Staff Picks - March

Staff Picks - March

Written By:

The Attic


April 2, 2018

Spring is finally here and there's nothing to do about it. So there you go, this is what drew our attention musically during the month of March 2018. What's new, what's good, what's hot or not, what's obscure or under the radar, music wise, if you think that we've missed something or want to send a tip, please get in touch.

2. From Borusiade to Sun Ra

Jules - Adventures & Explorations (Volume 1) (Audiobulb Records)
Jules - Adventures & Explorations (Volume 1) (Audiobulb Records)

Alva Noto - Unieqav (Noton)
‘UNIEQAV’ follows-on from and develops the concept of Alva Noto’s ‘Unitxt’ and ‘Univrs’ albums, and completes the third part in the trilogy, whereby each record is both unique and part of the bigger picture. This is also mirrored in the artwork for each release, which when combined form a triptych spelling ‘Uni’. The Uni series began when Alva Noto was booked to play live at the club UNIT in Tokyo, and had to adapt his sound accordingly for that environment.

Beam Splitter - Rough Tongue (Corvo Records)
Beam Splitters‘s debut album Rough Tongue, out on Corvo Records, is one part, a timbral collage of carefully extracted sound material and in another, a longer moment taken from an intimate room below the din. All tracks are taken from three live concerts in 2016. Utilizing the pure sounds of acoustic and closely amplified trombone and voice, the record exemplifies the joining together of these two individual voices into a distinct dialog that delves beyond the borders of the corporeal elements of extended technique and sound.

Belong - October Language (Spectrum Spools)
Since it's release in early 2006, Belongs debut masterpiece has accumulated a dedicated cult following, with comparisons to the work of Tim Hecker and Gas, with some claims that it plays like My Bloody Valentine's "Loveless" sans the songs. While these comparisons are useful for filing this album into a particular bin in the record shop, time has proven that "October Language" is a unique album which remains unmatched by its contemporaries.

Borusiade - A Body (Cómeme)
This is the first album of Borusiade, out in March at Cómeme. Miruna Boruzescu aka Borusiade hails from Bucharest. After adventurous travels through night clubs, theatres, windy cities, snowy fields and merciless deserts, her desires and imagination have manifested themselves in her very first album: “A Body”. The debut album is a deeply poetic work, often involving Borusiade’s own voice, sometimes dissolving and recreating meanings in mantra-like repetitions, sometimes layering itself to pagan choirs of smooth ecstasy.

Bruce Gilbert - Ex Nihilo (Editions Mego)
Bruce Gilbert’s peculiar approach to sound over four decades has seen him engage with a wide variety of practice and performance always hovering amongst the grey area between his mind and the surrounding architecture. Ex Nihilo is another significant entry into Gilbert’s outre sound-book. Expect fat electrified drones who could easily smash some brains, but also dark ambient soundscapes to ease the pain; this is Editions Mego’s 250th release.

Colin Johnco - However Far Away (Johnkôôl Records)
Colin Johnco has been living in Paris and Berlin exploring and fusing various tracks and pathways for the last 10 years. Apart from founding the bands Dr(Dr)One and Dem Leedz, he worked in the field of experimental and electronic music, sonic installations and illustrations, composition and DJing, and setting up the label LEEP / CJC Records and — most recently — Johnkôôl Records with DJ Kôôl of Collective Sin~. This new album, recorded and mixed by Bérangère Maximin at INA/GRM studio, aligns itself in the closest proximity to what Colin wants to carry on and express through his creative process and music.

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3. From Colin Fisher to Sun Ra

Music From Yemen Arabia (Sub Rosa Label)
Music From Yemen Arabia (Sub Rosa Label)

Colin Fisher - V Le Pape (Geej Recordings)
V Le Pape is Colin Fisher’s debut album for Geej Recordings. Fisher is a mainstay of the Toronto experimental music scene for the last fifteen years, activating as a multi-instrumentalist and improvisational performer. Perhaps best known as one half of the esteemed duo Not the Wind, Not the Flag, Colin Fisher has forged a unique position at the crossroads of avant-jazz and a psychedelic shaman of ecstatic performance. Fisher is a constant fixture at everything in Toronto worth going to. He is also constant collaborator, attractive to popular musicians who need something more than just a great player, therefore he has recorded with Caribou, The Constantines, and Many Arms. V Le Pape was made entirely using guitar and an array of looping and effect pedals.

Ehh hahah - Netia genialna rozmowa z klientem (Audile Snow)
The young internet artist Ehh Hahah releases his second album, recorded on a Friday evening and Saturday morning. The album deals with a long-distance relationship and the inability to communicate with one another over the telephone. Out on the Polish experimental microSD imprint Audile Snow. ‘I really hated these long phone calls with my love, because there were many noises that made our talks incomprehensible. When I went outside, while phoning, every silent sound from the street would always be strengthened, which made whole talk very hard to understand, but which made every talk into some kind of strange noise piece of music, when recorded.’

Jules - Adventures & Explorations (Volume 1) (Audiobulb Records)
Jules is a new anonymous project released by the Audiobulb Records imprint. Through the use of different kind of technologies, instruments and attitudes, the project aims to create a mysterious and fantastic author, called Jules, who will propose to the listeners a dreaming atmosphere and persona far from reality, living in exotic and non-existent spatiotemporal dimensions. Jules is the spontaneity of the imagination and storytelling. Adventures & Explorations (Volume 1) is the first chapter of Jules's journeys. The concept of the album is developed with the intention of keep free every stylistic choice of the project. The 2 pieces LP is also an attempt to re-insert in the ambient music some elementary structures of the pop music.

Kink Gong - DIAN LONG: Soundscape China / Destruction of Chinese Pop (Discrepant)
Discrepant presents another unique document of Kink Gong's aka Laurent Jeanneau's collection of surreal soundscapes of augmented field recordings, this time turning into his love/hate relationship with China into a mesmerising and unique soundscape of unclassifiable music.

Le Sun Ra And His Cosmo Discipline Arkestra - Night In East Berlin (Post-Materialization Music)
First ever Sun Ra release in Russia via the Moscow based cassette label Post-Materialization Music. "Night in East Berlin" was originally released on cassettes on Saturn label in 1986. Available now in it's original form with re-printed j-card (using the original printing technique) in edition of 200 copies only.

VA - Music From Yemen Arabia (Sub Rosa Label)
Music from Yemen Arabia is a new double vinyl collection curated by Sub Rosa label, presenting music from Yemen in 1973. The LP includes 10 tracks recorded across the country at the capital city Sannaa, the sheikdom of Lahej and the port of Alden. The songs bring oudh playing, percussion and singing from Yemen. The three Kawkabani brothers sing traditional poems and play oudh (lute), double drums, tambourine and, occasionally, the kanoun (zither).

4. From Mutant Beat Dance to Paisiel

The Dwarfs of East Agouza - Rats Don't Eat Synthesizers (Annihaya Records/Akuphone)
The Dwarfs of East Agouza - Rats Don't Eat Synthesizers (Annihaya Records/Akuphone)

Mutant Beat Dance – S/T (Rush Hour)
Mutant Beat Dance has returned with their debut self-titled 25 track album, a record album booklet consisting of 6 records in 3 different formats of 12"s, 7"s and 10”, a CD and in digital formats. This concept has been in development since 2015 with over 200 minutes running time. Mutant Beats was originally a duo made up of Traxx and Beau Wanzer from Nation's label roster, and now became a trio with its newest member Steve Summers to present an enormous diversity of song styles unlike anything they have ever done.

Paisiel – Paisiel (Lovers & Lollypops)
Paisiel consists of the Portuguese drummer, percussionist and sonic sculptor João Pais Filipe and the German saxophonist Julius Gabriel. Based on an individual exploration of the sound and on the expressive possibilities of their instruments, the duo’s music seeks to join and systematize their influences, albeit without any obvious correspondences or affinities. The result consists of textured and abstract melodies driven by a mechanical percussion that trespasses the listener’s mind into a kinetic trance. The music of João Pais Filipe and Julius Gabriel moves freely between experimental music, jazz, rock and other new musical categories, creating fantastic ambiances.

Polochord – Concretions (listen2me)
This is the fifth release by the Romanian music collective/record label listen2me, comprising the concretions of the Bucharest based producer electronic music producer Polochord. Flourishing through many layers of ambient soundscapes, the album creates a scenic story, a powerful cinematic drive that flows throughout its entirety, 11 songs.

The Dwarfs of East Agouza - Rats Don't Eat Synthesizers (Annihaya Records/Akuphone)
Following their acclaimed first album Bes, The Dwarfs Of East Agouza return with this new long play composed of two hypnotic journeys: Rats Don’t Eat Synthesizers and Ringa Mask Koshary which was recorded in Cairo in September of 2015. Those still not so familiar with the name should notice that this trio consists of Alan Bishop (Acoustic Bass & Alto Sax), Maurice Louca (Keyboards & Drum Machine) and Sam Shalabi (Electric Guitar). Expect nothing but mesmerizing electric guitar harmonies, frenetic beats, both supported by the deep sound of Alan Bishop’s acoustic bass, creating a new magical Egyptian soundscape. Not to be missed!

The Maghreban - 01DEAS
The Maghreban aka Ayman Rostom is one of the most unique and respected beat makers working in house and techno today. His dusky grooves, heavy bass pressure and clanking drum breaks sound like they were dredged from the bottom of the river Nile, imbued with a maverick personality that shares kinship with the likes of Detroit’s Andres and Waajed, making him a perfect fit on R&S’s storied roster of pioneering outsiders.

VA - The Music of the Secret Society that Owns Belgrade (Inverted Spectrum Records)
The Music of the Secret Society that Owns Belgrade is a compilation featuring ten contemporary bands and solo musicians from Serbia's capital and its environs, with the aim of documenting the current scene of bands in Belgrade that play experimental, psychedelic and electronic music with an open-minded attitude, and which also preferably have some elements from styles local to Serbia or its geographical surroundings. However, the research has lead to the discovery that the most interesting bands that satisfy these narrow criteria constitute not that much of a scene, but they are structured more like a loose circle or a clique, consisting of a small number of musicians who know each other and play with each other in different combinations. Compiled by Hayvanlar Alemi drummer Işık Sarıhan, the musical styles featured here include Surf rock based on Balkan pop-folk anthems, urban folk music with Greek, Macedonian and Serbian references, ceremonially improvised psychedelic rock, alternative rock with post-punk overtones, and electronic mutations of Yugoslav-era pop-rock tracks.

About the Author

Dragoș Rusu

Co-founder and editor in chief of The Attic, as well as artistic director of Outernational Days festival in Bucharest, and allround music adventurer.


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