MAGIC MIX

avant . leftfield . post-rock . drone . experimental

WEEK STARTING 22 Nov

Genre pick of the week Cover of Heliopause by Anne Müller.

Anne Müller

Heliopause

    Classically trained at Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts under the renowned cellist and conductor Michael Sanderling, Anne Müller performed as a cellist in many of Berlin’s symphonies for some time before choosing a different path with her music and focussing on novel approaches to classical instrumentation. A profound believer in the power of artistic collaboration, Anne’s skilled cello playing and instinctive composition became extremely sought after. Following her work with Nils Frahm, an enduring partnership with singer-songwriter-composer Agnes Obel ensued, touring for five years together and featuring on two albums (Philharmonics and Aventine) and most recently, working with multiinstrumentalist Markus Sieber (aka Aukai) on his 2019 album Reminiscence. In between all this, Müller also co-founded the progressive live project Solo Collective along with violinist/singer Alex Stolze and pianist/conceptual artist Sebastian Reynolds, releasing Solo Collective Part One in 2017.

    A solo record in every sense of the word, Müller wrote, recorded, arranged and produced Heliopause. The album is named after the boundary where the sun’s wind ceases to have influence. It is ultimately, the border of our solar system. The name struck a chord with Müller since the two voyagers sent on an exploratory mission 42 years ago, recently crossed the Heliopause, entering into interstellar space and losing power from our own sun. Müller recognised herself in this moment, not only approaching the same age, but also breaking new ground; having relied on collaborating with so many other stars and now venturing into the unknown with her first solo statement; “Heliopause marks the end of a long journey but also the start of voyages to explore strange new worlds” Boldly opening the album with Being Anne, it sees Müller embrace her new found freedom with the most experimental piece on the record, placing the cello in a completely new context. Playing the strings of a broken down piano with a plectrum and scratching parts of the key mechanism to produce a rhythm, the once lost instrument is given a new lease of life among looped cello drones and drums. “I used the sounds of a tiny piano I got from my mother that she bought when she was a student and didn’t have any money. Later it stood for years in our little summer garden house, where I practiced on it constantly for my piano lessons. Even though it’s old and not in the best shape, I love the way it sounds and call it my little circus piano”.

    The atmospheric swells of noise on Being Anne are juxtaposed beautifully with the most stripped back and exposed song, Solo? Repeat!. The J.S. Bach and Gaspar Cassadó influenced piece sees Müller go solo in its purest form: unaccompanied cello. Lead single Nummer 2 is so titled as it’s the second piece Anne ever wrote. A mixture of old sounds and newer structures, its repeated arpeggio conjures drama and displays Müller’s dexterous production abilities. Drifting Circles meanwhile provides the album’s climax, amid an orchestra of looped cellos and vocals. Referencing the minimalism of contemporary composers such as Steve Reich and Philip Glass, it builds to a crescendo of harmonics, allowing the cello to sore as it crosses the border from minor to major. Both as the closing title track and album as a whole, Heliopause crosses these physical and invisible borders throughout, sending the cello as a typically classical instrument to exciting new and uncharted territory

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Müller's 2010 outing with Nils Frahm, '7 Fingers' was one of my early highlights on Erased Tapes, and this long awaited follow-up is just as good. Obviously, being a solo record rather than a collaboration, the focus is entirely on Müller here, and she manages to pull off a stunning set of atmospheric ambient chamber classical and swimming minimalist brilliance. Gorgeous.

    Anunnaki

    Immanentize The Eschaton

      Occult Psychedelia For The Initiated. Doom For The New Age. Hailing from Nanaimo, British Columbia, on the west coast of Canada, Dave Read (Moths & Locusts) on bass/guitar/synth/effects and Arlen Thompson (Wolf Parade) on drums/modular synth have for the last several years teamed up as ANUNNAKI, and over the course of several sold out EPs and one previous full length album (2017’s “Two Treatise On Gnostic Thought”) they have harnessed a maelstrom of hurricane force tones into their unique sound. The new album “Immanentize The Eschaton” (ie, to bring forth the Apocalypse) reflects all the chaos and turbulence going on in the world today, be it politically, environmentally, or socially, as well as reminding us of the beauty, love and compassion that so often appears fleeting in these modern times. Imagine a cross between Motorhead’s Lemmy & Philthy Animal and Kraftwerk’s Ralf & Florian, together channeling the kozmik vision of Alice Coltrane through Sunn O)))’s amplifiers, and with influences varying from Klaus Schulze to Acid Mothers Temple, from New Age to Black Metal, Madame Blavatsky to Thich Nhat Hanh, and you’ll start to get the idea of what Anunnaki is all about.

      To put it mildly Anunnaki creates a massive sound for only 2 musicians. Live, the band has shared the stage with artists including Merzbow, Peter Brotzmann, Plastic Crimewave Syndicate, Darsombra, The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol, Comet Control , and Finland’s Siinai, among others. The album itself comprises just 3 epic tracks, ranging in length from 7:01 (album opener ‘Rise Of The Millenarian’), to 21:25 (‘The Demiurge Begins Anew’, which comprises all of Side B). In what is becoming true Anunnaki fashion, all tracks were recorded live off the floor, with no overdubs and minimal edits. The striking cover art is a black & white photographic portrait of the band with bass/guitar doubleneck and modular synth at the ready, beautifully shot in Nanaimo’s iconic White Room venue by local photographer Jason Felker. Produced by the band, and assisted by Andrew Halliwell, with mastering once again handled by Dietrich Schoenemann.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Transparent Gold Coloured Vinyl

      Deliluh

      Beneath The Floors

        Recorded in the same veterans hall 5 months prior to it’s sibling record (Oath Of Intent), Beneath The Floors delves deeper into their dark imagination, stretching further into stylistic extremes. Spoken stories that thread through the ringing clamour of post-punk anthems (Incantessa, Lickspittle: A Nut In The Paste) are juxtaposed by the soft whisper of ballads (Via 5A, Hangman’s Keep) and sinister instrumental passages (Falcon Scott Trail, Con Art Inc.) Rests between songs are seldom. Hard cuts and hiss from the reel-to-reel tape sessions inject a spirit of conviction through each passing movement, leaving behind a sense of wonder in their wake.

        19 Gadi Pirms Sakuma

        19 Years Before The Beginning

        Formed with the intention of playing a single performance at an audio visual exhibition curated by contemporaries NSRD, 19 gadi pirms sākuma developed into one of the most delicate, intriguing groups in Latvia’s 1980s and early 1990s music scene. After their first (and in their minds only) performance, a pair of music journalists from Berlin asked for a copy of their non-existent album, prompting the group to continue their musical journey. 

        Part of a totally DIY scene flourishing through the cracks of the Soviet Union, the group chose instruments based on emotion and availability, often borrowing gear from colleauges for recording. 
        They laid down four tracks, one of which, "Singapūras Vējš", appears on this compilation. Listening to it now, the frantic synths, percussion and Rubene’s vocal reveal the urgency of the time. The momentum of youth enlivened by the possibilities of the future. Fragility exists in the music, especially in the vocals, yet it is swept up in the energy of the moment.
        Things continued to move quickly for the group. Shortly after that first recording session they were invited to play West Berlin’s Transmission Festival, sharing the stage with the likes of Einsturzende Neubauten.
        On their next visit to the studio, they laid down five tracks, "Die Wilde Frau", "Ruhig", "Kurmja deja", "Nikni Zvēri", "Pāri upei", all of which are present on this compilation.
        When listening to them now, it’s remarkable how unique 19 gadi pirms sākuma’s music sounds. Seemingly disparate acoustic and synthetic sounds orchestrated into swooning, surreal songs. Elements of minimalism combined with synth pop and echoes of folk melodicism. 
        Much like their contemporaries and collaborators NSRD, 19 gadi pirms sākuma’s music captures frustration with their own reality, and a playful drive to make up a new one.


        STAFF COMMENTS

        Patrick says: Lovely archival action from Stroom here, detailing the experimental and emotional music of 19 Gadi Pirms Sakuma. Inspired by snatches of Arvo Part, Laurie Anderson and Philip Glass, but isolated from the wider musical world, the Latvian group playfully sought their own sound, a coldwave fusion of organic and electronic elements which still sounds unique.

        Yoshio Ojima

        Une Collection Des Chaînons I: Music For Spiral

        * WRWTFWW Records deliver the first ever double CD reissue for both volumes of Yoshio Ojima’s superb environmental music project Une Collection des Chaînons I and II: Music For Spiral, originally released in 1988. The twenty track opus is sourced from original masters and comes as a double digipack CD with liner notes in English and Japanese. This marks the inaugural release from the ESPLANADE SERIES by WRWTFWW Records which focuses on the works of Yoshio Ojima and friends.

        Une Collection des Chaînons I and II gathers selected music pieces conceptualized and produced for sound-designing the Wacoal Art Center in Aoyama (Tokyo) also known as Spiral, a hub for a wide range of sophisticated cultural proposals spanning visual arts, theatre, music, design, fashion, and lifestyle.

        Named after its superb curled-shaped structures laid in a vast atrium, Spiral is a monumental work of architecture by Fumihiko Maki, designed according to the principles of Metabolism, a movement advocating the fusion of the notions of megastructures and organic biological growth - in essence, evolving designs and constructions, adapting to human needs naturally.

        Evolving, organic, adapting, these are notions that perfectly describe Yoshio Ojima’s divinely designed brand of environmental music. Based on a meticulous work on timbres and textures, it approaches sound design in relation to various contexts, sizes, and feelings. CD 1 flows from the eerie and levitating "Entrance" to the quirky "Esplanade (LIVE)", the gentle and reassuring "Flius", and the measured and ravishing escalation of "Mensis". On CD 2, the nanoscopic neoclassical lullaby "Les Trois Grâces" brings attention to the importance of small details, "Pulse at Soothe" starts with the minimalism of a Satoshi Ashikawa piece and slowly drifts into mystical landscapes and cavernous echoes, "Entomology" and its melancholic artificial forest evokes a Twin Peaks mirage, and "Atrium" literally feels like a floating visit of a gigantic open space structure.

        Sitting alongside Midori Takada’s Through The Looking Glass, Satoshi Ashikawa’s Still Way, Hiroshi Yoshimura’s Green, or Yutaka Hirose’s NOVA, as a pivotal work of Japanese environmental/ambient/minimalist music, Une Collection des Chaînons (which translates as a collection of links) is a delicately laid out sonic landscape connecting space and emotions, architecture and humanity, adjusting and transforming through the ears of the listeners.

        A note from Yoshio Ojima: "Please listen to this album at around the same volume as daily life sounds such as air conditioners and refrigerators."

        Yoshio Ojima will be touring to support Serenitatem, his album with Visible Cloaks and Satsuki Shibano


        Yoshio Ojima

        Une Collection Des Chaînons II: Music For Spiral

        * WRWTFWW Records is insanely happy to announce the first ever double CD reissue for both volumes of Yoshio Ojima’s superb environmental music project Une Collection des Chaînons I and II: Music For Spiral, originally released in 1988. The twenty track opus is sourced from original masters and comes as a double digipack CD with liner notes in English and Japanese. This marks the inaugural release from the ESPLANADE SERIES by WRWTFWW Records which focuses on the works of Yoshio Ojima and friends.

        Une Collection des Chaînons I and II gathers selected music pieces conceptualized and produced for sound-designing the Wacoal Art Center in Aoyama (Tokyo) also known as Spiral, a hub for a wide range of sophisticated cultural proposals spanning visual arts, theatre, music, design, fashion, and lifestyle.

        Named after its superb curled-shaped structures laid in a vast atrium, Spiral is a monumental work of architecture by Fumihiko Maki, designed according to the principles of Metabolism, a movement advocating the fusion of the notions of megastructures and organic biological growth - in essence, evolving designs and constructions, adapting to human needs naturally.

        Evolving, organic, adapting, these are notions that perfectly describe Yoshio Ojima’s divinely designed brand of environmental music. Based on a meticulous work on timbres and textures, it approaches sound design in relation to various contexts, sizes, and feelings. CD 1 flows from the eerie and levitating "Entrance" to the quirky "Esplanade (LIVE)", the gentle and reassuring "Flius", and the measured and ravishing escalation of "Mensis". On CD 2, the nanoscopic neoclassical lullaby "Les Trois Grâces" brings attention to the importance of small details, "Pulse at Soothe" starts with the minimalism of a Satoshi Ashikawa piece and slowly drifts into mystical landscapes and cavernous echoes, "Entomology" and its melancholic artificial forest evokes a Twin Peaks mirage, and "Atrium" literally feels like a floating visit of a gigantic open space structure.

        Sitting alongside Midori Takada’s Through The Looking Glass, Satoshi Ashikawa’s Still Way, Hiroshi Yoshimura’s Green, or Yutaka Hirose’s NOVA, as a pivotal work of Japanese environmental/ambient/minimalist music, Une Collection des Chaînons (which translates as a collection of links) is a delicately laid out sonic landscape connecting space and emotions, architecture and humanity, adjusting and transforming through the ears of the listeners.

        A note from Yoshio Ojima: "Please listen to this album at around the same volume as daily life sounds such as air conditioners and refrigerators."

        Yoshio Ojima will be touring to support Serenitatem, his album with Visible Cloaks and Satsuki Shibano

        Shit And Shine

        Doing Drugs, Selling Drugs

          Fifteen years and forty releases into their career, Shit And Shine return to Riot Season with some trademark aural filth. As if you’d expect anything different. Right?. ‘Doing Drugs, Selling Drugs’ is the sound of a man going back to the harsh sound of the early Shit And Shine works, and mixing it up with his recent dirge rock outings with USA/Mexico. It’s nasty. Mastered by James Plotkin.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Matt says: One of my most consistently favourable artists returns with a new album and it is a DOOZY freaks. Distorted and guttural, repetitive and incessant, it's the sound of an inward existential crises on meth amphetamine, ramped up well into the red and set alight with pyrotechnics. Mega.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          Coloured LP Info: Very limited green vinyl.

          Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

          "I can only bear intimacy, really, and after that formality and servility. The horrible thing is familiarity." And so we come to the end...a new vinyl-only compilation from Blackest Ever Black, consisting of all-new recordings unavailable elsewhere, plus a pair of tracks - Carla dal Forno's much-loved cover of The Kiwi Animal's 'Blue Morning', and Scythe's zero gravity blues 'Flower, Drop' - appearing on this format for the first time. Jonas Tiljander (Brainbombs, Bremen) dons his solo Brainman guise for the corrosive synth-scaping of ‘Kilonova’; Ian Martin, whose SEER radio broadcasts were a significant early influence on the label, manifests the pure astral melancholia of ‘Missing Realism’; Hypnotic Sleep and associated band The Fulmars offer two iterations of bittersweet Low-German DIY pop, and Unchained a gorgeous, evergreen-dazed guitar instrumental in ‘Gray d’Aboukir'. 'Dawn Swoop', a suspenseful miniature from Jam Money (Spillage Fete), might just be one the most perfect two minutes in the label's catalogue.There are contributions too from two superheroes in the BEB universe: Bobby Wratten (The Field Mice), withthe gorgeous, tremulous ‘The Munich Post’ from his current project Lightning In A Twilight Hour, and Bridget Hayden, who gives us the heart-stopping, elegiac drowned-folk of 'Solace'. 

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Barry says: A fittingly beautiful and diverse requiem for a killer label, 'A Short Illness...' features a host of superb electronic acts, burning ambience and gloom abound. Unmissable, much like the rest of their considerable catalog.


          An End Of Year Review party next Wednesday (November 27) AND a vinyl compilation coming out in the coming weeks. Cr… https://t.co/jLWmfyVJiz
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