Tuesday, April 19, 2016

gamardah fungus - herbs and potions (cd/digital, flaming pines)

plant mutational blow-up molecular, buzzing and chirping insect/bird-life growing old in amplified and sped-up outdoor grasp, veins on leaves creating melody and photosynthetic musical transportation. and when in the exacting prism, microphones extend as extra branch/limb instrumentation and drip the collected medicinal sap as footprint locators, as documented time-spots trim the greening score back to the human interactive, delicate enough to keep a dissolver's trace and collaged just right to fill the gardening foliage.

guitar takes over while staying camouflaged in the bushes, peeks out animal-like within the full-shrubbed shadings, undisguised by its breath and inflection, and sits somewhere between liquid and membrane. take a lay down in the grass and touch fader to reversing delays and field response.

a language not concerned with turning one thing into another or in masking any original source, though wordless, the composition flows through the organic ideas of slackened growth and hyper-tuned micro-listening. time-lapse of flowering/colouring shape and shadow attached to antique stem, shined up by dreaming guitar.

at times the background rains and gear-additionals create looping arrangements and can duplicate trains whirring past open window escapes, voices heard far off collect with the guitar and the drifting notes of sonic tree-ruffle/paper-sound separate out from a static underlay and slowly disband.

all dissonance sharpens against the electricity running from place-time root to leafing/living tip and catches up to the slow-flowing whole. lifted out and into handled aquarium. 


Thursday, April 14, 2016

el is a sound of joy - plus (cd/digital, no index)

(album stream found here)

jangled cluttering peripheral waves, a great many mellow tones and silent bridging, full band in march/punch, the finer-tuned mathematical jazz thing mirrored by open spaces and crawling modern individual instrumentation. rollicking outer carefree wind-ups find solid in-the-pocket timing. 

call-response horn matching and braiding willing to finish each other's statements, riding/sliding on freewheeling speedy and colourful pulse, soft swings, doesn't always blow loud, finding matching backbeat and superimposing pattern. a larger band brewing group-play with rocking collaboration, playful and serious interplay in seconds-happening transitional think, sometimes sounding spliced and jump-cut rhythmic despite the improvising nature and open timbred semi-chaos. 

the quietest parts wield eerie otherness, i can't quite nail it down, the feeling is revelatory and accidental and heady, a connecting mind with synapses blinking, where chance moves add to a structural plan, blowing the air up, then resting back into a dazing and alien world-music folk-like sessional. 

guitars and synths and violins and woodwinds and rattling percussion, some subtler electronics and ngoni even, total this to a wild hybrid line-up, clacking and metred gamelan underneath electric piano, lilts from a bird-call horn or flute blowing breeze-tone breath, duos form trios and extend out into six for a few of the boomier moments. there's a coming and going where the sound is continuous and floating and the players walk into it and join it. they're making/realizing the music and finding intuitive notation in the cosmos simultaneously. a new thing working a small community harmony.

plus, capital a, plus. 

Friday, April 8, 2016

graham dunning - at home with spanish (tape/digital, self-released)

automated machines, turntable sculptures, pulleys and gears and locked-groove repositioning, lining up in phase and falling out, turning and mechanical sounding, grandfather clocks ripped open and modified to fit futuristic alleyway chaos, rebellious and lulling and meditative once inside the grips, levers triggering newer sounds of repeating charm, hardened noises softening and burning off with the embers of long smoke curled mesmerization. chugging away in existential re-purpose, churning under the same functioning part-thing, embellished the time cut back to a forced and slightly changing beginning of a tick-tocking structure set to always begin.

british sirens finalize side one with real time pass solution, and is a brilliant moment of life surrounding art, and even those sound chopped and taken from another time's beginning/being to be reinterpreted over again.

generally it's the polyrhythms created through the tumbling surfaces that bring it all to be, and the space given to rudimentary and secondary findings prop up the dronier cause and effect, and when everything gets silent and open, as side two starts say, the magic lies inside what we hear, and our brains want to dissect further into what we're perceiving, as hiss and a pure nothingness brings a drama beyond technique, implied even, they sweeten the compositions through subtraction and an expert minimalism. i can't listen stronger, yet i'm totally relaxed.

the two pieces vary greatly from the 'music by the metre' prowess and show the wild coverage and expanding universe we're dealing with when the gear gets the floor, a robotic come-to-life manufactured and studied behind the veil, touched and pieced together over a philosophy-meets-randomness testing, practice makes perfect (as the sculptures will always inherently be themselves), and there's a real power in that kind-of artistic installation, where mind over matter turns and returns matter over tape.  


ingrid plum with graham dunning, ian stonehouse & john harries - everything is becoming science fiction (tape/digital, plum records)

this is a tape of duo pieces held down by plum, based around a collection of short stories by jg ballard, with improvisations using this text as the basis for the score with dunning, stonehouse and harries, respectively. 

plum/dunning - track 12

split glitches, muffled, ringing electronics like extended technique on cymbal scrapes carefully intoning multiple sound sources in stereo interplay. crackles of vinyl adding presence to ulterior room air, scratches of needle mark jumps duet with pinpoint thinning feedback and voices in rotating horn-call, the sound of a massive boat shoring with everything in the background illuminating in heavy water hum as deep breathing tonal whispering fades with wind-blown reverbs into signal-sweeping shoreline smearing. getting distant and as it gains in propulsion and droning path it fades away into a crisper disintegration, leaving behind microscopic sound tides. 

plum/stonehouse - the sound sweep

slippery dabs and stunted hits, older sounds coexist with new pulling peaks, free and open and lurching, voice hitting trumpet blurts and holds, thick with tricked hitch and hiss that stumbles purely into staggering rhythmic beats and interlocking hypnotic pattern. then it dives out and tests points farther away from each other with the trickling conjurations kept in full rear-view motion, locking in and flying away, steadied by bassier pulse and machine generated throb and when it flies highest, in perfect swing, it's damn heavy and right.


plum/harries - the singing statues
ballad start, teasing out softer singing breath, matched by cubist sound rising and disappearing, a contracting web of struck material and overloading frequency, with beautiful super-close vocals and blowings and wafts of chants or sound-poem glows in proper spectrum-sitting place. they can be hauntingly moving but too at peace to be unsettling, there's a deeper reach inside the unconscious/subconscious and a play for externalizing mystery, this new language answered by ceremonial drum-sound drops repeating and echoing away into higher pitched escape. 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

charlie ulyatt - dead birds (tape/cdr/digital, self-released)

full-bodied rich glowing chords and picked guitar notes, lush with organ-similar overtones hanging in the air over every move, with a nice trebled and angelic tone carving through the wanted-forest in front. the sound of brush in coating form, the wilds retrofitted with a sustain pedal from a piano-like sing, an amplifier naturalism blending in with the greens and blues and greys, leaving trails and poems at touched sitting/standing spots. the massive open and holding harmonics hallow the landscapes back to humanity with a desolate feel cured from awe and tuned to near-optimism.

everything outside is in a state of regeneration, terrain dries up and will get wet again, the brightness placed over the pensive playing acknowledges a cycle, a night journey for outer stars and an early wake-up for the winds to start again in a kinder way.

wanting to be a part of the imagery and the awakening of the wooded and greened lands, specific sun-hit or climbing hill, electrified six-strings in osmotic wherewithal, environmental exorcistic letting go, taking and leaving and honouring.
not quite the sound of rain showers on tin, but close, a clean metallic wind chime ring, thickened by rounded speaker curve and sonic suspension. from speaker to the land, as if freed to co-mingle with distance and topographical height/highs.

can be tent drifting for night lay-down use, or brought along when collecting the well's water in earliest arrival. less overt desert as others try, there's a fullness and painterly wind to this that separates it out and flags it to a place, adding gentle autobiography.  

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

boris kuthelia - keeper of abkhazian music (digital, ored recordings)

bowed raw string circular shapings harmonious with reaching microtone-like near-note vocals, oldest of folk tunes sung like their climbing on top and riding in the back of the truck's bed, bending and turning and wrapping around corners and hills of simplified poetry, working as working class prayers, in constant statement, the strangest of melodies new to my ears, stated and re-phrased and free from pause or silences, a waterflow of subtle rippling, controlled and led, never loud or abrasive, ceremonies for listening spaces. tints of sadness and joy fill the memories being passed around, they seem to be pure and introspective and offer insights or perspective on places and beings and age. 

carrying more weight and complexity than the basics of the delivery might disguise, rich with history and storytelling, a cultural mirror and archive in oral tradition/purpose, this is living music communing with the now, bringing wisdom, ringing metaphoric bells of separate eras, rhythms skipping up the scaled ethos, and descending on the same roads, it's full language covering minimal/literal ground yet completely engulfed in a greater global landscape, if we pay attention. 

save from a few claps and shaker sounds, the lonely performances by kuthelia are intimate and special, and reveal a celebratory guidance, we're listening into the transparency, we're hearing how it would be presented in a crowd with make-it-through-the-night dancing and drinking, but it's bare here and secretive, extracted and ready to be adapted, new voices/ghosts can bring it with them into the future for him as he had received this at an earlier time, if they pay attention. the wick is now the flame.