• Music

    Various Artists – Fly, Fly, You Hardened Arrow: Round Dance Songs of “Polish” Old Believers from Altai

    The now-legendary Antonovka Records have done astounding work documenting music from Russia’s myriad of ethnic communities.  This one is from the so-called “Polish” Old Believers in the Altai region.  From the label’s Bandcamp site: “The ancestors of the Altai “Polish” Old Believers were peasants of the Vetka-Starodub territory of the priestly Old Believers, who fled from the persecution of the authorities to the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and to the bordering area of the Starodub regiment as part of the Russia. Upon her accession to the throne, Catherine II invited the Old Believers to return to Russia with a manifesto. However, they…

  • Music

    Bana Haffar – Genera – Live at AB Salon, Brussels

    Touch Records has introduced so many experimental recording composers to the world in its 40 years of existence that it’s hard to keep up with them.  This latest release by Saudi-American composer Bana Haffar immediately spins a web for you to get tied into her shimmering compositions.  Found sounds and acoustic instruments feel and sound perfectly balanced, a feat made more impressive since this is a live recording.

  • Apps - Music

    Audirvāna

    No post today thanks to being under the weather, but I did want to recommend an app for those of you who like streaming your digital music files with a bit-perfect player.  I started using Audirvāna a month ago, and it’s made a huge difference in terms of listening quality.  It’s a bit pricey, and I opted to buy the app outright, but the sound quality is worth the price.

  • Music

    Kimi Djabaté – Dindin

    Cumbancha Records usually put out world-class music, but this one stood out rather brightly.  From Kimi Djabaté’s Bandcamp site: “Hailing from the country of Guinea-Bissau, gifted guitarist, percussionist and balafón (African xylophone) player Kimi Djabaté is one of Africa’s most exceptional talents. Now based in Lisbon, Djabaté has collaborated with Mory Kanté, Waldemar Bastos and Netos de Gumbé, and, most recently, the pop star Madonna on her single “Ciao Bella.” On Djabaté’s exceptional new album “Dindin,” the multitalented musician carries on the customs of his griot heritage, singing entrancingly about the complexity of life in modern Africa for a broad,…

  • Music

    Antti Lötjönen – Circus​/​Citadel

    Antti Lötjönen is a new name for me.  A bassist from Finland, his band absolutely swings and bops.  Perhaps it’s best to let him describe his latest album, Circus/Citadel, here on his Bandcamp site: “Antti Lötjönen says: “These compositions vary in terms of form and density, with each player having enough room to re-invent and expand on the music within the pieces. I wrote this music over a relatively brief time span. This, I think, is something you can also hear on the album, as the temporal closeness of the ideas brings with it a certain kind of unity. The…

  • Music

    Various Artists – Les Disques Bongo Joe: Solidarity With February 2023 Earthquake Victims

    The earthquake which has ravaged Turkey and Syria should not be forgotten about despite the blindingly fast news barrage we’re living through. The Swiss label Bongo Joe have offered this pay-what-you-like compilation featuring Derya Yıldırım & Grup Şimşek, Oldu O Zaman and Altın Gün, who have graciously given tracks to help this noble cause. Personally, if you would like to send more funds to Syria as well, consider using International Orthodox Christian Charities who have boots on the ground in the area.

  • Music

    Yury Markin – On a Large Scale

    I have to give full credit to legendary multi-instrumentalist Arkady Shilkloper for making mention of Yury Markin’s album on his Facebook feed on which he appears.  I’m familiar with how solid the Russian jazz/experimental record label Fancy Music is, and this latest release does not disappoint. From the label’s Bandcamp site: “Yury Markin is one of the leading Russian composers and jazz pianists, a student of the famous composer Rodion Shchedrin. The double album, coming out in the year of the 75th anniversary of the master, is truly historic. It presents large pieces, displaying the work of Yury Markin in…

  • Music

    Extremophiles – First Batch

    Extremophiles are a duo made up of Jeff Gburek on synthesizer, percussion, effects, devices and John Palumbo on electro-acoustic drums, percussion, and more electronics.  I have to say this release blew me away, as it reminded be of a cross between the crunchy post-punk/Rock-In-Opposition vibe of This Heat’s early work and the more Industrial, less dance-oriented sound of Deutsch-Amerikanische Freundschaft (DAF).  The music is fresh, but it will bring back a lot of memories for those of us who remember such sounds.

  • Music

    Juchify.com

    A friend passed this site along, and as North Korea is supposedly a die-hard Juche state, it surprised me that they actually have a streaming service for local music.  Because Bandcamp, Spotify and others may or may not be under pressure from Western governments to not allow this sort of thing on their platform (though they allow every other kind of oddity), it seems the North Koreans have made Juchify.com to satisfy the curiosity of foreigners like me as well as developing their own listener base at home.  Odd, but interesting.