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Halas_Radio on 10/26/2009 at 06:00PM

No Regrets For Our Youth

"No Regrets For Our Youth is a nine track album of individual pieces, beautifully created with acoustic, electronic, modern and old sound. Each track varies from simple to intricately developed music. The record is one work, in that each piece connects to the others, yet they are all unique. The first track of predominantly electronic sounds defines a heavy yet childlike melody with strong rhythm in seven time. The accents are unusual, as are the sounds, but with time this 'Dance' as it is titled, becomes less awkward. The mood changes significantly with track three. 'The Manners of Speech' holds us in a warm embrace of acoustic guitars and familiar chords with oodles of anticipation. The variety of sound is refreshing and incredibly beautiful. Then 'Fronts' jolts us to attention. It starts with a strikingly simple rhythm. High-hat and electric guitar initiate the dialogue, soon joined by voice, distorted guitar and organ to form an unusual but effective ensemble. Other tracks include a tense string quartet, an improvisatory harpsichord combined with electronic instruments and sounds to create unlikely unions. The final track brings us full circle and sounds from the opener are heard again. This time the melody is a little slower, as if a long journey has been accomplished. 'No Regrets for Our Youth' is a record of familiar sounds given new life with poignant anticipation and utterly heartbreaking tension. It is modern music with its own identity. Little information can be found about No Regrets For Our Youth maybe because the music speaks for itself" -- anna johnston.

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andrewcsmith on 10/26/2009 at 12:58AM

Alex Waterman Reading Robert Ashley

Alex Waterman reads excerpts from his interviews with Robert Ashley according to Ashley's early indeterminate score "in memoriam . . . Esteban Gomez." The score is circular, with no determinate duration, and with a suggested four players (although Waterman performed solo). More than just the words, the score drives the intonation of the reading, as Ashley's original four timbal indications become intonational indications in the speaking voice. In this piece, Ashley memorializes the man credited with deserting Magellan, financing his expeditions by selling slaves, and mapping the eastern shore of North America.

Also, this recording is one of the few ways to hear Alex read the following paragraph:

Willard called the cops one time about a flying saucer that was in the living room. The cops came over and asked him to show them where it was and Willard pointed to the window sill in the living room. They said, "Willard, that's a peach pit." And Willard said, "Well, it may look like a peach pit to you."

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lavenders on 10/23/2009 at 09:45AM

Micachu & the Shapes - live live live @ dublab!

Micachu & the Shapes are one of the funnest bands to watch perform. We trust you’ll open up your imagination wide as you’re listening to this great band fly through some tunes full of quirkiness and punch. Think of the incredible gestures they made while making these sounds. Maybe your Micachu & the Shapes are beating drums, ukulele and keys in a jumpy stomping jam or maybe they’re floating far above the Earth dropping notes to the tops of trees below so that birds may form nests for their young to fly skyward and flap a wing hello back at Micachu. Or possibly these sounds are evoking images of a robotic roadrunner looping around a track as the audience stomps and mashes the floor with enthusiastic cheers of encouragement. Whatever your visions may involve we hope you enjoy this “sprout session” from one of our favorite bands.

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mwalker on 10/23/2009 at 08:00AM

Snorting Money with Earth, Wind, & Fire

Chris Corsano and Mick Flower; photo by Hrvoje Goluza. Paris, November 2008.

I’ve upped two albums -- one from the Flower/Corsano Duo and one from Ashtray Navigations -- to get everyone amped up for what should prove to be two ridiculously great shows at ISSUE next week. Both groups play individual sets on Monday, Oct. 26 and will perform in various collaborative groupings with the Termite Club on Tuesday, Oct. 27.

Check the albums here and here.

Ashtray Navigations, the longtime recording moniker of UK-native Phil Todd, covers a rather diverse amount of territory across these 4 tracks on Sweet Iron Feet, a CDr put out by Chocolate Monk in 2006.  First track “Tin and String” opens with a rustic, grounded scene -- ruminative steel string plucking in a small kitchen amidst a warm bed of white-noise hiss and slow-boiling synths as strains from a worn violin creep in through the open window. By the time “The Whirlpool What Was” closes things out, AN’s risen into the ether as phased-out, buoyant electronic swirls hum beneath transcendental, gorgeous ruminations on a processed guitar. Enveloping, comforting stuff.

Mick Flower and Chris Corsano have been recording together sporadically since 2006, releasing The Radiant Mirror in early 2007, also on Textile. Flower, a founding member of the Vibracathedral Orchestra, plays an amplified shahi baaja (or japan banjo) in conjunction with a droning tanpura box, drawing some parallels to Indian ragas but effortlessly wresting out a remarkably unique voice of his own. Corsano, a phenomenal drummer of whirlwind technical facility and acute sensitivity and restraint, has played with everyone from Paul Flaherty (highly recommended listening) and Jim O'Rourke to Six Organs of Admittance and Bjork. I had the pleasure of seeing him perform a fantastic set with Evan Parker and Nate Wooley at the Stone last week. In contrast to AN's work, The Radiant Mirror possesses a highly singular, unified sound-world, resulting in a powerful presence of almost overwhelmingly focused intensity. While the surface of their music might seem removed from the transcendental jazz of the late 60s, the duo seems to pull from the same bottomless, spiritual well once drawn from by Coltrane and Ayler. Firecely mesmerizing and absolutely worth checking. Also, look for their dope new album out on VHF.

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chris corsano
jason on 10/22/2009 at 05:41PM

Ho-Ho-Kus! Experimental sounds in Brooklyn 2nite

Amolvacy (Dave Nuss, Sheila Donovan, and Aaron Moore) eatin' pizza

Pretty cool show tonight at Monkeytown (58 N 3rd St, Brooklyn) for those in the NYC area who are unmoved by the concurrent CMJ medicine show but are looking for some heady out-sounds to hold us over on this eve before the WFMU Record Fair.

Amolvacy is Aaron Moore (Volcano the Bear), Dave Nuss (No-Neck Blues Band) and Sheila 16 (of the Creepy Brains, and NYC's Laboratory Theater Company). Amolvacy just got back from a tour of Europe, and are celebrating the release of their new LP "A La Lu La" on Ultramarine out of Italy (available stateside at stateside rates through Soundatone). You can check out a few tracks from the album here, including "Ho-Ho-Kus" below (named after Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey??).

Peeesseye (aka PSI) will be performing as a duo tonight, with Chris Forsyth on guitar and Jaime Fennelly on harmonium. PSI are the folks behind the Evolving Ear label, and the full trio played a mind-bending electro-acoustic set on Brian Turner's show back in 2004, and another one in 2007 on Woody's show. DJ Woody, who has been getting a lot of attention for his electro-acoustic banjo work lately from the likes of Terrascope and the Chicago Reader, will be joining PSI for tonight's show. As Uncle Woody Sullender, he has collaborated with the likes of Pauline Oliveros and Maryanne Amacher (who, we are sad to report, passed on today, but her influence lives on in tonight's performers). A sampling of Woody's work, and from his Dead CEO label, can be heard right here on the FMA. Also joining in will be Jersey City's premier improv trumpeteer Nate Wooley, a recent live guest on WFMU's Long Rally, and mastermind behind this recent performance with Mary Halvorson & Ruben Radding at ISSUE Project Room.

Anything Maria plays second tonight, and Aaron Moore opens the evening with a solo set. So go! Run to Monkeytown! It's a great, intimate venue, they have food and good beer, wine, couches and video projectors. But like I said it's intimate so you might even want to make a reservation on your way out! And if you can't make the show tonight, check out Nat Roe's recent feature on this here blog profiling Amolvacy, Volcano the Bear, and other Aaron Moore projects.

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jason on 10/22/2009 at 11:19AM

Hexlove: drummers at the forefront

Hexlove at Valentine's in Portland, OR via musiquotient

"Southern Illinois native Zac Nelson is a drummer, and knowing that you should also know that he is a madman". -Holy Mountain's release page for the Hexlove album Knew Abloom (Life's Hood)

It does require a very unique kind of drummer -- "a madman", perhaps -- to venture into new sonic territories. The result -- as with Zac Nelson's Hexlove -- can be infinitely rewarding, but too often, the Drummer is cast as a mere beat-keeper, as if The Beat is something that must be kept. This leaves little room for innovation, especially in any genre-specific setting, where the drum kit and drumming have both been standardized; there is already a well of tried and true beats at a drummer's disposal.

But when those born into the drummer's throne are naturally inclined to explore beyond the drum cage, they bring with them an exhilaratingly fresh, hyper-rhythmic approach to music composition and improvisation. A new generation of exciting drummer solo projects is emerging right here on the FMA: Black Pus (Brian Chippendale of Lightning Bolt), Soft Circle (Hisham Baroocha ex. Lightning Bolt/Black Dice), GDFX (drummer for Teeth Mountain, Liturgy, and the Dan Deacon Ensemble) and Bolmongani (Ryan from Paik) come to mind. And we're very excited to welcome Hexlove to the FMA with his Harp Drafts EP, a free release from the blossoming Obstructive Vibrations label.

Across Harp Drafts' four tracks, Zac Nelson unleashes a fluid outpouring of expressive drumming atop kaleidoscopic harp loops and ambient electronics. He hints at patterns that beg you to grasp for them but fade when you try. And that's ok -- just let it wash over because each new trajectory sets off a fresh batch of seratonin. (Take a listen and read on after the jump...)

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Scott_Williams on 10/21/2009 at 04:00PM

Time to Sell Some Organs, the WFMU Record Fair's in Town

Monotonix live at last year's WFMU Record Fair (via WFMU's Beware of the Blog)

If you're in, or can get to, the NYC area this weekend, do whatever you have to to get to the 2009 edition of the WFMU Record Fair.  Sell your spleen, your sibling, your self-respect- hell, sell your soul - just be there.

Inducements are many: 10,000 sq. ft. of dealers, pizza, DJ petting zoo, amusements, cigarette girls, celebrity sightings, beer, you name it.  But today we're gonna focus on the live music.  God DAMN, there's been a lot of amazing live music over the years going on at the WFMU Record Fair.  The FMA's here and happy to give you a (downloadable) preview of some of the artists we've got lined up for this year, as well as representatives of Record Fairs past (and undoubtedly future).

Among the acts performing live this year are Chris Brokaw, veteran of Codeine + Come + a thousand support & collab spots; WFMU's very own queen of media manipulation People Like Us; Jon Spencer's new rockabilly project Heavy Trash; and the ultra-dramatic (and unspeakably weird) new broadway-piano project from electronic cut-up superstar Kevin Blechdom; and more!

Continue reading for many hours of past live performances at the FMU record fair, and much music from artists who've performed there.

DMBQ - "Are You?" (24:07)
DMBQ - "Are You?" (24:07)
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wmmberger on 10/21/2009 at 12:00AM

Liturgy Live on My Castle of Quiet, 14th October 2009

Black metal doesn't always have to be a wallowing in vitriol and hatred, or a focused venting of negative emotions, and Liturgy are a case in point. Remember the first time you heard Enslaved's Frost album? Or to stretch genre definitions only slightly, Don Caballero's What Burns Never Returns, or King Crimson's Discipline? Think soulful exactitude, with a profusion of spiritual power.

Liturgypost2 Liturgy are energized players—and their music is definitely black metal—but to listen to them is to take flight on wings of ever-arcing melodic and trebly crescendos. Not so much shoveling shit on the grave of Christ here. There's a decided uplift to Liturgy's songs and performance.

Liturgypost3 A magnificent set, and engineered with expert ears and hands by Jason Sigal. Jason, Jed and myself were somewhat in awe of the musical spectacle happening on the other side of the double glass—and here it is—on mp3, from WFMU and the Castle, to your hard drive or portable listening device (full set here or after the jump)

Liturgy - "Arctica" (04:39)
Liturgy - "Arctica" (04:39)
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doncbruital on 10/20/2009 at 03:03PM

Fugue State Soundtracks

Total cognitive messes are more common than one'd think. Indeed foax, modern life hasn't enabled us to conquer the unknowable recesses of our own inimitably tricky human brain, and as a result confusion, and worse, will always be around, reliable as a phony friend. So that things, mental categories we thought discretely separated, have this pesky tendency to up and blend, creepily paranoiac. Happens to the best of us; think of that border between sleep- and wakefulness, wherein definitions, memories--the very network of correspondences that characterizes waking life--are lost, awash in a vividly undermining haze of disremembery that brings everything to zero. Wake up in the middle of the night, hmm, all darkness around, nothing much to make out and huh? Yeah, likely won't even know who you are, the logical extension of which'll then lean over your confused form with a whisper and a note of condescension while it sez, verily, 'You might be anybody at all...'

What I'm getting at is our identities, dig--and the fact that they can be thought of as nice and fluid, and furthermore that it can be pretty instructive, if scary, to do so. Yeah, zoning out's fun, unless you're driving a car or something, but I'm talking about true dissociation--fugue states like out of the movies, wherein tangibility's just a shadow acreep in the corner and nothing, judged by the reality-arbitrating-standards of quotidian logics, holds up. Keeping we proud humans humble, setting us free of our futile daily burdens, this no-man's-land can be a handy place to grip a furlough, and music, no duh, can facilitate such visits.

Aidan Baker trades in such identity-eroding grooves, and has delivered unto the FMA a representative sampling (and attendant tourdates) you'd be doing your unconscious an abominable unkindness in passing up, so don't. Baker, also of impossibly gnarly Toronto reverbed cavequaking doom outfit Nadja, sculpts longform dronewashes that combine and corrode in spook-inducing swell/ebb psychogenic drifts (his pieces may also conform to the fugue technique of contrapuntal classical composition a la Bach but I haven't really dug deeper into this than the name). Slowly, occasionally gently, his performances unlock some of daily life's arbitrary ciphers, letting meaning-prescribing codes and definitions of external and internal stimuli cut loose and wave hi, or else just sort of hang there. Listen, bask, gaze about in wonder, never quite knowing what it is you see.

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herr_professor on 10/20/2009 at 12:00PM

Hard Line Policies

This week's chip music artist is the avant traditionalist, The Hardliner. His main output has seen release on a number of netlabels in the mid to late 2000's, although he remains active to this day. To me, he always been a sort of bridge artist, connecting the early demoscene style to the later tech innovators with his releases for labels like starpause's 20kbps records. The label focuses on low-bit encoded releases from lofi electronic producers and is not limited to chip music, with a eclectic array of noolders and bedroom producers.

These types of low-bit rate focused lof-fiedlity netlabels suited the early Internet when storage wasn't as cheap as it is today. The problem with that, however, is the persistence factor, and as these free services fall off the net there is the risk of the material being lost, especially when the artist doesn't have a strong netpresence, which is one of the reasons I've uploaded this weeks release by The Hardliner, something like bitter-bitter symphony. The Hardliner's catalog is poorly known, even within the greater chip music community, so give the ep a listen, check out his mental music video for his Relax Beat single Zoloft Blues after the jump, and catch you guys in seven.

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