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William Ryan Fritch, "Deceptive Cadence: Music For Film Vol. I & Vol. II"

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cover imageI have only been familiar with William Ryan Fritch's work for a couple of years, but he became one of my absolute favorite artists almost instantly.  In fact, I have such unshakable faith in his vision that I even pounced on this lavish collection of works for film despite my similarly unshakable apathy towards soundtrack albums.  My rational was that his first major release in two years had to be something truly special and the handful of pieces released in advance of the album seemed to bear that out.  As it happens, the rest of this double album is every bit as wonderful as those teasers: Deceptive Cadence may very well be Fritch’s career-defining masterpiece.  It certainly deserves to be, as Fritch approached it as a true labor of love, tirelessly revisiting, reworking, and paring down years of disparate projects until he had a gorgeously bittersweet tour de force of sublime grandeur.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 May 2019 05:40 Read more...
 

My Cat is an Alien, "Spiritual Noise, Vol. I"

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cover imageMy Cat is an Alien has always been very much an "outsider art" phenomenon, as the Opalio brothers have spent the last two decades tirelessly conjuring and reshaping a hermetic alternate reality replete with its own unique philosophy and cosmology.  In the process, they have released some truly original and beguiling auditory dispatches from their remote home in the Alps, but music is just one part of their larger vision and that vision has drawn increasing interest from the art world.  For this latest release, the brothers unveil a new collaborative imprint with gallerist and publisher Marco Contini that seeks to bring the various threads of the their artistry together into a focused and harmonious whole.  That endeavor is off to an excellent start, as Spiritual Noise is quite an impressive achievement as an art object.  It is also an excellent album, as each of the two lengthy pieces unveils a fresh new facet of the duo's deep space trance states.

Last Updated on Monday, 27 May 2019 17:56 Read more...
 

Skylark Quartet, "Live in Tokyo"

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cover image Live in Tokyo is a series of 11 distinct interpretations of the 1941 song "Skylark" by Johnny Mercer and Hoagy Carmichael performed by the quartet consisting of Orlando Lewis on clarinet, Franz-Ludwig Austenmeiser on keyboards, Hayden Pennyfeather on bass, and Roland Spindler on drums.  This fact is anything but obvious upon listening, however.  Based on the sound alone, it sounds more like an intimate series of improvisations rather than interpretations of a popular song from the 1940s, which was, I am sure, the performers' intent.  It may bear some resemblance to its source material, however the quartet manage to create something nearly entirely original.

Last Updated on Sunday, 19 May 2019 21:36 Read more...
 

Helm, "Chemical Flowers"

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cover imageLuke Younger has been increasingly ambitious in reinventing the Helm aesthetic with each fresh release over the last several years, but this latest release still caught me off-guard a bit: the bulk of Chemical Flowers is very different from the killer single ("I Knew You Would Respond") that preceded its release.  To some degree, that admittedly fits Younger's pattern, as each of his EPs tends to feature one brilliant centerpiece surrounded by the more expected post-industrial sound collages.  Though it is a full-length (and one that features string arrangements from JG Thirlwell), Chemical Flowers more or less replicates that same approach by simply doubling the amount of collages.  That is perfectly fine by me, as I tend to enjoy Younger's abstract side almost as much as his beat-driven side and he is in especially fine form here.  These collages are quite a bit different than usual though, as it sounds like there are a handful of '70s or '80s New Age/ambient albums lurking at the heart of Flowers that have been scorched, warped, and mangled beyond recognition.

Last Updated on Monday, 27 May 2019 17:46 Read more...
 

Reality Tunnels

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cover image In its ongoing series of artist-curated compilations, the Idle Chatter label asked interdisciplinary New York-based artist Muyassar Kurdi to compile its latest release.  Specifically presenting female artists from around the world, Reality Tunnels not only further demonstrates the vast expanse of what can be defined as experimental music, but also gives some largely (and unjustly) unrecognized artists a platform to be heard.

Last Updated on Sunday, 19 May 2019 21:30 Read more...
 


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