Muteant Sounds is a net label out of Florida who have reissued a minor treasure. This album pairs saxophonist Kenny Millions (born as Keshavan Maslak) and pianist Sergey Kuryokhin in what is a minor minimal masterpiece.
This is a two-track album, with the first track going into an eerie minor-key romp for twenty-five minutes, giving one the chills. The second track gets a touch more noisy, but maintains the aura of a film noir soundtrack.
Though Kuryokhin has been reposed for around 25 years now, his influence in the Russian improvisational scene still looms large, as does Millons‘.
Lawrence English of Room40 Records has never, not once, disappointed me in showcasing a magnificent new release. This one is a collaboration between Ellen Fullman and her long string instrument collaborating with Theresa Wong, who adds a warm layer with her cello.
From the Bandcamp website:
Harbors is a collaboration of composers Ellen Fullman (Long String Instrument) and Theresa Wong (cello), which draws inspiration from the soundscapes, stories and atmospheres that manifest around bodies of water that propagate exchange. Structured around the extended harmonics of the open strings of the cello, Wong and Fullman utilize subsets of these tonal areas to create distinct sonic environments within the piece.
Fullman’s Long String Instrument, a stunning installation of over forty strings spanning seventy feet in length, places the performers and audience inside the actual resonating body, transforming the architecture itself into the musical instrument. Wong has developed techniques that take the cello beyond tradition into a vocabulary more closely rooted in the sounds of the natural world. She captures material electronically, layering textures amplified throughout the space which form an immersive field where figure and ground are in constant flux.
The piece reveals an orchestration of shifting drones, aberrant melodies and glistening atmospheres. Harbors has reverberated many spaces around the world, including: Click Festival, Helsingør, Denmark; Transformer Station, Cleveland; MONA FOMA, Tasmania; Centennial Hall, Sydney Festival; The Lab, San Francisco; and Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.https://room40.bandcamp.com/album/harbors
As I am now settled in Brno, Czech Republic, these reviews will start making a comeback, and there are plans for new projects afoot. More on that later.
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.
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.
I grew up in a house that appreciated the work of Frédéric Chopin. My Mom was and is still a big fan of his compositions. It came as a pleasant surprise to hear that a North Carolina pianist issued some arrangements of Chopin’s music which were recorded beautifully.
Pianist Chad Lawson is joined by Judy Kang on violin and Rubin Kodheli on cello. They update Chopin’s work into a modern, minimalist landscape.
36 (pronounced three-six) are an ambient drone band based out of the United Kingdom. Heavy duty music for headphones, not quite Eno-esque, but it resides more along the post-rock side of the spectrum.
Nothing but mad respect for the Queen of tastemakers our of Beirut, Nadine Assaf, who always finds the choicest electronica.
Polar Inertia offer a wonderfully minimalistic beat-oriented experience, something almost cosmic in scope. You can get a bit more about this French troupe here.
Simple, and sublime.
Luke Paine, operating under the moniker Þverfellshorn, produces lush pieces in a style reminiscent of Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson.
A special thanks to Albanian electroacoustic composer Ilir Lluka, who posted this piece originally.