William Ryan Fritch, "The Letdown"

The Letdown from multi-instrumentalist William Ryan Fritch kicks off Lost Tribe Sound's new label series "Built Upon A Fearful Void." The series introduces fifteen new albums to the label's roster over the next year, five of which will come courtesy of Fritch, including a new release as his alter ego, Vieo Abiungo.

The Letdown is a record better identified by the vibe it creates rather than a particular genre or style. It's dirty, unapologetically loud and charmingly haphazard. It's the sort of self-educated, non-jazz record that critics of Moondog would have written off as impure. Frankly, we're good with that. The strength of the record lies not with any collegiate-level classification, but in its ability conjure moods that just feel good, are instantly familiar and invite a certain nostalgia. The gritty, noir side of it, brings to mind the old black and white detective stories. The jovial, 1920's romanticism, lends a bit of class and gives the sense that even though everything is falling to shit, we are going to power through it with a bit of song and dance.

Whatever one happens to take away from this album, The Letdown is meant to be fun, help the whisky burn just a bit less, and keep the blood flowing. Read into it too much and you might spoil it. Guaranteed it is unlike any Fritch record to date.

More information can be found here.

2984 Hits

Alva Noto, "Xerrox Vol. 4"

Alva

Alva Noto returns to his much-awaited Xerrox project with Vol. 4, the fourth installment of the five-piece intended series based on the concept of digital replication of source material.

Using the process of copying as a basis, the Xerrox series deals with the manipulation of data by means of endless reproduction.  Due to the inherent fallacy of the procedure involving the making of copies made from other copies, everyday’s sounds become so altered that they can be hardly associated with the source material. As a result, entirely new sounds are  created: copies of originals become originals themselves.

Following Xerrox Vol. 1 (2007), Vol. 2 (2009), Vol. 3 (2015), Carsten Nicolai continues the pentalogy eluding the accuracy  and precise sound design for which he's renowned, and turning to a more harmony-driven composition technique.

Unlike the previous Xerrox albums,  whose starting point is a set of samples extracted from external sources and fragments   of recordings, Vol. 4 compounds under a unified cinematic soundscape, warm chords, thrumming digital ambiences, liquified electronics, drones, and noise sustained by floods of strings.  The tension between the organic warmth and static curves,   broads tones into distant roars and electronic cascade of sounds.

While Alva Noto's oeuvre is predominantly affiliated with pristine sound design, Xerrox holds more intimate gestures and  emotional sensibility.  This fourth volume shuns further from the conceptualism and orderliness of prior musical outputs,  ranging from heart-warming elegies to mind-bending sci-fi projections in extrasolar territories.

More information will soon be found here.

2903 Hits

Machinefabriek with Anne Bakker, "Oehoe"

Rutger Zuydervelt aka Machinefabriek needs no introduction - a hugely prolific electronic experimenter who has recorded for labels such as Type, Digitalis, Dekorder, Western Vinyl, and many many more, Where To Now Records are truly humbled to handle his latest collaborative work Oehoe. Produced in collaboration with viola/violinist Anne Bakker, a classically trained solo artist in her own right, and currently performing strings as part of Agnes Obel's band, Machinefabriek here has sown a landscape of Anna's raw violin, viola, and vocal improvisations into a stirring body of work which merges tradition, experimentation, and whimsical curiosity to create a distinctively unique album which is both deeply moving and playfully dissonant in equal measure.

Given that Anne's improvised vocals are wordless throughout, it is to Rutger's absolute credit that he has assembled and transcended these intonations to often devastating emotional effect. Anna's vocal experiments exude classical polyphonic antiquity, they lushly hover above her own Reichian minimalist string arrangements, and Machinefabriek's deeply brooding, cacophonic synthesized soundscapes. Across these 10 pieces we delve into a world which seamlessly moves between a state of harmonious contentment; or a very murky calm, to moments of lively ecstasy, and deep deep down to a vast and brooding melancholy.

More information can be found here.

3005 Hits

Aisha Orazbayeva, "Music For a Violin Alone"

Music for Violin Alone was recorded in a makeshift studio in an empty house in Le Poujol sur Orb during the first two weeks of the French lockdown. Recorded both as a response to all loss of work due to COVID-19 and a way to be heard again. The pieces on the album are the pieces I've come to discover and learn during the two years of maternity leave. Two years of maternity leave have also been two years of creative silence, a search for new approaches, repertoire and ways of playing.

Only after finishing the recording process I realised the connection between the works - they have all been written by or dedicated to violinists-composers (with Oliver Leith being an exception) - J.S.Bach, Angharad Davies, Nicola Matteis Jr., Malcolm Goldstein (dedicatee of Cage's "Eight Whiskus" and Tenney's "Koan").

The album opens with "Circular Bowing Study" by Angharad Davies - an extended exploration of a technique no matter how limited, it continues back through the ages with works that are filled with silence (Bach, Cage and Leith) and works with almost total absence of it (Tenney, Matteis), and closes with my own composition - broken harmonics of a string trapped inside a ring.

It's like a map of invisible violin sounds where past and present pathways are being drawn and redrawn over and over again until they are confined to a single technique or a broken sound or disappear into a total silence.

More information can be found here.

2751 Hits

Nihiloxica, "Kaloli"

Kaloli is the debut full-length LP from Kampala’s darkest electro-percussion group Nihiloxica. The album marries the propulsive Ugandan percussion of the Nilotika Cultural Ensemble with technoid analog synth lines and hybrid kit playing from the UK’s pq and Spooky-J. The result is something otherworldly. Kaloli journeys through the uncharted space between two cultures of dance music, where the expression of traditional elements mutates into something more sinister and nihilistic.

The album takes its name from the Luganda word for the Marabou stork. Kaloli are carrion birds that can be seen amassing in areas of festering waste around the country, particularly in Kampala, with its heightened levels of urban pollution. Freakishly large in size and riddled with amorphous boils, growths and tufts, these toxic creatures thrive on detritus. Rising skyward on huge air currents, however, their wretchedness is softened as they effortlessly glide above the city. Nihiloxica tread a similar path to the kaloli: a dissonant, polyrhythmic assault on the senses holds a transcendental beauty.

Since 2017 the band have honed their sound in residence at Nyege Nyege’s Boutiq Studio in Kampala, one of the most vital cultural melting pots on the continent. Their debut self-titled EP for the acclaimed Ugandan label was an immediate success. An auspicious project between two UK musicians and a Kampala-based percussion troupe, Nilotika Cultural Ensemble, sparked a musical dialogue across continents with the aim to fuse two distanced cultures of dance music into one aural entity. The synergy between the group was instantaneous. The EP was composed, rehearsed and recorded with a minimal studio setup in the space of a month, giving Nihiloxica a rawness and brutality that pushed it into best-of-year lists across the world. However, this proved to be only a snapshot of what Nihiloxica were capable of. After a year of jamming together and road-testing material live on stage across the world, the second EP, Biiri, showed the band communicating with each other more freely. Their musical vocabulary was becoming ever more intricate. Now, after three successful European tours, this cross-continental conversation has brought us Kaloli.

Recorded with Ross Halden at Hohm Studios directly after a concert supporting Aphex Twin, Kaloli captures the vitality of Nihiloxica’s show-stopping live performances and magnifies it with pq’s honest, powerful production. For five days in September 2019 in Bradford, Nihiloxica laid down the bulk of the album: eight synthetic abstractions of the traditional folk-rhythms of Uganda. At the heart of every song is a groove, a drum pattern to be explored and developed. Each takes us through a different rhythmic territory: Busoga from the east of Uganda, Bwola from the north, Gunjula from the central region, Buganda.

The soundscape is dominated by the ancestral Bugandan drum set, consisting of Alimansi Wanzu Aineomugisha and Jamiru Mwanje on the engalabi (long drums - a tall Ugandan sister to the djembe), Henry Kasoma on the namunjoloba (a set of four small, high pitched drums) and Henry Isabirye on the empuunyi (a set of three low pitched bass drums). Wanzu also plays the ensaasi (shakers). One of the major additions to the sonic palette of Kaloli are the electronic drum sounds used more increasingly by Jacob Maskell-Key (Spooky J), providing an additional link between worlds, evident as electro-percussive punctuation on Salongo and Gunjula. The patterns beaten out by the ensemble are then explored harmonically and spectrally by the synths of Peter Jones (pq), stretching and searching for hooks and sounds among the rhythmic mayhem like kaloli picking and poking through decaying matter.

For their forthcoming release on Crammed Discs, Nihiloxica's dialogue reaches ever further into new areas. "Busoga" is dreamy and melodious, while "Bwola" plunges straight into armageddon. "Tewali Sukali" embraces the band's furtive heavy metal influences much more closely. With more running time, the band have been able to sculpt their most personal, revealing work to date: one that stands up as a true home listening experience. Giving listeners a further glimpse into Nihiloxica's musical process are snippets from rehearsal sessions that took place ahead of the recording in Jinja, near to where Nyege Nyege festival takes place. In the third and final of these interlude we witness Jally drop his engalabi in favour of a hand-made flute to lend the album a tranquil ad-libbed outro, accompanied by an evening chorus of Jinja’s plentiful crickets.

Once described by Gareth Main in the Quietus as "the best band on Earth right now," it's no surprise that Nihiloxica have plaudits from an esteemed list of sources. Notably by publications such as Pitchfork, the Guardian and Les Inrockuptibles, the group's sound has been widely described as eerie, hypnotic, floor shaking and body moving. With an extensive touring schedule ahead of them, including dates confirmed at Sonar and Dekmantel, Nihiloxica's Kaloli looks set to spread its wings in 2020.

More information can be found here.

3196 Hits

Pavel Milyakov, "Masse Métal"

Part of an audiovisual project that was presented at Berlin Atonal, 2019.

"Massive sound research that depicts the ephemeral, post-apocalyptic world, where a new being rises out of the ruins of the old world order."

More information can be found here.

2757 Hits

Ike Yard, "Ike Yard" reissue

Ike Yard remain a legendary band of early '80s New York City – at once immensely influential, yet obscured by a far-too-brief initial phase. Their debut EP, the dark and absorbing Night After Night, sounds almost like a different group, so rapidly would Ike Yard evolve towards the calmly menacing electro throb of their self-titled LP.

Originally released on Factory in 1982, the album put Ike Yard's indelible mark on the synth-driven experimental rock scene then emerging all over the planet. While historical analogues would be Cabaret Voltaire's Red Mecca or Front 242's Geography, opening track "M. Kurtz" makes starkly clear that Ike Yard is a far heavier proposition.

With a thick porridge of bass, ringing guitar and strangled/stunted layers of voice, these six pieces are densely packed and perversely danceable. "Loss" sounds like a minimal techno track that could have been made last week, while "Kino" combines Soviet-era imagery with sparse soundscapes à la African Head Charge's Environmental Studies.

Ike Yard somehow pull off the toughest trick in modern music: making repetition hypnotically compelling through subtle variation. The effect of Ike Yard's first LP can be heard in many genres – from industrial dance labels like Wax Trax to electro-punk bands and innumerable European groups (Lucrate Milk, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, etc.).

The fact that the cover artwork does not include any photos of the band, but rather features the original catalogue number (FACT A SECOND) only further illustrates the release's importance and Ike Yard's timeless mystique.

More information can be found here.

2864 Hits

Okkyung Lee, "Yeo-Neun"

Yeo-Neun main photo

Springing from a decades deep body of work, defined by a rigorously singular and adventurous approach to sound, cellist, composer, and improvisor, Okkyung Lee, returns with Yeo-Neun, her first outing with Shelter Press, and arguably her most groundbreaking and unexpected album to date.

A vital, present force in the contemporary global landscape of experimental music, Okkyung Lee is widely regarded for her solo and collaborative improvisations and compositions, weaving a continuously evolving network of sonority and event, notable for its profound depth of instrumental sensitivity, exacting intellect, and visceral emotiveness. Yeo-Neun, recorded by Yeo-Neun Quartet - an experimental chamber music ensemble founded in 2016 and led by Lee on cello, featuring harpist Maeve Gilchrist, pianist Jacob Sacks, and bassist Eivind Opsvik - represents the culmination of one of longest and most intimate arcs in her remarkable career. A radical departure from much of the experimental language for which she has become widely known, it is equally a fearless return.

Yeo-Neun loosely translates to the gesture of an opening in Korean, presenting window into the poetic multiplicity that rests at the album’s core. Balanced at the outer reaches of Lee’s radically forward thinking creative process, its 10 discrete works are born of the ambient displacement of musician's life; intimate melodic constructions and deconstructions that traces their roots across the last 30 years, from her early days spent away from home studying the cello in Seoul and Boston, to her subsequent move to New York and the nomadism of a near endless routine of tours. At its foundation, lay glimpses of a once melancholic teen, traces of the sentimentality and sensitivity (감성 / Gahmsung) that underpins the Korean popular music of Lee’s youth, and an artist for whom the notions of time, place, and home have become increasingly complex.

Elegantly binding modern classical composition and freely improvised music with the emotive drama of Korean traditional music and popular ballads, the expanse of Yeo-Neun pushes toward the palpably unknown, as radical for what it is and does, as it for its approachability. In Lee’s hands, carried by a body of composition that rests beyond the prescriptive boundaries of culture, genre, geography, and time, a vision of the experimental avant-garde emerges as a music of experience, humanity, and life. Meandering melodies, from the deceptively simple to the tonally and structurally complex, slowly evolve and fall from view, the harp, piano, and bass forming an airy, liminal non-place, through which Lee’s cello and unplaceable memories freely drift.

Remarkably honest, unflinchingly beautiful, and creatively challenging, Shelter Press is proud to present Yeo-Neun, an album that takes one the most important voices in contemporary experimental music, Okkyung Lee, far afield into an unknown future, bound to her past.

More information can be found here.

2923 Hits

Grischa Lichtenberger, "KAMILHAN; il y a péril en la demeure"

KAMILHAN, il y a péril en la demeure by Grischa Lichtenberger

KAMILHAN; il y a péril en la demeure is the conclusion of a 5-part work cycle by artist Grischa Lichtenberger which was initiated with the album LA DEMEURE; il y a péril en la demeure in 2015 and continued with the 3-part EP Spielraum, Allgegenwart, Strahlung in 2016.

In contrast to the first part of the series, which tried to trace the other in the intimacy of the private (the residence, la demeure), Lichtenberger now focuses on the phrase "il y a péril en la demeure." The french phrase literally translates into "there is a danger in one's residence" (la demeure) or "a danger is persistent, remains" (demeurer). Lichtenberger is interested in this ambiguity in relation to a metaphor of art:

"In a way, one could describe art as a pathological condition to hold onto a communicative defect. in this respect, the album is about a crisis - about the impossibility of expressing the unspeakable and instead secretly tying it in a parallel thread that deepens the relationship to the impossible."

On the other hand, Lichtenberger contraposes a social function of art. the legal meaning of the phrase "il ya péril en la demeure" (in German "gefahr im verzug," in English "imminent danger") describes a situation in which a person or authority intrudes into a private space that is particularly protected against access in order to prevent danger or secure evidence. Lichtenberger writes: "In art, the public is something that could perhaps be described in legal terms as a legitimate transgression of responsibility - it secures and holds what would otherwise be lost because the artist has become entangled in it."

This ambivalence between crisis and social reinsurance is aesthetically embodied by musical material that on the one hand seems unwieldy and subversive, on the other hand idiosyncratically grooving and encouraging to nod. The focus is on songs featuring computer-generated voices that sing in a language that remains incomprehensible. Fragmented from English syllables and reassembled into cryptic pop songs, Lichtenberger calls them "crooked ballads."

"In a way the tracks on KAMILHAN; il y a péril en la demeure are best understood as crooked ballads. They are songs - intentionally tying themselves to a symbolic repetition of classical pop-song structures. They seek to smuggle the crooked into the common and vice versa smuggle the hope of recognition and transference into the crooked."

Regardless of the theoretically excessive reflections that are typical of Lichtenberger, this album also succeeds in emotionally connecting to his topic with intimacy and sincerity that immediately touches the listener.

More information can be found here.

3012 Hits

Sean McCann/Matthew Sullivan/Alex Twomey, "Saturday Night"

Saturday Night is the debut LP by old friends and collaborators Alex Twomey, Matthew Sullivan, and Sean McCann. Recorded over numerous evenings at the artists' homes, and completed just before the birth of Matthew's daughter, Flora. The album became an excuse to spend time with one another as well as perform. As the trio ordered take-out, drank scotch, smoked on patios, laughing off the weight of reality–they stumbled into moments of musical focus. 

This album has a prism of fidelities. High and low resolutions press together as the environment blows through the instruments. The woozy, side-long titular track of hesitant cello and pianos opens the record. Quiet music with blemishes and inebriated pauses, breathing an alleviated air. Phrases with failing propellers, teetering between melodic and apathetic. The true speed of their Saturday nights.

Side two opens with "London On My Mind."  Reflecting the other pole, manic cassette treatments duel over Twomey's placid keyboard, ultimately breaking into a little joke on the piano. "Collection" features guitar by Sullivan, remembered for his thick fog of work under the alias Earn. With Sullivan's return to the instrument, he is joined by Twomey on upright piano and McCann processing the room in real-time. The brief final work, "Bird," recalls the style of the group's private press cassettes, The Bird and Charlotte's Office: poorly-played pleasant-hearted music.

Each edition of the record includes a 20-page photo booklet of stills documenting the recording process. The deluxe edition, limited to 25, includes signed and annotated jackets and an exclusive cassette, One More Saturday Night. In 2019 two practice sessions were filmed by Sullivan on VHS, the audio has been isolated for this cassette. Side One opens with an alternate version of "Saturday Night," recorded outside at night on Twomey's patio, looking in through a glass door at the artists. Crickets and dogs hum over the trio's dampened music. Side Two features a live, 25-minute run through of "London On My Mind," their erratic piece for microcassettes, piano, and synthesizer. This recording was pulled from a video of a little glass clown, sitting motionless in a bouquet of flowers as the cacophony wails through the room.

More information can be found here.

2821 Hits

Esplendor Geométrico, "Cinética"

Esplendor Geométrico, the influential "industrial" pioneers of pulsating, hypnotic and mechanical rhythms, return with a new album Cinética, after their previous Fluida Mekaniko (2016). Based now in Shanghai and Rome, they have not stopped their live performances all over the world in the last two years (Germany, Spain, Russia, UK, France, Italy, and recently Chile) with great success.

The LP include 8 tracks , 10 in the CD version, recorded between 2018 & 2019. Cinética gives a twist to the line that the group has followed in their last albums, highlighted by a more elaborate sound. A sound less raw, but without losing the essence of E.G.: hypnotic rhythms and innovative industrial music, danceable and tribal sometimes. Certain songs like "Acoplamiento internacional" and "Modulaciones," with eastern and african voices, remember the classic LP Mekano Turbo (1988) that is considered as one of the best albums of E.G. In Cinética there are filtered and natural voices, broken mechanical and industrial rhythms, synthesizers layers, percussion, noise, distortion...

ESPLENDOR GEOMETRICO celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2020 and prepares special editions for that year. They have developed a unique style since 1980 that influenced many "industrial" musicians around the world, including the new trends of industrial techno.

More information can be found here.

2511 Hits

Kangding Ray, "Stock"

STOCK is a new series of digital transmissions by Kangding Ray on ara.

Musically, the tracks will lean towards psychedelism and introspection, and will be sporadically uploaded, as they are created.
Each track will receive a visual counterpoint based on stock photo previews, treated as a ready-made subversive art form.
Taken out of context, these generic conveyors of relatable feelings can reveal our insecurities, unfold the mechanic behind the construction of desires, and question the vanity economy we’re navigating in.

More information can be found here.

2610 Hits

Patricia, "Maxyboy"

For over a decade, Max Ravitz has been obsessively working in his home studio, crafting electronic music under various guises. His primary solo project, Patricia, has been a mainstay in New York's DIY electronic music scene, with releases on labels such as Opal Tapes, Nona, and Ghostly's Spectral Sound imprint.

Ravitz is a life-long musician with a passion for collecting, studying, and using all types of electronic music equipment. This focus on hardware lays the foundation for both his recorded music and live sets — two distinct entities with a similar flavor. He is a process-driven artist who values creative constraint, improvisation and collaboration with others. Over the years, his numerous collaborative projects include Inhalants (with Jahiliyya Fields), Masks (with Arp), DSR.MR (with Cloudface), and Ociya (with Tin Man). Ravitz's love of synthesizers has recently led him from Brooklyn to Asheville, North Carolina, where he has taken on the role of Product Specialist at Moog Music.

Over the course of 10 songs, Maxyboy presents a more varied stylistic approach than past Patricia releases, shifting away from some of the 'lo-fi' sounds he's known for. With clear nods to electro, acid, IDM, and techno, Maxyboy puts on display Ravitz's eclectic range of influence — from collaborators and contemporaries, to classic innovators alike.

Titled after his family’s childhood nickname for him, Maxyboy serves as a window to Ravitz's range of musical interests. "Myokymia," "Downlink" and "Crushed Velvet" highlight Ravitz's penchant for intricate drum programming; while album closer "Ctenophora" hints towards his drumless sensibilities. Ranging from driving and somatic ("Dripping," "Turtle Funk"), to ambient ("Julia Set") to acid ("Dew Point" and "Dr. Oetker's Ristorante"), each song carries an evocative, questioning quality — something any listener can enhance for themselves by closing the eyes and letting the sounds course through. 

More information can be found here.

2409 Hits

{arsonist}, "Reality Structure"

"Pittsburgh's digital collagist {arsonist} unbraids time and decolorizes nature on her debut album Reality Structure. Overpowering blasts of electronic percussion offset lush synthetic beauty on six tracks of perfectly balanced battle between chaos and understanding. The album title plays on the name of a mathematical vector that divides a unit into real and imaginary subspaces. Throughout these pieces, {arsonist} explores subspaces of dreamlike reality and realistic dream states, with alien synth sounds and organic strings cautiously tugging the songs in different, bizarre directions. Otherworldly in a way where you can hear the process of a new world being constructed and decomposing in real time."

-Fred Thomas

Reality Structure explores the mystique common to both the fantastical and bizarre symbolic language of dreams and the precise yet abstract symbolic language of mathematics. May we decompose the vector spaces of our complex mental experiences to find their transcendent, imaginary components.

More information can be found here.

2537 Hits

Norman Westberg, "A Walk In The Park"

A quote from Norman Westberg:

A Walk In The Park - "Not really locked up, but in no hurry to risk being exposed to this virus. I sit at my desk listening to hours of live recordings that were made when people stood and sat in groups. We can still walk in the park listening, just keep a safe distance. Or better yet, stay home, lay down and drift with me. Please consider others when you go outside."

More information can be found here.

2405 Hits

Roly Porter, "Kistvaen"

Kistvaen main photo

On June 5th, Subtext presents Kistvaen – the fourth solo studio LP by Roly Porter – which takes its name from a type of granite tomb found predominantly in Dartmoor, southwestern England. Scattered across the moorlands, the kistvaens were often found covered in a mound of earth and stone. They housed dead bodies, allowing them to lie facing the sun.

With Kistvaen, Porter speculates on the burial site as a mirror, or a gate in time. Excavating stories and images of ancient burial rituals, the record teases out similarities in emotional and social rituals between the Neolithic period and today. While a myriad of social, cultural and technological factors drastically differentiate our contemporary period and the end of the Stone Age, certain affinities may still be found in experiences of death across eras.

Venturing across histories, Porter soundtracks a moorland burial unanchored in time. Raw, unprocessed vocals are folded into field recordings made in the area, wordlessly relaying tableaus of burial rituals in Neolithic Dartmoor. Kistvaen features three singular vocalists: Mary-Anne Roberts – from medieval Welsh music duo Bragod, Ellen Southern – of Bristol's Dead Space Chamber Music group, and Phil Owen – a singer and researcher in vocal traditions.

Kistvaen contrasts primordial motifs with that of the 21st-century life in designed environments and an evolving virtual existence. The music blurs boundaries between field recording, folk instrumentation and digital processing, which although beatless creates a profound effect using dark ambiance, deep electronics, and immersive sound design. This is otherworldly sonic necromancy, where long dormant spirits are evoked, summoning an extremely heavy presence.

The pieces that comprise Kistvaen were developed for an AV performance of the same name with visual artist MFO, which has appeared at Unsound, Berlin Atonal, and Sonic Acts. The long-player was recorded during various rehearsals/performances and also at BinkBonk studios in Bristol.

More information can be found here.

2369 Hits

"Anthology of Contemporary Music From Indonesia"

For many centuries Indonesia, from the Malay Peninsula throughout the vast archipelago, has been subjected to successive foreign cultural invasions which have left their deep imprint on the indigenous way of life. Among the first was the Mongolian intrusion from central Asia. A later cultural wave came from India when Hindu merchants and immigrants introduced Hinduism and Buddhism into the islands. Subsequently, about the 13th century A.D. Islamic influences penetrated the archipelago. Finally in the 16th century, Western culture and Christianity came into the picture. Although, after four centuries, Western civilization has by no means superseded the Islamic hold on Indonesia (90% of the population are Muslims), it has already reshaped the outward appearance of Indonesia life to a considerably extent. The cultural diversity is naturally reflected in the music.

In the current globalized and digital communications-dominated era, influences from the Western world become more and more evident, in everyday life , as well in popular art and music from Indonesia. But listening to the tracks included in this compilation presented by Unexplained Sounds Group, you’ll discover how traditional Indonesian music, even in its more 'primitive' forms, as well in the very elaborate and developed ones from Javanese and Balinese tradition, are still very much recognizable. The current mix of influences in the experimental and avant-garde music from this region has resulted in an extremely fascinating kaleidoscope of sounds.

More information can be found here.

3090 Hits

Keith Fullerton Whitman, "Collected Guitar Music (2002-2010)"

A humble compendium of guitar music from across nine separate compilations & regional issues, including pieces from the Tu M'p3 web-series, the E • A • D • G • B • E disc on 12k (along with an earlier, shorter version of the same), the 2nd Early Monolith business-card disc on Twisted Knister (available briefly in a cigarette vending machine in Bremen ca. 2005), the Brainwaves compilation on Brainwashed, the I Don't Think The Dirt Belongs To The Grass boxed set on Carbon, the Idioscapes on Idiosyncratics (plus a completely different alternate take), an unrealized Bodies of Water Arts & Crafts fundraiser-set, the Fabrique disc on Room40 (plus an alternate, separate piece recorded at the same time, never issued), and finally the Beaterblocker #2 compilation.

More information can be found here.

2326 Hits

Tod Dockstader, "Aerial I" reissue

Tod Dockstader - Aerial 1 - 2LP  PRE-ORDER

Hot on the heels of our crucial Deep Listening double LP is another essential reissue enjoying its vinyl debut on Important Records. This is the first in a 3 part series of vinyl releases for Tod Dockstader's Aerial 1-3. Tod Dockstader's Aerial series, an electronic/drone masterpiece, is cherished among fans of the artist's work and this first volume is available in a double LP edition of 500 copies with 100 copies on clear vinyl exclusively for Imprec mailorder customers.

15 years in the making, Tod Dockstader's Aerial series is sourced from his life-long passion for shortwave radio. Dockstader collected over 90 hours of recordings, made at night, and comprised of cross signals and fragments plucked from the atmosphere.

Opening with airwave drones, Dockstader gradually allows elements to slowly come and go, summoning an ominous atmosphere of ethereal cloud clouds. Malignant placidity continues, giving the feeling of eavesdropping upon late-night audio activity not unlike discovering number stations while sweeping the dials. These sounds pull you in as their density and rhythms come and go.
Backward voices, deep echoing choruses of conversations flowing under the surface, ocean sounds, pulsing electro-rhythms, all seem to be created via the collaging of many hours of source recordings. A masterwork of collage and juxtaposition by an overlooked pioneer of American electronic music.

Artwork by John Brien (Imprec) is inspired by the propagation of shortwave radio signals throughout the earth's atmosphere.

More information can be found here.

2706 Hits

Félicia Atkinson, "Everything Evaporate"

There is that instance, when you are passing over a threshold, where the before and after fall away and it is only the threshold itself that you are existing within - that neutral space of the in-between, of the transition, that becomes the actual lived-in moment. It is through fully occupying and being present in that transitional space that we are able to access new perspectives that allow for a reassessment of things previously thought understood. The five tracks that make up Everything Evaporate feel like a sustained moment of focus during a period of transition; a longer breath taken in that actual lived-in moment.

You find in the paintings of Helen Frankenthaler, when two colors meet, a bleed that washes out the boarder; a porousness that feels like a fleeting but significant transitory event. The idea of a "crossing" comes to mind - the willingness to extend oneself from one place out towards another. For Atkinson this willingness manifests through language and through the inventing of new stories as a method of reaching across and creating the possibilities for connection.

Spectral drones, gongs, bells, pianos and marimbas accompany Atkinson’'s voice, but now we also find laconic pitch-shifted conversationalists and digitally harmonized chanteuses joining in. As mesmerizing as the narrators voice is at the center of these tracks, it is the addition of other voices that produces the heteroglossic complexities. These are the voices that most often morph into pure sonic materiality; they exist just under the surface of the music creating texture and rhythm while occasionally pushing their way into the foreground with abstracted extrapolations. And it is through the summing of these many voices that a fractal image emerges, at once both singular and plural.

Everything Evaporate was produced after a year of travel and shows. It is, in a sense, a reassessed document of public performance with improvised studio interventions acting to break the linear stream of the live-on-stage temporality. There is a resonance between these in-studio improvisations of Atkinson's and Frankenthaler's paint pores: Before executing the performative action materials are considers, processes are devised and then, with fluid gesture, the event happens. In Everything Evaporate it is through a trust in materials, process and gesture that new melodies and language become available and new narratives pool and find form.

There are many moments within these piece that hint at the sensation of falling asleep while reading a novel - the stories, images and characters follow you into your unconscious but also wait for you on the page; you walk a liminal edge and wander that threshold of consciousness where the book and your imagination become intertwined. As this threshold is crossed your understanding of what has been given to you and what you have created for yourself is obscured, a new space opens up and new stories are revealed.

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