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Aug. 22nd, 2017

cyberinsekt

Manolo Kabezabolo - Pisan Detrás

Not many people outside of his native Spain know about Manolo Kabezabolo. He's embodied the spirit of authentic DIY outsider punk better than just about anyone else, recording predominantly as a one man band for the last 25 years. For a while he didn't even bother with instruments, although things did pick up when he relented and got himself a guitar. This year he played Japan for the first time, and what's more did it with a full band, Los Ke No Dan Pie Kon Bolo. Knowing the Japanese love of classic metal they played a bunch of covers which are now collected on the EP Manuel Japan, credited to "Iron Mendez". Here's Pisan Detrás, which you probably know better as the Ramones' Beat On The Brat. It's fantastic to hear him enjoying himself in front of an enthusiastic crowd like this. Full download is free from http://manolokabezabolo.es/.

Manolo Kabezabolo - Pisan Detrás
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Aug. 21st, 2017

cyberinsekt

The Fall - Nine Out Of Ten

Do you still like The Fall? It's a hard question to answer these days. Retrospect always rounds things up, but the band have usually had a few dodgy songs per album and still do. It's just that they're not often being balanced out by the good stuff, those classic narratives from a parallel world. The new album, New Facts Emerge seems swollen with characterless stodge and bombast. Maybe I need to accept that the Fall just aren't for me at the moment.

But then I hear tracks like the nearly 9 minute long album closer, Nine Out Of Ten. It's a massively paired back affair, just Mark E Smith's demented balladeering over Peter Greenway's echoing, rock'n'roll strumming. It's rough, it's painful and it's nothing if not ambitious. The final five minutes is given over it their entirety to Greenway working overtime. He does virtually nothing but strum, coaxing the rhythms out of hiding and untangling them. He works his material like it was raga folk, looking at the music from every side and determinedly playing it through right to the end. It's primitive and it's bloody great.

The Fall - Nine Out Of Ten
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Aug. 19th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Soundwalk Collective/Jesse Paris Smith/Patti Smith - My Heart Is Empty

Nico died in 1988. She was cycling from her Ibiza home into town to score some weed but never arrived. A sudden brain haemorrhage caused her to black out and she died in hospital the same day.

The 2016 album Killer Road by the Soundwalk Collective together with Patti Smith and her daughter Jesse Paris Smith documents this fatal journey. It uses field recordings made on Ibiza together with modular synths and Nico's own poetry to create a work of uncomfortable intimacy. My Heart is Empty is a particularly horrifying murder tale built from the natural banality of insects, wind and birdsong. The synthesized sound builds like the heat of the day and Patti Smith's whispered narration sounds as if she is speaking from within your inner ear. It's incredible that ambient music can be so dramatic and intense.

Soundwalk Collective/Jesse Paris Smith/Patti Smith - My Heart Is Empty
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Aug. 18th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Sunburned Hand of the Man - A Red Rag to a Bull

For a decade Sunburned Hand of the Man were a prolific presence on the experimental music scene. That ended with the 2010 release of their final album, A. While it's not their most successful work there's still a few gems to be found on there. I'm personally rather fond of A Red Rag to a Bull, which has one of the most amazingly broken bass lines ever. It's a pulsating, pounding beat that has all the audio cues associated with being the driving force of a banger, but time signatures play havoc with it. It's like trying to run on a bed of smashed bricks, which is then strewn with the broken glass of the tuned percussion. You could do yourself a lot of damage with this one if you're not careful.

Sunburned Hand of the Man - A Red Rag to a Bull
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Aug. 17th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Povarovo - After Breake

I don't know much about Povarovo, and for once that makes me even with the rest of the world. No-one knows much about this Russian ensemble, as they decided to remain anonymous. What do know is their music: doomy noir-ish jazz in the same vein as Bohren und der Club of Gore or the Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble. Some commentators have claimed a neoclassical sensibility to their music, though I can't say I hear that outside the piano. What Povarovo were really all about though was the bass: it runs through After Breake like a swelling bruise. Tormented eroticism from their 2012 album Tchernovik.

Povarovo - After Breake
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Aug. 16th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Félicia Atkinson - VALIS

I fear that some people are going to hear the music of Félicia Atkinson and hear only one thing: ASMR. If you're lucky enough to be unfamiliar with the term, a few words on the subject. Autonomous sensory meridian response is the term used to describe hair-raising or tingling sounds by a subculture of YouTube fetishists who perpetually deny their arousal. The fact that almost all of these videos are presented by soft-spoken young women whispering banal nothings while stroking bedlinen is, we are assured, entirely coincidental.

THE EMPIRE NEVER ENDED

And on a surface level, it's hard to deny that Félicia Atkinson does have the ASMR voice. Her filtered French accent is encased in a soft echo and highlighted by lots of lip pops and tongue clicks. It's an eerie sound, even more so when laid over the glacially slow and deep bass line, replete with crackles and crumbling audio artefacts. Atkinson takes a series of readings from Philip K Dick's troubling semi-autobiographical work VALIS about the systems of control that trap us inside the perceptual world.

THE EMPIRE NEVER ENDED

It's a wonderfully mysterious piece, presented with the utmost sincerity. Find it on her 2017 album Hand In Hand.

Félicia Atkinson - VALIS
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Aug. 15th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Eugene Chadbourne - Take This Job And Shove It

I will always love Eugene Chadbourne's 1980 album There'll Be No Tears Tonight. It's a idiosyncratic blend of Nashville and free improv. In places he splices genres every other bar, much like his sometime collaborator John Zorn, but the bulk of this is his avant garde take on working class country grievance music. File alongside Henry Flynt and Cornelius Cardew under First Steps In The Culture War.

Eugene Chadbourne - Take This Job And Shove It
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Aug. 14th, 2017

cyberinsekt

The Lounge Lizards - Bob The Bob

I love the musical trajectory of John Lurie and the Lounge Lizards. They started as not-quite-pastiche, adopting deliberately retro stylings as if to apologise for the fact that they were playing jazz at all. As the years went by, those little signifiers began to fade. The band became less performative and more performers, until by the end of the 1980s they were unafraid of making music that was beautiful, emotional and honest.

Here's one such piece, Bob The Bob from the 1989 release Voice of Chunk. It's a slight little piece with a gorgeous South African feel, and a melody that feels like breathing out forever. Tranquil and glorious.

The Lounge Lizards - Bob The Bob
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Aug. 13th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Helena Celle - Streaming Music for Biometrics

Let's get one thing out of the way first. Helena Celle isn't just any old alias. It is, as any pro wrestling fan will immediately acknowledge, the best alias. It belongs to Kay Logan, a trans musician from Glasgow who uses it when she isn't playing punk with her band Anxiety. Helena Celle uses dictaphone recordings and guitar amps to make a massively lo-fi kind of looped electronica, as cheap and crunchy and warped as a bag of Quavers.

Streaming Music for Biometrics is dirty, organic music. It's full of tape wobble, speaker buzz and crackle, line noise and unforced errors. That's really why this has such charm. It's from the 2016 album If I Can't Handle Me At My Best, You Don't Deserve You At Your Worst, which subverts the selfish, demanding excesses of camp for something far more generous. Not where you'd necessarily expect to find such empathy, and all the more welcome for it.

Helena Celle - Streaming Music for Biometrics
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Aug. 12th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Food - Khymos

Despite the presence of Englishman Iain Ballamy on sax, Food are one of the quintessentially Norwegian jazz acts. It's that monochrome twilight sound, where all the colour has been stripped from the sound and the textures are thrown into sharp relief. Khymos comes from their 2007 album Molecular Gastronomy, and it's a brooding piece that slides across the slightly worn and transparent musical surface. Magnificent electronic soundmaking.

Food - Khymos
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Aug. 11th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Vibration Black Finger - Ofilli

Lascelle Lascelles, AKA Lascelle Gordon has been around a while. He's played with the Brand New Heavies, Campag Velocet and Heliocentric World. His latest project is Vibration Black Finger, where he goes back to the electric jazz fusion of the 1970s and brings it right up to date. I really dig Ofilli from his 2017 album Blackism. It's half urgent tv cop funk, half spiritual flute and bass conversation. The thing is that the whole piece is covered by a patina of sonic graffiti; it sounds like the room is full of a dozen mobiles all chirruping away with different notifications throughout. Shouldn't work, but it does. Punk as fuck.

Vibration Black Finger - Ofilli
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Aug. 10th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Pinuccio Sciola and Elettroflebo - Pietre Sonore

Pinuccio Sciola is a sculptor and sound artist who carves rocks until he can control their natural resonance. Often this means scoring a deep grid of lines across the surface, leaving his monolithic instruments looking like some alien game board. From a purely visual standpoint they are arresting, with the regularity of the lines contrasting strongly with the natural materials. As Sciola scrapes and rubs their surfaces, he creates a sound not unlike that of the glass armonica. Here he is joined by the ensemble Elettroflebo who add to his ghostly sonic experiments with a layer of electroacoustic sheen. Fascinating avant-garde soundscapes.

Pinuccio Sciola and Elettroflebo - Pietre Sonore
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Aug. 9th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Chino Amobi - Warszawa

Brian Eno's Music For Airports is an undoubted classic, but it's seldom mentioned just how much a document it is of a forgotten age. When he wrote it, the airports that Eno had in mind were the becalmed lounges of privilege. Budget airlines were still an anomaly, and flight was the preserve of the comfortably off. Being able to fly had a cachet, it afforded the traveller the benefits of class.

These days passengers know no such deference. And why would they? After all, these days anyone can board a plane: political types, poor people, people of colour. Hence Chino Amobi's 2016 album Airport Music for Black Folk. This is an entirely different type of airport: gone are the comfortable seats, replaced only with hostility and suspicion. The record is a nightmare journey around the terminals of Europe, and none is more threatening than the hellish Warszawa. It's three minutes of blaring sirens and flashing lights, oppressive and headache-inducing. This is stark, high-contrast and unerringly political: powerful stuff.

Chino Amobi - Warszawa
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Aug. 8th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Beef and Dairy Network - Rich Beef Sausages

What's your favourite beef meal? The Beef and Dairy Network asked this question of its listeners and they called to give their answers. The results may surprise you.

Beef and Dairy Network - Rich Beef Sausages
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Aug. 7th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Marc Barreca - The Urge To Buy Terrorizes You

This extraordinary music had only ever seen release on cassette until the recent vinyl pressing. Marc Barreca's Music Works For Industry, released in 1983, is very much in the 1970s Big Art Statement scheme of things. Think Robert Ashley, or the collaborations of Philip Glass and Robert Wilson. Except that Barreca was if not an outsider, then very much part of the cultural undercurrent. He made music that was part Eno-esque electronics, part library music, part formalist absurdist electro pop.

There's not a lot musically to The Urge To Buy Terrorizes You, but every part of it from the title on down feels absolutely right. I think 2017 is absolutely ready for this music.

Marc Barreca - The Urge To Buy Terrorizes You
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Aug. 6th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Don Cherry - Chenrezig

Just about every cut on Don Cherry's 1975 album Brown Rice is a classic. The title track and Degi-Degi are bone fide funk classics, with Charlie Haden's wah wah bass a complete revelation, and Malkauns is of the the most sublime jazz ragas of the 1970s. But it's the album's third track, the Tibetan influenced Chenrezig that is the album's most individual piece.

A lot of this is Cherry's choice of bassist. Instead of Haden he recruited the relatively unknown Hakim Jamil. Jamil didn't record much, but there are some real gems in his catalogue; he's responsible for making sure Archie Shepp's Attica Blues never stops burning. Here he's in charge of a far more sepulchral riff where you can hear the strength of his hands as he bends the strings to his will. There's some low key chanting with a bit of throatsinger edge to it. And from all of these earthy sounds comes Cherry's polished, serene and utterly honest trumpet explorations. It's a magical combination. I love Cherry's earlier phase, the good-hearted shambolic hippy mess of his Swedish recordings, but this is on a whole other level. It's amazing that only a few years separate the two, it's an almost total change of aesthetic. No coolness for the finish though: the band are on total powerhouse mode the piano doing the heavy lifting as Cherry squeals and squawks his way out of the building.

Don Cherry - Chenrezig
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Aug. 5th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Amadou Binta Konté and Tidiane Thiam - Dialélam

Dialélam is a laconic improvisation from this Senegalese duo. It's pretty much a field recording, or in this case a village one. You can hear children in the background as Konté and Thiam play their guitar and hoddu (one of the ancestors of the modern banjo). The first thing that will hit you is the lazy warmth of the sound, but after these two have done a few rounds you start to appreciate how rhythmically precise they're being while still taking this long exploratory journey together. Absolutely gorgeous improv for drifting downriver to; find it on the 2017 album Waande Kadde.

Amadou Binta Konté and Tidiane Thiam - Dialélam
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Aug. 4th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Marielle V Jakobsons - Crystal Orchard

Marielle V Jakobsons' 2012 album Glass Canyon is themed around the minerality of sound. Rocks don't just go thud when you bang them together. Their crystalline structures give each of them their own particular set of resonances, and it's these that Jakobsons uses as inspiration for each of the album's 6 tracks.

Here's Crystal Orchards, which pairs a flat bass triggered by organic flutters with some scintillating violin ostinato. It swells beautifully, only to run into some delightfully destructive electronic obliteration. An absolutely gorgeous little piece.

Marielle V Jakobsons - Crystal Orchard
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Aug. 3rd, 2017

cyberinsekt

Jameszoo - Flake

Mitchel Van Dinther records as Jameszoo, making playfully experimental electronic jazz. Flake, from his 2016 album Fool, is a typically restless piece. I suspect Van Dinther is more confident in putting together a group of really cool sounds than his songwriting. This is packed full of ideas, but seems to lack a certain identity. Flake recalls the metal drop keyboard sounds of the '90s, and shifts from atonal meanderings into sparse Rick James funk and finally lush Nobukazu Takemura toybox jazz. So yes, it is all over the place, but some of those places have views you'd never otherwise get to see.

Jameszoo - Flake
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Aug. 2nd, 2017

cyberinsekt

Chuck Johnson - Riga Black

God help us all we're going to listen to some pedal steel guitar. That is, I suppose, the bad news. The good news is that Chuck Johnson uses his instrument to play a wistful ambient post-rock kind of pedal steel: think of Stars of the Lid beneath a moonlit western sky. Riga Black is from his 2017 release Balsams and it's a rich and atmospheric piece. Absolutely gripping.

Chuck Johnson - Riga Black
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