MAGIC MIX

avant . leftfield . post-rock . drone

WEEK STARTING 25 Aug

Genre pick of the week Cover of The Nature Of Connections by Arve Henriksen.

Arve Henriksen

The Nature Of Connections

Arve Henriksen stumbled across the title of his latest album while reading a book about furniture-making. ‘The author mentioned the complexity of making a chair and all the people involved in the process,’ the Norwegian trumpet player says. ‘The high quality of the different fields and the wide range of professions that, after a long process, turns into a product which can easily be compared to the process of making this album.’ The Nature Of Connections finds Arve working in harness with some of Norway’s most distinguished and dynamic musician-craftsmen, drawn from the fields of folk, improvisation and jazz. Each one brought specialist components and skills honed over many years to Arve’s workshop, where the results were assembled and polished to a high gleam. The Nature Of Connections almost entirely features pieces composed by Arve’s collaborators. Recorded in the sparkling acoustic of Oslo’s legendary Rainbow Studio by Jan Erik Kongshaug, it’s an album with closer ties to Nordic folk and contemporary, minimalist chamber music than any of Arve’s previous releases. The trumpeter had planned to make an album with a string quartet for many years but never quite found the right formula. Finally, a special commissioned tour brought him together with violinists Nils Økland and Gjermund Larsen, cellist Svante Henryson and double bassist Mats Eilertsen, all of whom now appear as the central planks in The Nature Of Connections. Another welcome guest is drummer Audun Kleive, veteran of Norwegian jazz ensembles including Masqualero, JøKleBa!, Generator X, Terje Rypdal and Jon Balke. ‘The brilliant thing about collaboration with others is that your collaborators very often have better ideas than yourself,’ says Arve, typically modest. ‘At the same time some naive and simple ideas from my head are sometimes enough to illustrate that moment and that special feeling of a story. I have gradually started to trust that feeling.’ His instincts are correct, leading to some of the warmest and most organic sounding music of his career. Highlights include the solemn chamber music of ‘Seclusive Song’, and the stately progress of ‘Hymn’ – composed by Arve’s keyboardist partner in the longrunning Norwegian improv ensemble Supersilent, Ståle Storløkken – which paces itself around Henryson’s repetitive, gently churning cello.

Born in Norway and currently living in Sweden, Arve Henriksen is Scandinavia’s most distinctive trumpeter and improvisor. He played in various jazz ensembles in his youth before co-forming Supersilent in 1997, a prolific free music group with Helge Sten (Deathprod) and Ståle Storløkken, which is still ongoing. His trumpet, augmented with effects and electronics, has appeared with David Sylvian, Terje Rypdal, Nils Petter Molvær, Jon Balke, Terje Isungset and Iain Ballamy’s Food. With Supersilent he recently collaborated with former Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones. In September he’ll be participating in an architectural installation/performance as part of Oslo’s Ultima Festival of contemporary music.Since 2001 he has created a series of exquisite solo recordings (on Rune Grammofon and ECM), which combine electronic textures, horns, woodwinds, ethnic instruments, percussion, keyboards and his mournful, yearning singing voice. Henriksen’s music reflects both the stunning beauty of virgin wilderness and the shifting, cosmopolitan environments experienced by the 21st century traveller. The Nature Of Connections is the latest link forged in an ever growing chain.

Personnel Arve Henriksen – trumpet, piccolo trumpet, piano, Nils Økland – violin, Hardanger fiddle, viola d’amore, Svante Henryson – cello, Gjermund Larsen – violin, Hardanger fiddle, Mats Eilertsen – double bass, Audun Kleive – drums Tracks ‘Blå Veg’, ‘Hambopolskavalsen’, ‘Budbringeren’, ‘Seclusive Song’, ‘Hymn’, ‘Aceh’, ‘Keen’, ‘Arco Akropolis’, ‘Salm’


Bitchin Bajas

Bitchin Bajas

    Bitchin Bajas have been around the world in five years, chasing sonics through space and time and coming up with a lot of conclusions along their discographical path. Always they push forward, recklessly consuming processes in order to realize their own works - but the sound and the music regularly emerges with tranquil essence, bringing them and their listeners into a shared experience.

    Bitchin Bajas’ output has been remarkably diverse in search of this singular goal, which makes for great listening across multiple albums. With the release of this new album they have mapped and traversed their own ecosystem as they journey in search of the aural epiphany, the true unknowing.

    Bitchin Bajas use their many methods to attain perfect flow throughout the 76 minutes of this self-titled album. Acoustic is the beginning. Eastern tonalities relocate Bitchin Bajas farther inside the source, finding the timeless time from long ago and slowly sliding via fader until then is now, until acoustic goes analogue.

    The space found on ‘Bitchin Bajas’ was located with organ, synthesizer, winds, xylophone and autoharp, employing a 1” 8-track tape machine to the fullest extent. Additional contributions from strings, keys, guitar and field recordings helped make ‘Bitchin Bajas’ everything that it is.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    2xCassette Info: The trip through ‘Bitchin Bajas’ took in all kinds of sonic terrain. When it was done, an additional mix was made, omitting the intense peaks of the album to create a ‘Relaxation Version’. This mix has been added to the cassette version only, making a double tape set.

    Holger Czukay

    Der Osten Ist Rot_Rome Remains Rome

      Special double 10” triple gatefold album containing songs from legendary Holger Czukay records ‘Der Osten Ist Rot’ and ‘Rome Remains Rome’ alongside previously unreleased remix versions.

      Features Jaki Liebezeit on drums.

      For fans of Holger Czukay and Can.

      Desmadrados Soldados De Ventura

      Dieter Dierks Jerks

        Live In Manchester. Recorded by Phil Todd. LTD TO 100 COPIES ONLY. includes beautiful silk screened artwork by Alex Humphreys.

        "Of course, guitars have long been middle-brow targets for commentators as somehow signifying everything that was cock-bound and self-aggrandising and technically impudent about rock music. But when it's played like this, with a blurring of technique that allows a bunch of northern punks access to the combined freak potential of more than a half century of electric six-string excess, it's a reminder of the electric guitar's uncanny ability to respond not just to where it's been, but to where it's at." David Keenan, The Wire.

        "I can't remember the last time I felt myself overcome by so many conflicting emotions - awe, excitement, envy, exasperation - and yet it all coalesced into a contented, feverish fervour. I cannot tell you how great a feeling that is - a near robotic state, the only movements being to get up and change the record... So if you are into your overtly intricate, caterwauling, explosive, experimental improvisational psych rock jams, this album is your ticket to Valhalla." Sonic Masala.

        Earthling Society

        England Have My Bones

          Earthling Society are a Kosmische quartet that in the main hail from of of the most un-Kosmische areas of North West England, Fleetwood. A town so bleak you literally can't drive through it; sticking out of the British Isles like a crippled dick into the the murkiest part of the Irish sea.

          Here, Earthling Society built there lo-fi studio in an old deserted glass factory and since 2004 have recorded a number of albums under the influence of mushrooms, cheap speed and cheaper beer. Hoping for a few minutes to transport themselves from the reality of were they really live.

          Along the way they have hitched rides with Julian Cope, Hawkwind, Damo Suzuki, Guru Guru and Blue Cheer.

          England Have My Bones is their latest album of fuzzy space rock offerings with a dedication to their Coltrane idols in a freaked out version of 'Journey in Satchidananda'.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          LP Info: Limited edition 500 only translucent green vinyl, packaged in a full colour and spined 350 gsm card sleeve.

          Hinterhof / Play For Today

          Split 45

            This one’s a rare excursion into 7” territory for Deep Distance following a bunch of sold out 12s and full lengths from the likes of Umberto, NWW’s Colin Potter and Tim Gane’s new ‘Cavern of Anti-Matter’ project. A split 45, airing debuts from Berlin’s HINTERHOF and the shadowy world of Camberwell based synth dabblers PLAY FOR TODAY.

            Hinterhof don the white Lab coats for the icy sci-fi pop blast of “Molecular Love with a Molecular Sound”. All bubbling moogs and buzzing electronics topped with the cool vocals of Lollie Barr.

            If the reverse might be described as a kind of uptempo space age pop, Play for Today brings things down a few shades with the colder, more industrial synth tone and drone of “Golden Kids (What’s Going On?)”. Think darker Fad Gadget, early Cabs- a more angular, darker piece more in keeping with an early Mute 45 than it’s double A side here- yet it’s that dark and light aspect that makes the single such a winner.

            As ever with Deep Distance it arrives handsomely packaged, orange wax in cool company bags and inserts. A pressing of 500 expected to sell out pretty quickly….

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            Ltd 7" Info: Orange vinyl pressing of 500 copies only.

            The Faust Studio is situated in a spacious factory building right on the bank of the Danube river. Here, 2670km past of the river’s mouth at the Black Sea, the current seems relatively weak, however past accounts of severe flooding are enough to dispel any doubts of its power. One can spend hours staring out from the studio’s wood-panelled windows at the current, pondering the fact that you never observe the same water twice Jochen Irmler and Jaki Liebzeit met in the town of Scheer last July to prepare for an upcoming concert at the slaughterhouse in Sigmaringen as well as for a subsequent appearance in the Kammerspiele in Munich. However, they quickly decided to stop rehearsing and instead record FLUT - an album that regroups six improvisations between organ and percussion.

            FLUT adds another chapter to Irmler’s collaborations, which aim to explore, whenever possible, the hidden potential that lies dormant in the clash between prepared organ and drums. The series includes previously-published collaborations with Gudrun Gut (programmed beats), with FM Einheit’s percussive bass-string playing, and with Christian Wolfarth’s uncategorizable drumming, pushing the limits of harmony and tuning to ever more complex results. A special energy is released through the clash between Irmler, one of Krautrock’s main driving forces ever since his work with Faust, and his sparring partner Jaki Liebezeit, the living legend from Can, whose unrivalled hypnotic drumming has earned him a reputation as one of the most avant-garde percussionists, and as a human drum machine. Says Jochen Irmler: "I started jamming with Jaki as a means to play the organ very differently. On one hand he challenged me, on the other we shared an almost ESP-like non-verbal communication. A new horizon had opened up (before us)."

            One hears elements of this statement in the piece "Sempiternity" and in the subsequent "Washing Over Me", where organist and drummer create a synergy greater than its parts; a trio rather than a duo seem to be at work. The effect is partly conjured by Irmler’s touch; his distorted right-hand melodies often sound like electric guitar, while his left hand finds unusual ways to elicit organ-like chord structures. Irmler’s relentless sonic clusters crash spectacularly against Jaki Liebzeit’s drums. Always stoic at their core, Liebzeit’s rhythms are struck with playful outbursts of groove, especially on the cymbals. Here we see a minimalist with an extremely controlled love of collisions at work. Repetition and its minute refinements are transferred with great discipline in a stream of consciousness that both sets the stage and upstages his opponent. "We play without notes. In places where notation systems do not exist, the rhythm holds a much more dominant role in music, for example as is the case in Africa. Here people make music differently than those who think in terms of notes and bars. Musical bars are like prison bars. Playing without notes means that you must play repetitively, and repetition is rhythm. At the same time repetition does not really exist here, because you never (quite) play the same thing (twice)." (Jaki Liebzeit) Through three consecutive days of noon-to-night sessions in July 2013, Irmler and Liebzeit recorded a hypnotic maelstrom of an album. They contemplated the Danube between takes, and felt the sun sink daily over their endless improvisations. Always another stream, never the same river.

            Karen Novotny X

            3 Minutes Over Brussels

              The second of Augusts‘ trio of new Deep Distance releases is most definitely a gift from the gods to yr record collecting fraternity. A playable picture postcard from East London’s favourite shady, mysterious synth heads’ KAREN NOVOTNY X.

              Arriving a couple of years ago completely outta’ the blue with their previously discarded synth experiments recorded in East London between 1978 and ’79 (with debts of gratitude to Chris Carter and Suicide amongst others), the vinyl only collection sold out it’s run of 500 in the blink of an eye on Deep Distance’ parent label The Great Pop Supplement.

              Airing here also for a first time is the wonderful “3 Minutes over Brussels”. A killer instrumental piece displayed to the world via a playable picture postcard featuring more of KN X’s acclaimed collage work in a sealed stickered pack with insert in a pressing of 500.

              Sadly, given the nature of the format, the full audio experience is somewhat flawed but fans of the band are thankfully pointed to the bands’ bandcamp page to fully appreciate the piece.

              Unsurprisingly given the shadowy nature of the groop, the band actually embrace the ultra lo-fi aspect and quirkiness of it’s playback quality which I guess should come as no surprise to fans….

              Looks utterly gorgeous and will no doubt fly, but from a label’s point of view, do check out the bandcamp link- the track really is killer and amongst the best things they’ve done but the sound quality on the card itself isn‘t the best….

              Piccadilly Records

              Logo T-Shirt - Heather Navy

                The latest Piccadilly Records T-Shirt featuring our new logo, complete with snazzy 'PICCADILLYRECORDS.COM - MANCHESTER' sleeve print.

                Printed on a Gildan Softstyle Adult Ringspun heather navy T-Shirt.

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                L Info: To fit chest size 42/44".

                M Info: To fit chest size 38/40".

                S Info: To fit chest size 34/36".

                XL Info: To fit chest size 46/48".

                Sargent House is excited to re-issue both of Chelsea Wolfe’s first two albums, The Grime and The Glow and Apokalypsis, on CD and LP for the first time.

                Chelsea Wolfe's sound is best described with broad strokes: elemental, intense, radiant, ancient yet modern, intimate yet expansive, dark and sparkling. Hues of black metal and deep blues inform her ever-evolving electric folk—a warm force that wraps itself around the listener, encouraging uplift, seeking triumph. Her voice similarly haunts and soothes, with words that illuminate life's darker corners in order to reveal the unlikely truth and beauty hidden within. Originally hailing from Northern California, Wolfe's formative years were spent tinkering in her country musician father's home studio, however, she long lacked the confidence to share her work. Then, in 2009, an overseas excursion as part of a nomadic performance troupe ignited her passion for performing and initiated a renewed interest in writing and recording. After performing in cathedrals, basements and old nuclear plants to whoever would listen, she returned home with a new drive. She began toting around an 8-track and recording as the mood hit, eventually editing her findings into a breathtaking debut album, 2010's The Grime & the Glow. Marrying the gentle intimacy of folk, the atmospheric voodoo of death rock, and the bleak, sullen nihilism of black metal, Wolfe's sound effectively cast a genre all her own: a cavernous rumble, marked by stuttering drums, ethereal synths, and a wash of guitar, all very much in the service of one of the most hypnotic, celestial voices in modern music. Described as both healing and harrowing, enchanting and narcotic, the album established Wolfe as a force on the rise.

                Inspired, Wolfe then relocated to Los Angeles and recorded her second album, 2011's Apokalypsis, which found her in an actual studio with her live band. The songs captured therein maintained the strikingly visceral elements of her debut, further showcase Wolfe’s unique songwriting ability, while adding a serious heaviness of sound that balanced eloquently with her transcendent voice. Its release was subsequently met with critical adoration, and rightly landed on numerous best of 2011 lists.

                Sargent House is excited to re-issue both of Chelsea Wolfe’s first two albums, The Grime and The Glow and Apokalypsis, on CD and LP for the first time.

                Chelsea Wolfe's sound is best described with broad strokes: elemental, intense, radiant, ancient yet modern, intimate yet expansive, dark and sparkling. Hues of black metal and deep blues inform her ever-evolving electric folk—a warm force that wraps itself around the listener, encouraging uplift, seeking triumph. Her voice similarly haunts and soothes, with words that illuminate life's darker corners in order to reveal the unlikely truth and beauty hidden within. Originally hailing from Northern California, Wolfe's formative years were spent tinkering in her country musician father's home studio, however, she long lacked the confidence to share her work. Then, in 2009, an overseas excursion as part of a nomadic performance troupe ignited her passion for performing and initiated a renewed interest in writing and recording. After performing in cathedrals, basements and old nuclear plants to whoever would listen, she returned home with a new drive. She began toting around an 8-track and recording as the mood hit, eventually editing her findings into a breathtaking debut album, 2010's The Grime & the Glow. Marrying the gentle intimacy of folk, the atmospheric voodoo of death rock, and the bleak, sullen nihilism of black metal, Wolfe's sound effectively cast a genre all her own: a cavernous rumble, marked by stuttering drums, ethereal synths, and a wash of guitar, all very much in the service of one of the most hypnotic, celestial voices in modern music. Described as both healing and harrowing, enchanting and narcotic, the album established Wolfe as a force on the rise.


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