Selections ranging from impeccably arranged free jazz hybrids, Indian drum'n'bass, underground hip-hop, post-classical, and free noise...
Fire! Orchestra - (Beneath) The Edge of Life [Rune Grammofon]Fire! Orchestra - Dressed In Smoke. Blown Away [Rune Grammofon]
Sweden's Fire! are a remarkable trio of jazz musicians who have worked across post-rock, noise and myriad other genres. They're comprised of Mats Gustafsson on saxophone (known for his massive sound and also his work with The Thing, who've notably collaborated with Neneh Cherry), bassist Johan Berthling (of many ensembles including post-rock/folk pioneers Tape, and his legendary Häpna label) and drummer Andreas Werliin. The latter is perhaps best known for his duo Wildbirds & Peacedrums with his partner Mariam Wallentin, whose extraordinary vocal interpretations and arrangements are so central to the expanded ensemble's work as Fire! Orchestra. In the past they've been a kind of free jazz big band, with massed horns alongside the driving, grooving bass (and often sax) riffage and ecstatic vocals. Here there are scraped and swooped strings, keys and of course the bassline riffs and wonderful vocals – with Wallentin joined by another luminary of the Swedish experimental / jazz scene, Sofia Jernberg. This is compulsive, compulsory listening, as we've learned to expect from this ensemble.
Danielle de Picciotto - Dark Butterfly [Louder Than War]Danielle de Picciotto - Hail [Louder Than War]
For the last 9 years, Danielle de Picciotto has been an itinerant musician alongside her husband, Alexander Hacke from Einstürzende Neubauten. She moved to Berlin from NYC in 1987 and started the Love Parade, and also started the Ocean Club with Gudrun Gut – her influence runs deep. But the most recent albums from her have been collaborative "hackedepicciotto" releases, so it's wonderful to have this solo work, which combines electronic experimentation, her electric violin and her now very German-influenced American vocals. I heard some solo work of hers as part of Gudrun Gut's Monika Werkstatt program, and it's great to hear the promise of those works come to fruition here.
The Brazilian Gentleman - Soda [Lazy Thinking/Bandcamp]dälek - Swollen Tongue Burns [Gern Blandsten]End Xian - Beseech (Young Aundee's Reach For Blood) [Halfpear Records]End Christian - Great Escapes [Corpse Flower Records]The Brazilian Gentleman - Janky [Lazy Thinking/Bandcamp]
Forthcoming on Sydney label Lazy Thinking in a week or so (a bit of a coup for a local label) is Philadelphia group The Brazilian Gentleman's debut album. This very-hard-to-pin-down band is made up of Christian McKenna (aka Christian Alexander, of psych/post-metal band Hex Inverter and before that post-hardcore band Empty Flowers), and beat-maker Alap Momin, best known as Oktopus from noise-hop pioneers dälek (more recently resurrected without him), along with Evan Schneider. All are members of End Christian, itself a nearly uncategorizable mix of metal, industrial, r'n'b, electronic pop and glitch elements. This seems to be a subset and even looser than the parent band, and I'm not complaining! I thought we should hear some of the earliest work of Momin with dälek (already weird and drawing from noise and shoegaze as much as hip-hop's boom bap), and McKenna's earlier work as End Xian as well as the fantastic Bach Part One album of the full End Christian band from last year. I strongly recommend checking out the strange world of The Brazilian Gentleman when it drops next week (maybe hit "Follow" on that Bandcamp?).
Billy Woods / Kenny Segal - houthi [Backwoodz Studioz/Bandcamp]Billy Woods / Kenny Segal - steak knives [Backwoodz Studioz/Bandcamp]Billy Woods / Kenny Segal - checkpoints [Backwoodz Studioz/Bandcamp]
This emphatically odd underground hip-hop gear comes from two really important players in the hip-hop scenes on the two sides of the US. Billy Woods grew up in Africa & the West Indies but has now become part of the New York hip-hop scene, with his duo Armand Hammer with Elucid and his solo work, released on his own Backwoodz Studioz. Kenny Segal started out as a drum'n'bass DJ and has been an oft-sighted producer in the LA leftfield hip-hop scene for many years. Their styles fit perfectly together, with Woods' speed-of-thought commentary on the fucked-up state of America & the world knocked about by Segal's warped samples and beats that recall early Anticon from a contemporary perspective.
Sarathy Korwar feat. MC Malawi - Mumbay (Bandish Projekt remix) [The Leaf Label/Bandcamp]
Bridging hip-hop, jazz, electronica and Indian music is the new single from Sarathy Korwar, who was joined by MC Malawi of Mumbay collective Swadesi for the recent single "Mumbay", which is now remixed into techy, flittering bass/drum'n'bass by Indian electronic crew Bandish Projekt.
Resina - In In (Ben Frost remix) [130701/Bandcamp]Resina - In (Ian William Craig remix) [130701/Bandcamp]
Polish cellist Karolina Rec aka Resina has released two beautiful albums of cello and sometimes vocal looping on 130701, the post-classical sub-label of Fat Cat Records. Last year those of us who made it to Unsound Adelaide were lucky to see her perform live tracks from her Traces album of last year. Now she's released an EP with four remixes from that album, including a typically surging, bass-heavy version from Adelaide ex-pat Ben Frost (who was also at Unsound), and some exquisite tape manipulation and additional vocals from Ian William Craig.
The Phonometrician - We're Burning [Lost Tribe Sound/Bandcamp]The Phonometrician - Here Comes the Storm [Lost Tribe Sound/Bandcamp]
Originally from Mexico City, now LA-based Carlos Morales creates sound design and soundtracks and releases music as The Phonometrician. His latest album Mnemosyne (Greek goddess of memory) has just been released in a lush CD edition and digital from Lost Tribe Sound. It features fingerpicked guitar in amongst acoustic samples, field recordings and rhythmic beds. It's engrossing and beautifully constructed.
Petrels - Elyas Anais [Denovali/Bandcamp]Petrels - Telos [Denovali/Bandcamp]
Oliver Barrett has featured regularly on this show for over a decade, since his first extraordinary release as Bleeding Heart Narrative. BHN became a band and then broke up, making way for Petrels again as a solo project, then band, then solo project again. It's psychedelic, it's freak folk of sorts, it's krautrock and noise and who knows what else - Barrett has also released a series of EPs under his own name of extended technique experiments on his cello, and he's an accomplished artist & illustrator. It's excellent to have a new album of intoxicating song from him.
Wolfpanther - Varg Gnister [Wolfpanther Bandcamp]
Adelaide-based experimental/outsider musician Stu Johnson aka Wolfpanther has self-released myriad configurations of very strange music over the years, as Wolfpanther and before that Marxist Real Estate - music unfettered by any assumptions about production technique or instrumentation, and all the better for it. The new Wolfpanther EP is available for free on his Bandcamp, and features three tracks discovered on his hard drive. The piece here was apparently reconstructed from sounds by Adelaide postrock/electronic group Sparkspitter.
This is an Australian track.
This is a local artist.