ZONAL, "Wrecked" (Justin Broadrick & Kevin Martin)

ZONAL, the brainchild of Justin Broadrick (Godflesh/Jesu/JK Flesh) and Kevin Martin (The Bug/King Midas Sound) present their monumental Relapse Records debut, Wrecked.  ZONAL continues where their previous collaboration Techno Animal left off, and combines a brutal ongoing obsession with beats, bass, dub, drone, noise and riff.

Under their new guise, the enigmatic duo push the parameters and atmospheres that have earned them critical acclaim further and deeper; ZONAL's sound has become ever more corrupted, corroded, slower and lower; with the theme of exploring inner/outer space acts as the gelling agent for this shockingly monolithic sound. Anyone who witnessed their sonic destruction and lyrical detonation c/o MOOR MOTHER at both ROADBURN and UNSOUND festivals will not be disappointed by the slo-mo meltdown.

Releases October 25, 2019 on Relapse.

2875 Hits

Boduf Songs, "Abyss Versions"

Boduf Songs' seventh album and first on Orindal Records marks the Ohio-via-Southampton home recording project's most detailed production yet, voyaging into deeper recesses than ever before. Abyss Versions will see the light of day on October 4, 2019.

Mat Sweet, the solitary figure behind Boduf Songs, has spent the better part of fifteen years cultivating an idiosyncratic strain of quiet menace, augmenting library-hushed vocals and brooding guitars with psychedelic flourishes from processed loops, field recordings, and distant, subliminal atmospheres.

Subtly acknowledging Boduf Songs' beginnings, Abyss Versions echoes motifs from the first Boduf Songs album (2005's Boduf Songs on Kranky Records), forming its own secret, circular path, encapsulating the journey from there to here. Sweet's background in doom metal still seeps into the quiet, pensive world of Boduf Songs via mood and tone, balanced by shades of the fingerpicking mysticism of his first four albums. As always, the music of Boduf Songs is steeped in a palpable sense of darkness and dread, offset by a gorgeous and discreet sonic beauty. There is much prettiness here, albeit within an inescapably unsettling frame.

Throughout the album, sonorous melodies mix with the grind of drum machines, esoteric bleeps and bloops, and reversed tape experiments, all in counterpoint to the morphine-addled guitar and grimdark velvet vocals. There are haunting, dreamlike elements, the aching time/no-time uncanny sad-charms of some far off Gene Vincent/Chet Baker number never recorded from an alternate Lynchian universe. Sounds emerge into the light then fade back into the darkness as repetition and hypnotic drone play against the movement. Forward and upward, we move without moving.

Abyss Versions is full of love, and the expanse of things outside of us, the slow, elegiac stir of echoes, the mixed blessing of memory, the sensation of rot and longing. A letting go. A refusal to let go. The static that carries you off, the swell of feeling that is delicately tuned away, the whisper of consciousness, snuffed gently out. An opium dream, curling smoke spiraling into the blackness of a dimmed room's ceiling, meditations on mortality and the void for those who travel by night.

Releases October 4, 2019 on Orindal Records.

2726 Hits

Clarice Jensen, "Drone Studies"

Drone Studies main photo

Clarice Jensen is a composer and cellist based in Brooklyn, NYC. As a versatile collaborator, Jensen has recorded and performed with Jóhann Jóhannsson, Stars of the Lid, Owen Pallett, Max Richter and numerous others. As the artistic director of ACME (the American Contemporary Music Ensemble), brought to life some of the most cherished works of modern classical music, including pieces by Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Terry Riley, Gavin Bryars, Dustin O’Halloran, and more.

Jensen now follows her debut album For This From That Will Be Filled with Drone Studies, highlighting Jensen’s improvisational prowess, venturing even deeper into the meditative mire but with more organic, naturally expressive air.

"The Organ that Made You Bleed" presents a succinctly striking suite that opens in medias res, awakening in a howling chorus of disembodied tones. This tragic ocean of estranged sound ebbs and flows, almost unnoticeable growing in a swell of hymnal hysteria. The calmly chaotic frenzy soon gives way into a layered composite of deep drones and tidal textures. Hopeful harmonies clash with eerie dissonance, suggesting the deeply human balance between darkness and lightness. It’s a magnum opus told in a sequence sketches, and each new turn is a cavern of radiant resonance.

"One Bee" perfectly foils the A-side with an insomniatic interplay of pure tones and richly repetitive cello phrases. The piece begins as a blank canvas, simultaneously empty and brimming with potential. One by one, solitary tones reveal themselves in the foreground until forming a small choir of complementary combinations. This beautifully odd ritual plays out in slow motion as Jensen’s cello performs a tight loop of emotionally expressive notes.

Taken as a whole, Drone Studies a harrowing set of deep listening that uncovers new gifts with each repeated listen.

More information can be found here.

2741 Hits

Theodore Cale Schafer, "Patience"

Patience main photo

Patience is the debut full-length album by Sante Fe-based artist Theodore Cale Schafer.  Alternately murky and narcoleptic and bristling with grit and light, this collection of eight pieces is a delicate play of contrasts.  Impressionistic settings unfurl with an unhurried gait, opening with the dreamlike disorientation of "Gold Chain" in which a degraded location recording gives way to a soft web of treated piano motifs.  Schafer's compositions are sumptuous yet unfussy, recalling perhaps the concise, vignette-oriented tape works of Andrew Chalk, which seem to prioritize spontaneity and ephemerality over preciousness and decorum. This approach yields substantive results, as on "It's Late", which marries a dolorous, clanging guitar sketch to the sound of change jostling in the pocket of a walker and the laughter of friends or passersby.  This is diaristic music - rough-hewn, confessional, and teeming with possibility.

More information can be found here.

3001 Hits

Rrose, "Hymn to Moisture"

Hymn to Moisture explores embodiment in natural phenomena by playing with microtonal and unstable tunings, shifting overtones, and integrated modulations that make it difficult to separate tone from noise. Evoking wind, water, rock, and flesh, the album occupies multiple spaces simultaneously: abrasive and tranquil, propulsive and meditative, familiar and alien. It shows an equal reverence for techno pioneers such as Jeff Mills, Pan Sonic, and Plastikman as it does for composers such as Eliane Radigue, Laurie Spiegel, and Phill Niblock.  Hymn to Moisture is Rrose's first solo album, and it unfolds with the scrupulous care and patience that defines all of Rrose's auditory experiments. The album marks the artist's most refined work to date.

Since its inception in 2011, the Rrose project has spawned over a dozen vinyl EPs on Sandwell District, Stroboscopic Artefacts, Infrastructure, and their own Eaux label as well as three collaborative albums with Bob Ostertag (on Buchla 200E modular synthesizer), Charlemagne Palestine (for two pianos), and Lucy (as Lotus Eater) respectively. A fourth album-length project on Seattle’s Further Records saw Rrose reinterpreting and extending James Tenney’s monolithic 1971 piece "Having Never Written a Note for Percussion" for solo gong.  Hymn to Moisture is Rrose's first solo album of original material.

Releases November 8, 2019.  More information can be found here.

3165 Hits

I Feel Like A Bombed Cathedral, "Inside the Cathedral Sessions"

All twelve "Inside the Cathedral" sessions from Season 1 (2019).

These sessions were recorded and filmed live in my music research lab and then broadcast weekly on my YouTube channel.

I FEEL LIKE A BOMBED CATHEDRAL is
Amaury Cambuzat: Electric Guitar with Effects plus Heartbeats.

More information can be found here.

3097 Hits

Eliane Radigue, "Chry-Ptus" vinyl reissue

Eliane Radigue - Chry-Ptus - 2LP - PRE-ORDER

From the original press release:

"Chry-Ptus (1971). Originally two tapes which were to be played simultaneously, with or without synchronization, which does not affect the structure of the work, but creates changes in the game of sub-harmonics and overtones.

Three variations on this piece were performed at the New York Cultural Center in 1971, with variations of amplitude and location modulation as well as synchronization. Realized on the Buchla Synthesizer at the New York University.

The booklet contains a text by painter Paul Jenkins, who also realized the watercolor on the front cover, written on occasion of Radigue's first concert in New York, April 6th, 1971."

"It's with the Buchla that I constructed Chry-Ptus, a piece made up of two tapes with an analogue duration, 22 or 23 minutes, which could be played either simultaneously or with a slight time difference, so as to establish slight variations every time the piece was played. I spent the first months eliminating everything I did not want; I even used a notebook in which I tried to determine a writing system resembling chemical formulae."  Eliane Radigue

Out October 11th on Important Records.

3189 Hits

Have A Nice Life, "Sea of Worry"

"I can stay up late whenever I want… but other than that, it’s nothing like I thought. I guess I thought I'd know what I'm doing by now… but I know nothing."

Have A Nice Life was formed in a time of Dan's and Tim's life that reflected concerns with depression and suicidal ideation. As the following for the project has grown, and Dan and Tim have aged and faced new life challenges with family and careers, their new album Sea of Worry reflects just that.  Dread is the primary theme that is woven throughout Sea of Worry – the dread of aging, children growing up, and an increasingly uncertain future.   However, Sea of Worry is Have A Nice Life at the peak of their powers; Dan and Tim's unmistakable chemistry coupled with a propulsive backing band catapults them into the stratosphere.  These 7 tracks ebb and flow with noise and melody, and are so well-crafted it's near impossible to get them out of your head.  More concise and perhaps more straightforward than their past releases, Have A Nice Life has found new focus and discipline on Sea of Worry and the album is a triumphant addition to their ever-evolving discography.

Sea of Worry will be released via The Flenser on November 8th 2019.

Have A Nice Life was, is, and always will be Dan Barrett and Tim Macuga.  Have A Nice Life is also Myke Cameron (bass), Rich Otero (drums, synths, programming), Joe Streeter (guitar), Cody Kestigian (live visuals).

 

3019 Hits

Benoît Pioulard, "May/Altra"

Benoît Pioulard’s monumental EP May was originally released through his imprint (Disques d'Honoré) digitally and as a limited edition cassette that quickly sold out.

This LP features the May EP in its entirety (side A) and the Atra EP, which encompasses four brand new, previously unreleased tracks (side B).  Atra is Latin for "black;" this collection is intended to be a blustery penumbra against the verdancy of the May EP.

Releases September 10, 2019 on Past Inside the Present.

3161 Hits

Maninkari, "L'océan rêve dans sa loisiveté (Third Session)"

Maninkari's third session of L'océan rêve dans sa loisiveté.

All selections composed, improvised, recorded by Frédéric & Olivier Charlot : santoor, cimbalom, duduk, viola, synths, frame drums, percussions, cello, melodica, jaw, harp, voice, zither.

Claudie Ponget and Catherine Marmet : voice, drone

More information can be found here.

3488 Hits

Razen, "Ayîk Adhîsta Adhîsta Ayîk"

Razen celebrate their 10 yr anniversary with Ayîk Adhîsta Adhîsta Ayîk, an album that takes a paragraph from CG Jung's Memories, Dreams, Reflections as a reference point to set off a journey that goes from light to dark, from day to night, from life to death, and back.

As much a reflection of primal imagery and rituals of knowledge as a way of coming to terms with anxieties about the chaos of the night, the album concerns itself with the question: who - or what - are we in the moments before (re-)birth, before waking up, in the state inbetween darkness and light?

On Ayîk Adhîsta Adhîsta Ayîk, the wind instruments and organ stabs of band leaders Kim Delcour and Brecht Ameel are expanded with Pieter Lenaerts' five-string double bass and sarangi, Jean-Philippe Poncin's bass clarinet and chalumeau, and Paul Garriau's hurdy-gurdy.

The album sees the group explore new straight-to-the-gut emotional territory, while simultaneously showcasing Razen's intuitive, continuous investigation of the acoustic properties and resonant possibilities of churches and chapels in the countryside around Brussels; after Remote Hologram (2014) and The Xvoto Reels (2017), this time the St. Agatha Church (St.-Agatha-Berchem) functions as the conduit for Razen's acoustic sound jolts.

With the past ten years entirely devoted to the search for archetypical timbres and connotations by improvising on Early Music instruments, it's no wonder that the world of Razen would one day collide with the world of CG Jung and take his writing as an inspiration.

A sonic hex tour de force from this unique ensemble, Ayîk Adhîsta Adhîsta Ayîk is a present-day, nocturnal emitter of the Coleridge quote that opens Jung's Memories:

"He looked at his own soul with a Telescope. What seemed all irregular he saw and shewed to be beautiful Constellations and he added to the Consciousness hidden worlds within worlds."

Brecht Ameel: Church Organ, Bouzouki
Kim Delcour: Single Reed, Tambourine, Shawm, Tenor Recorder,
Bass Recorder, Bagpipe
Pieter Lenaerts: Double Bass, Sarangi
Jean-Philippe Poncin: Bass Clarinet, Chalumeau
Paul Garriau: Hurdy-Gurdy

More information can be found here.

3189 Hits

David Berman, 1967-2019

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Our hearts go out to the friends and family of David Berman, a beloved cult figure who was one of the most brilliant and poetic lyricists of his generation.  He was best known as the sole constant member of Silver Jews, which he formed with Stephen Malkmus and Bob Nastanovich in the late ‘80s.  Though Malkmus and Nastanovich were soon drawn away by the demands of their other band Pavement, Berman kept the band going with a shifting array of like-minded collaborators (1996's The Natural Bridge with New Radiant Storm King is a personal favorite).  Throughout it all, Berman remained a deeply reluctant live performer with an open aversion to touring, though he occasionally did public readings of his writings.  Consequently, he surprised everyone by finally touring with Silver Jews in 2005 in support of Tanglewood Numbers.

Berman released one more album after that tour, then famously ended the band in 2009, vowing "to stop before we got bad" and planned to instead devote himself to undoing the influence of his lobbyist father ("I am the son of a demon come to make good the damage.").  Eventually, however, Berman was drawn back to music, unveiling a new project (Purple Mountains) that debuted on Drag City in July.  At the time of his death, the ensemble was poised to embark upon their inaugural US tour.

Many wonderful tributes have been written about Berman's life and work this week.  This is an especially fine one:

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/postscript/david-berman-made-us-feel-less-alone

6008 Hits

My Cat Is An Alien, "Spiritual Noise, Vol. 2"

"Spiritual Noise" is how My Cat Is An Alien baptized their own music and intermedia work at the beginning of their third decade of activity. 

Volume 2
in the ongoing "Spiritual Noise" series is a further step ahead in the unheard new music territories of MCIAA. 

Released on the new Antigravitational imprint, the record label & multimedia platform created and curated by MCIAA and set up with gallerist and publisher Marco Contini, the album was designed following principles of seriality and of installation art: the vinyl LP takes the shape of a multimedia object which displays a proper artbook mounted on the cover jacket, giving access to cinematic poetry films and extra contents for a fully immersive experience.

More information can be found here.

3495 Hits

Edward Ka-Spel, "The Moon Cracked Over Albion"

A year in the making in complete secrecy, the intention was to spring The Moon Cracked Over Albion without any warning or preview upon an unsuspecting World.  In fact, personal anticipation scuppered that plan and here is the finished article a little ahead of time.  Conceived and recorded in a nation (a World?) so tragically divided, it could fall apart, it's hoped that just a few seeds of hope and optimism can be sown over the course of the time you'll spend in this peculiar World.

The CD is in production right now.  An expanded vinyl edition is planned for early 2020.  Please note that Track 10 is the exclusive 4th side for the coming vinyl edition.

More information can be found here.

3736 Hits

Esplendor Geométrico, "Selected Tracks 2: 1995 - 1998"

Selected Tracks 2 is a double-album with a new selection of tracks recorded by Esplendor Geométrico between 1995 and 1998. Ten of the thirteen tracks appear for the first time on vinyl.  Some rarities, only published in very limited CD-R during the nineties and without distribution, are also included.

E.G. are pioneers and masters of rhythmic industrial music since their formation in Madrid in 1980, enjoying an international cult status for decades.  During the nineties, they developed their unique and unmistakable style, influenced by the new synthesizers of those years and digital technology.

In this double-album, we find machine and hypnotic rhythms, metallic sounds, tribal sonorities, distortion, collages with voices ..., which also show their influence on the current trends of industrial techno.  The songs have been chosen from albums like Polyglophone (released only on CD in 1997), EN-CO-D-eSPLENDOR (published in Japan-only on CD in 1998), and exclusive live tracks that do not have studio versions: "Al Asalto," "Nuevo Frente," "Elektrozavod," or "Ciudad Électrica." Also included are three tracks from the Syncrotron EP (Hymen 1988).

"When I think of the word Industrial... I think machines, gears, factories with tall smoke stacks.  Esplendor Geométrico means exactly that to me.  Hard minimal rhythmic machine music that grinds like a huge device that is cutting metal girders for large buildings.  Though most would quote bands like Throbbing Gristle, Neubauten & Coil as being the truest form of industrial, the music of Esplendor by far best describes the word 'industrial' when applied to music." (Adam-X, 2004)

More information can be found here.

3215 Hits

Dino Spiluttini, "Heaven"

Heaven is a work of contemporary church music.  Centrally occupied with the subject of death, its conceptualization was catalyzed by Spiluttini's discovering his mother's preparations both for her own death and for his.  He arrived at her home in 2015 to be led into the local church and shown the two adjacent places she had reserved for their urns.  The tracks on Heaven together consist of an analogously personal and anticipatory negotiation with death.

Partly derived from organ recordings made in the same church, the album frequently enlists Arvo Pärt’s compositional method of tintinnabuli.  Aside from the thematic logic of its sacred associations, the method suits Spiluttini's tendency, in spite of heavy and dynamic passages, to minimize tonal complexity.  His characteristic uses of gnashing bass, restlessly irregular pacing and serrated distortion return.  This time, they combine with pads, harps, fluttering organs and swooping choirs.

Track titles throughout Heaven conjure intense emotional conflicts, especially those arising from experiences of embodiment. Touch isolation is a term for the toxic masculine stigma against platonic touch between men.  If such a reference on an album preoccupied with death and afterlife raises the question of whether Spiluttini considers any touch – let alone platonic – to be possible in Heaven, the title "Flesh Angel" perhaps answers it.  As with "Body at War" and "Weakened Centurion," such a title positions the agitation of its music among ongoing struggles with body acceptance. Meanwhile, "Rainbow Bridge" recalls the 1980s prose poem promising an eternal reunion in death with one’s beloved lost pets.  In context, these various indices seem to capture the yearning speculation that, as the nexuses of experience, bodies are not discarded in death; on the contrary, they achieve a state of perfection.

Heaven revolves within dramatic and ever-changing vignettes.  As church music, it lacks real communal participation or fidelity to hymnal text.  Instead, it must come to terms with negation and eternity as dependable threats to generational and spatial distance, to personal struggles with earthly embodiment and to the anxious, hyperactive navigation of identity in late modernity.

More information can be found here.

3031 Hits

HTRK, "Venus in Leo"

The fourth album from HTRK, the duo of Jonnine Standish and Nigel Yang, arrives five years on from 2014's Psychic 9-5 Club. While some much-loved HTRK hallmarks remain—the combination of space and intimacy, the unmistakable interplay between Yang's guitars and Standish's vocals—Venus in Leo differs markedly in its energy, returning to HTRK’s underground rock past with the stylistic playfulness and variety of a modern mixtape.

Over the soft strums of acoustic guitar, the album’s introduction, "Into the Drama," posits a theory that "what was once considered self-sabotage could be revisited as being under the influence of Venus in Leo," Standish explains. Fingerpicked guitar loops rise slowly and fall over a cold, brittle beat. Previously released lovesong "Mentions" finds Standish exploring the lack of physical intimacy in the social media age. Elsewhere, there are emotional highs, like on the kaleidoscopic single "You Know How to Make Me Happy," which details a suspended state of ecstasy, Standish commending her partner's conscious efforts to prop her up with compliments. "New Year's Day" traces a flimsy resolution to get healthier, instantly busted by an evening of debauchery, recalling "the worst possible start to the year with bad friends and bad behavior." The silver lining is the sunrise: "pink, red, orange, white, peach" Standish repeats as the track laps with a velvety, hypnotic refrain.

Archetypal themes emerge as the band explore the makings of personality. Standish revisits her childhood home in a recurring dream ("Dream Symbol"), a doomed first kiss ("New Year’s Eve") and high drama ("Venus in Leo"). Recorded more or less live in HTRK’s home studio in the Dandenong Ranges outside of Melbourne, the album's simple production reveals gorgeous, toned-back arrangements and an evolving, idiosyncratic songcraft.

It's been ten years since HTRK released their breakthrough first album, Marry Me Tonight. The band has undergone profound changes, with the first two albums released amid the deaths of close friend and collaborator Rowland S. Howard and HTRK co-founder Sean Stewart.  Psychic 9-5 Club set them on a path of self-discovery, and Venus in Leo marks a spirited new chapter by one of the most distinctive bands of the past decade.

Out August 30th on Ghostly International.

3148 Hits

Lee Noble, "The Man Who Bites His Tongue"

A gathering of lost, changed, or unreleased tracks.  Just a document.

More information here.

3237 Hits

Carla dal Forno, "Look Up Sharp"

Carla dal Forno announces her second full-length album, ​Look Up Sharp​, on her own Kallista Records.

The London-based artist enters a new era in her peerless output pushing her dub-damaged DIY dispatches to the limits of flawless dream-pop.  In a transformative move towards crystal clear vocals and sharpened production, Look Up Sharp is an evolutionary leap from the thick fog and pastoral stillness of her Blackest Ever Black missives, You Know What It’s Like (2016) and The Garden EP (2017).

Three years since her plain-speaking debut album, the Melbourne-via-Berlin artist finds herself absorbed in London’s sprawling mess. The small-town dreams and inertia that preoccupied dal Forno's first album have dissolved into the chaotic city, its shifting identities, far-flung surroundings and blank faces.  Look Up Sharp is the story of this life in flux, longing for intimacy, falling short and embracing the unfamiliar. Dal Forno connects with kindred spirits and finds refuge in darkened alleys, secret gardens and wherever else she dares to look.

In her own territory between plaintive pop, folk and post-punk, dal Forno conjures the ghosts of AC Marias, Virginia Astley and Broadcast through her brushwork of art-damaged fx and spectral atmospheres.  The first half of the record is filled with dubbed-out humid bass lines, which tether stoned hazes of psychedelic synth work as on "Took A Long Time" and "No Trace." These are contrasted with songs like "I'm Conscious" and "So Much Better" that channel the lilting power of Young Marble Giants and are clear sequels-in-waiting to dead-eyed classics like "Fast Moving Cars."

The B-side begins with the feverish bass and meandering melody of "Don't Follow Me," which takes The Cure's "A Forest" as its conceptual springboard. It's the clearest lyrical example since "The Garden" of dal Forno's unmatched ability to unpick the masculine void of post-punk and new wave nostalgia to reflect contemporary nuance.  Look Up Sharp reaches its satisfying conclusion with "Push On" - dal Forno’s most explicit foray into an undiscovered trip hop universe between Massive Attack and Tracey Thorn.  The album's last gasp finds personal validation in fragility: "I push on / I'm the Place I'm Going," a self discovery lifted by reverberant broken beats and glass-blown vocals.

Adding further depth to Look Up Sharp are the instrumentals, which flow seamlessly between the vocal-led pieces.  "Hype Sleep" and "Heart of Hearts" drink from the same stream as The Flying Lizard's dubbed-out madness and the vivid purple sunsets of Eno's Another Green World.  While "Creep Out of Bed" and "Leaving for Japan" funnel the fourth-world psychedelia of Cyclobe's industrial-folk into the vortex of Nico's The Marble Index.

Conceived as a whole, Look Up Sharp is a singular prism in which light, sound and concept bend at all angles.  A deeply personal but infinitely relatable album its many surfaces are complex but authentic, enduring but imperfect, hard-edged but delicate.  A diamond. Look up sharp or you’ll miss it.

More information can be found here.

3084 Hits

Rắn Cạp Đuôi, "Degradation"

Composed during Vietnam's monsoon season and propelled by the composers' fear of drowning, Degradation is inspired by flooding, torrential rain and the ocean.

Over three tracks Rắn Cạp Đuôi, an international music and visual arts collective based in Saigon, take us on a journey from breaking waves to inundated landscapes, and underwater horrors.

Rắn Cạp Đuôi, whose name translates to 'snake bites tail', are comprised of members Phạm Thế Vũ, Đỗ Tấn Sĩ, and Zach Sch. Additional collaborators include: Lý Hà Trang, Đỗ Hoàng Tuấn Anh, Bjorn Bols, Colton Cox, Josie Turnbull, and Trần Duy Hưng.

More information can be found here.

3102 Hits