Sunday, September 27, 2009
I ought to admit I do have a little knowledge about Swedish avant-garde music. Fixing the mind on this I am able to name only some examples having came from the end of the 70`s and the first half of the 80s. Early Blue Nun, Cosmic Overdose, and young Arvid Tuba as well. Recently I figured out that there have been two musicians behind the pseudonyms Oax, and Yan who have collaborated since the end of the 60`s, although Joxfield ProjeX itself was established in 2005.
Supposed that they are aged men, maybe with white long beards too, but thanks to their long-running musical experience they are still generating the sound which is far more innovate than the most young musicians are able to create nowadays. Up to 2009 they had released lots of albums on the label Tin Can Music. In the recent year all 3 albums (in fact, some days ago they issued their fourth album already!) have been released under Clinical Archives. Yes, I can`t go without spruiking them. All their albums are masterpieces in itself.
The album Picnic is dominated by ambient dub, and ambient techno tunes in a bit narrower range respectively. Homogeneous yet decorous drift of hesychastic sounds of which best days were ended up by the first half of the 90s.
Virtual Dreams & Realities consists of 2 tracks - the first of them is long of 43 minutes and divided in 11 parts. By conceptual side you can find huge similarities with Faust`s The Faust Tapes, though, by sonic facade it is more angular and schizoid. All the music presented here ranges from sound fragments of rural ambience to metronomic rhythm machine, space rock and kosmische musik as well. Faust, Gong, Canterbury scene seem to be some differentiable influences among others, as I would suppose. It might be the Finnish bands like Kospel Zeithorn, and Ester Poland are the closest kindred spirits of them nowadays. However, it is quite hard work to describe all those events happening throughout this track. The another track bases on a pulsating techno beat and vocal sample, which are surrounded by different kind of sonic and voice effects moving more or less chaotically around the basic axis.
Bits And Pieces # 1 – 13 consists of 2-3-minutes tracks, which in the context of Joxfield ProjeX does mean the tracks with shorter duration as usually used to be. 13 tracks in 35 minutes.
The artists and writers sampled here are Guillaume Apollinaire, Man Ray, Jean Cocteau, James Joyce, Allen Ginsberg, William S Burroughs, and Ezra Pound as well. Yet, it can`t be considered as a spoken word album in a narrow sense of this word. The basic essence of the album is developed into a vast threedimensionality, having conquered by flowing industrial-sounding guitar riffs and cosmic synth grooves. While the track Black Light returns to the concept of the album Picnic. Bits And Pieces... may have a surreal point of view just to open up in front of us the dilation of outer space in the form of music and nondescript incantation of those aforementioned dadaists and beatniks. Upon listening to vibrating buzz of the final track As Conceptual As... I would like to think a journey that started somewhere in the rangeland on Virtual Dreams & Realities has reached the middle point of outer space. Of course, it is my own fiction based on my choice to get bobbled the queue of three albums.
Actually it does not make any difference what kind of way will this album be criticized - face-to-face with another albums or in absolute way. The result used to be evenhandedly powerful and impressive anyway.
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Saturday, September 26, 2009
Kevin McCraney - Uncleared Samples (Modicum Of Silence)
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Beastie Boys - Doublecheck Your Head (Max Tannone)
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Minty Fresh Beats - Jaydiohead - The Encore (Max Tannone)
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Minty Fresh Beats - Jaydiohead:: Jay-Z x Radiohead (Max Tannone)
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Wildahead Portibeast (Notherground Music)
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Radiohead Rainydayz Remixes by Amplive (Amplive)
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Tor /Sufjan Stevens - Illinoize (Tor)
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Cookin`Soul OJAYZIS: Jay-Z vs OASIS (mixtape) (2DOPEBOYZ.COM x HIPHOPDX.COM)
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Friday, September 18, 2009
Oh London, so much to answer for... . Clinker, one of the stars of the London underground rock scene is back again. The history of Clinker can be seen as one man`s struggle toward the stars. In recent past they have released the single/EP Hallucination Generation, and Pizzo Tung EP as well. Their last self-named LP was a brilliant album, undoubtedly the strongest unsigned album of 2008. Another sign of their growth in popularity emerges from frequent performing, where they have a formidable line-up consisting of 4-6 people at times.My initial thoughts about the new album are that the songs herein can be divided into at least 3 sections. As multifaceted as Clinker used to be. While some colours of the past are replaced by new ones. For instance, the head-on psychedelic tunes and intrusive baggy rhythms on earlier albums are removed from here. Through songs such as Searching for a New World, Hold Out Your Fists and Hallucination Generation, Peter Jordan has for the first time demonstrated his volition to move a bit more towards the charts of recent pop music – there’s a lot of energy, synthetic and danceable sequences roll over these fast-paced tracks. Also, there are two tracks, The Line and Mire, that are full of feedback-driven harshness. Moving fast and hit hard. Compared to the video version of Mire, the album version comes complete with a saxophone solo, having thereby an intriguing blend of straightforward noise rock and a tumultuous jazz element. Quieter moments are presented in tracks like Painted Red, and Long Way Around. Also Let`s Go Out And Get Fucked can be classified as one of those, though it is a shimmering sunshine pop track first of all. Although the last three tracks differ from each other by intensiveness and tonality, all of them show their affinity towards inward-looking dreamlike tunes. Music Gives You Power is the absolute highlight on this album though and probably Clinker’s best ever – somehow in this exceedingly epic insight there lacks many words to properly describe it. However, may be it is comparable to tracks with a divine touch like The Asphalt World (Suede), Broken Heart (Spiritualized), Holes (Mercury Rev), or Grumpus (Lambchop).
Although I can only fantasize how the next Clinker album will sound, it is thinkable that the next one, sometime in the future, would appear as the transitional album between a new life and the past in the history of the London duo. Hopefully in the meantime they will have enough luck to be the-next-big-thing in the world.
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Thursday, September 17, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
KS: Dave, you recently released your new album 1902 on the Bump Foot netlabel. What kind of position would have 1902 in your discography? By your opinion what is the main accent/line you tried to emphasize on the recent album?
DK: I started working on the 1902 tracks right after I finished The Cartoon Mouse Regards. On that one I had used really loose musical structures—almost no structures at all—and I wanted to continue exploring that angle. But I also wanted to start including vocal samples as well. So my main concern was finding a way to incorporate vocal parts (most of which were edited out of audio texts available at librivox.org) into the music without having the end result sound like an instrumental backing track with a random vocal part grafted onto it. Which was harder than I thought it would be. The track that worked out the best was Why the Long Map. The vocal parts for that were edited out of a children’s science lecture—and I was able to get the music to sort of comment on what the lecturer had just said. Ideally, in every track the music and vocals would interact in a unique way—it’s something I’m still working out.
KS: You have issued all your albums under alias Cagey House except The Cartoon Mouse Regards was released under your own name. Why did you make this kind of decision?
DK: That was really just a mix-up. When Tatsu over at Bump Foot accepted my demo, he told me that he had two designers, Jomino and XNoleet(check spellng) who could do the cover. I usually do the graphic stuff myself, but I thought it would be fun to get somebody else’s take on it, so I accepted. But I wasn't really specific about whether the album should have been credited to me or to Cagey House, and somehow it ended up being credited to my name. I could have asked Jomino and XNoleet to correct it, but the cover looked so cool I decide not to bother them. Besides it was my fault anyway for not being more specific. So it was really no reason other than my mistake that Cartoon Mouse wasn't officially a Cagey House release.
KS: Your last three albums have been based on original and sporadically very weird samples collected from here and there in many years. Your music before it was mainly programmed with the fruit loops program. What do you think are sample-based things because of their diversity harder to manage to be changed into musical composition? Are there any difference at all?
DK: This most interesting thing about gathering samples from all over the place is they’re going to be out of tune with each other. In fruityloops (or any other music program) all the on-board synthesizers are in tune with each other. You can key in a C on any one of them and it will be the same note as a C keyed in on any other.
But with outside samples—at least they way I gather them—they’re hardly ever in tune with each other. (And I should point out here that when I say samples, I’m almost always referring to a single note or chord or sound. I might use a two-note phrase, but never more than that, certainly not an entire bar.) I might have 15 or 20 instruments on a track and if I key in a C on all of them, I’ll get 15 or 20 different notes. Now if I was working with conventional song structures, and worrying about having every phrase resolve to a particular chord, that would be a big problem. Luckily, my stuff tends to be pretty free harmonically, and having all the instruments tuned differently is actually a help. It forces me to think creatively about almost every note I put in. There’s a part in Post Bugle Time Gents that sound like a guitar playing along with a flute. And it’s actually a sample of a kora voiced very far below its normal range, and a clarinet voiced very far above its normal range. It’s a neat bit, and I don’t think I would have come up with it if the two samples were in tune with each other. Another advantage to collecting a variety of samples is the diversity of sound quality. Some are recorded very well, others very poorly. Some might have lots of hiss or distortion. But if you put them together you can get all these cool and unusual sonic textures.
KS: You have said when you first started doing electronic music, you was writing fairly typical rock/pop instrumental things. Kind of like what the Ventures would have done if they'd played fruityloops instead of guitars. I have discerned the influences of the space age pop in your sonic textures as well. Which artists have been the main influences to you?
DK: It’s interesting how influences work. A lot of them, I think, are subconscious. The Space Age pop stuff from the early 60s—like the Swingle Singers, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Equivel, and Domenico Modungo, and all those guys—that’s music that I don’t really listen to all that much (except for Volare, which I’ve been listening to almost every day lately), but it’s made a huge impression on me. That distinctive early 60s sound is almost like a default setting for me. Maybe it’s because in that material the arrangement is what really stands out, and writing with a sequencer is esstially arranging. There are other influences on what I’m doing now that I’m very conscious of. When I was looking to break away from the rock/pop structures for instance, I listened to a whole bunch of music—mostly traditional stuff from Indonesia and Burma, and also avante garde symphonic music—looking for ideas. Eventually, I fixated on György Ligeti’s piece Melodien, and Karl Stockhausen’s Grupen, and under their influence found a way of getting my music to move forward without relying on riff or vamps or chord changes. So in that case, I was really seeking out influences. Lately, I’ve also been doing collage type things—where I’ll edit together bits of different tracks. Several Sad Songs from Lark was done that way. And that is very much influenced by the electric records that Miles Davis made with Teo Macero especially In A Silent Way and Bitches Brew.
KS: Undoubtedly you are one of the most profilic musicians in contemporary music. What will inspire and motivate you to create so much music?
DK: The worst thing about being an amateur musician is not having enough time to work on music. And it occurred to me a while ago, that if I did look at writing music as work, then I would never have enough time to do anything good. So I figured I would look at it more like play. Because, for instance, people who play games, always have time to play games. And that's how it worked out. If I have some free time--even if it's just a few minutes,and even if I'm tired, and especially if I'm not feeling particularly inspired--l'll write some music. Even if it's just a few bars, or just sketching out an idea. And so I end up writing a lot--which for me is necessary, since maybe one out of ten ideas that I get is any good. Also, I tend to write just for the sake of writing, without any end point or musical goal in mind. I might work a little on one track in the morning, sit down and work a little bit on another track after I get home from my job, and then work on the first track a little more before I go to bed. So a phrase that starts out one way, might end up somwhere else entirely, becuse by the time I got back to finishing it, I’ll have forgotten where it was going originally. And sometimes stray ideas make there way into songs—the riff from Iron Man (played on a mouth harp) is burried in Isn’t That Great News on 1902, for instance. So I've found that writing this way really fosters the kind of music that I like--music that's unpredictable, energetic, a little chaotic, and humorous.
KS: It is really hard even impossible to discover some traces about your gigs have ever been performed in the past. Why? Is it your conceptual decision to avoid the stages?
DK: I’ve never played electronic music live. I did play drums, a long time ago, in a rootsy punk band. And we played out a lot—we didn’t really record anything—but we played live many times. And that was a really good experience. You learn to take the quality of music really seriously when you’re playing it in front of other people. So that was a very good lesson to learn. But the music I’m playing now really only can exist as a recorded artifact. And I like that. I like that it exists almost entirely within software and circuits. I’ve always really admired Glenn Gould, so the whole idea of working in solitude seems natural.
KS: Recently I had a conversation with an Estonian underground electronic musician, he was quite distrait and so I suggested him to set his music under a Creative Commons license. He abstained from it saying “in that case people would not respect his music anymore”. What does mean respect to you got by your music activity?
DK: I suppose I can understand what your friend is saying. Releasing stuff for free through a Creative Commons license does suggest that you’re an amateur. (Although some professionals do release tracks as Creative Commons things.) And if you have the ambition to be a professional, I can see being reluctant to doing anything that would be considered amateurish. But for me, respect has nothing to do with being a professional or an amateur, or selling your music or giving it away. What counts is the quality. I can think of many amateur musicians who are doing things as exciting and creative as any professionals—people like Pipher, Molloy and His Bike, and the Cheap Poet. And I think a lot of people feel that way. Good music is good music, that’s all that really counts.
KS: If to look forward to the future what are the next plans of yours?
DK: I have an album called Bees with Monkey coming out this fall on the Dog Eared Records netlabel. The tracks are all collages, basically — the first five are very melody-oriented and the last three are very antic, almost like cartoon music. I also have a track called Several Dawns and a Dusk coming out on a Naked Noises netlabel compilation. And I’ve got other stuff in the works. One track is made up of different kinds of whistles — factory whistles, train whistle, samba whistles. Another has a Peter Gunn, secret agent-style guitar interacting with a vibraphone playing around with Scriabin’s mystic chord. Hopefully something fun will come out of those things.
Cagey House on Myspace
Cagey House on Archive.org
Kasei, Dosei, Kinsei, Suisei. Mars, Saturn, Venus, and Mercury respectively. 4 empty planets in the Sun`s planetary system. What references do these 4 tracks/planets have? What does it mean the humanity in music at all? Indeed, this music is created by a human being, Tim Salden, and at first glance he seems searching for the balance between mind and spirit. By conception it is partly similar to the Kraftwerk`s one whose desire for the robots was quite ironic, and thereby human as well. On the other hand, self-sufficient robots will have to had no duties toward the people. You have to banish yourself to defend yourself and have a chance to find out your pathway towards certain directions. In fact, on the album Nanimo Nai Wakusei is no place for electro pop and ironic statements anymore. It apotheosizes the solitude as the asylum for mind to get rid itself of the degenerated phenomena of spirit possession. The music shows the human being with his loneliness, while it is very impressive and powerful state of mind anyway, and beams the light rather than devastates your personality.
This music bases on drone and ambient passages which at times are interrupted by change in intensivity, usually by shimmering and expandible synth sounds. Through its minimal approach it is much more closer to the eternity as you could experience during a journey through outer space than the apparency and inconstancy presented on the Earth. Every once in a while this sound seems like the blurred light flowing from distant stars evoking quaint visons you have never experienced before. The more to listen to this album the more it will sound dreamlike, as the ambient music you don`t have luck to meet it any day. An amazing result indeed.
Download it from here
Monday, September 14, 2009
Nic Ross is a 18 year old talented man from Whitehouse, Ohio. During his short life time he has reached a bit more than everybody from anonymous masses. He has estbalished the netlabel Modicum of Silence with (another superb musician) Kevin McCraney (they have in a liaison with the project Telemetrics), and has evolved his conceptions through the project gotikplage, and Our Subatomic Earth. First of all, His three projects have given a lot of hope regarding post rock and experimental metal that these named genres could not change into a term of abuse or the synonyme of pseudointellectual flummery. Anyway, I have heard enough about how people like to show off with the likes as Mono, and Sigur Ros as the popular and "modern" ones. Beauty and powerfulness do not mean beautiful or loud-sounding opuses in any cases, especially if it has been much exploited and fallen into decay. Such a quasi pathos is actually aversive and, unfortunately, these tracks are used to be much longer than 10 minutes. It is very sad to see/listen to how some ensembles who had co-defined the post-rock genre nearly 10 years ago lost their courage to avoid transforming into a balatron compared to their spotlights many years ago.
The music of Our Subatomic Earth is very different in comparison with the one of gotikplage. Gotikplage associates with a solid blend of post rock, progressive rock, and jazz rock. Besides sporadical massive drum works and shimmering guitar lines there are also warm-sounding analogue keyboard lines which remind me of some fusion bands of the end 70`s.
On Infinite Nic Ross continues realizing the possibilities he started evoking on the first albums (Is, and Nothing respectively). This album is as well as it supposed to be. This was fully recorded, mixed, and mastered between May and June of 2009. The music ranges from post-hardcore, post-metal and screamo attacks to soothing moments of post rock and ambient. At its loudest moments it is very noisy and acute, and its silent moments it is really a blissful vibration or filled with overflowing epicness. Despite of opposing counter sides in sound the whole is an excellent balanced one. The titles are in Latin, obviously referring to the "places" somehow related to the human state of mind, or just being the man. While I know I can`t be truth because the human soul is a way too dirty locus for this fantastic music (let`s convince in that listening to the track Palus Somni, for instance). Take time for a while to enjoy one of the most extraordinary creators in contemporary avant-rock. What else I could recommend... and listen to the other artists under Modicum of Silence, and Wise Owl Records as well, the music labels similar by sound/conception and place (Ohio State).
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Sunday, September 13, 2009
Recently, 2 weeks ago, I got an unexpected but pleasant e-mail letter from Max Tannone (formerly known as Fresh Minty Beats) about his new project. He is an DJ and music producer from Big Apple who has got much feedback and lots of listening times through his 2 mashup albums Jaydiohead :: Jay-Z x Radiohead, and Jaydiohead - The Encore (both albums of 2009).
The current project is made in support of the Beastie Boys recent reissue of their Check Your Head album. The concept is that the Beastie Boys are mashed up with themselves, rapping over tracks sampling their own instrumentals, with all vocals and sampled elements coming from Check Your Head. Sequences from the popular hits So Whatcha Want, and Pass the Mic are also presented here. By methodical aspect this album can be seen as one possibility for future pop music. Why should the artists try to bulk out new conceptions from album to album it can hardly possible realize nowadays anyway? It is much reasonable decision just to modify the albums full of potential, and give them a new life. I would suppose the quality will mostly be guaranteed in such cases.
There is obviously no threat of legal action over this project because 4 of the tracks are also featured on the official Beastie Boys site www.beastieboys.com under NEWS section. So let`s enjoy an alternative version of the album of one of the godfathers of electro/hip-hop/rap-metal.
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Friday, September 11, 2009
The attitude of the finnougrians toward the forest as such one have always disposed to positive spirit. It was the natural and affable ambience for living embodying no such an object which would have to be eliminated, or changed into the parks, for instance. Thereby it is not surprising why beautiful forest massives still exist in the Nothern West Europe area. Also, I am not surprised at all that the finns do name their underground folk movement as "forest folk" as well. On the other side, the forest is something which will hide something for, and "folk" will get defined in an implicit sense of this word. Forest folk is usually both a mix of psychedelic electronic and post-psychedelic electronic music, drone, ambient/illbient, noise and lo-fi, and folk as well. Therefore we should regard "folk" rather in an abstract way herein.
One of such artists, Tuomo aka Thuoom classifies himself as "forestelektro". All his music, 5 albums issued from 2008 to 2009, approximately in a year, had been released under the textural healing netlabel. In 2009 he has created two albums: sun resonate my summer, and its sister album summer B.
The debut album [cycles of the sleep] consists of the sounds reminiscent of such examples as if conjured from the child music instruments, and circulating sound systems so-called circuit bending. This album is fulfilled with really weird compositions which sound relatively complex to be described to. Nevertheless, besides the aforementioned delineations there are also showcased electro-acoustic sequences, and vowel improvisations as well.
The second album Aava (which in Finnish means "open sea" or "spacious") is that which actually was released under the extended pseudonym Thuuooom, having related to the first album because this sound based on a remix of Thuoom track sci. The abovementioned meanings are reflected in a diffuse yet pulsating soundscape. The sound will get dilated and constringed in the cycle respectively, while having appeared without any human feelings at all. Abstract drone will conquer your mind.
Sun resonate my summer is a follow-up to EI EP which did consist only of human voice, and its experiments with two phonemic units. Although in the embodiment of such tracks as rubicon delayed, 3000, and grilf the new album might be seemed as a followed up continuation of the previous one, there are actually much more to be enjoyed for. The intensivity and powerfulness ever so demonstrative of the drone lines on Aava will have revealed in the course of smooth reversi. The opening track 6star will have progressed from the introduction by a guitar into digital waft. Psych-folk will get poisoned by impalpable electronic jitter. Anyway, the words are not good enough to deliver a row of unexpected pleasures happened here. Sometimes it is just better stop playing with the words and concentrate on music listening. Moreover, at the moment it seems to me as the most virtuous and trenchant album released by Tuomo hitherto. By the way, Tuomo`s starting point was to create something musically that he never had tried before, mixing real sounds with computer manipulations. He just started recording some sounds and didn't know where they would lead him. All I want to believe is that he didn`t have reached his aesthetical peak yet. But I really hope that there is someone somewhere for whom it is the best project in the world. Thuoom is worth more than enough to deserve it.
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Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Exotica, and Best of, the albums of Juanitos, are probably the best ones I have listened to after Air`s first two albums Moon Safari and Premiers Symptomes came from the French music scene.
Juan Naveira`s led ensemble have been active since 1991 and issued approximately 10 albums, including under the pseudonyms such as limbo deluxe, and Miss Emma as well.
Characterizing the sound of Juanitos, it is excellent mood music in the first place, consisting in general way of surf rock, exotica pop/and lounge, latin rhythms, indie, brass sound, and all the named styles are mixed with a tidy amount of the tongue-in-cheek attitudes. Searching for kinship souls in the present day I could name such bands as Man...Or Astroman, Messer Chups/Messer Für Frau Müller, and Manu Chao, for instance.
Best of features the tracks from 3 albums - Soul&Roots Vol. 1, Soul&Roots Vol. 2, and Crazy Vibrations. Although sonic illustrations from most of their albums are not presented here the compilation is worth to listen to. It contains a lot of fantastic even stunning tunes. The opening track Sai-k-delic Party is an enchanting track because of its powerful rocking electronic organs and a short repeating theme, falling into head-on psychedelia sometime. Anyway, upbeat will have created mainly by psychedelic keyboard sounds and brass attacks throughout the album. Glitter Bomb surprises by its unusuality - rockabilly meets brass music meets Mark E Smith-alike manifestating vocal manerism (the same is presented in the track Strange Italian Song on Exotica). Do the Cobra is a blend of mariachi trills including fantastic brass arrangements in the refrain. Supernatural showcases us how modern funk soul with a bit hip-hop elements will be burrowed by psychedelic undercurrents wrapped up in a mixture of modern urban pop and tropicalia pop/rock of the 60s. The last track Stereophonic Motor Club excels in hitting with surf riffs, and a marvellous slipping bass line. Honestly, if I would have a chance to materialize into the music I would be very pleased with to be this one.
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Monday, September 7, 2009
Sunday, September 6, 2009
How would actually sound the music imaging the creation of the world?
Patrick Benolkin, a resident from Les Bois, Idaho, should not be an unknown name for the fans of experimental electronic music. Besides Eluder he is also known as Electricwest, balancing more on the blurred frontiers of ambient techno and downtempo. On the other side, the sound of Eluder is much more keen on minimalist and conceptual approach repulsing consistently the vibe of dance music. This music is designed not to be part of our body but to extend to the borders of listeners`sensibility. Its abstract patterns have very practical purpose as well, affecting the physiochemical processes in the brain. Less is more...less is much more. Stilistically as minimal ambient, abstract electronic music, dreamscape, or subtle soundfields, however, in the way as you wish to name it. This music is in kinship with the sound of such luminaries as Tim Hecker, Rutger Zuydervelt/Machinefabriek, Jim Plotkin, Janek Schaefer, or Stephan Mathieu.
Eluder`s first albums were named Warm Warning (it was re-released under Distant Recordings in the beginning of this year), and The Most Beautiful Blue (under Infraction). Drift is one of the best albums I have heard in 2009. 4 tracks in 30 minutes. The formula of ideal ambient music is hidden hither - all the synergy being here is emerged from the least minimal sounds and crafthanded displacement of those parts through sound manipulation. If to search for so-called ur-drone, or archaic horizons as well, you could find it from this album. Although pulsating drones are quite intense on Drift it is hardly discernible at most times. A demonstrated drifting would be illustrating the change of the world throughout billions of years at the light speed. You are not able to perceive it because motion is the premiss of that change. The merest change moments are set in through motion which, in turn, will be recorded into consciousness of a person, and thereby possible clairvoyance of speed will be erased in that course. The change will have transformed into a static state of mind. Indeed, it would sound a bit conflicting but the contradiction will be overcame by divine touch. This half-hour would be the soundtrack of your life what you want to exprience again and again.
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Saturday, September 5, 2009
Hallelujah, folks! The free music site CLLCT is back again. It is probably the best thing happened in music business in last times. The lo-fi scene worldwide, and the 3-4th wave of alt-folk and new weird america will be up on the screen again. However, Christopher Rigsbee (CR) aka Adrian Aardvark has returned as well, one of the most profilic lads in contemporary music. For instance, by avidity to experiment with the sound and expand it into unknown items he is comparable with such sing/songwriters as Russ Woods (Tinyfolk), and James Eric, the co-fellows who have released their music under CLLCT for a long ago.
Grunge Positive is the 15th album of him in the course of the last 5 years. Also, it is the sophomore album in 2009, a follow-up to Sober & Hungry (by the first intentions, the next album should be issued in the October sometime). But that intersection in the form of a year aside, there is all but nothing to see common lines between the last outputs. Regarding Sober & Hungry, it was restrained and gentle acoustic indie folk in its own, a bunch of the songs rather more concentrated on the lyrics level. On the other side, on CR`s previous albums, especially Screaming "No" To Tuna Tundra (2008), there were lots of ongoings and directions which would forecast an apoteose, such as coming of Grunge Positive happened to be.
CR said he had for Grunge Positive two things in mind at all times:
1. Make it sound like Nirvana's Nevermind was being played at the same time with Outkast's Stankonia.
2. Stay as positive as possible lyrically.
CR admitted the situation had tended to change, and the music/lyrics has turned into darker paths. The result is quite weird, if demurely to be said out.
The album is introduced by a rough yet lonely sounding violin which get more darker and strident, and soon will be accompanied with a chapter of spoken word, and in the high register played synth sequences. Beautiful is just a beatific track through its flowing soundscape, voice effects/loops, and the lyrics for to express love hangover. Love is cosmic yet thumbing electro-hop. Toaster is another hip-hop tune, where the verses are contorted down to be hardly understandable ones. Body tries to find the path back to the previous albums. It seems to be the only acoustic showcase on this album. Primitivism represented here will have broken through free spirited improvisation. Holding is partially a kind of a cappella piece already so familiar from the collaborations of Russ Woods and Meghan Lamb. What to say about Ship...mhhh. Yes, some Rigsbee`s friends do show up a bit. One of them is Chantelle Lebeau (if to decide by her name I would suppose she might be the french-Canadian). The other allusion regards the singing mannerism - they raise their voices to orgastiastic level to break down thereafter ever so reminiscent of one worldwide known indie band from Montrèal, from Quebec. Indeed, unexpected but still surprising track. Alaska will be opened up through guitar distortion/noise, digital electronic, and waving vocal effects. It clambers arduously up from the bottom of chaos through the mud toward the star gleam. Obviously the most obscure track because of scattering dark seeds on the chaotic album.
This album will not leave you disappointed. Yet, there had been some albums of Adrian Aardvark I liked more. For instance, the abovementioned Screaming "No" To Tuna Tundra, because of having more minimalist approach, thereby all those jags are much better foreseeable. It is quite usual that creating the mash-up albums by trying to encompass any stuff will often have nothing as the result. Fortunately by huge diversity of the styles, and tendentially to structure it into the songs Grunge Positive has avoided making a run on the rocks.
Besides Christopher Rigsbee and Chantelle Lebeau herein Corey Collins (the frontman of Yo, Adrian!) shared vocals on Body, Justin Passino (For the Kid in the Back) spoke on Boogeyman, and Alaska, Matt Zeppieri was on electric guitar on All Over, Andrew Settevendemio was briefly playing drums in the middle of Holding.
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Wednesday, September 2, 2009
It is a few information and sources about The hirundu in the Internet while it is probably impossible to hunt out any traces of them from somewhere else. Although they have released more than 20 albums to date I was not able to find out some evidence about any released albums on tapes or CD`s in the past. Listening to them at lastfm it is quite ironic to see such a link as Buy CD from Amazon. Presumably lastfm is the sole place around you could get their stuff, being uploaded for free download some years ago sometime there. I could only imagine how long before it these master tapes have been coated with dustsheets on the shelf.
If to speak out "they" we ought actually to think "he", because that Blackpoolian project has been curated by John Crewdson, being the only constant member through 2 decades. The lineups have been changed in the course of times, and some albums are recorded by Crewdson on his own. He describes this beginning in the following way:
The hirundu were formed in 1987 after John Crewdson and Warwick Durnian watched "The Happy Mondays" on the Chartshow. Inspired, they decided to form a band and make the kind of music the world wanted to hear. When this failed to happen they formed The hirundu instead. The original concept for "The hirundu" was for a band so obscure, so "challenging" and so "noncommercial" that they would never play live, never do interviews and never "sell out" by writing songs. This experiment came to an end when John recorded some tunes by mistake.
One of the characteristic lines of the pop music history is to reveal its unknown chapters, though, it usually requires big delay of time. The first albums of The hirundu date back to 1989. It is hard to see parallels between them and someone else worldwide. If to bargain for Crewdson`s status as the powerful frontman, and cutting edge side of his music and the experiments of any descriptions as well we could see some similarities with The Fall in the embodiment of Mark E Smith. However, it is wrong to consider them as someone`s poor man band. Regardless of their initial idealism (of nothing to do) all the stuff Crewdson and Co have actualized in their own special way you have no chance to be indifferent to it. Their music has been ranged from nihilistic old school industrial, and cut and paste wassail to more conventional yet adorable alternative rock/pop and club dance rhythms and electronic pop. Moreover, there are some tracks (Show Us Your Ashtray; Nancy) from the first side of the 90`s which came long before Ariel Pink could enamor the listeners with his lo-fi driven timeless pop tunes. They have emphatically been anti-pop act destroying and deforming the structures of conventional pop songs while creating crackbrained outputs. Madness which is mixed with tape hisses and the lines of melody has highly purgative effect in that case. Their relation to pop music is comparable to the one of the Cynics, an group of philosophers, who have had it against the rest directions of philosophy, and the world as well.
No Preservatives was one of their first albums with Cortex Bycicle and It`s Reefer Time Kids (all of them are recorded in 1989). Avant-garde meets lo-fi meets... . All these sonic layers which consist mainly of primitive synth lines/rhythms, vocal pieces, and sonic effects (hip-hop scratches, tingled electro bleeps and whirls, vocal tricks) will create unbelievable synergy during 35 minutes. One of the bright-lines on the album is Salman Rushdie - a sunshine disco cut with ironic lyrics. The other highlights are Asteroid Belt (Too Tight) - the sounds of video game consoles are mixed with bubblegum bass lines; Funky Sexy, and Jimy In The Sky. Besides it this album is an excellent but yet an undiscovered pearl of dada lo-fi pop it is the good introduction to enter into complex world of The hirundu as well.
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