"An arbitrary succession of more or less irritating sounds"

Sunday, 31 December 2017

with God Herself

Still clunky, still well intentioned: the formula for our annual Festive 33-1/3 is, once again, no more than one pick per artist/label by each of us. 

We then augment the resulting list (two sets of 15 releases selected independently, meshed & supplemented when doubles necessitate a bit of horse-trading...). The addition comes from four further projects that fall outside the normal 'release' boundaries - bigger &/or more ambitious (in multiple media, for example), or unexpected collaborations.

The rationale remains to spread recognition as far as possible. Over & above LMYE's desire to embrace - rather than limit  - the multiplicity of sounds & artists we love, this is an attempt to acknowledge & respond to year-end lists' inevitable partiality. How different ours & others' might look on another day or in another mood, given the vast amount of great music every year brings...

As previously, the striking quality of some labels' output forces unpalatable choices. Outstanding releases like Lawrence English's Cruel Optimism, Kassel Jaeger & Jim O'Rourke's Wakes On Cerulean, Robert Crouch's Sublunar or Marc Kate's As If We Were Never Here didn't make the cut here only because something else on their particularly strong imprints (Room40, Editions Mego, Touch & Dragon's Eye, respectively) meant even more to one of us. But in any broader sense they are clearly core parts of the year's best...

As always, for a more inclusive picture of our listening pleasures please check out the monthly Lend Me Your Radio series on SoundCloud, al's Mixcloud & jl's Bandcamp (collection & wish list).

Olli Aarni :: Nielu (Florabelle)
Olivier Alary :: Pieces for Sine Wave Oscillators (Line)
Anjou :: Epithymía (Kranky)
Aquarelle :: Leave Corners (Debacle)
ASC :: Trans-Neptunian Objects (Auxiliary)

Andrea Belfi / Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer / Masaya Ozaki & Kaito Nakahori - Alveare / Lowlands / Mythologies (Iikki)
Benoît Pioulard :: Lignin Poise (Beacon Sound)
Celer :: Plays Liberace (Celer)
Dominic Coppola :: Golden Blonde Air (Boudoir)
Dramavinile :: 7 (Unknown Tone)

drøne :: A Perfect Blind (Pomperipossa)
Endurance :: Echoic Architecture (Polar Seas) / Molecular Shrine (ACR)
Forest Management :: The Elevated Quiet (Constellation Tatsu)
David Fyans :: Subscriber Series (Erstlaub)

IJO :: Melancholika Vol. 2 (ACR)
The Inward Circles :: And Right Lines Limit and Close All Bodies (Corbel Stone Press)
Hannu Karjalainen :: A Handful Of Dust Is A Desert (Karaoke Kalk)
Steven Kemner :: Gradation Movements (Fluid Audio)
Moon Zero :: Relationships Between Inner and Outer Space (Denovali)

Jake Muir :: Acclimation (Dragon’s Eye)
The Necks :: Unfold (Ideologic Organ)
Ogive :: Folds (Room40)
Orphax :: Somniātōrēs (Orphax)
Pausal :: Avifaunal (Dronarivm)

poemme :: Soft Ice (Polar Seas)
the prairie lines :: eyes down slowdown (Whitelabrecs)
Steve Roach :: Nostalgia for the Future (Timeroom)
Claire M. Singer :: Fairge (Touch) 

Sontag Shogun & Moskitoo :: The Things We Let Fall Apart / The Thunderswan (Home Normal)

Thet Liturgiske Owäsendet :: Hafvet (Low Point)
The Transcendence Orchestra :: Modern Methods for Ancient Rituals (Editions Mego)
Various Artists/Jon Wozencroft :: Movements (Touch)
Velleitie :: Scheming the Afterimage with God Herself (Sounds Against Humanity)

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

Friday, 15 December 2017

Distinct energy

As if a Julius Eastman find were not enough, another reason to celebrate Bandcamp's inspiring $700k fundraiser for Transgender Law Center back in August: the flood of outstanding new (not so new now, admittedly...) music from artists in the LMYE pantheon - some of it explicitly part of the initiative, some more understatedly pushed out on the day, but all worth your time.

The moment has long passed for qualifying purchases, of course (though no doubt TLC would appreciate anything you want to donate directly). But the generosity & creativity on display that day are still resonant.

Highlights: the first new sounds from Alex Cobb & Mike Shiflet in a while (the former all rich, enveloping warmth, the latter an intense, splintering immersion); Ryan Potts' Aquarelle resurfacing after an even longer absence with the glorious, strikingly 'composed' Leave Corners; a glowing, gradually unfurling long-form piece by anthene (one of the artists these ears have spent most time with this year); the subdued/subsuming debut of Gailes (the duo of Rafael Anton Irisarri & Benoit Pioulard/Thomas Meluch); a joyfully lugubrious "waiting area soundtrack until the next full length Pinkcourtesyphone album this Fall" from Richard Chartier; & a forgotten Grouper delicacy (mastered by Irisarri, incidentally) that "amidst chaotic and painful political times, while working on another project, reemerged & made more sense."

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

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Barbaric bombast

Two valuable voices of resistance performing powerful alchemy on the basest sources - each constructed directly from ultra-right material, Marc Kate's bittersweet, stately Deface (Falling Forms) & TVO's mesmerising Hell is Empty (V I S) point to an engaged experimental ambient beyond the genre's typical apolitical stance. 

Kate "steals the music of the ultra-right [especially 'National Socialist Black Metal'], & converts anthems of hate into shimmering spells of beauty...plunderphonic compositions apply all manner of filtration & effects to render the music as barbless, extracting the harmonic material as spectral emanations from their misanthropic origins."

All the same, he combats the risk of "amusing novelty": Deface "is dolorous. It mourns. Kate’s reaction to this deeply troubling political moment resonates with a sense of loss, and reflects on the work that lies ahead if the culture is to move through and forward."  

Similarly, Ruaridh Law (TVO)'s piece - which began life as an installation on the theme of alchemy at the FIBER festival in Amsterdam - seeks to "alchemically take the basest raw material possible and turn it into something beautiful or at least worthwhile, whilst also making a comment on how easily the raw material falls apart" [quote from this recent interview]. 

Hell is Empty is generated entirely from "alt-right shithouse" Breitbart - code line by code line: "The php code of the site is the rather 'data-sounding' noise that travels through the whole piece, grabbed & converted on the fly to raw audio then stretched & pulled, & the majority of the rhythms (short of an 808 kick) are all generated by grabbing code live from the site & clipping it to short lengths. There's MIDI data & sequence data that are generated by pulling numbers out of the php code, & the drones underpinning the start & end take their pitch, resonance & harmonics from light-sensing cameras taking data from the visual part of the installation, which is a gradual breaking down of the Breitbart site into granular pixels."

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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