Monday, 25 April 2011

Halana magazine, speaking of avant garde

Looking through my old Soulseek folder, I found a 5 page interview with japanese avant garde multi-instrumentalist Keiji Haino which I never got around to reading. Google reveals it was originally published in the issue #2 of Chris Rice's Halana, a magazine which profiled some of the key figures of contemporary avant garde music; touching on styles as wide as the minimalism of La Monte Young, the Americana folk guitar wizardry of John Fahey, Pauline Oliveros's pioneering electronic explorations and the free jazz and improvisation of the likes of pianist Matthew Shipp and guitarist Derek Bailey.
First published in 1996 and running for 4 issues until 1999, in printings of a couple thousand, each edition included a unique CD or 7" record to accompany the literature.

Some highlights are interviews with minimalist pioneers La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela in #1; filmmaker Tony Conrad and electro-acoustic composer Pauline Oliveros in #2; guitarist John Fahey and minimalist Charlemagne Palestine in #3; Sun City Girls guitarist Sir Richard Bishop in #4; and a monumental offering in #5 with 1950's French electronic music composer Eliane Radigue, modern Spanish composer Francisco Lopez and guitar wrangler Derek Bailey.

You can still order the 4th issue through the website though it seems #5 was in the works until 2004 but never made it out. The first three appear to be sold out which is a pity, though you can still find some of the transcripts with a quick Google search.

You can hear excerpts of Derek Bailey & Keiji Haino's 1996 collaboration "Drawing Close, Attuning..." on TBR!'s 3rd transmission from January 2010. More to come with the 4th instalment of Channelling the Spirit of Jazz, very soon...

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Domino Festival #15 last edition :(

It saddens me deeply to hear this year will see the last edition of the incredible Domino Festival at Brussels's Ancienne Belgique. This festival has been a beacon for amazing, diverse and unique artists to play in this city ranging from the legendary Einst├╝rzende Neubauten (including a stop on their 25th anniversary tour in 2005), Sunn O)))'s monumental Moog Ceremony with Julian Cope on the mic (2006), a Raster-Noton label night featuring the mind-swirling A/V of Frank Brettshneider (2007), the psychotropic vibes of Burnt Friedman & Jaki Liebezeit (the latter being the late Can's drumman) in 2008 and so many more... I want to give a wholehearted thanks to the organisers for bringing such wonderful musicians to the capital and giving me and so many others the pleasure of witnessing such unforgettable performances.

My first encounter with the festival was also my first with Sunn O))). They happened to be in town the same week a friend had told me about them. He showed me an interview in Terrorizer magazine with Attila Csihar (Mayhem et al.), who was collaborating with them at the time on the White albums, so I couldn't resist the chance. Needless to say it was my last concert ever not wearing earplugs... I maintain that gig was the primary cause of my tinnitus.

This year's highlights for me will be Touch Records's 30th anniversary featuring Pan(a)sonic half Mika Vaino, rock ballast Battles sharing the bill with kosmische reviver Oneohtrix Point Never, Neubauten frontman Blixa Bargeld's latest venture with Raster-Noton co-founder Alva Noto, as ANBB, and perhaps the most thrilling of all, the god of noise himself, Merzbow! A fair end to a monumentous festival which has left it's mark on many individuals here and which no one will easily forget.

Check the rest of the Domino #15 line-up and enjoy yourself :)

April 6th - 12th, 2011
Ancienne Belgique