1. So You Want to Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star 0:00
2. Have You Seen Her Face 2:06
3. C.T.A. – 102 4:40
4. Renaissance Fair 7:13
5. Time Between 9:08
6. Everybody’s Been Burned 11:04
1. Thoughts and Words 14:06
2. Mind Gardens 17:04
3. My Back Pages 20:36
4. The Girl with No Name 23:45
5. Why 25:37
Acoustic Guitar – Vern Gosdin (tracks: A5)
Drums – Michael Clarke
Electric Bass – Chris Hillman
Guitar – Clarence White (2) (tracks: A5, B4), David Crosby, Roger McGuinn
Photography By [Cover Photo] – Frank Bez
Piano – Hotep Cecil Barnard (tracks: A2)
Producer – Gary Usher
Trumpet – Hugh Masekela (tracks: A1)
Vocals – Chris Hillman, David Crosby, Roger McGuinn
Younger Than Yesterday was somewhat overlooked at the time of its release during an intensely competitive era that found the Byrds on a commercial downslide. Time, however, has shown it to be the most durable of the Byrds’ albums, with the exception of Mr. Tambourine Man. David Crosby, Roger McGuinn, and especially Chris Hillman come into their own as songwriters on an eclectic but focused set blending folk-rock, psychedelia, and early country-rock. The sardonic “So You Want to Be a Rock & Roll Star” was a terrific single; “My Back Pages,” also a small hit, was the last of their classic Dylan covers; “Thoughts and Words,” the flower-power anthem “Renaissance Fair,” “Have You Seen Her Face,” and the bluegrass-tinged “Time Between” are all among their best songs. The jazzy “Everybody’s Been Burned” may be Crosby’s best composition, although his “Mind Gardens” is one of his most excessive.
fonte: Allmusic – www.allmusic.com/album/younger-than-yesterday-mw0000197227
1. “I Zimbra” (David Byrne, Brian Eno, Hugo Ball) 0:00
2. “Mind” 3:08
3. “Paper” 7:22
4. “Cities” 10:06
5. “Life During Wartime” (David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Jerry Harrison, Tina Weymouth) 14:11
6. “Memories Can’t Wait” (David Byrne, Jerry Harrison) 17:52
7. “Air” 21:22
8. “Heaven” (David Byrne, Jerry Harrison) 24:57
9. “Animals” 28:58
10. “Electric Guitar” 32:28
11. “Drugs” (David Byrne, Brian Eno) 35:37
By titling their third album Fear of Music and opening it with the African rhythmic experiment “I Zimbra,” complete with nonsense lyrics by poet Hugo Ball, Talking Heads make the record seem more of a departure than it is. Though Fear of Music is musically distinct from its predecessors, it’s mostly because of the use of minor keys that give the music a more ominous sound. Previously, David Byrne’s offbeat observations had been set off by an overtly humorous tone; on Fear of Music, he is still odd, but no longer so funny. At the same time, however, the music has become even more compelling. Worked up from jams (though Byrne received sole songwriter’s credit), the music is becoming denser and more driving, notably on the album’s standout track, “Life During Wartime,” with lyrics that match the music’s power. “This ain’t no party,” declares Byrne, “this ain’t no disco, this ain’t no fooling around.” The other key song, “Heaven,” extends the dismissal Byrne had expressed for the U.S. in “The Big Country” to paradise itself: “Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens.” It’s also the album’s most melodic song. Those are the highlights. What keeps Fear of Music from being as impressive an album as Talking Heads’ first two is that much of it seems to repeat those earlier efforts, while the few newer elements seem so risky and exciting. It’s an uneven, transitional album, though its better songs are as good as any Talking Heads ever did.
Natural’s Not In It
Not Great Men
Return The Gift
Guns Before Butter
I Found That Essence Rare
At Home (He’s A Tourist)
Love Like Anthrax
Entertainment! is one of those records where germs of influence can be traced through many genres and countless bands, both favorably and unfavorably. From groups whose awareness of genealogy spreads wide enough to openly acknowledge Gang of Four’s influence (Fugazi, Rage Against the Machine), to those not in touch with their ancestry enough to realize it (rap-metal, some indie rock) — all have appropriated elements of their forefathers’ trailblazing contribution. Its vaguely funky rhythmic twitch, its pungent, pointillistic guitar stoccados, and its spoken/shouted vocals have all been picked up by many. Lyrically, the album was apart from many of the day, and it still is. The band rants at revisionist history in “Not Great Men” (“No weak men in the books at home”), self-serving media and politicians in “I Found That Essence Rare” (“The last thing they’ll ever do?/Act in your interest”), and sexual politics in “Damaged Goods” (“You said you’re cheap but you’re too much”). Though the brilliance of the record thrives on the faster material — especially the febrile first side — a true highlight amongst highlights is the closing “Anthrax,” full of barely controlled feedback squalls and moans. It’s nearly psychedelic, something post-punk and new wave were never known for. With a slight death rattle and plodding bass rumble, Jon King equates love with disease and admits to feeling “like a beetle on its back.” In the background, Andy Gill speaks in monotone of why Gang of Four doesn’t do love songs. Subversive records of any ilk don’t get any stronger, influential, or exciting than this.
1 Beat – 00:00
2 Empty Words – 07:17
3 Without Stopping – 11:03
4 Under The Sun – 16:18
5 Fear Of Flying – 19:50
6 Looped – 25:29
7 Black Light – 28:09
8 Inside Out – 35:04
9 Coming Down – 42:23
10 Postscript – 47:02
Lawrence Chandler and Martha Schwendener formed Bowery Electric in late 1993 and played their first show together at Brownie’s in New York City in January 1994.
Chandler told Alternative Press Magazine that “technologically [Beat] is the beginning of us learning our way around a proper sampler and software which allows us to work with samples on the computer. We can sample ourselves, manipulate sounds, create our own beats and basically work with fewer restrictions.”
“Somewhat bizarrely, Beat received a large amount of critical buzz over its supposedly groundbreaking fusion of hip-hop/techno rhythms and the band’s older dream pop stylings. Anyone who had heard Loveless-era My Bloody Valentine or a fair amount of Chapterhouse’s material probably had some things to say about that judgment, while in turn many dance mavens saw the band’s efforts as already terribly outdated in terms of general sonic approach. Set all this aside and concentrate on enjoying Beat in and of itself, though, and the fine qualities of both group and album come through quite clearly. Bowery Electric may not be on the cutting edge, but Schwendener and Chandler aren’t pretending to dwell there. The title track sets the album’s tone from the start, an open-ended guitar drone from Chandler later accompanied by Schwendener’s low-key bass and distanced singing matched with a crisp drum loop. Variations on this basic formula throughout Beat: slight rhythms are sometimes more prominent, sometimes buried, guitar lines are clearer here or more heavily produced there — but taken as a whole the release is quietly intoxicating. Standouts include “Fear of Flying,” with a strong guitar scream/wash from Chandler and a more upfront bass/drum combination, and the thoroughly but beautifully zoned out “Black Light,” which features a rare Chandler vocal and an enveloping delay-pedal-produced atmosphere. Notably, the drumming on the latter track is more in line with, say, early Pink Floyd or Slowdive rather than the loops used elsewhere. Both performers are incredibly undemonstrative throughout the album — Beat works best as something either totally concentrated on or left running as ambient music; a party record this isn’t. At times Bowery Electric eschew percussion entirely, to lovely effect: “Under the Sun” is a brief but dark piece, a low bassline providing the only forward motion.” fonte – allmusic: www.allmusic.com/album/beat-mw0000087539
“Center of the Universe”
“Carry the Zero”
“You Were Right”
Perhaps realizing that their time on a major label was likely limited, Built to Spill made a gutsy choice for Keep It Like a Secret, their second album for Warner Brothers. They embraced the sounds of a big studio and focused their sound without sacrificing their fractured indie rock aesthetic. In a sense, this is Built to Spill’s pop album: every song is direct and clean, without the long, cerebral jamming that characterized their earlier albums. That’s not to say that the album is compromised — the songwriting may be streamlined, but Doug Martsch now packs all of his twists, turns, and detours into dense, three-minute blasts. This approach, combined with the shiny sonic textures, makes Keep It Like a Secret the most immediate and, yes, accessible Built to Spill record, but they steadfastly open their music up and breathe the way, say, Pavement did on Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain or Brighten the Corners. Built to Spill still demand that listener meet them on their own terms — these just happen to be the easiest terms to understand in their catalog.
fonte: Allmusic – www.allmusic.com/album/keep-it-like-a-secret-mw0000047768
01. Whitest Boy On The Beach 00:00
02. Satisfied 04:53
03. Love Is The Crack 08:34
04. Duce 12:53
05. Lebensraum 19:34
06. Hits Hits Hits 22:20
07. Tinfoil Deathstar 26:01
08. When Shipman Decides 30:00
09. We Must Learn To Rise 33:43
10. Goodbye Goebbels 40:54
“On their first album, Fat White Family sounded like they could be a group of bitter, homeless alcoholics who took to making music on battered gear found in a house where they were squatting. Three years later, the group made something of a creative shift; on 2016’s Songs for Our Mothers, those winos have purchased a cheap but reliable rhythm machine and started dabbling in club music. Granted, “Whitest Boy on the Beach” and “Hits Hits Hits” are the only tunes where they make full use of their new toy, but the queasy face-off between the proto-disco groove on “Whitest Boy” and the sickly wheeze of the group’s vocals (mixed low enough to make most of the lyrics unintelligible) is made to order for a band that enjoys making people uncomfortable. And while “Hits Hits Hits” is too slow for the dancefloor, the song’s references to domestic violence (including invoking the names of Ike and Tina) should leave most listeners utterly appalled. Fat White Family’s fearless embrace of bad taste and misanthropy was one of the hallmarks of their debut, Champagne Holocaust, and on Songs for Our Mothers they seem grimly determined to up the ante. Ultimately they hit their target, thanks to numbers like “Love Is the Crack,” “Duce,” and the closing “Goodbye Goebbels” (the latter imagining the final conversation between Hitler and his most loyal associate), but there seems to be less gusto in Fat White Family’s second round; the results leave no doubt that these guys have little to no use for the human race, but they toss about their bile with a more lethargic spirit, as if they’ve fallen deep enough into their bender to succumb to their own cynicism. One track truly stands out — “Tinfoil Deathstar,” a tale of drug abuse that has enough life in it to suggest Fat White Family might actually care about heroin as a scourge. Otherwise, Songs for Our Mothers indicates Fat White Family still want to annoy you, but they’re only going to put real effort into it for so long.”
Fonte: Allmusic – www.allmusic.com/album/songs-for-our-mothers-mw0002888514
01) She Found Now
02) Only Tomorrow
03) Who Sees You
04) Is This And Yes
05) If I Am
06) New You
07) In Another Way
08) Nothing Is
09) Wonder 2
“Even though My Bloody Valentine promised late in 2012 that they would release new music in the near future, when m b v arrived in the middle of a February weekend in 2013, it was hard to believe it actually existed — and not just because demand for the album kept crashing the band’s website. For years, a follow-up to their 1991 masterpiece Loveless seemed impossible, and perhaps even unnecessary. What could live up to Kevin Shields’ notorious perfectionism, never mind the expectations of rabid fans (some of whom weren’t even alive when Loveless was released)? With a title that evoked years of scrawling initials on mixtapes and playlists, m b v answered those worries with a set of songs that felt immediately familiar. And, appropriately enough given the 22-year wait, many of these tracks are decidedly unhurried, and maybe even hazier than what came before. “who sees you” and “if i am” churn and hover, full of cloudy vocals and lingering guitars, while “she found now” recalls Loveless’ “Sometimes” in its whispery bliss. Yet there are differences, too: m b v’s production is surprisingly direct and intimate, at times almost insular compared to Loveless’ panoramas. “is this and yes,” which jettisons guitars in favor of organ and brass that evoke Stereolab’s regal serenity, is one of the most strikingly different songs in their catalog. Shields and company spend much of the album avoiding the rhythmic heft that made their previous music equally lush and propulsive. Instead, they save m b v’s loudest and most daring moments for last. “in another way” pairs a stair-stepping vocal melody with tones that approach free jazz in their dense clusters, while “nothing is” rides a pummeling riff and drums that are almost perversely loud, as if to make up for muffling them elsewhere. The most exciting moment is “wonder 2,” which makes the jet engine comparisons to their music more literal than ever before, with rapid-fire beats and streaking sonics that suggest the song is being shot into space. Occasionally, m b v’s songwriting doesn’t always feel as immediate as before: “only tomorrow” and “new you” are among the tracks that make the most of their poppy structures and Bilinda Butcher’s sugared murmurs, but as fans know, most of the band’s hooks take their time to emerge. More comforting than revelatory, m b v reaffirms that My Bloody Valentine are one of a kind; the subtlety to their melodies, instrumentation, and the way they blur together belongs to them alone. They’re not trying to re-create Loveless, nor should they, and m b v doesn’t have to reinvent music (again) to be worth the wait.”
fonte: Allmusic – www.allmusic.com/album/m-b-v-mw0002488164
[Lo-Fi, Shoegaze, Indie Rock]
1 [untitled] 0:12
2 Bell 4:29
3 Vigilant Always 5:10
4 His Love Just Washed Away 5:24
5 His Life of Academic Freedom 2:07
6 Pancake 3:15
7 Jeremy Parker 4:14
8 Park the Car by the Side of the Road 5:04
9 Tree Chopped Down 3:12
10 Wrong Tube 5:06
11 Wait Forever 4:18
“The Swirlies’ first full-length album melds noisy guitars, samples, and sweet girl-boy vocals into a disheveled take on dream pop. Where so many dreamy bands polish their sound into pristine oblivion, the Swirlies create a hazy atmosphere that is evocative and unpretentious. Blonder Tongue Audio Baton — named after a vintage tube equalizer — combines the elements of the band’s early work with more complexity. Songs like “Bell” and “Vigilant Always” juxtapose gentle and brash moments for a spontaneous feel, while “His Life of Artistic Freedom” expands on the Swirlies’ noisy, experimental side. The group also shows off their accessible fuzz-pop on the album’s centerpiece, “Pancake.” The combination of Seana Carmody’s demure vocals, big guitars, and burbling Mellotrons makes for one of Boston’s most memorable pop moments since the Pixies’ “Gigantic.” The crunchy rhythms of “Tree Chopped Down” and “Wrong Tube” complement Damon Tuntunjian and Carmody’s limpid vocals beautifully, and the sweetly noisy “Wait Forever” sums up the Swirlies’ homemade noise pop aesthetic. A mainstay of early-’90s indie music, Blonder Tongue Audio Baton still sounds fresh today.”
fonte: allmusic – www.allmusic.com/album/blonder-tongue-audio-baton-mw0000098286
[Lo-Fi, Psychedelic Rock, Experimental, Indie Rock]
2. A Peculiar Noise Called “Train Director”
5. Black Foliage (Animation 1)
6. Combinations 2
7. The Sky Is a Harpsichord Canvas
8. A Sleepy Company
9. Grass Canons
10. A New Day
11. Combinations 3
12. Black Foliage (Animation 2)
13. I Have Been Floated
14. Paranormal Echoes
15. Black Foliage (Animation 3)
16. A Place We Have Been To
17. Black Foliage (Itself)
18. The Sylvan Screen
19. The Bark and Below It
20. Black Foliage (Animation 4)
21. California Demise (3)
22. Looking for Quiet Seeds
23. Combinations 4
25. Another Set of Bees In the Museum
26. Black Foliage (Animation 5)
27. Hilltop Procession Momentum Gaining
“If the preceding Dusk at Cubist Castle was the Olivia Tremor Control’s very own White Album, then the labyrinthine Black Foliage is their SMiLE — it’s an imploding masterpiece, a work teetering on the cliff’s edge between genius and madness. Torn at the seams between pop transcendence and noise radicalism, the group attempts to have it both ways, meaning teenage symphonies to God like “A New Day” rest uneasily alongside musique concrète-styled tape pastiches such as “Combinations” (which, along with the similarly styled, multi-part title track, is one of the many sonic motifs snaking its way throughout the record). There are at least enough ideas for five albums here, which is both Black Foliage’s strength and its weakness — it’s impossible not to get lost inside of the OTC’s swirling schizophrenia, and too often snatches of brilliance flash by too quickly to savor the moment. Moreover, with songs like “California Demise 3″ continuing the oblique narrative running through previous OTC records, the artistic statement the record is making (and there undoubtedly is one) is impenetrable at best. Still, with each of the band’s successive releases seeming like just part of a much bigger picture only now beginning to come into focus, maybe that’s the point. Ultimately, Black Foliage just might be an end-of-the-millennium appeal that speaks directly and solely to the unconscious.”
fonte – Allmusic – www.allmusic.com/album/black-foliage-animation-music-vol-1-mw0000236976
1. 0:00 …….”Wildlife Analysis”
2. 1:18 …….”An Eagle in Your Mind”
3. 7:41 …….”The Color of the Fire”
4. 9:26 …….”Telephasic Workshop”
5. 16:02 …..”Triangles & Rhombuses”
6. 17:52 …..”Sixtyten”
7. 23:41 …..”Turquoise Hexagon Sun”
8. 28:49 …..”Kaini Industries”
9. 29:48 …..”Bocuma”
10. 31:24 …..”Roygbiv”
11. 33:55 …..”Rue the Whirl”
12. 40:35 …..”Aquarius”
13. 46:33 …..”Olson”
14. 48:05 …..”Pete Standing Alone”
15. 54:13 …..”Smokes Quantity”
16. 57:20 …..”Open the Light”
17. 1:01:45 ..”One Very Important Thought”
18. 1:03:04 ..”Happy Cycling”
Although Boards of Canada’s blueprint for electronic listening music — aching electro-synth with mid-tempo hip-hop beats and occasional light scratching — isn’t quite a revolution in and of itself, Music Has the Right to Children is an amazing LP. Similar to the early work of Autechre and Aphex Twin, the duo is one of the few European artists who can match their American precursors with regard to a sense of spirit in otherwise electronic music. This is pure machine soul, reminiscent of some forgotten Japanese animation soundtrack or a rusting Commodore 64 just about to give up the ghost. Alternating broadly sketched works with minute-long vignettes (the latter of which comprise several of the best tracks on the album), Music Has the Right to Children is one of the best electronic releases of 1998.
fonte: Allmusic – www.allmusic.com/album/music-has-the-right-to-children-mw0000042674
0:00 Best Foot Forward
0:48 Building Steam With A Grain Of Salt
7:30 The Number Song
12:08 Changeling/Transmission I
19:54 What Does Your Soul Look Like (Part IV)
25:21 Stem/Long Stem/Transmission II
34:37 Mutual Slump
38:39 Organ Donor
40:36 Why Hip Hop Sucks In 96
41:18 Midnight In A Perfect World
46:19 Napalm Brain/Scatter Brain
55:40 What Does Your Soul Look Like (Part I – Blue Sky Revisit)/Transmission III
As a suburban California kid, DJ Shadow tended to treat hip-hop as a musical innovation, not as an explicit social protest, which goes a long way toward explaining why his debut album, Endtroducing….., sounded like nothing else at the time of its release. Using hip-hop, not only its rhythms but its cut-and-paste techniques, as a foundation, Shadow created a deep, endlessly intriguing world on Endtroducing….., one where there are no musical genres, only shifting sonic textures and styles. Shadow created the entire album from samples, almost all pulled from obscure, forgotten vinyl, and the effect is that of a hazy, half-familiar dream — parts of the record sound familiar, yet it’s clear that it only suggests music you’ve heard before, and that the multi-layered samples and genres create something new. And that’s one of the keys to the success of Endtroducing…..: it’s innovative, but it builds on a solid historical foundation, giving it a rich, multifaceted sound. It’s not only a major breakthrough for hip-hop and electronica, but for pop music.
Kiasmos: [Janus Rasmussen, Ólafur Arnalds]
1 Lit 6:24
2 Held 5:01
3 Looped 6:00
4 Swayed 4:23
5 Thrown 8:59
6 Dragged 5:00
7 Bent 5:45
8 Burnt 9:20
The collaboration of BAFTA-winning composer Ólafur Arnalds and electro-pop torchbearer Janus Rasmussen was born out of a shared connection with the more minimal, sparse sounds of electronic music. This self-titled debut if the fruit of their decidedly unhurried labours. With misty synths and metronomic percussive sections, the record paints a picture of Nordic pastures. Delicate piano motifs, distilled neo-classical stylings and a constant sense of exploration, Kiasmos move from the guttering two-step of Burnt to the airy atmospherics of Lit without compromising their intricate, carefully placed breed of production.
Nicolas Jaar – Pomegranates OST (2015)
Garden of Eden
Pass the Time
The Fool and his Harem
Being and Nothingness
Beasts of this Earth
Fall into Time
Folie à Deux
Screams at the Edge of Dawn
Tower of Sin
I started making most of the music that is found on
“pomegranates” before I had seen the movie or was aware of its
The first song, for example, was made on one of the first fall
nights of 2014. I had just returned from a year-long Darkside
tour and was really happy to be back home. I was making music
in my living room when a huge water bug started dancing on top
of some cables on the floor. Instead of killing it, I decided to
make music for it. I called the song “Garden of Eden” because I
slowly started seeing the little creature as my friend and
helper, and my studio as a garden (with all the wires!).
The next song was originally made for a TV show that I was asked
to score. When it became clear to me that the show was not what
I signed up for, I decided to part ways, which left me with
hours of soundtrack music. I only used a dozen minutes of it for
“pomegranates”, not sure what to do with the rest!
“Survival” was originally meant to be the backing track for
“Ghetto”, a track I produced for Dj Slugo where he talks about
growing up in Chicago.
“Shame” is a beat I made for a rapper, that was declined.
At the end of 2014, I lived with my parents for six months while
in between apartments. I didn’t have a studio, just a piano,
some microphones and headphones. That’s when I wrote “Muse”.
“Volver” is a choir version of an unreleased track called
“Revolver” I made in 2011 that will come out this year
hopefully. Anyways, I could go on and on.
At the beginning of 2015 my friend Milo heard some of these songs
and told me about the film. I watched it and was dumbfounded. I
felt the aesthetic made complete sense with the strange themes I
had been obsessed with over the past couple of years..I was
curious to see what my songs sounded like when synced with the
images, which turned into a 2-day bender where I soundtracked
the entire film, creating a weird collage of the ambient music I
had made over the last 2 years.
The film gave me a structure to follow and themes to stick to.
It gave clarity to this music that was made mostly out of and
through chaos. It also gave me the balls to put it out… I
wanted to do some screenings but the guy who owns the rights to
the film only wants the original version of the movie out there.
I can’t blame him, I’m sure Paradjanov wouldn’t want some kid in
NY pissing all over his masterpiece and calling it a soundtrack!
I’ve listened to it a couple of times without watching the movie
and I think it stands on its own. Or at least I hope it can!
I was still living at my childhood home when I finished
“pomegranates”. On March 1st, I arrived in my new home and it
was completely empty except for a baby tree. The owner was there
to greet me and he asked me if I wanted to keep the baby tree
because he had nowhere to put it and no one to give it to. I
agreed to keep it and take care of it.
Before he left I asked him what kind of tree it was. He told me
it’s a pomegranate tree. He had no idea I had just put this out!
So there it is, it’s yours now!
Nico [las Jarr]
ps. check the pic of the little tree!”
[house, deep house]
01. C. Damier & R. Trent – Morning Factory
02. Ron Trent – Prescription
03. Ron & Chez D – Don’t Try It
04. Ron Trent – Seduction
05. Ron Trent – Pop, Dip And Spin
06. Ron Trent – Energy
07. Chez Damier & Ron Trent – Sometimes I Feel Like
08. Angora – Enchantment
09. Ron Trent – I Feel The Rhythm
10. Ron Trent & Anthony Nicholson – Soul Samba Express
11. USG – Life 4 Living feat. Monica Elam
12. Ron Trent – Space Ridims
13. Chez Damier & Ron Trent – Foot Therapy
14. Konfusion Kidzz – On My Mind
15. Ron Trent – Morning Fever
16. Ani – Love Is The Message (For Those Who Didn’t Hear It)
17. World, Sky & Universes – The Answer
18. Ron Trent – Black Magic Woman feat. Harry Dennis
19. Noni – Be My
20. Warp Dub Sound System – Night Places Darkness Upon The Earth
21. Chez-N Trent – The Choice
22. Ron Trent – History
23. Ron Trent – The Meaning
24. Ron Trent – Piano Track
“In 1993, Prescription, the label established by Ron Trent and Chez Damier, got off to a casual start. “Carl Bias called me up one day,” Trent told NPR recently, “and said, ‘This guy Chez is at my house, and he wants to meet you.’ [In] a week or two, we were in Detroit recording in Kevin Saunderson’s lab, and the first tune we did was a tune that became pretty big for us, “Don’t Try [It].”” That the recently acquainted duo managed, in a matter of days, to knock out a near-perfect vocal house track was a sign of things to come. Over the next couple of years, enduring classics such as “Morning Factory” and “The Choice” would become the building blocks of a legacy documented on the six-disc Prescription: Word, Sound & Power.
By the time Damier and Trent formed Prescription, the then 20-something producers had already left their marks on dance music history. Trent wrote “Altered States” when he was 14. (Damier, at the same age, was going to clubs and working at a record store.) Damier would head to East Lansing, Michigan, and eventually cofounded the Music Institute alongside George Baker and Alton Miller. Before meeting Trent, he had already made three classic KMS EPs, Can You Feel It, I Never Knew Love and Untitled. “A lot of the wonderful stuff that was going on [in Chicago] in the ’80s had died off and gone in a different direction,” Trent told RBMA in 2007. With Prescription, Damier and Trent wanted to bring back the halcyon days of Chicago dance music.
Prescription was also named for Damier and Trent’s beliefs in the spiritual power of house music. On the compilation’s second track, “Prescription,” Trent says this music is “bringing you back to what is sacred, not cheap,” before paying his respects to his influences, charting a course through Fela Kuti, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Larry Levan and Ron Hardy. “I was more or less the music guy,” said Trent, explaining the division of labour in the studio. “I synthesized the sound, and Chez was more the spiritual philosopher that Chez is.” Trent landed on a timeless formula: jazzy pads, dreamy ambience, hand percussion and deep, sub-bass lines. You can hear it on the masterful “Seduction,” the roller-skate glide of “Pop, Dip And Spin” and “Morning Fever,” and the walking bassline on “The Meaning,” among others.
Damier’s vocals gave Prescription tracks a certain attitude. On “Don’t Try It,” his ad libs—”do, dah, do dah”—dovetail with Angelique Nicole’s lead vocal. On “The Choice,” he combines his own vocal with a hiccup-like sound. Trent’s collaborations with Anthony Nicholson feel more like jams—their 11-minute “Soul Samba Express” features a wild, extended percussion breakdown, while the near-16 minute “Night Places Darkness Upon The Earth” has the longest house music synth solo I can think of. Several previously unreleased tracks appear on Prescription: Word, Sound & Power. One of them, “Black Magic Woman,” a spacey hip-house collaboration with Harry Dennis, provides the compilation’s most memorable line: “I would walk a crooked mile / on the backs of crocodiles / just to get with you.”
Prescription: Word, Sound & Power isn’t perfect. Romanthony’s “The Wanderer” is notably absent. “Enchantment (Original Demo Mix),” by Angora—a group whose members included Peven Everett and Roy Davis, Jr.—is neither producer’s strongest material. Otherwise, this is about as essential a house compilation as money can buy. Damier and Trent blended Detroit, Chicago and New York styles of house in music that was clearly black and American. Spirituality was also key. (“It was healing work,” said Trent. “We used to put messages on the back of our records.”) With Prescription, Trent and Damier made house that honored the long tradition of black soul music, harnessing its healing potential for the dance floor. It sounds as vital as ever.”
fonte – RA – www.residentadvisor.net/reviews/20708
As The Sun Kissed The Horizon
The Things I Tell You
Times When I Know You’ll Be Sad
Sphere Of No-Form
Substrata (released, oddly, on the new age-heavy All Saints label) was the first full-length solo work released by Biosphere’s Geir Jenssen following a three-year period of silence. The album was the first of three to appear almost simultaneously, however — the other two being the soundtrack to the psychological thriller Insomnia, on the Norwegian Origo Sound label, as well as his third Apollo album — proving he’d hardly been in hibernation. Interestingly, while many ambient artists have moved increasingly toward the integration of percussion and rhythmic sequencing, Substrata finds Jenssen almost completely abandoning the rhythmic elements of earlier works such as Patashnik and “Novelty Waves,” focusing on dark, subtly melodic, often piercingly melancholic soundscapes that flow seamlessly from one to the next. The album recalls the more abstract moments of Global Communication’s ambient works, as well as the glacial expanses of Jenssen’s 1996 collaboration with Higher Intelligence Agency, Polar Sequences, and is quite easily among his most accomplished, satisfying works to date.
1 Valley Drone 5:30
2 Laurie Spiegel 5:19
3 Pillar 3 7:48
4 Robert Earl 5:27
5 The Library 2:07
6 Entanglement 5:24
7 CV 6:06
8 Cynthia 6:10
9 Stereoscope 6:53
10 Pillar 5 3:17
11 Moon Drone 5:04
12 Shadow Sun 5:21
13 Pillar 1 2:46
14 The Future 3:32
Arranged By [Orchestra], Conductor – David Anne
Bassoon – Fabienne Vergalle
Cello – Harm Garreyn
Composed By – Christina Vantzou
Countertenor Vocals [Contratenor] – Pieter De Praetere
Double Bass [Upright Bass] – Mike Delaere
Engineer – Chris Lambrechts
Flute – Toshiyuki Shibata
Horn – Hannes Verstraete
Mastered By – Jason Ward
Mezzo-soprano Vocals – Els Wollaert, Louise Kuyvenhoven
Mixed By [Mixing Engineer] – Francesco Donadello (tracks: 1 to 11, 13 to 14)
Oboe – Eva Debruyne
Percussion – Simon Decraene
Photography By – Julie Calbert
Recorded By [Assistant] – Diederik Glorieux
Synthesizer, Arranged By [Synthesizer] – John Also Bennett
Trombone – Jesus Moreno Miras
Viola – Pieter De Rydt
Violin – Freek Ruysschaert, Robin Van Heghe
Christina Vantzou strikes a super rich vein of somnambulant chamber drone with this 3rd solo album for Kranky after her 2004 contribution to The Dead Texan LP with Adam Wiltzie (Stars of the Lid).
Accompanied by a 14 piece ensemble of wind, percussion and vocalists, plus additional flute, clarinet and stacks of synthesisers – DX7, Yamaha CS20, Roland Juno-6, Cyclonix Shape Shifter – ‘No3’ unpackages a deep blue mystery across 14 tracks and 71 minutes of heart-melting ambient beauty.
It’s exactly the sort of liminal, waking-dream record that Kranky have specialised in for over 20 years now, and, perhaps because of her enduring relationship with the label, finds her in a position to properly absorb and transmute her influences and the label’s aesthetic into something beyond the sum of their parts.
Scaled from the rolling, organic megastructures of ‘Valley Drone’ thru the eerie chorale intimacy of ‘Laurie Spiegel’, to the diaphanous, opiated drone realms of ‘Stereoscope’ and a bittersweet, discordant viscera of ‘The Future’, this album is certain to register deeply with the most romantic and lonely listeners.
RIYL [Recommended if you like] Gas, Leyland James Kirby, Biosphere, Wolves in the Throne Room, Stars of the Lid.
1.Untitled 1 (0:00)
2.Untitled 2 (5:13)
3.Untitled 3 (13:51)
4.Untitled 4 (21:19)
5.Untitled 5 (30:51)
6.Untitled 6 (41:44)
7.Untitled 7 (51:08)
On Pop Wolfgang Voigt lightens the tone of his Gas work, adding earthly sounds and brighter melodies. The result remains stylistically ambient; in fact, the stripping away of bass beats, which had been employed on his past two albums, Zauberberg (1998) and Königsforst (1999), makes this more of a purely ambient album than an ambient techno one. Such a distinction (i.e., between ambient and ambient techno) may seem hair-splitting, but it’s a key difference between Pop and its predecessors, and this is an album that aims to be different and, presumably, more accessible (if the album title is to be taken meaningfully). Even though, for the most part, there aren’t any underlying rhythms of looped kick drums on Pop, there’s plenty of rhythm; rather than looping low-frequency bass beats, Voigt loops mid- and high-frequency percussive sounds (for example, a tinny clanging sound on the fourth track). Actually, there’s a lot going on in the mid- to high-frequency range, a variety of looped sounds — some rhythmic, others melodic, still others simply ambient — and these are a different set of sounds than were previously employed. In general, the seven tracks of Pop are comprised of a multi-layered set of loops that carry on seemingly to no end, though subtle nuances are constantly at play, creating a steady and sustained ambience that is forever shifting and swirling around lifelike. The final track is the most remarkable; at almost 15 minutes, it’s the longest, and it’s far and away the most intense and rhythmic, chugging along like a runaway train. Besides being remarkable on its own terms, this final track is a great finale and gives Pop the same sense of arc that characterized Zauberberg. While all of the Gas albums are cornerstone works, setting the stage for the style of “pop ambient” techno popularized by Kompakt in later years, Pop, along with Zauberberg, is a crowning achievement for Voigt and, as if his mission were accomplished, he chose to conclude his series of Gas albums here.
“Tempering the industrial tilt of their previous Reload material with slower, more graceful rhythms and an ear for melody unmatched by any in the downtempo crowd, Mark Pritchard and Tom Middleton produced the single best work in the ambient house canon. The tick-tock beats and tidal flair of “14:31” are proof of the duo’s superb balance of beauty with a haunting quality more in line with Vangelis than Larry Heard (though both producers were heavy influences on the album). On several tracks the darkside appears to take over — the pinging ambience of “9:39″ — but for most of 76:14 the melodies and slow-moving rhythms chart a course toward the upbeat and positive.”
fonte – Allmusic – www.allmusic.com/album/7614-mw0000118739
Made of Metal- 0:00
Call Across Rooms- 6:20
Made of Air- 28:30
Mastered By – Timothy Stollenwerk
Songwriter – Liz Harris
All songs/sounds recorded in Aljezur, Portugal in 2011 at a residency coordinated by Galeria Zé dos Bois. Except track B2, recorded @ Mom’s in Petaluma.
As Grouper, Liz Harris always brings purpose and heart to ambient music’s diffuseness, but rarely with as much intimacy as she does on Ruins. Where The Man Who Died in His Boat focused on the haunting atmospheres that surrounded its much-lauded companion piece Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill, here Harris concentrates on songs. Recorded largely in isolation during a 2011 artist’s residency in southwest Portugal, Ruins offers a much more naked version of Grouper’s music than ever before, one that makes the most of its natural beauty as well as the environment in which it was recorded. On “Made of Metal,” Harris introduces the album’s solitary world with an initiation ritual of portentous, heartbeat-like drums and chirping frogs; here and throughout Ruins, she foregoes the heavy processing of her other work for natural echoes and her upright piano’s sustain pedal. While she’s used piano to lovely effect before, it enhances the album’s timeless yet unstudied essence especially well, particularly when serendipitous touches such as the sonar-like microwave beep on “Labyrinth” add to the nearly voyeuristic levels of intimacy. While Ruins’ sound is stripped-down, it’s filled with emotional magnitudes. Harris’ confessions are that much more devastating thanks to their almost overheard nature, and her whispered vocals mean her audience has to listen to them as closely as possible. Her voice melds with the piano when she sings “Can’t you see us fading?/Soon there won’t be anyone there” on the equally gorgeous and resigned “Clearing,” one of her finest songs since Dragging a Dead Deer’s “Heavy Water/I’d Rather Be Sleeping.” Its sublime beauty is echoed by “Lighthouse,” where her subtle harmonies are joined by a chorus of frogs, and “Holding,” where a thunderstorm perfectly punctuates the song’s emotional climax (“there’s nothing left to hold”). As on Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill, Harris supports these intense moments with gentler instrumentals that feel like reverberations. Most notable among them is “Made of Metal,” an 11-minute piece dating back to 2004; though its foggy swells are distinct from the rest of the album’s spareness, it closes the album on an introspective, transporting note that suggests time really does heal all wounds. At once soothing and devastating, Ruins suggests Harris’ power and versatility are only growing.”
fonte – Allmusic: www.allmusic.com/album/ruins-mw0002735299
[Electronic, Classical – Ethereal, Ambient]
1. Offing 03:15
2. The Harbinger 05:50
3. One Half 03:41
4. Look Into Your Own Mind 04:36
5. Pyrrhic 04:20
6. Labyrinthine 04:32
7. Forever 05:29
8. Adventurer Of The Family 02:57
9. Crystal Lake 04:23
10. Waving To You 02:36
Choir – The Teen Girl Choir
Engineer [Additional Engineering] – Birgir Jón Birgisson
Guitar – Róbert Sturla Reynisson
Mastered By – Justin Shturtz
Mixed By, Engineer – Alex Somers
Photography By – Derrick Belcham
Photography By [Supermoon] – JB*
Producer – Alex Somers
Recorded By [Mom Vocals] – Scott Bell
Strings – Amiina
Strings [Amiina] – Edda Rún Ólafsdóttir, Hildur Ársælsdóttir, María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir, Sólrún Sumarliðadóttir
Vocals [Magical Vocals] – Julia Barwick
Vocals [The Teen Girl Choir] – Hildur Franziska Hávarðardóttir*, Hólmfriður Benedíktsdóttir, Salka Þorra Svanhvítardóttir*, Sólveig María Gunnarsdóttir*
Magical vocals provided by Mom, Julia Barwick.
Supermoon photo taken in Reykjavik on May 5, 2012.
Recorded in 2012 in Reykjavik, Iceland at Alex’s Studio and Sundlaugin Studio.
©&℗ 2013 Dead Oceans, Inc.
The importance of place in Julianna Barwick’s music cannot be overstated; both the feelings and emotions we are capable of projecting onto our surroundings, and the memories and moods that our surroundings are, in turn, capable of evoking within us. 2011’s The Magic Place made this explicit. Named for a tree she played in as a child, its gorgeous soundscapes spun gently outward until they took root, conjuring all manner of feeling and emotion themselves.
Nepenthe marks a series of firsts for the Brooklyn artist. A handful of collaborations aside, it is her first album to be created with other musicians, and her first release on Dead Oceans. Following an invitation from Sigur Rós producer and affiliate Alex Somers, it is also her first to be recorded outside the confines of New York, instead taking shape in Somers’ Reykjavík studio earlier this year, where string ensemble amiina, múm guitarist Róbert Sturla Reynisson and a teenage female choir all lent their hand.
Its name is drawn from ancient Greek literature, wherein nepenthe is a medicine for sorrow – a drug that aims to wipe out grief and sadness through forgetting. Barwick suffered a death in the family while recording the album, and her coming to terms with this loss is reflected over its running time. As such, song titles such as ‘Offing’ and ‘The Harbinger’ certainly paint a bleaker picture than The Magic Place‘s ‘Prizewinning’ or ‘Bob In Your Gait’, but this turns out to be misleading. The ripples of static upon which ‘The Harbinger’ makes its entrance, for example, soon make way for Barwick’s serene vocals, a redemptive piano figure and strings that hover delicately in the background, before the song culminates in rich, choral tones that imply understanding and acceptance – the dissonance present at its outset supplanted by something warm and human.
Barwick makes light of the visceral, “seriously emotional” nature of the songs she pieced together for the album in its press release, and, although for the most part wordless, many here present and explore a concept that can be picked up on without ever coming across as ornate or studied. ‘Crystal Lake’ is a sustained exercise in ascension: waves of harmony colliding with woozy ivories that ease the song ever higher. It is an enormously moving, beautifully textured piece of music, and one that takes on further ballast set against elegiac album closer ‘Waving To You’.
‘One Half’, meanwhile, cloaks Barwick’s vocal in clouds of reverb that eventually dissipate to reveal something as limpid and lovely as it is initially nebulous, and there is a moment a few minutes into ‘Forever’ – a lift – that might be the most stirring, elegant thing Barwick has yet put to tape. From thereon the song only becomes more bracing, as the choir eddies and swirls into myriad coalescing fragments and the piano – as it tends to throughout – props up and bolsters proceedings, which recede and end to the sound of a door being closed (or opened).
But as much as Nepenthe documents its maker’s struggle with bereavement, it is also an album that wouldn’t exist as it does were it not for the wintry beauty of the country it was birthed in. “Your eyes can’t believe what they’re seeing,” Barwick has said of Iceland. “I walked home one night and got totally lost in Reykjavík. I ended up walking alongside the ocean – and it was glowing blue. It looked like it had a lamp underneath it.”
Iceland, of course, has pedigree when it comes to producing elemental, dreamlike music. (As an aside, it was also while ambling dazed and jet lagged through its capital that Neil Gaiman came up with the central conceit of his very much elemental, very much dreamlike novel American Gods.) Barwick, significantly, recalls being blown away by Sigur Rós in concert eleven years ago, when the band would have been fresh off the back of landmark albums Ágætis byrjun and ( ), two records that are something of a piece with Nepenthe.
Barwick’s third album also shares personnel with the latter by way of amiina, but what both have in common is more a feeling, a sense of wonder. There was little doubt that the follow-up to The Magic Place would be anything less than a beautiful, contemplative work – Pacing, the very fine, piano-based 7″ she released earlier this year suggested as much – but Barwick has gone one better here. In taking her sorrow, turning it on its head and finding inspiration in another magical place, she has produced something powerfully, uniquely transcendent: something vast and expansive, intimate and affecting all at once.
fonte: The Quietus
[Downtempo, Abstract, Ambient]
[00:00] First Flight
[13:10] When I Try, I’m Full
[17:07] Rare Things Grow
[27:34] Existence In The Unfurling
“Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith composes her swirling, colorful electronic songs on Buchla synthesizers, particularly the portable, user-friendly Music Easel. Her warm, vibrant music inevitably recalls the work of Buchla masters such as Suzanne Ciani and Laurie Spiegel, but it’s playful and exuberant enough to land her opening gigs for Dan Deacon and Animal Collective. It’s bubbly and tranquil enough to elicit comparisons to 21st century underground synthesizer artists such as Panabrite or Dolphins into the Future, but Smith’s music is still a bit too hyperactive to really label ambient or new age, even though it generally doesn’t include drums. She allows the oscillating electronic tones to ebb and flow like waves, and they have fluid, natural rhythms rather than quantized beat structures. Ears features a greater presence of Smith’s warped vocals than on 2015’s Euclid, and more often than not, they seem to speak a subconscious alien language rather than recognizable English words. The album also benefits from the added presence of woodwind arrangements, which give the music somewhat of a floral texture. While Euclid sounded bright and freewheeling enough to soundtrack a fun, cartoonish video game, Ears has a slightly darker and more mysterious tone, but not enough to make it seem menacing or off-putting. Opener “First Flight” includes rapid arpeggios that seem to flow like water rushing through a stream, constantly splashing up onto the shore. “Rare Things Grow” sounds like it could’ve been recorded in a rain forest, with wet, flowing sounds, thumb pianos, and fluttering woodwinds pleasantly swaying over a detached rhythm that strangely resembles Autechre’s “Basscadet.” Most of the album’s selections clock in between three and five minutes, but finale “Existence in the Unfurling” stretches out to 11, beginning with Smith’s calm, wondrous vocals and ending with an extended passage where synthesizers and woodwinds excitedly duet with each other. Focused without sounding rigid or confined, Ears is imaginative and alive.”
fonte: Allmusic – www.allmusic.com/album/ears-mw0002920318
[Electronic, Classical – Modern Classical, Ambient, Experimental]
00:00 Before Meaning Comes
03:13 On The Reach Of Explanations
09:21 Red Gate With Starling
14:41 A Slight Grip, A Gentle Hold (Pt. I)
18:54 Second Lens
22:21 The Edges
27:32 New Brighton Park, July 2013
29:03 TEAC Poem
31:48 Either Or
37:18 A Slight Grip, A Gentle Hold (Pt. II)
42:04 A Forgetting Place
Following several self-released digital albums, Canadian composer Ian William Craig made his vinyl debut with the astonishing A Turn of Breath, originally released by Sean McCann’s Recital label in 2014. Craig crafts his art using decrepit tape machines and analog synthesizers, utilizing techniques common to underground noise and experimental music, but he incorporates his own operatically trained vocals into the fabric of his compositions. The busted equipment makes his already haunting voice sound more fragile and eerie, with distorted fragments passing through the tape heads several hundred times and creating ghostly, abstract rhythms. When lyrics are audible, as on the two-part “A Slight Grip, A Gentle Hold,” they’re about allowing heaviness and feeling something shift. More often, the vocals are transformed into patterns and clusters of sound that express pure feelings and sensations in a way that words couldn’t possibly do justice. Quite simply, A Turn of Breath is one of the most creative, original, and moving experimental albums of the 2010s.
fonte: Allmusic – www.allmusic.com/album/a-turn-of-breath-mw0002798477
8.”Azukiiro no Kaori”
“Multi-talented producer Susumu Yokota returns to the ambient realm with the beautiful and diverse Sakura. When he indulges his fondness for pop hooks with his dancefloor material, Yokota’s melodic choices are glossy and extroverted, but his music for home listening is focused, controlled, and deeply internal. His knack for blending traditional instruments like guitar and piano with simple electronics harks back to ambient music’s birth in the mid-’70s; at times Sakura recalls the work of pioneers like Brian Eno, Cluster, and Manuel Göttsching. The icy “Saku” sets the meditative tone on Sakura, with gentle, winding guitar lines, relaxed synthesizer oscillations, and plenty of breathing space for the minimal instrumentation. Beats make their first appearance on “Uchiu Tanjyo,” as smooth, semi-tribal hand drums blend organically with the repeating keyboard figures. “Genshi” adds house drum programming to the brew, and Yokota’s knack for reflective electronic melody on the track rivals the best of Kraftwerk. Both “Azukiior No Kaori” and “Kodomotachi” use vocal samples to haunting effect, bringing to mind the favored techniques of Nobukazu Takemura without direct reference to machine glitches. The flow is marred by a misplaced jazz cutup (“Naminote”), but Sakura possesses an austere beauty and should not be overlooked.”
fonte: Allmusic – www.allmusic.com/album/sakura-mw0000104849
01- Shhh / Peaceful
02- In a Silent Way / It’s about That Time
Miles Davis – trumpet, composer
Wayne Shorter – soprano saxophone
John McLaughlin – electric guitar
Chick Corea – electric piano
Herbie Hancock – electric piano
Joe Zawinul – organ, composer
Dave Holland – double bass
Tony Williams – drums
Producer – Teo Macero
Original Recording Engineer – Stan Tonkel
Listening to Miles Davis’ originally released version of In a Silent Way in light of the complete sessions released by Sony in 2001 (Columbia Legacy 65362) reveals just how strategic and dramatic a studio construction it was. If one listens to Joe Zawinul’s original version of “In a Silent Way,” it comes across as almost a folk song with a very pronounced melody. The version Miles Davis and Teo Macero assembled from the recording session in July of 1968 is anything but. There is no melody, not even a melodic frame. There are only vamps and solos, grooves layered on top of other grooves spiraling toward space but ending in silence. But even these don’t begin until almost ten minutes into the piece. It’s Miles and McLaughlin, sparely breathing and wending their way through a series of seemingly disconnected phrases until the groove monster kicks in. The solos are extended, digging deep into the heart of the ethereal groove, which was dark, smoky, and ashen. McLaughlin and Hancock are particularly brilliant, but Corea’s solo on the Fender Rhodes is one of his most articulate and spiraling on the instrument ever. The A-side of the album, “Shhh/Peaceful,” is even more so. With Tony Williams shimmering away on the cymbals in double time, Miles comes out slippery and slowly, playing over the top of the vamp, playing ostinato and moving off into more mysterious territory a moment at a time. With Zawinul’s organ in the background offering the occasional swell of darkness and dimension, Miles could continue indefinitely. But McLaughlin is hovering, easing in, moving up against the organ and the trills by Hancock and Corea; Wayne Shorter hesitantly winds in and out of the mix on his soprano, filling space until it’s his turn to solo. But John McLaughlin, playing solos and fills throughout (the piece is like one long dreamy solo for the guitarist), is what gives it its open quality, like a piece of music with no borders as he turns in and through the commingling keyboards as Holland paces everything along. When the first round of solos ends, Zawinul and McLaughlin and Williams usher it back in with painterly decoration and illumination from Corea and Hancock. Miles picks up on another riff created by Corea and slips in to bring back the ostinato “theme” of the work. He plays glissando right near the very end, which is the only place where the band swells and the tune moves above a whisper before Zawinul’s organ fades it into silence. This disc holds up, and perhaps is even stronger because of the issue of the complete sessions. It is, along with Jack Johnson and Bitches Brew, a signature Miles Davis session from the electric era.
00:00 1) Black Focus
04:34 2) Strings of Light
13:02 3) Remembrance
22:02 4) Yo Chavez
26:01 5) Ayla
26:47 6) O.G.
27:33 7) Lowrider
32:01 8) Mansur’s Message
34:07 9) WingTai Drums
35:23 10) Joint 17
Design, Art Direction – Matt & Dan
Drums – Yussef Dayes
Electric Bass – Kareem Dayes, Tom Driessler
Electric Guitar – Mansur Brown
Mastered By – Guy Davie
Percussion – Yussef Dayes
Photography By [Live Performance Photo] – Selem Wakazi
Photography By [Studio Photo] – Fabrice Buergelle
Recorded By – Adelight (tracks: B6, B7), Kengo Oshima (tracks: B6, B7), Malcom Catto, Malcolm Catto* (tracks: A1 to B5)
Synth, Piano [Rhodes] – Henry Wu
Tenor Saxophone – Shabaka Hutchings
Trumpet – Yelfris Valdés
Typography [Calligraphy] – Haji Noor Deen
Vocals [Words] – Gordon Wedderburn
Written-By, Producer, Performer – Henry Wu, Yussef Dayes
Released in November 2016.
First repress in December 2016.
Second repress in January 2017.
Yussef Kamaal is the South London duo of drummer/percussionist Yussef Dayes and Kamaal Williams (Henry Wu) on Rhodes piano and synth. The former is best known for his work as kit man for cosmic Afrobeat ensemble United Vibrations. The latter is also a producer whose dubplates have garnered wide-ranging critical notice. Gilles Peterson signed them to Brownswood based on witnessing a 20-minute live set.
The music on Black Focus is a seamless weave of spiritual jazz funk, broken beat, and global sounds, but it’s also more and less. The duo enlisted a who’s-who of South London all-stars to assist in various spots: Saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings, trumpeter Yelfris Valdes, bassists Tom Driessler and Kareem Dayes, and guitarist Mansur Brown. The set was produced and engineered by the Heliocentrics’ Malcolm Catto. The music is inspired by the distinctly British sources its creators grew up on — jungle, U.K. garage and grime, hip-hop, post-Joe Harriott British jazz, and the sound of underground radio. The intro to the opening title track begins in the abstract with Gordon Weddenburn’s spoken word as the horns fill space (think Joe McPhee’s sax/trumpet duos) amid twinkling Rhodes and hand percussion. Halfway through, kit drums enter the exchange and frame a bumping bassline, a two-chord jazz keyboard riff, and horns that move to a post-bop frontline; the whole jam gets transformed into a sweet, soulful groover. Single “Lowrider” is a funky meld of bass, vamping guitar chords, and swirling synths atop snare-heavy breaks before it becomes a 21st century take on Azymuth-esque fusion. Brown adds a brilliant, arpeggio-rich solo to cap it. “Strings of Light” delivers jungly breakbeat science that ushers in a quick, trance-like pulse amid a rippling bassline and wafting synths. The exploratory urgency of Valdes’ horn breaks the mood and the tune moves into the stratosphere — though the circular groove eventually returns. “Yo Chavez” is a mysterious Rhodes tone poem, but Dayes’ brushed, skittering snare and kick drum accents add earth to air. Closer “Joint 17” is a summery bubbler led by cracking breaks and bass, with Williams’ Rhodes and synths stitching soul-tinged fills and runs to the changes. Dayes’ drumming draws the listener down into the trio’s canny polyrhythmic interplay. The music on Black Focus should attract fans of Flying Lotus, Thundercat, and Kamasi Washington (in particular, his Throttle Elevator Music project), but these ferences are aesthetic, not literal. Yussef Kamaal forge a distinct sound here. With South London peers Theon Cross Trio, Ezra Collective, and Blue Lab Beats, they reflect a compelling scene rife with exciting ideas in cultural and sonic cross-pollination. Black Focus is a hell of a first effort
1. Sunrise in Beijing (Feat. Elena Pinderhughes) 05:04
2. TWIN 04:15
3. Perspectives 04:22
4. West of the West 08:07
5. Liberation over Gangsterism (Feat. Elena Pinderhughes) 04:09
6. The Corner (Feat. Braxton Cook) 01:34
7. Of a New Cool 07:34
8. Runnin 7’s 02:07
9. Tantric 04:24
10. The Last Chieftain (Feat. Matthew Stevens) 07:11
11. The Horizon 02:10
released September 18, 2015
Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah – Trumpet, Sirenette and Reverse Flugelhorn
Elena Pinderhughes – Flute
Braxton Cook – Alto, Straight Alto
Corey King – Trombone
Cliff Hines – Guitar
Lawrence Fields – Piano, Fender Rhodes
Kris Funn – Bass
Corey Fonville ‒ Drums, SPD-SX pad (tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10)
Joe Dyson Jr. – Pan African Drums, SPD-SX (tracks 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11)
Matthew Stevens – Guitar (tracks 4, 5, 7, 10)
Warren Wolf – Vibes (tracks 3, 7)
Antes de qualquer nota ou detalhe que se possa dizer sobre o quinto álbum da carreira do trompetista de jazz americano Christian Scott, o que tomou a minha atenção foi o nome do álbum: Stretch Music. O que significaria o “stretch”, compondo o nome do álbum? Fui ao tradutor, sim. Também fui ao pai dos espertos (quem consulta dicionário de burro não tem nada) e verifiquei diversos sinônimos: esticar, estender, forçar, alargar, espalhar, alongar. Sinônimos que, se bem analisados, podem levar a conclusões opostas/precipitadas sobre o significado do termo.
Só fui compreender (de verdade) o que Cristian Scott pretendia com o termo “stretch” a partir de uma carta publicada em sua página oficial. Quando o trompetista está falando sobre o seu processo de criação, ele afirma que o jazz é inerente a tudo o que ele produz. Porém, em contraponto ao que muitos artistas e apreciadores de jazz acreditam, Cristian procura definir outras fronteiras para o estilo.
Neste ponto, o termo que melhor define o stretch é alargamento: estabelecer novas dimensões e proposições para o jazz. Afinal, jazz é música, música é cultura e cultura é um processo – dialético e cíclico. Estabelecer um parâmetro para algo é mortificá-lo, e alguns artistas e ouvintes de jazz são responsáveis por enregelar um estilo que possui o improviso como uma das características mais importantes. Ou seja, de “arcaico”, “careta” e “quadrado” o jazz não tem nada.
Ao ouvir o disco de Cristian Scott, notamos o jazz alargar-se: ele pode ter a influência da música latina (“TWIN”), pode ganhar aspectos da chill out (“Perspectives” e “Tantric”), bem como pode transmitir um clima guitarreiro, algo próximo do hard rock (“West of the West”). “Sunrise in Beijing” e “Liberation over Gangsterism” traz um dueto entre Cristian Scotte a flautista Elena Pinderhughes, a quem o trompetista apresenta ao grande público. Estas duas canções citadas flertam com o minimalismo e com a música eletrônica, e ganham uma intensidade sem igual quando os dois instrumentistas iniciam os seus respectivos improvisos.
“The Corner” e, principalmente, “Of a New Cool” estão mais próximas do jazz do que boa parte do disco. Talvez estejam menos alargadas que as demais, respeitando as características que foram definidas ao jazz mais tradicional. Ainda assim, belas canções. Outra música que consegue representar com muita categoria a ideia do stretch é a “The Last Chiefthain”, em que há até dificuldade em configurá-la a um estilo específico: há solos de trompete, fraseados de guitarra e levadas de bateria nada convencionais. Se há uma música que possa resumir o que seja o conceito do disco, “The Last Chiefthain” é uma boa opção.
Stretch Music é um álbum que define não só o nome do disco de um trompetista de jazz, mas também um conceito de música específico, que procura renovar os horizontes da música instrumental. Por sorte, Christian Scott não está sozinho nesta empreitada, já que em 2015 outros artistas rotulados como jazz também procuraram o stretch, cada um a seu modo: Kamasi Washington, Thundercat, Ibrahim Maalouf, Marcus Miller e tantos outros artistas de 2015, que trouxeram distintas referências ao jazz, e enriqueceram (e continuarão enriquecendo) o estilo.
Obs: uma curiodade interessante sobre Stretch Music é que foi desenvolvido um app (aplicativo) em que o usuário pode ter acesso a todas as partituras das músicas. Além disso, o usuário do app pode ouvir cada instrumento em separado, seja como um curioso ouvinte ou mesmo um músico ou aprendiz de algum dos instrumentos envolvidos na gravação.
por brunochair – http://escutaessareview.com.br/2015/12/30/christian-scott-stretch-music-2015/