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wmmberger on 01/18/2010 at 11:49AM

Malkuth live on WFMU's My Castle of Quiet

6a00d83451c29169e20120a7c7a7d8970b-400wi Every time I stare into the maw of black metal I find something new. That mainstream media can't seem to get past the genre's origins of sensational murders and church burnings in Norway is I guess no surprise, but such tunnelvision neither accounts for, nor does justice to, the evolution of powerfully inventive, genre-bending artists such as Malkuth.

I feel fortunate to have been able to present NYC's two finest black metal bands (first Liturgy last October, now Malkuth) on My Castle of Quiet within only a few months' time.

This was quite a monumental session; Malkuth played ultra-hard, and tight as a hangman's noose, their epic songs filled with wild time-signature shifts and snaky, melodic riffage. A good brain cleansing with steel strings, drums, and screaming.

Much credit must go to our own Jason Sigal who made sure that Malkuth's mighty set turned out a mighty audio document. Thanks also to Daniel Blumin and Gabriel for popping up to the Castle and helping me out.

As several songs were rendered in continuum mode, Malkuth's six-part live opus is presented here in three distinct chunks, and labeled accordingly:

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mwalker on 01/15/2010 at 10:45AM

between the silences

I have a strangely inescapable tendency to hear music in terms of temperature – an inability to absorb an aural atmosphere without instinctively consulting the mental thermometer. If my post from last week sought a warmly glowing antidote to the oppressive start of a new winter, I suppose this week I’ve shrugged off the struggle and decided to dive headlong into the surrounding chill. Between the Silences, a work by fascinating NYC composer Tristan Perich, evokes a frigid world of austere beauty – a vast monolith sculpted out of deceivingly simple contrasts. This shared recording comes from a performance at ISSUE dating back to 10/26/08.

Scored for nine strings and nine channels of 1-bit tones (the most primitive form of digital audio, created by sending on and off pulses of electricity to audio speakers), the work dissolves a series of apparent dualities into a singular, all-absorbing tone of haunting weight. Elegant, slowly-unfolding melodic shapes are continuously fragmented, with each successive pitch dispersed to a different timbre of the 18 voice ensemble. Despite the individual, isolated space given to each instrument, the equal-sharing of the glacial melodies serves to unify the disparate voices – obscuring the division between acoustic/electronic sources and blurring all timbral distinctions into an impenetrable field of disconcerting quietude.

The pace gradually wavers back and forth between slow and static; the harmonic density expands and contracts between rich, overlapping waves of dispersed melody and thin patches of isolated sound separated by pregnant pauses of thick silence. Eventually, the work dissolves into a single violin voice, left alone to obsessively reiterate a sole, remaining pitch – casting the same muted utterance, again and again, into an impassive void. We begin to realize that the emotional qualities of the silence and the sound have become identical…the most reliably certain instance of clear-cut duality has too been blurred and absorbed into the severe expanse of cold, enveloping transcendency.

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tristan perich
jason on 01/14/2010 at 11:00AM

Golden Festival 25th Anniversary this weekend (audio preview)

Every January, NY Balkan music scene pioneers the Zlatne Uste Balkan Brass Band organize the Golden Festival - a massive two-night grassroots Balkan and East European music and dance festival at the Good Shepherd School, 620 Isham Street in the Inwood section of Upper Manhattan.

The Golden Festival is New York's largest Balkan music event, with multiple stages, Balkan & Middle Eastern refreshments, Balkan arts vendors, as well as beautiful Balkan textiles on display.  From international stars to local musicians, modern Balkan stylists to folk traditionalists, over 40 bands provide hours of ecstatic listening, dancing and partying. (via Zlatne Uste's website)

The Golden Festival celebrates its 25th anniversary this Friday and Saturday, and tickets are available here.

For those who won't be able to attend but want to live vicariously, Rob Weisberg's Transpacific Sound Paradise program will broadcast live on WFMU this Saturday from 6pm until midnight NY time. The TSP broadcast will take place from one of the festival's three stages, the "Kafana" stage (Kafana is Serbo-Croatian for "cafe"; and the broadcast hq will once again be conveniently located right next to the beer line!).

To get an idea of what's in store, here are a few highlights from last year's TSP broadcast.

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lizb on 01/14/2010 at 08:30AM

Instrumental Throw-Down

In late 2009, I broke with tradition and decided to finally hold myself to a New Year's resolution. My goal was to start a podcast in 2010. Click here to subscribe to it, and click here to check out WFMU's full podcast listing.

Thanks to the Free Music Archive, there is now a wealth of great music that is pre-cleared for podcasts (14,644 tracks and counting). Podcasting music is a complicated issue, legally speaking, as record labels and publishing companies have not yet created blanket licensing schemes that address podcasting (licenses do exist for over-the-air broadcasting and webcasting). Because licensing schemes do not exist, labels and publishers could potentially sue podcasters who do not pursue clearances for each and every song included in a podcast. As a result, podcasters are left in the lurch: they can either risk legal wrath from a rabidly lawsuit-happy recording industry, or take on the burden of clearing hundreds of songs on their own.

Because most artists and labels who participate in the FMA have pre-cleared their material for podcasting, the whole game just got easier, and I'm happy to take advantage of this wealth of great material. Two weeks into 2010, I've got a few podcasts under my belt (perhaps a better success rate than many who have vowed to quit smoking or join a gym), and in searching for instrumental tracks to use as talkover music for my podcast, I discovered a great tool in the FMA's search dept.

On the search page, I filtered results both by use (for podcasting) and by type (instrumental only); both filters can be found on the left sidebar, along with many other helpful options. Not only did I find some great talkover music (thanks, YACHT!), but I put a mix together of all the great instros I found. Enjoy!


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podcast, instro, instrumental
BTurner on 01/13/2010 at 12:45PM

Radon 10th Anniversary bash on WFMU

Images_albums_Sikhara_-_Radon_10th_Anniversary_Jam_-_20100106122136638.w_290.h_290.m_crop.a_center.v_top Years ago I first came in contact with the Radon label via my pal Marlon, hearing a live set by Italian avant-rock composer Daniele Brusachetto, learning about his fellow countrymen OvO and then finally being sent a pile of CDs (mostly samplers) from the transient Radon head Scott Nydegger coupled with frequent correspondences enthusiastically talking about the state of experimental music made us fast friends. As I got familiar with the many facets of this label, Scott made sure that I was introduced to everyone in his orbit, and what really impressed me most is that Radon dealt with its business and artists unlike few others. Everyone was scattered around the world, because Scott just floated around meeting people and putting the music out from wherever he was (as opposed to working out of an office and dealing with the biz); anyone who shared the vision was invited in and were all friends. Fractured breakcore from Ripit, industrial tubthumping from Sikhara (Scott's outfit), introspective psychedelic drone from Fabrizio Polumbo under the name (r), and glorious ascensions from Steve Mackay (saxman then and now for Iggy and the Stooges) all intermingled under the Radon umbrella.

Through the years quite a few units of the stable has landed in the WFMU studios on various shows; Mackay put out an LP backed by some heavyweight improvisers on Qbico called Tunnel Diner culled from sessions on my show and Acapulco Rodriguez's as well (some MP3's here). Koonda Holaa, aka Kamilsky, is an eccentric Czech ex-pat who holed up for years in the high Mojave and also visited FMU (check him out on the Free Music Archive, he's terrific) and actually landed surreal opening slot for the Stooges in Moscow a few years back. Now, Radon takes a break, but to celebrate a good decade, Scott invited me down to Jason LaFarge's Seizures Palace studio in Brooklyn (in the cavernous Gowanus space where Martin Bisi also made all those great Lydia Lunch, Sonic Youth and Swans records) and we recorded a full on American/Portuguese summit jam of Sikhara, HHY & Drums of Habnom and United Scum Soundclash. It's a gorgeous, free-flowing hour of microscopic sounds, Neubauten-esque tribal percussion blowouts, scabby sampling and a simple celebration of the joy of free sound in a gigantic room. I aired the program on December 29th, but you can grab this session below.

Please also boogie over to the Free Music Archive's Radon offerings. Much excellence to be found. Somewhat saddened to hear of the label's hiatus, but other imprints like Soopa and Urck seem to be picking up some of the slack with a similar level of vision and social circles.

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Jacklebee on 01/13/2010 at 09:51AM

World's Greatest Ghosts

No Magick, the first full-length album from World's Greatest Ghosts is a nod to childhood narratives of make-believe monsters and plywood clubhouses. With lyrics referencing ghouls chasing you through mazes and houses sinking in quicksand, this album presents its nostalgic concepts with a dice-throwing Dungeon and Dragons filter. Friends reliving their clubhouse fantasies may not be such an abstract concept for this group. The Ghosts comprise of two brothers, Casey and Jesse Laney, and a college sweetheart, Emily Laney (Jesse's wife). Brandon Anderson has been with the group since its beginnings in the deep South. And now in Portland, Eric Ambrosius has joined them, replacing their long-time drummer. No Magick is produced by the Portland label Lucky Madison, run by local rocker Kevin O'Connor from the dynamic group, Talkedemonic. WWG will be playing this year's SXSW festival in Austin Texas, and be sure to check out their Myspace page at for updates. Long live D'n'D synth-rock.

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andrewcsmith on 01/13/2010 at 08:46AM

More from Tony Conrad's brain

If someone were to keep score of people who have performed at ISSUE, Tony Conrad would be at or near the top. And yet even though he performs almost monthly, guessing what a single performance will be like is a futile game—one we’ve long stopped playing and have never learned the rules to. In the past year he’s dispensed plastic recorders to the audience, bowed strings of beads tied to the bridge of his amplified, fretted, spraypainted black violin, used auto-tune, looping pedals, multichannel overhead clicking sounds, a string quartet, endorsed psychedelic drugs, and had a book written about him.

This is just a selection of those things, some of which are old to the archive and some of which are newer. His performances as Ma La Pert with Jennifer Walshe have already been written about, but check out the two segments from the September 9, 2009 program that featured art historian Brandon Joseph reading from his book, Beyond the Dream Syndicate: Tony Conrad and the Arts after Cage. These two segments—Tony’s song, “Sexual Vulnerability,” and his live set—are just a small slice of much of his work. A larger mix, including the Ma La Pert performance and XXXMacarena, is after the jump.

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superhumanoids on 01/12/2010 at 12:57PM

Creative Commons presents: Catching the Waves' mix

Catching the Waves writes:

Catching The Waves has been reviewing free netlabel and/or Creative Commons albums since 2006. That's pretty much it. The catalyst was a desire to thank CC artists for their marvellous free music and to further the cause of free and legal CC music. The reviews, which are the work of one lone idiot, are infrequent, short and badly written yet undeniably sexy. Visit CTW and you'll find reviews of anything from rock to IDM, trip-hop to minimal and even Country to Western. (I've used that joke before – I'm all for recycling.) You won't be bothered by fees, hidden or otherwise, advertising, requests to register or even recommendations for teeth-whitening regimes. However, there is a rather decent collection of links to netlabels and CC music portals.

I am deeply honoured to join in the fun at the FMA. My mix consists of some of the best tracks from some of the best albums that have been lassooed (SP) at CTW. It features lots of different genres, tempi and moods (rock, IDM, trip-hop, minimal, folk, ambient, etc.,) from as far afield as Germany, Japan, Colombia, the United States, France, Canada, Italy and the U.K. It was murderously difficult to whittle the mix down to a still unwieldy twenty tracks. It would be wonderful if people who were new to netlabels, and CC music in general, stumbled upon these songs and realised, as I did, that there's a whole world of wonderful music just waiting to be discovered – and that it's all free, legal and made by artists who want their music to be downloaded, copied and shared. Catching the waves can be fun...

My dirty secret: I've compiled this mix specifically to cause arguments in the FMA and in Creative offices around the world as they argue as to which is the best track. Let the chaos begin!

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herr_professor on 01/12/2010 at 08:30AM

Amiga Samba

Happy 2010 chip goons! After the stunning assault on the basic decency of the human auditory senses that was the 2009 Blip Festival, TCTD needed a few weeks of court ordered rest and relaxation in order to find some deep chiptune gems. This week we are focusing on Monotonik's "Best of AHX vol. 1", a collection of tunes made for the Amiga computer using a tracker named AHX.

AHX (formerly named THX before some skywalking lawyers shot first) was a late period Amiga tracker that was designed "especially to create C64-like synthetic tunes". Also there was "no support for sampled instruments as chip tunes are made to be as small in size as possible." The result is a file type that is transportable as a standard midi file, but to my ears much better sounding. The recently defunct Monotonik netlabel thought so too, and collected these tracks from the developers of the AHX tracker themselves, Martin 'Dexter' Wodoks and Manfred 'Pink' Linzner, who later went on to develop games for commercial games. If you are looking for more AHX tunes, you can check out this UP ROUGH gameboyadvance rom, or the AHX section on Necatarine.

And speaking of Blip Festival, come back next week when the FMA unveils some of the live recordings from last month's festival, until then you can check out "Flying" from minusbaby. See ya soon!

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chip music
clinical_archives on 01/11/2010 at 03:00PM

BLOB - Halloween

Ted "Deadly Tedly" Orr, John "Geeze" Lindberg, Harvey "Mudcat" Sorgen

This album was recorded at Sertso Studio in Woodstock, NY during October of 2007 - a period that culminated in one of the infamously historic BLOB live shows, this one complete with interactive video at Woodstock's Byrdcliffe Theater on All Hallows Eve.
The show sent folks running out into the woods howling. We hope the album strikes a similarly visceral chord with any and all listeners!

Ted "Deadly Tedly" Orr - midi guitar
John "Geeze" Lindberg - processed double bass
Harvey "Mudcat" Sorgen - drums

All compositions by Orr/Lindberg/Sorgen


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