I already told you that my weekend was great. It kicked off with a fabulous concert by the Sun Ra Arkestra, and it continued with another excellent edition of the Mosae Zappa festival (thanks again, Tim. Thanks again, Chantal).
It was at this very festival, right after the amazing concert of The Wrong Object, that I bought this DVD : "Romantic Warriors III Special Features DVD". It features Soft Machine Legacy, Dave Sinclair, Forgas Bandphenomena, The Muffins, Glass, and last but not least, the inimitable Wrong Object. The DVD presents three tracks by The Wrong Object and if I'm not mistaken, all three (or at least two) were performed during the Mosea Festival concert as well. Great stuff, and there's a lot of bands and music that I'm not familiar with on this DVD. Always worth investigating.
Landgraaf, NL, was the place to be on Saturday night as the main part of third edition of the Mosae Zappa festival settled at 'De Oefenbunker'.
I was told that the pre-parties (sing-along + DJ on Friday night, and the Saturday afternoon concert by Antoine Putz) had been enjoyed by all, so I was quite curious for the sequel.
Saturday night started with John's Got A Sausage, a project by a bunch of local musicians. The warm-up. Charming.
Next up was The Wrong Object. They played original material and lots of Zappa stuff. They had practiced some new Zappa material as well. This was great. A stunning performance, beautiful arrangements and loads of energy. One word: Wow !
Third in line was Bits From Hell, an exercise with midi files and Zappa music. Nice, but way too close to the original versions. The set could probably have been more powerful if it would only have lasted for 10 or 15 minutes.
And last but not least : The Foolz. Relaxed as always, the guys played a fine selection of Zappa songs. A bit sloppy at start maybe, but I really liked them. The audience loved them too. Too bad that it got a bit too late and that people started to leave during the show. I did as well.
It was great to see my fellow Zappateers again (from Ireland, England, Sweden, Norway, Germany, NL and BE) and I did attend one superb and half of a fine concert. Worth the trip !
Saw the Arkestra, under the direction of (92-year old) Marshal Allen at De Singer in Rijkevorsel, BE, last Friday.
This was and will be an absolute highlight of my musical year. I had seen the band in Tilburg, way back, where they performed for one week in a row, so expectations were high but they delivered.
An amazing concert.
Check out their tourdates and try to catch them.
Next year, they should be playing at the Jazz Festival in Leuven. Not confirmed as of yet, but do keep an eye out for this.
400 BLOWS – Beat the devil
RIP, RIG & PANIC – Beat the beast
ORBITAL – Satan
THE RESIDENTS – Something devilish
EVIL SUPERSTARS – Satan is in my ass
TOM WAITS – Way down in the hole
BARRY ADAMSON – Jazz devil
MONTE CAZAZZA – Stairway to hell
TUXEDOMOON – Tritone (musica diablo)
LUSTMORD – Ixaxaar
ENNIO MORRICONE – Night flight
THE BONZO DOG BAND – 11 moustachioed daughters
JACK MALMSTEEN – Satan takes a holiday
PRIMAL SCREAM – Miss Lucifer
PINK FLOYD – Lucifer Sam
COZY POWELL – Dance with the devil
KING CRIMSON – The devil’s triangle (finale)
LEGENDARY PINK DOTS – Hellsville
ROLLING STONES – Sympathy for the devil
BOYD RICE – There was never a moment that evil was real
Swedish folk trio Nordic consists of Anders Löfberg (cello), Magnus Zetterlund (mandolin) and Erik Rydvall (nyckelharpa). To be quite honest, I had never heard of a nyckelharp before. It's a typical Swedish instrument that looks a bit and sounds a lot like a violin.
On this brand-new and beautiful album, "Collage", the ensemble also delivers an astonishing version of Frank Zappa's 'Blessed Relief'.
My search for bands that perform the music of Frank Zappa not only brought me an excellent coverversion, but also a beautiful album.
richard pinhas, tatsuya yoshida and masami akita: process and reality (2016, cd, usa, cuneiform)
Imagine Richard Pinhas (who just released "Mu" with Barry Cleveland) making an album with Tatsuya Yoshida (of Ruins, Korekyojinn and Koenjihyakkei fame) and Masami Akita (Merzbow).
Well, it just happened and the result got released on Cuneiform.
French electronic rock meets Japanese avant-garde and noise.
Richard Pinhas: guitar, electronics
Tatsuya Yoshida: drums
Masami Akita: electronics
The album includes four tracks of which the second one lasts over thirty minutes.
Experimental. Dark and heavy.
The info sheet adds : Process and Reality marks the first recorded convergence of these three avant-rock giants, though Pinhas has recorded with both Yoshida and Merzbow in the past and all three have toured extensively together in Japan . The album, recorded in Tokyo during a recent high-profile tour, captures the fevered intensity and violently textured depth of the trio's collaborative improvisations. The music made by Pinhas, Yoshida and Akita seethes and roils in a constant state of both turbulent flux and visceral realization. The guitarist says of his collaborators, 'They explore 100% of their possibility. We have the same kind of spirit.' That spirit seems to blanch in the face of the modern age. Though he doesn't regard Process and Reality as the still-to-come third part of his 'Devolution Trilogy,' the album arrives in the midst of an unprecedentedly ugly American presidential election and in the shadow of a series of tragic terrorist attacks in the guitarist's native France. If that's all too downbeat for an evening's listening, Pinhas also sees the album as a celebration of his cherished friendship with these Japanese artists. 'Japan is the best scene in the world,' he asserts, and while he foresees a radical change in his sound approaching in 2017, he continues that, 'Always I will work with my forever friends.'
A little while ago, I mentioned a CD-release on the Finnish Swart Records label that presented two bands: Wigwam and Taivaanvuohi. The album (CD) presented material that got recorded in the early seventies and that hadn't been released to date.
At the time of release of this CD, both the Wigwam and the Taivaanvuohi part got released on vinyl as well.
So here's the data for the vinyl edition of the Taivaanvuohi part of the "Poplisa 03/04" album. It also includes Taivaanvuohi performing Frank Zappa's 'Orange County Lumber Truck'. Limited edition on colored (blue) vinyl. Comes with an insert and a poster.
Prog rock act Taivaanvuohi nearly released an album for Finland's Love Records in 1974, but called it quits before finishing the recording. Luckily enough, this 1973 live session survived in the archives of Finnish Broadcasting Corporation.
richard pinhas and barry cleveland: mu (2016, usa, cd, cuneiform)
When two renowned guitar players team up, you just know that you have to pay attention.
The result of the collaboration between Richard Pinhas and Barry Cleveland is entitled "Mu" and it has just been released on the Cuneiform Records label.
Together with electric bass player Michael Manring and drummer Celso Alberti, the quartet has produced four beautiful pieces that could be described as soundscapes, infused with ambient, electronic and world music elements.
Yesterday, I was able to give the brand-new Ostric Von Nipple album a first listen.
I'm still recovering.
By releasing "OVN Qualifies Absurdity", Ostrich Von Nipple allows us another glimpse of his universe. With the help of r0b0t, Steve Moss and Nolan Cook, OVN keeps on pushing the boundaries.
In six tracks and 20 minutes you get a mixture of wacky melodies, noisy soundscapes and mutated lounge music.
My favourite track is 'Forbidden Pleasures', a short (but sweet) rhythmic exercise.
The mini-album is presented on a 3"-CD and will be made available in two different edition by the Psychofon Records label in a couple of days.
Belgian band Ultraphallus hails from Liège. "The Art Of Spectres" is their fourth album.
Ultraphallus defines their sound with some accents from different styles including Western Music, Death metal, Doom-Rock, Avant-garde Psychedelia and Electronic Soundtracks, as a tribute to Rock Culture.
I like this. There's seven dark and heavy tracks to be found on "The Art Of Spectres", including the band's rendition of 'Sinister Exaggerator', originally recorded by The Residents.
From 1972-76, The Residents, inspired by Federico Fellini, The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari and Betty Boop cartoons, dumped nearly half a decade of creativity into Vileness Fats, a film they expected to become the ultimate underground movie of all time. It was never finished.
Fast forward forty years to 2016. The Residents have become inspired again, not to finish Vileness Fats, but to re-contextualize the original video into a brand new film, Double Trouble. In the new film, the time is 2023. Randy Rose, the group's singer has just died, and his son, Randy, Junior, a Catholic priest, is having a nightmare.
Nigey Lennon is the author of the book "My Time With Frank Zappa"
Nigey passed away Monday, November 14 due to complications from radiation therapy she received in 1998. She survived the cancer, but not the treatment. She thought she was fighting a virus, but instead she was fighting a battle she couldn't win.
I recently received an e-mail from Brainpang in which he invited me to check out Olga Neuwirth's collaboration with the ICI Ensemble, saying that the album included a huge amount of FZ samples, word quotes and more.
In the meantime, I did find a copy of the CD and I'm blown away by it. Both of the pieces on this album are like amazing Zappa tributes.
Wowie Zowie !!
As a bit of side info, let me tell you that Olga Neuwirth worked with Pierre Boulez, David Lynch, The Ensemble Intercontemporain and with The Ensemble Modern.
And on this very 'Who Am I ? / No More' album, she plays the 'bicycle machine' (!!) and uses text fragments from Kafka's 'Lettre au Père'.
Check out this sample !! I never thought I'd hear Pierre Boulez siren and the Batman theme in the same piece.
Privately released in 2003 and re-released on the Hybrid Recordings record label, "The Diamond" was the second album by Brooklyn-based The Sound Of Urchin.
At the time, the band featured Robbie 'Seahag' Mangano on guitar and vocals.
Apparently, one of Seahag's bandmates in Project/Object, Jordan Shapiro, joined the band on a regular basis for concerts.
On this latest release on the Composers Concordance record label, various musicians and small ensembles perform chamber music pieces that were composed by Gene Pritsker.
Readers of this blog probably know that Gene Pritsker has no musical boundaries. On "Melodies Alone Can Proudly Carry Their Own Death", the listener gets a glimpse of Gene's chamber music output. These are beautiful and impressive pieces. My favourites are 'A Certain Degree Of Neurosis' and 'Essence', mostly because the use of melodic percussion, and 'Ineffably Still', an amazing piece that is performed by an unusual combination of instruments: bass clarinet and electric guitar.
November 22nd. London, U.K., Cafe Oto, 18-22 Ashwin St. 8 pm
November 23rd. London, U.K., Cafe Oto, 18-22 Ashwin St. 8 pm
November 24th. Brugge, Belgium, Biekorf, Sint-Jakobsstraat, 6
November 25th. Rijkevorsel, Belgium, De Singer, Bavelstraat, 35
November 26th. Nijmegen, The Netherlands, Lux, Marienburg 38-39, 8:30 pm
November 27th. Leeds, U.K., Belgrave Music Hall
November 28th. London, U.K., Cafe Oto, 18-22 Ashwin St. 8 pm
November 29th. London, U.K., Cafe Oto, 18-22 Ashwin St. 8 pm
December 2nd. Munich, Germany, Kammerspiele, Maximilianstrasse, 26
Zappatika! will be performing the music of Frank Zappa
at 'Musicon' in The Hague, NL,
on Friday, November 25, 2016
Zappatika added :"The new ZAPPATiKA line up will play their first live show featuring 3 full sets of 100% FRANK ZAPPA music. There is NO pre-sale for this event,just show up and get yer tickets at the door ! Only 7,50 pp. so come on down and Crank some Frank on a Friday night !!"
In the meantime, I received Murray McNabb's "The Way In Is The Way Out". A great album in a stunning package.
I mentioned the album a little while ago, saying that it included one of Murray McNabb's projects, Space Case, performing Frank Zappa's 'King Kong'.
Well, to be quite honest, FZ's 'King Kong' sounds great, but the entire album is amazing.
Data have been entered into the United Mutations Archives !
Info on how to acquire the digital album or the (limited to 250 copies) vinyl edition can be found on the Sarang Bang Records bandcamp site :
são paulo underground: cantos invisiveis (2016, cd, usa, cuneiform)
Around 2005 Rob Mazurek started São Paulo Underground together with Mauricio Takara and Guilherme Granado. The band recently released their fifth album, "Cantos Invisiveis".
The title translates from Portuguese as 'invisible corners' or 'invisible songs' or 'disappearing corners or songs'. This music evokes the elusive nature of these songs, 'the way we make our music, always masking it in some kind of way, a disappearing through layering and sound manipulation,' Mazurek says. 'The songs kind of disappear in a way like a cloud of pink in the sky. We create atmospheres that cause form and melody to disappear, and to reappear'
On "Cantos Invisiveis", the trio, Rob Mazurek (cornet), Mauricio Takara (drums and cavaquinho (guitar)) and Guilherme Granado (keyboards), is joined by Swiss-born São Paulo resident Thomas Rohrer (wind instruments and rebeca (fiddle)). Everyone is also credited with electronics, percussion and voice, resulting in a very dense sound. Comparisons with the Sun Ra Arkestra are obvious.
"Cantos Invisiveis" is an impressive album.
Repetitive, hypnotic soundscapes, taking influences from all over the world.
Check it out.
The Gonzo Multimedia label has released a number of Billy Cobham concerts on CD. Each album has a similar cover and is taken from a radio broadcast.
We know by now that most of these so-called 'radio broadcast' albums do not present the best quality audio recordings and, unfortunately, "Live 1976 From New York Hofstra Playhouse" is no exception.
On the other hand, this album does present a superb line-up :
Billy Cobham, George Duke, Alphonso Johnson and John Scofield,
and they play a fabulous set, including Frank Zappa's 'Echidna's Arf (Of You)' and the Duke / Zappa collaboration 'Uncle Remus'.
"Psychedelic States * Indiana * Vol.1" includes the B-side of the Basooties 1967 single "I'm So Proud / You Didn't Try To Call Me".
As you could have guessed, 'You Didn't Try To Call Me" was written by Frank Zappa.
moe: examination of the eye of a horse (2016, lp, norway, conrad sound)
Norwegian band MoE is not to be confused with American jamband moe. (although I like them both).
MoE is Guro Skumsnes Moe (bass, vocals), Joakim Heibø Johansen (drums) and Håvard Skaset (guitar), and on "Examination Of The Eye Of A Horse" they bring a powerful, energetic mixture of noise and experimental rock.
The trio has been around for about five years and has toured Europe. China, Japan, Vietnam, Mexico, Thailand, Malaysia and Australia.
"Examination Of The Eye Of A Horse" is their sixth album if you include their "Oslo Janus" series.
Check out their bandcamp page ! The Norwegian band MoE is known for mixing their minimalistic compositions with alternative and experimental approaches that fails to fit in the rock genre. With countless collaborations exceeding the borders of rock and noise, MoE seeks the absolute presence in the execution of the music. Loud and violently, they molest their instruments and brings the listener closer to a healthy insanity.
Frank Zappa captured in concert at the second show at the 'Uptown Theater' on September 29, 1978.
The band featured FZ, Ike Willis, Denny Walley, Tommy Mars, Peter Wolf, Ed Mann, Arthur Barrow and Vinnie Colaiuta'.
wadada leo smith: america's national parks (2016, 2cd, usa, cuneiform)
Wadada Leo Smith, who recently turned 75, wrote a 28-page score for his Golden Quintet entitled "America's National Parks". A recording of the six movements of the suite can be found on this brand-new release on the Cuneiform Records label.
For the occasion, Wadada Leo Smith reconfigured his quartet, adding an extra voice.
Next to pianist Anthony Davis, bassist John Lindberg and drummer Pheeroan akLaff, cellist Ashley Walters joined the band.
Dweezil Zappa keeps on performing his dad's music. An admirable initiative.
In the meantime, Ahmet Zappa is selling everything he can get his hands on to pay off the ZFT's debt. Not illogical as he wants to keep the ZFT alive.
The latter is responsible for "Little Dots", the latest ZFT release.
Presenting recordings from November and December 1972, "Little Dots" showcases Frank Zappa's Petit Wazoo band.
Fabulous music and great stories (in the liner notes).
Split 7" of Post-Materialists and Gargamelek, with the Post-Materialists' tribute to Sun Ra.
1. Post-Materialists - Squirming Womb Of Love/Space Smile 08:12
2. Gargamelek - Hammerandsickle Rose 08:48
Amazing free-jazz split record between two cult underground art-formations. Post-Materialists hail from Moscow and reproduce their vision of Sun Ra ideas. Gargamelek hail from St. Petersburg and play Honeysuckle Rose in his own obscure way!
In a reaction on one of my recent posts, the Tone Stonies said :
"...and YES a physical CD is soon to follow within this month.", wich means that their new album, "Needle In The Tone Arm" will get a CD-release.
Last year, Steve Gadd released the second album of the Steve Gadd Band, "70 Strong". The album featured, among others, former Zappa-bandmember Walt Fowler on trumpet.
"70 Strong" not only features Walt Fowler, the album also presents 'Duke's Anthem', a tribute to the late George Duke, composed by Walt Fowler.
On DimeADozen, one can find a recording of the concert the Steve Gadd Band did in Austria on November 11, 2015. The band featured Walt Fowler and 'Duke's Anthem' was included in the setlist.
Here's a video recording of 'Duke's Anthem' from the Nefertiti Jazz Club in Gothenburg.
Chaos Of The Haunted Spire is Teun Verbruggen and Andrew Claes.
The both of them have appeared in many bands and projects.
Teun Verbruggen : Flat Earth Society, Othin Spake, Too Noisy Fish, ...
Adrew Claes : Brzzvll, Hamster Axis Of The One Click Panther, STUFF., ...
This is their third release as Chaos Of The Haunted Spire. It's out on the Rat Records label.
Improvised music : drums/percussion plus sax/EWI and electronics.
Earlier today, I was listening to Jono El Grande's "Melody Of A Muddled Mason".
Released last year, and just beautiful.
Did I ever tell you that the first edition pressing (of 500 copies) of the vinyl album came with a single sleeve CD-version of the album ?
For those of you who don't care about such things, there's also the regular CD digipack version.
The Tone Stonies (remember their fabulous "Absolutely Freaks" album?) have a new album out.
It's called "Needle In The Tone Arm" and it includes Don Van Vliet's 'I'm Gonna Booglarize You, Baby' and Frank Zappa's 'Take Your Clothes Off' !!
Dean Opperman (stage name: Bobby Volare) does parodies. Next to 'The Wind Cries Bobby' and 'Lock The Snackbah', to name two, "Out To Lunch' also includes Bobby's version of Frank and Moon Zappa's 'Valley Girl'. His version is called 'Valley Guy'.
Data has been entered into The United Mutations Archives. Contrary to the albums that I mentioned in my previous two posts, this one is easy to find.
For some reason or another, I never mentioned the vinyl version of Frank Zappa's "Feeding The Monkies...", so here it is.
CD got released in 2011, the LP in 2015.
The LP only includes the first three tracks that could be found on the CD.
When I saw Julie Slick performing bass with the Adrian Belew Trio last February, I was happy to bring home a copy of her "Terroir" album. Little did I know that this wasn't her first album.
So about half a year ago, I ordered her debut album through her Bandcamp page (https://julieslick.bandcamp.com/) and I've been giving it regular spins ever since.
Looking at the list of people that participated on this album, I imagine that it's a collection of tracks that got recorded in different parts and at various times. The result, however, is beautiful and fits together very nicely.
Less 'prog' than the music on the "Terroir" album, "Julie Slick" presents 14 beautiful melodic tracks, with the bass up front, as it should be.
'Something completely different', you say?
Well, here's "All That Glisters" the impressive brand-new album by Evil Dick.
Experimental soundscapes, free improvisations, electronic compositions? They're all present on "All That Glisters".
This is really good. I saw Evil Dick And The Banned Members in concert once, at Zappanale, and I brought home a CDR that included some live material at the time. I liked what I saw and heard, but "All That Glisters" is another level.
Great album, great packaging !
This YouTube snippet will give you an idea of what to expect :
As you can imagine, the music that gets aired at the United Mutations Headquarters is quite different from what one can hear on his or her local or national radio station.
"Daddy's Breath", the first release by Bretts Milk, is no exception.
With the help of Ostrich Von Nipple and special guests Hamface and Nolan Cook (on 'Milky Nipps' !), Bretts Milk has produced a very impressive album. The Residents' influence is obvious but not overwhelming. This is good, and funny too.
I have listened to "Daddy's Breath' numerous times the last couple of days and I keep discovering new things all the time.
Browsing the net for me info, I found this excellent review on LastRewind : http://lastrewind.com/2016/10/review-bretts-milk-daddys-breath/
It includes some samples as well, so be sure to check it out.
"Daddy's Breath" is an excellent album. You need to hear it.
Two weeks ago, I finally received my vinyl copy of Steve Vai's "Passion And Warfare 25th Anniversary Edition". Pressed on 180 g clear vinyl by Friday Music. Looks and sounds great.
If you have the "Modern Primitive / Passion And Warfare 25th anniv. edition" 2 CD-set from earlier this year, there's nothing new to be found on the vinyl edition (the 2 CD-set also includes the amazing "Modern Primitive" album !!), but this 2 LP-set does look great.
Officially licensed from Irwin Chusid of the Sun Ra estate, Cold Spring's Justin Mitchell negotiated rare and unreleased tracks from the Sun Ra archive to be remixed and treated by Masami Akita.
Masami Akita, as some my know, is none other than Merzbow, a Japanese noise artist who has released over 400 recordings !!
Cold Spring released both an LP and a CD and both have completely different material.
The CD includes : 'Livid Sun Loop' and 'Granular Jazz part 2',
while the LP includes 'Granular Jazz part 1', 'part 3' and 'part 4'.
The LP download does have a bonus track : 'BBC Mix'.
I like the idea, I like the concept and I think the artwork is great but, musicwise, this isn't exactly 'easy listening'. I don't mind experimental stuff and free improvisation and tape manipulations, but 'noise' takes it one step further.
I'll have to give it another listen at another occasion...
Sarang Bang Records has just released a tribute to the late Murray McNabb.
"The Way In Is The Way Out - The Music Of Murray McNabb" has been made available as a digital download and as a limited 2 LP release.
It includes a fine version of FZ's 'King Kong' by Space Case, one of Murray McNabbs projects.
In 1987 Isabelle Antena released her "Tous Mes Caprices" album. It combined pop/jazz vocals with a bit of a bossa feel and included an excellent version of Frank Zappa's 'Village Of The Sun'.
Less than one year after "Tous Mes Caprices", the album got re-released in Japan as "On A Warm Summer Night". Different order of the songs, minus one track, plus another. The Zappa track was still present.
In 2006, the album got a re-release in Japan, with 5 live bonus tracks. No Zappa among these bonus tracks, however.
Here's Isabelle Antena with her excellent rendition of 'Village Of The Sun'.