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.

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.

One Unique Signal – Aether

So a while ago I bought ‘The Drift‘ by these (did I post about it? I don’t remember doing so) which is wonderfully hypnotic and is kind of my go-to album for when my playlist only takes until about 20 minutes before I hit the hay; it’s a perfect EP for that sort of gap, especially the closing track.

But this is an entirely different beast. I suspect the line-up was different. Maybe they were jamming with peak-Oneida, as that’s who I kept thinking of when I was listening to it. And because of that, I love it. I think it might be one for more in the midst of a hectic playlist, though, rather than the wind-down before bedtime.

And I love the cover.

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.

Water Damage – But the Rat was Very Smart

Ok, serious mong time.

Two tracks, extremely repetitive, with an insane guitarist making noise over it, and I mean noise. I assume it’s a guitarist. Could be anything, really, with all the tech these days. I’m only assuming it’s guitar as I can make similarly insane noises when I want to, and it’s fun. They could also be labelled a super-group if you wanted to do that (ok, you’ve made your point – ed). Also, two bass players and three drummers? I just looked at the line up. There’s synth involved too. I have also made insane noises via synth. They too are fun. Anywho, it works.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I may be mildly catatonic. This sort of music certainly makes me glassy eyed, but I happen to really like that sensation. Or maybe it’s just the music that does it. And spreadsheets. They never fail.

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.

Haress – Ghosts

Haress are a bit good. Their wonderful debut album has been a regular on the Soundbergs Stereo since I bought it at the beginning of the pandemic so I was very pleased when they decided to be one of those bands that do more than one album. Even better, it’s all paranormal and shit; at least, the stories they tell of its recording are. Not really listened to the lyrics that closely yet.

As someone who likes well written words and even tries to write them well at times, I oddly don’t pay much attention to lyrics. Not initially, anyway. It might be because my favourite music is all about transportation of the spirit, so I get lost in transporting my spirit with the music. Haress are really good at making music that aids that thing.

Here’s hoping they decide to be one of those bands that make a third album.