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"Pop Makossa - The Invasive Dance Beat Of Cameroon 1976​-​1984"

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cover imageA new Analog Africa compilation is almost always a major event for me, particularly since the general trend is that they seem to get both better and more imaginative with each passing year.  A significant reason for that success is that label head Samy Ben Redjeb has been increasingly drawn away from the heavily anthologized regions of Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, and Kenya and into less explored territories and more unusual, ephemeral microscenes.  Pop Makossa offers a bit of both, journeying into Cameroon and capturing the brief window in which the prevailing pop style absorbed the funk and disco sounds coming from the US.  If this collection is any indication, Redjeb and co-curator Déni Shain have found quite a rich and largely untapped vein, as these twelves pieces are a feast of fluid basslines, tight songcraft, strong hooks, and seductive grooves.

Last Updated on Saturday, 26 August 2017 19:06

Andrew Chalk, "Everyone Goes Home When The Sun Sets"

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cover imageThis is kind of a companion piece to 2015's absolutely sublime A Light At The Edge of The World, embracing a similarly fragile and dreamy mood, but taking a very different structural approach:  while its processor took the shape of an extended and gorgeously floating stasis, Everyone Goes Home When The Sun Sets consists of nearly twenty discrete and ephemeral miniatures.  That is not entirely new territory for Chalk, as that approach previously reached its apotheosis with 2012’s fine Forty-Nine Views In Rhapsodies' Wave Serene, but it is still a curious step away from his strengths and his longform comfort zone.  As such, Everyone Goes Home is not quite as immersive and hypnotic as Edge Of The World, but it is still a fairly unique release within Chalk's canon, as its gently hallucinatory drift of glimmering vignettes offers its share of nuanced and distinctively Chalk-ian pleasures.

Last Updated on Sunday, 30 July 2017 23:47

Kate Carr, "The Story Surrounds Us"

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cover imageA rather fast follow-up to her last tape (It Was a Time of Laboured Metaphors, also on Helen Scarsdale), Australian sound artist Kate Carr's latest work is another entry in a rapidly growing discography that blends elements of both traditional composition and the unpredictable nature of field recordings.  She does this and merges them together seamlessly, coming together as a beautiful set of sounds and moods from across the globe, yet still unified as a part of the human experience.

Last Updated on Saturday, 29 July 2017 09:16

Scratched Glass, "Two"

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cover imageAs a follow-up to 2015's debut EP, the duo of multimedia artists Nicol Eltzroth Rosendorf and Jonathan Lukens expand on the ambiguity and sparseness on Two, while still showing marked development and innovation in their work.  With their sonic palates expanded and a determined focus, the final product is an album that conveys a significant amount within its somewhat minimalistic framework.

Last Updated on Saturday, 29 July 2017 09:19

Psychic TV, "Pagan Day" and "Allegory and Self"

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cover imageI have always viewed Psychic TV with a mixture of fascination and annoyance, as the project managed to assemble some of the most talented and idiosyncratic artists in underground music, but were far too erratic, scattershot, and over-prolific to ever turn their genuine flashes of brilliance into a great career.  That said, the founding duo of Genesis P-Orridge and Alternative TV's Alex Fergusson definitely started off strong and these two reissues roughly bookend that golden age.  Pagan Day, which first surfaced as an extremely limited release in 1984 (it was released December 24 and deleted on Christmas), is a collection of early 4-track sketches, several of which were later released in different form.  The strange and uneven Allegory and Self from 1998, on the other hand, was perversely the band's pop breakthrough, featuring the half-annoying/half-subversive underground hit "Godstar" and whole lot that could never be chart-worthy.  Admittedly, there are a few moments of magic amidst that stylistic jumble, but the more polished ensemble work unexpectedly feels a bit less substantial than Pagan Day's rough-hewn creative outpouring (for good reason).

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 July 2017 07:44

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