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



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

Percussion Ensemble

Percussion Ensemble

Milford Graves Percussion Ensemble with Sunny Morgan.
Label Website: Percussion Ensemble

I’m not quite sure how to describe, or even really listen to, this album.

It’s not a ferocious hurricane of percussive sound.

Nor do the two percussionists particularly engage with each other in call and response. Or even particularly pay attention to each other’s tempos.

It feels more like sitting on your porch in the North Woods listening to the various independent sounds of insect calls, bird noises, and animal sounds.

A cricket will call for a while, then an owl. Then maybe the raccoons knock over your trash cans. Maybe later a loon. Then more crickets. The beams creak and mice skitter in the walls.

It feels more natural than created.

#MilfordGraves #SunnyMorgan #PercussionEnsemble #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack

Daqa’iq Tudaiq

Daqa’iq Tudaiq

Daqa’iq Tudaiq by Jerusalem in my Heart.
Bandcamp Link: Daqa’iq Tudaiq

I mostly know Jerusalem in my Heart because they are on the excellent Canadian label, Constellation Records, whose releases I follow slavishly.

Jerusalem in my Heart is a duo, one of whom is a visual/projection artist, so judging them solely on audio evidence is giving them short shrift.

According to the liner notes, the first 4 songs on this album are, “an arrangement of the popular Egyptian classic “Ya Garat Al Wadi” by the legendary composer Mohammad Abdel Wahab.”

As a modern song cycle combining electronic and organic instruments, it is quite enjoyable.

The last 4 songs are solo for instruments and electronics and are more eclectic in their production treatments and often a bit noisy.

If I can borrow another quote from the liner notes, I believe they express the sentiment of the music here.

“Love in a time of politics, politics in a world conspiring against love, and the specificity of Arab diasporic experience in our brutish 21st century.”

#JerusalemInMyHeart #DaqaiqTudaiq #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack

Free LSD

Free LSD by Crazy Doberman.
Bandcamp Link: Free LSD

If, after listening to Puce Mary, you’re still looking for the perfect music for your Halloween Party, especially music that will freak your guests out, Crazy Doberman’s Free LSD might be a good choice.

Along the lines of the menace put out on early Cabaret Voltaire tracks on albums like “Mix Up” and “Voice of America”, the tracks on Free LSD are echo and pan laden exercises in pure atmospheric doom.

I especially like the semi random low bass boom on Free LSD pt. 1. Though, the bass clarinet on pt. 2 is also very nice.

As I like to say, there’s no freak out like a clarinet freak out!

#FreeLSD #CrazyDoberman #drewdavis #timgick #johnolson #aaronzernack #jasonfiler #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack

Winter Gardens

Winter Gardens

Winter Gardens by John Butcher.
Bandcamp Link: Winter Gardens

4 tracks, recorded live in London, UK, and Milwaukee, WI, some time around 2013.

The first track, “Sporangia (High)”, is a workout for soprano saxophone prominently featuring flutter tongueing.

The second track, “Sea Cone”, is an exploration of percussive sounds created by opening and closing the Tenor Sax keys and also manipulating feedback created by changing the resonant space in the sax.

The third track, “Sporangia (Low)” is a more general workout for Tenor Saxophone, utilizing a wide variety of “extended technique”.

The fourth track, “Sea Fret” is for Soprano Sax and starts with Butcher making sounds into the Sax without the mouthpiece attached, sort of as a trumpet player would. Percussive sounds of the keys follow, and towards the end it seems he attaches the saxophone’s mouthpiece and the track finishes with high pitched sounds.

Which all sounds very programmatic when you lay it out, but the thing I like about Butcher’s solo playing is that while he is using “extended technique” in his Saxophone playing, he is still telling a story with his playing.

There is a logic to the language he has created and the solos have a progression and through points, which make listening to his music enjoyable and rewarding. There is tension and release. Drama. Humour. Pathos.

It isn’t simply a display of techniques.

#JohnButcher #WinterGardens #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack

The Drought

The Drought

The Drought by Puce Mary
Bandcamp Link: The Drought
I read a music magazine called “the wire“.

A Danish artist called “Puce Mary” has come up from time to time in their album reviews.

I classified her, mentally, in the area of performance-art/musician/poet types, but never really listened to her music.

I noticed she recently released a new album, “The Drought”, and I was in a bit of a funk, looking for something to add to my commute playlist this week.

According to her bandcamp site, “Puce Mary is the solo moniker of Danish experimental artist Frederikke Hoffmeier.”

The music is about what I expected, digital sonic landscapes of noise, feedback, and percussion.

Most of the album is instrumental, but there is a bit of declaimed prose/poetry. Most of it in the, hm, well, “Cronenbergian” vein.

“I would like to take off your skin and live inside your body,” that sort of thing.

So, perfect music for your Halloween party. That is, if you would like your party to actually be disturbing and a bit scary.

#PuceMary #TheDrought #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack