With COVID-19 waiting outside our door, it's incredibly hard for me to do regular posts. I am a teacher and my job has been indefinitely closed so I'm at home, but me and my wife and disinfecting the house all day to protect our baby boy, and when I go out twice a week to shop we follow a fucking protocol with clothes, gloves, bags and disinfect all shopped products. Plus, I have to do skype lessons so no time left. Thus, any time I am able to post anything, it will probably be without any comments/review thing. Here's Coil's unreleased tracks from the majestic Astral Disaster. 2018 LP on Prescription.
This is an Italian guy playing music dedicated to driving on highways and listening to the radio. He uses analog synths and samples from a Napoli radio station airing love notes from prisoners. There's narrative ambient music with a very miserable tone (ain't the title implying suicide?), that reminds me of Croatian Amor and that whole Danish scene slightly. I quite like it. 2019 tape on Aught Void.
An extended line-up of United Bible Studies featuring international musicians and playing spacey ambient reminding me of my old Sega Master System video games like R-Type with great combinations of fragile medieval folk. 2019 tape on Sloow Tapes.
I have recently bought a new turntable as my old one broke down and the other one I have is hundreds of miles away at my parents' house. I decided to buy this AKAI ATT-E10 portable player with an internal preamp (https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B001KXAERU/ref=cm_cr_arp_mb_bdcrb_top?ie=UTF8), both because it was relatively cheap and because it is small, doesn't take up too much space and supposedly records lps through a usb port.
At first I was positive about as the sound is quite good even through its small built-in speakers. But I was quickly disappointed as it records at 64 kbps (yes you will tell me "dude you have posted about how great shit quality MP3s are" but I'll reply that "not everyone is Godflesh") without that being mentioned in the specifications or even in any reviews I read! So, I connected it to my laptop with a dual RCA red-white cable only to discover that it makes incredibly much clipping, even if I turn the mic level to zero.
So, my odyssey starts. I tried another RCA cable, nothing. I tried a better soundcard, nothing. I had my father sent me my other player's adaptor connected to my hi-fi to bypass it, nothing. I was told at an electronics shop to do the grounding, nothing as I can't really see any grounding cable in the player's interior. A reader of the blog asked an uncle of his to provide his advice, which was that nothing can be done An electronics engineer friend of me spent hours tried to find a solution, still nothing, which leaves me with the only option still not employed, which is to try an external pre-amp. I can find cheap ones, but I'm afraid it will be even bigger loss of money, so I'm tentative about it.
That's why I turn to you dear readers, asking you to please give me your own advice. If I can finally manage to make it work, I promise to share some really amazing lps that I have never seen posted anywhere.
Extremely lysergic and depressive solo music project by Brecht Ameel of Razen/Het Interstedelijk Harmoniumverbond, mixing lute (played through delay and chorus!) and found sounds. Few recordings can sound as grey and lonely as this. 2019 tape on Sloow Tapes.
Het Interstedelijk Harmoniumverbond is a group formed by Brecht Ameel of Razen with Steve Marreyt (Edgar Wappenhalter) of Silvester Anfang, Glen Stenkiste of Silvester Anfang/Sylvester Anfang II and David Edren of Brahmen Raag, with all of them playing harmonium, creating an unending flow of drone. 2019 LP on (K-RAA-K)³.
I love it how Razen mixes seemingly incompatible genres, with Middle/Central Eastern sounds always having a very prominent role, but here with an accentuated emphasis on drone, psychedelic electronics, atonal, classical and even a slightly Irish folk track ("Rust Constellation 11). 2014 2XLP on (K-RAA-K)³.
Been coming back to their website for years expecting a new release and yes, finally after six years. I mean I've changed jobs since their last album. Ok, they aren't ever going to release something as majestically unsettling as Sunset Mission or Black Earth, but this is as dirge jazz/blues/ambient as it could get after the smoothet Piano Nights. There are some surprise additions too, like more hammond organ, the weird Goblin-like synth on the title track, the horror chillout synths and beats on "Vergessen & Vorbei" and the baritone guitar parts are the closest ever to their original output as Bohren. Since I always work evenings, a new Bohren album will get lots of spins in the car. 2020 cd on PIAS/Ipecac.
Razen is a Belgian group playing a mix of Middle-East/Central-Asian folk music with drone/ambient and experimental electronics. No, they don't have any new age shit, nor are they part of the ethereal ambient scene. Their music is dark and ecstatic, devotional and psychedelic. On this tape they employ heavily tabla, reed instruments and a droning instrument that sounds either like the sarangi or Indian harmonium. Highly recommended. 2014 tape on House Of Alchemy.
A friend of mine who doesn't listen to experimental or noise music (actually he doesn't really listen to music) mentioned The Caretaker the other day, and that he liked the concept behind, saying that he loved the ballroom samples (he's a fan of Soviet music) and that he was attracted by the The Shining references. So, I thought to share the complete EverywhereAt The End of Time opus for him, along with the afterword to it Everywhere, An Empty Bliss (which The Caretaker shared for free on his bandcamp), in admiration of one of the most imaginative and original conceptual ideas in experimental music, both in terms of narrative and development of music content. But you should really go to his bandcamp and pay a mere 5 quid for it. 2016-2019 LPs on History Always Favours The Winners.
A 2007 live recording in Rochester and I love how these are three side-projects of the then-Wolf Eyes line-up (Nate Young-Demons, Mike Connely-Failing Lights, and John Olson-Graveyards) without Wolf Eyes performing. The highlights are the sinister noisebient of Demons and the dark-as-fuck free jazz/improv of Graveyards. 2007 tape on American Tapes.
I sometimes wonder how I have never posted any music by Aidan Baker, as I have uploaded some of his stuff to share here but it somehow never worked out. So, in anticipation of the second installation of Invisible Cities (which I pre-ordered the vinyl of and I am eagerly waiting-the full album is online now and sounds sublime!) here's the first one. It's a collaboration with bass clarinetist Gareth Davis, who is a member of the drone band A-Sun Amissa (their latest album For Burdened And Bright Light is excellent), and it really is one of the highlights of Baker's work, which in my opinion is sometimes hit-or-miss, both with his namesake recordings, and as Nadja (I still think that the Pyramids/Nadja album is his best ever). The music is ECM-quality thanks to the clarinet sounds of Davis, but Baker's drones, ambient soundscapes and field recordings are deeply enveloping and very evocative. It's really one of those albums to listen to on a coach travelling long distances at night or while visiting ancient sites. Highly recommended. 2018 LP on Karlrecords.
An awesome side project of Nate Young with Alivia Zivich and Steve Kenney playing psychedelic destroyed ambient/noise. This is cdr for their tour with Sick Llama and it contains five pieces of very deep space noise residing in the heads of zombies. 2010 cdr on AA Records.
John Olson's great free improv/minimal jazz project with Ben Hall and Hans Buetow under a slightly different moniker. Suffered reeds by Olson, drum/percussion caresses and chaos by Hall and double-bass drones by Buetow. 2007 cdr on Maim & Disfigure.
This is like a precursor to their supreme collaboration on Blizzard. Turman's side is a cacophonous mix of inverted jazz and recorded speeches, while Dilloway performs a track of dictaphone splurge and gamelan-like dizziness. 2008 tape on Hanson.
Heinz Holliger's Beiseit / Alb-Chehr was the first ECM-released recording I had ever heard and I still spin it quite often. In this recording, Holliger tracks are interwoven with tracks by Romanian composer György Kurtág, many of which are sung by a soprano singer. The tone of Holliger's oboe is unmistakable and the atmosphere here is so fragile and wintry, that it makes you just need to lie down and listen to this without doing anything. Superb. 2019 cd on ECM.
Crazy collaboration between MC Dalek and Mike Mare of Dalek, Mats Gustafsson and Fire!'s drummer Andreas Werllin and Hans-Joachim Irmler of Faust, giving an expanded sense in the 2000s collaborations between Faust and Dalek. This is dirgy and super-dark and combines the best of Dalek's industrial/ambient hip hop, Faust's motorik psychedelia and the free jazz madness of Fire! and Gustafsson's sax torture. 2018 cd on RareNoise Records.