940s band. That record was my bible for many years. His funeral was at Holbeton village church in Devon. Kate and I played Duke’s hymn Come Sunday. At the time of my father’s death, I was working on the music for a TV documentary, The Haunt of Man directed by Mischa Scorer. The film was about world resources and, inevitably, about our rapacious destruction of the Environment, and the ruthless exploitation by the so-called ‘civilised’ world of ‘Third World’ countries. Forty years on that situation has only got worse.I wrote music to accompany a sequence in the film that showed some of the glories of the natural world, now under threat. This short piece formed the basis of a new section in The Cortège. I named it after the river near my parents’ home in Devon, the Erme."


21 settembre 2020

La nuova formazione dei Magma annunciata alla vigilia del 2020 ha avuto finora poche possibilità di cimentarsi in concerto, dovendo sospendere ogni attività dal vivo dopo appena qualche data effettuata a inizio marzo. Ora che anche gli impegni di ottobre e novembre tornano a rischio - potrebbe salvarsi solo l'appuntamento Unik di domani sera per Radio France - provano a consolare i fan tre folgoranti estratti di Theusz Hamtaahk dal concerto di Perpignan dello scorso 8 marzo: sono ufficialmente in visione al canale YT del gruppo. 

20 settembre 2020

Si doveva tenere ad aprile a Valenciennes (Francia) l'omaggio degli Art Zoyd al compianto Gérard Hourbette (1953-2018), loro direttore e principale compositore fin quasi dalle origini; è slittato invece a qualche giorno fa, a causa della pandemia, ed è ora integralmente disponibile in video su FB: Et avec votre esprit, una mirabolante performance di musica, luci e danza che prende spunto dall'omonimo brano del 1981 presente in uno degli album storici più amati del gruppo, Phase IV.

Référence mondiale de la musique contemporaine et tête pensante d’Art Zoyd, Gérard Hourbette nous quittait en mai 2018. Ses amis lui rendent un vibrant hommage à travers un spectacle repoussant toutes les frontières, à l’image de son œuvre singulière. Né en 1969 à Valenciennes, Art Zoyd a posé les bases d’une musique contemporaine dynamitant les structures. Entre rock, jazz ou classique, ce collectif protéiforme a aussi composé avec l’électronique au gré des progrès techniques. Âme de ce groupe, Gérard Hourbette fut également un familier de l’Orchestre National de Lille, entre autres. Ce spectacle s’inspire d’une pièce créée en 1981 (Et avec votre esprit) et revisite le vaste répertoire du maître. Le dispositif relève du songe cyberpunk. Entre les morceaux s’expriment la danseuse Akiko Kitamura, mais aussi… Gérard Hourbette lui-même, par le biais d’enregistrements vidéo - tel un chevalier sampler.


19 settembre 2020


Anche a beneficio di quanti non vi troveranno fisicamente posto, date le limitazioni imposte dal periodo, viene trasmesso in diretta streaming su YT il concerto dei faUSt che si tiene questa sera a Bonn (Germania) nella sala Dialograum del Kreuzung an St. Helena. Inizia alle ore 20.00 ed è promosso dalla In Situ Art Society, di cui è tra i fondatori Pavel Borodin di PanRec.


18 settembre 2020

Procede la pubblicazione di Anthems and Antithets, brillante autoritratto in quattro cd che Brian Woodbury ha promesso di portare a termine entro il prossimo gennaio. Due i volumi già disponibili, tramite Bandcamp o presso ReR: Levity & Novelty e Balladry & Soliloquy.


17 settembre 2020

Chris Cutler contribuisce anche con sue note, precisazioni e riferimenti al testo di Luca Ferrari Glen Sweeney's Book Of Alchemies--The Life and Times of the Third Ear Band 1967-1973, pubblicato per November Books. Accompagna il volume un cd con i brani che a suo tempo avrebbero potuto costituire il terzo album del gruppo, The Dragon Wakes.

Scrive Cutler: "Giant Sun Trolley were legends in the earliest stirrings of what became the underground in London in late 1966, coming to full flower in the summer of 1967; doubly legendary because they never recorded anything. One of them, Glen Sweeney, went on to form the Third Ear Band and remained both deeply integrated into - and a spectre at the edges of - the experimental / psychedelic / pop explosion that followed - and whose reverberations still echo. Their first album, Alchemy, released for a dubious EMI, won them fans for life, and their soundtrack for Roman Polanski’s Macbeth - recorded with Paul Buckmaster in the band - made them famous. Then it was over. They now rate a passing mention in historic accounts, but hardly anyone knows anything more about them. But it’s worth knowing."


16 settembre 2020

E' pronto anche il nuovo libro di Chris Cutler, Not As We Choose--Music, Memory And Technology, ma un ripensamento in extremis sulla veste grafica ne sta momentaneamente ritardando l'uscita. Sarà pronto a ottobre: "A new book of essays on music, 30 years in the making, developing some of the themes of the last book and moving on into new theoretical territories."

15 settembre 2020

E' pronto un nuovo libro, il quarto, di Eddie PrévostAn Uncommon Music For the Common Man, distribuito da Matchless. Così lo accoglie Richard Williams: "A very different kind of musician’s memoir, a provocative and stimulating account in which the founder-member of AMM questions every aspect of his life and purpose in making music."

Percussionist, improviser and AMM founding member Eddie Prévost's fourth book presents a fascinating series of reflections and challenging insights on music in its various forms, and the development of improvised music at the intersection of contemporary compositional and conceptual forms; alongside a personal history of Prevost's life and his relationship with music.


14 settembre 2020

Torna a farsi sentire urgente e forte la voce poetica di Anne Waldman in uno dei suoi album migliori pubblicato a New York da Fast Speaking MusicSciamachy. I testi sono tratti dalle raccolte Trickster Feminism, Extinction AriaVoice’s Daughter of A Heart Yet To Be Born; per la musica le danno una mano tra gli altri anche William Parker e Laurie Anderson.

Anne Waldman - poet, performer, professor, editor, literary curator, cultural activist - is the author of over 50 books. Growing up in the counter-cultural mecca of downtown Manhattan in the ’50s and ’60s, she went on to co-found the Poetry Project in New York’s East Village, booking poetry readings for luminaries such as William Burroughs, Cecil Taylor, Lou Reed, Patti Smith, Eileen Myles, and countless others. In 1974 she co-founded the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics with Allen Ginsberg in Boulder, Colorado; and in 1975 she toured with Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue. In the decades following, Waldman went on to headline poetry festivals throughout five continents, receive numerous awards such as The Guggenheim Fellowship, and teach thousands of poetry students all over the world. Sciamachy finds Anne at the height of her luminary power, and further solidifies her position as cult literary hero for multiple generations.


13 settembre 2020

Il Cafe Oto londinese, parzialmente rinnovato, ha potuto finalmente riaprire al pubblico pochi giorni fa nell'intenzione di proseguire al meglio le proprie attività, seppur con moltissime cautele e con un calendario di appuntamenti ancora assai incerto. Tra gli eventi più attesi di questo mese avrebbe dovuto tenersi uno speciale programma di quattro giorni curato da Ikue Mori, che però non potrà svolgersi (per ora). Ci si può consolare virtualmente con Invisible, un pugno di brani da lei composti e realizzati a casa nei giorni della quarantena e ora donati a Takuroku: "Ikue was due to perform a 4 night residency at Cafe Oto this month, but due to coronavirus had to be rescheduled to some time next year. In its place she's very kindly put together this selection of new work, all made at home on her own. In it, collected samples and concurrent keyboard lines are projected like aural holograms of dreams shot through crystal. Elapsed drum patterns and gurgling digital electronics emerge and scatter themselves in a haze of tropical music concrete, before wandering into melodic patterns and glimpses of songs. Ikue says "this is where I’m in right now, being home my own" - and it's clear she has formed a natural symbiosis with her laptop during this time; conjuring thick synthetic clouds of thoughts, feelings and dreams for listeners to swim through."

12 settembre 2020

Stornandola dalla 'sua' InPolySons affida all'ADN Records la sua ultima deliziosa operina Denis Tagu, stavolta con nome TagubuCarrer Telègraf, con imperscrutabile (!) dedica a Rob-Alf...


11 settembre 2020

Nuovi arcani tesori da scoprire negli scrigni della Cordelia RecordsThe Impenetrable Arch of Probability, per esempio, secondo lavoro di surf sperimentale firmato The Melamine Division Plates.


10 settembre 2020

A due anni di distanza dalla scomparsa di Charles O'Meara (1953-2018) - che i più ricordano come C.W. Vrtacek nei lavori da solista, con Forever Einstein e Biota - un bel modo di omaggiarne l'opera è quello scelto da ReR Megacorp: accompagnare la distribuzione del suo curioso libro di schizzi e disegni Do Not Write on the Walls con una copia in cd dell'album Heaven Comes to Town che proprio ReR produsse in vinile nel 1988, senza più ristamparlo.

Scrive Cutler: "Chuck was one of those unstoppable forces; he just had to make things all the time - music, furniture, stories, drawings, a novel - as well as holding down his day job as a psychiatric nurse. Highly creative and born talented, he’d studied art with Saul Steinberg before switching his attention to music. But later in life he went back to drawing and produced studies, cartoons and sketches every day - not to any end purpose, but just to amuse himself and the handful of friends to whom he occasionally sent copies. This book is of course a memorial to his great talent (and his special brand of darkly weary humour), but beyond that it’s also a beautiful thing - not least because Chuck wasn’t working to any special purpose; just getting down whatever popped into his head. And his head was a strange and wonderful place. There are cartoons, architectural fantasies, art musings and scenes from life here, all beautifully executed. Chuck was a modest master of line and balance and caught complex currents in few simple strokes. And occasionally not so simple. Let me strongly recommend this book: it’s hard not to like, it makes a perfect gift - and it helps to weave a thread of immortality into the life of someone who had something to say and knew how to say it. The subscription editions comes with a free, re-mastered CD of Chuck’s never reissued 1988 ReR LP Heaven Comes to Town, a unique, and somewhat prescient episodic unraveling of melody, field-ambient and electronic sound; like a mind at rest daydreaming through the debris of a day."


09 settembre 2020

Nuovo singolo militante per Bad Dream Fancy Dress, in attesa dell'album completo Bionic rinviato al 2021: Summer Rising, schieratissimo contro Trump, citando Hendrix, Prince, Billie Holiday e Martin Luther King al cospetto delle emergenze globali più drammatiche del nostro tempo.

Summer Rising is the new single from Bad Dream Fancy Dress and captures the Zeitgeist of a summer of turmoil and upheaval that has shaken the planet, from Covid 19, extreme weather and climate change, to the killing of George Floyd in the United States. It's become clear that Democracy and the rule of law is under threat from ever extreme right wing autocratic leaders who seek to spread fear and lies, in order to control and divide. The world hangs in the balance as the election looms in the United States that will dominate the world for the next ten years. It's time to choose a side and Bad Dream Fancy Dress hold back no punches in this powerful guitar driven protest song. With clear reference to some of the Great Black Musicians and artists who have influence their music and creative output, Bad Dream Fancy Dress are back on form and firing on all six.


08 settembre 2020

Da Santiago del Cile Rockaxis segnala l'imminente pubblicazione di Artlessly Falling, secondo album di Mary Halvorson con il gruppo Code Girl, di cui ci sarebbe stata probabilmente anche da noi qualche anticipazione dal vivo, non fosse saltato il tour europeo programmato per lo scorso mese di marzo. In tre brani c'è la partecipazione di Robert Wyatt: "Robert es uno de mis héroes - dichiara la chitarrista - es algo tan importante para mí que estuviera dispuesto a cantar en este disco, porque su música ha sido una enorme influencia en Code Girl y en casi todo lo demás que he hecho. Escribí las tres pistas que canta específicamente para él, y me sorprendió la gracia y la brillantez con la que se acercó a esta música. Fue un sueño hecho realidad".


07 settembre 2020

Dagli archivi dell'Inner London Education Authority - in attività a Londra fino al 1990 e titolare tra l'altro di propri studi di registrazione e di un esteso sistema televisivo a circuito chiuso rivolto a scuole e vari enti culturali metropolitani - Nuthatch recupera alcune autentiche rarità, sconosciute ai più, di assoluto interesse: Soft Machine, Matching Mole, Kevin Ayers (con Bedford, Coxhill e Wyatt), Roy Harper e Third Ear Band tra i primi video pubblicati, tutti tratti dalla serie Music Alive, tutti del 1972.


06 settembre 2020

Sono già numerosi i titoli entrati a far parte del catalogo in digitale del benamato Eugene Chadbourne, messo soltanto di recente a disposizione nel suo spazio web di documentazione discografica, fedele anch'esso al motto da sempre applicato ai manufatti su supporto fisico: "My music the way I want it documented, packaged by the artist, available from the artist." Nei meandri del nuovo bazar - in cui c'è da perdersi, letteralmente, tanto quanto accadeva avventurandosi nell'antico - c'è ancora qualche copia di Dreamory.


05 settembre 2020

Da qualche tempo la londinese Soho Radio invita alcune etichette discografiche a interferire nella normale programmazione, ospitando le loro diverse proposte nell'arco di una settimana. Nei giorni scorsi è toccato alla Cherry Red Records: ieri Pere Ubu, oggi The Residents. Che annunciano: "You probably remember the radio? For those that don't, it was a high tech entertainment device back in the early part of the 20th century and it's still around! But it's mostly on the internet now like everything else. Whatever... but The Residents have a radio special on Soho radio in London, celebrating their long history with the blues - and it's happening this Saturday, Sept 5 from 4-6 pm London time. Don't miss it!!!!"


04 settembre 2020

Una celebre poesia di Ted Hughes, Wind, messa magnificamente in musica da Billie Bottle durante il periodo di isolamento: tratta dalla prima raccolta del poeta - Il falco nella pioggia (1957), battuta a macchina dalla prima moglie, Sylvia Plath - ma in verità appresa affettuosamente dalla zia, al telefono.


03 settembre 2020

L'ottetto di Alan Wakeman in due distinte sessioni prodotte per la BBC nel 1969 e nel 1979: The Octet Broadcasts, disponibili ufficialmente per la prima volta grazie a Gearbox Records. Di valore storico le registrazioni, e di gran lustro i nomi coinvolti: prima Alan Skidmore, Mike Osborne, Paul Rutherford, Paul Nieman, John Taylor, Lindsay Cooper (il bassista) e Paul Lytton, poi di nuovo Skidmore e Rutherford, Art Themen, Henry Lowther, Gordon Beck, Chris Lawrence e Nigel Morris.

Ricorda Wakeman nelle note di copertina: "Broadly speaking, it was an exciting time for the performing arts in the late 60s and 70s, when many different disciplines and styles intermingled happily in theatre, rock, classical music, film and jazz. Concerts would become events, with visual projections, costumes and more interactive elements for audiences to appreciate. A distinctive, freer style of jazz was emerging in Europe and I became hugely influenced during my sixth form years by being exposed to the thoughts and music and musicians associated with Mike Westbrook when he came to teach art at my school (an experience that must have put him off teaching for life)... I should add that I wrote all the music for both dates with the particular musicians who took part in mind: the Ellington concept of the musicians making the music."


02 settembre 2020

Mike Westbrook ricorda in un gustoso aneddoto - con lieve ma giustificato tono di rivincita - la prima partecipazione di un ensemble jazz alla stagione concertistica londinese The Proms, per decisione dell'allora direttore John Drummond: era il 30 agosto 1992, e la Mike Westbrook Orchestra presentò Big Band Rossini all'Albert Hall.


01 settembre 2020

Isle of Pene
... quando si dice scrivere ad minchiam ...