It's been two years since Anders Ilar recorded his excellent Organza EP for Level Rec, and with Sworn he returns for a full-length outing. For this latest album, Ilar goes far beyond the ordinary parameters of music formatted around techno beats and delves into a far more involved electronica sound. Although tracks like opener 'Hillside' and the electroacoustically slanted 'Colours Of Rain' are keen to slap a kick sound on every crotchet, it could almost be an arbitrary gesture to signpost this music towards a comfortable genre classification. As with much of Vladislav Delay's more beat-driven work, there's a lot more to this than whatever's suggested by the drum programming, and some of Ilar's music shifts between adventurous abstraction and the kind of melodic elaboration most techno producers would consider to be surplus to requirements. 'September Nights' could be an old Arovane production but for its stringent 4/4 backbone. Otherwise the ornate, experimental approach to melodic development is straight out of the post-Autechre mindset. Importantly though, none of this sounds dated or out of place, instead carving out a rather unique corner of the electronic music universe that's all its own. Boomkat
ANDERS ILAR - Sworn
David Moufang's catalogue must be one of the deepest and most sprawling in electronic music - he has been involved with so many projects, for so many labels, with so many different sounds over the last 15 years that it's impossible to know where to begin - taking in elements of Techno, Jazz, Drone, House and ambient music along the way. In the last twelve months, though, he seems to have been discovered all over again by a new generation of music lovers and club goers taken in by his deep, inimitable style. His collaborative venture with Benjamin Brunn started out life on the Raster Noton related Bine imprint, but it's this amazing set for the lovely people over at Smallville that's really got pulses racing with anticipation. "Songs from the Beehive" features 7 extended tracks that take in disparate elements from across Moufang's career, merging them into an immersive wash of sounds that drive around padded beats designed for the floor, yet surrounded by sound fragments and tapestries rarely associated with Techno music. The opening "Love the one you're with" is a case in point, over 12 minutes the track evolves from a hazy stew of audio shrapnel and loose samples to a deep and bouncy Techno shuffle full of scattered keys and almost funked up changes. The fact that it takes the kickdrum almost 5 minutes to make an appearance tells you a lot about the pace and compositional attitude of these tracks - slowly taking time to unfold and unravel, revealing new dimensions with every repeat listen. Lead single "Honey" makes a welcome appearance, while the immense "Come In" exudes a breathless elegance that's all midnight keys and paralysed motion - it's just impossibly lovely. With really quite sublime artwork from Stefan Marx, this really is quite a treat for followers of Move D and great electronic music generally - we urge you to check it out. Boomkat
MOVE D & BENJAMIN BRUNN - Songs From The Beehive
Some time has passed now since Bertram Denzel and Erik Huhn's debut full-length, the epic 'Time is a Good Thing', and in the years that have passed their patented brand of textured, looping ambience has reached heady new heights of popularity. Denzel & Huhn's production methods are deceptively simple; songs are written and played with 'real' instruments, then deconstructed carefully into loops and small samples before being re-assembled and reformed, sculpted and fashioned into new compositions. Thanks to this process the resulting work is comparable to listening to the ghosts of music past; there are distant echoes of instruments crushed beyond recognition, eruptions of rhythm and rumbles of electronic excess - yet none of these elements take a firm grip, every element is like a layer of silt at the bottom of a gently moving river. You might hear for a moment a flute or a distant organ sound, a saxophone or string bass, but in seconds it's gone only to be pushed into the back of your mind, and the track has moved into a fresh direction. The opening track 'Kleiner Bruder' is a perfect example of this; opening up with the sort of grandiose strings we might associate more closely with Denzel + Huhn's City Centre Offices label mate Marsen Jules, but before long the electronic elements push the strings into submission to make way for a lightly plucked acoustic guitar that glistens with intimacy. Elsewhere 'Karlsruhe' blends noisy pads and ethereal bells with bowel churning bass and occasional spluttering analogue percussion to devastating effect - this is music which literally sounds like it has been put through a reel-to-reel machine so many times that it has degraded beyond all recognition, and it's all the better for it. Denzel & Huhn find beauty in disperate elements, a bric-a-brac shop of sounds made up of aural treasures that have been abandoned and unseen for so many years that they are draped in thick dust and an ageless charm. This is a record you can go back to time and time again and keep on finding new elements to digest, fresh surprises, a record that genuinely needs to be given a warm and loving home. It's the finest antique you'll buy this year. Boomkat
DENZEL & HUHN - Paraport
Until now best known as a member of experimental band Souvenir's Young America, Jonathan Lee of Richmond, Virginia makes his solo debut as Anduin with some considerable style. The tone of 'Forever Waiting' at least partly subscribes to certain aesthetic conditions that could be classified under the dark-ambient banner, but there's nothing here that wallows in the cloudy, post-metal atmospherics you might tend to associate with that increasingly popular sub-genre. Instead, Anduin's music permits a little light into all that shade, and while 'Rain Cloud, Storm Cloud' and 'Reason In Exile' prove impermeably bleak and muffled, elsewhere even the most sinister and downbeat passages of 'Makepiece in Pieces' are leant some modicum of brightness and accessibility thanks to piercing, reedy tones. In the album's latter stages the sound palette is broadened considerably by the recruitment of Jasper TX and Xela as remixers. The former's 'Reason In Exile (Part 2)' is produced with all the skill and craftsmanship evident on his recent Black Sleep album for Miasmah, combining a mighty sub-bass drone with beautifully filtered guitar phrases, all lovingly mangled and blurted out of the Jasper TX digital blender. Next up, on 'For Francis Bacon (Part 2)', is Boomkat's very own screaming pope: John Xela, blending unnervingly angelic falsetto with shortwave interference during the early passages only to unleash the full might of his noise generators in the latter stages, when all hell breaks loose. Eventually, the demonic squawking abates to reveal a murky, yet very melodic guitar progression, with more shadowy vocals floating around in the far-off distance. Boomkat
ANDUIN - Forever Waiting
Leading up to Death Of A Typographer, Olaf Bender unveiled the Plastic Star EP, arguably the most dancefloor-centric release in the entirety of the Raster Noton discography, featuring remixes from the likes of Sleeparchive, who perhaps for the first time in his/their career was just about the least minimal thing in the vicinity. A version of 'Plastic Star' is included on the album, sounding as much like Pan Sonic as it does the reductive clicks and whirrs more commonly associated with the Raster Noton sound. The big, distorted melodies (yes, you did read that correctly: melodies) are far more direct than you'd expect, while the beats remain brilliantly rigid and disciplined. 'Black Is Black' offers another perspective on this curiously approachable aesthetic, establishing an actual bassline - it's rather odd to talk about a Raster Noton album in such familiar terms, but sure enough, that's definitely a bassline. Two-parter 'Capture This' is different again, drawing on atmospherically charged drones and brittle percussive patterns, resulting in a production style that invites comparisons to Kangding Ray's more full-bodied variant on the post-clicks & cuts template, although there's no human presence here (nothing so frivolous as vocals or discernible instrumentation), and however far this music strays from the extremes of minimalism, it remains icy and distant. You really wouldn't want it any other way though. While Bender's production style encroaches on techno at times, it never gets bogged down with the structural conventions of any specific genre, instead only barely fraternising with the idea of dancefloor-based music - in a sense Death Of A Typographer offers a variant on the Raster Noton sound that's been stripped of its conceptual grounding, instead content to speak the same musical language as - for example - an Alva Noto release, without the emphasis on processes or working methodologies. Despite the apparent discrepancies, this album remains instantly identifiable as a Raster Noton product, reaffirming the notion that the Chemnitz-based imprint is more than a record label - it's a genre unto itself, and as one of its founding fathers, Olaf Bender has made an important contribution, occupying a sound that's at once familiar and yet somehow more immediate and more accessible than perhaps it's ever been. Boomkat
Byetone - Death of a Typographer
Deepchord's Rod Modell is a fascinating character, operating outside of any regular techno circles and in possession of a rich and genuinely beautiful back catalogue that has kept him away from the more predictable manoeuvres so many of his contemporaries have fallen into. His love of suggestive sound sources and analogue processes is clearly not born out of any "fashionable" urges, but a true and rich fascination with the sonic detritus that litters our world and the space above us, as far removed from the pristine machinations of Minimal techno as can be imagined. Modell has had a busy and highly productive 12 months and is now more visible than at any point over his decade long career, finding acclaim and appreciation via his involvement in releases for Echospace, Modern Love, Echocord, SYNTH and Silentes, but it is with this remarkable album for Plop that he appears to have sunk in to his most immersive and reductive frame of mind, producing a staggering series of frayed dub variations for contemplative and at times propulsive ingestion. The album opens with the incredible "Aloeswood", a stretch of rusting chords and found sounds filtered into oblivion, creating a kind of aural tension that builds and radiates a narcotic hum of distorion and space that sets the framework for much of the album's uneasy bliss. By the time "Cloud Over" kicks into life Modell is back in the presence of more traditional percussive arrangements and neon lights, but there's something impossibly fragile and uneven about the production here, like the mastertapes have been left out to slowly decompose and take on the elements, leaving almost audible battle scars that arrange themselves like rings betraying the age and struggles of a freshly cut tree. "Ultraviolet World" is another breathtaking layering of field recordings and machine made processes, with dense and impossibly woozy side effects slowly reconfiguring your perception through repetition and barely noticeable change, the mark of a confident and purposeful artist at the peak of his powers. If you're a follower of Modell's transmissions under his own and deepchord/echospace monikers you'll have an idea of what to expect from this wonderful album, but the development of sound and ease with which Modell treads on more obtuse terrain should also draw you in if you're one of the many people out there still in awe of the works of Thomas Köner and Wolfgang Voigt's peerless Gas project. Boomkat
ROD MODELL (DEEP CHORD) - Incense & Black Light
With a title translated as Into The Mouth Of The Wolf, John Xela's new album follows up the horrific soundsc(r)apes of The Dead Sea with an hour-long, four-part journey into the more sinister recesses of Christianity, traveling further and deeper than ever before into the dark heart of electronic sound. 'Ut Nos Vivicaret' embraces the distant, spectral sounds of church bells, submerged in a foggy environs, pumped full of Philip Jeck-style crackle and mustiness. Bowed strings entangle themselves with menacing, corrosive humming noises while nagging, primordial electronics rattle and pulsate in the mix. A direct continuation of all this, 'In Deo Salutari Meo' brings sounds from the far-off distance a little too close for comfort, with a range of rustily sonorous bell chimes shifting into the foreground, by now seeking accompaniment from the what sounds for all the world like the noise from the red generator in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. This is what dark ambient music should always sound like: not just a combination of muffled, creepy chords, but a collection of genuinely unsettling timbres, all seemingly rising from shards of everyday background noises, transforming into something entirely nefarious when combined with one another. 'In Misericordia' is a little harder on the ears, lurching onto the territory of noise-drone you'd hear from Hototogisu or Yellow Swans at their most lurid. These acerbic tones turn out to be a mere warm up for the final act however, and the closing twenty-minute crescendo 'Beatae Immortalitatis'. For this final piece Xela is joined by Heavy Winged's Jed Bindeman, who previously provided percussion on the Xela/MGR split release from earlier on in the year. The drums build up in a measured, nicely poised fashion, mirroring the escalating ferocity of Xela's bank of oscillators. As this maelstrom of free-roaming noise-rock comes to a head, the duo propel themselves to Flower / Corsano levels of agonising post-skronk, with screams, howls - and very possibly the gnashing of teeth - all resounding horribly as part of the din. In Bocca Al Lupo takes the guiding principles of The Dead Sea to the next level, displacing the maritime-gothic drones from their briny locale and relocating them to the upturned altars abandoned vaults of ruined churches. He might find himself sharing a corner of hell with Dan Brown for his 'colourful' re-imagining of the Christian doctrine on that somewhat dubious sleeve, but he's made a tremendous record along the way - a definite highlight within the already estimable Type Records catalogue. Boomkat
XELA - In Bocca Al Lupo
Hola a todos. Desde hace un tiempo, como algunos lo habrán notado y otros no, mis apariciones por estos parajes han sido escasas. Las excusas son las de siempre, mucho trabajo, poca inspiración, cansancio, otras herramientas de la web que llamarón más mi atención. Muchas cosas.
Ahora bien, me di cuenta que este blog, al que tanto cariño le tenemos con el Sr. Venter, es más que nada, un blog de música (increíble descubrimiento el mío). Que de alguna manera, los escritos (literarios?) y los posteos sobre cualquier novedad tecnológica, cinematográfica, editorial, televisiva, o lo que fuera, cada vez estaban más fuera de contexto.
Y esto no lo digo con ánimo lastimoso ni con ganas de recibir palmadas en la espalda. Simplemente creo que un blog que condense su temática, automáticamente amplifica su calidad y filtra mejor la llegada de sus lectores, entregando el material que se busca y no otra cosa.
Por esta razón decidí que ya era tiempo de abrir un nuevo blog. Uno en el que las historias estuvieran solas. Rodeadas de ellas mismas. Un desafío para intentar comprobar la supervivencia de la palabra.
Por aqui se queda Venter con su ancestral música, La presencia poco metódica de "El Club de la Serpiente" y ya veremos que otras cosas pueden ir sucediendo.
Resumiendo, voy a migrar algunos textos de Subsidio al nuevo blog, los que considere más interesantes o menos peores. Y voy a intentar escribir nuevas cosas.
Están todos invitados. Es por acá www.novelaria.com.ar
Nowhere is the first collaboration between Dutch jazz bass clarinetist and soprano saxophonist Lothar Ohlmeier and Isambard Khroustaliov, the alter ego of British experimental musician Sam Britton, who is more commonly known as one half of electronic entity Icarus. Ohlmeier studied music in Hannover and Amsterdam before establishing himself at the forefront of the Dutch improvised music scene. He has since collaborated with a wide range of jazz artists, including pianist Julia Sassoon and drummer Bart van Helsdinger, with whom he formed Azilut! in 2000. Now living in England, Ohlmeier continues to perform all over Europe. Meanwhile, beside his regular stint with Icarus, Sam Britton has been working on solo projects under his Isambard Khroustaliov guise, releasing a first limited CDR, entitled 8 Minutes, on the band’s imprint, Not Applicable, in 2002, followed by a collaborative effort with Italian-born percussionist Maurizio Ravalico, Five Loose Plans, in 2006. The fruit of three years of work, the five tracks presented here, culled from recordings made during a residency at the IRCAM in Paris and at various music festivals across Europe, demonstrate the increasing connections between traditional improvised music and modern forms. While similar collaborations have been flourishing in recent years, that of Four Tet’s Kieran Hebden and jazz drummer and percussionist Steve Reid being the most high profile, Ohlmeier and Britton create here a rich and vibrant sonic space within which they freely feed from each other. Ohlmeier’s clarinet is the main focal element throughout, in turn floating high above the sonic backdrop or simple source component for Britton’s intricate constructions. It is as if every possible sound had been extracted from the instrument, from its most common to its most visceral. The clickety-clicks of the keys, the surplus air escaping through the tone holes, the breathing of the wood become as many structural elements for Britton, who creates here a tapestry as finely detailed and diaphanous as the wind chime-like drapes crafted with Icarus in their wonderfully poetic I Tweet The Birdy Electric album. Here though, it is the organic nature of the instrument that commends attention. Both through Ohlmeier’s elegant flourishes and variations and Britton’s infinitesimal renderings, the clarinet comes to life, erupts in multiple forms, circles above and lingers below, lives deep within and far out, with only occasional external sounds (a prepared piano, most notably, on After Sunrise and Dusk as well as furtive found sounds) to widen the core soundscapes. The level of symbiosis between the two musicians is such that the boundaries of their respective interactions is at times blurred, but even when the roles are clearly defined, the work remains dense, coherent, and of very high standard, making this record an unmissable experience. themilkfactory
Seabear's Sindri Mar Sigfusson delivers his debut solo full-length for Morr, continuing his exploration of technicolour pop with a combination of wide-eyed Paw Tracks-style wonderment and a typically Scandinavian ear for a bit of epic tune sculpting, perhaps evoking similarly talented solo types like Loney, Dear or even Panda Bear now and then. Recent single 'Advent In Ives Garden' gets the album underway, reintroducing us to SIndri's eccentric grasp on melody, something that tends to be buried beneath several layers of orchestration when he's doing the rounds as part of Seabear. On Clangour you'll encounter excitable, quasi-psychedelic cuts like 'Lies', the Jens Lekman-meets-Stereolab lo-fi of 'The Jubilee Choruses' and even a bit of chugging Stranglers-inspired post-punk on 'Melt Down The Knives'. Keeping the good stuff flowing, there's something very reminiscent of Animal Collective on the romping 'We Belong' while towards the end of the record you'll hear reverberating Ronettes drum sounds teaming up with Belle & Sebastian-style arrangements on 'Carry Me Up To Smell Pine', leaving only the excitable processed acoustics of 'A Fire To Sleep In' to finish the album off. A very fine solo debut LP indeed. Boomkat
SIN FANG BOUS - Clangour
Sylvain Chauveau is one of those artists we hear mentioned a great deal, yet he has proven strangely elusive when it comes to tracking down his work. Best known (and easiest to get hold of) is his seminal Fat Cat album 'Un Autre Decembre' which set him up as one of the world's premier exponents of the electronic/classical sound, but Sylvain had already been releasing records long before that album hit the shelves. 'The Black Book of Capitalism' originally appeared in 2000 on the French DSA imprint and sadly never hit UK shores, but Type (Sylvain's new base of operations) have managed to put together a gloriously remastered and repackaged version for the wider world to hear at last. Those of you who have been enamoured with the artist's stark, minimal sound might be shocked at first to hear the variety on offer; 'The Black Book of Capitalism' is far from a mere classical record, and shows a breadth of sound never again seen in Sylvain's catalogue to date. From the mournful, delicate piano-work of 'Et Peu a Peu les Flots...' we are transported through a veritable sideshow of gallic musical expertise, with the doomy almost Bohren-esque jazz of 'Hurlements en Favour de Serge T.' and through a chiming fairytale with 'Derniere Etape avant le Silence'. There are almost traces of Angelo Badalamenti's work lost in the grooves here, with the gauzy world of European cinema seeping from every crack and punctuating Sylvain's compositions with both confidence and a deft humour. It might be over eight years old now but nothing of the album has been lost with time, it has matured with age, showing new depths and character with every year that has gone by. With 'The Black Book of Capitalism' Sylvain delivered his most widescreen work so far and it's an absolute pleasure to be able to hear it again in all its glory. Boomkat
SYLVAIN CHAUVEAU - The Black Book Of Capitalism
Not yet a quarter-century old, Lizzano, Italy’s Valerio Cosi has already made a significant stamp on the CD-R circuit. The talented saxophonist’s discography of limited-run mini-albums (from one-sided cassettes to 3” CDs and nearly every other quirky format in between), contributions and compilation tracks number nearly 40 deep with at least eight more reported releases before 2008 shuts its doors for good. And to top it all off, Cosi kicks off his five-year exclusive contract with the burgeoning jazz/experimental imprint Porter Records (Henry Grimes, Rashied Ali, Odeon Pope, Joe Chambers, Byard Lancaster, etc.) with a retrospective of his best tracks over the past three years. Despite the prominence of alto on Collected Works, Cosi’s saxophonic muse is obviously Pharoah Sanders. Like Sanders’ expressionistic tenor, Cosi regularly blends timbral distortions, fiery solos and moody melodies with Eastern atmospheres. And he takes it a few steps further; sitar-and-tabla ragas often act as mood setters as Cosi layers on tribalistic drums, tape manipulations, post-punk bass lines, krautrock synths and, of course, plenty of saxophone. And most importantly – as with Sanders’ late-’60s releases – Cosi understands how to use ostinato to breathe both texture and urgency into his deftly layered home-recorded opuses. The majority of Collected Works is re-mastered material pulled from his Foxglove and Students of Decay releases between 2005 and 2007. The songwriting is surprisingly mature for such a young musician, and he has a talented ear for stratal compositions. The variety of styles presented is also impressive. “I Wanna be Free” (originally entitled “I Wanna be Black”) is a successful attempt to combine the styles of Sanders and Japanese noise artist Maso Yamazaki. Over-modulating drums and korg synth sirens slowly bury tribal percussion rattling and Cosi’s reverberating sax squeals in a throbbing mess of noise. Later, “Lovely Blue Cream” sounds like Archie Shepp (or for a more contemporary comparison, Ken Vandermark) fronting a post-punk band thanks to the incessant fuzz bass line motoring the song. And though “Interstellar Trane” is obviously homage to John Coltrane and Rashied Ali’s duet Interstellar Space, it is much closer to Four Tet remixing an Art Ensemble of Chicago cut. Collected Works is an excellent introduction to the music of Valerio Cosi. He successfully marries the musical ideals of late-’60s/early-’70s cerebral jazz with the aughts’ unceasing love of home-recorded digital psychedelia. Not an easy feat. And at 23, the young Italian’s best work is surely still ahead of him.
The Southern Records Latitudes juggernaut thunders into town once more, this time driven by Kranky's very own Boduf Songs, aka Mat Sweet, who for the purposes of this release teams up with a couple of collaborators and strays slightly from his established sonic parameters, venturing into the realms of dark, cinematic drone for first piece ' Please Extract My Teeth With Your Rustiest Pliers (For Redemptive)', whose title is not only massively 'eww' inducing, but commits a grammatical felony at the end, rendering the whole thing a bit uneasy on the eye. Fortunately, it's far more pleasing to the ear, spanning twelve-and-a-half minutes with an absorbing, abstract passage of tonal stasis and screeching bowed cymbals. It's really good stuff, and not the sort of drone work you'd assign to a mere keen amateur. The second piece, 'That Angel Was Fucking Piss' (charmed, I'm sure) brings us back to a more familiar Boduf Songs trajectory, carefully laying out sparse and melancholic acoustic guitar passages, paired with hushed vocals and just a few extra instrumental elements to bolster the mix. Icy glockenspiel tones go some way toward subverting the pervading tone of grimness, and ultimately it all comes across as uplifting and elaborately baroque in its construction. Boomkat
BODUF SONGS - The Strait Gait
It's all in the wires. Praveen Sharma and Thomas Meluch (aka Benoît Pioulard) have met only a handful of times and have never resided in the same city, but over the course of two-plus years they have been quietly assembling Songs Spun Simla, a brief but luminescent collection of pieces driven by Praveen's inventive arrangements and Benoît's lush vocal harmonizing.
Praveen released his remarkable debut Backed by Spirits on the now-defunct Neo Ouija imprint just as Benoît emerged with the Enge EP on Michigan's Moodgadget label in early 2005. Through mutual contacts they found that each was an admirer of the other's work, and the seeds for a casual collaboration were sown. Not long after, Praveen returned from a profound journey through his family's native India with a minidisk full of field recordings and voices, forming the basis of opener "The Tunnel is Still There". As he continued creating new songs with an ever-expanding palette of instruments and digital effects, Benoît arranged lyrics and harmonies, driven by the unfamiliarity and excitement of the process. Various ideas arose concerning the fate of these works, but once a record's worth had been amassed, their friends at Music Related expressed interest in a proper release.
Songs Spun Simla is named in honor of the village in India from which Praveen's family originates - it's inseparable from his musical inspirations yet still distant and shaped largely by memory. His compositions exist on a fitting scale, then; from the stunning, expansive lead-in of "Death as a Man" to the incredibly detailed percussion of "To Scale", there's a sense of worldliness, history and nostalgia placed in a crucible with technology and innovation. Much like a travelogue, the six movements of Songs Spun Simla abut soaring highs with passages of quiet, intimate beauty to create a deeply affecting whole.
Benoît Pioulard and Praveen Sharma
2008 has been a landmark year for Minus, celebrating a ten year anniversary. Started by Richie Hawtin as an outlet for his own projects, the label has come to embrace a small, focused clique of like-minded artists who plumb the dark (and sometimes sexy) depths of minimal techno. Being honest, Gaiser’s productions have never grabbed me as much as label mates Heartthrob and False. There’s a subtle, difficult difference between an expertly crafted minimal track, and a boring loop repeated for far too long. Jon Gaiser (don’t the cool ones always have the neatest last names?) certainly had potential, and singles like Egress displayed a knack for funky rhythms, if not the most innovative of evolutionary track structures – a must for anything 4/4 and minimal. Blank Fade sees Gaiser kicking it up a notch, and is one of the best full-length albums under the M-nus label, sitting comfortably alongside False’s techno speedway, 2007. Listening to Fade, it’s apparent that what Gaiser takes in influence from Hawtin is equal parts Hawtin’s own tunneling pieces with incessant bass under his given name (a staple of he majority of M-nus releases), and Plastikman, the dilated master of echoes who has sadly only graced the noughties with one release. Holding out for the next big dark sprawling masterpiece, Blank Fade isn’t quite at the level of something like Plastikman’s Consumed, but it’s a breakthrough full of exciting little caverns of groove and blackness. The killer bass riffs are the meat on the percussion bones here. Ciliate With juggles metronomic synth blips over an eccentrically jolly sub-bass which, I’d imagine, reaches bowel-loosening factor five when unleashed in a live setting. I can imagine a skinny, art-damaged performer with a half-bang of bleached hair that bobs along in time to knob twiddles and “check this out” hand gestures when Ciliate pops on, and that is a fantastic sign. Whether Or Not flips from fluid to crunch; once again, that bass line could be on repeat for an hour and still not have progressed through its full minimalist potential. Only this time the percussion stomps in with handclaps like leaves on a forest floor, uncharacteristically in-your-face. The skinny hep cat just gave a mischievous little smirk before dropping those snare claps. Blank Fade is a surprising smack of hunger, adrenaline, and some kind of high octane that was previously unexpected from Gaiser. Trunkated, the single and standout track, is in fact tiring after its nearly ten-minute in length, but not because of any kind of boredom. No, it’s just that Gaiser won’t let up, and listeners are left to stare at tense white knuckles while the kitchen sink of reverb, phasing, blips bleeps meeps and creeps swims on by. Remember the tunnel of the mind scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey? Gaiser’s pulling the same trick, only the lights are a rhythmic collage of black, white, and electric grays. Words pop in on Fade at odd moments, appearing mostly as deconstructed and effect-washed phonemes. “I think you should take the whole” is the closest I can divine for the eerie voice on Face Down, and as for the whole what exactly, we aren’t meant to know. Rather, the sound of voices is more fodder for the heart palpitations and claustrophobic sweat. Blank Fade is sex in a ventilation shaft, metallic tastes and plumbed depths of disorienting whooshes and bumps. It’s a consistent, driving, and undeniably cool full-length record of minimal techno, a rare and impressive feat. Just try to breathe slowly and through your nose.themilkfactory
GAISER - Blank Fade
Written on Water consists of eight compositions which unsurprisingly center around piano. The package, in Crouton style, is stylish and atypical, completed with a care and aesthetic to design and presentation: the sleeve is letterpressed and delicately folded with a printed image framed and inserted on the cover. (It's also a hand-numbered edition of only 500.) The variety of each piece suggest to me that these recordings have been collected over a number of years with different ideas and goals in mind. There is something for a lot of different fans of styles however I'm hesitant to say this is a collection which will find the majority of people loving all of.
It opens deceptively with a very Philip Glass school of minimalism composition, the abrasive and rhythmic "Over Land." What follows are tunes which are far more peaceful, introspective, and almost personal sounding. A captivating tune like "Interior Device" wouldn't sound out of place on the United Dairies LP Valentine Out of Season, an album which, after years, I'm still anxious to hear restored from the original master tapes and issued on CD for the first time. The gorgeous "Persistence of Memory" and "New Harmony" sound to me like the most logical evolutionary step from this style, as the arrangement is sparse and each embraces a number of pauses while introducing very few treated sounds to accompany the piano at the forefront. The scale, tonality, and effects on "Persistence of Memory" are reminiscent of some of Harold Budd's works but it clearly is not a copycat piece, as repeated motifs suggest more that it is in touch with a mid 20th century piano style of Erik Satie. In between "Interior Device" and "Persistence of Memory" are two significantly more multitracked but completely different recordings. The title tune is a serene, moody, and cinematic piece while "Ein Form" is a song with abstract loops and counterpoint: here the piano dances with synthetic wind and percussive melodic instrument sounds. Its theme returns with slight alterations as "Eight Form" later on the disc.
Closing the album is the beautiful "Orbits" and an intoxicating unlisted ninth track (only on the physical release), the first of which echoes back to the pastoral sound of songs like "Interior Device," while the last bit almost comes full circle to "Over Land" with its repetitiveness, however it is not nearly as abrasive as the album opener.
I hope this is album is only the beginning of a reintroduction of Robert Haigh, stripped clean of the mechanicalism of his '90s output. While bloggers and bit torrenters enthusiastically share the solo and Sema recordings, I have found the quality to be absolutely dreadful, so with any luck the originals can be located and re-emerge soon as well.
Robert Haigh - Written On Water
Van los links del úlltimo programa emitido. Aun nos quedan dos programa más antes de terminar el año y serán una recopilación de lo mejor que ha sonado en el 2008. Gracias por estar.
It’s an exotic concoction indeed, combining as it does primal rhythms that spear their way directly to the primitive heart of mankind’s brain, creating a delicious friction between the base appeal of something quite untainted, untamed, and raw, and the fear of the alien and unknown elicited by the same. Even those not entirely aware of the significance of the band name, as well as the album and track titles, would still take from it a glimpse into a world of danger, primitive instincts, and precarious existences lived out against a wild—if brightly-tinted and draped—backdrop, where garish flashes of primary colors burst out amongst the dark leafy greens and woodiness, as if to say that appearances here are deceptive; despite the peacock finery of the some of the creatures here (both animal and human) alongside them comes brutality and unalloyed cruelty. Welcome, indeed, to the heady world of Tzolk’in.
Despite the fact that most of the sounds here are digitally generated, allied to breathy voicings and whisperings in addition to the sounds of alien life, there is an undeniable natural feel to everything, that the emotions and the shivers that freely flow up and down the spine are the result of extracts from the real world, that somehow Tzolk’in have been able to reach back through history and forcibly wrench huge chunks of jungle and historical authenticity into the light of modern scrutiny. Perhaps the premier epitomisation of that comes in the form of the track called “Sotz”, flowing from the deep bass rumblings, breathiness and mournful howlings of unseen and unidentified forest-dwellers, to the loping percussive pattern that eventually breaks out into a heavy rhythmic-industrial engine that impels the whole on a headlong rush, carrying the listener crashing through the undergrowth and greenery. All the while, allied to this, there’s a distinct feeling that this wild careening is a running away, that something massive and generally inimical to the personal health of humanity has got its hungry sights set on the audience.
One of the greatest, and most remarkable, assets about this production was its innate ability to place me right in the middle of the action. I did indeed feel as if I was there, wherever ‘there’ is meant to be, and that I was completely wrapped in an environment constructed from sound and rhythm. Alongside the aforementioned “Sotz,” mention must also be made of “Yaxk’in,” an equally dramatic piece dripping, literally, with hidden disembodied beasties, twilight-garbed forests, and a deeply embedded sense of unseen menace, all propelled along with a meatily gargantuan beat, the very dark heartbeat of the jungle itself. Ensuing from here, and just to round things off, is “Xul,” the brooding intelligence of the rainforest made tangible, a slow circular croaking supported by layers of tribal percussion, moving it forward and giving it substantial weight and menace, pinning us hypnotically in its thousand-yard stare.
Without any doubt, this is one of the better, in addition to being one of the more coherent, amalgams of dark ambient atmospheres, rhythmic and tribal industrial, and intelligent dance music to come my way – the sinister and dark atmospheres are admirably sustained throughout and do so without any let-up – and furthermore each track can be recommended as being of equal quality and interest, with not a duff note between them. Personally, I tend to find that such music generally blurs into one homogeneous whole after a while; and even though there's a definite and discernible aesthetic flavoring these pieces, Tzolk'in introduce enough range and variety to sharpen my attention to stop it from wandering. In other words then, I couldn't have done better than to just sit back and let the liana- and vine-encrusted mystery that is Tzolk’in completely enfold me in its leafy and darkly primitive embrace. Brainwashed
Murcof’s music has become increasingly orchestral in recent years. The subtle elegance of his first few releases, built around samples of contemporary classical music encased in fine layers of micro beats has progressively been replaced by altogether much more ambitious and vast forms. For his last album, Cosmos, released last year, Mexican-born Fernando Corona worked with recording of actual acoustic classical instruments which he then worked into vast pieces. The Versailles Sessions is not the follow up to Cosmos as such. In 2007, Fernando Corona was commissioned a series of musical pieces for Les Grandes Eaux Nocturnes, a yearly event which focuses on sound, light and water at the Chateau de Versailles near
MURCOF: The Versailles Sessions
Were it not for a chance meeting between two men on a airplane, more likely than not Ursula Bogner's entire musical oeuvre would have remained forever unheard. One of these men was Jan Jelinek while the other was Sebastian Bogner (Ursula's son), who through the course of some small talk and general chit chat revealed that his mother had spent 20 years dabbling in experimental electronic music unbeknownst to the rest of civilization. Her musical pursuits seem to have been relegated to being a mere hobby, something she would get up to in her spare time at home, tucked away in a makeshift studio. Bogner was a pharmacist by profession and a wife and mother at home, but it seems that there was something of a double life going on, and these fifteen tracks of fascinating experimentation reveal a talent that far exceeds her 'keen amateur' status. You mightn't necessarily think of all these pieces as musical compositions in the strictest sense, but rather sound designs and feats of engineering in the same sort of vein as Raymond Scott, although besides the wild and adventurous sonorities to be found in 'Metazoon' and the like, there are more conventionally structured pieces along the way, such as the comical electroacoustic jaunt 'Begleitung For Tuba' and 'Fur Ulrich' a piece composed for Ursula's husband's birthday. Although not always as overtly musical as her Radiophonic counterparts, it wouldn't be unreasonable to think of Bogner as a hausfrau version of Daphne Oram, or a Deutsch Delia Derbyshire, and her enormous talent deserves to be recognised by the widest possible audience. Sadly, Ursula passed away in 1994 and so never got to witness an electronic musician of Jan Jelinek's prestige celebrating her work. Better late than never though - highly recommended. BoomKat.com
With so much music released in the last eight years, it's not hard to imagine Baker having a diverse amount of rare songs in need of greater exposure. I Wish Too, To Be Absorbed collects MP3 downloads and songs from CD-R albums that I know about only because reliable discographies of Baker's work exist online. Despite the multiplicity of styles and approaches Baker utilizes, both discs flow with a logical and pleasing continuity that suggests a proper album more than a compilation. The track selection and running order have little other rhyme or reason; both discs jump backwards and forwards in time, skipping multiple years in favor of shared aesthetics and natural progressions.
Disc one begins with Baker's first release, Element. "Element #1" serves to establish a mood and does little more than rumble and hiss in a threatening, slightly brooding manner. The tolling of deep, distant bells provides a ritualistic tone that resonates throughout much of the collection. "K" follows this mass of sound and lightens the mood considerably, exhibiting Baker's less intense tendencies. Cello and violin are featured heavily during the first half of the song and it's difficult not to imagine Baker taking some inspiration from bands like Godspeed You Black Emperor!, Labradford, or even Rachel's. In a span of five minutes, the song's theme changes from one of memory and yearning to one of suffering and uncertainty. The strings on "K" disappear and the song resolves into a mess of scraping metal and unidentifiable clatter before ending and moving naturally into "Merge." These are the only two songs on the compilation that were originally featured on the same record, Wound Culture. This release was a book/CDr combo that dealt ostensibly with erotic themes in various forms; if "Element #1" set the tone for this disc, then these two songs add just a hint of sensuality to the record. Each of the following songs, whether they be ten or 20 minutes in length, bare traces of these first three compositions. There are hints of industrial influences on some songs and on others it's hard not to hear Baker incorporating shoegaze and krautrock stylings into his work. Whatever dress the music is wearing, it's always harboring a kind of sensuousness that isn't immediately discernible in all of Baker's music, especially not in Nadja. "Speed of Thought" ends disc one with a kind of jam-piece that sounds partly improvised, but also highly structured. It's perhaps the best song on the entire compilation and it represents a side of Baker's talent with which I am entirely unfamiliar. His pseudo-ambient, pseudo-metal, pseudo-drone projects receive plenty of attention, but this post-rock amalgam of a song has me completely spellbound. Hopefully Baker hasn't abandoned this approach and will be releasing more music like it.
Disc two collects the kind of music that I think must be most associated with Baker's solo output. Each of the five songs are long, abstract pieces with highly cinematic qualities. The focus on disc two is long, rolling sounds, muddy bubbles of synthesizer noise, and slowly developing melody. Both "Melusine" and "Esken (Bonedweller)" are mostly quiet pieces that thrive on minutiae and the mysterious qualities of hazy samples. Though definitely reliant on guitar, both songs are rich with tiny details that I can't imagine an electric guitar producing: there are sputtering motor-boats slowly sinking off foggy shores, foot steps tapping down long, ageless corridors, and gelatinous washes of bass-heavy noise creeping in and out of these songs to great effect. The title track is perhaps the most bizarre of all the songs and features a number of samples and tape loops oddly familiar to my ears. I'm nearly certain that a fraction of Autechre's "VI Scose Poise" (from Confield) is utilized on "I Wish Too, To Be Absorbed." The beginning of the song is laden with cut up, completely disproportionate samples that skip, jump, and skew the ocean of underlying guitars and synthesizers that populate the majority of the track. Bird calls, percussive glass, and mumbled vocals emerge towards the end of the song, but this array of sampling is far less manic than the rhythmic jumble that got the whole thing going. The rest of disc two is a quiet, almost-ambient affair that follows the lead of "Melusine" and "Esken (Bonedweller)."
In a way, I Wish Too... serves two functions: it highlights a number of Baker's musical styles and it functions as two complete and independent records. Both discs have natural peaks and valleys and both discs present a variety of Baker's musical approaches. Though I doubt that this release was meant to serve as an introduction to Baker's solo output, it fills that role perfectly and with a lot of class. I've heard plenty of good compilations and retrospectives before, but I Wish Too... goes above and beyond because it manages not to sound like a collection or retrospective at all. (Brainwashed) (brainwashed extract)
Aidan Baker - I Wish Too, To Be Absorbed
It's actually something of a surprise that Ezekiel Honig hasn't released something on Anticipate sooner than this, but Surfaces Of A Broken Marching Band does in fact mark the debut outing for the producer on this, the label he runs. Arriving as a follow-up to 2006's Scattered Practices, released on Microcosm Music, this album is conceived as the sound of a band that's been dismantled and put back together again in a different shape, with the smaller, incidental background noises taking up the foreground while the soft patter of dissolved beats seems to drift off into the middle distance. Honig's attention to detail is just staggering over the course of 'Porchside Economics', seemingly filling up acres of space with droves of delicate sonic minutiae all moving around in a carefully choreographed pattern. This is ambient music that brings together the precision engineering of a Biosphere record with the scale and emotional resonance of a Stars Of The Lid release. Elsewhere, 'Displacement' swells with vaporous drones and shuffled piano chords while 'Material Instrument 2' conjures an incredibly vivid sense of location thanks to some lively field recordings, all leant an extra gravitas by an evocative and impressionistic use of digital manipulation and submerged tones. It's hard to put your finger on exactly what makes Surfaces Of A Broken Marching Band such a freakishly good ambient record, but its success must be at least partly attributable to the immersive depth of Honig's ornate production style. Brilliant, and the sort of record you could recommend to just about anyone with an interest in electronic music... (Boomkat)
Ezekiel Honig - Surfaces Of A Broken Marching Band
El próximo 24 de noviembre viviremos el regreso del austriaco Christian Fennesz, que vuelve de su retiro después de más de cuatro años sin dar señales de vida musicales en formato disco. Black Sea es el nombre de su regreso, una obra que, según el propio artista ha sido creada con “guitarras acústicas y eléctricas, sintetizadores, ordenadores, electrónica de todo tipo y aparatos de improvisación de loops en directo. Aunque a lo largo de este tiempo han sido varios los discos que recogían varias actuaciones en concierto de Fennesz, Black Sea será su primer trabajo desde Venice, el disco que tuvo la difícil tarea de suceder al grandísimo Endless Summer, la obra maestra del austriaco y uno de esos álbumes que te quitan la cera de los oídos y que te hacen darte cuenta de que hay cosas que nunca te has planteado que podrían gustarte que sí lo hacen. El disco tendrá en cd dos canciones más que en vinilo (supongo que por duración y no por estrategia, ya que sería muy raro en los tiempos que corren defender el cd, aunque cualquiera sabe) y ya hemos podido escuchar algún tema.Por ejemplo, ahí está esa ‘Saffron Revolution, donde sigue la pasión por las atmósferas licuadas de My Bloody Valentine para no tardar en darse un paseo por la distorsión pura y dura, el ruido blanco y la electrónica más experimental. Fennesz parece en buena forma, no hay duda. La foto de la portada del disco es un impresionante paisaje por Jon Wozencroft.
El tracklist de la versión cd es el siguiente:
02 The Colour of Three
03 Perfume for Winter
04 Grey Scale
06 Glass Ceiling
08 Saffron Revolution
El programa sigue su curso natural. Zigzagueante y efímero en el aire desértico de esta ciudad. Venter y yo seguimos sonando y bebiendo y escuchando.
El problema es la desidia, el desencuentro con el teclado, la ausencia primordial de nuestros dedos y nuestros ojos.
Y bueno, entre tanto cansancio de fin año que nos muerde los huesos, entre posibilidades y quizáses, me decidí a postear un programa, el último.
Aislado y encendido como una fogata en plena montaña.
Ahí va. A ver que les parece.
The Caretaker es un proyecto musical de de James Kirby, músico y diseñador nacido en 1974, mas conocido por su proyecto infame V/VM, que predomina más por la provocación total que por la calidad en sí misma. Kirby poseé una infinidad de lanzamientos y utilización de pseudónimos, pero The Caretaker sin lugar a dudas es el que alcanzó mayor respeto y aceptación por parte de la crítica ultra especializada. Kirby es el alma mater del sello V/Vm Test Records (en su sitio encontrarán mucha información y acceso a varias descargas gratuitas). En 2008, además de sacar su Persistent Repetition of Phrases con el pseudónimo de The Caretaker, Kirby también lanzó el álbum Bleaklow con su otra cara esquizoide denominada The Stranger, donde el sonido es mucho más agresivo y pleno de oscuridad. La forma de componer The Caretaker es muy simple: utiliza drones, loops y samples extraídos de vinilos antiquisimos y juega con la superposición de ruidos y pedazos instrumentales donde estos siempre aparecen lejanos, remotos, imperceptibles, tal vez irreconocibles, como recuerdos vagos de algo que no se distingue jamás. The Caretaker en realidad hace una especie de Performance de
La vida del tamaño de la psicosis fué el excelente debut de los Fun Years en el año 2007.
Estos norteamericanos me han caído muy bien, demasiado y bienvenidos, son Isaac Sparks (todo tipo de efectos y ruiditos que nos gustan) y Ben Recht (guitarras cuasi ambientales y a veces no parecen una guitarra) . Este dúo crea increíbles ambientes ambiguos, oscuros, eclipsados, donde pareciera que han bebido y superado la calidad de Fennesz, The Gentlemen Losers, Machinefabriek y Philip Jeck. Los muchacos quizás se encierran en un establo en medio de la desolación inhabitada del desierto o del ártico y se dedican como científicos a improvisar los sonidos que están del otro lado de lo material, tocan con el espíritu de los objetos. Nada está libre de ondas sonoras y los chicos de Fun Years le sacan sonidos hasta las montañas cansinas de mantener la misma figura secular.
Como cuando Huxley percibia que los cuadros tomaban vida, los F Y convierten todo lo inmaterial en vida sonoro.
Atrapados en la nostalgia de la perfección cuasi académica logran la escencia del hielo, bucles infinitos donde una vez procesado por el cerebro adquiere todo forma tangible.
Un disco para disfrutarlo sin ningún estímulo exterior, sólo hace el efecto hipnótico.
The Fun Years - Life-Sized Psychoses
Amigos de Subsidio y El Club de La Serpiente les obsequiamos un megapost de trabajos difíciles de hallar en la virtualidad o mejor expresado fáciles de ubicar pero que difícilmente los busques.
Muchos Drones, poca info, pero la info en sí es la música. Así que todos felices.
Home Listening / Modern Classical
Amplifier Machine - Her Mouth Is An Outlaw 2008
Psico / Drone / Metal
Since their emergence in 2007 from the wilds of Northern California as Starving Weirdos, the duo of Brian Pyle and Merrick McKinlay have been one of the experimental underground’s most consistent (and consistently undervalued) entities. A seemingly bottomless stock of recordings and, more importantly, an unerring hand with editing and arranging, mean that their discography, large though it may be, is full of highlights. This solo debut by Pyle, sharing everything the Weirdos do well, is another one.
The Weirdos’ music is successful because it occupies many moods and many perspectives on sound-shaping. It is just as evocative of harsh industrial landscapes as it is of awe-inspiring natural scenes. It could be classic studio electronica (think Stockhausen’s "Kontake") or modern-day DIY drone and noise. It harnesses dissonance like avant-garde chamber music for strings and explodes with dense energy like the best free jazz.
Because their music gives off such disparate interpretations, it’s easy to think of their finished pieces as intuitive, but they are too well-balanced and paced to not be designed. And, in another similarity to electronic composers, this is exactly how the duo works: amassing huge sound libraries, then assembling, editing and transforming later. Pyle’s sound arsenal might be sightly more stripped down than the Weirdos – limited mostly to bowed metal, distorted guitars and miniature percussion – but he delves even deeper into trance-inducing repetition and dissonant harmony. The title track is a study in mannered, tension-building pacing. On "Mud Banks Shine in Broken Shards," Pyle produces a broad, fearsome chord, a sustained burn of reeds and sizzling, extended high-frequency tones. Balancing out all the drone and drift are three brief rhythmic interludes that not only quicken the record’s pace, but suggest some promising new directions for the Weirdos.
Pyle is very good at blurring the origins of his sounds just enough so that his music does the only thing that really matters with music that aspires to mind-altering status – it evokes a palpable sense of the unknown. The percussion that keeps "In Each Cracked Shell There Is Restless Time" in constant motion could be a field recording of (some natural process), a single percussive texture chopped-up, sampled and sequenced, or a whole a chorus of drummers. The point is, you never know. "Fire," with its long stretches of fire recordings creating a crackling, very alive background, is a bit more obvious, but it gives a glimpse of how Pyle hears, how he finds patterns in random events and foregrounds them until they have their own bold presence.
So, At the Foot of Nameless Roads is another winner for the Weirdos camp, but is releasing consistently good records enough? Where is the record that really blows the top of your head off? What could a piece like "Light Reflects as Seagulls Dive" become? There are real possibilities lurking inside it, but it’s brief running time means it remains only suggestive. This is perhaps the real problem with the very prolific, genuinely creative artists – like the Weirdos – working in the underground today: Intriguing ideas appear continually, but the music always seems to stay in the realm of the possible, always becoming and never being. So, by releasing so much music, are acts like the Weirdos working against themselves, putting process over a more refined final statement? McKinlay, and especially Pyle here, do better than most at maintaining an engaging, exciting level of quality. But can they maintain that level, or even push it higher?
Ensemble Economique - At The Foot Of Nameless Roads (2008)
Drone / Home Listening / Modern Classical
'Krautrock' and 'kosmische muisk' have to be the two most overused phrases in any press release or review currently circulating in the field of electronic music or avant-rock. Perhaps more than ever before, everyone wants to sound like Harmonia, Cluster, Neu! Or Can. Inevitably, a Kranky artist is bound to occupy the more abstract, drone-based end of that current trend, and Joseph Raglani fits that bill. There's a high fidelity crispness to all this that's comparable to more contemporary acts, and you might hear the luminescent synth tones of Emeralds, or even the carefully tweaked analogue signals of a Keith Fullerton Whitman outing in the likes of 'Rivers In'. Taking a more full-blooded electroacoustic slant, 'The Promise Of Wood And Water' combines oscillator discord with flurries of processed acoustic guitar, capturing Raglani's music at its most detailed and developed. But it's not all so... civilised. 'Washed Ashore' is an exemplary analogue noise workout, not dissimilar to the sort of thing heard on the Merzbow/Jim O'Rourke/Carlos Giffoni triple header, Electric Dress. Highly recommended.
Raglani - Of Sirens Born (2008)
Psico / Drone / Metal / Modern Classical
Italian saxophonist and electroacoustic performer Valerio Cosi releases Heavy Electronic Pacific Rock as his first proper CD outing and by far the most widely available recording in his catalogue to date. The twenty-minute opening piece - titled 'Study For Saxophone And Electronics (Dedicated To Roberto Donnini)' - is especially arresting, layering and repeating saxophone phrases in its early stages, rendering Cosi as a one-man Philip Glass. After four minutes or so, the layers fall away to reveal a single slowed-down sax phrase, on top of which synth drones begin to amass, leading up to loosened up, miasmic soloing sounds that eventually consume themselves in a wash of noise and spoken recordings. It's an awesome piece of work and the remainder of the disc doesn't quite manage to hit the same highs, although the three pieces are still of a very high standard, each trying out new sonic configurations, whether the sustained tensions of 'A New Vipassana' or the atmospheric motorik rhythms of the (at least partially) self-explanatory 'Proud (To Be A Kraut)/A Burning OM: Reprise'. The final piece, whimsically titled 'North Pole Vibes' pairs a free-roaming lead sax with a bed of droning electronic permafrost. It's one of those rare instances in which avant-garde, microsound style composition combines with fluent musicianship without either element suffering, and it provides a fitting summary of what makes this hugely impressive album so outstanding. Boomkat
Valerio Cosi - Heavy Electronic Pacific Loop (2008)
Psico / Drone / Metal
The dark lords of doom are back, make no mistake and this time they have taken their sound even further into the annals of religious history performing in an old church in the Norwegian city of Bergen. Yep, the black metal new boys have gone back to the genre's spiritual home to show the locals that Americans can be just as dark as their Nordic compatriots, and in the hometown of Varg Vikernes, they're some locals. O'Malley and Anderson aren't on their own though, they come with a posse of collaborators, most notably Mayhem's Attila Csihar (adding theatrical vocals) and Norwegian noise God Lasse Marhaug but it's regular earth collaborator Steve Moore who really makes his presence known taking control of the church's mammoth organ. The opening track 'Why does thou hide thyself in clouds?' makes best use of this with the sweltering tones echoing through the thousand-year-old walls as Csihar utters his Satanic prose. It might not be quite the Sunn O))) we're used to, but this is a suitably theatrical introduction to an ambitious collection of tracks. From here we move back into familiar territory however, with the church acting as a giant resonator for the band's bass drones and noisy flourishes; the half-heard orchestral drone of 'Cannon', the giant throb of 'Cymatics' and the heady tidal wave of 'Masks The Aetmospheres'. Sure it might not show the band taking giant leaps in terms of sound, but there's simply nobody else out there nailing the drone sound quite like Sunn O))), and to hear them making this sacrifice to their Norwegian forebears is a grim pleasure from beginning to end. Apparently the record is going to be released on vinyl only, and past the initial pressing is never going to be reissued, so if you want one of these you'd better be quick, like everything Sunn O))) related it's not going to be around for long! Boomkat
Sunn O))) - Domkirke
Home Listening / Modern Classical
This Fantasma Parastasie sees Canadian musicians Tim Hecker and Aidan Baker fuse together in a constantly shifting surge punctuated throughout with barks, growls and excited panting in the dark from Hecker’s seemingly endless store of electronic distortions and Baker’s fractured instrumentation, which ambles to the rhythm of madness, joy and sheer exultation.
Phantom On A Pedestal supplies the first rumble of revolutionary thunder, opening with an astonishing array of guttural squeaks, burps, groans, and gasps: what sounds like their very souls were straining to burst free. With each successive segment, the piece only grows in its punishing density, and the tightly orchestrated workouts for desiccated and freeform guitar stabs and highly charged electronic thrusting positively ripples with psychosexual undercurrents.
What follows generally carries on and develops these orientations, but isn’t quite as assaultive. Instead, they are fleeter, and more musically diverse. Many of the remaining seven movements ping and eddy with bursts of static, hiss and crunch that slowly disperse themselves and are largely deployed with a sensitive hand and a general feeling of concern for the listener. Now and again, Baker even navigates an arco melody through Hecker’s granular harmonic shoals, further impressing the dynamic and emotional range of these works.
A crisp articulation of attack thereby manages to steer these movements safely through several disparate ports of call. Small wonder, as the materials germinate in the soil, not the screen; in a face to face encounter marked by a consummate reciprocity which inserts these two individual players into a shared operation of which neither is the clear creator. As though something were therefore at stake, the two elicit exciting, edgy performances that never call on all their resources, but always give off the impression that more is hiding away. http://www.themilkfactory.co.uk
Aidan Baker & Tim Hecker - Fantasma-Parastasie