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.

Matmos performing Robert Ashley's Perfect Lives


Robert Ashley's TV opera Perfect Lives is going to be performed by Matmos. Drew Daniel and MC Schmidt will perform selected scenes from the opera, at a benefit show on 9 December. Tickets go on sale toards the end of this month, unless you're an Issue Project Room VIP.

Perfect Lives was developed by Ashley, often with "Blue" Gene Tyranny, and a filmed version was completed for Channel Four in the UK in the early 1980s. A Spanish version was commissioned by Issue Project Room in 2012. Ashley died earlier this year.

More details on the Matmos performance here, and an account of the piece's development is online here.

Wu-Tang selling next album via pre-loaded Bluetooth speaker


Wu-Tang's next venture into non-standard music releases is a portable speaker with album pre-loaded. This follows last year's art edition of one, which they planned to flog to the highest bidder (RZA claimed they'd had an offer of $5 million). Unlike The Wu - Once Upon A Time In Shaolin... the new record, A Better Tomorrow, will get a standard release eventually, but not before eight tracks are released on a Bluetooth speaker. The $80 speaker is made by US company Boombotix, the speaker grille stamped with the Wu Tang logo.

More details and pre-orders up via Boombotix.

[Hat Tip: CMU]

Pauline Oliveros's Tudorfest 1964 released on CD


At the end of March of 1964, the same year that Terry Riley's In C was performed for the first time, Pauline Oliveros held Tudorfest. Named for its curator, David Tudor, work by both Oliveros and Tudor, and John Cage was performed alongside others from the San Francisco Tape Music Center, including Morton Subotnik, Alvin Lucier, and Toshi Ichiyanagi. Now, recordings from Tudorfest have resurfaced via Mills College, and are being released as a 3CD set by New World Records.

Oliveros said: "At the time, in 1964, arguments about John Cage were raging in academia around the Bay Area, but we were not hearing the music. I met David Tudor in 1963 at the home of Olive Cowell. We became acquainted and started performing together. I then composed Duo For Accordion And Bandoneon With Possible Mynah Bird Obligato, Seesaw Version. Since I was involved with the San Francisco Tape Music Center we decided to have a festival, that we named Tudorfest."

The tracklisting for the set includes Oliveros’s collaboration with Tudor, Duo For Accordion And Bandoneon And Possible Mynah Bird Obbligato, which involved collaboration with a mynah bird named Ahmed, plus a number of works by John Cage, Toshi Ichiyanagi's Music for Piano No 4, Music for Piano No 4 and Electronic Version.

Oliveros continues: "As we rehearsed the duo, my roommate's mynah bird, Ahmed, was fascinated with our sounds and joined us with his sounds. Ahmed was imitating what we did so instead of trying to shut him up we invited him to play with us. Ahmed did perform. The first performance found him a bit quiet because lights were used that were unfamiliar. He sounded quite well on the second performance."

None of the performances have been previously released, more details are incoming via New World Records.

Robert Wyatt cover art by Alfreda Benge printed in editions of 100


Robert Wyatt's Rock Bottom and Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard both used artwork by Wyatt's collaborator and partner Alfreda Benge, as well as all his other albums back to 1974 with the exception of Shipbuilding. The two artworks have been printed in editions of 100 and signed by Alfie, and are being sold online via Hypergallery.

Of the paintings, Benge told Wyatt biographer Marcus O'Dair: "I don’t think any of them are wonderful, but I think they work." She also illustrated a series of children's books with Ivor Cutler, and contributed sleeve artwork for a number of other musicians including Annette Peacock and Fred Frith.