Archive for August, 2010
Well, as promised the new Oval album really does come across as a massively expanded version of the Oh EP. What filled two sides of 45RPM vinyl on that 12″ is here stretched across two whole CDs. The first disc features more of Markus Popp’s excursions into digitally damaged acoustic guitar abuse and fake jazz drumming, the second gives us 50 (count ’em) more of his endlessly beguiling “ringtones”.
The more percussive sound that Popp has been dabbling in seems to have caused some consternation among long-time devotees, who generally prefer the more abstract style of the ringtones. In fact, the material on disc one of O is hardly dancefloor friendly and features plenty of extended abstract passages among the bursts of sliced up drums.
Basically, it’s great but bloody hell does it go on. As with many Oval albums, the sonic palette is extremely limited and you may feel that there isn’t enough variety here to justify the running time. You may even be tempted to pass this up altogether and stick with the more concise Oh EP. But the material here is generally stronger than on the 12″ and displays a lightness of touch that makes the time just fly by.
O isn’t out yet but Thrill Jockey is allegedly planning to release this monster on vinyl. It’ll have to be a four LP set, like Wu-Tang Forever. Can’t wait!
STOP THE PRESS: O is actually being released as a 2LP set. The music from CD1 is stretched across sides A to C, while side D features some vinyl-only bonus tracks. The album comes with a download coupon for the tracks from CD 2. It’s available for pre-order now.
As one half of Basic Channel/Rhythm & Sound and a co-founder of Berlin’s legendary record-cutting studio Dubplates & Mastering, Moritz Von Oswald is already an electronic music legend. Not one to rest on his laurels, Von Oswald has recently been creating some of most alien and perplexing music of his career in a live, improvising trio with Vladislav Delay and Max Loderbauer.
Live in New York is a high-quality audience recording taken from one of the Trio’s rare public appearances. This particular set extrapolates upon material from the band’s debut album, Vertical Ascent, with a little help from guests Carl Craig and Francois K. The presence of these heavyweight collaborators fleshes out the material a little, making it somewhat more approachable. But this is still startlingly odd stuff. It’s pretty strange, in particular, to hear the New York crowd whooping and cheering along to the group’s extra-terrestrial synth chatter.
Still, the enthusiasm is well earned. With its mechanistic live percussion and stern, dissonant keyboard drones, the Moritz Von Oswald Trio sounds like a malfunctioning cyborg jazz band from a novel Philip K Dick never got around to writing. It always sounds wrong somehow but it never fails to satisfy. Take a listen to this extract and once you’re inevitably convinced that you need to own the whole deluxe 2LP+CD package, go buy it from Forced Exposure.
The Moritz Von Oswald Trio will be playing in Seattle on Sunday, September 26th, as part of the Decibel festival. If you’re there, be sure to do a lot of whooping and cheering. You might end up on the next LP.
This here blog totally meant to promote the latest Quiet City event to grace Vancouver’s nightlife. Unfortunately, a case of collective amnesia afflicted the massed ranks of Bubblegum Cage III’s editorial staff and we just plain forgot about it.
August 13th? Shit! Didn’t blog it. Didn’t even remember to go. Motherfucker!
Luckily, the ace photographer Steve Louie is still attending absolutely every local show that happens in town, so we were – at least – able to feast our eyes on some photographic evidence of the event. Better still, the videos embedded within this post capture Pink Island’s performance in all its audio-visual glory.
“Friday August 27th @ 9:00
KELLARISSA & MAGNETICRING
Kellarissa is Larissa Loyva, a musician from Vancouver, BC. Utilizing a loop pedal and her prized synthesizer, Candied Yam, Kellarissa attempts to recreate the music she hears in her head. Kellari…ssa is Finnish for “in the basement”. Think shag rugs, red lampshades, cocktail hour and muumuus. Kellarissa’s second album for Mint records is currently being recorded by Joshua Stevenson.
Joshua Stevenson – aka Magneticring – is a Sound Artist/Musician from Vancouver. Working primarily with vintage synthesizers and analog equipment, incorporating influences ranging from Javanese Gamelan, esoteric rock, early new agea and 60′s electronic music. A longstanding figure in Vancouver’s underground music scene, Joshua has performed, collaborated and toured with numerous artists/groups from Vancouver, New York City, Montreal, Portland and Finland. Currently he performs in Vancouver with group Von Bingen and appears on the Finnish group Kemialliset Ystävät’s new record released this month.”
Good news: on September 21st, the newly reformed, reconfigured version of legendary UK post-rock act Seefeel will be releasing a four-track 10″ via Warp records. The EP is called Faults and you can already stream its title track on the Warp website. Now, here’s the great news: the track is fantastic. Crisp glitchy beats are anchored by a righteous digi-dub bassline and topped off with some gorgeous processed vocals and free-form guitar licks. Even given the excellence of the band’s back catalogue, this is unexpectedly, uncannily beautiful. If the rest of the EP is even half as good as this, it’s going to be one of 2010’s best and most important releases. Welcome back!
“A hypnotic dub-techno epic. Recorded live in one take, using a half-finished Max/MSP patch, with only minimal post-production. All glitches are… if not exactly intentional, certainly welcome. Produced by connect_icut.”
You can download “ntm, (One Pad Mix)” for free, right now. You lucky bastards!
This year, Christian Fennesz has displayed a renewed willingness to collaborate. A decade or so ago, early in his career as a solo electronica artist, Fennesz seemed to be releasing collaborative CDs on an almost weekly basis, documenting various one-off improv configurations. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, he made a point of announcing that he would be avoiding such collaborative projects in future, preferring to concentrate on his solo work. FennO’Berg, his ongoing trio with Peter “Pita” Rehberg and Jim O’Rourke, was scheduled to continue but – somewhere along the line – even that fell by the wayside. The 2010 release of In Stereo – the (excellent) third FennO’Berg album – was a welcome surprise, then. Even better, In Stereo has been followed by a handful of other commendable collaborative releases. It’s like the old days – only the quality control seems to be somewhat more stringent.
Actually, this is a simplification of the storyline. Over the last few years, Fennesz has been edging his way back into the fray, with collaborations that have ranged from the unlikely (a live duo with Mike Patton) to the sublime (Till the Old World’s Blown Up & a New One is Created – a glorious trio album with Werner Dafeldecker and Martin Brandlmayr). Still, his 2010 collabs are enjoying a relatively elevated public profile, which may reflect Fennesz’s confidence in their quality or may simply be an upshot of his ever-growing commercial viability.
Something That Has Form & Something That Does Not (Type, LP) is the latest album from On, the duo of Bubblegumcage III favourite Sylvain Chauveau and Steven Hess of Pan American/Labradford. On’s modus operandi is to improvise raw source material, which is then turned over to a third-party producer for transformation into a coherent album. The duo’s previous LP, Your Naked Ghost Comes Back at Night, was produced by Nordic dark ambient overlord Deathprod. This new one is handled by – you guessed it – Christian Fennesz.
It’s a fairly unassuming album, built around some stealthily abstract loops, which occasionally cohere into rather surprising, jazzy rhythms. What Something That Has Form… lacks in impact, it more than makes up for in charm. The music here emits a subtle magnetic attraction; an almost subliminal hypnotic power that recalls Jan Jelinek’s excellent Kosmicher Pitch album. It’s one of those LPs you’ll keep coming back to, almost without realising how into it you really are. Definitely worth heading right over to Forced Exposure to order a copy – particularly as the vinyl is limited to 500 units. If you’re not yet convinced, you can stream the whole album via the Type website.
Knoxville (Thrill Jockey, LP) is a live album recorded at Tennessee’s Big Ears festival. It pits Fennesz’s laptop against drums courtesy of Tony Buck from The Necks and the guitar of one David Daniell. This is a rather more strident venture than the On LP but – perhaps by the same token – a slightly less satisfying one. Like the aforementioned trio album with Dafeldecker and Brandlmayr, Knoxville mixes free improvisation with epic post-rock. But – in that trio – Fennesz was matched by players who shared his natural diffidence and hesitancy. Here, the jazzy drums and chiming guitar often threaten to drown out Fennesz’s subtle digital atmospherics. Knoxville is a fundamentally satisfying, often beautiful album – it just needz moar Fennesz.
Hmmm… Having said that, perhaps some of those guitar parts are Fennesz. Probably a good sign that it’s hard to tell. Oh and on the album’s standout track – “Antonia”– he really gets to shine. All told, then, Knoxville is another essential purchase for Fennesz fans. It’ll be released by Thrill Jockey on August 24th.
There’s more! Don’t sleep on that Oneohtrix Point Never remix featuring Antony (he of the Johnsons) – it’s phenomenal! And if you live in North America, do whatever you can to see the great man on his continent-wide tour this autumn.