When odd, skull-shaped grave items were found by archaeologists decades ago at an Aztec temple in Mexico, they were assumed to be mere toys or ornaments, and were catalogued and stored in warehouses. However, years later, experts discovered they were creepy ‘death whistles’ that made piercing noises resembling a human scream, which the ancient Aztecs may have used during ceremonies, sacrifices, or during battles to strike fear into their enemies. 

The Aztec Death Whistles were Not Common Instruments 

Two skull-shaped, hollow whistles were found 20 years ago at the temple of the wind god Ehecatl, in the hands of a sacrificed male skeleton. When the whistles were finally blown, the sounds created were described as terrifying. The whistles make the sounds of “humans howling in pain, spooky gusts of whistling wind or the ‘scream of a thousand corpses” writes MailOnline.



  • aztec

If you want to build a Cristal Baschet of your very own, you have arrived in the right place. This post describes the process of building a cristal baschet, with links to materials and tools so that you can build your own exciting instrument made mostly from things you can pick up from your local hardware store, or if online purchasing is more your thing, I have you covered.

Before we delve into the fine details of putting the instrument together, allow me to provide you with some back story on how my own cristal baschets came about. Late in 2019, shortly before we found ourselves in the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gabriella Smart (concert pianist) approached me to write a piece of piano music for her that she could tour nationally and internationally with. I was on board, but I wanted to avoid writing music in 12-TET, so the solution I devised was to build her an instrument that she could travel with. I came across the Cristal Baschet in a book called Musical Instrument Design by Bart Hopkin and decided to build an adapted version that could fit into a suitcase.


  • international self love day - by Sarah Zeebroek

“Searching without worrying about finding”

How do you remember the recording of ‘Simorgh’?

João Lobo: We had a residency for a week at Les Ateliers Claus in Brussels thanks to an invitation by its artistic director, Tommy Denys. Christophe Albertijn, who recorded, mixed and mastered the album, was with us all the time and that was a great luxury because he is such a great engineer and person to work with. We all felt comfortable with the sound. There were no recording booths, panels or headphones involved so the whole environment was perfect for making a record.

We recorded all the songs pretty quickly, in a few takes. In the last couple of days we made some overdubs. The record was pretty much done that week. After that, Christophe had some time to mix but all the music and the order of the songs were pretty much chosen and decided in that week.

In my head I had been preparing this record for a year, so I think that helped.

What kind of album did you want to make with ‘Simorgh’?

I wanted to record my music with these two exceptional musicians. In a way I also wanted to make a sequel to my first album ‘Nowruz’, which is an acoustic drums solo, released in 2017 by the Swiss label three:four records.

What does “Simorgh” mean?

Simorgh is the name of a mythical bird in the Persian language.

Why did you ask Norberto Lobo and Soet Kempeneer?

Soet was my first choice for the bass and Norberto was the obvious choice as the third element. Soet is an amazing double bass player, but he also plays electric bass and keyboards and is very much into electronic music, so he’s also a searcher, like me and Norberto, who is not only a brilliant guitar player but also a prolific composer who makes beautiful drawings.

What do you have in common with them?

We like to search and are not too worried about the finding part.

And what are the differences?

We are all different musicians obviously and if you listen to each of our solo projects you will hear that. I just found another thing we have in common: we all have solo projects.

Why did you choose the traditional guitar/bass/drum line-up?

I didn’t choose the instruments. I choose the musicians. Initially I thought of doing the trio with Soet and a wind instrument because I basically wrote basslines with melodies on top. Very modal stuff. So I made some sessions with other musicians but after a while I realized that Norberto was the perfect third element. He loves modal!

“I basically made the frame and the three of us painted the picture together.”

How would you define what you do on this album? Free jazz meets avant-rock?

I’m too much involved in it to be able to define it. I leave that to you. It’s my music, which will probably always be difficult to define since my baggage as a musician and listener is very diverse. And it’s also my music played by two very creative and unique musicians who are also difficult to label.

You made this album as a trio but the album carries your name.

I wrote the music and thought a lot about where I wanted the music to go but the written material is very little. I wanted Soet and Norberto to feel free to have their own input. That was the idea all along because they are really excellent and creative musicians. I basically made the frame and the three of us painted the picture together. Then I choose the pictures that would go on the album.

João Lobo | Les Ateliers Claus – Brussels, Belgium | Photo by Laurent Orseau

Do you think you compose with a “drummer’s state of mind”?

I’m not sure I know what you mean by a “drummer’s state of mind”. None of the music written for this record came from drums though. Actually one of the hardest things for me was to figure out what I should play on the songs. Most of it I figured out on the spot.

Joeri Bruyninckx

from the upcoming album by SENYAWA - Alkisah Alkisah will be released on 21 February 2021 by les albums claus x kiosk radio. Senyawa`s new album Alkisah is co-released by multitude of independent record labels from all over the globe.
Each with different packaging and design, with multiple version of remixes/reinterpretations by various artists.

  • Elvin

Bonjour Ben et Otto ! 🙂 You both performed at schiev these past years and in 2020, you’ll perform together. How did that collaboration take form ?

Bonjour Schiev!
We have known each other for a long time now. We met almost 8 years ago taking part of multidisciplinary performances in Brussels. We kept playing and talking since then, exchanging musical and artistic ideas. The duo really popped up 2 years ago when we worked on a personal reinterpretation of Gavin Bryars’s The Sinking of the Titanic, that we had the chance to premiere at les Ateliers Claus. Cafe Oto in London proposed us last summer to release some music on their brand new in house label TARUDOKU. Ben wrote REVERSION, a 3 tracks ep that we arranged and produced together, recording it at studio les ateliers claus. (REVERSION by Ben bertrand & Otto Lindholm – TR066).

You have a similar musical technique – mixing electronic devices with instruments – how are you working together for this performance ?

Let’s say “complementary” more than similar. But indeed, both of us use extended machines or effects to alter the natural sound of our instruments. Live we splitted the roles, each one focusing on one aspect of the music : Otto deals with low soundscapes and drones while Ben focuses on the melodic/harmonic aspects. It allows us to dig deeper on each texture and simultaneously interact. The actual show is a combination of our last ep Reversion and our rework of the bryars’ titanic. In a way, this deep melodic drone music helps us to reach a kind of meditative aspect that facilitates us to face what is currently happening around us.

“A bouquet of music full of mirrors, eyes, statues, secret doors, rooms, and blood.”

Detlef Weinrich, aka Tolouse Low Trax, and French folk singer/ harpist/hurdy-gurdy player Emmanuelle Parrenin are releasing a new collaborative album, called Jours De Greve, via Versatile Records this January.

The duo recorded the LP in Paris with the help of “aura mystic” Gilbert Cohen, French avant-garde saxophone player Quentin Rollet and experimental voice artist Ghédalia Tazartès.

Fusing tribal dub with a “medieval cult sound”, Jours De Greve is well-suited for occult midnight dancing in hay fields under the light of a waxing crescent moon.

Pre-order Jours De Greve here in advance of its 15th January 2021 release, check out the artwork and tracklist below.

  • Toulouse

One type of argument made against “auteur theory,” which posits a film’s director as its “author,” holds that certain non-directorial collaborators contribute just as many — or, as Pauline Kael argued about Citizen Kane, more — of a work of cinema’s defining qualities. Surely a video essayist like Lewis Bond, co-creator with Luiza Liz Bond of Youtube channel The Cinema Cartography, subscribes to auteur theory: just look at the increasingly in-depth analyses he’s created on Stanley KubrickAndrei Tarkovsky, and David Lynch — all, of course, directors. But the recent Cinema Cartography essay “The Cinematography That Changed Cinema” sees him turning away from the figure of the director, exploring instead the auteur-like contributions of those masters of the camera.

Any competent cinematographer can make shots pretty; few can make them truly cinematic. Here we use “cinematic” in the sense that Peter Greenaway would, referring to the vast capabilities of the medium to go beyond photographically illustrating essentially verbal stories — capabilities that, alas, have so far gone mostly unused. It should come as no surprise this essay uses Greenaway’s The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover to establish its perspective on the power of cinematography.

Cafe Oto has set up a new in-house digital imprint called TakuRoku. Featuring works made in response to the current lockdowns, the label will serve a dual function. “As well as providing an outlet for some incredible new work being created over the past few weeks, TakuRoku aims to provide a way to help sustain both Cafe Oto and the artists involved through these incredibly challenging times,”. This program is one hour long and features only a short selection of the releases currently available via TakuRoku. This is the 2nd part