BTurner on 01/13/2010 at 12:45PM
Years ago I first came in contact with the Radon label via my pal Marlon, hearing a live set by Italian avant-rock composer Daniele Brusachetto, learning about his fellow countrymen OvO and then finally being sent a pile of CDs (mostly samplers) from the transient Radon head Scott Nydegger coupled with frequent correspondences enthusiastically talking about the state of experimental music made us fast friends. As I got familiar with the many facets of this label, Scott made sure that I was introduced to everyone in his orbit, and what really impressed me most is that Radon dealt with its business and artists unlike few others. Everyone was scattered around the world, because Scott just floated around meeting people and putting the music out from wherever he was (as opposed to working out of an office and dealing with the biz); anyone who shared the vision was invited in and were all friends. Fractured breakcore from Ripit, industrial tubthumping from Sikhara (Scott's outfit), introspective psychedelic drone from Fabrizio Polumbo under the name (r), and glorious ascensions from Steve Mackay (saxman then and now for Iggy and the Stooges) all intermingled under the Radon umbrella.
Through the years quite a few units of the stable has landed in the WFMU studios on various shows; Mackay put out an LP backed by some heavyweight improvisers on Qbico called Tunnel Diner culled from sessions on my show and Acapulco Rodriguez's as well (some MP3's here). Koonda Holaa, aka Kamilsky, is an eccentric Czech ex-pat who holed up for years in the high Mojave and also visited FMU (check him out on the Free Music Archive, he's terrific) and actually landed surreal opening slot for the Stooges in Moscow a few years back. Now, Radon takes a break, but to celebrate a good decade, Scott invited me down to Jason LaFarge's Seizures Palace studio in Brooklyn (in the cavernous Gowanus space where Martin Bisi also made all those great Lydia Lunch, Sonic Youth and Swans records) and we recorded a full on American/Portuguese summit jam of Sikhara, HHY & Drums of Habnom and United Scum Soundclash. It's a gorgeous, free-flowing hour of microscopic sounds, Neubauten-esque tribal percussion blowouts, scabby sampling and a simple celebration of the joy of free sound in a gigantic room. I aired the program on December 29th, but you can grab this session below.
Please also boogie over to the Free Music Archive's Radon offerings. Much excellence to be found. Somewhat saddened to hear of the label's hiatus, but other imprints like Soopa and Urck seem to be picking up some of the slack with a similar level of vision and social circles.