The Wire- Unlimited Editions: 577 Records

Begleitend zu seinem Portrait des New Yorker Musiklabels in The Wire 469 wählt Kehinde Alonge eine Auswahl der besten Tracks aus dem umfangreichen Backkatalog von 577 Records aus.

Das in Brooklyn ansässige Label 577 Records entstand aus der Freundschaft zwischen Daniel Carter und Federico Ughi, und sein eklektischer Wandteppich aus Dissonanzen – ob in Form von Free Jazz und wirbelnden Gitarren oder dem Puls von Drumcomputern und Synthesizern – untermauert Ughis Behauptung, dass Musiker überleben, wenn sie ihre Freundschaft pflegen. „Jeder sollte mit seinen Freunden ein Label herausbringen“, bemerkt Ughi fröhlich. „Menschen sind der Schlüssel dazu, mehr als ein [einzelnes] Genre.“ Mit einer über 20-jährigen Geschichte, vielen Ausgaben des Forward Festivals und einer neuen Musikresidenz Sounds Of Freedom ist 577 ein Beispiel dafür, was passieren kann, wenn die Szene Bedingungen schafft, unter denen alte und neue Generationen von Improvisatoren zusammen spielen können. Daher soll diese Liste von Tracks als Einladung dienen, zu hören, was Freundschaften, die auf Dissonanz aufgebaut sind, bieten können.

“Invisibility Is An Unnatural Disaster”
From Invisibility Is An Unnatural Disaster

Straight from the pit of Jason Nazary’s insurgent percussive rhythms springs Jessica Ackerly’s melodic and frenetic guitar phrasings. With the same piercing effect, the howls of Patrick Shiroishi’s soprano sax leave room for Luke Stewart (bass) and Chris Williams (trumpet) to join the session. Seemingly inspired by Mitsuye Yamada’s essay with the same name, Invisibility Is An Unnatural Disaster offers a purposeful statement that takes Yamada’s call for solidarity to “raise our voices a little more” as an invitation to raise the collective’s voice and visibility.

Daniel Carter/Evan Strauss/5-Track/Sheridan Riley
“Hands, At The Bonfire”
From The Uproar In Bursts Of Sound And Silence

Deriving its textural and textual inspiration from Virginia Woolf’s novel The Wave, Daniel Carter, Evan Strauss and Sheridan Riley’s track “Hands, At The Bonfire”, uses Woolf’s words as a manifesto to usher in a space where “all divisions… are merged – they act like one man.” Carter demonstrates his lyrical virtuosity is not limited to brass, as his recitation provides a brooding wind that guides the “burst of sounds and silence” from Strauss’s looping synths and Riley’s percussive stammers. Despite the brevity and sparseness of this track, it sets the listener in place to encounter the torrents of sound that await them later on the album – the calm before storms of sound.

Gerald Cleaver
“Galaxy Faruq (For Faruq Z Bey)”
From Griots

Released on the 577 experimental electronic sublabel Positive Elevation, Cleaver summons his modular synth to “shout-out to some people that had a deep impact”. In this particular track, the focus is Detroit’s own Faruq Z Bey. Rather than hopping onto his drum kit to concoct a free jazz percussive ode to the Griot galaxy’s premier saxophonist, Cleaver utilises his modular synth to build slowly pulsating signals that pick up pace when enlivened by drum machine spells. The Griots of Black Detroit also speak in an electronic chant – and Cleaver captures their signals for all to hear.

Federico Ughi
“Black Nails (Public Figures Remix)”
From Forward Festival 2017 Mixtape

Like its original version, this remix captures the many genre-bending nights that Ughi recalls participating in at the Tonic or Knitting Factory in the early 2000s. Included in the Forward Festival Mixtape, Public Figures (aka David Schnug) trades his tenor sax for percussive electronics and Leila Adu’s heavenly voice. Schnug utilizes the remix as a means to not only re-enter the ensemble, but improv with himself with disparate and bubbling sounds that keep your head bouncing onward.

Daniel Carter & Federico Ughi
“Looking Forward”
From Astonishment

This track appears on an album that marks the first time Daniel Carter and Federico Ughi, 577 Records co-founders, played together. In the process of gearing up for a tour run, they decided to create 577 to host this project and all other future collaborations. Aptly titled “Looking Forward”, the track’s soft cymbal rattles, looping ominous vocal samples and melancholic yet meditative sax peers into a future both couldn’t have anticipated – over 20 years of improvisation with a cast of practitioners too long to list.

Zoh Amba
“Mother’s Hymn”
From O Life, O Light Vol 1

A deep hum and hymn from Zoh Amba’s tenor sax merges with William Parker’s equally low-toned bows to his bass. These collective hums turn to spiralling squeaks and blows that guide Francisco Mela’s many eclectic percussive statements. For those nostalgic for the enchantments of the holy ghosts of free jazz past, those nestled within Amba’s horn feel just as inviting, yet unnerving in the best ways.

“The Limb”
From Mundus

A new release from the 577 sublabel Positive Elevation, on Mundus Coultrain offers vocals drenched in avant-soul and propulsive electronic drums that evoke “a million universes living inside [one’s] mind.” Coultrain is a walking solo ensemble, as this song’s many layers, all produced by him, interplay with each other and punctuate his lyrical mastery as he raps about “the new me have to kill the old/to seek redemption of the stories told”. Gratifyingly, Coultrain exudes a confidence that invites all into this mystifying and soulful multiverse.

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