[Music] Richard Pinhas & Merzbow – Rhizome

This release bridges the not-so-large gap between genres, connected by Heldon guitarist and loop master Richard Pinhas, and perhaps the most prolific post-Industrial composer of all time, Masami Akita (under his performance monicker Merzbow).

This is a live recording performed live during the Sonic Circuits Festival, September 24, 2010 at La Maison Française [The French Embassy] in Washington D.C.  The sound quality is superb, and as one would expect from two masters of their respective fields, their instruments of choice (guitar and loops for Pinhas, computer for Merzbow) ebb and flow into each other effortlessly.  This is a powerful release, and I hope it is the beginning of a long-term collaboration between both.

[Music] Piero Milesi – Modi

Thanks kindly to Cuneiform Records, whose weekly $5 downloads are an affordable way to replace a few CDs lost to time and travel.

Piero Milesi was an Italian composer who started off his career in 1977 with the International Folk Group of Moni Ovadia.  His first break came from the now-legendary Cherry Red Records, which originally released this two-piece work in 1982.

The release itself doesn’t sit comfortably in any genre.  Obstensibly a classical music record of a sort, it also touches on chamber rock, art rock, jazz, electronic music, progressive rock, avant-progressive, film music and modern composition.  It was a breathtaking debut for a composer who would score a few more albums, and even arranging an album for Japanese pop star Kazufumi Miyazawa before succumbing to a heart attack in 2011.

[Music] JOHN 3:16 – Sinner’s Prayer

Wave after wave of beautifully crunchy, hypnotic drone is what makes JOHN 3:16’s new release (a reissue from 2011, apparently), a 30-minute affair, so appealing. The guitar playing is so heavily textured that you feel like a sonic blanket has wrapped you up, making you forget, albeit temporarily, the vagaries of the world.  Drone music tends to be hazy, but this release would have been a stunner during the psychedelic 1970s as much as it is today.

This is a stunning mini-album. Many compliments to Philippe Gerber, JOHN 3:16’s leader and guitarist, for pointing me to this reissue.

[Music] Pelageya – Ptashechka (Live)

I’m quite new to the work of Russian pop singer Pelageya. From Novosibirsk, Siberia, this songbird comes from a classical music background, having once been invited by legendary Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich to perform in France along with other luminaries, including Ravi Shankar and B. B. King.

Though I find the live version wonderfully sparse, I’m including the studio version for the sake of comparison below: