errata/clarifications:Resonance FM was indeed set up originally as a temporary station for the Meltdown festival on the South Bank in London, but it was in '98 for the festival curated by John Peel (not the 2001 festival curated by Robert Wyatt).
19. Kevin Ayers and Archibald — "The End" (from Banana Follies, recorded for BBC Radio 1, 1972-09-20, released 1998)
errata/clarifications: Phil Holmes can be heard playing chalumeau during the Lapis Lazuli set (I mentioned this as if it were a thing of the past). It's not clear whether the "I am, you are, we are... crazy!" soundbite in the System 7 was sampled from the original Gong track or was specially re-recorded by Daevid Allen.
8. Kevin Ayers — "Lunatics Lament" (from Shooting At The Moon, 1970)
9. Bobby Hutcherson — "Yuyo" (from Montara, 1975)
10. Bobby Hutcherson — "Patterns" (from Patterns, 1980)
11. Bobby Hutcherson — "Tranquility" (from Components, 1965)
12. The Kronos Quartet — "Mythic Birds Waltz" (from Cadenza On The Night Plain And Other String Quartets, 1985)
13. John Coltrane/Terry Riley mashup excerpt (mixed by Warren Defever, 2016)
14. Aidan Shepherd and Owen Hewson — improvisation (recorded near Canterbury, summer 2015)
15. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith and Suzanne Ciani — "A New Day" (from FRKWYS 13: Sunergy, 2016)
16. Steve Hillage Band — "Salmon Song" (from Live at the Gong Unconvention 2006, released 2009, recorded at The Melkweg, Amsterdam, November 2006)
17. Syd Arthur — "Plane Crash in Kansas" (from Apricity, 2016)
18. Fairport Convention — "A Sailor's Life" [alternate take] (from Fairport Unconventional, 2002, recorded 1969)
19. Soft Machine — "Surrounding Silence" (from Alive And Well Recorded In Paris, 1978)
20. Gong — "Isle of Everywhere" (live in Rotterdam, 1974-12-07, from You Do Have To Give Up Dope!? GAS cassette tape, 1992)
21. National Health — "Binoculars" (from Of Queues And Cures, 1978)
22. Matching Mole — "Marchides" (recorded at L'Olympia, Paris, 1972-02-15)
23. Robert Wyatt — hidden track (from Theatre Royal Drury Lane, recorded 1974-09-08, released 2005)
24. Caravan — "In The Land Of Grey And Pink" (from Green Bottles For Marjorie, recorded live for BBC Radio 1968-12-31, released 2002)
errata/clarifications: The Horace Silver album was from 1980, not 1978 as I said. Mel Collins' involvement with King Crimson goes back to their second album In The Wake Of Poseidon, not Lizard (their third) as I said. Kramer got Brainville together in 1998, a few years after that collaborative album with Hugh Hopper. The rhythm section for the Steve Hillage band in 2006 was Chris Taylor (drums) and Mike Howlett (bass), whereas in 2009 it was Chris Taylor and Dave Sturt (in both cases, the same rhythm section Gong was using). Ric Sanders replaced Dave Swarbrick in Fairport Convention in 1984.
12. Gneng — [unknown title] (live at Club Burrito, Canterbury, 2016-11-04)
13. Witchdoctor — "Milk That Cow" (online release, 2016)
14. Jamie Dams — "Where Is The Way?" (from Rush of Souls, 2016)
15. Syd Arthur — "Into Eternity" (from Apricity, 2016)
16. Bison Bonasus — "Goldfish In The Spring" (from Group Portrait With Telephone EP, 2016)
17. Hatfield and the North [feat. Robert Wyatt] — "God Song" → "Fol De Rol" → "For Robert" → "A-Mewsing" (recorded for French TV programme Rockenstock, December 1972)
18. Allen Ginsberg — "Wales Visitation" (origin unknown)
19. King Crimson — "Cadence and Cascade" (alternate take with Greg Lake vocal, from In The Wake Of Poseidon 40th anniversary edition)
20. King Crimson — "21st Century Schizoid Man" (live in Hyde Park, London, 1969-07-05)
errata/clarifications: The Ciani/Smith collaborative album (to be featured in coming episodes) is called Sunergy, not Synergy as I said, and Smith's album EARS is indeed pronounced "ears" rather than "E-A-R-S". According to Wikipedia, "[Jerry] Dammers still regularly DJs in English nightclubs, as well as performing with his band, The Spatial AKA Orchestra, playing his own compositions and tributes to Sun Ra and other experimental jazz artists. The band features established jazz musicians Zoe Rahman, Larry Stabbins and Denys Baptiste. They perform in elaborate Ancient Egyptian and outer space-themed costumes, and share the stage with bizarre props such as model alien heads and mummy Sarcophagi. Renowned trombonist Rico Rodriguez also featured in a number of shows.". Vin Gordon is indeed a Jamaican trombone player (he was in the Skatalites, and was Studio One's main session trombonist). Rico Rodriguez was born in Cuba but grew up in Jamaica (he passed away in 2015). I should have mentioned that Josh Magill (who co-composed that Syd Arthur piece) is also the drummer in Bison Bonasus.
Joe's notes on the Toronto Underground mix:
Carl Didur probably turned me on to the "Canterbury sound". His group Zacht Automaat is one of my fave local bands, and when he passingly mentioned that he was getting tired of scribes calling them a krautrock band (when they were clearly more inspired by Canterbury) it gave me cause to investigate something that was a blank spot in my musical knowledge. I knew a bit about Wyatt and had passingly heard some Soft Machine, but that was about it. It was actually while I was digging around to learn some more that I came across Canterbury Soundwaves and I got an education working through all the old episodes while doing my Sunday chores. I was pleased when I came across Carl's old band The Battleship, Ethel, and as I worked my way forward I was expecting to get some ZA in there as well. Once I caught up on Canterbury Soundwaves (and Canterbury Sans Frontières) I was a little surprised they hadn't been brought into the fold yet. So, this is my attempt to return a sort of cosmic debt while leaving a trail of breadcrumbs for others to follow — and also a hearty attempt to say thanks for Matthew's devoted work that I have dug so much.
This mix isn't at all documentation of a "scene" or a movement within Toronto's many scenes. In fact, as I sorted through what to include, rather than broaden the scope, I ended up narrowing it down inasmuch as a lot of the participants here show up in two or three of these bands. Just to give strangers to this music a sense of this, I'll try and follow the threads in the annotated tracklist below.
Several of these selections are drawn from my archive of live recordings. There's a lot more that sounds like this stuff (and a whole lot more that doesn't) over at my blog.
Zacht Automaat — "Lost In The Peak District
As I mentioned above, ZA emerged from the ashes of The Battleship, Ethel as a duo partnership between Carl Didur (mostly synths) and Michael McLean (bass + other things). They're extremely prolific, with a dozen-ish albums under their belt despite the fact that half the band is at Oxford. Live, they're backed by Louis Percival (drums) and Colin Fisher (sax) who occasionally guest on recordings.
Calico Corp., a record label run by Slim Twig and his wife Meg Remy (a.k.a. U.S. Girls), released a double vinyl compilation of the band's work and that's a good place for the uninitiated to start, though full immersion into the ZA bandcamp also works very well.
Carl Didur — live excerpt 2016-08-30
Meanwhile, keyboard wizard Carl Didur keeps busy fixing old gear, recording and occasionally performing solo. This cut from this summer sees him on synth/clav/taishogoto (which'll pop up again later) which is a change from the synth/tape loop rig he deployed for quite a while.
Transcombobulation — "Third"
Switching gears to a couple other local synth noodlers, this is a duo project between Jonathan Adjemian (Korg MS-20) and Mike Smith (Moog Little Phatty/Moog Rogue/Yamaha MR-10) playing the latter's compositions.
Mike Smith Co. — "Forced False Setting" (live
Anyone digging these sounds should check out All-Set! Editions, a label curated by Mike Smith, whose projects contain their own set of interlocking personnel (many of whom previously served in the much-loved but defunct Muskox). The Mike Smith Co. is more of a malleable project than a fixed band that has brought anywhere from five to a dozen musicians to the stage to interpret Smith's wobbly works.
THREADS (Quintet) — "Threads II" [single edit]
Ken Aldcroft (who recently passed away much too young) was a force in Toronto's creative music scenes, working with a number of regular groups (including a recurring partnership with legendary NYC free jazz bassist William Parker) and showing up in ad hoc improvised combos with seemingly everyone. THREADS, inspired by Henry Threadgill's Zooid unit, was perhaps his most prog/noodly group, sporting pieces that mixed compositional and improved elements and typically lasted for twenty minutes. The synth here is played by Jonathan Adjemian (also heard above and below) who also makes solo drones as Hoover Party.
Not The Wind, Not The Flag — live excerpt 2016-02-25
One of Toronto's mightiest bands, this improvising duo's sets can range from meditative gong drones to electronic/percussion grooves to full-on freakouts. Brandon Valdivia (drums, electronics, kalimba) and Colin Fisher (sax, guitar, percussion, electronics) play with a sort of intuitive Zen mind-meld — and could bring a whole other set of instruments to a gig than the ones listed above. This excerpt shows Colin Fisher shredding on sax, but I could have just as easily picked a piece with his as well.
The Cosmic Range — live excerpt 2016-09-18
Matthew "Doc" Dunn is another Toronto polymath whose projects tend to pull together a stage filled with top-flight musicians. A true cosmic "head", Dunn is the guy who gets the call to be a special guest when the likes of Woods or MV&EE hit town. On stage, the Cosmic Range is like a psychedelic Sun Ra supernova, and the lineup at this gig overlapped with some of the other stuff in this playlist, including Jonathan Adjemian, Mike Smith (on bass here), and Brandon Valdivia.
Fake Humans — live excerpt 2016-03-11
This duo from Carl Didur and Colin Fisher started out as more of an abstract noise-exploration project, but has slowly moved into a more tuneful headspace. It's ridiculously reductionist to say, but if Zacht Automaat features Didur's refractions of Soft Machine, then this one might be his Van Der Graaf Generator. Fisher is on drums here, and Didur is doubling up on synth and taishogoto — every time I listen to this I remain shocked that this is just the work of two people on stage. No stdio recordings yet, but I've heard that there's something in the can.
Muskox — "Ghost Ride"
A point of origin for several local groups (including Aurochs, who started as a sort of smart jazz piano trio but have evolved into something more convoluted), this was Mike Smith's old band. Their earlier stuff has more banjo and harmonium in the mix, but Canterbury fans will especially groove on their final album Invocation/Transformations.
Zacht Automaat — "Special Dinner"
...and the end is the beginning is the...
Half the Sky — "Waited/Justice" (live at RIO festival, Carmaux, France, 2016-09-18)
You, Me & Us — "Masta Builda" (from Poesy At Play, 2014)
Artaud Beats — Ipso Facto (from Logos, 2015)
Jump For Joy! — "Jump for Joy! part 1: Time" (from Bat Pullover, 2016, live in Göteborg, Sweden, 2016-08-12)
Delta Saxophone Quartet [with Hugh Hopper, Yumi Hara and Simon Pearson] — "Wrapped 25/4 Box (With Ribbons)" (live at Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, 2008-02-08)
HUMI — "The Wind That Divides" (live at Club Integral, London, 2007-11-01)
Artaud Beats — "The Floating Word" (from Logos, 2015)
Jump For Joy! — "InstruMental" (from Bat Pullover, 2016, live in Göteborg, Sweden, 2016-08-12)
HUMI — "The Shape of a Haze" (live at Club Integral, London, 2007-11-01)
Daevid Allen, Yumi Hara and Ian East — "Who's Afraid?" (live in the woods, near Canterbury, 2013-05-01)
Yumi Hara — "O Caroline" (live in Tokyo, 2013-06-13)
11. Caravan — "Place of My Own" (from Green Bottles For Marjorie, 2002, recorded for BBC Radio One, 1968-12-31)
12. Peter Zummo — "The Tape Is Chill" (from Dress Code (Don't Look At My Car), 2016)
13. Robert Wyatt — "Was A Friend [PMFF remix]" (from EPs, 1999)
14. Kevin Ayers — "Where Do The Stars End" (from That's What You Get Babe, 1980)
15. Föllakzoid — "Arabic - Hash" (from EP, 2011)
16. Pink Floyd — "Point Me At The Sky" (7" single, 1968)
17. Ian East — "Dance of the Awakening" (from Inner Paths, 2016)
18. Soft Machine — "Drop" (from Drop, 2009, recorded live in Berlin, 1971-11-07)
19. Zacht Automaat — "Bury Me Face Down" (from Normality Bias, 2015)
20. Hatfield and the North — "Calyx" (from Hattitude, 2006, recorded for BBC Radio One, 1974-11-21)
clarifications/errata: Gong Matrices emerged out of the 1999 Progressive Music Festival in San Francisco. I'm not sure if all the musicians involved (Pierce McDowell, James Rotondi, Aryeh Frankfurter and Stephen Junca) are San Francisco-based, but most of them seem connected to the city's musical life. Yes, the Robert Wyatt piece "Unmasked" was originally a collaboration with Chris & Cosey (a.k.a. Carter Tutti) on their 1988 album Core. Mont Campbell studied French horn (and composition) at the Royal College of Music, not the Royal Academy. The bassoonist responsible for composing that mid-70s British children's TV music I was reminded of was Vernon Elliott (1912-1996). I mistakenly said "News For Babel" instead of "News From Babel". I forgot to mention that former Henry Cow member Geoff Leigh is in both Artaud Beats and Jump For Joy!, a major oversight — sorry, Geoff (I also confusedly mixed up the name of the latter band with the name of the album, Bat Pullover). Dr. Yumi Hara Cawkwell indeed teaches at the University of East London. Peter Zummo is actually a well-established American composer — please forgive my ignorance! Yes, Föllakzoid are a trio, but that EP was called EP rather than being self-titled, and wasn't their debut. And they've done several albums since. The Battleship, Ethel were from Hamilton, Ontario. Zacht Automaat are a Toronto-based duo, half of which is Carl Didur who was the keyboard player in TB,E.
20. North Sea Radio Orchestra — "Vishnu Schist" (from Dronne, 2016)
21. Spiro — "Vapourer" (from Welcome Joy And Welcome Sorrow, 2015)
22. Gong — "Cos You Got Green Hair" (from Magick Brother, 1969)
23. Syd Barrett — "Effervescing Elephant" (from Barrett, 1970)
Terry Collins' notes on his Indonesian selections:
1977. Guruh Gypsy - Barong Gundah
Guruh Soekarnoputra, son of the former president, and brother of recent President Megawati, loves Balinese gamelan and recruited prog-rock group Gypsy to interpret his songs. This track is based on the barong dance. The singer, Chrisye, went on to a very successful solo career.
1971. The Gang Of Harry Roesli - Don't Talk About Freedom
Harry Roesli was a social activist, some say eccentric. It was unwise to talk about freedom during the Soeharto era...
2010. Jaduk Kuaetnika - Barong
Djaduk Ferianto is a cultural artist/festival and workshop organiser at home and abroad. For the Balinese, Barong is the symbol of health and good fortune, and appears in ceremonies as a masked dancer fighting evil in the form of the witch Rangda.
1999. Discus - Violin Metaphysics
The album Discus 1, available on Mellow Records Bandcamp, is a bravura display of no one particular genre. In its minimalism, this track calls to mind Soft Machine's Out-Bloody-Rageous.
1989. Bubi Chen - Karanginan
Keith Jarrett meets Sunda kecapi (zither) suling (bamboo flute) from an album which cries out for a digital release.
2002. simakDialog - Alternate Jeda
From sD's second album Baur when they were still going through their Pat Metheny phase, before Riza Arshad, the leader-composer, ditched the drums, opted for Sundanese percussion and recorded four ethno-jazz albums. This track is unlike anything else I've heard from him.
2007. Aksan Sjuman & The Committee Of The Fest - Hungry
Senior drummer Aksan got bored making "pleasant music" and assembled a group associated with his music school to see what they could collectively come up with. Aksan Sjuman & The Committee Of The Fest was the result, and this track fits in nicely with Annette Peacock.
2010. Rully Shabara & Wukir (Senyawa) - Angin
Senyawa are 'noise' merchants based in Yogyakarta, the cultural centre of Central Java. They are widely travelled,with recent gigs in the UK,the USA and Germany. Seeing them live is a primeval experience... and truly life affirming.
2016. Mo'ong N' Friends - Ajur
A group pushing the 'ethno envelope'.
2016. Railroad Trio - Reflection
Adi Wijaya, was keyboard player in the now defunct I Know You Well Miss Clara from Yogya, whose album Chapter One was one of the top prog-rock albums of 2013. This track is from his privately circulated album Railroad Therapy, a dreamlike passage through life.
2. Amoeba Split — "Clockwise" (from Second Split, 2016)
3. Soft Machine — "Virtually" parts 1 and 2 (from Fourth, 1971)
4. Akalé Wubé — "Anbessa" (from Sost, 2014)
5. Karl Hector & The Malcouns — "Kingdom of D'mt" (from Can't Stand The Pressure, 2015)
6. The Philadelphia Experiment — "Ile Ife" (from The Philadelphia Experiment, 2001)
7. Miles Davis — "Ife" (live in Vienna, 1973-11-03)
8. Gilli Smyth tribute mix:
Gong — "Goddess Invocation" (bonus track from Shapeshifter, 1997, recorded live at Glastonbury, summer solstice 1992)
Gilli Smyth — "I Am A Fool" → "Back to the Womb" (from Mother, 1978)
Gong — "Zero the Hero and the Orgasm Witch" [excerpt] (live session for BBC Radio One, 1973-05-29, released on Pre-Modern Wireless, 1995)
Glo — "Back To The Sea" [excerpt] (from Even As We, 1995)
Gilli Smyth with Kangaroo Moon — "Medicine Woman" → "Beasty" (from Every Witches Way, 1993)
Gong — "Prostitute Poem" (from Angel's Egg, 1973)
Gilli Smyth with Harry Williamson — "I Am A Witch" (from Every Witches Way, 1993)
Mother Gong — "Tigers Or Elephants" → "Mirror" (from Robot Woman 2, 1982)
Gong — "Fohat Digs Holes In Space" (from Camembert Electrique, 1971)
Gong — "Shakti Yoni & Dingo Virgin" (from I See You, 2014)
Gilli Smyth — "We Who Were Raging" (from Every Witches Way, 1993)
Mother Gong — "Simples" (from Every Witches Way, 1993)
9. Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhangen [feat. Jomi Massage] — "The Sight of the Wind" (recorded live in Copenhagen, 2015-10-23)
10. Arlet — "Bowerhouse" (recorded live at the Preservation Room, London, 2016)
11. The Boot Lagoon — "Mystery of the Pyramids" → "Island Enture" (recorded live in Walmer, Kent, 2016-06-11)
errata/clarifications: Karl Hector & the Malcouns are from Münich. ?uestlove's real name is Ahmir Khalib Thompson. The Preservation Room has nothing to do with Cecil Sharp House. Univers Zero and Aksak Maboul were both Belgian bands. And, yes, Callum from the Boot Lagoon is currently out in North America touring with Syd Arthur, shadowing their sound engineer.
23. Gong — "It's The World of Illusion" → "Why Don't You Try?" → "I Am You" ["You Never Blow Yr Trip Forever"] (from The Birthday Party, 1995, recorded The Forum, London, October 1994)
Errata/clarifications: I was unable to find out who played the additional percussion on that live Caravan track (even this didn't help!). The person behind White Rainbow is named Adam Forkner. L'Infonie was formed in Quebec in 1967 by Raôul Duguay and Walter Boudreau. Wikipedia says: "This project was intended both as a music group and a new approach to collective improvisation; Duguay published its manifesto in 1970. The group released a number of albums on the avant-garde side of Quebec's progressive rock and jazz-rock scenes before dissolving in 1973." The person behind the Bresse-sur-Grosne concerts and studio was Jacky Barbier, and that track was from Hopper Archive volume 6, not 7 as I claimed.
25. Liam Magill and Raven Bush — "Honest Land" (live in secret woodland location near Canterbury, 2012-06-10)
Errata/clarifications: Facelift fanzine ran from 1989-1999 (you can find more info here). I forgot to mention that the Daevid-like vocals on the live Paragong track were provided by Tim Blake. And the video of Soft Machine on the Dutch TV programme Hoepla has unfortunately been pulled from YouTube (but check back, it may well resurface, well worth a viewing!)
26. Wesley Stace's Cabinet of Wonders [feat. Salman Rushdie(!)] — "Singing A Song In The Morning" (live at City Winery, NYC, 2016-04-15)
Errata/clarifications: The original "Pentagrammaspin" wasn't from Steve Hillage's Fish Rising album sessions, but recorded by Paragong (Hillage/Malherbe/Blake/Howlett/Moerlin) in early '73. UKC's Chancellor (not Vice Chancellor) is Gavin Esler (not "Eisler").