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tag: mp3 discussion group

MP3 Discussion Group: Moritz von Oswald Trio’s ‘Vertical Ascent’

For the next few days, several fellow ardent listeners will join me here for the latest edition of Disquiet.com’s “MP3 Discussion Group.” We’ll be discussing the recent album by the Moritz von Oswald Trio, Vertical Ascent (Honest Jons). The trio is von Oswald, plus Max Loderbauer, and Sasu Ripatti. (Ripatti’s album Tummaa, recorded under the name Vladislav Delay, was the subject of last week’s “MP3 Discussion Group here.) Give a listen to the Vertical Ascent album via streams available at the website of its record label, honestjons.com. The week’s discussion will occur in the comments section below, and participation is, certainly, open to anyone who would like to join in. Thanks to the folk who have agreed to participate:

Colin Buttimer: I’ve contributed to Jazzwise, e/i, Signal to Noise, The Wire, Absorb, and themilkfactory.co.uk, and I currently write reviews for BBC Online. I’m responsible for Hard Format, a website dedicated to the sublime in music design. My listening habits since 2004 can be checked out here and everything else is at www.eleventhvolume.com.

Julian Lewis: I write much of Lend Me Your Ears, a UK/Spain-based MP3 blog with the accommodating mandate of covering “less obvious music.”In practice, this tends to mean most points along the electronica spectrum from drone to post-dubstep, and should probably include more jazz.

Alan Lockett: I’m a dabbler in electronic music reviews and commentary. Used to be a contributor to e/i magazine before it folded, but these days my writing is up on igloomag.com and furthernoise.org. Main interests currently lie in the ambient/drone area, but I also like to rummage around in the bins of the more adventurous quarters of techno/house and post-dub, picking up the odd scrap of IDM. I’m based in Bristol, in the Wild Wild South-West of England, which I like to think is a useful vantage point, being a breeding ground for stylistic currents that have impacted variously in recent decades on the electronic music landscape.

Joshua Maremont: I am a player of guitars, oscillators, and computers, based in San Francisco. My musical adventures on record have been with M-1 Alternative, Freezer, and ATOI, while I reserve the names Dazzle Painting and Thermal for my solitary sonic ruminations and keep Boxman Studies as my little label for noises without other homes. My listening obsessions wobble toward everything from mellotron prog and old metal to organic drones and installation music, from cold wave and minimal synth to shoegazing pop and head-nodding ambient dub, and I have written about a sliver of these in e/i magazine and elsewhere, as well as occasionally slipping them into DJ sets before anyone can stop me. I go to record stores by bicycle and only use headphones at home.

Michael Ross: I use a career as a music journalist to support my other career as a musician and producer. As the former, I write for Guitar Player, EQ, Sound on Sound, and puremusic.com, among others. As the latter, when not playing funk, country, and blues, I compose and perform guitar/laptop electronica under the moniker prehab.

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MP3 Discussion Group: Vladislav Delay’s ‘Tummaa’

For the next few days, several fellow ardent listeners will join me here in discussing the recent album by Vladislav Delay, Tummaa, released last month on the Leaf Records label. Delay is the adopted moniker of Sasu Ripatti, of Finland, who has made not one but several names for himself, also as Luomo and as Uusitalo, and in several ensembles, including the Moritz von Oswald Trio. The Tummaa album mixes abstract elements and found sounds into a dramatic whole. That abstraction can come to distract from its lulling sensibility, and from its rhythmic impulses. But more about that tension in the ensuing discussion.

Thanks to the folk who have agreed to participate:

Colin Buttimer has contributed to Jazzwise, e/i, Signal to Noise, The Wire, Absorb, and Milkfactory, and currently writes reviews for BBC Online. He’s responsible for hardformat.org, a website dedicated to the sublime in music design. His listening habits since 2004 can be checked out last.fm, and everything else is at www.eleventhvolume.com.

Michael Ross uses a career as a music journalist to support his other career as a musician and producer. As the former he writes for Guitar Player, EQ, Sound On Sound, and puremusic.com, among others. As the latter, when not playing funk, country, and blues, he composes and performs guitar/laptop electronica under the monicker prehab.

Alan Lockett is a sometime writer of electronic music reviews/features. Previously a contributor to e/i magazine, recent writings are mainly viewable via igloomag.com and furthernoise.org. His main interests are in ambient, drone, and the more experimental end of techno/house, post-dub, and “IDM.” He is based in Bristol, UK — a useful vantage point in being a breeding ground for stylistic tweaks which have impacted crucially in recent decades.

The track listing for Tummaa is:

  1. Melankolia
  2. Kuula (Kiitos)
  3. Mustelmia
  4. Musta Planeetta
  5. Toive
  6. Tummaa
  7. Tunnelivisio

Details on the album at theleaflabel.com and at vladislavdelay.com. Delay’s own site includes a free download of this edited version of the album’s opening track:

[audio:http://www.vladislavdelay.com/site/content/mp3s/vladislav-delay_melankolia-edit.mp3|titles=”Melankolia (Edit)”|artists=Vladislav Delay]
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MP3 Discussion Group: Jon Hassell’s ‘Last Night The Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes in the Street’

For the next few days, three ardent listeners will join me in discussing the new album by ambient-music figure Jon Hassell, Last Night the Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes in the Street, released on the ECM Records label. Most if not all of the individual tracks being discussed are streaming at last.fm. For additional information, visit the websites ecm.com and jonhassell.com. Back in 1980, Hassell collaborated with Brian Eno on the album Fourth World, Vol. 1: Possible Musics. That term, “Fourth World,” has come to be Hassell’s description of an imagined futuristic music that brings together “ancient and digital, composed and improvised, Eastern and Western.”

Introducing the Last Night the Moon discussion participants:

  • Colin Buttimer publishes hardformat.org, a website dedicated to the sublime in music design. His background is in fine art, and he’s now a photographer and webbie. He writes reviews for BBC online and used to do same for Signal to Noise, e/i, Jazzwise, The Wire, Absorb, and Milkfactory. His online life is at eleventhvolume.com.
  • Richard Kadrey is a writer and digital artist living in San Francisco. He has written extensively on technology and culture for publications such as Wired, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Discovery Online. His new novel, Sandman Slim, will be published in July 2009 by Eos.
  • Michael Ross uses a career as a music journalist to support his other career as a musician and producer. As the former he writes for Guitar Player, EQ, Sound On Sound, and puremusic.com, among others. As the latter, when not playing funk, country, and blues, he composes and performs guitar/laptop electronica under the monicker prehab.

The conversation will play out in the comments section below. This is not a closed discussion, so do feel free to join in.

Some additional details about the album, before we proceed. The lineup is: Jon Hassell (trumpet, keyboards), Peter Freeman (bass, laptop), Jan Bang (live sampling), Jamie Muhoberac (keyboard, laptop), Rick Cox (guitar, loops), Kheir Eddine M’Kachiche (violin), Eivind Aarset (guitar), Helge Norbakken (drums), Pete Lockett (drums), and Dino J.A. Deane (live sampling). Track-specific personnel are listed at the Last Night the Moon album’s discogs.com entry.

The track listing is:

    1. Aurora 2. Time And Place 3. Abu Gil 4. Last Night The Moon Came 5. Clairvoyance 6. Courtrais 7. Scintilla 8. Northline 9. Blue Period 10. Light On Water

The album was produced by ECM Records founder Manfred Eicher, and co-produced by Hassell and Freeman. Cover photo by Gérald Minkoff. Cover design by Sascha Kleis. The album title comes from a poem by 13th-century Sufi poet Rumi. Last Night the Moon was released February 3, 2009, in the United States, and March 6 in the European Union. Read more »

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MP3 Discussion Group: Burial/Four Tet’s “Moth”/”Wolf Cub”

For the next few days, several people whose reflections on music — whose enthusiasm and insight — I admire have signed on to do in public what I, for one, have been doing in private for a week-plus now: playing over and over, as well as pondering, the recent two-song 12″ by Burial and Four Tet, a pair of songs (“Moth,” “Wolf Cub”), released on the Text Records label earlier this month.

Joining me are:

  • Robert Gable is a listener and musical enthusiast who has been blogging at aworks (rgable.typepad.com) about “new” American classical music since 2003. Earlier, he played jazz saxophone and blues harp until realizing he would always pale in comparison to Sonny Rollins and Little Walter. He works for a company that develops software and hardware IP used in multimedia devices.
  • Lauren Giniger is possessed by a deadly sense of the absurd and so is often paralyzed when composing her biography. When she is able to get over herself, she can be found organizing large productions, most recently including the 24th annual World Jewish Music Festival. She lives with two adorable rabbits; her current project is developing a vaccine to fight the overblown and imaginary scourge of lagomorph influenza. Also, she occasionally write about music for the San Francisco Bay Guardian.
  • Alan Lockett is a sometime writer of electronic music reviews/features. Previously a contributor to e/i magazine, recent writings are mainly viewable via igloomag.com and furthernoise.org. His main interests are in ambient, drone, and the more experimental end of techno/house, post-dub, and “IDM.” He is based in Bristol, UK — a useful vantage point in being a breeding ground for stylistic tweaks which have impacted crucially in recent decades.

You can listen to streaming versions of the two tracks here, which I first came upon at pitchfork.com.

The discussion will play out in the comments section below.

Burial/Four Tet’s “Wolf Cub”

Burial/Four Tet’s “Moth”

PS: This is not, per a reader’s inquiry, a closed discussion, so do feel free to join in. And for anyone reading this after May 19, for the first day the tracks below were mis-titled. Sorry about that.

PPS: Given the willful opaqueness of the “Moth”/”Wolf Cub” 12″ — it comes on black vinyl in a black sleeve — I looked around for how it was being visually represented. Directly below are three such representations via, from left to right, createdigitalmusic.com, which made the requisite Spinal Tap joke; stereogum.com, which described the release as “a black sleeve and pressed onto a slab of 12″ vinyl with a black label”; and residentadvisor.net, which ignores the package and fairly thoroughly describes the music in its write-up:

Read more »

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After ‘Thursday Afternoon’

An electronic musician (Monolake), an English professor (Michael Jarrett), and a science fiction writer (Richard Kadrey), all Brian Eno fans, walk into a chat room …

This year, an electronic-music anniversary passed with little fanfare. Two decades after the release of Brian Eno’s album Thursday Afternoon, it was made newly available in a remastered edition. The occasion provided an opportunity for something I’d wanted to do for a while: host an online discussion on a specific topic, and then post a lightly edited transcript of the back’n’forth. I invited four people, one of whom ultimately wasn’t able to join in.

Over the course of two weeks, three of them conversed with me: Robert Henke, the German musician better known as Monolake; Michael Jarrett, a professor of English at Penn State York, and author of several books, including Drifting on a Read: Jazz as a Model for Writing; and Richard Kadrey, the San Francisco-based author of such science fiction novels as Metrophage and Kamikaze L’Amour.

I knew them all to be familiar with the subject, and to have creative imaginations. I’d interviewed Henke the year prior for e/i magazine (“The Organization Musician”), and I had assigned articles to both Jarrett and Kadrey while I was an editor at Pulse!, the music magazine once published by Tower Records.

The subject, Thursday Afternoon, is a unique recording in Eno’s discography. An hour-long swath of amorphous, largely organic-sounding quietude, it arrived during an ebb in the popularity of ambient music. The year 1985 was well past the tail end of the proggy 1970s, when Eno’s experiments with the studio as a musical instrument first flourished, and close to a decade would pass before a new generation of musicians, raised in the wake of the personal computer, would revive electronic music. Still, the album looked ahead more than it looked back. It took full advantage of the then new medium of the compact disc, making use of sounds that would arguably have been swallowed up in the hiss and crackle of vinyl. Likewise, it played for longer than vinyl could have accommodated without requiring a flip of the LP, certainly at any comfortable level of audio fidelity. On the other hand, it was less an album than it was a document; it was the soundtrack to a piece of video art that Eno had released on VHS the year prior. (That footage was also released this year, on DVD.)

As I warned Henke, Jarrett and Kadrey, I’d never really done anything like this before, and accordingly any lapses in communication or cogency are entirely my fault. The trio had insights into what is, in fact, one of my favorite albums, and in the course of our discussion they helped me listen to it in new ways. I plan to do more of these in the future, having gotten one under my belt. Read more »

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