Jonathan Badger: Verse (Cuneiform, 2014)

December 13, 2014 at 7:22 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Jonathan Badger: Verse

Jonathan Badger: Verse

Intriguing album of textural guitar pieces from an artist I’ve not heard of before. He loops, layers and transforms several electric and acoustic guitars, using computers to twist the sounds and create atmospheres, and generally create an orchestra out of relatively few instruments. There are contributions from musicians playing strings and horns, as well as vocalists, but Badger’s guitar playing and manipulations are center stage. There’s definitely some minimalist moments, and some parallels to Dustin Wong’s solo work, but Badger throws in a lot of curveballs and goes in unexpected directions. “The Bear” is a 2-minute raga drone-out with banjo and hand percussion, and it leads into the ambient-Pet Sounds reverie of “Nimbus”, with wordless vocals and gentle guitars, which get chopped up ecstatically in the middle of the song, in a way that reminds me a little of Dan Deacon. The song ends with some of the few lyrics on the album, about pestilence and drinking blood, but ending with the words “we are lucky.” “The Valley Of The Shadow” starts with shifting electronic sounds, and then eventually settles into a human beatbox rhythm, which gets electronically processed and delayed, along with guitars which also have layers of delay and gated effects on them. “Limbec” has a more relaxed post-rock-ish guitar melody, along with somewhat dramatic horns and strings, and some curious electronic beats and effects. “Bouge” uses tranquil yet urgent pianos over pitter-pattering electronic beats, and eventually chorus vocals come in. “Erbarmen” also alternates between pianos, guitar melodies and soft glitchy beats, for another slowly building (and slowly ending) piece. “Sickle’s Compass Come” ends the album on the slow, piano-driven note it’s been going on, this time with more dramatic horns, which get diced up a bit electronically. A really hard to define album which goes off in a few different directions and shows off several sides to this composer in its relatively short runtime (under 40 minutes). Curious to hear more from him.

Show #270 – 12/13/14

December 13, 2014 at 6:24 pm | Posted in The Answer Is In The Beat | Leave a comment

Hour 1
3:01 AM Rob Mazurek and Black Cube SP ~ Oh Mother (Angels’ Wings) ~ Return the Tides: Ascension Suite and Holy Ghost ~ Cuneiform
3:16 AM Jonathan Badger ~ Limbec ~ Verse ~ Cuneiform
3:23 AM Led Bib ~ New Teles ~ The People In Your Neighbourhood ~ Cuneiform
3:28 AM Steve Daubenspeck ~ Beat 82 Dub ~ Black Dog Duppy ~ SMD Recordings
3:35 AM The Bug Vs. Earth ~ Cold ~ 12″ ~ Ninja Tune
3:40 AM Evian Christ ~ Waterfall ~ Waterfall ~ Tri Angle
3:45 AM Borja ~ Resolving Discontent ~ Infinite Journey ~ Droidsong
3:50 AM Objekt ~ Ganzfeld ~ split 12″ w/ Dopplereffekt ~ Leisure System
3:56 AM Gabor Lazar ~ EP3 ~ EP16 ~ The Death Of Rave
3:59 AM Panabrite ~ Balsam ~ Pavilion ~ Immune
Hour 2
4:03 AM Jar Moff ~ Financial Glam ~ Financial Glam ~ Pan
4:29 AM Maxwell August Croy & Sean McCann ~ Column Of Mirror ~ I ~ Students Of Decay
4:33 AM Ian William Craig ~ The Edges ~ A Turn Of Breath ~ Recital
4:39 AM Einsturzende Neubauten ~ How Did I Die ~ Lament ~ BMG
4:46 AM Lorenzo Senni ~ xxx1 ~ Superimpositions ~ Boomkat Editions
4:48 AM Melodysheep ~ Chasing Infinity ~ Midnight Sun ~ self-released
4:54 AM Les Sins ~ Call ~ Michael ~ Company Records
4:58 AM Tapes and Topographies ~ Touch Me, I’m Cured ~ Tapes and Topographies ~ Simulacra Records
Hour 3
5:03 AM Daniel Johnston ~ Dream Scream ~ Rejected Unknown ~ Gammon Records
5:07 AM Martin Bresnick ~ A Message From The Emperor ~ Prayers Remain Forever ~ Starkland
5:18 AM Dean Blunt ~ 50 Cent ~ Black Metal ~ Rough Trade
5:21 AM Andy Stott ~ No Surrender ~ Faith In Strangers ~ Modern Love
5:25 AM Supersilent ~ 12.2 ~ 12 ~ Rune Grammofon
5:29 AM Loscil ~ Catalina 1943 ~ Sea Island ~ Kranky
5:37 AM Dreamcrusher ~ Novokuznetsk ~ Suicide Deluxe ~ Hausu Mountain
5:42 AM Mouse On Mars & F.X. Randomiz ~ Fromm ~ 21 Again ~ Monkeytown
5:45 AM Boylan ~ He Watching Us ~ Teklife: Next Life ~ Hyperdub
5:49 AM Fhloston Paradigm ~ The Phoenix ~ Hyperdub 10.4 ~ Hyperdub

Led Bib: The People In Your Neighbourhood (Cuneiform, 2014)

December 12, 2014 at 11:23 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Led Bib: The People In Your Neighbourhood

Led Bib: The People In Your Neighbourhood

Super-fun spacey funk-jazz. Heavy grooves, horns, smashing drums, and tons of cool keyboard sounds. Almost kind of Acid Mothers Temple-ish in how they use spacey keyboard sounds, but in more of a jazz idiom. Not quite out there enough to be Sun Ra, but nobody is. “Giant Bean” starts out sounding like it’s quoting “Black Sabbath”, but then it goes into a different direction. But it still has that heavy plodding feel to it, just with a bunch of wailing saxes, before the tempo picks up. It cuts off very sharply at the end, as if to say “screw it, it’s over, just cut it, no need for a proper ending.” “Angry Waters (Lost To Sea)” starts out quiet and deceptively solemn, and surely isn’t as playful as some of the other tracks, but it gets a bit worked up by the end. “This Roofus” has a bit more of a festive feel, and gets frantic and a bit spacey as it goes. “Imperial Green” plays with a “Little Drummer Boy”-esque melody. 10 brings back some of the spacey synths, but on many of the other tracks they keyboards use piano or more Rhodes-sounding tones. Closer “Orphan Elephants” crawls along for 9 minutes, and gets really quiet for a while in the middle, before inching towards its finale. A pretty long, drawn-out album, but it’s pretty enjoyable.

Steve Daubenspeck: Black Dog Duppy (SMD Recordings, 2014)

December 12, 2014 at 9:53 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Steve Daubenspeck: Black Dog Duppy

Steve Daubenspeck: Black Dog Duppy

Unexpected dub-inspired album from a former member of Granfaloon Bus. Opener “New Year Dub” is straight-up instrumental dub, with melodica and trippy fx. He sings on most of the other songs, and he has a high, reedy, almost Jad Fair-esque voice. “Departure” is where the reggae influence comes to the forefront in the songwriting, with horns and lyrics about “moving out of Babylon”. “Dubtonic” has a basic drum machine beat and some patois (“nah go break I”) and lots more trippy fx. “Latin Ripoff” has some sax and hand drums and reminds me slightly of early Ween in some ways. “Drone Of Druid” isn’t dubby at all, but more droney and spacey, with some distant spoken/whispered vocals, some piano, horns. Maybe more of a tension-building soundtrack feel. “Rocker’s Delight” is a feelgood uplifting song with non-reggae electric guitars and some additional vocals joining in on the chorus. “Beat 82 Dub” is a long dub instrumental. Best of all is closer “We’re Gonna Make It”, which is pretty different from the rest of the album, more of an early ’80s minimal-synth sound, with drum machines, cold synths and bass guitar. RIYL: Brenda Ray/Naffi Sandwich.

Rob Mazurek and Black Cube SP: Return the Tides: Ascension Suite and Holy Ghost (Cuneiform, 2014)

December 10, 2014 at 11:18 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Rob Mazurek and Black Cube SP: Return the Tides: Ascension Suite and Holy Ghost

Rob Mazurek and Black Cube SP: Return the Tides: Ascension Suite and Holy Ghost

An extention of Chicago Underground composer/cornetist Rob Mazurek’s Sao Paulo Underground project, this is a revelatory session of ecstatic, noisy, distorted psychedelic spiritual jazz. The album was recorded 2 weeks after the passing of Mazurek’s mother, who told him before she died that no matter where she was in the universe, she would always hear him. So this is a truly enraptured session filled with rattling percussion, thundering drums, ecstatic voices, and crushing distortion. Opener “Oh Mother (Angels’ Wings)” rides a groove and melody that would be commonplace on plenty of Thrill Jockey post-rock albums, but then 10 minutes later it dovetails into blown-out chaotic frenzy. After about 6 minutes, this finally launches into “Return The Tides”, which blends Brazilian percussion and spicy trumpet with a heavy rhythm and violin shredding reminiscent of Zappa’s “Willie The Pimp”. This one also seems to drift off into a harsh, furious space after 10 minutes, and “Let The Rain Fall Upwards” follows, a truly strange 18-minute trip of backwards percussion and keyboards, and a few moments of almost terrified-sounding vocals. “Reverse The Lightning” does just that, shifting us back into forward drive, with a hypnotic rhythm propelled by tumbling drums and freewheeling cornet soloing. After 9 minutes, everything goes silent, but it’s not quite over. There’s some very quiet humming/chanting, which grows in numbers until it’s this ghostly fog of vocals. An unbelievably moving album.

Borja: Infinite Journey EP (Droidsong, 2014)

December 7, 2014 at 8:21 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Borja: Infinite Journey EP

Borja: Infinite Journey EP

Couldn’t tell you a thing about Borja, last.fm only knows about a metal band with the same name. This Borja is atmospheric, intelligent drum’n’bass, but definitely not the sort of lite post-LTJ Bukem stuff that was around in the late ’90s. Sparse and minimal beats and synth pads, but not the sort of minimal 1-loop tracks that made d’n’b pretty damn boring for a while, also around the turn of the century. This closer to the sort of shapeshifting, genre-fluid work of producers like Fis, Rockwell and ENA. Clear bass tones, thin-metal beats and lots of space for everything to breathe. Not cluttered, but not too minimal. Detailed. Nothing bashing you over the head, and really not dancefloor material either. Worth seeking out.

Ian William Craig: A Turn Of Breath LP (Recital, 2014)

December 7, 2014 at 7:57 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Ian William Craig: A Turn Of Breath LP

Ian William Craig: A Turn Of Breath LP

One of the most startlingly original albums I’ve heard all year. I’m not entirely sure how this guy is doing what he’s doing, but he’s making really strange unsettling decayed tape and piano loops and singing heavenly quasi-operatic vocals over them. The way that incorporates decaying loops and static into the fabric of these compositions is truly mindblowing. I guess the extremely lazy comparison would be that it’s somewhat similar to The Disintegration Loops turned into songs, but these songs just simply don’t have similar structure or composition to anything else I can think of. Guitars make a few appearances, as do organs and circuit-bent instruments, but mostly it’s pianos and heavy distorted tape loops that catch your ear. Vocals tend to just blend in with the sounds as another instrument, but the two songs where lyrics stick out the most are both parts of “A Slight Grip, A Gentle Hold”, with multi-tracked vocals about allowing heaviness and feeling something shift. And the way the pianos sort of curdle and corrupt under all the tape hiss in songs like “The Edges”… unreal. This is totally the type of album that will probably stay far below the radar, but over time I think people will discover how truly original and breathtaking it is.

Show #269 – 12/6/14

December 6, 2014 at 4:59 pm | Posted in The Answer Is In The Beat | Leave a comment

Hour 1
[I’m not sure why the media player isn’t working for this file, the download link works fine]
3:00 AM Richard Dawson ~ The Vile Stuff ~ Nothing Important ~ Weird World
3:16 AM Litüus ~ κλίση ~ split tape w/ Black William ~ Notice Recordings
3:19 AM Fis ~ Fever Sweats ~ Iterations ~ Tri Angle
3:24 AM Ian William Craig ~ On The Reach Of Explanations ~ A Turn Of Breath ~ Recital
3:30 AM Itasca ~ Buzzard Gulch Well ~ Unmoored By The Wind ~ New Images
3:33 AM Johan Agebjörn ~ The Right To Play ~ single ~ Paper Bag
3:36 AM Ray Lynch ~ The Oh Of Pleasure ~ Deep Breakfast ~ Ray Lynch Productions
3:42 AM Seth Graham ~ Piano Goop ~ Goop ~ Noumenal Loom
3:45 AM Foodman ~ Bin Toro ~ Drum Desu ~ Noumenal Loom
3:47 AM [. . (]. ~ side A track 2 ~ tape ~ Chained Library
3:51 AM Lord Raja ~ Pistol Refix ~ A Constant Moth ~ Ghostly International
3:52 AM Strange U ~ Falcon Punch ~ EP #2040 ~ Bandcamp
3:55 AM Tiger Village ~ Emilie (Sea) ~ V ~ Hausu Mountain
Hour 2
4:01 AM Guenter Schlienz ~ Games At The Creek ~ Treehut Visions ~ Sacred Phrases
4:06 AM Co-Habitant ~ side B track 3 ~ tape ~ Chained Library
4:08 AM AU+ ~ EVEN ~ EMILY EP ~ Minimal Trend Records
4:12 AM Suzi Analogue ~ Second More ~ Chills + Thrills EP ~ Never Normal Records
4:14 AM ENA ~ Pressed ~ Binaural ~ Samurai Music Group
4:19 AM Borja ~ All That Is Destroyed (May Come To Be) ~ Infinite Journey ~ Droidsong
4:24 AM BLÆRG ~ Encultured By Detritus ~ The Entertainment ~ Immigrant Breast Nest
4:26 AM Attack ~ Monday, May 9th, 2005 ~ Retreat ~ Your Sun
4:33 AM M. Sage ~ Data In The Details (Mover Isuzu Dub Edit) ~ Data In The Details ~ Geographic North
4:45 AM Ryan Hemsworth ~ Blemish ~ Alone For The First Time ~ Last Gang
4:47 AM Dan Bodan ~ Reload ~ Soft ~ DFA
4:51 AM Eric Copeland ~ Scum Of The Cream ~ Ms. Pretzel ~ DFA
4:55 AM Glacial23 ~ …the last evenings of summer ~ 12″ ~ Savage Quality
Hour 3
5:01 AM Khotin ~ Everything Dub ~ Hello World ~ 1080p
5:08 AM The Bug Vs. Earth ~ Boa ~ 12″ ~ Ninja Tune
5:15 AM Sd Laika ~ Great God Pan ~ That’s Harakiri ~ Tri Angle
5:19 AM Mogwai ~ No Medicine For Regret (Pye Corner Audio Remix) ~ Music Industry 3. Fitness Industry 1. ~ Rock Action
5:28 AM Jefre Cantu-Ledesma ~ side B ~ Songs Of Forgiveness ~ Baro
5:36 AM Ty Segall ~ Music For A Film ~ $ingle$ 2 ~ Drag City
5:39 AM Parkay Quarts ~ Kevlar Walls ~ Content Nausea ~ What’s Your Rupture?
5:40 AM Plasmodium ~ Sin ~ Clairaudience ~ Electric Cowbell Records
5:45 AM Jason Adasiewicz’s Sun Rooms ~ Just Talkin’ To Myself ~ From The Region ~ Delmark
5:52 AM Secret Pyramid ~ Eternal ~ The Silent March ~ Students Of Decay

Crush Collision 12/4/14

December 5, 2014 at 9:21 am | Posted in Crush Collision | Leave a comment

Hour 1
10:00 PM a–rp ~ sortilegio
10:05 PM Marshall Applewhite ~ Dr. Weatherbee
10:09 PM Mark E ~ Clares Gate
10:16 PM Bonobo ~ Pelican
10:21 PM Johan Agebjörn ~ The Right To Play (Korallreven Remix)
10:26 PM Echologist ~ Yellow Sands
10:31 PM Cooly G ~ Narst
10:36 PM Heiko Laux ~ There There
10:42 PM Sumsun ~ New Piano (Minilogue’s Ocean Of Love)
10:51 PM Flug 8 ~ Musik Aus Metall
10:55 PM Grey Branches ~ Exsolve
10:59 PM Kangding Ray ~ Luna
Hour 2
11:03 PM Subotika ~ Ronin
11:10 PM Mikael Klasson ~ Motion
11:15 PM Italcimenti ~ Gli Gniogni
11:19 PM Moko ~ Chorder (Boom Merchant Remix)
11:24 PM Plants Army Revolver ~ Pales Teen
11:29 PM FaltyDL ~ Do Me (Bruk Mix)
11:32 PM glacial23 ~ Phase Lock
11:39 PM Karenn ~ Pace Yourself
11:43 PM Makaton ~ Night #1
11:46 PM The Crane ~ Ascended Pyromancy Flame
11:48 PM Robert Hood ~ Untitled 1
11:49 PM Lee Bannon ~ RMF-5
11:55 PM Gant-Man ~ Jungle Juke
11:58 PM 97 Bad Masters ~ Science

[. . (].: s/t tape (Chained Library, 2014) + Co-Habitant: s/t tape (Chained Library, 2014)

December 3, 2014 at 10:45 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

[. . (].: s/t tape

[. . (].: s/t tape

From the ashes of now-defunct Chicago label Tailings comes the first two tapes on its founder’s new label Chained Library. The first one has an ever-so-cryptic unpronounceable moniker, and starts mid-seance with a brief eerie synth intro. After that, the tape features a series of hypnotic synth patterns which loop endlessly and only change ever-so-slightly. The first one has a staccato, almost harpsichord-like feel to it, and the others are more spiraling and shadowy. The fifth track is a pair of overlapping arpeggios which are slightly out of phase with each other, reminiscent of Lorenzo Senni’s “pointillist trance” experiments. The B-side opens with an eerie echo-heavy organ loop that can’t help but remind me of Dr. Octagon’s “Waiting List”, but minus the beats and with even more of a low-budget horror feel, so that’s totally awesome. After that is another series of haunting echo-covered patterns, with B4 sounding probably the most like a potential horror movie theme. The tape ends with kind of a sour sadface loop, bringing an incredible tape to a morose end.

Co-Habitant: s/t tape

Co-Habitant: s/t tape

The other tape (also by the label’s founder) comes to us under the name Co-Habitant. This one has more eerie minimalist horror-theme loops, and at first there seems to be a bit more variation in the notes, but then it seems to get more repetitive. The first side only has 3 tracks, and the last one is a long BoC-ish synth sound. The second side has some crackly, grainy loops, alternating between shorter bits and longer loops, for 4 tracks in total.

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