Agathe Max: This Silver String
This Silver String is the transformative debut by French violinist Agathe Max. At times her work approaches the supersonic escape velocity of Tony Conrad; elsewhere, she introduces delicate repeating threads, then slowly weaves them into a fabric of vast, billowing sound more reminiscent of Steve Reich. With an elegant command of melody and a strident use of rhythm, Max manages to create a remarkably accessible collection of tracks, one that bridges the gaps between minimalism, post-classicism, the avant garde, krautrock, and plain old-fashioned pop ? there's even a nod to the High Lonesome Raga as filtered through Henry Flynt. This Silver String is a genre-bender for certain, and a fine debut by any definition.
"Agathe Max delivers a drone to keep the earth turning on its axis, with a keen and romantic sense of swing. Everything you need to have a good time"
-- Jonathan Kane
Alastair Galbraith: Talisman
Alastair Galbraith: Morse/Gaudylight
Alastair Galbraith is the glue that binds the New Zealand underground. His work ranges from achingly lyrical violin from artists as disparate as Peter Jeffries and the Bats to the feedback squalls he conjures as a member of A Handful of Dust. However , is greatest achievements are the otherworldly miniatures he crafts for his own solo albums. Although the music on the is CD was originally released on the storied Siltbreeze label, it couldn't have cone from anyone byt Alastair Galbraith from anyplace beside Dunedin, New Zealand, or any time other than 1998-1992. Albraith's writing intimates an awareness of oblivion and a yearning to transcend it , These classic tracks - including an amazing selection of bonus material - prefigure a generation of raw songsmithing and offer a spellbinding glimpse into the world of one of rock's great unheralded talents.
Alastair Galbraith/ Matt De Gennaro: Long Wires in Dark Museums Vol. 2
Multi-talented Alastair Galbraith is the glue that binds the New Zealand underground. His work ranges from achingly lyrical violin for artists as disparate as Peter Jefferies and the Bats, to the feedback squalls he conjures as member of A Handful Of Dust, to the otherworldly miniatures he crafts for his own solo albums. However, in recent years, Galbraith, along with American Matt De Gennaro, has developed another remarkable performance idiom, one that is positioned closer to the sounding sculpture of Harry Bertoia. In Long Wires in Dark Museums, architectural idiosyncrasies are transformed into nuanced and hypnotic audio. Wires -- some as long as 100 feet -- are affixed throughout a building. When the wires are taught and stroked with rosined hands or a piece of leather, longitudinal vibrations are sent to the points of attachment, creating a natural resonator. It is not the wires that make the sound, but the wall, railing or window frames at their end; wire length and room acoustics determine the pitch. The result, achieved in a veil of total darkness, is a beauttiful and eerie confluence of chance and accident, architecture and improvisation. As Galbraith himself puts it, "There is some quite magical feeling of communion turning the lights off and making the building sing."
"Life for me has always been an improvisation, but I used to only present a distillation of it, some summation. Now the living process comes to appeal... We love, we klutz, we act, we improvise; in real life we almost always improvise."Alastair Galbraith
"Rich, multitextured... the tonal purity of the sound as it resonates and bounces off the walls of the church is simultaneously soothing and engaging."Austin Chronicle
Andrew Burnes: Telescope
Table of the Elements happily presents the long-overdue solo debut of Andrew Burnes. Burnes, along with David Daniell, is a founding member of the ethereal, post-blues ensemble San Agustin; he's also a member of Haunted House, alongside Loren Mazzacane Connors; and he's performed in improv settings with the likes of Ken Vandermark and Thurston Moore. Finally committed to vinyl, he doesn't disappoint: Telescope is a glittering chunk of sound, as Burnes transforms that particular emblem of Americana, the steel guitar, into one vast, slowly undulating drone.
Andrew Burnes' name may not be familiar, but fans of the genre needn't worry. Back in 1993, Table of the Elements' original Guitar Series featured what was only the second US solo release from a similarly unknown artist: Jim O'Rourke. You can trust us again with this one.
Arkansaw Man: s/t
Here is the unlikely CD debut of Arkansaw Man, a wildly obscure San Francisco art-punk band that flickered to life all so briefly in 1981. 25 minutes of music, 25 years ago ? and sayonara. Still, the best things in life ? in the life of music, anyway ? often are tucked away where they are hard to find. With a brilliant economy of means and a sparseness reminiscent of dub, the band got an amazing jump start on post-Rock. It revels in terse and choppy guitar, the languid, sour leakage of keyboards and horns, and occasional lyrics sung as ironic disclaimer, while the spare yet vaguely ominous bass lines recall the Gang of Four played back at 4 RPM.
A quarter of a century ago, the spindly funk machinery and discordant scraping guitars of Arkansaw Man failed to give the world much to latch onto, so its music got lost, abandoned in a locker at pop culture's bus depot, the key left floating in a gutter somewhere one day to be scavenged. There's no better place to find a glimmer of artistic gold.
Arnold Dreyblatt and the Orchestra of Excited Strings: Live at Federal Hall National Memorial, 1981
Arnold Dreyblatt is one of the most engaging of the second generation of New York minimalists. During a three decade career he has developed a distinctive -- and delightfully accessible -- approach to composition and performance. Employing modified and invented instruments and a unique tuning system, his music is a vigorously rhythmic and richly textured romp through the natural overtone series.
This live CD celebrates the 25th anniversary of Dreyblatt's historic concert at Federal Hall in New York (where George Washington was inaugurated as President). Utilizing the natural resonances of the structure's spectacular dome, Dreyblatt and his Orchestra of Excited Strings present seven outstanding pieces from the Nodal Excitation series for just-intoned double basses, piano, hurdy gurdy and pipe organ, emphasizing dynamics and sonorities to stunning acoustical effect.
With Nightly, Ateleia's James Elliott artfully evokes the humid krautrock of Popol Vuh within a whirlpool of lush minimalism, nimble electronica and digital psychedelia. It is a voyage up a primeval river of sound within a steaming jungle of invisible detail -- where the ultimate destination is forever out of reach.
Ateleia: Formal Sleep
Ateleia is Brooklyn resident James Elliott. His music combines crystalline pulse with submerged aquatic drones and subtle ghost melodies. It's not so much oceanic as it is tide pool - the churn of the tidal impulse captured in miniature and crawling with activity. Evoking the grand echo of My Bloody Valentine and the long-standing tradition of psychedelic minimalism, but informed by contemporary electronic music, Formal Sleep is truly immersive. Featuring contributions by David Grubbs (Gastr del Sol), David Daniell (Rhys Chatham, Jonathan Kane), Jon Philpot (Presocratics, Bear In Heaven) and Sadek Bazaraa.
Badgerlore: We Are All Hopeful Farmers, We Are All Scared Rabbits
Badgerlore is the great tribal council of the so-called "Freak Folk" movement. The supergroup features Rob Fisk (Deerhoof, 7-Year Rabbit Cycle) and Ben Chasny (Six Organs of Admittance, Comets on Fire), with Tom Carter (Charalambides), Pete Swanson (Yellow Swans), Glen Donaldson (Blithe Sons, Jeweled Antler) and Liz Harris (Grouper). Together they proceed with masterful nuance and inexorable tension; We Are All Hopeful Farmers, We Are All Scared Rabbits is the sound of effigy mounds slowly rousing from prehistoric slumber.
Forget New Weird America; forget Old Weird America. In devotional murmurs and arboreal whispers, the denizens of the Badgerlore lodge summon the dreadful, breathing shadow of the Old Weird Universe.
Features original artwork and tintypes by San Francisco artist Allison Watkins; graphic design by Grammy Award-winner Susan Archie.
BC Gilbert: Ordier
Bernhard Guenter: un peu de neige salie
Bernhard Guenter: Details Agrandis
Christian Fennesz: June
Simply put, Christian Fennesz is a pioneer. As much as any artist, he is responsible for establishing the laptop computer as both a compositional tool and concert instrument. Subsuming electro-acoustic strategies into a bedrock of pop, he terraforms vast new worlds of sound, within which both AMM and the Beach Boys can cozily coexist. His Guitar Series contribution, June, is a suitably lush transformation, as electric guitars flow into deep streams of sound.
Collections of Colonies of Bees: Birds
Collections of Colonies of Bees sweep in grandly, in billowing swarms of sound, bourn aloft on a thousand wings of minuscule, elegant detail. Guitars chime and soar; deft yet intensely focused percussion propels towards an inevitable dawn; covering it all is a gossamer veil of subtly nuanced electronica. Their CD Birds is joyous, epic minimalism in exquisite registration, a sound that is dazzling ? and as sweet as honey taken straight from the comb.
Collections of Colonies of Bees: Birds
NOW AVAILABLE ON VINYL!!! Collections of Colonies of Bees sweep in grandly, in billowing swarms of sound, bourn aloft on a thousand wings of minuscule, elegant detail. Guitars chime and soar; deft yet intensely focused percussion propels towards an inevitable dawn; covering it all is a gossamer veil of subtly nuanced electronica. Their CD Birds is joyous, epic minimalism in exquisite registration, a sound that is dazzling ? and as sweet as honey taken straight from the comb.
David Daniell: I-IV-V-I
David Daniell is one of the hardest-working guitarists in avant-garde show business. He leads the troops in Rhys Chatham's guitar armies; he was a member of Jonathan Kane's rollicking band February; and he performs regularly in a duo with Tortoise's Doug McCombs. He's collaborated with Tim Barnes, Thurston Moore, and Loren Connors; and his guitar work with his own band, San Agustin, is the stuff of which fleeting blues-drone dreams are made. With influences rooted in blues, American minimalism, and post-punk ideologies, Daniell's guitar playing is always inspired; when fused with his intricate electro-acoustic compositions, the results are breathtaking.
David Daniell: Coastal
Have you heard the raw, minimal howl that rises from the late-night, backwoods campfires at Table of the Elements? If so, you know the work of David Daniell -- even if you don't yet recognize the name. Daniell is the head of both of composer Rhys Chatham's current ensembles; he's the lead guitarist in Jonathan Kane's rollicking band, February; he performs regularly in a duo with Tortoise's Doug McCombs; he has collaborated with the Who's Who of today's finest, including Tim Barnes, Thurston Moore and Loren Connors; and his guitar work with his own band, San Agustin, is the stuff of which fleeting blues-drone dreams are made.
Following a long break after his debut solo release, Daniell now returns with _Coastal_. In all its variety, this record is a focused synthesis of influences. Tracks like "Sunfish" and "Glasswort" use acoustic guitar reminiscent of work by David Grubbs and Mountains, while the thick psychedelic morass of deep electric guitar, synth drone and scattered tribal percussion of "Whelk" brings to mind early Faust, and the long-form tone poem "Palmetto" is pure swirling electronic glacial beauty. Rooted in the blues, American minimalism and post-punk ideologies, Daniell's guitar playing is always inspired; when fused with his intricate electroacoustic compositions, the results are breathtaking.
Gastr del Sol: Harp Factory on Lake Street
Is 90s nostalgia underway yet? If not, this reissue may be just the thing to get it started. In 1994, Chicago is the fountainhead for a bona-fide Scene, in which bands are giving timbre and texture priority over riffs and power chords. To the chagrin of many, the press will label it all "post-rock." It's the definitive movement of the decade, and front and center are Gastr del Sol, comprised of David Grubbs (previously: Squirrel Bait, Bastro) and Jim O'Rourke (subsequently: Wilco, Sonic Youth). Some of their city-mates may shift more units; Gastr, with a relentless drive for reinvention, shift the boundaries of where a band can go. Avant punk, atonal song-styling, musique concrète, delicate piano-guitar interplay, raw electronics and modernist chamber music -- all are fair terrain, traversed with subtlety and finesse. Behind the obligatory horn-rims, Grubbs and O'Rourke have "vision."
A dozen years later, this overdue reissue of 1994's _The Harp Factory on Lake Street_ EP provides the missing piece in Gastr's otherwise available discography. To hear it again is a treat. It's their notorious "big band" record, and the ten-piece ensemble is a veritable All-Star team of mid-90s Chicagoans, including members of Tortoise, Sea and Cake, Shellac, Dazzling Killmen, Brise Glace and the Vandermark 5; through studio maneuvering courtesy O'Rourke and engineer John McEntire, they blossom into a small-sized orchestra. Remarkably confident in the use of space and dissonance, _Harp Factory_ also emphasizes the conceptual "scrape", the friction between nuance and noise, that plays such a prominent role in Gastr's subsequent _Upgrade and Afterlife_ LP. Familiar signposts are still in sight -- O'Rourke's compositional skills, Grubbs' associative, absurdist musings -- but this is definitely their boldest outing. It's a record full of blissful confoundment, one that aptly vivifies the spirit of an era. Gastr del Sol may have lasted a brief five years, but they are to the 1990s what the Magic Band, This Heat and Sonic Youth were to their respective decades: intrepid trailblazers through the backwoods of sound.