I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life by Tune-Yards.
There is an interesting tension here between the lyrics and the music.
From a superficial listen, a lot of this album from Merrill Garbus’ band Tune-Yards sounds like “club music”, in terms of the beats and the musical strategies.
On the other hand, a lot of the lyrical content is about anxiety, fear, and self-deprecation.
It’s sort of like having a pom-pom squad leading a cheer based on opinion pieces from the Huffington Post or New Yorker.
My favorite songs are those where a bit more of what seems to be personal narrative creeps in, like “Now as Then” and “Hammer”. Also, the live version of the Tune-Yards band includes Bay Area superstar drummer Hamir Atwal, giving the tunes a bit more edge than the primarily programming and loop based rhythms of the album. So go see them live and decide for yourself!
How you feel about Shut In is going to depend on how you feel about drone.
I like some drone-ey music and some leaves me wondering who dropped the paper weight on the organ.
For me, it’s all about the texture of the sounds and the idea of sound as a physical object in space. Also helps to have some bass in the mix.
Anyway, I enjoyed Shut In even though there’s not a lot of obvious “musical” type stuff going on. Good textures and nice bass. If you turn it up, it almost sounds like the quieter bits of a SUNN O))) concert.
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.