Wednesday, 31 March 2021

King Crimson ‎– Three Of A Perfect Pair (1984)

Style: Prog Rock, Experimental
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Warner Bros. Records, EG, Virgin

Tracklist:
1.   Three Of A Perfect Pair
2.   Model Man
3.   Sleepless
4.   Man With An Open Heart
5.   Nuages (That Which Passes, Passes Like Clouds)
6.   Industry
7.   Dig Me
8.   No Warning
9.   Larks' Tongues In Aspic Part III

Credits:
Guitar – Robert Fripp
Bass, Chapman Stick, Synth, Backing Vocals – Tony Levin
Acoustic Drumming, Electronic Drums – Bill Bruford
Guitar, Fretless Guitar, Voice, Words By – Adrian Belew
Producer – King Crimson

Upon its release in 1984, Three of a Perfect Pair caused some unrest among fans of King Crimson. Most of their audience felt that the band had made a conscious and obvious decision to try to break through to a more mainstream pop audience. But in hindsight, this is hardly the case; it sounds unlike anything that was out at the time. Like 1982's Beat, Three of a Perfect Pair doesn't quite meet the high standards set by 1981's Discipline, but does contain a few Crimson treats. The opening title track has an unrelenting groove that never seems to let up, while "Sleepless" starts off with Tony Levin laying down some funky bass until Adrian Belew's trademark paranoid vocals kick in and assure the listener that "it's alright to feel a little fear." Also included are the seven-minute instrumental soundscape "Industry," and the cautionary tale of a "Model Man." This would prove to be the new King Crimson's last release for nearly ten years; the group disbanded soon after as its members concentrated on solo careers and other projects, until a mid-'90s reunion brought them all back together.
Greg Prato / AllMusic

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Hugo Jasa ‎– Estados De Ánimo (1990)

Genre: Electronic, Jazz, Latin
Format: Vinyl, Cass.
Label: Ayuí/Tacuabé

Tracklist:
1.   Kabumba (La Fuerza Amenazadora De Lo Grande)
2.   Tapiz Montevideano (El Comportamiento)
3.   Homo Sapiens (Antes De La Consumación)
4.   Sobrevolando (Seguir La Huella)
5.   Y El Tiempo Pasa (Los Ángulos De Los Labios)
6.   Peregrino (El Caminante)
7.   Estado de Ánimo (La Preponderancia De Lo Grande)

Notes
Esta música fue pensada para danza, aunque en principio no tuviera claro si se podría concretar o no algún día un espectaculo con bailarines. Esto finalmente sí fue posible, los días 8 y 15 de noviembre de 1990, en la Sala José Brunet, con coreografía de Graciela Martínez y la participación de los bailarines Patricia Martínez Mariel Cabrera, Marlene Lago, Andrea Giacosa, Rossana Fleitas, Rocío Bertoletti, Leonardo Haedo, Fernando Conesa, Ricardo Alfonso, Aníbal Galeano, Eduardo Castillo, Maite Fernández y el Grupo de Expresión Corporal (Laura Colominas, Alicia Bistiancic, Irene Pereira, Marian Legnani, Albana Ferreira, Graciela Rodríguez, Marcelo Busch y Antonio Souviron).
Mis agradecimientos a todos ellos, y también a todos los músicos que intervinieron, y a Alberto Magnone, Guilherme de Alencar Pinto, Roy Gorfonkel, Darwin Trujillo, Pippo Spera, Ricardo Yates, Daniel Carbajal Solson, Claudio Invernizzi y Alvaro González.

Dedico este disco a todos los hacedores de arte uruguayos, y muy especialmente a mis grandes amigos don Jorge Lazaroff y don Eduardo Mateo.

Vampisoul present a first-time reissue of Hugo Jasa's Estados De Ánimo, originally released in 1990. After over a decade of dictatorship, a process of democratic openness began in Uruguay in the early '80s. It was a time of social and cultural effervescence, Uruguayan music lived a particularly brilliant moment, marked by the emergence of a generation of artists who open-mindedly mixed the new global sounds that started to resonate across the country with their local and regional musical roots. Hugo Jasa was at the center of this new music scene. Some of the most interesting Uruguayan records released in the '80s were recorded in La Batuta studio, co-owned by Henry Jasa, Hugo's father. In the brief intervals the studio was available, Jasa started to experiment with musical ideas that he imagined for a dance piece. He also sought to merge the glamor of the '80s with Uruguayan Afro-candombe sound in his songs. A deep bench of national talent, as Eduardo Mateo (with whom Jasa went on the make the wonderful album La Mosca), Hugo Fattoruso, Jorge Galemire, or Mariana Ingold, took part in these sessions. Drum machines and Yamaha DX7 and Roland D50 synthesizers command the timbre of the album that was released at the end of 1990. The same year that the dance piece with choreography by Graciela Martínez was premiered by a group of dancers from the National Ballet. The album was released on vinyl with a single pressing of 300 copies. There were two dance performances and then the show was never put on again. Estados De Ánimo was the only album released under his name. The conjunction of machines and acoustic instruments, the harmonic sophistication, mix of candombe, electronic music, jazz and tango, its international sound with strong Uruguayan roots, made Estados De Ánimo a milestone for much of the music that followed in its wake. 31 years after it was first put out, Estados De Ánimo still sounds fresh and surprising, as creative and glowing as the time where it was conceived. OBI; includes insert with liner notes by Uruguayan music writer Andrés Torrón. A new title in the series of full-album reissues that Vampisoul (co-produced in collaboration with Little Butterfly Records) is releasing as a valuable addition to our largely acclaimed compilation América Invertida, focusing on the obscure leftfield pop and experimental folk scene from '80s Uruguay, making some of these elusive and essential albums available again.

Monday, 29 March 2021

Septeto Interregional – Septeto Interregional (2021)

Style: Pop
Format: Cassette, FLAC
Label: Lovers & Lollypops

Tracklist:
1.   Cenizas
2.   Gangrena 
3.   Marea 
4.   Farfarout
5.   Para Que Te Sorprendas 
6.   Ninjam
7.   Disvorce

Credits:
Arianna Casellas
João Rafael Ferreira
Bruno Gallini
Rodrigo Carvalho
Violeta Azevedo
Zézé Cordeiro

Há uma surpresa em ouvir música criada num momento específico para perceber que são sons que vivem fora desse momento específico. Essa é a magia, ou a realidade – para usar uma palavra mais terrena -, do álbum homónimo dos Septeto Interregional. Noutra perspectiva, são canções de esperança, nascidas das firmes concepções das relações que o cenário pandémico criou, sejam elas sociais, passionais, culturais ou criativas.
Os apoios da Câmara Municipal de Lisboa para manterem a cultura viva inspiraram o Musicbox a convidar uma série de músicos, de diferentes bandas, a criarem com os meios e as relações possíveis da distância imposta. A Lovers & Lollypops responsabiliza-se por editá-los. Seis músicos oriundos de diferentes pontos do país e com aspirações e ambições musicais diferentes: Arianna Casellas (Sereias), Mr. Gallini (Stone Dead), Rafael Ferreira (Glockenwise), Rodrigo Carvalho (Solar Corona), Violeta Azevedo (Savage Ohms) e Zezé Cordeiro (Equations) e um designer gráfico, Serafim Mendes.

Música de resistência? Só no papel. Superbanda? Nah. As dificuldades e o presente não os fizeram procurar o que normalmente se espera nestas situações: o presente. Daí a ideia de música de esperança, embora seja um raio de luz sobre como se pode encadear o mundo com uma criação limitada pela realidade, ela não é afectada pela realidade: e isso sente-se de imediato nos dois primeiros singles do Septeto Interregional, “Para Que Te Sorprendas” e “Disvorce”.

Sete canções de – e com – futuro. As diferentes origens – geográficas e musicais – dos músicos, e a vontade de existir num mundo que não os tem deixado existir – como seres criativos, comunicativos e expansivos –, desencadearam possibilidades para construírem mel-pop que desrespeita as convenções e as proximidades com formas. Ou a preocupação com a língua falada/ouvida. O medo por experimentar foi-se, qualquer distância entre os músicos – física e psicológica – extingue-se nos sonhos infinitos de canções como “Gangrena”, “Marea”, “Para Que Te Sorprendas” ou “Ninjam”, que se ouve como uma “Here Comes Your Man” subaquática. Canções de sonho, de esperança ou para um futuro em que possamos estar todos juntos outra vez. 

Estela Magnone / Jaime Roos ‎– Mujer De Sal Junto A Un Hombre Vuelto Carbón (1985)

Genre: Pop, Folk, World, & Country
Format: CD, Vinyl, FLAC
Label: Bizarro Records, Orfeo

Tracklist:
01.   Carbón Y Sal
02.   Marino
03.   Casi Tu Cara
04.   Veces
05.   Garabatos
06.   Es Como I
07.   Andenes
08.   Tras Tus Ojos
09.   Prendiendo Su Vestido
10.   Los Bailarines
11.   Es Como II

Este disco es el primero de una serie de reediciones de álbumes completos que Vampisoul (en co-producción con Little Butterfly Records) edita como valioso complemento de nuestro reciente y celebrado recopilatorio “América invertida”, un trabajo que se centra en la escena uruguaya de pop y folk experimental en los 80, haciendo que algunos de esos discos tan esenciales como difíciles de conseguir vuelvan a estar de nuevo disponibles.

Las intrincadas melodías y la delicada voz de Estela Magnone pueden trazar paralelismos con las de Elizabeth Fraser y el ethereal pop de Cocteau Twins. Las extrañas texturas del sintetizador Juno y las máquinas de ritmo nos hacen pensar en bandas que salieron después de este álbum como Broadcast o Stereolab.

Encontramos arreglos de una enorme sofisticación armónica o canciones donde con muy pocos elementos se llega a un clima onírico y casi mántrico como ‘Tras tus ojos’ (que ya ha recibido el apoyo de DJs como Gilles Peterson, Bradley Zero o John Gomez en sus respectivos programas de radio).

“Mujer de Sal Junto a Un Hombre Vuelto Carbón” se reedita aquí en Vinilo por vez primera, conservando su arte original e incluyendo un encarte con notas a cargo del periodista musical uruguayo Andrés Torrón.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This LP is the first in a series of full-album reissues that Vampisoul (co-produced in collaboration with Little Butterfly Records) is releasing as a valuable add-on to our recent and largely acclaimed compilation “América Invertida”, a work that focused on the obscure leftfield pop and experimental folk scene from ‘80s Uruguay, making some of these elusive and essential albums available again.

The intricate melodies and Estela Magnone’s exquisite voice invite comparisons with Elizabeth Fraser’s vocals and the ethereal pop of the Cocteau Twins. The strange textures of the Juno synthesizer and drum machines bring to mind bands that appeared after this album such as Broadcast or Stereolab.

We find extremely sophisticated harmonic arrangements or songs where a mere sprinkling of elements creates a dreamlike and almost mantric ambience such as ‘Tras tus ojos’ (already supported by DJs like Gilles Peterson, Bradley Zero or John Gomez in their radio shows).

“Mujer de Sal Junto a Un Hombre Vuelto Carbón” is reissued here on vinyl for the first time, in its original artwork with an extra OBI and including a 4-page insert with liner notes by Uruguayan music writer Andrés Torrón. 

Sunday, 28 March 2021

Hector Zazou ‎– Songs From The Cold Seas (1995)

Style: Experimental, Ambient
Format: CD, Cass.
Label: Columbia, CBS/Sony

Tracklist:
01.   Annuka Suaren Neito - Featuring Värttinä
02.   Visur Vatnsenda-Rosu - Featuring Björk
03.   The Long Voyage - Featuring John Cale, Suzanne Vega
04.   Havet Stomar - Featuring Lena Willemark
05.   Adventures In The Scandinavian Skin Trade - Featuring Vimme Saari
06.   She's Like A Swallow - Featuring Jane Siberry
07.   The Lighthouse - Featuring Siouxsie
08.   Oran Na Maighdean Mhara - Featuring Catherine-Ann Macphee
09.   Yaisa Maneena - Featuring Tokiko Kato
10.   Yakut Song - Featuring Lioudmila Khandi
11.   Song Of The Water - Featuring Kilabuk, Nooveya

Credits:
Electric Guitar – Marc Ribot
Electronics, Keyboards – Hector Zazou
Arranged By, Producer – Hector Zazou


A smorgasbord album, the cast list includes Bjork, Siouxsie Sioux, Brendan Perry, and long-term sidekick Barbera Googan. As expected, the mood is cold, often somber in tone. Only on "The Long Voyage," a springy ditty fronted by Suzanne Vega and John Cale, does the album ascend from the depths. Some of the gloom works, like in "Havet Stomar," a brilliant slow burner with B.J. Cole's pedal steel guitar and ECM artist Lene Willemark's chilling howls. "Annukka Suaren Neito" presents what must be the closest to an Eskimo rap you can get. Mark Isham provides freestyle trumpet that almost sounds like seagulls swooping the skies. The Jane Siberry-fronted "She Is Like the Swallow" is a beauty, as soft as it is light. Hector Zazou's electronics are in fine check too. The canvas expands to new textures, such as metallic percussion in "Adventures in the Scandinavian Skin Trade."
Kevin Hayes / AllMusic

Saturday, 27 March 2021

New Order ‎– Movement (1981)

Style: New Wave 
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Factory, London Records

Tracklist:
1.   Dreams Never End
2.   Truth
3.   Senses
4.   Chosen Time
5.   ICB
6.   The Him
7.   Doubts Even Here
8.   Denial

Credits:
Producer – Martin Hannett
Words By, Music By – New Order
Once, when I was younger and found myself heartbroken, a friend of mine said, "I've got just the thing for you," and he handed me a cassette. It had two records dubbed on it. Side one was Closer by Joy Division and the other side was Movement, New Order's debut. I knew of New Order as a dance band, but what I heard on that tape was anything but, as it plodded a melancholy territory that made The Smiths (then my current fascination) look positively joyous—and, of course, being angst-ridden, I loved every minute of it.Once, when I was younger and found myself heartbroken, a friend of mine said, "I've got just the thing for you," and he handed me a cassette. It had two records dubbed on it. Side one was Closer by Joy Division and the other side was Movement, New Order's debut. I knew of New Order as a dance band, but what I heard on that tape was anything but, as it plodded a melancholy territory that made The Smiths (then my current fascination) look positively joyous””and, of course, being angst-ridden, I loved every minute of it.

I once read that after the sudden, selfish suicide of Ian Curtis, there was some discussion about continuing on as Joy Division, and the band even played a handful of shows as Joy Division. Still, it wouldn't have been surprising had they continued on using that name, as Movement sounds just like Joy Division. Bernard Sumner's vocals at times sound like the specter of Curtis; other times, they sound like a piss-poor imitation of their deceased colleague. You really can't find any songs as bleak as "Truth" or "Doubts Even Here," both as dour, detached and funereal as anything off of Closer or Unknown Pleasures.

So, for the fourteen year old me, dressed all in black and wishing it was 1981 instead of 1987, Movement made my miserable soul quite happy””in that inexplicable, schadenfreude kind of way. I rediscovered this record several years later when it was finally reissued on CD, and it also soundtracked my miserable college years as well. But then some bad things happened this past week and I realized I needed to hear it. Having lost this record somewhere along the way””and being heartbroken and in need of a blast of pure negativity””I bought it again, and discovered something I hadn't noticed before. Within the realms of Martin Hannett's dark production were glimpses of optimism; the loss of Curtis was there, of course, but there were signs of hope. True, when you listen to "Dreams Never End" and "Chosen Time," you'll hear the furtive beginnings of what was to come next: "Temptation" and a decade's worth of intelligent pop music. And yeah, underneath all the atmosphere were such hopeful lines as "All the times it takes to complain/But live in doubt/Sometimes they keep you waiting for a look around/I've got a friend in here somewhere who can help me out" (from "Chosen Time") and "Small boy kneels, wandering in a great hall/He pays penance to the air above him/White circles, black lines surround me/Reborn, so plain my eyes see/This is the reason that I came here/To be so near to such a person" (from "The Him").

In a way, Movement is as much about the hope of the future as it is about the pain and the hell of the present””and I guess that's why it's always been a record that's made me feel better in my times of misery. I've yet to hear a record that comes close to Movement's bleakness and utter despair…and I really wouldn't want it any other way.
Mister Joseph / Tiny Mix Tapes

Friday, 26 March 2021

King Crimson ‎– Beat (1982)

Style: Prog Rock, Art Rock
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: EG, Virgin, Polydor

Tracklist:
1.   Neal And Jack And Me
2.   Heartbeat
3.   Sartori In Tangier
4.   Waiting Man
5.   Neurotica
6.   Two Hands
7.   The Howler
8.   Requiem

Credits:
Drums – Bill Bruford
Guitar, Lead Vocals, Lyrics By – Adrian Belew
Guitar, Organ, Effects [Frippertronics] – Robert Fripp
Chapman Stick, Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals – Tony Levin
Music By, Written-By – King Crimson
Producer – Rhett Davies

If you were to ask fans of 1980s King Crimson why they love the band, lyrics probably wouldn’t be a priority.

But, pushed hard by Robert Fripp and possibly influenced by the 25th anniversary of Jack Kerouac’s ‘On The Road’, Adrian Belew came up with some choice words on Beat, the excellent second album from this remarkable quartet.

References to the Beat writers abound; ‘Neal and Jack and Me’ concerns Kerouac and his best friend Neal Cassady and mentions several significant Kerouac works; ‘Heartbeat’ is the name of a book written by Cassady’s wife Carolyn about her experiences with the Beats; ‘Sartori In Tangier’ references the Moroccan city where a number of Beats resided; ‘Neurotica’ shares its title with a very influential Beat-era magazine, and presumably ‘The Howler’ refers to Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’.

As the saying goes, you take inspiration where you find it, and Belew had come up with a very handy concept on which to hang the new band improvisations.

Musically, Beat is a brilliant development of the Discipline sound. ‘Neurotica’ and ‘The Howler’ feature some remarkable, unhinged ensemble playing, teetering on total chaos.

On the latter, Bill Bruford delivers intricate patterns on his acoustic/electric kit (with shades of Steve Reich, acknowledged with Bruford’s credit for ‘Drumming’) while Belew’s white-noise guitar outburst is a killer (he repeats the trick on ‘Waiting Man’ and ‘Neal’, extending his palette of sounds from Discipline and sometimes using a new tuning system with the high E string tuned down to a C).

‘Sartori’ is a superb vehicle for Fripp while ‘Waiting Man’ demonstrates the amazing rhythm dexterity of the band, a development of the ‘Village Music’ concept with Bruford and Tony Levin sharing a tricky 3/4 figure (joined by Belew on drums when they played it live) underneath an expressive vocal performance.

There’s even a noble, painless attempt at a pop hit with ‘Heartbeat’. The only track that outstays its welcome is ‘Requiem’, a fairly dreary investigation of A-minor.

In short, the musical intelligence of this unit was pretty damn scary. But they never neglected a crucial factor: melody. Lesser bands might have built their entire careers on any Beat song.

Not surprisingly, tensions were high during the London recording sessions. Echoing the situation with The Police around the same time, they sought out a producer who might act as peacemaker.

Fripp told writer Anthony DeCurtis in 1984: ‘We tried to get someone from the outside to organise it: Rhett Davies. I think if failed. I would rather have the wrong judgement of a member of the band than the right judgement of someone outside the band.’

Also, Belew was now very much the centre of attention and under pressure to produce melodies and lyrics to order. According to Bruford’s autobiography, Belew told Fripp to leave the studio after one too many barbs from the bespectacled Wimbornian, who ‘went straight back to Dorset and was silent for three days’. Only some desperate calls from Bruford and manager Paddy Spinks rescued the situation.

In the same 1984 interview as above, Fripp said of ’80s Crimson: ‘I feel I’ve created a field in which other people can discover themselves’. On the evidence of Beat, he did a fine job.

Thursday, 25 March 2021

Camarão ‎– The Remixes (2005)

Style: Downtempo, Ambient, Acid Jazz
Format: CD
Label: Loop:Recordings

Tracklist:
01.   Do It Yourself (Seascape)
02.   There's Somebody To Love
03.   New Game (256 Cores)
04.   As Tuas Mãos
05.   Phantoms' Catwalk
06.   And In The Back You Hear
07.   Get Together
08.   The Sun Ship
09.   Denken Ist Plastik
10.   A Espera
11.   Summer Sea (Sweet Soul Music)
12.   Landscape

Credits:
Clarinet – Ricardo Quintas
Bass – Francisco Rebelo
Guitar – André Fernandes
Acoustic Guitar – António Ruivals
Vocals – Joana Ruival, Kalaf, Marta Hugon, Melo D
Sampler, Synthesizer, Recorded By, Producer, Mixed By – Alexandre Camarão

A velha máxima que nos indica que por vezes é mesmo necessário dar um passo atrás antes de avançarmos dois passos em frente assume especial relevância durante a audição de "The Remixes", estreia de Camarão em nome próprio para a Loop:Recordings. Porque qualquer músico sabe ser impossível reinventar o futuro sem lançar um olhar clínico sobre o passado, Alexandre Camarão voltou-se para o legado do passado que melhor o define a si mesmo como músico – a sua colecção de discos! Entender uma colecção de discos – que além de um depósito de música é também, e talvez isso importe mais, um catálogo de experiências – como ponto de partida para a criação de novos objectos musicais é algo a que, por exemplo, o hip hop já nos habituou através da sua estratégia abrangente de sampling. Noutros géneros de música conotados com a modernidade electrónica ou com o espírito de clubbing a citação ao passado fez-se sempre muito mais de forma exclusiva do que inclusiva – sampla-se normalmente o que é relevante para cada momento: o disco, o funk, o afro-beat ou a enorme paleta de texturas da música brasileira. E tudo o resto, o que não é funcional, é normalmente arredado em nome de um fundamentalismo estético que justifica sempre o momento presente. Mas Alexandre Camarão não adoptou essa atitude. Preferiu encarar a sua colecção de discos como uma lista enorme de possibilidades e o resultado é uma vigorosa viagem ao futuro definida precisamente por coordenadas arrancadas ao passado. Talvez por isso se leiam, na lista de dedicações do álbum, nomes como os de Alice Coltrane, Balanescu Quartet, Fela Kuti, Deodato, Les Rita Mitsouko, Inner Life, Marc Moulin, Né Ladeiras, Phlip Glass, Stevie Wonder, Salsoul Orchestra ou Underground Resistance.

Uma vez mais, "The Remixes" é o resultado do trabalho solitário de um músico, no caso específico em frente ao seu Mac. Talvez devido ao facto de Alexandre Camarão ser igualmente um artista plástico (é a sua arte que adorna a capa deste novo álbum), o seu disco resulte de um consciente processo de colagem de inúmeros fragmentos a que se foram adicionando nalguns momentos os inputs de músicos e vocalistas convidados como André Fernandes, Francisco Rebelo, Melo D, Kalaf, Marta Hugon ou Joana Ruival, entre outros. E o que se obtém depois é uma visão impressionista da música, em que só a distância confere sentido à enorme manta de retalhos sonoros que cada canção revela ser quando observada sob a sua forma gráfica no monitor de um computador. E no caso concreto da carreira musical de Alexandre Camarão, essa é provavelmente a grande novidade aqui. Em momentos anteriores da sua discografia, nomeadamente no álbum "Electric Sul" que gravou e editou pela Nylon como Shrimp, o pulsar era mais nitidamente electrónico. Em "The Remixes", à falta de melhor definição, tudo é muito mais orgânico – como se cada excerto adoptado já trouxesse a implicação do próximo, como se tudo se interligasse ao ponto de pensarmos que é aqui, nas dozes faixas de "The Remixes", que todos estes átomos de som se criaram pela primeira vez.

Alexandre Camarão remistura a sua colecção de discos e reinventa um futuro só seu. A soul está presente, tal como o hip hop e o funk e o jazz e o carácter cósmico da electrónica mais explorativa e a sofisticação de muitos exercícios de música contemporânea e… algo novo de indefinível.

Shrimp ‎– Electric Sul (2002)

Style: Downtempo, Ambient, Acid Jazz
Format: CD
Label: Nylon Discographics

Tracklist:
01.   Sea, Land, Air
02.   Voyager Eye
03.   Electric Sul
04.   On The North Beach
05.   Sky Run
06.   Rain Jam
07.   Walking, Talking
08.   Uncovered Body
09.   Combro Sound
10.   Born Jam
11.   Astro Lip
12.   One Track Mind
13.   Back To Earth (Landing)

Credits:
Vocals – Marta Hugon
Clarinet – Ricardo Quintas
Acoustic Guitar – Vincent Noack
Synth Bass, Electric Bass  – Francisco Rebelo
Programmed By, Keyboards, Synth Bass – A. Camarão
Recorded By, Arranged By, Mixed By – A. Camarão

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Nicolette ‎– Let No-One Live Rent Free In Your Head (1996)

Style: Leftfield, Downtempo
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Talkin' Loud

Tracklist:
01.   Don't Be Afraid
02.   We Never Know
03.   Song For Europe
04.   Beautiful Day
05.   Always
06.   Nervous
07.   Where Have All The Flowers Gone?
08.   No Government As A Way Of Life (Plaid Remix)
09.   Nightmare
10.   Judgement Day
11.   You Are Heaven Sent
12.   Just To Say Peace And Love
13.   No Government (Original Version)
14.   Don't Be Ashamed (Don't Be Afraid Part II)

Credits:
Producer – Alec Empire, Dego, Felix, Nicolette, Plaid

Following Shara Nelson and Tricky, another offshoot of the Massive Attack trip-hop academy makes her album debut. It's a decent enough offering, adventurous rather than populist, though it doesn't quite live up to the promise of last year's single, "No Government". 
Present here in two substantially different mixes, that track is still the best thing on the album - Nicolette's simplistic anarchist sentiment set against either the twitching, mechanistic backdrop constructed by remixers Plaid, or, more comfortably, the shuffling groove of her own original mix. Elsewhere, the other producers drafted in to offer different views of Nicolette's songs sometimes seem to be viewing them from another country entirely - particularly Alec Empire, whose distorted, rasping techno barrages on "Nightmare" and "Nervous" may be appropriate to the subject matter, but are hardly the "pleasure attack" of which she sings on the latter. 
The lazy double-bass groove of Dego's "Just to Say Peace and Love" is more in line with her talents, and Nicolette herself demonstrates a natural sensitivity to her own voice with the marimbas and gongs of "Always". It's a strangely plain voice, favouring clarity over character, and it often seems stranded in the exotic surroundings, as if she might prefer a straight, jazzy backing to these more complex soundscapes. 
The discomfort works to best effect on the updated Black Star Liner theme of "Song for Europe", and there are signs of how effectively it might be presented in the multi-tracked counterpoints of the chorus of "Beautiful Day", intertwining against the heavily compressed, triggered synth rushes of the backing track. Impressively varied, Let No One Live Rent Free In Your Head offers a snapshot of where British fringe pop is situated in the middle of 1996: everywhere at once.
Ryan Gilbey / Independent

Kadhja Bonet ‎– The Visitor (2016)

Style: Soul, Neo Soul
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label:  Fat Possum Records, Fresh Selects

Tracklist:
1.   Intro – Earth Birth
2.   Honeycomb
3.   Fairweather Friend
4.   The Visitor
5.   Gramma Honey
6.   Portrait of Tracy
7.   Nobody Other
8.   Francisco
9.   Remember The Rain (Bonus Track)

Credits:
Bass – Itai Shapira 
Drums – Te'amir Yohannes Sweeney
Synthesizer – Itai Shapira, Peter Dyer 
Electric Piano, Flute, Strings – Kadhja Bonet 
Drum Programming, Guitar – Itai Shapira, Kadhja Bonet
Co-producer, Engineer, Mixed By – Itai Shapira
Written By, Producer, Engineer, Mixed By, Arranged By, Vocals – Kadhja Bonet

Los Angeles’ Kadhja Bonet has been experiencing so much success with the music on her debut EP The Visitor that she decided to run a re-release. Now available on Fat Possum records, our ears were quite taken aback by the warmth that seemed to emanate from the speakers when casually enjoying the album so, of course, we had to write about it.
 
“Earth Birth”, the intro to the EP, adequately serves as a twinkling introduction to what is to come. It has been composed to sound like the background music to an epic birth, something we assume is akin to Kadhja Bonet’s official bio. “Honeycomb” takes a different approach, sounding more like a jam from the 60’s, while “Fairweather Friend” calls to the forefront a sore subject for many people. “The Visitor” sounds more like a fairytale in its composition, the initial strings setting the tone for what feels like a vintage movie. This is only enhanced by the fact that Kadhja’s voice sounds like an otherworldly lounge singer from a different time.

Track five is titled “Gramma Honey” and we’re not quite sure what to think with a name like that, but its slow progression is timeless and intriguing. “Portrait of Tracy” consists of whole lines that sound as though they should be part of an intricate, old Disney movie, while the light percussion taps at our hearts as we swing our hips to the music. “Nobody Other” is a sure fire love song, with such a delicate disposition that we’re afraid it might break while we’re listening to it. “Francisco” rounds out the EP quite nicely, once again with vintage appeal and a nostalgia to its composition, allowing Kadhja to adequately display her full range of vocals.

This is an album that transcends generations, and it’s certainly something that you will enjoy from beginning to end, pausing only to flip the vinyl on your record player.
Meredith Schneider / IMPOSE

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Steve Reid Ensemble ‎– Daxaar (Recorded In Africa) (2008)

Style: Space-Age, Future Jazz, Afrobeat, Jazz-Funk
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Domino

Tracklist:
1.   Welcome
2.   Daxaar
3.   Jiggy Jiggy
4.   Dabronxxar
5.   Big G's Family
6.   Don't Look Back

Credits:
Kora, Vocals – Isa Kouyate
Bass – Dembel Diop
Electronics – Kieran Hebden
Guitar – Jimi Mbaye
Keyboards – Boris Netsvetaev
Percussion – Khadim Badji
Trumpet – Roger Ongolo
Written-By, Drums – Steve Reid
Producer – Kieran Hebden

Forty years have passed since drummer Steve Reid journeyed for three years in Africa, learning the roots of rhythm with master percussionist Guy Warren and in the band of Fela Kuti. For Steve Reid, returning to the continent of rhythm to record Daxaar in Senegal is no mere nostalgia trip: "The first time I went to learn and this time I was just going to give and enjoy, and find out what new thing we could discover together. The result is a brew of potent Afro funk-jazz grooves where rhythm is king and where groove trumps soloing.

Kora player Isa Kouyate plays and sings "Welcome unaccompanied to open the album. Stylistically somewhat incongruous with the music which follows, it is nevertheless a beautiful song and forms a kind of time-line from the past with Jimi Mbaye's electric guitar which follows; two styles, two Africans, one well.

On "Daxaar Steve Reid keeps up a pacey hi-hat and bass drum rhythm over a slow-building wave of Khadim Badji's infectious percussion, electronic punctuation, a swirling keyboard riff and flickering guitar lines. Five minutes later, Reid comes crashing down on his snare drum in a cracking, explosive moment which releases Boris Netsvetaev on an expressive keyboard solo full of personality.

"Jiggy Jiggy is a delightful, hand-clapping, Sly and the Family Stone-type groove on which Jimi Mbaye weaves his blues-edged guitar lines. Roger Ongolo's breezy trumpet wafts lazily by, picking up a little steam but not too much. Netsvetaev again shines on keyboard and Kieran Hebden's subtle use of electronics adds much to the ambience of the tune, his touches sounding almost flute-like.

The Bronx comes to Dakar on "Dabronxar, or more specifically the spirit of Miles Davis does. Minimalist guitar-lines, keyboard and floating trumpet are carried on a cymbal-driven rhythm recalling Davis' classic In A Silent Way (Columbia, 1969), only warmer and groovier.

There are no real pyrotechnics from Reid; rhythm is the thing. The ensemble get into a groove, lock it down and from there are free to explore the possibilities of group dialogue.

The journey which Steve Reid began two-score years ago continues. Daxaar affirms that Reid and Ensemble is a band to be reckoned with, drawing inspiration from the traditions and waves of the past, the trends of the present, and with one eye, one suspects, very much on the future.
Ian Patterson / All About Jazz

Monday, 22 March 2021

A Guy Called Gerald ‎– Hot Lemonade (1988)

Style: House, Techno, Acid House 
Format: CD, Vinyl, FLAC
Label: Rham!

Tracklist:
01.   Hot Lemonade
02.   Rhythm Of Life
03.   Arcade Fantasy
04.   Radio Active
05.   Music Sweet Muzic
06.   In The Beginning
07.   K9
08.   Escape II
09.   I Am Somebody
10.   Tranquility On Phobos
11.   Voodoo Ray (Radio Mix)

Credits:
Additional Keyboards – Colin Thorpe
Mastered By – Ian Cooper
Producer – A Guy Called Gerald, Paul Jones
Vocals – Aniff Cousins, Brenda Petrie
Written-By, Mixed By – A Guy Called Gerald

THERE'S A tiny photo on the sleeve of 'Hot Lemonade' of a shock-haired eccentric wired up to one of his fantastic inventions. That's Gerald Simpson, A Guy Called Gerald, the crazed dub professor of Acid House.

Coming out of nowhere in midsummer, Gerald took his 'Voodoo Ray' EP from local fame in the Northern House capital of Manchester to international acclaim as one of the most inventive producers in a genre that lived by its originality. Gerald is one of those rare independent activists who has been infused with life by the cyclic rhythms of House music. His slogan - as stated on the sleeve is keep it abstract; technology is his religion - he worships at the altar of Japanese software and the electronic kickdrum is his prayer call.

Gerald's talent is the subtle dissection of-fine slivers of noise, taking a shard of computer impulse, shredding it, rearranging it, repeating it: a born experimenter.

The sound is purest Acid, someplace between Tangerine Dream and 'Popcorn', while the beats are more frenetic than a pinball machine on overdrive. The microchip simplicity of titles like 'Arcade Fantasy' or 'Radio Active' testify to a Kraftwerk influence but the shy brightness of Gerald's smile means he could never be an androgynous showroom dummy.

The joys of perversity are the obscure glories of A Guy Called Gerald and this, perhaps, is the Acid House album to melt down all others. Keep on keeping it abstract, Gerald.
Matthew Collin /NME

Muriel Grossmann ‎– Elevation (2020)

Style: Modal, Soul-Jazz
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Jazzman

Tracklist:
1.   Elevation
2.   Rising
3.   Chant
4.   Your Pace
5.   Peace For All

Credits:
Bass – Gina Schwarz
Drums – Uros Stamenkovic
Guitar – Radomir Milojkovic
Composed By, Producer – Muriel Grossmann
Tenor Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone – Muriel Grossmann

In some ways, listening to a Muriel Grossmann album is like stepping back in time. Reflections of Coltrane, Dolphy and Sanders catch the light in my mind’s eye, dancing spirits infused with the power of discovery and inner healing. But it’s so much more than that. Embodying the borderless, fearless, pan-continental energies of contemporary modern jazz, Grossmann’s playing truly embodies the directness and eloquence of the older generation whilst capturing a new, fresh and inspiring virtuosity that leaves me breathless with admiration.

Born in Paris, raised in Vienna, resident in Ibiza, saxophonist and composer Muriel Grossmann has released a dozen albums as leader, going back to the early 2000s. Featuring sounds ranging from hard-swinging modernist jams to free improvisation, expansive spiritual work to rhythm-focussed Afrocentrism, there has always been a distinctive thread of pure and heartfelt spiritual music at the centre of her work. You can’t play this music successfully if you don’t mean it – like the music of her contemporary Nat Birchall, Grossmann’s engagement with the Coltrane tradition is sincere and deep. Her music resonates within the tradition, adding her own innovative voice to the story of modal and spiritual jazz in Europe.

“Elevation” is a vinyl only release from Jazzman, and draws on a selection from her 2016 CD album Natural Time (‘Your Pace’, ‘Peace For All’) and from 2017’s CD Momentum (‘Elevation’, ‘Chant’ and ‘Rising’). I discovered Grossman’s music relatively recently, through her two more recent albums, Reverence, and Golden Rule, both released on the RR Gems label. I instantly fell in love with her sound. Featuring her regular quartet of Radomir Milojkovic (guitar) Uros Stamenkovic (drums) and Gina Schwarz (bass), the music chosen for this album has the same feel and vibe to it as her more recent releases, encompassing all that is bold and beautiful about the way she and her band bring together a captivating sense of intimacy, joy and freedom from the glorious music they are performing.

Side A kicks off with a sense of urgency. The retro-feel to Grossmann’s music just adds to the vitality of it all. Crisp, sparkling, melodic invention mixes seamlessly with the deep grooves that arrive quickly, staying present for the tune’s duration, allowing for the gloriously spontaneous soloing to drift in and out of the title track. ‘Rising’ continues in a similar vein, the quartet creating a luxurious atmosphere that floats and slowly spills its gifts of life into the welcoming consciousness. As with all of the tunes here, the solid link between drums and bass, and sax and guitar, leaves a lasting impression, not unlike a late ’60s early ’70s improvisational Jan Garbarek/Terje Rypdal Quartet. Side B has a slightly less raw edge to it, with the sublime ‘Chant’ speaking volumes in a subtle, unhurried way. Alluring and timeless, ‘Your Pace’ is soulful and beguiling, it’s meditative melody enriched by the undoubted connection this group of musicians share. The closing piece ‘Peace For All’ features Grossmann at her best, her sax soulful and contemplative, before reaching out and soaring like a beautiful eagle flying over the most incredibly stunning mountain scenery. Emotive and strikingly innovative, this music is just so inspiring.
Mike Gates / UKVIBE

Sunday, 21 March 2021

Øresund Space Collective ‎– Dead Man In Space (2010)

Style: Space Rock
Format: CD, Vinyl, FLAC
Label: Space Rock Productions

Tracklist:
1.   High Pilots
2.   Who Tripped On The C(h)ord?
3.   Space Jazz Jam
4.   Dead Man In Space

Credits:
Recording Engineer – Lars Lundholm
Mastered By – Henrik Udd

"Dead Man In Space" was released as an LP (300 copies) in early 2009. The vinyl edition only contains the three songs "High Pilots", "Space Jazz Jam 2.2" and "Dead Man In Space". The CD (1,000 copies) now includes the ten and a half minute "Who Tripped On The C (h) ord". The Silberling version also got a different cover picture (see upper box). The LP has the front view shown next to this paragraph. 
The extremely active band Øresund Space Collective ( ØSC ) manages to square the circle and makes the relativity theory of space or jam rock audible and yes, almost tangible. The sound collages are touching beyond measure and when a band affords the luxury of a thirty-two and a half minute opener, then the fuel tanks are still empty afterwards. 
ØSC pushes the gravity regulator back to zero and lets the listener participate in natural musical phenomena as a passenger. Thus time and space definitely get different coordinates than with other groups. What the combo do with synthesizers, guitars, bass and rhythm instruments is gigantic. This is what Jam Rock should sound like in the galactic alignment. Sounds that change like the movements of single cells are the order of the day and the understanding of this genre is defined by ØSC . 
In and of itself, you could add the second track to the first track without any problems. A large part is driven by the synthesizer and only at the end the guitars rock with different pressure and the finely created melody arcs feel good. 
"Space Jazz Jam 2.2" is different, because ØSC gives a lot of space to its love of jazz on "Dead Man In Space". The saxophonist Anders is part of the party and the guitars and woodwind instruments do something very clever as a warming-up. Only a few notes are played with a "Take Five" affinity and the brain unconsciously continues the following notes that have not been played. This number makes it all too clear how cross-genre space music can be with a different metric. If Anders is already there, then one can, as an exception, speak of a saxophone solo. 
The fact that the ØSC -Traumfabrik also does very well under headphones does not need to be explained any further. The playing time of the song "Dead Man In Space" could easily be mistaken for a typographical error. Three minutes! To put it bluntly, it could be called ridiculous. The title track of the CD, which has been expanded compared to the LP, is a solo piece (in a new remix version) by Dr. Space . The voice of Dr. Space like from a space capsule or station. All the spoken messages from the 'Doc from Space' do not have to be understood and in some cases it is not possible at all, because there are alienation effects. 
If you like really well-made space rock, you should n't miss Øresund Space Collective with "Dead Man In Space". This combo is one of the best bands of this style and all around you get great sounds drifting into the psychedelic.
Joachim 'Joe' Brookes / Rock Times

Saturday, 20 March 2021

Sara Vidal ‎– Matriz (2020)

Style: Folk, Celtic
Format: CD, FLAC
Label: Sons Vadios

Tracklist:
01.   Baile da Meia Volta
02.   Descante aos Noivos
03.   Agora Vou Me Deitar
04.   Já os Galos Cantam
05.   Fiando o Linho
06.   Romance da Claralinda
07.   Idalina
08.   Adelaidinha
09.   Arvoredo
10.   Baile do Ladrão
11.   Verde Gaio
12.   Faça Ai Ai

Após ter sido, entre 2005 e 2011, a voz do grupo galego Luar na Lubre, um dos mais reconhecidos a nível internacional, e de múltiplas participações em diversos grupos portugueses, chega a vez de Sara Vidal se apresentar em nome próprio, com o seu primeiro disco a solo “Matriz” a marcar 15 anos de carreira.

O lançamento acontece a 11 de Dezembro com a estreia do videoclip do single “Baile da meia volta”.

Com uma sonoridade acústica e confluência de múltiplos instrumentos, a voz assume-se como o principal veículo condutor por entre uma selecção musical composta na íntegra por temas tradicionais, que aqui ganham novo pulsar e respirar pela direcção musical de Manuel Maio e Rui Ferreira. Em “Matriz”, somos convidados a viajar pela geografia portuguesa e a descobrir o cancioneiro tradicional de cada região sob um denominador comum: a condição feminina nas diferentes etapas da vida.

A pertinência artística deste trabalho assenta na valorização da música tradicional, enquanto veículo cultural e etnográfico da nossa matriz identitária. Ao mesmo tempo que se pretende desconstruir a ideia recorrente de que a música tradicional é pobre e limitada, este disco pretende sensibilizar novos públicos para a cultura popular, através de novas abordagens sonoras, que poderão ser mais atractivas e estimulantes à descoberta.

“Matriz” é o amadurecimento de 15 anos de percurso musical de Sara Vidal, que conta com uma vasta trajectória profissional nas músicas de raiz, entre Galiza e Portugal. Actualmente desenvolve o seu trabalho musical nos grupos Espiral, A Presença das Formigas, Diabo a Sete, Cantos da Quaresma e Companhia do Canto Popular, todos no âmbito das músicas do mundo, sendo reconhecida como uma das vozes de referência da música folk e tradicional portuguesa, tanto a nível nacional, como internacional.

Friday, 19 March 2021

Mary Halvorson's Code Girl ‎– Artlessly Falling (2020)

Genre: Jazz
Format: CDFLAC
Label: Firehouse 12 Records

Tracklist:
1.   The Lemon Trees
2.   Last-Minute Smears
3.   Walls And Roses
4.   Muzzling Unwashed
5.   Bigger Flames
6.   Mexican War Streets (Pittsburgh)
7.   A Nearing
8.   Artlessly Falling

Credits:
Guitar – Mary Halvorson
Bass – Michael Formanek
Drums – Tomas Fujiwara
Trumpet – Adam O'Farrill
Vocals – Robert Wyatt, Amirtha Kidambi
Tenor Saxophone, Vocals – Maria Grand
Producer – David Breskin, Mary Halvorson, Nick Lloyd

Guitarist Mary Halvorson has displayed her playing and composing talents in a number of settings, but this second release by her song-based band, Code Girl, is one of the most focused and intense things she has ever done.

Halvorson and her quintet constructed music around eight of her own poems, each written in a specific poetic form. The results are fluid and improvisational art songs, in the manner of complex but catchy British art rock groups of the 70s, such as Henry Cow, Hatfield and the North and Slapp Happy. That connection is made very explicit by the presence here of Robert Wyatt, one of the most respected musicians of that scene, who sings on three tracks.

Wyatt's high-scaled, raspy voice fits so snugly into the airy vocal harmonies and vertical guitar and trumpet lines of "The Lemon Trees." It sounds like a lost track from his classic album, Rock Bottom, (Virgin, 1974). He also hovers above the skewed guitar strumming and pale horn sounds of "Bigger Flames" with quavery vulnerability and serves as a gentle counterpoint to Halvorson's roaring guitar freak-out on "Walls And Roses."

The other tracks on the CD are equally potent, each creating unique moods. "Last Minute Smears" is a mournful jumble of lamenting female voices, soaring horns, stalking bass and subtle guitar centered around a found poem taken from the actual testimony of Supreme Court Justice Brent Kavanaugh at his confirmation hearing. Halvorson's slippery, zigzagging guitar notes rumble through "Muzzling Unwashed" in concert with Michael Formanek's bass and Tomas Fujiwara's drumming. Then Amirtha Kidambi and Maria Grand's high voices and Adam O'Farrill's strong trumpet emerges, unfolding into a passage of lyrical jazz beauty. "A Nearing" operates in a semi-classical Spanish mode, Formanek's trembling solo leads into a wary bolero where Kidambi's expressive voice melts into a tangle with the guitar and horns while the rhythm section's taut work keeps a firm foundation going underneath.

"Mexican War Streets" has Kidambi singing carefully over bowed bass and slowly picked guitar, creating a dreamlike effect carried through by the horns. Then Halvorson really cranks up the volume, exploding into heavy prog rock riffing looped and phased until it sounds like Robert Fripp in one of his most manic King Crimson solos. In contrast to that ,"Artlessly Falling" itself is a gentle duet between Kidambi and Halvorson with the singer's voice bending and shaping cryptic lyrics over billowing waves of tumbling, skidding guitar.

Halvorson, Formanek and Fujiwara have previously demonstrated their compatibility in their trio, Thumbscrew. Here they serve as a tight musical core that grounds all the complex interplay and makes it musically accessible. This, along with the gorgeous singing, brings emotion and poignance to the songs, even when their lyrics are oblique. This band creates a dazzling sound world and this set of songs is the most powerful and haunting body of work Mary Halvorson has achieved to date in her busy career.
Jerome Wilson / All About Jazz