While you’d think as we inch towards November and the Xmas shopping season, new releases would start to taper off, but it really doesn’t seem that way. Loads in again this week and the next few weeks have some MASSIVE releases coming out. Keep an ear out, cuz there’s gonna be a lot to cram in there.
…..pick of the week…..
Roberto Musci/Giovanni Venosta: A Noise, A Sound (Soave) LP
Soave present a reissue of Roberto Musci and Giovanni Venosta’s A Noise, A Sound, originally released in 1992. The third episode of the alchemical association between Roberto Musci and Giovanni Venosta, reprinted for the first time. This work seems to be even more enigmatic than the previous ones. The “plunderphonics” style of the compositional process, significant to allowing a technical experimentalism of inexhaustible variety of materials used (compendium of sounds, harmonies, ethnic timbres) and the infinite possibilities of assembly between non-sense and provocation, still remains. You might be almost stimulated to guess — in the articulated sound architectures of the tracks — every single fragment of popular or cultured music from every part of the world (Asia, Africa, Middle East, South America) related to the ad hoc inserts of polyphonic instrumentation distorted and dazed. The music expressed is basically a polyhedral pataphysical gaze on the complexity of the existing, an immersion in the contradictory forces of reality; the attentive listener will be able to recognize the tortuous and magical lines of a free and imaginative artistic creation, which is absolutely counter-current and unconventional. Comes in gatefold sleeve.
Francois Bayle: Electrucs! (Transversales Disques) LP
Transversales Disques present Electrucs!, a new release of never-released music by Francois Bayle. On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the GRM, composer Bayle introduces some of his unpublished archives; pieces include the title composition, “Electrucs !” (1974) composed on a 1970s Synthi AKS synthesizer like an imaginary soundtrack, “Foliphonie” (1974) inspired by La Grande Polyphonie (1978), and “Marpège” (1995), dedicated to Bernard Parmegiani. Also included is “Cinq Dessins En Rosace” (1973). Born in 1932 in Tamatave, Madagascar, where he lived for 14 years, Bayle is a major figure of electro-acoustic music and member of Pierre Schaeffer’s historic Groupe de Recherches Musicales (GRM), formed in Paris in 1958. In 1975, the GRM was integrated with the new Institut National de l’Audiovisuel (INA) with Bayle as its head, a post he held until 1997, bringing invaluable contributions to the opening of musical research in these original innovative institutions. Ever since his first productions, L’expérience Acoustique (1971) Bayle has developed through a great variety of formats and designed the Acousmonium, a sound diffusion system used originally by the GRM. He also originated the record series Collection INA-GRM, and continues to organize concerts and support the development of technologically advanced musical instruments (Syter, GRM Tools, etc.).
Beta Band: s/t (Because) LP/DLX LP
Because Music presents a reissue of The Beta Band’s 1999 self-titled debut. Arguably one of the most acclaimed and loved bands of the past 20 years, by both fans and their musical peers alike, The Beta Band formed in St. Andrews, Scotland, in 1996. Innovative and singular, their unique musical and aesthetic approach to everything they did set them far apart from their musical contemporaries. Together for a relatively short period of time, the three albums and three EPs they released between 1996 and 2004 would nonetheless help define them as one of the most exciting and cherished bands of their generation. The Beta Band followed 1998’s critically acclaimed compilation The Three E.P.’s. With high anticipation for The Beta Band, the band originally planned to record the album in four separate continents, but financial constraints slimmed the recording locations down. However, the album was still recorded in a variety of locations and pulling inspiration from sources as diverse as Jamaican reggae, Disney’s The Black Hole (1979) and Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart”. The band also originally intended the album to contain a bonus disc of two long-form ambient pieces, “Happiness and Colour” and “The Hut”, both of which lasted over 20 minutes and represented the band’s desire to “make a record of sound as a description for something like happiness, where a distinct first part gives way to a distinct second part”. However, the band and label ultimately decided to remove these tracks from the original album prior to release; for this edition they have been restored as a bonus disc.
File Under: Rock, Pop
Ursula Bogner: Recordings 1969-1988 (Faitiche) LP
Faitiche is ten years old. October 2008 saw the release of Ursula Bogner – Recordings 1969-1988, for which the label was created. While working as a pharmacist, Ursula Bogner experimented with electronic music, undiscovered, for over three decades. When Jan Jelinek first heard Bogner’s work in 2008, he was enthusiastic. The resulting album, compiled by Jelinek from Bogner’s extensive oeuvre, is being reissued in a remastered version to mark the label’s tenth anniversary. This new version also includes four bonus tracks that were previously only available on a 7″ single. Jelinek on the music’s initial discovery: “It seems incredible that Bogner’s musical talents should have remained undiscovered, but in view of her biography, this might have been inevitable. I met Sebastian Bogner, Ursula’s son, on a flight, and the usual small talk led to the topic of his mother, who ‘liked to play around with synthesizers’, albeit purely on an amateur level. Among her acquaintances, it was considered an eccentric hobby and not paid a great deal of interest. Bogner’s life seemed simple and bourgeois to the core: she was a pharmacist, wife and mother. This situation made her obsession with electronic music all the more bizarre – an obsession that saw her build her own home studio. Throughout her early twenties, she followed the activities of Studio für elektronische Musik, attended seminars by Studio founder Herbert Eimert, exhibited enthusiasm for Musique Concrète and later shared her children’s enthusiasm for new wave. Nevertheless, Bogner never involved herself in any scene, never made her music public. Her compositions, betray few signs of esotericism; they are closer to studies and sketches, humorous and almost silly, rather than tied to any particular school. Nevertheless, it is remarkably hard to grasp or classify her work as a whole. Over the course of 20 years, she dabbled in many different styles, leading to a bewildering variety of titles. In the late 1960s, Bogner started to record her own music on reel-to-reel tapes. Covering a fairly short period of her creative career, this music conveys a peculiar coherence in both form and content, a coherence that reflects her accessible, rhythmic and sometimes even poppy side. My own preference played a part in the selection process, but a further compilation is already in the works. I hope that listeners will enjoy the same exhilaration I experienced on discovery of Ursula Bogner’s music” Gatefold sleeve, includes download.
The Caretaker: Everywhere at the End of Time – Stage 5 (History Always Favours the Winners) LP
The penultimate release in the series, Stage 5 of The Caretaker’s Everywhere At The End of Time charts severe levels of musical/mental deterioration and sensory detachment through four extended, smudged and hallucinatory side-long pieces. Nearing the end, Stage 5 sees our protagonist enter a near-permanent state of confusion and horror. Mirroring the endemic deterioration of dementia’s latter phases, one is pulled through the most extreme entanglements in the series so far; repetition and ruptures, barely maintaining a connection to waking life and a sense of self. In the most classic sense, one becomes witness to an abandonment and dissolution of ego, as the mulch of bygone 78s totally loses itself in a way that connotes misfiring synapses failing to properly relay information at advanced levels of the disease. It feels as though one’s skull is being scraped out, uncovering hellish layers of accreted sensation and mulched imagery, occasionally recognizing calmer patterns, only for them to fray into the ether before it’s possible to parse and dwell on them. At this point it’s also perhaps worth pointing out the uncannily profound synchronicity between the timelines of Everywhere At The End of Time and Brexit, which both started in 2016 and are due to wrap up in spring 2019. It should be no stretch of the imagination to read into their parallel progression from nostalgia and historic/collective amnesia, to progressive dementia and complete obliteration of (the) sense(s). Mastered and cut by Lupo, artwork by Ivan Seal.
Loren Connors: Unaccompanied Acoustic Guitar Improvisations Vol 10 (Blank Forms) LP
Before the spectral, romantic electric guitar miniatures for which he is celebrated today, Loren Connors recorded a string of nine solo acoustic guitar improvisations under the name of Loren Mazzacane between 1979 and 1980. The records feature Loren’s contorted impressions of Delta and country blues, persistently kneaded into sidelong guitar excursions entangled with wordless, mournful vocal utterances, hummed and moaned in imitation of the dogs that often howled outside his window. Originally released on Loren’s own Daggett Records (named after the street he lived on in New Haven), these LPs slipped into obscurity after Daggett’s distributor went bankrupt, forcing the guitarist, who didn’t have a car, to dispose of their unsold stock rather than drag the records home without transportation. Now, thanks to a recording found by Unseen Worlds’s Tommy McCutchon in the archives of Columbia University, Blank Forms presents the tenth volume of the series. Recorded in Woodstock, in front of a live audience at the Creative Music Studio (the improvised music nonprofit founded by Karl Berger, Ornette Coleman, and Ingrid Sertso), Unaccompanied Acoustic Guitar Improvisations Vol. 10 provides a welcome addition to the canon of Loren’s early solo releases and is the first contemporary vinyl publication of material from his Daggett Street period. As with the original Daggett records, the LP is issued in handmade covers with paste-on art featuring a replica of a recent drawing included in Loren’s October 2018 art exhibition Wild Weeds, presented by Blank Forms. One of the world’s most singular guitarists, Connors is among few living musicians whose prolific body of work can be said to be wholly justified in its plenitude. On more than 100 records across almost four decades on labels like Table of the Elements, Drag City, Ecstatic Yod, and his own Daggett Records, Connors has wrung distinctive shades of ephemeral blues from his guitar, its sound ever-shifting while remaining unmistakably his own. From his early, splintered take on the Delta bottleneck style through his song-based albums with Suzanne Langille and on to the painterly abstraction that defines his current work, Connors has earned the admiration of many, leading to collaborations with the likes of John Fahey, Jim O’Rourke, Keiji Haino, Kim Gordon, Thurston Moore, Alan Licht, and Jandek. Creative Music Studio is an ongoing organization that engages musicians and listeners from all backgrounds to deepen and broaden their musical sensitivity, expression, and understanding through workshops, recordings, and concerts worldwide.
File Under: Guitar, Ambient
Mike Cooper: Tropical Gothic (Discrepant) LP
It’s 2018 and it’s time for some new discoveries into Mike Cooper’s limitless exploration in his collection of guitars. The title itself, Tropical Gothic references Cooper’s beloved areas of “the South” with a Gothic, dark, remote interplay… he explains: ”Tropical Gothic includes, but is by no means limited to, a reflection on a region where European colonial powers fought intensively against indigenous populations and against each other for control of land and resources.” On each side, Mike Cooper studies different approaches to his method of uniting guitar and field recordings into a constant stream of sound, where he delivers chaos and melody — not necessarily in that order. Side A is composed of shorter pieces. Each of them offers a myriad of images and sensations, between the enigmatic and terror (“The Pit”), joy, happiness and freedom (“Running Naked”) or pure contemplation (“Onibaba”). “Onibaba” runs as a fitting introduction to Side B and its 18th minute magical piece “Legong/Gods Of Bali”. A mix of ambient exotica music, silent film soundtrack and distorted rhythms that dance around Mike’s guitar. It keeps reinventing and transforming itself throughout those eighteen minutes, summing up the dexterity and muscle of Mike Cooper’s music of the last two decades. With another grand collage artwork by Evan Crankshaw.
Pan Daijing: Lack (Pan) LP
Pan Daijing presents her debut album Lack on PAN. Culminating as the purgative “finale” to her improvisational live performances, Pan Daijing’s debut album also offers an insight to her future works. The process was intuitive and raw, born out of her previous explorations. Over the past two years, she has composed, recorded, and edited different concerts and field recordings across Europe, China, and Canada, forming the basis of the album. Arriving as her first full-length album, Lack was crafted from this long, painstaking mental and physical practice. Daijing’s pieces are created around a very intense and intimate mental catharsis, often expressed through a close physical interaction with strangers in her live sets which seek to engage them in a highly personal way. “When I was finalizing this album, they didn’t feel like tracks to me anymore, but more like a psychoanalytical process,” she says. “I saw myself being this absurd, mad person ‘acting’ out the sounds… It’s rather physical, and became like a mind game. All things came out naturally as part of me.” The narrative of the album presents a perspective of the world as “the theater of our minds”, where Daijing sees the record as an “opera piece” in its storytelling and drama. Photography by Ralf Marsault; Artwork by Bill Kouligas. Mastered by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering.
File Under: Electronic, Experimental
Carla Dal Forno: Top of the Pops (No Label) CS
Carla Dal Forno offers Top Of The Pops, a self-released cassette disclosing six songs of sultry pop devotion. This late-spring cassette of cover songs now gets the wider autumnal release it deserves, showcasing the full range of Dal Forno’s virtuous taste, style and production in her distinct post-punk, pop (but) minimalist sensibility. Not without cheek, the wink-and-a-nod blue-film bawdiness of “Lay Me Down” (Renee) and “Give Me Back My Man” (The B-52s) are complemented by the earnest ballads of “A Silver Key Can Open A Lock Somewhere” (Liliput) and The Fates’s “No Romance.” Kiwi Animal’s “Blue Morning” finally gets a recorded release as well. This cosmic inner dialogue of love lost is matched only by the penultimate track, “Summertime Sadness” which is the best example of how devastatingly personal a pop song truly can be. It’s all emphasized by Dal Forno’s sparse production which, as with each of these six songs, brings her vocal interpretations to the fore. Pearl blue cassette wrapped in color-printed J-cards and with color sticker inlays. Artwork designed by Carla Dal Forno.
File Under: Electronic, Synth Pop
Francois De Roubaix: Le Saut De L’Ange/R.A.S. (Transversales Disques) LP
Never released before on LP, here are the complete original soundtracks of French cult film composer François de Roubaix for director Yves Boisset. Two movies that embody the two sides of Francois de Roubaix’s approach to recording. For Le Saut De L’Ange (1971) the self-taught composer wrote an orchestration for some fifty musicians playing strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion with two distinct solo instruments alternating the main theme: Indian sitar on the one hand and accordion on the other. This beautiful score creates the seam that binds Bangkok to Marseille, the two places where the action takes place. Le Saut De L’Ange was originally released as a 7″ in 1971. R.A.S (1973) was recorded on a 8-track tape recorder, in François de Roubaix’s home studio rue de Courcelle, where most of his ’70s scores were recorded. The result is a mix of military-march rhythms, rolls on the snare-drum with sounds of Synthi AKS synthesizer: de Roubaix invented a modern sound for this contemporary-history tragedy. Includes extensive liner notes.
Dengue Dengue Dengue: Semillero (On The Corner) LP
Dengue Dengue Dengue are the Peruvian duo known for raising a tropical storm. Their electronic psychedelia and bass flows from their roots in Lima, Perú upstream to global dancefloors. In this six-tracker, Dengue Dengue Dengue team-up with label mates Penya. The band feature on the first track “Pua” that sets a rich scene for the sonic journey ahead. The flip is stormed with title track “Semillero” whilst hearts, minds and imaginations are set to be inspired with their versioning of “Habu Raminibu” which is a healing chant of the Huni Kuin people. Also features Mikongo and Joutro Mundo.
File Under: Electronic, Tribal
Dur-Dur Band: Dur-Dur of Somalia (Analog Africa) LP
Following Analog Africa founder Samy Ben Redjeb’s dangerous trip to Mogadishu in November of 2016, the label presents Dur Dur of Somalia: Volume 1, Volume 2 & Previously Unreleased Tracks. Dur-Dur, a young band from the ’80s, climaxed as a band in April of 1987 with the release of Volume 2, their second album. The secrets to Dur-Dur’s rapid success is inextricably linked to the vision of Isse Dahir, founder and keyboard player of the band. Isse’s plan was to locate some of the most forward-thinking musicians of Mogadishu’s buzzing scene and lure them into Dur-Dur. Ujeeri, the band’s mercurial bass player was recruited from Somali jazz and drummer extraordinaire Handal previously played in Bakaka Band. Isse also added his two younger brothers to the line-up: Abukar Dahir Qassin was brought in to play lead guitar, and Ahmed Dahir Qassin was hired as a permanent sound engineer. On their first two albums, Volume 1 and Volume 2, three different singers traded lead-vocal duties back and forth. Shimaali, formerly of Bakaka Band, handled the Dhaanto songs, a Somalian rhythm from the northern part of the country that bears a striking resemblance to reggae; Sahra Dawo, a young female singer, had been recruited from Somalia’s national orchestra, the Waaberi Band. Their third singer, the legendary Baastow, who had also been a vocalist with the Waaberi Band, and had been brought into Dur-Dur due to his deep knowledge of traditional Somali music, particularly Saar, a type of music intended to summon the spirits during religious rituals. From the very beginning, Dur-Dur’s doctrine was the fusion of traditional Somali music with whatever rhythms would make people dance: funk, reggae, soul, disco, and new wave were mixed effortlessly with Banaadiri beats, Dhaanto, and spiritual Saar music. The concoction was explosive. It initially seemed that Dur-Dur’s music had only been preserved as a series of murky tape dubs and YouTube videos, but after Samy arrived in Mogadishu he eventually got to the heart of Mogadishu’s tape-copying network and ended up finding some of the band’s fabled master tapes, long thought to have disappeared. This set reissues the band’s first two albums — the first installment in a three-part series dedicated to Dur-Dur Band — representing the first fruit of Analog Africa’s long labors to bring this extraordinary music to the wider world. Remastered from the best available audio sources. Includes two previously unreleased tracks; Accompanied by extensive liner notes, featuring interviews with original band members.
Julien Dyne: Teal (Soundways) LP
New Zealander Julien Dyne is a multi-instrumentalist with a long and impressive history of collaborative, live and solo musicianship, and Teal marks his debut for Soundway. Dyne is best-known for his solo work as BBE and having worked with the likes of Theo Parrish, Steve Spacek, Andreya Triana, and Lord Echo (one of Soundway’s most successful artists). Dyne has also accumulated a number of accolades over the course of a ten-year career including, but not exclusive to, being hotly tipped by both Moodymann and Gilles Peterson. Dyne’s new project for 2018 is an 11-track LP on Miles Cleret’s extolled Soundway label. Demonstrating a shift in gears and movement toward a more up-tempo, Afro-inspired sound, Teal melds instrumental flair with astute production and a persistent grain of impassioned, effortless soul. The album features fellow New Zealanders Lord Echo and Mara TK, long term band-mate Ladi6, Fat Freddy’s Drop trumpeter Toby Laing, plus Australian vocalist Tim Guy and jazz luminaries Jonathan Crayford and John Bell. This is a body of work for the listener and the dancer alike with a mood as fitting for headphones as it is for the floor, with the double vinyl album cut loud at 45 RPM.
The Fall: I Am Kurious Orangj (Beggars) LP
I Am Kurious Oranj is The Fall’s eleventh studio album. Released by Beggars Banquet 30 years ago, in 1988, it contains some of their most loved songs including “Cab It Up!”, “New Big Prinz” and “Jerusalem” which takes its lyrics from a poem by William Blake. The album was written as the soundtrack to an avant-garde ballet titled I Am Curious, Orange, produced by the experimental Michael Clark Company and performed in London with The Fall playing live. As it said in the original ballet program, replicated inside this reissue, “Mark E. Smith is a history buff and admirer of Michael Clark, and I Am Curious, Orange spawned the idea of a thematic delving into the foibles and littleknown psyche of William of Orange.” According to Smith in his book, Renegade, “We adapted the title from a Swedish porno film – I am Curious, Yellow. I was trying to make the point that we all share some kind of common knowledge that’s within ourselves; that comes out in all sorts of things. Some people call it a gene pool. It’s as if you already know subconsciously about historical incidents. You don’t have to have been taught it. It’s in-built. At the time I wanted to put this across, basically as a loose explanation of what was happening in Belfast: it’s in the head and bones and there’s nothing you can do about it. I was on a roll at the time. I’m rarely short of ideas, and I’m not into preserving them much, either. If it’s in your head and you’ve got the right people around you them there’s no better time to tell the story.”
Julia Holter: Aviary (Domino) LP
Aviary is an epic journey through what Julia Holter describes as “the cacophony of the mind in a melting world.” It’s the Los Angeles composer’s most breathtakingly expansive album yet, full of startling turns and dazzling instrumental arrangements. The followup to her critically acclaimed 2015 record, Have You in My Wilderness, it takes as its starting point a line from a 2009 short story by writer Etel Adnan (“I found myself in an aviary full of shrieking birds”). It’s a scenario that sounds straight out of a horror movie, but it’s also a pretty good metaphor for life in 2018, with its endless onslaught of political scandals, freakish natural disasters, and voices shouting their desires and resentments into the void. On Aviary, we travel a world populated by birds, angels, and ghosts – at once characters in a mystery of uncertain denouement and a stand-in for the memories and thought-images that seem to fly through the mind on their own volition. Inklings of impending doom (“Everything Is an Emergency”) hover side-by-side with ecstatic professions of love (“Turn the Light On”) and moments of triumphant solidarity (“Voce Simul”). Like other recent projects – composing and performing a live score to Carl Theodor Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc, as well as arranging her album Tragedy for opera, in 2017 – Aviary sees Holter juxtaposing ancient and contemporary reference points. Time collapses, with references to the deep past – Joan of Arc, the Christian Crusades, the mass hysteria of the dance of Saint Vitus – seeming to double as metaphors for our hopes and anxieties in the present. Jetting between medieval chamber music and proggy jazz-rock transports, plaintive balladry and android robotics, it’s a journey full of wild twists and turns – but it’s one that seems to cling to a sense of radical hope, even in its most somber moments.
File Under: Indie Rock
Fumio Itabashi: Watarase (Mule Musiq) LP
Is Watarase the best jazz record from Japan, as the French-born Gilles Peterson once assumed? Or is it maybe the best jazz record of all jazz records? Everyone can decide for themselves and listen to Watarase, the second solo piano album of the Japanese pianist Fumio Itabashi, originally released in 1982. Tokyo-based Mule Musiq have unearthed it, re-mastered the original recordings and brought it back to the world in order to seduce all music lovers that embrace notes which come straight from the heart and soul. Any sensible listener finds the instrumental piano pieces are somehow soulfully connected to what Keith Jarrett plays on his legendary Köln Concert (1975). Like Jarrett, Itabashi does not play his notes academically. He lets them fly, gives them some kind a life of their own, hits the piano keys deeply emotionally and injects his into compositions and interpretations a kind of nervous human soul. In terms of style, some call his Watarase recordings post-bop, others contemporary jazz. It is all, however, just that kind of agitating jazz that melts spirituality with humanity. Three tunes, the epic “Someday My Prince Will Come” as well as “Msunduza” and “I Can’t Get Started”, are interpretations, respectively, of compositions by Frank Churchill, Dollar Brand, and Vernon Duke. The other four compositions were written and by Itabashi, who started to play the piano when he was eight years old. While studying at Tokyo-based Kunitachi College Of Music, he fell in love with jazz. In the 1970’s, he worked with such musicians like trumpet player Terumasa Hino, drummer Takeo Moriyama, and saxophonist Sadao Watanabe. Today Itabashi is still a vital part of Japanese jazz culture as a performer and composer. Those who want to see how he makes love with his piano should check the Internet for the French documentary Jazzed Out (2010), that captured his unique way of playing in one episode. But as music is always firstly for the ears, and not the eyes, one had to be directed to play the Watarase recordings loud, to get hooked by the highly infectious piano gems that have been recorded at Nippon Columbia 1st studio in Tokyo on 12th and 13th of October 1981. They will force one to become a good friend with the repeat button, in whatever medium one chooses to surrender to the music of Fumio Itabashi.
Nicolas Jaar: Pomegranates (Mana) LP
“Mana is pleased to finally present Pomegranates by Nicolas Jaar as a double LP, with new mastering by D&M. The sleeve is designed by David Rudnick, with labels by Stéphane Jourdan and a new insert created by Jaar collaborator and friend Maziyar Pahlevan. Longer and slower-releasing than his other albums, Pomegranates often parallels the cinematic epic on which it’s based (Նռան գույնը), with ideas pursued over long timelines and across dark landscapes, assembling elements and moods from the aesthetic and folkloric landscapes of Armenia. Jaar’s identity is perceived within this, folding in his heritage as Palestinian and Chilean as he attempts to build a musical architecture outwards that frames as much of the mess and sprawl of life as possible; using a language that investigates the movement and fluctuation of his own artistic career and character similarly to the film’s tracing of the coming of age of the young poet, Sayat-Nova. At times, Pomegranates feels profoundly intimate, as though looking through the archive of a friend’s music and discovering the accent and common currency that lives within each of these tracks. Much of Jaar’s most elegant and touching melodic work is nestled here, its power residing in its simplicity and willingness to speak to the heart and not the mind of the listener. In the text document included in the first freely distributed version of the album in 2015, Jaar writes that the album was conceived during a moment of change, and that the pomegranate became an icon that heralded that passage of time. The physical publication of Pomegranates closes one door whilst opening another, keeping promises and marking a significant point in the career of an artist who restlessly reinvents himself, with a document that illustrates a common language of lyricism, freedom, and emotional resonance that links his many paths and projects.”
Koray Kantarcioglu: Loop Works (Discrepant) LP
Originally released by Wounded Wolf Press as a limited cassette in 2016, Loopworks compiles Turkish visual and sound artist Koray Kantarcıoğlu’s (b. Ankara 1982) loop-based work composed of samples taken from Turkish records released in ’60s and ’70s as source material. Loopworks impacts almost instantly mainly because it shows some familiarity with the recent work of Leyland Kirby as The Caretaker, particularly with the “haunted ballroom” effect. Koray explores the usage and the dynamic of these sounds as ambient music for different scenarios as well as the importance of a newfound life with the raw material he used to create these songs. The source material appears as enigmatic as these new sounds and activates a sense of discovery and constant wonder throughout Loopworks. With the vinyl release of Loopworks Discrepant continues to manifest the importance of showing how technology and geography create different and original approaches to the standard western interpretation of field recordings and sound manipulation. Kantarcıoğlu’s work here is a strong manifestation of that and how “haunted music” can express a myriad of feelings and sensations. Loopworks has a tremendous vision of the metamorphosis that’s been occurring in ambient music during the last decade. Sometimes it’s dreamy and calm as aquarium music is (“500606” or “22 47 91 Take 1”); surprising and infinite as “263 Loop”, one of the few tracks with a voice, in this case a mysterious and transcendental one; or part of a John Carpenter or David Lynch film yet to be made (“Organ Extract KP 001”). A fantastic voyage, from earth to space, through time or simply as the most beautiful and peaceful dive into the ocean, this is old music transformed into something new and unique; that’s special.
File Under: Electronic, Turkish
Kinks: Are the Village Green Preservation Society (Sanctuary) LP
Somewhat overlooked upon its release in November 1968, The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society is now seen as one of the best British albums ever recorded. Created in difficult circumstances by a band who refused to follow fashion, it’s an album of timeless, perfectly crafted songs about growing up and growing old, and the decline of national culture and traditional ways. Enduring and unsurpassed, with its wit, sadness, quiet anger, regret and charm, it’s generally considered the high point of The Kinks’ outstanding career and Ray Davies’ masterpiece. A calm, nostalgic record which feels like a sweet, hazy dream but with endless layers of musical and lyrical innovation, its defiantly British sensibilities became the foundation of generations of British guitar pop. Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018, The Kinks present special editions of their 1968 landmark including this stereo remaster of the original album, from original tape high definition transfers. The 180g vinyl pressing is housed in a gatefold sleeve and features an insert with notes, band quotes and Village Green era photos.
File Under: Rock, Pop
Mary Jane Leach: Flute Songs (Modern Love) LP
For Mary Jane Leach’s Flute Songs, Modern Love is honored to bring together four pieces composed for flute and voice, spanning a period of over 30 years and triggered by a fascination with sound and performance. As Leach explains, “In the late 1970s I was practicing playing and singing with tapes that I had made of myself performing long sustained tones. It had started out as an exercise in intonation, and ended up with a fascination for sound phenomena: difference, combination, and interference tones. The first piece I wrote for an instrument that I couldn’t play was Trio For Duo (1985), for live and taped alto flute and voice. I had noticed that my voice matched the sound of the bottom fifth of the alto flute, and so the voice in this piece is sung to sound as much like an alto flute as possible. By using glissandos, more ‘extra-notated’ sounds are created than appear on the page. Bruckstück (1989) was originally written for eight sopranos, but is played on flutes on this recording, using the same pitches, but sounding very different. The piece is polyphonic, with a lot of closely resolving intervals; primarily major and minor seconds. I initially wrote Dowland’s Tears (2011) for nine flutes, thinking of it as a recording project and not a concert piece (it now has a ‘solo’ tenth part added), while Semper Dolens (2018) is for solo and six taped flutes, with sustained harmony and dissonance in mind”. These four recordings feature noted Roman flutist Manuel Zurria, who has worked with some of the most important composers around the world. In 1990 he founded Alter Ego, a leading group for contemporary music in Italy. Numerous composers have written pieces for him, and he has expanded the repertoire even further by re-orchestrating compositions into pieces for multiple flutes, as heard on almost forty albums. Mary Jane Leach has played an instrumental role in NYC’s pioneering Downtown avant-garde community since the 1970s, working alongside peers including Arthur Russell, Ellen Fullman, Peter Zummo, Philip Corner, and Arnold Dreyblatt, as well as devoting years to the preservation of Julius Eastman’s legacy since his death in 1990. Her vinyl debut Pipe Dreams was issued via the Blume imprint (BLUME 011LP, 2017). Mastered and cut by Matt Colton.
Heather Leigh: Throne (Editions Mego) LP
On Throne, Heather Leigh takes her place as queen of pedal steel with a suite of heart-rending ballads cauterized with burning riffs. After the rawness of its precursor I Abused Animal, Throne is a record of late night Americana and heavy femininity; intimate love songs smoked in sensuality. The songs on Throne are woozy, gorgeous and uncomfortable, smothered in thick layers of bass but lifted by multi-tracked vocals. These are rich song forms that stand in contrast to the stripped down steel in her duo with Peter Brotzmann. “Prelude To Goddess” sashays in wearing leopard-print jeans under the twinkling fluorescent illuminations of the British seaside, like Brighton Rock with extra bass. It is followed in by “Lena” -arguably Leigh’s “Jolene” – a perverse love song soaked in a subversive sexuality, weighed down with a heavy pulse. “Soft Seasons” is anchored with sunken beats shrouded in wailing, growling steel and an earwormy melody. “Gold Teeth”, the longest track on the record, crests and breaks in waves; ecstatic peaks balanced and echoed by melancholic troughs. It soars on an updraft, and from cosmic heights dives seaward into a gnarly and riotous pedal steel breakdown, before catching the breeze again. “Days Without You” and “Scorpio & Androzani” are shorter, intimate songs; in the latter the synths seethe and the steel bows and bends as Leigh’s voice falters above a Greek chorus of shadows and reflections. But this isn’t autobiography, and Throne departs on “Days Without You”, a confrontationally unfinished romantic song, anxious with half-thoughts and missed connections. It glides into the night on stilettos leaving unanswered questions, in a fugue of psychic disturbance and lovesick sensuality. Leigh’s artwork (which she photographed and designed) is a visual mirror of the songs on Throne. It is an album of cosmic echoes, abstractions and introspection, of characters and stories that make up Leigh’s first best pop record, its melodies and hooks set alight with the fiery core of her unique and distinctive pedal steel. Additional instrumentation by John Hannon (violin, synthesizer) and David Keenan (electric bass). Recorded and engineered by John Hannon, Rayleigh, Essex, March 2018. Photographs and design: Heather Leigh.
File Under: Experimental
Ennio Morricone: Grazie Zia (Transversales Disques) LP
For the first time on vinyl, Transversales Disques presents Ennio Morricone’s full score for the 1968 erotico-giallo film Grazie Zia. Grazie Zia was directed in 1968 by Salvatore Samperi and starred Italian actress Lisa Gastoni. On this unique soundtrack, Morricone has created a magical and suspenseful atmosphere based on the recurrent use of the Boys’ Choir Of Renata Cortiglioni, including the killer theme “Guerra E Pace, Pollo E Brace”, with its funny rhyme and ferocious drums. Remastered from the original tapes and presented in a limited edition with an obi strip.
Jessica Moss: Entanglement (Constellation) LP
Jessica Moss has been blossoming as a solo artist since the release of her acclaimed debut album Pools Of Light in spring 2017. The violinist, composer and singer best known for her 15-year tenure in political post-punk band Thee Silver Mt. Zion is newly ascendant as a soloist, captivating audiences with gritty, warmly expressive electronic and drone-inflected post-classical Minimalism (and sometimes Maximalism), accented by a distinctive melodic sensibility that channels Klezmer, Balkan and Middle Eastern tropes. On Entanglement, her new and second album, Moss channels quantum theory as a metaphor for creating energetic connections through esoteric processes. Using violin (and occasionally, voice) as sound source, her compositions are set in motion like entangled particles – spinning, ricocheting, warping and stretching in extra-dimensional space. “Particles,” the magnificent 22-minute opus on Side One, is a stunning transmission of cosmos-level wonder, mystery and dread. Conjuring up sound as if from dark energy, the piece gradually humanizes the void as a circling string theme develops then retracts to a single note, stretches space-time through a slowly developing drone, and clears a haunted celestial expanse for Moss to introduce hushed, keening vocal lines that layer one upon the other. “Fractals” on Side Two is a work in four parts that unspools through various iterations of folk-inflected phrases, played on amplified violin, sampled in real-time, and redeployed in entwined pairings, echoes and cascades. Here, Moss wields the violin with a narrative intent perhaps more commonly associated with solo horn in the jazz tradition – the power of the single melodic line, the instrument as expressive analogue to human speech and voice. Profoundly informed by the experiences of travelling alone – playing in precarious spaces preserved by passionate subcultural communities, attempting fragile, intimate, abstract transmissions through sound and performance – Moss’s new music on Entanglement invokes the striving for communication/connection in isolation, the mysterious energies that bind the singular and the universal, and the indomitably terrestrial energies that bring micro-communities of people together to partake sustainably and attentively in human-scale shared experiences. This is long-attention-span music that wonderfully synthesizes form and substance, spit and polish, austerity and lushness, expansiveness and intimacy. Entanglement is a deeply felt and deeply rewarding work that testifies to the unique stylistic and textural space Moss is carving out in the contemporary/New Music continuum. 180-gram vinyl (pressed at Optimal, Germany) includes 12 x 24 art print poster plus download.
File Under: Classical
Muslimgauze: Ingaza (Staalplaat) LP
Staalplaat presents a double LP reissue of Muslimgauze’s Ingaza, originally released in 1999 (the year of his death) as part of the Box Of Silk And Dogs set. Those not familiar with Bryn Jones’s style will listen slack-jawed at the sheer anticipatory nature of his sound collages. He was a cult artist, politically motivated for the Arab-Palestinian cause and a seminal experimenter with ethnic samples’ and minimal and electronic rhythms. The atmospheres retain their original charm, full and gloomy, but pulsating with provocative emotions, different from the exotic and ornamental processing of certain world music. Drum machines, old synths, and percussion are all combined in a traditional way, without any computer assistance. “Peace is a distant dream,” said Bryn Jones, in one of his last interviews before passing away from a rare blood disease, and on both sizes things seem to unfortunately still be the same. Ingaza is thematically and stylistically all over the place, sporting atmospheric instrumental loops one moment and jarring, heavily barbed and distorted beats the next. Differences between tracks, not unlike changing channels on television or switching between net browsers, predominate, with imagery conjuring Middle Eastern travel and tourism on one screen whilst grisly proxy war footage plays on the next.
Doris Norton: Artificial Intelligence (Mannequin) LP
Mannequin Records concludes its trilogy of reissues from the avant-garde Italian-born producer Doris Norton with Artificial Intelligence (1985). Apple’s first music “endorsement” (Norton was also later a consultant for IBM) and early Roland affiliate, Doris Norton is one of the most important women pioneer in the use of synths and in the early electro/computer music. While the beat-oriented style of Norton’s music aligns her with such global fellow-travelers as Yellow Magic Orchestra and Kraftwerk, her championing of the personal computer as a tool for self-sufficient musical creativity also connects her to musicians such as Pietro Grossi, Laurie Spiegel, and the League of Automatic Music Composers. Norton’s predilection for the bright, glossy timbres of early digital instruments also recalls Hubert Bognermayr and Harald Zuschrader’s bizarre Erdenklang (1982). A year on from Personal Computer (MNQ 120LP, 2018), Norton released Artificial Intelligence in 1985, setting a step up in her deep electronic music research and innovation. “The whole album was composed and programmed only with the alphanumerical keyboard of the computer. The total of the notes and coded events takes to the number 124,648: of these 123,827 were coded with ‘step time’ procedure and the rest with real-time procedure. Having reduced the keyboard, Norton used only a hexaphonic JX.8P with memory processed by her and interfaced to the computer. No drums were used, neither electronic nor much less acoustic. All the rhythms were obtained by A.D.A. conversions and processing of wave ranges with the use of expanders with a very special handling of envelopes, frequency, resonance, and noise. Doris Norton fed the computer the parameters of vowels and consonants of her own voice, like A, O, U, E, D, and N, through an A.D.A conversion card. By processing these values and assembling them in phonemes in hundreds of different combination, at various compressed resolutions she was able to make the computer sing a complete song in a totally human way (with the voice of Doris). Many other synth sounds resulting from A.D.A. conversions are present in Artificial Intelligence, amongst these: pipe organ, plate, electric discharge, iron beat, birds, dog, harp, and woods, all sampled and handled by the computer. Artificial Intelligence is a perfect example of how human intelligence can bend the coded ‘artificial intelligence’ to its own will.” –ComputerMusik, 1985.
File Under: Electronic
Bernard Parmegiani: Memoire Magnetique Vol 1
(Transversales Disques) LP
Transversales Disques announces the release of Bernard Parmegiani’s Mémoire Magnétique, Vol. 1. Spanning 1966-1990, this is a revelatory collection of never-released commercial and secret music by electronic music pioneer Parmegiani. Since the late 50’s, Bernard Parmegiani, a major figure of electroacoustic music and a founding member of GRM has created some sixty pieces. From the start, Parmegiani’s work was closely linked to the screen, with dozens of documentaries, films, long features, animation films but also musical pieces for dance, stage or television. If many of his pieces are landmarks in the history of electro-acoustic music (De Natura Sonorum (1978), La Roue Ferris (1971)), his application of music compositions is strongly embedded in the subconscious landscape of the French public (Stade 2, Roissy CDG Paris Airport…). The first volume of this compilation allows one to discover some of these lost tapes and unpublished recordings which were composed for the screen or the performing arts.
Paternoster: Die Ersten Tage (Now Again) LP
“Before releasing their lone self-titled debut album, one of the most rare rock records to be released in Europe in the 1970s, Paternoster provided the soundtrack for a film that could only have been made while the psychedelic movement was still in its first wave. The group’s first recordings presented here are the soundtrack for Herbert Holba’s 1971 hippie sci-fi film Die Ersten Tage (The First Days), screened at the Berlin International Film Festival, and interestingly played on Austrian TV in August of that year. The material issued here is the genesis of Paternoster and set the stage for the release of one of the world’s great rock albums with their self-titled debut the following year. The music has been painstakingly transferred directly from master tapes, never before released in any form.”
File Under: Prog, Psych
Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement: Red Ants Genesis (Hospital) LP
Low Jack and Equiknoxx join Dominick Fernow’s Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement on a new double vinyl expansion of Red Ants Genesis, originally issued on limited cassette in 2018. Recorded in winter 2017, Red Ants Genesis finds the Hospital Productions boss discovering strength in collaboration following the triumph of his classic Ambient Black Magic, which was conjured with the crucial assistance of Juan Mendez aka Silent Servant. Here, he works with Phillippe Hallais aka Low Jack and of Editions Gravats, who also tags in his pals Gavsborg and Time Cow from Jamaican digidub futurists Equiknoxx for a killer new version of the title track. On the tape’s original four tracks, Low Jack transmogrifies Fernow’s high volume microphone recordings of synthetic field ecologies with masterful sleight of hand in-the-edits, resulting in a hyperreal detachment and realignment of spatial proprioceptions executed with exquisite textural tactility. It’s far more oblique and desiccated than the relatively lush Ambient Black Magic outing, rendering the stark durational immersion of their 30 minute “Red Ants (Mics)” split over the first disc, while Low Jack’s percussive edits really come into play on the utterly gutted “Shields Ferns / Brown Pine Magic” and the slow, febrile push of “Papua Land (Live Edit).” No doubt one of the biggest attractions here is the curveball of an Equiknoxx remix of “Red Ants Genesis”. Surely one of the first meetings of Jamaican dancehall and dark ambient in existence, it’s a spellbinding piece of dub physics that demonstrates the endless, mutable imagination of Gavsborg and Time Cow in haunting and deeply mystic effect. Unmissable. Cut at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin.
Steve Reich: Sextet – Double Sextet (Mode) LP
“This release couples two of Reich’s ‘sextets’ for the first time: the Sextet of 1984 and the Pulitzer Prize winning Double Sextet of 2007, which also makes its first appearance on LP. A striking difference between the two pieces is that the rhythmic world of Sextet mostly consists of a single-meter grooving, while Double Sextet works in the angular, off-kilter shifting meters reminiscent of Reich’s Tehillim (also of Stravinsky). Ekkozone impart a uniquely chamber music feel and color to these works while maintaining their propulsive character. Liner notes by Adam Sliwinski. LP lacquers and mastering by veteran Scott Hull at Masterdisk. Plated and pressed by RTI, California. Danish percussionist and conductor Mathias Reumert lives and breathes contemporary classical music. An in-demand soloist, he explores new percussive territory while remaining a committed interpreter of yesterday’s masterworks. As creator and leader of the acclaimed ensemble Ekkozone, he explores the boundaries between classical, world and experimental music in performances at rock and jazz festivals. Ekkozone is a Danish crossover ensemble that masterfully explores the lines between classical, world and experimental music. Formed by Mathias Reumert in 2013, the ensemble enjoys a special connection with Reich’s music and has performed a large part of his oeuvre, including several performances of Music for 18 Musicians.”
File Under: Avant Garde
Skinny Puppy: Cleanse Fold & Manipulate (Nettwerk) LP
In its four decades of existence, Skinny Puppy has established itself as a groundbreaking innovative voice in the world of electronic music, fearless in both its musical experimentation and taking a stance on the issues of our times. Released in June of 1987, Skinny Puppy’s third studio album Cleanse Fold and Manipulate dove deeper into sociopolitical issues that the band cared about such as AIDS and PTSD and features classic cuts like “Deep Down Trauma Hounds” and “Addiction” and was supported by the Head Trauma world tour featured in their 1989 live film Ain’t It Dead Yet. Now available on vinyl for the first time in over 25 years!
File Under: Industrial, Electronic
Skinny Puppy: Mind: The Perpetual Intercourse (Nettwerk) LP
In its four decades of existence, Skinny Puppy has established itself as a groundbreaking innovative voice in the world of electronic music, fearless in both its musical experimentation and taking a stance on the issues of our times. Released in September of 1986, Skinny Puppy’s second studio album Mind: The Perpetual Intercourse is infamous for both its pornographic album photo (the political backlash resulted in the Parental Advisory label) and for inspiring the next generation of industrial music contemporaries (Nine Inch Nails) with tracks like “Dig It” and “Stairs and Flowers.” Now available on vinyl for the first time in over 25 years!
File Under: Industrial, Electronic
St. Vincent: MassEducation (Loma Vista) LP
In tomorrow… A stunning standalone work in its own right, MassEducation is in fact another dimension of St. Vincent’s universally acclaimed 2017 album Masseduction. Recorded live in the studio over two nights in August 2017 while at Electric Lady Studio mixing the original album, MassEducation lays bare the exquisite songcraft of its other half. Performed entirely by Annie Clark on vocals and Thomas Bartlett on piano, the new album renders songs like “Young Lover” and “Fear The Future” and their subjects in vivid, vulnerable new light. Clark describes the refashioned versions as “two dear friends playing songs together with the kind of secret understanding one can only get through endless nights in New York City.”
File Under: Indie Rock, Pop
Penelope Trappes: Penelope Two (Houndstooth) LP
Following her debut album Penelope One for Optimo Music, antipodean vocalist, musician, and soundscaper Penelope Trappes presents sophomore long player Penelope Two, for Houndstooth. Elements from multiple sources are subsumed by Trappes’s sonic presence; one hears Badalamenti and Julee Criuse’s work for Blue Velvet (1986) and Twin Peaks, Galaxie 500 and Slowdive’s dreampop, the scorched comedowns of early Primal Scream, Tuxedomoon and Colin Newman’s dark melancholia, plus contemporaries like Grouper, Tropic Of Cancer, and Sky H1. A deeply melodic record, with her intimate, maternally-tender voice floating in the middle of each three-dimensional, womb-like sonic space. Originally from Byron Bay Australia before moving to New York, meeting partner Stephen and developing experimental electronic projects Locke and Priscilla Sharp, prior to their best-know incarnation The Golden Filter. Cut and mastered by Matt Colton; Manufactured at optimal media, Germany.
File Under: Pop, Dream Pop, Gloom
Thom Yorke: Susperia (XL) LP
In Luca Guadagnino’s 2018 remake of Dario Argento’s cult classic 1977 horror film Suspiria a darkness swirls at the center of a world-renowned dance company, one that will engulf the troupe’s artistic director (Tilda Swinton), an ambitious young dancer (Dakota Johnson), and a grieving psychotherapist (Lutz Ebersdorf). Some will succumb to the nightmare. Others will finally wake up. Thom Yorke provides his first ever film score featuring 25 original compositions recorded and produced by the Radiohead frontman and Sam Petts-Davies. Comprised of instrumentals, interludes and more traditional songs, additional contributions are made by the London Contemporary Orchestra and Choir, flutist Pasha Mansurov, and Yorke’s son Noah on drums. Yorke admitted that it took “few months to even contemplate the idea. When they first came to see me, the producers and [editor] Walter [Fasano], I just thought they were mad, because I’ve never done a soundtrack before. And Suspiria is one of those legendary soundtracks. It was one of those moments in your life where you want to run away but you know you’ll regret it if you do. I watched the original film several times, and I loved it because it was of that time, an incredibly intense soundtrack. Obviously Goblin and [director] Dario [Argento] worked incredibly closely when they did it together.” Goblin’s original score, Krautrock and ’70s-era Berlin all served as inspiration for Yorke’s mesmerizing score. “It was just a really cool way to totally immerse myself in an area I wouldn’t normally go with full permission,” he adds.
Various: Mono No Aware (Pan) LP
Repressed! Mono No Aware is the first compilation to be released on PAN, collating unreleased ambient tracks from both new and existing PAN artists. Featuring Jeff Witscher, Helm, TCF, Yves Tumor, M.E.S.H., Pan Daijing, HVAD, Kareem Lotfy, ADR, Mya Gomez, Sky H1, James K, Oli XL, Bill Kouligas, Flora Yin-Wong, Malibu, and AYYA, the compilation moves through more traditional notions of what is called “ambient”, to incorporating wider variations that fall under the term. “Mono no aware”, “the pathos of things”, also translates as “an empathy toward things”, or “a sensitivity to ephemera”. A term for the awareness of impermanence, or the transience of things. A meditation on mortality and life’s transience, ephemerality heightens the appreciation of beauty and sensitivity to their passing. In investigating the passing of time, the boundaries between memory and hallucination become blurred; between fiction and reality. The movement of time transforms into an eternal present. James K’s “Stretch Deep” features Eve Essex. Features photography by Molly Matalon; Design by Bill Kouligas. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering.
Courtney Barnett/Kurt Vile: Lotta Sea Lice (Matador) LP
Bing & Ruth: No Home of the Mind (4AD) LP
Fugees: The Score (Columbia) LP
Sarah Hennies: Embedded Environments (Blume) LP
Jackie O Motherfucker: Flags of the Sacred Harp (Textile) LP
Jasss: Weightless (Ideal) LP
The National: Boxer (Beggars) LP
The National: Trouble Will Find Me (4AD) LP
Pixies: Come on Pilgrim… It’s Surfer Rosa (4AD) 3LP
Radiohead: Kid A (XL) LP
Red House Painters: Rollercoaster (4AD) LP
Sigur Ros: Valtari (XL) LP
Simon & Garfunkel: Sounds of Silence (Columbia) LP
System of a Down: s/t (American) LP
System of a Down: Toxicity (American) LP
System of a Down: Mezmerize (American) LP
Cosey Fanny Tutti: Time to Tell (CTI) LP
Kurt Vile: Bottle it in (Matador) LP
Colter Wall: Songs of the Plains (Thirty Tigers) LP
Yo La Tengo: Summer Sun (Matador) LP