Our old blog friend István Csarnogurszky of Silent Island (and so many other stellar projects) has a new album out, and it is a continuation of his mellow, cosmic guitar playing inspired, possibly, by everything from psych and post-rock to four-to-the-floor rock licks. Gentle, meandering (in a great way), a nice album to just get lost in the clouds with.
[Music] H.J. Ayala – Haïku
Our friend Hector Javier (H.J.) Ayala hasn’t appeared on the blog for a while, but we rectify this issue today. He continues to create improvisational gems, with a nod to artists like Derek Bailey informing this release.
[Music] Departure Street – Two Islands in the Heart
Departure Street is American/French guitarist Allan J. Kimmel. Reading his bio on the Bandcamp release page, he calls his work neo-folk. I thought it a strange term, as I normally associate it with dark bands who worked with music that would set well with fans of bands like Death In June, Current 93 and the like. Giving this a couple of listens, perhaps there is some connection there. What I hear a bit more strongly is a sound that compares well with contemporary guitarists like Cousin Silas. This has floaty, pleasant feel to it. Worth a third or fourth listen, definitely.
From Allan’s Bandcamp page:
Departure Street, AKA Allan J. Kimmel, creates tranquil electric guitar meditations that sprawl and explore like the hungry tendrils of an aggressive ivy.
Kimmel, who hails from both America and France, has filled this record with nothing but vividly surreal instrumental soundscapes, which are comprised purely of his multi-tracked and effects-laden solo guitar. Across the record’s nine tracks, Kimmel takes his unique brand of psychedelic loner-folk, and stirs in elements of reverb-heavy ambient music, cosmic American primitivism and even some Middle Eastern folk traditions. The resulting brew is a heady yet mellow mix that glides along with a pleasant ease.
While the album feels like one large suite, “Ascension” is certainly a highlight. David Gilmour-esque slide guitar coasts through slow waves of spacey, repetitive riffs, all while Kimmel laces melancholic solos across the entirety of the piece. There’s a heavy atmosphere in “Ascension,” and it makes you think about people and places that you’re nostalgic for, or pleasant dreams that you’ve once had. It’s certainly a comforting recording, but there is some sort of loss hidden just below the surface.
Two Islands in the Heart is a complex record despite its minimalist approach, and it’s an unexpectedly emotionally charged one, as well. If you are a fan of Steve Palmer’s latest record, Cian Nugent or David Grubbs, then you need this album.
[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] FRANK ZAPPA – “Hot Rats” 50th Anniversary — The Fat Angel Sings
Hot Rats was released 10th October in 1969! “The Hot Rats Sessions” box set celebrates the 50th anniversary of one of the greatest albums in the history of recorded music, and will be released on December 20th . The original 1969 Frank Zappa album was the first to be recorded on a prototype 16-Track Tape Machine. […]
via FRANK ZAPPA – ” Hot Rats ” 50th Anniversary — The Fat Angel Sings
[Music] Santiago Fradejas – Vermin Rodia
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.
[Music] Benjamin Finney – Warmth Within These Walls X Cut Me Loose
Benjamin Finney’s work has been reviewed on our blog in the past, as he’s really a fine guitarist, but it finally dawned on me whose work seems to influence and inform his playing. John Fahey. No doubt about it. He has the American primitive sound mastered so well that he’s able to mold it however he wishes. Fahey was utterly brilliant at that. Expect Benjamin to have that same legacy one of these days.
[Music] Cousin Silas – Ballard Landscapes 5
Cousin Silas is one of the leading lights of the underground bedroom ambient scene. Like so many of these characters (whose work I highly regard), he releases a lot of music, but somehow manages to maintain a sense of purpose of each and every release. These are crafted slabs of spacey, rich music for minds to float to.
[Music] Noël Akchoté – Cranach (1472-1553) (For Dobro)
Noël Akchoté is a busy man. It’s been a while since we featured his work, but it’s definitely time to revisit his work. In this disc, Akchoté interprets the work of Adam of Fulda, a wonderful Renaissance composer.
[Music] Kryshe – Hauch
After the release of his album March Of The Mysterious for Serein in 2017, Kryshe (Christian Grothe) returns with Hauch – an album of eight nocturnal pieces that will ease you through the winter months ahead.
Hauch began life shortly after Christian had moved home. With all of the chaos that entails, Christian sought a means of maintaining a daily practice with his music. The goal was to create and record something new every day in the most economical way possible, so Christian turned to his iPad microphone and tape recorder.
Phrases and fragments of sound were recorded and looped on an iPad and built upon gradually with piano, voice, guitar and more. Output from the iPad was recorded directly to tape for the warmth and natural compression analogue tape brings. The result is an album of immediate allure, musicality and soul. Gently looping piano phrases emerge from blankets of hiss and granular textures, swaths of guitar and washes of low vibrations envelop and submerge the listener.
It’s impossible not to give in to the soporific effect of listening to Hauch, especially with the nights closing in ever faster – undoubtedly an album for open fires and woollen blankets. Just listen.