The Ex News : January 2010
New 7" Single - Release Date February 8th
We're just about to release a 7" single "Maybe I Was The Pilot / Our Leaky Homes", our first release with new singer Arnold De Boer and the first 7" release on Ex Records in 20 years. The last time was for the "6." series of 6 singles we released in 1990/91, which we plan to re-release this year on CD.
"Maybe I Was The Pilot" is available as a FREE download from the Pitchfork site.
The title "Our Leaky Homes" comes from the title of a chapter of a book called "HEAT (How To Stop The Planet From Burning)" by English journalist George Monbiot.
The main riff of "Maybe I Was The Pilot" is adapted from a song called "Elosi Aberu Akipore Imaniti Abiro" by Ugandan singer and adedeu (harp) player Iganitiyo Ekacholi. It appears on the CD "Secular Music from Uganda" (SWP Records 024), part of a series of re-releases of Hugh Tracey's recordings from Eastern and Southern Africa from the early 50s.
Ex Records cat# EX121. Distribution by Konkurrent..
The Ex + Brass Unbound : UK Tour January / February 2010
In late January, early February we will tour the UK with a new project called The Ex + Brass Unbound. On this one-off tour we plan to cut loose with a rhythmic and propulsive set, enlisting four world-class horn players to make up Brass Unbound: Swedish force of nature Mats Gustafsson (baritone saxophone), Chicago jazz heavyweight Ken Vandermark (tenor saxophone), Italian wild card Roy Paci (trumpet) and boundary busting classical futurist Wolter Wierbos (trombone). As players, improvisers and entertainers this group should nothing short of phenomenal. The set will consist of a collection of new and older Ex songs plus a few Ethiopian hits. The emphasis will be on playing a full-on set of energetic dance music with wide open structures and plenty of free improvisation. Expect fireworks!
The tour is produced by Qu Junktions, a Bristol based agency with a great ear and diversity of taste, with support from Sound and Music. Support band on all dates will be Zun Zun Egui.
Back from Addis Abeba
We are just back from an incredible week in Ethiopia, the third chapter in our project of bringing adventurous music to Ethiopia for mutual inspiration and exchange of ideas. This one was based around the saxophone. We went with Chicago tenorist Ken Vandermark, Dutch reed man Ab Baars (ICP) and Friso Heidinga from Amsterdam Winds saxophone repair shop, plus The Ex Guitars (Andy + Terrie), drummer Paal Nilssen-Love from Norway and Zea (Arnold).
There were workshops and concerts at the Africa Jazz School, Hager Fekir Theatre, the Yared Music School, the Fendika nightclub, Bateau Ivre club, a music school for blind people and the Asni Art Village. All in one week!
Friso was also busy! He repaired more than 25 saxophones and clarinets and gave much practical advice to Joseph, the young repairman at the Yared Music School, also leaving behind tools and parts.
It was great to see so many Ethiopian musicians participating and taking initiative. There were many unexpected combiniations and plenty of "unheard" music! Photos and film will posted on this site soon.
New CD recording with Steve Albini
In March this year we'll return to Electrical Audio Studios in Chicago to record again with Steve Albini. While we are there we'll do a one-off concert on March 20th in the Lincoln Hall with Shellac and after the recording sessions we'll play the Big Ears Festival in Knoxville on March 26th.
We will mix and master the CD ourselves and it will be released in September on Ex Records, followed by a European tour.