Musique Machine Reviews

From Musique Machine:

Organ Eye – S/T
Organ Eye’s Self titled debut servers up two long form satisfying and detailed drone based pieces from this Australia/ New Zealand four piece.

Thelema – Eldur Og Is
Eldur Og Is offers up an audio/musical trip through Iceland’s ragged beauty, old gods and mystery. It’s the solo Project of Sturmpercht member Hajü & it certainly weaves a very varied musical canvas going doom/post rock, dark ambience, neo folk drone to 80’s synth soundtrack music. With deep ancient vocal chanting/ singing by the Icelandic singer Steindor Andersen appearing ever so often.

Vomit Orchestra – Antecrux
What does Victorian porn; heroin, a beetle and a rather sinister looking baby have to do with each other? Well they all appearing in the Puzzling artwork for Antecrux- the first odd full length audio fruit from Vomit Orchestra.

Piotr Zabrodzki & Tatsuya Yoshida – Karakany
Karakany is a wonderful chaotic and manic take on jazz that most of the time just goes full pelt with it’s mix of piano, bass, drums and voice- all seemly coming in at odd and different angles. With moments of melody and musical sanity surfacing every now and then.

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Michael Musillami Trio with Mark Feldman to Release New CD/DVD Set

From http://www.improvisedcommunications.com:

On September 25th, Playscape Recordings will release The Treatment (PSR#050607), a new two-disc set from the Michael Musillami Trio with Mark Feldman that includes a CD and live concert DVD. This is the third release by guitarist/composer Michael Musillami’s five year-old trio featuring bassist Joe Fonda and George Schuller. The group joined forces with noted jazz violinist Mark Feldman earlier this year for a series of concerts, including the May 3rd performance documented on the DVD, before heading into the studio later that week to record six Musillami originals. The Michael Musillami Trio with Mark Feldman will perform a handful of Northeast U.S. dates in early October and then tour in Europe in February 2008.

“I’ve felt a strong connection to Mark’s playing ever since I heard him on Thomas Chapin’s 1996 release Haywire (Knitting Factory),” Musillami explains. “He played right beside Thomas and his performance was amazing. It has long been a source of inspiration and ideas for overall conceptual possibilities. I wanted to add Mark’s voice to our group sound, and I knew he would work perfectly with us. Although my working trio is very much the foundation of this new group, all but one of the pieces recorded here was written specifically for this quartet. ‘Brooms’ is an older piece that I’ve recorded before. The trio added it to its repertoire before an October 2006 performance in Edmonton and the melody is perfect for guitar and violin.”

Critics have called Musillami “a superior guitarist” (John McDonough, DownBeat) and “a protean player with a prolific output” (Bill Milkowski, JazzTimes), noting that his “intricate compositions are both thematically memorable and ear-grabbing due to their zealous playfulness” (Jay Collins, Signal to Noise). His flagship ensemble is his trio, which has performed in the U.S., Canada and Europe in addition to recording 2002’s Beijing and 2005’s Dachau, both on his acclaimed Playscape Recordings label. “Working on an almost telepathic level,” wrote Cadence reviewer Troy Collins, “they have developed an innate familiarity with each other that enables them to second guess abrupt tempo changes and harmonic detours with split second timing.” The Treatment is Musillami’s 14th recording as a leader and the follow-up to 2006’s Fragile Forms featuring pianist Peter Madsen, bassist Drew Gress and drummer Matt Wilson. Learn more at http://www.michaelmusillami.com and http://playscape-recordings.com/index.php?artists&aid=1

New From Smalltown Superjazzz

Smalltown Superjazzz is a newish label featuring, among many others, Ken Vandermark, Mats Gustafsson, and members of Sonic Youth.

DISKAHOLICS ANONYMOUS TRIO “WEAPONS OF ASS DESTRUCTION” (RELEASED THE 6TH OF FEBRUARY)

Thurston Moore – Guitar
Jim O’ Rourke – Synth
Mats Gustafsson – Saxophones and live-electronics

Diskaholics Anonymous Trio is Thurston Moore and Jim O’Rourke from Sonic Youth and the Swedish free jazz icon Mats Gustafsson. The album was recorded live at Ystads Teater, Sweden, October 6. 2002. The mix and postproduction was done by O`Rourke. With Thurston Moore on guitars, Jim O`Rourke on synth and Mats Gustafsson on sax, the trio creates a pulsing, massive and monumental sound. Free-jazz, noise, electronic ambience, Tony Conrad 60`s style loft-minimalism, drone music and punk all mixed. The result of these three titans clashing together is an intense blow-out. Raw, grandiose and brutally beautiful.

The trio released their first self titled album in 2001 on Crazy Wisdom/Universal. Weapons of Ass Destruction, their second album, will be released worldwide on Smalltown Superjazzz (the free jazz/avant/noise imprint of Smalltown Supersound). Mats Gustafsson has previously worked with Sonic Youth, when he wrote the piece “Hidros 3” exclusively for them, something which lead to the release with the same title on Smalltown Supersound. Gustafsson has also played with the band live many times and has worked with Jim O’Rourke since the mid-nineties, when he became a central part of the Chicago jazz scene.

THE THING “LIVE AT BLÃ…” (OUT NOW)

With their third album, Garage, The Thing got acclaim from as different medias as DJ Magazine, Uncut (4 stars), BBC and The Observer. Not bad for a free jazz album. This is the first live document from this sensational trio. The Thing mixes the free jazz ecstasy with the garage rock intensity. And with no electricity, only wood and brass (reeds, bass and drums), they make a hell of a noise, and the album is explosion of energy (the photo on the front cover is taken right after the gig). The album was recorded live at The Thing and Smalltown Supersound`s “home” venue, Blå, in Oslo.

The Thing was established in the spring of February 2000 when the three musicians met to play several concerts and to record the first CD on Crazy Wisdom, a sub label of Swedish Universal. In 2001, they also recorded another CD on the same label as a quartet with Joe McPhee. Both CD´s are out of print. There is also a limited edition LP on Anagram records, where the trio collaborates with the members of School Days, playing tunes by Norman Howard. The trio was a long wanted constellation where several musical styles meet in a very high energetic outlet. All members are influenced by different traditions of free music derived from both Europe and America. When the trio started out, the book contained mainly of tunes by Don Cherry. Since Joe McPhee`s participation, the group’s repertoire has included other free jazz standards by Butch Morris, Charles Tyler, Frank Lowe and Norman Howard. Also, the group´s enthusiasm towards rock came clear on the second CD, where “To Bring You My Love” by PJ Harvey was played with very heavy spirit. Today, the book has expanded to include tunes by The White Stripes, The Sonics and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. This is just an example that shows how close musical styles are today, how similar the energy is and can be, and how much today`s audience is melted together, devoted to creative music. The Thing´s music can easily be described as “garage jazz”, where the raw power, filthy sound and fury of garage rock, is expressed through the directness of the spiritual energy and emotions one finds in free jazz.

Mats Gustafsson is today Sweden’s and one of Europe’s biggest name on the free music scene. Through groups like Gush, Peter Brötzmann`s Chicago Tentet and collaborations with Sonic Youth and David Grubbs, he has established himself as a very powerful saxophonist, and has somewhat reinvented the way of playing the saxophone. Ingebrigt HÃ¥ker Flaten and Paal Nilssen-Love has become known as Norway`s heaviest rhythm-section. Since they`re long time collaboration started in 1992, they have been working in several groups which today also includes School Days with Ken Vandermark, Scorch trio with Raoul Björkenheim, and the Swedish/Norwegian jazz-group Atomic. The Thing does collaborate with Joe McPhee today and in future, on special occasions.

FREE FALL “AMSTERDAM FUNK” (OUT NOW)

The trio Free Fall was organized by bassist Ingebrigt Haker Flaten, reedist Ken Vandermark, and pianist Haavard Wiik in 2001 as an opportunity to work together in a chamber music environment without percussion. Inspired in part by Jimmy Giuffre’s classic group with Paul Bley and Steve Swallow, the group quickly found its own way of working with velocity, space, sound and time, after it first met. The trio has always only performed their original compositions, and released its first album of this material, called “Furnace,” to great acclaim in 2002. The album was released on Mac`s (of the punkrock group Superchunk) jazz label, Wobbly Rail (an imprint of Merge Records).

After playing in Europe and the United States, Free Fall went back into the studio during November, 2004, to record its second album, this time for the Norwegian label Smalltown Superjazzz. Entitled “Amsterdam Funk,” the new album highlights the development of communication and compositional strategies by the band over the last few years. In addition, the recording includes freely improvised performances for the first time. On the tour previous to these studio sessions the band used pure improvisations as their encores, and it made a good deal of sense to include Free Fall’s approach to this kind of material on “Amsterdam Funk” as it represents a parallel and equally powerful way of performing by the trio.

THE THING WITH JOE MCPHEE AND CATO SALSA EXPERIENCE “SOUNDS LIKE A SANDWICH” (OUT NOW)

Just after having released their critically acclaimed new album “Garage”, The Thing teams up with their old friend Joe McPhee and Norwegian garage rockers Cato Salsa Experience. The meeting between The Thing and Cato Salsa Experience started at the Kongsberg Jazzfestival in Norway last year, when The Thing was offered the chance to invite their favourite rock band Cato Salsa Experience, for a special collaboration. This mini album is recorded live at Kongsberg Jazzfestival. The concert was such a big success that the bands decided to both tour and to record an album together. The album will be released late in the autumn 2005 on Smalltown Superjazzz.

In the meantime check out this sandwich containing 2 tracks written by Cato Salsa Experience, Led Zeppelin`s “Whole Lotta Love”, Yeah Yeah Yeahs` “Artstar” (which The Thing also did on their Garage album) as well as Don Ayler`s beautiful “Our Prayer”. The result is pure magic. The energy from both the the audience and the bands is unbelievable. The two bands perfectly blends the 1960`s raw garage rock and the free jazz movement from the same period, and creates the perfect fusion. A match made in heaven.

The Thing has earlier released an album with the 66 year old free jazz legend Joe McPhee titled “She Knows” on Carzy Wisdom/Universal. The Thing is now out with “Garage” and album that has received great critical acclaim from among others The Observer, The Independent, Sunday Times, Uncut, Straight No Chaser, Vice Magazine, Jazzwise and Mojo.

Cato Salsa Experience has released 2 albums, “The Fruit Is Still Fresh” and “A Good Tip For A Good Time”, both released on Garalda Records in Europe, Emperor Norton Records in US and on Sony in Japan. They band are currently working on their third album due summer 2005.