Rafael Anton Irisarri – The Shameless Years [Umor Rex]
From the release info: Post-minimalist American composer Rafael Anton Irisarri makes his Umor Rex debut with bold new album, The Shameless Years. Inspired by a troubled socio-political climate, buried melodies punch their way through a bleak cover of noisy drones, periodically veering into some of Irisarri’s most eerily pertinent music to date. One of Rafael Anton Irisarri’s most thematically and sonically cohesive records to date The Shameless Years came together in a relatively short burst of creativity starting at the end of 2016. Rediscovering some relatively older tools – namely Native Instruments’ Reaktor, Absynth, and Kontakt software – Irisarri combined them with his collection of guitars, pedals, amps, and analogue processing gear, turning his Black Knoll Studio north of NYC into a powerful writing tool. Completed quickly by Irisarri’s standards, let alone during a period of social upheaval in American society, the record faces down several key personal themes. The title, suggests Irisarri, could in fact be seen as a reflection of the era of shamelessness we’re currently living in; a time of fake news and alternative facts.
Portico Quartet – Art in the Age of Automation [Gondwana Records]
2814 – 2814 [Dream Catalogue]
I discovered 2814 last year and became one of my favorite artists in Dream Catalogue label, which is an English label focused in electronic ambient, vapour, wave, cyberpunk music and aesthetic. This album is in the same sound spectrum than Rain Temple, the album I discovered them with, and for sure you will love it if you are looking for some kind of sci-fi electronic ambient to illustrate the up coming dark evenings. There is not much to add, just some bits of information: This album is not a new one, it was originally released digitally on Ailanthus Recordings in 2014, but still sounds fresh as done and published now. And second that 2814 is a collaborative project by t e l e p a t h and HKE. So, worths checking out this two projects separately, in case you enjoy this one:
The Comet Is Coming – Channel The Spirits [The Leaf Label]
I discovered The Comet Is Coming because when I checked out Roll The Dice, I also checked The Leaf Label, which I didn’t heard of before… Of course the name of the band and the psychedelic album covers got my full attention. So I decided to check their bandcamp and what I found is a mixture of post-rock, psychedelia, electronic and jazz music. You know, I have a thing for sax sounds… So here I recommend you to pay a listen to the last two releases: the special edition of Channel The Spirits (the debut album), because it includes the full album + extra tracks from the early works / tapes. And their latest EP Death To The Planet. I enjoy as much the aesthetic as their music as the titles of the songs and the descriptions along each of their works:
The Comet Is Coming, signaling an end to life as we know it, heralding the dawn of a new age. In the inevitable physical destruction of the planet, a space is created where all notions of political, social and economic hierarchy will be at once obliterated and transcended. (Death To The Planet).
The Comet Is Coming. Our saviours Danalogue The Conqueror, Betamax Killer and King Shabaka come bearing their debut album Channel The Spirits. A prophetic document. A celebration. The beginning of the end. Marvel! As it blazes a streak of phosphorescent beauty across the night sky. Listen! As a trailing meteor shower drops hot coals hissing into topographical oceans. Inhale! The burning funk of strange new flavours. The sound of the future… today. (Channel The Spirits)
Sote – Sacred Horror In Design [Opal Tapes]
I missed out this album the first time I saw its cover, around the end of July, and now it came back to me as this audio-visual project will playing in Berlin soon (September 23). I read that visual artist Tarik Barri was involved and suddenly I got interested in listening it. Thanks god we have bandcamp… And yes, this project falls in the same big drawer where I lately put all the mixtures of traditional instruments (in this case persian ones) and experimental electronic music. The result is that distinct blend of sounds from the past and the future that I like so much. And I bet the visuals will be a perfect match as it usually happens with Barri’s work.
From the release info: Developed from a commission by CTM Festival as an audio/visual project in collaboration with Tarik Barri, and inspired by their 2017 theme of ‘Fear Anger Love’ and its relationship to his childhood following the 1979 Iranian revolution, the record reveals a dramatic blend of acoustic Persian instrumentation and contemporary electronics. Sote aims to devise an idealised fusion of the musical heritage and tradition of Iran with the forward-thinking vision which has propelled his storied career producing techno, hardcore and computer music for labels like Warp, Ge-stell, Morphine and Repitch. Now living in Tehran, his music has frequently grappled with the strict cultural restrictions imposed in his country over the past few decades, finding a space and setting to nurture new developments in experimental sound and performance; first documented on last year’s ‘Hardcore Sounds From Tehran’ on Opal Tapes.
Working with Arash Bolouri who plays the santour (Persian hammered dulcimer), and Behrouz Pashaei on the long-necked, four-string setar, Sote frames and responds to their traditional artistry. On occasions he directly manipulates the music emanating from their ancient instruments, cultivating and thickening up a surreal and beautiful tonality plucked from their strings with a series of processing techniques, but mostly each track is a peaceful arrangement and partnership, Sote electro-acoustically augmenting their movements within his own cybernetic framework. The resulting form gives the impression of semi-improvised gesture between three skilled partners, a deft call and response that uses digital techniques to extend the intentions of the performers into a modern, shady, but ultimately optimistic narrative; creating an paradoxical amalgam of the mythic and the profane as strong as any folk music.
Thanks for reading!