Thursday, November 7, 2019

TORU TAKEMITSU – [武満徹の作業] Works Of Toru Takemitsu - 4 (LP-1966)




Label: Victor ‎– VX-23
Series: Contemporary Music Of Japan – 4
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: Japan / Released: 1966
Style: Contemporary, Classical, Free Improvisation
Manufactured By – Victor Musical Industries, Inc.
Stereo-Orthophonic High Fidelity.  His Master's Voice.
Design – Kohei Sugiura
Photography By – Kiyoshi Otsuji
Engineer [Recording] – Takashi Watanabe
Producer – Jun Taki
Liner Notes – Kuniharu Akiyama
Translated By – George Saitô
Matrix / Runout (Side A runout, stamped): VX-23 – A / VLY 1063 122+ I OA GF
Matrix / Runout (Side B runout, stamped): VX-23 – B / VL Y 1064 152+

side 1:
A1 - Piano Distance ................................................................................................... 4:38
A2 - Pause Uninterrupted .......................................................................................... 7:50
        piano – Yuji Takahashi
A3 - Le Son Calligraphie No.1 for 8 strings ................................................................ 3:23
A4 - Le Son Calligraphie No.3 for 8 strings ................................................................ 2:37
        conductor – Hiroshi Wakasugi
        cello – Akiyoshi Kudo, Tadao Takahashi
        viola – Aya Tanaka, Junko Edo
        violin – Kenji Kobayashi, Mari Hirao, Miyuki Togawa, Namiko Umezu

side 2:
B - Eclipse For Shakuhachi And Biwa ...................................................................... 16:00
      biwa – Kinshi Tsuruta
      shakuhachi – Katsuya Yokoyama

ComposerToru Takemitsu

Takemitsu's compositional journey is fascinating because his relationship with western music and his native musical traditions shows just how limiting are the categories of east and west when it comes to thinking about music's development in the 20th century.


Takemitsu's enthusiasm saw him investigate electro-acoustic music in his early 20s (this was roughly the same time that Pierre Schaeffer was doing a similar thing in Paris), which led him to compose music in an explicitly modernist idiom. He was crazy about the Viennese School composers at the time. An encounter with Stravinsky, who had heard his 1957 Requiem for Strings and taken the young composer out to lunch because he admired the piece so much, was one catalyst for his musical life.
Another of Takemitsu's influences was the music of John Cage in the early 60s. Takemitsu began to explore aspects of indeterminacy in his work (the improvised sections of From Me Flows What You Call Time, for example, are down to this approach – even if Takemitsu's controlled aleatoricism has more in common with Witold Lutosławski than Cage). But it was also thanks to Cage's Zen-inspired ideas about music and the world, Takemitsu explained, that "I came to recognise the value of my own tradition".
The other seismic moment for Takemitsu was seeing a performance of Bunraku puppet theatre and, a couple of decades after the war, opening his heart at last to the beauty of his homeland's musical traditions. "I got a shock … I suddenly recognised I was Japanese."
From the 60s on, Takemitsu's musical project would be to combine elements of Japanese music with the western modernism he loved so much. The blend is apparent in pieces such as November Steps, composed for biwa (the Japanese lute he studied intensively), shakuhachi and orchestra. The effect is more profound than a fuzzy fusion of styles; Takemitsu uses the timbre and texture of the two Japanese instruments to make the whole orchestra breathe and glow with gossamer lightness, something he continues in a later work for the same instruments called Autumn.




But the real substance of Takemitsu's Japanese heritage can't be reduced to an instrument, a colour or even a harmony. There's something more fundamental about his understanding of music; something that informs his work whether he's writing for solo piano, a film score for Akira Kurosawa (he wrote music for more than 100 movies), a string quartet or a concerto. It's something expressed by the Japanese word "ma", which suggests the concept of a void that isn't empty, an absence that is really a presence, a space between things that is full of energy. It's a principle that underpins Japanese gardens, with which Takemitsu often compared his music. "My music is like a garden, and I am the gardener. Listening to my music can be compared with walking through a garden and experiencing the changes in light, pattern and texture." And yet it's also a way of thinking that is by no means exclusive to Takemitsu in contemporary music; it suggests the same circular, non-hierarchical sense of structure and time that composers from Anton Webern to Pierre Boulez, György Ligeti to Steve Reich have explored.
The idea of a meaningful void is worth keeping in mind when you're listening to music Takemitsu wrote in the last two decades of his life. His pieces are rarely long (From Me Flows What You Call Time is among the longest, at around half an hour), they are seldom fast and rarely overtly demonstrative – but they do weird things with time. Listen to his piano concerto, Riverrun (the title comes from Finnegan's Wake), or Quatrain (scored for clarinet, cello, violin, piano and orchestra) or his violin concerto Far Calls. Coming, Far! (another Joyce-inspired title), to experience what I mean. There's a lot to get to grips with in his output: as well as the catalogue of concert pieces, there are those film scores (start with Kurosawa's Ran), as well as music for radio, theatre and television.


Very subtle and specific music by the great Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu.



If you find it, buy this album!

TOKK-ENSEMBLE TOKYO – Music For Living Process... (V–SJX-7539 / LP-1976)




Label: Victor – SJX-7539
Format: Vinyl , LP, Album / Country: Japan / Released: 1976
Style: Contemporary, Free Improvisation
Recorded at Victor Studio, October 27, 28 & 29, 1975, Tokyo, Japan.
Design – Kazuhiko Muranaka
Engineer [Recording] – Takashi Watanabe
Recording Supervisor [Recording Director] – Toru Yamazaki
Liner Notes – Yoshiro Irino
Matrix / Runout (Side A runout, stamped): SJX 7539-A - 111+ E 1
Matrix / Runout (Side B runout, stamped): SJX 7539-B - 111+

side 1:
A1 - Toshi IchiyanagiMusic For Living Process ................................................... 13:30
         Harp – Ayako Shinozaki
         Percussion – Yasunori Yamaguchi
         Piano, Composed By – Toshi Ichiyanagi
         Shakuhachi – Katsuya Yokoyama
         Violin [Electric] – Takehisa Kosugi
A2 - Yoshiro IrinoStrömung ................................................................................. 11:10
         Composed By – Yoshiro Irino
         Flute – Hiroshi Koizumi
         Harp – Ayako Shinozaki
         Percussion – Yasunori Yamaguchi

side 2:
B1 - Maki Ishii  Nucleus .......................................................................................... 12:53
         Biwa – Kinshi Tsuruta
         Composed By – Maki Ishii
         Flute – Hiroshi Koizumi
         Harp – Ayako Shinozaki
         Shakuhachi – Katsuya Yokoyama
B2 - Toru TakemitsuMunari By Munari – Corona For Pianist .............................. 12:95
         Composed By – Toru Takemitsu
         Percussion – Yasunori Yamaguchi
         Piano, Celesta,
         Harpsichord [Cembalo] – Toshi Ichiyanagi

Track B2: The two compositions "Munari by Munari" and "Corona For Pianist" are performed simultaneously.On the release this is indicated by printing the titles one below the other, connected by squared brackets.


Massive and mythic album featuring: Toshi Ichiyanagi, Yoshiro Irino, Maki Ishii, Toru Takemitsu, among some more big names Takehisa Kosugi,  Yasunori Yamaguchi, Ayako Shinozaki, Katsuya Yokoyama, Hiroshi Koizumi, better known as TOKK-Ensemble Tokyo.
Not only there are famous names but compositions are great classics and these versions are quite unknown.



Four Japanese avant-garde composers' work is presented, a side each, on this edition Victor– SJX-7539 LP. Beautifully produced, this label specializes in high standard productions, with a striking design that is as modern and oblique as the music they present. On album "Music for Living Process..." all four composers present pieces that reflect a prominent influence of John Cage, which can be accredited to the fact that Ichiagi was a premier interpreter of Cage's music. The experimental work for violin and biwa incorporates elements of chance and improvisation; traditional Japanese modes working in conjunction with distinctly European techniques make for an elating display of premium music...

We move on (very carefully) with important Japanese rarities.
Listen to this incredible album.



If you find it, buy this album!

UEMATSU, TAKAO QUARTET/QUINTET – Debut (Three Blind Mice ‎– 3 / LP-1970)




Label: Three Blind Mice ‎– TBM-3
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: Japan / Released: 1970
Style: Post Bop, Contemporary Jazz
Recorded 19 Nov. 1970 at Nippon Hoso (1st Studio), Tokyo, Japan.
Art Direction – Ben Nishizawa
Engineer [Recording Engineer] – Yoshihiko Kannari
Producer – Takeshi Fujii
Matrix / Runout: (Side 1 Runout Stamped): a 949 T
Matrix / Runout: (Side 2 Runout Stamped): a 950

side 1:
A1 - Inside Parts  (T. Uematsu) ................................................................................ 11:09
A2 - Stella By Starlight  (V. Young) ............................................................................ 9:31

side 2:
B1 - T.I.  (Y. Suzuki) ................................................................................................... 8:46
B2 - Sleep, My Love  (Y. Suzuki) ............................................................................... 7:48

Personnel:
Takao Uematsu – tenor saxophone
Sadayasu Fujii – electric piano [fender piano]
Yoshio Suzuki – bass
George Otsuka – drums, percussion
Takashi Imai – trombone (B1, B2)

This is where it all started... The legendary independent jazz label Three Blind Mice was established in 1970, with a clear mission of introducing true talents without consideration for commercialism...


A great debut from Japanese tenorist Takao Uematsu – a player who blows here with a wonderful sense of tone right from the start – almost an inherent sense of spiritualism that he still manages bring to tunes with a straight ahead swing! The approach is a bit like Archie Shepp in that cool stretch when he was stepping away from the outside – and Uematsu's clearly a player who knows the far reaches, but often just hints at them in his music – while moving through these long-blown lines spurred on by a really wonderful group! The combo features excellent Fender Rhodes from Sadayasu Fujii – who stretches out on the long tracks on the set – plus trombone from Takashi Imai, bass from Yoshio Suzuki, and drums from George Otsuka. Titles include "TI", "Sleep My Love", "Stella By Starlight", and "Inside Parts".    (Dusty Groove, Inc.)





It has stood the test of time, and even today, sounds fresh, exciting and just plain brilliant.



If you find it, buy this album!

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

KOSUKE ICHIHARA [市 原 宏 祐] – Departure / Introducing Kosuke Ichihara (CBS/Sony - SONP 50296-L / LP-1971)




Label: CBS / Sony - SONP 50296-L
Series: SX68Sound -, Sound Adventure Series -
Format: Vinyl , LP, Album / Country: Japan / Released: 1971
Style: Avant-garde, Modal, Free Improvisation
Recorded at CBS/Sony Studio, Roppongi, Tokyo on October 10-13, 1970.
Design [Cover] - Mitsuru Yamada
Photography By - Hozumi Nakadaira
Engineer [Recording] - Mitsukazu Tanaka , Ryusuke Sase
Producer - Koji Amenomori
Supervised By - Shoichi Yui
Directed By - Shinichi Hashimoto
Gatefold sleeve with insert.
Title given in katakana as "デパーチャー/イントロデューシング"
Matrix / Runout (Runout, Etching, Side A): 50296-A1 IA3
Matrix / Runout (Runout, Etching, Side B): 50296-B1 IA3

side 1:
A1 - Nothing On Either Side ..................................................................................... 11:24
A2 - Flow, As They Flow ............................................................................................ 6:14

side 2:
B1 - The Lupus ......................................................................................................... 11:35
B2 - Elegy ................................................................................................................. 11:22

Music and Arranged By – Masahiko Sato

Personnel:
Kosuke Ichihara – tenor saxophone, sopranino saxophone, flute
Masahiko Sato – fender piano
Masaoki Terakawa – bass
George Otsuka – drums, percussion
Hiroki Tamaki / Seiichiro Yamamoto – violin
Osamu Suzuki – viola
Toshibumi Waki – cello

This is the first work as a leader by Love Live Life leader and tenor Kosuke Ichihara. The composition is Masahiko Sato, who participates in the electric piano. One from the CBS-SONY Sound Adventure series.



This work is often described as avant-garde jazz, but Love Live Life (3L) has a strong New Rock color, but this is the basic while still incorporating the latest sounds of modal, free, electric, etc. It is composed of jazz idiom, and you can see that 3L is in a different line.
There are two compositions on page A, the first "Nothing On Either Side" is a song, piercing with a free-form ad-lib from, a brilliant opening for the track "Flow, As They Flow" a beautiful ballad with a delicate touch.




Side B begins with "The Lupus", maestral groovy funky tune, and the album ends with 11+ minutes "Elegy" featuring a flute with a conceptual flow with avant-garde touch strings on the front and back. It is finished in a joyful work where you can feel the excitement of interplay in the midst of tension.
All the compositions are very attractive and well thought out, and the overall flow is wonderful. It is one that can be enjoyed by Kosuke Ichihara and Masahiko Sato at the peak...

Another rare Japanese beauty. ENJOY!



If you find it, buy this album!

Saturday, September 14, 2019

MASAYUKI TAKAYANAGI and NEW DIRECTION UNIT – Eclipse (LP-1975)




Label: Iskra Records – ISKRA-001
Format: Vinyl , LP, Album / Country: Japan / Released: 1975
Limited edition of 100 copys
Style: Free Improvisation, Free Jazz
Recorded March 14, 1975 in Tokyo, Japan.
Photography By, Design [Cover Design] – Kazuharu Fujitani
Engineer – Mikio Aoki
Producer – Nihon Gendai Jazz Ongaku Kenkyukai , Satoru Obara , Yoshiaki Kamei
Matrix / Runout (Side A runout, stamped): ISK 001A 111 +V D
Matrix / Runout (Side B runout, stamped): ISK 001B 111 +

side 1:
A1 - First Session I (Gradually Projection) .............................................................. 10:47
A2 - First Session II (Gradually Projection) ............................................................... 9:07

side 2:
B  -  Second Session (Mass Projection) .................................................................. 25:23

Personnel:
Masayuki Takayanagi – electric guitar
Kenji Mori – alto saxophone, flute, recorder
Nobuyoshi Ino – electric bass, electric contrabass
Hiroshi Yamazaki – drums, percussion

One of the rarest of Takayanagi's LPs, originally released on Iskra Records in a limited edition of only 100 copies.
Thanks to the kindness of my Irish friend Mr. DILLON who sent me LP and all the material I needed for this post, you have the opportunity to hear what this rare vinyl pearl sounds like.

The 2006 CD reissue, that I have (PSF Records - PSFD-8025), I only now notice after listening to the LP, it produces sharper sound and has a certain acceleration in rpm relative to the original, which contributes to the shortening of the compositions, but on the other hand it enhances the dynamics. Of course, that they didn't write it anywhere, but any ear can notice that difference if given the opportunity of comparison.

Apart from my usual art presentation of the album, I did almost nothing on the soundtrack: cleaned the tape from clicks, minimized noise,  implemented normalized to -0.1 dB and made the usual compression.
The Japanese have done it masterfully, the LP is so well recorded that you can hardly believe it's 1975. Sounds perfect! It sounds better than a CD that has a slightly raw, more aggressive sound to the ears.

Pleasant listening.

Note:
A small change was deliberately made on the front cover of the album which has no effect on the quality of the original design. In this way, I protect my work.


Review:
Masayuki Takayanagi - Eclipse (Japanese title: Shinshoku) has always been the rarest of Masayuki Takayanagi's records. The album was recorded in May 1975 by his New Directions group just three weeks after the monumental "April is the Cruellest Month" set. Legendary free jazz label ESP Disk was due to release "April..."., so, expecting heavy demand for the overseas ablum, Iskra cut the pressing size for Eclipse from 300 to just 100. In the end, ESP went belly up, and "April is the Cruellest Month", had to wait until the nineties for a CD release. Eclipse became a holy grail for Japanese collectors with copies changing hands for up to $3000, and since the master-tapes had mysteriously vanished it seemed supremely unlikelyto ever be reissued. However, by some sort of miracle, the original masters were unearthed 2005, and ordinary human beings can at last revel in the tense, explosivedynamics of the classic recording. Fantastic free jazz of varying intensities, led by Takayanagi's searing yet supple guitar. His supporting ensemble is more than just sidemen, they skillfully create enigmatic new worlds through twisted manipulation of forms and sounds.



The first song, a wandering yet lingering "First Session I (Gradually Projection)" sketch, is displaced by the (subtle?) forward thrust and scrambling parry of the second. Indeed, "First Session II (Gradually Projection)" feels like running a gauntlet of vaguely irritated chin-strokers aiming the whips of their guitar, reeds, bass, drums at your gut in slo-mo confusion. It all speeds up until it's all spun out, dragging the damaged undercarriage down the musical highway. Part three, "Second Session (Mass Projection)", starts as a full-on drag race for instrumental supremacy, until the electric squall of the guitar corrals the cats into a semblance of advancement. Everyone gets their blows in, but the maestro looms in the background, ready to chastise into (decidedly minimal) discipline when needed. It's a long run, so the pace is set by the flaying percussion, but the tone is measured in a strangely stuttering, energetic pace. Weirdly affecting... yes-yes, this is a bloody masterpiece.


This post exists thanks to Mr. Dillon.



If you find it, buy this album!

Thursday, September 12, 2019

AKIRA SAKATA & JIM O'ROURKE with CHIKAMORACHI & MERZBOW – Flying Basket = すっ飛び篭 (2LP-2015)




Label: Family Vineyard - FV88
Format: 2 × Vinyl , LP, Album, Limited Edition
Country: US / Exit: 18 Sep. 2015
Style: Free Jazz , Free Improvisation , Noise , Minimal
Recorded June 2013 at Jim O’Rourke’s  Steamroom Studio, Tokyo, Japan.
Artwork [Collage], Design – Jeremy Kannapell
Mastered At – Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin December 2014
Lacquer Cut At – Dubplates & Mastering
Lacquer Cut By, Mastered By – Rashad Becker
Layout – Dan Zettwoch
Distributed By – SC Distribution
Producer – Jim O'Rourke
Matrix / Runout (Runout, etching, side A): FV88 – A -1
Matrix / Runout (Runout, etching, side B): FV88 – B -2
Matrix / Runout (Runout, etching, side C): FV88 – C -1
Matrix / Runout (Runout, etching, side D): FV88 – D -2

side 1:
A - Flying Basket - part 1 ....................................................................................... 18:29

side 2:
B - Flying Basket - part 2 ....................................................................................... 19:03

side 3:
C - Flying Basket - part 3 ....................................................................................... 15:06

side 4:
D - Flying Basket - part 4 ....................................................................................... 18:49

Personnel:
Akira Sakata – alto Saxophone, vocals
Jim O'Rourke – electric guitar, harmonica, electronics
Darin Gray – double bass, percussion
Chris Corsano – drums
Masami Akita – electronics [noise electronics]

Packaged in a gatefold sleeve with an obi strip, two inserts (one promotional and one informational), and a digital download card. 150g vinyl. Limited to 800 copies.
Jacket reads "Family Vineyard 2014" - however, two to manufacturing delays this is a 2015 release. Insert reads "released September 2015."



As the smoky licks of Akira Sakata’s opening sax solo suggest, this is, for long durations, not the free-form noise-fest that might be expected.
Jim O’Rourke, on guitar, joins in with subtle alternative or de-tuned chiming and Masami Akita aka Merzbow is only a ghostly background presence. Chris Corsano (drums) and Darin Gray (double bass) aka Chikamorachi make their presence felt only after five minutes as a low rumbling undertow, albeit Gray is soon thrumming with gentle plasticity á la Jimmy Garrison. Akata’s licks then turn to sour drizzle and Merzbow’s noise to thin, whiplash aerations, but after ten minutes the full group is finally in play.
O’Rourke is sounding unusually aggressive from the off, his playing spilling out of the end of the set’s first full-on improv thicket after 17 minutes in a state of wiry, drawn-out tensility, all feedback fuzz and gnarly sonics finally tamped down to near silence: a natural break bringing the first side of the double vinyl edition to a close.
With no indexes on the single-span the near silence is sustained, O’Rourke’s sonic scumble matched only by gently wavering Merz-sound and other noises unplaceable, collectively tense and abrasive but only very slowly, tentatively, testing boundaries, and coming to rest.
In context, Sakata’s birdsong-like clarinet and Corsano’s light-touch percussion sifting is as logical here as it is unexpected, and the duo have space to develop their controlled intensities in isolation. Again, rather than a gradual accumulation of inputs and ratcheting-up, this flighty duet winds down with only the subtlest of other accompaniments until Sakata is fully, thoughtfully introspective, the other players keeping in touch only via subtly thrummed bass, gentle touches of guitar and Merzbow at his most restrained and delicate.




Approaching the 40 minute mark, O’Rourke essays a tersely ductile solo and Merzbow joins in with thin, piping synth tones before bass and drums also kick in. O’Rourke plays gritty chords, Merzbow becomes more aggressive, and Sakata starts chewing over his phrases, blowing with increasing fervour. A sinewy passage this, with avant-rock dynamics soon exploding into ferocious freestyle, O’Rourke fairly shredding.
The blowout abates ten minutes later, lulled by a renewed melodicism in Sakata’s playing, thus wrapping up the third vinyl side as neatly as the first.
A fine, melodious sax solo by turns gruff and altissimo bridges to the next group passage, a tense and compacted crescendo, in which Merzbow and O’Rourke craft ring modulation (cf. Forbidden Planet) and feedback, and Sakata lets rip with guttural vocalisations. In the final straight, the perhaps inevitable payoff in free jazz frictions and raw noise finally floods the levees of control. While Corsano expends considerable energies, O’Rourke’s playing is notably ferocious. Sakata holds back until the very climax, piling in to urge a raucously ear-splitting collective transcendence.
Flying Basket was recorded at Jim O’Rourke’s Steamroom studio in Tokyo, but Akira Sakata rightly shares top billing on a session that casts established relationships in a new light. Sakata and Chikamorachi have recorded four previous albums together since 1991, as have Sakata and O’Rourke, the live double And That’s The Story Of Jazz… ‎(Family Vineyard, 2011) being the only one that brings them all together. Still, this is a finely-crafted session set. Merzbow is the added grit that’s produced a pearl. The scope in subtlety of his contribution may surprise those only familiar with his more uncompromising solo output.

(Review by Tim Owen)



If you find it, buy this album!

CASSIBER – Beauty & The Beast (Rē Records ‎– Re 0110 / LP-1984)




Label: Rē Records ‎– Re 0110
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: UK / Released: 1984
Style: Experimental, Free Improvisation
Recorded at Trion Sound Studio, Frankfurt am Main, in April 1984.
Mixed By – Bernhard Klein, Büdi Siebert (tracks: A1, A4, B2)
Mixed [other tracks] By – Cassiber
Engineer [Mixed] By – Walter Brüssow
Printed By – Third Step Printworks
Screen printed cover, booklet with lyrics and illustrations
Matrix / Runout (Runout Etching Side A): RE-0110/A
Matrix / Runout (Runout Etching Side B): RE-0110/B

side1:
A1 - Six Rays ............................................................................................................ 4:09
A2 - Robert ................................................................................................................ 5:01
A3 - Last Call ............................................................................................................ 3:02
A4 - Ach, Heile Mich ................................................................................................. 6:35
A5 - Haruspices ........................................................................................................ 1:53

side2:
B1 - Under New Management .................................................................................. 5:29
B2 - Vengeance Is Dancing ...................................................................................... 2:18
B3-B4 - In Eine Minute > Und Ich Werde Nicht Mehr Sehen .................................... 7:37
B5-B6 - Prendre la Lune Avec Les Dents > At Last I Am Free ................................. 8:11

Personnel:
Alfred Harth – saxophone [alto/tenor/bariton], b clarinet, trombone, trumpet, jew's harp
Christoph Anders – vocals, synthesizer, organ, electric guitar, tape
Heiner Goebbels – grand piano, synthesizer, bass, electric guitar, tape, vocals
Chris Cutler – drums, percussion, electronic drums, noises

Cassiber's debut album was originally intended to be a one-off, but shortly after its release they were invited to play at the Frankfurt Jazz Festival and further live work followed. A couple of years after Man or Monkey they recorded Beauty and the Beast, which was created using the same methodology as before - improvised composition - but their experience as a performing band had made a difference to their music; on this occasion there was a greater sense of coherence both within the individual pieces and across the album as a whole.




As on their previous outing the album featured a mixture of instrumental and vocal tracks, although on this occasion Chris Cutler's texts were not used as extensively as before. The use of electronics was also more prominent this time around, with cassette recorded voices woven into the fabric of several tracks. Robert, the second track, features a brief snippet of Captain Beefheart reciting The Dust Blows Forward, while elsewhere the vocals seem to have been recorded from German news broadcasts, and for the most part this technique is very effective; on later albums Cassiber would use samplers and electronics even more prominently. Two cover versions are included: Und Ich Werde Nicht Mehr Sehen is a Hans Eisler piece, while At Last I Am Free is a song by Chic that was also covered by Robert Wyatt on Nothing Can Stop Us. At Last I Am Free is one of the album's highlights and manages to be faithful to the spirit of the original but also has the same uncompromising RIO sound as the rest of the album. The more 'free' improvisations veer into some decidedly abstract territory, but the album is sequenced so that they are contrasted with more accessible pieces and many of the tracks segue into each other, creating a constantly shifting mood. There are also moments of real beauty, particularly from Goebell's piano and Harth's saxophone, although any lyrical passages are brief and there is usually something loud, discordant or disturbing to provide contrast.
Beauty & the Beast is an uncompromising piece of work, but it has stood the test of time rather better than Man or Monkey. It's interesting to compare it with Skeleton Crew's debut album, which was released at around the same time and which also made extensive use of taped vocals. Both are very much products of their time, RIO meeting post punk experimentalism, and both see former members of Henry Cow engaging with new developments in music and remaining progressive in the truest sense of the word. If you like one, you'll probably like the other; Beauty & the Beast can be recommended to anybody who likes 80s avant jazz-rock and indeed to anybody inclined to try something adventurous for a change.             
(Review by Syzygy)


Plus album add-on:
Came as a special bonus item with subscription copies of Cassiber - Beauty & The Beast.
[Not For General Sale]

CASSIBER – Time Running Out (Rē Records ‎– Rē 21 / single-1984)




Label: Rē Records ‎– Rē 21
Format: Vinyl, 7", 45 RPM, Single Sided, Promo, Blue Transparent, Screened B-Side
Country: UK / Released: 1984
Style: Experimental, Free Improvisation
Recorded at Trion Sound Studio, Frankfurt am Main, in April 1984.
Artwork [Disc] – Bill Gilonis
Artwork [Label] – EMT
Design – cc
Matrix / Runout (Side A, Etched): RE-21/A et ORLAKE

side1:
A - Time Running Out ................................................................................................ 5:38


Recording Information: as Cassiber - Beauty & The Beast _ Rē 0110. [Musician credits are taken from that LP. Recorded at Trion Sound, Frankfurt am Main, in April 1984.]



If you find it, buy this album!