Listening to what I would assume is microtonal guitar work (if my friends would be so kind as to correct me, I would be much obliged) proved to be a very rewarding expeience. HJ Ayala, a friend of this blog, collaborates with cellist Stéphane Clor in this release clocking in at just under 40 minutes. This is a quiet release, but the interplay between guitar and cello seems to intricate that it managed to hold my attention throughout. I’m already a fan of Ayala’s guitar playing, so I’m not surprised he continues to release improvisational music of such great quality, but it’s nice to see him collaborate with Clor, whose work I had never heard until today. A recommended disc.
Never think that the Middle East is ignorant of current musical (or anti-musical) trends. They are probably better informed that a fair amount of their Western colleagues, and are making music that proves it. Once again, many thanks to the brilliant Raffaele Pezzella for being such a visionary.
From the Unexplained Sounds Group Bandcamp site:
Following the Anthology of contemporary music from the African continent, this new collection released by Unexplained Sounds Group, focuses on experimental and alternative music from the Middle East and includes artists from Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iran, Israel, Iraq, Palestine, Jordan, Afghanistan, Cyprus. A kaleidoscope of sounds by artists rooted in their traditions, but at the same time projected towards the new frontiers of music. The minimal melody of Ahmed Saleh introduces us to the exploration of sound paths that unfold through the electronic experimentation of Cenk Ergun, the radical improvisation of Mazen Kerbaj, the pulsating and disturbed electronic of Tony Elieh, the noise drone of Nyctalllz, the tribal and psychedelic music, in the Velvet Underground style, by Afghan musician Naujawanan Baidar, the lysergic ambient of Bloom Tribe, just to mention some projects included in the compilation. An intricate and exciting sound puzzle in which the listener will find his favorite way to a new promised land of sound.
Santiago Fradejas’ latest release features him on electric guitar, with some effects, and he ends up making a sonic world which envelops you straightaway. For an experimental record, this one almost qualifies as pleasant listening, though there is always an element of tension and danger to each of his compositions. Seminal.
strom|morts have a very odd, warped take on electronic music which at ones reminds me of the weirder moments of Aphex Twin and something you would hear in a B-movie soundtrack or special effects catalog out of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop (think Delia Derbyshire). And yes, this is high praise. The sounds are disconcerting, uneasy listening, and that’s precisely what has impressed me most.
When I was growing up and getting into strange music during the early to mid-1980s, I had several resources I would go to monthly (or quarterly, after a while) to find out about anything that had to do with progressive rock: Audion, a magnificent English magazine which covered pretty much everything I liked at the time, and the American equivalent, Eurock. I had the pleasure of meeting Archie Patterson, the mag head, a few times when I was working at a record shop in Los Angeles, and the guy was absolutely brilliant.
Eurock has a 47-year history of giving their readers a peek at the best in avant-progressive music. He is working on a documentary on both the magazine and some of the musicians he has been doing business with for the past 40 years, including Gilbert Artman, Mikhail Chekalin and Luis Perez.
This is a worthwhile cause. Check out Archie’s IndieGoGo page to learn more about this project.
Being a fan of Current 93 for over 30 years, I have to say that I’ve never heard David Tibet use the term “Hallucinatory Patripassianist rock group” to describe their sound. Apocalyptic folk, neofolk, post-industrial folk, certainly. Experimental? Always. This new name? I’ll have to chew on that for a while. Be that as it may, this is one of the few albums I had not heard until recently, as it was always sold out wherever I looked. Now, it’s in my computer, and I couldn’t be happier.
This incarnation of the band includes the aforementioned Tibet, along with Steven Stapleton of Nurse With Wound and their occasional collaborator, Christoph Heeman (better know for his work with Hirsche Nicht Aufs Sofa, or H.N.A.S.). All are masters of making sonic alchemy, and the chiming, drifting pieces give one a hallucinatory (as David puts it) feeling. I regret not hearing this album earlier.
Much respect to Dominic Razlaff for this album of four sessions which drift off gently into the sea, rather than in space. I’m not quite sure why, but while relaxing and listening to the album, I feel a sense of calm that I felt in places like the Black Sea, where I’m headed to in a couple of weeks. This is a truly chilled-out work from an artist who deserves to be heard more.