Mystery may surround who this is and the underlying suggestion of second status from the releases’ titles may undermine the strength of quality contained. However, these three tracks each exude an explosive calibre which inform the music beginning with the liquid funkiness of the title track, Defeated. Powered by an addictive bassline, augmented by emotive chords and rushes of sound this is spine-tingling, excellent music. Glimmer, follows next with deeper intent, while the equally striking Sentiment completes with pounding yet soulfully charged grooves that major both in syncopation plus heady atmosphere.
The title track from Mario Franca’s brand new EP for Brise contains the kind of bassline you want to live in. It envelopes you in a warm glow of deepness which is only enhanced by evolving pads and the gentle shimmer of marimba. By the breakdown grittier synth lines introduce themselves but these are soon resolved when the arrangement continues to pulse with a transcendent light on this excellent production. The Helmut Dubnitzky remix adds extra edge with punctuating drums and stabs providing a notable alternative, while second original Oceano has a bouncier quality to its sassy groove.
A wonderful, beautifully realised piece of music that despite its brisk, grainy qualities is full of life-affirming warmth. The title track’s brittle rhythm track is offset by atmospheric, haunting pads and stabbing sounds as the infectious, fiery drum programing soon asserts itself. It all then feeds into the imagination with a remaining hint of yearning grasping out for resolution. Roscoe, follows upping the tempo and intensity in an altogether different direction while serving the dancefloor’s needs via rolling bass and shuffling hats. Which leaves the uneven, unnerving sequences of Snake Oil to complete with more futuristic sounds fuelling yet more beautiful possibilities.
Karlheinz Stockhausen was a prolific composer and creator/ manipulator of sound. He lived between 1928 and 2007 in which time he composed some 376 works. His legacy and the ideas incorporated within last and inspire to this day, perhaps in ways that you may not even be aware of. Beginning to compose pieces at the beginning of the 1950’s what you will hear contained from that time is Kontra Punte (Counter-Points) from 1952-53. Which rearranges the classical repertoire into new, almost shapeless forms as he and composers of a similar mind-set challenged how music could be made after the second world war. Remaining otherworldly – with a spiritual dimension – redefining what was possible/ acceptable is an accolade only afforded to a few throughout the history of music.
This three cd boxset from EL charts the territory explored by Stockhausen while also including work by Pierre Boulez, examples of musique concrète from Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry alongside others which used recorded sounds as raw material. These collages of stimulation exist in a unique space of their own, even now, reflecting an uneasy world around them, yet there is also something reassuring about the flowing, freeform of expression as they take your imagination and run with it. Stockhausen’s own Gesang der Jünglinge inspired The Beatles – Revolution 9 and you can hear how too (and he’s there on the cover of Sergeant Pepper’s). The third disc: Electronic Music For The Mind And Body features further studies in those concepts like John Cage’s magnificent Aria with Fontana Mix, as well as from Iannis Xenakis and the wonderful György Ligeti. The collection is accompanied by an invaluable booklet containing photographs and text setting this incredible story in context. And if you want to look beyond the familiar worlds of melody and syncopation then this is a perfect starting point.
Comprising six tracks of strummed, plucked abandon this new EP from Lela Amparo tugs at heartstrings as much as it does flick on life’s emotional switch. As you will hear below a streak of melancholy carves its niche throughout, yet the music has a celebratory American quality too. It’s big on atmosphere, perhaps just simply high on life. And again qualifies as music to get lost somewhere in, maybe just for the moment, but all the same proves to be a rather beautiful experience to while away time.
If music wasn’t subjective then we wouldn’t talk about it. If Brian Eno didn’t exist then the world would be different. If you have not heard these albums before how you perceive experience will change. Is all of this important? You know it is. The one word that doesn’t count here is, Nostalgia. With any other type of music – with the exception of Classical – that term can be applied. Certainly Disco, certainly describing decades too. And that allows for a kind of breathy application to the music that generates its own space and vitality. A resolution that dissolves into time, breathing an eternity of potential around it. The thing is, you can feed your own emotions and experiences into these evolving landscapes. Perhaps that process is what is so valuable, uniquely rewarding you in your own location. The re-release of this set of Eno’s four defining albums is always perfect timing. Options are a) Deluxe, limited edition 2 LP heavyweight vinyl, remastered at half-speed for 45 RPM. B) Standard 1 LP vinyl, remastered at normal speed for 33 RPM. But back to the music…
Music For Airports is one of my favourite albums period. It has been for a very long time now. I’m glad it’s hard to capture the words to describe the heightened emotions it produces but perhaps try picturing, Eno ‘spending several hours waiting at Cologne Bonn Airport, becoming annoyed by the uninspired sound and the atmosphere it created’. And then witness the creating of his own soundtrack to accompany an alternative airport experience. In retrospect it is also slightly bizarre that this album was originally released in 1978 at the height of the pointed, angry energy of almost everything else that surrounded it. That’s equally, uniquely Brian Eno, who incidentally produced some of those very bands too: Devo, Ultravox etc. Each of the other albums holds a special significance numbering: Discreet Music (1975), Music For Films (1976), and finally On Land (1982). I have purposefully avoided the word Ambient here because that may colour your idea of what might happen next. When what might actually happen is that your brain might explode into a sea of thought, pulsing with sound and motion. Listen.
Infused with a liquid funkiness that’s hard to pin down Gábor Szeles aka No Else supplies four equally killer numbers for Roush. The title track, Get Ya kicks off with a series of fiery, no messing drums and bass which became all the more fascinating when augmented by the creative sounds and effects colouring the stereo. The crunchy, Tape Matters comes next with shuffling rhythms offset by more crazy voice snippets and ideas moulding themselves into your subconscious. While, Off The Handle then aims squarely for the dancefloor, leaving the addictive snares and hi-hats of the excellent Popstop to work themselves into distraction completing this first rate release.
Of course this is good. But then Superfreq never fails to present itself in anything less than the most positive light, which in this case, casts a gaze across the four excellent tracks making up Vol.2. Opening with Tenampa’s Gabriel I and Italian producer Rawbach who have co-produced the devilish, exhilarating raptures of Taured the excitement and energy levels are set to stun. Delicate Droids follow with the wonky bass driven Not Fit To Make Tea, while Radio Rental’s robust Deep Lana follows on with more probing, refreshing music. The teasing Acidic tones of Zap Club by A-Eno-Acid then round of the selection with its reference to the Brighton venue. Each track a standout in their own right.
Exported from the home of Parisian record shop Syncrophone the artist Gibs has created beautiful music that is both life-assuring and emotionally charged. Opening the release with the percussion fuelled Find An Oasis, which suitably comes drenched in atmospheric strings creating the sort of atmosphere you would want to get lost in. Beyond that the bass is taught as it delivers a definite dancefloor punch alongside the remaining drums and imaginative use of sounds which highlight the edges. Jakarta, feels deeper, more probing in nature as it explores darker territory. Leaving the rich, jazzy vibes of Der Germain to complete another great release of sound from Phonogramme.
Oleg Shpudeiko aka Heinali revisits his alias once again, for the purpose of this album, to deliver a cascade of shimmering motifs which resonate together like fire and ice. There is a dramatic depth of emotion reached for via the conduits of electronic sounds which are times gentle, reassuring and at others simply stark. Iridescent, for example explores the brutal architecture of techno without the drum machines and is almost overwhelming. Whereas the proceeding, Shadow Invention imagines melancholy scenarios that pulse and fuse the airwaves with poignancy. Either way you’re left with the feeling that something wonderful has just crossed your horizon as the music dives and rises across boundaries of mood and expectation.