Thanks heaps to Reg Harris for holding the fort for the last two weeks while I was away!
You can find him on his usual show Shortwave on Tuesday nights.
björk – courtship [One Little Indian]björk – losss [One Little Indian]
I was, I must admit, rather apprehensive about this new björk album after seeing the first two videos before its release. They seemed like the worse of her meandering tendencies combined with the same from Arca, and after the devastating beauty & depths of emotion of vulnicura, I wasn’t sure I could cope with the “Tinder” album (as she unfortunately referred to it in one interview, to find it sticking forever to the poor album). Anyway, of course utopia is not just chirping birds and twee love metaphors, although there’s more than enough birds and waaaaay more than enough flutes thankyouverymuch. Nevertheless, there are also glitchy beats and a whole gamut of emotions. I like it well enough. It’s Björk. She is a genius.
Cock & Swan – fult [Hush Hush]Cock & Swan – ghost mount [Hush Hush]
I first discovered the work of Ola Hungerford and Johnny Goss as Cock & Swan on a Lost Tribe Sound where they were working with acoustic instruments – but they were an electronic act before that, and returned to the synths and beats some time ago, comfortably signed to local Seattle label Hush Hush. They’ve been putting out some mysterious sounds recently, soundtracks & dance works and other conceptual stuff, but this album is somewhat more song-oriented. Lovely as ever.
Gail Priest – Alien Aeolian Infrastructure [Gail Priest Bandcamp]Gail Priest – Home Moan [Gail Priest Bandcamp]
A bit over a year ago Sydney experimental musician Gail Priest undertook a residency in a small town in Iceland, which resulted in many fascinating field recordings – not just wind & water but creaking metal and sighing flagpoles. Some sounds were left as-is, some heavily processed, to which she added further electronics and vocals to create something quite unlike your typical field recording music, and very like Gail’s wonderful body of work. It’s so great to have some new Gail Priest music to play you on this show! Grab it from Bandcamp, even in a limited CD-R edition.
Medicine Voice – Roar [Provenance]Medicine Voice – Bombshell [Provenance]
Sar Friedman has been playing with experimental acts around Melbourne & Sydney for a while, and released her debut solo album as Medicine Voice on Stuart Buchanan’s Provenance Records last year. Equally impressive is this new EP, 3/4 produced by the legendary studio dude Randall Dunn who’s worked with countless important heavy & weird acts. These tracks benefit from a swaddling darkness & warmth which helps drive the ritualistic songwriting. Buy the release and enjoy the 18-minute closing track “Tammuz” also!
ju ca – Fading of a Thought [Phinery]ju ca – Opus [Phinery]
The hynpagogic, vaporwavey debut album from Justin Cantrell’s ju ca (after some EPs and collaborations) is apparently about “spatial awareness and reproduction”, according to a press release he wrote himself which I can make neither head nor tail of. In any case, there are some lovely jittery glitchy sounds along with the somewhat familar pitch-shifting vocal sounds & FM synthesis that certain people seem to love so much at the moment.
The Remote Viewer – This Old Face Dates Me [Other Ideas]The Remote Viewer – A Floor of Bees Outside The House [Other Ideas]
The gloriously understated sound of The Remote Viewer has beguiled me since the late ’90s when I first encountered their beautiful debut LP on 555 Recordings (then of Leeds) in a tiny Manchester record store called Pelicanneck (which later morphed into the juggernaut Boomkat). Their sound, then as now, featured clicking, fidgety, often relentless beats and a mixture of harsh and beautiful electronics, with heart-pulling melodies emerging incomprehensibly from the chatter. Their new album Us. In Happier Times is vintage Remote Viewer fare, 9 years since their last, and in fact is material resurrected from old MiniDiscs rather than new, as such – but who cares. Essential.
M.E.S.H – Ihnaemiauimx [PAN]M.E.S.H – 2 Loop Trip [PAN]M.E.S.H – Coercer [PAN]
For a couple of years now, Berlin-based M.E.S.H has been welding his glitchy experimental idm tendencies to grime & bass music. His new album Hesaitix doesn’t dispense with the weirdness, but does situate itself even more firmly on the dancefloor, with grooves ranging from the funky “2 Loop Trip” to driving tribal techno like “Coercer” (with room for some more ambient tracks in there too).
Jana Rush – ??? ?? [Objects Limited]Jana Rush – Frenetic Snare [Objects Limited]
The debut album from Chicago producer Jana Rush is at its base footwork, unsurprisingly given how embedded in that scene she is – but she happily draws on everything from hip-hop’s sampling of jazz and, on the last track, a Chicagoan perspective on the connections between footwork and jungle. Really really nice.
Colin Stetson – The Rain Like Curses [Adult Swim Singles Series 2017]
You won’t be able to get to the Adult Swim link above if you’re in Australia, for some reason – but you can still stream this track on SoundCloud at least. For his album earlier this year, Colin Stetson directly referenced the electronica of Autechre & Aphex Twin in inspiring his multi-layered solo saxophone work, but electronica seems even more present in this extraordinary track for Adult Swim – skittering repetitive rhythms, a pulsating EBM techno-style bassline and the characteristic Stetson howls over the top. It’s glorious, it really is.
Brian Eno & Kevin Shields – Only Once Away My Son [Adult Swim Singles Series 2017]
Again unavailable for us at the weirdly now geo-locked Adult Swim site, you can at least stream this on SoundCloud too. You’ve probably heard this by now, right? Two legends of sound, ambient & electronic pioneer Brian Eno & shoegaze/guitar-mangling genius Kevin Shields, joining forces for something which amazingly works perfectly. Apparently there is more to come, which can only be good news.
This is an Australian track.
This is a local artist.