Free with The Wire April 2009 issue 302
The Wire Tapper 21
Your track by track guide to this month's free CD
Accurate Spit Boy (edit)
From Inscape (Slowfoot)
On his second album, Robert Logan uses electronic and acoustic sound sources to suggest a tension between the industrial and natural worlds, inspired by the sight of a derelict factory being swallowed by forest in Hungary. At 21 years old, Logan has already cultivated an impressive CV: in addition to recording two records for Slowfoot, he opened for Grace Jones at Massive Attack's Meltdown, co-wrote the score for Oscar winning documentary Taxi To The Darkside and has collaborated with Brian Eno, among others.
From Vinonaamakasio (Fonal)
After years spent composing drone music for Commodore 64s, Helsinki based foursome Shogun Kunitoki decided to turn their back on the 8-bit world in favour of a more organic sound. Now they make churning, organ-driven instrumental rock that draws on classical minimalism as much as the psych rock canon from the 60s onwards.
Jono El Grande
From Neo Dada (Rune Grammofon)
Norwegian Jono El Grande is a self-taught composer and conductor, influenced by Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa and Igor Stravinsky. He is renowned in Norway for his amusing dada-slapstick live shows and his penchant for brimmed hats: in 2004 he won the national prize for Hat Wearer of the Year. On his latest album, Neo Dada, he leads a 12 piece orchestra.
Sweet Billy Pilgrim
Longshore Drift (Wire Tapper
From Twice Born Men (Samadhisound) The trio of vocalist Tim Elsenburg, drummer Alistair Hamer and Anthony Bishop on banjo, Sweet Billy Pilgrim, craft hook-laden but melancholic Ambient pop. "Longshore Drift" is a heartbreak anthem that mixes laptop glitch, shimmering harps and lush orchestral strings in with Elsenburg's grizzled vocals.
Jim McAuley (with Nels Cline)
Froggy's Magic Twanger
From The Ultimate Frog (Drip Audio)
Kansas guitarist Jim McAuley's music is a distillation of diverse influences, from free jazz to Arabic oud music to Renaissance lute songs. On "Froggy's Magic Twanger", he plays with fellow The Acoustic Guitar Trio member Nels Cline, of Wilco.
The Illuminoids (Wire Tapper edit)
From Higamos Hogamos (DC Recordings)
As Higamos Hogamos, the duo of Toby Jenkins and Steve Webster fuse the motorik groove and kosmische synth of Krautrock with Bolan-style glam rock strut and the wyrder end of British psych. They take their name from the early 20th century philosopher William James, who took psychedelic drugs one night and thought he had discovered the meaning of life. He jotted it down on his notepad: "Higamos Hogamos".
From BM (Monika Enterprise)
In 2007, avant-popstar Barbara Morgenstern became conductor of the choir at the House of World Cultures in Berlin. This meant she could use the enormous concert hall there to record her fifth album, incorporating the hall's Bechstein grand piano into her angular synth-pop. The album, her third on Gudrun Gut's Monika Enterprise label, features guest vocals from Robert Wyatt and string arrangements by Julia Kent of Antony & The Johnsons.
Whirling Hall Of Knives
2-Bar Heater And Smoke
From Electric Lava (Nute) and Each Side Of The Jackknifed Juggernaut (Trensmat 7")
Inspired by a successful one-off collaborative show at the Dublin Electronic Arts Festival, Techno/electronica artists Magnetize and The Last Sound formed Whirling Hall Of Knives. Their forthcoming debut album is largely beatless, fusing bubbling analogue synth textures with found sound interpolations and white-hot sheets of digital feedback.
His Belly Burst (Wire Tapper
From Memory (Barge Recordings)
Animal Hospital is the solo project of Bostonian recording engineer Kevin Micka. For his live performances, Micka immerses himself in his collection of effects units and mixers, using drum loops, strummed guitar and micro-sampled scrapes, clicks and whirrs as the building blocks for his intricate Ambient compositions.
Violet Ray Gas (Wire Tapper exclusive edit)
From Violet Ray Gas And The Playback Singers
(Zeromoon/Sentient Recognition Archive)
Washington DC based Jeff Surak has been an active figure on the post-Industrial DIY underground since the early 1980s via his Watergate Tapes imprint. Since returning to the US from Russia, where he founded junk Improv collective Sovmestnoye Predpriyatiye, he has concentrated on Violet. He uses unusual sound sources, including dry ice, warped turntables and autoharp, to construct shimmering walls of textured drones. He has recently collaborated with both Alexei Borisov and Frans de Waard, and has programmed the annual Sonic Circuits Festival since 2006.
From Skeletons On Rock (Laton)
Estonian drummer Andres Lõo makes grainy, rhythmic electronica with a subtle pop flavour. His recent projects include film scores for Estonian feature films Taarka and Ramp Cramp, and he is currently co-writing a musical with Kevin Blechdom for the Portuguese Teatro Praga. Skeletons On Rock is his debut solo album.
The Rhythm Modulator (cont'd)
From Plat De Résistance (Wwilko/Gagarin) Felix Kubin has been musically active for the past couple of decades with his futurist pop, various Noise projects and dada radio broadcasts, founding his own label, Gagarin Records, in 1998. On Plat De Résistance, Kubin combines his interest in modern academic composition with Kraftwerk/DAFstyle electronica.
Sheik Anorak & Weasel Walter
From split 10" with Les Aus (featuring Lydia Lunch)(Gaffer)
Sheik Anorak (bottom) is Frank Garcia, from Lyon, France, guitarist in No Wave/Noise trio SoCRaTeS and drummer in free rock quintet Kandinsky. Weasel Walter (top) is a multi-instrumentalist, founder of jazz punk outfit The Flying Luttenbachers and collaborator with some of the biggest names in contemporary improvisation, including Peter Evans, Henry Kaiser and Jim O'Rourke. Together they make acerbic snuff jazz with a Metal edge.
No Longer Burning (Wire Tapper special edit)
From No Longer Burning (SOFA Music)
Saxophonist Espen Reinertsen and trumpeter Eivind Lønning, are part of the bright young generation of Norwegian improvisors. The two play together in The Christian Wallumrød Ensemble and have collaborated with Tetuzi Akiyama, Toshimaru Nakamura, Jim Denley and others, but No Longer Burning is their first recording as a duo.
Tony Bevan/Chris Corsano/Dominic Lash
I Think That'll Be Okay…
From Monster Club (Foghorn)
Three well respected improvisors came together for a one-off concert in Oxford in 2008. Monster Club is a document of that performance. Each has a glittering history: saxophonist Tony Bevan (top) played with Derek Bailey and Sunny Murray. Drummer Chris Corsano (middle) is perhaps best known for his work with Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and free psych-rockers Sunburned Hand Of The Man. Bassist Dominic Lash (bottom) is the youngest member, but already an established name, playing with Steve Reid, Four Tet, Tony Conrad and Taylor Ho Bynum in recent years.
Nobody Is Free (Wire Tapper exclusive edit)
From Mahagood (N&B Research Digest download)
Pekka Airaksinen retired from notorious Helsinki Noise outfit The Sperm in 1970 to concentrate on his solo projects. Since then, he has recorded more than 70 albums, releasing the majority of them on his private Dharmakustannus label. His music usually comprises algorithmic composition and feverish improvisations on synths, samplers and drum machines – but for his latest record he has returned to his first musical loves, early electronic music and jazz from the 1940s and 50s.
We Sprout In Thy Soil
From We Sprout In Thy Soil (Compunctio)
Swedish singer-songwriter David Åhlén's music combines an indie pop sensibility with traces of the hymns he sung as a child at the local Baptist church. "We Sprout In The Soil" embodies his minimal aesthetic, with stripped down Baroque string arrangements and Åhlén's unadorned vocal style.
Jez riley French
...audible silence – enter (Kettle's Yard, Cambridge) (extract)
From ...audible silence (engraved glass)
Jez riley French is a UK based improvisor, sound artist and photographer working predominately with field recordings. His most recent work, including …audible silence, comprises collected sounds of surfaces and architectural spaces – supposedly silent places.
Them Use Them
Able (Wire Tapper exclusive edit)
From Gravity You Lucky Lucky Boy (First Fold)
Them Use Them is the solo project of Birmingham based artist and musician Ben Sadler. His second album is a tribute to animal astronauts. Expect granular Fennesz-like textures and crunchy low-slung hiphop grooves. Sadler is also a member of improvised noise collective Nations Shall Rise… together with fellow label mates Jim Davies (Spunkle) and Stuart Tonge (Papa November).
From Laura Toxvaerd No. 1 (ILK Music)
From Copenhagen, Denmark, saxophonist
Laura Toxvaerd composes geometric post-jazz using graphic notation. Some of her scores are to be exhibited in New York this May and published in the Notations21 graphic score anthology. "Spine Side" is taken from the first section of Toxvaerd's debut album, made up of electronically manipulated pieces. The second part of the album is a live recording of an acoustic solo performance.
Hiruko (short edit)
From Ezo (Alluvial Recordings)
Hitoshi Kojo is a nomadic Japanese artist currently residing in Switzerland. He works in several media – music composition, installation, performance, painting and sculpture. These activities are informed by his belief in animism, that all things and spaces have their own memories. "Hiruko" is an unsettling piece of Ambient electroacoustic improvisation and layered field recordings.