Here we are in 2018 and there’s already some new music! But most of what I’m playing tonight is catch-up from 2017 to be honest.
Leah Kardos – Cat’s Eye (Daisuke Tanabe remix) [bigo & twigetti]
As part of the promotion for Leah Kardos‘s wonderful Roccocochet album last year, the bigo & twigetti label commissioned a couple of remixes. This beautifully twinkly one by Daisuke Tanabe was streaming a few months ago, but the label kindly sent out downloads to supporters at the end of the year, so here it is for you.
UNDER A – CLASSIC [UNDER A Bandcamp]UNDER A – BEBOTS [UNDER A Bandcamp]
Erin Nortje’s solo project UNDER A is a pretty brutal affair – overdriven synths and heavy beats making a kind of bass-heavy industrial techno the likes of which we usually hear coming out of Berlin. But Nortje is based in Sydney, and he’s launching this debut EP at the Red Rattler in Friday the 19th of January with a host of other artists including Kcin – get your tickets here.
ARIADNE – on your knees [ARIADNE Bandcamp]ARIADNE – The Shadow [ARIADNE Bandcamp]ARIADNE – pierce me through [ARIADNE Bandcamp]ARIADNE – nailed to my body [ARIADNE Bandcamp]ARIADNE – grief divine [ARIADNE Bandcamp]
Brooklyn duo ARIADNE are a genre-melting artist extraordinaire, combining the sweet and powerful classical vocals of Christine Papania with the industrial, glitchy electronics of Benjamin Forest. They draw from liturgical, ancient spiritual texts and classical & baroque choral & vocal musics, but set them in gothic, industrial, glitchy electronic frameworks. As well as the audio component of their work (available in digital and also in limited cassette releases and even a microSD card), there’s a multi-media aspect, in their intense live performances and also in interactive format online. Between the new tracks from their Stabat Mater album we heard one from 2015’s Tsalal, which mixes in some hellish growling vocals alongside the operatic ones.
Fis & Rob Thorne – Ko au te hou [Saplings Bandcamp]
Stunning music continuing the partnership of New Zealanders Fis (now based in Berlin) and Rob Thorne. Fis imbues this music with all the bass weight and dynamics of his drum’n’bass heritage, while Thorne brings a number of Maori wind and percussion instruments, which themselves are overdriven and processed into new forms. Also notable is the Saplings label which this release inaugurates, which rather than release physical artefacts is using the profits to plant lots of trees.
World’s End Girlfriend – Angel Ache (Serph Remix) [Virgin Babylon Records]World’s End Girlfriend – Radioactive Spell Wave (KASHIWA Daisuke Remix) [Virgin Babylon Records]
A year and a bit after his last album, we have LAST WALTZ REMIX from World’s End Girlfriend, released on his own Virgin Babylon Records, featuring many of the excellent Japanese artists he releases these days, including Vampillia. The two artists featured tonight are both heirs to World’s End Girlfriend’s throne in a way – Serph has perfected the glitchy, breakneck beats with jaunty classical-tinged backings, although his remix here is darker than his usual work; and although KASHIWA Daisuke first appeared maybe 5 years after WEG, if anything he does the glitchy processing, edits, crazy drum programming, postrock antics and impeccable classical arrangements even better than the man himself.
Erik Friedlander – Trees [Erik Friedlander Bandcamp]
I first came across Erik Friedlander in the early 1990s when I discovered the avant-garde music of John Zorn and his Tzadik label. Friedlander is an accomplished jazz cellist and improviser, but works comfortably in many genres. Here he’s looping his cello in beautiful open textures like an electronically-mediated, classical version of Americana, produced by Boxharp‘s Scott Solter.
Marion Cousin & Gaspar Claus – Sa Nuvia D’Algendar [Les Disques du Festival Permanent]Gaspar Claus & Casper Clausen – Threesomeness [Les Disques du Festival Permanent]Orchard – Drawn with the Wind Parts 03 & 04 [Ici D’Ailleurs]
I discovered the brilliant French(-ish) cellist Gaspar Claus through his work with the collaborative supergroup Orchard, put together by Stéphane Grégoire of the Ici D’Ailleurs label. Featuring Claus on cello, the amazing Aidan Baker on guitar, Bästard/Zëro‘s Franck Laurino on drums and Maxime Tisserand on clarinet it’s a pretty unusual line-up (the sort of thing Grégoire loves to do) but the results are pretty special – often a cinematic kind of krautrock or postrock, sometimes with the tougher edge of Laurino’s post-punk and Baker’s doom metal backgrounds, but with plenty of edginess also from both the cello and clarinet taking turns as lead instruments.
Claus’s playing here is full of gritty extended techniques, and we get to hear that even more on his collaborations on his own label Les Disques du Festival Permanent. He & singer Marion Cousin explore workers’ songs of Menorca and Majorca on a beautiful album of just cello & vocals, but Claus takes a much more electronic approach on the other duo. Here he’s working with the hilariously twin-named Casper Clausen (no relation) of Efterklang. Clearly having nearly the same name they had to get together, and they created something equal parts organic & electronic, with both cello and vocals being layered and processed through delays & effects. There are some songs with beats and some more formless but no less lovely works.
Aidan Baker – Aberration Two [Somewherecold Records]Aidan Baker, Simon Goff & Thor Harris – Red Robin [Gizeh Records]
So we segue from Gaspar Claus to another member of Orchard, the one and only Aidan Baker. In 2017 his doom duo Nadja did release a lovely album of stripped-back versions of their heavy music, but Aidan is nothing if not prolific (and a prolific collaborator too), and rather late in the year he released one of his lovely ambient, glitchy solo albums on Somewherecold Records. As well as Orchard, another rather stunning collaorative effort came out from Canadian label Gizeh Records, this time working with English violinist/composer/producer Simon Goff and percussionist/drummer extraordinaire Thor Harris (check out his Twitter for top-notch political matter). This one has pretty krautrocky postrock vibes, epic violin and rhythmic guitar & drums. Super cool.
Simon Goff – Orange [Hiddenseer]
And finally we hear from Simon Goff himself solo, on his own Hiddenseer label, with a gorgeous piece of electronica meets ambient classical, with layers of violin, chopped samples (vocals and amusing snippets of applause) creating something pretty rapturous. I seem to have missed this when it came out in 2016, so I’m glad it’s finally appeared in a playlist!
This is an Australian track.
This is a local artist.