Everything from gorgeous Stereolab style postrock-pop to blast-furnace doom, stunning Korean ambient to Middle Eastern techno beats…
Grand Veymont – Bois barbu [Objet Disque]Grand Veymont – Valse tango [Objet Disque]
Based in the Vercors Mountains in France, the tallest peak of which is the eponymous Grand Veymont, Béatrice Morel Journel and Josselin Varengo have made music together for many years, and this duo has existed since 2016. With interlocking sequenced synthesiser lines and interlocking melodic vocals creating lovely polyrhythms, they’ve got more than a little of the Stereolabs about them – emphasising very much the French harmonic progressions – you could hear these songs transposed to accordion and double bass easily. Lovely.
Park Jiha – Accumulation Of Time [Glitterbeat]Park Jiha – Sounds Heard From The Moon [Glitterbeat]
Although Korean musician Park Jiha‘s main instrument is the oboe-like double reed instrument the piri, on many tracks on her stunning new album Communion we hear her playing the yanggeum, a kind of hammered dulcimer. Combined with field recordings and subtle sounds from wind instruments, Jiha creates a music that’s deeply rooted in Korean traditional music, but draws from post-rock, Western minimalist classical music, and even doom metal. A couple of tracks also feature some wailing saxophone, and I’m willing to admit that it somehow works…
Insect Ark – Daath [Profound Lore]Insect Ark – The Collector [Insect Ark Bandcamp/Autumnsongs Records]Insect Ark – Slow Ray [Profound Lore]
Bassist Dana Schechter was best known to me as a member of Michael Gira’s Angels of Light for some years, and I was very excited when she released her first solo album as Insect Ark – heavy, instrumental blackened doom and drone metal all created by the one woman. Shortly after the first album was released, Schechter was joined by Ashley Spungin on drums and synths, but there’s a clear continuity in the sound. If anything, a few tracks are more upbeat, albeit still dark and dank; but there’s some terrifically sludgily slow doom in there too.
Dedekind Cut – Tahoe [Kranky]Dedekind Cut – De-Civilization [Kranky]
From making beats for the likes of Joey Bada$$ to releasing albums on Ninja Tune as Lee Bannon, drawing from jungle and idm, to noise collaborations and work with NON Worldwide and now releasing his most fully-realised ambient work Tahoe for the venerable Kranky, Fred Warmsley likes to mix shit up. He’s threatened in the past to abandon the beats, but I have little doubt we’ll get some fucked-up industrial techno and bass sometime soon. Nevertheless, this album fits beautifully into the Kranky canon, sometimes veering into Aphex Twin or early Autechre-style ambient beauty (to my ears on the title track for instance). Always worth checking out his work.
Zoë Mc Pherson – vii. Transmission (so it shall never be lost) [SVS Records]Zoë Mc Pherson – iv. Komusar (moving) [SVS Records]
Sound artist Zoë Mc Pherson has a background in jazz drumming and is a vocalist, but she comes to the String Figures project with field recordings she’s made or sourced from all over the world, along with a percussionist collaborator. So on our first track tonight there’s processed Hardanger fiddle (a Norwegian folk violin), and on the second track there are bees from the south of France, and a wonderful vocal credited as “Muralag folk tale in 4 sung by Made Paul, collected by W. Laade in Western Torres Straits, South Pacific”. It’s all put together with glitchy beats and electronics, making for a fascinating and rewarding project that’s also fun to listen to.
Mahdyar – Tommy Might Bury Y’All [Kowloon]Mahdyar – Khakis [Kowloon]
Iranian artist Mahdyar Aghajani has just released his debut album Seized on Kowloon Records, having been blacklisted by the Iranian Ministry of Culture in 2009, and made his way from Tehran to Europe to continue making music. Classically trained, Aghajani draws on Persian music among his glitches and bass/hip-hop influenced beats to create something that sounds politically charged even without understanding the nuance. There’s humour too – the title of “Tommy Might Bury Y’All” is a sardonic quasi-English transcription of the Iranian voice at the end of the track.
DJ Plead – DVE [Decisions]DJ Plead – M11 [Decisions]
Jared Beeler is one third of BV and beloved beatmaker and member of Sydney’s dance music scene, but has relocated fairly recently to Melbourne. His debut release as DJ Plead Get In Circlesees him drawing on his Lebanese heritage, referencing dance circles at weddings, and melding that percussive music with house and footwork.
Yen Towers – M4P [Posh Isolation]Yen Towers – BID I (Bug) [Posh Isolation]Age Coin – Raptor [Posh Isolation]Yen Towers – Rattle Me [Posh Isolation]
The prolific Danish musician Simon Formann is a mainstay in Copenhagen’s Posh Isolation scene and member of various groups including Age Coin. His new EP as Yen Towers veers a little away from the idm-tinged bass techno of the earlier Yen Towers and Age Coin material (represented by the 2nd & 3rd tracks here) into slightly more abstract chill-out realms, albeit still with glitchy beats appearing.
This is an Australian track.
This is a local artist.