terça-feira, 17 de julho de 2018

The Limiñanas ‎– Malamore (2016)

Style: Psychedelic Rock, Garage Rock, Pop Rock
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Because Music

01.   Athen I.A
02.   El Beach
03.   Prisunic
04.   Garden Of Love
05.   Malamore
06.   El Sordo
07.   Dahlia Rouge
08.   The Dead Are Walking
09.   Kostas
10.   Zippo
11.   Paradise Now
12.   The Train Creep A-Loopin

Acoustic Guitar – Lionel Limiñana (tracks: 2)
Bass – Lionel Limiñana (tracks: 2, 12)
Bass – Peter Hook (tracks: 4)
Bouzouki – Laurent Sales (tracks: 2, 9)
Drums – Marie Limiñana (tracks: 1 to 9, 11, 12)
Drums – Franck Mengin (tracks: 10)
Guitar – Lionel Limiñana (tracks: 12)
Guitar – Nicolas Delseny (tracks: 3, 10)
Instruments – Lionel Limiñana (tracks: 1, 3 to 11)
Lead Guitar – Ivan Telefunken (tracks: 12)
Lead Vocals – Guillaume Picard (tracks: 8), Lionel Limiñana (tracks: 9, 10)
Noises – Laurent Sales (tracks: 2)
Percussion – Marie Limiñana (tracks: 1 to 11)
Piano – Lionel Limiñana (tracks: 2)
Piano, Organ – Pascal Comelade (tracks: 12)
Tambourine – Marie Limiñana (tracks: 12)
Vocals – Guillaume Picard (tracks: 5, 7), Lionel Limiñana (tracks: 2), Marie Limiñana (tracks: 4, 7, 8, 9, 11), Nika Leeflang (tracks: 8), Sarah McCoy (tracks: 11)
Backing Vocals – Guillaume Picard (tracks: 2, 11), Marie Limiñana (tracks: 2), Nika Leeflang (tracks: 1, 9, 11), Peter Hook (tracks: 4)

The decision of Lionel and Marie Limiñana to quit the rat race and go full time doing the thing they love seems to be paying dividends. The Perpignan-based pair are now on their fourth album, picked up by Because Music no less, and featuring a star turn from Peter Hook this time around (but don't hold that against them.) 
There's nothing particularly new on Malamore that you couldn't find on their previous records, but the artisan refinement of the songs and the tenebrous, almost narcotic production takes this offering into a different stratosphere from what's come before; the elevated world they've created is a place where one can sit back and imbibe dizzying sedatives that float freely in the air, surrounded by the coolest vintage swag you can imagine. It's a delicately constructed world of beautiful artifice, and despite the ease with which it seems to have been formed, it's actually not as easy as it looks (for starters you suspect the songs themselves benefit from a systematic simplification that may have required some ruthlessness behind the scenes). 
Indeed the influences are achingly cool still, no surprise there (the album itself is named after a 1982 Eriprando Visconti erotic Italian movie), though having cool influences doesn't necessary equate to a record itself having anything like the same kind of cache (more often than not it means it turns out to be the exact opposite - ie. tryhard and ersatz - like the aural equivalent of that godawful HBO series, Vinyl). No such troubles here thankfully, as the Limiñanas incorporate sixties punk and obscure spectres of the yé-yé scene, cult cinematic soundtracks and cool Westerns, Italian pop and Nouvelle Vague, Spector and Gainsbourg (it's undeniable that the track 'Zippo' has a strong resemblance to the revered dead Frenchman), Nuggets compilations, early Stooges and early Suicide, and the inevitable debts to the Velvet Underground and pre-Beatles Girl Groups that are synonymous with so much latterday dark pop exploration. It's the kind of vintage homage that Bobby Gillespie probably thinks his music sounds like, or at least wishes it sounded like. 
Opener 'Athen I.A' acts as a brief aper itif to whet the whistle, a minute-only instrumental trailer with a strong Duane Eddy-style guitar lick. The next couple of tracks - 'El Beach' and 'Prisunic' - feature Lionel parlez-ing over the top as the music intensifies, with the ever-present tambourine rattling eventually up to 11. The latter, much like the remarkably catchy title track, feature guitar lines so simple and immediate that you're surprised you've never heard them before (and a part of you wonders if you have).
On 'Garden Of Love', featuring the guest appearance of the aforementioned Hook, Marie takes over vocal duty, whispering soporifically as the trademark peripatetic bassline executed some way up the neck sits deliciously atop a drifting cloud of a song, a dreamy, beautifully accomplished pop morceau. Hook's inclusion is surprisingly cohesive, while Marie - who couldn't speak a word of English when I interviewed the band two years ago - has clearly been taking lessons; her clipped, seductive vocal, sounds strangely reminiscent of Charlotte Gainsbourg.     
'El Sordo' is another brief instrumental with a Western feel, and 'Paradise now' and carries some of the vibe that made the soundtrack to Midnight Cowboy so great, while 'Dahlia Rouge' kicks off with the roar of a motorcycle and features an arabesque sitar line weaving throughout. Simplistic, often pared-down, and at times breathtakingly gorgeous, Malamore hitherto is their poppiest offering to date, and it might just be their chef d'oeuvre too. Certainly there's not a track within that isn't totally arresting in isolation, a rare achievement. Malamore is an album full of standouts, and a step in the direction of greatness.   
Jeremy Allen / The Quietus

Psyco – Doctor L Presents There Must Be A Revolution Somewhere! (2005)

Style: Jazz, Funk / Soul
Format: CD
Label: Mind Records And Service Corp. ‎

01.   Na Di Languè
02.   Fire Dance
03.   Danger Danger
04.   Butterfly
05.   Hey Papy It's Too Late
06.   Dropping Bombs
07.   Travels 2
08.   Traficante
09.   Mister President
10.   Rainbow
11.   Motherland
12.   Weya
13.   Experience No Way Out

Sous le pseudo de Psyco se cache Doctor L (Liam Farrell), qui après des débuts en solo sur le défunt label parisien Artefact, a amorcé un virage vers des collaborations musicales moins abstract Hip-Hop et plus Jazz-Fusion.  
En tant que producteur, il a épaulé de façon convaincante Omar Sosa ou Tony Allen (batteur de Fela) et s’est trouvé avec ce dernier de fortes accointances artistiques. Na Di Languè débute l’album par un afro-blues déliquescent porté par la sensuelle voix d’Ayo. La suite procède par touches d’Afro-Beat ou de Soul-Jazz où on sent tout le sens du titre de l’album.  
A l’instar des aspirations militantes des Black Panthers, de l’élaboration du nouveau Jazz avec Ornette Coleman, Albert Ayler ou l’émergence des labels politiquement incorrects comme Black Jazz Records; cet album cherche dans cette histoire une nouvelle inspiration, qui, comme l’a dit 30 ans avant Gil Scott Heron, «The Revolution Will Not Be Televised». Butterfly, sa flûte psychédélique, ses sax et trompettes à l’unisson, sa rythmique funky et la voix inspirée de Senza ressemble à s’y méprendre aux divagations hypnotiques de Fela et c’est bien cette figure tutélaire qui semble être le guide spirituel de tout ce disque très long (plus de 79 minutes!) qui mérite une écoute patiente et attentive pour être réellement apprécié.  
Si les plages peuvent être un tantinet trop longues, c’est pour mieux plonger l’auditeur dans un voyage en Afrique Noire où le commis voyageur se perdrait au hasard de ses rencontres.  
Hey Papy It’s Too Late, son chant plaintif et son orgue Hammond subtil, ou encore le très Gil Scott Heron Mister President, avec ses paroles cyniques et son beat Jazz-Funk, sont de solides compositions qui n’éviteront pas la question suivante : qui achètera ce disque?  
A ce titre, on décernera à There Must Be A Revolution Somewhere la palme du disque le plus invendable du moment... à moins que tous les lecteurs de Foutraque ne s’unissent pour l’acheter!
Poplunaire / foutraque

Cartola ‎– Cartola (1976)

Style: Samba
Format: CD, Vinyl, Cass.
Label: Discos Marcus Pereira

01.   O Mundo E Um Moinho
02.   Minha
03.   Sala De Recepcao
04.   Não Posso Viver Sem Ela
05.   Preciso Me Encontrar
06.   Peito Vazio
07.   Aconteceu
08.   As Rosas Não Falam
09.   Sei Chorar
10.   Esaboa Mulata
11.   Senhora Tentacao
12.   Cordas De Aço

Arranged By – Horondino José Da Silva
Mixed By – Norival Reis
Producer – Juarez Barroso

If your perception of Carioca's samba do morro (samba of the hills) relates to noisy, percussive grooves topped by poor melodies, this release is what you need to discover the real thing. Cartola was one of the most important samba composers of all time. His lyrical "O Mundo é um Moinho" opens the album, delivering its luxurious melodic lines. The progression of the album reveals in each new track some hidden treasures in the rustic sophistication of a poet of the people. The richness and originality of the poetic imagery contained in his lyrics, unfortunately unattainable for non-Portuguese speakers, astounds for its depth as a creation of a humble hill dweller. There are also uptempo sambas, but the forefront is delivered to voice/choir/trombone and the seven-string violão at the counterpoint, with the percussion discretely in the background. The album also contains his biggest hit, the immortal "As Rosas não Falam." A must have.
Alvaro Neder / ALLMUSIC

segunda-feira, 16 de julho de 2018

Stan Ridgway ‎– The Big Heat (1985)

Style: Alternative Rock, New Wave
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: I.R.S. Records

01.   The Big Heat
02.   Pick It Up (And Put It In Your Pocket)
03.   Can't Stop The Show
04.   Pile Driver
05.   Walkin' Home Alone
06.   Drive She Said
07.   Salesman
08.   Twisted
09.   Camouflage
Bonus Tracks
10.   Rio Greyhound
11.   Stormy Side Of Town
12.   Foggy River
13.   End Of The Line
14.   Nadine

Vocals – Stan Ridgway
Written-By – Stanard Ridgway
Mastered By – Frank DeLuna, Marv Bornstein
Mixed By – Andy Watermann (tracks: 2 to 6, 8 to 10)
Producer – Louis Van Den Berg (tracks: 3 to 5, 8 to 10), Stanard Ridgway (tracks: 3 to 5, 7 to 10)

Como se um cowboy tivesse entrado, por engano, pelo cenário de um Série B de Fritz Lang («The Big Heat», por exemplo). Nove canções notáveis que são, ao mesmo tempo, guiões para outros tantos filmes negros. A música de Ridgway respira vitalidade e a pergunta «quem era a alma dos Wall of Voodoo» está, de uma vez por todas, respondida. 
Ricardo Saló / Expresso (1986) 

Johnny Cash ‎– The Mystery Of Life (1991)

Style: Country, Country Rock
Format: CD, Vinyl, Cass.
Label: Mercury Nashville

01.   The Greatest Cowboy Of Them All
02.   I'm An Easy Rider
03.   The Mystery Of Life
04.   Hey Porter
05.   Beans For Breakfast
06.   Goin' By The Book
07.   Wanted Man
08.   I'll Go Somewhere And Sing My Songs Again
09.   The Hobo Song
10.   Angel And The Badman

Steel Guitar – Lloyd Green
Ukulele – Jack Clement
Accordion – Joey Miskulin
Acoustic Bass – Roy Huskey Jr., Steve Logan
Acoustic Guitar – David R. Ferguson, Jack Clement, Jim Soldi, Johnny Cash, Kerry Marx, Mark Howard, Marty Stuart
Dobro – Jack Clement
Drums – Jody Maphis, Kenny Malone, W.S. "Fluke" Holland
Electric Bass – Jimmy Tittle
Electric Guitar – Jim Soldi, Kerry Marx, Mark Howard (7), Marty Stuart
Fiddle – Mark O'Connor
Horns – Bob Lewin, Irv Kane, Jack Hale, Jr.
Keyboards – Joey Miskulin
Mandolin – Jamie Hartford, Mark Howard (7), Marty Stuart
Percussion – Jody Maphis, Kenny Malone, W.S. "Fluke" Holland
Piano – Earl Poole Ball, Joey Miskulinnt
Remastered By – Suha Gur

Haveria fortes motivos para entender como um gesto amigo de condescendência as palavras que Jane Carter Cash: — a segunda mulher do cantor do Arkansas e elemento da lendária instituição The Carter Family — assina na contracapa do novo álbum de Johnny Cash: «Ao ouvir The Mystery Of Life, senti regressar as emoções de há muitos anos quando conheci este homem em 1956». O penúltimo LP para o mercado internacional, Water From The Wells Of Home, gravado há cerca de três anos em clima de celebração nostálgica de fim de festa bem regada, mostrara-nos o outrora grande Johnny Cash entregue à partilha indolente de memórias dos tempos-que-já-lá-vão-e-nunca-mais-hão-de-voltar com velhos companheiros de combate convocados para o efeito. O típico disco de fim de carreira, aspecto que, ironicamente, ganhava uma dimensão quase dramática pelo contraste involuntário com ele estabelecido pela vigorosíssima homenagem da nova geração ao autor de «Five Feet High And Risin'» em 'Til Things Are Brighter («gravado no mesmo ano por um punhado de dólares» para o combate ao vírus da sida). 
Ouvido o novo disco, as palavras de June Carter não só ganham o seu verdadeiro sentido como parecem até pecar por defeito, ao mesmo tempo que lhes depreendemos nas entrelinhas o olhar de desencanto com que os — como ela — puros e duros da música country terão contemplado tão longo período de amolecimento na carreiro do  «homem de negro». Um simples estalar de dedos parece ter sido quanto bastou para que Cash tivesse passado uma esponja sobre anos menos dourados e produzido um disco que — embora com reduzido impacto resultante do «ghetto» em que ainda vive a country no plano internacional — representa na sua obra o mesmo que New York representou na de Lou Reed, Ragged Glory na de Neil Young e No Guru No Method No Teacher na de Van Morrison — recusa da morte, regresso à luta, reabilitação. Um baixo a galope sobre duas únicas notas, guitarras voando a grande altitude e a melhor voz de duro da historia (John Wayne incluído) reduzindo toda a oposição a cinzas por meio de canções que são verdadeiros argumentos cinematográficos, de um ou outro épico revisitado («Wanted Man») e de humor quanto baste («beans for breakfast once again...»). Grande álbum e uma lição que os que julgavam apreciar «dirty country» não irão esquecer tão depressa.
 Ricardo Saló / Expresso (1991)

Ursula Bogner ‎– Recordings 1969-1988 (2008)

Style: Experimental, Abstract
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Faitiche

01.   Begleitung Für Tuba
02.   Inversion
03.   Proto
04.   Metazoon
05.   Momentaufnahme
06.   2 Ton
07.   Speichen
08.   Modes
09.   Atmosphäre 1
10.   Punkte
11.   Expansion
12.   Für Ulrich
13.   Pulsation
14.   Testlauf
15.   Soloresonanzen

Music By – Ursula Bogner
Liner Notes – Jan Jelinek
Mastered By – Kassian Troyer

According to German electronic musician Jan Jelinek, the homemade recordings of the late Ursula Bogner might never have been heard outside her immediate family had Jelinek not discovered them through a random encounter with Bogner's son. I say "according to" because rumors that Bogner's story is a hoax-- a cover for music Jelinek made himself-- have already circulated. Some cite the recordings' rather clean fidelity, odd for music purported to be this old and inexpensively produced; others claim to hear Jelenik's minimal style in Bogner's simple compositions. Then there's the fact that Recordings 1969-1988 is the first release on Jelinek's label, Faitiche-- a name the label's own website claims is a French/German hybrid meaning "factish," or "a combination of facts and fetishes [that] makes it obvious that the two have a common element of fabrication." 
Barring any denials or confirmations from Jelinek, that's probably all we'll ever know. His entertaining liner notes make Bogner's story seem plausible. Born in Germany in 1946, she became a pharmacist, wife, and mother by her early twenties, but still found spare time to study painting, printing, and electronic music. The latter interest led her to record her own synthesizer-based compositions on reel-to-reel tapes in a studio she built herself. Some songs survived intact, while others had to be assembled by Jelinek from individual, unmixed tracks. 
The truth of this tale is ultimately a minor concern, because as intriguing as the story is, the songs on Recordings 1969-1988 are much more interesting. Bogner's work fits squarely in the world of early electronic music-- the period from the late 1950s to the early 70s, when synthesizers were so new that using them to craft melodic songs and create abstract sound were both considered "experimental" pursuits. The king of this era was Raymond Scott, whose whimsical jazz was adopted for cartoon soundtracks, and whose electronic inventions resulted in radio commercials, Jim Henson film scores, and unique curios like Soothing Sounds for Baby, a series intended to help parents pacify their infants. Bogner's music bears much of Scott's playful spirit, finding common ground between nursery-rhyme simplicity and the absurd humor of abstract art. Some of these songs are practically direct Scott rip-offs, but you can also hear echoes of Scott contemporaries and descendants: the radio concoctions of Daphne Oram, the comic pop of Perry and Kingsley, the conceptual art of the Residents, even the post-rock repetition of Black Dice. 
Most of Recordings 1969-1988 sounds simultaneously like pop and art. Bogner's M.O. is to take a few simple loops-- rumbling bass, water-y plops, chirping squalls, laser-like blasts-- and overlap them, producing songs so sweet they'll make you laugh (the elephant-march opener "Begleitung für Tuba"), so repetitive they'll hypnotize you (the swinging "Inversion"), and so inventive they sound alien (the robotic "2 Ton"). At best, like on the jazzy "Punkte" and the cresting "Expansion", she crafts pulsing, organic melodies that burrow into memory like tree roots gripping the ground. 
I've often wondered why the music of Raymond Scott, as catchy as it could be, is frequently relegated to the status of odd curiosity or gear-geek niche. The same will certainly happen with Bogner, whoever she "really" was/is. And sure, the songs on Recordings 1969-1988 (as well as the included shot of her with big glasses and floppy bowl cut) have a tech-y, art-nerd sheen. But give these tunes time, and you may find yourself humming them randomly, much the way a 60s housewife might have unwittingly memorized Scott tunes via the background noise of his sneaky radio jingles.
Marc Masters / Pitchfork

Ursula Bogner ‎– Pluto Hat Einen Mond (2010)

Style: Abstract, Experimental
Format: Vinyl
Label: Maas Media Verlag

A1.   Photosphaere
A2.   Rhythmus 80
B1.   Synchronton 2
B2.   Expansion (Version)

Artwork – Ursula Bogner
Photography By – Ursula Bogner

Although her musical work was the work of a pioneer, Ursula Bogner has been an unknown artist for a long time. Until in 2008 her work was rediscovered by fortunate coincidences and now - step by step - it becomes available for the public. Her works for Synthesizers could have been groundbreaking. This 7inch, released in a small edition of 300 copies, contains 4 tracks. It was released to tie in with an exhibtion about Bogner's work, sketches, notations at the Laura Mars Gallery, Berlin, in mid-December 2009.  
Another archival bit of lost sixties synthesizer music from the very mysterious Urusula Bogner. Or is it? We made the Ursula Bogner full length our Record Of The Week a while back, a collection that purported to be the music of a British housewife, who was basically a secret one woman BBC Radiophonic Workshop, spending her time at home during the day, collecting and building analog synthesizers, constructing soundproofed recording studios, inventing strange instruments, and most importantly, creating some incredible spaced out, subtly psychedelic electronic music. But the catch is, she just might not be real, and in fact, might just be the construct of Jan Jelinek, whose Faitiche label 'discovered' Bogner and assembled that collection. You can read more about Mrs. Bogner in our review of the full length, but as far as we were concerned, it hardly mattered, if she was in fact real, it's an amazing discovery, if it is actually a hoax, then it's an incredibly and meticulously pulled off hoax indeed, and after all, it all comes down to the music, which in either case, is absolutely fantastic.... 

That Petrol Emotion ‎– Manic Pop Thrill (1986)

Style: Indie Rock
Format: CD, Vinyl, Cass.
Label: Demon Records

01.   Fleshprint
02.   Can't Stop
03.   Lifeblood
04.   Natural Kind Of Joy
05.   It's A Good Thing
06.   Circusville
07.   Mouth Crazy
08.   Tightlipped
09.   A Million Miles Away
10.   Lettuce
11 .  Cheapskate
12.   Blindspot

Bass, Vocals, Keyboards – Damian O'Neill
Drums, Percussion – Ciaran McLaughlin
Guitar – Seán Ó Néill
Guitar, Vocals, Keyboards – Réamann Ó Gormaín
Harmonica – Marvin Bisquick
Vocals – Steve Mack
Producer – Hugh Jones
Engineer – Stuart Bruce

Quem sabe, sabe!... Os irmãos O'Neill sempre se afirmaram como uma das melhores duplas de ”songwriters” da new-wave britânica e os Undertones, pelo fim prematuro, como o grande grupo perdido. Faltou-lhes a obra-prima... Ei-la! Onze canções de estalo num falso álbum de estreia dominado por um desembaraço instrumental capaz de garantir «thrills» e «emotions» a toda a familia. Álbum britânico do ano. 
Ricardo Saló / Blitz (1986)

Tracyanne & Danny ‎– Tracyanne & Danny (2018)

Style: Indie Rock
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Merge Records

01.   Home & Dry
02.   It Can't Be Love Unless It Hurts
03.   Deep In The Night
04.   Alabama
05.   Jacqueline
06.   2006
07.   The Honeymooners
08.   Anybody Else
09.   Cellophane Girl
10.   O'Keefe

Producer – Edwyn Collins
Producer, Engineer – Sean Read
Songwriter, Performer – Daniel Coughlin, Tracyanne Campbell

When the sumptuous, soul-warming sound of Tracyanne & Danny’s debut track Home and Dry dropped unexpectedly in February, fans experienced a twofold reaction: both joy and relief. 
In October 2015, a rare form of bone cancer called osteosarcoma robbed the life of Glasgow indie pop band Camera Obscura’s keyboardist Carey Lander. That is the exact word Lander’s bandmate and best friend, singer-songwriter Tracyanne Campbell, uses three years on: robbed. “We were all robbed of Carey,” she laments sternly, angrily. “And the band was robbed of our job.” 
A crowdfunding campaign launched by Lander in her final days went on to raise more than £102,000 for Sarcoma UK, bringing some tiny semblance of light to the tragedy. But after that there was only lingering sadness and silence, the group’s future left uncertain. Lander’s illness claimed the life of a much-loved and talented musician at just 33, but it also silenced a popular band in their prime. 
So it is a relief to learn that Campbell was silenced only temporarily. Home and Dry was the first taste of a full album recorded in rural seclusion at Edwyn Collins’s cliff-top Clashnarrow studio, near Helmsdale on the north-east coast of Scotland. A tender and crisply realised collection of panoramic pop vignettes and yearning love songs, it’s a collaboration with Danny Coughlan, the Bristol-based singer-songwriter known as Crybaby. A close friend who shares Campbell’s love for ornate 60s guitar pop, Coughlan was the creative foil she needed to swap song ideas with by email in a delicate process of confidence and career rebuilding. 
He once favoured more retro communication than email, though. “He sent me a song on a cassette tape and a handwritten letter, and I was like: ‘Who’s this weirdo?’” jokes Campbell, reflecting on how she first connected with Coughlan back in 2013, after a chance meeting between her publisher and his manager led to Crybaby twice touring as support for Camera Obscura. 
“They like all that analogue stuff up there in Scotland, don’t they?” Coughlan recalls thinking, when he found out where Campbell was from. It seems a fair cop, actually, when he later describes delightedly raking through Collins’s crofter’s cottage full of classic guitars and equipment. Prized discoveries included the original fuzz effects pedal used on Collins’s huge hit A Girl Like You. “I don’t think it had been in action for a few years,” he admits, before mimicking playing the song’s mighty riff with a series of disappointed raspberry noises. 
Private, peaceful and nourishing, the studio and its surrounds were the perfect place to reflect and start afresh, and observe a daily ritual of strength and determination in face of adversity, courtesy of Collins, who has overcome two brain haemorrhages. “Edwyn’s in the cottage at the bottom of the hill,” Coughlan explains, admiringly. “He walks up the steps to the studio every morning with his walking stick: it’s 100 steps.” 
Campbell says that Camera Obscura are “in slumberland”: the four remaining members all still talk or see one another frequently, but never to discuss the future. The prospect of so much as entering a rehearsal room again without their friend is still too daunting. 
Was there ever a temptation to walk away from music altogether after Lander’s passing? “I wasn’t really thinking too much about music,” Campbell admits. “I was heartbroken; I was trying to deal with my grief, which was massive. That’s the thing about grief: it doesn’t end. It goes on, it just changes. We’re all still grieving for Carey. I know also that it’s important to not dwell on that. [With] my personality, I could have easily dwelled on that for too long. I think it was really important for me to keep Carey in mind and to find a strength to get past it. And I did that, I worked on it. It sounds weird to say, but I put a lot of work into it.” 
The Tracyanne & Danny album could easily have been filled with 10 songs about their lost friend. In the end, one proved enough: the lovely Alabama, a breezy country-pop ode with strings, swooping pedal steel guitar and a vocal cameo from Collins. Campbell sings a bittersweet smile of a chorus: “When I’m an old lady, I’ll still miss you like crazy.” 
“Carey and I were looking forward to being mad old ladies together,” Campbell says, when I ask what she thinks Lander would have made of that lyric. “We already were like a couple of mad grannies.” At that thought, something that she admits hardly ever happens anymore happens, and tears well up in her eyes. Coughlan puts a reassuring hand on his friend’s shoulder. “She would have liked it,” Campbell asserts, quickly recomposing herself. “She’s part of it.”
Malcolm Jack / The Guardian

domingo, 15 de julho de 2018

Nils Frahm ‎– All Melody (2018)

Style: Modern Classical, Abstract
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Erased Tapes Records

01.   The Whole Universe Wants To Be Touched
02.   Sunson
03.   A Place
04.   My Friend The Forest
05.   Human Range
06.   Forever Changeless
07.   All Melody
08.   #2
09.   Momentum
10.   Fundamental Values
11.   Kaleidoscope
12.   Harm Hymn

Alto Vocals [Shards] – Kate Huggett, Rose Martin (4), Sarah Latto
Bass Vocals [Shards] – Augustus Perkins Ray, Dan D'Souza, John Laichena
Cello – Anne Müller (tracks: 3 to 5, 10)
Choir – Shards (5) (tracks: 1, 3, 5, 9, 11)
Conductor [Shards], Arranged By [Shards, Co-Arranged By] – Kieran Brunt
Drums – Tatu Rönkkö (tracks: 2, 5)
Guitar [Processed Guitar], Sounds [Unheard Sounds] – Erik Skodvin
Instruments, Written-By, Producer, Piano [Pianos], Harmonium, Celesta, Percussion, Mellotron, Organ [Pipe Organ], Drum Machine, Effects, Recorded By, Mixed By, Synthesizer [Juno, SH2, Taurus, PS3100, 4Voice, Modular] – Nils Frahm
Marimba [Bass Marimba] – Sven Kacirek (tracks: 2, 4 to 8, 10)
Percussion – Tatu Rönkkö (tracks: 2, 3, 5)
Soprano Vocals [Shards] – Bethany Horak-Hallett, Héloïse Werner, Lucy Cronin
Technician [Piano Technician] – Carsten Schulz (2)
Tenor Vocals [Shards] – Kieran Brunt, Oliver Martin-Smith, Sam Oladeinde
Timpani, Gong [Gongs], Bass Drum, Percussion [Melodic Percussion] – Sytze Pruiksma (tracks: 5, 9)
Trumpet – Richard Koch (tracks: 5, 10)
Viola – Viktor Orri Árnason (tracks: 2, 3, 5)
Mastered By – Zino Mikorey

It’s hard for Nils Frahm to resist the pull of a good concept. For 2011’s Felt, the German pianist draped a heavy cloth over the strings of his instrument—a gesture of respect for his neighbors that yielded an alluringly tactile sound. The following year’s Screws, written and recorded with a broken thumb, comprised nine songs for nine fingers. And the year after that, to capture the grandeur of his live shows—neoclassical, post-techno, maximally minimalist affairs performed on multiple acoustic and electronic keyboard instruments, in the spread-eagled style of the progressive-rock keyboardists of yore—he collaged Spaces out of two years’ worth of thrumming, rippling concert recordings. But a recent collaboration with the German musician F.S. Blumm proved that he’s just as good, if not better, without a big conceptual framework to prop him up. Their album Tag Eins Tag Zwei is a wonderfully low-key set of improvisations. 
All Melody is Frahm’s first major work since 2015’s Solo, and it feels like his biggest statement yet. He has fleshed out his usual arsenal of keyboard instruments—piano, synthesizer, pipe organ, etc.—with strings, trumpet, tympani, gongs, even bass marimba. The whole thing was recorded in the Funkhaus, a 1950s-era recording complex in the former East Berlin where he spent two years painstakingly building his dream room, right down to a custom-built mixing desk. The album’s rich dynamics are a direct extension of that building’s pristine acoustics. He availed himself of the Funkhaus’ natural reverb chambers—concrete rooms into which sound is projected and re-recorded—and he fashioned his own jury-rigged version out of a dry well at a friend’s house on the Spanish island of Mallorca. There’s even a choir, London’s Shards, whose wordless voices open the album on “The Whole Universe Wants to Be Touched,” a bold scene-setter whose melody moves like wind through reeds. The title alone suggests that Frahm is swinging for the fences. 
But All Melody never feels imposing or overwrought. Despite its ambitious scope and somber mood, it is infused with the same exploratory spirit that made Tag Eins Tag Zwei such a delight. True, it’s not a wildly varied record: The tempos are generally slow, the moods contemplative, the melancholy almost all-pervasive. But within that framework, he explores as much ground as he can, from grand, sweeping choral passages reminiscent of Arvo Pärt to understated piano études. “Human Range,” where a silvery trumpet melody tangles with a mossy ambient backing, is reminiscent of Bill Laswell’s extended remix of the Miles Davis catalog; the more electronic, rhythmically oriented cuts, particularly the twin centerpieces “All Melody” and “#2,” find common cause with the British producer Floating Points’ way of balancing programmed and improvised music. 
If there’s a theme here, it’s that holistic idea hinted at in the title: the ur-sound, the pedal tone of spiritual unity. In the liner notes, Frahm rhapsodizes about the morphological orchestra of his dreams: “My pipe organ would turn into a drum machine, while my drum machine would sound like an orchestra of breathy flutes. I would turn my piano into my very voice, and any voice into a ringing string.” That sense of fluidity gives the record its shape-shifting identity. It’s often unclear what you’re listening to at any given moment; even songs that sound like solo piano turn out to have cello and bass marimba lurking somewhere within their folds. Turn it up loud enough, and you can get lost in details like the creaking of the hammers on Frahm’s piano, or the sound of birdsong, presumably recorded outside his riverside studio, along the banks of the Spree. 
The Funkhaus is a mazelike complex, and the way the record is structured often feels like a scale model of its sprawl. Across 12 songs and 74 minutes, All Melody functions as a single, cohesive piece of music, with recurring themes interwoven throughout. It’s easy to get lost in the album and then, hearing a familiar motif, come up short, as if turning a corner in a long hallway and wondering if you hadn’t passed the same spot just a moment ago. It’s a pleasantly disorienting sensation. And after traversing long, repetitive tracks like “Sunson,” “All Melody,” and “#2,” encountering a highlight like “Forever Changeless,” a short, melodic sketch for piano, feels like stumbling upon a hidden chamber illuminated by a stained-glass window. 
Yes, he can be tasteful to a fault, and some of his melodic instincts occasionally tip slightly too far toward drawing-room prettiness. But the gorgeous closing track, “Harm Hymn”—a kind of coda for the whole album, just a handful of chords played on a whisper-soft harmonium—shows that his strength as a musician isn’t in the complexity of his composition, but in the nuances he gets out of his instruments and onto the tape; it’s in the echo and in the air, and in the way that he plays the room itself. For once in his career, there is no grand concept—just the space of the Funkhaus itself, which proves to be more than enough.
Philip Sherburne / Pitchfork