The Natacha Atlas & Marc Eagleton Project ‎– Foretold In The Language Of Dreams

220px-foretold_atlasSo I mentioned that I’d been intending to cover a couple of albums from my historic listening, and here we are with one such.

It occurred to me lately that when you listen to something is just as much a factor in how good you perceive it to be as the quality of the music itself, although the latter is of vital importance. The point I’m trying to make is that something that is really good might seem average if you’re listening in the wrong mood, and mood is very often time dependent as well as context dependent. For example, something that really works on a Sunday morning is not guaranteed to make the same spot resonate in the same way if you put it on Friday evening before going out somewhere.

So, this is a good Sunday album, although it’s also a good late night album if you’re in a mellow mood.  I also think it would be good for listening to at work; those spreadhseets ain’t much fun with library office gossip as a background noise. It’s a cross of middle eastern sounds – which I do have a regular soft spot for – with ambient production and atmospheres. It’s nowhere near as uptempo as her usual style, but I do like that too.

I haven’t found a simple one stop shop to listen to the whole thing, and out of consideration for those of you who are suffering with software creep, I’ll not embed every single track from youtube, though here’s the details if you feel the urge to track more down. Here, then are a few tracks:

Zitherbell

my favourite, Yeranos

Etheric Messages

Power of Vibrations

The whole album is worth checking as it’s very chilled.

Advertisements

ARRM / Lonker See

arrmSo, despite being far too skint to buy anything, the glutton for punishment that is me will keep listening to stuff that’s new to these ears. I mean, it’s not as if I don’t have a decent library already… speaking of which, I have been meaning to do a couple of posts about blasts from my past but I keep getting distracted.

This is a case in point. I listened to this thing this morning whilst supposedly doing some work, and my brain melted in sheer pleasure. I didn’t know what to expect, except that this label has released stuff by Kuba Ziolek under his various guises, and I have a lot of respect for the man. He may be involved with this too – somebody called Kuba designed the intriguing cover – but I’ve found it quite difficult to find anything out about these peeps,  although I imagine it’s entirely possible there’s more than one creative person with Kuba as his salutation.

This release comprises of one loooong song from each artist. The tune from ARRM is pleasantly doom-laden, and quite post-rocky in it’s way, and for that combination to not bore me across 20-minutes of playing time means they’re doing something right. Most importantly,  it obviously set me up perfectly for what was to follow. It was the tune from the brilliantly named Lonker See that melted my brain, though for the first five minutes or so I was a little sceptical. It started to change when the female vocals came in, and from then on it just kept going until a state of ecstasy was reached. This has a more jazzy feel, a sort of chanting, ecstatically doomy work of unutterable perfection. I realise that description is utterly meaningless, but come on – I have had my brain melted. Perhaps we could say the nearest reference point would be a slower Selim Lemouchi and his Enemies.

Because I don’t understand Polish, I don’t know anything about these. The blurb on the page though tells me they have a Discordian thing going on, which may or may not be relevant to anything at all.

Daniel Higgs – viv

vivWhat’s the definition of perfect pitch?

A banjo down a 40-foot hole without touching the sides!

At least, I used to think that was the pinnacle in musician jokes, but then the legendary Daniel Higgs had to go and start doing improvisations with a banjo, didn’t he? And now I like music with banjos in it.

This sort of music could be made anywhere, anywhen. I’m sure I’ve heard Indian ragas with this kind of feel, I’ve definitely heard Hamza el-Din doing stuff with this kind of feel, and probably all the zillion or so other cultures in the world also have their equivalents.

His previous band Lungfish did meditative and repetitive music, so you could argue his approach has been consistent all the way through. He’s done quite a few of this sort of thing solo, my other recent favourite being The Godward Way. The subject matter, when he does sing, is the perennial philosophy. This is the music of a man sitting down and letting the spirit move his fingers. I hesitate to use the word ‘shaman’ because it is a label that has been pinned on so many now and is probably a bit overused, and I’m also not overly confident that we use the term correctly anymore anyway. But, y’know, mystical and cosmic philosophies? Improvised meditative music? I’ll just make myself comfortable.

Loosers – Hot Jesus

loosersBefore I go off on a larger point, let me tell you about this album in my wishlist by an outfit called Loosers.

Hot Jesus is a sonic mishmash of hypnagogic 80s style synths and AOR blended with early 90s rave-culture sounds, mixed with a kind of kosmiche style repetitive delay-guitar riff style supporting a more solo-ey approach. There’s a rock rhythm foundation with percussive polyrhythms appearing regularly, sometimes approaching Gamelan structure in complexity.  The last tune particularly puts me in mind of Nathaniel Mayer. If you can think of a handy label to accurately convey what I’ve tried to describe there, feel free.

Loosers themselves are a Portuguese group with whom I was previously unfamiliar; on this release they are joined by vocalist Jerry the Cat, who has spent time with Funkadelic it says here. They are remarkably difficult to find anything out about, though.

Of course, I would like to know what their name is communicating at me. Are they a collective of people who are looser than everyone else? Or are they making what is a sadly all-too-common mistake these days, and they actually mean Losers, as in people who lose rather than win?

For those of you unaware, if you mean the word where you’re not winning, you only want one letter o. If you have two letter o’s, you literally loosen the letter s that follows into the softer sounding version. The one where it sounds like a z requires only one o.

Do you see what I did there? It supports my larger point, which is to do with the power of language. Language is the oldest technology that man has consistently used, and it has continually evolved for that length of time too. This means that the tool we have at our disposal, if used properly, is incredibly powerful. It’s not perfect, though, and I reckon that’s probably my underlying theme in my more creative aspects, particularly the doodle-blog.

Unfortunately, people are more and more slapdash in their use of language these days. I’ll give you an example – the word ‘awesome’ is an adjective from the word ‘awe’ which actually means something mighty, something to be marvelled at but also to be feared more than just a little bit. The word ‘awesome’ as it is now popularly used, though, simply seems to mean ‘quite good.’ (I would refer you to a ghastly youtube thing called Little Kelly, but actually, no, stay away, for the love of God, stay away for the good of your sanity).

Words are used out of context more and more often, people simply thinking that others will know what they mean. No, we do not know what you mean because we are not you (except on a much larger metaphysical level, maybe, but that’s a discussion for another time and person). And it is my hypothesis that the reason we have such a confused world at the moment is because people are not clear about what they say to each other. Communication is incoherent; ergo, the world is incoherent.

So, think about the words you use. Yes, this may mean you use fewer of them. Probably that would make social media much less busy. What’s not to like?

Of course, if Loosers are in fact a collective of people who really are  communicating that they are looser than the average, then the above opinion is not relevant to this post. I still stand by it, though.

Aegri Somnia – Ad augusta per angusta

aegri

…starting with this one.

I know you’ve wondered what it would sound like if someone took traditional Iberian songs from 19th/20th century and married them with doomy/deathy guitars, don’t say you haven’t. Aegri Somnia are here to scratch that itch that you won’t admit you had.

Because I don’t understand the lingo, I have to take their word for it that the subject matter visits many aspects of the Iberian tradition, both dark and light. But the sounds and the songs, plus the flamenco/death metal minus the blast beats approach, make for a wonderful atmosphere. And every time I hear Molinero-Vengo de Moler, I have it in my head for hours afterwards. It’s a kind of crushingly catchy tune that has to be heard to be understood (actually, that’s the case with all music).

They seem to want to only sell it in CD format. Now, this isn’t a criticism but a question – either a digital download or a CD both present the music in digital format, so why discriminate one over the other?

But that one gripe aside, this is a very good album.

 

 

 

 

Work in progress – do not fill the gaps

It’s very easy to look at things the wrong way.

For example, on the back of this new year and the inevitable lists from people about what they liked last year, and its conjunction with the fact that I’m at my most skint for a decade and will likely be for a while yet, it could be very easy to get depressed about the fact that I’m never going to be able to buy all the albums I’ve put in my Bandcamp wishlist in the last few weeks, let alone anything else that’s not out on the platform.

But of course, there is another way of looking at it, and I’m going to use an analogy, because I like doing that.

This is not an exact figure, but there are roughly 7 billion human beings on this planet of ours. Of those 7 billion, I reckon 99% of them are actually wonderful people – it’s just a shame that the 1% that aren’t seem to feel the need to try and rule the rest of us, openly or otherwise; also it’s a shame that us otherwise wonderful people keep falling for their bullshit time and time again. This, ladies and gentleman, is exactly why I’m interested in magic theory – it explains an awful lot of the world a lot better than the random chaos meets survival of the fittest bollocks that passes for a worldview in mainstream society, although there is more to memeology than I originally gave credence – ironically, one of the most unscientific theories ever to be popularised by a  wannabe preacher supposed scientist!

Now, I am never, ever going to meet all of these wonderful people, which is in many ways a shame, but in the most important way is in fact unimportant. It’s enough to know they are there, and that when we meet we should enjoy each others company.

So let it be with all this tremendous music which is flooding my perception on a daily basis, as well as my continued rediscovery of all the wonderful stuff in my epic library. Because I unashamedly have a world view that is largely at odds with the current paradigm, I’m at one with the idea that I can’t have it all and have it now, but I feel that I get what I need when I need it. And so, I shall continue to add things to wishlists, and because Bandcamp has some good features which includes being able to listen to said album all the way through at least once (depends on how many times the artist/label has set it behind the scenes), I know where it is for the future. Also, I may even get to buy it in said future so that I can support said artist/label.

But there’s gonna be a whole heap of posts coming up…

 

Centralstodet / The Myrrors – Ljudkamrater

centralstodetThe second of the three promos I mentioned what were dead good, like. This is a split release, combining an a group with whom I am totally unfamiliar with a group of whom I am more than slightly familiar.

Centralstodet have been described as Prog rock and as space rock in the whole two reviews I’ve sought out on t’net; I myself put them in that ‘jam band’ genre on the basis of the tunes included here. I might think differently when I hear some of the other stuff. There’s a bit of an edge to what they do, though one man’s edge is another man’s middle, as I once saw a self of mine write. For example, Colour Horizon called an earlier release of theirs ‘harsh,’ but I wonder if he’s ever seen Merzbow live? I have.

The Myrrors only contribute one track, but that one track is 20 minutes of possibly their finest recorded music to date. It is wonderfully spacious, meditative and hypnotic, and I reckon it would soundtrack a mellow initiation ritual in the desert, were such things ever to happen, because obviously assigning such judgements is my area of expertise (I’ve never been to a real desert, though I have been to something called an outback, I don’t think it’s the same thing as there were grasses and bushes and everything).

You can get this on vinyl, if you do vinyl, here.