You Can Do It was recorded during a week-long residency in Helsinki in May 2010 at the “mobile curatorial platform” known as Ptarmigan. Ali Robertson and Malcy Duff have been issuing records as Usurper for what must be at least a decade, often via their label Giant Tank, which has also issued zines, including the recent series of “Offline Zines”, available for acquisition via their Bandcamp page. This album presents a characteristically bizarre series of sound explorations, opening with what sounds like an audio recording of a person (mostly) silently working out, then traversing through all manner of molested detritus, small, gestural sounds, and absurd, wonderful, glossolalic vocals. The pacing of the music - which seems to follow a logic that is not immediately apparent - is what sets theirs apart from other junk-music; Robertson and Duff clearly share an affinity for upending conventions, even the already-liberal ones of freely improvised music, and over the years they’ve honed it to a damn fine place.
Montreal-based trombonist Scott Thomson has been at the forefront of Canadian improvised music activities for decades. While based in Toronto, he ran the important Somewhere There performance and workshop space (hosting many great visiting artists like William Parker and Evan Parker over the years), and established himself as a trombonist par excellence via his work with The Rent (a Steve Lacy songbook band), partner Susanna Hood (with whom he more recently issued the excellent The Muted Note), clarinettist Lori Freedman (the two released the staggering Plumb on Barnyard Records in 2007), The Ratchet Orchestra, and guitarist Ken Aldcroft’s various ensembles. Now based in Montreal, this album presents some of the highlights from his series called Trombone Solos At Odd Hours, which perfectly describes what he did at the La Poêle studio & performance space during January and February of 2015. Sometimes an audience member or two was present, but it was mostly just Thomson committing himself to these performances on a regular basis, exploring his instrument at length. A generous offering from a virtuoso player, and a highlight of the Bug Incision catalogue.
First solo album in a long while from this staple of the Calgary creative music scene. Oliver’s allegiance to far-flung modes of music making extend back to the New Gallery’s Space For Space series, and he was involved in running the pre-Bug Incision nach Hause series (helmed largely by Darren Williams). Since then he’s operated zines & labels, played with many heavy hitters (Eugene Chadbourne, Dan Meichel, and Chad VanGaalen amongst others), and is currently a member of the Midnighties, alongside Chris Dadge. This album presents a positively rank collection of improvised pieces performed on Oliver’s old resonator guitar, and stands among his finest, most fully realized work. The album falls into the loose continuum of extreme guitar re-think solo albums on Bug Incision, with previous entries being made by the likes of Chris Riggs, David Payne (aka Fossils), Scott “Monty” Munro, and others.
The second installment of duos from Christian Munthe, this time paired with Patrick Farmer, the percussionist/sound investigator known for co-founding the “online curatorial platform” Compost and Height as well as releasing many recordings on the UK-based Another Timbre label (alongside artists such as Sarah Hughes, Dominic Lash, and Daniel Jones). Angle of Repose presents four improvisations pitting Munthe’s acoustic guitar against Farmer’s “acoustic turntable”, an instrument he has been investigating quite thoroughly over the last number of years. What that instrument credit means, exactly, is not entirely clear, for two reasons. One is that, while Munthe’s credit reads familiarly enough, what he does to his guitar often sounds nothing like the instrument’s usual voice. He mangles and ravages the body and strings, extracting tense, brittle textures and rustlings of pure sound. And the second reason is that whatever Farmer is doing to/on his “acoustic turntable” sounds equally like nothing that normally comes out of a turntable, even from the legions of so-called turntable experimentalists out there. What we are left with is a very tactile, texture-heavy dialogue between two highly competent improvisors, using invented languages to conjure up some truly personal music.
Nilan Perera & Bent Spoon Duo
There are two schools of thought when it comes to groups and improvisation. For some, the notion of a free improvising group with a fixed personnel is a direction contradiction to the idea that this type of playing should be fresh, untethered by group consensus and evolutionary tendencies. This approach is well-represented by the restless, ad hoc-oriented list of playing partners of someone like Derek Bailey or Jack Wright, the latter of whom liberally promotes the practice alongside his group activities. The other school posits that the more a group plays over a longer period of time, the deeper their ability to convincingly create music from “nothing” will become, and the sense of sympatico between them will be thusly reinforced. Such an approach can be found in groups like AMM (as dilated as it is) or the Parker/Guy/Lytton trio. In this particular instance, we find a group that achieves the comparatively rare feat of being, in fact, a first time grouping, but somehow managing to exit the starting gates with a streamlined vision of their own. Of course, in this case it doesn’t hurt that two thirds of the group are known as the Bent Spoon Duo, a Calgary-based unit comprised of Chris Dadge and Scott Munro who have amassed over a decade’s worth of genre-jumping work. Toronto guitarist Nilan Perera, who first made waves in that city’s early ‘80s take on the no wave/’punk-funk’ movement. While his latter day playing is often characterized by a deft use of preparations and electronics, this set finds him mostly au naturel as far as the electric guitar is concerned, and he meshes effortlessly with Dadge and Munro’s heap of strings, percussion, live lo-fi samples, and ratty amplification. The music finds its moments of unhinged weirdness tucked into moments that could be described by such words as ‘quite lovely’ or even ‘toe-tapping’, but never how one would expect them to be. Recorded live by Brad Hawkins at Weeds Cafe in Calgary.
edition of 120 copies, color covers in plastic sleeves
It is not to hard to view the playing of Christian Munthe through the post-Derek Bailey continuum-lens of acoustic guitar-based improvising. But, aside from a few superficial similarities, Munthe makes himself distinct, to these ears, at least, by focusing - quite intently, in fact - on some of the very things our acoustic guitar-wielding, ever-looming improv father-figure avoided almost entirely. For all Bailey's innovations in this field, it's notable that he approached the guitar as a finished, perfect piece of music-making equipment, to be taken at face value, technically speaking. Munthe has a carved out a wonderful place for himself by inhabiting some very non-traditional guitar approaches. He plays on detuned strings, freely uses the body of the instrument as a tactile sounding surface (he even has an excellent album called Backside Suite in which he only uses said side of the guitar), and possesses a very naturalistic, intuitive-sounding approach to his manglings. Arrias possesses a clarinet sound that sounds as if its folding in on itself, with smeared notes, overtones, and gnarled fingerings sneaking out from being kept under wraps. The duo’s sound in general is not the constant, steady stream of phrases and gestures associated with certain strands free improvising; rather theirs is a music fraught with tension and discomfort, but also a certain naturalism within this, quite off-the-cuff-sounding and unprecious.
For those not in the know, Munthe is a Gothenburg-based improvisor and philosophy professor, and has logged hours with Mats Gustafsson (in the very early Two Slices of Electric Car and latter Two Slices of Acoustic Car), Phil Minton, Roger Turner, Gunther Christmann, and Patrick Farmer. Arrias has been based in Stockholm since 2005, and plays a variety of reeds with such players as Tetuzi Akiyama, Angharad Davies, and Axel Dorner, as well as leading his own quartet. Very excited to present two new names to the Bug Incision roster, and the first in a two-part release of Munthe duos.
edition of 99 copies, color covers in plastic sleeves
The duo of Cody Oliver and Chris Dadge has in some minds represented nicely a bridging of the current Bug Incision-centric improv activities in Calgary, and those of the clear-precedent-setting work by Oliver and his past co-conspirators. Dadge is the main force behind the current trajectory of Bug Incision, which includes a regular-as-possible release schedule from artists the world over, as well as a monthly concert series in Calgary, which functions as a steady outlet for Alberta's purveyors of marginal musical activities and also a reliable stop for those adventurous enough to tour through mid-western Canada. Oliver was heavily involved in Darren Williams' nach Hause concert series, which was making available this type of content back when Dadge and his peers were still in high school; Oliver was also the proprietor of House Leek Audio, a small-run, boutique label which documented much of his and his cohorts' music. A few years ago, Dadge and Oliver began playing as a duo, both finding great pools of potential in the amplification of their normally acoustic instruments, percussion and resonator guitar, respectively. Their self-titled debut was released on Bug Incision Records, and this, their follow-up offering, recorded live at Weeds Cafe in Calgary, Alberta, finds them joined by multi-instrumentalist Scott Munro. For more information on the illustrious path on which he has trodden thus far, see the description for his solo album Monty, also now available at this time. The Midnighties' music as a duo is a slashing, metallic affair, with their crude, overly-sensitive amplification systems bringing sonic provenance to even passing gestures and actual spatial rearrangements. Oliver in particular exhibits a impressively stoic non-technique on the amplified resonator, an ultimately useful and distinguishing trait that often taken for granted in light of his extreme sensitivity, or what can arguably be referred to as a wholly appropriate intuition for the music. Munro, as a member of the Bent Spoon Duo with Dadge, has over the years adopted a modus operandi that involves relegating a distinct instrumental voice within an ensemble to a more egalitarian tangle of shared languages, often difficult to discern from the whole. This approach is no simple feat of homophony or minimalism; rather it is an complimentary triumvirate of voices which contains a multitude of personal, yet somewhat interchangeable sentence fragments. Analogous to a conversation full of half-realized non-sequiters, with no one in particular concerned about who finishes whose.
edition of 87 copies, color covers in plastic sleeves
Scott Munro is a well-known name in Calgary, and will be equally well-known to perusers of liner notes and album personnel listings worldwide. Munro is a founding member of the Bent Spoon Ensemble/Trio/Duo continuum, and the Trio version (along with Chris Dadge and David Laing) of that group was also responsible for the conception of and first few releases on Bug Incision Records. He has appeared on nearly every Bent Spoon-related release to date, with releases on House of Alchemy, Total Vermin, Middle James Co, and of course many on Bug Incision, including collaborations with Eric Chenaux, Allison Cameron, Eric Normand, and Darren Williams. He’s been a member of free metal trio Lord Something (with Dadge and Mark Fleischhaker), pan-improv group the Musk Cup, with the late Dan Meichel, and a touring member of songwriter Chad vanGaalen’s band. More recently, Monty (as he’s known to friends and admirers the world over) has been gaining notoriety for his new group Viet Cong, a Talking-Heads-by-way-of-This-Heat-and-the-Velvet-Underground post-punk combo whose ripper of a debut album is due out next year on Jagjaguwar Records.
Monty presents two live sets, recorded at Weeds Cafe in Calgary, Alberta, performed on his six-string Fender Bass VI quasi-replica, before it was rudely stolen from his studio in Mount Pleasant. Munro’s solo sets don’t have any clear touchstones for reference, which is fitting, as even though he’s played countless hours of improvised music, occasionally in the company of some true stars of the form, he is by no means a “nerd” for the genre. The guitar/bass is at times heavily processed and bears little resemblance to its six-string essence, a disfigurement that is compounded by preparations and consumer-electronics enhancements. After many years of witnessing and documenting his supple collaborative abilities, Bug Incision is proud to present his debut solo album.
edition of 75 copies, color covers in plastic sleeves
Bug Incision started as a record label in 2005, and began presenting concerts under the same name in 2006, as a response to a lack of sympathetic performance space possibilities. In Calgary, the predecessor to the Bug Incision concert series was nach Hause, which was run by Darren Williams. He curated a rich program of international, national, and local talent, bringing important, different voices to the city. And very much in line with the precedent that he set for the series, a trio with Williams, Cody Oliver, and Ron de Jong was one of the first sets of free improvisation I’d ever seen. Suffice it to say, it is with great pleasure that we issue Williams’ debut solo album on the label. (A previous Bug Incision release featured Williams with myself and Scott Munro on a 3” cdr.) Reed is a bit of a departure from the fire-breathing, paint-peeling Williams we’d gotten to know through his collaborations with Mats Gustafsson, Cody Oliver, Eugene Chadbourne, and Han Bennink. These are, for the most part, composed pieces, performed live, recorded beautifully, and vividly rendered using circular breathing and a very supple technique. There are passing technical similarities to other circular breathers like Evan Parker or Peter Evans, but Williams’ melodic and harmonic content is something of his own. The presence of free-r, Joe McPhee-like moments likewise add a unique dimension to the disc. Williams released this is disc while on a cross-country solo tour this past summer.
edition of 200 copies, color covers in plastic sleeves
Six High Windows is the new album from this stalwart British free improvising trio. All three players are familiar figures on the scene; previous recordings by this group have appeared on Emanem and Bruce's Fingers. Simon H. Fell is an acclaimed double bassist and composer, known for his work in the fiery Hession/Wilkinson/Fell trio, more exploratory outings with the trios VHF and IST, and he's also logged hours with Derek Bailey, Joe Morris, and Peter Brotzmann, among others. Steve Noble seems to be one of the busiest drummers in the London, largely thanks to his sympathetic and diverse playing. Recent highlights include duos with Peter Brotzmann and Ikue Mori, to pick but two from a very long list. Simon Rose is a saxophonist who, aside from leading this trio, maintains an earthy, boisterous duo with drummer Pascal Nichols (with a previous disc on Bug Incision) and an ongoing mass of solo work, which has culminated in two memorable solo discs. Six High Windows is a live recording, captured in a cavernous-sounding room, presented as one unbroken 45 minute set. The sound of the room inevitably factors into the trio's interactions with each other, allowing single gestures to carry more weight than usual, lending an at-times ominous tone the musc. Fell in particular takes advantage of the space, slicing bright arco lines across the pieces and evidently relishing the enhanced impact of his notes.
edition of 100 copies, color covers in plastic sleeves
Joe Morris/Fausto Sierakowski/Nigel Taylor
A barbarous, tangled offering from this acoustic wind/strings trio. This group shares ties in New England, specifically the Conservatory: Morris is a faculty member of the program that Taylor and Sierakowski recently graduated from. Joe Morris is a name that will not be unfamiliar to those who pay attention to goings on in the worlds of free jazz and improvisation. His work as both a guitarist and a bassist, with a veritable who’s who of the international improvising community, has been widely documented on recordings for labels such as Aum Fidelity, Clean Feed, and ESP Disk. Taylor is currently located in Montreal, and has offered some compelling recordings thus far with the Nigel Taylor/Nick Neuberg duo, playing amplified trumpet and percussion, respectively, and Joint Raker, another duo where Taylor’s trumpet is pitted against a wealth of guitar onslaughts. The music on Part and Parcel is of the breathlessly galloping, sprinting, and careening variety. Morris, Sierakowski, and Taylor share an inclination (here, at least) towards tight, knotty and sentence-finishing styles of playing. The intense forward motion they manifest on this record is the result of impressive levels of technique and virtuoso listening. This is a fine outing: another notch in a long & fine career of quality output, and a gushing introduction to two welcome new names.
edition of 123 copies, color covers in plastic sleeves
Provincial Stammer is the new album from the duo of Bryan Day (Eloine, Shelf Life) and Jay Kreimer. The former came to the attention of Bug Incision sometime in the last year or so, along with his excellent labels Public Eyesore and Eh? Records, and this is one of the many excellent things we’ve heard coming out of his world. Kreimer is an instrument builder and sculptor whose work has been shown in galleries across the US and in China. The group describes themselves as “confrontational gamelan theatre”, which is as good a description as any, because trying to discern or describe what’s going can be a challenging proposition. Amplified metal/object-based improvisation might cover it, but that’s still pretty vague. But, it seems that this vagueness is welcomed - and exciting even - and the music is all the better for it.edition of 75 copies, color covers in plastic sleeves
Land of Marigold
Ellwood Epps: trumpet
The debut recording from this Montreal-based duo is one of the
most pleasurable listening experiences we've had in some time.
Epps and Zubot have worked together in a huge variety of settings,
both as musical collaborators/bandmates and as presenters of one
of Montreal's longest-running weekly nights of improvisation,
Mardi Spaghetti, which takes place in the back room of a place
called Le Cagibi. This disc, which has been in the vault since
being recorded a few years ago in Montreal, covers a staggering
amount of musical territory, and does so with grace and panache.
There is some very high-level mind-melding going on here; theirs
is a type of freedom that is derived not so much from the fact
that they're "free improvising", but from the vast array of
choices available to players with such refined musicianship. Also
a not-so-oft seen instrumentation, put to wonderful effect.
Dan Meichel & Chris Dadge
Dan Meichel: tenor & soprano sax, bass clarinet
The Calgary creative music scene hasn't been the same without Dan
Meichel. My life, and that of many others, was richer in a way
that only Danny could have made it and after his sudden passing in
Japan in 2009, it took a few years before I could start going
through these older recordings we'd made. But it's been a joy to
revisit them, and this will be the first in a number of archival
recordings featuring Dan. I lived for two years in a house in
Mount Pleasant, in mid-north Calgary, which had an unbelievably
great-sounding basement. While I lived there, Dan would often come
by in the evening for playing, usually followed by hours of record
listening, hilarious banter, and insane wordplay. This is one of
those evenings' music from June of 2008. Dan was the sort of
musician that had the ability to make whoever he was playing with
sound better. He had great ideas, but was always willing to
punctuate them with a very real sense of sponteneity, always
willing to give himself fully to the moment at hand, and he had
fantastic ears, picking up on the most passing of phrases and
turning them into a dramatic moment. At the time of this session,
I was in a period of developing limited, yet expressive
vocabularies on a number of instruments besides the drums, and it
wouldn't have been possible to get where I did without Dan's
respect for what I was attempting and his uninhibited attitude
towards simply playing. As much as we never planned or discussed
it, I feel there was some sort of channeling of the
Brotzmann/Bennink duos from the 70s (and their stuff with
Mengelberg and Van Hove, too). The strange, episodic nature of
some of the complete pieces, and the general combination of
comfort with each other and irreverence toward what we were doing
(in some ways, a kind of serious goofiness) make me think so. He
was a full-on player, reading charts, drawing on time spent in
r&b bands, and this polystylistic tendency allowed us to stray
into many different zones, speaking tongues on our respective
horns or approaching fairly straight jazz modes. I remember once I
transferred this cassette to disc and gave it to Dan, he would
drive around (delivering repaired horns to high school band
programs) listening to it, relishing it entirely, repeatedly
finding new favourite sections to point out to me at our next
session or ride to a show. I think he'd be happy to know this was
Bent Spoon Duo
Chris Dadge: trumpet, violin, sk-1, sk-5, amplified percussion,
Allison Cameron first came to our attention via her killer
Rat-Drifting album, The Allison Cameron Band, with Eric Chenaux
and Stephen Parkinson. Its weird, warped string action was right
up our alley. Next, she was booking a Canadian tour, and we were
more than happy to present her music at the Bug Incision concert
series. Chris Dadge and Scott Munro (aka the Bent Spoon Duo)
played before her solo set, and they all played together after her
solo set. Turns out her amplified & mangled banjo and kalimba
meshed quite nicely with Dadge & Munro's table of stringed
things, samplers, and assorted detritus. The basic Bent Spoon Duo
methodology is two-fold: a) sound as
confusing/disorienting/mysterious as possible, while b)
overlapping freely into each others' timbral regions. Well,
Cameron does a pretty good job of part a) on her own, so she
jumped right in there. Comes out all sounding like nothing else in
particular, except maybe a bit like they caught a whiff of the
same breeze that's blown past the UK's Hunter Gracchus/Chora camp.
Dense, strange, and rowdy. - Notes by Benoit Hughes
The Unrepeatable Quartet
The sounds on this recording were produced by placing an Ebow over either a street-sweeper blade or a short length of a guitar string. The Ebow and metal were then placed on the head of a snare drum or floor tom. No effects (reverb, filtering, distortion) were added to the recordings. The sound you hear was captured by a single microphone placed a few inches above the sound source.
In these performances, the blade or string was positioned in such a way that they were unstable against the power of the Ebow. This results in rhythms and harmonic modulation that evolve over time and without human interaction. My only involvement ways to move the metal item into position and listen to the results.
The blades were found on the streets of Berlin, Stockholm,
Chicago, New York, San Francisco, London, and Portland, Oregon.
edition of 75, cdr, color covers in plastic sleeves
Simeon Abbott & Mike Gennaro
Simeon Abbott: piano
An excellently-wrought recording from this Toronto-based duo. The
balance needed to maximize the enjoyment of an album as a solid,
single listening experience is often overlooked in the recorded
output of free-improvised music. Recorded in a couple different
locations in Montreal and Toronto, this piano & drums disc
emanates the kind of care and attention that reminds me of the
best of the ol' FMP, Incus, and classic Emanem releases. And the
music itself is equally raging. Gennaro first came to our
attention years ago for his work with Wrist Error, and their album
with Mats Gustafsson on Spool. After crossing paths a few more
times over the years, it turned out that he was working with past
Bug Incision star Simeon Abbott, after triumphantly returning from
a hiatus from the music. Gennaro's playing falls into the rich
drumkit-plus-bits-of-percussion tradition, recalling vintage
Bennink, Lovens, and the early work of Ingar Zach. Abbott's
pianism, kaleidoscopic in its harmonic complexity and rhythmic
invention, suggests a strange cross-pollination of Schlippenbach
and Bley. Needless to say, this is a deft, athletic outing,
massively enjoyable and masterfully executed.
solo drumset & percussion, with amplification
In the fall of 2010, Chris Dadge traveled to the Canadian east.
Joel Leblanc, a fellow promoter of unusual musical activity, was
acquainted with Dadge through their mutual presence in the
organization Circuit, a growing network of
musician/bookers/space-runners around Canada. Leblanc was able to
get his hands on some money to bring out a few players from the
organization, Dadge included, and booked a small tour to accompany
the main performance at Leblanc's space in Fredericton (the show
in question is in part available digitally as Chris Dadge's Vocal Works). It also
should be noted that this performance directly preceded the set
that would become bim-51. This recording (which, while
indexed, runs straight through the set in real-time, capturing a
few moments of Re:flux's atmosphere along the way) captures a kind
of overview of the various percussive stylings that Dadge has been
pursuing over the last few years. There is the junk-oriented
textural play seen previously in his work with Midnighties and
Bent Spoon Duo, there is the more straightforward kit-based
workouts played out on such releases I'd Drive Your Ass
Across The World, If I Had To, Tangled Woof of Fact, and
Silk Thousand, and also a dash of the more minimal
semi-composed ideas which initially appeared on his cassettes for
Holy Cheever Church and House of Alchemy. If this description
sounds somewhat insular, devoid of the requisite namechecks and
generous comparisons, it's because it's a real personal set,
which, if you're familiar with the work of this artist, attempts
to create its own context.
edition of 54, cdr, color covers in plastic sleeves
Håvard Skaset: guitar
Bug Incision is proud to be continuing our relationship with the San Francisco tag team of Jacob Heule (also known for his work with Ettrick and Barn Owl) and Tony Dryer. Earlier on in the Bug Incision game, we had the good fortune of releasing these two in conjunction with Jack Wright (bim-14), and also as part of a larger midwest-based ensemble called Storm of Corpses (bim-13). Heule and Dryer have also maintained their own duo called Basshaters, and have a disc on Creative Sources with their trio with Jacob Lindsay. Over the years, they've managed to get themselves over to Europe a couple times, which is presumably where they hooked up with Håvard and Guro, two musicians who seem to have quite successfully overhauled their instruments' basic sonic identities. It's kind of interesting how, for the most part, the melodic and harmonic activity in the pieces come from the basses (always a good instrument in plural, proven here), while the guitar seems to content to exist as a sounding unit for all manner of physical manglings. The six-stringed playing on this record is in fact quite winning, coming across as a mixture of Christian Munthe's guitar anti-heroics (if you don't know him, do yourself a favour and look him up) and what Roger Smith might've sounded like if he'd forsaken his beloved nylon-string for a steel counterpart. But back to the basses: while a lot of 'free-improvising' double bassists automatically reach for upper end of their instrument's register, these two both share a fairly uncommon inclination towards the lower region of things. The reason that this is remarkable in a group context is that it means that our guitar and percussion overseers are exercising a wonderous amount of control, sensitivity, and a finely honed dynamic understanding in order to make this work, not only in terms of a listener being able to hear everything, but also in their own abilities to communicate and react in the moment. Jacob's effectiveness as a purveyor of avant-leaning percussive stylings is often evidenced in the frequent moments when it is a) not clear that there is a percussionist present at all, and b) very often it becomes very difficult indeed to make out who's doing what. As far and wide as Bug Incision has happily moved within the realm of improvised music, this is the kind of stuff we started out with, and continue to dig, wholeheartedly.
edition of 75, cdr, color covers in plastic sleeves
Whitney Ota / guitar
Burro is a veritable meeting of the minds of some of Calgary's
finest wayward musicians. Whitney Ota first came to Bug Incision's
attention at a performance some years back at the Discord series
at Emmedia. He was playing sax and guitar (always a winning
combination) in a duo called Wild & Majestic. One post-gig
chat and a handful of cdr releases later, it was obvious that we'd
be working together down the line. Ota also busies himself running
Structure Sound Recordings, a fine imprint which (as well as
housing the sister release to this album) has also released some
of his other projects: the kosmiche-y solo vehicle called Yankee
Yankee and more texturally-inclined duo Dundas (with Mr. Elton).
Stew Elton is and essential part of the Bug Incision universe,
operating as the man who books the dates at Weeds Cafe, where so
many BI performances take place. He also plays in the band No
River, and has recorded a deviating solo EP called Bound, which is
floating around out there somewhere. Andrew Hume (along with
running buddy Britt Proulx) made his mark on Calgary's we rid
music scene with his duo Seizure Salad. They played tons of shows,
and released a nice handful of tapes, both mediums covering lotsa
ground and seeming to have no problem doing so. An "experimental"
band at its fullest potential.
edition of 66, cdr, color covers in plastic sleeves
Andrew Coltrane & Mike Khoury
A quick shot from this long-running duo of violinist Mike Khoury (no stranger to followers of this label - he appeared on some memorable albums with Ben Hall and Chris Riggs in past years, and dropped a lovely solo album in the meantime) and Andrew Coltrane, whose role is much more difficult to define. Electronics seems like an extremely broad term, but it gets you into the right ball park. Khoury's strings are surrounded by thick, fairly relentless churning noises and reverbed-out motor sounds, going in and out of focus all the while. There seems to be some simple effects applied to the violin here and there, but, as his work with Chris Riggs' and his similarly alien vocabulary has shown, Khoury is a master of finding ways to integrate himself into somewhat unlikely-seeming situations. Another slice of this duo's ongoing collaborations, following releases on Hermitage Tapes and Detroit Improvisation.
edition of 60, cdr, color covers in plastic sleeves
Andre Bourgeois & Chris Dadge
Andre Bourgeois / tenor & soprano saxes
This disc accompanies bim-55, which also took place
during Dadge's small tour of eastern Canada in fall of 2010.
Following a bus ride, a fine meal at a local vegetarian
restaurant, and a solo set of his own, Dadge had the good fortune
of being paired with Moncton's Andre Bourgeois for two excellent
sets of sax & drums. It's clear from the start of this
recording that these two will have little difficulty finding
common ground, not least because they seem to be operating along a
similar plane of pacing and approach to density. There are a lot
of notes played, but the ideas have fairly regular contours that
move consistently throughout the shape of each piece. The majority
of the playing falls into the free jazz territory, and while the
odd extended technique surfaces here or these, the instruments
themselves are mostly taken at face value, putting the emphasis on
the playing itself. Reminds me a little of the stuff Eddie Prevost
did with Alan Wilkinson a few years back. [A quick note on the
final track - the recorder ran out just as the last track was
ending, but what was there was deemed good enough to allow for the
somewhat less than ideal presentation.]
edition of 51, cdr, color covers in plastic sleeves
Kyle Brenders / tenor saxophone & Bb clarinet
edition of 84, cdr, color covers in plastic sleeves
Simon Rose & Pascal Nichols
Simon Rose / saxophones
Bit of a Bug Incision shared history with both of these two, in different ways. Back in 2004, the Bent Spoon Duo (at the time being comprised of David Laing & Chris Dadge) toured the UK and had the pleasure of sharing a bill with Simon Rose, who played a ferocious solo set, both us sharing the bill a trio of Neil Davidson, Raymond MacDonald, Tatsuya Nakatani. We at the Bug Incision camp had already been introduced to Rose's work as a member of Badland, with Steve Noble and Simon Fell. Nichols has been featured on the label from what might've been the quickest selling disc we've done, Memoirs of a Secret Metal Cave, from Part Wild Horses Mane on Both Sides. We'd been on the Part Wild... trip for a while leading up that release, as well, and the previous album from this duo, on Nichols' Krayon Recordings imprint made a good number of spins in the CD deck. On Sombrero Galaxy, Nichols' playing is wonderfully unhinged. That is to say, he's speaking in a language, a well-worn one of the drums & sax mostly-Euro-improv variety, but underneath this layer is a thrust to the playing that suggests a very pure and honest desire/need to be doing this stuff. He sounds utterly unable to contain himself, and this is a real nice counterpoint to all the 'improv' records that simply reinforce the criticisms often leveled at this form of playing. His work in Part Will Horses..., Le Drapeau Noir, and with other Manchester acolytes places him within a fairly specific, and at this point, more firmly-established context, but to hear him with someone outside of that circle is a nice breath of fresh air, and italicizes his work very nicely indeed. Rose is in fine form, as ever, with his plethora of worthy musical propositions, along with his understated way of exhibiting his very own sense of mastery and control.
edition of 75, cdr, color covers in plastic sleeves
A long-time-in-the-pipeline release from the quasi-trio of Bruno Duplant, Philo Lenglet, and Rachael Wadham. Duplant, a multi-instrumentalist who appears here on percussion, and Lenglet, on the guitar, are from France. They play together regularly and Duplant appears to be a prolific collaborator, working often with the likes of Lee Noyes, Phil Hargreaves, and Paulo Chagas. Pianist and junk manipulator Rachael Wadham (who's also played with Jandek, Deep Dark United, Attn: Diamond Shoppers, etc) is a name that old-school Bug Incision fans will remember from her duo disc with Chris Dadge, 100 Silk Buttons From The Room Upstairs. One of Vancouver's most interesting and excellent musicians. Duplant and Lenglet recorded some duos in France, sent them to Wadham, and she played over top of them, in the time-honoured tradition of mail-improv.
edition of 70, cdr, color covers in plastic sleeves
Philippe Battikha / trumpet & pedals
First time I witnessed any of these players in action, they were inside a large box, in a loft space in Montreal, playing at a welcome-our-new-neighbours concert. It was a great trumpet and trombone duo, and it was in a box. That night I chatted up said trumpeter, who gave me a very-handsomely-packaged 3" cdr, which contained some fine improvised playing. Months down the road, I'm back in Calgary, answering an email from someone named Matt Waddell, about booking a show, and by the time he'd come & played, we had a chance to hang at Weeds, it became clear that this guy was also on that 3" cdr, as a member of Corse. When visiting Montreal again last year, Matt laid on me a copy of their new full-length, which is now making its way out to the world via Bug Incision. The music resembles some aspects of more (post-)rock-informed modes of improvising such as Supersilent or Death Ambient, but it is more unhinged and less single-minded. The majority of the members of Corse have augmented their instrumental leanings with various types of processing, blurring the lines of who's-doing-what and allowing for a quite wide palette of textures.
edition of 74, cdr, b&w covers in plastic sleeves, with insert
Ben Bennett / drumheads
There are those listeners who like to follow a recording by clearly tracing the path each musician is taking on a given set. Others prefer to allow the music to wash over them, disregarding individual intentions in favour of the whole. To the former group, Bug Incision presents to you a challenge. To paraphrase Derek Bailey (and a bunch of others, admittedly), the music gets really interesting when it becomes difficult to tell who is doing what. By that measure, this is supremely interesting music. Bennett and Jewell are largely indistinguishable without an intimate acquaintance with either player's work and, while it is suspected that bows play a role in these sounds, it's really tough to tell, and all the more fun for it. The way their sounds intersect with Shook's sax playing is a revelation, someone picking up where another's phrase dwindles, and sound mimicry of the first order. While some bemoan the latter aspect of improvising as pedestrian, once one considers the instrumentation at hand, it becomes a really rich and inventive listening experience. Also, this group is not so much about those classic modes of improvisation; their approach entails presenting sounds to one another and patiently figuring out how they can co-exist. Shook's playing recalls echoes of Evan Parker, but only in the most fragmented sense, and also the master of sax rudeness, Jack Wright, in his glossolalic soundings, and his ability to make the saxophone sound quite a bit like a trumpet. The lesser-known, but apparently quite wonderful Mara Sedlins adds an extra layer of quiet confusion to the second piece. A really fine piece of contemporary American improvising.
edition of 150, cdr, color covers in plastic sleeves
There's an album called Futuro, a trio date which features Tetuzi Akiyama on what sounds like an amplified acoustic or resonator guitar. The music is extremely taut, with long silences and subtle gestures. A short blow of breath is released through a trumpet, a drumhead is rubbed, that kind of thing. Akiyama's playing is the most deliciously tense of the trio, sounding like he's moving a slide underneath the strings every couple minutes; very controlled, very focused work. David Payne's (Hamilton, Ontario's main man behind Fossils, Slut Mouth, and the mighty Middle James Co.) latest solo slab offers a rowdy, wasted take on this approach, minus the silences and the playing partners. His acoustic guitar is mangled and scraped, rubbed, fingered, and bent, and is subjected to a variety of preparations. The results are unlike his work in Fossils, whose lightly abrasive approach is much more inscrutable. It's possibly more akin to an unplugged and halved version of Slut Mouth, or if you've ever heard some of his solo tapes, you might be on the right track. But, as with all of Payne's work, there's an air of unpretentious seriousness to the proceedings, no fat, all business. Recorded late 2010 in Hamilton.
edition of 75, color covers in plastic sleeves
This is the debut recordings, and first recorded document of the duo of Cody Oliver and Chris Dadge. Oliver's involvement in Calgary's creative music scene dates back to the 90s, and his involvement with Nach Hause, Space For Space, and his labels Noise Miniatures and House Leek Audio. He worked extensively with Darren Williams, Dan Meichel, and Thom Golub, and more recently shared a ferocious trio with Lyle Pisio and Peter Moller. The duo with Dadge finally convened in 2009, and produced a number of recordings, mostly live. This crisply-recorded set documents the duo at CJSW studios in Calgary, performing what was a live broadcast. Olivers plays a resonator guitar, with contact mics, into a small amp; he uses a variety of objects on the guitar. Dadge plays a half-drumset, with pedal-controlled amplification. Both players share an affinity for the more propulsive, hyperactive end of playing, and the amplification adds an odd, extended touch, allowing for effective use of space, longer tones. Thanks to Paula, Mike, Myke.
edition of 63, cdr, color covers in plastic sleeves
Bum Trash (Calgary Jaz Fest)
Aaron Leaney & Chris Dadge
The Leaney-Dadge duo has been operating intermittently since 2006, when they began working together as a two-some, and their recordings first appeared on a CJSW compilation. Their first album, Duo, was an early release on this label, a compilation of two live recordings from their early performances. Since, then, Leaney finished his degree in Toronto, enjoying the wealth of serious players in that town, and has come back to Calgary, where he currently resides, operating the Aaron Leaney Three, and a handful of duos and one-off projects. This recording, made in a wonderful-sounding Calgary basement during the summer of 2008, presents a clear extension of the heads-down, ultra-focused playing on the first record, adding numerous extra instruments (trumpet, percussion, zither, recorder, piano), and a looser, more exploratory approach to the improvisations. There are still moments of serious sax & drums action, but the duo's sound benefits from the widened scope, becoming, to put it simply, a little weirder. The session was culled from a series of weekly sessions the two were carrying out in Mount Pleasant that summer, and was hotly recorded by Dadge to a cassette tape. The raw recording was lovingly mastered by Leaney during the course of 2010.
edition of 100, cdr, color covers in plastic sleeves
Eric Normand & Bent Spoon Duo
This trio came together for one brief evening, in the hours between Normand's arrival to and swift departure from Calgary, on his recent cross-Canada tour. Normand, a fixture in Quebec's fertile creative music scene (he lives in Rimouski, where he runs a space/series, and also spends good chunks of time in Montreal rubbing elbows with the Ambiance Magnetique scene). The choice of electric bass in an 'improv' context can be a strange one, but Normand does an admirable job of rendering his instrument mostly unrecognizable. Multiple outputs, contact mics, and a bank of homemade effects assist in this. The Bent Spoon Duo, as usual represented by Chris Dadge and Scott Munro, cover a variety of sonic locales. Munro plays strings, electronics, trombone, SK-1, and voice. Dadge plays percussion, strings, amplified objects, and SK-1. For the most part, this is ragged electro-acoustic improvising, but more than once the set becomes heavily reminiscent of Philip Jeck and his gritty, swirling textures. Though not a usual reference point for Bug Incision music, we're happy to see the similarities.
edition of 60, cdr, color covers in plastic
The new album from Chris Riggs (on the heels of a killer LP with Liz Allbee and an 8-part series of very formalist cassettes) is part of a series that began with the Gold Danny (on Holy Cheever Church) and Achievement Is Its Own Reward (on Brokenresearch) CDRs from the last couple years. If one takes a look at the Holy Cheever Church website, around the -40s, Riggs starts in with some heavy conceptual shoelaces in his solo pieces, and, to this end, he writes: "Third installment in my series of cdr releases made up of tracks of equal length with a different track length for each cdr (gold danny = 3 minutes, achievement is its own reward = 5). This recording is pieced together from the tracks that make up HCC - 051. I assigned each of the 14 1-hour long tracks a number and used a random number generator to produce the "score". Different distributions were used for the five different tracks that effected the incorporation of silence, how many sounds were used within the 6 minute limit, and how often those sounds changed. The distribution of the 14 tracks always remained the same (i.e. i never "weighted" one sound more than another on any track. Each one always has an equal chance of coming up). I also used a random number generator to determine where along the time line of each 1-hour long sound I would use for a chunk of sound in the "score". For example: the score for number 1 says that sound number 9 (also known as track 9) needs to be played from 1:10 - 2:24 on the right channel and it needs to come from 17:21." Got it? Conversely, this is more top-notch guitar-disguising, care of Riggs' home-built guitars and quadrophonic amp setup. The sounds are right up front, and resemble, among other things: close-mic'd dogs breathing heavily, the back of a refrigerator, cars idling, and motorcycles revving.
edition of 57, cdr, color covers in plastic sleeves
The third solo drumset album from Bug Incision operator Chris Dadge. This album is all business - sharply focused workouts, usually vacillating between a handful of densities, operating in simple, clear structures. The recording was made on an old cassette tape, hence some of the fluffier moments, but the sound of the drums is right up front. Following in the same lineage as his earlier solo albums I'd Drive Your Ass Across The World, If I Had To and Tangled Woof of Fact, the album acts as a time-senstive document to someone's playing at a specific point in time. Six tracks in 31 minutes, recorded at 308 in Calgary, summer 2010.
edition of 60, cdr, color covers in plastic sleeves
Mike Khoury & Christopher Riggs
The Khoury-Riggs duo tape that appeared on Holy Cheever Church sometime last year was a favourite around Bug Incision headquarters, so it was a no-brainer when it came to scooping these recordings and getting them out there. The two are closely aligned with Detroit's fertile scene of creative improvisors, and are often involved with Ben Hall and Hans Buetow, two other Bug Incision-released artists, and their excellent label Brokenresearch. Both players have previously released material on this label (Khoury on Battlefield Medicine and Airwaves, Riggs on Tanto Impresos Como Sistemas and I Feel So Strong. I Feel I Could Punch A Hole In A Fucking Wall.) and have also filled their own and a good many others' release schedules with quality product. The strength of this duo is that they manage to succeed in finding some middle ground between Riggs, who's taken it upon himself to overhaul the guitar quite thoroughly, often rendering it unrecognizable, and Khoury, who has taken the violin at face value and studiously honed a unique sound and approach. There is a wonderfully controlled and varied bank of sounds from which Riggs draws, and Khoury keeps up with deft manipulations in tone, tremolo, bow pressure, etc. Look for a sister release on the House of Alchemy label.
edition of 66, cdr, color covers in plastic
Eric Chenaux & Bent Spoon Duo
Eric Chenaux is a long-standing fixture of Toronto's creative music scene. He runs Rat-Drifting, a beautiful label that deals in the finest of the city's more creative musical thinkers. He also plays with Drumheller, a quintet that gives jazz a good name, and he also has a string of wonderfully cracked, song-based solo albums on Montreal's Constellation records. The Bent Spoon Duo, Chris Dadge and Scott Munro, is one of Calgary's longer-running improvising units, and have played with a variety of people including Peter Evans, Chad van Gaalen (in the new group Blanket), Gordon Allen, Darren Williams, Simeon Abbott, and the late Dan Meichel (the Musk Cup). The first performance by this trio took place in Toronto in 2008, on the same tour that produced the two BSD tapes (on Holy Cheever and Middle James Co.) and the recently-released collaborations with Abbott. Their follow-up to that initial meeting took place at the jazz fest in Calgary during the summer of 2009. The music they played that evening had two distinct qualities. There is a forward-moving, yet rambling aspect to the music that reminds one of Derek Bailey's notions of 'playing', treating the word in its most natural, unaffected sense. There is also a type of folksy intuitiveness to the proceedings that glazes the harmony and complimentary rhythm in a rather spectral fashion. Chenaux's playing conjures a sort of amalgam of Roger Smith's ultra-introverted scrabblings and John Russell's patient unraveling of patterns and inversions, but anyone who's spent time with his music knows he sounds mainly like himself. Munro is the wildcard here, playing viola, sampling keyboard, vocals, and trombone. He skirts around Chenaux, and Dadge's mixture of dry drumset playing and violin work, filling in odd, but excellent areas of the music.
edition of 100, cdr, color covers in plastic sleeves, one copy left
New recordings from this Fossils-related duo from Hamilton, Ontario, following some recent releases on Middle James Co. and Fag Tapes. 30 minutes of deconstructed free rock jams on guitar and partial drumset, edited down from an epic 60 minute session. Some extremely crude and loose playing styles, backgrounded by the sound of dying amps and buzzing patch cables. Skeletal grooves and patterns occasionally emerge from the wreckage, and are usually abandoned just as quickly. Closest thing that comes to mind in this ballpark would be those Vampire Belt CDRs from a few years ago, but way slower and scrappier.
edition of 45, cdr, color covers in plastic sleeves
The people comprising this lineup have been orbiting one another for some time. Dadge & Munro play together in the Bent Spoon Duo, as well as a number of other projects (Blanket, Lab Coast, Phil Withers, Jay Crocker), and Munro & Fleischhaker have had an intermittently active vocals/electronics improvising duo (German Witchcraft, their first disc, which Dadge recorded and produced, was issued on Bug Incision as bim-10 a few years ago) for the last few years. This set was initially intended to be a simple addition of Dadge on drumset to the dual vocal/electronics setup the other two had been previously exploring . However, Munro added the electric bass, his primary instrument, and his vocal contributions were lessened, giving the trio a somewhat more conventional instrumental lineup. That nod towards the rock canon can be heard clearly in this live recording; the trio shares a certain headspace that allows them to operate in a fairly tight, un-flabby framework, producing pieces that end up sounding like small compositions. The recording is a straight document of the set, including a count-in, applause, and between-piece mumbling.
edition of 30, cdr, color covers in plastic sleeves
This is a live recording of a solo performance at Weeds Cafe in Calgary, in March 2010. The set was thrown together at the last minute, having arrived home from a trip a few days prior to the performance. Features percussion, violin, and acoustic guitar. Recorded and assisted by Brad Hawkins.
edition of 45, cdr, color covers in plastic sleeves
Simeon Abbott + Chris Dadge
Longtime collaborators Abbott (prepared electric guitar +
electronics) and Dadge (percussion + electronics) release their
first album together. There's a lot of movement in these two
tracks, but there's a similarity in their approaches that
streamlines the proceedings. The duo tosses a dizzying array of
ideas and sounds at one another, and they are caught, tossed back,
and(/or) sidestepped entirely, as only a duo can do. Abbott's
playing occasionally recalls a handful of his predecessors (Frith,
Kaiser, Rowe, Chadbourne, et al) in the guitar mangling tradition,
but we are mostly exposed to his own rapidly developing voice on
the instrument, further evidenced on his recent solo album, Zebra
Wood, and the wonderful Lamp Chops album (bim-24). Dadge
(fresh of a year of playing with the likes of Mats Gustafsson,
Eugene Chadbourne, and Eric Chenaux) is in full kaleidoscopic
mode, adding bags of junk and amplification to his drums &
cymbals. Recorded by Brad Hawkins at the monthly Bug Incision
concert series in the summer of 2009.
Simeon Abbott with Bent Spoon Duo
In October of 2008, nomoreshapes and Bent Spoon Duo took a trip
to the eastern side of Canada to hock their wares and mingle with
their displaced neighbours, one of which included ex-Calgarian
Simeon Abbott. The days were just packed on this trip. After
completing this session at Aaron Leaney's old apartment on Bloor
Street, the duo carried their gear to Somewhere There, where they
recorded what would become Fossils of Slumber (on Holy
Cheever Church), their most focused release to date. After
languishing in the vaults for a stretch, this recording is finally
being made available. Two dense, 20-minute tracks of very
physical, visceral playing. This is the era in which the duo began
playing on the floor, each others' gear in close proximity,
allowing them to make rapid and odd instrument switches, further
confusing their sound. Their heady mix of small keyboards,
percussion, objects, strings, tapes, and vocals, in concert with
Abbott's prepared guitar extrapolations suggest a louder, more
aggressive Three/Four Pullovers. Extra material from this session
appears on this trio's self-titled 3" disc (bimm-05), also on Bug
Five new tracks of solo violin improvisations by
our friend Mike
Khoury, a familiar face to the Detroit-area improvisation
scene (his duos with Ben Hall and Chris Riggs are well worth
seeking out). These tracks were all recorded live at various radio
stations, legit and not-so-legit, around the US. Khoury on his own
emits carefully wrought ribbons of lyrical,
stream-of-consciousness violin playing, alternately leaving tons
of space, letting his notes really hang, then obsessing over
small, scratchy sounds or dissonant harmonies. It's worth
mentioning his huge, full-bodied sound on the violin, reminding
one of the his beautiful duet with Ben Hall (bim-09), one of the
high points in Bug Incision's catalogue. A lovely, unified
addition to his ever-expanding body of work.
Birgit Ulher: trumpet, radio,
The excellent Robair-Ulher tag-team (previous
releases on Creative Sources and Rastacan are killers) is here
bolstered by the presence of Tim Perkis, frequent Robair collaborator and Bay Area
fixture (he's also put in time as a member of the
recently-archived League of Automatic Music Composers). The
Robair-Ulher discs are sparse and taut, all tension and no
release, but Pogiff features a slightly more expansive
sound palette, largely due to the nature of Perkis' laptop +
electronics contributions. Processed field recordings, subtle
electronic grit, and swoops of sound intermingle with Ulher's tight, ultra-controlled,
lip-smacking trumpet playing (with radio!) and Robair's trademark
approach to analog synth and percussion (his 'voltage made
audible' often sounds like, alternately, a computer trying to
sound like a field recording of crickets in the night or a
dentist's spit-sucking machine). This is a record that demands
your attention, constantly bubbling under the surface, trading
bluster for little gestures.
Super Deluxe Gas Jockey
janet turner, words, vocals and oddities
It would be difficult to imagine Bug Incision and the current Calgary scene of players without the foundation set by this trio, along with the late Dan Meichel, the recipient of this album's dedication and an integral figure in the development of improvised music in the city. Dicey, Turner, and Pisio (along with Meichel and a handful of others) formed a constellation of bands throughout the 80s to the present day, including Scum de Terre, tokyosexwhale, Book Lily Dead Posie, tomato tomato, and Street of Crocodiles. This show, recorded live at Weeds (the home of the current Bug Incision concert series) by Brad Hawkins, presents a fantastic set from what would have been Scum de Terre, minus Meichel.
The music includes the trademark elements of each player's approach, but also sees them moving in new directions. Dicey's extremely visceral approach to junk/object-based percussion is in full flight, but his kit playing has taken on a new fluidity and more overt sense of group interaction. Turner's vocals, as always, seem to find new ways to integrate themselves, and a (first-time?) dose of toy keyboards keeps things suitably off-kilter. Pisio's restless alto playing is beautifully dispersed with typical elegance and economy. A valuable addition to the Bug Incision catalogue.
edition of 50 copies, color covers in plastic sleeves, one
gordon allen, trumpet
Hardcore: La Brique is a live recording of a bizarrely rude trio of Montreal-based musicians. For the most part, St-Onge and Côté neatly sidestep any conventional bass & drum roles. Their playing is split between casting dark swaths of sound, which provide churning, dirty backdrops for Allen's trumpet, and occasionally allowing skeletal rhythmic and melodic fragments to spill forth, here betraying a more rock-informed approach to their instruments. Allen's masterful, unadorned playing constitutes a similar refuting of his instrument's known voice, often rendering the trumpet indistinguishable from the laptop & feedback noise. This is some strange, excellent, head-scratching group playing.
edition of 100 copies, color covers in plastic sleeves, in print
Part Wild Horses Mane on Both Sides
The duo of Pascal Nichols and Kelly Jones delivers another new slab of zoned duo improv. The latest chapter of their ongoing series of reconciliations of the flute/drums/electronics relationship comes out sounding like an beautifully mangled soundtrack to a Ducks Unlimited commercial or an garbled old videocassette of an '80s educational nature film. As has been noted in previous reviews of this duo, they make stunning use of a relatively basic setup, and it's a long ways away from those bizarre Jarrett/Dejohnette jams on Ruta & Daitya.
edition of 64 copies, color covers in plastic sleeves
Jack Wright/Ben Wright/Mike Pride/Nate Wooley
This is a 2006 recording of a quartet featuring Jack Wright (saxes), Ben Wright (upright bass), Mike Pride (percussion), and Nate Wooley (trumpet). The music is tightly coiled, coming across as an unsettled focusing and unfocusing of a variety of intersecting sounds and extended playing techniques. The players all possess masterful control of their instruments, and exhibit a fine sense of balance and pacing. Nobody overplays and the role(s) of background/foreground is constantly shifting, creating an uncluttered, thoughtful unfolding of events. Another fine slice of Wright and his ever-shifting company.
edition of 100 copies, color covers in plastic sleeves
Four tracks of string-saturated improvisation from Toronto's Colin Fisher and Simeon Abbott. Both players are serious multi-instrumentalists, but this set features them exclusively on ghuzeng and prepared guitar, respectively. Sounds like what might've happened if Strange Strings had been more fully fleshed-out and stripped down. Recorded to cassette four-track by Aaron Leaney at Somewhere There in Toronto, late 2008.
edition of 50 copies, color covers in plastic sleeves, in print
Another slab of basement strangeness from this Hamilton, Ontario-based trio/duo. The consistent element is David Payne, and he's joined by a mixture of Steve Smith and Daniel Farr. The sound quality here is out of step with the majority of Fossils' boombox-recorded catalogue, but the relatively crisp, bright recording yields a new attention to detail and smaller sounds. The enhanced fidelity doesn't, however, make it any easier to tell what the fuck is happening. Another basement baffler. Recorded in early 2009, at mjc HQ.
edition of 50 copies, color covers in plastic sleeves, one copy left
Recorded to two tracks of a Tascam 246, fall 2008. Follow-up to
2006's I'd Drive Your Ass Across The World, If I Had To. Shorter
tracks, much less contained than that album, though similar in its
simplicity and intent. Second solo drums album from Dadge, who's
played with Bent Spoon Duo, Raw Kites, Musk Cup, Eric Chenaux,
Mats Gustafsson & Christian Munthe, Peter Evans, and others.
Surreal slabs of processed sound float by each other in brilliant high fidelity, from the man behind much of the documentation of Bug Incision's live activities (hear his recording prowess on the forthcoming Bent Spoon Trio +3 album). First solo recording.
edition of 50 copies, color covers in plastic sleeves, in print
This new slab from Chris Riggs (Traum/Trauma, Holy Cheever Church, etc) features assemblages of highly abstracted guitar improvisations and silence. The most challenging Bug Incision release yet.
limited edition of 50
Crocker discards his usual array of guitars, homemade pedals, and keyboards, in favour of six years' worth of home recordings of himself. Mostly recorded on single track cassette tape, and patched through a larger system, these sketches and mini-improvs are woven together on one 'take', an acceptable one of which we have here. Moments here recall the denser sides of Richard Youngs or NWW. A strange one, for sure.
tour-only edition of 30, sold out
musk cup duo
chris dadge, dan meichel
This recording captures a Musk Cup gig to which Scott Munro could not make it. The duo moves cleanly through a gamut of approaches and instrumentation, epitomizing the MC method. Post-set ambience provides a taste of the Soda crowd.
japan-only tour edition of 30
chris dadge / percussion, violin, amplified
Dadge and Krause met in 2006 and began playing together the following year in a trio called Hidden Fortress, with Thom Golub. In August of 2007, they toured with trumpet-whiz Peter Evans for his first Canadian jaunt and recorded these sides while they were at it. This collection features the choicest chunks of what went on in a living room and in a dance studio in Edmonton. Released in Vancouver (Krause's home) in February 2009.
limited edition of 75, with 2 color photos
bayal with arnaud riviere
John Boyle and Aya Onishi (of Nihilist Spasm Band) play an arsenal of drums, modified thumb pianos & kazoos, with guest Arnaud Riviere (of Textile Orchestra, among other things) on destroyed turntables. The music was recorded live in France, documenting their set at Sonic Protest from a few years back. It consists of a half hour of unrelenting primal improvisation, underpinned by some early-man-style drumming and skittering cascades of feedback and heavily amplified, tactile interplay.
limited edition of 100, with b&w photo, in print
tony dryer / double bass
Another standout, cracking trio session with Wright on this label. Jack Wright is known for his extensive exploration of the ad hoc musical meeting, having logged many hours with artists such as Andrea Neumann, Axel Dorner, Reuben Radding, and Tatsuya Nakatani. He's joined by the extremely active duo of Jacob Felix Heule and Tony Dryer. The two have been playing extensively as a duo (as Dryer/Heule and Basshaters), and in groups such as Dryer/Heule/Lindsay, Storm of Corpses, and Heule/Dryer/Korber. The sounds this time are raw and jagged. A fantastically tactile-sounding recording. March 2008.
limited edition of 100, with insert
storm of corpses
tony dryer / electric double bass
An excellent large group recording from April 2008 at the Art Damage Lodge in Cincinnati, Ohio. Features C. Spencer Yeh (Burning Star Core, Wiese/Yeh duo, etc), Ryan Jewell (plays with Nate Wooley, Mike Khoury, Psychedelic Horseshit), Jacob Felix Heule (of Ettrick, Basshaters, Soft Teeth (with Ava Mendoza), etc) , and Jay Korber (Ettrick, Heule/Dryer/Korber) ), Tony Dryer (Basshaters, Michel Doneda, Jack Wright), and Jon Lorenz and John Rich of Wasteland Jazz Unit. Recorded beautifully by JFH during '08 spring tour.
limited edition of 100, with poster repro & insert, one copies left
bent spoon trio
The definitive document of 2008's midnight tunnel shows. Features the trio in a mode with is more easily aligned with the recent Dadge/Munro BSD music. Laing's sax playing is extremely spacious and restrained. Dadge and Munro play violin, viola, trumpet, cuatro, trombone, and sparse percussion.
limited edition of 50, with insert
bent spoon trio +
Two prime BST tracks, complete with string+sax sections, vocals, and some fine straight-up trio moments. Third track adds Thom Golub on the double bass. The final cut is a quintet, adding Jay Crocker on guitar and pink dolphin, and Dan Meichel on tenor sax. Recorded by Brad Hawkins, culled from the monthly series at Theatre Junction.
limited edition of 50, with
insert, in print
mark fleischhaker & scott munro:
The debut studio recordings from Calgary's Mark Fleischhaker and Scott Munro, both vocalists with a loose sense of the word. This is 9 tracks of their work, completely undiluted.
limited edition of 75, in print
khoury + hall
mike khoury / violin
In what appears to be the first entry in this duo's discography, Detroit's Mike Khoury and Ben Hall create very sparse music that somehow occupies a formidable density. Impossibly long tones from strings, drums that sound like you're inside of them, enhanced percussion, bell tones that hang. This is a huge-sounding album. It will fill the room.
limited edition of 150, in print
jack wright with hell & bunny
jack wright / saxophones
The well-traveled saxophonist Jack Wright in an excellently balanced trio with cellist Hans Buetow and percussionist Ben Hall. This set was recorded in Easton, PA in 2007. Features impressive playing from all, but noteworthy for its inclination towards mind-meld. A united effort throughout.
limited edition of 150
chris riggs / guitar
The latest installment of this Detroit-based trio finds them continuing the post-Davis mode they've occupied since guitarist Chris Riggs' arrival earlier this year. This version of the band, along with Hans Buetow and Ben Hall (Graveyards, Melee) is much fleeter; lighter punches, more of them. Sounds, at times, like a sped-up AMM.
limited edition of 150, three copies left
bent spoon duo
chris dadge / violin, sk-1, vocals
A totally left-field move from the Dadge/Munro faction of the BSD. This 30 minute disc features Monty's recent BSD stylings on voice, electronics, and trombone, and a drum-less Dadge holding it down with violin, sk-1, vocals, and crackle box. Recorded the same week as bim-05, this time live at the CJSR studios at UBC.
volume 2 of 2. limited edition of 50
bent spoon duo
chris dadge / drumset, violin, sk-1, etc
this faction of the bent spoon triangle visited vancouver in february of 2008. everything was recorded and is now starting to see the light of day. this is a live recording of the duo at 1067 granville, recorded on cassette tape. extended drumset, sk-1, and violin, upright bass, electronics, trombone, and vocals.
volume 1 of 2. limited edition of 100
bent spoon trio (w/ danny meichel)
chris dadge / violin, percussion, amplification,
every summer david laing and chris dadge host sporadic shows in an underground tunnel in calgary. the concerts are announced the day before, usually, and take place at midnight. the bent spoon trio is a consistent presence in these shows, and on this particular july night they added danny meichel to the ranks.
solo drumset & percussion
debut solo recording from calgary drummer/percussionist. two medium-length tracks culled from monday, tuesday, wednesday, and thursday morning recording sessions. solo drumset improvisations with subtle and occasional amplification.
unnumbered edition, sold
the musk cup
chris dadge, dan meichel, scott munro
the first-ever session from this long-in-the-pipeline calgary improv supergroup. recorded on cassette using drums, saxes, clarinets, flutes, trombones, basses, voices, noise, objects, and a bunch of other stuff.
first pressing of 50 copies, sold out.
bent spoon trio
david laing / alto sax, laingdon
The first micro-edition, a tour-only edition made for and sold on the Bent Spoon Duo 2007 UK tour. It's a live recording of the BST in Victoria from 2006. Long gone.
edition of 30
Bug Incision operator Chris Dadge releases a short set of solo drumset improvisations. Recorded in December of 2014 in an empty Emmedia screening room (the venue for many Bug Incision concerts since 2008), this tape captures some setting-up and fine-tuning tests before a show with the Midnighties Quartet later that night. The playing is loose-limbed and exploratory, making the most out of a six-piece kit with some dramatic tuning intervals.
edition of 25, download code included, C10, color cover
treated white card sleeves with color & b&w stick-on art, edition of 119
In the summer of 2011, artist Mark Lowe erected a replica of a Saskatchewan-prairies-style grain silo in the unlikely location of the Calgary Folk Festival (a comparatively mainstream, family-going event), and invited musicians to perform in it. This recording, helmed by Brad Hawkins, captures two drone pieces, featuring amplified cymbals, violin, and snare drum. This is another area of Dadge's activities that have been ongoing in certain situations for a number of years, but have yet to be associated with the Bug Incision label. Thanks to Mark and Brad for making this set possible.
3" cdr, decorated plastic sleeves, insert, edition of 22
The name Benoit Hughes will be familiar to only the most astute followers of Bug Incision. To those not living in Calgary he is an occasional writer of catalog descriptions; to Calgarians he is known as a frequent attendee of local concerts and an avid fan of "free improvisation", its history, and its myriad diversity of strains and players. What is probably not apparent to any of these people, however, is Hughes' existence as a player. He has amassed a terrific backlog of solo improvisations, recorded at home, in private, on a wide variety of formats, and mainly on nylon-string guitar. However, in typically perverse Hughes fashion, he has decided to issue for his first publicly available recording a suite of piano and half-clarinet improvisations. These two instruments, occasionally played simultaneously, were recorded to a mini-disc recorder set on auto-volume record level, in a mansion overlooking the city on Calgary's swanky Crescent Road. While Hughes does not possess conventional technique on either of these instruments, the recording does contain a certain charm. This is due to the odd sound quality created by the recorder's settings, as well as Hughes' very real commitment to "the moment", which results in a wild, gonzo style of improvising, fully uninhibited and at times somewhat psychotic-sounding. Not for for the faint of heart or fans of rulebook-adherence. With Hughes finally opening up his vault of recordings, this is the first installment of what will be a slow unveiling of one improv fanatic's highly personal archives. Stay tuned.
3" cdr, decorated plastic sleeves, insert, edition of 22
While much of Dadge's solo recordings on the Bug Incision have been focused on his drumset and percussion work, this release is a first glimpse at an area of activity that actively exists in live performances and other label releases (predominantly on the House of Alchemy imprint), but thus far has not been represented in the Bug Incision catalog. This release was recorded live at Pith Gallery in Calgary, in January of 2012. Pith is the debut of a particular mode of live performance which Dadge developed in the wake of his experiences composing and performing music for Theatre Junction, one of the more forward-thinking performance ensembles in Calgary. The loosely-defined piece, built around field recordings and amplified objects, has been honed over successive performances, but this initial incarnation contains some intriguing characteristics that are unique to it.
3" cdr, decorated plastic sleeves, insert, edition of 22
Simeon Abbott with Bent Spoon Duo
The remaining chunk of music from this trio's collaboration in
Aaron Leaney's old apartment on Bloor street. See bim-32 for more
Darren Williams with Bent Spoon Duo
Darren Williams is an important piece of the Bug Incision
puzzle. Previous to the BI activities, which began in 2005,
Calgary's hook-up for far-out sounds was largely Nach Hause,
Williams' concert production series, which brought in heavies from
around the world, and blew a number of young minds in the process.
When Darren left for Vancouver in 2004, there was a clear and
admirable model for what needed to appear in its wake. As a
musician, Williams plays the tenor sax, and his blasted approach
is firmly located in the fire-breathing tradition of Brotzmann,
Charles Gayle, Paul Flaherty, and the like. Calgary's Bent Spoon
Duo (this time: Dadge on straight drumkit, Munro on upright bass
& DS) found themselves in Vancouver as a part of a larger
touring unit, and the trip ended with an evening of ad hoc
groupings at the venerable 1067, the long-running hub of city's
creative music community. This super rough, 20-odd-minute mono
recording is fairly unrelenting, more akin to the music BSD made
as their early days as a trio, but way more violent. Good to
finally get this trio out there.
chris dadge & david laing
Before becoming the song-based pop group that it is today, Lab Coast was, first, a rethink of a handful of old Scottish folk tunes David used to sing as a lad, and second, or possibly first and then also second, it was a one-off cassette recording of a very odd jam in Dadge's old basement. This is a recording of that second incarnation, in edits. Perversely, this also serves as the debut release under the name Lab Coast.
3" cdr w/ plastic sleeve, 2 cover variations, edition of 33, sold out
bent spoon duo
chris dadge, violin & acoustic guitar
Monty & Dadge once again hit the road with Crocker & Hamelin from nomoreshapes to play some shows outside of town. Jim Vaughan set up a show for the dual bill along with a Dadge/Vaughan set. They played to some strangers and an old friend of Dadge's, and her friends. They paid for their food and decided to play through Crocker's guitar amp. This is the show from BSD with the most stripped down instrumentation thus far. More recordings of string duo to come.
live in edmonton, november 2009
jazz snob eat shit
dan meichel, reeds & moog prodigy
Sole live recording of the wonderful, late Dan Meichel, who passed away in April of 2009. Recorded at the Bug Incision End of August Festival in Calgary, in 2008.
live at emmedia, august 29, 2008
3" cdr w/ plastic sleeve, edition of 30, sold out
the musk cup, fleischhaker-munro, no more shapes, malleagle
In 2007, between the '06 and '07 monthly improv nights, four on-air performances/recording sessions took place on CJSW 90.9, in Calgary. This disc culls the best of those shows. Comes with extensive liner notes.
edition of 150, in print
chris dadge & rachael wadham
chris dadge / percussion, violin
A series of sparkling duet improvisations for percussion, piano, junk, and violin. Recorded in 1067, in Vancouver, on a Monday afternoon.
edition of 150, in print
"Discerning scrutiny of percussive colors without a hint of exaggeration – everything strictly in check, not an ounce of noodling to be found – and a few instants of anecdotal portrayals. A pictorial representation of egomaniacal modesty, 42 highly enjoyable minutes of never-exasperating questions designed to remain unanswered. Great stuff." Massimo Ricci, Temporary Fault
aaron leaney & chris dadge
aaron leaney / tenor sax, clarinet
A duo at the height of their powers. Three tracks recorded live in Calgary during 2006. Liner notes by Leaney and Dadge.
edition 150, in print
"These are clearly two players who understand that free improvising is not all hue and cry but that subtle shading makes for a richer, more multifaceted and effective music. And if I ever find myself in Calgary, at least now I know there may be some live music to seek out." Robert Iannapollo, Cadence
bent spoon trio
david laing, chris dadge, scott munro
Second BST disc, this time dealing with shorter track lengths and various recording techniques. Recorded in the smoking stairwell at ACAD in Calgary.
edition of 155, out of print
jay crocker & chris dadge
jay crocker / banjo, percussion
"Why can't a banjo sound like a tree full of Honeycreepers in the Peruvian lower amazon? Why can't Dadge and Crocker combine to sound like the future looking back on the ancient now?" - B. Buckingham, liner notes.
edition of 150, out of print
bent spoon trio
david laing, chris dadge, scott munro
The first release from the then-recently birthed Bent Spoon Trio. One 35 minute improvisation, recorded on said date, in living room. Printed discs.
edition of 100, out of print