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HONEST JON'S

Kassem Mosse - purveyor of fierce, radically strange and thoroughly uncompromising frequencies and rhythms, always looking into new directions to take electronic music. On this outing, out of his current home at Honest Jon's, we get lush drum machine nocturnes, gnarly electronica and glorious flowerings of zoned-out dubspace. Whether prepared solo, or jointly with his partner in crime, Mix Mup; a Kassem Mosse recording is less of a stand-alone creation than the next thrilling installment of an unstoppable groove. True to form, "Disclosure" dazzlingly extends some of the most mystical, dancefloor-rooted music of the last decade. From dusty, dream-state techno on Workshop and Mikrodisko, to frazzled beatdowns on Trilogy Tapes and Nonplus. Pedigree techno and house are the lifeblood of "Disclosure", yet with something newly microscopic about them. Its mesmerizing juggle of pointillist percussion, melting-wax chords and fleshy bump’n’grind suggests biological processes at work, as if Mosse has zoomed right into the cellular metabolism ticking away at the core of the music. These textures are woven into some of KM’s richest and most emotionally complex material so far, constantly enlivened by forays into jazz, dub and beyond. Check the farty-bottom, broken-down, steel-pan minimalism of "Collapsing Dual Core", just the job for cruising around Detroit in a car at night; and "Phoenicia Wireless"' dastardly, intricate combination of glowering John Carpenter synths, heavy static and junked consoles on remote, as if the beats are fighting a wave of dirt, soot and fossilization. The frantic, interstellar tarantella of "Galaxy Series 7"; the wonky bump-and-hustle and heavy-lidded drama of "Purple Graphene", to close, are all signposts on Mosse's natural journey through sound.
Expertly pieced-together and paced, "Disclosure" brilliantly registers all the self-contained coherence and artistic authority of an album proper, yet shadowed throughout by the open-ended and questing spirit so vital to Mosse’s music. Its intimate enactments of non-closure, and its sense that anything could happen at any moment; its thematic play between excess and incompleteness, babble and tongue-tied stutter, grooving and entropy, wobble and the pause-button leave the listener both fully invigorated yet gagging for more. 


TRACK LISTING

Stepping On Salt
Phoenicia Wireless
Drift Model
Galaxy Series 7
Collapsing Dual Core
Monomer
Galaxy Series 5
Aluminosilicate Mirrors
Long Term Evolution
Molecular Memories
Purple Graphene

A stunning survey of the 1970s heyday of this great Japanese singer and countercultural icon. Deep-indigo, dead-of-night enka, folk and blues, inhaling Billie Holiday and Nina Simone down to the bone. A traditional waltz abuts Nico-style incantation; defamiliarised versions of Oscar Brown Jr and Bessie Smith collide with big-band experiments alongside Shuji Terayama; a sitar-led psychedelic wig-out runs into a killer excursion in modal, spiritual jazz. Existentialism and noir, mystery and allure, hurt and hauteur. With excellent notes by Alan Cummings and the fabulous photographs of Hitoshi Jin Tamura. Hotly recommended.

TRACK LISTING

Nemuru No Ga Kowai
Chicchana Toki Kara (Live)
Blue Spirit Blues
Fushiawase To Lu Na No Neko
Govinda
Chicchana
Toki Kara
Boro To Furutetsu
Aisa Nai No Aise Nai No
Uramado
Kamome
Machi
Gogo
Zenkamono No
Christmas
Hikkoshi
Cabaret
Konna Fūni Sugite Iku No
Nara
Onna
Yuki Ga Furu

Moritz Von Oswald Trio

Sounding Lines

Tony Allen, drums; Max Loderbauer, synthesizers; Moritz von Oswald, percussion sequencing, synthesizers, additional electronics.
Mixed by Ricardo Villalobos.
Artwork by Marc Brandenburg.

The Moritz Von Oswald Trio opens a new chapter. There's a new configuration to the project, with Tony Allen joining original members Moritz von Oswald and Max Loderbauer. Allen, the legendary drummer who's amassed a formidable catalogue both as a solo artist and as part of Fela Kuti's band, has taken over percussion duties from Vladislav Delay.

Together, von Oswald, Loderbauer and Allen form something close to a dream team, two masters of the electronic sphere meeting an afro-beat pioneer. Allen had already established a rapport with the group before they entered the studio to record 'Sounding Lines' - he's been touring with Von Oswald and Loderbauer for more than a year, playing live shows around the world.

There has been an evolution on each new Moritz Von Oswald Trio record, and Sounding Lines is no different. The album, which was mixed by Ricardo Villalobos, maintains the project's trajectory - a fearless exploration of dub techno, classical music and jazz - but the prevailing mood feels looser and more organic than ever before. Allen's imperious percussive work sits tantalisingly in the mix. His drums meet the electronics of von Oswald and Loderbauer in a way that renders the project in new, vivid colours.

There are 4/4 tracks, beatless interludes and complex jazz structures, with propulsive recordings ("3") coexisting alongside more languid moments ("1"). Sometimes Allen provides flourishes of drums (notably on "4") while at other times spectral synths come to the fore (as on "5"). Von Oswald, a masterful composer and arranger with a deep understanding of space, paints the crevices of each composition on 'Sounding Lines' with rich detail. Individually, Von Oswald, Loderbauer and Allen are formidable and hugely influential musicians. As a trio, they've conjured something remarkable.

TRACK LISTING

1
2
3
4
5 (Spectre)
6
7
8

Various Artists

Let No One Judge You: Early Recordings From Iran, 1906 - 1933

    Ravishingly beautiful, achingly precious songs and instrumentals, ranging from two performances by the Royal Court Orchestra in 1906 - with futuristic, overlapping trumpets and exquisite clarinet improvisation - through to a hauntingly soulful Hāfez setting by Moluk Zarrābi of Kāshān, from 1933.

    There are eight selections from more than three hundred recordings made in 1909 above the Gramophone Company offices in City Road, London EC1, by the Persian Concert Party. Unrest at home had compelled the group to travel in order to record, paying its way with shows in Baku, Constantinople, Vienna and Paris. Its music is a striking, experimental combination of European and Iranian elements, impressionistic and exotic, with chimes, castanets and rattles. There is an arrangement of traditional Persian music for pipe-organ; and rueful, imploring, besotted love-songs. ‘I am crazy with envy of the dress asleep in your arms and the oils rubbed into your skin.’

    A setting of Rāheb’s poetry by Moluk Zarrābi is drawn from 136 titles recorded at 1925 sessions in Tehran, when Iranian women were for the first time concertedly accepted as serious professional musicians, without the connotation of prostitution. Such was the social stigma borne by musicians, especially female, several of our singers hid their identities behind partial or assumed names. ‘Parvāneh’, for example, ‘Butterfly’ - represented by her interpretations of Sa‘di and Hāfez, with self-accompaniment on setar, a three-stringed lute (‘seh’, three; ‘tar’, string), Iranian ancestor of the Indian sitar: ‘I am the slave of love…’ And Helen, with some boozy Hāfez wisdom: ‘Keep your cards close to your chest. Kiss nothing except the lips of your beloved and the rim of a cup of wine. Let no one judge you.’

    Moluk Zarrābi - together with Qamar-ol-Moluk Vaziri - featured on more than half the 1925 recordings. On her return to the studio the following year, she was accompanied on tar by Mortezā Ney-Dāvud, amongst the country’s most acclaimed musicians and composers of all time, from the Jewish community of Tehran. (It sounds like another stupendously gifted Iranian Jewish musician - Yahyā Zarpamjeh - accompanying Akhtar.) Alongside one of these duets, two of Ney-Dāvud’s solo recordings from the same sessions are instrumental highlights of this epic set, besides a series of staggering improvisations by Abd-ol-Hoseyn Shahnāzi, sublime ney and kamancheh playing by Mehdi Navā’i and the Armenian Hayk, and an anonymous tar solo from the South Caucasus, captured in Tiflis in 1912, red-raw and rocking.

    The two CDs are sumptuously presented in a hard-back gatefold sleeve, with a 26-page booklet containing full notes and marvellous photos, on fine-art papers, stitched not stapled. The four 180g LPs are presented in two gatefold sleeves inside a heavy card slipcase, with a 12”-square, 20-page, saddle-stitched booklet on art paper. The music was restored from 78s at Abbey Road studio in London.

    TRACK LISTING

    Ebrāhim, Royal Orchestra - Bidād (Homāyun)
    Rezā-Qoli, Akbar - Gavri (Shur)
    Seyyed Hoseyn Tāherzādeh, Habibollāh Moshir
    Homāyun - Bayāt Esfahān (Homāyun)
    Seyyed Hoseyn Tāherzādeh, Akbar - Darāmad (Homāyun)
    Not Known - Tar Solo
    Moluk Zarrābi - Darāmad, Dād (Māhur)
    Parvāneh - Mansuri (Chahārgāh)
    Parvāneh - Zābol, Mokhālef (Segāh)
    Abd-ol-Hoseyn Shahnāzi - Mokhālef (Segāh)
    Akhtar - Bayāt Esfahān, Bayāt Rāje‘ (Homāyun)
    Javād Badi‘zādeh - Morgh‐e Bi‐Āshiān Afshāri (Shur)
    Irān‐od‐Dowleh Helen - Bidād (Homāyun)
    Moluk - Dashti (Shur)
    Montakhab-oz-Zākerin - Qafqāz I (Segāh)
    Montakhab-oz-Zākerin - Qafqāz II (Segāh)
    Abd-ol-Hoseyn Shahnāzi - Darāmad (Homāyun)
    Hayk - Shushtar (Homāyun)
    Qoli, Royal Orchestra - Abu-‘Atā (Shur)
    Seyyed Hoseyn Tāherzādeh, Akbar - Qafqāz (Segāh)
    Seyyed Hoseyn Tāherzādeh, Hoseyn - Darāmad, Bayāt Rāje‘ (Navā)
    Seyyed Hoseyn Tāherzādeh, Akbar - Afshāri (Shur) Asadollāh, Rezā-Qoli - Shahnāz (Shur)
    Rezā-Qoli, Bāqer, Akbar, Moshir-Homāyun - Nā Dideh Rokhat / Bayāt Esfahān (Homāyun)
    Abd-ol-Hoseyn Shahnāzi - Māvarā’-an-Nahr (Rāst‐Panjgāh)
    Irān-od-Dowleh Helen - Darāmad, Dād, Khāvarān (Māhur) Irān-od-Dowleh Helen - Delkash, ‘Erāq (Māhur)
    Adib Khānsāri - ‘Erāq (Māhur)
    Irān-od-Dowleh Helen - Golriz (Shur)
    Ruhangiz - Darāmad, Zābol (Segāh)
    Akhtar - Hejāz (Shur)
    Mortezā Ney-Dāvud - Bayāt Esfahān, Bayāt Rāje‘ (Homāyun)
    Mortezā Ney-Dāvud - ‘Oshshāq, Bayāt Esfahān (Homāyun)
    Moluk Zarrābi - Darāmad, Zābol (Chahārgāh)
    Abd-ol-Hoseyn Shahnāzi - Bidād (Homāyun)

    Mukunguni

    New Recordings From East Coast Province, Kenya

    Field recordings of the Mijikenda tribes, made in different spots in and around Mukunguni village, coastal Kenya, throughout September 2011: mostly healing music (especially for mental problems), but also love-songs, and spiritual contributions to weddings and burials; mostly in the Sengenya style which evolved in the early twentieth century, adding pace, new Tsikitsi rhythms and extra drums to the traditional Dumbwi forms of the Duruma tribe.

    Besides the Sengenya drums - bumbumbu, dahdahe, chapuro, vumi, ngoma - there are lungo and dena (metal rings), kayamba (raft rattle), njunga (bells), ukaya (metal tray), bamba (metal guiro) and bottle-tops. Our album opener is solo dena, played to sound like a bat and heal the village sick, with the ear for frequency and timbre of a stringent minimalist. There are the piercing, reeded nzumari oboe and bung'o horn, sounding like fierce free-jazz improvisation; and two gently stunning marimba solos, with complex, overlaid melodies and rhythms, played in polyphonic accents, almost like talking drums.

    Most of the recordings here are songs, with strong tunes, robustly delivered, different solo voices leading the group - to heal; to chase away Pepo Mlume, the devil who poisons the imagination; to get you on your feet, dancing; to celebrate dowry payments and weddings; to bring the Mijikenda cultural inheritance to life. Matatizo - 'Worries' - was recorded spontaneously at a bus-stop, waiting for a ride: it's a Swahili love-song, with a plaintive female vocal performed to the accompaniment of five or so people rubbing their palms together in tight rhythmic patterns. 'The lord conferred this love on us, my sister. Is it human, or from the angels? Flowing out of binoculars... or computers? I can't figure it out, but my heart aches so badly.'

    The vinyl set is two ten-inch records, plus the CD, in a gatefold sleeve. Besides photos, both formats contain the musicians' own introductory notes, snatches of translation, and brief track-by-track commentary.

    TRACK LISTING

    Disc: 1
    1. Ndema
    2. Dena
    3. Mambodze
    Disc: 2
    1. Matatizo
    2. Pepo Mlume
    3. Chela
    Disc: 3
    1. Bung’o
    2. Ngoma Wira
    3. Bamba
    4. Mwanzele
    5. Tungwa
    Disc: 4
    1. Gaserego
    2. Kiringongo
    3. Puredi

    DJ Rashad And Spinn / RP Boo

    Meet Tshetsha Boys / Meets Shangaan Electro

    Honest Jon's Shangaan mash-ups keep flowing, this time rubbing the energised South African electro dancefloor grooves up against the equally hyper footwork sound from Chicago, USA. This 12" offers two absolutely lethal, footwork reworks from these three originators - body-rocking, invigorating and startling, hybrid without compromise. DJ Rashad And Spinn's A-side is route-one dancefloor murder, honed and nasty, vintage Chicago sounds reborn and gone clear across the border; on the flip RP Boo serves up a fiercely dazzling juke vocal collage, bare and hard as nails.

    Compiled by Mark Ainley and Mark Ernestus (Basic Channel etc) "Shangaan Electro" delivers a selection of the breakneck Shangaan dance output of the Nozinja studio in Soweto, recorded between 2006 and 2009. Shangaan music is fast - we're talking 180bpm+ here - coming across like high life-meets-soca-meets-baile-funk-happy hardcore! When you hear those marimba beats, that live guitar and those toms, you know it’s Shangaan. The sound grew out of the Shangaan disco movement, a music that dominated in the 1980s with artists like Penny Penny and Peter Teanet and has slowly got faster and faster until we have Shangaan electro. There’s something distinctive in this Shangaan perspective: they are one of the more rural and traditional groups in the wealthiest African nation, yet ‘tradition’ to them can also be living, electronic and nuanced. If you enjoy the global beats of Africa Hitech or Poirier, or the simplicity and speed of baile funk from Brazil's favelas, then this is sure to be of interest.


    TRACK LISTING

    01. BBC - Ngunyuta Dance (The Shake-Your-Behind Dance)
    02. Tshetsha Boys - Nwa Pfundla (Pfundla's Daughter)
    03. Mancingelani - Vana Vasesi (My Sister's Children)
    04. Zinja Hlungwani - Ntombi Ya Mugaza (Shangaan Woman)
    05. BBC - Ngozi (Danger)
    06. Zinja Hlungwani - Nwa Gezani (Gezani's Daughter)
    07. Tiyiselani Vomaseve - Vanghoma
    08. Nka Mwewe - Khulumani (Let's Talk)
    09. Tiyiselani Vomaseve - Na Xaniseka (I'm Suffering)
    10. Zinja Hlungwani - Nwa Gezani My Love (Gezani's Daughter, My Love)
    11. Tshetsha Boys - Uya Kwihi Ka Rose (Rose, Where Are You Going?)
    12. Zinja Hlungwani - Thula (So Quiet)

    Moondog

    More Moondog / The Story Of Moondog

      Startlingly remastered at Abbey Road, this set features two of Moondog's key albums, and acts as a kind of summation of his work throughout the 1950s, when he was homeless and performing on the streets of New York. This is Moondog at his most direct, original, fresh, playful and unpretentious, featuring the Honking Geese, Tony Schwartz's brilliant outdoors recordings (particularly improved in Honest Jon's new version), with interventions from a ship's foghorn, a tapdancer and a cocker spaniel, and signature rhythms for trimba, oo, tuji, yukh, and ostrich feathers. Andy Warhol's mother got it straight, on the original Prestige cover of "The Story Of Moondog"; 'Moondog is a poet who versifies in sound, a diarist overcome by love, curiosity and amusement by everything that reaches his ears, all of which he transposes into a symphony of himself. It may be the roar from the streets; it may be the casual chatter in a room or, best of all, it will be that secret music that seeps through imagination and memory. These experiences, so dull to the dull but so alive to him, he orchestrates into a record of those enchanting conversations everyone can hold with himself would he only listen for a bemused moment. They make up the script of that unique tragi-comedy, the story of anyone's life. Pricking up our ears would be so easy, yet it is seldom done. But when Moondog compels us to do it, we are entranced and delivered willingly into new worlds of meaning.'

      Elmore Judd, he always comes up with something a bit different doesn't he? Previously a purveyor of seriously off-kilter, wonky electroid soul, he now changes tack and heads into unknown territory. This EP features six brand new Judd exclusives, going deeper and more diverse still, brimming with musicality and good humour. This is vintage Judd: dazed and dubwise New York art-funk meets lo-fi disco and wonky skank in amongst the sozzled mongrels of Malian folk, rembetica and Gypsy jazz. Just perfect for the weird shit section then!

      Various Artists

      Migrating Bird - The Songs Of Lal Waterson - Sampler

        Lal Waterson (1943 – 1998) was a songwriter and a folk singer. Her recording career began in 1965 with family group The Watersons and she continued to work with her family in various formations. She was steeped in folk music, and was a highly skilled harmonising singer, coming up with new vocal arrangements for many traditional songs. This record was put together by Charlotte Greig and John Williams over three years. They asked the musicians who played at their Cardiff club night, and the Green Man Festival, to record some of Waterson's songs, with the idea of making a tribute album that would reflect how far her influence had spread. There's a broad range of genre and geography represented here, from US folk legend Michael Hurley to Scots troubadour James Yorkston, and from Louisiana's Victoria Williams to Glasgow's Alasdair Roberts. The EP also includes interpretations and Richard Youngs.

        Abdel Hadi Halo & The El Gusto Orchestra Of Algiers

        Abdel Hadi Halo & The El Gusto Orchestra Of Algiers

          Chaabi has its roots in the Andalusian music of Moorish Spain, spreading to North Africa with exiled Jewish and Moorish communities; but it really took off in the music schools, parties and bars of occupied, post-WWII Algiers, where its Andalusian, Middle Eastern and North African lineage infused with the Mediterranean soundtrack of that era — chanson, jazz, snatches of tango and a little boogie-woogie. "Abdel Hadi Halo And The El Gusto Orchestra Of Algiers" was recorded on the tilting fifth floor of the Conservatoire d'Algiers, in a room overlooking the sea on one side, and the Casbah on the other: the orchestra was recorded 'live' in full flight — all together, in continuous takes. For our recording, the Orchestra included four singers — joined in chorus by the voices of the entire orchestra — and five-man banjo, percussion and violin sections. The scale and organization are thrilling; the music is swirling and improvisatory, surging from the haunted to the bluesy, the devotional to the knees-up.

          Las Malas Amistades

          Jardin Interior

            Las Malas Amistades - 'the bad friends' - formed in 1994 when several arts students in Bogota, Colombia, began meeting up to play music together (though none of them were musicians). From the start their method has been to make up songs there at the session, sometimes whilst their four-track is already running, moving straight on when something is caught on the tape. The music is fresh, spontaneous, intimate, spare. It's lovely, heartfelt, a bit wrong, full of poppy wit and beauty. There are six members of the band at present. They use a hulking charity-shop synth and a Casiotone, electronic drums, an acoustic guitar and a cuatro, various small percussion gadgets. Sometimes songs are acoustic, sometimes electronic, usually both. This album was recorded in March 2006, but keep an eye out for "La Musica De Las Malas Amistades", a collection of songs from the first five or six years of the band, which Honest Jon's have in the pipeline.

            Ghostigital

            Not Clean / Crackers

              Ex Sugarcube and general Icelandic experimentalist Einar Orn Benediktsson teams up with The Fall's enigmatic frontman Mark E Smith for "Not Clean", a crunching electro-clashing Cod Wars (ask yer mum) related battle of the seas taken from Einar's upcoming LP "In Cod We Trust". On the flip has the equally crazed and lo-fi "Crackers" and a 'codapella'.


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