AMN Reviews: Shrine – Celestial Fire (2018; Cyclic Law)

Bulgaria’s Shrine (Hristo Gospodinov) is back with a follow-up to 2016’s Ordeal 26.04.86. Rather than the Chernobyl disaster theme of that album, Celestial Fire tells a fictional story, based on the Tomb Raider III video game, of a search for alien artifacts. But the six tracks of this album can be listened to and enjoyed without any knowledge of or reference to such background.

While one could roughly lump Shrine into the “dark ambient” category, doing so would ignore his toying with post-industrial elements. As such, Celestial Fire features no shortage of shifting waves of sound, but also gritty electronics, martial drumming, and heavily distorted (though inobtrusive) spoken-word vocals. This combines into dense, windswept soundscapes with an ominous and otherworldly feel.

Not unlike his previous effort, Gospodinov has created an offering that has a remarkable amount of depth and detail that will support repeated listenings. The layered combination of synth and processed elements is compelling and has a singular appeal. Strong recommendation.

Chicago Scene: December 22-29, 2018

This is a weekly overview live avant performances in the Chicago area. Contact us if you’d like your shows listed.

Saturday, December 22nd 2018

7:00PM-10:00PM at the Promontory, 5311 S Lake Park, 312.801.2100 ($27-$17)
Pocket Science : Kahil El’Zabar, Gary Bartz, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Robert Irving III

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($15)
29th Annual Winter Solstice Concerts
SILT : Johanna Brock, Julie Pomerleau, Anton Hatwich, Jason Roebke, Michael Zerang
Hamid Drake with Mako Sica : Przemyslaw Krys Drazek, Brent J Fuscaldo, Chaetan Newell

Thursday, December 27th 2018

9:00PM at Elastic, 3429 W Diversey, #208, 773.772.3616 ($20)
DKV Trio : Ken Vandermark, Kent Kessler, Hamid Drake

Friday, December 28th 2018

9:00PM at Elastic, 3429 W Diversey, #208, 773.772.3616 ($20)
DKV Trio : Ken Vandermark, Kent Kessler, Hamid Drake

For more information, such as directions, as well as upcoming performances, see:,,,,,,,,,,,

Jazzword Reviews 

Source: Jazzword.

Gebhard Ullmann & Alexey Kruglov
Moscow Berlin

Spiritual Prayers

Jon Rose & Chris Abrahams

Mudang Rock

Chris Dammann

Simon Nabatov String Trio

Akita Sakata/Simon Nabatov/Takashi Seo/Darren Moore
Not Seeing is a Flower

Stillness & Sirens

BA Podcast 31: Rune Grammofon 

Source: burning ambulance.

Rune Grammofon is a fantastic label that has put out albums by Motorpsycho, Supersilent, Arve Henriksen, Bushman’s Revenge, Elephant9, Fire!, Maja Ratkje, the Espen Eriksen Trio, the Hedvig Mollestad Trio and many, many others. To celebrate their 20th anniversary, the founder and label owner, Rune Kristoffersen, booked two nights of shows at National Jazz scene, a club in Oslo. The first night featured Maja Ratkje and Motorpsycho, and the second night featured Fire! and the Hedvig Mollestad Trio. And I was one of the foreign journalists invited to come over and see the shows, because I’ve been a supporter of the label for a long time – I’ve reviewed their releases for The Wire and for Burning Ambulance, I interviewed Arve Henriksen for a cover story back when BA had a print magazine, et cetera, et cetera. I wrote a review of the concerts for Down Beat, which you can read on their website, and while I was in Oslo I interviewed Rune, Maja, Bent Saether from Motorpsycho, Mats Gustafsson from Fire!, and Hedvig Mollestad, and you’ll hear all of those conversations, as well as music from each of them, in this episode.