William Fields: Bewilderment

William Fields: Bewilderment

Allegedly algorithmic music, but really pretty cool and organic feeling. I would describe it as “nonchalantly menacing”. Reminded me a bit of some Cluster related music. Maybe my fave Superpang release so far.

“All tracks are performed, mixed, and mastered by William Fields using Bohlen–Pierce tuning.”

#SuperPang #SP07 #WilliamFields

Mats Gustafsson: Countdown

Mats Gustafsson: Countdown

Pretty much a harsh noise album. The passages of sound where the instruments in the credits are identifiable as themselves are few and far between. Mostly wet sound coming off of whatever live electronic processing is going on. There are some nice bits about 15 mins into the first track. I also liked the framing device for the second track, sound of piezo mic’d cardio and/or respiration.

“Compositions by Mats Gustafsson (STIM/NcB). Baritone and bass saxophones, organ, live electronics, bass drum.”

#SuperPang #SP06 #MatsGustafsson

Akira Sileas: Jump Skiff

Akira Sileas: Jump Skiff

“These works form a study of an experimental implementation of a waveguide synthesis algorithm.”

Metallic KO. Almost all the sounds on this recording sound like they were generated from some sort of metal striking another (even though they were probably entirely digitally generated.) Well, one thing I like about recordings on Superpang is they usually use very original sample sets and sound sources.

“Composed/performed by Akira Sileas”

#SuperPang #SP05 #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #AkiraSileas

Elias Merino: Synthesis Of Unlocated Affections

Elias Merino: Synthesis Of Unlocated Affections

A group of shorter abstract electronic pieces. The rhythmic sensibility feels more like that of spoken language than music. Described as, “Un-ornamented and Brutalist”, I was expecting it to be a bit more harsh than it is, while not exactly Brutalist, it is enjoyable and original electronic music.

“Composed and recorded by Elías Merino between CeReNeM (Centre for Research in New Musics) and Madrid.”

#SuperPang #SP04 #EliasMerino

Liminal Kicks: Guy Birkin

Liminal Kicks: Guy Birkin

If you want to give your speakers a workout, play this loud. (Various extremely high bpm manipulations of sounds from drum machines.)

“Explorations of sounds created by drum synths + saturation at very high bpm. Mathematica software was used to generate MIDI files in which the bpm increases/decreases exponentially, with an exponent set at the Golden ratio (1.618 or 0.618). The tempo of the drums goes up to 300,000 bpm.”

#SuperPang #SP01 #GuyBirkin

Bang: Kevin Drumm

Bang: Kevin Drumm

The only information accompanying the album is, “Microphone + Computer assistance.”

Mics left live in the wind? Mics inside a crumpling paper bag rolling in the wind? Those are my best guesses, but I’ve no idea what systems or devices Kevin Drumm used to create this album. Still, despite its mysterious origins, a strangely compelling recording.

#SuperPang #SP02 #KevinDrumm

EVOL: Goofy Tape

I do love a project. Anyway, I drive to Oakland every Monday for band practice. On the way home, I usually listen to something. But, anything too long gets cut off. I decided, the SuperPang catalog is a good choice, as most releases around 20-30 minutes long and all, (so far,) seem to be at least pretty interesting.

Goofy Tape by EVOL.

It really is pretty goofy, vintage video game like sounds over stompy quasi-dance beats. I swear some of the sounds come from frogger. Changes frequently enough to stay interesting. Perfectly appropriate for late night driving among the Uber drivers and tech bros Tokyo Drifting from one exit to the next.

“A pair of long wabbit acid techno pearls from the infamous trans-European duo: Roc Jiménez de Cisneros and Stephen Sharp aka EVOL.”

#SuperPang #SP03 #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack

Ancient Songs of Burlap Heroes

Ancient Songs of Burlap Heroes
Ancient Songs of Burlap Heroes

Ancient Songs of Burlap Heroes by Nate Wooley (Bandcamp Link).

This album is dedicated to those who recognize living as a heroic act: the occupiers of sunup barstools; the cubicle-planted; the ghosts of Greyhounds; the reasonably sketchy. A burlap hero is one who marches—consciously or not—back to the sea in hopes of making no splash, who understands and embraces the imperfection of being, and in that way, stretches the definition of sainthood to fit.

Nate Wooley, 2022

Framed by 4 interludes, (all named with an open parenthesis a sequence of periods and a close parentheis), which start with what sound like field recordings of fields or beaches into which the band gradually inserts itself, Ancient Songs of Burlap Heroes roots itself in the natural world.

These interludes present a world where composition and improvisation are part of the order of things, not one where man and his ideas impose their will on nature or the world.

The 3 longer pieces on the album skirt any labels such as “Jazz”, “Free Improvisation”, or “New Music”. (Though, at any point, the music might sound like one, the other, or all at once.)

The core group of players, Halvorson, Alcorn, Sawyer, and Wooley, are all distinctive voices and Wooley gives ample space to express themselves solo and interact with each other over the course of the longer pieces.

Particularly fascinating is the interaction between the two guitarists, the pitch sliding of Alcorn’s pedal steel guital and the temporal sliding of Halvorson’s patented digital delay damaged playing.

Wooley himself has some burning passages and some poignant moments in his playing on the album, including a particularly nice break in “A Catastrophic Legend” that is practically Bebop (but not quite).

Sawyer displays astonishing flexibility, interacting and complementing whatever these iconoclastic players throw at him with poise and grace.

The album closes at the sea shore, perhaps in reference to the quote above, a group of saintly players ending their pilgrimage, and fading into silence.

Mary Halvorson; Guitar
Susan Alcorn; Pedal Steel Guitar
Ryan Sawyer; Drums
Mat Maneri; Viola, Track 2
Trevor Dunn; Electric Bass, Track 4
Nate Wooley; Trumpet and Amplifier, Compositions

Recorded by Ryan Streber at Oktaven Audio, October 14-15, 2021
released July 29, 2022

Ancient Songs of Burlap Heroes
Ancient Songs of Burlap Heroes

Am Frankfurter Tor

Am Frankfurter Tor

Am Frankfurter Tor (bandcamp link) by Anna Kaluza and Jan Roder.*

The alto saxophone carries so much baggage in the “Jazz” idiom it sort of scares me. From Johnny Hodges to Charlie Parker to Lee Konitz to John Zorn, there is no escaping that instrument’s weight and history as a key melodic and textural component in the sound of modern Jazz and improvised music.

Playing the alto sax in Jazz Music is like playing the Electric Guitar in Rock Music.

You better either be really, really good or do something so interesting that you aren’t competing.

Somehow, Anna Kaluza is both really, really good at the alto sax and a fascinating player.

Ms Kaluza’s sax playing so deftly skirts back and forth from melodic bebop-ish lines to free-er expressionism while Mr Roder complements and urges her forward. Just an all around pleasurable album to listen to. (It’s been in the rotation all summer!)

Credits:

Anna Kaluza – alto saxophone
Jan Roder – double bass

*Am Frankfurter Tor was sent to me by Relative Pitch Records.

Am Frankfurter Tor

Bent Ring

Bent Ring by Wendy Eisenberg
Bent Ring by Wendy Eisenberg

Bent Ring (Bandcamp Link) by Wendy Eisenberg.

That “Bent Ring” contains two tracks with a capella versions of the hymn “Abide With Me” caught my interest, for obvious reasons.

Wendy Eisenberg has interested me, as they appear to be a person whose musical output stretches from something like pop music all the way to freely improvised music.

Bent Ring is primarily a vocal album, with multi-tracked chorus-esque vocals on the songs. Accompaniment is primarily banjo, with sparing use of percussion (by Michael Cormier) on many tracks.

Eisenberg’s main instruments on the album are their mezzo-soprano voice and banjo, but it is the prose poetry of the lyrics that drives it.

I think the poetry, largely about living, being an artist and person, in the 21st Century, is what keeps me coming back to this album. It is witty, funny, and catchy. I also like that while being somewhat concise, the different songs are diverse in their sound and character.

The longest songs are around 4 mins, with most clocking shorter, yet the whole album feels satisfying, despite its brevity.

Released November 5, 2021

all songs written and performed by Wendy Eisenberg

percussion by Michael Cormier

produced by Wendy Eisenberg, Lucas Knapp, and Michael Cormier

Bent Ring by Wendy Eisenberg
Bent Ring by Wendy Eisenberg