Silvia Kastel, Michael Diamond, No Translation, The Discomancer, Bloque del Sur, INTERNET CLUB, Chelidon Frame, LLWCH, Maayan Nidam, Arthur King and more
Yeah it’s me. I wanna give you some good frequencies. 170, 2.6, 2,245...
I’m coming over.
Hehe. I’ll be there in two seconds.
Any time I hear or think of the number 400, I think of this conversation that appears at the end of the first track on Röyksopp’s debut album, Melody A.M.. The note of surprise and almost horror in the way he says “four hundred?!” has always stayed with me. You may also be thinking of French film Les Quatre Cents Coups, and yes, I’m a fan.
This is all to say very little at all. In writing this intro I went down a rabbit hole of samples used on Melody A.M., wondering why I’ve not already done this at some point in the past TWENTY YEARS. Twenty x twenty is … 400. What a large number of mails to have sent in eight-and-a-half years. I have nothing insightful to add here, time passes, mails are sent, people put out a load of music and some of us listen to some of it. The best-case scenario is that we like it and then tell others about it. That’s what’s happening here, I suppose.
Silvia Kastel - Xantharmony - YOCD13
CDs! As usual, Silvia Kastle creates music that is otherworldly, creating sounds that come from nowhere yet the origins of which could easily be divined with a little thought and application. But where’s the fun in that. This shit sounds cool. Allow yourself to drift along with the current of her weirdness.
Michael Diamond - Third Culture LP
No, not a Beastie Boy. Where to start with an album that apparently spans “ethereal jazz-breaks, introspective two-step, sax-driven power ambient and world-building, story-telling electronica”? Michael Diamond speaks in the accompanying press materials about how he came from India to the UK as a child, and when he returns to India he is seen as a westerner. “Over time, this has left me feeling that whilst I possess aspects of both cultures, I don’t truly belong to either one, leaving me with a fractured sense of cultural identity.” This experience is defined as “third culture”, hence the album’s title. As noted above, it’s suitably vast and expressive, taking in all of those sounds and styles without sounding overcooked or bloated. I was thinking as I listened, is this dance music? It’s the right tempo and has all those elements, yet its tracks seem, somehow, to possess more than your average dance-floor track. Not that you’d sit at a table by candlelight and appreciate or contemplate a live performance, it’s far too raucous for that. Take ‘Exodus’ for example, its wailing melodies and syncopated beats being chopped to pieces in full glitch mode, you can picture a sweaty floor loving it. Yet, as I said, this all means something more.
No Translation - rust & remain
The first track here, ‘the place of flowers’, is uncannily like a sonic representation of its title. I can picture myself in a field or meadow or garden on a hot day, surrounded by lush growth. It’s beautiful. There’s not really any other way of putting it.
The Discomancer - Resurrect The Funk
Filter house/disco always sounds good, but there’s nothing quite like it in the summer time. Here’s an EP of four originals from The Discomancer, an alias of Wigan-based Medulasa. Fun and flavourful, these are in the spirit of Roulé and Crydamoure.
Apparently these two tracks are “sonic recreations of René Thom’s Seven Elementary Catastrophes”. There’s a whole wiki page on these catastrophes, but I am *****ed if I have any clue what it all means. So I’ll have to take your word for it, Faithful. These two tracks are … techno? I think. Pounding rhythms, breakneck speed, electronics at their most electronic. The artist has previously released on Prehistoric Silence, which makes sense, as it’s home to music that is the very essence and distillation of electronic blips. He’s also in 8990 alongside John Daniel aka Forest Management, and their output is very different. While you’re here, check out this weirdly gnarly edit of The Supremes. Gnarly.
Sumptuous and delectable and warm and sunny and exotic. This is a really nice track with lovely flutes, lovely drums, lovely bass, lovely vibe.
Nice’n’crunchy electronics, with radio waves, field recordings, vocal samples and hissing fuzz come together to make the sound of your insides on a particularly hot day.
Emilía - Water Flowers (Piano Works)
Emilía is a collaboration between Lee Yi, who featured a few months back, and Meneh Peh. They created “ambient & Neo classical fragments” with this project. Just my thing you might say. It’s piano but it’s muted, transformed, submerged. Sad stuff.
Speaking of transformed sounds, I think this might be vaporwave but it’s probably better than that. Only because I like it. It sounds like 80s TV adverts. Stuff to get lost in while you wash the dishes after the kids have gone to bed. Just me? Maybe.
First of all, I love that this is on a label called Giraffe Tapes. Secondly, this is lovely. You might expect playful frivolity on a label with such a name, perhaps some child-friendly melodies or colourful beats. Not in this case. Drifting, lilting ambient sounds that offer tense fuzz and sorrowful yearning.
I love the work of Simon Proffitt, who records as Cahn Ingold Prelog, and Carnedd Aur, as well as being part of The Incidental Crack and The Master Musicians Of Dyffryn Moor. His own Bandcamp states that “I’m aware of what the record-buying public want, but am neither able nor willing to give it to them”. Right on, sir. His latest work exemplifies that approach, examining “a long-held belief that everything sounds better when it’s slowed down”. He calls it slushwave. That’s a new one for me. The tracks here are given titles in a series of characters, probably to detach them from their original realities. It’s probably meaningless. Could as well have called them ‘12345’, ‘23456’ and so on. This collection comes from superpolar Taïps, but the music has also been released here, with each selection coming with artwork that’s almost definitely created from some DALL-E prompt. Oh I just read further, it’s “portrait of a young man in the style of vaporwave” and it’s from craiyon.com. superpolar Taïps usually puts out tapes, but here they suggest that you download the music for free and dub it yourself. They’ve provided print-ready artwork with each download. If you do decide to pay for it, proceeds are going to Wrexham Foodbank.
Trommel.145 - Maayan Nidam [all night long - 8h set]
I listened to this while I was painting a door this week. I thought I heard the sound of Jaydee’s ‘Plastic Dreams’, particularly the organ solo. Only it was in a completely different track. As things progressed, I realised that Perlon-associate Maayan Nidam was in fact playing that particular classic over whatever it was that I didn’t recognise, but had isolated the solo in such a way to create a sort of instrumental acappella. If that makes sense. That’s talent. This mix, as you’d expect, runs across a range of styles, from glossy pop and disco to underground house, with classics from Henrik Schwarz and FCL, the vocal from Colonel Abrams’ ‘Trapped’, Paranoid London, Talking Heads and Metro Area to name a few. I can imagine it would soundtrack a wonderful barbecue. Thanks to Jack for reposting it into my timeline.
Arthur King - Changing Landscapes (Mina Las Pintadas)
This was recorded in a Chilean copper mine, which, to me, sounds like you’re asking for trouble. It’s got lots of flutes and trumpets, kind of like some of Carmen Villain’s stuff. From what I can gather, Arthur King is a nebulous ensemble, rather than a single artist, brought together by someone called Peter Walker. They set up shop in a particularly interesting locale, in this case the mine, in another, a Hebridean Island. The music is hazy and wistful, glorious and dreamlike. The cover is quite beautiful. Yet another one in which I can only recommend you get lost.
Smudged, foggy ambient not unlike the sounds you might hear from that Huerco S. chap and his West Mineral Ltd. cronies.