In this album by San Francisco experimentalist composer Ernesto Diaz-Infante, atonal canticles of the sun’s calendrical signatures brood out through electric guitar post-production and subdued improvised noise. The radiation waves ride through each track arcing at solar speed as the album progresses. At noon’s crest the heat energy and silver strummed guitar glints towards infinity blue. Two notable departures from the atonalist appear on tracks VI and IX. This album is slow cinema for atmospheres witness to human endeavors. A dreamlike ambulation advances the momentum. The ending is pure romance of heaven. A horizonal transference between earthbound bodies and the transcendent celestial order lights up the twilight with evening color gods. Let us remain here forever. —Ms. Conduct
All of the signals for Moon Duo’s second volume of Occult Architecture suggest the recesses of a lunar netherworld: astral in origin, anti-gravitational and steeped in rune lore esotericism. The album, however, contradicts its namesakes and offers up a cheery sonic plane of yellow mellow psych rock wrapped in soft drones. Weekend plans? These are tunes for forest bathing in daylight. Bright atmospheres with a hint of Sunday sadness. On the affirmative side: Cannabinol elevation and solar spiritualism. For the low end: Happy dog photography & stealthy hymns for television’s commercial converts. —Ms. Conduct
Ms. Conduct 2/20/2022 A Library
Each track in this collaboration between Spanish musicians, IbonRG & Enrike Hurtado, reads as a distinct incantation. The confluence of styles brings together acoustic folkloric vocals with the traditional Basque percussion, the txalaparta, while digital departures designed with special software (à la Hurtado) layer and complicate these blood-psalms. This album sings like a sanguine invocation of fabled scriptures. Its articulations are the trace affects of centuries past. Brood amulet and rouge quartered from one continental position, separated from stone. The bone choral and solar massacres stolen underfoot. A Spanish prayer factory of ghost hymns, lowered in sun.
Ms. Conduct 1/19/2022 A Library
Kyle Bruckmann’s Triptych (tautological) enacts an ekphrastic homage to his avant-garde influences in this patiently evolving four-track album. Triptych opens with the likeness of electronic insect wings defragmenting into atonalist improv as his woodwind surfaces to a state of recognition. As the album advances, it echoes more restraint than Tzadik Records jazz compositions, while other times one can hear updated excursions into the domain of the Radiophonic Workshop. The end result is a sparse cobalt narrative with enough lyrical sophistication to get its articulations across with ease.
There is a pensive quality to the controlled folly of these compositions. Hailing from the world of classical music, Bruckmann’s album contains hybridized traces of free jazz, electronic music, post & art punk. At times there is a palpable sense that Bruckmann draws heavily from musique concrète, though that may be just a coincidence of the mash-up. This is a dramatic album, although not one terribly exaggerated. It plays like the soundtrack to a postmodern mystery novel, so solicit your shadows after noon before putting this one on the spinner.
Postulating a kind of inverted oracular through the sonic landscapes of this collaboration between Greek musicians Aggelos Baltas and Seirios Savvaidis, the album reconstructs an acoustic imaginary of ancient folk traditions with upgrades from psychedelic and space rock contemporaries. In the reverb cycle one hears a certain agrarian re-envisioning of the world, replete with harvest rituals and celestial incantations. Only once or twice one might hear a wrong exit in the direction of slipstreamed Neo-Classical utopias of the 1970’s sepia sci-fi variety (replete with columnated bathing chambers and shopping malls of the future-past). For the most part, this is a folksy reckoning of ancient Grecian musical traditions with a modern upgrade. The utopic yearning reaches full crescendo in the closing track where a ‘new dawn beginning’ solar horizon opens on to a suggestion of futures.
A sound sculptural homage to water and dreams, Medusa Dreaming, enacts the aboriginal dreamtime in this aural prayer to the hydrosphere. Recorded as a live performance in the Byzantine Basilica Cistern by Australian environmental sound artist-sculptor, Ros Bandt and the Medusa Ensemble. Bandt construes a menagerie of ghost whistles, flutes, harps, shells & shakers, ethereal vocalizations and other improvised electroacoustic ambient noise to incant and resurrect water spirits from the ravages of the Anthropocene. This site-specific composition draws source from its locale—an underground water palace beneath Istanbul, Turkey—reconstructing a ‘sonic archaeology’. Glass tears from the ceremonial cistern. Aeolian harps are plucked by crimsoning fingers at the bottom of Lake Mungo. A Rimu tree’s ultrasonic growth bends into the hydrophone stream of frenzied carp feeding in waters beneath the live performance audience. Welcome the drown ceremony as Ophelia and enter this bathy-spheric hallucination.
Sabreen formed amidst the drama of political turmoil in 1980 as a collective of Palestinian musicians & artists interested in channeling the generational sentiments wrought from social strife and the hope of eventual conciliations. Death of the Prophet, originally recorded on cassette at the beginning of the first intifada (the insurrectionist rebellion of Palestinians against Israel’s occupation of the West Bank) in 1987 and was re-released in 2020 by the Akuphone label.
This album blends traditional classical Arabic music with popular folklore:
—Barbed chords pluck misery from heaven as the larynx releases a white dove.
—A sanguine calligraphy bleeds out an arsenal of poetry to wrangle the holy landscape.
—Ghosts send up a solemn prayer for peace that the usurpers hold mute.
The oud and the kanun instruments preserve echoes of their classical origins, but are adapted to modern composition with freer improvisation. Lyrics deploy sanctified words from the Palestinian poets, Mahmoud Darwish and Samih Al Qasem, imbuing this album with postcolonial righteous zeal.
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