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Stromstad, "New Devoted Human"

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cover imageNorway's Kristoffer Oustad and the Finnish duo of (Jasse Tuukki and Toni Myöhänen) are no stranger to dreary, aggressive electronic music, so a collaboration between the two comes as no surprise.  I have some familiarity with both artists and I have been a fan of everything I have heard from them so far, but it was rarely surprising or unexpected in sound.  With these two projects coming together, however, the final product stands out even more uniquely than their solo material.  New Devoted Human is richer, more complex, and more fully fleshed out than I expected, and has an impressive amount of depth and complexity that is strong and memorable on all fronts.

Last Updated on Sunday, 18 February 2018 23:00

Kazuma Kubota & Mei Zhiyong, "Session June.12.2016"

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cover image Both Kazuma Kubota and Mei Zhiyong are relatively new to the realm of harsh noise, but they have individually worked with some of the biggest names associated with the genre, such as Macronympha, Torturing Nurse, and Kazumoto Endo (among a multitude of others).  This collaborative session is refreshingly no frills and stripped to the barest foundations of what traditional noise is and should be, and at a time in which so many artists are stepping away from the style, it is wonderful to hear something that is as classic and timeless as this.

Last Updated on Sunday, 18 February 2018 22:56

Colleen, "Colleen Et Les Boîtes À Musique"

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Recently reissued, this unusual EP/mini-album was originally composed as a continuous hour-long piece for the French radio program Atelier de Création Radiophonique.  The adventurously narrow theme of the endeavor itself is the unusual part, as the entire program was created from sounds generated from antique music boxes.  Given that extreme constraint, this material was never intended to be formally released as an album, but Leaf liked these alternately surreal and playful experiments enough to release it anyway (albeit in somewhat altered form).  When it was first released back in 2006, this modest release felt somewhat slight and anticlimactic in the wake of Colleen's classic first two albums, yet I have gradually warmed to it quite a bit over the years.  While I still think much of this release is strictly for devout fans, it would be a mistake to overlook it completely, as it features a couple of woefully underheard gems.

Last Updated on Sunday, 11 February 2018 17:26

Vanessa Rossetto, "Fashion Tape"

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cover imageThe artwork and title of this new tape captures the vibe that Vanessa Rossetto conjures up early on rather well:  a sort of 1980s damaged mélange of consumerism and high art that is as visceral and to the point as it is conceptually high-minded.  What follows is a complex mix of electronic composition, treated field recordings, and who knows what else, making for a wonderfully nuanced, extremely compelling cassette of equally beautiful and abrasive sounds.

Last Updated on Sunday, 18 February 2018 22:53

Alvin Lucier, "Criss Cross/Hanover"

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cover imageNow in his late 80s, Alvin Lucier has had a long career of radical compositions that explore phase interference, the resonance of spaces, and deeply unconventional sound sources.  Although his output has certainly slowed in recent years, he remains as idiosyncratic and experimental as ever, recently becoming interested in unexplored possibilities for the electric guitar.  The first half of this album is just such a piece, as "Criss Cross" was composed in 2013 for Stephen O'Malley and Oren Ambarchi (who perform it here).  O'Malley and Ambarchi return for "Hanover" as well, albeit as part of an ensemble that roughly mirrors the 1918 Dartmouth Jazz Band pictured on the album cover (Lucier's father was the violinist).  Needless to say, nothing on this album sounds even remotely like guitar music, though "Criss Cross" is not a dramatic departure from some of Lucier's previous work with competing phases.  The nightmarishly spectral chamber music of "Hanover," on the other hand, is quite a large (and harrowing) surprise.

Last Updated on Monday, 05 March 2018 10:13

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