Considering this release, featuring guitarist David Torn and synthesizer player Drew Schlesinger, was made in 1978, I’m astounded as to how fresh it sounds. There are a few spots where the recording might be a touch thin (I’m playing this album on the speakers of a relatively new iMac), but overall, this is very solid, rather beautiful looping and synth programming. If you are a fan of Brian Eno’s and Robert Fripp’s collaborations, or are simply curious about Torn’s early works, this album is a must. It is also a fine introduction to Schlesinger, whom I knew nothing about before being pointed to this release.
[Music] Haram Tapes – Scorpions & Fountains
Haram Tapes is the side project of our friend Sumatran Black, and he’s really outdoing himself on this latest release. Genres blend seamlessly here, with ambient music, old industrial-influenced electronic music, field recordings and synth music being balanced well enough to be creepy and engaging. The material is very topical, quite political in a way that is not preachy or obnoxious, and it goes to show HT put a lot of thought into composing a story with this work.
A brilliant piece, but I expect this coming from Pete of SB.
[Music] Mamman Sani Abdoulaye – Unreleased Tapes 1981-1984
Dreamy, mellow, but not quite Kosmich Musik, this collection out of 1970s Niger was miles ahead of its contemporaries. It’s a shame it took so long for Mamman Sani to have his synth work available, but this charming LP was lovingly curated by the ever mighty Sahel Sounds.
[Music] antrru – Мрамори
antrru is Anton Kiltsov, a producer based out of St. Petersburg, Russia. He makes synthwave music of rather astounding quality, and he is a perfect fit for his home label, Ezhevika Records out of Minsk, Belarus.
[Music] Steve Hogarth & Richard Barbieri – Your Beautiful Face
Richard Barbieri never disappoints. From his work in Japan to all of the wonderful projects he’s worked on since, he’s shown to be a thoroughly underrated synth player. There’s always hope he’ll reach a bigger audience.
The surprise here, for me, is Steve Hogarth. I’m not a huge fan of Marillion (at least since old singer Fish left the band in the late ’80s), but really, Hogarth’s voice sounds like a perfect compliment to the electronic underpinning Barbieri provides. A lush work.
This one is dedicated to my Mari, who has given me a year of happiness.
[Music] Urszula Dudziak – Space Lady
Urszula Dudziak is a vocalist and pianist from Poland who did quite a lot of work in the United States during the 1970s.