Soft Cell | Keychains and Snowstorms Mercury Records/UMC (9xCD + DVD + BK; DL + Streaming) An Exhaustive Survey. And I mean the good kind of exhaustion, the type that comes with an exhilarating batch of unexpected goodies – not the kind that has been seen in similar burnt-out 80’s boxes of late. I realize this may not be something you may expect to find in these pages, however, stay with me here, these guys really were outsiders whose quickly (if short-lived) rising star just happened to coincide with the earliest era of MTV where you may have spied a … Continue reading Keychains and Snowstorms Box by Soft Cell
t.r. hand & Glauber K.S. | Suburban Solitude Submarine Broadcasting Company (CD+BK/CD/DL) Never judge a book by it’s cover (thanks to The G.o.B. Design Bureau who arranged the coverart) until you’ve peeled back the pages some as I’ve dived right into this lengthy new release by duo t.r. hand (UK) and Glauber K.S (Glauber Kiss de Souza of Brazil). Suburban Solitude is the first collab of unique drone for these young gents. It’s an amalgamation of field recordings, gravelly bass low rumbling, and various standard instruments. The mix is dingy and thick throughout Traffic Ritual with random voices talking, laughing. The guitar … Continue reading Suburban Solitude by t.r. hand & Glauber K.S.
Alvin Lucier | Illuminated by the Moon Black Truffle + ZHdK Records (Box Set: 4xLP + CD + BK) Alvin Lucier hardly needs an introduction as one of the pivotal minimalist composers in the crossover between the 20th + 21st Century. This “Second Edition” of Illuminated by the Moon as printed on back of box, is hand-numbered in 500 copies (on 180 gram vinyl), comes with a gorgeously illustrated 120pp book – the Swiss publisher Züricher Hochschule der Kunste pairing with Oren Ambarchi’s incredible Black Truffle imprint has done a superb job on this set, delivering striking historical content. Since 1952 … Continue reading Illuminated by the Moon by Alvin Lucier
Eisuke Yanagisawa | Path of the Wind Gruen (CD/DL) The unprocessed field recordings of Eisuke Yanagisawa were made all around Japan (2014-17) using Aeolian Harps (a stringed wind harp). On his fourth solo record since 2009, Path of the Wind includes seven tracks with a run time of over forty minutes, each named after their location or single subject as titled. Kyoto-based Yanagisawa is an ethnographer and filmmaker as well. The recording begins with Ferry Passing. It’s amazing to think that he is basically placing the instrument, in-situ, and it is able to channel the air and natural environment in … Continue reading Path of the Wind by Eisuke Yanagisawa
aufabwegen50. ausgewaehlte geraeusche – Various Artists DEGEM CD 15: XV – Various Artists RECOMMENDED: The German/Swiss Auf Abwegen imprint run by publisher/curator Till Kniola (Köln) and Christian Bláha (Zürich) semi-regularly releases some of the best abstract/experimental music on earth while maintaining a schedule of live gigs/events.They tend to the vast discography archives of the preeminent composer Asmus Tietchens, for instance. In between 2016-17 they released two incredible compilations that, since I was taking some much needed respite while working on my book, only recently came to my attention. And though we do not review compilations, it would be regrettable not … Continue reading Two Superb Auf Abwegen Comps
Controlled Bleeding Blistered Bags of Fodder Swaying (Artoffact; 10xCD & Book) In a major flashback here arrives a copious collection of ten discs of the 1980’s work of NY’s preeminent experimental outfit, Controlled Bleeding. In continuous operation since 1978, their sound has swayed, shifted and otherwise transformed, though the band has always remained outside the edge of the mainstream. And remain so, even through the eyes of today’s artist’s (ie: Carving Songs, 2017, Artoffact Records). Like other acts with similar origins such as Nurse With Wound, Einstürzende Neubauten, Pere Ubu, The Residents and to a lesser extent Ministry, their under-the-radar-ness … Continue reading Blistered Bags of Fodder Swaying by Controlled Bleeding
Today I’m looking at the latest book/cd project by Jason Kahn, all the way from Switzerland. Here is Voice and Sky on Kahn’s Editions label. The 70pp book (5.5″ x 6″) includes color images of the artist’s installation, and on location, as well as short stylized prose set like concrete poetry. The disc includes 27 tracks with a 67 minute running time, consisting of taped field recordings and intriguing voice contortions, all created by Kahn. Each track is named for the in-situ location in which it was made. At times the voice seems to awkwardly mimic the action, gasping for … Continue reading Voice and Sky by Jason Kahn