David Grubbs on the Takuroku Label

Source: Cafe OTO.

Cafe OTO’s Takuroku label launched in May 2020, drawing upon a pool of artists that had some overlap with AMPLIFY 2020: quarantine (among the double-dippers: claire rousay, Derek Baron, Catherine Lamb, Taku Unami, Seymour Wright, myself), but quickly establishing its own parameters. One saw works by widely recognized figures (Maggie Nicols, Frederic Rzewski, Otomo Yoshihide, Eiko Ishibashi, Richard Youngs, Keiji Haino, Josephine Foster), important OTO regulars (Ashley Paul, David Toop, Ute Kanngiesser, Christabel Riley, Dominic Lash, Steve Noble, Paul Abbott), and a spate of folks whose work I was just beginning to discover and for which I was eager to hear more (Rosso Polare, Aisha Orazbayeva, Zach Rowden, Marja Ahti and Judith Hamann, Naima Karlsson). I was delighted to encounter a number of text-based pieces that operate outside the economy even of most experimental music: Caroline Bergvall, Jean-Luc Gionnet (his nearly four-hour Totality), and Nour Mobarak. From where I stood (or sat, day after manifestly similar day), I understood the model of Takuroku as an outlet for artists making work during lockdown, one with a swift turnaround time—particularly as wait times at pressing plants became longer and longer—and a sense of shared purpose and community, however distant.