Thursday, October 30, 2014

Babel selected as favourite...and other news.

Babel Label Selected As One of textura's Favourite label for 2014

At Babel we are delighted to have been chosen by the publication textura as a favourite label. textura has been around for 10 years focusing on experimental,electronic, jazz and classical music forms putting out 11 issues per year packed with reviews, interviews and articles.There is also the textura label on which three full-length recordings, Kubla Khan (2008), Esther Marie (2010), and Monuments and Ruins (2012) were released. The latter is a split work with two contrasting but connected soundworlds, one epic and memorializing and the other eerie and elegiac by Ben Chatwin and Damian Valle. The Canadian-based publication, every November selects ten labels whose output 'dazzled' and stood out from the crowd in the past year. Along side Babel the other labels chosen include: Cantaloupe, Denovali, Gruenrekorder, Hubro, Innova, Metalheadz, New Amsterdam, Populist, Schole and Western Vinyl. This time textura seem to have chosen eleven.There is a short but sweet revealing interview with Babel's capo Oliver Weindling reproduced below organized around the themes of Label identity, distinguishing characteristics, proudest accomplishments, currently promoting and the future.

 Identity: The Babel Label was started by me, Oliver Weindling, twenty years ago. I like to call it a “jazz” label, reflectingan attitude and approach that j azz can have, in terms of pushing boundaries but without necessarily being unapproachable. That frequently overlaps with London's Vortex, where I help with the programming. Only part of this will be the traditional view of “jazz.”

Distinguishing characteristics: The label primarily reflects my taste (whatever it may be at any time). If the music has individuality, creativity, commitment and personality, with something unique to offer, then that's what really thrills me.

Proudest accomplishments: Survival for twenty years and releasing
over 120 albums. Thus helping one aspect of musicians on the scene
 in London releasing their music to the world. Jack Massarik of The
 Evening Standard said about Babel, “It brings to the public for
twenty years music that it doesn't want to hear.” My additional
word to that is “YET”! So all Babel releases rank more or less
 equally as my proudest accomplishments.

Currently promoting: Alexander Hawkins: Solo and Ensemble, with
a new trio due next year; Dan Messore's new Indigo Kid;
 Woven Entity; Whahay: bassist Paul Rogers' take on Charles Mingus;
 Bourne Davis Kane (with Paul Dunmall); Sylvain Darrifourcq / Valentin
 Ceccaldi / Manu Hermia; Brassmask: Tom Challenger's brass band with
influences of Haitian rara and Henry Threadgill. That's enough for

Future: Continuing to survive and find exciting music.

Recent  Babel ReleaseWoven Entity by Woven Entity 
 Woven Entity is Lascelles Lascelle (percussion), Patrick Dawes( percussion), Paul Barkingside(drums) and Peter Marsh (bass). Expect improvised and semi-improvised spiritual grooves skirting the boundaries of astral jazz, free improv, krautrock and lo-fi electronica. The band operates as a floating collective along side various guests including saxophonists Julie Kjaer, Chris Williams (Led Bib), Alan Wilkinson, Andy Knight, Ben Cowen and others.

Coming to the Vortex Jazz Club: Whahay 13/Nov/2014
Whahay is Paul Rogers (hybrid 7 stringed double bass), Robin Fincker (saxophone, clarinet) and Fabien Duscombs (drums). Their latest offering is a tribute to Charles Mingus' compositions which are revered but at the same time given a 'European free Jazz' treatment. There is also a solo set from another Babel artist James Allsopp on tenor saxophone.

Check out Babel on Bandcamp