Music Reviews

Gesture – “II Tape” – [Static Age Musik]

whngr   11/8/2020   A Library, Cassette

Words gleaned from internet sources: Self-reliant enclave of high-output low-info punks / anarcho / death rock / London /  petite mort / spiritual cramp / Berlin / real ugly / claws at the ether / chorus pedal / disaffected / unravel / kill you…

Words that seep from my brain: The youth are still angry, still miserable, still wearing black, still want to fuck… and they still enjoy a good down-stroke. Meandering, buried, dispassionate female English vocs over heavily modulated guitars  and primal garage/hardcore drums. Gesture is… desirous.

V. Kristoff – "Sydra" – [Not Not Fun Records]

cinder   11/7/2020   A Library, Cassette

Solo project of Jared Carrigan. Crystallized tones trinkle and mist overhead as you drift slowly down the aquamarine, star filled river of imagination. Recorded in California and Catalonia, while some tracks were crafted using only an iPhone and FX plug-ins while sleeping in cars along Costa Brava last spring. Synth dreamscapes and whimsical optimism. Quite relaxing and chill.

KMRU – "Opaquer" – [Dagoretti Records]

cinder   11/5/2020   12-inch, A Library

First release from Kenyan sound artist and producer KMRU (Joseph Kamaru). Beautiful sound collages of skittering textures, warm ambient washes, gentle tones, found sounds and field recordings. KMRU is at the forefront of an exciting scene of African electronic music pioneers. Drift off into a comfortable dreamland with this. 

Low Jack – "Breizh" – [Hospital Productions]

cinder   11/4/2020   A Library, CD

A lovely riddim tornado of dancehall beats fused with electric industrial rhythms. Sizzling underbellies, mega bass red levels, gritty and heavy. Originally produced digitally for the Hospital Productions CDMX earthquake benefit showcase in Mexico City in 2018. Rough n tough!

Alternate African Reality [coll] – [Syrphe]

abacus   11/4/2020   A Library, CD

comprehensive survey of experimental music scene from across the African continent and holy shit is this amazing. almost three hours of material from 32 artists and bands from 24 African countries and the diaspora, from Morocco to South Africa to Uganda, Somalia, Togo, Reunion, Madagascar and much more. there’s a huge variety of styles represented throughout: the first CD definitely starts off pretty beat oriented, and excels at that, floating through countless overheated dance floor club scenes and smoky clubs, we hit a couple rap tracks before getting some biopunk tech beats out of Mauritania and Senegalese instrumentals then the left turns are swirling: some vaporware pop synth from Age of Heroes and Lynchian musique concrete loops out of Cameroon. CD2 continues to get more spacious, tortuous sin wave stretching from South African Cobi Von Tonder then crackle-pop drone swells from Kenyan KMRU (who also has a new release on Editions Mego). we gets some chaotic field recording cutups out of Rwanda before the tracks take a more instrumental turn, even some contemporary innovations from Victor Gama and a blissful collaboration on “E”. as noted above there’s a huge mix of styles: beats, vocal loops, musique concrete, hip hop, drone and so much more. dig deeper into the label for some other amazing compilations of underground weirdness from other obscure parts of the globe as well.

Thirteen Hurts – "Threshold" – [No Part of It]

abacus   11/4/2020   A Library, CD

pedal noise project of Richard Adams aka The One Eyed Zatoichi for some odd reason, a veteran of the Norcal and Denver Noisefest circuits, apparently been making sounds since 1977. burbling gurgling harsh noise textures: overpowering megatons of aqueous feedback and swirl. this is a rerelease of a 2011 CD it seems, part 2 of a pair on Arvo Zylo’s No Part of It label. got some sonic treats with impressive dynamic shapes and studio tricks like stereo panning and soundscape layering. this aint no run of the mill HNW record, plenty of surprises to jump sizzle and scare.

Moor Mother – "Fetish Bones" – [Don Giovanni Records]

abacus   11/4/2020   12-inch, A Library

sophomore album from Camae Ayewa, the prolific and highly acclaimed native of Philadelphia- the city that gave us Sun Ra and the MOVE organization. afrofuturism rooted in the circularity of time, timeless protest music transporting us throughout centuries of black liberation against the necropolitical forces of subjugation and derailment. the tracks move fast between cyber-punk vignettes of hip hop soul poetry drenched in noise, avant-blues experimentalism, sci-fi spirituals, and bebop nightmares. for the past 5 years her output has been persistent and pertinent, always ensnared in the present moment. we’ve got a lotta catching up to do.

FCC 3,7,9

SKYMINDS – Shapes & Traces

aarbor   11/4/2020   A Library

Skyminds is Michael Henning and Sean Conrad, who live in the SF Bay Area. Shapes & Traces is their 2nd album. The sound is gentle, dreamy acid folk, ambient, smoky, meditative and would make a great soundbed. AArbor

itsnotyouitsme – "Fallen Monuments" – [New Amsterdam Records]

aarbor   11/4/2020   A Library, CD

Caleb Burhans and Grey McMurray are Itsnotyouitsme. This is their 2nd album. Everything on this release was recorded during a live performance, and not in the studio. Discogs classifies this release as “Classical”. I would call it “Lush Modern Ambient Classical”. They do a lot of improvising even in concert, the sound fuses minimalist chamber music with a lush, mesmerizing ambient sound. AArbor 

Collocutor – "Continuation" – [On The Corner Records]

aarbor   11/4/2020   A Library, CD

Collocutor means he/she who talks with another. Tamar Osborn  is behind all of the composed sections, she also plays baritone sax, clarinet and flute on various tracks. Collocutor is Osborn’s own project that she describes as “Instrumental model music with jazz and global influences.” She is involved in a variety of other projects including Dele Sosimi’s Afrobeat Orchestra, and Sarathy Korwar’s band – jazz with Indian and electronic influences. This is Collocutor’s latest release. The standout track is ‘The Angry One’ although the others are definitely worth a play. AArbor 

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