Current Listens: Total Hassell, Davachi’s Organs

Heavy rotation, lightly annotated

This is my weekly(ish) answer to the question “What have you been listening to lately?” It’s lightly annotated because I don’t like re-posting material without providing some context. In the interest of conversation, let me know what you’re listening to in the comments below. Just please don’t promote your own work (or that of your label/client). This isn’t the right venue. (Just use email.)

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NEW: Recent(ish) arrivals and pre-releases

Much of my week’s listening involved playing the new Jon Hassell on repeat, enjoying the pre-release privacy a bit before meaning accrues around it after the set reaches a broader audience. Seeing Through Sound (Pentimento Volume Two) was released on Friday to an audience awaiting its portal-like function, how it opens a window into the Fourth World, and it is everything they might hope for, filled with glitchy atmospherics, futurist fusion, and field recordings from alternate realms.

The minimalist setup of Russian musician Pavel Milyakov derives transcendent techno from live manipulation of held guitar drones. It’s part of the excellent Patch Notes video series from Fact magazine, and this time it in fact does include patch notes, if you want details of what Milyakov is up to.

Sarah Davachi’s next album, Cantus, Descant, isn’t due out unil mid-September, but the first track, with an accompanying video, is already online. The album appears to be a collection of music for organs, and was recorded on a variety of them in Amsterdam, Chicago, Vancouver, Copenhagen, and Los Angeles. The initial track, “Station II,” is a series of slowly evolving chords that overlap, layer, and transition with an eerie grace.

As the name suggests, the exp​[​MTL] EP from Vigi Beats is experimental: brief sketches of how beat music could be. All but one is under two minutes in length. The five tracks, labeled A through E, pursue alternately frantic and loungy beatcraft, breaking pre-existing recordings in the service of forging artfully erratic new ones.

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