JakoJako, Miúin, ABBILDUNG, Vani t / Tori Newberry, juneunit, BLACK TO COMM, Braindance News Community, Salvatore Mercatante, Faoi Thalamh, Fleet.Dreams and Dan Morgan
This week I went to my first proper concert since 2019. Grouper was playing in Dublin’s National Concert Hall, supported by Coby Sey. Both were excellent. Coby Sey performed a thrilling, emotive set that balanced ambient sounds and field recordings, poetry and piano. Grouper followed with an utterly mesmerising performance, relying on samples, tapes and a guitar. I was transported to a strange, nebulous world where time was fluid and memories combined with reality, like a waking dream. I couldn’t have asked for a better return to live music.
I was a few weeks late coming to this album from Berlin-based JakoJako but I’ve had it on repeat since buying it last week. It’s gorgeously melodic, taking modular sequences and rendering them blissfully beautiful. It’s somewhere between Sasha’s Airdrawndagger and the recent work of her contemporary / collaborator Barker. Mellifluous.
I don’t know if this is a con job or not. The blurb mentions a series of artists working in Kilkenny, Ireland, between the ’60s and the ’80s, inspired by the Groupe de Recherches Musicales. The music within sounds like the kind of playful and exploratory work you might associate with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Childlike melodies follow abstract expressionism. Arpeggiated synths come up against fizzling, morse-like electronics. It’s a wonderful collection, but it’s hard to know if there’s even a grain of truth to it all.
Tangentially Irish, this is a recording of a set performed in 2018 in a bar in Dublin called Anseo (meaning “here”, it’s used by students as a response when the roll is called). Romanian artist ABBILDUNG met an Irish-based promoter Michal, who runs Grotto Promotions. Four years later, ABBILDUNG made it to Dublin and performed this set. He lists a litany of technical snafus on his site, but the set is pretty impressive to my ears, a journey through hiss, fog and distant, swampy vocals.
Deep and smudgy mushy sludge. “Memories smoulder, winter’s colder, but that same piano loops over and over and over.”
This isn’t out till next month but I couldn’t wait that long to spread the word. New juneunit!!! Her 2019 album on Jacktone remains a firm favourite and this new release on Silva Electronics promises more murk and more funk.
Here’s something painfully dramatic and overpowering for your Good Friday. Harrowing, exhausting, redemptive and cathartic, it’s a half-hour of beauty.
If you know anything about me, you probably know that I have a not insignificant antipathy towards compilations with more than, say 35 tracks. Maybe even 30. But this one features 75 tracks of just 90 seconds in length, so it clocks in at just under two hours. A double album, perhaps. Acceptable. Compiled by Spectrin, chromasy & Greystar, it’s raising money for the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Ukraine appeal. Entitled RESIST, it invited artists to reflect upon that theme within the confines of 90 seconds, a perfect vehicle for short and sharp braindance fury. I must give a nod to Ryan Beckemeyer for his track entitled ‘a ton of fucking around and never finding out’.
Out today, this new one from Salvatore Mercatante features seriously dank and foreboding sounds, rendered clean and crisp rather than foggy and smudged. Hi-def doom, you might say. Sorrowful electro(nica), it’s deeply emotive yet expertly crafted.
Irish label Faoi Thalamh Records (literally, underground) has released a compilation to raise money and awareness for ACLAÍ Palestine. This is “a community gym and movement space located in the Lajee Centre in the Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem, West Bank Palestine”. The releases features a dozen tracks by Irish artists including friends Declan Synnott, Cosmo, Natalia Beylis, Breen and Teishi-1.
Really nice vibes here, downtempo, trip-hop even, bits of dnb acid jazzy or something, I duno. It’s a vibe.
Just a single dreamy ambient techno/electro track from the ’90s. Happy Easter.