Tangents (Bumbershoot, Houston, space)

Quick Links: (1) This year’s Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle, September 2 – 5, will feature a sound art exhibit, “In Resonance,” with curators Fionn Meade and Rob Millis (link). … (2) Details on the 3rd Annual Festival of New Trumpet Music (link), to be held throughout August in New York City. … (3) A MIDI-controlled sofa (link), via engadget.com. … (4) A neat inexpensive speech synthesizer (link), via gizmodo.com.

… Good Reads: (1) Interview with Prefuse 73, aka Scott Herren, in the debut issue of Robotspeak magazine, by Donald Bell, aka Chachi Jones (link). He talks about his fave musical era, an adolescence steeped in hip-hop, and the techniques that keep him ahead of “[a]ny little trust fund kid whose mommy can buy them an MPC or a computer.” … (2) Boston Globe piece on Bang on a Can‘s covers of Brian Eno‘s Music for Airports (link). “Eno’s music was carefully crafted, but his intention was to create something that would remain in the background,” says composer Michael Gordon. “In that respect, he failed — the music is more interesting than that.”

… Select New Releases: (1) Erasure‘s Here I Go Impossible Again/All This Time Still Falling Out of Love (Mute) single consists of two CDs plus a DVD, including live footage, remixes by Meloboy, Shanghai Surprize and Triggertrax, and software (Digimpro) that facilitates remixing of “Here I Go Impossible Again.” Yes, there’s a contest. Winners get iPods packed with 19 live double-CD Erasure albums. More info here. … (2) Recording together under the name Groundtruther, Charlie Hunter (guitar) and Bobby Previte (drums) invite a guest on each of their ongoing Longitude series of CDs (Thirst Ear). Last time it was saxophonist Greg Osby. This time it’s turntablist DJ Logic. … (3) Minimal techno act Pub‘s Liltmor (Ampoule). … More new release info at brainwashed.com/releases.

… Disquiet Heavy Rotation: (1) Daniel Lanois‘ new album, Belladonna, will attract fans of his ambient work with Brian Eno and fans of his French Canadian-inflected roots recordings. The best tracks on Belladonna strike a happy medium, and a particular favorite right now is “Telco,” which does just that, treating rudimentary piano and guitar elements like sound effects, and setting them above a rich industrial whir. … (2) Mike Jones, one of Houston’s many sudden rap stars, may sound like a latter day Tone-Loc, his thick nasal delivery scraping the low registers like a busted muffler hitting pavement. But what distinguishes Who Is Mike Jones?, his current full-length, is the intimacy of his man-machine interface. Throughout the album, he and his guests rap in a way that’s one with the music, moving with the biomechanical feel of a good turntable manipulator. His phrasing, especially on songs like “Got It Sewed Up” and “Still Trippin,” is honed to mesh with the continuous scratching and fluctuations in production. Which isn’t to suggest that his instrumentals can’t hold their own. The vocal-free dub of “Still Trippin” is a cinematic swath of rhythmically adroit beats and a rising violin line with noir-ish overtones. … (3) Of the Disquiet Downstream entry from this past week, the one getting the most frequent listens is Raz Mesinai‘s “Ghost of the Gulag (Reprise)” (entry, MP3), a bit of chamber maximalism from a musician more generally associated with modern dub.

… Score Keeper: Multi-instrumentalist and studio whiz Jon Brion (who chips in on rapper-producer Kanye West‘s forthcoming Late Registration) is said to be yet again collaborating with director Paul Thomas Anderson, this time on Oil!, based on an Upton Sinclair novel and due out next year (according to IMDB.com).

… Quote of the Week: “‘I love to listen to music in space,’ he said. ‘It’s a very peaceful thing for me.'” That’s Space Shuttle veteran Dr. Stephen K. Robinson, who’s on the crew of the current mission (link).

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