Archive for November, 2006

Musique Machine Reviews

Posted: November 29, 2006 by Mike in Reviews

From Musique Machine:

Arktau Eos – Mirrorion
Arktau Eos debut album is a journey into ritual and dark occultic ambience with guitar elements on a few tracks. But for the most part it’s stick to purely organic and acoustic elements such as piercing blasts of windbones, accelerating steel-plate rolls, singing bowl and various kinds of stringed instruments along with the human voice in all it’s eerier wonder, to summon up dark and often deeply chilling atmospheres

Claudio Parodi – Horizontal mover
Horizontal Mover finds classical trained pianist,improviser and sound artist Claudio Parodi playing tribute to American sound artist Alvin Lucier and in particular his piece I am sitting in a room, which was based around recordings of recordings- that are built up untill they make there own drone form.

Welcome – Sirs
Welcomes debut feels like if you had a big white bowl and mixed in: Syd Barrett’s take on Pink Floyd, all manner of late 60’s psychedelic pop rock, The velvet underground’s sensibility to more churning avant guitar work, and The Pixies one of there more rough and ready days. All squeezed toothpaste like into your mind- a mix of juddering off angle guitars, quirky/ wonky harmonies, and songs that threaten to fall apart beneath you, like a trap door leading down a multicoloured Helter Skelter.

Francisco López – Untitled #180
Francisco López paints hyper reality audio paintings or maybe huge more convincing versions of those 3D laser pictures from the late 1980’s. Sound and noise elements are cut up and throw back in your face,Or you drift on gossamer like threads, through slow unwinding caverns of sound, always weary you might drop to the caverns floor hundreds of feet bellow.

Circle – Andexelt
Andexelt is often as cited been one of Circle’s best albums, dating from 1999 and been out of print for sometime- here it’s been reissued by San Francisco tUMULt label. So what’s all the fuss about, well Circle stand as one of the great instrumental bands period, in any genre.

Neronoia – Un Mondo In Me
As many long time readers of this site and my reviews, will probably know I’m more than a little bit of a horror movie geek. The reason I mention this is the first time I played Neronoia album, I was immediately hit by a moive and that movies characters that could well have Listen to this ,the movie in question was 80’s teen Horror vampire film The Lost Boys. Un Mondo In Me seems to fit pefectly into that world, with it’s mix of 80’s synth work, pop rock guitar elements, gothic undertones and a splattering of horror filmatic moments.

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Zappa Blog: The Central Scrutinizer

Posted: November 29, 2006 by Mike in General

A new Frank Zappa blog has launched.

Braxton Reviews

Posted: November 29, 2006 by Mike in Performances, Reviews

A series of recent European Anthony Braxton shows are reviewed.

Where Collectors Can Get Lost Classical Recordings

Posted: November 29, 2006 by Mike in General

After yesterday’s post on a similar topic, this piece appears, discussing how out of print classical can be found.

AMN Opinion: Should Out-of-Print Music Be Free?

Posted: November 28, 2006 by Mike in Opinion

Every couple of weeks or so a new podcast or blog emerges that offers free downloads of out-of-print or rare recordings. Most of these sites also display a disclaimer, stating something to the point of: “We’re only posting these digitized high-quality recordings because they are otherwise unavailable. We’re not distributing pirated copies, no-sir-ee!”

Let’s analyze.

A great deal of music is out-of-print, including many recordings that have a viable, but small, audience. The recordings remain out-of-print in most cases because the cost of re-printing, re-pressing, and/or re-mastering is several times the amount of money that can be made by offering legitimate copies for sale. However, should this potential audience of perhaps several hundred individuals lose the opportunity to enjoy what in their minds might be a classic? Should art be not seen, not heard and not experienced because of its lack of commercial viability?

While the recordings may only exist in LP format or both LP and CD formats, the market for certain rare recordings on eBay and other forums can be in the hundreds or even thousands of dollars. One can debate the intricacies and justifications of free-market economics, but is it fair, or is it just for savvy collectors to profit off of the second-hand selling of art while the artist doesn’t get a cut?

Enter the free download sites. They offer the entire album, either digitized from the original LP format, or ripped form a CD. Usually, the sound quality is quite good. The world, including the core audience of several hundred, can now experience the art. Life is good for everyone…or is it?

It is debatable whether or not the original artist benefits from or would even condone this practice. And it will vary from artist to artist. Some openly encourage sharing of their out-of-print works while others prefer to maintain a stranglehold on the dissemination of their music (though the online market for free high-quality bootleg recordings is so enormous that this point is practically moot). But will the artist benefit or be harmed? Here too, there is no clear answer. A freely available high-quality digital copy of a recording might kill the market for a legitimate release of that recording, or it might seed the market for such a release and drive sales of the artist’s in-print efforts. To date, no one has provided reliable data indicating that either of these speculative outcomes is more common than the other. Like artist’s attitudes towards free downloads, the truth probably varies.

So is it considered “piracy” to offer high-quality full-length downloads of otherwise unavailable music? The ethics seem questionable. But is it right or wrong? Again, no clear answer emerges.

This may be one of those situations where you cannot change what happened in the past, so you can only plan to address the problem in the future. Independent artists should either launch their own websites or sign on to download services that, for all intents and purposes, will result in their music never going out-of-print, while allowing the artist to get paid per download. Artists that prefer to sign to a label should negotiate a contract that allows the rights of their music to revert to themselves after the label lets the recording go out-of-print.

And what about the devious collector who makes enormous profits on the resale of legit copies of rare recordings? Digital downloads won’t make the market for physical media evaporate, but downloads will push the market down the demand curve. However, the amount of time that collectors put into collecting is significant and there are relatively few sales of rare recordings that exceed $500. If you boil collector profits down to an hourly rate, it is likely to no more than minimum wage. So maybe the collectors have more in common with the artists than meets the eye.

AAJ Reviews

Posted: November 28, 2006 by Mike in Reviews

From AAJ:

28-Nov-06 Ahmad Jamal
Pavane For Ahmad (FiveFour)

28-Nov-06 Steve Swallow with Robert Creeley
Steve Swallow with Robert Creeley: So There (XtraWATT/ECM)

27-Nov-06 Francois Carrier
Open Spaces (Spool)

27-Nov-06 Evan Ziporyn
Frog’s Eye (Cantaloupe Music)

New on Important Records

Posted: November 28, 2006 by Mike in Releases

The latest from Important Records:

RIVULETS
You Are My Home
For Rivulets’ third album members include Jessica Baliff, Chris Brokaw and musicians from The Rachel’s, Boxhead Ensemble & Mission Of Burma.
Together they tastefully smother Rivulet’s soft voice and guitar with layers of wintery sounds….. (more)

YELLOW SWANS & BIRCHVILLE CAT MOTEL
Yellow Swans & Birchville Cat Motel
Yellow Swans & Birchville Cat Motel is the the first collaboration between these two underground phenomenons.This collaboration was recorded entirely in New Zealand both live and in the studio.

CONRAD SCHNITZLER
Trigger Trilogy
Conrad Schnitzler is a genuine legend in the krautrock and electronic music worlds. Schnitzler studied under Joseph Beuys before joining an early Tangerine Dream. Their first album Electronic Meditation shows a band highly influenced by Schnitzler’s unique, singular approach.(more)

CONRAD SCHNITZLER
Klavierhelm

The piano is certainly an instrument with which Conrad Schnitzler is not often associated. However, his compositions on Klavierhelm exhibit his highly expressive and free approach to the piano. Calling to mind Erik Satie and Cage, Cecil Taylor and even Carl Stalling. (more)

HOTOTOGISU
Some Blood Will Stick
Some Blood Will Stick is a collection of tracks from their ultra-limited self produced label Heavy Blossom. Songs were taken from Swoon Scream (2004) and Awful Symmetry (2005) with one additional track. What makes this disc more than a simple re-release is … (more)