• Music

    Stijn Hüwels & Tomoyoshi Date – 遠き火、遠き雲’ ​(​A Distant Fire​,​ A Distant Cloud)

    laaps Records is a French label releasing quality ambient music.  This one seems to be their latest, a calming wash of sounds composed by Belgian composer Stin Hüwels in collaboration with the Brazilian-Japanese composer and sound artist (and emergency room doctor!) Tomoyoshi Date. The music is a mix of organic and electronic sounds, gentle plonking tones, and a very, very relaxed atmosphere.  This could be music to sleep to, and I mean this as a high compliment. From their Bandcamp site: 遠き火、遠き雲 (Tōki Hi, Tōki Kumo / A Distant Fire, A Distant Cloud) is the second collaboration by Tomoyoshi Date and…

  • Music

    Various Artists – The Hired Hands: A Tribute to Bruce Langhorne

    We will be celebrating Memorial Day with my family today, and in honor of the holiday, we offer up this compilation dedicated to American guitarist Bruce Langhorne, who influenced so many indie musicians that it’s a wonder so few outside of this select club have heard of him. Byron Coley, whose writing influenced my music selection so much in the 1990s when he wrote for Forced Exposure, then a magazine, now a wonderful distributor of weird music, speaks warmly about Bruce in this essay he contributed for this compilation: An Introduction to Bruce Langhorne Greil Marcus has often written about…

  • Music

    The Myrrors – Borderlands

    While reading an excellent blog called The Fragmented Flâneur (I highly recommend subscribing to it, psych fans), I came across a review from a band whose words I admire a lot, but had forgotten about.  The Myrrors are an outfit from Tuscon, Arizona who manage to blend together the noisiness of White Heaven, the hypnotic dirges of Ghost or even modern masters like Kikagaku Moyo, and a violin, adding a touch that would have fit in perfectly with the Third Ear Band. Invest a few moments reading The Fragmented Flâneur’s review and then sink into these otherworldly tracks. It’s worth…

  • Music

    Sailcloth – Woodcut

    A pleasant find.  Alex Luquet, the aforementioned Sailcloth, is an American composer based in Pennsylvania who works with a double bass, synthesizers and guitar which, in turn, produce engaging drone-scapes.  The tones are rich, easy to get lost in (you might be picking up on a theme in that I really enjoy letting my mind wander to music – it is the best sort of music for me), and he’s joined by musicians who really seem to be in sync with his playing.  The personnel include: Alex Luquet: upright bass, keyboards, synthesizers, guitars Felicia Vee: drums on Red Woods, guitar…

  • Music

    Samo Salamon & Hasse Poulsen – String Dancers

    Musicians never cease to amaze me.  Despite the horrible conditions which have led to worldwide lockdown, artists like Samo Salamon, a guitarist out of Slovenia, and Hasse Poulsen, originally from Denmark, manage to weave together an acoustic guitar-only album of improvisations that don’t sound like what you normally associate with “improv.”  It’s a mellow album, and though there was a distance between the two musicians, they ping-ponged tracks back and forth to each other, growing and molding each tune until the final product was crafted.  It’s a stunningly relaxing album.  Those words should not go together under normal circumstances, but…

  • Music

    Various Artists – Haute Culture: A Rough Guide To Russian Contemporary Jazz Music

    Dave Summer penned an article on the state of Russian jazz today, and one of the featured releases was a compilation of artists featured on the Rainy Days record label.  This is a great way to explore these innovators, including saxophonists Azat Bayazitov and Andrew Krasilnikov, bassist Makar Novikov, drummer and percussionist Sasha Mashin and pianists Evgeny Ponomarev and Evgeny Sivtsov.  The jazz is hot, never boring, and will be a welcome addition to those of you who are wondering what’s worth exploring in the genre.

  • Music

    Nick Sudnick – Opera Of The Eleventh Hour

    St. Petersburg, Russia-based composer Nick Sudnick has had a storied career as the main protagonist of the of the art-rock group Zga.  I had the pleasure of working with him for one reissue in another life. He is still very much involved with music, and has been releasing an incredible series of albums recently.  As I understand it, he’s creating operas based on each hour of the day.  The latest installment is for the Eleventh Hour, and base material for this project include motifs derived from pharmacies, medical encyclopedia, online mental health forums and so on. This will appeal heavily…

  • Music

    UUTAi – Dope

    Some years ago I had the pleasure of coming across a Sakha (Yakutia)-based singer called UUTAi who left me a bit stunned and gobsmacked, as I had never seen such a wild performance with wailing and Jew’s harp.  Going forward a few years, one of my dear colleagues and friends in Siberia, Daryana, presented this album to me, and it’s a more focused, restrained and quirky affair. I would think that a label like Real World would be quite interested in this, as it definitely presents Yakut music in a favorable light, but it supplemented with electronic music that actually…

  • Music

    Valerio Orlandini – Syntagmata

    Valerio Orlandini is a sound designer and composer from Firenze, Italy whose work reminds me of that of artists like French electroacoustic music composers like François Bayle or Michel Chion.  It is, of course, dark, nearly claustrophobic, music.  Yet it has a nice cinematic feel to it.  He’ll be worth watching and listening to as the years pass.

  • Music

    UBURGRUND – Dionelos

    At least as I am able to understand it, UBURGRUND is a graphic artist and composer who hails from Băicoi, Romania.  This release is inspired, in part by the Romanian modern surrealist author Mircea Cărtărescu and his magnum opus, Solenoid. I have not had a chance to read the book yet, but from what I am hearing from a dear seraphim in Bucharest, he is as worthy as read as he is weird. You can read more about this work here. This album was released by our friends at Kalamine Records, and, as expected, it maintains their high standard of…