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Music

Marielle V Jakobsons: Star Core (LP, Thrill Jockey, August 2016)

I was first drawn to this because I was curious about Jakobson’s Macro Cymatic Visual Music Instrument, a homemade construction which transduces the vibrations in water into sound (I won’t try to explain it any more than that, instead you should just go see it in action). Certainly there are some interesting sounds going on here, […]

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Music

Mätisse: Kairos (CD, In Paradisum, January 2016)

Sometimes, I really don’t make life easy for myself. It’s very hard to know what to say about this record. There are two 18-minute tracks, but each is in several apparently unrelated parts. Along the way it incorporates (in no particular order) melodic synth music, sparse modern classical using a variety of different piano sounds […]

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Music

Harold Budd + Eraldo Bernocchi: Music For Fragments From The Inside (2xLP, Sub Rosa, December 2014)

Combining classical music and electronica sounds like a great idea in theory, but in my experience it’s often pretty underwhelming in practice. Not so this collaboration, recorded live at the Palazzo Delle Papesse Centro Arte Contemporanea in Siena, Italy, initially released in 2005, and here re-released on beautiful double LP. Bernocchi’s electronics — at times straight-up […]

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Music

Fatima Al Qadiri: Asiatisch (CD, Hyperdub, April 2014)

This record opens rather arrestingly with a song whose lyrics are more-or-less nonsense verse in Mandarin, sung to the tune of Nothing Compares 2 U, accompanied by little more than a synthesized celestial choir. The effect is rather surreal, but the significance is clear: Al Qadiri (who is Kuwaiti, born to Russian-educated parents in Senegal, […]

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Music

Egyptrixx: A/B Till Infinity (CD, Night Slugs, December 2013)

Egyptrixx combines rattling beats with a rich, dark, meaty synths and a fine array of squelches and clangs. It’s the sort of music that demands to be described as cinematic, but as something I find can be a positive or a negative, and here it points to the reason I have reservations about this record: […]

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Music

Various Artists: An Anthology of Noise & Electronic Music, Vol. 7 (3xCD, Sub Rosa, June 2013)

This is the final (sob!) entry in this fantastic series by the fantastic Sub Rosa label, which has been enriching my life regularly since 2001. As always, the range of music is phenomenal, and while not everything will be to anyone’s taste, there’s always loads to keep me interested. One standout track here for me […]

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Music

Colleen: The Weighing Of The Heart (CD, Second Language, May 2013)

A warning: If you find the idea of a woman singing breathily over pretty tunes played on harps and chimes likely to bring you out in a rash from the twee, this album is probably not for you. Which would be a shame, as there’s a lot of interesting stuff going on in terms of […]

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Music

Ellen Allien: LISm (CD, BPitch Control, March 2013)

Remember when Ellen Allien was a techno producer? For quite a while now, the original Berlinette’s output has had a pretty tenuous relationship with the genre, or indeed any genre at all, and has been none the worse for that (I’d take Dust over Thrills any day, much as I love Thrills). Still, I was a little […]

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Music

Raymond Scott: Soothing Sounds For Baby (3xCD, Rasta, 1963)

Raymond Scott was a band-leader turned electronic music pioneer and synthesizer inventor. In 1963, he released these three LPs aimed at babies of 1–6, 6–12, and 12–18 months. They were, apparently, not a hit with their target market at the time. Your loss, sixties-babies, because there’s some fantastic stuff here. It was clearly either influential […]

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Music

Conrad Schnitzler reshaped and remodeled by Ricardo Villalobos & Max Loderbauer: Zug (CD, m=minmal, May 2012)

The last time we encountered master architects Villalobos and Loderbauer in reshaping and remodelling mode, they were tackling ECM’s back catalogue, and the results were a reductio ad absurdum of abstraction (which, incidentally, I love more now than when I wrote that). This time, they’re working their magic with Conrad Schnitzler’s Zug (itself a vinyl reissue of 1973’s […]