Like their previous work, Bohren & der Club of Gore's eighth album folds in lounge jazz, dark ambience, the languorous adagios of classical-music requiem, and the saturated romance of Italian film soundtracks. But while the German band's earliest recordings were chilly and even brittle, Piano Nights is luxurious in its warmth.
Welcome to the further adventures of Bohren and his crew of axe carrying jazz deconstructionalists.
Another Bohren & Der Club of Gore classic seeps up from below, seeing its first vinyl reissue since the original 2002 pressing! Like its predecessor, Sunset Mission, the tone and feel of Black Earth is steeped in a smoky history of noirish soundtracks, European minimalism and the intensity of avant metal, all perfectly weighted for head-plunging midnight immersion.
It still beggars belief how they manage to play so slow without at least one of them nodding off during the session, which tends to be as effective as a xanax at those times when required. In their world everything operates at an opiated pace, with silvery solo piano, resonant double bass dabs and spectral voices seemingly curling off the wax into acres of negative space and taking your thoughts with them.
In terms of a sonic experience, basically everyone needs to undergo a Bohren album at least once in their life, and if you’ve never squinted into the distance of Sunset Mission or stared into the abyss of Black Earth, you genuinely don’t know quite what you’re missing out on.
Everything, as David Lynch would say, is never quite what it seems.
Bohren & Der Club of Gore's intense blend of heaving doom reductions and late night Badalemanti style midnight jazz has bought them a fanatical following in both the Avant-Metal and Jazz communities. Their sound really can be best visualised with reference to the 'Bang Bang' Bar in Twin Peaks, all sleaze, unease and glamour in the archetypal Lynchian sense.
The members of Bohren started out in various Hardcore outfits, but when the band formed in the early 90's they soon settled on a blend of Metal, Ambient and Jazz that confounded and confused most listeners. Almost two decades later and Bohren enjoy something akin to a secret members following, with the likes of Mike Patton being so into the band that they are now signed to his own Ipecac imprint in the states. 'Dolores' is their first album since 2005's 'Geisterfaust' and is their most beautifully realised album yet, oozing mystery and atmosphere with a more muted take on that super luxurious sound.
Opening track 'Staub' unfolds with a solitary mournful organ, eventually coupled with that unmistakable, spine-tingling Fender Rhodes played so ably by Christoph Clöser. The track continues with spacious, staggered percussion and Vibraharp, whirling through 8 minutes of mystery and wonder. At the other end of the album 'Welten' closes off proceedings with a monkish drone most suitable to a Sunn 0)) opening, before once again those shimmering keys create that kind of immeasurably addictive confusion between darkness and light that could be said to be Bohren's calling card.
'Dolores' is a stunning, mesmerising minute journey into that sh*t that lurks beneath the surface, confusing, confounding and oddly uplifting all at once. A wonderful album that comes to you with our highest possible recommendation.
Twin Peaks - Original Score LP. Music by Angelo Badalamenti. Artwork by Sam Smith, full package design by Jay Shaw. Pressed on 180 Gram 'Damn Fine Coffee' colored vinyl.
One of the greatest scores ever recorded is finally back in print for the first time in 25 years! We went back to the Warner archives, where engineer Tal Miller cut us brand new vinyl masters. We then worked with Dave Cheppa at Plush Vinyl to cut us new lacquers. Finally we asked Rainbo to press the record on 180g vinyl for the best possible sound quality.
The record comes housed inside a 425gsm gatefold sleeve featuring lyrics and liner notes by composer Angelo Badalamenti; the cover image by Sam Smith comes approved by David Lynch himself! The gatefold sleeve is then housed within a bespoke die cut outer jacket designed by Jay Shaw featuring super subtle white spot varnish text. The whole affair is finished with a top loading obi strip & pressed on ‘Damn Fine Coffee' colored vinyl.
“I'm glad that after 25 years, Death Waltz Recording Company has re-released the original soundtrack for Twin Peaks for a new audience to enjoy. This is my defining work as a composer and I’m happy it will get a fresh listen” - Angelo Badalamenti, 2016
Early this year remarkable reviews began to appear in the British music press for the latest sensations to come out of Scandinavia. There was a difference to many of the other acts earning Norway its reputation at the time, though. Jaga Jazzist is what can only be described as a supergroup. The ten members of the band are also active participants in, Kim Hiorthoy's group, Bobby Hughes Experience, Bugges Wesseltoft, Motorpsycho, Big Bang, Euroboys, Jazzkammer, Biosphere, Supersilent, Alog and Lasse Marhaug, covering every type of music from electronica, nu-jazz and rock. Jaga Jazzist are well known in Norway for contributing to almost every quality Norwegian record released in recent times.
The comparisons reached for by the press were as broad as they get - from Talk Talk, Soft Machine, Eric Satie, John Coltrane and Don Cherry to acts like Aphex Twin, Stereolab, Squarepusher, Isotope 217 and Tortoise. This range sums up the breadth and originality of the group's sound. Jaga Jazzist are indeed a musical one off who’s arsenal includes trumpets, trombone, electric guitar, bass, tuba, two bass clarinets, Fender Rhodes and vibraphone, and it is the mixture of these instruments with a sometimes harsh electronic edge that really makes the music stand out. It is melodic, delicate and subtle but a million miles from wallpaper music. It is music that demands and rewards attention, further proof that you don't have to shout to avoid being lazy chill-out-by-numbers.
The group came to the attention of Ninja Tune who will be releasing their work outside of Norway from now on and while "A Livingroom Hush" garnered critical acclaim , its distribution was patchy. Hence, this re-release, complete with the very odd but very wonderful Monty-Python-on-safari promo video from "Animal Chin".
It's a journey into sounds and moods that manages to sound both classic and contemporary and is an oasis to anyone interested in music which combines iconoclasm with beauty, melody with avant gardism and, in general, a complete lack of interest in anything other than good music.
The nine piece Norwegian jazz-rock-experimental behemoth that is Jaga Jazzist return to the fray with their stunning new album, “One Armed Bandit”. All galloping rhythms, and grandiloquent reach, main man Lars Horntveth describes the new sound, tongue-a-little-in-cheek, as “Wagner meets Fela Kuti!” Certainly we find it harder to imagine a better soundtrack being written for the first Nollywood Viking epic.
Jaga Jazzist have become something of a musical phenomenon in Norway since they started out fifteen years ago. Not only is this instrumental band regarded as one of the most exciting and innovative in Norway, the members are all involved in other musical projects and have in one way or another contributed to almost every significant recording to come out of that part of the world in the last few years. Their albums sell huge quantities in their own country and massive crowds come to their shows. Their international acclaim is signalled by the fact that the new album was mixed in Chicago by John McEntire of Tortoise.
Lars Horntveth began writing the music for “One-Armed Bandit” early in 2008. Looking for a way between and beyond the band’s previous albums, “What We Must” and “The Stix,” Hornveth decided that everything would be charted and written out, noth more focussed and layered than ever before. One night, while listening to Fela Kuti, he came up with title-track “One Armed Bandit” and everything fell into place – a kinf of ride of the polyrhythmic acid-addled valkyries that scarecely lets up across the 53 minutes of the final album.
Having taken on two new members, Øystein Moen and Stian Westerhus, the band rented a house in the Swedish forest to rehearse “this new Zappa-esque, more humorous prog-rock music.” On their return they rehearsed endlessly, a new tune each week, until in December 2008 the band went to Cabin Recorders to put down the album with Jørgen Træen, their producer since the early days of the group. Unfortunately, through no fault of the band’s, Træen got tinnitus after three weeks, so the mixing was completed in Chicago by the band and none other than John McEntire.
At heart this collective is a restless soul, going in many directions at the same time, but always going forward. Fast. The band always push their boundaries, both personal and musical. That is why they are impossible to categorize. And that's why they're special. Jaga is something natural and beautiful. A necessity. For both them and us.
For the past ten years, all roads Shepherd has followed have been slowly leading to Elaenia - an album with roots deep in his formative years, and one that draws upon everything Shepherd has done so far. An album that provides context to the music that Shepherd has been making to date.
Every DJ set he’s performed, every talent he has produced, every composition he has written are thought of as precursors to Elaenia - a dazzling score which puts Shepherd in the spotlight as a composer who has produced an album that bridges the gap between his rapturous dance music and formative classical roots.
Drawing inspiration from classical, jazz, electronic music, soul and even Brazilian popular music, Elaenia - named after the bird of the same name - is the epitome of the forward-thinking Floating Points vision in 2015.
How did renowned Japanese noisemaker Merzbow (aka Masami Akita), Swedish saxophonist Mats Gustafsson and Hungarian drummer Balazs Pandi follow up their majorly intense statement made on their tumultuous debut album, Cuts, which was released in 2013... By adding another ingredient to the volatile mix, in the person of skronking guitar hero and Sonic Youth founder Thurston Moore they've taken things up a notch or two on the Richter scale on their RareNoise Records follow-up recording.
With Gustaffson's roaring baritone sax blending with Moore's shriekback guitar, Pandi's intensely throbbing beats and Merzbow's subversive white noise barrages, it all adds up to a sonic pummelling of epic proportions on the remarkable two LP-set, Cuts of Guilt, Cuts Deeper. For Cuts of Guilt, Cuts Deeper, the four kindred spirits went into the studio and came up with four extended tracks.
Drummer Pandi calls it mystery in sound.' As saxophonist Gustafsson said of their purely improvised session, "We had no game plan. That usually does not work so well. It all depends on the day, the energy and of course the room. And oh boy, that room was freakin' spectacular! It actually had a skateboard ramp! It was a truly spectacular recording.
It went super-fast -- just a wall of noise-poetry with layers and perspectives changing all the time. And to have Thurston Moore in the mix just added colours, layers, energies and sound. It was a very inspired sharing with the others." Pandi provides a bit of history on the evolution of this Cuts quartet.
"There is a legendary Roskilde live recording of Sonic Youth with Mats and Masami called 'Andre Sider Af Sonic Youth' and as a combination of that record and my longstanding duo with Masami, the idea came to try and play a quartet. Those were the days of the last couple Sonic Youth shows in South America, around 2012.
Following that, Masami, Mats and I continued to work as a trio. Meanwhile, in 2013 I got invited to join Porn for a string of gigs.
Porn masterminded by Tim Moss and Bill Gould from Faith No More and for the London shows Thurston joined us on stage - it was great fun to play together.
When we hung out backstage, we were talking about trying to hook up a quartet session sometime with Mats and Masami again.
We already had a gig planned with the trio in London, where Thurston currently lives, so we figured the only day he is spending around that time in London is the one we had for recording the follow album up to Cuts. So he was on board immediately."
As for how this new Cuts project with Moore may differ from their first Cuts outing,.
Fuelled by the imposing fuzz-bass bass lines of Colin Stewart and the slamming backbeats of drummer Paul Archibald and featuring the scorching alto sax work of Rebecca Sneddon, this renegade power strikes another blow for the freedom principle on their second RareNoise outing.
From the mournful dirge "The Stars Unseen" to the dark, temposhifting "The Land of Heat and Greed," marked by Sneddon's squealing multiphonics over the top of a tribal groove, to the teethchattering intensity of "Poking the Bear," the formidable triumvirate from Edinburgh summons up thoughts of Slayer jamming with avant garde icon Albert Ayler or alto saxophonist John Zorn with bassist Bill Laswell and former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo.
Elsewhere on Awakening of a Capitol, Sneddon turns in some freewheeling blowing in the altissimo range on "Slay the Light," skronks with impunity on the probing "The Pillars of Dagon," which features a string quartet, and wails on the maelstrom of "Erich Zann," a haunting piece named after an H.P.
Lovecraft short story from 1922. In all, this second manifesto by Nelson Mandoomjazz is heavier than heavy, darker than dark, yet always retaining a deep sense of humour.
Colin Stetson is a horn player of uncommon strength, skill and genredefying creativity. He composes and performs otherworldly songs that combine a mastery of circular breathing technique with percussive valvework and reed vocalisations, making a polyphonic solo music that combines influences as diverse as Bach, early metal, American pre-war Gospel, and the explorations of Jimi Hendrix, Peter Brotzman and Albert Ayler.
New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges is Stetson's second solo record and his first for Constellation. Colin has been making his mark as a staggering solo performer for several years now, in front of audiences small and large, from intimate jazz and experimental music venues to big stages, whether opening for Arcade Fire or The National, or playing at jazz and new music festivals like Moers and London Jazz.
His talents have been widely recognised and employed by artists as diverse as Tom Waits, Laurie Anderson, TV On The Radio and Bon Iver.
"If jazz, as the eminent critic Whitney Balliet once wrote, is the "sound of surprise," Cuts, an intensely cathartic, fiercely turbulent collaboration between Japanese noise purveyor Masami Akita (aka Merzbow), Hungarian drummer Balazs Pandi and Swedish saxophonist Mats Gustasfsson, is the "sound of shock and awe." A sonic assault of epic proportions, it blends the bombast of Merzbow's grinding white noise barrages with Pandi's thunderous pulse on the kit and Gustafsson's ferocious abandon on baritone sax and clarinet mixed with live electronics, bringing to mind a marriage of Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music and Coltrane's Interstellar Space, with touches of Sonic Youth's sonic mayhem thrown in for good measure."
- Andrew Male, MOJO (****)
The esteemed Norwegian troupe forge a tougher, dizzying sound galvanised by electronic experimentation in their 6th studio album. Since their last LP, 'Live With Britten Sinfonia' (2013), the band's principle song-writer Lars Hortveth took off to L.A. where, inspired by the scale of space and its flashing neon lights, he started composing the material which would become 'Starfire'.
Recorded back in Oslo at his band's own studio, the album neatly transposes the rolling, glittering landscapes of California to Jaga Jazzist's rockier topographies and smart jazz chops, manifesting a wide-scoped album mixing epic synth themes right out of '80s Hollywood with deft drum breaks, crashing machine drums and wobbly, restlessly playful electronics. The results cross between Goblin's prime late '70s prog, David Axelrod-like funk, and searing electro-jazz fusion, often all within the same track.
Thick sleeves thick printed inner sleeves Coloured 180g vinyl free download code! 2016 Reissue of "Mutations" - the second work of The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble from 2009.
Not existing anymore since 2012 The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble now finally makes all long-time sold out releases available again on all formats (cd | vinyl | digital).
The series of reissues starts with their genre-determining second output "Mutations". An act combining profound musical sensibilities, deeply emotional harmonies and an acute ear for genre inter-breeding, The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble placed itself and the confluent of dusty, gritty jazz and low-end doom-laden drones, and came up with a sound which is at the same time warm and dark, brooding and misty, cinematic and dynamic.
Influenced by acts like Bohren & der Club Of Gore and The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble the anonymous russian group Povarovo mixed ideas of existing darker jazz acts with neoclassical elements and the melancholia of traditional russian music to a new level of intensity.
Not just a promotion platitude: an immense debut record. Time to immerse.
"AFTER 4 YEARS FINALLY REPRESSED - COMES WITH A NEW CD & LP ARTWORK. Formed for the improvisation nights Dynamo in Brest, France, this quartet made of musicians covering a wide variety of musical styles creates a sound that mixes electronic (samples, cuts, sound treatments) and acoustic elements (guitars, saxophone, trumpet).
They're playing moody ballads that sound as if they would come out from one of David Lynch's movies.
Like in the films of Hollywood's master of bizarre pieces, there is something like a dark and poisonous colour broken by red thunderlights and blue cigarette smoke.
The music spawnes some odd characters and landscapes while the listener makes out some more friendly faces that loom up out of this nowhere place: the voice of Zalie Bellaccico, Milanese streets sounds, a lazy flute, or some distant breathing swim on the surface of this deep troubled waters.
""Paroles de Navarre"" is an invitation for opening the red curtain of this Dark Jazz cabaret made of shimmering and whirling walls.
One of the best musical outputs from France of the last ten years and already a classic.
Recommened if you like BOHREN UND DER CLUB OF GORE or THE KILIMANJARO DARKJAZZ ENSEMBLE.
REISSUE of the iconic second Dale Cooper Quartet full length from 2011 - new black on black artwork - vinyl limited to only 350 pieces in clear blue The bizarre Dark Jazz cabaret is opened again.
After five years of waiting the 2nd full length of the sophisticated experimental collective from france finally saw the light of day in 2011.
Feat. vocals of Gaelle Kerrien (YANN TIERSEN). All lovers of DAVID LYNCH movies, artists like KILIMANJARO DARKJAZZ ENSEMBLE or BOHREN UND DER CLUB OF GORE and blue cigarette smoke in dark bars exulted again.
Métamanoir sees the band shift from their smooth, minimal and instrumental landscapes on the debut record Parole De Navarre to a more lively and rich sound.
Always based upon improvisation and sound research, the solo parts of their music are now embodied by vocals.
The Quartet invited several musicians and singers to record, giving a phantomatic sound with oboe, clarinet, whitewashed drones popping out of the songs.
The sheer chants of Zalie Bellacicco - who appeared on the debut album - the deep tone of Ronan Mac Erlaine and the crystal-clear voice of Gaëlle Kerrien (Yann Tiersen's live show singer) interlaces with the still dark jazz of the band.
Always influenced by classic 50s cool jazz and the more contemporary noise and experimental styles, the Quartet and his guests built a dreamy card castle who swing and grow deeply rooted in fierce strangeness of David Lynch movies.
Métamanoir has been recorded in their native Britanny country, deep west of France, a land swept by climatic inconstancy fed by wind, rain and mystery.
A place which gives the music an overwhelming but beautiful darkness.