Browsing All posts tagged under »avant-rock«

Darts & Arrows – Altamira (avant-jazz)

June 28, 2016

0

Avant-garde music (and other art) is animated by a narrative of self-definition - it is the privileged marginal, the self-marking other, whose exteriority to the mainstream is established by virtue of the trailblazer’s enhanced legitimacy, rather than its exclusion from the established sites of legitimacy. But one person’s avant-garde, obviously, is another person’s outsider art, and it is only in the writing of history (from within the established sites of legitimacy) that any such status is assigned with durable authority. This is not to say that ‘the’ avant-garde’s internal claims and narratives render it immune to the operations of power…

Various Artists – Album Roundup

May 31, 2016

0

This album, originally released in 1989, was for a long time the definitive answer to the question ‘what do Thinking Plague sound like?’ It was ten years before In Extremis presented a new line-up and a changing sound to the record-buying public (sans legendary founder-member Bob Drake) – and let’s face it, bands as daring and un-commercial as this tend to communicate with their audience more by the medium of recordings than by live performance. Cuneiform Records, with whom Thinking Plague have been since that follow-up, characterise this album as the band’s ‘stylistic coming of age’, and that certainly seems a fair …

Various Artists – Album Roundup

March 1, 2016

0

Abject and lonesome mid-fi folk, that drifts across the field of consciousness like a progession of washed-out, dusty photographs, before it becomes quite heavy and ominous towards the end of the album, and finishes with an unlikely cover of ‘Twerk’. One of Uhlich’s Bandcamp tags is ‘devotional’, and there is a sense of outsider ritual about this music, as though a set of the personal habits that make an individual were reified as doctrine: the songs are about something, certainly, but it feels like Uhlich is singing meaning to himself as much as he is singing meanings to us. Songs unfold at a steady pace, with static or slow …

Various Artists – Singles and EPs

December 15, 2015

1

Richard Wileman seems to be going through a particularly fertile patch of late, putting out releases somewhat faster than I can write about them (and the day he puts out something I don’t write about will be a long time coming). After the vigorous collaborative chops-fest (I simplify unfairly) of Strange Relations comes this short programmatic piece depicting the eventual collision of the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies. Wileman predicts a cooler, calmer and altogether more pastoral event than sprang immediately to my thoughts, although the vast and oblique affective compass of his alternately gelid and cosy …

The Chewers – Dead Dads (avant-rock)

November 17, 2015

2

Sections of rock’s avant-garde feel the need to dress themselves in the armour of technical facility, and indeed some of its practitioners are instrumental virtuosi who base their practice on complexity and sophisticated musical structures. Not The Chewers, who are somewhere to the left of even bands like Sonic Youth or Melvins, in terms of their relationship to the exigencies of performance and their reluctance to trot out any of the conventional significations of rock competence. This is not to say that their music sounds in-competent: it’s in time, it’s in tune, it’s assembled into coherent arrangements …

Ashley Reaks – Before Koresh (avant-rock)

October 8, 2015

0

Ashley Reaks speaks from outside. His work is most obviously ‘outsider art’ if you look at his visual work, rather than his music: his collage-based pieces, deliberately ugly as they are (although they are often richly and decoratively patterned), with their disturbing, and frequently sexually explicit iconography, position themselves unequivocally away from the mainstream, far from the clean white gallery wall (metaphorically, at least – I have no idea what his shows look like!). Aside from the fact that he uses his own work as cover art, Reaks does not refuse socially conventional framing devices for his music in …