Saturday, 31 October 2020

Renegade Soundwave ‎– Howyoudoin? (1994)

Style: Breakbeat, House, Dub, Electro, Downtempo
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Mute, Elektra

Tracklist:
01.   Renegade Soundwave 
02.   Bubbaluba 
03.   Positive ID 
04.   Funky Dropout 
05.   Last Freedom Fighter 
06.   Howyoudoin ? 
07.   Liquid Up 
08.   Brixton 
09.   John Holmes 
10.   Blast 'Em Out

Credits:
Written-By – Danny Briottet, Gary Asquith
Arranged By, Producer, Written-By – Renegade Soundwave

Renegade Soundwave's third album found the group continuing to do its own particular thing, though to less attention than before (all while obvious descendants like the Chemical Brothers were on the verge of blowing up big time). Compared to their monstrous debut and the equally fine In Dub, How You Doin? is more of a subtle affair -- it's not that the beats aren't pounding when they need to be, but everything from the singing to a fair amount of the drum loops take a calmer line. Certainly a fair amount of the lower-key songs on In Dub have obvious if not always as memorable echoes here -- "Bubbaluba" coasts along much like "Women Respond to Bass," though it finds its own particular groove. The group's way around dramatic flow isn't lost, though -- "Positive ID" is a brassy slice of funk-into-techno, the title track is pretty fine, and "Brixton" is a downright stormer. Gary Asquith's roughly English vocals, as before, provide a definite calling card to the whole experience (hearing him on the sort of tribute song "John Holmes" is a particular kick). Calling him the bridge between Madness and the Streets might be a bit much, but is still an apt way to consider how he brings his own upbringing to the fore. In a smartly prescient take, the band worked in the quirky yelping bit from Serge Gainsbourg's "Bonnie and Clyde" as a sample for the song "Renegade Soundwave" itself, shortly before Gainsbourg's own revival as a touchstone for hip in the '90s. It's the band in a nutshell in a way -- always plotting its own course while plenty of other groups eventually played catch-up.
Ned Raggett / AllMusic

Friday, 30 October 2020

Renegade Soundwave ‎– In Dub (1990)

Style: Breakbeat, Dub
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Mute, Elektra, House

Tracklist:
01.   Thunder
02.   Bacteria
03.   Deadly
04.   Transition
05.   Pocket Porn Dub
06.   Women Respond To Bass
07.   Holgertron
08.   Recognise And Respond
09.   Transworld Siren
10.   Black Eye Boy

Credits:
Written-By, Producer – Renegade Soundwave

For better or worse, we here at Stylus, in all of our autocratic consumer-crit greed, are slaves to timeliness. A record over six months old is often discarded, deemed too old for publication, a relic in the internet age. That's why each week at Stylus, one writer takes a look at an album with the benefit of time. Whether it has been unjustly ignored, unfairly lauded, or misunderstood in some fundamental way, we aim with On Second Thought to provide a fresh look at albums that need it.

Renegade Soundwave were completely ahead of their time. British trio Gary Asquith, Danny Briottet, and Karl Bonnie (who later left the group) incorporated booming techno and hip-hop beats, dub bass lines and production techniques, early sampling technology, riffing guitars, and even sneering Mark E. Smith-style vocals into a mind-blowing melting pot of industrial, punk, and electronica that was hard to categorize at the time (the band’s first single was released in 1987, and they sounded their final note less than a decade later) and haven’t gotten any easier to pigeonhole since then. Outside of the equally unheralded Meat Beat Manifesto, no band has been as massively influential (name checked by such luminaries as Autechre and the Chemical Brothers, among others) and yet so criminally ignored at the same time.

While RSW’s 1989 debut album, Soundclash, was a groundbreaking album in its own right, their sophomore effort, In Dub, is where the group really started shaking things up. Ostensibly a remix album comprised of radically reconstructed and dubbed-up versions of tunes from the debut, (“Blue Eyed Boy” became “Black Eyed Boy,” “Traitor” morphed into “Holgertron”), pre-Soundclash singles (“Cocaine Sex” mutated into “Recognise And Respond”), and a handful of brand new cuts that grew from existing sonic seeds into entirely new tracks, In Dub is infinitely more than the sum of its parts. Vocals were wiped, the beats and bass were turned up to 11, and the productions got increasingly deep and wide.

It's the very concept of In Dub that stands as the most remarkable thing about the album, however. Inspired by the productions of King Tubby, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and other Jamaican dub producers, Renegade Soundwave brought the remix album idea to the electronic landscape. It’s important to remember that in 1990, your average “remix” was usually nothing more than a longer version of a tune, perhaps padded out by some early st-st-st-stuttering sample effects and extended solo parts of all the main instrumental tracks. RSW took the concept to its logical extreme—and back to its Jamaican dub roots—by totally deconstructing their tracks and rebuilding them from the bottom up. The remix album may be a common sight on today’s shelves, but in 1990, it was downright revolutionary. Beyond even that leap into the future, this album was the first to fuse the stylings of Jamaican dub with European-style electronica, a style taken to heart years later by the Basic Channel label, Maurizio, and Pole.

As impressed as I was at the time with the results of the album blowing out of the speakers of my dorm room, during my sophomore year of college, I had a life-changing musical experience: I got the chance to see Renegade Soundwave lay it down live. Contrary to the report on Allmusic.com—which states that RSW played their first-ever live show in 1994—RSW made a short jaunt across the U.S. in the winter of 1990-91, and a small but devoted bunch of Oberlin College students (including me, of course) piled into someone’s sister’s car and went to the Phantasy Nite Club in Cleveland to check out the action. As a bonus, Detroit techno figurehead Derrick May—at that point at the height of his powers—was scheduled as the opening act. How much better could it get?

That’s not what we were saying to each other after about three hours of standing around the club. It turns out that May saw the Cleveland show as an opportunity to get to his hometown of Detroit a day early and never showed up. It’s just as well that he didn’t, as the crowd of maybe 100 people would likely have been a letdown for his ego. On the plus side, Mute Records was there in force, and featured a table giving away free stickers, cassettes, posters and buttons. The most coveted button was actually an RSW tie-in—it read “Women Respond To Bass,” after their song of the same name, and my choice for the best electronica song title ever, hands down. So between May’s no show and the free swag, the count was about even.

When the show finally started, however, sides were quickly drawn. Roughly half of the already paltry crowd just didn’t get it and departed immediately. Perhaps they, like me, had spied a very inebriated Gary Asquith hanging around the club for hours earlier and just weren’t expecting much. The other half of us had our minds turned inside out with the musical possibilities expounded by RSW’s set and never looked at music the same way again. I was part of that second group.

The group took the stage and right away we knew something was different: the band was five members strong, but this wasn’t like any line-up we’d ever seen. Asquith was front and center behind the vocal mic, the most standard piece of the group. Flanking him to his right and left were two drum kits: one traditional wooden kit and one laden with electronic drum pads. Behind them was a third, higher drum riser home to a DJ and two turntables. And way off to stage left was Danny Briottet behind what looked like a small mixing desk, twiddling the knobs live as they played, but close enough to the action to be one with the band.

(A note about the DJ: While hip-hop DJs had certainly been seen on stage at this point in time, they certainly weren’t seen playing with a band. Certainly not an electronic band. And definitely not a white electronic band from London. To say this was a bold musical choice is putting it mildly. Sorry to break it to you, Bizkit fans, but Fred Durst did not pioneer the concept of having a DJ scratch records onstage with his group.)

Anyway, the band charged into their first two numbers—“Cocaine Sex” and “Space Gladiator”—like a crazed elephant given six or seven large bong hits to soothe its nerves. The bass frequencies made our fillings rattle; the drum kits played off of each other like a sequencer never could; the DJ dropped in the samples live directly from the original vinyl sources; Asquith delivered his trademark sneering vocals; and off to the side, Briottet was riding the mix in monumental fashion, dropping echo here and delay there. It was a nuclear warhead of sound. Un-fucking-believable. And then, things really started to get weird.

Immediately following the conclusion of the vocals on “Space Gladiator,” before the band actually finished the song, Asquith walked off stage, never to return. It didn’t actually seem that odd, as the next tune up was the instrumental “Thunder,” but suffice it to say, it was just the tip of the iceberg.

The now-four-piece RSW finished their savage rendition of “Thunder” with a bang, and immediately kicked into the next number, a revved-up take of “Ozone Breakdown.” The band were flying at this point, each piece moving in tandem with the next like the proverbial well-oiled machine—the amazing thing being they were doing it live. But the antics weren’t over—about halfway through the cut, the drummer on the standard drum kit stood up and walked off, also never to be seen again. Now, we were starting to wonder what the hell was going on.

What was now a trio onstage—turntable, electronic drum kit, and the mixer—turned “Ozone Breakdown” into yet another tune, which, for the life of me I couldn’t name. There was no distinct break, but you could tell that the song had changed direction. About three minutes in, Briottet stood up and left the stage—say it with me now—never to be seen again. Curiouser and curiouser.

The duo of electronic drums and DJ were now engaged in a fierce battle of rhythms that was truly the most amazing DJ-instrumentalist interaction I have ever witnessed. The pair volleyed back and forth for a few minutes before the drummer finally had enough. He stood up and walked off the stage, leaving just the DJ.

The DJ—and I’ve tried for a decade to find out who he was to no avail—proceeded to let the groove run out and began mixing in a vocal sample from the intro to RSW’s cut “Mash Up,” a hispanic-sounding voice intoning “Renegade Soundwave” in the manner that you might hear someone say “Badges? We don’ need no steenking badges!” He ran the intro on one turntable, then the next, playing the whole of the sample. “Renegade Soundwave, Renegade Soundwave.” Then, he started to cut them faster. “Renega-Renegade Soundwa-Soundwave.” “Ren-Renagade SoundRenagaSoundRenagadeSoundwave.” He was flying between the two decks and the mixer. Eventually, he had the records playing nearly simultaneously, yet was still backspinning the cut each time. It was positively superhuman. The crowd, down to about 40 people, many of whom were very confused at this point, proceeded to give the DJ a standing ovation. The last cut ran off, and the whole thing was over. It took a little over 30 minutes.

But in that half-an-hour, Renegade Soundwave managed to blow every preconception I’d had about electronic dance music away. They had literally deconstructed the very essence of electronic music right there on stage in front of everyone. It was pure magic. They literally took the music down, piece by piece, brick by brick to its barest essences, and it still rocked the house the entire time. This was the ultimate statement of a band’s musical purpose. That night, Renegade Soundwave showed me the future of electronica—hell, the future of music in general—and I’ll be damned if it didn’t turn out they were right. Turntablism, trip hop, bass overload, sampling, fusion of genres, remixing, general fucking up of shit—they did it all and got next to no credit. Remember that next time you listen to a “revolutionary” or “groundbreaking” artist like Kid 606 or Aphex Twin. Nothing I’ve heard since that night has opened my eyes to the creative possibilities of music as much as those five men did that night. It’s all been done, my friends.

In Dub may not capture the experience of that night as accurately as I would like it to, although surprisingly enough, it doesn’t sound all that dated. But the roots of RSW’s message and purpose are contained in those grooves, and they are even more important today then they were at the time. Post-modern? Try fucking post-future.
Todd Hutlock / Stylus Magazine

Thursday, 29 October 2020

Renegade Soundwave ‎– Soundclash (1989)

Style: Breakbeat, Dub, Electro, Downtempo
Format: CDVinyl
Label: Mute

Tracklist:
01.   Blue Eyed Boy
02.   Lucky Luke
03.   On TV
04.   Probably A Robbery
05.   Traitor
06.   Space Gladiator
07.   Murder Music
08.   Biting My Nails
09.   Pocket Porn
10.   Can't Get Used To Losing You
11.   Biting My Nails (Instrumental)

Credits:
Producer – Flood
Written-By, Producer – Renegade Soundwave


Recycling American hip-hop and British dub to form their own unique sound aesthetic, Renegade Soundwave cover a lot of territory on their debut album. Though the rapping is subpar, productions like the opener "Blue Eyed Boy" (featuring the same sample later used by Public Enemy for "By the Time I Get to Arizona") and their cover of the old Andy Williams classic "Can't Get Used to Losing You" reveal a solid focus on the audio terrorism possible from sampling. Soundclash also includes Renegade Soundwave's charting single "Probably a Robbery" and the title track from their previous EP Biting My Nails.
John Bush / AllMusic

Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Bobby Previte, Jamie Saft, Nels Cline ‎– Music From The Early 21st Century (2020)

Style: Free Improvisation, Experimental
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label:  RareNoise Records

Tracklist:
01.   Photobomb
02.   Paywall
03.   Parkour
04.   The Extreme Present
05.   Totes
06.   Occession
07.   The New Weird
08.   Machine Learning
09.   Woke
10.   Flash Mob

Credits:
Electric Guitar, Effects, Music By – Nels Cline
Producer, Drums, Music By – Bobby Previte
Producer, Electric Piano, Electric Organ, MiniMoog, Mixed By, Music By – Jamie Saft

This is not your father’s organ trio a la Jimmy Smith, Grant Green, Jack MacDuff or others. The music made by drummer Bobby Previte, keyboardist Jamie Saft, and guitarist Nels Cline takes liberties and then some, in keeping with its apt title, Music From the Early 21st Century and the record label name, RareNoise. Don’t expect the funky, soulful old school grooves. In fact, come with no expectations because this is free-flowing improvisation, recorded live with only the three instruments having anything in common with the notion of an organ trio. Suffice it to say, these three obliterate that concept and take the listener on some careening, rollicking adventures.

There’s a tongue-in-cheek approach to both the song titles and to the overall concept. Previte says, “I thought this title would put the music in a content that makes sense because it’s incontrovertible that this is music from the early 21st century. That allows the music to have no baggage except the time period in which it was made. I also thought after the fact that it would be hilarious if, a hundred years from now, someone googles – or whatever the equivalent of Google would be then -music from the early 21st century, and then this record comes up.”

Previte and Saft often collaborate and Previte has recently worked with Cline. Yet, it’s the first time all three have joined as a trio. They discovered they shared common ground while on tour in the Northeast and much of that was rock music. So, this is not your basic jazz album either; if anything it’s a jam band outing that combines jazz, rock, and electronica. Cline uses plenty of effects and Saft not only plays the Hammond B3 but Fender Rhodes and MiniMoog too. Thus, as Saft points out, there are many different genres and sonic spaces interacting even within a single tune. The music has no boundaries.

”Photobomb,” the opening track sets the stage with its monolithic dissonance and guitar feedback over Saft’s organ swells and Previte’s incessant beats. “Paywall” bridges hard rock and dub while Saft’s walking bassline and keyboard trills spur Cline to rattle off lines like Sonny Sharrock in “Parkour” as the MIniMoog modulates in the background. “The Extreme Present” is a weird mutation of ‘60s soul with prominent organ and tinkling Fender Rhodes on “Totes’ floats the listener into hazy psychedelia.  By now intent listeners will be totally lost in this music but will be further puzzled by the 14 minutes of grinding, rumbling, spiraling noise in “Occession.”

Yet, the trio continues to go even deeper as “The New Weird” offers ten minutes of hypnotic, bizarrely spiritual jazz where Saft’s organ sounds like a church organ full of reverb, perhaps played by a maniacal organist run amok with no regard for the service that’s he’s performing for but it eventually settles into some quiet moments, allowing  Cline to make some clean guitar runs as the organ swirls. “Machine Learning” begins as a guitar/drum workout before Saft enters with the MiniMoog. It sounds like an industrial scene from Bladerunner 2049. “Woke,” on the other hand, is like waking up to a gorgeous spring morning when fauna seems to bloom twice as fast. In one sense, it would have made the perfect closer, but this trio is anything but predictable, bringing us the Krautrock styled “Flash Mob” instead, that climaxes with a furious flurry of Kline notes, Saft’s heated organ, and Previte beating like there’s no tomorrow to the delight of a live audience.

This eclectic offering may turn some away, but it has elements of progressive jazz, prog rock, experimental jazz, electronica, and enough weird stuff to keep curious listeners engaged. 
 Jim Hynes / glide MAGAZINE

Jerry Paper ‎– Like A Baby (2018)

Genre: Electronic, Pop
Format: CD, Vinyl, FLAC
Label: Stones Throw Records

Tracklist:
01.   Your Cocoon
02.   Grey Area
03.   A Moment
04.   Something's Not Right
05.   Did I Buy It?
06.   Commercial Break
07.   My God
08.   Baby
09.   Everything Borrowed
10.   Huge Laughs
11.   You
12.   Losing The Game
13.   More Bad News

Credits:
Bongos – Lucas Nathan
Drums – Evan Cartwright
Flugelhorn – Tom Moffat
Flute – Leland Whitty
Organ – Matty Tavares
Piano – Lucas Nathan, Matty Tavares
Sitar – Lucas Nathan
Vibraphone – Matty Tavares
Violin, Slide Guitar – Leland Whitty
Acoustic Guitar – Lucas Nathan, Matty Tavares
Bass – Chester Hansen, Lucas Nathan
Electric Guitar – Alex Brettin, Matty Tavares
Electric Piano – Kaan Gunesberk, Matty Tavares
Synthesizer – Kaan Gunesberk, Lucas Nathan, Matty Tavares
Vocals – Charlotte Day Wilson, Maya Laner, Natalie Mering
Written-By – Leland Whitty, Matty Tavares, Nicky Benedek
Producer, Mixed By, Written-By, Vocals – Lucas Nathan
Producer – Matty Tavares

“Dystopian shopping centre” might seem like a weird concept for an album at first, but consider this: have you ever tried to go for groceries at six o’clock on a weekday and wanted to scream? If you haven’t, try nipping into St Albans Morrisons for a pint of milk at that time. Hell on earth.

Suddenly some of the imagery on Jerry Paper’s – the alter-ego LA multi-instrumentalist Lucas Nathan – new record doesn’t seem quite so bizarre. Still strange, yeah, but it’s within the realm of understanding, which encapsulates the album at large, really. Fans of Matt Maltese, Mac DeMarco and Alex Turner’s lounge suits will probably appreciate the wonky, cocktail bar stylings of tracks like ‘Something’s Not Right’, even as Jerry Paper messes with the form.

Then there are songs like ‘Grey Area’, which are reminiscent of a sequence from The Wizard of Oz, if the film was also partially a comment on late Capitalism and desire. On ‘Like A Baby’, he filters a sometimes distressing reality through oddball synthpop, giving everything a slightly dissociative quality. That’s particularly clear on album closer ‘More Bad News’, which hazily captures the relentless horror of the 24-hour news cycle. Like the rest of the album, it’s simultaneously of this reality and not, seeming to capture an alternate universe in which we’re just as screwed as we are now but are also possibly living in space, or underwater, or in a simulation… It’s dead weird, but then so are the times we’re living in.
Liam Konemann / LOUD AND QUIET

Monday, 26 October 2020

Mercury Rev ‎– Bobbie Gentry's The Delta Sweete Revisited (2019)

Genre: Rock, Pop, Folk, World, & Country
Format: CD, Vinyl, FLAC
Label: Bella Union, Partisan Records

Tracklist:
01.   Okolona River Bottom Band
02.   Big Boss Man
03.   Reunion
04.   Parchman Farm
05.   Mornin' Glory
06.   Sermon
07.   Tobacco Road
08.   Penduli Pendulum
09.   Jessye' Lisabeth
10.   Refractions
11.   Courtyard
12.   Ode To Billie Joe

Credits:
Mastered By – Joe Lambert
Mixed By – Peter Katis
Producer, Performer, Arranged By  – Jesse Chandler, Jonathan, Mercury Rev, Grasshopper

It slipped out of a Mississippi of hot biscuits, genteel table manners and working-class sense, suddenly overturned by a grave sinning and suicide. Carried on an evening breeze of strings and a supple, foreboding voice like sensually charged breath, “Ode to Bilie Joe”—Bobbie Gentry’s 1967 debut as a singer-songwriter and a Number One single for three weeks in the late Summer of Love—was the most psychedelic record of that year not from San Francisco or London, as if Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Brian Wilson had conspired to make a country-rock Pet Sounds. Except Gentry, just 23 when she wrote the song, got there first, in miniature.

Gentry’s hit was a revolutionary act, a quietly thorough feminism in vision, deed and success amid the strict, paternal order of the country-music industry. And it was her license to thrill again. In October, 1967, while “Billie Joe” was still in the Top Five, Gentry began recording The Delta Sweete, a connected set of a dozen songs that extended the narrative dynamics of that single with personal reflection and set her folk-siren charisma in a richer frame of dream-state orchestration, swamp-rock guitars and big-city-R&B horns.

In her eight original songs for the album, Gentry drew from her childhood and church life on her grandparents’ farm in Chickasaw County, Mississippi: the girl-ish craving for a beautiful dress in “Reunion”; the rise-and-shine of “Mornin’ Glory”; the stern Sunday lessons in “Sermon,” based on a traditional hymn also known as “Run On.” The covers were boldly chosen: Mose Allison’s chain-gang blues “Parchman Farm”; “Tobacco Road”’s litany of trial; the Cajun pride in Doug Kershaw’s “Louisiana Man”. Gentry also turned them to new purpose and even gender. “Gonna get myself a man, one gonna treat me right,” she sang in Jimmy Reed’s “Big Boss Man” with heated assurance.

But The Delta Sweete—released in March, 1968, only three months after Dylan’s John Wesley Harding and right as the Byrds came to Nashville to cut Sweetheart of the Rodeo—was too soon in its precedence. Gentry’s LP, the first country-rock opera, was ignored on arrival, not even cracking Billboard’s Top 100. It was as if Billie Joe had risen out of the Tallahatchie River and thrown that record off the bridge instead.

This Delta Sweete is her long-delayed justice—Mercury Rev's committed and an affectionate resurrection of an album that anticipated by three decades their own pivotal expedition through transcendental America, 1998's Deserter's Songs. From their recording lair in New York's Catskill Mountains, the founding core of Jonathan Donahue and Grasshopper with Jesse Chandler (previously in the Texas group Midlake) honor Gentry's foresight and creative triumph with spacious invention and hallucinatory air. And they are not alone. Gentry's stories and original resolve are brought to new vocal life and empowerment by a vocal cast of women from across modern rock and its alternative paths: among them, Mazzy Star's Hope Sandoval; Laetitia Sadier, formerly of Stereolab; Marissa Nadler; Margo Price, the fiery new country star with a punk-rock heart; and Norway's Susanne Sundfør, who cuts through "Tobacco Road" with arctic-Nico poise. Phoebe Bridgers, whose first record was a softly stunning 2015 single for Ryan Adams' PAX AM label, hovers through the acid- western suspense of Gentry's "Jessye' Lisabeth" with floating calm, like a comforting angel.

On the 1968 LP, Gentry opened with a call to jubilant order, “Okolona River Bottom Band,” like she was leading a barn-dance union of the early Rolling Stones and Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five. Norah Jones takes that entrance here with her own sultry command, like Sarah Vaughan at the head of a slow-blooming choir. In “Sermon,” Price—who has known real struggle up close—sings like a survivor through Mercury Rev’s explosion of color and groove: a specialty throughout the band’s history as recently as 2015’s The Light in You, going back through All Is Dream in 2001, the whirling iridescent soul of 1995’s See You on the Other Side and the sumptuous turbulence of the 1992 single “Car Wash Hair.”

Gentry is still very present in the changes. Her seesaw of pride and hurt in the melancholy blur of “Penduli Pendulum” (“When goodbye serves as/My one amusement”) is even more explicit with the seasoned intimacy of Vashti Bunyan—a once-elusive voice from Britain’s psychedelic-folk boom—set against the younger, brighter arc of Kaela Sinclair, now in the electronic project M83. And in “Courtyard,” a despairing finale of strings and guitar arpeggios on Gentry’s LP, Mercury Rev build a striking Delta Krautrock in which the English singer Beth Orton wanders, like Gentry, through a ruin of profound loss and treasured memory.

“Ode to Billie Joe” was not on the ‘68 Delta Sweete. But Mercury Rev go back to that dinner table with Lucinda Williams of Lake Charles, Louisiana, and it is an inspired bond, calling up the ghosts and questions of a South still very much with us. Indeed, Gentry—who retired from recording and performing in the Seventies—reportedly lives only a couple hours’ drive from the bridge that made her famous, while the spirits she set loose in The Delta Sweete are as restless and compelling as they were 50 years ago. This album is a loving tribute to that achievement, one of the greatest albums you have never heard. It is also a dozen new ways to walk that land.
David Fricke  / bandcamp

Claire Hamill ‎– Voices (1986)

Style: Abstract, Experimental, Ambient
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Coda Records

Tracklist:
Spring
A1.   Awaken... Larkrise
A2.   Tides
A3.   Moss
Summer
A4.   Afternoon In A Wheatfield
A5.   Stars
Autumn
B1.   Leaf Fall
B2.   Mist On The Ridge
B3.   Harvest
Winter
B4.   Icicle Rain
B5.   Sleep

Credits:
Producer, Written-By – Claire Hamill


Released in 1986, Voices is a peculiar departure from Claire Hamill's earlier pieces of singer/songwriter art rock. As the title suggests, this is an entirely a cappella album, with Hamill's multiply overdubbed voice taking the place of conventional instruments, including not only the usual keyboards and strings, but the bass and drums as well. Hamill's voice is stretched and mutated into absolutely unrecognizable sounds throughout the record: Play the Cocteau Twins-like "Moss" to someone unfamiliar with the record and they would likely not be able to recognize that the drums and saxophone are actually manipulated vocal tracks. Though the album is a remarkable technical tour de force (particularly considering that this was recorded in 1986, when samplers were in their infancy), as a collection of songs, it's mostly just all right: passable new age pop that drones along pleasantly for three-quarters of an hour but never particularly engages the listener. However, if you've always loved the vocal textures on Enya's albums, Voices will sound familiar and appealing to you.
Stewart Mason / AllMusic

Sunday, 25 October 2020

António Emiliano ‎– Fausto, Fernando, Fragmentos (1988)

Style: Contemporary, Experimental
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Transmedia

Tracklist:
A1.   Alegres Camponeses
A2.   A Inocência Perdida
A3.   Pairo À Beira De Mim
A4.   O Único Mistério Do Universo
A5.   Quando Eu Morrer
A6.   Febre
B1.   Melodia Vaga 
B2.   A Vingança Dos Servos
B3.   O Mundo Volta A Ser Do Pensamento
B4.   Teçamos O Pano Da Vida
B5.   Filho Das Trevas, Filho Da Noite

Credits:
Voice – Filipa Pais
Mixed By – José Fortes
Producer – António Emiliano

Notes:
Music by António Emiliano for the production "Fausto, Fernando, Fragmentos" of the Teatro Nacional D.Maria II, with text by Fernando Pessoa, in the version by António S.Ribeiro, and stage direction by Ricardo Pais.

BIOGRAFIA

António Henrique de Albuquerque Emiliano nasceu, no dia 25 de Janeiro de 1959, em Lisboa.

Desde cedo dedicou-se aos estudos musicais tendo mesmo frequentado o Conservatório Nacional de Lisboa. Aos 17 anos abandonou esses estudos optando por uma prática musical mais criativa tendo chegado a fazer parte de uma das formações do conhecido grupo Beatnicks.

Nos anos de 1977 e 1978 frequentou o 1º ano da Licenciatura em Engenharia Electrotécnica do Instituto Superior Técnico, da qual desistiu inscrevendo-se na Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa. Em 1982 licenciou-se em Línguas e Literaturas Modernas (Estudos Portugueses e Ingleses).

Foi um dos músicos participantes no disco "Sonho Azul" de Né Ladeiras. Em 1983 e 1984 colaborou em vários espectáculos realizados no Frágil por Anamar e Luís Madureira.

Em 1985 produziu o disco "Em Pessoa" de José Campos e Sousa, com textos de Fernando Pessoa. Foi nesse ano que iniciou publicamente a sua actividade de criação musical fazendo a banda sonora da peça "Teatro de Enormidades Apenas Críveis à Luz Eléctrica", espectáculo baseado em textos de Aquilino Ribeiro, concebido por Ricardo Pais, Olga Roriz, Luís Madureira e António Emiliano, com cenografia e figurinos de António Lagarto, pelo qual recebeu o Prémio da Crítica para Melhor Música de Teatro.

Em 1986 foi o autor da música do bailado "Espaço Vazio" (com coreografia de Olga Roriz), das bandas sonoras dos filmes "Repórter X" de José Nascimento (onde também entra como actor) e "Duma Vez Por Todas" de Joaquim Leitão (pelas quais recebeu mais tarde o Prémio de Música do Instituto Português de Cinema) e ainda da peça "Anatol" com encenação de Ricardo Pais. Com Nuno Rebelo e Emanuel Ramalho formou os Vors Trans Vekta que duraram pouco tempo. Assinou ainda a produção e arranjos do disco "Na Vida Real" de Sérgio Godinho que viria a vencer o Se7e de Ouro 86 para Disco de Música Popular.

A edição da banda sonora do filme "Repórter X" de José Nascimento com música de António Emiliano e participação de Anamar, Sérgio Godinho e Rui Reininho esteve prevista para ser editada pela Ama Romanta.

Recebeu o Prémio da Crítica para Melhor Música de Teatro, pelo espectáculo "Anatol".

Em 1987 compôe a música do bailado "Treze Gestos de Um Corpo" de Olga Roriz. Produziu ainda os discos "Aguaceiro" de Lena d'Água e "Negro Fado" de Vitorino. Volta a colaborar com Luís Madureira.

Em 1988 fez a banda sonora do filme "A Mulher do Próximo" de José Fonseca e Costa e de "Voltar" de Joaquim Leitão.António Emiliano

"Gahvoreh", a primeira obra de Gagik Ismailian para o Ballet Gulbenkian, sobre uma música original de António Emiliano, foi estreada em Julho de 1988.

Foi também o autor da banda sonora da peça de teatro "FAUSTO. FERNANDO. FRAGMENTOS", uma encenação de Ricardo Pais para o Teatro Nacional D. Maria II. Recebe o Prémio Garrett especial de música.

Os discos "Fausto Fernando Fragmentos" e "Gahvoreh" foram editados em 1989 pela Transmédia. No entanto a editora foi à falência pouco tempo depois.

Assina a música de "Ad Vitam", com coreografia de Paulo Ribeiro, e de "Estranhezas", com coreografia de Paula Massano.

Recebe o Prémio Garrett 1989 Especial de Música (da Secretaria de Estado da Cultura) para o espectáculo "Fausto. Fernando . Fragmentos" e o Se7e de Ouro 89 para Disco de Música Instrumental Contemporânea para os discos "Gahvoreh" e "Fausto. Fernando . Fragmentos".

Em 1990 volta a colaborar com Joaquim Leitão, em dois filmes da série "Love At First Sight", e com José Fonseca e Costa no filme "Os Cornos de Cronos".

Faz a banda sonora do filme "Ao Fim da Noite" (1991) de Joaquim Leitão.

É o autor da semi-ópera "Amor de Perdição", com encenação de Ricardo Pais e coreografia de Olga Roriz, estreada em Novembro de 1991 no Teatro Nacional de São Carlos. A obra foi apresentada no Théâtre Royal de La Monnaie, em Bruxelas, por ocasião da Europália '91.

Em 1993 produziu a faixa "Matar Saudades" incluída na reedição do disco "Banda do Casaco Com Ti Chitas". Colabora na coreografia "The Seven Silences of Salome", estreada em Londres por ocasião da reabertura do Savoy Theatre de Londres. O espectáculo recebeu o Time Out Award para melhor bailado do ano.

Em 1994 assina a banda sonora do filme "Uma Vida Normal", novamente de Joaquim Leitão.

Por ocasião das comemorações do centenário do Infante D. Henrique colabora na "Miscelânea de Garcia de Resende", com encenação e dramaturgia de Rogério de Carvalho, que foi apresentada na Culturgest.

Assinou a banda sonora da "Tragicomédia de D. Duardos", de Gil Vicente, com encenação de Ricardo Pais, apresentada em 1996 no Teatro Nacional S. João.

Suspendeu a actividade artística em 1996 para se dedicar exclusivamente à docência e à investigação em Linguística.

Retomou a actividade artística em 2005. Em 2006 assinou a banda sonora do filme "20,13" de Joaquim Leitão.

António Emiliano ‎– Gahvoreh (1988)

Style: Contemporary, Experimental
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Transmedia

Tracklist:
1.   Oração
2.   Guerra
3.   Viagem
4.   Procissão
5.   Terra Natal

Credits: Artwork – Paulo Emiliano Mixed By – José Fortes Producer – António Emiliano

Notes:
This record contains the original music commissioned by the Music Department of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
for the choreography GAHVOREH by Gagik Ismailian, which was first performed in July 1988.

BIOGRAFIA

António Henrique de Albuquerque Emiliano nasceu, no dia 25 de Janeiro de 1959, em Lisboa.

Desde cedo dedicou-se aos estudos musicais tendo mesmo frequentado o Conservatório Nacional de Lisboa. Aos 17 anos abandonou esses estudos optando por uma prática musical mais criativa tendo chegado a fazer parte de uma das formações do conhecido grupo Beatnicks.

Nos anos de 1977 e 1978 frequentou o 1º ano da Licenciatura em Engenharia Electrotécnica do Instituto Superior Técnico, da qual desistiu inscrevendo-se na Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa. Em 1982 licenciou-se em Línguas e Literaturas Modernas (Estudos Portugueses e Ingleses).

Foi um dos músicos participantes no disco "Sonho Azul" de Né Ladeiras. Em 1983 e 1984 colaborou em vários espectáculos realizados no Frágil por Anamar e Luís Madureira.

Em 1985 produziu o disco "Em Pessoa" de José Campos e Sousa, com textos de Fernando Pessoa. Foi nesse ano que iniciou publicamente a sua actividade de criação musical fazendo a banda sonora da peça "Teatro de Enormidades Apenas Críveis à Luz Eléctrica", espectáculo baseado em textos de Aquilino Ribeiro, concebido por Ricardo Pais, Olga Roriz, Luís Madureira e António Emiliano, com cenografia e figurinos de António Lagarto, pelo qual recebeu o Prémio da Crítica para Melhor Música de Teatro.

Em 1986 foi o autor da música do bailado "Espaço Vazio" (com coreografia de Olga Roriz), das bandas sonoras dos filmes "Repórter X" de José Nascimento (onde também entra como actor) e "Duma Vez Por Todas" de Joaquim Leitão (pelas quais recebeu mais tarde o Prémio de Música do Instituto Português de Cinema) e ainda da peça "Anatol" com encenação de Ricardo Pais. Com Nuno Rebelo e Emanuel Ramalho formou os Vors Trans Vekta que duraram pouco tempo. Assinou ainda a produção e arranjos do disco "Na Vida Real" de Sérgio Godinho que viria a vencer o Se7e de Ouro 86 para Disco de Música Popular.

A edição da banda sonora do filme "Repórter X" de José Nascimento com música de António Emiliano e participação de Anamar, Sérgio Godinho e Rui Reininho esteve prevista para ser editada pela Ama Romanta.

Recebeu o Prémio da Crítica para Melhor Música de Teatro, pelo espectáculo "Anatol".

Em 1987 compôe a música do bailado "Treze Gestos de Um Corpo" de Olga Roriz. Produziu ainda os discos "Aguaceiro" de Lena d'Água e "Negro Fado" de Vitorino. Volta a colaborar com Luís Madureira.

Em 1988 fez a banda sonora do filme "A Mulher do Próximo" de José Fonseca e Costa e de "Voltar" de Joaquim Leitão.António Emiliano

"Gahvoreh", a primeira obra de Gagik Ismailian para o Ballet Gulbenkian, sobre uma música original de António Emiliano, foi estreada em Julho de 1988.

Foi também o autor da banda sonora da peça de teatro "FAUSTO. FERNANDO. FRAGMENTOS", uma encenação de Ricardo Pais para o Teatro Nacional D. Maria II. Recebe o Prémio Garrett especial de música.

Os discos "Fausto Fernando Fragmentos" e "Gahvoreh" foram editados em 1989 pela Transmédia. No entanto a editora foi à falência pouco tempo depois.

Assina a música de "Ad Vitam", com coreografia de Paulo Ribeiro, e de "Estranhezas", com coreografia de Paula Massano.

Recebe o Prémio Garrett 1989 Especial de Música (da Secretaria de Estado da Cultura) para o espectáculo "Fausto. Fernando . Fragmentos" e o Se7e de Ouro 89 para Disco de Música Instrumental Contemporânea para os discos "Gahvoreh" e "Fausto. Fernando . Fragmentos".

Em 1990 volta a colaborar com Joaquim Leitão, em dois filmes da série "Love At First Sight", e com José Fonseca e Costa no filme "Os Cornos de Cronos".

Faz a banda sonora do filme "Ao Fim da Noite" (1991) de Joaquim Leitão.

É o autor da semi-ópera "Amor de Perdição", com encenação de Ricardo Pais e coreografia de Olga Roriz, estreada em Novembro de 1991 no Teatro Nacional de São Carlos. A obra foi apresentada no Théâtre Royal de La Monnaie, em Bruxelas, por ocasião da Europália '91.

Em 1993 produziu a faixa "Matar Saudades" incluída na reedição do disco "Banda do Casaco Com Ti Chitas". Colabora na coreografia "The Seven Silences of Salome", estreada em Londres por ocasião da reabertura do Savoy Theatre de Londres. O espectáculo recebeu o Time Out Award para melhor bailado do ano.

Em 1994 assina a banda sonora do filme "Uma Vida Normal", novamente de Joaquim Leitão.

Por ocasião das comemorações do centenário do Infante D. Henrique colabora na "Miscelânea de Garcia de Resende", com encenação e dramaturgia de Rogério de Carvalho, que foi apresentada na Culturgest.

Assinou a banda sonora da "Tragicomédia de D. Duardos", de Gil Vicente, com encenação de Ricardo Pais, apresentada em 1996 no Teatro Nacional S. João.

Suspendeu a actividade artística em 1996 para se dedicar exclusivamente à docência e à investigação em Linguística.

Retomou a actividade artística em 2005. Em 2006 assinou a banda sonora do filme "20,13" de Joaquim Leitão.

Taylor McFerrin ‎– Early Riser (2014)

Style: Soul-Jazz, Neo Soul, Modal
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Brainfeeder, Beat Records

Tracklist:
01.   Postpartum
02.   Degrees Of Light
03.   The Antidote
04.   Florasia
05.   4 AM
06.   Stepps
07.   Already There
08.   Decisions 
09.   Blind Aesthetics
10.   Place In My Heart 
11.   Invisible/Visible
12.   PLS DNT LSTN

Credits:
Drums – Marcus Gilmore
Vocals, Bass – Jason Fraticelli
Bass – Thundercat
Piano – Cesar Camargo Mariano
Electric Piano, Synthesizer – Robert Glasper
Vocals – Nai Palm, Emily King, Ryat, Bobby McFerrin
Synthesizer, Drums, Bass, Electric Piano, Guitar, Producer – Taylor McFerrin

Prior to the stagnation brought on by the last thirty years or so, the result of clashing theories on how the music should be treated, jazz was a vital art form that changed with the times, going so far as to be labeled as popular music for a time before becoming the museum piece it has gradually settled into (at least within the broader popular conscience). Rather than pushing boundaries, jazz musicians became content exploring already-charted territory, honing their skills on existing sounds and styles rather than looking to create their own.

While the previous generation of black musicians largely found their voice in rap and hip hop, putting their own voice and artistic stamp overtop samples of the previous generation's musical statements, today's artists seem to seek a more holistic approach by incorporating some sixty plus years of musical traditions into a fresh amalgamation that could potentially serve as a cultural re-entry point into genres long since relegated to the halls of academia.

Fortunately, a new breed of jazz-influenced musicians are seeing fit to explore the music's once seemingly endless possibilities, developing a new vocabulary that incorporates a myriad contemporaries styles and ideas alongside the traditional notions of what jazz could or should be.

Making a clear point to distance himself from the a cappella work for which his father is most famous, the younger McFerrin shrouds his compositions on his debut album, Early Riser in a wide range of contemporary and throwback sonic textures that simultaneously look to the past for inspiration and the future for direction. Largely eschewing vocals, McFerrin lets his instrumental chops do the talking, crafting lush soundscapes via his various keyboards within which he then incorporates a number of hip hop-indebted touches.

Skittering beats, odd synth textures and hushed, bedroom vocals all compete for supremacy, entering and exiting the mix in a gauzily lysergic manner that lends the music an organic, undulating feel. Inhabiting the same sonic terrain as fellow jazz-progeny Flying Lotus, opening track "Postpartum" plays with the titular theme, creating a very specific mood tinged with melancholy as the surrounding music plays like a 21st century take on the CTI label's best mid-'70s efforts.

Utilizing the talents of like-minded contemporaries Robert Glasper, Thundercat and Marcus Gilmore on "Already There", McFerrin dives headlong into a modern creative approach to contemporary jazz, utilizing elements of the genre's mid-'70s commercial peak alongside contemporary sonic textures and motifs. This is music that operates at the crossroads of jazz, hip-hop and contemporary R&B, becoming the logical extension of the black musical experience, incorporating the past, present and future into what could, along with a number of contemporary releases from like-minded artists (Glapser and Thundercat included), serve as the vanguard for a new creative movement and a revitalization of a long-dormant American art form.

One of the briefest tracks on the album, "4 am" is also one of the more overtly throwback jazz tracks here, featuring a skittering drum beat and gentle Rhodes line before fading back into the 21st century with "Stepps". Featuring a mechanized drum beat and shimmering synth lines that create a disorientating effect as the world moves in and out of focus, the progression of "Stepps" as a track is sharpened by the arrival of keys and a more consistent rhythm, both of which help lock everything back into focus.

Of the other featured musicians present here, RYAT's guest vocal on "Place in My Heart" is one of the more compelling. Possessing a Björk-like tonality in her vocals and phrasing, RYAT's coupling with McFerrin's Radiohead meets Alain Goraguer circa La Planete Sauvage arrangements, results in a highly rewarding listening experience. One of many subtle successes on Early Riser, "Place in My Heart" leaves the listener hoping for a future pairing of these two.

Coming far enough into the album to have created a buffer between the work of this emerging artist and his established vocalist father, the younger McFerrin uses the penultimate track "Invisible Visible" to showcase his vocal skills, emulating the work of his more famous father as he skillfully navigates a wordless vocal passage that descends into a shuffling, fluttering jazz groove with prominent double bass work behind his tasteful piano statements. It's a clear acknowledgement of his roots, embracing the jazz idiom and looking to move it into a new, more vital (and perhaps even commercially viable) form.

Closing track "PLS DNT LSTN" features frantic drumming, a distorted bass prominently exploring a melodic figure and McFerrin's rock solid keyboard work. The result is a highly celebratory and revelatory conclusion to an album full of subtle surprises. With McFerrin and this latest crop of open, creative minds exploring the hallowed halls of jazz, there seems to be hope the form can and will continue to exist and evolve with society, remaining a relevant and integral art form on the musical and cultural landscape.
John Paul / popMATTERS

Mavis Staples ‎– We Get By (2019)

Genre: Funk / Soul
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Anti-

Tracklist:
01.   Change
02.   Anytime
03.   We Get By
04.   Brothers And Sisters
05.   Heavy On My Mind
06.   Sometime
07.   Never Needed Anyone
08.   Stronger
09.   Chance On Me
10.   Hard To Leave
11.   One More Change

Credits:
Bass – Jeff Turmes
Drums – Stephen Hodges
Guitar – Rick Holmstrom
Backing Vocals – C.C. White, Laura Mace
Vocals – Donny Gerrard, Mavis Staples
Producer – Ben Harper

Legendary R&B and gospel singer and activist Mavis Staples has spent her career utilising her voice to spread a message. Since her time with The Staple Singers, she has been an advocate for social justice. While Staples is blessed with an outstanding solo voice, she has always been a proponent of artistic collaboration. Over her entire career, and for her past few musical projects especially, with great results, she has enlisted the assistance of a slew of incredible, big-name artists to carry her message as far as musically possible. We Get By continues Staples’ streak of teamwork — for this album, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ben Harper supplied the songs and the production. The result of this duo is a memorable and timely collection of songs that carries an appeal for change.

From the opening riff on “Change”, We Get By invokes vintage American blues. Bare-bones, 12-bar blues tracks are the base from which Staples’ voice and Harper’s songwriting and production build upon throughout a bulk of this collaborative effort. “Anytime” is an undeniably groovy blues rock track that is impossible to get out of one’s head. The majority of the album stays in this lane, and while that opens up the possibility of the music growing grey and muddied, We Get By successfully avoids being overwrought. No song on the album reaches beyond the five-minute barrier, and the instrumentation and Staples’ voice exude enough life to continuously keep any part of the album from feeling superfluous.

“Stronger” is a good-old-fashioned, dirty R&B song, fit with lyrical references to biblical tales and a monstrous climax of lead and backing vocals. It’s heightened by raucous, strong bass, guitars, and drums. The song “Chance on Me” comes after, and while not as energetic as its predecessor, melds blues guitars and soul vocals as well as any song on the entire album.

“Heavy on my Mind” is the most elegiac of We Get By’s collection — the atmospheric song features only vocals and downtrodden guitar (with the exception of a sparingly used tambourine) — fearful of lingering too long on melancholy, the terrific, heart-racing rocker “Sometime” immediately follows.

While We Get By does focus mainly on the blues, Staples and Harper avoid monotony with some tracks that, while equally within the realm of 1970s influence, move a bit outside the strict blues genre used on so many of the other songs. The use of conga drums and smooth, bouncy guitar and bass lines, makes “Brothers and Sisters” We Get By’s funkiest song and a track that would feel at home on a Parliament album. Further expanding on the musical range of the album, the titular track features Donny Gerrard (of Skylark) on lead vocals, and is the album’s beautiful introduction to its soul music influence that shows itself on later songs like “Never Needed Anyone” and “Hard to Leave”. The album closes with the powerful “One More Change”. The song is the soulful farewell that We Get By deserves, setting sights towards the future.

The sound on We Get By is made to sound larger than its humble R&B tracks might initially lead one to assume – via the backing vocals laden throughout the record to highlight and bolster Staples already otherworldly voice. And that really is what sets this album apart from being just another revivalist blues record with a message — Harper understands that his compositions and production cannot outshine Mavis Staples on a song, and on We Get By he wisely chooses not to sonically overwhelm the listener by heavy-handedly inserting himself into the album. Instead, Harper has written and produced We Get By to assist in showcasing Staples as much as possible.

There is a remarkably warm tone to everything on this album, and the music presented is the same music that rises from dark basement bars in the southern United States and forces passersby to stop what they are doing and listen, and breathe. We Get By is a simple album. There are no songs that reinvent the wheel or push the boundaries of blues and soul. Because of this, everything on the album feels classic.

The music on We Get By perfectly accompanies the Gordon Parks photo that serves as the album’s cover. Just as Parks utilised his art to comment upon the contemporary reality of America, Staples and Harper are attempting to do the same — this is an album that’s enveloped in the complicated and frustratingly stagnant process of progressive change. And while Staples and Harper use We Get By as a means to reflect upon the challenging contemporary American moment and the changes still necessary to be made in order for the country to achieve something better for itself and its people, it is an album that is assuredly full of hope.
Evan Welsh / Sungenre

Michael Brook ‎– Cobalt Blue (1992)

Style: Ambient, Drone, Space-Age
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Virgin, 4AD, Rough Trade

Tracklist:
01.   Shona Bridge
02.   Breakdown
03.   Red Shift
04.   Skip Wave
05.   Slipstream
06.   Andean
07.   Slow Breakdown
08.   Ultramarine
09.   Urbana
10.   Lakbossa
11.   Ten
12.   Hawaii

Credits:
Arranged By  – Brian Eno
Producer – Michael Brook
Vocals – Ben Arion, Jo Burgess
Violin – Nell Catchpole, Hahn Rowe
Keyboards, Acoustic Percussion, Fan Drum, Bells – James Pinker
Accordion, Piano, Vibraphone – Roger Eno
Composed By – Brian Eno, Michael Brook
Synthesizer (All DX7 Voices) – Brian Eno, Michael Brook
Guitar, Infinite Guitar, Synthesizer, Buzz Bass, Bass, Snare – Michael Brook

Recorded in collaboration with luminaries including Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, Cobalt Blue possesses a depth and complexity which standard ambient recordings lack. Much more than a mere showcase for the technical wizardry of Michael Brook's signature "infinite guitar" sound, the album absorbs a vast range of influences spanning from Middle Eastern rhythms to spaghetti western soundtracks to forge a series of shimmering dreamscapes as provocative as they are evocative.
Jason Ankeny / AllMusic

Saturday, 24 October 2020

Flanger ‎– Outer Space / Inner Space (2001)

Style: Trip Hop, Future Jazz
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Ninja Tune 

Tracklist:
1.   Outer Space / Inner Space
2.   Galak
3.   The Men Who Fell From Earth
4.   Inner Spacesuit
5.   Le Dernier Combat
6.   Unosietecero
7.   It Ain't Rocket Science
8.   Hirnflug

Credits:
Composed By – Flanger
Double Bass – August Engkilde
Electric Bass – Toly Ramirez
Electric Guitar – Josef Suchy
Guitar – Jorge Gonzalez
Percussion – Claudio Ortuzar, Ernesto Artunez
Additional Percussion – Argenis Brito
Saxophone – Thomas Hass
GuVibraphone – Carsten Skov
Flanger Are – Atom™, Burnt Friedman

It's jazz, Jim, but not as we know it....Flanger's two previous records on Ntone recast early 1970s spacey jazz fusion as the product of a software engineers fantasy. Blurring the lines between what's been played and what's been digitally generated, Burnt Friedman and Uwe Schmidt's music was playful, eartickling and occasionally ridiculously funky. Friedman's solo work in particular (check 1999s wonderful Con itmo) has been playing with notions of real and cyber musicianship, forcing crisp, funk derived drum patterns into hyperspeed blurs that Jack DeJohnette would be hard pressed to replicate.

Inner Space takes things a bit further by introducing real instruments into the mix, courtesy of a bunch of Latin American rhythm players and Danish soloists. The resulting brew is warmer and more organic than previous outings; Thomas Hass's tenor and Carsten Skov's vibes provide a harmonic sophistication and coherence lacking in Schmidt and Friedmann's limited keyboard skills, leaving the duo to concentrate on providing texturally rich and rhythmically propulsive backdrops, which is after all what they're best at. The music here is in a constant state of flux; sonically incredibly rich and marrying warm Zawinul-esque Fender Rhodes piano with digital glitches, dubby atmospherics, intricate layers of percussion and Friedmans trademark drum manipulations.

The second half of "La Dernier Combat" drags the propulsive funk of Herbie Hancocks Thrust into the 21st century with a ferocious slap bass and percussion dialogue topped off by fat analogue synth riffs, while the opening "Outer Space/Inner Space" is possibly the strongest track, mainly due to Hass's probing tenor explorations which dig deep into Friedmann's intricate rhythmic matrix. Elsewhere the single "Inner Spacesuit" is a clavinet soaked groovathon, while the closing "Himflug" suggests the MJQ as the inhouse band on board a Cuban space station. Flanger's strongest suit is their refusal to lazily appropriate notions of jazz cool in the manner of many of the so called 'Nu Jazz outfits'. Theirs is a brave new world where the tenor saxophone and the Powerbook can sit happily alongside each other in a virtual jam session. (Inner)Space is the Place.
Peter Marsh / BBC Review

Lloyd Miller ‎– A Lifetime In Oriental Jazz (2009)

Genre: Jazz, Classical, Folk, World, & Country
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Jazzman

Tracklist:
01.   Gol-e Gandom (Wheat Flowers) 
02.   Gozel Guzler (Amber Eyes) 
03.   Le Grand Bidou 
04.   Bizz-aire 
05.   Gozel Guzler (version II) 
06.   Gol-e Gandom (version II) 
07.   Indo-European Improvisations 
08.   Hue Wail 
09.   Chant Inca 
10.   Impressions of Bhairava Raga 
11.   Khamaj 
12.   Gol-e Gandom (version III) 
13.   Impressions of Bhairavi Raga
14.   Shur Thing

Credits:
Electric Bass – Alain Melet
Upright Bass – Henri Texier
Darbukka – Stan Wood
Saxophone Tenor – Pierre Caron
Tar – Amir Koushkani
Tabla – George Grant
Bass – Don West, Tom Burton, Steve Stout, Mark Deutsch
Piano – Jef Gilson, Preston "Press Keys" Kies
Saxophone Soprano – Alain Tabar-Nouval, Mike Johnson
Drums – Pierre-Alain Dahan, Dick Beeson, Ken Breinholt, Alan Russek, Shirzad Sharif
Tabla, Sarod, Whistle, Micro Organ, Cornet, Oud, Clarinet, Santur, Zarb, Piano, Drums, Tampura – Lloyd Miller

Awesome spiritual, modal & ethnic jazz from the pioneer of the genre, Lloyd Miller!

This is the definitive anthology of pioneering ethno-musicologist, mystical adventurer and real life jazz guru Dr Lloyd Miller on Jazzman! This album tells the fascinating life story of one man and his journey through Europe and the Middle East, living off nothing but his wits, talent and an open-minded attitude towards music and jazz. Master of dozens of languages and hundreds of instruments, Miller has spent fifty years immersed in the music of Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Featuring recordings taken from incredibly rare privately pressed albums, live sessions in Europe, and previously unreleased material, A Lifetime in Oriental Jazz tells the story of his extraordinary personal journey from the West Coast to the Far East. Played on a plethora of exotic instruments from around the world, Miller's music is a unique blend of jazz with the modal and spiritual sounds of traditional Asian and Middle Eastern music. Spiritual jazz, Eastern jazz - direct from the source!

Available on deluxe heavyweight limited vinyl and compact disc with digitally remastered sound, previously unreleased material, 16 page colour CD booklet with in-depth liner notes from Jazzman's original interviews, photographs and scans of Miller’s private press LPs liner notes and unseen archive photos.