Unrock Vinyl, CD & tapes from this label at Norman Records

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Bitter Balls

Karkhana are a supergroup from the Middle-East made up of members from Dwarfs Of East Agouza, A-Trio, Konstrukt, Chicago Tentet, Land Of Kush and a few other bands. Among their contemporary and oriental free jazz, western improvised prog rock and electric and acoustic sounds, they are also known to play ‘distorted unrock’, which sounds like a beautiful thing, doesn’t it? Bitter Balls is their latest album.
  • Label(s):
  • Unrock

Dwarfs of East Agouza / Corsano & Orcutt
Electric Smog

Frenetic style-blending Cairo trio Dwarfs of East Agouza (Kharkhana’s Maurice Louca and Sam Shalabi with Sun City Girls’ Alan Bishop) join the distinctive drums ’n’ guitar of Chris Corsano and Bill Orcutt. A busy session - of gorgeous harmonies, glittering ambiances, rippling rhythms and occasional eruptions - ensues.

Sir Richard Bishop & Ed Yazijian
Sir Richard Bishop & Ed Yazijian

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“A”Trio & AMM

Eddie Prevost (percussion) and John Tilbury (piano), wizened masters of radical London improv outfit AMM, mingle with the free jazz of Lebanon’s “A” Trio - that’s Mazen Kerbaj (trumpet), Sharif Sehnaoui (acoustic guitar) and Raed Yassin (double bass). You’d think that lot would make quite a racket, but the overall calm and restraint going on much of the time is mesmerising.

Sir Richard Bishop & W. David Oliphant / Karkhana with Nadah El Shazly
Carte Blanche

Karkhana are something of a supergroup, with more Middle Eastern and Mediterranean talent than I can reasonably name. Here they play vivid instrumentals while Nadah El Shazly sings at the core of the sound. On the B-side, the most lordly of the Sun City Girls, Sir Alan Bishop, sets forth along with partner in crime W. David Oliphant for some loud fun. Split LP on Unrock.

Sunn Trio

OK, first thing’s first: Sunn Trio is nothing to do with Sunn O))), so bad luck if you were after some drone metal. But hold up! Fans of out-there music might well love this LP by Joel Robinson’s group Sunn Trio too, being as it is a desert-hazed trip of experimental, Arab-influenced wild sound. Fayrus is, appropriately, released by the Unrock label.

Alvarius B / Sir Richard Bishop
Strange Fruit

Unrock here issue a very special record indeed, pairing Sun City Girls' Alan and Richard Bishop on a split 10". These figures need no introduction given their work within the celebrated avant-psych outfit in which they made their names. This release holds extra significance though, celebrating 25 years of the label.

Sir Richard Bishop / Ava Mendoza
Ivory Tower (Hanuman)

On this limited vinyl split LP, Sun City Girls icon Sir Richard Bishop plays alongside another avant-garde guitarist, Ava Mendoza. Mendoza is a committed improvisor, rooted in wild and noisy punk experimentation and Bishop is the scene statesman who hasn’t forgotten how to freak out. They take a side each and the results, as recorded on Ivory Tower (Hanuman), are rich, abrasive and strange solo guitar playing.  

Eyvind Kang / Tashi Dorji
Mother Of All Saints

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Alan Bishop & Sam Shalabi
Mother Of All Sinners

Sam Shalabi divides his time between Montreal and Cairo. A prolific collaborator, he’s been perhaps most widely heard at the helm of Shalabi Effect or with A Silver Mt. Zion. Here he delivers a dreamy, side-long oud improvisation, and goes electric for a jam with Sun City Girl Alan Bishop (aka Alvarius B.) on vocals and sax. Prime east-meets-west vibes from two longtime itinerant souls.

"A" Trio with Alan Bishop
Burj Al Iman

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Sir Richard Bishop
The Unrock Tapes

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Alvarius B
Chin Spirits

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Sir Richard Bishop / Bill Orcutt
Road Stories (Kali)

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Hayvanlar Alemi
Twisted Souvenirs

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Live In Krefeld

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