A Guide to the Brain-Bending Discography of Post-Punk Giants This Heat 

Source: Bandcamp Daily.

Over the course of two studio albums, several EPs, and live sessions, the UK group This Heat sought to decondition listeners to traditional song structures. Though the trio had superficial similarities to the post-punk bands that were emerging alongside them in late 1970’s London—spindly guitars, hypnotic vocals, and the studio-as-instrument techniques of dub—they never settled into a single approach to avant-rock deconstruction. Instead, they chose to continually experiment. Interrupting churning grooves with quiet or chaotic passages, their discography is speckled with sound collages, tape loops, and proto-techno trickery.

David First Playlist

Source: The Wire.

“Nobody is more surprised than me that drone music has made a comeback”, says longtime drone experimenter David First, speaking to Clive Bell in an interview for The Wire 442. The multi-instrumentalist’s most recent project – David First & The Western Enisphere’s The Consummation Of Right And Wrong – is a two and a half hour long album of drone music, released via Important.

20+ Years of Tatsu Aoki’s MIYUMI Project

Source: Bandcamp Daily.

Tatsu Aoki was at a crossroads in the mid-1990’s: Though he’d been a respected member of Chicago’s avant-garde scene, he was shunned by white jazz musicians who couldn’t decipher his experimental blend of music, which fused rock, ambient, and jazz. The city’s creative community was (and still is) divided along racial lines—white musicians on the North Side; Black artists on the South Side. Aoki, an experimental bassist from Tokyo, struggled to find footing. “I didn’t exactly fit the profile of doing this kind of avant-garde jazz, not being white or Black,” he says. “My music is ethnically-charged, and I think that did not fit into the 1990’s Chicago music scene. These North Side white guys didn’t like me anyway, so I hung out on the South Side with the Black musicians.”

The story of Emerson Lake & Palmer’s Brain Salad Surgery 

Source: Louder.

Brain Salad Surgery is the group at the pinnacle of its powers,” says drummer Carl Palmer of Emerson Lake & Palmer’s fifth album. “It’s very well recorded and it was definitely one of our most creative periods. If I had to choose one of our albums, that would be the one.”

It’s a viewpoint echoed by his erstwhile bandmates. Keyboard player Keith Emerson sees it as a “step forward from the past”, which “represented the camaraderie of the band at the time”. Bass player and vocalist Greg Lake reckons that it was “the last original, unique ELP album”.

The Chaotic Story of Cult Prog Legends Van der Graaf Generator

Source: Louder.

Hammill had 12 hours of studio time booked to record a solo LP. He asked three of his friends – Evans, Ellis and Banton – to contribute to the making of it, which they did. “And somewhere amid all the chaos of people, instruments, empty bottles and plastic cups, Van Der Graaf Generator was reborn,” stated Hammill.

Ultimately, a band album emerged: Aerosol Grey Machine. Listening to it, you’re able to recognise the band’s potential: the songs are strangely structured animals, lightweight and yet at the same time unwieldy, made edgy thorough VDGG’s curious instrumentation. Embracing it all is Hammill’s haunting and extraordinarily graphic lyricism, enhanced by his unconventional vocal phrasing.

George Lewis’s Pioneering Experiment With Artificial Intelligence

Source: San Francisco Classical Voice.

A fascinating slice of electro-acoustic music history has just come out on the Carrier label. This 1984 concert performance of Rainbow Family by George Lewis — composer, master jazz trombonist, Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians member, computer music explorer — takes us back to an early stage of artificial intelligence (AI) when desktop computers (then known as microcomputers) were starting to interact with live musicians.

After two years of research and experimentation at IRCAM — Pierre Boulez’s new music laboratory underneath the Pompidou Centre in Paris — Lewis put together what he believes was IRCAM’s first commission for microcomputers and musicians improvising together. In his long booklet note, Lewis writes that he did all of the computer programming and “hardware hacking” himself, using the computer language Forth that he learned from his mentor, composer/record producer David Behrman.

A Guide to the Rich Career of Experimental Guitarist Taku Sugimoto 

Source: Bandcamp Daily.

After forming his own independent label Slub Music in 1994, Sugimoto would explore new frontiers in playing and improvising on the guitar, turning his focus to interspersing sound with silence and making each note resonate in the listener with a sense of purpose. Sugimoto would cultivate relationships with like-minded people during this period, bringing in collaborators from Tokyo and, eventually, the rest of the world. A friendship he formed with Austrian trombonist and composer Radu Malfatti would prove an important gateway to his discovery of the Wandelweiser collective, a group of composers and performers that utilized silence in avant-garde music in a way Sugimoto had not yet realized was possible. Sugimoto’s relationship with Wandelweiser would be mutually beneficial, his skilled playing and thoughtful philosophical musings on sound pushing them to the brink of possibilities they hadn’t considered either.

Wendy Eisenberg Profiled

Source: The Washington Post.

On a recent Friday afternoon in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, surrounded by golden-leaved trees and numerous recreational sporting matches, a cluster of experimental musicians were gathered in a field to make improvised noise.

At this ad hoc park gig attended by about 30-odd New Yorkers, the stage was a checkered blanket. There was something disarming about this new variable, wondering whether a performer of such deep music might get bopped in the head by a flying soccer ball from a children’s scrimmage nearby.

The guitarist and songwriter Wendy Eisenberg was third on the bill, performing in between a loud violinist and a free jazz trio.

Echoes Podcast: Kraftwerk’s 50th Anniversary

Source: Echoes.

It’s the 50th Anniversary of Kraftwerk’s first release. The iconic German electronic band switched on their debut album in November, 1970. We’ll hear from Kraftwerk’s Ralf Hutter as well as Orchestral Manouevres in the Dark, Jean-Michel Jarre, Orbital, Michael Rother, Depeche Mode, James Merle Thomas (Quindar), Karl Hyde (Underworld), Manuel Gottsching (Ashra) and Conny Plank, looking back on a band that altered the face of music for decades. Kraftwerk is on our list of 30 Icons of Echoes. We go down the Autobahn with Kraftwerk’s Man-Machine Music: The Echoes Documentary in the Echoes Podcast.

The Work of “Plantasia” Composer Mort Garson is Explored in a New Reissue Series 

Source: Bandcamp Daily.

Mort Garson contained multitudes. Over the course of his prolific lifespan, the electronic composer blurred the line between commercial commissions and a vast array of experimental projects. While his synth peer Suzanne Ciani created sound effects for Coca-Cola commercials, Garson’s albums were given away with Sealy mattresses. Before Brian Eno recorded the soundtrack for a 1983 NASA documentary, Garson’s music was heard on TV transmissions of the Apollo 11 moon landing by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin in 1969.