- LOCAL TRADITIONAL
- THE REST
"I've always been interested in beats and surprised by how limited and dull most of the mainstream beat-orientated music is. It's not like it's impossible to have a great beat and still make something interesting! I simply don't like listening to music that bores me. I think it's also important to discuss the reversed situation - that experimental music doesn't have to be overly difficult or unpleasant to be interesting." That's Klara Lewis explaining her motivations for making music in an interview with The Quietus. Her words stuck with me. "Experimental music doesn't have to be overly difficult or unpleasant to be interesting." It seems to me that composers are beginning to take this sentiment to heart in big ways. I've heard some jazz this year, some real challenging game changing playing... and it's this set of tunes that reminds me that stimulating stuff need not be difficult to listen to. I can play these jams in the car on the way to lunch with my sisters. These really smart tunes do not necessarily demand one's undivided attention. However, they certainly do reward devoted listenings. Thomas Morgan is king and his bass playing speaks volumes. Jim Black's beats are so fun and off kilter that they challenge the listener to keep up. Elias Stemeseder is a pianist to follow, who, playing on his third record with this trio, is only 26 years young. That should not be impressive in and of itself. Yet when you hear the emotional intensity on this record, you marvel at the maturity expressed therein.
this band played down tempo rock way before it was cool. bands like low and bedhead and codeine might not even exist if not for this record. ok, that might be an exaggeration. still, listen to this record and think about the fact that it came out in 88 and think about how timeless it sounds. the record was recorded in a church in canada by a band that included three siblings, in one day (ok, except for one song recorded a day or two later) with no mixing and no overdubbing, iwth the band playing live positioned in a circle surrounding one single stereo microphone. the result, indeed, is the feeling of being in the same room as this music as its being played. the set includes a hefty share of covers ranging from traditional folk numbers to elvis to lou reed to hank williams. my favourite track is probably 'i'm so lonesome i could cry'. the title of that song only hints at the devastation of the feeling communicated therein.
here we have a nice life affirming set of tunes from papa m, aka david pajo, the guitarist of slint. nine songs, the first eight of which are instrumental. some heavier tunes, some prettier tunes, some rollicking others soothing. an inspiring release that's enough to fuel any man woman or child's ambitions to be a bedroom musician.
since we don't have flying cars or commercial jet packs yet, machines had better at least be making great music. what is the most sophisticated contemporary music being made in 2016? one could certainly make a solid case for electronic music. it pushes the known boundaries of rhythm melody texture tambre consonance dissonance absurdity acceptibility etc etc etc etc etc. this one is a stellar release from demdike stare, in my opinion their best to date. it's listenable, rideable, engaging, challenging, & unpredictable. one thing that this record does that, to me, seems to be fairly prevailent in electronic music today is it places itself squarely in the mid way point between being avant guard and pop.
i never listened to the music of aphex twin in the nineties because these album covers repulsed me. add to that the imagery of copying and pasting this face onto a bikini clad buxom woman's body, juxtaposing this bearded toothy rictus with scantily clad fake looking women's breasts, as this artist did in his promotional material... and... that was enough to turn me off the the work of this musical genius. i am ashamed to admit this. however, in my defense, at that time, i was still masturbating to victoria's secret catalogs that i'd stolen from friends' moms. my mom didn't get those leingerie catalogues in the mail, thank heavens, because that would have been very confusing and upsetting for my young highly impressionable mind. dope jams on this record. definitely stands the test of time. it's so nice to get aquainted with the work of a massively famous artist and to feel that all the hype is deserved for a change.
one thing i have learned that traditional musics from indonesia and india have in common is that they have certain musics that are designated for specific times of day. i always liked that. this here is a fine release of upbeat electronic music from the talented producer max cooper. this one is a bit more exciting to me than his later record, 'emergence'. this is pop music. it's fun. not to be taken too seriously, in my opinion. definitely day time jams.
klara lewis strikes a very nice balance in her music between stasis and movement. she takes cues from minimal techno as much as she does from drone music. the music is shadowy, lurks in the background, doesn't demand too much of your attention, just slowly and meticulously massages you and readies you for your lobotomy.