Heavy The Eclipse by Clouds

Clouds | Heavy The EclipseElectric Deluxe (3xLP/DL) The Electric Deluxe label, run by Speedy J, has been on fire lately.  It released one of my favourite techno records of 2018, the slow-burning assault by JK Flesh.  This grinding, idiosyncratic take on dance floor music is evident on this new album by Scottish duo Clouds, who return to the label. Heavy The Eclipse is a collection that spans a wide range of styles, incorporating breakbeats, jungle riffs, abstracted techno and a healthy amount of sample mangling.  It’s a really manic approach, and the variety pays of on the album format.  Maximal … Continue reading Heavy The Eclipse by Clouds

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Reverberations 1 by Pauline Oliveros

Pauline Oliveros | Reverberations 1 Important Records (LP) It is always hard to speak the right words when it comes to talk about classics. The work of Pauline Oliveros has been seminal for the experience of every composer, listener or simple aficionado who put their interest in electroacoustic music. Being part of that new group of American composers she considerably steered away from the fashion that was common in Europe at that time, in Paris and Darmstadt, she led a way towards a music for the senses, the development of a new perceptual consciousness through the concept of Deep Listening. … Continue reading Reverberations 1 by Pauline Oliveros

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Red/Machinic Fantasies by Cecilia Lopez

Cecilia Lopez | Red/Machinic Fantasies XI Records (2xCD) Out in the very last days of 2018, the two discs that make up this complex set of works in one package come from Argentinian composer and artist, Cecilia Lopez. Along with four additional musicians Red/Machinic Fantasies brings with it squeals, squeaks and a whole lot of dizzying unease right from the top of the twenty-two minutes of Red: Desastres civiles. The whole atmosphere swirls around as if in limbo, but they are only getting warmed up. The hyper intimacy may be coming from the play with contact microphones and speakers, every … Continue reading Red/Machinic Fantasies by Cecilia Lopez

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Liminal Garden by Dolphin Midwives

Dolphin Midwives | Liminal Garden Beacon Sound (LP) The new record from singer/harpist Dolphin Midwives (Sage Fisher) arrives on Portland’s imprint Beacon Sound this Friday. Liminal Garden straddles psychedelic etherealism like the futuristic leftfield side of Björk yet untapped. The record is infused with Asian stringed melodies and electronic effect abstractions – all deeply steeped in sweet (dare I say) effeminate rhythm and the unexpected. After all its premise is so topical as the artist explains: “This album is about change, about finding beauty and acceptance in the fractured, broken and vulnerable places. It’s about integration, of all of my … Continue reading Liminal Garden by Dolphin Midwives

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Mesophase by Zack Clarke

Zack Clarke | Mesophase Clean Feed (CD) Listen (Spotify) The follow-up to his Random Acts of Order (also on Portugal imprint Clean Feed) is the brand-new effort, Mesophase, from NYC pianist/composer Zack Clarke. The lineup is as follows: Zack Clarke: piano and electronics Chris Irvine: cello Charlotte Greve: saxophone, clarinet, flute Nick Dunston: double bass Leonid Galaganov: percussion, waterphone, shakuhachi OK, so, from the start, the physics-based title comes from matter which is neither liquid nor solid…posing the ultimate question: what is it?  Well, it’s aptly between worlds, jazz, electronics, classical, tropical sound effects and more – just for starters. … Continue reading Mesophase by Zack Clarke

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Stances/Semblance by Ulex Xane

Ulex Xane | Stances/Semblance Cipher Productions (CD) Stances/Semblance (edition of 300) is both a forty-year retrospective of musique concrète and electroacoustic works of Ülex Xane (1975-2015) and my personal introduction to his work. Though I’ve been listening as long as he’s been making my tastes have shifted and evolved over time, as has his sound evidently. The Australian composer is known mostly for his work under the power electronics moniker of Streicher. But to me he was the founder of the brilliantly evocative and always wildly edgy Extreme imprint, for which I am indebted for initially introducing me to Fetisch … Continue reading Stances/Semblance by Ulex Xane

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Ricochet Lady by Alvin Lucier

Alvin Lucier | Ricochet LadyBlack Truffle (CD) Alvin Lucier’s I am Sitting in a Room is one of his most associated works, the concept of which uses the room itself to process and reform sounds.  The notion of different spaces impacting on the quality of the sounds inside has been explored often in the world of experimental composition since that piece, for example in Jacob Kirkegaard’s 4 Rooms, where he fed audio into abandoned spaces in Chernobyl’s “Zone of Alienation”. Here we find Lucier, the idea’s originator, again using various environments as aesthetic qualifiers on a composition for glockenspiel. Ricochet … Continue reading Ricochet Lady by Alvin Lucier

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