(Erstwhile - ERST046) Used 2xCD $12.00

Keith Rowe, Oren Ambarchi, Christian Fennesz and Toshimaru Nakamura, each with extensive discographies and distinctive styles, formed the Four Gentlemen of the Guitar (4g) in 2004, and played a series of shows in Europe and Canada, three of which (from Vand'ouevre, Paris and Victoriaville) are contained on cloud. The widely differing aesthetics of the four musicians meld fluidly, forming hovering, delicate masses of sound. Sealed


Beins / Rowe

(Erstwhile - ERSTLIVE01) CD $14.40 (Out-of-stock)

The first volume in Erstwhile live series took place during the first night of outside shows in the Berlin half of AMPLIFY 2004: addition. This was their first set as a duo since the sessions which resulted in Grain (Zarek, 2001). “Rowe (credited with guitar, electronics) seems to be responsible for the buzzsaw-encountering-sheet-metal racket and fastforward/rewind activity,” Exclaim muses, “while Beins (percussion) contributes everything from tingling bells to rusty playground-equipment shrieks. The results are a terrific earcleanser of an album, a salutary blast of spleen and perversity…”


s’Approcher s’Éloigner s’Absenter

(Erstwhile - ERSTLIVE009) CD $14.75 (Out-of-stock)

Recorded live September 2011 as part of Jon Abbey's Amplify 2011 festival at The Stone in Manhattan. The world premiere of this piece by German composer and Wandelweiser founder was performed by Ben Owen, Barry Chabala and Dominic Lash.


Musik - Ein Porträt in Sehnsucht

(Erstwhile - ERST057) Used CD $10.00

Stangl and Fagaschinski, both masters at fluidly combining melodicism and abstraction, carefully intertwine field recordings of birds, storms, and “morning silence” with guitars, electronic devices, piano, vibraphone, and clarinet. Guest appearance by Bernhard Gál, “re-recording and musical car driving.”


Wrapped Islands

(Erstwhile - ERST023) CD $14.50 (Out-of-stock)

A fully improvised first meeting of two driving forces of contemporary music. The predominantly Viennese quartet Polwechsel have explored the grey areas between composition and improvisation, electronic and acoustic, jazz and classical for much of the past decade. Austrian Christian Fennesz, while initially a guitarist, is primarily known for his abrasive yet melodic laptop explorations on labels such as Mego and Touch. Warm, deep, seemingly simple, with different details and passages emerging to the surface with each listen. “The music is slow, extremely minimal, stretched to the point of disappearing,” says All Music Guide. “The attentive listener will be completely absorbed, holding his or her breath in expectation of the next move -- yes, Wrapped Islands has something to do with watching a game of chess.”


Live at the LU

(Erstwhile - ERST043) CD $14.50 (Out-of-stock)

Rowe and Fennesz are two of the most prominent and influential musicians in experimental music; their commercially released work, despite their joint participation in the 12-person MIMEO collective, rarely intersects, which is why this document of their first duo show together is so revealing. Their sound world is jagged yet bright, stark and jarring, but in the end, somehow still soothing.



(Erstwhile - ERST055) CD $14.50 (Out-of-stock)

Vienna-based ultraminimalist composer/improvisor Radu Malfatti is joined by empathetic explorer Klaus Filip for a pair of undeniably gorgeous, sparse pieces that perambulate around the world of hidden contours and curves. Malfatti's trombone is deep but not heavy, with personal, nearly vocal presence. Filip works miracles of intuition with his sine tones, seemingly providing precise harmonic answers before the questions are asked.


Face Off

(Erstwhile) Used CD $10.00 (Out-of-stock)

An interactive duet with Guthrie on percussion, microphone and electronics; Noetinger on Revox tape machine and electronics. Sealed


Green Just As I Could See

(Erstwhile - ERST065) CD $14.50 (Out-of-stock)

The structures here are thick and elastic, filled with variety, balancing long-held tones with skitterish ones. Overall, a staggering, sophisticated electroacoustic dialogue between Neumann, using the inside of a piano and a mixing board to speak a language of quick bursts and sheer atonality, and Jones on electronics, where delicate meditation meets the sound of surgery on dying robots.



(Erstwhile - ERSTPOP02) CD $14.50 (Out-of-stock)

Stangl and Kurzmann combine the former's acoustic guitar and the latter's electronic sound manipulation. Following concerts throughout Europe and Asia, they began incorporating song structures and pop vocals into their “delicate musical architecture,” yielding their live album schneelive, an elongated and meticulously structured version of a Prince song. Neuschnee is more complex, recorded over a four-year period; five tracks form an ambitious meta-song suite, with various lyrics and international musical styles that reconcile “experiment and tradition … thoughtful silence and expressive celebration of each moment … worlds of noises and clearly defined harmonies.”



(Erstwhile - ERSTLIVE03) CD $14.40 (Out-of-stock)

The final show in Berlin on the last night of AMPLIFY 2004: addition, documents how much Stangl and Kurzmann's duo has changed since the initial recording of schnee in 2000, which was followed by numerous concerts over the intervening four years throughout Europe, the US, and Asia. “One might think that the incorporation of an existing song -- by Prince, no less -- into a context of austere eai experimentation is guaranteed to drag the music down into a swamp of postmodernism bordering on the kitsch,” explains Paris Transatlantic, “But nothing could be further from the truth. Gentle diatonic harmony [has long been] a feature of Stangl's guitar playing … and Kurzmann's own tastes in music are catholic enough…. [E]ven when Stangl drifts off into nostalgic Jim Hall comping, Kurzmann's oppressive loops drag him back into focus.”



(Erstwhile - ERST052) CD $14.50 (Out-of-stock)

Subtitled “musical settings for common environments and domestic situations,” the material for The Breadwinner was recorded at Lambkin's house in upstate NY, where the duo treated the entire building and its surrounding grounds as a studio, welcoming in outside sounds, which were later kept or eliminated during two years of reworking and polishing. Numerous submerged fragments reveal the beauty in everyday life. Observes Tiny Mix Tapes, “The album consists entirely of sounds from Lambkin's flat -- the radiator, the creaks in the floor, the silence/noise of the various rooms/hallways, the neighbors talking through the wall -- all edited down to roughly 50 minutes from eight hours of tape…. Most everything on The Breadwinner feels a little off and uneasy, a little smeared…. But there's really no single epiphany here, nothing really to "get," no crucial subtext to be discovered. Instead, it's just about finding appreciation in sound and sound construction.”


Songs About Nothing

(Erstwhile - ERSTSOLO03) 2xCD $24.00 (Out-of-stock)

"Mind-erasing loops, avant classical drone and minimal cold wave threat," explain our comrades at Volcanic Tongue. "[T]he sound of pure entropy, moving from ear-scalding feedback sculptures through nod-out minimal synth repetition through scrambled choral works and widescreen soundtrack drones.... [A]n increasing atmosphere of all-out psychosis ... like you’re listening in on advanced surveillance electronics or experiments in sonic/psychological warfare.... The second disc consists of one massively extended track ... the sounds of helicopter blades, distant cries, riot tones, hallucinatory / piercing upper-register violence and huge blocks of eviscerated silence..."


La Voyelle Liquide

(Erstwhile) Used CD $6.00

“Seven pieces [that] place a premium on texture and dynamics. Müller and Lê’s sense of rhythmic subtlety is expressed through the opening and closing of a filter as often as it is through the development of a phrase or pattern. They have a penchant for bright metallic sounds: when a brisk rhythmic pattern is established, the music takes on the gamelan tinge of an early Lou Harrison piece; in a more eruptive soundscape, these sources can be harrowing. Müller and Lê also delve into very quiet sounds, which can lapse into silence…, leaving the listener on the edge of his seat.”



(Erstwhile - ERST054) 2xCD $23.50 (Out-of-stock)

Contact marks the first meeting of two pivotal, crucial experimental musicians who for the past decade have traveled parallel paths, intersecting occasionally (duo CDs with Toshi Nakamura; a 230-minute-long quartet with Nakamura and Otomo Yoshihide; the AMPLIFY 2008 festival). Full, unedited sessions with Rowe on guitar and electronics, M on sine waves and contact mic, recorded live and in the studio.


M / Nakamura / Otomo / Rowe

(Erstwhile - ERSTLIVE05) 3xCD $41.50 (Out-of-stock)

This document of the centerpiece show of AMPLIFY 2004: addition (the "four-hour quartet”) contains three individually packaged slimline CDs in a slipcase with original artwork by Keith Rowe, which wraps around the entire box, front, side, and back, as well as liner notes from all four musicians and numerous pictures from Yuko Zama. “The middle section of this concert sports some of the most effectively noisy utterances I've heard from these musicians,” marvels Dusted, “Even out-harshing Rowe's seminal Harsh. Extremities of frequency are both piercing and nauseating, the huge span of space between them never empty and often crowded by what can be described as organized sound. Only in rare instances are individual instruments readily identifiable -- a guitar plucked, the lower frequencies of the sounds transformed into dull echoing thuds before disappearing again into the miasma.”


Till My Breath Gives Out

(Erstwhile - ERSTPOP01) CD $14.75 (Out-of-stock)

(Erstwhile - ERSTPOP01) Used LP $26.75

Avant pop composed and performed by Berlin electro-acoustic/free improvisation bigwigs Kai Fagaschinski (clarinet), Margareth Kammerer (vocals and guitars), Christof Kurzmann (vocals, computer) and Michael Thieke (clarinet). Plaintive, simple and unadorned throughout, yet bearing the unmistakable imprint of Euro highbrow.



(Erstwhile - ERST060) 3xCD $32.00

The first meeting of two influential European experimental musicians. One disc of selected compositions (by Frey and Cardew), one disc of their own compositions, and one disc of improv.


Soba To Bara

(Erstwhile - ERST056) CD $14.50 (Out-of-stock)

Influential Japanese free improvisors Yoshida and Nakamura first performed together at the AMPLIFY 2008 festival; in preparation, they recorded solo tracks separately (Yoshida on voice, Nakamura on no-input mixing board), overdubbed them without hearing the other, and then listened to the results before performing the concert. So satisfied were they with the power and synchronization of the overlapped solos that they are hereby released as is.


Keith Rowe / Toshimaru Nakamura

(Erstwhile - ERSTLIVE08) CD $14.50 (Out-of-stock)

September 2008 duet by one of the big men of guitar-and-electronics and his long-time partner, the world's foremost practitioner of the no-input-mixing board.


Bits, Bots And Signs

(Erstwhile) Used CD $7.00 (Out-of-stock)

“Recorded in March 2000 in St. Gallen, Switzerland, where the trio generated gently pulsing rumbles, piercing whistles and lingering whines, fusing the varied sounds into a series of expansive panoramas. A brittle fabric of sound, unifying notions of instant composition with the radiating randomness of live electronics.”



(Erstwhile - ERST066) 2xCD $24.25 (Out-of-stock)

A beautiful, flowering extension the Pisaro’s Transparent City (Wandelweiser 2007), where sine tones were chosen to roughly correlate with the perceived pitches of field recordings, resulting in a silvery strand weaving through the soundscape. Echoes of that are here, with roughly musical sounds embedded within a landscape and vice versa. Though not completely serene and contemplative, there does seem to be an elusive connectedness, an interweaving of apparently natural and electronic sounds such as birds, metallic clanks and thin sine tones; or a funereal, low piano tolling that bridges a chasm between the severely abstract and the sincerely (not sentimentally) emotive. A deep, incredible recording.


One (Snow Mud Rain)

(Erstwhile - ERST051) CD $14.50 (Out-of-stock)

One (Snow Mud Rain) is the first duo CD by Peter Rehberg (Pita) and Marcus Schmickler, two long-time two of the leaders in the electronic revolution. Despite having barely worked together as a duo previously, the results were so successful that after two days, the record was basically completed. Its rawness and energy hearkens back to the explosive power of early Mego bursts, further enhanced by the remarkable density and clarity of the recording. “It's not all brimstone / hellfire throughout,” Mimaroglu reminds us, “[T]he second piece devolves into subdued spectral smear after smacking us around for a bit with its fully-rectified stammer (which reminds of recent Whitehouse more than anythings else); other spots introduce jittery, off-axis grains that echo Florian Hecker's recent work with wave geometry.... [T]hese two are master frequency-range craftsman; both are in peak form throughout.”


Christian Wolff / Keith Rowe

(Erstwhile - ERSTLIVE010) CD $14.75 (Out-of-stock)

Recorded live September 2011 as part of Jon Abbey's Amplify 2011 festival at The Stone in Manhattan. The first ever full-length duo set by the AMM guitarist and New York School stalwart / John Cage collaborator.


Duos for Doris

(Erstwhile - ERST030) 2xCD $23.50 (Out-of-stock)

More than two hours of music recorded in Nancy, France, at the CCAM studio in January 2003. Understated, intricate beauty and modesty belies the complexity of Duos for Doris, named for Tilbury's mother, who passed away two days prior. Rowe and Tilbury first met in 1965 when both were asked by Cornelius Cardew to perform Treatise for a BBC broadcast. They have enjoyed a fruitful professional relationship ever since, in the Scratch Orchestra, various Music Now and Cardew groupings, performing Christian Wolff and John Cage pieces, and most notably, in AMM since 1981. This is their first performance as a duo, and, according to Stylus, it is “challenging in the richest sense of the word -- full of bracing tension, riddled with sumptuous ambiguity and overflowing with strange and spectacular musical inventiveness…. brimming with rare detail and thought provoking turns...”


Rowe / Unami

(Erstwhile - ERSTLIVE06) CD $14.50 (Out-of-stock)

Legendary guitarist Keith Rowe played four sets in three nights in the AMPLIFY 2008: light festival in Tokyo, marking Rowe's fourth trip to Japan in his 40+-year career and the first time he was able to work closely with so many Tokyo musicians on their home turf. As the only non-Japanese participant in the festival, Rowe move his aesthetic toward his collaborators'. Indeed, A Spiral Cage says, “Unami … seems much more interested in subverting received notions of music and disrupting expectations. Rowe, on the other hand, is questioning his own notions of music and what it is for…. The uncatchability … the transient nature, the unexpected but not arbitrary. This duo pushes all of the boundaries, it is right on the edge, the arbitrariness constantly threatening but it stays together, no matter how tenuous.”


Keith Rowe

(Erstwhile - ERSTLIVE07) CD $14.40 (Out-of-stock)

A solo set recorded at the AMPLIFY 2008: light festival in Tokyo, Rowe's individual statement strongly contrasting with his duos there, which he later titled “Cultural Templates.” A Spiral Cage concludes, “Clarity of thought permeates this piece, which flows with an internal logic, but still retains that uncatchability that has been a hallmark of Rowe's career.”



(Erstwhile - ERSTSOLO01) CD $14.50 (Out-of-stock)

The third full-length solo recording of his career, following A Dimension of Perfectly Ordinary Reality (1989) and Harsh (1999), a very personal project for Rowe, who struggled with its precise conception over the last few years. This tribute to two of his important influences, Cornelius Cardew and Mark Rothko, after months of thought and attempts to transfer ideas in his head to a concert context, began in early 2007 with daily home-recordings, eventually becoming something that did justice to his feelings. “Unless you know that Rowe is a guitar player, “ponders Dusted, “You wouldn't guess it from this music [which] consists of electronically generated sounds of differing qualities. Even live it is difficult to determine exactly how Rowe generates all the sounds; on disc, it is impossible.”