avant . leftfield . post-rock . drone . experimental

WEEK STARTING 23 Sep

Genre pick of the week Cover of Kosmik Musik by Beak>.

Beak>

Kosmik Musik

    Two years in the making Kosmik Musik is a collaboration between artist Joe Currie, writer Ben Wheatley and musical group Beak>, who worked closely with the artists to provide a musical accompaniment for the graphic novel.

    The soundtrack is pressed on 10" black vinyl and housed in a spined sleeve.

    Ben and Joe met at art school in the 90s where they both were involved in a lot of comic book drawing and reading. It’s taken thirty years to finally get their acts together and create this book. In the meantime Joe has been sculpting and painting. Ben has been writing and directing films.

    Kosmik Musik is melting pot of 2000ad, Metal Hurlant, Kirby tech, psychedelic 60s art, Doctor Who, Douglas Adams, Kraut Rock, Star Trek and Star Wars. A UK 70s English childhood basically.

    The project comes with a sonic accompaniment by Beak> who have live dates on the horizon including Primavera Sound in LA

    ABOUT KOSMIK MUSIK, THE GRAPHIC NOVEL: The galaxy is a big place–but not big enough for Mick and Eve as they are chased across it by cops, inter-dimensional plunderers, rogue artificial intelligences, middle-aged assassins and a third-tier superhero team. Come with us on a rip roaring, planet hopping adventure. Punches will be thrown, tears will be shed and music will be played on vinyl on vintage record players as Mick and Eve try to solve every sentient creature’s fundamental questions like why and what... and eh? Yes, dear reader, Kosmik Musik will unlock some of the more pressing mysteries of the universe. True Fact.


    TRACK LISTING

    KOSMIK MUSIK (Part 1)
    KOSMIK MUSIK (Part 2)
    KOSMIK MUSIK (Part 3)
    KOSMIK MUSIK (Part 4)
    KOSMIK MUSIK (Part 5)
    KOSMIK MUSIK (Part 6)
    KOSMIK MUSIK (Part 7)

    Ellen Arkbro & Johan Graden

    I Get Along Without You Very Well

      Following their collaboration on the acclaimed ‘For Organ and Brass’, released on Subtext, new album ‘I get along without you very well’ expands on the duo’s intoxicating exploration of meditative, spiritual sonics in unexpected ways.

      It is a beautiful meeting of two friends and inventive musical minds, resulting in the most affecting and surprising of pop albums. From its opening notes, ‘I get along without you very well’ delights in subtle tensions and contradictions.

      Ellen Arkbro and Johan Graden embody the limitless curiosity and fearless innovation of the Swedish and Berlin new music scenes they inhabit. Arkbro is a composer and musician whose work has been presented around the globe at prestigious institutions such as the Barbican in London, GRM in Paris and the Kölner Philharmonie in Köln.

      Graden is one of Sweden’s most sought-after pianists, moving freely between classical music and the European contemporary jazz scene. Currently living in Amman Jordan, he is an active member of the Jordanian experimental pop scene.

      ‘I get along without you very well’ is a daring statement from two of the most progressive voices in contemporary music. In allowing themselves to be at their most vulnerable - with each other, their collaborators and with listeners - they have created some of their most powerful work to date.

      TRACK LISTING

      Close
      Out Of Luck
      All In Bloom
      Never Near
      Temple
      Other Side
      Love You, Bye
      Waqt

      Steve Bates

      All The Things That Happen

        RIYL: William Basinski, Wolf Eyes, Gas, Tim Hecker, Emeralds, Yellow Swans, Flying Saucer Attack. Steve Bates is an artist and musician known for his work with post-rock ensemble Black Seas Ensemble, duos with Timothy Herzog and Sophie Trudeau of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, amongst others, as well as a series of digital-only sonic explorations on his own label, The Dim Coast. All The Things That Happen is his first full-length album for Constellation. For this album, Bates pursued a more stripped down exploration of the noisier terrain of the cheap timbre and tonality of the much-loved Casio SK-1 keyboard sampler. These sounds were fed through a variety of electronics, effects, amps, cassettes recorders to shift into their current form heard on these tracks.

        Steve notes that all the tracks started off as ambient, "but I always kept reaching for more texture and noise." Getting reacquainted with the Casio SK-1 was the initial focus on developing the music here. Processed and manipulated during the recording and mixing stages, these initial SK-1 sessions became the foundation of this body of music. Working within the rich world of experimental electronics, these tracks have a core melodicism to them and maybe even a melancholy, as distortion and overtones saturate and spray the music in various directions, while feeling whole and integrated as a body of sound. A fixture of Winnipeg's burgeoning anarcho-punk and social justice community in the 80s-90s, Bates played in hardcore and indie rock bands (XOXO, Bulletproof Nothing) while contemporaneously continuing to fiddle obsessively with the shortwave radio his father bought him as a child — sensibilities that continue to meld and inform his sound work to this day. Bates founded the Send + Receive Festival in 1998, a crucial development in putting Winnipeg on the map for avant music and experimental sound art, which he helmed for seven years. Moving to Tiohti:áke/Montréal in 2005 he took on the Sound Coordinator position at Hexagram (Concordia University), released solo and duo work on ORAL_records and two albums with his Black Seas Ensemble on The Dim Coast, while pursuing myriad other ongoing audio research, installation and collaborative projects. His exhibition and site-specific works have been presented throughout North America and Europe, Chile and Senegal. 

        TRACK LISTING

        A1 Groves Of…everything!
        A2 These Problems Are Multiplied By The Difficulty I Have In Front Of A Tape Recorder
        A3 Glistening
        A4 Covered In Silt And Weed
        B1 Destroy The Palace
        B2 Glimpse An End
        B3 Bring On Black Flames
        B4 We Do Not, Nor To Hide
        B5 September Through September

        Jennifer Otter Bickerdike

        You Are Beautiful And You Are Alone : The Biography Of Nico

          A redemptive, myth-shattering biography of one of the twentieth century's most underestimated creative and artistic forces.

          'What I have in common with Nico is the understanding of her furious frustration at not being recognised.' - MARIANNE FAITHFULL

          The real story of Nico is one of determination, self-destruction and belief in one's artistic vision, at any cost. Nico was an ever-evolving myth, an enigma that escaped definition. Born Christa Paffgen, Nico grew up in war-torn Berlin before being scouted by a fashion photographer in her early teens. At age twenty-seven, she became Andy Warhol's newest Superstar, securing the position of chanteuse for the Velvet Underground. Though she is primarily remembered for contributions to their seminal debut album - and her relationships with Brian Jones, Bob Dylan and Jim Morrison - her own artistry and influence have often been overlooked.

          Nico spent most of her career as a solo artist on the road, enduring empty concert halls, abusive fans and the perilous reality of being a drug addict. Yet beneath the superficial denigrations and one-dimensional myths was a complicated visionary determined to make art that was truly her own. In You Are Beautiful and You Are Alone, defying the sexist casting of her life as the tragedy of a beautiful woman losing her looks, youth and fame, Jennifer Otter Bickerdike cements Nico's legacy as one of the most vital artists of her time, inspiring a generation of luminaries including Bjoerk, Morrissey and Iggy Pop.

          Containing over a hundred new interviews and rare archival material, this is an empowering reappraisal of an underappreciated icon.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Javi says: One of the most enigmatic, problematic, and chameleonic figures in alternative music's history, who finally gets the biography she deserves. Iconic - Controversial - Nico.

          Pascal Comelade

          Le Non-sens Du Rythme

            Following 'Le Cut-Up Populaire', Pascal Comelade announces the release on September 9 of his new album 'Le Non-Sens Du Rythme'. Since his first record published in 1975, Pascal Comelade, a child of the frenzy rock of the 60’s and 70s’, has developed a profuse body of work including many musical collaborations (PJ Harvey, Robert Wyatt, Jaki Libezeit (Can), Lee Ranaldo, The Liminanas...) and non-musical collaborations (Jeanne Moreau, Sergi Lopez, Jean François Stévenin, Bob Wilson...).

            His compositions are reminiscent of MC5, Erik Satie, Nino Rota, Ennio Morricone, Suicide: a language that dances on a musical skeleton in perpetual movement by successive fusions, mixing folklore and underground, repetitive music and french chanson, pataphysical riffs and toy instruments.

            As a multiple artist, he has developed an aesthetic approach via a particular link to visual arts. He draws, paints and occasionally performs with painters Miquel Barcelo and Hervé Di Rosa.

            On his new album, "Le non-sens du rythme" (to be translated "The nonsense of rhythm", the title says it all), Pascal Comelade almost plays all the instruments, not only multiple pianos but also the Rickenbaker e.bass, the indian harmonium, various keyboards and even the tin can. He remains the undisputed master of the instrumental ritornello inspired by popular music as well as krautrock.


            Deathprod

            Sow Your Gold In The White Foliated Earth

              Sow Your Gold in the White Foliated Earth exists first as a curator’s fancy – in this case from Oslo’s Ultima Festival for contemporary music in 2014. The idea was to give revered Norwegian experimental electronic musician Helge Sten, aka Deathprod, access to seminal avant-garde composer Harry Partch’s self-designed, custom-made, specialized, invented instruments – an orchestra tuned to just intonation, using up to 43 intervals instead of the standard 12 for the most commonly used Western equal temperament.

              An artist with a 30+ year career and an uncompromising reputation that reflects the emotional specificity of his uneasy, yet compelling sound, maintained throughout his expansive discography, Sten was an intriguing choice for such a project. Although he attended art school, training in electronic music and sound art, he had little experience with acoustic instruments and can neither read nor write music notation. Yet he’s been engaged with Partch’s music, and outsider art more generally, since he was a teenager. His resulting piece/composition for the project was originally intended only for performance by Cologne-based Ensemble Musikfabrik, for a series of concerts in five European cities between 2015 and 2018. It’s Musikfabrik that undertook the painstaking, expensive process of building an entire set of the composer’s creations – the second only to the originals built by Partch himself. They are the professional musicians and virtuosic instrumentalists that had to re-train and re-educate on these unknown and experimental sound sculptures in non-standard tunings. And they house this large, gorgeous physical instrumentarium and deal with the enormous logistics of working with it, sometimes shipping the fragile pieces to other locales via semi-trucks or ships.

              Because of such monumental efforts, Musikfabrik are notoriously guarded with recordings of the instruments. And rightly so. They’re the only ones allowed to perform on them, too. But Sow Your Gold isn’t Musikfabrik playing. Instead, Sten spent days and nights alone with the instrumentarium in Cologne. He played the instruments himself while recording, layering the recordings and editing without effects to compose an ‘audio score’ for Musikfabrik to work from in order for the ensemble to perform the piece. (Partch also regularly worked this way, although he would transcribe afterwards. Likewise, Sten workedwith a professional arranger to create a detailed score, too.) So, that makes Sow Your Gold an even less likely rarity – partly why its release comes seven years after its creation.

              If you ask Sten about the album’s title, he’ll point you to the text he borrowed it from – Michael Maier’s Atalanta Fugiens by H.M.E. De Jong, a 1969 study of a 1617 book of alchemical emblems – and notable passages dealing with alchemy, chemistry, and agriculture, all transformative processes. And while that may sound complicated, his takeaway is simple: “You have to break something down to create something new,” – a lesson he felt related strongly to his own musical process, especially in this project.

              So, while Sow Your Gold in the White Foliated Earth is a piece written for specific, oddly tuned, extremely rare and unusual instruments, and for a certain ensemble – namely, some of the finest contemporary musicians in Europe – Sten grew fond of the audio score, recognizing it as coming directly from the creative process in its purest, most natural form. And so from a foliated earth, where obscure tradition, treasured scarcity, immense effort, and patient certainty layer and criss-cross, comes rugged gold, polished to shining by one outsider for another.

              TRACK LISTING

              SIDE A:
              1. I O
              2. II O
              3. III O
              4. IV O
              5. V O
              Side B:
              1. VI O
              2. VII O
              3. VIII O
              4. IX O

              Scorched asphalt, cosmic rock and fried-psychedelia from this Japanese trio who deliver album number two on Guruguru Brain. Comprised of guitarist Ikuma Kawabe (ex Church of Misery), bassist / vocalist Kazu Gotoh and Robin (ex Minami Deutsch) who has joined as their new drummer.

              Jamming every week in Tokyo, “Soma” and “Invader Summer” are two songs that have naturally evolved from their high density performances. “Soma” kick starts the combustion engine in high, free spirits; a 60s glow piercing through the more modern, edgy distortion. “Invader Summer” sees them hit the highway in 5th gear, careering into the big open on some vintage Harley Davidsons.

              “Dead” sees the band explore drone, repetition and ethnic percussion; with a pagan and tribal vibe not a million miles away from Goat.

              The 20-minute long “Black Shrine” was inspired by the Japanese folklore Yokai, the spiritual and sometimes shapeshifting creatures living in the dark mountains of Japan. It’s a suitably enchanted acid-psyche-folk journey with some interesting leads and plenty of swirling SFX in the background with a thick, woodland vibe reminiscent of Carlton Melton.

              For the modern psychedelia lover – Dhidalah are the real deal! 


              TRACK LISTING

              Soma
              Invader Summer
              DEAD
              Black Shrine

              Sunn O)))

              Life Metal

                Continuing one of the main currents of the Sunn O))) concept, depth of exploration within collaboration, brought forth Hildur Guðnadóttir to the Sunn O))) constellation. Hildur is a sometime live collaborator of Sunn O))) and a renowned film music composer, former member of the bands Múm, Pan Sonic and Angel. She was a long time collaborator with the composer Jóhann Jóhannsson (RIP). Hildur lent her incredible attitude, as well as her voice, breath and electric cello, and the enigmatic haldorophone to the proceedings, culminating in the epic composition/concerto "Novæ". The cosmos clearly expands.

                At the very beginning of 2018 Sunn O))) co-founders Stephen O'Malley & Greg Anderson set out on a path toward a new album production. They were both determined to create new music and a new method of working in the studio, without forgetting the long and proud history of production and studio accomplishments forged during their first two decades of existence (and the members' own musical experiences out of the band's). One long term goal was completely clear: to record Sunn O))) with Steve Albini in his Electrical Audio studio. Steve took the call, said "Sure, this will be fun. I have no idea what is going to happen."

                Greg and Stephen gathered twice that spring for writing, conceptualising and riff woodshedding in the very building where the band was formed: Downtown Rehearsal in Los Angeles. Sonic cosmoses, flashes of abstract colour (synthetic and objective) and themes emerged from the mastered depths of saturation and circuits between the two players and their mountains of gear. Themes developed in terms of brightness and energy, while visionary cues pointed toward subconscious areas of practice and the pair realised they were exploring other zones of consciousness via sound/time and sound/energy manipulation. In early summer a pre-production session with full backline, as a trio with T.O.S. on Moog, was recorded at Dave Grohl’s 606 studios, Northridge, California.

                In July 2018 Sunn O))) spent just over two weeks in Chicago at Electrical Audio (Studio A) with Steve Albini at the helm. The results are astounding: there is breadth and luminosity of colour, it sounds vast. The sessions were impeccably recorded, authentically represented and completely accurate. The spectrum cracked the firmament open in clarity. An all analogue technique was used, they recorded and mixed on tape, providing a creative gateway for Sunn O))) to evolve their production methods into stronger, confident, performance based and a more logical executive process. The album was mastered and lacquers cut from tape in October by Sunn O))) ally Matt Colton at Alchemy in London. The LP version is a AAA album, recorded and mixed on tape via a completely analogue production, from the input of the band's amplifiers and the air coming off the speakers in front of the microphones to the needle touching the pressed vinyl on your turntable.

                Tim Midyett, a close friend of Greg and Stephen since the Seattle days of the early 90s (and member of Silkworm, Bottomless Pit and Mint Mile), joined in a foundational role tying earth to sound with wicked performances on aluminium neck bass and baritone guitars: instruments he helped pioneer playing back in the 90s (alongside Steve and Shellac of course). Dark matter is reality.

                Prolific new music composer Anthony Pateras arranged and recorded an incredible contribution of pipe organ for a piece titled "Troubled Air" (titled after an essay by author Aliza Shvarts, who also penned the liner notes for Sunn O)))’s Kannon) at Schlosskappelle, Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart. String theory of space.

                The resulting album is titled Life Metal. It is fully realised and completely real. The record was produced by the core of Stephen & Greg & arranged by the greater constellation Sunn O))). Paintings by visual artist Samantha Keely Smith graciously adorn the sleeve and provide a perfect suitable mask to the proceedings. They collide ideas of 19th century romanticism & late 20th abstract expressionism (mysticism) with Sunn O)))’s approach to metal (via reference points of Arbo, Turner, Delville, Richter, Turrel, Wou-Ki). Photographer Ronald Dick shot them in baths of light colour representing depth of sound pressure in the work.

                There is a second more meditative LP titled Pyroclasts, also recorded by Steve Albini in parallel, and which will be revealed in the autumn 2019 (more later) with all music performed by Stephen, Greg, T.O.S., Tim Midyett, and Hildur Guðnadóttir. 


                STAFF COMMENTS

                Barry says: It's another amazing LP from Sunn here, enlisting the help of Múm's Hildur Gudnadottir on vocal duties to superb effect. Her music has always been beautiful in it's own regard (Múm being one of my absolute favourites) and it's lighter touch and orchestral delicacy adds beautifully to the famously all-encompassing drone of O'Malley and Anderson. Absolutely stunning.

                TRACK LISTING

                LP1
                A) Between Sleipnirs Breaths (12.36)
                B) Torubled Air (11.45)

                LP2
                A) Aurora (19.06)
                B) Novæ (26.24)

                Anna Von Hausswolff

                Live At Montreux Jazz Festival

                  Anybody who has witnessed a live performance of Anna von Hausswolff and band can attest to the extraordinary and commanding nature of the experience. The distinctive music, as captured across five full-length albums, comes to life, shifting from hypnotic and mantra-like moods to thunderous drama, dissonance and cacophony. The musicians master playful dynamics and wield immense power.

                  Following the release of her solo pipe organ album, All Thoughts Fly and an accompanying sell-out European tour (Nov/Dec 2021), this January, Southern Lord are releasing Anna von Hausswolff, Live at Montreux Jazz Festival (2018).

                  Across six pieces, Anna von Hausswolff performs sensational renditions of fan-favourites from the two beloved albums; The Miraculous and Dead Magic, with the backing of a full band including additional vocals from her sister / cinematographer Maria von Hausswolff - full credits below.

                  Recorded at Montreux Jazz Festival in 2018, in Auditorium Stravinsky.

                  Performed by :
                  Anna von Hausswolff – vocals, organ, acoustic guitar, octatrack
                  Maria von Hausswolff – vocals
                  Filip Leyman – synth, percussion
                  Ulrik Ording – drums
                  Karl Vento – electric guitar
                  Joel Fabiansson – electric guitar
                  David Sabel – bass
                  Justin Grealy – sound engineer

                  Mixed by Filip Leyman and Anna von Hausswolff
                  Mastered by Hans Olsson Brookes
                  Illustrations by Zezeah / Zeynep Kis
                  Sleeve design by Magnus Andersson and Anna von Hausswolff
                  Special thanks to Montreux Jazz Festival, John Harris and Mathieu Jaton

                  Mixed on the “Queen Neve” desk, previously owned by Queen ( thus the name ) and situated at the Mountain Studios in the casino of Montreux, now ­located at Svenska Grammofonstudion, Gothenburg.


                  TRACK LISTING

                  1. The Truth The Glow The Fall (live)
                  2. Pomperipossa (live)
                  3. The Mysterious Vanishing Of Electra (live)
                  4. Ugly And Vengeful (live)
                  5. Kållans återuppståndelse (live)
                  6. Come Wander With Me Deliverance (live)


                  Great times tonight. Thank you so much for everything. https://t.co/DogirddxF6 @bellaunion @nightanddaycafe https://t.co/3GTWECaRdx
                  Wed 28th - 9:36
                  The debut album by Napoli's finest - back in stock at last!! Nu Guinea 'Nuova Napoli' https://t.co/Ze3b3RS0z9 https://t.co/zrm1dyvv49
                  Wed 28th - 1:54
                  The @Elbow @ofclmusicboxco are looking great 🙌 We have have some available exclusively instore on Thursday 29th Sep… https://t.co/zso3Rxqnrt
                  Tue 27th - 2:04
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