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Thread: Favourite Cuneiform Albums?

  1. #1
    chalkpie
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    Favourite Cuneiform Albums?

    Nope, I did not change the name of the company (and also note the British spelling of the first word.......hmmmm). I did a similar thread a few years back, plus I'm actually not talking about cardiacs, my latest obsession. OK, this one goes out to Mr. Feignenbaum, and he gets to be put on the spot too - how fun for him!

    A few questions Steve, if he (you? are you out there Steve?) doesn't mind....(Would he click on a Cuneiform thread? hmmmmm). Yes, here's we's go's -

    *What are your 5 favorite Cuneiform titles from 2000 - Present?

    *What are your 5 favorite Cuneiform albums EVER? Holey Shite! (note the religious spelling), can he actually do it?!

    I can't give you 5 at the moment, but I do know that Ceux du Dehors is in there, so my list is forthcoming.

    OK, you can all play along if you want. One of the very best record companies ever, in my not-so-humble opinion. So, a sincere thanks for creating a beyond amazing and vast catalog that some of us lucky folks know and enjoy.

    My favorite of all-time:

    1) Ceux du Dehors (note the French spelling)

    2 - 5) To be continued
    Last edited by chalkpie; 05-31-2013 at 01:35 AM.

  2. #2
    Tough one. So may quality releases and so many that I haven't picked up yet. I'll limit 1 choice per band. Two are recent features here Ahvak and History of the Visitation. A History of Madness, Avanti and Ceux du Dehors rounds it out.

  3. #3
    Apart from the obvious UZ Present

    New Milenium :
    Charming Hostess Fear Draws Misfortune
    Hughscore - Delta Flora
    Guapo 5 Suns
    Thinking Plague History Of Madness
    Alec K. Redfearn and the Eyesores
    Volapuk - Slang
    Pichio Dal Pozzo Camere Zimer Rooms
    Von Zamla 1985

    Honorable mentions :

    Krakatoa
    Hamster Theatre
    RICH WOODSON'S ELLIPSIS
    Blast Stringy Rugs
    Daniel Denis solos

  4. #4
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Difficult to give an easy answer since there are at least three different sections in Steve's catalogue:

    a) the real new releases: the albums that have never seen a release in another label, but this goes back way before the millenium (1984, I think)
    b) the posthumous releases: the radio/tv broadcasts and archives of a band that has ceased activities a while ago (Soft Machine, for ex)
    c) the reissues: albums that existed prior to Cuneiform's creation or had a life before finding its way on the catalogue (early UZ, Present, Heldon, Pinhas, etc...)

    Obviously Steve's label utmost merits are the a) category, though I must say that I tend to prefer the B) category, especially the Britsih JR/F stuff (it's still my latest trip)... And while the c) section is so very important indeed (would the world even remember UZ if it wasn't for Steve's re-issues... would they have even re-formed in the late 90's), I find it difficult to set it up against the other categories.

    I'll have to come back with my answers for the first two (and maybe the third one as well)
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from heroin-addicts to crazy ones

  5. #5
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    I'll focus on Trane's category a). Two Cunei's have made my lifetime top 25 (or more like top 35 by now!)
    Hughscore Delta Flora
    Djam Karet Live at Orion

    Three other greats that I go back to a lot:
    Phil Miller & In Cahoots All That
    Deus Ex Machina Cinque
    Forgas Band Phenomena Axe du Fou

    There are more for sure, but these 5 come to mind instantly.

  6. #6
    Member Burley Wright's Avatar
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    Happy the Man - Live
    Miriodor - Elastic Juggling
    Mother Mallard's Portable Masterpiece Company - Like a Duck to Water
    Heldon - Stand By
    Boud Deun - The Stolen Bicycle
    If I like it, it's good.

  7. #7
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    It's very, very bad business for me to choose favorites in public.

    So, I won't do it. You'll have to wait for the memoirs.

    I can promise you that some of my personal favorites will not be mentioned here by anyone. That's half the fun, y'know??

    But sincere thanks for the shout-out.
    Steve F.

    www.waysidemusic.com
    www.cuneiformrecords.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "The older I get, the more I realize that cynicism is just realism spelled wrong."

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  8. #8
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    What immidiately comes to my mind

    Anything Univers Zero / Daniel Denis
    Anything Thinking Plague
    Mats Morgan Live
    U Totem
    Happy Family
    Von Zamla / Hollmer

  9. #9
    Boo! walt's Avatar
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    Tough choice(s)..

    Soft Machine-Noisette,Backwards
    Hugh Hopper-1984
    New York Art Quartet-Old Stuff
    Steve Moore-Light Echoes
    S.O.S.-Looking For The Next One
    Miller/Coxhill-Coxhill/Miller-The Story So Far-Oh Really
    Mother Mallard's Portable Masterpiece Company-1970-73
    Last edited by walt; 06-04-2013 at 09:47 AM.
    "please do not understand me too quickly"-andre gide

  10. #10
    In all honesty, I have more albums from the Cuneiform label than any other single label in my collection. I'd have to go home and look through them all to pick particular favorites. The beauty IMHO of Cuneiform is the diversity; the only thing I'm fairly confident wouldn't be on that label is a Marillion album (and even then, I have to qualify that as just fairly confident ).

    I can at least recall that my first was a Rattlemouth album, bought at Plan 9 in Richmond after seeing the band do a show sometime around 91/92. It was such a cool/left-field album, so very different from the stuff I'd usually listen to...afterwards, whenever I was looking through the bins and I came across anything from the label, it always warranted a closer look. Found 'Spaced' by Soft Machine that way, Univers Zero, Present, Happy the Man, Djam Karet...the list literally goes freaking on and on.

    I know this thread was kinda meant to pick Steve's brain, but yeah...can't help but add props to the man and the label

  11. #11
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    I can promise you that some of my personal favorites will not be mentioned here by anyone. That's half the fun, y'know??
    Steve, I'd bet a nickel that one of your own Top 5 would be the only Cuneiform disc I ever sold off.

    Choosing a top 5? Totally impossible. Even cheating in almost every possible way I've left off far too many top-rank mindblowers. But here's what I come up with:

    Original Cuneys:

    Peter Frohmader: Macrocosm
    Hughscore: Delta Flora
    Miriodor: Jongleries Elastiques
    Radio Massacre International: Emissaries
    U Totem: U Totem

    Should be at least one Thinking Plague in there, but I can't think which one.

    Another five:

    Deus Ex Machina: Cinque
    Guapo: Five Suns
    Richard Leo Johnson: The Legend of Vernon McAlister
    Henry Kaiser/Wadada Leo Smith: Yo Miles
    Motor Totemist Guild: City of Mirrors


    Archival Cuneys:

    Entire Univers Zéro catalog
    Soft Machine/Mole/Wyatt/Hopper/Dean catalog
    Heldon catalog
    National Health: Playtime
    Picchio Dal Pozzo: Camere Zimmer Rooms

    Shit, where's Birdsongs? Curlew? Claudia Quintet? Far Corner? Redfearn? Ergo? Forgas? Hamster Theatre? Muffins? Ahvak, Dr. Nerve, etc. etc. etc...
    Last edited by Mister Triscuits; 05-31-2013 at 09:27 AM.

  12. #12
    Member Phlakaton's Avatar
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    Deus Ex Machina: Cinque
    U Totem: U Totem
    Soft Machine-Noisette
    Hughscore Delta Flora
    The Muffins - Open City

  13. #13
    Tough call, since there are so many. Some of my faves:
    1. Every Claudia Quintet record (sorry, can't delineate, they're all so good)
    2. Lars Hollmer, Viandra
    3. Krakatau
    4. John Surman NDR workshop (flashpoint)
    5. Soft Machine, NDR workshop
    6. Soft Machine, Grides
    7. Harry Miller, Isipingo
    8. Wadada/Kaiser, all three Yo Miles! But especially Upriver
    9. Gilgamesh, Arriving Twice
    10. Michael Gibbs, Back in the Days
    11. Graham Coliier, Workpoints




    Very much looking forward to the S.O.S archival find!

  14. #14
    Happy the Man - Beginnings, Live, Death's Crown
    National Health - Playtime
    Cartoon - Sortie
    Proto-Kaw - Early Recordings From Kansas
    Radio Massacre International - Emissaries
    5uu's - Hunger's Teeth, Crisis In Clay
    Steve Tibbetts - s/t
    However - Calling
    Arkham - s/t
    Matching Mole - March
    NeBeLNeST - ZePTO
    Guapo - Five Suns
    Happy Famly - both albums
    Universe Zero - all of them
    Miriodor - All of em
    Thinking Plague - All of em
    Djam Karet - All of em
    Boud Deun - The Stolen Bicycle
    Bird Songs Of The Mesozoic - All of em
    U Totem, Pinhas, Heldon, Muffins, Universe zero, Present - ALL OF THEM

    oh and every Soft Machine archival release they put out is fantastic

    Label is brilliant.

  15. #15
    Worthy of Laudation thedunno's Avatar
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    I obvioulsy do not have as many as some of you here ( I am more an Altrock guy) but some of my favourites are:

    Ahvak- s/t
    Hamster theater - carnival detournement
    Thinking plague - IN extremis
    Miriodor - avanti!
    Guapo - Five suns

  16. #16
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    Steve, I'd bet a nickel that one of your own Top 5 would be the only Cuneiform disc I ever sold off.
    hi

    Would love to know which it was; if it is one of my favorites, I'll break my rule and confirm....
    Steve F.

    www.waysidemusic.com
    www.cuneiformrecords.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "The older I get, the more I realize that cynicism is just realism spelled wrong."

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  17. #17
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    I'll just say I LOVE U Totem's "Strange Attractors." And I just found and read this description of it:

    "Of all of James Grigsby's productions, Strange Attractors is the work he will be remembered for. This album, weaved on a complex story line jumping back and forth from 1957 to 1985 to 2012, contains some of the best music avant-progressive had to offer in the 1990s...a classic."-All Music Guide.

    Funny that the parts of the story that are supposed to take place in the future, now take place in our past! Not that it hasn't happened before, of course...

    I can tell you my first Cuneiform CD: Virgil Moorefield - "Distractions On The Way To The King's Party" And it's a good one.

  18. #18
    chalkpie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    hi

    Would love to know which it was; if it is one of my favorites, I'll break my rule and confirm....
    now were talkin....

  19. #19
    Member nosebone's Avatar
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    My first big ass batch of Cunies were:

    UZ - UZED, Ceux du Dehors
    Muffins - Bandwidth
    Present -Triskaidekaphobie / Le Poison Qui Rend Fou
    Picchio Dal Pozzo: Camere Zimmer Rooms
    Von Zamla 1985

    all pretty great!
    no tunes, no dynamics, no nosebone

  20. #20
    Howdy Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    I started throwing together a list, and these were all on there:

    Quote Originally Posted by jkelman View Post
    3. Krakatau
    5. Soft Machine, NDR workshop
    8. Wadada/Kaiser, all three Yo Miles! But especially Upriver
    Except 1 of the Yo's is on Shanachie.

  21. #21
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    Cheer-Accident - Fear Draws Misfortune (2009)
    Thinking Plague - In Extremis (1998)
    Present - Certitudes (1998)
    Philharmonie - Nord (1994)
    The Muffins - Open City (1985)
    Virgil Moorefield - Distractions on the Way to the Kings Party (1994)
    Miriodor - Avanti! (2009)
    Machine and The Synergetic Nuts - Leap Second Neutral (2005)
    Krakatoa - We Are the Rowboats (2003)
    Guapo - Five Suns (2004)
    Far Corner - Endangered (2007)
    5uu's - Abandonship (2002)

  22. #22
    Howdy Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    Oh crap, I used a Greengrocer's Apostrophe.

  23. #23
    To me they're not the best label for progressive music - they're the only such label. There are numerous adventurous labels that I admire, love and collect and who sometimes verge on faintly similar waters, but none as coherently committed to visionary taste, conceptual determinism and cultural currency as Cuneiform. They are - and have been - the very hotbed for defining "progressive" in rock, jazz and the greyzones. If it wasn't for Steve F., I'd probably lost my belief in the potency of contemporary electroacoustics long ago.

    for post-2000 releases, my faves would be:
    Time of Orchids - Namesake Caution
    Machine & the Synergetic Nuts - Leap Second Neutral
    Thinking Plague - Decline and Fall
    Rich Woodson's Ellipsis - Control and Resistance
    Cheer Accident - Fear Draws Misfortune

    (With particular kudos to Redfearn, Janel & Anthony, Pixel, Upsilon, Ahleuchatistas, Algernon and Guapo).

    If the 90s were to be included, I'd have to find a way to include (although that'd be numerically impossible):
    Hughscore - Delta Flora
    Thinking Plague - In Extremis
    Miriodor - Jongleries Elastiques
    U Totem - U Totem
    Happy Family - Toscco

    (With particular kudos this time to Blast, Doctor Nerve, Chainsaw Jazz, Boud Deun and the wonderful and utterly underrated album by The Hosemobile).

    For archival stuff:
    The Muffins - Open City
    Picchio dal Pozzo - Camere-Zimmer-Rooms
    Happy the Man - Live
    Gilgamesh - Arriving Twice
    Proto-Kaw - Lost recordings from Kansas

    For "direct releases" and/or "classics 1st. time on CD" stuff:

    Univers Zero - Ceux du Dehors
    Cartoon - Sortie
    The Muffins - Manna/Mirage
    Present - Le Poison Qui Rend Fou
    Heldon - Stand By
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  24. #24
    Member Phlakaton's Avatar
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    I didnt mean to leave them out --- but ya - ALL the Thinking Plague releases. Hotness.

  25. #25
    Cuntform.

    1.Kampec Dolores

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