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brainwashed

Black to Comm, "Before After"

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cover imageI definitely did not expect any more Black to Comm releases this year (or even next year), as composing and mixing the massive and wildly ambitious Seven Horses for Seven Kings likely kept Marc Richter very busy for a very long time.  I woefully underestimated the volume of material birthed from that transcendent bout of inspiration though, as another album is already here and it is another great one.  While the two albums originate from the same sessions, Before After is billed as a deliberately composed companion album rather than a collection of orphaned tracks.  To my ears, however, it actually sounds like both (in a good way): given the exacting sequencing and arc of Seven Horses, it would make sense if a lot of great songs did not quite fit that particular vision.  Most of these eclectic, stand-alone pieces are certainly strong enough to have made the cut for Seven Horses, but I am glad they ultimately wound up on Before After instead, as this album is closer to my preferred aesthetic of playfully experimental and hallucinatory collage.

Last Updated on Monday, 22 July 2019 07:40 Read more...
 

Joseph Allred, "O Meadowlark"

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cover imageI first encountered Joseph Allred on a massive compilation of American Primitive guitarists that I believe surfaced on the Dying For Bad Music blog sometime last year, but my ears must not have been working that week, as the experience did not leave a strong impression.  In my defense, my ears were likely hopelessly numbed by the sheer volume of relatively similar (and often wonderful) artists who have worked in that vein over the years.  John Fahey cast a long shadow and inspired a lot of dazzling instrumental performances, but the best compliment one can pay such an iconoclast is to use the American Primitive style as a mere starting point for a distinctive new vision.  And if there is one thing Joseph Allred has (besides virtuosity), it is definitely vision, as O Meadowlark is an impressionistic suite of songs that abstractly chronicles the travails and ultimate transfiguration of Allred's alter-ego Poor Faulkner.  Of course, there is a long tradition of storytelling among steel-string guitarists, as it adds some welcome depth and color to what could otherwise just be a mere display of instrumental prowess.  To his credit, Allred is on an entirely different level in that regard, as his stories are singularly strange and unique ones and he channels them vividly.  This is a fascinating release.

Last Updated on Monday, 22 July 2019 07:27 Read more...
 

Parashi/Pasquarosa, Noise Nomads/Parashi, "Sluice Gate"

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cover image The town of Clifton Park, New York, does not have anything resembling an experimental music scene, other than the basement studio of Mike Griffin.  Under the Parashi name, he has been building up an impressive catalog of releases running the gamut from ambient spaciousness to pummeling distortion.  These two collaborative releases make it clear how well his personal brand of electronic mangling works alongside another artist as well, and with a contrast from Anthony Pasquarosa's largely guitar-focused work and the darker electronics of Noise Nomads, showcases his versatility.

Last Updated on Sunday, 07 July 2019 20:57 Read more...
 

David Jackman, "Herbstsonne"

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cover image Always enigmatic, the latest work from David Jackman is a single 47 minute piece that, for some reason, has been issued under his own name rather than Organum.  I have never been clear as to what determines the name that will go on the record, and this is the first Jackman release since a split 7" (with Organum) in 2005.  Additionally, the overall feel of the piece is distinct, but not far removed from the Amen/Sanctus/Omega trilogy from 2006-2007.  Deliberately minimalist in arrangement, but with an unquestionable dedication to the finest detail of sounds, it is another work of fascinating beauty by the legendary artist.

Last Updated on Sunday, 07 July 2019 20:53 Read more...
 

"Jambú e Os Míticos Sons Da Amazônia"

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cover imageThis latest collection from Analog Africa is another detour of sorts, as curators Samy Ben Redjeb and Carlo Xavier headed to Brazil for a very deep dive into the underheard musical treasures of Belém.  The genres covered (Carimbó, Samba-De-Cacete, Siriá, Bois-Bumbás and bambiá) were all entirely new to me, but I felt better when I learned that they were all fairly new to Redjeb as well.  Characteristically, however, he was drawn to the Amazon-bordering coastal city due to its unique collision of cultures and therein lies the African connection:  Belém was a crucial port for the sugar, coffee, and rubber trades, which resulted in plenty of West African slaves being sent to the region.  Those that managed to escape often fled to outlaw settlements called quilombos where African religions and cultural traditions established a tenacious foothold (including those of Redjeb's beloved Benin).  Naturally, those cultures evolved into something unique over the years and the best pieces on Jambú capture quite a wonderful marriage of relentlessly propulsive Brazilian grooves and African rhythms (though the latter is not quite as prominent as I would have expected).

Last Updated on Monday, 08 July 2019 06:27 Read more...
 


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