Music Discussion Thread #13: A Depression

Let’s discuss any and all music here. You’ve got a new artist who’s rocking your boat that you want to talk about? Post a video! Found out about that unearthed Coltrane album that has the jazz freak in you losing your mind? Lay it out for us! Do you have a theory about what your favorite band might do for their next album? Let’s hear it! Anything and everything music-related goes here, but do please remember to also pay attention to the more niche threads; if your post would either fit better or equally well in one of them, please post it there as well. I absolutely do not want to steal traffic from those threads.

Prompt for this week What do you listen to when you’re depressed. Because I’m depressed.

Sigil’s Music Journal (2018-10-04/2018-10-11)

als.jpgPhantom Horse – Als Ob (2017). Phantom Horse are two dudes from Germany that formed in 2012 and released an album on Dekorder. Then they moved over to Umor Rex for 2015’s Different Forces and this album from last year. I had no heard of them before this album came out, and I picked it up because I liked it’s unassuming progressive electronic music sound. It reminds me of something that might come out with little fanfare on Stunned around 2010. It’s got clean synth lines, drones, found sounds, etc. The last track gets a bit more explicitly Krautrock-y with some nice grooves and shit. Pretty good. 7/10

Thanksgiving.jpgThanksgiving – Thanksgiving (Fuck the World; I Am Yours; Welcome Home Human) (2005). A long album in three parts by this psuedonym for Adrian Orange. For fans of Microphones, especially the more acoustic centered Microphones. Indeed, this was published in partnership with P.W. Elverum & Sun, Ltd., and damned if it doesn’t sound like a collection of The Microphones b-sides and demos. Elverum even sings on a couple tracks, here. The central piece is a 12 minute choral piece (I guess), with the phrase ‘I am yours’ repeated throughout underscored by an acoustic guitar, and unintrusive found sounds. All in all, it’s pretty okay, but it doesn’t really set me on fire, or anything. 6/10

Friday New Music Lightning Round: Marie Davidson – Working Class Woman. Good, solid electronic dance and chill out music with a focus on female frustration. Fourth album by Davidson, and certainly her best. Cat Power – Wanderer. I used to be really into Cat Power, and her album run from Moonpix to The Greatest is still really, really good. This is a comeback after a fairly long hiatus, and it’s somewhat hesitant. I’m enjoying it, but it’s not blowing me away. Jerusalem in My Heart – Daqa’iq Tudaiq. I had thought Jerusalem in my Heart was a more electronic based deployment of traditional Arabic music, but this seems very traditional. That’s fine, I’m just not really in the mood for it. Puce Mary – The Drought. This really is something special, noise music, for sure, but with an edge of beauty. There’s a fair amount of spoken word in this, but it’s all to serve the atmosphere, which is impeccable.

cover.jpgThyshawn Sorey – Pillars. “Pillars 1” (2018). This is a new 3 disc set from Tyshawn Sorey, that isn’t coming out until the 12th. However, Firehouse 12 is offering the first track as a preview, and the first track is the first CD, and the first CD is 77 minutes long. So you get a pretty damn good preview of what’s going on here, and what’s going on here is… I don’t know. There’s a lot going on here. There’s long stretches of solo stuff, mixed with other parts where the whole band comes together. Its a spacious piece, with very dense moments, little melody, and barely any groove. It’ll be interesting to see where the rest of the CDs take the material.

Taut.jpgIngrid Plum – Taut (2018). From what I can tell from the copy text on the label’s bandcamp page, Plum commissioned fourteen different composers, to come up with fourteen different vocal scores for her in unconventional notation. Because the scores are central to the concept of the album, it’s a bit disappointing that you can only view them by purchasing a separate book for around $45 including shipping. Recently I’ve been very interested in reading unconventional scores while listening to performances of them, so it’s doubly disappointing for me. But, I mean, I could obviously just buy the book… Anyway. The music stands on its own, however. This is another great example of avant-garde vocal techniques, and there’s a lot of different approaches here, including using tape, found sounds, digital manipulation, etc. Also, it has one of my favorite covers of the year. 9/10

Krebbs.jpgAnnette Krebs; Taku Unami – motubachii (2010). I bought this the week before last when bandcamp was having their fundraiser. At the time, Erstwhile discounted their stock by 10%, which isn’t much, of course, but it’s nice. I don’t know too much about either artist here, though they’ve both been around the eai scene for quite some time. This is pretty lowercase stuff, with some humanity seeping in through shortwave radio. This type of music is difficult to listen to, right now, because I feel like it really benefits from coming out of a loudspeaker and playing in a very quiet room. I’ve only been able to hear in my headphones, and I think I miss a few of the details. It’s beguiling, that’s for sure. I don’t know who’s playing what or why. But they’re playing and that’s enough. 8/10

nadja.jpgNadja – Sonnbonner (2018). I’m familiar with Nadja, but besides a Black Boned Angel collaboration, this is the first album that I’ve actually bought form them. Nadja is very prolific, and seems to vacillate between crushing doom, and ambient guitar drone. Sometimes that’s between albums, sometimes its within songs. This is the latter. The first track is exactly 30 minutes long and uses that dynamic to both relax, build tension, and deploy bliss. After the first track, though, things fly off the rails in the second half. There’s five tracks on here, the first, like I said, is 30 minutes long, and the other four only take up 12 minutes. They go from blissed out ecstasy to straight up thrash metal in a snap of the fingers. Things calm down a little for the remaining tracks, but the effect is drastic and lasting. It’s a really great album. 8/10

two.jpgTwo or The Dragon –  Prelude for the Triumphant Man (2017). This is a short debut ep on the excellent Nawa Recordigns from this Lebanese duo. They have a rather strange name: It has an Arabic version on their facebook page: التنين. Google Translate tells me that that translates to ‘The Dragon’. اثنان is ‘Two’. ‘Altinin’ vs. ‘athnan’. I’m not sure if that’s a reference to a regional pronunciation, or what. In any case. The music here is exceptional. It’s one piece in three parts, each getting noisier and noisier. The last part is the only one with vocals, which seem to be intoned through a bullhorn or something. It’s propulsive Arabic drum based music, with snatches of noise interwoven. I’m really looking forward to what they’re doing next, because this is excellent. 9/10

Matchess.jpgMatchess – Sacracorpa (2018). This came out this year, but it’s apparently part of a trilogy that Matchess has been working on starting in 2013 with Seraphastra continuing in 2015 with Somnaphoria and concluding with this album. They’re all bright, electronic centered dronescapes, with Matchess’s vocals echoing through. Beautiful cassette scene pieces, this release seems to be mastered to be clearer than the others, but it’s still buried in synth. Good stuff. 8/10

Byrne.jpgNadine Byrne – Dreaming Remembering (2018). I was hooked on this from the first track’s pitchshifted monologue over synth waves: “What is this?” Byrne asks, and answers, “This? This is a collaboration between a woman, and a woman, and a woman. It’s just a giant wave. Fabrication of memory. An imagery of pain. The togetherness of the different.” This sets up a focus on femininity, connection, and in a way, absurdity. The album came out of nowhere for me. I think Boomkat hyped it earlier this year, but I never looked into it. I’m glad I eventually did. It’s really good. 9/10