Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Mama!Milk ‎– Fragrance of Notes (2008)

Genre: Contemporary Jazz
Format: CD, FLAC
Label: Windbell

01.   Kujaku
02.   Antique Gold
03.   Hourglass
04.   The Moon
05.   Intermezzo, Op.32
06.   Avant Fermentation
07.   Anise
08.   Rosa Mundi
09.   Smoky Dawn
10.   Rosa Moschata
11.   Two Ripples
12.   Mano Seca
13.   Sometime Sweet
14.   Waltz, Waltz

Accordion – Yuko Ikoma
Contrabass – Kosuke Shimizu
Drums – Tsutom Kurihara
Flute, Trombone – Yuichi Inobori
Piano – Takeo Toyama
Theremin – Gak Sato

Music is causal and intoxicating. Memories of burning hearts may be scorched with a slight face. I was reviewing the album "Gala de Caras" about 5 years ago. (Although I listened to it every night.) It was supposed that I would start listening to it at a volume that echoed in the groove, but the recollection ran through my body automatically, and almost finished my breath. 
The new album, "Fragrance of Notes," was a different plot that scared me.
Wasn't Mozart's usual practice the uplifting that floated and sank slowly to the extremes of sadness? 
Suppression and fluctuation.
Maturity and lightheadedness. 
Music reminiscent of the abundance of heavily dripping fruits.
A gentle lyrical sensation causes chest excitement. 
The new ensemble is thrilling, where the concentration of air and the flow of time are agitated, turning the instrument into a supple body. The swell of an accordion that looks like a red belly and confuses people. The functions of the contrabass and keyboard that are greeted seem to be protected, but rather painful, and it seems that the tones will be carried to somewhere in danger. I'm sure that while listening to it, various thoughts will sprinkle the time spent with this album in a sloppy manner and spin it densely. Don't listen to this music on the bare side. Fine liquor goes well with the finest music.
(By the way, this is the sake and snacks I would like to accompany this album.
Smoked white wine in oak barrels, honey-filled pears and Gorgonzola tart. Alternatively, for spicy red wine, cream cheese that has been soaked for 3 and a half days in a miso floor that mixes white miso from Kyoto and red miso from Tokyo in half. Or fine chocolate, just before melting. )

Lucrecia Dalt ‎– Anticlines (2018)

Style: Experimental
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Rvng Intl.

01.   Edge
02.   Altra
03.   Tar
04.   Atmospheres Touch
05.   Errors Of Skin
06.   Analogue Mountains
07.   Axis Excess
08.   Indifferent Universe
09.   Concentric Nothings
10.   Hello Tanz
11.   Glass Brain
12.   Liminalidad
13.   Eclipsed Subject
14.   Antiform

Over the past decade, the albums of Colombian musician Lucrecia Dalt have moved steadily away from playfully experimental indie pop into increasingly deeper levels of abstraction. There was a marked shift between 2009’s tuneful Congost—released under a previous alias, the Sound of Lucrecia—and 2012’s murkier Commotus, whose abiding sense of mystery recalled Argentina’s Juana Molina. By 2013’s more electronic Syzygy, her songwriting began to feel like it was tracing the shape of overgrown ruins; melodies jutted to the surface only to be subsumed again in drifting synths and thickets of reverb. 
On Anticlines, her sixth album, the former geotechnical engineer’s metamorphosis is complete. Anticlines takes the scraped drones and ethereal tone clusters of 2015’s Ou and distills them into cryptic miniatures reminiscent of the spectral frequencies summoned decades ago by Daphne Oram, of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. The palette is suggestive of rubbed wineglass rims, faraway theremins, fields of crickets; it is punctuated by small, dissonant explosions of what might be guitar or a plaintive pump organ. Silence yawns: “Concentric Nothings” is fashioned out of what sounds like a quarter spinning to rest on the floor of a vast, empty chamber, while “Axis Excess” isolates a sound that could be stalactites dripping. The beats, when they occur, are slow, metallic pulses loosely rooted in coldwave and industrial music, though that link feels more like an accidental byproduct of her electronic tools than anything she might have intended. Nothing about Anticlines could be construed as a genre exercise. Quite the opposite: The album’s aesthetic is so singular that it feels like something she has dreamed into being. 
Anticlines would be fascinating enough had she left it at that: an exploration of strange, mercurial ambient music with a mind of its own. But what makes this a truly special record is its vocal dimension. A world away from her singing style on previous albums, Dalt’s performance here combines captivating spoken-word passages with subtle vocal processing that sounds like the product of a chromed larynx. Just six of the album’s 14 tracks foreground vocals, but they comprise the record’s emotional and conceptual core. Her lyrics draw upon the language of geoscience and quantum physics—“Glass Brain” nods to the Boltzmann brain paradox, the theory that the universe might be a self-aware system—to unpack metaphysical questions about the nature of being. Those queries double as ruminations on the poetics of boundaries and the limits of communication itself. “Could it be found in errors of skin/Could it be found in gardens of dust,” she asks in “Errors of Skin,” seeking the secret of existence in a concatenation of things (“masses of big,” “leanings of self,” “multiples of stupor”) whose curious grammar suggests the divine hand of an artificial intelligence. 
On the opening “Edge,” she speaks from the perspective of el Boraro, a mythological beast said to suck out his victims’ insides and then, blowing through a hole he has pierced in the tops of their skulls, fill them full of air and send them on their way. There’s so much going on here that it’s almost dizzying. There’s the clinical nature of her musing, which is something like the opposite of body horror (“What does the body want except to pass blood through tiny vessels and keep the whole shape intact?”). There’s the unmistakably erotic tenor of the way she enters her interlocutor, pressing against “the inside of your navel, the slippery side of your throat.” And then there’s the sound of her voice itself: a strange, zig-zagging sing-song at once reassuring and unsettling. 
There are hints of Laurie Anderson’s incantatory style in her measured tone, but Dalt’s diction is unique. Rushing and slowing unexpectedly, her voice moves like eddying floodwaters seeking a vacuum to fill. In the background, hard-panned clusters of tones sound more like pools of light than notes; a high whine could be air escaping from a leak. The album’s title refers to a kind of geological formation, but Anticlines has more in keeping with the properties of matter as it shifts from liquid to gas and back: It’s an album full of interstitial forms that flicker in between fixed states, and its magic lies in that liminal no-man’s-land.
Philip Sherburne / Pitchfork 

Lucrecia Dalt ‎– Syzygy (2013)

Style: Experimental, Ambient
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Human Ear Music

1.   Glosolalia
2.   Inframince
3.   Soliloquios
4.   Vitti
5.   Levedad
6.   Volavérunt
7.   Edgewise
8.   Murmur
9.   Mirage

Upon introducing her Guest Mix, “en medio,” Lucrecia Dalt left a number of clues concerning the role of film in her music. Through describing its placement in the mix and the impact certain classics had on her third album, Syzygy, she explained that “these movies became the external shifter elements, the vectors of disorientation, guides to other moods.” As opposed to subjective depictions of scenes or images that the Colombian musician may have found affecting, their association had more to do with subtle characteristics, calculated movements, and the camera’s direction, all of which pointed Dalt toward a modified space, a new way of seeing. Her technique allowed for realigning compositional objectives while investigating the environmental adjustments that effected the sound quality — Syzygy was recorded in Dalt’s Barcelona apartment, which was so close to the metro line that she was forced to work at 04:30 AM to avoid outside interference. The resulting tracks expose a range of textures and emotions, a consequence of interrupted sleep patterns and an intriguing approach to the films that influenced the musical arrangements 
Dalt isn’t alone in reflecting cinematic experiences within her music; a recent example came from Commotus affiliate Julia Holter, who based Loud City Song on an appreciation of Vincente Minelli’s 1958 musical, Gigi. Both musicians are renowned for their home recordings, and they share a great deal stylistically — it just happens to be a coincidence that they are releasing film-influenced material within weeks of each other. Following an announcement that they would also be sharing a stage on the European leg of Holter’s tour, it seemed as though their connection may extend beyond artistic collaboration and taste, perhaps beckoning for the consideration of additional similarities in recorded output. But by emphasizing the differences that exist in their relationship with film, the further apart they begin to appear and the more distinct Dalt’s methods become. 
Where Holter loosely interpreted a particular production, she was also influenced by Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette’s novel, on which the film was based. Her interest came grounded in the story’s narrative and the manner in which each character was projected into their surroundings. With Syzygy, Dalt is inspired by the non-linear, in reversing processes, of finding a way into every conversation and investigating the messages within. The technique implicates a balance of control where the musician permits moving imagery to infiltrate her creative spectrum and pursue its own refracted course. This leads to deeply intensified responses, an inter-splicing of language that’s set on a unique trajectory — Dalt melds Spanish, English, and Catalan in a fusion impinged upon by personal anxieties and a deep-seated literary enthusiasm, where numerous pieces of writing by Benjamin, Weber, Calvino, Duchamp, and Peter J. Carroll run through her aesthetic strategy as well as the multilingual lyric sheet. 
Syzygy feels more like a meshing of affiliations, a disclosure of how dialogue scraps and seemingly unrelated philosophical observation have stirring significance. Where musician’s such as Holter channel that directly into their music (in a gorgeous rendition, “Maxim’s I” takes a scene straight from Gigi’s plot), Dalt manipulates the setup, either by turning the sound off and watching for hidden expressions, looping clips back and forth, or even displacing the discourse entirely. This leads to avid transformation on a song such as “Vitti,” which she indicated was a dedication to the actress, Monica Vitti, for her role in Deserto Rosso. The track opens with keys that swirl and skip between Dalt’s breathy vocals before the bass strings sink in, dragging the track into an eerie realm that demonstrates a departure from the haunted sheen of Commotus and into an environment that exudes both passion and mystery. During the film, Vitti’s character, Giuliana, comes to terms with drastic alterations in her day-to-day life (director Michelangelo Antonioni mirrored this adjustment in his first color production to explore the possibilities of new equipment, which enabled him to capture the “ultimate moving painting”). As a listener, it’s troublesome trying to pinpoint the root of Dalt’s influence (personal crisis? socio-economic change?), but there is a key moment when Giuliana is narrating a story to her son and describes the following landscape: a deserted beach where nature’s colors were so lovely, where there was no sound and the rocks resembled flesh. A lone, singing voice then pours over Antonioni’s pristine abandon; it’s a marvelous moment of clarity that’s surely responsible for breaking “Vitti” into separate halves. 
Instead of pursuing a film’s linear narrative by musical interpretation, then, Dalt allowed messages and sentiments to tap into her sound, where they bled through into reality: sleepless nights, integrated memory recall, and a corrosive disconnect with her instruments of choice. These experiences occurred in a personal space — standing on a noisy balcony and listening to Felix Kubin’s “Der Bleiche Beobachter,” a distant recollection of driving between Colombia and Ecuador, laying down tracks in her apartment as opposed to in a recording studio, coaxing out a tender quality that floods across the album. “My routine changes completely,” Dalt said in discussing her involvement with work and its ramifications in daily life, “dreams and thoughts become louder and more intense, conversations more enjoyable and graspable, ordinary walks become remarkable I’m able to materialize what besets consciousness, self-estrangement rises, as does my affectation.”

That’s why the album’s influences remain so striking. The philosophers and writers referenced throughout the three-page press release are there for a reason, which became apparent in the video for “Inframince”. Like the films she had explored, theoretical snippets and thought experiments leak into Dalt’s method. “Inframince” creeps very slowly into a singular melody as the singer whispers behind a backdrop of crackling condensation and delicate strings before the song builds into some dicey climax — there are traces of a voice left behind, but the uncertainty that drenches it is still perceptible no matter how one wishes to cast their glance. Dalt has taken Duchamp’s idea of the infrathin, of an undefinable difference that occurs in a fractional amount of time, and expressed it via her own intricate compositions, where key sequences fade in and out of each other, where an indescribable static nests beneath the music and refuses to shift. 
The album is an incarnation of such notions as they resounded in Dalt’s sleep-deprived state, unfolding across a scene from Sans Soleil with the sound off, or better yet, with an overlay of fractured synths and a metro electric field replacing the dialogue as it all takes on some new, contorted form. These moments come to life while flowing within the music; “Volaverunt,” for instance, is a particularly spirited offering and also the main offender in dealing humidity associations. The reverb clings to Dalt’s hushed vocals as she spills about mirages, fear, and the future — the track then slams into a split-second of fury, cutting into some wild, echoic haze. Mid-whisper, the throbbing bass strings reel the tune back at a quicker pace and force a complete reexamination of everything that vanished away beforehand — it couldn’t be further from the frantic prickle of “Glosolalia” in terms of structure and fragility; however, each piece bears a precise resemblance because of how beautifully the album is assembled. 
Syzygy is sewn tightly together with short interludes, fragments of ideas that bridge every track in a fashion that’s not necessarily comfortable, but that suits the stark thrill it induces. Each bares its own mark of intent; “Edgewise” is this reviewer’s favorite, as it carries the swampish funk of the previous track and laces it with simmering vocal vestige — Dalt’s voice is at its calmest before some shrill frequency peaks into “Murmur,” a jagged, flustering miniature that opens out into the album’s final, glorious surge. As an experiment that pulls on so many independent threads, from the secrets kept in Johan’s diary to a recollection of theories about variations in rationality, its context is bound up in the physical space Dalt chose to record in as well as the inspiring practices she brought to her approach. Syzygy is a delightful emergence, a torn and ruptured shard of apprehensions, desires, shadows, and passions, all of which cause an unsettling series of sparks that are as harsh and shrouded as they are warm and enrapturing. Dalt might have stripped her sound down to the bone here, but the remaining components make for a wondrously rich configuration, albeit a rather disturbing one.
Birkuit / Tiny Mix Tapes

Lucrecia Dalt ‎– Commotus (2012)

Style: Experimental, Ambient
Format: CD, Vinyl, FLAC
Label: Human Ear Music

01.   Saltación
02.   Escopolamina
02.   Turmoil
04.   Conversa
05.   Multitud
06.   Jet
07.   Esplendor
08.   Mohán
09.   Silencio
10.   Do I Dare Disturb Your Dreams
11.   Waste Of Shame
12.   Batholith
        Bonus Tracks
13.   Gudrun Gut - Saltación by Lucrecia Dalt (Remix)
14.   Ekkehard Ehlers - Conversa by Lucrecia Dalt (Remix)
15.   Jason Grier - Batholith by Lucrecia Dalt (Remix)
16.   papercutz - Escopolamina by Lucrecia Dalt (Remix)
17.   Woebot - Esplendor by Lucrecia Dalt (Remix)
18.   XHGC - Esplendor by Lucrecia Dalt (Remix)
19.   Los Amparito - Waste of Shame by Lucrecia Dalt (Remix)

Mastered By – Phillip Haut
Mixed By – Lucrecia Dalt
Producer, Written-By, Performer – Lucrecia Dalt

“I’m gonna go over and say ‘hi.’” 
Donna approaches the bar with her arms stretched back. 
Audrey runs a finger along the rim of her coffee cup and Angelo Badalamenti’s mystery pop pours from the jukebox in the corner of the RR Diner, Twin Peaks. The eccentric makeup of the score permeates the scene, wrapping itself in the vintage 80s café decor, the presence of the actresses, and the kookiness of the log lady spitting out her gum, or is it resin? With its steady bass and percussive finger-clicking, “Audrey’s Dance” completely engulfs the setting — the song becomes entwined in a fragile moment that melts a seal across the characters’ relationship. 
“I don’t know if [the songs] are haunted, but sometimes I just feel trapped in a certain image, or state, and the song should be developed in order to continue life.” 
That’s Lucrecia Dalt speaking to Adam Harper about her sophomore offering, Commotus. The conversation comes in the form of an essay, which Harper uses as a vessel to dwell on apocalyptic themes he pulls from the cover art. The picture in question frames a shot of the 1935 Texas Dust Bowl as some ferocious storm clouds rise above a farmhouse. Naturally, doom-laden association is beckoned by the image, but the interviewer drives at end-times as though they were symbolic to the music itself, which seems to glaze over the sonic layers of quirkiness and mischief that come nestled among feelings of trepidation and wonder. I like to think of Commotus as a soundtrack to the aftermath, where the dust has settled and people are beginning to evaluate livelihoods left behind: the reintroduction of routine to an exclusion zone. 
In addition, traces of Badalamenti’s delicate chords are audible in Dalt’s work. They linger most glaringly on songs such as “Silencio,” which features a bassline that follows “Freshly Squeezed” into an Aladdin’s cave of idiosyncrasy — in the case of the former, that manifests in creepy accordion keys; in the latter, handfuls of lascivious xylophonica. The rest of Commotus takes place somewhere in between those spaces, where Special Agent Dale Cooper unravels the murder mystery of a misunderstood youth in the city of Pripyat. Each track constructs a set of its very own that marries beauty and eeriness amid flawless harmonies and undaunted bass action, where mood is not so much as created, but rigorously etched onto an aerial slate like Spirograph graffiti on a wafer-thin tablet. This is a wispy adjustment for Dalt, who has vacated the sound of her debut from cautious electronic pop to a quarter that allows the dexterity of her songwriting to bloom among the cracks of her contemporaries. “Saltación” beautifully redefines Holly Herndon’s experiments with exhalation, while Julia Holter’s esprit emanates across a number of tracks, not only on the aforementioned “Silencio” where Holter guests on harmonium, but on the nervous hum of “Do I Dare Disturb Your Dreams” and the paint-isle ambivalence of “Batholith.” 
Wherever those influences stem from, the album is fascinating because its most cherished, spectral qualities are permitted to mingle with a textured friskiness, where the radiant sensuality of “Conversa” is balanced alongside the jarring ploy of “Multitud” and where the echoed finger clicking of “Esplendor” is accompanied by a generous helping of vocal purr. Dalt’s voice sounds remarkable, by the way, particularly when pressing her darkest lyrics: “I’ve been doing deals with the devil,” she confides over the subtle percussion underlay of “Turmoil.” “Yeah, I’ve been doing business with the devil.” Such moments amplify the Twin Peaks fixation somehow, that genial dicing of fine-spun skylarkery with outright horror, a portly fellow grooving down a school corridor and the announcement of Laura Palmer’s death on the principal’s PA system. Any feelings of warmth or comfort are kept at bay by the creepiness of what the material substantiates; it’s a difficult feat, but one that Dalt has achieved impeccably well. Commotus is an accomplished release that leads not towards a path of apocalyptic strife, but to a place both wonderful and strange.
BIRKUT / Tiny Mix Tapes

Gloria Coleman Ltd. ‎– Sings And Swings Organ (1971)

Style: Soul-Jazz
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Mainstream Records, Solid Records

A1.   Bugaloo For Ernie
A2.   Sunday, Monday, Or Always
A3.   Fungi Mama
A4.   You Better Go Now
A5.   Blues For Youse
B1.   Blue Bossa
B2.   Love Nest
B3.   Fly Me To The Moon

Drums – Charles Davis
Flugelhorn – Ray Copeland
Guitar – Earl T. Dunbar Jr
Tenor Saxophone – James Anderson
Trombone – Dick Griffin
Organ, Vocals – Gloria Coleman

Those who believe in the existence of the strict, commandment-enforcing organization called "the jazz police" also feel the veracity of the following story is unquestionable. One of the organization's strictest quartermasters was a mainstream jazz disc jockey whose voice was heard nightly across the length and breadth of Canada. It was his law that the second song of every jazz concert would have to be "Blue Bossa" by Kenny Dorham, otherwise a group would be found in violation of the jazz police. It was told that there was a version of this tune that had driven this man to tears, beyond his trivial dogma to a true understanding of the music. Gloria Coleman's Sings and Swings Organ, indeed, contains that version of "Blue Bossa," and it isn't even the best cut. That's only because over-familiarity is often easily vanquished by the thrill of digging up, by its dirty roots, something as obscure as a "Fungii Mama," a tremendous cover version of a Blue Mitchell tune. What better a monument to the concept of the jazz police than to this apparent heirloom released on a label actually called Mainstream. Genre fans will be familiar with the label and will be ready for the inevitable details of deterioration through the course of licensing and reissue deals. One track was somehow lopped off the already short playing time of this session on some of the later releases, as was the credit for guitarist Ted Dunbar. In the former case it is a particularly lousy decision; there is no reason to lose "Blues for Youse," an extemporization by this thrilling organist that shows off the chops of drummer Charles Davis -- no relation to the baritone saxophonist from the Sun Ra band. Through the entire program, which includes well-chosen standards and "Bugaloo for Ernie," another of Coleman's churning jam concoctions, the gutsy momentum of an organ-based rhythm section is provided with the additional harmonic interest of guitar and horns. Dunbar's playing, always worth a listen, had byzantine moments during this period, sometimes bordering on splatter due to the haste of the label's production processes. Trombonist Dick Griffin, a veteran of many a Rahsaan Roland Kirk session, is a good fellow to have on hand for mayhem such as this as well as the melodic moments. Tenor saxophonist James Anderson is an interesting player, and the flügelhorn of Ray Copeland, kind of in a Donald Byrd nest, adds just the right texture.
Eugene Chadbourne / AllMusic