Friday, December 1, 2017

If you don't know... Nerftoss


No album for grabs, just repping John Jones from the... er, 21218? Anyway, Baltimore, where he's been cranking out mixes, records and tapes as Nerftoss for the past few years (before that he made music as Eachothers, whose back catalog I highly suggest you peruse, maybe on slsk 'cause I can't find it on discogs, pure guitar bliss).

Nerftoss runs the gamut from exotica repurposing to field recordings to kosmische ambulation and everywhere in between. He's consistently been putting out high-quality sounds that put your head and body in a good place. I'm currently driffting off with Prospect Endless, his 2016 cassette on O&E, so I'll put that below for you to sample and also link you to his discogs page

Please support this artist and snag some of his rad tapes!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Bob Moses - When Elephants Dream of Music (1983)


A tour-de-force of big band compositions. This goes from pretty swinging horn charts to modal ruminations to world music touches, threaded together by impassioned playing and the mind of Bob Moses. Too many jammers to count in this cast - I quickly browsed and saw Bill Frisell, Jim Pepper, Nana Vasconcelos, Sheila Jordan (with an amazing vocal on "Happy to Be Here Today")... This is a soul record, as in, good for the soul. Share widely and protect the dreaming elephants.



Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Mix for Fall




New mix for you. I've been listening to the recently departed John Ashbery read his work. Some losses hit harder than others. I suppose there's some comfort in the fact that he seemed more equipped, intellectually and emotionally, for death than most other people (I'd include myself in this group). I hope that in the poems that bookend this mix, I've selected works that are representative of his singular mind and to the experience of this point of the year, a moment of profoundly felt transition. 

john ashbery - collective dawns / roscoe mitchell quartet - naima
george shearing - a tune for humming
glenn copeland - ghost house
don voegeli - remembering
mark barrott - driving to cap negret
gene pitney - autumn leaves
miroslav vitous - when face gets pale
yves tumor - ciervo / phill niblock - A Y U (live) / john cage - three dances for two amplified prepared pianos, part. 1
giovanni venosta - woman in late
faust - jennifer
gastr del sol - blues subtitled no sense of wonder
marion brown - november cotton flower
cleaners from venus - a fool like you
steven brown and benjamin lew - moments
nico - no one is there
david sylvian - where the railroad meets the sea
yumiko morioka - moon ring
john ashbery - just walking around

lmk if you want a d/l link in comments! 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Terje Rypdal - Works (1985)


Y'all probably know Terje better than me. For me, he's always been the ethereal dude my creative writing teacher played for us during a stream-of-consciousness writing sesh in high school, the guy whose music I snidely brushed off at the time but always secretly (thought? felt?) was cool. 

A good place to start for the uninitiated, or, like me, re-initiated. Rypdal seems to be getting his due, with a reissue of his debut album and a Rune Grammophon-backed tribute album (gotta check that one out). But you know what you're getting here - the cover says it all. Nothing but ECM-soaked mood, with the piercing cries of TR's axe to guide you through the misty night.

Here's a live version of 'Waves':


Sunday, October 29, 2017

Colin Newman - Provisionally Entitled The Singing Fish (1981)


Love this on a Sunday. I've been listening to a lot of This Heat side projects lately (Camberwell Now, Gareth Williams/Mary  Currie), this is hitting me in that sweet spot, guess I need to go down the Wire rabbit hole now (any recs?). Not too many ideas at once, perfectly arranged, smart electronic pop songs. "Fish Seven" is my favorite at the moment, sounds like he's jamming with first-album-era Harmonia. Dig that provisional fish!


Monday, October 16, 2017

Brian Eno - Textures (1989)


Don't think I've ever posted Eno here before - huge oversight, I guess I assume most of his work is readily available. Heard about this one on the defunct-for-years Puzz1e blog. Wonder how Eno ended up releasing work for a music library label? Guess it makes a lot of sense... Anyway, seeing the asking price on discogs, I don't feel too guilty about sharing this.

This one is all over the shop: right now, I'm listening to "Evil Thoughts", a slow-burn funk number that wouldn't sound out of place on a Ned Doheny record. Some songs have caught my ear with their use of field recordings of animals/wind instruments (or simulacra of these), so buckle up, fourth worlders. Something for everyone! Maybe I've just been listening to a lot of that RVNG K. Leimer comp, but I'm hearing that in terms of the eclecticism on show.

Liner notes: 





Friday, October 13, 2017

Steve Kuhn - Steve Kuhn (1971)


For the first time in a while, as evidenced by some recent posts, I've been vibing with the '70's. This one's got it for miles - smooth post-bop runs on the electric piano, soulful vocals from SK reminiscent on occasion of bossa nova, a killer rhythm section (Ron Carter, Billy Cobham AND Airto!?!), some of-the-time spazz outs... get you some!



Sunday, October 8, 2017

Sigi Schwab, Chris Hinze, Jasper Van't Hof - Total Musik (1982)


File somewhere between electronic, jazz, classical and folk, with a little mbira on top. Sometime I'll get around to posting Schwab's album "Meditation", which is up there with some of Ashra's longform guitar workouts of the 70's. And Jasper Van't Hof's explorations of African music and collaborations with Archie Shepp, Markus Stockhausen, etc. will get their due soon too. Guitar, flute, woodwinds, thumb piano, acoustic piano, synths... give your ears a highbrow sound bath. 



Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Bennie Maupin - The Jewel in the Lotus (1974)


Had the pleasure of seeing Bennie and his band recently at a music festival in Watts. They played some crowd-pleasers ("Butterfly", "Watermelon Man"), it was great stuff. This one's a bit beyond all that, free, alternating between the serene theme of opener "Ensenada" and the chilling incantations and drone of "Excursion". Herbie is in fine form here. I'd feel remiss if I didn't note that the title track is one loping, moody stream of a song. Gorgeous...





Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Susumu Yokota - Grinning Cat (2001)


Impressed at how contemporary this sounds, apart from the odd trip-hop/boom-bap beat every now and then... 

Piano sounds, jazz guitar, voices coming out of left field, everything you'd want from this departed master of the space between house and ambient. I'm hearing the groundwork of Ahnnu (World Music) and Nerftoss in this.

See also:

Music by Susumu at opium hum, Listen to This!, and 20jfg.



Friday, September 22, 2017

Jaki & Czukay Mix




Tracklist:

kraftwerk - ruckzuck (edit - s/t)
ecstatic sunshine - faceplant (yesterday's work)
pram - loredo venus (The stars are so big...)
can - dizzy dizzy (soon over babaluma)
nerftoss - chase/boomerang (mood index)
marc barreca - oleo strut (twilight)
broadcast - message from home (work and non work)
jan jelinek - im diskodickicht (kosmischer pitch)
harald grosskopf - oceanheart (oceanheart)
harmonia - gollum (deluxe)
holger czukay - boat-woman-song (edit, from ohm: the early gurus of electronic music)
phantom band - rolling (s/t)
jacober/farina/hamilton - ? (rinse)
ashra - mistral (belle alliance)

this mix is for jaki liebezeit and holger czukay, not even putting a dent in the debt i owe you for your works on this earth. music you made, music by friends and fellow travelers, music inspired by yours, music i hope you would have liked. rest in power.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Fred Neil - Bleecker and MacDougal (1965)


I love this man's baritone, and the tremelo'd-out, wistful sound of a song like "The Water is Wide." Enjoy this and keep cool out there, folks.



Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Roches - Nurds (1980)


Or, in other words:


I love these women and their music. If you're into "Rise Above"/"Bitte Orca"-era Dirty Projectors, you'll thank history for that time in the late 70's when NYC punk and the Kitchen crowd cross-pollinated with Americana in the form of these sisters and their songs.


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

imaginary radio mix 8.1

Sounds for the thick of summer...




horace andy - something on my mind
seu jorge & almaz - everybody loves the sunshine
roland bocquet - l'abeille
helado negro - lengua larga
dustin wong and takako minekawa - elastic astral peel
the pyramid - summer evening
bjorn torke & prins thomas - arthur
duster - gold dust
world standard - mirage
x.y.r. - dolphin smile
music from "lines horizontal" (Norman McLaren 1962)
khotin - something is happening to me
dj sports - stellar clusters
bobbi humphrey - mestizo eyes
steve hiett - standing there

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Hajime Mizoguchi ‎– Halfinch Dessert


Some very soothing arrangements from this violinist / composer. Reminiscent of some of Ryuichi's soundtrack work or Seigen Ono's music... some nice world music/synth touches throughout. Ride out on this one as the sun sets on Sunday... Thanks to Okonkole y Trompa for exposing me to this! 

  

Friday, July 21, 2017

Plone - For Beginner Piano (1999)


Breezy, bubbly, electronic pop, mostly instrumentals. Sounds like these guys were really into collecting old synths and drum machines, it's an analogue fetishist's cloud nine. Moments of self-titled debut era YMO.

Here's "Plock," thanks to the Chimneys over at Dream Chimney for introducing to this piece of 90's gold: 





Thursday, July 20, 2017

Manzanita




Thought I'd share some music of my own. These are some tracks I was working down in late 2015 - early 2016, I'd bought a cheap synth earlier in the year and wanted to make my prog-noise-whatever masterpiece. I like the arrangements, it felt funny not putting this out there, so there it is for your perusal. If you want a zip file of the album, message me in the comments and we'll work it out. 

Enjoy!

Steve Hiett - Down on the Road by the Beach (1983)


A wonderful, warm piece of music. These guitars sound like how I want guitars to sound, like JJ Cale playing through a Jazz Chorus with a ton of reverb. Recorded with members of Moonriders, Sadistic Mika Band and Elliott Randall from the one and only Steely D. Great songs, feels for miles... put the top down and drive off toward the sunset. 



Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Bjorn Torske & Prins Thomas: "On U"

On repeat.


Deram Dayze (Compilation, 1987)


Lovely compilation of 45's from the British label featuring, right off the bat, a young Cat Stevens singing a jaunty song about Jell-O ties and boots made out feathers, some tasty psychedelia, and, for my purposes, the 2 songs recorded by The Pyramid, a group featuring Steve Hiett (who would go on to record "Down on the Road by the Beach," I'll post that later...). It's pretty much all about "Summer Evening," folks.

  

Monday, May 15, 2017

Natural Creation Mix



Some strange bedfellows here, but it works, I think.

Tracklist: 

bob dylan - all the tired horses
dj zozi - mellow vibe
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith - Bobbing Beams of Light
silver apples - lovefingers
susumu yokota - nisemono no uta
ian boddy - into view
hector zazou - vera c
lawrence - untitled #9
seigen ono - waterfront
jefferson airplane - today
john fahey - let go
john bender - 27b4
thundercat - is it love?
georgia - canal din (open voice)
iury lech - de la melancolia

Thanks to OPIUM HUM and Listen to This! blogs for sourcing some of these gems. Enjoy!


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Suburban Lawns - Suburban Lawns (1981)





^^^ favorite song / video of 2017. Called it. Nothing's gonna top this. Everyone else give up ^^^



Thursday, April 20, 2017

Ikue Mori - Painted Desert

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Sharing this one purely on the promise of the first track, which I put on a mix years ago. Revisited said mix on a drive up the California coast last week and fell right back into the feelings "Mojave" produces, the heat shimmer of those twin tremolo guitars, the gorgeous simplicity of Mori's drums. From the vertiginous swells of "Medicine Man" to the panned call and response of "Santa Ana Excursion," the whole album is music with a sense of space - I want to walk around in these sounds.

Mori is joined here by Marc Ribot and Robert Quine (sometime soon I'll get around to sharing Quine and Fred Maher's "Basic," another bonafide masterwork of texture and space). Fans of Durutti Column and Rangers will find much to love here.


  

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Apmonia Mix

New mix over at the cloud.


Maybe this'll become a regular thing!

Tracklist:

samuel beckett - from 'watt'
la monte young - excerpt from the 'dream house' album
glenn copeland - sunset village
quicksails - faith feel
znr - solo un dia
suzanne kraft - fragile
grand veymont - je cours après avant (excerpt)
roomful of teeth - partita II. Sarabande
robert ashley - the backyard
grand veymont - je cours après avant (excerpt)
jansen / barbieri - breaking the silence

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Dorothy Ashby - Django/Misty


Stumbled upon this on u-toob. Always down for a little Dorothy A. These all sound like solo recordings, I'm not really hearing any overdubs, just Mrs. Ashby doing what she did best on her harp. Looks like her last studio recording. 

The album artwork is by Yoko Ochida, who, yes, did the Henri Rousseau-like cover for Midori Takada's Through the Looking Glass, which you can snag here.



Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Grand Veymont - S/T EP

I just got back from seeing this band. Fantastic. I was hearing Broadcast, kosmische (one of their tags on bandcamp is 'krautrock de salon' - dig it), Stereolab, Terry Riley... I'm going to be singing their praises for quite a while, I think.

Enjoy!


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Join In - Kentalope Island



Can't remember when I came across this one, probably during my obsessive Eroc phrase (he's on the boards for this one). The title track's a killer instrumental that mellows out halfway through. 70's rock from Germany that's more proggy than psych-y. Guru Guru vibes throughout.

Worth it for the title track alone.

A very dedicated fan has provided lots of info on the album/group in the comments thread on discogs. Thanks ShakeYeahbouti!!!

 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

ZNR - Barricade 3


I think I came across these guys through a mix (maybe one of Jiro's?). Hector Zazou is the Z; Joseph Racaille (which has to be a stage name, it would be too cool to just be named "Joseph Scum") is the R, thus, Z'n'R. 

This one's all over the place, but is held together by the laid-back feel and willingness to experiment shown by the two (? - in any case, it feels like two) performers. Occasionally my Soft Machine whimsical proggy funny-bone is tickled. Electric pianos, synthesizers, (sometimes treated voice), guitars... singing/speaking in English, Spanish and French sometimes all in one song. Good for Sunday morning mental puttering.




Postscript: From time to time, I stall a bit with this blog/music blogs in general, the community produced (or lack thereof), etc. Today, while researching for a mix I'm putting together for friends (a primer on reggae), I revisited what we could call a "frozen blog" - one of those wonderful archives teetering forever on the precarity of sudden removal. No posts for over five years. All the links are dead. But it still exists, like a virtual cemetery, for you to go traipsing through if you have an inkling. A snapshot in time of a fellow traveler's explorations in taste, and one of my early inspirations for starting this site: Big Head Stevenson

  

Monday, March 13, 2017

Buddy Emmons - Steel Guitar Jazz (1963)


Warm vibes for the beginning of spring. Right up there with Chet Atkins' Hollywood album in terms of gorgeous guitar nostalgia-for-a-time-that-never-existed-/-that-you-never-lived-though. Try walking around in a grumpy mood with this coming through your headphones. Impossible. 





Saturday, February 25, 2017

Glenn Copeland - "Ghost House"


I first came across Glenn Copeland's music via the ever-impressive Listen to This! blog, who posted his 1986 masterpiece "Keyboard Fantasies" last year. Go check it out over there if you haven't heard it, or, better yet, buy it here or here (just rereleased on vinyl by Invisible City). 

I just got finished watching Loving. It messed me up. Most everything I see and hear about my country these days messes me up. Imagining the brutality of daily existence for the Loving family, living in a place whose local police and legislators didn't want them, the legal body that was them, yet furtively inhabiting that space, a space that was always under threat of being violated, shattered in the night... it burns me up, but their defiance and intractable will to go on assuages any pain I feel, sitting in a room thousands of miles from home, a home that terrifies me more and more each day. The persistence of  love assuages terror.


I think Glenn Copeland's music would have made a perfect compliment to the soundtrack of Loving, which, like so much of Jeff Nichols' work, is so much about the silent strain of human contact, about what should come bursting out of people in hot words but instead lingers painfully in faces, in Southern eyes sometimes welling with tears. Copeland calls out to his love, lamenting their (permanent?) absence from their home become a house, a ghost house. So much of Loving revolves around homes, those intimate spaces we so often taken for granted as private; however, history can shatter one's sense of propriety with the brusqueness of a flashlight on a marital bed. When Copeland wails, "My flesh a naked window here waits for you," he offers up the leap of faith that is love, the possibility of reunion to-come (in that tradition of Derrida's wonderful coinage, à-venir, the future as always to-come and thus never closed, an idea I need to keep close at heart now, always).

Rather than post Copeland's album for download, I've provided her song above. The whole album is beautiful and can be bought directly from the artist here

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams - Third Plane


Some highly pleasurable excursions from these three, who previously got their ya-ya's out as members of Miles' second quintet. Vibes to contemplate by. 



Saturday, January 7, 2017

Hi there! Repost from Microphones in the Trees

Happy new year, folks. No new albums to post at the moment, but I noticed that Microphones in the Trees posted a review of the new album by Baltimore natives Rod Hamilton and Tiffany Seal, "Versatile Ambience." Thought I'd add my praise to the solid review from MitT; I've had the pleasure of seeing Rod perform many times over the years, and his new collaborations with Tiffany are breathtakingly lovely. Really happy to see/hear an album's worth of these tunes emerge. Please check out their music here and buy a copy of the tape!

Here's a video of Rod and Tiffany doing what they do, inimitably, at an iteration of a yearly art showcase I put on w/ friends in the Baltimore area: