Ivan the Tolerable – The Aleph

This one came from the bandcamp feed, someone I follow had bought it and I salute them. They have impeccable taste.

Looking at the blurb, there is a connection to the wonderful Haress, but there is very little similarity between their sound and this. This comes under umbrella term of ‘jazz that I like,’ which is a small but growing field. I think ‘jazz that I like’ is where jazz meets psych, drone, groove and repetition. In fact, any genre that has a party in that area will probably do it for me.

This fella’s catalogue needs exploring, I feel. Just as well I haven’t got much else to listen to at the mo… oh, wait…

And also, this is the first time I have used ‘Middlesborough’ as a geographical tag.

October and the Eyes – Dogs and Gods

I actually discovered this album because Aldous RH on NTS played a song by her called ‘Tit Pic’ which is just fantastic and so I went looking for it. I can only find it on Spotify. Boo. I want to buy the thing. Someone tell me where I can buy the thing.

This is a very good second prize, though. It sounds to me like it’s a one-woman band, and also like she gives as much of a fuck about conventional production wisdom as I do. Example – dogmatic in ‘proper’ production land is the notion that you foreground the vocals and the drums, and if you can fit the rest of the music in, well, so much the better. After all, that’s how The Beatles did it and apparently all originality in rock music became impossible from that moment forth because they had Done It All. Ms October, on the other hand, wants you to hear her fucking guitars and basslines and stuff, and guess what? You can actually hear her singing as well, so it is possible to foreground everything. There’s a lesson there.

Obviously I know nothing else about her because I am lazy and don’t research, but I do like the music she makes. And I do hope Tit Pic is on an album/E.P. that is available to buy, I really do.

Itasca – Grace Riders on the Road

I hardly ever post something where the full tracklist isn’t available to listen, but the 6 tracks that are on this one are sooo good, particularly the experimental one at number 6 but I love whole caboodle. I’m even tempted to buy it on payday, despite the fact I hardly ever buy stuff where I haven’t heard the whole thing first but, as I say, these are just sooo good.

This is described on the page as the solo project of Kayla Cohen, so maybe she’s also involved in some other projects though a very lazy google search just now yielded no results (I’m an information professional, I am. Really).

So it’s largely a lady and acoustic guitar, really chilled, reminds me personally of Nick Drake in guitar style. I have heard music of some of the names mentioned on the review quoted on the page but I can’t actually bring them to mind so I don’t know whether they are also accurate descriptors, inasmuch as anything descriptive can do justice to the ineffable. I mean, how do you describe a language using a different language? But anywho, if chilled acoustic music with an experimental vibe sounds like your thing then give this a whirl. It is particularly appropriate for a Sunday, for it was last Sunday afternoon when I heard Milk Tea on a show on NTS.

As I type this, I’m listening to her first release and it is proper experimental, addled tape music, not at all like this. But I’m strongly liking that too.

Sebastian Melmoth – The Dynamics of Vanity

For about the last week I’ve been obsessed with listening to NTS Radio and not just whatever is live but going back through archives of particular hosts, so much so I even put the app on my phone (which close friends will probably retort with ‘where is Jay and what have you done with him?’). I have mentioned them before but I originally only went there for that one host. I just had this desire one day to listen to dubstep for a while and I only have early Burial stuff so that made me wonder what would happen if I looked around here.

So the final track on this album – all 14 minutes of it – was featured on a show which made me go to this album and check it out. It is far from the only thing that’s happened with, and more posts may follow once I’ve checked out the relevant bandcamps, etc. But the reason I mention that is because – what is not to absolutely love about radio that plays 14 minute experimental tracks? This was far from an outlier, too.

I’m the last person in the world to go around dispensing descriptions. Sebastian Melmoth do experimental post-punk, according to the description on this page though it is a vague pointer at best. Art rock? maybe, whatever that is. That last track I mentioned is a classic but I would have no idea how to describe it. Ambient post-punk maybe. But the E.P. / album is all over the place stylistically. Not sure I can think of a meaningful reference point – at an absolute stretch, maybe one of the tunes reminds me of Faust.

One Unique Signal – Aether

So a while ago I bought ‘The Drift‘ by these (did I post about it? I don’t remember doing so) which is wonderfully hypnotic and is kind of my go-to album for when my playlist only takes until about 20 minutes before I hit the hay; it’s a perfect EP for that sort of gap, especially the closing track.

But this is an entirely different beast. I suspect the line-up was different. Maybe they were jamming with peak-Oneida, as that’s who I kept thinking of when I was listening to it. And because of that, I love it. I think it might be one for more in the midst of a hectic playlist, though, rather than the wind-down before bedtime.

And I love the cover.

Marlene Ribeiro ~ Negra Branca – N.B. + Touched

This was in my Bandcamp wishlist for years, literally. I finally bought it a couple of months back after playing it again, and it has done seriously hard labour on my speakers since then.

I want to type the phrase ‘Marlene used to be in Gnod’ because I haven’t seen her listed on their more recent stuff. BUT – you listen to Faca do Inberno on this here album, and then you listen to Faca de Fogo from Gnod’s recent collaboration with João Pais Filipe and you tell me that the one isn’t a proto-type for the other. Go on. Can’t do it, can you? So maybe she’s still in Gnod.

Run Logan Run – For a Brief Moment We Could Smell the Flowers

I will never, ever, in my life consider myself a jazz fan. That said, this blog has featured contributions from Valerio Cosi (regularly), Fire! Orchestra, Pharoah Sanders and The Comet is Coming, all of whom hail from the jazz corner of the room we call the musical world (and that’s just off the top of my head – if I wasn’t too lazy to search, I imagine I’d find quite a few more).

And now we can add Run Logan Run, a duo from the ever fertile metropolis of Bristol. I listened to three of their releases so far and this is my favourite but I like them all.

Of the names mentioned above, I suppose the nearest reference point is The Comet is Coming; certainly, they have that contemporary take on their material which makes it not just jazz, there’s loads more to it than that. It’s a good maelstrom to completely lose yourself in.

This is a lockdown album, which is making me feel a bit lazy, as loads of artists have put out lockdown albums now, and my two or three are still being faffed over (albeit I did quietly re-record 6 albums and replace the previous versions on Bandcamp). The first is nearly done though.

Oneida – Success

Whereby ‘Success’ is defined as doing what you do really, really well. By me, at least. And this album lives up to the title.

My love for Oneida – which I still don’t know how you pronounce – is a long-lasting one. One of my very favourite pieces of music ever is ‘Sheets of Easter.’ One of my very favourite albums ever made is ‘Rated O.’ These boys have form, and here do they bring it.

Stylistically, this is more like their early, garagey stuff, kind of a return to earth from their incredibly out-there explorations in the post ‘Rated O’ era.

Water Damage – But the Rat was Very Smart

Ok, serious mong time.

Two tracks, extremely repetitive, with an insane guitarist making noise over it, and I mean noise. I assume it’s a guitarist. Could be anything, really, with all the tech these days. I’m only assuming it’s guitar as I can make similarly insane noises when I want to, and it’s fun. They could also be labelled a super-group if you wanted to do that (ok, you’ve made your point – ed). Also, two bass players and three drummers? I just looked at the line up. There’s synth involved too. I have also made insane noises via synth. They too are fun. Anywho, it works.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I may be mildly catatonic. This sort of music certainly makes me glassy eyed, but I happen to really like that sensation. Or maybe it’s just the music that does it. And spreadsheets. They never fail.