MAGIC MIX

avant . leftfield . post-rock . drone . experimental

WEEK STARTING 17 Aug

Genre pick of the week Cover of Tangerine Reef by Animal Collective.
Tangerine Reef is a full-length audio-visual album by Animal Collective (Avey Tare, Deakin and Geologist), in collaboration with Coral Morphologic, to commemorate the 2018 International Year of the Reef. Tangerine Reef is a visual tone poem consisting of time-lapse and slow pans across surreal aqua-scapes of naturally fluorescent coral and cameos by alien-like reef creatures (note: no CGI or artificial enhancement was used in this film). Tangerine Reef is the sight and sound of a literal underwater collective of animals.

STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: Another brilliantly off-piste outing from Animal Collective. Scattered percussion, haunting shadowy vocals and that effervescent duality of low-fi production values and hi-fi songwriting make this yet another stormer from the AC camp.

FORMAT INFORMATION

Coloured LP Info: Heavyweight green vinyl.

2xLP Info: Heavyweight black vinyl.

Cosmic Invention

Help Your Satori Mind

    In 1996, Masaki Batoh, who’d spent the previous decade recording, playing and living in a hippie communal environment with the heavy chamber folk outfit Ghost, formed a new unit to play in a different manner. He’d just finished making an incredible new Ghost album - ‘Lama Rabi Rabi’ - but making music with Ghost was an intense and spiritual endeavor; for a change, Batoh wanted simply to enjoy, with a free and open mind, the playing of the kind of music that he and his musical friends had grown up with; the 70s sounds of British, American and Japanese rock. ‘Help Your Satori Mind’ is a result of things they just naturally jammed on during a couple of sessions. It’s totally out of Ghost’s world.

    Along with Batoh were fellow Ghosts Fuji on congos and Michio Kurihara (a modern psychedelic rock guitar god previously in White Heaven and eventually joining with Damon and Naomi). Also invited were notoriously crazy drummer virtuoso Futoshi Okano from Osaka’s heavy rock trio Subvert Blaze, bassist Chiyo Kamekawa from Yura Yura Teikoku and organist / pianist Jun Koto from Kakashi. Together, they were Cosmic Invention.

    The sound of Cosmic Invention was equal parts exploratory and explosive, accessing classical modes of psychedelic and progressive rock and roll music. These guys were so powerful when they played together, Batoh eventually recruited them to form most of the line up for Ghost’s second US tour, in 1997, after ‘Lama Rabi Rabi’ was released. As Ghost, from coast to coast, they pushed American audiences up against the wall with the enormity of their sound. That, though, was the end of their group partnership together; Cosmic Invention was a one-time excursion into this music. Today, The Silence combine elements of Ghost and Cosmic Invention into their eclectic ongoing experience.  Originally, ‘Help Your Satori Mind’ was released by The Now Sound, who’d previously issued two Batoh solo records, both of which became available on Drag City (as ‘Collected Works’) following the collapse of The Now Sound, not too terribly long after the Cosmic Invention release. So, this record has been kind of forgotten for some time, which isn’t the fate that was meant for it. It is the kind of item to be unearthed in a sarcophagus many years later - and at 20 years and counting, now is a good time. This marks ‘Help Your Satori Mind’s first appearance on LP, the vinyl giving new dimension to their multi-hued, raw rock performances. It’s the first appearance of the aptly-titled ‘Long Jamming’, which wasn’t included on the original release. It’s also the first appearance of images of the band, taken while deeply in the albummaking spirit.

    Chapel Perilous exists whereby the supernatural converges with the everyday - whatever one’s definition of reality, this psychological realm serves to prove it endlessly subjective and changeable. Robert Anton Wilson may have laid claim to the modern use of this phrase - as in his 1977 tome ‘Cosmic Trigger’ - yet there can be few musical outfits in the here and now more worthy of carrying on its tradition than Gnod. In more than a decade on the planet this singular Salford-birthed entity have married intrepid musical exploration with psychic fearlessness - not to mention a tendency to leave any tag or bracket one attempts to place on them utterly redundant. In a sense, the latest adventure bearing this title evolved both from the lengthy European tour that the band embarked upon in the wake of their stripped-down and paint-stripping 2017 opus Just Say No The Psycho Right-Wing Capitalist Fascist Industrial Death Machine.

    Yet recording in Supernova studio in Eindhoven under the auspices of Bob De Wit, the band found themselves free not only to lay down two tumultuous tracks that they had been honing and hammering into shape on the road - the pulverising fifteen-minute opener ‘Donovan’s Daughters’ and the bracingly brutal ‘Uncle Frank Says Turn It Down’ - but to sculpt more abstract material, utilising dubbed-out repetition, furious riff-driven rancour, bleak soundscapes and off-the-map experimentation to create an intimidating and invigorating tableau of dystopian dread and unflinching intensity. Always working purely on their own instincts and co-ordinates, Gnod’s pathway into unchartered territory continues to move firmly on with nary a care for the sanity of anyone in their surroundings. Chapel Perilous is a still more indomitable chapter in a transcendental travelogue from an iconoclastic institution that only gathers momentum with the passing of time. Wherever Gnod go in 2018 and beyond, expect reality to be reinvented anew, whatever the consequences

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Gnod once again ripping everyone a new one with a heady mix of metallic drone, psychedelic ambience and visceral spoken-word musings, incisive cut-throat guitar lines and hypnotic scree. Classic, unbelievable Gnod. Killer.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP Info: Teal Blue repress.

    Gnod

    Just Say No To The Psycho Right-Wing Capitalist Fascist Industrial Death Machine

    Considering the current political climate, Gnod's newest outing was never going to be a particularly cheery affair. 'Just Say No To The Psycho Right-Wing Capitalist Fascist Industrial Death Machine' is indeed political, it is wrought and angry, and it installs everything you would expect from a Gnod album, and adds to it exponentially. 'Bodies For Money' sets out as a state of intent from the off with a screaming pillar of feedback before launching headfirst into a barrage of percussion and punishing guitar. Settling slightly to leave sonic headroom for an angry muted voice is as symbolic as it is effective, giving the impression of fighting against the tide of noise and crushing weight of the background. 

    'People' begins much more unceremonoiusly, pitching a looped vocal abstraction against rich and guttoral bass guitar and driving percussion. More akin to the aggressive Krautrock of their earlier years, but injected with a satisfying grit and industrious drive. The vocal segments are layered and amplified, giving the impression of a growing force speaking towards one end. This is music for protest, a soundtrack for forced disillusionment, a call to arms and it is as rousing as it is brilliant. 

    The clanging of 'Paper Error' quickly becomes one of the more melodic points on the album, eschewing vocal snippets and ambient swells for a deft stoner-rock passage, before twisting and tunring into a rawkous and molten grinding thump. It's towering conclusion is inched upon you, like a frog boiling in water without jumping out. 

    'Real Man' is rich in thunderous sub-bass, and propelled by galloping drums and a snarling monologue half-sung about our hero, the man in a dirty grey suit with a bag full of beers. Claging old-school punk littered with instrumental passages and cataclysmic breakdowns, screaming and feedback twisted and rolled into a voracious wall of noise and force. 

    The epic closer 'Stick In The Wheel' grows from a vocal refusal of convention, accompanied by rhythmic guitar stabs and dark-ambient synth work, the constantly propulsive and militaristic rhythm perfectly befits the conventions of the previous numbers, acting as an anchor for the political tumult that preceeds it, before breaking down into a psychedelic and metallic distillation of rage into an eastern-tinged opium den percussive head-nodder. 

    A driven and direct assault on the troubles of today, and a bold, bracing barrage of musical magma. Caustic, loud and captivating to the end. 

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Brilliance as ever from Manchester noise-rock-drone-psych stalwarts Gnod. Brilliantly musical, stunningly direct and absolutely unmissable.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP Info: Black with Red Stripe repress.

    Anna Meredith

    Anno

      Anna Meredith announces the release of Anno, a boundary-pushing collaboration with the Scottish Ensemble, in which original pieces of work by the classical-electronic composer are intertwined with Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Released via Moshi Moshi, the project began as an immersive 360 degree live experience but will be available on double vinyl, CD and digitally for the first time from 17th August. After a recording process using the unusual ‘binaural recording head’ the project will also be available in an exclusive binaural recording – allowing the listener to experience the unique spatial aspects of the piece through headphones.

      Occupying a unique position of bridging both popular, experimental and classical worlds, Anna is a composer/producer and has made a name for her genre defying sound. In 2016 Anna Meredith released her acclaimed debut album Varmints via Moshi Moshi, which went on to win the Scottish Album of the Year award. Among countless achievements, she has been Composer in Residence with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, RPS/PRS Composer in the House with Sinfonia ViVA, the classical music representative for the 2009 South Bank Show Breakthrough Award and winner of the 2010 Paul Hamlyn Award for Composers. Anna has also scored forthcoming American comedy-drama Eighth Grade, written and directed by Bo Burnham, which took home the Audience Award at this years Sundance Film Festival: London. 


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Anna meredith spreads her considerable talents into the realm of classical music with this stunning juxaposition of the old world of musical symphonies and the electronic influences of Meredith's previous work. A triumph, and further evidence that Meredith is at the forefront of today's musical landscape.

      Having already been nominated for a Swedish Grammy with their debut EP, Diamond Waves, their full-length 2015 debut on Rocket Recordings, Horse Dance, marked out a territory in which beguiling repetition could sashay with sweet pop suss, melodic flourishes with experimental intensity, and it was summarily rapturously received on arrival, making new fans and earning them appearances at Roskilde Festival and Eindhoven Psych Lab. Their second effort Mirage, which follows a mere year after its predecessor, sees the band sculpting sprawling, hypnotic jams into elegant nocturnal serenades. “We agree on not remembering very much about how these tracks came about, that all of them were written on the road and that most of them came fully formed” note the band. “Most were really long to begin with, but we found it relieving to break away a bit from the mandatory psych jams a little bit. We also just realised that none of them were written in daylight, which might be why memory is so elusive.” Indeed, this hypnagogic approach seems to fit well with the primary inspiration for the five-piece, which centred on ‘the state where dreams, visions and the present are entwined’ .Mirage sees the band taking a chic tradition of avant-pop that extends all the way from Serge Gainsbourg and Françoise Hardy to Broadcast and Saint Etienne, and warping it mercilessly to their own darker ends. Whilst the brooding yet sultry ‘Sister Green Eyes’ is no less than a sharp slice of velveteen motorik-pop and ‘Looking For You’ reinvents three-chord garage-rock attack with mighty finesse, The Liberation are just as comfortable dealing out the heavy-lidded and electronically-driven ‘In Madrid’ or the dive in the hallucinatory deep end of ‘Circular Motion’, on which they’re aided and abetted by Lay Llamas’ Nicola Guinta. The seductive splendour of these ten songs åmake manifest a parallel world of disorientation and deliverance in which one would be a fool not to want to languish adrift . Fresh excitement for the band lies in wait, courtesy of a UK tour with Goat and an appearance at Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Driven and mesmerising psychedelic loops, snarling basses and full on funky-psych freakouts. Sweetly sung vocals contrast perfectly to the experimental backdrop, breaking out into moments of profound serenity. A perfectly measured combination, and just another essential part of this enthralling collection.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Purple & Green Swirl Effect Vinyl repress.

      * Officially sanctioned by original members Charles Bullen and Charles Hayward
      * Remastered from the original analog tapes
      * First time ever on vinyl
      * This Is Not This Heat first US show 7/23/2018 at Pitchfork Festival in Chicago, IL.

      Formed in 1976 in Brixton, a multicultural, and – at the time – down-at-heel part of south London, This Heat were born into a music scene in rapid flux, first thanks to the punk explosion and then via new wave and its myriad offshoots into pop, rock and art-rock. But while many sought to apply punk attitude to chart-friendly sounds, This Heat were concocting some of the most experimental ideas ever committed to tape, taking influence from musique concrète, krautrock, the burgeoning industrial scene and even the dub reggae blasting out in their home borough.

      In many ways, the nuanced sound worlds created in the studio by This Heat are tailor made for sedentary headphone listening. But pulling off such complicated, genre defying compositions live was surely something to witness. Until now, there was no real official document of the group’s live performances. Compiled by Charles Hayward and Charles Bullen from rough cassette tape recordings of European gigs in Tilburg, Nijmegen, Ärhus, Apeldoorn, Vienna and Rheims between April 1980 and June 1981, Live 80-81 is an essential document of This Heat's powerful live performances.

      Following Modern Classics Recordings’ 2016 reissue campaign to mark the band’s 40th anniversary, these new releases Made Available, Repeat / Metal, and Live 80-81 round out the story. Each release is sanctioned by surviving members Charles Bullen and Charles Hayward and features newly remastered audio sourced from original tapes.


      * Officially sanctioned by original members Charles Bullen and Charles Hayward .
      * Remastered from the original analog tapes .
      * First time on vinyl in 20 years.

      Formed in 1976 in Brixton, a multicultural, and – at the time – down-at-heel part of south London, This Heat were born into a music scene in rapid flux, first thanks to the punk explosion and then via new wave and its myriad offshoots into pop, rock and art-rock. But while many sought to apply punk attitude to chart-friendly sounds, This Heat were concocting some of the most experimental ideas ever committed to tape, taking influence from musique concrète, krautrock, the burgeoning industrial scene and even the dub reggae blasting out in their home borough.

      Given the difficult, abrasive, and involved nature of their furiously forward-thinking sound, This Heat never found anything approaching mainstream success, but patronage by the influential Radio 1 DJ John Peel meant they reached a national audience – whether that audience was ready for them or not. Made Available collects This Heat’s two Peel Sessions, recorded for BBC Radio 1 in April and October of 1977 and features essential songs that would later appear on their debut album, This Heat (1979) and the follow-up, Deceit (1981), as well as electro-acoustic works unique to these sessions. These are the earliest public recordings of the band, showing even in their infancy, masterful use of live tape loops and radical song structure.
      Following Modern Classics Recordings’ 2016 reissue campaign to mark the band’s 40th anniversary, these new releases Made Available, Repeat / Metal and Live 80 – 81 round out the story. Each release is sanctioned by surviving members Charles Bullen and Charles Hayward and features newly remastered audio sourced from original tapes.


      * Officially sanctioned by original members Charles Bullen and Charles Hayward
      * Remastered from the original analog tapes
      * First time ever on vinyl

      Formed in 1976 in Brixton, a multicultural, and – at the time – down-at-heel part of south London, This Heat were born into a music scene in rapid flux, first thanks to the punk explosion and then via new wave and its myriad offshoots into pop, rock and art-rock. But while many sought to apply punk attitude to chart-friendly sounds, This Heat were concocting some of the most experimental ideas ever committed to tape, taking influence from musique concrète, krautrock, the burgeoning industrial scene and even the dub reggae blasting out in their home borough.

      Recorded from 1979 – 1980 Repeat / Metal is essentially This Heat’s third proper album, although it was released posthumously in 1993. Arguably their most radical work, Repeat / Metal features side-length tape experiments ranging from the dubby drum loops of “Repeat”, a 20 minute edit / reworking of their landmark piece “24 Track Loop”, to the gamelan-inspired sounds of “Metal”, an electro-acoustic work recorded outside of their studio, Cold Storage, and helmed by member Gareth Williams.

      Following Modern Classics Recordings’ 2016 reissue campaign to mark the band’s 40th anniversary, these new releases Made Available, Repeat / Metal and Live 80 – 81 round out the story. Each release is sanctioned by surviving members Charles Bullen and Charles Hayward and features newly remastered audio sourced from original tapes.


      Uniform

      The Long Walk

        Following the release of critically acclaimed LP Wake in Fright, which had two songs featured in the new season of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, it was time for Uniform vocalist Michael Berdan and instrumentalist Ben Greenberg to return to the studio. The duo decided to up the ante and add a third member to help perfect their vicious post-industrial dystopian cyber-punk. After some deliberation, Greenberg called upon drummer Greg Fox (Liturgy, Zs) to help round out the sound they were looking for. Using a mix of triggered samples and real drums along with layered synths and good old electric guitar, the trio arrived at what would become The Long Walk after only a few short days in the studio.

        From the opening whirr of the title track, it’s clear that the band is onto something special. Recorded in Strange Weather studios in the first part of 2018, The Long Walk is eight new tracks by the duo of Greenberg and Berdan, incorporating Fox’s skills behind the drum kit to add an entirely new dimension to the signature Uniform sound. Ditching sequenced tracks, Greenberg opted for single takes to highlight the Frankenstein-like guitar-bass-synth hybrid that oozes throughout the recording. Meanwhile, crushing guitar thunder is punched up by Fox’s masterful drumming while Berdan’s cries from the nether feel more desperate and morose than ever. This is Uniform at its most bleak, emotional, and powerful.

        Lyrically, The Long Walk deals with paradoxes in spirituality and organized religion. Berdan went to Catholic school for most of his primary education. Fear of Biblical hell and damnation felt tangible. As Berdan grew and matured emotionally, he began to reject Catholicism bit by bit. In the recent past, Berdan found himself slowly reconnecting with his background, observing how the faith that he found so repressive served as a great source of comfort and strength for so many. Yet therein lay the contradiction that drove him from religion in the first place — many of the human traditions of the church also dealt in repression, intolerance, and bigotry. Could one observe the rituals and practice of a faith while acknowledging and rejecting its ugliest elements?


        The Wire

        Issue 415 - September 2018

          Inside this issue:

          Low: Over 20 plus years Low have established themselves as unique song stylists. But what drove the trio to bury their songs beneath layers of electronics on their latest album Double Negative? By Abi Bliss

          Music And Mental Health: An innovative new project in South West England aims to help residential patients articulate their ideas of freedom through experimental approaches to sound. By Trevor Barre

          Klaus Schulze: As a member of Tangerine Dream, Ash Ra Tempel and Cosmic Jokers, and most crucially as a solo artist, the German synthesist has helped shape the sound of electronic music. By Phil Freeman

          Bites


          Sarah Kenchington: The Scottish inventor and musician makes good use of her found objects. By Claire Sawers

          Fauxe: The Singapore rhythm master finds heat in cultural friction with Malaysia. By Josh Feola

          Tengger: The pan-Asian duo traverse meditative synthesized vistas. By Clive Bell

          Makaya McCraven: The Chicago percussionist plays cut ’n’ paste with time ’n’ space. By Phil Freeman

          Global Ear: Northern Egypt: A rave on the beach holds hidden gems from Cairo’s underground. By Maha ElNabawi

          Invisible Jukebox: Oliver Coates: Will the cellist and composer bow before the The Wire’s mystery record selection? Tested by Stewart Smith

          The Inner Sleeve: The Tapeworm’s Philip Marshall on Peter Gabriel’s Big Time

          Epiphanies: Poulomi Desai sails her own personal ocean of sound

          On Screen: New films and DVDs: Sami Sänpäkkilä’s The Goodiepal Equation

          On Site: Recent art events: Orgasmic Streaming Organic Gardening Electroculture, London, UK; AvantWhatever, Melbourne, Australia

          Print Run: New music books: Wayne Kramer’s life in rebel rock, the story of electronic music, video games and classical music, European folk, and more

          On Location: Recent festivals, gigs and clubs: Bastard Assignments, Supersonic, SEED Ensemble, Feldman At Sunrise, and more.

          Various Artists

          Light Sounds Dark: 3, 6, 9: The Trinity Alignment

          Possibly the darkest, most voodoo and downright terrifying Light Sound Dark to date - this is some baaaaad acid to get totally freaked out on.

          Sounding like a lost artifact from an Aboriginal-era civilization based on a distant, mutated planet; the haunting drones, red-shift didgeridoo and Event Horizon style phaze shift are sure to transport the listener into an alternate reality of menacing and otherworldly elements. Drums and guitars do enter the fray, as the journey reaches its natural apex along with a couple of coldwave vocal nuggets, but on the whole the discogs boffins are gonna have a really hard time trying to identify these lost freakouts.

          You know the score by now - mega limited and one of the more sought after compilation labels that we get in the shop - get those orders in now if you want in on the escapades. 


          FORMAT INFORMATION

          2xLtd LP Info: Super limited, one off pressing in full colour sleeve.


          This weeks Sunday classic album club featuring Patti Smith @TheDoors The Durutti Column and @pinkfloydhttps://t.co/lZiuL1BfyV
          Sun 19th - 1:54
          Still buzzing off last night’s @liamgallagher @LancsCCC gig but know there’s no a limit to how much of his music yo… https://t.co/ZLeXxmsMnH
          Sun 19th - 12:28
          Just when you thought the summer was over! Our resident beach boy Patrick does his Balearic things for killer label… https://t.co/KNvK3J7149
          Sat 18th - 4:18
          Yes! Good work! 👌🏻 https://t.co/crSsp4Pwkq
          Sat 18th - 10:17
          Animal Collectives new album Tangerine Reef is out today. Available on heavyweight green/black vinyl and CD. Beauti… https://t.co/ut8UQGz9wp
          Fri 17th - 2:57
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