Charlemagne Palestine pays tribute to his late, great peer Tony Conrad, recorded at St. Thomas church, the site of their first meeting, on what would have been Conrad’s 77th birthday. It's also the inaugural release from the great Blank Forms curatorial platform, long supporting the preservation of experimental music and now finally starting their own label.
Between 1963 and 1970 Palestine earned the moniker “the Quasimodo of New York” for his daily sessions operating the 26 bell carillon at St. Thomas’ church at 53rd Street and 5th Avenue in NYC. After playing traditional hymns, Palestine would move on to improvised “klanggdedangggebannggg” sessions, turning the whole building in the middle of Manhattan into a resonating beacon which soon enough attracted the attention of Tony Conrad, who introduced himself inside the church after one of the clangarous sessions which had, by then, become a regular feature of NYC’s soundfield in the ‘70s.
Their friendship resulted in Palestine’s contributions to Conrad’s film Coming Attraction, and both artists would go on to become regarded as key figures in the emergent “minimalism” scene also including Philip Glass, Steve Reich, La Monte Young. Yet, both figures could also be regarded as relative outliers, with Conrad’s pivotal work sorely overlooked for decades, and Palestine preferring to call his ecstatic style of overtone exploration “maximalism” in contrast to the other artists he was lumped in with.
On this tape, Palestine opens with a cry to his friend on the “other side”, which he hopes to visit “…but not too soon”, before the Carillon performance, recored March 7th, 2017 at St. Thomas Church as part of Blank Form’s public programming, intoxicatingly fills the air with a lushly chaotic, plangent elegy to one of the most important, pioneering, visionary artists of the 20th century.
This 6-part overview of work by legendary Greek composer Jani Christou (1926-1970) is one of the greatest highlights of the practically peerless Edition RZ catalogue. Documenting distinct periods in the fascinating composer’s oeuvre, before he died in a car crash on, or just before his 44th birthday, the set provides a totally compelling introduction to Christou’s inseparable mix of music and philosophy, and his exploration of their metaphysical binds, and has become a real favourite of ours in the process.
The collected six works feel like discrete wormholes or windows onto parallel, proto- or post- dimensions in a way that we’ve rarely heard before. Taking cues from myriad sources such as his studies of logic and philosophy under Ludwig Wittgenstein and Bertrand Russell, through to his private musical tuition with H.F. Redlich, and orchestration with Angelo Francesco Lavagnino, and, perhaps most unavoidably, his obsessions with death and the afterlife inspired by his upbringing in Alexandria, Egypt, where he was surrounded relics of ancient civilisation, Christou’s music feels to genuinely touch on other worlds, and bring them into our own reality.
We don’t want to delve too far into the philosophy for fear of misinterpretation - we’ll leave that for you to wrestle with in the excellent liner notes - but sonically we can assure of the music’s nonpareil grip, especially in the chaotic flux and cataclysmic orchestral resolution of Enantiodromia, as well as the remarkably open-ended Epicycle, whose score calls for high levels of improvisation in a fixed situation, resulting a proper proto-techno abstraction, or in the spellbinding recording of Mysterion, with its whispered Danish vocal and stygian pulse, which was somewhat uncannily the last of his works to be recorded before his tragic death.
It all begs the question as to what Christou may have made had he lived longer, with access to new technologies - judging by the trajectory of these works, our guess is some of the most incredible music imaginable - but also leaves us with some beautiful, hugely distinguished music which acknowledges “an awareness of how remorseless, varied, infinitely complex, fleeting, but sometimes also infinitely simple is the world-wide phenomenon of pattern recognition” in a way which most beautifully highlights it’s magical logic via its purposed application.
Without doubt one of the most idiosyncratic artists working between Black Metal and electronic music, Wold’s Fortress Crookedjaw dials in a blinding new Black Mecha album from the very limits of intergalactic techgnostic perception with Counterforce.
After initiating the project via AA for The Death of Rave, successive Black Mecha releases for Profound Lore and their own Internal Masonry Publications have plotted inimitably technoid new routes for hypnotic electronic music, expressing a densely raw, vivid hyperstition thru a disciplined rendering of arcane geometry, conceptual ballistic proprioception, and brutalist sci-fi themes.
Essentially, Black Mecha is making some of the most far out techno in the world right now, and he’s not even a techno artist. Where this past decade has seen a gaggle of roughshod interlopers offer shabby chic, defanged takes on techno, Black Mecha has sharpened his alien incisors with deadly intent and effect, producing a highly personalised music which applies just as well to proper, extreme, eyes-in-back-of-head transcendence as times of stone cold sober focus.
In that sense, Counterforce reaches where even the hardest nEuro techno bosch fests fail to deliver, as Black Mecha circumvents hard techno’s rote formula of 4-to-the-floor kicks and predictable filtering in favour of harnessing brain-eating hooks in a durational torrent of mainlining, shark-eyed rhythms and pineal-pinch noise which deliver an untrammelled, breathlessly anaerobic experience where the only predictable aspect is that the engines will keep combusting until this part of the mission is complete and the receiver is transformed.
Of course it’s not for everybody. But then again, what the f^ck is? You can take it on trust that if you’re prone to the heaviest, elemental rhythm and noise, Counterforce offers an unmissable space to immolate the senses.
RIYL Astral Social Club, Merzbow, Hypnobeat, Conrad Schnitzler.
Spellbinding aural alchemy from the maestro, William Basinski, presenting the vinyl version of his latest composition, 'The Deluge' (companion to the 'Cascade' CD edition).
Conceived at his current base in L.A., Basinski's first solo release since 2013's 'Nocturnes' renders his patented loop process in two longer form pieces plus a gorgeous orchestral denouement which at once reveals the underlying magick and heightens it with uncanny effect. In the 20 minute 'Deluge' a single, lilting piano loop unfolds in a display of deliquescent decay and delay, peeling away in frayed petals and fronds like a christmas wreath left on the front door of an abandoned house.
On the flipside's 'The Deluge (Denouement)' the loop starts to open up, initially sounding like one of AFX's prepared piano pieces off 'Drukqs' before a ghostly sleight-of-hand introduces the full string sample to breathtaking impact. This is followed by the closing 11 minutes of 'Cascade', where we view the same piano loop drift out of sight froma more pellucid, elevated angle. We hardly need to tell you that it's beautiful, life affirming stuff, but, like this record, it does bear repeating.
Áine O’Dwyer returns to MIE with Gallarais, an immersive, ghostly channelling of harp, keening vocals and acousmatic sound from the Brunel Tunnel, 50ft below The Thames in the heart of London. Gallarais acts as the follow-up to Aine’s acclaimed Music For Church Cleaners Vol. 1 And II , also issued by MIE (and Fort Evil), and locates her first sighting since the amazing Locusts and Gegenschein dyad which totally grabbed our attention in 2016.
Sensitive as ever to her surroundings, these performances, recorded between 2013-2016, continue the themes of Áine’s Anything Bright and Startling  LP, returning her to Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s tunnel to farther explore its unique sonic soul or sound architexture, employing its 3-4 second acoustic decay and the environmental sounds of water pumps, overhead planes, and subterranean trains as a subtly morphing, resonant space or ‘mystic cave’ for ritual sonic investigation.
Down there, Áine communes with the outside, modern world as well as the site’s deep topography, which was carved out - most probably by Irish hands and imbued with their spirit - over 150 years ago, while also making reference to ancient Greek notions of a passage to the underworld, or dimensions not usually known by the living. In this context, Áine’s harp and vocals become timeless tools of transcendence, elegantly carrying the weight of ages into the present with an expressively freeform, improvised spirit that that links thousands of years of music as a means of connection with the unseen.
Tradition filtered thru a timeless vessel, we hear Áine’s harp flurries beautifully mingle with distant planes and trains in the opening piece, Underlight, while Cordophone captures a hauntingly jibber-jawed vocal lament, seemingly shivering in dark cold of the tunnel, and the piercing recorders or penny whistles of Mouthtoum feel to echo buskers as much as ship’s whistles.
However, the LP’s most captivating pieces are its two longest and most central to her concept of exploring a “personalised abstract heritage relating to the bean chointe, or Irish keener”. This, quite literally in Beansidhe - translating from Celtic as Banshee - where she keens thru the air between near infrasonic basses and pealing hi-registers with solemn, glossolalic vocals and stark woodblock percussions, and then joined by six other performers for Hounds of Hades, where their massed moans are joined by the guttural rumble of engines and the dank drip of the tunnel’s unheimlich and emotively charged, psychoacoustic space.
Of course, that’s all just a guide or description of the record and its roots, and to fully connect with it, you need to occupy its acres of elusive negative space or dark matter to fully appreciate the effect of its contrasts and elegiac air.
Vladimir Ivkovic’s excellent Offen Music present a superb, long-lost album by Mitar Subotić a.k.a Suba, a Serbian producer who moved to Brazil in the ‘90s after making amazing, cinematic records as Rex Ilusivii, and whom sadly died in 1999 when on the cusp of becoming one of Brazil’s most prominent producers. If you’ve been following Offen Music’s amazing records by Toresch and Rex Ilusivii, fell hard for that CultureClash LP on Lost Futures, love Muslimgauze, or hanker for lush ’90s vibes that you’ve never heard before, this one’s a total must-check!
Originally realised in 1995 at Suba’s Wah Wah Studio in São Paolo, Brazil, only shortly after the release of Subotić’s album as part of the Angel’s Breath duo with Milan Mladenović, Wayang discretely echoed that album’s esoteric pop themes and, at the time, was intended as Suba’s début release. For reasons undisclosed, the album was shelved in the archive, and he eventually released São Paolo Confessions in 1999 as the first Suba album, proper.
It may have taken over 20 years, but Wayang now finally finds its audience, and at a time when the scene has been perfectly massaged by waves of interim reissues and especially the DJs sets of Vladimir Ivkovic and Lena Willikens, whose shared rhythmic senses find a lot of common roots in this record. From the almost-junglist temporality of its opening cut, thru flashes of tribal rhythmic psychedelia, to passages of arcane incantation and some blindingly avant arrangement strategy, Suba proves he is a visionary artist and storyteller with tales for days.
After swirling our swedes for the last few months, we can assure you that Wayang is a distinctly psychotropic episode from a richly imaginative producer, with a proper play it again and again factor that hasn’t diminished since we first heard it.
Once again unveiling hidden treasures from his archive of tape loops, William Basinski releases three pieces made at his Brooklyn apartment during one night in 1982, adding a fourth composition (based on the same source material) made earlier this year.
You can't help but wonder why this music, recorded so long ago, is only just surfacing. Was the world not ready for WIlliam Basinski in 1982, or was WIlliam Basinski simply not ready to hand himself over to an audience at that point? Whatever the reasoning, we're certainly reaping the benefits of the influential ambient composer's stockpile, and 92982 proves to be a real highlight in his output of recent years.
Despite the minimalist essence of Basinski's oeuvre there's a pronounced sense of variety, diversity and depth at work in these four tracks, with each taking on its own specific persona. '92982.1' is outstanding, featuring lilting, gritty strings through the left of the stereo field while crumbling piano sonorities rule to the right. Far from exhibiting any signs of automation or impersonal repetition you can always hear a human hand shaping the music.
The faded, rattling chord movements of '92982.2' take on an altogether more ghostly, dissolved quality, with echo-flecked machine jolts peppering the mixdown, underlining how fragile this whole process is. The third track, meanwhile, is an extended version of a piano-based piece that appeared in its original incarnation on the Variations: A Movement In Chrome Primitive album (surely one of the standout albums in Basinski's entire catalogue), here stretched and developed over the course of twenty minutes. It's a beautiful study in the interplay between an instrumental performance and the medium onto which it's recorded, full of ruptures and low frequency rumble as the tape itself interferes with the flow and consistency of the music.
Finally, Basinski takes a fresh angle on his source loops with a composition recorded in February of this year. There's a markedly different character to this final entry; an unexpected cleanliness that somehow feels just right as a coda to the archival dust and dereliction of all that's come before. Its tacit stateliness serves as confirmation that all these years on, Basinski has lost none of his form, and that despite the richness of his work in the early eighties he's still a very active, utterly compelling creative force.
Following a major retrospective at The Tate St Ives, forgotten art maverick Marlow Moss (1889-1958) - a radical, gender-bending British Jewish lesbian and innovator of non-figurative art - is the inspiration and the focus of this new LP from Primitive World for the Ecstatic label. Crafted from various synth improvisations, including the rare and tricky PPG Wave synth/sampler, it comes highly recommended if you’re into Peder Mannerfelt’s brut ambient, Raster Noton’s grid-based rhythmic fascinations, or Pan Sonic at their most glacial.
White On White forms a follow-up of sorts to Willis’ Ascention tape, and perhaps more aptly, leads on from his and Not Waving's reworks of Daphne Oram - arguably another overlooked, British female pioneer of her field - which are collected on their Walls album, Sound Houses. There’s little doubt that this new album contains some of Willis’ strongest solo work, which can be attributed to the fecund inspiration of Moss’s work, life and theories, as well as his access to a prized arsenal of rare vintage synths.
Titled after the Moss piece which adorns the LP’s front cover, White On White forms a welcome first introduction for many to Moss’s “work, life and theories” thru a combination of visual representations - photographs of the artist and her work - with text by Lucy Howarth, curator of Moss’s recent exhibitions at Museum Haus Konstruktiv exhibition (2017), the touring Tate display (2013-15), and of course the music itself, which seeks to describe Moss’s mathematically sound geometries and evocative aesthetics thru its lattice of unique, free-floating timbres and spatialized rhythm patterns.
White On White is thus a direct result of the artist immersing himself in Moss’s oeuvre, or what is left of it (most of her pre-WWII output was destroyed in the war), with results strongly reflective of the austere clarity and modernist structure of her works, from her syncopated line drawings modelled in the helixes of Double Lines, to the rotating perspectives of her 2D-into-3D metal sculpture manifest in the illusive, Peder Mannerfelt-like designs of Matrix of the Visible, whereas the closing 9 minutes of perilous abstraction recalling Wendy Carlos’ Clockwork Orange OST in Man Guessed at a Spiritual Meaning and Imposed a Moral System both literally and metaphorically serves a sort of unsentimentally elegiac, enigmatic lament for the artist’s neglected status, which even now prompts a scratch of the head by people who should be aware of her work.
A proper ear n' eye-opener.
Berlin’s hardcore minimalist Frank Bretschneider tweaks the freqs for Shitkatapult, rolling out pronged stabs and inhuman vocals on the physical electro flow of Plastik, and with head-slapping tones swept up in a sort of drily swanging house vortex with Mechanik.
“Frank Bretschneider on the tracks: "It moves, it sings... but does it swing? Anyway, it represents the soundtrack of my life, my musical influences: some San Francisco psychedelia, some London underground, some Berlin school (old and new). Krautrock from Cologne and New York minimalism. A shot of Detroit grit, a bit of Moscow dust, a splash of Paris charm?" Bretschneider was raised in Karl-Marx-Stadt (now Chemnitz) in the German Democratic Republic. He is the founder of the East German underground band AG Geige and co-founder of the Raster-Noton label. He lives as a musician, video artist, and producer in Berlin.”
More goodness from the Basic Channel affiliated Wackies Crew Re-Pressed. Further adventures with Lloyd Bullwackie Barnes - the man who worked formatively in Lee Perry's Black Ark, then relocated to New York, with a crucial take on classic period Scratch production techniques and part of his equipment.
So it is no coincidence that the drifting analogue detail in the rhythm tracks owes much to Mr. Perry's classic period. Providing a bridge from the well documented seventies heyday of roots reggae into the less well covered mid eighties - all Barnes work is worth checking and this is no exception.
Delahaye has a wonderful high register falsetto styled vocal, even on the couple of lovers' cuts here sounding rootsy and deep. Featuring a great recut of The Chantell's classic Sitting in the park, and five other top quality cuts, find out why this label is held in such high regard.
Throughout the illustrious thirty-year recording career of Horace Andy, with its innumerable highs, his unmistakable falsetto has lit up just three albums of indisputable greatness - "Skylarking", for Coxsone Dodd at Studio One; "In the light", for Everton Dasilva's Hungry Town label, in queens, new york; and - with the biggest original impact, by far the most contemporary of the trio - "Dance Hall Style", for Bullwackies in the bronx.
Recorded at the tail end of the seventies, dance hall style reworks songs like "Money Money", first recorded by Bunny Lee and Derek Harriott's "Lonely woman" - alongside a version of Lloyd Robinson's "Cuss cuss" - and births bona fide classics like "Spying glass" (later covered by Massive Attack).
The musicians include Wackies regulars, men like Owen Stewart and Oral Cooke from Itopia, Ras Menilik and Jah T.; also Horace's multi-instrumentalist spar Myrie dread from the hungry town sessions. At the desk, Lloyd Barnes, Junior Delahaye and Douglas Levy coax unequalled vocal performances from Horace Andy, in correct showcase fashion, all worthwhile extended mixes. Iconic album, essential purchase.
Another totally obscure diamond that we might never have found without Edition RZ’s prompting, and should be strongly recommended to fans of durational, minimal works by Stephen O’Malley, Eliane Radigue, or Jakob Ullmann.
Trauermusiken, or Music for Grief, offers two gravely intense compositions for strings written by contemporary Austrian composer and organist Klaus Lang.First released in 1995 by Lambeart, and reissued by Edition RZ in 2002 (this edition), it ranks among Lang’s earliest works and consists of one relatively short prelude followed by a quietly crushing 69 minute piece.
The five minutes of Der Wind und das Meer, Trauermusik für Bratsche solo (The Wind and the Sea, Music for Grief for Viola solo), performed by Barbara Konrad, foreshadow a glacially unfolding and technically demanding piece performed by the Amras Streichquartett.
In its slow, sustained and keening intensity we’re instantly reminded of Harley Gaber’s The Winds Rise In The North, which was also reissued via Edition RZ. However, Lang’s piece feels like the inverse of that record, trading teeth-chattering high-end for a solemn exploration of lower registers, operating at near-liminal levels of concentration and focus.
It’s yet another totally obscure diamond that we might never have found without Edition RZ’s prompt, and should be strongly recommended to fans of durational, minimal works by Stephen O’Malley, Eliane Radigue, or Jakob Ullmann.
The Necks 18th album Vertigo is an eventful, kaleidoscopic tone poem set against a darkly shimmering background. Slowly but inexorably moving forward, it crosses many frontiers yet remains true to the mission and mood established in the opening stanzas of this cinematic 44 minute journey. A work able to be viewed either as a whole, or two symmetrical halves, Vertigo sees The Necks once again offer an excursion in sound that reflects both the light and darkness of some preternatural world.
Vertigo follows their acclaimed 2013 album Open, described by SPIN as ‘the most beautiful album of the year’.
In contrast to the sustained improvisations that are their live performances, The Necks’ studio albums take shape by way of intricate crafting brought to bear throughout the entire recording and mixing process. “The discussion this time really began in earnest in the session itself, where we started to pursue the idea of having a drone running from start to finish, off which we could hang ideas,” said bassist Lloyd Swanton “But like all Necks albums we ended up in a very different place from whatever our initial notion of it had been.”
Maintaining a teetering tension between suspension and collapse, Vertigo draws on a diverse palette of sounds created in the studio by Tony Buck (drums/percussion/guitar), Lloyd Swanton (bass) and Chris Abrahams (piano/keyboards), featuring everything from homemade instruments, extended instrumental techniques and marathon explorations of sonic textures.
One piece, at the same time two. Monochrome, yet multicoloured. Dark, yet incandescent. Expansive and still. Melancholic and exhilarating. The Necks. Vertigo."
Another blinder from Basic Channel's Wackies re-issue programme finally gets its long awaited release.
Between stints in Jamaica for legends like Glen Brown and Junjo Lawes, Wayne Jarrett travelled from his Connecticut base to record this album during the same weeks as the sessions for everyone's favourite - Horace Andy's Dance Hall Style.
These are two of the great vocal reggae LPs of all time - no questions asked. With Clive Hunt in full effect, Showcase Volume One follows the six-track dub-showcase format and Wayne never sounded more like Horace with his yearning throaty gargle! Blues afficionados might even want to discuss the influence of the late, lamented Bobby 'Blue' Bland on reggae vocals, but that's by the by.
Including four unmissable Studio One versions - Azul's deadly Rockfort Rock, Sleepy's Every Tongue Shall Tell (with outrageous Isley fuzz), yet another Heptones cut via Leroy Sibbles, and a killer Drum Song.
With typically subversive swerve, Die Tödlich Doris return to their earliest work with a dissection of their debut album's final track, homing in on the rhythmic noise/radio cut-up collage ‘In Der Pause’ and emphasising its fluctuating infidelities and their inherent, druggily hypnotic qualities
“In der Pause” (During the Pause) was the title of the last track on the b-side of “ “, the first album by Die Tödliche Doris. “In der Pause” was pause music, as well as the announcement of the interval between their debut album, released in 1982, and the box format project ”Chöre und Soli” that followed in 1983. The original sounds of “In der Pause” survived on a single audio tape dating from 1981.
Now, about 35 years later, Chris Dreier and Wolfgang Müller have used the material recorded on the audio tape as the source for five new tracks of pause music. The material on the original audio tape has was reworked using Moog analogue effect modules and Ableton Live. It has been supplemented with archived announcement interludes from radio and television stations, including German stations WDR, NDR and HR, Radio Italy IBF and Radio Kamerun.
“Sprechpause” was recorded in 1981 — 1982 by Chris Dreier, Nikolaus Utermöhlen and Wolfgang Müller and reworked by Wolfgang Müller and Chris Dreier in 2017.”
Seven Notes in Red is The first book on Goblin in English..
"The book is about and dedicated to Goblin, the cult rock band that revolutionized the concept of music in film, creating an influence that is felt worldwide 40 years later.
The book analyzes, year by year, song by song, the story of this seminal band in all the incarnations, in a fantastic voyage through Dario Argento’s most celebrated films and the Italian film and music industry. At 600 pages, Seven Notes in Red provides a truly impressive iconography and a massive amount of facts and anecdotes never revealed before."
IDIB present a well warranted, analogue remastered Deluxe Edition of Chromatics' now-classic 'Night Drive', now including five bonus tracks.
The original tracks sound as poignantly cinematic as ever, their cover of Kate Bush's 'Running Up That Hill' still striking a tender nerve. The new tracks neatly expand the soundtrack-y feel, from the synth and Piano copulation of 'Shining Violence' to sleeve-rolling yacht disco in 'Circled Sun', through a memorably haunting duet for subtly effected bass guitar and vocals in 'Bell', to the Badalamenti-esque scoring of 'The Gemini' and a Drag Italo master stroke in 'Accelerator'. A must.
Senegalese master Lamine Cissokho has played kora all his life. This has led him all over the world, to many musical collaborations and praise from the likes of Toumani Diabaté.
"Lamine is currently living in Sweden where he is constantly touring in different line-ups. Up 'til now he has released two previous solo albums. Full of great singing and rhythms- this is something else."
Laurel Halo returns to album format after two critically acclaimed EPs with the driving, meditative 'Chance Of Rain'. Evolving from earlier works, it's a cerebral exploration of the intersection between rhythmic and ambient music, drawing together moments of movement and stillness, psychedelia and presence of mind.
On 'Chance Of Rain', rhythms melt with unpredictable structures, ambient drift and deep harmonic passages, while keyboard-based interludes reinforce both the far-out and contemplative aspects of the record as a whole. Halo's evolution as a live performer has directed her music's development in part, as the tracks on ‘Chance Of Rain’ are fleshed out versions of live hardware improvisations. This LP is far off from the definition of a traditional dance long player; where tracks like ‘Serendip’, ‘Chance Of Rain’ and ‘Ainnome’ invite with infectious grooves, others like ‘Oneiroi’, ‘Still/Dromos’ and ‘Thrax’ invert these energies, revealing sinister potential in the process. Again Halo's knack for illusory detail and sound design shines, and another duality feeling emerges, this time one of unearthly joy. Drawing inspiration from the music of her home state's music capital Detroit, in both harmonic and rhythmic palettes, the music showcases freedom within metric constructs, and skyward optimism in the face of decay. The album comes packaged with artwork created by her father, an NYC-born, Michigan-based visual artist whose work focuses on industrial landscapes of Michigan and the Rust Belt at large. The artwork here is an early work of his from the 1970s, reflecting the album's twisted, hopeful tone."
The Sound Wizard behind the name The Small Crowd is Martin H. His influences are all over the map and he's been remixing, producing, arranging for other artists in Sweden for some time now.
"This is his solo project where he blends his heavenly, mostly instrumental, mix of electronic music with a classical string quartet (Rosa Kvartetten).
Adventurous and beautiful."
Séance Centre, the new label manned by Invisible City Editions’ Brandon Hocura, dust down Eblen Macari’s obscure Mexican space synth suite Música Para Planetarios for its first (remastered) vinyl reissue. Any cadets into László Hortobágyi, Steve Hauschildt, K. Leimer or Rex Ilusivii/Suba need to give this a whirl!
“Mexican guitarist and ambient artist Eblen Macari’s Música Para Planetarios (Music for Planetariums) was originally composed for weekly performances in the Luis Enrique Erro Planetarium in Mexico City to accompany a voyage through the galaxy. The album, released in 1987 was based around Macari’s solo performances using Ensoniq ESQ-1, a Korg Poly 800, two guitars and pre-hispanic Ocarinas. The expanded arrangements recorded for the album include a full stable of pre-hispanic percussion and beautiful baroque harpsichord played by Macari’s wife. This expansive interplanetary soliloquy is undoubtedly Macari’s masterpiece.
Those not familiar with Jones’ style, will listen slack-jawed at the shear anticipatory nature of his sound collage. The five lengthy tracks are based on hypnotic and somewhat menacing loops: a repetitive dub bass beat, waves of Middle Eastern strings and voices, layers of building hand percussion.
Muslimgauze’s Mullah Said masterpiece reenters orbit on its 1st ever (reshuffled) vinyl pressing, following the original CD issue in 1998, and its 2008 reissue. Recorded at Abraham Mosque - site of many Muslimgauze classics - and released as Muslimgauze 18, Mullah Said falls squarely in the category of crisp, richly layered and dubbed-out Bryn Jones productions which have cast such a strong influence on the likes of Vatican Shadow, and likewise opiated the imaginations of everyone else who crosses their path.
From the plangent call to prayer of Mullah Said to the viscerally hypnotic dissonance of Every Grain of Palestinian Sand, thru the depth-charge electro stepper Muslims Die India - now resequcned to the middle of the LP - and the strange scene of avian electronics and heart-breaking folk song in An End, this is an essential Muslimgauze album, no less.
Terrence Dixon in deadly Population One mode with remixes of his early classic Hippnotic Culture, a deeply avant techno session released by Utensil Records in 1995, retweaked for Rush Hour in 2017 - including the Rush Hour cut which inspired the Dutch titan’s moniker.
That cut sparks the set off with a mind-bending cascade of polychromatic harmonic chaos harnessed to powerful kicks, while Warped is tweaked with more 3D geometrics, and Cosmic Drill is given a slippery, iridescent new chassis. Lovechild slips down the nervous system like sonic GHB oils, and the frozen, isolated tones of Lost In Space nails that feeling with unmistakable effect.
Nobody does it quite like this guy. A must check for any followers of forward electronic music.
Some of Glasgow’s finest rework album songs from Moon Diagrams a.k.a. Moses Archuleta ov Deerhoof’s new proiect for Sonic Cathedral Recordings.
Happy Meals pinch and tuck End of Heartache into an iridescent sort of sino-synth-pop groove; Komodo Kollektif take The Ghost and the Host on a more somnolent, heavy-lidded trip.
Debut album from Ron Morelli, founder of the influential L.I.E.S. label featuring 8 electronic variants; from House and industrial tape experiments to saturated metallic beat tracks...
There’s so much that could be said about Ron Morelli, his L.I.E.S. label, or the fact that his debut album comes to you via Hospital Productions, but instead, here are some words from the man himself.
“I’m a regular guy, enjoy a good steak, drinking beer, and occasionally a game of pro basketball, Republican talk radio... you know...all the good stuff.....” “The music on this record is about immediacy, pressure, monotony and stress. A great deal of the feelings conveyed within come from the fear and repulsion of basic human interaction....like if someone sitting behind you on the plane sneezes on you or being forced to shake the clamy hand of a stranger and the intimate paranoias of the mind and dealing with it or not. Not to make some deep intellectual fuck show of this, as it is not...it’s just stress music...jammed out quick and recorded.”
“Last year, I was staying in an area where all the hookers did their work...all they would do is smoke cigarettes, read the paper, talk on their cell phones, and spit. They would spit...A LOT. I would step in that hooker spit on the way home, often tracking it into the apartment building as I entered. This is where the title of the record comes from.”
Amazing record! Avant-pop enigma Leslie Winer slinks the plasmic, recursive matrices of Jay Glass Dubs in a brilliant but unexpected marriage of husky trip hop and psyched-out dub styles on Your Mom’s Favourite Eazy-E Song for Bristol’s excellent Bokeh Versions.
Finding common, scorched ground between Jay’s gutted structures and Leslie’s abyssal, esoteric insight, YMFEES serves to perfectly highlight the similarities and mutabilities common to both artist’s oeuvres, which have previously shared label space on The Tapeworm, and both share a keen lust for the dankest ends of the dub pool.
With Winer’s lyrics reprinted in swirling ellipses and contoured kerning on the inner sleeve, and presumably (and smartly) designed to mirror the elusive structure of Jay Glass Dub’s arrangements, the listener is offered some kind of star chart thru their no-man’s-land mental dub scapes of ricocheting riddims and droll reportage from the brink of consciousness.
In a dancefloor situation, we’d imagine these tracks to trigger some healthy bewilderment, as bodies get snagged on Jay’s cranky churn and heads spun by Leslie’s stream-of-non sequiturs in Woodshedded, or likewise bullied by the blown-out bass and genuinely spooked, over-the-shoulder vocal of About The Author. However, it’s most likely to be consumed in solitude, which is probably the most appropriate for really getting into the album’s strangest nooks, such as the deliciously OOBE-like detachment of No Famous Actors featuring Winer as HAL-like ghost in the machine, or the masterfully heavy-lidded drowse of Cogged featuring a barely-there Winer suspended above Dubs’ murkiest, hypnotic strokes.
What a beauty?! Don’t sleep!
Cooked up and cooled out in time for summer, the 2nd part of Theo Parrish’s pivotal and deeply influential debut album, First Floor  lands back on the format it was conceived for. Best believe this is one of the most addictive, raw and soulful collections of music from the Det-Chi connection that you’ll ever hear.
Now on its 3rd vinyl edition, First Floor Part 2 still sounds achingly strong and inimitable as ever, working right on that soulspot with the haunting swagger of Electric AlleyCat and the air-treading pressure of Sky Walking beside swingeing drum cut ups in JB’s Edit and Dark Patterns, and proper, sun-dazed funk in Electric AlleyCat.
If you don’t know; here’s your chance! Essentials.
Imagine Arve Henriksen jamming with Jon Hassell and Vangelis on a dusky evening by the savannah / prairie / dockside - you’re in sniffing distance of the properly lush vibes in Joseph Shabason’s Aytche. 4th world, yacht-drift ambient and new age, he does them all beautifully well inside. And if you don’t believe us, then trust pivotal Montreal players Sandro Perri (Polmo Polpo) who says “highly recommended”.
“Saxophonist and composer Joseph Shabason's debut Aytche builds a bridge off of the precipice his forbears established, skirting jazz, ambient, and even new age with the same deliberate genre-ambiguity that made their work so interesting.
Aytche is a document of exploration both inward and outward. Every step taken in sound-design mirrors a stride in emotionality, as Shabason employs a variety of effect pedals to coax rich moody textures from his instrument. He explains, "I feel like robbing the sax of the ability to shred by effecting it and turning it into a dense chordal instrument really helps the instrument become something that it's not usually known for." Aytche deals with themes of degenerative illness and assisted suicide with eloquence that instrumental music rarely achieves regarding any subject, much less such difficult ones.
Album highlight "Westmeath" approaches Aytche's subject of inspiration head-on. Here, the album's only verbalization appears in the form of an interview with a man discussing his father's trauma and eventual suicide after surviving the holocaust. Though we only hear a few obscured words and phrases from the interview, the impact is powerful. For Shabason, whose grandparents survived the holocaust, this selection is anything but frivolous.”
Sterling Dug Out drop: a delectable slab of talking drums and late night rasta soul by a former Jamaican drumming champion, recorded at Harry J. Studio and mixed at King Tubby’s, 1976.
Fronted by Leroy ‘Mabrak’ Mattis, and originally issued on his Lightening & Thunder label (Issat Mabrak in Amharic), Drum Talk was conceived as an extension of his Liquid Talk version for Harry J’s personal mix of the legendary Liquidator Riddim - essentially a live version loaded up with his own drumming - which impressed Tubby so much that he asked Mabrak to do a full album of Harry J riddims.
Drum Talk is that album, and it’s a beauty. In terms of smoked-out midnight vibes, it’s about as close as you’ll come to the deeply cherished reissue of the Dadawah album in Dug Out’s catalogue but, it’s also more danceable, if you’re partial to a woozy skank.
For percussion nuts and Jamaican music lovers, Drum Talk comes with the warmest recommendations.
Incredible collection of mid-late 80’s experimental works from the hugely influential Italian avant-garde composer Luigi Nono, including works for contrabass flute, clarinet, treated voices, strings and electronics.
Editions RZ present a necessary reissue of their 1990 LP release, now backed with three legendary recordings, 'La Terra E La Compagna', 'Caminantes', 'No Hay Caminos, Hay Que Caminar'. Collected, they form a great access point to Luigi Nono's unique, carefully realised, yet unfathomably vast world, one equally informed by avant-garde musical studies and his commitment to socialism.
In the best possible sense, it's very difficult to accurately sum up the sounds inside, other than in terms of a visceral, haptic approach and stunning spatial awareness. Highly recommended.
Editions RZ collects historical recordings of Italy's forward looking and influential Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza 1967-75, a collective featuring Egisto Macchi (percussion + celesta), Ennio Morricone (trumpet), Walter Branchi (bass), Franco Evangelisti (piano), John Heineman (trombone + cello), Roland Kayn (hammond organ + vibes + marimbaphon), Giovanni Piazza (horn), Frederic Rzewski (piano), and Jesus Villa Rojo (clarinet).
All skilled players and composers, the Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza were formed in 1964 at the initiative of Franco Evangelisti with an aesthetic agenda looking beyond the boundaries of previous improvisational musics. They focussed on production and the qualities of sound itself, employing innovative recording and playing techniques at the limits of their capabilities as performers and composers in order to discover the "new consonance" inferred in their nomenclature.
These ten pieces spanning eight years are highly considered works of art, aware of the Neo-Dadaists attempts to disassemble the concept of a work of art, and instead attempting to expand its parameters as a transitory body of work in flux. We can hear traces of this work reflected in the more forward thinking Italian film soundtracks of the era and to a further extent, in Ennio Morricone's work for Hollywood, in turn casting an influence over much exploratory, non-academic contemporary music.
12th Isle pick up and press X.Y.R.’s sublime trip El Dorado on its 1st vinyl version following a sold out micro edition of 25 tapes released thru Illuminated Paths in 2015.
A perfect fit for the label’s emerging aesthetic, equally porous to influence from 4th world and ambient dimensions, X.Y.R. uses archaic Soviet synths such as the Formanta mini keytar and Alisa 1377 to divine a pulpy blend of “experimental cinema sonics, electroacoustic research practice and shadowy wind instruments” in a way that’s comparable to Popol Vuh or Eduard Artemiev’s widescreen synth visions, but grounded with a more lo-fi sweat lodge mysticism.
Like some intergalactic bard, Vladimir Karpov a.k.a. X.Y.R. has also toured the likes of Singapore Sling Tapes, Not Not Fun Records and Constellation Tatsu with this sound over the best part of last decade, with El Dorado remaining an elusive highlight of his journey. In six parts it unfolds a tenderly personalised, shimmering sound world, a place for mental retreat thru atmospheric anaesthetisation, keeping all the tones weightless and free floating for a lushly immersive sense of suspense that should be clearly recognised as precious by any souls sensitive to rarified electronic psychedelia.
Editions RZ collect ten early works by the late Morton Feldman (1926 - 87).
They're 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.
Typically nice RZ packaging. 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)."
AtomTM returns to raster to complete his series that has begun with Liedgut and continued with Winterreise.
"The 7 tracks, created in collaboration with russian singer lisokot, are subdivided into 3 pieces of 2 minutes each and 4 pieces of 3 minutes each, intentionally reflecting the 3/4 time of a classic waltz. throughout the release, lisokot’s delicate vocals are put into different relations to atomTM’s rather cool machine music, either complementing or contrasting each other. in the same line, the 3 shorter “leitmotifs” provide the main theme that is taken up repeatedly in the course of the release."
Without question, some of the most beautiful Quiet music you'll likely ever hear, compiled in a 4 hour-long triple disc set.
'Fremde Zeit - Addendum' collects five pieces of engrossingly etheric, liminal composition by Jakob Ullmann (1958), the widely acknowledged master of quiet music and cover star of The Wire magazine.
For us, as we'd imagine many others, this is a striking first introduction to the devoted German minimalist's very particular body of work. Comprising 4 hours of barely-there strings, percussions, wind instruments and voices prefaced by the instruction "Please choose, for each piece, the volume settings of your sound system so as to just barely mask the ambient sounds in the room", this is music made for concentrated listening, recorded and specifically designed to give listeners "the opportunity to hear more, and better" by the simple but essential notion that "We hear better because we make an effort to hear better."
With this is mind, we're invited into a sound world which actively, yet effortlessly and sublimely challenges our perceptions of space and time with a compelling, transcendent effect akin to that of listening to music by, say, Eliane Radigue or Morton Feldman, yet with an alien, detached appeal entirely its own. Due to their extended durations - no piece is shorter than 34 mins, and over an hour at the longest - we form temporal impressions which blur the boundaries between our immediate space and the apparent vastness of the recording, teasing our sixth sense to wander on a knife edge of trepidation and somnolence.
Yet, musically, it covers a far more subtle spectrum of emotions and cabalistic atmospheres casting metaphoric allusions to "…antiquity, to the Middle Ages, to the Baroque, to the 20th Century and to the present" by means of its extreme dilation of space/time and anticipation, and relegation of distortion or any untempered gestures.
Once you've heard this music it should come as little surprise Ullmann studied sacred music in Dresden from 1979-1982 - his music could be the lingering resonance of an Arvo Pärt piece played in a huge cathedral, and it carries the weight of history - spanning over 18 years of work, the results are duly, deeply considered.
A revelatory package, whose impact will surely emerge and manifest as slowly, yet powerfully, as the music itself.
This is one of the few instances of Korean Classical Court music that we’ve stocked, and every time it stops us in our tracks. To our native western sensibilities the music is captivatingly slow and dissonant, and with a measured, stately quality of its own. These recordings of compositions made in the 15th century are totally fascinating, maybe an acquired taste, but arresting any way you hear them.
"Yŏmillak is the most extended piece of orchestral court music surviving in Korea and it has for many centuries been used for royal processions and at banquets. Yŏmillak is the piece notated in the oldest surviving Korean score - a score contained in the Annals of Sejong, written in 1454.
The piece originally consisted of ten movements, but three were discarded over time, leaving just the seven movements heard here, and different variants evolved, distinguished in terms of orchestration and size; two of the later (19th century) versions, Kyŏngnokmugang Chigok and T'aep Yŏngch'un Chigok are contained here. The final piece, Sŏilhwa Chigok, is an additional orchestral suite."
Antwerp’s Ekster Records proceed Elko B’s flight of fancy with Gazebo Compositions, a sophisticated suite of solo piano compositions by Han Swolf aka Hantrax, whose previous releases have swerved from braindance electro to more cyberpunkish concerns recently on Ticker Tape Parade for Palermo Records.
Gazebo Compositions appears to by-pass his electronic inclinations and find the artist returning to his roots at the piano stool, where he turns inspiration from a video-work by Flemish filmmaker Jef Cornelis into a series of ambiguously nuanced mood pieces reflecting on themes of youth and its inherent emotional turmoil.
The eight pieces are almost exclusively informed by jazz and classical schooling and performed on winged piano, clearly demonstrating Swolfe’s instrumental aptitude (he was accepted at the prestigious Antwerp Jazz Studio aged 15) and virtuosity in its carefully plotted narrative and play of harmonic shadowing.
However, if we’re correct, it’s possible to also detect the subtle presence of electronics underlining a number of the pieces, as with the swooning bass behind Composition in Cmin, and which shockingly prang out from Dor de Casa, whilst the LP’s title piece - and head-turning highlight - Conservatory features heavy electronic processing to radiant and absolutely immersive effect, in a strong way recalling the electro-acoustic nuance and duality of the Belgian composer, Dominique Lawalrée, who was recent subject of a crucial retrospective.
For your late needs and dreams of high-ceilinged apartments, this one comes with warmest recommendations.
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.
After 23 years out of print, FSOL’s definitive early ‘90s ambient-epic Lifeforms now returns to its natural habitat. Serving near-dangerous levels of nostalgia for almost anyone who came thru in the ‘90s, Lifeforms is set to soundtrack myriad afterparties and claim its place on a whole new generation of record shelves.
Originally released in 1994, a few years after FSOL had become a household name thanks to their debut LP Accelerator and its standout rave anthem, Papua New Guinea (and not forgetting Humanoid’s Stakker before it), Brian Dougans and Garry Cobain’s project really blossomed into something else with Lifeforms, where they consolidated a wealth of esoteric ideas and philosophies into what was effectively a new manifesto for psychedelic electronic music.
Whether unconsciously and osmotically absorbed, or dutifully studied and cherished by those cognisant of its brilliance, Lifeforms was almost unavoidably ubiquitous at the time, and inarguably worked its way into the popular consciousness in a way that electronic records rarely do nowadays. It was definitely a product of its time, and now, 23 years later, we can safely say it’s kept its charms intact.
Riffing on then-emergent themes of cybernetics, amorphous androgyny and artificial intelligence, together with nods to classic ‘70s psychedelia and kosmische - it features guest spots from Ozric Tentacles and Robert Fripp, and sampled Klaus Schulze - the results tapped into the era’s undercurrent of aerobic mysticism and eldritch new age spirituality to locate an unprecedented confluence of those styles which has influenced swathes of electronic dreamers ever since.
It’s techno-romantic and tech-gnostic in the lushest sense, a utopian beauty flush with the thrill of unknown futures, yet fringed with an MDMA come-down melancholy that’s totally crucial to understanding that era’s play and juxtaposition of energies. Quite simply, though: Lifeforms is an incredibly enigmatic and life-affirming album awaiting your (re)discovery.
"We would like to point out that this piece is extremely quiet. Please choose the volume setting of your sound system so as to just barely mask the ambient sounds of the room"
Jakob Ullmann: "voice, books and FIRE is the result of my reflections about the relationship between music and language: language as sound and language as text, the numerous relationships between texts of different cultural and religious traditions, between the work of the human spirit in the present and in the past and the questions arising from the problem of understanding these different traditions, languages and texts and representing them in a present, which has lost knowledge about substantial parts, even of its own tradition and history."
In Jakob Ullmann's 2nd release through Editions RZ, solemn, practically whispered incantations and creaking extended vocal technique of eight singers play in half-lit, wide open mid-air against the phosphorescing resonance of viola, violoncello, saxophone and flute. Recorded 1st July, in the Abteikirche Neresheim. Recommended
Quiet music conceptualist and practitioner, Jakob Ullmann's 2nd release and first with Editions RZ was first issued in 2005.
It yields a single 73 minute piece written for an ensemble of thirteen solo strings and up to three additional solo parts arranged to explore the filigree infidelities of their range between almost "pure", natural harmonics to diffuse noise at the lowest threshold of perception thanks to masterly feats of restrained technicality and the composer's vision.
Of course, this is much more than an exercise in academic or technical exactitude. Ullmann's score elicits the players to play at the edge of their nerves and skill to reaffirm the piece's sureness and manifest the slightest differentiations, sustaining our attention in pensile equilibrium so that the most minor shifts in pace, tone, timbre ensure optimal effect, and live up to the piece's conceptual power.
…And the earth crack'd to reveal Scott Walker & Sunn 0)))'s colossal offspring 'Soused' in its riveting, tragic glory.
Four years on from their intended collaboration in 'Monoliths & Dimensions', the arch avant-crooner meets the robed duo (and Tos Nieuwenhuizen) at the apex of their powers, presenting a peerless, operatic vision of doom metal informed as much by Native American history and the underground US psyche as experimental jazz and electronic dynamics. We can safely say it matches and surpasses our high expectations of the project, offering a complex, widescreen portal to a chiaroscuro world slashed in black by Anderson and O'Malley and illuminated by Walker's range of possessed vocal personas, from anguished despair to internal torment and shocking convulsions.
Embarking over the bull-whipped Moog bass momentum and banking riffs of 'Brando', Walker is a disturbing yet utterly compelling presence enticing us to cross thresholds into the arcane, uncanny worlds animated by Sunn 0))), whether projecting across the molasses drone trudge of 'Bull' or alternately wilting and lashing out from the percussive attacks and abyssal tar pits of 'Herod 2014'. By 4th song 'Fetish' their path has narrowed to a 'marish corridor of re-amped synth ghouls and spectral noise before distant drums abort the pregnant drones somewhere in the final third, for closing shot, 'Lullaby' to emulsify their unheimlich resolution at its most dramatic, synth-fired and intimate. It's a genuinely remarkable session, surely one of 2014's best.
Expertly compiled selection of Tudor's essential performances of works by John Cage, Morton Feldman, Christian Wolff, Sylvano Bussoti spanning 1955-1963.
"Includes "Music For Piano 21-36", "Variations 1", "Variations II", "Winter Music", "Piece For Four Pianos" (including performance by Feldman), etc. Essential document. "David Tudor, pianist -- a profession, a vocation, a life. From 1950 until around 1965, David Tudor was the epitome of the pianist who could simply play anything. In fact, David Tudor was no longer a name, but an indication for instrumentation as dozens of pieces were written 'for David Tudor.'
As early as 1960, after having conquered all of the challenges posed by serial piano music, Tudor began to differentiate between composers who filled him with life and those who left him cold -- the focus of his repertory became crystallized. The main criterion for his choices were shaped by the part he would play as interpreter in the composition. He distinguished carefully between having a free choice among prefabricated parts -- generally called aleatoric, as for example, Stockhausen's 'Klavierstück XI' (dedicated, as his 'Klavierstücke V-VIII', to Tudor) -- and indeterminate actions. In the first case, they have a tendency to 'put me to sleep,' whereby pieces that are less limiting led him to say, 'I feel that I'm alive in every part of my consciousness.' The program of these CDs portrays these distinctions." --Frank Hilberg"
This double disc collects eight historically important recordings of essential Iannis Xenakis works, among them some of his earliest, pioneering stochastic composition, and the staggering sound architecture of 'Persépolis'. Highly recommended!
CD 1: 1. ST/48-1,240162 for 48 Instruments, 1959-62 (8:22, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln; Ltg. Michel Tabachnik); 2. Le Polytope de Montreal for four Orchestras, 1967 (6:18, Ensemble Ars Nova de l'O.R.T.F., Ltg. Marius Constant); 3. Nomos Gamma for large Orchestra scattered among the audience 98 Instruments, 1967-68 (15:17, Orchestre Philharmonique de l'O.R.T.F., Ltg. Charles Bruck); 4. Terretektorh for large Orchestra scattered among the audience 88 Instruments, 1965-66 (14:48, Orchestre Philharmonique de l'O.R.T.F., Ltg. Charles Bruck); 5. Syrmos for 18 Strings, 1959 (11:38, Ensemble Ars Nova de l'O.R.T.F., Ltg. Marius Constant); 6. Achorripsis for 21 Instruments, 1956-57 (5:19, Ensemble instrumental de musique contemporaine de Paris, Ltg. Konstantin Simonovic): CD 2; 1. Persepolis Version "avec mouvement", 1971 (ca. 50:49) [Sound design: Daniel Teige]; 2. Polytope de Cluny, 1972 (ca. 24:25).
Features two long-form tonal compositions, Sovereign of the Center (1972-1974) and the engrossingly slow movement of The Realm of Indra‘s Net (1974), running to 60 minutes total.
"Both works on this CD form, in a manner of speaking, bookends for another piece of mine, The Winds Rise in the North. The first of the two, Sovereign of the Centre, was my initial attempt at putting a new musical way of thinking into an ensemble rather than solo form. The second, The Realm of Indra's Net, builds on musical "discoveries" I made in the course of revising The Winds Rise in the North.
It is a hybrid work in as much as it is an "acoustic-tape piece" (not music concrete): There are four tracks of solo violin mixed down in different track combinations. (The one heard on this CD is a full-track mono version of the work.) Both of these pieces reflect a general shift in my musical thinking, which occurred in 1968 with Chimyaku (Japanese for "barely moving") scored for solo alto flute. It was with that work that I began to compose "slowed-down" music, like slow motion images in film, not merely slow music such as that of Feldman. H.G. July 2009 - January 2010"
'Kompositionen 1950-1972' collects 16 compositions by Christian Wolff. Most of the pieces collected for this portrait of Christian Wolff document the composer’s early activity and were mainly recorded around the time of their composition. Each recording exemplifies the sound gestures from their time.
"Finally I realized that the kind of sound made in an indeterminate situation includes what could result in no other way; for example, the sound of a player making up his mind, or having to change it. In fact, the indeterminate notation I've used is, as far as I know, the only possible one for the kind of sound I should like. And don't forget, we also like to be surprised. ...and the rhythm produced by that situation is like no other rhythm."
Uncompromising minimalism from the Bristol underground courtesy of Emptyset and their long-awaited debut full-length.
The duo have been exploring brutally reduced techno styles over the course of three 12"s for Caravan and Future Days since 2007, aligning the bass heavy sound of their Bristol heritage with the streamlined and linear structures of Berlin's Sleeparchive or Marcel Dettmann. For their self titled release they've extended the concept to a full album, allowing themselves to move away from strictly dancefloor functions and experiment with merging drones and gruff tonal textures into their oblique rhythms.
At times there are hints of inspiration from Alva Noto, in the caustic digital textures, or even glimpses of isolated Deathprod bliss, but the closest comparison may be to Dubstep's noise mongers Cloaks, who also stoically mix noisy textures with repetitive beats inherited from the dancefloor. Very good indeed.
Edition RZ document the first 30 years of Berlin’s Inventionen festival in this cornucopia of contemporary electro-acoustic composition, including work by Iannis Xenakis, Trevor Wishart, Boguslaw Schaeffer, and Ricardo Mandolini, among many others.
Established by the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) and Berlin’s Technical University, the festival is focussed around presenting premieres of recently composed works alongside “classics” of the genre by Xenakis, Cage, Nono, Stockhausen, and the output of the GRM in Paris, with the subsequent aim of connecting a number of other institutions such as BEAST (Birmingham), CCRMA (Stanford), and EMS (Stockholm).
Marking the festival’s 30th year upon its release in 2012, the box set offers a massive, 17-part DVD rendering the first ever performance of Xenakis’ Bohor using Ina-GRM’s famed Acousmonium speaker array, beside a 75 minute Trevor Wishart suite entitled Encounters In The Republic of Heaven, and the video for Rolf Enström / Thomas Hellsing’s Fractal (1984), whilst the first CD includes the audio of the latter, plus highlights in Takehito Shimazu’s microscopically detailed Zytoplasma, and two Boguslaw Schaeffer pieces, including the remarkable Berlin 80 II, and the 3rd disc, a CD, is given to the diverse, percussive, noisy and poetic Elektroakustiche Musik of Argentina’s Ricardo Mandolini, which proves to be some of the most striking material in the set.
One of only two CDs to bear his name at the top, Edition RZ’s Michael Von Biel collection presents a hardcore haul from the nebulous 1960s avant garde, including one blinding, 13 minute piece of electronic composition commissioned from Von Biel by Karlheinz Stockhausen - his tutor at Darmstadt - which resulted in him repeatedly breaking the sliders on the desk during its creation! No messing, it’s worth it for that one alone - you won’t find it anywhere else! (just checked youtube and discogs) - but his patent taste for noisy dynamics and twist on convention elsewhere on the CD also make this a bit of a must, if you’re into that kind of thing.
“2004 release. Michael von Biel's musical production at the beginning of the 1960s was clearly marked by the expansion of the musical material. "Quartet No. 1" (1962) and even more, "Quartet No. 2" (1963) are noise compositions whose expressiveness rests essentially on the discovery of new sonic possibilities and performance techniques. Bowing with excessive pressure, playing behind the bridge, leading the bow in a diagonal direction, hitting the tip of the bow on the body of the instrument -- these are the techniques with which the sound of the strings enters into the realm of noise. Whereas in the first quartet, the areas of musical sound and instrumental noise are still largely set off against one another, in the second quartet, the concept of a music based solely on noise is realized without compromise. Both of the compositions Quartet with Accompaniment for string quartet and cello (1965) and "Jagdstück" ("Hunting Piece") for 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, 2 horns, 2 tenor tubas, contrabass, tape, e-guitars and electronically amplified barbecue grills (1966) are based on the contrast of divergent sound worlds. Before attending the composition courses of Karlheinz Stockhausen in Darmstadt for three years in a row starting in 1961, von Biel studied one year with Morton Feldman in New York where he met David Tudor and John Cage. Earlier than for most European composers, approaches in aesthetic thinking which couldn't have been more different from one another collided in his consciousness, and this occurred at a point in time when their music-historical consequence could not yet be foreseen.”