Fennesz, "Agora"

Agora is Christian Fennesz's first solo album since Mahler Remixed [Touch, 2014] and Bécs [Editions Mego, 2014].  Fennesz writes: "It's a simple story.  I had temporarily lost a proper studio workspace and had to move all my gear back to a small bedroom in my flat where I recorded this album. It was all done on headphones, which was rather a frustrating situation at first, but later on it felt like back in the day when I produced my first records in the 1990s.  In the end it was inspiring.  I used very minimal equipment; I didn't even have the courage to plug in all the gear and instruments which were at my disposal.  I just used what was to hand."

Agora will be released March 29, 2019 on Touch.


3896 Hits

Michael O'Shea LP reissue

Michael O'Shea (Vinyl, LP, Album) album cover

"Michael O’Shea’s sole, breathtaking album ranks among our favourite of all time - yet hardly anyone seems to have heard of it.  Produced by Wire's Bruce Gilbert and Graham Lewis at the Dome studio in 1982, it's an utterly singular work of magick, meshing myriad, worldly modes into music that rarely fails to reduce us to tears.  It's one of those albums that basically sounds like nothing else - the only record we can draw some parallels to is Dariush Dolat-Shahi's life-changing Electronic Music, Tar and Sehtar, despite it coming from the other end of the world.

First brought to our attention by Blackest Ever Black at the start of this decade, we've gradually developed an obsessive fascination with its sublime, rapid dervishes and warbling rhythmelodies, so it’s a pleasure to see it finally made easily available to everyone who we’ve ranted about it over the years (2nd hand copies have been historically pricey and hard to come by!), and especially replete with its enlightening new sleeve notes by archivist and writer Failed Bohemian.

A busker among other trades, O'Shea was an itinerant soul who, after a childhood and formative years spent between Northern Ireland and Kerry in the south of the country, and extensive travel between Europe, Turkey and Bangladesh, created his own instrument - an electrified dulcimer known as Mó Cará (Irish for 'My Friend') - which he performed on at Ronnie Scott's, before later playing on bills with everyone from Ravi Shankar to Don Cherry, and also recording with The The's Matt and Tom Johnson.

Aside from his two contributions to the Stano album, "Content To Dine In I Dine Weathercraft" (also recently reissued by Dublin’s Allchival), O'Shea's first and only album is the main point of reference for this unique artist.  Like some eccentric expression of ancient Indo-European voices channeled thru a Celtic body, Michael O'Shea's improvised acousto-electric music intuitively distills a world of styles into singularly hypnotic works.  Using his self-built instrument; a hybrid of a zelochord and a sitar, made on a wooden door salvaged in Munich, and with the crucial addition of electric pick-ups and the "Black Hole Space Box," O'Shea would absorb sounds from his travels like a sponge, and relay them back thru the instrument with effortlessly freeform and achingly lush results as elaborate as a Celtic knot or elegant as Sanskrit text.

The mercurial flow of syncretised styles in 15 minute opener "No Journey’s End" catches your breath and doesn’t give it back, leaving us utterly light-headed and feeling something akin to religious experience, before his "Kerry" vignette most beautifully limns the epic coastline he hails from.  The plasmic swirl and phasing of "Guitar No. 1" is perhaps the one piece that time dates the LP to the post-punk era, even if it could have come from ancient Mesopotamia, while the album and artist's underlying metaphysics bleed thru most hauntingly in the timbral shadowplay of "Voices," and the rapidly tremulous, animist voodoo of "Anfa Dásachtach."

Noted in his lifetime, not least by himself as: "…joker, transvestite, inventor, psychonaut, actor, catalyst, community worker, musician, traveler, instrument maker," Michael O'Shea's life was, by all accounts, every bit as colourful as his music, which only makes his untimely death in 1991 all that more tragic, as we’d practically give an arm to hear what he could have made in the early techno era, as he was purportedly getting heavy into London's rave scene before he was taken.

Honestly no other record has cast such a strong spell over us in recent memory - to the extent of sending us on wild goose chases on the wrong peninsula in Kerry - so please pardon the gush 'cos we can’t help but share love for this life-affirming disc and Michael O'Shea's beautifully transcendent music."

-via Boomkat

Out now on Ireland's Allchival label.

3754 Hits

Machinefabriek, "With Voices"

With Voices is the newest recording by Dutch composer Rutger Zuydervelt under the moniker Machinefabriek.  True to its title, the album’s eight pieces exhibit Zuydervelt's use of cassette recorders, tone generators, radios, synths, and other hifi curios to construct bewildering aural architecture around vocal work from Peter Broderick, Marissa Nadler, Richard Youngs, Chantal Acda, Terence Hannum (of Locrian) and others.  These human voices are featured as musical instruments rather than mere vehicles of lyrical content, resulting in a sub-linguistic mosaic of primordially stirring moods.

The initial spark of With Voices was kindled while Zuydervelt was in Taipei creating music for a dance company.  In the final days of his trip, a dancer named Wei-Yun Chen caught Zuydervelt's ear with an instagram video featuring a voice that turned out to be Wei-Yun's own (she would end up on the album’s seventh movement, a piece that features dissected bits of Taiwanese poetry amid low-pitched murmurs and whispering fogbanks of static).  The encounter stirred Zuydervelt to create a single 35 minute soundscape upon which each vocalist on With Voices was encouraged to improvise, be it talking, reading, singing, or wordless, guttural intoning. Such vocal smatterings were then used to determine how the other tonal elements should be arranged, dictating where each musical passage would ultimately lead.  "The idea was for everyone to just do what came naturally" he recalls, "the element of unpredictability was important to me."

Indicative of this approach "III" (the tracks are simply titled with Roman numerals) slowly winds like ivy through staccato phrases spoken by Zuydervelt's peer Peter Broderick, whose micro-incantations skip along mechanically only to telescope into monastic grandeur at the track's midpoint; the vibrations of vocal cords are often stretched to a seismic hum to form the heavy implements in Zuydervelt's toolkit.  On "V," tape recordings of Berlin electronic artist Zero Years Kid (aka Joachim Badenhorst) sputter with their own apparent intelligence like a faulty AI attempting to interpret reels of human speech in some ruinous library of the distant future.  Finally, a Siren-like Marissa Nadler leads the suite to its lullabic endpoint with overlapping wisps of harmony devoid of accompaniment ending the album on an angelic note.

In these moments, like much of With Voices, warm-blooded arteries seem to have grown around bits of well-designed artifice to form something warmly alien, soberly futuristic, and inherently satisfying.  More than simply an album of collaborative features, With Voices is a mutating collage of modern minimalism that challenges as often as it comforts. There is an alchemical, metallurgical quality that arises from Zuydervelt's unique way of merging humanness with abstraction, harshness with beauty, and unintelligibility with familiarity on what may be the most affecting Machinefabriek release to date.

More information can be found here.

3502 Hits

Laurie Spiegel, "Unseen Worlds"

Laurie Spiegel's second full-length album, Unseen Worlds, arrived just over ten years after her debut album. Having realized the pieces found on The Expanding Universe (1980) on an instrument no longer available to her, the GROOVE System at Bell Laboratories, Spiegel moved on to composing and developing for the Alles Machine, alphaSyntauri, McLeyvier and various other instruments before creating an instrument entirely her own. Spiegel created "Music Mouse - An Intelligent Instrument" on a Macintosh 512k so that she could have an instrument that was not general purpose, but a small, specialized, and well-defined musical instrument for and by her that she did not have to compromise on or risk losing access to it. While it was a very personal instrument for Spiegel, demand among friends and colleagues nevertheless grew until "Music Mouse - An Intelligent Instrument" became a commercial product for the Macintosh, Amiga, and Atari personal computers with a devoted popular following that continues to this day, despite the obsoletion of those platforms.  At the time of her Unseen Worlds album's original release in 1991, the issuing record label turned out to be going out of business, dissolved and disappeared, sending the album immediately into obscurity.  Outside of a private CD edition issued by Spiegel on her own Aesthetic Engineering label in 1994, this new edition represents the first proper commercial release of Unseen Worlds.

"Unseen Worlds is not so much based on melody and rhythm as it is on textures, pulses, and sonic environments. Sometimes dark, sometimes light, its drama pulls in the adventurous listener who wants to take a musical journey.  Using computer software she wrote in order to implement a unique musical vision, Unseen Worlds blends the artistic and the technical, the cerebral and the sensual, and revives the virtually abandoned tradition of electronic music.  Unseen Worlds is the work of a sonic explorer whose music can both challenge and caress.  Those looking for other worlds of sound can put on headphones and find them here." - Craig Anderton

More information can be found here.

3242 Hits

Steven Stapleton/ David Tibet, "The Threats of Memories" 2LP & "The Threat of Memory" boxed set

The Threats Of Memories by Steven Stapleton / David Tibet

The Threats Of Memories 2LP reissue, on United Dirter, by Steven Stapleton and David Tibet features three side-long tracks, newly edited by Andrew Liles, from their albums The Sadness Of Things and Musical Pumpkin Cottage. The fourth side is a previously unreleased version, titled "DreamBreath," from the Musical Pumpkin Cottage recording sessions. It comes in a gatefold sleeve, reproducing Babs Santini's artwork from the original releases and a photograph of Steven and David by Ruth Bayer, as well as an insert containing all lyrics and credits, and with HandWriting by David Tibet. The 2LP was mastered by Andrew Liles, and the cover was designed by Ania Goszczyńska.  Photography by Andrew Thomas.

The Threat Of Memory 5CD boxed set, on United Dirter, by Steven Stapleton and David Tibet features all of Steven and David's previously-issued recordings, made under their "Steven Stapleton & David Tibet" faces, on the first four of the CDs, as well as a fifth CD with previously unissued out-takes from the Musical Pumpkin Cottage recording sessions. It does not include the unissued out-take on Side 4 on Side 4 of The Threats of Memories 2LP.

It comes in a hinged box, with new artwork by Babs Santini on the CDs' individual sleeves, as well as on the box's cover with a booklet containing all credits and lyrics, and with HandWriting by David Tibet.  The CDs were mastered by Andrew Liles and the cover was designed by Ania Goszczyńska.  Photography by Sarah Stapleton.

More information can be found here, as well as information on the related Dead Memory LP.

5846 Hits

Phill Niblock, "Music For Cello"

Phill Niblock - Music For Cello - CD - PRE-ORDER

Phill Niblock's Music For Cello collects three pieces from the '70s and early '80s, performed by cellist David Gibson.

This CD includes a 16-page unpublished interview with Phill Niblock.

Since the late sixties, Phill Niblock has been composing long-form acoustic drones with a focus on the rhythms and overtones that rise from closely tuned instruments. His highly original and influential music is an exploration of timbre, microtonality, stability, duration and psychoacoustic phenomenon.

"'3 to 7 - 196' is very direct, aggressive, and gritty. The overtone patterns that are produced by the proximal pitches become more prominent with louder volume. So please, play this piece very loud. This was the first piece of mine in which the musician was precisely tuned, in which I chose exact pitches in hertz. We used a sine wave oscillator and frequency counter for the tuning.

'Descent Plus' has four cello tones descending one octave over twenty-two minutes, from 300 hertz to 150 hertz. David Gibson played these tones without lifting his bow from the strings, constantly retuning. I made four different scores, manually changing an oscillator to which he was tuning, for each track's recording. For the revision, we added six more tracks, with David playing long tones which were not descending. The second part of the recording was made nearly twenty years later.

'Summing II' (one of four parts) is mellow and sonorous. David plays two strings simultaneously, one of which is retuned for each successive recording of that pair of tones. This is a mix of an eight track tape. It's better played loud also."

- Phill Niblock from liner notes

More information can be found here.

5560 Hits

Alvin Lucier, "Ricochet Lady" and "So You..."

Ricochet Lady by Alvin Lucier

The recently composed “Ricochet Lady” (2016) is the only work for solo acoustic glockenspiel by the American experimental composer Alvin Lucier. Following in the manner of his pieces "I Am Sitting In A Room" and "Vespers," "Ricochet Lady" embodies Lucier's approach toward sound's individual function and mobility within space. This CD defines this approach through four realizations recorded in four dissimilar spaces, ranging from the standard to extraordinary: a university rehearsal hall with walls of drywall and glass, a chapel made of oak and stone, an empty forge and foundry warehouse for steel railway wheels, and a 36-meter tall dilapidated cement grain elevator.

Never one to shy away from convention, Lucier intensifies each performance by instructing that the glockenspiel be placed against a wall or other reflective surface where the soloist systematically traverses the entire range of the instrument in rapid, repetitive patterns, actively disseminating the glockenspiel’s sustain, clicks, and interferences throughout the space. In doing so, the glockenspiel maps the unique acoustical characters of each space as each space helps to compose the piece. Created in close collaboration with Trevor Saint, a rare (if not the only) specialist of experimental music for glockenspiel, Lucier has further enhanced the sophistication of this re-imagined instrument while maintaining his devotion to letting spaces speak.

So You (Hermes, Orpheus, Eurydice) by Alvin Lucier

So You … (Hermes, Orpheus, Eurydice) is a major new work by legendary experimental composer Alvin Lucier. It is an hour-long epic that tracks the familiar Orpheus myth from a less familiar perspective: that of Eurydice as imagined by poet H.D. (Hilda Doolittle); a Eurydice who rails at Orpheus for his hubris in attempting to rescue her.

So You … (Hermes, Orpheus, Eurydice) was originally commissioned by Documenta 14 and first performed as part of Documenta in Athens in 2017. Two key, and formerly distinct, aspects of Lucier's practice come together in this piece: the exploration of interference patterns in closely tuned intervals, and the exploration of resonant chambers. From speakers mounted inside amphorae a constantly turning braid of beating sine waves trace the descent into the depths of hell, and then the doomed attempt to climb back into life. Singer Jessika Kenney and long-time Lucier collaborators Anthony Burr and Charles Curtis embody the three title characters in deeply focused performances that assert themselves against the process of the sweep, or become enfolded in it. The electronics were mixed in real time by programmer and equipment designer Tom Erbe. This record has all of the mind-bending acoustic effects expected from a Lucier piece, but also features a strong sense of narrative drama and flashes of raw emotion that are unexpected and deeply affecting.

More information on both albums can be found here.

6088 Hits

Ellen Fullman & Okkyung Lee, "The Air Around Her"

This record documents music made by two women — one American and one Korean — who have both made a profound impact within experimental music. Ellen Fullman’s Long String Instrument has been a long-term life-work of incredible ambition and dedication. The result is immediate, exciting and inspirational. Okkyung Lee has completed rewritten the possibilities for the cello in solo and group improvisation whilst maintaining a steadfast defiance to the many attempts to contain her work within pre-defined genres.

The Air Around Her was recorded on February 20th, 2016 during the First Edition Festival for Other Music in Stockholm, Sweden at Kronobageriet — the former bakery to Swedish Royalty that dates back to the 17th Century and is now the site of the city’s Performing Arts Museum. The Edition Festival was given access to the space while renovations took place and Fullman allowed the requisite time to install and tune her long string instrument along the full 26 meter length of the room.

More information can be found here.

5187 Hits

Eliane Radigue, "Geelriandre/Arthesis"

Eliane Radigue

Geelriandre/Arthesis is named for the pieces that fill its two sides.  "Geelriandre," realized on an ARP 2500 synthesizer in 1972, features Gérard Fremy on prepared piano, for whom the piece was originally composed.  "Arthesis," realized using the University of Iowa's Moog in 1973, comprises the full duration of side B.

Eliane Radigue has received much deserved praise for her transcendent compositions for tape, synthesizers and acoustic instruments.  Her work is deep, slowly changing and timelessly resonant with timbre so dense you can listen through the sound to find infinity.  Accute physicality, overtones and psychoacoustic activity fills your space, follows you, grounds you, pulls you in or lets you go.  It's all here/hear.

More information can be found here.

5094 Hits

Three New Releases from Richard Skelton

Front Variations (December 2018)

Music for the retreating ice-sheets of Iceland, produced in Seyðisfjörður, Eastern Iceland, in 2016.

Front Variations is composed from sine waves subjected to increasing amounts of feedback in order to simulate the so-called 'ice-albedo' feedback mechanism.

This is the process whereby the action of melting glaciers reduces the global surface area of ice, thereby reducing the amount of solar radiation that glaciers reflect, which in turn increases global temperatures and causes further glacial melting.

Ring modulation and distortion were also used to further deteriorate the sound signal.

A Great Body Rising and Falling and Another Hand (January 2019)

Two new works to add to the catalog of music that Richard Skelton has produced for the landscapes of northern England, including Marking Time (2008), Landings (2009), Limnology (2012), Succession (2013), Belated Movements (2015) and Scaleby (2017).

Both represent different variants in the development of what Peter Meanwell described in The Wire as 'land music,' an endeavor informed by archaeology, ecology, folklore and myth. The first, A Great Body Rising and Falling, explores the idea of agency and sentience within the apparently inanimate, and the second, Another Hand, takes as its inspiration a line from a gloss on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight to explore the relationship between the natural and the supernatural.

More information can be found here.

4288 Hits

"Kankyō Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music 1980-1990"

Light In The Attic's Japan Archival Series continues with Kankyō Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music 1980-1990, an unprecedented overview of the country’s vital minimal, ambient, avant-garde, and New Age music – what can collectively be described as kankyō ongaku, or environmental music. The collection features internationally acclaimed artists such as Haruomi Hosono, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Joe Hisaishi, as well as other pioneers like Hiroshi Yoshimura, Yoshio Ojima and Satoshi Ashikawa, who deserve a place alongside the indisputable giants of these genres.

In the 1970s, the concepts of Brian Eno's "ambient" and Erik Satie's "furniture music" began to take hold in the minds of artists and musicians around Tokyo. Emerging fields like soundscape design and architectural acoustics opened up new ways in which sound and music could be consumed. For artists like Yoshimura, Ojima and Ashikawa, these ideas became the foundation for their musical works, which were heard not only on records and in live performances, but also within public and private spaces where they intermingled with the sounds and environments of everyday life. The bubble economy of 1980s Japan also had a hand in the advancement of kankyō ongaku. In an attempt to cultivate an image of sophisticated lifestyle, corporations with expendable income bankrolled various art and music initiatives, which opened up new and unorthodox ways in which artists could integrate their avant-garde musical forms into everyday life: in-store music for Muji, promo LP for a Sanyo AC unit, a Seiko watch advert, among others that can be heard in this collection.

Kankyō Ongaku is expertly compiled by Spencer Doran (Visible Cloaks) who, with a series of revelatory mixtapes as well as his label Empire of Signs (Music For Nine Postcards), has been instrumental in shepherding interest in this music outside of Japan. Together with Light In The Attic's celebrated anthologies I Am The Center and The Microcosm, Kankyō Ongaku helps to broaden our understanding of this quietly profound music, regardless of the environment in which it is heard.

Out February 2019 on Light in the Attic.

6343 Hits

Croatian Amor, "Isa"

In 2019 Croatian Amor returns with a new album, Isa.

Copenhagen's Loke Rahbek works in a wide variety of forms. His prolific rate of activity is best viewed through his and Christian Stadgaard's Posh Isolation label. Of Rahbek's many projects, his most eloquent and gentle is Croatian Amor.

2017’s single "Finding People" bloomed from Croatian Amor's previous album, the widely acclaimed Love Means Taking Action. These melancholic transmissions presented a kind of alien pop. For Isa, he has drawn on an impressive list of guests to realize a nauseating narrative of virtual communication and eschatological programming. The album's title invokes a messianic entity, and though it's hard to tell what's imagined or remembered anymore, the play that Croatian Amor is known for feels far more vivid today.

"Enhance photo to reveal a picture of Bird caught mid-flight; enhance again, the bird has a human face screaming."

Never pessimistic, Croatian Amor circles themes of tragedy and comfort to animate a sense of hope. His accomplices pluck details from his graphic scenes like a searchlight drifting over a starlit surface. Alto Aria, Soho Rezanejad, and Jonnine Standish of HTRK, each contribute vocals across the album, cloaked and kerned on Croatian Amor's inimitable stage. "Eden 1.1" and its accompaniment "Eden 1.2" feature the voices of Frederikke Hoffmeier and Yves Tumor, respectively. These are some of album's most delicate pieces, and where one may find respite from the helix of damaged rhythms that eddy across 'Isa'. Familiar faces from Copenhagen are solicited throughout, and perhaps the album's most endearing quality is the space for volatility that all of the collaboration has invited. 

All the signals and timelines lead everywhere and back. Maybe it's only the myths that get us?

More information can be found here.

5865 Hits

Hekla, "Á"

Hekla's music exists singularly. A one-off talent, emerging from no particular scene, ascribing to no particular rules.

As a creative tool, the theremin - bizarre, unique, and rarely heard - can be expressive, intuitive and highly adaptable. In Hekla's hands, her instrument covers an enormous range, from skittering birdsong of high frequency chirrups and chirps, to grinding, tectonic sub-bass. We are given the throbbing, apocalyptic dread of "Muddle" and the baroque beauty of traditional Icelandic hymn "Heyr Himna Smi∂ur" in sequential tracks on the album's A-Side.  Appropriately, she also writes that the album title - Á - is similarly multifaceted in her native Icelandic: "a river is an á and also it means ouch like when you hurt yourself, and also when you put something on top of something you put it á (on) something."

More information can be found here.

5586 Hits

The Dead C, "Rare Ravers"

Disguised as the meandering outpourings of vacant thought and activity dialed simultaneously from zero and ten. Formed in the cauldron of a fevered mistake resolute. Surrounded by ignorance, dis-interest, and the attention of the carefully self-selected. Recorded and burned through a thousand galaxies of dust and doubt and endless infinite wonder, transforming both time and space. Forever exiled to the very bottom of the world to reflect on the struggling desperate pile above. Recognizing any contribution as minuscule and insignificant when placed within the greatness of the other, the dominant insolent preening satisfied, continually shouting the pre-eminence of the first world order.

It's a long player.

More information can be found here.

6092 Hits

Machinefabriek with Anne Bakker, "Short Scenes"

Short Scenes came to life when working on a soundtrack with violinist Anne Bakker. Taking a series of her improvisations as the starting point, I started to edit and construct them into new songs - no preconceived plan, just being lead by these violin recordings. Still working in the "soundtrack modus operandi," the resulting tracks are short and concise. None of them ended up being used in a score, but from the very beginning I felt these little vignettes would form a darn fine album. And here it is.

More information can be found here.

5934 Hits

Koray Kantarcioğlu, "Loopworks"

Originally released by Wounded Wolf Press as a limited release (only 100 cassettes were made) back in 2016, Loopworks finds Turkish visual and sound artist Koray Kantarcioğlu (Ankara, 1982) exploring the unlimited possibilities of databending. As source material Koray used samples he dug from Turkish records that were released in the 1960s and 1970s, creating this unique sound using various effects, such as reverb, echo and tempo.

Loopworks impacts almost instantly mainly because it shows some familiarity with the recent work of Leyland Kirby as The Caretaker, particularly because of the "haunted ballroom" effect. Kirby connects more with the idea of memory and its disappearance/transformation, Koray Kantarcioğlu explores the usage and the dynamic of these sounds as ambient music for different scenarios and the importance of a new-found life of the raw material he used to create these songs. The source material appear as enigmatic as these new sounds and activate a sense of discovery and constant wonder throughout Loopworks.

With the vinyl release of Loopworks we continue 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. Koray Kantarcioğlu’s work here is a strong manifestation of that and how "haunted music" can express myriad feelings and sensations.

Loopworks has a tremendous vision of the metamorphosis that's been occurring in ambient music during the last decade. Sometimes it is 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 & 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. Old music transformed into something new, unique.  That's special.

More information can be found here.

5704 Hits

PLYXY, "Gloryland"

Originally issued by Ascetic House as a small limited-run cassette release in early 2018, PLYXY's debut EP Gloryland will now be available on vinyl and digital formats by Hallow Ground.

Haunted by the pressing question, "What if?," the five compositions on Gloryland aim to create, in the words of the artist, Ros Knopov, himself, "a hyper-visual audio landscape of a world somebody listening can fall into and drown in."

The term "nostalgia" originally referred to the longing for a place. The nostalgia that informs Gloryland is PLYXY's longing for his cultural-geographic roots while feeling adrift in an alien environment. Born in Dnepropetrovsk, then the rocket-making capital of the USSR, Knopov immigrated to New York City as a child in 1989.  In Gloryland, he dives deep into his uneasy childhood memories and their warped reflections. PLYXY marks the unreliability of his recollections by making it heard - the anthemic qualities of the five pieces are coated in an opaque layer of dream-like textures. From the elegiac opener, "It Will Be Beautiful," to the blaring rhythmic noise of "March of Youth," the greyscale picture painted by Gloryland becomes more and more refined below the surface.

PLYXY's search for a past is, however, less a sentimental journey, and more a radical confrontation with the politics of memory and the materials that serve as mnemonic devices. Gloryland draws on field recordings from Knopov's adopted hometown New York and Soviet films as well as performances from his collection of analog and digital keyboards, with the results filtered and re-textured through the producer's modular synthesizer setup acting as the final editorial layer in the creative process. The result is lush and warm throughout, but also demure and distant. While Gloryland might thus easily be pigeonholed as a hauntological record, it is one only in the term's most radical sense. After all, any "What if?" might turn into a "Why not?"

More information can be found here.

5531 Hits

Eliane Radigue, "Electronic Works"

Åuvres électroniques by Eliane Radigue

"Sixteen hours of peerless, important works by Eliane Radigue relating to her work with the ARP 2500 synthesiser between 1971-2000. Prior to this period, Eliane worked exclusively with feedback on tape and oscillators, but her work from the '70s onward is defined by an uniquely meditative and transcendent grasp of microtonal minimalism which has latterly come to place her among the 20th century’s most esteemed and truly inimitable composers. Bearing in mind that Eliane realized this fathomless body of work in her Paris apartment away from professional recording studios, only makes it resonate more strongly with the idea that Eliane was a genuine outlier whose uniquely sober work divined an unquantifiable yet ultimately human nature in electronic music.

Eliane Radigue was born in Paris. She studied musique concrète techniques at the Studio d’Essai of the RTF under the direction of Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry (1956-57). She was married to the painter and sculptor Arman and devoted ten years to their three children. She then worked with Pierre Henry, as his assistant at the Studio APSOME (1967-68). She was in residence at the New York University School of Arts (1970-71), the University of Iowa and the California Institute of the Arts (1973) and Mills College (1998). She has created sound environments using looped tapes of various durations, gradually desynchronising.

Her works have been featured in numerous galleries and museums since the late 60s and from 1970, she has been associated to the ARP 2500 Synthesizer and tape through many compositions from "Chry-ptus" (1970) up to "L’Île resonante" (2000). These include: "Biogenesis," "Arthesis," "Ψ 847," "Adnos I, II and III" ('70s), "Les Chants de Milarepa" and "Jetsun Mila" ('80s) and the three pieces constituting the Trilogie de la Mort (1988-91-93). Since 2002, she has been composing mostly acoustic works for performers and instruments. Her music has been featured in major international festivals. Her extremely sober, almost ascetic concerts, are made of a continuous, ever-changing yet extremely slow stream of sound, whose transformation occurs within the sonic material itself.

Radigue found her musical voice through the decisive encounter with musique concrète and its founding fathers. With Pierre Schaeffer, first, and then Pierre Henry, with whom she learned and perfected the art of tape recorders. She then developed a unique style by herself, freely continuing the exploration of electronic sounds, progressing with tenacity through her musical quest, without worrying about current trends or fashions, paying no attention to creeds or dogmas. An isolated course, out with fashions and institutions, such a singular and intense music, so remote from everything..."

-via Boomkat

6381 Hits

Various Artists, "The Black Book" (iDEAL)

The Black Book by Various

"Joachim Nordwall marks 20 years of his iDEAL label with The Black Book, a blinding sweep of original material from JASSS, Stephen O'Malley, Ramleh, Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, Carlos Giffoni & Prurient, Ectoplasm Girls, JH1.FS3, JS Aurelius, Autumns, John Duncan, and many more.

The story of iDEAL starts out in London 1998, when Nordwall was living the hardscrabble life: working in an underwear shop near Liverpool Street station; living in a filthy Bayswater apartment; scoring industrial records from the Music and Video Exchange; getting drunk in cheap pubs, and dreaming of starting a new record label and platform. He called it iDEAL, and 180 releases, 20 years later, it has become an invaluable node for non-standard, wayward expressions of modern electronic noise in all its mutable variation.

iDEAL's success and longevity may well be down to the way that Nordwall treated it as a social and artistic home, offering a place where mutually exclusive styles could bed down away from the mainstream or the genre police, and feed into a much larger, work-in-progress definition of fringe music. The Black Book extends, in the spirit of the label, an idealized compilation of disparate possibilities connected by a sense of musical mystery and chaotic energy.

To focus on just a few highlights, the ever unpredictable JASSS makes a notable inclusion with the serene vignette of LP opener, "Parental Youth," while Jim O'Rourke unfurls 17 minutes of gloaming post-industrial drone with "In Regards." Label friend Jonathan Uliel Saldanha contributes the tense, searching horns of "Siren Frontier," and Ectoplasm Girls cook up the grim, thrumming electronics of "Neuropean." John Duncan parses the airwaves to find the curdling organism of "Shortwave6," and Frederikke Hoffmeier (Puce Mary) and Jesse Sanes seduce with the narcotic drone-pop of "At The Bottom Of The Night" as JH1.FS3, alongside a powerful rhythmic oddity from Stephen O'Malley, a stark death rattle from Trepaneringsritualen as Týr × Reið × Vend with "nd þau né átto, óð þau né hfðo," and Norn Iron's Autumns "Lose It" on a mucky acid 'floor swill."

-via Forced Exposure

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Fossil Aerosol Mining Project, "The Recounting of Night Time"

For over three decades now, the Fossil Aerosol Mining Project has patiently sifted through the damaged remains and bygone refuse from the late 20th century pop culture of America. Mining the snippets of audio found from abandoned drive-in theaters, mangled VHS tapes, and discarded cassettes, Fossil Aerosol studiously pieces together empathic, haunted abstractions of their original source material. their cryptic sound collages address the continued ramifications of the inherent paranoia from the cold war dissonance of stark morality and nuclear apocalypse.

The Recounting of Night Time begins and ends with the scratchy melodies from a well-worn violin. echoes and their amplifications from this instrument gradually subsume the original amidst cascades of tape manipulations and time-delay techniques. This motif repeats through the album with profound emotional torpor through Fossil Aerosol's hypnotic cycles of foggy ambience and back-masked rhythmic events that intertwine with varispeed-pitched dilations of melancholy melody. It makes for a beautifully corroded smear of sound, recalling the works of William Basinski and Fossil Aerosol's occasional collaborators :zoviet*france:

Fossil Aerosol addresses the album this way:

The Recounting of Night Time was composed and mixed in October of 2014. The source material focuses principally on a certain piece of German gothic cinema made during the late 1970s. This material was culled from both VHS audio tracks, as well a "field recording" made at a poorly-attended screening of the film in a decaying theater in St. Louis, Missouri sometime during the mid-1980s. Evidence of video control track glitches are present, while the scent of the acutely mildewed theater is recollected and implied."

A special edition of the CD, limited to only 18 copies, will also be available via Helen Scarsdale, and also from Afterdays Media. This edition consists of shrink-wrapped CDs overpainted in chalkboard resurfacing paint, erased chalk, acrylic, and a hand-lettered Bandcamp download code for an additional 18+ minute track.

More information can be found here.

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