Thee Opinataur

Ivory Coast Soul: Afrofunkin Abidjan 1972-1982 [coll] – [Hot Casa]

Thee Opinataur   4/17/2013   12-inch, International

Take a magical journey through the Ivory Coast during their most prosperous decade since post colonialism. Abidjan was the capital of the Ivory Coast at this time, and served the Pan-Africanism ideal for many artists. Musicians from all over West Africa including Mali, Zaire, Senegal and Nigeria descended upon Abidjan creating a rich melting pot of music and culture. Prior to the 1970’s much music was imitated from western popular music from France, Spain and the United States. Some of the most influential composers and arrangers of the Ivory Coast are compiled here including Ernesto Djedje who invented and popularized the ziglibithy sound (fusion of traditional bete folk rhythm and funk soul arrangements). Fela Kuti inspired Afro-beat is displayed on several tracks including A1 featuring Pierre Antoine and B3 with Ernesto Djedje. Jimmy (inspired by Jimmy Hendrix) Hyacinthe’s Yatchimiinou‘s funky disco jam will take you back to tight white jeans and silky shirts as will Nguessan Santa’s (inspired by Carlos Santanta) Mammy Nia . Ali Ibrahim’s deep soulful La Ilaha Illalahou features tight horn section and sweet female back vocals. There is plenty of funk to go around featuring Prince Dgib who is better know in his homeland as the Ivorian James Brown. Hypnotic grooves, chants, raw breaks frenetic rhythms fill the tracks from Jean Guehi and Kassale Etles Ziglibitiens. True Love by Rato Venance is a spacey , jazzy, disco instrumental with some fine keyboard play. Thanks to a painstaking journey of nearly three year’s retrieving and restoring the original vinyl, we can now enjoy these 13 tracks dripping with sweet soul, silky grooves and funk all around.

Gustafsson, Mats; Vandermark, Ken; Baars, Ab, Nilssen-Love, – “Abet?!” – [Terp Records]

Thee Opinataur   4/8/2013   7-inch, Jazz

Trio side-Ab Baars-Clarinet; Ken Vandermark-Tenor Sax; Paal Nilssen-Love- Drums. Recorded- 2009 Addis Adeba this improvisational trio starts fast and furious with Nilssen-Love setting the time, enter Baars Clarinet squealing fire and flying high with Vandermark supporting. Vandermark takes over with blazing solo work with drums keeping live audience on edge of seat. This 4 minute improv doesn’t let up from start to finish. Solo Side- Recorded 2011 Addis Adeba. Mats Gustafsson reaches deep and long releasing animalistic guttural magnitude. Very soulful packed 4 minute solo. Both sides of this 7″ are peak high energy sessions that will leave you gasping for air.

Rongwrong – “epiphany obvers epiphany revers” – [Obuh Records]

Thee Opinataur   4/8/2013   7-inch, A Library

Recorded live in Poland 1993. Rongwrong is a Polish experimental underground trio creating their art through voice/unvoice tapes. Mood is dark and textured taking the listener on a ride though the thick tarry muck of the underworld. A1-Take a deliberately slow, sleepless haunting trip through the fog encrusted haze of the netherworld, ends in locked groove. B1- Ghostly voices haunt the lonesome traveler albeit with barely there beats to plod along to. B2- Meet your brethren seeping out along the way ensuring this is what you once feared and will continue into eternity.

S_W_Z_K – “S_W_Z_K” – [Tresor]

Thee Opinataur   4/8/2013   12-inch, A Library

The tech house duo formerly known as Swayzak consisting of David Brown and James Taylor are no more. JT has left the building with Brown morphing into ‘ess-doubleu-zed-kay’. Name of duo was influenced by movie Point Break with Patrick Swayze, while surfing the english channel. Whoever got their boogie board up on the 6″swale was the ‘Swayzak’, thus a name is born. The original concepts are taken from live performances both had done together over their long partnership.These fresh tracks are filled with deep throbbing techno with Berlin sensibilities. A very energetic raw and unrestrained minimal framework with no more then 10 sounds used with a mix of analog and digital. Both albums take on harsh textures and a rough edge all while mixed in a atmosphere of controlled chaos.

Taj Mahal Travellers, The – “July 15, 1972” – [Klimt]

Thee Opinataur   4/8/2013   A Library

Live recording of concert at Sohgetsu Hall, Tokyo, July 1972, this is the first album ever released by the Japanese electronic drone group headed by violinist composer Takehisa Kosugi. This is avant-garde minimalism with a distinctive Japanese sensibility. Side A is drug induced weightless psychedelic trip that moans and trips through the badlands. Deep droning groans from the contrabass lead the way on this dreamy trip. B1 – Eerie hypnotic throat singing featured giving way to a freeform dreamland of no return. B2 – Electronic violin scratches the underworld, a meditative homily to those who failed to seek their true calling.


Scorch Trio With Mars Williams – “Made In Norway” – [Rune Grammofon]

Thee Opinataur   4/8/2013   12-inch, Jazz

Recorded live in Oslo and Bergen Norway May 2011. Drummer Frank Rosaly, Guitar, Elec. Mandolin Raoul Bjorkenheim, Elec. Bass Ingebright Haker Flaten, Tenor, Alto, Soprano, Sopranino Saxophones Mars Williams. The duets between Bjorkenhiem and Williams highlight throughout, but it is the impressive pulling and pushing of Rosaly, which makes this foursome go. Flaten may not be the featured star of this group, however his waves of funky as well as subtle beats keep these accomplished artists in line. Aggressive and textual and yet much room for calm and contemplative moments. A1- beautiful duet of drums and guitar that will take you on a classic trip in time of 30 years or more. C1- traveling through the Sahara on a caravan at nighttime hearing Rommel’s blitzkrieg through Monty’s 3rd division. Williams infuses his vast diverse spectrum into all 8 tracks. He blends beautifully with the other characters; you would never guess this is their first time playing together. Bjorkeheim calls his guitar style Psych-trance-ic-heavy-metal-ethno-free. And while that may be difficult to interpret, once you listen you find yourself nodding in agreement. All four of these members have traversed the Free Jazz as well as Rock landscapes over many years. While many have tried to blend the two, these guys get what Fusion is meant to be.

Dilloway, Aaron / Lescalleet, Jason – “Grapes and Snakes” – [Pan]

Thee Opinataur   4/8/2013   12-inch, A Library

First time collaborators Aaron Dilloway and Jason Lescalleet come together to create something brand new of many things old. No modular synths, or clean loops for these two underground experimental noise artists. Analog synthesizers, reel to reel and 8-track are manipulated, broken and re-created for the listeners hazy trip. Side A opens with a slow burn of dark drone synth, degrading and distorting with low frequency sounds. The final minutes unceremoniously pierce your brain with an intense anxiety filled climax. Side B White noise shrouded crashes, groaning feedback loops this side long set which builds to an equilibrium distorting crescendo. A writhing, and somewhat terrifying blackness fills the air, yet finishes in a most unpredictable warmth of sound.

Phog Masheeen – “Eternal Battle of Heat & Cold, The” – [Love Earth Music]

Thee Opinataur   4/8/2013   A Library, CD

October 2012 release, this is Act 1 of a planned Epic. These SoCal noise/visual artists take on the Big Bang and the creation of the universe. Heat, Cold as well as Entropy take human form and are doomed to work together. It begins with a cold day in hell, as heat and cold are at each others throats, with entropy the voice of dysfunctional reason goading them on. Weird and wild narrative of spoken word from all three characters keep us fixated as we traverse this eons long journey. Electronic glitches, bleeps, distortion filled beats reverberate and household percussion support throughout. This first Act ends with an ominous, harrowing lonely track that allows these elements to take a break for an eon or few. We can only hope and anticipate that Act II will carry us further on this wonderful trip.

Atrum Inritus – “Prognatus In Vorago” – [Altar of The Dead]

Thee Opinataur   4/8/2013   A Library, CD

Debut album released in 2011 from young label Altar of the Dead out of Minneapolis. While the names of the band members are decidedly of Latin origin, there is little doubt their lineage is of Scandinavian decent. Black frosty Nordic metal, buzzing doom drone with underlying suicidal tendencies developing throughout. Raw aggression and dark imagery set the brooding melancholic overture. There are some head nodding hypnotic guitar riffs as well. This is pretty straightforward black metal, with bits of atmospheric. Major influences are Mayhem and Burzum.

Walter, Weasel, Halvorson, Mary & Evans, Peter – “Mechanical Malfunction” – [Thirsty Ear Recordings]

Thee Opinataur   4/8/2013   CD, Jazz

Released in 2012, This eclectic trio features Walter on Drums, Halvorson on guitar, and Evans on trumpet. Three accomplished improvisators producing chaotic fusion at its finest. Each artist provided three compositions to this album along with two that all three collaborated on. Skilled improvisational play within composed theme and structure. Sparse and rigorous chamber improvisation, with much of the music based on short twisted phrases as well as tight intervals. For those used to the free improvisational play from these musicians this album may be frustrating initially as there is a constant struggle of composition vs. improvisation. The more it is played the better it sounds.

Carrion, Ulises – “Poet’s Tongue, The” – [Alga Marghen]

Thee Opinataur   4/5/2013   12-inch, A Library

Originally issued as a cassette in 1977, reissue on 12 inch vinyl in 2012, limited to 270 copies. Ulises Carrion (b1941-d1989) was a Mexican born conceptual artist who created in multiple mediums. This project The Poet’s Tongue is conceptual poetry sound art. Throughout he shows his passion for structures, sounds, meanings and intense interest in grammatical forms and concepts. In Hamlet for two voices, Carrion and Martha Hawley perform by reading names of characters as they appear in the Shakespearean script, representing the structure of the roles the characters perform. Poema,orally represents structure and spatial characteristics of a poem by listing all its structural elements such as words, paragraphs, verses, etc. Three Spanish Pieces consists of Spanish child speak similar to pig Latin gibberish. The only musical piece on this album is the final 45 Revoluciones Por Minuto which is a groovy track consisting of a female vocalist with Carrion voicing over.

Cutler, Chris/Frith, Fred/Dimuzio, Thomas – “Golden State” – [RER Megacorp]

Thee Opinataur   4/5/2013   12-inch, A Library


These longtime friends have collaborated over the years individually as well as duo’s in some fashion, however this is the first release which includes all three together. Chris Cutler on drums, Fred Frith on guitar, and Thomas Dimuzio sampling, processing, as well as re-mastering. Original recordings took place in Los Angeles and San Francisco from 1999-2002. A1 is a sidelong track that opens with a subtle Middle Eastern auraUrban noontime trip picks up conversations of passersby taking the listener to a sinister cavern for lunch that results in regretful gurgitations and intestinal rumblings. Effective use of space and dynamics are expertly displayed especially the quite moments. An enjoyable subtle psychedelic trip, while eighteen minutes long, it is over just when you are beginning to enjoy the ride. B1– A rather non-descript quiet drone with simple guitar riffing, slow and steady and a bit underwhelming. B2Take a short traipse in the forest of nymphs under a canopy of lush warm rain. Beth Custer lends her soothing bass clarinet to this piece. B3 Drones awash in ambient seduction, phases out in a much too quiet fade. Distant cries of migrating birds from the blackness of the mountain cave; there will be no light at the end of the tunnel for these hapless creatures. Collectively this album is an interesting study in experimental sound manipulation. You may need to turn up the volume to truly hear the intricate details.

Borbetomagus – “Trent Belles Annees” – [Agaric Rtecords]

Thee Opinataur   4/5/2013   A Library, CD

Thirty years of mind melting noise from the threesome known as Borbetomagus (celtic: worms). Recorded live at final stop on their 2009 European 30th anniversary tour in Montreuil, France, this 46 minute session is non stop free form havoc that takes no precaution in leaving carnage in its wake. Don Dietrich and Jim Sauter on Tenor Saxophone, with guitarist Donald Miller from the very start never let up as they blow away all that was built and constructed so carefully into a destructive wasteland. There is such an intimate yet volatile relationship amongst them, which might explain their exceptional communication. Listen closely through wave after wave of beautiful distortion and you just might hear the sharp biting tremors that resemble the soundtrack of your trenchant life. This may unapproachable for many, however it may also prove to an entry point for a new generation raised on the likes of metal and noise.

Antibalas – “Antibalas” – [Daptone Records]

Thee Opinataur   10/3/2012   CD, International

Featuring Gabriel Roth of the Dap Kings this Brooklyn based group has not released in 5 years, instead curating the acclaimed FELA on Broadway. There is a lot to like with classic guitar riffs, bright and billowy brass, rhythmic keyboard. Throw in Funky guitar, soul jazz organ with intermittent latin horns and you have a tasty Yoruban/Brooklyn stew. This Antibalas version is not your Fela Kuti’s Nigerian Afrobeat filled with angry political protest of the late 20th century. This 21st century version embodies the principles of grassroots revolutionary movements that would fit nicely with today’s Occupy Movement. Musical democracy at its finest

3 Leafs – “Canal Smarts” – [Self Released]

Thee Opinataur   9/11/2012   12-inch, A Library

Recorded July 2010,250 limited release

Sextet -Tim Cohen Guitar, vocals (Fresh & Onlys) Chris Cones- Guitar, Diego Gonzalez -Bass (Subarachnoid Space), Anthony Petrovic -(AKA Ezeetiger), Warren Huegal -Drums (University of Errors), Josh Pollack – Guitar (Mushroom). Getting this much talent together it is not surprising this album is an absolutely blissful psychedelic trip. Side A is a 19-minute long psychedelic space jam immersed in an ethereal atmosphere. A hypnotic slow motion jam filled with blurred chords, looped bass, and FX’s voice adrift in droned out psychedelia. B1) Dense psyche rock jam opens with tight syncopated drumming while the bass throbs unsteadily with urgent propulsion. FX’d unintelligible vocals swirl with distorted reverberation along side psych guitar riffing and organ sprinkled with looped samples and plenty of sonic chaos. B2) Funky bass line opening, guitar riffing, wistful minimalistic psyches jam.

Shoup, Wally Corsano, Chris Flaherty, Paul – “Bounced Check” – [Records]

Thee Opinataur   9/11/2012   12-inch, Jazz

Recorded Live in Seattle, WA October 2005.Bounced Check is one half of a two-album collection (blank check- TYFUS).Wally Shoup-Alto Sax, Chris Corsano-Drums-Paul Flaherty- Alto/Tenor Sax. Boston Based duo Corsano and Flaherty come west to meet Shoup on his turf.Two side long plays of a classic free improve battle of west vs. east.Flaherty opens act 1 soloing, stuttering, sighing, reflecting a tired engine weary from years of battle yet determined to make another run. Shoup counters quietly from the flank secretly hoping to take advantage before Flaherty’s up to full strength. However like an experienced old soldier who may not have the quickness of his youth, he is prepared for Shoup and meets him head on with a spirited assault of his own.Corsano, deceivingly the mediator enters, however he is not here to mitigate peace, but to provoke these warriors on to their best.Shoup and Flaherty counter, retreat, counter and just when you think all will end civilly, it does not last as these two came not to make peace but unabashedly war. Corsano does his part effortlessly pushing and urging the battle on smirking all the way. These masters of noise finish bruised and battered as Corsano quietly accompanies the sun on its setting. There will be no more fighting today. Act2:Darkness turns to pre-dawn light, as both camps are abuzz shaking off the pains of yesterday’s battle.Steady and intense rues the day’s battle while each side fights bravely on. There will be no victor today, all to the delight of the observer.These experienced warriors have fought alongside as well as against each other for far too long, while all along respecting the true art of war.

Romus, Rent / Lords of Outland – “XV” – [Edgetone Records]

Thee Opinataur   9/11/2012   CD, Jazz

Commemorating the Lords of Outland’s 15 years together, a careful selection of 10 live recordings from 1994-2008 were assembled, most of them previously unreleased featuring John Tchicai, Kash Killion, James Zitro and many more. ??In addition a full length studio recording from 2009 consisting of the current crop of every changing musicians, with Rent Romus being the only constant over the years. Disc one is a fascinating chronological timeline to listen as original jazz morphs and contorts into improvisational noise. From sentimental to free jazz metal infusing multiple genres of music with the help of electronics. Constant rhythmic changes with occasional bars of melodica.Disc 2 is his current stock of improvisers CJ Borosque – no input petals, trumpet-Ray Schaeffer-6 string elec. bass-Philip Everett-drums, Autoharp, electronics. Romus is front and center most of the way on alto, soprano, c-melody sax, however each gets his/her turn to shine in own way. However what really carries this album is the Analog FX boxes of CJ Borosque. The no input design is a creation of sonic feedback & feedback sounds controlling the electrical signal with her gear. She is a unique artist as well as an accomplished “noisician”.

Smith, Wadada Leo – “Ten Freedom Summers” – [Cuneiform Records]

Thee Opinataur   6/22/2012   CD, Jazz

Recorded in Nov. 2011 Ten Freedom Summers is quite possibly Wadada Leo Smith at his artistic peak. Performing with his Golden Quartet of Smith on Trumpet, Anthony Davis ??piano, John Lindberg bass, Pheeroan akLaff and Susie Ibarra drums. In addition the nine piece Southwest Chamber Music conducted by Jeff von der Schmidt merges jazz and classical to brilliant perfection. In the works since 1977, Smith composes 19 pieces in 3 collections consisting of 1)10 years of the civil rights movement 1954-64 2) Defining Moments in America 3) What is Democracy? Inspired by Max Roach’s “Freedom Now” as well as Duke’s “Sacred Concerts”, it was actually playwright August Wilson’s “Pittsburgh Cycle” that helped Smith architect this work. There is indeed improvisation throughout as well as composed pieces in which Smith allows notated unrestricted freedom. Smith conducts masterfully leading with his introspective muted play. There is a deep interwoven melancholic sadness, emotional rage, minimalist peacefulness, but the best spots are the contemplative silent ones as they speak louder then any high C that Smith would dare to hit on his trumpet. Smith says that he tried to compose a psychological impact of the civil rights movement in American society, yet these pieces accomplish so much more of the philosophical, social and political history on an exhaustive emotional platform. With 4 CD’s and nearly 5 hours of music, to take it all in at once is an experience everyone should do once in their life.

Music From The Film – “VI Kommer Til a Fa Deg” – [Zeromoon]

Thee Opinataur   6/6/2012   A Library, CD

Maryland twosome, Gary Young and Arthur Harrison have been creating improvisational noise together for more then two decades under many different monikers. On ‘VI Kommer Til A Fa Deg’ which is Norwegian for ‘We’re Going to Get You’ they have added Kevin Buckholdt to the mix. This is their fifth full length album as the group Music from the Film on their first release on the Zeromoon label. These 22 tracks are not easy to describe, and that is a good thing as each track twists and turns with a cacophony of improvisational noise that is uniquely original never knowing what you may hear next. These guys work in the land of bizarro and give a new definition to the term experimental improvisation. They list 32 instruments on the liner notes ranging from Pseudorandom noise sequencers, Theremin, Dulcimer, sound wands, to a series of toy noise makers and something called a Sarah Palin. This is a rather dark album which incorporates every imaginable tone, pitch and beat that you could only hear in your hellish dreams. The voices throughout are mostly poetic nonsense, much of it unintelligible yet you find your ears yearning for more of this delusional prose. These guys are incredibly unpredictable and very original with their approach to chaotic sounds.

Actress – “R.I.P.” – [Honest Jon’s]

Thee Opinataur   6/6/2012   A Library, CD

DJ/Producer Darren Cunningham is out of South London and has been painstaking in creating otherworldly beats. Preparation for this album consisted of indulging in Milton and smoking lots of weed. R.I.P. in its entirety will take the listener on a euphoric journey they will never regret only if they are willing to expand their 4/4 techno mind. Actress is a masterful manipulator of sound and space and doesnt take any shortcuts as his unadulterated artistry shines through. Tracks 1-3 are beatless and filled with floating synth, fuzzy ambience, punctuated with tinkling water drops in an uncoordinated structure. Not until track 4 can you begin to dance through a minimalistic foggy rhythm. Track 8-digital chops, unsteady looped buzzing with distorted distant bass. Track 9 churning fuzzed bass opening peppered with a spacey dissonance. Track 10 night gives way to pre-dawn as predator lurks in slow mo lo-fi drunkenness. Tracks11-12 journey across a purgatorial landscape. Track 13 & 15- best dance beats, extraterrestrial techno.

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