AMN Reviews: White Out with Nels Cline – Accidental Sky (2015; Northern Spy Records)

AccidentalSky_cover_1400pxWebWhite Out, consisting of Lin Culbertson and Tom Surgal, have been playing live with Nels Cline for over 15 years. This is the first proper recording of their collaboration. Culbertson and Surgal are known for producing free-jam freakouts using a wide variety of instruments.  Cline, he of many solo albums, collaborations, and Wilco, is the reigning godfather of avant-guitar.

This release, which will be officially available in mid-October, features seven relatively short explorations, totaling about 38 minutes.  Not unlike many so-called “noise” efforts, determining who is responsible for which sounds requires some concentration. Culbertson and Surgal lay down aggressive synth and percussion lines, while Cline picks, wails and scrapes away. In some cases, the guitar lines are apparent, in others, Cline blends indistinguishably with his partners.

WhiteOutNels_Overpass_webBut a blank wall of sound this is not. There is a distinct theme and feel to Accidental Sky, a certain spaciousness that is reminiscent of 70’s Krautrock, Italy’s The Group, and perhaps a touch of Sun Ra. But just when you think your can begin to pigeonhole this trio, they will surprise you with a segment or piece focusing on something new: bells, flute, chanted vocals, found objects, or Cline’s full-out angular aggression.

Characteristic of this release the how they play together but apart, especially with percussion exhibiting a tangential relationship to the melodies, and these melodies only approaching melodicism. But this disconnection occurs in a natural and pleasing fashion. A highly compelling effort that puts the “free” back into free improv.

Related reviews:
AMN Reviews: The Nels Cline Singers – Macroscope (2014; Mack Avenue Records)
AMN Reviews: Medeski, Martin & Wood + Nels Cline – The Woodstock Sessions Vol. 2 (2014)


The A L’Arme! Festival Reviewed

Irene Schweizer

From Todayszaman:

The A L’Arme! festival, one of many alternative contemporary music showcases in Berlin, recently featured a stunning selection of international artists performing in the arena of free jazz, cutting-edge composition and free improvisation. From Aug. 5-8, A L’Arme!, as its title suggests, added its clarion call to the cause of new alternative sounds, with high art and high decibels, in Berlin’s two bastions of the avant-garde: Radialsystem V and Berghain.

The lineup included İstanbul’s KonstruKt ensemble, the Serenus Zeitblom octet from Germany, the Fendika group from Ethiopia, DJ Mieko Suzuki from Japan, the Jürg Wickihalder European Quartet from Switzerland, the Dewey Dell dance company from Italy and numerous solo performers, including the veteran Swiss pianist Irène Schweizer, American saxophonist Colin Stetson, and Danish-Norwegian saxophonist Mette Rasmussen.

NW Loopfest in Seattle, October 15-18

From Peterson Entertainment:

For those of you wondering what is a “LoopFest?” It is a showcase of music and technology performance artists. These artists use hardware and/or software technologies to instantly record and play back sound. It is a diverse, creative, innovative, and fascinating display of talent, science, and art. Looping has been around for decades in academia, avant garde, and incorporates new technologies into making sound.

This year the NW LoopFest will debut two new looping technologies. Frederick Brummer from Vancouver, CA has an analog looping device that makes use of a record disc that can be manipulated the same way DJs scratch and mix. MC Space Cadet will present his Holofunk; an audiovisual, gestural live looper. It is, as he calls it, “…a Minority Report interface for looping.”

Oct 15 & 16 – Rendezvous Lounge – 7pm
2322 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA

Oct 15th Line up – Click here for tickets
7pm Eric Muhs – Seattle, WA
7:30pm Quiet Horn – Portland, OR
8pm Blake DeGraw – Seattle, WA
8:30pm Mark Hamburg – Seattle, WA
9pm Tigr Hors – Columbus, OH
9:30pm One Street Over – Mead, WA
10pm Xandra Wong – New Orleans, LA
10:30 Troll Foot Frass – North Branch, MN
11pm The Electric Noodle – San Francisco, CA
11:30pm Mike Why – Pittsburgh, PA

Oct 16th Line up – Click here for tickets
7pm Noah Peterson – San Antonio, TX
7:30pm thisissami – Palestine/Vancouver, BC, Canada
8pm Lexhart – Seattle, WA
8:30pm Steve Uccello – Monterey, CA
9pm MC Space Cadet – Seattle, WA
9:30pm Frederick Brummer – Vancouver, BC, Canada
10pm Cindy Sawprano – San Francisco, CA
10:30pm Waffle Taco – Portland, OR
11pm Daniel J. Davis – Seattle, WA
11:30pm Canzino – Vancouver, BC, Canada
Midnight Son Fish – Turlock, CA

Oct 17 – The Analog Cafe and Theatre – 4pm
720 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR

Upstairs Line Up
4pm Quiet Horn – Portland, OR
4:45pm Professor Slicebox – Portland, OR
5:30pm Frederick Brummer – Vancouver, BC, Canada
6:15pm One Street Over – Mead, WA
7pm Riley Tyrel Carter – Boardman, OR
7:45pm Xandra Wong – New Orleans, LA
8:30pm Son Fish – Turlock, CA
9:15pm Galaxe – Portland, OR
10pm The Electric Noodle – San Francisco, CA
10:45pm Canzino – Vancouver, BC, Canada
11:30pm Yak Attack – Portland, OR
12:15am Tigr Hors – Columbus, OH
1am Noah Peterson – San Antonio, TX

Downstairs Line Up
4:15pm Ted Killian – Medford, OR
5pm Open Source Open Force – Seattle, WA
5:45pm Eric Muhs – Seattle, WA
6:30pm thisissami – Palestine/Vancouver, BC, Canada
7:15pm Troll Foot Frass – North Branch, MN
8pm Waffle Taco – Portland, OR
8:45pm Daniel J. Davis – Seattle, WA
9:30pm Lexhart – Seattle, WA
10:15pm Cindy Sawprano – San Francisco, CA
11pm Chrome Mole Monocle – Portland, OR
11:45pm Mike Why – Pittsburgh, PA
12:30pm MC Space Cadet – Seattle, WA

Oct 18 – Lincoln City Cultural Center –
5pm 540 NE Hwy 101, Lincoln City, OR

5pm MC Space Cadet – Seattle, WA
5:45pm Cindy Sawprano – San Francisco, CA
6:30pm Frederick Brummer – Vancouver, BC, Canada
7:15pm thisissami – Palestine/Vancouver, BC, Canada
8pm Canzino – Vancouver, BC, Canada
8:45pm Noah Peterson – San Antonio, TX

Free Jazz Blog Reviews

English: Ingrid Laubrock, moers festival 2010

From The Free Jazz Collective:

Ingrid Laubrock‘s Anti-House – Roulette of the Cradle (Intakt, 2015) ****½
John Butcher & Gino Robair – Bottle Breaking Heart Leap (Alt.Vinyl, 2015) ***½
Mette Rasmussen Chris Corsano Duo – All The Ghosts At Once (Relative Pitch Records, 2015) ****½
Mikolaj Trzaska Ircha Clarinet Quartet – Black Bones (Kilogram, 2014) ****
Baloni – Ripples (Clean Feed, 2015) ****½
Stefano Scodanibbio, Stockhausen, Bouman, Ottaviucci & Nauseef – Spaces & Spheres (Wergo, 2013) ****