New Tendencies: Force Reset

Force Reset Album Cover
Force Reset Album Cover

New Tendencies: Force Reset

The first 4 songs of this album are named A, AA, AAA, and AAAA. The next 4 are named B, BB, BBB, and BBBB.

All 8 songs are exactly 3 minutes and 42 seconds long.

New Tendencies is the nom de guerre for Matt Nish-Lapidus, often “emenel” on various social medias.

Nish-Lapidus describes themselves as, “an artist and musician based in Toronto/Tkaronto. I work in and around computation, thinking about its histories, politics, culture, and computation-as-material. My main efforts right now are around computational poetics, expanded sculpture, and net art. I believe computers could be something different in the world, and try to embody that in my work and life…I make music mainly as New Tendencies, but sometimes under other names and used to play in a number of punk/post-punk bands in addition to my more experimental/electronic/computer music and sound art.”

The music is primarily rhythmic. For the pieces, in general, there are two similar but independent rhythmic motifs going on in the far right and left channels. There is a pulse in the middle. The various “A” and “B” iterations with the same number of letters seem to start with similar parameters, i.e. “A” is similar to “B” and “AA” is similar to “BB”. The AAA and BBB pieces have the most some panning pitch variation action along with the rhythmic pulsations. The sound sources, if they are other than algorithmic, sound a bit like typewriters or dragging a guitar pick across guitar strings.

Really, I can’t describe it any better than he does, “Decomposing rhythm skitters across time.”

In any case, somehow it does manage to sustain interest, despite the fact that each piece seems to be the musical equivalent of several wind up toys released simultaneously.

If I had to pick a favorite track, it would be “BBB”.

“DO NOT POWER DOWN
Recorded in Toronto by Matt Nish-Lapidus, June 2020″

#SuperPang #SP13 #ForceReset

giovanni di domenico: Gelotophilia / Katagelasticism

giovanni di domenico: Gelotophilia / Katagelasticism


Gelotophilia is joy in being laughed at. Katagelasticism is joy at laughing at others, often at their own expense. (I had to look them up.)

Gelotophilia is piano with electronics, with the piano dominating and the electronics fading in and out in the background. Katagelasticism is electronics with piano, with the electronics more to the fore.

The piano playing is vaguely “classical” in style, rolling sheets of consonant chords. The electronics are more drone-ey. I can’t tell from listening if the electronics in either piece are processing the piano or independent, though the two seem to share some tonal centers. Overall an entirely pleasant recording to listen to, engaging yet not demanding.

“Recorded in Elektronmusikstudion EMS, Stockholm and Studio W, Brussels, 2015/2020”

#SuperPang #SP08 #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack

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

Phalanx Ambassadors

Phalanx Ambassadors
Phalanx Ambassadors

Phalanx Ambassadors by Matt Mitchell; Bandcamp Link: Phalanx Ambassadors

I’ve been listening to Phalanx Ambassadors for the better part of 2 weeks and I still feel like I am still uncovering aspects of it with each listen.

Here are my notes:

“Pointillism, Zappa, A-harmonic, Harmelodics”

The ensemble is composed of keyboards, vibraphone, guitar, bass, and drums.

I say Pointillism as the melodic motif (such that there are any) are often divided between instruments, giving a feeling of spray.

It is super rhythmically dense, these players deserve goddamn medals, especially the drummer and bassist, for dividing and subdividing as they do here. Which reminds me a bit of some of Zappa’s work.

A-harmonic, as it feels like the pieces are more multiple melodies snaking through thickets of rhythm than a single melody with related harmonies.

Harmelodics, as Mitchell’s method seems a bit along the lines of some of Ornette Coleman’s ideas.

Which makes it sound a bit difficult.

And it is a lot to take in.

On the other hand, the tunes are not particularly dissonant, in fact the opposite, often quite tonally pleasant.

After a couple days, I started to think about who might enjoy this album most easily.

My conclusion, such as it is, is that probably a person familiar with modern classical music is going to be more likely to easily enjoy this album than a person who is stuck in the classic jazz rut. And maybe even a prog rock fan might be more easily entertained by some of these pieces, than a “Capital J” Jazz fan.

Try and prove me wrong.

#MattMitchell #PhalanxAmbassadors #MilesOkazaki #PatriciaBrennan #KimCass #KateGentile #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack

Phalanx Ambassadors

Mandatory Reality

Mandatory Reality.

“Mandatory Reality” by Joshua Abrams and Natural Information Society; Bandcamp Link: Mandatory Reality

It’s was a super shitty and stressful week at work. The sort of week where you feel like your job squeezes every last neuron so hard there are no spare thoughts left in your brain.

Listening to this album all week, on the way to and from work, has helped me get through it. It has a calm resolve that is comforting.

Beyond that, I can’t think of anything else particularly interesting or insightful to say about Mandatory Reality.

Coming up dry.

I recommend you listen and decide for yourself.

Maybe you’re having that sort of week, too.
⁣⁣
#JoshuaAbrams#NaturalInformationSociety#MandatoryReality#TodaysCommuteSoundtrack

The Wizard of East Dubuque

The Wizard Of East Dubuque
The Wizard Of East Dubuque

“The Wizard of East Dubuque” by Kevin Drumm; Bandcamp Link: The Wizard of East Dubuque

Last month Kevin Drumm discounted his whole bandcamp discography, something like 114 albums and EPs, at the low, low price of $23.10.

With such a cornucopia of albums available for my sampling, I hardly noticed that he hadn’t made a new album available since March.

However, we were getting close to June, and I started thinking to myself, “…wait a gol’ darn minute…”.

Fortunately, Kevin Drumm chose to slake our thirst with this new album, “The Wizard of East Dubuque”.

The first twenty minutes are what I describe as sound field work, I think the sound source is probably feedback. Spherical sound fields which start small, expand, and intersect with other fields. I was settling into my listening, “ah, this is peaceful, some room to think!” However, my reverie is interrupted by something like a shortwave radio blast. Out of the radio blast, guitar sounds appear and distorted voice coagulates to create a slightly sad, mournful segment for a period. Towards the end, what sound like keyboard based synthesizers come in to take us home, or to church, before fading out into silence.

#KevinDrumm #TheWizardOfEastDubuque #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack

The Wizard Of East Dubuque

A Gaze Among Them

A Gaze Among Them
A Gaze Among Them

“A Gaze Among Them” by Big | Brave; Bandcamp Link: A Gaze Among Them

I’ve been listening to “A Gaze Among Them” by Big|Brave all this week.

Super distorted supreme heaviness, but none of the bullshit solos or ego driven masturbatory instrumental technicality typical of the metal genre.

Just songs conveying feelings performed with ardor.

I think the amazing guitar and bass distortion in the mid section of “Muted Shifting of Space” may be some sort of record for most overdriven sounds ever recorded.

Outstanding.

#bigbrave#agazeamongthem#TodaysCommuteSoundtrack

A Gaze Among Them
A Gaze Among Them

Clockwise

Clockwise
Clockwise

Clockwise by Anna Webber; Bandcamp Link: Clockwise

“Her new release, Clockwise, is an homage to some of her favorite 20th Century composers as seen through the lens of their works for percussion. For the project, Webber spent months researching and analyzing various percussion compositions by Iannis XenakisMorton FeldmanEdgard VaréseKarlheinz StockhausenMilton Babbitt, and John Cage, isolating particular moments that could be extracted and developed into new works.”

Pi Records

Wow! After listening to it for several days, I felt that this album had a lot of influences from 20th Century composers, but I didn’t realize the extent of Webber’s ambition until I read the Pi Records press! Holy moley!

Uh, anyway, that press release could be a little scary to, well, most people.

However, let me assure you, that, while this isn’t “easy” music, it is also not as “difficult” as some of its inspirations.

One of the things that stands out for me is the thoroughly modern and very enjoyable harmony writing for the horns. Sure, there’s some dissonance, but overall it is the melodies of the pieces that stand out for me. There is also some pretty amazing 20th Century music meets Bebop playing from both Webber and Viner, particularly on the title track “Clockwise”.

“Array” is another track which is super interesting, (featuring outstanding contributions from Viner, Garchik, and Mitchell,) which seems almost like a single melodic line which is stretched nearly to the full length of the tune, but split between the different players. Also, it very nearly almost swings.

Endlessly rewarding, and endlessly interesting, Webber’s Clockwise is some of the most ambitious writing and rewarding listening I’ve encountered for a modern jazz-ish ensemble in recent memory.

Anna Webber – tenor saxophone, flute, bass flute, alto flute 
Jeremy Viner – tenor saxophone, clarinet 
Jacob Garchik – trombone 
Christopher Hoffman – cello 
Matt Mitchell – piano 
Chris Tordini – bass 
Ches Smith – drums, vibraphone, timpani

Clockwise
Clockwise

Life Metal

Life Metal.

Life Metal by SUNN O))); Bandcamp Link: Life Metal

SUNN O))) is well known for making “heavy music”.

Life Metal, while heavy in every sense of the word, in the SUNN O))) canon, almost comes down on the side of the light.

Huge slabs of sound do brutalize your ears, but the detail and the texture captured within those aural sculptures twisting in space and time, are beautiful in their own way.

I just have to say, the mix and the production on “Life Metal” is particularly astounding. The first and the last song add acoustic instruments to the SUNN O))) sound and it is unbelievable the separation they found in the mix so that those delicate instruments could shine in the midst of a maelstrom of overdrive and distortion.

PS. This is a great article about the album, “2 Montana Natives on Recording with Drone-Metal Band SUNN O)))“. I particularly enjoyed this quote from one of the Montana Natives, Tim Midyett, “You might be living with whatever you do for awhile. So if you hit a wrong note, and you don’t get it right, you’ve got to figure out a way to adapt whatever you did to make it work, but ideally you want to hit them right in the first place,” which seems equally applicable to Life as to Drone-Metal.

#SUNNO))) #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #LifeMetal

Life Metal.

Crazy Doberman

Crazy Doberman

Crazy Doberman by Crazy Doberman; Bandcamp Link: Crazy Doberman

The difficult part about Crazy Doberman is keeping up with their releases. Not only do they seem to record 3 or 4 album a year, but countless singles, DIY tapes, etc.

If you haven’t dipped into the Crazy Doberman stream just yet, this self titled album is a pretty good place to get your toes wet.

For a Crazy Doberman release, it is a relatively mellow affair, grooves are started, maintained, then freaked out. Things get quiet again. Synthesizers moan.

It’s got a bit of a krautrock/psych feel going on, especially the first half of the first tune, “immortal hand or eye”. The second tune, “held inside/fragmented/kept close” is a bit more of a psychedelic journey, what with its guitar/flute combo, sparse percussion and panning organ-style keyboard washes. And, oh yeah, a recorder freakout towards the end.

Just let go and let it pull you under.

#CrazyDoberman #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack

CrazyDoberman
Crazy Doberman