Reviews Search

Cucina Povera & ELS, "The Oystercatcher"

The Oystercatcher is the first collaborative LP from Cucina Povera (Maria Rossi) and ELS (Edward Simpson)
Recorded in London over two days, hours of improvisations have been edited down to form these six tracks.
A fragile interplay is at work between Maria's drifting vocals and the ominous churn of Edward's modular synth. Each sonic element takes a turn at leading the way.

The opening track "Mantle" is formed from sparse, monolithic electronics, woven gently with a thread of vocals. In the closing track "Eon," Maria's voice shepherds spontaneous bursts of sounds, almost rave-like if order were imposed, through 15 minutes of turmoil and resplendent until the end.

Maria's vocals make their own trails amongst the noise, bringing to mind the the exploratory language from Ursula K. Le Guin's album Music and Poetry from the Kesh, recalling the same understated mystery.

The overall effect of this collaboration is a completely unique creation albeit within a recognizable lineage of predecessors.
The artwork reflects the vision of these two artists, collaged together. Both images are from a trip to Helsinki. Edward's photograph of tulips caught after dark are revealed by a flash. Maria's seemingly abstract drawing is a graphite rubbing taken from a granite slab of a pavement somewhere in Kallio. Together the two images represent two different methods for capturing a city's haptic landscape.

The album moves with a feeling of transience, which is no surprise given that the idea to collaborate was formed in Helsinki, realized in London and edited together in Rotterdam.

The Oystercatcher tells a fragile tale, one that spins out into the unknown. A cold union of voice and machine, still tentative and probing, learning to co-exist. A kind of fundamental shift whereby shared moments have been turned to sound.

The oystercatcher is a bird that can freely travel between the earth, sea and sky. The motif is taken from a Tove Jansson short story. A dead bird washes ashore, two different versions of events are presented to how the bird came to die. The album feels like two different stories being presented on top of one another but ultimately coming to the same tragic conclusion.

More information can be found here.

3842 Hits

Heather Leigh, "Glory Days"

Cover

Composed, performed & mixed by Heather Leigh "at home with the window open” in Glasgow, the fifth release in our Documenting Sound series is a shocking half hour of music; a 13 track opus that is, by any measure, nothing short of a modernist folk masterpiece. Recorded quickly and instinctively in April this year and described by David Keenan as sounding like "a cross between Meredith Monk, DOME and A Guy Called Gerald," it continues to reveal new dimensions with every listen.

Heather Leigh is a musical polymath in the truest sense of the word; primarily known as an influential practitioner of pedal steel guitar, her work is impossible to pigeonhole - all-over-the-place in the best way, from collaborations with Peter Brötzmann and Shackleton to a properly mind-bending duo of albums for Stephen O’Malley’s Ideologic Organ and Editions Mego - hers is a sound that’s both highly sensual and aesthetically aggressive, beautiful and fearless, always exploratory.

Played on pedal steel guitar, synthesizer and cuatro, and featuring Heather Leigh's voice throughout, the songs here capture a sense of physical longing wrapped up in a boundless creative energy. What started out as hours of diaristic recordings quickly became honed and crafted into powerful and highly memorable songs - vast in scope and depth of feeling. It’s hard to fathom that these 13 songs were made on the hoof, they capture that most elusive of artistic qualities - a compulsion to evolve.

Working on this series has been a real eye-opener for us, a thought experiment turned real - what happens when an established artist is asked to produce material quickly and without much pre-planning or afterthought? The answer, so often, has been an immense pleasure to behold. But this one, this one’s unreal.

More information can be found here.

3606 Hits

Longform Editions 14

Longform Editions 14 presents four new immersive listening experiences, featuring Carmen Villain’s atmospheric fourth-world expansions, two ambient masters in Japan’s Chihei Hatakeyama and Will Long’s Celer project, as well as piano minimalism from New York composer Michael Vincent Waller. These artists’ works investigate sound, listening and environment to engage you in a space for a period that reminds you there is a present beyond the clutter of our everyday.

Carmen Villain
Affection in a Time of Crisis
LE053
Norway's Carmen Villain creates a cosmic atmosphere with a narcotic pull, offering an enveloping space where emotive resonance rules over experimentation.
"Listening to something for a long time reveals new layers and details and tones, for me, it engages and relaxes the mind in the best possible way."

Chihei Hatakeyama
Blue Goat
LE054
Japan's Chihei Hatakeyama has been long known for gorgeous, drifting ambience that uncurls like smoke to reveal slowly changing shapes and textures weaving through each piece. He says Blue Goat is "influenced by the melody of Angelo Badalamenti, who I listened to when writing this piece."

Celer
For The Meantime
LE055
Recently cited in Resident Advisor by influential writer Simon Reynolds as producing some of the modern era's best ambient and new age music, Celer's Will Long is no stranger to massive works playing on temporality through sound.
"The idea of change is ever-present…  for the meantime, let's pretend we can keep this moment forever."

Michael Vincent Waller
A Song
LE056
The understated work of Michael Vincent Waller becomes a thing of minimalist beauty on his solo piano composition, "A Song." This lyrical, impressionistic work explores the subtle gravity of harmonies with an inward gaze.
"Deep listening can be understood as a state of mind, that facilitates a deeper awareness of sound, as with one's experiential involvement with musical listening."

More information can be found here.

 

3932 Hits

Rrose, "Collected Remixes Vol. I (2011-2020)"

About this release:

In 2010, after some lengthy debates about the role of the machine-generated pulse in the development of music, legendary composer and improvisor Bob Ostertag sent me a collection of recordings made with his Buchla 200E modular analog system and asked: "Would people dance to this? Could this be considered techno?" "Not really," I said. "But I could probably turn it into techno with a little work." It was only after completing the remixes and sending them to the Sandwell District label that I realized this was the birth of a new project, and gave it the name Rrose. Since then, I have completed 18 additional remixes spanning over 90 minutes, which I have assembled here as both a compilation and a continuous mix. These include two additional remixes of Bob Ostertag (using his 1977 piece "The Surgeon General" as source material) and two upcoming remixes (available in mixed form only), one for the French artist Electric Rescue, and the other for an upcoming release on Eaux by the Brooklyn-based artist Lori Napoleon aka Antenes.

More information can be found here.

13884 Hits

Ulla, "Inside Means Inside Me"

inside means inside me (Cassette, Mini-Album) album cover

Ulla's recordings of phone conversations and wildlife diffuse into the most vaporous and unsettling ambient dub textures on the third in our Documenting Sound series, recorded over the last few weeks in Philadelphia and recalling Sam Kidel's Disruptive Muzak, DJ Lostboi’s ambient hymnals and Vladislav Delay’s Chain Reaction pearls.

Pieced together from airspun recordings made in Philadelphia during spring 2020, Inside Means Inside Me holds a subtle mirror to the new world's psychic ambiance of existential, slowburn dread. Prizing the sensitively insightful, lower case manner that made Ulla’s recent Tumbling Towards A Wall album so memorable, here the sound is more poignant, the dissociative flux used to perhaps more therapeutic effect for an ephemeral reading of the times.

In the first half, Ulla makes a subtly heartbreaking use of crackling phone calls and dub stabs, but embedded in the music's weft they take on an unsettling resolution that’s hard to place. On the flip, more entwined conversations snag in the breeze with location recordings and scudding hypnagogic washes with a signature low key movement that keep you feeling swaddled but uneasy until the end.

More information can be found here.

3914 Hits

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.

3906 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.

3814 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.

3898 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.

3640 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.

4279 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.

3667 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.

3760 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.

3850 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.

3919 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.

3713 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.

3342 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.

3492 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.

3268 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.

3441 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.

3294 Hits