I never thought I’d review a Signora Ward release here, namely due to a prejudice I’ve developed against modern noise, as too many releases sound like some idiot kid flipping on the vacuum and then recording it, and THEN having the nerve to expect someone to pay for that garbage. Thankfully, I was wrong about this particular label. Perdonami, Signora!
This compilation is a teachable moment for me. Never, ever judge a record label by one or two releases, as every one of them have the capacity to surprise you with something utterly brilliant.
Thanks to groups like the Orchestra of Mirrored Reflections (friends of the blog whose works have been reviewed here in the past) and the Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble, I’ve begun to fall in love with the deep, creepy, noir-ish sounds they emanate. Signora Ward have done a service in collection some of the leading lights of the darkjazz genre together to make one of the most enjoyable collections I’ve heard in a while.
I’ll do well to pay more attention to this label in the future!
There are times when bleak post-Industrial music can be absolutely rhythmic and beautiful. A case in point is the release by Artoffact Records’ of a performance by Iceland’s finest dark-electronics project Reptilicus. This was a performance done in Toronto, Canada, organized by Praveer Baijal, founder of the seminal Toronto label Yatra-Arts, on the happy occasion of new output in the form of a 7-inch release after a (far too) long period of inactivity. For the performance, they were joined by Germany’s Senking, Denmark’s Rúnar Magnússon, and Candian duo Orphx.
The group recorded a session at Grant Avenue Studio in Hamilton, Ontario, built my Grammy Award-winning producer and musician Daniel and Bob Lanois and after Baijal introduced Reptilicus to William Blakeney, who at the time was producing a modular-synthesizer documentary called I Dream of Wires.
This collaboration bore fruit in the recording you hear here. A lot of the material is reminiscent of early Industrial experiments (think more about early Cabaret Voltaire than Throbbing Gristle or NON), yet with a far crisper, dynamic sound. Reptilicus has since become augmented with Rúnar serving as third member, and it is our hope that this unit continue to record.
Justin Broadrick should be a name very familiar to you if you were ever a fan of Napalm Death, Jesu, or my two personal favorites from his oeuvre, Godflesh and Techno-Animal. Bandcamp Daily references his newest material (which has sat around, in some cases, for nearly two decades), JK Flesh.
This charming release came into my inbox at about the same moment when Chris, a good mate of mine, was hipping me to the wonders of Library Music.
The Natural Yogurt Band have that sound down perfectly, as this mini EP shows. My only complaint about this release? It’s WAY too short. Let’s hope a series of full length albums are on their way.
When he’s not working on his own music as Sonologyst, Raffaele Pezzella of Unexplained Sounds captures a lot of attention by releasing travelogue compilations covering the best of experimental and dark ambient music from various countries and regions. This one may well be his crowning effort.
All of these, with the exception of Sharif Sehnaoui, are unfamiliar names, but the sounds, which range from slow, churning, rhythmic drone to post-Industrial noise, the compilation introduces what I’m hoping is an energetic crop of new music composers whose influence will spread quickly both inside and outside the Levant.
Could a Syrian or Iraqi electroacoustic scene be next? I surely hope so!
Hviledag is the moniker of Anton Friisgaard, who has an EP due for release on September 22.
Listening to it, it seems Anton has captured the spirit of the best of 1970s Kosmich Musik out of Germany (think Cluster/Kluster and the solo releases by Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius [RIP], Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze during their peak in the mid-1970s, and even pre-robot Kraftwerk).
Don’t think, however, that this is some boring copy of the masters. Anton brings fresh ideas to the genre. The recording quality, however, is so familiar and comfortable to me that if this release were to come out on vinyl, I would be thrilled to listen to it and place it along with the greats mentioned earlier.
Honoré Feraille is an electroacoustic composer from Switzerland. This very quiet pair of compositions were released from the Audio Gourmet Netlabel out of Peterborough, United Kingdom.
The price is quite low, and the quality is pretty high, so consider giving this a deep listen and purchasing it.
Umor Rex is one of Mexico’s most important record labels, and I’m frankly surprised they’re not getting more press worldwide. Like so many cool modern imprints, they’re not sticking to one genre only. You will find electronic music, drone, indie-folk and experimental music well-represented in Dezember. Take some time to sample their wares!
1. Le Skeletonne – The riot was always alone 03:32
2. Miró Belle – A 03:17
3. Rats On No Evil Star – Tree in the green 04:18
4. S ND Y P RL RS – Dracula 02:47
5. Ibi Ego – U and Me vs. the sea master 04:20
6. The Human Elephant – Insomnia 04:01
7. Ghost Birds – Drama (how I hate) 02:46
8. Cars And Trains – I Know Someone Who Cant Recognize 04:38
9. Hardman Bros – Change The Mode 01:11
10. Tidy Kid – Those Red Paintings 02:30
11. Ponk – Sleeves II 03:38
12. Anthna – Loving Raw Bands 06:28
13. Tidy Kid – Bus Stop 01:40
14. Nicholas Szczepanik – The Short / Lived 04:39
I have a sneaking suspicion that the legendary Divan poet Fuzûlî didn’t dabble in modern hip-hop during the 1500s, though who am I to suggest that the young, enterprising souls in bastrd didn’t go back in time and ask him to sample a few grooves for him?
Rather elegant jazzy lo-fi beat music out of Northern California. A worthy purchase.
I don’t know how I managed to miss Japanese DJ and producer Toshio Matsuura! This album is a real gem, mashing together nu-jazz and fusion while introducing reference points like Magma and Carlos Santana (when he was still on the cutting edge).