Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended. Moljebka Pvlse – Komoku (2019) John Zorn / Klezmerson – The Book […]
Our friend and impresario of one of the finest experimental record labels on Earth has just released his latest project. Raffaele Pezzella’s Sonologyst continues down the road of melding experimental music and field recordings into a hazy cocktail worthy of two or three shots of absinthe. This is dream music if you’re into rough, surreal hallucinations where you’re stumbling around a crowded market.
Experimental music composer Jos Smolders is a friend of these pages, and it warms the heart a bit to see him pay tribute to Frans de Waard, the composer known as Kapotte Muziek and Beequeen who has also been one of the editors of the crucial Vital Weekly for eons. It is because of both Frans and my old friend, David Cotner, that I was inspired to start this blog. I am indebted to all three men.
Fifty cents isn’t a bad investment for well over 400 releases on the Genetic Trance label out of Ohio. One of the releases caught my ear – this one by Surrogate Sigma. Unsurprisingly, there is no information on the band that I can find, save that they are from Ukraine and operate under a ridiculous amount of aliases. Still, this particular release reminded me of the works of old composers who were active during the 1980’s cassette culture days.
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.