Hello my audiophiliac motherfuckers! This is the short list. First time? Let’s ring up that V-Card. This is what the short list is. I was making a list each week of tunes I wanted to check out. Eventually, I shared this list with friends. They fucking loved it. So now I share that list with everyone. From this shit I make up my fave of the week albums. Got it? Cool. Here it is.
Now that’s good fucking classical. Great players can sometimes feel like a dime a dozen. But you’ll be hard pressed to find another 2019 classical album with this level or creativity, talent, heart, with a giant set of hairy swinging balls and iron ovaries braving this innovation as hard as these motherfuckers. On this album you’ve got a trio made up of Julia Fredersdorff (baroque violin), Donald Nicolson (harpsichord and organ), and Laura Vaughan (viola da gamba and lirone). With only three players, this shit is bound to be minimal. But they play to their strengths by picking pieces that can be torn down to their bare minimum and still sound as fresh as a baby’s fart in a tulip field. There are a handful of traditional songs on this shit that sound perfectly in place, which makes sense considering that they’re playing traditional fucking instruments. But what really sets this album apart is when they play the “new” shit. If you can only listen to one song from this album, take a peek at their version of Erik Satie’s “Gnossienne No. 3”. I’ve heard this shit more than Nirvana has smelt teen spirit. But with how they played this song, it was like listening to it for the first time. Think about that for a second, modern songs made new and enjoyable because they were played with old school instruments? When that kind of magical musical fuckery actually works, you know the album is good.
Mazal comes from a Japanese word which means a mix, a ragbag, an olio, or a clusterfuck. But why would someone call their album a mixture? First of all, a “mix” or “mixtape” is a legendary word in the rap game. It comes from its history of bootleg tapes of early rap groups. There’s that long list of modern rappers (Drake, Chance, Dave East, ASAP Ferg) releasing “mixtapes” instead of “albums”. Why? Expectations, motherfucker. You in the mood for a film or a movie? Being naked or nude? Wanna grab some grub or venture over to a prandial affair? But, even then, I don’t think that’s why these motherfuckers called this album Mazal. This is YUNGMORPHEUS and Fumitake Tamura’s first time working together. And while some MCs and DJs fit together like puzzle pieces, these two stir together and create one single element. These two are the single fucking mixture. Their style is laid-back and trippy as fuck. This is a great album to listen to when extremely high. Like, really high. Like, “holy fuck, why is that aardvark giving birth to mini Hendrixes”. These sound waves live in a giant pot cloud. It doesn’t mean that these lyrics aren’t dense or meaningful. Fuck no. Like any good trip these songs tackle the deepest of terrains like paranoia and racism, but it won’t drag you down into the muck. These lo-fi chill beats give the messages a beanbag platform. They come to you as a friend passing a perfectly rolled joint instead of spitting at you from a podium. The trippy off-kilter beats give a new angle to these words. So sit down, pull up a chair, take a toke, and listen to some chill folks wax poetic about modern issues.
Martin Hayes plays the shit out of Irish traditional music. He might very well be the best there’s ever been. Dude’s straight boss. He strings that hollow wooden box like that motherfucker owes him money. He’s performed with Bill Frisell, Sting, Paul Simon, and Yo Yo fucking Ma. And there’s a reason why Martin gets all this cred and acclaim. Each note he bows and plucks is infused with intent, interpretation, impish instinct, and enough intellect to get that ticker tocking without knocking you broadside. Guy takes the yawn out of traditional. On this album he plays with Brooklyn Rider, a crazy good string quartet. These arrangements backing Martin’s soloing are sophisticated as fuck. Beethoven would be nodding along happily to what these Brooklyn Riders are throwing down. Lots of traditional music comes off flatter than a wooden board being carried by a pre-teen across the Bonneville Salt Flats. Not here. This shit is boisterous without being overbearing. It’s got an ardent ardour. It’ll get you romancing, dancing, laughing, prancing, and entrance you without the use of drugs or drink. Best digested over time, and through many listens, this is an album that will further prove that Martin is the living legend that he is. Picture perfect from start to finish, this shit’s a goddamn classic for Irish traditional tunes.
Annelle K. Gregory, Kiev Virtuosi Symphony Orchestra, Dmitry Yablonsky – Taneyev: Concert Suite, Op. 28: Rimsky/Korsakov: Concert Fantasia on Russian Themes, Op. 33
This shit got me smiling like a moron. It brought out a childishness in me. I felt like frolicking through a fucking field of poppies. I repeatedly had to pick my jaw up off the floor due to Annelle’s vivacious violin playing. Make no mistakes, this girl can play. Annelle is one of these up and comers that make the tried and true pick up their slack. She’s got a list of awards longer than your fucking arm. And it doesn’t look like she’s letting up anytime soon. The Kiev Virtuosi Syphony Orchestra backs up her game straight gangsta. As she articulates and builds, the backing orchestra moves with her like a tail. When she mellows, and makes that shit cry like a bitch, the orchestra follows her nuances in perfect pitch. These two work like a single mind. Not easy to do. Something tells me that glorious Dmitry Yablonsky probably had something to do with this. Dude could conduct a lightning storm. Pretty sure he takes his inspiration from Moses when he parted the Red Sea. When it comes to monolithic productions like this that take droves of personnel and professionalism, they often fall flat due to one apple ruining the batch. Sometimes the player is boss but the orchestra is sleepy, or everyone’s on their A-game but the conductor’s half drunk. Everyone steps up on this album. It’s clean. It’s crisp. It’s just plain fucking good. So if you’re in the mood to listen to some dope ass symphonic classical, this is your jam.
What’s up my audiophiliac motherfuckers! Here’s the short list for releases on August 9, 2019. Some of these albums were released last week but I missed them. Shit happens. The first category of tunes are, like it says, a hotchpotching smorgasbord of a clusterfuck. This means that your hip hop/rap/rock/metal/folk/pop/ambient/mathcore/chiptune/crunkcore/dangermusic, and anything else you can think of, will be lumped together in that mass pile of sound. Like the list? Hit me up. Hate the list? Hit me up. Next post for this week will be my top hits from this list. Peace out, you beautiful bastards.
And, as always, keep listening.
What’s up my motherfucking audiophiliacs!
As you could probably tell, I’m not sending out these shits as fast as I used to. Why? Well, initially I had to slow down because my pop got a giant fucking tumour and I went to go help him convalesce and all that good shit. Now that he seems on the up and up, I’m still not writing as much as I used to. Frankly, writing these take a lot of time and I’ve been putting more focus on other projects. But don’t be sad, motherfuckers. I’ve decided on a format that will still give you the same amount of solid tunes from across the board without taking up all my free time. TWO POSTS A WEEK. The first post will be, what I’ve been calling, “The Short List”. After listening to fucktons of music, I make up a list of names for that upcoming week that I think has potential or looks interesting. For example, this is the Short List from last week.
Leila Bordreuil – Headflush
Hermann Nitsch – Albertina Quartett
Georgia – Immute
Fleuve – Draw
Rebecca Daniel, Fiona Joy Hawkins, Kanimbla Quartet – The Lightness of Dark
Ernest Berk – Electronic Music for Two Ballets
Derek Hunter Wilson – Steel, Wood & Air
Chitose Hajime – Kubanuha Bushi
Do you see that shit? This is what I have made every fucking week. But now you’re looking from behind the scenes. From this I pick my faves and post my choices. From now on, once a week, I’ll be posting a Short List, which, ironically, isn’t fucking short at all. I break down them shits into four categories each week as well.
The second post will be a list of picks taken from this list. It’s basically what I’ve already been doing. You still get writeups, they’ll just be a lot shorter. And instead of throwing down something every day, you’ll get it in one hunk. Cool? Cool.
If you have any questions hit me up. If you hate or love this new formatting, hit me up. Don’t be that weirdo and keep shit to yourself.
And, as always, keep listening.
Imagine, if you can, a time before electricity. Naw … fuck that shit. How about we jump back to a time when gunpowder was the newest iPhone? Let’s say around 700 or 800 AD. Horseshit, bullshit, and human shit everywhere. People dying from incredibly laughable illnesses. Got a cold? Too bad. Chicken pox? You’re dead. Stub your toe and get a bit of diarrhoea? That’s all folks! So, one day, you’re walking down a street in your bare feet, avoiding a heterogeneity of viral deaths with every step, when you suddenly feel the earth shake. You stop and wait for the pack of pissed-off bulls to come end your short life, but nothing happens. Despite everything inside of you screaming to get the fuck out of here, you continue walking. The rumbling grows in size and shifts somehow. You look up to the clouds and see a clear blue sky. Not a rain cloud or drop in sight. You continue walking. Now endless multi-harmonic screams sits on top of this low rumble. If you weren’t so scared, you might even call the sound beautiful. Nope. Not beautiful. This shit is evoking fucktons of fear and wonder at once. What’s the word… “awe”? That’s it. You’re awed. The sound you’re hearing is, truly, awesome. You run to find its source even though you’ve pissed yourself. Sure, whatever is making this sound will probably kill you, but these days so will too much ethnic food. Whatever can make this sound could easily murder you, so you might as will try to become its lapdog. And you look fucking great in a collar. You’ve got the face for it. The sound grows, thunders, and rumbles as you draw nearer. You turn a corner and you see a building. It’s this church thing everyone’s raving about. Somehow, the building itself is the thing trumpeting, crying, carolling, and crooning out these mighty roars. You run inside to see a series of metallic pipes and a this wee little man owning these keys and foot pedals. Someone tells you it’s called a pipe organ. But you don’t care. Whatever has inspired such perfect engineering must be the most powerful thing in all existence. And you’re smart enough to worship whatever that thing is before it straight ices your sorry ass.
The organ often doesn’t get enough cred in this modern age. Half the time that’s because it’s not placed in its proper context. When we listen to recordings of it out of these dinky speakers we lodge inside our ears, of course, it’s going to sound like shit. But when you see it played live by a virtuoso, buckle the fuck up. The organ dominates the bass and owns those highs. It’s just bigger than anything else. It can, literally, shake the very building it’s housed in. If you listen to this album, do so on really good headphones or speakers. You won’t be able to hear all the notes otherwise.
John Zorn is one crazy motherfucker. When walking the outer edge of what music and sound is, you’ll eventually meet up with Zorn. It’s where the motherfucker lives. He’s done everything. He’s made music that sounds like childbirth, he’s made metal, jazz, all the way to a clean and crisp Christmas album. This sixth volume is the last in his hermetic organ series and it’s dedicated to the king of nightmares, Elgar Allan Poe. It inspires feelings of dread and horror. And, fuck me, does it ever achieve this goal. Shit is freaky. Poe would either be proud or shitting himself. I don’t know which reaction would be better praise.
I tried to listen to this motherfucker in one go. I couldn’t. I had to stop a few times to take a breather. This improvisation is strange, compelling, and huge. Zorn uses famous organ motifs throughout the performance, like Bach or Ligeti, to keep your feet grounded while flinging out some of the craziest sounding shit ever made. If you were to play these tunes in a haunted house people would, actually, lose their fucking minds. I’m talking straightjacket kinda shit. Look, I get it. I understand if listening to music that’s meant to freak you out isn’t your jam. Same logic applies to scary movies. To limit music to the strict category of “pleasure”, is not just limiting what music can be, but limiting the depths of experience you can have in your short time atop this spinning ball. The building of tension on this album is huge. That’s not by mistake. Zorn is a master composer/performer. And when relief is found in the mountains of fearful cacophony, it’s hard not to feel overcome by that old feeling of awe. This album brings you back to the days when the organ was first created. It puts the fear back into those fucked up machines churches decided to install into the very structure of their buildings. It takes the organ and sits it back down onto the daunting throne as God’s proxy. In short, this album makes the organ awesome again.
Ada Lea – what we say in private
The giant, dumb, and dumbfounding popstar-making machine loves doling out cute foibles and turning them into fuckable eccentricities. Enjoy tattoos and strange piercings? Let’s give it a huge cock. Like pink hair? Let’s give it a nice set of tits. The machine throws peaked, primed, and painted-faced pop prince/princess with pitch-perfect vocals up to a mic to say, “I’m not like the other guys/girls. I’m an outcast.” Why? Because you’ve got strange coloured hair, obnoxiously spell your name wrong, and there’s a rumour of some off-vanilla sexual act on tape? It’s difficult not to become cynical after watching the nth scandalously clad teen “rebel” for shitpiles of cash. And it’s a relief to listen to Ada Lea. Sure, the genre she plays might be categorized as pop/rock and she is undeniably quirky, but her eccentricities don’t work as a Wonderbra. Her lyrics won’t make your ass tighter, give you fuller lips, or sell you a sparkling beverage. This music and style are hers. They’re honest. This is Ada being her authentic self. This album glides between pop/folk/rock/experimental with the ease and grace of a happily stoned figure skater. The honesty of the lyrics will keep you awake as the experimentation will have you cracking smiles. Behind most rebranded products is a purity that we crave. We crave fat because of our ancestral days spent as hunters. We crave sugar from our time gobbling fruit in trees. We crave salt because of our time spent with the ocean. Ada is the purity behind the pop. And you can hear it. She’s legit, unprocessed, and real as a motherfucker. When you finally try this shit uncut, the mass-produced imitation turns nauseatingly pale in comparison. In short, Ada’s addictive for all the right reasons.
Brian Eno with Daniel Lanois & Roger Eno – Apollo: Atmospheres And Soundtracks
You might think this shit is a simple remastering of an older album in order to sell something that used to be popular in the ’80s. But this motherfucker’s got 11 new tracks. If you don’t know Brian Eno then you need to immediately get on that shit right fucking now. I’m not joking. Eno’s scope of influence is massive. First when he was a synth player for Roxy Music (which got him in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame), to paving the way for an entirely new genre, to helping Bowie create his famed Berlin Trilogy, to helping the Talking Heads create their best albums, to coining the fucking Microsoft sound, to influencing everything you’ve ever fucking heard in your whole fucking life. Like I said, get on that shit. But I digress. Back in the ’80s, Eno, his brother Roger, and famed producer Daniel Lanois decided to make some space tunes. Why? Because of Apollo 11, motherfucker. The world lived in the shadow cast by the Cold War’s looming threat that everything would simply vanish. Poof. So long everyone. Goodbye humanity. With the earth so grime people turned skyward and space became insanely popular. Shit was fucking everywhere from rockets, to robots, to fucktons of sci-fi movies. Whenever humanity has felt thoroughly fucked and raw, whenever we felt hopeless beyond all belief, we looked up. We looked up to the ancient Sumerian god El, the Greek Gods, to the idea of landing on the moon, all the way to Elon Musk colonizing Mars. We looked up to find hope. This album is three ambient music gods creating a soundtrack for space. It’s coated with that special ’80s hope in life. Is it cheesy? Sometimes. But that’s hope. These days it’s easier to understand that ’80s desire to reach the stars. Why do you think we’re all nostalgic for this shit? Listening to this album helps connect two entirely different generations by lifting their collective chins. If you’re not much of a stargazer and don’t like this kind of shit, good for you, Earthling. Me, the Eno brothers, and Lanois will be sure to send you a postcard from t
Lingua Ignota – Caligula
This is what happens when opera decides to scream till it shits itself and metal accepts that it has nothing to do with rock. To be honest, I don’t quite know who this album is made for. Don’t see many tuxes at metal concerts or spiked collars at Don Giovanni. But if you can imagine an audience dressed up in both them shits, that’s where this album resides. This is not an easy listen. Sweet marmaladed fuck, this is not an easy listen. It will make you uncomfortable. It’s designed to. Like opera, it requires a dedicated listener willing to chill and wade deep into thick story and emotions. And, like metal, the emotions portrayed can be uncomfortably fucking heavy. At times, Lingua will swear and scream like a cursed banshee witch condemning the earth after losing her child to a storm. If you sit on the opera side of things, this sound might be grating to those sensitive ears. But, don’t be fooled, this style of singing takes incredible amounts of practice, talent, and dedication. Those vocals ain’t easy to do right. But Lingua doesn’t just scream. She can also sing in clear harmony with a few Celtic wavers thrown in for kicks. When you combine the wailing, the swelling strings, the piano lines, the distorted bass, and its unparalleled grandness, this album carves out its own unique world all dressed in black lipstick, top hats, mascara, ballroom gowns, three-piece suits, neck piercings, and Mohawks. And it’s a beautiful fucking sight to see.
Joshua Sabin – Sutarti
Ever heard of those polyphonic north-eastern Lithuanian tunes called Sutartinės? Huh? What? What is Brightly fucking talking about? Well, Joshua Sabin sure has. Dude dug deep into those folk music archives at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre Ethnomusicology Archives in order to listen to this kinda shit. It’s a type of singing where the aim is to create a kind of beating that occurs when two frequencies are just out of sync. No shit. This is a real fucking thing. Check it: If you link up two soundwaves perfectly (like two flutes playing the same fucking note) the sounds becomes bigger, brighter, and stronger. But if one of those motherfuckers goes off slightly, then the soundwaves fight each other. And when those waves throw punches, a wavering beat is created. That’s right, north-eastern Lithuanian folk music is badass. Joshua took this model and plugged it into the wall. The end result is transcen-fucking-dental electronic music. Is this shit strange? What do you think? But if you’re of a certain persuasion and the bizarre and the strange excite you, then this album is your fucking jam. It’s gorgeous in its minimalist breakdown of a physics concept and in its output. But even if you knew nothing of how it was made, it would still be beautiful. Yet in understanding that the concept behind this album is this fucking old, you feel a connection to humans from way, way, back in the day. You feel a connection that goes beyond language, culture, gender, time, and space. You feel a core humanness in its pursuit. And when an album can do that, you know it’s fucking good.