Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Music: Briefly Noted

Mulatu Astatke - New York, Addis, London: The Story of Ethio Jazz 1965-1975 (2009)
Addictive ethio-jazz which miraculously combines a dark, smoky feel with a soulful gutsiness, reminiscent in mood of the concurrent-ish work of Augustus Pablo.

Manuel Göttsching (Ashra) – New Age of Earth (1976)
A fluid creation of electro(guitar) ambience which, like all the best work of the genre, is both interesting and complex as the subject of attention, while also forming a pleasantly atmospheric background wash blending warm and cool textures, and employing repetition and variation as central elements. Göttsching’s work is a unique historical bridge between krautrock/kosmische, thoughtful dance (more evident on his seminal E2-E4) and ambient.

Cold CaveLove Comes Close (2009)
Imagine that Ian Curtis, rather than committing suicide, had remained the lead singer into Joy Division’s New Order period. And got into some seriously dancey beats – without losing the melancholia or the atmospheric guitar jangle-n-fuzz. Not highly original, but highly recommended nonetheless.

Lawrence – Lawrence (2002)
The Sight BelowGlider (2008)
Dark, ambient beats with an influence from minimal techno and drone/shoegaze, whilst also infused with an eighties indie miserablist sensibility. Points of reference: Wolfgang Voigt, Bowery Electric, The Smiths. See also: Mikkel Metal - Victimizer.

‘It’ bands the obscurantist in me doesn’t want to admit loving: Neon Indian (chillwave: could it be the best genre ever? See also Millionyoung, Small Black); Grouper (if some reverb is good, more must be better – and she was so right about that).

Honourable mention in 'It' band category: The XX (fantastic music, shame about the lyrics).

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