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Music

[Music] Various Artists – Meticulous Midgets Magazine 2020

Meticulous Midgets is a magazine out of Russia who did me one of the kindest honors by doing a sketch on the blog. I am delighted to return the favor by covering their survey on not only the Russian electronic, avant-garde, experimental and indie music, but a few tracks from the United States, Spain, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Croatia, The Netherlands and Great Britain as well. This is a compilation whose broad scope equals that of my colleague Raffaele from Unexplained Sounds Group.

I expected to hear good headphone music, and I am happy to say that the comp delivers handsomely. There are three standout tracks for me:

The whole comp makes for solid listening, but just by hearing these three tracks, you can hear the depth and scope of the sort of music Meticulous Midgets covers. They have made a fan out of me.

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Music

[Music] Kamancello – Of Shadows

Raphael Weintraub-Browne is a friend of our blog, and it’s a pleasure to present you with his latest work. The project, Kamancello, is quite a bit different from the last album reviewed, as Weintraub-Browne has recorded a wholly improvised album with Shahriyar Jamshidi, a Iranian Kurd who plays the kamancheh. I will pay these two a very high compliment, as the closest record I can compare it to is with the work of Kayhan Kalhor while working with the New York-based ensemble Brooklyn Rider. It might even be a bit darker, a touch more Western-leaning, but cinematic in scope, and so wonderfully well-recorded.

Glorious listening, absolutely.

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Music

[Music] H.J. Ayala – Haïku

Our friend Hector Javier (H.J.) Ayala hasn’t appeared on the blog for a while, but we rectify this issue today. He continues to create improvisational gems, with a nod to artists like Derek Bailey informing this release.

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Music

[Music] 周杰倫 Jay Chou – Mojito

As with American pop, Mexican pop, Korean pop and most pop around the world, Chinese pop (C-Pop) generally makes me want to vomit in a way which would make Linda Blair in The Exorcist shriek in terror. With that being said, however, I give props to Taiwanese (or Chinese, depending on whom you talk to) artist Jay Chou (周杰倫).

Mojito, his latest hit, has busted charts in China, and just might have the possibility of crossing over in Europe, the U.S. and Latin America. He mixed his version of C-Pop with Cuban music, making a song that flows rather nicely. Chou is actually noted for being revolutionary in the Chinese music business as being able to blend Western and Eastern music into a cocktail that isn’t saccharine or cheesy.

This is probably the best modern pop song to come out of China in the last 10 years, at least to my taste. It’s my hope that with Chou’s rather brave (for China) mixing of cultures that producers there will start implementing more and more culture-blending in their music scene.

I thank my former student, Alyssa, who kindly introduced me to his music recently. One of the great benefits of teaching in China was to have students like her introduce me to part of the popular culture I would have otherwise missed. I’m indebted to her, and to all my kids who were kind enough to help keep me in the loop in Beijing.

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Music

[Music] FANT^MS ~ Roomtones — a closer listen

What do Frédéric Nogray, Lee Patterson and Pali Meursault (FANT^MS) have in common? All are fascinated with sounds that would normally remain unheard. Nogray specializes in industrial crucibles forged into singing bowls; Patterson prefers springs, motors and chemical reactions; Meursault focuses on failing neon light and other electromagnetic activity. Under natural circumstances, one might expect their […]

FANT^MS ~ Roomtones — a closer listen

We had to take a hiatus due to some unforeseen personal issues popping up, but we’re happy to be back, starting with giving a nod to our colleagues at a closer listen who give us a taste of experimental composers Frédéric Nogray, Lee Patterson and Pali Meursault collaborating as FANT^MS.

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Music

[Music] Khurmo Shirinova – Badakhshan

It looks like we’ve found an obscure little beastie upon our return. Khurmo Shirinova was a rather attractive singer from the Soviet Republic of Tajikistan who plied her trade and reached fame during the 1980s.

Sounds of Asia have done the world a fine service by reissuing this strangely charming Soviet pop gem.

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Aesthetics Art Music Photography

[Music/Graphic Design] Erikoismerkki Kirjasuunnittelu / Special Character Book Design

I run into some truly kind, rather brilliant artists constantly. I wanted to give a heads up to designer John Hubbard’s website. Here’s a bit more about his work:

A professional book designer since 1994,
my emphasis is on illustrated art catalogs,
photography books, and elevating music
packaging to book form…
along with designing record albums,
CDs, DVDs, film posters, children’s books,
cookbooks, and so on.

With my situational approach to design,
a great love and knowledge of typography, color,
and printing, I will  translate your ideas 
into a thought-provoking
professional publication.

Our collaboration will generate a new juxtaposition
of ideas, providing balanced and engaging form
to your content.

My personal interests extend beyond books
to photography, music making, and enjoying
the sights and sounds in between.

After a lifetime in Seattle,
I now reside in central Finland 
with my wife and daughter.


Thank you for looking.

John Hubbard

 B O O K  D E S I G N E R   /   C R E A T I V E   D I R E C T O R

What is particularly pleasing to the eye is his music design, which you can peruse here. Consider supporting his work.

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Music

[Music] Meet Flipper’s Ted Falconi, Vietnam Vet and Punk Rock Legend

Many thanks to my dear bro Hubert Heathertoes, who is a fountain of wonderful information worth sharing. This article from local radio station KQED does a nice retrospective on one of the Bay Area’s most influential punk rock icons, Flipper singer Ted Falconi. He was not only a leading light in alternative music, but a Vietnam Vet with plenty to say about his experiences.

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Music

[Music] The Durgas – Shut Down

It’s hard to believe a band which now sounds like a contemporary of Neil Young or other rock stars at their most reflective (and yes, that’s a compliment, as I still have a healthy respect for rock & roll music’s transformative powers) began their career as an utterly brutal agit-punk band, A Subtle Plague, whose first demo was produced by Beastie Boys legend Adam Yauch, if memory serves.

This particular song has a rather personal meaning explained to me by my dear friend and damn near older brother, Ekke. It’s perhaps too personal to get into here, but let’s say it’s a song based on the oldest of topics – love and loss.

The core members of The Durgas, Christopher and Benjii Simmersbach, have managed to maintain high music quality despite many personnel changes, genre changes, location changes and more. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting them, and of course, I wish them continued success. They’re good lads from a good, good family.

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Uncategorized

[Music] The Hip Priest Radio Program, Volume 8 — The Hip Priest Radio Program

Track Listing: 1. Barış Manço – Gül Bebeğim 2. Howling Eye – Junkhead (Live At Estrada) 3. Julia Kent – Waverly 4. 空手王 (Karate King) – Celestial Sequence 5. 65daysofstatic – Broken Ship Ruse 6. horhors – Derszu Uzala/3 (Sikhote-Alin mix) 7. Magick Lantern Cycle – Circular Ruins […]

The Hip Priest Radio Program, Volume 8 — The Hip Priest Radio Program