• Music

    Gruvi & CVTKVC – Pandora EP

    It looks like Colombia has a rich techno scene, and the record label Psicodelica are spearheading it.  Gruvi seem to be based in Romania, and produce a very rich, bass-heavy minimal techno sound.  It is both dubby and danceable, and the B-track is even more stripped down with a remix by Serbian DJ CVTKVC.

  • Music

    James Lindsay – Torus

    April 23, 2021 is a bit of a long way from today, but waiting three and a half weeks for what is a very impressive album is a small price to pay. James Lindsay is a Scottish folk musician who absolutely transcends the genre.  Having had the pleasure of hearing some of these tracks in advance, I have to say that James not only masters folk music incredibly well, but he manages to shift directions into contemporary jazz, fusion (a touch), Nu-Jazz and even hints of ambient music. I’m old enough to remember Scottish folk as being something quite different…

  • Music

    Der Finger – Le Cinque Stagioni

    Russia has a pretty remarkable history with jazz.  Even during the Soviet times, everything from Dixieland to hard bop was represented rather well, and free jazz is no exception.  Der Finger are the trio of Anton Efimov (bass), Evgenia Sivkova (drums & saxophone) and Edward Sivkov (bass clarinet, saxophone and bass-domra).  They make a racket (and that is meant in a good way) that is indeed free and open, and almost borders on Industrial music in parts.  Good listening.

  • Music - Youtube

    Rettward von Doernberg – Night Drive

    Because this isn’t a Bandcamp release, and because I should be exploring more sites so that readers can enjoy an ever-widening array of music, I am happy to offer for your ears a track by Berlin-based composer (and an alum from the Musician’s Institute in my home town of Los Angeles), Rettward von Doernberg. Though the headline in his webpage had me a bit worried, reading “Indian, Chinese, Electronica and Orchestra: Four Musical Traditions – One Piece of Music,” it turns out that Rettward has the skill to blend these traditions into a quite workable piece of music. I do…

  • Music

    ShooDja-ChoDja – Shooldyrak

    Our beloved comrade in World Music, Christian Pliefke, releases another gem on his label CPL Music.  This new release by the band ShooDja-ChoDja from comes from the region of Udmurtia, populated by people of Finno-Ugric stock, and having traditions far different from their fellow Russian citizens. The music is played on a mix of traditional and modern instruments, with complex vocal harmonies throughout.  Of particular interest to me was the track entitled Krez, which sounded like a mournful dirge.  A bit heartbreaking in parts, but beautiful in its own way.  I’m sure ShooDja-ChoDja must be phenomenal to see live.

  • Music

    Zeena Parkins, Mette Rasmussen, Ryan Sawyer – Glass Triangle

    Relative Pitch Records is making a great case for becoming a favorite label of mine.  There are so many great releases covering the best of improvisational and free music that I’ll probably go broke trying to purchase all of them. It’s fitting to make my first review that of avant-harpist Zeena Parkins, whose work should need no introduction to the initiated, but for those new to her work, she recorded on labels such as John Zorn’s Tzadik Records and No Man’s Land, a German improv label best known to American and British audiences thanks to their distributor, Recommended Records, who…

  • Music

    Manne Skafvenstedt – Archway

    This was a happy surprise.  Manne Skafvenstedt is a Swedish pianist, composer and producer who works in the fields of jazz, ambient, electronics and sound design.  His latest album, Archway, is a calming experience.  There is a sort of sweetness to this music, where the listener actually feels good enjoying these sounds.  It’s not the sugary nonsense one hears in lower quality New Age or modern ambient music.  This resonates, and it might be because he is also a professional sound designer while he’s not busy composing. I have no doubt that those who enjoy the works of Robert Rich,…

  • Music

    Secret Agent – Mata Hari EP

    Combining surf rock, garage rock, touches of psych and having a generally lo-fi vibe to it, Mexico City’s Secret Agent combine a couple of cool instrumentals with two sung tracks, including the title track, Mata Hari, featuring Vince Montes Rivera, which you can listen to below: