• Music

    Southeast of Rain (东南有雨) – 42 Days (四十二天)

    Sophia Shen and Lemon Guo work together as Southeast of Rain (东南有雨), an electroacoustic/field recording project based in the United States, with one living in New York and the other living in the San Francisco Bay area. The album is the result of 42 days of mixing avant-garde experimental music, natural sounds, traditional Chinese instruments and improvisational techniques and sublime vocal work into a gentle, though very experimental album. I request this of everyone, but specifically of my former students in Beijing – take the time to listen to this.  It is a stunningly beautiful piece of work.

  • Music

    Various Artists – Anthology Of Exploratory Music From India

    India is a country with such an embarrassingly rich musical history that it boggles the mind as to how good it is, and it’s not merely their traditional music.  Jazz, pop, progressive rock, metal and everything else you can imagine seems to flourish there, yet there is only one problem.  There is very little effort exerted to spread their fine music culture outside their borders in the way, say, South Korea or Japan have. As this blog is focusing more on outside music, Budhaditya Chattopadhyay and our friend Raffaele Pezzella have compiled a list of the best experimental musicians from…

  • Music

    Thierry Zaboitzeff – Séquences

    As a cellist, bassist, composer and former member of Art Zoyd, I’d venture to say that Thierry Zaboitzeff needs no introduction.  However, what I didn’t know about him over these past few years was that he has been active making soundtracks. This particular one is for the movie Winds of Sand, Women of Rock, which is a film about a group of Tubu women traveling the Sahara Desert selling dates in Agadez, Niger.  The film looks fascinating, but the music is equally so, bringing to mind a lot of modern minimalist composers (the usual suspects, like Philip Glass and Michael…

  • Music - Spotify

    Alexei Aigui & Ensemble 4’33” – Palimpsest

    A debt of thanks is owed to Alexei Aigui, a friend of this blog as well as one of Russia’s finest composers and violinists.  He and his troupe, Ensemble 4’33” bring a sweeping cinematic album which will appeal to those who enjoy composers like Steve Reich, Michael Nyman, and also more interesting aspects of progressive rock (think bands like the Penguin Café Orchestra or even a far lighter Samla Mammas Manna, played with joy). I’ve spent a good deal of time these last few days listening to more heavy music, so Palimpsest is something of an indulgence for me.  It’s…

  • Music

    Biliana Voutchkova – Seeds Of Songs

    This release is a double introduction of sorts for me; first, for the chance to finally delve into a full recording of the work of Biliana Voutchkova, an interdisciplinary artist, violinist, performer, composer, improviser and curator from one of the countries I most enjoy visiting, Bulgaria (though she is based in Berlin these days). Second, it is nice to see that Café OTO in London have opened a record label called Takuroku. Considering that the venerable café has hosted so many musicians of exquisite quality throughout the years, it seems fitting that they would give a platform to someone as…

  • 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

    George Christian – África em mim

    Our friend and colleague George Christian Vilela Pereira has released an album that I could only describe as mellow strumming psychedelic noise with elements of Krautrock and instrumental psych that one could have found in Japan in the late 70s and early 80s.  The lo-fi feel of the recording adds to the hazy pleasantness of this album. According to George Christian’s notes, this is a paean to the African influence in Brazil and on his music.  He explains it clearly here: This album came up with a basic motivation in mind: to show how much Africa there is in my…

  • Music

    Various Artists – That Sounds Greek To Me | Apr 27 | Muses & Sirens

    First, a debt of thanks goes to Dimitris Tsironis who took the time to send me this compilation for review.  His label, 1tracktape, is doing a great service exposing Greek experimental and avant-garde music to the world, and the quality of this compilation is superb.  What’s more, the label is unique in that it releases albums every New Moon and (most of) Full Moon dates.  I can’t say I’ve heard of any other labels maintaining such a specific schedule, so each moon that pops up will be an opportunity to check out what new releases Mr. Tsironis has in store for…

  • Music

    Various Artists – Anthology Of Experimental Music From China

    I don’t do top-ten lists, and I don’t ever plan on doing that in the future, but things can change at any moment.  Still, if I had to nominate a favorite record label at this moment, there’s no doubt it would be Italy’s Unexplained Sounds Group.  Each compilation is a tour guide of experimental music from select parts of the world.  This one is near and dear to me, as China was and shortly will be my home for quite a while, and Raffaele Pezzella does yeoman’s work documenting what is happening in the Middle Kingdom experimental-music-wise. Here are some…