Browsing All Posts published on »September, 2012«

Isamu McGregor – Live At The Baked Potato (jazz)

September 25, 2012

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Jazz fusion, after the initial excitement attending its arrival, organised itself into two broad sets of practices: one organised musical materials drawn from various forms of popular music, embracing new musical technologies, with the harmonic erudition of jazz, into complex, highly organised arrangements; the other really just carried on doing jazz, but did so with new sounds and a new phraseology. The latter approach is typified by Miles Davis’ late 60s albums, and continues to be about the creativity of performance, about composition as a pretext for playing, rather than musicianship as a means to realise composition. For me this approach reached its apotheosis with Herbie Hancock’s 1974 album Thrust, a far more coherent record than his more …

Thumpermonkey – Sleep Furiously (progressive rock)

September 19, 2012

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Injunctions to sleep in a particular manner crop up from time to time as album titles. Hope & Social’s last album length release was called Sleep Sound, which is perhaps the kind of sleeping to which most of us are accustomed; either that or badly. Furiously is another matter altogether: normally, a high fever is a prerequisite for such an approach to somnolence, although once, when I was eighteen, I dropped a tab of transcendentally strong acid immediately before going to sleep, and I have to say my repose was, if not precisely furious, decidedly frantic. Is Sleep Furiously a comparable sort of experience? Well, it’s definitely disorientating, and I don’t get the impression that helping their listeners to orient themselves is one of Thumpermonkey’s central priorities

Various Artists – Album Roundup

September 13, 2012

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Given its title, its cover, and Quak’s avowed intention to make ‘dusty’ albums, we might expect a taste of nostalgia, of painful distance about this recording; it begins with thunder. This doesn’t presage any protracted exposition of sturm und drang however; it seems rather more like the thunder heard through the windows of childhood, the thunder that tells you a rainy day will be keeping you indoors for the foreseeable future. Quak employs elements of conventional tonal practice to establish emotional conditions, and makes use of technological or human noise and natural ambience to evoke more experientially specific states of being. The sounds have an unsettling character, leavened with some notes of optimism, all filtered through a distancing …

Marius Noss Gundersen – Visual Music – Retrato Brasileiro (classical/ MPB)

September 9, 2012

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Visual Music is, according to the sleeve notes, a collaboration with the photographer Tomas Moss; the ‘power of combining vision and audio’, we are informed, offers a broader experience than either would alone, and we are directed to the ‘Visual Music’ website to discover more about this idea. The music on the album is all either composed by Brasilians, or inspired by Brasil, and on the website there are a lot of very beautifully composed photographs of Brasil and Brasilians. There is also a certain amount of explanatory text in Norwegian, but as it has all been inserted into the layouts as image files, I wasn’t able to paste it into Google for one of its Pythonesque translations.

Paragaté – The World Above Us (ambient)

September 5, 2012

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Paragaté do not offer a lot of detailed information regarding the manner in which they constructed these recordings. Instead they tell us who worked on which pieces: there are two of them (Tom DePlonty and Tim Risher), and they each claim sole responsibility for two tracks, the remaining five being ascribed to some degree of collaboration. The detailed mechanics of that collaboration are, again, unstated, so a joint credit could mean more or less anything; similarly, the fact that the solo tracks are still credited to the creative entity known as Paragaté suggests that we are to regard them, in some sense, as collaborative work.

Various Artists – Singles and EPs

September 2, 2012

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This sophomore EP from The Light That Kills is less granular, more directionally narrative than the debut A Day That We Drift And Fall. This is not to say that it consists of conventional musical phrases arranged according to a nice, accessible formal grammar; that really would be weird, given Scott Crocker’s established experimental proclivities, but there is a far less atemporal approach to the succession of events, and there is a discernible dramatic arc to most of these pieces. There is also a more extended use of recognisable sonic sources, including some protracted free-rock improvisation in ‘Woken By Bells’, ‘Letting Go The Gods’ and particularly, most successfully, ‘New Eden’.