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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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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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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 […]

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Nozomu Matsumoto: Sustainable Hours (LP, The Death Of Rave, April 2020)

I’m not sure, but I think that Nozomu Matsumoto might use the same speech synthesis programme as Eartheater does on, say, C.L.I.T — or, at any rate, it seems to make the same kinds of errors in its prosody. This is pretty emphatically where the similarities end, though. This record is the soundtrack to an […]

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DJ Python: Mas Amable (LP, Incienso, April 2020)

The start of this record risks confusing an aging IDM-head such as me. The first track, Te Conocí, sounds a little bit like Selected Ambient Works Volume II being played in a hut with rain pattering down on a tin roof. The whole album is presented as a continuous mix so the first beats fade […]

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Golem Mecanique: Nona, Decima et Morte (LP, Ideologic Organ, March 2020)

Stephen O’Malley (of Sunn O))) fame, and boss of the Ideologic Organ label) tells a cool story about his first meeting with Karen Jebane (aka Golem Mecanique) at an exclusive-sounding French festival where “some mad acoustician geniuses have built massive concrete amplified horns into the hillside to project sound against the cliff, activating the landscape’s […]