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Your weekly fix of postfolkrocktronica, dronenoise, power ambient, post-everything improv... and more?
Sunday nights from 9 to 11pm on FBi Radio, 94.5 FM in Sydney, Australia.
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Playlists are listed with artist name first, then track title and (remixer), then [record label]. Enjoy the links.

Sunday, 27th of September, 2020

Playlist 27.09.20 (4:50 pm)

This week FBi Radio is asking you for your support. The small team of staff and many volunteers who've kept the station running through this devastating pandemic have done an incredbile job, but we can't do it without the support of our listeners - the station is literally listener-funded. If you get something out of what I do on this show, please support the station.

If you LISTEN AGAIN & again, help support us! FBi provides streaming on demand, or you can podcast it here.

Sufjan Stevens - Ativan [Asthmatic Kitty/Bandcamp]
Sufjan Stevens - Ursa Major [Asthmatic Kitty/Bandcamp]
Another 5 years, another Sufjan Stevens album... Well, we've had collaborations and other little drops in between, but it seems like the big albums take their time. You've probably heard the story with this one by now - it's an album about the loss of faith, but not (probably) his faith in God so much as his faith in America as an institution. In that sense it's extremely timely, even though the title track was written some years ago. There's personal stuff too though - "Ativan" seems like a depiction of an anxiety attack of the sort the eponymous drug is meant to treat. Musically there are the beautiful harmony changes and melodic deftness we love Sufjan for, and it's almost entirely performed & programmed by Sufjan, like a muted, reflective Age of Adz. Depressing times, let's wallow in Sufjan.

Aphir - The Republic of Paradise [Provenance Records/Bandcamp]
Aphir - Evelyn Said [Provenance Records/Bandcamp]
Aphir - The Harpies (feat. Sia Ahmad) [Provenance Records/Bandcamp]
In the wake of last summer's bushfires and then the ongoing pandemic's effect on the music & arts world, Becki Whitton aka Aphir had a crisis of creativity - she had a joyous pop album ready to go, but couldn't square that with the current times. So instead she set out to write & record a completely new album during the pandemic, and we are blessed with the fruits of that work now with The Republic of Paradise. Like the Sufjan album, it responds to dark times with a dark outlook, with pounding beats and poetry often set in rhythmic half-spoken vocals. Nevertheless, Whitton can't help but write moving melodies, and relief from the sonic assault comes in the form of vulnerable a capella interludes or sweeping drones.

Shoeb Ahmad - flaw, featured [Shoeb Ahmad Bandcamp]
Aphir releases are usually full of collaborations, and the new one is no exception. "The Harpies" (which feels musically like an agitated extension of the previous track, "Evelyn Said") features Sia Ahmad, whose solo work is still credited to Shoeb Ahmad.
Sia's new album comes out in November, and "flaw, featured" is the first single - a meditation on gender disphoria with dark drones, clattering percussion and some cello bits from some guy called Peter Hollo...

MJ Guider - The Steelyard [Kranky/Bandcamp]
MJ Guider - Simulus [Kranky/Bandcamp]
Melissa Guion aka MJ Guider's second album for Kranky has a similar postpunk/industrial undertow to Shoeb Ahmad's work, melded with a Cocteau Twins style shoegaze approach to her vocals, often buried in a mix of swirling guitar drones and echoing percussion. That tough-but-soft-but-loud sound was a characteristic of '90s shoegaze, and one of the percursors for postrock's dynamic juxtapositions, but Guion gives it a unique and vibrant update, and quite a shift from the less brash first album.

Sophia Loizou - Celestial Web [Houndstooth/Bandcamp]
Sophia Loizou - Genesis 92: The Awakening [Kathexis]
Sophia Loizou - Morphogenesis [Cosmo Rhythmatic]
Sophia Loizou - Shadows Of Futurity [Houndstooth/Bandcamp]
Sophia Loizou - Hypnotik [Houndstooth/Bandcamp]
Intense percussion and expansive textures have been at the heart of Sophia Loizou's work for a few years now too, albeit drawing from quite different eras from MJ Guider. Since Singulacra in 2016, Loizou has mined the splintered remains of rave - particularly jungle and hardcore techno - for material to build new worlds. Initially she focused on the synth pads and basslines in particular, but more recently the splattered breaks are up front as well, still structured as more of a memory of the dancefloor than an invitation to dance. Her latest album Untold is part of a larger project that includes a beautiful hardcover book poetically imagining biotech futures called A Tellurian Memorandum, as well as audio-visual elements and planned lecture performance.

Olivier Alary & Johannes Malfatti - My Night, My Day [130701/Bandcamp]
Hearing Is Our Concern - Fragmented [Bubble Core Records]
Ensemble - proposal 3 [Rephlex]
Ensemble - Things I Forget [Fat Cat/Bandcamp]
Olivier Alary - Defeat [130701/Bandcamp]
Olivier Alary & Johannes Malfatti - I Can't Even See Myself [130701/Bandcamp]
Back in 2000, French-born, Montréal-based musician Olivier Alary released his first album as Ensemble, for the venerable idm label Rephlex (and I dropped a really early idm track from Alary as "Hearing Is Our Concern" tonight too). Ensemble's debut Sketch Proposals does have glitchy beats and even glitchier electronic textures, but it combines this, strangely and effectively, with a sort-of shaky take on French chanson courtesy of the already-departed singer Chanelle Kimber. Following this, Ensemble became known to many through Alary's work with Björk, including a co-write and co-production on "Desired Constellation" and a series of remixes. Fat Cat released two albums by Ensemble which continued this melding of glitchy electronica and indie songwriting - and by the second, 2011's Excerpts, the indie/postrock elements, and string arrangements, outweighed the electronics considerably. I consider Excerpts to be a hugely underappreciated album, one that I return to often, with vocals from Alary and Darcy Conroy, and co-writing and arrangements on many tracks by Alary's longtime collaborator Johannes Malfatti.
Both Alary and Malfatti, despite their roots in experimental electronic music, have been writing ambient & classical-adjacent music for film for some years, an album of which came out through Fat Cat's 130701 label from Alary in 2017. Now the two have paired up under their own names rather than Ensemble, along with various string players & vocalists, for a gorgeous album called u,i that reflects these isolated times through the medium of Skype & other VOIP services which the pair have long used to keep in touch. So vocal melodies struggle to cut through static and drop-outs, while accompanied by strings and electronics - an inverted reflection of Alary's original melding of cracked electronics and song, and one that pays off with some true heartstring-pulling moments.

Nick Wales & Stereogamous - Graceful Learning [Nick Wales Bandcamp]
Nick Wales & Stereogamous - Shimmering Spirits [Nick Wales Bandcamp]
Nick Wales is a longtime composer of scores for Sydney Dance Company, but as well as being a trained composer he's a string player with CODA and has appeared on numerous indie albums through the years. He's also made his fair share of electronic music, and here he's paired up with two great Sydney DJ/producers, Johnny Seymour and Paul Mac, as Stereogamous. This album, counter to the background of those involved, focuses on the guitar - it was produced for an exhibition on the Australian guitar brand Maton, on at the Powerhouse Museum until the 11th of October. Different styles of guitar playing are showcased by various different guitarists, set in ambient soundscapes, at times chopped into fragments like on "Shimmering Spirits".

Zoltan Fecso - From the Chest [Whitelabrecs/Bandcamp]
Finally tonight, we have some more guitar pointilism from Melbourne's Zoltan Fecso, who has made his very own genre from live-sampling his own guitar playing and creating literally pointilistic new musical structures on the fly. His latest album is Daylight in an Empty Room, released by UK label Whitelabrecs, and follows an album frome earlier this year on Dutch ambient label Shimmering Moods.

Listen again — ~194MB


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Sunday, 20th of September, 2020

Playlist 20.09.20 (9:00 pm)

Experimental music from across the African continent tonight, plus weird & wonderful sounds from the UK and Colombia-via-Berlin, and some Australian drones, remixes & noise...

LISTEN AGAIN to a world of sound... Stream on demand @ FBi, podcast here.

My Disco - An Intimate Conflict (Giant Swan Remix) [Downwards Records/My Disco Bandcamp]
My Disco - Act [Downwards Records/My Disco Bandcamp]
My Disco - Forever (Makeda mix) [Nice Music/My Disco Bandcamp]
My Disco - Equatorial Rainforests Of Sumatra (Cub Remix) [Downwards Records/My Disco Bandcamp]
Last year Melbourne trio My Disco released the quite revolutionary Environment album through Karl O'Connor's Downwards Records, stripping back the heavy, angularly rhythmic postpunk they're best known for, into a cold, sometimes percussive, industrial ambient sound. Liam Andrews' vocals appear at sparse intervals - with the timely "Do I Do Enough? Do I Act?" on "Act". Last year alongside the album, Melbourne label Nice Music released an excellent collection of Australian remixes, from which we heard Makeda's glitchy take on album closer "Forever". Now Downwards themselves have compiled a set of remixes, with mostly UK & American artists. The 16-minute Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement version is a little too long for me to play tonight, but we heard from Bristol industrial techno duo Giant Swan, and later from Karl O'Connor, not as Regis, but with Simon Shreeve aka Krypric Minds under their alias Cub.

AMMAR 808 - Geeta duniki (feat. Susha) [Glitterbeat/Bandcamp]
AMMAR 808 - Ey paavi (feat. Kali Dass) [Glitterbeat/Bandcamp]
AMMAR 808 - Degdega (feat. Sofiane Saidi) [Glitterbeat/Bandcamp]
Tunisian musician Sofyann Ben Youssef released the incredible first AMMAR 808 album in 2018, collecting musicians and traditional music from across the Maghreb region of North Africa and augmenting the local instrumentation with distorted 808 drum machines and other electronics. When he was 20, he went to Delhi to study for a time - and for new album Global Control/Invisible Invasion he decided to head to Chennai in South India to work with local musicians. Susha is a bit of a local star herself, who performs as a singer-songwriter and jazz musician while also having a strong background in Indian classical music. I haven't been able to find out who "Kali Dass" is though, on a track that more comprehensively merges AMMAR 808's overdriven North African percussion with Indian melody. And from 2018's Maghreb United, we heard a track featuring Algerian musician Sofiane Saidi.

Bantou Mentale - Mbonka Terra [Glitterbeat/Bandcamp]
Bantou Mentale - Hallelujah [Glitterbeat/Bandcamp]
Bantou Mentale - Moto [Glitterbeat/Bandcamp]
I did hear some of the music of Congolese band Bantou Mentale last year, but foolishly didn't look deeper. So I'm glad to be correcting that now with a couple of tracks from their recent Congo Animal EP, pieced together in lockdown from the various musicians by Paris-based Irish producer Doctor L - a dub-fuelled affair with the distinctive vocals of Apocalypse and echos of Congotronics from the distorted kalimba melodies. The Congolese musicians are mostly also Paris-based, with the songs written by drummer Cubain Kabeya, and Kabeya's drumming drives the drum'n'bass-inspired "Hallelujah" from last year's debut self-titled album too.

Slikback - LAMA [Slikback Bandcamp]
Slikback - HERO [Slikback Bandcamp]
Slikback - HEARTFIELD (x MORGIANA HZ) [Slikback Bandcamp]
Slikback - WEICH [Slikback Bandcamp]
Kenyan producer Freddy Njau aka Slikback has had the attention of the European leftfield club world for a few years now, released on various labels including Nyege Nyege Tapes and PAN, and has also toured China, resulting in some amazing collaborations. Now he's dropped not one but TWO 30-track releases on his own Bandcamp - /// and /// II, mostly short tracks that could be musical experiments, études, and also some characteristic collaborations. While gqom and trap are the most familiar influences on his sound, he's a natural sonic experimenter, and there's a general glitchy deconstructed club thing going on, manipulated vocal samples (even from his co-creators such as Polish experimentalist Karolina Karnacewicz aka Morgiana Hz), lots of bass, and razor-sharp edits. 60 tracks feels overwhelming, but as you'll hear from the two tracks from each part tonight, there's richness within.

Catu Diosis - Choc Kedda [Syrphe/Bandcamp]
Mash - Sand Wave [Syrphe/Bandcamp]
Sukitoa o Namau - When I tripped and hit my head on the sink of the love hotel [Syrphe/Bandcamp]
These three tracks come courtesy of Congolese-Belgian artist Cedrik Fermont aka C-drík and his Syrphe label, for which he compiled the indispensable compilation Alternate African Reality: Electronic, electroacoustic and experimental music from Africa and the diaspora earlier this year. I'm very pleased that he went out of his way to include female artists, and I've chosen three women tonight. Ugandan DJ, journalist, fashion designer and now producer Catu Diosis is associated with the Nyege Nyege crew, and now Hakuna Kulala. This is deconstructed music with a groove. After a droney beginning, a groove enters too in the track from Tunisian musician Myriam Hamida aka Mash. The track from Morocco's Sukitoa o Namau buries its percussion in bloops and noise. I really can't recommend this compilation enough - and you can check out the massive four-part Retrieving Beirut fundraised Fermont recently put together while you're there.

David Toop - Tiny human figurines made from sand. If you held these to your ear, you heard soft sweet music [Room40/Bandcamp]
David Toop - When I first came here (I thought I’d never get used to the trains; now when it’s quiet I get nervous) [Room40/Bandcamp]
Now 71 years old, English academic, writer, compiler and musician David Toop is so legendary & influential that davidtoop.com is a fan-site about his work. He's deeply connected with sound-art and field recording work, but originally made his name with a book about hip-hop in 1984, and the expansive survey of ambient music, techno, drum'n'bass and more in 1995, Ocean of Sound. His writings can be found in liner notes for compilations and albums, including his own curated compilations. So it's no surprise that his new album for Brisbane's Room40, Apparition Paintings, is stunning and wide-ranging. Shards of distorted guitar invade the sonic space through the album, as well as "fourth-world" percussion, and voices from Elaine Mitchener, Keiko Yamamoto, and on the second track tonight, Yifeat Ziv. It achieves what Toop's writing, compiling and music has often done throughout his career - art that is challenging and uncompromising, but approachable and comprehensible. Not to be missed.

Lucrecia Dalt - Disuelta [RVNG Intl/Bandcamp]
Lucrecia Dalt - Seca [RVNG Intl/Bandcamp]
Lucrecia Dalt - Atmospheres Touch [RVNG Intl/Bandcamp]
Lucrecia Dalt - Espesa [RVNG Intl/Bandcamp]
I've been a fan of Colombian experimental musician Lucrecia Dalt since I heard her as "The Sound of Lucrecia" over 10 years ago; she contributed vocals to a wonderful track by Shoeb Ahmad & Evan Dorrian's Spartak (track 7 on Verona). Her earlier albums are experimental takes on indie singer-songwriting, but since then she's moved progressively further from those roots - as well as moving to Barcelona and then Berlin. On her last two albums, 2018's Anticlines and the just-released No era sólida, her vocals are used as a sound-source, chopped up, ring-modulated, buried under pulsating modular synths and loping almost-rhythms, or sometimes present as spoken word meditations on science or philosophy. It would help to be as well-read and multi-lingual as Dalt, but without that we can appreciate the care and technological expertise with which she constructs these strange and beautiful musical theses.

Suburban Cracked Collective - So Much Unlicked Air [A Colourful Storm]
Suburban Cracked Collective - Half Sour [Aetheric Records]
Suburban Cracked Collective - It's All Gone Sideways [A Colourful Storm]
Shaun Leacy of long-missed Newcastle neo-primitivists Castings has for the last few years been making (resolutely solo) music as Suburban Cracked Collective. His latest comes out through hotly-tipped Melbourne label A Colourful Storm, with lovely near-distorted synth drones and glorious percussive clatter. Less intense than the over-saturated electronics of the "collective's" debut release Basquiat Upon The RSL (represented by "Half Sour" tonight), but equally blissful.

Shoeb Ahmad vs Alaska Orchestra - #8.5 [Shoeb Ahmad Bandcamp]
Ahead of the November release of her album a body full of tears (first in a diptych!), Shoeb Ahmad is releasing single "flaw, featured" tomorrow with two remixes. We're finishing up tonight with the surging synth layers of Sydney's Megan Alice Clune in Alaska Orchestra guise, adapting album track "#8". Listen out for whispered vocals right near the end!

Listen again — ~199MB


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Sunday, 13th of September, 2020

Playlist 13.09.20 (10:35 pm)

Tonight we've got radical new Persian electronic pop, Estonian dark folk & electronica, indie remixes, outer limits techno, idm and jungle.

LISTEN AGAIN and welcome to the jungle... Stream on demand at FBi, podcast here.

9T Antiope - Placebo Dose I (Danse Macabre) (excerpt) [Purple Tape Pedigree]
9T Antiope - Metaphase [eilean rec.]
9T Antiope - Nocebo (B) (excerpt) [Purple Tape Pedigree]
9T Antiope - Placebo Dose II (Memento Mori) (excerpt) [Purple Tape Pedigree]
Starting with the final album in a conceptual trilogy from the great Persian duo 9T Antiope. Released again on Purple Tape Pedigree, Placebo follows Nocebo and 2017's Isthmus (released on now-defunct French label eilean rec.) - and like Nocebo, it's delivered in two long tracks, conceived as "doses". Sara Bigdeli Shamloo's spoken poetry and gorgeous multitracked vocals weave around Nima Aghiani's violin and noise-making machines, varying between slabs of industrial noise, jittery electronic bleeps, nods at techno, and flittering strings. I've loved the relatively accessible electronic pop (sung in Farsi) of their new project Taraamoon this year, but it's great to have a big new work from 9T Antiope again.

Sevdaliza - Do You Feel Real [Butler Records/Bandcamp]
Sevdaliza - Wallflower [Butler Records/Bandcamp]
9t Antiope are based in France; Sevdaliza was born in Tehran but grew up in the Netherlands. Her glitchy trip-hop influenced music does draw from her Persian roots too. Her second album, Shabrang, continues where ISON & her subsequent EPs left off, with bending strings, chopped & spliced beats, vocals both clean and glitched. It's just great to have such a strong artist working in this space.

Maarja Nuut & Ruum - circles [Õunaviks/Bandcamp]
Maarja Nuut - Kuradipolka [Maarja Nuut Bandcamp]
Maarja Nuut & Ruum - käed-mäed [130701/Bandcamp]
Maarja Nuut & Ruum - world inverted [Õunaviks/Bandcamp]
Here's another duo with violin, vocals and electronics. Maarja Nuut & Ruum's debut album in 2018, Muunduja, was one of my favourites of the year - there's a palpable mystery to the music, derived partly from the ancient Estonian folk tales and melodies that Maarja Nuut is so familiar with, and from the techno & glitch-influenced electronics brought by Ruum and their collaborators. The duo have just released their follow-up World Inverted through Estonian label Õunaviks, and it's another beauty. The noisier aspects are toned down, with occasional vocals and fluttering violin embedded in lovely ambient techno epics. It's interesting to compare the hypnotic aspect to Maarja's solo album from 2016, Une Meeles, where the folk violin can be enveloped in a crescendoing bass drone like in "Kuradipolka".

Michael Ackroyd - The Architect [Lazy Thinking]
I'm told Sydney's Michael Ackroyd is releasing this song through Lazy Thinking right about now, but online evidence seems scant. It's quite a wonderful piece and so hopefully he is working on more to come - a throbbing synth is slowly joined by scattered drums, and a gentle vocal. It recalls late Talk Talk in the right ways, while retaining a character all its own.

Brutalist - Eve [Good Manners/Bandcamp]
Brutalist - Movements [Good Manners/Bandcamp]
John Hassell of much-loved Sydney electronic trio Seekae and Melbourne musician Lucianblomkamp formed Brutalist a few years ago, released a mixtape, and then seemingly put it all on hold. So hopefully we're now going to hear a lot more from them. This EP is out in the next week, mostly featuring bassy beats like "Movements", with an excellent guest vocal on one track, and opener "Eve" is a brilliant surprise, with Blomkamp showing off his classically-trained violin skills.

Neinzer - Rassalin [Where To Now? Records]
Neinzer - Horus [Timedance]
Neinzer - Cause Pan Tact Insoluble [Where To Now? Records]
Emil Lewandowski's previous EP as Neinzer, released by AD 93 earlier this year, made a big impression with two jazzy house grooves followed by three shimmering beatless works. But to be honest it's his new EP Shifting Values that's really grabbed me hard. Each of the tracks here has some standout feature - avant-garde harmonies on piano or flute, bass music with organic beats and perfectly placed breaths and field recordings... On "Rassalin" the percussion is secondary to a syncopated bassline and twittering synth pattern, while "Cause Pan Tact Insoluble" grows slowly with more beautiful discords, freakout flute and vocal harmonies over a dubstep-house hybrid beat. 2018's "Horus" is a breakbeat techno banger with bubbling hand percussion.

cypha - Cause 1 [.jpeg Artefacts]
cypha - Hyperobject [.jpeg Artefacts]
Melbourne's cypha lands with a pretty remarkable debut EP on .jpeg Artefacts. We've got melodic electronics and beats that draw from jungle, electro and techno - clearly influenced by '90s idm, and done really well. For some reason they're doing a CD edition, and if that wouldn't make me happy enough already, they're donating 100% of the proceeds of this release to Standing Our Ground, Traditional Owners fighting against Adani.

Cressida - Sambo [Voitax/Bandcamp]
Cressida - Move To The Witness [Voitax/Bandcamp]
The jungle influence only gets stronger from hereon in. Cressida is a UK-born producer now based in Berlin, and his techno beats are shot through with jungle breaks. I kind of love how the mangled amen breaks in title track "Sambo" keep promising to break free, but Cressida keeps tamping it back down into the bass-heavy 4/4 techno. "Move To The Witness" pushes the tempo up so that the syncopated drum machines can naturally give way to beautifully edited jungle breaks in the last third of the track. This is future music deeply aware of its heritage.

TMSV - Abyss Watcher [Sub Merchants]
Thugwidow - You See How It Spreads Out Like A Fungus [Sub Merchants]
Finally, two current masters of junglist mayhem contribute to the birth of new London label Sub Merchants. Utrecht-based TMSV switches easily between jungle, dubstep and techno, and his track here is one of his best jungle numbers, a kind of stop-start roller with endless variation to the beats, which strike the right balance between machine and funk, while single "oh"s stand in for divas, and ragga MC samples are heavily vocoded. Meanwhile Thugwidow is up to his usual tricks, with expansive ambient pads, beats floating in & out of reverb, delays and EQ mashing. Both artists represent contemporary takes on jungle that are dancefloor-ready if your dancefloor is up for it (socially distanced of course). In this cyberpunk dystopia we're living in, the endless jungle revival is just what we need.

Listen again — ~202MB


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Sunday, 6th of September, 2020

Playlist 06.09.20 (7:41 pm)

Lots of sound-art tonight, but also other fusions of genres, such as Armenian folk with jazz, classical, prog and postrock, techno fused with field recordings & sound-art, indie fused with sound-art and experimental techniques.

LISTEN AGAIN to the connection between music & art. Stream on demand from FBi, podcast here.

Tigran Hamasyan - Levitation 21 [Nonesuch/Bandcamp]
Tigran Hamasyan - To Love [Nonesuch/Bandcamp]
Tigran Hamasyan - falling [Plus Loin Music]
Tigran Hamasyan - The Grid [Nonesuch/Bandcamp]
Tigran Hamasyan - At a Post-Historic Seashore [Nonesuch/Bandcamp]
Starting tonight with the Armenian jazz piano prodigy Tigran Hamasyan, still only 33 years old but with an extraordinary repertoire behind him. In the past he's melded his technical proficiency at jazz piano and complex Eastern European rhythms with prog rock - indeed he's even worked with fellow Armenian-American Serj Tankian of System Of A Down. And that technical aspect is still there in his last few albums (with a kind of live-drum'n'bass aspect to some of the drumming), but there's also a deep connection to the gorgeous modalities and melodic mellifluence of Armenian music. I couldn't help playing two contrasting tunes from his 2015 masterpiece Mockroot - the timeless beauty of "To Love" and the rhythmic insanity of "The Grid" - and also skipped back to 2009's Red Hail. We start & finish with new album The Call Within, which melds Armenian myths & legends with his interest in maps of all kinds.

Marianne Baudouin Lie - Loop 1_ Aapning (by Lene Grenager & Marianne Baudouin Lie) [Particular Recordings]
Marianne Baudouin Lie - Concertino per violoncello et voce, Take 6 (by Eirik Hegdal) [Particular Recordings]
New album Atlantis, Utopia og Ulvedrømmer from Norwegian cellist Marianne Baudouin Lie is unusual in that all the compositions (commissioned by Lie) use the musician's voice as well as cello. An educator and researcher as well as a cellist working across classical, improv and contemporary music, Lie covers a lot of ground in the commissions for this album. The "Ulvedrømmer" of the title are "Wolf dreams", depicted in a "one-woman musical" written with fellow cellist Lene Grenager; in saxophonist Eirik Hegdal's Concertino per violoncello et voce, each "Take" calls for the cellist to use her voice in a different way - the double-stopped cello chords here move exquisitely between dissonance and assonance with her vocal drone.

Félicia Atkinson - The Rain [Inpartmaint]
Takuma Watanabe - Particle [Inpartmaint]
Japanese film composer Takuma Watanabe has lately embarked upon a process of reimagining his original soundtracks. For new album Mada Kokoni Iru_ Original Soundtrack Recomposed, he takes the music from the short film I'm Still There by Shota Sometani, and as well as reworking two pieces himself, invited Akira Rabelais and Félicia Atkinson to do the same. Atkinson's piece fits well with her recent music - soft piano and electronic textures, with indistinct spoken word. I followed it with a short but brilliant piece from Watanabe which mixes strings and wind instruments with fluttery and clicky granular textures.

Mads Emil Nielsen - 2 [Arbitrary/Bandcamp]
Nicola Ratti - 2 (from a graphical score by Katja Gretzinger) [Arbitrary/Bandcamp]
Here's a strange & fascinating piece of concept art from Danish musician Mads Emil Nielsen on his Arbitrary label. It's a vinyl record of 3 pieces created by Nielsen from various electronic & percussive sound sources and a CD of 3 pieces by Italian sound-artist Nicola Ratti. Ratti's pieces are performances from a graphical score rendered by Katja Gretzinger from Nielsen's original works. So one assumes that by hearing "2" from each of the artists, we're hearing Ratti's interpretation of Gretzinger's interpretation of Nielsen's 2nd piece. Both pieces have similar tonalities, if nothing else because the two musicians have similar aesthetics. As for further connections, it's unclear - but it makes for a beautiful piece of art!

Bellows - Undercurrent 01 [Black Truffle]
Giuseppe Ielasi & Nicola Ratti - Bellows 03 [Kning Disk/Bandcamp]
Bellows - handcut 04 [senufo editions]
Bellows - Reelin' 06 (excerpt) [Entr'acte/Bandcamp]
Bellows - Sander 01 [Latency]
Bellows - Undercurrent 06 [Black Truffle]
For 13 years now, Nicola Ratti has occasionally created astonishing suites of minimalist, sparsely rhythmic sonic constructions with Giuseppe Ielasi. Their first album, Bellows, was released on Kning Disk in 2007, and since then the duo has been Bellows. Each subsequent album has a particular sonic space of some sort - from the scratchy, indistinct vinyl remnants of handcut to the bleepy electro-dub deconstructions of Reelin' and 2017's duo of Strand and Sander, each of which reference club music & hip-hop in diagonal fashions. New album Undercurrent, released on Oren Ambarchi's Black Truffle, steps back from the rhythmic music, with repeating textures here built from mournful sliding guitar, synth tones, and tape hiss among other things. It's very patient and rewarding music.

Kate Carr - It's a steep climb to the freeway underpass [Kate Carr Bandcamp]
Kate Carr - Pebble dash static [Kate Carr Bandcamp]
Kate Carr - Whinneys fading [Kate Carr Bandcamp]
London-based Australian musician Kate Carr continues to create some of the most exciting field recording-based music around, with a new release available on red vinyl called Splinters. It's a documentation of her relationship, over 18 months, with an artist-run space in South East London called TACO! - covering not only field recordings of the space and of Carr's journeys to and from the space, but also various performances in that space over the time period. So disembodied snippets of spoken word, electronic beats, or maybe even a distorted guitar chord contribute to the sound-world. Carr is brilliant at creating musically compelling works from non-musical elements (or musical elements used in unusual ways), and constructing a narrative as well. You don't have to know the space or have been part of the community to find this a thrilling listen.

Siavash Amini - Perpetually Inwards [Hallow Ground/Bandcamp]
Siavash Amini - A Collective Floundering [Hallow Ground/Bandcamp]
Art & music collide also on the latest album from Iranian musician Siavash Amini. A Mimesis of Nothingness was created in response to photographic works of Tehran by Noosin Shafiee which Amini describes as "eternal remnants of a violent scene, no matter how new or old they were. Never finished, never begotten, a stillborn." The music is accordingly dark, using processed field recordings, percussion and electronics to evoke horror and disquiet. It's quite something!

Iury Lech - Devastated Okeans [Amorfik Artifacts/Insolit]
Iury Lech - Stellium [Amorfik Artifacts/Insolit]
Two tracks from Spanish audiovisual artist Iury Lech, from his album Ontonanology, which is his most techno-oriented as far as I can see. A child of Ukrainian immigrants, his work first appeared in the late 1970s and early 1980s, combining video art with music that drew from ambient, world and classical minimalist influences, and later a solid base in industrial music. Those elements are here, but the sounds here evoke the deep of the oceans as well as the sub-molecular scale, with throbbing, pulsing music that could fit well on raster-media. I thought this album was going to be out now, but it seems like it's November, so you get one extra track preview. I really recommend this, it's enveloping and transporting stuff.

AVOLA - Rip It [SIGE]
AVOLA - Into The Fold [SIGE]
Faith Coloccia and Aaron Turner's SIGE Records has released a stack of music for each Bandcamp Friday this year, each time sending funds to a collection of bail funds, collectives, BLM-aligned organisations etc. This release from Veronica "Vern" Avola (previously known as EMS and Dirty Centaur) came out in July but the cassette will start shipping later this month. It's less psychedelic than some of her other work - primitive industrial electronic beats, basslines and noises that gurgle and sputter most excellently.

Shoeb Ahmad - eight [Shoeb Ahmad Bandcamp]
Here's one side of a new special limited 7" from Canberra's Shoeb Ahmad. Both tracks appear in different forms on her forthcoming album a body full of tears, but these stripped-down arrangements can only be found on this 7". It's a preview of her new industrial-primitivist leaning work which will be out in November!

On Diamond - Candle [Eastmint Records/On Diamond Bandcamp]
Showcasing the songs of Lisa Salvo with creative and experimental arrangements, Melbourne's On Diamond return with a wonderful new single this week. It's got a feel of that great '80s postpunk indie music - melodic, exotic, with unapologetically experimental sounds. The vocal harmonies between Salvo and Hannah Cameron are perfect, Jules Pascoe's bassline holds down the rhythm while Maria Moles' drums scatter and crash, and Scott McConnachie drops in an unhinged guitar solo. Can't wait for more.

Listen again — ~202MB


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