FRACTURED AIR

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Mixtape: Tompkins Square Mix by Josh Rosenthal

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1) Shawn David McMillen – “Fuck Norfolk (For Max Ochs)”

I just wrapped up a mini-tour of the West Coast with two original Takoma Records guitarists, Max Ochs and Harry Taussig. They had never met, even though they were on the same Takoma sampler 50 years ago ! A few years back I released a digital EP, ‘Hooray For Max Ochs’, with folks paying tribute to Max. This one is by Texas artist Shawn McMillen who toured with Max and Christina Carter in 2006.

2) Peter Walker – “Hot Fusion”

I called Peter this morning to tell him it’s Karen Dalton’s 80th birthday today (July 19). He and Karen were very close. This track is from A Raga For Peter Walker, which featured the first new recordings by Peter in 40 years, plus tracks in tribute by Jack Rose, Thurston Moore and others.

3) Ben Reynolds – “England”

This is one of my favorite guitar tracks in our catalog. Ben went on to play in Trembling Bells.

4) Nathan Salsburg – “Bold Ruler’s Joys”

Today is also Nathan Salsburg’s birthday ! He once told me this track, which I asked him to do for Imaginational Anthem vol 3, was the “a-ha” moment when he decided to take himself seriously as a solo guitarist. Now look at him; collaborating with Joan Shelley, Bonnie Prince Billy and James Elkington. Might be the most technically proficient player on the acoustic scene. Can play in any style clean and pretty, but with soul too.

5) Richard Crandell – “Swallowtails”

For someone with the purest of hearts and zero career aspirations, Richard has actually built a great catalog – fine duo records, mbira records, a superb Christmas LP, and one stone classic – In The Flower of Our Youth, which we reissued on LP. Swallowtails is from a collection of 80s/90s recordings we just released as ‘Then & Now’ digitally. Flower is maybe my favorite rural road trip soundtrack. Try it !

6) Laurel Halo – “Blue Notion”

This one is from Remembering Mountains : Unheard Songs by Karen Dalton. Laurel Halo is someone I keep tabs on, an amazing artist. Her new album ‘Dust’ is ambitious and bold. Today would have been Karen’s 80th, so this song gets a revisit.

7) A Broken Consort – “A Mercy Kill”

We released two albums by British composer Richard Skelton, who has recorded under many pseudonyms. He is a visual artist, musician and publisher of journals and poetry, many relating to nature. I’ve worked with many talented people, but Richard might be the only one who actually deserves to be called a “genius.”

8) Hiss Golden Messenger – “Fennario”

Michael Taylor has moved on to big things since recording this track – signing with Merge and playing big festivals worldwide. But when I asked him to cover his favorite Michael Chapman song, I had no idea he’d bring so much to this faithful “Fennario” from MC’s Wrecked Again LP. I mean everything, down to the gospel backing vocals. Everything a “tribute” should be – bringing a great song to life again. I bet even some of his fans haven’t heard this one yet . . .

9) William Tyler – “Ponotoc”

This version is from the live WT CD we snuck into the Imaginational Anthem 1-5 box set. It’s out of print and not available in any other form, so sort of a scoop here. Tompkins Square released Will’s debut LP, Behold The Spirit, which has only grown in stature as a landmark LP.

10) Brigid Mae Power – “My Lagan Love”

B-side released last year digitally, new album in the works from this Irish songstress. I first heard this song via Van Morrison’s Irish Heartbeat LP back in the 80’s. Tompkins Square learned about Brigid from . . . Fractured Air . . . and are eternally grateful. We love her.

“Deep Cuts” Playlist by Josh Rosenthal (Tompkins Square)

01. Shawn David McMillen“Fuck Norfolk (For Max Ochs)”
02. Peter Walker“Hot Fusion”
03. Ben Reynolds“England”
04. Nathan Salsburg“Bold Ruler’s Joys”
05. Richard Crandell “Swallowtails”
06. Laurel Halo“Blue Notion”
07. A Broken Consort“A Mercy Kill”
08. Hiss Golden Messenger “Fennario”
09. William Tyler“Ponotoc”
10. Brigid Mae Power – “My Lagan Love”

Compiled by Josh Rosenthal, July 2017.

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Fractured Air x Blogothèque – S02E08 | August mix

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August’s mixtape features a pair of tracks from This Is How We Fly’s eagerly-anticipated second album “Foreign Fields”, due for release on 15th September 2017. The four-piece comprise the renowned musicians: Petter Berndalen (drums), Nic Gareiss (percussive dance), Seán Mac Erlaine (clarinets, electronics) and Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh (hardanger d’amore fiddles). Hailing from Ireland, Sweden and USA, the quartet draw upon a rich tapestry of sounds and traditions, drawing upon the raw energy and rich dynamism of jazz and its true spirit of improvisation, together with traditional music’s eternal affinity and appreciation for honing and perfecting one’s craft. “Foreign Fields” is a joy to behold, its soul-stirring music navigates new sonic terrain while continually pushing its four composers to reach for new heights, forever onwards and upwards for this most inventive and mythical of bands.

UK producer James Holden’s “The Inheritors” (Border Community, 2013) was one of this century’s finest records, an album for modern times created by one of the most consistently innovative and singular artists making music today. With the announcement that it’s long-awaited follow-up, “The Animal Spirits” (due for release on 3rd November once again via Holden’s own Border Community label), it is bound to rise to the surface on many an end-of-year lists come December. The album (described as “synth-led folk-trance standards”) features Holden’s newly assembled group of “fellow travellers”, James Holden & The Animal Spirits. The personnel comprises long-time collaborators Tom Page and Etienne Jaumet, as well as Marcus Hamblett, Liza Bec and Lascelle Gordon. The album’s lead single, “Pass Through The Fire” has so far been unveiled, the track having been inspired by his 2014 trip to Morocco to work with late Gnawa music legend Maalem Mahmoud Guinia. James Holden was also recently added to the special guest curatorial program at this November’s Le Guess Who? Festival at Utrecht, where he has invited such stellar musicians as Serbia’s Mario Batkovic and Canada’s Jerusalem In My Heart to his lineup.

August’s mix also features new releases from: Julie Byrne’s “Not Even Happiness” (Basin Rock); Four Tet’s latest essential single for his Text imprint, “Planet”; Grouper’s new track “Children” (taken from her “Ruins” album sessions); Rafael Anton Irisarri’s mesmerising “The Shameless Years” (Umor Rex) and Hype Williams“Rainbow Edition” (Big Dada Recordings).

Fractured Air x Blogothèque – S02E08 | August mix

 

To listen on La Blogothèque:

http://www.blogotheque.net/2017/09/01/fractured-air-x-blogotheque-s02e08-august-mix

 

01. Psychic TV“Just Drifting” (WEA, Some Bizzare)
02. Moor Mother“Valley of Dry Bones” (Don Giovanni)
03. Mica Levi & Oliver Coates“I’ll Keep Going” (Slip)
04. Hype Williams“#Blackcardsmatter” (Big Dada Recordings)
05. Lee Gamble“Istian” (Hyperdub)
06. Rhythm & Sound with Cornel Campbell“King In My Empire” (Soul Jazz)
07. Ken Parker“My Whole World Is Falling Down” (Heartbeat)
08. This Is How We Fly“Tí Mór” (Self-Released)
09. Laurel Halo“Who Won?” (Hyperdub)
10. James Holden & The Animal Spirits“Pass Through The Fire” (Border Community)
11. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith“To Follow And Lead” (Western Vinyl)
12. SAICOBAB“Bx Ax Bx” (Thrill Jockey)
13. Snapped Ankles“Hanging With The Moon” (The Leaf Label)
14. Ex Eye“Xenolith; the Anvil” (Relapse)
15. Suicide“Cheree” (Red Star)
16. Four Tet“Planet” (Text)
17. Washed Out“Down and Out” (Stones Throw)
18. Mariah“Shinzo No Tobira” (Palto Flats, Columbia)
19. LCD Soundsystem“tonite” (DFA, Columbia)
20. Severed Heads“Dead Eyes Opened” (Dark Entries)
21. Jefre Cantu-Ledesma“Echoing Green” (Mexican Summer)
22. Rafael Anton Irisarri“Sky Burial” (Umor Rex)
23. This Will Destroy You“The Puritan” (Julianna Barwick Remix) (Suicide Squeeze)
24. Grouper “Children” (Bandcamp)
25. Benoît Pioulard“Rook” (Beacon Sound)
26. Julie Byrne“Natural Blue” (Basin Rock, Ba Da Bing!)
27. This Is How We Fly“Fjellvant” (Self-Released)
28. Do Make Say Think“Shlomo’s Son” (Constellation)

Compiled by Fractured Air, August 2017. The copyright in these recordings is the property of the individual artists and/or record labels. If you like the music, please support the artist by buying their records.

http://www.blogotheque.net/
https://fracturedair.com/

Fractured Air x Blogothèque – S02E06 | June mix

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June’s mixtape features a first listen of “Golden Plover”, Glasgow’s finest Trembling Bells’ stunning cover of the Bert Jansch song taken from his 1979 avian-themed classic “Avocet”. The track is part of the special 4-track EP “Avocet Revisited”, commissioned and issued by Fire Records’ imprint Earth Recordings, featuring: Trembling Bells; Edwyn Collins and Carwyn Ellis; Modern Studies; Alasdair Roberts.
On “Golden Plover”, Trembling Bells are joined by Callum Calderwood (violin), Rory Haye (vocals), Andrew Pattie (vocals) and Belle & Sebastian’s Stevie Jackson (12 string guitar). “Avocet Revisited” will be released by Earth Recordings on the 11th of August 2017.

One of the UK’s finest indie bands The Clientele return with “Music for the Age of Miracles” (Merge Records) this Autumn, their first new album in seven years. Thus far the irresistible lead single “Lunar Days” has been unveiled, finding the beloved Alasdair MacLean-led band in typically impeccable form, effortlessly fusing a myriad of influences into miniature pop marvels like only they can.

June’s mixtape also features new releases from: Ariel Pink’s new single “Another Weekend”, from the hugely anticipated forthcoming Mexican Summer album “Dedicated to Bobby Jameson”; Grizzly Bear’s “Painted Ruins”, one of 2017’s most eagerly anticipated albums and follow-up to 2012’s sonic marvel “Shields”; Renowned Irish contemporary classical collective Crash Ensemble release their glorious “Ghosts” album – featuring compositions written by Nico Muhly, Donnacha Dennehy and Valgeir Sigurðsson – which is released via Icelandic independent Bedroom Community.

Fractured Air x Blogothèque – S02E06 | June mix

 

To listen on La Blogothèque:

http://www.blogotheque.net/2017/06/29/fractured-air-x-blogotheque-s02e06-june-mix/

 

01. Virginia Woolf“I. Mrs. Dalloway: Words” (Deutsche Grammophon)
02. The Beacon Sound Choir“Can’t Wrap My Head Around It” (First Terrace)
03. Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly & James McAlister“Neptune” (4AD)
04. Crash Ensemble “Past Tundra” (Bedroom Community)
05. Fleet Foxes“I Should See Memphis” (Nonesuch)
06. Trembling Bells“Golden Plover” (Earth Recordings)
07. The Clientele“Lunar Days” (Merge)
08. Bill MacKay“Aster” (Drag City)
09. Ariel Pink“Another Weekend” (Mexican Summer)
10. Justin Walter“Red Cabin” (Kranky)
11. Chromatics“Shadow” (Italians Do It Better)
12. Tobias Bernstrup “27” (12” Version) (Dark Entries)
13. John Talabot“Destiny” (Rave Dub Version) (Permanent Vacation)
14. Daphni“Face to Face” (fabric)
15. Blondes“KDM” (R&S)
16. Laurel Halo“Moontalk” (Hyperdub)
17. Alice Coltrane“Rama Guru” (Luaka Bop)
18. Belbury Poly“The Geography” (Ghost Box)
19. BADBADNOTGOOD“Lavender” (feat. KAYTRANADA & Snoop Dogg) [Nightfall Remix] (Innovative Leisure)
20. Grizzly Bear“Three Rings” (RCA)
21. The Focus Group“The Leaving” (Ghost Box)
22. Gorillaz“Let Me Out” (feat. Mavis Staples & Pusha T) (Parlophone)
23. Aretha Franklin“This Little Light of Mine” (Remember)
24. Philippe Hallais“Hero (Theme)” (Modern Love)
25. Oliver Coates“Peace” (Foom)
26. Radiohead“I Promise” (XL Recordings)
27. Murcof & Vanessa Wagner“Spiegel Im Spiegel” (InFiné)

Compiled by Fractured Air, June 2017. The copyright in these recordings is the property of the individual artists and/or record labels. If you like the music, please support the artist by buying their records.

http://www.blogotheque.net/
https://fracturedair.com/

Fractured Air x Blogothèque – S02E05 | May mix

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May’s mixtape features selections from a pair of the year’s most essential compilations: Alice Coltrane’s “Turiyasangitananda” (Luaka Bop) and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ retrospective set “Lovely Creatures” (Mute).

“Lovely Creatures: The Best of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds 1984-2014” comprises a gorgeous meticulously assembled archive – spanning music, previously unseen photographs, memorabilia and extensive archival footage – of Cave’s first three decades as frontman to the world’s most revered and significant bands: The Bad Seeds. “Lovely Creatures” is compiled by Cave and founding Bad Seeds member Mick Harvey, with additional help from the current Bad Seeds. On the announcement of its release, Cave issued the following statement via his website:

“There are some people out there who just don’t know where to start with The Bad Seeds. Others know the catalogue better than I do! This release is designed to be a way into three decades of music making. That’s a lot of songs. The songs we have chosen are the ones that have stuck around, for whatever reason. Some songs are those that demand to be played live. Others are lesser songs that are personal favourites of ours. Others are just too big and have too much history to leave out. And there are those that didn’t make it, poor things. They are the ones you must discover by yourselves.”

“World Spirituality Classics 1: The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda” is the spellbinding compilation of music made by the legendary composer, pianist and spiritualist Alice Coltrane with members of Sai Anantam Ashram in California during the eighties ad nineties. Much of the music here is culled from self-released tape cassettes released from the period. As Luaka Bop have said, the music from “Turiyasangitananda” is “inspired by the gospel music of the Detroit churches she grew up in, mixed together with the Indian devotional music of her religious practice, and even finds Alice singing for the first time in her recorded catalog. Originally only made available through her ashram, they are her most obscure body of work and possibly the greatest reflection of her soul.”

May’s mixtape also features new releases from: A Hawk And A Hacksaw’s Heather Trost who releases her sublime solo debut “Agistri” on June 2nd via LM Duplication; Animal Collective’s “The Painters” EP (Domino); Stockholm-based electronic duo Roll The Dice’s “Born To Ruin” (The New Black); “Wade In” by Julianna Barwick (part of the extensive “Our First 100 Days” benefit compilation); Wolfgang Voigt releases “Narkopop” via Kompakt, his latest ambient opus under his GAS guise and first for twenty years; Heather Woods Broderick’s gorgeous new 7″ single “Home Winds” (recorded in response to the photographs of Benjamin Swett and published as a collaborative project between both artists by Planthouse Inc).

Fractured Air x Blogothèque – S02E05 | May mix

 

To listen on La Blogothèque:

http://www.blogotheque.net/2017/05/31/fractured-air-x-blogotheque-s02e05-may-mix/

 

01. Steve Reich“Come Out” (excerpt) (Nonesuch)
02. Daniel Brandt“Eternal Something” (Erased Tapes)
03. Forest Swords“Panic” (Ninja Tune)
04. Roll The Dice“Cannonball” (The New Black)
05. Everything Is Recorded“Washed Up on the Shore” (feat. Obongjayar and Warren Ellis) (XL Recordings)
06. Dirty Three “Furnace Skies” (Bella Union, Anchor & Hope)
07. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds “Tupelo” (Mute, BMG)
08. Tom Armstrong“Thunder Clouds” (Tompkins Square)
09. Slowdive“Sugar for the Pill” (Dead Oceans)
10. GAS“Narkopop 5” (Kompakt)
11. Biosphere“Black Mesa” (Biophon)
12. Mount Kimbie“Marilyn” (feat. Micachu) (Warp)
13. Mamman Sani“Samari Da Yan Matan” (Sahel Sounds)
14. Umoja“707” (Awesome Tapes From Africa)
15. Molly Nilsson“About Somebody” (Dark Skies Association / Night School)
16. Heather Trost“Agina” (LM Duplication)
17. Lukács István & Burka Sándor“Szállj Le Hattyú” (Hungaroton)
18. Carla dal Forno“Fast Moving Cars” (Blackest Ever Black)
19. Laurel Halo“Jelly” (Hyperdub)
20. Jlin“Black Origami” (Planet Mu)
21. Alice Coltrane “Om Rama” (Luaka Bop)
22. Shabazz Palaces“Shine a Light” (feat. Thaddillac) (Sub Pop)
23. Bobe Gáspár Ernő és Zenekara“Becskereki Pipagyújtó” (Hungaroton)
24. Animal Collective“Man of Oil” (Domino)
25. Julianna Barwick“Wade In” (Our First 100 Days, Bandcamp)
26. Heather Woods Broderick“Home Winds” (Planthouse Inc, Yebo Music)
27. Saltland “Forward Eyes II” (Constellation)

Compiled by Fractured Air, May 2017. The copyright in these recordings is the property of the individual artists and/or record labels. If you like the music, please support the artist by buying their records.

http://www.blogotheque.net/
https://fracturedair.com/

 

Mixtape: When Time Flies [A Fractured Air Mix]

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When Time Flies [A Fractured Air Mix]

To listen on Mixcloud:

https://www.mixcloud.com/Fractured_Air/when-time-flies-a-fractured-air-mix/

 

Tracklisting:

01. David Allred ‘When Time Flies’ [Oscarson]
02. Beach House ‘Levitation’ [Bella Union/Sub Pop]
03. Air ‘Empty House’ [‘The Virgin Suicides’ OST / Virgin]
04. Laurel Halo ‘Focus I’ [Honest Jon’s]
05. Arthur Russell ‘This Is How We Walk On The Moon’ [Audika]
06. Dawn of Midi ‘Algol’ [Erased Tapes]
07. The Bad Plus ‘Never Stop’ [EmArcy]
08. Sun Ra ‘Plutonian Nights’ [Strut]
09. Cheech & Chong ‘Basketball Jones’ [‘Being There’ OST]
10. Peter Broderick + Gabriel Saloman ‘Lament For Philip Seymour Hoffman’ [Beacon Sound]
11. Guillaume Roussel ‘Meurtre du fou’ [‘La Connection’ OST / Gaumont, Légende Films]
12. Symmetry ‘Streets Of Fire’ [Italians Do It Better]
13. Max Richter ‘Lullaby’ (feat. Robert Wyatt) [130701]
14. Julia Kent ‘Heavy Eyes’ [The Leaf Label]
15. Julia Holter ‘Have You In My Wilderness’ [Domino]
16. Harold Budd & John Foxx ‘Adult’ [All Saints]
17. The Band ‘I Shall Be Released’ [Capitol]
18. Georges Delerue ‘Camille’ [‘Le Mépris’ OST / EmArcy]

This mixtape will be our final post on Fractured Air. We’d both like to take this opportunity to thank each and every person who has helped or supported us in one way or another over the last 3½ years. It has been a real pleasure for us to have found ourselves in a position to be able to do our small part in helping promote the true wonder that is independent music. Most of all, we’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to each and every one of our readers who helped us keep going as long as we did. Thank you.

 

https://fracturedair.com/

 

 

Ten Mile Stereo

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Mick Turner “Don’t Tell The Driver” (Drag City)
The latest work by the ever-prolific Melbourne-based artist and Dirty Three guitarist Mick Turner is a magnificently sprawling affair – comprising an expansive cast of musicians – and is perhaps his most accessible work to date. Equally renowned for his worldwide status as an internationally renowned painter as well as musician, Turner is best known as being one-third member (alongside drummer Jim White and violinist Warren Ellis) of the cult Australian trio Dirty Three. As well as Dirty Three’s considerable output (culminating in last year’s sublime “Toward The Low Sun”), Turner has also released records under the Tren Brothers guise (effectively Turner and White recording as a duo), as well as “solo” works (‘Don’t Tell The Driver’ is Turner’s fourth such record). The record – released by Chicago’s Drag City – is arguably Turner’s most expansive yet, featuring french horn, trumpets, piano, melodica, bass and the vocals (lyrics by Turner) are beautifully sung by Caroline Kennedy McCracken.

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Tim Hecker “Virgins” (Kranky)
One of the year’s most eagerly awaited albums came from the Montreal-based composer and sound artist Tim Hecker. “Virgins”, released by Chicago-based independent label Kranky, is yet another masterful recording by the Canadian musician, producing an album of staggering scope and beauty. Hecker’s work has been described as: “focused on exploring the intersection of noise, dissonance and melody, fostering an approach to songcraft which is both physical and emotive.” One of the finest of todays modern composers, Hecker is here joined by an impressive cast of musicians from the Icelandic-based Bedroom Community label; Valgeir Sigurðsson performs and mixes (alongside Hecker) and Paul Corley takes part in the performing and engineering, while the album was recorded at Greenhouse Studios, Reykjavík (as well as Avast, Seattle and Empac Concert Hall, Troy).

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Moonface “Julia with Blue Jeans On” (Jagjaguwar)
Spencer Krug’s fourth album under the Moonface moniker, “Julia With Blue Jeans On” is a highly personal, quietly affecting and truly moving album which will prove to be one of the year’s most masterful hidden gems. The album’s genesis came from Krug’s time creating 2012’s “Heartbreaking Bravery” – a despair-laden album written after a difficult break-up – while in Helsinki and recording with Finnish band Siinai. During the same period, the highly prolific Krug set off on another creative journey, inspired by “a rediscovery of love and a reconsideration of the Moonface persona he’d created for himself.”

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Laurel Halo “Chance Of Rain” (Hyperdub)
Released at the end of October on the Hyperdub label, “Chance of Rain” is the striking and sublime second album by American electronic musician Laurel Halo (aka Ina Cube) and follow-up to her debut 2012 LP “Quarantine”. The nine tracks which comprise “Chance Of Rain” showcases Halo (who is a classically trained musician)’s wonderful talents as both composer and producer where a breathtaking spectrum of sounds – industrial, electronic, techno, club, house – effortlessly form a cohesive and organic whole, producing a wholly unique and compelling album in the process. An album as striking and engrossing (much due to the breathtaking vocals as well as the distinctive production) as the grimly evocative sleeve cover art (by Halo’s father, the artist Arthur Chartow).

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Wooden Shjips “Back to Land” (Thrill Jockey)
The Ripley Johnson-led psychedelic quartet Wooden Shjips’ follow-up to their 2011 “West” LP is their most immersive and engrossing work yet. Recorded in Portland, Oregon in May 2013 over a period of an 11-day session at Jackpot! Recording Studio, ‘Back To Land’ mark’s the band’s first record to be conceived outside of their native San Francisco. From the opening title-track, a blissful, wonderfully melodic guitar-led song to the stunningly forlorn album closer (recalling Beck’s “Sea Change”), the engrossing soundscapes of Wooden Shjips are a joy to journey through (bands such as Pavement, Sonic Youth, Crazy Horse and Spacemen 3 come to mind). Album art (with multiple circular die-cuts) by Oliver Hibert (and layout by the wonderful Sheila Sachs) ensures the vinyl edition is a must have.

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Ghost Maps The Ocean From The River “S/T” (Casino Gravity)
Released on November 15th, Ghost Maps The Ocean From The River’s self-titled debut album comprises the new musical chapter in Jeff Martin (Halfset)’s hugely impressive career to date. The album features legendary multi-instrumentalist and indie-giant John McEntire (Tortoise/The Sea and Cake) as well as a special contribution by the immensely gifted pianist Tony Crow, long-term player in the legendary Kurt Wagner-led Nashville-based collective Lambchop. From the opening gorgeous minute-long piano and violin “Intro”, we are treated to a stunning meandering journey across oceans of heavenly sounds and unknown beauty. Current personal highlight is the majestic instrumental opus “If I knew Where I Was I’d Be There”, a piece that could belong on Lambchop’s Double LP “Aw C’mon / No You C’mon” or Efterklang’s “Piramida”.

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Omar Souleyman “Wenu Wenu” (Ribbon Music)
One of the most surprising albums of the year thus far came courtesy of “Wenu Wenu” (meaning “Where Is She?”) – aided by Kieran Hebdan’s production prowess – via the latest record by Syrian musician Omar Souleyman. Prior to his homeland’s civil war crisis hit, Souleyman crossed the Syrian border into Turkey. Souleyman was formerly a wedding singer in his native Syria, a position – as described in an interview with NPR – as “important for experimenting in different kinds of music. In the region where I’m from, weddings have been really important in mixing different kinds of musical heritage.” Souleyman has released a plethora of material – mainly comprising live recordings of his wedding performances and spanning hundreds of cassette tapes – and his stature only grew when he collaborated with Bjork and subsequently appeared in numerous festivals in both the US and Europe.

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Dean Wareham “Emancipated Hearts” (Sonic Cathedral)
Dean Wareham (ex Galaxie 500 and Luna frontman) released his debut solo record “Emancipated Hearts” via Sonic Cathedral earlier this month. The resultant mini-album (the record contains six tracks) is a treasure of a record, produced by Papercuts’ Jason Quever and features a beautifully fragile and understated set of songs, including five original Wareham compositions (featuring the politically-charged “The Deadliest Day Since The Invasion Began” and “The Ticking Is The Bomb”) plus a cover of “Air” by The Incredible String Band. Also available on gorgeous limited edition orange 10″ vinyl.

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Recondite “Hinterland” (Ghostly International)
Berlin-based producer Recondite’s first album for Ghostly International is the gorgeous “Hinterland”, an album inspired by Recondite’s homeland of Lower Bavaria (indeed, much field recordings spanning various times of the year are included across the album’s ten tracks). Like the poetic tree-lined and light-filled monochromatic landscape photograph depicted on the cover, “Hinterland” proves a lush, near-spiritual listening experience and proves a landmark release for the hugely talented producer. As Recondite has said of “Hinterland”: “I tried to capture the area’s mentality and natural environment within the album. Particularly the moods that behold the emotions of the four seasons, which differ a lot in this region.”

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The Velvet Underground “Loaded” (Cotillion/Atlantic)
“I found a reason to keep living / Oh and the reason, dear, is you / I found a reason to keep singing / Oh and the reason, dear, is you” sings Lou Reed on “I Found A Reason”, taken from The Velvet Underground’s fourth album, “Loaded”, released in 1970 on Atlantic Records’ subsidiary label, Cotillion. The song, like any one from Reed’s considerable output – both as a solo artist and as principal songwriter with The Velvet Underground – confirms Reed as one of the finest and most gifted (and certainly most influential) songwriters of the last fifty years. Despite The Velvet Underground’s modest commercial success during their all-too-brief lifespan – from the late sixties until the early seventies – the band’s influence on new generations of musicians is as strong today as it ever was. Brian Eno’s famous and much-repeated quote (in reference to The Velvet Underground’s beloved, classic 1967 debut “The Velvet Underground And Nico” only selling a mere 30,000 copies) stated: “everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band.”

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