OUT NOW: Éric Normand & Jim Denley “PLANT” LP


Éric Normand & Jim Denley

Smeraldina-Rima 26
€ 25.00

Screen printed eight-colour edition of 300 hand-numbered copies. Edition comes packed in inner cardboard disco sleeve, high-quality 400gsm open screen printed sleeve, and heavy outer screen printed PVC sleeve.

Available on our BandCamp page,
or in our webstore.

Working the sweet spot where noise communication decisively rubs up against textural experimentation are the verdant improvisations that make up PLANT, the new LP from Rimouski-based electric bassist Éric Normand and Australian alto saxophonist and bass flautist Jim Denley. Don’t be fooled by the title, though. Nothing here is the aural equivalent of a pastoral landscape painting. The timbres are undoubtedly post-industrial, with agrarian echoes replaced by the drone and clang of pseudo-machines.

This is first noticeable on side A, in which tremolo patterning from Normand’s instrument quickly approximates the flowing consistency of an assembly line, albeit with enough discordant crackles and throbbing drones to make efficiency experts cringe. Like a factory safety rep attempting to regularise excess, Denley’s controlled circular breathing and capricious mouth-and-tongue motions cut through hints of grinding monotony to reach a climax of literal whistle-blowing in the penultimate minutes. From that point on, like appropriate material injected into a mould, Denley’s reed bites and split tones mute Normand’s repetitive string flanges for an exciting vibrating finale.

Slightly longer, side B adds the textures from juddering string strokes and wood whaps to solid whistling and buzzing, figuratively appending processing and granular synthesis to stretch the interface still further. The result suggests contorted signals from outer space have been injected into this earth-bound mix of hiss and harmonies. Additionally, distinctive vocal mumbles and string thumb tapping from the bassist and upper register trills from the saxophonist confirm the terrestrial location of the improvisations —or at least the musicians— with low-pitched puffs pushed from the flute defining the ending.

Plant may preserve an unconventional duet, but musical skill, daring and instrumental command make it as alluring as any well kept garden.

—Ken Waxman—

Éric Normand: electric bass, feedback and snare drum
Jim Denley: wind instruments and vocals

Recorded at Coop Paradis, Rimouski, Québec, Canada on April 18th 2013

Mixed at Kaloola, Sydney, Australia in July 2013
Mastered by Frederic Alstadt at Ångström Mastering
Music includes recordings made at the Bonds Clothing Factory, Cessnock, Australia by Jim Denley on November 20th 2009

Artwork and design by Marnix Everaert
Screen printing by Levi Seeldraeyers at Smeraldina-Rima

This is a co-release of Smeraldina-Rima, Ghent, Belgium and Tour de Bras, Rimouski, Québec, Canada

Limited to 300 copies.

Distribution: CARGO Records UK




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OUT NOW: Daniel Levin “Living” (LP/CD/DD)

Daniel Levin Living
LP 25 €/CD 15 €/DD 10 €
Smeraldina-Rima 32

Limited edition of 300 LPs and 500 CDs. Cover screen printed on high-quality stock, and housed in a screen printed heavy outer PVC sleeve. CD version comes in 5 varieties, all combining into one whole work.

Album available on our Bandcamp page or in our webshop.

Solo cello investigations from one of the instrument’s most brilliant contemporary practitioners. (The Wire)
One of the outstanding cellists working in the vanguard arena. (All About Jazz)
The man to watch. (Penguin Guide to Jazz)

Cellist Daniel Levin Redefines His Approach to Solo Improvising.

On his second solo album, Living (Smeraldina-Rima, 2017), cellist-composer Daniel Levin explores a unique creative and psychological environment. In creating it, Levin explains, “I imagined that I had hiked deep into a forest, where nobody was around for a hundred miles, pitched a tent, and went to sleep. Emerging from the tent the next morning, in complete solitude, I decided to make little ritual sculptures out of leaves, twigs, and rocks. Make them and destroy them, and then make some more, little sculptures to please only myself.”

It’s a radical departure from his previous unaccompanied music, documented on his 2011 Clean Feed CD, Inner Landscape. “Not long after I started to improvise,” Levin explains, “I became very interested in producing an entire set of original improvised music, using just the cello. This was incredibly daunting to me for a long time, and it took me until about 2009 to be able to somewhat consistently produce completely improvised solo material that I thought could stand on its own. At the time, I seemed to be unable to produce anything even approaching convincing solo music, unless I was in front of an audience. In order to make the music strong, I needed the excitement and fear and adrenaline that I felt when I was creating music in real time in a performance setting. This is how my solo music was produced and functioned for a while.”

“Then, about 3 years ago, a new concept for the solo music began to emerge,” Levin continues. “This way of creating actually required that the live audience be taken out of the equation altogether. The trick for me in documenting this was to be able to establish and then really sustain that kind of creative and psychological space in the recording studio.”
His new approach to solo playing produces an album of quiet intensity as he molds his vast vocabulary of sound into fascinating shapes that reveal surprises at every turn. Living employs nearly every conceivable sound available using a cello. It exists along the full continuum of possible timbres, from scratches and scrapes with no identifiable pitch to lyrical bowed melodies. Ideas appear as kinetic sculptures related to one another in intimate and varied ways, sometimes contrapuntally, sometimes through juxtaposition or opposition, either repeated or as isolated events. Living is the soundtrack of a sonic sculptor at work alone in his workshop.

Daniel Levin “invokes all manner of musics with prodigious skill: jazz, classical, improv, noise, vocal chorus. His technique is unquestioned and he revels in the physicality of the instrument,” according to the New York City Jazz Record. Born in Burlington, Vermont, Levin began playing the cello at the age of six. In 2001, he graduated with a degree in Jazz Studies from the New England Conservatory of Music and arrived on New York City jazz scene shortly thereafter. Ed Hazell noted upon release of Levin’s first record as a leader, “Cellist Daniel Levin is a major new voice on his instrument and in improvised music.” Since then, Daniel has continued to develop his own unique voice as a cellist, improviser, and composer. He has performed and/or recorded with Billy Bang, Borah Bergman, Tim Berne, Anthony Braxton, Gerald Cleaver, Andrew Cyrille, Mark Dresser, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, Tony Malaby, Mat Maneri, Joe Morris, Joe McPhee, William Parker, Ivo Perelman, Warren Smith, Ken Vandermark, and many others. A recipient of a Jerome Foundation award, he has released more than 20 albums as a leader or co-leader on labels such as Clean Feed, HatOLOGY, Not Two, Trost, Riti, and others.

Living is a major milestone for me in my development as an improviser and artist,” Levin says. It is also a new landmark in the landscape of improvised cello.

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OUT NOW: Linus + Økland/Van Heertum “Felt Like Old Folk” LP/CD/DIG


Felt Like Old Folk
(Smeraldina-Rima 29)
LP 25 € / CD 15 € / DIG 10 €

LP comes in screen printed open sleeve on heavy 630 gsm kraft stock, insert and heavy PVC outer sleeve. LP art comes in A, B and C-varieties—A, B and C are cut out of one whole screen printed work by artist Ante Timmermans. LP edition includes complimentary CD (disk only).

CD comes in screen printed open sleeve on kraft stock, insert and heavy PVC outer sleeve. CD art comes in A, B, C, D and E-varieties—A, B, C, D and E are cut out of one whole screen printed work by artist Ante Timmermans.

Get your copy on our Bandcamp page or in our webshop.

Check out the images below and the text about the album by Guy Peters.



The music of Linus does not have a fixed trajectory which stifles the imagination. Nor does the duo engage in obvious grandeur or cheap effects. On the contrary, the music is sketched, patiently and with delicate shades of grey, measured and restrained, free from crude interventions and abrupt outbursts. Coherence and freedom are central. The music is cinematic without transparently clinging to images. Instead, it tickles the imagination with its combination of mystery and familiarity, beauty and a little confusion. It both challenges and comforts.

This is nothing new. Onland, the first album of Linus—guitarist Ruben Machtelinckx and reed player Thomas Jillings—featured compositions at the crossroads of folk, minimalism and improvisation. Jazz, however, was always within reach, as was melancholy. An abundance of melancholy. It was meditative, without becoming too maudlin or too simple. Most of all, it was a search for a spontaneous harmony, an organic self-evidence, with a clear focus and a nebulous execution. Not a conclusive story, but many captured moments linked together.

The duo followed a path which was mirrored by Machtelinckx’s quartet with Joachim Badenhorst, Hilmar Jensson and Nathan Wouters. Just as the quartet’s second album increased the distance between pivotal points, Linus’ second album, a collaboration with guitar and banjo player Frederik Leroux and percussionist Øyvind Skarbø, also stepped out into less familiar terrain. The sound palette became more eclectic and the improvisation and exploration became more pronounced, an evolution which continues with this new quartet.

For their third album the duo not only engaged old acquaintance Niels Van Heertum (euphonium and flugelhorn, member of Ifa Y Xango and the band of Chantal Acda), but also violinist Nils Økland, who is a representative of the flourishing Norwegian scene, and who operates in between contemporary music, improvisation and minimalism. Økland is a specialist of the Hardanger fiddle and an associate of Skarbø’s in the trio 1982. He made an impression with his solo work and at the side of Christian Wallumrød and Arve Henriksen, among others. After coming to Belgium with a baroque orchestra, he stayed on for another day to go into the studio with the three Belgians. His arrival propels Linus further towards the Far North, with its magnificent views and open landscapes.

Improvisation is no longer an element. Instead it has become the main ingredient, the real heart of the music. Even more than in the past, the result feels like the musicians only really met when they took out their instruments. They play by feeling, without preparation or strategy, but also without haste or inhibition. The sounds resonate endlessly, fluctuate and resolve when new ideas arise. If it sounds chilly, solitary and contrary at times, there is also a great calm that flows from the minimalistic interplay. There is definitely a collective vision in which every component has a crucial role to fulfill.

This form of music is not simply an agreeable pastime. It is a social interaction. It is cooperation as in an ancient rite. It is a moment of contemplation. It displays curiosity, openness and interest,  for each other, for the possibilities of the individual instruments and their inexhaustible combinations. And so it becomes possible for Linus to sound more connected, more personal and more timeless than ever, despite a maximal freedom and spontaneity, despite an enhanced confidence in their own abilities and lack of a clear framework.

—Guy Peters—


Ruben Machtelinckx: acoustic baritone guitar, banjo
Thomas Jillings: tenor & C-melody saxophone, alto clarinet
Nils Økland: Hardanger fiddle
Niels Van Heertum: euphonium

All songs are improvised except Felt by Ruben Machtelinckx

Recorded by Christophe Albertijn on February 14th 2015 at The Rabbitfield, Belgium
Mixed by Werner Pensaert at Linster Studios
Mastered by Gert Van Hoof at Cochlea

Artwork by Ante Timmermans
Photography by Dirk Pauwels
Graphic design & screen printing by Levi Seeldraeyers at Smeraldina-Rima



Butterfly Mountain LP / CD

Un Jour Tu Verras LP

Soul Stream LP



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MIND OVER MIRRORS (Chicago) — harmonium/electronics
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Mind Over Mirrors is the solitary reeling of American harmoniumist/electronicist Jaime Fennelly. Utilizing an Indian pedal harmonium, oscillators, tape delays, and an assortment of synthesizing processors, Fennelly bends slowly-building, repetitive melodies into massive sonic mountains. Folklorist Brendan Greaves may have best summed up Mind Over Mirrors’ “referential compass points—G.I. Gurdjieff’s harmonium improvisations; certain particularly harmonically viscous recordings of Sacred Harp singers; Edward Artemiev’s soundtracks to Tarkovsky films—in its patience, its simultaneously formal and folk aspects, and its sheer, unabashed (if intermittently anxious) beauty, it doesn’t sound much like anything else being made today.”

His fourth album, When The Rest Are Up At Four, was released in September on Immune Recordings, following releases on Digitalis, Hands In the Dark & Aguirre/Gift Tapes.

Fennelly was a founding member of the iconoclastic trio Peeesseye (with Chris Forsyth & Fritz Welch, who released their split LP with Talibam! on Smeraldina-Rima a couple of years ago), is one-third of free jazz unit Acid Birds, and is now a resident of Chicago, IL after living for three years on a remote island in the Salish Sea of Washington State, where the Mind Over Mirrors project was initially developed.


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Richard Comte is a French improvising guitarist. After a very active debut on the 90s alternative rock scene, he entered the conservatory system and eventually continued his studies in jazz and improvised music with Serge Lazarevitch. His explorations cover the full range of sonic possibilities of his instrument, from finger-style classical guitar to preparations and bowed effects, including along the way sound modification by analogue treatments and sound diffusion by custom amplification systems.

Last April Richard released a solo album called Innermap on Coax records. It is a project dealing with the perception and representation of physical space. The memory of towns and cities – and the quasi-organic nature of their networks with their ebb and flow – are central to the work, acting as a metaphor for an internal, mental, cartography.
In this way, the performance of improvised music for guitar offers a succession of interconnected sonic landscapes. Powerful and overwhelming electrical drones saturate the environment; acoustic resonances liberate and open the space to new colours which enable an internal unfolding, a sensitive and immersive sonic experience.



FRIDAY MARCH 14TH @ KDK6 // 20:00
Kleindokkaai 6, 9000 Gent

8 € // first concert starts @ 20:30

FB event: https://www.facebook.com/events/595444293857686/


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OUT NOW! Alex Monk “Indiscreet Mirror” LP // Throw Down Your Hammer And Sing / Sheldon Siegel split LP

Indiscreet Mirror LP
(Smeraldina-Rima 24)
18 €


Screen printed sleeve in two versions (2 x 100) on heavy white stock, housed in a heavy PVC sleeve. First pressing of 200 copies on gorgeous heavy translucent white vinyl. Graphic design by Levi Seeldraeyers and Marieken Hensen. Screen printing by Smeraldina-Rima.

According to its creator, Alex Monk‘s fourth album —the follow-up to 2010’s wonderful The Safety Machine— “explores the tension between innocence and experience that late adolescence can evoke.” I would say, however, that this is a very personal exploration of a very specific adolescence; one endured in a rural village or small town, introverted and largely alone, one more absorbed in nature, landscape and the changing seasons than social pressures, career ambitions and drunken nights out. Not that I’m suggesting that Alex Monk was a clean-limbed Boy Scout solely occupied by bracing country walks and pure thoughts of a subtly religious nature; the game-changing discoveries of sex, hash and LSD are surely the engines that keep this record turning, buried and unmentioned as they are. But if you’re looking for a well-observed dissection and reflection of contemporary urban teenage existence, then you should probably look elsewhere. If, however, your transition from childhood to young adulthood can be reflected in an impressionistic collage of dream and memory, a sonic patchwork of acid folk and ambient electronics, then step through the looking glass and join Alex Monk on the other side. […]
— Ben Graham, The Quietus

Get it here on our website, or here on our Bandcamp page, where you can also listen to the entire album.



(Smeraldina-Rima 22)
18 €


Split LP by Throw Down Your Hammer And Sing and Sheldon Siegel. Throw Down Your Hammer And Sing is the trio of Nate Wooley, Fred Lonberg-Holm and Jason Roebke, Sheldon Siegel is the trio of Erik Heestermans, Gerard Herman and Gino Coomans. Two sides of grainy textures and truly happening improv.

This album was a co-production of Smeraldina-Rima and croxhapox. The artwork was made by Berlin-based artist Hannelore Van Dijck resulting in two different LP-sleeves, each sporting two different drawings. The sleeves were screen printed by Smeraldina-Rima on heavy white stock and are housed in a heavy PVC sleeve. Comes with screen printed insert on heavy black stock. Graphic design by Marijke Loozen. Edition of 2 times 200. Pressed on heavy black vinyl.

Get it here on our website, or here on our Bandcamp page, where you can also listen to the entire album.





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Tuesday, January 22nd 2013

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@ NEST, Botermarkt 2, 9000 Ghent

DOORS: 20:00
START: 20:30 sharp!


A native of Korea, Okkyung Lee has been developing her own voice in a contemporary cello performance, improvisation and composition. With her solid classical training as a foundation, she incorporates jazz, sounds, korean traditional music, and noise with extended techniques to create her unique blend of music.

Since moving to New York in 2000, she has performed and recorded with numerous artists such as Laurie Anderson, Carla Bozulich, John Butcher, Nels Cline, Chris Corsano, Axel Dörner, John Edwards, Carlos Giffoni, Vijay Iyer, Urs Leimgruber, Thurston Moore, Ikue Mori, Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris, Evan Parker, Wadada Leo Smith, Tyshawn Sorey, C Spencer Yeh and John Zorn to name a few.




Sheldon Siegel is the free jazz strafstudie improvisation ensemble of Erik Heestermans, Gerard Herman & Gino Coomans. They operate mainly as a trio, but have played with guests such as Roscoe Mitchell, John Butcher, Audrey Lauro, Peter Jacquemyn, Cassis Cornuta, Leo Coomans and Kris Vanderstraeten Trio.
After a few CDRs on Reeshønd and a split LP on Kraak, they recently released ‘Grève Totale’, a double LP resulting from a residency at Scheld’Apen. A tape with recordings from their 2010 European tour will be out soon on House Of Alchemy.


www.smeraldina-rima.com / www.nestgent.be

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Out now: Joachim Badenhorst “The Jungle He Told Me” LP

Smeraldina-Rima 19

16,00 €

Limited to 400 copies pressed on heavy vinyl with screen printed sleeve & outer PVC sleeve,
artwork by Rinus Van de Velde, graphic design by Marijke Loozen
and screen printing by Smeraldina-Rima.

(°1981) is a Belgian reed player, improvisor and composer, who divides his time between NYC and Belgium.
Over the last 5 years Joachim has released a number of albums with different projects, such as Baloni, Han Bennink Trio, Rawfishboys, Taro, Tony Malaby’s Novela, Thomas Heberer’s Clarino, Mogil, Polylemma, Os Meus Shorts, International Trio, Red Rocket and Equillibrium.

The Jungle He Told Me
is Joachim’s first solo album. It consists out of nine pieces on clarinet, bass clarinet and tenor saxophone. Badenhorst explores range, contrasting undertones and overtones often played simultaneously, weaving in melody, noise and drones, if not investigating a theme, a path. This is a fantastic display of Badenhorst’s vocabulary and ideas, and already a milestone within the Belgian improv tradition.

Smeraldina-Rima is distributed by Clear Spot
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op VRIJDAG 25 MEI 2012

(field recordings & walkman electronica, JP/VS)

Aki Onda verwierf bekendheid met het opbouwen van een geluidsarchief van field recordings —spannend over een periode van meer dan 20 jaar— dat hij met behulp van een batterij aan walkmen en in combinatie met electronica manipuleert tot nieuwe abstracte vormen van herinnering, maar voor het zelfde geld durft hij ook wel eens loos gaan met de jack van de versterker. Groot liefhebber van slaatjes en kalfsleren schoenen. Binnenkort uit op Smeraldina-Rima LP, in collab met collega mad man Jac Berrocal en Dan Warburton.


(sound art duo deluxe, BE)

Twee voormalige Sint-Lucas-studenten van Esther Venrooy die tijdens hun studies al bewezen prachtaanwinsten te zijn en te worden voor de Belgiese geluidskunstwereld. Een van de eerste keren dat hun nieuw, gezamenlijk werk te horen zal zijn. Niet te missen!


inkom 7 euro // deur 19:30 // aanvang 20:00


lucas munichstraat 76-82 B-9000 GENT

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(solo trompet op het randje, VS)

Smeraldina-Rima is super psyched om eindelijk Nate Wooley en z’n trompet op een kruk te mogen zetten. De man wordt tegenwoordig gevierd als een van dé trompetisten in de jazz en improv scene, en fucking terecht. Nate haalt het onmogelijke uit z’n koperen toeter, en laat z’n publiek na z’n solo performances over het algemeen een beetje verward en gedesoriënteerd achter. Highly recommended, maar verwacht niet naar huis te stappen met dat zondagsgevoel.


(improv om een stijve van te krijgen, BE)

Belgies freejazzcombo bestaande uit Gerard Herman (sax, etc), Gino Coomans (cello) and Erik Heestermans (percussie). Binnenkort delen ze een split LP met Nate Wooley op Smeraldina-Rima ism Croxhapox.


inkom 7 euro // deur 19:30 // aanvang 20:00

lucas munichstraat 76-82 B-9000 GENT

FACEBOOK EVENT: http://www.facebook.com/events/297216723682102/


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OUT NOW: Robbie Basho “Twilight Peaks” LP / CD / DL

Hello all,

Smeraldina-Rima is extremely happy to present “Twilight Peaks” by Robbie Basho.

“Twilight Peaks” is a formal reissue of Basho’s last recordings. It was originally issued in 1984 on a tape label called “The Art Of Relaxation”. It was mastered for vinyl and CD in its entirity by Glenn Jones (of Cul de Sac fame) and Matt Azevedo, from the original demo tapes. The LP version contains one bonus track that was part of the original sessions. The CD version also has two extra live tracks, culled from the original tapes as well. Amazing liner notes by Glenn Jones and Rich Osborn. LP cut and pressed by Eldorado. Drawings by Wouter Vanhaelemeesch. Comes in an open two-colour sleeve, designed & screenprinted by Smeraldina-Rima. First pressing of 500 copies.

You can find the LP and CD versions here: http://www.smeraldina-rima.com/products-page/robbie-basho/

Downloads are available here, on our Bandcamp: http://smeraldina-rima.bandcamp.com/album/twilight-peaks

For all you Belgians out there; the second Robbie Basho “Twilight Peaks” release party will be happening next sunday, at DOKkantine in Ghent, be welcome! Special guest GLENN JONES (US) and GONZALEZ & STEENKISTE (VE/BE). Check out the event here: http://www.smeraldina-rima.com/2012/01/28/robbie-basho-record-release-party/ and here, on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/events/152954884820280/

Okay, that’s it for now! See ya next time!

Levi / Smeraldina-Rima

The Smeraldina-Rima Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/smeraldinarima

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