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Bertolozzi, Joseph – “Tower Music” – [Innova Recordings]

TowerMusic

 

Tower Music is composer Joseph Bertolozzi’s love of work recording sounds from the Paris Eiffel Towel parts using contact microphones released 2016. These ten thousand plus samples were then sorted down to about 1,600 usable parts for playing atonal melodies as well as rhythm parts. The music is rhythmic, the sounds are metallic-esoteric with some corresponding sonic experiences reminding of marimbas, gamelan instruments and other percussive instrumentation. As the amount of audio is restricted by the metal body of the tower and the tower parts, he had to do compromises with for example scales where not all 12 tones could be reproduced. So the limitation also works in favor of creating unique percussion-driven atonal melodies and rhythm patterns. Now, there’s a limit to what could be done so some tracks might sound similar on this CD. There’s plenty of liner notes how this CD was done as well as an audio track where Bertolozzi talks more about the recording process.

  • Reviewed by Kai Sync on March 23, 2016 at 1:35 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Criambique – “Float” – [Self Produced]

    Criambique

     

    Criambique is a Seattle based band with the intriguing collaboration of Vi the singer/songwriter who is also a head witch and professional glossologist, Alexis (songwriter, rhythm magician) and Wonky (songwriter and Chief Technical Officer.) As the cover and singer information implied female witchcraft I assumed the songs and singings would remind of the haunting style of?? Siouxie Sioux. But this is rather modern beat-based electro pop music with very pretty and trained layered/harmonized vocals; the vocals are maybe even too pretty for a witch image. The melodies resemble Muse-style classical music lieds. You could hear Kate Bush influences with the arrangements without the husky voice, of course. Some of the drum patterns have wicked variations. The arrangements tend to move towards classical influences – they are reliable rather than unexpected. The best tracks are the experimental remixes of which the vinyl only had two of the five provided with the digital release. Also, thanks to the modern remixes and the later tracks the more serious feeling of the album is loosened up at the end.

  • Reviewed by Kai Sync on March 23, 2016 at 1:33 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Aunt Dracula – “Bum Hands” – [Popsicle Pears]

    BurnHands

     

    Aunt Dracula is the moniker of the Philadelphia Artist Scott Daly so this is a one-man band record. This 2016 album is trippy and sloppy alternative post-psychedelica with some alternative beating Sonic Youth style rock kicking in from time to time. You could even hear in some tracks the inclinations of someone writing pop tunes. The untrained vocals are drenched in reverb and hidden in the mix so that you really don’t know what he’s singing about. The music is personal, you can’t shoehorn it into a specific genre or style. There’s something charming about someone just playing odd and personal music without worrying about keeping the tempo on the drums and other instruments, or how the final arrangements work with all the ad hoc layering and ex tempore studio effects and stream-of consciousness lyrics.

  • Reviewed by Kai Sync on March 23, 2016 at 1:32 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • King of Dub – “S/t” – [Clocktower Records]

    King Of Dub is an old- school assembly of all the heavy hitters, inspired by Lee Perry and Bunny Lee productions. Check the line-up and you will see a star studded cast. Crunchy thumping bass and drums dominate in fine fashion. Straight outta Channel One studios and then edited at Bullwackie’s. It’s raw and sweet, unrefined and super deep.

    It’s hard to go wrong with any of these cuts. Twist up a spliff and let it rip.

    Ras Babo

     

  • Reviewed by rasbabo on March 23, 2016 at 11:01 am
  • Filed as 12-inch,Reggae
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  • Alborosie and King Jammy – “Dub of Thrones” – [VP Records]

    What is old is now what is new.

    In the spirit of the show Game of Thrones, we take an old theme of knights and ladies, and make it modern to suit our current tastes. Old school dub styles meet modern recording methods. Not heavily synthed out, still very real-rock and Rasta, but none of the scratchy and crunchiness we get from vintage vault recordings.

    I didn’t know much about Alborosie, but he has several releases under his belt, and is a fitting partner to join the master King Jammy. They alternate cuts, reminiscent of the albums like the Big Showdown.

    A-1 and B-5 have vocals, the rest is smooth stoney dub instrumentals.

    Ras Babo

  • Reviewed by rasbabo on March 23, 2016 at 10:38 am
  • Filed as 12-inch,Reggae
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  • Actuary / Gnaw Their Tongues [coll] – [Black Horizons]

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    transatlantic split of black ambient monstrosities: out of the LA sub-underground, Actuary unleashes a pairing of bellowing rumble and buzz, cosmic cataclysms swollen beyond capacity pulsating pustules of throbbing dark matter. and from the Dutch countryside, Mories presents an orchestra of tortured memories and paranoid dementia, distant fears and persistent delusions; the shit horror movies have nightmares of. despite the seeming contrast of harsh noise to some sort of mutated classical music, the two are indeed complementary in the most terrifying of fashions.

  • Reviewed by abacus on March 22, 2016 at 9:53 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Fukuoka, Rinji / Michel Henritzi / Luca Massolin – “Weather Report” – [Backwards]

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    gratitude rituals from an international gathering of spirits; shimmering free folk dronescapes of morning dew glistening, string echoes in the mist. from Japan Rinji Fukuoka (Majutsu no Niwa) rings psychedelic on a variety of mediums, jumping rapidly from one to the next from the outset to cover as much depth as conceivable while French avant-gardist Michel Henritzi (Dustbreeders) drifts away freely on the lapsteel. Italian Luca Massolin (Golden Jooklo Age) covers various grounds, floating between his brethren with carefree focus and deliverance. recorded in Portugal as a political contemplation of the Fukushima disaster, these cosmic improvisations capture haunted and heavenly tones alike, as one in the same.

  • Reviewed by abacus on March 21, 2016 at 7:55 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Cook – Greene – “a 39 Year Reunion Celebration” – [Studio 234]

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    an intimate gathering of long lost comrades in free improvisation, veterans of the creative jazz scenes around New York / Boston / and beyond. even the tightest compositions unravel into beautifully quilted conversations: minimal yet lush, interwoven in psychic interdependency, drums and piano as one Improvising Being, old friends unloading an unspoken bond. introspective yet outgoing, both humorous and somber, the purest of personalities sonically palpable.

  • Reviewed by abacus on March 21, 2016 at 7:26 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • United Slaves, The – “United Slaves #2-3″ – [Improvising Beings]

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    haphazard collective of jazz journeymen (Owl Xounds, Arthur Doyle, Temple of Bon Matin, Other Matter) fall together into free drone jazz freakout meditations of varying portions; from 5-53 minutes, biting off more than they can muster in hodgepodge sound conundrums. broken swing swaying crooked in the windscapes, rhythm section chain rattling against the noisy tumult of rock unhinged in synth bewilderment. hippy burnout jam sessions for long come-downs at sunset meanderings: lost forever.

  • Reviewed by abacus on March 21, 2016 at 7:03 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • American Monoxide – “American Monoxide” – [Self Produced]

    American Monoxide is the solo lo-fi home recordings of Dimitri Manos (member of Tucson’s Golden Boots and Philly’s Dr. Dog). straight to tape.

  • Reviewed by Arcanum on March 21, 2016 at 3:15 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Chatwin, Ben – “Sleeper Awakes, The” – [Village Green]

    Written and recorded at Ben Chatwin’s(of Talvihorros) home studio in Scotland. Inspired by the writing of H.G. Wells, ‘The Sleeper Awakes’ is Chatwin’s first album to appear under his own name. ‘The Sleeper Awakes’ represents the idea of a future that has been and gone. Before the information and telecommunications revolution there was a beautiful yet weird, naivety about what the future might bring.A one hundred-year-old Dulcitone (a kind of portable piano) was used extensively, making it sit with modern electronics and synthesis. The pairing of older, traditional instruments with modern recording techniques and processes is something that Chatwin is very interested in.”
    Sounds like Electro-Synth-Ambient for a Ballerina Song Box.

  • Reviewed by Arcanum on March 21, 2016 at 2:30 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Ephat Mujuru Ensemble – “Spirit of The People, The” – [Bardwells]

    This record invokes the soothing and focused sound of the Mbira. The Dzavadzimu Mbira is a symbol of the traditional culture of Zimbabwe. The njari is a less common type of Shona mbira originally introduced from Mozambique. It was quite popular in Zimbabwe during the mid-20th century, and frequently featured there in radio shows during the 1950′s and 1960′s.The liner notes in the gate-fold are a great guide to this work.It helped me a lot to read each individual song’s synopsis while I listened and the dreamed scenarios described.

  • Reviewed by Arcanum on March 21, 2016 at 1:38 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,International
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  • Angst Hase Pfeffer Nase – “Bidden” – [Glistening Examples]

    Atonal buzzing like a broken audiophonic calibration test record. Beeps and hums slowly multiply and resonate in and out of phase, almost begging you to adjust your stereo. Suddenly, thunderous claps of static and screeching as underwater A-bombs detonate. Creepy carnival music playing forwards, backwards, and sideways leaves you feeling nauseated like on a haunted clown-themed roller coaster.

    Just before the vomit erupts, the hectic cacophony abruptly stops, and you can hear the mice skittering and squeaking in your cupboards, shitting in your best Tupperware.

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on March 20, 2016 at 7:50 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Helgeson, Aaron – “Poems of Sheer Nothingness” – [Innova Recordings]

    Aaron Helgeson is an American composer and faculty member at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.

    Helgeson describes his work as “attempting to capture the bizarre beauty of sounds from everyday life (some musical, some not yet) by re-imagining them on
    acoustic instruments.”

    On this recording his work is performed by Grammy-winning soprano Susan Narucki, accompanied by the Talea Ensemble from NYC.

    The first five tracks constitute the main piece “Poems of Sheer Nothingness”, which was commissioned by Narucki and inspired by the music of French Troubadours. The poetic lyrics are sung in ancient Occitane, a romance language still alive today in parts of Southern France.

    The second piece, “Notes on a page (of Sappho)”, features English translations of the Greek poet Sappho.

    Both pieces have a big dynamic range. Some parts are very sparse, bordering on dead air.

    When quiet, the flute gives the impression of small birds chirping, while the clarinet makes breathy sounds and taps its keys. Lots of suspenseful, dissonant chords and staccato piano. These are punctuated by Narucki’s powerful voice, at times melodic and soothing, other times forceful and jarring.

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on March 19, 2016 at 5:58 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Wiese, John – “Deviate From Balance” – [Gilgongo Records]

    Fervent musique concrete with a wide variety of electronic and analog instrumentation.

    Crunchy industrial rumbles pan left and right as hundreds of pots and pans come crashing from the sky. Balloons squeak and saxophones snort. Strings are plucked, bowed, and scraped. Rusty gears creek and grind. Spooky windy sounds give way to blasting static as the orchestra detunes in the background.

    Most tracks recorded live. Sometimes John is solo, other times playing with as many as 18 musicians, including Ikue Mori, members of Smegma, and the LA Free Music Society.

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on March 19, 2016 at 5:57 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Bren’t Lewiis Ensemble – “Gloria” – [BUFMS]

    Excellent high weirdness with manipulated instruments, stereo panning, warbling evangelical music, North Korean propaganda, noise, mechanical dithering, insane mutterings, improvised percussion, guitar shriekings, word salad poetry. A psychedelic experience in sonic form.

  • Reviewed by Muad'Dib on March 13, 2016 at 3:52 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Stator [coll] – [Touch]

    cover

     

    Striated Norwegian arctic electronica tracks from projects Biosphere and Deathprod. The Biosphere tracks have rhythmic elements consisting of synth bleeps and bloops along with bursts of filtered noise. Deathprod leans more bleak and dark ambient. Both are as cold and open as the frozen empty Northlands.

     

  • Reviewed by Muad'Dib on March 13, 2016 at 2:36 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Prants – “Hot Shaker Meet Lead Donut” – [Notice Recordings]

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    duo of Chris Cooper and Bhob Rainey musique concrete / electroacoustic / noise michief / sound art: sawblade harmonics layers of glistening tone breaks morning bells toll singing serenity, a low hum pervades and fades to a deep rumble creeping in o windbeaten scrap and tranquility. derailed dementia dominates the B side, audio errors and salacious circuitry salivate the terrifying hilarity of instability, somber orchestral tuning punctuate the night horror dissipation.

  • Reviewed by abacus on March 9, 2016 at 9:35 pm
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
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  • Jamieson, Andrew – “Heard The Voice” – [Edgetone Records]

    Dedicated to spiritual transformation at the piano, Andrew Jamieson earned his Master’s degree in music composition from Mills College. Passionate about black gospel music, he plays for faith communities in Oakland and San Leandro. Jamieson is also a free improviser with Ell3 and Nine Fingers. “Heard The Voice” is his attempt to integrate these traditions. African American church music is reconstructed with an eye towards Sun Ra, John Cage, and free improvisation. Reharmonized and improvised passages illustrate the struggle and fervor of a spiritual journey. Harmonies recall Thelonious Monk. Descending harmonies and extensive use of the pedal gives the music a wild conflict. We have other versions of many of these traditional songs in the library from artists like Mahalia Jackson and Fishbone.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on March 9, 2016 at 6:35 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Burger Boogaloo ’15 [coll] – [Burger Records]

    a collection of artists from the Burger Records Festival 2015. we got straight-forward, garage-y pop, lo-fi, 2-3 minute sizzlers all over this tape. fit into any poppy set with ease and teabag all your troubles away.

    FCC free, though Teabag Party may not be a party for everyone!

  • Reviewed by mouthbreather on March 9, 2016 at 5:54 pm
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
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