have a lot right now
This vacation is going to be like a new year transition thing.
I don't get the point.
I want today to be over.
Have to give a somewhat annoying presentation.
ok just one more week
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.
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.
I think it could work.
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.
ok I'm going to try
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."
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
Is this all I'll ever post about?
OK, well here's some new great stuff...
Anenon - Petrol (Friends of Friends)
Great melting atmospheres of electronics, field recordings, saxophone, but with a strong narrative musicality.
Julian Lage - Arclight (Mack Avenue Records)
I'm usually not crazy about jazz guitar (I write as I listen to Kenny Burrell's "God Bless the Child"), but I find myself coming back to this album and its unique exploration of techniques and moods, if within a general range. Had a chance to see Lage locally about a year ago and was totally impressed (with Eric Harland instead of Kenny Wollesen... I'm fans of both). I was excited about this album but enjoyed it more than I expected...
joefarr - Sense of Purpose (Bloc)
super solid ravey quality that goes. thank you
Elzhi - Lead Poison (GLOW 365)
Not the next-level instant classic I think he has potential for, but it's still a solid album with good songs, and a release from Elzhi is welcome and long overdue. I love the soul-sampling beats of songs like "Weedipedia," "Friendzone" (my favorite on the album), and "Cloud."
Steve Kuhn - At This Time (Sunnyside Records)
This is fairly straight-ahead stuff (meaning I'll enjoy it but not get too excited about it), but after multiple listens without paying attention, I finally sat down at home and felt the fire. The group is so "on" in this record. Will have to look out for touring... (I suppose LA is unlikely, sadly).
dBridge / Loxy & Resound - Average Echo / Heritage (Convex Industries)
It's just a single, but the first track from dBridge KILLS.
beats are alive and well
elusive - textures
samiyam - animals have feelings
knxwledge - hex.9.8_ (remixes)
Ling - Attachment (Codes)
More awesome noisy craziness
Tim Hecker - Love Streams (4AD)
Doing what he does best. Am I too early on this?
Skee Mask - Shred (Ilian Tape)
cool techno / breakbeat / bass
Rangda - The Heretic's Bargain (Drag City>
When do I get to see a live show?
was at the surgeon / cortini / swanson / etc. show...
Can I please get a chair?
I've gone to a better place.
Savages - Adore Life (Matador Records)
Frank has done it again. I do prefer the prior, but this is good. Too bad I'll have to miss the show. Would like more dynamic range. It's been said.
Roly Porter - Third Law (Tri-Angle Records)
Sure, I already talked about it last year, but I was way ahead of time. Amazing spacey future sound design.
Junior Boys - Big Black Coat (City Slang)
Great poppy album. Clear ties between this and the Jesse Lanza that got massive rotation in the car. Really impressed with the handle on electronic music styles, from house to techno to 'bass music' (Love Is a Fire), all with their own idiosyncratic signature on production. Great What You Won't Do for Love cover. It's good.
nonkeen - The Gamble (R&S Records)
Supreme electroacoustic listening jams.
Paul Jebanasam - Continuum (Subtext Recordings)
This and the Roly Porter album. What if I could only keep one?
This is a strange and intriguing album that I came across browsing iTunes' classical page at the beginning of the year. Did not expect to be listening to it over and over.
It's a mix of performed music, often/mostly flute, and natural sounds. The flutes range from slow, meditative, and oddly-expressed, to Renaissance-sounding melodies (likely the Jacob van Eyck works I see mentioned in the descriptions) that are smartly paced and pensive, as the Renaissance flute sound can unfortunately superficially come across as goofy, depending on the performance and recording.
This project actually follows an installation for the garden of Vaucluse House as part of Sydney Fesetival. Read more about it here.
Translated to a great album.
I heard it a couple of times before he died and enjoyed the music but wasn't really struck.
I've listened to it more times since, and its lyrical and total power have grown on me.
Much is underway.
I wish I had more time to read.
I can understand how people have crippling anxiety. I do not have crippling anxiety, but I do have anxiety about work. Although I know it will not cripple me, that ocean of crippling anxiety is within reach. I can close my eyes and feel it.
I went to Big Bear Friday night and came back yesterday. It's nice to get away.