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Aug. 1st, 2017

cyberinsekt

Anika - Love Buzz

In reality Annika Henderson was born is Surrey and worked as a political journalist before teaming up with Geoff Barrow to make music. That's reality all over: boring prosaic and forever missing the more interesting stories. How much better would it have been if Anika was actually an art student from Potsdam in the early 1980s? She'd heard Neue Deustche Welle music and had recorded her own, but because she was behind the Iron Curtain the master tapes languished in a suitcase until they were rediscovered in 2010. I dunno, I guess some people just want recognition for their creative labour.

Love Buzz comes from the 2013 Anika EP and it really does sound as if it could have emerged from some vault of forgotten NDW. It's got that classic dull metronomic thud, and Anika's vocals go far beyond deadpan and emotionless into the almost comically gloomy. It's such a great piece of theatre; just as cavernous as the original by Shocking Blue, but far more knowing about how to fill that space.

Anika - Love Buzz
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Jul. 31st, 2017

cyberinsekt

Ty Segall Band - Slaughterhouse

When you like your garage punk to be primitive and urgent... well actually that's most of it to be honest. But when you want it buried beneath a thick pane of echo and for it still to sound raw, that's when you want the Ty Segall Band. Here's the title track from their 2012 album Slaughterhouse: one riff and 90 seconds of screaming is all you need. Sounds like it was recorded in a sewer, but powerful as all hell.

Ty Segall Band - Slaughterhouse
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Jul. 30th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe - The Singing Towers

Here's a brief piece from Two Orb Reel, the new album by Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, better known by his alias Lichens. It's all modular synth work, and consequently has a distinctly '70s feel to the sound. It's seemingly a return to the very fundamental experimentation of the era too, with its humming drone and aleatory modulations. But something very unexpected happens. Those modulations turn out to be not as random as first it seemed. It's almost as if they're a message, being passed on in a carrier wave. As the sound swells and coarsens all trace of that information is eventually lost. The Singing Towers are electricity pylons, passing a song along the wires, and no-one is going to convince me otherwise.

Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe - The Singing Towers
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Jul. 29th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Reckonwrong - The Passions of Pez

Here's some new music we don't have a language for yet. Reckonwrong is the alias of producer Alex Peringer, and The Passions of Pez is as interesting a piece of avant-pop as you'll ever hear. Its loose rhythms cross and buckle each other, stretching and pulling the music like it was some kind of pizza dough. It feels awkward at first, uncomfortable and strange, yet before you know it Peringer's flattened vocals have made their way inside your head and refuse to leave. And when they do, those long hidden rhythm lines start to make perfect sense. I'm not a fan of the new wave soundscape, but this is brilliantly clever stuff.

Reckonwrong - The Passions of Pez
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Jul. 28th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Ø - Ilta

Mika Vainio, who died earlier this year, was a gateway drug for me. I'd been fascinated by electronic music as a kid, but then the '80s and the start of the '90s happened, and with every new note all I could hear was wasted potential. And then I heard Vainio's solo work as Ø for the first time, and it was like opening a door and being hit in the face with the cold air of the new.

Many commentators described Ø as being minimal techno. For the most part, that was a pretty good description. Vainio made music that was bare, assembled from clicks, hums and crackles. And early classics such as Roentgen did have the drive and velocity that you'd expect from such a term. But then there was music like Ilta, from the 1996 album Olento. On this Vainio chose to work entirely without a rhythm track. Instead it's just an submarine keyboard, enriched by bouncing echo, plumbing the depths of the low surface noise drone that emerges from its findings. Proof that music can be tranquil and completely non-wimpy.

Ø - Ilta
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Jul. 27th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Otoboke Beaver - Ultra Miracle Super Saiya Psyche Festival

Enough of miserable music. Otoboke Beaver make joyous dayglo garage punk that's both infectiously tuneful and hits like a enziguri. Ultra Miracle Super Saiya Psyche Festival comes from their 2016 album Okoshiyasu!! and is built around Hiro-chan's fantastic doubletime bassline. This is what pop music should sound like.

Otoboke Beaver - Ultra Miracle Super Saiya Psyche Festival
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Jul. 26th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Vanessa Amara - 03-03-2016

Change of pace for you: Vanessa Amara are the Danish duo of Birk Gjerlufsen and Victor Kjellerup. Their 2017 album Like All Mornings is a collection of pieces for piano and electronic feedback and is honestly one of the most unsettling things I've heard in a long time. What's more, these sparse, meditative pieces give every indication that they're meant to be calming, music to clear the head and start the day afresh.

The thing is, they're anything but. The pellucid keyboard sounds are overlaid with some seriously distressing aural imbalance. The resulting sound is teetering, forever on the brink of total nervous collapse, and I've really no idea this this was the intent or not. Perplexing, worrying music.

Vanessa Amara - 03-03-2016
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Jul. 25th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Circle X - Albeit Living

I'm no expert on class and culture in the United States. If you were to say Louisville, Kentucky, late 1970s, I would not have a good idea of what to expect. Didn't Slint emerge from Louisville? Okay, so the music scene might not have been totally awful. But sure as chips are chips I wouldn't have imagined it to be the hometown of one of the most vital of no wave bands.

Albeit Living comes from Circle X's self-titled EP released in 1980. It's raw, atonal and urgent and utterly without any form of pretence or irony. You can hear the earnestness and honesty that would go on to inform hardcore punk, but Circle X were definitely working in the defiantly tuneless mode of the earlier style. It's almost a proto-screamo thing they've got here. Well worth listening to, even if you don't fancy yourself an amateur punk historian.

Circle X - Albeit Living
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Jul. 24th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Orthrelm - Imamjj

We're partial to a bit of Mick Barr here at Doklands. He's the guitarist behind Orthrelm, Octis, and Ocrilim: Orthrelm means that he's playing with a live drummer, in this case Josh Blair. He plays an extreme form of minimal technical metal, pushing the limits of speed and pitch in the same way a dentist's drill pushes bone, and often equally painful. I've said before that his music is not repetitious, a statement that is often met with incredulity. While it's true that there's plenty of repetition on the micro scale (he can shred between a pair of notes for longer than is comfortable), Orthrelm songs tend to lack structural repetition. Once Barr has started, there's no going back no matter how much you want. The duo is best known for their 45-minute long OV, a track that surely pushes the physical boundaries of what individual musicians are capable of performing. Imamjj is of more manageable length, and at 4 minutes is one of the longer pieces from the 2011 Orthrelm Scollection.

Orthrelm - Imamjj
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Jul. 23rd, 2017

cyberinsekt

Uzeda - Ten Stars

Did you like the dry sounds of yesterday's Albini-produced number? Let's hope so because we've got another one today.

Uzeda were an Italian post-rock outfit from before post-rock was even a thing. They played interlocking math-y microriffs and their sound was full of abrasive scrapes and sudden lunges. Ten Stars is from their 1998 album Different Section Wires. Giovanna Cacciola's vocals switch between distracted half-spoken and pocket sized prizefighter; they maybe should have been given a bit more oomph, but this is still great.

Uzeda - Ten Stars
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Jul. 22nd, 2017

cyberinsekt

Mclusky - Collagen Rock

You remember Mclusky, right? Magnificent little noise rock band who were too daft to take terribly seriously, but who nonetheless played some awesomely tight tunes. I'm not entirely sure what's going on in Collagen Rock from Mclusky Do Dallas (2002). On the surface it's a jab at bands who put fashion before music, but Andy Falkous's vocals are so overemoting that it sounds like he's actually taking the piss that anyone should care about this. Either way it's a scratchy, detuned barnstormer of a song, helped by the classic Steve Albini production. Just daft with it.

Mclusky - Collagen Rock
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Jul. 21st, 2017

cyberinsekt

Bob Ostertag - Positive

I've been listening to Bob Ostertag for many years, on and off. Normally you know what you're going to get with his music. He's best known for his dense sample-based work, angry blasts of overloaded information. And normally "positive" is thought of as, well, a positive word. Neither of these hold true today.

For this track from the 1994 album Fear No Love, Ostertag chose to write a graceful extended piece of neo soul, with guest vocals from Raz Kennedy. Oh, he used all of his usual methods. Positive was assembled in his home studio from a wealth of audio fragments, it's just in this case he assembled them into a sweet and melancholy song. And there's the other unlikely thing. Yes, normally we welcome the positive, but Ostertag is one of the finest chroniclers of the the gay avant garde, so he casts an entirely different light on the word. Being positive could be a death sentence. A massively powerful piece.

Bob Ostertag - Positive
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Jul. 20th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Mystery Bob's Ukulele Singers - California Uber Alles

I don't know who Mystery Bob is, and perhaps that's the point. He was associated with the web forum b3ta in the early 2000s while they were quietly inventing internet culture. Some of it stuck (memes, kittens) some of it didn't (ukulele cover versions of popular songs). I like the way Bob and his mates don't hold back here. It may be naff, but it's honestly naff, and the clapping rhythms are fun and quite clever. Jello Biafra never wanted this, but screw him.

Mystery Bob's Ukulele Singers - California Uber Alles
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Jul. 19th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Rosa Yemen - Tso Xin Yu Xin

It would be great to be able to say that Lizzy Mercier Descloux never put a musical foot wrong, but it's not true. Like many experimental musicians she struggled with the 1980s; commercial pressures and bad decisions went hand in hand, and she fell from grace quicker than you can say "Let's Dance".

Still, the good stuff is really good, and in addition to her solo work there's the EP she recorded with boyfriend DJ Barnes as Rosa Yemen. From that 1979 release comes Tso Xin Yu Xin, a track that sounds like a spiky demo for Sonic Youth's Tunic.

Rosa Yemen - Tso Xin Yu Xin
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Jul. 18th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Norma Tanega - You're Dead

What We Do In The Shadows is one of the funniest films of recent years. It uses the spoof reality TV show format to follow a group of hapless vampires in Wellington, New Zealand, and it's where we at Doklands first encountered You're Dead by Norma Tanega. Norma is a woman of colour who sang lightly psychedelic folk oddities in the 1960s; this is significantly angrier than most of her songs, a Get In The Sea for the flower child generation. An absolute cracker.

Norma Tanega - You're Dead
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Jul. 17th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Elsa Hewitt - Snow White Lily

Fancy some eerily nostalgic trip hop? Snow White Lily starts off hypnotically simple, but each time around it brings new complexities, spiralling off into icy sonic cobwebs and gauzy overlays. It's full of the dangers of childhood as well as the wonder. From the 2017 album Cameras From Mars.

Elsa Hewitt - Snow White Lily
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Jul. 14th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Sun Ra - Blithe Spirit Dance

It sounds like they're playing everything at once until they discover what music is. Blithe Spirit Dance is a joyous trip through overlapping instruments, no two of which sound as if they're playing quite the same thing, but all are doing it out of great love. It's blissed out experimentalism of the highest order from Sun Ra's 1979 album God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be. Ra may have come to the sound of spiritual jazz a decade late, but he played it with absolute conviction and presence. Amazingly full sound for this trio, and special credit to Hayes Burnett on bass who is totally not afraid to keep on playing when Ra is deep into the left hand side of the keyboard. Just magical.

Sun Ra - Blithe Spirit Dance
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Jul. 13th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Bailey/Lewis/Zorn - Who's On First

Taken from the 1983 album Yankees, this thorny improv from three giants in the field is clearly meant to be baseball-related, though if you can tell me why you're rather better at lateral thinking than I am. Derek Bailey does his best attempt at being too British to understand the sport and John Zorn is all over the Abbot & Costello vibe with, amongst other things, a duck call. But it's George Lewis who is the star here, with some of the lowest, most guttural and tender trombone you'll ever hear. Hearing him play is like finding yourself suddenly laying face first in a plate of lukewarm pasta: an unforgettable experience.

Bailey/Lewis/Zorn - Who's On First
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Jul. 12th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Jlin - Kyanite

Jerrilynn Patton, AKA Jlin, used to work in a foundry driving tons of sheet metal around. It would be a great story to imagine that her music was informed by the crash of steel plates, tremendous physical forces and unbearable heat. That does not seem to be the case. Kyanite comes from her 2017 album Black Origami and it's some of the most intense electronic music you'll hear this year. Everything is tightly sprung, from the fidgety drum sounds to the punchy syllabification. Nervous and exhausting, but so so good. One of the new musical frontiers right here, folks.

Jlin - Kyanite
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Jul. 11th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Pastor T.L. Barrett and The Youth for Christ Choir - Ever Since

Have you heard the story about Pastor T.L. Barrett? He's the churchman and youth leader who led his choir into a recording studio, played some amazing gospel funk tunes, and then went back to his room and defrauded thousands of his parishioners via a pyramid scheme. Today we're sweeping the fraud under the carpet and concentrating more on Ever Since from the self-released 1971 album Like a Ship (Without a Sail). There are a lot of respected session musicians on here, many of whom were drawn to the Chicago preacher's Pentecostal fundamentalism, and if you've ever enjoyed a Blues Brothers track then you'll know exactly what's going on here. Huge sound, doubletime bass, and irrepressible joy at the thought that someone else's money might be in your bank account tomorrow.1

1. Yeah, I lied about the sweeping

Pastor T.L. Barrett and The Youth for Christ Choir - Ever Since
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