Josiah Steinbrick – Banana Live

banana

I have a folder in my bookmarks toolbar where I’ve been storing links to stuff I want to listen to again, or even at all if I like the look of something but haven’t got time to listen to it or it hasn’t come out yet because of all this pre-ordering rubbish that labels still insist on doing (sidebar: I’d be interested to know if people like an album more if they’ve been hotly anticipating it than if it had just come out unannounced – it would be impossible to do a truly quantitative study of such a thing without cloning people, but nevertheless… personally, I would hope not and so we could tell labels to just put the damn thing out when it’s ready already).

So this folder has become unwieldy and long and has prompted me to spend time listening to the albums on the links in order, so that be sort of what I’m doing. A couple have now got deleted, a couple I’ve enjoyed but not quite enough to post because something about it might annoy me a bit, and this is the first blogging fruit of the exercise.

I don’t know whether to arm you for a swarm of posts or to prepare you for a(nother) period of tumbleweed because I have no idea how this exercise will pan out.

 

Julius Gabriel -ÆTHERHALLEN

ÆTHERHALLEN

So take the scars from your eyes and remove the bars
there is no cage except in your imagination

The objective truth can only be perceived subjectively

Thinking is subversive

Rumours of my exaggeration have now died

The best way to learn boundaries is to cross them
It’ll teach you how valuable they are

So God plugged the universe in. “Let there,” he began, “be sound.”
And he turned us on.

Negra Branca @ Woodland Gathering 2018

I listened to this via The Quietus not long after it happened; only posting now because I’m posting it now.

The reason I listened to her is because she also plays with Gnod. This is not much like Gnod, albeit exactly what are Gnod like? They are like many things.

This put me in a trance, even though I was at work (that’s how I cope). I’ve just deleted several sentences where I tried to describe it. This is why I’ve given up trying to describe music using words.

 

 

Yantra – Drones e Excursões de Guitarras Rumo ao Desconhecido Vol. 2

yantraAnother trip back to Brazil, completely unlike any of the previous visits.

Yantra do what is described as psychedelic meditation music. From such a thing you can expect and will receive two slow-moving pieces of improvised performances which do that hypnotic transcendent thing of which I am so fond. These two pieces were recorded in 2016 at separate locations, and you can tell the difference in atmosphere of each piece. They do complement each other very well, however.

Because I don’t often listen to pure drone works, I don’t really have any reference points for you. That probably isn’t important anyway. If you’re in the mood to chill, this works very well.

The label that releases this seems very interesting, too. I had a listen to one of the Hierofante releases, and I’ll definitely be going back for another listen.

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.

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.