Sunday, 31 January 2016
This is the follow-up of `Play `, Moby`s ground breaking, worldwide success. It took him three years to come up with this album. If I was in his shoes and I`m not, I would spend a lot of time wandering where to go from here. I`m not a Moby fan, so I wasn`t expecting anything. I was curious. I wanted to see what he would come up with next. Life, existence itself is never perfect. There`s always good and bad things happening. Let`s start with the BAD VIBES department:
A – The first track: we are all made of stars, sounds like an old David Bowie song: `heroes`.
B – To use computer language this album could be titled `play version 2.0 `. You could also say it`s a copy and paste version of `play`.
The GOOD VIBES department;
A – This album came out in 2002 and hasn`t aged a wee bit.
B – The whole thing is a great mix of vintage jazz, trip hop, electronica, downtempo chillout and melancholic atmospheres.
My favorite songs are:
8 – Fireworks (2.13 minutes) = outstanding instrumental, minimal, melancholic electronica.
10 – jam for the ladies (3.21 minutes) = rap + downtempo electronics = infectious grooves on the dance floor baybee! You want some, come get some here: http://www.moby.com/
This came out in 2003 on Guidance records. An international compilation (10 tracks = 49.55 minutes) with the following bands / artists: Projections (Los Angeles, USA), Toka Project (Nottingham, UK), Caia (Japan), Bent (UK), The Dining Rooms (Milano, Italy), Butti49 (Norway), and Flunk (Norway). It reads on the back cover of this CD `sit back and enjoy and evening of modern lounging with this laid-back collection of chilled-out grooves `, yeah right, I`m thinking. I bought this out of sheer curiosity (and the fact that it cost me 2.00 $ at Renaissance Montréal helps). I`m a sucker for cheap publicity. I was expecting commercial crap, maybe one or two good tracks. I was wrong here. Yes your honor, I confess. I`m surprised. In fact this one`s a good surprise. You will hear different music styles: lounge mixed with cool jazz vibes (luminate part 2, be free), lounge with funk + trip hop elements thrown in (whose blues), downtempo + lounge + electronica (strictly bongo), chillout funk & lounge (you, sei tu), spacy retro futuristic lounge (afterwards @ the bar), lounge with a Latin American feel (samba olympo), and dreamy chill out lounge Sunday people). It`s minus 20 outside. I`m sitting home enjoying a warm coffee, sitting on my favorite chair, having a sip while relaxing, chilling out. Untrue. I`m chilling in, inside relaxing, enjoying life`s simple pleasures. Warm music for cold days. It feels good finding some spare time, escaping modern life`s numerous stressful situation and relax.
Second album from Vadim Gusis an Israeli artist. Aside from Chaos As Shelter, the only other Israeli artist I know are Infected Mushroom (a world famous psy-trance duo). This came on The Rectrix record label (which folded after the death of it`s owner, Matt Gibney, in early 2006), so prepare yourself for a walk on the dark, noisy side of things. There`s nine tracks, for a total running time of 64.49, which makes this one a nice and long release. This album has it all: blurred out vocal samples, subtle noise bytes here and there, ambient noise, weird sonic experimentations, elements of minimalism, various banging, processed voices / incantations, bells, processed screams, lo-fi rumblings, processed electric guitar, some grinding in the background, rhythmic noise and a good dose of ambient darkwave. The soundtrack for unnameable things bumping in the night. A dark gloomy listening experience (works great with headphones). `That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die` (H.P. Lovecraft). Highly recommended. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, 22 January 2016
Phaerentz is Petr Ferenc`s (from Czech Republic) solo experimental music project. The album consists of one single untitled track (48.59 minutes). Upon the first listen, this one sounds like a long, repetitive piece of music. It took me a couple of times to appreciate this. It sounds better after multiple listens. There`s a lot of subtle stuff happening in the background. This songs starts with some drones + ambient noise. Later on, I hear some percussions / banging going on mixed with found sounds and / or field recordings. Then it goes into minimal musique concrete territory with elements of minimalism and lo-fi noise bytes. Good work Petr! Get your information here: http://phaerentz.bandcamp.com/
I get this parcel from Germany. The return address is from the Esperanto – Centro Harleshausen. There`s a letter from Wolfgang Gunther. It says:
`Here is the new Kiosko 9, to which you contributed. You can read it, copy it, there is no specific copyright from our side, but don`t forget; it`s a non-profit project! `. This is strange, I don`t remember sending a song for a compilation in Germany. Might as well hear this. At least I`ll know what it is. I put it in the CD drive in my computer. It opens but I don`t hear anything. This isn`t an audio CD (neither mp3). It`s a data CD. Inside there`s a huge PDF book (390 PAGES LONG BROTHERS AND SISTERS!). Some parts are in Esperanto, others in Spanish and some in English. There`s some pictures, collages, poetry, drawings, comics, and paintings. It`s like a who`s who of the mail art / anti-internet / postal culture. There`s a postal address, an email but no website. What should I name this? Catalogue / encyclopedia / listing / an anthology perhaps. The Kiosko concept seem like an annual affair. Being published in this year`s issue is a definitely a privilege. I consider myself lucky this time around (I`m on page / 323). Contact: Wolfgang Gunther
NB: for my all Mastock readers out there, if you want a copy of Kiosko 9 (it`s legal this time around) contact me. I love trading.
I buy music I download music and I trade music. I love music. In good times / bad times music never failed me. I bought this at Renaissance Montréal, again. Never heard of Bakra Bata before. Two things caught my attention big time.
1 – The beautiful cover artwork by Olabayo Olannyi. 2 – With a named like `steel drums and percussion`, I immediately thought to myself SAMPLING MATERIAL! I do music / noise. I rarely use percussions / drums. I`m not much of a musician even though there`s often a rhythmic element included somewhere in my `music`. The more I hear this album and the happier I get. It`s too good to sample. I want to enjoy this until the very end. This is instrumental music using various percussions (steel pan, conga drums, bells, shakers, vibraphone, marimba, flute and gan gan aka yorouba talking drum from Nigeria) with an Afro-Caribbean feeling. It is quite festive listening material it conjures feelings of happiness, numbness and relaxation. They do a great cover version of `red wine`(a Neil Diamond original). Link here: http://bakrabataband.com/
Second album (or so I think) from this noise band featuring Zachary Short (instrumentation) and Eric Thompson (vocalization). There`s five songs here (54.21 minutes). And what`s in store for the future listener? Here`s a brief description.
1 – Gate (7.39 minutes) = bells + warped synthesizer + lo-fi Gregorian moaning / growling / rumbling / ramblings = a meditative ambient noise mantra perhaps.
2 – Disconnect (16.11 minutes) = angry and warped rants + ambient noise = a hazy / slightly crazy schizophrenic joyride.
3 – Washed away (15.20 minutes) = spoken word + warped chants (Gregorian perhaps) + bells + warped synthesizer + lo-fi ambient noise = DEVON GET THE TYLONOL!
4 – Syntex reflection (14.09 minutes) = spoken word + minimal electronics + some noise burst + ambient noise = a walk on the dark side of reality.
5 – Exist (1.02) = a short & sweet little ambient noise number = the perfect ending for this album. Info here: http://www.foreverescapingboredom.com/ Email here: email@example.com
I got this CD as a trade. BBOF is the solo experimental noise project of Zachary Short JR, from Florida, USA. He also plays in Nexus Monkey (with Hal Harmon) and Mayan Apocalypse (along Eric Thompson). Zachary is one very prolific individual. To be perfectly honest here, I`m biased he`s one of my favorite noisers. `A trip down memory lane `is his best work to date. The frontier between minimalism / noise / music / ambient noise has never been so thin. There`s seven amazing tracks here (54.38 minutes). He uses minimal piano orchestrations, short noise bursts, cutups, ambient noise and minimal acoustic guitar arrangements. This is a relaxing, meditative album with just the exact dose of noise bytes to keep you from falling asleep at the helm. You want standout tracks now. The whole enchilada is a standout track. My favorite ones are:
2 – Air (5.07 minutes) = minimal piano + ambient noise = meditative moods for the cold Canadian winter I have to deal with.
3 – Left in the dark (6.32 minutes) = short noise burst + more ambient noise & minimal piano playing = need I say more. 6 – Mnlght snt Ist mvmnt (5.49 minutes) = relaxing acoustic guitar minimalism. You don`t need to use a continuous wall of noise to get my attention. This album conjures feelings of coldness, minimalism, loneliness and isolationism. A beautiful, yet challenging listen.
This is a compilation of songs previously released on other Moby albums or on film soundtracks. I was familiar with `James Bond theme `which is definitely a good techno version. This album offers some interesting styles: beautiful instrumental music (novio), house (go), techno (James Bond theme, ah-ah, oil-1), funky instrumentations à la Curtis Mayfield (I like to score). nice Joy Division cover (new damn fades), instrumental piano ballad (God moving over the face off the waters), electronic / house (first cool hive), minimal instrumental (nash), dreamy almost near country music (love theme) and a good ambient piece (grace) to end things beautifully. There`s 12 incredible tracks here (47.51 minutes). I can say that one senior Richard Melville Hall provides us with something different from his worldwide success album `Play`.
Sunday, 17 January 2016
Varpal is the solo music project of one Andrew Kozloski. He released three album under that moniker. Digressions came out in 2006. The end, his third album, 2007. Then he seems to have called it quits. He has a website http://www.vorpalmusic.com/ but it doesn`t have much information. There`s 15 instrumental tracks on this album for a running time of 59.04 minutes. I purchased this at Renaissance Montréal for two dollars. Upon seeing this CD my spider sense was tingling. The cool futuristic cover made me think of Philippe Druillet`s artwork. I looks like electronic music, so I bought it. I come back home open a cold beer, sit down and start listening. It took me a couple of listens to appreciate it. This is abstract electronic music going into IDM territory with a good quantity of broken beats. My standout tracks are:
6 – Latenight drunken email (5. 04 minutes) = nice funky IDM.
9 – Jessica in the sky with diamonds (4.38 minutes) = broken beats + IDM with funk elements = chill out material.
10 – Rene eespere`s trivium lovingly reimagined (3.28 minutes) = melancholic IDM with more broken beats = tears roll down my face. An interesting album with some influences / traces / elements of glitch, acid, eight bit, funk and techno. Interesting spicy, sweet and sour sonic stew indeed.
The latest Crustacé tape by Gary Rouzer and Anne-F Jacques. There`s two tracksfor a running time of 30.43 minutes. Now let`s begin with:
Side – A (15.44 minutes) = lo-fi rumblings / gratings, some percussive / rhythmic moments, found sounds and field recordings = nice experimental musings with elements of ambience and minimalism thrown in.
Side –B (14.59 minutes) = lo-fi sounds of unknown origins, some rhythmic elements throw in, short noise bytes, ambient noise slowly going into subtle minimalism territory = cinema for the ears. Send them a gift, a donation, a letter, anything by mail. As a trade you`ll get their latest tape. Contact:
More info here:
The Jam were an English punk / rock /mod revival band active for a period of six years (1976-1982). I discovered them around 1982. At the time I was listening to Montréal`s own rock station CHOM-FM. In those years they played more than rock music. The new music scene was just beginning. UK bands got some airwave time back then: The Clash, Icicle Works, Tears For Fears, The Fixx, Simple Minds, Modern English, XTC, The English Beat and The Jam. To name a few. I felt in love with the song `a town called malice `from `the gift `(sadly their last album). It sounded like motown mixed with the energy of punk rock / mod. I put this song on a mixtape and completely forgot about it. Last Sunday afternoon my good friend Pierre and me are at Renaissance Montréal hunting for second hand DVD`s / CD`s. I`m browsing through piles and piles of CD`s. That`s when I see this `the best of The Jam `compilation. I look at the song titles. The compilation ends with, yes you`ve guessed it `a town called malice`. I look at the price tag two dollars. Half an hour later I`m sitting home discovering / rediscovering The Jam. The music still sounds good. Those tunes aged well, the vibe, the energy is there. They must have influenced lot of bands back then and even today. Their sound blends various musical influences: soul, punk, mod, rhythm and blues, new wave, psychedelic rock and perhaps 1960s beat music. I want some more.
I got this one as a trade from a good friend of mine. He sent me a big parcel full of CD`s, CD-R and good old cassettes. This was laying on top of the music pile. Never heard of `Orange Cake mix` before. It`s the solo project of US musician Jim Rao. There`s 15 songs for a total running time of 39.17 minutes. There`s a lot of music styles at work here: lo-fi electric guitar (zzz), lo-fi ambient (andthenagain, less is more, deluxe harmonia, touch down earth, lost in the crowd), indie / pop rock (days of time and space), homemade synth-pop (clusterstone), psychedelic rock (the surrealist painter, everywhere the light goes, way out there), lo-fi rock (safe inside your sky, thought balloon, save for a rainy day) and lo-fi instrumental acoustic guitar (June moonbeams). This is definitely homemade music. It often sounds lo-fi in nature. I don`t know if it was done on purpose or not but I like it. I would like to hear some more. This CD came out in 2002. It was released on two record labels: Twilight Furniture and North Of January. It seems that both labels folded. A little search on www.discogs.com and it looks like `harmonies and atmospheres` is the last album from `Orange Cake Mix `. More info: https://myspace.com/jimraorangecakemix
Monday, 4 January 2016
It was a cold and windy Sunday afternoon. I was at Renaissance Montréal, looking at their huge second hand CD section. I`m a curious person. I like to experiment, discover unusual, obscure, interesting sounds. When I feel like buying music (and I don`t know what to purchase), that`s when I listen to my inner voice, my gut feeling. Upon seeing this CD my, spider sense was tingling. I don`t know why but I had to buy it. The cover and the back cover was normal i.e. ordinary, nothing to catch my attention. That afternoon my gut feeling told me two things: I gotta stop eating at McCrap and I had to buy it, so I did. I go home, pour myself a big glass of milk (I`m getting old, that`s what my liver told me), sit down and push the play button on me CD player. Oka are an Australian combo featuring Matt (keyboards, percussion and programming), Chris (saxophone, percussion and flutes) and Didgeristu (yadaki aka didgeridoo, percussion and turntables). This is their first album. It came out in 2002, on their own label, Oka music. There`s 11 songs for a total running time of 51.51 minutes. Oka likes to shake, mix things up a bit and the result is simply amazing. It would be a damned shame to say this falls under the category of `world music `. Their music combines elements of (in no particular order): electronic, reggae, folk, world & country, dub, roots reggae, tribal and jazz. This is an infectious, potent mix. A nice way to start 2016 folks. More details here: http://www.okamusic.com/