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5/13: Joanne Robertson and Kool Music live at Ergot Records

Saturday, May 13th at 9 pm
Ergot Records
32 E. 2nd St.
New York, NY 10003


In March, we wrote of Joanne Robertson’s recent Blue Car LP:

“Collected from Joanne Robertson’s archive of unreleased solo recordings, these songs were put to tape as a form of diary entry, impressionistically chronicling her emotions over a ten year period. Like her best work, the gossamer vignettes provide an immediate charm, but seem to slip away as easily as they appear, fleetingly present for but a moment. With repeated listens—and believe us, you’ll want to keep flipping this platter ad infinitum—the diamonds emerge from the rough, a quality all the more arresting in this era of quick fixes.

Listeners unfamiliar with Robertson’s work might recognize her angelic voice from her numerous collaborations with/as a member of the Dean Blunt project. On about our 20th listen as we write now, we’re reminded of the heavenly light of Shelleyan Orphan, Loren Connors’ ephemeral blues, Sibylle Baier’s solitude, Pink Reason’s bummer trip, and the hypnotic fingerpicking of Sun Kil Moon—those are all compliments of the highest order.”

Dial-A-Poem Reading

We are overjoyed to announce that we have sealed vintage copies of the bulk of the Giorno Poetry Systems discography, as well as John Giorno’s debut LP Raspberry / Pornographic Poem, in stock now at the Ergot Records shop. In order to celebrate the renewed availability of these indispensable documents, as well as the legacy of Giorno’s Dial-A-Poem and Giorno Poetry Systems projects, Ergot Records and the John Giorno Foundation present an evening of poetry readings at the shop on Tuesday, April 12th, featuring two members of the inaugural Dial-A-Poem group as well as others who have worked with Giorno over the years and poets of a younger generation now carrying the torch. We will also have a functioning Dial-A-Poem phone installed at the shop between April 12th and 18th.

With readings by:

Penny Arcade
Anselm Berrigan
David Henderson
No Land (with Luke Stewart)
Anne Waldman


Tuesday, April 12th from 6:30-9pm

Ergot Records
32 E. 2nd St.
New York, NY 10003

Proof of vaccination and masks required.

Inspired by revolutions in vanguard painting, sculpture, music, and dance, poet and performance artist John Giorno founded Giorno Poetry Systems in 1965 as a vehicle for using modern technology to connect poetry with new audiences. In 1968, his Dial-A-Poem project provided the world with access to poetry that could be heard rather than just read, via a telephone hotline that connected each caller with a random two-minute reading by poets that included William Burroughs, John Cage, Anne Waldman, Jim Carroll, Aram Saroyan, Bernadette Mayer, Ted Berrigan, and David Henderson. Dial-A-Poem was subsequently exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and Museum of Modern Art, with recent installations at SFMOMA and the New Museum. In 1972, Giorno Poetry Systems began publishing vinyl albums of recorded poetry, starting with compilations of the Dial-A-Poem poets before expanding over the ensuing two decades to include long-form performance poetry as well as lyrical music by the likes of New Order, Hüsker Dü, Diamanda Galàs, and Coil. The breadth of the Giorno Poetry Systems’ aesthetic is remarkable for uniting poèsie sonore, the New York School, the Beats, the Black Arts Movement, no wave, industrial culture, and punk under the cohesive umbrella of oral poetry. Its albums’ track lists read as indexes chronicling a who’s who of New York’s downtown scene and beyond, providing ample material for research into under-appreciated figures as well as opportunities for interdisciplinary connections.

Ergot Records, the shop

Records, tapes, and related books of all genres bought & sold in the East Village!

Ergot Records

32 E. 2nd St. New York, NY 10003

Ph: 312-351-3232

Hours: Wed-Thu 11am-7pm, Fri-Sat 12-8pm, Sun 12-6pm, and by appointment

#004: Dominique Lawalrée - First Meeting LP
(a co-release with Catch Wave Ltd.)

Dominique Lawalrée (b. 1954) is a composer born and based in Brussels. First Meeting is Lawalrée's first archival release to date. Culled from four different albums originally self-published on his private label Editions Walrus, circa 1978-1982, this compilation highlights the composer's unique sense of ambient and minimal composition. Originally considered for release on Brian Eno's Obscure Records, Lawalrée's music is now no longer hidden.

In this collection the listener finds the sounds of piano, synthesizers, percussion, Wurlitzer, organ, and voice, all performed by Lawalrée. Using these tools Dominique creates miniature themes that gallop across the speakers in slow motion, stretching our normal sense of dynamics and color, effortlessly widening the stereo plane. On “Musique Satieerique,” Dominique pays homage to the influence of Satie with simple repeated piano figures and a lush field of organs and flutes. And on other selections, like “La Maison Des 5 Elements,” he takes a more wistful, ambient approach, layering keyboard lines, and invoking found/tape sounds to create a hypnogogic world of his own. Childlike in its playfulness and surreal to the bone, the music spins like a carrousel placed inside the Rothko Chapel. Lawalrée’s sense of timbre, tone, and overarching composition is like an impression of a home movie whose charm lies in its knowledge of intimacy, shared by few. An incantation of innocence.

"a quiet, understated music that is both touching and elegant"
—Gavin Bryars

"what is most affecting is the feeling of parabolic calm that can emerge from this music, ascending gradually. It's atypically devoid of New-age cliché, closer somehow to a secular revelation than to any protracted or consensus bliss."
—Keith Connolly, BOMB Magazine

"Part of the charm of Lawalrée's work, and perhaps why he never broke through into broader consciousness, was the obliquely personal nature of his albums, which sometimes felt like improvised sound diaries, or like incremental explorations of deeply indivualistic themes… A beautiful rediscovery."
—Jon Dale, Uncut 

"Harold Budd is an obvious reference point, but Lawalrée's brilliantly economical music eschews the grand, systematising ambitions of most minimalist music, and has a tactility and sense of particular time and place that places it closer to Angelo Badalamenti, Popol Vuh's Hosianna Mantra, or even Broadcast. This may be the first meeting, but hopefully not the last." 
—Derek Walmsley, The Wire


Distributed by:
Light In The Attic (USA/Canada)
Kudos (UK/World)
Virtual Label (USA)
#007: Tiger Hatchery with Paul Flaherty - Live In New Haven LP

Helios is typically credited for our solar well-being, but let's not forget that his four horses have been the ones doing the heavy lifting day in and day out all these years… 

They must have bailed on the bossman somewhere above Connecticut because on September 9, 2013 in New Haven it was not Pyrois, Aeos, Aethon, and Phlegon but Tiger Hatchery (Ben Baker Billington, Mike Forbes, Andrew Scott Young) and Paul Flaherty who brought the heat. Neither party is any stranger to fire music: after cutting their teeth in Texas and Cleveland like so many other purveyors of the ecstatic now Tiger Hatchery congealed in Chicago and their blistering take on free jazz earned them a recent entry in the venerable ESP-Disk'ography; Paul Flaherty needs little introduction having lent his biting reed attack to countless outfits since his 1978 debut, among them mind melds with Chris Corsano, Thurston Moore, C Spencer Yeh, and Bill Nace. 

Live In New Haven documents both entities convulsing as one, with Forbes' and Flaherty's labyrinthine saxophone mutations squirming against the brink of the Billington-Young skins 'n' strings throb unit. Yet despite the volcanic nature of the session, the quartet exhibits a sage capacity for both restraint and an elevated plane of almost-composed melodicism unheard in Tiger Hatchery's corpus of abandon as a trio.

LP edition of 300, with front and back cover art by Graham Lambkin.


Distributed by:
Forced Exposure (USA)
Kudos (UK/World)
Virtual Label (USA)
#006: The Master Musicians Of Joujouka - Into The Ahl Srif LP

Mythologized by Brian Jones' 1968 recordings for Rolling Stones Records, The Master Musicians Of Joujouka have since been the subject of much attention from outside their native Morocco. The first recorded group were the house band at Brion Gysin's 1001 Nights restaurant, Ornette Coleman collaborated with them on Dancing In Your Head, they are featured on William S. Burroughs' Break Through In Grey Room, and Timothy Leary hyperbolically referred to the musicians as “The 4000 year old Rock and Roll band". This legacy has lured some descendants away from their home and onto the international scene, but the music of Joujouka continues to echo down from the Ahl Srif mountains today.

Recorded live in Joujouka in 2012, Into The Ahl Srif is the first new album of Joujouka material available on vinyl since 1976. Focusing on the trance-inducing ghiata music of the rites of Boujeloud, Into The Ahl Srif eschews the highly edited, special effects approach of Brian Jones Presents The Pipes Of Pan At Joujouka in favor of a raw, untampered transmission. Although preserving the full 90-minute fertility ritual in uninterrupted form would be impossible on any physical sound medium, this LP takes a more thorough look than ever before at this most cacophonous, droning, and deeply psychedelic side of Joujouka's music.

"This is Sufi trance music par excellence." 
—Clive Bell, The Wire


Distributed by:
Metamkine (France)
Soundohm (Italy)
Virtual Label (USA)
#005: Nagual LP 

Spawned in Oberlin, Ohio's proliferating experimental circles, the duo of Ian McColm and David Shapiro have since 2010 become adept at coaxing damaged shades of Frippertronic drone from their extended guitar rigs. Finally distilling their inspirations into three deliberate pieces, this 44-minute LP of structured improvisations marks the culmination of a string of cassettes on McColm's own Pidgin imprint and is Nagual's most accomplished statement to date.

Meticulously crafted loops comprise the phonetic basis of Nagual's vernacular, with clusters of decayed piano and spluttering ARP seamlessly shifting in and out of coherence while deep tones expand across the stereo field. The muscular tear of side A crescendos into a dexterous burst of McColm's machine-gun percussion (first showcased on a Feeding Tube collaboration with Daniel Bachman) worthy of his years studying under Billy Hart; and side B unfurls with the patient serenity of music's eternal theater.

Edition of 300.

"a studied, stunning work of loops and zonular textures galore. It's worth a listen if you wish that Kranky's golden era featured Keith Rowe."
—Mike Sugarman, Ad Hoc

"Their tools are more varied than what you might find on a Pandit Pran Nath record, but Ian McColm and David Shapiro’s aim is trained on the same trance-inducing throb. They fold six-strings, bass, a baritone guitar, and an assortment of synthesizers into one another, stack a few drums and piano on top, then melt it down into a stream of molten copper and hissing electronics, all tuned to the same shimmering key."
—Lucas Schleicher, Dusted Magazine