Recent FMA Blog Posts
This is a feed of featured blog posts from FMA users. Blog on, bloggers!
JoeMc on 12/16/2009 at 01:20PM
A couple weeks ago, the Cherry Blossom Clinic program with Terre T featured a live set by Dutch power pop band De Cylinders. Lest you think we've suddenly time traveled back to the Netherlands in 1980, let me assure you that this indeed took place in 2009. The band reformed recently and was playing its first ever shows in the United States. Luckily, they found time to stop by WFMU and play a snappy set of Amsterdam power pop for us.
De Cylinders perhaps would have remained a footnote for U.S. power pop fans rather than a living, breathing live band if it hadn't been for Sing Sing Records. Lately, this Brooklyn label has been giving an airing to some long-forgotten punk and power pop singles by pressing up shiny new plastic versions of the originals. Be sure to check out their catalog here and their fine blog. So far two of the three De Cylinders singles have received the Sing Sing reissue treatment.
The song I'm featuring today was the B-side of the band's first single and has become a bit of a theme song for some folks I know. Although the band members are a bit balder and greyer, they still play the power pop as if born to it. Vocalist Jolanda Markus, meanwhile, remains the band's most distinctive feature on wax and on stage.
lavenders on 12/15/2009 at 09:00PM
We love when our friend White Rainbow comes to town. He’s known for having the finest, most potent sound machines and is super generous with his product. As soon as he started recording this surreal sprout session the walls in our studio began to melt, the cables tangled themselves into intricate designs on the floor and time started to move at a snail’s pace. When we woke up, there was no trace of the White Rainbow. Was it all a dream? Is this reality?
doncbruital on 12/15/2009 at 02:56PM
The FMA has recently been bolstered by slews of noisy new material which, having likely floated unprotected down the near-frozen Connecticut River for some time, is basically mangled beyond recognition and so contains little to no extant connection with the recognizable world save for a possible origin point up in Brattleboro, VT. Yeah, surely any analysis of this most mysterious body of work is liable to be bewilderingly inconclusive and maddeningly equivocal thanks to the wild multivalence of the material, which runs the gamut from harsh radioclip soundcollage to enlightened decentralized forms of rock'n'roll libertarianism to autoharmolodic piano concerti to SNLian youth theatrics and back again. But some things are clear; namely, that these Vermonstrous acts--HEAT WILSON, HORSE BOYS, ROAN STARS, SORD--all seem to connect to a mysterious personnage by the improbably gristley name of NALS GORING. This much we know, no matter that the music continues to confound.
And you can rest easy on that last score, too, cause if Goring's work is a touch bewildering, it's all the more entrancing for this mystery element. Indeed, this doublepronged dynamic--bizarrdom-mit-newfangling--runs through the FMA-documented wealth of works solo and collaborative. In HEAT WILSON and ROAN STARS (in each of which acts Nals Goring's partner is apparently named, uh, Nals Gorman), cut-tape cs dissemblage is married with honest-to-God band antics, guitars, drums, the whole bit. Seriously! Meanwhile in HORSE BOYS, a project for which, despite its Quixote-flavored found manuscript form (for it seems to comprise found piano playing by one Zach Phillips) Goring is intent on taking credit, field recording weaves between brittley oldpiano strands of melody while someone, Goring only knows who, takes on the "Nancy Sings"-vibe vox. And of course there's more, lots, in fact; the author figures that you, reader, will take that icy Connecticut plunge and do some digging yerself.
Follow the links above to the respective Goring project FMA pages, or check out the tasty sampling tray I've prepared below. There's also the myspace, the hometown OSR Tapes/Dax Bills tape label website for all your Goring needs, and that reliable youtube option. That this material needs to be heard, riverripped and raggedness-wrought though it may seem, should then quickly prove self-evident.
herr_professor on 12/15/2009 at 09:31AM
The mighty Blip Festival comes ashore THIS WEEKEND. Even if you are unable to attend in person there are plenty of vicarious methods you can use to enjoy the Festival from afar. First is the official Blip Blog, with posts, pictures and audio from artists, fans, and weirdos all week. Second, you can stream the entire festival on WFMU.org, hosted by Sound and Safe's own Trent (who was kinda enough to host some Blip performers last night on his Program.)
Finally, we have compiled a mix of all the FMA artists who will be appearing in some function at this years festival. Check out the mix below. The Free Music Archive will be bringing you sets from the festival in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!
robw on 12/14/2009 at 04:09PM
From WFMU's Transpacific Sound Paradise 11/28/2009 (playlist):
A live session and interview with Cyminology, the excellent Berlin-based multi-cultural ensemble led by Iranian-rooted singer Cymin Samawatie. Cymin's fluid combination of refined Persian poetry with jazz/improv-oriented arrangements impressed ECM records honcho Manfred Eicher - who signed them up to his influential Munich label for the group's third CD, "As Ney," released earlier this year.
andrewcsmith on 12/14/2009 at 10:30AM
Phill Niblock (pictured) started out the concert by superimposing Four Arthurs on top of Two Octaves and a Fifth. In the spirit of Niblock, I’m superimposing the three sets of the concert (Niblock, saxophonist Jon Gibson, and the Meredith Monk group M6) into a single reading experience.
About a minute after the huge mind-crushing drone starts, the bassoonist and oboist begin pacing very slowly up and down the aisle, while Phill is on his laptop controlling the mind-crushing drones and strains of soprano saxophone meld with diphthongs and evocations of didgeridoos, and earth-goddess Ha-Yang Kim bows perfect fifths. Pentatonic saxophones and time stops as the chord held is not a chord, but instead a single harmonic object, turning as if in uneven light and unable to stand still but unable to hear anything else except some pseudo-primitive tribal language made up of mostly new vowels. The oboist and bassoonist have basically switched places now, with the bassoon in the back of the hall, and soprano saxophone now capable of either short or long notes but nothing in between, and Ha-Yang goes col lengo while sopranos take their cues from one another. Rhythm study for hands, feet and voice seems apt, replacing the soprano saxophone, and even at the age of sixty nine it looks scary up there all alone with no prop, clapping and stomping in ratios of 3:2 and all its extensions, while ratios of 3:2 continue spilling from speakers overhead and as the oboist walks slowly by the acoustic sound separates from the electronic sound–singers in ratios of 3:2, earth-goddess Ha-Yang holding perfect fifths again, while I’m wondering what “Dolmen Music” is supposed to mean, and think I should look it up when I get home although I never do. The sound ends and now it’s negative sound, the ear pushing back, wanting more.
TAGGED AS:darmstadt essential repertoire festival
wmmberger on 12/14/2009 at 04:56AM
Last week, the Los Angeles-based, New Zealand-bred improv duo of Andrew Scott and Helga Fassonaki graced my program with a donated disc of ultra-rarities and collaborations, both released and to-be released, though all in extremely limited editions.Métal Rouge's music lent an air of bright, feathery sophistication to what can often be our dark, dungeony Castle broadcasts. These pieces come from above, like psychedelic aerial attacks, and though there's lots of space, there's also a lot of percussive activity and general tonal collision. So enjoy, and be prepared to view the clouds from a different angle. Below is the entire disc for download and/or in-browser listening, including two tracks that did not air in the broadcast (WFMU Playlist & Streaming Archive for My Castle of Quiet, Dec 9 2009).
Individual track information below written by Andrew Scott.
Photo by Ged Gangras.
Will eventually be released as one side of a split 10” lathe cut record on the New Zealand label Root Don Lonie For Cash with one of Clayton Noone’s many projects. Will be in an edition of around 30. I’ll be shocked if any copies even make it out of New Zealand.
This is the trio formation of Métal Rouge: Andrew Scott, Helga Fassonaki and Caitlin Mitchell. From the recently releasedEphemeroptera 5 CDr on Seymour Records.
Recently completed collaboration with San Antonio-based one-man black metal maven Husere Grav for one his forthcoming releases, which is I believe an album of collaborations.
Un Ciego is Andrew from Métal Rouge solo. This is an alternate mix of the 2nd side of a forthcoming lathe cut 7” on New Zealands CMR imprint in an edition of 30.
macedonia on 12/12/2009 at 06:55PM
It was about a week ago when I saw a message on Twitter from one of the Error Broadcast netlabel members (Sven Swift, was that you?), pointing towards Dorian Concept as a reason not to sleep on Vienna. As one who's been keeping tabs on Austria off and on ever since Kruder & Dorfmeister first hit the scene with their G-Stoned E.P., I agree wholeheartedly with that sentiment. Lately I've been singing the praises of another Austrian artist, The Clonious, whose Between The Dots full-length on Ubiquity is one of my favorite albums of 2009. Dorian has remixed The Clonious and they seem to run within the same beat circles. The attribute they share is an undying spirit of jazz improvisation that runs rampant throughout their music. Even with the punches of pads, the twiddling of knobs, and the sliding of faders, there's a freedom to their work that never allows the elements to become locked for long.
Listening to Dorian Concept can be a jaw-dropping experience. His work is wildly liberating while also being a prime example of the beauty of controlled chaos. Something tells me that he's holding back on his full capabilities at times and, quite frankly, he's wise to do so. I just get the feeling if he opened the floodgates to everything he's capable of, I'm not sure that we could take it. Case and point: the Seek When Is Her E.P. on the Earstroke label. While "You See Less" is in step with the present-day head nodders he creates on the regular, let me direct your attention to "Water Thank You." This is jazz overtaken by drill and bass unpredictabilities (think Squarepusher during his Feed Me Weird Things or Hard Normal Daddy periods) and it's killing me that this is originally from 2006. You may be hearing something from the recent past, but it still sounds like it's light years ahead of us...
jason on 12/11/2009 at 09:10AM
Our friends at Phlow Magazine are compiling an advent-calendar's worth of Creative Commons charts from some of the world's most attuned netlabel listeners. This includes people like Michael Gregoire of Bloc Sonic (who just released their 25th NetBloc - congrats!), Phlow's esteemed staff members, and other creative commons music freaks. I'm working on my own list right now, honored to be involved in this very cool project. When all's said & done, Phlow's compiling another "Best of Netlabels Compilation: Netlabels at their Finest Hour" (here's the most recent one). And in the meantime, I've been enjoying hearing everyone's daily mixtapes.
I'm also discovering some new forces in the vast Creative Commons music world, like Masakuyi of the Music Forest blog. His best-of 2009 tipped me off to this 2-song digital 12'' single by Quarta330, a free Creative Commons release on Japan's Maltine Records. enjoy:
Maltine Records is a very cool sounding netlabel specializing in electronic sounds, hip-hop, mashups, house and dubstep. We're just starting to delve in to their catalog of nearly 50 releases -- if anyone is familiar and has some recommendations, please share!
Hailing from Tokyo, Toru Koda a.k.a. Quarta330 has a couple actual physical 12''s out on Kode9's world-renowned Hyperdub label, and a remix on a Warp Records digital comp. He's one of the 3 people behind the Tokyo-based chiptune collective Lo-Bit Playground, and he's collaborated with the likes of Flying Lotus. After the jump, enjoy a video of Quarta330 live at the 2006 Blip Festival in NY.
JoeMc on 12/09/2009 at 01:58PM
The sad end of Marion Harris teaches us all a very important lesson:
Don't smoke in bed.
Back in 1944, the "Queen of the Blues Singers" fell asleep in the Hotel Marquis in New York City, ciggie still glowing, and by the next morning, there weren't just cigarette ashes for the maid to clean up.
It was a rather sad end, but maybe not so surprising given the run of bad luck Harris had in the years that followed the heyday of her career. In the span of a few years, she broke her jaw in a fluke accident, her house in London was firebombed by the Nazis with her and her husband still in it, and she developed a neurological disorder that sent her on that fateful trip to New York.
Twenty years before World War II, however, Marion Harris was one of the most popular singers in America, a woman who not only was the first to record some of the defining standards of the American songbook ("After You've Gone," "It Had to Be You," and "The Man I Love" among them), but who also was among the first white women to record jazz and blues songs when "race" records were considered off-limits to proper young ladies.
Have a listen to Marion's "I'm a Jazz Vampire" and then read on for more about her life and career.