Experimental

Various Artists “INTENTA: Experimental & Electronic Music From Switzerland 1981-1993” (Bongo Joe)

2020-04-16T20:19:53+00:00April 16th, 2020|

Décalé Records and Bongo Joe Records present an all new compilation placing the spotlight on the Swiss experimental and electronic scene of the ‘80s and the early ‘90s. The compilation Intenta assembles under-appreciated gems, sought-after titles and newly mixed versions. It places leftfield synth-pop next to otherworldly jazz, and joins the dots between lyrical post-punk excursions and proto-house experimentation. The compilation covers a period of transition: When songs mutated into sounds. When synthesizers and samplers became the règle du jeu in DIY music-making. When a politicized youth movement slowly gave way to the hedonistic embrace of techno culture in Switzerland. Intenta mines the outer fringes of a scene yet to be.

Many of these experimenters were pretty much on their own. Often the only way you would get in touch was at the local synth dealer. A spirit of bold improvisation inhabited studios between Geneva and St. Gallen: these artists were articulating pop sensibilities (Air Project, Sky Bird, D-Sire, Peter Philippe Weiss), entering computer worlds (Claudine Chirac, Olivier Rogg, Carlos Perón), exploring exotic shores (Andreas Hofer, Bells of Kyoto, Fizzè), building future discothèques (Aborted at Line 6, Carol Rich, UnknownmiX) or finding glacial bliss (Dressed Up Animals, Elephant Château, I Suonatori).

The compilation was put together by Matthias Orsett and Maxi Fischer. Intenta unfolds as a sonic story that is laid-back yet energetic, sultry yet daring. The two crate diggers set out to meet with many of the artists arrayed here. Memories were shared, wine bottles opened. There were moments of sadness: Karl Lienert Löwenherz (Dressed Up Animals) and Claudius Scholer (Sky Bird) passed away during the making of this project. What remains of this journey into the backrooms of Swiss popular culture, is Intenta. If you listen closely, it will reveal a nation on the move. Beyond the Matterhorn, there is sweetness and light.

Record Label: 

Butzmann/Kapielski “War Pur War” (Bureau B)

2020-04-03T01:02:06+00:00April 3rd, 2020|

Frieder Butzmann and Thomas Kapielski’s War Pur War was originally released in 1987 on Zensor and is here reissued by Bureau B. Composer, radio dramatist and performance artist Butzmann began exploring experimental music in the late 1960s. One of the pioneers of German industrial music and a member of the Geniale Dilettanten movement, Butzmann has collaborated with artists such as Genesis P-Orridge, Blixa Bargeld, and Santrra Oxyd, as well as releasing numerous solo works. Butzmann joined forces with author and artist Kapielski in the early 1980s. Most of their compositions are minimalist tracks interspersed with everyday noises and fragments of speech, as can be heard on War Pur War. This utterly unique work is an idiosyncratic mix of eccentric electro-pop and bizarre sonic collages and has gone on to become a sought-after collector’s item. Remastered, includes new artwork, two bonus tracks, unpublished photos and liner notes by Butzmann.

Artists:  ,
Record Label: 
Genre: 

David Toop & Paul Burwell “Wounds” (Song Cycle)

2020-04-03T01:02:05+00:00April 3rd, 2020|

Song Cycle present the first reissue of Wounds by David Toop and Paul Burwell. Originally released in 1980 on Toop’s Quartz! label, the album is representative of a seminal moment within the British music scene evolved around the London Musicians Collective in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Founded in 1976 by a group of improvising musicians and sound artists including Evan Parker, Peter Cusack, Lol Coxhill, Sylvia Hallet, Max Eastley, the LMC contributed to shape a new generation of free improvisers with broader interests ranging from the music of John Stevens, Evan Parker, and Cornelius Cardew, to non-western music experiences. David Toop and Paul Burwell came to know each other precisely in these crucial moments, to start a long-lasting collaboration on two separate but intertwined projects a trio with the artist and poet Bob Cobbing, and an improvisation duo. As result of the latter, the nine tracks included in Wounds are edited from a single performance at the LMC, date 30.6.1979. Recorded by Max Eastley and Russ Wood, these shows saw the employment of different musical instruments as well an odd number of found objects placed in front of the artists, on the floor, ready to be picked up and played. Electric guitar, flute, cassette, water, rubbish, explosives, six strings harp, bamboo fiddle, whistle were only a few of the wider arrange of instruments at the disposal of the two. The result is an ambivalent album, suspended between the unfolding of the time of performance, and the circularity of the ritual. And if the collage of texts appearing on the artwork demonstrates a certain disapproval and skepticism toward the progress of society, Wounds seems also suggesting a possible cure. The improvised music, the use of non-canonical instruments, the presence of pre-recorded sounds coming, seems indeed to be an open invitation to the listeners to abandon the old conventions and to search for a new system of relationships.

Record Label: 
Genre:  ,

Philippe Doray & Les Asociaux Associés “Ramasse-Miettes Nucléaire” (Souffle Continu)

2020-04-03T01:02:04+00:00April 3rd, 2020|

Souffle Continu Records present the first ever reissue of Philippe Doray & Les Asociaux Associés’ Ramasse-Miettes Nucléaires, originally released in 1977. In 1976, the Asociaux Associés (antisocial associates, TN) led by Philippe Doray (Rotomagus, Ruth, Crash), recorded the first of the two albums under their own name: Ramasse-Miettes Nucléaires. On synthesizer, Doray fires off his disturbing poetry over psychedelic pop, voodoo rock, off-kilter krautrock, approximate swing — But if the music is iconoclastic (bringing to mind as much Hendrix as Areski, Ash Ra Tempel as Berrocal…), one thing is certain: Ramasse-Miettes Nucléaires is one of the best albums of obscure experimental song ever recorded. It is no surprise that, on the Nurse With Wound list that Steven Stapleton inserted in the first album of his legendary musical project, the name of Philippe Doray can be found between that of the Doo-Dooettes and Jean Dubuffet: his music is genuinely original and, what is more, ahead of its time. It was in 1977 that the first album by Philippe Doray, Ramasse-Miettes Nucléaires, was published on Gratte-Ciel, a label created by the journalist from Rock & Folk Jean-Marc Bailleux and run by Jean-Marc Patrat and José Serré. Encouraged by his wild experience in Rotomagus, a formidable rock band which swept through Rouen, for sure, but also further afield — as Julian Cope was himself inspired, years later, by their explosivity — Doray brought a team to this album which was both untamed and ready to fight to defend it’s terrible (and trembling) poetry. Backed by his Asociaux Associés (antisocial associates, TN), the man from Rouen let his fantasy run wild and cried out again: “sing with me, and don’t be afraid to clap your hands!” And so, much of French popular music was shaken: the ball in Doray’s pinball machine had struck Jimi Hendrix then Alain Goraguer, then Ash Ra Tempel and onto Areski, then T-Rex followed by Jac Berrocal… As far as the texts are concerned, just take a listen. Doray’s poetry is schizophrenic: nurtured in the Normandy countryside, it relates paranoid tales of booby-trapped towns, Levi’s jeans, Prisunic supermarkets, and plastic dolls… Crumbs of reality which he sucked up to create the album that Souffle Continu Records and Thierry Müller, mastering (with Ruth, Crash, and Illitch too) spit out again fifty years later, with many good memories. Licensed from Philippe Doray. Remastered from the master tapes; obi strip; includes text sheet insert.

Artists: 
Record Label: 
Genre: 

Philippe Doray & Asociaux Associés “Nouveaux Modes Industriels” (Souffle Continu)

2020-04-03T01:02:03+00:00April 3rd, 2020|

Souffle Continu Records present the first ever reissue of Philippe Doray & Les Asociaux Associés’ Nouveaux Modes Industriels, originally released in 1980. Between 1978 and 1980, the Asociaux Associés (antisocial associates, TN) recorded the second of the two albums which appeared under their name: Nouveaux Modes Industriels. Philippe Doray, with the help of his ‘Associés, evermore iconoclastic and numerous, backs up his anguished poetry with customized krautrock, hallucinatory pop, and rock Suicide. Much more than a memory of the then surprising (and disturbing) swinging Rouen, this album is an intergalactic ambush. Following the publication, in 1977, of the first of two albums under his own name, Ramasse-Miettes Nucléaires (FFL 058LP), on the label Gratte-Ciel, Philippe Doray didn’t waste any time before writing new obscure and experimental songs. As proof, between May 1978 and January 1980, with his Asociaux Associés (antisocial associates, TN), he recorded ten of them in the farm in which he lived (and shared) close to Rouen. In 1980, Nouveaux Modes Industriels was published thanks to the support of Invisible, the label of the Société Coopérative d’Ouvriers-Producteurs Artistiques (S.C.O.P.A., the Cooperative Society of Artistic Worker/Producers, TN) run by, amongst others, the ex-manager of Crium Delirium, Jacques Pasquier. This meant that Doray had free rein for his electric poetry, his personal delirium, to be heard. He had already shaken up French music with his mix of pop, krautrock, and free jazz; a few months later he would undergo a change which would be the precursor of his future projects. Before collaborating with Thierry Müller under the names Ruth and Crash, Doray let loose one last time, with his Asociaux Associés, his anguished poetry into the face of the urban labyrinth, his nuclear dynamite… It is no coincidence if the album cover is similar to those by Urban Sax, the spirit of the times was anguish as a creator of beauty. Doray’s version had the advantage of still knowing how to sing. Never forgetting his interest for dance, the musician gets Cluster moving to a boogaloo, foments a Suicide on synthetic jaw harp or invents elevator music for tower blocks… All of which hotchpotch feeds into his Nouveaux Modes Industriels. If the last track of the album states “no after-sales service”, it is simply because there is no need. Licensed from Philippe Doray. Remastered from the master tapes; obi strip; includes text sheet insert.

Artists: 
Record Label: 
Genre: 

Fire! Orchestra “Actions” (Rune Grammofon)

2020-04-03T01:01:58+00:00April 3rd, 2020|

Original score by Krzysztof Penderecki. New reading and conduction by Mats Gustafsson. The first (and until now only?) recorded interpretation of Krzysztof Penderecki’s Actions For Free Jazz Orchestra took place in 1971 at Donaueschingen and featured the New Eternal Rhythm Orchestra, assembled by Don Cherry for the occasion and conducted by the great Polish composer. That orchestra also consisted of 14 musicians, including international jazz heavyweights such as Kenny Wheeler, Peter Brötzmann, Thomasz Stanko, Terje Rypdal, Han Bennink, and others. Don Cherry himself did not perform. Penderecki had heard the Globe Unity Orchestra a couple of years earlier and was fascinated by the possibilities of working with musicians from a different background and with other perspectives than he was used to from the classical world. The challenge for all involved was to find the right balance between composition and improvisation. The idea was initially met with some skepticism from the musicians, but this soon gave way to acceptance and even eagerness. The new, extended reading by Mats Gustafsson and Fire! Orchestra was commissioned by the Sacrum Profanum festival in Kraków, Poland in 2018. The idea was to place this classic piece in a contemporary setting, with a new approach and a new body of sound. However, the original score was used as a platform for the new reading, connecting history with the present. A score in this context is most often of a graphic nature to present reference points, visualized on the sleeve by Kim Hiorthøy’s cut-up adaption of Mats Gustafsson’s score. It’s also worth noticing that the instrumentation is more or less identical to that of 1971, the main difference being a tuba replacing one of the trombones. Finally, this new reading clocks in at 40 minutes, and is thus considerably longer than the 1971 version. This line-up of the Fire! Orchestra is unique in that it’s the first time without founding members and singers Mariam Wallentin and Sofia Jernberg. It’s also the first time with guitarist Reine Fiske.

Artists: 
Record Label: 
Genre:  ,

Nils Frahm “All Encores” (Erased Tapes)

2020-03-27T02:29:27+00:00March 27th, 2020|

Nils Frahm announces the release of Encores 3 on 18 October 2019, the third and final installment of his Encores series. The three EPs will be available as one full length release titled All Encores featuring 80 minutes of music, to follow his masterful 2018 album All Melody.

Whilst Encores 1 focused on an acoustic pallet of sounds with solo piano and harmonium at the core, and Encores 2 explored more ambient landscapes, now Encores 3 sees Nils expand on the percussive and electronic elements in his work.

“The idea behind All Encores is one we had from before All Melody; to separate releases each with their own distinct musical style and theme, perhaps even as a triple album. But All Melody became larger than itself and took over any initial concepts. I think the idea of All Encores is like musical islands that compliment All Melody.”

Moulded during All Melody but refined by his live performances, All Encores is testament to Nils’ exceptional ability to craft his art on stage. Artificially Intelligent which showcases his ‘mad professor’ organ, and All Armed which has been a live favorite for some time, appearing on set lists since 2015, are now available to hear on record for the very first time. The final track of Encores 3, as well as the whole series, Amirador, perhaps aptly nods to the Spanish word for ‘lookout’ and hints at what’s to come.

Artists: 
Record Label: 
Genre: 

Lightning Bolt “Hypermagic Mountain” (Lightning Bolt)

2020-03-27T02:29:26+00:00March 27th, 2020|

Hypermagic Mountain, Lightning Bolt’s 4th album has been unavailable for nearly a decade since it’s 2005 release. Back as a double LP including a full drawing by Brian Chippendale as the D side Etching! The package includes a large scale 4-page book (previous pressings included a cd size book). Recorded at Machines with Magnets and Lightning Bolt’s home by Dave Auchenbach. Lightning Bolt play with abandon that is unmatched and remarkably undiluted and this album is just one more example of that raw power and sound.

They are often called one of the loudest rock outfits in existence, both on record and on (or famously, off) the stage. Brian Gibson creates sounds that are unexpected and remarkably varied with his virtuosic bass playing and his inventive approach to the instrument, centered around melody rather than rhythm. The dizzying fury of Brian Chippendale’s drums twist from primal patterns into disorienting break beats as his distorted, and echoing vocals weave more melody into the mayhem.

Artists: 
Record Label: 
Genre: 

Stephen O’Malley “Auflosung” (Editions Mego)

2020-03-20T19:35:05+00:00March 19th, 2020|

“Produced within the context of The Guidebook of Church Burners publication release, this performance was recorded at visual arts institution LE BAL in Paris, May 4th 2018. Published by Païen in a limited edition, the book explores and transforms into an abstract narration the multiple facets of black metal iconography and history. Emerging from a dialogue between sound and image, the otherworldly piece created for that evening by Stephen O’Malley is a result of this collaboration.” – Emilie Lauriola

Record Label: 

NYZ “Millz Medz” (Important)

2020-03-20T19:36:30+00:00March 19th, 2020|

Lose yourself in the circuitry of the original 1965 Buchla 100 with NYZ (Dave Burraston) as he utilizes Barbara Hero’s Lambdoma tuning theories to create two slow, deeply layered, subconscious, organic and meditative compositions. NYZ’s split 12″ with ELEH (IMPREC 477LP) will be released at the same time as Millz Medz. David Burraston is an award-winning artist/scientist working in the areas of technology and electronic music, operating Noyzelab as an independent art/science music studio since 1981. His experimental arts practice encompasses field recordings, landscape-scale sound art, chaos/complexity, practice-based research, sound synthesis, and electronic music. He performs, lectures, conducts workshops, and creates art installations in Regional NSW and around the world. David also designs and builds sound synthesizers based on his theories of chaos/complexity science. David has worked with many diverse collaborators such as Aphex Twin, Chris Watson, Doug Quin, Russell Haswell, Robin Fox, Oren Ambarchi, Sarah Last, Cat Hope, Garry Bradbury, William Barton, Alan Lamb, MIT Media Lab, and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. In 2014m he independently published the legendary “SYROBONKERS!”, the most technical and in-depth interview ever given by Aphex Twin. First pressing of 500.

Artists: 
Record Label: 

Eleh/NYZ “split LP” (Important)

2020-03-20T19:38:01+00:00March 19th, 2020|

Split release between ELEH and NYZ (David Burraston). Released alongside a full-length from NYZ via Important Records (IMPREC 453LP). ELEH: This side is possibly the artist’s most complicated electronic composition. It navigates myriad timbral, tuning, and temporal processes while winding itself to completion. It was composed/constructed over a period of months in early 2019. NYZ: Two crunchy microtonal drone meditations in mono, using techniques of digital FM and hybrid analog/digital modular synthesis. “FM60P::fbk1#03” is from a number of sessions recorded on a battered SY99 recorded from 2013 to 2014. As the name suggests, this particular session revolved around using feedback in the FM algorithm. “EML DRNPi” was recorded as part of the 2015 Plum Island Sessions where Burraton had a host of synths on loan from John Brien at Important Records. For the recording, he used the EML ElectroComp 101 and a 4-voice digital microtonal oscillator running a Lambdoma Matrix to make a hybrid analog/digital system. Heavy-duty sleeve; First edition of 500.

Artists:  ,
Record Label: 

Master Musicians Of Jajouka “Apocalypse Across The Sky” (Zehra)

2020-03-20T19:43:03+00:00March 19th, 2020|

Zehra present a reissue of Apocalypse Across The Sky by The Master Musicians of Jajouka featuring Bachir Attar, originally released in 1992. Available on vinyl for the very first time. Produced by Bill Laswell, remastered for vinyl by Helmut Erler at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. No matter if you consider the Master Musicians of Jajouka a “4,000 year-old rock n’ roll band” (William S. Burroughs) or even “6,000 years old” (Ornette Coleman) — without doubt, the music of the ensemble in all its incarnations over the centuries is deeply rooted in Sufi mysticism, paganism, and the cult of the goat-god Boujeloud. According to a myth, many centuries ago Boujeloud appeared to a shepherd called Attar, an ancestor of today’s ensemble leader Bachir Attar, and till today every year at the end of Ramadan a fire in honor of the goat-god is ignited. This pagan root aside, the music performed in several hour long rituals on traditional instruments like tebel and tariyya (drums), ghaita (a woodwind instrument), lira (flute), and gimbri (stringed instrument) reveals hypnotic, trance-inducing qualities and is considered to have magical and healing properties. In the 1950s, Brion Gysin along with Paul Bowles were among the first westerners to witness such a ceremony, and it was Gysin who invited the Master Musicians of Jajouka to play in his restaurant in Tangier, and who later (in 1967) brought Brian Jones to the small village of Jajouka where the Rolling Stones guitarist recorded the ensemble for what became the first “world music album” and that raised interest in the Master Musicians of Jajouka in the western world. Since those days, a wide number of creative minds like William S. Burroughs, Ornette Coleman, Marc Ribot, Flea, Talvin Singh, or the Rolling Stones have worked with the Master Musicians of Jajouka who are now performing regularly outside Morocco. In 1991, iconic producer Bill Laswell also embarked on a trip to the small village of just 800 inhabitants in the Rif mountains to record the group for his Axiom label — Apocalypse Across The Sky is, unlike other Laswell projects that bring together different cultures and genres, a pure document of the ensemble, raw and unpolished but exquisitely recorded, and ranks among the essential recordings according to the world music magazine Songlines. 180 gram vinyl; gatefold sleeve; includes download code.

Record Label: 

Windy & Carl “Allegiance And Conviction” (Kranky)

2020-03-20T19:48:08+00:00March 19th, 2020|

Legendary Dearborn duo Windy & Carl have been crafting inner space electric guitar and bass vistas for nearly three decades now, but their latest feels as vital and vaporous as any peak opus in their vast catalog. Written and recorded across six years, the songs swirl between shoegaze minimalism and stargaze drift, over which Windy Weber whispers veiled poetic narratives of transformation, isolation, and escape. Allegiance And Conviction is their first album since 2012’s We Will Always Be. The six compositions are something of outlier in their catalog, shorter in nature than most on their previous releases. All of the tracks are saturated with Carl Hultgren’s signature guitar work, intimate constructions of murmurs, drones and his trademark layered filigree, gently amassed into alternately lighter and heavier than air atmospheres. Despite being their first full-length in more than half a decade, the album fully belongs to the bewitching galaxy of sound Windy & Carl innovated and within which they remain the sole occupants: music of thresholds and peripheries and eternities. Allegiance And Conviction is the multifaceted, contemporary take on their sound.

Artists: 
Record Label: 
Genre: 
Staff Picks: 

Ghedalia Tazartes “Diasporas” (Dais)

2020-03-20T19:55:40+00:00March 19th, 2020|

Originally recorded in 1977, following a limited release in 1979, Ghédalia Tazartès debut album, Diasporas, introduced listeners to the surreal, mysterious and truly unclassifiable statement of Tazartès and his out-of-time place in the French avant-garde canon. Born in Paris in 1947 to Judaeo-Spanish parents of Greek descent, Tazartès spent his early career as an autodidact utilizing his knowledge of repetition and collage, coupled with his Ladino linguistic heritage, to create some of the most unique recordings of the late 20th century. Interest in the works of Tazartès truly sparked when artist Steve Stapleton included his follow up album, Tazartès’ Transports, in his famed “Nurse With Wound List,” thus adding endless curiosity to the folklore behind Tazartès and his mystical entrée.

From the onset of Diasporas, looping incantations seemingly pile up at the behest of Tazartès. In almost a prayer-like decree, Tazartès chants to the gods in an undefined whail that is both haunting and spiritually divine. Tazartès unique use of tape loops to capture the disappearing traditions of his family’s past creates an atmospheric texture that unexpectedly complements his cut-up, manipulated vocal experiments. While contemporaries within the French avant-garde maneuvered academic theory and rigid tradition, Diasporas strays away from these boundaries, working in Tazartès’ invented practice of ‘impromuz’, a method in which he endlessly records for hours and edits only the moments that display any sense of spontaneous enlightenment. Further emboldening the obtuse nature of Diasporas are the seemingly random recitation of poet Stéphane Mallarmé and the traditional ‘Parisian-style’ piano accompaniment of experimental composer Michel Chion.

Since its initial release over 40 years ago, both Dais Records and Alga Marghen have released reissues of Diasporas in various formats, with the initial Dais Records vinyl edition falling out of print. Dais Records presents an official reissue, newly remastered by Josh Bonati, utilizing the original artwork of Diasporas in its sole album form, for the first time in over four decades.

Record Label: 
Genre: 

Ian William Craig “Red Sun Through Smoke” (Fat Cat)

2020-03-20T19:55:27+00:00March 19th, 2020|

Uncannily timed for the current state of humanity and its need for reflective composure and cathartic expression, ‘Red Sun Through Smoke’ is a powerful new body of work by IWC, who has become widely beloved for his textured tape recordings with Recital and FatCat’s 130701 label over the past decade. Taking the experience of personal loss and finding new love whilst forest fires raged in British Colombia as inspiration, IWC transmutes his feelings into rough gold across 12 of the most stripped back, direct and affective songs in his catalogue.

The background to ‘Red Sun Through Smoke’ is almost hard to believe. Ian travelled to his grandfather’s house to record an album while his gramps resided in a car home. But upon arrival his grandfather was taken gravely ill and moved to palliative care, where he sadly died two weeks later. During this time, as life would have it, Ian met someone special and fell in love, but they promptly moved to Paris, 5000 miles away. A long distance relationship flourished while Ian also grieved and wrote the music of ‘Red Sun Through Smoke’ against a backdrop of thick smoke, in a small house shared with his parents. Understandably, many of us would crack or unravel under this sort of stress, but Ian turned the intensity of the situation into a master opus.

Pared back to keys, vocal, shortwave radio and tape, the recordings find IWC at his most vulnerable, with a vocal captured naked to tape and then mixed on vintage 4-track with shortwave static and tape infidelities to poetically represent his situation, as he attempted to follow and come to terms with his thoughts amid scenes of emotive confusion. The results are inarguably, soulfully profound from the multitrack choral greeting of ‘Random’ to the elegiac resolution of ‘Stories’, following the artist’s bewildered state of mind between heart-breaking songs such as ‘Supper’ and its stark refrain, “We had grief for supper”, the doomy majesty of ‘Open Like a Loss’, and the devastating smoky stillness of ‘Last of the Lantern Oil’ where his touch for textured, dreamlike tones is at its most traumatised.

Record Label: 
Genre: 

Crys Cole “Beside Myself” (Students Of Decay)

2020-03-13T20:33:45+00:00March 5th, 2020|

“Beside Myself is the second full-length release from Canadian sound artist crys cole. Known to many through her extensive collaborative practice with artists such as Oren Ambarchi, Leif Elggren, and James Rushford, in her solo work cole uses contact microphones, voice, simple electronics, and field recordings to create sonic environments that linger uneasily at the threshold of perception. Demonstrating how cole’s work has developed and deepened since the relative austerity of her first solo LP Sand/Layna, Beside Myself offers two lushly immersive side-long pieces that explore ideas of compositional drift. ‘The Nonsuch’ is inspired by the aural hallucinations experienced in the hypnagogic state during the onset of sleep. Opening with scratching contact mic textures and unintelligible vocal murmurs, the piece threads together live and studio performances with field recordings of urban environments to create a texture that is at once seemingly consistent and marked by constant transitions. Individual elements rise up from the background thrum only to disappear just as we become conscious of them; heterogenous sounds and spaces succeed one another with the unassailable logic of dreams. ‘In Praise of Blandness (Chapter IX)’ also focuses on drift and transition, but in a much more single-minded way. Over a rich, slowly-evolving organ drone, cole reads a passage from the French sinologist François Julien’s book In Praise of Blandness (1991) exploring the concept of ‘blandness’ in the Taoist aesthetics of sound. Beginning crisp and clear, cole’s voice becomes gradually less distinct over the course of the piece, the spoken words blurred by resonant frequencies à la Lucier’s I Am Sitting in a Room until we are left with only the rhythm of incomprehensible speech. The text that cole reads acts a perfect description of her aesthetic project: ‘We hear it still, but just barely, and as it diminishes it makes all the more audible that soundless beyond into which it is about to extinguish itself. We are listening then, to its extinction, to its return to that great undifferentiated matrix’.” –Francis Plagne (November, 2019) Includes download code; edition of 300.

Artists: 
Record Label: 

Ground Zero “Revolutionary Pekinese Opera Ver. 1.28” (Le Narthecophore)

2020-03-13T20:33:45+00:00March 5th, 2020|

In 1984 the German free jazz duet of Alfred Harth and Heiner Goebbels released an album containing their interpretation of a Chinese opera from the 60s. Then in 1995, using extensive samples from that German recording alongside a free rock ensemble and traditional Asian instruments, Otomo Yoshihide and his Ground Zero band issued a terrific and definitive rendition of that opera, in the form of a noisy sound collage.

We reunited the Japanese and original German versions on that record.

Artists: 
Record Label: 
Genre:  ,

Ever Isles “Cocoon” (Touchtheplants)

2020-03-13T20:33:46+00:00March 5th, 2020|

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith is an American composer, performer and producer, originally from Orcas Island and currently based in Los Angeles. After several self-released albums, Smith was signed to independent record label Western Vinyl in 2015, who released her first official album, Euclid, in January 2015. Tides: Music for the Meditation and Yoga, was released in January 2019. Smith grew up and was home-educated on Orcas Island, Northwestern Washington. She left the island to study composition and sound engineering at Berklee College of Music in Boston, before returning to the island after her graduation. It was after returning home that Smith discovered synthesizers, when a neighbor introduced her to the Buchla 100 Synthesizer. Having originally intended to use her voice as her primary instrument, and then moving to classical guitar and piano, Smith switched to the use of synthesizer after being leant and experimenting with the Buchla 100 for a year. Smith formed indie-folk band Ever Isles whilst still at Berklee but left the project after discovering the Buchla 100, explaining, “I got so distracted and enamored with the process of making sounds with [the Buchla’s potential] that I abandoned the next Ever Isles album.” When developing her composition skills, Smith used visual aid as inspiration for her music. She has said that she is always composing to a visual in her head, explaining, “Sometimes I let the sound create the image for me and then I build off that. Or vice versa: I come up with imagery that is inspiring to me, or I see something that is inspiring, and then create sounds that I feel match it.” Recorded in 2009, Ever Isles’ Cocoon is an experimental folk album made by Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith and Jeremy Harris on Orcas Island in an improvised recording studio built from bed mattresses. Smith and Harris, longtime friends, first met in 2004 while attending Berklee College of Music. Cocoon is the only remaining document of the Ever Isles project and offers a unique glimpse at the early work of Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith — an era predating her discovery of synthesis when she was still playing classical guitar. Jeremy Harris, a multi-instrumentalist and neo-classical composer, engineered and co-produced the record with Smith. In 2016, Harris released Ages via Gnome Life Records.

Eleh ‎”Living Space” (Touch)

2020-03-13T20:33:46+00:00March 5th, 2020|

Following Slow Fade for Hard Sync (2009) and Location Momentum (2010), Living Space is Eleh’s third physical release for Touch. Seven years in the making, this new release consolidates the artist’s parallel narrative between a series of vinyl and CD releases for Important Records — where the emphasis is on a minimalist aesthetic — to a visual counterpoint that hints at the cinematic and painterly qualities of the music. Sound, as a healing force, is an idea as old as the medium itself. Inspired by the legacy and above all the spirit of John Coltrane, Living Space features five new compositions that seek to express the beauty of slow change, not only through the microtonal shifts in sound that Eleh navigates but moving with the atmospheric and shape-shifting conditions that the music creates as it interacts with the listening space, whether bedroom or concert hall, each one of them unique. If the ambition of Living Space is to reflect both personal and collective growth cycles, the experience of its audition has the effect of stopping time. Melodic and harmonic progressions are implied and not stated obviously, to enable listeners to apply their own emotions and feelings to the music. Using modular and analog synthesizers, piano, organ, bass, and symphonic chimes, Living Space stresses the promise of the albm’s final track — “Lighter Touch” — forsaking the forceful hand for an approach that mirrors the slower and softer exposures of plant life and leaf formations, slow moving waters, not flash floods nor forest fires. In counterpoint to the music, the 64-minute album is presented in a gatefold sleeve with Jon Wozencroft’s water photography extending the meditational pull of these new compositions. For those for whom Eleh needs no introduction, see if you agree. Anyone who has yet to experience the artist’s sonic alchemy, Living Space is the perfect starting point.

Artists: 
Record Label: 

Lightning Bolt “Ride The Skies” (Thrill Jockey)

2020-03-13T20:33:47+00:00March 5th, 2020|

Ride the Skies is the second album by Lightning Bolt, and this re-release makes it available to fans for the first time since it’s original release. Compared to their first album it’s cleaner, tighter, recorded in studio rather than live. Which is not to say this is boring or sanitized in any way, Lightning Bolt never fail to make magic, filling a space with loud, raw sound. Sounds of synth or guitar turn out to be bass, and riffs become patterns, become a beat in the background, become a wall of noise, become a clear sound above it all. Lightning Bolt are known for the sound that truly comes into it’s own in this album. Ride the Skies is rereleased with deluxe packaging featuring jacket art that was designed by Brian Chippendale for the original release but has never been realized until now.

Artists: 
Record Label: 

Hilary Woods “Birthmarks” (Sacred Bones)

2020-03-13T20:33:49+00:00March 5th, 2020|

Hilary Woods’ Birthmarks has been a labor of intensity and intuition, written over the course of two years. Recorded whilst heavily pregnant between Galway and Oslo in the winter of 2019, Woods explores the oscillating and volatile processes of selfhood and becoming, hidden gestational growth, and the birthing of the Self, amidst continuous social and personal change.

Birthmarks is a record that hunts for ways in which to revisit and caress wounds left by the memory of their scars. In its mystery and attentiveness to the art of alchemy and the world of the unseen, it is a journey through textural fog and feral density that gives way to passages of voracious sonic exorcism and poetic healing. Its eight songs traverse planes of visceral physicality, stark tender space, and breathtaking introspective beauty.

Spurred on and crafted by the impulse to create a more corporeal sonic tendon for her songs to inhabit, Woods took her vision and home recordings to Norwegian experimental noise producer and filmmaker Lasse Marhaug. The collaboration proved rare and fruitful and lies at the heart of this record. Field recordings, analogue bass synthesizers, hushed vocals, and the breath are underpinned with heavy noise processing, fierce and wide cello, rich percussion, sable saxophone, and electronics.

Birthmarks is inspired and informed by ideas of inner transmutation in the face of anxiety, post-war Japanese and wet-plate photography, early music, the secret life of trees, wolves, drone, the drawings of Francis Bacon, the images of Francesca Woodman, the films of Chris Marker, the experiential collapse of community, and the power of the lone human voice. It is a deeply powerful and enigmatic record that ultimately transcends its disquiet roots.

Artists: 
Record Label: 
Genre: 

Jeremy Cunningham “The Weather Up There” (Northern Spy)

2020-03-13T20:34:08+00:00February 28th, 2020|

Chicago drummer and composer Jeremy Cunningham wrote The Weather Up There in response to the loss of his brother Andrew, who died in a home invasion robbery in 2008. Co-produced by Jeff Parker and Paul Bryan, and engineered by Paul Bryan and John McEntire, this new work confronts the tragedy of violence and examines the acute ripple effect on several people’s lives through the lens of memory, response, and collage. Further deepening the textural and emotive impact, Cunningham formed a “drum choir” for these recordings, comprised of close mentors and colleagues Mike Reed, Makaya McCraven, and Mikel Patrick Avery. Cunningham also taps regular collaborators Ben LaMar Gay, Jaimie Branch, Tomeka Reid, Dustin Laurenzi, Matt Ulery, and Josh Johnson.

Record Label: 
Genre:  ,

Leo Takami “Felis Catus And Silence” (Unseen Worlds)

2020-03-13T20:34:08+00:00February 28th, 2020|

Felis Catus and Silence is a breakthrough release for Tokyo composer-guitarist Leo Takami, following the milestone albums Children’s Song (2012) and Tree of Life (2017). Takami counterpoints the soothing aesthetics of prime-era Windham Hill New Age guitar-heroism with meditative, intellectual compositions comprised of ambitious, process-oriented arrangements. While Takami largely wears his genre influences on his sleeve — jazz, classical, Japanese gagaku — the influence of ambient music is a tacit foundation of his work. Working diligently outside of any established communities for fringe musics, Takami conjures this association through a patient focus on generous musical intervals. Steady, kaleidoscopic unfolding of his compositions reflect Takami’s creative intent to “become aware of precisely the time and place I am living.” The unabashedly sweet, tuneful virtues of his music in concert with this reflective form provide an artistic relief of Takami’s thematic harmony. “Each song is based on birth and death, and moving onto the next stage…”

Leo Takami, born 1970, studied guitar under Hideaki Tsumura (aka Kamekichi Tsumura) and performs regularly in Tokyo.

Artists: 
Record Label: 

Chi “The Original Recordings” (Astral Industries)

2020-03-13T20:34:11+00:00February 28th, 2020|

Ltd 2020 Repress – 250 copies only – CHI started in the late punk years in the early eighties. A time of change and mind-blowing albums. We started doing sound experiments in an old farm in Moordrecht (thanks to Jan van Rhee and Kees van der Veer). In the summer, all the doors and windows were open, birds flew in and out. In the distance we saw the highway to Rotterdam. In the winter we sat close together, no heating, only blankets, candles and brandy.

Artists: 
Record Label: 
Staff Picks: 

Go Hirano “Corridor Of Daylights” (Black Editions)

2020-03-13T20:34:12+00:00February 20th, 2020|

Black Editions present the first ever vinyl edition of Go Hirano’s third album, Corridor of Daylights, originally released in 2004. Corridor of Daylights is a quiet work of dreamlike brilliance. A home field recording where fragile piano melodies float alongside wind-chimes and wistful melodicas — insects hum in the distance and a breeze gently rustles as summer day eases toward evening. Originally released in Japan by P.S.F. Records in 2004, Corridor of Daylights is a beautiful, soulful dispatch from early aughts Tokyo. Black Editions present Corridor of Daylights, newly mastered for its first ever vinyl edition. Includes bonus track. Comes in a deluxe edition featuring pearlescent paper, metallic inks, and foil stamped letters as well as two inserts including a newly translated illustrated story booklet; Includes download.

Artists: 
Record Label: 
Genre: 

Musica Elettronica Viva “United Patchwork” (Alternative Fox)

2020-03-13T20:34:12+00:00February 20th, 2020|

Alternative Fox present a reissue of Musica Elettronica Viva’s United Patchwork, originally released in 1978. One of the most mythical experimental groups of all time, Musica Elettronica Viva was formed in 1966 by a group of American composers in Rome, its nucleus comprised of pianist Frederic Rzewski, sound improviser Alvin Curran, and the improvisatory keyboardist Richard Teitelbaum. Taking cues from John Cage and David Tudor, MEV employed open, limitless structures, using found instruments, toys, a homemade synthesizer, and the first Moog to reach mainland Europe. Improv and critical listening practices aimed to liberate listeners from the constraints of bourgeois capitalism and as their sound evolved, forms of Jewish mysticism and surrealist automaticism pointed to transcendent potential. An abortive US tour in 1970 split MEV into three units, but the Kabbalistic Dixieland band later reformed with Rzewski, Curran, and Teitelbaum joined by saxophonist Steve Lacy, trombonist Garrett List, and keyboardist Karl Berger. The resultant double album United Patchwork, recorded in November 1977 at Mama Dog for Horo Records, captures MEV in all of their discordant, improvisatory glory, from Teitelbaum’s side-long opener, “Via Della Luce”, to the honking noise of Lacy’s “Fox”, the excessive keyboard meanderings of Curran’s “Psalm”, Berger’s vibraphone folly, “Cross Over One” and Rzewski’s ponderous “What Is Freedom”.

Record Label: 
Genre: 

Laboratorio Della Quercia “Laboratorio Della Quercia” (Alternative Fox)

2020-03-13T20:34:13+00:00February 20th, 2020|

Alternative Fox present a reissue of Laboratorio Della Quercia’s self-titled released, originally released in 1979. In the summer of 1978, an ambitious twelve-day experimental jazz project was undertaken at the ancient amphitheater, Tasso della Quercia, on the slopes of Rome’s Gianicolo Hill. The idea was to assemble the leading players from Italy’s avant-garde jazz scene, revolving around members of Grande Elenco Musicisti (or GEM), such as saxophonists Tommaso Vittorini, Eugenio Colombo, and Maurizio Giammarco, trumpeter Alberto Corvini and trombonist/composer Danilo Terenzi, together with visiting American players such as saxophonists Steve Lacy, Steve Potts, and Evan Parker, trombonist Roswell Rudd, pianist Frederick Rzewski, and drummer Noel McGhee, among others. Different group configurations were enacted each day and the final gala concert formed the basis of this super rare and highly playful double album, which captures the delightfully messy proceedings. In keeping with the openness of the Roman jazz scene of the day, the project sought to push the boundaries, aiming to break big-band traditions whilst still emphasizing the collective nature of the experience. Enrico Rava’s opening “Tromblues” emphasizes the disparate approaches of these trans-Atlantic teams and Terenzi’s “Dialogando” uses dual trombones to heighten musical discord; in mutated big-band mode, Giammarco’s thrillingly complex “Vortex Waltz”, and Vittorini’s “La Legge E Uguale Per Tutti” both speak to the limitless potential that the project was aiming for.

Record Label: 
Genre:  ,

Company “1983” (Honest Jon’s)

2020-03-13T20:34:13+00:00February 20th, 2020|

Wonderful, previously unreleased recordings by Derek Bailey and his guests at Company Week in 1983. What’s remarkable throughout this album is the respect and affection the musicians show for each other, exemplifying the dictionary definition of “company” as “the fact or condition of being with another or others, especially in a way that provides friendship and enjoyment.” It starts with “Landslide”, a brilliant, spiky, spluttering, twanging reunion of Music Improvisation Company members Evan Parker (tenor sax), Hugh Davies (electronics), and Jamie Muir (percussion). Next up, “Seconde Choix”, with Joëlle Léandre’s close-miked prepared bass and Bailey’s acoustic guitar seemingly heading in different directions before coming together miraculously in just four minutes. The opening of “First Choice”, a duet between Bailey and Muir, is a revelation for those who moan that the guitarist plays too many notes. His patient and truly exquisite exploration of harmonics is beautifully counterpointed by Muir’s metallic percussion. On “Pile Ou Face” (Heads Or Tails) Davies concentrates on his high register oscillators, carefully shadowed by Parker’s soprano until Léandre’s deft, springy pizzicato lures them into the playground. “JD In Paradise” is a surprisingly delicate wind quartet, with John Corbett’s trumpet, fragile and Don Cherry-like, punctuating the sinuous interplay between Peter Brötzmann and J.D. Parran (on sopranos, flutes and clarinet), while trombonist Vinko Globokar growls approvingly in the background. Igor Stravinsky’s magnificent definition of music as the jeu de notes comes to mind listening to Bailey’s duet with cellist Ernst Reijseger (executing fiendish double-stopped harmonics with staggering ease). Technical virtuosity has never sounded so effortless — it is, as its title “Een Plezierig Stukje” simply states, a fun piece. On the closing “La Horda”, Bailey and Reijseger team up with the horns for what on paper looks like it could be rough and rowdy sextet but which turns out once more to be a thoughtful, spacious exchange of ideas, shapes, and colors.

Jon Hassell & Farafina “Flash Of The Spirits” (Tak:Til/Glitterbeat)

2020-03-13T20:34:13+00:00February 20th, 2020|

Double LP version. 180 gram vinyl; includes CD. Tak:Til/Glitterbeat present the first ever reissue and remastering of Jon Hassell and Farafina’s prescient, “Fourth World” masterwork, Flash of the Spirit, originally released in 1988. Propulsive Burkinese rhythms meet revelatory, ambient soundscapes. Co-produced with the legendary studio team of Brian Eno and Dainel Lanois. Composer and trumpeter Jon Hassell has been an elusive, iconic musical figure for more than half a century. He’s best known as the pioneer and propagandist of “Fourth World” music, mixing technology with the tradition and spirituality of non-western cultures. In 1987 he joined with Farafina, the acclaimed percussion, voice, and dance troupe from Burkina Faso, to record Flash of the Spirit. While the album is a natural extension of those “Fourth World” ideas, and a new strand of Possible Musics, it also a distinctive outlier in the careers of both artists; an unrepeated merging of sounds whose influence still reverberates today. The eight members of the band — who had also collaborated with the Rolling Stones and Ryuichi Sakamoto — brought their long apprenticed, virtuosic drumming, and melodic textures (balafon, flute, voices) to the sessions. They built up layers and patterns of rhythm, while producers Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois (fresh off the success of U2’s Joshua Tree) created a sonic atmosphere in which they could creatively intertwine with Hassell’s digitally processed trumpet and keyboards. Despite their initial skepticism, the musicians from Farafina ended up relishing their interaction with the studio team and the trumpeter/conceptualist Hassell. The music that emerged was rich and groundbreaking, a move to transcend the boundaries between jazz, avant-garde classical, ambient and the deep rhythmic tradition embodied by Farafina. On “Out Pours”, the groove simmers softly, led by shifting patterns on the balafon, while Hassell’s heavily treated trumpet creates breathy swirls of sound that play and dance around them. Percussion leads on “A Vampire Dances,” pushing and probing and seeming to force electronic shrieks as a response from Hassell’s trumpet, while the keyboard creates a bed of sound that refuses to hold still. “(Like) Warriors Everywhere” takes that idea even further. Over Farafina’s surging rhythms, Hassell’s electric piano and trumpet dig deep into abstract, melodic ideas hinted at by the Bitches Brew-era Miles Davis band. Farafina create the rhythms and counter-rhythms that spring and move. A new, natural trans-cultural harmony is apparent on the final track, “Masque”, where percussion and treated trumpet draw the listener along on a journey through shifting landscapes.

Artists:  ,
Record Label:  ,

Moondog “On The Streets Of New York” (Mississippi)

2020-03-13T20:34:34+00:00February 20th, 2020|

Behold! A survey of Moondog’s earliest recorded works – many of them unreleased until now – through a collaboration by Mississippi Records and Lucia Records. From 1954–1962 field recordist Tony Schwartz frequently checked in with Moondog, his favorite street musician. Tony Schwartz made recordings of Moondog’s earliest compositions as they were coming into focus. Sometimes these recordings were made right on the street as Moondog busked, sometimes they were made in Schwartz’s studio, and sometimes they were made on NYC rooftops. The resulting recordings, many of which had never been released, were deposited at the Library Of Congress as part of the Tony Schwartz Collection in 2006 when Schwartz passed away, and this record was culled straight from these original tapes.

Side one kicks off with an unreleased version of Moondog’s classic composition “Why Spend The Dark Night With You?” followed by the first ever complete recording of his “Nocturne Suite,” a beautiful piece of classical music performed with members of the Royal Philharmonic. The side ends with the complete “On The Streets Of New York” 7″ EP, which was released on Mars records in 1955 and subsequently re-released by Honest Jon’s Records in 2004 on their excellent Moondog anthology. Side B features sketches of Moondog compositions never released, many with the man himself howling and chanting over his homemade percussion set.

Moondog’s music is as universal as it gets – part classical music, part Native American, part European folk, and part something completely unique. Moondog is one of the towering figures of 20th century music. This record comes with liner notes featuring never before released interviews with Moodog by Tony Schwartz and is housed in an old school “tip on” cover. All tracks fully licensed from the Library of Congress.

Artists: 
Record Label: 
Genre:  ,
Staff Picks: 

Bohren & Der Club Of Gore “Patchouli Blue” (Pias)

2020-03-13T20:34:34+00:00February 20th, 2020|

25 years since ‘Gore Motel’, Bohren & Der Club of Gore hold their smoky line of doom-jazz in a sublime, haunting 10th album that once again taps into that interzone between classic Lynchian motifs and fizzing gothic undercurrents.​

The sylvan intimacy of ‘Patchouli Blue’ is a Bohren’s ineffable skill at lulling listeners into richly hypnagogic states. As ever they prize a deep sense of cool yearning that hearkens back to the slow burn atmospheres of classic film noir as much as David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti’s soundtracks, dark ambient and the bluest jazz, plus the doom metal of Black Sabbath, Gore, and their dusty echoes in Earth. It’s surely a velvet cloak for the senses; essentially a heavily tranquilising sound, but one fraught with an existential angst that’s won them a captive audience over the years, and is fully in effect here.

As ever, ‘Patchouli Blue’ is a strictly all instrumental affair and was recorded in Cologne and Mülheim An Der Ruhr – site of all their recordings (bar ‘Mitleid Lady’) since the seminal ‘Sunset Mission’ (2000). It was composed by core members Christoph Clöser (Tenor Saxophone) and Morten Gass (Piano, Engineer, Producer) and is performed by them along with longtime member Robin Rodenburg’s plucked, stalking bass lines in a classically sulky, gratifying way bound to make your glass of single malt taste smokier, sweeter. As such, the album is really meant to be taken in one sitting, but if we’re to point out highlights, the slow rise of slinking drum machine and creeping arps of ‘Vergessen & Vorbei’ is just masterful, as is the distant, burnished, Vangelis-like synth glow and elegiac brass of their last call, ‘Meine Welt ist schön’. Basically it’s dead good for what ail’s ya.

Record Label: 
Genre:  ,

Ellen Fullman ‎”In The Sea” (Superior Viaduct)

2020-03-13T20:34:37+00:00February 20th, 2020|

Ellen Fullman began developing The Long String Instrument in her St. Paul, Minnesota studio in 1980 and moved to Brooklyn the following year. Inspired by composer and instrument builder Harry Partch, Fullman’s large-scale work creates droning, organ-like overtones that are as unique in the world of sound as her vision of the instrument itself. Along with her 1985 debut album—appropriately titled The Long String Instrument—Fullman’s only output in the 1980s would be two self-released cassettes, In The Sea and Work For Four Players And 90 Strings, recorded in 1987 at an unfinished office tower in Austin, Texas. This double LP collection features music from both cassettes as well as a previously unreleased piece from 1988 at De Fabriek in Den Bosch, Holland. Ethereal and exquisitely paced, these rare recordings capture minimalism’s quiet radiance. Within a musical landscape that has seen the rise of contemporary drone practitioners like Ellen Arkbro and Kali Malone, Fullman is sure to find a legion of fans. Superior Viaduct is honored to present this long overdue archival release that marks a particularly vibrant period of Fullman’s pioneering and timeless work.

Artists: 
Record Label: 
Genre: 

Jon Gibson “Songs & Melodies, 1973-1977” (Superior Viaduct)

2020-03-13T20:34:38+00:00February 20th, 2020|

Since the mid-1960s, Jon Gibson has played a key role in the development of American avant-garde music. As a versatile reed player, he has performed with everyone from Steve Reich and Philip Glass to Terry Riley and La Monte Young. In the 1970s, Gibson would emerge as a minimalist composer in his own right and release two exceptional albums, Visitations and Two Solo Pieces, on Glass’ Chatham Square imprint. Songs & Melodies brings together recordings from 1973 to 1977 (mostly previously unreleased), featuring prominent figures in New York’s scene including Arthur Russell, Barbara Benary and Julius Eastman. This double LP collection showcases the breadth of Gibson’s expressive range—from introspective piano meditations to cerebral ensemble works—and the subtlety of his radical compositional techniques. The front cover artwork, a hand-drawn diagram by Gibson, originally appeared in the program for a March 1974 concert at Washington Square Church in Greenwich Village. While this concert was not the first to feature the composer exclusively, it would be a pivotal event in Gibson’s early career as a composer. Superior Viaduct is honored to present this long overdue archival release that not only documents Gibson’s important work, but also a crucial period in NYC musical history.

Artists: 
Record Label: 
Genre: 

Rebecca Foon “Waxing Moon” (Constellation)

2020-03-13T20:34:38+00:00February 20th, 2020|

Rebecca Foon, the composer and musician behind Saltland and Esmerine (and former longstanding member of Silver Mt. Zion) presents a new album entitled Waxing Moon. While best known as an incomparable cellist crafting textural soundscapes and instrumental chamber-rock in the aforementioned projects (and more recently recognized for her creative and organisational work as cofounder of Pathway To Paris), this new collection of songs finds Foon emphasizing piano and voice with striking intimacy and elegance, showcasing a captivating evolution in her always resplendent songwriting. The climate crisis has profoundly framed Foon’s political and artistic life for many years now, and Waxing Moon finds her writing and singing her most arrestingly direct yet poetic words, tapping universal and personal heartbreak in both despair and hope.

Record Label: 
Genre: 

Raspberry Bulbs “Before the Age Of Mirrors” (Relapse)

2020-03-13T20:34:38+00:00February 20th, 2020|

New York’s RASPBERRY BULBS (featuring members of BONE AWL and RORSCHACH,) make their Relapse Records debut with their highly anticipated new album, Before the Age of Mirrors. Forever defying the conventions of underground music, RASPBERRY BULBS continue to push the envelope via their subversive take on occult Punk and Black Metal. Through maniacal lyricism, raw guitar snarls channeled through gritty, 4 track recordings, and a wall of distortion, RASPBERRY BULBS suffocate the listener every step of the way.

RASPBERRY BULBS emphasize the volatile, confrontational attitudes of Punk with the discordant sounds of Lo-Fi Black Metal and inspirational fever dreams found only in weird fiction. In the band’s own words, “parts paranoia, anger, and insane humor to satisfy the most cynical minds, Before the Age of Mirrors was crafted for the times where we desperately look for a way forward and we seem, at this dazzling stage, almost prepared to step through the mirror.”

Artists: 
Record Label: 

Learn To Talk

2020-03-20T19:31:43+00:00February 19th, 2020|

ReR Vinyl present a reissue of Skeleton Crew’s Learn to Talk, originally released in 1984. A true avant-rock classic. Skeleton Crew were the maverick duo of Ex-Henry Cow guitarist Fred Frith and the great late cellist Tom Cora. Formed during one of Frith’s early American residencies, Skeleton Crew was a legendary two-man crew who somehow — in real time, managed to play all their instruments, cello, bass, electric guitar, violin, vocals — as well as, drum parts dislocated between the two of them. No one sounded like Skeleton Crew, ever. An unprecedented and tight duo coalition that produced some of the best music of the decade. Originally released in 1984, Learn to Talk consists of a highly integrated mixture of art-rock, punk energy, tape manipulation, and re-imagined folk elements. A catalog of invention that remains breathtaking today. Fully re-mastered and including a printed inner sleeve with previously unpublished text by Fred Frith in memory of Tom Cora on the 20th anniversary of his premature passing.

Record Label: 
Genre:  ,

Desperate Straights

2020-03-20T19:31:47+00:00February 19th, 2020|

ReR Vinyl present a reissue of Slapp Happy and Henry Cow’s Desperate Straights, originally released in 1975. Another great chapter in the Henry Cow vinyl reissue series! Desperate Straights was the first result of the historical meeting between Slapp Happy, the German/English avant-pop band, and the apparently incompatible Henry Cow. Recorded at Virgin Record’s Manor Studios in 1974 and properly remastered by Bob Drake, Desperate Straights stands as a real piece of art from another time. A full set of great songs, including gems like “Bad Alchemy” and “Apes in Capes”, arranged and performed by an amazing collective featuring Dagmar Krause’s unique voice, Peter Blegvad and Anthony Moore’s eccentric pop genius and the core quartet of Cow: Fred Frith, Tim Hodgkinson, John Greaves, and Chris Cutler, plus a bunch of very special guests, among them Nick Evans and Mongezi Feza (Brotherhood of Breath), Mont Campbell (Egg), and Pierre Moerlen (Gong). Desperate Straights can be recognized as one of the definitive avant-pop albums of the seventies. Housed in a beautiful reproduction of the original jacket designed by Peter Blegvad.

Record Label: 

Hepatopolitika

2020-03-20T19:31:36+00:00February 19th, 2020|

Japanese sound artist Kimihide Kusafuka, better known as K2, originally came onto the scene in 1981, in order to explore the possibility of noise. The activities at that time were only the creation of cassette works and actions in the world of mail art with no live performance. A few years later, he suspended his music activities to concentrate on his studies and returned in 1993 after having just graduated as a pathologist. K2 perceives no alteration between the act of making noise and the act of science and he practices a kind of alchemy through his noise. Hepatopolitika, an ultra-rare work released in 1994 on transparent vinyl by German label Praxis Dr. Bearmann in only 125 numbered copies, represents in an exemplary way the idea just expressed. He sets one’s sights of metamorphosize himself with both the awareness he gets from his scientific experiments and the emotional strength he obtains from performing and listening to noise. The work is essentially a cut-ups noise oriented in its most exhausting form and in its rawest form. The sound is exceptionally lo-fi; the actual aggression of sound deconstruction in both sides leaves you astonished and consists in amazing assemblage of crashing, creaking, and scraping sounds made with pieces of junk metal plus concrete music and voice, edited in a jarring, unpredictable style. 140 gram black vinyl; black inner sleeve in a deluxe black cardboard sleeve with logo in silver silk screen plus obi that include art collage from original vinyl label; Edition of 199.

Artists: 
Record Label: 

Skeleton Crew “Learn To Talk” (Red Vinyl)

2020-03-13T20:34:41+00:00February 7th, 2020|

ReR Vinyl present a reissue of Skeleton Crew’s Learn to Talk, originally released in 1984. A true avant-rock classic. Skeleton Crew were the maverick duo of Ex-Henry Cow guitarist Fred Frith and the great late cellist Tom Cora. Formed during one of Frith’s early American residencies, Skeleton Crew was a legendary two-man crew who somehow — in real time, managed to play all their instruments, cello, bass, electric guitar, violin, vocals — as well as, drum parts dislocated between the two of them. No one sounded like Skeleton Crew, ever. An unprecedented and tight duo coalition that produced some of the best music of the decade. Originally released in 1984, Learn to Talk consists of a highly integrated mixture of art-rock, punk energy, tape manipulation, and re-imagined folk elements. A catalog of invention that remains breathtaking today. Fully re-mastered and including a printed inner sleeve with previously unpublished text by Fred Frith in memory of Tom Cora on the 20th anniversary of his premature passing.

Record Label: 
Genre:  ,

Slapp Happy/Henry Cow “Desperate Straights” (Red Vinyl)

2020-03-13T20:34:40+00:00February 7th, 2020|

ReR Vinyl present a reissue of Slapp Happy and Henry Cow’s Desperate Straights, originally released in 1975. Another great chapter in the Henry Cow vinyl reissue series! Desperate Straights was the first result of the historical meeting between Slapp Happy, the German/English avant-pop band, and the apparently incompatible Henry Cow. Recorded at Virgin Record’s Manor Studios in 1974 and properly remastered by Bob Drake, Desperate Straights stands as a real piece of art from another time. A full set of great songs, including gems like “Bad Alchemy” and “Apes in Capes”, arranged and performed by an amazing collective featuring Dagmar Krause’s unique voice, Peter Blegvad and Anthony Moore’s eccentric pop genius and the core quartet of Cow: Fred Frith, Tim Hodgkinson, John Greaves, and Chris Cutler, plus a bunch of very special guests, among them Nick Evans and Mongezi Feza (Brotherhood of Breath), Mont Campbell (Egg), and Pierre Moerlen (Gong). Desperate Straights can be recognized as one of the definitive avant-pop albums of the seventies. Housed in a beautiful reproduction of the original jacket designed by Peter Blegvad.

Record Label: 

K2 “Hepatopolitika” (Urashima)

2020-03-13T20:34:41+00:00February 7th, 2020|

Japanese sound artist Kimihide Kusafuka, better known as K2, originally came onto the scene in 1981, in order to explore the possibility of noise. The activities at that time were only the creation of cassette works and actions in the world of mail art with no live performance. A few years later, he suspended his music activities to concentrate on his studies and returned in 1993 after having just graduated as a pathologist. K2 perceives no alteration between the act of making noise and the act of science and he practices a kind of alchemy through his noise. Hepatopolitika, an ultra-rare work released in 1994 on transparent vinyl by German label Praxis Dr. Bearmann in only 125 numbered copies, represents in an exemplary way the idea just expressed. He sets one’s sights of metamorphosize himself with both the awareness he gets from his scientific experiments and the emotional strength he obtains from performing and listening to noise. The work is essentially a cut-ups noise oriented in its most exhausting form and in its rawest form. The sound is exceptionally lo-fi; the actual aggression of sound deconstruction in both sides leaves you astonished and consists in amazing assemblage of crashing, creaking, and scraping sounds made with pieces of junk metal plus concrete music and voice, edited in a jarring, unpredictable style. 140 gram black vinyl; black inner sleeve in a deluxe black cardboard sleeve with logo in silver silk screen plus obi that include art collage from original vinyl label; Edition of 199.

Artists: 
Record Label: 

Lightning Bolt “Lightning Bolt” (Thrill Jockey)

2020-01-31T04:33:24+00:00January 31st, 2020|

Long sought after, this record has not been available new on vinyl since it’s first pressing two decades ago. Released as a double LP, the second LP features songs recorded at the same time but never released before on vinyl. Packaged in a silkscreen wrap using the original design by Brain Chippendale, printed by Crosshair. Truly, a must-have for any Lightning Bolt fan.

Since their first moment, it seems like they’ve been as electric as their name suggests. Lightning Bolt, their first album, captures that energy in a raw form. Famously lo-fi, this is the album that’s been described as most feeling like being at one of their shows. It’s difficult to listen and not want to jump with the crowd it feels like must be huddled around the amp producing an incredible wave of noise, astonishingly coming from just two musicians. You can hear the threads of their later work; use of repetition, a sense of grinding and building, noise melting to guitar solos. This album is loud, and the riffs repeated become mesmerizing as they warp slowly thru the songs.

Artists: 
Record Label: 

OOIOO “Nijmusi” (Thrill Jockey)

2020-03-02T18:12:35+00:00January 31st, 2020|

Sounds created for no reason. Sounds that come and go, and disappear into the air like a scent, as soon as they materialize. Atonal phrases that hold the meaning of words that existed before the advent of language. The wonders of a vortex pulsing with life. Just as a new discovery is actually a new way of looking to see what has always been there, OOIOO, seemingly from the core of their being, created a world of sound made up of parts well known that is strikingly precise and intensely original. After a six year hiatus, OOIOO has created a new album that goes back to the roots of being a four-piece band. The music shows the full spectrum of the unique sound they have crafted throughout the years, which can only be described as “OOIOO”.

It might come as a surprise that nijimusi was recorded mainly using a conventional rock ensemble of two guitars, bass, and drums. OOIOO viewed their instruments simply as “objects that make sounds”, and took a primitive and basic approach to creating the music. The drum tones fluctuate powerfully through the air, while sounding as if they are being observed under a microscope. Bass notes and electronic bursts are so dense that they sound like they’ve been vacuum-sealed. The arrangement of the tones seem to be almost ancient, transcending the notion of a musical ensemble, suggesting the connectivity and oneness that is inherent in all living creatures.

Founded in 1995 by legendary percussionist/guitarist/vocalist YoshimiO, OOIOO’s members came together as musicians who move freely between the audible and inaudible, rhythm and non-rhythm, noise and silence. The music they create is a collection of moments and essences of their favorite sounds, captured as they were created before returning into the ether. In 2016, drummer MISHINA joined the band, allowing more freedom in their rhythmic approach and overall sound. Just as each cell in the body consists of a microcosm of its own, the vibrations of each of the members resonate together to create a new life form, a process reflected in nijimusi.

nijimusi can be considered music, but is also a work of art that stimulates the sense of touch and smell, while being atmospheric and ethereal at the same time. If music is an art form based on the sense of hearing and the concept of time, this album may be deviating from the conventional definition of music. The work is a reflection of the sounds resonating from OOIOO while as they were completely present in the moment. The sounds are like the cries emanating from a creature called OOIOO, proof that it is a living, breathing being. Experience the sounds of OOIOO that can only be heard in the here and now.

Artists: 
Record Label: 

Nils Frahm & Anne Muller “7fingers” (Erased Tapes)

2020-03-19T20:09:56+00:00January 31st, 2020|

Fans of the Berlin based Nils Frahm are by now familiar with his beguiling live shows where more often than not fellow touring artists are encouraged to join Frahm on stage ‘ the likes of Rachel Grimes, Rob Lowe of Balmorhea as well as label colleagues Peter Broderick and Ólafur Arnalds have all obliged with fascinating results. It will come as no surprise then that Nils Frahm, an accomplished composer and producer who signed to Erased Tapes in 2009, has extended his collaborative live musings to encompass the recording studio, working for the first time with noted cellist and fellow Berliner Anne Müller to produce 7fingers. With their first collective release Frahm and Müller have built a world where modern classical and electronica collide creating an ‘intoxicating and delicious’ collection of songs. Primarily a pianist Nils Frahm provides evidence with 7fingers that he can effortlessly turn electric throwing in loops, samples and glitches to accompany and showcase Müller on cello. Anne Müller, a renowned musician noted for her work with the Wolf-Ferrari-Ensemble, Phillip Boa and recent tours with Agnes Obel, proves an amp musical partner for Frahm. As the recognition continues to grow for Nils Frahm’s previous solo piano works Wintermusik and The Bells, 2011 sees a new side to this young talent as he embarks on a detour into strings, symphonies and glitch beats alongside the estimable Anne Müller.
Record Label: 
Genre: 

doon kanda “Labyrinth” (Hyperdub)

2020-01-31T04:30:09+00:00January 31st, 2020|

Jesse Kanda is a visual artist and musician, widely known for his modern, gothic surrealist art, his work as an art director and videographer, and in recent years his own musical output as Doon Kanda. We are very excited for his transition into music; if there were a sound to his beautiful and otherworldly art, this is it in its pure form.

Artists: 
Record Label: 
Genre: 

Void Vision “Sour” (Mannequin)

2020-03-19T20:09:50+00:00January 26th, 2020|

2020 version; black vinyl and alternative cover. Originally released in 2014. Void Vision is a Philadelphia based solo female minimal synth/cold wave project from Shari Wallin. Already included by Rough Trade in their seminal Synth Wave compilations, the single anticipated her full-length Sub Rosa for Mannequin Records. “Sour” was featured in the acclaimed Wild Wild Country Netflix series in 2018. Music supervisor Chris Swanson about the track: “We were having a hard time finding a song for that scene, actually. We had a Future Islands track originally in that scene, I think, but I remember we were having a hard time getting the tone right… because there were objectives with regards to the narrative… we wanted a good beat, a sense of time but also conforming to the time. I think of all the songs [in WWC], the Void Vision song is the one that stands out… because it was different yet it sold the story that we were trying to tell.” Remix by Vanzetti & Sacco, aka Jos Van Galen with the Otto Kraanen, the boss of the acclaimed Bordello A Parigi from Rotterdam. Edition of 500.

Artists: 
Record Label: 

John Carroll Kirby “Tuscany” (Patience)

2020-01-23T21:29:10+00:00January 23rd, 2020|

Los Angeles based pianist, producer, and songwriter John Carroll Kirby traveled to Pietrasanta, Italy in the summer of 2018 on a self-imposed writing trip. During his stay he composed Tuscany, a two side-long solo piano exploration of this particular geographical envelope, a place where nature is shaped into form. Kirby would cycle 12 kilometers each day to Cascata di Malbacco, a waterfall with jade pools and silver stone, and the inspiration for Side A of Tuscany. His own “Cascata di Malbacco” tumbles and shimmers along the piano as a gorgeous eighteen-minute-long improvised piece, some of it polished and some moments left raw. On a ride to Sant’Anna, twenty-something kilometers away, Kirby took a wrong turn and got lost among the hills, where he encountered several monuments memorializing the victims of the Sant’Anna di Stazzema massacre. The dark history of an abandoned mill house served as the inspiration for the album’s haunting Side B, a eulogy for all of those forgotten by time. Although Side A is inspired by the natural beauty of a waterfall, and Side B by the cruelty that people can inflict upon others, both pieces revolve around the same seven-note bassline. The idea Kirby is iterating on is the realization that darkness exists inside light, and vice versa; Tuscany is an inquiry into this duality and its consequences. John Carroll Kirby has released records on Leaving Records, Outside Insight, and Pinchy & Friends. In the studio and on the road, he’s produced and/or played with Connan Mockasin, Blood Orange, Sebastian Tellier, Shabazz Palaces, and Solange. He recently signed to Stones Throw Records. Patience is a new outlet for exploring further beyond the break than usual. Inspired by the music perpetually on rotation at HQ — with E2-E4 representing the format’s high tide mark — each release will be one artist’s deep dive down one inspirational wormhole spread across two sides of vinyl, or two side-long sojourns making full use of a round 12″ piece of plastic. Set and forget, zone out to tune in.

Record Label: 
Genre: 

Krokofant “Q” (Rune Grammofon)

2020-01-23T21:29:09+00:00January 23rd, 2020|

Includes CD. As David Fricke points out in his liner notes, this is not just another novelty guest-project, the Krokofant on Q is like a brand-new band. In fact, all the involved are so happy with this album that there’s more to come with a bunch of new material already written. After three albums in three years as a trio, and sensing the possible danger of being stuck in a formula, they all felt a need to try something new, taking the band one step further. Especially Tom Hasslan, guitarist and main composer, felt an urge to expand the canvas and sonic possibilities. Ståle Storløkken (Elephant9, Supersilent, Terje Rypdal) was the trio’s first choice for a keyboardist. He had seen Krokofant live in 2015 and, in his own words “had an instant kick”, so he said yes straight away. Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (Scorch Trio, The Thing, Atomic) had seen them the same year, and practically invited himself to join up at some time. Hasslan’s tunes are perfect vehicles for Storløkken to present the full scope of his playing; from sheer pastoral beauty to full on jazz skronk. The same can be said about Jørgen Mathisen, who is given ample room for soloing. By introducing Håker Flaten and his bass, work was lifted from Hasslan’s shoulders while a “proper” rhythm section was born, Skalstad and Flaten instantly bonding. Personnel: Tom Hasslan – guitars; Axel Skalstad – drums; Jørgen Mathisen – saxophones; Ståle Storløkken – Hammond organ and keyboards; Ingebrigt Håker Flaten – bass.

Artists: 
Record Label: 
Genre:  ,

Zatua “Sin Existencia” (Second Circle)

2020-01-23T21:29:09+00:00January 23rd, 2020|

Second Circle announce the latest release on the label comes from the Indonesian outfit Zatua with their debut release Sin Existencia. First formed by Dea Barandana, the seven-track album was recorded in Jakarta and Bali over two years and grew out of improvised live shows with a band Dea put together. Zatua first performed together in 2017 at the Goethe Institute in Jakarta as a last-minute addition to the bill, having only a week to prepare and rehearse. The live show would consist of material based on simple melodic ideas and extended sections growing into live jams. Taking material from Dea Barandana’s solo compositions the ideas were then further developed and re-structured by Dea and band members Harsya Wahono, Adra Karim, and Rafi Muhammad into finished pieces. Inviting further guest musicians to join on various tracks, the vocals were in fact largely improvised by Carmen Caballero Fernández and Sasha Sabrina — in French, Spanish, and Asturian. Using predominantly analog equipment, Sin Extistencia is the final outcome of an extensive exploration into the unique sonic ranges and musical fascinations of the various members of the band. Taking influence from Indonesian psychedelic music from the 1970s and ’80s the album presents a fascinating glimpse into contemporary Indonesian electronic music with a nod to its little known but rich past.

Artists: 
Record Label: 

BGM “Background Music” (Studio Mule)

2020-01-23T21:29:09+00:00January 23rd, 2020|

Studio Mule present a reissue of BGM’s Back Ground Music, originally released in 1980. The debut album from Japanese living legend, electronic music producer Takayuki Shiraishi. Released on legendary experimental music label in Osaka, Vanity Records, run by Yuzuru Agi when Shiraishi was high school student. Shiraishi was influenced by the music of post punk, new wave, kraut rock — this album is his unique mixture of that kind music style. One of the most in-demand alternative music albums from japan finally reissued. Remastered from original tape and mastering by Kuniyuki Takahashi.

Artists: 
Record Label: 
Genre: 

SPK “Zamia Lehmanni: Songs Of Byzantine Flowers” (Cold Spring)

2020-01-23T21:28:41+00:00January 23rd, 2020|

180 gram vinyl; 350gsm gatefold sleeve; includes download with “The Doctrine Of Eternal Ice”. Originally released by Side Effects in 1986, Zamia Lehmanni was the third (and final) core SPK album and was Graeme Revell’s first truly solo project. He was in a period of transition, somewhere between the industrial noise of the early years and his later award-winning soundtrack work. On the day before this was first released, this style of music, now ubiquitous (especially in soundtracks), did not exist. After Information Overload Unit (1981) cleared a space for subsequent explorations, and the environmental percussion and anchored mutilated sound collages of Leichenschrei (1982), the “body without organs” was fully eviscerated. Graeme felt “industrial music” was becoming ossified and needed to be taken into radically new territories: “post-industrial”. The track “In Flagrante Delicto” (mastered as originally intended here) was later used by Revell for his work on the soundtrack for the 1989 film Dead Calm, which won him Best Original Score from the Australian Film Institute. Unavailable in any format since Mute’s 1992 CD edition, Cold Spring Records now present this landmark album on newly remastered CD, and on vinyl for the first time since 1986. Approved by Graham Revell, this release comes with new artwork by Abby Helasdottir and is remastered by Martin Bowes (The Cage). New liner notes from Graeme Revell, 2019.

Artists: 
Record Label: 
Genre: 

Coil “Stolen & Contaminated Songs” (Cold Spring)

2020-03-02T07:04:44+00:00January 23rd, 2020|

Double LP version. 180 gram vinyl; glossy, 350gsm gatefold sleeve. Cold Spring Records announce the long-awaited reissue of Stolen & Contaminated Songs, Coil’s 1992 album. Stolen & Contaminated Songs was recorded and produced by Coil in 1992. It is comprised of over 60 minutes of outtakes and unreleased songs, evolved during the recording sessions for their prior album, Love’s Secret Domain (1991). A wealth of superb material showcasing the diversity of Coil: dark, violent, vivid, and fractured, yet cohesive and beautiful. Combined with the latest studio technology and Coil’s ever-evolving production skills, S&C Songs walks a fine line between tradition and innovation, continually creating semi-abstract soundscapes with a cinematic quality.

Artists: 
Record Label: 
Staff Picks:  ,

Nurse With Wound “Spiral Insana” (Rotorelief)

2020-03-07T06:53:34+00:00January 23rd, 2020|

Restocked; Double-LP version. 180-gram vinyl. Deluxe metallic silver gatefold sleeve. Limited numbered edition of 1000. Rotorelief inaugurates its Silver Collection with this deluxe expanded reissue of Nurse With Wound’s 1986 masterpiece Spiral Insana. One of Nurse With Wound’s most deep and mysterious recordings, Spiral Insana is more ambient and user-friendly than many other NWW outings, without losing any of its surreal edge. Stapleton and guests Robert Haigh and David Jackman mix prepared piano, percussion, loops, and various bric-à-brac into an hour-long collage of mashed-up sound, jarring juxtapositions, buzz-saw distortion, and even a pipe organ. If that sounds disorienting, that’s because it is. This edition marks the definitive release of the complete Spiral Insana sessions, with the contents of the original 1986 LP augmented by three recordings from the same period: “Mourning Smile” (originally released on the 1987 LP Drunk With The Old Man Of The Mountains and later included on the 1997 United Dairies CD reissue of Spiral Insana), “Nihil” (first released on the 1997 Spiral Insana CD reissue), and “A Missing Sense,” a 25-minute tribute to Robert Ashley’s Automatic Writing originally released as the NWW half of a 1986 LP split with Organum. Steven Stapleton: drums, cello, radio, guitar, bowed piano, percussion, loops, voice, tuba, organ, electronics; Robert Haigh: guitar; David Jackman: banjo, splutter, voice; Chris Wallis: acoustic guitar; David Tibet: trumpet; Diana Rogerson: voice; Andrew McKenzie: voice. Mastered by Denis Blackham. Cover art and pictures by Babs Santini. “Still stands as one of the clear highlights of Stephen Stapleton’s singularly daunting and mountainous discography. . . . Many of the varied interludes are noisy, fragmented, and somewhat abrasive, but there is always a playful sense of mischief lurking in the shadows, ready to blunder into the steadily darkening fever dream at any second. . . . a brilliantly skewed and excellent album that has not faded with age one bit.” –Anthony D’Amico, Brainwashed

Artists: 
Record Label: 

Chris Brokaw “End Of The Night” (Vin Du Select Qualtite)

2020-01-23T21:28:10+00:00January 23rd, 2020|

End of the Night was conceived based around a simple, yet extremely emotionally resonant concept. Late one evening the musician and myself were listening to records at home. After many hours it got to the point where everything became completely still, the silence permeating the walls, reverberating. We agreed to listen to one more record, but what would it be? What music could answer that existential quandary of the perfect last record of the night at home? Several years passed before the execution of the concept could take place but Chris Brokaw was collecting notes in the back of his mind the entire time. I suggested collaborators like Greg Kelley (on Chet Baker style trumpet, knowing Brokaw’s strong affinity for that player) and Samara Lubelski (whom he played with briefly in Thurston Moore and the New Wave Bandits). Bringing in guests such as Lori Goldston, David Michael Curry, Luther Gray, Jonah Sacks, and Timo Shanko, each track has its own unique combination of small group formations (duos, trios, quartets) very much like jazz, both in instrumentation and mood, if not style or standards. While Brokaw himself is a brilliantly narrative guitarist, known for taking collaborative projects he’s involved with to new heights, rarely has he opened his solo work to the same collaborative spaces as with his group projects. The result is a multi-hued, jazz-tinged instrumental record with a melancholy resolve and a deep blue/purple filter. Very much a product of his song writing and playing, End of the Night’s guests allow the guitarist to show his interplay and prowess in a variety of settings rooted around a common theme. The album art was done by Hollywood legend Sandy Dvore (Buffalo Springfield, The Cake, Partridge Family), who composed the drawing after hearing the album in full, directly inspired by the music, adding a visual element similar to the stylistic innovations of David Stone Martin.

Artists: 
Record Label: 
Genre: 

Fote “Fote” (Robot)

2020-01-23T21:28:09+00:00January 23rd, 2020|

Following the short-lived Truth Club with Trefor Goronwy (who later went on to work with This Heat and The Camberwell Now), Fote was formed in 1981 with the trio of Robert Haigh, Deborah Harding, and Trevor Reidy. Releasing two 12″ EPs along with one track featured on a split 7″ with Truth Club, Fote’s entire studio recordings consisted of just eight tracks. With angular constructs of post-punk, free-form improvisations, and wicked time signatures, these tracks shredded boundaries one can still hear to this day. These early foundations are also heard in much of Haigh’s later Sema compositions as well as Reidy’s motorik percussion with Nurse with Wound, Danielle Dax, and The Monochrome Set. Curiously, Harding’s vocal tensions and outright unhinged polarities in Fote sound like much of the exorcisms and brilliant psychodramas on many of Chrystal Belle Scrodd’s (Diana Rogerson) later solo albums. An absolutely essential document from the early ’80s independent British post-punk scene. Cut at 45 rpm for maximum fidelity, including all eight tracks, and featuring the original sleeve artwork by Deborah Harding.

Artists: 
Record Label: 

SQÜRL “Some Music For Robby Müller” (Sacred Bones)

2020-01-23T21:27:04+00:00January 23rd, 2020|

These recordings were made by SQÜRL to provide the score to the documentary film LIVING THE LIGHT by Claire Pijman. The subject of Claire’s film is Robby Müller, the unparalleled Dutch cinematographer and poet of light whose work includes: PARIS TEXAS, DEAD MAN, BREAKING THE WAVES, BARFLY, 24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE and at least 70 other remarkable films. He also produced many still photographs, like these luminous Polaroids on the jacket of this vinyl recording.

Claire Pijman is also Dutch, and also a cinematographer. Her film is, happily, not a conventional or formulaic documentary, but more a personal essay focused on Robby’s vision, his gathered images, and his approach to light, to storytelling and to life itself. LIVING THE LIGHT has now been screened at numerous important film festivals around the world, and was recently awarded the top prize for best feature documentary at the Netherlands Film Festival.

As SQÜRL approached creating music for Claire’s film, we attempted to be guided by the beautiful and illuminated elements of Robby’s spirit. We tried to channel his love of the special light during “magic hour,” his love of moving images – from trains and cars, the sadness of certain architecture, or the vibrant energy that can be felt emanating from all living things.

So here is Some Music for Robby Müller created by SQÜRL in NYC and inspired by Claire Pijman’s film, LIVING THE LIGHT, and of course by Robby himself; his perceptions, his wonderful presence, his mind, his heart and his twinkling, mischievous eyes — through which he communicated, and with which he surveyed the same illusive world still vibrating around us.

Artists: 
Record Label: 

Throbbing Gristle “Part Two: The Endless Not + TG Now” (Mute)

2020-01-23T21:27:04+00:00January 23rd, 2020|

TG Now, originally released in 2004, was the sound of Throbbing Gristle testing the waters, seeing how it felt to work together again. The 4-track limited vinyl and CD release was available originally to attendees of the RE-TG Astoria event in 2004, their first performance together since 1981’s US tour.

With Part Two: The Endless Not, the band returned to the studio after deciding they had unfinished creative business outside of the live arena. Released in 2007, over 25 years after their last studio album, the album was, as Tiny Mix Tapes put it, “…more of a rebirthing than a reunion”. Several live documents followed the album’s release, but the untimely death of Peter Christopherson in November 2010 meant that this would become the final Throbbing Gristle album, and 15 years since the reformation, all the albums included in this phase of the remastered reissues, Part Two: The Endless Not, TG Now and A Souvenir of Camber Sands, stand proudly within the influential catalogue and legacy of TG.

Record Label: 

Throbbing Gristle “A Souvenir Of Camber Sands” (Mute)

2020-01-23T21:27:04+00:00January 23rd, 2020|

A Souvenir Of Camber Sands is a live document of Throbbing Gristle’s ATP Nightmare Before Christmas performance at Camber Sands in Dec 2004, recorded by Live Here Now and originally available immediately at the show. Throbbing Gristle are renowned for their documentation of live performances, TG24 (which was reissued in 2002) and TG+ (released in 2004) collated their live recordings up until the band disbanded.

Record Label: 

Mr Concept “November” (Platform 23)

2020-01-18T21:49:52+00:00January 18th, 2020|

Concept City was a low-key release in 1985 that surfaced on Cordelia Records, an underground favourite for lovers of esoteric ruminations from bedroom producers tinkering with technology. That makes it no surprise this reissue of work from Mr Concept appears on Platform 23, the perfect home for such charming collages of sound recorded on lo-fi four track. The mood veers from track to track on “November” but there’s a generous nod to The Durutti Column in the lingering guitar refrains that appear on many tracks. The scratchy, stuttering samples take on a hypnotic quality in their manic triggering, all caked together on tape and now lovingly repressed for fresh, inquisitive ears

Artists: 
Record Label: 

Go to Top