NEW.MUSIC.FRIDAY@TBONES weekly transmission with all the earthly delights one can enjoy without munching up all of one's data.
Like the restaurant here at T-BONES, we are serving up EVERYTHING this week.
L’IMPERATRICE - Tako Tsubo [LP](microqlima FR)
MUSIC ON HOLD - 30 Minutes Of… [LP](Born Bad FR)
Perhaps it is the rainy weather here, but these twin slabs of French synthpop are like rays of sunshine. The French sextet L’Imperatrice (translation: the empress) impress with their layered Pop. Like fluffy clouds made to shape, the vocals of Flore Benguigui work magic even whispered. The band’s combination of futuristic Pop and vintage Disco brings to mind the Nineties heyday of French Dance Music. “Peur Des Filles” is exotic and sinuous, but the building beauty of “Hematome” could crossover with the right promotion.
Emile Cartron-Eldin is Music on Hold. “30 Minutes Of” is a fantastically moody slice of Eighties-esque Alternative Pop. “Bread” is the standout. Its infectious dance beats and plunky keys lend charm to Cartron-Eldin’s tacet melody. Elsewhere, Music on Hold can veer from a sort of heart-lifted gaze (“A Thousand Eyes”) to a mealy, downtrodden stare at his feet (the Kinks-ian “Water” and the Alex G.-ness of “K.A.O.”) Or the danceable mixture of hopeless lyrics and MTV-ready synths on “Top of the Bridge.” The range of these songs says a lot about his potential.
ANTLERS - Green Into Gold [LP/CD](ANTI/Epitaph/AMPED)
Originally a songwriting project for Peter Silberman (early EP’s were credited to Peter Sam,) when the band put together the heartbreaking 2009 release “Hospice,” the emotional pull on listeners was completely new. “Green Into Gold” is another out-of-left-field moment for Silberman who takes to a soft, lighter version of Folk here. The songs are still dramatic, but the spartan recordings carry implied loneliness. The Seventies Band-like “It Is What It Is” emerges from hope and horns to color a thoughtful world that is just a little shaken up.
CLEVER GIRLS - Constellations [LP/CD](Egghunt/Redeye)
From Burlington, VT, Clever Girls create evocative Pop that uses slightly anthemic introductions to pull you in (“Spark” follows its downward progression to capture guilt and uncertainty) or envelope you (the sublime Eighties ticking beauty of “Baby Blue.”) “Stonewall” barely needs to get above a whisper to draw you in with its unique double-string twang and gurgling synths and the breezy “Saturn” could be a single. Very Clever Girls!
RENEE REED [LP/CD](Keeled Scales/Secretly/AMPED)
From the heart of Acadienne Louisiana, singer/songwriter Renee Reed has produced an album of haunting and wistful (mostly) acoustic music. Her closest comparison is the solo work of Daniel Lanois. Her acoustic guitar work is beautiful and Reed has a wonderful touch with organ (the film-ready “Où est la fée.”) However, her album is not minimalist. Her vocals (possibly recorded in an old house for atmospherics) are entrancing as they fill this room before entering the mic on her 4-track. “Fast One” rises and falls on her melody while “Out Loud” dares you to waltz across the room with it. “Renee Reed” could announce a change in the entire focus of Folk music.
WRITHING SQUARES - Chart For The Solution [LP/CD](Trouble In Mind)
This Suicide-ish duo makes a hurricane-size sound from the intersection of Post-Punk and No Wave. Kevin Nickles on sax and flute adds just the right touch of human interaction to these crushing robot grooves. The Tangerine Dream-ish “Rogue Moon” ratchets up to near-blinding intensity before a long, calming slowdown. The distorted bass-driven “NFU” is made even stranger by the wails of harmonica (from Dan Balcer) the duo add. However, it is the eight-minute Gong-ish “Epilogue” where Writhing Squares find a never-before-discovered nexus between The Stooges (Nickles’ blows like Steve MacKay too) and Yes (Daniel Provenzano’s thunderous high-frequency bass.) For two guys, Writhing Squares make a BIG noise on their third album.
JOAO LOBO - Simorgh [LP](Les Albums Claus BEL)
TREPPENWITZ - Sister In Kith [LP](Discus UK)
Two different modern takes on Free Jazz from a pair of very adventurous artists. Joao Lobo is phenomenal as a drummer. His blistering waves on the kit become a wash on these five songs. Most notably is the lengthy but well-arranged "71-72" which bears the most thematic parts and biggest change on the entire album. As a trio with brother Norberto and bassist Soet Kempeneer, Joao Lobo leads them through furious portions ("Cumulonimbo") like a Seventies pre-Fusion band that is wild about Free Jazz.
Leeds' trio Treppenwitz takes a more Sixties Jazz approach to their Free Jazz. On "Sister In Kith," their synergy is undeniable. Playing together live and being recorded really raises their confidence in adding swing-like changes ("brimful") and quiet passages (the Ornette Coleman-meets-Bad Plus beauty "brave to swim in this weather.") As a group, "Sister In Kith" has a wonderful Charles Mingus-plays-Eric Dolphy quality to it. Tom Riviere's bass lines are elegant and give the tracks a punch. Steve Hanley's drums are never busy, but even in subtlety finding new inner rhythms to summon. Finally, Matthew Aplin's inventive piano lines echo Monk and Cecil Taylor. "Sound Logic/Sound Magic" has some awesome doubled lines from him where his dip into different harmonies colors the mood but never just changes it. Treppenwitz's explorations of sound and interplay are some of the best you will hear in 2021.
MODERN RUIN - Unemployment Disco Line [LP](Hoga Nord SWE)
MANSLAUGHTER 777 - World Vision Perfect Harmony [LP](Thrill Jockey/Redeye)
Modern noise must actually be both more refined and more visceral than the music it is following. Like Metal, the trick is to really push the parameters (and meters) in sound to make an impact. With their Throbbing Gristle-esque rumble (and vocals,) Modern Ruin sounds like they are out to renew the Annual Reports. "Unemployment" is grim but strangely buoyant as the songs slowly take you in.
Manslaughter 777 is far more blatant and makes a wild noise on their album. Lee Buford from The Body and Zac Jones from Braveyoung make a huge racket with squelched, squeals and shrieks and then settle into a machine-like groove ("Gainax.") On drums, Jones has a few neat methods of turning a Manslaughter 777 song on its ear. "ARC" starts with a fierce Jungle beat and only lets up when the overdistorted noise enters and then leaves with the more subtle (and familiar) drum machine leading the way to its haunting conclusion. While "Do You Know Who Loves You" closes the album with a tense combination of Hip-Hop, Breakbeat, and House rhythms layered beneath some well-positioned choral samples. "Harmony" shows a lot of promise.
PIERO UMILIANI - L’UOMO ELETTRONICO: COSMIC ELECTRONIC ENVIRONMENTS FROM AN ITALIAN SYNTH MUSIC MAESTRO 1972- 1983 [LP](Four Flies/Light In The Attic/The Orchard)
The man behind “Mah Nà Mah Nà” was an amazing film score composer. Italians have a phenomenal backcatalog of movie music. Piero Umiliani is in great company. Umiliani scored Spaghetti Westerns and Giallo and meets all the criteria to place him in the company of the best. However, his Electronic music is what really stands out in his career. Given the limitations of the synthesizer, Umiliani learned to do more with less (not something composers are known for.) “L’Uomo Elettronico” is an awesome overview. “Pianeta spento” moves in your mind at the pace of long tracking shots. The kitschy “Soundmaker Blues” and its primitive drum machine sound sinister in his hands while “Dolomiti” could have originated at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Like a scientist with his synthesizers, Umiliani’s experiments in music still astound.
THE GORDONS - The Gordons + Future Shock [LP](1972)
FLEUR DE LYS - Circles: The Ultimate Fleur De Lys [LP](Acid Jazz UK)
This pair of reissues illuminate several of the facets of two important periods in Music that do not see enough adulation and examination. On the heels of Punk in the late Seventies, New Zealand became a hotbed of truly creative and original Rock. Given their newness to the process, the recordings often sound primitive. However, as these intrepid bands worked to figure out how to make their own music - something highly interesting emerged. With Auckland and Dunedin dominating history, down in Christchurch the trio The Gordons were discovering new vistas in noisy guitar (“Right On Time”) and punky Post-Punk (“Future Shock” could be Husker Du.) The Gordons paved the way for lonely Amerindie bands of the Eighties and then returned in 1988 as Bailter Space.
Southampton’s Fleur De Lys was only a band from 1964-1969. However, the scope of their music demonstrates the changes British music was going through in the transitions from Beat to Freakbeat. Jimmy Page produced their first single (“Moondreams”) and even wrote the B-side (“Wait For Me.”) By 1966, the Mod influence enters their music in a chaotic cover of The Who’s “Circles” featuring some wild guitar work from Bryn Haworth that hints at their future direction. So when they unleash what could be their best song “Mud In Your Eye, ” that Mod influence and fury has pushed them away from Pop straight into Freakbeat. This Acid Jazz collection gathers these necessities and 21 more tracks including ones they recorded under different names (Rupert’s People recorded a sizzling B-side “Hold On” that the band would go on to play behind Sharon Tandy when she signed with Stax Records) and three demos.
PER TJERNBERG’S ARCHIMEDES BADKAR - Perfect Time [LP](Gamlestans/Redeye)
Percussionist Tjernberg leads this motley crew of 70’s rockers on a Psychedelic Rock voyage through the past. Songs throb, pulse, and churn along on a bed of wild polyrhythms and bleating horns. They disintegrate the boundaries of music with several covers that maintain their form (a steel-guitar led version of The Grateful Dead’s “The Eleven/Turn On Your Love Light” from “Live/Dead”) and do not (Dylan into Joni into Duke on “I Want You/Carey/In A Sentimental Mood/High Fidelity.”) “Perfect Time” is drawn together as an odyssey which gets poignant (“Smiling Faces Going Places”) and even neo-classical (the Steve Reich-ian claps and looped melody of “End Credits.”) “Perfect Time” is a perfect time for psychedelic astronauts and avid music explorers.
J.FISHER - THEJEREMYFISHER [CS](Deathbomb Arc)
J.Fisher is a creator of Hip-Hop environments. His album bursts open with video game-worthy 8-bit sounds, banging slow beats, and the weirdest rhymes. “THEJEREMYFISHER” is constructed to be heard as a whole with fake radio broadcasts (confidence is everything) and even the weather (“Scott Mean.”) However, these are the revision of skits from Nineties Hip-Hop. J.Fisher’s music is about continuity and continuing to throw a wrench into the system. “Toothrot” is physically painful (as it should be,) “Breakfast (feat. The Holy Circle) is a Prince-like descent, and “Piratebay” features the coolest distorted synths in a long while. Give this man a show on Adult Swim, his music oozes personality.
And that concludes our broadcast day. Never fear, we are already at work on the installment. Already, forces are gathering new music just for you. TBONES all ready for you.
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