Music from all around the world tonight, amazing & adventurous stuff...
Maarja Nuut & Ruum - Haned kadunud Maarja Nuut & Ruum - Käed-mäed Maarja Nuut & Ruum - Muutuja 
The remarkable Estonian singer & violinist Maarja Nuut actually visited Sydney at the beginning of this year as part of Sydney Festival. I was lucky to - almost accidentally - get to see her playing at the Harry Seidler house in Milson's Point, and she played a wonderful set of Estonian folk music and her own folk-inspired music with her beautiful and eerie storytelling.
This album with fellow Estonian musician Hendrik Kaljujärv aka Ruum, aided & abetted by the electronic processing of Evar Anvelt and production guidance from Howie B takes them deep into the wilds of the Utility Fog homeland - electronic folk, folktronica, call it what you will... In any case, it's an intoxicating concoction where Nuut's violin & vocals are sometimes looped (as with her solo sets), sometimes accompanied by a wide range of keyboards & percussion and other instruments, and often processed and edited in the studio. A really exciting discovery which I hope doesn't slip under the radar!
Jerusalem In My Heart - Wa Ta'atalat Loughat Al Kalam, Pt. II (excerpt), Pt. III & Pt. IV [Constellation]Jerusalem In My Heart - Yudaghdegh El-ra3ey Walal-Ghanam (He Titilates the Shepherd, but not the Sheep...) [Constellation]Suuns and Jerusalem In My Heart - In Touch [Secretly Canadian]Jerusalem In My Heart - A Granular Buzuk [Constellation]Jerusalem In My Heart - Thahab, Mish Roujou', Thahab [Constellation]
The new album from Monréal/Beirut musician Radwan Ghazi Moumneh as Jerusalem In My Heart (in fact an audio-visual duo with 16mm film from Charles-André Coderre when performing live) continues his exploration, deconstruction and augmentation of Arabic/Middle-Eastern music. This time the first half (side A of the vinyl) is taken up by an interpretation of the popular Egyptian song "Ya Garat Al Wadi" by Mohammed Abdel Wahab, performed by a 15-piece orchestra in Beirut and arranged & directed by the legendary Montréal/Cairo musician Sam Shalabi, along with Moumneh's distinctive vocals and his glitchy production taking over by part III. The second side is more standard JIMH fare - a percussive track, a solo vocal track in which the vocals are pitch-shifted against themselves, and glitched up in the gaps between the phrases... I thought this singular artist needed a bit of a celebration tonight, so we heard highlights from his first two albums as well as a piece from the 2015 collaboration with Canadian kraut/psych rock band Suuns.
Sam Slater - Wrong Airport Ghost [Bedroom Community]Sam Slater - Subway Lion [Bedroom Community]
Berlin-based English composer/producer Sam Slater started work on this album exploring a single-stringed instrument in Rajasthan, working with the musician Krishna Bhopa on unravelling the sonic possibilities of the instrument. Although the album was recorded in Bedroom Community's studio in Iceland, and it has a certain something from the windswept ambient/post-classical/post-rock music that emanates from there, the music certainly also bears the marks of its Central Asian origins. It's an interesting piece mixing electro-acoustic sound-art and a kind of washed-out Icelandic take on Berlin's industrial ambient/techno of the moment.
CUTS - Carbon [Village Green Recordings]CUTS - Drowning [Village Green Recordings]
Anthony Tombling Jr's ambient/electronic project CUTS has released two EPs on Village Green Recordings, and his new EP A Slow Decay precedes and pre-empts the album A Gradual Decline coming in November. He claims the album's influence is the copying-and-degrading process of William Basinski's Disintegration Loops, and that's audible here, although the occasional crunchy beats and even more occasional female spoken words bring more of a '90s electronic/shoegaze influence of a sort. It's nice stuff and I'm looking forward to the album.
Lowtide - Southern Mind (Ulrich Schnauss Remix) [Rice Is Nice Records]
Nice to see Melbourne shoegazers Lowtide enlisting Ulrich Schnauss to remix the title track from their recent album on Rice Is Nice. With a classic shoegaze feel, it doesn't take much to bring the Ulrich sound - drum processing, cavernous reverb, and then the characteristic delightful synths drop...
Madeleine Cocolas - Kolářová, Letters from Portugal [bigo & twigetti]Madeleine Cocolas - Pollock, Autumn Rhythm No. 30 [bigo & twigetti]
Ex-pat Aussie Madeleine Cocolas has been based in Northern America for some time now - for a while in Vancouver, and now comfortably ensconced in New York City. Her latest album Metropolitan is an ambitious and beautiful project to render some of her favourite artworks from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She worked with programmer Gregory Long on software that converts images to sound (source code here) based on pre-determined parameters, which produced data that could be used to generate melodies, or instructions about dynamnics, distortion etc. I'd love to have played more, but we heard the interpretation of Běla Kolářová's photograph of her hair in "Letters from Portugal", in which the software produces melodic lines from the shape of the strands of hair, with noise and other textural detail added by Cocolas; and her take on Jackson Pollock's "Autumn Rhythm No. 30", using a software-generated marimba line to represent the chaotic elements of the art, and a beautiful piano composition overlaid on top as her emotive reaction to the harmony and balance of the artwork. The rest of the album follows this approach - process-based abstraction of the artwork tempered with a musical and emotional artistic response to the works. It's out this Friday and I recommend you buy the digital version and take in the descriptions and reproductions of the artwork in the digital booklet along with the music.
K-Mak - Play With Me [K-Mak Bandcamp]
Kathryn McKee is a Brisbane cellist who has moved her work into the electronic pop realm over the last few years. Her new material sees her adopting the name K-Mak, and this new single comes with an evocative video with dancers. It's a lovely piece of electronic pop with rhythmic sampled vocals and breakbeats along with operatic vocals, and if you listen for it you'll hear her cello playing a substantial role. Looking forward to more to come.
This is an Australian track.