• Music

    Various Artists – Audion Magazine #36 (Multimedia)

    I had a good friend whom I worked with at a record shop in Los Angeles called Dana, who was probably 20 years my senior or so, and he was always amazed at how I managed to retain so much information at a young age (I was 23 when I met him) about prog, psych and other weird musics.  I told him it was simple – I had family who liked weird things, and I bought Audion Magazine quarterly without fail for many years. I’m very happy to see the Freeman Brothers, who are responsible for this magazine and Ultima…

  • Music

    Chick Corea – Return to Forever

    A legend has passed.  Return To Forever was my gateway drug to 70s jazz fusion, opening the door to discovering the band bearing the same name, Miles Davis at the peak of his powers (at least for my taste), the majesty of Weather Report, and delving back into Chick Corea’s back catalog. Corea died of a rare form of cancer at the age of 79.  May his memory be eternal.

  • Music

    Li Daiguo (李帶菓) – Xiao Gong (笑功)

    French label WV Sorcerer Productions 巫唱片 offers up a quiet, pulsating drone album from American-Taiwanese-Chinese composer Li Daiguo.  As far as experimental music goes, this is dark and foreboding in a far more organized way that what I’m used to hearing.  Quite a fine effort.

  • Music

    Joseph Benzola – When You Get to Saturn, Make a Left.

    I cannot think of any genre of music percussionist and composer Joseph Benzola doesn’t sound comfortable working in.  There might be some bizarre concoction lying dormant in the underground somewhere, but it’s not worth wasting one’s time thinking much about. This collection puts together what sounds something similar to Balinese percussion on the first track, Improv 24 November 2019, and then smoothly transitions to atonal piano music, then some improvisational music, and so on. The variation of styles, and how well everything meshes together, is impressive. Hints of Alban Berg, Sun Ra, jazz played at a bar over a scotch…

  • Music

    Sublamp – Lianas

    French imprint Eilean Records was a truly remarkable label with 100 releases of ambient and related musics.  I was going through my collection today and came across this album I purchased sometime in 2018. Sublamp is a fellow Los Angelino, Ryan Conner, who is a sound and video artist by profession.  This work, like all of his titles, is a record about an imaginary space, a soundtrack for a non-existent territory, if you will.  It’s a meditative piece perfect for headphone listening, and it’s one that I hope inspires you to dig deeper into Eilean Records‘ back catalog.

  • Music

    Vedan Kolod – Gorodische

    Vedan Kolod are a troupe based in Moscow, Russia, who do sterling work interpreting medieval Russian folkloric music, especially Siberian tunes, with a modern twist.  The label, CPL, is run by my friend and colleague, Christian Pliefke, whose taste in artists is impeccable, and every release he’s curated for his imprint has been solid listening. From the promo onesheet:   With their release, Gorodische, Russian folk ensemble Vedan Kolod strive to make traditional folk songs from very different parts of their country accessible to a wider public. The vast majority of the songs are going back several centuries and have…

  • Music

    Rüstəm Quliyev – Azerbaijani Gitara

    Rüstəm Quliyev’s story is one of tragedy.  First, he was born in the Nagorno-Karabach area of Azerbaijan (contested by Armenia as recently as last year, where a small war was fought over the territory).  The fighting was so bad in Quliyev’s youth that he had to flee. He would move to Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, where his music blossomed into a mix of local Azeri music, psych, progressive rock, and whatever else his rapacious appetite for music all over the world could be fit into each composition.  His releases could be bought as far afield as Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan,…

  • Music - Music Promo

    [Promo] Sahel Sounds Label Sampler 3

    From Sahel Sounds: We are excited to share with you our latest Name Your Price sampler, Sahel Sounds Label Sampler 3. This year’s features a mix of tracks from recent releases by the likes of Wau Wau Collectif and Tidiane Thiam, some deep cuts from our Agrim Agadez and Balani Show Super Hits compilations, fan favorites from our back catalog, and a sneak peek at new material by Luka Productions. Our hope is that this sampler can serve as an introduction to those new to the Sahel Sounds discography, as well as a deeper dive for long-time fans. Enjoy! 1. Etran de L’Aïr – Etran Hymne from Etran de…

  • Music

    Departure Street – Everybody’s Leaving

    From the bio: Allan J. Kimmel (aka Departure Street) is an American/French solo electric guitarist based in Paris France. He plays alternative ambient and neo-folk music with shoegaze & American blues underpinnings. I could not have said it more succinctly.  This is not my first time reviewing Allan’s wonderful guitar work.  I featured his previous release, Two Islands In The Heart, in March of 2020. This album is one filled with clouds of guitar ambiance which relaxes and doesn’t get too much in the way of one’s thoughts.  There continues to be a shoegaze or very minimalistic indie rock-flavored guitar…

  • Music

    Tom Carter – Beautiful Saviour

    Tom Carter was the guitarist of improvisers Charalambides, one of the heirs of fine Texas psychedelia.  His new album, Beautiful Savior, comes as a pleasant, hopeful respite after being inundated by moronic ‘devil’-related titles.  Is this an acid-Christian album?  Who knows?  The tones from this album speak for themselves. The music is beautiful, sparse and has a hazy, relaxed feel to it.  It clocks in at around 30 minutes, which is far too short for enjoying such a blissfully folky album which reminds me so much of John Fahey.