Having stated on many an occasion that Hardwax affiliates Pete and René, aka Scion, understood and played Basic Channel material in the way it was intended to be played, the release of Ableton's 'Live' software convinced Mark and Moritz that the time had come to try something new out.
And that's precisely what this CD is - components from all 9 Basic Channel 12"s, (plus some choice cuts from related project Rhythm and Sound and remix work for Carl Craig), weave in and out of the mix, flawlessly spliced together, remodeeled and reshaped with a deep understanding of the BC sound and a look towards its future.
The first cut employs fragments from Cyrus's 'Inversion', 'Mutism', 'Radiance III' and the Basic Channel reworking of Cral Craig's 'The Climax' - 4 classics, re-modelled to create something new, somewhere between mixing and remixing - and that's just the opening sequence. Flowing from first moment to last, it's a bit of a benchmark release that not only serves as a testimony to one of the most treasured and beloved catalogues in all of electronic music, but also illustrates that technology really can be about more than just presets and self indulgance.
Fans of Basic Channel will melt into this CD on first play, those of you new to the label will do well to give this a listen and understand exactly what all the fuss has been about...
The perfect introduction to Beverly Glenn-Copeland's charming and idiosyncratic sonic universe: a career-spanning collection that includes his first new song in 16 years.
When he began releasing music in the early 1970s, Beverly Glenn-Copeland struggled to find an audience for his earnest, emotionally rich folk pop. A career in television as a regular actor on Canadian children's TV show Mr. Dressup gave Glenn-Copeland a paycheck but didn't shine too bright a light on his musical abilities. In 1986, he put together a record using a Yamaha DX7 synth and Roland TR-707 drum machine called "Keyboard Fantasies". At the time it was a short-run cassette-only release, reaching only a limited audience, but online diggers eventually discovered the album and began to investigate Glenn-Copeland's career further.
"Transmissions" compiles songs from "Keyboard Fantasies" and Glenn-Copeland's debut "Beverly Copeland", bundling them with tracks from the lesser-known "At Last!" EP and 2004's "Primal Prayer". There are two recent live recordings too, as the surge of interest in his work allowed him to perform these songs internationally for the first time. Most interesting though is the inclusion of a brand new track (Glenn-Copeland's first in 16 years) 'River Dreams', a devotional-sounding haze of woozy new-age pop that continues the themes of "Keyboard Fantasies" while transporting them into a new era.
Anyone who needs a primer into Glenn-Copeland's unique musical world couldn't find a much better collection than this. The remaster sounds incredible and the choice of tracks highlights Glenn-Copeland's versatility and originality without sacrificing any charm. There's been a glut of crate-digger adjacent reissue material recently, we know, and it's not always worthy of the hype - this one most definately is
Compassion is a cycle of music born of the need for healing. It’s a great moment in life to realize when healing is required. No matter how broken in body and spirit, to be able to recognize what is needed — that something is needed at all — is the beginning of relief.
"Jim Becker has been playing music for several decades, in Chicago and around the world, with lengthy tenures in Califone and Iron & Wine and many additional production and playing credits to his name. Lama Lobsang Palden is a gifted energy healer, teaching Yantra Yoga and Buddhist meditation. As a young boy, he was recognized as a tulku — a reincarnation of a Nyingma guru yoga master. Following the path, he studied all aspects of Buddhist philosophy in Tibet and India and has taught meditation, yoga and the Buddhist Dharma all over the world.
The relationship that allowed Lama and Jim to make this record started with treatment, three years before the record was begun. Jim went to the Lama for healing, to address the many aches and ills that medicine couldn’t seem to heal. As Jim was leaving his first session, the Lama said to him, “You and me, we make a record.” It would be years and many other life events before a record could be undertaken, much less completed. It was a long road ahead to becoming whole, but that was the beginning.
Jim found the therapy sessions both personally restorative and stimulating. As a musician, Lama’s use of chants, bells, gongs and percussion in his practice resonated within him. A listener to all kinds of music, Jim understood that the recording would have to represent more than a straightforward capture of performance. Among other possibilities he heard in response to Lama’s music, he was inspired by the soundtracks in Satyajit Rayfilms, where the realities of life shown on the screen are accompanied by a climatic dreamscape of sound representing inneremotional and spiritual depths. This perspective gives the music of Compassion a wide space in which to place the listener, with Lama’s music at its center.
In 2013, they began at Lama’s house, recording on a Tascam Portastudio. Sessions stretched out over a year. Intent on an organic, acoustic sound-bed, Jim chose his instruments carefully, tuning to the drum skin or pitch of a gong. Then they’d play music! Lama’s performances and Jim’s accompaniment, filling first the channels of a 4-track cassette tape, then tape after tape with more music. As their horizons expanded, they included some sounds from the world outside — rain falling, waves breaking — with an eye toward the greater encompassing reality of the finished set. Finally, when they’d compiled nearly 450 minutes of performances, the music was bounced from 4-track to ProTools at Jim’s home studio, and he began the process of culling complimentary pieces to flow as one. Lama was receptive to Jim’s inspiration, making himself available to any idea. In this fashion, further overdubs and edits brought the arrangements of the songs and the album into shape. In addition to the many roles and instruments that the Lama and Jim played, music was played by Rob Frye, Teddy Rankin-Parker, Rob Mazurek, Becca Wilcox, Becca Ridge, Marion Jackson, Yngrid Diaz, with Quinn Tsan, Becky Levi and Clara Palden adding additional voices.
The 43 minutes that comprise Compassion are a deeply felt and wide-ranging musical synesthesia, a telescoped recapitulation of all the time over which they were conceived — for Jim, this was a recapitulation of years of experiences, some happy, some difficult; many moods and places, alone and in the company of different people and thoughts passing through. For Lama Lobsang Palden, this was a chance to teach about the relaxation of the mind, the Tibetan mantra, and most importantly, to allow people to know his heart through his chants and music. A transcendent collaborative encounter, Compassion is an epic piece of music about the epic search for the same."
‘Sign’ is Autechre’s first new album-album proper since ‘Elseq’ and contains some of their most emosh compositions in eons, perhaps since ‘Tri Repetae’.
Practically pocket-sized in comparison to their sprawling torrent of live material and radio recordings in recent years, ’Sign’ is a return to the sort of concision found circa ‘Exai’ and their earlier albums. Effectively they’ve gotten better to grips with their live set-up, and the hyper ideas found in their work-in-progress demonstrations on the five volume ‘Elseq’ and 8hrs of ‘NTS Sessions’ have been refined into moments of crystalline ambient baroque beauty and liquid-limbed swag on ’Sign’.
After their music has undergone what could be called a growth spurt in recent years, the acrid plasma of their complex, hyper-inorganic systems feels to congeal, create more intricate snaps across the album, from the lush cosmic collisions of ‘M4 Lema’, to the rhizomic arp weaving on ‘F7’, while refining their tendons and muscle in the gyrostep of ‘au14’ and ‘such.mefd2’. The anthropomorphisation of their synthesis accelerates with the album’s 2nd half with the elegiac catharsis of ‘Metaz form8’ displaying a greater emotional intelligence, while their shapeshifting synthesis grows semblances of glowing hair and teeth and skin in ’th red a’, and even a plaintive human heartache in the systolic thud and bloo pads of ‘psin AM’ that rawly bleeds out in the album’s future classic closer ‘r cazt’.
This LP was hinted at by Autechre as one of two albums ready for 2020, so we’ll take it this is their “U Ok Hun?” one to some possibly more hardcore turns in the future. Have it.
Martin Rev's fifth solo album - Strangeworld - was released on the cusp of the new millennium. The label responsible was Puu, a Finnish imprint belonging to Tommi Grunlund and Mika Vainio's Sahko Recordings which came to fame in the 1990s on the strength of its uncompromising minimalist sound.
"Four years earlier, in 1996, Rev had unleashed See Me Ridin, an album which surprised its listeners with keyboard melody sketches and distilled doo-wop compositions. It was also the first solo album to feature Martin Rev on vocals. Strangeworld started where its predecessor left off. Melodic passages dissolved into a thicket of fragments and set pieces, coalescing in a celestial shimmer between rhythm loops and Rev's voice, which assumed the role of an additional instrument rather than a standard singing part."
Keith Kenniff’s output as Goldmund has established him as one of the preeminent composers of minimal piano-based music alongside peers like Hauschka, Dustin O’Halloran, and Ryuichi Sakamoto, who himself once described Kenniff’s work as “so, so, so beautiful”.
"His recordings tread sincerely along paths laden with dusty timbres, diffuse synthesizer, and soaring string textures tinted by the muted glow of a cloudy analog sky above. On The Time it Takes, Goldmund’s newest book of aural polaroids, Kenniff somehow manages to deepen the emotionality of his already affecting project, creating a space in which to unfold the sorrows of a troubling age and revel in the hope and beauty that follow thereafter. In this sense, The Time it Takes tackles grief head-on, unadorned by themes of escapism or pastorality, and marks another entry in an impressively consistent body of work.
From the first murmurs of its opener “Day in, Day Out”, The Time it Takes calls to mind the cascading nature of mourning. There’s the first tragedy, the loss itself, then the second one, the dissipation of the memory of the thing lost. We start out grieving for a loss directly; years later, sorrow reappears not only for that loss, but for the idea that its meaning is slipping away with each turn of the calendar page. An aged piano thumps gently just beyond an impassable moat of time, its operator’s presence is evidenced by the shuffling of pedals and the shifting of mechanisms, and seraphic choirs seep in from places unseen. It’s a miniature diagram of how the outer world transitions to the inner, and vice versa. “Memory Itself” follows suit with earthy textures that become slowly buried by celestial ones as the seconds pass. Kenniff’s kindling of piano is gradually set ablaze with synth, choir, and trilling strings provided by his equally emotive labelmate Christopher Tignor. The track is a crescendo that imparts an equal amount of dread and relief depending on the mood of the listener.
Like much of The Time it Takes, “Respite” is true to its title, but not because it leans on New Age aims of comfort and relaxation. Deeply fervent, it instead reflects the kind of emotional relief that can bring someone to tears if they’re lucky enough to stumble upon it mid-crisis. Conversely, the subsequent “Rivulet” crouches in subdued concern and uncertainty amid deteriorated synths that howl down darkened hallways. “The One Who Stands By” approaches a similar sense of subtle menace. With its lilting arpeggio, pulsing bass, and scraping drones, the piece anxiously marches toward some severe and unresolved dilemma. Earlier in the sequence, tracks like “For Old Times” investigate the serene sides of woe and yearning that form the core sentiments of the album: missed chances to share things with people who’ve passed on and are forever lost to the past; small internal battles quietly won or lost, but never spoken of; a heavy rain followed by sideways afternoon sunlight that imparts just enough awe to make you feel okay with your unnoticeable role in it all.
As if we needed convincing, Kenniff further proves his skill of crafting sound-design vignettes that are personal, private, and hushed, yet simultaneously grand, colossal, and profound. Nostalgia sometimes suffers the role of low hanging fruit for the marketing world, or worse, a symptom of the stunted development of a generation facing backward in a world that moves unrelentingly forward. But instead of engaging in reductive and culpable pastiche, Kenniff dispels any notions of nostalgia’s counterproductivity by using our collective memory as just another brush to paint with, thereby wresting his music from any linear cultural timeline. To that end there are few artistic voices as distinct as Goldmund’s. Magically conjuring grandeur from only a few simple ingredients (piano, synthesizer, reverb, and a little more) Kenniff’s sound has become so universal that you'd be forgiven for not knowing who it belongs to. Knock offs be damned, every Goldmund recording is cut from an inimitable fabric woven out of emotional realism, honesty, vivid imagination, and skillful restraint."
‘Morton Feldman Piano’ is a major 5CD collection of virtually all of Feldman’s music for piano, performed by Philip Thomas with a tactility befitting of this extraordinary, quiet, intimate music. It’s the most extensive survey of Feldman’s piano music since John Tilbury’s long unavailable 4-CD set was released 20 years ago, including several pieces which weren’t included there, and three works which have never been released on disc before at all.
Feldman was part of a radical group of experimenters, alongside the likes of John Cage, Christian Wolff and Earle Brown, who looked beyond the strictures of serialism to innovative with and embrace aspects of chance and “indeterminacy” in their compositions. Most often associated with the piano, Feldman is perhaps best known for his perceptively time-slowing later works, but this boxset presents the widest angle possible on his approach to the piano, spanning surprisingly cranky recordings from the 1940s thru to the exquisite delicacy of his acclaimed ‘Triadic Memories’ and ultimately ‘Palais de Mari’ in 1986. Feldman died in 1987, leaving behind a remarkable catalogue that has previously been tackled by John Tilbury in the 4CD set ‘All Piano’ (1999), which is now long out of print and trades for triple figures on the 2nd hand market, making this boxset of Philip Thomas’ Feldman interpretations an even more indispensable collection.
Accompanied by pianist Philip Thomas’ lucubrate and extensive book of notes on Feldman’s music, its development, unique notation, and his close personal relationship with it, ‘Morton Feldman Piano’ methodically and artfully unpackages the great composer’s often forbiddingly vast oeuvre for anyone looking for a way in or seeking to enrich their knowledge of his life and work. In great depth, Thomas writes about Feldman’s holistic approach, recognising the connection between ears, mind, and fingertips which resulted in the music’s quietly extreme dynamic, and which singularly revolutionised historic approaches to the instrument thru the artist’s attempt at refusing attack in the notes - essentially a near-impossible idea when considering that the piano is a percussive instrument, and needs to be hit to be played. The sensitivity of the results are quite astonishing, and most beautifully executed and evidenced in Thomas’ playing throughout all 31 pieces included.
While the later works will be well known to even the casual Feldman follower, and are sure to entrance newcomers, his early and mid-period works between the late ‘40s and into the ‘60s provide a fascinating grounding for his sound and style, ranging from a solemnly inquisitive ‘Untitled piano piece’ (1942) to the almost jazzy flourishes of ‘Illusions’ (1949), thru to his increasingly sparser ‘Music for the film ‘Sculpture by Lipton’’ (1954), and up to the barely there ‘Piano Piece’ (1964) before he took a 13 year hiatus from writing for solo piano (although he would still write parts for piano in larger ensembles), only returning to it with ‘Piano’ (1977).
Yet for all the technicality and philosophy surrounding Feldman’s compositional process, it remains to be said that his music is strikingly easy on the ear. With a little focus and patience in the right mindset, Feldman’s music has the capacity to lead the thinking mind into unusual places, and as his catalogue proceeds, it becomes an increasing pleasure to find the notes flickering, illuminating contrasts with the shadows of his lacunae.
Warehouse find of Plus Forty Seven Degrees 56' 37 Minus Sixteen Degrees 51'08 - originally released back in 1999.
"Touch has re-issued a digipak version of Fennesz's first studio album for Touch, previously released as a jewel case in 1999. [There was prior to that a deluxe edition of 1000 copies in landscape art format, which sold out immediately.] It has been out of print for a couple of years. The audio remains the same, the imagery uses the location shots from the deluxe edition. This is Christian Fennesz's 2nd solo full album after the highly acclaimed 'Hotel Paral.lel' (Mego 16). He also released 'fenneszPLAYS', a 3" CD originally issued by Mego but now on Jim O'Rourke's new label, Moikai.
Fennesz has also made various contributions to compilation CDs, including the awesome 'Surf' on 'DECAY' (Ash International 3.9) and is a member of MIMEO, fixed line up orchestra alongside Keith Rowe, Kaffe Matthews, Jerome Noetinger, Phil Durrant, Peter Rehberg, Thomas Lehn, Rafael Toral, Gert Jan Prins, Cor Fuhler, Markus Wettstein, and Markus Schmickler. He has also released a live CD on Touch, # TO:CDR3. 'plus forty seven degrees 56' 37" minus sixteen degrees 51' 08"' was recorded in his garden in Austria in July and August 1999; the photographs in the booklet by Jon Wozencroft embroider this."
John Coltrane is one of the most renowned jazz artists and influential saxophonists in music history. Within the span of less than three weeks, John Coltrane completed his work with Miles Davis on what would become the bestselling jazz title in history (Kind of Blue) and embarked on his first record with Atlantic that would become the landmark recording Giant Steps. 2020 marks the 60th anniversary of Giant Steps. A remastered, deluxe 180g 2-LP and 2-CD, each with the original album plus a bonus disc of alternate takes and versions – including rehearsal and incomplete tracks, as well as false starts – only previously included in The Heavyweight Champion: The Complete Atlantic Recordings of John Coltrane boxed set.
BOW is an ensemble made up of the musicians Margaret Hermant (Echo Collective) and Benoit Leseure on Violin, Jean-François Durdu on Viola, Marine Horbaczewski on Cello and Cyrille de Haes (Otto Lindholm) on Double Bass. Members of BOW have played with Johan Johannsson, A Winged Victory For The Sullen, Steve Reich Project, Echo Collective, Otto Lindholm.
"Brussels-based string quintet BOW celebrates musical freedom. Juggling between their own written music and pure improvisation, the ensemble has worked since its creation on a personal and modern approach, digging into their instruments' capabilities and blending a large scope of influences.
Its debut eponym LP, due to be released on Sub Rosa, gathers five instantly-composed pieces that were recorded live by Christine Verschorren in the Echo Collective studio in Brussels. During the day, BOW repeated musical concepts, textures, and interactive games. Then, during the night, with the machine already well-oiled and the musicians free of all expectations, the ensemble embarked out into the unknown, discovering with wonder unexplored sonic territories, delivering a deep and profound music woven with five strands of yarn.
Over the years, BOW has collaborated with artists such as jazz singer Melanie De Biaso, Composer Laurent Plumhans, Vj Dirty Monitor, Théâtre de l'Ancre and most recently with the gypsy guitarist Myrddin De Cauter as well as Aidan Baker. A first EP was released in 2019 on Icarus Records, a live radio session duplicated on limited cassette edition."
Emmy The Great with her new solo album ‘April / 月 音’ via Bella Union.
“My story begins with the moon. In September 2017, I travelled to Hong Kong from New York, where I’d lived for three years, for the Mid-Autumn festival. I was planning to visit my parents and take some time off to write my fourth album. I arrived in time for the full moon - Chang-E’s moon - at a time of year when the heat breaks and the city seems alive with possibility. “That Spring, I’d visited China and accidentally become somewhat fluent in Cantonese again, though the goal had been to speak Mandarin. I was there for a music residency, and had expected to feel an instant click. Instead, I realised that Hong Kong had an identity quite separate from the Mainland, and with my mother tongue reinstated, I was beginning to come to terms with that identity being a part of mine. This was tough - I was born in Hong Kong but I’ve always felt complicated about it.
“Still, that Mid-Autumn, everything felt simple. Under the guidance of the moon, I walked the city - its neon-lit alleyways, its escalators and mountain paths. For a brief, precious moment, I fell into synch with Hong Kong. I felt its complex legacy and its tangled future. I felt the sorrow, alive in the buzz of neon and the drips of air-conditioner units, of a city caught between two destinies. It was twenty years since the Handover and the beginning of ‘One Country, Two Systems’. Everywhere I went, I saw people seeking to define their shared identity before it was too late. I hope some of that spirit has found its way into the songs, which were mostly written during that time.”
“Change is inevitable if you’re lucky,” says guitarist / vocalist Alex Edkins while talking about ‘Atlas Vending’, the fourth full length album by Toronto’s Metz. “Our goal is to remain in flux, to grow in a natural and gradual way. We’ve always been wary to not overthink or intellectualize the music we love but also not satisfied until we’ve accomplished something that pushes us forward.”
"The music made by Edkins and his compatriots Hayden Menzies (drums) and Chris Slorach (bass) has always been a little difficult to pin down. Their earliest recordings contained nods to the teeming energy of early ‘90s DIY hardcore, the aggravated angularities of This Heat and the noisy riffing of AmRep’s quintessential guitar manglers but there was never a moment where Metz sounded like they were paying tribute to the heroes of their youth. If anything, the sonic trajectory of their albums captured the journey of a band shedding influences and digging deeper into their fundamental core - steady propulsive drums, chest-thumping basslines, bloodyfingered guitar riffs, the howling angst of our fading innocence.
With ‘Atlas Vending’, Metz not only continues to push their music into new territories of dynamics, crooked melodies and sweat-drenched rhythms, they explore the theme of growing up and maturing within a format typically suspended in youth. Covering seemingly disparate themes such as paternity, crushing social anxiety, addiction, isolation, media-induced paranoia and the restless urge to leave everything behind, each of Atlas Vending’s ten songs offer a snapshot of today’s modern condition and together form a musical and narrative whole. The song sequencing follows a cradleto- grave trajectory, spanning from primitive origins through increasingly nuanced and turbulent peaks and valleys all the way to the climactic closer, ‘A Boat to Drown In’. The lyrics speak to this arc as well, with the songs addressing life’s struggles all the way through to death, as Edkins snarls “crashed through the pearly gates and opened up my eyes, I can see it now” before the band launches into the album’s cascading outro.
While past Metz albums thrived on an abrasive relentlessness, the trio embarked on ‘Atlas Vending’ with the goal to make a more patient and honest record - something that invited repeated listens rather than a few exhilarating bludgeonings. It’s as if the band realized they were in it for the long haul and their music could serve as a constant as they navigated life’s trials and tribulations. The result is a record that sounds massive, articulate and earnest. Bolstered by the co-production of Ben Greenberg (Uniform) and the engineering and mixing skills of Seth Manchester (Daughters, Lingua Ignota, The Body) at Machines with Magnets in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, Metz deliver the most dynamic, dimensional and compelling work of their career."
Ligeti Quartet join the dots between far-flung overtone singing styles and the violin’s vocal characteristics in spry, folksy works ready for your avant harvest dance.
“Songbooks is a series composed by Christian Mason and inspired by traditional forms of overtone (or throat-singing) from around the world. Performed by Ligeti Quartet, the first album features two projects, taking as their inspirations the Tuvan vocal tradition of Khöömii and the practice of the Tenores in Sardinia.
Overtone, or throat-singing, involves the manipulation of the resonances created in the vocal tract, producing additional overtones above the primary note being sung. Born out of a long-standing collaboration between Ligeti Quartet and Mason, Songbooks explores the way in which the acoustic properties of the string quartet emulate the human voice through Mason’s use of extended techniques and unique sound-worlds. The result is an album of thrillingly direct and toe-tappingly exciting music which is profoundly influenced by the traditional songs of Tuva and Sardinia.
“Seeing the Tenores sing spontaneously at 2am in the main square of Sant'Anna Arresi after we had shared a concert is forever etched in our memories. Songbooks has seen us 'grow' as a quartet, and now represents our ethos – fitting for our debut album in our 10th year together!” – Ligeti Quartet”
"As Long As You Are looks to the past as well as the future, confronting old ghosts and embracing a new hope. It is an album about trust, full of honesty, redemption and “letting go”, allowing old wounds to heal and bringing painful chapters to a close.
"As Long As You Are also signals a new era for Future Islands. Drummer Mike Lowry officially joins as a fully-fledged member and songwriter bolstering the founding trio of William Cashion, Samuel T. Herring and Gerrit Welmers. Together, the four-piece took on official production duties for the first time, co-producing As Long As You Are with engineer Steve Wright at his Wrightway Studios in Baltimore. Their brand of new wave synth-pop full of bright melodies and heavenly choruses is as euphoric and uninhibitedly joyful as anything the band has done in their 14-year career."
Slowdive’s Neil Halstead supplies gauzy production for LA-based Harpist, Mary Lattimore’s latest suite of fairytale music for adults in suspended animation, casting her third album for Ghostly on a warm Gulf Stream of narrative melodies.
’Silver Ladders’ was inspired by Lattimore’s time spent with Halstead at his studio on an airfield near Newquay, and would appear to feel out a breezy flow of melodies that carry her Calfornian promise via mystic Cornish vistas and the Croatian islands she visited on her European jaunt. It’s all very idyllic and richly descriptive, with Lattimore’s glittering melodic touch outlining bucolic scenes absorbingly coloured with Halstead’s blushing, dreamlike production merging myriad shores into a sort of thumbed and salt stained holiday fantasy novel of an album for listeners who can’t get out there.
"At one of her festival appearances, Lattimore met Slowdive’s Neil Halstead: “A friend introduced us because she knew how big of a fan I was and Neil and I had a little chat... The next day, I just thought maybe he’d be into producing my next record.” He was. Lattimore traditionally records her albums holed up by herself, so the addition of Halstead’s touches as a producer and collaborator leave a profound trace. “I flew on a little plane to Newquay in Cornwall where he lives with his lovely partner Ingrid and their baby. I didn’t know what his studio was like, he’d never recorded a harp, but somehow it really worked.”
Recorded over nine days at Halstead’s studio stationed on an old airfield, Silver Ladders finds Lattimore exercising command and restraint. Her signature style is refined, the sprawling layers of harp reigned in and accented by flourishes of low end synth and Halstead’s guitar. The music can feel ominous but not by compromising vivid wonder, like oceanic overtones that shift with the tides. This material is colored by specific memories for Lattimore; “Neil has this poster of a surfer in his studio and I’d look at it each day, looking at the sunlight glinting on the dark wave. In these songs I like the contrast between the dark lows and the glittering highs. The gloom and the glimmer, the opposites, a lively surfing town in the winter turned kinda rainy and empty and quiet.”
Lattimore and Halstead reformed three existing demos and improvised the remaining four songs. Among the batch she brought with her, the title track recalls a trip she took to Stari Grad, Croatia on the island of Hvar. “I spent some days there just swimming in the bay, silver ladders right into the sea.” The image stuck with her when she found herself performing at a cliffside wedding overlooking the Pacific. “Before anyone showed up, I had time to set up and play and this song came to me, ‘Silver Ladders (to the sea)’, so I made a little recording on my phone to remember it.” This sketch expanded; a delicately glittering harp melody comes over the horizon, swelling and rolling towards the shore on ebbs of synth and refractory delay.
These songs are clearly tales, and yet Silver Ladders is open to interpretation. Her memories — “the Cornish landscape, the hotel from the movie The Witches, the cream tea, winning the pub quiz, the Sunday Roast, the ghosts of all of the surfers who had died in the wild waves, the night walks to the top of the hill to see the moon shining on the water…” — shine through these works without defining them. In a way, much like the sea, or the sky, they belong to everyone. Such is the beauty of her craft, which stands here in unprecedented company and clarity, the confidence of an artist in full."
Louche, cinematic synth-pop heat from Hamburg, courtesy of film director-turned musician Helena Ratka’s Pose Dia, debuting her new solo project aside from duties behind decks at the Golden Pudel and in Shari Vari
A fine debut statement ‘Front View’ channels Pose Dia’s other work, writing music for theatre, as well as her collaborative work with Sophia Kennedy in DJ duo Ratkat, into a pleasingly puckered but grotty and offbeat set of tunes that lean to the darkside but somehow with a bewitching pop tartness.
There’s a low key dancefloor ace tucked away in the swaggering tump and darting vocal of ‘Walking Running’, a killer echo of Toresch in the propulsive ‘Spacerine’, and again a murky sort of Tolouse Low Trax groove to ‘Get Up High’, and ‘Infinity Pool’ does a greasy swing groove with punky Hamburg finesse. But it’s really a whole thing to itself with narrative driven pieces like ‘Smoz Opera’ displaying Pose Dia’s wickedly droll lyrics at their best, bands helping the album play out like the soundtrack to a scuzzy night set in and bewitched by Hamburg’s unique atmosphere.
It feels like we've been writing about Machine Drum since the idea of digital releases was still just a fantasy, a testament to Travis Stewart's longevity.
In the beginning he was positioned alongside Prefuse 73, a beatmaker who was using IDM techniques to re-imagine hip-hop structures. Since then he's gone on to produce for a slew of artists, most visibly D∆WN. This latest full-length finds him collaborating with a jawdropping list of guests, including Awful Records boss Father, Indiana rapper Freddie Gibbs and Canadian R&B singer Rochelle Jordan.
It's all smooth stuff from beginning to end, showcasing Stewart's keen ear for production and his ability to distill ideas from LA's beat scene, the EDM festival circuit, the US pop chart and beyond and still emerge with a record that's solidly in keeping with his diverse catalog. But despite the laundry list of features, it's still nice to hear Stewart go it alone on 'Inner Eye' and 'Ur2yung', reminding us of, um, Merck-ier times.
Featuring six never before heard tracks, ‘Unremembered, Remembered’ is essentially the final album from The Wolfgang Press that never was.
"Having exhumed the tracks, the band have mastered their final studio sessions at Abbey Road and they sound magnificent. Art for this release has been done by long-time 4AD collaborator Chris Bigg. mOriginally released on vinyl for Record Store Day in August 2020, this is now available to all retailers as a one-off pressing on CD."
The third full-length from Mina Tindle, SISTER is an album populated by mythic creatures of all kinds: lions on parade, lovers turned to cannibals, kings and Sirens and women with wings. Like any great fabulist, she threads her storytelling with a fragile wisdom, revealing essential truths about all the danger and wildness within the human heart.
"With each moment elevated by her spellbinding vocal work — a gift she’s shown in recording and touring as a singer for The National — SISTER ultimately makes for a transportive listen, at turns impossibly dreamlike and profoundly illuminating. Mina Tindle is the project of Parisian singer/songwriter and multi-
instrumentalist Pauline De Lassus. Mostly made in New York City with producer Thomas Bartlett (Yoko Ono, Florence + the Machine), the album’s elegant detail balances the odd magic of the songs with a fierce emotional realism. “Give a Little Love,” written and produced by Sufjan Stevens, channels intense longing, its soulful melancholy magnified by Stevens’s warm background vocals. On “Belle Pénitence,” she shares a tender love letter to her husband (The
National’s Bryce Dessner), twisting the mood of lovely surrender with some fantastically brutal hunting imagery rendered in her native tongue. And on “Lions,” with its shimmering grooves, De Lassus offers up a bit of soft-hearted encouragement in the face of self-doubt: “If the roads are made for a parade/Go march with the lions.” She adds, “You need to keep going, even if sometimes you feel like you’re just pretending to be brave. It’s all about the march.”
After the gloriously sprawling “Triptyque”— partly written with Dessner — SISTER closes out with a stark rendition of “Is Anything Wrong” by Lhasa De Sela, the late artist whom De Lassus names among her most enduring influences. Mina Tindle’s version originally featured as part of a tribute to the late singer that she conceived and organized in 2019 with another of her longtime heroes Canadian singer Leslie Feist. They would later perform the tribute at London’s Barbican and the Cork Opera House.
De Lassus later appeared as a featured soloist on The National’s 2019 album I Am Easy to Find and toured extensively with the band. During the last few years as she was writing and recording SISTER, De Lassus has also been an integral part of the PEOPLE Festivals at the historic Berlin Funkhaus in 2016 and 2018, where she worked with a vast range of musicians and artists in the community.
SISTER achieves a potent complexity, arriving as her most imaginative selection of songs to date while wholly embracing the sometimes painful truth-telling she’s long treasured in her most beloved artists. “All the people I love the most have this beautiful way of singing their truth, and I hope these songs give that same kind of honesty.”"
Ace, sprawling second album from Tom Boogizm, cranking the levels of scuzz and sore soul with a searing distillation of the myriad styles covered in his prized mixtape series through a wide range of moods taking in harsh doomcore warehouse steppers, lush noise, and keyboard meditations that variously recall Hype Williams. Jon E Cash, Tapes, Diptera, Nkisi and DJ Scud.
Leading down the alley from 2016’s ‘Posh People Make Me Ill’ LP, and chasing his chops on the killer ‘Introduction to Michael J. Blood’, not to mention a string of cult mixtapes, ‘Not Forever’ sees Tom test out his bedroom production tekkers on his most substantial collection of original music yet.
From the opening bout of thistly chromatic lushness, thru the hair-kissing Hype Williams-meets-Hailu Mergia vibes off his single ‘U Think Real Playboys...’, to filthy shots of squat-party doomcore a la Nkisi going in with DJ Scud, to some really gutted and soul-slapping downbeat moments, and shocks of Warlock-style 2-step swivels; ‘Not Forever’ is a properly screwed and rudely soulful beast that resists overproduction in favour of expressively direct effect in a way that we feel is sorely needed right now.
Fresh as fuck and bursting with complex energy - sink yr teeth in and stoke yr fire.
Ride guitarist/singer Andy Bell releases his debut solo album The View From Halfway Down, the product of a gradual, four-year process and finished during lockdown, the album was entirely written and recorded by Andy, engineered by Gem Archer and mastered by Heba Kadry.
"Back in 2016, Andy was inspired by David Bowie’s death to be more proactive about finishing his songs, more confident about sharing them and to channel all of this into finally making a solo album. He laid down some tracks in former Beady Eye and Oasis bandmate Gem’s studio, but got diverted when Ride’s live reunion blossomed into a full return. A run of two albums, an EP and two world tours later, it would take a pandemic to give Andy the space to complete The View From Halfway Down.
“I’ve always wanted to make a solo album, I’ve always said I would do it, although I never imagined it happening like, or sounding like, this one does,” explains Andy. “I’d been sitting on this pile of almost finished tracks, along with all the other hundreds of ideas that had fallen by the wayside since I’ve been making music. Lockdown gave me the opportunity to find a way to present it to the world.
“The album is not about songwriting. There aren’t many verses or choruses, because this album is about sounds, a listening experience.” From the ecstatic psych pop of ‘Love Comes In Waves’, to the heady loops of ‘Indica’ and deeply groove-led ‘Skywalker’, the eight tracks mix summery melodies with soundscapes and studio experimentation. The end result sits neatly between Ride’s widescreen shoegaze and GLOK’s textured electronics, variously inspired by The Stone Roses, Spacemen 3, The Beatles, The Byrds, The Beta Band, Stereolab, Neu!, Can, John Fahey, The Kinks, The La’s, The Who and the United States Of America.
As for the album title, it comes from a particularly dark episode of BoJack Horseman and a poem that scriptwriter Alison Tafel wrote for the penultimate show. The spoiler-free version of the story goes like this: “The poem describes someone committing suicide by jumping to their death and the regret the protagonist experiences when he sees ‘the view from halfway down’. Although, of course, it’s too late to change what’s going to happen. I read this poem as having a message of suicide prevention: if you could see the view from halfway down, you would never go through with anything that would end your life. I’ve never been suicidal, but I felt really moved by this brilliant poem when I watched the show during Ride’s US tour in Autumn 2019. It’s an incredible message.
“There was a small kind of a parallel with me, sitting at home in London in March 2020. In the early stages of lockdown, you could feel the tension in the air, causing what felt like a global panic attack. But, in common with what I’ve heard from others who can experience anxiety for no reason in their everyday lives, I felt strangely calm in the midst of all of this, seeing things in my life very clearly. Such clarity allowed me to finally compile this record. In a way, to see my life flash before me and be able to curate moments of it into a 40-minute listening experience, then find a title that would fit."
To mark the 40th anniversary of Pindrop, the lauded first album by cult Manchester post-punk group The Passage, LTM presents a new 2xCD set combining their 1980 debut with their third and most commercially successfully album, Degenerates, from 1982.
"Formed by former Halle Orchestra percussionist Dick Witts and Fall bassist Tony Friel in 1978, the band issued two EPs on esoteric indie label Object Music before fracturing the following year, leaving Witts to record Pindrop virtually solo. A dense, brooding, claustrophobic album, dominated by layered keyboards and incisive vocal texts, contemporary critics put Pindrop on a par with Joy Division and Wire. "A work of disciplined intellectual aggression, frantic emotions and a powerful idiomatic musicality," wrote Paul Morley in NME. "It's as shocking a beautiful nightmare, as stormy and aware a debut LP as Unknown Pleasures."
By 1982 the group were a trio, with Witts joined by guitarist Andrew Wilson and drummer Joe McKechnie, as well as an array of emerging digital technology. The third Passage album, Degenerates, appeared on Cherry Red, trailed by near-hit single XoYo. "How on earth XoYo missed the charts must remain forever a mystery," Q Magazine would note later of an album of skewed technopop, which nevertheless retained the dark truculence of the group's earlier work."
Robin Proper-Sheppard: Vocals/Guitar Jeff Townsin: Drums Sander Verstraete: Bass Jesse Maes: Guitar Bert Vliegen: Synths
Terry Edwards: Saxophone (Alive), Flute (Prog Rock Arp)
Renato Marquez: Violin (Gathering The Pieces)
Neil Leiter: Viola (Prog Rock Arp)
Daniel Lea: Sound Design (Strange Attractor, Prog Rock Arp)
Recorded by Robin Proper-Sheppard at Giant Wafer Studios, Wales and The Flower Shop Recordings, Berlin
Mixed by Kenny Jones at Alchemy Studio, London
Mastered by Pieter De Wagter at Equus Audio Mastering, Brussels
Previously available as a limited edition Japan-only release, Domino augment their retrospective of Robert Wyatt's illustrious back-catalogue by reissuing this 'Best Of'-style collection, spanning material from his early solo recordings of 1974 right up to 2003's Cuckooland album.
The track selection seems to have been designed as an ideal introduction to the former Soft Machine drummer's solo work, collecting key album recordings and even one or two bonafide hits (regardless of what the album title says). Wyatt's debut single, a cover of the Neil Diamond/Monkees song 'I'm A Believer' is included in its extended form (although, as ever it sounds jarringly out of place when set among his own compositions), as is the 1998 remaster of 'Shipbuilding', Wyatt's memorable 1982 recording of the Elvis Costello song.
The seventeen-song selection avoids chronological ordering, instead favouring a more discerning, album-like sequence that begins with Old Rottenhat's 'P.L.A.', which makes for an especially apt introduction to Wyatt's uniquely sad vocal. Here he laments over his his wife Alfreda Benge in a manner that's typical of Wyatt's unflinching, often childlike directness: "Poor little Alfie, trying to draw/Poor little Alfie, trying to sleep" are the only words sung, yet it feels like an utterly heartfelt and empathetic tribute. Another early highlight here is 'Heaps Of Sheeps', A Brian Eno-assisted cut lifted from the 1997 Shleep album. This is a more rhythmic, uptempo outing than most, leading into the wholly contrasting 'Free Will And Testament' from the same long-player. This is another fantastic slice of Wyatt melancholia, on which he intones with a tangible sense of ennui: "Demented forces push me madly round a treadmill/Let me off please, I am so tired/Let me off please, I am so very tired."
Soon after there are two tracks from Rock Bottom (the 1974 album Wyatt regards as his debut album proper): the outstanding 'Sea Song' and 'Little Red Robin Hood Hit The Road', which might be the proggiest, most sonically convoluted entry here. Listening through this collection conveys the sense not only of how singular this man's canon is, but how much his oeuvre is informed by disconnections - whether that be from composition to composition or even within the same song. Cuckooland's 'Mister E' finds a beautifully downbeat trumpet melody exchanging lines with Karen Mantler's harmonica, all whilst clashing digitised synthesizer chords resound in the background. It's an odd little piece, and one that couldn't be attributed to anyone other than Wyatt. For those who've been harbouring an interest in Robert Wyatt's catalogue but haven't thus far known where to take the plunge, this album could hardly be more accommodating, offering as good a point of entry as any single disc could hope to offer."
Breezing kwaito pop charms from South African superstar Penny Penny, putting his 1996 album back in circulation on ATFA, the label he helped kick off with reissue of his classic ’Shaka Bundu’ back in 2013
‘Yogo Yogo’ first arrived in the years following ’Shaka Bundu’, which first brought the top-knot sporting singer/dancer attention across Africa in the late ‘90s. His follow-up doubled down on that album’s formula of anthem chorus and breezing, mid-tempo SA grooves tiled with deep house pop pads and lyrics about the newfound political freedom of his home country in the post-Apartheid era.
We may not understand the lyrics but we definitely get the vibes, which pretty much work like a one riddim album with subtle adjustments to the shading of the pads and natty hooks, at best in the bumping deep house hustle of ‘Kulani Kulani’, the slightly more uptempo tilt of ‘Dodomedzi’, and the pure ’floor balm of ‘Ama Owners’.
Jeff Witscher and Jack Callahan’s Flea label kick off with a thrilling recording of Petr Kotik and Joseph Kubera leading the Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble in a 2019 interpretation of John Cage’s 60 year old indeterminate work.
Cage’s ‘concert for piano and orchestra & fontana mix’ (1957-58) surely serves as a strong conceptual anchor for the FLEA label alongside their maiden releases from Julius Eastman, and a zinger from Witscher/Callahan themselves. The original work’s score of 10 sheets of paper and 12 transparencies, which are meant to be overlaid to create myriad possibilities of guidance, are intended to lead the players to rupturous results that prize unpredictability.
This 2019 performance, conducted by Petr Kotik with Joseph Kubera (piano) and the Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble, combines the parts written for both Cage’s concert for piano and orchestra, and Fontana mix, as the composer suggested they could be, to create a bewildering and fractious take on a real 20th century avant garde touchstone, whose echoes can be heard in the elusive mischief of Witscher/Callhan’s own work.
Stunning, weird gear.
Hyper-disorienting computer music ace from Jeff Witscher (Rene Hell) and Jack Callahan (Die Reihe), with a little help from Trump and Obama vocaloids, on a killer kick off for the their fledgling but already formidable FLEA imprint.
Joining forces on their promising new label alongside a first batch including an amazing Julius Eastman work and SEM Ensemble take on a John Cage classic, both Witscher (Rene Hell) and Callahan (Die Reihe, Sunburned Hand of The Man) bring a playfully disruptive and irreverent attitude and aptitude for dis/jointed sound to ’The Past, Present and Future of Experimental Music (Uncut GRM)’ in a way that has well informed their various, respective, actions in computer music and playfully disruptive avant composition for PAN and Bánh Mì Verlag over the past decade.
The 21 minute work unfolds with a K-holing sequence of non-sequiturs, suggesting the listener find a thread of logic between fragments of synthesised speech by a hyperreal Trump and Obama and a roll call of loony characters who emerge and recede into the matrix, seemingly channelling Florian Hecker via Vic Berger and Vicki Bennett and Nozomu Matsumoto. Working together, the oddly perceptive and disruptive powers of Witscher and Callhan are multiplied to decimating effect. Keep an eye on this duo and label.
Shiver is the exciting and beautiful second record from LA-based Icelandic musician Jónsi. Recorded in Berlin, Reykjavik, London and Suomenlinna.
"Not too long ago Jónsi was traveling through London, where he met up with iconoclastic producer A.G. Cook, who he admired for his boundary-breaking work with the PC music collective. He had no expectation for the meeting, but the more they talked, the more he realized they might be perfect collaborators. “I’ve been doing this for 30 years,” Jónsi says. “I get tired of everything really easily. I always want things to be fun and exciting and fresh, and doing another album...I just wanted to have a different approach.”
Jónsi had made a career on sweeping music that plumbed the depths of the human experience and our connection to the natural world. Cook’s production exists at the opposite end of the spectrum: synthetic, sometimes abrasive, and often on the cutting edge of experimentalism. On paper, their collaboration is surprising, but Shiver is a beautiful record that pushes Jónsi’s otherworldly voice into startling new territories."
"I’m actually proud of every record I’ve made and that’s an amazing thing to be able to say,” confesses Róisín Murphy. “Couldn’t pick a favourite. If there’s going to be an ultimate success story with my career it would be that the catalogue’s going to mean something solid in the future.” Róisín Murphy guards over her songwriting career like a lioness protecting its cubs and with good reason. A quick glance, from leftfield downtempo bangers like ‘Party Weirdo’ to Top Of The Pops smashes like ‘The Time Is Now’ and ‘Sing It Back’ with Moloko and a wildly divergent solo career that has flitted joyfully from Italian song to powerhouse tracks like ‘Let Me Know’ means she has stealthily developed into Britain’s most innovative and restless artist.
"Murphy’s rising status has been greatly enhanced by her presentational verve. During her Overpowered campaign she fine-tuned a visual language that has since become synonymous with any number of pop divas. Recalling Leigh Bowery’s outlandish and influential looks, Róisín says, “there’s always a ‘club kid’ influence in what I do. It’s obviously in my music and my wonky dancing, and I suppose that’s what singles me out from the more trained, ‘real’ pop stars. With loads of major label money, I was really able to indulge it! I brought in my pal Scott King to creative-direct and he, quite brilliantly, spotted a certain tension. He felt I was this extraordinary creature who had to get on the bus and pick up shopping from Sainsbury’s. I’ve never been famous but I get this a lot: ‘She must be someone!’” This someone is about to deliver her latest album, Róisín Machine, a set that has been quietly gestating for two decades and was ten years in the making.
It’s a collaboration with DJ Parrot – aka Crooked Man – with whom Murphy first worked on a version of La Jones’ ‘Feel Up’ (under the name Spook) in the late 90s. The idea for the album began ten years ago. “Originally we started off like we were making an LP,” recalls Parrot. “Róisín rang up one day and said she wanted to make some house music and off we went. The first tune we did was ‘Simulation’, which we thought was quite good. Unfortunately, nobody else seemed to think so ” Not that that matters to Róisín: “I love that chug, ‘Simulation’ is one of the best things I’ve ever done.”
Steadily, over the following decade, singles trickled out, slowed down by gravity, life and small children, until a tipping point was reached with a punnet of peaches over the past year: ‘Narcissus’ ‘Incapable’ and ‘Murphy’s Law’ that showed the duo at the peak of their powers. Skint, newly rejuvenated by prodigal son Damian Harris, picked up the album and here we are. Added to the familiar tunes are five new songs including the Dalek-funk of ‘We Got Together’ and the anthem-in-waiting ‘Something More’, a collab with NY songstress Amy Douglas. It is, almost literally, an album laden with singles, but also a kind of landscaped world, dubbed and blissed out, the tracks manipulated in order to seamlessly blend together"
After the highly successful "Perfectly Unhappy" (2018) album with Andy Sheppard, the trio is back with a new album featuring seven brand new songs from the pianist. Captivating and lyrical, always melodic and often melancholic and uplifting at the same time, these are all real tunes.
"The music has a rich sense of melody coupled with a poignant lyricism that is infectious... the symbiosis between the saxophonist and the trio is truly remarkable.All About Jazz "End Of Summer" was recorded in Oslo in April during lockdown. After getting all their concerts cancelled because of the pandemic, Espen says it was very inspiring to still be able to meet in a recording studio to make new music and keep it all alive. This being their first recording in five years as a trio, Espen is also keen to stress that the collaboration with Andy was not a one-off and that the plan is to "continue working together for a very long time".
Espen Eriksen Trio was formed in 2007 and released their debut album in 2010, "End Of Summer" being their fifth. They have toured on four continents, becoming an increasingly popular live act, with a wealth of rich material on their repertoire. The music relies on highly melodic and lyrical instrumentals and a “less is more” approach and is often credited for its unique voice within today’s jazz scene by the international press. To quote BBC in their review of the trio’s second album; “A wonderfully plaintive jazz record, abandoned to the lost art of melodic minimalism, stripped back and beautifully near bare. No smoke and mirrors, just the graceful chemistry of superb musicians at the top of their game” All three musicians have versatile backgrounds ranging from pop to jazz and have played with musicians like Bugge Wesseltoft, John Scofield, Joshua Redman, Dhafer Yousef, John Taylor, Vince Mendoza, Eivind Aarset, Knut Reisersrud, Mathias Eick, Nils Petter Molvær, Thomas Strønen, Odd Nordstoga, Håkon Kornstad, Jarle Bernhoft and Bendik Hofseth."
Hot Chip provide an antidote to "strange and uncertain times" with the latest release in the LateNightTales series.
"Along with featuring new music from the band, they have selected music from some of the most engaging artists of the 21st century, taking in pulsating electronic rhythms, hypnotic grooves and leftfield ambience. Spearheaded by founders Alexis Taylor and Joe Goddard, Hot Chip are one of the UK’s most interesting and much-loved acts. Since releasing their debut album ‘Coming On Strong’ in 2004, they have received a Grammy Award nomination (‘Ready for the Floor’) and Mercury Prize nomination (‘The Warning’) and their seventh studio album, last year’s ‘A Bath Full of Ecstasy,’ received rave reviews across the globe from both critics and fans.
“I think we all had slightly different understandings of what a Late Night Tales compilation might consist of; varying interpretations of the brief. For some the mix might be what you’d want to listen to as your late night continues, after a night out. For others maybe it suggested a selection of music for listening to as you drift off to sleep; then again it could just be music evocative of night time, or concerned with its traditionally ‘darker’ moods,” says Taylor.
Hot Chip’s ‘LateNightTales’ opens with the simplistic beauty of Christina Vantzou’s ‘At Dawn,’ before morphing in to the first of four exclusive tracks from the band - the floating, transcendent ‘Nothing’s Changed’, before Rhythm & Sound ft. Cornell Campbell serve up the heavy dub classic, ‘King In My Empire’.
The journey continues with Pale Blue’s ‘Have You Passed Through This Night’, a silky, cold wave disco track, while Suzanne Kraft’s ‘Femme Cosmic’ and Fever Ray’s ‘To The Moon and Back’ provide squelchy synth-pop. Furthermore, the punchy ‘Much To Touch’ from Bolton-born, Berlin based producer Planningtorock and an ethereal cover of Velvet Underground’s ‘Candy Says’ by our hosts add an element of displacement and detachment.
Elsewhere, other highlights include an appearance from synth-pop auteur Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith with ‘Who I Am & Why I Am Where’ and new material from Alexis’ ‘other’ band, the improv-mavens About Group, along with the adventurous ‘Workaround Two’ from electronic experimentalist Beatrice Dillon and German composer, Nils Frahm’s beautifully evocative ‘Ode’. But it is left to Alexis’ father to have the final word, with an elegant excerpt from the daring ‘Finnegans Wake’ by James Joyce.
“We’ve put together a mix of music which ties all of these ideas together and represents some of our favourite music new and old, some of it directly influential on Hot Chip and some of it music we have discovered and loved, been surprised by and connected to. There are three new songs of ours which we’re really proud of, and which I think connect naturally with the nocturnal world the compilation speaks of, and a cover of ‘Candy Says’ which is one of the first songs the very early version of Hot Chip played when we were still at school,” says Taylor."
ISIS and Old Man Gloom guitarist Aaron Turner returns with SUMAC alongside bassist Brian Cook (Botch, Russian Circles) and drummer Nick Yacyshyn (Baptists) for a brand new set of heaving, free-form post-metal.
It's hard to believe it's been a decade since ISIS called it quits, but that hasn't stopped guitarist and vocalist Aaron Turner, who's been releasing solo albums and collaborations almost non-stop. Since 2014, he's been playing in post-metal trio SUMAC and continuing a few of the ideas that have been simmering since ISIS went their separate ways. "May You Be Held" is growling, technically-minded riffage, augmented with jazz, improv, noise and drone elements that flesh it into a powerful form.
The high point is the 20-minute title track that croaks from heady post-hardcore phrasing and complex, clattering drums into seismic bass rumbles and vocal gargles before landing in the drone zone. A few minutes of sloshing around and we're being shuttled into the kind of slow-mo riffage Sleep made a green-hued fever dream on "Dopesmoker". Yeah.
"Here to bust out of Doledrum, clad in a t-shirt that screams SOCIALISM and armed with drum machine, synth, pedal and icy stare are Working Men’s Club, and their self-titled debut album.
"Two original members lighter and three new ones the richer, Working Men’s Club took on a new hard-edge permutation, their shows becoming ever more sweaty, pulsating and rammed to the rafters; their energy raw; their vigour renewed; their interplay as musicians growing ever-more intuitive and elastic. Their eponymous collection of songs is equal parts Calder Valley restlessness and raw Sheffield steel; guitars locking horns with floor-filling beats, synths masquerading as drums and Minsky-Sargeant’s scratchy, electrifying bedroom demos brought to their full potential by Orton’s blade-sharp yet sensitive production.
It is with war, free-fall, and re-birth already behind them that Working Men’s Club emerge, resilient; inspiration from across breadth of eras, genres and tour-mates merely strata in their very own indie-cum-dance-cum-techno niche in the crag."
Actually pretty fucking good singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens goes back to his roots for an album of glitchy electronic pop that makes Owl City's 'Fireflies' sound edgy.
Back in 2001, a young Sufjan Stevens released his second album "Enjoy Your Rabbit", following the subtle folk of debut "A Sun Came!" with a collection of bit-crushed electronic pop that owed more to Radiohead's "Kid A" than it did Nick Drake. But it was the melancholy pop-folk of "Seven Swans" and later "Illinois" that took Stevens to the next level of Pitchfork-approved success. And while 2010's "Age of Adz" found Stevens approaching electronic pop once more, 2015's "Carrie & Lowell" found him back on the stripped-down folk tip, scoring plenty of well-deserved acclaim.
Now Stevens is back with "The Ascension", an album that once again finds him singing Simon & Garfunkel-esque pop over beats that sound like they might have been pinched from DNTEL's hard drive. In theory, we should like this, right? The songs are memorable, the harmonies are lovely, the ambition is impressive (our boy has a 12 minute finale called 'America' - like, levels), but the sheer quantity of corn-syrup-derived sweetness on offer here is too much for our ruined teeth to handle.
In the mid-2000s we might have lapped this up, when Bright Eyes was hot off "Digital Ash in a Digital Urn" and every IDM artist ever seemed to want to slather their work with vocals. But in 2020 it's frankly surplus to requirement. Stevens is a great singer, a gifted songwriter and a very good producer. He's got great engineers and the album sounds, technically, ace. But all of this doesn't save it from feeling like the accompaniment to an infomercial. Like sure we all want to escape, but should we? This ain't COVID-safe, that's all we're saying. No hugging.
A spellbinding, unreleased Julius Eastman piece for 4 voices, ‘Macle’ (1971) emerges in the vital first batch from Jack Callahan’s Flea label, with all label profits from sales going to the Williamsburg Music Center - Brooklyn’s only Black-run non-profit jazz venue, run by Julius’ brother, Gerry.
Already sold out at source, ‘Macle’ forms a rare new addition to Julius Eastman’s small but radical catalogue which, until relatively recently, remained sorely unsung in the contemporary classical and downtown NYC minimalist scene that he helped develop alongside peers such as Arthur Russell during the ’60s to the early ‘80s, before his death in 1990.
Along with the reissues of his revolutionary ‘Gay Guerilla’ and ‘Feminine’ in recent years, plus the must-have ‘Unjust Malaise’ set and modern interpretations of his work by Apartment House, this unarchived edition of 1971’s ‘Macle’ helps to deepen and broaden the enigma of Eastman’s oeuvre with a 21 minute work for vocals that freely works with conventions of avant-garde vocal works, while playfully incorporating fragmented aspects of jazz, rock and pop, not to mention some far more unexpected inclusions.
In some senses the work echoes his puckered chamber works on 1973’s ‘Eight Songs For a Mad King’, but the piece is ultimately singularly wayward and a remarkable, overdue glimpse of outright genius at play.
We hardly need any convincing on the quality of Rian Treanor's productions as he's been completely unfuckwithable from day one, but "File Under UK Metaplasm" is still next damn level.
Rian bashed out the initial demos on returning from a trip to Uganda in 2018 for Nyege Nyege Festival. Inspired by the producers he'd collaborated with in Kampala, he switched up his workflow and began jamming out ideas at higher tempos, harnessing the energy of singeli music without simply carbon copying the style. Initial sketches were eventually fleshed into proper tracks and tested on audiences (and on soundsystems) around the world where Rian could assess the power of each element.
It was worth the hard work, the result is a fiery set of tunes that sound like everything at once and nothing at all. Opener 'Hypnic Jerks' is ragged kick-bubbling 200-bpm club on secondment to Tanzania; 'Vacuum Angle' is wobbly DMT-step that sounds like an attempt to use aging educational computer software to power the Stargate; 'Mirror Instant' is shuffling bassline house kicked up to 45rpm; 'Opponent Process' is EP7-era Autechre with the fun switch turned on; 'Debouncing' is double-speed grime that glides into parts unknown. By the time the album reaches a close on 'Orders From The Pausing', a melancholic gabber tune with an almost inverted, whisper-soft kick (?), Rian suddenly introduces reverb to the mix, just because he can.
Peerless, unfathomably inventive electronic music from the North of England, via East Africa - fucking essential.
On the all-too-rare occasions when Japanese noise legend Masami Akita (aka Merzbow), Swedish saxophone aggressor Mats Gustafsson and blistering Hungarian drummer Balás Pándi converge, listeners know to brace themselves for a brain-rattling sonic assault.
"Each of these men alone had long been established as among the most ferocious of artists long before they came together to record their savage 2013 debut, Cuts; the onslaught was only intensified with the addition of Sonic Youth founder Thurston Moore for a pair of overpowering follow-ups. The anticipation of such musical violence is what makes this most recent outing, Cuts Open, so entrancingly unsettling. Reconvened as a trio once again, Gustafsson, Pándi and Akita found themselves exploring far more spacious and airy soundscapes than is typical for their explosive meetings.
The results are no less sanguinary for being unusually quiet (relatively speaking, of course; this trio’s “serene” is the equivalent of most musicians’ wildest extremes). Instead, the use of agitated percussion and hair-raising breathiness makes for a decidedly ominous atmosphere. When the occasional bursts of brutality arrive – and they do arrive, in all their eviscerating glory – they’re almost cathartic in their relief from the teeth-gnashing tension of the album’s more subdued moments, where menace hangs in the air like a thinly veiled threat."
Kassem Mosse blesses Youth with a gorgeous ambient album under his Seltene Erden alias making up for a noticeable absence from the release schedule in recent years.
‘Scorched Erden’ marks Kassem Mosse’s full solo debut with Youth after the ’Silica Gel’ cut on their ‘Sports’ CD in 2019. Reviving the Seltene Erden handle last used in 2011 on a 12" for Mule, the modern house auteur yields some of his most preciously melodic works to date, focussing his interests for retro-futuristic and otherworldly sounds into a form of crystalline, iridescent ambient that shimmers shades away from the likes of uon and Huerco S., the jazzier ambient end of Actress and ‘90s Move D, and the lushest Hassellian 4th World dimensions.
To be honest this is the sort of Kassem album we’ve wanted to hear for ages, seeing him leave the dance for dust and follow his nose into properly aetheric alternate head spaces, showing off that personalised, hybrid analogue/digital soundsphere and tactile design tekkers that we’ve come to love since his earliest turns in the ‘00s. He sucks us right in with the lush FM synth fronds of ‘Mythil Shard’ and, through enigmatic processes, keeps us there until the gravelly slosh of ‘Palestone’, via stunning pieces of GRM-like sound design in ‘Twinkling Titanite’, and the 0PN-like ‘Passage Jewel’, or the spiralling helixes of ‘Rising Core’ with a gripping sense of narration that marks this album, and him, out for soundtrack purposes.
Some observations about this epic package - the biggest iteration of which is over 8 hours long (not including the bonus DVD) - it’s incredibly well executed, smart, thoughtful, insightful - a proper fucking masterclass in how to go about painstakingly assembling and reissuing archival material (without getting into a discussion about whether or not Prince would have wanted these vaulted tunes to see the light of day).
The good news is that even if you go for the most threadbare version here, you’ll be in possession of the best this set has to offer. Two things that shine out above everything else here; Prince was a really good editor of his own work, the version of Sign O The Times that saw the light of day is stronger than any of the proposed other iterations of it - better then the Camille album would have been, better than Crystal Ball, better than Dream Factory - although the Vault tracks included in the bumper edition allow you to assemble any one of those albums for the first time using official masters. The tunes themselves - as much as ’The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker (With Horns)' is just totally fucking incredible to hear - the version you know is infinitely superior, and being able to witness Prince's editing process is one of the great pleasures of this set. Same thing goes for ‘Forever In My Life’ - what was almost a country pop tune ended up as one of the greatest linndrumm ballads ever made - and now you can hear what could have been, and thankfully wasn't.
Secondly - the mastering - by Bernie Grundman - is properly astonishing, especially if you grew up with an original version. Grundman doesn’t just go for loudness here - although the master is significantly louder than the version you’ll know - the detail, space and lightness of touch is the thing that elevates this set to absolute greatness. Listening to the remastered version of ‘Forever In My Life’ - just as one example - will alter yr perspective on pretty much everything. Also - what a fucking tune.
The vault stuff - there is about 4 hours of it - a complete dream come true. The best of it - 'Emotional Pump' (a sort of 'Feel U Up' variant), 'Big Tall Wall' (fucking drums!), The Cocoa Boys (slow, syrup horn funk), 'Rebirth Of The Flesh Original Outro’ (Camille missing piece) - to be honest - it’s all pretty amazing, even ‘Wally’ is on this - surely the most elusive of all the vaulted tracks.
Anyway, if yr an obsessive - you'll need the bumper set, if yr a newb - start with the basic remaster - either way, after running through all 8 hours three times in 2 days, we feel v strongly once again that the original version of this album - benefitting massively from this new remaster - is really one of the greatest ever made - and what we thought could never be improved on, now somehow sounds better than ever before.
Prince forever <3
After swapping hemispheres, Australian outfit Death Bells have found a new home in Los Angeles, emerging with a new album of fervent guitar-driven rock, stripped of gloom and punching through with a new sense of positivity. New Signs of Life, their debut for Dais Records, finds Death Bells using a DIY pedigree to plunder the conventions of “rock music” with a saxophone along for the mission. Rather than leaping genres or formats, New Signs of Life is refined and nuanced—a methodology built on process, craft, and perspective.
"Following their 2017 debut, Standing at the Edge of the World, and follow-up single “Echoes,” Death Bells left their hometown of Sydney for the United States. Energized by impulse, extensive touring and exploration led to the formation of an ambitious six-piece band that eventually coalesced as a collaboration between founding members Will Canning and Remy Veselis. With Canning and Veselis becoming the engine, Death Bells began to employ several underground mainstay musicians to complete their live presentation, including Cortland Gibson (Dock Hellis), Colin Knight (Object of Affection), and on occasion Brian Vega (Fearing). Revitalized and centered, Death Bells released the single “Around the Bend” in 2019, before workshopping material that would eventually comprise their second full-length effort. As much as Standing at the Edge of the World was an energized disclosure informed by fresh naivete, New Signs of Life harnesses those initial sparks, cloaking the threads of Death Bells with authority, allowing each of the nine tracks which embody New Signs of Life to become lush streamlined vehicles.
The eponymous lead single is a grandiose statement, influenced by the theme song of HBO’s classic television program Six Feet Under. The lyrics are a shopping list of personal neuroses butted against self-help clichés, dressed with jagged guitars, brass, and percussion providing a deliberate pace for Death Bell’s new chapter. As method gives way to melody, New Signs of Life exudes an urgent hope laced with drive and verve. The first track for New Signs of Life, “Heavenly Bodies,” signals Death Bells’ pointblank delivery of a laconic truth: “We all vanish, anyway.” Somber and cool, it eases into hushed staccato hypnosis while still finding the tenets of guitar-driven rock. ”A Different Kind of Happy” and “Alison” push the edge of convention, speaking to the power of love in a world gone mad. A nod to their homeland and new city’s surf heritage, “Shot Down (Falling)” pivots playful to a sun-soaked beach strum, layered with shimmer before the horizon fades. As a new statement of purpose, New Signs of Life subverts the band’s moniker, offering breath during suffocation; optimism in chaos with sound over sinking."
Marie Davidson is back with a new album “Renegade Breakdown” on Ninja Tune.
"A new band, and a bold new sound under the banner of Marie Davidson & L'Œil Nu, it is a trio formed of old-time friends with shared roots in Montreal’s DIY scene: Marie, Pierre Guerineau (also in Essaie pas on DFA) and Asaël R. Robitaille. The record follows previous album “Working Class Woman” (2018) and is drawn to the idea of the eternal return, they deliver a forward-facing, innovative pop record that builds on the classic tenets of Marie’s music to create something that strikes out towards a broader audience. With dark humour and interpolated musical influences from Fleetwood Mac to Kraftwerk, Billie Holiday and Chet Baker. If there’s a mood that encapsulates “Renegade Breakdown”, it’s the one found at 3AM after a long night, when it’s time to start putting on the classics."
Brooding fusions of darkwave pop and ‘80s movie synth moves from Not Not Fun veteran Profligate on Brooklyn’s Wharf Cat Records
“'Too Numb to Know' showcases Profligate continuing to shirk the heavy electronics of his early years for razor sharp pop. On 2018's 'Somewhere Else,' Noah Anthony delivered dark pop gems while adding live instrumentations, reinvigorating his songwriting and sonic palette. This new song-driven approach gained praise from Resident Advisor, Pitchfork, Bandcamp Daily and The Wire, exposing Profligate to new listeners.
Too Numb to Know followed Anthony from coast to coast, as he recorded his first demos in Philadelphia and then moved to Los Angeles, a city he found creatively challenging and emotionally depleting. After the theft of his computer—and with it the work he'd done on 'TNTK' in L.A.—Anthony took a friend's suggestion and moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where he finished the album and added contributions from allies like Matchess, Lazy Magnet, Gel Set, and Missions, among other.”
Richard Dawson and co’s unique troupe Hen Ogledd brim with timeless indie-disco-pop pep and folksy whim in the follow-up to ‘Magic’ and their killer ’Bronze’ slab.
Notably also counting Dawn Bothwell, Rhodri Davies, and Sally Pilkington (Bulbils) in their number, Hen Ogledd tap back into a strong vein of classic and experimental indie songwriting, fusing ideas from late ‘70s and early ‘80s post-punk and disco-not-disco with more arcane influence from British folk and psychedelia in a sorta familiar but pretty much unprecedented way.
Unmistakeably and pleasingly accented by the sort of Geordie falsetto found on Dawson’s prized solo works, as well as Bothwell and Pilkingotn’s harmonised lilt and snarls, the songs are sometime a bit too much brio for more furrowed heads, but anyone open to a bit of daft pop charm will find something to cling to in ‘Free Humans’.
The results are generally less rabbly than our fave of theirs ‘Bronze’, and more prone to colour and lushness from the uplifting processing of ‘farewell’ to the Wire-like indie-disco drive of ‘Earworm’, and and the acid house disco plushness of ‘Time Party’ or the cantering pomp of ‘Crimson Star’, where Dawson’s vocals genuinely got us chuckling. However it doers get freakier and twisted with ’Skinny Dippers’, a curiously gothic-meets-Italo ode to the thrill of wild swimming, and the impishly possessed hot-step of ‘The Loch Ness Monster’s Song’ for rugged good balance to the effortless elided contradictions of their music.
One of Germany’s oddest entities, Schlammpeitziger plays it cool and dubwise in their mischievous and craftily art-pop style for arch Krautrock facilitators, Bureau B.
The musical alias of illustrator and performance artist Jo Zimmerman, Schlammpeitiger has been a persistent presence in the Cologne scene since 1992, with scattergun but singular records strewn over A-Musik, Pingipung and Sonig - and even Domino at one point. With ‘c in Der Echokammer’ he emphasises a sort of lilting dubbiness that was long there in his off-kilter sort of songwriting and music, but he apparently didn’t notice until his friend, “reggae expert” Bettina Lattak pointed it out to him. The result is a sun-drenched, lean but plush album of colourful songs that somehow split the difference between airport reggae and Kraftwerk; lounge music for the Hamburg Space Shuttle Terminal?
Back with their first new album in 12 years, a confident and revitalised ACR jumped back into the studio following their most successful tour in over 20 years.
"ACR Loco feels like an accumulation of ACR's DNA from point zero in 1977 through to 2020 and sounds like a band who have effortlessly perfected their craft. An album to dance to, cry to, fall in love to and most importantly, to party to.
ACR Loco by the core ACR members Jez Kerr, Martin Moscrop and Donald Johnson, are joined by long term partners Tony Quigley, Denise Johnson and Matt Steele, plus special guests Sink Ya Teeth’s Maria Uzor and Gemma Cullingford, Factory Floor’s Gabe Gurnsey and Manchester luminaries Mike Joyce and Eric Random."
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.
White Noise is the musical lovechild of producer David Vorhaus and electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire.
On the surface, there's little to connect this to Delia's best known work as part of the Radiophonic Workshop - White Noise is at its core a psychedelic record, albeit with some incredible electronic production. The Silver Apples or the United States of America (considered by some to be White Noise's US equivalent) would be good reference points.
Check the opening: vocoded vocals, epic soundscapes, clattering percussion and the kind of layered production that Stereolab and Broadcast would end up making their own years later. Hard to believe that this album was recorded in 1969 - it's an innovative, genre-bending album that's been a huge influence on a myriad artists on the scene (Surgeon even sampled some bits..) - proper classic then.
Coil’s gaping vaults give up their esoteric erotic massage parlour soundtrack supplemented by tracks from 1993’s ‘Themes For Derek Jarman’s Blue’. This is Coil at their most beautiful - in places best compared to Art Of Noise's 'Moments in Love'...
After recently cropping up on one of the Threshold Archive CDs, Coil’s seven tracks of creamy new age parlour music make a kinda incredible release on their own, with the culminating cuts for Derek Jarman making for a very happy ending in certain Coil fan’s fantasies. For the most, this is Coil doing sensual New Age music in a very early ‘90s style, all choral harmonies and blushing digital pads primed for your comedown or floatation tank session, but edged with that unfathomable sense of eeriness that’s practically made Coil a byword for all things queered and quasi-mystic.
It gets very weird when the masseuses’ hands turns to tentacle with the plasmic ooze of ‘Part 5’, and in the mix of raga drone and sleazy rhythmic creep in ‘Part 6’, with the set all arranged to lead up to a tantric disco noise climax as only these guys could in the pair of Jarman soundtrack parts recalling their work on the sort sibling soundtrack release, ‘Gay Man’s Guide…’.
Deadly tight and deeply swaggering jazz grooves from Chicago dynamo Makaya McCraven, joined by an illustrious ensemble for a ravishing suite, RIYL owt from Carl Craig to Tortoise, Squarepusher and Plug .
Expanding 2018’s ‘Universal beings’ album, proper, ‘Side E + F’ share further results of the sessions helmed by Makaya McCraven, and also featuring a crack squad of LA’s Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and Carlos Niño (whose related LP is also ace) and Anna Butterss’ devilish basslines, plus Tortoise’s Jeff Parker from Chicago, and Shabaka Hutchings on the London cuts, with myriad other notables contributing to the album’s lissom swing and cool drive.
Check for highlights everywhere from the in-the-pocket hustle of ‘Everybody Cool’, to the Innerzoen Orchestra style bustle of ‘Half Steppin’’ and ‘Mal Attack’, to the delectable psychedelic syncopation of McCraven’s needlepoint drums and Butterss’ lissom bass in ‘Butterss Fly’, or the low key shuffle of ‘Her Name’ and ‘Isms’ at the album’s aching downstrokes.
Reissue of ear-flicking improv jazz lead by Japanese maestro Masayuki Takayanagi: frighteningly tight and brimming with shifty detail; a classic example of his “non section music” from 1975 brought to light by the amazing Blank Forms Editions
Another prism-challenging and head tweaking ace from the label that brought you stunners by CC Hennix and Graham Lambkin with Joe McPhee, not to mention the last Masayuki Takayanagi New Direction Unit side ‘April is the Cruelest Month’ in 2019, this one packs recordings of his ‘Another Revolvable Thing’ concert in Shinuuku, Tokyo, 1970 in chronological sequence for the first time, spanning the spacious “gradually projection” part, a wild bit of stairs-falling-up-stairs solo drumming, and the utterly head-spinning brilliance of their “mass projection” throw-downs.
Just tip-of-the-tongue sizzling stuff full of confoundingly precise and never repeated movement, it’s sure to ping the pleasure centres of all free improv heads. They sound like a live band playing Parmegiani one minute, or a load of tropical birds let loose in Harry Bertoia’s shed the next, with the mutability of Matsuyuki’s guitar playing maybe best considered like a calligraphic Japanese adjunct to the harsher markings of Derek Bailey, for example. Surely all matched by a shockingly tight unit of Kenji Mori (reeds), Nobuyoshi Ino (bass, cello), and Hiroshi Yamazaki (percussion), whose atomised playing and edge-of-seat anticipation appears to cooperate at supernatural levels of live craft recalling everyone from Ornette Coleman to Kenji Haino.
Blows the cobwebs away we tell ya. Not to be missed!