Belgian composer Henri Pousser is receiving a beautifully done retrospective thanks to Sub Rosa Records releasing many of his works in a four-CD edition. This is the fourth of four discs, and combines two of his long works together in four tracks. Jon Whitney of Brainwashed.com does a phenomenal job concisely reviewing the album here.
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.
Judging by the quality of the music and the fact that this is Ed Palermo’s third full-length album dedicated to Frank Zappa’s avant-big-band interpretations, I think that the album title is apropos. Eddy does indeed loves Frank! From his Bandcamp site:
Ed and his amazing 16 piece band (+ guests) return with his third album of his distinctive, big-band interpretations of the great 20th century composer, Frank Zappa. This body of work has won them huge acclaim from both new and old fans of the music and they even appeared on NPR’s Weekend Edition for a short feature which was heard by millions of listeners in 2006. For those not already familiar with Ed’s colorful, jazz-based arrangements of Zappa’s compositions, Ed has led a big band for 30 years (!) and has had his band performing the music of Frank Zappa for 15 years. Many years of playing these pieces in front of hugely enthusiastic crowds have honed the band’s skills interpreting Zappa’s beautiful but notoriously difficult material to where they are able to perform these challenging charts with apparent ease. All of these musicians are high caliber, hugely talented NYC professional players, and most of them have been playing this music for a decade and a half with this group, not because it is a good paying gig (it isn’t) but because they all admire and appreciate the genius of Zappa’s work and they love having the opportunity to be able to perform these terrifically exciting charts.
“Wonderful, breathtaking, fantastic, exhilarating, great sound, great production, great musicianship…I run out of superlatives…”
“Palermo developed these charts during years of live shows with these musicians, and their mastery of the material shows in the performances, which turn on a dime yet feel fierce with spontaneous invention…. Palermo’s arrangements and these performances are precise, dedicated, raucous and incisive—just like Zappa himself.”
“Palermo uses Zappa’s compositions as a framework for inspiration, rather than simply trying to recreate what is already available on CD.”
It’s a very happy occasion when I get to review a new album by Santiago Fradejas! Our friend, guitarist and composer now based in Barcelona, Spain, comes at us with another disc full of soundscapes which sit well between the more mellow compositions of John McLaughlin, the usual powerful post-Industrial soundscapes, and maybe because I have been listening a lot to him lately, some bits that would not sound out-of-place in a Charles Mingus album.
Guest blog post by Eli Coderoni Rigamonti, MLitt Theatre Studies, on placement in Archives and Special Collections. This article aims to draw a connection between artists Edwin Morgan and John Cage, focusing on their common interest for Modernist techniques, and their view on art and perception. Sometimes authors who never had a chance to meet […]
Along with Benjamin Aït-Ali, I think it’s safe to say that Bérangère Maximin is the best thing to come out of France in terms of avant-garde music. For a long while, I kept seeing her work pop up on my Facebook feeds, and each piece left me impressed. Things stopped around 2016 or so, but by that time, I found out the she had been working with Sub Rosa Records, and I figured she was in good hands. Judging by the quality of this release, she certainly is.
Though I was impressed on initially hearing the track Flickering Lamp on Sven Laux’s newest release, I wondered if his record label, Archives, had mis-tagged the album. Ambient and electronic music I certainly here, IDM I certainly don’t. No dub, but definitely there is a nod to classic 1970’s electronic music albums (think Neuronium from Spain, and perhaps a more electronic-leaning Popul Vuh, sans the horrible ‘techno’ phase). The album also has a feel of this modern classical vibe I keep running across.
This album was not what I expected to hear at all. It’s damn-near perfect walking music.
I grew up with piano music in my home because my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother (a violinist by trade) were fond of the instrument. I would grow up hearing piano music, dated a pianist in Italy for a brief and stormy moment, and even here in China, I’m surrounded by it.
It pleases me to no end that piano music continues to be revolutionary.
Montreal’s Moderna Records is at the forefront of putting out the best of cinematic, minimalist piano music, and Ed Carlsen’s music has proven to be my current favorite of their bunch. For those familiar with Yann Tiersen’s music, Ed’s compositions will feel familiar. These are wispy, thought-provoking pieces which make you want to break out the blanket and coffee and sit by the window on a chilly day.
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.