Showing posts from August, 2013

What I Heard This Morning: I Know You Well Miss Clara and simakDialog

MoonJune Records is releasing two progressively positioned jazz albums from Indonesia's I Know You Well Miss Clara ( Chapter One ) and simakDialog (The 6th Story) .  I spent some time today listening to snippets of each album and really enjoyed what I heard.  IKYWMC is playing Mahavishu Orchestra straight up, but it sounds great. All info comes courtesy of MoonJune Records. TWO EXTRAORDINARY PROGRESSIVE JAZZ BANDS FROM INDONESIA, RELEASING TWO OUTSTANDING STUDIO ALBUMS I KNOW YOU WELL MISS CLARA – "Chapter One" simakDIALOG – "The 6th Story" The Sixth Story is the exhilarating, full-throttle follow-up to 2009's critically-acclaimed Demi Masa and 2007's Patahan (one of Mr. MoonJune's favorite album on the label), from the Indonesian progressive gamelan-jazz band simakDialog . Raising the benchmark in a genre known for its brilliant artists is no easy feat, but this album is up to the task: each composition is an exquisite master-class

Jesu: "Homesick"

I've possibly granted Jesu 's upcoming new album, the title of which is Everyday I Get Closer To The Light From Which I Came , a little too much ink.  But, I'm enthused. A new single, "Homesick," premiered last week.  You can give a listen below.  Be sure your tears aren't plentiful enough to damage your keyboard. Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Singels: Black Moth, HSY, Akron/Family, Big Black Cloud, Joanna Gruesome, No Age

Black Moth : "The Articulate Dead" (via SPIN ) HSY : "Milk Chug" (via Noisey ) Akron/Family : "Sand Talk" (via Dead Oceans) Big Black Cloud : "Bomb My Brain" (via Brooklyn Vegan ) Joanna Gruesome : "Sugarcrush" (via Pitchfork ) No Age: "An Impression" (via SPIN ) Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Has Locrian Ever Left Annihilation? (or, the Perils of Misty Shopping Carts)

Locrian Return to Annihilation Relapse Records Released: 6.25.13 In jazz critic Ben Ratliff 's book, Coltrane: The Story of a Sound , there's a quote from drummer Rashied Ali that stuck with me long after I'd finished the last page. Toward the end of John Coltrane 's life, and as his creative evolution had taken him irretrievably into the throes of structureless free form jazz and the ultimate demonstration of improvisational chaos, he'd begun to pound on his chest and holler into the microphone during live performances. Ali said, "I'd say, 'Trane, man, why are you doing that, beating on your chest and howling into the microphone?' He'd say, 'Man, I can't find nothing else to play on the horn.' He exhausted the saxophone. He couldn't find nothing else to play... he ran out of horn." Coltrane passed away in 1967, before this dilemma really led to any noticeable skid in his production as a musician. He remained

Skeletonwitch: "Burned From Bone"

Following the very good Forever Abomination , Skeletonwitch is releasing a new album, Serpents Unleashed .  "Burned From Bone" is the first track/video to surface online, preceding the album's release date of late October.  Lots of time to wait, but 2013's been flying by, so I think October will be here before we know it.  All info is courtesy of Earsplit PR. Kurt Ballou and John Baizley always seem to have their hands full these days.  SKELETONWITCH: New Album Serpents Unleashed Due This October Free Download Of New Track Available Now; Behind-The-Scenes Studio Footage Posted Currently celebrating ten years of blackened metal, SKELETONWITCH are proud to unveil details about their most venomous release yet -- Serpents Unleashed . Set for release in North America on October 29 (October 28 EU/UK, October 25 Germany), the highly anticipated follow-up to 2011's critical-lauded, Billboard-charting Forever Abomination was recorded earlier this year at

Al Cisneros: "Ark Procession"

Al Cisneros , the low end provider/vocal demonizer for both Sleep and OM , is putting out a two-song 10" via Drag City, "Ark Procession" b/w "Jericho."  The A-side has surfaced online and it's more of a dub track, sort of in line with the 12" Alpha & Omega remixes of selected tracks from OM's Advaitic Songs , which was released as Addis Dubplate and Gethsemane Dubplate respectively. All links and info are courtesy of Rarely Unable. OM's Advaitic Songs was reviewed at No Ripcord . INTRODUCING THE NEW EXPLORATION IN MINIMALISM FROM AL CISNEROS; VIDEO FOR ARK PROCESSION RELEASED Al Cisneros is no stranger to the deep meditations of a minimalist, sub-sonic song. The ritual low-end thunder his band OM bestow as gospel both live and on record can hardly be described as minimal, yet never needs more than a smattering of accompaniment beyond its usual, steady drumming. Perhaps a bit of guitar here, some keys there, or maybe just som

Singles: Russian Circles, A Storm of Light, Weaves, Blouse, Gigan

Russian Circles : "Deficit" (via Sargent House/ Pitchfork ) A Storm of Light : "Disintegrate" (via The Quietus ) Weaves: "Motorcycle" (via Ad Hoc ) Blouse:   "A Feeling Like This" (via NYLON ) Gigan : "Influence Through Ritualistic Projection" (via Revolver Magazine ) Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

jesu: Trailer for the upcoming Everyday I Get Closer To The Light From Which I Came

An audio snippet in the form of a trailer for the upcoming jesu album, Everyday I Get Closer to the Light From Which I Came , has surfaced.  You can find the visual below as well as some info on the release, which were provided by Rarely Unable.  JESU: FORTHCOMING ALBUM DETAILS UNVEILED; PLUS AUDIO SAMPLE REVEALED Building up to the September 23rd release on Avalanche, jesu have released the first alluring details of forthcoming album Everyday I Get Closer To The Light From Which I Came and understandably, there is good reason to be excited. Today we can unveil the album artwork (shown above) and tracklisting: 1. Homesick 2. Comforter 3. Everyday 4. The Great Leveller 5. Grey Is The Colour jesu have also revealed this audio sample from the album, which includes an edit for the powerful album opener, 'Homesick': (direct link: ) ABOUT THE ALBUM... Beginning with ‘Homesick', with its guitar hooks, shoegaze textures and familar

Public Guilt (2004-2013)

Another independent label goes defunct: Baltimore's Public Guilt, after a two-year run of silence, is shutting down. One of the more eclectic and strange labels I'd come across, Public Guilt rep'd an abundantly odd roster of experimental bands that I thought cultivated some of the more art-bred, "thinking" music I'd heard. I really got into Zu 's The Way of the Animal Powers , (which I reviewed for No Ripcord in 2010) and Aluk Todolo 's Finsternis (also reviewed ). I picked up a couple Aluk Todolo releases from the label a few years ago, so I'm happy I was able to help support Public Guilt to some extent, both through coverage and patronage. The good people at Public Guilt are, of course, cleaning house and offering some very good discounts on a lot of their merchandise, so I'd recommend hitting up their site as soon as you can. Items are being picked through quickly. As is always the case when commercially antithetic entities like

Moderat: "Bad Kingdom" (Video)

Electro-pop trio, Moderat , has released its new album, II . "Bad Kingdom" is the first (and I think only) single from the album and it has a pop-melodic hook and soulful vocal strong enough to grab my attention. Check out the single and peruse the information below, which is courtesy of Mute. MODERAT – II OUT NOW Berlin based electronic music trio, Moderat have just released their meticulous and dynamic sophomore LP, II via Mute. Comprised of Sascha Ring ( Apparat ), Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary ( Modeselektor ), Moderat represent the very best in innovative electronic music infused with infectious and poppy vocals. IIhas dialed in the aesthetics of Modeselektor’s throbbing bass and tricky beats while maintaining the delicate vocals we’ve come to love and expect from Apparat. II is the most diverse and complex piece of work released by Moderat to date - confidently and capriciously capturing a broad range of the emotional spectrum. You can watch the

George Duke (1946-2013)

We lost a giant today: jazz musician George Duke passed away at the age of 67.  For me, George Duke is a name I immediately associate with many of my favorite albums by Frank Zappa , The Grand Wazoo (1972), Apostrophe (') (1974) and Roxy & Elsewhere (1974) in particular, though his list as collaborator, leader and co-performer is extensive to say the least.  Duke worked with Cannonball Adderley , Stanley Clarke , Miles Davis , Billy Cobham , John McLaughlin and Jean-Luc Ponty (also Zappa alum) to name a few.  Duke had recently released what is now his final album, DreamWeaver , which was written in tribute to his late wife, Corine .  A creative spirit is silenced and music suffers without him.   R.I.P., George Duke. Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

The Inbox Giveth: Stave

Stave Reform FSS Released: 8.6.13 Un-sleek and minimal despite his attempts at weighted programming, Jonathan Krohn 's Stave is about as Suicide as I've heard an electronic musician sound recently, though I'll admit that I may have missed an act or two.  With Reform , his first release as Stave, Krohn amasses percussive, electrified loops and deep, solitary drones to craft a very cold debut.  Not that it lacks character, but there's no warmth to be heard, its sounds bereft of humanity, though rhythmically dense. As calculated as it is absorbing, Krohn assembles beat articulations that talk over each other, creating these very unsettling and automated environs that either rapidly pulsate ("The Feat") or crowd in a nervous or phobic manner ("Gun Control").  "Tower9," its streams of fuzz delivered like a dysfunctional flatline, synthesizes its beat combinations into a deluge of pounded depth that's almost danceable.  The album

Wolf Eyes: "Born Liar/"Lower Drools"

Because what's Monday without some erupting aural machinery to knock your head back into alignment after a couple days of late night, chemically imbalanced and adulterated mania instigated by the mere presence of 5PM on Friday night? No Answer: Lower Floors , the new album from Wolf Eyes is out and about, ready to push some heads into working gears and split them all like cantaloupes. NPR is hosting a new video for the single, "Born Liar," while The Fader is kind of enough to offer "Lower Drools," which is 17 rather cacophonous minutes of perpetual motion and ongoing expanse.   All this comes courtesy of Enabler PR.  Enjoy. WATCH “BORN LIAR” VIDEO VIA NPR FALL TOUR INCLUDES EUROPE, HOPSCOTCH & MORE HEAR A FADER MIX : LOWER DROLLS NEW ALBUM NO ANSWER: LOWER FLOORS OUT NOW In April, Wolf Eyes released their latest offering of nuclear waste, No Answer: Lower Floors . The album showcased the Michigan's collective most concise & p