MUSLIMGAUZE – Vampire Of Tehran & Jaal Ab Dullah & Uzbekistani Bizzare And Souk – that’s it with my Muslimgauze catch-up for the foreseeable future. Nothing in these three that particularly impresses, and I have most of the material on Vampire of Tehran on another release already. Should have checked before I bought.
MACHINEFABRIEK & ITHACA TRIO – Par Avion – a highly limited split CDr. You know what to expect.
GRINDERMAN – Grinderman 2 – they ‘rock’. As per.
UNDERWORLD – Barking – if only the music were as colourful and playful as the packaging. Apparently a return to ‘form’, although I prefer their more exploratory digital-only releases over the last three years or so.
ARP – The Soft Wave – well, someone’s been thoroughly immersed in early 70s electronic music, and it’s hard not to be overwhelmed by the overt influences here. There’s even a stab at Eno-esque songcraft on one track. An effective homage.
ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER – Rifts – double cd reissue of ‘early’ works. Some others who’ve obviously immersed themselves in analogue synth music. Although I’ve been enjoying a fair few releases of this ‘genre’ lately, I think this is just about enough for the moment.
CHRONOMAD – Sayeh – shades of Muslimgauze here, modern ambient and electro-Arabic stylings. Shame it’s so brief.
NATACHA ATLAS – Mounqaliba – A more laid-back and jazz-inflected album than her previous work, Natacha still questing and pushing at the limits of her craft. Utterly gorgeous stuff, and although a couple of reviewers have railed against ‘spoken word’ interludes, they’re delivered in tandem with engaging soundscapes and become one with the flow of the album.
SWANS – My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky – still not listened to this yet, saving it so that I can immerse myself in it in the run-up to their Glasgow show at the end of October.
WIN – Freaky Trigger – a new expanded edition containing singles B sides and remixes. Now can we please have a similar job on Uh! Tears Baby?
ABERFELDY – Somewhere To Jump From – whatever it was that I found attractive about the first two Aberfeldy albums (and I’ve not thought too hard about this) feels absent from this one. Something to be sold on.
DAVID BOWIE – Station To Station – boxed set. The cheaper version, bought primarily for the official release of a Nassau Coliseum show that’s apparently been heavily bootlegged in the past. Underwhelming, unfortunately.
Having been entertained at his book festival appearance last month, I finally got around to reading Jah Wobble‘s autobiography ‘Memoirs Of A Geezer‘ (I’m with him on the title, it’s rank). He’s not about to win any awards for prose style, but it’s hard not to warm to him – and he’s certainly lived through a lot. Also devoured Chris Connelly‘s skimpy but entertaining first novel ‘Ed Royal‘ a chiller set in early 80s Edinburgh. It’s a strong evocation of time/place, and memories flooded back – not all of them pleasant. Decent film adaptation potential too, and I’d bet someone’s already on the case.
Late in the month I saw Antye Greie/AGF play and perform in a new version of Virginia Woolf’s novel Orlando at the Traverse, starring the extraordinary Madeleine Worrall. (yes, I actually went to a theatre).
Whatever material Craig Armstrong crafted for the soundtrack Antye Greie has certainly made her own, an extraordinary versatile laptop soundworld that amusingly included the amplified scratching of quill pens as the audience filtered into the venue pre show. Lighting design and projections were mesmerising throughout. It’s been a long time since I’ve wondered ‘how the hell did they do that?, and with seemingly minimal resources too – technology works, technology delivers. If this piece gets a tour, it’s certainly worth making the effort to go along. Fingers crossed that there might be an associated soundtrack release from Antye at some point.