I think this one went on to my ‘things to check out’ list as a result of my Bandcamp feed but can’t be certain because there are many sources to me checking things out and the gap between getting onto said list and me actually listening to the full work can be really quite long indeed.
Anywho, this comes at you from the experimental end of things because I bet you’re all really fed up with all the mainstream stuff I keep posting, right?
As it’s me, it’s from the angle of catatonia inducing mong-trance, which is totally a genre in its own right, with it’s own rite and everything, and probably a section in HMV. Assuming HMV is still going, I heard a rumour it actually still is. Probably my favourite genre these days.
I note that she has an upcoming collaboration with the also very wonderful Jessica Bailiff, which I am very intrigued to hear.
Now, this one is probably old news to most of you.
I actually ignored these for quite a while for reasons that all say more about me than the band. 1) Don’t like the band name. 2) I see the word ‘supergroup’ and I just think swearwords about people phoning it in. 3) What is that cover? Fucking disgusting.
So God Unknown records put it out recently after I’d ignored it’s initial issue on Rocket, and for reasons I don’t know why I decided to listen to it. Actually, I do know why. It was a Monday and I was in a Monday mood so wanted to listen to gnarliness and I thought these might tick that box. And they did tick that box. They ticked it righteously. But they did more than tick that box, they turned that box into a well of unfathomable depth with their riffing, repetitious, droning, hypnotic gnarliness.
So I was listening to the radio show that Golden Ratio Frequencies do, and it wasn’t doing a lot for me. It was full of the more new-age-bromide-y ambient music that I ultimately find a bit cloying. So I went to the aforementioned wishlist and scrolled right down to look for stuff that had been there ages and that I couldn’t really remember what it was, and I saw this, so I clicked on it and pressed play.
And got turned into a monged out vegetable. This is a very powerful piece of immersive and rather intense drone. I love it.
And then I noticed this was on the Golden Ratio Frequencies label, and I suspect is the man who does Golden Ratio Frequencies himself, who also is part of the Gnod family. They get everywhere!
When I was doing my Music Tech course those oh so many moons ago, one of our tutors did a quick demo of Steve Reich’s Clapping Music and got me to be the second person. It took hella concentration but it was really cool to do. I have, subsequently to the course, always retained a soft spot for Reich’s works (along with Terry Riley), so when I saw this I had to have a listen.
Despite the brevity of the EP, it is a fully immersive listen. I’ve moved my little studio around just a bit which has changed my speaker orientation to what I think is probably absolute perfection and as a result I can sink in to the music much deeper. Trancey works like this are, therefore, absolute heaven.
There’s about 10 shows I listen to regularly that make my wishlist increase every time, and so much enjoyment am I having going through their old shows that I haven’t actually listened to the full albums in question yet…
So I did this one, and despite it being at the more expensive end of the digital albums available, I’m still seriously considering bumping this to the head of the queue. It ticks all those buttons that make music conducive to catatonia, I mean, it’s trancey as all fuck.
This is one of those albums where you actually can just refer to each track by its number. I mean, the whole thing works as a cohesive whole, but say you wanted to highlight, say, track 5, you don’t have to worry about remembering the title.
There may be a whole academic treatise available to someone in this observation – back when I bought vinyl, I used to know the name of every song on every album I bought, same with tapes. Once I moved into CDs, that became slightly less perfect. Now I’m digital only, I struggle to remember song names at all until I’ve heard them about 20 times unless the name jumps out, and that’s just the albums in English. Quantity may have something to do with it, but there’s something else at play as well. I remember reading some while back the suggestion that human memory started to atrophy with the advent of writing because before we could write things down somewhere we needed to have epic memories in order to remember things. As the amount of storage for memory has increased over the years, with books and then TV/Film, and then digital with all dem server farms, so we don’t need to remember anything any more, we can all just look it up. And then forget what we just looked up. Did someone say progress?
Anyway, ignore my ramblings and listen to the music.
Of course I can pronounce it. I can pronounce it like a native.
A native of Leicester.
This one is from a Czech label called Stoned to Death who I have posted an album from before. They have no particular style to their offerings beyond the artists being local to them, as far as I can tell. But they frequently put out very interesting music ranging from lo-fi punk to American primitive with almost everything in between, and this is amongst the most recent.
The creator of this is someone called Angel Dodov, who also plays in 3 other bands with whom I am totally unfamiliar and am intrigued enough to want to hear more by, though my wishlist is currently ridiculous and I really shouldn’t add to it. But I’m going to.
I would call this really relaxing and hypnotic, and indeed it is as I dozed off the first time I listened to vidím tam nějaké hlasy, and then in the last track he brings in some vox which properly wakes up any drifters. So I think it’s fair to say he doesn’t intend for listeners to doze off, or maybe he likes rude awakenings.
Many years ago – about 15, I think – I was chatting with someone who was guesting at a library I was working at and the subject of the fact I make music came up. When describing his own approach to music, he said that unlike me, he only consumes music…
It is impossible to consume music. You can engage with it or you can ignore it, or somewhere in between, but you cannot consume it. The music will remain unchanged, although your perception of it won’t.
Imagine thinking like that? I was too nice to debate with him about it, plus I think my thoughts on it took a while to become coherent even though it jarred me immediately. But it speaks to a mindset that believes it is only in existence to consume things because of much larger sociological factors that are not even wrong, that would be giving them waaay too much credit.
I was reminded of this exchange by all the giddy hype about what AI (sidebar: it’s all A, no I) can do for us to save us from the drudgery of, like, leisure and stuff, and reading, and writing, and creating, and making, and, and, and… all we have to do is give some prompts and it do all that for us! And then what do we do? More free time to merely consume things, I suppose.
A compilation like what I bring to your attention today simply could not be made with that kind of approach to music and discernment. There is a thread running through this that can only be done with human judgement. And indeed, DJ soFa, for it is he who has compiled this, has made several compilations and all of them have a particular feel to them though it would be an insult to insinuate they are in any way the same as each other; they are not.
This is why an algorithmic approach to music discovery will never throw the surprises at you that other humans can. You simply could not build in the coherent unpredictability required. In fact, all the best compilations, DJ sets, mixes – what they have in common is a coherent unpredictability. And probably all great art, for that matter.
If you want merely functional, then go ahead and knock yourself out with your AI approach to creativity and novelty, which will be neither creative or novel unless you assign a depressingly low value to what you consider creative or novel. But if you want the great, the sublime… you need the human touch.
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.
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.
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.