• Music - Spotify

    Tomáš Kočko Orchestr – Ona

    The Tomáš Kočko Orchestr are one of the great musical treasures of my new home city of Brno.  They band mixes true Moravian folk music, including some melodies with pre-Christian roots (so, at least a millennium of music here), world music and even touches of metal to great effect. The concept of their latest album is based on the women of Moravia, whose character and strength preserved the culture despite attempted encroachments from within and without. From the band’s press release: The songs come from the Moravian folk tradition and talk about the experiences of the great-grandmothers of today’s women…

  • Music

    András Wahorn – The Wahorn Airport Live at the Contemporary Wahorn Club Vol. 1

    wahorn · The Wahorn Airport live at the Contemporary Wahorn Club Vol. 1.   This is quite a peculiar album made by an old friend. András Wahorn had a storied history as the leader of one of Hungary’s most radical progressive rock bands, A.E. Bizottság, who released three albums of what they called disaster music.  He also released works for the now-defunct record label Tone Casualties which tended to drift towards more experimental and improvisational music mixed with electronics. Wahorn isn’t making disastrous music these days.  In fact, he’s managed to pull an album together informed by easy listening, lounge…

  • Music

    Jagath – Samadhi

    Jagath is a field-recorded ritual ambient act from Perm, Russia who use handmade instruments, scraps and metal to make their dark, dank industrial sounds. As quoted from their Bandcamp site, “We do this to share our vision of decaying postindustrial age, to unleash the spirit of deep beyond-world and unveil life in the abyss.”  

  • Music

    Alif – Aynama​-​Rtama

    I trust you, my friends, had a lovely Gregorian-Calendar Boxing Day. I spent mine listening to a Lebanese experimental band called Alif. At least as the liner notes on their Bandcamp site explain, it looks to be a collaboration between Lebanese and Egyptian musicians, and features the talents of the following musicians: Khyam Allami (Oud) Tamer Abu Ghazaleh (Vocals/Buzuq) Bashar Farran (Bass) Maurice Louca (Keys/Electronics) Khaled Yassine (Drums/Percussion) The music is so rich and complex that I’m having a bit of trouble putting to words how to describe it, but the best crack I can give at the moment is…

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    When It’s Ajar: the music of Daniel Figgis? Ep. 1 – Various Artists

    “Daniel Figgis was making post-classical/post-rock music years before either of those terms gained currency.” – John Schaefer, WNYC: NEW SOUNDS For those who spent their years listening to great radio, that quote alone should tell you the value of the music of Daniel Figgis.  With a storied body of work behind him and a slew of activity slated for 2022, we had an interesting project to let settle in your headphones.  This is a compilation of four artists taking apart and reworking, into their own image, Daniel’s music. You can hear Daniel’s compositions shine through in each track, which is…

  • Music

    Sufjan Stevens – Songs for Christmas

    Sufjan Stevens released this album in 2006, and it manages to hold up well.  He does a fine job interpreting classic Christmas tunes that are charming, sometimes irreverent and silly, but it makes a fine listen as we prepare for the coming of the Savior of the Universe this snowy evening.

  • Music

    Jeff Gburek – Gendhing Rebaban

    As we near the close of a challenging 2021, we’re graced with a release by composer Jeff Gburek which features a rebab, a spiked fiddle.  It’s an instrument he studied in Indonesia under Pak Suhardi, blended with synthesizers and electronic bloops and bleeps which left me feeling like I was listening to some remarkable sound experiments out of the old BBC Radiophonic Workshop.  Jeff mentions below that there is no tradition of rebab-playing in Western electronic music, so he should be congratulated on consistently breaking new ground in this release. From his Bandcamp site: There aren’t many traditional compositions (if…

  • Music

    The York Waits & Deborah Catterall – Christmas Musicke

    The York Waits are a group out of York, England (no surprise there, right?), who specialize in Renaissance music from the 14th Century.  This album is a reissue of a 1996 album where they paired with vocalist Deborah Catterall, who, 25 years after the release of this disc, served as Choral Director at Higham Hall, Cumbria and Voice Teacher at the Royal Northern College of Music before embarking on a private career.  The music is not badly recorded – perhaps a bit compressed for choral music, and not as bright as it could be, but otherwise, the tunes are well-played…