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Music

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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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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Music

Deaf Center: Low Distance (LP, Sonic Pieces, March 2019)

Previously, on “dogrando writes about some records”… Eight (8!!!) years ago, Deaf Center’s Owl Splinters was a pretty big deal in these parts. It had some fine examples of the kind of close-miked solo piano sound that was very popular back then, and some excellently spiky string numbers, and helped to define a distinctive movement […]

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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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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

Goldmund: Occasus (LP, Western Vinyl, April 2018)

It’s sort of hard to know what to say about a new Goldmund record. Delicate piano, close-miked recording by Taylor Dupree, ambient fuzz: check, check, check. It basically follows in the footsteps of 2015’s Sometimes, even down to the moody black-and-white cover art. (Of all the Goldmund albums I have, only 2011’s stunning guitar-based American Civil […]

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Music

Erik K Skodvin & Rauelsson: A Score For Darling (Sonic Pieces, March 2018)

Is it weird to buy soundtracks for films you’ve never seen and basically have no interest in seeing? I dunno. Anyway, I kind of impulse-purchased this, what with it being limited edition and all. I’ve never met an Erik K Skodvin (Svarte Greiner, Deaf Center) record I didn’t like, and Raúl Pastor Medall aka Rauelsson has […]

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Music

Thomas Strønen / Time Is A Blind Guide: Lucus (LP, ECM, January 2018)

This may be a foolish thing to say — I am far from an expert — but this strikes me as a very ECM-ish record. The line-up is strings, piano, and drums (Time Is A Blind Guide are the band; Thomas Strønen takes the writing and percussion credits). It is, for the most part, relentlessly sparse and […]

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Music

Hior Chronik: Out Of The Dust (LP, 7K!, December 2017)

Hior Chronik lists his influences as Max Richter, which I can absolutely see, and Arvo Pärt, which I confess I can’t (although I don’t know Pärt as well as I probably should). This is a dozen tracks of piano, strings (cello by Aaron Martin), and a gorgeous muted trumpet (Christian Grothe — the one who is Kryshe, […]

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Music

Ryuichi Sakamoto: async (2LP, Milan, September 2017)

Oo oo oo, I’m super-excited that, after a six month delay, the vinyl of this is out and I am holding it in my hands right now. (Well, not while I’m typing, obviously. It’s lying beside me right now.) I’ve been listening to it digitally and loved it already, but this gatefold beauty is a thrill. […]