AMN Reviews: NERATERRÆ – The Substance of Perception (2019; Cyclic Law)

NERATERRÆ is Alessio Antoni, and this debut album is a set of seven collaborations with a virtual who’s who of dark ambient and melancholy electroacoustic music. Collaborators include members of Northaunt, Phurpa, Treha Sektori, New Risen Throne, Flowers For Bodysnatchers, Taphephobia, Ugasanie, Xerxes The Dark, and Infinexhuma. For the most part, these tracks consist of layered drones and a sense of dread. Interspersed therein are crackling background static, ritualistic chants, windswept soundscapes, and subtle spoken-word elements.

Highlights include Becoming the Nightmare, a piece with efforts from New Risen Throne and Treha Sektori, which features bassy rumblings, barely audible voices, and processed industrial noises. This evolves into a more conventional pattern of mid-range drones until the voices return for a coda. That Which Shall Not Be Witnessed is a powerful statement made from sweeping waves and pulses overlaid with manipulated voices. Xerxes The Dark and Treha Sektori contribute. Echoing Scars, recorded with help from Flowers For Bodysnatchers, includes piano over rainfall and subtle drones.

Antoni does not attempt to adapt the styles of his collaborators to that of his own. If anything, he adapts to them. The result is an album with sounds that vary around a fixed anchor point. Well worth a listen for anyone who follows the aforementioned artists.

AMN Reviews: Tomeka Reid Quartet – Old New (2019; Cuneiform Records)

The title track of Old New kicks off the album with an aggressive rhythm from bassist Jason Roebke and drummer Tomas Fujiwara – aggressive both in its driving, rock-oriented approach as well as how it evolves to fit into a recording of modern, creative jazz. Group leader and cellist Tomeka Reid joins in with electric guitarist Mary Halvorson to share a theme that alternates between a jagged staccato motif, a short catchy tune, and loosely-structured improvisation. The pair trades off lead duties and soloing in a collaborative and ego-less fashion that sets the tone for the recording as a whole.

Improvisation, of course, is a strength of this group. Nonetheless, Reid’s writing keeps the efforts grounded and rarely approaching all-out free jazz.  She provides a few nods toward the tradition while heading off into uncharted waters. Indeed, the title of Old New is a descriptive fit for this strategy. Still, at a few points, Reid’s playing is clearly outside, with staggered melodies and extended techniques.  Aug. 6 is a great example that seamlessly morphs into one of the more interesting themes of the album. Edelin is another in which the structure is unconventional and varied with powerful soloing.

As an accompanist, Halvorson provides her signature pitch bending, speed picking, and unusual chording. Fujiwara is an exceptionally versatile and busy drummer, both muscular and subtle. Roebke is a monstrous and accomplished bass player who can do it all – for an example of this one need look no further than Ballad, on which he adapts his playing from straight rhythm to more adventurous undercurrents that match Reid’s and Halvorson’s explorations.

Reid has long been on the periphery of outside music, quietly contributing to the efforts of giants such as the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Anthony Braxton, and various AACM efforts, not to mention serving as a contributor on recordings from Nicole Mitchell, Taylor Ho Bynum, and Jaimie Branch. She has also co-led a number of groups. This is the second release of her self-named quartet. About four years ago she started appearing more on more on my radar, and has not let up since then. All of this suggests that Tomeka Reid is a talent on the rise.

Old New will be released on October 4, and is an excellent effort that should not be missed.

Stereocilia to Tour in Europe

Source: Stereocilia, ambient / weird guitarist John Scott.

09/10/19 | The Cube | Bristol, UK
10/10/19 | De Ruimte | Amsterdam, NL
11/10/19 | CCD | Geneva, CH
12/10/19 | Asile 404 | Marseille, FR
14/10/19 | Covil | Aveiro, PT
15/10/19 | Auditório do CCOP | Porto, PT
16/10/19 | la Chaouée | Metz, FR
17/10/19 | Elektrosmog | Mannheim, DE
18/10/19 | Mauerpfeiffer | Saarbruken, DE
19/10/19 | Urban Spree | Berlin, DE (Supporting Acid Mothers Temple)
20/10/19 | lokomov | Chemntiz, DE
23/10/19 | Tipi | Brussels, BE
24/10/19 | Café de Paris | Paris, FR
25/10/19 | Betontegel Festival | Groningen, NL
09/11/19 | Hope & Ruin | Brighton, UK
29/11/19 | Fabrik, Potsdam, DE
30/11/19 | Grölle Passprojects | Wuppertal, DE
05/12/19 | Crofter’s Rights | Bristol, UK (Supporting Kungens Man)
18/04/20 | Z-Bau | Nuremberg, DE

The Squid’s Ear Reviews

Source: The Squid’s Ear.

Joe Morris / Do Yeon Kim – Macrocosm (Glacial Erratic)

Musica Elettronica Viva: Symphony No 106 (Les Disques Victo)

Paul Rogers / Olaf Rupp / Frank Paul Schubert: Three Stories About Rain, Sunlight And The Hidden Soil (Relative Pitch)

Quatuor Bozzini: Simon Martin: Musique d’art (Collection QB)

Kaoru Abe / Sabu Toyozumi: Mannyoka (NoBusiness Records)

PEK Solo: Fulcrum (Evil Clown)

2019-20 MIT Sounding Series Announced

Source: MIT Sounding Series. Highlights include:

Lochan Rijal’s काँचो आवाज (Raw Sounds)
October 5, 2019 / 6:30pm
Reception to follow
Lobdell, MIT Building W20
84 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA

The Heart is a Bell: Iva Bittová with the MIT Symphony Orchestra
October 10, 2019 / 8:00pm
MIT Kresge Auditorium, W16
48 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA

DJ Septet
the wave function collapses
harbanger DJ Septet Concert
January 16, 2020 / 8:00pm
MIT Building W97
345 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA

Dark Energy: A Space Opera
The Invisible College Public Concert
May 2, 2020
MIT Chapel, Building W15
48 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA

The Music of Glenn Branca Live: The Glenn Branca Ensemble/Ambient Orchestra
September 20, 2019 / 8:00pm
MIT Kresge Auditorium, W16
48 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA