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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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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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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. […]

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Jessica Moss: Pools Of Light (LP, Constellation, May 2017)

A fascinating and powerful solo work from the Silver Mt Zion violinist. Each side is a continuous piece in four movements. The A-side, Entire Populations, combines densely layered strings, at times of a sort of middle-eastern-ish folk-ish flavour, at others of a spiky neo-classical, at times densely layered, at others more stripped down; Pt. II is […]

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Music

Marc Barreca: Aberrant Lens (CD, Palace Of Lights, March 2017)

Confession of ignorance time: Marc Barreca has apparently been a big noise (as it were) in electronic ambient music since the late seventies, but I’d never encountered him until now. I’m happy to correct that, though, because this is a beguiling piece of work: twelve tracks that hover tantalizingly between ambient (but they’re too structured […]

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Music

Bing & Ruth: No Home Of The Mind (LP, 4AD, February 2017)

Like many folks, I guess, I got into Bing & Ruth when RVNG released Tomorrow Was The Golden Day in 2014, and only caught their self-published debut City Lakes when RVNG reissued it in 2015. Like many folks, I guess, I gushed unashamedly about TWTGD for its lush, twinkling, warmth — but I also like the slight element of (relative) raucousness […]

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William Basinski: A Shadow In Time (LP, 2062, January 2017)

As I’ve mentioned before, you don’t expect a new William Basinski album to be a radical departure: almost imperceptible evolution is more his thing. But this does feel like a little bit of a step forward. The self-titled A-side is 17 minutes of tape loops supplemented by a Voyetra 8 synth and other electronics, apparently […]

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Music

Marcus Fjellström: Skelektikon (CD, Miasmah, January 2017)

A nicely spiky bit of modern classical shizzle: lots of urgent-sounding strings, a bit of clattering percussion, layers of atmospheric electronics. The mood ranges somewhere between the sinister and the spooky. There are bits where the melodies seem eerily familiar — I could swear that Aunchron is quoting something super-famous but I’m too ignorant to […]

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Olafur Arnalds: Island Songs (LP, Decca, October 2016)

It’s probably a trite observation, but the last week of October was a good one for fans of Icelandic classical music, with Jóhann Jóhannsson’s splendid Orphée and this. Other than the coincidence of the composers’ nationality, these are actually pretty different records. Where JJ’s was clearly very personal, this is explicitly collaborative, each track featuring a […]