The story of Steve Roach’s ambient landmark Structures From Silence


Structures from Silence

Structures from Silence (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FACT Magazine celebrates the 30-year anniversary of Roach’s landmark recording.

Structures From Silence might be less trumpeted than, say, Eno’s Ambient records, but in terms of emotional affect and textural flair, it more than trumps them. Released in 1984 on Fortuna, this three-track collection of brocaded synth composition is a world away from the tacky lovebombs lying undetonated in new age thrift bins. Instead, Structures From Silence offers an ambient music that, although subtle and slow-moving, throbs with life – music which, like a flagging Chinese lantern, appeared to have gently bobbed down from the cosmos.

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Experimental Music From Mexico

Remi Álvarez

Remi Álvarez (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From Surround:

Since the mid 2000s the avant-garde jazz, electro-acoustic improvisation, sound art, and noise scenes in México have experienced a period of singular creative energy, and 2013 seems to have been the year in which something close to the whole breadth of these scenes was finally registered in documents that do it justice. An undeniable trait of the Mexican experimental scene is its raucous decentralization. Half of the discs in this list were made by musicians who do not live in the nation’s capital: Yair López lives in Puerto Vallarta; Mario Quiroga/Vulgar Disease in Puebla; Miguel Pérez/Wehrmacht Lombardo in Ciudad Juárez; both members of Xtul live in Mérida, and Angélica Castelló has lived in Austria for nearly two decades. Sergio Sánchez/Los Heraldos Negros, Remi Álvarez and the other two members of his trio, as well as the members of Generación Espontánea, Carlos Marks and Muz Muz, live in México City.

AMN Picks of the Week: PGA / Blonk / Ascione / MMW + Cline / Johnson

Jaap Blonk, Sound Poet

Jaap Blonk, Sound Poet (Photo credit: massdistraction)

Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended.

PGA – Corrections (2012)
Jaap Blonk / Sandy Ewen / Damon Smith / Chris Cogburn – North of Blanco (2014)
Patrick Ascione – Primitive / Espaces Paradoxes (2002)
Helmut Lachenmann / JACK Quartet – Complete String Quartets (2014)
Medeski, Martin & Wood / Nels Cline – Woodstock Sessions (Vol. 2) (2014)
Max Johnson – The Prisoner (2014)

Upcoming Shows at Trinosophes

From Detroit’s Trinosophes:

April 12: Mind Over Mirrors, Chatoyant, Clarinet Panic
Mind Over Mirrors is the solitary reeling of American harmoniumist/electronicist Jaime Fennelly. Utilizing an Indian pedal harmonium, oscillators, tape delays, and an assortment of synthesizing processors, Fennelly bends slowly-building, repetitive melodies into massive sonic mountains. Folklorist Brendan Greaves may have best summed up Mind Over Mirrors’ “referential compass points—G.I. Gurdjieff’s harmonium improvisations; certain particularly harmonically viscous recordings of Sacred Harp singers; Edward Artemiev’s soundtracks to Tarkovsky films—in its patience, its simultaneously formal and folk aspects, and its sheer, unabashed (if intermittently anxious) beauty, it doesn’t sound much like anything else being made today.” His fourth album, When The Rest Are Up At Four, was released in September on Immune Recordings, following releases on Digitalis, Hands In the Dark & Aguirre/Gift Tapes. Fennelly was a founding member of the iconoclastic trio Peeesseye (with Chris Forsyth & Fritz Welch), is one-third of free jazz unit Acid Birds, and is now a resident of Chicago, IL after living for three years on a remote island in the Salish Sea of Washington State, where the Mind Over Mirrors project was initially developed.

Chatoyant is a mosaic of door creaks, shot gun blasts, rustling wind, alien ages and biker rock. A post-vocalist group with no songs in particular, they sound like many of your favorite bands for a moment or two. while sounding like no band at all. Somehow it ‘s all so familiar, like from a dream we all had once. Over the past year, Chatoyant have put out three releases in editions of 20. They have many more planned for 2014.

Clarinet Panic is a new group that hails from Toronto and performs mathy chamber-rock on cello, drums, guitar and saxophone.


April 17: Ken Vandermark’s Made to Break
April 18: Eric Carbonara and Nick Milevoi, Fortuna/Knaggs
April 19: Pandelis Karayorgis Quintet
April 27: BYOBach
April 30: Chicago Underground Duo

Steve Coleman Appointed as a Guggenheim Fellow

Steve Coleman in Paris, July 2004

Steve Coleman in Paris, July 2004 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation:

In my music, I have utilized various kinds of musical structure and temperament to symbolize the specific kinds of musical movement necessary to reference various states of energy, with the concepts of change, process, and growth being central to my work. Specifically, I believe that it is through the spontaneous composition of forms that my ideas can be most readily expressed, regardless of external stylistic appearances.

Peter Brotzmann Interview Book

Peter Brötzmann

Cover of Peter Brötzmann

From Wolke-Verlag, a new book of interviews with and about Peter Brotzmann:

We went to different venues where Brötzmann was playing between those dates. We also had four long interviews with Brötzmann in his home in Wuppertal. Interviews of other people were made at the same time with Jost Gebers, Evan Parker, Fred Van Hove, Han Bennink, Fred Frith, Michael Wertmüller. And others with Joe McPhee, Conny and Johannes Bauer, Michael Zerang and Paal Nilssen-Love, Ken Vandermark and Mats Gustafsson, that were not used in the movie.

AMN Picks of the Week: D.C. Improvisers Collective / Blood Trio / André Foisy / Keir Neuringer / Richard Pinhas / Barry Guy


Cover of Heldon

Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended.

D.C. Improvisers Collective – In the Gloam of the Anthropocene (2014)
Blood Trio – Understory (2013)
André Foisy – The End of History (2014)
Keir Neuringer – Ceremonies Out of the Air (2014)
Richard Pinhas – Desolation Row (2013)
Barry Guy / New Orchestra – Amphi / Radio Rondo (2014)

AMN Picks of the Week: Nicole Mitchell / Frode Gjerstad / Igor Krutogolov / Anthony Davis

Igor Krutogolov

Igor Krutogolov (Photo credit: focus.recompose)

Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended.

Nicole Mitchell / Black Earth Ensemble – Intergalactic Beings: Xenogenesis II (2014)
Frode Gjerstad / Sabir Mateen / Paal Nilssen-Love – Hasselt (2014)
Igor Krutogolov’s Karate Band – How To Be A Crocodile (2014)
Anthony Davis – Notes From Underground (2014)