[Music] Jeff Gburek – Rabbits


For years, I made the mistake of treating field recordings as a sub-genre of experimental music.  That was due to me conflating the work of, say, Chris Watson (the natural sound recordist who once worked with Cabaret Voltaire and the Hafler Trio) or my old acquaintance Francisco López, and mixing the genres together without giving it too much thought.  That was my mistake.  Field recordings should be regarded as a genre unto itself, even if elements of other music make their way into these compositions. Nature, one’s home, an empty space, a road filled with automobiles or a beehive are treated as musical instruments.  It’s particularly edifying when the artist gives you the privilege of allowing the listener to enter the world he or she inhabits.

The maestro responsible for Rabbits, Jeff Gburekmakes his 7th appearance on this blog.  His latest work makes his field recordings and even the venues he recorded at (Gdansk, Poland, Dublin, Ireland and the island of Bali, Indonesia, according to his notes which are posted below) pulsate with life.  This new work isn’t merely an intellectual exercise – it is truly an absorbing experience, one I’ve come to expect from him, and he has never disappointed me.  He also finds a way to make experimental music relevant.

There is a presence floating in this work.  Before Gburek went on tour recently, the legendary percussionist and performance artist Z’ev had passed away.  The listener can hear his influence in the percussive parts of these recordings, and there is a very powerful part of Rabbits 1 which left me somewhat baffled as to what it was.  It turns out to be a Native American medicine song, which adds a profound flavor to this piece.

I highly recommend purchasing the album, as not only are the three Rabbits tracks intriguing listening, but there is a fourth track you receive as part of your download.  It takes a slightly different trajectory, and it fills out the album nicely.

[Music] Valentina Villarroel ~ Mares

Our friends at A Closer Listen introduce us to Chilean field recording composer Valentina Villarroel.

a closer listen

Valentina Villarroel is one of the most unassuming artists we’ve even encountered.  Content to let her work speak for itself, she provides only sparse descriptions. In a single sentence, she writes that Mares was recorded at “different locations around the region of Bio Bio, Chile.”  The rest is up to us.

This is her second release of the season on Sonospace, arriving on the heels of the recently reissued Pequeñas Composiciones, an experimental set comprised of field recordings, found sounds and studio manipulations.  Mares is more straightforward, a collection of crisply mastered recordings captured where land meets sea. It’s the best recording of its kind since Chris Silver T’s Salty Spots, and pairs nicely with Simon Šerc‘s Bora Scura: one set wind, the other one waves.

For those who can’t get to the beach, Mares makes an evocative sonic companion.  The nine numbered tracks rise in…

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[Music] Santiago Fradejas – Electric Guitar Vol. II: Yeshua


Our friend Santiago Fradejas has returned with his most powerful album to date. From what I understand, these soundscapes were all done with an electric guitar. He makes the most out of his weapon of choice, convincingly straddling the terrains of instrumental amplified guitar music, post-Industrial, and a very eerie take on contemporary classical/avant-garde music.

[Music] BlindººCoyote – A Beginner’s Guide To Hard Hat Color Coding


A Beginner’s Guide To Hard Hat Color Coding is a new project by BlindººCoyote, longstanding monicker of Drem Bruinsma, a Dutch-born composer now based in Alicante, Spain, whose work under this moniker reminds me of peak-period Cluster finding a bit of time to carouse with an early-wave Industrial band (think Cabaret Voltaire’s more daring experimental work than the dark funk they would produce during their heyday). It would make sense, as BlindººCoyote has been alive as a project since the early 1990s, and this particular sound to me is timeless.  The project has been active (with some periods of non-activity) since its first 1993 release, Phantom Pain/Genkaku no Itami, a project which stemmed from a collaboration with legendary jazz fusion trumpeter Toshinori Kondo.

There’s something very kosmisch about this particular release, though it has flourishes of a cold, metallic bent.  This floats surprisingly easily and envelops this listener into a dreamy, lulling feeling.  There’s also a reminiscence of sounds made by such acts as BlindººCoyote’s one-time collaborators Tuxedomoon (he wrote scores for video, dance, theatre and collaborated with the individual members of Tuxedomoon, amongst others).

As a side note, and quite a tasty one, the first track on this EP, Chapter One: Red Hard Hat Area, will also appear on the compilation Radio Nautilus, released by No Records on June 1.

To explore more of BlindººCoyote’s works, visit his Bandcamp site here, and his Reverb Nation site here.

[Music] Rauppwar & Sir Edgar Carpenter – Reptilian Abnormalities


Though this is nowhere near easy listening, this collaboration between Brazil’s Rauppwar and Mexico’s Sir Edward Carpenter don’t make mere noise – they add a rather cosmic, psychedelic element to it.

Not for the faint of heart, but rewarding in its own way. It was released by Cian Orbe, out of Santiago, Chile.

[Music] Jeff Gburek – FLOOPS


FLOOPS marks the sixth appearance of American expatriate composer Jeff Gburek to this blog.

His latest release is a collection of loop-oriented pieces played on a prepared guitar.  Though Bandcamp is horrible for this sort of work, I recommend buying the album, putting the tracks into “shuffle” mode, and letting the sounds wash over you. You may hear the same pieces over and over again, but the context will feel different.

FLOOPS ends up becoming several hours’ worth of intensive listening, reminding me somewhat of Brian Eno’s generative music or Adrian Belew’s recent flux experiments.

[Music] Various Artists- Heresy Records: A Map Of The Kingdom Of Ireland

Though not as long in the tooth as INA-GRM nor as exotic as the scenes in places like Egypt or Iran, it seems that Ireland has developed a venerable electroacoustic music scene which has spanned over five decades.  This compilation, A Map of the Kingdom of Ireland, a compilation of Irish Electro-Acoustic music featuring works by Ireland’s most celebrated Electro-Acoustic artists, was released on March 2, 2018 by Dublin, Ireland-based Heresy Records, is quite a gem of not only electroacoustic music, but of pure, non-theoretical music of many stripes, including contemporary classical and even new wave/post-punk.

The comp starts off gently with a cut by Paul Morrin.  It is a bit like a boat taken off its moorings, and drifts along until about the two-minute mark, when the tempo changes to something a bit more lively and focused – one could even say it has a post-rock feel to it, reminding me a bit of the band éf.

Tóirse Ó Ríordáin comes up next with something that feels slightly like an early Penguin Café Orchestra piece if it were composed somewhere near the border of Brazil and Colombia.

It is Daniel Figgis’ piece, Timothy Cream’s Crown of Wines, which really gets into a more freeform composition, referencing avant-garde music and perhaps Krautrock. There is a lilting, marching quality to the composition which allows one to drift off into the ether while.

Even freakier are the two pieces turned in by Dublin mainstay Roger Doyle.  This is a bit away from the avant-garde – this feels more like a cleaner, more updated sound referencing Tangerine Dream.  As my old Kraut friends would say, “sehr Kosmisch…”

The fun surprise of the compilation for me were the two tracks included by Princess Tinymeat (a reference to actor Montgomery Clift’s… er… shortcomings in the boudoir, I’d imagine).  His (her?) back catalog is screaming for a re-release, as I haven’t come across this name since I was collecting cassettes in the late 1980s.

Finally, Spooky Ghost gets a mention for some of the most pleasant guitar work I’ve heard since Vini Reilly was in peak form with the Durutti Column in the early 80s.

There isn’t a duff track on the compilation.  If you find this collection enjoyable, you may want to also consider purchasing On The Nature Of Electricity & Acoustics, another remarkable compilation curated, this time, by Figgis.

Track Listing
1. Compass – Paul Morrin
2. Atop D’Seefin (Educution remix) – Tóirse Ó Ríordáin
3. Timothy Cream’s Crown of Wines – Daniel Figgis
4. Avant Garde Your Grille – Deep Burial
5. Little Train To Heaven – Richard G. Evans with Daniel Figgis
6. Eighties Rampwalk – Roger Doyle
7. Sleep Circus (remix) – Paddy Hunt vs. Charles
8. Richard Harris Blesses The Dawn Flotilla At Guilvinec – Cathal Coughlan with the Grand Necropolitan String Band
9. Finale from The Room In The Tower – Roger Doyle
10. handsinmyhead – GREETINGS
11. DriftDin – Vincent Doherty
12. Arcticus – Donald Teskey
13. Your Majesty – Princess Tinymeat
14. Stutter – Spooky Ghost
15. Unscan Ó Malley – Tóirse Ó Ríordáin
16. MegaMix – Princess Tinymeat
17. Wandering Compass – Paul Morrin

* The digital version of the album includes the following four tracks

18. Old Piano – Vincent Doherty
19. Reverse – SOM
20. Audacity – Deafector
21. Rampwalk – Roger Doyle / Olwen Fouéré