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.

François Robin & Mathias Delplanque – L’ombre de la bête

It may be my browser, but I’m having right shenanigans writing this post.

Anywho, you ever hear of a veuze? Me neither, but then I’m not from the part of France that these bagpipes are a traditional instrument of. And I’ve heard of it now.

I discovered this by actually engaging with the bandcamp app on my phone for once, trying to run the battery down so I could charge it (long story, don’t ask) (actually not that long, though it was because of a separate long story).

Is all very hypnotic and propulsively meditative. Is that a thing? It is now.

Saint Abdullah – Ta Tash

So since we’re outside of Europe, I may as well mention this thing I bought several months back but keep forgetting to post.

So as I was saying, Wael Alkak put me strongly in mind of this but I think that’s more to do with the hypnotic pulse of both releases as they are actually very distinct musically. I think Saint Abdullah favour field recording and samples all mashed up with their electronics though still mixed with traditional instrumentation and singing.

Wael Alkak – Live

I don’t know if this is ever going to be available digitally* – sometimes labels make the download impractical until they’ve sold their physical things. I do have a tape player, but it’s got a permanent sound as if the tape is being chewed up, even though said tape actually isn’t being chewed up.

So this is basically a mixture of traditional Levantine rhythms/songs with electronics and beats, albeit quite mellow ones, improvised some or all of the way. It is nice and hypnotic, and that’s why it properly grabs me.

Even though the approach and source material is very different, it reminds me somewhat of Saint Abdullah. Saint Abdullah? Ah yes, since we’re on that subject…

*yes. yes it is.

Oriente Lux (self titled)

So, that thing I was saying the other day, about seeming like a proper fanboy. Well, I must seem like a PR plant for Valerio Cosi sometimes. Or, at least I would if Soundbergs had a following.

Here Valerio collaborates with Brad Rose, something that took longer than a decade to bear fruit. It is a truly sturdy resulting flower of music, as eclectic as I’ve come to expect, and as difficult to describe. (Cue rambling old man rant about how music shouldn’t be described because it can’t be described, just experienced).

Wingéd Ma’at – Man is an Insect

Also known as How to feel good about your place in the world…

This is just as impossible to describe as most things I post these days. Instruments used are arghul, mizmar, qanun, sistrum and Tutankhamun’s trumpets, with the addition of an Isfet on track 6. Honestly, I have no more idea than you.

What this sounds like is reverb drenched doomy tones with either some heavily processed vocals or one of yer actual deities dropping by for a jam.

And like several other things I post these days, if you’d have tried to sell me on it by describing it to me, I doubt I’d have bothered, so it really needs listening in order to grok it.

Stara Rzeka and M. Takara – Live at CCSP

Both of these gentlemen have visited the ‘bergs before and by rights should probably visit more often but I’m not conscientious enough in doing new posts. Blame it on the new post-editing software which isn’t quite as intuitive as it claims itself to be.

So this release is a recording of a show they did after having only jammed for 90 minutes prior. The music itself is the best kind of improvisational maelstrom, hypnotic as all fuck. If you was down with the recent Gnod & João Pais Filipe collaboration, this may well be your thang.

Self Help – Grand Hotel Ibis

People who have read this blog before may well have picked up on my long standing tendency to snark at music journalism, like I’m soooo much cooler (which actually I am, though that is irrelevant). (coolness is and always has been a bullshit concept). (concepts are and always have been over-rated). (this is what happens when writing a blog post is roughly the second conscious thing you do one morning after making a cup of coffee because you’ve remembered you actually get to start work a bit later today because reasons).

So anyway, because music journalists, I really didn’t want to like this album, as it contains man from The Quietus. To be fair to The Quietus, they are actually the least objectionable music publication by some distance, and I even read it sometimes. I hardly ever see the word ‘sophomore’ used when describing a ‘second’ album. This is to be encouraged. Also, other things.

Ponder for a moment what sort of mind listens to an album that he really didn’t want to like. Or don’t. Maybe working from home does funny things to you. Or maybe I actually listened because Tesla Tapes, because Gnod, because I just damn well listened to it.

It’s like nothing I can describe, which isn’t actually unusual in that regard. But it’s also brilliant. All four tracks are very different, and they’re all great.

Mésange – Heliotrope

mesange

You know, I’ve had a right old day of music today. I honestly can’t remember what I started with, but I went over to some deep house for a while after which I listened to the frankly fantastic Mr Wibblies Chiller, which is brilliant music for home working.

Well, how do you follow that?

You follow that with this.

This is all atmospheric and stuff, though I wouldn’t go as far as saying mellow. In fact, I don’t think I’d go anywhere near saying mellow. It responds to the need for background music but it also rewards deep listening. It is also one of those marvellous things which sits in my head as frankly uncategorisable. I like when that happens.

RIYL good stuff.

Right now, I’m rocking out with Rico.

 

Wart Biter

wart biter

And this is why I hate trying to describe music and gave up the futile effort. So non-sequiturs it is.

There is a pyramid above me, but it goes in both directions i.e. point up and point at the top. It’s really difficult to put it into words, bit like trying to describe music, really. But contained within those bounds are an infinity of possibilities.

Imagine: there are two lines on a single page. The lines themselves never actually meet, but the page they are on is finite. Nevertheless, the possibilities are infinite.

I could talk all day, and much to my children’s chagrin, I sometimes do. However, I only know so many words (roughly a hundred and thirteen) and yet, nevertheless, and although I often repeat myself, the possibilities are actually infinite.

The problem with infinity is that no one knows what it actually is, or even if it is. This, ladles and gentlespoon, is what I now suspect may be the true purpose behind the creative impulse (a.k.a. life) – trying to find out whether infinity is actually infinite.

So, what makes your head hurt more? The picture on the above album, or my essay? Me, it’s the lurgee.