Sunday, 21 December 2014

Mogwai

The Returned (Les Revenants) (2013) ...

Supernatural moody horror from France, soundtracked by Mogwai ...Perfect music for superb TV ...

Special N ...



Wizard Motor ... 


Hungry Face ... 




Les Revenants (complete) ... 


Friday, 19 December 2014

Dissidenten & Lemchaheb

Sahara Electrik (1984) ...

Fusion created by Berlin based Dissidenten and Moroccan group Lemchaheb ...

Fata Morgana (El'sfa) ... 

"I really put my head on the block by insisting-in print-that DISSIDENTEN's (Sahara Elektrik) was by far the best album of 1984. In Britain it caught the ear of John Peel, and it was a chance encounter with albums title track on the idiosyncratic Jocks show that started my inquisitive nose a-twitching. Its ironic , but by no means surprising, that Britain is the last European nation to open its doors and collective minds to the most surprising new continental band, Germanys DISSIDENTEN. The assumption that we the Brits lead the field in musical trends makes it hard for us to believe that someone else has beaten us" Andy Hurt SOUNDS, May 11, 1985 Sahara Elektrik was the work of both Lemchaheb and Dissidenten.

"One in five West Berliners of North African origin, Moroccan music was a particularly logical area of exploration for local fusion-fanciers Die Dissidenten. Lem Chaheb, one of Morocco's most popular young groups, was an equally logical choice for a partner. The result is a pretty straightforward rock/Maghrebi fusion, with guitar and oud swapping dominance from track to track."
Inshallah ...

Sahara Elektrik feels to me like an exploration of an imagined North Africa, one where implausible excitement and unspoiled beauty exist side by side. If I were to make a comparison, it would not be to another record, but to the Indiana Jones films – it's not real, it's a good job it's not real, but imagine if the world really were like this! Visit Dissidenten's world: it's addictive... Michael Hann ...

Sahara Electrik ... 

 "1984/85: Concerts worldwide. Having toured North Africa, Dissidenten set up camp in Tangier, Morocco. Composer and author Paul Bowles and Tangier’s musical godfather Abdesalam Akaabouneintroduce them to Moroccan musicians Jil Jilala, Nas El Ghiwane, Lem Chaheb and the likes. Dissidenten’s third album SAHARA ELEKTRIK is recorded in Tangier with Lem Chaheb and their outstanding leader Cherif Lamrani. FATA MORGANA -the album’s hit song becomes famous not only in North Africa but a top dancefloor success in Europe and South America. 250.000 people see and hear Dissidenten live during a three-week tour of Spain. British DJ John Peel features the group in his legendary BBC program. ’Dissimania’ -initially started out in the Mediterranean, spreads via England to Canada and the US. Dissidenten make it to the top of independent charts worldwide. Concert for German TV-WDR at the famous Rockpalast is broadcasted live all over Europe."... dissidenten.com/biography/
 
Lemchaheb in concert ... 

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

The String Arcade

The String Arcade (2014) ...

Video game soundtrack pieces performed by string quartet ...

The String Arcade on Bandcamp ... 

"The String Arcade is a recording of video game music, arranged for string quartet. This isn't an arbitrary (or novelty) collection of game music, but a well curated collection of music that works together thematically as a completed recording. We also hope to inspire young musicians with this recording by making a connection between video game music and 'classical' instruments such as violin, viola and cello..."
Cello - Robin Reynolds
Viola - Emily Onderdonk
Violin II - Celia Harris
Violin I - Alisa Rose (except on Ecco, Sonic, Minecraft & Tron)
Violin I - Philip Brezina (only on Ecco, Sonic, Minecraft & Tron)
 

Special Guests: Videri String Quartet playing The Legend of Zelda
Cello - Jeremiah Barcus
Viola - Rosie Samter
Violin I - Aubrey Holmes
Violin II - Renee Spadey





 

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Harmonia

Music von Harmonia (1974) ...

Harmonia were formed by members of Cluster (Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedilius) and Michel Rother of Neu! ... This was their first album ...

Watussi ... 


Dino ... 


Hausmusik ... 
 Innumerable electronica artists use repetitive drums and odd samples to posses a mezmerising effect. While Harmonia do this every track on Musik von Harmonia contains its own unique sound and that’s what makes this album so intriguing. “Veterano” incorporates a drum-machine into its sound surrounding the listener with an array of funky beats and loose, sublime guitar noodling. Midway through the song hypnotic beats are added which sounds like some sort of malfunction on an Aphex Twin record. On the other side of things“Sehr Kosmisch” is the longest and most ambient influenced piece on the album and it sounds like something that would be found on a Cluster album. Mixing together dark piano chords over ethereal keyboard soundscapes “Sehr Kosmisch” gives me a feeling like I’m lost in an icy cavern. Harmonia have a knack for creating innovative sounds and visual imagery while keeping a very simple formula intact... sputnikmusic.com ...

Sonnenschein ... 
  Harmonia was a brief collaboration between three extremely gifted and important musicians. On two records in the mid-'70s they predicted and mapped countless creative directions for the future of music. The group's music demonstrated genres for the innovative musician as a confining ghetto. Unfortunately, as time has went on musicians and, in particular fans, have been all-too-happy to remain in safe space and not open themselves to the vast possibilities experimental music offers. Musik von Harmonia is a groundbreaking record created by three musical visionaries who went on to record De Luxe in 1975. The two members of Cluster later collaborated with the über-influential Brian Eno in 1976 on Cluster& Eno and, undoubtedly, influenced his approach to making music and recording. Since Eno believed during the mid '70s Harmonia was "the world's most important rock band." Unfortunately, this record has not been recognized for its precocity and indirect influence on the course that music has taken because it was released. Aficionados of exceptional experimental music should gladly pay the import price for this groundbreaking recording..cosmik.com ...

Veterano ... 


Musik von Harmonia (complete) ...

Monday, 15 December 2014

News From Babel

Letters Home (1986) ...

Second album from group based around Lindsay Cooper, Chris Cutler, and Zeena Parkins, a 'song cycle' in chamber rock style.  Unusual orchestrations, with vocals from Dagmar Krause and Robert Wyatt, Sally Potter and Phil Minton ...

Who Will Accuse ...


Moss ... 
With just one exception - A Dragon At The Core, sung by Phil Minton, which closed Side One and offered a (quite appropriate) sense of interruption in the course of the narrative - all songs on Letters Home participate of a sense of directness (also from an emotive point of view) which makes their "first person" approach quite involving for the listener. It could be said that the fact that it is Robert Wyatt who sings a lot of the songs here that accounts for a large part of its success, and it well could be: as we all know so well, Wyatt's vocals can turn a colloquial-sounding approach into fine art. But the fact that this is due in the first place to the compositional process is proved by the fact that those positive qualities are also shared by those tracks sung by Sally Potter and Dagmar Krause ... cloudsandclocks.net ...

A Dragon At The Core ... 


  The nine tracks on the album add up to a "song cycle" of sorts, where every listener will find his/her favourite moment. After confessing my predilection for those tracks where Robert Wyatt is the featured singer, I'll mention the first track of the album, Who Will I Accuse?; the aforementioned Moss; the closing track, Late Evening; and the bizarre Dark Matter, with its dark instrumental interlude that never fails to remind me of Pink Floyd and The Who... cloudsandclocks.net ...


 A Dragon At the Core - tribute to composer Lindsay Cooper, November 2014 ...


rermegacorp.com ...

Late Evening ...
(This is Late Evening, the other album tracks in this Youtube Topic are mis-titled somewhat, but all very fine)...

The Human League

Reproduction (1979) ...

The original group formed around 1977 from a group known as The Future.  This was their first album, when they still had more in common with Cabaret Voltaire than Culture Club ...

Empire State Human ...
  
It’s just so dark. Throughout the record there’s a lack of hope for the world and apathy for humankind strewn across the futuristic electro warbles and detached vocals and lyrics heard on virtually every track. On paper, that sounds unpleasant, but in reality it’s a well formed brand of synth-pop that doesn‘t care for commercial approval. It has its own flavour; it’s own sense of style and a clear idea of what it wants to be - cold futurist music, deployed using (at the time) cutting edge synthesisers to create a danceable, yet moody form of electronic music for those outside the realms of pop’s rose-tinted glasses... sputnikmusic.com ...
The Path of Least Resistance ...



The Circus of Death ...
  
  
Austerity/Girl One ... 
 Before The Human League re-branded themselves as chart storming, synth-pop giants (female backing singers and all) upon the release of the critically lauded 'Dare' in 1981, they released a pair of albums that were perhaps the most cold and dehumanised form of synth-pop ever heard. It’s almost so unfamiliar that some listeners may doubt the robotic beats of 'Being Boiled' or the eerie dirge of 'The Path Of Least Resistance' could have ever come from the same band who; a few member changes and a stylistic rethink later; produced enduring, pop leviathans like 'Don't You Want Me' a couple of years following... sputnikmusic.com ...
Blind Youth ... 



Saturday, 13 December 2014

Audio Arts

Live To Air (1982) ...

A set of three cassettes originally released by Audio Arts magazine, later digitally re-issued and now available through Tate museum's website ...  A range of soundart works ...

Rod Summers - Mail Art Dada Skank (Wont Put Money In The Bank)... 

Connie Beckley - To Faust, A Footnote ...

Sylvia C.Ziranek - Rarely Talk (Used Air) ... 

Tina Keane - Demolition ... 

Helen Chadwick - Model Institution...

Jacki Apple - the Garden Planet Revisited ... 

Bruce Maclean - Limpo Wristo Poncho Rocko ... 

"Live to Air comprises an international compilation of artists' sound works. Forty-five artists were invited to make a work for the context of Audio Arts with an approximate duration of five minutes. The medium of magnetic tape, and the processes and technologies associated with sound recording, now represent a significant and growing area of art practice that has, until now, been largely overlooked. This work has no form other than playback from tape, as opposed to the recording function being used 'passively' as a method of retaining an acoustic event, or acting as a strategy for other work. Furthermore, the processes of working with sound provide artists with similar manipulative, structural and ideological freedoms and possibilities to those normally associated with the traditional media such as painting, sculpture and collage. In many respects, this audial/technological 'space' is parallel to the physical space of a gallery, yet extends it through the potential of widespread dissemination inherent in the multiple production of cassettes and through broadcasting." ... Live To Air ...