on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2012 11 Jun

My best records of April, May and June 2012 (nearly the final edition)

von: Michael Engelbrecht Filed under: Blog | TB | 2 Comments

  • No. 12 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. 11 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. 10 CAN: THE LOST TAPES – Ritual Music from the Underground of the ancient Bundesrepublik (don’t  call it Kraut or Rock)  No. 9 HEINER GOEBBELS: STIFTERS DINGE – experimental collage full of disturbing sounds, desterted landscapes, lonely voices, old chants –  and good old storytelling …  No. 8 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. 7 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. 6 SIDSEL ENDRESEN – STIAN WESTERHUS : DIDIMOY DREAMS  – Singing in her very own language (free of semantics and  any oldfashioned business of message) she is the greatest female shaman of the northern atmosphere, and  the experimental guitarist at her side knows how to paint the scene. A wild, wild world.  No. 5 FIONA APPLE: THE IDLER WHEEL IS WISER THAN THE DRIVER OF THE SCREW, AND WHIPPING CORDS WILL SERVE YOU MORE THAN ROPES WILL EVER DO – The production is nearly ascetic and minimal and thereby enhances the emotional impact. Pretty ugly things, twilight zones of the mind, and how make the darkness find its tone – and move, move on up! The great percussive work (on the drums, and the piano (!)) emphasizes a kind of ritual quality (without quoting ethnic exotica).  No. 4 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. 3 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.  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.  No. 1 THOMAS KÖNER: NOVAYA ZEMLYA  – His music reaches out for new territories each time. This time, inspired by somerset distant hinterland in Russia, the master of „Arctic Ambient Noir“ lets silence explode, in a silent way. A lamento without voices. Masterpiece!

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  1. Oliver Thierfelder:

    That’s unbelievable, where is the spectacular, brave and lovely
    AtlasTrio, the CrownTreatyPilgrim(normally not my cup, but in this
    case a wonderfultasty Ostfriesenmischung),AndromedaExpress
    made BUMBUM and disappeared like the rest ??!!
    Nevertheless thanks, normally all three of them would have slipped
    under my radar, sotosay, but DROOK still in( I didn’t like what you
    played on your show) and SHAKESHOLDON(this would have been
    a wonderful EP in the old vinyl days, if someone grownup would
    have told the kids to throw the mediocre unispired Songs out,
    the Opener for example, second song is another country just
    HirundoMaris and Goebbels, I don’t know yet, but for sure I will
    not listen to the new Fionapple record again, I see the Lady’s
    point, but the music/voice bores me out.
    But Thanks Again for the Link, the new REDNENEHCHERRY suits
    me much more, like my once beloved, now gone NAOTSHOES.

    Sources are gone, I can’t believe it …….

    Grüße aus Köln

  2. Michael Engelbrecht:

    A warm applause for your feedback. The records you mention are still great albums , nothing is carved in stone:)

    But, yeah, at this moment in time i do prefer the naked music of Fiona Apple to the Ostfriesenmischung of Sweet Billy Pilgrim which, a minor quibble, is, during certain passages, a bit too dense and


    Aber schau, einen Tag später, und Dinge können sich ändern – und die südfranzösische „Bouillabaisse“ (Joe Sample, buchstabiert man FISCHSUPPE genau so?) ist wieder im Spiel:)

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