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Brahms – “Sonatas For Viola and Piano, Op. 120″ – [Capitol Records]

In 1912 Rudolf Firkusny was born in Moravian Napajedla, in what is now Czechoslovakia period he studied with Janacek, touring Europe in the 1920s and premiering in London in 1933 and New York in 1938. He fled the Nazis in 1939, escaping to Paris and settling in New York.
William Primrose was a Scottish violist, teacher, and author. He was part of the NBC Symphony Orchestra with Jascha Heifetz and others. He began in 1924 as a professional violinist and switched to the viola in 1930. Late in life he developed hearing difficulties that prevented him from hearing certain pitches. He died in Utah.

Brahms’ Op. 120 are his final chamber works. Published in 1895. Brahms loved the clarinet and wrote These originally for clarinet and piano although he also wrote a version for viola. Side A begins with a 4 bar piano theme in octaves that has been shown in recent analysis to be generative of every musical idea that follows. Side B is not too shabby either.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on June 8, 2017 at 2:27 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Classical
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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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  • Action/Discipline – “Recursive Slash” – [Oxen]

    actiond

    Startling iterations of tormented Industrial-Harsh-Noise demonomantical ecstasy from Ohio, 2017. Stefan Aune and Brad Griggs bring you abstract expressions of the modern world’s violent chaos, which is really the point of L.A.’s Oxen Records, isn’t it?

    On each 10-minute ordeal, The blaring cacophany occasionally resolves itself into brief, satisfying rhythmic passages, perhaps accomplished with a delay or loop pedal. Some thicker electronic tones are occasionally allowed to escape, but the gunky tape noise high end static sound is favoured throughout. Overstimulating and dirty, with a careful method hidden behind its indistinguishable sonic mess. Maybe.

    The Oxen website compares this to Japanese ground floor noiser MSBR. Other influences include broken glass, tsunamis, junkyards and heavy machinery mishaps.

  • Reviewed by Lord Gravestench on June 7, 2017 at 12:48 am
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
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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
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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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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  • Barbwire, Mike & The Blue Ocean Orchestra – “El Surfista De Mambo” – [Sleazy Records]

    Mike is the lead guitar of the Swedish surf band The Barbwires. Here he gives us a nice single that combines surf, Latin beats, and exotica. All this on a Spanish record label – fun!

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on May 31, 2017 at 4:00 pm
  • Filed as 7-inch,A Library
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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
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Bastard Noise / Brutalomania [coll] – [Skull Records]

    Noisy oh my gosh and screaming vocals about veganism and animal rights. Good stuff. Brutalomania is a solo noise artist who has worked under many different aliases such as Cadaverizer Noise, Feral Squat, and Manuel M. Cubas.
    Bastard Noise of course is a California group founded by Eric Wood, Henry Barnes, and WT Nelson. They’re discography is quite extensive. They have been making noise since the early 90s and have worked with countless other artists.
    BJT

  • Reviewed by billiejoe on May 31, 2017 at 2:12 pm
  • Filed as 7-inch,A Library
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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
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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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]

    a1138795498_16

    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
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Mad Professor Meets Jah9 – “In The Midst of The Storm” – [VP Records]

    jah9

    9 digital-style dubs on a blue spatter transparent LP in an edition of 1000. Pressed exclusively for Record Store day 2017 by VP Records out of Jamaica, Queens.
    Jah9 is dub poet and certified yoga instructor. Mad Professor got his name as a boy due to his fascination with electronics. He began his career in music in 1973, as a service technician.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on May 24, 2017 at 4:08 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Reggae
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  • Thomas Carnacki – “Where’s My Love,My Eyes Are Gone,The Rains Are Coming” – [Alethiometer]

    Limited edition printing.
    Chickens. In stereo.
    Humorous tuba.
    Dedicated to those lost in Ghost Ship.
    Made from a batch of 7″s he got in the mail and farm field recordings.
    Veheug is dutch for “looking forward”
    – Billie Joe Tolliver

  • Reviewed by billiejoe on May 24, 2017 at 3:25 pm
  • Filed as 7-inch,A Library
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  • Levitas, Asher – “Lit Harness” – [Planet Mu]

    Previously of Old Apparatus and a collaborator with Michael Crowe. From London. This is his first solo album. He is also a video artist. Sounds like buzzing electronic ambient with rhythm. Pretty. Spacey. Pew pew laser guns. Engine. Ambient hazy details and wooshings. Said to be about his sleep paralysis.
    – Billie Joe Tolliver

  • Reviewed by billiejoe on May 24, 2017 at 3:23 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Ra Al Dee Experience – “Diatessaron” – [Ajna Offensive]

    raaldee

    The mystical, oriental music project of Mors Dalos Ra/guitars,saz (of Necros Christos) and Ben Ya Min Al Dee/percussion. Driving Persian instrumentals with mystical Sinai hand-drumming Exodus meditations. All instrumental except the title tune. Wide appeal.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on May 24, 2017 at 2:32 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Brahms, Johannes / Festival Quartet – “Piano Quartet In C Minor, Op. 60″ – [RCA Victor/ BMG]

    brahmsop60

    Brahms couldn’t seal the deal and abated his frustration through musical composition.
    First movement premiered by Clara Schumann, who Brahms was in love with
    Often called the Werther quartet – a common theme for 19th century suicidal love birds
    Almost twenty years later Brahms is in love with Mrs. Elisabeth von Herzogenberg and he finds enough of himself to finish.

    The festival quartet came together at the summer festival in Aspen, and features:
    Szymon Goldberg, violin
    William Primrose, viola
    Nikolai Graudan, cello
    Victor Babin, piano

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on May 24, 2017 at 1:51 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Classical
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  • Mordecai – “Abstract Recipe” – [Richie Records]

    Montana freaks hole up in a cabin with instruments and record the experience. it’s a jangley lo-fi garage rock, slow and monotonous. most of the tracks, especially A-side, go fuckin’ nowhere, which may fit the bands lyrical content about staring at walls… B-side kicks way more ass, because it actually tries to do something with the time its taking from your life precious. I recommend ‘want to grow up’ as it sounds nothing like the rest of the album.

  • Reviewed by mouthbreather on May 22, 2017 at 5:50 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Ghost In The House – “Second Sight” – [Public Eyesore]

    R-9945433-1489002433-2561.jpeg

    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
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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