Wednesday, December 31, 2014

World of Glass

Today being the last day of 2014 I guess quite a lot of you will raise a few glasses for the new year that´s on it´s way. Good for you, and a happy new year to all!

My drinking days are over, so I am enjoying some glass music instead.

Drummer and percussionist Terje Isungset and trumpeter Arve Henriksen have been cooperating several times on instruments made of ice, making beautiful and warm music, and on the album "World of glass" (All Ice 2014) they do the same with glass instruments and vocals (Henriksen).

The project was a part of Tallin being European Capital of Culture in 2011, and all instruments were made for this happening.


Saturday, December 27, 2014

John Russell´s 60th birthday concert

Guitarist John Russell celebrated his 60th birthday concert at Cafe Oto (London) on the 19th December 2014.

This was happening:

- Set 1. Trio with Satoko Fukuda (violin) and Henry Lowther (trumpet)

- Set 2. Duo with Phil Minton (voice)

- Set 3. Trio with Evan Parker (saxophones) and John Edwards (bass)

- Set 4. Electric guitar duo with Thurston Moore

You will find videos from all sets over at Helen Petts´ YouTube channel.

The video in this blog post is from Set 1.

Friday, December 26, 2014

1982 at Inage Candy (Japan)

1982 at Jazz Spot Candy, Inage, Chiba (Japan), 17th October 2013 (via EigenKino on YouTube).

Musicians: Sigbjørn Apeland (piano), Nils Økland (Hardanger fiddle) and Øyvind Skarbø (percussion).

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays To All Of You

I am not much of a believer, but when Jesus comes to town for Christmas what can you do?

He´s wearing his Easter crown of thorns, but still!

Billy Bragg - A New England (XFM Winner / Winter Wonderland 2014)

Billy Bragg´s "A New England" - one of my favorite songs ever, and now I see that "Life's A Riot With Spy Vs Spy - Special 30th. Anniversary Edition" was released last autumn!

Monday, December 22, 2014


"KitsuNe", a "new" piece by Robert Wyatt and The Future Eve is out.
Three versions are on iTunes ready to be downloaded already, named 01.01, 02.03 and 03.01.

"Ring version", "narrative work of eight pieces" will be let loose on the world in 2015.

"Received a tape from Robert Wyatt in 1998. The title was "Brian The Fox" and four takes were recorded.
We chose one take from it and started working on it.
I first dubbed layers of sounds to it and Takaaki Han-ya took over the piece afterwards.
The piece was dramatically changed and completed after a total of two years."

"Brian the fox" is a track on Wyatt´s album "Cuckooland" (2003).

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Robert Wyatt and Benign Dictatorships

I seem to have missed (or forgotten) Marcus O´Dair´s piece "Robert Wyatt and Benign Dictatorships", published in Drowned in Sound (November 5th 2014). It is about Robert Wyatt´s contributions to other people´s records, a selection of which makes the second part of the Domino collection "Different Every Time", named "Benign Dictatorships".

O´Dair: "Although it’s often forgotten, there’s a side of Wyatt’s discography that is more session musician than solo artist. He has appeared on a surprising number of other people's records – among them, records by Brian Eno, Paul Weller, Björk and Hot Chip. Typically, these collaborations are not equal partnerships, but instead, essentially, a host and a guest; hence Wyatt’s reference to ‘benign dictatorships’".

If you are really interested in diving into Wyatt´s discography, and his works with other people, "Une Discographie De Robert Wyatt" is the best place to start!

On top here a couple that didn´t make it to the Domino sampler.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Top Gear Choral Society

How about a Christmas Carol today? Here is "Good King Wenceslas" by Top Gear Choral Society (recorded 8 December for BBC Top Gear and broadcasted 26 December 1970), being Robert Wyatt, Mike Ratledge, Marc Bolan, John Peel, Ivor Cutler, Sonja Kristina, Rod Stewart, Ron Wood, Ronnie Lane, Kenney Jones and Ian McLagen.

The happening is mentioned in Michael King´s "Wrong Movements" (1994), Graham Bennet´s "Soft Machine Out Bloody Rageous" (2005) and Marcus O´Dair´s: "Different every time" (2014). And all musicians with names mentioned above seem to have been present.

On YouTube one Sheila, June Child and David Bedford are mentioned, Michael King mentions a "Faces roadie" and a friend of Sonja Kristina and Marcus O´Dair might just have mistaken Ivor Cutler for being Lol Coxhill!

Other songs recorded during the same session: "Silent Night, "Away In a Manger" and "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen".

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Mount The Air

A signed copy of the new The Unthanks 10" single "Mount the air/"Died for love" (Rabble Rouser 2014, 500 copies) is in da house!

"Mount the air" is a short version of the title track of The Unthanks album that will be released in February 2015, and "Died for love" is a demo version of a track from the same album.

Great songs as always!

Artwork: Natalie Rae Reid.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Strings & Timpani

Talk about being slow, but here is finally a post on the final release from the Bergen kraut-noise-rock duo The Sweetest Thrill. And it´s no less than a limited cassette (100 copies?), but also available digitally (iTunes, eMusic, streaming services)!

The Sweetest Thrill is Øyvind Hegg-Lunde (drums) and Stephan Meidell (guitar), both hard working guys on the Bergen scene, and they called it a day (for The Sweetest Thrill) this spring with "Strings and Timpani" (Klangkollektivet 2014).

While their previous release "Jewellery" (PlayDate / Klangkollektivet 2012) was a duo album, they have several guests on the new one, and some of the names should be familiar to readers of this blog. They are: Mari Kvien Brunvoll, Espen Sommer Eide, Kristian Stockhaus, Bjørn Torske, Bjørnar Habbestad, Per Zanussi, John Hegre and Jørgen Træen.

Highly recommended!

It even seems like it still is possible to order cassettes (100 NOK), and the Norwegian krone is low these days too, just saying.

Maja Ratkje live at Constellation November 2014

Maja S. K. Ratkje live at Constellation 11.23.14 from Experimental Sound Studio on Vimeo.

Maja Ratkje performing at Constellation (Chicago) 23 November 2014.An Experimental Sound Studio & Frequency Series presentation (Vimeo).

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Three Rune Albums You Might Like

Damn! Time flies and it seems like I have a hard time catching up with the blogging.

That´s why you get this collection of three albums from Rune Grammofon that you should check out.
What they have in common? The music is good and they are on the same label!

- "Supersilent 12" was recorded during three different sessions in 2011. Dark and stunning improv from Arve Henriksen, Helge Sten and Ståle Storløkken.

- Sidsel Endresen & Stian Westerhus: "Bonita" - A studio recording this time, and an "Essential listening for the adventurous music lover"

- Albatrosh: "Night Owl"- Eyolf Dale (p) and André Roligheten (sax). This must be jazz, and it smells good!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Robert Wyatt and Alfreda Benge on Freak Zone

Robert Wyatt and Alfreda Benge talk about their creative partnership with Wyatt's biographer Marcus O'Dair on Stuart Maconie´s "Freak Zone" (BBC 3).

Release date: 07 Dec 2014 (3 weeks left to listen!).

Whole show here.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Spit Three Times

This song is so good! Neneh Cherry´s "Spit Three Times" from the "Blank Project" album (Smalltown 2014).

She told Fader about the song: "When I wrote it, I had been through a terrible trauma in my life (my mother passed away suddenly, which literally broke my heart and took me down down down into a huge black hole of despair). I am being very specific when I talk about the 'black dog' which was Winston Churchill's name for his dark depressions".

If I post a "Best of 2014" list, you might find "Blank Project" there.

Find info on the video on YouTube.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A mug with beard and a piece in The Irish Times

Afraid of beard with your cocoa?

If not, you might want a Robert Wyatt mug from Raw Art!

And with a mug of whatever, you also may want to read Marcus O´Dair´s piece "Why Robert Wyatt’s wife Alfie is his most important collaborator" in The Irish Times (10/12 2014).

O´Dair says that his book "Different Every Time" should perhaps have been subtitled “The authorised biography of Robert Wyatt and Alfreda Benge”.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


A new book to read for Christmas? How about "Litpop: Writing and Popular Music", Edited by Rachel Carroll, Teesside University, UK and Adam Hansen, Northumbria University, UK (Farnham: Ashgate, December 2014).

One of the chapters is called "You can’t just say “words”’: Literature and Nonsense in the Work of Robert Wyatt", and is written by Richard Elliott.

You may read a PDF of the article on Wyatt (pre-publication draft).

From page 1: "Both solo work and collaborations have strengthened Wyatt’s connection to a variety of art worlds – literary, musical, visual, avant-garde – influenced by the linguistic turn of the twentieth century.
This chapter offers a selective assessment of such art worlds by examining connections between Wyatt’s work and a range of literary voices, particularly those associated with nursery rhyme, nonsense verse and absurdism. A further aim is to explore the role of sense and nonsense in popular music."

Christmas To Be Announced

I´m not that wild about Christmas calendars, but I Check a few, even if they don´t have any chocolate surprises.

On Soundcloud you may find an alternative calendar with Norwegian artists, and today´s surprise was The Big Almost, with Alexander Simm (g) Jacob Öhrvall (b, keyb) and Bergen´s own drummer Øyvind Hegg-Lunde. Two Swedes and one Norwegian there, and they are in a quite noisy festive mood today.

Check out their album "Mouth"(2014) too!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Soft Machine on French TV 1969

Cool video of Soft Machine doing "Pigling Bland" and "Facelift" on the French TV show "L'invite du Dimanche"!

I posted another part of this show last year, all thanks to BassLudeman on YouTube.

The band:

Mike Ratledge - Organ, Electric Piano
Hugh Hopper - Bass
Robert Wyatt - Drums
Elton Dean - Alto sax
Lyn Dobson - Soprano and Tenor Saxes
Marc Charig - Cornet
Nick Evans - Trombone

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Maria Due

Rumors, aka tweets from the music library in Trondheim (@musikkavdelinga - tweets in Norwegian), tell that the singer Maria Due is doing Robert Wyatt´s "Alliance" on her forthcoming album.

The album will be released in February 2015, so enjoy her version of Peter Hammill / Van Der Graaf Generator´s "My Rom (Waiting for Wonderland)" while you are waiting.

Sonny Rollins, Norway 1971

Arild Andersen keeps uploading fine videos on his YouTube channel.

Check out this one, Sonny Rollins from Kongsberg Jazz Festival (June 25 1971), with Bobo Stenson (piano), Arild Andersen (bass) and Jon Christensen (drums).

Friday, December 5, 2014

Street Art Auction For Palestine

On the 6th of December the Bergen gallery Bart will organize a street art auction in support of "Aesthetic Prosthetic", a project aiming to raise money for the only prosthetic workshop in Gaza.

The auction is now open for bidding, and you may find pictures of the works over here, but please note there are more to come.

If your Norwegian is a bit rusty, roll a bit down for some English info with contact e-mails and all.

Art by Mode 2 and DotDotDot here in this post, and I have some more from the exhibition on Flickr.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Soft Machine Live In 1970

We had a blog post back in May already on a compilation box set called "Soft Machine Live In 1970".

Now it seems ready for release 8 December on Edifying Records.

The five LP set has liner notes by Brian Hopper.

Only 500 copies, all hand numbered.

Musicians: Mike Ratledge,Robert Wyatt,Hugh Hopper, Elton Dean and Lyn Dobson.

Track list and all over at What Records.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

December Video Festival 2014

- Evan Parker, Peter Evans, Charles Evans @ The Stone 9-10-14
- Frode Gjerstad Trio (Gjerstad, Strøm, Nilssen-Love) @ Inage Candy 24 May 2014
- Supersilent @ Dokkhuset (Trondheim) 2014-11-17
- The Thing & Ken Vandermark @ Music Unlimited Wels, Austria, 2014-11-08
- Paal Nilssen-Love, Jim O'Rourke, Lasse Marhaug @ Inage Candy 19 January 2013
- Alan Silva, Mette Rasmussen, Ståle Liavik Solberg @ Dome of Visions, Copenhagen, October 23rd, 2014
- George Russell and the Big Bang Band of 1967 @ Circus in Stockholm (1), !Sweden
What an intro! What a gang! Jump to next video after 29 min.!
- George Russell and the Big Bang Band of 1967 @ Circus in Stockholm (2), Sweden
- Vashti Bunyan & Gareth Dickson @ Jazzhouse, Copenhagen, 18 November, 2014
- Charles Bradley in the backyard of Daptone's House of Soul, featuring Menahan Street Band
- Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings - "White Christmas"

Monday, December 1, 2014

Vilde & Inga

Vilde & Inga is a Norwegian impro duo with Vilde Sandve Alnæs (violin) and Inga Margrete Aas (bass).

I have already mentioned their "Makrofauna" on ECM (2014).

Saturday afternoon I heard them play a great gig at the Bergen Public Library, and if slow growing (album titles mostly concerning flora and fauna) impro might be your thing, just check them out!

They are also working with Ingar Zach.