Mitchell’s, Nicole Black Earth Ensemble – “Intergalactic Beings” – [FPE Records]

billiejoe   4/30/2014   CD, Jazz

Nine track CD recorded live in 2010 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago (released in 2014). Scratchy screeching strings and wailing horns. Tight and loose at the same time. This free jazz is energetically relaxed. Melodic and organized as well as improvised and scattered. Seems like it’s searching for something it never finds but is fun none the less. It’s all about the process, man.
Flute, horns, and strings with some scaling vocals in the mix. All tracks blend together.
Mitchell is a flautist from NY state and Southern Cal. She’s worked with the ensemble Samana as well as David Boykin (who is on this album), Hamid Drake, Savoir Faire, Edith Yokley, Darius Savage, and Avreeayl Ra (on this album).

Esplendor Geometrico – “Ultraphoon” – [Geometrik Records]

billiejoe   4/8/2014   12-inch, A Library

From 2013 Ultraphoon is a two disc 12” vinyl. The first disc has some low bassy beats with static beats on top like frosting for you ears. The occasional distorted/sampled vocals, crunch, and fart(ish) sounds also enter the palette, all of it very sincerely electronic, even when it’s human. There are robotic distorted vocals on side b (Axum (version)). The track Moko has inaudible female vocals with gorgeous bloopy electronic beats and crashy synthyness. Delicious sounds. The second disc contains bangy clangy beats with the second track side d yelling female vocals in Spanish(?). The final track has layered male vocals in non-english language looped in a playful rhythm. All very enjoyable, none of it particularly challenging. The artists are an industrial band from Spain formed in the early 1980s by Arturo Lanz, Gabriel Riaza, and Juan Carlos Sastre (also members of El Aviador Dro Y Sus Obreros Especializados). They took the name from a text by F.T. Marinetti of the Italian Futurists, a movement known to idolize technology and machines.

Burks, Michael – “Show of Strength” – [Alligator Records]

billiejoe   4/8/2014   Blues, CD

CD from the acclaimed blues artist from Milwaukee. He just passed away in 2012, this was his last album that came out the same year. It’s electric guitar and drum heavy. His talented guitar playing shines. The lyrics are quite cheesy and are about love, both lost and celebrated. What the songs lack in poetic language they more than made up for with Burks’ passionate creative execution. Since I Been Loving You is my favorite. It seems the most honest to me.


Z’ev – “a Handful of Elements” – [Cold Spring Records UK]

billiejoe   4/8/2014   A Library, CD

2013 release of the droney industrial genre. Five track CD, each twelve minutes long. Mellow drone with some thuds and high frequencies and industrial sounds. This is Stefan Joel Weisser from Los Angeles and internationally traveled. Took me a second listen to notice its complexities and see that it is far more rich than it initially lets on. Terra is buzzy, Aqua is warbley jungle sounds (including animals), and Aer is well, airy, buzzy, sharp, and vibrating. Humorous voice sounds are also deep in the back. Ignis is crackling and thunderous. Spirtus is the droniest one, and Z’EV keeps it interesting by advancing and receding the sound back and forth. All tracks blend together really well.


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