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Music

Oiseaux-Tempête: Unworks & Rarities (LP, Sub Rosa, June 2016)

Oiseaux-Tempête’s Ütopiya? was easily one of my records of 2015. So I was pretty intrigued to get hold of this. You never know quite what you’ll get with this kind of bits-and-bobs compilation, but this exceeds expectations. It opens with Eclipse & Sirocco, a number based around Christine Ott’s ondes-martenot work which starts of as ethereal […]

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Music

Milan Knížák: Broken Music (LP, Sub Rosa, October 2015) + Milan Knížák / Opening Performance Orchestra: Broken Re/Broken (CD, Sub Rosa, October 2015)

I have a bone to pick with the normally impeccable Sub Rosa concerning their re-release of Broken Music. They describe these pieces as being “widely regarded as important sound art documents”, which suggests that they are of only historical interest, and risks obscuring the important fact that they sound freaking amazing. As a rule, I […]

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Music

Oiseaux-Tempête: Ütopiya? (CD, Sub Rosa, April 2015)

Over the last twenty-odd years, there have been many heinous crimes committed in the name of post-rock. This, however, is unashamedly post-rock, and it is stonkingly brilliant. It has quiet bits, with echoey guitars and ominous pianos and field recordings (including the obligatory street chatter with distant siren). It has loud bits, with heavy drumming […]

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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

Charlemagne Palestine: Strumming Music for Piano, Harpsichord & Strings Ensemble (3xCD, Sub Rosa, October 2010)

I’ve seen Charlemagne Palestine live three times. Each was a mesmerising, transformative, and unique experience. I’d never bought any recordings because I’d been slightly underwhelmed by those I’d heard. After all, how could it be the same without the ritual, the teddy bears and the bunting and the brandy, and how could it hope to […]

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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

Francisco López: Untitled #244 (CD, Sub Rosa, March 2010)

This is 55 minutes constructed out of “Original environmental recordings done at multiple underwater and abovewater [sic] locations in the Panamá and Paraguay rivers”. He even made it in his mobile studio on a boat. The effect is a detailed and immersive soundscape. It’s not all whale-song, though: there are spooky cavern-like episodes, all drips […]