Zan Hoffman and Hubert Heathertoes have been featured twice on this blog before (see here and here), and each time, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by their output. The good lads continue their tradition of splicing together drone, field recordings, and an aura of pleasantly calming weirdness together for well over an hour of headphone bliss.
Tomáš Dvořák is a composer, clarinetist and multimedia artist based in the Czech Republic. He produces a soundtrack that blends elements of soundtrack music, game music, electroacoustic music, and a touch of IDM that works very well together.
We live in an age where a small label from Belarus can pull in musicians from Brooklyn to Siberia. Ezhevika Records has a massive and talented catalog to pull from, and their latest comp showcases some amazing trip-hop musicians.
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.
Voice: Ronnie Hughes
Waid Academy students:
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.
One track is all we have to work with from Norwegian composer Haav (Harald Øgaard out of Bergen, Norway), but if this is a taste of what will be coming in Spring of 2019, I’m looking forward to hearing a full album’s worth. Heavy, claustrophobic ambient. This really envelops you.
As if I don’t have a number of interesting reasons to visit Russia. The Day Of Life Forgotten is an independent net label operating, it seems, out of Moscow (though if it’s not the case, I’ll update the post). This release, by my friend Alexei Serebreikov under his monicker Скрижали сна, is a great balance of electronic music, mixing elements of psychedelic music and drum & bass, a touch of IDM, all the while keeping everything sounding balanced and rhythmic. Something worth pursuing.
Frank Bretschneider is one of the few composers who can make a glitchy racket actually sound like it makes sense. Beautifully recorded and composed.