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The trio of Scandinavian rhythm section Paal Nilssen-Love (drums) and Johan Berthling (double bass) hooking up with Japanese free jazz legend Akira Sakata (saxophone/clarinet) started in 2013 at the Molde Jazz Festival in Norway. The trio took their name from the legendary 1977 collaborative album by Yosuke Yamashita Trio and dance group Dairakudakan – an album that Sakata was a central part of, that even 40 years later stand solid as a radical and bold musical statement. And this piece of history gives us a clue to where the trio of Nilssen-Love, Berthling and Sakata is aiming for, not by looking back and rethreading what has been done before, but adopting its attitude of kicking the often stale sax/drums/bass-format forward with such force that it feels completely fresh.
After its start in 2013 Arashi has been a steady group, doing numerous tours in Europe and Japan, and PNL Records is pleased to release the trio’s third album, “Jikan”, a live recording from the Pit Inn club in Tokyo in September 2017. “Jikan” captures the trio at full force – with Sakata doing almost as much vocals as playing the reeds.”
Paal Nilssen-Love & Ken Vandermark
“NOW FOR PREORDER:
This is Paal Nilssen-Love and Ken Vandermark's tenth album, and this time the duo have decided to look backwards at the last ten years of their career, although in a very unusual way. In collaboration with producer Lasse Marhaug they have gone through the numerous clips of live performances that exist on YouTube, unofficial documentation recorded and uploaded by members of the audience without the duo’s involvement. None of these clips were full concerts, neither were they recorded on professional gear, often containing artifacts that compresses and distorts the audio. The idea was to embrace the limitations of the format and to make a collage out of the material, but using only the audio and not the video from the recordings. By drawing inspiration from experimental cinema – especially the Structural film movement of directors like Michael Snow, Hollis Frampton and Tony Conrad – Marhaug set a rule of only 60 seconds from each clip should be used, and since the duo does not play short pieces the cuts would often be disruptive, cutting the music off in the middle of movements. The cuts were then assembled together not in a chronological manner, but rather what made sense musically, often jumping back and forth years in the process. The results was that this stylization doesn’t distance the listener from the music, but rather creates a viable document of activity, much in the same manner a film would - just with the screen off.
“"Thanks Marker, you’ve just delivered a classic." *****
Gustav Lindquist, The Free Jazz Collective, March 6, 2019
Their third album, New Industries, is a double CD comprised of studio and live versions of a dozen new compositions by Vandermark. The studio album was recorded in Chicago at Experimental Sound Studio on July 15th, 2018, directly after Marker's tour of the Midwest; the live album is a document made of their July 12th performance at Milwaukee's Sugar Maple. The combination of both recordings provides listeners an opportunity to hear the compositional strategies of the music truly come into play. Not only is the music improvised within individual pieces, the spontaneous narrative between each is altered by the way that these compositions are sequenced and layered.”
Live at Big Apple in Kobe
“"And the music does stay hot for long stretches during the two improvisations that comprise the CD. “Rainbow Elephant” slowly wends its way through passage after passage of astonishing sounds, following a slowly evolving path. There’s a continuous weave of sound—sparkling electronics; saxophone clicks and cries; textured, breathy drones on the trumpet; and subtle prepared piano timbres. The sound expands and contracts, dense one moment, open and airy the next. Fujii plays a long melodic arc with scintillating sounds dancing underneath. Later, Anker starts her own extended melody, supported and embellished by the others. “Yellow Sky” grows more directly from soft electronic flutters and breathy tones on saxophone and trumpet to become progressively darker and more agitated with hot raspy trumpet, rumbling piano, clattering electronics, and wailing saxophone. The album is one of the most sustained abstract performances in the Fujii discography. "”
Early Bird Gets
“The Early Bird Gets is the debut album by this working trio, comprised of journeyman Chicago saxophonist Dave Rempis alongside two of the brightest talents in a younger generation of improvising musicians. Bassist Brandon Lopez is a musician whose virtuosity knows no bounds, currently one of the most in-demand bassists on the New York jazz and improvised music scene. Percussionist Ryan Packard counters that depth with his own breadth of interests, working in contemporary classical ensembles, indie rock bands, and jazz groups alike around Chicago, not to mention his doubling abilities on electronics. These two together provide a formidable rhythm section that can veer from hard-driving grooves to luscious soundscapes with total ease.
As a trio, these three have put forth a work that may be the “jazziest” project any of them are involved with; a result that even the band members found surprising. But after honing their sound through live gigs in 2017 and early 2018, it became apparent that their free-improvised conversation kept returning to a similar destination: a three-way exploration of rhythm and tempo that left them working solidly within the jazz tradition. Not the one fixed into predictable sylistic corners, but the one defined by a spirit of boundless curiosity and exploration. A tradition they stretched back and forth like so much taffy. ”
“KUZU is a hard-charging but patient trio that came together in the fall of 2017, after saxophonist Dave Rempis a stalwart of the Chicago improvised music scene, worked with both Tashi Dorji (guitar) and Tyler Damon (drums) individually as part of a lengthy solo tour of the U.S. that he undertook in the spring of that year. Dorji and Damon’s work as a guitar/percussion duo has become well-known, a highly refined and specific language developed through relentless touring and recording over the last few years, with a sound that straddles improvised music, rock, and any number of as-yet-undefined territories. These two provide an incredibly fresh take on the possibilities inherent to spontaneous composition. Superimposing Rempis into this mix was a logical next step after the relationships they’d forged individually. ”
October Music (Volume 3) 7 Compositions For Duet
“Relay Records is proud to present the third volume in it’s October Music catalog: "Tim Daisy October Music (vol 3) 7 Compositions For Duet" (relay 024) documents a set of new compositions written by Chicago based percussionist and composer Tim Daisy; each work performed in a duo format and written specifically for these seven Chicago based musicians.