Following a first EP, released back in 2005, Swiss multi-instrumentist Samuel Vaney joined the Lausanne-based Creaked Record stable and published his debut album as Consor. While he used a variety of acoustic and electric instruments on the record, Vaney’s relentless processing and use of field recordings and electronic textures gave the album a strong electronic identity. With Tumult, this is greatly tempered by a much more extensive use of guitars in their natural form, right from opening track Escapism, which casts sparse atmospheric electronics in a much rawer rock set up, where electric guitars and drums form the backbone of the piece. This is declined in a variety of ways throughout the album, from the heavy handed and over-saturated Rusty Handcuffs and dense shoegaze spaces of A Long Peaceful Journey or King Of Kings to the moody pop of In The Mist and the fluid ambient formations of Hoarfrost and Nova Stella. Continue Reading »
This may just be a coincidence, but Miasmah are releasing almost simultaneously the albums of two Belgian collectives with activities reaching far beyond music to encompass other art forms, and each with a very unique and intriguing vision. While the two records are radically different in many ways, they feed from a shared aesthetic, and both show a similar taste for surrealist and enigmatic settings.
A collective activities ranging from theatre and film to dance and music, Kaboom Karavan are somewhat difficult to pin down. That they ended up on Miasmah is hardly a surprise though considering the dramatic nature of Barra Barra. Their debut on Miasmah, this album follows a first digital-only release, Short Walk With Olaf, published in 2007.
On Barra Barra, Kaboom Karavan distill generous portions of poetry and horror, weaving them tightly into the fabric of each track until they become almost indiscernible from one another. Continue Reading »
Jóhann Jóhannsson’s latest project, the soundtrack to the latest film by New York-based experimental film director Bill Morison, The Miners’ Hymn, is quite a departure for the Icelandic composer and musician. The film documents the working and social lives of the coal mining communities of the north of England through the use of archive footage from the BFI, the BBC and local organisations, and was premiered at Durham Cathedral as part of the city’s International Festival last year.
For his score, Jóhannsson, whose music provides the sole sound aspect of the film, incorporates elements of the region’s cultural heritage into his music, most prominently by using brass instruments extensively, evoking the traditional marching bands which continue to exist to this day. Continue Reading »
Under the lead of drummer Frank Byng, South East London’s Snorkel happily veer from krautrock, free jazz and improvisation to dub, post rock and funk without ever really settling on any particular genre for very long. This was what fueled Glass Darkly, released three years ago, but, although this was their first album, the band have actually been performing live for over ten years. The band, originally set up to explore the possibilities of improvised music, was partly modeled on the likes of Can or Soft Machine, but the scope has since widened quite drastically.
A band with no fixed line-up, Snorkel was, for the recording, formed of Byng, the only recurring member, plus Ben Cowen, Charles Stuart, Tom Marriott, and 129, with additional contribution from Slowfoot label head Robert Logan, Ralph Cumbers (Bass Clef), Lucas Suarez and Luke Wills. The album is, like its predecessor, the fruit of improvised sessions, but this on occasions tempered by a more structured compositional approach. Continue Reading »
If Mountains, the duo formed of Brendon Anderegg and Koen Holtkamp, have constantly treaded the line between acoustic and electronic, they do so even more with their latest album, their second for Thrill Jockey. On the surface, Air Museum, actually sounds like a series of experiments with modular synthethis, and in a way, it is, but behind the stark electronic sounds and textures lie an array of acoustic and electric instrumentation, from guitars and bass to cello, piano, accordion and more. It is the very essence of the record which is changed. While the pair processed acoustic sounds through a computer in the past, they here use modular synths, pedals and analog tools to render their sound sources, and, instead of working from live improvisations, they recorded in a studio, allowing them to explore new ways of working. These processed were devised following the band’s last tour, when they decided to move away from computer reliance. They spent the next few months assembling new tools and working out ideas on how to apply this set up. The resulting compositions confound expectations of what a Mountains album sounds like, and blurs the boundaries between acoustic and electronic like never before. Continue Reading »
NMOAROIDNC ITRTIN.EA. CIRNAODMNO TAIITN.TE. ORIANNCDOM RANIIE.TT. Whichever way the letters are ordered on the cover of this album, each of the five hundred copies of the latest Retina.it opus will be totally unique. Released on fledging Spanish imprint FlatMate Music, Randomicon is the fourth album from the Italian duo formed of Lino Monaco and Nicola Buono. And this latest offering, their first album since Semeion, published on Hefty four years ago, is a rather different affair from its predecessors. While on previous outings, Retina.it have largely favoured refined minimal electronic textures, Randomicon showcases a much more abrupt and extreme approach, at times reminiscent of some of the claustrophobic post-industrial ambiences distilled by Pan Sonic. Continue Reading »
Ryan West is gearing up for the release of the second Rival Consoles album, Kid Velo, on the ever-excellent Erased Tapes in early June, and to whet your appetite, there is one new track revealed exclusively on a site each week. And this week, we’ve got Vos, the sixth track from Kid Velo, and it is a bit of a monster electronic tune, dirty-sounding, and utterly excellent! The album is out on 27 June.
The album’s launch party will take place at The Nest, Dalston, on 23 June, with Frog Pocket and Deadfader (Get tickets here)
KYLE BOBBY DUNN Ways Of Meaning PATHWAY002 Desire Path Recordings 2011 06 Tracks. 40mins28secs
The folllow up to the rather excellent A Young Person’s Guide To Kyle Bobby Dunn (Low Point) and contribution to Standard Form’s Rural Route series, Ways Of Meaning sees Brooklyn-based Canadian sound artist Kyle Bobby Dunn return to the reflective drone-based work for which he has been gaining praises across the board. For the occasion, he has stripped down his palette to very little more than guitar and organ, processing them into vast fluid soundscapes.
The second release on burgeoning vinyl-only imprint Desire Path, Ways Of Meaning is quite a pastoral effort, built around long progressive themes for which Dunn arranges his reduced sound sources into celestial drapes which appear to float effortlessly, defying gravity with elegant swirls and drones. Continue Reading »
After the vast expanses of Cosmos, La Sangre Iluminada (Enlightened Blood) marks a return to the miniature landscapes and gentle clair-obscur overtones of Remembranza for Murcof. The music was originally conceived as backdrop to the 2007 feature length movie of the same title by Mexican director Iván Ávila Dueñas, and was published a year later on Mexican imprint Intolerancia. For this limited edition version, released on the excellent InFiné on 180g red vinyl and accompanied by a CD, the soundtrack has been re-edited by Murcof himself.
Dueñas’s movie, inspired by the poems of Jose Carlos Becerra, follows six characters who mutate into new bodies but retain traces of their previous lives. The music created by Fernando Corona matches the atmospheric moods of the film and the intentionally slow pace adopted by Dueñas. Continue Reading »