Kill the Self that Kills Your Self! is out via Northern Spy.
On Friday, August 24 at 8PM, Locrian Chamber Players celebrates the John Cage centennial with brand new works for prepared piano and ensemble by Christian Carey and James Bunch. The piano in these works is prepared to the specifications of Cage’s Sonatas and Interludes.
- Georg Friedrich Haas de terea fina
- Caleb Burhans Contritus
- Caleb Burhans Escape from New York
- Christian Carey Gilgamesh Suite*
- James Bunch Permanent Emotions*
- David Macdonald New Ostinati*
* World Premiere
10th Floor Performance Space,
91 Claremont Avenue,
New York, New York 10027
Directions - North of W. 120th Street – One block West of Broadway
Subway: 1 Train to 116th
Alexander Tucker’s career began rustically and experimentally, with reference points ranging everywhere from folk inspired alternate tunings for acoustic guitar to doom metal drones. For a while during the aughts, it seemed as if his output was inexorably drifting further and further away from the immediacy of conventional song format in favor of more extended and out there meditations. Over the past couple years, as evidenced in his 2011 release Dorwytch (Thrill Jockey), Tucker has been seeking a rapprochement between aspects of popular song and the psych-drone cum prog-folk aesthetic he’s cultivated. He takes this approach on Third Mouth, his latest recording for Thrill Jockey, as well.
A particular way in has been an expansion of his use of vocal harmonies, including overdubbed vocals and the participation of vocalists Frances Morgan and Daniel O’Sullivan (the latter also plays a variety of instruments on the recording). And there are even two cuts that clock in at three minutes with memorable choruses. No one will mistake them for straightforward pop; the layered arrangements still hold true to Tucker’s penchant for sumptuous timbral complications. That said, there’s a beauty in the simplicity of their melodic construction, which proves to be a unifying thread and straightforward thrust in the midst of various textural peregrinations, however lovely sounding these may be.
Those devotees of Tucker’s earlier work who may be fearful that this modification of his approach inherently means an adieu to freeform experimentation needn’t worry. Third Mouth also contains several longish compositions, and “Amon Hen,” an aphoristic piece of Waits/Partch inspired experimentation, too. “Glass Axe” has a pastoral cast while “Rh” indulges a more psych-drone ambience. And while both of these can also be said to be led by the vocals, in the former taking on the presence of a bona fide hook while in the latter being framed as an almost chant like refrain, the instrumental touches – glorious chords in alternate tunings, spacey reverberation, long held drones, and flashes of dissonance nicking each piece with slight distressing around the edges – remind one of the totality of Tucker’s sonic journey.
Musique Fragile Volume 2, a three LP boxed set, is out now via Constellation Records. Features music by Kanada 70, Pacha, Hanged Up & Tony Conrad.
For out music aficionados, whenever distro/label Experimedia releases a new playlist on SoundCloud, it’s a “kid in a candy store” kind of experience. Check out their list of new arrivals, posted today, via the embed below. But be warned: you may be grabbing your wallet and placing an order before you know it!
Best wishes to Pauline Oliveros, who turned eighty today!
Important Records has just released a generous sized acknowledgment of Oliveros’ wide ranging influence and imaginative experimental creations: a 12 CD boxed set that is the completest compilation to date of her early electroacoustic music. I’ve only just begun to dig in to a digital version of the set – but can already attest that it is heady and mind-opening stuff!
Koppklys #010 (cassette run of 60)
Dynamic instrumental music replete with warm synths as a pervasive grounding, long spun drones, field recorded additions, notably cawing gulls, and finally, surging crescendos and Mellotron-like strings pushing the levels higher towards red. If the old saw about ambient music is that it is dull or, at the very least, useful only as background listening on a yoga mat, Daw Nusk proves it wrong. Luxuriating in sound need never be a static experience and, on Hunter Gatherer it is quite the contrary; a pleasing aural journey that is nevertheless filled with a number of surprises and shifts of demeanor along the way. A generous collection of six compositions: recommended.
Gramercy, a recorded collaboration between Gareth Davis and Frances-Marie Uitti, is out now on Miasmah.