Sunday, 19 April 2015

Earth and Fire

Atlantis (1973) ...

Dutch prog ... female lead from Jerney Kaagman and Mike Oldfield-ish fluid guitar from Chris Koerts, with symphonic mellotron backing...

Interlude and Fanfare ... 


 The third Earth and Fire album "Atlantis" continued the symphonic progressive rock style of the previous album. The title-track was another side-long suite, but obviously pieced together from far more bits, parts and different ideas than "Song of the Marching Children". But it still hangs very well together, and the songwriting is just as strong as we now could expect from the band. The Mellotron is always present the whole way through, but a little bit more toned down and better integrated along with the other instruments than on "Song of the Marching Children". Side 2 is what makes the album in my opinion a tad weaker than the previous one. Most because of the poppy "Maybe Tomorrow, Maybe Tonight" (that was also the title of a German pressing of the album that had side 1 and 2 exchanged) and the ballad "Love, Please Close the Door". Both these tracks are good, but compared to their best stuff they just don't quite hold up. But most of the rest of side 2 is taken up by the excellent "Fanfare". This is a melodic symphonic track in the vein of "Storm and Thunder". One of the themes from the title-track is also repeated, giving the album a kind of a concept-album feel. I think this is the Earth and Fire album to get after you've got "Song of the Marching Children"... vintageprog.com
 


Jerney Kaagman - lead vocals
Ton van de Kleij - drums, percussion
Chris Koerts - acoustic & electric guitars, backing vocals
Gerard Koerts - organ, piano, flute, Mellotron, synthesizers, virginal, backing vocals
Hans Ziech - bass


Atlantis (full album) ...

 

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Tod Dockstader

Quatermass (1964) ...

Electronic suite by 'sound organiser' and electronic music composer Tod Dockstader. Originally released on Owl records in 1966, this is Dockstader's tour de force ...

Song and Lament ... 


Parade ... 


Flight ...


Second Song ... 

The 45 minutes of Quatermass were drawn out of 12 hours of recordings ...in the process two 'moons' emerged ...

Two Moons of Quatermass: First Moon ... 

Two Moons of Quatermass: Second Moon ... 

The ultimate Tod Dockstader creation however was the monu-mental 46 minute opus Quatermass (1964). Too long for an album originally, two of the surplus edited-out works made it onto the CD release as a bonus: Two Moons of Quatermass, these two 4 minute pieces offer a taster to the awesome power of Quatermass itself. To quote Tod himself 'Quatermass was intended, from the start, to be a very dense, massive, even threatening, work of high levels and energy' - it was pure coincidence that in Britain at the time there was a sci-fi TV series called "Quatermass", as this would have made the ideal soundtrack. It's scarcely believable that virtually none of the sound sources are electronic, many of the textures are created by unlikely things like balloons, vacuum cleaner hoses, toys and the like, as well as the stable selection of percussive devices. This is dark nightmarish music, of great power and phenomenally dynamic execution, with astonishingly complex rhythmic and sequential passages, crescendos of such vigour, and use of stereo panning and bouncing that's far too dizzying to listen to on headphones... Alan Freeman, Audion magazine ...  Audion#32

Dockstader's notes on Quatermass ...

Dockstader archive on Ubuweb ...  

Isnaj Dui

Abstracts on Solitude (2012) ...

Isnaj Dui (Katie English), flautist and electroacoustic composer ...

Nature of Light ... 



It Never Really Was ... 
 Katie English has released several critically acclaimed albums including 2010’s Protective Displacement (Rural Colours) and Unstable Equilibrium (Home Normal, 2009). She has appeared at venues such as the National Portrait Gallery and Union Chapel in London and has received extensive play on Radio 3’s Late Junction and BBC 6 Music. She is a classically trained flautist and has studied electroacoustic music, alternative tunings and Balinese gamelan. Working without laptop processing, Katie English uses the pure tones of concert and bass flutes alongside home made dulcimers and electronics to create immersive yet restrained textures that weave in and out of each other. As well as her solo work she also plays in LITTLEBOW and has collaborated live and on record with ORLA WREN, KONNTINENT, HYBERNATION and THE OWL SERVICE…

Abstracts On Solitude (Bandcamp) ... 

 

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Fire! Orchestra

Enter (2014) ...

Jazz progressives from Sweden on Rune Grammofon.  'The creator has a master plan' Pharoah Sanders meets Sun Ra meets Prodigy ...

Enter part 4 ... 


 The result is four sides of blissed-out transcendence, galvanised by an immediacy that anchors the ensemble to soul and free jazz even as its joyous riffing takes it in the direction of psychedelic and progressive rock. Opening with a hypnotic Fender Rhodes motif, 'Part 1' sees vocalist Mariam Wallentin (Werliin's partner in Wildbirds & Peacedrums) set out the Orchestra's vision in deep, soulful cries of "Let us all go… let them all go… let it all go… feel it all go…" Metallic sheets of electric guitar are joined by the Mellotron, no less, its distinctive frosty tone harking back to the late '60s as surely as do Wallentin's ecstatic vocals. 'Part 2' kicks in with another '60s reference, as a deranged take on the Beatles' 'Tomorrow Never Knows' morphs into a livid collision between guitar and electronics before giving way to a hymnal section for horns and brass... thequietus.com ...



Enter live at Jazzhouse, Copenhagen, 2014 ... 



Fire! Orchestra is the group Fire! (Mats Gustafsson, Johan Berthling and Andreas Werliin) combined with other musicians from the scandinavian free jazz, noise and improvisation scenes.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Sanguine Hum

Now We Have Light (2015)

Oxford based progressive band ... 'it's a double concept album!!'

Chat Show ... 
 A quality not unlike much of the music that came out of Canterbury in the 1960/70s from groups like Egg, early Soft Machine and Hatfield and the North—the latter, in particular, one of the more important of Sanguine Hum's many touchstones (along with everything from Frank Zappa and Steve Reich to Bass Communion, Mahavishnu Orchestra and ECM Records). While the members of Sanguine Hum are unmistakably accomplished musicians who live in the world called post-progressive rock, their music possesses the same lack of self-importance, excess and "look at me" attitude that some say plagued many of progressive rock's bigger names but which those Canterbury bands managed to largely avoid.

Sanguine Hum may, in fact, be based in Oxford, England, but they're Canterburians at heart...albeit Canterburians of an unmistakably modern bent with a similarly bizarre sense of humour and a belief that, no matter how complex the music gets, melody—albeit pushed to its greatest extremes—remains paramount. Sanguine Hum may have many touchstones in the past, but its music is undeniably 21st century...in the case of Now We Have Light, perhaps, even farther ahead, as its story takes place at an unidentified future time when the story's hero, Don (just Don), has been the cause of an apocalyptic event that has reduced the earth to "The Circle"—a gated community constructed by rich survivors to protect themselves from the consequences of a ravaged planet—and the nearby village of ramshackle homes that survive only due to its proximity to "The Wheel." It's in one of these homes that Don lives, with both his neighbors and those living in "The Wheel" thankfully (for him) unaware that he was the singular creator of all their woes... allaboutjazz ...

Derision ... 

Bubble trouble ..

 

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Else Marie Pade

Faust (1962)

Danish composer of pure electronic soundworks, Else Marie Pade ...

Faust (1962) ... 


Prolog I Himlen 0:00
Faust Og Mefisto 4:21
Faust Og Magrethes Kærlighed 11:22
Magrethes Fordømmelse 18:46
Rejsen Til Bloksbjerg Og Valborgsnat 23:03


Listen to Else Marie Pade with Jacob Kirkegaard ...


Sunday, 22 February 2015

Mica Levi

Under The Skin (2014) ...

Soundtrack to one of the very best movies of 2014, Jonathan Glazer's Under The Skin ...

Love ...


 That hovering dust-cloud of strings, which Levi referred to as "like a beehive" in her and Under the Skin director Jonathan Glazer's recent Pitchfork interview, pops up repeatedly throughout the score with minor additions and tweaks representing the journey of Johansson's character: in "Meat to Maths", there are clanging bell-like sounds behind it, while in "Mirror to Vortex" it's half-submerged in the amplified sound of its own echo. In the context of the film, these additions feel like the messiness of lived experience muddying Johansson's template, the imprint of the lives she begins to grapple with as her time on Earth extends. The hollow knock of a single drum, like a single dragging foot, is another repeating theme, giving the score a reiterative, hesitant quality. Inasmuch as you can be invited into Johansson's character's head in Under the Skin, the music does the heavy lifting. The score has the feel of a thought process, albeit one conducted by a being you have no genetic relation to.  pitchfork.com ...



Lipstick to Void ...



Drift ...
 

BFI meets Mica Levi ...



Loving the alien ...