Tonight we’re shuffling around ambient/shoegaze, sunken beats, post-jazz, experimental hip-hop, Tunisian beatmaking… and more.
The Rothko Chapel – Phecda [The Rothko Chapel Bandcamp]The Rothko Chapel – The Perpetual Cloister [The Rothko Chapel Bandcamp]
Not a new project, but the first album proper from this Australian shoegaze/drone/sound-art duo The Rothko Chapel, featuring UFog fave Charlie Sage aka Canberra’s y0t0, and Melbournian Peter Dowd aka singlecoil. As usual with Sage’s projects, there are various international collaborators, including his other half in Hessien, Maps and Diagrams. There are fluttery, glitchy drones (often with analogue rather than digital processing), lots of guitars, and also some beautiful piano. Nothing is fixed, but everything is well placed. Recommended if you’re into Tim Hecker eh!
Anders Brørby – Trauma [Forwind]Anders Brørby – Depression Puzzle [Forwind]
The latest release on UK experimental/drone/sound-art label Forwind comes from Norwegian artist Anders Brørby. Surprisingly beat-oriented, it nevertheless doesn’t find easy categorisation – much like the label. With its mixture of analogue & digital sound sources, some elements could come from ’80s or ’90s ambient and electronic, some hint at more contemporary influences. It’s also rather emotional, and while I love the first track’s title “Hatred to all Living Things”, it’s not all darkness. Still, an album titled Traumas isn’t likely to be rosy. Definitely worth grabbing this one…
mouse on the keys – Shapeless Man feat. Jordan Dreyer of La Dispute [Topshelf Records]mouse on the keys – Spectres de mouse [Machu Picchu Industrias]mouse on the keys – le gibet [Mule Musiq]mouse on the keys – The Prophecy (tres version) [Topshelf Records]
Japanese post-jazz/post-rock ensemble mouse on the keys have been plying their trade for over a decade, with jazz-trained piano or sometimes double-piano action, and masterful jazz/postrock drumming. It’s a unique sound, one which has turned ears all over the world, with those older Japanese releases seeing re-release on Denovali, and their new album out on San Diego label Topshelf Records. There’s less emphasis on piano as the lead instrument on this album, with other keyboard instruments and also a number of interesting vocal collaborations – such as the amazing spoken word from Jordan Dreyer of post-hardcore heroes La Dispute.
Szun Waves – Constellation [The Leaf Label]
Combining the trumpet work of Portico Quartet‘s Jack Wyllie, Luke Abbott‘s modular synths & electronics, and the always stellar drum work of Sydney’s own Laurence Pike, Szun Waves are a post-jazz/psychedelic supergroup. And the first track for their second album (first on Leaf) is transcendently psychedelic ambient jazz. Look out for this, peeps!
Busdriver – losing you again [Temporary Whatever]Busdriver – exploding slowly feat. Daedelus [Temporary Whatever]
It’s been a few years since we heard from the maestro of experimental weird-hop, Busdriver. The new album Electricity is on our Side feels like a real statement – his manic side is still on display, but it’s tempered here and there (in fact on both tracks I chose tonight). There are definite nods to contemporary trends (“exploding slowly” has a kind of Kendrick feel in the delivery perhaps?) and the jazz-funk elements are inspired. It’s insane genius really.
AMMAR 808 – Sidi Kommi (feat. Mehdi Nassouli) [Glitterbeat]AMMAR 808 – Degdegi (feat. Sofiane Saidi) [Glitterbeat]
Amazing futuristic take on deep traditional North African music from the Maghreb region. AMMAR 808‘s Sofyann Ben Youssef is a Tunisian producer & musician, and here he works not only with the driving bass of the Roland TR-808 drum machine, but also with singers from Tunisia, Morocco (Mehdi Nassouli), and Algeria (Sofiane Saidi). Each lends a different feel to these new-old tracks.
Squaring Circles – Anima [Squaring Circles Bandcamp]
Melbourne’s Brendan Anderson formed Squaring Circles to explore making music outside the structures of songwriting in now-defunct indie band Lurch & Chief. Lilibeth Hall’s vocals are sampled and delayed, used as an instrument among the postrock drums and layered keyboards. It’s a great debut.
Tatu Rönkkö – Tekoäly – feat. Islaja [Sonic Pieces]Tatu Rönkkö – Now [Sonic Pieces]
Finnish drummer Tatu Rönkkö is part of Liima with the core members of Efterklang, but as a soloist isn’t well known outside of Berlin. That should change with this debut release on the excellent boutique label Sonic Pieces. His homemade percussion & electronic instruments create spaces which can draw from mid-’90s Photek as much as jazz or postrock. The centrepiece is the track featuring the incredible otherworldly vocals of fellow Finn Islaja.
Nicolas Wiese – The Revolution Will Have Been YouTubed #2 [Karlrecords]Marc Weiser – Kapital [Karlrecords]
Two more pieces (we had two last week) from Karlrecords‘ 2CD celebration of Karl Marx’s 200th birthday, all profits of which go to support homeless charity Berliner Obdachlosenhilfe and immigration advocacy organisation ProAsyl. Tonight we have a great sound work from Nicolas Wiese sampling from YouTube videos on the topic of “revolution”, and a melancholy piece of glitch electronics & drone from Zeitkratzer guitarist Marc Weiser.
The Future Sound of London – Collapsed Structures [FSOLdigital/EBV]The Future Sound of London – My Kingdom (Part 5) [Virgin/EBV]The Future Sound of London – My Kingdom – Path 9 [FSOLdigital/EBV]
Back in the late ’80s and early ’90s it could feel like The Future Sound of London were as futuristic as it gets, with their sample-based, rave-derived psychedelic ambient techno. They owed a lot to the cyberpunk aesthetic, and so it’s no surprise that on their “last” album (before a long hiatus) they sampled the master, Vangelis, from his Blade Runner soundtrack – specifically the Mary Hopkin sung “Rachel’s Song”. For years now they’ve been releasing swatches of archival material, slowly introducing new electronic works (having also a psych rock/folk project Amorphous Androgynous) as well. So this year they’ve Re-imagined the beloved “My Kingdom” with that Vangelis sample, on a whole album that follows on from the original My Kingdom EP with extensions, remixes and new works. The familiar bassline weaves through many tracks, as well as the vocal sample and other elements. It’s still futuristic to me, albeit partially in a “future-nostalgia” way.
This is an Australian track.
This is a local artist.