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Entries in Weekend Listening (11)

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

Saturday
Apr262014

Weekend Listening: Flower Travellin' Band – Satori

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—01. Released in 1971, Atlantic Records Japan.

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Satori is the psych-rock masterwork of Japanese heavy-riffing juggernauts Flower Travellin' Band and has been receiving a lot of play around the shop as of late. Comprised of Satori Parts 1 to 5 and carried by the unique vocals of Joe Yamanaka, the four piece were Japan's leading example of a proto heavy metal band in the same vein as Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin. The riffs are endless and really steal the show. If you haven't discovered this gem already, there's every chance you'll be hooked after one listen. It's probably been in my collection for ten years now and this record never gets old. 

Insound

Saturday
Mar222014

Weekend Listening: Piñata

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—01. Vinyl LP.
—02. Freddie Gibbs.
—03. Madlib.

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It's hard not to be excited about any project involving Madlib, but add Freddie Gibbs' smooth, raw rhymes to the mix and you've got something special. Since hearing Thuggin' at the end of 2011, I had high hopes for future collaborations between the pair. Last week Piñata finally dropped and unsurprisingly it's one of the best hip hop albums in the last couple of years. An unlikely partnership on the face of it, the duo seem to balance one another out, with Gibbs clearly growing as an artist throughout the project.

Rappcats
Video: Thuggin'

Saturday
Feb012014

Weekend Listening: Tiger

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Dug Out PR-001
A1: Rap Pon Rydim
B1: Version

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Whether I liked it or not, Dancehall was a mainstay in the various vehicles of my Bay Area youth. For an individual like myself, who preferred the harshest rap, metal, jungle and techno the world had to offer, a large portion of the islander riddims were too tame for my taste. One artist who left me with nothing to complain about though was three decade deep Dancehall MC, Tiger. His signature growl of a delivery leaps off the record like a slap in the face, and coupled with a pummeling 909, forces your most base human instincts to rise to the surface. At the end of last year, and not a second too soon, Honest Jon's and Hard Wax's joint label Dug Out rereleased this tune on 7" vinyl.

Honest Jon's
Hard Wax