Franco Battiato —
Pollution ... LP Superior Viaduct, 1972. New Copy Gatefold ...
A really full-on early set from Franco Battiato – a set that's maybe halfway between some of his more avant compositions and some of the modes of the Italian prog scene at the time! The album's a concept one, based on the growing pollution of the planet – in a mode that's maybe similar to Earth Rot, by David Axelrod – and like that set, Battiato mixes together unusual sounds and ideas with some more straightforward rockish passages. Battiato works with a small group of musicians – and while guitar steps to the lead at some points, others very much more abstract sounds and forms. Titles include "Il Silenzio Del Rumore", "31 Dicembre 1999 – Ore 9", "Beta", "Plancton", "Pollution", and "Areknames". LP, Vinyl record album
A beautiful combination of talents – the compositional work of Harris Eisenstadt, and the dynamic performance range of the Mivos Quartet – who bring life to Eisenstadt's music in a way that you'd never hear on his own records! The combination of a jazz talent and a string quartet is nothing new – but here, the group really seems to understand that wider, almost cinematic vision that Harris can have at times in his own performances – then extrapolate it beautifully to their lineup of two violins, viola, and cello. In other words, Harris doesn't play on the record – but the group really seems to evoke his spirit in their own sounds, although completely different – playing with undeniable beauty as the title suite unfolds over the course of the album. (Jazz, Out Sound)LP, Vinyl record album
Sublime sounds from a group who definitely offer up what they promise from their name, but also add in some great extra elements too! The use of flute and voice seems to start in a space that's inspired by Indian music, but also takes off into slightly progressive territory too – very spare, and acoustic throughout – with vocal sounds instead of lyrics, and more guitar and sitar than flute! The tunes build slowly, spaciously – almost with an improvised vibe – and the vocal lines are usually a bit more back in the mix than the guitar, and the two work together with a quality that's almost like improvised music, but with more of an advance structure overall. Great package includes the group's first album – plus their never-issued Hallo Rabbit record from the same time! (Rock, Out Sound)LP, Vinyl record album
(Limited to 500 copies! Comes with a big booklet of notes, too.)
Weird electronics, spacey trumpet, and lots more going on too – all in a set that seems to bridge the gap between early analogue electronic experiments of the postwar years, and some of the ambient sounds to come at the end of the 70s! The music here is never too obtuse, but often does move past simple tunefulness – really exploring space with waves of electric sound, but with focused statements that give each track an individual spirit – and some of our favorite moments even move into territory of early 80s German groups, like Der Plan or Pyrolator, but with a sound here that's a decade ahead of its time! In keeping with the "atmospheres" title, you might think of each track as a visit to a tiny musical planet – with names that include "Congresso A Babilonia", "Inchiesta Sul Futuro", "Sogno Dionisiaco", "Sesso E Droga", "LSD Viaggio Nel Passato", "Incubo Di Isabel", "Venezia Oggi", "Apres L'Amour", and "Meditazione Yoga". (Sound Library, Out Sound)LP, Vinyl record album
(Numbered limited edition of 600 – includes download!)
Han Bennink & Terrie Ex —
Zeng! ... CD Terp (Netherlands), 2007. Used ...
Sharp, jagged and intuitive interplay from what a pair that works very well together – Dutch postpunk adventurer Terrie Ex of the The Ex – and improvistation jazz drums titan Han Bennik! Zeng doesn't pummel as much as you might be expecting, though they do make a might racket when the mood strikes. It's more dynamic than just visceral back & forth, and overall spare and efficient. Excellent! Titles include "Spikkel", "Zegnie", "Horstik", "Haraf!", "Snerk", "Radder", "Two Bruised Ribs", "Shelly" and "Pekel". (Jazz, Out Sound)CD
Fantastic percussion pieces from this ultra-cool New Zealand ensemble of the 70s – a group who take their name and inspiration from the Scratch Orchestra of Cornelius Cardew – but who also work in a more intimate setting, with lots of instruments of their own creation – with a vibe that sometimes reminds us of the music of Harry Party! Given the smallness of the NZ scene at the time, these guys were less of a high art ensemble, than the kind of creative criss-crossing of big ideas and grass roots expression – similar to that moment when the art and punk worlds worked together so strongly in late 70s New York. And the sound here would be right at home alongside some of the more creative artists from the Kitchen scene – as the group play, drum, and blow themselves through a wonderful array of rhythmic sounds! Titles include 'Out In Part", "Passage", "Drumwheel (part 2)", and passages from "Gung Ho". CD