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BROKENRESEARCH
            Vynil         CD

Brokenresearch – Exploring the voids of all known undergrounds since 2002
Hans Buetow and Ben Hall, the cellist and the drummer from Graveyards and Melee, are also the proprietors of the Broken Research label, and they just sent a couple of superb LPs that are very much in keeping with their personal avant garde tradition. Jeff Arnal & Dietrich Eichmann’s Live in Hamburg is a great duo performance for Brooklyn percussionist Arnal (maybe best known for work with Charles Gayle) and pianist Eichmann (a von Schlippenbach student who reportedly focused more on composition until recently). The session is super-active and outward reaching without ever slowing down very much. Very righteous playing, and these guys communicate at a pretty high level.
An eponymous Paul Lytton/Nate Wooley LP finds Melee’s young trumpeter and the veteran percussionist locked in a kind of bone-scraping mortal combat that gets into some ingenious free music situations, where instrumentation is anyone’s guess and the mode is pure attack. There is also a pair of conceptually twinned LPs, Bare Those Excellent Teeth Pt. 1 & 2, by Graveyards and Melee, respectively. The Graveyards’ disk is savagely restrained for them, almost hermetic. It shows a bit more overtly than usual how the music of Hall and Buetow (who, along with John Olson, comprise Graveyards), is rooted in the Bennington composition mode. There’s a real feel of that here—subtle woodwinds, stretched tonal bass, light drum clatter and all. The Melee session is similar. And nice as hell. Graveyards also have a solid, untitled set of tunes on a new 8" lathe-cut from the chaps at Alt.Vinyl (Northern England’s best store/label). It’s a fuggin’ reflective masterwork as well, and scheduled to be part of a series that should rip serious sac. Gonna file these all in the jazz annex, which is a testament to something.

BULL TONGUE By Byron Cole and Thurston Moore

Vynil


Bill Dixon / Aaron Siegel / Ben Hall: Weight / Counterweight
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Bill Dixon – trumpet
Aaron Siegel – percussion
Ben Hall - percussion

brokenresearch heavy vinyl double LP – limited edition of 500 copies in pro-printed sleeves

item no.: brlp041
retail price: € 38,00


Though most dumb jazz fans might be completely unaware, the cabal of musicians associated with Michigan’s Brokenresearch label – John Olson, Ben Hall, Aaron Siegel, Hans Buetow, Chris Riggs, Nate Wooley – have done more to advance the language of free jazz over the past five years than any of the more lauded players of their generation. Despite their background having more to do with The New Blockaders then the New Thing, they have re-worked jazz from the inside out, focussing on actual playing, on subtlety as much as scorch. Indeed, Graveyards have minted a form of group playing that draws as much from 20th century classical traditions, new minimalism and the aesthetics of drone as much as fire music. And along the way they’ve attracted some of the more open-minded and still-adventurous first generation free jazz thinkers to their cause. When Anthony Braxton hooked up with Wolf Eyes at Victoriaville it felt like a major meeting of minds and a two-way legitimisation. This new double LP set, presented in stunning deluxe style with a glossy gatefold sleeve that’s as heavy and high-class as anything from the Shadoks label and 180g vinyl, feels just as seismic in its repercussions, uniting two generations of outward bound sound. No one sounds like Dixon on the trumpet and his subtle use of delay and the way that the arc of his lines seems to imply an orchestral architecture that supports the weight of his ideas is absolutely unique. There’s a sense of muted drama to the interactions, an implication of endless space. But percussionist Hall (who plays in Graveyards with John Olson) and Siegel are equally architectural in their playing. Hall is particularly revelatory here. Having studied under Dixon he understands just how time-focussed or time-specific Dixon’s conceptions are, not in terms of rhythm, but in terms of how they unfold in a way that almost feels like a slow camera pan out from specifics – tones, timbres, melodies – in order to capture the overall arc of the piece. Hall’s drums are tonal, deep, reverberant, at points sounding almost like timpani, like muffled thunder, the perfect partner to Dixon’s smeared trumpet sound. And Siegel positions himself as some kind of conduit between the two, a conductor of low earth tones and higher, almost vocal-based inflections. There’s a sense of drama to the playing, a sense of thought reified in sound, that is uniquely thrilling. I can’t think of another group that can so consistently maintain such a high-wire state without ever breaking and falling back into rote phrases or mere energy playing. A milestone free jazz record, a key recording in all of the players’ back catalogues and a classic private press side. Highly recommended.

David Keenan / Volcanic Tongue

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Graveyards: Screwed + Chopped
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Chris Riggs – electric guitar
John Olson – tapes, electronics, reeds
Hans Buetow – cello
Ben Hall – percussion, tapes, electronics

brokenresearch heavy vinyl LP – edition of 200 in hand-made, numbered, fibre-board covers, two-colour printed silver and black

item no.: brlp034
retail price: € 20,00

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There are still so many people steady trippin’ off the Futurists and trying to make it faster and louder but it does that on it’s own. When Screw decided to upend the idea of time and how one can listen to time, shit slowed everything down and it made sense. Houston, the sprawl, the heat, the poverty. Detroit, the sprawl, the cold, the poverty. There is a kinship and affection between the ¼ speed, slo-mo, basement jazz and Houston’s favorite codeine addict. This recording was made with tapes, test presses, outtakes, all played in real time against Graveboyz own post-cubist approach to Screw mixing us from, where else? The graveyard. Chopped up not slopped up. Chris Riggs adds his destroyed strings to the mix.

brokenresearch

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Mêlée + Joe Morris: Cloud Atlas Quartet
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Joe Morris – electric guitar
Nate Wooley – trumpet
Hans Buetow – cello
Ben Hall - percussion

brokenresearch heavy vinyl LP – limited edition of 200 hand-numbered copies in pro-printed sleeves

item no.: brlp031
retail price: € 20,00

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Mêlée by default has become a terrain with which other musicians engage. At this point the trio has played with Greg Kelley on several occasions, John Dierker, Mike Khoury, and Aaron Siegel amongst others. To have Joe Morris come and push the mountains around a little is both exciting and terrifying. He’s a premier guitarist, technician, improviser, professor and fire-starter. If ya ck his recent Wire Invisible Jukebox you can get a handle on the kind of absolutely practical intellectual approach he deals with. If ya listen to his absolutely fucking bananas 4CD duet set with Braxton you realize just how adventurous, skilled, strong and fearless he is as a musician, composer and improviser. Having the mug jump in and want to do a session like this is a beyond exciting and brings the kind of not-weak-as-pre-spinach-Popeye improvisation to a label that was started in part to continue the kind of music making that Joe Morris is fundamental to and has been fundamental in proposing.

brokenresearch

Mêlée is avant-garde jazz like you've rarely heard it. Released on percussionist Ben Hall's Brokenresearch label, the trio further consists of Hans Buelow on bass and Nate Wooley on trumpet, here joined for the occasion by Joe Morris on guitar. You could call this noise jazz, because there are no discernible patterns and all four musicians play simultaneously almost the whole time, plus there are no moments of pause or relief of tension: you get sound intensity from the very first second till the end of the second side of the LP. Yet it is not noise. I get a lot of CDs by young and upcoming bands who think they have to shock their audience and get attention by going beyond what is bearable, by exaggerating what already exists rather than setting new boundaries, but not so with this band. Despite the unrelenting tension and the permanent sparkling, crackling and bouncing interaction between the four instruments, it has something of a raw attractiveness that is hard to fathom. They don't play to please, but they don't play to shock either. Like with clouds, there are no anchor points, no foothold, no reference: sounds come and go, move and slide one into the other, evaporate, arise somewhere else, moving the whole thing forward with no direction, yet it all is one whole, there is some sort of internal cohesion that sets it apart. There are moments of intimacy, of direct emotional delivery, and moments of stress and distress, of darkness, signs of an upcoming storm. That doesn't come. Only the tension before it. There is no real power either. And no sweetness. It gets you out of your comfort zone. Yet you want to hear it again, and again, and again. And that's usually the only yardstick that counts. A new musical experience.

freejazz-stef.blogspot.com

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Paul Lytton / Nate Wooley
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Nate Wooley – trumpet
Paul Lytton – percussion, electronics

recorded by Bojan Vuletic in Cologne 2007

brokenresearch heavy vinyl LP – limited edition of 200 hand-numbered copies in pro-printed sleeves

item no.: brlp028
retail price: € 20,00

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Mêlée trumpeter Nate Wooley and 30yr Evan Parker trio drummer Paul Lytton match up for this cross-generational slugfest. Wooley is in full pan-compositional, poly-formal, post-structuralist trumpet acrobatic mode with no visible safety net and really why would he need one? For his part Lytton shows why, along with John Stevens and Tony Oxley, he is one of the three cornerstones of English improvised percussion. Using a rig that focuses on small percussion and electronics, that he was one of the first improvising drummers to develop, Lytton shows a balletic sense of physicality and timbre that acts as foil and foe to Wooley's post-Dixon excoriations of trumpet idiom.

brokenresearch

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Graveyards and Dead Machines: Machineyard in Soundworld

 


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John Olson
Tovah D-Day
Ben Hall

brokenresearch 1-side LP – limited edition of 200 in hand-made, numbered, fibre-board covers, two-colour printed silver and black

item no.: brlp025
retail price: € 17,50

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Olson pulls 2xduty on this low-level lurk meltdown. The dream time goes 2 vs. 2 for a 1/8 speed that sounds. Like contact mic'd drifts of glaciers that make reverb seem like a concept developed by inuits this sound moves slower than slow and spotlight the intricacies of interaction afforded only between people have that particular Michigan approach. Tovah D-Day is in particularly rare form on this one processing everyone in the group and serving as the Lee Perry on this one.

brokenresearch

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Traum: Slab
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Ben Hall – drums
Zac Davis – electric guitar

brokenresearch 1-side LP – limited edition of 200 in hand-made, numbered, fibre-board covers, two-colour printed silver and black

item no.: brlp024
retail price: € 17,50

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Zac Davis who has had his Michigan rights revoked for theft finds himself on the very last brokenresearch release to ever have his sorry ass name associated with said label. Heads up with percussion hater Hell Hall this is some Billy Cobham vs. Coryell under dirt filled microscope for the mass of listeners who post up as both noise and fusion fans. A one sider with brutal force, this is an excellent companion to "Built for Nothing" and really that is the most fitting title for a group that had action for about ten minutes until our guitarist decided that friends are for using. No description like this has ever been posted to the HnAm board but very few have been more honest about what they were peddling-- a document of two people who used to be cool and now...

brokenresearch

 

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Jeff Arnal / Dietrich Eichmann: Live in Hamburg

 


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Jeff Arnal – percussion
Dietrich Eichmann – piano

recorded at Christianskirche Hamburg, Germany, at the Phenomorphonic Festival on November 19, 2004

brokenresearch heavy vinyl LP – limited edition of 200 hand-numbered copies in pro-printed sleeves

item no.: brlp017
retail price: € 20,00

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Violent uses of architectural space and the dream time acoustic – industrial sound from the duo of Berlin-based composer/pianist Eichmann and fantastically inventive and robust Brooklyn drummer Arnal. Sound as lassoed, tied and corralled by two absolutely precise musicians using a beautifully mechanistic pattern of improvisation. Mechanistic as complimentary and logical - eschewing the randomness typically associated with improvisation.

brokenresearch

The object of this review is a 35-minute LP released in 2007 in a limited edition of 200 copies. It comes from a concert held by Eichmann (piano) and Arnal (percussion) in November 2004 at Hamburg's Christianskirche, in the occasion of the Phenomorphonic Festival. The contents were totally improvised, even if they do possess all the qualities of a series of compositions, or maybe a single one divided in several movements. Scrutinizing the whole I couldn't manage to find a moment of "violence" throughout the performance; everything remains dynamically confined in areas where obscurity and ebullience seem to be the keyword for the musicians' approach to the context. Ever since the beginning, Eichmann stays for long spots in the lower region of the piano keyboard, basically offering a percussive contribution to the percussionist himself. The personalities - with their reciprocal relationships - start to come out more clearly as the time flows, when the two different instrumental voices begin showing unique characteristics in slightly changing settings. The rare solo spots don't modify the general sense of restraint that the music offers, and which is the reason at the basis of the good results obtained by the pair. Improvisational segments that sound quite introvert, circumspect in a way, certainly well planned, as absurd as this concept might appear. A release that, for want of a better description, "swims underwater" to gain our approval, successfully.

Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes

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Mêlée: Bare Those Excellent Teeth, vol.2
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Nate Wooley – trumpet
Hans Buetow – cello
Ben Hall – percussion, timpani

brokenresearch heavy vinyl LP – limited edition of 200 hand-numbered copies , white vinyl packaged in coloured sleeves with screened sandpaper artwork

item no.: brlp018
retail price: 20,00

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The second volume of compositions and improvisations with Hall's focus on tympani and the groups focus on the anatomies of classical experimentation as imagined by Evan Parker and Air. Elliptical rather than definition by repetition each piece brings the earlier Graveyards essay to bear and extends the formal language away from cemented landscapes and into oceanic topographies. Very slow and round.
brokenresearch
Second instalment of this series in a limited run of only 200 white vinyl LPs on the Graveyards label, packaged in coloured sleeves with screened sandpaper artwork. Trio moves from trumpeter Nate Wooley, cellist Hans Buetow and drummer Ben Hall. Long stretches of aircraft hangar silence are plotted with vapour trails of trumpet that seem to imply the presence of an entire orchestra, while Buetow and Hall combine endless Mobius rhythms and woozy forests of scuttering drone. There's an elegant feel to the proceedings that is not often apparent in contemporary energy music, coupled with an interrogating use of the subtle invasion of silence and a love of the expressive weight of applied counter-textural gravity that is head-spinning to say the least. Another side that could only have been birthed in these guys' intensely personal universe. Recommended.

volcanic tongue

 

The second in the series of compositions from the Graveboys dis-rhythm section of Hell and Bunny this time with Nate Wooley doing the duty on trumpet while Olson maintains his Wolf-obligations. Perhaps darker and more trance-inducing than the first "Bare" it sounds very much like chamber music played by stamping machines which aint exactly a bad thing.

fusetronsound

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CD
Traum: Cinder Blocks
NEWLY AVAILABLE!
 

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Chris Riggs – electric guitar
Hans Buetow – cello
Ben Hall – drums

brokenresearch CD-R – limited edition of 100 hand-numbered copies in art sleeves with printed sandpaper

item no.: brcd033
retail price: € 15,40

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After getting rid of that thieving fuck, Traum reformats as more of a trio approach this go-round with Chris Riggs absolutely destroying the guitar chair. And what a damaged overall approach it is. The formal constraints bring something out that tends towards some of the most unknown improvised noise proposals so see light in Michigan. Riggs is a brutal technician and there's not a guitar note to be heard and the chords--if you can call'em that---- sound like machines self-inflicting tonal punches. Riggs and Bunny move through all the material with a push/pull controlled passive aggressiveness that makes it impossible again and again to figure out who's doin' what.
Cd-r in art sleeve with printed sandpaper

brokenresearch

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Hell and Bunny with Greg Kelley: Burn It Down For The Nails
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Greg Kelley – Trompete
Hans Buetow – Cello
Ben Hall – Schlagzeug

brokenresearch CD-R – limited edition of 100 hand-numbered copies in art sleeves with printed sandpaper

item no.: brcd032
retail price: € 15,40

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After a garish trio-supposed to be a Melee plus Kelley---date in Western Mass it was only a matter time before this trio got together to do the scrape and crunch. It's interesting to see how Kelley approaches the 1/4 speed lurch. In comparison with Olson and Wooley it's a bit more fireworks oriented but there are plenty of glacial exhalation, abrasions and slow wallops to extend the gravenights vocab. Also where Wooley and Olson are fully complicit Kelley is a bit more argumentative--in the best way possible--in doling out his own formal demolitions that end up with almost downtown moments of cross-pollination and genre car crashes.
Cd-r in art sleeve with printed sandpaper

brokenresearch

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Traum: Raw Sense of Humor
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Zac Davis – guitar
Hans Buetow – cello
Ben Hall – percussion

brokenresearch CD-R – limited edition of 100 hand-numbered copies in art sleeves with printed sandpaper

item no.: brcd027
retail price: 15,40

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Brutal fusion/psych rethinks of Dejohnette, Rypdal, Holland [on 'cello this 'go round] conducted thru loft-era 70's free jazz. The Blue Humans are the elephants in the room but its more like Blue Humans as interpreted by Bailey, Oxley and Reijseger. Zac Davis [guitar-Lambsbread], Ben Hall [percussion-Graveyards] and Bunny Buetow ['cello-Graveyards] meet on the gray Midwest plains that AMM apparently couldn't mapquest. It's hard to imagine that this is the product of a Graves/Bread mash but then it makes a certain sense as it allows for the leftovers and detritus that go unused in the other settings. The drums sound like constantly falling objects and shattering glass and the strings combine for a wired meltdown of electronic and acoustic inference and interference.

brokenresearch

 

New group that features Zac Davis from Lambsbread on guitar alongside the Graveyards rhythm section of Ben Hall on drums and Hans Buetow on cello. The sound is the kind of freedom scrabble that makes you think of DNA playing splintered chamber music moves with the kinda string muscle that might well have been flexed had Neil Hagerty and Derek Bailey been coerced into 'interpreting' the early planet-bombing style of Iancu Dumitrescu's string bombards while memories of Keiji Haino's meeting with Joey Baron and Greg Cohen were still doofing around their skulls. A good scenario, for sure. Numbered edition of 100 copies in screened sandpaper covers with art paper sleeves.

volcanic tongue

 


 

Emeralds: Queen of Burbank, vol.2
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Cleveland drone band Emeralds

brokenresearch CD-R – limited edition of 100 hand-numbered copies in art sleeves with printed sandpaper

item no.: brcd026
retail price: 15,40

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Waves and waves of tranquility from Cleveland's best drone outfit. If this was a 70's synth record you would very happily dangle the only locally known copy of it in front of yr crew and admonish them for not being dedicated as you to find such an important piece of the sound puzzle. Truly startling in its beauty, Emeralds have found a small hitherto unknown patch of tone concept to call their own. Synth, guitar and electronics form melting phrases and conductions for a certain sort of pealing transference that rarely comes along without a bunch of ego and over-conceptualization.
brokenresearch
You've either got it or you don't and on the evidence of the past couple of releases these Ohio-based punk primitives simply 'do' in a way that transcends a thousand tedious nth generation vox/loops/drone/noise post-Skaters fan boys. This is the kind of drone music that feels extremely personal, handled with all of the clumsy grace of a bunch of unself-conscious heads creating soundtracks for their own personal vision of eternity. And there are some beautiful vistas. The set starts with a loop of satellite guitar notes before snowballing into a fuzz of vocal snippets, foresting drone and dancing microtonal snowstorms until the whole thing has tractored into an endless monolithic throb that devours every schlup, scrape and wooze to come out of the group's trap. Another great one. Edition of 100 numbered copies in screened sandpaper covers on art paper sleeves.
volcanic tongue

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KillDevilHills: The Loneliest Corner in Michigan

 

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Sick Llama – drones, electronics
Coccyx – soprano saxophone
Ben Hall – percussion, electronics

brokenresearch CD-R – limited edition of 100 hand-numbered copies in art sleeves with printed sandpaper

item no.: brcd023
retail price: 15,40

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Heath Moerland/Sick Llama in full reed/electronics standoff mode with Ex-Graveyards troupe Coccyx on soprano and tapes and Ben Hall on percussion and electronics in absolute persecution of standard "noise" procedures - a bit like the Rust Belt itself waking from the rawest of hibernations and realizing it would rather go back to sleep. Avavlanches of frequency sweeps from electronics and reeds and ritiualistic bell tower collisions that morph into a perfect description of cold and bleak aural malaise. Very much the sound of frozen and filthy snow.
brokenresearch

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Ex-Graveyards: Mourning Light

 

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Coccyx – saxophones, bass clarinet, tapes
John Olson – saxophones, electronics
Hans Buetow – cello

brokenresearch CD-R – limited edition of 100 hand-numbered copies in art sleeves with printed sandpaper

item no.: brcd022
retail price: € 15,40

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New line up with former '98-'99 Graveboy Coccyx returning to the fold on reeds and tapes. Double saxophone approach frees Olson to do some heavy lifting with a fuller electronics advance than has been previosly present in the Graveyards catalog. Pursposefully longer pieces that allow for the most subtle of silences to develop and then implode. Where the rest of the catalog typifies and frozen and desolate topography - with the peaks and extremities occuring in severely cold and hot locales this recording seems profoundly closer to warm and flowing waters rather than earth.
brokenresearch
New album from an expanded Graveyards line-up that sees John Olson (Wolf Eyes) on reeds and electronics, Hans Buetow on cello and Ben Hall on drums re-joined by original Graveyards collaborator Coccyx on reeds and electronics. High Twilight Zone feel to much of the interaction here, with liminal humps of bass clarinet breaking surface through a fog of drifting electronics. Some of the reed playing is so specifically nuanced that they could almost be English, with a weird netherworld/Canterbury feel that is extremely gorgeous. Of course the electronics nudge it into a whole other world but if you can imagine the Bananamoon/Daevid Allen mothership touching down right next to MEV's Spacecraft and Soundpool sides then you'll have found the perfect gap in which to file it. So slot it the fuck in and feel real, real good about the state of your collection. Numbered edition of 100 copies in screened sandpaper sleeves on art paper. Highly recommended.
volcanic tongue

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Mêlée with Aaron Siegel

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Aaron Siegel – trumpet
Hans Buetow – cello
Ben Hall – percussion

 

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brokenresearch CD-R – limited edition of 100 hand-numbered copies in art sleeves with printed translucent paper

item no: brcd019
retail price: € 15,40

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Aspects of minimalists like Terry Riley and Maryanne Amacher animate some of the more extended sections alongside the kind of fast-scrabbly style of Company, Malcolm Goldstein etc and some dark, static almost Bill Dixon-esque desolate space.

David Keenan, Volcanic Tongue

 

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John Hughes / Alberto Braida: MOBILE

 

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John Hughes - bass
Alberto Braida - piano

recorded at Accademia di Musica F.Gaffurio, Lodi, Italy, October 10, 2004

brokenresearch CD – limited edition of 500 hand-numbered copies in art sleeves

item no.: brcd013
retail price: € 13,90

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These duo recordings of John Hughes and Alberto Braida will certainly stand as a landmark in both musicians’ discography.
There is much writing about “new” and “original” languages when it comes to improvised music. But in this dialogue an exclusive pace occurs, a form of musical motion deeply rooted in many years of experience and mastership of both musicians, through fresh, vigorous, young shoots now flowering to amazingly beautiful creations.
Alberto Braida’s many years of most sparing use of the piano now enable him, from a perspective nourished through the experience of silence, to dive into overflowing, delirious sonorities without ever getting caught in idiomatics.
A master of most complex timbres on the double bass, John Hughes’ energetic play in this partnership shimmers in iridescent shades, his chord glissandoes make every sigh sound like a twinkle in some knowing one’s eye, the richness of his bowing and pizzicato techniques no schoolbook can describe.
Every sound is in the right place.
A precious jewel for the real connoisseur of improvised music!
Dietrich Eichmann

Precise documentation of a ruminative series of duets for piano and acoustic bass from Hamburg-based bassist John Hughes and pianist Alberto Braida, who was part of the late Peter Kowald's last recorded trio. Braida is an inventive player who channels earlier modes like swing and ragtime into constructs that ebb and gush with a rigorous though never too angular or overbearingly brainy - logic and are executed with a feel for subtle nuance and the more sublime mathematics of melody. Hughes moves between running huge steel poles right through the heart of Braida's inventions and carving beautiful coronas around the variously implied arcs. Something else from brokenresearch and a something that sits fine with their defiantly individual free aesthetic.
David Keenan, Volcanic Tongue

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