Chet Baker & Wolfgang Lackerschmid - Ballads For Two
For the last ten years of his suffering life, Chet Baker played mostly in Europe and released stuff on minor labels. One such album is this incredible collaboration with German vibraphonist Wolfgang Lackerschmid, including an amazing instrumental rendition of "You Don't Know What Love Is," as well as other amazing tracks like "Blue Bossa" and "Five Years Ago." I absolutely love this album, Chet's trumpet sounds so broken and fragile. For about a year I listened to it non-stop. It was initially released in 1979 by Sandra Music, but this is a cd rip from the 1986 in-akustik lable re-release.
Chet Baker & Wolfgang Lackerschmid Feat. Larry Coryell, Buster Williams, Tony Williams
This was released one year after Ballads For Two and features an all-star line-up with guitar legend larry Coryell, bassist Buster Williams and drummer Tony Williams. Not as mellow as Ballads For Two (apart from "Here's That Rainy Day"), it contains some great interplays between Baker and Coryell and really great cocktail jazz stuff, as well as Baker's amazing scat-singing in "Balzwaltz." Released in 1980 by Sandra Music and this is the 1986 cd re-release by Inak. Download
Kleistwahr is the solo project of Gary Mundy of Ramleh. Not too far away from his main band, the music here is extremely bleak, starting with some amazing melancholic guitar tones and moving to very dense but depressive harsh noise, and then alternating between moments of defeated lull to agonizing and soul-crushing washes of noise that are almost cathartic. This is some great break-up music for the deaf. 2014 cd on Fourth Dimension Records.
In memory of Heather Heyer, the activist who was murdered by a worthless nazi worm in Charlottesville, Virginia, during the counterdemonstration against the white supremacist gathering, Wolf Eyes have brought out a free online release to support a funding campaign for Heather's family. Heather's death must serve as a reminder that as thousands and millions of militants and proletarians died in the fight to smash fascism and racism worldwide, apathy and individualism in the present society of indifference and consumerism are as dangerous as fascism itself, and that fascists will not be stopped by peaceful demonstrations and calls for political reform and parliamentary illusions that present one faction of imperialism (Democrats and their leaders) as progressive and democratic and Trump as the only problem, whereas the problem is capitalism and the exploitative system of labor and its political organization which is the nation-state. Fascism, racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia will be defeated only in the streets and only violently. Even though I live in another continent, I am in solidarity with all those people who go out to stem fascism and white supremacy from spreading in the US.
Amazing live performance by the notorious masked horn music-performance group from France headed by Gilbert Altman. The line-up of this 1984 performance in Pori, Finland consists of 12 tenor sax players, 13 alto sax players, 3 baritone sax players, 2 vibraphonists, a choir of 8, 1 bassist, 2 guitarists, 2 gong players and two dancers. The raw sound of this live recording brings out the most from their hypnotic, repetitive, epic sound and the fact that it was recorded in a church adds a great reverberant depth to it. Essential listening! 2016 cd on the Circle-run Ektro Records.
The sadly defunct Nackt Insecten was the ideal mix of noisy drone and kosmische bliss. Imagine flying stoned over Aztec temples not on carpets but on slowed-down F-16. Here's the 2008 lp Quantum Odyssey on Blackest Rainbow, and its companion cd Quantum Odyssey II: Corridor Voyager, released in 2009 on Memoirs of An Aesthete.
Amazing 1972 sky-reaching orchestral modal music with Alice Coltrane on piano, organ and harp, Charlie Haden on bass and Ben Riley on drums, along with a 16-piece string orchestra. The organ on the last track "Going Home," an old gospel song, sounds like a mix between drone and blues, while her interpretation of Stravinsky's "Firebird" is otherwordly. Ripped from the 2011 Impulse! cd which also included the album Universal Consciousness.
ok let's try to approximate the completion of Total's discography. There will still be some releases which I don't have, but with the ones I have posted before (check the tag), we're close to it. NOTE: IF ANY READERS HAVE THE TOTAL/CULVER SPLIT TAPE ON MATCHING HEAD, PLEASE SEND A MESSAGE!
Total - Beyond The Rim
After the initial run of Total in the mid-to-late-80s, Bower went on to form Skullflower, and only got back to releasing more experimentally-oriented material under the Total moniker in 1993 with this amazing 1993 lp on Majora.
This one showcases the awesome reeds of John Godbert (Vibracathedral Orchestra), as well guest appearances by Neil Campbell (again of Vibracathedral), Stuart Dennison (Skullflower) and Philip Best (Consumer Electronics). 1997 cd on Rural Electrification Program and Format Supremacy.
Sadly this was to be the last Total release, though the material was recorded in 1996. Once more this one features Bower and John Godbert on percussion and wind instruments and includes amazing shimmering drones. 2000 cd on VHF Records.
Hopefully this will be the last Hototogisu post for some time, as with this, almost all of their discography is complete, with a few exceptions. You can find more Hototogisu uploads elsewhere on this blog with the respective tag.
Hototogisu - The White Wind of Autumn
Along with other early Hototogisu releases such as Floating Oof! blah blah (already uploaded here) this shows a calmer, psychedelic and more blissful side of Matthew Bower. It's like he took the horns and other instruments of Total and muted the deafening guitar noise. 2000 cdr on Rural Electrification Program.
Introspective guitar drone accompanied by vibraphones, accordions and some nice casio doodling sounds. Highly recommended! 2001 lp on De Stijl. Download
Hototogisu - Swoon Scream
This is the second release with Marcia Bassett on board, so it's pretty obvious that she's the one that took all the Ladose pills away from Bower's shelf and brought in all the noise and destruction! 2004 2 X cdr on Heavy Blossom.
This is the notorious Hototogisu black metal album, with some really cool tremolo riffing emerging here and there and the necessary drum machine double-bass kicking. Strangely though, this one sounds kinda more blissful and less noisy than most of their relases after Marcia Bassett joined, and thus peculiarly reminiscent of Hototogisu's Hawaii days. 2005 cd on Heavy Blossom.
This one is a compilation of three tracks from Awful Symmetry (uploaded a few days ago), namely tracks 1, 2, and 5 from there, and tracks 4 and 6 from Swoon Scream, plus another one (the fifth one on here). Yes, it would have made more sense to just include the extra track but hey! 2006 cd on Heavy Blossom.