venerdì 30 aprile 2010

3/4HadBeenEliminated - "Theology"

Experimental group 3/4HadBeenEliminated originate from Bologna, Italy, having been operational first as a trio and later as a quartet, recording for labels like Bowindo and Hapna. Theology is released simultaneously with the LP The Religious Experience, presenting two separate albums under a similar conceptual banner. In musical terms, Theology takes the form of a two-part excursion into electroacoustic improvisation, 'I Am Daughter' travels between splurges of acousmatic clanking and manipulated recordings and musty piano and vocal drifts. It's a hypnotic, thoroughly engaging half-hour that feels oddly very soulful for all its experimentation. The second piece tends to be a little more abstract, scuttling between jarring noise exchanges, near-silent instrumental interludes and all-round uneasiness. This is strange stuff, but the album's jam-packed with ideas, even supplying moments of outright beauty.


lunedì 26 aprile 2010

Alvin Curran / Domenico Sciajno - "our ur"

Sciajno, Domenico (Say "Shah-eeno") comes from an ancient Sicilian jewish family closely related to the Kabbalists and mystics of the 13-14th centuries. When these mystics decreed electronic music unfit for Jews, the Sciajnos said "to hell with that" and converted to Christianity - enabling them to continue their work in live electronics. In a word, Domenico is carrying on a very ancient family tradition. He and I met by pure chance at an international conference of sound smugglers organized by the Palermo "cupola", held annually in a remote seaside hotel outside of the Hague in the Netherlands. At the time, he was a contrabassista.....whose job was to look out for the cops, when the others went into action - stealing sounds from ports, train stations, markets, landscapes, banks and even people. This is as close to the truth, as the avantgarde is to the Marx Brothers. Our real meeting at the Royale Konseravtorium of the Hague, where he was an excellent student, was the beginning of a long friendship and many fruitful collaborations, among them: A giant sound installation in the magnificent baroque park of Donaueschingen 1999; performances in" Brute Beat Brut Bruit" with the Alter Ego Ensemble and Frankie Hi NRG; as founding member of the Alvin Curran Filharmonia; a collaborative sound and video work SINKING PIANO of a floating and slowly sinking piano- for the Taktlos Festival 2002 and numerous sound designs for my radio works like UN ALTRO FERRAGOSTO, and WOLFINGS-- after a duo performance at the University in Florence (2001) we realized as improvisers that our musical sensibilities were in absolute alignment. Domenico is wild fennel.. without which half the wonderful dishes in the Sicilian cuisine could not exist - totally unpredictable but never late, he approaches everything with a master's imagination, and outside of women, there seems to be no artistic or technical problem he cannot solve.. It was natural that we should make a CD of Duo Projects, and went about recording a few sets just one year ago in my studio near Genzano di Roma. The best of those sessions are included here as well as two other works- one based on my piano improvisations (here brilliantly processed by Dome) to sound like it was played on an ancient piano about 5 kilometers from the microphone. The other "Rue de la Gare" was a pure sound collaboration we made in an attempt to win a prize. We did not win, but like everyone else, felt that we should have. Most of the electronics is derived from my extensive sample archive and keyboard performance style - much passing through Max/MSP patches of Dome's and Ali Momemi's. Like my own story, un-necessary to tell here, the rest is fiction. Alvin Curran


sabato 24 aprile 2010

Eliane Radigue - "Chry-ptus"

“CHRY-PTUS” (1971) :
Originally two tapes which are to be played simultaneously, with or withour synchronisation, which does not affect the structure of the work, but creates changes in the game of sub-harmonics and overtones. Three variations on this piece were performed at the New York Cultural Center in 1971, with variations of amplitude and location modulation as well as synchronisation.
Realised on the Buchla Synthesizer at the New York University.
The booklet contains a text by painter Paul Jenkins, who also realised the watercolor on the front cover, written on occasion of Radigue’s first concert in New York, April 6th, 1971.


giovedì 22 aprile 2010

Ronin - "Ep"

When he is not slicing his guitar strings in a wild Ovo jam , Bruno Dorella reveals his passion for laid back and traditionally oriented music in the incarnation of Ronin. Dorella is quite a character,running one of the most extreme labels with such deranged acts like Allun , Pin Pin Sugar and his own Ovo , but still able to find a soft spot for tender music such as Ronin’s. With echoing spaghetti western guitars , mournful accordion , light drumming and deep distant bass , this E.P starts as a sad and instrumental alternative country dirge , reminiscent of early Calexico , 16 Horsepower or Ennio Morricone , but the upcoming tracks "Canzone D'amore Moldava" and "Ronin Theme (Storm Reprise)" are much more Dynamic , still keeping a sorrowful mood that is mixed with a vivid and Italian temper .Next are the 39 seconds of Ronin's “outro” , with the gentle guitar of Brunno Dorella. All in all , this beautiful piece clocks in less than 14 minutes. I only wish it was longer and I'd love to hear a full album by these guys who succeed in keeping the true spirit of spaghetti western music that reinvent itself in Italy in the early 60’s and left her input on the highly acclaimed American alternative country scene of today.


martedì 20 aprile 2010

Maurizio Bianchi - "Dicembre 1980"

Very rare tape material made by Maurizio Bianchi in 1980!
This is the version reprinted on cassette by Tulip in 2010.


lunedì 19 aprile 2010

Amps For Christ - "Thorny Path"

Conceptually, Amps for Christ originated in 1996, when Barnes met recording enthusiast and The Dull bandmember Enid Snarb. Barnes decided that he wanted to combine his experience with experimental noise and extreme metal with his love for traditional folk music, classical composition, and jazz. Barnes and his friend and fellow Man is the Bastard veteran Joel Connell started Two Ambiguous Figures, in which Barnes played the sitar and Connell played the tabla. Fiddling with the traditional Indian instruments led to the creation of Amps for Christ, which is known for its esoteric and geographically diverse instrumentation. Barnes also wanted to add an element of technical sound making to the project. Barnes and his collaborators often modify or create their own musical instruments in order to get specific sounds for their tracks. Some examples of these instrument and sound creations include stringed instruments, pre-amps, amplifiers, and other acoustic instruments. Barnes is reportedly fascinated with waveform manipulation, another theme that is prominent throughout Amps for Christ.



sabato 17 aprile 2010

Stefano Pilia - "Last Days Vol. II"

Recorded in New York, Last Days vol. II is the second part
of a three chapters project (1st release was a one sided 12" by 8mm Rec.) by the iitalian electro-acoustic composer and multi-instrumentalist Stefano Pilia.

On this new 7” we are going to discover another graceful face of Pilia’s electric guitar work: warm fingering on a buzzing amplifier carpet, slowly built emotions and deep compositional awareness


giovedì 15 aprile 2010

Blind Lemon Jefferson - "The Best of"

Though KING OF THE COUNTRY BLUES is the definitive Blind Lemon Jefferson collection, THE BEST OF still packs 23 tracks of some of the best country blues ever put to tape. There is some crossover between the two discs, including Jefferson classics like "Rabbit Foot Blues" and "See That My Grave's Kept Clean" (complete with Jefferson's simulation of church bells on guitar). But BEST OF contains several essential tracks not on KING OF, including the provocative "Bed Spring Blues," "Jack O' Diamond Blues" with its dreamy, free-floating tempo, and the rag-like "Dry Southern Blues." The wrenching "'Lectric Chair Blues," and the spiritual "I Want to be Like Jesus in My Heart"--neither of which are on KING OF--are here as well.

The sources for these recordings were original 78s--most of which were quite rare and in poor repair. Despite meticulous remastering, then, the sound quality is quite patchy, with a great deal of hiss and crackle. Nevertheless, Jefferson's plaintive, deeply soulful tenor and dazzling six-string technique (in which folk figures, blazing embellishments, boogie patterns, and funky ostinatos are blended together in a seamless, intoxicating style) can be heard and appreciated. This is utterly essential, classic country blues of the first order.


Punck - "Piallassa"

In 1964 Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni set Red Desert, his ninth movie, in the industrial area of Ravenna, the Piallassa valley, full of huge cold factories and machines, crossed by a polluted river ending in an intertidal foreshore.
I was born in Ravenna in 1964.
This is a little journey on the original movie locations, 43 years later. While I was searching for the lost atmosphere, I realized that time, in Ravenna, seemed to have stood still.
This work is a tribute to Michelangelo Antonioni, to my hometown and to the Piallassa.


lunedì 12 aprile 2010

Sex Worker - "The Labor Of Love"

Sex Worker is the side project of Mi Ami singer and former classical guitar student Daniel Martin-McCormick that sculpts an experimental, electronic soundscape on the 2009 LP 'The Labor of Love.' It is a labor of love -- a ritualistic offering to the healing that music can provide to both its creators and its listeners.


domenica 11 aprile 2010

Eddie Prévost/Organum - "Flayed/Crux"

"Crux" is an Organum track, featuring Andrew Chalk on bowed gong, David Jackman on drone flute & bowed piano, Dinah Jane Rowe on drone flute and Stephen Stapleton on chair. Its a pretty classic piece to say the least. "If you like the dronescapes of traditional Far Eastern musics, youll love Crux; if you wigged out to La Monte Young at his most conceptual, youll do much the same with this. Better still, you may love Crux having previously heard none of these supposed influences; youre simply wired for sound." --David Ilic. "Flayed" features mainly AMMs Prévost on drums, general percussion and acme thunderer whistle, while Jackman added some bowed gongs and electronic sounds." -Matchless


Claudio Rocchetti - "The Carpenter"

The work of Claudio Rocchetti (member of 3/4hadbeeneliminated and Olyvetty)
is a deep plunge into thick sound, investigating its innermost workings.
Using a variety of devices such as turntables, audio
cassettes, samplers, radios, and microphones, often incorporating other
objects and traditional instruments,
Berlin-based Rocchetti builds compelling structures that employ sound as
sheer matter, mass, and impact. The tarry, mesmerizing hues that characterize
his “music objects” are grounded in layers of sound detritus.

From techno rhythms to slow melodies, edgy constructions to samples of
choirs and strings, Rocchetti builds layered structures of elusive elements
whose sources are often hidden, and enacts a mirror play which may cause dizziness.


John Duncan - "Riot"

Shortwave. Voice. Steel door.
Recorded at Unomori, Tokyo.

HUNGRY consists of insistent drones and articulated with massive use of shortwave radio (a passion of John's) and voices in 'actions of disturbance'; everything seems to reminiscent of a vital, organic pulse. The piece is covered with moments of wild Morse code, explosions or voice, then... silence. YOIKA resumes the violence after a few minutes of peace with a bombardment of bass radio frequencies, mixed into a sound between a huge motor and distorted guitar! Never a dull moment, not even when a reverberating halo resembles slow breathing. BRUTAL BIRTHDAY, with CV Massage, offers long echoing notes on an insistent percussive base that seems like a type of air-hammer. The feedback goes non-stop! (massimo ricci, DEEP LISTENINGS (number 9, Spring/Summer 1997)


sabato 10 aprile 2010

Silver Apples - "The Garden"

By some mysterious and fantastic stroke of luck Sixtoo and Marco's Bully imprint have landed themselves the exclusive rights for this obscure third album from electronic psych masters The Silver Apples. Not only that but they have also now produced the first ever vinyl version of this seminal LP and have even dug deep enough to include some killer bonus cuts - never before heard. The band's name was inspired by the same poetic source that Morton Subotnick nabbed for his seminal 'Silver Apples Of The Moon' and with druggy mental image in tow you can guess there's a splash of acid fuelled psych thrown generously into the mix. As for the tracks themselves, check 'Tabouli Noodle' for a darkened funk variation on Stereolab, with added edgy drugs - this was made in 1970 folks! The main part of the album is fourteen tracks deep, split evenly between the crazy but dope vocal psych numbers and the heavy drums and synth workouts, it's these workouts that I reckon reflect Sixtoo's key reasoning for wanting this out on Bully and I whole heartedly agree. Remastered and mixed down by Sixtoo himself, this is one of the more welcome reissue/rediscoveries on 2006 and a record that fans of Sixtoo, vocal psych rock and heavy acid funk will cherish.


giovedì 8 aprile 2010

Franca Sacchi - "En"

Label: Die Schachtel
Year: 2007

My music is the result of a long period of meditation - an act of complete self-recognition. I realised that the so-called “discourse on the evolution of musical language” no longer interested me. I considered it a nuisance and I clearly felt that it was false, schizophrenic, insincere and imposed by the current ideology, which is so difficult to reject. I had to admit that it was “myself” the real object of my interest and that whatever I was going to do would be reflected directly into my actions, my music, dance and painting.
I have completely refused either the idea of organising sound or trying to establish any kind of relationship between movement and signs. I want to turn my experience into consciousness, while rediscovering the true and essential gesture and at the same time having the courage to manifest it openly. I also understood that authenticity lies neither in the “intentional act”, which was the basis of my previous work – which I don’t reject anyway – nor in a naïve and extemporaneous “spontaneity”, but rather in what could be called a “conscious spontaneity”. It becomes therefore possible to live any moment of time in just the way one really wants to; one can observe him or herself while transforming an impulse into action, being fully aware of the completeness of that moment. This is when beauty is born. I can feel it springing from the self-awareness, a “self” that transcends “ego”, language and time, and which can give expression to universally accepted elements.
I am no longer interested in the production of creativity, but rather in its expression, in the manifestation of a truly creative existence. This is in no way a “tabula rasa”: I don’t think it will ever be possible to avoid conditioning factors – I simply do not identify myself with them anymore. I reject the formal organisation of sound as well as the tight relationships imposed on both sound and movement; I reject any form of rationalisation that comes from the outside, like some sort of imposed rhythm. I respect the vital and biological rhythm only and, above all, the ontological one. From now on I will work on the primary subject: the living human being.

Franca Sacchi, 1972


mercoledì 7 aprile 2010

William S. Burroughs - "The Instrument Of Control: In Conversation And Readings"

Label: Archivio Letterario
Year: 2006

Collection of rare recordings of William Burroughs in conversation and readings from the 1970s/80s. This is an essential insight into the mind and writings of arguably the most influential writer from the Beat generation. "Through his mordant satire of cultural aspirations, homosexual eroticism and political power, Burroughs focuses our gaze into the abyss. His cold, surgical language creates beauty through a terror that we are just able to bear".


martedì 6 aprile 2010

Autistic Daughters - "Jealousy and Diamond"

Label: Kranky / Staubgold
Year: 2004

Recorded at Amann studios in Vienna, Jealousy and Diamond is the debut by the trio Autistic Daughters. The band is made up of Dean Roberts (guitar, vocals, harmonium and harmonica), Martin Brandlmayr (drums, vibraphone and electronics) and Werner Dafeldecker (electric and contrabass). Basic tracks were recorded in Vienna in April 2003 by Roberts, Dafeldecker and Brandlmayr. Dean Roberts recorded additional voices, guitars and miscellaneous instruments with Valerio Tricoli (who was such a crucial part of the recording of Roberts' debut kranky album Be Mine Tonight ) in Bologna , Italy in the fall of 2003. The mastering of the album was finished in early summer 2004 by Patrick Pulsinger.
The members of the band all have extensive connections in the improvised, electronic and rock scenes. Having played as band together for quite some time, Autistic Daughters are more than a "project". The group plans on European touring in support of Jealousy and Diamond in late 2004 and early 2005. Staubgold is releasing the album on vinyl.


sabato 3 aprile 2010

Quintron - "The Frog Tape"

On his own and in cahoots with his puppeteering wife Miss Pussycat, Mr. Quintron has done his bit to keep fun alive by dressing up old-fashioned Hammond organ grinding with retro-futuristic electronics and after-school TV antics. He’s best experienced live, where you can see the sweat roll off his pencil-thin mustache and drip onto the keyboard, or marvel at his inventions. It’s one thing to hear the Drum Buddy, his homemade, light-operated drum machine manufactured from a turntable and a coffee can, and another to see the can spin around and spit out beats like a cartoon character spraying watermelon seeds. Still, he’s put out some swell records – These Hands Of Mine is a personal favorite. Alas, this isn’t one of them.
The Frog Tape, as you might gather from the name, started life as a cassette-only release. One side was a selection of Quintron’s home rehearsals, the other an authentic field recording of swamp frogs (Quintron is a proud resident of New Orleans’s Ninth Ward – he probably didn’t have to go too far from home for source material). But what might have been a nifty post-concert impulse purchase seems rather slim when you put it on a CD, and not just because discs are skinnier than tapes. With a total running time that’s a sliver less than 30 minutes, there’s just not a lot here, certainly not enough to justify charging full-album price. And a lot of what’s included is hardly top drawer.
The opening electronic snippet “Horror” isn’t very scary, and is too short to be much of anything else. “The Throat,” which lasts less than a minute, is just a compendium of funny noises followed by a B-movie spooky laugh. You used to smack your little brother over the head for doing stuff like this – do you really need to pay for someone to do it to you now? And do you really need a solo organ rendition of “Stray Cat Strut?” Only the grimy cha-cha “Scary Love” is likely to lure repeat playings beyond your Halloween party. For that, use the Frogs side. It doesn’t achieve the wild pseudo-electronic modulations of the recent Broken Hearted Dragonflies disc on Sublime Frequencies, but it does provide a wealth of dank polyrhythmic croaking.
By Bill Meyer (Dusted)

venerdì 2 aprile 2010

Black Forest / Black Sea - "Radian Symmetry"

Label: Last Visible Dog
Year: 2008

Black Forest/Black Sea inhabit the nebulous realm that intersects free jazz, musique concrete, minimalist drone rock and contemporary avant-garde chamber music. On Radiant Symmetry the nucleus of Black Forest/Black Sea (cellist Miriam Goldberg and guitarist Jeffrey Alexander) are joined by a host of other musicians playing a variety of exotic instruments (bouzouki, tamboura, harmonium, for instance). All nine selections featured on Radiant were recorded live at various venues across Europe during the spring of 2004. Most of the pieces achieve a kind of somber elegance often associated with contemporary chamber music, yet there are also moments of genuine improvisational anarchy, and the carefully constructed dissonances that burst volcanic-like from the deeper recesses of each piece confirm the suspicion that Goldberg and Alexander are sound deconstructionists of considerable talent. "Bristol 4/06/04" and "Tchai-Ovna Tearoom, Glasgow 4/20/04" are each notable for their ability to both becalm and disturb the listener simultaneously. The more ethnic strains of "Talbot Hotel, Stoke-on-Trent 4/11/04" represent a drastic shift in harmonic emphasis, moving from Western chronocentrism to a decidedly more Eastern conception of musical time as a continuum. Because of their commitment to such a holistic practice of sound composition, the pieces on Radiant Symmetry often achieve a brave though uneasy compromise between the sacred and the secular, not unlike that accomplished by Popol Vuh and Between throughout the 70s. Though not easy to digest at first, Radiant Symmetry amply repays the devoted connoisseur on repeated listening.
(Reviewed by Charles Van de Kree)


Girolamo De Simone - "Shama"

Label: Die Schachtel
Year: 2008

Girolamo De Simone emerged from the "new avant-garde" scene, which arose in Naples in the 70s around his maestro Luciano Cilio, of which he plays several parts in the legendary Dell¹Universo Assente CD. The pieces presented here are intimate and introspective miniatures, full of melancholy and sweet decay. Blending acoustic and electronic particles, De Simone creates a fascinating osmotic process of endless beauty.


giovedì 1 aprile 2010

Gordon Mumma - "Electronic Music of Theatre and Public Activity"

Label: New World
Year: 2005

Gordon Mumma (b. 1935) has played a pioneering role in the development and evolution of "live-electronic" music. "Live-electronics" as a concept and practice appears to have originated in the United States in the late 1950s, outside the few institutional electronic studios and often in the context of innovative theatre activity. From its inception, it frequently involved two processes: (1) live performance with accompanying or interacting sound materials on magnetic tape; and (2) the use of electronic circuitry as sound-modifying and sound-producing instruments.

Beginning with his classic Megaton for Wm. Burroughs of 1963, Mumma's live-electronic and cybersonic works of the 1960s and 1970s, especially Medium Size Mograph (1963) and Hornpipe (1967), display his resourceful use of both live-electronic processes. Cybersonic Cantilevers (1973) extends them to include the active participation of audience members, many of them children and teenagers who were quick to grasp the artistic potential of cybersonic technology, while Conspiracy 8 (1969–70) is an early example of live interaction between performers and computer. A major addition to the contemporary music discography, this is essential listening for anyone interested in the history of electronic music.

Megaton for Wm. Burroughs, Conspiracy 8 (co-composed and performed with Stephen Smoliar), Cybersonic Cantilevers, Cirqualz