BFI programmes Inside Afrofuturism events


Throughout November and December the BFI will be hosting a series of films and discussions exploring themes surrounding Afrofuturism.

Running as part of the BFI's Sci-Fi: Days Of Fear And Wonder programme, Inside Afrofuturism aims to highlight "key cinematic works that have engaged with, inspired or been inspired by this ever-evolving stylistic and intellectual cornucopia." Notable events include a screening of John Coney's 1974 film starring Sun Ra, Space Is The Place, Shirley Clarke's 1985 documentary Ornette: Made In America, Lizzie Borden's sci-fi feminist film Born In Flames, and a discussion between Afrika Bambaataa and Don Letts.

Full details here.

Maja Ratkje releasing limited edition lathe cut


Photo: Haakon Harriss

Maja Ratkje's next release will be a 10" lathe in a tape reel box, cut in an edition of 24, an art edition released to coincide with her exhibition with visual artist Kristian Skylstad at at Trafo Kunsthall in Asker, Norway. The exhibition, titled It Still Haunts Me Like A Good Nightmare, And I Try In Vain To Recover The Impression, opens on 25 October and runs until 16 November. It explores the myth of the provocative avant-garde, from the starting point of Stravinsky's self-perpetuated myth around the performance of The Rite Of Spring, with a performance by Ratkje on 25 October.

Each box is individually decorated by Skylstad and comes with a screen printed certificate. The release is cut by Lydbilde, and all sales will be handled by Trafo Kunsthall meaning there are no pre-orders via the label. Contact the gallery for more information.

Jennifer Walshe and Lee Patterson collaborate for next Faster Than Sound event


Vocalist and composer Jennifer Walshe and sound artist Lee Patterson are collaborating for the next instalment in Aldeburgh Music’s Faster Than Sound series. Taking place 1 November, The Chimes Hour is inspired "by the Suffolk folk belief that children born at the hours when church bells tolled had the ability to discern ‘happenings hidden from the sight of lesser mortals’."

Working with Peter Meanwell and Aldeburgh Young Musicians, Walshe and Patterson are creating a collection of compositions and improvisations from the amplification and recording of the building and its surrounding area, to be presented as a soundwalk through Aldeburgh Music’s Hoffman building and surrounds.

The tour starts at 7pm. Check full details here

Label and vinyl mastering studio Gearbox new listening events


Listening session at Gearbox studio, London's King's Cross

London label and vinyl mastering studio Gearbox is running a series of public listening events modelled on the Japanese Kissaten or coffee shop. The classic coffee shop record store, eulogised in the pages of The Wire by Merzbow and Otomo Yoshihide, was a place where punters would go to listen to and buy records – typically but not exclusively jazz – sometimes selecting records to listen to from a menu. Some kissaten even enforced rules against talking when in store.

Gearbox, whose label has excavated numerous UK jazz rarities from the likes of Joe Harriot and Michael Garrick, is hosting these public listening events at its studio in London's King's Cross. Records promised for the next night on Monday 17 November include original Blue Note 1500 series pressings as well as a secret wild card record, all played on a high-end analogue sound system. Admission is free. Full info here

Encyclopedia of disco record sleeves published by Soul Jazz


Soul Jazz has published a book collecting cover art from over 2,700 disco record sleeves from the 1970s to the mid-80s. Authored and edited by Patrick Vogt and collector Disco Patrick, it also includes two forewords written by disco legends Tom Moulton and Nicky Siano, short label histories and indexes of matrix numbers, plus interviews with label bosses including Prelude's Marvin Schlachter, Salsoul co-founder Ken Cayre, Vanguard's Ray "Pinky" Velazquez and others.

More details on the book via Soul Jazz.

Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, Han Bennink reissued


Photo © Caroline Forbes

Evan Parker, Derek Bailey and Han Bennink's The Topography Of The Lungs – a touchstone of British improvisation as the first release on Incus and Evan Parker's first recording as a leader – is being reissued on vinyl by Cafe Oto's OtoRoku label.

The record was originally released in 1970 on Incus, the label Parker started with Derek Bailey and Tony Oxley. It was reissued on CD by Parker via his Psi label in 2006, under his own name (rather than as the trio). When Parker left Incus in 1987, he took with him his own recordings and archived materials, and agreed not to reissue Topography while Bailey remained director. The CD was issued the year after Bailey's death in 2005, and this version resurrects it on vinyl, with the audio taken direct from Evan's own original vinyl copy, and then restored.

The record is due out on 15 December. Pre-orders are open here.

Hat Hut celebrates 40th anniversary with Steve Lacy, Joe McPhee and more


Photo: Sébastien Agnetti

Swiss jazz and contemporary composition label Hat Hut, originally founded in 1975 by Werner X Uelinger to document the activities of saxophonist Joe McPhee, has announced a series of releases to commemorate turning 40 at the end of March, 2015.

First up, the hatOLOGY imprint is set to reissue Joe McPhee's 1998 solo trumpet and reeds album As Serious As Your Life, alongside Steve Lacy's Morning Joy... Paris Live, a 1986 quartet date.

The hat(now)ART label meanwhile will release Klavierstucke-Sonaten, a selection of piano pieces by Stockhausen and Beethoven performed by Pi-hsien Chen, while Works For Piano covers the works of contemporary composer and writer Christopher Fox.

All will be available mid-October, with more releases on the way in November, including a recording of Stockhausen's Mantra by Mark Knoop, Roderick Chadwick and Newton Armstrong.

Style Scott found dead at home


Image via Jamaica Observer

Reggae drummer Lincoln "Style" Scott has died. According to reports from the Jamaica Observer, Scott was found dead after shots were heard just after 10pm on 9 October at his house in Manchester, Jamaica. Police were called to the scene. No arrests have been made at time of writing.

Scott was a crucial part of Adrian Sherwood's On-U Sound as the drummer for Dub Syndicate, described by Ben Watson in The Wire 128 as one of "the heaviest rhythm players in the world". Prior to his playing with On-U Sound, he was also known as one of the original members of the Roots Radics Band, from where he went on to play with roots group Israel Vibration, and also toured and played on records by Gregory Isaacs, among others.

John Stevens celebrated in day long festival


The life of drummer, Spontaneous Music Ensemble founder and UK improv polymath John Stevens is set to be celebrated with a day long festival at London’s Southbank Centre next month. The programme will include a new piece by David Toop, plus performances by Courtney Pine, Mark Sanders, Steve Beresford, Trevor Watts, Louis Moholo-Moholo, Byron Wallen, Annie Whitehead and more.

The performances takes place on 22 November, as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival. More details via the Southbank.

LFO's Mark Bell dies


Mark Bell has died following complications after an operation, confirmed by Warp on their site. Bell was one half of the duo LFO with Gez Varley, and their 1991 album Frequencies was a landmark record for techno and rave.

Bell grew up in Leeds and cofounded LFO in the late 80s. The duo counted Brian Eno, Yellow Magic Orchestra, and Tangerine Dream as key influences, who were listed alongside a host of other names in a voiceover-cum-manifesto to their 1991 track “What Is House?”. In an interview in The Wire 144, Bell told Peter Shapiro: "I used to be really into art when I was at school, that's what I wanted to do... I used to be a real teacher's pet, and my art teacher always used to play Jean Michel Jarre and Kraftwerk when we were doing art, so I got into it through that."

Their first release was a self-titled 12" released on Warp in 1990, from which "LFO (Leeds Warehouse Mix)” made the UK top 20 a year ahead of their debut album. After Varley left the duo around 1996, Bell carried on LFO as a solo project, and he also made music under a slew of pseudonyms: for R&S as Speed Jack, for Synewave as Counterpoint, and for Planet E and others as Clark. Bell also worked with Depeche Mode, producing their Exciter record, and in 1997 began a long standing collaboration with Björk, initially producing her Homogenic album, and subsequently working on many of her albums and tours.