It being January, while new stuff is still a bit thin on the ground, there are a few things that were released late 2018 that I`m catching up on. Also, one of the side effects of those End Of The Year lists, is that there`s a ton of music that I missed, that I really shouldn’t have. A prime example being Dark Entries reissue of the Ströer Duo`s Fluchtweg Madagaskar. A Leo Mas tip, which contains the haunting Vietnam. Perhaps taking its cue from Holger Czukay, and Can`s Ethnic Forgeries.
There were three compilations that might have got lost in the Christmas rush.
Durutti Column`s M24J Anthology on Factory Benelux is an overview of rarities from Vini Reilly`s near forty year career, that includes the essential Otis – a track made popular and subsequently pricey by Matt Sewell`s A Crushing Glow – and a 7” which features a live cover of Fleetwood Mac`s Albatross. The first record Vini ever bought, according to the sleeve notes.
Otis uses the voice of Otis Redding to sublime, ethereal, effect. Love No More does the same for another, unnamed, “found” vocalist.
Jolyon Green gave me a very welcome heads up regarding the vinyl pressing of The Penguin Cafe Orchestra Tribute LP on 333 Discs. Originally released on CD in 2007, it collects versions of Simon Jeffes hugely influential compositions by a crew of, largely, Japanese musicians. Some of the names might be unfamiliar. Others, such as Ryuichi Sakamoto and Yukihiro Takahashi, certainly aren’t. All of the interpretations respect the PCO`s “world chamber music” approach, giving you new takes on favourites such as Air A Danser, Paul’s Dance, Music For A Found Harmonium, Perpetuum Mobile. My current pick though is from the only Westerner, Steve Jansen (Dave Sylvian`s brother, ex-Japan), and his reworking of Isle Of View.
Completely off my radar, but arriving at Tokyo`s Jet Set Records about a week ago, is La Llama De Prometeo, on Discomanos, which pulls together some amazing Spanish ambience. Folk song, acoustic instrumentation, and electronics. All of it appearing for the first time on vinyl. Again some names you`ll recognize – Finis Africae, Iury Lech, Suso Saiz – while the selections, made by Daniel Nielles, you most likely will not. I bought it on sight for the Finis Africae track (Olas A Formentera – with a title like that it would have been rude not to), but everything here is beautiful.
A compilation of sorts is the Jacob Gurevitsch sampler on Music For Dreams. Collecting the music of the Danish Flamenco guitarist, which has previously only been available as 12” singles – usually in remixed form – and his sole CD to date, Lovers In Paris. Everything, which hasn’t been adulterated by some kind of dance beat, is wonderful. From the short solo guitar Zsa Zsa, to the ten man acoustic Jazz of In Search Of Lost Time, to Poesia De La Mar. Whose harmonica makes it sound like an homage to Seigen Ono`s Cafe Del Mar classic, Julia.
Another artist homaging Cafe Del Mar classics is G.S. Schray. The closing track on his new long-player, First Appearance, for Last Resort, swimming the same warm waters as Eno, Eno & Lanois` Deep Blue Day.
Cafe Del Mar playlist regulars, A Man Called Adam, have a new album ready, Farmarama, on their reactivated Other Records. A set that finds the duo taking their recent journeys in sound design – as captured on Emotional Response`s Schleißen Series – full circle, and back to more Balearic climes. Not due in shops until March, I`ve included a couple of teasers. Michael`s Boom Bap mantra, and Top Of The Lake`s Operatic ambience.
Fellow UK post-Second Summer Of Love chill-out veterans, Ultramarine, also rejoin the Balearic fray, with Signals Into Space, on Les Disques du Crépuscule A collaboration with legendary Post-Punk Pop chanteuse, Anna Domino. A mixture of House and downtempo grooves. Aphex Twin “IDM” and Cuban Rumba. Kosmische and Dub.
****I`ve squeezed the band`s Stella, from 1990, in at the end. As a reminder of those balmy, barmy daze.
Another contributor to Emotional Response`s Schleißen Series is Bartosz Kruczynski, who returns to the label with Selected Media. An album of two to three minute shorts identified only by the consecutive roman numerals, I – XV.
The opening number suggests sunrise. Pretty marimba patterns. Played to the minimalist manifestos of Steve Reich and Midori Takada. Painting African plains. Or calm shore lines and tides. Rhythms like water. Molecules rushing, colliding. Searching for the source. Or, that rise and fall like a sleeping lover`s breath. Near silent serene soundscapes. Synthesized glaciers. Drifting clouds of sustain. Sounds that shine. Musical mirages. Their light refracted through heat-stratified air. The set closing at dark. With Basic Channel Dub Techno. Molten ore, running through metallic echo. Its bass is a resting heartbeat, that, at even its sleepiest moments, shook my car.
There’s also the most chilled missive from that Beating Heart X Beauty & The Beat collaboration. Nabihah Iqbal`s Wonderful Sushi.
Eliseo Parra – Noche Tranquila Y Serena – Discomanos
A Man Called Adam – Top Of The Lake – Other Records
Durruti Column – Love No More – Factory Benelux
Steve Jansen – Isle Of View – 333 Discs
Stroer Duo – Vietnam – Dark Entries
Bartosz Kruczynski – VII – Emotional Rescue
GS Schray – Several Wrong Places – Last Resort
Jacob Gurevitsch – Zsa Zsa – Music For Dreams
Jacob Gurevitsch – Poesia De La Mar – Music For Dreams
Ultramarine – If Not Now When? – Les Disques du Crépuscule
Nabihah Iqbal – Wonderful Sushi – Beauty & The Beat
A Man Called Adam – Michael – Other Records
Ultramarine – Stella – Rough Trade