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Mezzetin still is a mystery. Who is He/They? Where from? Where is the label from? Possibly a one man project. “Odd Scene” might be Mezzetin’s 3rd release. It’s all great outsider rock. One of the more distinctive voices around, still off-keyish and repetitive. Lyrics of love and memories and lost things. Mezzetin is diving into more experiments in sound this time, which makes it all the more interesting. Jangly guitars abound, still off. Infantile drumming, but in a good way. Track 9, “Mingling Haus” is 4 minutes of one note strummed on the guitar with wank drums and no vocals. If this was being done by a female Japanese noise performance artist, we would all be losing our shit. He’s not that. You still should be losing your shit.
Holy f..in sh#t! Trying to find my head to reattach to my body after listening to this one. I feel like I should go smoke a cig or get electro shocked. Tom Jenkinson, aka Squarepusher, is a major player in IDM/EDM/whatever. I don’t need to tell you. He’s brilliant. And so is this album from 2001. It marked a change for him, a move away from the use of actual instruments and an experiment with digital, all digital. No computers on this album, though. It’s hardware: it’s samplers, sequencers, synthesizers and digital effects processors. All put to their amazing 2001 use. Many pieces are FAST: sounds reverberate back and forth and through so fast you would never be able to catch them. But the few “slow” pieces are equally sonically exciting. Effects come and go and then the drill and bass starts. Yes Yes Yes! Oh hell yes!
Crow Crash Radio are a Bay area group that combine extended psychedelic jams with surf influences and drone. With Mark Pino on drums, Andrew Joron on theremin and Brian Strang on guitar, these musicians create a soundscape that is hypnotic and repetitive in a good way. Pino’s constant beats guide the listener while Strang puts down layers of guitar sound, filled out by Joron’s theremin drone and warble. An exceptional take on a unique mixing of styles, going to show there is always a new way to interpret genres.
An exceptional talent, frighteningly underrepresented in our library, Terry Callier was a prolific musician and singer, performing blues, soul and folk songs. This 1964 recording live at Chicago’s Mother Blues folk club, offers an intimate performance of Callier, singing eight quiet yet moving folk tunes accompanied by his guitar playing and two acoustic bass players. The moment he starts to sing the audience goes quiet, except for the random plate or cup being moved. His voice is rich and powerful with so much emotion. It kind of makes you melt. It’s like loneliness and sex and strength and pain and kindness and sadness all wrapped up into one. Folk singers were true story tellers and Callier is right up there with the best, weaving his tales with assuredness and power. Your knees will buckle.
Modern free jazz pushing the boundaries of structure and technique. Propulsive but not explosive, these three accomplished musicians find a comfortable yet still edgy middle ground between sparse and skronk.
The songs have a tight feeling of cohesion not normally found in this kind of improvised music. It’s as if the works already exist out in the ether, moving along with their own internal shape and inertia, passing through the musicians who give them voice.
Hubweber plays the trombone like an alto sax, with long blasts of notes in between gasps and gurgles. Edwards scratches, bows, and thumps the bass, achieving some bizarre reverberations and harmonics. Lowens provides many percussive layers simultaneously. Playing skittery textures during the more abstract moments, but not afraid to lay down a bursts of driving rhythmic beat when the mood calls for it.
Abstract, spoken word, album released in 2009. BSP is Massimo and Pierce of Switzerland who are known for their live performances and underground porn. AKA Anarcocks. Worked with HR Giger. Denham is from England and has worked with Throbbing Gristle, Marc Almond, and Psychic TV. She is also a visual artist. Much like the album art I have no idea what is going on and that is okay! Lyrics about pain, trans soldiers, gender, despair, and hope.
Dimi Mint Abba was born in 1958 to a low-caste Mauritanian family specializing in the griot tradition. She is accompanied here by her husband Khalifa Ould Eide and her two daughters. Moorish music is highly structured improvised music, with intricate vocal and rhythmic interplay. Handclaps, rattle, hand drums, hammer-ons. She died in June, 2011 in Casablanca, Morocco. Her fans included Youssou N’Dour and Ali Farka Toure.
Tracks 1-6 feature tidinit/lute, 7-11 feature electric guitar. Fans of Gnawa and Saharan blues music will find much to enjoy.
She began her career in 1976 when she won the Umm Kulthum Contest in Tunis. Her winning song “Sawt Elfan” (“Art’s Plume” – Track 7) has the refrain “Art’s Plume is a balsam, a weapon and a guide enlightening the spirit of men”, which can be interpreted to mean that artists play a more important role than warriors in society.
Bethlehem were once one of the most influential German Black Metal groups, although their style incorporated Doom, Death, and Groove into what they called ‘Dark Metal,’ the extreme genre that never was. Their second album, from 1996, is “dedicated to all suicide victims,” and its title is Latin for ‘Thou Shalt Kill Thyself,’ or something like that. The band was formed in response to numerous suicides among its members’ friends, including that of bassist Jurgen Bartsch’s pregnant girlfriend.
Yes, this was an influence on the development of the Depressive-Suicidal sound but it’s heavy in a way a lot of that music is not. Bone dry guitars cutting perfectly cold and desolate riffs, skeletal drums, ghostly keyboards (sometimes!), deathrock basslines, and the most amazing, batshit-crazy sounding Black Metal screams of all time. Session man Rainer Landferman gasps, shrieks, chokes, sputters, growls and rants through these songs like he’s hearing the music at low volume through one headphone to make room for the voices in his head dictating the words. It’s all in German, but I can make out references to stone chains, blood, death, snakes, darkness and “animalistic blasphemy.” Apparently the lyrics are pretty hard to follow even if you do speak the language. Pass the thorazine.
T.5 appears on the soundtrack to Harmony Korine’s film ‘Gummo,’ for which the band also contributed one original song.
A harsh noise 7″ single is a funny thing. Like a good execution each side is over too quickly. Side 1 scrapes in time to demoniac vocalizations and the screams of the burning. Side two explores collisions of HNW and complex analog electronic interplay ending with a translucent machine drone in the pit of your sinking stomach. Both pieces ritualistic and very tasteful, monochromatic without eschewing variation. Seattle’s BSBC have played at KFJC at least once. Whatever it takes to be ‘good’ at apocalyptic Industrial noise racket, they’ve got it. “Stan Reed, William Rage, Crystal Perez: Dense, Harsh Noise Drift; Dual Damaged Guitars; Broken Electronics and Faulty Cables; Roaring Vocals; Piercing Screams; Horror Show.” Mastered by M S Waldron of irr. app. (ext.) and Nurse With Wound.
This Cloister Recordings cassette is the second release from Sweden’s Den Arkaiska Rösten (“The Archaic Voices”), the project of Girilal Baars and Per Åhlund. Baars is a professionally trained vocalist who has previously worked with the vocal group Äijä, a composer of operas, and a sound engineer. Åhlund has several solo sound art/electronic projects and has worked with Sophia, among other bands.
This cassette holds two sidelong pieces in which the sounds of the voice, in all of its many forms, are used to create a twisted, haunting landscape. Sounds of mouths, tongues, teeth, saliva, and breathing become howling winds and falling water. Deep utterances that resemble traditional throat singing rise from the lowest register, and a chorus of droning chants builds and closes in. Individual voices can be heard singing melodies or wails of regret, but soon disappear back into the fray. While vocal sounds are the main focus, weird electronics and drum beats can be heard humming beneath. The overall effect is like the spirits of everyone that’s ever lived rising from some ancient burial site to deliver us this cryptic message: it was like you said / it was not like you said.
Blight is the first solo album from drummer René Aquarius, of the Dutch free jazz duo Dead Neanderthals, and it’s another excellent addition to our collection of releases from Milwaukee’s Utech Records. The only instruments played on these eight pieces are drums and cymbals, but Aquarius uses closely placed microphones, reverb, and an equalizer to create a varied collection of dark, unusual sounds. We hear low drones, deep rumblings, metal meeting metal, metal catching light, a dying heartbeat, the long lingering after-echoes of a cymbal crash. Even through the effects and other technical tricks, the tactile feel of Aquarius’ playing remains, giving the tracks a rich quality that I usually associate with expertly recorded jazz albums. From this material, Aquarius crafts a quiet, slowly shifting air of mystery. The original concept and skillful execution make this an intriguing listen for those of us (all of us?) that are into dark ambient sounds.
Label-leader and dEN-master Stefano Ferrian assembled
The Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77, was composed by Johannes Brahms in 1878 and dedicated to his friend, the violinist Joseph Joachim. It is Brahms’s only violin concerto, and, according to Joachim, one of the four great German violin concerti.
The Piano Quartet in A major, Op. 26 by Johannes Brahms, for piano, violin, viola and cello. It was completed in 1861 and received its premiere in November 1863 by the Hellmesberger Quartet with the composer playing the piano part.
3rd album of modern wind from the Akropolis Reed Quintet. Diverse set of chamber works.
The Austrian label Hau Ruck! is the Tesco imprint of Der Blutharsch’s Albin Julius. On this 2002 release, HR! presents ritual-psychotic post-Industrial soundscapes from the solo project of Russian Yuri Sakevic, active since 1996. This CD is actually a retitled reissue of 1999′s ‘Gotterdammerung’ album on Russia’s Black Dead Rabbit Productions. ‘Lucis Ferrato’ means ‘Iron-Clad Light,’ I think.
Most pieces build layers upon layers of singing/chanting/wailing into swarming Greek Choruses of lamentation. At first I assumed the voices were sampled but I think most of the vocal parts are actually original recordings of Sakevic himself, who seems to be a pretty skilled singer. Sometimes the voices are clearly differentiated, and sometimes they blur together into organic drones. T1 seems to have lyrics, but they are extremely distorted. The pieces also draw on Lustmordian electronics, gongs, bells, chimes and various mystery sounds, often giving the recordings an alchemist’s-chamber atmosphere highly reminiscent of 1980s Ain Soph, the early LPs of Diamanda Galas, and Ligeti’s ‘Requiem.’ Imagine snowfall by the darkened cloisters of an ancient satanic monastery high in the mountains. Near the end of the album the energy level rises with T.6′s Toroidh march and Hitler sample and T7′s concluding outburst. Very bizarre, very unsettling sounds.
Los Angeles based Tikiyaki 5-0 is a combo of 4 musicians (bass, guitars, keyboards and drums) from the much larger Tikiyaki Orchestra. This EP features originals plus covers of Arthur Lyman’s “Taboo”, Les Baxter’s “Enchanted Sea” and “Song of Delilah”, and the surf classic “Shockwave”. Extremely good players and fine arrangements give us this wonderful intersection of Tiki and surf.
Gyorgy Ligeti (pronounced jurj LIH-geh-tee) lived from 1923 to 2006. His early life was in Hungary where his creativity was restricted by first Hitler and then Stalin. In 1956 he fled to Vienna and also spent time in Cologne. In 1972, he was a composer in residence at Stanford University. His music is heard in soundtracks of Stanley Kubrick’s films such as 2001. Considered one of the leading avant garde twentieth century classical composers, his work embraced 12-tone and electronic music, especially music made with conventional instruments made to sound like electronic sources. This 5-CD set is a treasure chest of various styles and includes a book where the composer discusses each piece. Many pieces are very spare, very high frequency notes played by strings give a signature sound not unlike a swarm of cicadas. Other pieces are lush and lyrical. Some vocals are playful, all are very original. Most is not all that accessible, so don’t expect comfortable soundtrack material.
PGM: Very great dynamic range, from almost silent to very loud.
Austrian Neoclassical Darkwave shamelessly mining the trickling veins of Dead Can Dance and Arcana. It is beautiful, though.
‘Die Verbannten Kinder Evas’ is German for ‘The Banished Children Of Eve.’ The group originally began as a side-project of both members of the Neoclassical Black Metal project Summoning. By 2006, on this most recent album, DBKE was mainly the project of Richard Lederer (AKA Protector), the other Summoning guy having departed. All music was composed by Lederer and performed by him on keyboards.
DBKE has been fronted by a variety of lady singers, most recently by comely Greek Christina Kroustali (AKA Lady of Carnage), whose fine soprano is either improved or damaged by heavy reverb. Lederer sings the male parts, so to speak. It’s all very archaic, almost religious-sounding chanty stuff. Nearly all of the lyrics are from the repertoire of John Dowland. You might ask yourself why they bothered re-setting the words of one of the Renaissance’s greatest balladeers, but apparently Dowland’s lyrics were not his own in the first place, being often drawn from popular poetry of the Elizabethan era.
If you enjoy the sophisticated melodic sweep of Summoning but don’t like the metal aspect, this is the release for you.
The story of this double CD is as happy and heartwarming as the music on each CD. Disc 1 was recorded in a West African studio, and Disc 2 has the more homey and true experience of guitarist and singer Zopoula’s magic, recorded live in and around his home in Burkina Faso. Jonathan and Heather Dueck visited Western Africa and had the great fortune to meet Hermas Zopoula, who acted as guide and friend to them during their stay. It was almost by accident that they discovered he was a musician as well as an incredible person. Some of his songs have heartbreaking lyrics, but the upbeat nature of his music attests to his faith and big heart. Enjoy.
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