Aidan Baker is so prolific that his quality control might be open to question, except any criticism is disarmed by the near-impossibility of keeping pace with his myriad collaborations and solo projects. FortunatelyTriptychs would stand out in any discography. Inspired by Satie‚Äôs Gymnop√©dies and "furniture music" it is full of precise instrumentation which allows the music space to breathe and creates a serene, and meditative, air.
This trio from Tel Aviv has created driving and airy songs suffused with somewhat doom-laden yet inspiring vocals, hollow rhythms, and gauzey guitar, for an album which could easily masquerade as a release from 1980s Manchester or Glasgow.
This reissue offers the chance to hear another obscurity from the NWW list. With perfect backing, Vian plays synths, sequencer and piano, to create an exotic, space-age soundtrack that is quite distinct from his more raucous music with Red Noise.
The New Alchemy creates transformational music from simple elements: voices, guitars, organs, and saxophones. The music moves deliberately, contrasting an intense, blistering, squall one might associate with screams from human sacrifice, with an airy, spacious, psychedelia.
The 49 Americans were a collision of proficient, working musicians and enthusiastic amateurs, one of many projects in the often improvised history of the London Musicians Collective. The inspired, thoughtful, jaunty tunefulness of We Know Nonsense is partly inspired by Julie Andrews.
This double disc set is an expanded reissue of the first two 17 Pygmies albums and their debut EP Hatikva. It is a fine document of the group formed by Savage Republic member Philip Drucker (aka Jackson Del Rey) in an attempt to make music that was more melodic than SR.
These seven lengthy grooves are sure to please disco fans and their refreshing quality can be appreciated by those others who, like me, tend to view the genre with a mixture of amusement and terror. Sadly, behind the ecstatic sounds of 24 Hours in a Disco is the tale of a talented artist who was cursed by addiction and doomed by fame.
Coolies started out in the late 1990s, a trio of school friends from South Auckland, NZ, making a homemade-punk noise. After a first spurt of activity they lost a couple of drummers, released hardly any music, and seemed to have gone silent. This brief new album captures their gleeful, raw, energy on a reel-to-reel recorder.
Felix seem to approach the art of songwriting with an oblique playfulness similar to such groups as Slapp Happy or Hugo Largo, albeit with darker results. Minimal accompaniment frames Lucinda Chua singing meticulous and poetic lyrics, using everyday expressions and bizarre thoughts in a conversational style, touching on magical realism without sounding twee or trite. Oh Holy Molar is a convincing existential internal dialogue, by turns bleak, funny, honest, inspiring, sad, and wry.
Recorded over three days in Greece, Varvakios is an odd yet perfect sound travelogue of sorts. Cold, intense, monochrome, guitar-based instrumentals‚Äîsome with an almost Balkan atmosphere‚Äîalternate with field recordings perhaps in markets or auctions. The overall feeling is of urban industrial-tribalism amid an exotic, humid, foreign landscape.
On these ten original songs Monti renders the dramatic political history and culture of Italy into animal characters. Sounding passionate, sarcastic, unhinged, and ahead of her time, she uses the stinging words of Italian anti-Fascist writer and persecuted homosexual Aldo Braibant, framed in mysterious found sounds and synthesizer by Alvin Curran - here combining for the first time with Steve Lacy on soprano sax.
Laetitia Sadier is one of the most distinctive voices in all of popular music. Two years after The Trip, her first album under her own name, and a deliberate step away from Stereolab, comes Silencio. With Moog, oscillators, krautrock and bossa nova rhythms, Tim Gane on guitar, and Sadier's confident, alluring voice, this is familiar and beloved territory.
Legend has it that more than a thousand years ago King Gasil of Gaya ordered a stringed instrument to be created. Archaeology suggests that same instrument, the gayageum, may have been made even earlier. Either way, de Jaer's compositions have a quality that is both ancient and modern.
I don't know if there is much surfing in their Massachusetts location but Zebu!'s eighth record is mainly powered by waves of surf-instrumental tunes. Chill Wave twists a retro beach party vibe into something more bracing, brooding, and raw: as suggested by the LP cover with overcast sky and big lump of rock sticking up out a cold, dark stretch of ocean.