July joys

July 19, 2009

TINARIWEN – Imidiwan: Companions – a less overtly produced, rawer sound than their last couple of albums, but all the crucial elements remain in place. Unusual ambient track at the end which I’ve read was formed when a miked-up guitar was left to the mercy of the desert winds. Seems too involved to be wind and sand alone making that music….

MORITZ VON OSWALD TRIO – Vertical Ascent – Sure I read somewhere a while back that the utterly gorgeous Rhythm & Sound project had reached its end, so I was keenly anticipating this release, particularly having heard that Moritz Von Oswald had suffered a stroke. Great that he’s apparently recovered – but sad to say that in all honesty I can’t say Vertical Ascent was worth the wait. Sure, as expected, it’s adroitly produced – but the overall impression I’m left with is of electro improv jazzy meanderings to little purpose or effect. Only the final of the four tracks (Pattern 4)  delves into the deep dub bliss that I’d hoped might dominate. Worth a few more listens, but it’s unlikely that this is one I’ll be returning to in future.

ON/SYLVAIN CHAUVEAU & HELGE STEN/DEATHPROD – Your Naked Ghost Comes Back At Night – trailed as the great ‘lost’ ambient dark metal album. For my money, not a patch on either The Black Book Of Capitalism or Morals And Dogma (both also recently reissued), but worth returning to as the nights begin to draw in….

DUBBLESTANDART/LEE ‘SCRATCH’ PERRY & ARI UP – Return From Planet Dub – double cd, although the dubs on the first album are so strong that the CD of additional mixes seems almost superfluous. God knows how many Perry CDs I now have (upwards of 80 I think), and I never tire of his voice and ‘raps’, although the instrumental settings on some of the recent outings bearing his name have been relatively unspectacular. No worries here though, Dubblestandart are consistently far enough out there to engage, and this is the strongest set since… oh, that Adrian Sherwood Japanese-only set Upsetter Dub last year. Seems Perry’s having a late flowering….

Encouraged me to seek out…

DUBBLESTANDART – Heavy Heavy Monster Dub & Immigration Dub – two of their past albums. I’d lost track of what’s going on in the world of dub these days – Japan’s Audio Active and Dry & Heavy were the last outfits I paid any real attention to a few years back, both associated with Sherwood.  Thoroughly enjoyable, and make me want to seek out even more. They’re Austrian too – what with these and the recent dub-influenced Tosca album, is there something in the Viennese water supply?

Have just bought tickets to see Dub Syndicate at the Voodoo Rooms at the beginning of August. Just listened to a couple of their old discs and they’re not bearing up too well. Expectations slightly lowered for the show, although I’m sure Adrian Sherwood will be entertaining on the board.

MULATU ASTATKE/THE HELIOCENTRICS – Inspiration Information – Like quite a few others (I’d imagine) I only stumbled across Astatke/Astatqe through the ‘Broken Flowers’ soundtrack – proving, I guess, that a love of Bill Murray can lead you to some strange places. This is certainly at the jazzier end of my usual spectrum of listening, but that’s not a bad thing. What really got me on this release is not Astatke’s contributions (fine though they are), but the spectacular drumming, which brought to mind both Jaki Liebezeit and Tony Allen.

BJORK – Voltaic – archival/live/video spread over two cds and two dvds. Are there many other artists who so carefully milk their work across different iterations? Someone in the house will spend a great deal of time with this, but it’s unlikely to be me.

BRIAN WILSON – That Lucky Old Sun – three quid out of Fopp, can’t go wrong there.

NURSE WITH WOUND – Alice The Goon – cdep – dunno how this one managed to pass me by