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Messages - Mark Mushet

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Favorite ECM releases
« on: January 22, 2008, 11:07:00 AM »
I forgot to mention the German label Winter & Winter too.  I used to pick these discs up whenever I, A) had the funds and B) found them FS.  My collection is not deep though - maybe 6 or 8 titles.  I haven't picked up anything lately...and I'm not even sure they're still around.  Like ECM, they had a great and consistent packaging design.  My favorite has to be Dave Douglas' Charms of the Night Sky for both the music and it's stunning packaging.

Anyone else familiar with W&W that would give recommendations?

Ernst Reijseger & Tenore Cuncordu de Orosei: Colla Voche
- cello, pecussion and Italian men's choir. Lovely stuff.

and Fred Frith's soundtrack to "Rivers and Tides"

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Rune Grammofon label
« on: January 22, 2008, 11:01:05 AM »
Anything by Arve Henriksen
Susanna & Magical Orchestra

I'll second those choices and add: Food! (Arve appears on their first CD)

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Favorite ECM releases
« on: January 21, 2008, 01:07:17 PM »
Music of Stones - perfect cover art, though not his best music IMO.

Pretty much everything by Ralph Towner, Dino Saluzzi, Anouar Brahem & Dave Holland.

Just off the top...and likely to appeal to Hypnos fans overall:

Bobo Stenson - Serenity and Goodbye
Steve Tibbetts - Bye Bye Safe Journey
Paul Bley - Not two, Not One
Marilyn Crispell - Amayrillis
Eberhard Weber - Pendulum
David Darling - Cello and Darkwood

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: January 21, 2008, 11:10:40 AM »
I went a slightly different route, however, and grabbed the digital download under the moniker “The Cotswold Gnomes”. It contains 3 additional tracks, not included on “Beyond Even”: ‘Glass Structure’, ‘Voices’ & ‘Cross Crisis In Lust Storm’).

These three tracks are on the disc! In fact, in one of the preciously few critical comments posted on the DGM site, the doubling up of "exclusive downloads" and legit releases was noted!

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: January 21, 2008, 01:15:40 AM »
Richard Chartier & Taylor Deupree - "Specification Fifteen"

Soundscape commission for an exhibition of Hiroshi Sugimoto's photographs. Fans of Koner will appreciate this. Effective use of very low frequency rumble and judicious panning (take note Rapoon!) Works well with the monochrome seascape images.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: January 20, 2008, 12:38:03 PM »
I sprang/sprung (?)

I believe it's "spronged!" ;)

Fripp & Eno - "Beyond Even 1992-2006"

Hmmm. I bought this expecting the worst...but am pleasantly surprised. The "bits and pieces" factor wasn't as bad as anticipated and it all hangs together enough. The obvious problem, though, is the limited and too familiar palette (which extends to the Russell Mills cover art as well) If you bought Equatorial Stars and thought "Nice! But not brilliant" you can stop there. If you followed Eno through his "squelchy" period and have actually downloaded all the Fripp "bits and pieces" from the DGM site, this will serve as a proper compendium of sorts. Interesting and worth having for fans.

The "bonus disc" with the first pressing is nothing more than a continuously sequenced version of the main disc...a real waste of petroleum IMO.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: January 18, 2008, 07:45:47 PM »
I put on Supersilent 8 last night. The first time I listened to it I didn't have time to make it all the way through. Now that I've let it unfold completely on a good sound system I'm once again convinced these guys have a rare ability to pull off a kind of improvised intensity that few can match. A cumulative wallop that puts most improv groups to shame! And the delicacy of Arve Henriksen's voice/trumpet amidst and preceding much cacophony is delicious!

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: January 18, 2008, 06:13:02 PM »

I wish Paul and Bill would call each other about cover art! It's like they showed up to the same dinner party in identical black pantsuits! ;)

I hadn’t made the Basinski connection, but listening again I can see Mark’s point that this Bradley release has a foot in the loop- as well as the drone-based camp.
And I reckon Paul wins the darkest pantsuit comp ;-)

Ah, but you've put the El Camino Real cover beside that of Chroma. Try the Disintigration Loops IV cover and you'll have trouble telling them apart even in a well lit room!

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Bill Evans
« on: January 17, 2008, 11:41:51 PM »
You could also try "Waltz for Debby". Ralph Towner is a huge Bill Evans fan. And "Undercurrent" is often cited in "Best of..." album cover volumes!

Everything and Nothing / Re: Vinyl
« on: January 17, 2008, 10:38:44 PM »
Vinyl is great for some applications (deep-cut dubplates fur das disco etc.) and the cover art acreage is nice but you know, you can put a CD into a larger package easily so that you have CD quality sound AND graphic interest. Three examples staring me in the face right now are:

John Tilbury - Piano Solo in Barcelona
Alva Noto - Xxerox
David Sylvian - Ember Glance

I'm for CDs...but I must confess to admiring the new hi-fi turntables and HQ fresh pressings of new and old music.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: January 17, 2008, 10:31:45 PM »
So after Alan's post I thought I'd revisit Paul Bradley's "Chroma" and listen more closely to the elements within. As soon as the disc started I thought "Wait a minute! This is more accurately described as 'loop based' music with a simple repeating half-melody, almost like...William Basinski."

Then I was William Basinski! So, now playing:

William Basinski: Disintigration Loops IV

I wish Paul and Bill would call each other about cover art! It's like they showed up to the same dinner party in identical black pantsuits! ;)


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: January 17, 2008, 01:47:38 PM »
Paul Bradley[/b] - Chroma Now here's someone who has the touch! I don't share the view that this is "drone" music though. Too warm and expansive for the term IMO.

It isn’t actually a “view” that Chroma is drone-based music. It simply is by definition. “Drone”, put simply, refers to the use of sustained sounds, notes, or tones-clusters, and is typically characterized by lengthy passages or pieces with relatively slight harmonic variations throughout as compared to other musics. It's true that many drone-based musicians are associated with somewhat forbidding unwelcoming works, but there’s nothing in the nature of the drone per se which precludes drone-based music from being “warm and expansive”. In fact, a lot of drone-based music is expansive by dint of the drawn-out nature of drone content. Chroma happens to be one Bradley’s lighter drone works, with its sustains and tone-clusters being located in the mid to high end, but drone-based it undeniably still is. It’s the tonal and harmonic nature of the material in combination with its soft translucent timbres that create the sense of warmth.

Well I'm glad you've said "drone-based" because that's more accurate. My use of the singular "drone music" was to indicate something less varied and coloured which most (frequently self-described) electronic "drone music" is IMO. Very few do it well.

"Chroma" reminded me of Paul Dolden's "Veils: Studies in Textural Transformations" from 1985. But that piece was oft comprised of 300 tracks of voice, cello etc. "Drone-based" but well beyond being merely referred to as "drone music". I've been listening to Indian classical music for 25 years now so I'm well aware of how a drone functions.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: January 16, 2008, 11:24:55 AM »
Eluvium- Talk Amongst the Trees; What a great disc, especially "New Animals From the Air" (sounds like a beautiful & slow moving merry-go-round), and "Calm of the Cast-Light Cloud".

Hmmm. I actually found this disc so wanting I traded it in...which is rare for me. I tried for months but just found it made all the right moves...but didn't have "the touch".


Jon Hassell - Delta Rain Dream from "4th World-Possible Musics" I hope Astralwerks is going to re-master/re-issue this!

Paul Bradley
- Chroma Now here's someone who has the touch! I don't share the view that this is "drone" music though. Too warm and expansive for the term IMO.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Best of 2007
« on: January 14, 2008, 04:24:28 PM »
I can't resist the siren's call of the "Best of..." list format! It has made lazy music journalists lives-on-deadline-in-January easier for eons so it must have some merit!

Well, there are many great releases. I usually exclude more esoteric forms of contemporary classical etc. and stick to pop or quasi-pop music. So here, in no particular order, are discs that made me happy in 2007:

1. Dean & Britta - Back Numbers

Soon to return to Vancouver for Valentines Day. Very appropriate!

2. Robert Rich - Illumination

Just when you thought installation soundtracks had become nothing more than foley work!

3. Sakamoto/Fennesz - Cendre

Besides the obvious quotes from Satie and Debussy, this is a model for laptop-tweaked etudes.

4. Harold Budd & Robin Guthrie - Day Breaks/Night Falls

Like sonic I imagine it.

5. Eivind Aarset - Sonic Codex

Heavy riffage tempered with delicate beauty. The modern treated-guitar power trio.

6. Alva Noto - Xxerox

Sounds pulled from the ether of modern life. True grit.

7. Plant & Krauss - Raising Sand

Who knew? Perfect chemistry.

8. Susanna - Sonata Mix Dwarf Cosmos

OK. A bit precious. But spare, crystalline songwriting.

9. SOTL - Refinement of the Decline

The grand return of acoustic richness to the ambient genre. A double from some modern masters.

10. Northern - Drawn

A lovely, homecooked mental travelogue from Edmonton. The winters inspire, evidently.

11. Adam Pacione - From Stills to Motion

Another quiet, rich would-be cinematic journey on the Infraction label out of Ohio.

12. Sandro Perri - Tiny Mirrors

First heard him as Polmo Polpo. This gem reveals the songwriter and a delicate soulful voice.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: January 07, 2008, 05:00:21 PM »

"Doom jazz"? :o

That does it. I have to check that out!

I think a quick glance at the paltry new offerings in the jazz sections of the world pretty much spells it out!

Ditto! Thanks Forrest! You'll soon have a CDs worth of Mp3s there! Press on!

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: January 04, 2008, 11:51:50 AM »
I'm retroactively looking into Alison Krauss after the wonderful recent disc with Bob "Percy" Plant. So I'm listening to "New Favourite" (with her group Union station). It's quite nice but I think she'd really soar with more sophisticated arrangements which are hinted at on the "Raising Sand" CD.

Like the Portuguese singer Madradeus (whose voice Alison's recalls at points) the supporting band doesn't quite push far or high enough to reach the sublime. Maybe next time? Or is the Nashville milieu too conservative?

Hypnos Label Releases / Re: A Produce & Loren Nerell, Intangible
« on: December 24, 2007, 12:12:25 PM »
Over the past summer Barry (A Produce) and I spent quite a bit of time working on some music together with the thought that if turned out half way decent maybe we would put it out. For various reasons we had to stop for a while and haven't been able to get back together to work on it some more.

This is great news Loren. I hope circumstances allow you two to get together again and finish up with something really great that will see a release date...maybe in 2008? Your post reminded me to get back in touch with Barry so thanks for that too!

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: December 18, 2007, 02:28:41 PM »
Supersilent 8

Despite moments that could have been culled from a King Crimson improv session (circa 1969) the chemistry in this group can be electrifying and thus worth wading through the less inspired cuts. And it's always a treat to hear Arve Henriksen play in any context.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: December 09, 2007, 05:32:54 PM »

And to Mike Griffin:
Thanks again for your dedication and professionalism!

You're welcome, but I think you must have me confused with someone else!

Oh. Wait a minute. You're right. I meant Merv Griffin! Know where I can reach him? ;)

Currently awaiting an Infraction infusion to report back on...

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