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Chen/ Kaiser/ Smith/ Winant – “Ocean of Storms” – [Fractal Music]

billiejoe   4/18/2018   CD, Jazz

Ambient spacey jazz brought to you by piano, trumpet, guitar, and percussion. Long trips. Smith and Kaiser go way back but this album came out this year. Perhaps Ocean of Storms refers to the Oceanus Procellarum, a basaltic plain on the moon that is the result of ancient volcanic eruptions.

— Billie Joe Tolliver

Hawthonn – “Red Goddess” – [Ba Da Bing!]

billiejoe   4/18/2018   A Library, CD

Moody. Melancholy. Reminds me of a good Anne Sexton poem. It sounds like innovative electronic music. The listener is taken on a journey and each track is a stop along the way to a final destination. It was said of the band that their, “chief inspirations lie outside of music, in Romantic poetry, dreams and reveries, esoteric symbolism, the history of magic and witchcraft, folklore and the English landscape.”

— Billie Joe Tolliver

Schnellertollermeier – “Rights” – [Cuneiform]

billiejoe   2/28/2018   A Library, CD

This is a trio who lives and works in Switzerland. They are Andi Schnellmann on bass, Manuel Troller on guitar, and David Meier on drums. The band name is an amalgamation of their last names. This album came out last year. It sounds like jazz rock with electronic influence. Minimalist? I’d say it’s technical. I liked the guitar on the last track Round. It was written about the sound that it seemed to be a “Cubist work of art that seems to gaze out from the most varied of perspectives, but always in the same direction.” I think that’s apropos.
— Billie Joe Tolliver

Chatham, Rhys – “Pythagorean Dream” – [Foom Music]

billiejoe   2/21/2018   A Library, CD

Chatham is a New Yorker living in Paris. He is a composer and multi-instrumentalist and a prolific artist. This album is ambient and droney long tracks. With its use of flute, guitar, and tape delay it creates a spooky sonic environment.
— Billie Joe Tolliver

Pulse Emitter – “Serious Meditative Music 1- 5” – [Immune Recordings]

billiejoe   2/21/2018   12-inch, A Library

Tones from Portland by Daryl Groetsch, an electronic artist who is classically trained. This album is five discs of ceaseless building and patterns and plateaus. These are short tracks that can be played on continuous. The first four discs were made each year between 2007 and 2010. Disc 5 was newly released last year.
— Billie Joe Tolliver

Liberatore, Matteo – “Solos” – [Innova Recordings]

billiejoe   2/6/2018   CD, Jazz

Liberatore lives in Brooklyn and is from Italy. This album is solo guitar experiments. It sounds like a meditation on vibrations. Very conceptual on first hear but the playful qualities come through.
– Billie Joe Tolliver

Kotra – “Freigeist” – [Kvitnu Records]

billiejoe   2/6/2018   A Library, CD

Kotra is Ukrainian artist Dmytro Fedorenko. Album title Freigeist means freethinker in German. He is known for his abstract performance based pieces. This sounds like moody basey beats. It rattles your rib cage.
— Billie Joe Tolliver

Sekou Batourou Kouyate – “Et Sa Cora” – [Tembo]

billiejoe   1/20/2018   CD, International

This artist is from Mali and is a master of the kora, a 21 stringed lute bridge harp. The album is solo kora. You can hear its depth and variance. This is remastered recordings from 1976. To someone with little to no knowledge of African music such as myself, one can hear the influence that it has had in American music here.
– Billie Joe Tolliver

Bad Jazz – “Endtable Transmissions” – [Tymbal Tapes]

billiejoe   1/16/2018   CD, Jazz

This project was formed out of NorCal Noisefest in 2014. They are Ben Salomon on percussion and invented instruments, Tania Chen on found objects, toys, and electronics, and Bryan Day also on invented instruments. It sounds like sonic examinations. Their homemade sounds make for some great creative experiences. These are some noise researchers.
— Billie Joe Tolliver

Evangelista, Karl/ Grex – “a Love Supreme” – [Brux Records]

billiejoe   1/16/2018   CD, Jazz

This is John Coltrane’s work arranged and produced by Evangelista, the Filipino-American guitarist and composer. On this album he is playing guitar with M. Rei Scampavia on keys and electronics, Robert Lopez on drums, and Dan Clucas on trumpet. All together they are called Grex. To me it sounds like psych with trumpet. It’s emotional and playful.
— Billie Joe Tolliver

Two Ways of Pain Part 43 [coll] – [Shit Noise Records]

billiejoe   1/10/2018   A Library, CD

Long noise tracks? Yes please! Collaboration from noise artists Stirner and Levy Daal from the Netherlands. First track begins with some weird field recording of people screaming and yelling in another language. Middle has some excited screaming and moaning. Ends with more dialog. Noise over all of it.
Track two is more chill but not. It’s spoken word with static over it on in a really realistic way. Makes you feel like something is not working. Listeners will love it!
— Billie Joe Tolliver

Tough Solar – “Tough Solar” – [Vibraphone Records]

billiejoe   1/10/2018   12-inch, A Library

This is Michael Lenzi on drums, percussion, voice, melodica (key harmonica), and sampler. He is from Chicago and has played in Number One Cup, Gold Medal, The Fire Show, Resplendent, and Lenzi. This album sounds like ethereal feels and sad voices. The looping makes it feel as if we are not alone. Pop sensibility question mark. My favorite track is track 4 Restless Navy.
— Billie Joe Tolliver

Experiments Part 5 [coll] – [Trashfuck Records]

billiejoe   12/20/2017   A Library, CD

Different noise artists. Tracks 1-6 are all the same artist and are really short. They can really be considered one piece and would sound cohesive if one were to play them on continuous. All good solid noise tracks.
— Billie Joe Tolliver

Abate, Maurizio & Uggeri, Matteo – “Beyond Time” – [Time Released Sound]

billiejoe   11/15/2017   A Library, CD

Italian duo collaborating with others. Really pretty strings. Italian spoken word track 5. English stuff track 7. Self-described neo-folk ambiance. Features Russian harp, Japanese guitar, e-bow, mandoloncello (bassier mandolin), ghironda (hurdy-gurdy), peppermill, electronics, and field recordings. Came out last year.
– Billie Joe Tolliver

Winslow, Conrad – “Perfect Nothing Catalog, The” – [Innova Recordings]

billiejoe   10/4/2017   CD, Jazz

Conrad Winslow is a composer working in Brooklyn from Alaska and has studied at NYU and Juilliard. The group is violin, flute, cello, and percussion. It’s got that fun silence silence silence then crash John Cage feel I personally enjoy. The whole thing is also a performance piece with costume and candles and choreographed ritual-like movements. Very brainy High Art kinda stuff.
-Billie Joe Tolliver

Vibracathedral Orchestra – “Live At Total Inertia” – [Vanity Case Records]

billiejoe   10/4/2017   10-inch, A Library

Side one is skronky improv. Side two is more springy and fairly-like. They have been jamming together since the 90s with founders being Neil Campbell, Michael Flower, Adam Davenport and others coming in and out. Real trippy pleasant sounds. This was live at the Total Inertia Festival in Leeds last year which is an experimental music festival. I can’t tell if it’s annual or not but last year the festival also had sometimes VO collaborator Bridget Hansen as well as Richard Dawson, Apostille, and FCKN’BSTRDS among many others.
– Billie Joe Tolliver