5. From La Tène to Midori Takada
La Tène - Tardive/Issime (Three:four Records / Les Disques Bongo Joe)
Western music before/without baroque lace collars, Gardens of Versailles, taxes, East Indian Company, social contract,...You skinned the rabbit you caught today, put it on the fire, finally sit down beside it to heat yourself up. Rabbit is gone and everyone grabs a fiddle or a piece of wood to slam couple of rounds of Tardive/Issime until each of you is asleep. Picked by Kйr (Drugstore Beograd).
László Hortobágyi - Transreplica Meccano (Lullabies for Insomniacs)
Subtitled 'Annales of Gāyan Uttejak Society', the first solo album initially released in 1989 by Hungarian musicologist László Hortobágyi indeed plays out as the synthesized symphony of a secret otherworldly formation. Transreplica Meccano is quite a blindingly inventive suite, with skeletal hints of Hindustani music, Balinese gamelan, choirs, vocoders, sampled flute and many more Easter eggs sprinkled throughout – all in dialogue with a vague Pan-European industrial sound. Each of these elements would eventually go on to be explored in detail in Hortobágyi's further compositions, just as the idea of Gāyan Uttejak itself evolved into a network of preservationists, a studio and an orchestra. Here, they are pieces of a timeless and placeless labyrinthic puzzle, narrating its own fictional – but possible – history of music. Jon Hassell's fourth world aesthetic has been often mentioned in relation to this, but Transreplica Meccano feels like its less soulful, more cerebral counterpart: at times it evokes the sort of visuals a soundtrack to an Eastern European cult horror B movie usually would, at others it sounds like a commissioned piece for an avantgarde baroque play. Picked by Dan Angelescu (Balearic Goth).
This beautiful reissue of the prolific Hungarian composer & musicologist portrays his mystical musical journey heavily influenced by his initiatory trips to India. Apart from the oriental musicality, his musical realms are also sculpted by his childhood memories in which he summoned benevolent muses to deliver him from the reality of his then-life. Picked by Chlorys.
Litto Nebbia - Antologia 1971-2014 (World's Trees Records)
With more than 50 albums up to date and a career that started in the mid 1960's, Litto Nebbia is a true icon in Argentina. With styles ranging from jazz, fusion, rock, acoustic or electronic grooves, he still releases great music today with an unmistakable latin touch. World's Trees Records has compiled 33 of his best songs on this double CD, with detailed liner notes from top-notch digger Chee Shimizu. While disc 1 contains works published from 1971 to 1980 focusing on the jazz-rock and psychedelic era, disc 2 has a wider perspective gathering material from 1981 to 2014 with a more sensitive and mellow approach. Pretty rare already and released only in Japan, this album will always give a feeling of happiness that something unpleasant has not happened or has ended. Picked by Alexandru Drăgănescu (JB).
Maalem Mahmoud Gania - Colours of The Night (Hive Mind Records)
First vinyl release and final studio recordings of the late Moroccan Gnawa master Gania. Deep, hypnotic, uplifting, timeless. Remedy for scorpion stings and psychic disorders. Picked by Laura Marin.
Meridian Brothers - Donde Estas Maria (Soundway Records)
Psychedelic cumbia? Yes Sir, bring it on! Colombian musical mistfits Meridian Brothers released in 2017 their fourth album on Soundway Records this, taking their tropical heritage to a new dimension. Picked by Dragos Rusu.
Michele Mercure - Eye Chant (RVNG Intl/Freedom To Spend)
High pitched ‘epic’ synths, mechanical slow paced loops, organic compositions featuring vocoders, baby voices or resembling human corporal processes like breathing, vibrant danceable minimal wave, marvelous improv and some other treats I’ll let you discover on your own, make up for a complex, though not heterogeneous, high quality album. Picked by Gabriel Leascu.
Mhysa - Fantasii (Halcyon Veil)
Deconstructed R & B never sounded more ominous then this. This should be the future. Picked by Wouter Vanhaelemeesch.
Midori Takada - Through The Looking Glass (Palto Flats/We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want Records)
The reissue of this 80s lost-and-found gem was truly an act of justice. The serenity of it and at the same time the imaginative polyrhythmic composition work makes me think of percussionist Midori Takada as a scholar-musician of great patience. The comparison with minimalist composers, as well as ambient ones, should not leave her in the shadow of their authority as just sort of a distant follower. Picked by Ivan Shelekhov.
V/A- Miracle Steps: Music from the Fourth World 1983-2017 (Optimo Music)
Anthropologically, the term fourth world is applied to any nomadic people whose cultures are untouched by industrialization, hunter-gatherers, pastoral populations and other subgroups. Jon Hassell's own controversial – and deeply under-theorized – concept of 'fourth world music' is not supposed to be the music of the aforementioned people but rather "what music could be like if 'classical' had not been defined as what happened in Central Europe two hundred years ago". It's a necessary approach, and yet one that can be built only upon speculation. Props then to JD Twitch and Fergus Clark for compiling on Miracle Steps tracks with a slightly different take, bringing a much needed universality to the concept, featuring a diverse roster: from Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, O Yuki Conjugate and Jorge Reyes, to Crammed Discs artists Sussan Deyhim and Richard Horowitz or Staalplaat's Rapoon. In line with this, instruments used here are not meant to be their own signifiers. Trumpets sound like muted voices. Percussions, claps and plucks are one and the same. This is very organic ambient music, aware of its own materiality yet emanating in a hybrid-utopian man-confronts-machine mode; it is music that wishes to be sent in a time-capsule in space. Picked by Dan Angelescu (Balearic Goth).
Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked at Me (P.W. Elverum & Sun)
Between August 31 and December 6, year 2016, in a room where his wife Geneviève, 35, had spent her last days, ‘using mostly her instruments, her guitar, her bass, her pick, her amp, her old family accordion, writing the words on her paper, looking out the same window’ Phil Elverum, alias Mount Eerie, wrote the music of what would become the most sincere, brutal, visceral, painful and disturbing musical work released in 2017. Picked by Rek Abu (Batiscaf Radio).
Nadah El Shazly - Ahwar
I saw the Egyptian young force Nadah El Shazly live in Beirut at the Irtijal festival earlier this year and it was a really nice surprise. Another pleasant surprise was the release of her debut album, two years in the making, on the Lebanese imprint Nawa Recordings. Tune in! Picked by Dragos Rusu.
Nico Niquo - In A Silent Way (Orange Milk Records)
Melbourne based Nico Callaghan compositions sounds like grime, but drumless, something between OPN and Riuichi Sakamoto. Evocative and anesthetic meditations. Welcome to the new new age. Picked by Giuseppe Cutri.
Nicola Ratti - The Collection (Room40)
I had the great pleasure to camp in Giuseppe Ielasis studio in the suburbs of Milano (for the work on a story for “Chart – Notes to Consider” magazine) while he was mastering this fantastic album. And there I also met Nicola Ratti, one of Milan’s most interesting personalities, the co-founder of the artist-run space Standards, located in Via Maffucci, which is both art gallery and concert venue, and an exceptional experimental musician. While most of his releases are the result of a concentrated working process on new material, „The Collection“ is more likely, as the titles suggests, the balance sheet of a certain period in his works. That said it comes with great surprise how deeply connected those tracks of the album are, perfectly made for a constant flow of sound and still let each and single one keep its own identity in that process. Truly a masterpiece. Picked by Thomas Venker (Kaput Magazine).
Nidia Minaj - Nídia É Má, Nídia É Fudida (Principe)
Last time I had a friend going to Lisbon I asked her to go to a record store and buy me some Principe releases, as this label is one of my cakes in this world and kuduro is one of my great joys. At the time, Nidia's LP wasn't out, so go to Lisbon again and get me some rough brand of kuduro, girl! Picked by Victor Stutz.
Niña de la Puebla - I'm Always Crying (Death Is Not The End)
Always behind black glasses because blind since she was three days old, Dolores Jimenez Alcantara aka Niña de la Puebla was one the greatest flamenco singers, with a sweet and heartfelt voice, luckily reissued by Death Is Not The End in this cassette of early recordings. Picked by Giuseppe Cutri.
Ninos Du Brasil – Vida Eterna (Hospital Productions)
Coming from Italy, Ninos Du Brasil are creating an ethnic-drums flavored deep techno with many industrial and batucada elements. Picked by Miron Ghiu.