Friday, January 23, 2015

Klaus Schulze, German Genius and Hero: An Early Work Primer



Today I just want to take a moment to talk about one of my musical heroes, Klaus Schulze. For most music nerds, a mere visit to his Wikipedia Page is enough to stop you in your tracks and fall on your knees. Here are some highlights from his early career: Started Tangerine Dream with Edgar Froese, founding member of Ash Ra Tempel (the first record from them being my ultimate kraut rock record) with Manuel Gottsching, the father of techno, created over sixty albums over five decades, most of which are pretty good, several of which are considered ambient masterpieces. This resume makes my head spin.

Anyway, I reviewed my favorite of his solo records, Mirage, a few years ago, so I just want to post links to some of my other favorites from him. This is simply a primer to his early work, everything after is hit or miss, as anyone would be over fifty years of making music. I hope you take the time to really dig in. It pays off!

From his debut album, Irrlicht, 1972:



From Cyborg, 1973:



From Blackdance, 1974:



From Picture Music, 1975:





From Timewind, 1975:





From Moondawn, 1976:

 



From the soundtrack to Body Love, 1977:



From Mirage, 1977:

Saturday, January 3, 2015

John Luther Adams - Become Ocean (Cantaloupe Music, 2014)




This is one of the most beautiful modern classical recordings I've had the privilege to hear. John Luther Adams composes lush, sparse and epic tales of our relationship with nature. This sounds simple, but the complexity of his musical narratives are stunning, and this is his finest work. In fact, for this piece, he just received the Pulitzer Prize for Music.

I recently discovered Adams on  Q2 Music's Meet The Composer podcast, a program that is beginning to feel essential for me. I encourage you to explore it for yourself.

Listen to folks getting all emotional about things here:



And stream the full piece here:



Or here:



Please visit his website for more information on other recordings as well: http://www.johnlutheradams.com/

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Ryan Teague - Block Boundaries (Village Green, 2014)



I am absolutely in love with this record. I was going to write about it but I accidentally read Boomkat's review and realized it perfectly encapsulated all my thoughts regarding it:

"‘Block Boundaries’ is the new album from minimalist composer Ryan Teague, building on his previous releases for Type, Sonic Pieces, and current label Village Green. Inspired by the theme of Psychogeography, the record fuses acoustic instrumentation with electronic and processed material, taking the listener on a hallucinogenic Ballardian journey through from the thrumming urban activity of New York, Amsterdam and London. Brooding opener "Site & Situation" sets the tone with hypnotic guitar and mallet chimes, emotive cello swells and surging bass synth, 'Last Known Position' comes on like a lost Tangerine Dream jam session, spiraling arpeggios and oscillating pulses, while 'Liminal Space' introduces driving percussion around mesmeric synth pulses and a shimmering piano progression. Closer 'End Of The Line ' brings the journey to an end in an introspective mood - a wavering synth figure cut against wistful drone washes that fade into the distance. 'Block Boundaries' is a masterful achievement of melody, form and texture that rewards more with every captivated listen and will assuredly secure Ryan Teague's place alongside his acclaimed contemporaries such as Nils Frahm, Jon Hopkins, Emeralds and Hauschka."

Yeah, I don't know if you're a fan of J.G. Ballard's work but, for my money, ya just can't beat a "Ballardian" journey through anywhere.



Block Boundaries from Leona Kadijević on Vimeo.


Friday, December 19, 2014

Psychonaut 4 - Have a Nice Trip (CS, Depressive Illusions, 2012)



The music of Psychonaut 4 has just about everything black metal could possibly offer: midtempo rhythms, classic blasts, downtempo shoegaze infusion and tremelo riffs. Graf, the vocalist, even comes equipped with onstage self-mutilation and bloodletting (assuring DSBM authenticity), and has an interesting hybrid of all three waves of black metal lineage. As the band hails from the nation of Georgia, there is even an accordion track steeped in traditional Russian folk music. This is a raw feeling album that has a studio quality. I think it's a nice package.

Since the cassette was released on a very underground Ukrainian label, good luck finding it. In the meantime, enjoy the streams below:





My Favorite 50 Albums of 2014



Each year I write a Top 25 list and sometimes it's difficult to compile that many albums I'm actually excited about. This year, the only problem was that there were so many albums I was ecstatic about, I had to do a list of my Top 50. It was a great and very refreshing 52 Tuesdays. I'll also add that it might just be my most diverse list ever. So without further adieu...

50. Call Super - Suzi Ecto (Five Easy Pieces)



49. Xosar - Immured (Valcrond Video)



48. Karen Gwyer - New Roof (No Pain in Pop)



47. Tinariwen - Emmar (ANTI-)



46. Perc - The Power and the Glory (Perc Trax)



45. Oake - Auferstehung (Downwards)



44. Kemper Norton - Loor (Front and Follow)



43. Klara Lewis - Ett (Editions Mego)



42. D'Angelo & The Vanguard - Black Messiah (RCA)



41. Theo Parrish - American Intelligence (Sound Signature)



40. Dalhous - The Will to be Well (Blackest Ever Black)



39. Russell Haswell - 37 Minute Workout (Diagonal)



38. Merkabah - Moloch (Instant Classic)



37. Lawrence English - Wilderness of Mirrors (Room 40)



36. Shinichi Atobe - Butterfly Effect (Demdike Stare)



35. The Soft Pink Truth - Why Do the Heathen Rage (Thrill Jockey)



34. The Body - I Shall Die Here (RVNG Intl)



33. Kangding Ray - Solens Arc (Raster Noton)



32. Cut Hands - Festival of the Dead (Blackest Ever Black)


CUT HANDS from URSSS on Vimeo.

31. Akkord - HTH020 (Houndstooth)



30. Positive Centre - In Silent Series (Our Circula Sound)



29. A Winged Victory for the Sullen (Kranky)



28. Puce Mary - Persona (Posh Isolation)



27. Neneh Cherry - Blank Project (Smalltown Supersound)



26. Caribou - Our Love (MERGE)



25. Actress - Ghettoville (Werkdiscs / Ninja Tune)



24. Leyland Kirby Presents V/VM - The Death of a Rave: Partial Flashback (History Always Favors         the Winners)



23. Pharmakon - Bestial Burden (Sacred Bones)



22. Lussuria - Industrial Illuminato (Hospital Productions)



21. Jessie Ware - Tough Love (Island Records)



20. Martial Cantarel - Gyors, Lassu (Dais)



19. Lee Gamble - Koch (Pan)



18. Bohren & Der Club of Gore - Piano Nights (PIAS)



17. Einsturzende Neubauten - Lament (BMG)



16. Shabazz Palaces - Lesse Majesty (Sub Pop)



15. Cooly G - Wait 'Til Night (Hyperdub)



14. Woods of Desolation - As the Stars (Northern Silence Productions)



13. Kerridge - A Fallen Empire (Downwards)



12. Kall - S/T (Self-released)



11. Kassem Mosse - Workshop 19 (Workshop)



10. The Inward Circles AKA Richard Skelton - Nimrod Is Lost In Orion And Osyris In The         Doggestarre (Self-released)



09. Wrekmeister Harmonies - Then It All Came Down (Thrill Jockey)



08. Fennesz - Becs (Editions Mego)



07. Ben Frost - AURORA (Bedroom Community)


06. Dean Blunt - Black Metal (Rough Trade)



05. Death Blues - Ensemble (Rhythmplex)



04. Black Rain - Dark Pool (Blackest Ever Black)



03. Andy Stott - Faith in Strangers (Modern Love)



02. Ekoplekz - Unfidelity (Planet Mu)



01. Mica Levi - Under the Skin OST (Rough Trade)

This lady is blowing my mind lately. Not only is this the most wonderfully creepy soundtrack I've heard in ages, but her cassette that just came out on Demdike Stare's label is absolutely brilliant. She seems to be blowing up and I wish her all the success.


Sidenotes:

Label of the year:

Blackest Ever Black

Concert of the year:

Tim Hecker at Big Ears March 28




Thank you for reading. I would greatly appreciate any feedback you have to offer.

XO,

Oh and my song of the year is this...


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