Monday, September 30, 2013

add 0453 UNKLE

UNKLE ‎– Introducing... (Selected Works)

Surrender All ‎– SURR002CDPX
2 × CD, Compilation, Promo 

add 0452 Robben Ford

add 0451 Tegan and sara

Although identical twin sisters Tegan and Sara Quin first appeared in the music scene in the late '90s playing the kind of folk-rock and folk-punk more associated with other Lilith Fair (in which they participated) artists of the time, by the time 2007 rolled around they had moved into much poppier territory. It was a progression, to be sure, from This Business of Art to their fourth Vapor full-length -- one that can be heard in the time spent on production, the louder guitars -- but that still may not prepare listeners for The Con. Produced by Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla, the album is full of quirky, Aqueduct-like keyboards, punchy bass from Weezer's Matt Sharp and AFI's Hunter Burgan, and even some guitar help from Kaki King that stretch and shove their way into the spaces between Tegan and Sara's hook-driven melodies and clean harmonies, more complex than anything they've done before. Though each sister writes and sings lead on seven tracks, it is Sara especially who writes the more intricate pieces ("Relief Next to Me," "Like O, Like H"), showing a more adult songwriter, one who has matured since her first work came out, while Tegandraws more from simpler emo and pop-punk arrangements ("Nineteen," "Hop a Plane"), her songs more straightforward, both compositionally and lyrically, than her sister's. But this isn't to say that there's a kind of disparity or harsh contrast on The Con. Much like the duo's voices, which share a timbre, a clear relationship, even if their actual tonality differs, the songs on the album complement each other, play off the other's strengths, and make the record very much an entity instead of simply a collection of tracks, setting it off as an impressive step forward in their already commendable discography.


Sunday, September 29, 2013

add 0450 akira rabelais

Akira Rabelais - Eisoptrophobia

I love this album and i honestly didnt think we'd ever have it back in stock. When I first heard it back in 2001 I wasn’t sure what to make of it;
small subtle compositions constructed with treated piano, covered in dirt, noise and crystalline electronic elements. The more I listened however, the more I became addicted and Rabelais’ moonlit pieces began to soundtrack my evenings. The piano pieces come from very obvious sources, Satie, Bartok and Carte; however it's Rabelais’ computer aided editing (using his custom made software ‘Argephontes Lyre’) which makes them sound so alien. Skip straight to the cover of Satie’s Gymnopedie no.1 (oddly enough also covered lovingly on Isan's excellent new 7" this week) and you'll realise Rabelais’ intense skill in extracting the most intense emotion from a source familiar to most. Beautiful.


add 0449 shugo tokumaru

On L.S.T., his second album, Japanese wunderkind Shugo Tokumaru sets the controls straight for the heart of the gearwork. His electro-acoustic micro-miniatures are joyous contraptions, layers and textures slathered on with careful abandon, melodies separated between a dizzying array of guitars, pianos, chimes, whistles, glockenspiels, and stop-time rhythms. In large part, despite their eccentricities, Tokumaru's compositions are surprisingly linear. But songs like "Kiiro" are filled with such plentiful and dynamic scene changes that songs scan as sound poems, more akin toCornelius, even if they don't use much of his cut-up compositional technique. The result is an accessible album -- give or take the Japanese lyrics -- that is equal parts playful and sophisticated. Thanks to the constant instrumentation changes, the songs stay fresh, retaining a bedroom pop vibe despite their utterly obsessive arrangements. For English listeners, the Japanese lyrics only highlight the disc's otherworldly qualities, which owe -- language barrier aside -- to Tokumaru himself, as gifted a self-producer as any bedroom (literal or conceptual) has ever seen.


Saturday, September 28, 2013

add 0448 Akira Rabelais

Track titles like "1382 Wyclif Gen. II. 7" and "Caxton Golden Leg. 208b/2" don't go hand in hand with sounds so quiet and moving. Putting his Argeiphontes Lyre software to use, Akira Rabelais shifts around and reassembles performances of traditional Icelandic a cappella lament songs, field recordings that date as far back as the early '60s. Some passages sound as if they were barely touched, while others twist and fold within pillows of wind. Some notes hit with deep resonance, while others sublimate into shadowy drones. Regardless of what processing Rabelais put them through, each sound floats through your ears like a whisper but sticks when it reaches your soul.


add 0447 nine horses

Nine Horses

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Nine Horses
GenresAlternative rockjazz-rock
Years active2005–
LabelsSamadhi Sound
Associated actsJapan
MembersDavid Sylvian
Burnt Friedman
Steve Jansen
Nine Horses is a musical collaboration between singer/instrumentalist
 David Sylvian, his brother and frequent collaborator drummer 
Steve Jansen, and electronic composer/remixerBurnt Friedman.
They released their first album Snow Borne Sorrow in October 2005, 
which featured several guest contributors including Norwegian 
trumpeter Arve Henriksen, Swedish vocalist Stina Nordenstam
and Ryuichi Sakamoto on piano.
January 2007 
(December 2006 in Japan) saw 
the release of the Money for All EP, 
which featured two new tracks, 
"Money For All" and "Get the Hell Out", 
alongside remixes and interpretations 
by Friedman of various tracks from S
now Borne Sorrow.
Snow Borne Sorrow

Money for All

Friday, September 27, 2013

add 0446 Neil Young

In the late '80s, Neil Young casually mentioned in an interview that he was planning a box set of rarities and outtakes (entitled The Neil Young Archives), which would be ready for release shortly. It never appeared, even though it's supposedly still being assembled and finalized to this day. To alleviate the fans' frustration, this bootleg four-CD Italian box set appeared, and it covers all the phases of Young's lengthy concert career. The first disc (1966-1973) proves to be the best. It's here that you'll find an early barnstorming guitar version of "Cowgirl in the Sand" (clocking in at 14-and-a-half minutes) and a harmonious Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young take of "Tell Me Why." A piano-laden medley of "A Man Needs a Maid/Heart of Gold" follows, and the beautiful unreleased acoustic nuggets "Everybody's Alone" and "Dance Dance Dance" comfort the listener. Disc two (1974-1978) contains material from Young's dark period, including unplugged versions of "Pardon My Heart" and "On the Beach," recorded at New York's Bottom Line. Disc three proves to be the weakest since it covers what is widely regarded as Young's unfocused years (1982-1985). "Touch the Night" is essentially a rewrite of "Like a Hurricane," and there is a reason why "Let Your Fingers Do the Talking" was never released. The countrified "Down by the River" and a banjo version of the reflective "My Boy" save the disc from being a total washout, however. And the final disc (1986-1994) shows Young regaining his strength and focus with the definitive "Rockin' in the Free World" (from Saturday Night Live) and "Only Love Can Break Your Heart," where he is joined by friends Simon & Garfunkel. The set of four may be a bit too costly and intimidating for more casual fans, but the sound quality is consistent, and it proves to be the ultimate showcase of Young in concert. 
Track List:
Disc 1:
1. Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing - Whittier High School, Los Angeles, 1966
2. Birds - Big Sur Folk Fest, Big Sur, Calif. 69-09-13
3. Cowgirl in the Sand - Fillmore East, New York 70-03-07
4. Tell Me Why (with CSN) - Fillmore East, New York 70-07-03
5. Only Love Can Break Your Heart (with CSN) - same as above
6. Everybody's Alone - KQED Rehearsals, December 1970
7. A Man Needs a Maid & Heart of Gold - Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford, Britain 71-01-22
8. Out on the Weekend - BBC TV Studios, London 71-02-23
9. Love in Mind - same as above
10. Dance Dance Dance - same as above
11. Cripple Creek Ferry - Carnegie Hall, New York 73-01-21
12. L.A. - same as above
13. Soldier - same as above
14. Harvest - JFK Center, Washington, D.C. 73-01-28
15. Sweet Joni - Civic Auditorium, Bakersfield, Calif. 73-01-20
16. Tonight's the Night - Golden Auditorium, NYC Queens College 73-11-15 (2nd show)
17. Tired Eyes - same as above

Disc 2:
1. Pardon My Heart - Bottom Line, New York 74-05-16
2. On the Beach - same as above
3. Traces - CSNY: The Coliseum, Seattle 74-07-09
4. Human Highway - same as above
5. Love Art Blues - same as above
6. Hawaiian Sunrise - CSNY: Roosevelt Raceway, Westbury, N.Y. 74-09-08
7. Like a Hurricane - Festival Hall, Osaka, Japan 76-03-05
8. Stringman - Hammersmith Odeon, London 76-03-31
9. Evening Coconut - Stills-Young Band: Civic Center, Springfield, Mass. 76-06-27
10. Long May You Run - Stills-Young Band: Civic Center, Providence, R.I. 76-07-07
11. Southern Man - same as above
12. Give Me Strength - The Auditorium, Chicago 76-11-15
13. Comes a Time - The Catalyst, Santa Cruz, Calif. 77-08-27
14. Sail Away - same as above
15. Lady Wingshot - Bicentennial Park, Miami 77-11-12
16. Shots - Boarding House, San Francisco 78-05-24
17. Come on Baby, Let's Go Downtown (Whitten-Young) - Civic Center, Providence, R.I. 78-09-25

Disc 3:
1. If You Got Love - Scandinavium, Gothenburg, Sweden 82-10-08
2. Transformer Man - same as above
3. My Boy - Palmer Auditorium, Austin, Texas 83-01-14
4. Old Ways - Cal Expo Amphitheater, Sacramento, Calif. 83-07-26
5. Kinda Fonda Wanda - same as above
6. Gonna Rock Forever - The Catalyst, Santa Cruz, Calif. 84-02-07 2nd show
7. Touch the Night - same as above
8. Amber Jean - "Austin City Limits" TV show, Austin, Texas 84-09-25
9. Good Phone - same as above
10. Helpless - same as above
11. Down by the River - same as above
12. Interstate - proposed but unreleased Farm Aid EP; USA 1985
13. Grey Riders - same as above
14. Nothing Is Perfect - same as above
15. Southern Pacific - same as above

Disc 4:
1. Mideast Vacation - Tough on Toxic Benefit, Long Beach, Calif. 86-08-28
2. Road of Plenty (Eldorado) - Metropolitan Center, Minneapolis 86-10-17
3. Computer Age - Palatrussardi, Milan, Italy 87-05-05
4. Bad News - Poplar Creek Music Theater, Hoffman Estates, Ill. 88-08-16
5. Ordinary People - Jones Beach, Wantaugh, N.Y. 88-08-27
6. Rockin' in the Free World - "Saturday Night Live" TV show, New York 89-09-30
7. Winterlong - Ahoy Sportpaleis, Rotterdam, Netherlands 89-12-13
8. Silver and Gold - Civic Center, Santa Monica, Calif. 90-03-31
9. Campaigner - Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, N.Y. 91-03-16
10. Homefires - Orpheum Theatre, Boston 92-03-20
11. Only Love Can Break Your Heart - Children's Health Fund benefit, Los Angeles 93-03-01
12. Mr. Soul - Ahoy Sportpaleis, Rotterdam, Netherlands 93-07-05
13. Separate Ways - Torhout Festival, Belgium 93-07-03
14. Philadelphia - Academy Awards, Los Angeles 94-03-21


Thursday, September 26, 2013

add 0445 Frisell

History, Mystery is among Bill Frisell's most eclectic yet accessible projects. Produced by longtime ally Lee Townsend, this double-disc, 90-minute, 30-piece suite encompasses the full range of Frisell's musical past and his influences, obsessions, and storylike vision. It is performed by a star-studded octet that includes trumpeter Ron Miles, saxophonist Greg Tardy, and a string section featuring Eyvind KangJenny Scheinman, and Hank Roberts, with bassist Tony Scherr and drummer Kenny Wollesen in the rhythm section. History, Mystery dances across entire musical landscapes: bebop/post-bop, Malian folk music, tangos, Delta blues, modern classical music, vintage soul, and rock. The source material for this recording was compiled from a multimedia collaboration with artist Jim Woodring called Mysterio Sympatico in 2002 and recorded during a tour. The rest was recorded for Stories from the Heart of the Land, a 2007 series on National Public Radio. Frisell composed most of this work, but his own "history" is revealed in his choice of covers: Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come," "Jackie-Ing" by Thelonious Monk, "Sub-Conscious Lee" by Lennie Tristano, and "Baba Drame" by Malian guitar legend Boubacar Traoré. The sense of "mystery" is in just how these various sources are melded in a multi-textured tapestry of sound. Balance for this work is achieved in the strength of its arrangements, and the glue that binds them together is the string section. Its role is pivotal: it anchors the listener through its many stylistic and textural changes. The notion of "history" here is also revealed in the way songs are juxtaposed. For instance, a soul tune like "A Change Is Gonna Come" actually precedes a knotty yet swinging bop number like "Jackie-Ing."
Non-American sources are cited, too. The nuevo tango-inspired "Probability Cloud" is the theme that bookends disc one. It begins as a digital guitar soundscape before an Astor Piazzolla-inspired tango comes to the fore in the strings.Traoré's droning desert blues "Baba Drame features an interlude that evokes late-19th century Spanish folk music, itself inspired by the chants and sung prayers of the Moors centuries before. Disc two engages themes, departures, and returns in numerous ways: the haunting, near-ambient "Monroe," with guitar and viola in the forefront; the spectral "Lazy Robinson" that floats between carnival music and modern classical composition with a rock backbeat (in waltz tempo); and the two-part "Answer," a strange, nightmarish, and disorienting sketch where the strings play an actual counterforce to Frisell's guitar. The music here is very adventurous and exploratory yet completely accessible. "Faces," with its traces of Gil Evans and Igor Stravinsky, contrasts wonderfully with the tough bebop in "Sub-Conscious Lee (itself furthered by Scheinman's violin referencing Stéphane Grapelli's Gypsy swing). "Waltz for Baltimore" places the grittiness of Tardy's guttural rhythm & blues honk against Frisell's elegant, modernist jazz chords; they are both made slightly surreal by Scheinman's violin, playing a minimal loop that bridges and yet displaces eras in ether. History, Mystery is an ambitious work; it's full of elliptical, riveting moments, shape-shifting colors, and multivalent textures.Frisell's inherent love of formal lyricism, expansive harmonics, and divergent musical histories reflects his tireless passion for tracing sources. In composing his own material, he also interprets and arranges his sources. On History, Mystery he achieves musical alchemy; he creates something new from familiar, exotic, and even forgotten forms, providing listeners with a magical aural experience.

add 0444 beth Gibbons

Out of Season plays to Beth Gibbons' strengths as a vocalist and songwriter more than anything released prior byPortishead. On both Dummy and Portishead, her pained, worn, resilient voice was often made to sound as if it was as much an artifact as the Isaac Hayes and Lalo Schifrin samples. That voice of hers was perfectly suited for the backing provided by her bandmates, but more than a few wondered if it would sound even more perfect -- or in a better setting, naked and completely central -- if it were supported by the type of folk, jazz, and R&B recordings it could've been plucked from in the first place. That "what if" is answered with this album, made by Gibbons in collaboration with Paul Webb, several of his fellow Talk Talk alums, and numerous others. Brass, strings, reeds, organs, acoustic guitar, double bass, and lightly brushed drums are all part of the mix, which never threatens to take the spotlight away fromGibbons. The lyrical themes aren't much of a departure for the singer, who contemplates the passing of time and her love/hate relationship with existence throughout -- one song opens with "God knows how I adore life," and then one song later, she's "So tired of life." The icing on the cake is in the little details, like the sly Carol Kaye imitation snuck in by bassist Adrian Utley during "Romance" and the way the background vocals discreetly drift in and out, alternating between serene and spooky. The sticker that came affixed to the disc contains a quote that proclaims this to be one of the best albums of all time. While that is a stretch, there's no denying that the quote below that one -- "Quietly devastating" -- is 100 percent accurate.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

add 0443 Metheny Mehldau

Guitarist Pat Metheny and pianist Brad Mehldau created a stir in 2006 with their wonderful duet recording. On that set, two of the album's ten cuts featured Mehldau's rhythm section of bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard.Quartet is a mirror image: seven of these 11 cuts are full quartet sides. The musical magic established by that collaboration sets the stage for the pair to dig deeper here. It's true that melodic and harmonic invention is the root of each of the tunes here, though that doesn't mean there isn't room to move. Metheny's Way Up recording offered ample of evidence of how compositional sophistication could accomplish virtually anything. There, the players had written parts, but also had room for improvisation within that framework. The same happens here, though the pieces are shorter. Partial evidence of this is the disc's second selection, "The Sound of Water," which has a nearly pastoral theme. But Metheny uses counterpoint on a 12-string guitar to meet Mehldau's chordal investigation. One need only go one cut further in on "Fear and Trembling," by Mehldau, to see how quickly the two can step outside their bonds while retaining their commitment. The knotty playing with distortion by Metheny moves toward the rhythm section, which establishes the kind of fluidity his sense of time requires. Mehldau's own post-bop modal solo works through the lyric frames in the tune's structure and cuts through them, finding their densities and spaces. Grenadier's elasticity as a bassist allows the time to float and shift -- seemingly -- without ever losing the harmonic thread even whenMetheny moves outside toward the end of the cut.
The duet ballad "Don't Wait," with Metheny on acoustic guitar, comes together with all the warmth and textured lyric sensibility that their debut displayed. These two men are not at all self-conscious here; they seem to hear each other in both solo and chorus with equally gentle ears. The shimmering piano on "Towards the Light" finds Mehldau exploring those gorgeous multi-note phrases he loves so much, with Metheny reacting sparely and creating a virtual shimmering in the cut. Ballard is very impressive here as he shades his beats with cymbals and rim shots, and gives the entire cut something earthy to hang onto. There are two Latin-tinged (barely) tunes, "En la Terra Que No Olvida" (Metheny) and "Santa Cruz Slacker" (Mehldau). The former is knottier and less obvious, but the meter is one Brubeckemployed a lot in the early '60s and perhaps it serves as a model here. The latter cut is more languid on the surface, but Ballard's drumming is simply out of this world as he skitters and scampers all over and in front of the band throughout. There is perhaps no surprise at how well these two communicate -- especially with a rhythm section as wonderful as this one is. If there is a feeling that some tunes run together, they don't; this is not a suite, but a solid amalgam of brilliant musicianship, with a humble approach that is elegant and dignified. These guys have come up with a gorgeous and sexy creation, and listeners should be delighted to spend some time with it.

add 0442 Piazzolla


add 0441 PJ Harvey

Retreating from the limelight after the tour for To Bring You My LovePJ Harvey returned to her small hometown of Yeovil and isolated herself from most pop trends, eventually writing the material that would come to comprise her fourth album, Is This Desire? Released over three and a half years after To Bring You My LoveIs This Desire? has all the hallmarks of a record written in isolation; subtle, cerebral, insular, difficult to assimilate, it's the album where Polly Harvey enters the ranks of craftsmen, sacrificing confession for fiction. It's an inevitable transition for any artist, especially one as lyrically gifted as Harvey, and though her words are more obtuse and not as brutal, painful, or clever, she still draws some effective character sketches. Similarly, the music on Is This Desire? is hardly the immediate, blunt force that characterized her first albums, nor is it the grand theater of To Bring You My Love -- it takes its time, slowly working its way into the subconsciousness. There are a few guitar explosions scattered throughout the record, but it's primarily a series of layered keyboards, electronic rhythms, and acoustic guitars; it's so quiet that at times it barely rises above a murmur, and occasionally floats away without leaving a lasting impression. It seems to challenge the listener to accept it on its own grounds, but once you dig deeper, it winds up offering diminishing rewards. It is more concerned with texture than any of her previous records, but it doesn't push forward enough -- it's either standard hard rockers or mournful ballads underpinned by lite electronica beats, which would have more impact if they were more pronounced. Since Harvey is an extraordinarily gifted songwriter, the album is hardly devoid of merit, but it's her least focused or successful record to date.