Thursday, February 28, 2013

Berangere Maximin - No One is an Island (Sub Rosa, 2012)

French electro-acoustic composer Berangere Maximin's latest album is the eleventh installment for Sub rosa's New Series Framework. She was joined by Christian Fennesz, Richard Pinhas, Rhys Chatham and Frederic D. Oberland.  Each performer recorded duets with Maximin. The results are stunning. There is chaos and concrete, powered by visceral rhythmic noise, and beauty and ephemera, by way of her subtle vocals paired with the processed guitars and trumpet.

This is an incredibly moving and beautiful record. If I had heard it last year, it definitely would have been in my Best of 2012 list.

Read full review of No One Is An Island - BERANGERE MAXIMIN on ©

William Basinski & Richard Chartier - Aurora Liminalis (Line, 2013)

I'm not sure I'm a good enough writer to express what Basinski's music does for me. The grasp he has on tape loop creation and manipulation is not something easily transcribed into a review format. My two encounters with his live performance were otherworldly, taking me to a particularly meditative state that nothing since has compared to. His melancholic and ghostly soundscapes traverse the temporal nature of physical reality. His music is zen in a very literal sense.

Richard Chartier is a renowned electronic sound artist who has had installations in galleries and museums around the world. This is the second collaboration he has recorded with Basinski, and with any luck, they do a third.

Read full review of Aurora Liminalis - WILLIAM BASINSKI & RICHARD CHARTIER on ©

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Kangarot - Starborn Architects (Holy Page, 2012)

We've all witnessed the new pandemic of John Carpenter worship. Many are tired of it, many have just discovered it. Personally, I saw my first Carpenter flick around 1984, so this music is branded into my psyche. Anything in said vein works for me. This is not to say everyone does it well, and the phenomenon is to the point where current artists are not only imitating the past, but they're imitating their contemporaries, causing a dull stagnancy that corrupts any collective innovation.

There are a few that are innovative with the nostalgia love. Josh Reed is one of them. Kangarot takes cinematic elements and adds a nice backbone of 80's electro / hip hop, ebm and industrial beats. I see NYC kids in the subway breakin' when I listen. He's a breath of fresh air for this genre. There's also a perfect fluidity throughout the recording, which by the way,  is all hardware. No laptops here.

I've tried to come up with clever tags to distinguish what he does... horror breaks, body rock menace... um, ok, I'll leave that up to someone else.

Also check his personal Bandcamp HERE

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

GermJumper - T.H.A. (Self-released, 2012)

Cyrus Shamir is all over the place, playing in the Atlanta band The N.E.C., contributing to Jamie Hepler (Soft Opening) on his drone project Nest Egg, recording and mixing for lots of people, and doing just about everything musically he has time for.

GermJumper is a solo project released last year. These are a couple of well crafted twenty minute forays in experimental electronics. The aesthetic is reminiscent of early electronic synthesis from Clara Rockmore, Pierre Henry or Morton Subotnick. There is also an eerie alien sub-space transmission feel to the entire composition. The combination of these elements, presented in an undulating rhythmic drone format, is quite different than the current trend of ambient / drone / noise. Shamir has a classical electronic grasp on structure. What seems like meandering is very controlled. This music is esoteric yet strikingly accessible to those with a modicum of interest in left of center sounds.