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.

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.

Million Brazilians – Wet Dry Jungala

Million Brazilians is probably a better artist name than Three People in Maine. There may be those who don’t like surprises, though, so I feel it only fair to warn you that a) they are (probably) not Brazilian and b) there are not a million of them.

This is an early album by them. All their subsequent ones, except for one I found on Juno Download, can only be listened to in excerpts and I’m not one to buy things I’ve only heard excerpts from. The excerpts do sound good, but I’d need to be better off than I am before I start buying things I’ve only heard excerpts from.

There may be genre descriptors relevant here but if there are they are words I am yet to hear. This album sort of vaguely puts me in mind of 936-era Peaking Lights, but only sort of vaguely. Track 2 is frankly legendarily good. It’s vaguely tribal, I suppose, vaguely jazzy, vaguely soundtrack-to-a-film-that-doesn’t-existy, vaguely trancey, vaguely droney, and very good.

Wasted Cathedral – I’m Gonna Love You ‘Til The End Of Time

I’m probably the last person to comment on the incongruity of artist name versus album title. I actually have nothing useful to say, other than that, to me, the combination is incongruous.

Meh. Regardless, the album is really rather good, and by really rather good, I mean excellent. My only minor quibble is that the short pieces are good enough ideas in their own right to be fleshed out further than they are, but as long as they’re good, right? Right.

The longer pieces are well trancey, which is something I’ve rattled on about loads before so I won’t again, except to say that if you want to lose youself in some monging drone, then this here is for you.

Dude here also does other things – The Switching Yard, The Radiation Flowers, and Shooting Guns.

I actually meant to post this the other day with those other two posts I did, but my mind went blank. There was also another one too, but that isn’t actually released til the 23rd of this month and you all know how I feel about posting stuff that isn’t actually available yet. I’ll try and remember on the 23rd.

ZAÄAR – Magická Džungl’a

I think this might be my find of the year, saved right until almost the very end. But first I have to know – what is that accent thingy over the middle a in their name? Does it change how you pronounce said name? Me ignorant Englander. Actually, I don’t know how to pronounce any of it.

I’ve had at least three images evoked whilst listening to this – a kind of middle eastern bazaar (though I’ve never been to the middle east, or indeed a bazaar), the early stages of a long night dancing round a campfire when everyone is gradually getting into the sounds and rhythm, and a kind of sordid, late night carnival where the pleasures are unexpected and never subsequently spoken of (sadly, I’ve never been to that sort of carnival either).

It’s kind of jazz, I suppose, though very psychedelic and with regular, hypnotic pulses. Spacious, yet dense. Loads going on, but loads of room; an all encompassing sonic experience. There probably are reference points, though I know them not. Perhaps the nearest I can think of, albeit still distant, is Miles Davis’ Get Up With It, itself a very fine album and one I should listen to more.

And on that note, I wish you all a marvellous 2022. May the music you find be especially resonant to you.

Nova Express – Twenty One

I have a colleague at work with whom we discuss music fairly frequently and through each other we have discovered some good stuff over the years, although some of the stuff I’ve tried him on has been a bit hard for him to bear – he described Gnod as Pink Floyd having a bad trip after I played him Tony’s First Communion (one of the best pieces of music ever, imo), and said he’d rather pull his own teeth out than listen to Oneida again.

Anywho, a success story was a band called Appliance, who I’m sure you all remember from the beginning of this cursed millennium. He said to me that he couldn’t believe he’d missed them as he was well into that type of music then and he was familiar with all their contemporaries yet Appliance completely passed him by.

I feel somewhat that way about Nova Express, who I now know to have been around at that time too, though I didn’t then. And whilst I’m not going to claim that my journey into repetition and minimalism was complete by that time, it had certainly started and I’m convinced I would have done the listening equivalent of feasting on this stuff.

Be that as it may, I know it now, and I know it gladly.

Raed Yassin – Archeophany

So, one of the things about no longer working from home is that I don’t spend so much time checking out new music. However, that doesn’t really excuse the length of time since my last post since I have about 10 albums I think should be shared widely, so the real reason is that I didn’t do any posts. Also, I moved house. Also, I spent time finishing off an epic project of my own stuff, which I may or may not write about at some point.

I discovered this through the Quietus. It is most experimental, most hypnotic, most droney, and, like an awful lot of stuff I post here, I have no idea where to begin describing it apart from what I have already typed. The opening piece doesn’t really prepare you for what comes after, but it does give a reason for the closing piece.

It does, at times, remind me of Malayeen, albeit that might be me being lazy because of relative geographical proximity.

Valerio Cosi – Heavy Electronic Pacific Rock

This album title may make you expect something other than you will get. One more reason to love it.

See, this album has been a part of my life for well over a decade, now. I posted it not long after starting Soundbergs using a Youtube link. However, the great man has now added it to his bandcamp, remastered.

Simply put, this is among my very favourite albums ever. Despite the length of time it’s been in my collection, it still gets played regularly. The opener in particular has a strong claim to ‘favourite peice of music, ever’ (although I don’t believe in absolute favourites and would never dream of compiling some kind of all time top ten or any other arbitrary number).

This music is trance in its purest form, and absolutely ecstatic at that.