A very multicultural show tonight, ranging over electronic pop, free jazz song, industrial techno, glitch, drone and more. Trying to fit in as much as I can as I'm away overseas for the next two weeks!
Sigrún - Exhale Your Song [Sigrún Bandcamp]
Young Icelandic singer and producer Sigrún Jónsdóttir follows up her excellent album from last year and a couple of EPs preceding it with a new single here. A great piece of songwriting with crunchy electronic beats which fits with the adventurous Scandinavian songwriting I've heard from Norway & Sweden in recent times as much as it does with her compatriot Björk Guðmundsdóttir...
Mary Rapp, Carl Dewhurst & Simon Barker - Dirt & Flowers [Mary Rapp Bandcamp]
I played this track earlier in the year, when Sydney cellist, double bassist and singer Mary Rapp released her album By ONe of thE Night. As I wrote then, her solo performances with cello & vocals (and no effects or amplification) are riveting, but here she's joined by two veteran improvisers from Sydney, guitarist Carl Dewhurst and Simon Barker, creating improvised songs recorded live by Richard Belkner at Free Energy Device Studios in Camperdown, Sydney. Any free jazz freakout tendencies are undercut by drones, repeating patterns and Rapp's raw, emotive vocals. Her cello, like Arthur Russell's, finds expression through scratchy harshness as much as melody, and a kind of expressionism that doesn't necessarily care for demonstrative virtuosity.
Mary's trio is launching this album at the Sound Lounge at the Seymour Centre this Saturday the 20th of July. Should be amazing.
Gail Priest - Sailing on a solar sea [Gail Priest Bandcamp]
Having travelled to Iceland for her last album, Sydney sound artist & electronic musician Gail Priest brings us her new album from the far future - the mythical "omega point" where post-humans frolic in the space-time continuum. The result is wobbling, wavering, mostly ambient adventures into a version of the future, informed by Gail's research in her Sounding the Futureproject.
Lara Sarkissian - PENINSULA (feat. Mesrop) [Ali Centre]Lara Sarkissian - Greeted by Tir (Տիր) [Club Chai]
San Francisco based producer Lara Sarkissian incorporates the sounds of her Armenian heritage into her techno tracks - for her latest single PENINSULA Armenian percussion drives through the track, until piano from LA's Mesrop takes us out. The flipside of the single features a beautiful Armenian melody that takes over in a long ambient outro. Last year's DISRUPTION EP similarly harnesses Armenian music to techno, with the beautiful sampled duduk on the track featured tonight.
Zonal - Cage Version [Relapse Records]Justin K Broadrick and Kevin Martin worked together for years under the name Techno Animal. They have previously released a highly limited CD-R as Zonal (back in 2000) but it's now become the main name for their re-started collaboration, here introduced to us with two incredibly slowed-down pieces of low-end sludge dub. Broadrick is of course the man behind grindcore/industrial metal masters Godflesh and the beloved shoegaze-metal of Jesu, but these days he's been pumping out dub-tinged industrial techno as JK Flesh. Martin makes unparalleled dubstep/grime/dub music as The Bug. Both have been involved with metal for ages, albeit the outskirts and badlands of the multiplicitous genre, but it's still a surprise to see this particular project being released on the legendary metal label Relapse Records, who have also undertaken to re-release the Techno Animal back catalogue over the next little while.
Jefre Cantu-Ledesma & Le Révélateur - In Summer (Out Mix) [crxssings]Shelly Knotts & Jan St. Werner - Raft [crxssings]
A little while ago Rutger Zuydervelt aka Machinefabriek and Gabriel Saloman (ex-Yellow Swans) had exchanged remixes, and wanted to release them in a way that responded to the state of the world, particularly the suffering of refugees the world over. They conceived of CRXSSINGS (for City Plaza), a compilation which extends the mutual-remixing concept to another 16 pairs of musicians from across the world - many marvellous musicians in unexpected pairings, including Aussies Jasmine Guffond (working with Christina Vanzou) and Lawrence English (working with Klara Lewis), as well as Jim O'Rourke, Leyland Kirby, Lucrecia Dalt, Aaron Dilloway, Mira Calix and too many others to mention. All sales of the album go to City Plaza Hotel, "a squatted refuge located in the heart of Athens, Greece, organized for and by migrants from Africa and Asia". Tonight we heard post-rock greats Jefre Cantu-Ledesma (once of Tarantel) and Roger Tellier Craig aka Le Révélateur (ex-Godspeed, Le Fly Pan Am, Set Fire To Flames etc), and followed that with a collaboration between live-coding guru Shelly Knotts working with one half of Mouse on Mars, Jan St. Werner.
Scandinavian Star - Nassau [Posh Isolation]
Following his excellent album from December last year, mastering/mixing engineer and Copenhagen musician Malthe Fischer now contributes a track as Scandinavian Star to the new compilation from the great Posh Isolation called Summer Storms. It features Danish artists from the label and beyond, and covers classical influences, spoken word, experimental electronica, noise and even guitar-based songwriting. I wish I'd been able to fit more in, but I recommend you check the whole thing out.
Otto Solange - Pole Axed [eilean rec.]Otto Solange - e.vo [eilean rec.]
Although he doesn't make it obvious on the album page for шон, "Otto Solange" is an alias for Mathias Van Eecloo, who runs the Eilean label and also makes music as Monolyth & Cobalt. This album will be the only album under this name, and sees Van Eecloo exploring loop-based sounds, including off-kilter beats and samples, in a delightfully dusty folktronic fashion. It's a slight departure from the label's usual fare, but pretty wonderful even so.
OTSO - 31.10.2022; 20 38 [Elli Records/Bandcamp]OTSO - 11.07.1952; 06 22 [Elli Records/Bandcamp]
For his second album on French experimental label Elli Records, Finnish sound researcher and musician Otso Lähdeoja purports to intertwine piano recordings from an June morning in 1952 with electronic music from October 2022. For some reason tonight we have two recordings from the future on the show... In any case, there's a lovely mix of analogue-sounding tape processing at times on the piano along with glitchy processing, field recordings and synth textures. Highly idiosyncratic (and a lot more focused than his zany, fun previous Dendermonde), it's absolutely lovely stuff.
Magna Pia - Daiauna [Feral Note/Bandcamp]
Released on Berlin label Feral Note, the new album Daiauna from Hüseyin Evirgen as Magna Pia moves away from his usual techno productions into a more abstract electronic environment, making substantial use of his first instrument, the piano. Often it feels like we're right inside the instrument, with the strings and body rumblings and ringing around us, alongside some dark & heavy electronics. A wondrous release worth sinking into.
Machinefabriek - Melodrama 2 [Champion Version/Bandcamp]
Rutger Zuydervelt/Machinefabriek got a mention above, but I wasn't able to fit in one of his collaborations from the CRXSSINGS comp. Instead, here's a lovely little vignette from a lathe cut 7" on the British Champion Version label. It's rather lovely and not really melodramatic at all.
Koroza - Cycles [self-released from forthcoming EP]
20-year-old Sydney artist Koroza presents the first track from his debut solo EP Grow, Slow here - glitchy, droney, with some nice beats. Certainly bodes well for the rest of the release, which I hope we hear soon!
Black To Comm - Eden-Olympia [Thrill Jockey/Bandcamp]Black To Comm - Lethe [Thrill Jockey/Bandcamp]
Marc Richter's Black To Comm has covered a lot of ground in its existence, and he's an accomplished collagist of unusual sounds, which he stretches and edits and reconfigures into incredible compositions. His Seven Horses For Seven Kings album from the start of this year is a dazzling piece of work (take the lonely trumpet and reversed textures of "Lethe" for instance), and new mini-album Before After brings us a set of bonus works from the same sessions. Absolutely essential.
Sal Grosso - Sapphire (Azure Version) [Colectivo Casa Amarela]
Last week I played Diana Combo's contribution as Síria to the compilation Island Fever released by experimental Portuguese label Colectivo Casa Amarela, celebrating their 50th release. The tracks are mostly reworkings of tracks from the label's history, and this one is a stretched out version of a piece by Ulnar by the collective's Sal Grosso. It's windswept gorgeousness.
This is an Australian track.
This is a local artist.