Saturday, 4 April 2020

David Garland ‎– Control Songs (1986)

Style: Avantgarde, Art Rock
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Review Records

01.   I Am With You
02.   Very Popular
03.   The Stick Figure
04.   I Am An I-Beam Girder
05.   My Pony's Falling
06.   On Planet X
07.   Forest Fractures
08.   TV Can Teach Me
09.   Clocks
10.   Furniture
11.   Keep In Touch
12.   Don't Shoot
13.   Bad Advice
14.   Another Mistake
15.   Growth
16.   Hist'ry
17.   Simba

Vocals – Meredith Monk
Backing Vocals – Anne Garland
Baritone Vocals – John Alexander
Bass Guitar, Vocals – Mark Abbott
Accordion – Guy Klucevsek
Soprano Vocals – Nancy Gassner
Tenor Vocals – Wayne Diana
Trumpet, Kazoo, Vocals – Clive Smith
Turntables – Christian Marclay
Alto Saxophone, Vocals, Game Calls, Bird Squawks – John Zorn
Fairlight Computer Musical Instrument – Cherina Mastrantones, Clive Smith
Producer, Arranged By, Mixed By, Music By, Words By – David Garland
Vocals, Accordion, Piano, Organ, Synthesizer, Guitar, Bass, Electric Guitar, Recorder, Psaltery, Glockenspiel, Trumpet, Flutes, Programmed By – David Garland

David Garland is one of a rather small group of experimental singer/song writers. They are not cut from same bolt of cloth as, say, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell or James Taylor. Instead, Garland, along with the likes of Arthur Russell, Shelly Hirsch, Anna Homler, and a select few others, combine the experimental tradition that gave us the likes of John Cage, Morton Feldman, Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Meredith Monk, Laurie Anderson, Glenn Branca and John Zorn. Not that Garland's music sounds like any of these, though both Monk and Zorn, along with downtown folks such as Christian Marclay and Guy Klucevseik help out. Using a song form and an essentially tonal idiom, his songs are quirky, if not totally bent. The lyric content includes political and social commentary, but is often personal, whimsical, and decidedly oblique and non-linear. The catchy, even lovely opening "I Am with You" with its spliced voice is worth the price of admission alone, but this re-issue includes six songs not available on the original album. Quirky but necessary listening.
David Ashcraft / exposé

Barry Adamson ‎– Stranger On The Sofa (2006)

Style: Modern Classical, Future Jazz, Experimental
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Central Control International, Soyuz Music, Moon Records

01.   Here In The Hole
02.   The Long Way Back Again
03.   Officer Bentley's Fairly Serious Dilemma
04.   Who Killed Big Bird?
05.   Theresa Green
06.   The Sorrow And The Pity
07.   My Friend The Fly
08.   Inside Of Your Head
09.   You Sold Your Dreams
10.   Déjà Morte
11.   Dissemble
12.   Free Love

Slide Guitar – Adrian Owusu
Mastered By – Ray Staff
Mixed By, Additional Vocal Production – Victor Van Vught
Written-By, Arranged By, Performer, Recorded By, Producer – Barry Adamson

Yasuaki Shimizu ‎– Music For Commercials / MTM VOL. 12 (1987)

Style: Modern Classical, Ambient
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Crammed Discs, Music Boz

A01.   Tachikawa
A02.   Seiko 1
A03.   Seiko 2
A04.   Sen-Nen 1
A05.   Ricoh 1
A06.   Seiko 3
A07.   Boutique Joy
A08.   Seiko 4
A09.   Ricoh 2
A10.   Laox
A11.   Shiseido
A12.   Seiko 5
A13.   Sharp
A14.   Sen-Nen 2
B01.   Honda
B02.   Suntory
B03.   Knorr
B04.   Bridgestone 1
B05.   Bridgestone 2
B06.   Bridgestone 3
B07.   Bridgestone 4
B08.   Bridgestone 5
B09.   Ka-Cho-Fu-Getsu
B10.   Seibu

Producer, Composed By, Arranged By, Performer – Yasuaki Shimizu
Recorded By – Eihiko Ohno, Hideki Sasamori, Masayoshi Okawa, Noriyuki Hamazaki, Osamu Kawabe, Seigen Ono, Yasushi Yanagihara

Lord Echo ‎– Harmonies (2017)

Style: Future Jazz, Dub, Neo Soul
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Soundway, World Of Sound, Wonderful Noise Productions

01.   Woah! There's No Limit
02.   Life On Earth
03.   The Sweetest Meditation
04.   Makossa No. 3
05.   Low To The Street
06.   In Your Life
07.   Just Do You
08.   C90 Eternal
09.   Note From Home
10.   I Love Music

Bass – Duane Te Whetu
Congas – Chris O'Conner, Will Ricketts
Cowbell – Julien Dyne
Drums – Chris O'Conner
Drums, Percussion, Bass, Guitar, Keyboards – Lord Echo
Keyboards – Paiheretia Aperahama
Tenor Saxophone, Flute – Lucien Johnson
Trombone – Daniel Hayles, Nick Van Dijk
Trumpet – Isaac Aesili, Toby Laing
Lyrics By – Mara TK, Toby Laing
Composed By – Gamble & Huff, Michael August

Black Unity Trio ‎– Al-Fatihah (1971)

Style: Free Jazz, Avant-garde Jazz
Format: Vinyl, Cass.
Label: The Loathed Sound Departmen, Salaam Records

A1.   Birth, Life, And Death
A2.   In Light Of Blackness
B1.   Opening Prayer
B2.   John's Vision
B3.   Al-Nisa
B4.   Final Expression

Alto Saxophone – Yusuf Mumin
Cello, Bass – Ron deVaughn
Engineer – Don White
Percussion – Haasan-Al-hut

A much-coveted and totally blasting set: it’s unsurprising to discover, for example, that Numero Group’s Rob Sevier listed Al-Fatihah as his dream reissue in an interview with Dusted Magazine. The Black Unity Trio were based in Oberlin, Ohio, and their line-up was Yusuf Mumin (aka Joe Phillips) on alto sax, Ron DeVaughn (aka Abdul Wadud) on cello and bass, and Haasan Al-Hut on percussion. Wadud went on to become one of the most significant cellists in free jazz (having made a number of appearances in this list) while Phillips only turns up alongside Norman Howard on Burn Baby Burn 
For anyone following Wadud’s thread, this is the significant starting point. But it’s also one of the more sublime free jazz records you’ll likely hear, cut from the same cloth as some of the more questing, spiritualized ESP titles, but with a fundamental rawness that gives cuts like ‘Birth, Life & Death’ and ‘In The Light Of Blackness’ a ferocious focus – the way the former opens the album with gentle, lyrical runs, before nose-diving into free playing particularly from Mumin/Phillips, comes across like an object lesson in how to do this kind of music right. Someone reissue this monster!
Jon Dale / FACT

VA ‎– The Fruit Of The Original Sin (1981)

Genre: Electronic, Rock, Non-Music
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Les Disques Du Crépuscule

         A Means To An End
A1.   Peter Gordon - The Fruit Of The Original Sin
A2.   The French Impressionists - Boo Boo's Gone Mambo / My Guardian Angel
A3.   The Durutti Column - The Eye And The Hand
A4.   Soft Verdict - Multiple 12
A5.   Cécile Bruynoghe - Clair De Lune
A6.   Marine - A Man And A Woman
B1.   Paul Haig - Mad Horses
         A Rhythm
B2.   Marine - Animal In My Head
B3.   323 - Affectionate Silence
B4.   The Swamp Children - Flesh
B5.   DNA - Taking Kid To School
B6.   DNA - Cop Buys A Donut
B7.   DNA - Delivering The Goods
         A Purpose
C1.   Rhine River III - An End Remain
C2.   Richard Jobson - The Happiness Of Lonely
C3.   Marguerite Duras - Interview With Marguerite Duras
C4.   Richard Jobson - India Song
C5.   The Names - Music For Someone
C6.   Unknown Artist - Unknown Titlee
         A Landscape
D1.   Orange Juice  - Three Cheers For Our Side
D2.   Thick Pigeon - Sudan (Acoustic)
D3.   The Durutti Column - Party
D4.   Arthur Russell - Sketch For 'Face Of Helen'
D5.   The Durutti Column - Experiment In Fifth
D6.   Winston Tong - The Next Best Thing To Death
D7.   WS. Burroughs - Twilight's Last Gleaming

The second compilation released by the Belgian label Crepescule in the early '80s, and easily the most ambitious of its earliest such efforts, The Fruit of the Original Sin at the time acted as a sprawling catchall that drew together many different strands of what could be called post-punk and art rock from all over Europe and North America. From a distance, it's even more of an astonishing effort, thanks not only to the many bands and performers who appeared and later established strong reputations worldwide, but the sheer, surprising range of who appeared. If there's an exact modern equivalent to a collection that starts with a discordant modern jazz/classical composition (Peter Gordon's martial title track) and includes not only live poetry snippets (William S. Burroughs' "Twilight's Last Gleaming," an often uproarious recording that concluded the original release) but an interpretation of Claude Debussy (Cecile Bruynoghe's "Clair de Lune") and an extended interview with a noted author, in this case French writer Marguerite Duras -- with piano accompaniment after the fact from Virginia Astley, no less -- then it's not received the attention it should. It's all the more impressive given that Crepescule was still just starting out in ways, but if one needed proof of the success of the D.I.Y. ethic well beyond punk crash and bash, it's here. A couple of the contributors who appeared were utterly obscure then and now but the amount of downright legendary folks who had some of their earliest -- or even debut -- recordings here reads like an honor list. 
The Durutti Column's elegant entries include "The Eye and the Hand" and "Experiment in Fifth"; DNA's three short pieces show off their moody, understated aggro side well, all scraping guitar and driving bass; Arthur Russell's "Sketch for 'Face of Helen'" is an unsurprisingly captivating take on a gentle drone melody mixed with distant fuzz; and Wim Mertens' minimal string quartet composition "Multiple 12" rivals it for beauty. Paul Haig's "Mad Horses" is an odd number even for him, a minimal slice of motorik funk that later generations would call lo-fi. Meanwhile, the number of artists who barely got beyond one album, if even that, but ended up getting plenty of cult attention as time passed is also striking -- Marine pop up a couple of times, most notably with the skittery funk of "Animal in My Head," while the French Impressionists have a slightly louche ball early on with "Boo Boo's Gone Mambo/My Guardian Angel." Having released various tracks from the album on single-artist compilations and reissues over the years, LTM finally issued a full two-CD re-release of the compilation in 2007, including a further eight bonus tracks from related releases or compilations at the time. Paul Haig reappears with two obscure Rhythm of Life tracks, the Durutti Column's "Weakness and Fever," an alternate recording of "Smile in This Crowd," takes a bow, while Peter Gordon's collaboration with artist Lawrence Weiner, "Deutsche Angst," is as murkily strange a slice of spoken word meets proto-industrial collage as one could ask for. Thorough liner notes and a reproduction of the original inside sleeves complete another solid LTM reissue.
Ned Raggett / AllMusic