Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Café OTO - Note by note, the making of the avant-garde

Words and photos: Gian Paolo Galasi

The Thing (Mats Gustaffson, Ingebrigt Haken Flaten,
Paal Nilssen-Love), October 3, 2011
If you're a passionate lover of experimental music and would like to hear the refined textures of saxphonist Roscoe Mitchell, the prolonged and hypnotic blues moans of Loren Mazzacane Connors, the harsh, devastating haikus of Keiji Haino, composer Charlemagne Palestine teaming up with younger avant/droner Oren Ambarchi, or dazed and surprised by younger or still not wider recognized talents such as guitarist Havard Skaset, or pleased by the genius of a rare performance by CC Hennix, Café Oto in Dalston, Ashwin Street, is the must-go if you're having a trip in London or residing in the UK's capital. 

Martin Brandlmayr, Cafe Oto, Sept. 30, 2011
Open since 2008, Cafe Oto - 'oto' meaning 'noise' in Japanese - is the ideal venue in which to enjoy the best in live avant garde music nowadays, introduced by the notes of John Coltrane's Kulu Se Mama, Moa Anbessa by The Ex featuring Getatchèw Mékurya before the beginning of the concert, or the likes. 

Spanning from AACM experimental jazz to European radical improvised music, from electro glitch to avant rock, from obscure folk heroes to weekly Eddie Prévost seminars, Cafe Oto's program is one of the most rich, in the city, full of concerts every day of the week. 

Oto's calendar is managed by CIC Otoprojects, a non-for-profit organization responsible also for special events, as last April Peter Broetzmann residency in celebration of his 70th birthday and the first Tentet's performance in London, or this year panel discussion, in collaboration with the art agency Electra, with composer Ghedalia Tazartes with Mark Harwood of Penultimate Press. Oto team is also curator of the selection for the Free Music Archives, an interactive library of high quality legal audio download.

Rogelio Sosa, Sept. 30, 2011
But Café Oto is not only the  place in which to listen to always fresh and exciting music. As in every music club worth of its value, merchandising blossoms as music, with the same attitude.

Here you'll find the CDs, vinyls, leaflets provided by the musicians themselves, often in collaboration with local graphic designers. Finally, Café Oto is opening its own label, Oto RUKU, dedicated to document, share and support Oto's activity. 

The first release, available since March 26, 2012, is the 180gr vinyl of Peter Broetzmann/John Edwards/Steve Noble ... the Worse the Better, a performance recorded at the club in January 2010, and gifted with a beautiful two color Broetzmann's silkscreened artwork printed on acid-free archival card stock. As celebration, on March 28, the three musicians will reunite for a concert, while in the meantime is still possible to preorder the vynil and, since 26 March on, the record will be available also as digital download.

Café Oto
18 22 Ashwin St
Dalston, London E8 3DL

Peter Broetzmann/John Edwards/Steve Noble '... The Worse The Better' Lp Launch
Wednesday March 28 2012 
Doors: 8pm

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