• Music

    Etran de L’Aïr – Agadez

    Thanks to a bit of luck and our friends at Sahel Sounds, I was fortunate enough to obtain an album by Nigerien (no, not Nigerian) troupe and stars of the local wedding music scene, Etran de L’Aïr (or Stars of the Aïr region).  From their Bandcamp site: “Recorded at home in Agadez with a mobile studio, their eponymous album stays close to the band’s roots. Over a handful of takes, in a rapid-fire recording session, “Agadez” retains all the energy of a party. Their message too is always close to home. Tchingolene (“Tradition”) recalls the nomad camps, with a modern…

  • Music

    Ángel Ontalva – October Equus Guitar Project Vol. 1

    Ángel Ontalva is a Spanish guitarist who spends a great deal of time working in Russia whom we’ve featured here in the past, and he surprises us with a release of an album full of Rock-In-Opposition and chamber-rock influences. From his Bandcamp site: “The origin of this album is in the Rock In Opposition Festival 2014. For our participation I wrote new arrangements for some of the group’s compositions that, due to the difficulty of the scores and the lack of time to prepare them properly, were discarded. During these years I have fantasized about the idea of ​​recording these…

  • Music

    Igor Vasilev Novogradska – Sisterhood Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

    Igor Vasilev, working under the nom de plume Novogradska, has produced music in various genres, including darkwave (with Alexander Veljanov of Deine Lakaien), Mizar and his own solo work in electronic music.  He has also become a sought-after soundtrack composer.  This particular work, for the Dina Duma-directed Sisterhood, has an air of tension that would make it music appropriate for a David Lynch soundtrack.  There is an ominous foreboding in each track, which, to my ears, seems to be affected by everything from Hans Zimmer to easy listening music with a noir underpinning.  The highest compliment I can give this…

  • Music

    David J – What The Patrons Heard

    David J should need no introduction, but if you’re new here, he made his name as the bassist of Bauhaus and the leader of both Live and Rockets and Tones On Tail. This new album, What The Patrons Heard, was 34 years in the making. He combines his post-punk roots with a singer-songwriter vibe he has mastered since his early solo releases on record labels like Situation Two and Glass, among others.

  • Music

    Wabjie – Lull

    Wabjie are a Swiss trio made up of singer Soraya Berent, pianist/composer Michel Wintsch and drummer Samuel Jakubec who produce a sound that references Thom Yorke, Bobby McFerrin and Betty Carter at their most experimental, but perusing the promo sheet, one name was left off that hit me very hard when listening to the album (which will be fully released on February 25): Laurie Anderson.  That gentle, experimental but ever-so-pleasant way Anderson has of speak-singing is matched quite well by Berent, whose voice flows effortlessly on top of rhythms that sound as if Björk had a date at The Knitting…

  • Music

    Carlos Niño & Kofi Flexxx – In The Moment, Part 3

    Longform Editions is a boutique record label out of Australia which does many things well, but specialized in releasing short albums packed with electronic experimentalia from all over the world. This one brings Los Angelino Carlos Niño and a world traveling sax player whose work I’m quite new to in Kofi Flexxx paring down a two-hour session.  Carlos explains more about the session below, courtesy of Longform’s Bandcamp site: “For me, extended, deep listening is it! I listen a lot and journey eternally within. Hearing and feeling, in, of, with and around, playing music is extending, deeply listening, being at…

  • Music - Music Articles

    News Article: Is Old Music Killing New Music?

    Ted Gioia has penned an important article on the state of modern music at The Atlantic Magazine. I’m generally in agreement with him, but as a Gen-X-er, I do agree that modern music is utter trash. Where music is thriving is on places like Bandcamp and, to a lesser degree, Soundcloud, where fresh talent can be found daily. Record shops, according to Gioia, are “caught in a time warp” and he’s right, as they make more money on reissues than on new product.  Radio stations and so-called awards shows are full of cowardice and fluff, and will do nothing to…

  • Music

    Midori Hirano – And I Am Here

    According to Midori Hirano’s Bandcamp site, “this album was initially released on staaltape by Rinus Van Alebeek in 2015 as a very limited edition of cassette tape.” It’s a gem of experimental music because Hirano’s background blends a classical music, a commercial music background, and what would end up being termed as “Japanoise,” the beautifully violent experimental music which exploded in Japan and worldwide throughout the late 80s and early 90s.  Hirano crafts 24 sound vignettes on this album, and the end result is something akin to John Cage going mushroom hunting with Aki Takahashi while listening to Hijokaidan on…

  • Music

    Andrea Keller / Wave Riders – Systems Over​-​Ride

    I was going through a tag titled “Australian jazz” on my free time this week and came across this stunner of an album by Andrea Keller & Wave Riders. From her Bandcamp site: Systems Over-Ride is the new album from Melbourne-based pianist & composer Andrea Keller, featuring her latest musical venture, WAVE RIDERS. The quintet performs Andrea’s music with grit and spontaneity; bringing together her somewhat disparate fascinations of free jazz and doom metal, combined with potent harmonies and yearning melodies. Dichotomous relationships abound as she grapples to reconcile the brutal and the beautiful, all the while focussed on stripping…