Kuba Ziołek is quickly becoming one of my favorite Polish musicians – I think he should change his name to Midas Ziołek, because everything he touches turns into psychedelic gold. He’s got an unique vision of sound that was practically absent until lately in most “underground” Polish music. With every project he’s taking part in – Hokei, Stara Rzeka, Innercity Ensemble, Ti’en Lai, Ed Wood – every sound is marked with musical erudition and esoteric energy – the sound is described as “magical brutalism”, a term that fits perfectly despite its paradoxical inclinations. As Alameda 3, Ziołek teams up with Tomek Popowski on drums and Mikołaj Zieliński on bass to create an all-enveloping wall of trippy post-post-rock sound with a fragmented, atonal noise/math-rock edge. What else might a tireless explorer of experimental guitar sounds need? Pretty fucking essential. Highly recommended, along with other projects by Kuba, which I’ve given earlier in this post.
EDIT: Apparently, We Are From Poland! used the same Midas reference when writing about Alameda 3, too. What a coincidence! Great minds think alike. 🙂
Wilmington’s William Clay Martin documents the death and re-birth of nature through a rich tapestry of loop-based guitar and synthesizer ambience on Sadler. The cassette starts coldly, with austere, Loscil-like beats making pace for shimmering, distant guitar distortions rising from the wintery landscape. But as the spring is approaching, the sound gets warmer and more welcoming, budding with hope like the fresh leaves on trees. When spring’s in full swing and there’s a breath of summer to be felt everywhere, the tape also gets into full swing, giving the restrained guitar a new life, exploding into wonderful Tortoisian impressions reflecting the warm intimacy of spring and summer evenings. From hoarfrost to holidays in nearly 50 minutes.
With a cover looking like a poster for a vintage crime film, the Paris based group Tara King th. (“th” standing for “theory”) seem to aspire to be the ultimate 60’s baroque/psychedelic pop revivalists in the category of both music and visuals – as stated on the Moon Glyph page, the album is the soundtrack to their own photographic series (check out the music videos they made for this cassette on YouTube, that’s some top-notch 60’s nostalgia right there). Add to this the wonderful vocals in French and we might be getting an overlooked gem of 2013.
Hirondelle et Beretta plays like both a homage and an anthology of most prevalent musical ideas in France and the United Kingdom – ranging from airy chansons to cinematic masterpieces and proggy interludes, all encased within the amber-colored psychedelic time capsule, which is intended to sound like the tape was unearthed after almost 50 years from some dusty record label archive. Actually, it could’ve been described like that on the Moon Glyph page and I would believe it!
Tara King th. brings out all the instruments that once were the staple of pop sounds and got forgotten over the decades: like the wonderful harpsichord, making presence on nearly every track, bringing a lighthearted, baroque feel to the already atmospheric album. Or the clarinets and flutes, perfectly arranged and never out of place. Add some early, delicate synth work in the vein of early 70’s Pink Floyd (“Drole D’Oiseau”) and the bliss gets more and more intense with every second. Most importantly, the duo have a knack for writing incredibly catchy, infectious pop tunes that stick in the listener’s head after one or two listens – like the opening masterpiece “L’Envol” that could easily be an opening theme for a classic film or TV series or the Farfisa driven 3-minute eargasm “L’Enquete”.
Out of all solid stuff released by Moon Glyph, the new cassette by Tara King th. stands out. Because of length, because of the ability to perfectly channel the spirit of the 60’s (it’s like “Mad Men” of music, seriously), because of the whole concept, which doesn’t end only at music and dares to extend further. Highly recommended!
The lengthy raga by Pandit Pran Nath, recorded at Big Apple Recording Studios in New York City on August 21, 1976 is a real challenge to the Western mind, especially in the Internet age, where there seems to be distractions waiting on every step and the attention spans are gradually more fragmented and shortened. I wasn’t an exception from this – during the course of the 1 hour raga, I’ve done several different things on my computer, which is almost like a profanation of the musical genius of Pran Nath (and which makes me feel bad and disrespectful to that great musician). It’s an exercise in patience and an amazing meditational piece, a glimpse of a different world with no distractions and clear, pure minds free of unnecessary trash. Listen, get immersed and try to keep the amount of distractions to a minimum, and you will be rewarded. Maybe even with a life-changing experience, if you listen closely enough. Highly recommended.
If the term “New Age house” doesn’t exist yet, it’s about time to invent it for the music of Garrick Biggs a.k.a. Stag Hare. Since 2008 he’s been fusing sprawling, ambient electronics with tribal and New Age influences into a glowing orb of bliss, but on Angel Tech it seems that he’s become a slave to the rhythm and began making music suitable for some hippie clubbing. This cassette will make you want to party soft – bobbing your head while staring onto the rolling clouds. Recommended! Available on November 26 from Space Slave.
The Canadian city of Montreal is an unique melting pot of people, influences and styles resulting in one of the most interesting and colorful experimental scenes in modern electronic music. Among many knob twiddlers and synth wizards is Francesco de Gallo, more widely known as Hobo Cubes. Rapid Glow, released by the Montreal based label Jeunesse Cosmique, sees de Gallo at his more random and accidental, going on a rollercoaster ride of early analog synthesizers and the idea of musique concrete, warping the sounds and bending the surroundings at a whim. Not many beautiful melodies here, just some raw synthesis with its edges rounded for more listening pleasure.