MAGIC MIX

avant . leftfield . post-rock . drone . experimental

WEEK STARTING 20 Sep

Genre pick of the week Cover of Altid Sammen by Efterklang.

Efterklang

Altid Sammen

    Altid Sammen (meaning “always together”) is deep and sonorous, steeped in the sonic experimentation that has long been their trademark since Tripper, the Danes’ 2004 debut. As bold and ambitious in scope as their last collection of songs, Piramida, Casper Clausen (vocals), Mads Brauer (synths, electronics) and Rasmus Stolberg (bass) have taken another creative U-turn, this time fusing baroque instrumentation with their signature expansive sound.

    Efterklang’s last release, Piramida, centred around a ghost town in the Arctic, was a grand and all-encompassing project that spawned a movie, live album and a series of unforgettable shows (including a live debut at the Sydney Opera House). Their final performance in Sønderborg – the southern Danish town where the band grew up – marked a closing of a chapter, for Piramida and for Efterklang.

    “We needed a break from the album and touring routine, and we needed a break from Efterklang,” says Clausen. “After the Sønderborg show, things felt very exciting – and a bit scary too. We could think freely, and move in new directions again, just focusing on the things that excited the 3 of us.”

    That break saw the trio explore projects outside of the group’s confines. Together they co-wrote and performed an opera with friend and composer Karsten Fundal (LEAVES, The Colour Of Falling) as part of the Copenhagen Opera Festival. Meanwhile, Clausen, Brauer and Stolberg reunited with Efterklang’s touring drummer Tatu Rönkkö for a new band, Liima. In sharp contrast to Efterklang, they scaled down the music process, creating songs in a day, and released two records of icy, grand electronic pop, ii (2016) and 1982 (2017).

    What lured them back as Efterklang was another off-kilter collaboration, this time with B.O.X, a Belgian ensemble founded by lute player Pieter Theuns that performs new music with baroque orchestration. Initially invited by Theuns to compose music for a joint performance, the experience inspired and invigorated the trio to return to the studio for a new Efterklang album proper. For perhaps the first time in the band’s history, they took a less-is-more approach to Altid Sammen, engaging on a more primal and emotional level. The album also sees the trio break from tradition with Clausen singing in his mother tongue some of his most personal lyrics thus far.

    “Altid Sammen’s songs are about belief and togetherness,” Clausen says. “Not in a religious way – none of us are believers of a defined religion. The words are searching for meaning in intimate relationships, in nature, in death and eternity. The bonds we create; to gather, hold hands, sing or share a moment together. We’re all connected, across nations, age, sex and gender. We come together with all of our backgrounds, and we move apart in all sorts of directions, always together.”

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: I've loved Efterklang for some time now, and it really has been fascinating to see the trajectory of the core band and their former members (Peter Broderick being one of them!). Their newest outing takes the morose poppy melodies of Piramida with some of the electronic scree of their earlier work, and it's a perfectly measured and completely brilliant electronic pop LP. Superb as ever from Clausen & co.

    “In this post-industrial, post-enlightenment religion of ourselves, we have manifested a serpent of consumerism which now coils back upon us. It seduces us with our own bait as we betray the better instincts of our nature and the future of our own world. We throw ourselves out of our own garden. We poison ourselves to the edges of an endless sleep.

    Animated Violence Mild was written throughout 2018, at Blanck Mass’ studio outside of Edinburgh. These eight tracks are the diary of a year of work steeped in honing craft, self-discovery, and grief - the latter of which reared its head at the final hurdle of producing this record and created a whole separate narrative: grief, both for what I have lost personally, but also in a global sense, for what we as a species have lost and handed over to our blood-sucking counterpart, consumerism, only to be ravaged by it. 

    I believe that many of us have willfully allowed our survival instinct to become engulfed by the snake we birthed. Animated - brought to life by humankind. Violent - insurmountable and wild beyond our control. Mild - delicious.
    This is perhaps the most concise body of work I have written to date. Having worked extensively throughout my musical life with dramatics, narrative, and ‘melody against all odds’, these tracks are the most direct and honest yet. The level of articulation in these tracks surpasses anything I have utilized before.”
    - Benjamin John Power.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Huge lurching arpeggios and cavernous percussion snaps glitch their way around a solid core of 16-bit reductions and skittering vocal shards. Drawing a flawless line between game soundtracks, rawkous EDM and the slowly building electronics of dancefloor trance or the incremental atmospheric accentuation of 70's prog. Indescribably mad, but thoroughly addictive.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Dinked Edition LP Info: • Exclusive numbered edition of 500 units only.
    • Exclusive pink coloured vinyl.
    • Exclusive tote bag.
    • Exclusive Sticker.
    • Exclusive print.

    Coloured LP Info: Indies only green vinyl.

    Floating Spectrum

    A Point Between

      Floating Spectrum is the moniker for Taiwan-born, Berlin-based composer and audio technologist, Mei-Fang Liau. Her debut album as Floating Spectrum, A Point Between - crafted from a combination of synthesizers, everyday household objects, and unique software synthesizers made by Liau herself - is truly a sound and vision unlike any other. To complete the album, Liau relied heavily on a self-made, fractal-inspired software synthesizer called Polyphylla, which simulates the way in which nature creates very complex and organic forms just by repeating slight variations of a simple form.

      It allowed Liau to create slowly evolving textures and sounds with complex dynamics, and thus the driving influence for the whole of A Point Between. The lone outlier is "Eruption," for which Liau built a generative sound system that turns visual data into sound. In this hybrid system, sensitively fluctuating analog signals, fine-tuned data analysis, and human intuition perform together as one coherent living being. The technological marvels of Floating Spectrum are, of course, uniquely impressive. But the more astonishing and intangible triumph of A Point Between is its singular ability to collect and shape such abstract sonic organisms into richly textured, immersive works of art. It's that profound resonance that makes A Point Between such an uncanny work of emotional and structural depth

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Limited Crystal Clear with Dark Red Streaks Vinyl.

      Fly Pan Am

      C’est Ça

        C'est ça marks the reunion of Montreal avant-rock quartet Fly Pan Am, who released an acclaimed series of albums in Constellation's early years, from 1999-2004. The band's heady collision of motorik repetition, shoegaze maximalism, punk skronk, tape- and electronic-based interventions and audio sabotage, garnered them a cult following among fans of audaciously deconstructed post-rock. Fly Pan Am quietly reunited in late 2017 for purely artistic reasons (needless to say), to explore making new music together after more than a decade spent in pursuit of separate sonic adventures. Within weeks, it was clear the band was firing on all cylinders again, brimming with electricity and eager to pick up where they’d left off with their last album N’écoutez pas back in 2004: pushing further into full-spectrum intersections of noise pop, post-punk, power electronics and musique concrète, while continuing to incorporate shrouded, textural vocals as alternately melodic and visceral components.

        C'est ça is a welcome return to form - an album of undeniably renewed vitality and experimentation where rock structures underpinned by J.S. Truchy's trademark rapid-fire bass and Felix Morel's disciplined, ascetic drumming are submerged beneath waves of processed guitar by Roger Tellier-Craig and Jonathan Parant, with fluorescent noise treatments and sonic vandalisms wrought by all four. Songs variously nod to key influences like MBV and Husker Du, the intrepid proto-Kosmiche of This Heat and Can, and later style-adjacent torchbearers like Boredoms, Flying Saucer Attack and Trans Am - all the while collapsing into/out of themselves in various ways. But Fly Pan Am have always and reliably been much more than the sum of their influences: C'est ca is terrific new collection of restless, conceptual, viscerally ethereal noise rock that could come from no other band, sparkling with the creative buzz of lifelong artistic intensity, dialogue and friendship

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: I've been listening to C’est Ça for a couple months now and can tell you it is without a doubt the most Fly Pan Am of all of the Fly Pan Am releases. Clashing, punky art-rock, huge cavernous lurches of percussion, distorted guitars and post-punk grooves breaking through when you least expect it. A legendary band, and a truly triumphant return after FIFTEEN YEARS!

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        LP Info: 180 gram vinyl, plus 12" x 19" poster.

        LP includes MP3 Download Code.

        Super lush ambient and modern minimalist music from Korean artist Sunggun Jang. Created during the harsh winter nights of 2019 at a home studio in the outskirts of Seoul, “​Disfiguring Echos” i​s the first full length album of Korean artist Suggun Jang.

        Mesmerizing ambient soundscapes soaked in Jang’s own environment recordings, are subtly layered with contemporary minimalist compositions to form a powerful work that reflects the harsh yet beautiful surroundings and captures the imagination.

        Suggun Jang has been making music for more than 15 years, from noise and doom metal beginnings to complex and detailed sound designs for soundtrack projects, and a passion for capturing his surroundings with unique environment recordings.

        Daehan Electronics presents the first window into the world of Suggun Jang.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Matt says: If crushingly heavy atmospheres, rain-soaked melancholy and scarily intimate moments of emptyness are your thing right now, then get this incredibly introspective album in your life right now and soak up the fun!

        Suzuki Junzo & Snakes Don't Belong In Alaska

        The Ascended Master Teachings Of...

          Cardinal Fuzz are pleased to bring to you a meeting of North East and the East via Newcastle Sike Lords - Snakes Don't Belong In Alaska and joining them , the legendary Japanese musician Suzuki Junzo (Miminokoto, 20 Guilders and Overhang Party as well as many solo titles) who unleashes a glorious tsunami of psychedelic honey via guitar. Over four sides of vinyl they create a tumultuous crescendo of psychedelic drone acid jam worship. Recorded and mixed by MP Wood at the Soundrooms, Gateshead as Snakes Don’t Belong In Alaska took the good opportunity to book some studio time as Suzuki Junzo was playing in Newcastle with them while touring Europe.

          The sheer joy of playing together on stage carried over from that show into the recording studio where over a stonking 75 minutes your ears are treated to an eternal freak-out. The Snakes bring a bottom end Sabbath thud while Jude (Guitar) creates a swirling and warped glide over the top of which Suzuki Junzo unleashes crazed 6 string fireworks
          .
          And if that does not set your heart a flutter then as the insert says “If you are looking for psychedelic music, do not buy this record unless you are looking for psychedelic music”



          FORMAT INFORMATION

          2xLtd LP Info: 300 Pressing Worldwide. Presented in a 350gsm Wide Spine Sleeve with a full size insert and download code.

          Thurston Moore

          Spirit Counsel

            SPIRIT COUNSEL is a collection of three extended compositions recorded between 2018-19. This collection represents a period of reflection on spiritual matters, collective musical friendships, and a time and space universally, without words or languages to distract from meditation.

            CD 1: ‘Alice Moki Jayne’ is a new composition from noise guitar explorations honouring Alice Coltrane, Moki Cherry, and Jayne Cortez. These female partners of jazz musicians brought spirituality into the lives and music that has most inspired Thurston Moore.
            12-string electric guitar army: Thurston Moore, James Sedwards, Jen Chochinov
            Baritone bass truth and soul: Deb Googe
            Magick drums: Jem Doulton
            Electronic Wobbly love: Jon Leidecker
            Engineer: Christophe Albertijn Recorded in Brussels, Belgium in 2019

            CD 2: ‘8 Spring Street’ is a personal hommage to Glenn Branca, the title an address is in New York City, the apartment where Thurston first visited his mentor to rehearse.
            Electric guitar Thurston Moore
            Engineer: Syd Kemp
            Recorded in London, UK in 2019

            CD 3: ‘Galaxies’ is an orchestral piece of music, with Moore as conductor and composer. Twelve guitarists are arranged as if one instrument, exploring the vast emotional depths present in twelve strings. Taking inspiration from a poem by Sun Ra ‘Galaxies’ ponders our place in the universe as we stare into imagery offered by satellites via space agencies.
            Guitar Army: Thurston Moore, David Toop, Susan Stenger, James Sedwards, Deb Googe, Alex Ward, Jen Chochinov, Jonah Falco, Rachel Aggs, Joseph Coward, Eugene Coyne & James McCartney
            Guitar technicians: Beetmol Troy and Matt Tag
            Recorded in London, UK in 2018

            Book: ‘SPIRIT COUNSEL’ is an artist book edited by Thurston Moore which includes photographs compiled during the process of creating the accompanying musical works and is available exclusively within this boxset.

            In support of their forthcoming Bob Moog documentary 'Electronic Voyager', Waveshaper Media have produced a compilation LP of Moog recordings from the 1960s. The first compilation of its kind, "Electronic Voyages: Early Moog recordings 1964-1969" contains tracks by Robert Arthur Moog, Herbert Deutsch, Joel Chadabe, Lothar and the Hand People, Intersystems, Ruth White, Max Brand, and Paul Earls. All of these tracks, released here on vinyl in an edition of 1000 copies, have been scarcely heard and difficult to track down, with all but three of them previously unreleased on vinyl.

            Bypassing the Moog synthesizer’s backseat appearance on key pop recordings by the likes of the Beatles, the Doors, and the Beach Boys, "Electronic Voyages..." aims to highlight the diverse approach of 1960s musicians and composers who adopted the Moog as their primary instrument; these recordings all feature the Moog synthesizer front and centre. Beginning with an audio letter ("The Abominatron") from Bob Moog to his musician-muse Herbert Deutsch, demonstrating some of the first Moog synthesizer prototype’s capabilities, "Electronic Voyages" veers from avant-garde and electronic soundscapes, to psychedelic madness and summer-of-love pop. In the 1960s, the Moog synthesizer was a new, groundbreaking instrument, and its use was completely uncharted territory. The pioneering use of the Moog on all of these recordings sounds fresh today - you can sense the wide-eyed exploratory delight unfolding, and the disparate results range from endearingly naive (Lothar and the Hand People, Paul Earls) to downright eerie (Ruth White, Intersystems).

            The musicians and composers behind these "Electronic Voyages" may have been among the first to adopt Moog synthesizers, but the fact that they so readily found within them expressivity, heart, and a means to translate their wondrous sense of discovery, speaks far more to Bob Moog’s visionary invention and enduring legacy. A triumph!



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