[Music] Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Eva Ollikainen ~ ARCHORA / AIŌN — a closer listen

Over the past decade, Anna Thorvaldsdottir has slowly and steadily become one of the world’s finest composers ~ and she’s done it the hard way, without soundtracks or singles.  After patiently expanding her body of work, she’s now released “CATAMORPHOSIS” (on Iceland Symphony Orchestra’s Atmospheriques) and ARCHORA / AIŌN a month apart.  Consolidating her oeuvre, Sono […]

Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Eva Ollikainen ~ ARCHORA / AIŌN — a closer listen

[Music] Sitting With A Stack Of Ryuichi Sakamoto Records — Ban Ban Ton Ton

I’ve got a lot of music by Ryuichi Sakamoto sitting on my record shelves. Either guest slots, solo, or as part of  YMO. Since his sad passing, I’ve been wondering how I ended up with such a huge stack.  There are soundtracks, scores to Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor and The Sheltering Sky, that I […]

Sitting With A Stack Of Ryuichi Sakamoto Records — Ban Ban Ton Ton

Ban Ban Ton Ton is a magnificent blog you really ought to subscribe to.

The End (For The Time Being)

Thanks to Facebook and Instagram labeling this blog as spam and not giving me either a reason why, nor a way to appeal, A Miscellany Of Tasteful Music will be laid to rest until such time as this matter can be resolved.

This blog has been active since 2012. I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing some absolutely incredible albums, interviewing two wonderful musicians and sharing my taste in music with friends all over the world. No matter. It goes to show that the powers that be can crush a site via rumor or a sheer power trip.

As of 2021, I will be blogging and maybe podcasting at Music You Need To Hear. Thank you to all those who supported this site by pointing me to albums worth reviewing, and to the moral support lent over the years. I look forward to continuing doing the same at the new blog.

[Music] Alim Qasimov, Hüsnü Şenlendirici, Rauf Islamov, Michel Godard – A Trace of Grace

Until I find a way to resolve the issues regarding posting on Facebook, I’ll be forced to use screenshots and trust that if you want to hear the music, you will go to amiscellany.info.

In the meantime, enjoy a performance by Azerbaijani mugham vocalist Alim Qasimov, along with Turkish clarinetist Hüsnü Şenlendirici, Azerbaijani kamanche player Rauf Islamov and French brass master Michel Godard.

[Music] Florian Arbenz & Greg Osby – Reflections Of The Eternal Line

Florian Arbenz advised me several months ago that this album was coming down the pipe, and after hearing some tracks he kindly provided, I was pretty excited to hear what he and American saxophonist Greg Osby were up to. As it stands, the two have been working together off and on for well over two decades, and you can hear it in the flow of this album. What I did not expect, however, and what made for a very pleasant surprise, was the collaboration with artist Stephan Spicher, who is credited on the album cover, but you really need to see the videos (a sample can be seen here) to appreciate his contribution to the album. I expected to hear Osby and Arbenz work seamlessly together, and I wasn’t disappointed. The album does not have an overwhelming, “crowded” sound that some jazz albums to. The musicians give each other plenty of space to let themselves roam, never straying too far from the center, but giving a feeling of a pleasant wander in the park.

As far as contemporary jazz goes, this album has been the best, for my ears, that I’ve heard in 2020. It’s worth picking up.

[Music] Kruder & Dorfmeister – 1995

Have 25 years really passed so quickly? I can still remember working at Aron’s Records with some of the best music buyers in Los Angeles at that time, getting introduced to artists like Aphex Twin, μ-Ziq, and all sorts of Acid Jazz compilations. Then came Kruder & Dorfmeister’s G-Stoned EP.

My first reaction was based on the record cover, naturally. I though, “Meh, a couple of clowns aping Simon & Garfunkel.” The reaction may have been caused by actually listening to Bookends just a few days before. Thankfully, one of the buyers insisted that I hear it, and it left me blown away. It opened a world of music genres I had heretofore never had access to. Trip-hop, drum & bass, downtempo, the horribly-named electronica… All of this was new, exciting, invigorating music, and these two lads from Austria seemed to be at the forefront of these movements.

The boys never lost their touch. They would continue on remixing so many classic albums, even going mainstream for a moment working with Madonna herself on a rather fruitful track collaboration.

2020, this most weird and horrible of years, ends with a very pleasant surprise. As it turns out, a lost album managed to turn up. It is, to no one’s surprise, titled 1995, from the year the album was probably recorded and then forgotten about.

I have heard only one track from it, called Johnson. It sounds like a great continuation of that G-Stoned EP mentioned earlier. It’s rich, meaty, dark and chilled music. For those of you who pine for the days of early trip-hop, your fix has arrived.

You can enjoy a track from 1995 called Johnson below:

Consider purchasing the album here, or wherever you feel most comfortable buying your vinyl or digital downloads. For those interested in the track list, here you go:

1995 tracklist:
1. Johnson
2. Love Hope Change
3. Swallowed The Moon
4. Spring
5. Dope
6. King Size
7. Holmes
8. Don Gil Dub
9. Stop Screaming (only available on physical copy)
10. Morning
11. White Widow
12. In Bed with K&D
13. Ambiente
14. One Brake
15. Lovetalk

[Music] Pesniary – Gusliar

Prog River Records is releasing some very obscure, but absolutely crucial, progressive rock gems from all over the world. This particular release comes to us from Belarus, where the group, the legendary Pesniary, melded folk-rock with prog-rock weirdness and a tinge of psychedelic rock, sounding something like early Frank Zappa / Mothers of Invention at times.

Their popularity was so strong in the former Soviet Union that they were granted a shot at touring in the United States in 1976, proving to audiences that Soviet Rock was something to take seriously.

The lyrics are based on the works of Russian and Belarusian poets, including Yanka Kupala. This is quite a charming work.