Saturday, 28 March 2020

larápio – gatafunhos (2020)

Style: Avantgarde, Experimental, Drum 'n' Bass, Ambient
Label: Not On Label

01.   gatafunho 6
02.   gatafunho 2
03.   gatafunho 4
04.   gatafunho  7
05.   gatafunho 10
06.   gatafunho 5
07.   gatafunho 8
08.   gatafunho 3
09.   gatafunho 9
10.   gatafunho 13

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Roger Eno And Brian Eno ‎– Mixing Colours (2020)

Style: Ambient, Neoclassical
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Deutsche Grammophon

01.   Spring Frost
02.   Burnt Umber
03.   Celeste
04.   Wintergreen
05.   Obsidian
06.   Blonde
07.   Dark Sienna
08.   Verdigris
09.   Snow
10.   Rose Quartz
11.   Quicksilver
12.   Ultramarine
13.   Iris
14.   Cinnabar
15.   Desert Sand
16.   Deep Saffron
17.   Cerulean Blue
18.   Slow Movement: Sand

Keyboards – Roger Eno
Programmer, Sound Designer, Producer – Brian Eno
All Tracks Written By – Brian Eno, Roger Eno

As a sound tinkerer and a leading pioneer of ambient music, Brian Eno has always been a musician widening spatiotemporal tonal boundaries to create exceptionally beautiful tapestries of sound. Heavily influenced by the transformative and cosmic sonority of some of his German contemporaries such as Tangerine Dream, Ash Ra Tempel, Cluster, Harmonia, or Popol Vuh he began his journey of exploring recreative sonic spaces in 1975 with Discreet Music. Three years later Brian Eno released his seminal album Ambient 1: Music For Airports coining the term ambient music in its liner notes by explicating that "an ambience is defined as an atmosphere or a surrounding influence: a tint". 
This definition perfectly sets the scene for his latest work Mixing Colours in which he collaborated with his younger brother, pianist Roger Eno, who is also a notable figure in ambient music. Both started working together in 1983 on Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks for some compositions alongside with musician and producer Daniel Lanois. In return, Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois produced Roger's 1985 debut album Voices. So it's not the first time that the Eno brothers collaborate. But it is their first-ever duo album they created jointly as a whole. 
In all 18 tracks on Mixing Colours, they explore the very nature of emotive music and invite listeners to immerse themselves in the infinite space and calmness of their tonal meditations. Like good wine, the material on the album grew over many years. The reciprocal creative process for Mixing Colours started back in 2005 with Roger recording individual synthesizer compositions and fragments of songs he then sent to Brian, who digitally decomposed his brother's ideas and arranged them in new ways for giving each one its individual sound world. "We weren't directing this towards an end result – it was like a back-and-forth conversation we were having over a 15-year period. […] The idea for a full album emerged as the number of pieces kept increasing, and the results kept being interesting. It's something that neither of us could have arrived at alone," says Roger recapitulating the album's birth.

With its concept of color-related song titles, Mixing Colours offers a genuine collection of reflective and very introspective songs whose phantasmal but aesthetically pleasing atmosphere seems to resonate transcendental, Apollonian moods from far-away strange worlds. Contrasting its title, the album's elegant opener "Spring Frost" immediately transports you in a prismatic cloud full of contemplation and relief. Roger and Brian carefully take their time to develop their complementing tonal language. Softly shimmering, layered keyboard notes and a harmonizing background ostinato melt together slowly in perfect harmony. Just like watching the color composition of a well-balanced painting, the long sounding notes give you the illusion of time being completely dissolved. This track nicely reflects the prevailing mood on Mixing Colours. 
"Burnt Umber" unexpectedly features the sound of reverb-laden chimes echoing long into the acoustic space. Together with a sequenced bass ostinato, the track conveys a haunting mood that is absolutely incomprehensible. If there is an epitome of loveliness on the album, then it is the stunning and dreamy "Celeste". Again, the Eno brothers exemplify masterly how to create magical compositions full of tranquility. There is a numinous quality in it when the song's soft piano and keyboard melodies sprinkle some spots of sparkling colors on the atmospheric electronics. When listening to "Celeste", you are instantly housed in a relaxing comfort zone of acoustic cotton wool. Thus, the track's programmatic title referring to the Spanish word for sky-blue and everything related to the sky is well chosen. 
Equally enlightening is "Obsidian". Here, the journey continues solely with the sound of a church organ generating an almost reverential, spiritual feel by fusing the dichotomy between the sacred motet and the profane madrigal. The lucid shining piano solo pieces "Blonde", "Dark Sienna", "Snow", and "Iris" (the only title not referring to a specific color) are outstanding examples of Roger's overwhelming minimalism oscillating amongst Franz Schubert's wistful melodic style and the romantic slowness of Erik Satie. Every note is placed carefully to achieve a maximum of transparent spatial impact. Although Roger is the primary musician in these relatively short pieces, they are full of references to Brian's iconic works with Harold Budd.

"Verdigris" and "Cerulean Blue" basically utilize the same musical motifs as the opener "Spring Frost". All of these subtle variations communicate a slightly different temper. Probably this is most recognizable in "Cerulean Blue" featuring a divine sounding carillon. This kind of sublime spacious quality also underpins tracks like "Quicksilver" and "Deep Saffron", both unfolding as a musical rendering of freedom. Every time you follow these compositions, you will be rewarded with a different listening experience, always resulting in contemplative calmness. In this regard, Mixing Colours represents a refreshing antithesis of today's accelerated times. 
To underpin the calming effects of the music, Brian Eno produced a series of short films for seven out of 18 tracks in cooperation with musician and software designer Peter Chilvers. All films were shot from a train window, and all of them move softly with the music capturing its essence. Unsurprisingly, most parts of this album came into existence while traveling with trains. "I can sit there with my computer and headphones, and these pieces are absolutely perfect train music for me," says Brian Eno. 
All 18 compositions on Mixing Colours "are very impressionistic and very much to do with sonic quality, sonic color," Brian adds. This kaleidoscope of colors, minimalistic sounds, and levitating textures result in a kind of imaginative synaesthesia constituting a deep feeling of oneness. The oceanic quality in this otherworldly music is always present. In this regard, Brian and Roger Eno's Deutsche Grammophon debut represents a refreshing antithesis of today's harsh and accelerated times.
Dominik Kautz / popMATTERS

Camberwell Now ‎– All's Well (2006)

Style: Art Rock, Avantgarde, Post-Punk
Format: CD
Label: ReR Megacorp, RecRec Music

01.   Cutty Sark
02.   Pearl Divers
03.   Spirit Of Dunkirk
04.   Resplash
05.   Daddy Needs A Throne
The Ghost Trade
06.   Working Nights
07.   Sitcom
08.   Wheat Futures
09.   Speculative Fiction
10.   Green Lantern
11.   The Ghost Trade
12.   Greenfingers
13.   Mystery Of The Fence
14.   Know How
15.   Element Unknown

Bass, Guitar, Percussion, Ehru  – Trefor Goronwy
Tape, Autoharp – Steve Rickard
Voice – Charles Hayward, Trefor Goronwy
Drums, Keyboards, Lyrics By – Charles Hayward
Producer, Music By – The Camberwell Now

Following the dissolution of This Heat in the early 1980s, drummer Charles Hayward and bassist Trefor Goronwy recruited the group's sound technician, Stephan Rickard, for a new, more song-oriented band. Camberwell Now subverted the standard rock trio format by delegating the role of electric guitar to Rickard's "tape switchboard," lending the band's music textural depth and spatial complexity. 
Starting off with the Syd Barrett-esque "Cutty Sark," the four songs from 1984's Meridian EP lack the unstoppable drive that would mark Camberwell Now's future work, though "Spirit of Dunkirk" makes a memorable hook out of a nasally whine. 
There's a marked difference between Meridian and Camberwell Now's only LP, The Ghost Trade (1986), a shot of adrenaline that is foreshadowed in the punkish cassette-only compilation track "Daddy Needs a Throne." With atmospheric synths and tape loops filling the guitar's role, and melodies that are haunting but frequently elusive, the forward momentum throughout The Ghost Trade is sustained by Hayward's propulsive drumming and Goronwy's dexterous, multilayered bass playing. 
Rickard's tape work is at turns ethereal and unsettling, and it allows the band to intermingle British folk and 20th century experimental music with great success. In fact, when the powerhouse rhythm section settles down, the hypnotic and eerie loops keep up the pace, preventing exploratory tracks like "Wheat Futures" from becoming too ponderous.The Ghost Trade is a superb summation of what makes the Canterbury-sprouted family tree such a fascinating world, worth tracing to the present-day practitioners of Rock in Opposition. 
All's well that ends well, and Camberwell Now's contribution to music ends very well: The Greenfingers EP comprises the band's catchiest work ("Know How" is, to use a well-worn cliché, Beatle-esque) and the listener is left wanting more. (Actually, there is more: "For Those in Peril on the Sea," an art installation soundtrack that was featured on a Sub Rosa compilation, is not included on All's Well.) 
Ad Hoc has cleaned up Camberwell Now's recordings for this collection, demystifying the original vinyl releases and thus diluting their power to some extent. Even so, All's Well. is a thought-provoking document of 1980s post-punk Britain, as well as a fitful epilogue to the work of This Heat.
Brad Glanden / All About Jazz

Mikel Rouse - Blaine L. Reininger - Broken Consort ‎– Colorado Suite & A Walk In The Woods / MTM VOL. 3 & 6 (1989)

Style: Modern Classical, Minimal
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Made To Measure, Crammed Discs

        Colorado Suite
01.   Mikel Rouse & Blaine L. Reininger - Side Wind
02.   Mikel Rouse & Blaine L. Reininger - Windy Outside
03.   Mikel Rouse & Blaine L. Reininger - West Wind
04.   Mikel Rouse & Blaine L. Reininger - Sun Study
        A Walk In The Woods
05.   Mikel Rouse Broken Consort - Friendship '84
06.   Mikel Rouse Broken Consort - Big Pine II
07.   Mikel Rouse Broken Consort - Airland 2000
08.   Mikel Rouse Broken Consort - Hardfall
09.   Mikel Rouse Broken Consort - Winter In Wyoming
10.   Mikel Rouse Broken Consort - The Eloquent Dissenter
11.   Mikel Rouse Broken Consort - A Walk In The Woods

Bass, Double Bass, Synthesizer – James Bergman
Bassoon – Ethan Silverman
Clarinet – David Krakauer
Drum Programming – Mikel Rouse
Drum Programming], Synthesizer, Violin – Blaine L. Reininger
Oboe – Susan Barrett
Saxophone Soprano – Phillip Johnston
Synthesizer – Mikel Rouse
Trumpet – Charles Bumcrot
Violin, Viola – Susan Shumway
Composed By, Arranged By – Mikel Rouse
Producer – Julie Baer, Mikel Rouse

Barry Adamson ‎– The Negro Inside Me (1993)

Style: Breakbeat, Acid Jazz
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Mute, Intercord Record Service

1.   The Snowball Effect
2.   Dead Heat
3.   Busted (Michaelangelo Version)
4.   Cold Black Preach
5.   Je T'Aime...Moi Non Plus
6.   A Perfectly Natural Union

Strings Arranged By, Conducted – Bill McGee
Additional Beats, Sounds – Atticus Ross
Guitar – Ken Low
Saxophone – Joe Sax
Vocals – Louise Ness
Additional Programming, Beats, Sounds – Ivor Guest
Hammond Organ, Piano, Wah Wah Guitar – Seamus Beaghend
Written By, Arranged By, Performer, Producer – Barry Adamson
Recorded By, Mixed By – John Hudson