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Music

Katrine Grarup Elbo: Fold Unfold (LP, Sonic Pieces, May 2021)

This is just jaw-dropping. If I tell you it’s kind of violin-based electro-acoustic, you may think you know what to expect, but I don’t think you do. This record is packed with astonishing sounds: it wails, it thrums, it pulses, it soars, it laments, it floats. Oh, and there are some heartstring-tugging melodies, too. Elbo’s […]

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Robin Rimbaud: Staging Silence (2LP, Sub Rosa, April 2021)

Hans Op de Beeck‘s Staging Silence is a film art series in which a camera points at a table as hands come in from either side to construct and transform dioramas of various tranquil scenes, such as a wooden jetty on a moonlit lake, often out of recognizable everyday objects. Elegantly lit, and presented in […]

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Music

Claire Rousay: A Softer Focus (LP, American Dreams, April 2021)

There is a strong lockdown vibe to this record, but in a sunny, blissed-out, lemonade-making kind of a way. The six tracks here take in gauzy, ambient synth sounds, strings both gently droning and elegantly melodic, field recordings that tend towards the splashing water and the passing buses and the children playing in the distance […]

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Grace Ferguson: Voler (LP, Music Company, February 2021)

This is one of those records where I started to feel myself falling for it about a minute into my first listen, and was head over heels by about minute five. There’s this rather lovely delicate piano sound, you see. But then there’s this helicopter. And there’s just about birdsong. Then the piano builds in […]

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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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Music

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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Music

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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Music

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 […]