Norman W. Long: BLACK BROWN GRAY GREEN (Hausu Mountain, 2021)

October 14, 2021 at 9:08 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment


Norman W. Long, a member of Angel Bat Dawid & Tha Brotherhood and longtime Chicago-area musician, gathers sounds from his environment and transforms them into immersive audio pieces, with the help of semi-modular synths and effects. This album starts out with a 23-minute live piece, “Southeast”, recorded at Experiental Sound Studio in 2019. It seems to start out simply enough with layers of chirping crickets and chirping birds, but soon the noises are twisted and granulated, with blips and glitches sputtering out, making it harder for your mind’s eye to picture a natural scene, making it appear like an image projected from a malfunctioning DVD player. Eventually it gets doused with sheets of disorienting static which sounds like audio acid rain. After some bells and other samples get shaped into a knocking, percussive rhythm, it all gets swept up and blurred, turning into a bewildering aural storm. “Marsh Filter” is a short piece that takes a seemingly uneventful field recording and manipulates some dripping and humming sounds into a mind-bending flurry, like raindrops somehow shooting in all directions at once. “Reeds” essentially seems like layers of scraping or skating, but there’s something musical about the way the higher pitches tones glimmer in. “Essential/Sacrificial(Worksong)” consists of thick layers of crickets, frogs, and birds, suggesting nature reclaiming the earth, although there’s a faint whirring of passing automobiles in the background. The title alludes to those who had no choice but to work during the pandemic, leaving themselves vulnerable to COVID-19. The lockdown allowed Long to spend much time recording sounds along his local nature trail. “Recovering Landscape Community” is a longer piece which seems to have less human interference than the others, seemingly suggesting tranquility, although there’s traces of a storm rumbling in the distance.

Saycet: Layers (Meteores Music, 2021)

October 13, 2021 at 7:11 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Saycet: Layers

Pierre Lefeuvre makes ambitious, cinematic electronic music as Saycet, approaching similar emotional territory as Jon Hopkins or Rone. The beats are a bit rough and distorted but not super glitchy, and the tracks build up without blasting into overdrive. He tends to write delicate melodies without making them too saccharine, and likewise the beats are never too challenging, but not simplistic either. It’s very balanced, but not middle of the road. “Lightyear” definitely edges its way towards a tear-filled climax, and the slower “Layers” is like triumphantly ascending to the top of a mountain. Another track is even called “Mountaineers”, and it similarly feels like it’s scaling an epic peak. “Murmuration”, with guest Joseph Schiano Di Lombo, diverts from club-influenced tracks for a stirring neo-classical piano reflection. After hearing a few tracks, it’s not hard to tell where the rest of them are going to go once they start, but his music is good for momentary rushes of feverish drama.

Negativland: No Brain EP + Aux Brain (Seeland, 2021)

October 10, 2021 at 1:52 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Negativland: No Brain EP

Negativland’s new EP is a short overflow of ideas from their interconnected last 2 albums, True False and The World Will Decide. The record starts with “Megaphone Guy”, a piece about the loudest guy in the room, the one that is unavoidable and has no shortage of opinions to subject people to. Essentially it discusses how social media has given us all the power to become the filterless idiot with a megaphone. Then the brief “Mister Nobody” is about the invisible criminals who monitor everyone. “No Brain” is about how little of the information that comes across your vision even registers with your brain, and even how little of the internet you see from search results, or how different search results are available for different classes. “Sequitur” is riddled with purposeful non-sequiturs, demonstrating how it’s nearly impossible for most people to tell what’s relevant and true among the constant stream of information that we’re constantly being bombarded with all the time. The EP is a short, focused burst of pointed, meaningful content which holds up a mirror to the continual process of content-making. Online pre-orders of the EP included Aux Brain, an album of live performances culled from their 2019 European tour. Reconstructing pieces in real time, the performances often take on more of an ambient quality than the album versions, with familiar samples bursting out of the ether, and less of a rhythmic base than the carefully sculpted recordings. Escape From Noise favorite “Time Zones” sounds extra ominous and detached, although I’m not really getting if they’ve updated it much. Then the Weatherman does a live demonstration of what happens when he asks Google, Alexa and Siri about why he’s attracted to the odor of cheap melting plastic, or if it’s ok for him to shake his pants when he takes them off. The computer voices just laugh at him and talk about scorpions, and because of their uselessness, the Weatherman has no choice but to make a horribly off-key attempt at singing. A blast of Escape/Helter Stupid-era soundbytes round out the piece, as the irrepressible Weatherman can’t help but laughing everything off.

Show #602 – 10/10/21

October 10, 2021 at 11:36 am | Posted in The Answer Is In The Beat | Leave a comment

mic break music = Norman W. Long: Black Brown Gray Green
2:00 am BadBadNotGood ~ Signal From the Noise ~ Talk Memory (new) ~ XL ~ 2021
2:10 am Faust ~ Knochentanz ~ 1971-1974 ~ Bureau B ~ 1974
2:22 am Negativland ~ Megaphone Guy ~ No Brain (new) ~ Seeland ~ 2021
2:24 am Cadence Weapon ft. Backxwash ~ Ghost ~ Parallel World (new) ~ eOne ~ 2021
2:26 am Backxwash ft. Censored Dialogue ~ Terror Packets ~ I Lie Here Buried With My Rings and My Dresses (new) ~ UglyHag Records ~ 2021
2:31 am Dos Monos & RXM Reality ~ April 11 ~ Arc Mountain (new) ~ Deathbomb Arc/Hausu Mountain ~ 2021
2:34 am Fire-Toolz ~ Window 2 Window 2 Window 2 Window 2 Window ~ Eternal Home (new) ~ Hausu Mountain ~ 2021
2:36 am d’Eon ~ Rhododendron pt. I ~ Rhododendron (new) ~ Hausu Mountain ~ 2021
2:45 am Menzi feat. Ecko Bazz ~ GQOM Tera ~ Impazamo ~ Hakuna Kulala ~ 2020
2:49 am Robert Lee ~ Come Now Sound Boy (Coco Bryce Remix) ~ single (new) ~ Rhythm Discs ~ 2021
2:54 am Sharkula x Mukqs ~ Steam Room Sauna Holla ~ Take Caution on the Beach (new) ~ Hausu Mountain ~ 2021
2:59 am Kelela ~ ETHEREAL_JUPITER_97 BPM ~ TAKE ME A_PART, THE REMIXES ~ Warp ~ 2018
3:02 am Mas Aya ft. Lido Pimienta ~ Tiempo Ahora ~ Mascaras (new) ~ Telephone Explosion ~ 2021
3:07 am Robert Rental ~ Ugly Talk ~ Paralysis ~ Dark Entries/Optimo Music ~ 1978
3:14 am Meadow Argus ~ Let It Be Known, Part 1 ~ Meadow Argus III (new) ~ Purple Akronym ~ 2021
3:19 am Saycet ~ Father ~ Layers (new) ~ Meteores Music ~ 2021
3:24 am Sir Tad ~ Great Generic Park ~ Sir Tad Goes Deeper & Deeper (new) ~ Purple Akronym ~ 2021
3:27 am Dead Kennedys ~ Mutations of Today ~ Iguana Studios Rehearsal Tape – San Francisco 1978 ~ Manifesto ~ 1978
3:36 am The Meters ~ Here Comes the Meter Man ~ A Message From the Meters ~ Real Gone Music ~ 1969
3:39 am Jackie McLean ~ Omega ~ Let Freedom Ring ~ Blue Note ~ 1963
3:47 am Don Wilkerson ~ Camp Meetin’ ~ Preach Brother! ~ Blue Note ~ 1962
3:52 am Don Cherry ~ Dissolution ~ Om Shanti Om ~ Black Sweat Records ~ 1976

Crush Collision 10/7/21

October 8, 2021 at 11:39 am | Posted in Crush Collision | Leave a comment

10:01 pm Lola ~ Wax the Van (Jon’s Dub)
10:04 pm Eighth Wonder ~ I’m Not Scared (Disco Mix)
10:10 pm Madison McFerrin ~ Try
10:13 pm Auscultation ~ Flottant
10:17 pm Copy ~ You’re an Odd One (Yalls Remix)
10:20 pm Frak ~ Radiant Dominance (Version A)
10:25 pm Braids ~ Young Buck (DJ Python Remix)
10:29 pm Meftah (local) ~ Ur Utility
10:34 pm Little Dragon ~ Hold On (Ela Minus Remix)
10:38 pm Actress (feat. Aura T-09) ~ Loveless
10:41 pm Matt Karmil ~ Smoke
10:43 pm The Juan MacLean ~ My Time Is Running Out
10:48 pm Bonobo & Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs ~ 6000 Ft.
10:53 pm Colloboh ~ Turning&
10:56 pm LadyMonix (local) ~ Mood
11:03 pm Bobby Browser ~ Clubspinning
11:07 pm Borai & Denham Audio ~ No Good
11:11 pm Chevron ~ Sunrise
11:13 pm Braille ~ Igloo
11:16 pm The Chemical Brothers ~ Star Guitar
11:21 pm Argiflex ~ Pink
11:25 pm Jasmine Infiniti ~ Scratchy A
11:28 pm O M 1 ~ Opium
11:32 pm Shawn Rudiman ~ Voidesque
11:35 pm Silent Phase (local) ~ Meditive Fusion
11:41 pm Mathew Jonson ~ Decompression (MJ Ghost Force 12″ Remix)
11:45 pm Anz ~ Loos In Twos (NRG)
11:49 pm Chavinski ~ Hit the Way
11:53 pm The Magus Project feat. Bryan Gee ~ Shoss (Remix)
11:56 pm I-F ~ Secret Desire (Vox)

Maurice Louca: Saet El Hazz (The Luck Hour) (Northern Spy, 2021)

October 7, 2021 at 7:19 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Maurice Louca: Saet El Hazz (The Luck Hour)

Egyptian composer and guitarist Maurice Louca’s latest album incorporates Gamelan percussion, modified instruments, and improvisation from several international musicians and ensembles, presenting a reconfigured musical language that knows no borders. Stunning ten-minute opener “El Fazzah’ah (The Slip and the Slide)” features droning cello, gentle guitar melodies, mesmerizing tuned percussion, and disconcerting sweeps of noisy abrasion, keeping the piece physical as well as graceful. “Bidayat (Holocene)” features rhapsodic violin playing by Ayman Asfour and sounds closer to traditional Arabic music, with comforting tones yet winding, complex rhythms. “Yara’ (Fire Flies)” is a showcase for Anthea Cady’s tense, grinding cello as well as Khaled Yassine’s bell-like percussion, resulting in a hair-raising collision of sounds fit for a horror movie score. “Saet El Hazz (The Luck Hour)” is a more tranquil harp-based piece, at least until some of the instruments are more forcefully played and strings are bent, and high-pitched electronic waves start piercing and wailing. “El-Gullashah (Foul Tongue)” has warm, earthy guitar and percussion countered by Devin Brahja’s squonking alto sax and other noises shrieking in the background. “Higamah (Hirudinea)” would be a tranquil comedown if it was just the droning rhythm and acoustic guitar, but lots of strangeness is lurking in the night beyond the controlled camp fire.

Show #601 – 10/3/21

October 3, 2021 at 2:09 pm | Posted in The Answer Is In The Beat | Leave a comment

mic break music = Kitaro: Oasis
2:00 am The Body and BIG|BRAVE ~ Hard Times ~ Leaving None But Small Birds (new) ~ Thrill Jockey Records ~ 2021
2:09 am Cyanide Tooth ~ Banishment Park ~ Tentative Identity (new) ~ ever/never records ~ 2021
2:12 am Tim Story with Mark Mothersbaugh ~ Strip 11 ~ Moebius Strips (new) ~ Curious Music ~ 2021
2:16 am Black Dice ~ White Sugar ~ Mod Prog Sic (new) ~ FourFour ~ 2021
2:21 am Ludwig Wandinger ~ Pferdestärken ~ Rooms (new) ~ Orange Milk ~ 2021
2:24 am Vincenzo Ramaglia ~ La parole 2 (Venetian Snares Remix) ~ mp3 ~ Bandcamp ~ 2020
2:36 am Hideo Nomo (local) ~ State for Laymen ~ State for Laymen ~ Easy Listening ~ 2019
2:47 am DJ FLP (local) ~ Memory Fracture ~ Flickers ~ Bandcamp ~ 2021
2:51 am Kedr Livanskiy ft. Flaty ~ Your Turn ~ Liminal Soul (new) ~ 2MR ~ 2021
2:54 am Native Soul ~ Letter to Kabza De Small ~ Teenage Dreams (new) ~ Awesome Tapes From Africa ~ 2021
3:01 am MC Kuke ~ Sherehe ~ Sounds of Pamoja (new) ~ Nyege Nyege Tapes ~ 2021
3:06 am Crown Star Productions ~ Fire Cracker ~ Now Thing 2 ~ Chrome ~ 1999
3:09 am L’Orange ~ I Don’t See You ~ The World Is Still Chaos, But I Feel Better (new) ~ Mello Music Group ~ 2021
3:11 am Saint Etienne ~ Penlop ~ I’ve Been Trying to Tell You (new) ~ Heavenly ~ 2021
3:16 am Ana Roxanne ~ Camille ~ Because of a Flower ~ Kranky ~ 2020
3:22 am Robin Guthrie & Harold Budd ~ November Day ~ Another Flower ~ Darla ~ 2013
3:25 am Low ~ I Can Wait ~ HEY WHAT (new) ~ Sub Pop ~ 2021
3:33 am Ephat Mujuru and the Spirit of the People ~ Nyama Musango ~ Mbavaira ~ Awesome Tapes From Africa ~ 1983
3:38 am Pharoah Sanders & Norman Connors ~ Montreux Overture ~ Beyond a Dream ~ Arista ~ 1981
3:44 am William Parker ~ A Great Day to Be Dead ~ Migration of Silence Into and Out of the Tone World, Volume 1: Blue Limelight ~ AUM Fidelity ~ 2021
3:49 am Rob Mazurek Exploding Star Orchestra ~ The Careening Prism Within (Parable 43) ~ Dimensional Stardust ~ International Anthem ~ 2020
3:51 am Keith Jarrett ~ Budapest Part III ~ Budapest Concert ~ ECM ~ 2016

Mark Zaleski Band: Our Time: Reimagining Dave Brubeck (Origin Records, 2021)

October 2, 2021 at 11:21 am | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Mark Zaleski Band: Our Time: Reimagining Dave Brubeck

Boston’s Mark Zaleski pays tribute to his biggest influence with a set of Brubeck interpretations. While the compositions are recognizable, he does add new elements to them and avoids being too faithful, because you can just listen to the originals if you want to hear them the way Brubeck arranged them. “Blue Rondo a la Turk” opens the set, and it sounds like he added a shot of caffeine to the song, as it sounds even more tightly wound than the original, yet it’s still cool, sophisticated, and graceful. He turns “Unsquare Dance” into more of a soul-influenced tune instead of a country one, keeping some of the handclaps from the original. “They Say I Look Like God”, a plea for unity originally written for Louis Armstrong to sing, is featured due to its continued relevance. Zaleski gives vocalist Michael Mayo space for his stark reading of the lyrics, and the song comes alive during the vibrant middle section. “The Golden Horn” is one of the most playful tracks here, with a busy yet straight-ahead rhythm and lots of spirited soloing. Zaleski himself says his favorite Brubeck songs to play are either the fast, complex ones or the slow numbers, and while he does try to add something new to the ballads, he does a more faithful rendition of “Fujiyama”, which peacefully draws the album to a close.

Cyanide Tooth: Tentative Identity tape (ever/never records, 2021)

October 1, 2021 at 9:49 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Cyanide Tooth: Tentative Identity tape

Creamo Coyl of WFMU’s Spin Age Blasters returns with a tape that has one foot in the oldschool industrial/noise current of his past work, but also ventures into more beat-forward and synth-heavy waters. “Wither Report” douses a news transmission in out-of-broadcast-range static and erects a sparse but cracking beat on top of it. “Cracked Library Window” has several layers of synths sequences harmoniously floating in the sunlight, nearly melting with excitement at one point. “Slow Dance the Abyss” is an off-center techno track with a serious headache, though it clears up somewhat and hums along with a nice acid bassline by the end. “Banishment Park” is maybe the best of the atmospheric synth pieces, simply a gorgeous horror-lullaby, if that makes sense — beautiful and soothing even if it’s unmistakably dark and ominous. The second side has some of the more playful drum machine-centric tracks, with “Are We Here Yet?” bearing a trace of A Big 10-8 Place-like sampling, and “Radium Spray” having a sort of clanky robo-funk rhythm. “Machine Alive in Bradford Lab” is a return to the horror-lullaby space, and the short final piece is the ending to a Bible-themed broadcast loaded with sappy strings, blown out and distorted so that its schmaltziness takes on a sickly tone. The whole tape is a fun sort of sinister.

Crush Collision 9/30/21

October 1, 2021 at 11:16 am | Posted in Crush Collision | Leave a comment

Back on the rotation for CC!
10:00 pm 3 Chairs (local) ~ Good Kiss 2
10:04 pm Akasha System ~ Moonless Night
10:06 pm Bullion ~ Blue Pedro
10:10 pm Teno Afrika ~ Smooth Criminal
10:14 pm DJ Black Low ~ Sbono (Vocal Mix)
10:17 pm DJ Seinfeld ~ U Already Know
10:20 pm Principleasure ~ Enola
10:23 pm Cos BV ~ Sangria
10:29 pm The Avalanches ~ A Different Feeling (Carl Craig’s Paperclip People Remix)
10:32 pm Khruangbin/Ron Trent ~ Shida (Bella’s Suite)
10:39 pm DJ Spoko ~ #Justsnares
10:42 pm Byron the Aquarius ~ Space & Time
10:48 pm Alewya ~ Sweating (Honey Dijon Dub)
10:53 pm Jayda G ~ Both of Us
10:58 pm Joy Orbison feat. Léa Sen ~ Better
11:03 pm Force Placement ~ Warmest Color
11:08 pm AceMo ~ Hone
11:12 pm Âme ~ Rej
11:18 pm Robag Wruhme ~ Calma Calma
11:23 pm Dominowe ~ Just Dance
11:27 pm Siete Catorce ~ Todo
11:30 pm The MFA ~ Oranges and Lemons (Extrawelt Remix)
11:36 pm India Jordan ~ I’m Waiting (Just 4 U)
11:40 pm Lyric Hood ~ Everything
11:44 pm Bicep ~ Atlas
11:47 pm Anz ~ Unravel in the Designated Zone
11:50 pm Shygirl ~ Tasty (Boys Noize Extended Dub)
11:55 pm Fear-E ~ Approach It Like a ’90s DnB Banger

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