AMN Reviews: Various Artists – Witchcraft & Black Magic In The United Kingdom (2019; Eighth Tower Records)

With Halloween right around the corner, Eighth Tower Records offers this timely-themed release featuring UK-based dark ambient artists. Some have been previously discussed in these pages (Grey Frequency, Howlround, and Michael Bonaventure), while others not (Daniel Williams, Sky High Diamonds, Rapoon, and Satori). Regardless, the nine pieces on this compilation explore the haunting landscapes and fear-laden tension that one might expect from an effort of this nature.

Grey Frequency kicks off with Elegy for Vinegar Tom, which begins with sweeping loops overlaying a cracking foundation.  This slowly morphs into a more conventional (yet still dark) set of synth drones.  Rapoon’s The Village evokes mysteries with its use of church bells as well as an echoing bassy theme accompanied by a sax motif.

Howlround’s first contributed track provides drones as well as looped and rapidly manipulated electronics with a squeaky rasping, while the second is aqueous and otherworldly. Satori’s staticky drones combine with low-level percussive elements poking in and out of the background. Michael Bonaventure’s Coronach is an organ piece that captures a retro-horror feel using modern compositional technique.

Both Daniel Williams and Sky High Diamond’s pieces are spoken-word stories dealing with witchcraft.  The former is accompanied by static, stringed instruments, organ, and electroacoustic sounds, the latter by soft ambient walls and comparatively more abrasive electroacoustic sounds.

Ultimately, Witchcraft & Black Magic in the United Kingdom is a compelling mix of fright-inducing atmospherics that is suitable for accompanying your trick-or-treat candy bowl – aside from the likelihood that it might scare off younger visitors and garner more than a few apprehensive looks from their parents.

Reprint of Glenn Branca Profile from 1985

Source: SPIN.

In the amorphous field of new music, Glenn Branca is one of the most controversial figures. Since the late ’70s, he’s been working in a gray area somewhere between avant-garde rock and avant-garde classical music, producing along the way five “symphonies” for large groups of electric guitars or specially constructed keyboards and drums. This is music to make anyone expecting a traditional symphonic work run, shrieking, from the hall.

The Free Jazz Collective Reviews

Source: The Free Jazz Collective.

Louis Moholo-Moholo’s Five Blokes – Uplift the People (Ogun 2018) ****

Angles 9 – Beyond Us (Clean Feed, 2019) ****½

Sarah Gail Brand / Steve Beresford / John Edwards / Mark Sanders – All Will Be Said, All To Do Again (Regardless, 2019) ****

Deep Listening to Bruno Duplant: Recent Works

Zeena Parkins • Wobbly – Triplicates (Relative Pitch, 2019) ***

Nick Millevoi – Streets of Philadelphia Limited Edition music book (s/p, 2019)

Brötzmann/Leigh – South Moon Under (s/r, 2019) ****½

ECM Records 50th Anniversary Performances

Source: ECM Records.

October 24-27 at SF Jazz:
Shai Maestro Trio
Tigran Hamasyan w/ Special Guest Areni Agbabian
Larry Grenadier
Wadada Leo Smith Golden Quintet &Amp; Avishai Cohen Quartet
Peter Erskine
Vijay Iyer Trio
Ralph Alessi’s “This Against That”
Egberto Gismonti

November 1-2 at JALC’s Rose Theater:
Tenor Saxophone: Ravi Coltrane, Joe Lovano, Mark Turner
Trumpet: Ralph Alessi, Avishai Cohen, Enrico Rava, Wadada Leo Smith
Guitar: Bill Frisell
Guitar and Piano: Egberto Gismonti
Piano: Fabian Almazan, Nik Bartsch, Marilyn Crispell, Giovanni Guidi, Ethan Iverson, Vijay Iyer, Shai Maestro, Andy Milne, Craig Taborn
Piano and Voice: Meredith Monk
Cello: Anja Lechner
Bass: Dezron Douglas, Matthew Garrison, Larry Grenadier, Drew Gress, Thomas Morgan, Barak Mori,
Drums: Carmen Castaldi, Andrew Cyrille, Jack DeJohnette, Mark Ferber, Ziv Ravitz, Nasheet Waits

Interview with Morton Subotnick And Lillevan

Source: The Quietus.

At Madrid’s L.E.V. Mataderothis week, the great Morton Subotnick, one of the most pioneering figures in 20th century music, will be performing alongside Alec Empire of Atari Teenage Riot and long-time visual collaborator Lillevan. The three will play a piece entitled From Silver Apples To A Sky Of Cloudless Sulphur, which sees Subotnick and Empire trading improvisational sequences based on the former’s 1967 colossus Silver Apples Of The Moon, before pulsing their way through later works Sidewinder and Until Spring up to his final studio LP, 1980’s A Sky Of Cloudless Sulphur, and recent live work Crowds And Power.

It’s a performance that Subotnick and Lillevan have been working on for almost a decade, since first coming together around a production of the opera ‘Jacob’s Room’ in Austria in 2010, and with the recent addition of Empire, one that shows that Subotnick’s five-decade mission to push the boundaries of what’s possible is far from over. To find out more about the project, and what we can expect from their Madrid performance next month, tQ caught up with Subotnick via phone, and Lillevan via email.

The Bridge #2.02 Touring Chicago and the Midwest


MAI SUGIMOTO – alto saxophone
RAYMOND BONI – guitar, harmonica
ANTON HATWICH – double bass
PAUL ROGERS – double bass


10/31 – Improvised Music Series @ Elastic Arts, 9PM
improvised sets with members of Asian Improv aRts Midwest – Tatsu Aoki (double bass, shamisen), Kioto A (taiko drum), Jeff Chan (saxophones), Jamie Kempkers (cello) + Lou Mallozzi (turntables, electronics)

11/01 – The Stony Island Arts Bank, 6PM
quartet concert

11/02 – The Edgar Miller Foundation, 3PM
Paul Rogers duo with Isaiah Collier

11/02 – Corbett vs. Dempsey, 3PM
Raymond Boni solo

11/02 – Constellation, 8.30PM
double bill with band TBA

11/03 – ProMusica Studio, 6PM
live public recording

11/03 – The Hungry Brain, 9PM
Raymond Boni & Paul Rogers play two trio sets with drummers Michael Zerang and Tim Daisy

11/04 – Blue Stem Jazz @ Café Coda, Madison, WI, 9PM
quartet concert

11/05 – The Whistler
Raymond Boni & Paul Rogers play 2 improvised sets with play 2 improvised sets with Marvin Tate (spoken word), Ugochi Nwaogwugwu (voice), Keefe Jackson (saxophone, clarinets),Gerrit Hatcher (tenor saxophone), Peter Maunu (electric guitar, violin) Julian Kirshner (drums) & Isaiah Spencer (drums).

11/06 – The Promontory, 8.30PM

11/07 – Sudden Sound Series @ Krannert Art Museum, Urbana, IL
quartet concert

11/08 – Doug Fogelson Studio, 9PM
quartet concert

11/09 – Experimental Sound Studio, 2PM
live public recording

11/09 – Logan Center for the Arts, 7PM
concert followed by a public discussion and Q&A

11/10 – Woodland Pattern, Milwaukee, WI

11/11 – Anagram Series @ Elastic Arts, 9PM
Dustin Laurenzi (tenor saxophone), Paul Rogers & Greg Artry (drums) trio + Nick Mazzarella (saxophones) & Raymond Boni duo.

11/12 – The Hideout, 9PM
double bill with group TBA

11/14 – Jazz at Holmes Series @ 560 Music Center, Saint-Louis, MO
quartet concert with Paul Steinbeck (double bass)

The Bridge, squared. This project, is the second group to be borne of the 2nd generation of The Bridge’s French-American collaborative ensembles. Following an intuition initially proposed by French guitarist Raymond Boni, these four musicians will explore the possibilities of an ensemble with a majority of string instruments and no drums, collaboratively piloted by four individuals with radically different artistic personalities. The idea is to create music which will wrestle with the ideas of unfurling and entanglement, of sound as a set of lines and twists. Remote points in space and time can always be connected, even when it’s not necessarily expected : “since improvisation is a fundamental link for beings to coexist, what interests me the most in this French-American encounter is everyone’s singular journey, and the unprecedented quality of this event.”