Friday, March 16, 2007

TAGC - Burning Water Soundtrack (1994) - REPOST

Burning Water is the soundtrack to a film by The Anti Group/TAGC. I haven't been able to see the film, but I presume it may be somewhat similar to Geoffrey Reggio's Qatsi series. The original idea for The Anti Group was devised by A. Newton of TAGC and S. J. Turner of Clock DVA as early as 1978, "with the intention of the formation of a multi-dimensional research & development project active in many related areas. They also claim to be "free from the erroneous problems of Ego."

The music itself consists of two long pieces, each about 26 minutes. 'SO36' is a grand windswept synthesiser movement upwards. The title refers to a German venue that first opened in 1861, but got famous in the 60's and after for hosting provocative bands and, moreover, for opening their doors to the first Atonal Music Festival, as their website claims. The second piece 'ARS electronica' is more complex and variable, the mood is dark and claustrophobic. It's filled with all kinds of sounds, very often human beings or machines. And DAMMIT I just noticed that track 2 is not supposed to break off after 26min but after 33. So miss out on that. But that doesn't take away the fact that this is intense, powerful music.


Thursday, March 08, 2007

Sentridoh - The Original Losing Losers (1990)

Sentridoh's Lou Barlow has done many things, and this album is one (relatively unknown) of them. Only for hardcore lo-fi fans, it contains 40+ tracks, some shit (which is fun), some hilarious (which is fun) and some emotionally quite touching (which is nice). My favourites by far are King of the Dull Thump and even further Beyond the Barbwire. The latter could well be interpreted as a mad trip into the Great War's trenches of France and Flanders. Lovely to turn up disturbingly loud while having some friends for dinner. Hehe. Suffer, friends!

I have to note that something went wrong with the naming of the tracks: my system must have bumped over one somewhere. So you'll either have to add or substract a number... Sorry.

I found a funny dramatic anecdote about the album on - you can check it out in the comments section if you want.


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Laika - Good Looking Blues (2000)

Well, here's the third release by the sublime band Laika! A great album, though not as good as Sounds of the Satellites in my opinion (but I can't ever really make up my mind), it's nonetheless filled with great, truly superb tracks. Just make sure you turn up the bass. And if possible, try to skip a night of sleep and then listen to it, wow... Laid back, pleasant vibes -- much more so than their first release. It's always hard to decide between Sounds and Blues, because both reach out for outer space! Check tracks two and three, with its lovely sine synths and African rhythms: if you don't like that, why not try Mariah Carey's cheapshit techno album, like my sheep-faced neighbour upstairs? There's one track that really pisses me off, and that's the unnecessarily prosaic "Bad Times"; I really do not understand what that is doing on this album. Apart from that, I love this music. Hope you do, too!

My final note on the Laika trilogy: I didn't bother ordering their fourth release, as the reviews I read on that one didn't give me the idea it was on a par with their previous work. If any of you can change my point of view here, shoot... Moreover, they were to release a fifth album in 2005 (I think) but I never heard of Laika after Wherever I Am I Am What Is Missing (2003). Not even their quaint little website gives us any relevant details. Too bad, too bad...


Saturday, March 03, 2007

Laika - Sounds of the Satellites (1996)

I'll keep it real short - Laika has become one of my all time favourite bands by now. Sounds of the Satellites is their second release and in my opinion their best of three. I couldn't get it here in Belgium, but my dearie wee sister in London got it for me. I posted Laika's debut on this blog a very long time ago; this release is a lot softer, dreamier, more pleasing to the ears... Superb music, it's been on my mp3player for weeks now & I just don't get bored of it. Hope you don't either!
The album cover shows an actual, real snowdome - now sold out, unfortunately. What a brilliant piece of merchandise!

By the way, sorry for the recent sparseness of my posts, but I tend not to enjoy sitting in front of a pc screen after doing so for most of the day. Less gobbledygook from me to you though!


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Lisa Germano - Happiness (1993) - REPOST

I'm glad I found this album after years of looking for it. Germano really got me going after I heard her play all by herself and her guitar one late night in Brussels. The radio station even sent me a tape recording. Which I lost. So I found this one. Anyway, the music switches between folk and rock and at moments even reaches the boundaries of avant-garde. The lyrics are often semi-playful and cynical, I like her voice, and the musical arrangement is somewhat out of the ordinary. Give it a go, I'd say. Yeah, happiness...


Monday, January 08, 2007

Troubadours and trouvères - REPOST

Dante and the Troubadours

Dante Alighieri (1265-1321), the author of the Divina Commedia, closely studied and imitated the troubadours (from Occitan "trobar" = to find). He also wrote a treatise on achieving poetic perfection in the vernacular, De Vulgari Eloquentia, wherein he expounds upon the qualities and characteristics of individual poets who lived several generations before his own time. The pieces provided on this release are all based upon the selections Dante made in his treatise.

  1. Aimeric de Peguilhan (c.1175-1230): En amor trob alques enque'm refraing (voice, harp, fiddles). As a late and expatriate troubadour he helped keep the tradition alive by transplanting it to the new and fertile environment of Italy. This song abounds in poetical devices (e.g. rhyme on "Amor") and word-play, yet its high style and somewhat formal interlude points to a performance mode of a festive courtly entertainment.
  2. Arnaut Daniel (c.1180-1200): Lo ferm voler qu'el cor m'intra (voice). Dante's favourite poet of love, who was moreover placed in Purgatory for his lustfulness and sensuality. This song is an example of the sestet, a form that uses the same set of six words to end each of the six lines of each of the six strophes of the song.
  3. Bertran de Born (c.1140-1215): Rassa, tan creis e monta e pola (voice, fiddles, symphonia). Whereas track 2 deals with love, this one deals with war. Dante placed this poet in the Inferno for his warlike ways. The theme of strife is further pointed out by the two fiddlers combined with the robust voice of the warrior-singer.
  4. Peire d'Alvernhe (c.1150-1215): Dejosta'ls breus jorns e'lsloncs sers (voice). It is argued that this is the only melody attributed to Peire d'Alvernhe which has come down to us. It fluctuates between the dark and inward-looking and the light and hopeful. It should be noted that the whole is performed by a single unaccompanied voice.
  5. Guiraut de Bornelh (c.1138-1215): Non posc sofrir c'a la dolor (voice, fiddle). Guiraut was held to be the master of the troubadours by his contemporaries. This song recounts a dream, an alternate reality therefore, in which hopes and disappointments are more vivid than in daily life.
  6. Arnaut Daniel (fl. 1180-1200): Chanson do'ill mot son plan e prim (voice, fiddles, harp). Sent to Purgatory by Dante for lustfulness, and lauded by Ezra Pound for being the greatest poet who ever lived. This song shows how the troubadour worked to control the sentimentality potentially created by refined or courtly love.
  7. Folquet de Marseilla (c.1155-1231): Tant m'abellis l'amorospessamens (voice, harp). Allowed entry into Paradise for all eternity by Dante, Folquet changed to the strictly spiritual life, away from courtly pursuits, later in his life. The singer accompanies himself on a small romanesque harp.
  8. Improvisation on melodies of Folquet de Marseilla (fiddle, harp). This performance is brought into structural form according to the principles set out by Arnaut Daniel (see #6), and translated into the particular idiom of the medieval fiddle.

French Troubadour Songs

The northern French trouvères flourished somewhat later than the Provençal troubadours; initially they adopted thematic material from their southern confrères. The theme adopted most of all, having initially come from Arab poetry, was courtly love - a more accurate term, however, is fin'amor, perfect or refined love. The art of love is raised to an ethical standard, a code of conduct.

This release is framed by two anonymous songs both light-hearted in tone. The first of these is an example of the reverdie, a genre native to northern France. The reverdie celebrates the arrival of springtime and the renewal of love. The second (track nine) is a pastourelle: a genre, though of troubadour origin, which was particularly favoured by the trouvères. It represents the seduction of a lady, usually a sheperdess, by a knight who does not hesitate to use force where persuasion fails. This genre is intended to entertain, but is often used as a vehicle for satire of the knightly class or even courly love itself.

Placed against these songs are the grands chants of Gace Brulé (tracks 2 & 8). The grand chant originated with the troubadours; it celebrates fin'amor in all its infinite variety. Gace Brulé was one of its foremost practitioners. Both songs bring into play the pain of inaccessible love and constancy of desire.

The next layer includes two songs by Moniot d'Arras and Colin Muset (tracks 3 & 7). Both exhibit the indeterminacy of genre characteristic of some trouvère songs, no longer courtly and reaching out for new forms of expression. Track 3 mixes themes from the pastourelle and the chanson de rencontre. In the latter a meeting occurs, but there is no thought of seduction. Track 7 bears resemblance to a reverdie in its springtime setting, to a fratrasie, a kind of nonsense song, and to a pastourelle.

At the center of the program (tracks 4, 5 & 6) are three songs by Thibaut de Champagne, one of the greatest trouvères. He was a direct descendant of the first known troubadour, William IX. Thibaut also took part in the Crusades. Track 4 has as its guiding image the unicorn, metaphor for the poet fatally attracted by a lady whose cruelty causes his death. Track 6 is a grand chant courtois, differing from the grand chant by the use of refrains. More often than not, this genre uses intertexuality by "borrowing" refrains from other songs, thus granting the singer greater flexibility and virtuosity. At the center of the program (track 5) is the only piece performed without instruments. It is a serventois, a political song, over which presides the image of the pelican, setting the theme of evil and salvation. It is a powerful critique of the Church, possibly an attack on Pope Gregory IX at the time of the prolongation of the sixth crusade (1236-39). The term "papelart" refers to religious hypocrites who lead into a hell from which only the Virgin can save mankind.

  1. Volez Vous Que Je Vous Chant (Would You Have Me Sing for You), Anonymous
  2. Les Oxelés de Mon Païx (The Birds from My Native Land), Gace Brulé (circa 1160 - circa 1212)
  3. Ce Fu en Mai (Once in the Month of May), Moniot d'Arras (fl.1213 - fl.1239)
  4. Ausi Conme Unicorne Sui (Like the Unicorn I Am Lost in Wonder), Thibaut King of Navarre (1201 - 1253)
  5. Deus Est Ensi Conme Li Pellicanz (The Lord Is Like a Pelican), Thibaut King of Navarre (1201 - 1253)
  6. Chançon Ferai, Que Talenz M'En Est Pris (I Will Fashion a Song), Thibaut King of Navarre (1201 - 1253)
  7. En Mai, Quant Li Rossignolez (In May, When Nightingales Sing Clear), Colin Muset (circa 1200 - 1250)
  8. A La Douçor de la Bele Seson (In the Fragrance of the New Season), Gace Brulé (circa 1160 - circa 1212)
  9. Quant Voi la Flor Nouvele (When I See Fresh Blooms Appear), Anonymous


Sorry this one happens to be split: I must have made some error while rarring it. Nevertheless, enjoy!

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Air Liquide - Air Liquide (1993) - REPOST

This is the second full-length album by a great duo from Cologne, Germany. It completely blew us away when we were teenagers back then, and I still love it. I'm pretty sure that two guys in Holland, Cromcrauch and Larve, do so too. :-) Somewhere between acid house, trance and ambient, this is one of the trippiest, most psychedelic electronic albums I know. Bound to enthrall your little human brain. Happy journeying, you psychonauts out there!


Sorry for the delay, by the way (rhyme!) - and other requests for reposts will be answered when I find the time. Patience, as ever, is the key...

Friday, December 01, 2006

Recent Re-ups

- Buckfunk 3000 - First Class Ticket to Telos

- Jet - ok

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Arnold Schönberg - Pierrot Lunaire op.21 and Erste Kammersymphonie op.9

I'm posting this release, not for the Pierrot Lunaire, but for Schönberg's First Chamber Symphony (track 22). If you do wish to find out more about the former, you can follow this link.

Now, about the Chamber Symphony... I've been listening to this 21 minute piece of disturbing, yet immensely beautiful music for several years, and it really gets much better at every hearing. One of the first major works of modernist classical music, it can be well positioned besides Satie or Debussy. A big difference, however, is that this piece has a much harsher, more 20th century feel to it. On May 7th 2005, BBC radio aired an interesting 30 minute show about it (basically a musical analysis) which you can listen to in stream format here. I'll also post an mp3 recording of it shortly, in case you'd want to keep it for the future.


Friday, November 10, 2006

Musique de la Grèce antique

riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodiero vicus of recirculation back to Pax Castle and Hierusalaam.

Even though music was an essential part of ancient Greek life and culture, as numerous literary and artistic references indicate, practically nothing remains of it today. However, thanks to extensive scholarship (commencing with Atansius Kircher in the Renaissance) and a shrewd use of the imagination, it appears to have become possible to approximate the music that was played at the time of the great Greek tragedies and comedies. Do give this release a try, as it really is some pretty interesting material. More info is provided in the rar file itself. Hope you like it...


Track 2 (MIR)

Track 13 (MIR)

Friday, September 29, 2006

Dorks - Buggah Mi La Ti (2006)

May a million curses rain on the monopoly-bedridden country that is called Belgium! Once again I have reached upload limit!!! So there's no way I can help you bills and gulls in getting old posts reposted and new ones upped. And all that because I torrented the first 9 episodes of Robot Chicken. Well, at least it was worth it... You'll hear from me again after October 19th. Until then, frogs from the skies in this gurgle-doomed frog country!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Front 242 - Tyranny For You (1991)

This is Front's last "old style" album before they took off on a different, more militaristic style of industrial music such as 05:22:09:12 Off. One of my favourites of the Belgian crew ("Maastricht Vlaams!!"), this album is highly melodic, danceable; however, I can't help experiencing this deep melancholic mood underlying the whole thing. "Gripped By Fear" is probably the one track I like most, especially how it starts out... And then, of course, there's the title track: a stupendously forward-pounding motion of modern death-in-life! Gotta love it... Thanks to Larve, by the way! (And my regards to cucumber-girl, of course)


And I've just noticed that track 7 is uncannilly similar to a track on the Klinik Live album. Hmmm....

Dorks - Uppers for the Fans (2006)

I've re-upped two albums For a Few Fans, namely Front 242's Mut@ge Mix@ge and Future Sound of London's Lifeforms. You can find the new links in the appropriate posts - enjoy!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Facial Expressions - Emoticums (2006)

An illustration of research at the School of Psychology - 3-D model faces accentuating (right) or diminishing masculine face shape. Researchers at St Andrews have used computer graphics to study facial attributions. Unexpectedly, women were found to prefer slightly feminised male faces. CREDIT: Professor David "The Pink Shirt Collar-Flippin FAG" Perrett

No seriously (as far as possible): a friend of mine called Larve, who is by the way the big brother of the smelly Dutchman, is the artist formerly known as Jesus, and also the man responsible for all the Andyman mandyterial that some of you may or may not have come across while criss-crossing (Jump!) through this b-log. This artist formerly known as etc etc has preppy-arsed a number of images with which he would like to create emoticons - however, he doesn't have a clue what the script (aka technical) background is to these dynamic images.

So my question is: is there anybody out there........ who can help him out? Links can be copy-pasted (see earlier post on this notorious topic) in the cumments sexion. Stanks.

The Electric Mothers Of Invention - Neuro # Project (1993)

A rather obscure release on the Liverpool "Three Beat" record label, I think this paints a rather nice of what the house/techno culture of the early 90s was all about: bouncy, fast beats with uplifting and trippy melodies - quite different from what happened near the turn of the century, when techno became harder and colder...

Thick, dubby basslines are combined with melodic sine synths and tingling samples, to which are added numerous voice samples that at times take you on a dreamy journey and at times just make you laugh (because it's funny, not because it's crap - "Jack didn't know how to do anything! Jack was a dropout"). Not my all time favourite, but nonetheless a very enjoyable, particularly chilled out electronic album. I think my problem with this album is that it's sometimes too lengthy, that I'm just too impatient... But it must be said that some of the tracks on this cd are really damn good tracks... I'd like to know if you think about this the same way - unless of course you like to flip up you pink shirt collar and need to light up a FAG every hour or so!



Jet - OK (1998)

Jet give us with "OK", their second full length album, a set (oooh rhyme!) of delicate, minimalist electro-house that is deceptively simple, but after several listenings you're bound to hear the depth of all the sounds. This is the kind of electronic music where a beat is never merely a beat: it's always made up of several layers of basses and pads. The same goes for most of the sounds on this album. They all have this plastic feel to them (xtc?), warm and lush and unusually melodic, sweet and soothing to your ears and your mind if you still have one. Great production value, this release, you can surely hear that! Some tracks are chilled out, others heavier and faster; in my opinion, this is superb party album and a late night chill out album. It's even nice for a rainy Sunday afternoon playing backgammon. Intelligent love music with a very positive vibe, highly suitable for low and high level playing, and as I just remembered, really nice for driving a car, too.


RAC - Diversions (1994)

Here's my last one for the day. If you've ever made music yourself, you will recognise a lot here: delays, reverbs, flangers and the like, but they're all well arranged and the songs are intelligently composed. There's something really spacy about these songs, in the sense of other-worldly, alien vegetation tribal electro-cannibalism... If I listen to a track for a minute, I often feel like turning it off, but if give it a go, I tend to listen to the whole album. All in all, this is pretty good, melodic & pounding dance music. One to be turned up nice and loud...

The 22nd release on the now defunct Warp label, I feel it fits there perfectly: somewhere in between Autechre and early Aphex Twin/Polygon Window. Classic mid-ninetees electronic music - enjoy!

Which reminds me: I once owned Surfing on Sine Waves by Polygon Window, but some twat nicked it. Would any of you b-log visitors happen to be the culpitrator?





Generation CTRL-X

Most of you will have heard of Douglas Coupland's Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, a visual-literary "novel" about the meaninglesness of our blessed consumer culture. But the people of this "accelerated" culture were mostly born in the sixties, whereas myself and most people I know are born in the late seventies and early eighties. My manifesto relates not to Generation X, but to Generation CTRL-X: the cut'n'paste culture, or if you wish, the copy-paste culture.

Now, what suprises me is that so many of you, especially the Mac-usurers who seem to have too much money on their hands, have certain difficulties controlling their ability to copy-paste. Why is this? One important factor in correctly copy-pasting is that one should not drag the mouse arrow from the beginning of the term to the end, but back to front. It's comparable to how women wipe their backsides (smellask your girlfriend). That way you can eliminate the chance of accidentally carrying over an unwanted "space", which in the case of passwords is antithetical to success. That being said, I advise you to get some CTRL-X training in an advertising agency or a military database or something.

Buckfunk 3000 - First Class Ticket to Telos (1998)

This is probably the finest example of electelectriceclecticism I can think of. DJ and producer Si Begg (aka Simon Begg) is claimed to have produced three full length albums and as far as I know this is the only one under the name Buckfunk 3000. He also runs a record label with Christian Vogel, of whom some great material is to follow later on - thanks again to the smelly (and now sleepy) Dutchman. Zaaaten Hollaaander!

Now, backfunk 3000 to the music: at the same time highly danceable and listenable, it's crammed with sounds, synth movements, rhythm changes, mood swings (don't we love that!), psychedelic sound journeys etc, taking influences from freakish funk, acid house, dark ambient, D&B, and hell, probably more than I can think of. What's cool about this guy is that he seamlessly flows between all these styles as if it's nothing. It is, by the way, possible that the album as a whole, though not particularly heavy-sounding, can be a little to much to bear for some people. Annie's dead, a very interesting release that has remained interesting throughout the years.


Sunday, September 03, 2006

Model 500 - Deep Space (1995)

Deep Space is Juan Atkins' first full length album under the name Model 500. Earlier I mentioned Kevin Saunderson and Carl Craig - well, here's the true godfather of techno music. It is even said that Juan Atkins (who likes giving gigs in extinct volcanoes and such) is the man who actually coined the term "techno", taking as inspiration the works of futurist and author Alvin Toffler, from whom he borrowed the terms "cybotron" and "metroplex", words he used as names for electronic music ventures. More info about this extremely interesting musician can be found here (All Music Guide). Deep Space was released on the sublime but now defunct Belgian R&S label - and trust me, there's no title more apt than this. One of the finest electronic albums I have EVER heard, I'm ashamed to say I don't own it on cd; but that won't be for much longer. As it's Sunday today, unfortunately the shops are shut. But listen to this record: it's superb.





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