Pick-Up is the Dutch duo of Frans de Waard (electronics) and Martin Luiten (resonator guitar). Both are longtime figures in the European experimental music scene since the mid 80’s. Frans de Waard played & toured extensively with numerous groups such as Kapotte Muziek, Beequeen, Goem, Zebra/Wieman, The Tobacconists and Ezdanitoff working a wide range of musical interest, besides working at Staalplaat (1992-2003) and started his own Vital publication in 1986 (now Vital Weekly); Martin started the bands Girlfriends and Uw Hypotheekadvies and now plays with The Julie Mittens.
Martin and Frans started their duo Pick-up in 2008 and worked together intensely for about two years. During this period they recorded numerous live sessions of a volatile set up in which Martin plays his resonator guitar and effects, which Frans pick-up on the spot and fed through real-time computer effects. The resulting live recordings were captured on multiple tracks and mixed together for release. Pick-up has released a 3″CDR on My Own Little Label, a LP for Plinkity Plonk and a LP for Important Records. ‘Departure’ is a farewell to that period, departing a particular phase in their history and are the final recordings from that period. Now Pick-up is on hold while trying to think of what would be the next move, as once you investigated a particular method of working, it’s time to move on, as both of them feel.
“Departure” is a fine atmospheric work of contemporary experimental music, minimal electronics, sci-fi, hypnotic drones, Fennesz-like lush textures, hypnotic ring mod madness… despite the electronic nature of the music, it never loses its human side, leaving room for blues accents, in fact it seems like the guitar is left raw at times, while the laptop elaborates minimal layers around it and vice versa.
Pro-dubbed imprinted tapes, with 3 panel full color printed covers, edition of 90.
Those familiar with Amsterdam-based artist Raymond Dijkstra know how charming and mysterious his works are: mostly released on his own Le Souffleur imprint, they come in very limited runs, beautiful packaging with a very distinct style, like they’re from an ancient, albeit unknown century. That same elegant-timeless feel is of course reflected in his music, an extremely personal work usually around the accordion, but also unknown electronics (tapes, echoes?), voice; the feeling is always that of some kind of privilege, to enter the artist’s private room, filled with the smell of opium, crusty wallpaper and taxidermy. Here, Dijkstra is together with violin extraordinaire Matthias Boss from Switzerland, a truly outstanding player mostly known in the European improv scene, who also collaborates with drummer master Marcello Magliocchi.
“Ins Kahle Zimmer Sinken Blaue Firne” is a fantastic “chamber” recording from these two masters of the screeching acoustic metal-on-metal. The title evokes the image of an exposed room with compact snow flakes falling in. Violin, organ, fork & spoon are the credited instruments here, blowing ice cold gusts into your room, or face hopefully. Imagine some sort of twisted classical music from a distant century, a gift of pure improv given to us by Dijkstra’s inimitable accordion style and Boss’ dramatic violin, this music has no time, only beauty. 33rpm 7″, comes in a silkscreened reverse cardboard cover. Edition of 100.]]>
The mythical LAFMS collective Smegma really needs no introduction, where would we all be without them? How many bands were so ahead of their time (1973!), and have been for so long, like Smegma have? Well, here they are with a brand new LP of their famous mix of free jazz, industrial noise, improvisation, straight-up weird music so typical of these masters / US freaks. On the opening track, they are riding on the amazing drums of historical member Dennis Duck (of Dream Syndicate) to pay homage to their beloved Link Wray with some devilish surf music! Then get ready for some crazy reeds, Aylerian invocations, electro-acoustic meditations, (shrink) chamber music and moments of pure avantgarde, juxtapositions that only they can get away with: a riot in a farm, strange strings riding the waves, guitar riffs and slides with the seagulls, a bat party in a cave, followed by a hot bath of analog synth bubbles… but simply put, Smegma sounds like nobody else! Cover artwork collage by Ace Farren Ford. Also comes with an insert. Edition of 300 copies.
TURNED AND GLOWING INWARDLY (excerpt)
Dead C guitarist Michael Morley is finally back with a new Gate LP, after two years, and what a comeback! “Damned Revolutions” has all the traits of Gate’s classic LPs like “Guitar” and “The Monolake”: it starts with dark and fuzzy guitar drones, that build up to create a dense wall of distorted resonance, at times accompanied by sparse electronics and sustained by spectral beats and bass pulses. When vocals break in, it’s magical and poetic, his moaning reminiscent of pre-war blues chants. Side B is a wonderful suite of free rock improvisation, wild noise, echoed vocals, a thick guitar fog, haunting nocturnal blues, cymbal crashes… a mood perfectly depicted on the cover photos, lonely, grey, apparently still, sunless port city landscape. Edition of 300 copies.
CeLa FaiT LoNGTeMPS Que Je N’ai PLuS Vu D’aRC-eN-CieL
Eleven new & previously unreleased songs from BeNe GeSSeRiT, the cult Belgian minimal synth duo of Alain Neffe (various instruments including synth, beats, loops, strings…) and Nadine Bal (vocals). Alain started his Insane Music imprint back in 1981, he is a key figure of the European cassette culture and has been making some of the most creative and cross-boundary music since the early 80’s, also with other numerous projects like Pseudo Code, Human Flesh and more recently, his and Nadine’s duo with singer Anna Homler, The Chopstick Sisters. The duo’s debut LP in 1985 “A High, Happy, Perverse And Cynical Cry of Joy” was a real gem and on this new album, they go back to their roots but take advantage of newer technologies and sonic textures - every song has a life of its own. Alain’s arrangements are impeccable and unpredictable, a mad variety of instruments and moods, punchy beats, hypnotic strings, groovy organ, crazy sax lines and an inventive use of sound shaping… at some point you’ll be in the middle of… a choir of frogs??! Nadine, on the other hand, is a muse of this and the OTHER world, she manages to sound like an angel, a child, a siren and an alien, often all in the same track. Our prescription is: listen to this LP over and over for best results, you will discover and feel something new at every listen. BeNe GeSSeRiT make truly charming and personal music that’s hard to pin down: too weird to be classified as pop, but not so much to be just avantgarde, surreal & emotional, sharing the aesthetic choices of Anne Clark, Roberto Cacciapaglia, Laurie Anderson, Kraftwerk, Die Form… Glossy full color covers with insane artwork by Alain Neffe. Edition of only 300 copies, of which 50 are colored vinyl (25 orange / 25 pink).]]>
[UM019] Blood Stereo “The Eight Thumbed Hand Serenades“ CS
WATER IS, FIRE IS NOT (excerpt)
Underground’s finest couple formed by Dylan Nyoukis and Karen Constance are here to delight us with a massive mind-hammering tape, originally out in a uber-limited 4xCS boxset on their own Chocolate Monk label. A fair where Muezzin Nyoukis will twist & pull your brains, a choir of voices praying, gargling & ooing, discomfort and unclear clatter all over. At some point you will find yourself in a damp swamp, two sticky beings calling each other (the mutant cricket here is Karen), a little slice of private green goo. Ringy drones so soft you can lie on, crunchy fingers, broken connections, magnetic liquid, confused contacts, tractors and concrete mixers 10 miles away, softly screeching… it’s all here, every dye and every spice, what more can you ask?!
Pro-dubbed & imprinted PINK tapes with 3-panel double printed full color Jcards, artwork by Karen Constance. Edition of 100.
June 13th - Glasgow, 13th Note w. NOMA, Neil A. Simpson, Boom Edan - INFO
June 15th - Newcastle, The Morden Tower w. Alessandro Altavilla, Popular Radiation - INFO
June 16th - Tinderbox Festival, Cropredy, Oxfordshire w. Red Square, Temperatures, Bolide - INFO
June 17th - London, Cafe Oto w. Temperatures, Bolide - INFO
June 18th - Brighton, The Cowley Club w. Temperatures, Bolide - INFO]]>
Ninni Morgia & Marcello Magliocchi
live @ Ekoine’, Via De Ferraris 49
[UM016] Kommissar Hjuler / Mama Baer / Ninni Morgia / Silvia Kastel “LIVE AT MORDEN TOWER” CS
Imagine a meeting between two neo-dada artists, working their way through voice/body performance and broken tape sounds, one crazy free jazz/alien guitarist, and a synth head who goes from obsessive pulsating bass to ultrasound insect calls… this really happened during a series of performances in the UK last year, the two couples being Kommissar Hjuler (tapes, voice, breaking his hand on various surfaces) & Mama Baer (voice) and Ninni Morgia (guitar) & Silvia Kastel (synth). This is a recording from their epic show at the historic venue in Newcastle, The Morden Tower, home since the 60’s to sound poetry (Allen Ginsberg) and extreme industrial (The New Blockaders, Whitehouse…). The set starts out quiet, with a minimal “bass drum” created by Mama Baer by beating her mic on the floor, screeching guitar brushes by Ninni Morgia, creepy tape stutters by der Kommissar and Silvia Kastel’s hi-pitched alarm synth, then the tension builds up to a roller coaster of heavy wailing, crazy free jazz guitar and feedback, with a sound that comes close to Mars’ live recordings, P.16 D4, SPK and other sound criminals. Awe-inducing and uncomfortable, yes, but also kind of liberating. Double printed J cards with photo of the two pairs (taken outside the Morden Tower) & imprinted green tapes. Edition of 100.
Also comes housed in a limited numbered edition of 12 carboard boxes hand painted, decorated & signed by Kommissar Hjuler. Each box is unique.
Email email@example.com for more info on the special edition.
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[UM017] Bill Horist “THE SIGNAL INDEX” CS
Guitarist Bill Horist from Seattle is most well known for his solo work and for playing with Masters Musicians of Bukkake (with Alan Bishop and Charlie Gocher of Sun City Girls), Bill Frisell, Chris Corsano, C Spencer Yeh, KK Null and lots more.
Musically, he is known for his ability to shift and merge free jazz, blues, prepared guitar and avant manipulations… on “The Signal Index” though, he goes mostly for the latter: beautifully prepared, plucked, bowed, droned guitar that immediately takes you to a trance state. Various layers and textures cross and overlap, from subtle electronics producing little sketched melodies at times, to an electric fog of thick bagpipe-like drones and harmonic-rich sustains. Both instinct and controlled gestures here, like going on a trip where you know you’ve got all you need, but don’t quite know where you’re headed. The result is psychedelic and soothing, with just the right amount of disorientation. A catharsis for your ears!
Grey imprinted tapes & double printed 3-panel Jcards, with artwork by Brooklyn artist MP Landis. Edition of 100.
Download coming soon.
“Brand” is the new trio of Gary Smith (guitar), Silvia Kastel (voice and synth), Ninni Morgia (guitar).
Ninni Morgia lived in NY in the early 2000’s, where he played with Daniel Carter, William Parker, Peter Evans, Lee Ranaldo and many more. Since his relocation to Italy, he is now in a duo with free jazz veteran percussionist Marcello Magliocchi (they put out the LP “Sound Gates” on Ultramarine last summer) and in the group Control Unit with Silvia Kastel. Morgia has extensively toured the US and Europe, and has been widely recognized as an innovator of the electric guitar, both for his personal playing techniques and a creative use of effects and electronic textures.
Silvia Kastel is a singer, electronic musician and artist who studied with Joan La Barbara and Indian singing with Lee Torchia and graduated in electronic music and sound engineering, while living in NY. Since she has moved back to Italy, she has toured and recorded with Kommissar Hjuler and Mama Baer, Temperatures, Chora, played shows and festivals including the recent Colour Our of Space in Brighton, UK (together with Ninni Morgia). Her first solo release ‘Love Tape’ is a charming blend of synths, bass, beats, whispering, moaning, screaming, howling…
On this recording Gary Smith produces the playing for which he’s considered a master of avant guitar: multiple layering, complex grainy textures, dense counterpoint, influences of birdsong. Fused with the guitar of Ninni Morgia, which floats between minimal movements of primordial electronics, pre-war slide blues and Hendrix-esque feedback. Over, and blending with them, Silvia Kastel’s moaning, screaming and howling, alternates with her delayed, bubbling, glitchy or round bass synth.
It’s a dense sound for 3 people. Not just visceral and intense, but articulate and defined, and in some instances very delicate. The depth of sound and the strong group style give the nine pieces their own character and atmosphere. There’s no fear of tempo, pulse, more conventional musical devices, or pushing to unpredictable extremes. LP comes with free download card, edition of 330.
It’s surely no coincidence that the cover of this new trio record feels like a homage to Ray Russell’s 1969 album Dragon Hill: guitarist Gary Smith was Russell’s replacement in the Bill Fay Group after they cut Time Of The Last Persecution and in many ways – if there’s any tradition that Smith could really be said to come out of – it’s the Ray Russell school of radical six-string re-invention. Unlike many of his improvising contemporaries Smith owes little to Derek Bailey, despite his own conceptions being just as radically disorientating. Early on he developed a form of stereo guitar playing that involved a clean tone, a volume pedal and a pair of amps that married the kinda ferocious sonic reducer style of Pete Cosey with blunt Japanese psych, austere electronic composition and free improvisation, cutting a series of radical solo albums alongside collaborations with the late John Stevens (released by Thurston Moore on his own Ecstatic Peace imprint), Chie Mukai, Masayoshi Urabe, Shoji Hano and more. Since relocating to Italy Smith has hooked up with guitarist Ninni Morgia and synth/vocalist Silvia Kastel. Anyone who saw Morgia and Kastel in action with Kommissar Hjuler and Mama Baer on their recent tour and on the Two Couples LP will understand the kind of explosive energy the two bring to the table, combining fire music stylings with post-tongue improvisations and alien electronics. The trio hook-up is nothing short of spectacular. Smith has moved even deeper into subtle string tectonics and Kastel wraps her tonsils all the way around them, gargling notes like ball bearings and make stunning use of post-Monk body soundings while Morgia clashes with Smith with clanging subterranean tones and the sound of metal on metal. Indeed, at points it doesn’t sound like a guitar record at all, with the bubbling notes and sudden dead halts feeling more akin to the radical formal violence of 20th century electronic composition than anything approaching avant rock. But in its refusal of consensual modes it paradoxically feels closer to the post Ray Russell tradition of radically extended six-string technique. A monster recording that would have sat just *there* on the Nurse With Wound list. Edition of 300 copies with a download card. Highly recommended. David Keenan, Volcanic Tongue
Download on Boomkat]]>
Ninni Morgia & Marcello Magliocchi
live show + presentazione LP “Sound Gates”
@ Galleria d’Arte Contemporanea BLUorg
via M.Celentano 92-94
per info. e prenotazioni: tel. 080-990-4379 posti limitati]]>
Hot on the heels of her mighty performances on TWO COUPLES (see Address Drudion July 2011), comes Silvia Kastel’s hauntingly sexy and eerily disembodied LOVE TAPE cassette album for Ultramarine Records, on which she squeals, cooes, howls, snarls, grunts and yelps through all manner of intriguing analogue-ishness, whilst synthesizers, rough hewn bass and pre-constructed Igjugurjuk jawjaw conspire underneath to create the kind of compelling rudimentary musique concrète that post-punk ensembles such as Factrix regularly stumbled into. Better still, the cassette itself works as an art object of the kind that used only to be the realm of such record labels as Factory, Rough Trade and New York’s ROIR. Julian Cope / Head Heritage / December 2011
We ran out of love tapes here, but some are still available from various distros.]]>