"An arbitrary succession of more or less irritating sounds"
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Friday, 30 November 2007

Not classical

Tim Hecker has been one of my key discoveries of this year. Baffling that it took me so long, but I now see his stuff as some of the most profound, beautiful, mysterious & moving music I know. It's not classical, but it's beatless & pretty abstract. & completely mesmerising.

Best of all is the 2003 masterpiece Radio Amor (read some smart listener reviews - passing over AMG's observation that "The sonic palette Hecker draws from here is strikingly reminiscent of his previous work", as the rest of their piece is decent - & buy here).

Listen to I'm Transmitting Tonight for a taste. But you need to listen to the whole thing to really experience the massive emotional weight Hecker gets out of his material...

&, of course, check out the other albums, including last year's Harmony in Ultraviolet, this year's Norberg & the older Haunt Me, Mirages & My Love is Rotten to the Core: all well worth your time & money (good jumping off point here).

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Spin-off/sister

Usually, I like Tarwater a lot less than their spin-off/sister To Rococo Rot. Their music is often pretty interesting, as might be expected, but the lugubrious, Teutonic-speak vocals really don't do much for me.

A Tarwater instrumental would solve that problem, though. & while they seem pretty rare, one is the wonderfully atmospheric, spidery, twanging Yeah! (which has some chanting by way of a chorus, but none of the post-Nico vocalising).

It comes from the 2005 album The Needle Was Travelling (buy here) on morr music.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Computer Centre

New music from Rechenzentrum is always good news. & last month's Silence is no exception - tracks like Paradox, Free From Care & Expeditition Existenz are up there with the best work by this Berlin duo (think that's what & where they are, anyway...).

To hear how good they can be, despite a name that translates as 'Computer Centre' (according to Babel Fish), check out the chugging, swirling, beautifully textured & paced Vertikal from their John Peel Session (2001).

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Clicks, washes, squawks, riffs & twangs

I love Kammerflimmer's assurance, their confidence that what jazzy drum 'n' bass really needs is their highly idiosyncratic mixture of clicks, washes, squawks, riffs & twangs over the top of it.

They're right, of course. For proof, take a listen to Lichterloh from 2005's brilliant Absencen (buy here)...

Friday, 16 November 2007

Frail As Breath

You wouldn't call it easy listening, but Mark Templeton's stuff has a rich beauty in its drones & textures & layers that I find quite moving. It seems to have the same emotional impact - on me, at least - as fellow Canadian Tim Hecker (though the assumption that they're connected by nationality is probably not worth exploring - suspect they live in different parts of the country & could even be sworn enemies for all I know :-)

Anyway, try Not Alone Anymore from his 2005 Frail As Breath, which I seem to remember he gives away somewhere online; I'll update this if I track it down again. UPDATE: I half-remembered right - he provides a couple of tracks from FAB, as well as some other goodies, here, & more at music.download.com

Of course, you could (& should) also be less cheap & pay for this year's excellent Standing on a Hummingbird album here...

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Step on the night bus

Last week saw the release of the second album by reclusive dubstep producer Burial. The addition of vocals to the tracks on new album Untrue lends a yearning quality to the minimalist dubstep beat that makes this one of the releases of the year so far. Listen to this short ambient piece from the first album evoking the comforting bleakness of a rainswept street and aptly entitled Night Bus.

Buy the new album here or here
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