Free with The Wire October 2003 issue 236
01 GUIDO MOBIUS NELLES
Berlin resident Guido Möbius is a member of the trio Blinker Inc. and composes soundtracks for silent films. As a solo artist, he creates complex yet intimate soundworlds, using mainly acoustic instruments. Möbius declares an interest in polyrhythmic percussion patterns and constantly changing harmonies. "Nelles" is taken from his debut album, Klisten (Klangkrieg Produktionen).
06 KIM HIORTHØY TRACK 5
Norwegian visual artist Kim Hiorthoy is well known for his sleeve designs for Oslo's Rune Grammofon label. He is also a musician; working with toy instruments, field recordings and analogue kit, Hiorthøy produces a quirky, multilayered type of electronica. "Track 5" is taken from his forthcoming Smalltown Supersound live mini-album, Live Shet.
11 POLMO POLPO LIKE HEARTS SWELLING (EDIT)
Polmo Polpo is the main project of Toronto based musician Sandro Perri. Hanged Up violinist Gen Heistek accompanies Perri on "Like Hearts Swelling" (taken from the forthcoming Constellation album of the same name), a kaleidoscopic instrumental on which submerged rhythms are overlaid with instrumental sources such as slide guitar, strings and accordion, creating a mesh of tiny melodic figures.
02 ALIAS BEGINAGAIN
Rapper and producer Brendon Whitney (aka Alias) is a member of California's prolific indie HipHop collective, Anticon, which has amassed an impressive catalogue of work over the past five years. The predominantly instrumental "Beginagain" is taken from his third solo album, Muted (Anticon), and sees Whitney developing a strain of electronica reminiscent of Boards Of Canada and early Aphex Twin, albeit one underpinned by those foggy, downtempo beats familiar from so many Anticon releases.
07 MICE PARADE FOCUS ON THE ROLLER COASTER
Mice Parade is the solo project of New York's Adam Pierce, co-founder of The Dylan Group and director of Bubblecore Records. Mice Parade evidences Pierce's individual take on post-rock and electronica, with moods drifting from the densely percussive to the sparse and fragile. Pierce has a tendency to record each track ‹ riddled with sudden cuts, false turns and jolting time signatures ‹ live, and in just one take. "Focus On The Roller Coaster" comes from the forthcoming Fat Cat release, Obrigado Saudade.
12 FAUST & DÄLEK T-ELECTRONIQUE
"T-Electronique" features the outwardly unlikely combination of New Jersey trio Dälek's highly structured HipHop and the unruly industrial noise of those great Krautrock survivors, Faust. But the German group's apocalyptic beats and abstract rhythms work fluidly beneath Dälek's dense, cryptic rapping, turntable manipulation and grinding monumentum. The track originally appeared on Faust's Ravvivando (1999), a co-release between Faust's own Klangbad label and the Cologne based Staubgold operation.
03 ANIMAL COLLECTIVE BAT YOU'LL FLY
Animal Collective are a Brooklyn based quartet who rotate through various instrumental configurations, and have gained a reputation for playing non-stop live sets. The group's idiosyncratic, regularly improvised music has a childlike charm, like a 21st century update on early Syd Barrett. "Bat You'll Fly" was written by the Collective's founding members, Avey Tare and Panda Bear, and is lifted from their debut LP, Spirit They're Gone Spirit They've Vanished (Fat Cat), which was originally released on their own Animal imprint.
08 COLLEEN EVERYONE ALIVE WANTS ANSWERS
Parisian Cecile Schott's debut album, Everyone Alive Wants Answers, was released on the Leaf Label earlier this year and follows on from her exquisite debut single, "Babies" (Active Suspension). Schott's spider webs of sound are flecked with warmth, as she switches between a broken music box, a glockenspiel and acoustic guitar. This title track is a slow burning, intricately structured example of Schott's compelling manipulation of sound.
13 FOUR TET SPIRIT FINGERS
Four Tet is the sample-heavy solo project of London's Kieran Hebden, who originally cut his teeth in the experimental post-rock trio, Fridge. Hebden's ad hoc approach to composition is largely undertaken using computer programs, resulting in an adventurous blend of artificial IDM beats, warped instruments and devious sonic trickery. "Spirit Fingers" is taken from his third album, Rounds, which has recently been released on Domino.
04 MAHER SHALAL HASH BAZ POST OFFICE
Recorded in East Kilbride Arts Centre, Scotland, in May 2002, Blues Du Jour (Geographic) features 41 new compositions by Tori Kudo, the leader of Japan's Maher Shalal Hash Baz. "Post Office" is one of Kudo's most gorgeous songs; in his words, the story of a disappearing woman whose hope never vanishes. The track features Alison Mitchell (trumpet) and Katrina Mitchell (xylophone) from The Pastels, in addition to the sevenpiece Maher group which participated in the sessions.
09 THEMSELVES GOOD PEOPLE CHECK (HRVATSKI
The original recording of "Good People Check" appeared on The No. Music, Themselves's second album, released in 2002. Hrvatski's version is from The No. Music Of Aiffs (Anticon), a remix album with contributions from Hood and Tortoise's John Herndon among others. Themselves are Anticon's Doseone, an artist self-described as "free of form", and Jel, whose drum machine mastery gives this outer edge HipHop a clipped, distinct rhythmic sensibility.
14 ROB ELLIS MUSIC FOR THE HOME NO 4 CHURCH
Rob Ellis has built up a strong reputation for his contributions to various underground films, and through his work as a sculptor and photographer. When it comes to music, he is best known as a producer for PJ Harvey and Orbital, as well as percussionist in Laika, and leader of his own group Spleen. A self-taught multi-instrumentalist, Ellis has been recording his mix of contemporary classical music and jazz for several years. "Music For The Home No 4 Church Opposite" is taken from a forthcoming release on the Leaf Label.
05 SKETCH SHOW CHRONOGRAPH
Sketch Show features two former members of Yellow Magic Orchestra, Haruomi Hosono (founder of the Daisyworld Discs label) and Yukihiro Takahashi (who was originally the drummer with The Sadistic Mika Band). "Chronograph" is taken from Tronica (Third Ear), a new mini-album that is the follow-up to the duo's 2002 debut, Audio Sponge, and which combines lush, ephemeral pop songs with hazy, Ambient mood pieces.
10 LOREN CONNORS & DAVID GRUBBS BLOSSOM
Over three decades and 30 albums, Loren Connors has developed a personal guitar aesthetic to match those of John Fahey and Derek Bailey. "Blossom Time" is taken from the forthcoming Häpna release, Arborvitae, which features David Grubbs on piano. The Chicago based musician is known for his freewheeling guitar playing in groups such as Bastro and Gastr Del Sol, but on "Blossom Time", Grubbs anchors Connors's single note lines with heavy-hearted piano scales.
15 DAVID SYLVIAN A FIRE IN THE FOREST
"Fire In The Forest" is taken from Blemish, David Sylvian's first album proper since 1999's Dead Bees On A Cake; it is also the first release on his own Samadhi Sound label. The record includes inspired collaborations with Derek Bailey and, on this track, Christian Fennesz, whose lush, melodic take on the process of the glitch adds a sense of warmth and glow to Sylvian's music.
01 HEAT SENSOR FEATURING M SAYYID GRAVY
The beat juggling duo Heat Sensor produce complex, edgy rhythms through their fusion of HipHop, electronica and self-described Œintelligent dance music'. Heat Sensor's crisp, scientifically calculated beats meet their match here, confronted by former Anti-Pop Consortium producer M Sayyid's free-flowing raps. "Gravy" appears on the forthcoming Sound Ink EP, Touch.
06 LAIBACH WAT
Laibach formed during 1980 in their hometown of Trbovlje, Slovenia, a small industrial mining town near the country's capital, Ljubljana. Among many other controversial acts, the group famously co-founded the NSK guerrilla art collective, which was declared a virtual State In Time, issuing its own passports, and staging consulate events. "Wat" is the title track of the group's new album, their first release since 1996's Jesus Christ Superstar.
11 SUSANNA AND THE MAGICAL BAND BELIEVER
Susanna And The Magical Band is a Norwegian duo of vocalist Susanna Wallumrød and keyboardist Morten Qvenild, who has played with the likes of Jaga Jazzist, Shining and Nils Petter Molvær. On "Believer", Jaga member Andreas Mjøs adds vibraphone. Mjøs is also the co-producer of the track, alongside Helge Sten, aka Deathprod, who is best known for his work with Motorpsycho and Supersilent. This track is taken from Susanna And The Magical Band's debut album, to be released on Rune Grammofon in January 2004.
02 GÜNTER MÜLLER & TOSHIMARU NAKAMURA .TINT
The Swiss electroacoustic improvisor Günter Müller and Tokyo's Toshimaru Nakamura, he of the no-input mixing board, are frequent collaborators. In October 2002, they worked together in Tokyo during the Erstwhile label's AMPLIFY festival. ".Tint" is a studio recording laid down the same week as the festival, and has been taken from the forthcoming Erstwhile box set, AMPLIFY 2002: Balance, designed to recreate the spirit of the festival.
07 LUMEN STRANDED
John Wills, former member of Loop and The Hair And Skin Trading Company, and Pinkie Maclure, a jazz and Improv musician, make up Lumen. "Stranded" is taken from their forthcoming debut album, This Day & Age (Ghost Train), a vocal based album absorbing inspiration from diverse fields, ranging from musique concrète to pre-war cabaret.
12 CLOGS WHO'S DOWN NOW
Clogs are centered around acclaimed Australian violinist and composer Padma Newsome and guitarist Bryce Dessner (also in The National). "Who's Down Now" is taken from their second album for Brassland, Lullaby For Sue, recorded between New York and Connecticut. The discreet chamber scales and textural variety of "Who's Down Now" recall the minimal, sloping compositions of the group's previous album, Thom's Night Out (2002).
03 STAFRÆNN HÄKON TALKN
Stafrænn Häkon is the solo project of Olafur Josephsson, a young Icelandic musician influenced by the icy soundscapes of Labradford and Aerial M. Josephsson began working on music in early 1999, recording guitars, drum loops and various instruments in his basement. Those experiments eventually crystallised into the drifting instrumentals of his debut album, Skvettir Edik á Ref (Resonant), from which "Talkn" is taken.
08 SATORU WANO OVERTURE
When composing Sonata For Sine Wave And White Noise, Satoru Wono decided to exploit certain misunderstandings regarding Japan's Œonkyo' scene, which is perceived as pursuing a reductionist aesthetic that banishes all previous musical forms. Wono uses the specific, minimalist elements of sine wave and white noise, then manipulates them into a traditional musical form, the sonata. "Overture" is taken from the Sonore release, Sonata For Sine Wave And White Noise.
13 SAGOR & SWING ALLA SAGOR HAR ETT SLUT
Eric Malmberg (Hammond organ) and Ulf Moller (drums) make up the Swedish duo Sagor & Swing. "Alla Sagor Har Ett Slut" is taken from their forthcoming third album, Allt Hänger Samman (Häpna), the follow up to 2002's Melodier Och Faglar. The track unfolds at a mesmerising, calm pace, evoking the landscape of the Swedish countryside, all forests, mountains and lakes.
04 SCHLAMMPEITZIGER PRÄ-DIGITALER
Using an old, battery powered Yamaha synthesizer, Cologne based Jo Zimmermann has been creating jittery pop under the name Schlammpeitziger for more than a decade. His mutant disco beats are coupled with shifting electronic perspectives, drawing playful sounds and melodic textures deep into his cosmos of sound. "Prä-digitaler Volksstuhlhänger" is an absorbing, hard-edged track, taken from his forthcoming Sonig album, Everything Without All Inclusive.
09 UI BACK UP
Sasha Frere-Jones and Clem Waldmann joined forces as Ui back in 1990, while rehearsing at the now defunct Dessau Recording studio on Manhattan's Murray Street. Wilbo Wright, a tree farmer and jazz musician who regularly works with Yo La Tengo, joined in 1993. Ui set down the instrumental grooves and twin bass attack of "Back Up" in a church located close to Stuyvesant, New York. This track is taken from Ui's album on Southern Records, Answers.
14 SATANICPORNOCULTSHOP ANOREXIA GAS BALLOON
Satanicpornocultshop are a weird HipHop meets electro quartet from Osaka, Japan. Led by Takuya Katusawa, the group build up their tracks using a digital mixer and blend roiled beats with chirps and whispers of sound. "Anorexia Gas Balloon" is taken from their forthcoming Sonore album of the same name, which follows on from this year's Piss Off EP, on which the group sampled 120 tracks that had been banned from being broadcast in the US during the Iraq war.
05 JAH WOBBLEJUST ME AND PHIL
As the title implies, on this track, Jah Wobble's sole sparring partner in Deep Space is turntablist Philip Jeck. "Just Me And Phil" is a driving instrumental propelled by a motorik drumbeat and his instantly recognisable basslines. The track is taken from his new album, Five Beat, which is released on 30 Hertz, the label Wobble set up in 1997.
10 ERIK FRIEDLANDER MAY IT PLEASE HEAVEN
Erik Friedlander is an integral player in New York's jazz and avant garde scene. His latest album, Maldoror (Brassland), contains ten solo cello improvisations recorded in East Berlin. For the sessions, producer Michael Montes selected ten excerpts from 19th century poet Isidore Ducasse's notorious collection of poems, Maldoror. Over the course of an hour the excerpts were read to Friedlander one at a time. The cellist's responses to the readings are captured on the Maldoror album, from which "May It Please Heaven" is taken.
15 DAVID GRUBBS THE NAME OF
David Grubbs has released a string of albums since 1982. He used to run the Dexter's Cigar label with Jim O'Rourke, and currently directs his own label, Blue Chopsticks. "The Name Of Ecstasy", an urban soundscape of disembodied voices and revving motorcycles, is taken from Friends Of The Bumblebee (Rönnells/Håll Tjäften), a tribute to the Swedish avant garde artist Åke Hodell that also features Jim O'Rourke, Thurston Moore, Mats Gustafsson and others.