25 Aug 2008, 17:46 by EbeSstP


    ESP-DISK, the premiere American avant garde record label of the sixties -- one of the most turbulently creative periods in music history – has returned to reclaim its rich legacy with a series of releases that include reissues of groundbreaking out of print albums from its extensive catalogue, exciting previously unreleased live sessions from its vaults and new recordings that follow in its great tradition of presenting cutting edge modern musicians under the banner of “The artists alone decide …” The latest collection of compact discs from the company is comprised of re-releases: three important free jazz dates by Lowell Davidson, Gunter Hampel, and Karel Velebny, and a freak-folk session by MIJ from the label’s glory days, digitally remastered and attractively packaged with reproductions of the records’ striking original art work and reminisces from label founder Bernard Stollman, along with a brand new trio cd from French bassist/compser Stephane Furic Leibovici featuring reedsmen Chris Cheek and Chris Speed, Jugendstil.

    ESP 1012: Lowell Davidson Trio

    Brought to the attention of ESP-Disk’ by Ornette Coleman, Lowell Davidson recorded his singular session, Trio, on July 27th, 1965 with Gary Peacock and the ever amazing Milford Graves. Sadly, the only recording ever released by Davidson, it remains fresh and exciting 40 plus years later. A unique piano trio recording in the tradition of Cecil Taylor and Herbie Nichols.

    "Davidson is not as well known as he should be, a pianist of extraordinary virtuosity, his compositions held loose, minimalist frameworks which gave way to solos of extraordinary harmonic complexity and were hallmarked by oddly dissociative serial runs." - Clifford Allen, All About Jazz

    ESP 1042: Gunter Hampel Group - Music From Europe

    Recorded in Baarn, Holland, on December 21st, 1966, Music From Europe was a strong statement of European free jazz from one of its first and strongest leaders, Gunter Hampel. Over the beautifully structured compositional suites are strong blowing and improvising by both reedmen (Hampel, Breuker) and the elastic rhythm section (Veening, Courbois).

    "Gunter Hampel's second release as a leader and his only one for ESP. Hampel (heard on vibes, bass clarinet and flute) teams up with the many reeds of Willem Breuker (soprano, bass clarinet, tenor, alto, baritone and clarinet), plus bassist Piet Veening and drummer Pierre Courbois during three complex and sometimes eccentric originals. The nearly 22-minute "Assemblage" is the main piece, and overall, the music is an interesting combination of composition and very free improvising, giving one an interesting early look at Hampel and Breuker." - Scott Yanow

    ESP 1080: Karel Velebny - SHQ

    Another example of European free improvisation, Karel Velebny's SHQ on occasion feels a little tentative in comparison to full-on fearless explorations like the work of Peter Brötzmann or Fred Van Hove. Although there are several free passages, especially on the largely solo opener "The Uhu Sleeps Only During the Day," the rhythm section of pianist Ludek Svabensky, bassist Karel Vejvoda, and drummer Josef Vejvoda largely sticks to basic post-bop rhythms that rein in Velebny's bass clarinet and tenor saxophone and Jirí Stivín's woodwinds. As exploratory post-bop goes, this is often very good stuff, particularly on the closing "Andulko Safarova," which has the graceful, floating quality of one of Gil Evans' more exotic scores, and the swinging "Joachim Is Our Friend."


    ESP 1098: MIJ - Yodeling Astrologer

    When MIJ, aka Jim Holmberg was found by ESP-Disk’s Bernard Stollman, yodeling by the fountain in Washington Square Park, on a hot, summer Sunday afternoon in 1969, he explained that an auto accident had fractured his skull and impaired his hearing. But it had also altered his perceptions and enabled him to do things that he did not understand, but which worked musically. The next day ESP-Disk' sent him into the studio to record Yodeling Astrologer. With Onno Scholtze's help, MIJ explored the possibilities of multiple reverb to provide a series of echoes for his yodeling. When the project was completed, both participants continued to reverberate. They may be reverberating still. An original freak folk classic.

    ESP 2003: Charles Manson - Sings

    Charles Manson visited New York City in the early 60s with his guitar and his songs in a vain search for recognition. In Beverly Hills, famous musicians gave him their studio to produce this album. He has vocal backup from the women of the "family". During a stay in a San Francisco prison, he met a fellow inmate, and gave him the album to release. While Manson was being tried and convicted of participation in the murder spree, the government attempted to discredit the hippie movement by citing him as an example, hoping to defuse the rising tide of anger among the population over the war in Viet Nam. Because his songs were considered musically and historically significant, Sings was released briefly by ESP in 1974, and is now being reissued. All royalties are paid to the son of one of the victims, who obtained a judgement against Manson. It has been expanded from 14 to 26 tracks!

    ESP 4048: Chris Speed, Chris Cheek, Stephane Furic Leibovici - Jugendstil

    Jugendstil is a brand-new release by bassist/composer Stephane Furic Leibovici (The Twitter Machine, Crossing Brooklyn Ferry – Soul Note Records). The music is based on compositional material which is developed through organic means (not repetitive means). This session was recorded with long time collaborators Chris Speed (clarinet) and Chris Cheek (tenor and soprano saxophones), produced by Jim Black, and recorded by Joey Marciano in NYC on June 20th, 2006 with liner notes by Kevin Whitehead.

    "Stephane Furic's deceptively simple and elegant compositions pretty much played themselves, realized
    and colored by two of the greatest sounds on the planet, Chris Cheek and Chris Speed."- Jim Black


    The music recorded by ESP-Disk in the mid-sixties has had a profound influence on succeeding generations of improvisors. Its liberating effects have been deeply felt not just in modern jazz, but also in the worlds of rock, folk, classical and free improv, contributing greatly to the artistic freedom that true creativity craves and real art requires. The release of this new music for the ages insures that today’s artists will have the opportunity to hear some of the defiant sounds that helped define the tumultuous times in which they were first made.

    Visit us at

    Lowell Davidson Trio
    Lowell Davidson
    Gary Peacock
    Milford Graves
    Gunter Hampel Group
    Gunter Hampel
    Willem Breuker
    Piet Veening
    Pierre Courbois
    Karel Velebny
    Jirí Stivín
    Ludek Svabensky
    Karel Vejvoda
    Josef Vejvoda
    Charles Manson
    Chris Speed / Chris Cheek / Stephane Furic Leibovici
    Chris Speed
    Chris Cheek
    Stephane Furic Leibovici
    Stephane Furic
  • ESP-Disk' LIVE @ The Bowery Poetry Club with Matana Roberts solo and Okkyung Lee,…

    27 Aug 2008, 18:13 by EbeSstP

    ESP-Disk' LIVE
    The Bowery Poetry presents...
    ESP-Disk' Live
    A contemporary music series the third Tuesday of every month

    Tuesday September 16

    10:00 PM
    Matana Roberts Coin Coin:Prologue
    Saxophonist/composer Matana Roberts continues workshopping of her in progress blood narrative Coin Coin, presenting 1 of two solo sound collages that bookend the entire 10 cycle sound narrative.
    Coin Coin-- in essence a musical monument to the human experience.

    Okkyung Lee, Chris Corsano, Bill Nace

    * * * * * The full ESP-Disk' catalog will be on sale at the show! * * * * *

    With MC & poet in residence: Steve Dalachinsky

    @ The Bowery Poetry Club
    308 Bowery Street NYC

    Matana Roberts, Okkyung Lee, Chris Corsano, Bill Nace, Steve Dalachinsky, Esp-Disk
  • Recommending music.

    22 Aug 2008, 10:16 by uporo

    This is my exact thought of people recommending music to me, when they even don´t have a clue of my taste.

    Yeah...I might be prejudicing people on this matter.
  • Dry Lungs

    17 Jun 2008, 02:16 by androgene

    i recently downloaded Dry Lungs I, II, and III, but they didn't come with track listings. this is killing me. i keep scrobbling untitled controlled bleeding tracks, which isn't fair. and as far as i know, there is no real song called 'untitled' by controlled bleeding, so this can't even pass for a real track.

    does anyone own either Dry Lungs I, Dry Lungs II, or Dry Lungs III, and can they tell me the track listings? i couldn't find them anywhere.

    i know it's been out of print forever but someone on this endless cow stomach of a music site probably owns it.

    please. please.

    track listings?

    EDIT: ok, Dry Lungs II and III are now all track-listed up. anyone have II?

    Dry Lungs IControlled BleedingETANT DONNESNeo ZelandaESPLENDOR GEOMETRICOTollVivenzaH.N.A.S.Mieses GegongeJarboeMerzbowswimming behavior of the human infantP16D4Maybe MentalLE SYNDICATSleeps ChamberJohn DuncanP231AnkhDog As MasterProblemistCroinersJeff GreinkeMonochrome BleuTim StoryNurse With WoundCoilThrobbing GristleSevered HeadsIf, BwanaUn Drame Musicale InstantaneAsmus TietchensYBO2Hijoh KaidenBreast Fed YakPaul LemosDry Lungs 2Dry Lungs 3Dry Lungs 1CranioclastJohn WigginsP231/AnkhHelen SageCollectif NosPhanton TollboothDie FormArthur PotterC.M. von Hauswolff & Z. KarkowskiC.M. von HauswolffZ. KarkowskiRet Marut
  • ESP Radio : Tribute to Albert Ayler Parts 1-4 & Sun Ra Tribute Parts 1-6

    9 Jun 2008, 15:57 by EbeSstP

    ESP Radio

    Current radio shows

    Tribute to Albert Ayler Parts 1-4

    Sun Ra Tribute Parts 1-6

    What Is ESP Radio?

    ESP Radio is a downloadable music documentary program that focuses on the artists heard in the ESP-Disk Jazz catalog. The program is coordinated and produced by The Good Doctor as a FREE SERVICE with the intent on exposing many hidden mysteries about some of the key players of the Avant Garde / Free Jazz Era of the 1960’s.

    The Good Doctor spent 30 years documenting the development of each artist by conducting interviews that are included in the programming to add an authenticity to the programs.

    To communicate with The Good Doctor: Please add ESP Radio reply in the subject line.

    The Tribute To Sun Ra ESP Radio Promo Text

    The Good Doctor has produced another milestone ESP Radio tribute and this time to Sun Ra in view of his Arrival Day. The program overviews the early days, Chicago, early blues session work, The Red Saunders period, more unreleased 1948 (?) recordings from the Stuff Smith session minus Stuff Smith, and the entire ESP-Disk recordings.

    The highlight of this presentation is the extensive interview footage with Sun Ra speaking plus Bernard Stollman recalling fond memories of Sun Ra and the period. In the program is Sun Ra reads poetry, speaks his wisdom, and most importantly; Sun Ra tells you his own story.

    The Next Upcoming Show

    Next on ESP Radio program will be a Tribute to drummer Milford Graves. The program should be available by July 1st, 2008

    Other Archived Programs

    As a music host for radio station WFMU-FM in Jersey City, New Jersey, The Good Doctor has other archived radio air-checks which can be accessed through Google by inserting Music Of Our Times in the search engine.
    Albert AylerSun RaMilford GravesCharles TylerSunny MurrayOrnette ColemanGary Peacock
  • ESP-Disk' Live @ The Bowery Poetry Club

    20 May 2008, 21:15 by EbeSstP

    ESP-Disk' Live
    new monthly series in partnership with The Bowery Poetry Club

    Tuesday June 17th, 2008

    With MC & poet in residence: Steve Dalachinsky

    Totem> (ESP 4046)
    CD release party - FREE CD with paid admission!
    Bruce Eisenbeil - guitar
    Tom Blancarte - bass
    Andrew Drury - drums

    "WIS & Friends"
    Warren Smith (ESP 1054, ESP 1069) - percussion, compositions
    Andrew Lamb - tenor sax, flute
    Lloyd Barber - trombone
    Mark Taylor - french horn
    Bill Cole - shenai
    Joe Daly - euphonium
    Jaribu Shahid - bass

    Come join founder Bernard Stollman and the ESP crew for a great night of music.

    * * * * * The full ESP-Disk' catalog will be on sale at the show! * * * * *

    @ The Bowery Poetry Club
    308 Bowery Street
    NY, NY
    (Between Houston and Bleecker)
    F train to 2nd Ave, 6 to Bleecker
  • Line-up update

    8 May 2008, 11:28 by zxzw

    We've been working on the line-up for several months now, and have 83 acts confirmed! In total, more than 200 artists will perform during ZXZW 2008!

    This is the list of confirmed artists at this moment:
    Pelican, Sun Ra, Paint It Black, Watain, Torche, FFF, Guapo, Trash Talk, Ebola, Lakes, Usurper, LFO Demon, Pulling Teeth, Glorior Belli, Schlammpeitziger, Pisstank, PRE, Z’EV, Electric Kettle, Ambassador 21, Enablers, Manatees, Religious Knives, Computer Truck, Bunkur, Ladyscraper, Munch Munch, Eva Braun, Starving Weirdos, Hey Colossus, Dj Floorclearer, Chris Moss Acid, Gastón Arévalo, Agents Of Abhorrence, Talibam!, The Pharmacy, Kid Kishore, Tep, Night Wounds, Tigrova Mast, Aguynguerran, Judith Priest, Ladycop, Radio Eris, Kylie Minoise, Gewapend Beton, Tapage, Peeesseye, Potop, Arquettes, Tortuga, Fractional, Speedranch, Hot Rocket, Throats, Penguins Know Why, This Leo Sunrise, Incite, Nackt Insecten, Bram Stadhouders & Onno Govaert, Harry Poppins, James Kumo, Pilgrim Fathers, Neurosis Orchestra, Trouble vs. Glue, Throne Of Katharsis, Black Napkins, Koonda Holaa, F.M.G., Jack Beauregard, Ars Dada, De Haan/Spruit, Punt Uit, Botborg, 7 That Spells, Gala Drop, Pu:ppkakkbaggrlull, Company Fuck, Håvard Volden/Daniel Meyer Grønvold duo, Total System Failure, Pessariüm, Nanostrike, TV Buddas

    Keep checking our event-page for updates!

    More info:
  • New ESP-Disk' Releases Now Available

    2 Feb 2008, 17:14 by EbeSstP

    4 new CD reissues, 1 new cd release and a new DVD. All in new digipack design with comments from Bernard Stollman and digital remastering on all reissues.

    ESP 1004
    New York Art Quartet

    Roswell Rudd: trombone
    John Tchicai: alto saxophone
    Lewis Worrell: bass
    Milford Graves: percussion
    Amiri Baraka (Leroi Jones): recitation

    ESP 1009
    Bob James Trio

    Bob James: piano
    Barre Philips: bass
    Robert Pozar: percussion
    Bob James, Bob Ashley and Gordon Mumma: electronic tape collage

    ESP 1021
    Paul Bley Trio

    Paul Bley: piano
    Steve Swallow: bass
    Barry Altschul: percussion

    ESP 1060
    Steve Lacy
    The Forest And The Zoo

    Steve Lacy: soprano saxophone
    Enrico Rava: trumpet
    Johnny Dyani: bass
    Louis T. Moholo: drums

    ESP 4041
    Lindha Kallerdahl

    Lindha Kallerdahl: vocal, grand piano, organ

    "Singer Lindha Kalleredahl´s music could be placed within the interesting zone between jazz and progressive and improvisation music. She has said that she sees herself as part of a tradition. But as listener you feel that her verbal whirlwind only touch the known references. There is singing but also vocal artistry that touches, and in its own way, link the mist far fetched influences and moments of recognition. "Gold" is actually her first solo album, but the experience she has gained from the collaborations with Anna Lindahl and Sonic Youth amongst others, doesn't pass the ear unnoticed. She is strong, intense and generous. She really wants; it seems, to move the listener. No posing and restrained bullshit. In other words. Lindha Kallerdahl is for real."

    ESP 4042
    Alan Roth
    Inside Out in the Open

    Inside Out In The Open is an hour-long documentary about a form of jazz, popularly known as free jazz. The film is an exploration of that music through the voices and performances of over twenty such musicians, from those who were its first generation to younger musicians joining the tradition.
    Unlike more encyclopedic documentaries, Inside Out In The Open unfolds in a more organic and musical form, revealing multiple aspects of this music and its makers. The editing structure is reflective and complimentary to the music.
    Free-form jazz, also known as the "the new thing," or "avant-garde jazz," burst on the scene in the early '60s, led by Ornette Coleman and Cecil Taylor. It vastly extended the boundaries in rhythm, sound, and harmonics, stressing collective improvisation, with an expansive openness and with deep personal emotion.
    The release of Inside Out In The Open comes on the heels of the major 10-part "Jazz" series by Ken Burns, which was criticized for given little attention to jazz after 1960, and for being critical of the genre of "free jazz."
    With only a small amount of media work available on this development in jazz, Inside Out In The Open is a welcome contribution, giving overdue respect to these musical artists.

    Featured Interviews:
    Marion Brown, Roswell Rudd, John Tchicai, Alan Silva, Burton Greene, Joseph Jarman, Baikida Carroll, William Parker, Daniel Carter, Matthew Shipp, Susie Ibarra
    Featured Performers:
    Denis Charles, Glenn Spearman, Wilber Morris, Joseph Jarman, Peter Brötzmann, John Tchicai, Sun Ra and his Arkestra,
    In Order to Survive
    (William Parker, Cooper-Moore, Rob Brown, Susie Ibarra)
    Other Dimensions in Music
    (Roy Campbell, Daniel Carter, Rashid bakr, William Parker, with Matt Shipp)
    Baikida Carroll, Reggie Workman and more.

    New York Art QuartetEsp-DiskThe New York Art QuartetBob James TrioPaul Bley TrioLouis MoholoSun Ra And His Arkestra
  • 2007 in records

    27 Jan 2008, 22:40 by tom_dissonance

    i figured since we were now a month away from 2007, now would be a suitable time to drop my reflections on a year's music on the people.

    Warning: may contain opinions.
    "Anti-bashing" pussies might find it more productive to go somewhere else.

    Top 10
    El-PI'll Sleep When You're Dead: The most deliberate, forceful, sincere and fucking heartfelt record of the year, when you listen you begin to understand the five-year gap between this and Fantastic Damage. Is it better than the latter? It's a moot point. They're both different and both essential. ISWYD is a ferocious unrelenting broadside against "infected money slobbing pesticrats" where every beat's a banger and every emotion is raw enough to wring hot angry tears. From the adrenalising Mars Volta-starring opener "Tasmanian Pain Coaster", it doesn't let up. Every Weatherman (bar Breeze Brewin') turns up for a guest shot. By the time El and gorgeous Chan "Cat Power" Marshall (who incidentally would make a great couple) close it with strung-out duet "poisenville kids no wins" you pretty much just want to hit play again. Indispensable shit.

    Rufus WainwrightRelease The Stars: as another review somewhere else put it, this makes pretty much all other pop music release this year sound rather bloodless. Rufus – or Rufus! as it should be spelt – returns to sprinkle his wonderful melodic gay stardust over everything. Unexpected actress cameos, Phantom of the Opera steals, kitchen-sink+ orchestration and melody after glorious melody. i sort of wish i was gay so i could be this stylish.

    Aesop RockNone Shall Pass: Aes delivers what might be his most straight-ahead, yet still fantastic album yet, cutting through some of the harder-edged or more 'difficult' stuff from his earlier works in favour of the loved-up title track, swaggering "The Harbor Is Yours" and double-time banger "Coffee", with The Mountain Goats' John Darnielle. Blockhead's beats, making up half the album, are a key part, but Aes' own production is improving all the time, with beats like "39 Thieves" and "Five Fingers" among the best of his oeuvre, let alone among stuff he's produced himself.

    WeakerthansReunion Tour: One of those albums that a band releases that makes you remember exactly why you love them so much and also wonder why you forgot to keep listening to them. This is very possibly the best Weakerthans album yet - there is at most one skippable track, the lyrics are diversely-concerned (another one sung by Virtute the cat from Reconstruction Site,curling, medical oddities, a man who saw Bigfoot...), funny and poignant, the tunes are acely memorable, but most of all it all just seems to cohere so well.

    BattlesMirrored: Everybody seemingly shat themselves when this came out that an amazing album with progressive rock overtones had appeared. Ummm... that's not exactly unique, slowpokes. Put down whatever shitty NME-aping indie shitrag is pimping itself around as the New Incredible Tastemaker of the Month, proffering the same 5 identikit shitty garage/punk-funk/British-indie-with-novelty-lyrics bands, and you'll see that innovative, prog-inspired masterpieces come out literally every year. OMG teh Mars Volta?!?!?! anyway, Mirrored combined prime technicality with sly humour and, most importantly, boss danceable tunes to cement its place in the year's CD players.

    Rob SonicSabotage Gigante: Second Sonzarelli album comes ridiculously correct with both beats and rhymes. A lot of heads say it's loads better than Telicatessen, i liked Telicatessen too so i dunno about the "loads" part. It's lean as well – about 35 minutes i seem to remember – which is a refreshing change with a lot of hip-hop records. Rob and Aesop Rock seem to be forming a steady collaborative partnership, which can only be good (see also "Bobby from the Bronx"'s hilarious appearances with Aes and Blockhead on that MTV2 "advice column" show they did this summer. And even Busdriver isn't *that* annoying after a few listens.

    Wu-Tang Clan8 Diagrams: i couldn't give a shit what the haters have to say about this, frankly it's a New Wu-Tang Clan Album and it is The First New Wu-Tang Clan Album for six long years and therefore naysaying is fucking IRRELEVANT. It may have some problems (too much singing; not enough Ghost, especially noticeable on the ODB tribute) but RZA turns in a sterling collection of beats and the Clan sound energized and on-point. The end result is about three skippable tunes on a 16-track album. Who else from the class of '93 is still hitting that rate? And at the end of the day it's a New Wu-Tang Album and you don't get that every year.

    Frank TurnerSleep Is For the Week: Almost forgot this was 2007, but on remembering it had to go in the Top 10. Former Million Dead frontman Frank has taken to the road in a seemingly interminable tour which must have seen him play every town in the UK at least once, armed with his acoustic guitar and his trusty sense of inquisitive vulnerability. The songs on this range from knowing wit ("The Real Damage") to searing honesty ("Father's Day") and there are tunes in spades.

    Buck 65Situation: Holy shit, this is good. Nearly passed me by as well, as i only really started listening to it while writing this list. After the sideways diversion that was Secret House Against the World, this record returns to more solidly hip-hop-based ground. The beats are tight as hell, the rhymes are always good and sometimes stupendous (from the awesome kick-off Alan Ginsberg quote to "Kill kill pussycat, faster and more often / Lay down in your coffin, get harder or soften / Sensation more often, I'm lost in Penn Station / I can resist anything except temptation" from "Cop Shades", or perhaps "Shutter Buggin'"'s defiantly self-justifying porn impresario: "Under attack, being tested and investigated. Juvenile delinquency my ass! What is this shit?! Fought by some of the same men that I do business with. They focus on the negative, treating us like common crooks. I’m an artist goddammit! They said the same thing about comic books. Who could have guessed it? Created a mob scene. The demand is undeniable, but they say its obscene. Spread eagle, American beauty: Stranger and splendid. Major offended. Naked as nature intended. Leaves a bad taste in some peoples mouths, maybe bitter. Don’t want your manure, I’m an entrepreneur not a babysitter..." wow.) Weirdest of all, there's apparently some kind of "what hip-hop would be like in 1957" concept that i haven't fully clocked onto yet. More replays for this one.

    ShellacExcellent Italian Greyhound: It's always a privilege to have Messrs. Albini, Weston and Trainer inject some uncooked Dadaist hardcore into your year, and this one was a fine example. Beginning in excellently characteristic style with the long, free-flowing acocalypticomedy of "The End of Radio", wherein the last DJ in the world realises it's highly likely no-one's listening any more, and ending with the bizarre pop outburst of "Spoke", it passes on the way through one of their weirdest tracks ever, "Genuine Lulabelle", whose nine minutes take in sex, greyhounds, ersatz advertising, and cameo vocal tracks from voice-over legends Hal Douglas and Ken Nordine. Food for.... thought?

    Unordered remainder
    Saul WilliamsThe Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust!: Yeh, it may have been masterminded and produced by Saul's new musical daddy, Trent Reznor aka Trent "i don't have any snares in my drum library" Reznor, but don't let that put you off. El Williams still comes correct with his melodies, voice and amazing lyrics even if the production at times fails pretty badly. Word of advice to Saul: ditch the goth grandad and hook up with the Def Jux set! You over a full of set of El-P beats would make an awesome album.

    Lily AllenAlright, Still: Because fun is good too.

    GhostfaceThe Big Doe Rehab: Not as good as either Fishscale, More Fish or (contrary to received opinion) 8 Diagrams, this nonetheless had its share of great moments befitting Ghost's talent as an MC and ludicrous flights of imagination. Try lines like "they say my projects should undergo therapy / We never voted, we votin' for Oprah, Obama and Eric B" or cuts like the ridiculously soulful bonus track "Slow Down" with Chrisette Michele (q.v.), for instance. Slightly weaker-than-normal Ghost still knocks most other rappers into a cocked hat.

    Sage FrancisHuman The Death Dance: Even though it wasn't actually *that* good, it had some great moments. "Heard her chemical romance was a medical slow dance, said my advance was sexual, held my genitals with cold hands" indeed.

    Amy WinehouseBack to Black: This was 2007? Hm, it seems earlier. Anyway. Great voice, sexy crack habit. Jazz singers aren't meant to be role models. Otherwise we'd all be listening to suicidally dull Wynton Marsalis shite.

    DJ ShadowBay Area Ep: i've said it before and i'll say it again, his hyphy material kicks the shit out of his soporific fanboy-pleasing trip-hop retreads, which is why The Outsider is a much better album than the awesomely tedious Private Press, for instance. This release is no exception to the rule. Limited to 2000 copies worldwide, it takes three of the Outsider bangers, remixes another and adds two exclusive tacks.

    NadjaCorrasion: Aidan Baker's incredibly prolific drone/doom-bient outfit re-release a limited CD-R package from a couple of years ago with a couple of added tracks. But! The old ones are re-recorded too. So effectively it's pretty much a new album in the incredibly-slow-fuzzy-melodoom sort of way, and as such comes recommended.

    • Nadja – Guilted by the Sun: This one is divided into four tracks, each bearing the name of one of the words in the album title, and continues to add to the group's compositional envelope, adding among other things drums and an almost death-y fast bit to the dronesome madness.

    BattlesTonto+ EP / Joanna NewsomJoanna Newsom And The Ys Street Band / Jenny Owen YoungsThe Take Off All Your Clothes EP: Three stop-gap/curio EP releases here, with covers, mutations and oddities galore. Battles' Tonto+ perhaps understandably takes "Tonto" from Mirrored and subjects it to all manner of remix skewings. Best of all is the mix of "Leyendecker" by dj emz (whoever that is (?)) and featuring Joell Ortiz on the vocal. "i smack the king of the jungle in his face, i'm a Lion-decker", as he puts it (WIN!). Joanna's punningly-titled release arranges two Ys songs for a live group including Ryan Francesconi (aka RF, also in the chart with his own record) and adds up-beat new minor-key folk number "Colleen". Jenny Owen Youngs, meanwhile, maintains her healthy sense of absurdity with a hilarious and oddly sexual cover of "Hot In Herre" by Nelly in her agreeable indie/folk style. There are some remixes and alternates too, but the Nelly cover is the one you will put on compilations.

    Blue ScholarsThe Long March EP: Only discovered this Seattle producer/MC duo this year and they appear to have released a couple, as well as some back catalogue... this EP is the only one i've managed to really listen to but it was a neat surprise. Conscious goodness proving that while the new Rawkus might still be a bunch of devious pirate scumbags they nonetheless still have a great ear for A&R.

    Venetian SnaresMy Downfall: sequel to 2005's Rossz Csillag..., title apparently not referring to a real soundtrack but "the soundtrack to Aaron Funk's own personal downfall". Cheer up, emo! Anyway, Rossz Csillag is still better, but then again this one has "Integraation", which could feasibly be retitled "Motherfucking Integraation, Bitches".

    William BasinskiShortwavemusic: More of a re-release, really, but it came out on CD for the first time last year so i reckon it deserves a mention. The ideal soundtrack to slowly drifting down a mountainside trapped inside a glacier.

    Christy & EmilyGueen's Head: Self-taught indie-rocker/conservatory-trained classical pianist duo. Pleasant but not overly diverting. Also, why "Gueen"? Weird.

    Desert Island DicksBring Me the Head of Miles Davis and Other Jazz Luminaries: "Ironically guidelined free jazz" made by compressing the albums of Miles Davis until each track was only 90 seconds. Equally as listenable and valid as any other jazz? Discuss.

    God's Temple Of Family DeliveranceGod's Temple Of Family Deliverance: Awesomely promising young Texan stoner/doom heavies seemingly played SXSW 2006, released this early in 2007 and then split up. A waste if you ask me. If only someone had told them, as Meatloaf reminds us, that "Two out of Three Ain't Bad".

    ApecisWhale EP: Awesome Brazilian piano ambience/noise, as released for free by the generally brilliant Australian-based noise/8-bit/chipcore etc. netlabel Glitch City.

    Degenerate Art EnsembleCuckoo Crow: Still no real idea who these are, but their latest record sounds like kind of like Charalambides and Gang Gang Dance and eX-Girl and some psychedelia and also about a hundred others, all at the same time.

    ClutchFrom Beale Street to Oblivion: i only heard this once, in Jimmy's car, but i am definitely in favour of it. Cheers, Jimmy!

    Dr SyntaxSelf-Taught: Brighton's finest drops his debut and it's a beast.

    Nessie & Her BeardBOLD/HARD: Weird yet intriguing indie/noise hybrid.

    Dirty ProjectorsRise Above: wherein NY weirdo Dave Longstreth attempts to cover the whole of Black Flag's Damaged from memory. Strange and beguiling. Probably would've helped if i'd known Damaged better.

    Cutting Pink With KnivesPopuluxxe: London synth-grind three-piece get, if anything, quite slick on their third effort and first for London's Holy Roar. Tunes remain cracking, mind.

    RF & Lili De La MoraEleven Continents: Very pleasant and relaxing kind of singer-songwriter stuff, RF plays guitar and some other things, Lili sings breathy Cocteau-y shoegazy sweet nothings. The best bits are when Joanna Newsom turns up to play her harp, but i may only be saying that because i'm shamelessly in love with her.

    PausalPausal EP: Free one from Highpoint Lowlife, this is a triumvirate of lovely drones and works especially well when coupled with the more melodic modern jazz, Bill Wells Trio for instance.

    CraddCunt Punch EP: Despite the painful name this isn't particularly harsh music at all: more like "ambient plunderphonica", if i may coin a ridiculous phrase.

    Yoko, Oh No!Steve Machine: One half of Gay Against You on the solo EP tip. This delivered eight prime chunks of childlike spazz-tronica with optimal melodies and Silverlink joining Yoko to sing about going for a swim in a castle full of milk. Sounds good, no?

    *shelsSea Of The Dying Dhow: Mehdi Safa from Mahumodo expands on his previous band's work with prog-metal LP that succeeds where the likes of Isis fail in actually remembering to include proper tunes.

    NeurosisGiven to the Rising: Woh, this is the "back to basics" hardcore Neurosis we've been hearing about, then. To be honest i tend to find whatever they do fascinating anyway. Some of the stuff on this is really, savagely heavy, but then again some is even more spaced-out and discombobulated than before. Instead of being strictly "back to heavy" it's more of a simultaneous branch-out in both directions.

    HellaThere's No 666 In Outer Space: Hella get a full-time full-blown vocalist for the first time, and we spent a car journey discussing whether he sounds most like Axl Rose, Jim Morrison or Mike Patton, or indeed none of these. The band behind has expanded as well, with synths and guitars and basses all over the place. The vocals work a lot better on some of the songs than others but this is a mostly successful experiment. Special marks as always for Zach Hill and his 15 incredible limbs.

    The FallReformation Post TLC: A year without Mark E. Smith is like a year without sunshine.

    LoneLady – "Army / Intuition": OK, a single, but i wouldn't be happy not including LoneLady material in any given yearly chart. More please Julie <3

    • v/a – Definitive Swim
    • v/a – Wu-Tang vs. Mr. Oizo – Shaolin Worms Attack
    • v/a – Glitch Village, Vol. 1

    Stuff i forgot to listen to...

    1. Stuff i didn't know existed till year end.
    Art BrutIt's a Bit Complicated: Always a giggle.

    LiarsLiars: Always a weirdness.

    Animal CollectiveStrawberry Jam: One of those bands i keep meaning, and mostly failing, to get up-to-speed with.

    GhostIn Stormy Nights: i liked a previous one, i think.

    Manu ChaoLa Radiolina

    Robert WyattComicopera: Found this one while checking what albums came out in '07.

    High on FireDeath Is This Communion: Found this one while checking what albums came out in '07.

    Marissa NadlerSongs III: Bird On The Water: Found this one while checking what albums came out in '07.

    CocoRosieThe Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn: Another band i keep meaning to get up-to-speed with

    PraxisTennessee 2004: Found this one while checking what albums came out in '07. Free jazz is ftw

    Behold... the ArctopusSkullgrid: Only really just discovered the first one quite late in the year, to be honest. Great wanky prog-metal stuff.

    Von SüdenfedTromatic Reflexxions: Whaaat? Mark E Smith did a collaborative LP with Mouse on Mars and i didn't know? i must be on a pipe. (Also i want to know if their name is a reference to Sudafed)

    Boris With MerzbowRock Dream: Whaaat? Boris did a collaborative LP with Merzbow etc.

    Bad ReligionNew Maps of Hell: i make a rule of keeping up with BR, but evidently not as much as i thought.

    Holy FuckHoly Fuck / LP: The 2005 release was pretty odd. Always love the idea of an analogue dance band tho.

    UlverShadows of the Sun: Another band i keep meaning to get up-to-speed with.

    Yndi HaldaEnjoy Eternal Bliss: Debut release from post-rock combo, i've been wanting to hear that for a while... still missed it tho!

    Black DiceLoad Blown: Wondered where this lot were.

    JesuConqueror / Sun Down/Sun Rise / Pale Sketches: Woh! Over-abundance of Jesu releases this year. i didn't listen to any of them :-s

    OmPilgrimage: Found this one while checking what albums came out in '07.


    Parts & LaborMapmaker: Found out about the band while checking what albums came out in '07.

    • Charalambides – Likeness: Have enjoyed some of their earlier stuff, but to be honest they seem to put so much out it's hard to keep track of anyway.

    Otomo Yoshihide's New Jazz OrchestraLive Vols 1&2: Japanese jazz = win

    Sir Richard BishopWhile My Guitar Violently Bleeds / Polytheistic Fragments: The Sun City Girls' demise and his solo career had thus far escaped me, till i learned he was going to be supporting Earth in Manny in February.

    C-Rayz Walz & Parallel Thought – Chorus Rhyme: Walz is always doing LPs without any warning whatsoever.

    Sun RaDisco 3000: Don't even know what this is, but Sun Ra is a (Sun) God and i found it in another list.

    • Gaudi & Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – Dub Qawwali: That title sounds very promising.

    PenpushersPoltergeeks: Seemingly an Edinburgh-based hip-hop crew something to do with David Jack, whose previous works get much love round these parts. Definitely demand further investigation from what little i've heard so far.

    2. Stuff i meant to check out but ran out of leisure time, or bumped for stuff i wanted to listen to more.
    dälekAbandoned Language
    DeerhoofFriend Opportunity
    Stars of the Lid...And Their Refinement Of The Decline
    Rufus WainwrightRufus Does Judy At Carnegie Hall
    RZAAfro Samurai OST
    Black MilkPopular Demand
    Chrisette MicheleI am Chrisette Michele
    Danny!Danny Is Dead
    BlockheadUncle Tony's Coloring Book
    Blue ScholarsBayani
    Hangar 18Sweep The Leg
    Tori AmosAmerican Doll Posse
    The WildheartsThe Wildhearts
    Percee PPerseverance
    Bright EyesCassadaga
    Black Moth Super RainbowDandelion Gum
    Pharoahe MonchDesire
    WisemenWisemen Approaching
    Shape of Broad MindsCraft of the Lost Art
    NadjaRadiance of Shadows / Thaumogenesis
    The God-Damn WhoresWe Are the Lucky Thirteen
    The StyrenesCity Of Women

    Hmmm: records i wanted to like but somehow couldn't
    Laura VeirsSaltbreakers: couldn't really get into this at all.
    LowDrums and Guns: oh dear. i love Low, but this is frankly sub-par. maybe it needs more listens to fully sink in or something. i hope so.
    C-Rayz Walz & SharkeyMonster Maker: a bit so-so, really. although C-Rayz singing Eddy Grant's "Electric Avenue" has to be heard to be believed, admittedly.
    CilvaringzI: this promised to be ace, with an old-skool Wu flavour and guest shots from all the surviving Wu Core Eight. it turned out to feature pretty flaccid beats under a combination of conservative Islamic dogma and a completely unironic hagiography to Michael Jackson.

    Who Cares?
    RadioheadIn Rainbows: Another album heavy on tune-free, miserable schmindie rock and pointless bleepy bits. Most interesting thing about this one: the method by which it was sold. Says it all, really.

    Arcade FireThe Neon Bible: Totally yawnsome.

    Manic Street PreachersSend Away the Tigers: They used to be the best band in the world, now they could easily pass for one of its most mediocre.

    Arctic Monkeys/Kaiser Chiefs/Little Man Tate: Wow, are people still confusing "having a regional accent and including some British cultural references" for incisive or worthwhile lyricism? Back to the dole queue, the lot of you.

    Kate NashMade of Bricks: If i hear one more bastard compare her to Regina Spektor, Jenny Lewis, or even Lily A, i am sure a small part of me will die. In fact, do not compare her to anyone who can write proper lyrics or sing without sounding like a squawking schmindie contrivance as she can do neither. Or, in the immortal words of John Brainlove, "Kate Gash more like"

    Enter ShikariTake To The Skies: Hey guys, buying a cheap synthesiser doesn't make you the innovative pioneers of "trancecore", it makes you a generic Kerrang! band with a cheap synthesiser.

    Dan Deacon: This guy actually studied composition at SUNY Purchase under Joel Thome, a bona fide Grammy-winning composer and conductor who's put on orchestral programmes of Frank Zappa and Edgard Varèse music among others. Having seen what use he's put this training to, i can confidently say he should be fully ashamed of himself. Oh, and Deacon, if you don't want to hear people talking during your concert, how about playing on the stage like a normal artist, you pretentious fuck?

    White StripesIcky Thump: I think you'll find the phrase is "Ecky Thump", actually. Changing a letter makes you seem a bit stupid, not witty/original/whatever. You may have noticed i've not mentioned the actual album itself yet. That's because easily the best 'Stripes release of the year was Meg's sex tape.

    Annie LennoxSongs of Mass Destruction: Haven't heard it, but worst of the year on title alone.

    Nostalgia 77 OctetWeapons of Jazz Destruction: cf. Lennox.

    Hayseed DixieWeapons Of Grass Destruction: cf. previous two entries.

    The Tuss – Is it Aphex Twin? Isn't it? Fortunately, with exciting questions such as these we didn't have to consider the staleness of the music.

    Newton Faulkner – HAVE A BATH, you disgusting Swampy-looking man.

    Omar Rodriguez-Lopez & Lydia Lunch – i haven't heard this collaboration but it sounds like just about the worst thing ever, so i'm sticking it in anyway.

    KlaxonsMyths of the Near Future: see also Enter Shikari (replace "Kerrang!" with "NME")

    Biffy ClyroPuzzle: wow, are these ginger tossers still going?

    The Good, the Bad & the QueenThe Good, the Bad & the Queen: having a member of The Clash on board: hella cool. Having a Fela Kuti sessioneer: still pretty cool. Having an ex-member of The Verve: crap. Having Damon Albarn: you might as well stab yourself.

    BurialUntrue: Dubstep: grime for white people.

    Joni MitchellShine: Couldn't care less about the music, though i felt the need to diss her for being a money-grubbing ex-hippie capitalist now releasing music through $hitbuck$' own label. Leaves a worse taste in the mouth than the godawful coffee.

    Jamie TPanic Prevention: PLEASE stop trying to rap, you are TERRIBLE.

    BjörkVolta: Y'know, no-one'd think any less of you if you wrote an actual melody, love. Another hideous cover as well. This time, Björk appears to be dressed as the bastard offspring of a circus clown and one of the Blue Man Group.

    Nine Inch NailsYear Zero: party like it's 1994! or ummmmmm don't.

    Worst band names of the year
    The Berg Sans Nipple: say that without physically cringing, i challenge you.
    Grizzly Bear/Panda Bear/Minus the Bear: fuck off with all the generic "bear" names already.

    Other stuff i spent ages listening to in '07
    Bat for LashesFur and Gold: Great album i didn't get onto in '06.
    The Fall – cuz you have to, really, don't you.
    Muslimgauze – ]new discovery + incredibly prolific = many listens.
    • Other Rufus Wainwright albums
    Martha Wainwright
    Ornette Coleman: i heard him interviewed on Radio 4 about how he's still touring at 78 or whatever and it made me feel really compelled to listen to all his stuff again (plus Sound Grammar). Especially when the interviewer asked him about the time Miles Davis said his music was "sick and could only be made by a disturbed man" or whatever it was, and Ornette said something like, "Ah well, some people are just a bit unadventurous, aren't they" or something like that. TAKE THAT, mindless "Miles is teh best!" bandwagon!
    • The comforting voice of John Peel on old Festive Fifty broadcasts
    Plone. Their fuck-over by Warp Records/second album non-release is an outrageous travesty.
    Cheer-Accident/John Zorn/Anthony Braxton/Art Ensemble Of Chicago/loads more free jazz: fanspazztic.
    Yungun & Mr Thing/Foreign Beggars/Braintax: some UK rap.
    Spank Rock: Only found this this year. Squeaky pervert. Brilliant.
    Ava Leigh: Don't sleep, she'll warm up your world.
    • The collected works of David Pajo: underrated guitar god.
    The Gits. Anyone seen the documentary yet?
    • Million Dead. Seeing Frank T live --> nostalgia.

    and that's it! thanks for reading, if you did.
  • Jeremy "Fuckbag" Clarkson at it again

    22 Jan 2008, 16:28 by tom_dissonance

    This one's generally of relevance to the UK-heads among us, but may also be of some interest to, for instance, Americans who've been wondering where The Old Country keeps our very own supply of Rush Limbaughs and Bill O'Reillys.


    Hurray, once again Jeremy Clarkson's sharing his totally worthwhile opinions on matters he knows loads about.

    Times Online

    In case there's anyone still wondering why i hate this stuffed-up toolbag fuck, one glimpse of this ignorant nonsensical spew should be enough to let you know.

    And no, he's not excused cuz he acts like a walking edition of Nuts magazine on television. And no, "plain-talking" and "telling it how it is" are not excuses for hate-speech. And if there IS such thing as "political correctness", then surely being "politically correct" just means "being like Jeremy Clarkson": it's funny how you hear the Sinister All-Powerful PC Brigade's voice represented about 15% in the general British mediasphere as much as you do the Clarkson Kick-an-Asylum-Seeker-and-Make-Bernard Manning- Patron-Saint-of-Englandshire™ stance.

    Here's hoping he'll be available for a test drive next time they want one of those 300mph kamikaze-mobiles trying out...