With Hallowe'en a mere 30 days away, Musea Records answers our knock on the door - our meaning the CD buying public (and I stress buying people!) - with these tasty treats:
White Willow - Terminal Twilight:, White Willow, a band that stems from the famous Scandinavian School, stands for one of the most essential initiators of the trend, and the leader of its most folk-influenced side. The first album Ignis Fatuus (1994) collects pieces that were recorded over a long period of time, featuring an evolving personnel. No less than nineteen musicians and an astounding amount of instruments are to be heard there! The album includes consequently a great variety of sounds, staying in the very melodic Progressive rock field, with a sometimes quite baroque connotation, reminding of Gryphon's music.
Flute, Mellotron or very classical female vocals parts increase the sophisticated and precious
nature of this absolutely original music. The second album Ex-Tenebris (1998) proves to be more consistent, while reinforcing the dark side that was already perceptible in the first album. Also noteworthy was the arrival of Mattias Olsson, former drummer of Anglagard: a certain pledge of quality! Sacrament (2000) surely is the album that brought recognition to the band, showing still more maturity and attractiveness. The project manager Jacob Holm-Lupo had therefore to hit hard to achieve his fourth opus Storm Season (2004). Still published by the US label The Laser's Edge, this new album features the fragile and ethereal voice of Silvia Erichsen, close to that of Petronella Nettermalm (Paatos). The listener immerses within the typical misty and frosty atmospheres of large snowy expanses. No doubt that he (or she) won't get out unscathed from them!
On their website, the band posted about this new album, Terminal Twilight: "White Willow's new album, Terminal Twilight, will be released on October 7th in Norway and on October 11th in the rest of the world. US version will be released by The Laser's Edge. The CD comes in a beautiful digipack with cover art by NY artist Rene Lynch." Holm-Lupo has also said "looks like it will be eight tracks of a semi-conceptual nature."
Absente H - Vagalume: In this first recording, Absente H wants to offer songs with suggesting melodies and harmonies, drawing wonderful images full of incredible details, with only one mission: to please the listener. The influences are varied, from pop, rock and so on, to classical music, jazz and contemporary music.
Acid Mothers Temple and The Melting Paraiso UFO - Cometary Orbital Drive: The first movement is called "Light My Fre Ball" and it seems like a groovy, modern vision of the electro-acoustic transgressions made by Can in "Augmn" and "Peking O," on the Tago Mago LP. The atmosphere propels you into a mystic temple. The voodoo incantations by Atsushi remind of Damo Suzuki's wild voice. "Planet Billions Of Light-Years Away" reveals the theme of the six powerful notes (A-E-D-A-G-Db). Firstly calm and laidback, then energic and fast, it is more and more powerful and nervous. The sound is great, part flood in space guitars, part hooked by the catchy rhythms. But "Circular System 7777777," the third movement of this symphony for heavenly riff, is completely new for Acid Mother Temple. It is a kind of psychedelic dance song, with old-fashioned drum machine but so groovy, with reversed cymbals and sexy psychedelic breaks.
The last chapter of Cometary Orbital Drive, called "Milky Way Star," is a masterpiece. The song is a kind of musical illustration of the hyper-space, an intersideral rock trip. The tempo is panting, Makoto's soli are more beautiful than ever. The listening is shivering. We really can say these thirteen minutes are equal to the a side of the first Ash Ra Tempel record. The booklet didn't lie, these six-repeated-over and-over-notes give bright and powerful sensations, with a krautrock purity that will make you dance to touch the stars. Maybe the best Acid Mothers Temple's album since Mantra Of Love, by Alien 8 Recordings. In any case, Cometary Orbital Drive is one these essential records from the Soul Collective, one of those which mix with talent great stellar riff, real groove, inspired experimentations and absolute cosmos.
Walter Beltrami - Timoka: This project was born in 2005 and had its debut at Clusone Jazz Festival 2006, Italy. The music continued to develop during live concerts, reaching a climax with the arrival of eclectic and original saxophonist Francesco Bearzatti in 2008. On April, the group (featuring also talented drummer Emanuele Maniscalco and creative bassist Roberto Bordiga) has recorded the project on a CD which was released in the first months of 2009. From November 2008 the Quartet achieved its ultimate shape thanks to the arrival of creative and original Finnish drummer Markku Ounaskari, a true icon of nordic jazz drumming.
The project is inspired by Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman, who unfortunately died recently [2007, thus recent in terms of when the music was composed -ed.], and his cinematographic work. The compositions are all written by the guitarist except a re-arrangement of the main melody of "Emotions," soundtrack of the renowned movie Wild Strawberries. This is not the usual tribute to an artist: Bergman is everywhere in this music but as an indirect influence. The guitarist shares with the film director his taste and artistry for details, space, silence and multiple layers of significance. His ability to produce a music which is also visual and "viewable" reminds of the musical iconography of Bergman. Above all, the two artists share lands and landscapes, both real and unreal: places which become the scenography of Bergman’s movies and which Beltrami takes and wisely manipulates, turning them into a new and very personal scenophony.
Steve Dalachinsky and the Snobs - Massive Liquidity: An Unsurreal Post-Apocalypse Anti-Opera In Two Acts: Collaboration between New York beat poet Steve Dalachinsky and French art-rockers The Snobs. Dalachinsky plays with words like models William Burroughs or Allen Ginsberg did few decades ago: using cut-up and automatic writing, he creates new meanings. Not only a writer, Dalachinsky performs regurarly with free-jazz musicians and friends to give his text a new life. You can see the poet at work, how he breaks the rules of the language to create his own and how he embodies his words to converse with the sound of a saxophone or a double bass.
Massive Liquidity is the result of a Bam Balam Records wish to hear the deep and mysterious Dalachinskys voice mixed with a more rock and electric oriented music. The Snobs are a French duet formed by brothers Mad Rabbit and Duck Feeling in 2003. They produce records on their own and release them on their website for free. Dalachinsky and The Snobs met in winter 2011 in Paris to record some vocals for the project. With the first coming back to New York few days later, the French duet had the freedom to process with sounds just like Dalachinsky did with words: they used edits, collages and experiment to create the most cohesive work. Duck Feeling plays all the instruments on the record: guitar, bass, sitar, electronic organ, psychedelic effects, percussion instruments made with petrol cans or metal sheets. Massive Liquidity presents two twenty minutes musical suites made of various influences: 1969's Miles Davis instrumental freedom hit, Einstürzende Neubauten's industrial and elegant sense of rhythm. Psychedelic effects are both essential and measured to let a strict groove between James Brown and Arnold Schoenberg happen. Dalachinsky's voice is the narrative element: it can be a gentle whisper at a moment and turn into a wild and menacing raucous noise just few seconds later. Words and music interact, they sometimes hurt each other or simply become one only powerful and moving sound. The records closing belongs to the voice, which seems to clarify the violent and cosmic experience the listener just had: "It's his head now. Pull the trigger."
Peter Hammill - Pno Gtr Vox - Live Performances: Peter Hammill is uncontestably a "cult artist" in the world of rock; musicians as diverse as David Bowie, Peter Gabriel and Fish site some influence by their object of admiration. The poet-musician is eclectic, prolific, with the progressive rock of Van Der Graaf Generator in 1967, the avant-punk of Nadir's Big Chance in 1974, the new of the 80s with K Group... He was able also to create a very special brand poeticism because of his meditations and "visions" of unusual strength. The albums of the late eighties and the next decade are marked by a constant desire for renewal, although the choice of accompanying musicians is often the same: David Jackson on saxophone and flutes, Stuart Gordon on violin, Manny Elias on drums ... Fool's Mate is his first solo album, originally recorded in
1971. Followed by Chameleon In The Shadow Of The Night in 1973, and Over four years later. Released in 1988,
In A Foreign Town is a diverse collection of songs, an album of transitional intensity but still present. Fireships shows a peaceful and serene artist, fan extensive layers of keyboards and melodies of great beauty. There Goes The Daylight, by contrast, shows what the concerts period 1993 to 1995, moments of unleashed power and fury indescribable. Recorded in 1992, the most excellent rock opera The Fall Of The House Of Usher (Inspired by the famous story by Edgar-Allan Poe) has been rearranged with happiness in 1999, and has a host of guests (Lene Lovich, Herbert Gronemeyer ...), a work of dark lyricism and unusual. X My Heart, Roaring Forties, or the youngest or What, Now? (2001, an excellent wine!) show a gradual evolution toward ambitious pieces, sometimes close by their arrangements and intensity of the gold standard Van der Graaf Generator, sometimes more intimate and meditative (None Of The Above).
In order to present a comprehensive overview of his work, Peter Hammill offers today the compilation The Thin Man Sings Ballads. This disc contains twelve tracks covering the period from 1982 to 2001, extracts of nine albums like Fireships and Everyone You Hold, or the recent What, Now?. Here Clutch (2002) arrives on our plates ... The first thing is clear: this is a goldsmith [worthy] job! Again, one might be tempted to say. One finds again the former mentor of Van der Graaf Generator equal to itself, alone with his acoustic guitar and his lyrics heartbreaking. Anxious to fill the sound space, the artist chose to complete his instrumental palette by adding elegant parts of lute. One can also hear the sound of the faithful interventions of Stuart Gordon (violin) and David Jackson (saxophone & flute), a detour at certain points. There is no doubt that this major work will leave us again more speechless. No wonder, facing one of the most moving voices of any musical production of the last three decades ... Incoherence (2004) includes a unique range of self-titled 41 minutes (Divided into fourteen cycles). It sees the involvement of accomplices as always, Stuart Gordon (violin) and David Jackson (flute & saxophone). The music alternates between unbridled experimentation and learned orchestrations, to illustrate our communication difficulties, all with expertise and a truly unique personality!
Parallel to the long-awaited reunion of Van der Graaf Generator, his solo career is not weakening, barely interrupted by a heart attack that has a distant time in the music scene. Recorded in the year 2009, Thin Air is already the thirty-first album of the Thin Man! Alone with his voice and his range of instruments, it delivers nine original compositions, which may at times recall nostalgia for the album Black Box (1983). Excellent!
And not part of this lengthy bio -- translated using uh... Google (yes, again - I am an uncultured American who doesn't speak French. What else can I say? (I do speak a little Spanish, so... you know... that's something... a small something, but something)) -- there's this new album, about which Burning Shed helpfully relates: "While continuing to play his part with noisemakers supreme Van der Graaf Generator, Peter Hammill has found himself increasingly drawn towards genuine stripped-down solo performance when playing under his own name. This double CD, taken from concerts in Japan and the UK in 2010 is Peter's first solo live recording since 1999 and shows him at the peak of his powers, pushing and stretching both himself and the material into and out of shape. One CD is of piano songs, the other guitar ones, with material being taken from all stages of Peter's illustrious career."
Emanuele Maniscalco - Slow Band: Slow Band is a group featuring improvised music formed on 2005 by Emanuele Maniscalco, young and talented Italian drummer who collaborated many years with trumpeter Enrico Rava and pianist Stefano Battaglia. Throughout the years Maniscalco has worked with this band developing his own compositions with many well-known Italian musicians such as Francesco Bearzatti, Walter Beltrami, Gianluca Petrella, finding an inspiration into the music of Paul Motian, Bill Frisell, Jim Black and many artists at the border between jazz, folk, rock and experimentation.
From 2007 the new combo, featuring Daniel Kinzelman, Karsten Lipp and Paolo Biasi set off for the realm of total improvisation after recording its debut album Slow Band. From that moment on, the group works on improvised music, escaping any easy definition and label. Slow Band loves pure melody but also the disorder, the multiple layers of sound, electronics and noises; in a few words, the idea of total music.
Mind Split Effect- Introspection: Mind Split Effect is the solo project of Maxime Defrancq, who expresses himself through an alternative rock with progressive rock and atmospheric touches. Inspired among other things by the work of Jack Kerouac and the introspective wanderings of his own life, Introspection (Musea Parallèle, 2011) alternates instrumental dreamy passages, sometimes dark and melancholic, with soft and enchanting vocals melodies. This first intimistic album transports you in different horizons, where your mind and memories are at source of the musical interpretation.
Peala / Angelini / Bearzatti - Move Is: We are moths attracted to the light of the magic lantern ... ignited by the encounter with the film's impact, those who leave a indelible mark and which we are emerging from the dark room not quite as we had entered. Twelve sequences, twelve compositions in order to return these emotions they have procured ... at a rate of 24 frames / second of a movie imagination ... Move Is. "Film as dream, film as music, directly through our awareness day to touch our feelings, deep Twilight of the chamber of our soul." Ingmar Bergman. [Popular guy, ol' Ingie -ed.]
Hans-Joachim Roedelius - Reverso: The legend of European ambient electronica, Hans-Joachim Roedelius returns with a bold and highly original collaborative soundscape. Together with British soundtrack artists Fratelli Brothers, Reverso is a surprising collection of simmering atmospheres, treated pianos, bent guitars, harmonic feedback and machines that go ping. Original sequences from sessions for a television documentary (Arena: imagine IMAGINE) written ten years ago were the starting point for this intriguing album, following up on Roedelius' previous collaboration with Fratelli Brothers' George Taylor on Fibre, 2008. Richard Hea***** (Boldwood / Fat Cat Strings), George Taylor (noh1 / Broadcaster) and Neill MacColl (The Bible / Liberty Horses / David Gray / David Gilmour) construct ambient settings for the haunting melodies of Roedelius' piano. Engrossing, complicated, confounding - essential Roedelius.
Tristan Macé - Etrangement Bleu: This is an inclassifiable work, a kind of opera for four voices and jazz orchestra, Etrangement Bleu (Strangely Blue) is a unique attempt to built a musical score for Paul Auster universe, through the words of City of Glass and Ghosts, the first two books of his New York Trilogy, treated as if they were a poem. A kind a baudelaire-like walk in New York, which finds a correspondance in Tristan Macé's strange harmonies, coloured with the melody of exile, with lyricism and sometimes humour, with colours of jazz and tango appearing like ghosts in a very original music. Painter Arpaïs du Bois specially drew the cover and booklet illustrations as a free interpretation of this music. Altogether, the words of Paul Auster, the music from Tristan Macé and the disigns of Arpaïs du Bois make also a trilogy, inside the original Trilogy, in a never ending mirror play, absolutely ... Auster-like!