Major new work from GRM director François Bonnet (aka Kassel Jaeger), featuring recent "Portraits GRM" stars Lucy Railton and Jim O’Rourke and filtering eerie drones and tones into a shapeless but deep-hitting rumble of waterlogged sound. It's a hypnotic, deeply human album that enshrines Bonnet's memories in layer upon layer of tonal mud; if we dig too deep or concentrate too hard, we are ourselves become engulfed in the swamp, part of the opera. Highly recommended listening if yr into Iancu Dumitrescu, Richard Lerman, Jimmy O'Rourke.
When Bonnet was a child, he would venture out every Sunday to his favorite spot in the countryside: a swamp. Years later, he has composed a drone opera to memorialize these pivotal early moments, drawing a parallel between his love of the swamp and his own musical output, which was described by a teacher as swamp-like. "I guess because of the lack of demonstrative musical shapes and articulations," Bonnet admits.
Regaled with an awesome capacity for inducing ur states of trance, and just as likely to rip you out of it and off onto darker paths, ‘Swamps / Things’ blurs the line between the organic and synthetic, as instruments are contorted to sound like synthesizers and heaving pulses take on the character of orchestral flourishes. Layers of sound come on in diffracted waves of elemental and perplexing emotions that speak to Bonnet's remarkable breadth of vision as much as his rich palette. In a sense, he extends his role as artistic director of the GRM to a metaphorical director of sound in a mostly instrumental and multi-dimensional opera whose meaning may be elusive, but whose dramaturgy is enacted in the most absorbing, ravishing ways.
"Sound is abstract. When the source is elusive, narrative and meaning shift between the concrete and obscure. With his first solo LP with Shelter Press, Swamps/Things, Kassel Jaeger wades into this foggy, conceptual realm. From memory and metaphor - sliding fluidly through the imagistic and emotive - emerges an immersive, cavernous world that rethinks electroacoustic music on organic terms.
‘Swamps/Things’ was conceived as an opera without distinct characters or text. It draws Kassel Jaeger into his own history, experiences, and the unlikely double of the swamp, a landscape that has held literal and metaphorical sway over him since childhood. Merging 8 works as a total environment, abstaining from distinct shape or discrete articulation, across the album's breadth, sound becomes a shifting mirror for the bubbling, ordered chaos of organic life.
Resting at the junction of concept, emotion, and phenomena - tapping the multidimensional potential for narrative and meaning possessed by each - Swamps/Things encounters an artist of remarkable craft, delving toward the unknown, deploying organized sonority as object and environment, as much as action, movement, passage, and arc. Seemingly possessed by an entropy entirely its own, the temporal gives way to the poetics of space, while the density of an endlessly evolving climate, laden with cacophonous happenings, renders itself still. Flickering images of the natural world - memory and the imagined reformed as sound - present an operatic double for human action and thought. From deep, fog like banks of minimalist long tone, to industrial clamors left as tracks in the mud, or the collisions of shifting pulses, overtones, and textures - captured from across the murky, drone laden waters between the acoustic and synthetic realms - moody, howling cries and tense meditations merge in ambient sheets, capturing a fleeting image of where decomposition gives way to new growth.
A remarkably intimate and forward-thinking aural balm, bristling with complex beauty, Shelter press is overjoyed to present Kassel Jaeger’s Swamps/Things. Two immersive, intoxicating sides overflowing with humanity and ideas."
This work consists of a roll of cardboard with holes punched with a punching tool, installed in a toy piano, and plays music when a switch is activated. This mysterious sound work is a direct descendant of Eno's ambient works and Erik Satie's furniture music. Once you close your eyes and listen to it, you will feel as if you are returning to the nostalgia of your childhood.
Although Yoshimura was undoubtedly an important figure in the history of Japanese ambient music, Yoshimura was hardly known overseas because only the Japanese version was released, but the recent New Age re-evaluation. I have finally come to the point where I can see the light of day. The sound of the highest peak of creative and aesthetic Japanese ambient music that evokes the concept of "wave notation" contained in nine postcards. A mysterious sound world that connects the history of ambient music / ambient spun by Erik Satie, Brian Eno, Roederius, etc. in the dimension of Japanese emotion and spiritual cosmo. A miraculous recording of homemade ambient attempted with a minimal set of Fender Rhodes and keyboards.
fully remastered from the original tapes** A mysterious sound aurora on the magical paths of the infinite universe of percussion, originally released in 1985 and then almost completley lost. Moon On The Water were a trio of percussionists based in Italy - David Searcy and Jonathan Scully, both American tympani players in the Scala Philarmonic Orchestra, with the legendary Italian jazz drummer Tiziano Tononi, who worked with everyone from Roberto Musci, to Muhal Richard Abrams, Pierre Favre (who later joined the group), Andrew Cyrille, Barre Phillips, and Steve Lacy. Drawing on a diversity of experience, joined collectively by a unified love of rhythm and sound, they assembled a percussion record of the highest order - an unclassifiable work which should be legendary, and leaves you confounded that it’s not.
Within the history of efforts dedicated to percussion, Moon On The Water’s debut stands apart. A singular work, made remarkable by the diversity and range of its sonorities and structures. The scope of its ambition is startling. Utilizing the full intellect, experience, and talent of its creators, it employs field recording against a stunning array of instrumentation - seemingly everything from which rhythm and resonant tone could be drawn. The result renders a remarkable effect. From the delicate pulse of nature, deep resonances and carefully placed tone, intricate structures and tempos as slow as they go, across its movements the album rewrites how composition for percussion should be understood, before giving way to consuming and ecstatic rhythms which reference the Brazilian tradition of Batucada, various trance and ritual traditions of Africa, and drum solos from Free Jazz and Rock. This is as good as percussion records get. A lost marvel - accessible while distinctly avant-garde. The throbbing pulse of creative joy, distilled onto two sides of wax.
Ecstatic elements of Japan ambient minimalism dialogue with contemporary music solutions (Varèse, Ligeti), in the stream of a harmonious fusion of ancient and modern. It’s a propitiatory ceremony of supernatural things that open portals of blissfulness, tribal and shamanic darkness, timeless jungles. Between amazon fires and African safaris, we float in the Asian rivers of meditation, lost in water games, echoes of caves and rocks in the night, synergies of frogs, birds, snakes, marimbas, chimes, gongs, and tubular woods.
The album also includes one of the sickest percussion jam we’ve heard from 1980’s Italy: the mystically-named In the Land of the Boo - Bam. Exploring a wide range of percussions, from mallet instruments to drums, the band tightly builds a hypnotic jam with a strong Mediterranean feeling, maybe partly provided by the «Tullio de Piscopo-esque» drumming pattern. As the song goes by, the vibe gets more and more shamanic, often changing directions before climaxing in an epic final. True uplifting trance music!
David Behrman is also known for using "microcomputers" with "memory" used for live performances and installations, along with great figures such as Robert Ashley, Gordon Mumma, and Alvin Lucier in postwar American experimental music. A writer who occupies an important position. On the A side, Interspecies Smalltalk commissioned by John Cage and Merce Cunningham in 1984 is recorded, and it was formed as a collaboration with Takehisa Kosugi (violin) and completed as a minimalist masterpiece full of fantasy beauty.
On the B-side, starting with the early version of Leapday Night, "Circling Six," six synthesizer loop phrases were used, and German experimental writer Werner Durand was in charge of the saxophone, avant-garde jazz. It is finished in a strange minimalist refraction that crosses jazz. The final "All Thumbs" is a song for two mbiras, which George Lewis and David Behrman dedicated to the opening of the Paris Science Museum "La Villette" in the spring of 1986. The metal tip of was a sound installation that was connected to a computer music system through a sensor.
Why don't you pick up the excellent unreleased sound source of a rare writer who represents the history of American electronic music after a long time. Includes liner notes and performance photos by David Behrman. Limited to 400 copies.
"Selected Ambient Works 85-92" is one of those rare albums where a composer provides clear evidence that he or she is in that special class of artistic genius where true originality is possible. I'm not suggesting that this is Aphex Twin's best album, as best work was yet to come; nor am I suggesting that this is one of the greatest electronic albums of all time. Perhaps it is, but the key is its influence. "SAW" is practically synonymous with that early Warp Records sound (although SAW wasn't actually released on Warp). The album is one of the sacred texts of the Intelligent Dance Music (IDM) movement and on this disc, you can hear the ideas that helped make electronic music what it is today. "SAW" dates back to a time when Aphex Twin was using a lot of analogue gear and the tracks have a nice warmth to them. Many of the sounds on this album will already be familiar to most listeners since they entered the canon of electronic sounds long ago. The cool thing is, this album is where so much began.
Over the past decade, the visionary musician Arthur Russell has entered something close to the mainstream.
Sampled and referenced by contemporary musicians, his papers now open to visitors at the Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center in New York, and his name synonymous with a certain strain of tenderness, Russell is as widely known as he’s ever been. Thanks to Russell’s partner Tom Lee and to Steve Knutson of Audika Records, who have forged several records from Russell’s vast archive of unfinished and unreleased work, the world now hears many versions of Arthur Russell. There’s the Iowa boy, the disco mystic, the singer-songwriter and composer, and the fierce perfectionist deep in a world of echo. While all of these elements of Russell are individually true, none alone define him.
Now, after ten years of work inside the Russell library, Lee and Knutson bring us Iowa Dream, yet another bright star in Russell’s dazzling constellation. Blazing with trademark feeling, these nineteen songs are a staggering collection of Russell’s utterly distinct songwriting. And although Russell could be inscrutably single-minded, he was never totally solitary. Collaborating here is a stacked roster of downtown New York musicians, including Ernie Brooks, Rhys Chatham, Henry Flynt, Jon Gibson, Peter Gordon, Steven Hall, Jackson Mac Low, Larry Saltzman, and David Van Tieghem. Musician Peter Broderick makes a contemporary addition to this list: more than forty years after Russell recorded several nearly finished songs, Broderick worked diligently with Audika to complete them, and performed audio restoration and additional mixing.
Several tracks on Iowa Dream Russell originally recorded as demos, in two early examples of his repeated brushes with potential popular success—first in 1974, with Paul Nelson of Mercury Records, and then in 1975, with the legendary John Hammond of Columbia Records. For different reasons, neither session amounted to a record deal. Russell kept working nearly up until his death in 1992 from complications of HIV-AIDS.
At once kaleidoscopic and intimate, Iowa Dream bears some of Russell’s most personal work, including several recently discovered folk songs he wrote during his time in Northern California in the early 1970s. For Russell, Iowa was never very far away. “I see, I see it all,” sings Russell on the title track: red houses, fields, the town mayor (his father) streaming by as he dream-bicycles through his hometown. Russell’s childhood home and family echo, too, through “Just Regular People,” “I Wish I Had a Brother,” “Wonder Boy,” “The Dogs Outside are Barking,” “Sharper Eyes,” and “I Felt.” Meanwhile, songs like “I Kissed the Girl From Outer Space,” “I Still Love You,” “List of Boys,” and “Barefoot in New York” fizz with pop and dance grooves, gesturing at Russell’s devotion to New York’s avant-garde and disco scenes. Finally, the long-awaited “You Did it Yourself,” until now heard only in a brief heart-stopping black-and-white clip in Matt Wolf’s documentary Wild Combination, awards us a new take with a driving funk rhythm and Russell’s extraordinary voice soaring at the height of its powers. On Iowa Dream, you can hear a country kid meeting the rest of the world—and with this record, the world continues to meet a totally singular artist.