Derek Bailey String Theory (Paratactile PLE 1109-2)

Derek Bailey, electric/acoustic guitars; Vanessa Mackness, voice; Alex Ward, conversation.

"... It's an extremely fetching listen: there're 10 pieces, in duration between one and seven minutes, of wavering, droning feedback and speaker-irritating tones, generated via both acoustic and electric guitar. They're all sublime: beautifully controlled oscillating modulation, prolonged exposure to which can make the concept of 'minimalist' music seem a bit redundant, and were they shoved down the throats of countless untalented 'noise' 'drone' artists, they'd surely sound no less nice. Four exquisitely spooky duos with vocalist Vanessa Mackness follow, and a single brief track 'with' Alex Ward, in which Derek plays over the top of a recorded phone conversation with the clarinettist." — Nick Cain, Opprobrium Online

Derek Bailey & The Ruins Tohjinbo (Paratactile PLE 1101-2)

Derek Bailey, guitar; Yoshida Tatsuya, drums and voice; Sasaki Hisashi, bass.

"Tohjinbo documents Bailey's most recent encounter with the Ruins duo, Tatsuya Yoshida and Hisashi Sasaki. This is a seething, volcanic session in which Yoshida's restless drumming and Sasaki's anarchic bass treatments cascade and roar beneath the rippling sheets of noise let loose from Bailey's guitar. The trio's forward momentum is as irresistible as an advancing lava stream. In this session, it's not so much a matter of testing the firmness of the ground beneath your feet as it is about dancing on molten brimstone. You have to do it every now and again, just to prove to yourself that you're still alive. The Derek playing here with The Ruins is not a man withdrawn at all, but one strangely at peace with himself amid the noise and flying metal." — Ken Hollings, The Wire

Fushitsusha I Saw It (Paratactile PLE 1106/7-2)

"Hailing from the Tokyo wing of the Japanese underground, Fushitsusha have established themselves as one of the loudest, heaviest and most relentlessly challenging bands in the world today. Fronted by noise-guitar troubadour Keiji Haino, they have spent over 20 years at the cutting edge of the cutting edge, consistently pushing the rock power-trio concept to its limits. Here, they return with perhaps their most awe-inspiring release to date. Their 13th album, and their first studio recording on a UK label, it's a mammoth double affair whose title track runs for in excess of 90 minutes. We're not talking prog-rock epic; Fushitsusha's modus operandi is to pursue a single idea to its core, pushing duration and attention to detail to their absolute depths while other bands merely skim he surface. That said, this is also their most varied studio disc: explosive, serene, punishing, rewarding; a lifetime's listening in under two hours." — Stephen Robinson, Record Collector

Glass Cage Glass Cage (Paratactile PLE 1110-2)

Shoji Hano, drums; Hugh Hopper, bass; Gary Smith, guitar.

"In the goldfish bowl of free improvisation and experimental rock, Glass Cage's linking of Shoji Hano, Hugh Hopper and Gary Smith represents a titanic trio of Crosby Stills and Nash proportions. Hano debuted on Japanese traditional drums at the Kokura festival in 1963, at the age of four, and hasn't stopped pushing himself since; Smith wrangles strange sounds and runs out of his guitar that would shame a speed-metal band; and it's a revelation to hear Hopper's distinctive "fuzz-bass" unfettered from the more structured shapes of the 1960's jazz-rockers Soft Machine." — Stewart Lee, The Sunday Times

Mass From Zero (Paratactile PLE 1105-2)

Gary Smith, electric stereo guitar; Lou Ciccotelli, percussion; Gary Jeff, bass guitar and electronics.

Mass Mass (Paratactile PLE 1102-2)

Gary Smith, electric stereo guitar; Lou Ciccotelli, percussion; Gary Jeff, bass guitar and electronics.

"Mass is the sound of inner torment. A dark unsettling world that even Prozac cannot dent. It's the world of out-guitarist Gary Smith, drummer Lou Ciccotelli and bassist Gary Jeff, and it tugs at the nerves and recesses previously disturbed by practitioners from Albert Ayler to the early Velvet Underground. Points of reference such as John McLaughlin, Derek Bailey, Lou Reed and 60's psychedelic marauders Blue Cheer flicker briefly as Smith unleashes jagged shards of whistling feedback and atonal shrieks that hover and buzz like a trapped wasp. Yet it's his sense of melodic release alongside the almost ambient flow and bustling linear rhythm that gives this the king of brooding hypnotic feel you simply can't turn off. Though your neighbours will no doubt disagree." — The Wire

Gary Smith and Joe Gallivan Joe Gallivan Gary Smith (Paratactile PLE 1108-2)

Gary Smith, electric stereo guitar; Joe Gallivan, electronic percussion.

"...The two musicians move rapidly from the opening pharonic fanfare into hyper-taut Speed Metal bursts interspersed with random note generations. Smith's ever impressive range springs effortlessly from some of the most clipped and edgy electronic sounds that he has yet recorded, to extraordinary levels of speaker-crunching distortion. That two musicians can produce such a measured, sonically attentive yet wildly irruptive disc, recorded live and straight to DAT, is as baffling as the music is endlessly beguiling." — Stephen Robinson, The Wire