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Entries in Weekend Listening (14)

Sunday
Oct052014

Weekend Listening: Ornette Coleman at Town Hall, 1962

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—01. Recorded on December 21, 1962.

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An oft unappreciated or completely overlooked release in Ornette Coleman’s formidable and rewarding discography, his only album on the always impressive ESP-DISK’ label, and one that comes shortly after a complete overhaul of his classic quartet line-up. While the use of a string ensemble on ‘Dedication to Poets and Writers’ might not make much sense next to the rest of the material and could be skipped altogether, in my honest opinion, the highlight is really ‘The Ark’. Clocking in at just under 24 minutes, this composition stands out as ranking with some of Coleman’s most free and intuitive playing and further shows the incredible talents of his new band members at the time, bassist David Izenson and drummer Charles Moffett. Both of these talents would have a further opportunity to showcase their musical charisma with Coleman on his masterpiece live recordings, At the 'Golden Circle' Stockholm Vol. I and II, and their connection is readily apparent during the rewarding 24 minutes that close this release.

Available from ESP-DISK’

Sunday
Sep142014

Weekend Listening: Mercston – Back to 95 Part 2

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01. Track six of twelve.

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Although it seems unreal to say this, my obsession with Grime is now a decade old. I was going to mark the occasion by posting a Footsie instrumental tape from 2004, the year I discovered the genre, but last night I downloaded the newest installment of Mercston's Back to 95 series and thought I'd highlight that instead. While Mercston has never massively impressed me, with the exception of his garage-tinged, Ghetts-featuring single 'Good Old Days', it has become clear from listening to both parts of this series that he is definitely more comfortable rapping over the signature swung UK sound than he is rapping over the contemporary sound of Grime. Mercston won't come with one liners that will have you rewinding tunes, but his nostalgia-packed delivery flows beautifully over these timeless instrumentals, hijacked from artists like Roy Davis Jr. and Colours. This tape also has typically memorable appearances from Newham Generals' D Double E and Ruff Sqwad don Prince Rapid, making it well worth a click.

Grime HQ Download

Saturday
Aug302014

Weekend Listening: Kyle Bobby Dunn and the Infinite Sadness

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01. Vinyl.
02. CD.

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Kyle Bobby Dunn is steadily releasing huge, enveloping works of excellently crafted guitar-based ambient-drone music. His latest, Kyle Bobby Dunn and the Infinite Sadness, follows in the footsteps of a pair of previous records for the Low Point label. These stretch over two discs comprising roughly 120 minutes of slowly unfurling clouds of sustained tones akin to the sound of some new classical state of nirvana. There is an ever-present sense of humour in all of Dunn’s titling, but everything I have listened to from his discography is the closest thing to serious, blissed-out dream music I’ve ever heard. This record – which can be sampled from the Students of Decay label – is a must for anyone approaching his extensive catalog for the first time and looking for a large offering of splendid transcendental ambient music.

Students of Decay

Saturday
Jul122014

Weekend Listening: Charles Cohen

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Morphine Records, 2013

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The last few years have seen steadily rising vinyl sales, punctuated by reissues and so-called special editions, making it all too easy for some of the truly special releases to pass you by. One such cornerstone record is Charles Cohen's The Middle Distance; released last year on the groundbreaking Morphine label, it is part of a three-LP compilation comprising of music originally recorded between 1979 and 1988. While listening to Charles' work, you'll undoubtably make strong associations to experimental minimalist composers such as Terry Riley, but due to Charles' mastery of the ultra-rare Buchla synthesizer, his sound has a life of its own. The rhythms are complex and the sound design ranges from anywhere between lush and transformative to harsh and chaotic, making it impossible not to draw parallels with so many of the experimental dance music artists working today. With these records finally finding their way to the public this late in his career, it really makes you wonder what other genius unsigned artists are hiding unexplored in their local music troupes and theatre groups.

Charles Cohen on Discogs

Sunday
Jul062014

Weekend Listening: Nina Simone – Here Comes the Sun

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—01. 247 Main Street.

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Nina Simone's 1971 release, Here Comes the Sun, features some of my favourite album artwork, and of course the music isn't bad either. Simone covers songs by George Harrison and Bob Dylan, among others, on this eight track record and her soulful interpretations of these songs are perfect for a rainy day, or a weekend afternoon at home.

Available on iTunes

Sunday
Jun082014

Weekend Listening: 99% Invisible

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Episodes

—01. Structural Integrity.
—02. Barcodes.
—03. Breaking the Bank.
—04. Masters of the Uni-verse.

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Our designer, Ant Hooper, put me on to this podcast a while ago; I now look forward to it every week and have recommended it to many friends myself. Produced by Roman Mars and funded by the listeners through Kickstarter, the independent show speaks on design and architecture, though not overly specifically, making for a variety of interesting and engaging stories.

99% Invisible

Saturday
May242014

Weekend Listening: Yoshi Wada – Earth Horns with Electronic Drone

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—01. Recorded at Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse.
—02. Released on EM Records and Omega Point.

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Earth Horns with Electronic Drone is a mesmerizing release from the succinct catalog of veteran musician and sound installation artist, Yoshi Wada. Released in 2009 on the Japanese labels EM Records and Omega Point, the recording of a near three hour performance from 1974 at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, New York predates his previous three releases. Wada and three co-conspirators hold hypnotizing sustained tones on their 'earth horns,' anchored by an ever-present synthesizer drone played by a fifth member, Liz Phillips. This is early ritualistic drone music that serves as a time capsule of the 1970s experimental scene and foreshadows the sound of many contemporary bands. The three LP version contains the full 162 minutes of music and is lavishly packaged in four-colour printed 12 inch inner sleeves. This is a really heady listen that should appeal to any fans of early Terry Riley, Tony Conrad or the Taj Mahal Travellers.

Available from Mimaroglu Music Sales

Saturday
May172014

Weekend Listening: Clock DVA

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Fetish Records, 1981

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It seems there are a few bands from every genre that everyone knows and loves, while so many get unjustly relegated to the bench to be enjoyed strictly by music nerds and old heads. Most people justifiably love Joy Division, Bauhaus, Cabaret Voltaire, Throbbing Gristle and so many others that made up the very special period of late '70s to early '80s music now referred to as post-punk, industrial, or EBM. Unfortunately though, there's more than a few incredible bands that I've seen slip through the common man's fingertips. One of the these groups is the Sheffield-based EBM/experimental band Clock DVA. You won't see DVA T-shirts at Coachella, and a Supreme capsule collection is most likely not in the works, but believe me when I tell you they are a seminal band, worthy of further exploration. 4 Hours is quite possibly their most accessible tune, and appears as both a 7 inch single and on their wonderful 1981 album Thirst. Although some of their material is far more esoteric than this, it all plays an important part in their incredibly diverse catalogue.

Clock DVA on Discogs