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Music

Gesellschaft Zur Emanzipation Des Samples: Circulations (CD, Faitiche, June 2009)

One of the things that overly earnest indie/alternative types like to say is this: it’s all about the music. What a load. I’d like to advance the following as a reasonable working hypothesis: not one thing, in the whole history of human endeavour, has ever been all about the music. I’m throwing out this poorly-developed […]

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Music

Danny Norbury: Light In August (CD, Lacies, June 2009)

Norbury combines delicate piano and soaring cello, and does so in a charmingly melodic fashion. He shows no ambition to soar to the heights or plumb the depths, but the music is sincerely emotional. If I sound restrained in my praise, it’s because this is possibly a little restrained for my taste. Reviews have compared […]

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Music

Monolake: Silence (CD, Imbalance, December 2009)

If you don’t like Monolake (and there are fools out there who don’t, you know) then this probably won’t win you over. If you do, this will do very nicely thank you. Complex, stark, endlessly involving, and atmospheric, this is ultra-minimal headphones techno at it’s best. The thing that struck me most about this, compared […]

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Music

Rameses III: I Could Not Love You More (CD, Type, September 2009)

Awww, my headphones are hugging me. The basis here are long, droning string-like sounds, which pulse at something like the rate of a fast but not frantic heartbeat, and modulate over a much longer period whilst still being recognizably rhythmic. Around that we get touches of lap steel (which can’t help reminding me of the […]

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Music

Vladislav Delay: Tummaa (CD, Leaf, September 2009)

In which Sasu Ripatti takes techno apart, puts it back together all wrong, and ends up with something weird and a bit wonderful. It’s like someone is doing lego on acid, and instead of a car they have ended up with something weird and spidery and liable to fall apart at any moment, but somehow […]

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Music

Peter Broderick & Machinefabriek: Blank Grey Canvas Sky (CD, Fang Bomb, December 2009)

Aw, now, this is fantastic. Peter Broderick’s delicate and richly emotional strings and pianos meet Rutger Zuydervelt’s electronic droning and clicking, found sounds, and production trickery. And they sound like they were born to go together. It’s at once very human and completely alien, defiantly experimental and completely natural. There’s a fair range of styles, […]

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Music

Ólafur Arnalds: Dyad 1909 (CD, Erased Tapes, December 2009)

Strings and piano combine with occasional ambient washes, devastating electronic thumping sounds, and computer vocals to excellent effect. This was written as the soundtrack for a dance piece, and is unashamedly dramatic. But it stands very well on its own. Some of it feels like modern classical. Some of it feels like ambient. Some of […]

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Music

Nils Frahm: Wintermusik (Erased Tapes edition) (CD, Erased Tapes, December 2009)

I am finding a tendency to overuse words like “lovely” here. This short record of compositions for piano (with accompaniment on celeste, reed organ, and some kind of tapping I can’t identify) is, though, lovely. The three tracks each move between liltingly playful and hauntingly wistful. The third, Tristana, makes up over half the album, […]

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Music

To Kill A Petty Bourgeoisie: Marlone (CD, Kranky, September 2009)

Intriguing and rather lovely. This record gives us sparse and heavily processed instrumentation which touches on a rather fuzzy, buzzy kind of laptop folk at times, and spirals off into drone at others. But it also gives us dreamy indie-pop vocals — and some pretty catchy tunes, too. If this sounds a bit like post-rock, […]

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Music

Harmonic 313: When Machines Exceed Human Intelligence (CD, Warp, January 2009)

I think that Mark Pritchard was having a good deal of fun making this. Which is good, because I find it a good deal of fun to listen to, too. The first thing that strikes me are the big, throbbing, wobbly bass notes. Not always a good sign for me (I never quite got dubstep), […]