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Jun. 6th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Mai Mai Mai - Magois

Mai Mai Mai is Toni Cutrone, a central figure in the Roman experimental underground. His music is often considered to be part of the Italian occult psychedelic scene, but you probably wouldn't recognise it from that description. It takes inspiration from various folkloric and library music sources, but the finished sound of Magois is industrial electronics, full of whirling and grinding, lost voices and klaxon basses. It's music for reshaping the landscape itself. Taken from the 2016 album Φ.

Mai Mai Mai - Magois
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Jun. 5th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Dog Chocolate - Roundabout

Imagine a tall skinny young guy with tousled hair and an oversized jumper. It is, of course, brightly coloured, misshapen, and almost certainly has a few loose bits of wool hanging from the hem. Now imagine a litter of labrador puppies, all playing dissonant noise punk pop songs. Merge those two and you've got Dog Chocolate and their messy joyful nonsense songs.

Roundabout comes from the band's 2016 album Snack Fans. They know they're a bit crap and you're not going to persuade them otherwise, but that's no excuse not to jump around and have a good time.

Dog Chocolate - Roundabout
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Jun. 4th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Rhiannon Giddens - Cry No More

Here's one musical response to an act of terrorism. The crime was the racist Church massacre in Charleston and the music is this serious gospel performance, with Giddens and a choir accompanied only by a single drum.

Rhiannon Giddens - Cry No More
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Jun. 3rd, 2017

cyberinsekt

Awa Poulo - Djulau

If you go looking for Awa Poulo (also known as Hawa Pullo) videos, you'll find they fall into two categories. The first is where she sings contemporary West African Fula music accompanied by n'goni and calabash. The second is similar to the first, but with the rather disastrous addition of roboto autotuning. Thankfully, Djulau, from her 2017 album Poulo Warali is firmly in the former camp.

It's an amazingly intricate track. At times it barely seems to hold together, with all those organic sounds playing across each other, subtly altering each other's rhythms. That it does is down to Awa Poulo's voice, which seems to have both the traditional emphatic reediness and a surprising clarity. Accomplished and most lovely.

Awa Poulo - Djulau
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Jun. 2nd, 2017

cyberinsekt

Girl Band - Paul

I first came to Girl Band via their enormous cover of Why They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage. That'll be it, I thought. They won't be recording anything that magnificent again.

The good news is I was wrong. Paul was released as a single in 2015, and behind that unassuming title hides an absolute beast of no wave noise. It's led by the fretless bass of Daniel Fox, rubbery and uncomfortable but oh so urgent. He's soon joined by Dara Keily's tortured and distorted vocals, and the amazing guitar of Alan Duggan. Half the time he sounds like a jet engine, half the time he sounds like a shelving unit full of empty paint cans falling to the floor. Girl Band are the new wild men of avant rock.

Girl Band - Paul
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Jun. 1st, 2017

cyberinsekt

Meatbodies - Valley Girl

I'll admit it, before I heard Meatbodies' Valley Girl I was worried it was going to be a cover of the Zappa song. Despite the shared refrain there's not a whiff of that condescending scrote anywhere near this. It's a piece of loose-stringed psychedelic garage rock from the LA act, and I really like the way Erik Jimenez's drums are right up front in the mix.

Meatbodies - Valley Girl
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May. 31st, 2017

cyberinsekt

Bull of Heaven - ΩΣPx0(2^18×5^18)p*k*k*k

Some people may tell you that the version of John Cage's As Slow As Possible currently being performed in Halberstadt is the longest piece of music ever. They're partially correct. It's scheduled to conclude in the year 2640, but even that's not as long as Jem Finer's Longplayer. That's not scheduled to conclude at all, merely to repeat again and again in its 1,000 year cycle. Let's not get caught up in infinities here though, let's simply say it's 1,000 years long.

That's peanuts.

That's next to nothing.

That's a single peck of a sparrow's beak in the diamond mountain that is Bull of Heaven's ΩΣPx0(2^18×5^18)p*k*k*k. It's a conceptual piece of music. It doesn't exist in any performed or conventionally notated state. Rather it's an examination of the limits of algorithmic compression, both in terms of audio and of file structure. It's distributed as a single file, approximately 467Kb in size. That's tiny by contemporary standards. Inside that are a plethora of nested directories, and at the end of each branch a single file. That file is a low bitrate, mono mp3 of a repeated pulse lasting 29 hours and 14 minutes.

There are enough instances of this file for the complete version of ΩΣPx0(2^18×5^18)p*k*k*k to last 3.3 x 1048 years.

Our universe is approximately 14 billion years old. Imagine a universe where every year of its existence a new universe was born, each lasting the length of time our universe has existed. And imagine inside those secondary universes, an array of thirds. And each year of those tertiary universes also lasted 14 billion years. Play out all that time, that universe3, and you still wouldn't have enough to listen to ΩΣPx0(2^18×5^18)p*k*k*k.

Bull of Heaven, dear readers. They are taking the piss, but they are doing so in motherfucking STYLE.

Bull of Heaven - ΩΣPx0(2^18×5^18)p*k*k*k
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May. 30th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Domenique Dumont - La Bataille de Neige

Domenique Dumont's wonky reggaexotica almost - almost - sounds like an eccentric cast off found on an old library music album. It's made with the same abandon, the same freedom from commercial demands. She'll distract you from the melody with clackety wooden rhythms that may or may not involve coconuts and saucepans. It's only the grainy patina of glowing nostalgia that gives La Bataille de Neige away as a modern release. From the 2015 album Comme Ça.

Domenique Dumont - La Bataille de Neige
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May. 29th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Stuart Dempster - Morning Light

The Dan Harpole cistern stands outside Port Townsend in the northwestern United States. It was part of the Fort Worden installation, and was used to store water in case of fire in any of the surrounding bunkers. Never prone to doing things in small measures, the US military decided to make it 186 feet in diameter. It held 2 million gallons of water.

So what do you do with a structure like that? Well, in better funded days you could use it as a performance space. Not one with an audience, the airflow is too shady for that. You're not supposed to enter it at all without someone with a mobile phone outside on the roof at all times, in case of emergencies. But when you do step into the dark, pillared interior you are presented with one of the worlds acoustic wonders: a natural 45 seconds of reverb decay.

That was the setting for Stuart Dempster's 1995 album Underground Overlays from the Cistern Chapel. Morning Light features 10 trombonists communicating with each other very slowly. It's an all-encompassing drone that chases itself around in a huge circle, and it's quite one of the most remarkable things you could ever hear. Transcendent sound.

Stuart Dempster - Morning Light
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May. 28th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Ben Vida - Ssseeeeiiiiii

Ben Vida want to change the way you hear music. That isn't some kind of hyperbole, by the way. I know like 99.9% of Doklands is hype, but this time I'm actually dead serious. According to his record label he wants to "escape the stereo image and create an activated listening space of expanded spatialization". In practice what this means is that Vida's modular synths play audio tricks such as making half the noises sound like they're emanating from inside the listener's skull. Brain-melting torrents of experimental electronics, it says here. Ssseeeeiiiiii pushes at the limits of sonic possibilities. Taken from the 2012 album Esstends-Esstends-Esstends and engineered by Rashad Becker, audiophiliacs.

Ben Vida - Ssseeeeiiiiii
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May. 27th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Laura Cannell & Rhodri Davies - Desperada

Most people do not play two recorders at once, and most people do not play harps with a bow. Clearly Laura Cannell and Rhodri Davies are not most people, and for this we should be grateful. Desperada comes from their 2012 collaboration, Feathered Swing of the Raven, and if you like your drones guttural and your melodies like the dance of a medieval plague carrier, then this is the music for you.

Laura Cannell & Rhodri Davies - Desperada
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May. 26th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Henry Flynt - No Rights

You've been around avant-garde music a while, right? You'll have heard Henry Flynt before. You'll have heard his ecstatic anti-art minimalism derived not from classical forms but from American folk music. You'll have heard his strange ambient wanderings. But have you ever heard his disco funk?

That's what No Rights is, captured on his 2006 album Graduation And Other New Country And Blues Music, and it may be the strangest thing I've ever heard him do. While the band is working those '70s dancefloor grooves, there Flynt is with his fiddle playing his delirious trance raga, seemingly oblivious to the clash. A mess done right.

Henry Flynt - No Rights
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May. 25th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Linda Perhacs - Chimacum Rain

Chimacum Rain is a rather precious and pretty flower child folksong from Linda Perhacs' 1970 album Parallelograms. That would probably be all you need to know about it, except for the fact that it's got some of the extraordinary production I've ever heard. It's all about the backing vocals, which at times suddenly swell like a big TV production number and sometimes full-on pagan sinister. There's nothing quite like this.

Linda Perhacs - Chimacum Rain
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May. 24th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Arnold Dreyblatt & the Orchestra of Excited Strings - Bowing

Arnold Dreyblatt wrote music in the same tradition as Rhys Chatham or Glenn Branca: 2nd generation American Minimalism. But rather than drawing from Glass and Reich, Dreyblatt seems to draw a line back to that most mystical of the early minimalists, Charlemagne Palestine. For Dreyblatt it's less about the emergent rhythmic interplay and more the harmonic effect of massive layering of sounds. Bowing, from the 1986 release Propellers in Love, really is the sound of those excited strings: high tensile sounds testing the physical limits of both players and instruments. With its rapid repetition of notes it is music that sounds as if it will snap at any moment, and the just intonation tuning only adds more of a sense of this being music right on the edge.

Arnold Dreyblatt & the Orchestra of Excited Strings - Bowing
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May. 23rd, 2017

cyberinsekt

Abul Mogard - Slate-Coloured Storm

According to his official biography, Abul Mogard spent his working life on a production line in a factory in Belgrade, Serbia. On retiring, he realised that he missed the mechanical and industrial sounds that he had lived with, so turned to electronic music to try to fill the hole that the silence had made. Forgive me if I'm a little suspicious of this.

Still, whoever is behind the name this is some fine music. Think ambient drone, but with the frequency window wide open. Think vintage instruments, their sounds coated in a patina of age. Think huge sonic canvasses with a sense of melancholy to match. Genuinely emotionally affecting, definitely recommended. Slate-Coloured Storm comes from the 2015 12" Circular Forms.

Abul Mogard - Slate-Coloured Storm
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May. 22nd, 2017

cyberinsekt

Defibrillator & Peter Brötzmann - Anthropozoophilia

Peter Brötzmann is 76. Has he slowed down or mellowed with age? Absolutely fucking not. Anthropozoophilia comes from an album he released last year with the Swiss experimental trio Defibrillator. Conversations About Not Eating Meat featured his raucous tenor paired with the drums of Oliver Steidle, the electronics of Artur Smolyn, and the e-trombone of Sebastian Smolyn.

I'll wait while you Google that.

No, me neither.

Anyway, imagine if you had a band who liked making avant-noise experimental music with some of the sonic properties of rock, but one of them was a bellowing cow. I know I'd want to hear more by them, wouldn't you? Powerfully strange, and strangely powerful.

Defibrillator & Peter Brötzmann - Anthropozoophilia
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May. 21st, 2017

cyberinsekt

Piranha Man - Eye Of The Tiger

And sometimes, we listen just to laugh. There's outsider music that is magical and amazing, like the Langley Schools project or the Space Lady, and there's outsider music that is the listening equivalent of the travelling circus freak show. Piranha Man, I'm afraid to say, is definitely in the latter category.

A few years ago a bunch of recordings of an guy with a heavy Pakistani accent singing karaoke songs emerged. His phrasing and timing was eccentric at best. It was as if he'd heard the song for the first time just a few minutes ago, but was going to sing it anyway. I always suspected that Piranha Man knew he was the butt of the joke, but didn't particularly care. He just liked the attention and making people laugh, and there's nothing wrong with that. Here's his version of Eye of the Tiger, and you've never known the thrill of the fight like it.

Piranha Man - Eye Of The Tiger
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May. 20th, 2017

cyberinsekt

Rashad Becker - Themes V

For years, Rashad Becker has been syphoning the money from the wallets of vinyl aficionados in his day job of engineering fine techno records at the Dubplates & Mastering studio in Berlin. He's really got that whole artisanal seal of approval thing going for him where people will buy records not because of who made the music, but because of who made the product. There hasn't been a sound engineer like him since George "Porky Prime Cut" Peckham.

I recently got to hear his album Traditional Music of Notional Species Vol II (2016) and it's remarkable stuff. He's completely awake to the raw and radical possibilities of electronic sound, and his music sounds as fresh and original as anything ever did by pioneers such as Milton Babbit or Delia Derbyshire. Listening to Themes V is like uncovering an alien musical language and trying to unpick its meaning from a handful of sonic clues. Absolutely my sort of thing.

Rashad Becker - Themes V
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May. 19th, 2017

cyberinsekt

DarkMatterHalo - Glyph

I know nothing about DarkMatterHalo except that it features at two electric guitarists, Doug Wieselman who plays with Antony and the Johnsons, and Brandon Ross who appears to be a forward-thinking kind of motherfucker. Their Soundcloud page also lists sound design as being by "Hardedge", which I think might be an alias for Velibor Pedevski. They play dark ambient nu-jazz, which doesn't sound that appealing, and at times their music can be a bit on the murky side. But tracks like Glyph from their 2016 release Cataclysmic Beauty have such killer emergent rhythms that it's difficult to not be seduced. There's an odd '80s vibe to it, reminiscent of some of Bobby Previte's work from that era, or maybe a bit of Adrian Belew. Definitely worth your time.

DarkMatterHalo - Glyph
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May. 18th, 2017

cyberinsekt

David Bowie - Tired of My Life

I grew up with David Bowie in my ears. Two of the earliest songs I can remember hearing were Jean Genie and Suffragette City, and even today I reckon I could sit down and sing my way through the entirety of the Scary Monsters album word perfect. So it comes as a pleasant surprise to discover this 1970 demo recording of Tired Of My Life, the song that would go on to become It's No Game. To be honest, this is a rather plain and dreary little thing, with none of the savage sonic invention of the song it turned into, but the melody is still there. Maybe it'll fill in a few of the pieces for some of you too.

David Bowie - Tired of My Life
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