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Music

Winter Family: Chevaliers (digital, Sub Rosa, April 2021)

This is a strangely wonderful thing from Israeli–French duo Ruth Rosenthal and Xavier Klaine. The first half consists entirely of Klaine’s quiet pipe-organ drone and Rosenthal’s even quieter vocals, a mostly monotone mumbling in (I think) a mixture of English, French, and Hebrew that borders on ASMR, plus the distant sound of church bells. The […]

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Arushi Jain: Under The Lilac Sky (digital, Leaving Records, July 2021)

This was a love-at-first-listen album for me. The first track, Richer Than Blood, opens with this sort of ambient crescendo of creaks and hums, and then a delightfully smudged vocal (in, I think, some flavour of Hindustani) soars over it, and that’s me gone. Jain, who was born in New Delhi and lives in New […]

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Music

DJ Black Low: Uwami (CD, May 2021, Awesome Tapes From Africa)

A really impressive debut from this 20-year-old South African producer Sam Austin Rabede, alongside a wide range of collaborators and vocalists. The beats are, I gather, amapiano: rooted in house music, but with some really strong syncopation and tonnes of improvised-sounding frills and flourishes. (I’ll confess I’d not heard of the genre before, but then […]

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Music

Katrine Grarup Elbo: Fold Unfold (LP, Sonic Pieces, May 2021)

This is just jaw-dropping. If I tell you it’s kind of violin-based electro-acoustic, you may think you know what to expect, but I don’t think you do. This record is packed with astonishing sounds: it wails, it thrums, it pulses, it soars, it laments, it floats. Oh, and there are some heartstring-tugging melodies, too. Elbo’s […]

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Music

James Welburn: Sleeper In The Void (LP, Miasmah, April 2021)

I was well-disposed to this record before I listened to it because I had taken a childish pleasure in its title, which I admired for its OTT vibe which put me in mind of a nihilist Dune. So when it opened with a quietly rumbling gong (or something gongy) which you just know is going […]

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Robin Rimbaud: Staging Silence (2LP, Sub Rosa, April 2021)

Hans Op de Beeck‘s Staging Silence is a film art series in which a camera points at a table as hands come in from either side to construct and transform dioramas of various tranquil scenes, such as a wooden jetty on a moonlit lake, often out of recognizable everyday objects. Elegantly lit, and presented in […]

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Music

Faith Coloccia & Philip Jeck: Stardust (CD, Touch, May 2021)

This arrived as a bit of a surprise to me: apparently, I had pre-ordered it, I think on the basis of a link from a Touch newsletter, and then forgotten all about it until it plonked through my letterbox. In this spirit, I have decided not to educate myself about its backstory. I can tell […]

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Music

Sara Berts: Ayni (LP, Gang Of Ducks, April 2021)

According to the blurb on the back, this record was born out of two experiences: a trip to the Peruvian Amazon, and the strict lockdown in Italy. Most of the sounds here were made on a Buchla Music Easel in the latter context; the former provided field recordings from the Mayantuyaca centre for Asháninka healing, […]

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Music

Claire Rousay: A Softer Focus (LP, American Dreams, April 2021)

There is a strong lockdown vibe to this record, but in a sunny, blissed-out, lemonade-making kind of a way. The six tracks here take in gauzy, ambient synth sounds, strings both gently droning and elegantly melodic, field recordings that tend towards the splashing water and the passing buses and the children playing in the distance […]

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Music

Grace Ferguson: Voler (LP, Music Company, February 2021)

This is one of those records where I started to feel myself falling for it about a minute into my first listen, and was head over heels by about minute five. There’s this rather lovely delicate piano sound, you see. But then there’s this helicopter. And there’s just about birdsong. Then the piano builds in […]