[Music] Jack Hertz – The Wind Speaks to Branches on the Hill

Bedroom ambient musicians should be a dime a dozen, but if you actually delve into their back catalogs, you find that they have a tremendous amount of talent.  I don’t know much about Jack Hertz, but I’ve come across his work while looking for other favorites like Cousin Silas, Martin Neuhold and the late Wolfgang Gsell (may his memory be ever eternal).  The cover art reeled my in instantly, so, as is my habit before beginning my work day, I spent my free hour with headphones in tow and jumped right into this release.

The sound is spacious, ambient in the pure sense of the word, and rather engaging at times, with pulses of low tones and what seems to be rather interesting instrumentation filling in any potential voids.  This is a beefy release for an ambient record.

As an aside, you may wish to consider heading over to his record label’s Bandcamp page.  Aural Films are offering 239 releases for the unbelievably low sum of fifty cents.  All I’ve perused have been interesting.

[Music] Sublamp – Lianas

Los Angeles based sound and video artist Ryan Connor has quite a reputation behind him, appearing on labels such as Serac (USA), Pehr (USA), SEM (France), Dragon’s Eye Recordings (USA), Friendly Virus (Portugal), Ahora Eterno (Argentina) Hibernate Recordings (UK) and Felt.

According to the composer:

“Every Sublamp record has been about an imaginary space, so the concept of pinning each release on Eilean to a fictional continent was exciting; the perfect excuse to indulge myself in layered textural sound again. Inspired by the cloud forests of Monteverde, Costa Rica, Lianas is an audio map of a densely wooded mountain range, shrouded in fog, where fern and vine drip with condensation and small animals slip quietly through the undergrowth. Very little computer manipulation was used in the creation of these tracks. Most of the sound on the record is simply looped guitar through various pedals and a nice warm tube amp, sometimes recorded through an old reel to reel tape machine for extra crackle and hiss.”

[Music] Scanner – Lost At Sea

Musically, Scanner remains in a class by himself.  The broad paintbrush of ‘experimental music’ almost covers the scope of his work, yet he could easily fit in electronic music, IDM and most anything else he wants to.  This release is a touching tribute to fishermen from East Neuk who perished at sea.  From Scanner’s Bandcamp site:

This unique work was created for the Big Project as part of the East Neuk Festival in Fife Scotland in summer 2018. I joined forces with pupils of Waid Academy in Anstruther to create a memorial in sound for men of the East Neuk fishing industry lost at sea. The work draws on the stories of the men out at sea, field recordings and interviews to evoke the men and their lives.

The work was premiered at Waid Academy on 28 June as a live performance but an alternative version was installed at the Scottish Fisheries Museum.

No physical memorial to these men currently exists – something that retired local fisherman, Ronnie Hughes, is campaigning for. You can hear his stories throughout the work. His mission to secure a monument in Pittenweem inspires this piece for which ENF has partnered the Scottish Fisheries Museum and Waid Academy. Listen and immerse yourself in the stories and sounds of the fishing industry.

I was delighted that on 13 May 2019 the Scottish Awards for New Music 2019 awarded Lost at Sea for Community/Education project of the year.

Sound: Scanner
Voice: Ronnie Hughes
Waid Academy students:
Jay Alsafar
Josie Bell
Mirren Bell
Ben Black
Jude Bright
Hunter Demetrius
Daniel Hesk
Ryan McIntosh
Ian McKie
Kirstin Spence
Kai Young

 

[Music] Dead Janitor – Medusa | [ / ] no. 45

Slovakia is producing all sorts of fine music.  Dead Janitor is a fine case in point.  From their Bandcamp page:

Dead Janitor is the alter-ego for Slovak electronic technician Braňo Findrik. Over the past decade, he has steadily produced a series of digital releases leading to his debut Medusa LP for Urbsounds. With an arsenal of pixelated breakbeats and stuttering samples, Dead Janitor presents an adventurous form of polymetric electronica, echoing the complex IDM explorations of the pioneering work of Aphex Twin and Autechre.

Medusa is an apt title for the album that hybridizes digital and analogue technologies into a labyrinthine architecture of sound that prioritizes rhythm over melody. The title was inspired by the beloved camp of Clash Of The Titans but also alludes to the hostility that have become normalized in contemporary politics and culture. Here, Dead Janitor turns samples upside down, subjects the internal clocks to breakneck multiplication and division, atomsmashes electronic sound into it granular parts, and otherwise sets up rhythm to be in conflict with itself.

Tracks such as “Mandatory” that cycle through its 8-bit density of Gameboy bleeps and the title track with its aggressive industrial clamor provide a number of complicated listening experiences that reveal hidden patterns and rhythmic undercurrents over repeated listens.

With its emphasis on displacement and dislocation, Medusa makes for a thrilling if idiosyncratic album in the lineage of Evol, Mark Fell, Russell Haswell, and late-period Autechre.

[Music] Martin Neuhold – Sofa Guitar Sessions #1

For those of you pining for the days of raw bedroom recordings of guitar improvisation that remind you of seminal acts like The Durutti Column, a name mentioned frequently on these pages, this latest album by Martin Neuhold does the job nicely.  The only quibble is the slightly rushed feeling in-between tracks, which makes this mini-album feel a bit rushed.  The musicianship, thankfully, doesn’t suffer a bit.