Music: Manabu Shimuda – Pieces for Her No. 5

Sounds et al is a new local label that just recently slithered out of the primordial ooze that is the current music world, and they’re carrying with them some very exciting sounds from manabu shimuda, a composer and artist fromJapan. His first release for this new imprint is called pieces for her and while there’s no indication of who the “her” in this scenario is, she should be very impressed with what he has created in her honor.

As the notes for the LP say: “The album is a showcase of his creative work whilst living in Europe. Inhabiting a space between classical and experimental, the album has a strict rule within composition – to use only four organic sound sources to structure the simple melody lines and calculated rhythmic patterns: Piano, White Noise, Sine Waves and Field Recorded Noise.” 

It’s beautiful, minimalist stuff that, no matter how many times I listen to it, always seems to be changing in some small way. Instinctively, I know that’s not the case, but I’m constantly surprised by the music with each pass I take through it.

The album is set to be released on the 15th of this month. Pre-order it here, or pick a copy up at Beacon Sound.

News: Reak – Trance Music & Possession In West Java

One of my favorite musicians alive today is Arrington de Dionyso. He’s one of those figures that embodies the best elements of the creative mind: curiosity, a willingness to learn, a willingness to make mistakes, and a spirit of forward momentum. That’s just one small reason why I’m excited to catch the screening of Reak: Trance Music & Possession In West Java at Fifth Avenue Cinema on Thursday May 5th. The film follows his journey to Indonesia where he played with Group Reak Sanca Birawa. The trailer looks absolutely astounding and I’m very interested to ask him about this experience of making this film and this music during the post-screening Q&A.

News: deepwhitesound Announces Winter 2015 Releases

deepwhitesound has, for over a decade now, been a go to source for fascinating experimental music from around the world. The Portland-based label curates a wide selection of sounds and then offers up them up for free download through their lovely website.

Towards the end of last month, deepwhitesound sent around an e-mail announcing their Winter 2015 slate of releases, and it is a fine bunch that deserves your attention.

Among them is a new recording from Memory Metal, the local duo made up of Cody Brandt and Shane McDonell that places contact mics on pieces of metal and records the noises they make when beaten, scraped and otherwise abused. Their 24 minute piece 2 is a small challenge to your eardrums but one that will reveal some delicious overtones and strange rhythms that can be surprisingly comforting.

I’m also very fond of the work of Glaswegian sound artist Louise Harris, which is part of this new bundle. Her work primarily uses visuals timed to react to the scratchy, droning sounds that she cooks up, but as an aural-only experience, the noisy delights are still quite thrilling.


Video: The OO-Ray – Empty Orchestra preview

While the rest of the world slobbered over the accidental release of the new Kendrick Lamar album, I’ve been tingling all over while watching this video multiple times. Ted Laderas has been one of my favorite local artists for some time, an inspiring figure whose cello performances and recordings have delighted and soothed my ears to no end. But he has thrown down the proverbial gauntlet if these snippets of sound are to be believed. This new music, which will be heard in complete form on his upcoming album Empty Orchestra,  is expansive and dense and daring in ways that I wasn’t expecting from The OO-Ray and now that it’s here, I want to hear nothing else for the next few weeks.

According to the man’s Twitter account, Empty Orchestra (which will be unleashed by Lifelike Family and New Ruin Tapes on April 3rd) took him “three years to write. It’s propulsive and urgent in a new way and I think it’s a new direction for me. I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.” I’m more than happy to agree with him on that.

Video: Eternal Tapestry – Mountain Primrose

I’ve never done LSD before, but, not too long ago, I visited a website that offered up some visual illusion trickery that allowed me to apparently experience what it was like it to trip. I stared at something for a long time and when I looked away, everything was undulating in waves like a heat shimmer. If that doesn’t sound like fun to you, my next best suggestion is to stare closely at the video that Brenna Murphy put together for Eternal Tapestry. You get a similar effect but with better visuals than my dull apartment walls. And some great music to boot.

“Mountain Primrose” can be found on Eternal Tapestry’s latest album Wild Strawberries, out now on Thrill Jockey.

Video: Gooo – Live Cassette Release Show Performance @ Habesha

It’s Tuesday morning…the three day weekend (for a lot of us) is gone and the cobwebs are still lingering. Let’s take a deep collective breath, hit play on this video, and blast that feeling out of our skulls. Recorded to an iPhone, we get an unedited half-hour with Gooo, the freakazoid drums/electronics duo that performs with a kind of ritualistic glee and disregard for their own personal safety. At this particular show, they were being especially excitable as they were there to celebrate the release of their cassette Globular ClusterfuckIf you’re not in a cubicle – or maybe if you are – I suggest cranking up the volume and throwing yourself around the room a bit while this plays. It can only enhance the experience.

Music: Stochastic Mettle Union Local #35 – Thought Adjuster

As I talked about last week, Sonic Debris Multimedia want to make 2015 a big one for their label and all the bands that are part of their collective. And true to form, they are pouring out new material for our consumption, including this brand new live cassette from one of my favorite gangs of jazz misfits, Stochastic Mettle Union Local #35.

The recording has an interesting tone to it, as the band was paying tribute to a house that was home base for SDM. The label and studio were being forced to move out, which led to a small-ish party to send the residents out with a bang. Like most of the acts that played that night, SMU’s set was captured for posterity, and you can hear the group (augmented by trombonist Evan Spacht) reacting to the celebratory, yet frustrated feel of the night with some rapid fire drum patter, floating guitar lines, and some agonized horn honking. As a combo, the four players build and recede together in slowly developing waves that remind me of some of the best BYG Actuel material from the late ’60s. A truly triumphal moment for this band and one that will hopefully push them forward through 2015 as they ready their first vinyl release (all proceeds of the sale of this recording go toward that).

Video: Oxfist – Nickelodeon

No, young friends, our man Oxfist is not paying tribute to the TV network, but rather the old player pianos that once dominated the parlors and bars of the world in the ’20s and ’30s. Or as he put it, the title was chosen “after the realization that melody line sounds like a player piano choking on a chunk of piano roll.” Well put.

The short swinging track comes from Eye of the Witholder, a recently compiled set of tunes that Oxfist put together during the heady days of the ’00s and under the influence of DOOM, Madlib, and J Dilla. And to celebrate it, Will Watts stitched together this amazing and hypnotic video. I’m going to find a way to loop these 48 seconds of video and sound, and spend the day starting straight into the LSD trailed abyss brought to life by these very active kids.

Video: Doug Theriault Live

I love Doug Theriault‘s live performances because you can see firsthand how he extracts so much sound from so little. This video captured at KPSU where he was playing live for Ricardo Wang’s radio show is a great example of that, with him using an iPhone and a laptop to screw up the sound of his guitar in ways both beautiful and harsh. Make sure you have headphones on when listening to it as well to fully enjoy the way he plays with the stereo field as the performance moves forward.

Music: Jon Timm – Float -1

From the artist: “Had an amazing experience in the sensory deprivation float at Portland’s Float On. Having all your senses blocked from the real world and open to your mind feels so good! This track was performed live after I got back; the visuals are feedback created with a 8mm vhs camcorder running into an archer video enhancer filming the monitor. While I was in the tank at Float On I experienced similar visuals that came and went.”