Will Guthrie’s hypnotic, amorphous percussion sprawls between free jazz, Javanese gamelan, and electro-acoustic disciplines in a spellbinding new opus for Oren Ambarchi’s inimitably unpredictable Black Truffle
“Nantes-based Australian drummer and percussionist Will Guthrie returns to Black Truffle with Nist-Nah. Like his previous solo record on the label, the abrasive hip-hop concrète of People Pleaser (BT027), Nist-Nah finds Guthrie branching out in a new direction, this time in a suite of six percussion pieces primarily using the metallaphones, hand drums and gongs of the Gamelan ensembles of Indonesia. The music presented here is grounded in Guthrie’s travels in Indonesia and study of various forms of Gamelan music, from the stately suspended temporality of the courtly Javanese Gamelan Sekatan, to the delirious, thuggish repetition that accompanies the Javanese trance ritual Jathilan, to the shimmering acoustic glitch of contemporary Balinese composer Dewa Alit and his Gamelan Salukat.
However, far from an exercise in exoticism, Nist-Nah develops out of Guthrie’s extensive work with metal percussion in recent years (as heard, for example, on his 2015 LP for iDEAL, Sacrée Obsession), where gongs, singing bowls and cymbals are used to build up walls of hovering tones and sizzling details. Though Guthrie is broadening his palette to explore Gamelan instrumentation and pay tribute to his love of this sophisticated yet elemental percussion music, the pieces presented here are equally informed by Guthrie’s interests in free jazz, electro-acoustic music and diverse experimental music practices, exploring long tones, extended techniques, and non-metered pulse.
Nist-Nah presents a variety of approaches across its six pieces, from the crisp, precise rhythmic complexity of the opening title track to the droning textures of ‘Catlike’ and ‘Elders’. On the epic closing ‘Kebogiro Glendeng’, Guthrie offers an extended, layered rendition of a Javanese piece belonging to a repertoire primarily used for warmups, beginner’s groups and children first learning Gamelan, elegantly gesturing to his own amateur status while using the piece’s insistently repeated melody as an extended exploration of the hypnotic effects of repetition, falling in and out of time with himself to create woozy, narcotic effects until the piece eventually dissolves into a wavering fog.”
‘Have We Met’, as Dan Bejar puts it, “came together in such a crazy way - all equal parts ecstasy and terror.” Initially conceived (but quickly ditched) as a Y2K album, Bejar was without a clear concept in mind. So he let it all rip while brainstorming at home.
"Culled from years’ worth of saved writing, set aside for projects “beyond music” and recorded at his kitchen table, ‘Have We Met’ harkens back to ‘Kaputt’-era Dan stringing together lyrics off hand while lounging on his couch. The resulting vocal sound exists in the sweet spot between two Destroyer worlds colliding: hints of the past, more strident Destroyer mixed in with a relaxed, new-aged Crooning one. No re-recording. No cleaning up.
Frequent collaborator John Collins was tasked with the role of layering synth and rhythm sections over a stream-of-consciousness Bejar, as Nic Bragg added “completely unexpected and somehow comforting” threedimensional, shredding guitar. The Destroyer band-orientated approach was shelved; “The record could have gone on and on, and the mixes kept evolving up until about a day before we sent them off to be mastered, which was also 48 hours before John and his wife went to the birthing centre, where their first child was born; our true deadline!” says Bejar. Opener ‘Crimson Tide’ is a six-minute journey that takes its rightful place among other Destroyer epics.
It welcomes with a sparse rhythm until percolating synths and propulsive bass build and make it all a reality with unsustainable imagery - oceans stuck inside hospital corridors and insane funerals. It’s the sound of a somewhat eccentric and unorthodox recording process laid out and built up by three musicians exploring the depth to which they can take an idea. On ‘The Television Music Supervisor’, trickling keys, glitches and ‘clickity click clicks’ (a variation on the standard Bejar ‘la da das’) focuses on how those who dictate our relationships with music and media are susceptible to error, a most 21st Century concern. Perhaps the most audacious Destroyer track yet, ‘Cue Synthesizer’ steps back to address the rote and often-detached mechanics of music. Up next, the waltzy and woozy centrepiece ‘University Hill’ drifts even further and applies that logic more broadly, insisting “the game is rigged in every direction” and “you’re made of string.”
Thirteen albums in, ‘Have We Met’ manages to meet somewhere between trademarks and new territory - atmospheric approximations of feeling and place, wry gut-punches of one liners and the deluge of energy meets a thematic catharsis of modern dread, delivered with an effortless, entrancing directness. No need to expound any further - he’s got it all spelled out for you in the music."
‘Mystic Familiar’, Dan Deacon’s new album, is the result of years of obsessive work, play and selfdiscovery.
"It’s at once his most emotionally open record and his most transcendent, 11 kaleidoscopic tracks of majestic synth-pop that exceptionally expand his sound with unfettered imagination and newfound vulnerability. Since 2015’s ‘Gliss Riffer’, Deacon has branched out into an array of collaborative projects including film scores to Rat Film, HBO’s Well Groomed, ESPN’s 30 for 30: Subject to Review; collaborating with the NYC Ballet’s resident choreographer Justin Peck, LAPhil and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra."
Ex-Chairlift singer Caroline Polachek teams with PC Music’s Danny L Harle (Carli XCX) for a sleekly toned debut solo album of indie-R&B inflected with traces of country, folk, ambient, synth-pop and experimental electronic production...
“Caroline Polachek has already lived an extraordinary life in music: her previous band Chairlift formed in 2006 whilst Caroline was still in art school; and in 2008 the band was thrust into the spotlight when "Bruises" was synched in an iPod commercial as the Brooklyn indie scene peaked as an international export. Caroline's idiosyncratic vocal style and synth textures quickly became their sonic trademark, and continued to evolve through their three critically acclaimed albums into a new, more modular kind of pop experimentation.
Caroline expanded into production in 2013, landing her first credit writing and producing on Beyonce's grammy-nominated self-titled album. Restless while making Chairlift's third (and final) record "Moth", Caroline quietly fostered two side projects: baroque girl-group Ramona Lisa, and minimal synth project CEP. Moving fluidly through radically different genres, Caroline collaborated with dozens of artists (Blood Orange, SBTRKT, Charli XCX) ; sometimes writing, sometimes singing, sometimes directing videos, and sometimes all three.
Chairlift disbanded in 2017 and Caroline feverishly began writing for her first solo project under her own name. For the first time, the DNA from these seemingly different projects fit together perfectly; the playfulness of Chairlift, the theatricality of Ramona Lisa, futuristic glimmerings of CEP, plus a new mastery of her voice and thick rolodex of keen collaborators.
Fast forward two years spent manically between the studio and navigating a series of personal crossroads, and “Pang” marks the beginning of a new chapter. It is the most ambitious, hardcore and beautiful album of her career to date. With her signature 'organic autotune' and liquid lyricism finally center stage, the record positions her firmly as one of the most singular and captivating singers of a generation.”
Dutch sound artist Machinefabriek supplies a fittingly chilly score for video shot in Antarctica by Esther Kokmeijer, following his first suite with a sound that’s truer to the images of icebergs and endless tundra.
“The friendship and collaboration between Rutger Zuydervelt (Machinefabriek) and Alessandro Tedeschi (label founder of Glacial Movements, has been going on for several years now and it is constantly evolving. The Dutch artist, in addition to carrying out the graphic designs of all Glacial Movements' releases, is also part of the label’s catalog with the album "Stillness Soundtracks" released in April 2014. Almost 6 years from its publication, here is the new musical tale of the fantastic journey in Antarctica by Esther Kokmeijer.
When Esther Kokmeijer asked Rutger Zuydervelt (aka Machinefabriek) to score the second installment of her ‘Stillness’ video series, he didn’t have to think twice. After all, when working on its first volume, the duo found out soon enough that the images of floating icebergs and desolate sea scapes were a perfect fit with Rutger’s glacial sounds (as heard on ‘Stillness Soundtracks’). For that first set, the score was quite lively and layered, as if the music was adding a narrative to the static imagery, suggesting that things were unfolding outside of the screen. For the second ‘Stillness’ installment, the focus is more on what can be seen within the frame – an attempt to capture the solemnness of the images – to find beauty, but also sadness in the mesmerizing quality of Esther’s films. This makes ‘Stillness Soundtracks II’ a more sombre and subdued album and one that’s a fitting soundtrack to these alarming times with climate change being a more serious threat than ever.
Esther Kokmeijer: “Stillness” depicts tranquil, gliding images of icescapes from the North and South Pole. I filmed these landscapes during my biannual visits to Antarctica as an expedition photographer. The meditative images invite reflection on the unparalleled beauty of this glacial ecology, which appears both vulnerable and resilient.”
The label behind Angel Bat Dawit’s amazing debut present a glorious side from persistent jazz innovator Jeff Parker (Tortoise), melding deeply soulful charm with naturally explorative leanings operating at similarly loose but focussed levels of intuition and dextrous freedom across his swirling ‘Suite For Max Brown’, but with plusher recording and production values.
Preceded by a 7” that signalled this LP would be special, ‘Suite for Max Brown’ lives up to its promise with a canny mix of supple, live chops and Parker’s own sampling/editing tekkers that makes the LP feel at once fresh and vintage. Manning electric guitar, plus all sorts of percussion (drums, glockenspiel, pandeiro), and electronics (sampler, Korg MS20, Roland JP-08, midi), as well as Mibira and vocals, Jeff is flanked by a hand-picked band of Interantional Anthem regulars on strings, brass, drums and vox for a sophisticated and deeply cool iteration of 2020 jazz music.
The smooth fusion of ‘Max Brown’ off the aforementioned 7” single now closes the LP, but before you get there, the album will charm your socks off in 10 ways. On the A-side he puckers up a selection of succinct bewts, stroking MS20 subs under loping drums, guitar vamps and Ruby Parker’s serene, lilting vox on ‘Build a Nest’, and going all J Dilla with the sample/edit cut-up of Otis Redding on ‘C’mon Now’, before lurching into devilish jazz-funk breaks in ‘Fusion Swirl’, then melting the vibe with a gorgeous take on Coltrane’s ‘After The Rain’, alongside dreamy electronic vignette ‘Metamorphoses’. On the B-side however it sounds like they returned from lunch (and perhaps a spicy zoot) with a much more laid-back, woozy appeal explored thru Parker’s signature, quietly joyful electric guitar and spongiform MS20 bass on ‘3 For L’, while ‘Go Away’ simmers on the good foot for classy ‘floors with Makaya McCraven’s drums synched to Parker’s vox, sampler and chiming, almost highlife-esque guitar.
As with everything we’ve heard on IARC over the past few months (admittedly since being wowed by that amazing Angel Bat Dawid debut), Jeff Parker’s contributions fall squarely within the label’s focused yet broad appeal and properly rooted styles, offering the sort of Jazz slab that will seduce fence-sitters and light up harder-to-please beret wearers.
Classic, foundational shoegaze pop from Leeds, 1990, including a bonus side of demos recorded in the terraced hills of Woodhouse, plus their John Peel Session...
“On the eve of a post-Thatcherite Britain, the Pale Saints, alongside the likes of Lush, Ride and Slowdive, were ushering in a new wave of British indie. And in 4AD, they found a perfect home for their music - an exciting & undeniable meld of noise and dream-pop.
Their debut album, The Comforts of Madness, didn’t disappoint, now standing as one of the best of its era. Pitchfork placed it in their Best 50 Shoegaze Albums Of All Time saying, “There’s a restless urgency, particularly when the volume swells and the rhythms intensify. That energy not only keeps (it) vital, it emphasizes Pale Saints’ inventiveness, how they channelled softness and rage into something distinctive.”
Nearly 30 years on and The Comforts of Madness is finally getting the reissue treatment. Having been remastered, a faithful LP repress on black vinyl is being released as well as double CD and double clear vinyl editions, both of which come with a bonus disc of previously unreleased demos and the band’s only John Peel Session, recorded in 1989.”
Phill Niblock brings half a century of work in prism-pushing minimalist composition to a pair of towering Organ pieces performed by Hampus Lindwall and Emanuel Schmelzer-Ziringer, and recorded in 2007 + 2019.
His ‘Music For Organ’ surely arrives at a high zeitgeist moment for organ music - like his younger counterparts, Phill has keenly worked at the radical peripheries of whatever instrument he uses, systematically isolating and highlighting its phenomenological peculiarities and often subverting their context. However, as a son of the pivotal late ’60s era, Phill is also a true autodidact and applies a rigorous, if raw, approach to his music that always generates gripping, and often challenging, results, as heard here.
The A-side’s ‘Unmounted / Muted Noun’ (2019) for organ and 4 pre-recorded tracks was commissioned by Musica Festival Strasbourg for Hampus Lindwall and recorded in the composer’s presence. It appears to feature the organist stacking dense blocks of chords into a blinding black mass of roiling harmonics that do not let up until the runout groove. For 24 minutes the piece sustains a breathless pressure that’s either hellish, ecstatic or simply otherworldly, depending on your disposition, and we can only imagine that the Orgelbau Klais organ must have made it feel like the walls of the C.15th Collégiale Sainte-Waudrau church in, Mons, Belgium were about to crumble.
In stark contrast, the B-side’s ’Nagro (AKA - Organ)’ (2007), for organ and tape, performed by Emanuel Schmelzer-Ziringer at the Joseph Gatto organ (1787) in Sankt Kirchberg Am Wagram, Austria, feels much more pent in its transition thru tight, glistening higher registers. Up there, the piece feels out a fine range of tonalities and harmonic spectra, which, while dominated by the pealing highs, is also fleshed out with rolling low end in a seat-edge but heavy-lidded display of never-resolved tension.
‘América Invertida’ is a fascinating survey of Uruguay’s lesser-covered ‘80s endeavours in new wave pop, jazz-fusion, ambient folk and electronics, compiled by Spanish DJ and collector Javi Bayo
So, hands up who knows about music from South America’s 2nd smallest nation? Aye, just like us, Uruguay’s music scene is a bit of mystery to all but an ardent set of diggers who’ve been mining its fine seams of cult records, often produced by the same handful of artists out of the capital city, Montevideo, and pressed in tiny runs at the time. For anyone interested, ‘América Invertida’ rectifies the issue with 11 charmingly sweet examples that patently echo the styles of Uruguay’s bigger neighbours, Brazil and Argentina, but with their own sense of breezy flair that’s neatly distilled in this compilation.
To play favourites, we’re instantly struck by the shimmering FM synth blush and suave bossa-fusion shuffle of ‘Y El Tiempo Pasa’ and ‘Kabumba’ by Hugo Jasa, while the likes of Contraviento and Travesia supply seductive bits of bucolic, pastoral psych folk and we can almost primacy you won’t be shifting the ohrwurms of Eduardo Mateo’s burbling Candombe rhythms in ‘El Chi-Li-Ban-Dan’ any time soon once bitten.
Prescient maverick Markus Popp minces our swedes with the schizzy, quantum mechanics and avant-pop appeal of his first new Oval album in six years.
Assured of his place in the pantheon of electronic music pioneers since his earliest, groundbreaking work with fucked-up CDs and bespoke software, Oval’s rate of innovation may have waned since the ‘90s, but he still has an extraordinary way with the fundamentals of musical composition, as found on ’Scis’. The follow-up to 2014’s ‘Popp’ expands on that album’s hyperfruity, melodic dance-pop leanings with the kind of inimitably crafty, human touch that many have come to expect from Oval’s advanced output.
You can trust he doesn’t leave a nano-second of the record wanting for detail, cramming filigree melodic twirls and restless rhythm at every turn from the wild fusion of feathered keys and rabid dubstep in opener ‘Twirror’, to the fractalised swang of ‘Fluoresco’, an Akufen-like R&B cut-up in ‘Pushhh’, and Coh-meets-Luomo-esque chops on ‘Improg’, along with exemplary future funk in ‘Cozzmo’.
If previous Oval albums have struck you as too knowingly obtuse, there’s an impressively finer balance of the i’m-dead-clever-me aspects, and straight-up enjoyable pop sensuality and swerve to this one.
Killer joyride of noisy, white-knuckle rhythms and biting-point sound design by Milan’s Advanced Audio Research for the increasingly ace Haunter Records
In hot pursuit of the styles found in his 2018 debut, the ‘First Grade’ LP - which recently turned up in Jon K’s killer TTT mix - the ‘Top Secret’ LP doubles down on that sound with nearly twice as much material and more belligerent confidence that places him in close orbit with fellow Italian demon, Shapednoise while also recalling the breakcore blatz of Somatic Responses and Venetian Snares.
No punches are pulled across the album’s 12 gory cuts, which often run at a frenetic 160bpm and all leave no nanosecond shy of seething action, fulminating standout pieces in the club mastication of ‘Gandalf’, the supremely cranky grind of ‘Gizmo (Tribute to Kazuhiko “Smokey” Nagata)’, his roiling R&B noise fusion, and the hardcore razz of ‘Trans-Mongolian Railway’.
Like a dry audio colonic or frack job for your head, Pain Jerk’s previously unreleased ‘Mission Invisible’ is a grade A+ battery of calamity dished up by his adoring fiends at Hospital Productions. Mega RIYL Russell Haswell, Incapacitants, or wilfully placing yourself at the edge of sanity...!!!
“hospital productions is proud to announce the unreleased would be classic from japanese noise hero painjerk. originally recorded immediately after the canonical ‘gallon gravy’ classic, this is pure - definitive - loop heavy noise energy and dynamism that would become the signature of kohei gomi’s electronic studies having influenced two generations of underground electronics since. hailing from a background of japanese punk, kohei gomi stayed true to the fierce ethos of independence and experimentation that reached its peak in japan in the late 90’s. but make no mistake, mr. gomi never stagnated into a single platform, having worked with such diverse labels as as alternative tentacles, relapse, editions mego and so on. composed with a mysterious configuration of constantly flowing noise hardware - always recorded live without overdubs, gomi went on to risk taking computer explorations into the roots of avant garde compositions inspired by the likes of pan sonic and david tudor. having reached cult status and maintaining an air of mystery after an onslaught of now classic and highly collectible tape only releases such as the monstrous ‘cacophony of a thousand pleasures’ 3xcs which has been cited as an influence for mika vainio.
never settling for stale genre collaborations, kohei gomi further went on to such divergent ends as the insane collaboration with russell haswell, psychedelic commune pioneers smegma, and power violence royalty bastard noise. we are blessed to finally have such a critical document unleashed onto the world of what 20 years on can easily sit alongside the classics of its day. raise a fist in solidarity for the inimitable punk noise of painjerk!”
Henry Kaiser is an American guitarist, composer, label founder, photographer and professional diver. He appears on more than 250 albums, including collaborations with the likes of Fred Frith, Richard Thompson, David Lindley, Wadada Leo Smith, Derek Bailey, Jim O´Rourke and numerous others. In 2017 he initiated and produced the two Sky Music albums, both tributes to Norwegian guitar legend Terje Rypdal. Ivar Grydeland is a Norwegian guitarist and composer, most known from the trio Huntsville (Rune Grammofon and Hubro) and Dans Les Arbres (ECM, Hubro, Sofa). He has recorded and performed with a number of musicians including Nils Petter Molvær, David Sylvian, Tony Oxley, Nels Cline, Thurston Moore and Paul Lovens. He has released two solo albums on Hubro.The two guitarists first met in an Oslo studio in January 2019.
"Having admired each other’s work for some time, they decided right there and then to record a guitar duet collaboration specifically to create a soundtrack for a classic Norwegian silent film. They spent 30 minutes setting up to record and Kaiser suggested a short test recording to one of the less likely candidates, Roald Amundsen’s 1925 documentary "Ellsworths flyveekspedition 1925". One hour and fifty-six minutes later they set down their guitars and shook their heads in wonder.
They had played for the entire length of the film without breaks, in the process creating a complete score for the film. The Norwegian explorer was a key figure of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. In 1911, he led the first expedition to the South Pole, and is proven to have been the first to reach the North Pole in 1926. Across the Arctic, traditions of shamanism endure among the Inuit. A vision of the Arctic outside of mundane history, yet common in human polar experience, exists in “time out of time” or “everywhen”, during which the land is inhabited by figures of heroic proportions. Amundsen and his colleagues were just such figures. Grydeland and Kaiser seemed to have entered into a kind of Arctic Dreamtime as they conjured this film soundtrack into existence; playing in real time with the film.
Their guitar improvisations explore historic events, and invoke those heroic figures of the far north, illuminating both Norwegian history, and shamanic time outside of history, through music."
Ulrich Schnauss releases a career spanning retrospective seven CD box set. Ulrich has taken the opportunity to remaster his entire back catalogue to be released on his own Scripted Realities label.
"The two most recent of the albums, ‘A Long Way To Fall’ and ‘No Further Ahead Than Today’ have both been extensively reworked. The set also contains an 18-track compilation of outtakes, demos and fragments, including a cover version of Scott Walker’s ‘It’s Raining Today’ and Ulrich’s version of Bach’s ‘Prelude And Fugue No1 in C Major’, with 14 of the 18 tracks being unreleased. Each album’s artwork has also been refreshed. This release makes Ulrich’s music available again after an 18-month period.
Contains the albums ‘Far Away Trains Passing By’, ‘A Strangely Isolated Place’, ‘Goodbye’, ‘A Long Way To Fall - Rebound’, ‘No Further Ahead Than Tomorrow’ and ‘Now Is A Timeless Present (Outtakes, Demos & Fragments)’, with a total of 73 tracks across seven CDs."
Post-punk’s definitive unit regroup in a jangling, driving follow-up to their best-selling album to date.
“WIRE are the definitive post-punk group. Since their inception they’ve maintained a reputation for creating music that stretches the rock form whilst simultaneously editing it down to its essence. With their gift for crafting songs that perfectly balance experimentation and accessibility, WIRE were recently hailed by the Quietus as "one of the most consistent British bands of all time". Yet WIRE exhibit little inclination to look back or trade on past glories, rather they remain resolutely focused on producing music which is smart, vital and defiantly modern.
Mind Hive is the group’s first newly recorded material since 2017’s stellar Silver/Lead. That album garnered rave reviews ("Some of the best tunes they’ve done" – The Guardian) and career best sales. Yet, if Silver/Lead set the bar pretty high, Mind Hive seems to have no problem vaulting over it. Album opener Be Like Them is a super-angular composition, utilizing a recently rediscovered Wire lyric from 1977. Colin Newman and Matthew Simms’ guitars constantly mesh and diverge, whilst the rhythm section of Graham Lewis and Robert Grey ensure the song prowls forward with an unstoppable menace. In contrast, lead cut Cactused is the first of Mind Hive’s pop moments. Newman’s vocal is wide eyed and wired, with Lewis’ smooth backing vocals thickening the plot. Simms’ effects-heavy guitar work creates a bright web of noise, with the song’s stop/start moments providing a series of precise energy bursts.
Primed And Ready rides out on a tightly pulsing synth sequence punctuated by icy slivers of guitar. Grey drives whole sections of the song with hi-hat alone, but when his snare cracks return, they push the song forwards with even greater intensity. This is Wire at their most compressed yet propulsive. Off The Beach is another prime pop song. With its breezy, optimistic melody, and blend of electric and acoustic guitars, the song initially sees the group seemingly celebrating the joys of everyday life. And yet, as is so often the case with WIRE, things are destined to turn a shade stranger.
The sun-dazzled splendor of Unrepentant sees the group exploring the kind of bucolic soundscape early Pink Floyd would have been proud to call their own. Boasting one of the album’s finest texts, the song radiates out into a shimmering sonic heat haze. The atmospheric yet concise Shadows pulls the classic WIRE trick of placing a dark and cruel lyric amongst a musical setting of tender beauty. Never has the recounting of atrocity been so seductively pitched. The muscular and dramatic Oklahoma is the joker in the pack. With its opening lyric of ‘I love your sexy hearse’, Lewis’ dark vocal swims through a rich compound of guitar textures and synth tones, building into a master-class of tension and release. The album’s centerpiece is Hung. This 8-minute excursion matches a brief but evocative lyric with a dense, mesmeric guitar grind. Simms and Newman’s keyboards add a plaintive note, as the song moves through a series of sections, each with its own distinct atmosphere. The album closes with the gorgeous Humming, a beatless autumnal drift fashioned from delicate keyboard textures and rich soaring guitar tones. Newman delivers the state of the world lyric with a touching sense of innocence, whilst the piece ends with Lewis’ husky baritone listing locations and their difficult associations. An elegiac end to a supremely confident album.”
Poster boy for the neo-EBM revolution, Phase Fatale attacks with muscular gusto on his debut album for Ostgut Ton
Booting off two years after his ‘Redeemer’ album for Hospital Productions and leading from his link-up with Silent Servant, Berlin’s Hayden Payne aka Phase Fatale defines EBM in 2019 as a more economic sibling to its ‘80s forebears, essentially leaving the hoary vocals but accentuating its kinky, percussive drive and industrial sound design.
Running mostly at a 120bpm pace, but often slower, the session concentrates his energies into 8 lurching chassis built from hard drums, jagged 16th note drops and plangent synth arcs in a classic style trimmed to contemporary tastes. If you’re after straight-up dancefloor weaponry, run go check the swaggering darkroom dram of ‘Splintered Heels’, the gibber-jawed synth motif and steel-tipped drums of ‘Velvet Imprints’, and the clenched funk of ‘Mass Deception’, but if you’re in it for the long haul the album smartly keeps your interest with the variation of 80bpm trudge in ‘During The Freezing Porcess’ and the giurzzled sound design of ‘Proxy Cintact’.
Robert Haigh aka ‘90s jungle legend Omni Trio pursues his classical muse in a suite of solo piano expressions for Unseen Worlds, resonating with his Satie and Debussy-inspired‘80s releases for NWW’s United Dairies and Crépuscule - as found in V-O-D’s 2014 compilation
“Black Sarabande expands upon pianist-composer Robert Haigh's beguiling debut for Unseen Worlds with a collection of intimate and evocative piano-led compositions. Black Sarabande expands upon pianist-composer Robert Haigh's beguiling debut for Unseen Worlds with a collection of intimate and evocative piano-led compositions. Haigh was born and raised in the 'pit village' of Worsbrough in South Yorkshire, England. His father, as most of his friends' fathers, was a miner, who worked at the local colliery. Etched into Haigh's work are formative memories of the early morning sounds of coal wagons being shunted on the tracks, distant trains passing, and walking rural paths skirting the barren industrial landscape.
The album opens with the title track — a spacious, plaintive piano motif develops through a series of discordant variations before resolving. On 'Stranger On The Lake,' sweeping textures and found sounds lay the foundation for a two chord piano phrase evoking a sense of elegy. 'Wire Horses' is an atmospheric audio painting of open spaces and distant lights. 'Air Madeleine' uses variations in tempo and dynamics to craft the most seductively melodic track on the album. 'Arc Of Crows' improvises on a single major seventh chord, splintering droplets of notes as ghostly wisps of melodic sound slowly glide into view. 'Ghosts Of Blacker Dyke' is a melancholic evocation of Haigh's roots in England's industrial north — intermingling dissonant sounds of industry within a set of languid piano variations. 'Progressive Music' is constructed around a series of lightly dissonant arpeggiated piano chords which modulate through major and minor key changes before resolving at a wistful and enigmatic refrain.
In 'The Secret Life of Air', a nocturnal, low piano line slowly weaves its way through the close-miked ambience of the room, nearly halting as each note is allowed to form and reverberate into a blur with the next. The ambitious 'Painted Serpent' calmly begins with drone-like pads and builds with the introduction of counterpoint piano lines and an orchestral collage of sound underpinned by a deliberate bass motif. 'Broken Symmetry' and 'Lady Lazarus' highlight Haigh's gift for blurring the line between dissonance and harmony - opaque piano portraits of moonlight and shadows glancingly evoke the impressionistic palettes of Harold Budd, Debussy and Satie.”
Yorkston / Thorne / Khan - James Yorkston (guitar/nyckelharpa/vocals), Jon Thorne (double-bass/vocals) and Suhail Yusuf Khan (sarangi/vocals) - release their third album, ‘Navarasa: Nine Emotions’...
"At the heart of YTK’s transporting new album is the subcontinent’s navarasa; the nine (nava) emotions or sentiments (rasa) of the arts and each song on Yorkston / Thorne / Khan’s new album is connected to one of these emotions.
A bricolage of diverse cross-cultural elements is apparent across the trio’s creations. James Yorkston weaves in Scottish folk, sangster and literary strands. Jon Thorne is grounded in jazz and groove. What the New Delhi-based, eighth-generation hereditary musician Suhail Yusuf Khan brings to this feast of pulses and cycles is northern Indian classical, light classical (thumri, for example) and Sufi devotional musical and literary forms. What binds these diverse musical strands together is, in James’ phrase, “a dark happiness.”
The album features fellow 37d03d artists-in-residence Michael Lewis (bass, saxophone) and JT Bates (drums), as well as Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), Aaron Dessner (Aaron Dessner), Kate Stables, Lisa Hannigan, The Staves, Christian Lee Hutson and more.
"The timeless qualities of traditional tunes can carry us across oceans and eons, linking us not only to the past but to each other as well. It was under the banner of these eternal connections that the trio of Bonny Light Horseman came together. From festival fields and a German art hub to a snowy upstate studio and everywhere in between, the astral folk outfit - comprised of Anaïs Mitchell (fresh from winning eight Tonys for her musical ‘Hadestown’), Eric D. Johnson (Fruit Bats, The Shins) and Josh Kaufman (The National, Bob Weir) - mix the ancient, mystical medium of transatlantic traditional folk music with a contemporary, collective brush. The resulting album, ‘Bonny Light Horseman’, is an elusive kind of sonic event: a bottled blend of lightning and synergy that will excite fans of multiple genres eras and ages."
25 years since ‘Gore Motel’, Bohren & Der Club of Gore hold their smoky line of doom-jazz in a sublime, haunting 10th album that once again taps into that interzone between classic Lynchian motifs and fizzing gothic undercurrents.
The sylvan intimacy of ‘Patchouli Blue’ is a Bohren's ineffable skill at lulling listeners into richly hypnagogic states. As ever they prize a deep sense of cool yearning that hearkens back to the slow burn atmospheres of classic film noir as much as David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti’s soundtracks, dark ambient and the bluest jazz, plus the doom metal of Black Sabbath, Gore, and their dusty echoes in Earth. It’s surely a velvet cloak for the senses; essentially a heavily tranquilising sound, but one fraught with an existential angst that’s won them a captive audience over the years, and is fully in effect here.
As ever, ‘Patchouli Blue’ is a strictly all instrumental affair and was recorded in Cologne and Mülheim An Der Ruhr - site of all their recordings (bar ‘Mitleid Lady’) since the seminal ‘Sunset Mission’ (2000). It was composed by core members Christoph Clöser (Tenor Saxophone) and Morten Gass (Piano, Engineer, Producer) and is performed by them along with longtime member Robin Rodenburg’s plucked, stalking bass lines in a classically sulky, gratifying way bound to make your glass of single malt taste smokier, sweeter. As such, the album is really meant to be taken in one sitting, but if we’re to point out highlights, the slow rise of slinking drum machine and creeping arps of ‘Vergessen & Vorbei’ is just masterful, as is the distant, burnished, Vangelis-like synth glow and elegiac brass of their last call, ‘Meine Welt ist schön’. Basically it’s dead good for what ail’s ya.
Editions RZ collect ten early works by Morton Feldman - largely his shorter pieces, spanning compositions made between 1952 and 1959 alongside esteemed peers including David Tudor, Cornelius Cardew, John Tilbury, and János Négyesy.
"In his compositions for piano, which make up a central part of his oeuvre and in which all of his experience is accumulated, it is the play of Feldman's hand whose touch is intended precisely for the 'untouchableness' of sound. The clear character of the 'attack' thus displays the paradox of such playing: it is just as much about concealing the idiosyncrasy of the piano sound, the precise point of attack while, at the same time, the structure and tension of those sounds are formed by the hand." --Stefan Schadler.
Includes the following works: "Piano Three Hands" (1957, performed by Feldman & Tilbury); "Intermission 5" (1952, performed by Feldman); "Vertical Thoughts 2" (1963, performed by Janos Negyesy: violin & Cardew: piano), "Extensions 3" (1952, performed by Feldman); "Four Instruments, 1975" (1979); "Intermission 5" (1952, performed by Tudor), "Piano Piece 1956 A" (1956, performed by Tudor); "Piano Piece 1956 B" (1959, performed by Tudor); "Intersection 3" (1953, performed by Tudor); "Instruments 1, 1974" (1975, 24 minute piece performed by Eberhard Blum: flute, Nora Post: oboe, Garrett List: Posaune, Joseph Kubera: celesta, Jan Williams: drums)."
‘Invisible Island’ sees Berlin-based Japanese pianist and sound designer Midori Hirano explore a subtly unsettling, frayed nerve strain of neo-classical ambience upon her return to Sonic Pieces
Following up the imaginative, playful scope of 2016’s ‘Minor Planet’, Midori’s new side is best defined by its bittersweet edge and queasy textural/atmospheric backdrops that create an absorbing, quizzical gulf of detachment between the notes and the textures. While ostensibly working with clean, simple piano phrasing, the devil really lies in Midori’s filigree post-production that makes everything appear slightly unsteady and seemingly lost to its own thoughts while we listen in.
The experience of ‘Invisible Island’ almost feels voyeuristic, as though we’re watching from a distance a play of emotions fleeting across someone else’s silent face, morphing from melancholic introspection to pangs of cutting anguish and, eventually on the B-side, a sense of breezy relief and resolution that comes through as the bitterness of the A-side subsides like night to morning. Really, the difference between the impending feel of opener ‘Ocean’s Disconnect’ and the resolution of ‘Invisible Island’ at the end could hardly be starker, with the magic lying in the way Midori very stealthily transitions between these shades of mood.
7 years after the release of "Laughing Stock" and the end of Talk Talk, Mark Hollis recorded what has since gone on to be described as "quite possibly the most quiet and intimate record ever made".
In many respects it's an album no-less influential than "Laughing Stock", once again extending the parameters and smudging the boundaries between many disparate musical styles and influences, taking elements of jazz, classical and devotional music without ever really sounding like anyone or anything else you'll have heard before.
Much like "Spirit of Eden" and "Laughing Stock", it's an album that's really attained an almost mythical status - leaving so many desperately waiting to see if Hollis would ever return to making music again. Either way - his influence appears to be stronger today than ever before, and this gorgeous vinyl pressing has sent us off once again into a place we'd almost forgotten about but which has accompanied and enriched our lives for many years...
Inimitable “mentation electronics” visionary Black Mecha breaks down psychosonic defence systems in a potent new release snuck out via their Internal Masonry Publications. A must check for followers of Merzbow, Haswell, Viviankrist.
Following the inexorable momentum of his LPs, CDrs and tape for The Death of Rave, Profound Lore and Independent Woman Records in the only the past 12 months, the singular project is now hitting a critical velocity in various zones of the music media and chthonic scenes, including Esquire Italia who recently deemed Black Mecha’s ‘Counterforce’ LP a “disc of the decade”. Surely a Kayne call-up is only around the corner. But jesting aside, it’s very pleasing to witness such an uncompromising and non-commercial artist gaining traction in the wider world.
We can surely say that Black Mecha’s staunch values are firmly in effect on ‘Mechanised’, the project’s Xth or 10th release since their ‘AA’ side landed like white hot space junk from an alien destroyer in 2015. The inclusion of panic-setting vocal samples from film and TV lends a key difference to this EP, cropping up at opportune junctures to light off the title track’s brain-drilling squabble and clawing rhythms, and suitably sparking up and sustaining the febrile churn of ‘Operations’, which comes on to grip like the rapid onset of influenza or some unidentified space sickness, before the roiling mass of ‘With Gunships’ burns out like a planet destroyer expending every last bit of laser energy on its way down.
Compiling the final three albums in the 'Everywhere At The End Of Time' series - 4 x CD's and almost 5 hours of material cataloguing the ultimate descent into dementia and oblivion, using a patented prism of sound to connote a final, irreversible transition into the haunted ballroom of the mind that The Caretaker first stepped into with 1999’s ‘Selected Memories From the Haunted Ballroom’.
Invoking Jack Nicolson’s caretaker character in Stanley Kubrick/Stephen King’s ‘The Shining’ as metaphor for issues revolving around mental health and a growing dissociation/dissatisfaction with the world, the project really took on new dimensions in 2005 with the 72-track, 6CD boxset ‘Theoretically Pure Anterograde Amnesia’, which was accompanied by an insightful unpacking of its ideas by cultural critic Mark Fisher aka K-Punk; a stalwart of the project who identified it (alongside music from Burial and Broadcast) among the most vital, emergent works of Hauntological art - a form of music often preoccupied with ideas about memory and nostalgia (but one distinct from pastiche), and the way that they possibly overwhelm, occlude, or even define our sense of being; ideas that resonate with Fisher’s own assertion that capitalism essentially undermines collective thought, distorts the individual, and has tragically lead to a worldwide increase or even ubiquity of mental health-related issues.
By using fusty samples from an obsolete analog format, and by doing so in the 2nd decade of the 2nd millennium, The Caretaker perfectly and perversely bent ideas of anticipation/expectation with his arrangements, playing with notions of convention and repetition with effect that would lead some listeners to wonder if the same record was being released over and again. When combined with Ivan Seal’s bespoke painting for each release from 2011’s ‘An Empty Bliss Beyond This World’ onwards, the project crystallised as a real gesamtkunstwerk for these times, and one arguably defined by a stubborn and intractably chronic drive against the grain of modern popular culture, or even a refusal of it.
And so to the project’s final goodbye. Drifting from the silty departure of ‘Confusion so thick you forget forgetting’, thru the smudged anaesthetisation of ‘A brutal bliss beyond this empty defeat’, and the abyssal, distant echoes of ‘Long decline is over’, to the increased pauses that punctuate the final side’s piece, ‘Place in the World fades away’, it eventually leads to a final coda that breaks the fourth wall.
Here, with the outside world muted and only the timbral residue remaining like smoke, everything moves as slow as a Lynchian dream sequence - until a conclusion so ineffably sublime occurs that we can’t mention it for fear of waking up.
Silent Servant - former Tropic Of Cancer and Sandwell District producer, Juan Mendez - made his stunning album debut with the poised fusion of epic techno, primitive post punk, and industrial electronics on 'Negative Fascination' for Hospital Productions in 2012.
Recorded just months after he stopped recording with Sandwell District, on Negative Fascination Mendez explored his divergent yet compatible tastes to their fullest, recognising and reconciling their congruent rhythms, atmospheres and intentions with alchemical ability. From the bellicose sci-fi romance of 'Process (Introduction)' to the full flight techno escapism of 'Utopian Disaster (End)'.
From the wave-scanning intro he spins a bleakly noirish narrative, slowly building tension with 'Invocation Of Lust''s acid hypnosis and the stoic deployment of drones and agitated drum machine slaves on 'Moral Divide (Endless)' that resolves with gritted techno determination on 'The Strange Attractor'. Yet perhaps our favourite moment is 'Temptation & Desire', sounding like the converged darkroom visions of Front 242 and Stephen Morris, but if any cut shocks us the most, it's 'A Path Eternal', revealing Silent Servant at his most unreservedly sublime and vulnerable without his usual, armour-plated chassis of beats.
It adds up to one of the most impressive examples of modern industrial techno of the decade, one that doesn't merely pay deference to its roots, but nourishes and augments them into something new.
With raw physicality and tone, veteran Swiss experimenters Luigi Archetti & Bo Wiget churn up compelling ground between modern classical, free improv, ambient and minimalism in their joint vinyl debut and first excursion for over a decade - Highly recommended if yr into Oren Ambarchi, Dylan Carlson, Tony Conrad.
Effortlessly taut but supple, often harsh but also lushly dissonant, ‘Weltformat’ pushes the duo’s practice found on their early trio of ‘Low Tide Digitals’ (2001-2009) albums to more ambitious levels for uncompromising Italian label, Die Schachtel. Clad in the explosive greyscale graphic score from which it was born, the piece wends thru a baker’s dozen parts riddled with surprising, quizzical turns and fascinatingly fluid transitions between moods, harmonic colours and quiet/loud dynamics that showcase the pair as uncannily deft masters of their craft.
Luigi Archetti brings decades of experience playing guitar with krautrock legends Guru Guru and their head Mani Neumeier, while Bo Wiget supplies signature cello and electronics, as heard in his work with Tetuzi Akiyama and Taku Sugimoto, to their refined yet intricate sound of ‘Weltformat’. Based on the score, which resembles a dual core of exploding stars, they flesh out a sound best described by the tracks’ transitory titles. For example, such as ‘London - Stavanger’, which lifts off from stately, spacious chords and buoyant bass strokes, but ends up, by turns, as a benign knot of garrotting discord. And at the opposite end of the LP ‘Villa Carcina - Wattwil’ makes the subtler passage from pooled post rock bass strums to aching cello coda via vaporous blips with the trippiest, fading in-and-out-of consciousness logic that’s testament to their tip-of-finger control and shared vision.
In the best sense of instrumental music, ‘Weltformat’ feels decisively intuitive and conversational, but in that special way which transcends words and harks back to atavistic systems of attuned, pre-verbal, empathic communication, when time moved slower and the divide between dreamtime and real worlds could be shortened or closed with sound and music.
Fascinating compilation offering unprecedented access to Anthony Burgess’ personal life via the first and last known recordings of the late, great writers’ voice alongside domestic incidents, rehearsals and answering machine messages, plus “remixes” by Chris Watson, Vicky Clarke, Scanner, David Birchall, and Guy-Marc Hinant a.o.
The ‘Archives’ LP reveals Burgess’ gifts as a linguist and musician, as well as his engrossing views on everything from The Beatles to Stanley Kubrick, while the ‘Remix’ disc finds him chopped into a disarray of styles, including highlights in Roy Claire Potter & Kieron Piercy’s ‘Adjrust’, Marion Harrison’s witty cut-up ‘Janet and Howard Are In the Audience’, and the gauzy collage of Scanner’s ‘Whilst his piano gently sleeps’.
“Anthony Burgess's second wife Liana carried a cassette recorder with her at all times to capture her life with the author and their son Andrew. This extraordinarily intimate audio archive of over 1,000 cassettes now sits with the International Anthony Burgess Foundation and artist Alan Dunn has been granted access to select excerpts from it and curate sonic conversations from others.
Born in Manchester in 1917, Anthony Burgess was educated at Xaverian College in that city and at Manchester University. He served in the army from 1940 to 1946 and as an education officer in Malaya and Brunei from 1954 to 1959. He published more than 50 books (including 'A Clockwork Orange' and his masterpiece, 'Earthly Powers')
and composed around 250 musical works. He was created a Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres by President Mitterrand of France and a Commandeur de Mérite Culturel by Prince Rainier of Monaco. He died in London in 1993. His books are still read all over the world.”
Lebanese saxophonist Christine Abdelnour brings an impressive, extended instrumental vocabulary to Joachim Nordwall’s cryptic electronics in this live recording made at Ystad Konstmuseum for Sweden’s Firework Edition Recordings
Falling deeply within the label’s taste for sounds that exist on the liminal edge of perception, ‘A Higher State of Body and Mind’ sees Abdelnour coaxing spittle-inflected small sounds and bestial whimpers from her brass tool while Nordwall colours the negative space in elemental, greyscale drones and sheets of coruscating electronic texture.
Their results are organic and drily, soberly expressive in a transfixing style of sonic dialogue that covers all tiers of the frequency spectrum. As the release’s title implies, ‘A Higher State of Body and Mind’ is attuned to extremes of penetrative highs and rich, sonorous low end, but neither dominate the other, rather they buoy and balance each other in their quest to elevate listeners to experience, feel and perceive the recording on its purely sensual, synaesthetic terms.
Cosmic explorer Rafael Toral yields “the most quintessentially Ambient record i have ever done” with the free-floating structures of his 72-minute piece ‘Constellation In Still Time’
Unfurling a microcosmos of near-static, pointillist notes and chiming chords that glint like distant starlight, Toral’s latest is his most significant LP since ‘Moon Field’, also for Room40, issued in 2017 surrounding further volumes of his long-running ‘Space’ series. However, the Portuguese guitarist views his new album as the start of a distinct, new, 3rd phase of his sound that loops back into his earliest work by expanding on the concepts of his seminal debut, 1994’s ‘Sound Mind Sound Body’ in a way that he wasn’t able to execute back then, thanks to a new set of players who are capable of interpreting his slow-burn compositional ideas.
Working around the barely-there temporal structure of Toral’s fine, computer generated sine waves, the ensemble of Angelica V. Salvi (Harp), Joana Bagulho (Clavinet), Joana Gama (Piano), Luís Bittencourt (Vibraphone), and Riccardo Dillon Wanke (Rhodes Piano) pick out the piece’s curves and harmonic aura in a shimmering moire of precise yet languorous gestures that slowly shift pattern to create unpredictable, probing junctures that split the difference between the smoky, almost jazz-wise qualities of Elodie, the proto-ambient ‘Free Improvisation’ of New Phonic Art, or the contemplative nature of Morton Feldman works.
Where to begin with this one. Michael O’Shea’s sole, breathtaking album ranks among our favourite of all time - produced by Wire’s Bruce Gilbert and Graham Lewis at the Dome studio in 1982, it’s an utterly singular work of magick, meshing myriad, worldly modes into music that rarely fails to reduce us to tears. First brought to our attention by Blackest Ever Black at the start of this decade, we’ve developed an obsessive fascination with its sublime, rapid dervishes and warbling rhythmelodies to the extent that we spent a good couple of years trying to find out how to license it for reissue. Luckily for us, in 2019, All City finally put us out of our misery and gave us this indispensable new edition - the first time the material has been available on vinyl since 1982 and a total ear-opener to a whole new generation of listeners. It’s one of those rare records that anyone we’ve played it to - from diehard music collectors and obscurists to those with no interest in the weird recesses of the music world we often inhabit - demanded to know what it was and where they could buy it. From the moment it was announced - we knew it would be our reissue of the year - if not the decade - and to celebrate we have a special clear vinyl edition with an alternate cover colourway and a bundled download for instant world-enrichment, to those of you yet to get acquainted with its endless wonders.
A busker among other trades, O’Shea was an itinerant soul who, after a childhood and formative years spent between Northern Ireland and Kerry in the south of the country, and extensive travel between Europe, Turkey and Bangladesh, created his own instrument - an electrified dulcimer known as Mó Cará (Irish for ‘My Friend’) - which he performed on at Ronnie Scott’s, before later playing on bills with everyone from Ravi Shankar to Don Cherry, and also recording with The The’s Matt and Tom Johnson.
Aside from his two contributions to the Stano album, ‘Content To Dine In I Dine Weathercraft’ (also recently reissued by Dublin’s Allchival), O’Shea’s first and only album is the main point of reference for this unique artist. Like some eccentric expression of ancient Indo-European voices channelled thru a Celtic body, Michael O’Shea’s improvised acousto-electric music intuitively distills a world of styles into singularly hypnotic works. Using his self-built instrument; a hybrid of a zelochord and a sitar, made on a wooden door salvaged in Munich, and with the crucial addition of electric pick-ups and the ‘Black Hole Space Box’, O’Shea would absorb sounds from his travels like a sponge, and relay them back thru the instrument with effortlessly freeform and achingly lush results as elaborate as a Celtic knot or elegant as Sanskrit text.
The mercurial flow of syncretised styles in 15 minute opener ‘No Journey’s End’ catches your breath and doesn’t give it back, leaving us utterly light-headed and feeling something akin to religious experience, before his ’Kerry’ vignette most beautifully limns the epic coastline he hails from. The plasmic swirl and phasing of ‘Guitar No. 1’ is perhaps the one piece that time dates the LP to the post-punk era, even if it could have come from ancient Mesopotamia, while the album and artist’s underlying metaphysics bleed thru most hauntingly in the timbral shadowplay of ‘Voices’, and the rapidly tremulous, animist voodoo of ‘Anfa Dásachtach’.
Noted in his lifetime, not least by himself as; “…joker, transvestite, inventor, psychonaut, actor, catalyst, community worker, musician, traveller, instrument maker,” Michael O’Shea’s life was, by all accounts, every bit as colourful as his music, which only makes his untimely death in 1991 all that more tragic, as we’d practically give an arm to hear what he could have made in the early techno era, as he was purportedly getting heavy into London’s rave scene before he was taken.
Honestly no other record has cast such a strong spell over us in recent memory - to the extent of sending us on wild goose chases on the wrong peninsula in Kerry - so please pardon the gush ‘cos we can’t help but share love for this life-affirming disc and Michael O’Shea’s beautifully transcendent music.
Mark Nelson's Pan American beautifully drifts into a sunset sound referencing his classic Labradford output on ‘A Son’, his first new album since start of the decade., RIYL Spacemen 3, Mark Lanegan, Bark Psychosis...
Now a duo revolving original member Mark Nelson of Labradford esteem, and percussionist Steven Hess, whose solo work and with the likes of Sylvain Chaveau and Michael Valera is well loved over here, Pan American return to their post-rock roots with suitably brooding results that sound to these ears like a long evening spent porchside sipping an unending and always chilled glass of whiskey.
Dwelling on acoustic strums and murmuring electronic textures, the music hits a fine vein of ambient post-rock sensitivity that gauzily looks back to that time before the retroactivation of new age and 4th world ambient styles, to a sort of pre-2008 Americana ennui and indie alt.rock that used to be dominant but has lost its grip over the past decade.
“Motivated by notions of "moving backward" and tracing roots – as well as a couple years of hammered dulcimer lessons – the album's nine songs were written and recorded in his home in Evanston, Illinois, and honed during a recent solo tour in Europe. The emphasis on uncluttered arrangements and the centrality of the guitar and vocals reveal these songs as the most direct and emotional statement of his career.
Nelson cites everything from June Tabor, The Carter Family, Suicide and Jimmy Reed as oblique inspirations, though his truest muse was creative self-inquiry: "What does music do, Where does music start? How simple can it be? How honest can it be?"
After decades of mining post-rock pathways and latticework electronics in Labradford and early Pan American, A Son strips away ornament and distraction in favor of a direct gaze into the heart of what is.”
A colossal, trance-inducing, yet largely overlooked pillar of 20th century American minimalism.
Regarded no less than a "holy grail" by Keith Fullerton Whitman, it spans 100 minutes of atonal, amorphous string composition scored in four parts for a quintet, here performed by Linda Cummiskey (Violin), Malcolm Goldstein (Violin), Kathy Seplow (Violin), Stephen Reynolds (Viola), David Gibson (Violoncello).
By all accounts Harley Gaber was a colourful fella, a complex American artist, composer and filmmaker who dropped it all not long after release of this 1976 work to become a full time Tennis player and coach. He would return to the arts, and later music, writing soundtracks for his own films before sadly committing suicide in 2011.
'The Winds Rise in the North' is a frighteningly heavy and rewarding master-stroke, giving rise to dense, gripping harmonic overtones which prickle, seduce and get under the skin in a way that few others achieve. Lock the doors, turn off your phone and give yourself two hours with this. You won't regret it.
Churning slabs of doom-laced rock, stoutly saluting Swans, Sun City Girls and Montreal’s esteemed avant-rock hordes while incorporating Mondkopf’s blistering electronic noise textures and a keening psychedelic wanderlust
“Edited and mixed between Montreal and Paris, 'From Somewhere Invisible' summons the fever of experimentation and the powerful sound of the game coming together in the service of a luxuriant and psychedelic drift. Synthetic brass meets hammered rhythms, string electrics with cracked electronics, saxophone cries and laughter at a pulsing and seminal bass.
The fourth studio album and seventh release on the Belgian avant-garde label Sub Rosa, 'From Somewhere Invisible' (2019) embraces the new. Leaving aside for a while the logbooks of long journeys and the field recordings of the previous albums, the music of OISEAUX-TEMPÊTE unfolds as a twilight and prophetic orchestra around G.W.Sok's punctuated voice. The poems of Mahmoud Darwish, Ghayath Almadhoun and Yu Jian question the modern man and his double, the strange and foreign, the fragmented real, the violence, society and its mirror. The eyes we hide behind, the ones we should open. These intimate compasses which can make us rise together in the midst of shrouded ruins; there is always a black raven to defy the horizon.
Created in 2012 by multi-instrumentalists Frédéric D. Oberland & Stéphane Pigneul, OISEAUX-TEMPÊTE [wazo-tɑ .p?ːt] - (Storm Petrels) is a constantly evolving collective that, embracing the freedom of improvisation, transcends borders and cultures, straddling the intersection where amplified music ( post / kraut / free-rock, jazz-punk, avant-garde, experimental electronics) collides and finds common ground - a refuge.
The consequence of several trips around the Mediterranean Sea - Greece ('S/T', 2013), Turkey and Sicily ('ÜTOPIYA?', 2015), Lebanon ('AL-'AN!', 2017 and 'TARAB', 2018) - the music of OISEAUX-TEMPÊTE is anchored in a tormented present. Sensitive to the beating of hearts, hypnotic beats and explosions of materials, they embrace the community of collaboration, regularly inviting to the studio and tour friends like the electronic producer Mondkopf, the Dutch performer G.W.Sok (The Ex), drummers Jean-Michel Pirès (Bruit Noir, The Married Monk), Sylvain Joasson (Mendelson), Ben McConnell (Beach House, Marissa Nadler), British bass clarinettist Gareth Davis, contemporary ondist Christine Ott and musicians Charbel Haber & The Bunny Tylers, Sharif Sehnaoui, Fadi Tabbal, Tamer Abu Ghazaleh, Youmna Saba, Two Or The Dragon …”
Sufjan Stevens releases his score for Justin Peck’s ballet The Decalogue, performed by the pianist Timo Andres. The recording is the first time the score, premiered during the New York City Ballet’s 2017 season, is available to the public.
"The Decalogue is the third collaboration between NYCB Resident Choreographer Peck and Stevens, following 2012’s Year of the Rabbit and 2014’s Everywhere We Go. The piece was widely praised upon its premiere; The New York Times lauded the “beauty and charm” of Peck’s choreography as well as Stevens’ “romantically modernist études.”
Brooklyn-based composer-pianist Timo Andres is a Nonesuch Records artist, who has written major works for the Boston Symphony, Carnegie Hall, the Barbican, the Takács Quartet, the Concertgebouw, and elsewhere. He performs regularly with Gabriel Kahane, and has frequently appeared with Philip Glass, Becca Stevens, Nadia Sirota, the Kronos Quartet, John Adams, Ted Hearne, and others. As a pianist, Timo has performed at Lincoln Center, for the New York Philharmonic, the LA Phil, at Wigmore Hall, for San Francisco Performances, and at (le) Poisson Rouge. Upcoming highlights include a curated program for the Cincinnati Symphony (featuring Dance Heginbotham and a performance of Andres’s cello concerto, Upstate Obscura), and a solo piano recital for Carnegie Hall. Previous work with Sufjan Stevens includes the orchestration of “Principia” for Justin Peck and the New York City Ballet.
A singer-songwriter currently living in New York, Sufjan Stevens’ preoccupation with epic concepts has motivated two state records (Michigan and Illinois), a collection of sacred and biblical songs (Seven Swans), an electronic album for the animals of the Chinese zodiac (Enjoy Your Rabbit), an expansive EP in homage to the Apocalypse (All Delighted People), a full length partly inspired by the outsider artist Royal Robertson (The Age of Adz) and two Christmas box sets (Songs for Christmas, vol. 1-5 and Silver & Gold, vol. 6-10). BAM has commissioned two works from Stevens, a programmatic tone poem for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (The BQE) and an instrumental accompaniment to slow-motion rodeo footage (Round-Up). Stevens’ Planetarium, a collaborative album with Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner and James McAlister imbued with themes of the cosmos, was released in 2017 to widespread critical praise."
The three 'Encores' EPs available as one full length release.
"Whilst Encores 1 focused on an acoustic pallet of sounds with solo piano and harmonium at the core, and Encores 2 explored more ambient landscapes, now Encores 3 sees Nils expand on the percussive and electronic elements in his work.
“The idea behind All Encores is one we had from before All Melody; to separate releases each with their own distinct musical style and theme, perhaps even as a triple album. But All Melody became larger than itself and took over any initial concepts. I think the idea of All Encores is like musical islands that compliment All Melody.”
Moulded during All Melody but refined by his live performances, All Encores is testament to Nils’ exceptional ability to craft his art on stage. Artificially Intelligent which showcases his ‘mad professor’ organ, and All Armed which has been a live favourite for some time, appearing on set lists since 2015, are now available to hear on record for the very first time. The final track of Encores 3, as well as the whole series, Amirador, perhaps aptly nods to the Spanish word for ‘lookout’ and hints at what’s to come."
Proper, um, conceptronica from Alva Noto + Anne-James Chaton, bridging Middle Ages texts and modern electronic minimalism to reflect on how we perceive ourselves in the digital world
“ALPHABET takes its inspiration from the Etymologies of Isidore of Seville – a gargantuan encyclopaedia from the seventh century and the most widely-used textbook of the Middle Ages. TakingEtymologies as its starting point, ALPHABET explores the strategies man devised to represent the world and applies them to the digital age. It’s a piece that invites the spectator to immerse themselves in the multiple relationships between, language, its digital translations and our understanding of the world.
It’s the latest in many collaborations between the pair. Their various projects blend machinery and language, creating a dense electronic sound structure. With ALPHABET – also being released as a record – they speak a new language generated by the fusion of objective poetry and minimal music.”
Stellar new album from Dave Sumner’s Function - arguably a sequel or sibling work to Sandwell District’s seminal ‘Feed Forward’ classic - marking his first solo LP since 2013, and best in his catalogue.
Running to 17 songs and nearly 2 hours of material, ‘Existenz’ works away from puristic, kick drum-led club tools and instead limns a sort of autobiographical story of Sumner’s relationship to techno and electronic music, all framed around a Videodrome-styled (David Cronenberg also directed the album’s 1999 namesake film) kind of occult cable TV aesthetic and strong nods to his early love of ‘80s electro.
Recorded 2016-2019, ‘Existenz’ is bound to surprise anyone who thought he just made heavy club tracks, and may well highlight his role in Sandwell District’s ‘Feed Forward’ album, which is arguably the strongest comparison in terms of their shared tone of mood, diversity of texture and structure, and, ultimately, their mesmerising effect.
In total control of his sound, Function lures us into a labyrinthine, noirish sort of electronic thriller that embarks with the nostalgic Vangelis nods of ‘Sagittarius A (Right Ascension)’ and ends up drifting away in deeply romantic technohouse style with ‘Downtown 161’. What happens in between is primed for long headphone journeys and daily commutes, as the album weaves from spellbinding electro recalling E.R.P. to lush slow house featuring Robert Owens, to proper sci-fi electronic drones, samples of The Conet Project, and even breakbeat rollers, all interwoven with his signature acid and techno ligament and shine-eyed techno spirit.
Honest Jon’s vital, flagship series returns with a reminder of the cultural turning point when Caribbean migrants began to make their crucial contribution to UK life Arriving 6 years on from the previous volume, ‘London Is The Place For Me 7 & 8’ rustles a haul of Calypso, Palm-Wine, Mento, Joropo, Steel & Stringband gems that, like the previous volumes, owners will return to over and again, receiving a history lesson and an elegant call to the dance wrapped up in each listen.
“Still deeper forays into the musical landscape of the Windrush generation. A dazzling range of calypso, mento, joropo, steelband, palm-wine and r’n'b. Expert revivals of stringband music, from way back, alongside proto-Afro-funk. An uproarious selection of songs about the H-Bomb and modern phones, prostitution and Haile Selassie, mid-life crisis and the London Underground, racism and solidarity, the Highway Code and a 100% West Indian Royal Wedding.
For example some frantic British-Guianan joropo music-hall about Eatwell Brown from Clapham, who starts out biting off a piece of his mother-in-law’s face at a party, then devours everything in his path… a chunk of Brixton Prison, a Union Jack, a policeman’s uniform. Or Marie Bryant — collaborator of Lester Young and Duke Ellington — taking time off from skewering the South African PM Daniel Malan at her West End revue, to contribute some arch, swinging filth about uber-genitalia.
“The genius of Lord Kitchener has been the mainstay of our series. In this volume devoted to his post-war London recordings, Kitch plays his many roles with signature aplomb and poised subtlety. First there is the hooligan chantwell, up for anything in the hurly-burly of carnival proper; and then the casual reporter, firing off postcards to Trinidad about taxis, flashy booze, fast women and football in Manchester, with homesickness and grievance nestled just behind the optimism, pride and tentative senses of belonging.
There is the bearer of news from home, in detailed accounts of murders, tales of stupid local coppers, and reminiscences about food and particular mango trees; the political thinker, considering racism and Africa; and the diarist, with his vivid tales of infidelity, and disclosure of the break-up of his marriage, and his desire to get away. One foot in the UK, the other in Trinidad; but the man himself somewhere in-between. Kitch In The Jungle, nobody around. A ‘diasporic explorer’; a key twentieth-century witness, alongside such hallowed figures as Samuel Selvon and Edward Kamau Braithwaite. Though in frustration Kitch would sometimes take over double-bass duties himself, the musicianship of Rupert Nurse, Fitzroy Coleman and co is top-notch. The original glorious sound is down to Denys Preston, recording for Melodisc, often at Abbey Road Studios (where we transferred and restored the 78s compiled here).”
Combined reissue of TG’s long out of print “come-back” album plus their sought-after ‘TG Now’ 12”, previously only available at their 2004 RE:TG show at London’s Astoria.
A bit of tasty package for TG diehards and industrial fiends of all stripes, this boxset coughs up a strong reminder of Throbbing Gristle’s sorely missed energies, back when they were still a four-piece, before the death of Peter Christopherson (1955-2010) and the acrimonious departure of Genesis P-Orridge. While Cosey Fanni Tutti and Chris Carter would continue as X-TG in 2010, these recordings are some of Throbbing Gristle’s last group efforts.
Notably making their hard-to-find 2004 side ‘TG Now’ available in a paper sleeve (as opposed to the plastic one which has caused owners some issues), along with a mesmerising example of their uniquely refined songwriting abilities in ‘Part Two - The Endless Knot’ - then their first album recording in 25 years - the boxset highlights the strange, ill-fated return by one of the world’s most influential bands, whose original innings between 1976-1981 generated a slew of material that altered the course of experimental music forever.
In chronological order, 2004’s ‘TG Now’ was recorded and released by the band’s legendary Industrial Records to coicide with the RE:TG show at London’s Astoria. The vinyl was sold exclusively at the show and has traded for way of rt. original price ever since, making this fresh pressing of aces such as the sputtering rock ’n drone of ‘How Do You Deal’ and the slithering groover ‘Splitting Sky’ newly available on wax to a whole new wave of freaks. Likewise, ‘Part Two - The Endless Knot’ has been long out-of-print on vinyl, but this one is more an album “proper”, with duties divided between group efforts and four individual tracks by Carter, Tutti, P-Orridge (and Bryin Dall) and Christopherson, who mark distance travelled since the likes of ‘D.o.A’ with a compelling concentration and expansion of what made their sound so vital in the first place.
The UK’s network of crumbling sound mirrors - an early form of radar - supply cues for blues experimenter Mike Cooper and pivotal improvisor Mark Wastell (Company) in an inquisitive collaboration on Wastell’s Confront Recordings
The strange, austere relics of WWI were erected between 1916 and the 1930s and are found dotted along the South East and North East coastline of England, sometimes in farmer’s fields who’ll let you in for a look if you ask nicely (out to my guy in Boulby). With Cooper manning lapsteel guitar and electronics, and Wastell on paiste 32” tam tam, percussion and shruti box, the pair conure a psychedelic, airborne sound that recalls a mixture of frayed, early electronics and messed-up recordings of the blues seemingly dialled in from another dimension, using their ears as concrete receptors for sferic and alien ephemeral sounds which, at their darkest in the final track ‘Boulby’ (they’re all named after locations of sound mirrors), which appears to be channelling sounds from the the super deep mines below where experimental research is conducted for space travel, somewhat echoing the use of the land above, some 100 years prior.
Daniel “0PN” Lopatin yields an ace 2nd soundtrack for the Safdie Brothers with his score for ‘Uncut Gems’ following his Cannes Award-winning effort on the Safdies’ ‘Good Times’ in 2017
This time he’s soundtracking a very intriguing vehicle for Adam Sandler, who’s stepped outside of the usual goof roles to play Howie Bling, a jewellery dealer in a big American city. Like the Safdie brother’s engrossingly classic yet modern style of storytelling, Lopatin’s soundtrack is fittingly reminiscent of classic late ‘70s and ‘80s synth scores but feels up to date, especially in pieces such as the pulsating technoid theme ‘School Play’ and the tweaky tones of ‘Fuck You Howard’, and all peppered with dialogue from the film.
TG’s ‘Souvenir of Camber Sands’ was recorded at their show for Jake and Dinos Chapman’s ATP 2004 festival and was previously only available on 2CD prior to this vinyl edition.
Issued the same year as their ‘TG Now’ side and sharing some of that LP’s material, TG’s postcard from Camber Sands was dedicated to the life partner and Coil bandmate of TG’s Peter Christopherson, Geff Rushton aka John Balance, who had passed away less than a month before the show. Under this pall of sadness the band turn thru new material alongside their takes on seminal work including ‘Hamburger Lady’ and ‘Convincing People’, all within the confines of an out-of-season holiday camp.
Fever Ray wraps up all the remixes of ‘Plunge’ in one handy and very healthy package
The original productions by Fever Ray with Peder Mannerfelt, Nídia, Paula Temple, and Deena Abdelwahed provide inspirational fuel for no fewer than 21 remixes, with highlights strewn between her brother and The Knife bandmate Olof Dreijer’s sloshing spin of ‘Wanna Sip’, a swaggering Tzusing remix of ‘Mustn’t Hurry’, the clenched Afro-techno futurism of Marx’s take on ‘Plunge’, Peder Mannerfelt & Pär Grindvik’s bolshy Aasthma revision of ‘Mustn’t Hurry’, a brilliant sort of Electro Chaabi version of ‘To The Moon And Back’ from NAR.
‘An Empty Bliss Beyond This World’ is perhaps The Caretaker’s most coveted and cherished venture into the haunted ballroom of the subconscious. It fetches a lot of moldy dough on the 2nd hand market, hence this new edition will be welcomed by many who’ve only picked up The Caretaker’s frayed thread since this album was first released in 2011.
Redefining ideas of “ambient” music on its release toward the start of this decade, the deeply unheimlich feel and sonic detritus of ‘An Empty Bliss Beyond This World’ have arguably provided a fitting score to the dazed feeling and regurgitated aesthetics of culture in the 2010’s. Despite sounding like mid-afternoon in an old folk’s home, we can vouch that it has (ironically enough) become a go-to afterparty staple for many gurned-up, memory-blipping listeners on one level, while also coming to characterise a whole stream of rumination on hauntology, a definitive idea of our age, as explored by the dearly departed theorist Mark Fisher, who prized The Caretaker’s “…understanding that the nostalgia mode has not to do memories but with a memory disorder…”, which he related to a form of dementia imposed by late stage capitalism.
Whichever way you take it, the record rarely fails to evoke personal reactions. Whether that’s nostalgia, sorrow, puzzlement, calm or despair is wholly variable, but it always takes listeners to that other place, like the one connoted in the dream-like scenes of Jack Nicholson unravelling in The Overlook ballroom during Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’. With the sleight-of-hand of a veteran illusionist or hypnotist able to “conjure” parallel dimensions and manipulate metaphysics, The Caretaker subliminally uses the vague familiarity of vintage, nearly-forgotten music and the patter of gradual physical disintegration to reflect the side-tracking, melancholy nature of rainfall in much the same way as Burial, but with a haunted, middle distance stare all of its own.
Tapping a sublime vein of purely vocal improv inspired by local landscape, history and people, Norfolk’s Laura Cannell and Polly Wright quietly blow us away with their debut collaboration.
Remarkably conceived, recorded and released in 2019 - the same year they first met - ‘Sing as the Crow Flies’ is a super-natural meeting of mutual souls seeking to limn a sort of deep topographical reading of their home turf in a series of haunting, near-wordless hymns. Shockingly effortless in execution and spine-freezing in effect, the nine songs are Laura & Polly’s beautifully concerted effort to rectify the lack of historical female voices in text or music hailing from the Norfolk/Suffolk borders where they live and create. With little to go on, they decided there’s no better time than now to start adding their joint female voices and experiences to the rural sound ecology and culture of East Anglia, and we, at the least, are dead happy they did so.
Drawing on a shared formative background in classical music (and specialities in medieval composition), they nod to the sort of heterophonic improvisation found in Pslams from the Isles of Lewis (as on those Arc Light Editions volumes), as well as Hildegaard Von Bingen inspired call-and-response styles, while taking select words from the 18th C. text ‘Norfolk Garland, A Collection of the Superstitious Beliefs and Practices, Proverbs, Curious Customs, Ballads and Songs, of the People of Norfolk’ to provide structural underpinnings. But what happens in between is just a spellbinding sort of magick, using Raveningham Church as a sounding chamber for their finely controlled but naturally keening and graceful, unhurried expressions of tradition and folklore.
The piece also exists as an installation of five telephone receivers dangling from a tree, in the landscape it was informed by and created for, and may well draw us for a maiden voyage to Norfolk just to get the full experience of this beautiful album.
Using obsolete electronics, Shasta Cults (the music project of Canadian synthesizer technician Richard Smith) pursues the true sound of the instrument, freed from the tyranny of emulation, no strings/woodwinds/piano presets.
"Shasta Cults' compositions seek out unchartered territories where sustained drones may swell, build, or evaporate; where timbres collide, amplitudes fluctuate, sounds emerge, raw, primeval, new hybrids form from the collisions of electricity and frequency. There may be stretches of silence punctuated by bell-ish tones from futures unheard; a sequence of notes may verge upon melody before mutating into ugly moans, the sonic equivalent of funhouse mirrors. But the end result is far more than chance operation, sporadic sound fields, or indeterminate academic exercise. Instead, Shasta Cults brings us back to nature, back to the possibilities inherent in nature, to the truth of evolution, stitching both musical tones, and thesounds of 21st century living into a form which is as real, as imponderable, and as ungovernable as our own memories.
Recorded in 2017, employing the processes of non-linear waveshaping, frequency modulation and feedback, Configurationsconsists of eight programs captured live to multitrack using a rare, fully functional Buchla 700 digital-hybrid instrument designed in the late 1980s. Whereas previously released works made with the 700 almost always consist in simple manipulations of the single factory preset, this album delves deep into the instrument's rich sonic vocabulary to offer the listener a more elaborate demonstration of the system's capabilities.Presented here in limited quantities this release is intended as a high fidelity audio archive of this obscure musical artifact."
Príncipe’s experimental sibling, Holuzam, introduce Portuguese maestro Luís Fernandes with a suite of pulsating, raw but sophisticated electronic improvisations nodding to Keith Fullerton Whitman, Steve Hauschildt, 0PN
Leading on from Fernandes’ ‘Demora’ album for Room40 (and a 2018 collaboration with Joana Gama for the same label), he strikes out with a looser, more immediate and thrilling sound in ‘Seis Peças Sintetizadas’ that embraces electronic music for its dissonant, chaotic, and romantic qualities.
While we’re not entirely sure what equipment Fernandes is using, it’s discernibly and unapologetically all electronic. The first part transitions from sheer drones into a wide-eyed display of rapid, ribboning arps and belching low end with stunning agility, and track 3 swoops from pulsing avian flights to vertiginous, Vangelis-style brass flares for the ages, while track 5 dematerialises into lush, prickly ambient realm, and track 6 veers to the edges of an abyssal post-techno sound realign the might and biting-point electronic textures of Emptyset.
A collection of brand-new analogue recreations of songs from throughout Yann Tiersen’s career - 25 tracks including 3 new songs. Recorded in Yann’s home studio in Ushant with an array of collaborators: John Grant, Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals), Blonde Redhead and Stephen O’Malley from Sunn O)))
"All vinyl editions are packaged with an exclusive 7” single including alternative versions of ‘Comptine d’Un Autre Été (L’ Après-Midi)’ from the Amelie From Montmartre soundtrack and the title track from his debut album, Waltz of the Monsters. These versions are exclusive to the vinyl and not available anywhere else."
Percussionist Michael Ranta turns biblical ideas into steeply enigmatic cues for non-verbal communication in a captivating, atavistic way upon his return to Timos van Lujik and co’s Metaphon label. Composed, performed and recorded in Cologne between 1988-89, ’Die Mauer’ primarily serves its function as soundtrack for a ballet choreographed by Philippe Talard. Applying his keenly-studied technique to a rare knowledge of Asian instruments and modern production techniques, the suite renders 11 parts of subtly wide-ranging percussive tones coupled with rustically dissonant string and wind instrumentation, plus barely perceptible electronics, in a way that evokes deeply meditative, ritualistic states of mind and, in turn, opens vast spaces of inquiry for that mind to wander and become enchanted.
In addition to its ostensible purpose, Ranta’s music also works as an extension of his wider practice in exploring the potential of sound to transcend limits of language and evoke a deep-rooted sense of human nature. Since the ’60s he has worked intently at the crossroads between Eastern and Western traditions. firstly as a notable student of Harry Partch, and later with everyone from Josef Anton Riedel to Karlheinz Stockhausen and Conny Plank, all of which imparted a rich knowledge of what was, by then, possible within the framework of modern composition, and perhaps best underlines how his music so naturally resonates with everything from Japanese ambient/4th world/environmental musics to gamelan proper and avant-garde improvisation.
Given his deeply planted roots on both sides of tarditinbak and avant-garde, and taken in context of 1989, when the fall of the Berlin Wall (or Berlin Mauer) triggered a whole new era of cultural relations between East/West, ‘Die Mauer’ comes into its own as a strong example of what happens when you build personal walls, but also make them porous to influence, allowing light to stream thru his singular compositions in a sort of transubstantiation of vibe into affect with an uncanny effect that possibly picks up on or highlights an innate, ancient human abilities for telepathy, or non-verbal communication, for those listeners open-minded enough to see it as such.