Categories
Music

Colleen: A Flame My Love, A Frequency (LP, Thrill Jockey, October 2017)

If, like me, you know Colleen (aka Cecile Schott) from records like Les Ondes Silencieuses and The Weighing Of The Heart, you’d probably be quite surprised that this album ditches the viola da gamba and, seemingly, all other acoustic instruments entirely. Apparently she’d started out adding a Critter & Guitari pocket piano synth into the mix, couldn’t make […]

Categories
Music

Petar Dundov: At The Turn Of Equilibrium (4LP+CD, Music Man, May 2016)

Aw, now, this is kind of lovely. It’s techno at its most melodic and hypnotic. The tunes are front and centre of everything here, the beats sitting and the back and just gently propelling things along. In fact, it’s kind of pushing the line between techno and a kind of proggy trancy synth music. The […]

Categories
Music

Tarquin Manek: Tarquin Magnet (LP, Blackest Ever Black, December 2015)

This starts out magnificently. Sassafras Gesundheit — quite apart from being an amazing title — is a 13 minute workout centred around an infectious circular melody on some kind of analogue-sounding synth, a jazzy burbling bass clarinet, and a kind of scratchy fiddling. This is all enhanced with a packed toybox of bangs, clanks, bloops, […]

Categories
Music

Zarelli: Soft Rains (LP+CD, Seriés Aphonos, February 2015)

Fascinating… Nuclear armageddon never sounded so good. The vocal on this decidedly retro treat is a 1975 recording of Leonard Nimoy reading Ray Bradbury’s gently post-apocalyptic 1950 short story There Will Come Soft Rains, which begins as a description of life in a futuristic automated house (internet of things, anyone?) but gradually reveals first that […]

Categories
Music

Locust: After The Rain (CD, Editions Mego, October 2014)

Aw, now this is a treat. Mark van Hoen and Louis Sherman have made an album rich in analogue synth sounds. There’s something very 70s about this music — there are bits which sound strikingly like Vangelis — but there’s also a very hopeful feel. It’s a kind of nostalgic futurism. It also has melodies, […]

Categories
Music

Jonas Reinhardt: Powers Of Audition (CD, Kranky, March 2010)

This is a good deal sillier than most of the records I talk about here. It’s tempting to describe it as a guilty pleasure, but I don’t really feel very guilty about it. Reinhardt is all about the synths, and creates wonderfully warm analogue music with layers of synths and drum machines, plus a good […]