AMN Picks of the Week: Matthew Shipp / Kave / Evans, Dahl, Pride / Rasmussen, Corsano

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avant-garde pianist Matthew Shipp

Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended.

Matthew Shipp Chamber Ensemble – The Gospel According to Matthew and Michael (2015)
Kave – Ominousium (2015)
Peter Evans / Tim Dahl / Mike Pride – Pulverize the Sound (2015)
Mette Rasmussen / Chris Corsano – All the Ghosts at Once (2015)

John Russell on the Second Wave of Free Improv

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An early draft of a possible new book from John Russell:

Any natural attraction to more exotic or challenging musical styles was greatly aided by the fact that in those pre-internet and pre-major chain record shop days it was possible to read about a new release and then get your local record shop to order it. Informed by Melody Maker, which in those days was ‘the musicians paper’, and having a friend in the village with similar tastes and, a crucial factor this, more pocket money than me, I thus got to listen to a few of the early recordings from the British free improvisation scene. Notably those by Tony Oxley and John Stevens. By this time (1970 – 71) I had started trying out things like letting my fingers fall on the strings in an attempt to make music from gesture and also to use chance elements in the music. David Bedford using a brick to play the piano with Kevin Ayers’ Whole World, Terry Kath’s ‘Free Form Guitar’, Robert Fripp’s solo on King Crimson’s ‘Sailor’s Tale’, Sonny Sharrock on ‘Monkey Pockie Boo’ and even Niel Innes’ solo on ‘Canyons of your Mind’ by the Bonzo Dog Doodah Band all seemed to point to ways of playing electric guitar other than the blues / rock based music that I was surrounded by.

AMN Picks of the Week: Far Rainbow / Max Johnson / Michel Banabila / Matana Roberts / Nate Wooley / Joe Morris

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English: Matana Roberts, moers festival 2010

Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended.

Far Rainbow – No Medicine That Can Cure A Fool (2015)
Max Johnson Trio – Something Familiar (2015)
Michel Banabila – Jump Cuts (2015)
Matana Roberts – Always (2015)
Nate Wooley – Battle Pieces (2015)
Joe Morris – Solos Bimhuis (2015)

Why the AACM and Africobra Still Matter

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English: DuSable Museum

From the Chicago Reader:

Chicago’s influential Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Many of the organization’s surviving founders have spread out across the U.S., and its influence spans the globe, but our city’s importance to its formation is indisputable. Throughout the year, musicians from every chapter of the AACM’s history have been playing celebratory concerts around town, and the 2015 Chicago Jazz Festival will close with a performance of the Experimental Band, led by pianist and AACM cofounder Muhal Richard Abrams and featuring key early members such as Roscoe Mitchell, Henry Threadgill, Wadada Leo Smith, Amina Claudine Meyers, and George Lewis. At the DuSable Museum of African American History, the exhibit “Free at First: The Audacious Journey of the Association for the Advancement for Creative Musicians” runs through September 6. And the biggest AACM event of the year might be “The Freedom Principle,” which opens at the Museum of Contemporary Art on Saturday and closes November 22.

Avant Music News Best of 2015 (So Far)

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2015 is halfway over and this year has seen quite a number of notable releases. This list includes over 100 albums each of which is worth a listen, if not more. The ordering below is rough, but should give you an idea of what we are thinking. Releases that we have reviewed feature links to said reviews. Enjoy.

English: Thurston Moore at the 2008 Brooklyn B...

Album of the year candidates
Biota – Funnel to a Thread
Magma – Slag Tanz
Merzbow / Mats Gustafsson / Balazs Pandi / Thurston MooreCuts of Guilt, Cuts Deeper

Excellent Releases
Scott AmendolaFade to Orange
Anna Clock – Celestial
Kris Davis / Infrasound – Save Your Breath
Andrew Drury – The Drum
Andrew Drury / Quartet – Content Provider
Tomas Fujiwara & the Hook Up – After All is Said
Guapo – Obscure Knowledge
Stephen Haynes – Pomegranate
Jack O’ The Clock – Outsider Songs
Kiss the Frog – Hillmonster
Ligeia Mare – Amplifier
Roy Mattson – Mesmer
Northaunt – Istid I-II
NYM – Untitled
Han Earl Park / Catherine Sikora / Nick Didkovsky / Josh Sinton – Anomic Aphasia
Abbey Rader / West Coast Quartet – First Gathering
Remote Viewers – Pitfall
Daniel Rosenboom – Astral Transference / Seven Dreams
Schnellertollermeier – X
Sound Awakener – September Traveler (second review)
The Spanish Donkey (Joe Morris / Jamie Saft / Mike Pride) – Raoul
Robert Scott Thompson – Palimpsest
Tunnels of Ah – Thus Avici
Gebhard Ullmann / Basement Research – Hat and Shoes

Honorable mentions
Aires & Rui P. Andrade – Pânico-Ambiente
Apocryphos – The Prisoner’s Cinema
Ariadne – Ex Tempore
Atomic – Lucidity
Autistici – Live at Electric Spring
Michel Banabila / Oene van Geel – Music for Viola and Electronics
Daniel Barbiero / Jimmy Ghaphery – The Convergence of Parallel Lines
Barton Rage / Bill Laswell – Realms I
Beauty School (Chandler / Djill / Heule) – Residual Ugly
Black Dirt Oak / Jantar – Presage
The Bridge Sessions – Sonic Communication
François Carrier / Michel Lambert – iO
François Carrier / Michel Lambert / Rafal Mazur – Unknowable
Brett Carson – Quattuor Elephantis
Drew Ceccato / Tommy Babin / Chris Golinski – Tor
Piotr Cisak / Pawel Oleksinski – Lao
Jeff Cosgrove / Frank Kimbrough / Martin Wind – Conversations with Owls
DarkMatterHalo – Darkness Interrupted
Discordian Community Ensemble – Draught, Suspicion
Harris Eisenstadt – Golden State II
Eliogabal – Mo
Ensemble Signal – Steve Reich: Music for 18 Musicians
Far Rainbow – No Medicine That Can Cure a Fool
Lorenzo Feliciati – KOI
Agusti Fernández, / Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard / Bjørn – Amarnath
Cassio Figueiredo – Diario
Funerary Call – The Mirror Reversed – Part 2
Pete Furniss / Haftor Medbøe – Bitter Together
Gamardah Fungus – Bardo Thodol
Jeremy Gill – Capriccio
Vinny GoliaSolo at Gold Lion Arts
Milford Graves / Bill Laswell – Space / Time Redemption
Devin Gray – RelativE ResonancE
Gush – The March
Rich Halley / 4 Creating Structure
Ross Hammond – Flight
Ross Hammond / Catherine Sikora – Perfect Plasticity
Ross Hammond / John Bafus / Steuart Liebig – Lowburn
Hu – Vibrational – The Epic Botanical Beat Suite
ICP Orchestra – East of the Sun Net 2015
Ima x Atto Plain – Ima x Atto Plain
Iron Fist of the Sun – We Can Yield Our Own Footsteps
Jaga Jazzist – Starfire
Henry Kaiser / Ray Russell – The Celestial Squid
The Kandinsky Effect – Somnambulist
Karjalan – Sissit Want You Dead
Kaze – Uminari
Kellari Trio (Koskinen / Innanen / Hauta-aho) – Kellari Trio
Khost – Corrosive Shroud
Locrian – Infinite Dissolution
Lone Echo (Devin Sarno) – Lone Echo (EP)
Jon Lundbom / Big Five Chord – Jeremiah
Rudresh Mahanthappa – Bird Calls
Maoz / Ilgenfritz / Ligeti – Hypercolor
Rob Mazurek / Exploding Star Orchestra Galactic Parables, Vol.1
Myra Melford / Snowy Egret – Snowy Egret
Metallic Taste of Blood – Doctoring the Dead
Mz.412 – Hekatomb
Oiseaux-Tempête – Utopiya
Steve Olson Conversations
Jonah Parzen-Johnson – Remember When Things Were Better Tomorrow
Craig Pedersen / Quartet – Ghosts
Pines – The Field Journal
The Quash Wagon Reclusion – A Room with Tempered Walls
Amy Reed – Solo Guitar
Rivener – Fires in Repose
Rent Romus / Life Blood – The Otherworld Cycle
John Scott (Stereocilia) – Slow Motion
Secret Keeper (Stephan Crump / Mary Halvorson) – Emerge
Sound Awakener – Be Whole
Spin Marvel – Infolding
Superimpose (Matthias Müller / Christian Marien) – Edinburgh
Tecumseh – Seven
Roger Turner & Otomo Yoshihide – The Last Train
Michael Vlatkovich / Septet – Ask 7
Eli Wallace / Jon Arkin / Karl Evangelista – Cabbages, Captain, & King
Yasunao Tone / Talibam! / Sam Kulik – Double Automatism
John Zorn – Simulacrum

AMN Picks of the Week: Robert Scott Thompson / Locrian / Roy Mattson / Autistici / Bridge Sessions

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Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended.

Robert Scott Thompson – Play is the Supreme Bricoleur of Frail Transient Constructions (2012)
Locrian – Infinite Dissolution (2015)
Roy Mattson – Mesmer (2015)
Autistici – Live at Electric Spring (2015)
The Bridge Sessions – Sonic Communication (2015)

AMN Site News

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Happy July everyone.  I’ve been taking a break for the last few days, relaxing, and catching up on my listening. I haven’t updated all of you with the “State of Avant Music News” in a while, so…

Reviews are moving along nicely.  We’re now averaging about 15-20 a month, give or take. Interviews are moving a bit more slowly, but we hope those will pick up as well. As always, I am very grateful to our reviewers who toil away at this labor of love to share their thoughts with us.

I am thrilled to report that AMN is getting more submissions from musicians, labels, and PR folks than ever. This reflects what I take as a healthy interest in our kind of music. The down side to this is that we cannot review every release that comes our way. We’re lucky to write a few words about every 15th or 20th. In fact, we rarely have time to respond at all or even acknowledge the receipt of these recordings.  If we did, we would not be doing much of anything else. So please accept our apologies in advance if you get nothing but a deafening silence after emailing us. It sucks, but rest assured that we do read all emails and messages, and we do try to listen to all submitted material.

Soon, possibly tomorrow, I’ll be releasing AMN’s “Best of 2015 (so far)” list of recordings. In the past, this has proven to be a popular and fun exercise, and we hope you enjoy it.


Mike (and the rest of AMN)