Hangouts come and go but nowadays someone always has a recording to bring back the memories. Between 2006 and 2012 in New York City’s downtown, the restaurant/bar/hangout Mangiami (Eat Me) was THE place for clubsters, models, cool neighbors, freaks. losers and those in the know to hang out. On Monday nights local and international dj’s would spin records on the old Technics turntables set up at the bar and the place would supposedly ignite. This compilation of 8 tunes gives the listener the feel of what it was like. Dance tunes, some with simple vocals, create a constant beat to help you slug down the drink of the moment. Hinting at futuresynth ideas, also pulling from dance rhythms of the 1980’s and 1990’s, infused with a contemporary sensibility, this was the sound. The constant thump gets under your skin and soon your head starts rocking side to side. It’s a medium cool kind of beat, no HI-NRG here. Drop ins of electric piano riffs, vocal samples, bells, high hat. A little too slow for a jog around the reservoir, but perfect for strutting through the Village. On canstant play in my 1997 Lexus.
Long time ago in another dimension, the Italian duo Fabricio Lucarini and Silvia Innocenti created music with the name of Plath. This was back in 1982. It sounded like power electronica of today, but it was done long time ago. It certainly didn’t sound like anything else at that point of time. And it still does not sound like a cliche power electronics trip produced today. This is lo-fi beat electronica with angst driven female yelling that has certain F-words that most likely are the bad ones. It’s deranged, ugly, sterile, far ahead of its time. It’s certainly noticeable and excellent.
The Gillbillies describe themselves as a three-piece instrumental outlaw gothic western surf-a-billy cowpunk band – they break the mold with their long beards, cowboy hats and choice of guitars. Frequent gigs in the San Francisco Bay Area and appearances at the last two KFJC Surf Battles have won them respect as showmen and fine musicians. Twangy, energetic new takes on some classic surf tune covers.
The title of this 4-track EP from Netherlands 3-piece band Stories from Shamehill probably refers to how it is grounded in traditional surf music but with a modern sound – the same but different. The band’s 2017 January/February tour in California gives them a chance to stop by the KFJC pit. All originals, well played, fun and energetic.
This surf trio from the Netherlands gives us a 2-track EP that is well played and recorded – nice bouncy energy on original tunes. They were in Livorno for the 2016 Surfer Joe Festival that was broadcast by KFJC.
Beethoven’s Triple Concerto
Concerto in C Major for Piano, Violin, Cello and Orchestra, Op. 56
Rudolf Serkin, piano
Jaime Laredo, Violin
Leslie Parnas, Cello
Alexander Schneider Conducting The Marlboro Festival Orchestra
Every summer, America’s finest classical musicians gather in Marlboro, VT. This dates from 1964. The B side begins with a high-pitched recording defect which resolves just after you begin pulling your hair out. A fine record.
Beethoven/ Schumann/ Souvairan, Pierre – “Beethoven, Bagatelles – Schumann, Fantasiestucke” – [Radio Canada Internationl]
Pierre Souvairain was born in Switzerland to French parents, July 30, 1911. In 1953 he joined the faculty at the University of Toronto, and in 1959 he became a Canadian citizen.
These pieces are part of a 19th century genre of solo piano music. Beethoven’s Bagatelles, Op. 126 was his final work for piano. He called them “cycle of little pieces,” and they are tracked together on this LP. Schumann’s Fantasiestucke, Op. 12 was written in 1837, dedicated to Fraulein Anna Robena Laidlaw, an accomplished and attractive 18-year-old Scottish pianist with whom Schumann had become good friends. Dreamy fanciful sketches.
2016 debut cassette from Cleveland’s Blind Spring, featuring members from several other groups, including the Red Sparowes, Terminal Lovers, Keelhaul, and the experimental jazz project Lost Head.
Deep sea divers experience a condition called nitro narcosis, an altered mental state that arises from breathing air in a high pressure environment. This cassette sounds what that must feel like – a strange, hallucinatory aquatic voyage. “Pilotage” (T1) opens with underwater echoes and distant melodies; later, electronic sounds appear from the depths like fluorescent sea creatures. “Open Circuit Buoy” (T3) is a 15-minute piece that begins with a dark beat-driven section that opens up into a gorgeous jam, with layered guitars, steady drumming, and an abrupt sample at the end. “Rebreathe” (T4) is another long-playing (25 minute) highlight that plunges to the darkest depths – there’s haunted piano, theremin-like bubbling, electronics with the bends. The cassette ends with “Nitro Narcosis” (T5), with drumming, bells, and electric keys finding a quiet, unhurried groove before fading away.
Nick Zoulek is an American Saxophonist and composer, pushing his instrument in new directions through his unique vocal techniques, circular breathing, and “unconventional articulation.” He uses multiple microphones to pick up different aspects and textures of the sax sound.
The first thing you notice when listening to this album is Zoulek’s incredible circular breathing abilities. Beautiful melodic lines continually flow and evolve, becoming ever louder and more powerful. Relentless streams of arpeggios rush at you, unwavering.
Then come the otherworldly moans and screams, as Zoulek vocalizes and blows simultaneously, resulting in some room-shaking harmonic vibrations. Thick, honky sounds bellow like from the depths of hell. The songs take on such a richness and textural complexity that they sound electronically processed. On top of all this, Zoulek smacks the keys like drums, yielding a hollow percussive sound, almost like a bass.
The album is an exploration of harmonics and resonance, and what can be achieved with a simple instrument played in a new light.
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.
String trio published in 1797 when Beethoven was 27 years old. The first of four, all from his youth.
Violin – Jascha Heifetz
Viola – William Primrose
Cello – Gregor Piatigorsky
Melody, arpeggio, ornament, trill, notes jumbled up and piled on top of each other. Madly dense. Two jazz standards locate the work but propose many questions, Well You Needn’t and On Green Dolphin Street. Calarts grad. Recorded by in Brooklyn NY Nov 2015.
This is Hessle Audio co-founder Kevin McAuyley’s (Pangaea) 2016 debut album, an exercise in modern, contemporary UK left-field house/dance music where nothing is sacred and you don’t know how the next track sounds like. We are dealing with unexpected rhythms and off-the-beaten track synth sounds, edgy loops and stream of consciousness productions. Which is brave rather than doing 10 tracks of techno beater material, each one has its own little world, from tech house to Detroit techno, to wobble and more. Of some odd reason each subsequent track gets more interesting where the last one, DNS, is my favorite – it has shadows of early day dubstep but still takes off into a direction I didn’t expect. Nice, nice!
Sophia is Peter Bjärgö and his collaborators from the Swedish neoclassical band Arcana (and others). Formed in 1998, the project has been an outlet for Bjärgö to explore darker themes and more aggressive industrial sounds. On this 2016 release from Cyclic Law, Sophia confronts “the folly of man’s self destructive tendencies” – how our worst selves reach their full expression when we withdraw from others. This isolation is depicted in the album’s cover images – empty rooms in a ruined house, strewn liquor bottles – while the album’s sounds attempt to reach inside these miserable spaces. We hear deadbolts unlocking, rusted hinges swiveling open, and grand choral sounds like light piercing stale darkness. Drums are struck – the rhythms are “martial,” but that word hardly captures the feeling – it is the sound of time advancing deathward. That urgency is echoed in the spoken word lyrics (included in the booklet), a plea to examine our selfish actions. The album’s final three tracks show what awaits us if we refuse: in “Where the Steel Meets the Flesh” (T11), we hear the faint beeps and buzzes of a hospital room, another miserable space, where we will (likely) face our final moments, alone.
CD – Workshop
The collaboration between Dave Moufang (Move D) and Jonah Sharp (Spacetime Continuum) are sparse between, this is their second album released 2009. However, each album is a tasty dish, a mixture of tech house with ambience and dubby sonic elements. Graceful synths work together with tasty beats and fanciful arpeggios. The opening track Dinner With Q sets the tone with acoustic guitar splashes moving along dubby synth bubbles and a deep house feel drum pattern. Many of these compositions were actually done during a short visit to a friend’s analog synth studio in Japan — even so there are no obvious traces of jamming along to make something, rather each peace is a nice standalone and excellent composition. The CD ends with a long homage to electronic dub — Du bist hier! (you are here!)
Natural Swing delivers 20 short instrumental and chill hip hop tracks designed as abstract melody concepts with lots of warble, mud, scratched vinyl noise and sonic wobble with this 2016 release. This is very much underground hip hop with a stream of consciousness approach to samples and compositions that could be composed today with various computer tools to extend samples into more dreamlike expansions. This results lead to experiences of short bursts of introspection into unknown areas that maybe even the originators didn’t expect themselves. Some of the highlight tracks — for me — was LFO, Trane and Goodie, mostly due to the jazz influenced chord sequences. This kind of broken beat art maybe works best in small doses.
Beethoven / Vladimir Horowitz – “Sonata In F Minor, Op. 57 – Sonata No. 7 In D, Op. 10, No. 3” – [RCA Victor/ BMG]
Horowitz married Toscanini’s daughter. Beethoven piano sonatas. Good for the mood.
Beethoven took Viennese music publisher Anton Diabelli’s cut-n-paste waltz with one unexpected chord change and freaked it every which way, writing 33 variations. Beethoven pushes the limits of piano composition. Steven Bishop at the piano.
Korean composer Unsuk Chin (b. 1961) studied under Gyorgy Ligeti and she takes his influence somewhere very special. This CD features performances by Ensemble Contemperain, founded by Pierre Boulez in 1976. The music is colorful and textural. Tracks 1-7 track together as one work. Many silences, subtleties. Tracks 8, 9, & 10 are more recent, longer compositions. Tension, anxiety, and dread make their presences felt.