September 30, 2007

Tony Hymas - Oyaté


Tony Hymas is best known for his work with Jeff Beck on the Grammy-winning Guitar Shop album, and on many world tours as a cornerstone of Jeff's live band. Oyaté with its striking blend of Native American music and European jazz showcases Tony's talents as a composer and arranger.

Oyaté is a tribute to twelve great Native American Indian Chiefs. Great European rock and jazz performers such as Jeff Beck, Mike Cooper, Hugh Burns and Tony Coe (both of The Lonely Bears) join together with Native American luminaries like John Trudell, Carlos Nakai, Barney Bush, and Kevin Locke, to honor the spirits of Crazy Horse, Chief Joseph, Captain Jack, Geronimo, Sitting Bull and seven other great chiefs who contributed to the spiritual and political leadership of their tribes.
From the signature guitar sound of Jeff Beck on "Crazy Horse" to the gentle piano of Tony Hymas on "Say Tey Ti" to the inspiring flute of Kevin Locke on "Chief Song" (written by Sitting Bull), Oyaté rewards listeners with a variety of musical textures. The mixture of rock, jazz, modern classical and folk music will keep the attention of the listener as a serious musical concept, as well as an enjoyable listening experience.
Lyrics by John Trudell, Barney Bush and Tom Bee will provoke thought and discussion of the fate of the Indian tribes which were lead by these twelve great chiefs. Oyaté presents stories with insight into the lives of actual human beings who have survived great tragedy, and come out of it with a positive, spiritual attitude.
Mpc@Xtreme: cd1 & cd2
Mp3@vbr"extreme": cd1 & cd2

Like what you hear, buy it! And support the artists that really need it.

September 27, 2007

Terje Rypdal

-Whenever I seem to be far away-
1974 (ecm)

Terje Rypdal- Electric Guitar
Jon Christensen- Drums, Percussion
Sveinung Hovensj�- 4 & 6-String Bass
Pete Knutsen- Electric Piano , Mellotron
Odd Ulleberg French Horn
Members of Sudfunk Symphony Orchestra/Mladen Gutesha - Conductor on Track 3

Even the starkly beautiful cover photo of this 1974 gem by Norwegian guitarist/composer Terje Rypdal is something of the music contained within.
Shown here are but 2 sides of Rypdal's ever evolving muse. Let's deal with the first two songs. "Silver Bird.." and "The Hunt". Listening to these I can't help but think what it might've been like if Jimi Hendrix hooked up with the rhythm section from Magma (the heavy throbbing fuzz-bass, rippling electric piano and insistent drumming) and got someone from a 70's vintage King Crimson lineup to have themselves a good 'ol time on a mellotron ("just play it reeeeeaaallllll spoooooky man") and for really conveying that lonesome, windswept Norwegian wilderness sound, stir in the stark, melodious French Horn. Does it work, you may ask. Most certainly!!! "Silver Bird--" begins with an unsettling theme with French Horn and the spookiest Mellotron work you ever heard this side of King Crimson or Morte Macabre. From there, the whole band roars in and blurs the line between improvised and written out passages. There are several distinct themes that are cued in and out by Rypdal, in a manner not unlike late 60's to mid 70's Miles Davis or Gil Evans. What a ride!! "The Hunt" is more "written out", relatively speaking, but still has enough little surprises to keep you on the edge of your seat.
And now the title cut. Here, we abruptly shift gears and wind up with the formality of a chamber orchestra in a piece written by Terje, although quite formal in structure, it nevertheless conveys vivid colors and haunting emotions. Throughout it all, Terje Rypdal's guitar work clearly shows the influence of Jimi Hendrix, and filters it through the eyes of modern classical composers and avant-garde jazz and rock sensibilities alike.

Any prog or fusion fan should definitely have this in their library!! Just bundle up real good and be careful climbing those fjords!
(Progressive Ears)
New Link in comment.

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September 25, 2007

Electronic Music (Three EP's)

Statskcartsa - Untie (EP)

2006 (boltfish)

The only release by Greg Haines under the moniker of Statskcartsa, based on tracks made in the summer of 2005, plus a Statskcartsa remix of CHEjU's 'Pachinko' as a bonus track.
Also contains remixes by CHEjU, MINT and Greg Haines.
This limited release has now been deleted.

Download: mediafire

Keith Fullerton Whitman - Lisbon (EP)
2006 (kranky)

The works of Whitman have veered from minimalist compositions that are reminiscent of the dampened sounds of the Arctic gale to the dark, unfettered thrashings of Krautrock. This document stands out from past efforts for the simple fact that, rather than following his tendency to rework compositions until every element is polished and impeccable, here he allows the original effort stand on its own, blemishes and all.
This having been said, Lisbon is a far cry from being muddled and rudimentary. To the contrary, this single forty-minute piece demonstrates a careful build from smooth, serene sine-waves, high stinging tones - sounding not unlike the shrill chirp of newborn birds - and long-held organ chords to metallic scraping noises, erratic single note guitar lines that pulse like blood, and delicious smears of pure sound.
The arc of this composition also warrants further inspection, for rather than opting for marked contrasts, and more or less abrupt shifts, Whitman nurses this music along ever so slowly, and, as a result, the ensuing tension is all the more palpable for the care that went into its development. Whitman also demonstrates power within this self-imposed confinement, planting within each phase a plethora of detail - from the muted percussive sighs and low frequency static vibrations of the earlier moments to the pockets of fuzzed out, decaying feedback that are splashed about the latter half. While perhaps not arising from a stern zealousness, one imagines that the care evident in the unfolding of these events is the result of the appreciation and awe Whitman felt over his recent surroundings in Galeria Ze Dos Bois, where this piece was recorded. Not surprisingly, an unencumbered imagination brimming with sprightly moods runs rampant throughout this charming album.(Max Schaefer)

Download: mediafire

Telefon Tel Aviv - Immediate Action #8 (EP)

Telefon Tel Aviv is a Chicago-based electronic music group (relocated from New Orleans in 2001) primarily known for their work in the intelligent dance music genre.

Formed in 1999 by Charles Cooper and Joshua Eustis, their first album was released in the fall of 2001 to positive reviews. In 2002 they released an EP under the Hefty Records Immediate Action label where vocalist Lindsay Anderson (from L'Altra) was added to the group.

Download: mediafire

September 23, 2007

Trygve Seim

Different Rivers

Trygve Seim
tenor and soprano saxophones
Arve Henriksen trumpet, trumpophone, vocals
Håvard Lund clarinet, bass clarinet
Nils Jansen bass and sopranino saxophones, contrabass clarinet
Hild Sofie Tafjord french horn
David Gald tuba
Stian Carstensen accordion
Bernt Simen Lund cello
Morten Hannisdal cello
Per Oddvar Johansen drums
Paal Nilssen-Love drums
Øyvind Brække trombone
Sidsel Endresen recitation

An extended band deliver a remarkable sequence of tone-trances, at times faintly suggestive of Carla Bley and Gil Evans, but based on very small melodic motifs, given strength and mesmeric fascination by progressive harmonic overlays and tonal variation. Ulrikas Dans is a six-note ascending figure that turns into a surging clamour of sound, Intangible Waltz like Carla Bley drifting through musical dry ice, African Sunrise like exuberant Gild Evans and For Edward and Breathe as still and focused as a yoga meditation. Wonderful.
John Fordham, The Guardian (Jazz CD of the week)

Download(mp3@320): rapidshare part1 & rapidshare part2


Trygve Seim tenor and soprano saxophones
Håvard Lund clarinet, bass clarinet
Nils Jansen bass saxophone, contrabass clarinet
Arve Henriksen trumpet
Tone Reichelt french horn
Lars Andreas Haug tuba
Frode Haltli accordion
Morten Hannisdal cello
Per Oddvar Johansen drums
Øyvind Brække trombone
Helge Sunde trombone
String Ensemble
Christian Eggen conductor

For a composer whose work produces such fundamental tones, and sounds so eerily familiar, the Norwegian saxophonist Trygve Seim often seems to be discovering the possibilities of sound-making instruments for the first time. Though Seim’s albums rely on a broad sound canvas now almost routine in European jazz-influenced contemporary music, his work since the millennium has been remarkable for its exploratory freshness. … Sangam continues the line of development Seim introduced with 2000’s Different Rivers and 2002’s free-jazzier The Source. An 11-piece jazz ensemble is joined to a classical string group here, with the soloists including the imaginative trumpeter Arve Henriksen, clarinettist Havard Lund and accordionist Frode Haltli. … Seim’s subtle and sumptuous overlaying of textures creates a sense of constant evolution none the less, from the lonely musings of the clarinet against arco bass at the opening, to the stately ascent of the band against Henriksen’s first trumpet appearances. …
Eerily hymnal contemporary jazz from a unique ensemble long overdue for a trip here.
John Fordham, The Guardian

NEW Link:
Download(Mp3@320): rapidshare part1 & rapidshare part2

The Source

Trygve Seim tenor and soprano saxophones
Øyvind Brække trombone
Mats Eilertsen double-bass
Per Oddvar Johansen drums

This is more explicitly jazzy, with sax/trombone/bass/drums group the Source exploring a lazily animated, free-swing music influenced not only by Garbarek’s ghostly meditations but also by the more urgently quirky lines of Ornette Coleman. Trombonist Oyvind Braekke, a Coleman fan, has a bigger influence on this set than on previous ones, and drummer Per Oddvar Johansen and bassist Mats Eilertsen stir in fluid, restless undercurrents. For Seim stalwarts, however, there a re plenty of long trombone notes, spacey bass figures, whispering sax, cymbal washes and even some perkily assertive swing. This may be the most creative band at the sharp end of the north European scene.
John Fordham, The Guardian

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September 21, 2007

Ravi Shankar & Philip Glass - Passages


This historic collaboration brings full circle a process which began when promising young American musician Philip Glass met Indian master Ravi Shankar in Paris in 1965. That week Glass, studying with the great Nadia Bulanger, was earning pocket money doing notation and conducting a recording session for the soundtrack of Conrad Rook's film "Chappacqua." The score's composer, Ravi Shankar, was directing his ensemble from the sitar.
Ravi recalls, "From the very first moment I saw such interest from him -he was a young man then— and he started asking me questions about ragas and talas and started writing down the whole score, and for the seven days he asked me so many questions. And seeing how interested he was I told him everything I could in that short time."
"It was possible to graduate from a major Western conservatory, in my case Juilliard, " remembers Glass, "without exposure to music from outside the Western tradition. World music was completely unknown in the mid-60's."
"What the young Glass heard which lay beyond his conservatory hermeticity was RHYTHM, long out of fashion in the world of American academic post-Webernism, with its almost exclusive concern for harmonic organization. Indian music is based on melody, which would get you laughed at Princeton or Columbia, and rhythm, which, despite Stravinsky's efforts in works like "Le Sacre du Printemps" or "Les Noces" was considered "incidental" to constructing 12-tone rows and other serious contrapuntal matters.

So for someone to play for the budding composer an expressive, vital, respect-worthy music — based on 4,000 years of refining the interaction between the two forgotten elements of Western music— must have been mildly astonishing at the very least. He realized that one could construct music on a rhythmic, as opposed to a harmonic, base.
Also, unlike most of the composers Glass had met up till that time, Ravi Shankar was a player, a composer/performer, whose authority arose from intimate hands-on contact with the music itself, and the other musicians, with whom he regularly shared a vibrating column of air. Glass became a student of Shankar's, Philip Glass today acknowledges "I owe a lot to Ravi; he was one of my teachers. "
The movement Philip Glass helped to create was called "Minimalism," and the founding Minimalists are all fine performers. Whatever differences they may have had in the mid-60's, what they had in common was the dynamic re-assertion of the primacy of rhythm.
They chose different sources: Steve Reich was drawn by African drumming and Balinese gamelan (as well as Be-bop); Terry Riley by Northern Indian vocal techniques under the guidance of the legendary Pandit Pran Nath, as well as blues and jazz improvisation; and in the next generation, John Adams points to rock and roll as well as the early Minimalists, as his seminal influences.
Pandit Ravi Shankar went to collaborations with Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Jean-Pierre Rampal and the much-publicized master/pupil relationship with Beatle George Harrison that served to introduce Indian music (and its inherent spirituality) to a generation of rock fans. Film scores such as the legendary Apu trilogy, "Charly" and "Gandhi" as well as additional cross-cultural excursions into other musical traditions, have enriched his palette, all the while he has remained pre-eminent in the classical Indian music which traces its history to at least 2,000 B.C.

Philip Glass, in part through re-emphasizing the role of rhythm in his music (influenced by non-Western forms including Indian Raga) has created a uniquely affective music for opera [Einstein on the Beach (1976), Satyagraha (1982), Akhnaten (1984), The Making of the Representative for Planet 8 (1988) and Hydrogen Jukebox based on the poetry of Allen Ginsberg (1990)], film (Koyaanisqatsi, Mishima and The Thin Blue Line), ballet and concert hall.

Peter Baumann, founder of Private Music, (who had been a member of the Minimalist / Rock band Tangerine Dream and an admirer of all of the above) responded enthusiastically when the record company's President/CEO, Ron Goldstein, suggested in the summer of 1989, that they bring the now-famous Philip Glass back into musical contact with the ever expanding world of Ravi Shankar.

Unlike previous Shankar "collaborations" (actually elaborate sessions with masters of other musical traditions joining Ravi to "jam" on his own music) the Glass encounter was rare instance of classical music reciprocity, each composer presenting thematic material to the other as raw material from which these finished pieces were fashioned. Passages contains four such co-ventures: two Glass compositions on themes by Shankar (Shankar / Glass); two Shankar compositions on themes by Glass (Glass / Shankar) as well as one piece from each composer completely of his own devising.
(Martin Perlich)


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Pass= culturepas
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September 20, 2007

Tartar Lamb - Sixty Metonymies (2007)

Toby Driver in the past two years has been quite the prolific artist. Releasing his debut solo album, a collection of intensely precise and planned compositions, in late 2005 on Tzadik was his first attempt to distance himself from the extremely epic release "Choirs of the Eye" that had made his band Kayo Dot a critical and underground favorite. Kayo Dot also released their second LP in early 2006; "Dowsing Anemone with Copper Tongue" was an experiment in the subtle and drawn out. Sure, "Choir"'s strong emotional crescendos were present in "Dowsing", but gone were their epic conclusions. These spots were instead replaced with explosions of noise or ten minutes of drifting guitar work. As Toby himself stated, he felt "Choirs of the Eye" was perfection in what it had attempted to do, so instead of following what most "metal" bands would've done and staying put in his popular musical formula, Toby tried to do something different.
With the release of "Sixty Metonymies", Toby has finally reached the full sound he has been hinting at since his solo release almost two years ago. A sonically sparse and repetitive listen that is referred to by its own composer as a composition built "in such a way that each figure can be heard as metonymical to each other", "Sixty Metonymies" is a dizzying recording that cycles through such a vast cycle of arrangements in such a short time that it'll certainly leave the listener bewildered upon first listen. Certainly Toby's other projects have also had this stigma attached to them, but moments like the intense full band explosion in "The Manifold Curiosity" left the listener some memorable or familiar portion of the song to latch on to on further listen. "Sixty Metonymies" is devoid of these trigger moments and almost completely removed from vocal performance. To describe it as "catchy" would be the overstatement of the decade.
On this recording Toby and Mia Matsumiya's excellent performance is accented by "extended percussionist" Andrew Greenwald and horn player Tim Byrnes of the group Friendly Bears. Greenwald's style of percussion is a fantastic addiction to the bizarre composition of "60 Metonymies". Rarely relying on the traditional, his implication of various objects such as stray metals flavors the more "compositional" parts of the piece with an urgency of modernism. While Greenwald's performance is one of a kind, trumpet player Byrnes is seemingly invoking the kind of playing that was a staple on Kayo Dot's "Dowsing Anemone with Copper Tongue" It gives the trumpet performance a sort of "we've already heard this" feel and while it isn't necessarily distracting it is somewhat disappointing. Toby's guitar playing is mostly focused on seemingly replicating a piano but his subtle implication of selected chord phrasing gives the piece a more varied feel. Toby is able to prolong an otherwise excessive repetitiveness by always casually advancing into more beautiful and interesting melodies. Mia finally seems to expose her prowess as the group's most experienced player. Her usage of various extended techniques is at the same time virtuous and restrained. Tartar Lamb once again shows her as a key player in any setting, not unlike say a musician like Eric Dolphy who even in his performances of other's works added so much to the playing that without him or her in Mia's case the piece would fall apart. Finally, while Toby's vocal performance is not featured very often when he does add slight breathing, whistling or the final monologue it is a breath of fresh almost childish air.
"60 Metonymies" is yet another emotionally and compositionally brilliant addition to Toby Driver's resume. It is obvious that Toby has mastered his own vision of minimalism with this record and it'll be interesting to see where he goes next. Conquering one's perception of the both the entirely bombastic and entirely reserved is not an easy task but one has to question where Toby will go from here. Kayo Pop? I'm sure like many of his gracious fan base, the next release associated with one of the most interesting composers of our time will not only challenge my sense of music but Toby's own. And that is where Tartar Lamb succeeds, they are not saturated in the idea of pleasing fans but instead just themselves. On the way to record this album Tartar Lamb performed a variety of shows across the north half of the U.S. I was lucky enough to persuade them to come to my home town of State College, Pennsylvania and after the performance Toby, Mia and I listened to an unmastered copy of "60 Metonymies". Where most artists would've grown bored or unimpressed with a piece they'd been working of for two years, Toby and Mia seemed just as fascinated with the recording as me. Pointing out subtle percussion parts, discussing each others' techniques, and even joking about the conclusion, it was obvious that the same devoted and massively appreciative fan base of Toby Driver is such because it reflects his same feelings towards his music. Few artists' work resonates in me the way Toby's does and Tartar Lamb is no different; emotional, interesting, and original.
Download(Mp3@Vbr): rapidshare
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September 18, 2007

Mac & Mpc

Convert mpc files:


mpc2aiff is a front-end interface for the command-line utility mppdec (by Frank Klemm), which will decode mpc files (musepack's mpeg plus; other supported extensions are "mpp" or "mp+") to aif format.
If you usually surf the web and share music, then you should know what is this format (or at least the mac-unplayable ".mpc" extension), a high quality compression algorithm based on MPEG.
mpc2aiff will convert these files to ".aif", suitable to burn to a CD or whatever other utility you give them (such as convert them to mp3).

Play Mpc files:

free open source audio player for OS X

Currently it supports the following formats:
  • Ogg Vorbis
  • Mp3
  • Flac
  • Musepack
  • Monkeys Audio
  • Shorten
  • Wavpack
  • AAC
  • Apple Lossless
  • Wave/AIFF

September 16, 2007

Arild Andersen Group - Electra

2005 'ecm'

Arve Henriksen trumpet
Eivind Aarset guitars
Paolo Vinaccia drums, percussion
Patrice Héral drums, percussion, voice
Nils Petter Molvær drum programming
Savina Yannatou vocal
Chrysanthi Douzi vocal
Elly-Marina Casdas chorus vocal
Fotini-Niki Grammenou chorus vocal
Arild Andersen double bass, drum programming

A modern score for a new production of the Greek tragedy Electra describes Norwegian bassist Arild Andersen’s latest ECM release, but that doesn’t give the whole picture. Electra is another lush-sounding offering from the Scandinavian contingent, which, at times, blends Asian and Nordic influences in equal measure. … Featuring drummers Paolo Vinaccia and Patrice Héral, the shakuhachi-like trumpet of Arve Henriksen and some haunting vocals underpinned by Andersen’s bass and Eivind Aarset’s textural guitar, this is a truly magnifincent CD.

Download(Mp3@Vbr'extreme'): rapidshare part1 & rapidshare part2

Like what you hear, buy it! And support the artists that really need it.

September 15, 2007

Nils Petter Molvær


The five seconds of silence that precede the start of every ECM album are always telling. The anticipation; the lack of urgency at the start, heightened senses craving some recognisable sound. Yet rising from this darkened state, on Nils Petter Molvaer's ECM debut 'Khmer' was not a piano, or ride cymbal, or the pluck of a double bass string, but the droning twang of a dulcimer and the anguished wails of guitar feedback, Molvaer's whispering trumpet cutting a small yet determined path, cross-hatching little melodic marks. Thus begins the journey of one of today's most progressive musicians; a musician that subverted, by the sheer force and beauty of his music, the traditions of Europe's most revered jazz label, to produce an album of bold organic-electronica, recasting the acoustic electro-clash of Miles Davis' Bitches Brew for a new generation and a new century.
As the 1990s are perhaps best remembered for both the burgeoning grunge guitar scene and the incredible explosion in dance and computer-driven music, for a jazz musician to be looking over his shoulder at the past, or to be caught up in the present was to miss the opportunities that Molvaer seized when he created his new form of music on 'Khmer' in 1997. With solid jazz credentials under his belt, Molvaer embraced a new way of working, and with the detachment from any particular scene, aside from the sparseness of his native Oslo's cold beauty, his music possesses a clarity and directness that only increases its impact. Where the lesser artists simply added a break-beat under their '70s funk riffs or swinging jazz grooves, Molvaer took his electronic textures to new depths, without losing any live interaction or improvisation, retaining an expressive quality and freshness at every point in every song.
With the melancholy African sounds of 'Khmer' (the word itself meaning a dialect of Cambodian language) setting the tone, things continue with a disturbing yet compelling theme, 'Access / Song Of Sand I' featuring one of the album's hardest rhythms, coupled with one of its most cathartic chord-melodies, played by the master of guitar textures and NPM's right-hand-man, Eivind Aarset. The latter's guitar throughout this album makes that direct connection between rock, blues, grunge, jazz and ambient sounds that one minute remind you of a tortured Jimi Hendrix or the blissed-out, horizon-less sounds of Robert Fripp and Brian Eno. 'On Stream' is the perfect example of this, with an insistent but muted percussion track below, Aarset's guitar spills fluid chords over which Molvaer pours his own personal stream of notes, the results achingly beautiful, yet melancholy. 'Platonic Years' suggests a lighter mood, a sense of travelling, a free momentum again driven by Aarset's simple strummed chords, as Nils takes the listener across another icy, melodic tundra. 'Phum' finds Molvaer carving a haunting solo line above the lowly whines of Roger Ludvigson's acoustic guitar, his effects pedals creating an otherworldly vista of notes. This feeling of weightlessness is all Molvaer needs to leap headlong into the chasm of 'Song Of Sand II', with its dark, brutal sounds accompany the thick dub bass and beats. This crushing end to NPM's first foray into a new sound universe then closes with 'Exit', a strange echoing whale-song cry, with a gently-thumping heartbeat of percussion leading the listener off into the night.
For all its rough edges 'Khmer' was and is an unparalleled success, for both label and artist, and saw ECM go one stage further and for the first in its history release two singles from the album. The most pertinent of these was 'Khmer: The Remixes' and featured three mixes by The Herbaliser, Mental Overdrive and Rockers Hi-Fi, each extracting something new from the sound tools NPM provided in the original. In this one prescient move, the single became the precursor to his next-but-one album 'Recoloured', that was based on remixes of his next full studio work, 'Solid Ether'.
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Solid Ether
2000 (ecm)

'Solid Ether' saw Molvaer gain a higher profile, as he found himself rightly cited as one of the leading Norwegian musicians in the new electronic movement that was gaining pace in Northern Europe at the time. Alongside Molvaer, the likes of keyboardist and producer Bugge Wesseltoft (also the founder and boss of Jazzland records), French trumpeter Erik Truffaz, and Swedish band E.S.T., all shared a not-purely-jazz aesthetic; shifting the perceptions and limitations that had been stifling the music's growth for so long. In fact 'Solid Ether' saw Nils leaving the 'jazz' form further and further behind, as he employed more beats and bass lines that took drum and bass and jungle beats as the jumping off point, while retaining his ability to create haunting melodies and hypnotic grooves. The album also saw Molvaer utilising the increasingly sophisticated yet more malleable sound technology to create new layers of depth and sheen to his recordings.
The innate sense of movement, of an otherworldly time and place, of a rich sci-fi soundscape that is created by the lone voice of NPM's trumpet, supported and surrounded by ghosts from another sound-universe also continued. The title itself 'Solid Ether' tries to defy the normal laws of physics, by attempting to freeze the ephemeral. Yet the beat very much goes on with 'Dead Indeed', 'Vilderness I', 'Ligotage', 'Trip' and 'Solid Ether' all offering distracting, groove-laden forays into an alien suburbia; disjointed yet complex, fuelled with a sadness and joy that can only relate, ultimately, to the sadness and joy of the human condition. As before NPM is joined by a cutting-edge crew of sound-smiths; guitarist Aarset leading the way, but with bassist Audun Erlien, sound-sculptor Paal Nythus a.k.a. DJ Strangefruit, and live-lynchpin, drummer Rune Arnesen creating a vast array of fresh sounds. The one anomaly here is 'Merciful', a crushingly delicate duet between Molvaer on piano and singer Sidsel Endresen that is both pure and unapologetically poetic. Offering a sad yet compelling insight on human fragility, the two minute song, appearing once early on in the album and then at the end, in two marginally different forms, offers an unresolved sense of comfort to the listener:
Download: rapidshare


2002's 'NP3' seems to be something of a close of one chapter and the opening of another for Molvaer. Constructed through editing fragments of ideas, sounds and melodies 'NP3' lets more chinks of light through the wall of sound than on his previous albums. The pristine sound has mutated once again, stripped down and lean, the likes of 'Marrow', 'Frozen' and 'Hurry Slowly' are sinewy, virile creatures compared to the brute force of early songs. 'Axis Of Ignorance' turns the W. Bush sound bite "the axis of evil" on its head, NPM giving vent to his feelings post 9/11 of frustration and anger with a biting drum and bass attack of his own. The feeling of cybernetic, biodynamic forms and the streamlined feeling of cyberspace, as referenced in the title itself (the download revolution has not gone unnoticed in jazz circles either) is all part of NPM's continual search for something new yet organic, the fact that he's recently started playing to live art installations is also indicative of his need to interact in real time to events around him, musical or otherwise. Yet Molvaer's sense of the tender and poetic is still with him on the gorgeous piece 'Little Indian', dedicated to his daughter, the slow dub feel taken literally with baby steps. 'Nebulizer' the razor-sharp parting shot that also became the final battery of beats, almost vicious in its intent, the air-raid siren of Molvaer's trumpet sounds as the apocalypse begins, then the calming aftermath, a new dawn with hope springing up to replace despair.
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Finally Nils Petter Molvær is back with a new studio album!
The new album has been given the name "ER", and contains eight new compositions. From his debut album as a leader with "Khmer" to his latest live album "Streamer", Nils Petter Molvær is well known for his distinct sound and personal trumpet playing.
"ER" contains a wide spectre of music expressions from the soft and downbeat productions to the strong and powerful ones. Nils Petter Molvær has taken a new direction with "ER" even if the soundscapes will be recognised from "Khmer", "Solid Ether" and "np3". This time he has given more creative space to programmers like Knut Sævik, DJ Strangefruit, Reidar Skaar and Jan Bang. "It's important to use people in what they're good at."
We have heard vocal tracks also on Nils Petter Molvær's previous releases; in "ER" they have been given more space. In the beautiful vocal track "Only These Things Count" we can hear Sidsel Endresen's characteristic voice together with Eivind Aarseth on guitar, Magne Furuholmen on acoustic piano, Ingebrikt Flaten on acoustic bass and Nils Petter Molvær's trumpet in a strong and emotional ballade.
Common for the eight tracks is Nils Petter Molvær's strong visual melodies and his personal and distinctive trumpet playing, which is even more in focus than on his previous records. Some of the productions are slightly 'toned down' to give space for the trumpet and the melodic structures.
Nils Petter Molvær has once again gathered a strong team of musicians and contributors. Eivind Aarseth, Sidsel Endresen, Magne Furuholmen and Ingebrikt Flaten are already mentioned. In addition Rune Arnesen, Erik Honore, Helge Nordbakken and Elin Rosseland participate. DJ Strangefruit, Knut Sævik, Jan Bang and Reidar Skaar have, as mentioned, all played a very important role in the production of "ER".

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Like what you hear, buy it! And support the artists that really need it.

September 14, 2007

David Darling - Cello

1992 (ecm)

David Darling is a classically trained cellist who began his career as an elementary and secondary school teacher and conductor of band and orchestra. He later taught music and served as conductor and faculty cellist at Western Kentuky University. Then from 1969 to 1978 he played with the Paul Winter Consort, an extrordinarily progressive band for its time whose sound blended jazz with Brazilian, African, Indian and other world music. Since he left the Consort he has dedicated himself to a solo performing and recording career, and to teaching music and improvisation.
In 1986 he co-founded Music for People, a non-profit educational, network that teaches and fosters improvisation as means of creative self expression. For the past 10 years, Darling has also enriched the lives of thousands of young people through in-school programs in his work with Young Audiences, Inc..
Darling has collabarated on performances and recordings with dozens of musicians, among them Bobby McFerrin, Spyro Gyra, Peter Paul and Mary, Oregon, Jan Garbarek, Terje Rypdal, and the innovative dance ensemble Pilololus. Among Darlings film credits are his contributions to the movies "Until the End of the Earth" and "Far Away, So Close" by Wim Wenders as well as "Nouvelle Vague" and "Heat".
David Darling's 1992 CD "Cello" on ECM features multi-layered voices of acoustic and electric cello and combines the spirit of "Adagio" classical music with the flaoting quality of Gregorian chant. Other ECM recordings include the solo release "Dark Wood" and collaborations "The Sea" with Ketil Bjornstad, Terje Rypdal, and Jon Christiansen, and "Window Steps" with Pierre Favre.

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September 12, 2007

Michael Brook

Djivan Gasparyan & Michael Brook
Black Rock


With these recordings, Djivan Gasparyan and Michael Brook have fashioned a unique musical hybrid.
The duduk is prominently featured, as one might expect, but a surprise is in store for those not yet appraised of Gasparyan's vocal capabilities; his singing is vibrant and assured, its timbral colours neatly dovetailing with the warm, slightly nasal tone of the duduk. Both instruments are displayed to best advantage against the varied arrangements drafted and performed by Brook, with help from the English engineer and multi-instrumentalist Richard Evans.

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Michael Brook/ Dr Hukwe Zawose
2002 (realworld)

Tanzania had a made-to-measure musical ambassador in the person of Dr Hukwe Zawose: educator, instrument builder, cultural conservationist and - most importantly - a charismatic singer and musician of singular abilities who introduced the music of his people (the Wagogo, of central Tanzania's arid Dodoma region) to an international audience. Despite two decades of concert performances around the world, Hukwe remained an enthusiasm shared mostly by the inner circle of world music aficionados.
Peter Gabriel, founder of Real World Records, is a Hukwe fan of long standing who felt the time was nigh for Dr Zawose's sound to reach a larger audience. With this goal in mind, he tapped the Canadian producer/instrumentalist Michael Brook to collaborate with Hukwe. The project would build upon traditional Tanzanian music and Hukwe's unique talents with arrangements and textures that could prove enticing to a broader spectrum of listeners. Assembely is the product of this collaboration.

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Michael Brook/ Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
Night song

The potent relationship between Nusrat and Michael Brook reaches compelling emotional heights with the sequel to 'Mustt Mustt'.

A true classic. Nominated for a 1997 Grammy Award.

"A work of great album for the ages, defying genre and solidifying Khan's stature as one of the world's pre-eminent singers." Billboard

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September 10, 2007

David Sylvian

Approaching silence
1999 (venture)

This album contains three compositions (two of them long form) created exclusively for two independent gallery installations. Two pieces,'The Beekeepers Apprentice' and 'Epiphany' originally accompanied the 'Ember Glance' installation, a multi media work made in collaboration with the artists Russell Mills and Ian Walton, and exhibited in Tokyo, September 1990. 'Approaching Silence' accompanied the multi media work 'Redemption' installed at the P3 Gallery, Tokyo 1994. The CD was compiled and released in 1999.

Download: rapidshare-part1 & rapidshare-part2 (mp3@320cbr)

Sylvian/Czukay: Flux & Mutability
1989 (virgin)

David returned to Can Studio, Koln in 1989 to record a companion piece to 'Plight and Premonition'. Once again, the album consists of two long form, drone-based compositions, and features contributions from Marcus Stockhausen, Jaki Liebezeit, and Micheal Karoli.

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Sylvian/Czukay: Plight & Premonition
1988 (virgin)

On Holger's invitation David spent a few nights working in Can studio with the legendary bass player which saw the production of this evocative album. Two long form, drone-based, instrumental compositions, this album has remained a firm favourite of David's. Originally released in March 1988 David produced a remix of the entire album as a bonus CD with the instrumental compilation 'Camphor'.

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September 7, 2007

Friends Of Dean Martinez

Lost Horizon
2005 (Aero recordings)

A bright and sunny album from Friends of Dean Martinez? -- not likely -- but Lost Horizon is the closest thing to an "up" album that the boys have yet put out. Where 2004's Random Harvest was all twilight and settled dust, Lost Horizon is all dawn and evaporating dew. The back story attached to the tunes is still dark this time out, but there's a sense of contentedness and hope as well. Even dirge-tempo numbers like "All in the Golden Afternoon" and "Departure" have a sense of new-day optimism coupled with their Western desert melancholia. In keeping with Friends of Dean Martinez's usual mode of operations, achingly beautiful melodies glide over parched and barren arrangements -- mixing the gorgeous with the gritty and delivering the Old West atmospherics that fans of the band require and expect. Like all of the band's previous efforts, Lost Horizon plays beautifully as the soundtrack to a Cinemascope Western film -- elongated forms kicking up dust on a landscape of perpetual sunset -- and is suitable for filing somewhere between the film music of Ennio Morricone and the cowboy paintings of Frederic Remington.

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Random Harvest
2004 (narnack)

Just a year after they issued On the Shore, Friends of Dean Martinez returned with Random Harvest, an album that finds them at their most powerful since A Place in the Sun. However, Random Harvest is darker and more rock-oriented than that album and, indeed, than any of their previous work. The heavy guitars and winding keyboards that run through the album nod to classic rock like Led Zeppelin and the Doors while still staying within the confines of the band's widescreen Southwestern sound. What's more, the album is also Friends of Dean Martinez's most thematically cohesive work; instead of being just filmic, Random Harvest could actually work as a soundtrack, ideally to a smart, stylish horror movie like 28 Days Later. An eerie tension seeps into all of the album, beginning with the taut, jazzy "So Well Remembered" and ending with "Nowhere to Go," which begins as a bittersweet ballad and, without warning, turns into a rock monster with guitar tones that would make many a metal band jealous. But even within this louder sound, Friends of Dean Martinez are masters of restraint; "Ripcord"'s intense guitars stop short of wanky indulgence, and the very spooky "Winter Palace" does a lot with minimal percussion, organ, and a delicately plucked acoustic guitar. As consistent as the whole album is, Random Harvest's middle stretch is truly outstanding. The title track's icy strings and buzzing bass and guitars combine into something both gorgeous and menacing, like a cross between stoner rock and the atmospherics for which Friends of Dean Martinez are better known. The 11-minute "Dusk" is no less impressive, an appropriately dark and rolling epic with vaguely Middle Eastern guitars that reference Led Zep and the Deftones' prettier moments as well as their own work. "Lost Horizon" reintroduces the Southwestern theme into this more amped-up sound and draws the album near its end with a sweeping, shimmering majesty. Random Harvest is a fascinating, beautiful album that proves that even though Friends of Dean Martinez may no longer be on the cutting edge of hip, the band just keeps getting better as it goes along.

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Under the Waves

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A Place in the Sun
Knitting Factory)

A Place in the Sun marks another departure for Friends of Dean Martinez, who travel further away from their somewhat kitschy-sounding early work with each following effort. On their second album for Knitting Factory, the band aims for -- and achieves -- the filmic expansiveness of Rachel's, the Dirty Three, and Godspeed You Black Emperor while retaining their essentially Southwestern sound. The results sound like the soundtrack to a spaghetti western set in modern-day Arizona, especially on the epic title track, which remains compelling yet subtle over its nine-minute duration. "White Lake"'s scorched guitars, "When You're Gone"'s simple, spacious folk, and the Bill Frisell-like cover of "Summertime" testify to the band's increasingly wide musical range, while the brooding "Broken Bell" (which features the Tosca String Quartet) reveals Friends of Dean Martinez's growing emotive power. "Siempre Que" and "Nothing at All" recall the group's loungey/retro roots, and song titles like "Aluminium" and "Pistola Agua" show they haven't lost their sense of humor, but A Place in the Sun deals more with their potential and ambitions than it does with their previous successes.

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The Shadow of Your Smile
1995 (
Sub Pop)

A post-modern fusion of Santo & Johnny, Dick Dale and the Ventures, with a heaping side order of Tex-Mex border music. Whether or not the musicians are playing this straight or not, they're playing it very well, and the result is good fun, even if it's totally uncharacteristic of the material offered by the Giant Sand/Naked Prey axis in the past.

Download: mediafire

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September 5, 2007

Oystein Sevag - Bridge

1997(Siddhartha Records)
Produced by Oystein Sevag
All music composed by Oystein Sevag

The London Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Terje Mikkelsen
Oystein Sevag - piano, flute, keyb.
Maria Sevag - violin, viola
Eivind Aarset - electric guitar
Paolo Vinaccia - drums, perc.
Lakki Patey -acustic guitar
Petter Wettre - saxophone
Ole Marius Melhus - bass guitar
Ottar Nesje - drums, percussion
Sergio Gonzalez - lat. percussion
Zotora Nygaard - didjeridoo
Bendik Hofseth - saxophone
Sonia Loinsworth - overtone voice
Uli Pfleiderer - lute
Stefan Lilig - indian percussion
Ulrike Clara Vogt - recorder flutes
Miriam Rudolph - violin
Beatrix Hulsemann - viola
Ute Petersilge - cello

What makes Bridge unique is how seamlessly it blends neoclassical instrumentation and compositions with the dreamy ambience of space music plus choice elements from Rock, WorldBeat and Jazz using a constantly shifting palette of 68 musicians that include a complete string orchestra, Grand Piano, acoustic, electric and bass guitar, various flutes, recorders and saxophones, Indian, Latin and regular percussion, and synthesizers.
With languid and circular melodies as unapologetically gorgeous as bassoonist-turned-New-Age composer Bill Douglas; with misty atmospheres reminiscent of landsman Jan Garbarek; with the Metheny-esque opening "Seed" sustaining an endless arc of development suggestive of Pat's concluding Offramp track; with Grand Piano interludes recalling Raphael's celebrated Music To Disappear In II; Bridge condenses classically-honed sensibilities into bite-sized capsules full of magic and romance, perfect for listeners who prefer the adagios of most symphonies to their sizeable remainders.
Now add ambient percussion grooves, throat singing, soaring e-guitar solos, didjeridoo growls, lyrical cello ballads, smooth-Jazz saxophone against string chorus while envisioning Claude Monet's blue bridge spanning the famous lily pond in Giverny. Today's Bridge is similarly impressionist to the core, albeit hip to the cosmopolitan influences which, in Monet's days, would have been represented by the pleasure quarters in Paris, now upscale night clubs.
Heartfelt, buoyed on silence and space, Bridge also delivers on pure sonics. Recorded in Sevåg's own Siddhartha Studio as well as Abbey Road, various German and Norwegian studios and on location in the Ebringen Berghäuser Kapelle, all instruments exhale with elongated sustains, Øystein's Grand Piano is velvety voluptuous, his wife's violin surrounded by cavernous spaciousness, the bass guitar taut yet warm. In short, an album of many happy returns, for both your raw listening pleasure as well as proud occasions of audiophile camaraderie when showing of truth of timbre and ambient retrieval becomes -- temporarily -- more important than following the embedded emotional threads into utter oblivion.

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September 4, 2007

Ryan Teague - Coins & Crosses

2006(Type recordings)

With �Coins and Crosses�, the follow up release to last year�s �Six Preludes� EP, Ryan Teague continues to fuse elements of classical composition and ambient electronica in a fashion not entirely dissimilar to Labradford. As good as �Six Preludes� was, at points the electronic and the classical elements of Ryan Teague�s music seemed uneasy bedfellows, at times the two musical styles seemed almost at odds with one another. Not, so with �Coins and Crosses�, which sees Ryan Teague hone his sound to damn near perfection. The electronic and the classical elements to this album compliment each other beautifully. Take, for example, the title track �Coins and Crosses�, on which the background electronic fuzz and the meandering harp picking of Rhodri Davies combine in a very pleasing fashion. Or take the beginning to the track �Accidia�, a background drone combines wonderfully with mournful string arrangements. These are just random examples; the entire album is of this quality. This represents a sizable evolutionary leap for Ryan Teague, and is also a stunning piece of music.

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September 3, 2007

Ryan Teague - Six Preludes

2005(Type Recordings)

With Six Preludes, Cambridge based Ryan Teague explores the potential for integration between crackly electronica and orchestral instrumentation. It`s an area ripe for development, though one that`s by no means virginal, given Murcof`s previous visits on 2002`s Martes and its partial successor Ulysses.
Teague`s sonic palette is more varied, however, and he clearly feels less constrained to add beats at every turn - only a minority of the six preludes succumbs to a regular percussive rhythm. His writing for strings is also richer and less predictable, with the result that this music is not easy to file away as " beats plus strings " or other, similarly dismissive descriptions.
The string section of " Prelude I " bears the sort of melancholy gravitas last heard to such impressive effect on Asa-Chang and Junray`s Hana. The initially confident impulse of the violins is waylaid by electronic treatments and gradually mutates as a woman`s voice sings wordlessly in the distance. Later, the methodical percussion of " Prelude III " recalls Victor Gama`s rainforest creations while strings pulse like Steve Reich`s Desert Music.
Combined with the crackle and dust of contemporary glitchery and a shortlived pitter-patter beat towards the end, this hybrid becomes more than the sum of its parts. Teague exercises an admirable degree of restraint throughout. He avoids overburdening his music while allowing it to negotiate transitions and foreground activity in a way that consistently engages the attention. Some of these pieces succeed in achieving a notable degree of beauty, but when surveyed as a whole they feel just a little slight. They are, after all, a collection of preludes. Their promise, however, makes me impatient to hear how Teague is going to expand upon these ideas.

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September 1, 2007

Sevara Nazarkhan - Yol Bolsin (mpc & mp3)

2003 (Real world / virgin)
Arranged & Produced by Hector Zazou

With such a monolithic history, modernity can be easily sidelined. Yet, Sevara, the pop star, is no stranger to popular music trends. With samples, electric guitars and keyboards Yol Bolsin didn't fully begin to flower until record producer Hector Zazou, from France, immersed himself in the tastes and smells of contemporary Uzbekistan. Sevara jokes that she forced Zazou to eat, drink, and dress Uzbeki – and always central to this experience is pure tradition. For the album's doutar-playing, Sevara borrows the hands and experience of Toir Kuziyev, a master of instrumentation. The results are a collection of evocative songs recorded in Tashkent and Paris and finally mixed in the Real World Studios in Box, Wiltshire. Yet Yol Bolsin remains outside time and essentially Central Asian.
(Real world)

Another new great album carried out by Hector Zazou and Real world. Fusion of traditional Uzbek music and electro-pop ambient, this is a wonderfull album thanks to the melodies and the biwitching voice of Sevara Nazarkhan, and all supported by Hector Zazou very inspired in his electronic, original and respectful arrangements which gives us to hear whole emotional capacity and universality of the Sevara Nazarkhan's music;
highly advised !
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Download(mp3@320 cbr): rapidshare part1
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