Inventive indiepop, sample mangling, field recordings, post-classical / acoustic doom and more tonight...
Pikelet - Exchange Rate [Babyrace Records]Pikelet - Wealthy / Worthy [Babyrace Records]
For many years, Melbourne artist Evelyn Ida Morris released inspiring, creative music as Pikelet - often solo with various instruments and loop pedal(s), sometimes as a full band. Evelyn also played drums in heavy bands like True Radical Miracle, and Pikelet was partly a way of expressing a kind of (simplified) femininity. Morris' own identity, however, was much less clear-cut, and I believe that they came to the conclusion in the last few years that they must come out as non-binary. This means that the person they created to be Pikelet can be retired. As Evelyn says in the liner notes of this album: "Goodbye, Pikelet, I will be myself from now on."
So it's a kind of bittersweet goodbye - "Pikelet" has touched so many people in the music scene, myself included. But Evelyn Ida Morris already created two wonderful albums last year, and no doubt whatever they continue to produce will be beautiful, challenging and inspiring.
whisker floater - ip_address_Mix_Edit 1_v2 [Æscape Sounds]whisker floater - still_no_zinc6_cropped_mix2 [Æscape Sounds]
Two members of the Sydney experimental scene since the 1980s join together here with sounds initially created in iPad apps and then transferred to DAWs for further chopping & processing... Dru Jones and Shane Fahey are both part of the reincarnated Scattered Order, but Jones's involvement goes back to the 1980s, at which time Fahey was involved with the similarly iconoclastic Makers of the Dead Travel Fast. Their work with electronics and sampled sounds goes back further than most can boast, and like various members of that scene they continue to work with technology to create layered sounds, with nods to dance culture in twisted ways.
Alexandra Spence - bodies in place [Room40]Alexandra Spence - bodyscan [Room40]
On her own bio, Alexandra Spence writes that "she holds the pseudo-scientific belief that electricity might actually be magic". Well, it's true at least in the sense that her utterly magical sound-art is created through electricity. She uses sounds from everyday objects, field recordings, spoken (and often whispered) words, and sometimes musical instruments and her own sung vocals, to create fascinating and gripping works, and it's so great to hear them collected on a full album - Waking, She Heard The Fluttering, released by the estimable Room40. Can't recommend highly enough.
Deaf Center - A Scent [Sonic Pieces]Deaf Center - Red Glow [Sonic Pieces]Deaf Center - Dial [Type Records]Deaf Center - Stone beacon [Type Records]Deaf Center - New Beginning (Tidal Darkness) [Type Records]Deaf Center - Gathering [Sonic Pieces]
Norwegian musicians Erik K Skodvin and Otto A Totland have been legendary names in ambient and electronica since their debut EP on Type Records in 2004 (from which we heard "Dial" tonight) - initially a lovely form of melodic electronica and ambient. By even their first album the following year, they were leaning more heavily into the acoustic aspects of their work - Skodvin is a cellist, Totland a pianist. What could be a precursor to the post-classical piano-and-electronics of recent times instead swerved into far darker, spookier territories - particularly in Skodvin's own work under his own name and as Svarte Greiner - and by their last album (2011's Owl Splinters) their music was haunted and chilling as much as it was beautiful. With only a single 12" record since then as a duo, this album is a welcome return, following closely from the format of Owl Splinters.
Saffronkeira - Without Keeping Memory Of It [Denovali]Saffronkeira - A Pattern Didn't Exist [Denovali]
The latest album from Sardinian artist Eugenio Caria as Saffronkeira segues quite nicely out of Deaf Center - the first track being minimalist solo piano with some lovely subtle, scratchy violin lines. The second takes whisps of electronics and gradually builds a minimal techno beat of sorts under it. This album creeps up on you - listening in the background you'll find yourself turning back to it frequently to remind yourself what you're listening to - a good sign!
Max Cooper - Hope (Roly Porter remix) [Mesh]Max Cooper - Rule 110 (Synkro remix) [Mesh]Max Cooper - Lovesong (Brecon remix) [Mesh]
It's always interesting hearing what Max Cooper's been up to - he's one of those artist who takes his interest in experimental electronic music, ambient and post-classical into dancefloor-friendly areas. But he's also got great taste in his contemporaries, as shown in recent DJ mixes, and that flows over into the artists he's chosen for One Hundred Billion Sparks Remixed, re-envisioning the music from his latest album. Dubstep pioneer-turned-power-ambient maestro Roly Porter builds something glacially blissful with swooping bottom-end movement, while Synkro takes things into his particular kind of technoid drum'n'bass. Finally, some nice chopped live drums and electronics from new duo Brecon, who are signed to Cooper's own Mesh label.
Oedura - Prologue [Empirical Intrigue]
Finally tonight, the first release on a new Sydney label called Empirical Intrigue. Oedura is a Sydney artist who I believe runs the label, and this piece mixes some evocative analogue synth stuff with multilingual vocal samples. Would like to hear more.
This is an Australian track.
This is a local artist.