Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Kuzu - Hiljaisuus (ASTRAL SPIRITS 2018)

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. 

The trio’s debut record HILJAISUUS (“silence” in Finnish…) is a highly focused and bold debut statement. Featuring spacious & light gestures that build and give way to an unstoppable tsunami of energy. Those waves are never impulsive or impetuous though, they ebb and flow logically and patiently out of simple and clearly defined sources. This trio pursues every gesture with tenacity, passing them back and forth until they’ve explored every facet of an idea. Through it all, Kuzu emerges as a unit and not as a meeting of individuals. We can't wait to hear where these guys go next! 

Look for Kuzu to hit the road this fall in support of "Hiljaisuus" with a Texas tour in August 2018 as well as a 2 week east coast tour in October.

Dave Rempis -- alto/tenor/baritone saxophones 
Tashi Dorji -- guitar 
Tyler Damon -- percussion 

Recorded in Chicago, September 13th, 2017 @ Elastic Arts 
Recorded, mixed & mastered by Dave Zuchowski. 
Artwork by id m theft able 
Produced by Nate Cross 

All music copyright 2018 - Rempis (ASCAP), Dorji (BMI), Damon (BMI

1. Fontanelles 1 21:59
2. Fontanelles 2 08:13
3. Gash 14:39

Hearts & Minds - Electroradiance (ASTRAL SPIRITS 2018)

"Drawing inspiration from the astral explorations of vintage Sun Ra but relocating them in gritty Chicago” – Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader 

“Prog-rock rears its ugly head in the best possible way” – Tom Burris, Free Jazz Collective 

“. . . raucous and scintillating” – Nate Chinen, Jazz Times 

Soon after the catchy synth-bass line that opens Electroradiance, listeners will start to suspect they’re in for something different. The synth-bass line has a herky-jerky contour that does fit a basic pattern of power-rock bands over the decades, but the bass clarinet melody that follows? Not so much. And halfway through, when the bass line becomes a vamp, and the improvisation enters a realm of altissimo squawks and thrillingly convoluted deep runs – well, we’re not in Kansas anymore, are we? 

Electroradiance, the captivating new collection of grooves and freedom from Chicago trio Hearts & Minds, teems with such episodes. “Future Told” marches to a humorously ominous riff rooted in the cartoonish melodies of Raymond Scott in the 1930s. The dance-inducing beat of “Step’n” supports a stuttering melody from bass clarinet – and then some whole-tone keyboard swaths, pockmarked by synthesized percussion blips – before shifting to a fast swing beat and back again. That same dynamic comes into play on “Slippery Slope,” while a modified New Orleans street beat drives “Shreveport”. On the other hand, though, “Treeline” opens with a mournful melody and retains its lovely rubato tempo for the first portion; and the title track offers a space-agey tone poem – night-lonely and a little eerie – in which synthesized keyboard sounds and bass clarinet gargles become almost interchangeable. 

Hearts & Minds is the brash and ballsy brainchild of Jason Stein and Paul Giallorenzo, who have remained friends since they met as grade-school classmates almost three decades ago. Employing an unusual, not to say bizarre, instrumentation, they make music that loops the solar system but maintains an irresistibly grounded pulse (despite the lack of a bassist). Giallorenzo’s keyboard work reaches back to the fledgling electronics of the 60s to encompass synth lines as well as asymmetrical tones and textures, which embrace Stein’s rangy command of bass clarinet techniques. Joining them for the first time on disc, drummer Chad Taylor simmers or percolates, utilizing his wealth of experience with such artists as Chicago tenor-sax legend Fred Anderson and his Chicago Underground cohorts Jeff Parker and Rob Mazurek. 

Taylor’s history made him the perfect choice to replace Hearts & Minds’ original drummer, Frank Rosaly (who moved to Europe shortly after the trio’s debut recording). Working with Fred Anderson allowed him to learn from a free-jazz contemporary of Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman, and Pharoah Sanders, whose pioneering improvisations of the 1960s are one touchstone for Hearts & Minds. And Taylor’s collaborations with trumpeter-electronicist Rob Mazurek honed his ability to support and shape music made by electronics – the other major inspiration for Hearts & Minds, whose music reverberates with memories of Sun Ra and the jazz fusion of Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock. 

As the title of the opening track indicates, this ability to go “Back And Forth” between two seemingly opposed camps distinguishes Hearts & Minds – as does the ability to find a fusion path that skirts them both. This same dialectic applies to the name of the band itself, as these musicians seek to achieve an aesthetic unification of expressionistic energy (heart) and intellectual formalism (mind) – all with a 21st-century voice that refers to but does not imitate past influences. 

Jason Stein is among the mere handful of improvisers who play the bass clarinet exclusively (rather than doubling on it as a change of pace). He occasionally performs for more people in one night than most jazz musicians see in a year: his free-jazz trio Locksmith Isidore has opened arena shows for comedian Amy Schumer (his half-sister). In addition to that trio and his own quartet, he contributes to several of the leading bands on Chicago’s new-music scene, and has brought a vital voice to the freest of free-jazz jams. But he has also stated a fondness for playing actual tunes, such as those that fill the repertoire of Hearts & Minds. And while several of these songs provide a section for free improvisation, their initial frameworks provide a uniquely inviting showcase for Stein’s extraordinary expertise on the bass clarinet, which ranges from powerful post-bop lines to ear-grabbing wails in the altissimo range. Chicago writer Neil Tesser notes that his playing has “a rawboned swagger particular to Chicago jazz in all its manifestations – from the trad playing of Bud Freeman and Jimmy McPartland in the 20s, through the tenor titans of the 50s, through the adventurers who formed the AACM in the 60s, and right up to the city’s renowned modern cadre of new-music improvisers.” 

Paul Giallorenzo, in addition to leading his own groups – particularly his GitGO quintets and the widely admired acoustic piano trio heard on the 2018 album Flow – has emerged as a leading virtuoso on the analog synthesizer. Giallorenzo’s work has been praised for its “inside-out” nature – his ability to push the boundaries of “conventional” jazz toward more freedom but also, on the other side, to bring a measure of structure to more avant-garde material. In addition, he is a co-founder of Elastic Arts, an important Chicago performance space and gallery, where he curates concert series, produces individual programs, and performs. Writing in the online journal Point Of Departure, John Litweiler said, “His solos and aggressive duets are gems of after-Bop, after-Bley melody,” while lauded music that “smudges the lines between the tradition and the avant-garde.” 

Stein and Giallorenzo first met in sixth grade in Rockville Centre, a mid-sized Long Island suburb of New York City. Giallorenzo attended Northwestern University just north of Chicago; Stein, studying at University of Michigan, traveled frequently to Chicago before graduation, then moved there in the early 2000s. Each settled quickly into the city’s burgeoning jazz/new-music environment, which by then was attracting attention throughout North America and Europe. 

They first performed in the format that evolved into Hearts & Minds in 2003; Frank Rosaly came on as drummer in 2005, ably succeeded by Chad Taylor, who grew up in Chicago and now lives in New York. His discography includes more than a dozen albums under the Chicago Underground rubric, starting with the Chicago Underground Duo formed by him and Rob Mazurek; multiple albums recorded with Fred Anderson, guitarist Jeff Parker, and award-winning flutist and composer Nicole Mitchell; and one of the most critically respected albums of 2017, trumpeter Jamie Branch’s Fly Or Die.

Jason Stein -- bass clarinet 
Paul Giallorenzo -- synthesizer, keyboards 
Chad Taylor -- drums, percussion 

Recorded October 24-25, 2017 by Zach Goldstein at Kawari Sound, Philadelphia, PA. 
Mixed by Liberty Ellman. 
Mastered by Mikey Young. 
Layout & Design by Jaime Zuverza. 

Tracks 2,5, 8 written by Jason Stein, Steinbassclar Publishing ASCAP 
Tracks 1,3,7,11 written by Paul Giallorenzo, Paul Giallorenzo Music ASCAP 
Tracks 4,9 written by Chad Taylor, Ctorb ASCAP 
Tracks 6,10 written by Hearts & Minds 

1. Back and Forth 04:53
2. Treeline 06:45
3. Step'n 06:58
4. Rivet and Roll 02:31
5. Frencher Frosty's Book 04:14
6. Electroradiance 03:01
7. Slowly Drifting Outward 05:52
8. Future Told 06:03
9. Shreveport 04:02
10. Relativistic 02:36
11. Slippery Slope 05:47

Brandon Seabrook Trio - Convulsionaries (ASTRAL SPIRITS 2018)

From the idiosyncratic musical mind of guitarist/composer Brandon Seabrook comes his latest album Convulsionaries (Astral Spirits, Fall 2018). In his close to two decades in NYC, Seabrook has garnered international acclaim for his sui generis approach to the electric guitar, one which astounds with tremolo pyrotechnics and an entropic, miasmic sensibility. While those elements are in full effect on Convulsionaries, they’re met with a mature and thorough sense of dynamics, pace, groove, and feeling. Joining Seabrook on this release are the young upright bassist Henry Fraser (Anthony Coleman, The Full Salon) and Daniel Levin (Tony Malaby, Mat Maneri), two revolutionary string players who have been working in various creative ensembles in Brooklyn for years.

Together, the string trio tackle Seabrook’s thorny compositions, which perpetually surprise and unseat the listener throughout the album’s proceedings. Seabrook's imaginative compositions are a study turning a sense of impeding doom into cathartic releases, allowing equal space for improvisation and rigid execution of the complex scores. The ensemble ransacks the history of their respective instruments, bringing light to new timbres and exposing their untapped percussive capabilities.

What we have with Convulsionaries is the sound of three restless virtuosos, making a bold statement, guiding listeners through a gauntlet of emotional spaces with the aid of these structural assemblages, turning impending doom into a deep cathartic release.

Brandon Seabrook, Guitar
Henry Fraser, Bass
Daniel Levin, Cello

All Songs Brandon Seabrook, BMI 

Recorded, Mixed & Mastered by COLIN MARSTON at Menegroth, The Thousand Caves, October 2017

1. Bovicidal 05:28
2. Groping at a Breakthrough 06:34
3. Crux Accumulator 05:06
4. Vulgar Mortals 08:46
5. Qorikancha 06:47
6. Mega Faunatic 09:40

East of the Valley Blues - Ressemblera (ASTRAL SPIRITS 2018)

We're incredibly excited to present to you the latest from East of the Valley Blues, aka Kevin & Patrick Cahill, from Toronto. If you aren't already familiar, (I imagine most folks reading this know their music already) get ready to have a new favorite group. 

"Ressemblera" is the twin brothers 4th album following releases on Death is Not The End and Cabin Floor Esoterica. The primary difference between "Ressemblera" and previous releases that may not be immediately obvious is that this album is entirely improvised. Kevin Cahill also runs the important POWER MOVES LABEL/POWER MOVES LIBRARY/EXCAVATION SERIES group, and "Ressemblera" is the first EOTVB release where more of those influences sneak their way into the brothers Fahey-esque sound. There's an expansion and exploration of their sound on this recording that pushes beyond their previous work. 

"Delicate melody to atonal scratch, each pushes the other, led by the ear and a finger’s response, while never entirely revealing who has done what. 

The album is the sum of its parts – one dependent on the next, absent of ego, and seemingly following a natural path into the unknown. In so being, it breaths new life and possibility into the acoustic guitar" is how Bradford Bailey described their 2017 release "Fayet" and the same holds true on "Ressemblera." EOTVB is not reinventing the wheel on this recording but rather continuing to explore and find new paths and new methods within improvised guitar music (acoustic or not). 

East of the Valley Blues is KEVIN & PATRICK CAHILL. 

Recorded by KC on Wednesday, July 19th, 2017. 
Mastered by NIGEL BARYLEWICZ in Toronto.

1. Ressemblera 32:08
2. Reassemblera 06:00

Crazy Bread - Vocoder Divorce (ASTRAL SPIRITS 2018)

Astral Spirits is proud to present the debut release from the new duo Crazy Bread, which is Ryley Walker (yes, that Ryley Walker) and Max Allison (Mukqs, Good Willsmith, Hausu Mountain). Vocoder Divorce was recorded in one day without any overdubs and entirely from guitar & a cassette deck. 

Max Allison describes the process and end results of said session, "All of the sessions on this tape were recorded live and are presented as is without overdubs. For this recording, Ryley plays guitar and pedals, and I'm playing a cassette deck from which I play back and distort the output of many synths and drum machines - processed through a multi-track looping station. 

We tried to play through many different styles within the context of this one release - styles including skronking free-jazz electronics + guitar mangling, hushed drone ambience, "krautrock," abstracted barely musical guitar scrape a la Derek Bailey, and one track (Zero Sympathy for Satanists) where Ryley solos over my spastic foundation of looped classic rock samples. All these styles are tied together by the basic live improv presentation - and by our general interests as musicians and listeners." 

It's hard to truly describe whats happening on this record, as soon as you get comfortable in one track it ends and you're catapulted into an entirely different direction. It's a beautiful racket that defies categorization and some would say is almost a modern day take on something akin to Alterations (Beresford/Toop/Cusack/Day). Free improv without expectations and with exciting results.


1. Feeling Proof-Plasmic 09:49
2. Zero Sympathy For Satanists 04:47
3. Chiasto Mirror 05:48
4. Drug Facts 06:56
5. Scraps Captain 12:15

Brandon Lopez - quoniam facta sum vilis (ASTRAL SPIRITS 2018)

"Quoniam Facta Sum Vilis (for I have become vile in the eyes of the lord)" is the newest solo album of the award winning composer and virtuoso bassist, Brandon Lopez. Created, in part, as an answer to the musical "reason" of the Bach cello suites, Lopez seeks to create the inverse of what's hailed as musical logic. To create something florid and beautiful from the violent and erratic and to deny the supremacy of the wrote in favor of the intuitive. 

Recorded mostly in the May Funerary Chapel in Chicago's Rosehill Cemetery, and partially in Brooklyn's Issue Project Room.

All compositions by BRANDON LOPEZ.
Mixed diligently by FATHER JON LIPSCOMB.

1. vanitas 05:22
2. and the deep indoors 03:22
3. Lay 04:03
4. Bea 04:46
5. Pa 04:35
6. Gruppo 07:01
7. Lamed 04:39
8. for Sal 07:54

Obnox - Templo del Sonido (ASTRAL SPIRITS 2018)

A few years ago I had this crazy idea...why not ask Obnox aka Lamont "Bim" Thomas to make a free jazz record? After seeing him on tour playing drums with Cleveland out-rock legends X_X, I just had to try and make it happen.. Bim, who is no stranger to making out-there genre defying records, surprised me a bit by happily agreeing. It seems a bit of a cliche to try and get rock people to make jazz records, or jazz folks to make rock records, but what the hell? Of all people, Obnox seemed like a pretty solid candidate. 

Although it may not directly sound like it, to these ears it's an updated take on some of the late 70's free jazz LP's that, at the time, were panned by critics but now are being rediscovered...think Albert Ayler's "New Grass" (and come on let's acknowledge the deep Cleveland connection here), Archie Shepp's "Attica Blues," Larry Young's "Fuel", even reminds me of Tony Williams Lifetime at times." Bim has infused "templo del sonido" with that same sense of urgency and protest. Like the 70's, we are once again in a time of protest and discontent with the world around us -- as Bim so elegantly states in the first lyrics of the album, "wake up...wake up...America...wake your punk ass up." 

'templo del sonido" will surprise you, from the opening upright bass hymn, "Stagger Lee Cain" to the intense groove of "Names" with an amazing spoken word performance from Kisha Nicole Foster, "Broke Socialite" mixes opening Motown-esque vocal harmonies with a rolling & intense noisy groove. "Mother/Sister" closes the album with a track that wouldn't be out of place on Tony William's Lifetime "Emergency!" 

Bim has gifted us with what I would say is his most ambitious and far-reaching album of his already prolific career. If you're an Obnox fan, this will not disappoint, if you're new to Obnox, welcome. What took you so long? 

Obnox is:
Lamont Thomas -- drums, vocals, rhythm guitar, tambourine

w/ very special guests:
Leland Cain -- upright bass on 1, 4, 6, 10 and electric bass on 11
Josh Novak -- bass on 2 and tape loops on 5, 7
Chuck Cieslik -- lead guitar on 2, 3, 4, 5 and sax on 2
Morgan Phelps -- Warr guitar on 3, 4, 5
Josh Kolenc -- midi synth on 8
Buddy Akita -- guitar on 2, 6, 10
Bill Weita -- lead guitar on 10

1. Stagger Lee Cain 01:14
2. America in a Blender 03:00
3. War Guitar 07:24
4. Names (feat. Kisha Nicole Foster & Ngina Payola) 04:04
5. Broke Socialite 04:03
6. Gotta Keep Fighting 03:25
7. Maxon Novakian 01:45
8. To the Depths 01:56
9. Captain Blackeye 05:17
10. Shade On 02:41
11. Mother/Sister 07:04

Recorded by Paul Maccarrone at Whoa Mack Studios
Mastered by Adam Smith
Layout and design by Henry Owings
Photography by Morgan Rae Staley
Virgin Mary Illustrated by Morgan Rae Staley

Anáhuac - Y_y (ASTRAL SPIRITS 2018)

Anáhuac's use of minimal objects/percussion, small electronics, extended bass techniques and treated obscure found footage vinyls creates a perplexed sound world shifting from one obscure state to the next with sometimes film like atmospheres. The resulting music arises from a shared interest in an abstracted electro-acoustic aesthetic that is at times densely static and dynamically disorienting. 

Having initially met during the 2015 No Idea Festival in Austin, Texas, Chris Cogburn, Juan Garcia and Ignaz Schick started to work as a trio in Mexico City in 2016. The trio soon embarked on two extensive tours of Mexico (May 2016; October 2017), performing and recording in Mexico City, Morelia, Guanajuato, Puebla, and Oaxaca. 

In August 2018, Anáhuac will arrive to Berlin, Germany to both mix material previously recorded in Mexico and record new material for their upcoming releases on Astral Spirits (November 2018). The trio performs at Petersburg Art Space, Berlin on August 9, 2018. 

This is the first in a series of digital only releases from Astral Spirits, most will be teasers for upcoming releases and in this case, we will be releasing Anáhuac's first two albums -- a CD and cassette featuring different material -- in November 2018.

IGNAZ SCHICK -- turntable, live-electronics
CHRIS COGBURN -- percussion, electronics
JUAN GARCÍA -- double bass

Y_y 00:00 / 10:22

Recorded by Gil Vázquez at SAE Institute, Mexico City on October 29, 2017 
Mixed and mastered by Gil Vázquez at Ciclo Producciones, Mexico City

Barker Trio - Avert Your I (ASTRAL SPIRITS 2018)

"Avert Your I" is the second release from the Barker Trio (after 2015's self released & self titled affair) and finds veteran drummer Andrew Barker leading his free jazz trio into a deeper and more intense direction. After releasing Barker's duo with Daniel Carter "Polyhedron" a few months ago, it seemed like a good idea to issue a different side of Barker's playing to give a fuller picture. 

Barker rounds out his trio with one of our favorite NY saxophonists (and also no stranger to Astral Spirits) Michael Foster and electric bassist Tim Dahl who is probably known more for his playing with Lydia Lunch, Child Abuse, Pulverize the Sound, GRID and more. 

While the Barker/Carter duo showed us a more "classic" free jazz side of Barker's playing, "Avert Your I" hits out of the gate with the 17 minute title track that never lets up. Barker leads the trio from behind the kit with a disjointed yet propulsive style that only gets more intense throughout the entire album. Foster and Dahl keep pace and push the whole affair into more out-rock territory but somehow keep a solidly free jazz sensibility. 

Sure, it's loud. But this is loud in the "Fuck de Boere" sense. Even when they're quiet, the Barker Trio are intense, and that's the best way to summarize this record. It's intense in the best way possible. 

Michael Foster - tenor and soprano saxophones, electronics
Tim Dahl - bass
Andrew Barker - drums, synthesizer, electronics

1. Avert Your I 16:34
2. Ageist 07:32
3. Spacial Needs 04:59
4. Enthusiasm Gap 12:36
5. Outer-Body Image 09:05
6. Circus Bender 07:36

Charles Barabé - De la fragilité (ASTRAL SPIRITS 2018)

When Charles reached out to Astral about doing a release for him I was absolutely floored! As many in the tape culture world, I have a lot of Charles Barabé tapes and they are all amazing. However, I wasn't so sure how exactly it would fit into the world of Astral Spirits...and per Charles' own words in an initial email: "The recordings I've sent you are something like a new turn in my work... and it's quite different from what I release in the past... well, you'll see..." 

Indeed I did. With "De la fragilité" Barabé incorporates a much broader scope in terms of the entire album acting as a symphony of sorts. Incorporating 6 mouvements that range from musique concrete, minimalism (and not necessarily in the repetitive sort of way), even "mouvement III" stretches into moments of Kenneth Gaburo-esque uses of voices and electronics. And to put it in less wordy terms, just put the album on and let it play, time will dissipate as the sounds unfold ever so patiently and slowly. 

Without getting too much into references, Barabé has indeed made a "new turn" with "De la fragilité." To me it stands as an extremely bold and important statement in Barabé's discography. I hope you feel so as well. More than anything it's just an incredibly beautiful album...well, you'll see...

1. Mouvement I 10:09
2. Mouvement II 03:46
3. Mouvement III 07:45
4. Mouvement IV 05:55
5. Mouvement V 13:53
6. Mouvement VI 01:10

Signe Dahlgreen - Kunki Snuk (ASTRAL SPIRITS 2018)

We are quite excited to present the debut solo release "Kunki Snuk" from Gothenburg, Sweden based saxophonist Signe Dahlgreen...and even more excited to do a co-release of said album with our good friends at INSULA MUSIC in Copenhagen. 

We've only recently become aware of Dahlgreen's work, mainly thanks to the good folks at Insula Music who released (alongside Gaffer Records) Yes Deer's past few records. So you don't make the same mistake get to know "Kunki Snuk" and Signe Dahlgreen's name now, thank us (and Insula Music) later. 

Solo sax records are indeed daunting and generally speaking not someone's first release under their own name. Dahlgreen wastes no time for first album jitters and launches into "Stibelk" which has a distinctly Brotzmann-esque feel to me at the front. But this brings us to possibly the most important aspect of this album, Dahlgreen is not afraid of time. In particular she chases after phrases, repetitions, circular breathing, extended techniques and doesn't let them go until she has made her statements. "Non," "Kubek" and "Stannet" all in their own way explore various aspects of Dahlgreen's playing, and stand alone as distinct statements. 

What makes this an absolutely astounding solo statement is Dahlgreen's patience, direct-ness & ability to make such a varied and cohesive solo statement right out of the gate. We have a feeling many folks will be talking about Signe Dahlgreen for years to come. 

Music & Saxophones: Signe Lykkebo Dahlgreen

1. Stibelk 08:20
2. Nón 11:24
3. Rostis 03:01
4. Kubek 08:07
5. Stannet 07:07
6. Nó 07:27

Recorded May 27-28, 2017
Recording & Mixing: Vegard Lauvdal

Mako Sica / Hamid Drake - Ronda (ASTRAL SPIRITS 2018)

Brilliant, inspired and somewhat surprising collaboration between Chicago's premier free-rock trio and the truly legendary percussionist, Hamid Drake, who has played with everyone from Don Cherry to Peter Brotzmann to Lee Perry. 

This collusion was precipitated by Matt Jackowiak, a mutual friend, who thought a merging of their sounds might make for an ecstatic explosion. This feeling became mutual after they played a show together at Constellation. The set mixed Mako Sica tunes with improvisations that took everyone to places they hadn't expected, and the trip was deemed an utter success. 

Ronda was done at two sessions, scheduled around Hamid's insanely busy work schedule. The first was at Jamdek with Douglas Malone at the board, the second was at Electrical Audio with Taylor Hales. The Electrical session allowed the players access to a host of additional instruments, so the sonic palette on “Dance with Waves” and “Emanation” is wider and somehow more cosmic than usual.

But the whole album has an extraordinary depth and width of sound. Even the great songs Mako Sica has had in its set for a while like “The Old Book,” gain whole new levels of otherness here, and the material based in quartet improvisations, like “The Wu Wei,” explores wild new territory for the band. 

Ronda (named after a town in southern Spain with a famous 18th Century bridge crossing a deep gorge) is the first span connecting the disparate musical worlds of Mako Sica and Hamid Drake. Let us hope it is but the first of many. 

Hamid Drake -- Drum Kit, Tablas, Frame Drum 
Przemyslaw Krys Drazek -- Electric Guitar, Classical Guitar, Trumpet 
Brent Fuscaldo -- Vocals, Electric Guitar, Classical Guitar, Thumb Piano, Bass, Harmonica, Gongs, Floor Tom 
Chaetan Newell -- Congas, Electric Piano, Grand Piano, Hi-Hat, Sleigh Bells, Teponaztli, Timpani, Cello, Upright Bass, Viola, Drum Kit, Native American Flute, Organ, Tambourine, Orchestral Bells 

Tracks 1-2 Recorded at Electrical Audio by Taylor Hales. Additional Recording /Mixing at Jamdek by Douglas Malone 

Tracks 3-5 Recorded and Mixed at Jamdek by Douglas Malone. Additional Recording/Mixing at Polytonal Productions by Chaetan Newell. 

All Tracks mastered by Todd Rittmann at Shy Diamond 

Front Cover Painting by Jerry Dunbar

Luke Stewart - Works for Upright Bass and Amplifier (ASTRAL SPIRITS 2018)

By now if you don't know Luke Stewart you're behind. Stewart is a force on the Washington DC scene not only as a performer (in Irreversible Entanglements, James Brandon Lewis Trio, Trio OOO, Ancestral Duo and more) but also as a booker, promoter, radio DJ and more. "Works for Upright Bass & Amplifier" is a long form piece Stewart composed using written & original improvised structures. He's been performing various portions of the piece live at art exhibitions throughout 2017. Play Loud!

Luke Stewart plays Upright Bass and Amplifier

1. Works for Upright Bass and Amplifier Pt. I 29:11
2. Works for Upright Bass and Amplifier Pt. II 19:09

Alfa Mist - 7th October (Epilogue) 2018

Alfa Mist - 7th October (Epilogue) 2018

Alfa Mist returns to bookend his album Antiphon with two brand new songs based on '7th October' (from Antiphon). 'Resolve' expands on the outro section of '7th October' while 'Exit' focuses on the hip-hop element in the first section featuring Alfa's other project '2nd Exit', a hip-hop duo with Lester Duval. 

1. Resolve 06:27
2. Exit (Feat. 2nd Exit) 04:49

Produced by Alfa Mist & Lester Duval
Electric Bass - Rocco Palladino
Outro Drums - Dornik Leigh

Takashi Sugawa Trio - Outgrowing (November 21, 2018)

Takashi Sugawa plays cello and contrabass. He born in Japan in 1982. Boston - Brooklyn, NY - currently live in Tokyo. Please visit my website for details.

Takashi Sugawa: contrabass (02, 05, 07), cello (01, 03, 04, 06, 08
Leo Genovese: piano
Tom Rainey: drums

1. First Meeting
2. Outgrowing
3. Violincello
4. Short Story Long
5. Motion
6. Izayoi
7. Ancient Blue
8. Uncompleted Waltz

Produced by Takashi Sugawa

Recorded September 2017 at The Bunker Studio, Brooklyn NY | Engineer: Akihiro Nishimura | Assistant: Todd Carter | Mixed and mastered at Dedé AIR Mastering Studio, Tokyo | Mixing engineer: Shunroku Hitani | Mastering engineer: Akihito Yoshikawa 

Camilla Battaglia - EMIT: RotatoR TeneT (DODICILUNE / IRD)

La cantante e compositrice Camilla Battaglia pubblica il suo secondo album dal titolo “EMIT: RotatoR TeneT”, in uscita l’8 ottobre 2018 per l’etichetta Dodicilune con il sostegno del MiBAC e di SIAE, nell’ambito dell’iniziativa “Sillumina – Copia privata per i giovani, per la cultura”, distribuzione Ird.

Dopo l’esordio di “Tomorrow-2 more Rows of Tomorrow”, questo nuovo progetto celebra in musica il concetto di “tempo” attraverso la lente della scienza e della filosofia.

Ad accompagnare Camilla ci sono Michele Tino al sax alto, Andrea Lombardini al basso elettrico e Bernando Guerra alla batteria, con la partecipazione di Ambrose Akinmusire alla tromba.

La gestazione di questa ultima, e audace, fatica discografica è durata circa due anni. Complici Copenaghen e Berlino, due città dove Camilla ha vissuto e che hanno contribuito a influenzare profondamente, non solo il suo percorso umano e artistico ma anche la sua intera opera.

In “EMIT: RotatoR TeneT”, Camilla Battaglia attinge apertamente dalla scienza, dalla letteratura e dalla filosofia. Diversi, infatti, sono stati i suoi punti di riferimento: le poesie di Sylvia Plath, le lettere contenute nelle premesse di ‘Essere e Tempo’ di Heidegger, i numeri corrispondenti alle consonanti tra le parole proclamate dal demone ne ‘La gaia scienza’ di Nietzsche e, infine, le immagini efficaci di Carlo Rovelli ne ‘L’ordine del tempo’.

"Questo bacino immenso di ispirazione - dichiara Camilla - mi ha spinto a declinare in musica il cuore di tutte queste ricerche e speculazioni, attraverso l’intreccio di cellule ritmiche e melodiche, in cui si perde la percezione comune del tempo scandita da prima, ora, dopo."

Camilla Battaglia, dunque, si interroga sullo scorrere del tempo, seguendo un processo analitico in cui la musica è dettata anche da teorie che dimostrano l’esistenza di innumerevoli realtà discontinue, che convivono in tempi e spazi diversi.

Il risultato finale è un concept album, un’opera totale, in cui il messaggio è chiaro fin dall’inizio. Il titolo del disco, e il suo inverso (“teneT rotatoR: TIME”), definiscono insieme la natura dell’album stesso che, appunto, inizia, finisce e ricomincia di nuovo.

"Stavo cercando un titolo che rappresentasse la circolarità del tempo. Sono arrivata presto a 'Rotator' e 'Tenet' - afferma Camilla Battaglia - due parole palindrome che significano rispettivamente 'rotatorio' e 'principio-origine', e in seguito ho pensato che l'inversione della parola chiave 'time' (tempo), ovvero 'emit', significasse proprio promulgazione o enunciato."

La musica che dà vita alle otto tracce dell’album è un’e perfetta tra regole scritte e improvvisazione sviluppatasi in maniera naturale, sperimentando tecniche compositive in cui tutto si lascia guidare costantemente dall’idea originaria. Una sensazione di immaginario spaesamento permette, a chi ascolta, di perdersi e ritrovarsi contemporaneamente all’interno di un apparente caos, in cui la percezione del tempo svanisce, per lasciare spazio solo agli eventi che accadono.

"The album it’s the result of experimentation with compositional techniques that mainly include the serial use of letters and numbers combined with a personal interest and passion for the concept of Time (in science, philosophy, but obviously also related to the vehicle of music).  The scientific researches that demonstrate the existence of innumerable discontinuous realities that coexist in different times and spaces are represented by independent rhythmic and melodic cells (polymetries, polyrhythms and polypulsations) dialoguing with each other as part of a whole mechanism that moves in cycles.

The compositions are linear, including palindrome lines.  The purpose of the musical expression is to lose the sense of temporal positioning to which we are accustomed: before-now-later. This is why the album could almost be thought of as a suite, rather than a collection of songs, where the beginning and the conclusion are indissolubly mixed."

Michele Tino, alto sax
Andrea Lombardini, el. bass
Bernardo Guerra, drums

Ambrose Akinmusire, trumpet (2, 5, 6)

01 EMIT: Rotator Tenet
02 Be still in motion
03 Same Difference
04 Event
05 Crossing the water
06 You don’t exist I
07 You don’t exist II
08 teneT rotator: TIME

Produced by Gabriele Rampino for Dodicilune edizioni, Italy
Label manager Maurizio Bizzochetti (
Recorded 17 to 19 April, 10 July 2018 by Antonio Nappo at Q Recording Studio/Indiehub, Milan, Italy
Mixed August 2018 by Antonio Nappo at Q Recording Studio, Milan, Italy
Mastered August 2018 by Pietro Caramelli at Energy Mastering, Milan, Italy
Photos by Erica Mela Magagnato

Playlist for Tom Ossana – The Thin Edge – October 10, 2018 MST 7:00 to 9:00p.m. ~ Use this link to access the show online.