• Music

    Duma – Duma

    Nyege Nyege Tapes out of Kampala, Uganda, is releasing some of the most brutal music in the world these days.  A case in point comes from Nairobi, Kenya, where the band Duma call home.  Within the first few seconds of this release, you get pummeled by a barrage of drumming and screaming that is so heavy that it would have held its own comparing to any industrial band of the genre’s heyday. From the label’s Bandcamp site: “Martin Khanja (aka Lord Spike Heart) and Sam Karugu emerge from Nairobi’s flourishing underground metal scene as former members of the bands Lust…

  • Music

    Johnny Gandelsman – This Is America – An Anthology 2020-2021

    Before I left to China in 2018, the last concert I caught was Iranian-Kurdish master Kayhan Kalhor along with Brooklyn Rider.  As it turns out, their violinist, Johnny Gandelsman, was selling one of his albums on vinyl, which I duly purchased (and have nearly worn out).  I’m pleased to say he has new work out, though this album was released on the 1st of July of 2022. From his Bandcamp site: “To say that 2020 was a difficult year for the United States would be an understatement. Covid 19 took the lives of 385,000 people. Racism and police brutality took the…

  • Music - Youtube

    [Video] Mindaugas Piečaitis – Catcerto

    No, this isn’t a prank.  Lithuanian composer Mindaugas Piečaitis really did make a piece of orchestral music, and the cat, Nora, holds her own in comparison to more bloated practitioners of contemporary music.  Not a bad effort, to be honest, and yes, it’s available through Apple Music, though there is no information on whether Nora is properly compensated for her performance.

  • Music

    The Secret Society of the Sonic Six – Out Of The Past EP

    A decade or two ago, there were only four bands who I would bother to make the trek out from the suburbs to the ‘great’ metropolis that is Los Angeles: Farflung, Tunnelmental, The Flash Express and The Secret Society of the Sonic Six.  Each were brilliant in their way, and in the end, The SSotSS won out for me because no one was able to weld together 50’s horror movie soundtracks, cold wave à la Americana, avant-funk, weirdo pop in the vein of Yello or other Ralph Records bands, and a stage show that kept you far away from gawking…

  • Music

    Steve Kilbey – Of Skins and Heart (Acoustic Sessions Vol.1)

    I don’t think Steve Kilbey of The Church needs much of an introduction, but it’s been awhile since I’ve heart what he’s been up to.  This album shows him playing an acoustic set based on The Church’s second-finest album, and the recordings are of sparse, but warm and stunning quality.  It’s nice to hear the songs in a more stripped-down setting.

  • Music

    Odeya Nini – Ode

    Los Angeles-based composer Odeya Nini is a marvel to listen to.  She uses her voice and body to full effect as an instrument and composes profoundly interesting contemporary classical music, and whose works are radical enough to fit into musique concrète.  If you enjoy the works of Meredith Monk or Anna Homler, this just might appeal to you.

  • Music

    Vartra – Basma

    Our beloved friends at CPL-Music have submitted a bizarre and completely engrossing album of ethereal tribal music from Serbia in the form of Vartra.  The band was founded in 2017 by Siniša Gavrić and sisters Ivana and Aleksandra Stošić.  What makes the music so interesting is that it not only draws from Serbian folk themes, but also Vlach themes as well.  The Vlachs are terribly underrepresented in folkloric music, and the chants on this disc serve to remedy this issue.

  • Music

    Santiago Fradejas – Montages, Volume Two

    What a joy it is when a friend releases a new album!  Argentine composer (now residing in England) Santiago Fradejas offers an experimental music album composed on an 8-string electric guitar and loops, making a soundscape album that is, at times, Fripperesque.  It’s dark, but not foreboding, and gently flows in and out of consciousness.  A headphone album for sure.

  • Music

    Ragnar Ólafsson – Urðarþráður

    I had the pleasure of meeting multi-instrumentalist Ragnar Ólafsson in Bulgaria when he was performing with the Icelandic post-rock group Árstíðir many years ago. Every now and again, I see his name pop up and I came across this gorgeously-sung single track he released in May of this year. From his Bandcamp site: Urðarþráður means “the thread of Urður. The name refers to one of the three primary norns (witches) in Norse mythology, responsible for shaping the course of human destines. Uður is believed to sit at the foot of Yggrasil, the tree of the world, spinning the thread of…

  • Music

    Felix Laband – The Soft White Hand

    Compost Records continues to please my ears, this time releasing the latest album of South African composer Felix Laband, who works somewhere in the center of a dance/experimental/collage triangle.  The music is ever-evolving, never boring, and blessed with a pleasant beat.