AMN Reviews: Peuker8 – Radiance (2019; WhyPlayJazz)

Our collective re-imagining of jazz continues apace with this new release from Paul Peuker, the third with his Peuker8 group. At first blush, it is tempting to compare this album to the recent efforts from Phillip Gropper, as they are both based in Germany and have internalized a wide breadth of influences. But Peuker has his own voice.

Peuker plays guitar, with Marius Moritz on piano, Mark Weschenfelder on sax and clarinet, Alina Gropper on violin, Filip Sommer on viola, Elisabeth Coudoux on cello, Eugen Rolnik on bass, Florian Lauer drums, and Konstantin Ingenpaß providing vocals on two tracks (that’s nine technically, but maybe we should not count Ingenpaß toward the Peuker8). While Radiance has a distinct guitar orientation, it is far from a Peuker showcase. Instead, his compositions exercise all instruments in a fashion that combines jazz, classical, and rock music. The occasional singing is rich and forceful, but not overbearing.

2018-10_26_Peuker_8_Foto_Dovile_Sermokas00012.jpgA prime example is Radiance II, which begins with a labyrinthine drum and bass theme that is rapidly joined by piano and then guitar and sax.  Throughout, the tension builds as the strings accentuate this progression. Sax and guitar duel, each offering compelling solos which appear to be loosely improvised.  While each individual instrument or section often plays something resembling a catchy tune, the overlapping and arranging thereof results in a surprisingly involved and complex composition. On the other hand, Framework I is a multiphonic piece with free improv sandwiched by prog rock influences.  Onto the Wild Bright Future begins with jazz chording on the piano before it transmogrifies into a lilting theme that leads to a contrapuntal piano excursion.

Throughout Radiance, Peuker and company manage to push the boundaries of chamber rock by achieving a level of unpredictability and rawness that goes beyond that moniker. It this jazzy classical with rock influences or classically-influenced jazz with a strong guitar presence? What about the tracks that seem like ballads? Ultimately, it doesn’t matter – labels are irrelvant to this group.  And that is a great thing.

Big Ears Festival Announces Amazing Lineup for 2020

Source: Big Ears Festival. Yes, even a homebody like me will be going :)


100+ concerts, films, literary events, and more to come

After attracting a sell-out crowd for its triumphant 10th year anniversary festival this past March, the Big Ears Festival now unveils some highlights of its 2020 programs with a kaleidoscopic lineup that once again transcends music genres as well as genders and generations. Regarded as one of the most unique and eagerly anticipated cultural gatherings in the world – “a music festival with a rare vision” (The New York Times) – Big Ears Festival will return in 2020 during the four-day weekend of March 26 – 29 in historic Knoxville, Tennessee.

As usual, the Big Ears lineup offers a who’s who of musical visionaries and innovators. This year’s program also includes several world and North American premieres, along with several artists all too rarely heard in concert, especially in the United States.

The many highlights include:

• BRAXTON75…a celebration of composer/saxophonist and musical iconoclast Anthony Braxton’s 75th year featuring a rare solo performance, his Diamond Curtain Wall Trio, and the world premiere of the Thunder Music Ensemble.

• TERRY RILEY at 85…a celebration of the minimalist guru’s 85th year on the planet, featuring duo with Gyan Riley, a solo organ performance on the new St. John’s Cathedral pipe organ, and more.

• MEREDITH MONK with BANG ON A CAN ALL-STARS. The amazing Meredith Monk returns to Big Ears – with BOAC – for the full concert premiere of their collaborative work, Memory Game.

• JOHN PAUL JONES & ANSSI KARTTUNEN: Sons of Chipotle. The legendary Led Zeppelin bassist gathers no moss has he continues his musical explorations and collaborations. This finds him in the company of the renowned Finnish classical cellist in their North American concert debut.

• KIM GORDON • STEVE GUNN • BILL NACE • JOHN TRUSCINSKI: Sound for Andy Warhol’s KISS. Rock icon Gordon returns to Big Ears with her Body/Head collaborator, joined by two other Big Ears alum to create the soundtrack to Warhol’s iconic film.

• JOE HENRY’S 115th Dream, featuring Jason Moran and Marc Ribot, with Jay Bellerose, David Piltch, and Levon Henry. Big Ears asked the great singer/ songwriter / producer Joe Henry to put together a special “dream band” for the festival. This is it.

• JASON MORAN & THE HARLEM HELLFIGHTERS: Speaking of pianist / all round Renaissance man Jason Moran, he’s bringing this large ensemble to pay tribute to the legendary ragtime innovator, James Reese Europe.

• CAROLINE SHAW with SŌ PERCUSSION: The 2013 Pulitzer Prize – winning composer Shaw finally comes to Big Ears to present some of her extraordinary work, including this collaboration with the percussion wizards of SŌ.

• NATHALIE JOACHIM with Spektral Quartet: Femn D’ayiti (Women of Haiti). Flutist / singer Joachim, who first appeared at Big Ears with eighth blackbird, returns with an extraordinary tribute to the women of her native Haiti…easily one of the most fabulous new works of this or any year.

• Iceland’s alternative rock legends, MÚM, will make a rare US appearance, celebrating 20 years since Yesterday Was Dramatic Today is OK.

• TINDERSTICKS will perform their first US concert in many years in the wake of a long awaited, brand new recording.

• Denmark’s Efterklang return to the US for the first time in many years, also with new music.

• After his astonishing performances at last year’s Big Ears with both Sons of Kemet and the Comet Is Coming, saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings will return with a third group, The Ancestors.

• German free-jazz titan Peter Brötzmann will make his Big Ears debut, playing solo in celebration of a new recording and revisiting his duo with the amazing drummer Andrew Cyrille, a highlight of this year’s Vision Festival in NYC.

• There’s more adventurous new jazz from bands led by Jaimie Branch, Myra Melford, Jeff Parker, and Dan Weiss.

• Psychedelic desert rock from Mdou Moctar, Haitian voodoo blues from Moonlight Benjamin, new adventures in electronic music with Caterina Barbieri and Sarah Davachi; Can’s legendary singer Damo Suzuki; plus exciting new sounds from the Egyptian underground from Maurice Louca and Nadah El Shazly.

Big Ears 2020

75 Dollar Bill
Andrew Cyrille
Annette Peacock
Anthony Braxton
Areni Agbabian
Aurora Nealand & the Royal Roses
Bang on a Can All-Stars
Caroline Shaw
Caterina Barbieri
Christian Scott
Damo Suzuki Network with the Sound Carriers
Dan Weiss Starebaby
Daniel Pioro & Valgeir Sigurðsson
Devandra Banhart
Diamond Curtain Wall Trio
Dos Santos
Electric Appalachia (William Tyler, Mary Lattimore, Eric Dawson of TAMIS)
Gyan Riley
Harriet Tubman
Jaimie Branch’s Fly or Die
Jason Moran & the Harlem Hellfighters
Jeff Parker and the New Breed
Joe Henry’s 115th Dream
Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society
Kim Myhr
Kronos Quartet
Marc Ribot
Maurice Louca
Mdou Moctar
Meredith Monk
Moonlight Benjamin
mssv (Mike Baggetta, Stephen Hodges, Mike Watt)
Myra Melford’s Snowy Egret
MZM (Miya Masaoka, Zeena Parkins, Myra Melford)
Nadah El Shazly
Natalie Joachim
nief norf
Paul Lazar’s Cage Shuffle
Peter Brötzmann
Sarah Davachi
Saul Williams
Shabaka & the Ancestors
So Percussion
Sons of Chipotle (John Paul Jones & Anssi Karttunen)
Sound for Andy Warhol’s KISS (Kim Gordon, Bill Nace, Steve Gunn, John Truscinski)
Spektral Quartet
Steve Coleman and Five Elements
Sudan Archives
Terry Riley
The Haden Triplets
The Necks
Thunder Music Ensemble
Xylouris White

Robin Rimbaud on Modular Synthesis


Robin Rimbaud, aka Scanner, has been making sounds and playing with technology since he was 11 years old. Not being interested in the systematic pattern of recording, releasing product and touring to support that much of his activity has been outside of standard music routines, and more aligned with an art practice. over the years he designed permanent sound works in the Raymond Poincaré hospital in Garches, France as part of the bereavement suite (Channel of Flight), the Science Museum London and in Vex house, the London residential house in collaboration with Chance de Silva architects. He scored The Big Dance in Trafalgar Square for 1000 dancers and the re-opening of the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, in the company of Queen Beatrix, and in 2016 scored the world’s first ever Virtual Reality ballet, Nightfall, with Dutch National Ballet. Back in 2012 Scanner toured with « Live_Transmission: Joy Division Reworked », an audiovisual show with Heritage Orchestra, and in 2014 was Visiting Artist at MIT in Cambridge USA. More recently, he has written works for London Sinfonietta, BBC Concert Orchestra and other real world musicians! One of the most influential Electronic composer, releasing his first CD in 1992 and many other ever since…

Damo Suzuki of Can in Miami, October 26

Source: Facebook Events.

On Saturday, October 26th, 2019 — Damo Suzuki (of CAN 1970-1973) returns to the USA for his first time in the states in over a decade.

This is his only Florida performance, and the first date on his tour back in the states. It is also Damo’s first time EVER performing in FLORIDA. $20 at door. No presales. You don’t have to worry about the show selling out. We have room for all of you lovely humans.

10/26/2019 @ 777 International Mall
(145 E Flagler St Miami, Florida 33131)
Presented and hosted by: Eclectic Overdrive
(Producer behind The Perfect Trip: Miami Psych Fest and the upcoming Miami Algorave Invitational)
w/ additional promotional support and help by: Look Alive Fest & the South Florida Registry of Alternative Music and Archive.

with local support: Dory y Eli, Pocket of Lollipops, Womanmay, Jaialai
Selector: DJ Carter Jackson-Brown

Delving Into Consciousness: Hamid Drake’s Favourite Music

Source: The Quietus.

Born in Monroe, Louisiana, in 1955, Hamid Drake is widely acknowledged to be one of the finest percussionists working in jazz and improvised music today. Drake’s style is a blend of elements from wildly diverse cultural and genre backgrounds. He has played with many of the leading names in jazz, including Don Cherry, Herbie Hancock, Pharoah Sanders, Fred Anderson, Archie Shepp, David Murray and Peter Brötzmann. He has appeared in numerous line-ups and on countless recordings with the great double bassist, composer and poet, William Parker. Along with the likes of Steve Noble and the Dutch free-jazz colossus Han Bennink, Drake is a drummer that I’ve heard more than one fellow Cafe Oto attendee refer to as a personal favourite. I took the opportunity to talk to him during the excellent recent Parker/Drake Oto two-day residency, and we discussed some of the recordings and personalities that have influenced him on his own musical and spiritual path. It becomes clear from the onset that the erudite and personable Drake is going to have difficulty sticking to a mere 13. “There are a lot of things I could choose,” Drake begins. “Bernard Pretty, Wilson Pickett, Sam and Dave, Creedence Clearwater, the Band. I could talk about all of those. All of those things have had an influence on me, so 13 is like!? I mean, we could talk about 50 recordings.”

The following 13 albums (with additional honourable mentions) do not appear in order of importance. Click the image of Hamid Drake below to begin reading the selections.

New Releases from Mikroton Recordings


Formanex with AMM, Christian Wolff, Keith Rowe, Ralf Wehowsky, John Tilbury, Phill Niblock, ONsemble, Seth Cluett, Radu Malfatti, Michael Pisaro, Julien Ottavi, Kasper T. Toeplitz
20 Years Of Experimental Music

Nantes trio Formanex celebrates 20 years of activism in experimental music with a 10 CD edition full of amazing collaborations with ONsemble (contemporary music group from Nantes and Saint-Nazaire) and composers they have worked with. The box set includes early works by Formanex’s own Julien Ottavi, unique compositions created by Keith Rowe, pieces by Kasper T. Toeplitz, Ralf Wehowsky, Seth Cluett, Michael Pisaro, Radu Malfatti, as well as other giants of contemporary music from the last 50 years; such as Phill Niblock and Christian Wolff.

FEN • Otomo Yoshihide / Ryu Hankil / Yan Jun / Yuen Chee Wai
No One’s Island

FEN (Far East Network) is a group project made up of musicians from Singapore, Japan, China, and South Korea who play improvised music. It was first started on the suggestion of globally renowned musician Otomo Yoshihide in 2008 for a French festival MIMI. Each member is an artist who works individually on the experimental music scene in his respective country. They have been supporting each other’s activities by organizing concerts in their own countries, and this relationship became the motivation to form FEN, and to extend their network to react with the reality of Asia in artistic means.

Lars Åkerlund / Eryck Abecassis

Eryck Abecassis and Lars Åkerlund started their Falls project to investigate the possibilities of achieving instability with synthesizers and electronic instruments. With only one dramatic change in their strategy: they employed both the same branded instruments to do that and it worked.

Andrea Ermke / Chris Abrahams / Marcello Busato / Arthur Rother

It took 15 years since its foundation to release their first album. Sink was formed in Berlin in 2004. Though their music is improvised, Sink play, perform, sound and feel as a band with a distinct band sound. Their sound ranges from typically Berlin Echtzeitmusik related mixed electroacoustic and acoustic soundscapes which can, but need not, result in a minimalistic groove. Sink already appeared on “Echtzeitmusik Berlin” compilation we produced in 2012.

Joke Lanz / Jason Kahn / Norbert Möslang / Günter Müller / Christian Weber

In 2018 Mikroton Mikroten Festival offered a special occasion to record five important musicians from the Swiss experimental music scene.