on life, music etc beyond mainstream

No. 12 FLY: YEAR OF THE SNAKE – West Coast Jazz, cool, refreshed, no cliches, and a tenor player named Mark Turner who can create long, cool and warming  tones in the high register of his horn. A subtile affair.


No. 11 MONTY ADKINS: FOUR SHIBUSA –  A haunting and moving album that moves seamlessly between the clarinets of Jonathan Sage and Heather Roche and exquisitely crafted electronic soundworlds. This studio album takes as its starting-point the Japanese concept of ‘shibusa’ – a term that describes the inherent simplicity and beauty in everyday objects. Heard as a whole this is an enveloping musical tour de force.


No. 10 ALABAMA SHAKES: BOYS AND GIRLS – Shades  of early Aretha Franklin  on one track, definitely some Janis Joplin in the vocals at times, but good old fashioned, honest, rocking, soulful tunes all round. Normally not  my cup of Darjeeling, but it feels irresistible.


No. 9 DEXYS: ONE DAY I’M GOING TO SOAR –  a surprising comeback.  I have  heared only two songs yet, but I have sympathies for the eccentric Kevin Rowland, so I’m  sure the return of the man who wrote „Come on, Eileen“, will make it on the list with lyrical sharpness, and, well,for sentimental reasons.


deconstructs orchestral sounds, his fragmented Big Band sound turns H. G. Wells‘ Time Machine into a surreal jukebox in full flight! Gamelan? Exotica? Easy listening? Sun Ra laughing in Andromeda’s fog? Serious ingredients from fucking old Vienna? You never know.


No. 7 SWEET BILLY PILGRIM: CROWN AND TREATY – you  know Sweet Billy Pilgrim, don’t you? You recall their awesome album, TWICE BORN MEN, a great release  on David Sylvian’s samadhisoumd. No? Well, join the club: here’s a British band that few people are aware of. Their fortunes could change with Crown and Treaty; this is a stone-cold cracker of a record that has depth, layers and rugged charm. Opening track Joyful Reunion sets the tone: here be crescendos, choirs, choruses and choons that bands with a far higher profile would envy.


No. 6 GEOFF BARROW / BEN SALISBURY: DROKK – MUSIC INSPIRED BY MEGA- CITY ONE – brilliant trip  through a dystopian world with haunting echoes of old 70s sci-fi-soundtracks (Vangelis, Carpenter) and radical twists and turns. Much more than a nostagic ride, though two old Oberheim synthesizers from the golden seventies set the tone.


No. 5 LOUIS SCLAVIS ATLAS TRIO: SOURCES – Another „mini laboratory“ of
French clarinet virtuoso Louis Sclavis. The weird combination of piano, Fender Rhodes piano and electric guitar might produce headaches in the hands of less-gifted musicians, but here we go for a wild ride, full of eccentricities, grooves,  and pieces children might love.


No. 4 MIRRORING: FOREIGN BODY: Dead echoes, lost stories on a long and winding road, folk laments from old America, drone songs sending shivers down your spine, everything on the verge of falling apart. Gimme ten words for „heartbreaking“!


No. 3 JOHN SURMAN: SALTASH BELLS – finally another pure solo work by the neo-romantic jazz man playing everything himself: saxes, clarinets, synthesizers! Strolling  through landscapes of the English southwest (and the spaces of his childhood). Might as well be his imagination running wild. Surman finds the right balance  between ascetic forms of introspection and uninhibited joie de vivre.


No. 2 ASTRID: HIGH BLUES – the spirits of Erik Satie and the No-Neck-Blues-Band rarely mix in a singular vision, but this French quartet even  uses moments of  the enigmatic  moods of Mark Hollis and some Eno-esque abstractions to create unique chamber-like atmospheres that never soumd like a sum of their inspirations.
Mid Air
No. 1 PAUL BUCHANAN: MID AIR – The late night-voice of Mr. „Blue Nile“, Paul Buchanan, a piano, some shades of strings and electronics, the most intimate song cycle next to silence; so do not believe anybody who asks for some proper arrangements.  Excellent lyrics, for example in the title song:
The buttons on your color
The color on your hair
I think I see you everywhere
I want to live forever,
And watch you dancing in the air
… lies and make believe,
The very things that one leave
But I can see you standing in mid air
The girl I want to marry, upon the high trapeze
The day she fell and hurt her knees
And only time can make here
The wind that blows away with
Forever think the life was worth
The fallen snow, the virgin birth
Yeah I can see her standing in mid air
I can see you standing in mid air.

This entry was posted on Freitag, 18. Mai 2012 and is filed under "Blog, Musik aus 2012". You can follow any responses to this entry with RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

1 Comment

  1. Gregor Mundt:

    Dein Platz 2 ist nun meine Nr. 1
    ASTRID: HIGH BLUES ist der Hammer!!!

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