Monday, October 13, 2014

R.I.P. Mark Bell

I'm really sad to announce that Mark Bell has passed away due to complications from surgery. An electronic pioneer with his work as one half of LFO, his genre bending of house with techno was ahead of the game, and he was one of my favorite album producers of the 90's. Bjork has kept him aboard since he produced her "Homogenic" album. He will be soreley missed.

And...well, Fucking LFO, y'all!!!

Friday, October 3, 2014

R.I.P. Stephen Samuel Gordon AKA The Spaceape

Unfortunately, many of you reading my blog may not be familiar with this name. However, his monolithic voice has appeared on many tracks from the London based Hyperdub label, a massively relevant voice in modern electronic music.

His spoken word appears on what I believe to be one of the most important releases of modern times, Burial's debut album in 2006. That eponymous track, like the rest of the album, does not age. It is timeless. It gets stuck in my head on a regular basis. This news is absolutely crushing. And just before the release of a new ep of his work with Kode9, just released this week.

This from Hyperdub's Facebook page:

We are devastated to announce that on Thursday 2nd October, Stephen Samuel Gordon aka The Spaceape, vocalist, poet and live performer, passed away peacefully after a 5 year struggle with a rare form of cancer. He leaves behind his wife Luciana and 6 year old daughter, Cleo. His first release was the 1st release on Hyperdub, 'Sine of the Dub' in 2004 with Kode9, with whom he also released 2 albums, Memories of the Future (2006) and Black Sun (2011). In 2012 he also self-released the Xorcism EP, appeared on the track 'Spaceape' on Burial's debut album in 2006, and also collaborated with The Bug, Martyn, Jerry Dammers, Redshape, Dub Gabriel, the Echologist and more. Last Monday he released his new EP with Kode9, 'Killing Season' including the video 'Devil is a Liar' which was filmed in July 2014. Our sincere condolences go out to his family and friends, and all who have been touched by his writings and performances. His Hyperdub family will always miss him.

Take a listen to this mind melting track. Eight years old and it still sounds like the future.

And this is the video from the upcoming release.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

John Coltrane - Offering: Live at Temple University,1966 (Resonance, 2014)

Today is my Holy Day, my only holy day. Sept. 23, 1926, my hero, John Coltrane,was born, and there is no better gift to the world than a never before released live concert. This show was unearthed in 2005 and sees its first proper christening today by (Resonance Records).

Recorded just months before his death, This Philly show saw Trane pushing all limits. His health was declining and he knew the end was nigh. Mind you, this is a year or so after McCoy Tyner told someone that Trane was playing so hard that blood was spewing from his mouth. At one point, he removes the sax and begins chanting, and changing vocalization by beating his chest. This was at the point where he felt he had pushed the instrument to its furthest extent, and the only maneuver beyond was to cut out the middle man and push from the depths of his diaphragm.

As far out as he gets here, with Alice Coltrane, Rashied Ali, Pharoah Sanders and a crew of Philly based percussionists, he returns to finish with his rendition of "My Favorite Things", a fan favorite. The drastic departure from the extremes to finish with this was FOR his fans. He never forgot that his spiritual quest could never have launched and finished without those people that loved him.

Trane's body was dying, and the end was soon. He didn't succeed or fail, because,as he would have told you, there is no beginning or end, just the journey.

Recorded November 11, 1966
Mitten Hall, Temple University
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Featured Artists: John Coltrane – soprano & tenor saxophones, flute & vocals

Pharoah Sanders – tenor saxophone & piccolo

Alice Coltrane – piano Sonny Johnson – bass

Rashied Ali – drums

Additional musicians include: Steve Knoblauch, Arnold Joyner – alto saxophone Umar Ali, Algie DeWitt, Robert Kenyatta – percussion

Resonance Records, which is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit foundation, will contribute a portion from every sale to the John Coltrane Home (, an organization devoted to the preservation of Coltrane’s former home in Dix Hills, New York.


Disc One
01. Naima (16:28)
02. Crescent (26:11)

Disc Two
03. Leo (21:29)
04. Offering (4:19)
05. My Favorite Things (23:18)

Side A
Naima (16:28)

Side B
Crescent (26:11)

Side C
Leo (21:29)

Side D Offering (4:19) My Favorite Things (23:18)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Nils Frahm - Screws (Erased Tapes, 2012)

I'm welcoming autumn with this wonderfully melancholy piano album from a very gifted composer. In fact, I've listened to it a dozen times today.

 Just before it was released, Nils Frahm had broken his thumb. In the despair and fear that naturally came from such an incident, he set off to record a piece each night, before bed. Over the course of nine nights, with nine fingers, and a single microphone, he overcame the seemingly monumental setback, resulting in an improvisational opus of extraordinary beauty. These sparse and intimate portraits, spanning a mere twenty-eight minutes, are powerful, combining the spirit of Satie with some of the best new age piano recordings in the modern compositional canon.

Though he initially released the recording as a free download, not thinking it was worth much at all, he couldn't have been more wrong. I'm deeply moved by this half hour of troubled and beautiful sketches. I hope you will be too.

Below, I've also included some of his other work, so as to showcase his versatility. Be sure to watch the last video, "All Melody" to appreciate his electronic sensibility as well. Enjoy.

New Album Coming from One of My Favorite Artists on My Favorite Record Label.

As you may know, I have a Modern Love addiction. The Manchester label has been running my life for the past few years, and I've just come to accept it. Their somewhat commercially successful artist is Andy Stott. His last album, "Luxury Problems" was my favorite album of 2012.

The new album (Nov. 17) is to be a similar outing in aesthetic, but will include some vocal pop structure more traditional than on the last record. The press release states: “straddles analogue club music and vocal pop songs, somewhere between Ron Hardy, Prefab Sprout, Dome, Actress, Cocteau Twins and Arthur Russell.”

I'm enjoying the sample track. See what you think: