With Excavation, London-based electronic producer Bobby Krlic, aka the Haxan Cloak, offers a multifaceted roadmap of the afterlife. The record, his first for Tri Angle, is about the journey taken after death, and it's bold and domineering, the kind of music that towers over you and casts a giant, intimidating shadow.
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
Tim Hecker's latest work approaches a form of secular musical transcendentalism from within the battered temple of spirituality. Recorded in a church in Reykjavik, Iceland and using a pipe organ as the primary sound source, this new piece is essentially a live recording.
In reality, it exists in a nether world between captured live performance and meticulous studio work, melding the two approaches to sonic artifice as a unity.
It is in parts a document of air circulating within a wooden room, and also a pagan work of physical resonance within a space once reserved for the hallowed breath of the divine.
While the title of the piece "Hatred of Music" might be a clue, the album is also partly an attempt to confront a pervasive negativity surrounding music. Historical rituals of destroying pianos, mountains of pirated CDRs pushed by bulldozers in Eastern Europe, or the melancholy of the digital music era began as sideline motifs which quickly informed the work on this record.
They also really didn't at all. Despite that the context is wide open in such a form of musical abstraction, the substance of these immersive compositions showcases Hecker's continued mastery of organizing sound into a visceral near entity. It is an almost physical presence that the listener feels as much as hears. This work is a significant contribution to Hecker's oeuvre, one which spans over ten years of musical production.
Ravedeath, 1972 is an enigmatic document of beauty and force. The album was recorded mostly over the period of one day in July of 2010.
Iceland-based musician Ben Frost assisted with the engineering and performs on this recording.
For Fans Of: Jetone, Aidan Baker, Pan American, Stars of the Lid, Eluvium
A collaboration between Aphex Twin (Richard D. James) and µ-Ziq (Mike Paradinas), 'Expert Knob Twiddlers' was made back in 1994. Richard edited the tracks into shape later in 1996 with his new Apple Mac computer and it was released later that year on Rephlex, the label he co-owned and which released the first two albums by µ-Ziq.
This new reissued version has been carefully cleaned up, re-edited and remastered from the original DAT tapes, put into a more fitting order and, more excitingly, seven new bonus tracks and alternative versions have also been added.
The album was recorded over a few days during the 1994 World Cup, back when Richard lived in a big shared flat in Stoke Newington. Richard had tried to collaborate with a few other likeminded artists but something clicked when Mike and Rich worked together and the sessions have a unique feel; playful and at times actually drunk.
These are fun experiments in the spirit of lighthearted moog pop and ripe 70s British TV themes, standing out from the po-faced electronica of the time with a garish glee. The record was made on what is now seen as pretty primitive gear - an Atari, Roland MKS-80, Memorymoog, Roland R8 and a handful of samples on a Casio FZ-10M - but it's to their credit that it resonates well with the hardware workouts coming out today.
There's a broadminded but sloppy funk to the record, even whistling, singing and harpsichord in 'Reg' and wonky beat pile-ons in 'Jelly Fish'. There's latin piano and wheezy drunken techno in 'Vodka', or the sleepy spaced out ambience of 'Bu Bu Bu Ba' with its barely contained laughter which seems to reflect the absurdity.
The new versions and bonus tracks are an absolute delight - from a trancier version of 'Vodka' to the wonky bounce of 'Portamento Gosh', the 3/4 dub of 'Waltz,' the banging door bass of' Brivert and Muonds', the creepy seasick at-mosphere of 'Clissold Bathroom' and finishing with the strangely graceful and serious 'Organ Plodder'.
A generous and welcome return to the racks.
The meeting of Tim Hecker and Daniel Lopatin aka Oneohtrix Point Never at his Software Studio yields an otherworldly and near symphonic suite apparently conducted "…to mimic the tropes and techniques of jazz-based improvisation, with little preparation prior", effecting a wide-eyed and fascinating sound as dramatic and enchanting as any we've heard this year.
As you'd expect from a Tim Hecker record, the sense of diffuse, layered, analog-treated and digitally simulated space is just incredible, and paired with both his and Lopatin's feel for cinematic, heart-rending melody and complex harmonics 'Instrumental Tourist' is an impressive piece of work by any standards.
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.
There is a tribal element to Arc's 2 long suites that feel somewhat like being stoned in Cologne in 1971. The trios of Aidan Baker, Christopher Kukiel, and Richard Baker return to the quiet with hushed tribal timbres, however, these ambiences are riveting in a way that that other ambiences are not, probably because the group does not think with an ambient attitude. This is the sound of mining midnight. In a universe where experimentalism is often just a nice way of saying "boring," hearing seasoned musicians actually craft something interesting sans computers is like having an orgasm. There really is no compare, except for maybe sneezing, which is Merzbow's department. Vinyl editions of 400 with the subscriber editions limited to 150 copies on 180 gram vinyl and custom made book bound sleeves and signed and numbered certificate.
Stepping outside of the Nadja context for the duration of two long meditative tunes, Aidan Baker pairs up with Idklang for a very nice albeit somewhat very improvised sounding and apparently "Twin Peaks"-inspired album. I am not familiar with the second musician's regular output, and can therefore only compare "In The Red Room" to Aidan Baker's past discography. There is less distortion this time around, but the same kind of slowly building atmospheres and gritty, emotional strings. Maybe not the one record I would recommend as an introduction to these artists or this genre of experimental guitar work, but still a very nice album.
Aidan Baker's The Confessional Tapes is another of his more song-oriented albums, though here drifting between slowcore, dreampop, abstract jazz, and glitchy electronica. Baker originally began working on this record in Toronto several years ago, but lost the audio files in a hard drive crash. Those files which were recoverable from the original recordings, corrupted and glitchy, ended up forming the backbone of the album, providing a fragmentary and abstract structure to the songs as Baker worked on them in his adoptive home of Berlin.
Richter is considered a bit of a genius himself in contemporary classical music circles . . . "Sleep Remixes" represents yet another milestone for one of classical music's most original voices, whose creativity and imagination only serve to expand the boundaries of the genre.
Christian Fennesz's 2001 album Endless Summer was a go-to album of electronic music for people who don’t necessarily listen to a lot of electronic music. For his new record, Fennesz has returned to both the label and the style that provided that breakthrough.