"An arbitrary succession of more or less irritating sounds"

Monday, 28 March 2011

The Name of This Band is Sean McCann

Looking for quality amid a slew of Nu-New Age Psych-drone Backwoods Ambient? Look no further than Sean McCann. Prosaic-sounding, maybe, in a world of wilfully mystique-laden monikers, but you can keep yer Bee Mask, Sparkling Wide Pressure, Pine Smoke Lodge, and whatnot, The Artist Currently Known As Sean McCann is the man for music-driven transport. Most recent release, The Capital, outstrips them all for sheer ambition and genrecidal sleight of hand.

The Capital from sean mccann on Vimeo.

That’s a snatch of "Aerial Sapphire Show," the astonishing opener to The Capital; it's followed up by the wooze-tastic “The Vanilla Maiden”:

Sean McCann - The Vanilla Maiden by ForestGospel

Elsewhere someone profiles handily: “McCann counts nearly 20 labels as home to his music (including his own, Roll Over Rover. His 46 releases (and growing) over vinyl, cassette, CD, DVD, and VHS have dissected and deconstructed folk, drone, ambient, and Appalachia among the many touchstones McCann counts as influential. The Capital, in its dark morass, condenses each of those opposing forces into one album. Like a car meeting its junkyard fate, The Capital puts immeasurable pressure on the entirety of McCann’s canon until all that’s left is a compact cube of metal, plastic, and fiber. It spans geological ages and eons of changing topography until its lump of carbon is dug out a diamond. The Capital is not shy to immediately demonstrate its flawless beauty — album opener “Aerial Sapphire Show” is a spectacle onto itself; shimmering guitar and bowed strings bounce off McCann’s rubbery melody.”

If McCann's snared your ear’s fancy, there’s a scarily voluminous back catalogue awaiting, not to mention a potentially messy rummage around the gruzzy cassette underground - Digitalis, Stunned, Peasant Magik, Monorail Trespassing, 905Tapes, and DNT, to name but six - should you feel so compelled. Be reassured, anyway, that the pitfalls plaguing hyper-productive artists don’t seem to afflict Our Sean, as what has come this way thus far has been consistently quality. There’s no doubt The Capital is a great slice of idiosyncratic warped and shimmering post-ambient neo-psychedelica. In fact, in places these compositions, with their pianos, horns, string and wind instruments floating queasily atop synth waves, have about them a feeling of a po-mo update of classic 70s orchestral New Age vibes, ref. which, incidentally, see Iasos’s gloriously cheesy recently reissued Inter-Dimensional Music.

IASOSsampleA by funtunnel

Back to McCann, from The Sky is Filled With Incredible Wishes, the accompanying tape to The Capital, comes “Auditorium” (here's your mp3)

There’s much more McCann in the can, if you can diggit. Try "Over the stars (there is rest)" from his Sincere World LP that’s supposed to have come out late 2010/early2011 on Amethyst Sunset, and heard about first here.

Sincere World from sean mccann on Vimeo.

Not even sure where this one comes from – here just because it’s there:

everafter from sean mccann on Vimeo.

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Insulated space

Desire Path's dense, avowedly experimental work is clearly 'about' cutting a singular track, going off-piste, disowning the pre-ordained* - even if it's difficult to see that as always involving Bachelard's shortest distance between two points... Anyway, this new label's pretty impeccable licence** is on vivid display in a recent-ish mix (hosted by the great Type) featuring at least two pieces that demand end-of-year adulation & gongs.

*to the extent that you can generalise about a label with only one official release so far, plus a couple of forthcomings / **still generalising, obviously

These ears may not have heard anything deeper all year (&, yes, that includes Tim Hecker's wondrous Ravedeath...) than Janek Schaefer & Charlemagne Palestine's Raga de l’apres midi pour Aude: the edit included in the mix summons astounding power as swelling, throbby tones & the occasional bell mount to a not-quite crescendo encircled by Charlemagne's keening voice.

Meanwhile, Kyle Bobby Dunn's Dropping Sandwiches in Chester Lake (from the forthcoming Ways of Meaning) works with a more tranquil, reflective palette, but still stakes out its own deeply distinctive, reverential soundscape.

The mix also features LMYE favourites Ithaca Trio, Jannick Schou & Solo Andata, as well as others (like Christoph Berg's Field Rotation) demanding more listening...

Blurb: "Pieced together by works that evoke a sense of separateness, exploration, and distance, this 'travelogue' entitled "Away, Outside" features a couple works from upcoming releases for Desire Path Recordings as well as a number of pieces that embody this theme yet still exist within their own insulated space.

"The greater the distance, the clearer the view." - W.G. Sebald"

Kyle Bobby DunnDropping Sandwiches in Chester Lake (Start-3:45) DEMO -Taken from forthcoming album on Desire Path Recordings
AntonymesA Fragile Acceptance (3:45-10:10) Hidden Shoal
SkjolbrotRue Victor Masse to Gare d’Austerlitz (10:10-14:35) Self-Released
Janek Schaefer & Charlemagne PalestineRaga de l’apres midi pour Aude EDIT (14:35-22:35) DEMO Taken from forthcoming album on Desire Path Recordings
Solo AndataCarving (22:35-31:10) Taken from Ritual on Desire Path Recordings
Black Swan Movement 1 (31:10-37:27) Experimedia
Jannick Schou21.25 (37:27-40:51) Dead Pilot Records
Field RotationAcoustic Tale 3 (40:51-45:10) Fluid Audio
Ithaca TrioFor Ailing Health (45:10-End) Self-Released

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Expeditionary force

Droning on - after Orphax, back to another LMYE long-form favourite: Le Berger. The ever-fecund Sam Landry continues to shepherd (ahem) enthralling new takes on his ripely unspooling sound out to his flock (sorry). Most obviously, there's an inspiring new album - Expeditions on the Grayscale, featuring what may be this deeply - if unconventionally - romantic artist's most ravishing work yet: the swelling, counterpointing Pam Pam some'n wild.

It also notches up what is unquestionably his shortest: the 11-second (versus Pam's 11:11 & the "grand one" Bern deep'n'bub's 33:33) tone Don't go away J. (Aside: as the album's fourth piece - the second of its two "mediums", Dust it begun - clocks in at 11:12, we're probably safe to assume these track timings aren't accidental. What occult meanings Sam ascribes to them remains unclear, though...)

Oh, & a further incentive: "All profit from sales until April 1st will be donated to help the relief & reconstruction effort in the aftermath of the tsunami in Japan."

Besides the new release, there are also new workouts on his SoundCloud. Some have dropped away lately, but two rewarding recent ones remain: one red & one blue - the somehow Lady in Red-invoking Romanticest drone EVAR & the more abrasive, delta blues-borne Into the blue.

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Vostok buffet

Triosk won't be back any time soon, to LMYE's continuing chagrin. But Adrian Klumpes (or Lim-Klumpes now, seemingly) is still making compelling, unobvious music in a rich variety of guises - solo, duetting with the great Shoeb Ahmad of hellosQuare, in the 3ofmillions trio (thrilling new album launched tomorrow night with Chris Abrahams...) & in enticing collaborations with the likes of Machinefabriek & Thomas Bednarczyk.

While we wait for the new solo record threatened last year, start your day with a Klumpes buffet - from the fragile, scratchy romance of Hillside & Sketch Pt. 2 [both downloadable via their SoundCloud streams below] to Abstruction's muscular, er, abstractions via the mysterious, faintly foreboding In Stillness...

NB: live shot by Leigh Tran & portrait by Wilk. Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Himmel Kikker

Four typically pungent tastes of Orphax that nonetheless take the drone guise of Moving Furniture's Sietse van Erve into some less familiar territory - intense as ever, but here accommodating Die Helden's "beats & (hidden) melodies" & the work in progress Untitled marking "my first attempt at such minimal music".

Die Helden is the newest release in this selection, but the oldest music. A remastered version of a rich live performance from back in 2005, it sets a chattering martial beat alongside looping metallic sheen, backwards scurries & film-found sounds - & sends these ears back to Orphax's rich run of early releases like NetstockFest (also from 2005).

Untitled is a wobbly, insectoid (as SoundCloud commenter vuhmusic rightly puts it) thrill. A classic 20-minute van Erve workout, it pairs a bassy buzz with a satisfying swish - & will probably sound even better with the addition of those higher frequencies threatened later on in the piece...

Oh, & Orphax's swirling, layered take on his kissing cousin was cited here a while ago as a highlight of the new Erstlaub remix album on Broken20. It still is.

"Die Helden Sind Nicht Mehr' is a quote taken from the motion picture Himmel Über Berlin. This reference also comes back in the music where several different samples from the film are used.

The music is quite a drift away from what you are used from me. There are beats and (hidden) melodies.

All music was recorded at a live performance in Theater Kikker on February 15th, 2005. So it can be considered as an old recording, but the sound is still fresh and got an edit in November 2010, after which it got mastered by Jos Smolders."

"This is a work in progress. But I like to hear peoples opinions as this is the first time I have ever done this kind of minimal sounds.

What you hear here is a recording I have done at the Castle Space Sound festival in Baarlo begin December, 2010. At the moment I am in the process of working on edited versions of it. This is the first version.

What you hear is a few loops I recorded from my own voice which are changed in a very slow pace that most of the changes you notice are created by in and out of phase of the sound.

Because this is my first attempt at such minimal music I am now looking for opinions from various people, so please go ahead and let me know what you think.

The plan is to make this in a future EP release (3" CD-R) or something that is based on a similar idea behind the sound."

"This piece is a very minimal piece specially for an installation about Volcano's in Science museum Museon in Den Haag, The Netherlands. This is one of the two pieces I have been working on. The other one is still in the process of being finished and is the explosive part of the volcano.

Maximum volume yields maximum effect. Please remember that SoundCloud compression isn't really good. When you hear the original it is pretty intense."

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Get Your Kicks on Route 36 (Mix)

Plenty kicks to be had on route 36, and the mysteriously numerical ambienteer’s 3six Recordings Showcase Mix. Those who keep an eye on LMYE, however remotely, may recall that Dennis Huddlestone (for 36 is he) featured (for Hollow) in our end-of-(y)ear Festive 50. Tracks from various releases are included in this his showcase mix:

36 - 3six Recordings Showcase by 3six

First exposure to Mr Six (‘3’ to his mates) was the Hypersona album, a freebie in 2009. Not wishing to appear to subscribe to the notion that value must be linked to monetary exchange to be affirmed, it nevertheless struck as surprising good at the time, particularly the track “Inside”:

There's various 36 around, including unreleased pieces. And there are tapes...

Pick of the 36 shtick may well be Tape Series Blue (originally tape, now a digital download).

To know something of What He’s Like through What He Likes, try this mix of 36-selected ambient works in astrangelyisolatedplace’s mix series.

isolatedmix 12 - 36 by astrangelyisolatedplace

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

For Nihon

Admirable curation by Keith Kenniff (Helios, Goldmund) of an album to benefit Japanese relief efforts. This instant compilation on his Unseen label, featuring a raft of ambient/neo-classicists (Biosphere, Taylor Deupree, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Sawako, Ryan Teague...), will already be out next week - with a physical release to follow.

Hear two lovely, unadorned contributions by Clem Leek & Kenniff as Goldmund below, plus a stand-out remix of Goldmund's 25 Thousand Miles (from Corduroy Road) by another participant, Rafael Anton Irissari. To these ears the subtly textured soundscape Irissari summons around the older, but similarly sober & restrained, piece - a very human patchwork of rustles & scrapes distilled from the original's accompaniment - makes it especially moving.

Note that Kevin Stephens (Saffron Slumber) is also curating a netlabel release for Japan...

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Peculiar hiccups

Stephen Vitiello & Lawrence English: two greats from the LMYE pantheon for the price of one - The Christening of the Blackbird's slo-mo modular sear leaves these ears longing for time with the rest of the pair's new Acute Inbetweens (Cronica, out tomorrow), & anticipating a shoe-in for the albums that mattered most to us in 2011 come the year's end [2010].

The midnight mass of Vitiello's improvised MOSS grouping with Molly Berg, Olivia Block & Steve Roden (12k, out last week) might well have to be accommodated too - extract below, along with a really fine trio of recent-ish SVs...

Blurb: "Since their initial meeting in Australia during 2006, Stephen Vitiello (USA) and Lawrence English (AU) have enjoyed a long distance collaboration orbiting around the joint passion for field recordings and modular synthesis.

Exploring the points of convergence and divergence between electricity and environment, the duet's “Acute Inbetweens” is a collection of works derived from hazy environmental memory, imagined landscape and field recorded actualities. It's a blurring mist of encountered spaces, recreated by means voltage controlled.

Like the spatial inspiration that guides the record, “Acute Inbetweens” pace is tempered and during certain pieces borders on a sense of timelessness. Pieces such as “La Voix est absente” unfold with a pacing of the lauded opening Lotus flowers at Sinobazu-no-ike pond, individual elements revealing themselves in subtle arcs of sound, swelling into a rich harmonic whole. By contrast “Exposure in Relief” is a more robust and pulsing work in which micro melodies spiral into one another.

“Acute Inbetweens”, sharp moments diffused in time."

NB: photos by Stephen Vitiello & 12k.

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Sour-sweet crab

A pair of wry, angular pieces that move crab-wise but get - eventually, in their own sour-sweet time -somewhere worth getting. Neither the other-wordly rattling & spooky loops of Carine Musatti's Temporary Item.s nor Chuck Blazevic's chatteringly twangy, sometimes more abrasive dreamsploitation was much known to these ears previously. They'll be sought out now...

Repository of T.I tracks.

From Possibles:

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Imperfect by design

Imperfect by design. That’s what Out of Forgetting is. Linking his spoilt poesis to a theme of ‘destroyed memories’, Szymon Kaliski composes by blending ‘badly played’ (his words) instruments and field recordings in pieces providing for both planned and improvised musical gestures. The young man from Poznań brings to his debut - on Audiobulb man David Newman’s digital-only label, Audiomoves – a kind of homespun Mitteleuropa take on 12k-style post-digital electro-acoustic minimalism, cloaked in crackle and sad wisps of piano pathos.

In seven brief well-tempered works woven of tremulous tones, respiring sustains, and piano plonk, this minimal mover of sound captures and releases his timbres, gently maltreated, commingling aleatory forays into introspective vignettes. Although minimalist in spirit, Out Of Forgetting does not want for sonorities, with various ebb and flow undercurrents in dark waters, gently thrumming, micro-pocked and crisped with crackle like a softly smouldering fire, and various fractured sound tokens of memory slippage. The monochrome cover shot of a cup, ashtray and unlit cigarette, with lugubrious titles compound a certain just-so flatness of musical habitus; motifs are almost deliberately simplistic, as if wanting to be honest and eschew all pretentious conceit. There’s a feeling of restraint and withholding, as if each gesture carried a small cargo of repressed emotion behind them.

"A point to" emerges in a field of static and a lugubrious two-chord piano motif, that gets increasingly (ill-)treated, somewhat in the style of Matthew Cooper/Eluvium’s Concert Silence. "As Unimportant" brings forth swathes of tone colours and choreographs them into arcs and dives with maybe a ghostly familiar of early Tim Hecker attending. "Or Delicate" has piano droplets falling in a fog of drones in a sad simple sequence that, Basinski-esque, finds fellow-feeling between abstraction and intimacy.

Szymon Kaliski - Or Delicate by Audiomoves

"Of Decay" is initially so perfectly textured it feels like Stephan Mathieu may have passed close by – that is until some distracted mix-fidgeting comes late in the day to mar the event. "In Twelve Scenes" comes with a reverb-doused plucked string resonance that forms the spine of the piece around which spiral snatches of speech and silence sprinkled with interference. “For Patterns” ruminates over doleful piano bleeding into reverb/delay-doused drones.

For Patterns by Szymon Kaliski

Though this is Kaliski’s first release, it shows an ability to make modest parts amount to more than their sum, proving himself fit to be filed next to others of a similar stripe. A propos of which, you can find a mix of Szymon-selected tracks at the estimable play my tape.

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.
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