GloryLand by PLYXY

PLYXY | GloryLandHallow Ground (12″/DL) There is something fairly old-hat about describing an aesthetic creation as ‘beautiful’, and to do so feels somewhat at odds with my distinctly post-modern roots. Contemporary works of art are surely beyond the consideration of beauty, a category that feels as though it should be consigned forever to the dustbin of romanticism.  And yet, for all of that, despite our ingrained knowledge of the peaks and throughs of modern art, beauty recurs. PLYXY’s GloryLand is beautiful – achingly beautiful, melancholically beautiful, and though it is often so much more than a simple aesthetic pleasantry, it … Continue reading GloryLand by PLYXY

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Sleepless Arcade by アロキン

アロキン | Sleepless ArcadeSpettro Rec (DL) Crikey – vapourware.  Even if that word alone is normally enough to send you running to the hills, you may find you are pleasantly surprised by the strange world of Sleepless Arcade.  The idea that vapourware relies upon a certain cultural contextualisation – indeed, that it is first and foremost a humorous exploration of the intersect between technology and mass (read: crass) media  – goes without saying. Yet アロキン (Arokin) takes a somewhat more decisive approach by introducing several further layers to the proceedings.   Like so much of its genre, there is something inherently … Continue reading Sleepless Arcade by アロキン

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Igitur Carbon Copies by Reinier van Houdt

Reinier van Houdt | Igitur Carbon CopiesHallow Ground (LP/DL) Reinier van Houdt’s Igitur Carbon Copies is not so much one album as two – what is ostensibly a somewhat heavy-handed exercise in gothic aesthetics, hides beneath its surface a nuanced exploration of compositional structure that, like many complex works, only reveals its true beauty with the application of patience and time.  At first listen it might be tempting to write it off as an emulatory album of gothic aficionado – and in many ways it is – yet there is far more at stake than it initially seems. Reach past … Continue reading Igitur Carbon Copies by Reinier van Houdt

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Jean Genet Quatre heures à Chatila by Pharoah Chromium

Pharoah ChromiumJean Genet – Quatre heures à Chatila  Not On Label (7″) There exists a certain tension between politics and art, a dichotomy that on the one hand suggests all art is political, in so far as it seeks to elicit change (mood, opinion, stance, perspective) within its perceiver, whilst on the other claims that such realms are so distinct as to render the infusion of one with the other an impossibility. The philosopher Jacques Ranciere argued that self-stated ‘political-art’ is not really art at all – that through its explicit political objective, it loses the intangible and amorphous quality that … Continue reading Jean Genet Quatre heures à Chatila by Pharoah Chromium

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Hence by Oren Ambarchi & Jim O’Rourke

Oren Ambarchi & Jim O’Rourke w/U-zhaanHence – Editions Mego (LP/DL) Jim O’Rourke and Oren Ambarchi’s latest collaboration begins with a 10 minute jam that serves to clearly articulate the sonic palette that’ll be used throughout the rest of the album. There is a distinct ‘world-music’ vibe to the whole affair, an approach that points to some unspecified otherness and that, without perhaps meaning to, is entirely reminiscent of the signifier for general ‘foreignness’ used in so many lazy movie soundtracks. Though holding almost god-like status in their field, it is clear by now that the composers nonetheless have an exceedingly … Continue reading Hence by Oren Ambarchi & Jim O’Rourke

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I Wish You Could by Celer

Celer | I Wish You Could Constellation Tatsu (CS/DL) It is virtually impossible to consider any work by Celer in complete isolation, such is the omnipresence of his musical output. With over 100 releases spanning a period of 15 years, there is some inevitable crossover between each work, and the composer has concocted such a defined and personal sonic tapestry that his name alone conjures up a highly specific ambient tableau. In the case of I Wish You Could, however, such pre-emptive expectations are somewhat collapsed by a work that both invokes and exceeds any prior understanding of what a … Continue reading I Wish You Could by Celer

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Susan’s Last Breath Became the Chill in the Air and the Fog Over the City’s Night Sky by Ian Wellman

Ian Wellman | Susan’s Last Breath Became the Chill in the Air and the Fog Over the City’s Night Sky Dragons Eye Recordings (DL) Ian Wellman’s debut album, Susan’s Last Breath Became the Chill in the Air and the Fog Over the City’s Night Sky, exists at the nexus of the pleasant and the problematic. All breathy ambience and city-scape field recordings, Wellman constructs an entirely palatable sonic tableau, yet it is one that struggles to offer anything new to the already well-marked conceptual path that it treads. Your enjoyment of Wellman’s work will no doubt depend upon whether you … Continue reading Susan’s Last Breath Became the Chill in the Air and the Fog Over the City’s Night Sky by Ian Wellman

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