Middlesex improv band Led Bib nearly defy categorization, except to say that they fit only inside the avant-progressive and improvisational genres, barely. This album covers a lot of ground in four tracks, mainly with a lot of skronk and racket that flows rather nicely. Cuneiform releases another masterpiece.
Readers might be cognizant of the fact that I never post things that I don’t like, so you won’t find me writing anything negative. With that being said, there are some labels who simply never let me down, and when a new release arrives from them, I’m more than happy to give them an open ear.
Steve Feigenbaum has captained Cuneiform Records for as long as I can remember, and 2019 was another amazing year for them. This compilation highlights the best releases. From the label’s Bandcamp site:
This special “Name Your Price” compilation album features creative and mind bending music throughout the course of 11 tracks all of which was released by Cuneiform Records in 2019.
We invite you to listen to ‘Cuneiform Records: The Albums of 2019’ and explore the wide spectrum of music we recently released over the year. Each track by each artist is unique; we invite you to sample all. And then, if you’ve not already done so, we encourage you to listen the full albums by the artists who most appeal to you
Source: Musique Machine. Pita – Get On Viv Corringham – On the Hour in the Woods The Residents – Refused Hula – Shadowland Yann Novak – Slowly Dismantling Transtilla – Transtilla II Uno Actu – Splendeurs Putrides Sabotheur – Self Titled The Telescopes – Stone Tape
When I was growing up and getting into strange music during the early to mid-1980s, I had several resources I would go to monthly (or quarterly, after a while) to find out about anything that had to do with progressive rock: Audion, a magnificent English magazine which covered pretty much everything I liked at the time, and the American equivalent, Eurock. I had the pleasure of meeting Archie Patterson, the mag head, a few times when I was working at a record shop in Los Angeles, and the guy was absolutely brilliant.
Eurock has a 47-year history of giving their readers a peek at the best in avant-progressive music. He is working on a documentary on both the magazine and some of the musicians he has been doing business with for the past 40 years, including Gilbert Artman, Mikhail Chekalin and Luis Perez.
This is a worthwhile cause. Check out Archie’s IndieGoGo page to learn more about this project.
Thanks kindly to Cuneiform Records, whose weekly $5 downloads are an affordable way to replace a few CDs lost to time and travel.
Piero Milesi was an Italian composer who started off his career in 1977 with the International Folk Group of Moni Ovadia. His first break came from the now-legendary Cherry Red Records, which originally released this two-piece work in 1982.
The release itself doesn’t sit comfortably in any genre. Obstensibly a classical music record of a sort, it also touches on chamber rock, art rock, jazz, electronic music, progressive rock, avant-progressive, film music and modern composition. It was a breathtaking debut for a composer who would score a few more albums, and even arranging an album for Japanese pop star Kazufumi Miyazawa before succumbing to a heart attack in 2011.
I must have been about 17 years old when a disc called Symphonie pour le jour où brûleront les cités, Musique pour l’Odyssée and Archives 1, performed by a band I had never heard of called Art Zoyd, kept staring me in the face, while I heard voices in my wallet saying, “Take it.” I had just recently discovered Univers Zero, a contemporary band, and was told by the ever-knowledgeable staff at Rhino Records in Claremont, California, that it was a winner. Indeed, it was, and it was unlike anything I had ever heard up until that point. Chamber-rock wasn’t in my vocabulary at the time, but that would be the term which fit the band best. It’s good to see this album in its proper form, but I really do hope that Sub Rosa, who took the time to do such a wonderful job producing this disc, re-releases Art Zoyd’s whole back catalog, including bonus tracks. Each disc has been worth it.
Rob Mazurek is a cornetist, composer and sound explorer out of Chicago who has collaborated with some of the best groups and instrumentalists in the world of experimental music. He has collaborated with Jim O’Rourke, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Stereolab, along with fellow Chicagoans Tortoise.
The record sounds like a paean to Miles Davis-era fusion where he collaborated with Hermeto Pascoal, but adding a more free, weird, avant-progressive angle to his work. Beautiful noise.
Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended. Moljebka Pvlse – Komoku (2019) John Zorn / Klezmerson – The Book […]
The Rock-In-Opposition movement had a very short shelf life, but produced some of the most amazing avant-progressive rock bands. Think of acts like Univers Zero, Henry Cow, Art Zoyd, the Art Bears, Stormy Six and others. Their influence was felt far and wide, and you can hear it in the work of former ZGA guitarist Vadim Petrenko. He has synthesized the influences of his favorite artists and added his own take on the genre. His work with ZGA was stunning, so I’m looking forward to hear how he develops as a solo artist.
It’s hard to believe this release was recorded 20 years ago, as it has a healthy freshness to the material. Former drummer of the new wave band Japan Steve Jansen collaborates with keyboardist Claudio Chianura and is ably supported by guitarist Roberto Zorzi and synth player Piero Chianura. The work is a collaboration where the quartet improvise to the Dziga Vertov film Man With A Movie Camera [German: Kinoapparatom], a classic of Soviet filmmaking.
In places, it sounds similar to Industrial noise; in others, like a more playful version of Rock-In-Opposition. It’s a solid release, though I wonder if there is live footage of this performance available.