Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bohren & Der Club Of Gore - Sunset Mission

Label: Wonder
Released: 2000
Style: Contemporary Jazz

"A long-time favourite of ours, Bohren’s “Sunset Mission” is finally available again and is a must-have item for anyone looking for something to sit alongside Angelo Badelamanti’s soundtrack work for Twin Peaks. Whilst Motren Gass, Throsten Benning and Robin Rodenberg (aka Bohren & Der Club Of Gore) would like to have you believe they all live in unlit basements and only venture out to stare balefully at the moon, the truth, based on the reissue of 2000's 'Sunset Mission', suggests that they're all just a bunch of hopeless romantics... Comprised of piano, bass, sax and guitar, Bohren & Der Club Of Gore craft caliginous instrumental compositions that slow-waltz around the 'Jazz/Noir/Twin Peaks Soundtrack' divide with a sound they rather misleadingly refer to as 'horror jazz'. Referencing the likes of David Lynch at every turn, Bohren's sound takes deeply textured journeys into the smokey and crepuscular outer-reaches of Loungecore. Elegant, inviting and covered in Black-Lodge red velvet 'Sunset Mission' is perfect for long and sweaty summer evenings or cold and brooding winter ones. Highly Recommended." - Boomkat


1 Prowler (5:03)
2 On Demon Wings (7:02)
3 Midnight Walker (7:18)
4 Street Tattoo (9:51)
5 Painless Steel (5:41)
6 Darkstalker (5:44)
7 Nightwolf (16:31)
8 Black City Skyline (5:51)
9 Dead End Angels (10:26)


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Christopher Bissonnette - In Between Words

Label: Kranky
Released: 2008
Style: Ambient

"In Between Words is a collection of works that continue Christopher BissonnetteÕs explorations into orchestral and spatial acoustics. Cultivating an increasing interest in field recording and found sounds, Bissonnette has woven spatial ambience into these new compositions, while still concentrating on moments of near empty space between 'instruments.'

Inspired by the continuous din, the constant low-level hum of urban background noise, interspersed with all manner of mechanically created sounds, Bissonnette finds in this a near-melodic soundtrack to his daily life. On the final track "Jour Et Nuit," this seems most apparent as one can almost hear sparse traffic on a highway in the sweeping long tones.

Using orchestral sound sources as well as recording his own sounds to manipulate and process, Bissonnette has crafted a symphony of six movements, with melodies as ghostly apparitions that fade in and out of view. Recorded as spontaneous mixes, these compositions maintain a sense of organic fluidity while creating passages of escalating tension." - Label


1 Provenance (9:58)
2 Touch Of Heartbreak (7:10)
3 Orffyreus Wheel (10:32)
4 Tempest (6:17)
5 The Colonnade (10:33)
6 Jour Et Nuit (6:17)


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Alps - III

Label: Type Records
Released: 2008
Style: Folk Rock, Experimental

"Although III might be the third album from San Francisco trio The Alps it marks their first studio-based record and a fresh direction for the psychedelic supergroup. Made up of Tarentel mainman Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, ex-Tussle member Alexis Georgopoulos (better known as ARP) and Troll member Scott Hewicker there is a deft amount of skill on display as the three rip through eight tracks of sizzling spiritual bliss. Comparisons here are easy to bring up – Popol Vuh, Ennio Morricone and Serge Gainsbourg spring to mind for starters as the band toss and tangle through thick drum breaks and reverberating sun-drenched guitar lines.

III feels like a lost soundtrack to some crumbling Italian surrealist classic with its pounding basslines and swirling synthesizers. This is visual music, inspired by the likes of Werner Herzog, Alejandro Jordorowsky and Michaelangelo Antonioni, but what results is far more than a pastiche. Rather the trio have concocted a record which while being aware of its sprawling influences is far more than the sum of its parts. The finest excesses of progressive rock and the leanest intricacies of the psychedelic folk scene have been splashed together with a distinct dusty funk overlook to produce something which is totally out of time. Free from some half baked scene or other this is the result of three musicians doing exactly what they want." - Label


1 A Manhã Na Praia (5:28)
2 Hallucinations (7:35)
3 Cloud One (4:44)
4 Trem Fantasma (7:42)
5 Labyrinths (5:09)
6 Pink Light (1:48)
7 Echoes (4:18)
8 Into The Breeze (4:07)


Monday, October 6, 2008

Cloudland Canyon - Silver Tongued Sisyphus

Label: Kranky
Released: 2007
Style: Krautrock, Psychedelic Rock, Experimental

"Silver Tongued Sisyphus is a secular call to prayer with humming, looping and loping ambient passages interspersed with bursting rhythmic energy and agitated guitar lines. Recent live shows have sounded like an unauthorized soundtrack to netherworld versions of The Swimmer or The Scorceror. Pulling influences from the foggy ether of generations past, Cloudland Canyon has staked their claim to the shadows of cult musical culture of the late 1960's and early 1970's German underground scene." - Label


1 Dambala (11:34)
2 Silver Tongued Sisyphus (11:58)


Labradford - Mi Media Naranja

Label: Kranky
Released: 1997
Style: Abstract, Minimal, Ambient

"With their fourth album, Labradford have once again broadened and varied their sound, while maintaining their distinctive identity. Mi Media Naranja adds a string section, Fender Rhodes electric piano and slide guitar to the trio's sound bank. It is the most cinematic of Labradford's recordings to date. The music alternately stretches, ripples or lofts its way past the listener as if it was coming off a screen and not through speakers. The sounds here are reminiscent of John Barry, Bill Evans and most of all, Labradford." - Label


1 S (6:19)
2 G (4:00)
3 WR (5:50)
4 C (6:25)
5 I (4:59)
6 V (6:25)
7 P (9:19)


Hauschka - Ferndorf

Label: 130701
Released: 2008
Style: Modern Classical, Experimental

"Hauschka’s second album for FatCat’s 130701 imprint offers a brilliant advance on 2007’s ‘Room To Expand’. Where the previous album comprised mostly solo recordings of Hauschka’s ‘prepared’ piano (with a few electronic and instrumental overdubs), ‘Ferndorf’ is a far more expansive and fully-realised album, with many of the tracks also featuring a string duo, enabling an increased solidity. More dynamic, its staccato stabbing rhythms are rendered increasingly rousing and emotive with these additional strings. Whilst he recordings still retain the shivers and tics (as by-products of) of the modified internal workings of the piano - alongside some sweet electronic touches – these are less central and instead what’s foregrounded is the melodic / rhythmic push and pull, and a development towards more orchestrated music and notated compositions." - Label


1 Blue Bicycle (5:37)
2 Morgenrot (3:29)
3 Rode Null (4:01)
4 Freibad (4:30)
5 Barfuss Durch Gras (4:19)
6 Heimat (3:40)
7 Nadelwald (3:34)
8 Schönes Mädchen (3:40)
9 Eltern (4:21)
10 Alma (2:40)
11 Neuschnee (3:42)
12 Weeks Of Rain (2:38)


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