December 7, 2019
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November 30, 2019

Various Artists – Album Roundup

July 13, 2017

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It has been a long while since I reviewed any music: my life became rather full of obligations, which reduced my output and eventually halted it altogether. Between then and now I have had the chance to reflect on what had become a somewhat procedural activity, and I have reached a few decisions. From now on, I will write about only one record at a time, and I will write about only those submissions that I feel are particularly interesting objects for discussion, rather than prioritising by quality, by aesthetic preference, or by the receipt of a physical submission. However, at the point at which I realised I couldn’t possibly…

Posted in: Music, Recorded music

Various Artists – Singles and EPs

August 23, 2016

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Finger-picked arpeggios fall with the regularity and impersonal melancholy of rain, offset by a vocal delivery that is hesitant not in its phrasing, but in its timbre. The sound of this four-song EP is intimate, extremely close to the listener’s ear, and it is formed from the kind of performative gestures in which the proximity of the musician is most pronounced: this is sound as embodiment, its aesthetics rooted in an erotic of human frailty. Lyrically and melodically it is concerned with the concrete, with particulars, but it is an idea of the concrete that is as ephemeral as smoke and as fragile as eggshells - Calming River’s voice

Posted in: Music, Recorded music

Ashley Reaks and Joe Hakim – Cultural Thrift (dub-rock poetry)

July 19, 2016

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Ashley Reaks has a good way with lyrics himself, but there’s a strong synergy to his collaborations with spoken word artist Joe Hakim, such as ‘I Want To Get A Celebrity Pregnant’ from Before Koresh. Hakim is a social observer, a curator of experience who speaks sometimes from a lived subjectivity, and sometimes from a presumably imagined one, often in successive lines, articulating marginalities and bearing witness to acts of unconscious resistance. As such his concerns are distinct from those to be found on the Ashley Reaks albums from which he is absent, such as the satirical character portraits and serial-killer aesthetics…

Posted in: Music, Recorded music