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Allegations made against Radar Radio

Pxssy Palace and Mixed Spices call out the London radio station for organisational racism and silencing sexual harassment allegations

New claims have been made against the London based online station Radar Radio via a blog post by a former show producer Ashtart Al-Hurra. These new allegations add to a number of previous complaints made against the station which is owned by Ollie Ashley, the son of Mike Ashley, owner of Sports Direct.

The article comes following the announcement earlier this month via Instagram that Pxssy Palace would be terminating their relationship with the station on the basis of tokenism, theft of intellectual ideas, airing of sexist, homophobic and transphobic attitudes, organisational racism, a toxic working environment causing many women of colour to leave, and not paying wages to workers. Radar responded with an initial statement. “We were very concerned and disappointed to see the statement from Pxssy Palace suggesting that we are getting some important aspects wrong,” they said.

“We don’t agree with all the opinions in that statement but like most organisations we know we are capable of making mistakes and have to be vigilant to maintain standards.”

Now, ex-producer Ashtart Al-Hurra has made further allegation alleging to sexual harassment and silencing.

“After I [made the complaint], I was told that what happened ‘just sounded like small things’, that ‘it’s just boys being boys’, and that ‘they’re just chirpsing’,” she explains, describing the reaction to her complaint. “They concluded by saying that I should tell a manager (which I had done) or ‘stay silent on the topic’.”

She continues, “the HR person sent me a confidential letter outlining that they would take action through providing staff with sensitivity training. This was the only thing they said they would do, and according to friends of mine who still work there – this never happened.”

Al-Hurra goes on to explain how she was asked to sign a confidentiality agreement form “declaring that I would not reveal any of this information to anybody without the permission of Ollie Ashley or a member of Eacotts [Sports Direct's accountants].”

“Nobody actually needs Radar, Radar needs artists,” she concludes. “Otherwise it wouldn’t have built itself off the back of the black working class people who pioneered Grime.”

You can read the full statement via mixedspices.co.uk

Unearthing The Music launches database and compilation

Online resource addresses the issue of freedom of expression in music in pre-1989 Eastern Europe

Unearthing The Music, a project by OUT.RA covering experimental music in pre-1989 Eastern Europe, has now launched the database version of its website, following its related conference in February at Lisbon’s Goethe Institut. The online resource gathers all things related to the subject, including interviews, music, video and texts submitted by collaborators and volunteers over the past 15 months.

As well as that, a double vinyl compilation Unearthing The Music Presents Notes From The Underground is also set for release on 19 April by a coalition of Leipzig’s Zonic and Major Label to accompany the Notes From The Underground exhibition at Berlin’s Akademie der Künste. The double LP features previously unreleased music from Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union by the likes of Kilhets, Ornament & Verbrechen, Katalin Ladik, Ziemia Mindel Wurm and Vladimir Tarasov, among many others. The database and all information on the project can be found at umsceet.eu

Decocooning Society is the theme of this year’s Heart Of Noise festival

Running from 30 May–2 June, it features Lee Gamble, Abul Mogard and DJ Katapila

The eighth edition of Austria’s Heart Of Noise festival happens in Innsbruck between 30 May–2 June. Themed Decocooning Society, its aim is to open “genre boundaries and filter bubbles, showing no larvae and no ugly swans, but the pond of butterflies in the garden of the paths that branch”.

The festival line-up includes Jlin, Godflesh, Juan Atkins, Alec Empire, Tim Hecker, Lee Gamble, Errorsmith, Pan Daijing, Klein, Bliss Signal, Abul Mogard, DJ Katapila, Arpanet, The Speaker featuring Valerio Tricoli, Pan Daijing & Werner Dafeldecker, K&K Kutin & Kohlberger, Tape Loops Orchestra, Kassel Jaeger, Rrose, Marc Baron, DJ Bleed, Ekin Fil, Pulverine, Zenial, Aaron Stadler, Lissie Rettenwander, Anma, Brttrkllr, and Christoph Fugenschuh.

Heart Of Noise takes place at various venues across the city. Tickets are available now starting at €8.

EMPAC offers free DVD of Cecil Taylor and Pauline Oliveros live in 2008

Cecil Taylor + Pauline Oliveros: Solo. Duo. Poetry documents their performances at the centre's opening ten years ago

In memory of Cecil Taylor, the Curtis R Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is offering a free DVD of performances at the centre on 5 October 2008.

Solo. Duo. Poetry. features a collaboration between Taylor and Pauline Oliveros, who was a professor at the Polytechnic in New York. It documents the pair playing solo plus a 22 minute duo meditation marking the first time they performed together. Though their collaboration can be viewed online, Taylor's solo performance is on the DVD only.

Also included is Floating Gardens: The Poetry Of Cecil Taylor, a 75 minute video of a Taylor poetry recital (also available on Vimeo) presented at the same event.

The DVD is available for free through EMPAC – buyers just have to pay the cost of postage and packing.

Watch the Cecil Taylor and Pauline Oliveros duet below.

Warp release boxset of Autechre’s NTS radio residency recordings

Autechre will stagger-release eight hours’ worth of new music throughout April in advance of the physical box coming out in summer

Warp has announced it'll be releasing eight hours of new Autechre music. The recordings are the fruits of the duo's residency at NTS radio. The first session took place on 5 April, and more shows are scheduled for broadcast between 4–6pm on 12, 19 and 26 April.

The complete recordings will eventually be made available as a 12 LP or eight CD boxset, priced at £120 or £40 respectively. But a much cheaper digital-only version is also on offer. If you pre-order now, you'll be sent a download after each show. Physical formats of the music will be shipped three months after Autechre’s final NTS show.

You can listen to Session 1 via the NTS website. Pre-orders on sale now at Bleep.

Moog Recordings Library launches with a series of limited edition live session releases

Mika Vainio, The Grid and Hieroglyphic Being are the project’s first featured artists

A new record label called Moog Recordings Library has been set up to release music recorded at special sessions, concerts and audio experiments utilising the Moog Sound Lab. Originally established in 2015 to mark the tenth anniversary of Dr Robert Moog’s passing, the Moog Sound Lab is a portable space designed by Moog Inc to encourage new electronic works centred around one of its rarest instruments: 2014's reproduction of the 1960s System 55 analogue synthesizer system. The studio also contains six portable inter-changeable full sized racks of Moog instruments and processors, including Moogerfoogers, Mother 32s, Voyagers and more, plus a stand-alone Moog keyboard based synths and an extremely rare vintage foot pedal operated Taurus bass synth.

The project’s first three releases were recorded at the Moog Sound Lab’s UK base in Surrey’s Institute of Sound Recording. They are: The Grid’s One Way Traffic; Hieroglyphic Being’s The Replicant Dream Sequence; and the late Mika Vainio’s Lydspor One & Two (Lydspor is Danish for soundtrack). All three are released on 8 June.

Also forthcoming are new works by Charlemagne Palestine, Gazelle Twin and Mica Levi, and an audio travelogue from Chris Watson. In August, meanwhile, Tony Allen & Jimi Tenor will host a live Moog party.

Both Moog Sound Lab UK and Moog Recordings Library are curated by Paul Smith of Blast First Petite. The first three albums are available for pre-order now.

Crudo Volta follows producer Hagan to Ghana for new documentary Yenkyi Taxi

The sequel to Rome collective Crudo Volta's Woza Taxi film, about the rise of South African gqom, is now ready for release

Working with Hagan, a London producer with Ghanaian heritage, Tommaso Cassinis’s new documentary explores the influence of urban African music on UK culture. Called Yenkyi Taxi, it deals with questions raised in Woza Taxi, the 2016 film he made with the Rome collective Crudo Volta about South Africa's gqom scene and computer-based music in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“When we finished Woza Taxi, achieved in collaboration with Nan Kolè, we realised that many issues were brought up, such as cultural reappropriation, historical contest and further,” explains Cassinis. “Having an intersectional artist, in terms of cultural identity, like Hagan who shares a West African heritage and a British identity, to help us navigate and observe the contemporary scene in Accra would have brought new questions and new reflections.”

“This all started from my guest appearance on the Pattaya show [Radar Radio], which Nan Kolé invited me to,” confirms Hagan. Yenkyi Taxi is also produced by Crudo Volta and directed by Cassinis, with writing and art direction by Mike ‘Michele’ Calandra Achode. “This is where I officially met Michele, another DJ on the show,” Hagan continues. “During the interview, I was talking about my plans to go to Ghana for my Grandma’s birthday as well as my intentions to make music out there. Straight after the show Michele proposed an idea for his collective Crudo Volta to travel with me and film my journey. I was already fond of the work Mike had done with Nan Kolè on South Africa and the evolution of gqom. So when he pitched the idea, I was already thinking about how high in quality the results would be. It was from here I started researching what possible producers I could hit up in Ghana and the studios I could work in.”

Hagan originally started producing while at university, using a copy of FL Studio his mum had bought him a few years earlier. Having played percussion at school and church, his electronic productions were rooted in UK funky, making tracks for his friends to play out.

Yenkyi Taxi shows Hagan visiting three areas, Kwabenya, East Legon and Aburi. His working trip resulted in a new EP set for release just after the film.

“Collaborating with Nii, the percussionist from Vivivi Studios, was probably the most exciting part of the trip for me,” says Hagan. “Having such a huge interest in percussive instruments and playing some myself, it was great to see someone who could play rhythms at such a high skill level. I had access to a range of African instruments such as, the talking drum, the fontomfrom and the atumpan drum. This was a very instrumental part for the development of a large portion of the tracks on the EP.

Studio engineer Banks Bentsil at Vivivi


“Nii understood everything I asked of him in terms of what rhythms to play,” he adds, “and he provided his own improvisations. Mixing the traditional sounds with my electronic arrangement template is what I wanted to accomplish.

“After filming the traditional drumming and dances in Aburi, my uncles decided to take us to Akosembo, a small town in the eastern district of Ghana to view the Akosombo Dam. The trip was completely unplanned but gave me so much inspiration to complete the first track on my forthcoming project. The lake views coupled with being so far away from my fast-paced life in London was a moment that made me very reflective and will stick with me forever.”

Grandma's 80th birthday was also a success. “Seeing her face light up when we stepped out of the car to greet her on the first day of our arrival was perfect,” concludes Hagan.

Yenkyi Taxi will stream from 19 April on Crudo Volta's Youtube channel. Watch a trailer below.

Cecil Taylor has died

The US pianist, poet, bandleader and free music trailblazer was 89 years old

Born on 25 March 1929, Cecil Taylor grew up in Queens, New York. He took up the piano with his mother's permission, and went on to study composition and arranging at New England Conservatory in Massachusetts. He moved to Boston in 1955, where he formed a quartet with saxophonist Steve Lacy, bass player Buell Neidlinger and drummer Dennis Charles, who appeared on his 1956 debut album Jazz Advance (Transition). In 1958 Taylor collaborated with John Coltrane on Stereo Drive (1959). Now titled Coltrane Time, it’s the only known recording of the pair together.

In 1962 Taylor toured Scandinavia with alto saxophonist Jimmy Lyons and drummer Sunny Murray, and also performed with Albert Ayler. He continued to work regularly with Lyons – the latter remained a member of Taylor's group The Unit (alongside Sunny Murray and later Andrew Cyrille) up until his death in 1986 .

Over the last few decades Taylor has mostly performed solo or in a trio, very occasionally working with larger ensembles. He expressed a great disdain for electric pianos and keyboards. In 2016 New York Whitney museum paid tribute to the artist with a two week retrospective of his work.

“I’m difficult because I don’t want anything else except absolute art,” Taylor told Phil Freeman in The Wire 386. “That’s why I exist.” Phil begged to differ. “Spending two days in [Taylor's] company is a uniquely enjoyable experience,” he declared in the same article. “He’s friendly, funny, urbane in an almost aristocratic manner, generous with his time, and – surprisingly for someone who has so thoroughly constructed his own soundworld – attuned to the music of the moment. As brilliant artists go, Cecil Taylor is one of the most approachable guys around.”

Taylor died at his New York home in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

Pom Pom share two tracks from their Ostgut Ton debut

The secret black label techno outfit have given us an exclusive preview of their forthcoming release

Pom Pom are to release their first record on someone else's label. For 15 plus years, Pom Pom have been steadily releasing techno 12"s and CDs in a staple black sleeve carrying zero information. As Nick Richardson reported in The Wire 303, he first came across the outfit when a package of mysterious records (return address Faroe Islands) arrived at The Wire HQ back in 2009. Pom Pom's distributors Kompakt did sort an email exchange out, but it yielded little information. “Their responses,” said Nick, "were uninformative, not even substantive enough to be cryptic.

“Are you really from the Faroe Islands?” he continued. “‘Yes.’ Is there much of a Techno scene there? ‘Not really...’"

Now they are set to release a five track EP Untitled on Ostgut Ton, and they are similarly uncommunicative . “How many of you are there in Pom Pom?”, we asked. “We are all Pom Pom,” they replied. What they did reveal is that they also release music under other pseudonyms, and that this Ostgut release “just happened...”. As for the Faroe Island return address all those years ago: “It’s a beautiful island,” they explain, quickly followed with: “Thank you for the interview.”

Make of that what you will, but they have given us an exclusive listen to two tracks from the EP.

Untitled will be released by Ostgut Ton in 12" and digital formats on 13 April.

35th edition of Jazz Em Agosto

Dedicated to the work of John Zorn, this year's edition will kick off on 27 July in Lisbon

The 35th edition of Jazz Em Agosto festival is entirely dedicated to John Zorn. Taking place in Lisbon from 27 July–5 August, this edition will include films related to his work, artists featured on the Tzadik label and concerts programmed by Zorn himself.

The first night kicks off with the trio of Zorn on alto saxophone, Thurston Moore on guitar and Milford Graves on drums. Other acts on the line up include Marc Ribot, Mary Halvorson Quartet, soprano Barbara Hannigan and pianist Stephen Gosling with Jumalatteret, Ikue Mori with Zorn for a new version of The Hermetic Organ, Robert Dick on contrabass flute, organ trio John Medeski, Matt Hollenberg and Kenny Grohowski playing Zorn compositions, Craig Taborn & Brian Marsella Trio, Trey Spruance's Secret Chiefs 3 (with Matt Lebofsky, Jason Schimmel, Eyvind Kang, Shanir Blumenkranz, Kenny Grohowski and Ches Smith), Trevor Dunn, Kris Davis, and more. “It’s Zorn Em Agosto!” declare the organisers.