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Elizabeth Anderson – L’envol

empreintes DIGITALes

Music to write science fiction to.

Elizabeth Anderson - L’envolL’Envol is the first solo album release from American-born, Brussels-based composer Elizabeth Anderson. She is a prolific artist and teacher, and when I hear the opening of L’envol, I feel somewhat like I am at the beginning of a lecture on electronic music.

The sounds are perhaps what you might have expected from the title of the record, (L’envol is French for The Flight), but only if you have spent a lot of time watching science fiction films from the Nineteen Sixties. I know these soundscapes because they furnish my dreams. It is a vernacular that as a reader and writer of science fiction — stories of space and space travel — I know very

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Pixies – Doolittle 25

4AD

Pixies - Doolittle 25“One-two, ready-go…”

Where do Pixies fit in your musical history? Were you there for Come on Pilgrim, for Surfer Rosa? Was it “Gigantic” that first got you hooked? Or was it Doolittle? Maybe you arrived late to the Pixies party, with that seminal film moment pairing “Where is My Mind” with the final scene of Fight Club.

Maybe you’ve only vaguely heard them, despite the five albums, revivals and controversies over lineups. Maybe you’ve been blissfully unaware, these twenty-five years, that they were a thing.

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Morning Bride – The North Sea Rising

Imprint

Morning Bride - The North Sea Rising“Well I heard that you were spoken for/it’s hard to imagine anyone speaking for you,” sings Amity Joy Dunn in the opening of “Rosy Technology,” the latest Morning Bride single, taken from The North Sea Rising. It’s a great line and one that has fuelled my anticipation as I’ve been listening to this track for weeks after I received my copy of the CD.

To call this record eagerly awaited sounds clichéd, yet it was in our house anyway. The line up, changed somewhat since the band’s last release Greetings from Abney Park, make a sound that is tighter and more compressed as a unit. But at just six tracks long, weighing in at a sprightly thirty minutes, it is really only a mini-album. The

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Low – The Invisible Way

Sub Pop

Low - The Invisible Way“Feeds my passion for transcendence/Turns my water into wine,”‘ sings Mimi Parker on “Holy Ghost,” the fourth track on The Invisible Way, and if I had to sum up my own reaction to this album, I could not have put it better.

Low are a band that have been making music together in various configurations since 1993, Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker being the cohesive force behind the changing line-up. Veterans of live performance, they have supported both Radiohead and Swans, among many others. In this time they have released a veritable slew of recordings, all of which being characterised by their uncompromisingly low-key sound with strong emphasis on the vocal. It is unsurprising, bearing in mind that the founding

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Rasp Thorne and the Briars – The Lecher’s Waltz

Chagrin

Rasp Thorne and the Briars The Lecher’s WaltzI’ve been trying to find a way to review this record without simply comparing Rasp Thorne and The Briars to other bands I enjoy. I could, of course, write a comprehensive list of other acts that make this kind of gothic punk gypsy burlesque, but the first thought that struck me was that what it reminded me of most was the Australian dark cabaret of Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen – although there is perhaps even a touch more of the rogue about these rapscallions. The Lecher’s Waltz is their first full-length album as a band, having had some small success with their EP Debutante Warnings, and here we are treated to a fuller exposition of their sound.

The first track

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Holly Herndon – Movement

RVNG Intl.

Holly Herndon - MovementThis album has been around since November 2012. So I’m a little late to the chorus of adulation. I’m doing my best not to read all the reviews that scroll up when I google Holly Herndon‘s name.

Is it awful to admit I had no idea?

Oh well. I didn’t have any idea, but when it was suggested I might like to review this, I was intrigued. I watched the video for the title track and single and was actually spellbound. Musically and visually this was arresting, beautiful stuff.

I wasn’t sure I could do it justice. I’m not a massive follower of the scene, I just catch snippets here and there. Maybe it is because I was told she lists Laurie

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Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra (live at Koko)

Koko, London 23 October 2012

When I said I’d review this gig, even though I have seen Amanda Palmer several times before, I really didn’t think through what I was letting myself in for.

Let me explain. I pre-ordered the tickets for this show on the first day they were available. I like music, a lot. I like going to gigs. But this was different. I am a big fan of Amanda Palmer. I really wanted to be at this gig. I backed the kickstarter. I’d been at Heaven In September 2011 when the proto-Grand Theft Orchestra had made their first stage appearance in London. I was psyched to be doing this.

And of course this was not just a gig. Amanda Palmer is a true curator of her shows. I’m not trying to use that hipster-faux term in either a derogatory or flippant way. This is art. This is

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Jherek Bischoff – Composed/Scores: Composed Instrumentals

Leaf

I am very sorry to say that I had not heard of Jherek Bischoff until quite recently, when he joined the marvellous musical collaboration that is Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra. And, to be honest, I hadn’t really registered until I got hold of Amanda Palmer’s Theatre is Evil just what an accomplished and multi-talented musician he is.

So I did some digging (and by digging, I’m talking Wikipedia and the outer limits of internet search engines). Now I’m aware that Jherek Bischoff has been in numerous bands in the experimental pop through to the avant-garde genres (The Dead Science; Parenthetical Girls…) and that he was “Raised on a sailboat and traveled the world…” I’m also going to have to come clean

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