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.
From Bristol, UK. Psych. Doom. This came out in 2013. Sounds like echoing screaming vocals and heavy sounds. Lots of feels and vibrations. Track five is poppy punk upbeat. Six could not be slower. Lots of varying sounds.
— Billie Joe Tolliver
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.
Prolific artist from Arizona. Sounds like tones, knocking, buzzing, and noise crunch.
This album was made this year and is from a 2014 art installation that explored sounds and printmaking. What you hear are acoustic sounds played back in amplified volume. The title, “Inactive Parts” refers to the amount of time metal plates used for making records sit before being discarded if not used.
— Billie Joe Tolliver
Solo debut from the guitarist from Pelican. Also associated with RLYR and Chord. From Chicago. Sounds like humming buzzing tones from a chord organ with occasional acoustic and electric guitar, keyboard, vocals, and cat collar. Moody. Layered. Dramatic. Chill. This is one of my favorite kinds of rock n roll. Vocal on track 3. Spacey basey on track 4.
— Billie Joe Tolliver
This mostly instrumental album (1972) was Cale’s second solo effort, and it’s a transitional work in that he had been writing songs for a while–“Vintage Violence” was his previous solo record and that one was all songs–but he was not ready to leave behind the 1960’s avant-garde instrumental sounds he had been known for before the Velvet Underground came along. So there is some of that here. Cale was also classically trained on viola and piano, and that’s another influence that plays a big part on this record. There are three nice, medium-length piano pieces, and The Royal Philharmonic appears on an 8-minute orchestral suite on Side 2 and then joins Cale on the final track. There are a few oddball tracks: “The Philosopher” is all slide guitar, trumpet, and junk percussion; “King Harry” has actual lyrics but Cale delivers them in a creepy whisper; and there is a track on Side 1 that features Legs Larry Smith (of the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band) giving instructions to someone at a television studio with Cale’s overdubbed violas underneath. Ron Wood appears to be on this record someplace. I wouldn’t call every track strong, but if you’re a Cale fan, or even just curious about him, you’ll find some things to like here.
Kleistwahr is the solo electronic project of Gary Mundy, of the legendary industrial/power electronics band Ramleh; his work under this name dates back to a pair of Broken Flag cassette releases from 1983. Mundy has returned to this project in recent years to create a series of intensely beautiful noise records that share a common theme of modern despair, including 2014’s The World Is Not My Home, 2016’s Over Your Heads Forever, and now this 2017 LP from Cairo’s Nashazphone label.
Music for Zeitgeist Fighters holds two sidelong tracks, “Music For Dead Dreams” (T1) and “Music For Fucked Films” (T2), composed from relentless guitar feedback, ghostly voices straining to be heard through the distortion, hazy piano melodies, droning organ, and blistering noise. Blasts of harshness coexist with tragic beauty in a way that is so effortless and so authentic that it is immediately clear that this is work of a master. Philip Best wrote of this record: “Really don’t want to ruin the fun and generally I’m up for anything but this fucking shit cannot go on, can it?” In these deeply fucked times, music this blazingly powerful stirs the will to keep fighting.
Holy crapola. Power punk is alive and well, thank the gods. My neck still has a kink in it from flipping my head around so much to this album by the Uranium Club (a.k.a. Minneapolis Uranium Club). Eight cuts of right on, 21st century nihilist punk songs filled with snark and futility due to the world’s current situation. Smart, young dude intelligent lyrics about god, earth destruction, messed up relationships: we are living the dream. May I state my references/what I hear when playing this for the fifth time: early fast Buzzcocks, early Devo, Steve Albini/Big Black, Gene Wilder Willie Wonka. Great guitar work. Strong bass lines. Powerful straight ahead drumming. Three of the four guys take on vocals. Track one is spoken word “ad” about the band. Track eight is a quick instrumental. Play it LOUD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Der Plan Der Plan Der Plan. Du bist wunderbar. Considered to be the originators of Neue Deutsche Welle, Der Plan, from Dusseldorf, began in 1979 as more of an industrial band but moved into the electronic beats that make them famous. They incorporate puppets, masks, wild costumes, home made sets, all looking like a kindergarten class taking on “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari”, along with the angular, electronic driven “simplistic” synth sounds. In 1984, they made a video and LP called “Japlan” which led to a successful tour of Japan. The album did very well there but was not released in Germany. Until 2013.
The album is 21 songs of angular, electronic, German, synth goofiness. Songs about space travel, pizza, insects, German three masted boats: you name it, it’s here. Vocals are that kind of droney, mid to low register kind of “I don’t care I’m just too bored” sensibility. Superb. And just imagine what it would have looked like on stage.Get ready to anti-dance.
Hypnopazuzu is a newish project by legendary David Tibet and Youth (Martin Glover, bassist of Killing Joke and other projects and producer). Supposedly this project was in the works for years, at least on a conversational level. Youth and Tibet are highly intimidating men so it is interesting on how to approach this big work. Musically, it is lush, rich and full, with stunning orchestrations combining strings and moog, synthesizers, guitar and percussion. All pieces are slow but never dull. Always moving, flowing, changing from quiet to full sound, contrasting and playing with Tibet’s vocals. Tibet has a unique, distinguishable voice, known immediately by those who are familiar with his work. His singing style is reminiscent of ancient church choral work, sometimes chant-like, always captivating. The songs are about… the hell if I know. Even reading the lyrics lost me. Which isn’t bad, they are just deep. Tibet is influenced by or follows and studies esoteric Christianity as well as sects of Tibetan Buddhism, ancient literary texts, gods and Gods both light and dark, magick and themes of apocalypse. Mix that up with older children’s tales, experimental sexuality, and selections from Gilgamesh and you have an idea of the range of topics being sung. Intimidating but heartfelt and sincere. This CD is a stunner and would work on almost every show at the station. Don’t be intimidated.
Black metal split with two two-man bands that share one drummer (Nemesis Infernum), and that guy really likes drums. Drums are very prominent throughout.
Velonnic Sin seem like they might put a little bit more thought into their songwriting, but that’s just speculation. Velonnic Sin is pretty at times, but those times are surrounded by more traditional metal riffs and growl-screaming.
Sin Origin is more driven and has eviler vocals, but the long song durations feel unnecessary at times. The insert under the tray describes them as “corpse-painted Darkthrone worship with ultra-long Black Metal conciertos[sic]”.
The Kreutzer Sonata is very demanding. It is emotionally varied, technically difficult, and long (performances can last 40 minutes.
Composed 1797-8, published in Vienna 1799. At the time of publication, Beethoven thought these were his best works. The musicologist Gerald Abraham has remarked that in terms of their style and aesthetic value the string trios of Op. 9 rank with Beethoven’s first string quartets which ousted the trios from the concert halls.
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
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.
Brooklyn’s Grant Cutler recorded musicians improvising to delayed recordings of themselves, building odd warm drones. The compositional process is guided by the dumb logic of delay, and the results are anything but. Klangfarbenmelodie colors, shifting terrain, structures constructing and desconstructing simultaneously. 8 short tunes 3-7 minutes each. We have another Cutler 12″ in the library.
Robert Moran’s music on this CD exists in two modes. Driving, rhythmic, high energy (Open Veins & 32 Crypptograms) or tragic elegy (Arias & Stimmen). The tragedy of AIDS is never far away. This “disgracefully pretty” Minimalism offers seductive critique.
Beethoven’s late quartets were written in failing health in April 1825. Considered among the greatest works of all time, Beethoven composed these in almost total deafness. In his words, B2 is his “Holy song of thanks (‘Heiliger Dankgesang’) to the divinity, from one made well.”
TS Eliot wrote the Four Quartets with a copy on the turntable, saying:
I find it quite inexhaustible to study. There is a sort of heavenly or at least more than human gaiety about some of his later things which one imagines might come to oneself as the fruit of reconciliation and relief after immense suffering; I should like to get something of that into verse before I die.
Marta Mist is a trio from Leeds, and there’s not much more information out there about them than that. This 2015 release from local label Time Released Sound is their first since 2012’s Industries. We received our copy when Naysayer hosted the label’s founders on the air in January 2017.
The album contains two ~20-minute pieces, each divided into three sections that move through a variety of styles:
“Scavengers” (T1) begins with a duet between strings and an echoing piano; later, angelic choral vocals join in. A drum beat surfaces followed by distorted guitars, (~6:00), and the piece takes on a darker, more menacing tone. The third section (~13:00) introduces a brilliant drone and electronic rhythms, and before fading away, returns to the sound of the piano.
“Hunters” (T2) begins similarly, with a string-focused section – think Philip Glass meets Dirty Three – while a subtle beat lurks in the background. Then, the string arpeggios turn into bold strokes in the dramatic second movement (~7:00). Finally, jazz-inspired drums lead into a guitar section (~12:00) that reminds me of all those post-rock bands from the 90s, like Tortoise or especially Do Make Say Think.
This is beautiful work – play an entire track, or scavenge excerpts for your show.