Glenn Branca's first full-length album The Ascension is a colossal achievement. After touring much of 1980 with an all-star band featuring four guitarists (Branca, fellow composers Ned Sublette and David Rosenbloom, and future Sonic Youth member Lee Ranaldo) with Jeffrey Glenn on bass and Stephan Wischerth on drums, Branca took his war-torn group into a studio in Hell's Kitchen to record five incendiary compositions. Originally released in 1981 on 99 Records, The Ascension effectively tears down the genre-ghettos between 20th century avant-garde and ecstatic rock 'n' roll.
On "The Spectacular Commodity," chiming, shimmering tones unfold into sinister drone-territory à la Tony Conrad, while abrasive guitars and repetitive beats retain the raw primitivism of No Wave. The title track attains a densely packed, larger-than-life sound and (as author Marc Masters says best) "never stops climbing skyward."
With artist Robert Longo's stark front cover that depicts Branca battling an unidentified man, The Ascension is a must-have record not only for fans of early Swans and Sonic Youth, but also of Steve Reich or Slint's Tweez.
A concert where composers compete with birds
Birds have been singing long before humans started making music. While humans create perfect music calculated and thought out, birds naturally produce strange tunes.
Composers have attempted to express natural phenomena and certain types of noise, but birdsong has been turned into music all over the world, each with their own ingenuity. In addition to Renaissance and Baroque paintings, you can also enjoy modern bird depictions by Saint-Saëns, Ravel, and Britten.
Furthermore, I listened to "Carnival of the Endangered Species" made by Vincent Bouchot by punning on Saint-Saëns' work. In the style of a classical suite, it draws unfamiliar animals, and the ending with "Humanity" is also meaningful and makes me think about various things. The booklet is full-color and has detailed explanations of various birds and animals.
La Réveuse is a period instrument group founded in 2004 by Florence Bolton and Benjamin Perrault. Although he mainly works on works from the 17th and 18th centuries, he has become a hot topic for composing works with themes that combine music and current affairs.
1. Purcell: Prelude to Birds from "Fairy Queen"
2. Van Eyck: England's Nightingale - from "The Flute Paradise"
3. Theodor Schwarzkopf: Sonata in imitation of Nightingale and Cuckoo: Allegro/Gigue
4. F. Couperin / La Revouse: Nightingale in Love ~ from "Clavesin Songs Volume 3"
5. Jean-Baptiste Bousset/La Réveuse ed.: Why, sweet nightingale - from "Ale Volume 14"
6. Monteclaire: Chirping - Concert No. 5 for 2 flutes
7. F. Couperin/La Réveuse ed.: Lamenting Bunting - from "Clavesin Songs Volume 3"
8. Colette: Cuckoo
9. Saint-Saens/Vincent Bouchot: Cuckoo in the depths of the forest - from "Carnival of the Animals"
10. Britten/Vincent Bouchot Arr.: Cuckoo from "Friday Afternoon"
11. Rameau/Vincent Bouchot: Hens
12. Saint-Saëns/Vincent Bouchot: Hens and Roosters from "Carnival of the Animals"
13. Ravel/Vincent Bouchot: The Queen's Pottery Doll Redronet ~From "Ma Mère Roi"
14. Vincent Bouchot: Carnival of Endangered Species
Prelude: Sorrow of the Pangolin
Armando: Javanese Slow Loris
Courant: old poultry dodo
Intermezzo: Lesomira 63
Sarabande: white and black owls
Gavotte: Indian gharial (crocodile)
Intermezzo: Lesomira 92
Varus Twist: Sea Cucumber
Jeeg: Mankind, its evolution
Los Angeles producer and artist Nosaj Thing AKA Jason W. Chung returns with his fifth album, Continua - featuring a stellar ensemble cast including HYUKOH, Toro y Moi, Kazu Makino (Blonde Redhead), serpentwithfeet, Sam Gendel, Coby Sey, Julianna Barwick, Mike Andrews, Slauson Malone, Pink Siifu, Panda Bear & Eyedress.
Nosaj Thing's expertise is in crafting exquisite soundscapes that hold a mirror up to his journey from noise and punk shows at DIY venue The Smell, to his debut sets at Low End Theory, to touring with The xx and The Weeknd. Throughout, he has innovated with a live experiences conceived with Tokyo-based AV savant Daito Manabe. Chung's music carries such visceral humanity it feels like a disservice to refer to the 'mood' which pervades his records. But it's exactly that distinct mood which has made Nosaj Thing such a cult artists across his 16-year-deep discography.