NEW MUSIC: Daniel McCagh – Altered States

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Australian composer and sound designer Daniel McCagh has just released his debut album Altered States, an immersive and sonically detailed collection of compositions that range from visceral sheets of digital rain to delicate filigrees and textures. He manipulates acoustic instruments to place them in evocative settings where the organic and synthetic sounds become one. It sounds futuristic yet connected to human spirit, blood flow and creativity.

The title track buzzes and shudders like a scene from a sc-fi film, all tension and a gradual gradient of intensity and right across the album there’s a sense of graceful wounded beauty.

Altered States is out now via n5MD

 

NEW MUSIC: Jacaszek – November Late

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Polish composer Michal Jacaszek has just released his new album Music For Film on the Ghostly International label and it’s a wonderfully immersive and contemplative collection of compositions that showcase his amalgamation of ambient, classical, and musique concrete styles. He deploys field recordings, acoustic samples, poetry, and baroque instrumentation to paint pictures, oftentimes melancholic, nostalgic, tragic.

‘November Late’ begins tentatively before slowly morphing, swelling and rising into a dramatic invocation of both an intimate space and a grand scale that traverses the tone and texture from ambient to modern classical. That ability to weave disparate moods and contrasting, yet coexisting, emotive entities is impressive. His work is custom-made for soundtracks but it also is a wholly rewarding solo listening experience where the music creates the imagery rather than accentuating pre-existing visuals.

 

NEW MUSIC: Akkor – Durma

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Akkor is Turkish electronic composer Üstün Lütfi Yıldırım who has just released his new album Durma, an electroacoustic narrative in a progressive cinematic sound universe through piano, synthesizers, soundscapes and recorded/found noises from Istanbul.

The title track is an immersive track that starts shrouded in atmospheric and ominous sonic mist, eventually gaining clarity with micro-percussive elements that give the piece structure and forward motion. Piano adds haunting melodies as the composition gains momentum over ten minutes, through late-night city streets and the flickering lights of shop signs. It’s certainly cinematic in style and quality, a great example of building a piece of music without losing its core emotionality.

 

 

NEW MUSIC: Senn – Anew I : A Love Of Peace

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Senn hails from Dallas, Texas and trades in heavily emotive and visceral electronic compositions. This track, ‘Anew I : A Love Of Peace’ comes from the recently released album Anew and even though the artist says “This is one of the few serene movements of the album. A confrontation with peace within chaos’, it still contains a slow build of discomfort and crushing dissonance under its surface.

The rest of the album is an intense experience of decimated digital lava flows and sonic acid rain. Deconstruction reconstructed into a disorientating panic attack of noise composition. Start with this track and then go deeper…

 

NEW MUSIC: JARV IS… – House Music All Night Long

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Jarvis Cocker returns with his first album since Further Complications in 2009.

JARV IS… is a band and the album is called Beyond the Pale, out on Rough Trade Records on May 1, 2020.

JARV IS… features Jarvis Cocker (vocals, guitar, percussion), Serafina Steer (harp, keyboards, vocals), Emma Smith (violin, guitar vocals), Andrew McKinney (bass, vocals), Jason Buckle(synthesiser & electronic treatments) & Adam Betts (drums, percussion, vocals).

JARV IS… formed to play a show at the Sigur Ros “Norður og Niður” festival in Iceland at the very end of 2017.

JARV IS… was conceived as a way of writing songs in collaboration with an audience. As the material they were playing was in a state of flux the band decided to record their live shows so that they could monitor how the songs were developing. After an appearance at the Desert Daze festival in California, Geoff Barrow (Portishead, Beak) suggested that these recordings could be used as the basis for an album.

Overdubs & vocals were added at Narcissus Studios in Neasden, London. Post-production work took place at Jason Buckle’s Place du Big Boss studio in Raynes Park, London. The album was mixed by Craig Silvey at Toast Studios in West London.

JARV IS… – Beyond The Pale
SIDE 1
1: Save the Whale
2: Must I Evolve?
3: Am I Missing Something?

SIDE 2
1: House Music All Night Long
2: Sometimes I am Pharaoh
3: Swanky Modes
4: Children of the Echo

LIVE REVIEW: Moon Duo @ OAF, Sydney

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MOON DUO 
OXFORD ART FACTORY
13/02/20

The evolution of Moon Duo has been a slow and steady one over the last decade. Originally starting as a duo of Wooden Shjips guitarist Ripley Johnson and Sanae Yamada, the pair have retained their minimal aesthetic and core personnel but expanded their live performance to include a drummer and most recently, a stunning light show, by Manchester-based visual projection artist Emmanuel Biard, comprised of projections onto transparent material surrounding the band on three sides, creating a 3D prismatic effect.

After a DJ set from Angus Andrews of Liars that travelled through all kinds of psychedelic dimensions before curtains parted and the band emerged in their triangular realm, silhouettes magnified large above the audience’s heads. Any Moon Duo show is a journey that doesn’t necessarily have peaks, instead there are sonic waves, carrying the crowd on stratospheric journeys through thin atmosphere, twinkling synth lines and winding, searching guitar filigrees or dragging them down into subterranean head trips to the centre of the earth. The Krautrock drive and relentless rhythms were like a superhighway – sleek and endless, the motorik bass and melodies of Yamada the perfect balanced foil to Johnson’s more traditional psych rock soloing – heavy on effects and open-ended explorations of the outer limits.

Tracks from most of their albums peppered the set and they finished off with their recent cover of Alan Vega’s ‘Jukebox Babe’, a perfect homage to one of their strongest influences. The combination of the visuals and the consistent and cohesive adherence to their musical parameters made the set a wholly immersive and transportive experience for the audience and no doubt the band as well.

Chris Familton

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: KIALLA – Kotton Kandy

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This Russian-Iranian duo KIALLA was formed in 2018 in the west-side of Chicago and their latest single is ‘Kotton Kandy’, a track that blends jungle breaks and a stoned 90s trip hop vibe. It works really well. We’re looking forward to hear more of what the pair have to offer.

KIA grew up in Tehran, Iran where he began his creative journey. Via was born in Siberia, Russia and became one of the few female pioneers in the Russian hip-hop scene. After meeting in Southeast Asia, the inspired duo moved to Chicago.