Sula Bassana – Brainwash

brainwash

The funny thing about working from home is that when you have a ‘holiday’ and then return to work, it feels… weird. Still, it was some kind of normal in a way – I had 473 emails awaiting. Most were on librarian lists debating various librarian things, which I’ll have you know is not at all uninteresting. I dare you to disbelieve me.

Well, maybe they’re a bit uninteresting.

Still, there were a significant amount require that I actually do stuff, usually involving spreadsheets. Thank the lord or whoever it is you usually thank for the always reliable Sula Bassana, he of Electric Moon, and his almost neverending plethora of mighty music adding to his/their bandcamp.

I’m sure its just as good without editing spreadsheets. (I hope he uses that as a quote…)

 

Muslimgauze (untitled)

muslimguaze

You may find this hard to believe, but once upon a time, there was a period we inhabitants called ‘the nineties.’ They were times, really they were. There was a lot of music made in these times, and life has later taught me that I didn’t get to hear it all then, either, so today is nothing new to me.

I didn’t get to hear Muslimgauze back in the day; never even heard of them. Having said that, I think I’d have been down with this as it would not have been out of place on something like the Crooklyn Dub Consortium compilations, which were woozy as all get go, just like this is.

Because these are also times, this was re-released last year by a label in Russia, because of course it was.

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.

 

Kasra V – The Window EP

kasra v

The positives of working from home. Once I got over the initial connecting to my institution’s systems, I started cranking out some tunes. Much better to listen to music on semi-decent speakers whilst you work than headphones; they cramp my ears after a while. Also, No worries about nearby colleagues telling me to turn that racket down.

This is an electronic racket, albeit not hard work for the uninitiated. Reminds me of certain 90s dance peeps I sometimes still listen to – not exactly unadjacent to Banco de Gaia, for example, though contemporary stuff like Octo Octa also springs to mind.

It’s only an EP, so my one criticism is that it ain’t long enough. I could quite easily have an album of this.

 

If you’re going to buy from Bandcamp…

…buy today. I’ve released my ‘thou shalt not buy anything non-essential’ shackles just enough to buy the Haress album.

Bandcamp is foregoing their usual cut to help artists, see.

I will shortly be working from home, which does have some positives. The one big one is that I can catch up on some of the almost infinite amount of music out there that is really worth listening to, which is more than I can imagine.

I could invite you to go through my post history for some wonderful music, and indeed you have that option. But, you know what? Use serendipity. Find something by just looking round. And tell me what it is; I might even get a chance to listen to it.

Be not afraid, and look out for each other. Compassion should be your go-to state of being. We’ve got this.

 

 

Dead Sea Apes – Night Lands

deadseaapes

Dead Sea Apes and The Myrrors? (Well, Nik Rayne from The Myrrors). Get listening!

You’ll be horrified to know that I’m going to riff on the notion of subjectivity in the forthcoming words, both future and what is to come.

The reason for that is because subjectivity is brilliant, innit? After all, I thought of an answer to why it is that it isn’t just me that thinks time is speeding up. Everyone I speak to anywhere ever always agrees with me, isn’t time just whizzing by these days? I mean, the other day, I woke up, brushed my teeth, had a cup of coffee, played my guitar for a bit, had another cup of coffee, read a bit of the superb Latro in the Mist by the incomparable Gene Wolfe, had another cup of coffee, nipped to the shops to get lunch stuff for me and the kids, did lunch, washed up, did some drawing/doodling in preparation of my next album Influx Arena, did dinner, drunk tea, washed up, played guitar, programmed some drums, got my daughter to bed, played Civ for a bit, and before I knew it, it was time for bed! Just like that! Why, I mean, I barely even had time to blink!

Anyway, here’s the reason why everyone else agrees with me on this – you are all figments of my imagination. Therefore, if I think time is speeding up, then you’ll all think the same because why wouldn’t you?

Of course, you could all, and with just as much legitimacy, make the same claim towards me. And the annoying thing is, we’d all be equally right.

Solar Corona – Saint​-​Jean​-​de​-​Luz

solarcorona.jpg

That Julius Gabriel fella just keeps on delivering, no?

There aren’t many artists that predominantly produce instrumental music who nevertheless keep me interested. It’s a very difficult approach to music to do consistently well (albeit quite easy to adopt a phone-it-in approach). Whatever well he’s tapped, it is one deep well. I was very regularly feeling that ecstatic feeling I get when I listen to music that is so perfectly put together that it could be thought of as a self contained universe in its own right, albeit – and not actually paradoxically – also open-ended. Like life.

As is always the case when I sit down to do a post, my words dry up and lose any sparkle that I might have thought they had when they raced around my head. It’s not all bad, though. Just press play and enter the trance enfolded into the music – all the sparkle you’ll need is there. And we all need sparkle in these times.

 

 

Vanishing Twin – Dream by Numbers EP

vanishing twin.jpg

There’s just so much music out there, and all of it makes sense to someone, even if only the creator (hello, me). Sometimes you just have to accept that you’ll never have time to grok it all and just give thanks for the nuggets you find that resonate with you. This one resonated with me.

I like their description of ‘dreamlike’ in their small paragraph that accompanies it. Neptune in Pisces and all that, and despite it being released three years ago is still just as accurate a description with the added bonus of the extended Capricorn season. (You’ll need to listen to the mammoth podcast linked if you want to know what that means, unless you already do).

I discovered this via Black Impulse, which I’d forgotten about and started to play catch up the other day. There’s an episode with guest presenters Robbie Judkins and Mia Kukathasan where the tracklisting is woefully incomplete. If anyone out there can tell me who tracks 1 and 3 are, I will be so grateful that I’ll, I don’t know, sing a song in celebration for you, or something. Those tunes are wondrous.

Related to how much great music there is, I had a thought a day or two ago about how great ideas so often get co-opted or (more usually) ignored, yet that is no reason not to keep having them. Indeed, there is no reason not to keep having them. I’ve found personally as I get older that the more I create, the more I create. That is deliberately tautological, but once you turn that tap on, it will keep flowing. So here’s my tip for 2020 – always keep your tap on. And obviously be good to each other but I know you’ll all do that, right?

Big Blood – Deep Maine

deep maine

Big Blood return with a rather mellower offering than usual, but one still infused with their specialist production techniques (Caleb has the fortune to possess synesthesia).

I’ve just finished reading Last Call by Tim Powers. It’s another best book I’ve ever read. I’ve lost count of how many best books I’ve ever read, but they’re all the best, and no mistake.

The Jaymo migrated away from the Republic of Newsletters into the blogosphere – or maybe returned? – but has many ideas worth looking into.

from the aformentioned Republic, I recommend Kneeling Bus.

You’ve been hankering for a blog that specialises in a picture/poetry mix? Or maybe you didn’t know you’d had that hankering.

 

 

Meadowsilver (self titled)

meadowsilver

A younger me would probably have reacted with disbelief at the thought that folky music would end up comprising so many very favourite releases as my life went on, although hopefully said younger self would have had the sense to imagine the gradual opening of the mind, both musical and otherwise (well, the one usually insists on the other following it).

So Meadowsilver join with Espers, Horse Cult, Laughing Eye Weeping Eye, Haress, The Iditarod, etc in making really good folk inspired hypnosis. I like being in a trance.

It may be that they or some of them used to be The Hare and The Moon, not an artist I was previously familiar with so I’ll probably hunt and listen at some point.

2019 was also the year I rediscovered a love of fiction; a well told story is just as trance inducing as the best in hypnotic music, albeit in a very different way. I dislike having to have favourites, so this is just something that is really bloody good and I’ve never read anything better, ever, and I’ve read a lot of Bloody Good Things in my time – The Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson is 900 pages and frankly it isn’t long enough. Actually, it probably is because it’s so well written and so well judged in its execution, but I could have just kept on reading and reading.

And who’d have thunk it [/sarc]? Plants have feelings too. Actually, this isn’t news; there was a book in the 1970s called The Secret Life of Plants which was all about this kind of thing, but nobody in the mainstream took them seriously. What is actually notable about the link is exactly what publication I’ve linked to, materialism’s Weekly Gospel. I think we’re in the midst of paradigm shifts, people, and I bet our cultural cosmology in a century will be unrecognisable from what it is today.