torsdag den 1. december 2011

New records out now!

New Shiggajon releases out now on Golem Tapes!

• Shiggajon - Strenge (tape/cd-r)
• Shiggajon/Part Wild Horses Mane On Both Sides - Lainfaida Della Indabishto (cd-r)
• V/A - Friends & Family (3 x cd-r)

Catch them all here:

torsdag den 6. oktober 2011

Upcoming stuff

Keep an eye out for upcoming shiggajon-releases, hopefully this year all of them:

1: split tape with pwhmobs on golem tapes
2: "strenge" on golem tapes
3: appearance on "friends and family"-compilation on golem tapes
4: "ritual II" tape - self-released
5: lp on fri struktur

torsdag den 18. august 2011

Another asconema review

Doug Mosurock of Still Single recently published a review of the asconema record here - it reads as follows:

"Live recordings of religious-grade lysergic spiritual forest jazz ensemble Shiggajon, from Denmark, with guest Kelly Jones (Part Wild Horses Mane on Both Sides) on flute. This is a large and active ensemble, a wild, orgone-loaded reach from guitars, electronics, winds and percussion, though you might strain to hear the first two in the mix, out of a roomy recording captured live in Sheffield. What you will find ever present across both side-long movements is a need to transcend with this music; a howling imperative spoken in the group’s tone language, reeds pressurizing the floorboards and the ceiling beams until the room threatens to burst open in glorious worship to the complex, beautiful fronds that precede the singularity. Similar feelings were made known on the Chora album released by Chironex, and they’re present here again, a communion with the earth and stars, and the bodies in between. I thought it would take quite a bit to get me interested in free jazz again but as this group (and Chora) has fed into a development outside the framework of what I’d been tired of in the genre, extending out into more exploratory and world-bound phrasing into something awe-inspiring and fresh. The group’s name is an amalgam of spiritual and religious names and terms: “Sh as in shinto, i as in imaam, gga as in Gandhi j as in Jesu, on as in Zion.” Depending on how you look at it, they managed to squeeze GG in there too. Don’t let this deter you from discovering this intense and powerful work. The comedown on side B flattened my dome. 250 copies, of which I have a sneaking suspicion will all be gone very soon."

We would like to note, though, that the name shiggajon is taken from David's psalm #7, the form of which is called a shiggajon, supposedly the jewish counterpart of the greek dithyrambus.

lørdag den 6. august 2011


Dear friends:

1 . It has come to our attention that a version of our concert at the Festival of Endless Gratitude back in 2010 has been uploaded to under the creative commons license, having it look like a release of ours. We want to express that this has been done without our knowing or permission, probably due to misunderstandings, and that the music is, in several ways, a manipulation of our original musical expression on that evening. We consider it to be neither a part of our discography, nor representative of our sound and ideas. Please listen to the recently uploaded live 3-tape in stead.

2 . English music magazine The Wire recently published a review of our lp on Chironex, Asconema. We want to express our gratitude for having brought this review and having taken the time to really listen to the record. Daniel Spicer writes: "Shiggajon are a Danish free music collective with a shifting identity, built around Nikolai Brix Vartenberg and Mikkel Reher-Langberg. Here, that core duo play sax and clarinet in an expanded, nine-piece ensemble also featuring guitar, violin, drums, and electronics, as well as the unmistakably haunted, questing flute wor of Kelly-Jayne Jones from Part Wild Horses Mane On Both Sides. Asconema was recorded at a 2009 gig in Sheffield organised by Singing Knives Records. The resulting LP seals the shared aesthetic shaping the music of not just Part Wild Horses, but other units associated with Singing Knives, including Chora and The Hunter Gracchus.
Essentially, this means music made with an emphasis on the communal experience and an urge towards the ecstatic, filtered through a post-Noise instinct for volume and white-out drones. Shiggajon's previous live tapes and CD-Rs made room for more overtly psychedelic electronic, but their debut on vinyl sticks closer to the methods of 1960s free jazz, John Coltrane's Ascension sessions being the obvious template for the flatlining cacophony of the set's more intensely sustained moments. Yet you wouldn't really call this free jazz, any more than you would suggest the Danes are trying to communicate the same feverishe, Southern Baptist Christian-inspired devotions that gripped Coltrane. Similarly, when the cymbal scrapes and bells accompanying Jones' flute conjure a quieter 'monastery jam' vibe, the music superficially touches on the Fourth World meditations inspired by Don Cherry and Ed Blackwell on their Mu albums.
Which isn't to say that this is a hollow forgery. Spiritual significance resides in the ear of the beholder. Ragged energy can plunge any soul that's ready into the light. If Shiggajon's joyous noise gets you there, why fight the feeling?

3 . Thirdly, we will be playing our first concert in Århus on the 25th of August, set up by Golem Tapes. We will, though, appear in a diminished "chamber music"-version featuring JP on double bass, Martin on drums, Nikolai on tenor sax and flutes, and Mikkel on Clarinet, also joined by Kelly and Pascal of part wild horses mane on both sides on flute and drum kit respectively. Really looking forward to this!

tirsdag den 19. juli 2011

Live III available for download

This was a pretty important concert for us, recorded back in December 2009 at Prøvehallen in Copenhagen with a 11-piece line-up. The music moves from repetitive folkish chanting through aggressive full-on celestial communication and on to more abstract, fragmented territory. Limited to 70 tapes and an unlimited amount of cd-rs.

fredag den 17. juni 2011

The live-series reviewed

Peter Taylor has engaged in transforming of our live-tape-series into words, published on foxy digitalis (and here below) during the coming weeks. We are looking forward to exloring these tapes through his caleidoscopic perspective.

Live I - at the cube, split with Dreamers Cloth.
"A small brown parcel arrived from Denmark in my post box. Upon unwrapping the parcel I discovered four cassettes cased in rugged brown paper. Each cassette represents a live mix from various venues in the UK and EU. Each is loaded with the multifaceted sounds of Shiggajon, and journeys through the ever-evolving line up including members of Hunter Gracchus, Part Wild Horses Mane on Both Sides and Chora. So now to unravel the live world of Shiggajon over four parts, this week; Live 1.

A cacophony of instruments burst into the fore with an immediacy and purpose. Clarinet, Sax, Drums and vocal splatters set the tone with speedy florets into a maze of Fire and Improv. Jarring ambience and strangled guitar sounds like trying to jump-start the mother ship from ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’. The saxophone holds a steady route as the other members of this graveyard orchestra seem to spiral in all directions like shards of molten metal in the pits of some hellish factory. The drumming has a fiery and kinetic quality, the woodwind has a deep haunting tone that seems to ooze at an uneasy velocity in contrast to the storm brewed by the bewitching covenant. After the relentless onslaught there is a timid moment of rest, as the musicians seem to sizzle like popping candy on the tongue. This section reminds me of the fantastic Qbico sessions recorded by the Portuguese improvisers (see Golden Jooklo Age). The alien sounds amass with a ghoulish beauty that shakes the whole movement into an exquisite drama of shock and surprise. The putrid colours of Jodorowsky, and the mind-bending imagery of Asger Jorn springs to mind when listening to this piece. The drums build to a stomping psych rock din that shakes the fucking roof off. Bam! Bam! Bam! And swirls of space guitar and sun-crisped gulls, quake the very foundations of the room. This is what My Cat Is An Alien might sound like if you caused an avalanche in their Alp-side studio. The reeds strangle a violent death throw and all is vanquished to a very silent silence.

The second piece creeps in with a coyness yet unheard. Chanting via the human voice adds a distinctly alive quality to the proceedings. Taught strings clang, struck with I don’t know what. Violins hew curving masses from the air and cymbals tone a sullied trail. This ominous growl reminds me of the Divine Coils, that dissonant trembling via exquisite drones of cemetery whispers. Guitars lace a web of feedback that climbs the trenches of decay inhabited by the spluttering percussion and weeping strings. Guitar brings an acid tinge to the din with an Earth-like twang that sups at the dampness beyond. Feedback squalls a near silent call as the cymbals chasten and the strings tremble no more.

The flipside is a performance from Jonas Frederiksen, who plays under the alias of Dreamers Cloth. Dreamy synths fold, unfold and build into new age swarms of warm cloud. Tape loops precipitation, as a pitch-bent raga warbles space waves in shards of tumescent light. Ultraviolets and deep blues are inspired by the unravelling sounds within. The delivery is akin to Dolphins Into the Future, Fabric and John Elliott. The sound amasses to a blanket of loops that dwell ajar but on similar tangents. A repeated melody transcends above the canopy with a glass organ resonance. A kraut motif is delivered with relaxed fingers over a beatless backdrop of field recordings. A solitary synth smooth’s its way between the looped melody arcing in rainbows of colour. The theme continues throughout with an overall gathering of altitude to keep your brain dancing off the shards of sound. It’s a truly hypnotic side abound with blissful tones. The aqua / light sonics prevail to produce a truly exotic experience that carries the listener into a field of reflection and out into the metaphysical."

onsdag den 15. juni 2011

Ritual 3 in the making

fredag den 20. maj 2011

Live III at volcanic tongue

As we are running out of copies, Live III is now available at Volcanic Tongue. They Write:

"Amazing new tape from this unstoppable Danish free jazz orchestra, here recorded live with an expanded line-up in Copenhagen in December 2009. Everyone plays recorders and percussion as well as their primary instrument, be it saxophone, ney flute, electric guitar, electronics, vocals, clarinet, violin, double bass and drums and the results are mind-blowing, moving from Art Ensemble-styled communal freak into heavenly post-Coltrane ascensions through the tone world. Can’t think of anyone outside of the much-missed Rauhan Orkesteri/Paivansade circle with such a devastating grasp of folk-primitive form and higher minded avant bliss. Numbered edition of 70 copies with art paper sleeves and obi strip. Recommended. "

fredag den 1. april 2011


Our LP "Asconema" on Chironex is out today, limited to 250 copies. Get it from Chironex directly (here; 10€ + shipping) or from us (within Denmark only - 100 kr + forsendelse / afhentning i Århus eller København). Asconema is our 14th major release, and was recorded at a show we played in Sheffield back in 2009. The record has been in the works since December 2009, and is now finally out. The record is mastered by Jack Allett, and the sound has turned out to be complex, contrastful, very bright and somewhat suggestive, which we appreciate. The record could though to some be more difficult to listen to, than many of our earlier releases. We recommend reading Peter Taylor's review below. Special thanks to Greg of Chironex and Jon of Singing Knives for making this happen. Contributors to the set were:

Christian Møller Blæhr (guitar)
Claus Haxholm (electronics)
Emil Rothenborg (violin)
Kelly-Jayne Jones (flute)
Martin Aagaard Jensen (drum kit)
Mikkel Elzer (guitar and electronics)
Mikkel Reher-Langberg (clarinet)
Mikkel Valentin Dunkerley (electronics)
Nikolai Brix Vartenberg (saxophone, bass clarinet, ney flute)
-everyone played percussion

Danes who have pre-ordered the record through Chironex - please write us an email!

Shiggajon is a Danish modern free music collective and continuing collaboration revolving around the duo of Nikolai Brix Vartenberg and Mikkel Reher-Langberg. The recordings for Asconema, their first vinyl output, were made at the conclusive show on a UK-tour in 2009 curated by Singing Knives, which sent the band of in a new direction musically. On Asconema, the sound of this 9-man version of shiggajon goes in a more acoustic and dynamic direction, moving from quiet solo-pieces to intense and bacchantic ones in a matter of moments. The music, though mostly very dense and complex, is formally more "traditional" and less psychedelic than most in this tradition, including the band's own, being almost stripped of added effects, and thus letting the flow of interplay and melody shine through.

Foxy Digitalis (Peter Taylor):
Shiggajon sprung to my attention with a great CD on Singing Knives a few years ago. They are an improv unit that take a feral view on world folk and free-music. The Danish collective has a shifting line-up, consisting of core duo Nikolai Brix Vartenberg and Mikkel Reher-Langberg. This LP expands the line-up to a nine-piece, and the overall sound has evolved and bares comparison to Hunter Gracchus and Faux Amis. The delivery has a raw acoustic sound devoid of heavy post-production adding to the visceral energy of the performance. This is a recording from a live performance in the UK, curated by the awesome Singing Knives label.

Side A:
Woodwind beckons the audience into submission as a solitary cough confirms that this is a live performance. Screeching cymbals carve up a corpse to the air as the tranquil winds converge like the dance of gales through tight corridors and windows ajar. Tapping metallic sounds bound as flute dances without terra firma to hold its weight. All musicians seem to collide in a swell of whirling shoots that rise before they fall in gradual ascent. The percussion stomps with the searching prowl of many-an improv act, recalling the cataclysmic onslaught of Jooklo Duo or Part Wild Horses. The unit are zoned into one another in a melee of unceasing menace, with the comforting jubilation afforded by the gentler tones via flute and saxophone. There is a relentless bombardment that better lends itself to the live performance as audience member, rather than the solitary and limited format of home listening. The energy is impossible to capture in its violent and unquenchable feasting, yet the rage does manage to seep through the speakers in frightening abundance. As the halfway point of the first performance approaches, all instruments seem to dance in solos that never converge; each an entity unto itself. Sudden moments of unity pass in fleeting couplings that shimmer with a wondrous result. Slight delay pulsates behind the various woodwind and brass in a glorious performance to the dead. There is something creepy and arcane about the musicianship that unnerves and delights, in a way one might find in the practices of the occult. The result is a sensuous celebration of uncanny and archaic arts. A final onslaught brings this massive slab of noise to an end as waves of tone make mesh from each of the nine. Vocals holler and silence finds its way with an unimagined haste.

Side B:
Feral voices play in duet with saxophone creating a twisted ode to the sky. Mild distortion continues the theme of this feral orchestra as the din swells to its height once again with little time. Bleating sax squeals with vocal hollering in a tribal cry over thunderous drums and droning tones from some hidden source. The energy is ferocious and unceasing, ever colliding and reforming in some raucous combat. Each musician seems to contribute anger and unrest, letting no quarter. As the second half unfolds, some incredible percussion makes for a rugged landscape, and a rest bite from the slaughter allows the flute to sing once more. The droning and guttural sounds that dwell beyond the foreground are truly moving and scrape a blistered surface. Vocals and crying strings hiss creating a steaming movement as spirits seem to escape the rabble. The throng reduces, or rather deflates, allowing for a series of plumes to find their way into the mist. The air feels thick, and for me this is the magic of the music. It has an ability to unnerve and completely alter the sonic state of the listener. Fear and discomfort are rewarded with a dark tranquillity and one finds comfort as a slave might to its master. The tapping, the screeching, the clamour, the cries, they all find there way as flotsam and jetsam in the aftermath of the previous collision. I am left exhausted and bemused, but affected as few records can.

Norman records:
Shiggajon is an ongoing collective project centred around Danish lads Nikolai Brix Vartenberg and Mikkel Reher-Langberg. They specialise in free forms of music, primarily of a psychedelic nature. This is the first time Shiggajon's music has been documented on vinyl and what a fine document it is. Recorded on the final date of their UK tour 'Asconema' is considered by the band to be a breakaway from their standard way of performing improvised music. In this case the nine performers free themselves of the restrictions of effects (commonly used in this field) and strip it back to the bare basics, in this case acoustic, brass and percussion instruments. As a result this recording sounds lively and organic without relying on the safe haven of psychedelia to keep the ball rolling. The performance shifts from subtle solo pieces to all out carnage in the blink of an eye. It's a curious, dense offering that has more in common with free jazz than any of Shiggajon's previous outings and it suits them just fine.

Volcanic tongue:
Amazing new limited to 250 copies LP from this wild free folk/free jazz commune out of Denmark led by Nikolai Brix Vartenberg and Mikkel Reher-Langberg. Asconema is a recording from a Singing Knives-produced show that took place in Sheffield in October of 2009 with the group swollen to a nine piece and featuring Kelly Jones of Part Wild Horses Mane On Both Sides on flute alongside guitar, electronics, saxophone, drums and violin. This is dense/primitive polyphony in the style of the early Globe Unity Orchestra/FMP sides married to a contemporary free folk attack. The music moves from great accumulative waves of strings and throats and epic percussion through incredible sustained single note levitations that touch on Coltrane’s Ascension ensemble, with the whole group straining upwards while gargling white light. Seriously, a phenomenal free music recording with the presence of Kelly Jones’ soaring flute work pushing it to a whole other level. Highly recommended.

mandag den 21. marts 2011


Århusians take note that local tape-production is now an option:

søndag den 6. marts 2011

Arthur Doyle

A reminder that Arthur Doyle will be playing at Musikcaféen in Århus this tuesday. If you like us, you will like this better.

søndag den 20. februar 2011

Live III and IV

Two new tapes/cd-rs in the live-series are available as of today:

Live III

Recorded in December 2009 at Prøvehallen in Copenhagen with a 11-piece line-up. The music moves from repetitive folkish chanting through aggressive full-on celestial communication and on to more abstract, fragmented territory. Limited to 70 tapes and an unlimited amount of cd-rs. Listen to a sample:

Live IV

Recorded in September 2009 at Chameleon, Nottingham and July 2010 at Lades Kælder, Copenhagen. Two pieces of psychedelic drone-rock music. Limited to 30 tapes and ~20 cd-rs. Sample:

Both tapes are 35 kroner / 4,5 euros. We also have cd-r versions at 25 kroner / 3 euros.
cd-r and tape version of the same release is 45 kroner / 6,5 euros.

Also, keep an eye out for our upcoming lp, "asconema" on chironex.