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Hemroid The Leader

Walker, Florence / Phil Walker (Recorded By) – “Sounds From The Archipelago Vol. 1” – [Shiok! Records]

Hemroid The Leader   6/27/2017   12-inch, International

Son of the German Diplomat to Moscow at the outbreak of the first World War, Walter Spies was a primativist painter who drifted eastward into Bali in the 1920s. He brought Balinese culture to the west and had a great influence on modern Balinese art and music.
In the 30s Spies and the Indonesian dancer Wayan Limbak adopted ketchak, a Balinese trance ritual, into a drama and dance intended for performance before Western tourist audiences. The syncopated Ketchak chant can be heard in Satyricon, Akira, and Blood Simple.
This is an example of what James Clifford describes as the “modern art-culture system” in which, “the West or the central power adopts, transforms, and consumes non-Western or peripheral cultural elements, while making ‘art,’ which was once embedded in the culture as a whole, into a separate entity.”
The Ketchak chant can be heard on Side A, Band 6.
This record is an uncredited reissue of 1961’s music of Indonesia produced by Henry Cowell and released on Smithsonian Folkways. The Shiok! label is based in Singapore.
Regardless, these recordings are great quality and very compelling, gamelan and wood flute. Indonesian lutes, vocal and violin. A ceremonial tone pervades throughout.

Eastman, Julius – “Femenine” – [Frozen Reeds]

Hemroid The Leader   6/11/2017   A Library, CD

Julius Eastman was a black gay composer/vocalist in late 70s/early 80s New York, performing and recording with the New York Philharmonic and Meredith Monk and others. He suffered from mental illness, the super threw all of his stuff out on the street in ’81 and 9 years later he died in obscurity at a in Buffalo. Scholars have been putting the pieces together since then.
This concert was in 1974 in Albany. 12 or 15 performers memory is hazy. At the performance soup was served and Eastman wore a dress. A mechanism of Eastman’s invention plays sleigh bells for about 70 minutes. The vibraphone hammers out a motif that is expanded upon by the ensemble. In Eastman’s words, “the end sounds like Angels opening up heaven … euphoria.”

Bad Jazz – “Daymare” – [eh?]

Hemroid The Leader   6/11/2017   CD, Jazz

One long track 39m. Piano and a bunch of fumbling. Will make you think something is wrong with the car. About 38 minutes in a toy drum machine takes over. Noises. A plastic straw makes an ominous sound and brings the proceedings to an absurd finale.
Tanya Chen (Tender Buttons) plays piano, electronics, toys.
The liner notes have a picture of some salmon fillets and a microphone.

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

Hemroid The Leader   6/8/2017   12-inch, Classical

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.

Mad Professor Meets Jah9 – “In The Midst of The Storm” – [VP Records]

Hemroid The Leader   5/24/2017   12-inch, Reggae

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.

Brahms, Johannes / Festival Quartet – “Piano Quartet In C Minor, Op. 60” – [RCA Victor/ BMG]

Hemroid The Leader   5/24/2017   12-inch, Classical

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

Ghost In The House – “Second Sight” – [Public Eyesore]

Hemroid The Leader   5/17/2017   A Library, CD

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

Cudd, Patti – “Eos” – [Innova Recordings]

Hemroid The Leader   5/17/2017   A Library, CD

Patti Cudd teaches percussion and new music studies at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and the College of St. Benedict & St. John???s University.
Varied 3 disc set explores many ways of “scraping, scratching, tapping and striking”. Sometimes hand percussion, sometimes with mallets, vibes, sometimes computers. 16 of the 22 tracks are new commissions. The album also features works by Morton Feldman, Brian Ferneyhough and Christian Wolff ??? the only ones here without the use of electronics.
These sounds, many solo except for Max MSP type processing, invite contemplation.. some are very commanding and others could be beds. Dig in, play it all the time. Sayles once told me that a solo percussionist is a foundational part of the KFJC sound.

Xenakis Ensemble – “Waakvlam” – [BVHaast]

Hemroid The Leader   4/19/2017   A Library, CD

The Xenakis Ensemble is a Dutch ensemble dedicated to the performance of contemporary classical music. Based in Middelburg, it is known as one of the few ensembles specializing in the works of the composer Iannis Xenakis (YAWN-iss zen-KNOCK-kiss). Many Xenakis titles in A library. 3 long (20mins) and 1 short (3:30).

Opens with a Xenakis composition featuring the signature sound of percussionn and horn blasts alternating with horror string glissandos.
Track 2 William Breuker – harpsichord and chamber orchestra with lots of percussion.
Track 3 David Del Puerto exploratory marimba concerto, a real treat for marimbologists.
Track 4 Xenakis – shorter Xenakis piece, not so terrifying. Enjoyable, maybe.

Eide, Khalifa Ould & Abba, Dimi Mint – “Moorish Music From Mauritania” – [World Circuit]

Hemroid The Leader   4/12/2017   CD, International

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.

Brahms – “Complete Quartets For Piano & Strings Vol. 2” – [Capitol Records]

Hemroid The Leader   4/6/2017   12-inch, Classical

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.
This quartet is long and shows the influence of Schubert. When performed badly it is quite interminable. None of that here, Victor Allen at the piano with members of the Hollywood String Quartet, Felix Slatkin- violin, Alvin Dinkin- viola, Eleanor Allen- cello.

Vakoka – “Introducing Vakoka” – [World Music Network]

Hemroid The Leader   3/29/2017   CD, International

Vakoka means “something precious given from the ancestors”. Madagascar is an island off of the SE coast of Africa settled 1500 years ago by Polynesians. Wood flutes, violin, accordion, snaredrum, call and response, hand drums. Diverse ensembles give contrasting sounds from track-to-track, deeper tracks reward. Mississippi Records’ “Fanajana” & “Fanafody” Madagascar comps provide contrast.

Monochromie – “Colors In The Dark” – [Time Released Sound]

Hemroid The Leader   3/15/2017   A Library, CD

French composer Wilson Trouve and Alameda’s Time Released Sound bring us 11 tracks of ambient piano, field recordings, guitar, and synthesizer swells, all processed and encased in layers of shellac. Romantic and pastoral impulses dominate. The piano work is tonally related to minimalism, but uncharacteristically, it brings a romantic sentiment to the proceedings

Necks, The – “Silent Night” – [Fish of Milk]

Hemroid The Leader   3/15/2017   A Library, CD

2 CD’s, 2 long slow-moving tunes, 63 & 53 mins from Australia’s The Necks. CDs mix together nicely. Repetitive piano and sidewinding bass phrases, some electroacoustic and film sample sounds. Drum machines. 88 BPM. Made me want to go out at night and repossess some vehicles. 6 minutes in, “Can I get a beer?” You’ll need one. 15 minutes, a guy gets roughed up. 37 minutes in, this lady gets thrown out a window. Ambulances wail, the crime scene photographers do their job. Let’s go on a stakeout.

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