Black Truffle

David Behrman “She’s More Wild…” (Black Truffle)

2020-05-21T20:50:19+00:00May 21st, 2020|

Black Truffle announce the release of She’s More Wild…, a collaborative project by David Behrman, Paul DeMarinis, Fern Friedman, Terri Hanlon, and Anne Klingensmith recorded at Mills College in 1981. Previously known only to cognoscenti through an obscure self-released three-track 7″, this is the first publication of the complete album, an outrageous confection that mixes art-song and theatrical monolog with live electronics. Starting life as a performance art piece described by the artists as “Western Performance Noir”, the record centers on a series of texts written by Friedman and Hanlon in which female narrators comically embody a series of iconic roles (The Recording Artist, The Former Movie Star, and The Rancher). Other lyrical themes include recurring references to the notorious cannibal pioneers, the Donner Party, an ironic take on Japanophilia, and the luscious “Archetypal Unitized Seminar”, a satirical poke at self-help culture, whose lyrics are rendered in Indian raga style to the accompaniment of electronic glissandi and toy noisemakers. Delivered by Friedman, Hanlon, Klingensmith, and special guest Maggi Payne in forms ranging from spoken monolog to country and western waltz, the texts are accompanied by instrumental and electronic contributions by Behrman and DeMarinis. Musically, She’s More Wild… is truly unique, demonstrating these two pioneers of live-electronic performance adapting their signature processes to something approaching a “pop” format: you hear the gliding, frequency-sensitive electronics familiar from Behrman’s classic On the Other Ocean and the mutant hacked Speak n’ Spell heard on DeMarinis’ Songs Without Throats (BT 041LP, 2019) propelled by drum machines and twisted into song forms. Perhaps comparable only to the David Rosenboom and Jacqueline Humbert’s contemporaneous Daytime Viewing in its interweaving of performance art tactics, high-tech electronics and pop sensibilities, She’s More Wild… is an essential document, both immediately gratifying and ultimately thought provoking. Gatefold sleeve with various texts and archival images; sleeve design by Lasse Marhaug. Mastered and cut by Kassian Troyer at Dubplate & Mastering, Berlin.

David Rosenboom “Brainwave Music” (Black Truffle)

2019-11-29T03:53:30+00:00November 29th, 2019|

Repressed. Black Truffle present the first ever vinyl reissue of David Rosenboom’s legendary Brainwave Music, originally released on A.R.C. Records in 1975. This is an expanded double-LP edition with over 40 minutes of additional contemporaneous material. Pioneer of live electronics, innovator in music education, collaborator with artists as diverse as Jon Hassell, Jacqueline Humbert, Terry Riley, and Anthony Braxton, Rosenboom is renowned for his ground-breaking experiments with the use of brain biofeedback to control live electronic systems. Each of the three pieces that make up the original Brainwave Music LP integrates biofeedback with musical technology in different ways. In the side-long “Portable Gold and Philosophers’ Stones”, four performers have electrodes and monitoring devices attached to their bodies to receive information about brainwaves, temperature, and galvanic skin response. This information is analyzed and fed into a complex set of frequency dividers and filters, manned by Rosenboom, but essentially played by each of the performers through their psychophysiological responses. The result is a slowly unfolding web of filtered electronic tones over a tanpura-esque fundamental, possessing the unhurried, stately grandeur of an electronic raga. In “Chilean Drought”, three different variations of a text about a drought in Chile, read by a different voice in a different style, are associated with the beta, alpha, and theta brainwave bands. Alongside an insistent piano accompaniment, three constantly shifting vocal recordings are controlled by the relative preponderance of each of the brainwave bands in the soloist. “Piano Etude I (Alpha)”, the earliest piece included here, is based on research into the link between alpha brain wave production and the execution of repetitive motor tasks. As Rosenboom plays a very rapid, incessantly repeated pattern in both hands, two filters controlled by monitoring his brainwaves process the piano sound, moving gradually higher in frequency as the average alpha amplitude increases. For this reissue, the original LP is supplemented with an additional LP containing an unreleased 1977 live recording of Rosenboom’s “On Being Invisible”, in which the composer himself performs on an array of electronics that are fed information from his brainwaves. Stretching out over 40 minutes, the piece begins in similar territory to “Portable Gold and Philosophers’ Stones” but eventually becomes far wilder, building up to pointillistic bleeps and dense layers of electronic fizz that unexpectedly cut to near-silence. As Rosenboom explains, the piece creates a situation in which the “performer’s active imaginative listening became one of the ways to play their instrument, as well as an active agent in how self-organizing musical forms might emerge.” Includes archival images and new notes from the composer. Gatefold sleeve design by Lasse Marhaug. Mastered by David Rosenboom from the original analog tape masters. Cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin.

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Keiji Haino/Jim O’Rourke/Oren Ambarchi ” In the past only geniuses were capable of staging the perfect crime (also known as a revolution) Today anybody can accomplish their aims…” (Black Truffle)

2019-09-13T06:33:45+00:00September 13th, 2019|

Double LP version. Full title: In the past only geniuses were capable of staging the perfect crime (also known as a revolution) Today anybody can accomplish their aims with the push of the button. For its 50th release, Black Truffle presents the ninth album from one of the label’s core ensembles, the power trio of Keiji Haino, Jim O’Rourke, and Oren Ambarchi. Drawn from a November 2015 performance at Tokyo’s now-defunct SuperDeluxe, the record’s opening piece drops us immediately into the maelstrom, abruptly cutting into an extended episode of Ambarchi’s pummeling drums, O’Rourke’s fuzzed-out six-string bass, and Haino’s roaring guitar and electronics. Eventually settling into a hypnotic bass and drum groove over which Haino unleashes some almost Ray Russell-eque skittering atonal screech, these opening 13 minutes act as a potent reminder of the trio’s power. Alongside showcasing the steady development of a unique language for the guitar-bass-drums power trio, the group’s succession of releases over the last decade has demonstrated a constant experimentation with new instruments, which continues here with O’Rourke use of Hammond organ (played at the same time as his roaming, sometimes knotty basslines). On the album’s second piece, the organ plays a key role, furnishing a harmonically rich shimmer over O’Rourke’s angular six-string bass chords, Haino’s distant, chirping electronics and Ambarchi’s crisp cymbal work; arriving somewhere halfway between Albert Marcoeur and Terje Rypdal, this piece is undoubtedly a highlight in the trio’s catalog so far. The second and third sides are slow-burning, multi-part epics that range from spacious reflection to furious tumult. Where the trio’s previous double-LP set — This Dazzling, Genuine “Difference” Now Where Shall It Go? (BT 030LP, 2017) — was primarily instrumental in focus, here you find Haino’s voice taking the spotlight on the expansive third side, intoning, wailing. and exhorting in Japanese and English over a backdrop that moves from hushed bass and organ atmospherics to rolling toms and cymbal crashes before arriving at an ecstatic finale of searing guitar, tumbling drums and reverb-saturated bass. The fourth side returns to the hypnotic grooves of the opening piece, fixing on a relentless riff and riding it into oblivion under Haino’s roaming psychedelic soloing and jagged chordal slashes. Cover image by Traianos Pakioufakis; Live action pics by Ujin Matsuo. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering. LP design by Lasse Marhaug; gatefold sleeve.

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David Rosenboom “Brainwave Music” (Black Truffle)

2019-06-21T19:23:22+00:00June 21st, 2019|

Black Truffle present the first ever vinyl reissue of David Rosenboom’s legendary Brainwave Music, originally released on A.R.C. Records in 1975. This is an expanded double-LP edition with over 40 minutes of additional contemporaneous material. Pioneer of live electronics, innovator in music education, collaborator with artists as diverse as Jon Hassell, Jacqueline Humbert, Terry Riley, and Anthony Braxton, Rosenboom is renowned for his ground-breaking experiments with the use of brain biofeedback to control live electronic systems. Each of the three pieces that make up the original Brainwave Music LP integrates biofeedback with musical technology in different ways. In the side-long “Portable Gold and Philosophers’ Stones”, four performers have electrodes and monitoring devices attached to their bodies to receive information about brainwaves, temperature, and galvanic skin response. This information is analyzed and fed into a complex set of frequency dividers and filters, manned by Rosenboom, but essentially played by each of the performers through their psychophysiological responses. The result is a slowly unfolding web of filtered electronic tones over a tanpura-esque fundamental, possessing the unhurried, stately grandeur of an electronic raga. In “Chilean Drought”, three different variations of a text about a drought in Chile, read by a different voice in a different style, are associated with the beta, alpha, and theta brainwave bands. Alongside an insistent piano accompaniment, three constantly shifting vocal recordings are controlled by the relative preponderance of each of the brainwave bands in the soloist. “Piano Etude I (Alpha)”, the earliest piece included here, is based on research into the link between alpha brain wave production and the execution of repetitive motor tasks. As Rosenboom plays a very rapid, incessantly repeated pattern in both hands, two filters controlled by monitoring his brainwaves process the piano sound, moving gradually higher in frequency as the average alpha amplitude increases. For this reissue, the original LP is supplemented with an additional LP containing an unreleased 1977 live recording of Rosenboom’s “On Being Invisible”, in which the composer himself performs on an array of electronics that are fed information from his brainwaves. Stretching out over 40 minutes, the piece begins in similar territory to “Portable Gold and Philosophers’ Stones” but eventually becomes far wilder, building up to pointillistic bleeps and dense layers of electronic fizz that unexpectedly cut to near-silence. As Rosenboom explains, the piece creates a situation in which the “performer’s active imaginative listening became one of the ways to play their instrument, as well as an active agent in how self-organizing musical forms might emerge.” Includes archival images and new notes from the composer. Gatefold sleeve design by Lasse Marhaug. Mastered by David Rosenboom from the original analog tape masters. Cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin.

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AMM ‎”Ammmusic” (Black Truffle)

2016-05-31T22:56:27+00:00May 31st, 2016|

The first recording by these pioneers of electro-acoustic improvisation, AMMMusic stands the test of time both as a remarkably prescient session and as an utterly powerful and deep piece of 20th century music. Drummer Eddie Prevost’s superb and detailed liner notes document AMM’s early history, including the confusion engendered not only in audiences and critics but even in the band members themselves, unsure if they were in a free jazz ensemble, a contemporary classical group, neither, or both. The aphorisms adorning the original LP issue (the disc includes additional portions of the concert) give some indication of what was facing listeners and musicians at the time: “An AMM performance has no beginning or ending. Sounds outside the performance are distinguished from it only by individual sensibility.” Or: “Every noise has a note.”
Even so, at this early stage in its development, there are more “normal” instrumental sounds with a conceptual basis in either jazz or classical music than there would be later on. Lou Gare’s tenor saxophone wrings out occasional avant-garde peals that wouldn’t have sounded too out of place in Sun Ra’s band of the period, and Prevost’s drumming shares some affinities with the energy players of the day. Similarly, Cornelius Cardew’s piano and Lawrence Sheaff’s cello sometimes refer to this or that modern classical tradition. But the overall sound of the group, even in 1966, was so different, so idiosyncratic, that it’s not at all surprising that both new jazz and contemporary classical audiences were baffled, if not horrified. The experimentation in sonic assault, noise, and chance sound (including transistor radios) would, however, reach the rock fringes (as Prevost points out) in the work of ’60s bands like Pink Floyd as well as later industrial groups like Test Dept. and the Jesus and Mary Chain. But the palpable thrill of producing such music at the time is unique to AMM. The group’s sonic conception in its totality is so enveloping and comprehensive that, once heard, it becomes impossible to hear music the same way again. Recent devotees of electronica, free improv, industrial, and noise bands owe it to themselves to check out their primary source

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