Iraida Yusupova is a Russian multimedia artist originally hailing from Turkmenistan. She works out of Moscow and is considered among the pre-eminent composers of her generation, scoring for voice, orchestra and Theremin.
Some sad news. No, no, not a passing! Donnacha Costello, the second-finest composer based in Dublin (sorry, folks – Daniel Figgis is still number one in these parts) is taking time off from recording music.
In an act of magnanimous generosity, however, he is offering the whole of his digital back catalog for the more-than-fair price of €15.
Together is a perfectly drone-laden slice of ambient heaven, relaxing to the ear, and a fine way for Donnacha to say farewell until he is ready to grace experimental music with his return.
The loss of Scott Walker is about as monumental for many as was the loss of, say, David Bowie or Mark Hollis. Though I had known about his pop music (including the reinterpretation of Jacques Brel’s hit, Le Chanson de Jacky), this song was a revelation. It was so far removed from pop music that I figured it sounded more like a combination of cabaret music done by experimental or apocalyptic folk musicians. It was a brilliant career pivot, and he ended up working with some really intriguing characters until his passing yesterday.
French sound artist and engineer Félix Blume produces something voyeuristic and creepy, yet engaging and life-affirming at the same time. This album is a collection of brass music played at funerals in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince.
According to the website, there are featured in these ‘performances’ 15 dead, 15 funerals, 16 funeral processions, 1 procession with no dead, 5 churches, 1 cemetery, 1 wake, all recorded, including the wails and sobbing of those who lost their loved ones. There is a feeling that death has been conquered and mocked, however, in the same way New Orleans funerals tend to be.
This is field recording at its most engaging, at least for me.
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.
Eerie is not nearly powerful enough to describe the hellish soundscape that Maryam Sirvan produces on this record. It is as if Pierre Henry decided to do an ethnographic recording tracing Dante’s footsteps inside of Hell. Brooding, powerful soundscapes.
Ben Rath is an experimental musician based out of Manchester, England, who specializes in dark, foreboding minimalist compositions which leave you feel unnerved while working on blog posts at three in the morning. He makes his recordings with the use of keyboards, piano, guitar and some slight effects. Really good listening.
The grand old man of psychedelic noise pairs with a rather powerful improv band I knew little about until today. Keiji Haino is up to his old tricks with his screeching vocals, chanting and brutal guitar playing, while SUMAC give him just enough structure to keep his madness contained. Powerful listening.