Thursday, May 29, 2014

abdulla rashim - UNANIMITY (listen/read)

i reviewed abdulla rashim's excellent new album unanimity for RA! you can go read the review here, and you can give the LP a try over here on bandcamp, or through the player below:

i stand by everything i wrote in that review, but as a bit of an addendum...

lately i've been mostly unimpressed with what's going on in the world of techno. there's a lot of stale hype floating around, and substance is scarce among all the big brand names. furthermore, full-length highlights for the genre have been few and far between, with the results usually being better near the fringes. (a notable exception, sadly, is kangding ray's recent album, which for me is a disappointment; more on this later.)

unanimity is one of those highlights. with it, rashim has found a sweet spot amidst tumbling, textured drums and off-the-deep-end ambiance. there's a sense of endlessness here - unique but similar to some of the scene's other inspired and refreshingly emotional efforts - and those crafty, off-kilter 3/4 tracks are examples and reminders of an approach that is, unfortunately, rarely pursued elsewhere. this album is a distinctively mesmerizing techno trip, and for me it counts as one of the best released so far in 2014.

... now then, be on the lookout for more and more RA reviews from yours truly, coming soon!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

stream new albums from BEN FROST and AMBARCHI / O'MALLEY / DUNN

it's gonna be a *lazy* saturday for yours truly. but before i fully tune out, i wanted to point out a couple full album streams, courtesy of pitchfork:

BEN FROST - A U R O R A (mute/bedroom community) the iceland-based musician is about to drop his next full-length and right away you may notice it's a more synthetic trip than usual; he's put aside the guitars, pianos and other string instruments used previously. (once again though, he's got a squad of collaborators on hand, including tim hecker and lawrence english.) even with the change in approach, this is sounding pretty, pretty good... frost is touring in support of the album, though no US dates have been announced as of now. i was able to see him play live with his shoe-less, computer/guitar-based setup here during sonar chicago in 2010, which was a wonderfully thrilling performance, so i'll hope for another chicago stop at some point soon. go to here for the stream (and here for a recent interview, also on pitchfork), here for frost's youtube page with some tracks and a/v "excerpts" from the album, and here for his official site with tour dates.

AMBARCHI / O'MALLEY / DUNN - SHADE THEMES FROM KAIROS (drag city) here's something just released from the three-headed collaboration of australian oren ambarchi and two seattle artists: sunn O)))'s stephen o'malley and affiliate randall dunn. rooted in the trio's 2009 soundtrack work for the short film kairos. it's a set of long, exploratory jams (five tracks, and a complete length of over an hour) with loose but assertive percussion, and appropriately droning, ambient-ish guitars and synths. the whole thing is worthy of your joint-smoking time, and its artwork is really cool, too, as you can see in the imagery atop this post. i can't stop listening to "sometimes," a beautifully downcast track which features japanese vocalist ai aso. if you only have ten minutes to spare, i'd advise you to skip right to that one. stream here.

okay... happy weekend!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

steve moore - light echoes II

around the end of last year i happened upon steve moore's pangaea ultima, an album released on spectrum spools, which has recently turned into one of my favorite labels (thanks to works from artists like bee mask, container and donato dozzy). listening to pangaea ultima was my first serious foray into the music of this US producer, who makes obvious his penchant for grandiose synth music of all shapes and sizes. but moore has been quite active for over a decade with various projects, like the duo zombi, and more recently he's appeared on labels like kompakt and L.I.E.S.

while i highly recommend pangaea ultima, further research into moore's music has led me to his 2012 album for cuneiform records, light echoes. in particular, i've become rather obsessed with this fourteen-minute masterpiece, and the second of a two-part suite, "light echoes II." it all seems so simple; it's mostly 'just' a set of upward-curling arpeggios woven around endlessly sustained tones, but subtle modulations and bold key changes help turn it into a breathtaking trip. here's the youtube link just in case. otherwise, no more words... make rocket go now:

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

donato dozzy's DIMENSIONS EP gets a reissue!

good news: donato dozzy's 2006 record dimensions is getting a reissue!

the two-track EP was a relatively early addition to dozzy's production catalog, with an original version featuring that distinctive dozzy records cover art (at right). this reissue will come via the longstanding swiss label mental groove records, and first up is a limited-edition run of 100 white vinyl copies now available for pre-order at mental groove's bandcamp and big cartel pages, with july 5th listed as an approximate release date. a version on black wax will also be released, and distributed by word and sound.

you can listen to both tracks on bandcamp (and below). "gol" is a leaner, more airy cut, with moody strings and a supple acid riff, while "fazah" goes wild with a heavy, fuzzed-out 303 line.

it's already been a really busy year for dozzy and his music, which means it's a pretty good time to be a fan: his two aquaplano records with nuel were reissued on spectrum spools, and further records is offering another run of vinyl and CD copies of his fantastic first solo LP K. on top of that, dozzy has been busy working with neel (as voices from the lake), putting out an EP with tin man, and turning in a *fantastic* EP for stroboscopic artefacts, among other recent endeavors.

Monday, May 5, 2014

monday moods: patricia - body issues

here's a release from the pleasantly eclectic label opal tapes, and its recently minted black opal vinyl offshoot, that i've been enjoying a lot lately. it's called body issues, it comes from a brooklyn producer named patricia, and it was originally put out as a cassette on opal tapes last year before the vinyl version (the first from black opal) which dropped a few months ago. i'm not sure if patricia is a she or a he or whatever, but the name is definitely one to watch by virtue of this very nice collection of hazy, acid-infused, daydream-ready house tracks.

you can stream the whole thing, courtesy of the opal tapes bandcamp page, below. my favorites: "waiting for alexis" and "melting".

happy monday!