NEW MUSIC: Musketeer – Wolves

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German songwriter Musketeer has released this haunting slice of melancholia – folk-like with a gothic twist. It unfurls beautifully with a strong poetic bent. Described as a howling testament to a pack of wolves returning to Denmark (after not being sighted there for 200 years), this version of ‘Wolves’ is built around acoustic guitar and a synth – a much starker version that the drums-assisted previous version that was released.

NEW MUSIC: Ben Neill – Auricle

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Working at the junction of ambient, avant garde jazz and electronica, Ben Neill has just reissued his 1995 album Green Machine, an album that received widespread critical acclaim on its original release on the Astralwerks label.

The music on the album is performed on his self designed, electro-acoustic Mutantrumpet, skilfully navigating a netherworld between organic and synthetic composition and playing. This track ‘Auricle’ is the perfect example of that, in the way the sounds rise and fall, blending together in harmonic hypnosis.

Neill has recorded eleven CDs of his music on labels including Universal/Verve, Thirsty Ear, Astralwerks, and Six Degrees. His electronic opera The Demo, inspired by computer pioneer Douglas Engelbart and created with composer/performer Mikel Rouse, was premiered in 2015 at Stanford University’s Bing Concert Hall. Other performances include BAM Next Wave Festival, Lincoln Center, Whitney Museum of American Art, Cite de la Musique Paris, Moogfest, Spoleto Festival, Umbria Jazz, Bang On A Can Festival, ICA London, Istanbul Jazz Festival, Vienna Jazz Festival, and the Edinburgh Festival, among many others. Neill has worked closely with many musical innovators including La Monte Young, John Cage, John Cale, Pauline Oliveros, Rhys Chatham, DJ Spooky, David Berhman, Mimi Goese, King Britt, and Nicolas Collins. Neill also leads concerts of La Monte Young’s The Second Dream with an international brass ensemble; performances have recently been presented in New York, Amsterdam, Paris, Amsterdam, Huddersfield, Oslo, Krems, Koln, and Warsaw.

NEW MUSIC: Fly My Pretties – Quiet Girl

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New Zealand collective Fly My Pretties have been a live proposition up until recently when they entered the studio to record new imaginings of tracks from their back catalogue.

The Studio Recordings Part One involved 25 contributors over a 12 month period – including Barnaby Weir (The Black Seeds) accompanied by Anna Coddington, Bailey Wiley, A Girl Named Mo, Hollie Smith, LA Mitchell (Terrible Sons), Lisa Tomlins, Adi Dick, Age Pryor, Iraia Whakamoe (The Nudge), James Coyle (The Nudge), Jarney Murphy (The Black Seeds), Laughton Kora, Mike Fabulous (Lord Echo), Nigel Patterson (The Black Seeds), Paul McLaney, Rio Hunuki-Hemopo (TrinityRoots), Ryan Prebble (The Nudge), and on this track ‘Quiet Girl’ – Samuel Flynn Scott (The Phoenix Foundation).

The song takes a smoky, late-night dreamy angle that conjures up the sound of Twin Peaks, Chris Isaak , and a distant ghostly echo of The Doors.

The Studio Recordings Part One is out now on Bandcamp and the usual streaming services.

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FAVOURITE ALBUMS OF 2019

DS Favourite Albums 2019

Another fine year of music (isn’t it always?!) and one where we found ourselves heading in multiple directions with the kind of things we were seeking out and listening to. From metal to ambient, electronic to country music – there were aural gems to be discovered across the musical spectrum in 2019. Here then are 50 of our favourite albums from the year. The ones that we returned to the most, the ones that made us think, shake our heads to in physical release, or records that cut deeply and wisely, in a lyrical sense.

50. Pitch Black – Third Light
49. Tyler, The Creator – IGOR
48. J Majik – Full Circle
47. Sunn O))) – Life Metal
46. Lankum – The Livelong Day
45. Caterina Barbieri – Ecstatic Computation
44. Amyl & The Sniffers – Amyl & The Sniffers
43. Ryley Walker & Charles Rumjack – Little Common Twist
42. Moon Duo – Stars Are The Light
41. Warmduscher – Tainted Lunch
40. Baroness – Gold & Grey
39. Pixies – Beneath The Eyrie
38. Lambchop – This (Is what I wanted To Tell You)
37. HTRK – Venus In Leo
36. Cass McCombs – Tip Of The Sphere
35. Tony Molina – Songs From San Mateo County
34. Beastwars – IV
33. David Kilgour & The Heavy Eights – Bobbie’s A Girl
32. Underground Lovers – A Left Turn
31. Mannequin – Pussy Patience
30. Big Thief – Two Hands
29. Underworld – DRIFT Series 1
28. Earth – Full Upon Her Burning Lips
27. Tool – Fear Inoculum
26. The Chemical Brothers – No Geography
25. Sturgill Simpson – Sound & Fury
24. Jamie Hutchings – King Hits & Goldfish Memories
23. Chris Forsyth – All Time Present
22. Orville Peck – Pony
21. Sean McMahon – You Will Know When You’re There
20. Bruce Springsteen – Western Stars
19. Justin Townes Earle – The Saint Of Lost Causes
18. Lost Ragas – This Is Not A Dream
17. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Ghosteen
16. Tindersticks – No Treasure But Hope
15. Big Thief – U.F.O.F.
14. Aldous Harding – Designer
13. Mark Moldre – Fever Dreams
12. Bill Callahan – Shepherd In A Sheepskin Vest
11. Eilen Jewell – Gypsy

10. Leonard Cohen – Thanks For The Dance
9. Neil Young with Crazy Horse – Colorado
8. Skyscraper Stan – Golden Boy Vol. I & II
7. Jake Xerxes Fussell – Out Of Sight
6. Omni – Networker
5. The Felice Brothers – Undress
4. The Delines – The Imperial
3. Ian Noe – Between The Country
2. Fontaines D.C. – Dogrel

  1. Purple Mountains – Purple Mountains

An exercise in arch self-analysis, Purple Mountains poses as many questions as it answers. It’s both universal and nakedly personal. It’s funny and entertaining too. It’s also a faultless and highly compelling record and the towering pinnacle of Berman’s work.

 

NEW MUSIC: B. Hamilton – North San Juan

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This new track from the band B. Hamilton (Oakland, CA) has one hell of a chorus that bursts forth from bluesy soul verses like a tornado touching down and gathering up everything in its path in a swirling storm of epic rock.

‘North San Juan’ comes from their recently released album Nothing And Nowhere. On the song, songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist Ryan Christopher Parks Parks describes the fall out of 1960’s San Francisco’s “Summer of Love” in contemporary Northern California.

NEW MUSIC: Salad Boys – This Issue

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New sounds from New Zealand band Salad Boys. ‘This Issue’ is a fine blend of hypnotic rhythms and guitars that tease and twist themselves into fascinating melodic shapes. At times the guitars reminded me of the warped brilliance of the 3Ds but the rest of the song is on a different trip. Heavy-lidded mantra-like vocals. It’s all wrapped up in a caustic and brittle lo-fi kinda mix which adds to the scratchy psychedelia of it all.

The single also features the track ‘Onwards and Downwards’ and is the follow-up to last year’s This Is Glue LP.