New Release Roundup: January 12th 2023
My last update missed a lot of great music, and there's been some that has come out since then, so here's an overview of all of that before we dive in to the new releases tomorrow!
January 1st, 2023
河边走 - 河边走 即兴录音 (Self Released)
河边走 - Trio (Self Released)
Marc Masters tweeted about this recently, he said "Just stumbled on a Chinese band called 河边走 ("Walk By The River") whose only 2 releases came out on New Year's Day, both slabs of weirdo avant-rock/free-jazz not far from NNCK, SCG, Trumans Water, HCI, etc.", I wasn't even sure what the last two references were but I checked out Trio and it's great stuff!
January 4th, 2023
Jim O'Rourke - gametophyte 4 ix (Steamroom)
A free download from Jim O'Rourke, his piece for a Xenakis celebration festival. I still haven't listened, but Xenakis rules, and O'Rourke rules, so this should probably be interesting. The festival website said O'Rourke learned more math to get a better appreciation of Xenakis, that's dedication!
Fumerolles - Nuit jaune [Reissue] (Hotham Sound)
Hudson Glover - Solar Surfing: Music From The Film 'Crystal Oscillators' (Hotham Sound)
MIDI Janitor - Bulk Order (Hotham Sound)
mineral stunting - stones and mud (Self Released)
There was a new batch on this day from Hotham Sound, each release with their own type of bucolic synthwork with the Ghost Box / Boards of Canada type of vibes. Some really exquisite lines in here, I'm particularly a fan of the cosmic scale of the Fumerolles EP. It opens really big, fully in the "synth as controls to a spaceship" type of mode, but then gets down to exploring weird foggy planetary surfaces with the other tracks.
There's also this new alias from Lighght called 'mineral stunting' that is not to be missed, has a really psychedelic approach to drifting, like it feels like there's multiple currents to ride on and the tune will flit between them, and sometimes choose neither. And the weight of it is really interesting, the way that the pitch shifts on both extremes will sit against each other is a total trip. Love it!
January 5th, 2023
Fievel is Glauque - Fievel Is Glauque on Audiotree Live (Audiotree)
Telekomm - Input Void (humanhood recordings)
The Fievel is Glauque stuff is already recorded live, so this Audiotree set may not offer a lot of fresh insight. But pleasures? Yes, it will have plenty of that to offer. Such a great band.
This day also saw the release of this Telekomm project from Brian Grainger, an hour+ drone constructed out of dial tone sounds. I feel like ambient/drone has a pretty good success rate with this kind of conceptual gimmick stuff, because there really is something specific to this source material that can get drawn out by the specific musical approach. In this case, it's all the little skips and flutters that travel across the stereo space. No idea how well this would work on speakers, but it's a great headphone experience.
January 6th, 2023
Asleep Country - Fake Opulent (New Motion)
I'm new to the world of Octavia Möbius Sheffner's music, but I really enjoyed their recent appearance on Blorpus Editions. The music I've heard has been a type of musique concrete sound collage that hangs onto a sound long enough for me to lose an idea of its origins, with collisions that can start off like two massive boats scraping away each others hulls but eventually earn their place where they fit. This album is a massive one, nearly 3 hours in length, and so I still haven't had a chance to fully take it all in. But I think the sustained exposure has the potential to really get into a transformation in perception, I'm excited to get my time with it.
Cakedog - War Room 4 (Leaving Records)
This is the alias that the artist also known as Ahnnu uses for footwork material, and he has a great take on the genre, as you may expect from all his other highly considered sound work. Some of the vocal repetitions in the genre can give me that "yanny/laurel" effect where I oscillate between different readings, and it feels like he pushes hard on that psychological effect with this one. There's also a lot of wonderfully smooth synth work on here as well, this is a blast!
Kieran Daly - Something something "Lyapunov exponent" solos (Madacy Jazz)
Every time I've listened to Daly's music, I have been absolutely puzzled. I still don't know how to feel or think about it, but it's compelling enough to keep me checking again.
Roland Kayn - Otron (RRR)
I have not kept up at all with the Kayn archival releases, but I do love massive sheets of synthetic sound, so I should really explore all this stuff soon.
Maggie Nicols / Mark Wastell - And John (Confront Recordings)
This is one that I think I need to do a bit more homework on, I'm not too familiar with the artists or the context, only really caught it because I've been enjoying what I've heard from this label. Nicols was a part of the Spotaneous Music Ensemble, and this release appears to draw on her time there and the influence of John Stevens. I do like this British free improvisation world, so this is all stuff that I want to explore anyways, but this specific album may still need to be visited at a later date.
Seaclones - Northern Biotic (Self Released)
This is a duo of Five Star Hotel and Machine Listener, they debuted last year and had a cool approach to the balance of pre-composition and live execution in electronic music, like there's something about the way it lives within its moments that strikes me differently than the fully programmed stuff. Haven't checked this new one but I imagine they've got a lot more to say with this direction!
Heather Stebbins - At the end of the sky (SUPERPANG)
A new name for me here, but I dig the music, some high quality electroacoustic timbre extensions on classic string instruments. Don't have much to say with it all being so new to me, but it's got me interested in hearing more.
Technical Reserve - Personal Watercraft (Party Perfect!!!)
This new label for extreme computer music just launched last month with an album compilation, four separate releases all tied together in one large package. December was a pretty wild month for me so I haven't been able to digest the full thing yet, but I've had some time with this new one, and it is stellar. You've got Dominic Coles and Hunter Brown on computers, and TJ Borden on cello and electronics warping the instrument into a shape that fits in perfectly with the fully synthetic sounds, with a dry negative space surrounding all the instruments. I absolutely love this sound, but then on top of that, there's a momentum in the full album experience that comes from most of the pieces clocking in under two minutes, individual moments can show some patience with their sounds but overall there is a constant forward movement that makes this a fantastic experience. Do not miss this one!
January 7th, 2023
DJ Chap - Aguas de Mara (Self Released)
Here's one from a Teklife member doing a mixture of footwork and samples from corridos tumbados music. I'm pretty unfamiliar with that style of music so I don't have much substantial to say here, but I can at least tell you that this one is good listening.
Taku Sugimoto - falls (Self Released)
Not sure when the whole shift towards just intonation melody came into Sugimoto's work, but it has been so nice, like it's not often enough that I feel like I can describe music as adventurously pretty. But that's how I feel about this stuff. There's some really compelling use of voice on this one, alongside the familiar guitar, wonderful to hear.
January 9th, 2023
Beau Wanzer - A Dead Person's Monologue (iDEAL Recordings)
Freaky album cover on this one! Good stuff though, grimey analog gear horror that would fit nicely with some older Ekoplekz, this'll be one to remember if you need a Halloween party soundtrack.
January 10th, 2023
Isabella Koen - TIP (Self Released)
This came on my radar because I follow this person Chooch on Bandcamp, so their activity is included in the digest e-mail I get from Bandcamp of all the purchases from my followed accounts. They always seem to be picking up something cool. I guess I heard something from Isabella Koen on the first Physically Sick compilation, but I'm otherwise unfamiliar, and so likely would have missed this if not for the e-mail. Glad I caught it, there's some great techno here. The cover is really fitting, there's compelling color in this music but it's not "colorful". Not sure exactly how to explain it, dig the tunes though for sure.
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