Yes, he is a member of latter Nine Inch Nails, but don’t let that mainstream-ity scare you off from this. Cortini’s solo works are beautiful, lush ambient drone excursions that fall perfectly into place on KFJC. He’s really into synths and keyboards, and for this latest release, he’s made the instrument himself and focuses on using just that. Pulsating rhythms, wafting tones, cinematic touches, washes of dystopian lands… accurately felt as the title of the album translates to dark light (Italian). Bellisimo!
This CD is pretty much like wearing two different pairs of socks. The first 2 tracks are live, improv jazz jams, both around 20 minutes. Those two are Thollem (piano) along with Matt Lux (bass) and Avreeayl Ra (drums), 2019 in Chicago. Intermission takes place on track 3, which is completely silent. The following 9 tracks are Thollem along with Sunken Cages (Ravish Nomin) and are synth and drum driven psychedelic space, ethnic fusion, whispering words, even a little hip hop beats, and where I would apply the word astral. Recorded in Philadelphia, also 2019. Buckle up and enjoy Thollem’s travels!
Known for being the vocalist and guitarist in Neurosis… a punishing, heavy band, Von Till’s solo efforts often take a soft departure and venture into new delicate territories. This release is his first solo record without a guitar in hand, opting this time for piano, cello, strings, French horn, mellotron and analog synthesizers, no voice. It’s drifty, ambient, reminiscent, gloomy yet optimistic. The cover art influences a vision of resting on an isolated island, soft winds and gentle waves, while giant moons and ships float by. A ghostly feeling, as if you’re watching your life walk down another path you almost chose.
Magical, hypnotic psychedelia rhythms from Buenos Aires, Argentina. They mix synthesizers, organs, and electric guitar among Andean rattles, bells, tarkas, and field recordings from Bolivia and Peru. The buzzy, whimsical sounds from the synthesizers give this a mystical desert feel. Ambient yet rhythmical, harmoniously futuristic, deep swamp jungle sci fi resonances. Very chill.
Collaboration between Buchla heads, Marcia & Thomas. She’s out in Phillie (I think), is a part of Double Leopards, GHQ, and Hototogisu & runs the Yew label that this is released on. Dimuzio is a local guy, known for his modular knobbery. This work explores ‘sound interference, texture, and ultra low-end synth waves’. They met each other at Thomas’s radio show, Frequency Modulation Radio at KFPA up in Berkeley, and then met together again and created this dark, sizzling, experimental noise nest. Crunchy, static, alien radio waves, computer squiggles of the past, cavernous synth sounds.
Duo from Leicester, UK. Chris Conway (theremin, keyboards, voice, guitar, kalimba, flutes) & Jim Tetlow (laptop, keyboards, cajon). It’s delicate, ambient drones that waft and flow harmoniously. Visions of soft glowing frogs and twinkling fireflies in a black lit forest. Gurgles and trinkles. It’s incredibly mellow and sedative, very excellent.
Solo project of Zack Tornaben, who created this over the pandemic in his Manhattan apartment, using a 1968 electric combo organ and primitive drumbox, ran through a two-machine tape delay. It’s a harmonious cosmical journey through cotton candy clouds and iridescent dew kissed tulips. Very light, airy and relaxing rhythms. An ambient looped voyage. Shimmery, meditative, and summery.
Not a lot of information floating around on this project, but it’s a collective from Southern California. They’re calling themselves power electronics, and you do get some of that. It’s not blasting white noise and power drills though. It’s more experimental electronics and the weird sounds you can make playing around with your digital and analog toys. There’s repetitive beats, twisted knobs, echoed winds… industrial more than harsh. Each “track” is a new discovery. Intriguing group? Person? Robot?
Ake is a Swedish composer, musician, and multimedia artist who started his studies in 1978. This collection reaches into 2004, then jumps into works from 2011-2015. The first track is completely mechanical – clicks, winding, rustles, whirs that lead into some experimental beats. It’s an industrial factory come alive! Grooves takes you on a crackling, dirty & dusty vinyl voyage. It builds up to chaos that sounds like 10 horses galloping through the mud, then drops you off into dust mite space. Electric Birds is composed of the wild birds of New Zealand. Their real natural state is heard for the first half of the recording, and then he begins to process them the latter half. Creepy electronics rumble and rustle underneath. The title track, Growl, is the only one to feature vocals… or guttural screaming metal throat blasts of lyrics Ake wrote. It’s like a nightmare where multiple melting demons and ghouls scream at you through sizzled wires. The final track takes you through alien spaceships with bleeps, skittering rhythms, techno beats and whizz’s and whurls. This is fantastic!
Feiler, Dror & The Too Much Too Soon Orchestra – "What Is The Point of Paris?" – [Fylkingen Records]
Dror Feiler is an Israeli born, Swedish musician. He created the TMTS Orchestra back in the mid-80s, with the intent of pushing improv music to the limits. Incorporating non-musical things such as drills, machines, chain saws, sledgehammers and the such. This album was recorded back in 1991 at The Alka Art Center, Linköping (Sweden). Three long, all live tracks. It’s chaotic, furious, angry, noisy and spastic. Wailing & squonked sax, damaged synth sounds, stretched guitar, dying clarinet, echoed screams. The added power tools and hollowed industrial sounds of a giant open space building make you wonder if this is what construction workers hear when they go mad.
A duo of Aaron Hemphill (Liars) and John Wiese, recorded back in 2010, released originally on super limited 7″. Dark, dreary, hopeless vox over distorted low grumbles, industrial sizzled waves, and drugged up hypnotic rhythms. Not harsh and scary, well, most of the time. It’s more moody and and like they just don’t give a fuhhhh.
A nice minimal electronic/ambient/dark compilation from 1995. A few tracks from Darrin Verhagen (ran the Dorobo label for awhile) under various alias here – Shinjuku Thief, Professor Richmann, and other greats such as Black Lung, Alan (Alam) Lamb and Paul Schutze. Some found sounds, hidden clips, icy drones, slow rhythms and pulses. Shinjuku gets a little cinematic in a couple of his tracks as well. Very nice!
A transcendental trip through “beauty, mind and body.” A cosmic, Japanese quartet of Yakenohara, P-RUFF, H. Takahashi, and Osawa Yudai. Computers, synthesizers, rhythm boxes, and a drizzle of space dust make this stellar relaxation journey something to wrap your yogi around. It’s like floating through candy colored comets, sparkling sequined moons and glittered galaxies. Spoken robotic words on a few. A utopian vision of the future, with therapeutic meditations.
A great collection of beats from Soul Jazz’s electronic side label – MtM. Quirky techno, leftfield, some house, IDM, ‘avant hip-hop, twisted disco, deep jazz’ and the such from artists Kit Clayton, Kid 606, Sutekh, Hu Vibrational & others, and remixes from Daedelus, Corker/Conboy, Telefon Tel Aviv. Soul Jazz always puts together incredible compilations, it’s nice to hear a techno outing from them! They’re all upbeat, happy, fun and summery sounds. Dip in!
Whimsical, child-like reminiscences, warm sunny days, the hum and scratch of old vinyl…
An enchanting story of Tom Fraser’s great aunt, Mirabel Lorber (Mirry), who had recorded a number of piano compositions which she had kept secret from her family. While cleaning out his recently passed grandfather’s house, Tom came across an old scratched Transco record and along with his brother-in- law Simon Tong, brought to life this perfect marriage of sound. He’s re-imagined her piano recordings with added electronics, strings, found sounds, hiss of old records, and fantastical memories. It’s insanely lovely, very cinematic and caring. I imagine she’d be proud.
Cincinnati art-punks blasting chaotic, spazzy and rhythmical sounds. Female fronted screamer, yelling in baby English, maybe just blubbering random made up words… It’s like tossing Melt Banana, Boredoms, and Les Georges Leningrad into a blender and getting a sharp, glassy smoothie. Noisey percussion, zipping electronics, wailing sax, and flunked math guitars. A short & sour cacophony!
End of the Game was a 1975 cult noir movie starring John Voight and Jacqueline Bisset. A drama/mystery/crime thriller – “When a Swiss cop is murdered, a veteran homicide inspector and a rookie are assigned to solve the case but they are obstructed by interfering Swiss politicians.” The score is classic Morricone – themes, rhythms and crescendos that pull on your heart strings and reach into your deepest, most vulnerable, inner emotions. His compositions are always so gorgeous, and full of cinematic perfection. There’s the lovely moody pianos, the soft strings, the gentle horns, the ghostly singing…. and of course there’s a dash of some funky 60’s sounding instrumentals! Ennio e magico!
A remix and interpretation collection of The Blameshifter’s (Tasman Richardson, also label founder) track, Someplace. The range of sounds on this album flow from dark horror, ambient drone, spooky shadowy experimental, IDM quirks, minimal beat and gloomy urges. If you didn’t know that it was a remix project, you wouldn’t be able to tell, each track is a completely different take – a perfect blend between being right on the cusp of deep sleep, and entering that sinister nightmare. Original track is on the B side, plus his own remix, as well as fantastic journeys from others!
I’m pretty damn picky with singing, but Edward Ka-Spel definitely is one of my favorite vocalists. His voice is so charming, delicate and whimsical – perfect for telling haunted fairytales and forlorn stories. This album came out in 2016, and delve into introspection, narcissism and self-loathing, mortality and the afterlife, destiny and social media. Electronics, piano, mellotron, guitars… it’s another great trip from The Dots.
A beautiful, cosmic space trip from collaborators Wobbly, J Lesser and Blevin Blectum! Three weirdos from the bay area, Wobbly’s been a part of Negativland for bit as well as his own projects and other collabs, Blevin Blectum has Blectum From Blechdom, and J Lesser has toured with Matmos as well as his own stuff. It’s their second release together as Sagan, and it’s ‘a recursive love letter to the early decades of space travel and the High Frontier, when the lines between hard scientific research and emotional wanderlust melted away to reveal an optimistic vision for mankind’s shared future.’ It’s got those twitchy itchy Wobbly beats, along with lots of zips and zaps, quirks and wiggles, squiggles and programmed electronic spastic schitzo.
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