Archives by month/year

Sun Ra – A Joyful Noise


Sun Ra - A Joyful NoiseRobert Mugge’s film A Joyful Noise is like stepping into a time machine. He has captured a unique insight into a particularly mystical bubble of 1980s African American counter-culture. Although, thinking about it, our main protagonist Mr Mystery, AKA Sun Ra, might not be too interested in limiting himself to any earth-based ethnicity.

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Various Artists – Mountains of Tongues: Musical Dialects of The Caucasus, 2012-2013

LM Duplication

Mountains Of Tongues - Musical Dialects of The CaucasusThis music is presented to the world via the extremely productive LM Duplication label, the LM standing for ‘Living Music’, which couldn’t be a more appropriate association for the music recorded here. Life is full of grit and dirt, no matter how much we in the west try and get away from and sanitise it. Some of this mess is captured on the album with tracks fading in and out only after a few seconds. Other tracks contain brief talking or a knock of the microphone, but all this only adds to the listener’s journey and reminds us of its living content, for it’s important to note that these recordings aren’t some obscure Alan Lomax recording made in

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Pat Collins – Silence

New Wave Films

Silence filmIrish film maker Pat Collins, largely known for his documentary work, has successfully merged genres here. The star, Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhride plays a sound recordist of the same name and it just so happens that Bhride is a sound recordist in real life. Seemingly not a natural actor, the scenes have this extended reality to them, which transcend the boundaries of fictional cinema and leave you asking questions of how the film-makers managed to capture such subtlety.

Collins has rounded up a team of location sound recordists, including the prolific Chris Watson, that together with some clever mixing by Ken Galvin engulf your ears with a sea of sounds that seem so familiar to us in our waking life. Familiar, yet these are

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Cüneyt Sepetçi & Orchestra Dolapdere – Bahriye Ciftetellisi

LM Dupli-cation

Cüneyt Sepetçi & Orchestra Dolapdere – Bahriye CiftetellisiBahriye Ciftetellisi is the fourth release on Jeremy Barnes and Heather Trost(AKA A Hawk and a Hacksaw)’s new label LM Duplication, which is proving to be prolific considering it only gave birth to its first release a year ago.

From the moment the percussion kicks in on the first track after Cüneyt Sepetçi’s clarinet solo “Bahriye Cif Ciftetellisi” proves to be an aggressive assault to the ears that doesn’t relent until the albums end. The patterns of the florescent pink and blue on the album’s kaleidoscope cover complements the hectic aural spirals that whirl your brain up into a frenzy. This is music to be listened to on horseback while being chased by a gang of thugs

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Colleen – Weighing of the Heart

Second Language

Colleen - The Weighing of the Heart Every now and then, when I need to kill sometime on the internet, I have a checklist of web sites that I’ll go through and have a peek at. The website of Cécile Schott’s project Colleen is one of them. From my sporadic infrequent checks I’d noticed that it had been notably gathering cobwebs from the web spiders (bad cyber-spiel joke). Then a post appeared in August 2011 that was titled “A long account of why I’ve been Silent” Amongst other things, it explains a moment, while on tour where Mrs Schott lost all recognition of where she was.

“It was one of those moments when suddenly you realize that something has to change.”

Personally speaking this happens to me on

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Glenn Jones – My Garden State

Thrill Jockey

Glenn Jones - My Garden StateThe Sprummer has burst out in full bloom here in Blighty. That’s no typo. Spring forgot to happen this year, so we’re enjoying blossom trees and warmer evenings. Saying that, we had a hailstorm yesterday. Never the less we’re enjoying abundant daffodils growing in our parks and meadows. My Garden State is the perfect music to listen to whilst riding a bike and looking around at all this sprouting nature and being reminded that once again “Oh yer, summer actually exists!”

The album chimes in with insects buzzing and well, chimes. Mr Jones must have waited for just the right time in the evening to capture the grass bugs chorus in full hazy summer night flow. As well as

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Stephanie Hladowski and C. Joynes – The Wild Wild Berry


Stephanie Hladowski & C. Joynes - The Wild Wild BerryHere we have a collection of British folk song interpretations by guitarist Chris Joynes and singer Stephanie Hladowski. Without even listening to this album, one can’t help recall the inspiring union of singer Shirley Collins and guitarist Davey Graham on the 1964 album Folk Roots, New Routes – a regular spinner in my car’s CD player.

From listening to The Wild Wild Berry, I find my deconstructive mind pondering the words ‘New Routes’ in Collins’ and Graham’s album title. When comparing the two albums, it’s hard to find what’s new in the approach of Hladowski and Joynes’ 2012 British folk interpretations. However, this leads me to think: why fix something that doesn’t need mending? There’s

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The Black Twig Pickers – Rough Carpenters

Thrill Jockey

The Black Twig Pickers - Rough CarpentersI’d waited for an opportunity to listen to this album where I’d have some uninterrupted space and so the epic Megabus journey that started at 03:00 in the morning was the perfect place. I got on the bus, walked to the top of the stairs, plonked my self down at the back and was greeted by a wonderful centred perspective view of empty bus seats and pressed play.

The album kicks off with a slow reedy rasping solo violin tune masterfully laid down by Mike Gangloff, who also features in the folk drone project Pelt alongside fellow Twig Picker Nathan Bowles. Whereas Pelt seem to be dealing with the wide-open fuzzy land of collective-conscious folk forms, The Black Twig Pickers draw

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Harmonic Rooms guitar diary (November 2012)

Harry Wheeler of Harmonic Rooms spends a week in November in the company of some of the current greats of the acoustic guitar, and reflects on the enduring legacy of John Fahey and Robbie Basho.

Steffen Basho-Junghans and Cam Deas in OuseLast November, I spent over a week in and out of the recording studio with my trusty video camera and two explorative guitarists, Cam Deas and Steffen Basho-Junghans. Part of the appeal of getting these two guys together was the cross-over in their respective styles and approach to their instruments (primarily 6 and 12 steel-string guitars), combined with their difference in age. With Cam being in his early twenties, his playing has a youthful passion and vigour to it which also contains high energy and real sparkle, while Steffen, being in

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