Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Circle - Katapult

Terrific 2007 album by the prolific and inspired Finnish lunatics. Circle have probably put out more excellent music in the last decade than any other band. Their forte is riff-heavy cosmic jamming, often in brain twisting time signatures: the album Prospekt is a good example of this, and I would have uploaded that one if I'd realised that it's currently unavailable. Also, they do space epics (Arkades)...basically, it's hard to go wrong with a Circle album. What I like about this one is that it has a great deal of vocals on it. Vocalist and band mainstay Jussi Lehtisalo has a kind of deranged, sometimes operatic, growling, dramatic delivery, that is at once awesome and hilarious. On this album it is generally smothered in reverb. Opener 'Saturnus Reality' gives a good idea of what is to come as it goes straight for the jugular, but 'Understanding New Age' has some amazing delivery (possibly not all by Jussi Lehtisalo , it's hard to tell). The music is hard to describe, veering from buzzing thrashing walls of guitars (I'm sure I read that this album was their homage to black metal influences). Often the guitars are chugging - the band refer to themselves as NWOFHM - New Wave Of Finnish Heavy Metal, but everything is always refracted through a hazy fog, and there are certainly no harsh edges anywhere. Instrumental 'Tree On The Higher Mountain' evokes a pastoral folky fug, and 'Four Points Of The Compass' is driven along with Kraut type synths. 'Fish Reflection' follows with what could almost be a Saxon riff, undermined by some abstract gentle guitar plucking, and some of the craziest vocals you could wish to hear, and is a work of inspired genius.
Underneath all the derangement, though, there is a lot of beautiful music, which is probably what makes this such a hugely enjoyable and inspiring listen.


Tuesday, 22 December 2009

El-P - Fantastic Damage

This is one of my all time favourite albums. It's about as heavy and psychedelic as hip hop can get without imploding, and is definitely not one for hip-hop conservatives, seeing as very little of the instrumentation is made from soul/funk samples, but instead is created by El-p with synths, samples and drum machines. It's the arrangements and mix that make this so excellent, and such a head trip. The opening line sets the scene: a distorted synth, with a slightly chipmunked voice reciting some cheesy but somehow ominous lines of poetry. The remainder of this track is pretty sparse, martial distorted beats and scratches allow the lyrical manifesto to be promulgated with little audio interference, and it's only as it fades into 'Squeegee Man Shooting' that the musical blueprint for the rest of the album is revealed - a tapestry of wah-scratching that peaks almost into a 303 line halfway through; piano arpeggios; driving bass; searing phased synth drones - all backing a relentless stream of vocal which is often cut up, overlaid and delayed. It's definitely a heady and intense mix, one that doesn't let up. The listeners brain is equally divided between the rapping and the music, and the weird pitched-down vocal echoes that weave around the mix fall halfway between the two, making fora disorientating but hugely satisfying listen. This is taken to extremes on what is probably my favourite track, the very weird and fabulous 'Dead Disnee', which is a real brain odyssey. The density of this music means these tracks still blow me away many many listens down the line; the apocalyptic, claustrophobic vibe, and exhilarating swarms of noise and clusters of words that drift in and out of my conscious hearing...makes my sentence construction deteriorate.
An awesome album.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Richard Thomas - Soggy Martyrs

Rather odd and wonderful offering from 1999 on the excellent Leaf Label. Richard Thomas has definitely got a good grasp of the terms 'weird' and 'wrong', but he keeps it pretty low key on this album; unless you turn it up loud, I suppose. This is like Blue Jam sublimated into purely musical form. Over an often fairly down to earth premise - a shuffling drum beat, say, a whole load of queasily played horns lurch around in a monged fashion over lots of processed samples and unsettling noises. The attention to detail is terrific, but the profound weirdness of it all could easily pass you by, as the general sound is often one that approaches a kind of easy listening - trumpets parp, guitars are strummed, drums are drummed; on 'Manicougan 5', for example - but they are played like a band whose members are on different planets, so to speak. It took me a while to get a handle on this album, and then it suddenly all became clear: what an unhinged master Richard Thomas is. Some of it certainly reminds me of Mike & Rich - Expert Knob Twiddlers, but these tracks are far more freeform in structure, and fade in and out of a hazy, muddy ambience. With extra jazz noodling.


Wednesday, 9 December 2009

White Dot Techno 1

Here are a few banging techno tunes, mostly from the mid/late 90s. These have come from a variety of sources, and the bit rate is variable - in one case as low as 128kbps. I thought about this after I'd compiled it, but really, it's banging techno, not Steely Dan. I have changed the album artist for all tracks to 'White Dot Techno 1' (there are more selections coming), so you can find them in itunes - some of the volume levels may need adjusting for consistency.
1-Aphrohead-In The Dark We Live (Dave Clarke's 313 Mix) Bush
2-Gaetano Parisio-19.99 A1 Drumcode
3-Grain-Untitled (4th EP A1) FatCat
4-Henrik B-Recollections A1 Drumcode
5-James Ruskin-Dilemma Tresor
6-Joey Beltram-Ballpark Tresor
7-Oliver Ho-Fusion Meta
8-Speedy J-Electric Deluxe Plus 8
9-Secret Cinema-Cartoon Clip no label

Later comps will be slightly different, but this one is heads down car chase/crash music, especially the Secret Cinema track, which is a beast.


Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Populous - Quipo

This is one of my favourite electronica albums of the last decade. Released on Morr Music in 2002, and produced by Italian Andrea Mangia, this shows all the hallmarks of a debut album - it is rich with melodic ideas and expression, and no amount of attention to detail is spared. In fact, luscious opener 'Bottom 01' is cut off in its prime at two and a half minutes, when such a gorgeous conflation of melodic bass, sweeping synths, glitchy mesh and morphing arpeggios should ideally play out for about 6 minutes, and probably would on a 3rd or 4th album, when the life's-worth of musical ideas have been used up. I would recommend this to fans of Boards Of Canada, as it obviously inhabits the same sphere - the pace is hip-hop, and it is heavy on the melodic synths. The beats here are somewhat lighter, and skip along more. There is more dynamics created by fading the volume up and down and panning; and there is a more delicate filigree of scrunches and glitches that help move the phrases along. I would say that the best of this album matches the best of BOC: the melodies are often exquisitely turned, and the whole sound is so perfectly at one, it glows with the obviously huge amount of love and effort that went into producing it. Summed up perfectly on the awesome 3rd track 'Flu', which is truly glorious. I actually bought this on cd as well as vinyl, to protect my LP from wear and tear.


Sunday, 6 December 2009

Korea Soundblaster - Korea Soundblaster

From 2003, this album is a wild blast of completely acid-drenched mayhem. It's a full-on, saturated melting pot of metal riffs, deranged warbling vocal samples, bombastic organ, stumbling drums, outrageous dub echo and distorted noise. Not to mention the OTT moog-style burblings, atonal guitar leads, screams, bleeps and unidentified scary noises. All this is mashed together with little regard for niceties such as song structure or pleasing melodies, but it's such good fun to listen to that these absences are irrelevant. The songs tend to fade into each other, making this one long, crazed assault on your senses.
Thanks to Dimitri for this one.


Friday, 4 December 2009

Delia Gonzalez & Gavin Russom - The Days Of Mars

Another one of my favourite albums of the decade, and another blissful blast of analogue synthery. Released in 2005 on DFA, there is nothing punky or funky about this disc. It clearly harks back to the 70s peak of soaring, pulsing and oscillating synths, and contains 4 long tracks, all over 11 minutes. There is also a definite 80s feel to this music - not in the crappy synth pop sense, but in the excellent-John-Carpenter-soundtrack sense: the arrangements are a bit more spare; the sounds are slightly less cosmic (only slightly!), slightly harder, and there is a faint sense of menace, of imminent technological danger. There is also none of the stratospheric guitar work from the 70s - it's all synth, and there is also the same authentic sense of techno-about-to-happen: especially in the pumping bass arpeggios of 'Relevee'. You can bet that if this was out in 1981, the Electrifying Mojo would have been playing it on his radio show. The rather lovely cover knowingly represents this wilful embrace of the past, with (presumably?) Delia and Gavin in period dress, juxtaposed with the somewhat sci-fi title.
All this is secondary, though, to the glowing beauty of these four tracks.


Monday, 30 November 2009

Pluramon - Render Bandits

Pluramon is Markus Schmickler, and this is the second Pluramon album, from 1998, on Mille Plateaux. Schmickler was an early pioneer of of a fairly even mix of acoustic instruments and electronics - the kind of mix and sound palette which Four Tet had subsequent success with.
Most tracks proceed with a head nodding groove played on an acoustic kit, with layers of guitars both spangly and fuzzy; along with bass and an assortment of keyboards, drones and more abstract electronic burblings. Occasionally the grooves retreat, like on 'Flicker', or the end section of 'Formant', and the album fits perfectly with the label - sounding very much like Snd, and the digi/glitch sound the label is synonymous with. These moments provide a nice contrast, but the album is best when the heavy grooves chunter along. When 'Gloop' hits its stride and sucks you into the wake of the stomping groove, loads of distorted, edited and messed up sounds are smeared across the pummelling rhythm.
Like much of my favourite music, this harks back to the more groove-laden German music of the 70s (especially later Can), but the detailed digital processing and editing keep it modern and forward looking at the same time ( as well as trippy). The predominance of acoustic intruments, especially guitar, maintains the warm fuzzy sound envelope and rich harmonics.
Previous album Pick Up Canyon and remix project Bit Sand Riders are also excellent, and Pluramon has gone in a more shoegaze-oriented direction with recent albums reams Top Rock and The Monstrous Surplus, both of which are decent, and feature more vocals.


Thursday, 26 November 2009

Black Heart Procession - 3

Released in 2000, I consider this to be The Black Heart Procession's masterpiece. I suppose this would have fallen under the alt. country banner at the time, but there is something majestic and timeless about this album, and it has probably shed that label in the intervening years. This is a collection of spare, stark and very beautiful songs, with a consistent unity of character. 'Doom Country' I think I have referred to this as, although there is something uplifting in these baleful, resonant songs. All delivered in a downbeat, plaintive voice; and backed by a glorious palette of acoustic instruments, organ, piano, trumpet - all slowly stomping to the funeral march pace.
There are no highlights, because the whole album is brilliant and mesmerising from start to finish, and I'm not going to write any more about it.


Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Groundhogs - Split

I'm thinking I should pepper this blog with a few more retro favourites. I love the music of the 70s, and not just the stuff that came out of Germany! Groundhogs were a band like many of their contemporaries that started out as primarily a blues based band, like Fleetwood Mac or Ten Years After, and fairly straight blues rock was the sound of their first two albums. Things changed with their third album 'Thank Christ For The Bomb', and by this, their fourth album, from 1971, they had gone down a far harder, darker and more progressive route. Like the aforementioned bands, Groundhogs had a terrific guitarist - Tony McPhee in this case. Words like blistering and coruscating spring to mind when describing his playing on this disc: he totally destroys. Ostensibly this is a power trio, which is always a great setting for a brilliant guitarist - no matter how much the bass and drums pummel away, there is always space for as much noise as he wants to make. There is plenty of distortion and wah, and utterly compelling dynamics - you can sense an oncoming outpouring of guitar fury, and you can feel the serious intent take hold of you when he steps on the volume pedal and lets rip. It's not just the lead work, though; the move away from the blues resulted in loads of interesting riffs, and open, flowing song structures. McPhee's voice is not the greatest, but is perfectly suited to the music, and just sounds so 70s. They hark back to a more pure blues on the album closer 'Ground Hog', where Tony McPhee shows the range of his skills with some fiery slide on amplified acoustic guitar.


Sunday, 15 November 2009

Savath & Savalas - Apropa't

Rather glorious 2004 album by Guillermo Scott Herren. Possibly better known for his more hip-hop oriented project Prefuse 73, I prefer his output under this alias. Although the beats aren't too far removed from hip-hop, they are usually played live, and have a more jazzy swing to them. There is also abundant use of acoustic instruments, too. There are some marvellous acoustic bass lines on here too, especially the utterly brilliant 'Te Quiero Pere Por Otro Lado...', which is one of my favourite tracks of recent years. This album was co-written by Eva Puyelo Muns, who provides vocals on most tracks, often double-tracked or in chorus. They are very lovely, and an essential part of what makes this album so good. I can't help being reminded of the Brazilian pop and exotica of the 60s and 70s, and especially the Getz/Gilberto albums from that time. Also, there is a vividly sun-baked ambience and flavour of Spain where this album was recorded; and the heat-haze texture also calls to mind Sketches Of Spain. As well as the expertly marshalled acoustic instruments, what raises the quality of this music is Herren's use of electronics - he has a very deft touch: creating an intricate web of complementary sounds. Sometimes there is some restrained processing of acoustic instruments, but the outcome is a tightly defined and consistent sound. I daresay having that man John McEntire in the mix didn't hurt, either.
Buy this album, and his debut as S&S, 'Folk Songs For Trains Trees And Honey', which is also excellent.


Germ - Gone

1994 - a great year for techno and electronica saw the release of Germ's debut album on GPR. Although this is slightly primitive compared to weird masterpieces such as The Black Chair that Tim Wright would subsequently release, it easily matches his contemporaries, and is still sufficiently weird and freaky to be enjoyable 15 years later. The sounds palette is bleepy and squelchy, with incisive percussion; the kick drum often being a fairly hard techno one, as opposed to the more metallic, crunchy beats being used by a lot of electronica at the time. Co-engineered with John Dalby, it is obvious that there are a couple of studio whizz-kids at work: all the weirdest noises have been coaxed out of whatever keyboards or VSTs they had, and it’s really well edited and mixed. There is an otherworldly sense of menace to some of this stuff – it can be quite dark, and tracks like ‘Ssong’ prefigure Wright’s later, weirder creations, with it’s queasy and disembodied warbling. This abstraction is nicely balanced with some pretty rocking tracks – I used to mix with ‘Blib’ all the time, its mish-mash of brittle syncopated bleeps, wobbling bass and euphorically thrashing synths is very groovy indeed. Elsewhere there is a bit more harshness: closer ‘Gun(Gone)’ has some nasty panning action and dive bombing rave waves. The moody sonar electronica of ‘Sap’ heads almost to gabba speed as the beats are doubled up, and there are disturbing, almost industrial details throughout the album.
I think this streak of darkness, along with the very trippy sound palette, keeps this album still sounding pretty strong and fresh today.


Friday, 13 November 2009

The For Carnation - The For Carnation

This amazing album came out in 2000, thus qualifies for my best of the decade run down. I still listen to this and enjoy it as much as I ever did, 9 years down the line.
The For Carnation were a post-Slint band, and have featured various Chicago musicians at various times, although the only two major players on this album are Brian McMahon, and John McEntire who contributes some extra instrumentation and who engineered the album (remarkably well). There are many of the hallmarks of post-rock on this album: the predominance of bass and drums; the ease and assurance with which slow pacing is used; mastery of texture. There are far more vocals on this than your average post rock outing, and this probably adds to the lasting appeal. McMahon's vocals are close-mic'ed, and border on spoken/whispered, helping to build a very intimate mood. As I said, this is beautifully recorded, and the slowly rocking rhythms are tight, and almost tense. There is often an ominous throbbing ambience, and delicate touches of spacy synths - heard to great effect on 'A Tribute To'. The sense of melody is gorgeous, yet restrained - the carefully picked out guitar line on opener 'Emp. Man's Blues' is backed by gradually swelling strings to a blissful plateau. After this these two tracks, a sense of foreboding and tension is developed with the very moody post rock of 'Being Held', before another slow and majestic gem in 'Snoother', which sounds somewhat like Tortoise vs Bill Callahan. 'Tales (Live From The Crypt)' is a wonderful spaced out groover; very similar to Do Make Say Think's debut: it's almost a prog-out compared to the rest of the album. Layers of spacey keys, shimmering guitar, and even a Goblin-esque synth line embellish this fantastic track. The last track 'Moonbeams' is probably the most beautiful. A distillation of what has gone before, and a coda, or resolution, too - a release of the slow-burning mood built up through the preceding tracks. A very slow track, laid on a bed of spacious synths drones, punctuated by a lyrical guitar, some throbbing analogue sythns, and seen out with a swell of strings.
I've namechecked a lot of bands describing this, but I think it is pretty unique, and a masterpiece that is amazingly undervalued. They are playing at the forthcoming 10 years of All Tomorrow's Parties festival - I hope this leads to a resurgence of interest and some further recordings.


Thursday, 12 November 2009

Neotropic - La Prochaine Fois

An aural antidote to Portal, and more music by a lady. In this case it's Riz Maslen, and her 2001 album on Ntone. Some of her other work has been more in the vein of trip-hop/electronica with kitchen sink additions of samples and live instruments, but this one embraces the acoustic and organic side to superb effect. There are guitars, harmonicas, wheezy organs and a wonderfully fuzzy and warm envelope of sound. These tracks veer from soundtrack stlye, to post rock, folk, psychedelic 60s rock and beyond, and are remarkably evocative of hazy summer, the countryside, and something just beyond my comprehension that is everso slightly tinged with melancholy. There are many moments of beauty - 'Cornershop Candy', which presumably features Maslen's own (very nice) tremulous vocals, with a deeply reverbed and harmonic guitar backing, along with sepulchral rumblings and mystic ambience creating a raga-like atmosphere. Indeed, much of the feel and pace of the tracks is raga-like, as 'Cornershop Candy' fades into the similarly brilliant 'Train To Katoomba', which is embellished by some 70s cosmic keyboard flourishes. 'Still' actually uses some sitar, along with ethnic percussion; calling to mind eastern tinged folk, but with some backwards loops on top, and a wonderful chant.
There are plenty more high points on this gorgeous album. It will keep your brain warm in winter.


Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Portal - Outre

I haven't posted any metal in a while, and thought that this would be an apt choice, as they have an excellent new album out, called Swarth. Although this this is labelled as death metal, don't let that put you off if you are interested in exploring the artier and weirder end of extreme metal.
This band is pretty unique, creating an abstract and disturbing miasma of sound. Grinding and atonal guitars comprise most of the mix, with fairly restrained acoustic sounding drumming - as opposed to the clicky and springy sounding kits you hear in more conventional death metal. The vocals, although guttaral, are more of a despairing roar than a belching cookie monster. Even though the song structures involve time changes, and the playing appears to be excellent, there is a murky mystery, and it's often hard to grasp just what is being played - it seems just beyond the ear's reach, like an unholy mix of My Bloody Valentine and Deathspell Omega with added wrongness.
The result is a weird and unsettling album, and the imagery used only adds to this nightmarish feeling. Definitely a one of a kind mob; I hope they play in London soon.


Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Rhythm & Sound - The Versions

2003 compilation of tracks previously released on vinyl. R&S are the dub incarnation of Basic Channel - Moritz Von Oswald and Mark Ernestus, and have released a succession of spellbinding dub discs since 1996; they have been one of the most consistent acts of the decade, and this is one of my favourite albums of teh last 100 years. There is a sister album to this - "With The Artists", which has the full vocal versions, and is brilliant. This album, though, is utterly sublime. Adorned with only minor snippets - the perfect amount - of the original vocals, the rock solid rhythms, subtle tunes, and brilliant textures are allowed to gently work themselves into your consciousness. Most tracks are fairly skeletal, usually only have two chords, and very minimal bass lines; but they all totally rock. The use of reverb and delay is masterful; the hi-hat sounds are perfection and the grooves are unstoppable. Despite being largely electronic creations, an organic warmth permeates this wonderful album.
All their output that I've heard is worth checking out, including the albums 'Rhythm & Sound', and 'Showcase' with Tikiman.


Saturday, 31 October 2009

Shora - Malval

Another of my favourite albums from the 2000s, this is quite an exceptional blend of prog, metal and post rock: nothing else comes close to its laser-like focus, or naturally brilliant and comfortable blend of styles: even though it feels like one individual and coherent style.
At just over 33 minutes, and four tracks, it hovers between an EP and LP, but could quite easily have been the kind of musical suite that often comprised side one of an album in the early/mid 70s, such is the overall coherence and power. The sound palette is not too dissimilar, either: the standard rock band accompanied by odd touches of keyboard. There is no aimless meandering here, though, and no vague hippy sentiment: everything is tight, controlled and purposeful. Not a second is wasted. At times resembling a metal band interpreting the soundtracks of Goblin or John Carpenter - with martial drums and disciplined tightness displaying their proggy qualities, there are many moments of beauty. Despite being mostly instrumental, vocals are introduced in the final track to quite devastating and gorgeous effect, showing that a band with obvious mastery of heavy dynamics can indulge their lyrical side too, after a hazy drone-like intro, and heavy syncopated sequence.
Magnificent, and very highly recommended - if you like post rock you have to check this out, and this should be listened to as one piece, with full attention. Thanks to Ryan for giving me the promo of this way back when.


Friday, 30 October 2009

Terminal Cheesecake - Pearlesque Kings Of The Jewmost

Another slagheap of monolithic pounding industrial sludge dub, from 1992. Relentless bass, tons of reverb, drug references aplenty and some terrific samples - the usual excellent concoction. 'Satan Is Real' calls to mind Butthole Surfers, as does a lot of the album, which is of course a very good thing - with a blasting drum machine, and manic samples "I've got The craziest feeling all over my body" and "Satan!" hammering away at your senses, with some great grinding guitar that punctuates most of the album. 'Drug' is a superb psych-dub monster, smeared with delayed vocals and some space rock keyboards. It's all pretty great, really - there are some choice spoken word recordings from British TV news reports about various freakery, which only adds to the whole fucked up sense of abandon and joyous noise.
A shame that they can't reform for a few live shows, when there are so many unremarkable bands doing it these days.


Thursday, 29 October 2009

Eno Moebius Roedelius - After The Heat

One of my absolute favourite albums. This 1978 album combines all the best bits from the contemporary scene: glorious analogue synths, Eno's warped 70s avant pop, pastoral beauty and spacy weirdness. It mixes the usual instrumental sketches that Cluster were releasing around this time, with vocal tracks - including backward Eno vocals on the distinctly odd Tzima N'arki. There are brilliant compositions on here - Base & Apex is amazing - suffused with a luminous warmth as well as a kind of elegaic melancholy. This may have something to do with being engineered by Conny Plank at his own studio, but by this time all three artists were seasoned veterans with a large output behind them. Holger Czukay even adds bass to one track. In fact, I'm just looking at my cds - this was the second album by the trio - 1977 saw the release of the self-titled Cluster & Eno.
The result is totally assured, with deft embellishments where necessary using acoustic intruments; but it also has a perfect sense of space and pace, as if the compositions are allowed to build their own organic momentum, and gently roll on toward their conclusions. Nothing is rushed, there are no extra layers or instruments crammed in. Eno's vocals, and his obtuse lyrics, fit in perfectly somehow, and the result is an object of glowing beauty.
I have the old Sky LP of this, and the Japanese cd reissue I ripped this from has a different running order. The LP had all the vocal tracks on side B, and all the gentler piano led pieces on side A. I listened to side B a lot more, and I get the impression that the LP was supposed to gradually increase the psychedelic quotient, and fry your brain a bit after the gentle opening. The new running order makes it a more even listen.


Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Valet - False Face Society

Rather wonderful vinyl-only release from early this year, limited to 500. Valet is the project of Honey Owens, and it's a nice surprise to hear such music being created by a female, although there are obvious beacons within the ambient/space/drone scene such as Grouper and Pocahaunted.
This is a beautifully executed example of psychedelic, droning space rock: the 15 minute Angels Can't Stop is a gorgeous miasma of swirling organ and wispy sounds, underpinned by a distant and cavernous bass drum. A very blissful piece. Dealer vs. Ocean begins with some parping moog-type bass, and builds up layers of vocal chants, violins, organ and guitar/feedback until a dark mass is formed, throbbing in the shadows.
The last track is a cover of Boris' Rainbow, which is most un-Boris like. A light and gentle version, with reverbed and lovely vocals, some light percussion, and a couple of spacy psych-wah guitar lines weaving together this excellent interpretation.
Fantastic stuff, as are the two available albums Naked Acid and Blood Is Clean, both highly recommended, so buy one!


Monday, 19 October 2009

Tank - Upwards At 66°N

Tank is a one man band from Brest in Brittany, France. Christophe Mevel is his name, and these are a collection of 1998 four track recordings released on English space/psych-rock indie Earworm in 1999. Mr Mevel is obviously influenced by Krautrock, especially Neu, although he goes for the more rocking, motorik end of the Kraut spectrum, eschewing the more ambient/meandering/collage type efforts. Considering these are 4 track recordings, the sound is excellent. The spacy jams generally consist of a propulsive bass line; vintage keys shimmering; Faust-y thrashing guitars; swooping moogs and plenty of backwards loops. A combination of drum machines and live drums are used. A tried and tested formula, it's hard to go wrong if put together with any competence, but Christophe Mevel has a great knack for combining these simple elements in a highly pleasing way, with the ability to get quite beautiful if the urge so takes him. The result is a highly pleasurable listen if you are into all things space rock.


Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Biosphere - Shenzhou

I'm going to post some of my favourite albums of the decade in the coming months. I've already posted some: Sinoia Caves & Kopernik, for example.
This 2002 album by celebrated ambient artist Geir Jenssen is a thing of beauty. Constructed primarily from loops of music by Debussy, many sampled from vinyl, this has a real otherworldly feel. The organic woodwind and orchestral parts repeat away, seemingly trapped in some kind of time capsule, competing against the gentle synth backings and cavernous bass rumblings.
Some of these loops were recorded from vinyl, and this only adds to the curious co-mingling of eras - heard to great effect on 'Ancient Campfires'.
This album serves many of the commonly accepted uses for ambient - going to sleep to, putting on in the background etc, as it is soothing and beautiful. But it is just as captivating as any prog album with a million notes. Well, maybe you have to like repetition and minimalism for that to be true, but this album will still serve you as a gorgeous backdrop.

nb. I should have added that Geir Jenssen has recorded quite a few excellent albums as Biosphere, well worth buying: I especially recommend Dropsonde and Patashnik. Not only that, but he has climbed Himalayan peak Cho Oyu without bottled oxygen, which is pretty cool.


Sunday, 11 October 2009

Simply Saucer - Cyborgs Revisited

Fantastic psych fuzz punk from Canada, recorded in 1974/75. Completely out of step with prog and FM pop, and seemingly every other prevailing sound throughout their short career, this band sank into obscurity. A shame, because they had a tremendous sound - one that bordered on deranged: a pummelling rhythm section, psych-surf guitars, and wild use of "recently purchased 'audio generators' and theremin" to quote the liner notes. Add a great vocalist, in the wasted-Lou-Reed style, and a great formula was achieved: and there are cool tunes to match the distorted sonic overload sequences.
As well as the original 9 session tracks are two excellent sides of a 1978 single, and a load of live/demo tracks that don't really add much.


G.E.N. - Rolleiflex Weltron Time Square

More trippy deep-space electronica from two of my favourite German artists, Khan and Walker, recording as Global Electronic Network. Released in 1994 on Mille Plateaux, and recorded in New York presumably just after Khan had relocated there: I don't know if the title 'Time Square' is intentional or not, as it's pretty apt. I have this on vinyl, and one half is a really nice picture disc with the classic Rolleiflex camera on it; unfortunately the 'Weltron' disc had to make do with a picture of the classic 8 track radio on the label, with coloured vinyl.
Time Square opens the cd, with an epic 15 minute hypnotic track, with great phased ambience swirling around in the background while a host of heavily reverbed analogue synths propel the track, whilst acidic flourishes and weird samples drift in and out. I can imagine these two hunched over their machines, bobbing up and down, twiddling knobs. The same goes for Time Square pt III, which is basically a spacy hypnotic club track; driven by restrained 303 bass and with just enough strange samples panning around to make this successful head music. The two Weltron pieces are short and abstract, where the analogue machines are put through their paces to extract weird and wobbling noises: probably the least diverting pieces.
The two Rolleiflex pieces take up 35 minutes of this album, and show Khan and Walker's creativity to the greatest effect. They are also the most outright trippy tracks on here. Rolleiflex part IV-VIII comes first, fading in the kind of classic Air Liquide/H.E.A.D beat - a shuffling and gentle 808 breakbeat, with bleeping and pulsing acid noises reverberating around, building up a real head-nodding groove. This fades out into some more disturbing and distorted territory, before a pulsing and ominous synth comes in, with what sounds like an acidified warthog trying to sniff your brains through your ear. These sounds hark back to classic German 70s electronica, and are glorious, and very cosmic. The 20 minute Rolleiflex I begins with an off-kilter beat, with some very odd metallic sounds scraping the brain cavity, as the FX units are tweaked. A gentle 303 bass takes over as the beats retreat, and high pitched bleeps usher in a raga like passage, before bubbling and syncopated acid lines come in to finish the track in suitable fashion.
A terrific album of trippy analogue electronica.


Thursday, 8 October 2009

Evolution Control Committee - The Whipped Cream Mixes

Classic mash up action, in which ECC concatenate Herb Alpert and Public Enemy to fantastic effect. Masterfully edited, this inspired combination works like a dream - the key changes/bridges etc in Alpert's E-Z horn jaunts perfectly matching the phrasing of the rapping. Public Enemy should sound a bit silly after this treatment, but the mis-match is such a triumph that they actually sound cool.
Ripped from 7", this is pretty short, so I've included the WAVs and mp3s created by itunes in one folder (36mb), so you can do what you want with them.


Wednesday, 7 October 2009

C/Sphere & Mark Gage - Microset Morning

An excellent EP of trippy, far-out techno from 1993. Released on the excellent Telepathic label run by Fred Gianelli. I was going to rip and post Gianelli's own Fox Hunt, which is amazing, but this chap has already posted it on his brilliant blog.
Back to Microset Morning: I have always regarded this as a Mark Gage release. The man responsible for the awesome techno classic Gravitational Arc Of 10. It was only when I came to post this that I realised that it was by C/Sphere, aka Coleman Horn. However, the label states "Produced and edited in Vapourspace by Mark Gage", and this has his signature sounds all over it. Sci-fi bleeps and blips swoop around the mix, while a modulated mid range synth churns out weirdly un-syncopated arpeggios. The bassline is one of those bubbling, clustered, lumpy affairs that doesn't particularly accent the beat. It's similar to a lot of Robert Hood basslines, although in this case it builds up and peaks to quite euphoric and mind altering effect. In addition, the beats are relatively gentle, and this made it a post-club mixing favourite; although it can be quite a challenge if your brain is not all there. Basically there are three fairly similar versions of the same track. It definitely sounds like the machines were left to run, and a bit of editing was done later. The 11 minute 'Drift Com' has the greatest degree of arrangement, and has extra spangly noises to spin your brain out just that little bit more, but they are all great. In addition there is a short, beatless abstract oddity which is fairly nice.
nb #1 - I saw Mark Gage live at the Ministry back in the 90s - he was excellent.
nb #2 - Mr C introduced me to this record, when he was doing a show on Kiss back in the 90s. Many people may think of him as the clown out of The Shamen, but he was an excellent DJ. I'm sure I still have the tape somewhere - it was a great mix. And his label was superb.


Saturday, 3 October 2009

This Heat - Made Available

Compiled from two 1977 Peel sessions, this album shows the full spectrum of This Heat's sound. Most of the second session is comprised of the Kraut-ish tape and improv experiments, which are quiet, tense and faintly disturbing. This session does include a manic version of 'Makeshift Swahili', which would re-surface on their 1980 masterwork 'Deceit'. This version is even more intense, with Charles Hayward sounding particularly mental.
The first session is more substantial, and shows how ahead of their time This Heat really were, completely foreshadowing the whole post/math-rock movement with their weirdly angular riffs, and extended instrumental passages. These are shown to best effect on opener 'Horizontal Hold', and 'Rimp Ramp Romp', which harks back to the heaviness of mid 70s King Crimson without the tightness and control: the sense of impending chaos is what gives the music its impact. For me the highlights are the two vocal tracks. 'Not Waving' is a haunting and bleak song: eerie drones and loops build a backdrop for a strangely affecting song about what seems to be some kind of vaguely existential crisis, punctuated by a lovely repeating woodwind motif. 'The Fall Of Saigon' is a truly brilliant track: sawing guitar drones and industrial percussion introduce another songs with nebulous subject matter. Sung in the two-part harmony that would become something of a trademark sound, the vocal part of this song is one of the most beautiful sequences that This Heat created, but a squalling atonal guitar lead clenches the second half of the track in its grip.


Circle Jerks - Group Sex

A ridiculously fun way to spend 15 minutes of your life. This 1980 debut is a short blast of snotty attitude, delivered at a speed addled frenetic pace. The crazy drumming threatens to explode out of control at any moment, and Keith Morris' vocal delivery is brilliant. I'm not much of a punk/hardcore fan, but the combination of catchy songs and a great sound keep me listening to this 20 years after I first heard it.


Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Skatalites - Ball Of Fire

Totally vital 1997 album by these Jamaican legends. Augmented by the brilliant Jamaican guitarist Ernest Ranglin, these venerable musicians are at the top of their game on Ball Of Fire. They play many of the classics they made famous, although they are in a far longer form here than their original 7" vinyl format. Most tracks feature solos from the horn players as well as Ranglin, bookended in joyful fashion by the classic themes played in unison. This pushes the album into jazz territory, as does the crystal clear recording style, not to mention Lloyd Brevett's use of upright bass. All this serves to breathe glorious new life into what are already great compositions. I'm sure there is dubious providence surrounding who authored these classic tunes, as the producer no doubt garnered a lot of credit in the history of Jamaican music. Anyway, between the late Don Drummond, the rest of the band, Duke Reid and Clement Dodd, they created timeless classics like Occupation, Eastern Standard Time, Latin Goes ska. Actually, every horn arrangement here is magnificent, and when the band come back to playing each one aftere the extended solos, it is never less than joyous.
I saw The Skatalites around 1997 or 1998 - they toured this album around the world, giving lots of lucky people a precious glimpse of a legendary group. The whole band were terrific, and I still maintain that it was one of the best rhythm sections I've seen live. Also I was fortunate to witness Roland Alphonso who sadly died shortly after.
As another fairly rubbish summer peters out (for us in England, anyway), I prescribe this album as an auditory replacement for sunshine.


Monday, 21 September 2009

Ken Ishii - Garden On The Palm

Debut 1993 album by prolific Japanese techno producer, released on the legendary Belgian label R&S (although this is ripped from the Japanese cd).
This is definitely techno of the abstract persuasion - the title track opens the album with some queasily wobbling bass and weird stabs over an offbeat rhythm; then a warbling computer whistle ushers in some very monged mid-range synths. Definitely one for adventurous DJs back in the day, although it does have a totally serviceable techno beat. I have no idea what the Japanese techno scene was like in 1993, but this album certainly has quite an alien sound to it: none of the snare rolls, bouncing bass lines or pummelling beats that were so common in UK and Euro techno (not that I dislike those things in the slightest). The next track 'Loop' is a superb spaced out synth exporation, with no kick drum, then 'Prodrome' brings back the weird-beard techno in terrific fashion. 'Nil' then ramps it up with the most banging kick drum on the album, with slightly 'Relief'-sounding percussion. The album displays class throughout, and is marvellously produced. Even a housy vocal snippet on 'Popgun' fits in with its odd backdrop: invoking tension and alienation rather than euphoria. I have very ambivalent feelings toward vocal samples in dance music, and could probably ramble about it for ages. Felix Da Housecat used them to really nasty effect on contemporary tracks like 'Pussn Meow' and 'Venom', but I digress. This is all about Ken Ishii and his intricately warped take on 90s techno.


Sunday, 20 September 2009

Moondog - H'art Songs

A 1978 collection of songs by Louis Thomas Hardin. Tuneful and simple, these songs generally consist of piano and voice, but are much more than the sum of their parts. Other than the superficial similarities of a beard and a disability, I can't help comparing the Moondog of this album to Robert Wyatt. They both have a beguiling quaver to their vocals, and share a lot of the sibilant characteristics in their delivery. Also, they share a similar commitment to what I would consider to be the correct things in life: decency, in a word; and a kind of fundamental goodness seems to emanate from their music.
Their are some minor embellishments - a squealing pig helps open the album on the excellent 'Pygmy Pig'. There is also some very minimal percussion - apparently Moondog would play a minimal backbeat on a drum when his more classical pieces were being recorded in the studio. Generally the songs are unadorned, and allowed to stand alone. They occupy a strange and satisfying space between somber and jolly; serious and lighthearted.


Saturday, 19 September 2009

David Tibet & Steven Stapleton - The Sadness Of Things

Aptly titled 1991 album from these two titans of the British post industrial avant garde. This consists of two long pieces which are very minimal. Listeners with a deficit of attention should probably avoid this.
The title track is propelled gently by slow and simple percussion, over a drone created by various woodwind, with occasional interjections of spoken phrases, and assorted echo effected noises. It evokes a Himalayan temple kind of vibe - desolate, but with dark and mysterious recesses, lit by the fading shimmers of softly struck gongs. 'The Grave And Beautiful Name Of Sadness' is a more traditional drone piece, which ebbs and flows with dark waves of sound comprised of chants, strings, synths - who knows what else. It's hard to tell because the overall sound is such an organic whole, and so well executed. This is a haunting piece, although the general texture of the sounds, and throbbing ambience make it quite meditative and relaxing.
Utterly excellent artwork, too, by Steven Stapleton - I wish I had this on vinyl!


Thursday, 17 September 2009

Einst├╝rzende Neubauten - Ende Neu

Superb 1996 album by the German legends of industrial, which takes many of the sounds from the band's past, but deploys them in pursuit of a far more melodic end product. I'm sure there are many Neubauten fans who only prefer the noisy early stuff - I just prefer the later more melodic sound with a broader sound palette.
The first two tracks are a concise summation of their sound in 1996 - the frenetic opener 'Was Ist Ist', with thrashing metallic guitars and Blixa Bargeld's strident vocals, is followed by the lush string-led 'Stella Maris', where Blixa sings a gentle two part harmony with actress Meret Becker.
Throughout the album, the songwriting is excellent, the tunes are great, and there is a palpable sense of the band being absolute masters of their sound. The percussion is superb, as always, as is the use of non-music sounds, such as a pencil writing on paper. There are some propulsive grooves, too, that hark back to their motorik musical ancestors - on 'Installation no1', and most notably the 11 minute epic that is 'NNNAAAMMM' - which is chanted both as spelt - suggesting a car passing on the motorway, as well as being the initials of 'New no new age advanced ambient motor music machine': also chanted throughout. The rhythm of this track is helped along with some kind of chugging machinery to great effect. The title track is probably my favourite: a blend of distorted vocals, industrial percussion, and dramatic, ominous strings.


Thursday, 10 September 2009

Pump Panel - Ego Acid

Banging acid tune from 1994. Fantastic stuff: pounding kick drum, crashing cymbals, and lashings of 303. The 'Floatation Mix' on the B-side is only slightly more laid back, with a trancy arpeggio spacing it out, somewhat.
Also included is the Reconstruction Mix of New Order's Confusion, which is even more banging, pounding, and relentless, at over 10 minutes. The acid is even more full-on and brain mashing, while the vocodered vocal loops add a bit of depth. This beast is an all-time favourite of mine.


Friday, 4 September 2009

Terminal Cheesecake - Gateau D'Espace

1992 EP of psychedelic industrial dub. A blend of pounding bass and drums, with heavily echoed shouty vocals, some grinding noisy bits, and primitive samples and loops forming a sludgy mass. Primitive is a great word for this band, as is monolithic. There is a kind of bloody mindedness that propels these cavernous grooves. I wish I'd seen this mob live, but I was too busy getting into techno at the time. I'm sure they would have been bowel-quakingly intense. Track titles give you a clue to their influences: 'Oily Bud', 'Herbal Alien Flavour', 'Extra Oily'. If you think they are heading into weed-nerd territory, they reveal the lack of seriousness with 'Blatant Drug Reference' and it's sampled chant of 'Marijuana'. Although they began as more of a noise rock band, I thought they really hit on a good formula with this relentless dub weirdness.
Excellent cover art is by Jim Sawers, who used to work at Tower Records when I did, in a different department. A top bloke - he's actually responsible for me owning the Bill Laswell album I posted a while back, too.


Cardiacs - On Land And In The Sea

Quite how I have managed to reach the fourth month of a blog without posting this, I don't know. One of my favourite albums ever, and almost certainly the most listened-to.
Cardiacs are an acquired taste, certainly. Their near-obsessive band of fans experience such joy from their music and amazing live shows, that it is undoubtedly easy to lose sight of this, and wonder why they aren't massive. If you do acquite the taste, though, there are unrivalled joys to be had. I think this album is their best, because it is the most psychedelic, with the most amazingly layered and detailed production, yet is still chock full of brilliant tunes. The mix is almost head-spinningly overloaded at times, with tiny little voices and distant exclamations vying with saxophone parps, pots and pans, and fine-tuned kitchen sinks rattling around. All this detail, though, is cleverly orchestrated chaos that never forgets that it is there to embellish the songs, and it never drowns them out. Produced by Tim Smith (vocalist and main songwriter), this full-on style was reined in on subsequent albums (all brilliant) in favour of a more stripped down sound. As usual, the songs veer from snotty, jittering stop-start punkers; to grandiose prog anthems, from one line to the next. The addition of sax player, percussionist and keyboardist to the traditional band line up meant that they could pull this off live, too. I was lucky enough to see them with this line up 20 years ago: although Sarah Smith and William Drake would continue to contribute to albums, the live band would soon slim down, before expanding again in later years.
I forget how many versions of the band I've seen. Living in London has its tedious sides, but being able to see the Cardiacs regularly over the years has been fantastic, and I feel very grateful now.


Thursday, 3 September 2009

Droopy - Northwest Hounded Police

A brilliant episode of the classic cartoon Droopy from 1946. I always used to love Droopy when I was a kid (and it has been a joy to watch them recently): his ultra laid back and understated approach; the casual surrealism; his brilliant voice (Bill Thompson). All these are shown to great effect in this episode. Droopy is Sgt McPoodle, a mountie who is sent to track down an escaped convict. The convict escapes to ever more remote places, and Droopy always turns up. Droopy actually borders on creepy in this one, as the weirdness factor is cranked up.
Thanks to Spazcreations and Surrealmoviez for the original uploads.

.avi format, 100mb

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Sinoia Caves - The Enchanter Persuaded

Blissful, beautiful and deeply spaced album by Jeremy Schmidt, keyboardist for the excellent psych/70s/space/prog-rock-influenced Black Mountain. Mr Schmidt has some wicked keyboards, and uses them brilliantly. 35 minutes of this album are taken up by two epic tracks, which are influenced equally by the current drone/space rock scene; and 70s synth masters like Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze. There are definitely similarities to the opening on Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here, which is of course a good thing. In between are a small collection of gorgeous ghostly songs, with touches of vocoder, and shimmering hammond, sounding not too dissimilar to Air, but with more emphasis on the psychedelic elements.
One of my favourite albums of recent years; thanks to Sam for introducing me to this.


Disrupt - Foundation Bit

Disrupt is a one man digital dubmeister. Some purists are put off by any digital element in dub, but as far as I'm concerned: if it rocks it rocks, like this album does. Jan Gleichman (Mr Disrupt) can create great grooves, and they are embellished superbly with the requisite space invader noises, odd edits, and plenty of echo. On top of this are some great film samples, from Tron (the brilliant 'Blast You To Bits') and Dark Star. The bass is unashamedly digital, but this just means that they shake the room all the more when you turn up the volume. Great spaced out fun.

Disrupt has a 2009 album out, called The Bass Has Left The Building. I fell asleep halfway through listening to it last night, but was thoroughly enjoying it, especially the samples from classic arcade game Berserk. Check out the Jahtari website - they have a flash player where you can listen to the entire catalogue, and the website design is a smart tribute to all things 80s digital.


Gerhard Potuznik - Florida Optical EP

Superb EP released on Austria's Cheap records in 1994: a great year for all things techno. I played this a lot, so there are a few crackles on this vinyl rip. It begins with the swirling subterranean synths and fuzzy stabs of 'Shine', whose only rhythmic element is some hissing hi-hats. The kick drums appear on 'Make Up Doll', which is a minimal moody stomper. The B-side was what I played to death - particularly 'Gangway'. This is a pretty trippy affair, with strident, acidic moogy lines introducing the tracks, with some sweet, dubbed out stabs counterbalancing them. The percussion keeps building, a thick drone is introduced, and more heavily reverbed keys come in, creating a disorientating effect. Quite intense, and fades out a bit too early in my opinion. The ep is rounded off by a classy and rather lovely little number with elements of early 90s trance, and a bouncy prog-house bassline.


Sunday, 30 August 2009

Killing Joke - Hosannas From The Basement Of Hell

My metal choice for this month is this 2006 effort from Killing Joke. Massive, pounding, epic and heavy. They had perfected a great formula on this one: muscular and chugging riffs and Jaz Coleman's roar adorned by nice touches of keyboards. Definitely industrial metal, and you can feel the influence of Youth in some of the arrangements, with some very techno phrasing and some drops. There's even a chugging Kashmir-style track, with eastern style strings, that they pull off with aplomb. Highly enjoyable - good for hammering out in the car.


Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Kopernik - Kopernik

Released on Eastern Developments in 2003, this really should have been one of the first posts on this blog. I love this album, and it is a unique and totally under-appreciated gem. A duo, Kopernik (follow this link for better words than mine) have released nothing since, which is a terrible shame.
This falls somewhere between soundtrack, post rock, ambient and modern classical. Dominated by sonourously bowed bass and shimmering string arrangements, it's a brilliantly recorded and engineered album. Wisps of backwards samples, carefully used vocal snippets of voice and choir and assorted acoustic instruments are all used to perfectly augment the themes. The opener 'Ondoyant Et Divers' encapsulates the sound - a simple and beautiful plucked bass line over some backwards pulsing, then what sounds like a woodwind ensemble swells as the bass switches to bowed, and the piece gradually drifts into a glorious peace. The style is gloriously simple, although 'Man, Myth and Magic' begins with oriental flourishes, what sounds like a dulcimer, and the kind of proggy bass work heard on Eno's mid 70s rock albums, although this gives way to a wonder-filled string arrangement. There are light Eastern influences throughout, melodically; but like the electronic sound manipulation, they are always understated.
I don't really know what these chaps have been up to in the interim - I just look out for a new Kopernik album. Hopefully they are getting tons of soundtrack, or at least engineering/production work that they clearly have the talent for. I actually bought this on cd as well as LP, because I wanted to preserve my LP. It's a magnificent album.


Sympletic - No Name

A post holiday post to get back into the swing of things. A limited 1994 release on the distinctive abstract techno label Ifach, run by Baby Ford. This was a single sided 12", by Mark Broom, who is (and was) a pretty wicked DJ in addition to his obvious production skills.
The one track is a twelve minute epic workout of deep, trippy and atmospheric techno: a masterpiece, I would say. Mr Broom works this shuffling groove into deep space with off kilter hi-hats, and a palpable hands-on feel of mixing desk manipulation. Wonderful.

Update: I've just been cleaning up my links, and discovered the wonderfully named Essex Rascals site, where you can keep up with Mark Broom's activities, along with Paul Mac, Ben Sims and Tony Anderson.


Saturday, 1 August 2009

Anthony Manning - Islets In Pink Polypropylene

Amazing and legendary album from Anthony Manning on the equally legendary Irdial label, from 1994. This album is a perfect summation of the term abstract electronica. Playing out like one long track, this music is beatless, and has a shifting, open structure. Oddly morphing keyboards wobble around some strange and disconcerting background textures in a most unique and strange way. If you work anywhere that requires you to wear a lab coat, this should be playing in the background at all times.
Irdial always was an odd yet pioneering label. Early on to the internet, they engaged with the philosophy of music in the digital age, and at some point in the late 90s they made all their music available for free download. You can get this album online, but this is a better quality cd rip. I also recommend the Anthony Manning albums Concision and Chromium Nebulae. Irdial also released the even more legendary Conet Project, a 4cd box set consisting of recordings of shortwave numbers stations, which can be downloaded here.

Update: It looks like Anthony Manning may be releasing some more music in the future, and possibly playing live! Keep up to date at this website


Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Null - Ultimate Material III

And here we have the Yin to Rafael Toral's Yang. Or vice-versa. A roaring, squalling, relentless blast of noise. A bit like putting ones head into a wind tunnel on full power, except that it's not just wind coming through the tunnel, it's everything. Ferocious, yet still quite beautiful; and the monolith on the front is quite apt. These two pieces total almost 58 minutes.
The notes on the back say:
"All music composed and performed by Kazuyuki K. Null with guitar, percussion, ultrasonik and voice. No synthesizers of samplers were used on this disc." Which is quite impressive.

Download RS

Monday, 27 July 2009

Rafael Toral - Violence Of Discovery And Calm Of Acceptance

A splendid slab of drone from 2001, released on Touch Records. It's more than just drone, though: Rafael Toral has a great sense of space and texture, as well as the mastery of harmonics that makes the best drone music 'sing' to you. This is probably because the sound source for this album is guitar - the instrument that makes the best harmonic envelope - especially when you amp it up. Actually, this is very restrained, and verges on the ambient drone side of things, with little actual playing, although it comes to the fore with great effect on the closer 'Mixed States Encoded'. Elsewhere there is some great feedback manipulation on 'Maersk Line', and the album on the whole is suffused by warm fuzz: drifting and pulsing; at times suggesting Indian classical music, or Gamelan, with its ringing and throbbing.

Link removed at artist's request. Go to Rafael Toral's official site to check out all his work: