….and into a sound world of glass marimbas and Techno pagans. Melancholic introspection, and playful experimentation. New music, and that dusted-off, rediscovered. Here`s my pick of some recent releases that might be considered a little more out there….
Cass.`s Postclub Prism, on Into The Light uses swells, sustain, reverb, and pretty chimes to create a drift of white clouds, set in blue skies. Heartbeat marches of treated sighs that echo Suzanne Kraft`s moments on Melody As Truth. Parthenope, Ligeia, and Leucosia partnered with radio loops and static, in Oneohtrix Point Never`s Zones Without People. Personal standout, Redwood, is an air of hush. Its closed mic`d dialogue pulling up a group therapy chair, and sharing with No Man`s Days In The Trees, Yves Tumor`s Limerence, and Maxxi & Zeus` The Struggle.
There have been a clutch of tapes on Not Not Fun, but my favourites are Magnetophonique`s Une Cartographie Idéale, and H. Takahashi`s Escapism.
The Frenchman dreams of verdant islands. A similar, imagined archipelago as those of Australia`s Tropical Hi-Fi. Locations of sampled surf, and blurred, bokeh, New Age tides. Cicadas chirrup. Seabirds circle. Sleepy melodies are hammered out on Indonesian Gamelan. Organic idiophone timbres. Fuzzy and fogged by electronic fizz. Twists of tape noise. Vari-speed wobbles. Improvised ripples of sound. Concentric raindrop reverberations. Where Moist Jungle is a heat haze hallucination, and Quiet Village is not a Martin Denny cover, but gentle patterns of collision.
The architect from Japan also evokes the sound of rainfall. Against a window, or road trip windscreen. A music of molecules, observed under microscopes. A busy calm. Buzzing, ringing, with energy. Crystalline sonic refractions. Bubbling subliminal sine waves.
Maarja Nuut & Ruum`s Muundula, on 130701, is a far more visceral beast.
Distant drones duet with gypsy arabesques. Spirits trapped in echo, accompanied by aching cello arcs. Bellowing bassoon-like bottom end. Mind-Bending sirens and electronic hum. Strings screech. Drums sound a chase. Like label mate Resina, the atmosphere is that of some enchanted forest. Though Maarja Nuut & Ruum`s is far more threatening. A soundtrack for Winter`s night, to rival Coil`s solstice rituals. Summer gone, for sure. Haunting Folk and nocturnal lycanthrope noise. A hunter`s breath. Bewitched whispers set against metallic chimes. Modern, yet Pagan as fuck. Flashes of faces caught in campfire flicker. Something lurking, invisible, in the dark. You know you shouldn`t be out here alone. Horror score warnings dancing Trance Tarantellas. Making Ghost Box`s output seem like whimsy. The Witch rather than The Wickerman. Kill List over Quatermass. Machines summoning leviathans. Nico`s Marble Index pushed into screaming distortion. Yet beautiful vocals sing spells in the clearings. Multi-Tracked nursery rhymes full of innocence and love. Bringing you, breathless, to a place of safety, and sanctuary, the morning after a fever dream.
Oliver Coates also employs and transforms sounds from his cello. But I confess that my selection for the mix below is deceptive. Since Prairie`s not representative at all of Oliver`s Shelley`s On Zenn-La, his first long-player for RVNG Intl. It`s just a brief moment of Modern Classical lifted from what is really a Modern Dance album. The cello brings inevitable Arthur Russell comparisons, but this record`s got more to do with Techno. Less World Of Echo and more Virtual Sex. While its title namechecks the Stoke-On-Trent nightclub where Sasha became “The Son Of God”, rather than the second-coming`s epic, rush-inducing intros and piano-driven scream-ups, the music is a mutated memory of break beats and Drum & Bass. The “IDM” of Rephlex and Warp. µ-Ziq`s Tango N’ Vectif and Reload`s A Collection Of Short Stories. A Church is the “Folk” of Aphex Twin re-working Seefeel. Digital drums are stuttered, scratched, and filtered. Percussion shaken. Keys En Trance. Laser beams and bits of Born Slippy race as beatless, tumbling, alloy fragments. Recalling The Sabres Of Paradise manhandling Bjork, and Bandulu`s Phase Inversion. Like falling backwards through plate glass, in slow motion. An arhythmic, sometimes melancholic, Four Tet-esque, future Funk.
RVNG Intl.`s reissue-orientated associates, Freedom To Spend have the collected works of Rimarimba. Four LPs were released together, as part of a limited box set on September 21st, but this week sees the start of them becoming available individually, beginning with Below The Horizon.
There are marimbas, of course. But electric guitars are strummed and picked in overdubbed Highlife-inspired chorus. Random key clusters trumpet like angry animals. Jacking Chicago drums back Punk Flamenco. Segue into steam hammers. The peal of church bells. Exotic chimes dancing like a shop full of synchronised clocks. Demonic voices introduce Stylophone symphonies. Thunder storms of cymbal crashes and timpani rolls give way to New Age vibrations. Six-string loops and Clanger-like whistles. There`s Lo-Fi Indie Pop that could pass for The Marine Girls. There are Post-Rock progenitors (that might make Rimarimba sound like Rock, but it isn’t). The DNA of Bebang runs through something like Papa M`s I Am Not Lonely With Cricket.
Also on the reissue front, Julien Dechery has complied the cassette-only adventures of Sebastian Gandera for vinyl release by Efficient Space.
Throughout Le Raccourci a classically-trained piano plays. Sometimes unadorned. Sometimes traveling backwards and forwards simultaneously. Recitals interrupted by barking dogs, creaking, clanking industrial machinery, and tribal chants. Upright bass lines, harpsichord figures, and accordion tones. Pipe organ melodies and synthesised voices. There`s also a piece of moody, spoken-word Cold Wave that sounds like K. Leimer`s Savant on Wladimir M`s Planet E.
Cass – Redwood – Into The Light
Yves Tumor – Limerence – PAN
H Takahashi – Warp – Not Not Fun
Anna Caragnano – Starcloud – Editions Mego
Magnetophonique – Awakening – Not Not Fun
Suzanne Kraft – Roberto And Giovanni – Melody As Truth
Oliver Coates – Prairie – RVNG Intl.
Maarja Nuut & Ruum – Kuud Kuulama – 130701
Resina – In In – 130701
Maxxi & Zeus – The Struggle – International Feel
Tropical Hi Fi – Tradewinds – Emotional Response
Rimarimba – Egg Foo Young – Freedom To Spend
Sebastian Gandera – La Visite Au Musee – Efficient Space