NEW MUSIC FRIDAY with new music for you brought forth from erupting stars, sizzling suns, and blinding-fast comets
Transversing the universe for you this week. Every week really.
EL PETIT DE CAL ERIL - "Com Quan Dormim" [7"] (Pickpocket ESP)
This heavenly slice of new Catalan Pop has just the right touch of modern Indie Rock and classic Psychedelia. Using vocoders (and well at that,) "Com Quan Dormim" maintains the dreamy feel that the myriad of synths give it. However, beneath the waves of squiggly sounds, the band drives it (gently) with inventive bass lines and drumming. While it feels like a continuation of 2019's "Energia Fosca," one cannot help but want to be swept away again and again into this new band frolicking in an Alan Parsons wonderland. (The B-side is a neat cover of The Cure's "Close To Me" which maintains its intimacy and whimsy.)
FAWNING - Illusions of Control [LP](Nevernotgoth/Graveface)
With wisps of female vocals like the Cocteau Twins and those big mechanical beats behind them, Fawning could easily be slotted into either Shoegaze or Goth. Take your pick because the blend of sunny vocals and backgrounds changing like clouds coming in brings them closer to reality than most. In addition, their hooks are solid. Cheyenne from Night School makes a great detached-voice chanteuse and the Slowdive-ian guitar (“Wait”) will leave fans of both subgenres (and 80’s 4AD)…you know.
ANDREW ASHONG & KAIDI TATHAM - Sankofa Season EP [LP] (Kitto ENG/IRL)
The Ghanan word “Sankofa” translates loosely into “go back and get it.” British/Ghanan singer/songwriter decided to use his first release in six years to push Soul Jazz forward. These are six songs each with a consistent groove and just the right rhythmic and World music overtones. Working with breakbeat specialist Kaidi Tatham, the jams here truly never let up. “Sankofa Song” skates around structure as Ashong multi-tracks his warm voice and Tatham bends his beats to propel and make all the chord/tempo changes seamless. “Learning Lessons” turns a House song into a Psychedelic stream of synth arpeggios and voices. The standout is the ‘70s sizzler “Eye Mo K” which has just the right Fusion touches to make you unsleeve that classic Bob James next.
T.P. ORCHESTRE POLY RYTHMO DE COTONOU - Vol. 4 Yehouessi Leopold Batteur [LP/CD](Acid Jazz UK)
These Acid Jazz reissues of the Albarika store product are spellbinding. Case in point. Three songs here - breeze by (the shortest is just under eight minutes.) “Davi Djinto Super No2” combines highlife guitar (circa 1978) and the classic call-and-response vocals of African music. However, as you get lost in the groove of the track - you miss the little changes the band makes to a lightning-fast song (that is - again - sixteen minutes in length.) The simmering “Homin Si Tche” neatly pits different sections of the Orchestre against each other. The warm horns battle the saxes, then the guitars duel each other all while a simple beat gets secretly doctored through accents . Finally, “Aiha Ni Kpe We” would be a single with its kicking almost James Brown thump and blaring horn chart. But this double-time African Funk (much like the record) cannot be stopped.
BASTIEN KEB - 22.02.85 [LP](First Word UK)
From Royal Leamington Spa, Bastien Keb finds the most unique way to make Psychedelic Soul/Hip-Hop instrumentals. On his latest album, the riveting "The Killing of Eugene Peeps," Keb manages to color his music so it fits together in an audio montage. Going back in the catalog, this re-release from 2017 is cut to function as a soundtrack. As a musician, Keb knows exactly how to stretch his talents and a variety of songs over songs, interludes, and spoken bumpers to create this narrative thread. However, if you are not in the mood for the tale, the dreamy, drowsiness of all of his musical tracks makes for a great escape from a world and its bitter reality. Keb has to be one album, maybe even one remix away from connecting with a filmmaker and shocking the world at large.
MYLES MANLEY - Cometh The Softies [LP](Art For Blind IRL)
Sligo's song slinger Myles Manley comes at songwriting with a juxtaposition of influences. Like a folkie, Manley attacks his songs (and subjects) from behind an acoustic - but his music is far closer to almost angular, striated rock. Joined by Christopher Kelley on biting, noisy electric guitar and the awesome polyrhythmic percussionist Solamh Kelly, Manley's tracks take on lives of their own. "Relax, Enjoy Your Night On The Town" is both nerve-jangling and relaxing. Manley's David Byrne-ish warble takes some getting used to, but his choice words really help in the adaptation ("Were We Under Attack From England?" sounds a bit like a battle cry until you realize that Manley is leading you on the journey.) Still, Manley is never content with just telling the story, so his edgy discomfort and the wild sounds of his band (the upside-down Rockabilly of "Cinema/Mild Manners" and the almost boozy rock of "Fitzer") make this Anti-Folk for the next generation.
MARK KOZELEK - All The Best, Isaac Hayes [LP](Caldo Verde/Redeye)
Kozelek the storyteller truly becomes the storyteller on this collection of writing put to music. While most of Kozelek’s late-period solo music has followed a more conversational pattern of lyric writing (so much so that the last 5 Sun Kil Moon records should also be studied and examined for cross-references,) his laconic voice is given a chance to really stand out here. The piano backgrounds set the stage, but Kozelek really knows how to sweep you into the details of his life. Tour stories illuminate the steady evolution of weirdness and seeking comfort from place to place (“Ottawa.”) However, home in San Francisco is where Kozelek provides an astonishing amount of detail to daily life without making it seem mundane. He offers his life, his feelings, and his insight into friendship, romance, and work without any selfishness or temptation to rewrite history. “All The Best, Isaac Hayes” is like traveling in an age when it has suddenly become harder to do.
SHAPES - Beyond Reflection [CS](Umor Rex MEX)
Various Artists - TWO SYNTHS, A GUITAR (AND) A DRUM MACHINE: POST-PUNK DANCE VOL.1 [LP/CD](Soul Jazz/Redeye)
The tense layers overlay a consistent almost Motorik undercurrent on this fascinating tape from Phantom Horse’s Niklas Dommaschk. “Beyond Reflection” is an attention grabber. The tracks are loud and very direct (“Einzeller” actually finds a way to make you feel relaxed and then very awake with Dommaschk’s sound additions.) Within a couple of songs, you get where Dommaschk wants to travel. The advent of finding a medium point between Kraftwerk and Throbbing Gristle is enticing enough to listen deeper and stay tuned for more.
The minimalism of the Seventies casts a large shadow over the fledgling artists on a new Soul Jazz collection of Post Punk Dance. Monosynths, rudimentary drum machines and other rarely used musical items take precedent over structure - even songs for that matter. Noisy, erupting cuts from Toresch, Tom of England, and Ixna. The Hip-Hop based groove of Vex Ruffin (with Fab 5 Freddy) and the instrumental prowess of Leroy Duncann also rate as finds from this compilation. While the wild New Fries is a welcome addition (reviewed here 9.30.20,) some of the very best is alarming simple (Black Deer) and familiar (Zongamin channeling Arthur Russell.)
LION’S DRUMS - Kagabas [LP](Lion’s Drums FR)
Harold Boue traveled to the dense Sierra Nevada mountain range in Colombia. For the next week, Boue took everything he could about the untouched land and surviving culture. With the guidance of their leaders (the highly spiritual MAMA,) Boue recorded the songs of the Kagabas. After leaving, Boue went back home and arranged his galaxy of sounds into this ambient, drum-built beauty of modern beats and haunting traditional songs (most of which have been passed down orally for generations.) “Kagabas” is life in this indigenous territory from the ground up. “Water” is hypnotic. In the three minutes it takes to arrive at the “song” portion you may discover pure meditation. “Alouatta (Hembra)” is a loop built on several vocal samples. However, Boue’s rearrangement of them somehow captures both joy and fear. “Kagabas” is a startling and real experience to listen to. Boue was so moved by his trip there, he released this LP on his own label and is giving the proceeds to the Nativa Organization to help this ancient land and its history survive.
it’s about to get LOUD…
IMHA TARIKAT - Sternenberster [LP/CD](Prophecy Productions GER)
While I cannot claim to understand the lyrics, the steam valve they provide for this fearsome new Black Metal duo from Germany is undeniably the "barbaric yawp" Walt Whitman once wrote about. The esoteric coverage of the existential crisis in these songs is jaw-dropping at times. Brutal beats gallop like the four horsemen to the apocalypse while molten metal guitars grind, thunder, and shriek around them. Beneath that, an insistent bassline keeps you going until the climax of their song in that thrilling double-drum, speed-picked blastbeat. "Sturm der Erlosung" threatens to rip your head off, then its follow up "Kreuzpunkt der Schicksale" brings its blastbeast attack in early - just a reminder of this band's blunt force. When "Klimax Downpour" slows down for its Thrash-y wind up to its guitar solo, you are reminded of just where these European band took their primal influences from. Black Metal that rages against a dying light feels genuine and Imha Tarikat's melodicism and rhythmic prowess make "Sternenberster" truly a destroyer of stars.
EMPTINESS - Vide [LP/CD](Season of Mist/The Orchard)
From the other side of the Black Metal spectrum is Belgium's frightening but fascinating Emptiness. These eerie, quiet tracks drift along on chorused guitar and oozing bass notes with an effected whisper (and its echoes and backward trickery) as your guide. "Vide" is a haunted house trip into isolation and abject loneliness. Tracks bend and shift making you physically uncomfortable ("L'ailleurs") while also turning strangely beautiful ("Le mal es chez lui.") While "Vide, incomplet" has enough synths and beats behind it to qualify as Goth Dance music. Emptiness's trip into darkness sounds as chilling as Coil yet manages to also draw in The Cure at their most paranoid. "Vide" is an outer space trip to the darkest atmospheres right in your own home.
You survived another blistering week of the hottest new releases T-BONES can find for you. Never fear, there are always more. Beyond the stars. Where new galaxies bring forth new genres and new sounds.
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