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Helm, "Olympic Mess"

London-based experimentalist Luke Younger (a.k.a HELM) returns to PAN with Olympic Mess, a record born of destructive practice, competing desires, and troubled optimism.

Where his previous effort, 2014's The Hollow Organ, dealt in dense, distressed sonics, Olympic Mess is Younger responding to a period spent engaged with loop-based industrial music, dub techno, and balearic disco. These musical references, all of which can induce hypnotic states and feelings of euphoria, inform ten evocative aural landscapes which unfurl over the course of an hour and act almost as a counterpoint to the turmoil that spawned them.

"It's about exploring a perverse desire to pull the rug from under yourself, and the struggle to achieve a healthy equilibrium between one’s personal and artistic lives," Younger says. "Dealing with the problematic consequences of pushing your own limits, forming and dissolving relationships, transient lifestyles, physical and mental exhaustion, excess, and other kinds of personal chaos."

Crafted using an array of heavily processed samples, found sound and electroacoustics, personal conflict manifests in "I Exist In A Fog" and "Outerzone 2015," where visceral noise disintegrates into veiled, ambient strata. The disquieting crescendos of "The Evening In Reverse" and "Fluid Cloak" offer no such relief, while the title track and "Don’t Lick The Jacket" are mineral, multilayered abstractions twisting around a brittle pulse.

Following a period of extensive touring throughout the States and Europe, which included 20 dates in support of Danish punk group Iceage, Olympic Mess was recorded in London, New York and Berlin by Sean Ragon, Luke Younger and John Hannon.

The album is mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at D&M, pressed on 140g 2xLP and CD. It features photography by Kim Thue and artwork by Bill Kouligas.

More information can be found here.

3916 Hits

"Remembering Mountains: Unheard Songs By Karen Dalton"

Karen Dalton (1937-1993) recorded two studio albums during her lifetime, neither of which contain any songs she wrote. By the good graces of legendary guitarist Peter Walker, who oversees Karen’s Estate, we are gifted with these lost lyrics, now given voice by other great women of song.

TRACK LIST :

  1. REMEMBERING MOUNTAINS – SHARON VAN ETTEN
  2. ALL THAT SHINES IS NOT TRUTH – PATTY GRIFFIN
  3. THIS IS OUR LOVE – DIANE CLUCK
  4. MY LOVE, MY LOVE – JULIA HOLTER
  5. MET AN OLD FRIEND – LUCINDA WILLIAMS
  6. SO LONG AGO AND FAR AWAY – MARISSA NADLER
  7. BLUE NOTION – LAUREL HALO
  8. FOR THE LOVE I’M IN – LARKIN GRIMM
  9. DON’T MAKE IT EASY – ISOBEL CAMPBELL
  10. AT LAST THE NIGHT HAS ENDED – TARA JANE O’NEIL
  11. MET AN OLD FRIEND – JOSEPHINE FOSTER

More information can be found here.

3771 Hits

C Spencer Yeh, "Solo Voice I - X"

C Spencer Yeh

Solo Voice I – X is the first LP by C Spencer Yeh devoted entirely to the voice. Yeh's practice has its most obvious precedents in the sound poetry scene of the '60s and '70s—recalling an outlier group like the Four Horsemen, at their most raw and a-verbal, as much as the circles and canons forged around post-Lettrist France—as well as in figures like Joan La Barbara.

Over the past few years, he has moved from virtuosic, intensely physical performances to more focused studies whose specific attachment to performance situations and even the body has become increasingly tenuous. Maintaining a strict fidelity to the specific properties of his voice, Yeh initially relied only on amplification (largely in order to bring into focus a rich grain of otherwise inaudible phenomena), before gradually introducing various studio techniques to fold the temporality of performance in on itself. Here he has edited out the breaths from recordings made in the studio, letting his vocalizations run together in palpitating continua. The effect is an elision of phrasing as an element of both linguistic and musical convention, and an uncanny protraction of the voice into vast, hypnotic slurs.

Solo Voice I – X resumes the development of techniques and strategies which, taken together, form a kind of composition unto themselves. Deftly sequenced by Yeh, the LP progresses from a series of shorter tracks, each honing in on a particular sound or technique, towards more open-ended territory in which the formal rigor of the first half begins to dissolve, with Yeh's voice playing off both silence and itself.

More information can be found here.

4294 Hits

Amara Touré, "1973-1980"

AMARA TOURE -

The enigmatic Amara Touré from Guinée Conakry finally getting a well deserved compilation showcasing all of the 10 songs ever released between 1973 and 1980. Cuban-influenced music of a different kind featuring amazing spaced-out guitar works!!

If Touré's intention was to create the most sensual music ever recorded in Africa, he might very well have reached this goal. The musicians on the recording sound like they are playing in a smokey, poorly lit juke joint, where dark rum was sipped ever so slowly, and the pulse of the music took up a life of its own. How many couples have danced, swayed, and melted together to the distinct sound of Amara Touré? Nobody can say for sure...

It took only ten songs for Amara Touré to become a legend. These ten treasures, representing Touré ́s complete discography, have been carefully re-mastered from original session tapes and vinyl records, and will be released by Analog Africa on 22 June 2015.

After the release of his LP in 1980, Touré seems to have disappeared. Apparently he was last seen in Cameroon but it is unknown if he is still alive today. His music though is definitely alive.

More information can be found here.

4144 Hits

Sightings, "Amusers and Puzzlers"

After the release of their well-received ninth studio album, Terribly Well, and their successful month long European tour in 2013, Sightings did the unexpected and quietly disbanded without notice or explanation.   More than 15 years in the trenches and making a mess throughout New York City, the band made more of a polarizing impact to formalized underground music that most of their peers.  Sightings would have been a national treasure if the whole country was laid to waste in Armageddon.

During the sessions that birthed Terribly Well, a complimentary album was recorded in tandem which, while not intended to be their final statement, produced the jaded epilogue from the mouth of experimental rock's most lasting monolith.  Amusers and Puzzlers is the schizophrenic culmination of their brand of damaged rock. Isolated noise patterns shifted from Mark Morgan's unorthodox guitar patterns sewn up from his nervous, scattered vocal phrasing.  Richard Hoffman's stampede-like momentum on bass slammed against Jon Lockie's drum triggers made the past couple decades crash into itself.

More information can be found here.

4217 Hits

Liberez, "All Tense Now Lax"

All Tense Now Lax by Liberez.  Vinyl LP, CD.

Hermetically sealed and reveling in tumult, All Tense Now Lax is the most significant and developed work yet forged by Liberez. Based in main orchestrator John Hannon's remote studio No Recordings in Rayleigh, England, Liberez have expanded their palette from previous outings on Alter to produce a perfectly engineered machine that consumes the beholder.

A tense, gut-wrenching listen wrought with carefully considered space, the range of techniques and the depth of atmosphere is staggering. All Tense Now Lax never settles on a simple depiction of dread, foreboding or anxiety but layers textures upon rhythms to produce towering minarets of conflicting emotion. _Захвална породица (translated "Grateful Family") is a case in point: Hannon's wailing violin is torn across collaborator Nina Bosnic's lyric, while a loping beat is crushed with distortion. Indeed, a more pronounced focus on rhythm and movement on Liberez' 3rd album is perhaps what sets it apart from previous work. Centerpiece "Grease The Axles" showcases Hannon's technique of detourning from other cultures to dramatically altered effect. A lopsided rhythm and scraped violin are torn to breaking point: what starts off as a Moondog-esque tap at a train station ends with the train in flames. Liberez' brutality is not as literal as this all the time: on "How Much For Your Brother" an aggressively over-driven vocal loop is hammered into the stereo field by primitive percussion courtesy of drummer Pete Wilkins, but the overall effect is one of movement and hypnosis. A Rebetika melting into night- terror. The title track, meanwhile, presents a premature eulogy, coming halfway through what is an all-consuming album of frightening power.

John Hannon's breadth of technical mastery on All Tense Now Lax is never fully revealed in an ostentatious way. Instead the album is allowed to breathe and evolve, with field recordings, industrial patterns and alienated instrumentation woven together seamlessly. A tumultuous experience which transports rather than grounds the participant.

Out July 24 on LP and CD.

More information can be found here.

4177 Hits

Flying Saucer Attack, "Instrumentals 2015"

Flying Saucer Attack: Instrumentals 2015 (DC489)

Flying Saucer Attack release Instrumentals 2015, their first album in 15 years on Friday the 17th of July 2015. Comprised of 15 fresh David Pearce solo performances recorded in characteristically lo-fi manner at home, using guitars only on tape and CD-R, Instrumentals 2015 is an album that will appeal both to FSA diehards and those wholly unfamiliar with the outfit's recorded output.

The 15 tracks on Instrumentals 2015 present an impressionistic narrative which transports the listener through the excoriating dronescapes and rueful introspection of the album's early pieces to the more redemptive cadences of its closing half. Given its sense of momentum, maintained through Pearce's thoughtful sequencing, this is an album that should be experienced in its entirety, the better to appreciate its deliberate emotional arc.

More information can be found here.

 

3885 Hits

Jenny Hval, "Apocalypse, girl"

Apocalypse, girl

Think big, girl, like a king, think kingsize. Jenny Hval’s new record opens with a quote from the Danish poet Mette Moestrup, and continues towards the abyss. Apocalypse, girl is a hallucinatory narrative that exists somewhere between fiction and reality, a post-op fever dream, a colourful timelapse of death and rebirth, close-ups of impossible bodies — all told through the language of transgressive pop music.

When Norwegian noise legend Lasse Marhaug interviewed Jenny Hval for his fanzine in early 2014, they started talking about movies, and the conversation was so interesting that she asked him to produce her next record. It turned out that talking about film was a great jumping off point for album production. Hval’s songs slowly expanded from solo computer loops and vocal edits to contributions from bandmates Håvard Volden and Kyrre Laastad, before finally exploding into collaborations with Øystein Moen (Jaga Jazzist/Puma), Thor Harris (Swans), improv cellist Okkyung Lee and harpist Rhodri Davis. All of these musicians have two things in common: they are fierce players with a great ear for intimacy, and they hear music in the closing of a suitcase as much as in a beautiful melody.

And so Apocalypse, girl is a very intimate, very visual beast. It dreams of an old science fiction movie where gospel choir girls are punks and run the world with auto-erotic impulses. It’s a gentle hum from a doomsday cult, a soft desire for collective devotion, an ode to the close-up and magnified, unruly desires.

Jenny Hval has developed her own take on intimate sound since the release of her debut album in 2006. Her work, which includes 2013's critically celebrated Innocence Is Kinky (Rune Grammofon), has gradually incorporated books, sound installations and collaborations with poets and visual artists. For Hval, language is central, always torn between the vulnerable, the explosive and total humiliation.

More information can be found here.

4238 Hits

Dasha Rush, "Sleepstep, Sonar Poems for my Sleepless Friends"

sleepstep. sonar poems for my sleepless friends

»sleepstep« is the first collaboration between raster-noton and dasha rush. the record's subtitle »sonar poems for my sleepless friends« describes its underlying concept – »sleepstep« is a trip through electronically alienated micro-compositions and sound collages that, interwoven with text passages, aim at creating a dream-like atmosphere.

the stations of this journey are striving for oblivion of time, an immersion, a drifting in universal states – death, life, birth, grief, desire. the titles often appear to be raw sketches, fugitive, surreal short stories that rather want to break open than execute.

the musical arrangement, in this context, can be described as rather subtle and fragile. though electronically manipulated, no production technique is pushing itself to the fore. and though clichés are not dreaded, »sleepstep«, as a result, stays away from being cliché. the sonar poems for her sleepless friends are feminine, subtle and personal reports. a musical dream journey in the form of a classical concept record – an album that also stands in the tradition of ambient music.

dasha rush is already known as a techno dj and producer. here on »sleepstep«, she celebrates her alter ego. the cd version comes with a 32-pages booklet that also shows her photographic interest and includes the aforementioned poems written by her.

more information can be found here.

3902 Hits

Arthur Russell, "Corn"

Corn (Pre Order)

It has been seven years since Audika last issued an album of Arthur Russell material. The wait ends this summer with Corn, nine tracks Russell recorded in 1982 and 1983. In collaboration with Russell’s partner Tom Lee, Audika’s Steve Knutson compiled Corn from Arthur’s original, completed 1/4” tape masters. Russell himself compiled this material on three separate test pressings—labeled El Dinosaur, Indian Ocean, and Untitled, respectively— in 1985.

Russell fans know something of the Corn sound from Audika’s debut release, Calling Out of Context (2004), which included four songs from these sessions: "The Deer In The Forest Part 1," "The Platform on the Ocean," "Calling Out Of Context," and "I Like You!"

This new collection includes rhythmic alternate versions of "Lucky Cloud," "Keeping Up," "See My Brother, He's Jumping Out (Let's Go Swimming #2)," "This Is How We Walk on the Moon," and "Hiding Your Present From You," along with "Corn," "Corn (Continued)," "They and Their Friends," and the closing instrumental "Ocean Movie," one of the most beautiful and curious Russell tracks ever to see the light of day.

With Corn, Audika reveals yet another side of Russell’s staggeringly diverse artistry, following the avant-electrodisco of Calling Out Of Context, and its companion EP, Springfield; the orchestral works "Instrumentals" and "Tower Of Meaning,” compiled and released as First Thought Best Thought; the "Buddhist Bubble Gum Pop" collected on Love Is Overtaking Me; and Russell’s definitive solo masterpiece, World Of Echo.

TRACK LISTING - ALL VERSIONS PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED:

  • Lucky Cloud 5:04
  • Corn 2:34
  • Keeping Up 2:07
  • See My Brother, He’s Jumping Out (Let’s Go Swimming #2) 5:31
  • This Is How We Walk On The Moon 7:12
  • Corn (Continued) 9:54
  • Hiding Your Present From You 5:17
  • They And Their Friends 3:20
  • Ocean Movie 3:20

    More information can be found here.

3851 Hits

Our Love Will Destroy The World, "Carnivorous Rainbows"

cover

Witness the latest rebirth of Campbell Kneale. It has happened before, and probably will again. This Wellington, NZ artist is on the forefront of the world noise scene, having cut his teeth for a decade in Birchville Cat Motel and more recently as Our Love Will Destroy the World.  Carnivorous Rainbows is electronic music at its most relentless; four tracks of pure, hot skree constantly rebuilding like a viper’s unpredictable strike. Some percussion rattles throughout, a few instruments are arguably perceptible, and a beautiful harmony of intensity creates a gorgeous tapestry of sounds.

You can preview the track "Hades Iron Horizon" on Ba Da Bing's Soundcloud here.

More information can be found here.

 

3736 Hits

Acid Mothers Temple, "Benzaiten"

In typically fine form, The Acid Mothers Temple and The Melting Pairaiso UFO have delivered another smoker to Important Records. Double LP pressed in an edition of 1000 copies.

Benzaiten is an In C-style homage to the the classic Osamu Kitajima record of the same name. The Acid Mothers Temple covers the title track and reprise using Kitajima's original composition as a departure point to explore the outer realms of AMT territory. Further instrumental explorations reveal textures of the original composition while launching out further into the cosmic domain. Numerous Acid Mothers original tracks are scattered in between. Benzaiten!

More information can be found here.

4753 Hits

Loren Connors, "Blues: The Dark Paintings of Mark Rothko" reissue

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Blues: The Dark Paintings of Mark Rothko is one of Loren Connors' most cherished and sought after albums. Originally released in a handmade edition of 200 or so copies on Connors' own St. Joan imprint in January 1990 under the name Guitar Roberts -- Blues has been unavailable in any form until now.

At time of its release, Connors was still an inscrutable guitarist whose matchless and alien rendering of the blues was just gaining recognition despite more than a dozen solo and collaborative releases since 1978. Connors' classic, song-based In Pittsburgh had only been available for three months when Blues welcomed the new decade with its reformation of the blues as minimalist lines and tone; a compound of influences spanning Louisiana guitarist Robert Pete Williams to painter Mark Rothko.

"Moving with the slow, stately weirdom we expect of Connors' late '80s sound, the music is all shards, all pokes in the eye, as though Rothko's gray scale had exploded, sending shrapnelized paint rocketing through your brain," music historian Byron Coley writes in the liner notes of this reissue. "Just as Connors' notes ricochet hauntedly through its recesses."

For this reissue, engineer Taylor Deupree restored the audio to Connors' specifications of how these seven instrumentals were intended to sound. Cover art is an untitled 1969 Rothko work -- a painting that influenced the album. The original LP jacket is replicated as a glossy inner sleeve. New liner notes by Coley chart Connors' development and the influence Rothko had on him as a guitarist.

More information can be found here.

5289 Hits

Richard Youngs, "No Fans Compendium"

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NO FANS COMPENDIUM is a deluxe limited edition 7 CD set of Richard Youngs’ recordings for his long-running private NO FANS label. 5 CDs are Richard’s personal selection from his NO FANS releases, all of which were issued in tiny editions (20 – 18) and only available for sale at Richard’s rare shows or at Glasgow’s now defunct Volcanic Tongue shop. In addition, Richard has included two full discs of material previously unavailable in any form - a recording from 1989 pre-dating his earliest widely-known work, and a new recording from late 2014. Unbeatable as a survey of Richard’s career, everything here is of equal quality to his over-the-counter releases. In keeping with his penchant for unpredictable stylistic mashups and reinventions, there are folky laments, achingly beautiful “songs,” tape collage, rude prog noise, minimalist experiments, multi-tracked vocals, etc.

More information can be found here.

4860 Hits

Jon Gibson, "Visitations"

Since the mid-1960s, Jon Gibson has played a key role in the development of American avant-garde music. No other artist has performed in the world premieres of Terry Riley's “In C,” Steve Reich's “Drumming,” and Philip Glass' “Einstein on the Beach,” three major works that changed the course of musical history. While his expertise on woodwind instruments made Gibson a go-to collaborator in Reich's, Glass', and La Monte Young's ensembles, less known are his remarkable contributions as a composer and visual artist.

Visitations, Gibson's first release under his own name, originally appeared on the Chatham Square imprint in 1973. Inspired by the books of Carlos Castaneda, Gibson departs from the structured repetition of his minimalist peers and takes the listener on an aural journey – spanning organic field recordings, ambient flutes and synthesizers, and free-flowing textures. Visitations' two side-long tracks are at once solemn and unsettling, making this an astonishing debut that firmly establishes Gibson as a pioneer in his own right.

This first-time vinyl reissue is recommended for fans of Cluster, Harold Budd and Phill Niblock.

More information can be found here.

4091 Hits

Jac Berrocal, David Fennech, and Vincent Eppley, "Antigravity"

Antigravity by Jac Berrocal, David Fenech, Vincent Epplay.  Vinyl LP, CD.

Antigravity is a trio album from legendary trumpeter Jac Berrocal and two fellow travellers in the French avant-garde, David Fenech and Vincent Epplay. A lugubrious mise-en-scène in which ice-cold outlaw jazz meets musique concrète, DIY whimsy and dubwise studio science, all watched over by the lost souls and hungry ghosts of rock ‘n roll.

Born in 1946, Berrocal is the embodiment of saturnine, nicotine-stained Parisian cool, but he is also one of a kind: indeed, “trumpeter” is hardly an adequate epithet for this musician, poet and sometime film actor who came of age in the ‘70s Paris improv scene, where the boundaries between music, art and theatre were porous and begging to be breached. Inspired by bebop, chanson, free jazz, beat poetry, early rock ‘n roll and myriad Eastern influences, and with an iconoclastic, anything-goes approach to instrumentation and technique that would later align him with post-punk sensibilities, Berrocal blazed an eccentric and unstoppable trail across the underground throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, both solo and as part of the Catalogue group he co-founded.

During this time his uproarious performances routinely wound up jazz and rock audiences alike, but earned the admiration of no small number of wised-up weirdos: Steven Stapleton invited him to perform on two Nurse With Wound albums, and other notable collaborators in his career include Sunny Murray, Lizzy Mercier-Descloux, Lol Coxhill, Yvette Horner and James Chance. In the '90s his protean achievements were celebrated on the Fatal Encounters compilation, but far from slowing down in the autumn of his life, Berrocal has maintained an extraordinary work-rate, keeping studio dates with Pascal Comelade, Telectu and Jaki Liebezeit, among others. In 2014 he released his first solo album proper in 20 years, MDLV.

Now Berrocal has found the perfect foil in David Fenech and Vincent Epplay, two fearlessly inventive improvisers, composers and catalysts who create challenging, acutely modernist yet historically aware settings – wrought out of synthesis, guitars, computer processing, field recordings and unorthodox percussions - for Berrocal’s unmistakeable voice and breathtakingly lyrical horn sound to flourish.

More information can be found here.

5433 Hits

"Talkin' Bout Your Mama: The Dozens, Snaps, and the Deep Roots of Rap"

Talking 'Bout Your Mama

From Two Live Crew's controversial comedy to Ice Cube's gangsta styling and the battle rhymes of a streetcorner cypher, rap has always drawn on deep traditions of African American poetic word-play, In Talking 'Bout Your Mama, author Elijah Wald explores one of the most potent sources of rap: the viciously funny, outrageously inventive insult game known as "the dozens."

So what is the dozens? At its simplest, it's a comic chain of "yo' mama" jokes. At its most complex, it's an intricate form of social interaction that reaches back to African ceremonial rituals. Wald traces the tradition of African American street rhyming and verbal combat that has ruled urban neighborhoods since the early 1900s. Whether considered vernacular poetry, aggressive dueling, a test of street cool, or just a mess of dirty insults, the dozens is a basic building block of African-American culture. A game which could inspire raucous laughter or escalate to violence, it provided a wellspring of rhymes, attitude, and raw humor that has influenced pop musicians from Jelly Roll Morton and Robert Johnson to Tupac Shakur and Jay Z.

Wald goes back to the dozens' roots, looking at mother-insulting and verbal combat from Greenland to the sources of the Niger, and shows its breadth of influence in the seminal writings of Richard Wright, Langston Hughes, and Zora Neale Hurston; the comedy of Richard Pryor and George Carlin; the dark humor of the blues; the hip slang and competitive jamming of jazz; and in its ultimate evolution into the improvisatory battling of rap. From schoolyard games and rural work songs to urban novels and nightclub comedy, and pop hits from ragtime to rap, Wald uses the dozens as a lens to provide new insight into over a century of African American culture.

A groundbreaking work, Talking 'Bout Your Mama is an essential book for anyone interested in African American cultural studies, history and linguistics, and the origins of rap music.

More information can be found here.

4491 Hits

"Don't Think I've Forgotten: Cambodia's Lost Rock and Roll"

Don't Think I've Forgotten: Cambodia's Lost Rock and Roll (2014) Poster

ABOUT THE FILM

During the 60’s and early 70’s as the war in Vietnam threatened its borders, a new music scene emerged in Cambodia that took Western rock and roll and stood it on its head – creating a sound like no other.

Cambodian musicians crafted this sound from the various rock music styles sweeping, America, England and France, adding the unique melodies and hypnotic rhythms of their traditional music. The beautiful singing of their renowned female vocalists became the final touch that made this mix so enticing.

But as Cambodian society - young creative musicians in particular - embraced western culture and flourished under its influence, the rest of the country was rapidly moving to war. On the left, Prince Sihanouk joined forces with the Khmer Rouge and rallied the rural population to take up arms against the government that deposed him. On the right, the Cambodian military, with American military support, waged a war that involved a massive aerial bombing campaign on the countryside. In the end, after winning the civil war, the Khmer Rouge turned their deadly focus to the culture of Cambodia.

After taking over the country on April 17, 1975, the Khmer Rouge began wiping out all traces of modernity and Western influence. Intellectuals, artists and musicians were specifically and systematically targeted and eliminated. Thus began one of the most brutal genocides in history, killing an estimated two million people – a quarter of the Cambodian population.

DON’T THINK I’VE FORGOTTEN: CAMBODIA’S LOST ROCK AND ROLL tracks the twists and turns of Cambodian music as it morphs into rock and roll, blossoms, and is nearly destroyed along with the rest of the country. This documentary film provides a new perspective on a country usually associated with only war and genocide.

The film is a celebration of the incredible music that came from Cambodia and explores how important it is to Cambodian society both past and present.

More information can be found here.

4116 Hits

Alex Cobb, "Chantepleure"

Chantepleure by Alex Cobb.  Vinyl LP.

The trajectory of Alex Cobb's music over the course of the last decade could be viewed as a distillation of tone and atmosphere to arrive at Chantepleure, his most optimistic and sanguine musical statement to date. The album, however, was created at a time of heartache, isolation and emotional upheaval and acts as a balm of tender tones where abstract guitar lines circle and suspend in a kind of refined elegance. Noise, once a hallmark of Cobb’s music, has not been entirely removed, but manifests here in a different form.

A delicate dissonance shades the edges of the these four tracks, providing textural color and gorgeously offsetting the lush nature of the music. Even in short spans, this approach yields substantial results. At three and a half minutes, “Disporting with a Shadow” pulls back the curtain just enough to let flecks of natural guitar notes and traces of alluring melody seep into the mix. The album closes with the side-long “Path of Appearance,” a cathartic composition that is best described as a poem of overtones which, like the rest of the album, is sourced from electric guitar and minimal effects but feels more akin to the sun stretching to fill all corners of a darkened room. A testament to sonic refinement, a way of coping, an exciting step forward for an established artist—the minimalist Chantepleure is all of these things.

More information can be found here.

3866 Hits

Death And Vanilla, "To Where The Wild Things Are"

To Where the Wild Things Are cover art

Formed in Malmö, Sweden by Marleen Nilsson and Anders Hansson, Death And Vanilla utilise vintage musical equipment such as vibraphone, organ, mellotron, tremolo guitar and moog, to emulate the sounds of '60s/'70s soundtracks, library music, German Krautrock, French Ye-ye pop and 60s psych. They revel in the warmth of older analogue instruments to create a more organic sound, each loose wire and off-kilter noise adding to the rich atmosphere.

After a handful of successful releases including a debut EP in 2010, their self-titled LP in 2012 - which sold out on pre-order - and a beautifully designed 7" single, the experimental pop duo were invited to compose a live soundtrack for the classic horror film, Vampyr (1932), for the Lund Fantastisk Film festival in Lund. Now, newly signed to Fire, the band return with To Where The Wild Things Are. Named after the Maurice Sendak children's book, the album is comprised of pop music with a wild, dreamy and experimental edge, celebrating imagination and the ability to travel to stranger recesses of the mind.

Where the Wild Things Are starts off with some of the most "pop" songs they've ever recorded, typified in the sweet and melodramatic "Arcana," and the classic pop inspired "Time Travel." Like Sendak's book of the same name, the album then proceeds into stranger and stranger territory, resulting in some of the most experimental material Death And Vanilla have produced, such as the six-minute "Something Unknown You Need to Know" and the machine-like, surf-guitar track "The Hidden Reverse."

The band recorded the new album themselves in their rehearsal space, using just one microphone - a 70's Sennheiser - which they bought at a flea market for a tenner. It is this unconventional recording process that gives Death And Vanilla their unique personality; using a trial-and-error approach to recording has rewarded the album with a strangeness that would not have otherwise been achievable.

Creating deliciously enticing soundscapes, full of moody Moogs, swirling melodies and breathless vocals, their influences on To Where the Wild Things Are are apparent and diverse, ranging from Ennio Morricone to Scott Walker, Tom Dissevelt to Norman Whitfield, The Zombies to Sun Ra, and Bo Hansson to The BBC Radiophonic workshop.

"Their sound is woozy, evocative and blatantly in thrall to the kaleidoscopic sounds of Broadcast, the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Mazzy Star and 60's sci-fi soundtracks. It's beautifully listenable; a veritable tapestry of warm sounds to soothe and refresh. Their previous records have been popular but this could send them into the stratosphere" Norman Records

"Death And Vanilla's sound is like an elaborate dreamscape composed of foggy visions and mind-altering notions." Redefine Magazine

"Death And Vanilla are a Swedish haunted-pop duo who have found themselves caught in the vortex of retro-futurism circa 1969... they've got a good grip on the baroque psychedelia of the United States Of America and Free Design," Aquarius Records

More information can be found here and here.

 

3966 Hits