lunes, 25 de enero de 2010

Andrew Pekler - Entanglements In The Orthopedic Sensorium

Link fixed

Electronic, Experimental
Label: Schoolmap Records

My Space


In an age where genres are invented on a whim and where mislabelling an artist in any sort of public forum is grounds for the thrashing of a lifetime, the tag “experimental” is thrown about willy-nilly. Is anything outside the norm to be labeled experimental? When is music weird enough to be experimental? And conversely, does experimental music have to be weird?

Andrew Pekler, however, is an artist who is indisputably experimental—that is to say, Entanglements in the Orthopedic Sensorium is an experiment more than a traditional album. Thirty-eight minutes (very neatly filling both sides of the limited LP) of clips and excerpts culled together from seemingly everywhere: beats, bursts of noise, recognizable instruments and entirely alien sounds all come together and, surprisingly, actually end up being something cohesive.

It begins innocuously enough with a section titled “Left Right Test” that lives up to its name before going through a series of accurately titled movements—“Excerpt from the Pre-Paid Piano” and “Rough Cut Strings Reversed” aren’t exceptionally deceiving monikers. These movements begin to blend together into something surprisingly songlike, something that can perhaps be loosely approximated as “ambient electronic,” but which treats that label as a point of reference rather than a definition; Pekler’s music here is well and truly an experiment that defies easy categorization.

Entanglements really hits its stride as the movements become more vaguely named: the rough grouping of “Hazy Timbre - Severe Glitter Uplift - Vacuum-packed Clusters - Waltz For Minor Planet” lives up to the formless sort of mental image that the laundry-list title conjures, and the piece’s latter half - “Korla Loop - Meet The Mice - Backmasking In Exotica” is a tumbling mess of strings over a plodding beat that feels unexpectedly well-composed considering the circumstances of the record.

Equal parts a mosaic and a melting pot of different ideas, Entanglements is a refreshing example of an experiment that feels entirely consistent instead of self-indulgent. This isn’t an experiment to test the limits and preconceptions of the audience, but one that actually makes a successful effort to be enjoyable. It is indeed experimental in the truest sense of the word, but it is a work that doesn’t forget that it is indeed music, something that too many experimental musicians seem to overlook.

lunes, 18 de enero de 2010

Black To Comm - Wave UFO 2x7"

Genre: Experimental, Ambient, Drone
Label: Dekorder

Web/My Space


Black To Comm follow up the excellent Type LP with a double 7" set on Dekorder. As soon as the needle hits the first 'Wave UFO' record (to be played at 33rpm) I'm in some kind of odd alternate dimension with stuttering rhythms like an alien train that is about to derail. There are fluid, gloopy electronics and sinister spooked organ sounds with some smatterings of fuzz applied. Actually it feels like a deranged ghost train ride into oblivion. This is followed by weird processed vocals and the sounds of possessed crickets accosting me in some kind of daymare. The final track on the first 7" is an unexpected fucked up dub number, gloriously heavy on the delay with some suitably mind warping mid-range frequencies. 'Wave UFO II a' has a military snare rhythm with hypnotic music box type melody and hovering electronic bleeps and pulses. A very majestic yet playful feel to this one, evoking melting toy soldiers marching on acid. The set closes with a beautifully mysterious and uplifting synth workout with sparse slow building percussion. It's a gorgeous, well crafted piece of electronic music that is very colourful and yet It feels dark in essence. An ace one to get lost in during the late hours in a candle lit room. Limited edition in tasty foldout collage sleeve with smart red and yellow inner bags. Great stuff!

jueves, 14 de enero de 2010

Interbellum - Over All Of Spain The Sky Is Clear

Link Removed By Request

Genre: Ambient, Neo Classical
Label: FlingcoSoundSystem

My Space


FlingcoSoundSystem is a relatively new Chicago based label spearheaded by Bruce Adams, who back in 1993 was one of the co-founders behind Kranky. OK, do I have your attention? Now settle down and keep listening. With this fourth label release, Over All of Spain the Sky is Clear, FSS is introducing us to Brendan Burke, aka Interbellum. On the album, we hear Burke behind the piano, while Fred Lonberg-Holm softly plays the cello. The tracks are recorded in their open ended form, following a minimal restraint digital and acoustic manipulation, with the help of applied mathematics and durational processing. I’d be lying if I said I really understood the mathematical formulations in this piece, but it is the end-result that’s important here. And it speaks for itself.

Fans of long form and improvisational modern classical pieces would be absolutely delighted to hear this duet. While none of the pieces overpower the mind with concrete melodical structure, the overall drifting experience is that of pure musical exploration. Throughout the album, the sound vibrates, travels, and floats in and out of our peripheral hearing, until the slightly audible voice becomes almost coherent, only to drown again in the harmony of bowed and struck strings, which flips between the major and minor scales, like a child laughing through the tears after a fall. This unobtrusive wondering through musical modes becomes especially apparent during the second track on the album, The Life and Death of Anne Zimmerman, which is over twenty minutes long. Add to that some distant crackling, echoed machine buzzing, and you’ve got yourself a requiem for the living.

Interbellum [in its definition of the word], is a period of time between wars (World Wars I and II to be more specific). Perhaps such definition will explain the more somber mood of of this unfolding album, which, as with all other FSS releases, is meant to be listened to in one sitting, as a collection of sequenced tracks, making up a coherent album as a whole. Recommended if you like Machinefabriek, Richard Skelton, and Sylvain Chauveau as well as some acoustic pieces by The World’s End Girlfriend.

martes, 5 de enero de 2010

Machinefabriek And Nils Frahm - Perform Dauw 7'

Genre: Ambient, Electronic, Neo Classical
Label: Dekorder


To celebrate the video release of “Dauw“ Dekorder put out a small edition vinyl 7“ with one of the most popular tracks we have released on Dekorder so far (originally appearing on a CD with the same title). For the B-Side Nils Frahm has recorded a gorgeous piano version in a church in his current hometown Berlin. Frahm has released a highly accclaimed solo album on Kning Disk this year.
Mastered by Guiseppe Ielasi. Metallic print on grey cardboard stock.