MAGIC MIX

avant . leftfield . post-rock . drone . experimental

WEEK STARTING 15 Feb

Genre pick of the week Cover of Boy Meets Girl by Endon.

Endon

Boy Meets Girl

    Endon is a band as mercurial as they are ferocious. Comprised of the quintet of vocalist Taichi Nagura, guitarist Koki Miyabe, drummer Shin Yokota and electronics/noisemakers Taro Aiko and Etsuo Nagura, Endon’s music is contained chaos, bending and colliding genres into one another atop a bed of thunderous distortion, feedback, and unearthly squeals. Vocalist Taichi’s voice embodies an unreal number of personalities with wordless howls seething one moment and agonized cries the next, before desperate gasps for air. It comes as no surprise that they have been credited as the most extreme band in Tokyo.

    ‘Boy Meets Girl’ was envisioned as a soundtrack to an imagined horror film about love. The core of the ensemble’s song structures are often built around Koki’s fuzz-laden guitar and Shin’s drum bombast which propel torrents of hisses and squelches from Taro and Etsuo. Taichi’s largely lyricless screams, moans and whimpers are potent messengers of the songs’ emotional heft. There lies an ecstatic, excited energy amidst the anarchic defiance Endon's music exudes. Born of the same Japanese scenes that gave rise to the likes of Merzbow and Boredoms, their sound is equally diverse and abrasive. ‘Boy Meets Girl’ demonstrates Endon’s singular faculty to produce music that is at once tortured and transcendent.

    '"White Shadows In The South Seas" is the title of a book written in 1919 by Frederick O’Brien as part of a trilogy he wrote based on his experiences living in the Pacific islands in the early part of the 20th century. His book was taken as the starting point for a film to be directed, initially, by Robert Flaherty (famous at the time for his groundbreaking documentary / fiction film Nanook Of The North) with W.S.Van Dyke as his support. The film, ultimately, apart from the title, had little to do with O’Brien’s book and Flaherty left the film after a few months leaving Van Dyke to finish it. I purchased O'Brien's book, along with many others, from Basement Books, a secondhand bookstore in Melbourne/Australia. Part of my 'Islomania' and ongoing fascination with all things Pacific. When I discovered there was a 1929 silent film based on the book I sought it out and started to present it as part of my 'Live Music/Silent films' repertoire. Tabu by Frederick Murnau, which coincidently also had Flaherty as co-director originally, was the first film I ever wrote / improvised a score for and presented as a live film/music performance. My repertoire extends to over 23 films now.

    My eclectic and diverse musical and artistic interests extend into 'Hawaiian', ‘Exotica’, ‘Ambient’ and 'Electronic' Music.

    "White Shadows In The South Seas" features some of the music presented in my live screenings of the 1929 silent film. '

    - Mike Cooper

    Mike Cooper plays – Electric and acoustic lap steel guitars / electronics / Zoom Sampletrack / Kaos Pad / Casio SK1 / Korg Drum Machine / Self Made Instruments.

    It also features field recordings made on Pulau Ubin by Mike Cooper during a month as Artist In Residence for The Artist Village / Singapore.

    All music written and played by Mike Cooper PRS/MCPS - except Po Mahina (trad. Arr. Cooper) and Hilo Hanakahi (trad. Arr. Cooper)

    Recorded and Mixed at the Steelworks in Rome 2012/2013.


    FORMAT INFORMATION

    2xLP Info: In silk-screened sleeves, with metallic ink.

    Cucina Povera

    Zoom

      Zoom is a verité collection of situational recordings made by Cucina Povera - aka Finnish-born, Glasgow-based sound artist Maria Rossi - in intimate spaces full of acoustic or ideological intrigue, primarily using a capella voice. It is a document of different locations and moods that interested the recorder, a postcard look into the stream-of-consciousness processes of an artist developing her own language.

      Using little else other than a Tascam Zoom recorder and loop pedal these are highly personal recordings originally intended as notes for future compositions that ended up becoming the purest rendition of this first phase of Cucina Povera's music to date. Originally presented as WAV files named simply ZOOM---, these on-the-fly compositions are a perfect distillation of Rossi's practice. With no augmentation, not even a song-title, these bare, beautiful tracks become a materialist document of the wonder of the every-day.

      While Rossi's previous album, Hilja, was a sculpted whole that at times used post-production techniques and electronic instruments, Zoom presents acoustic sound as a source of joy and discovery largely without artifice. Rossi's voice is used a searchlight, shining into the crevices of a room's dark corners, or as on ZOOM0005, projected into a Coke bottle aperature, for an almost Shakuhachi texture. Voice dissapates into texture, with rhythms created by simple hissing sounds and the interweaving of loops. ZOOM0001 interlocks 4 different a capella melodies to create a chorus, an improvised solo hymn that seems to rise and rise. ZOOM0010 uses staccato vocal bursts, like Meridith Monk huffing out Steve Reich rhythms, while the soloing Rossi expertly ducks in and out of the frame.

      Like the most celestial moments of her debut Hilja it is a religious experience but rendered more powerful in its naked, secular form. Indeed, there are shades of Hilja in the sounds, with some strains resurfacing from that album, insinuating that Rossi's practise is a continuing form, a series of sentences in the artists' personal language that mutate over time, bending into new shapes. On Zoom, Rossi’s minimalism is fully stark, a process fully transparent and all the more celestially powerful because of it.

      Brigitte Fontaine - Areski Belkacem

      Vous Et Nous

      Originally released in 1977, "Vous Et Nous" was the fourth release under the Areski - Fontaine alias, though the French duo had collaborated heavily over the previous decade or so. If you're au fait with their better known 1973 release "Je Ne Connais Pas Cet Homme", you'll be expecting astral folk explorations, arabesque tonalities and chanson-abstractions, and there's certainly a whole load of avant garde acoustics on show here. But "Vous Et Nous" sees the duo pushing the boundary, both in terms of tracklisting (a massive 34 compositions and poems) and technique, exploring electronics in a more direct way than ever before. Check the R2D2 bleeps of the titular opener for a taster, before diving headfirst into the slo-mo cosmic funk of "Patriarcat", a sleazy synth heater if ever I've heard one. On the organic end of the spectrum, "Je Suis Venu Te Voir" calls to mind the pagan jazz of Henri Texier while "Les Épis" takes us on an exotic jazz journey before jumping straight into a cosmic folk heartbreaker.
      Experimental, free form and flowing, this is a triumph of expression and inspiration. 

      With this previously unreleased 1963 score for Jindlich Polák’s "Ikarie XB-1", Finders Keepers present their third dedicated soundtrack by Zdeněk Liška. Beautifully remastered from the original tapes with the full cooperation of the National Film Archive in the Czech Republic. In a climate where previously lesser-known off- kilter master composers such as Vannier, Kirchin and Axelrod have become widely revered, it is perhaps the perfect time for discerning listeners to advance above the feeding trough and seek out this truly pioneering and revolutionary Eastern European composer.

      Mahbunzi Nahgo Pihndi

      D Ebando

      Following a run of sought-after releases on cassette from artists including Anthony Naples, Xvarr and E Ruscha V, Good Morning Tapes switch to vinyl for their latest offering by Mahbunzi Nahgo Pihndi ("All the Healing Green Leaves of the Forest”) aka Brian Close, one half of New York avant-garde duo Georgia:

      “This record is an extension of a foray into trance ritual music. It is structured as a companion for film, meditation, vision seeking & sound rest. It is by nature a nature worship record, combining acoustic percussive improvisation, sensory foley, vocalized staccatos, and a specific brew of physical / metaphysical sound relations... mind hush / thought flush / spirit rush / sun rise. Inspired by an initiation ceremony of the Bwiti / Fang people of Gabon. This collection relays a fragmented branch of timings of this ceremony and proposes other paths for the sacred (Mougongo) instrument.
      Recoded + Restructured + Reflected as a time capsule, with fullest respect / blessings to breeze the Bwiti understandings through the current climate." 


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Matt says: Perilously dark neo-shamanism here that kicks off a new spellbook of sonics. Quite terrifying in parts - I advise caution when consulting with The Other whilst on entheogens.

      Various Artists

      Cuneiform For Pumapunku

        ** NEW LIGHT SOUNDS DARK!!! - Act now or cry later! 

        Keeping with their theme of late, it's a minimalistic, ambient, drone-like curation of none-hits that plunge deep into wormhole, scrap up all the interstella detritus and cough it back up through a phlegmy, alien oesophagus.

        Two sides of wacked-out, voodoo discharge, electrostatic ambience and general creeping sense of doom. Like watching Event Horizon on your own on 4aco powder - incredibly terrifying but certain to re-programm your synapses. 

        SERIOUSLY limited quants on this one folks so don't dilly dally! 


        Back to top