Quartet: Vortices

Quartet: Vortices
Quartet: Vortices

Quartet: Vortices by Nate Lepine.
Bandcamp Link: Quartet: Vortices

A few weeks back I covered a record by Quin Kirchner’s group called The Other Side of Time.

Nate Lepine played in that group and some of the most interesting songs on that album were their takes on Charles Mingus’ songs.

This album is under Mr Lepine’s name, but also includes Mr Kirchner.

And while the music of Mingus isn’t covered literally, it is here spiritually.

And while Mr Sorey’s groups, “are not a jazz group,” Mr Kirchner and Mr Lepine’s groups pointedly ARE playing in modern versions of the Jazz idiom.

There is some really outstanding writing and playing here, the rhythm section, Mr Kirchner and Sommers, are especially fantastically propulsive, making it hard not to tap along and enjoy the music.

The interplay of the two saxophonists, Lepine on Tenor and Mazarella on Alto, feels like the work of a couple, players who can complete each other’s sentences. And, man, can they play precision harmony.

I don’t know if this group has played together a lot, but the whole group feels like one who is used to cooking together.

The melodic writing is often in what I call “Noir Jazz” mode, but the intervals are less minor than pure blues, and often very interestingly evoke 20th century composers like Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein.

If you’re looking for a modern Jazz album that is a pure joy to listen to, and hum along to, this is a great one.

#NateLepine #QuartetVortices #NickMazzarella #ClarkSommers #QuinKirchner #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack



Beloved by Randall Dunn.
Bandcamp Link: Beloved

Dunn has a long resume as a producer, engineer, and musician for and in groups including SUNNO))), Tim Hecker, Six Organs of Admittance, and many, many more.

Beloved unfolds as a series of vision invoking vignettes which somehow fit perfectly into the Bay Area’s world this morning. Or perhaps it is the other way around

The fire in Butte County has scented our air with creosote and obscured the sun with meandering clouds of ash.

The reverb and dread laden atmospheres of Beloved shook the suspension of my car as I meandered past the beaches incongruously thronged with surfers and lit by a blood red sun.

Art and reality in confluence.

#RandallDunn #Beloved #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #TimmMason #ShahzadIsmaily #UlfurHansson #JeremiahCymerman #JohnMcCowen #WillSmith #FrankFisher #EyvindKang #JustinMorris #ZolaJesus

Another Odyssey of Waiting


Another Odyssey of Waiting by Kevin Drumm
Bandcamp Link: Another Odyssey of Waiting

This album starts so quietly, and builds so slowly, that I wasn’t sure what was music and what was the sound of the road.

The first 30 minutes are what sounds like Tibetan bells, bowed vibraphones, and some feedback. There’s actually a lot going on, but it is going on very quietly and very slowly.

At around 29 minutes in everything fades down and then slowly builds again, but what sounds like someone pressing down on about half the keys of a pipe organ is added.

The whole thing shimmers and slowly undulates, like a sonic jellyfish, for about 10 minutes and then fades out again.

#KevinDrumm #AnotherOdysseyOfWaiting #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack


I’ve been listening to these two albums this week.

Broken Politics by Neneh Cherry
Bandcamp Link: Broken Politics

Broken Politics pointedly asks the question; how do we conduct ourselves in extraordinary times? In an era where the signal-to-noise ratio is more uneven than ever, what are the measures we must take to retain and remember our own personhood? It searches for answers, patiently and with great care, and with a fearlessness to acknowledge that sometimes the answers don’t even exist. It’s a record that’s equal parts angry, thoughtful, melancholy, and emboldening, as Cherry and her collaborators continue to expand her ever-widening sonic palette to craft truly singular and potent music.

Songs Of Resistance 1942 – 2018 by Marc Ribot with Sam Amidon, Justin Vivian Bond, Ohene Cornelius, Steve Earle, Meshell Ndegeocello, Fay Victor, and Tom Waits, plus Domenica Fossati, Tift Merritt, and Syd Straw.
Bandcamp Link: Songs Of Resistance 1942 – 2018

“Every movement which has ever won anything has had songs,” says accomplished New York City guitarist, Marc Ribot. “The songs in this collection are what I wish I’d been able to hear or sing at the demostrations and benefits I’ve attended since Donald Trump’s election. Through them, I’ve tried to channel some of the deep rivers of song from movements past into something that may be useful now. A few tunes are arrangements of US Civil Rights (We Are Soldiers In The Army, We’ll Never Turn Back) and WWII European resistance songs (Bella Ciao, Fischia Il Vento). One is a Mexican romantic pop ballad originally written as a political attack (Rata de dos Patas). Others are my own tunes based on or inspired by these.”



Aviary by Julia Holter.
Bandcamp Link: Aviary

Julia Holter is an artist whose name I knew, but who I hadn’t really listened to.

My impression was she was someone who combined voice and electronics, but I hadn’t gotten much further than that.

Her new album, “Aviary,” completely blind sided me.

It’s like being dropped, suddenly, into a whole new world.

I haven’t been able to write about any other music this week, I’ve been so entranced by this album, listening to it on repeat whenever I am in the car or have some time at home.

Listening to it is like being lost in a dream. Like something out of Shakespeare, The Tempest.

She synthesizes so much of modern and 20th Century music into this one album that it is mind boggling.

Listen and be amazed.

#JuliaHolter #Aviary #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack



Entanglement by Jessica Moss
Bandcamp Link: Entanglement

Jessica Moss is Canadian musician and member of Silver Mt Zion and Black Ox Orkestar. Her primary instruments are voice and violin.

Entanglements is an album that straddles classical, new music, and drone, often in the course of a single song, while not failing to be accessible and melodic.

At turns beautiful, majestic, and menacing, this is an entrancing work.

#Entanglement #JessicaMoss #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #ConstellationRecords



2038 by Crazy Doberman.
Bandcamp Link: 2038

Crazy Doberman recently published a bit of an interview from a Slovenian magazine that really struck a chord with me.

“-How did the free jazz influences get into the music?”

“It’s not so much free jazz as it’s the acoustic instruments involved i.e. reeds and brass. There are not really solos and individual players peeping thru rotten mis, more of a downer group sound with as many details to flesh out the chapters as possible. More akin to hearing a conversation in three rooms over and not being sure of how many people are in the space. ‘Free Jazz’ has its own system, we are aware of this and try to be as contrary as possible.”

The first song on 2038, “in your time​-​as it was in ours”, is actually one of the more “Free Jazz”-ish pieces I’ve heard so far from Crazy Doberman, a bit of Albert Ayler IS peeping thru the rotten mist, along with some mild middle european ethnic influences.

The second song, “waste house”, however, is more akin to a long lost sauerkraut dream. Or a dream I had nodding off to the sound of the sauerkraut tub bubbling away in the pantry as my senile germanic nanny prepared pork chops and applesauce. Was that a dream?

#CrazyDoberman #2038 #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack



Konoyo by Tim Hecker.
Bandcamp Link: Konoyo

I know the name Tim Hecker by reputation as an important modern ambient electronic artist. But, I’ve never listened to any of his music.

I saw he had a new album and thought it might be another good addition to my running list of All Hallow’s Eve Party songs.

But, it’s kind of funny, I’ve listened to so much abstract electronic music, that I think it’s skewed my perspective.

Compared to most of the electronic music I listen to, Tim Hecker just seems kind of “nice”.

He uses electronic effects, but he still messes around with chord changes. He samples somewhat harsh sounds, but plays melodies. He uses harmony, but not even much dissonance, octaves and fifths for cripe’s sake.

So, sadly, there isn’t much here for that vaunted theoretical Halloween Party, unless maybe you need a break from the intensity at the end while you’re cleaning up.

#TimHecker #Konoyo #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack

Bad Dreams part 1

Bad Dreams part 1 by Kevin Drumm.
Bandcamp Link: Bad Dreams part 1

A finely dissonant work of interacting long duration pitches with slight glitches here and there.

In other words, a perfect atmospheric soundtrack for your All Hallow’s Eve Nightmare.

Though, to be honest, you could probably point your browser at just about any of Kevin Drumm’s bandcamp recordings and come up with a pretty good Halloween soundtrack.

(This piece was initially composed for a commission that fell through. Drumm made it available only to his bandcamp subscribers.)

#KevinDrumm #BadDreamsPart1 #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack