"It is hard to tell which are vocal sounds and which are electronic or sampled since all are strange in different ways. What is most interesting is the way that Mr. Blonk blends all of the sounds into fascinating combinations, stretching and manipulating select sound in a most focused way. It might be hard to tell that there are vocals at the center of some of these pieces yet I was still captivated throughout. - Bruce Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery"
It's Magnificent, but It Isn't War
Cold Bleak Heat
""Using music in a way that would make Plato squeal, these four accomplished musicians -- certainly among the forefront of experimental music -- have crafted an unrelenting slab of noise that's as violent as it is sublime." - Mr. P, Tiny Mix Tapes"
"The eight pieces blend together so that it’s almost impossible to separate them, not unlike the empathetic interplay between Rempis’ horn, Reid’s cello, and Abrams’ bass. -Andy Beta, Pitchfork"
Traces of Cookery / Kochspuren
"Traces of Cookery started with seven pairings of cooking ingredients, mostly of somewhat unusual nature, that were mixed together. Of these I took photos with a microscope, and chose one photo of everypair. The first image of every series in the book is such an original photo, with no processing done afterwards. Then, the next six images are variations of the first one, created with a mixture of digital and manual procedures."
JaJeWeDa: Pioneer Works Vol. 1
Jeb Bishop, Jaap Blonk, Weasel Walter & Damon Smith
"The sonic result of this alchemical gamble is a wide-open, unruly field of play where anything can and will happen. The New York City session and performance documented on these releases run the gamut from delicate chamber textures to Xenakis-meets-cracked-video-game burbling to all-out electronic meltdowns."
""On the albums third track, the trio demonstrates how tight they are. Their collaborative effort and responsiveness inside a vehicle running at full speed is very impressive." -Gustav Lindqvist, Free Jazz Blog"
Joggers & Smoggers
"‘‘This record is a joyful testimony to music’s continuing ability to communicate ideas. They have opened up their frenetic grind to encompass 1,000 different rhythms. They’re caught up in something unique.’’"
"Bridge 61 is one of the musical highlights of 2006, Vandermark on sax and clarinet, Jason Stein on bass clarinet, Nate McBride on bass and Tim Daisy on drums. McBride is also the bass player of Spaceways Inc., and Tim Daisy is the drummer of the Vandermark 5. Despite his incredible output of albums, Vandermark manages to keep the attention up. The pieces on this album are all composed but with room for improvisation, the search for new effects and sound combinations. "
Journey To Parazzar
Joe McPhee, John Edwards, Klaus Kugel
"The music played here is "just XXIst century free jazz", but played at the highest possible level, with emotions and feeling erupting from the scene like lava from an exploding volcano. ... the whole album is magnifique!!! - Maciej Lewenstein, 2018"
Marc Riordan & Tim Daisy
"Critics often speak of the chemistry between two musicians. Why? Because, it is so very easy to toss out this abstract, non-quantifiable concept. Those who agree, nod. Those who differ, well they have nothing on which to challenge your statement. But here I go, Tim Daisy and Marc Riordan showcase a stellar musical affinity on their duo release Joyride. —Mark Corroto, All About Jazz"
Joe McPhee & Hamid Drake
"It's easy to be cynical these days, maybe difficult to imagine that music can change the world, but not for Joe McPhee and Hamid Drake. With Keep Going, they will make the planet a better place for humanity, a place to be humane, to preserve humankind. At 78-years-old, Poughkeepsie multi-instrumentalist McPhee is a national treasure, and he's making more music than ever before, pushing himself to tour incessantly, issuing astonishing new records at a fierce rate. But this release, with legendary Chicago percussionist Drake, is something extremely special in the midst of many special records. The duo first recorded together in 1999, having only played together a limited number of times; the resulting music was issued as Emancipation Proclamation on the Okka Disk label. When the opportunity arose to hit the studio for a second time, McPhee and Drake had two more decades of extensive work together under their belts, as members of the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet and in many other contexts. But the session somehow consolidated their shared energy in an unexpected way – the drummer's incredible warmth and sense of buoyancy, the saxophonist and trumpeter's preternatural musicality and quest for social justice. The recording started with McPhee reciting words by Harriett Tubman, resulting in the title track; Drake's support was an achingly slow Max Roach-like beat. From this inspired, inspiring starting point, the twosome frolicked through a rich program, McPhee donning tenor and alto saxes, and pocket trumpet, Drake turning momentarily to the frame drum. Each musician contributes an introspective solo track. McPhee at one point plays trumpet into an open gong, which gives him otherworldly overtones, a sort of acoustic version of electric Miles. Drake makes too few records, so anything of his is mandatory; McPhee's been on a roll lately, releasing lots of music, but Keep Going is one not to be missed. "
Keep Your Options Open II (Option Mixtape 2017)
"In celebration of the 2018 OPTION season, Experimental Sound Studio has released a special, limited edition mixtape CD that highlights some of the best improvisers working today from around the world. This compilation showcases the breadth and diversity of improvised and creative music with rising starts like Lea Bertucci, Katinka Kleijn, Ben LaMar Gay, Matchess, The Few and Charmaine Lee as well as veterans of free jazz (Mats Gustafsson, Antonio Borghini, Tim Daisy, Jeremiah Cymerman, Curt Newton, and Ingebrigt Håker Flaten). These live sets from the 2017 OPTION season were beautifully mixed and mastered by our head engineer, Alex Inglizian. By purchasing a mixtape, you are supporting Experimental Sound Studio, the OPTION programming, and keeping creative music alive and thriving in Chicago. All proceeds go to the Option Series and the musicians involved in the mixtape. "
""My first solo release since 'Averschuw' (Kontrans 947, 2001). It features multitrack vocal pieces, work with live electronics and my first algorithmic compositions." -Jaap Blonk"
Knknighgh (Minimal Poetry For Aram Saroyan)
"You will experience a beautiful set of improvised and composed music, dedicated to and inspired by the poetry of Aram Saroyan. Regardless if you pick out all of the composed parts or some of it or none at all, or if know and like the poetry of Aram Saroyan or not, this album is a beautiful piece of art that you should listen to carefully, maybe with your earphones on and a glass of wine at your side. -Daniel Böker, Free Jazz Blog"
Known / Unknown
Paul Lytton / Nate Wooley
"Both musicians explore the outside possibilities of their respective instruments and both utilize electronics to further disassemble the sound. The sound tends toward small gestures, magnifying silence and echoey reverberations. -Mark Corroto, All About Jazz"
Komen & Gaan
ICP Septet + Joris Roelofs + Terrie Ex
""Much of the album is devoted to improvisations by subgroups that are by turns impelled by collegiality and bristling with challenge. They differ nearly as much from one another as they all do from the twice-visited, Ellingtonian pastiche, “De Linkershoen, De Rechtershoen” (The Left Shoe, the Right Shoe). While it might have been more fun to be there, sneaking drinks from the bottles on the tables while the musicians played with and provoked one another, the music’s mercurial progress is amusement enough to put a smile on your face." -Bill Meyer, Dusted Magazine"
Evans / Fernandez / Gustafsson
"As an archeological project, this recording is a rare artifact, documenting the collaboration of three important improvisers whose technique is paraded on each track. Sometimes they choose to walk a minimalist line, Fernández exploring the piano's insides—much of the time mimicking a percussionist—while Gustafsson and Evans play with breathy sounds. In other spots, Gustafsson delivers his now-patented shout-smack saxophone punch and Evans brings his growling rumbles. Without the persistence of beat or the bounds of meter, the trio is free to exercise some serious kopros noise-making, Some may think these challenging sounds merde, others an instant archaeological treasure."