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Music

Jacaszek: Gardenia (CD, Touch, October 2020)

It’s the best part of a decade since I last encountered Michał Jacaszek. Glimmer is one of those records I’ve been dead into, then kind of forgotten about, then been delighted to rediscover all over again. I seem to love it a little more each time around. I kind of fell in love with Gardenia […]

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Verraco: Grial (LP, Insurgentes, November 2020)

In my last post, I promised myself that the next record I write about here would have “proper tunes, or a proper rhythm, or maybe even (gasp!) both”. Well, here it is! It’s kind of fascinating to me how, twenty-plus years after it’s heyday, kids around the world are finding cool things to do with […]

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Lea Bertucci: Acoustic Shadows (LP, SA Recordings, October 2020)

I’m making a promise to myself, right here, right now: the next record I write about here will have proper tunes, or a proper rhythm, or maybe even (gasp!) both. I don’t know whether it’s something to do with All This Business that we’ve been having for the last few months, but I appear to […]

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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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Lisa Lerkenfeldt: Collagen (LP, Shelter Press, August 2020)

A promising debut LP from this Australian ambient artist. We open with In Her Hair, a big shimmering ambient synth number, and we close with Champagne Smoke, a rather lush strings-and-static melody-versus-noise track (spoiler alert: the melody wins on points). In between, things are decidedly more sparse: the title track’s thin, high-register drones almost play […]

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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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Irmin Schmidt: Nocturne (2LP, Mute, May 2020)

I feel like Irmin Schmidt would be justified in being a bit bored of being referred to as the keyboardist from Can after all this time, but there it is. In the four decades since the Krautrock pioneers were in regular business, he seems to have mostly done soundtrack work. But in 2019 he turned […]

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France Jobin: Death Is Perfection, Everything Else Is Relative (LP, Editions Mego, July 2020)

This is the kind of record you want to turn up loud and just let it wash over you. It’s two tracks, each just under twenty minutes, of glacial Buchla 200 drone. It hums and it shimmers and it throbs and it crackles gently. Sometimes the changes snap in and out abruptly; other times they […]

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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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Ewa Justka: Upside Down Smile (LP, Editions Mego, April 2020)

Ewa Justke says that this was made “by self-designed, self-made, selfselfself, odd looking slightly dysfunctional synthesisers and by a trance purple killer Roland JP8080”. I believe her. I guess you might call it kind of experimental hardcore acid techno. It is mastered by the great Russell Haswell. The opening track, Mindless Cycles, is an awesomely […]