the universal

There can be universal truth even if we have no access to it.
This doesn't place essence over existence. It can exist without being perceived.
But is our intuitive sense of a it a form of perception and interface anyway?
Or is this just delusion?
The presence of universal truth(s?) does not preclude necessary relativism on most issues within language and ethics.

August 2

Dan Cray - Outside In (Origin)

Really nice, mellow, mostly straight-ahead jazz. I have decided it will be present among snow and a fire. It will happen.

Convextion - 2845 (Mojuba)

There's that one label doing the electro thing and every release sounds the same. Not this! Great to hear from Convextion again.

one

Ka - Honor Killed the Samurai (Iron Works Records)

Not exactly bangers, but this has a distinct tone carried through in the instrumentals, the delivery, and the content, vivid imagery, poetic constructions.

idea

So aside from my regular reading I'm in this reading group... maybe per reading I'll take a few highlighted elements and comment.
This is sure to be uninteresting.

3 musicccs

Ian William Craig - Centres (FatCat Records)

Beautiful album in the vein of Fennesz, Sakamoto, Sylvian, but ultimately its own.

1-800 DINOSAUR Presents Trim

Maybe the best grime-or-not full-length I've heard. Balanced toward letting the beats / unique instrumentals shine, but since they're not particularly dense or saturated this fits well with the vocals.

WWWINGS - PHOENIXXX (Planet Mu)

From noise to rhythms, it's a particularly well-executed collision of the old "splintered beats" IDM thing and the current "post-club" thing with some moments that are undeniably [non-post] club. Lots of concrete samples.

lo-fi again

I happened to take a look at my most recent posts and noticed the item below about "lo-fi" techno and was confused.
I was confused because just a couple of days ago I had made similar complaints (to myself) and here thought, "How could that have been before the trip?"
Then I realized that it was a different release.
So anyway a couple of days ago I was listening to a well-regarded producer's new album and really struggled to finish it due to ear fatigue.
Should I name names? I'm really not into audio that's pointlessly blown out, and it can't be saved with interesting backstory and imagery.
There are a few producers I'm repeatedly duped into checking out or reluctantly trying again by reviews and retailers. I think I've finally thrown a few into the DNR zone.

rough

It's been a really rough week.
It's Thursday morning now.
Next week will be better.

-

I don't want to deal with people.

short note on the exceptional

There's the exceptional that's demonstrated, performed, and proven, and then there's exceptionalism that's assumed and abused.

Former: getting more done, having strong ideas, rising to occasions, assuming burdens, not taking a path simply because it's easy or popular, etc.
Latter: expecting to not have to do things, assuming illegitimate authority, not following rules only because they are a burden to you, taking an opposite path simply because the other is popular

and then there's a value judgement

detox

bleh

upcoming topics:
exceptionalism

new year

This vacation is going to be like a new year transition thing.

whatever

I want today to be over.
Have to give a somewhat annoying presentation.

5 days

ok just one more week

FDT

On Tuesday I had semi-crippling depression related to Donald Trump.

How are people so stupid? His wife had just given her plagiarized speech, and apologists were saying things like it's not plagiarism because it's just a few lines, or that it was just similar themes and not the same words. I wanted to strangle the guy in this interview. A friend and I have talked about how what people say doesn't matter. We've always meant it to be about the precision of what people say, that the actual words do not matter. Not that we personally believe they do not or should not matter but that we see in places like advertising wording that makes things simply false being totally acceptable, this kind of thing.

A few weeks ago I mildly debated and mostly listened to a couple who had been strong Bernie Sanders supporters and were now arguing that Donald Trump was no worse than Hilary Clinton (they intend to vote for Jill Stein and at the time unrealistically thought Sanders might also go to a third party). They cited Hilary's record on war, foreign trade, and other issues that are terrible but at the same time typical of establishment politics, American imperialism, business as usual.

Donald Trump's faults go beyond the conservative, unimaginative, structurally-chained muck of party politics. What shocks me is the way his lies, prejudices, and ignorance are simply not veiled. They're not behind ideology and structures. His glittering generalities and abuses of the vague language of advertising are advertising what exactly? He represents truly the worst in us, and it's shocking that he has so many supporters. How are people capable of swallowing what he spews? What can be done to stop him?

I think Ken Burns actually had some worthwhile commentary recently. The early portion about technology sounds a bit like Paul Virilio.

good ones

These are pretty different from each other.

Glauco Venier - Miniatures (ECM)

This is a beautiful album of small piano and barely-percussion pieces. At times sounding like Sakamoto, at times sounding like Jarrett, but ultimately sounding like its own thing.

Christian Fennesz & Jim O'Rourke - It's Hard for Me to Say I'm Sorry (Editions Mego)

I'm glad this lived up to the sum of its parts and more. I've seen opposing views, but I feel like the best of both artists are brought together into something neither would make on his own. The sound is thick. 2 long pieces.

David Toop - Entities Inertias Faint Beings (Room 40)

Toop proves himself a master of sound minutiae or at least the music that provokes listening for it. Environmental sounds haunted by memories of performed instruments.

J Balvin - Energía (Capitol Latin)

This is very pop, but I can't deny the album. Have probably played this in my car every day for the past 3 or 4 weeks, I guess subtracting my trip, though I heard Ginza and Bobo out in Spain. This could probably be divided into songs that really go and songs that are whatever, but it's been on repeat.

3 for June

Jesse Osborne-Lanthier and Grischa Lichtenberger - CSLM (Cosmo Rhythmatic)

Intense, varied, sonically precise exploration of sound, rhythm, and texture that I'm surprised to read comes from performances on CRTs and VHS machines... the remixes fit in perfectly, iterating interestingly on the themes but maintaining the flow as something that can be listened to like an album.

Objekt - Kern vol. 3 (Tresor)

This mix reminds me of the Journeys by DJ series (and maybe I'm thinking specifically of Coldcut's well-known mix) in its variety, but is rooted in techno. It experiment but stays solid. Worthy as a catalog release.

Golfam Khayam & Mona Matbou Riahi - Narrante (ECM)

Amazing contemporary chamber performances of Persian-rooted music from the Naqsh Duo, clarinet and guitar. Would love to attend a performance.

maybe

ok I'm going to try

zip

I just attempted and failed to leave a comment on a user-participation thing I'm trying to promote. Seems like the only thing I'm willing to say in public is "I enjoyed this album."

Next Time it Will Be Summer

Autechre - elseq 1-5 (Warp)

Sounds in line with what I heard on their recent/current tour. Some wild noise, some evolving drones, some heavy beats... good mix of approaches from their history, a wide range of content here. There have been some complaints (not looking at watmm) about length. While I suppose I could agree that finding the best 100 minutes or so of content here might make a more concise and rewarding listen (I just tried to do this and managed to take it down to 120), there's just so much that's good here for that to be a major downside. Autechre do it.

M.E.S.H. - Damaged Merc (Pan)

There's this "post-club" label that gets thrown around (I normally use the term "noisy stuff," though this is quite different from Merzbow), and it really applies here (post-club). This music is noisy, danceable, IDM from the future rather than the past. Feels a lot more rhythmically driven and precise than the excellent Piteous Gate album. Anyway, cool music.

Masabumi Kikuchi - Black Orpheus (ECM)

This is a beautiful recording, from the atonal clusters to the lyrical moments. Never feels over-played. Excellent closing statement. Had the pleasure of seeing him at the Motian memorial...

Klara Lewis - Too (Editions Mego)

The pieces on this album are arrestingly narrative, in that they progress in a way that is abstract enough to be unpredictable but paced to be follow-able. Despite the sounds and methods used here, the music does not leave you grasping or disappear into a background, but impressively guides you along. More interesting than I expected.

I need to hear her last album and see a show... this is cool:

SHXCXCHCXSH - SsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSs (AVIAN)

Excellent contemporary techno.. Not super dancefloor-oriented, but it could work and could easily be tooled. This reminds me heavily of a conversation once on this forum I used to be on (erave) where someone (won't name names) brought up some graphic related to waves of sunlight and was relating to to some ideal of techno. It was probably all pretty pretentious, but I feel like this would fit into that conversation. That person had a great handle... Listening to it a 4th time or so I also was struck by the dub buried in parts of it it, from the little echoey passages to the use of noise... like taking basic channel to a new place.

It's Almost June

Antwood - Virtuous.scr (Planet Mu)

I wonder how many more of these surgical, refined noise albums can sustain my interest. At the moment, despite the demands of the sound, there's no fatigue in sight, and this is another great one. (In the vein of Ash Koosha, Arca, etc.)

John Zorn - Flaga Book of Angels Volume 27 (Tzadik)

Christian McBride is on point, we already know Craig Taborn is the man, and percussionist Tyshawn Sorey is on fire. It's great to hear Book of Angels material in this traditional jazz trio setting with such excellent players. I thought this was just going to be another good album of Zorn competitions, but it stands out.

Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool (XL Recordings)

It's another excellent Radiohead album. Melodies, rhythm, lyrics, elements all on point. Everything to like.

Elon Katz - The Human Pet (Diagonal)

This one's pretty weird, but it definitely grew on me. For me it kind of picks up where Jamie Lidell left off before Multiply, with some more contemporary approaches, advancing the tight, Prince-inspired electronic funk of various Eurofolk I could list. Has some aesthetic ties with the last Holly Herndon album as well, but with an industrial edge. whatever this all means...

Aesop Rock - The Impossible Kid (Rhymesayers Entertainment)

I don't have much to say, but the album is great. Unfolds, unfolds, and unfolds upon repeat listens. Personal, touching, funny, catchy, thought-provoking... good.
Aesop Rock's one of these artists who just keeps getting better and is in my top 5.

rap and rap

smith and iyer were fantastic

anyway, two very different rap albums

Dälek - Asphalt for Eden (Profound Lore)

It's cool to hear a rap album this drowned-in-sound. Dälek make their own lane. The instrumentals would stand on their own, but then we also have the lyrics/concepts to work with. It's good.

Royce da 5'9" - Layers (Bad Half Entertainment)

Rapping and rapping. I keep going back to this in the car... Many flows/concepts in the album, some of which I don't completely understand, but for me there are too many great rapping moments here to deny, as well as strong instances of emotion, introspection, commentary, etc... ultimately it's a fairly "traditional" rap album at a high level.

4 for the Now

Vijay Iyer & Wadada Leo Smith - A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke (ECM)

There’s a kind of natural/inevitable-feeling progression of this music, as the sounds and spaces generated by Smith & Iyer weave a contemplative space that grooves without being locked, twists without meandering, flows without passivity. The album manages to surpass its automatic on-paper greatness, and both artists are pretty much on top of things.

Looking forward to Friday.

Studio OST - Scenes (2012-2015) (Lustwerk Music)

Sublime techno nightdrive.

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith - Ears (Western Vinyl)

Wow. Gorgeous, sensitive atmospheres, calling to mind the organs and horns of Terry Riley, the minimalist spirals of kosmische, and the vocal treatments of The Knife and Laurie Anderson. This will make the list.

Ash Koosha - I AKA I (Ninja Tune)

Exciting moves in the pretty-big-right-now vein of noisy IDM. Enough obnoxious pitched up samples to push me out of my comfort zone, the obliterated shreds of sound for automatic noise interest, and the rhythms/groove actually go. The album’s on-trend while both pushing forward and speaking to the past (of stuff I like). Mudafossil. Cool stuff.

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