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Music

Claro Intelecto: Metanarrative (CD, Modern Love, March 2008)

40 minutes of warm, melodic, dubby, huggy techno. It’s not going to set any dancefloors on fire, and it’s not going to win any prizes for experimentation. But when I pop this on the headphones, it makes me happy for a while, and that ain’t too bad. It has the soft (I believe the term […]

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Music

Masayoshi Fujita & Jan Jelinek: Bird, Lake, Objects (CD, Faitiche, March 2010)

The most obvious thing going on here is the layering of found sounds, presumably the work of Jelinek. It’s densely textured, a very accomplished piece of production. Over that we get Fujita’s chiming vibraphone: at some times playing tinkling (improvised?) melodies, at other times just chiming away in the distance. I found it very evocative: […]

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Yellow Swans: Going Places (CD, Type, February 2010)

Noise goes pop! Yellow Swans are Pete Swanson on electronics, tapes, and vocals, and someone called GMS on guitar, tapes, and electronics. They have given us 44 minutes of buzzing, clicking, and squawling. It’s a huge monster of a record. But it’s not in the least bit difficult: there are tunes, and what’s more there […]

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Music

Nils Frahm: Wintermusik (Erased Tapes edition) (CD, Erased Tapes, December 2009)

I am finding a tendency to overuse words like “lovely” here. This short record of compositions for piano (with accompaniment on celeste, reed organ, and some kind of tapping I can’t identify) is, though, lovely. The three tracks each move between liltingly playful and hauntingly wistful. The third, Tristana, makes up over half the album, […]

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Music

Peter Broderick: Home (CD, Bella Union, October 2008)

I previously knew Broderick mostly for his wonderful Float, a modern classical masterpiece. This is very different: gone are the lush strings, gone the cinematic beauty. In are vocals, layered choral harmonies, acoustic guitars, home-made clay whistles, and (whisper it) proper songs. That said, this is not a conventional folk album. The production is too knowing […]

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Music

Goldmund: The Malady Of Excellence (CD, Type, July 2008)

In which Keith Kenniff plays some pretty tunes on the piano, and charms this listener’s socks off. Nobody could accuse this of being over-complicated. Goldmund is a solo piano project, and the tunes are quite simple and played without a great deal of flourish. At a casual listen, they could be mistaken for grade 3 […]

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Music

Carl Craig & Moritz von Oswald: Recomposed (Music by Maurice Ravel & Modest Mussorgsky) (CD, Deutsche Grammophon, October 2008)

In which the 2nd-generation Detroit deity and the more famous half of Basic Channel rip apart Ravel’s Bolero and Mussorgsky’s Pictures At An Exhibition, chuck in some old-skool drum machines and synths, and create a 64 minute techno megamix. It’s possibly too easy to call this symphonic techno. Also slightly misleading, as neither of the […]

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Music

To Kill A Petty Bourgeoisie: Marlone (CD, Kranky, September 2009)

Intriguing and rather lovely. This record gives us sparse and heavily processed instrumentation which touches on a rather fuzzy, buzzy kind of laptop folk at times, and spirals off into drone at others. But it also gives us dreamy indie-pop vocals — and some pretty catchy tunes, too. If this sounds a bit like post-rock, […]

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Music

Harmonic 313: When Machines Exceed Human Intelligence (CD, Warp, January 2009)

I think that Mark Pritchard was having a good deal of fun making this. Which is good, because I find it a good deal of fun to listen to, too. The first thing that strikes me are the big, throbbing, wobbly bass notes. Not always a good sign for me (I never quite got dubstep), […]

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Music

Leyland Kirby: Sadly, The Future Is No Longer What It Was (3CD, History Always Favours The Winners, October 2009)

Wow. There are a lot of records out there at the moment which have that crinkly wash of old strings and static thing going on. Few of them are as lovely as this. I have the triple CD (it was previously released as three double LPs) and once I start listening it’s hard not to […]