12PM 12.27.20 ~ 12PM 12.28.20, with Marvin Rosen
12PM 12.27.20 ~ 12PM 12.28.20, with Marvin Rosen
12PM 12.27.20 ~ 12PM 12.28.20, with Marvin Rosen
r O t O [rotogravure / roh-tuh-gruh-vyoor]
a photo-mechanical process by which pictures, typeset matter, etc., are printed from an intaglio copper cylinder.
Cover art for a rework (& new opening treatment) of a previous mix.
The new cover speaks to the content, which has a lot of glitch & found-sound tapestries woven in, much better than did the original. Having artwork embedded into the mp3 as it plays on my phone or iPad is something I find enjoyable (I use mp3 Tag). I think that art & music go hand-in-hand in the final deliverable (mixes being, in a manner of speaking, the new albums).
At first I was going to use this image for a new mix . . . but with no new material on the drawing board, and our show schedule nearly complete for 2021, I decided to do a reissue . . . only slightly altered
(heh . . . just like Brian Eno does ;- D )
Originally released in 2004 on the Apestaartje label, “Water Mirror” is now available again digitally via 12k.
Released July 3, 2020
–from Downbeat Magazine
The list below is a roundup of the 5, 4.5 and 4-star reviews that ran in the print edition of DownBeat during 2020. Before digging into what our critics said about your favorite albums this year, take look back at top-rated recordings from 2019 and 2018. (If a performer was the focus of a major feature, it’s likely their album wasn’t reviewed, and that was a factor in its omission from these lists.) DB
Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, AXIOM (Ropeadope)
“Oftentimes when we come into environments like this to play creative improvised music, someone uses the word ‘jazz,’ and then everyone in the room becomes a fuckin’ Fulbright scholar,” trumpeter Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah told the audience at New York’s Blue Note Jazz Club at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. “And that’s cool, but that has nothing to do with where this music’s power rests.” AXIOM, which was recorded that night, is a testament to that power.
John Beasley, MONK’estra Plays John Beasley (Mack Avenue)
John Beasley has arranged the brass brighter and brasher, the low horns to be more growly and his tasty keyboard parts to be artfully highlighted on his third album with the acclaimed MONK’estra. Extending neatly synchronized section motifs—those indelibly quirky Monk phrases—into swelling backdrops that balance freely impassioned soloists, Beasley as a pianist and composer draws out even more melodic, harmonic and rhythmic implications in music by Monk, Bird and Duke.
Carla Bley/Andy Sheppard/Steve Swallow, Life Goes On (ECM)
Life Goes On is a brilliant expression of the camaraderie developed by Carla Bley’s longtime trio with bassist Steve Swallow and saxophonist Andy Sheppard. It offers three suites highlighting Bley’s deft sense of dramatic development, her gifts as a soloist (often overshadowed by her composing) and the trio’s deadpan minimalism and subtly organic interplay. During Bley’s long career, there have been times when her work has merely seemed smart, but not emotionally resonant. Here, it’s both.
Bill Frisell, Valentine (Blue Note)
“Playing together” is a phrase so commonplace it’s easy to forget what it signifies. Of course, there’s the obvious: making music with others, performing as an ensemble, being creative in a group. But the music guitarist Bill Frisell, bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Rudy Royston offer here suggests a specific spin on the idea, one that emphasizes the togetherness of the playing. Even though the selections on Valentine hail from a range of styles, the performances represent jazz playing at its most sublime. And music seldom gets more “together” than that.
Guillermo Klein Y Los Guachos, Cristal (Sunnyside)
The Argentine pianist, composer and bandleader is working at the top of his game—and so is his 11-piece group, which includes jazz luminaries like alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón. Here, Klein features his own compositions, as well as those of Carlos Gardel, the early 20th-century tango singer whom Klein listened to growing up. But the album isn’t sentimental or even recherché. Cristal is thoroughly modern, with groovy beats, sophisticated horn voicings and a folksy feel that only could have come from Los Gauchos.
the list continues . . . here.
Released May 26, 2016
Tim Berne: Composer, Alto Sax
Tom Rainey: Drums
Craig Taborn: Piano
David Torn: Producer
Héctor Castillo: Audio Engineer, Audio Production, Engineer, Producer
Robert “RX Lord” Lewis: Photography
Steve Byram: Art and Design
elements__enigma | Jazz & Ether-Jazz | 82:08
Our final mixological offering for 2020:
Jazz, Ether Jazz, complex mathematics & . . . transcendence, distilled into something like ear-candy . . . only sweeter!
(pairs well with ‘elements_pause‘).
Predominantly drawn from Manfred Eicher’s ECM Euro-Label & kick started after listening to the Mal Waldron Trio‘s 51 year old (1969) ‘Free At Last‘.
01 Stephan Micus – Black Hill
02 Kit Downes – M7
03 Thomas Strønen & Time is a Blind Guide – Fugitive Places
04 Florian Weber, Ralph Alessi, Linda May Han Oh & Nasheet Waits – Schimmelreiter
05 Julia Hülsmann Quartet – Weit Weg
06 Mal Waldron Trio – Balladina
07 Yaz Ahmed – La Saboteuse
08 Michele Rabbia, Gianluca Petrella & Eivind Aarset – Nimbus
09 Avishai Cohen & Yonathan Avishai – Two Lines
10 Wolfgang Muthspiel, Ambrose Akinmusire, Brad Mehldau, Larry Grenadier & Eric Harland – Descendants
11 Louis Sclavis, Benjamin Moussay, Sarah Murcia & Christophe Lavergne – Prison
12 Erik Friedlander – Aap Ki
13 Dylan Howe – Warszawa
14 Stefano Battaglia & Michele Rabbia – Tanztheater
15 Miles Davis – John McLaughlin
It is with heavy hearts we lay tribute to composer and poet Harold Budd, who passed away today at the age of 84.
Born in 1936, Budd grew up in a small town in the Mojave Desert. After a chance encounter with jazz saxophonist Albert Ayler, Budd went on to become Ayler’s drummer and studied music composition. Budd produced avant-garde pieces between the late 60s-early 70s, as well as maintaining a teaching position at California Institute for the Arts.
Brian Eno got wind of Budd’s 1972 piece Madrigals of the Rose Angel after British composer Gavin Bryars introduced them. By the late 70s the two had joined forces again as Eno produced The Pavilion of Dreams (Obscure Records), followed by Ambient 2: The Plateaux of Mirror (1980) and 1984’s The Pearl.
“… with him I used to set up quite complicated treatments and then he would go out and play the piano. And you would hear him discovering, as he played, how to manipulate this treatment. How to make it ring and resonate. Which notes work particularly well on it. Which register of the piano. What speed to play at, of course, because some treatments just cloud out if they have too much information in them.”
– Brian Eno, on Harold Budd
Budd’s work with Eno channeled into a prolific career as a highly respected collaborator with the likes of Cocteau Twins/Robin Guthrie, XTC’s Andy Partridge, Clive Wright, and several noteworthy works with John Foxx such as Translucence/Drift Music. His signature “soft pedal” style of piano playing is instantly recognisable, haunting, ethereal. U2 sampled Cedars of Lebanon on the No Line on the Horizon album. Budd had a knack to take minimalism to spiritual heights, creating the sensation of floating in a chorus of angels’ voices. Budd’s track Children On The Hill appeared on the 1980 Factory Benelux From Brussels With Love compilation.
Harold Budd continued to release solo and collaborative albums up until his death, as well as other creative endeavours. He embarked on a year-long project with video artist Jane Maru which resulted in two albums, Jane 1-11 (2013), and Jane 12-21 (2014). In 2015 he released his seventh book of poetry, Aurora Teardrops.
Earlier in 2020, Budd scored the HBO series I Know This Much is True.
Budd’s work with Cocteau Twins’ Robin Guthrie spanned four decades. Just four days ago, Robin Guthrie and Harold Budd presented their latest collaboration, Another Flower. The album was written in 2013 at Guthrie’s home studio in Bordeaux, France and held unreleased until this week…a poignant parting gift from Harold Budd.
Slow, methodical organ recordings on this major new work from Kali Malone; a quietly subversive double album featuring almost two hours of concentrated, creeping organ pieces governed by a strict acoustic and compositional code with ultimately profound emotional resonance.
‘The Sacrificial Code’ takes a more surgical approach to the methods first explored on last year’s ‘Organ Dirges 2016 – 2017’. Over the course of three parts performed on three different organs, Malone’s minimalist process captures a jarring precision of closeness, both on the level of the materiality of the sounds and on the level of composition.The recordings here involved careful close miking of the pipe organ in such a way as to eliminate environmental identifiers as far as possible – essentially removing the large hall reverb so inextricably linked to the instrument. The pieces were then further compositionally stripped of gestural adornments and spontaneous expressive impulse – an approach that flows against the grain of the prevailing musical hegemony, where sound is so often manipulated, and composition often steeped in self indulgence. It echoes Steve Reich’s sentiment “..by voluntarily giving up the freedom to do whatever momentarily comes to mind, we are, as a result, free of all that momentarily comes to mind.”
With its slow, purified and seemingly austere qualities ‘The Sacrificial Code’ guides us through an almost trance-inducing process where we become vulnerable receptors for every slight movement, where every miniature shift in sound becomes magnified through stillness. As such, it’s a uniquely satisfying exercise in transcendence through self restraint – a stunning realisation of ideas borne out of academic and conceptual rigour which gradually reveals startling personal dimensions. It has a perception-altering quality that encourages self exploration free of signposts and without a preordained endpoint – the antithesis to the language of colourless musical platitudes we’ve become so accustomed to.
Released June 27, 2019
“Canons for Kirnberger III” (track 1-3) performed and recorded by K.M. at Kungliga Musikhögskolan in Stockholm.
“Norrlands Orgel”(track 4-6) performed and recorded by K.M. with assistance from Karl Sjölund at Studio Acusticum in Piteå.
“Live in Hagakyrka” (track 7 -10) performed by Ellen Arkbro & K.M. and recorded by Rasmus Persson at Hagakyrka in Gothenburg.
Music composed by Kali Malone
Mastered by Rashad Becker
Art and Photography by A.M. Rehm
Design/Layout by A.M. & Simone Cañez-Sabus
Ideal Recordings 2019
Numün is a trio of New York City soundscape designers who combine a wide range of music and visual influences to create hypnotic aural and visual experiences. The band members include “ambient country” pioneer Bob Holmes (from SUSS) as well as new music composer and artist, Joel Mellin, and percussionist and multi-instrumentalist Chris Romero (both from Gamelan Dharma Swara). Their influences range from sonic artists like Brian Eno and Morton Subotnick, to the environmental visual artists Olafur Eliason and Elias Romero, to Balinese composer I Nyoman Windha and shadow puppet master I Wayan Wija. As individual artists, their work has been seen and heard at MOMA, The Met, Basilica Hudson, The Bali Arts Festival, NPR, New Sounds, Echoes, and has been featured in Mojo, Wire, Pitchfork and Aquarium Drunkard.
Numün’s first album, “voyage au soleil”, will be released on Musique Impossible in Fall 2020. The original sessions came out of a project to commemorate the 50th anniversary of man’s first landing on the moon. The initial track, “Tranquility Base” was featured on the compilation, “The Moon and Back – One Small Step for Global Pop” and released on London-based WIAIWYA that same year. With 1969 as a starting point, numün began exploring what that period of history meant to them both personally and musically. Using a combination of traditional Balinese and Americana instrumentation, along with synthesizers and loop manipulation reminiscent of their musique concrete forbearers, numün created soundscapes that explored the hope, turmoil, and psychedelic escape and promise of that pivotal era. The final result is 6 tracks that take the listener on a trip to the heart of the sun.
The album’s first track, tranceport, is a welcoming that coaxes the listener into the vast, atmospheric numün experience with seemingly disparate instrumentation that includes a cümbüş (a fretless turkish banjo), a mellotron, a ’52 gibson hollowbody, violin, and Balinese gongs. As is the beautiful heartache of any journey into the beyond, the periodic gong cycles signal both a beginning and an end – they’re one and the same, and yet, with a twist at the end, this one track exemplifies numün’s unique musical style as both surprising and reassuring. With the journey begun, the second track, first steps is a story of finding your bearings in unfamiliar territory: the tremolo twang juxtaposed against the strident cümbüş combine as if David Lynch’s Twin Peaks were set on the far side of the moon. tranquility base, the album’s third track, is a memoir of the journey to date – from launch, to exploration, to looking back at our collective past and, yet, toward the future. Supported by Trina Basu’s (Brooklyn Raga Massive) beguiling violin work, Tranquility base is a swirling narrative that unfolds before the ears and expresses the optimistic hope that permeates numün’s work.
mission loss, the album’s 4th track, is what happens when those plans change. The transformation of the polyrhythms of this piece are a ‘Space Oddity’ as directed by Olaf Eliason as the mission changes from a return home to a journey to the sun. And as situations change, the penultimate track, expanse, sets the listener into the introspective space between any here and any there. Featuring harpsichord and a brief theremin, expanse, speaks to the unknown and uneasiness before determination sets in, as does the final title track, voyage au soleil. Somewhere between Beck’s ‘Morning Phase’ and Anton Newcombe, voyage au soleil is a mission that only goes in one direction – forward.
Released September 4, 2020
Bob Holmes bass, guitar, harpsichord, synths, violin static
Joel Mellin piano, organ, guitar, gongs, gender wayang, theremin, bass, synths, assorted percussion
Christopher Romero dholak, cümbüş
w/guest Trina Basu: violin
All compositions by Holmes/Mellin/Romero High-Lonesome Music (BMI) / Musique Impossible (BMI) / Manyplace Music Publishing (BMI)
©℗ 2020 numün / Musique Impossible All Rights Reserved
In pursuit of excellence
Digressions & musings on Ambient, Electronica, Mixing & the Ether
Jazz is the Teacher - Funk is the Preacher
lead from the front
Christian inspiration and encouragement to give a jolt of caffeine to your soul.
We started and we will finish