Today we are spinning a half dozen new records spanning a few continents. These have come to our attention from Australia, Brazil, the United Kingdom and the US. Five of these are produced by labels we are reviewing for the very first time, as we are always open to such exquisite, extreme and exotic introductions. A six-shooter of sweet diversions at the weekend. Consider this is our ‘speed round’ so buckle up, and don’t miss a beat.
Tarab | Housekeeping
Sonic Rubbish (CD/DL)
Consisting of two long tracks this clocks in at around thirty-eight minutes. An Arabic term (tarab) for the effect of music, Eamon Sprod has been stirring sounds since 2004. Here he plays on everyday domesticity as if a kitchen junk drawer were an instrument, at times it sounds that way quite literally. Gravelly microsound chatters and rumbles with overlaid field recordings of rummaging and sudden silences. Doors squeak, and spaces are invaded by voices, slamming and all sorts of rigorous activity. If you love noise in all its variables, from muted static to clamorous free-for-alls – this will be your cuppa.
Silt Ensemble & Michael Zerang | Follow The Light
Pink Palace (CD/DL)
A string quintet delivers a down low long-form composition by Michael Zerang that stays within a buzzsaw of shallow range drone for the first five minutes or so. The layers fall away and the protracted strings begin to emit fluctuating resonances that braid over and under each other. A warm-up moves toward intonated discord that plays like the streaming tail end of fireworks in faded slow motion. By the midpoint the players are heavy in conversation, all at once, in a bit of a bowing frenzy hoe-down. But in time there are fluid open pockets of space that open up and hint at swirling and short recycled harmonies.
Edo & Arnold | Faversham
Chemical Imbalance (CS/DL)
Convinced that this recording is a time capsule floating through space I’m completely mesmerized by the way it tells a story through electronics and sound samples. Drones, clock towers, static hiss, and bleary atmospherics are just the starting point here. An unexpected collaboration that syncs traditional instruments with varied sonics, the mood is sunken but colorful. They know when to keep the reverb steady and somber, and when to blend suspicious effects that lend to the goings-on. It’s tempered and mysterious. For a moment (Forest Outpost) I imagined a reincarnation of early Stereolab, but this has its own unique skin.
Citizen Electrical | Archive Spinoffs
Gertrude Tapes (LP/DL)
Playing with tragi-romantic motifs this sounds like the soundtrack to a poetic life. One that isn’t shy about branching off into mid 70’s cosmic fields of flight. This recalls countless evenings couch-surfing, binge watching TMC, catching up on classic black and white cinema. It’s spirited and peculiar, rhapsodic and slightly warped. This Citizen has perhaps invaded the Library of Congress, recycling shelves of classical titles, then slowing them down a few rpms to reinvent a recipe of haunted outcomes. The more introverted the better.
Orlando | Two Frames of Time
Pan y Rosas (DL)
Another recording made up of two long tracks. time zero opens with repeating, broken vocal gymnastics, syrupy sweet, animated, sinking and rising. This is bloated in sublime distortions that will make you smile as it plays out – innovative and bizarre. All the while a cycle of metered watery effects is deployed. (in)finite time is pretty much a continuation of the same piece minus the lil’ girl’s voice. Instead a series of industrialisms slowly permeate the space in a series of snapping, chugging and droning away at the time. In the final minutes the cycle unravels in a din of reverb and fade.
This record hints at abstract space disco with chunky beats that are cloddish and artless – and that is its charm. If you want to kick back to something altogether in its own field you may be game for Thomas Harris’ arcade stylings that bring the funk without the junk. This will please the ears of minimalists and those who have been burnt out too many times from the regurge of AOR frequencies — there are many wonderful contradictions here. This sounds like an esoteric blend of chill fallout with just a hint of techno pop flair, you can almost hear the open circuits fizzing out. Expect intermittent voices, blurpy synths and suspicious effects when you least expect them. This one will keep your ears bent.