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Entries in Weekend Listening (17)

Saturday
Dec202014

Weekend Listening: Grouper – Ruins

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—01. Released on October 31, 2014.

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The latest album from Grouper entitled Ruins was released earlier this year, having been recorded in 2011 while Liz Harris was staying in Portugal. Intimate, dark, dreamy and beautifully restrained, the record features a generally sombre tone, "living in the remains of love," as Harris puts it.

Available from Kranky

Saturday
Dec062014

Weekend Listening: PartyNextDoor – PND Colours

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—01. Let's Get Married.
—02. Don't Worry (Feat. Cash Out).
—03. Jus Know (Feat. Travis Scott).
—04. Girl From Oakland.

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To coincide with his world tour announcement, PartyNextDoor issued PND Colours this week. The four-track EP includes cameos by Travis Scott and Cash Out, and represents the Toronto-based artist's first release since his debut album earlier in the year.

SoundCloud

Sunday
Nov022014

Weekend Listening: Coil - Gold is the Metal (With the Broadest Shoulders)

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01. Directed by Peter Christopherson.

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I was looking through the most expensive records bought on Discogs this month, and right there at the top, was a limited edition of Coil's 1987 masterpiece Gold is the Metal (With the Broadest Shoulders). While I recently found that this is actually an album of outtakes from their first two records, you certainly wouldn't know it listening to the LP as a whole. Coil as a group are widely known as 'experimental noise' artists, which, to an outsider, can sound like the most daunting description of music imaginable. I think if you give this record a chance though, you will find more often than not this 'noise' resembles pretty beautiful music. The cuts range wildly in variety, you will hear everything from classical compositions, to screeching madness, to the more rhythmic numbers that ended up being the catalyst for the creation of industrial techno. The song I feature here falls into the more classical category, accompanied by the original video directed by Coil co-founder Peter 'Sleazy' Christopherson, of Psychic TV fame. Please keep any jokes about its vague similarity to the Game of Thrones theme music to yourself, thanks.

Coil discography via Discogs

Sunday
Oct052014

Weekend Listening: Ornette Coleman – 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

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