Brilliantly relentless LinnDrum productions made as a sort of homage to Prince’s ‘Parade’ album; 40 minutes of virulent, Afro-Latin polyrhythms that sound something like Prince producing free jazz jungle with Jamal Moss and the Príncipe gang.
Lisbon-based Bruno Silva enacts pure voodoo with extended, restless LinnDrum workouts that take Prince’s distinctive LM-1 signatures as a starting point for loose-limbed tribal jams that flow with the colour of the Brazilian carnival and the rhythmic psychedelia of hardcore jungle. The title ‘Parada’ cannily nods both to Prince’s ‘Parade’ album and the percussion of carnival parades, speaking to a plurality of polyrhythms in a tradition of fusion music that seeks to meld myriad forms of communal, ritualistic and ecstatic music - not a million miles from the bare carnival funk of ‘Parade’s’ ’New Position’.
In six parts ranging from extended runs of drumkit-falling-down-stairs to nimble junglist mutations and rapid, darting concisions, Serpente spells out a heavily intoxicating and intuitive sort of rhythmic psychedelia that lives up to a broad palette of influences ranging from Haitian voodoo ceremonies and central African drum circles, through to the Sun Ra Arkestra and Alan Silva’s Celestial Communion Orchestra, via Keith Hudson’s dub transcendence, and the rude modernism of UK rave and virulent styles currently coming from Lisbon ghettos on the Príncipe label.
In attempting to untie and unite these worldly references, an asymmetric percussive friction and hypnotically unresolved tension naturally emerges from Serpente’s flux of machine made patterns. It’s there in the restlessly gnashing, swingeing brilliance of ‘Nivel de Chama’ and the exceptional mix of detuned Linn drums and reticulated jungle breaks in ‘Trama’, while the B-side probes this idea in three subtly agitated, but more space-out ’Símbolo’ parts, and finally with a sublime tension between his twitchy percussive saccades and celestial synth pads in ‘Nivel de Cinza. ‘Parada’ is pure body music that acknowledges both physical and spiritual needs, requiring a dancing body in order to properly unlock its purple magick.
Expanded reissue of one of the most fascinating Japanese ambient/environmental albums ever made, NOVA + 4 by Yutaka Hirose. The package includes the album known as Soundscape 2: Nova, sourced from its original masters, as well as 50 minutes of never-released-before recordings, yielding dreamiest synth tones swaddled in richly detailed environmental recordings that conjure a beautifully soporific non-place for drifting minds.
“Initially released in 1986 as part of the Soundscape series* commissioned by Misawa Home Corporation for use in their prefabricated houses, Yutaka Hirose’s NOVA has grown to become a mythical piece of the Japanese minimalist/ambient/environmental scene of the eighties. Initiated around the enchanting landscapes of the two first tracks recorded for the project, "Nova" and "Epilogue", Yutaka Hirose’s magnum opus serenely blends vintage synth with nature sounds, exploring soothing palettes and organic backdrops. For "Slow Sky", Hirose explains he "went for a pointillism-like sound, and tried to express a scenery of awakening, where the portal of a heart is opening up", while on "Humming The Sea", he "tried to compose a kind of music that expresses the daily, lazy life of child-like innocence in a summer vacation in some small town."
The bonus LP gathers four long unreleased pieces created around the same period of time for installations, described by Yutaka Hirose as "not music per se but rather sound sculptures", and including the haunting "Shadow Of A Water Droplet" which was recorded for an Ikebana exhibition.
All in all, NOVA + 4 is a transcendent experience of nature in the urban context, an oeuvre which, much like Midori Takada’s Through The Looking Glass or Satoshi Ashikawa’s Still Way, holds the power to appease the soul in turbulent times. As one inspired YouTube commenter once said when describing Yutaka Hirose’s masterstroke: "I can't tell if the birds are singing inside or outside! Thank you! "
Slow, methodical organ recordings on this major new work from Kali Malone; a quietly subversive double album featuring almost two hours of concentrated, creeping organ pieces governed by a strict acoustic and compositional code with ultimately profound emotional resonance. Featuring additional organ pieces performed by Ellen Arkbro and mastering by Rashad Becker, you’re gonna wanna spent time with this one.
‘The Sacrificial Code’ takes a more surgical approach to the methods first explored on last year’s ‘Organ Dirges 2016 - 2017’. Over the course of three parts performed on three different organs, Malone’s minimalist process captures a jarring precision of closeness, both on the level of the materiality of the sounds and on the level of composition.The recordings here involved careful close miking of the pipe organ in such a way as to eliminate environmental identifiers as far as possible - essentially removing the large hall reverb so inextricably linked to the instrument. The pieces were then further compositionally stripped of gestural adornments and spontaneous expressive impulse - an approach that flows against the grain of the prevailing musical hegemony, where sound is so often manipulated, and composition often steeped in self indulgence. It echoes Steve Reich’s sentiment “..by voluntarily giving up the freedom to do whatever momentarily comes to mind, we are, as a result, free of all that momentarily comes to mind.”
With its slow, purified and seemingly austere qualities ‘The Sacrificial Code’ guides us through an almost trance-inducing process where we become vulnerable receptors for every slight movement, where every miniature shift in sound becomes magnified through stillness. As such, it’s a uniquely satisfying exercise in transcendence through self restraint - a stunning realisation of ideas borne out of academic and conceptual rigour which gradually reveals startling personal dimensions. It has a perception-altering quality that encourages self exploration free of signposts and without a preordained endpoint - the antithesis to the language of colourless musical platitudes we've become so accustomed to.
Killer - Raw, direct Electro-Funaná from West Africa’s Cabo Verde Islands, via Europe. Strongly percussive and melodic, synth-driven dance music sharing roots with the Principé label’s kuduro styles - tip!!!
“Synthesize the Soul, Ostinato Records’ second compilation, revealed chapter one of the Cabo Verde cultural story in Europe, zooming in on visionaries like Paulino Vieira who made Lisbon the headquarters spearheading the musical revolution taking place within Cape Verdean emigre communities across Europe in the 1980s. Musicians from across the diaspora would eagerly travel to the Portuguese capital to record.
Grupo Pilon represents the second chapter of the Krioulu diaspora story. In smaller pockets, second generation musicians were independently contributing to one of the most lush periods of cultural innovation by immigrants in Europe. In Luxembourg, in 1986, a group of teenagers formed the largely unknown (outside of Cape Verdean circles) but consistently brilliant band named after the blunt instrument used in the islands to pound corn for Cabo Verde's national dish, cachupa.
With only five members, Pilon combined searing estilo Krioulu drumming and the hybrid ColaZouk style with blissful synth work and rugged guitar licks, creating a stripped-down, addictive sound that masterfully straddled two worlds. The band drew from the inspiring political changes of the day: the release of Nelson Mandela in South Africa and the fall of the Berlin Wall. The right to democracy became a constant theme in Pilon’s songs.
With access to better opportunities than their parents’ generation, Pilon’s roster were part time musicians. Music was not part of their academic upbringing nor a full-time gig. Their rhythm and style were wonderfully imperfect, made out of rawer skills and inexperience. Pilon did not follow the templates established by revered Cabo Verde bands. Keyboard player Emilio Borges played off beat and the band preferred arranging their songs to start from the beat normally heard in the middle of a composition rather than the beginning. These two elements made Pilon’s music simple, unique, and inimitable.
This LP, drawing from the six most powerful songs from Pilon’s three-album catalog, is the serving of still fresh leite quente to spice the summer and maybe even fuel the next generation of musicians in the Krioulu corners of Europe. Pilon are back in the studio refining their sound to revive their journey that looked all but lost to the world's ears two decades ago.”
Call Super aka Ondo Fudd does crystalline ambient house, disko-tek, slinky house and underwater electro on his 2nd 12” for The Trilogy Tapes
Picking up in the same shine-eyed zones as his ace ‘Blue Dot’ 12”, ‘Eyes Glide Through The Oxide’ seduces with a signature mixture of melodic allure and drift-away rhythm, puckering up with what sounds like spittle sucked thru a reed, set against gently sloshing, glassy rhythms and awning new age pads in the title cut, then laying out the lip-smacking late ‘80s disko of ‘Joyride to My Inside’, and playing out two driving but soft-geed house workouts, and finishing on the money with the iridescent electro flourish of ‘Fluenka’s Song.’
Squashed, heavy electronics from Brittany-based pair of free-party renegades on Andrea Parker’s Aperture label
The ‘Aghori’ EP explores ideas of techno minus energy, working at the point where rolling, massive structures feel at the point of collapse, succumbing to entropy but still standing, just about. On the A-side they render this take on knackered techno with the exhausted lurch of ’Shmashana’ which appears to pass-out in a K-hole and reawaken while the system is being dismantled, leaving us in the muddy shallows of ‘Moksha’.
A second wind comes with the zombied cadaver of ‘Antim Sanskar’ and its charred bass charge, before they dissolve into the murk of ‘Vamachara.’