Picks of the Week!!!!

Uniform & The Body – Everything That Dies Someday Comes Back

This album begins subtly. A low moaning builds for almost a minute before a pounding electronic war drum smacks you in the side of the face like a dead fish. Around the 2:30 mark, the song begins. If you’re not ready to punk out, swing fists, and warcry it might be best to avoid this album. This is doom metal meets electronic music and it digs into the deeps like an auger seeking water. It’s an oily grimy mess you want to pour over your face and down your throat. It’s a sonic heaven for those that feel like thrashing out a bad day. And if that was all the album gave, it would be enough. But this shit is truly fucking intelligent. It’s chock-full of musical references. The track “Waiting for the End of the World” is named after an Elvis Costello track. The world created by the collaboration between Uniform and The Body is colossal. It’s massive. It’s a black fucking hole that’s screaming out in existential mania. This is a David Lynch movie with a fat ass beat. These two have come to create something truly unique. And it’s worth a fucking listen.

Oh Sees – Face Stabber

At an hour and twenty minutes, this album is a monster. The first track is 8 minutes. Get that? Eight. And each minute is fucking perfect. It’s one of those jams that you play when you want to get a speeding ticket. You won’t be able to help it. The song will make you press the gas, light a smoke, and smile like a coquettish goblin getting finger banged. It’s a non-stop rock powerhouse with delight baked inside. Many psychedelic rock bands have tried to make this album and failed. There isn’t a cliche on this motherfucker. It’s innovative. It doesn’t live in the past (shocker!) You could set your watch to these funky rhythms as everything else ventures into deep space. This album fits more in the funk formula that it does psychedelic rock. It’s not 4 dudes high out of the gourds thinking they’ve each got the golden cock. It’s genuine. I didn’t know I missed psychedelic rock & roll until I heard this. And now? I can’t get enough of it even if this shit is an hour and twenty minutes. This album shows the difference between the obligatory guitar solo verses a guitar being used to express the ineffable. The pushing drums move like a nefarious train on a pursuit to Oh Fuck Ya. This shit is fan-fucking-tastic.

Erkki Veltheim – Ganzfeld Experiment

Hold on to your hats, motherfuckers. This one is a doozie. The “ganzfeld experiment” is a technique to test if someone’s got ESP. Yep, that’s extrasensory fucking perception, mind readers and telepaths for you comic readers. Have you ever looked at something, stared at it for a second, and then thought, “hmm”? Only to hold out your hand and try to move that motherfucker with your mind? Well, it’s possible that shit didn’t work because you hadn’t heard this album yet. This could, potentially, open up your world. Or, more likely, it’s just a truly interesting mindfuck done sonically. Do I actually believe this could give you ESP? Not really. Not yet anyway. I think we have a fuckton more evolving to do before we get to move shit with our minds. But for those that believe you can’t have a transcendental experience through music, you’d better listen to this shit right quick. It’s a single track that swells and shrinks at 45 minutes. This is less of an album and more of an experience. But, man, what a fucking trip.

The Hold Steady – Thrashing Thru The Passion

There are artists out there that create relatable and lovable characters within their lyrics. Some argue that’s why Bruce Springsteen exists. And, sure, maybe he did this at one point. But the Hold Steady makes that shit look like a Hallmark card. Right off the bat you’ve got lines like, “He shaved his head at the airport in the bar at the end of the concourse.” BAM! Already that character is more vivid and real than anything The Boss has written in the last 10 years. Look, I’m not here to shit on classics. Bruce is boss for a reason. But you don’t listen to a Hold Steady song, you live the fucking thing. You have characters and best friends that feel as real, at times more real, than your own toenails. It’s as vivid as the hand in front of you. These songs are full of derelicts, dreamers, delinquents, and the despondent. When the album closes you miss a place you’ve never been, you miss people you’ve never met, and yet the reality drawn into these songs isn’t some fevered dream or idyllic world. You see the cracks in these characters’ faces, smell their bad breath, and you keep secrets from them. The music provides a backing for the lyrics that help create this realism. Without the fun rock tunes, these lyrics would feel like they’re trying too hard. It’s a perfect blend of poetry and music. Have there been more concise Hold Steady albums? Totally. But a lack of focus isn’t this album’s weakness. Instead, you have a wide array of characters travelling the world and being human. You feel their loneliness, their dissonance, and when a tune can do that you know it’s well fucking written.

Annelien van Wauwe, Orchestre National de Lille & Alexandre Bloch – Belle époque

(sorry the link isn’t working for some strange fucking reason)

This album is silly and spunky little bitch. It’s like a sexy otter. That’s right, you read that shit right. This album is like a sexy otter. At times it feels like a Bugs Bunny cartoon. Because even during its ominous times, like when Bugs has the cold business end of a shotgun shoved between his teeth, you know everything’s going to be okay. Fudd’s gun goes flaccid. Bugs gets away. The danger was never real. And that’s what the belle époque (beautiful era) is all about. The era in question is the ass end of the 19th century. Shit was pretty fucking sweet. Tunes were happy, warm, and romantic. Motherfuckers like Debussy, Widor and Pierné were writing halcyon jams all about nature and strange chaotic fun. The world hadn’t seen a world war yet. In fact, such an event would have been unthinkable. Maybe you’re some cynical fuck that’ll turn your chin at such music. “No!” you’ll think while drinking coffee the same colour as your soul, “I’m a realist. All my music must be based in painful fucking existence.” Listen here fucko, hate to tell you this, you’re not a realist you’re a surefire pessimist. Also, you’re shit at parties. Stop going to them till you learn to lighten the fuck up. If there’s such a thing as falling apart, there’s gotta be such a thing as building something up. Does that sound corny? Good. Fucking great. I like my corn. I even like my corn with a fat wad of melted fucking cheese. Every real motherfucker smiles sometimes.

Alongside these old school jams on the album, you’ve got modern fucks like Trojahn, Berio, and Tassyns. Because you don’t have to live in a pre-world-war world to smile. Look at Charlie Chaplin. Dude lived some strange shit. The most evil man to have ever lived stole his fucking moustache! What he do? He beamed light. He mocked and Bugs Bunnied the motherfucker in the famed movie “The Great Dictator”. Wanna see Hitler bounce a world balloon off his ass? Here’s your flick. It’s fucking hilarious without drawing away from what’s real. Annelien Van Wauwe plays the clarinet straight boss. Perfect tone, pitch, and purity. She’s picked these tunes. All these compositions were written in places she has lived and has studied. She brings this history into her notes. Lady puts the feels in. She didn’t release this album during a time of perfect harmony. Naw, she knows what she’s doing. It takes a brave and smart motherfucker to know that, even at the worst of times, the real world comes shining through if you just smile. Enjoy this taste of cheesy-corn like the realist you are.

 

Da Short List! Tunes to Check Out in Aug 23 – 30

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.

Miscellaneous Motherfuckers
Various – One Day Band Vol 1
BROCKHAMPTON – Ginger
HIDE – Hell Is Here
Ghost Funk Orchestra – A Song For Paul
Seratones – Power
Esther Rose – You Made It This Far
Becky Ninkovic – Woe
Oh, Rose – While My Father Sleeps
Headie One – Music x Road
Modern Nature – How to Live
Michael Cleveland – Tall Fiddler
Sunny War – Shell of a Girl
Tropical Fuck Storm – Braindrops
Rapsody – Eve
Lina Tullgren – Free Cell
Avant-Garde
Hugar – Varða
Fet.Nat – Le Mal
Gabríel Ólafs – Absent Minded
New Focus Recordings – Music from SEAMUS, Vol. 28
Leo Svirsky – River Without Banks
Alarm Will Sound – Donnacha Dennehy: The Hunger
Classical
Sharon Isbin, Pacifica Quartet – Souvenirs of Spain & Italy
Manfred Honeck, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra – Bruckner: Symphony No. 9
Miguel Harth Bedoya, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra – Jimmy López Bellido: Symphonic Canvas
Jazz
John Zorn, Chris Otto, Stephen Gosling – Encomia
Stein Urheim – Simple Pieces & Paper Cut-Outs
Thomas Grimmonprez – Big Wheel
Musa Mboob, XamXam – The Gambia Sessions

The Short List! Tunes to check out from Aug 16-22

What’s up my motherfucking audiophiliacs!
Check it, this is the short list. This is how the short list is made: I listen to unsavory amounts of music. I put whatever sounds interesting into a list. That’s the short list. After that, I deep dive into the short list to pick out the few I think is are best. I’ve been making the short list for a long fucking time. I started to give it to some friends that loved it, so I decided I would share it with all of you. Here it is.
Miscellaneous Motherfuckers
Sleater-Kinney – The Center Won’t Hold
Uniform, The Body – Everything That Dies Someday Comes Back
The Hold Steady – Trashing Thru The Passion
Ross From Friends – Epiphany
Debby Friday – Death Drive
Rae Spoon – Mental Health
G&D Black – Love & War
Durul Gence – Black Cat (unreleased Turkish ‘70s music)
Psychic Graveyard – The Next World
Blanck Mass – Animated Violence Mild
Oh Sees – Face Stabber
Loscil – Equivalents
Jason Lytle – Arthur King Presents Jason Lytle: Nylon and Juno
Lilie Mae – Other Girls
Press Club – Wasted Energy
Here Lies Man – No Ground To Walk Upon
Taylor McFerrin – Love’s Last Chance
Shura – Forevher
Avant-Garde
Bobby Krlic (haxan cloak) – midsommar (soundtrack)
Erkki Veltheim – Ganzfeld Experiment
Gökçen Kaynatan – Cehennem
Classical
Ricardo Gallen – Leo Brouwer: Guitar Sonatas
Annelien Van Wauwe – Belle époque
Jörg Demus – Robert Schumann: Fantasiestücke Op. 12; Humoreske Op. 20
Emil Gryesten – Søren Nils Eichberg: Scherben Works for Piano and Ensemble
Wanchi Huang, Robert Koenig – Sonata by William Walton; Suite by Benjamin Britten
Danae Dörken – East and West
Vienna Piano Trio – Maurice Ravel, Ernest Chausson: Piano Trios
Silvia Márquez Chulilla – Herbania
Peter Jarvis, Payton MacDonald – Jarvis and Friends, Vol. 2
Escher String Quartet, Carol Wincenc – Misericordia: Works by Yuko Uébayashi
Mick Rossi – Jon Gibson: Violet Fire – An Opera about Nikola Tesla
Marie-Nicole Lemieux – Mer(s): Sea Pictures – II. In Haven
Jazz
Keith Jarrett – Live at Sendai Jazz Festival, Den-Ryoku Hall, Japan 1986
Javier Red’s Imagery Converter – Ephemeral Certainties
Ikebe Shakedown – Kings Left Behind
Bryony Jarman-Pinto – Cage and Aviary

Picks of the Week! Aug 9-15

 

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

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

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

https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81tSM3s6aiL._SS500_.jpg

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.

 

 

 

The Short List: Tunes to Check Out, Aug 9 – Aug 16

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.

 

A Hotchpotching Smorgasbord of a Clusterfuck
YUNGMORPHEUS & Fumitake Tamura – Mazal
Dytomite Starlite Band of Ghana – Dytomite Starlite Band of Ghana
Half Alive – Now, Not Yet
John Johanna – Seven Metal Mountains
Bon Iver – I, I
Dead Kittens – I Am Not a Ghost
The Blind Boys of Alabama, Marc Cohn – Work To Do
Kandodo – K3
Purple Pilgrims – Perfumed Earth
Che Apalache – Rearrange My Heart
Fionn Regan – Cala
Ugly God – Bumps and & Bruises
Bas – Spilled Milk Vol. 1
Matthew Whitaker – Now Hear This
Little Hurricane – Love Luck
Avant-Garde
Tmesis Ensemble – Echoes
Stefano Battaglia, Mirco Mariottini  Music for Clarinets and Piano  Roberta Alexander, Nancy Braithwaite, Claron McFadden, Vaughan Schlepp, Michael Stirling – To Paradise for Onions: Songs and Chamber Works of Edith Hemenway
Martin Hayes and Brookyn Rider – The Butterfly
Hank Roberts, Filippo Vignato – Ghost Dance
Classical
Yaara Tal – Love? Homage to Clara Schumann
Grupo Encuentros, Alicia Terzián – Tangos … & Something More
Annelle Gregory, Dmitry Yablonsky – Taneyev: Suite de Concert, Op. 28; Rimsky-Korsakov: Fantasia on Two Russian Themes, Op. 33
Elisabeth Breuer, Aapo Häkkinen – Beethoven: Egmont, Complete Incidental Music
Andrea Vivanet – Andrea Vivanet plays Karol Szymanowski Piano Works
David Alan Miller, Albany Symphony Orchestra – Derek Bermel: Migrations
Francesco Galligioni – Johann Sebastian Bach: A Violoncello senza basso, Chapter 1
Latitude 37 – X
Wojciech Waleczek – Franz Liszt: Complete Piano Music, Vol 53
Gabriel Feltz, Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra – Gustav Mahler: Symphony No.
Kazunori Seo, Makoto Ueno, Shohei Uwamori – Carl Maria von Weber: Chamber Music for Flute
Warren Lee – Ludwig van Beethoven: The Creatures of Prometheus, Version for Piano
Johannes Moser, Alasdair Beatson – Felix & Fanny Mendelssohn: Works for Cello and Piano
Gunta Abele – Magnificello: Zoltán Kodaly, Peteris Vasks, Gaspar Cassado
Jazz
Mats Eilertsen – Reveries and Revelations

Catching Up: A New Fucking Format

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.

Siavash Amini – Serus
Ty Segall – First Taste
Native Harrow – Happier Now
Cross Record – Cross record
Man & the Echo – Men of the Moment
Russian Circles – Blood Year
Joanna Sternberg – Then I Try Some More
Burna Boy – African Giant
Grace Lightman – Silver Eater
Fever Ray – Live at Troxy
Ed Balloon – The Dubs
Dorian Concept – Toothbrush / Booth Thrust
Chiiild – Count Me Out
C.J. Boyd – Kin Ships
Ami Dang – Parted Plains
Strange Ranger – Remembering The Rockets
Avant-Garde

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

Classical
Howard Shelley, Ulser Orchestra – Stanford: A song of Agincourt
Susan Narucki – The Edge of Silence: Works for Voice by George Kurtag
Ruggiero Ricci – Discovered Tapes
Osomo Vanska, Minnesota Orchestra – Mahler 1
Masaaki Suzuki – Masaaki Suzuki plays Bach Organ Works, Vol. 3: Passacaglia in C minor
Markus Frank, Anhaltische Philharmonie Dessau – Friedrich Schneider: Symphony No. 16
Mahan Esfanhani – Bach: The Toccatas, BWV 910-916
Jozef de Beenhouwer – Clara Schumann: Piano Transcriptions
Jonas Nordberg – Giovanni Girolamo Kapsperger: Intavolatura di Chitarone
John Gibbons, Liepaja Symphony Orchestra – William Wordsworth: Orchestral Music, Vol. 2
Ivry Gitlis – Ivry Gitlis: The Early Years, Birth of a Legend
Ruben Gazarian, Isabelle van Keulen, Oliver Triendl – Grigori Frid: Symphony No. 3; Double Concerto; Inventions
Giovanna Gatto
Friedrich Gulda, Münchner Philharmoniker – Mozart: Piano Concertos
Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss, Simon Gaudenz – François-Joseph Gossec: Symphonies Op. IV
 Robert Bauerstatter, Maddalena Del Gobbo, David Pennetzdorfer –  Maddalena and the Prince
David Owen Norris, Caroline Balding, Katy Bircher, Andrew Skidmore -The Jupiter Project: Mozart, Hummel, Cramer, Clementi
 Ferhan Önder / Ferzan Önder / Markus Poschner / Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra  Ferhan & Ferzan Önder Play Fazil Say
Ariadne Daskalakis / Paolo Giacometti – Franz Schubert: Music for Violin I
Jazz
 Steve Cohn / George Haslam / Steve Kershaw  Ancient & Modern
Echoes – Square Two
 Dan Rufolo – Jazz Meditation
 Ark Noir – Tunnel Visions
Nérija – Blume

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.

 

John Zorn – The Hermetic Organ Vol. 6: For Edgar Allan Poe

zornImagine, 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.

Looking Through, Up, Between, and In: Ada Lea, Brian Eno, Lingua Ignota, and Joshua Sabin

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 the restaurant at the end of the universe.

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.

 

“I came, I heard, and I fucking owned.” July: Exoterm, Jesca Hoop, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Isata Kanneh-Mason, Biosphere, and Holst’s Planets.

Exoterm – Exits Into A Corridor

Many know of the secret track at the end of Nirvana’s blockbuster Nevermind that, ironically for a “secret” song, picked up the name, “Endless, Nameless”. It’s the track where the band drops all pop sensibilities and, basically, fucks your face with sound. It’s raw emotion. It’s sonic rage. And if you imagine this track done all jazz styles, with waves and build ups and played for around 30 minutes, then you have a good idea how this sounds. It’s fucking incredible. After this finished, I played it again. It’s rare to hear such sophistication scream in your face, spit on the floor, and then flip off God. To many this will sound like noise with the occasional sonic landscape. But to those stranger audiophiliacs out there that happen to like punk, jazz, and electronic music, this is the fucking shit.

Kristoffer Berre Alberts: saxophones
Nels Cline: guitar
Rune Nergaard: bass
Jim Black: drums and electronics

Jesca Hoop – Stonechild

There’s a stripped down darkness on this album that’s bare and rarely shown. It’s full of moments where listening to it feels invasive, like reading through a lost journal you found on the train. Not to say that this album is tame. Hells to the fuck no. Tracks like “Red and Black” are written in protest of the recent popularity of white supremacist ideals. “Old Fear of Father” tells the story of a mother feeding into patriarchal ideals by trusting her sons more than her daughters. These songs are heartfelt and honest as fuck. They deal with modern problems yet are sung and arranged in a way that sounds folkloric. The effect? A bird eye’s view on this sociopolitical shit pile. And without the stinging eyes and nausea-inducing smell, it suddenly becomes clear what this is and how to fix it. Now that’s a fucking folk album.

Georgia Anne Muldrow – VWETO II

This is Georgia Anne’s 18th album. Get that? It’s very likely that her album count has doubled the number of sexual partners you’ll ever have (according to a survey done by The Jounral of Sex Research the average is 6.9 for the Dutch, 7 for the Brits, and 7.2 for those slutty Americans [Nicely done! Also, really?!]) This lady is a musical fucking juggernaut. And her aim isn’t to please, but to elevate. On this album, Georgia Anne goes back to what she does best by slowly sauntering and pimp-walking through those afrofuturistic, funkadelic, and defiant sci-fi melodies. But, with one foot in avant-garde electronica and the other knee-deep in soul, this album launches afrofuturism back out into space where it belongs. Funk was never supposed to be some basic bitch. This album proves that if you’ve got the right captain piloting the ship, it never fucking will be.

Isata Kanneh-Mason – Romance: The Piano Music of Clara Schumann

The Osmonds, the Bee Gees, The Jackson Five, The Beach Boys, Oasis, Kings of Leon, and at the top of that list, the Kanneh-Masons. Isata’s family has seven brothers and sisters that all play classical music like bosses. They are an annoyingly talented family. So when rumours spread of Isata releasing her debut, people in the classical game perked right up. Instead of throwing down classical’s greatest hits for a majorly annoying hour, which is incredibly common for a debut, Isata decided to show her female comradery by performing the works of Clara Schumann and sporting an all-female line-up. Just goes to show that it doesn’t take balls to have courage. The performances here are perfect. Isata’s first impression to the world proves that that she’s unwavering, proficient, and a force to be fucking reckoned with. Hear me roar, motherfuckers.

Biosphere – The Senja Recordings

Geir Jenssen is an ambient music god that’s been dropping calm since back in the ’90s. For his most recent albums, location is hugely important. From 2015 to 2018, Geir was recording sounds in the arctic fucking circle. Hells ya. The first track on this album is made of sounds recorded in arctic waters. You can hear the ice freeze and snap in laser-like bolts. From there Geir continues down this arctic theme. Lots of tracks are mellow drones, others beep and pop, and some are simple field recordings of the arctic. The effect is an incredibly calming and relaxing album that could subdue the most roided-out polar bear. Like most Biosphere albums, this shit is hugely transportive. Want to go to the arctic but hate the cold and can’t afford the airfare? Close your eyes, press play, and you’ll fucking be there.

Charles Dutoit, Montreal Symphony Orchestra – Holst: The Planets

This seven-piece orchestral monster—each piece has been named after a planet and corresponds to its astrological character—has been performed to fucking death. John Williams used the “Mars” theme in Star Wars. “Neptune” has been featured in the closing credits of Mr. Robot. Many of these pieces have been played or ripped off by the likes of King Crimson, Frank Zappa, and Black Sabbath. As a whole, it’s been recorded around 100 times and performed way fucking more. Many avid classical fans have taken on the challenge of finding the recording, including yours fucking truly. You’ll find, more often than not, that everyone eventually ends up at this motherfucker. Why? Because the recording is kinda fucking perfect. The thickest and nerdiest of audiophiles use this to test out their newest and greatest speakers. Think your bass is dope? The organ on this motherfucker goes all the way down to 20 Hz (anything below this is beyond the human hearing range). The orchestra, choir, recording, and production on this are the stuff of legend. So, if you never heard it before and feel like taking on a challenge: find the greatest pair of speakers you can find, put on this album, turn off the lights, and turn it the fuck up. When done properly, this album acts as a marker: Your life before listening to it loud as fuck, and your life afterwards. And even if you’re not a huge fan of the tunes, it’s the perfect example of how a symphony should be recorded. It’s the example everything else has to set itself against. Now that’s a fucking recording.

 

 

What the Fuck is June?: Tunes To Become One With Heat

Moodie Black – MB I I I. V MICHOA

This shit is dirty, nasty, and grimy as a motherfucker. These beats could sneak up behind you and shank your ass with the sharpened end of a toothbrush. Moodie Black fits nicely in the genre of noise rap. It’s all about those distorted beats and fat basslines. This is perfect for that angry claustrophobic space that rap can do better than anyone else. If you want a thick nihilistic push while driving downtown in a crowded car with bass shaking so heavy that the smoke exhaled from that tightly wrapped joint dances and shifts to the sound waves, then this is your motherfucker. It lays it down thick without apology. This EP gets me excited for what’s to come.

Sanctuary Lakes – Sanctuary Lakes

If you like the bands Air or Tame Impala then you’ll like this shit. Tim Hoey of Cut Copy and Andy Szekeres of Midnight Juggernauts are two Australian fucks that decided to collaborate together to make this album/band. They make the kind of grooves that remind you of drinking out of a hose, jumping through the sprinkler, or closing your eyes while lying on the beach. Shit makes you max relax like a sociopath sitting in an outdoor bath amongst the aftermath of a bloodbathed warpath of half-wrath mechanized psychopaths. It’s electric, chill, and held together with a subtle tension created by a looming sense of evanescence. In other words, solid summer album.

Local Suicide – Leopard Gum

Ya, it’s an EP. Ya, it’s basically one song over and over again. But it’s also groovy as fuck. Local Suicide have released a series of EPs in this last year. I’ve been waiting for them to release an official album, but I don’t think that’s their style. This EP, like their many others, include good tunes for those late night drives. Their constant idiosyncratic beats have a tendency to keep your head in the clouds while your foot floors the gas. Fantastic jams.

His Name Is Alive – All the Mirrors In The House

This motherfucker has been kicking it hard ever since the ’90s. In certain groups and within certain strange minds, Warren Defever, the main member of this band, is a big fucking deal. He flipped out massive album after massive album like it wasn’t a thang. He changed the fucking game out of nowhere. This album is a collection of recordings that Warren made back in ’79—’86. Check it: Guy was born in ’69. Some of this shit was made when he was 10. Get that? Fucking 10. While others were horrified at their looming and roaring freshly budding genitals, Warren was recording awesomeness.