Halfway through the year! It’s been a great year for music, and it’s going as we’ll hear with tonight’s batch of mostly very-new music.
Shoeb Ahmad – “romance” (jasmine guffond version) [Art As Catharsis/Shoeb Ahmad Bandcamp]Shoeb Ahmad – “washed air” (wives version) [Art As Catharsis/Shoeb Ahmad Bandcamp]Shoeb Ahmad – “villagers son” (maria moles version) [Art As Catharsis/Shoeb Ahmad Bandcamp]
Canberra artist and longtime Utility Fog fave Shoeb Ahmad launches her new album quiver at 107 in Redfern this Friday (July 5th). It’s a wonderful album of indie songs, exploring the relationship between gender identity, religion, culture and the love of friends & family. But along with the usual digital versions, there’s a special 2CD zine edition (it’s gorgeous) which features remixes of each track on the album by Aussie fellow travellers (and full disclosure: I’ve got a raven remix on there). These remixes allow the still very active experimental aspect of Shoeb’s musicianship to be expressed, through other people’s interpretations. I’ve previously played the incredible sea of glitched vocals and spoken word from Canberran indiepunks Wives; tonight we also feature two of the tracks which are (currently) exclusive to the second CD – a very different approach to glitchy chopped vocals and atmospherics from Sydney’s Jasmine Guffond, and a beautiful textural reworking from Melbourne artist Maria Moles.
S. Carey & Taylor Deupree – The Iron Town [THESIS]Angus MacRae & InsaDonjaKai – Himmelgeist [THESIS]Andrew Hargreaves & Andrew Johnson – A New Kind of Air [THESIS]Aaron Martin & Tilman Robinson – Breath Structures, Dispersed Being [THESIS]
We heard something from the Minnesota-based THESIS label a couple of weeks ago, when we featured the beautiful meeting of Sophie Hutchings & Julia Kent. The label have now released the second of their COLLECTED albums on CD & digital, which bring together most of the highly-limited vinyl editions pairing up artists who otherwise may not have come together. So tonight Bon Iver member S. Carey‘s pastoral songwriting joins Taylor Deupree‘s electro-acoustic ambient stylings from the first collection. From the second, we start with London composer & pianist Angus MacRae and German percussion/cello trio InsaDonjaKai creating something quite spine-tingling. Then we have a pair of Andrews who have so many collaborators in common that it’s basically just silly they’ve never worked together before: Andrew Hargreaves aka Tape Loop Orchestra is a member of the beloved Boats, where Andrew Johnson aka a new line (related) is one half of The Remote Viewer with the other core member of The Boats, Craig Tattersal… They’ve created something chilling out of washes of noise and a buried kick drum. Finally, US acoustic multi-instrumentalist Aaron Martin joins Melbourne-based ex-Perth composer/electronic musician Tilman Robinson for a deep, pulsating piece with strings, guitar, mandolin and electronics. It’s all gorgeous.
Aaron Martin – The Space Above Overflowing [IIKKI]
So here’s Aaron Martin again, here taking part in a very different collaboration. This track is taken from his new album Touch Dissolves, released on the French label IIKKI, which is also a book publisher, and each of their editions pairs a visual artist or writer with a musician. So Touch Dissolves is available as CD or vinyl or book, or combination of audio & visual editions, with artwork from Turkish photographer/artist Yusuf Sevinçli. Aaron’s music is consistently lovely, as it has been since his first releases on Sydney label Preservation – folky sounds on guitar, banjo, and cello, layered in dreamy patterns. He’s also a seasoned collaborator, as we heard earlier with Tilman Robinson, and our next artist is someone Aaron’s worked with for years too…
Machinefabriek – Walking [Machinefabriek Bandcamp]Machinefabriek – Not Last [Machinefabriek Bandcamp]
In the 10 years+ I’ve been playing Rutger Zuydervelt’s music as Machinefabriek on this show, he’s released more music than fits in some people’s entire record collection… A lot of it’s collaborative (see Aaron Martin above) but he’s prolific as a solo artist too. He was (in)famous a decade ago for long, evolving drone works, but there’s always been more to him than drone – electro-acoustic works, processed sound of all sorts, and surprising melodies appearing from unexpected sources. Of late, he’s been in demand scoring documentaries and dance works. This is from a new work by Marta Alstadsæter and Kim-Jomi Fischer called Engel that literally premiered a few days ago – and it looks amazing. Along with the usual teased out, filigree sound is some of the most conventional electronic work Rutger’s done in years.
Vitor Joaquim – Stillness [Vitor Joaquim Bandcamp]Vitor Joaquim – Suffering and Detachment [Vitor Joaquim Bandcamp]
It’s a pleasure to hear a new solo release from Portuguese artist Vitor Joaquim. He’s a grand master of sound-art in his home country, having started in the ’80s, and he really is a master of moody, sustained music processed from a multitude of sound sources. His new album impermanence deals with change on a personal and global scale – it’s a self-consuming work based around his observations that “everything decomposes, everything wears, everything loses force, everything is transformed and renewed, and nothing escapes the coming of time”. And yet it’s not as dour as that summation might suggest. It’s beautiful, in fact.
LWW – CTP [Leaf]AU – Ida Walked Away [Aagoo/AU Bandcamp]LWW – LSP [Leaf]
Multi-instrumentalist Luke Wyland is best known as the founder and singer in the freak folk/indie band AU. His new solo album as LWW, 3TP largely continues the approach to composition and arrangement found in AU’s work, but it’s instrumental (except when it’s not), and mostly based around improvisations (except when they extend or expand on them), and they’re a little more minimalist than AU’s songs (except when they’re not). They’re a great fit for The Leaf Label.
Nine Inch Nails – Im Not From This World [The Null Corporation]
Back in the early-to-mid-’90s I was as obsessed with the Nine Inch Nails as any other late teen or early 20s slightly depressed outsider kid, y’know? To be honest even then I found a lot of the lyrics slightly winceworthy (although I’d quote them anyway), but the relentless experimentalism of the music was inspiring, and the remixes universally amazing. The older he’s gotten, the more “slightly embarrassing” the snarling angsty lyrics have felt, but there’s no doubt Trent Reznor has good taste in musical influences and collaborators, and he’s got a pretty damn good ear for composing too. This new stuff, three EPs now, which is basically the blockbuster movie composing duo of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, has some decent catchy songs on there, but I was particularly taken with this instrumental piece of spooky industrial electronic music.
Anne-James Chaton + Andy Moor – Le songe de Ludwig [Unsounds]Tout ce que je sais is the latest in a string of collaborations between the French poet/spoken word sound artist Anne-James Chaton and Scottish guitarist Andy Moor (longtime member of Dutch anarcho-punk/experimental band The Ex). Chaton also works with minimal electronic artist Alva Noto, and Moor’s work, while entirely produced on electric guitar, has a tendency to recall (if not mimic) the rhythmic, shifting sounds of experimental minimal electronica & techno, while at the same time being miles distant. His punkish jangly guitar tone produces chiming atonal chords which are looped into loping rhythms over which he lays further awkward expressionist splatters of sound. As a musician I find it inspiring but very challenging to reproduce; collaboratively it’s a technique which works well for Moor in various contexts while being clearly his own. It’s always sat perfectly with the dizzying patter of word association from Chaton, often slightly eluding sense even if you understand French, but for me always a comfortable aural experience.
This is an Australian track.
This is a local artist.