ASiM 31 March 2023
This month’s show features composers/musicians who combine electronic and acoustic instruments; who blend electronica and jazz; who explore soundscapes and found sounds and one group who are contemporary practitioners of kosmische musik, the electronic genre pioneered by Kraftwerk, Can, Tangerine Dream and other German bands of the 70s.
Notes on the music:
Sofie Birch – Surface Pan
Danish composer and musician Sofie Birch’s ambient compositions layer electronic motifs and rhythms with natural sounds and acoustic instruments to create meditative soundscapes meant to instill a sense of calm. Birch has spoken of her belief in the therapeutic effects of sound. For some artists these ideas lead to music in the New Age genre, which can be overly saccharine and bland. But Birch’s music revels in textures, the occasional dissonance and details that suggest a lively world.
M. Geddes Gengras – Discovered Endstate Always
Gengras has a vast solo discography encompassing everything from dub to drone. On his latest release, Expressed, I Noticed Silence, he settles into a quiet, repetitive groove with light textures and short riffs that enliven the sound beds of spacey pads and thrumming bass.
Composer and instrumentalist Alma Laprida recorded Ensayos Baschet in 2019, at Buenas Aires Museum of Modern Art. Laprida plays the Cristal Baschet, a French instrument invented in the 1950s consisting of metal and glass rods which are rubbed with wet fingers to produce sound. This unusual instrument and the large reverberation of the museum combine to create a haunting space of hanging tones.
Cole Pulice – Astral Cowpoke
Pulice cites the works of Pauline Oliveros, David Behrman, Marion Brown, Maggi Payne, Harold Budd, and Jon Hassell as major influences on their latest recording Scry. The music lives at the intersection of Pulice’s instruments, live signal processing, and improvisation. Quoting from Pulice’s Bandcamp notes: “virtually all of the signal processing on ‘Scry’ is done live as I play saxophone/wind synth, either through a hardware setup that I control with my feet as I play, or through software instruments I build which respond live to what I’m playing. Often, both software and hardware processes are being used simultaneously.”
Anadol – Gizli Duygular
Electro-acoustic Turkish sound artist Anadol (Gözen Atila) reimagines regional folk songs through experimentation and improvisation.
Her latest EP Felicita combines elements of Turkish pop, Arabesk, and psychedelia.
Coral Club – Lost Cities
Inspired by deserted urban cores during the lockdown of 2020, Alexander Sirenko, recording as Coral Club, creates foggy, empty soundscapes evoking a sense of both ancient cities and wandering alone through contemporary cities bereft of people.
Bitchin Bajas – Amorpha
Bitchin Bajas are described by Pitchfork as a “psychedelic synth-drone band.” They are that, as well as keepers of the kosmische musik flame and, perhaps, descendants of Terry Riley.
Nesa Azadikhah – Tasnif Eshgh
Tehran-based musician, producer, and DJ Nesa Azadekhah is classically trained on traditional Persian instruments including on Persian the tombak, guitar, daf, and dayereh. She combines these acoustic instruments with modern electronics and field recordings to compose unique electroacoustic pieces. She’s also deeply involved in the Tehran hip-hop scene, hosting a weekly event called Deep House Tehran.
New Composers (featuring Brian Eno) – Short SQ
Russian duo New Composers have released several recordings of sound collage work incorporating ambient, spoken word, samples, acoustic and electronic instruments. More recently they made a side-trip into techno.
For their 1997 release Smart they invited Brian Eno, who was in St. Petersburg for an extended stay, to visit their studio and contribute parts to the music they were working on. The resulting album combines lounge-jazz, electronica, classical and ambient in a unique mash-up that maintains a consistently engaging and laid-back tone.
All Sound is Music streams on the third Wednesday of each month at 8 pm MST on Rarity Rock Radio http://rarityrockradio.fm
Archives of past shows can be found at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLanVj_2aAAJtniLGNdd6xHYhzcEtHgtMe