Friday, November 23, 2018

Canterbury Sans Frontières episode 65

Canterbury Sans Frontières: Episode 65

A couple of recent live recordings from the current "Soft Machine" lineup, its rhythm section Babbington and Marshall also being heard on a side from the monstrous 1971 Centipede double LP (along with countless other Canterbury luminaries), another one from Hopper and Gowen, plus National Health live in Dundee in '76 with Mont Campbell, Bill Bruford and some wonderful Amanda Parsons vocals. Also, some very Canterburyesque sounds from Italy, France and the USA, courtesy of the AltRock Productions label, more Coltrane-inspired beauty from London-based tenor prodigy Nubya Garcia and half of Garrett List's extraordinarly Wyatt-like '72 album Your Own Self. From the Canterbury of today, something from the new Lapis Lazuli masterpiece album Brain and a live synth improvisation from Arlet's Aidan Shepherd.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Canterbury Sans Frontières episode 64

Canterbury Sans Frontières: Episode 64

An exceptionally beautiful Robert Wyatt melody, Caravan live in Colorado on their first North American tour in '74, Kevin Ayers live in London earlier that same year, Hugh Hopper and Alan Gowen getting ambient in 1980 and a timeless favourite from Slapp Happy. Also, some Canterbury-sounding sounds from Galicia, future jazz from Bristol's Hippo, some neo-spiritual jazz from Nubya Garcia and an early Penguin Cafe Orchestra piece. From the Canterbury of now, a new slice of gorgeous electronica from Koloto and an hour-long guest mix from Callum Magill a.k.a. Nelson Parade, featuring Canterbury classics from Soft Machine, Hatfield, Caravan, Gong, Egg and more.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Canterbury Sans Frontières episode 63

Canterbury Sans Frontières: Episode 63

Robert Wyatt jamming with Jimi Hendrix, Gong reunited with Steve Hillage in the studio in 2009, Kevin Ayers and the Whole World live in London in 1970, Hugh Hopper's Franglo-Dutch band live in Amsterdam in '89, Canterbury-esque sounds from The Muffins circa '75, a Japanese obscurity from '73 and some recent, extensive Wyattesque burblings from Italian duo My Cat Is An Alien. From the Canterbury of recent times, a new live recording from the Papylonian Babooshkies and a couple of gems from the Syd Arthur catalogue.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Canterbury Sans Frontières: Episode 62

Canterbury Sans Frontières: Episode 62

Soft Machine live in Brussels in 1971, Kevin Ayers and the Whole World playing a highly unusual "We Did It Again" in 1970, the Hatfield and the North "big band" lineup in the spring of 1974, Hugh Hopper soundchecking with Phil Miller, Didier Malherbe and friends in 2007, and live in Amsterdam in 1991 with his Franglo-Dutch Band. Gong sounding rather "musique concrète" on the radio in 1973, Steve Hillage and Miquette Giraudy live in '77, Lindsay Cooper's music being played live in London and Germany this summer, and a home recording of Mike Ratledge playing piano standards in the early 60s. Also, something from the recently released "lost" John Coltrane album, something else from Kavus Torabi's solo EP, Hawkwind sounding fabulous live in 1990 and Tokyo's the De Lorians live in the studio this spring. From the Canterbury of recent times another track from the new Nelson Parade EP, an old favourite from the 2012 Boot Lagoon EP and an hour of Arlet live in the woods near town last summer.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Canterbury Sans Frontières: episode 61

Canterbury Sans Frontières: Episode 61

A remarkable Kevin Ayers song which I bet you've never heard, performed live with The Whole World in 1970, more from the Caravan 15th anniversary gigs in 1983, something from Daevid and Gilli's last album with Gong, something from current Gong frontman Kavus Torabi's debut solo EP, a reunited Hatfield paying tribute to Elton Dean in NYC, Elton at the top of his game with Soft Machine in Oslo '71, members of Henry Cow collaborating with Japanese musicians on a Robert Wyatt classic, something lovely from Robert himself, plus Steve Hillage, Jon Hassell, Bjork and a very early Yes covering The Byrds to great effect. From the Canterbury of today, new work from Koloto, Nelson Parade, Paisley Mess and Humble Pious, plus old favourites from Jamie Dams and Syd Arthur.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Canterbury Sans Frontières: episode 60

Canterbury Sans Frontières: Episode 60

Something almost fifty years old from Caravan, something very Caravanesque from Elvin Jones, an ancient song idea revived by a later-era Gong, Soft Machine struggling with a festival power supply in 1969, a slice of gorgeousness from Robert Wyatt's last album, National Health with Alan Gowen live in Holland in '79 and Kevin Ayers reading the news. Also, an Eno gem, brassy minimalism from Ellen Arkbro, an Ethio-jazz instrumental and something profoundly heavy from NYC's Ex Eye. From the Canterbury of today, a rather abstract Lapis Lazuli remix, oblique beats from Humble Pious and the latest release from Boot Lagoon bassist Cam Dawson's Vels Trio project. The middle hour of this episode features a guest mix from freeform WFMU DJ Tony Coulter, a collection of Canterbury-sounding Belgian prog and fusion from the 1970s.

Hippo and Paisley Mess at Crash of Moons Club

This was the last one until September. Another Crash of Moons success! Despite the original headliners The Brackish cancelling at the last minute, the team pulled together and came up with a great replacement, local soul-psych quartet Paisley Mess. Hippo from Bristol were clearly blown away by the enthusiasm and size of the audience for this, the last night on their tour. They're doing some wonderful future-jazz weirdness with drums, analogue synths (pushing the squelchiness to almost comical limits) and processed saxophone. At times like a 21st century Soft Machine. Very cool, very well received. Paisley Mess surpassed by expectations, can't believe I've missed out on them until now. Check their latest tune, "Cube", it's brilliant! They've got soulful vocals and well-crafted songs, but they can also seriously rock and there's some great bluesy jamming (of the tasteful, Peter Green school) going on.

As resident DJ Professor Appleblossom, I played sets before/between/after (psych/jazz, soul/psych, soul/dancehall), which you can check out here:

The first tune I put one was "Play Mass" by Sons of Kemet which, I thought, was pretty obscure. Sons of Kemet is a band involving drum god Seb Rochford, so there's a British contemporary jazz thing there which seemed relevant to Hippo setting up to play. But I was amazed when sax/synth player Doug Cave came over, himself looking amazed, to tell me that someone had played that tune at every single gig on this tour! I wasn't sure if I was just being predictable, or really attuned...

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

new saz baptism in JP's backyard

19th May 2018
West Side, Stevens Point, Wisconsin

After a month in Point waiting for a saz to arrive from Turkey, it showed up two days before I was set to leave. That would have been my dad's 94th birthday.

I did get to take it out and play it once (it's going to stay there for future visits). Stef from Sloppy Joe was keen to play music before I left, and JP and Molly offered to host in their backyard, with a bonfire. My playing was somewhat affected by (i) having not played for over five weeks; (ii) several bottles of Point beer; (iii) playing in fluctuating light/temperature conditions; (iv) not having heard most of the songs before, but enough with the excuses, make your own minds up:

Listen Here

I've added a bonus track, National Public Radio's most famous voice, Carl Kasell, reading "Jabberwocky" onto cassette some years ago as a prize for my friend Maud (not "Maude") when she won on a radio quiz show. I'd digitised it for her (she has no tape player these days) the day before.

Crash of Moons with Witchdoctor and Iran Iran

Wednesday 30th June, 2018
Bramley's, Canterbury

Another excellent Crash of Moons Club night, aided by the expanded COMC team. Witchdoctor (from Herne Bay) were sounding better than ever and dropped a cover of the Cardiacs' "Everything I Can't Eat" in the middle of their set. After a brief false start, Bristol's Iran Iran blew the roof off with their heavy noise/doom prog. They seemed amazed at the reaction (presumably used to a few blokes in the their 30s standing watching grimly) when the Canterbury crowd started throwing themselves around to the joyous racket that was being made. Crazy energy!

Perfect sound as always from Big Will on the mix.

I was back in action as COMC resident DJ, Professor Appleblossom. Here are my mixes (a Cardiacs-inspired set before Witchdoctor, morphing towards doom/math/postrock in the inter-band set and getting kinda disco in the post Iran Iran set). I got to play much longer than usual for that last set, great to see so many people dancing to such things as Lee Perry and Augustus Pablo's "Vibrate On", The Raincoats' "Ooh Ooh La La" and Orchestre Poly-rythmo de Cotonou.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Canterbury Sans Frontières: episode 59

Canterbury Sans Frontières: Episode 59

Kevin Ayers acoustic in London in 2006. Hugh Hopper (i) collaborating with Portland, Oregon's Caveman Shoestore in '99; (ii) back at Canterbury Art College performing "O Caroline" with the Pig Band (HH, Coxhill, Pyle, Biddulph) in '84; (iii) with Shortwave (HH, Malherbe, Pyle, Miller) at Gong's 25th birthday party in 1994; and (iv) with Soft Heap (HH, Dean, Pyle, Gowen) in '78. Richard Sinclair with (i) Caravan in '83; (ii) Italian band Zenith last winter; and (iii) with local pianist David Rees-Williams in Seattle, 2002. Matching Mole's full set at the Bilzen Jazz Festival in August '72, Gong on French TV in '71 plus Canterburyesque sounds from Manna/Mirage, Birds and Buildings, Arkham and Parc X Trio. A recently surfaced Manzanera/Eno/Wyatt jam, a Hillage B-side and some cosmic jazz from Sun Ra and His Arkestra in '59. From the Canterbury of now, new music from Koloto, Nelson Parade and Humble Pious, plus something from a 2014 Arlet EP.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Canterbury Sans Frontières: episode 58

Canterbury Sans Frontières: Episode 58

Caravan demos from late '72, a fragment from the legendary Hatfield/Gilgamesh "double quartet" composition, Richard Sinclair singing a Hatfield classic with Italian prognauts Zenith backing him, something from Robert Wyatt's opus magnum Rock Bottom, Art Bears, Hillage live in Germany in '77, another intriguing Hugh Hopper obscurity (featuring Didier Malherbe), an oddity from Daevid Allen's little known Twelve Selves album and a tribute to Spirogyra's Martin Cockerham (RIP). Also, Herbie Hancock getting far-out in '73, a major new electronic release from Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, former Miles Davis sideman Barney Wilen recorded somewhere in Africa in 1969 or '70, and a psychedelic studio gem from the good old Grateful Dead.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Crash of Moons DJ mixes (The Thirteen Club, Milon)

25th April 2018
Bramley's Bar, Canterbury

I was away for this one, sadly, but provided remote (transatlantic!) DJ mixes for before/between/after bands. Here's what (hopefully) got played on the night:

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

recent jam at Jacob's

Jacob's flat, St. Thomas Hill, Canterbury
7th April 2018

Jacob — electric and acoustic guitars
Luke — acoustic guitar
Oli — soprano saxophone
Laszlo — beats and samples
Matthew — saz

Listen Here

Local MC Reminisce was hovering nearby, occasionally suggesting we switch up the beat, but declined to spit any bars on the occasion. Lasz was using Ableton Live to trigger beats and samples.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Canterbury Sans Frontières: episode 57

Canterbury Sans Frontières: Episode 57

Some unearthed Kevin Ayers recordings from the legendary June 1974 concert with Eno, John Cale and Nico, and also of Caravan's reunion at London's Marquee club in 1983. Also, Robert Wyatt talking Tchaikovsky, the Delta Saxophone Quartet covering Soft Machine, the Soft Machine themselves live in May 1970, Pink Floyd live and King Crimson in the studio in 1971, more Khan jams from the 1972 European tour, Lindsay Cooper and friends live at The Bastille in '82. From the Canterbury of recent times, The Boot Lagoon live in December 2010 and a couple of Lapis Lazuli remixes.

Richard J Blyth, COIMS and Ekoda Map at Crash of Moons Club

Wednesday 28th March 2018
Bramley's, Canterbury

Another unqualified COMC success!

Here are my mixes from the occasion as resident DJ Prof. Appleblossom:

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

early jams with Jacob

I've been jamming fairly regularly with Jacob Brant (a.k.a. Yakobfinga, once of the Canterbury postrock/drone band Bardo Thodol), and occasionally one or two other friends. Saz and acoustic guitar mostly (though he's also a mean bass player). Neither of us has been directing this process, but it's slowly crystallising into something. Here's a compilation of some jams and fragments (some a bit wonky, but still worthy of preservation) recorded since last November.

Listen Here

Friday, March 02, 2018

Canterbury Sans Frontières episode 56

Canterbury Sans Frontières: Episode 56

A slight variant on a Kevin Ayers classic, some newly unearthed tapes from Khan's last European tour (1972), Wyatt speaking on Ellington, guesting on cornet with Clear Frame and (perhaps) drumming with the Keith Tippett Group, National Health live in Kansas, a perfectly formed Henry Cow miniature, some overlooked cosmicness from Gilli Smyth and Gong and a rather lovely (if slightly cheesy) Caravan instrumental. Also, Jaga Jazzist live in Sao Paulo, American minimalist composer Ellen Arkbro and Bristol's Spindle Ensemble. The middle hour features an interview with Anthony Saggers (a.k.a. Stray Ghost) about his time living and making music in Canterbury as well as his creative ventures since.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Crash of Moons with Lapis Lazuli and The Ranch

14th February 2018
Bramley's, Canterbury

Another sold-out COMC (three in a row!)...people queuing outside for half an hour in cold rain to come in and see an ultra-weird Maltese prog-band. Another reason I love Canterbury in its current form.

Here are my sets as resident DJ Prof. Appleblossom:

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Canterbury Sans Frontières episode 55

Canterbury Sans Frontières: Episode 55

Gong live in Rotterdam in '74, Robert Wyatt shrink-rapping, slabs of Matching Mole and Hatfield, an acoustic Israeli cover of a Kevin Ayers song, a Henry Cow classic and something which is quite lovely if you forget that it's supposedly by Soft Machine. Also, Freddie Hubbard in spiritual mode, Zappa at his instrumental best, Brooklyn's Woods and Derbyshire's Haiku Salut. From the Canterbury of today, we have something new from Syd Arthur and an unexpected Arlet remix. The middle hour of the programme features a "Canterbury in Finland" mix contributed by listener and Finnish resident (formely of Canterbury) Anthony Shaw.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Canterbury Sans Frontières: episode 54

Canterbury Sans Frontières: Episode 54

This episode is loosely structured around the theme of the City of Canterbury's history, to tie in with the imminent publication of my "experimental history" book You Are Here: The Biography of a Moment. Although readings of short passages from the book are featured throughout, the focus is very much on music, spanning the centuries from the mid-900s to the summer of 2014. Celestial choral music from St. Dunstan, Orlando Gibbons and Thomas Tallis is interwoven with the earliest experiments from the Daevid Allen Trio, Wilde Flowers and proto-Soft Machine. Also featured: Steve Hillage, The Polite Force, Caravan, local jazz legend Tony Coe and a special one-hour mix of music from the local music scene during the period 2008-2014 (Syd Arthur, The Boot Lagoon, Zoo For You, Lapis Lazuli, Arlet, Koloto, etc.).