Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wyatt box set?

Clash promises you a box of Robert Wyatt albums if you are able to answer a very tough question! The box (the box - what box?) seems to be a collection of 9 original albums, and lucky you if you win them. On owning your own records, and having a strong family to protect you, Wyatt says: "They (Virgin) were amazed when after fifteen years we asked for it back. They huffed and they puffed but they couldn’t argue with the contract. If you’ve got management in the family it toughens the sinews. Paul Weller’s got his dad, I’ve got an Alfie."

"Robert Wyatt and Stuff" wishes Robert and Alfie a Happy New Year!

Hot Chip with Robert Wyatt and Geese

- Made in the dark: New mix and additional vocals, cornet and jaw's harp by Robert Wyatt.
- Whistle for will: New mix and additional vocals, whistling and percussion by Robert Wyatt.
- We're looking for a love: Additional vocals and effects by Robert Wyatt (remixed by Geese).
- One pure thought: Without Wyatt, but remixed by Geese.

Three beautiful songs with Robert Wyatt on one single! You need this one too, I got mine from Amazon UK.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Freddie Hubbard and Yma Sumac

The trumpetist Freddie Hubbard died yesterday, and I just realised that the great singer Yma Sumac died 1. November. An odd blog post couple indeed, but both of them got quite a way to express themselves, and reached the real high tones too! (Hubbard here with Art Blakey).

Raphael Saadiq

I'm still reading other people's "best-of-2008" lists, and got to know Raphael Saadiq. "The way I see it" is his third album (the other ones didn't find me), and this is a beautiful soul album. It's retro and sounds like a lot of old soul records (not that I'm an expert in this field), but that does not matter at all. Among the guests on the album are Jay Z, Stevie Wonder and Joss Stone, but Saadiq's soft voice is the main reason I like this one a lot.

Monday, December 29, 2008

KWES, Motown, Prog

- A Tribe Called Next is interviewing KWES, who lists Robert Wyatt as a source of inspiration.

- In Mojo Robert Wyatt tells us that Smokey Robinson & The Miracle's "Ooo Baby Baby" (1965) is his Motown favorite.

- In a couple of days some of you may see "Prog Rock Britannia" on BBC, so let me just point you in the general direction of the article "Musical ambition, cultural accreditation and the nasty side of progressive rock" by Jay Keister and Jeremy L. Smith, in Popular Music (2008), 27:433-455. Were the prog rockers snobs, who tried to make classical music, or were they counter cultural rebels? The authors seem to think that the prog rockers did not deserve all the negative reactions they got. They focus mainly on the bands Yes, Genesis, King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer, but touch Henry Cow (Chris Cutler) too and Robert Wyatt is represented by a couple of citations from Greg Bennett's Soft Machine book ("Out-Bloody-Rageous", 2005). Soft Machine is mentioned as a band "the establishment" liked, and Wyatt says that the famous concert at The Proms was a "..failed effort to make us look respectable...".
If you want to read the article, you have to pay, or you have to have access to journals from a good library. If not, read the abstract.

Chicago Tentet Festival

Norway's Nasjonal Jazzscene (Oslo)runs a three day Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet Festival 19-21 February 2009. Chicago Tentet is (in this case):
PETER BRÖTZMANN - saksofon, klarinetter
JEB BISHOP - trombone
JOE McPHEE - trumpet

19 February:
TROMBONE CHOIR (Bishop, McPhee, Holmlander, Bauer)
DRUM DUO (Zerang, Nilssen-Love)

20 February:
SONORE (Brötzmann, Gustafsson, Vandermark)
SURVIVAL UNIT (Mcphee, Longberg-Holm, Zerang)
GUTS (McPhee, Brötzmann, Kessler, Zerang)

21 February:
FAT IS GONE (Brötzmann, Gustafsson, Nilssen-Love)

Brotherhood of Breath

Last year Fledg'ling reissued several of the South African pianist Chris Mcgregor's (1936-1990) albums. I've got the big band Brotherhood of Breath sso far, and it's damned good stuff! Check out "Brotherhood of Breath" (1970) and "Brotherhood" (1972). In the band you'll find people who are famous among free jazz-, Canterbury- and Robert Wyatt listeners:
Chris McGregor ~ leader, piano, African xylophone
Malcolm Griffiths ~ trombone
Nick Evans ~ trombone
Mongezi Feza - pocket trumpet, Indian flute
Mark Charig ~ cornet
Harry Beckett ~ trumpet
Dudu Pukana ~ alto saxophone
Ronnie Beer ~ tenor saxophone, Indian flute
Alan Skidmore ~ tenor and soprano saxophone
Harry Miller ~ bass
Louis Moholo ~ drums, percussion
Mike Osborne ~ alto saxophone, clarinet
Gary Windo ~ saxophone ("Brotherhood")
John Surman ~ baritone and soprano ("Brotherhood of Breath").
Brotherhood of Breath developed from McGregor's band The Blue Notes, and if you are interested you may study them on a 5 CD box from Ogun (October 2008).
More on Chris McGregor in Wikipedia and in Ian Carr's "Music Outside".

Sunday, December 28, 2008


The Low Frequency in Stereo's "Futuro" will be out on Rune Grammofon 12 January 2009. Here you may listen to (and watch) the most poppy song (according to the record company) on the album ("Starstruck").

Bushman´s Revenge, Jono El Grande, Spunk, In The Country, Circulasione Totale Orchestra and Susanna and the Magical Orchestra (and more) will also be out on Rune Grammofon in 2009.

Born Broke

I didn't know Peeter Uuskyla until I heard his fantastic double CD with Peter Brötzmann (sax, clar) called "Born Broke (Atavistic, 2008). Drums and reeds make both storm and quiet weathers here. First I heard it on my I-Pod, without knowing all the details about the album, and believed there had to be be other guys than Brötzmann blowing in there too, but he's alone for sure. The titles are really good too: "Dead and Useless", "Born Broke", "Beautiful but Stupid" and "Ain't got the Money". The way to make a party!

Let me list and recommend other albums bought on eMusic for Christmas too:

4 Corners: "4 Corners" (Clean Feed 2007). Adam Lane, Ken Vandermark, Magnus Broo og Paal Nilssen-Love, swing real good. I just have to pay more attention to Vandermark!

Townhouse Orchestra: "Belle Ville" (Clean Feed, 2008). Evan Parker, Sten Sandel, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and Paal Nilssen-Love. I'm still waiting for the recording of their concert at Molde International Jazz Festival, but I guess I'll have to forget about it.

Earth: "The Bees Made Honey In The Lions Skull" (Southern Lord, 2008). Dark and beautiful rock.

The Wind of Change

In 1985 the Jerry Dammers produced single "The Wind of Change" with Robert Wyatt and The Swapo Singers was out on Rough Trade. During Christmas someone has posted a (not very expensive!) video for this song on YouTube. Nice song!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Ask Robert Wyatt

Originally uploaded by uptocollective1

Uncut is doing a piece on Robert Wyatt again, and you may ask him your own questions. The beautiful picture is from a concert with Rachel Unthank in 2007. Thanks to uptocollective1.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas

Two sad records

Even if I won't make my own "best of" lists this year, I am a sucker for other people's lists. Two records I have heard, just after seeing them on lots of lists, are Bon Iver's «For Emma, Forever Ago», a stripped down kind of indiefolk (I could do with less falsetto, but that's my taste) and the Austrian Fennesz' "Black Sea", a kind of dark ambient electronica, if you get my meaning (probably not).
Great albums, that will do just find this Christmas, as you may play them loud without the bass bothering other people. A bit sad though, but some of us like that.
Justin Vernon from Bon Iver sings "Flume":

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cherry Red 30

Cherry Red Records celebrate their 30 years this year, and are on the market with "I'll Give You My Heart, I'll Give You My Heart - The Cherry Red Singles Collection (1978-1983)". This is a box of 8 CDs with artists as different as Eyeless in Gaza, Kevin Coyne and Dead Kennedys, and it's not only singles here. You get Morgan Fishers "Miniatures" where Robert Wyatt sings "Rangers in the night" (And Ivor Cutler's here too), and you get Wyatt with Ben Watt. Artists and tracks at Jazzloft or Amazon.


Bergen's own metal heroes Enslaved have been touring constantly the last months, but were back in town yesterday. Krakow (bottom picture) and Audrey Horne (middle) warmed up the audience and Enslaved rocked them all the way home. It was great to be at a real rock concert again, with noise, smoke, long hair and lots of posing (these guys know how to pose!). You may say whatever you like about the metal people, but they manage to do a concert with three bands, and finish the whole thing off on time!
Between the sets, the DJ (if they're called that in these settings) played Marvin Gaye!
More pictures here.
After the show I got this one: "Hey man, not to be rude, but you look a bit old, do you really like this". Damn, what kind of upbringing did these kids get?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Fire Room

I finally got Fire Room's "Broken Music" (Atavistic 2008). Fire Room is Ken Vandermark: reeds, Lasse Marhaug: electronics and Paal Nilssen-Love: percussion. The album was releases this spring, and there was no reason to wait this long. The album is great, and I like the electric storms Marhaug cooks up for Vandermark/Nilssen-Love. Talking about cooking, sometimes it sounds like Marhaug is roasting some bacon too, while the other guys improvise. You get blow outs and close to silence on this album. Great fun!

The reason I finally got the album, is that I jumped on the offer from eMusic, and bought a basic $12 for 30 downloads package. I also got 50 free downloads as a welcome gift, so my mouse arm started to hurt yesterday evening.I couldn't find everything I wanted, but quite a lot of good and strange stuff. If you download 2 minute pop songs, you don't get as good value for money (measured in minutes) as you do with endless free jazz happenings, but the choice is yours.
I hope the musicians get a good deal with eMusic too!

Friday, December 19, 2008

The importance of imperfection in music

The Quietus interviews Robert Wyatt. Wyatt talks about how he's trying to focus on the song, not the singer: "I try and recede as a character and almost disappear behind the note and the word rather than stand in the front trying to wave myself at everybody". The music shouldn't be too perfect either: "You see, I like the fact that you’re a person in sound trying to reach somebody else through sound and if you lose the imperfections you lose that human touch I think". I agree completely. He's an early bird too!

Vossajazz 2009

Each new day you may open a window in the Vossajazz Christmas calendar, and see one of the new artists for the 2009 festival. Voss is a short train ride from Bergen, and in the beginning of April, when the festival is scheduled, you just might have the weather for skiing in the mountains. The program looks promising (only in Norwegian?), and let´s mention Misha Alperin and Arkady Shilkloper, and The Core & More with:
Vidar Johansen – treblås, komposisjon
Jonas Kullhammar - saks
Magnus Broo – trompet
Jørgen Mathisen – saksofon
Erlend Slettevoll - piano/rhodes
Steinar Raknes – akustisk bass
Espen Aalberg – trommer

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Hugh Hopper Benefit

Canterburyscene has made a 15 minute long video with highlights from the Hugh Hopper benefit gig at the 100 Club earlier this month.
We see Alex Maguire & Friends, Sophia Domancich & Simon Goubert, The Delta Saxophone Quartet, Yumi Hara Cawkwell, "Soft Trio" (John Etheridge, Roy Babbington, John Marshall), Mike Horovitz (reading) and Phil Miller's In Cahoots.

Oh man, you smell, eh burger.

Please tell me this is not true! They have managed to catch the smell of hamburger, and have decided to make a body spray for men! The product is named "Flame" and it has got that nice meaty smell. It's not true, is it?
You may buy it online for $4, and for what I know, that may be the price of a burger too? "Keep the romance alive, spray more Flame to change the mood".
OK baby, give it to me straight, is it me that you want, or do you want a burger?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Robert Wyatt's Back pages

Mojo interviewed Robert Wyatt on Domino's reissues (and other stuff). Wyatt is cool about the records, and say: "I wouldn’t say the records are the main events of my life; they’re more like the accidental off-shoots of my life. It’s not that I’m sitting doing nothing like a monk; it’s just that there’s lots to having a life apart from making records".
Towards the end of the interview I see hope for more dance tunes from Disco Bob! Way to go (not that I dance a lot).

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Drums and trumpet make up a band (at least a perfect duo). The latest record in da house is Magnus Broo and Paal Nilssen-Love's "Game" (PNL 003, 2008). Broo and Nilssen-Love play together elsewhere too (Atomic), and here they improvise and make a fantastic album. Tough enough!
You also get lots of beautiful legs on the cover, all designed by Lasse Marhaug.

Check out a couple of the other Nilssen-Love duo albums, that I haven't mentioned earlier, too:
Nils Henrik Asheim and Paal Nilssen-Love: "Late Play" (PNL 2007)
Lasse Marhaug and Paal Nilssen-Love: "Stalk" (PNL 2007).


While we're waiting for the program for BOREALIS 2009, you might want to check out a live recording from this year's festival. Ambolthue Records released Astro/Hiroshi Hasegawa's concert from this year's festival in Bergen as "Live at Borealis Festival" (Ambolt-53, 2008, 100 copies only). Great noise! (Looop sell it too).

Ambolthue offer a free mp3 Christmas record by Torstein Wjiik too!

Monday, December 15, 2008

The temptations of the net

Real Life Permanent Dreams (Norwegian) has a piece on British Psychedelia, and focus on an album called "Real Life Permanent Dreams - A Cornucopia of British Psychedelia" (Castle 2007). You get some Soft Machine (Thank You Pierrot Lunaire/Have You Ever Been Green/Pataphysical Introduction 2) and also Eire Apparent with "Clown", where Wyatt is supposed to participate, even if it is hard to hear him at all.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


One of the Robert Wyatt reissues you absolutely should buy for Christmas, is the double vinyl version of "Shleep" (1997). It is a beautiful package, and you get these tracks extra, compared to the original version:
"Te Recuerdo Amanda"
"When Access was a Noun"
"Signed Curtain (plus Cornet)"
"September in the Rain"
"I Wonder How Your Breath Can Last".
Alfreda Benge's peaceful cover seem to have deeper/warmer colors than my CD, but the CD cover might have lost some color in 11 years?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

UHORT - Radio Nova

"Uhort" (Radio Nova) (meaning "Unheard") seems to be a radio program well worth checking out, since they play "progressive, avant-garde,Canterbury and jazz rock". It's based in Oslo, but may be heard via streaming too.
In the beginning of next year they will focus on Canterbury rock. See play lists (published before airing) and info here.

Friday, December 12, 2008


Soft Machine's "Drop" is out on Moonjune. The miusic on this album is recorded on a German tour in 1971. The band is Mike Ratledge, Elton Dean, Hugh Hopper and drummer Phil Howard. Howard joined the band after Robert Wyatt was kicked out, and played for a short period, until he too was fired, and John Marshall was handed the sticks.
Howard was a pretty tough drummer (and possibly Wyatt's favorite drummer too), and may be traced in the SF discography on Soft Machine "5", "BBC 1971 -1974" and according too Graham Bennet's Soft Machine biography also on "Peel Sessions" (tracks "Drop" and "As If"), not that I am able too read anything about that on the cover. The letters on album covers seem to grow smaller every year too(don't they?).
If you need more Soft Machine records, this is a good deal. Moonjune deliver fast, and are pretty cheap (at least compared to Norwegian prices).

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hot Chip with Robert Wyatt and Geese

The new EP with Hot Chip and Robert Wyatt ("Hot Chip with Robert Wyatt and Geese") will be out 22 December. Today you may download "Made In The Dark", and 19 December you get "We're Looking For A lot Of Love". Fetch your gift here.
"Made In The Dark" has got some nice Wyatt vocals.

Curls for Christmas?

The hairdressers at KAPPER in Bergen are working overtime these days!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

BM and Tippett

Pitchfork reviews Barbara Morgenstern's latest album, where Robert Wyatt participates on the song "Camouflage". Pitchfork: "At times the personal becomes political, and on "Camouflage", a darkly romantic duet with Robert Wyatt that took form over mail correspondence, the singer offers a skeptical stance on spirituality. Over a spooky, piano-based backdrop, she intertwines her vocals with Wyatt's to argue, "Belief is just a camouflage for fear."

Repertoire will reissue Keith Tippet's "Dedicated to you..." 9 January 2009. It was first out on Vertigo in 1971, and there must be several CD issues already sold out or forgotten (Disconforme in 2000,Akarma and Repertoire in 2002, all according to Amazon). Robert Wyatt is on this album, and let's mention Elton Dean too. (Via "Your Way To Music").

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Dimitris Ioannou

I guess quite a lot of the readers of this blog have ordered records, and received them by mail. Well, check out the Greek contemporary artist and DJ Dimitris Ioannou. He is exhibiting boxes used for 12" vinyl transport! The exhibition opens today at Galleri Volt in Bergen , and is called "You got A good one! (The Bergen Mix)".

Monday, December 8, 2008

All Ears 2009, program ready

The All Ears 2009 program is ready. The festival is in Oslo 15-17 January.

Thursday 15 January
Maranata (Wesseltoft/Stiberg)
Lemur (Duch/Grenager/Habbestad/Tafjord)
Steve Berresford
The Ex Guitars (Terrie Ex/Andy Moor)

Friday 16 January
Harald Fetveit/Håvard Skaset/Børre Mølstad/John Hegre
Stine J. Motland
Michael Duch/Steve Beresford/Anita Kaasbøll
Borbetomagus (Sauter/Miller/Dietrich)

Saturday 17 January
Skull Defekts (Nordwall/Rylander)
Ingebrigt H.Flaten
John Hegre/Jean-Philippe Gross
Stian Westerhus
Pain Jerk (Kohei Gomi)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Low Frequency in Stereo

Norwegian The Low Frequency in Stereo has made three albums, and I guess it's post rock, even if I never really learned how to use that label properly.

"The Low Frequency in Stereo" (Rec 90, 2002)
"Travelling Ants Who Got Eaten By Moskus" (Rec 90, 2004)
"The Last Temptation Of...The Low Frequency in Stereo Vol. 1" (Rec 90, 2006)

The first album is an instrumental one, the second has a couple of vocal tracks (the fantastic "Man Don't Walk" being one of them), and then they get rocking on the third one with "Big City Lights", "21" and "Jimmy Legs". Great songs. Check out "Bahamas" too, at the end of the blog post.

These days the band members are: Per Steinar Lie: Bass, vocal, Ørjan Haaland: Drums, organ and vocal, Hanne Andersen: Organ, trumpet vocal and guitar, Njål Clementsen: Guitar, Linn Frøkedal: Organ, guitar, tamburins and vocal, and I'm a bit surprised that their next album "Futuro" is being released on Rune Grammofon (12 January 2009)! Kjetil Møster is guesting on that one. Listen to some of the tracks on MySpace.

The Bergen sea snake

Or it might be hundreds of our friends, the Common Eider (Somateria mollissima).

09 Festivals

We are starting to get some info on next year's Norwegian festivals.
Vossajazz (3-5 April) let Solveig Slettahjell make the commissioned work.
Nattjazz in bergen (20-30 May) will present Offonoff, Geri Allen Group and Eldbjørg Raknes.
Alwynne Pritchard presented parts of the Borealis program for 2009, but the program should be kept secret for some time yet. Since I was almost the only one, not represented in the inner circles, I'd better watch my writings. Open meetings and secrets these days! Festival theme: "George and the lion"!
But how about the program for the All Ears noise and impro festival in Oslo, the first festival of the year (15-18 January)? I'm still waiting for that one.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

It's cryin' time again

In "The Stranger" I found an article called "Start your sobbin'", on music that brings tears to our eyes. They list (among others) Pharaoh Sanders, Spiritualized, Low, Stevie Wonder, Massive Attack, Nick Drake, and they had room for Robert Wyatt too, with "Memories" by Hugh Hopper. On Wyatt's song: "... Robert Wyatt's version of Hugh Hopper's "Memories" distills the regret of reflection through his uniquely soulful, fluty pipes". You'll find a version of "Memories" here.
One day (when I'm really happy) I might make a list of sad songs. This year my favorite has been Kevin Ayer's "Baby come home" (from "Unfairground"), and other safe suggestions are folk music with thin whistles, heavy opera arias, and slow country songs. Richard Thompson is a great one for making me sad and Norwegian singer Solveig Slettahjell's version of John Hiatt's "Have a little faith" should be tested by everyone. Sob. More later, perhaps.
We just have to link to the obvious pre Christmas sob too.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Pixel 08, opening day

Piksel 08 began Thursday with exhibitions and live events all over the town. Being one who is above average afraid of working with electrickery, it was quite fun to watch data freaks as close as this. I attended exhibition openings at Lydgalleriet (The Sound Gallery) and Galleri Volt, and opening and live events at Scene USF. Not only were the opening speeches by festival boss Gisle Frøysland and Henning Warloe (commisioner for cultural affairs in Bergen), but Austria's new ambassador in Norway also had his say!
The pictures show (top to bottom):
The Loud Objects (Lydgalleriet)
Gijs Gieskes (Galleri Volt)
Iohannes Zmölnigs "Do sinusoids dream of electric sweeps?"(USF)
Avatar Orchestra Metaverse with people working Second Life.
More pictures here.

The Guardian podcast

Check out The Guardian's Podcast , where Rosie Swash visists Robert Wyatt.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Piksel 08 Code Dreams

It's festival time again in Bergen. 4 - 7 December we get Piksel 08, a festival for "free and open source software, hardware and art". There will be exhibitions at Lydgalleriet, 3,14, Volt and Studio USF, and live events with (among others) Avatar Orchestra Metaverse, performing in Second Life.
More on this festival later I hope.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The west coast of Norway by bus

Yesterday i went by bus from Molde to Bergen. I took some pictures through the window, so join me in my Flickr set, even if the horizon might not be horizontal all the time.

Money Will Ruin Everything 2

I hope you haven't sent your wish lists to granny and Santa. A new version of "Money Will Ruin Everything" from Rune Grammofon is out 8 December. New interviews, new Hiorthøy art works and a new double CD with exclusive tracks:

Humcrush Mono Hum
Skyphone Cloudpanic
Huntsville Will Goes Hunting
Scorch Trio Hys
Ultralyd Conditions For A Piece Of Music II
Archetti / Wiget Stück 26
Opsvik & Jennings Leaves And Smoke
Phonophani The Atlantic
Food / Nils Petter Molvær Tukpa
Deathprod A Dream For Ted Greene
Susanna Goodbye
In The Country Ashes To Ashes

Susanna And The Magical Orchestra When I Am Laid
Arve Henriksen No Horizon
Nils Økland Passacaglia
Eivind Opsvik Overseas Neil
Shining 21st Century Schizoid Man
Jono El Grande Eva´s Horse Dance
The Story Of Modern Farming Christ
Maja Ratkje Die Ballade Vom Ertrunkenen Mädchen
Supersilent C – 6.1
Box Untitled 6
Svalastog Timberwork
Alog / Spunk Picnic Avec
Jessica Daniel

More or less Wyatt related

- Phil Manzanera in Drowned in Sound.
- Simon Raymonde on Rough Trade in Drowned in Sound.
- Hot Press on the Domino reissues. This on Wyatt's music: "The effect is like an Anglocentric Brian Wilson weaned on Gil Evans rather than California pop".

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Dedicated to Hugh

There will be two benefit concerts for Hugh Hopper. 12 December it's happening in The Oyster Building, Whitstable, with among others Happy Accidents, Annie Whitehead and Lol Coxhill, while Soft Machine Legacy, In Cahoots, Delta Saxophone Quartet (and others) will play the 100 Club 14 December.

Monday, December 1, 2008