//EXP.NEW | Kangding Ray, Emego, Digitalis, GRM, Karen Gwyer, A New Line, Ben Frost, Current 93, Von Tesla, Vantzou++
This week’s new titles in the shop.
raster-noton Kangding Ray Digitalis Recordings Editions Mego Kranky Christina Vantzou SUBLIME FREQUENCIES Current 93 Ben Frost Weighter Recordings No Pain In Pop Karen Gwyer Honest Jon’s Alga Marghen 50Weapons Addison Groove Baskaru France Jobin DeadBeat Drag City Records Bureau B Border Community Central Processing Unit drumcell CLR Dirt Crew Eskimo Recordings Ed Banger Records Mr. Oizo The Durutti Column Factory Benelux FEEDING TUBE RECORDS Glitterbeat Records Hymen Records Orphx Kismet Records Kompakt Records Les Disques du Crépuscule Light In The Attic Records Dead Moon MIE Music Mannequin Modularfield n5MD Kool Keith Nuearth Kitchen Nature Bliss Other People Ritual Productions Presto!? Records Sun Ra Surface Records Uncharted Audio Minibus Pimps epic45 ++++++++++++++++ and more.
Friday, November 22, 2013
Bent Crayon | 1300 west 78th st cleveland
bent crayon presents: kallocain
a night of dystopian sound + vision:
regis - downwards - uk
veronica vasicka - minimal wave - nyc
talker/stave - downwards/fss - chi
prostitutes - mira/diagonal - cle
visuals: jeremy bible - experimedia
this is a ltd engagement. ticket information forthcoming.
the job of the artist is to always deepen the mystery - francis bacon
BIRCH COOPER// “I WAS A TEACHER” (DIGITALIS)
A disorienting work of synth overload. From the album “I Was a Teacher.” Video by MSHR. For a limited time the LP is 40% off.
Jim Donadio is patient enough to start and end “Crushed Interior,” his new LP as Prostitutes, with minimal beat patterns that only hint at what the rest of the album has to offer. But in between those two bookends, his emphasis on clattering textures and big, dance-oriented rhythms boldly and profoundly takes the focus. It all comes together on the massive machine-driven beat collage “Dial Tone Degradation” that manages to go much further than its title indicates to degrade rhythm itself in the best way possible. Its incessant movement and inspired composition bests nearly all else in the genre, but Donadio isn’t shy about throwing out the template and starting anew as he does with the churning globs of drone in “Spiders in My Eyelids.” The best of both worlds – layered and frenetic beats slowed by much needed moments of rest. – Ryan Potts, Experimedia
This weeks installment of Experimedia’s weekly mix series comes to us from Digitalis head honcho Brad Rose. Brad need little introduction as the artists behind a growing list of projects such as Charlatan, Alter Eagle, The North Sea and countless more.
1. Jolin Ras “SunGoddess”
2. Esplendor Geometrico “Signos de Energia”
3. Marie Davidson “L’Unique”
4. Prince Douglas “Let Me Love You Dub”
5. Threads “Room”
6. [PHYSICS] “Remember”
7. LE1F “Bubbles”
8. Aloonaluna “Kaleidoscopes”
9. Charles Dodge “When I Am With You”
10. Ras Michael & The Sons of Negus “Keep Cool Babylon”
11. 51717 “L.K.I.X.”
12. Euphrat + Tigris “2:53”
13. Hedia “Trading Caresses”
14. Junk DNA “Mercator”
15. Pinchers “Agony”
16. Sil Electronics “V7”
17. Best Available Technology “Atomic Numbers”
18. Regis & Ian Richardson “Staff Car”
On “Tunnels,” Discoverer’s first LP for Digitalis, the sound does recall Emeralds from a couple years back or a downsized version of Tangerine Dream. However, the major difference is that Brandon Knocke writes actual songs and not just soundscapes. Hooks weave through rhythms with ease and evolving harmonies underline nearly every melodic turn on “Tunnels,” creating a hazy pop album that still indulges in expansive atmospherics and long, gleaming tones. Knocke relies heavily on synthesizers and drum machines for his brand of electronic pop and manages to give natural, fluid movements to his songs that would sound rigid and clunky in lesser hands. Natural highlights include the heavily-manipulated vocals and echoing melody of the ridiculously-titled “Lesbian Software” and the bright, spiraling synth lines of the title track. – Ryan Potts, Experimedia
Major curveball from the Digitalis camp, “The Call From Below” is a bewitching album of hazy dub-oriented head music. Although it is chock-full of dub tropes (decaying vocal samples, delayed keyboard motifs, throbbing riddims), one would be remiss to locate it purely within said genre. Disorienting drones, layers of fuzz and coiling plumes of static descend on the more rhythmic elements and shroud them in a dense fog as on the superlative “Stop Motion.” “LargeItUp” raises the BPMs and is one of the more (only?) danceable tracks in the Digitals canon. This is an album of cycles, something to get lost in, with chanted and looped/chopped vocals forming a web of hypnotic sound amidst webs of seething percussion. Gripping stuff recommended for fans of Hyperdub, Shackleton, Demdike Stare and beyond. - Alex Cobb, Experimedia
I Was A Teacher
Another Digitalis drop from the Slaves camp, hot on the heels of the superb Spirits of the Sun LP (just last week!). “I Was a Teacher” sees Birch Cooper step out on his own and proves to be a much different animal than the aforementioned woozy, drone-laden headtrip. If the Slaves sound on their Digitalis debut can be thought of as principally devotional, Cooper’s solo work here is unhinged, though certainly not unfocused. The title cut bursts into being with surging, coiling shards of pure tone. Some of these sounds remind me of Bee Mask’s best work, but Cooper manages to make the fractured tones culled from his synths distinct and very definitely his own. The press release asserts that there’s “nothing beautiful” about “I Was a Teacher,” and while, on the whole, Cooper does deal in scalding, disorienting sonics, there are moments of blissful tranquility, such as the denouement of “Meshing Ladder.” A great, bewildering record. Recommended. - Alex Cobb, Experimedia
Spirits of the Sun
DOUBLE REVIEW! What does it mean? It means we accidently assigned the same review to two of our writers. Well this is a fantastic record and certainly merits it. So all is well.
Portland, Oregon two-piece, The Slaves, create a haunting, liturgical work in Spirits of the Sun. The album opens with “111” and spacious chanting that summons robed figures in giant, incense filled halls. There is something both tragic and revelatory at play here in hymnlike fashion as the music builds and distorts to a crescendo of feedback. “River” flows slowly into place following a similar formula of long vocal notes and sustained, processed tones. Whereas “111” takes place in the confines of an ancient church, “River” is out in the open and forms a luckdragon ride through faded clouds and fog filled valleys. “The Field” brings about slow melody, while closer “Born Into Light” creates a Steve Roach style soundscape of transcendence and transformation. Sprits of the Sun is an album of invocation with an overwhelming sense of holy beauty and sonic immersion. - Curt Brown, Experimedia
Latest missive from the Digitalis imprint comes in the form of this radiant full-length from the Portland based duo of Barbara Kinzle and Birch Cooper operating as The Slaves. “Spirits of the Sun” opens with a pathos-infused chant, recalling the superlative acapellas of Julianna Barwick. These vocals are soon merged with rising, distorted tones sourced from processed guitars or perhaps synthesizer. This first piece is pathos-laden and devotional, a destroyed hymn built upon seething drones and wraithlike vocals. The remainder of the record is similarly excellent, never veering far from the structure of the opening piece but being all the better and more focused for it. Highly recommended for fans of anything from Grouper to Nadja to lovesliescrushing. - Alex Cobb, Experimedia
Decimus is the solo project of Pat Murano (No Neck Blues Band), and on 11 he takes us deep into the world of modern sound collage. Except I don’t think anything is sampled here, rather Murano has created separate modules of instrumentation that when melded together make a mutant patchwork of sorts. The album’s unifying factor is it’s dankness and murk — most of it feels subterranean, or dripping with brown goo, and because of that lo-fi blanket even a beat or a standard guitar meditation sounds a bit otherworldly. Other recognizable musical elements do crop up on the album, but it’s hard to use standard genre tropes like electronic, kraut or drone-metal (or whatever) to describe what 11 actually sounds like. It is abstract, but not necessarily “difficult” music — which is to say I never felt my mind wandering while listening. Instead I was pleasantly surprised by the craft and arrangement skills on display, especially in conjunction with the pervading weirdness. - Keith Rankin, Experimedia
Created between 1977 and 1980 using the period’s best digital synthesizers and computer software, Jean Piché built an album that feels at once classic and contemporary. ”Heliograms” is reissued in an edition of 700 by Digitalis which is fitting as its sumptuous collection of bright, gleaming textures seemingly informs much of the label’s current discography. More than anything, it finds kindred spirits with some particularly looming ambient figures, recalling a more placid Tangerine Dream, a beatless Popol Vuh or a digitalized take on Brian Eno’s “On Land.” Four extended tracks stretch across “Heliograms,” with each clocking in above the ten minute mark. Track length is paramount to the listening experience as each are studies in subtle shifts of tone, frequency, and timbre. This approach allows Piché’s slow, arcing compositions to explore many musical territories, from sustained synth pad to minimalist pulse to filtered tone cluster and back again. - Ryan Potts
Over the last couple years I’ve come to greet new Digitalis vinyl editions with a fondness reserved for only a few contemporary labels. Brad Rose’s curatorial vision is always stellar, with an ear towards finding what are often somewhat disparate artists who, despite their topically quite different approaches to making music, retain certain distinctly Digitalis-like tropes and lend the label’s output the consistency and “feel” that is so often absent from prolific labels. Here we have the second outing from Antony Harrison’s Paco Sala project. While I can’t comment on the content of the original cassette, what we have on “Ro-me-ro” is a rather intoxicating and exotic blend of synth-pop and, as the press release makes note, Italo disco tropes. On several tracks, Harrison is joined by a vocalist, the mysteriously monikered Leyli, whose chanteuse-like intonations lend a distant, angelic, almost Deep House quality to the songs in which she appears. Overall, this is a fun, accessible record - sort of the type of thing 100% Silk is aiming at but, for my money, perhaps a more successful iteration. Lovely cover art too. A great edition. – Alex Cobb, Experimedia
April 26th 2012 shop update.
Artificial Interface is a fitting title for the anticipated new album from Concessionaires (Digitalis’ Brad Rose and Greenup’s Pete Fosco), a long player on the machine uprising just released by Under the Spire. “Mirrorshades” evokes a reflective robot head, spitting binary that decodes as “Skynet is awake and pissed.” Synthetic dewdrops and screeches blanket nuclear snow w/ occasional percussion and yarning synthesizer voices screaming that mourning song of robot rebellion. This is the moment when the supercomputer addresses the populace. The machine ambiguously breaks apart toward the end of “Mirrorshades,” is this retreat or retaliation? The quick follow of the long pad in “Live Angel” introduces the human resistance as viable player. Pulses and a buried synthesizer melody debrief the rebels for deploy of “Gazelocked” where the armies line against synthetic, trace glow landscapes and crumbled skylines. Minimal martial percussion propels the album forward and “Introducing Rocket Nights” finds the humans musing on the situationÑtechnological evolution and the synthetic basis in organic life are campsite chats as Artificial Interface's situation comes to focus. Rose and Fosco have created a concept album that addresses the relationship between humans and technology without creating a concept album at all. The music is strong enough to evoke its own tale and meticulously crafted, able to maintain momentum through polars of bleakness and hope. Artificial Interface pulls back the reinforced cybernetic shell at timesÑexposing raw ambient, pure soundscapes, and echoes of classic era ambient composers wandering among forward-moving technique and composition. Artificial Interface is singular album of mixed emotion and modernity. It ends w/ “Sparkler,” wailing guitar pulls, buried ambience, and ominous percussion while stuttering synthesizer and ether pads drift the album off to ambiguity. The thoughts and emotions elicited throughout the duration of Artificial Interface are not permitted a formal response, but instead allowed to wander anew and lingering in the mind of the listener. - Curt Brown for Experimedia