Sunday, October 2
Mindtrain tends to focus on music from those recordings that have become favorites of mine over the past four decades, in other words, older and not-so-recent releases. There’s so much new stuff coming out each week that it’s impossible to check out all the potentially interesting music I hear about (and much of what I hear about is either through word of mouth or via the New Releases lists that Forced Exposure and Aquarius Records put out regularly).
But this week I have tried to feature some 2011 releases that seemed noteworthy or exceptional to my ears. First of all, there’s a spotlight on some new electronic music. Cyclo. (the project name has a dot on the end), not to be confused with Cyclobe (who I played on the first two programs), is a duo of Ryoji Ikeda and Carsten Nicolai who put out one excellent CD in 2001 and just released their second one this year, entitled Id. Those two gentlemen are in my estimation the best artists working the minimalist ‘glitch’ vein of electronic music today, and their collaboration is as focused and compelling as you’d expect from having listened to their many solo recordings. Then there is another Carsten Nicolai project, in which he goes by his usual name of Alva Noto and teams up with Ryuichi Sakamoto. They’ve put out five CDs together over the years (including one with the Ensemble Modern), and the new one is every bit as quietly penetrating as the ones before. It’s called Summvs, a title which continues their practice of titling their pieces and albums with marginally unpronounceable strings of letters. If you’ve not heard the music of this duo, I would best describe it as a seamless union of the genre of ambient piano music a la Harold Budd with the electronic precision of lowercase glitch electronica. Beautiful. And thanks to Facebook, I recently discovered the music of one of my 600 friends, Fabio Minardi, who just put out a short album (free to download) entitled Genetic Control Frequencies, under the artist name FMcontrol. Trippy, brutal, extreme blasts of precisely organized analog noise, I was knocked out by how great this stuff is. You can check it out on his Soundcloud page at http://soundcloud.com/elixirfm.
Probably my favorite album to come out this year is the new Fovea Hex CD, Here Is Where We Used To Sing. Fovea Hex is essentially the creative vehicle for Clodagh Simonds’ extraordinary vocal compositions, although for this album she is joined by another wonderful Irish singer, Laura Sheeran. This music is enchanted and enchanting, magical and haunting, and both melancholy and uplifting at the same time. Musical comparisons with This Mortal Coil and some of the late Hector Zazou’s productions would be apt. This new CD is their second work, and it continues their practice of enlisting first-rate artists into the production, such as Brian Eno, Michael Begg and Colin Potter, of whom the latter two are featured on a bonus CD of extended remixes entitled Three Beams. This is New Age music with the gravity and profundity of Arvo Part.
I also felt compelled to include a track from a recently released live recording by the legendary British acid-folk band Comus, taken from their Swedish reunion gig from 2008. They do inspired versions of the songs from their first album on East Of Sweden, along with one impassioned cover, the Velvets’ “Venus In Furs.” The rest of the program consists of old classics from the 60s through the 90s, including an atypical song by Steppenwolf, from the first rock LP I ever bought (at age eleven), At Your Birthday Party. Enjoy…
The playlist gives artist name, song title, and album title (in that order). A space between lines of text indicates the break between sets where track announcements were made.
Playlist for Mindtrain 03 – 16 August 2011
- Unrest – Imperial – Imperial F.F.R.R.
- Patty Waters – Moon, Don’t Come Up Tonight – Patty Waters Sings
- Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto – Pionier IOO – Summvs
- Cyclo. – Id#00 – Id
- Ryoji Ikeda / Iannis Xenakis – Per Se – Persepolis + Remixes (Edition I)
- FMcontrol – GFHH Space Quadrant2 – Genetic Control Frequencies
- Can – Future Days – Future Days
- Steppenwolf – Mango Juice – At Your Birthday Party
- Dave Ball – Mirrors / Sincerity – In Strict Tempo
- Fovea Hex – Falling Things (Where Does A Girl Begin?) – Here Is Where We Used To Sing
- Unrest – Champion Nines – Imperial F.F.R.R.
- Myrmyr – Thunder Stars – Fire Star
- Princess Tinymeat – Wigs On The Green – Herstory
- Llovespell – Access – Every Song Is A Llovesong
- The Sword Volcano Complex – The Other Side Of The World – Phosphorescent
- Nico – Sagen Die Gelehrten – The Frozen Borderline (1968-1970)
- Comus – Venus In Furs – East Of Sweden (Live At The Melloboat Festival 2008)
- Faust – Lauft… Heisst Das Es Lauft Oder Es Kommt Bald… Lauft [Alternative Version] – Faust IV (Deluxe Edition)
- June Tabor & The Oyster Band – All Tomorrow’s Parties – Freedom And Rain
- Fovea Hex – Cup Of Joy (Colin Potter Remix) – Three Beams