album

Streifenjunko ~ Like Driving

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“Streifenjunko has taken a shift towards electronic sounds. Their previous albums “No Longer Burning” (SOFA 2009) and “Sval Torv” (SOFA 2012) was remarkable in the magnificent sound achieved only with a saxophone and trumpet. With the seemingly endless possibilities of electronic instruments their strategy of finding simple tasks has been put to the test, and in the making of this album Streifenjunko was put back to the starting position to re-discover their focus and recognisable simplicity. The result is music with sharp edges and sudden changes, crude starting and stopping. The engine of the music is the interlocking of slow moving streams. Some of the electronics are self generating for Espen and Eivind to follow, and the different sounds and layers are multiplexed using starting and stopping signals. To play is simply to follow the signals, like driving.”

© SOFA

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album

Alison Cotton ~ All Is Quiet At The Ancient Theatre

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“Alison Cotton of avant folk duo The Left Outsides creates a psychedelic pagan folk ritual with her viola, recorder, percussion and ghostly voice on ‘All Is Quiet At The Ancient Theatre’. Slowing things down to a droning pace, Cotton seems to summon up mystical powers through her eerie Clannad-ish chants on ‘The Bells of St Agnes’. And like Laura Cannell, she finds similar tones of drone within her string music by allowing space for the dragged out notes to echo and buzz on ‘The Last Sense To Leave Us’. Her choral vocal pipes in with a numbing effect, floating upfront and back into the shadows again on the five tracks, which were all improvised… Better than any mindfulness app for cleansing the brainwaves and stilling the souls of the godless for hald an hour or so…” Claire Sawers, The Wire 

© The Left Outsides

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mixtape

Grup Ses ~ Mimaroğlu Tapes

The Mimaroğlu Tapes mixtape prepared by Grup Ses is a selection of music from the music cassette archive of İlhan and Güngör Mimaroğlu. It helps to keep in mind that some of the cassettes were likely to be gifts or promotional copies given to the couple. The selection was based on the subjects and themes of the documentary “Mimaroğlu”. > www.grupsesbeats.com


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album, reissues

2018 – Fav. Reissue: Luc Ferrari ~ L’Escalier des Aveugles

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«Tous les matériaux concrets ont été enregistrés à Madrid. Chaque lieu est en même temps le portrait d’une jeune femme, à la fois guide, interprète et actrice. Les éléments ont été ensuite recomposés en studio, pour leur donner une dimension surréaliste, particulièrement madrilène.»

L’Escalier des Aveugles, or The Stairway of the Blind, was commissioned in November 1990 by Spanish National Radio (Radio Nacional de España). Asked for a piece to premiere as part of the European Day of Music, Luc Ferrari returned with a radiophonic concept that organised his anecdotal music into montage form, sequencing short, elusive narratives in a successive way.

The completed composition is formed of thirteen chapters containing a mixture of environmental and synthesised sound, commentary, chatter, and encounters with people and places. Each focuses on a small event within this playbook, and Ferrari notes that each “in addition to being a realistic photograph, will be the subject of a ‘setting to music’: fragments of voice and atmosphere will be sampled and will produce musical matter or a ‘song’.”

The sonic language of Madrid forms the setting to which Ferrari lays out the persistent theme of the piece, that of the composer being guided throughout the city by a young woman. Using a game-like structure (liners for this edition include Ferrari’s “Regles de Jeu”, or “Rules of the Game” which act as a script or score to the piece) the motivation is posed: imagine that one day you are told “I know a place in Madrid that sounds amazing (or bizarre)”, to which you reply “Let’s go to it together.” The recordings toy with the relationships between guide and tourist, translator, director and actress, and masculine and feminine that emerge as Ferrari and the actresses follow this action, documenting the shared experience and connections they make as they visit these places.

Six actresses guide Ferrari (and the listener) through locations simultaneously ordinary and sonically rich: the metro; the El Corte Inglés department store where we hear the gossip from changing rooms set against music emanating from the PA; vagabonds declaiming their political stance in the Conde de Barajas plaza; interactions buying apples in a market; the reverberant and spacious halls of the Prado Museum where one actress gives a moving description of her favourite painting – Goya’s The 3rd of May 1808.

Ferrari replies in French to their comments in Spanish, and there are several self-referential plots, devices, and word games that flirt with the poetics and rhythm of language and sound. A recital of Lorca’s poem “La Casada Infiel” in “Hommage À Lorca” in amongst the location recordings feels striking, and the call and response of “La Nouvelle de L’Escalier”, where one of the actresses descends the staircase of the blind – a long stone stairway in Madrid proposed to Ferrari as an interesting location to visit during the trip by producer José Iges. She replies to Ferrari’s vocal enunciation of the place (and title) in French – L’Escalier des Aveugles – with the place-name in Spanish: La Escalera de los Ciegos.

Using this repeated title and image of the staircase of the blind as a symbolic place, a line is drawn to a situational landscape experienced and diffused through snapshots and allusion rather than holistically overviewed, sound conjuring pictures within the imagination. In the sensorial qualities of Ferrari’s treatment of emotion and language—fortified with electro-acoustic motifs and musical properties—the piece accelerates towards a render that is truthful, beautiful, yet also surreal; somewhere between theatre and reality, a gonzo cinema of the ear.”
> Mana Records

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album, reissues

2018 – Best Reissues: Om Kalsoum​ ~ El Hob Kollo أم كلثوم​-​الحب كله (All the love)

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“They call her ’The Rose of the Nile’, ‘The Queen of the Nile’, ‘The Daughter of the Nile’ or even ‘The 4th Pyramid of Egypt’ since she’s known as the greatest Egyptian singer of all times. Om Kalsoum’s mythical life story of a poor peasant girl who grew up to become the face of Egypt is a 20th-century fairytale. Almost half a decade after her death the power of her music and singing is still moving the hearts of millions of people worldwide. 
At the end of her overwhelming career she was introduced to the young but brilliant composer Baligh Hamdy who wrote this 30 minutes lasting monument for her in 1970. In the footsteps of Mohamed Abdel Wahab, the godfather of Egyptian modern music, Baligh Hamdy refreshed the classical Egyptian orchestra sound with the addition of stylish instruments like electric guitar (Omer Khorshid), organ (Hany Mehanna), accordeon and horns that were adapted to the eastern tonal system.”
> Radio Martiko

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album, reissues

2018 – Best Reissues: ArchivOlares ~ Danzas y Cantos Afrovenezolanos

“ArchivOlares fue creado en el 2013 con el fin de difundir y mantener viva la riqueza y sabiduría de un archivo de música tradicional de Venezuela, que registró Oswaldo Lares durante sus viajes por el país entre 1960 – 1980.

Oswaldo Lares Soto (Maracaibo, 1932) es un arquitecto graduado de la Universidad de Cornell (Ithaca, Nueva York), quien enfocó su carrera profesional en la arquitectura, la docencia y especialmente en el estudio de las diversas tradiciones musicales de Venezuela y América Latina. Gracias a su pasión por la música, convirtió su vida en un viaje con rumbo al rescate de nuestra identidad. Oswaldo Lares es forma, es sonido, es armonía.

En sus hombros, Lares sostuvo el medio para captar la esencia escondida en los lugares más recónditos de Venezuela: un micrófono Sennheiser y un grabador Nagra IV. Desde finales de la década de los 60, llevó a cabo una travesía por distintas comunidades donde el sentir musical era una forma de vida. Por eso, Oswaldo Lares nos ha dejado como legado la identidad; esa forma de musicalizar la vida, esa alianza con las fuerzas atacantes que vibran dentro de los sonidos primigenios.

Producciones discográficas como Naiguatá, su Música y Tradiciones (2011), Guayana es Calipso. Música de El Callao. Estado Bolívar. Venezuela (1983) o Música de Venezuela popular folklórica. Homenaje al Indio Figueredo (1969), por solo nombrar algunas, representan la capacidad de Oswaldo Lares para reconciliar los fragmentos culturales esparcidos en el espacio y el tiempo de nuestros orígenes.

Tanto fue su afán por fundar nuestra esencia cultural, que logró concretar alrededor de 450 programas de radio, los cuales tituló La Revuelta y Música de Venezuela y del Continente y que salieron al aire en su momento en la Radio Nacional. En 1975 fundó la agrupación Convenezuela: músicas y danzas tradicionales de Venezuela, con la que participó en calidad de músico y presentador en más de 400 conciertos (incluidas 14 giras internacio- nales). Actualmente, Lares sigue dirigiendo esta agrupación. En 2002 creó Fundala- res, fundación dedicada a la preservación y digitalización de los materiales recopilados durante su vida.” > ArchivOlares

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album, reissues

2018 – Best Reissues: Deben Bhattacharya ~ Paris to Calcutta: Men and Music on the Desert Road

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“Deben Bhattacharya (1921-2001) was a field recordist, poet, filmmaker, musicologist, and amateur ethnomusicologist, based in Calcutta and Paris. Highly influential, it would not be too bold a stretch to say that his work shaped how we listen to the world: he produced a vast number of LPs, CDs, videos, and radio shows of traditional music from India, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe from 1953 until his death in 2001. Never before published, Paris to Calcutta: Men and Music on the Desert Road features over four hours of music and is Deben’s impressionistic account of a 1955 journey overland, in a converted milk delivery van, from France to India collecting and exploring music along the Desert Road from Europe into India. With four CDs of recordings, photographs, Deben’s original recording notes, musical transcriptions, and more. An amazing glimpse into a time long gone and essential listening for anyone interested in folk and world music traditions. Produced and edited by Robert Millis (Indian Talking Machine (2015) and Victrola Favorites (DTD 011CD, 2009).” > Sublime Frequencies

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