new releases

M U N G O – Splinter Orchestra – splitrec 27 CD, DL

In March 2016 a 21-piece Splinter spent 3 days recording in the vast desert recording studio that is Mungo National Park.

mungo-coverThe 3 CD set, their first release in 10 years, (since splitrec 17) presents an argument for a creative collective, sensitive to time/space — one that treats all the participants, be they performers, other species, or the wind, as equal players.

Over the previous two years, they’d honed specific strategies involving motion that manifest differently wherever and whenever they are played out. These procedures were taken to the dry lakebed in far west NSW.

There are 3 movements – Sunrise, Sunset and Midnight on 3 CDs:

Vital Weekly says “Here we have the input from natural elements but with players moving slowly around over quite an open field means that they mix their music in quite a natural way, by allowing every player to walk around and allow each player for a bigger or smaller part of the total mix; a very democratic way of making choices, I think, and one that fits the nature of improvised music very well. This is a more than excellent release! (FdW)”

Joseph Cummings writing in the Music Trust of Australia says, “There’s mystery in these soundworlds. One listens to this recording and is immersed in its secret, luminous, phantasmal fragility. It is both very ambient and extremely attention grabbing. Super melodic but also utterly textural. One worries about not being able to concentrate, to take it all in. Then one gets swept back up by the twittering machine.

Any type of listening you can muster will work for Mungo. At no point did I think – ‘this is really dragging on’, despite three of the four pieces running for between 30 minutes and an hour – in total around two and a half hours across the three discs. There are periods of overwhelming beauty here, but more often I feel like this music accompanies you. You can be in it, be with it. It’s not demanding but it is as engaging as you let it be.”

French Blog improv sphere says

“Je dois dire que je n’écoute plus beaucoup de musiques improvisées, que je me lasse de nombreux improvisateurs. Mais là, il s’agit de ces disques qui me font aimer l’improvisation, qui me font aimer l’expérimentation. Car il s’agit d’un disque qui contrairement à beaucoup d’autres, possède son univers propre, une ambiance personnelle, des sonorités créatives. Il ne s’agit pas seulement d’improvisation, de concept sur l’espace et le temps, de dialogue avec l’environnement, il s’agit d’un acte créatif, d’une proposition fraiche et innovante qui donne du sens à l’improvisation ainsi qu’à la musique expérimentale. Une beauté.”

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Avocado – Peter Farrar – Splitrec 26 LP, CD, DL

farrar_borderTim Owen writing in Dalston Sound says

“I haven’t heard saxophonics like this before… Farrar’s extruded sonic canvasses have a harsh but undeniable beauty, and striking ideational clarity. Anyone with a taste for creative saxophony should check them out.”

John Clare Reviewing ‘Avocado’ in The Music Trust.

The closer one listens – and despite the tiny dimensions of the subsidiary sounds – the more this resembles flying through turbulence – the rhythmic side slips, sudden drops and laborious compensatory metric ascensions, and of course the vibrations. By now we have begun to feel strongly the momentum and the manipulations of time. Fascinating to say the least. Track 2 is a different story The alto is easier to recognize immediately, though it burbles and rasps, sometimes squalling and lashing like an angry cat. Where traditional music might work with supreme concentration to develop melodic subjects, themes and propositions, this is a fiercely intense working concentration on the structure of sound itself.

“…this is all beautifully rich music. A hermetic closed off field of limited saxophone sounds, but within those limitations Farrar really finds lots and lots of small variations to work with. Sometimes it sounds like feedback, or a choir of insects, or sounds from an old industrial site, and most of the time, it is hard to believe this is a solo saxophone at work. This is an excellent CD of improvised music, composed music or electro-acoustics” Vital Weekly.

…exploring oscillating off kilter tremolos and screeching rusty metal-on-metal FX to trigger a feel of ever lasting post-industrial wasteland induced longing and despair, a special post-societal sax blues…” baze.djunkiii 

More on Peter Farrar

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CD AU$20.00Add to PayPal Cart

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Switches and Hose – DALE GORFINKEL – Splitrec 25 LP, CD

gorfinkelJohn Shand writes in the Sydney Morning Herald,

“…he will open your ears to an improbable array of sound-as-music possibilities. The most radical piece is the title track, created with the help of a foot-pump, balloons and certain plumbing items. The Dadaist nature of that list is a clue to a keen sense of humour being at work amid the elements of surprise. Gong Cage has tonal colours that may more widely be considered “musical”, but they interact in unconventional ways, while on another piece, Gorfinkel’s use of modified vibraphones conjures the ethereality of a summer afternoon in Paradise. Enoggera (recorded outdoors at Brisbane’s Enoggera Reservoir) has his modified trumpet blending with the bird and insect soundscape so completely that one could believe he (or perhaps his trumpet) had grown wings.”

Joseph Cummins in The Music Trust writes,

“Perhaps the highlight of the album is the Enoggera performance on modified trumpet, which is wreathed in a multitude of birdcalls that sit delightfully high in the mix. The dialogue that he performs with this terrestrial choir is a beautiful ending to a brief album showcasing the diverse talents of one of our most interesting sound makers.”

More on Dale Gorfinkel

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Truancy – splitrec 24 LP CD DL

Truancy_Front_Cover_web_200Jim Denley and Cor Fuhler

John Shand writes in the Sydney Morning Herald

“…these two improvised duets represent the art of spatial relationships, atmospherics and suspense. Nonetheless part of that suspense is derived from the sheer surprise factor of the sounds that unfold, sometimes even stretching to the delight of wondering on which instrument they were made!’.”

Richard Pinnell in Wire says 

“Never rushed, yet sustaining a feeling of confidence and comfort in their materials, Denley and Fuhler produce two sides of music here that at once cradle listeners in its comforting beauty while keeping them moving through ever changing scenery.”

Brian Olewnick writing in Just Outside says

…The music never gets frenetic, more going from medium to a nice, grainy, rough-edged, slow flow, the latter always full and grimy, with that wonderful sense of air circulating around the sounds. An excellent recording, don’t miss it.

Massimo Ricci writes in Touching Extremes,

“…my own positiveness for Truancy is a fact: deceivingly intelligible, it hides small doses of venom – of the sort that we at Touching Extremes love to savor.”

Joseph Cummings writing in the Music Trust says,

Five minutes into the first track Skive we hear a moment of radio, perhaps a song by the pop band Coldplay. Later we hear an advertisement. These sound bites lend a kind of mobility to the soundscape that, working in combination with the spectral range evoked by both players, gives the impression of satellites picking up transmissions from technologies as prosaic and domestic as radios, right through to the sound-waves broadcast by the earth-as-sound-machine. I can imagine more than just human ears appreciating the wide spectrum of sound on Truancy.

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Tokyo 1972 – Teletopa splitrec CDX2 23
and limited edition of 300 LPX3 23 Buy the CDs or LPS

Front-Cover-Web_200Samples of the group on soundcloud or buy the DL as a 24bit hi res file.

An alternative title for this extraordinary double album might have been The Shock of the Now. That an album of improvisation made 42 years ago can sound so blindingly new is a marvel, and a tribute to the artistry of the groundbreaking Sydney band… A remarkable aspect of the music-making is that the collective seems not to impose sounds on silence so much as pluck them from it. Daringly long pools of emptiness are gently ended by a gong, or shattered by sounds whose source can only be guessed at, sometimes involving such extremes of the sonic spectrum that you may fear for your speakers’ integrity. This is a major document of improvisation.” John Shand – Sydney Morning Herald.

Teletopa was founded in Sydney in 1970 by the late David Ahern with Peter Evans and Roger Frampton. (great article here on Ahern.)

Frans de Waard reviewing Tokyo 1972 in Vital.
“If AMM and MEV were already on your list, then this double CD by Teletopa should not be missed. An essential historical release.”

“The suitably pure white album design, with a selection of black/white/grey photographs of the group, lend weight to the idea of the album as a once lost relic – the great manifesto of a mythical musical organism – now recovered for new generations to appreciate.” Joseph Cummings. 

“D’une certaine manière, on pourrait parler d’installation improvisée, ou plus simplement d’improvisation in situ au sens le plus littéral du terme. Que ce soit avec des instruments, des objets ou avec l’espace lui-même, Teletopa se propose, dans ces deux improvisations de cinquante minutes (les dernières avant la dissolution du groupe), d’improviser l’espace et l’environnement dans lequel il joue. L’espace résonne, les bruits se multiplient, l’environnement est transformé. Je n’ai rarement entendu d’improvisations aussi ancrées dans le présent, dans la spontanéité. Rien ne pouvait produire cette musique sinon là où elle avait lieu. Et de ce fait, jamais plus elle ne pourra se reproduire. Il y a quelque chose de magique, d’unique. Septembre 1972, NHK, Tokyo, Japon, les quatre membres de Teletopa ont à ce moment produit une performance sonore hors du commun, une performance longue, dure, bruitiste et brute, archaïque et austère, mais une performance présente, sans passé ni futur, une performance qui avait tout son sens à ce moment, qui n’en avait pas avant et qui n’en a plus aujourd’hui, sauf à travers le témoignage offert dans cet enregistrement. Un témoignage dont on se contentera et se délectera avec avidité et nostalgie. Car il est juste superbe” Julien Héraud.

These projects have been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

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CD (x2) AU$35.00Add to PayPal Cart

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