• Music

    Tommy Guerrero – Sunshine Radio

    Tommy Guerrero’s music came to me via a recommendation of a friend online.  I had heard his name bandied about years ago because of friends of mine who were into skateboarding, but I had no idea he was making music.  And such good music, I must say. The album is full of instrumental psychedelic tracks.  According to Tommy, influences such as Ethio-Jazz, Afrobeat and spiritual jazz inflect the album, and you can hear this from the first few notes.  This is one I’ll be coming back to frequently.

  • Music

    Schloss Tegal – Musick From Madness

    Schloss Tegal have a storied history in post-Industrial, ritualistic and experimental music.  The duo of Richard Schneider (based in Prague) and MWBurch (based in New York) developed a body of work on their own, drawing from some extremely dark places, as well as collaborating with musicians like Aube from Japan and the American experimental music composer John Duncan. Our friend and colleague Raffaele Pezzella is releasing and has remastered these cassette recordings and unreleased tracks into a very coherent album.  To learn more about the history of the band, and how this collaboration came to be, consider going to the…

  • Music

    JIM – Falling That You Know

    Considering how bad Top 40 music is, I never listen to the radio unless I’m subjected to such torture when I visit a mall or other public place of business.  Because I was doing some late night work related to China, I figured I would take a look at a link which popped up for the BBC radio program hosted by a lady whose name doesn’t come to mind right now, but who is on my Twitter feed, and it led me to hearing this track. JIM is the monicker of James Baron who was a member of an indie…

  • Music

    Onségen Ensemble – Fear

    I wish to thank my friend Slava, who is based in Kazakhstan, for introducing me into this avant-prog treasure.  The Onségen Ensemble are a Finnish group who have a rather open personnel, which is in keeping with their mission statement.  The sound is a mix of heavy progressive, psychedelic rock and a bit of raw, old-school metal.  I think a band like this would feel at home with American labels like Cuneiform Records, but they want to forge their own path, and it’s a very, very loud one.

  • Music

    Staritsa – Klyukva

    It seems the one place in the world where the dreaded term “World Music” is doing well is Russia, though my friends at Xango Music Distribution do a stellar job of selling some amazing artifacts. This project, Staritsa, hail from Prokhorovka, near the dead center of the country.  They, like other Russian bands I’ve had the pleasure of recommending, produce fine traditional folk which seems to be having a Renaissance of sorts.  Between this, the incredible improvisational and classical music scenes and the wonderful Orthodox hymnody being produced these days, I’d say Russian music is in good hands. Kudos to…

  • Music

    DidJaws – Home Made Techno EP

    DidJaws is a French lo-fi IDM producer who works with his compositions in an absolutely stripped-down manner, without the overproduction and cute tricks that some IDM-related artists rely on.  This feels raw, and the ideas coming out of these songs feel fresh.  Not a bad release at all, and it makes me wonder what work he could do with full production capability.  Let’s see how his work develops.

  • Music

    CAN – The Singles

    It looks like Mute Records are beginning to put more effort into their Bandcamp page, adding a lot of classic albums from their catalogue including licensed material from CAN, the legendary Krautrock band whose members all went on to do wonderful projects on their own. Though most readers here will have a favorite album they would rather feature (mine is Monster Movie), I’m posting this concentrating on my Chinese friends today so that they can sample what CAN were all about. The Singles is a decent introduction to their material.

  • Music

    Venus Berry – Shibari

    This is perhaps the coldest of cold wave releases I’ve ever had the pleasure of reviewing.  Venus Berry is the nom de plume of Anouk Allard, who is not only a musician but has a background in visual art.  Her style covers not only the aforementioned cold wave which the French seemed to dominate during the 1980s, but also aspects of modern synthwave, electro and a weird sort of avant-pop that reminded me of Isabelle Antena. She is joined on this album by Antoine Sapparrart on bass and Jules Méli on guitar.  Quite an enjoyable album.

  • Music - Spoken Word

    Steve Buscemi & Elliott Sharp – Rub Out The Word

    Few inside of the world of avant-garde music will not have heard of composer and multi-instrumentalist Elliott Sharp.  He has one of the most impressive bodies of work in experimental music.  This release is a very pleasant surprise for me, though, because, despite the wonders of Sharp’s music on its own merits, having actor and experimental theater veteran Steve Buscemi reading William S. Burroughs’ works just adds to the fun. From their Bandcamp site: Actor Steve Buscemi and composer/multi-instrumentalist Elliott Sharp collaborate on a new CD based on texts by William S. Burroughs. Two significant figures in the formation of…