Friday, January 25, 2008

Winter '008

The benefit of so many of these consecutive snowed-in and sub-zero nights is that there's not alot to do besides getting really, really acquainted with your record collection. These sorts of musical benders usually induce an unnatural lust for new sounds, an insurgence of mail orders, and misguided, impulsive, frozen trips to the corner record shop. It seems the ear grows more acute this time of year. This winter I've decided the season's frontier I need to tackle should be the blogosphere. I went out and bought one of those gargantuan hard-drives and I plan on scraping the barrel clean of all sorts of nutso, obscure, rare and out of print gems. Some of my favorite finds so far:

ICP Orchestra

Group Composing, ICP006
Recorded in Rotterdam, 15/5/1970

Peter Brotzmann: tenor sax, Paul Rutherford: trombone, Han Bennink: percussion, Misha Mengelberg: piano, Evan Parker: tenor and soprano sax, Peter Bennink: alto sax, bagpipes Derek Bailey: guitar.

I can't say enough about this, but I have a suspicion that the more I write, the less people will read. Nevertheless, this is amazing. I really want to say something regarding the 'deep textures' that are improvised by this all-star line-up, but I fear it will sound cliche. But there is depth or some such quality in this recording that I haven't heard in any other to date. My knowledge of such things is still in it's infancy, but I believe that ICP006 is what we should talk about, when we talk about free-jazz.

Acoustic Guitar Trio

s/t (2001)
Recorded in Los Angeles, CA

Nels Cline, Rod Poole, and Jim Mcauley

Another bout of improvisation, though this one substantially less aggressive. I spent most of my life trying to convince myself that heart trumps skill, but this type of collaboration makes that brand of idealism hard to sell. The players tread delicately, and are remarkably respectful to the agenda, that is to say, no one at no point monopolizes the music. What most interests me in this recording is the unlikeliness of the partnered guitar lines. Unlikeliness is difficult to intend, and it sounds great here. I found this at Audial Forensics.

Moreland Audio
Turbogold (2003)
54-40 or Fight Records
Atl., GA
Well, not this album specifically, but the motherload of Moreland Audio live sets has been made available here. If nothing else, download one set. I assure you that you've not heard composition like this before. Two parts guitar, one part drums. For me, these are the tracks that launched an entire collection, I've spent good dollar after bad trying to find music like this, and at some point just gave up and went onto noise and free-jazz. Salut, Atlanta's finest! Uploads found at Master of None. Buy it proper.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Guitar Solos 2

Bailey Frith Fitzgerald Reichel
Guitar Solos 2 (1976)
Caroline Records

So the first Frith upload got me thinking about the second Frith sider, and it occurred to me, that it's never been officially digitalized, and that moreover, it's out of print. So why not rip it for the two or three people who drop in from time to time? I've made a couple of vinyl rips for personal use, and have been sufficiently pleased, but this being the first of it's kind for M&N, I'm open to technical advice or criticism. This particular record is in grade A condition, but understand, it's also thirty plus years old. Ripped with a Rega P1.

Side one
Water/ Struggle/ The North (Frith) 11:05
Only Reflect (Frith) 4:00
Brixton Winter 1976 (G.F. Fitzgerald) 9:40

Side two
Avantlore (Reichel) 3:05
Vain Yookts (Reichel) 3:00
Donnerkuhle (Reichel) 5:05
Virginal (Bailey) 6:20
Praxis (Bailey) 4:00
The Lost Chord (Bailey) 1:50

Monday, January 14, 2008

Laddio Bolocko

Laddio Bolocko
The Life and Times of Laddio Bolocko (2002)
No Quarter Records
New York, NY

This is the entire discography of one of the premier noise rock groups of all time. It compiles their three releases from 97, 98 and 2000. The flagship of the Bolocko Armada is undoubtedly the 97 debut, Strange Warmings of, which features six blistering, hypnotic tracks of guitar/bass/drums/sax, among them the profound and mind-splitting opener, 'Goat Lips', which has within it, that stuff of gods, that rarely found, life-changing, metamorphosizing stuff. But you're nuts if you think I'm going to upload it here, because that would be too easy for you. This is serious, man. We're trying to build something here; a transcendental state. And that takes hard work. Only Discipline creates Excellence. Go find it.

In the meantime:

This video came from here.
No Quarter seems to have sold out.
Try Amazon. Music Stack. Ebay.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


I meant to put this up before the new year, but didn't get around to it-
Tracks from this blog's 2007 picks.

1. 'B is for Burning' - Zs (Arms)
2. '37501' - 37500 Yens (Astero)
3. 'I Hate Clowns' - Black Engine (Klu Klux Klowns)
4. 'Tax Reduction' - The Conformists (Three Hundred)
5. 'James Spader' - Sleeping People (Growing)
6. 'Bump' - Zs (Buck)
7. 'Crime Story' - Home of the Wildcats (Sing Puerto Rican Love Songs)
8. 'Sting Ray and the Beginning of Time' - Exploding Star Orchestra (We are All From Somewhere Else)
9. 'Caved-in Heart Blues' - Nels Cline Singers (Draw Breath)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Fred Frith

Fred Frith
Guitar Solos (1974)
London, England
I just uploaded a fraction of this for someone, and thought why not throw it in here. I remember a while back making a resolution to seek out music that sounded as alien or unearthly as I could find it- or rather, music that sounded completely detached from tradition, and lacking the fingerprints of history. This record is one that genuinely sounds like it was written on Mars. It's still music, but it's using no scales you've ever heard of. It's as though the album is trying really hard to speak your language, but the culture barrier is far too wide to effectively communicate. The first few tracks, which I've packaged here, are a perfect example of this beautiful blend of the other-worldly and the familiar. Frith has way too many projects to keep track of, so if you've any favorites, let me know so I can track them down.