on life, music etc beyond mainstream

Enigmatic, abstract, violent, absurd. Stick SOUSED on a C120 with „Lulu“, take it on a family holiday, and you probably have grounds for divorce. (Louis Pattison)

Leonard Cohen turned 80, and there’s a lot of praise to be read in these days about his masterful murmuring and mix of dark wit and last-man-standing-melancolia of POPULAR PROBLEMS. Great album, „Nevermind“ is the outstanding track, in my ears. (8/10)

Another mastress of passionate songwriting, Lucinda Williams, crossing the 60th-year-on-earth-zone a while ago returns with her dark take on country, soulful ballads beyond the night bar comfort zone of the Gregory Porters of this world, and there are some „Southern gothic“ traces to be found on her new double album  DOWN WHERE THE SPIRITS MEET THE BONE (7/10). Anger and longing, fierceness and calm on several songs in nearly perfect unison.  Some „standard moments“, yes, but it’s one of the strongest female Americana voices around, she’s even digging deep, if  she’s following her own peculiar „mainstream“ full of shadowy figures, dark eroticism and right time-wrong place-sceneries.

The forthcoming collaboration of Scott Walker (who crossed the line of turning 70 some time ago) and Sunn O))) is as exciting as everybody who has a deeper relationship with these extreme characters of radical singing and experimental metal areas might have hoped for. (9/10)

In the line of „genre transcending“ (I’m so sorry for this phrase) „pop avantgardists“ (I´m sorry for this phrase, too) who left their footprints and inspirations in the ten years of Kristiansand’s „Punktfestival“ (Brian Eno, David Sylvian, Laurie Anderson), Scott Walker would be the logical next step.

Erik Honore, artistic director of Punkt (since 2005, with Jan Bang at his side), has just released a fantastic album on Hubro Records in Norway. The problem is: it will first be released in great parts of Europe near the end of November, so just make a mental note. I’ll try to find out how you can already get a copy of this „slow-motion-excellence“. HELIOGRAPHS (9/10) will be our record of October (here on, and I have written a very long English review with a few sidesteps.

Returning to Scott Walker one more time: in the November edition of „Uncut“, Louis Patton has written an insightful review on SOUSED even managing to reveal the pitch black humour inside of some of Scott’s lyrics that are conventionally associated with pure horror that make look some early Stephen King books like children’s Halloween delight.

Now this coffee table monologue makes a special turn, cause from now on, I ‚m speaking about forthcoming albums I haven’t heared yet, but they all may deserve high expectations.

Of course, one strong lead is again directed to the North of Europe. Arve Henriksen, Helge Sten and Stale Storlokken are „Supersilent“ and went into a reverberating mausoleum that forced them to play different, and to make the long echoes a fourth member of the band. After listening to the final mix of Helge Sten, Arve told me (and is this not one of the best things a musician can say after a recording): „This are we? Supersilent?“ „SUPERSILENT 12“ will be out soon (in the good record shops, and can easily be ordered via

I’m keen to listen to another Scandinavian „all-star-all-sound-hunters-trio“ that will be their first ECM release though their history goes a long way back. OUTLAND is the title of Jokleba’s new work. The always-underestimated Per Jorgenson plays trumpet, kalimba, flute, and sings; Jon Balke plays electronics and piano; Audun Kleive closes the circle with electronics, drums and percussion. ECM headquarter speaks of „freely created pieces which hint at relationships between inspiration and instability.“ Produced by Manfred Eicher, I suppose.

Produced by Daniel Lanois: another guarantee of high quality work, most of the time. I can’t stand U2, even if God himself might sit at the controls. I’ve always felt close to Dan’s solo albums, and now here comes another one, after quite a long silence, on October 23rd. “FLESH AND MACHINE” was, as the press info is telling us, „initially conceived as an ambient album, and tracks such as ‘Forest City’ take the classic Brian Eno albums that Daniel Lanois worked on Ambient 4: On Land (1982) and Apollo: Atmospheres And Soundtracks (1983) as a wonderful bedrock to stand on to see the sonic future. The album bristles with new ideas. He spent countless hours processing an array of source sounds – steel and electric guitar, piano and human voice to create the sound palette that is Flesh and Machine.“ Let’s hope for the best!

Denovali Records has found its way into my radio show at the beginning of this year with a wonderful vinyl album of Ensemble Economique, called INTERVAL SIGNALS. I used this music as „entrance area“ for my „Electronic Griot“-lecture at the 10th Punktfestival. And Thomas Köner sent me a new piece for that „radio performance“, one of his „Tientos“.

Now, in October, and on Denovali Records, TIENTO DE LAS NEVES will be released, as double vinyl, CD and digital download. Denovali Headquarters announce it this way, and that might ring some bells: „Upon producing this tiento, Thomas Köner had a strong and clear sensation of a large white space. Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen has always been an important figure for Köner. In a quote from his expedition account ‚Farthest North‘, Nansen constructs a synthesis between love and snow.“ No reason anymore to be worried on long winter nights: some red wine, some candle lights, some of you might even own chandeliers, and we’ll meet on the other side. Music takes you places!

This entry was posted on Mittwoch, 24. September 2014 and is filed under "Blog". You can follow any responses to this entry with RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. Michael Engelbrecht:

    How to get Erik Honore’s HELIOGRAPHS:

    International release is 17.11, but already now the album (CD or vinyl) can be ordered internationally from the label’s webshop:

    The 180 g vinyl in gatefold sleeve also includes the CD.

    If the link doesn’t work automatically, copy and paiste, then it’ll work for sure!

  2. Michael Engelbrecht:

    Daniel Lanois: Flesh and Machine

    Official Video (might not be visible in Germany)

    Copy and paste the link

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