Lots of avant-garde, experimental and ambient stuff tonight. Also interviewing Sydney jazz/electronic trio Moving Paths.
Seabuckthorn – Sent In By The Cold [Bookmaker Records/La Cordillière]Seabuckthorn – It Was Aglow [Bookmaker Records/La Cordillière]
The last couple of albums from Andy Cartwright aka Seabuckthorn came out through Lost Tribe Sound. His new one, courtesy of French music agency La Cordillière and label Bookmaker Records, sees him further refining his extraordinary adeptness at all things guitar – from fingerstyle circular picking to slide, strumming, washed out chords, or even a hefty amount of gorgeous violin-style bowing. Big endorsement from round these parts.
Moving Paths – Wake [hellosQuare]
…interview with Moving Paths…Moving Paths – live recording at Soundscapes at Smith’s Alternative, 1st of March 2018 [unreleased]
Sydney trio Moving Paths started life as jazz students playing together at the Conservatorium of Sydney, and their first release was as an acoustic jazz trio – piano, upright bass and drums. The last year or so has seen their practice move into more experimental territory – their sets are mostly improvised, with drummer Luke incorporating live sampling & processing on laptop, pianist Linus bringing synths and weird Ableton-produced virtual instruments, and guitarist Max picking up electric bass alongside the upright. As we heard tonight, this makes for some great music in between acoustic & electronic, just the fodder for Utility Fog!
Their new single is being launched next Sunday night, 13th of May, at the Splinter Orchestra’s space at Tempe Jets.
Chris Abrahams & Jon Rose – Peggy 2 [ReR Megacorp]
Two giants of Australian avant-garde music getting together here, dedicating their record to Australian composer Peggy Glanville-Hicks, whose house in Paddington, Sydney is used for residencies/sabbaticals for Australian musicians. Here Chris Abrahams brings his piano into the most challenging territory, free of traditional melody or rhythmic glue, to match the adventurous extended techniques of Jon Rose on violin.
This duo album is being launched at Foundry616 on Harris St in Ultimo on Monday the 7th of May (day after we go to air) if you happen to be reading this soon enough!
John Encarnacao / Espadrille – Flight [Tinderbox]
Guitarist / producer / composer John Encarnacao has been around the traps in Sydney since the ’90s. He’s played in indie bands, jazz groups, and avant-garde ensembles, written about music, and is now an academic. His group Espadrille is a long-lived outlet for more experimental works, right now featuring Joshua Isaac on drums/percussion and longtime indie stalwart Brendan Smyly on saxophone & electronics. We hear Smyly’s mournful sax in a bed of crunching, crumbling, crackling percussive noises from Isaac on this track, from an “aleatoric score” written for the play Tinderbox premiered at Darlinghurst Theatre a few years ago.
Xo Xinh – Conversation [Flaming Pines]Sound Awakener – Duskiness [Flaming Pines]
A couple of years ago, Sydney(ish) label Flaming Pines released a remarkable album of experimental music from Iran called Absence. Now we have an album of experimental music from Vietnam, Emergence, compiled by Nhung Nguyen aka Sound Awakener, who speaks of how experimental music doesn’t really have official support or recognition, so it operates in between the cracks. It’s a small scene, but clearly quite fertile, especially including some internationally-based artists such as Vietnamese-American sound artist Xo Xinh, whose processed cymbals and piano and stunningly constructed in his “Conversation”, everything placed just right in the mix. Meanwhile Nguyen herself contributes a track in which her piano is blurred and granulated into a lovely “Duskiness”.
arovane + porya hatami – Creature_333 [Karl Records]arovane + porya hatami – Corm [Karl Records]arovane + porya hatami – Cytoplasm [Karl Records]
Uwe Zahn came to note in the late ’90s with a string of exceptional idm releases as Arovane. He’s moved more and more into ambient territory in the intervening years, and has now found a very fruitful collaboration with Iranian sound artist Porya Hatami. They’ve just released the follow-up to last year’s organism with organism_evolution, the two of which have been released in a 2CD set. It’s very much music for micro-organisms – electronic impressions of insects, amoebae, floating in their watery homes… Really engrossing stuff.
Lucrecia Dalt – Atmospheres Touch [RVNG Intl.]Lucrecia Dalt – Concentric Nothings [RVNG Intl.]Lucrecia Dalt – Liminalidad [RVNG Intl.]Lucrecia Dalt – Eclipsed Subject [RVNG Intl.]
Since relocating first to Barcelona and now Berlin, Lucrecia Dalt has moved steadily away from her songwriterly beginnings, emphasising more and more than experimental sound art aspects of her work. Her new album Anticlines features her voice only in spoken, often chopped-up form, along with wobbling modular synths and other instruments which only occasionally coalesce into rhythmic structures. It’s nevertheless utterly compelling listening.
CECILIA – Gros Animal [Halcyon Veil]CECILIA – Griselidis [Halcyon Veil]
Quebecois performance artist & musician Mélissa Gagné has released a few records as Babi Audi (and in bands such as Institutional Prostitution), but through a “dissociative metamorphosis” created CECILIA, initially as a guest on a track from Rabit and now with her debut album on Rabit’s Halcyon Veil label. A strange mix of abstract sample deconstruction, grime/bass beats and occasional singing, it’s hard to pin down, but totally on-point. Music like this and Dalt’s warrants many return visits precisely because it’s got so much mystery to it that you never quite remember what to expect next. Highly recommended.
Venetian Snares x Daniel Lanois – Night MXCMPV1 P74 [Planet µ]Venetian Snares x Daniel Lanois – Joe P11LC2P146 [Planet µ]
Here’s the most unexpected collaboration of the year – two Canadian artists, 7/8 breakcore hero & misanthrope Venetian Snares, and U2 producer, Eno et al collaborator Daniel Lanois, he of ambient slide guitar… It’s bonkers, and really shouldn’t work, but contrary to some assessments it’s not just Lanois’ sunny textures mashed up against Aaron Funk’s madcap beats. There’s interaction between the two halves, Lanois’ instruments constantly feeding into Funk’s modular synths, and it encourages Funk to space things out a bit at times, with half-time basslines and respites here and there from his usual onslaught. I pre-ordered the CD and got an entire bonus album as a second CD, with some more excellent material including the second piece featured here.
This is an Australian track.
This is a local artist.