Scrabbling At The Lock
The Ex + Tom Cora
"Judging from this album, it was a stroke of genius to match Tom Cora's earthy, aggressive cello with the bludgeoning force of The Ex at full throttle."
"You're thinking of The Ex and "the right to piss and shit in different colours"... Their music is dense and down-the-line, distantly allusive, subtle, grainy, open, full and proudly, alertly dissident."
"An intensely moving soundtrack for our times. "Scrabbling" has blood, sweat, tears and the sweetest sounding cello money can buy."
Ken Vandermark & Paal Nilssen-Love
"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."
Ikue Mori & Maja S.K. Ratkje
"The common sound territory, created together by Mori and Ratkje, balances between quietly growing tension and powerful outbursts of unrestrained, relentless noise. Within this harmony, Ratkje takes adventurous excursions towards the borders and unknown facets of sound, using treated voice as well as an acoustic and electronic workshop, while Mori's thoughtful laptop provides a strong frame and a sense of deep focus. In these carefully crafted, long and nuanced compositions, both artists maneuver between meditative, ritual areas and irregular, elusive noise blots. The most astonishing element of this superb performance is the realization that even though the compositions are entirely intuitive, created without any previous planning, guidelines or negotations, the listener can sense a nearly palpable sense of deep connection and understanding between the artists. Their knowledge and keen, immediate communication create an invisible harness, which naturally directs the stream of improvisation. This engaging, exhaustive listen is a contemplative retreat and a daring, dizzying somersault at once'. -Olga Drenda"
""This unconventional trio features Norwegians Paal Nilssen-Love (drums) and Lasse Marhaug (electronics), inceptive members of Vandermark's Powerhouse Sound. Exploring similar territory, Fire Room ventures further into the extremes of brutal cacophony and disquieting stillness.""
The Rempis/Daisy Duo
"Second Spring is a primal product of sixteen years playing together some of the most challenging music out there. -Victor Aaron, Something Else!"
"We recorded, with Dolf Planteydt, in short sessions over more than three years, Tsehaytu taking the opportunity to do much practising and rehearsing. On these recordings she plays all the instruments herself. We decided to produce the music in an as pure and authentic manner as possible. No silly drum-machines, that spoil so many modern Eritrean recordings. (If I may say so as a ferangie...) And it was a pleasure to give the music the length that it needed, instead of the usual maximum five minutes limit of a 7" single. -Terp Records"
"A collection of compositions and improvisations combining recent explorations with turntable manipulation, percussion and radio static with his expanding vocabulary as both a composer and improviser on the marimba."
Ken Vandermark & Paal Nilssen-Love
"When Paal Nilssen-Love and Ken Vandermark take the stage for two uninterrupted sets, you know there's no chance they'll take the easy route. They put themselves on the spot as a duet and as individual performers, asking telling questions about the way their instruments are played; where the boundaries are, sonically, expressively, physically. – London Jazz News "
Evan Parker / Daunik Lazro / Joe McPhee
"For our collective happiness, because what you'll find here goes deeper in the abstract lyricism testified by the previous and very hard to find release. The British, the French and the American guys were having a fantastic night, and history benefits from that. -Clean Feed"
"“Most obviously it establishes a space in which four distinct musical forces can explore potentialities… Collectively their experience encompasses jazz, free improvisation. Electronic noise, new music, and more; across Shelter’s nine tracks, late-night balladry rubs elbows with baleful funk and room-clearing power electronics” (Bill Meyer, The Wire) "Combining his recent duo work with Wooley and his powerful electronics heavy group Made to Break (which includes Stadhouders), the outcome, Shelter, is a forward thinking post-free Jazz/post punk/post rock milepost on the way to somewhere altogether new." (Paul Acquaro, The Free Jazz Collective) Named #3 Jazz / Improv record of 2017 by Bill Meyer in Magnet"
Terrie Ex & Ab Baars
"Both Baars - and Ex are resourceful, highly inventive improvisers and apparently eccentric and quite stubborn characters. Even though both know each other quite well they still manage to surprise. The ten studio pieces, recorded on September 2015, sound as playful, witty dialogues, where both Baars and Ex attempt to outsmart the other’s thread of thought with playful and urgent ideas, sometimes even tease the other with an outrageous and totally provocative gesture. -Eyal Hareuveni, Free Jazz Blog"
The Thing with Jim O'Rourke
""The Thing's discography is filled with uncompromising music and excellent collaborations. The addition of avant rock guitarist O'Rourke is a masterful addition to the list." - Free Jazz Blog"
"His guitar work has always been ferocious, but that zeal was often an introspective intensity. Here, his sound is extroverted and unreserved. Morris performs in trio with his guitar protege Chris Cretella, who like Morris often does, plays bass. Here, electric bass to Morris' electric guitar. The trio is complete with drummer Dave Parmelee, who has more in common with Chris Corsano and Ronald Shannon Jackson than he does with Paul Motian and Billy Higgins."
Short Visit to Nowhere
Peter Brotzmann Chicago Tentet Plus Two
""Certainly when, among other things, the double bass line-up with Kent Kessler and William Parker also presents, the drum tandem Hamid Drake-Michael Zerang or the trio brass with Joe McPhee, Jeb Bishop and Roy Campbell. Where the road is so open for focusing on a crushing group sound, the Chicago Tentet opts for a more modest approach. Especially Brötzmann's more than forty-minute 'Stonewater' leaves a lot of room for 'smaller' passages. The Arabic beginning is a striking example of this. With the tumbling hand drum and the eastern singing style of Hamid Drake, on which Brötzmann releases his elaborate, clarinet-like tarogato.""