Free with The Wire April 2008 issue 290
01 Our Sleepless Forest
From Our Sleepless Forest (Resonant)
Our Sleepless Forest is a London group who create a blend of Ambient and psychedelia. Josh Rothberger, Karl Jawara and Sam Purcell have been making music together for two years. “Nomads” is the first song on their debut album on Resonant, which they completed when they were aged 17.
The Conversation (Edit)
From Glass Darkly (Slowfoot)
South London based collective whose members come from different corners of the alternative scene. Their debut album features the combined talents of Frank Byng, Ben Cowen, 129, Charles Stuart, Tom Marriott and Lucas Suarez. Propelled by live drums and rhythms generated by cheap samplers and drum machines, the group revel in the joy of angular repetition, throwing in elastic interruptions on guitar, trombone, analogue and digital synthesizers and vocals.
03 Nico Muhly
Mothertongue – Section 2
From Mothertongue (Bedroom Community)
Nico Muhly graduated as a composer from the Juilliard School of Music and his works have been performed by various international orchestras and ensembles. He has worked closely with Philip Glass as editor, keyboardist and conductor, and has written film scores for Choking Man (2006) and Joshua (2007). He has also been collaborator of choice for Björk, Will Oldham, Antony of The Johnsons, and Icelandic musician Valgeir Sigursson, who released Muhly's debut album on his Bedroom Community label last year.
04 GF Fitzgerald & Lol Coxhill
Echoes Of Duneden (Wire Tapper exclusive edit)
From Echoes Of Duneden (Reel Recordings)
Scottish guitarist Gerry F Fitzgerald released the psychedelic rock classic Mouseproof (1970), and he featured on Fred Frith's Guitar Solos II album in 1976. The duo of Coxhill and Fitzgerald first appeared together in 1975 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in an evening billed as “Improvised Music and Confused Humour”. Live recordings made at the time have been restored and released for the first time on this album by Reel Recordings.
05 XA Cute featuring Mike Ladd
Survival Of The Vinyl (Wire Tapper exclusive edit)
From Lost Empires Living Tribes (Anorakism)
Based in Berlin, the XA Cute crew – centred around the duo of Wuze and Wolfgang Noize – combine creative turntablism and dubwise improvisation, as well as a collaborative zeal that has seen them working with the likes of Guillermo E Brown, Rico Repotente and Infesticons' Mike Ladd. The latter lends his lyrical wordplay to this track, along with Non and Dream from Shadowhuntaz, plus live drums from Boris Rähme.
06 Daniel Figgis via Somadrone
40 Shades Of Figgis
From When It's Ajar: The Music Of Daniel Figgis?
Based in Ireland, Figgis has embarked on a series of monumental site-specific “landscape intervention” events with his live ensemble, working in and around an abandoned woodland house, a glen and waterfall, within a basketball arena and on a hypnotically misdirected underwater dance piece. He recently curated Snakes & Ladders 2008: A Free Festival Of New Irish Music at New York's Winter Garden, where his PHOTO-FINISH (with shortcuts) – an arts>World Financial Center 20th Birthday commission – premiered in March. He is currently recording a new album in Dublin. Somadrone is Neil O'Connor, who plays a variety of textural instruments such as vibraphone, marimba, theremin and Indian drone machine. This track is a ‘recomposition' based exclusively on the recordings of Daniel Figgis.
07 Fluorescent Grey
Molten Ghost (Edit)
From Gaseous Opal Orbs (Record Label)
Fluorescent Grey is the alter ego of California's Robbie Martin, founder of Record Label Records. Gaseous Opal Orbs is his second album, following 2006's Lying On The Floor Mingling With God In A Tijuana Motel Room Next Door To A Veterinary Supply Store. Martin attempted to harness his melodic shards and unrecognisable sounds into a vaguely pop-like sensibility. This year the label will release a 12" by Scorn and new music from Japanese noise outfit Contagious Orgasm among others.
08 Kaffe Matthews
Men Being Butterflies (Extract)
From Other Presences (Sargasso)
As well as being an artistic advisor to Amsterdam's STEIM centre and Honorary Professor of Music at Shanghai Music Conservatory in China, London based sound artist and electronic improvisor Kaffe Matthews is the founder and director of Music For Bodies, a terrestrial/virtual research project into sound experienced through feel rather than hearing, manifested through special sonic interfaces including bicycle-mounted radios and a Sonic Bed. This track comes from her remix project of the work of UK composer Jonathan Harvey.
09 Alexei Borisov & Anton Nikkilä
Engineer Strepetov's Curve (Live excerpt)
From Live At Belly (N&B Research Digest)
With roots stretching back to the 1980s underground music of the Soviet Union and Finland, Alexei Borisov from Moscow and Anton Nikkilä from Helsinki have been collaborating since the mid-90s. In 2000 they established their N&B Research Digest label. Live At Belly kicks off the label's regular series of digital download-only albums available via London's digital music distributor and Webshop Diogenes Music.
10 Talvin Singh
Piya Milan (Radio edit)
From Sweet Box (Chilly Media)
Classically trained on the tabla by an Indian master, Talvin Singh received a remarkable string of youthful breaks, working with Sun Ra, Björk, Courtney Pine, Massive Attack and Madonna when he was barely out of his teens. In the mid-90s he set up the legendary club Anokha at London's Blue Note, a melting pot of progressive drum 'n' bass fusions with a global perspective. His album OK won the 1999 Mercury Music Prize, and his track “Butterfly” soundtracked the turn of the millennium at the Millennium Dome. He has since released an album of Indian classical music, soundtracked the film Deepa Mehta and set up his own label Chilly Media.
11 Illusion Of Safety
Wherewithall (For Lauren)
Exclusive recording and edit for The Wire Tapper 19
The one constant of this Illinois experimental group has been Daniel Burke, who formed Illusion Of Safety in 1983. Long time collaborators Thymme Jones and Kurt Griesch aided Burke on this recording, which was recorded live. IOS's recent return to activity focuses on electronic synthesis, computer composition and use of diverse musical references and “amplified handled objects”, with the aim of exploring “the benefits, effects and consequences of process work and therapeutic intervention”.
12 The Master Musicians Of Hop-Frog
Song Of The South (Wire Tapper exclusive edit)
From split 7” (with San Kazakgascar) (Urck)
The Hop-Frog Kollectiv – Jeremy Morelock (E.loi), Eric Baughn (Hermit The Flog) and Robert F Douglas (Carl F Off) – hail from Los Angeles and have worked as an experimental art/music unit since 1999, running the alternative performance space Dung Mummy. The group take a particular interest in non-Western instrumentation, and this track intends to shine a dark light on American racism.
13 Phog Masheeen
Survey Of Brutality
From Survey Of Brutality (Distort-O-Sound)
Enigmatic solo artist Phog Masheeen (aka Mark Soden Jr) generates his distinctive sound by amplifying the springs, valves and pipe of a trumpet with contact mics. The sounds of rushing hot air, clanking metal and vibrating springs are magnified to evoke the noises of a Jules Verne-era steam vessel. As he comments: “Perhaps an engine room with a reflective side.”
14 Setsubun Bean Unit
Gujo Ondo (Wire Tapper exclusive edit)
From Setsubun Bean Unit (Accidental)
During a 2005 residency, UK group Farmyard Animals Trio discovered the Japanese spring festival of Setsubun during which soya beans are thrown into the air to cast away demons and bring good luck. The group extrapolated the musical ceremony and the powerful rhythms of the summer Bon Odori festival and joined forces with local folk musicians to create the invigorating sound of Setsubun Bean Unit.
15 Pink Skull
From Zeppelin 3 (Free News Projects)
Philadelphia turntablist/DJ/producer Julian Grefe had become a stalwart of his local scene when he teamed up with Justin Geller to form the avant Techno group Pink Skull. Together they attempted to recapture the distorted excitement of early Acid House and 90s Techno, melding dancefloor readiness with Krautrock psychedelia and adding a grainy hardcore/post-punk twist. In 2006 the duo expanded Pink Skull into a live group with Jeremy Gewertz (drums), Mike Hammel (bass) and Sam Murphy (guitar).
16 LowDynamicOrchestra with Stefano Scodanibbio
Improvisation 1 (Wire Tapper exclusive edit)
From LowDynamicOrchestra With Stefano Scodanibbio (Alice Musik Produktion)
Italian double bass virtuoso Scodanibbio teams up with a quartet of Scandinavian musicians in LowDynamicOrchestra, who specialise in contemporary classical works by Cage, Cardew and Mats Persson on their new CD, plus improvisations such as this track. The other personnel are Sten Sandell (piano), Kjell Nordeson (percussion), Amit Sen (cello) and Peter Söderberg (lute, theorbo, guitar).
17 Lars Åkerlund
From Lars Åkerlund: Ur/Volt (Fylkingen)
Born in 1953, Lars Åkerlund studied composition at New Music and developed electronic music at Stockholm's EMS (Electronic Music Studio). In the late 80s he formed the proto-Techno trio Lucky People Centre and has spent much of the past two decades writing music for high profile choreographic and film projects in Sweden. Volt was created in 2005 for Björn Elisson's Dance Company; all the sonic material is drawn from a recording of Åkerlund tampering with an electric cord.
Blank, Lackluster Eyes... Data Takes Over
(The Wire edit)
From Flake Out (Humpty Dumpty)
A couple on and off stage, Julie Cambier and Jean-François Brohée formed Tangtype in the early 2000s. Brohée studied electroacoustic music at the Royal Conservatoire of Mons in Belgium, and the duo were highly ranked in the Belgian Concours Circuit music awards. They think of their music as a tangram, a combination of parts in constant flux. Their debut album Flake Out was produced by the Charhizma label's Christoph Kurzmann.
You Can't Be Everywhere He Said (Edit)
From When The Leaves Fall Like Snow (Make Mine Music)
Over the last ten years, Yellow6 (aka Leicestershire guitarist Jon Attwood) has released more than 60 discs on independent labels around the world, skirting around the borders of post-rock, Ambient, drone, Isolationism, electronica, shoegaze and more. Using layers of guitar loops, arpeggios and drones, Yellow6 creates enveloping, melodic organic soundscapes. The latest album, recorded in Stockholm in autumn 2007, is his most minimal yet, consisting of slow moving arpeggios, drones and harmonies, all with a large dose of reverb.
20 Never Enough Hope
Des Moines (Wire Tapper exclusive edit)
From The Gift Economy (Contraphonic)
Never Enough Hope is the brainchild of Chicago composer/ improvisor Tobin Summerfield, previously a member of Crush Kill Destroy and Larval. On The Gift Economy he marshals a 20 piece orchestra (including double drum kit) into a post-rock/free jazz big band sensibility of epic but finely sculpted proportions.