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Lockwood, Annea – “Breaking The Surface” – [Lovely Music Ltd.]

breakingthesurface

These are two epic-length tracks, the first commissioned by Thomas Buckner and composed by Lockwood to showcase her vocalizations that call to mind shamanic chants with a large glass gong, wind, and a Cameroonian rattle, among other instruments. Track 2 records the voice of sculptor Walter Wincha, interviewed by Lockwood just over a day before he died at age 30. Interspersed with the interview are field sounds of running on a track. The entire experience is cathartic and mesmerizing.

  • Reviewed by humana on June 13, 2017 at 7:20 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Marchetti / Noetinger / Werchowski – “Marchetti / Noetinger / Werchowski” – [Corpus Hermeticum]

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    Live recordings of two half-hour performances of improvised electronics and violin, released in 2000 by the New Zealand label Corpus Hermeticum (run by Bruce Russell of the Dead C). Lionel Marchetti is a French musique concrète/electronic composer who creates studio pieces and improvised live works. This release is an example of the latter, with Marchetti using microphones, tape recorders, radios, and loudspeakers strategically placed to complement the acoustics of the performance space. Jérôme Noetinger is also a French sound artist; both he and Marchetti were students of Xavier Garcia, and have been frequent collaborators since the early 90s. Here they are joined by violinist Mathieu Werchowski. The CD includes an essay from guitarist Michel Henritzi that casts the performances as radical acts: “two concerts that are imploding limits within which our listening is held by the dominant discourse of our market-led era.”

    The Lille performance (T1) opens with a sweep of the tuner dial on an antique radio – sometimes the hint of a broadcast fades in for a moment through the static and woozy, theremin-like feedback. When Werchowski joins in, it kicks off an ongoing exchange between the violin and electronic sounds for a place in the foreground. His frantic, repetitive bowing builds into a fury; later, blares of microphone feedback, blotting out everything around it, dominate as Werchowski brushes on muted strings. An extended lull gives way to another build-up with long pulls of the bow on dissonant double stops and wild electronic chaos. The Turin performance (T2) has many of the same elements, but it is the darker and queasier of the two pieces, with high-pitched whistling and droning feedback creating a persistent tension. Intense listening.

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on June 12, 2017 at 9:28 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Eastman, Julius – “Femenine” – [Frozen Reeds]

    Julius_Eastman

    Julius Eastman was a black gay composer/vocalist in late 70s/early 80s New York, performing and recording with the New York Philharmonic and Meredith Monk and others. He suffered from mental illness, the super threw all of his stuff out on the street in ’81 and 9 years later he died in obscurity at a in Buffalo. Scholars have been putting the pieces together since then.
    This concert was in 1974 in Albany. 12 or 15 performers memory is hazy. At the performance soup was served and Eastman wore a dress. A mechanism of Eastman’s invention plays sleigh bells for about 70 minutes. The vibraphone hammers out a motif that is expanded upon by the ensemble. In Eastman’s words, “the end sounds like Angels opening up heaven … euphoria.”

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on June 11, 2017 at 8:36 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Bad Jazz – “Daymare” – [eh?]

    e93

    One long track 39m. Piano and a bunch of fumbling. Will make you think something is wrong with the car. About 38 minutes in a toy drum machine takes over. Noises. A plastic straw makes an ominous sound and brings the proceedings to an absurd finale.
    Tanya Chen (Tender Buttons) plays piano, electronics, toys.
    The liner notes have a picture of some salmon fillets and a microphone.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on June 11, 2017 at 8:22 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Circus, Lena / Itaru Oki – “Zanshin” – [Improvising Beings]

    Zanshin is a collaboration album between the French experimental jazz trio Lena Circus and the Japanese trumpeter, flugelhornist, and perennial collaborator Itaru Oki, released 2016. The album moves back and forth between minimalistic noise and cacophonous noise, always with trumpet. Drums are an afterthought. Could be good bed music, but the textures are unpredictable tracks tend to crescendo toward the end. On the whole, only moderately interesting, somewhat lethargic, with passages of panic like Miles Davis unable to wake up from a heroin dream. Has two tracks over 10 minutes for bathroom breaks. Squirrels and farts here and there. If you do two takes of an experimental improvisational piece, do you have one track or two. Social Norm

  • Reviewed by socialnorm on June 11, 2017 at 4:21 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Bralove, Bob/Kaiser, Henry/Muir, Chris – “Positively Space Music” – [Fractal Music]

    bralove

    One synth keyboard and two guitars, in the hands of 3 close friends and master musicians. Guitarists Henry Kaiser and Chris Muir have been playing and improvising together for over 40 years (this album includes a track by the duo recorded in 1977). Here the pair are joined by keyboardist Bob Bralove who has worked as sound designer and digital music technician for Stevie Wonder and The Grateful Dead.

    “Positively Space Music” is a genre-bending double CD packed with a wide variety of influences, including jazz, funk, ambient, and prog, all done in a very psychedelic spaced-out style. The trio fully embrace the wavy synth sound, and at times teeter on the edge of an 80s kitsch vibe. However, the group’s phenomenal musicianship and almost telepathic communication keeps things moving forward, pushing boundaries and exploring uncharted territories of Space and Music.

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on June 11, 2017 at 2:47 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Svarrogh – “Yer Su” – [Ahnstern]

    yersu

    Yer Su vain, you probably think this album’s about you.

    Until 2007, Dimo Dimov’s project Svarrogh was a Pagan Black Metal band exhibiting a fierce devotion to the folklore of his native Bulgaria. More recent work, however, has been closer to the Neo-Folk universe, bringing Dimov into Austria’s Ahnstern Records circle (see the ‘Oak Folk’ compilation CD). These days he resides in Germany and plays in Sturmpercht.

    He seems to have a fairly deep understanding of the traditional musical forms present in his country. 2008′s ‘Yer Su’ (the name refers to nature spirits in the beliefs of Tengrism, an ancient Eurasian religion) is not ultra-traditional folk music, although it is clearly informed by that tradition. Vestiges of the old Metal sound appear in the form of heavy electric guitars on most tracks and the occasional growl (t.s 2, 3, 7), but mostly this is heavy, Gothic Folk-Rock with a Slavonic flavor, reveling in dark nature worship and alienating stylistic touches: the deep, deep male croons, the scratchy fiddle and clarinet, the aggressive acoustic guitar strumming, the Industrial beats (t.s 5+12), the field recordings, and a dense, unmastered psychedelic sound. I think there’s tamboura, too. T. 11 is a long instrumental.

    In addition to Bulgarian you will hear Lithuanian, Italian (t.3, from Der Feuerkreiner’s ‘Valentina’), and English (t.7, from Allerseelen’s Marcel P.). The cute young girl on the cover seems to be a good example of the interesting Bulgarian phenotype. This multifarious CD has potential crossover appeal to non-metalheads, etc.

    “A wreath for Veles among the cliffs. Dark, deep water dwells there. Bees humming a secret song. Never withers, never ends.”

  • Reviewed by Lord Gravestench on June 7, 2017 at 6:24 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Fall, The – “Wise Ol’ Man” – [Cherry Red Records]

    It’s the 21st Century and The Fall still push forward. This 2016 EP features 2 new songs, the title track plus “All Leave Cancelled”, alternate takes plus remixes of several songs from 2015′s Sub-Lingual Tablet plus a rare live version of “No Xmas For John Quays” recorded in 2014.
    Impressive stuff. Visceral and tight instrumentation pounding forward and driving the repetition which never seems to feel redone. But Mark E. Smith. WOW! As we age our voices change, our manner along with it. Smith is still Smith but boy that voice. His classic shout not sing style of thick accented vocalizing has turned into mumbled spewing, garbled growls and some of the most frightening yowls, howls and old man scream shouts. What is beyond rage? That’s the sound. Amazing. Keep your kids away, but it is superb.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on June 5, 2017 at 11:17 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Oliveros, Pauline & American Voices – “St. George and The Dragon/In Memoriam Mr. Whitney” – [Mode]

    This early 1990′s recording of Oliveros comes during her deep listening period. Having gone to the Pomfret School in Connecticut on invitation from American Voices director Neely Bruce to lead a Deep Listening Training, Pauline took time to sit in the Chapel on the school grounds. It was known for it’s interesting acoustics which interested Oliveros. It was here that the two selections on this CD were formed. “St. George and the Dragon” is inspired by the statue of the same name which sits in the Chapel. Oliveros, playing accordion, evokes the spiritual battle between Saint and Dragon. Her long phrases, held out to mysterious length, reverberate within the Chapel. Listeners must take time with this 47 minute piece of meditation and beauty. “In Memoriam Mr. Whitney” is a heartbreaking work performed with American Voices. Accordion slowly plays while the vocalists, including Oliveros, call out the names of their loved ones who have passed on. The vocalists were encouraged to walk about the Chapel while saying the names. We hear their movement throughout. It is haunting to hear someone call out “Mamma”, “Grandad”, or nicknames of people. The intimacy along with Oliveros’ accordion are sometimes staggering in their quiet. A unique gift to our station.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on June 4, 2017 at 9:43 pm
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  • Rothenberg, Ned/Feldman, Mark/Courvoisier, Sylvie – “In Cahoots” – [Clean Feed]

    Nine wonderful tracks of “free jazz” exploration tempered with continuous references and returns to meter, rhythm, repeated phrases of almost melodic quality. Sylvie Courvoisier on piano and Mark Feldman on violin had recently teamed up with Ikue Mori and Evan Parker for an album, so they come from experience and skill. Adding Ned Rothenberg on clarinet, alto saxophone, bass clarinet and shakuhachi makes for an interesting, challenging and lovely trio. No drums. Fascinating for a jazz album. And not missed in the least. These pieces explore so many dimensions capable with this list of instruments. For instance, when Feldman bows his violin it’s more shocking and head shaking than when he plucks, which would seem to make more sense. Songs start off and seem to explode, a rhythm played which begins to twist then loose itself in pure emotion. Pushing the definition of what is jazz, this collection of sounds positively broadens that idea.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on June 4, 2017 at 12:36 am
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Northern Soul Weekender [coll] – [Charly Records]

    Russ Winstanley is a DJ who spun Northern Soul sounds at Wigan Casino in England from the 1970′s to the early 80′s. This compilation, on the Charly label, is a collection of some of his favorites from his personal stash. Northern Soul was so termed as a way for the north England soccer fans visiting London, who loved the specific American soul sound, to find the specific American soul records they wanted at record stores. The sound is not Motown, but it is definitely Soul. It’s history in England is steeped in the Weekender when all night clubs played Northern Soul to the masses. 2am to 8am was when it fully kicked in and the Wigan Casino was one of the shrines of Northern Soul Weekender dancing and partying.
    The 27 tracks on this collection have some familiar names but more often than not some rare finds. The stomping beats from each number keep the listeners happy and moving, with tales of love lost, love wanted, love gained, love grown pale. Tight instrumentation and lush strong vocals carry us from one tune to the next, keeping up the rhythm and making the body move. All songs shine but some standouts for me are Loleatta Holloway singing “Mother of Shame”, Big Daddy Rogers’ “I’m a Big Man” and Ruby Winters testification on “Better”. The Sharpees’ “Take Me to Your Leader” has a bit of alien fun. Joe Tex has the strangest, most difficult tune, “Under Your Powerful Love”, where he describes a night in his hotel room intentionally listening to the couple in the next room. The woman finds herself in a situation she wants out of and is trying to convince the man to let her go, all while Joe listens in. Wrong.
    But everything is super danceable. Enjoy.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on June 3, 2017 at 10:38 pm
  • Filed as CD,Soul
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  • Sammartano, Ray – “Dream Switch” – [Self-release]

    Analog synth and public domains sounds.
    Spacey sparkly pretty with some indecipherable low vocals.
    From Eugene, Oregon.
    - BJT

  • Reviewed by billiejoe on May 31, 2017 at 2:13 pm
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  • Endvra – “Watcher, The” – [Old Europa Cafe]

    creepypasta

    Endvra (or Endura) were a Death Ambient duo from northern England active from 2001 to 1993. This 1998 CD was their last album. Its single 50-minute track starts out very quiet but gets very loud at times, presenting an interesting mixing challenge.

    It’ll make ya nervous… Pulsing sub-bass, sewer drippy-drops, lush synthesizer orchestra, and every now and then the Death Train passes us as we wander dank subterranean passages full of strange rituals and malevolent non-human intelligences.

    Very much about subliminal horror, almost like a Robert Aickmann story. The vibe goes with Megaptera, Stratvm Terror (another band with a ‘v’ that is actually a ‘u’) or Asmorod.

    Stephen Pennick now records as Ontario Blue, while Christopher Walton works as TenHornedBeast.

  • Reviewed by Lord Gravestench on May 31, 2017 at 12:05 am
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  • Maldur Atai – “Borgata” – [Autarkeia]

    malduratai

    Formed in 2010, Maldur Atai is a three-man industrial ambient project that comes from an emerging experimental scene in Lithuania. This 2012 CD, their fourth album, was released by the Vilnius label Autarkeia.

    Borgata is a concept album that takes its title from a biography of Italian intellectual and director Pier Paolo Pasolini that explores the mysterious events surrounding his murder on a beach in Rome in 1975, just before the premiere of his infamous film Salò. I can’t find anything about this biography other than the lengthy synopsis from Autarkeia. But if it does exist, it sounds like a pretty decent read: it reveals that Pasolini was killed by operatives of a secret global conspiracy, that includes high-ranking members of the Vatican clergy, whose goal is to prevent the unfolding of ancient prophecies of an obscure Buddhist cult called the Maldur Atai, the details of which Pasolini planned to expose in his next film.

    The album follows the twists and turns of this convoluted story. It opens with beautiful ambient sounds mixed with samples – grim news reports, screams of horror, discussions of psychedelics, voices of possessed children. These clues deepen the mystery, and the sounds follow, becoming darker, hollow and expansive. As we near the truth, the tracks become heavier, louder, and distorted, almost sounding like a noise record (T5, T7, T11, T12). Finally, we arrive at some kind of solution to the puzzle, with a guitar-based Italian folk ballad, Apollo 11 flight recordings, (T13) and a mystical vision appearing at the close (T14).

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on May 30, 2017 at 7:10 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Love of The Farthest – “Providing Water and Drought” – [Utech Records]

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    Typical of what one would expect from Utech. Dronish ambient music that is tame overall with a few hints of darkness. Lots of layering and subtle changes. Thankfully, no annoying metal “throat” vocals. The adjective shimmering has been used frequently to describe this elusive artists work. Upon first listen I thought of Michael Gira’s solo project the Body Lovers and the heavy drone elements of the Hafler Trios early work. Track 4 is the strongest and clocks in at 15 minutes in length

  • Reviewed by Jim Hunter on May 24, 2017 at 4:57 pm
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  • Ghost In The House – “Second Sight” – [Public Eyesore]

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    Squaky improvised classicist jazz quartet adds surreal spoken word about Dream Machines, dockside disembodied heads, bats. Recorded in SF
    Kyle Bruckmann on oboes, english horn
    Tom Nunn – metallic pwecussive sounds
    David Michalek – strings, percussion – composed the tunes
    Karen Stackpole – gongs, percussion.
    Guests include vocals contributed by Dean Santomieri

    Spoken words on tracks 3, 6, 8

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on May 17, 2017 at 6:28 pm
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  • Grosse Abfahrt – “Luftschifffeiertagserinnerungfotoalbum” – [Setola Di Maiale]

    grosse

    Grosse Abfahrt is a project started by Gino Robair to explore improvisation with large groups or musicians. The core of the group consists of Robair, John Shiurba, Matt Ingalls, Tim Perkis, and Tom Djll. On this album (whos title means something like “airship holiday souvenir photo album”) they are joined by Frank Gratkowski, Kjell Nordeson, Liza Mezzacappa, Phillip Greenlief, and John Bisschoff. The session was recorded at Mills College in 2009.

    Given the nature of the group, and the wide variety of instrumentation (all kinds of wind, string, percussion, electronics…) I expected something pretty frenzied and cacophonous, but it’s actually quite subtle and delicate. The artists spend most of their time listening, and slowly build intricately layered soundscapes that breath and flow.

    The album starts off sparse and droney, and slowly picks up some speed as it progresses. Tracks 5 and 6 sound are more energetic and skittery (although still short of cacophonous) than the others, as if the group took a quick espresso break before recording them. There is a brief frenzied climax on track 6 that really hit the spot, and then track 7 slowly unwinds, bringing us back to the vast, wide open spaces that characterize the first few tracks.

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on May 17, 2017 at 6:15 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Cudd, Patti – “Eos” – [Innova Recordings]

    726708696726-front-cover

    Patti Cudd teaches percussion and new music studies at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and the College of St. Benedict & St. John???s University.
    Varied 3 disc set explores many ways of “scraping, scratching, tapping and striking”. Sometimes hand percussion, sometimes with mallets, vibes, sometimes computers. 16 of the 22 tracks are new commissions. The album also features works by Morton Feldman, Brian Ferneyhough and Christian Wolff ??? the only ones here without the use of electronics.
    These sounds, many solo except for Max MSP type processing, invite contemplation.. some are very commanding and others could be beds. Dig in, play it all the time. Sayles once told me that a solo percussionist is a foundational part of the KFJC sound.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on May 17, 2017 at 5:51 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Dufallo, Cornelius – “Journaling 2″ – [Innova Recordings]

    0726708696023_p0_v1_s272x272

    Dufallo, violinist for Flux Quartet, Ne(x)tworks, and ETHEL, offers us a bracing treat here with his “journal” of work with living composers including, among others, Kinan Azmeh and Raven Chacon. Electronics manipulations combine with his sublime avant violin technique and each track is described well in the liner notes. Dufallo himself composed the last track, “Reverie,” which is a must-listen. Call it edgy, nostalgic, classical–but it is definitely exquisite.

  • Reviewed by humana on May 7, 2017 at 4:18 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • 1 comment
  • Barreca, Marc – “Aberrant Lens” – [Palace of Lights]

    barreca

    Marc Barreca has been creating electronic music since the 1970s. “Aberrant Lens” is his seventh album for Palace of Lights records, produced by label-owner K. Leimer.

    Mixing sampled instruments, treated field recordings, and synthesized sounds, Barreca builds ethereal and exotic musical landscapes. Most of the tracks have a pulsing rhythmic quality, slow and soothing, supported by ambient droning bells and tones.

    Barreca includes samples from a wide variety of acoustic instruments, including accordion, glass harmonica, and Indonesian metallophone, which are occasionally processed and often looped with long delays. The diverse instrumentation gives rise to many distinct textures, and provides plenty of differentiation to the album’s 12 tracks, a rare feat for an “ambient” album.

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on May 7, 2017 at 10:40 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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