This is an improvisational communication between Brand on cello and Rupp on electric guitar, creating a soundscape in the shadows, where their separate stringed instruments intersect, overlap, and create a nouveau classical sound that opens your minds and inner ears to what happens when two stellar musicians get together.
Beresford, Steve / Homler, Anna / Sanderson, Richard – “Berlin Toy Bazaar” – [Linear Obsessional Recordings]
Homler’s crazed vocals and the plinking, plunking sometimes melodic sounds of toys, samplers, electronics, and even an accordion characterize this particularly eccentric music recorded live at the Berlin Jazz Festival in 2003. It’s a musical conversation that requires your own translation, and it’s right up KFJC’s alley.
When I first listened to this CD, I thought, “Bollywood!” But it’s Kollywood with a K! Which refers to Tamil cinema. But this is so much more. Ilaiyaraaja is an incredibly prolific score-master of cinema, creator of “euphoric electronics and robotic funk,” and all you have to do is pick any track to hear the creative energy behind all that this Southern Indian pens. Though the songs have known popularity mostly in Tamil speaking territories, I know this will get a fair airing in Ann Arbor’s show, among others.
These songs from 1951-77 get the funk to rise in your blood in the best possible way, and the liner notes explain in a most excellent fashion how this type of music came to be from the earliest days in Congo Square, New Orleans, where “slaves, ex-slaves and free blacks congregated each Sunday to socialise, dance, party…and worship.” From Eldridge Holmes to Norma Jean to Chocolate Milk to Clifton Chenier to Zilla Mayes, this is a not-to-be-missed compilation, meant for more than just Soul Patrol.
These two CDs take you back in time to the late 60s cabaret scene in France, where singer-songwriter Ferrat specialized in setting poetry to music. This very polished sound is easy on the ears, mellow and romantic, and, as the liner notes say, pop in the best sense of the word. Track 3 made the 2013 BBC list of 20 songs that most changed the world. Each song will transport you to the environs of France and all its boutique glory.
Salamander Wool’s music is by Carso Garhart and Twig Harper contributes electronic elements and production techniques. The first track is probably the best, with its field sounds (recorded over time in West Baltimore) and bells. Vocals join the sounds partway through the track, and are present on the other tracks as well. These are an acquired taste, but the music itself is pleasant enough, with its guitar strumming that is Americana-esque. Track 5 has water sounds and then whirring (a washing machine?). The lyrics have merit, and overall this might just be great music for the solar eclipse coming up.
In a worthy tribute to their mother, the Opalio brothers join with Montera for some instantaneous composition in Marseille, France. In addition to the lovely painting gracing the album cover, Roberto adds his haunting wordless vocalizations and alientronics to Maurizio’s self-made string instrument and Montera’s self-made guitar table. The effects are calming, atmospheric, strange, and out of this world superb.
These are two epic-length tracks, the first commissioned by Thomas Buckner and composed by Lockwood to showcase her vocalizations that call to mind shamanic chants with a large glass gong, wind, and a Cameroonian rattle, among other instruments. Track 2 records the voice of sculptor Walter Wincha, interviewed by Lockwood just over a day before he died at age 30. Interspersed with the interview are field sounds of running on a track. The entire experience is cathartic and mesmerizing.
This album is relaxing to listen to, especially when you consider how it is contains no overdubs, no edits, no anything except an artist and a rack, which is pictured in the poster. The sounds on here are perfect accompaniment for mind musing and expansion.
Dufallo, violinist for Flux Quartet, Ne(x)tworks, and ETHEL, offers us a bracing treat here with his “journal” of work with living composers including, among others, Kinan Azmeh and Raven Chacon. Electronics manipulations combine with his sublime avant violin technique and each track is described well in the liner notes. Dufallo himself composed the last track, “Reverie,” which is a must-listen. Call it edgy, nostalgic, classical–but it is definitely exquisite.
Just in time to awaken you from your winter stupor we bring you this treasure from 2005, an electronica sampler from Ai Records packed with something for everyone. There are upbeats galore, vox on some (like 5, 6, 12, 13), marimba-like sounds on 13, and infectious dub sounds on others (9). Standing the test of time, these will get you moving in a good way.
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.
This is a gorgeous aural experience brought to you by electronic and visual artist Mike Metlay. I happened to listen to this on a drive to Henry Coe State Park, and it was the perfect soundtrack for my ride. The colors in the track titles seemed to be in sync with the landscape passing outside my window. By the time “fade to green” was piping through the speakers, there were lovely springtime green hills to go along with the Earth mama feeling of the music. Birdsong was a nice addition to the track. Track 3 has some vocalizations that blend in well with the electronics, and there is some sampling thrown in on some tracks, though it is minimal. The entire CD builds from spare outings to the final, epic track that has layers of beauty. Even in the spaces, there is so much going on. Fading never sounded so good.
So Beast is Katarina Poklepovic and Michele Quadri. I know nothing about their backgrounds except their names. Together they create some fairly fresh music. Her vocals are angry and punk-sounding, and his balance hers with equanimity. The music includes some samples, electronics, and extreme delicate, nostalgic piano on track 13. Tracks 8-11 are really cool and blend together if you let them.There’s a lot on this disc to please whatever mood you’re in.
As soon as I began listening to this CD, my spirit was saying yes. Trance, shoegaze, elements of rock and psych, and fascinating lyrics (which are kindly printed out for you on the liner notes) all combine to make this a truly enjoyable musical experience. Ingrid Luna Blue’s voice masterfully guides you through the shifting depths. Be sure to try out “Lost Garden Gnome Hotline” (3), “Aviatrix” (7), and “Purple Mushroom House” (9).
This reissue of the 1975 library album composed by French synthesizer master Fevre is still as perfectly fitting now as it was in the 70s for eliciting just the right feeling of “Suspense.” It’s simulataneously bouncey and off-kilter, calling to mind scenes that might go well in Dr. Who or some other quirky sci-fi drama. The pieces are short and evocative, and Naysayer says that Fevre’s work heavily influenced Peter Frampton. Go figure.
Anna Homler lends her vocal talents to this atmospheric, electronic, ambient release from 1997. Voices of Kwahn consists of The Pylon King (Mark Davies), with Dunderhead, Nigel C. Eaton, and Juliet Mootz. There are other worldly bell and chime sounds, especially in “Colonist Dreamer” and the epic “Eclipsed.” Expansive and cathartic, pensive and relaxing.
Add another great record from Gerry Mulligan to the KFJC library with this music that is as comfort food to me. Featuring recordings from 1952-1953 of “pianoless quartet” members Mulligan on baritone sax, Baker on trumpet, Larry Bunker on drums, Carson Smith on bass, Chico Hamilton on drums, and Bob Whitlock on bass, this is jazz from a time when the genre was undergoing changes described on the album notes. Mulligan arranged all and composed some of these tunes, making them all worth listening and swinging to. You won’t be able to stay still, I promise.
These recordings come to us from 1958 and are as engaging as the album cover. Percussion fans will appreciate Rugulo’s compositions and the way they are executed by the likes of Andre Previn on piano, Larry Bunker on vibes, xylophone, and timpani, and Shelly Manne on drums. Read the liner notes as you partake of the pleasure, especially of “Funky Drums” and “Percussion at Work.”
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