Free Jazz Bitmaps Vol. 1 is a process based publication exploring the nuances of genre and collaboration. Nick Butcher composed the music on the Side A using micro samples from jazz and house records collected in his hometown of Chicago. Sketches of those songs were released as a series of lathe-cut 7" records throughout 2011. After the release of each lathe-cut record, the individual songs were passed along to Chicago-based improvisors. Each musician was asked to reinterpret the provided material as a single-take solo improvisation. Those interpretations reside on Side B.
After two albums -- 2005’s combination-compact-disc-and-book The Complicated Bicycle and 2009’s Bee Removal LP -- and years of producing his own source material through analog tape experimentation, Nick Butcher has created an entirely new approach to his music and visual art: Free Jazz Bitmaps. Diving deep into Chicago's rich musical legacy, Butcher’s new recordings take cues from two of the cities most beloved genres: house music and free jazz. Using material culled from discarded records, accompanied by his own instrumentation, Butcher has produced an entirely new breed of upbeat, dance-inspired music, referencing the tonal and rhythmic nuances of both genres.
Free Jazz Bitmaps Vol. 1 was born in two phases, embracing the neighboring sonic and visual art processes that have defined Butcher's career. Sonnenzimmer (Butcher’s renowned print studio run in partnership with Nadine Nakanishi) and Hometapes co-released a series of limited edition lathe-cut 7" records in 2011. These hand-cut records were housed in screen printed sleeves featuring cover art by Nakanishi. Limited to just ten copies per release, these rare jewels provided a direct window into Butcher's creative process throughout the year: the music was made one release at a time. The final collection is now being paired with the song-by-song reinterpretations of Jason Adasiewicz, Tim Daisy, Keefe Jackson, Mike Reed, Jason Roebke, and Jason Stein. The resulting LP -- limited to 350 copies on clear vinyl, packaged in hand printed, hand assembled die-cut jackets -- is simultaneously a musical journey and a gleaming piece of art.
released November 4, 2013
Side A recorded by Nick Butcher at 4121 N. Western Ave. in Chicago, IL. Side B recorded by Mark Greenberg at Mayfair Recordings in Chicago, IL. All material mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi in Milan, Italy. Screen printing by Nadine Nakanishi and Nick Butcher at Sonnenzimmer, Chicago, IL. Artwork and design © 2012 Sonnenzimmer. Die-cut and assembly of LP jacket by PMC Converting Corp., Chicago, IL.
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