Vibrations of the Day by KonstruKt with Marshall Allen, Hüseyin Ertunç, and Barlas Tan Özemek.
KonstruKt is a Turkish improvising ensemble. The core ensemble is Umut Çağlar, guitar, Korhan Argüden, drums, Ozone Usta, percussion, and saxophonist Korhan Futaci. On this album they are augmented by Marshall Allen, Alto Saxophone, Hüseyin Ertunç, percussion, and Barlas Tan Özemek, guitar and synthesizer.
Marshall Allen is one of the great masters of the Alto Saxophone. Full stop. However, most of his life’s work has been consumed with propagating the vision of Sun Ra and his Arkestra. It’s rare you get to hear him blow outside of that context, so take those opportunities when you can get them.
KonstruKt’s interstellar tendencies are a fine match for Marshall Allen. It is especially fun to hear him spar with Korhan Futaci’s Soprano playing. As always, Mr Allen never lets anyone get too comfortable without challenging them. Too much melody, and he’ll take you out with an altissimo figure. Too abstract, and he blows you down with a bluesy noir lick.
Sunny Murray’s first album as a leader from 1966. Fresh from playing with Cecil Taylor and Albert Ayler, Murray’s drumming here continues that work and expands upon it.
A great release, long songs giving everyone space to interact. The contributions of Lancaster, Graham, and Silva are particularly notable. Bonus for a song named “Giblet”. The only downside, and the funny thing about digital music, is that you never know how much care the various providers will take with ripping the music. This album pretty horribly ripped, with very low levels, apparently directly from a rather scratchy vinyl album. You can actually hear the needle drop on side two. I believe ESP Disk’ has since remastered and expanded this release, so look for that edition, if you can find it.
Like Roland Kayn, Drumm doesn’t usually seem to have much truck with traditional musical conventions of harmonic or rhythmic organization.
Sounds function, to a certain extent, as motifs. On Relief, the sound of a cricket rubbing its wings together seems to be the motif around which the shimmering static and harmonic washes organize themselves.
It’s a bit like watching the static on an old television, a la Poltergeist, and waiting for your brain to find the patterns, whether they actually exist, or not.
An Even Break (Never Give a Sucker) by Sonny Murray.
A most excellent exercise in poetry and freedom from the late Mr Murray and compatriots circa 1969. Great blowing from Lancaster and Terroade, fine bass work from Mr Favors, and Mr Murray holds it down. It sounds like a much larger ensemble than it is.
I just wish it was longer, I could listen to this all day.
Another online referral, this time from Joel Berk. He mentioned Sunwatchers were embarking on a West Coast Tour, and I know he likes the crazy jams, so I thought I should give them a listen. Especially since they’ll be playing within a few blocks of my house Tuesday, Jan 23.
Sunwatchers contain members of Dark Meat, Arthur Doyle’s New Quiet Screamers, NYMPH, and Chris Forsyth’s Solar Motel Band. A super-group, of sorts.
They are in the same neck of the woods instrumentally, and philosophically, with bands like Horse Lords. Extended songs based on theme and subtle variation on rhythm and melody. Though, the scales and rhythms they base their jams on are more attuned to Western musical stylings than the African and Eastward looking tendencies of the Horse Lords.
Thoroughly enjoyable, however, and I look forward to seeing them at the Knock Out Bar in a couple weeks.
Bandcamp link: Sheer Hellish Miasma
For a second random selection from Mr Kevin Drumm’s oeuvre, I selected “Sheer Hellish Miasma”. Sheer Hellish Miasma is nearly the exact opposite of the quiet and peaceful “Trouble”. The sound samples I can identify sound like band saws, radio static, and jack hammers.
This is definitely an old school “Industrial” sound.
Now, turning these sorts of sounds up to car, and teeth, rattling decibel levels as you wend your way across the city isn’t to everyone’s taste. But if a sort of ‘symphony of industrial noise’ is something you can imagine listening to, you might enjoy “Sheer Hellish Miasma”. #SheerHellishMiasma
An online acquaintance, Ian Fenton of Frozen Reeds, had mentioned on occasion that s/he was listening to Kevin Drumm. Since Mr or Ms Frozen Reeds knows a bit about electronic music, I thought I should check out what is up with Mr Kevin Drumm.
I still don’t know much.
Mr Drumm is a very prolific recorder of music. Going from his bandcamp page, he records and releases an album or two a month. He also appears to be from, or live in, Chicago, IL.
I selected Trouble at random because I liked the cover and the notion of “Trouble”. However, Trouble is one of the least troublesome records I’ve run across. If I had to pin down the sound source, I would guess some sort of Tibetan ringing bowls, but it could be something as simple as a treated or bowed guitar.
The record, according to the liner notes, is, “Intended for quiet listening (suggested stereo system volume setting 4).” And it really is quiet album. It was a rainy day, and between road noise and the rain, it was pretty impossible to hear Trouble while driving. So not a great commute soundtrack.
However, it is pretty great music to listen to as intended.
Turn down the lights, put on the stereo, and zone out as sounds ring across and back from the event horizon.
From the Thrill Jockey Website: “SAICOBAB is the Japanese quartet of vocalist YoshimiO (Boredoms, OOIOO), Yoshida Daikiti (sitar), Akita Goldman (bass), and acclaimed in Japan Motoyuki “Hama” Hamamoto (percussion, gamelan). SAICOBAB masterfully blend traditional Indian music with melodies and unexpected rhythms using unorthodox instrumentation to create utterly distinct modern ragas. On their debut album SAB SE PURANI BAB, YoshimiO’s leaping, animated, effected vocal melodies dance fluidly through Daikiti’s intricate sitar patterns. The entrancing synergy of Goldman and Hama’s rhythmic pulse drives and shapes the aptly named SAICOBAB’s sound to one that is at once rooted in ancient tradition, and wholly new.”
Lekhfa by Maryam Saleh, Maurice Louca, and Tamer Abu Ghazaleh.
A collaboration between three Egyptian musicians, two vocalists, Maryam Saleh and Tamer Abu Ghazaleh, along with multi-instrumentalist and producer Maurice Louca.
What I think of is how Middle Eastern and Indian music influenced American and British Psychedelic rock musicians. This album is sort of the reverse happening, with American and British Psychedelic music returning and influencing these Egyptian musicians.
There is always something interesting happening on this album, whether it is the vocalist intertwining with synthesizers or unexpectedly modern beats under traditional instrumentation.
Another album I heard via Forced Exposure, who have the following to say about the album, “Maryam Saleh, Maurice Louca, and Tamer Abu Ghazaleh, names that have turned heads in alternative Arabic music with solo albums and conspicuous collaborations. With Lekhfa, they give birth to an off-kilter sound where layers of grit and beauty intertwine in and around the dystopian poems of their contemporary Mido Zoheir, whom they’ve dubbed the fourth member in this creation, and one of the most talented Egyptian poets of their generation.”