July 27, 2012
March 8, 2012
December 6, 2010
A mixtape for my friends. Artists include Virginia Astley, Jun Togawa, Genevieve Waite, and more.
Download here. (113MB .zip)
September 13, 2010
September 4, 2010
August 30, 2010
August 11, 2010
August 1, 2010
Been spending a lot of time with these two tracks aloud on my iPhone before bed.
July 30, 2010
Ryuichi Sakamoto is going on tour with his piano music in the US. Dates here.
He’s got a new double album called playing the piano & out of noise coming out on September 28 on Decca.
March 29, 2009
I’ve recently shown to myself some vague reformed interest in writing some reviews. Until then, the usual:
|COLEMAN, ORNETTE: Twins LP (SD 1588HLP) 14.00
180 gram vinyl, manufactured by Rhino. Recorded between 1959 and 1961, but originally released in 1971. Performers: Ornette Coleman (alto sax), Don Cherry (pocket trumpet), Scott LaFaro (bass), Billy Higgins (drums), Eric Dolphy (bass clarinet), Freddie Hubbard (trumpet), Charlie Haden (bass) and Ed Blackwell (drums). “Ornette Coleman’s music has always shown an expressive feel for the playful, the joyful, the whimsical side of human nature. And I’d say it’s often there, deep down, in things he plays or writes in quite different moods.” — Martin Williams
|VA: CDCM Computer Music Series Vol. 37 CD (CRC 2938CD) 17.00
…Music From The Timara Studios Oberlin Conservatory Of Music. Featured works: “Piano Piece For Prepared Piano And Stereo Tape” (1969) by Olly Wilson; “Jabber For Computer Recorded Sound” (2006) and “To The Edge, Algorithmic Compositions For Solo Marimba” by Gary Lee Nelson. “Zephyr’s Lesson For Flute, Violoncello, Percussion And Stereo Tape” (1984) by Conrad Cummings. “The Death of the Moth For Chamber Ensemble And Stereo Tape” (2003) by Tom Lopez. “Seven Sides Of A Crystal For Piano And Stereo Tape” (1984) by Edward J. Miller. “Samadhi For Stereo Tape” (1978) by Dary John Mizelle. Featured performers: Thomas Fosnocht, piano; Elise Roy, flute; Steuart Pincombe, cello; Jennifer Torrence, percussion; Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble/Tim Weiss; Peter Takacs, piano; Deborah Sunya Moore, marimba.
|GALA DROP (NETHERLANDS)|
|GALA DROP: Gala Drop CD (GDR 001CD) 17.00
This is the debut full-length release by Gala Drop (Nelson Gomes, Tiago Miranda and Afonso Simões), comprised of three musicians and activists from Lisbon, Portugal who have been able to understand, revolutionize and mobilize towards the paths of the unknown, and then onto new avenues of artistic creation. Their self-titled record is a perfectly finished, well-conceived, mature work which unites aesthetic fields, rituals and practices that were previously distant from each other. Synthesizer orchestras, German Kraut and kosmische musik, the keyboard hell of French unit Heldon, psych/free percussive tribalism, a deep understanding of decades of dance music, Jamaica’s dub processing techniques, an extraordinary sensibility for sound resources and additional mixing, and finally, the mastering skills of Rafael Toral — all of these are ingredients that make Gala Drop completely unique. The metrics of the groove and backbeat in the drum work of Afonso Simões and Tiago Miranda’s percussion, and the ululating understanding of the synthesizer and keyboard phrases reveal a completely familiar yet alien alternate universe of space-y sound that is too good to be just druggy. This record is a document, a revelatory text where new trajectories are mapped and where the possibilities of stylistic exploration are endless. Utterly zoned-out keyboard and dub astral projection through new jungles of sound — you have been initiated.
|MDG SCENE (GERMANY)|
|FELDMAN, MORTON: The Late Piano Works Vol. 2: For Bunita Marcus CD (MDG 6131522) 18.00
Performed by Steffen Schleiermacher (piano). “With volume two of Feldman’s late piano works, the recording is devoted to one piece dedicated to the former student and close colleague Bunita Marcus. Feldman’s music never is opulent but spare and sparse with few notes that sometimes are stretched over periods of silence. Pianist Steffen Schleiermacher is a specialist in modern music for piano both as a composer and performer. His MDG recordings have garnered an amazing amount of praise.”
|LEMONHEADS, THE: It’s A Shame About Ray LP (PLAIN 138LP) 17.00
180 gram vinyl. “After numerous line-up changes and independent releases, Boston’s Lemonheads signed to Atlantic Records for 1990′s Lovey. It was with that record that Evan Dando began to move from Replacements style punk-pop into more gentle and jangly territory, and it’s here, on It’s A Shame About Ray, that he perfects his vision and launches the Lemonheads into international stardom. Featuring Blake Babies member Juliana Hatfield, It’s A Shame About Ray is one of the hookiest and catchy records of the ‘alternative’ era and holds up now as a jangle-pop classic alongside anything from ‘Eight Miles High’ to R.E.M.’s Lifes Rich Pageant.”
|CONGREGACION: Viene… LP (AVR 141516LP) 26.00
“Reissue of classic Chilean ’70s album housed in gatefold sleeve, with insert and lyrics, story of the band in Spanish and English. Congregacion was one of the legendary bands from the Chilean musical scene of the early ’70s. In spite of not having been a popular band like Los Jaivas, Los Blops and Congreso, they deserve a position of privilege in the history of Chilean rock. The group was from Valparaso and led by musician and poet Antonio Smith. They wrote lyrics with a significant political, philosophical and religious content, they were a real ‘celebration of life’. Musically, they crafted ballads in an Andean style with ethnic atmospheres; we could say they made a kind of psychedelic folk with progressive leanings. They recorded just one LP and a single in 1972. In the last decades, the music of Congregacion has conquered new folk lovers around the world and the original LP is yet a very rare collector’s piece.”
|MY CAT IS AN ALIEN/ENORE ZAFFIRI: Through The Magnifying Glass Of Tomorrow CD/DVD (ALP 189CD) 15.00
“Clandestine auteurs the Opalio Brothers (aka My Cat Is An Alien) have deftly sprinkled our solar system with their beautifully fragile, arcane soundscape/tracks via their own Opax label, as well as multimedia collaborations with vanguards such as Sonic Youth, Christian Marclay, Keiji Haino, Thurston Moore, Lee Ranaldo, Text Of Light, Jim O’Rourke, Mats Gustafsson, Loren Mazzacane Connors, Christina Carter Of Charalambides, Jackie- O Motherfucker & Black Magic Disco — and even have been commissioned to design a T-shirt for The Wire. Atavistic is most definitely thrilled to have the pleasure of releasing Through The Magnifying Glass Of Tomorrow, a freshly-minted collaboration with one of the pioneers of radical Italian electronic music, Enore Zaffiri. Mr. Zaffiri, composer and founder of the legendary Smet (Studio di Musica Elettronica di Torino) in 1964, is 80 years old and has been a ‘reclused’ artist for decades. After meeting Maurizio and Roberto, he decided to set up a collaborative project with them. Their recordings from the Western Alps of Bella Italia, Through The Magnifying Glass, a CD+DVD release running over two hours, is the haunting result from the gathering of these fellow musical cosmonauts.” DVD contents: Robert Opalio’s dual film “Light_Earth_Blue_Silver” (soundtrack by My Cat Is An Alien, 37 minutes, 4:3, color stereo) and Enore Zaffiri’s video painting “Trasparenze” (soundtrack by Enore Zaffiri, 48 minutes, 4:3, color, stereo).
|BUREAU B (GERMANY)|
|ROEDELIUS: Jardin Au Fou LP (BB 023LP) 17.00
LP version; includes all the original album tracks. Composer/poet Hans-Joachim Roedelius (Kluster, Cluster, Harmonia) is one of the most prolific musicians of the German avant-garde and a key figure in the birth of Krautrock, synthesizer pop and ambient music. Jardin Au Fou is his second solo album, originally issued in 1979 on France’s Egg label, and produced by former Tangerine Dream member Peter Baumann. This record was all the more noteworthy as it bore no resemblance whatsoever to what was expected of avant-garde electronica and displayed none of the typical Krautrock characteristics. A rhythm machine, sequencer and abstract sounds are conspicuously absent, and listeners at the time were stunned by one of the most beautiful, charming, ethereal and peaceful albums in the history of German rock music. None other than Asmus Tietchens, friend and artistic companion to Roedelius, has written the following in the liner notes for the reissue: “Jardin Au Fou (Fool’s Garden) is a thoroughly romantic album, bursting with joie de vivre and unadulterated joy. With the greatest of pleasure, Roedelius cranks up a carousel of fairground organs, popping corks, waltzes and sweet melodies. Musical ideas come thick and fast. If you listen carefully and immerse yourself in Jardin Au Fou, you might hear traces of the baroque in this romantic music.” Roedelius concentrates here on keyboards, and, in particular, the acoustic grand piano. He played most of the tracks by hand, exploiting his virtuosity to the full. The sweet disposition of the album as a whole borders on the naive, bearing none of the Krautrock hallmarks one might expect. Sweetness and light it may be, yet the music of Roedelius is more complex than it first appears. It carries a certain gentle gravitas borne of maturity, reflecting the ongoing quest of a musician for new paths and forms. Jardin Au Fou confronts the listener with an unfiltered, open perspective — today, some 30 years after it was created, this music has lost none of its shine or charm.
|VA: CDCM Computer Music Series Vol. I CD (CRC 2029CD) 17.00
First volume in this series, originally released in 1988. Featured works: “Sinfonia Concertante: A Mozartean Episode”, “Sonata Concertante” for piano and computer music on tape by Larry Austin; “Peninsula” for piano and computer music on tape by Thomas Clark; “Fluud for dual Synclaviers” by Jerry Hunt; “Dulcimer Dream” for amplified piano by Phil Winsor.
|VA: CDCM Computer Music Series Vol. 2 CD (CRC 2039CD) 17.00
Originally released in 1988. Featured works: “GOLEM I” for computer music performance system by Richard Teitelbaum; “Lady Neil’s Dumpe” for Yamaha TX816 MIDI rack and Macintosh Plus computer by Martin Bresnick; “What Is The Use?” for computer performance system by Neil B. Rolnick; “Kaleidocycles” by Rick Baitz; “Syntax for Synclavier” by Scott Lindroth.
|INSTITUT DU MONDE ARABE (FRANCE)|
|BOUHASSOUN, WAED: A Voice For Love CD (IDMA 321071) 20.00
“‘A voice for love’ is how some have described Waed Bouhassoun, a talented Syrian musician who sings to her own accompaniment on the lute. The youthful Bouhassoun is undoubtedly the embodiment of love, as is borne out by the choice of poems and texts for this, her first recording. Sometimes with strength, sometimes with fragility, her voice intensifies emotion and meaning to the point of ecstasy in the poems of Ibn Zaydoun, Jalal-Eddine, Rumi, Wallada or even Tahar Abou Facha and Mahmoud Bayram al Tounissi, the famous lyricists to Oum Kalthoum. The purity and intimacy of this recording invite the listener to enter into a world alive with sensitivity and elegance.”
|KOTTKE, LEO: 6-And 12-String Guitar LP (TAKOMA C1024LP) 15.00
“With the 1969 release of 6-And 12 String Guitar, Leo Kottke established his pre-eminence as a guitar virtuoso and composer of quirky, pop-inflected pieces. Harmonically adventurous and technically dazzling, this album showcases Kottke`s penchant for infusing traditional elements of folk guitar with more modern, even impressionistic harmony and tonality. Kottke inspired a revolution in acoustic guitar playing, and this record provided the opening volley. ‘The Driving of the Year Nail’ starts things off with a relentless fingerpicked chug, featuring splashes of open harmonics executed with the delicacy of a ballerina. Kottke proceeds to combine the familiar with the strange — each of these brief pieces (around three minutes and under) has the effect of being simultaneously charming, and a little twisted. For example, ‘Vaseline Machine Gun’ starts with ‘Taps’ played with a bottleneck slide, then morphs into a thumb-and-slide frenzy. Bach`s ‘Jesu, Joy of Man`s Desiring’ is the exception, given a straight and loving reading on six-string guitar. This is pure steel-string joy, with liberal doses of irony and ecstasy.”
|EM RECORDS (JAPAN)|
|WADA, YOSHI: Earth Horns With Electronic Drone CD (EM 1081CD)20.00
Yoshi Wada and EM Records presents the first-ever, world-premiere release of Earth Horns With Electronic Drone, recorded live in 1974. Combining four of Wada’s self-made “pipehorns” (made from plumbing materials, over three meters in length), with an electronic drone tuned to the electrical current of the performance space, this is a lost masterpiece of early minimalism, placing Wada rightfully in the pantheon with La Monte Young, Phill Niblock, Maryanne Amacher and Alvin Lucier. Recorded live in Syracuse, New York, this recording captures the room-filling complex overtones generated by the ever-shifting interplay of the breathing horns and the constant electronic drone. This is a music of ritual hypnotic power, its heavy low-end mass and sense of change within constancy engendering a meditative transcendency. Earth Horns With Electronic Drone is the fourth and ultimate release in Em Records’ Yoshi Wada series, a must for all fans of minimalism, heavy drones, ritual, mystery and world-shaking transcendence. From an original performance of almost three hours, the CD features a 77-minute excerpt. The full performance is also available as a 3LP set (162 minutes). From Earth horns to beyond the firmament: prepare to be elevated! Pipehorns constructed by Yoshi Wada; electronic equipment designed by Liz Phillips and Yoshi Wada; Electronics: Liz Phillips; Pipehorn Players: Jim Burton, Garrett List, Barbara Stewart and Yoshi Wada. 96khz/24bit digitally remastered, including a booklet with text in Japanese & English, and a reproduction circa-1975 Fluxus poster by George Maciunas.
|WADA, YOSHI: Earth Horns With Electronic Drone 3LP (EM 1081LP)69.00
Triple LP version of the entire 162-minute performance — the vinyl version therefore contains approx 85 additional minutes of music!. Includes booklet with text in Japanese & English, and an original-size reproduction of the circa-1975 Fluxus poster by George Maciunas. Limited to just a few hundred copies worldwide.
|KLINE, PHIL: Around The World In A Daze 2DVD (S 2015DVD) 15.00
DVD-Audio release, total Content: 110 min. NTSC format, All Region. “Leading new-music composer Phil Kline debuts a major work on this new surround sound DVD. Heard here for the first time, this 65-minute studio composition was commissioned by Starkland to premiere on this high-resolution surround-sound DVD. Daze is Kline’s longest work and biggest commission to date. Daze is also likely the largest work so far commissioned for a high-resolution surround-sound recording. Performers include the uber-cool Ethel string quartet and violin virtuoso Todd Reynolds. Surround-sound tracks place listeners inside wondrous boombox choirs, an ethereal Ethel string quartet, a weird madrigal, hyper-dense bells (hundreds of thousands at one point), richly mournful multi-tracked vocals, soaring violinistics, and an immersive environment of 15,000 African gray parrots. The release also offers a second Extras DVD with a composer-produced music video and a 30-minute interview with Kline and John Schaefer. The custom 5″x10″ digipak includes a 24-page booklet. The two DVDs contain a total content of 110 minutes. This release follows Starkland’s groundbreaking surround-sound Immersion DVD, now recognized as the first commissioned high-resolution surround-sound recording. Immersion won praise from Sound & Vision, Stereophile, Billboard, etc. and was the #1 best-selling DVD-Audio at Amazon for nearly a year. The main disc offers Daze in several formats for various home playback setups: the standard Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, DTS 5.1, and high-resolution audiophile DVD-Audio, as well as a stereo version. Playback of the Daze music is accompanied by over 80 images shot by Kline.”