[Music] Richmond Avant Improv Collective – Chance Operations

As I finally had a long stretch of time where I could actually enjoy hearing whole albums again, I decided that RAIC would be Album Number One today.  What a revelation this one has turned out to be!

According to the collective’s Bandcamp website for this release, “Chance Operations was inspired by John Cage’s “Silence.” RAIC often brings together musicians who normally would never play together. For Chance Operations, twenty musicians from a wide range of backgrounds- jazz, rock, noise and world music, some with backgrounds in improvisation and some without – came together at Etching Tin Studios in Richmond, Virginia. The musicians’ names were written on different ping pong balls and then placed in a sealed container. In a separate container were balls with the number for the ensemble ranging from a duet to a sextet.”  Chance operation, indeed.

The album itself makes for eerie listening.  There is one track which stood out for me, “Irrigating An Arid World,” where shrieks, wailing and very sparse instrumentation make one feel like they are on a heavy hallucinogenic trip.  The spirit of John Cage having a heavily spiked mushroom tea with Sun Ra and, maybe, Cathy Berberian or Diamanda Galás, permeates this album.  The group have a new album coming soon, and I’m already looking forward to hearing much more from them.

[Music] Refuge For Abandoned Souls by Rothko —Toneshift Magazine

If I recall correctly, it was my brother, Ralph, who hipped me to Rothko years ago.  Thanks to him, and to Ljubinko Zivkovic for the great article.  Toneshift is always worth sharing.

Rothko | Refuge For Abandoned SoulsTrace Recordings (LP/CD/DL) It seems that 20 years ago, back in London, Mark Beazley, Crawford Blair and John Meade took the name Rothko for their three bass guitar band to resemble the paintings of the visual artist of the same name. Blair and Meade have been gone for a while […]

via Refuge For Abandoned Souls by Rothko —

[Music] Mikhail Chekalin – Symphony​-​Phonogram

Mikhail Chekalin deserves at least as credit for being a leading light in electronic music and New Age music as artists like Klaus Schulze, Peter Frohmader or Vangelis.  That might be a provocative statement to some who enjoy this kind of music, but I think the comparison stands, as Mikhail has been releasing quality music consistently for so long that a new album is simply expected to be solid now.  He’s never let me down yet.

[Music] Various Artists – Witchcraft & Black Magic In The United Kingdom

Our friend and compatriot Raffaele Pezzalla (the legend behind Sonologyst, Unexplained Sounds Group and Eighth Tower Records) has made yet another masterful compilation, bringing together such acts as Rapoon, Michael Bonaventure and Daniel Williams to pay tribute to one of England’s quirkier periods – that of witchcraft in the British Isles.

I see the history of witchcraft from both a Christian and historical point of view which differs from what the liner notes say, but be that as it may, the compilation is solid, and I only regret I didn’t review this about two weeks ago, as it makes for great Halloween / All Souls’ Day listening.

[Music] François N’Gwa / Ogooué / Into The Deep Treasury — Ban Ban Ton Ton

Ban Ban Ton Ton is an amazing blog worth following, and today’s subject material is fascinating:

This quality compilation / retrospective – 180g, fine original artwork by Lea Morichon – comes care of new French label, Into The Deep Treasury. The reissue arm of Arthur Lastmann and Step Daw`s house / techno imprint, Into the Deep Records. Ogooué focuses on the work of West African musician, François N’Gwa, and collects recordings […]

via François N’Gwa / Ogooué / Into The Deep Treasury — Ban Ban Ton Ton

[Music] Ginger Baker Band (with Bill Laswell and Foday Musa Suso) – Kagaribi

The late Ginger Baker was one of the most powerful and innovative drummers to ever grace rock music, especially since he never truly considered himself a “rock” drummer, but rather a jazz drummer.  You can hear it in this release where he collaborates with legendary bassist Bill Laswell and Gambian griot Foday Musa Suso for this 20-minute EP.

Suso and Baker play their instruments off of each other beautifully, while Laswell anchors the chaos.  Recommended.

[Music] Ze Roberto – Lotus 72 D

Much respect to Mr. Bongo Records for releasing a track considered to be the ‘holy grail’ of Brazilian pop, Ze Roberto’s classic Lotus 72 D, a paean to Formula 1 race car driver Emerson Fittipaldi, who was crowned world champion in 1972.

Apparently, the fast version of this song is the one that is most well-known, yet it seems that version was pitched up.  Track 1 is the correct version, but both are included in this 7-inch.