One of my primary musical interests for the last few years have been in a genre that’s come to be called “eai”. Originally this stood for “electro-acoustic Improvisation” but has taken on a wider meaning then a literal take on those words would imply (however I think that the term does adequately describe the genre, but that’s another post). A post on the ihatemusic forum asking for “essentials” in the genre finally motivated to do something I’d been thinking about for a while – try to create a list of the albums that define this genre. Obviously somewhat tilting against windmills, especially as I certainly haven’t heard everything (however it isn’t an impossible task to hear nearly everything in this genre at this point in time) and furthermore a task open to endless criticism as peoples “favorites” may differ from what I think of as :”essential”. Taking this as a personal project though I think it is valuable and is well suited for blog posting. Here I can update, modify, expand and so on the list. One project I want to work on is the pre-history are especially links in modern composition. Anyway here it is, my list of the core EAI albums.

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Pre-history

60’s
Group Ongaku
Music of Group Ongaku (Hear Sound Art Library) 1960-61
M.E.V.
Spacecraft (on Live Electronic Music Improvised) (Mainstream) 1966
AMM
AMMMusic (ReR Megacorp) 1967
AMM
The Crypt (Matchless) 1968
Music Now Ensemble
Silver Pyramid (Matchless) 1969
AMM
The Aarhus sequences (disc 1 of Laminal)  (Matchless) 1969

70’s
Taj Mahal Travellers
July 15th 1972 (CBS/Sony)
Taj Mahal Travellers
August 1974 (P-Vine Records)
Gentle Fire Earle Brown, John Cage Und Christian Wolff (EMI Electrola) 1974
Takehisa Kosugi Catch-Wave (CBS/Sony) 1975
David Tudor Microphone (Cramps) 1978

80’s
AMM
The Great Hall (disc 2 of Laminal)  (Matchless)  1982
Hugh Davies Shozyg Music For Invented Instruments (FMP)
AMM Combine + Laminates + Treatise “˜84 (Matchless) 1984
David Tudor Three Works For Live Electronics (Lovely Music) 1984
AMM The Inexhaustible Document (Matchless) 1987
Keith Rowe
A Dimension of Perfectly Ordinary Reality (Matchless) 1989

Early/mid 90’s
AMM
Newfoundland (Matchless) 1992
David Tudor David Tudor Plays Cage & Tudor (Atonal Records)
AMM Live in Allentown USA (Matchless) 1994
Polwechsel
Polwechsel (hat[now]ART) 1994
AMM Before driving to the chapel we took coffee with Rick and Jennifer Reed (Matchless) 1996
MIMEO
Queue (Perdition plastics) 1997
Kevin Drumm Kevin Drumm (Perdition Plastics) 1997
Ryoji Ikeda +/- (Touch) 1997

Ascension

1998
Such
The Issue at Hand (Matchless)
Sachiko M/Otomo Yoshihide
Filament 1 (Extreme)
Polwechsel 2
Polwechsel 2 (hat[now]ART)
Kurzmann/Fennesz/O’Rourke/Drumm/Siewert
s/t (Orange Disc) (Charhizma)
Taku Sugimoto
Opposite (Hat Hut, hatNOIR)

1999
Keith Rowe
Harsh (Grob)
Keith Rowe/Günter Müller/Taku Sugimoto
The World Turned Upside Down (Erstwhile Records)
Otomo Yoshihide
Cathode (Tzadik)
Sachiko M
. Debris (F.M.N. Sound Factory)
Mon:goose
At Penguin House (Slub)
Phil Durrant/Thomas Lehn/Radu Malfatti dach (Erstwhile Records)
Nobukazu Takemura Scope (Thrill Jockey)
Sachiko M/Günter Müller/Otomo Yoshihide Filament 2 (for4ears) (recorded 1998)
Toshimaru Nakamura/Tetuzi Akiyama/Taku Sugimoto The Improvisation Meeting at Bar Aoyama (Reset) (recorded 1998)

2000
Andrea Neumann/Toshimaru Nakamura
AT0N (Rossbin)
Keith Rowe/Burkhard Beins
Grain (Zarek)
Toshimaru Nakamura/Sachiko M
do (Erstwhile Records)
Günter Müller/Lê Quan Ninh
La Voyelle Liquide (Erstwhile Records)
Taku Sugimoto/Kevin Drumm
Den (Sonoris)
Otomo Yoshihide Anode (Tzadik)
Otomo Yoshihide/Keith Rowe/Taku Sugimoto Ajar (Alcohol) (recorded 1999)

Peak Era

2001
AMM
Fine (Matchless)
Various Artists
Improvised music from Japan presents Improvised music from Japan 10 CD Boxset (IMJ)
Toshimaru Nakamura/Tetuzi Akiyama
Meeting at Off Site vol. 1 (IMJ)
Otomo Yoshihide
Ensemble Cathode (IMJ)
Tetuzi Akiyama
Relator (Slub)
Burkhard Stangl/Taku Sugimoto
An old fashioned duet (Slub)
Taku Sugimoto/Burkhard Stangl/Christof Kurzmann
in Tokyo: first concert, second take (Music Genera)
Keith Rowe
29 October 2001 (Sound 323)
Rhodri Davies
Trem (Confront)
Keith Rowe/Toshimaru Nakamura
Weather sky (Erstwhile Records)
Otomo Yoshihide
Anode (Tzadik)
Filament
29092000 (Sat/Amoebic)
Annette Krebs
Guitar Solo (Fringes)
Hugh Davies Warming Up With The Iceman (Grob)
Various Artists
Not Necessarily “English Music” (EMF)

2002
Norbert Möslang
lat_nc (for4ears)
Dafeldecker/Hautzinger/Tilbury/Sachiko M
Absinth (Grob)
John Butcher
Invisible Ear (Fringes)
Kaffe Mathews/Andrea Neumann/Sachiko M
In case of fire take the stairs (IMJ)
Toshimaru Nakamura/Tetuzi Akiyama
Meeting at Off Site vol. 2 (IMJ)
Tetuzi Akiyama/Toshimaru Nakamura/Taku Sugimoto/Mark Wastell
Foldings (Confront)
MIMEO/John Tilbury
The Hands of Caravaggio (Erstwhile Records)
Cosmos
Tears (Erstwhile Records)
Andrea Neumann/Burkhard Beins
Lidingö (Erstwhile Records)
Various Artists
AMPLIFY 2002: balance (7 CDs/1 DVD box set) (Erstwhile Records)
Sachiko M/Sean Meehan
s/t (no label)
Philip Samartzis/Sachiko M
Artefac (Dorobo)
Otomo Yoshihide/Taku Sugimoto/Sachiko
M Les Hautes Solitudes-A Philippe Garrel Film: Imaginarry Soundtrack (Out One)
Otomo Yoshihide/Keith Rowe/Taku Sugimoto
Ajar (Alcohol)
Tetuzi Akiyama
Résophonie (A Bruit Secret)
Broken consort
Done (QuakeBasket)
Radian
Rec.Extern (Thrill Jockey)

2003
Otomo Yoshihide/Park Je Chun/Mi
Yeon Loose Community (IMJ)
Toshimaru Nakamura
Side Guitar (IMJ)
Toshimaru Nakamura/Tetuzi Akiyama
Meeting at Off Site vol. 3 (IMJ)
Joel Stern/Matt Davis
Small Industry (L’Innomable)
John Tilbury
Barcelona Piano Solo (Rossbin)
Sachiko M
1 : 2 (A Bruit Secret)
Keith Rowe/John Tilbury
Duos for Doris (Erstwhile Records)
Martin Siewert/Martin Brandlmayr
Too Beautiful to Burn (Erstwhile Records)
I.S.O
s/t (Sound Tectonics/YCAM)
Dion Workman
Ching (Antiopic)
Trapist
Highway My Friend (hatOLOGY)
Stephane Rives
Fibres (Potlatch)

2004
Anthony Guerra/Matt Earle
In (L’Innomable)
Keith Rowe/Axel Dörner/Franz Hautzinger
A View from the Window (Erstwhile Records)
Sachiko M/Toshimaru Nakamura/Otomo Yoshihide
Good Morning Good Night (Erstwhile Records)
Keith Rowe/Burkhard Beins
ErstLive 001 (Erstwhile Records)
Christian Fennesz/Sachiko M/Otomo Yoshihide/Peter Rehberg
ErstLive 004 (Erstwhile Records)
Keith Rowe/Sachiko M/Toshimaru Nakamura/Otomo Yoshihide
ErstLive 005 (Erstwhile Records)
Filament
Filament BOX (F.M.N. Sound Factory)
MIMEO
Lifitng Concrete Lightly (Serpentine Gallery)
Martin Ng / Tetuzi Akiyama
OIMACTA (IMJ)
The Sealed Knot
Unwanted Object (Confront Collectors Series)
Radi Malfatti/Mattin
White Noise (W.M.O/R)
English
s/t (Copula)
Hugh Davies Tapestries (Ants)

Plateau

2005
Four Gentlemen of the Guitar
Cloud (Erstwhile Records)
John Tilbury/Marcus Schmickler
Variety (A-Musik)
Sean Meehan
Sectors (for Constant) (SoSEDITIONS)
Graham Halliwell
Recorded Delivery (Confront Collectors Series)
GOD
Anti-Sex/Anti-Wiretapping (Made in Taiwan) (Little Enjoyer/JYRK/GMBY)
English
s/t (Copula)

2006
Keith Rowe/Toshimaru Nakamura
between (Erstwhile Records)
Filament
Dark Room Filled with Light (Uplink)
(N:Q)
November Quebec (Esquilo)
Toshimaru Nakamura/Klaus Filip
aluk (IMJ)
Eddie Prevost
Entelechy (Matchless)
Taku Sugimoto/Taku Unami
Tengu Et Kitsune (Slub)
Will Guthrie/Ferran Fages Cinabri (Absurd)
Bonnie Jones
Vines (EMR)
Mark Wastell/David Lacey/Paul Vogel
Live at the i+e festival (Confront)
Traw with Rhodri Davies
Cwymp Y Dwr Ar Ganol Dydd (Confront)
Manfred Werder
20061 (Skiti)
Burkhard Stangl / Taku Unami
I was (Hibari)
Fergus Kelly/David Lacey
Bevel (Room Temperature)
Nmperign/Jason Lescalleet
Love Me Two Times (Intransitive)
Jeph Jerman/Albert  Casais/Greg Davis
6×20 (Winds Measure)
Joe Foster
Knock Nevis (For Wilson Zorn and J.P. Jenkins) (homophoni)
Ami Yoshida/Christof Kurzmann
a s o (Erstwhile Records)

2007
Annette Krebs/Robin Hayward
sgraffito (no label)
Sachiko M
Salon de Sachiko (Hitorri)
Keith Rowe
The Room (Erstwhile Records)
MIMEO
sight (Cathnor Recordings)
Mitsuhiro Yoshimura
and so on ((h)ear rings)
Nate Wooley
The Boxer (EMR)
5 Modules series
I-IV (Manual)
Angharad Davies/Tisha Mukarji
Endspace (Another Timbre)
Taku Unami
Malignitat (Skiti)
Mitsuhiro Yoshimura/Taku Sugimoto
BGM and so on  ((h)ear rings)
Marc Baron/Bertrand Denzler/Jean-Luc Guionnet/ Stéphane Rives Propagations (Potlatch)

2008
Annette Krebs Berlin Electronics (Absinth)
Toshimaru Nakamura/English
One Day (Erstwhile Records)
Radu Malfatti
L’Effaçage (B-Boim)
Masahiko Okura/Taku Sugimoto/Taku Unami
Chamber Music Concerts Vol. 1 (HibariSlubloadfactor)
Annette Krebs/Toshimaru Nakamura SIYU (SoSEDITIONS)
Seymour Wright Seymour Wright of Derby (Self Released)
Ami Yoshida/Minoru Sato Composition for voice performer (1997 and 2007) (ao to ao)
Ryu Hankil/Hong Chulki/Choi Joonyong 5 Modules V (The Manual)
Mitsuhiro Yoshimura/Masahiko Okura
Trio (Presquile)
Choi Joonyong/Hong Chulki/Sachiko M/Otomo Yoshihide Sweet Cuts, Distant Curves (Balloon & Needle)
Keith Rowe/Taku Unami Erstlive 006 (Erstwhile Records)
Keith Rowe Erstlive 007 (Erstwhile Records)

2009
Tomas Korber/Utah Kawasaki Pocket Size Isolationism (Esquilo)
Phil Durrant/Lee Patterson/Paul Vogel Buoy (Cathnor Recordings)
Radu Malfatti/Taku Unami Goat Vs Donkey (Taumaturgia)
Kevin Parks/Joe Foster Prince Rupert Drops (homophoni)
Various Relay: Archive 2007-2008 (The Manual)
Toshimaru Nakamura/Ami Yoshida Soba to Bara (Erstwhile Records)
Andrea Neumann
Pappelallee 5 (Absinth)
Keith Rowe/Oren Ambarchi Cornelius Cardew Treatise (Planam)
Keith Rowe/Sachiko M Contact (Erstwhile Records)
Radu Malfatti/Klaus Filip imaoto (Erstwhile Records)
Noid, Taku Unami ï¿¢ + : * (The Manual)

(so far”¦)