Sunday, 31 May 2020

Priscilla Ermel ‎– Origens Da Luz (2020)

Style: Ambient, New Age, Experimental
Format: Vinyl, FLAC
Label: Music From Memory

A1.   Luar
A2.   Martim Pescador
A3.   Campo De Sonhos
A4.   Origens Da Luz
A5.   Meditação
B1.   Americua
B2.   Cine Mato Grafico
B3.   Cristal De Fogo
B4.   Sete Quedas
C1.   Corpo Do Vento
C2.   Meia Noite
D1.   Sonho De Cacador
D2.   Folia Do Divino
D3.   Floresta
D4.   Mensageiro

Compiled By – John Gómez
Written By, Arranged By – Priscilla Ermel

A Music From Memory editará no próximo dia 17 de Fevereiro uma retrospectiva da obra da artista brasileira Priscilla Ermel, Origens da Luz, um duplo LP com 15 faixas. A etiqueta baseada em Amesterdão já tinha incluído faixas de Ermel nos dois volumes da antologia Outro Tempo apresentados como focados na música electrónica e contemporânea do Brasil originalmente lançada entre 1978 e 1992 (1º volume, de 2017) e 1984 e 1996 (2º volume, lançado o ano passado). 
Priscilla Ermel lançou os álbuns Saber Sobre Viver (1986), Tai Chi – Gestos de Equilíbrio (1989), Cine Mato Gráfico (1990) e Campo de Sonhos (1992) nas editoras Timbre e Eldorado estruturando a sua obra em torno de uma ideia muito própria de new age e de experiências com timbres e instrumentos tradicionais do Brasil, numa mistura altamente original. 
Explica a Music From Memory que Priscilla foi educada numa família de músicos de São Paulo tendo aprendido violoncelo e guitarra desde muito cedo. “Ela embarcou posteriormente numa viagem musical extremamente pessoal que se espraiou de origens centradas em Tom Jobim e Chico Buarque até ao registo de música do mundo natural e de comunidades ao seu redor. Cineasta e antropóloga de formação, Priscilla dedicou toda a vida a estudar a música universal”, refere-se ainda nas notas com que se apresenta Origens da Luz. “Desiludida com a música clássica contemporânea vinda da Europa, ela passou longos períodos a viver com populações indígenas do Brasil, colecionando instrumentos que depois combinaria com sintetizadores e gravações de campo. Depois de ter estudado com o reputado mestre taoista Liu Pai Lin, ela integrou o passo lento do Tai Chi numa música que se liga intimamente com uma multiplicidade de culturas ao mesmo tempo que de forma inequívoca reflecte a sua alma brasileira”.
A compilação assinada por John Gómez inclui temas de todos os álbuns editados pela artista, integrando-a num mais vasto plano de criadores que na década de 80 e 90 exploraram a ideia de “mundos possíveis” (como Jon Hassell ou Haruomi Hosono), usando o estúdio como laboratório de utopias em que o mundo natural e os domínios da fantasia se cruzavam em luxuriantes composições.
Rui Miguel Abreu / Rimas e Batidas
Following Music From Memory’s Outro Tempo, a collection of Brazilian obscurities, the label turns the spotlight on a forgotten composer who fused cello and guitar with the sounds of the rainforest.

Even the most committed students of Brazilian music might not have been familiar with the work of composer Priscilla Ermel until 2017. That was when Music From Memory released Outro Tempo: Electronic and Contemporary Music From Brazil, 1978-1992, introducing a number of obscure Brazilian artists who were making music at the tail end of the country’s military regime. Ermel described that era as not just “another time” but “another tempo,” inspiring compiler John Gómez to title the anthology after her phrase. 
Ermel has called recordings from that period “portals through which stories, people, and cultures can be revealed.” It’s an apt metaphor for the uncanny soundworlds glimpsed in Origens Da Luz, a crucial compendium of Ermel’s singular work, drawn from the four albums she released between 1986 and 1992. Born and raised in São Paulo, Ermel, who studied cello and guitar, was reared on Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos and bossa-nova master Tom Jobim, and both sensibilities filter down to her own music. Just as crucially, while researching for her master’s thesis, Ermel traveled to the Amazon rainforest to study the songs of the indigenous Cinta-Larga and Ikolem Gavião people, for whom music is inextricable from storytelling. 
A similar sensibility runs through Ermel’s astonishingly layered work, whose arrangements unfurl more like short stories than pop songs. “Luar,” which opens the compilation, begins with the sounds of birds and chirping insects, situating us in a twilit landscape. Ermel’s strong, clear voice crests at the midway point, and as she falls silent, her guitar and melodica are rejoined by the sounds of the rainforest. Those chirps and calls are present in many of the songs, turning any negative space in the music into an open window—as though to suggest that the natural world is ever-present, and one need only become silent to become aware of it. Even when she isn’t directly incorporating the ambient chatter of the wilderness, the rattles and bamboo flutes that Ermel deploys emulate natural sounds; on the title track, so does her own wordless voice, whose squawks, howls, and purrs sound almost primal. 
It often seems as if Ermel is striving for an equilibrium between her own music and the beautiful, chaotic density of the rainforest. But even in the absence of field recordings, her songs are strongly evocative of a sense of place—even if no such land exists anywhere but in her own music. “Meditação,” featuring her gorgeous cello, piano, and acoustic guitar, starts off like an English folk ballad before wandering further afield, while “Campo De Sonhos” conjures two worlds at once: The synth line moves like Indonesian court music while the cello is worthy of a modern classical recital. An elegant braiding of piano and keyboards, “Cristal De Fogo” toggles between smooth new age and soap-opera soundtrack. 
The gem of the original Outro Tempo, the masterwork “Corpo Do Vento” is also the highlight of Origens Da Luz. Translated as “Body of the Wind,” it remains the finest amalgam of Ermel’s classical upbringing and ethnographic studies. Atop bombo and cultrun drums, Ermel adds ocarina, Chilean chirimia, and Nepalese flute; after letting the piece build for five minutes, she introduces piano and viola caipira, a Brazilian 10-string guitar, playing themes redolent of modern classical composition. By the third act, the hand drums and woodwinds return, quickening to a ritualistic climax. It feels like a condensation of the Brazilian composer’s own story into 16 spell-binding minutes—and a portal to another world.
Andy Beta / Pitchfork 

The Young Gods ‎– L'Eau Rouge - Red Water (1989)

Genre: Electronic, Rock
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Play It Again Sam Records, Globus International

01.   La Fille De La Mort
02.   Rue Des Tempêtes
03.   L'Eau Rouge
04.   Charlotte
05.   Longue Route
06.   Crier Les Chiens
07.   Ville Nôtre
08.   Les Enfants
09.   L'Amourir
10.   Pas Mal

Producer, Arranged By – Roli Mosimann
Programmed By – Michele Amar
Music By, Lyrics By, Artwork By – The Young Gods

"La Fille de la Mort" begins this album so perfectly that it becomes immediately clear how much more striking the already powerful band had become; beginning with a simple boulevardier melody and lyric (even though, as the title indicates, it's about the daughter of Death!), it slowly but relentlessly builds over the course of eight minutes, suddenly bursting into a beautiful orchestral sample loop that is then staggered and distorted, punctuated by sharp drums and finally concluding with guitar pulses on top of that. It's a stunning, unique way to start, and the album easily lives up to that opening promise. Tracks like the fast-paced roar "Longue Route" and the title song -- a celebration of 'red water, ' the female period -- maintain a fierce, sharp tension between rock rhythms (new drummer Use Hiestand shows much more flexibility than his predecessor), huge riffs and classical stabs, all with Treichler's powerful, gravelly voice invoking any number of striking natural and elemental images, putting the lie to the claim that rock can't happen in French. There's even time for more traditional French cabaret tunes like "Charlotte," while "Les Enfants" takes the classical bombast to an even higher level. Originally available only as a single, "L'Amourir" remains the album's and the band's high point, a brilliantly arranged and performed combination of guitar riff samples and powerful drumming, accentuated by a snaky bass pulse/snort throughout and Treichler's climactic roar over a wailing guitar loop.
Ned Raggett / AllMusic

Luis Lopes Humanization 4tet ‎– Believe, Believe (2020)

Genre: Free Jazz
Format: CDFLAC
Label: Clean Feed

1.   Eddie Harris / Tranquilidad Alborotadora
2.   Replicate I
3.   Engorged Mosquitoes
4.   She
5.   Brainlust Distraction
6.   Replicate II

Luís Lopes – Electric guitar
Rodrigo Amado – Tenor saxophone
Aaron Gonzalez – Doublebass
Stefan Gonzalez – Drums

“Believe Believe” é um disco com um travo amargo: gravado numa sessão ao vivo no Marigny Studios em New Orleans (um estúdio de gravação com bar e público), no final da terceira “tournée” norte americana do quarteto (ler + em, abria as portas para uma viagem do grupo pela Europa. O vírus que parou o mundo matou os 12 concertos programados – Alemanha, Suíça, Bélgica, Rússia, Noruega, Portugal – para fazer ouvir o novo disco e deixou-nos só com esta gravação da expedição pela América profunda, armada e precária. 
O quarto disco do Humanization 4Tet é mais um passo largo na carreira musical de Luís Lopes e do quarteto criado em 2008, um grupo difícil de gerir porque vive separado por 7500 Kms: metade em Lisboa (Lopes e Rodrigo Amado) e a outra metade em Dallas (Aaron e Stefan Gonzalez). Não é por isso de estranhar que “Believe, Believe” expire um silêncio de sete anos e apresente grandes diferenças. Aos meus ouvidos, para melhor. 
É vulgar dizer que os Humanization têm um jazz musculado, no sentido em que a música da aliança luso-americana é intensa, forte, como um grupo de rock bola-prá-frente. Energia, pulsação, alegria e aventura. Mas esta não é uma imagem completa: é verdade que Lopes gosta de tocar alto e forte e que a parceria com o saxofonista Rodrigo Amado funciona particularmente bem, porque ambos aceitam a corrida sem vontade de a ganhar. Também é justo dizer que a secção rítmica dos irmãos Gonzalez se enquadra magnificamente neste ambiente esforçado e é capaz de o travar ou de lhe dar estrutura, unindo todos os elementos como um campo magnético. 
Há duas grandes diferenças que fazem diferença nesta nova gravação. Uma: as músicas soam a hard bop mundano e tosco que rapidamente se sujam através das improvisações. Podem ser partes de um tema clássico ou uma frase de um dos músicos que colocam a máquina em movimento. A canção de abertura, por exemplo, “Eddie Harris / Tranquilidad Alborotadora”, parte do tema “Eddie Harris” que apareceu no disco de Clifford Jordan, “Glass Bead Games” de 1974, e evolui para uma ideia criada por Stefan Gonzalez. Outros temas surgem de pequenos esboços de Rodrigo Amado (“Replicate I / Replicate II”). “Engorged Mosquitoes” e “Brainlust Distraction” são ideias de Aaron Gonzalez desenvolvidas pela banda. A segunda diferença é a guitarra de Luís Lopes, que mudou a sua forma de tocar, adoptando um som de “surf guitar”, com muito  “twang”, cheia de disparos e repetições (“stutter”), muito boa de ouvir. 
O registo em New Orleans fixa um som livre e natural de (nas palavras de Guy Peters) uma banda de «bandidos livres, funk, rock e noise, uns contra os outros».
Gonçalo Falcão /

Radiohead ‎– The Bends (1994)

Style: Alternative Rock, Indie Rock
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Parlophone, EMI, Capitol Records

01.   Planet Telex
02.   The Bends
03.   High And Dry
04.   Fake Plastic Trees
05.   Bones
06.   (Nice Dream)
07.   Just
08.   My Iron Lung
09.   Bullet Proof..I Wish I Was
10.   Black Star
11.   Sulk
12.   Street Spirit (Fade Out)

Backing Vocals – Ed O'Brien
Bass – Colin Greenwood
Cello – Caroline Lavelle
Drums – Phil Selway
Guitar – Ed O'Brien, Jon Greenwood, Thom Yorke
Organ, Recorder, Synthesizer – Jon Greenwood
Piano – Jon Greenwood, Thom Yorke
Viola, Violin – John Matthias
Vocals – Thom Yorke
Written-By – Radiohead
Producer – Jim Warren, John Leckie, Nigel Godrich, Radiohead

Thom Yorke and his band of merry men have taken the musical landscape and toyed, spliced and even at times mollycoddled it. Where most bands pick a path and stick to it, the Oxford five-piece have danced over and beyond various musical landscapes, carving out a unique hollow for others to marvel at. But before they achieved such a status, Radiohead had some establishing to do. 
At a time when the main argument in the music industry was Blur vs. Oasis, Radiohead were following up their debut Pablo Honey with a more progressive move towards the largely unpopular art rock movement. The Bends sounded different. Why? It had subtle creativity at its core. Producer John Leckie, who also produced Pink Floyd, gave the band an unprecedented freedom of expression and the band had more than enough ability to take the ball and run... 
The first track Planet Telex feels genuinely refreshing even thirteen years later. Further on, High and Dry and Fake Plastic Trees are simply acoustic treats – stirring and poignant. Bones swiftly picks up the mood before Just blows most of the previous tracks out of the water, with the gain whacked up to ten and '90s guitar solos aplenty. Street Spirit (Fade Out), although notoriously downbeat contains one of the most recognizable guitar riffs in musical history. Accompany that with haunting harmonies and a string section and it all amounts to a stunning finish to the album. 
Popular opinion places OK Computer as Radiohead's finest release to date, yet the The Bends was where they really put themselves firmly into the public consciousness. On the title track, Yorke sings, ''where do we go from here?'' like he didn’t have a plan…Luckily for us, he had a pretty good one.
David McGuire / BBC Review

Dominique Guiot ‎– L'Univers De La Mer (1978)

Style: Synth-pop, Ambient
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Audivis, We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want Records

01.   Wind Surf Ballad
02.   La Danse Des Méduses
03.   Une Ballade Pour Une Goélette
04.   Les Deux Poissons
05.   Ballet Amoureux Des Dauphins
06.   Les Pingouins S'Amusent
07.   Destination Inconnue
08.   Iceberg En Voyage
09.   L'Univers De La Mer
10.   Alerte En Mer
11.   Les Émigrants De La Mer
12.   À La Découverte D'Une Amphore

Composed By – Dominique Guiot
Producer – Renaldo Cerri

The crew over at WRWTFWW have always been true to their masthead, exploring any facet of the musical landscape that catches their fancy. Earlier this year they set sights on French prog and cosmic synth artist Dominique Guiot’s 1978 album L’Univers De La Mer. The album, inspired by undersea exploration, skews a bit from the wide-eyed wonder of Jaques Cousteau scores, adding a sense of danger to the mellotron’s quaver and a medieval bent to some of the more pastoral passages. The record employs minimoog, clavinet, guitar, and organ alongside the seaside call of the mellotron, and while the damp inspiration remains in tact, the styles change as Guiot sees fit – winding through space-odyssey jazz and dense prog to tracks. 
Guiot’s vision comes close to that of Sven Liabek, whose undersea scores were a vanguard of the ‘70s. Again though,, as with Cousteau’s scores, Liabek was a bit less heavy on the throttle than Guiot. The sci-fi keys kick in giving the album a kinship with Eloy or Embryo at their heaviest. Its a beautifully engrossing gem of an album that’s worthy of rediscovery, given the limited nature of its original issue. Just as good for meditative bliss as it is for head-trip excursions to the inner most reaches of the soul. Highly recommend dimming the lights and letting this one float over the eyelids.
Andy / Raven Sings the Blues