Mix / Chocolate Milk And Brandy / November 2017

Attempting to recreate the golden yesterdays of Jose Padilla`s White Isle sunsets with the tunes of today. 

Locust-Toybox

Locust Toybox – Beehive Days – Brainfeeder

Sound manipulated into harmonic drone. Field recordings crackle. Like flame. Or rainfall. A needle caught in a vinyl run out. Repeating and looping. High pitched chimes. Buzzing a little distorted. Floating gently. Deceptive in its complexity. Melodies whistling ethereal. Almost nursery rhyme. Disembodied choirs singing wordless hymns. It`s as if someone revisited Virginia Astley`s From Gardens Where We Feel Secure and erected electric pylons in it. Humming. Vibrating. Ringing rhythmically with current.

Locust Toybox is David Firth. An artist probably best known for his unsettling animated series, Salad Fingers. Once you know this about David, it`s hard not to hear a creepy, enchanted, Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders tone in his music.

Laraaji - Bring On The Sun

Laraaji – Introspection – All Saints

This came out a while back, but I`ve only just got the chance to cover it. Laraaji released two albums in September, produced by Build An Ark`s Carlos Nino. One, Sun Gong, consists of to two long mediative / trance pieces. The other, Bring On The Sun, serves as a kind of “Laraaji Primer”. Demonstrating the range of the Laughter Therapy guru`s musical output. Introspection comes from the latter. It`s one of two extended compositions that bookend the record. Echoing. Resonating. Shimmering full of light. Sun worship akin to that of fellow traveller, Ariel Kalma. Harmonica is used to produce a shining wall of sustained sound. Harp, kalimba, Korg M1, sampled ocean surf, tabla, tambura and zither. All tools aimed at “undoing the ribbons of no-longer-essential thinking”. Acoustic guitar accompanies songs that sit between Daniel Johnston and Johnny Cash`s American Recordings. A city boy reborn sharing childhood recollections of the South. Life lessons taught simply in a warm reassuring voice.

GHOST AND TAPE ART

Ghost And Tape – Solsort – Home Normal

A companion piece, in apparent method at least, to Locust Toybox`s Drownscapes. Not submerged in this case, but a tribute to Spring and fresh starts. Melody winding and rising out of a mist of drone, hum and static. Birdsong and clock chimes in a near transparent haze of fizzing electronics. Interference cutting through like a sad broken brass fanfare. This track, Solsort, is transcendent like Eno`s Ascent.

Loving Vincent

Clint Mansell – At Eternity`s Gate – Milan

Clint Mansell – Faith, Hope And Falling In Love – Lakeshore / Invada

Two scores from Clint Mansell, that contrast and compliment each other. The first – a Moonboots tip – is the soundtrack to Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman`s Loving Vincent. An amazing oil-painted animated film focussed on the last days of Vincent van Gogh. Music uncluttered and sparse. Piano and orchestral strings. The odd dancing detail in its distance. Emotional and tormented, like the artist. The second comes from an episode of Charlie Brooker`s Black Mirror. And it sounds a bit like the melancholy themes of the other sucked backwards. Sighing and stretched thin. Its evocation of a near future, assisted by alien, Mica Levi Under The Skin touches. The San Junipero LP features brilliant artwork by Billy The Butcher.

Waves Crashing On Distant Shores Of Time

Max Richter - Taboo

Max Richter – Taboo Lament – StudioRichter

From Max Richter`s soundtrack to Tom Hardy`s Victorian revenge tale, Taboo. Appropriately dark, brooding, and foreboding. Full of threat. Songs of the dead. Ghostly, mournful shadows. A tension of high pitched strings. Ostinato like stifled screams. A siren calling from beyond. A booming like souls banging on the gates of hell. Lament is the lightest moment on there, and even that makes me think of Radiohead`s Exit MusicTaboo is one of three soundtracks recently made available on vinyl by Max` StudioRichter. The others being the scores to Henry May Long and Nosedive (another Black Mirror episode).

Giuseppe Leonardi - Every Tree And Creature

Giuseppe Leonardi – Every Tree And Creature – Second Circle

Giuseppe Leonardi`s E.P. for Music From Memory`s Second Circle imprint is a 12″ of two halves. Three rattling, growling, writhing electronic grooves not dissimilar to Bikaye / Zazou / CY1`s reissued Noir Et Blanc. Modern Minimal Wave Exotica in the vein of Jeff & Jane Hudson`s Mystery Chant. Where Progressive Rock Cinematic Horror meets House b-lines. Lyrics gasped in tongues. Recited out of breath and in-reverse. But there are also a couple of chilled moments. That adorn seascapes, and shore lines with aquatic keys. Calms of sustained chords, echoed whispers. A tropical, somnambulant almost Jazz. As unhurried as D.K. / S.K. on M.A.T.

james heather artwork

James Heather – Blueprint – Ahead Of Our time

The closing track from James Heather`s emotional compositions collected on Stories From Far Away On Piano.

Serge Bulot Reissue

Serge Bulot – Les Legendes De Broceliande – Camisole

An obscurity from 1981, reissued by Camisole (thanks to Tokyo Matt for the heads up). A Folk Rock of machines and acoustics. Synthesised and plucked strings. Wistful Gaelic-sounding flute, violin, and distorted axe solos. Gentle electronics that, in places, border on Ambient Techno. It`s a beautiful set of French Kosmische (Cosmique?).

MAT9-PRINT

Palta – Optagelse – Melody As Truth

Hum and glitches create a digital river. Black Dog soundscapes that crack and stutter. Fragments shaken by Latin rhythms. The percussion sometimes sounds like a bodhran, but Palta`s mini-LP, Universel, is more exclusively electronic than previous Melody As Truth releases. Music from under the microscope. Chattering nanotech microbes dancing in Brownian motion. Lost in delay. Spinning in ever decreasing orbits. Ambient beauty in repetition. Optagelse anchors all this to a bold B-line.

Jefre Cantu Ledesma

Alexis Georgopoulos & Jefre Cantu-Ledesma – Cleo – Emotional Response

A collaboration that picks up where Tenderness on Jefre`s last LP left off. His jangle now more overtly Durutti Column-esque. Fragments Of A Season? Sketches for Summer. The duets between Alexis` keys and Jefre`s guitar are particularly effective. One for fans of Horsebeach`s homages to Manchester`s musical greats.

DrumTalk

DrumTalk – Out Of The Blackness, Into The Blue – Caroline True

New analogue electronics from DrumTalk that draw comparisons to Cluster`s seminal Sowiesoso. More epic that its seven minutes should allow. When listening it always feels longer than that. In a good way.

Track-list

Locust Toybox – Beehive Days – Brainfeeder

Laraaji – Introspection – All Saints

Ghost And Tape – Solsort – Home Normal

Clint Mansell – At Eternity`s Gate – Milan

Max Richter – Taboo Lament – StudioRichter

Clint Mansell – Faith, Hope & Falling In Love – Lakeshore / Invada

Giuseppe Leonardi – Every Tree And Creature – Second Circle

James Heather – Blueprint – Ahead Of Our time

Serge Bulot – Les Legendes De Broceliande – Camisole

Palta – Optagelse – Melody As Truth

Alexis Georgopoulos & Jefre Cantu-Ledesma – Cleo – Emotional Response

DrumTalk – Out Of The Blackness, Into The Blue – Caroline True

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