Despite a reputation for producing experimental electronic music, the prolific British label Ninja Tune manages to maintain a fairly high ratio of signal to noise. The group Up, Bustle and Out‘s Light ‘Em Up, Blow ‘Em Out is a perfect example. If the flute on a track titled “The Beautiful Lure” compares favorably with Ill Communication, don’t expect the association to let up before the record’s end. Though most of the UB&O’s previous releases relied on samples rather than on traditional instruments, this new record suggests that the group is attempting to stake its own claim for marrying studio wizardry with live performance; guests include a pianist, rapper, singers, and tabla and sitar players. The results are somewhat reminiscent of a certain trio of former rap parodists, what with the album’s ersatz downbeat grooves and heavy borrowing of Indian music, jazz, and street sounds. However, there are moments of admirable contemplation amid the party. A track titled “Rain in Tibet” is just that: a steady eaves’ drop of rain, backed by muffled, candid voices, and graced by so small an amount of melody as to figure more like a distant memory. And “Y Ahora Tu” does more with a splash of water and a funky drum loop than one has previously imagined possible.
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5 Most Recent Posts
• October 13, 2016: This day marks the start of the 250th weekly Disquiet Junto project.
• November 16, 2016: I'll be sharing the mic at Adobe Books in San Francisco with my fellow 33 1/3 author Evie Nagy for an evening hosted, from 7pm to 10pm, by Marc Kate (facebook.com).
• December 1, 2016: A likely speaking engagement. Details to come.
• December 13, 2016: This day marks the 20th anniversary of Disquiet.com.
• January 5, 2017: This day marks the 5th anniversary of the Disquiet Junto.
• Ongoing: The Disquiet Junto series of weekly communal music projects explore constraints as a springboard for creativity and productivity. There is a new project each Thursday afternoon (California time), and it is due the following Monday at 11:59pm: disquiet.com/junto.
• My book on Aphex Twin's landmark 1994 album, Selected Ambient Works Vol. II, published as part of the 33 1/3 series, an imprint of Bloomsbury, is now in its second printing. It can be purchased at amazon.com, among other places.
disquiet juntoThe Disquiet Junto is an ongoing weekly collaborative music-making space in which restraints are used as a springboard for creativity. Subscribe to the announcement list at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto. There is an FAQ. ... These are the 5 most recent weekly projects: • 0253 / Doorbell Rehab / Record some welcome music. • 0252 / Sonic Palindrome / Make music that sounds the same backwards and forwards. • 0251 / Soothing Sounds for Parents / Remix some music for infants with parents in mind. • 0250 / Soothing Sounds for Junto / Make some peaceful music for an infant child. • 0249 / 80 Phases / Wish the minimalist composer Steve Reich a happy birthday.
... And there is a complete list of projects at disquiet.com/junto.
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