MAGIC MIX

avant . leftfield . post-rock . drone . experimental

WEEK STARTING 5 Feb

Genre pick of the week Cover of Four Organs / Phase Patterns by Steve Reich.

Steve Reich

Four Organs / Phase Patterns

Steve Reich remains one of the most important figures in 20th century music. Though he studied at the prestigious arts institutions Julliard and Mills College, by the mid- 1960s Reich set about dismantling the very orthodoxy that he had been trained in. Forming a new musical language based on repetitive processes, Reich became established as part of the so-called “Big Four” of New York minimalists (along with La Monte Young, Terry Riley and Philip Glass). Reich’s influence can easily be seen today in both the classical world and contemporary pop music.

“Four Organs” is the ultimate minimalist composition. Performed by Reich, Glass, Art Murphy and Steve Chambers, four identical Farfisa organs strike a single chord and gradually lengthen each note to produce polyrhythms between the players. Anchored by Jon Gibson’s stoicallysteady pulse on maracas, the piece deconstructs its opening burst to a sustained mass of sound – stretching the tones to create (in Reich’s words) “slow-motion music.” Inspired by Reich’s early training on drums, “Phase Patterns” treats the keyboards like tuned percussion instruments: a basic rhythm pattern is played in unison and almost imperceptibly increases tempo to move out-of-sync. Each progressive cycle emphasizes unique figures that are not generated by an individual alone, but rather emerge from the communal expression of the group.

Originally released on Shandar in 1971, Four Organs / Phase Patterns is one of most highly regarded avant-garde recordings in the past 45 years. This release features cover photography by artist Michael Snow and is recommended for fans of Neu!, Glenn Branca and Tim Hecker.

Blood Sport

Axe To The Root

    Blood Sport: Trio. Keegan, Parkin & Potter. Drums, electronics, electric chordophone, baritone guitar, voice. Premiere ambassadors of sheffield’s aggro-beat sound. Audio propaganda from the UK’s ‘first city of sanctuary’. Mongrel soundclash pups of hi-nrg ‘tronics & afro-beat. Musical wing of northern underground party agitators ‘hybrid vigour’ Brothers-in-arms to tie dye tapes & the audacious art experiment. Shoe-less dancers. “A glorious fusion of opposing forces….. You never quite know if they are here to start the party or destroy it” (Loud And Quiet) 

    Grimes

    Geidi Primes - Arbutus Edition

    Grimes' debut LP 'Geidi Primes' has a strange air of being created unconsciously while the artist herself was asleep. It is a vastly intriguing set of pop tunes highlighted by its amazing ffth and sixth songs: “Avi” and “Feyd Rautha Dark Heart”, which are each frighteningly reminiscent of an unaccountable psychic experience you may have never had. As an album, it touches on many different tones without exploiting any.

    It manages to be playful without being precious, clean without being sterile, cryptic without being obscure, and operates in a deceptively complex melodic structure without calling attention to the artistry therein. It reminds one of being a small child, listening to adult contemporary radio in the back seat of your mother’s minivan when a special kind of song comes on. You are still maddeningly susceptible to the sympathetic rise and fall of a maternal voice, yet this is a different sort of mother, one more primeval and distant.

    Icily it falls over your entire body, begging for an escape you know you cannot give it. You are strangely moved. It seems like an album made for very tall people about what it’s like to be very small. It calls to mind the glowering of a child king amidst the many vestments and decorations of his coronation. Listening to Geidi Primes is what it’s like to suddenly realize you are being watched while taking a cold shower...on the moon.


    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Includes MP3 Download Code.

    Anna Homler And Steve Moshier

    Breadwoman & Other Tales

    'Breadwoman & Other Tales' are the collected recordings of a language arising. It is the sound and document of Anna Homler divining speech, lyrical fragments, and melody for music composed, mixed, and engineered by Steve Moshier. It’s 1982 and Anna is driving an ocean blue classic Cadillac to meet renowned poet and playwright Deena Metzger in Topanga Canyon, Los Angeles. Passing a non-descript desert patch where tall wheat and mustard flowers grow, Anna opens her mouth and sings in a salient stream of rhythmic, melodic sound. Breadwoman is born, but not by Immaculate Conception.

    For Homler, performance art had recently become “a form big enough to contain everything happening” during her studies with Rachel Rosenthal at Otis College of Art and Design. As this performative freedom fed into the enchanted vocalese, the character of Breadwoman emerged. Homler tread the same multidisciplinary waters where Steve Moshier and the Cartesian Reunion Memorial Orchestra (CRMO), a communal avant-garde urban chamber music ensemble formed in LA in 1979, floated. When their currents connected, it was clear Homler and Moshier were kin, crossing genres through intensely physical de-significations of music: quasi-theatrical, fully mythic, ritualistic performances. Instead of confining Anna as “a vocalist,” Moshier recognized Anna’s voice as a sonic element. To accomplish the recordings of this collection, Moshier chose the least song-like material from Homler’s handheld cassette transcriptions and composed music considerately. Anna would then record chants and song variations which Steve would tweak for final touches through his arsenal of analog equipment. Although Breadwoman stands outside of time, she is rich in the ingredients of 1980s Los Angeles performance art, renegade DIY punk, gallery culture, galvanized jazz, underground cassette-trading culture, drag extravaganzas, and esoteric meaning-making mysticism. Breadwoman is a storyteller - she’s so very old she’s turned into bread. Breadwoman says: If you don’t try to understand, you will.

    She is the voice, and the voice is cosmic reality’s musicality. Through 'Breadwoman & Other Tales', we hear material meet mythos.


    Broken Dancefloors, Kev Beard's Box Bedroom Rebels offshoot and 'the sound of the northern DIY hyper insomniac underground' is back with its sophomore release. Its by Lancaster Tech-IDM-electro artist H>O>D aka House Of Daggers. A big ol' bear of a brute who makes Plaid-esque dancefloor killers that continually shift and evolve but never lose their pace. This is a 4 track 7" EP and a whopping 11 track download! And those extra tracks are OFF THE SCALE! From the robotic grind of "Glitchen Void" & "Brand New Plastic Bag" to the straight up leftfield AFX tech-electro of "KYBX" its a sweaty ride from beginning to end. One minute sounding like Plaid doing insane techno before rupturing into live percussion breakbeat and back into full-on warehouse tech. The next sounding like something of a Chris & Cosey analogue LP - fully robotik and tweaked 'n' twisted for your listening pleasure! All 4 tracks on this EP are different but made for a warehouse rave somewhere in deepest Ancoats.

    4 track 33rpm 7" in a custom thick card numbered sleeve, artist portrait & 80s rave propaganda insert plus download code.
    Only 200 numbered copies.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Ltd 7" Info: 200 numbered copies. As usual - jazzy inlay with inserts including more 80s rave propaganda and portrait illustration. Download featuring extra tracks too!

    Manchester's techno alchemist and master of the Roland TR-808, the enigmatic Mr Raw, debuting MANCDETROIT 12” on WIN or LOOSE Records straight outta Toronto CA! Long term nightclub shaman on the Northwest of England circuit, Raw served time in Rotterdam's early 90s gabba circles before returning back to Manchester to twist brain's n bodies with his wild blend of freestyle techno. Raw's witnessed trends in production go from hardware to soft and back again but he's never strayed from a solid rack mount set up based solely around the TR-808. With a few added choice fx processors Raw's style is loose'n'live and captures a pure spirit rarely exercised by today's pacified youth. "Perseus Dance" sounds like the kind of shit the great Ron Hardy would jam on, with two copies, for hours. Inflicting a sherm-stick flavored mind-blast to the floor that may have indeed caused the good man to blush, we find percolating 808 percussion woven together with a mystic, fizzing lead line and twangy analogue artifacts. Darkside acid dragged wailing and whining from Rusholmes drains. Flip and we have "Hard On": a twisted x-rated porno horror jam. Raw's rapid-fire double-speed drum loops firing away while a plethora of abhorrent vox and coital sounds converge onto the track. A total wrecking ball of filth and hellish distortion which just smolders away in the basement of some sadistic nightclub like a rotten but highly intoxicating fungus ready to switch on any passing freaks.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: Here it is! Iconic release for the Canadian-via-Manchester label Win Or Loose. With Manc hardware stalwart Mr. Raw on the dials! An old friend of the shops, Mr. Raw's torn heads and bodies apart at Detroit Public Radio (Wet Play's precursor) and Faktion respectively. An uncompromising record through and through. We heart this!

    MTO (Modified Toy Orchestra)

    Mary = X / The Breath They’ve Been Holding Released

      Birmingham’s iconic audio scientists, Modified Toy Orchestra, are back. This time as mto and with a new single on their old label.

      Hand cut in an edition of 100 copies by PhilM at 3345 this return sees the band in a casio only landscape watching the mathematician Richard Feynman sit alone at the top of a light house on mars contemplating calculus and aspects of his life.

      ‘Mary = X’
      A haunting lament of what might have been from the perspective of Richard Feynman's ex-wife Mary, her plaintive voice keening for her husband’s attention, a hopeless attempt against the infinite mysteries of calculus.
      "He begins working calculus problems in his head as soon as he awakens. He did calculus while driving in his car, while sitting in the living room, and while lying in bed at night." —Mary Louise Bell divorce complaint.

      ‘The breath they've been holding.’
      The Title is taken from a news broadcast observing the faces of the doomed astronaut’s families during the space Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986.

      Since touring the world performing their 2nd album Plastic Planet, which culminated in sell out shows at the Hong Kong Civic Hall, mto have been commissioned to perform Stockhausen and to collaborate with composer/conductor Richard Baker on "Game" by Faster than sound performed at Aldeburgh Britain's oldest classical music festival.

      The 2 tracks are part of digital EP called "Feynman on Mars" which shows a darker, colder distant side of mto an aspect of the band which will be further explored as they blast off in to the outer reaches of the cosmos on what will be there 3rd album "Silfurburg".

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Ltd 7" Info: Lathe cut 7"
      Edition: 100

      Steepletone

      12" Record Storage Carry Case - Orange

        - Portable LP record storage carry case
        - Robust vinyl covering available in 5 colours
        - Protective chrome effect trim on corners and all edges of the box
        - Hinged lid with 2 closing clasps and carry handle in matching colours
        - Holds approx upto 50 LPs / 12"s in their sleeves
        - 3.8 KG

        Twinkle³ Feat. Sidsel Endresen

        Debris In Earths Lower Orbit

          Twinkle³ have teamed up with Sidsel Endresen, Norwegian singer, avant garde pioneer and ECM recording artist. The result is Debris In Lower Earth Orbit, a graceful, yet precarious dance through the weightless slipstream of orbital flotsam and jetsam.

          The core trio of Richard Scott (analogue synthesizer and electronics), David Ross (Drosscillator, kantele, mbira) and Clive Bell (shakuhachi and other woodwind) conjured 7 distinct sonic landscapes through an intuitive and delicate interplay first honed on their debut for ini.itu ‘Let’s Make A Solar System’. Sidsel's singular interpretation of this material narrates a melancholy, stream of consciousness style wordplay. It was David Sylvian who brought the trio into contact with Sidsel and driving alone across the lonesome northwest recalls the first instance the album poured into his ears from the car:

          “As the first buzz of static and the strains of wind instruments, whose cultural heritage belonged to another continent entirely, filled the vehicle, as Sidsel sang with a soulful melodiousness, an ancient lament for lost souls like myself, hungry ghosts, and those found in remote gas stations, featureless structures illuminated white against a reddening sky, the otherworldliness of the landscape was returned to me. No longer blind or indifferent to the ancient rock formations, the bulky mass, the scale, the striations of stone, gradations of colour changing by degrees animated by the irrepressible sun. The black cactus with yellow plumage, the voluminous boulders, isolated, stranded, graffitied rocks and stones. The coarse granular sands, gritty, unrefined, populated by a stubborn stubble of shrubbery, an almost colour, not quite, failing to pick up on the improbability of their being present at all as an excuse for absence. I traversed a world in which both ancient and modern co-exist and there was beauty and sorrow at every turn. A similar journey will be undertaken by any listener of this remarkable recording.”

          As Sylvian rightly states, an absorbing awe and cloaking strangeness both ancient and present permeates each of the small rituals Twinkle³ evoke, with Sidsel voicing a bewitching pre-language that ruminates deeply in each of the pieces. One can expect to have their senses hushed, yet amplified, their imagination ignited, yet warmed by nostalgia and throughout its duration enriched by a magical and wondrous aura.

          Visitations is the debut album from We Mythical Kings, a duo committed to atomizing the sonic potential of experimental electronics, magnetic recording techniques and free-improvisation. The 16 tracks reveal fragmented analogue synthesizer protractions, fathomless oceans of black drone and snatched moments of prepared guitar serenity, all informed by the landscape in which the album was conceived. Initial sessions for the album took place in a remote cottage on the Isle of Mull, off the west coast of Scotland. Over the course of six days of intense recording, several hours of freeform improvisations were committed to tape. Some were guided by visual scores, others by pre- determined rules.

          Completely free from notions of structure and limitation – and created literally hundreds of miles away from their regular musical worlds – these embryonic recordings were the sound of two artists surgically examining their own practice and seeking new modes of expression through their chosen instruments. Guitar strings were tightened and pulled to breaking point, effects pedals were hot-wired and hacked, oscillators and filters were overdriven beyond their limits. The vast well of material was then revisited several months later and through a process of re-sampling, re- configuring and re-contextualising, the 16 tracks on this disc took shape.


          NEW TO PRE-ORDER: REXY - Running Out Of Time / Lucky Number https://t.co/gI3CLVoNrc | https://t.co/9OCr7CsAuP
          Mon 8th - 8:46
          NEW TO PRE-ORDER: Eera - Eera / House Arrest https://t.co/BMMSPk7bYZ | https://t.co/9OCr7CsAuP
          Mon 8th - 8:46
          NEW TO PRE-ORDER: Thao & The Get Down Stay Down - A Man Ali... https://t.co/bh5Agn15FX | https://t.co/9OCr7CsAuP
          Mon 8th - 8:31
          NEW TO PRE-ORDER: Palehound - Dry Food / Heavenly https://t.co/wDt6IW4bDs | https://t.co/9OCr7CsAuP
          Mon 8th - 8:31
          NEW TO PRE-ORDER: M. Ward - More Rain / Bella Union https://t.co/ldeXk95f72 | https://t.co/9OCr7CsAuP
          Mon 8th - 8:17
          E-newsletter —
          Sign up
          Back to top