Big Telefon Tel Aviv special tonight on the occasion of their new album... Elsewhere, industrial and ambient influences, and some leanings towards the club.
Telefon Tel Aviv - a younger version of myself, [Ghostly/Bandcamp]Telefon Tel Aviv - fahrenheit fair enough [Hefty/Bandcamp]nine inch nails - where is everybody? (verison) (danny lohner featuring telefon tel aviv) [Nothing Records]Telefon Tel Aviv - My Week Beats Your Year (feat. Lindsay Anderson) [Hefty/Bandcamp]Sons of Magdalene - Lux Aeterna [flau]Second Woman - 1 E/P [Spectrum Spools]Telefon Tel Aviv - standing at the bottom of the ocean; [Ghostly/Bandcamp]
New Orleans band Telefon Tel Aviv have always been prime Utility Fog material - they were doing what basically might as well be "postfolkrocktronica", a few years before the show started. They stood out with their combination of idm's glitchy stuttery beats with beautiful electric piano, acoustic instruments, and a soulful approach to melody and songwriting, which continued from their first album through the incredible Immediate Action EP (part of a series from the Chicago label Hefty, and the first time they collaborated with vocalist Lindsay Anderson) and the glorious second album Map of What Is Effortless. And then, just when their third album was to be released, Charlie Cooper tragically passed away. Joshua Eustis had been involved with various other bands along the way already - including Nine Inch Nails, who Telefon remixed before their first release even came out, and Puscifer, one of Maynard James Keenan's non-Tool bands. He also released some solo material as Sons of Magdalene, and more recently formed the duo Second Woman with longtime collaborator Turk Dietrich, to release a kind of glitchy minimal dub techno.
It was a very pleasant surprise to see that Eustis has "reformed" Telefon Tel Aviv as a solo act, and he's created an update to the band's feel - it's emotive, dark, glitchy, with just a little more restraint to the beats and some hints at the minimal techno of Second Woman. It's gorgeous.
Air Max '97 - Ice Bridge [TIMEDANCE]
I like to call Air Max '97 an Australian artist, but he's based in London now, and is originally from New Zealand. Still, his breakout releases came out when he was in Melbourne, so that's good enough hey? He makes fidgety bass music that's perfect for clubs used to techno and house crossing over with drum'n'bass and dubstep, and just enough deconstruction to keep the bedroom listeners happy.
Uniform & The Body - Day of Atonement [Sacred Bones/Bandcamp]Uniform & The Body - The Curse of Eternal Life [Sacred Bones/Bandcamp]Uniform & The Body - Patron Saint of Regret (feat. SRSQ) [Sacred Bones/Bandcamp]
Very electronic sounds from two kind-of-metal bands. Maybe we should call Uniform industrial though, and inveterate collaborators and longtime Utility Fog favourites The Body have always tempered their black metal screams and riffs with foreign elements such as choirs, beautiful female vocals, and increasingly lots of electronics. The second track I played today comes from last year's Mental Wounds Not Healing, and is a bizarre concoction of Alec Empire-style drum'n'bass with doom riffs, hardcore yelling and Chip Kidd's distinctive black metal yawling. On either side were tracks from this year's Everything That Dies Comes Back - the screwed hip-hop beat of "Day of Atonement" and the hardcore of "Patron Saint of Regret", the latter of which builds gothically until the eerie vocals of SRSQ enter along with a bass-driven beat. Remarkable.
Dialectic - Rough Ridin' [Milk Thistle Records]
The solo project Dialectic of Patrick Sharples from Newcastle, just up the road from Sydney, has its second release coming out this week I believe from Milk Thistle Records. A continuation of his live practice, playing drum kit while triggering electronic samples, this album is about the "rough ridin'" experience of being a father.
Sweet Hart - † [Eternal]Sweet Hart - Redshift [Eternal]
Intense music from Sydney experimental musician Tyler James Burrows as Sweet Hart here, who first appeared on Ptwiggs & Grasps_'s Eternal label's second compilation earlier this year. There's actual precious little sounds from the club here, and a surprising amount of manic guitar soloing, and other live instruments I can identify like saxophone, violin and piano. It's a very impressive release exploring the anxieties of the current pre-apocalyptic world.
Ross Alexander - Night Pass [Discrepant/Bandcamp]Ross Alexander - Homage To The Cause (One Night In Marrakesh) [Discrepant/Bandcamp]
Berlin-based artist Ross Alexander Payne releases his second New Age/world-music themed album for UK label Discrepant, featuring post-industrial dub reconfigurations of recordings from a trip he made to the High Atlas mountains in the Sahara Desert near the Algerian border. Field recordings and music from nomadic African musicians collide with bass and dub effects. There's always a concern that musical approaches like this are leaning too much on orientalist romanticisation of otherness, not to mention being exploitative of their sampled materials. Hopefully what Alexander has done here is original and respectful. It's certainly very evocative and reminds me of the stuff Bill Laswell was doing in the '90s, and Coil in the '80s and '90s.
Mára - Sangre de Cristo - 2 [SIGE Records]Mára - Healing for the Wounded [SIGE Records]Mára - A New Young Birth - 8 [SIGE Records]
Faith Coloccia first appeared solo as Mára with the extraordinary Surfacing cassette in 2015. She now returns with Here Behold Your Own, a cassette and very limited CD release on the SIGE label she runs with husband Aaron Turner of ISIS, SUMAC etc. These are cassette experiments and vignettes, from the noisy field recordings of the first track to delicate piano and vocals.
Aidan Baker - Night Drive (Forever Version) (excerpt) [Aidan Baker Bandcamp]Aidan Baker - Night Drive [Aidan Baker Bandcamp]Aidan Baker - Becoming Impulse (Ambient Version) [Aidan Baker Bandcamp]
Canadian guitarist Aidan Baker, when not playing in doom legends Nadja, releases bewildering amounts of music solo and in endless other collaborations. Earlier this year he released an album with the aforementioned Faith Coloccia and brilliant percussionist Jon Mueller. This new collection of cassette releases isn't even his first solo release of the year, but it's a tour de force, starting with The Forever Tapes, an album of propulsive krautrock grooves with fizzling guitars and glitched electronic textures. It's accompanied by an album of Ambient Versions, which are almost more like ambient dubs of yore - some beats, some beatless, focusing on small elements of the original songs. And then there are The Forever Versions, in which the original songs are stretched out to 30-60 minutes, each on their own cassette (digital seems easier but less artistic!) - and these grooves and murmury musics seem well suited to this. I relish the chance to take these on some long journeys, or zone out to them, wafting back as a beat kicks back in or a texture reverses.
This is an Australian track.
This is a local artist.
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