• Music

    Hatis Noit – Aura

    Compared to the human voice, everything else is mimicry.  Hatis Noit is an Japanese artist working out of London whose experimental vocal works compare favorably to artists like Laurie Anderson and the ever-wonderful Anna Homler.  It’s a strangely soothing listen.

  • Music

    Jolanda Moletta – Full Moon Session

    Jolanda Moletta is an Berlin-based experimental vocalist who used to sing for the group She Owl.  This album features her gently eerie, comforting vocals and not much else.  To add to such glorious tones would be a crime.  Her voice is delightful as is.

  • Music

    Cathrine Legardh, Sigurdur Flosason – Stilhed & Storm

    Nordic jazz tends to be very warm in my experience.  This collection of original tunes by Danish singer Cathrine Legardh and her sparring partner on this album, alto saxophonist Sigurður Flosason, make an album with songs of love, live and even dogs.  It’s a mellow listen, something hotter than cool jazz, but measured in its playing.  A gorgeously relaxing disc. One additional note: I’ve picked up a few titles from the label that released this disc, Storyville Records.  They handle new music and reissues with great care and are a label absolutely worth supporting.

  • 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

    Youmna Saba – Arb’een (40)

    Lebanese singer and oudist Youmna Saba offers up 40, an album of experimental music, but not in the way you think. From her Bandcamp site: “”Arb‘een (40)” is a solo experiment in songwriting, challenging narrative structures and proposing alternative readings of time and continuity. It is rendered by use of oud and guitar, and vocals inspired by the circularity of the project’s recurrent themes. It borrows elements from the Arabic music tradition, and blends them with electronic treatments, sonic textures and loops.”

  • Music

    The Crossing – Carols after a Plague

    I knew nothing about the band The Crossing, but after seeing that a composition by drummer Tyshawn Sorey was featured, I thought it prudent to listen to that track and then to the whole album.  It is, unsurprisingly, a gorgeous, if dissonant, listening experience. From The Crossing’s Bandcamp site: “Throughout its history, the Philadelphia based contemporary chamber choir The Crossing, led by conductor Donald Nally, has championed works that address social, political, and environmental issues. So it is consistent with the group’s history and mission that their latest release, Carols After a Plague, takes a broad view of our collective…

  • Music

    The Bayan Mongol Variety Group – The Bayan Mongol Variety Group

    From Discogs.com and Light In The Attic Records: The Bayan Mongol Variety Group existed from the early ’70s to the late ’80s. After the collapse of the USSR, the ensemble began to experience serious difficulties with funding and booking concerts, and finally disintegrated, after which the participants lost contact with each other. Fortunately, thanks to efforts from the fans, some old contacts were reestablished, key records and sound sources were dug up, and now this historical record is released again. File under funk, jazz-rock, prog rock, or psychedelic rock. Reissued in cooperation with the band.

  • Music

    Kimilia – Chants d’un temps, ანუ ადრინდელი სიმღერები

    I can’t imagine there being traditional music more pleasant to the ear than that of Georgian polyphony.  Whether it is in an ecclesiastical setting or around the dinner table, the Georgians are incredible singers, and this particular band, Kimilia, do a phenomenal job interpreting songs that go as far back as to the country’s medieval period.  Stunning!