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!