The legendary chamber group the Kronos Quartet and Icelandic band múm are not exactly a pairing I would have expected to see work so well together. This track has a history. múm interpreted Smell Memory note for note, with Samuli Kosminen adding drums to the piece. Quite an interesting pairing!
Only a fool would believe we’re not living in a great time for music. The world of pop is banal, and should only be seen as entertainment. Actual music, that which is trying to continue breaking borders, bending (or snapping) rules, is doing quite well.
Iranian-born composer Maryam Sirvan has been featured on the blog before, having her powerful solo album reviewed here, but this is a newer release where she teams up with fellow composer Milad Bagheri and saxophonist Rezo Kiknadze. Few composers of this stripe are able to combine the intellectual rigors of electroacoustic music, especially that of the INA-GRM variety, with the gritty, ghostly feel of 20 Jazz Funk Greats-period Throbbing Gristle.
This is a brilliant work, and I hope to see more composers appearing out the of Caucasus soon.
Judging by the quality of the music and the fact that this is Ed Palermo’s third full-length album dedicated to Frank Zappa’s avant-big-band interpretations, I think that the album title is apropos. Eddy does indeed loves Frank! From his Bandcamp site:
Ed and his amazing 16 piece band (+ guests) return with his third album of his distinctive, big-band interpretations of the great 20th century composer, Frank Zappa. This body of work has won them huge acclaim from both new and old fans of the music and they even appeared on NPR’s Weekend Edition for a short feature which was heard by millions of listeners in 2006. For those not already familiar with Ed’s colorful, jazz-based arrangements of Zappa’s compositions, Ed has led a big band for 30 years (!) and has had his band performing the music of Frank Zappa for 15 years. Many years of playing these pieces in front of hugely enthusiastic crowds have honed the band’s skills interpreting Zappa’s beautiful but notoriously difficult material to where they are able to perform these challenging charts with apparent ease. All of these musicians are high caliber, hugely talented NYC professional players, and most of them have been playing this music for a decade and a half with this group, not because it is a good paying gig (it isn’t) but because they all admire and appreciate the genius of Zappa’s work and they love having the opportunity to be able to perform these terrifically exciting charts.
“Wonderful, breathtaking, fantastic, exhilarating, great sound, great production, great musicianship…I run out of superlatives…”
“Palermo developed these charts during years of live shows with these musicians, and their mastery of the material shows in the performances, which turn on a dime yet feel fierce with spontaneous invention…. Palermo’s arrangements and these performances are precise, dedicated, raucous and incisive—just like Zappa himself.”
“Palermo uses Zappa’s compositions as a framework for inspiration, rather than simply trying to recreate what is already available on CD.”
It’s a very happy occasion when I get to review a new album by Santiago Fradejas! Our friend, guitarist and composer now based in Barcelona, Spain, comes at us with another disc full of soundscapes which sit well between the more mellow compositions of John McLaughlin, the usual powerful post-Industrial soundscapes, and maybe because I have been listening a lot to him lately, some bits that would not sound out-of-place in a Charles Mingus album.
Guest blog post by Eli Coderoni Rigamonti, MLitt Theatre Studies, on placement in Archives and Special Collections. This article aims to draw a connection between artists Edwin Morgan and John Cage, focusing on their common interest for Modernist techniques, and their view on art and perception. Sometimes authors who never had a chance to meet […]
Though I was impressed on initially hearing the track Flickering Lamp on Sven Laux’s newest release, I wondered if his record label, Archives, had mis-tagged the album. Ambient and electronic music I certainly here, IDM I certainly don’t. No dub, but definitely there is a nod to classic 1970’s electronic music albums (think Neuronium from Spain, and perhaps a more electronic-leaning Popul Vuh, sans the horrible ‘techno’ phase). The album also has a feel of this modern classical vibe I keep running across.
This album was not what I expected to hear at all. It’s damn-near perfect walking music.
Gizeh Records is a very interesting label. I can’t say I adore every single release, but I have come to the realization that artists like Aidan Baker and Christine Ott will produce solid release after solid release. TABU features one of the most brilliant instruments ever designed during the 20th Century, the ondes martenot, and Ott uses it to full effect, creating soundscapes whose feel verges on the oceanic. A heavy, lovely release.