A CLOSER LISTEN weekly #17
Fall Music Previews!
Greetings, Listeners, Joseph from ACL here again for your fortnightly roundup. This edition mostly collects our ever-popular Fall Music Preview features, as well as a recent interview with Mirt, and the latest in our series Ukrainian Field Notes. Speaking of Gianmarco Del Re’s series, the second episode of the Ukrainian Field Notes podcast just aired on Resonance.fm, with Olesia Onikyienko (NFNR) discussing fundraising and life in Kyiv. If you missed it, you can tune in again for a rebroadcast this coming Sunday at 11am (GMT). It will be in our podcast RSS and Soundcloud feeds after broadcast.
Last week I presented an excerpt from my soundwalk dopo il diluvio on a roundtable on field recording practice in academia with ethnomusicologist Steven Feld, composer France Jobin, and others at McGill University organized by my friend Nicola Di Croce. It was interesting to hear the work on quad speakers rather than headphones in situ. I also just caught that Felisha Ledesma included an excerpt from my soundwalk dopo il diluvio in their NTS show back in August. I really enjoyed hearing the work in the context of Ledesma’s mix, check it out.
Before we get to the main event, we’ve had a lot of great reviews on the blog recently, particularly from some new contributors who have joined the ACL crew this year. Check out all our reviews at acloserlisten.com. Just a few other recent releases we’ve not covered that I’d like to draw your attention to as well. Drew Daniel (of Matmos fame) has just released a new EP under his moniker The Soft Pink Truth, which includes a cover of COIL’s “The Anal Staircase” Check it out on Was It Ever Real?
Kevin Martin’s The Bug has returned with Absent Riddim, featuring 16 different artists providing vocals over “Absent Riddim.” The beat changes slightly with each iteration in order to reflect the approach of each artist, and the album closes with the instrumental. Contributors include frequent Bug collaborators (Justin K Broadrick, Roger Robinson, Logan, Dis Fig, Moor Mother) as well as some fresh voices (including rapper Fatboi Sharif, and vocals and trumpet from the late Jamie Branch) that keep things interesting. This format will be familiar to fans of dancehall reggae, as on the classic Street Sweeper Riddim (1999). (Personally, I’d recommend Montreal producer Poirier’s Kidnap Riddim EP (2012) as an exemplorary example as well.) Martin cites Scratch DVA’s Crash Riddim (2022) as the prime antecedent to this record, but I think he’s right that we haven’t seen this approach (various artists contributing vocals over the same beat) outside of dancehall. The first track features Nazamba, a “Dub poet” from Kingston, Jamaica who sadly passed away this summer. Beginning with a Jamaican MC cements the connection with reggae, but Martin smartly follows that with a track from Broadrick (Godflesh, Jesu, etc) channeling very different energy and demonstrating that Absent Riddim won’t be monotonous. That said, it is the MCs who shine brightest here. Fatboi Sharif has had a bunch of high-profile features lately (for instance on billy woods’ Aethiopes), and is poised to earn a broader audience with his forthcoming LP on PTP later this fall. Other standouts include Dälek, Nosaj (from New Kingdom), and of course you don’t want to miss that Moor Mother track.
Sometimes I paint – An interview with Mirt
Tomek Mirt is a Polish musician and artist. We originally got in touch with him when compiling the first feature about fundraising albums for Ukraine, as Mirt destined proceeds of his bandcamp sales to the country after the full scale Russian invasion. Because of space constraints, and to maximise focus, we ended up pulling his interview with a view to expand our conversation for a stand alone feature. The release of two new albums, the solo vinyl Hiræth and [security] by Brasil & The Gallowbrothers Band, the collaborative project he shares with Madgda Ter and Dominik Savio, provided the right excuse to reconnect.
Thanks for reading a closer listen! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
Hiræth presents Mirt’s trademark freeform brand of ritualistic rhythms layered over aquatic field recordings. And yet, the colouring is darker, the waters murkier than in previous works. The liminal quality of tracks like “Heavy Rain” and “Lagging Relay”, with their heady mix of modular synths and gongs, leads to uncharted terrain becoming ever more abstract in texture and signaling a departure from the organic undergrowth they sprang from. [security] is a similarly unsettling work, refusing to be anchored by any identifiable sense of place. One minute one seems to be coasting through wetlands lulled by amphibian sounds, the next, one finds oneself orbiting in space picking up frequencies from galaxies far away. The title acts in a counterintuitive way, as the listener is left drifting in space at the end of a breathless journey into the unknown.
Who and / or what would you say has influenced you the most in the way you think about sound?
I think that two important factors were realising that I could use the soundscape as a kind of compositional tool or better – a template, and opening to traditional music. I started reading a lot about gamelan, African music, etc. At some point, I was close to declaring my music as a kind of a “new folk music”.
In this postindustrial age, electronic instruments seem to me as the natural replacement for traditional instruments. If you explore these traditional instruments, you notice that many of them were just mimicking natural sounds. Many with just some everyday items. The modular synth isn’t an everyday item, but it is just a bunch of simple buzzing generators, perhaps some samplers. Somehow it seems to me close to this idea of simple tools that you can use to make music.
It is easy to mention Jon Hassell here and his fourth world music. I must admit that I’ve been a fan of his early works for a long time. I love the whole Made To Measure series from Crammed Disc, especially Benjamin Lew, but I believe I’ve developed a bit grimmer updated revision of fourth world music, stuck together from scraps and waste.
Musically, Cluster is an important act for me, I also love Neu! and Harmonia. I’m trying to find new music everyday and not to be stuck in the past.
Ukrainian Field Notes XII
Back after a break for a new episode of Ukrainian Field Notes, we talk to two veterans of the scene, Edward Sol, who, in-between releasing new material and running three labels, is preparing for winter in a quiet village in the Bucha region, and Denys Koin, who reminisces about floppy discs (yes, some of us do still remember those) whilst giving us the lowdown on the Kharkiv scene.
Meanwhile, Friedensreich enthuses about modular synthesizer that feature prominently in his latest album, the masterful AXX, out on the ever reliable Corridor Audio label; Hatroneli, having remained in the capital throughout, discusses daily life in Kyiv; hspd presents ACL with not just one but two exclusive and stellar tracks; Ocheret slips some ambient into the proceedings (under the watchful gaze of his cat), and last, but not least, we travel to occupied Berdansk to catch up with Arthur Kryulin, who captures the sound of Summer nights in the coastal town.
And yes, this is an all male lineup, and nope, this is not by design or oversight. It is sometimes difficult to put these episodes together – to give an idea, I am currently waiting for 20+ interviews to come in, a number of which will inevitably be derailed because, yeah, well, the war. To make up for it, we have the latest from Nina Eba, who explores the Donbas region in a new episode of her podcast Air Raid Siren, as well as mixes from Poly Chain; AXT b2b with Andriy Kostyukov, and ТУЧА (Tucha), who recently saw her video for “russia is a terrorist state” taken down from YouTube before being reinstated with a warning.
To round things up, we present the customary batch of fundraising albums. Now that we’ve featured 100+ compilations we’ve stopped counting, but it’s always good to be adding new titles, including notable releases by Ukrainian communities and labels Neformat, Artdopomoga, Worn Pop and (O)SOZNANIE. And finally, in our viewing room we look at Earth a classic film by Oleksandr Petrovych Dovzhenko and analise the way Russian cinema portrays Ukraine. Happy reading, listening and viewing.
Fall Music Previews
Fall Music Preview ~ Ambient
The tumult of the world creates an ongoing need for quiet music. From soft piano to synthesized pulse, soothing brass to languid guitar, the ambient genre displays an amazing versatility. And if ambience is yellow and drone is red, dark ambience is the orange overlap. This preview will segue smoothly into the next, as the tone darkens to match the season. In early September, certain geographical regions continue to bake and boil while others are beginning to feel the chill. In the Southern Hemisphere, spring is on the way. When weather of either extreme pushes us indoors, our ears grow better suited to minute and subtle sounds. No matter where you are, we hope you’ll find something here to calm and soothe!
Fall Music Preview ~ Drone
The tractors are plowing the fields, the leaf blowers are clearing the lawns, the construction crews are fixing the roads, and a new season of drone music ~ live and recorded ~ is upon us. Today’s drone post picks up from yesterday’s dark ambient cliffhanger, tilting us toward daylight savings, the harvest and Halloween. While late summer days continue to bring the heat, late summer nights yield a bit of chill, a tinge of the season to come, as the green begins to leach away, stolen by umber, russet and rust. New sights, sounds and flavors await; we invite you to grab a pumpkin spice latte or pumpkin beer as you enjoy the last of our seasonal previews!
Fall Music Preview ~ Electronic
This fall the electronic music scene is hot enough to fry circuits and burst sub-woofers. We suspect this may happen in clubs as they dust off long-shelved equipment. But the same may be true of vehicles; as the popular sample states, “This should be played at high volume, preferably in a residential area.” The world has been looking backward for too long, and is ready to start looking forward again. No one knows where music will head next, only that it’s no longer taking place in isolation. We’re predicting an outpouring of emotion, from sadness to anger to joy, leading to musical catharsis. Many of this season’s releases fall into these categories, their common thread a vibrancy of heart.
Fall Music Preview ~ Experimental
The world may often seem stagnant, but as long as there is art, there is hope. In every field ~ art, music, cinema, literature and more ~ experimentalists test the boundaries of the expected, breaking through to unexplored territories. Today’s experimental music may become tomorrow’s mainstream, or may not ~ the value is in the searching, striving and finding. Why play the note as it is written? Why play the note at all? Is music found only in instruments? Can the random be considered composed? These questions and more are tackled by this season’s roster.
Fall Music Preview ~ Modern Composition
The elegant hues of modern composition make the genre a perfect match for fall. Orchestras bloom like full-spectrum trees; piano notes fall like individual leaves. As ambassadors to the moss and dirt, these leaves nourish the next generation. The songs and symphonies of centuries past continue to resound. The harvest is rich this year. For the past two years, composers have been putting pen to paper, hands to keys, hoping to introduce their works to the world; and now their time has come. From solo artists to ensembles, these artists are dusting off their tuxes, waiting for the curtain to open. We hope that you’ll enjoy this early taste of the season’s freshest crops, hand-selected for your listening pleasure!
Fall Music Preview ~ Rock, Post-Rock, Folk & Jazz
The new season has arrived, along with new hopes, new ventures and new music! Over the course of the week, we’ll be listing over 400 new albums on these pages, including a far more even genre distribution than we’ve seen in years. Everybody’s getting in on the action! Musicians are connecting with fans in person, finally touring (and hopefully making some money doing so). Live venues are buzzing with pent-up energy, shared between artists and fans. Now here’s the first taste of what fall has to offer!
Note: our jazz releases are divided between two posts. Melodic and more accessible jazz releases are found here, while the more abstract and improvised albums will be listed in our Experimental post on Thursday.
(complete list with Bandcamp links here)
Early autumn is an unusual time for many locations, as local beaches are still open and the temperatures continue to soar. Yet vacations are over and many of us have returned to school and/or work. We may not be quite ready for autumn, but here it is. Fortunately, there’s always an array of new releases to accompany us across the change of seasons, and this fall harvest is particularly large, as readers have discovered through our Fall Music Preview. New music is added daily; we hope you’ll find your next favorite album right here!
CC Sorensen ~ Phantom Rooms (Mappa, 22 September)
Luminous “Diamond Ben” Kudler ~ My Summer Vacation (Psychic Liberation, 22 September)
Saloon Bizarre ~ Apocalydia (22 September)
Spirinet ~ My Kiss (Psychic Liberation, 22 September)
XINDL ~ 11 (STRD, 22 September)
Aaron Martin ~ The End of Medicine (Lost Tribe Sound, 23 September)
Aki Yli-Salomäki ~ Valunta (23 September)
Aleksandra Slyz ~ A Vibrant Touch (Warm Winters Ltd., 23 September)
Appropriate Savagery ~ Inneterre, Reborn (Vaagner, 23 September)
Conflux Coldwell ~ The Phantomatic Coast (Subexotic, 23 September)
Dogs Versus Shadows ~ Oracle Mama Dot (Subexotic, 23 September)
f5point6 ~ A Matter of Light and Depth (See Blue Audio, 23 September)
Garcia / Navas / Reviriego / Trilla ~ Les Capelles (Tripticks Tapes, 23 September)
Gematria ~ Gematria II: The Spindle of Necessity (Nefarious Industries, 23 September)
Gentiane MG ~ Walls Made of Glass (TPRRecords, 23 September)
The Humble Bee ~ An Opposite Fall (Vaagner, 23 September)
Ian William Craig ~ Music for Magnesium_173 (Fatcat, 23 September)
Jakob Lindhagen ~ Memory Constructions (Piano & Coffee Records, 23 September)
Jason Blake ~ The Compromise Rationale (Wayfarer, 23 September)
Jeff Denson, Romain Pilon, Brian Blade ~ Finding Light (Ridgeway, 23 September)
Lawrence English ~ Approach (Room40, 23 September)
Luca Longobardi ~ 1751 (23 September)
Marisa Anderson ~ Still, Here (Thrill Jockey, 23 September)
Matthias Delplanque ~ Ô Seuil (Ici d’ailleurs, 23 September)
The Observatory & Koichi Shimizu ~ Demon State (Midnight Shift, 23 September)
Samuel Rohrer ~ Hungry Ghosts (Arjunamusic, 23 September)
Siavash Amini & Eugene Thacker ~ Songs for Sad Poets (Hallow Ground, 23 September)
Star Guided Vessel ~ Tethered/Severed (Somewherecold, 23 September)
Strategy ~ Unexplained Sky Burners (peak oil, 23 September)
Thme ~ A Grasp of Wonder (Vaagner, 23 September)
turista digital ~ interferencias (23 September)
Valentina Magaletti & Yves Chaudouet ~ Batterie Fragile (unjenesaisquoi, 23 September)
Woody Sullender ~ Music from ‘Four Movements’ and Other Favorites (23 September)
Ard Bit ~ Music for Delirious Episodes (26 September)
Moss Covered Technology ~ Brick and Air (Audiobulb, 28 September)
The Three Oldmen’s Birds ~ Rustine (IIKKI, 29 September)
Adrian Corker ~ Since It Turned Out Something Else (SN Variations, 30 September)
Alien Alarms ~ 0 to 1 (30 September)
Andrew Cyrille, Elliot Sharp & Richard Teitelbaum ~ Evocation (Seams, 30 September)
Basher ~ Doubles (Sinking City, 30 September)
Ben Glas ~ Superpositional Melodies (Room40, 30 September)
Cole Pulice ~ Scry (Moon Glyph, 30 September)
Jacaszek, Romek Kleefstra, Jan Kleefstra ~ IT DEEL I (Moving Furniture, 30 September)
Jagath ~ Svapna (Cold Spring, 30 September)
Julien Tassin ~ primitiv (Ramble Records, 30 September)
Kamran Arashnia ~ Bounds Elimination (Flaming Pines, 30 September)
Karen & Peter ~ Aggro Dolce (Cruel Nature, 30 September)
Marika Takeuchi ~ Dreamer in the Dark (Bigo & Twigetti, 30 September)
Saint Abdullah & Eomac ~ Patience of a Traitor (Other People, 30 September)
Sam Prekop ~ The Sparrow (TAL, 30 September)
Scanner & Modelbau ~ Loess (Moving Furniture, 30 September)
Thumbscrew ~ Multicolored Midnight (Cuneiform, 30 September)
Tortuga Alada ~ Cuadernos de viaje n°2 (Dur & Doux, 30 September)
Use Knife ~ The Shedding of Skin (VIERNULVIER, 30 September)
Stefan Römer ~ ReCoder SOUND (Corvo, 1 October)
Willem Gator ~ The Encyclopedia of Failure (Hidden Shoal, 2 October)
Lucy Liyou & Eric Frye ~ Grace (Futura Resistenza, 3 October)
thshlt ~ A Tendency Toward Absolute Voluntariness (3 October)
Brian Harnetty ~ Words and Silences (Winesap, 7 October)
Chris Williams & Patrick Shiroishi ~ Sans Soleil II (Astral Spirits, 7 October)
Ensemble D’Oscillateurs ~ 5 Directions (LINE, 7 October)
Eric Griswold ~ Sunshowers (Room40, 7 October)
Ernesto Cervini ~ Joy (TPRRecords, 7 October)
Glenn Natale ~ Absolved (Bigo & Twigetti, 7 October)
Hannes Lingens ~ Nachthund (Umlaut, 7 October)
Heith ~ X, wheel (PAN, 7 October)
Jessica Moss ~ Galaxy Heart (Constellation, 7 October)
Keiji Haino & SUMAC ~ into this juvenile apocalypse our golden blood to pour let us never (Thrill Jockey, 7 October)
Loraine James ~ Building Something Beautiful for Me (Phantom Limb, October 7)
Peter Knight ~ Shadow Phase (Room40, 7 October)
Sofie Birch & Antonia Nowacka ~ Languoria (Mondoj, 7 October)
SPILL ~ mycelium (Corvo, 9 October)
Alex Velasco ~ Imbued (10 October)
Ordos Mk.0 ~ Sisyphean Audio Therapy 3 (10 October)
Fire-Toolz ~ I will not use the body’s eyes today (11 October)
Garreth Broke ~ Four Songs for Ralph Vaughn Williams (Bigo & Twigetti, 12 October)
Apparitions ~ Eyes Like Predatory Wealth (The Garrote, 14 October)
Deniz Cuylan ~ Rings of Juniper (Hush Hush Records, 14 October)
Feldermelder ~ Euphoric Attempts (~OUS, 14 October)
Girih ~ Ikigai (dunk!records/A Thousand Arms Music, 14 October)
Giulio Aldinucci ~ Real (Karlrecords, 14 October)
HANDS HOLDING THE VOID ~ BRDLND (14 October)
Jeremy Rose ~ Disruption! The Voice of Drums (Earshift Music, 14 October)
Jonathan Higgins ~ Good thanks, you? (Flaming Pines, 14 October)
Masako Ohta, Mattias Lindermayr ~ MMMMH (Squama, 14 October)
Matthew J. Rolin ~ Passing (American Dreams, 14 October)
No Base Trio ~ NBT II (14 October)
Rival Consoles ~ Now Is (Erased Tapes, 14 October)
Rupert Lally ~ Cruise Controlled (Subexotic, 14 October)
Salvatore Mercatante ~ DECAS (Subexotic, 14 October)
Sunwarper ~ Radiant Visage (Audionautic, 14 October)
Surgeons Girl ~ Sever (Lapsus, 14 October)
Tujiko Noriko & Paul Davies ~ Surge Original Soundtrack (SN Variations, 14 October)
Ümlaut ~ Musique de Film II (Audiobulb, 15 October)
Noctuid ~ Vestige (Coprolalia Digital, 17 October)
Blightcaster ~ S/T (Danse Noire, 21 October)
Cate Kennan ~ The Arbitrary Dimension of Dreams (Post Present Medium, 21 October)
Cindytalk ~ Subterminal (False Walls, 21 October)
Clarice Jensen ~ Esthesis (Fatcat/130701, 21 October)
Jairus Sharif ~ Water & Tools (telephone explosion, 21 October)
Pauline Oliveros & James Ilgenfritz ~ Altamirage (Infrequent Seams, 21 October)
Rubbish Music ~ Upcycling (Flaming Pines, 21 October)
Takuya Kuroda ~ Midnight Crisp (First Word, 21 October)
33 ~ 33-69 (C.A.N.V.A.S., 21 October)
Carbon in Prose ~ Cataclysmic System Binding Loss (24 October)
Steffi ~ The Red Hunter (candy mountain, 24 October)
Vanessa Wagner ~ Mirrored (InFiné, 25 October)
Chad Taylor Trio ~ The Reel (Astral Spirits, 28 October)
Mats Persson & Kristine Scholz ~ stilla sväva (kuyin, 28 October)
nueen ~ Diagrams of Thought (Balmat, 28 October)
Senyawa+ ~ The Prey and the Ruler (Room40, 28 October)
Jürg Frey / Reinier van Houdt ~ lieues d’ombres (Elsewhere, 30 October)
Sun Dog ~ Col des Tempètes (Cronica, 1 November)
Brad E. Rose ~ Annular Silhouettes (Room40, 4 November)
Daniel Avery ~ Ultra Truth (Mute, 4 November)
Ethan James Startzman ~ Shamanic Verse (Subexotic, 4 November)
John Also Bennett ~ Out there in the middle of nowhere (Poole Music, 4 November)
Noah Wall ~ Speech Patterns (Chaikin, 4 November)
Suryo Botofasina ~ Everyone’s Children (Spiritmuse, 4 November)
V/A ~ Duet Layers (7K!, 4 November)
Christina Vantzou ~ No. 5 (Kranky, 11 November)
Colin Stetson ~ Chimæra I (Room40, 11 November)
FreqGen ~ Future 1990s (FiXT Neon, 11 November)
H.C. Behrendtsen ~ S/T (Schatulle Bömm, 11 November)
J.WLSN ~ 1993 (Room40, 11 November)
Greg Dallas & Jan Esbra ~ Confluence (The Slow Music Movement Label, 17 November)
Andrew Poppy ~ Ark Hive of a Live (False Walls, 18 November)
Jonas Colstrup ~ At the Crest (7K!, 18 November)
The Home Current ~ The Circus Hunter (Subexotic, 25 November)
Snowdrops ~ Missing Island (Injazero, 28 November)
TRÓNCO ~ S/T (Torto Editions, 30 November)
Jameson Nathan Jones ~ Somewhat the Same (2 December)
Terence Fixmer ~ Shifting Signals (Mute, 2 December)
Thanks for reading a closer listen! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.