Agb’oju L’ogun was the dance floor hit sensation of 1979. Nigerian composer Shina Williams managed to gather the finest musicians working in Lagos, and this boogie beast is what they came up with.
There are so many good neo-krautrock and neo-psychedelic bands that it’s almost impossible to keep up with them. It seems a new one comes out every day, and the quality is consistently great.
Take Expo ’70, a band out of Kansas. They tie together Krautrock with a minimalist aesthetic that balances out very well.
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 Gburek, makes 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.
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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Mind inflamed, Soul adrift are a record label out of Austria who have released a free compilation which is actually rather good all the way through. There are 16 tracks on the release, and genres covered include electronic music, drone, noise and psychedelic rock. There doesn’t seem to be any focus to the label, but at least for this recording, that’s not a problem at all. All the tracks manage to work together and make for good listening.
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.
The Hare And The Moon were a folk horror (yes, it’s a genre) band out of Scotland who finally ended their run in early 2017 after a string of astounding discs.
This disc seems to be the first one they released in 2009. Their sound reminds me of early Current 93, especially during the period when they released Swastikas For Noddy (Goddy). A truly exquisite gem in all of its weirdness.