John Zorn / Abraxas – Evocation of the Triumphant Beast

“Psychomagia” is the new album by the fabulous quartet of Abraxas, the acclaimed tribal rock arrangements for the Book of Angels series. Here they perform a complex new suite of music written expressly for them by Downtown alchemist John Zorn. Drawing inspiration from the magical writings of Giordano Bruno and Alejandro Jodorowski and others, Zorn has written a bold collection of compositions that challenge the musicians to the breaking point. With a program ranging from some of the most intense ritualistic sounds you are likely to hear to tender minimalistic odes, this is a surprising new volume in Zorn’s mystic series that matches the intensity and power of Moonchild, PainKiller and Naked City. Recorded at Orange Music and mixed by Bill Laswell. Essential.”

Buy from Tzadik or Amazon.

Video

Cotton Road – a documentary film about a global supply chain

Cotton Road moves “from dirt to shirt,” exploring every step of textile production from cotton farms in South Carolina to factories in China.

Really enjoyed this documentary film exploring the cotton/clothing manufacturing supply chain, and the people employed at different stages in the process.

Click through to Vimeo for additional clips.
Website here: http://www.cottonroadmovie.com/

Fred Frith – No Birds (1974)

“Fred Frith was a classically-trained violinist who turned to playing blues guitar while still at school. In 1967 he went to Cambridge University where he and fellow student, Tim Hodgkinson formed Henry Cow. While at University, Frith read John Cage’s Silence: Lectures and Writings, which changed his attitude to music completely. He realised that “sound, in and of itself, can be as important as […] melody and harmony and rhythm.” This changed his approach to the guitar, “just to see what I could get out of it” and initiated a long period of experimentation that continued throughout Frith’s musical career.”

Read more on Wikipedia
Album available on Amazon.

Video

Phonobellow

International Contemporary Ensemble | Zosha Di Castri and David Adamcyk: Phonobellow (2015), WORLD PREMIERE from ICE on Vimeo.

“Zosha Di Castri and David Adamcyk’s Phonobellow, an hour-long new music theater work for five musicians, electronics, and large-scale performative installation, is the result of this collaborative process. Taking as their starting point the year 1877, Di Castri and Adamcyk explore how Muybridge’s high-speed camera and Edison’s phonograph have marked human perception. Via a heterogeneous assemblage of music, images, recorded texts/sounds, electronics, movement, sculpture, and lighting, the piece seeks to capture how deeply these inventions reverberated with people at the time, and continue to reverberate to this day.”

I saw this the other day and it was an experience – exciting, energetic, and unpredictable. Composed by Zosha Di Castri and David Adamcyk, performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble. More information here.