Further Outwhere

Sounds beyond songs, ideas outside the obvious, possibilities far from pop

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Dadson/Shearer/Allen/Johnson: Day Breathes Night (AFR/digital outlets)

19 Oct 2023  |  <1 min read

Recorded in November 2021, this eight-piece collection brings together key figures in improvised experimental sound: Phil Dadson (From Scratch, here on various percussion); electronic artist Rachel Shearer; percussion player Simon Allen and Hermione Johnson on prepared piano. This is not as challenging and formidable as that might sound, certainly more accessible than much improvised free... > Read more

Gonium History

ALAN BROWN, PROFILED (2023): Dream weaver of sounds

1 Aug 2023  |  1 min read

Pianist, composer and sonic explorer Alan Brown of Auckland has appeared at Elsewhere many times previously, sometimes when he was on the periphery of jazz. But mostly in his incarnation in the world of exploratory ambient music which, over a series of album we have thought to place in our Further Outwhere pages, a space reserved for those who head off without a map and rely on their own... > Read more

Defiant Gardens

Jeffrey Alexander and the Heavy Lidders: Spacious Minds (Arrowhawk/digital outlets)

18 Jun 2023  |  <1 min read

The name of the band, the album title and the blitzed-out artwork are the clues: psychedelic music lives here, starting with a 36 minute, leisurely exploration of Grateful Dead's Dark Star. This mostly instrumental, live album from Philadelphia's Alexander and his latest musical companions was recorded on a sunny afternoon in New Jersey and as it unfurls it is quietly transporting, often... > Read more

Sequoia Seed Escape Pod

Louise Campbell: Sources (digital outlets)

17 Jun 2023  |  <1 min read

Another for our Further Outwhere pages is this evocative collection of pieces for clarinet and electronics by a composer-performer and inter-disciplinary artist from Montreal. These soundscapes are inspired by the St Lawrence Seaway. As you might guess from hearing the four lengthy pieces on this debut release (the other five are brief evocations of birdcalls), this music has been used... > Read more

Playing Guitar Gear

Wailing Urei: Is It Me? (bandcamp)

17 Oct 2022  |  1 min read

As regular readers of Elsewhere know, we find our music where we will – deep trawl, accident, suggestions, record company emails, pals – but obviously not everything takes our attention. But something about a modest email from “London born and raised Kyle Newman” -- his politeness possibly? – sent us to a bandcamp link and . . .... > Read more


Steve Tibbetts: Hellbound Train; An Anthology (ECM/digital outlets)

4 Oct 2022  |  1 min read

Although not as well known as Marc Ribot and Bill Frisell, guitarist Steve Tibbetts has had a long career as an experimental and exploratory guitarist. Part of the reason for his low profile is that he – unlike Ribot and Frisell – doesn't appear on other people's albums or even play live that much. Like the classical pianist Glenn Gould, Tibbetts prefers the recording studio and... > Read more

Nick Storring: Music from 'Wéi' 成为 (Orange Milk Records/digital outlets)

9 Sep 2022  |  <1 min read

Cellist/composer Nick Storring is based in Toronto and this six-part collection was created as choreography music to accompany a dance piece by his frequent collaborator Yvonne Ng. That said, its ambient quality, the sometimes deftly discordant approach and the subtle use of sounds dug from the innards of the pianos – as well as the electronic manipulation of the upright and grand... > Read more

Part III

MOTTE, rotor, LILEY AND WOODBURY (2022): Exploring the dark waters beneath

20 Aug 2022  |  2 min read

In the dark waters west of atmospheric ambient music, where avant-garde impressionism appears on the horizon, are sounds of no fixed genre. Here be melodies, ethereal voices, cinematic sweeps of synthesisers and strings, strange creaks, crackles and a sense of anxiety. This is the soundscape investigated by artists on international labels such as Mute (Nick Cave and Warren Ellis),... > Read more

To The Surface (Liley/Woodbury)

Collapsed Clouds: Seventh House Music Vol 7 (Rattle/bandcamp)

10 Jul 2022  |  <1 min read

Another on the Rattle Seventh House imprint of releases which fit into our Further Outwhere pages, where we place “sounds beyond songs, ideas outside the obvious, possibilities far from pop”. Some of the musicians here will be familiar to Elsewhere/Further Outwhere readers: pianist Stephen Clothier, composer Ross Harris, Neil Johnstone (here creating the synth soundscapes),... > Read more

Clouds Imagined

Jeff Henderson: The Charming Clarinet (iiii/bandcamp)

27 Jun 2022  |  1 min read

Multi-instrumentalist Jeff Henderson – last mentioned in these pages as part of UHP (Upper Hutt Posse) – must have one of the largest catalogues of anyone in this country: he has been releasing batches of live recordings which range from solo performances through duets and those with the band Trioglodytes. A very hard man to keep up with, and what is notable also is just how... > Read more

Lip Sticks

Sunn O))): Metta, Benevolence (Southern Lords/bandcamp)

14 Jan 2022  |  1 min read

The wall of sound and distortion which bands like Japan's Boris and Seattle's drone metallers Sunn O))) deliver is not for everyone. Although in the case of the latter it was for the late Scott Walker who recorded Soused with them. It was the meeting of outliers who went even further outwhere. We liked it but don't play it a lot.. These three pieces were recorded in John Peel's old... > Read more

Wadada Leo Smith/Henry Kaiser/Alex Varty: Pacifica Koral Reef (577 Records/bandcamp)

10 Jan 2022  |  1 min read  |  1

Guitarist Alex Varty said this recording from 2018 – a 55 minute improvised piece – began life as what looked like a painting more than a score by trumpeter/composer Wadada Leo Smith who refers to his graphic work as “Ankhrasmation”. “Ankhrasmation is a musical language, as opposed to a musical notation system,” Smith told music journalist Frank J. Oteri... > Read more

Pacifica Koral Reef preview

Jeremy Mayall, Yotam Levy: Elemental Stasis (Rattle Seventh House Vol 6/bandcamp)

20 Dec 2021  |  1 min read

Rattle has enjoyed a remarkable year, even by its own high standards. The launch of the Seventh House imprint of experimental and improvised collaborations has delivered albums which are more rewarding than that challenging description might suggest. This final release for the year features soundscapes by Waikato-based pianist/composer Mayall and Israeli-born cellist Levy on 10 pieces... > Read more

Transforming Status

Alan Brown: Murmur (Rattle Seventh House Music/bandcamp)

3 Dec 2021  |  1 min read

Keyboard player Alan Brown's recent ambient and improvised work has frequently found favour at Elsewhere because he often steps beyond the Eno-obvious and into rather more allusive soundscapes. As he does here when using electronic instruments to create leisurely loops and allow for effects to suggest natural elements (as on the electro-hiss of rain and wind which opens the gorgeously... > Read more

Halting Problem

Tim Green/Massimo Magee: Abeyance (Orbit577/digital outlets)

2 Dec 2021  |  <1 min read

The last time we heard from drummer Green and saxophonist Magee was very recently when – with other-drummer Tony Irving – they released the exciting but challenging free improvisation album The Clear Revolution as the Cyclone Trio. That album was recorded the day after their Cataclysm and this session by the duo was recorded just days after The Clear Revolution and takes the... > Read more

Arushi Jain: Under the Lilac Sky (Leaving/digital outlets)

8 Nov 2021  |  <1 min read

Locating her music somewhere between the meditative sound of Laraaji in the early Eighties, ambient world music, mood-establishing electronica and the Hindustani vocal tradition, Arushi Jain – originally from Delhi, studied computer science in the US then moved into synthesiser music – here offers an often weightless and seemingly effortless amalgam of all those styles. She also... > Read more


4 Nov 2021  |  4 min read

As noted recently, Elsewhere has opened a new page in our contents, Further Outwhere, which profiles sonic artists and music beyond song. We shifted a number of previous reviews and articles into that space, quite a few of them coming from artists on Auckland's Rattle label. By chance – we did not know this at the time – Steve Garden who has helmed the arthouse label for... > Read more

SIX x TWO: THE JEFF HENDERSON DUO SERIES (2021): And tonight's guest is . . .

29 Oct 2021  |  4 min read

Auckland saxophonist Jeff Henderson should now be well known to Elsewhere readers for his wide-ranging jazz and improvised avant-garde work. Because he has been smart enough to record many of his (and others') live appearances there is now a very large catalogue of these available at bandcamp, and previously we looked at two columns on the Kiwijahzz label and the experimental guitars... > Read more

THE EXPERIMENTAL GUITARS OF AOTEAROA SERIES (2021): Twang bang and spanky you, man

17 Sep 2021  |  2 min read

Further to saxophonist/facilitator Jeff Henderson's series of interesting improv albums under the collective title Jazz from the Underground Nightclubs of Aotearoa on the new Kiwijahzz label, our attention was drawn to another series . . . Experimental Guitars of Aotearoa, the first volume of which was released in 2019 (who knew?) and the second last year (ditto). However it's the nature of... > Read more

Some Other Time (Malcolm, O'Connor)

KIWIJAHZZ. FURTHER AND FURTHERER INSTALLMENTS (2021): More notes from beneath the underground

31 Aug 2021  |  3 min read

Some weeks ago Elsewhere introduced a new jazz-and-elsewhere label Kiwijahzz, which is the brainchild of saxophonist and collaborator Jeff Henderson whose credentials here and overseas are impressive if not impeccable. Henderson is a facilitator so it comes as little surprise that during the lockdown he has had the time to go through more... > Read more

The Third Eye, by HatNoHatHat