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Music

Ellen Fullman & Theresa Wong: Harbors (LP, Room 40, August 2020)

If you’re like me, then you’ll read that this record features Ellen Fullman on long string instrument and Theresa Wong on cello and electronics and you’ll immediately try to imagine what a long string instrument might be. Just how long are the strings you’re imagining? Pretty long? If you’re like me, then you’re probably falling […]

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Kaboom Karavan: The Log And The Leeway (LP, Miasmah, July 2020)

It’s kind of hard to know how to get an opening angle on this one. Genre-wise, it’s… well, we can start with folk, there’s definitely folk, there, but it’s not folk, it’s kind of wandered a long way from the beaten path, and got lost in some strange places, and picked up all kinds of […]

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Music

I made a playlist: You Have Fallen Down A Well (But It Is Okay)

My partner has a thing where she posts selections of tunes on her Instagram Live, and she asked me to do a guest slot yesterday. The brief she gave me was “You Have Fallen Down A Well (But It Is Okay)”. I decided to restrict myself to the last decade or so, because more constraints […]

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Shida Shahabi: Shifts (LP, 130701, November 2019)

I’ll admit that my first thought on hearing the opening track here, Futō, was that maybe it was overdoing the whole close-miked piano thing a wee bit, as the creak of the mechanism was so up front in the mix. But that was soon forgotten, displaced by my second and more lasting thought: this is […]

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Julia Kent: Temporal (LP, The Leaf Label, January 2019)

There’s always a danger with music based around looped strings: get it wrong, and it can stray into annoying-busker-outside-shopping-centre territory and there’s no coming back from there. Well, I’m pleased to report that we’re in far more appealing terrain here. Julia Kent is credited with cello, electronics, and sounds. Most of the tracks have the […]

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Music

Lubomyr Melnyk: Fallen Trees (LP, Erased Tapes, December 2018)

Ukrainian-born pianist Lubomyr Melnyk came up with what he called ‘continuous music’ sometime in the seventies, but seems to have been having a bit of a moment recently, at least in parts through his involvement with Erased Tapes. This is my first real exposure to his work, and, boy, what an experience it is. As far […]

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Music

Tim Hecker: Konoyo (2xLP, Kranky, September 2018)

I have a bad habit of using Tim Hecker comparisons in this blog as kind of a lazy shorthand for a really full kind of ambient drone, the sound that fills the spectrum, fills the sound-stage, and fills every last cubic millimetre of your brain cavity with a giant pulsating fuzz monster. This is largely based […]

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Music

Caterina Barbieri: Born Again In The Voltage (LP, Important Records, September 2018)

Barbieri’s Patterns Of Consciousness was a thing of great wonder and one of my records of 2017. This record was recorded before that, in 2014–15, but released after — I’m not sure whether this was planned, or whether this one only saw the light of day owing to the success of her debut. No matter: it […]

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Christina Vantzou: No. 4 (LP, Kranky, April 2018)

Christina Vantzou keeps us on our toes here. Glissando for Bodies and Machines in Space is all sighing voices and synthesized hums. Percussion in Nonspace is sparkling little number of delicate chimes. At Dawn is a generously-processed string drone number (the cello is by Clarice Jensen whose For This From That Will Be Filled I was […]

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Music

Clarice Jensen: For This From That Will Be Filled (LP, Miasmah, March 2018)

It’s no secret that I’m a sucker for some cello-based drone music, and Clarice Jensen has provided four rather dreamy examples of it here. The first track, bc, was composed in collaboration with the late and sorely lamented Jóhann Jóhannsson, and sounds very much like a tribute to William Basinski, so that’s ticking a whole bunch […]