We usually come up with somekind of smartarse editoria about alll the striving and the doing it, on we go, the Five music things thing yet again for whatever it still might be worth. Five? There’s something rather compelling about five, cross-pollination? Five more? Do we need to do the editorial bit again? Is there another way? A cure for pulling cats out of hats? Is there a rhyme? Is there a reason? Was there ever? What do reasons make? Five more, same as last time (and the time before) five, and no, we never do and the proof of the pudding is in that proof reading. When we started this thing, oh never mind, it doesn’t matter and like we asked last time, does anyone bother reading the editorial? Does anyone ever actually look down the rabbit hole or is it all just method acting? We do listen to everything that comes in, we do it so you don’t have to, we are very (very) picky about what we actually post on these pages or play on the radio or hang in a gallery. Cut to the chase, never mind the editorial there’s loads of music further down the page, well five or so pieces of music that have come our way in the last few days and cut cut slash and cut to the damn chase, who needs an editorial? But, then as we said with the previous Five Music Thing feature a couple of days back, a page that also featured Death Pill that maybe this time we do need an editorial? I mean, Ukraine, just a land full of people making music, art, wanting to just live and go to gigs and hang out together and…
Here’s your five pieces of music for today….
1: Auclair – Auclair is a British-Rwandan music and sound artist and this is rather good, let it flow around you, let it expand around you. “Thrilled to share D.I.A.A.R.L. (Dreaming Is An Act of Radical Love), the lead single from Auclair’s forthcoming EP, out April 15th on Amorphous Sounds. D.I.A.A.R.L. is a serenade to our imaginative muscle, speaking to it’s potential as an everyday liberatory practice. Inspired by Rwandan drumming, Sun Ra, bell hooks and Marvel comics, undulating waves of a Moog synth are punctuated with deep skin drums that move through time and space from bright hits to exploding blasts to the closing warmth of encoded pulsations”.
“Auclair is a British-Rwandan music and sound artist. Her work explores rhythm, voice and electronica – treating everyday life like new mythologies and taking an embodied approach to exploring ideas with sound.
Her versatility has lead to a wide range of projects and collaborations including: live rework / scoring of Afro-Brazilian classic Black Orpheus with Charlie Dark; Beck’s Song Reader Live; multi-sensory concert for blindfolded audience The Sensory Score; choral sound piece about bees, The Swarm; musique concrète series made from recordings of buildings, Four Points Talk; In Waves for the Roundhouse Choir; Dawn Chorus Live exploring birdsong with Marcus Coates; community multi-arts residency Co-Create; and more recently working with pioneering Rwandan drum ensemble Ingoma Nshya. Her latest pieces are a Zeitgeist commission for The Riot Ensemble, Munganyinka is a Transformer, which premiered at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival 2020, and Ruzunguzungu, commissioned by ISSUE Project Room in New York for their With Womens Work series.
Find the details of this new release from Auclair and previous releases on Bandcamp
2: Wilma Vintra – Now this eased itself into the Organ inbox today and took us with it in a rather mellow way. is that a Midnight Cowboy reference? The details of what you’re hopefully taking the time to listen to are down there underneath the video. The Bandcamp page with the album details is right here
“Struggle is stamped deep into the narrative of rap music, but few albums have handled the subject with the perspective of Grotto. The second album from the transatlantic duo Wilma Vritra poses an elevated vision of what rap might be. Richly orchestrated, replete with references to faith, mythology, and the cosmos, its 11 tracks grapple with themes of self-preservation and refuge from the world, even as they edge their way to a sort of redemption.
Grotto is the work of two musicians separated by an ocean but undoubtedly operating on a shared wavelength. One is Will Archer, a Newcastle-born but London-based multi-instrumentalist and composer who today records as Wilma Archer, but who you might also know for his writing and production for artists like Celeste, Nilufer Yanya and Jessie Ware. The other is Hal Donell Williams Jr, aka Vritra – a Los Angeles-based rapper whose tales of graft and grind are often couched in spiritual or cosmic terms. “That’s where my thoughts go at times,” he explains. “Hope, self-belief, self-worth, self-understanding – they are all forms of light, and when they glow bright your mood adjusts accordingly. That mood can attract or repel – same as the stars, same as the planets and their moons.”
Grotto twins Hal’s cosmic visions with equally expansive music. Tracks like ‘One Under’ and ‘Every Evening’ bloom with strings, brass and woodwind, but there’s a spaciousness to the orchestration that brings to mind a figure like Jean-Claude Vannier, the French composer whose music for Serge Gainsbourg brought dramatic strokes, the sense of emotional light and shade. “I wanted to give Hal as much room as he needed vocally, forgoing any kind of vocal hook – instead dedicating a larger portion of the song to instrumental storytelling,”explains Will.
In parallel to Grotto, Will was completing work on his debut solo album A Western Circular, a long-term project that saw the light of day on Domino imprint Weird World last March. Featuring guest spots from the late MF DOOM, Future Islands’ Samuel T Herring, Sudan Archives and Laura Groves, it also found Will expanding his compositional abilities – a sound it felt natural to carry over into Grotto. The album was brought to life with some of A Western Circular’s players – including twin cellists Clíona Ní Choileáin and Jonah Spindel, violinist Ellie Consta, and Dom Pusey juggling clarinet, bass clarinet and baritone sax. Also present on the record is Ben Reed, a UK bassist who played on Frank Ocean’s Endless and Blonde. Here he supplies a gorgeous fretless bass that lends Grotto its sense of groove and poise.
Grotto’s striking cover image is by Swampy, an enigmatic Californian street artist whose itinerant lifestyle – tales of squatting and train-hopping across North America – have made him a demi-mythical figure. A playful image, but it communicates the album’s themes – of a voyage through darkness, and the promise of light at the end of the tunnel. Both Will and Hal talk about music as a force of salvation. For Will, it’s a distraction from thoughts of mortality – as he puts it, “making music is one of the few ways I feel truly useful”. For Hal, it’s been a way of exorcising the demons of the past and envisaging a new, brighter future. “I confront and solve my problems through telling stories,” he says. “With Burd, telling those stories freed me from those pain points. Grotto is a continuation of that method. When you remove darkness, healing light is often around the corner.”
3: Michael J Sheehy – “A new song! A pair of young Catholic lovers goad each other into heading back to the hotel for some sexy shenanigans while solemnly walking the Stations of the Cross in Lourdes back in 1994. I’m hoping to play it at a pair of upcoming shows in London. First up, I’ll be opening for my favourite London songwriter, Darren Hayman at St Matthias RC Church Stoke Newington, presented by the good people of Scared To Dance on March 24th. Then I’ll be opening for the mighty Mudlow at What’s Cookin’ in Leytonstone on March 26th. Please come along if you can, . Big Love. Stay strong. Peace x”.
The review and details of Michael’s most recent album, an album that figured way up at the top of our round up of the best of 2021 can be found here, s oca nhis Bandcamp details and such – ORGAN THING: Michael J Sheehy’s The Crooked Carthy Sings, what is there left to say? A perfectly beautiful album, intimate tales, sad songs, songs alive with emotion…
4: Diner‘s “Yours” is a rather tasty new release this week, delightfully unconventional, a break-up song so it seems, decorated by a slightly off-centre mix of Krautrock forwards movement and an fmelody which recalls dEUS and their slowed down washing machine sounds. Diner are Brighton duo who we’re told “mix experimental electronica, Krautrock, post-rock, indie-rock and new-wave into experimental but really hooky songs”, fair enough, we’ll watch out for more
5: Death Pill – And since we mentioned them last time around, the all All-Girl hardcore-riot grrrl punk band from Ukraine have kept in touch on and off with reports that they are defiantly okay, let’s hope it stays that way, they’re still in Kyiv today,
And this was the latest post from the girls, this evening, from Kyiv, Thursday March 3rd. posted on their Instagram feed.
You can buy a Death Pill track or two via their Bandcamp, their latest track, Die For Vietnam, released right at the end of February seems to say so much now, way too much , let the three girls tell it – “24.02.2022 everybody in our Ukraine woke up with sounds of explosions. That was the most terrifying morning in our lives. “Russia officially started the War”. No more “civil war” bullshit that Russian propaganda was pushing since 2014, when his army was killing Ukrainians in Luhansk and Donetsk, when they took Crimea, but the full scale attack against Ukrainian people. Now the war was officially declared by putin against Ukraine. Today we are here to protect our Home. We will resist. We share this track today, cause we feel the need to help our army. This song was writing by Mariana many years ago, she was terrified by terror of Vietnam war. And now we are all living in this hell, hiding in our bathrooms and shelters, while brave soldiers defending our beloved country”.
The Terrorscum track Death Pill talked about in their post can also be found and bought via Bandcamp. “Death/Thrash-metal attack from the ashes of Kyiv” is what they say on their page…
5: Pusca have just posted a couple of tracks, once again at the end of February, they’re from Lviv, Ukraine, they say the folowing on their Bandcamp “WE’RE CALLING ON EVERYONE TO STAND UP AGAINST SENSELESS WAR BY DONATING AND SUPPORTING THE UKRAINIAN TROOPS FIGHTING TO DEFEND OUR FREEDOM” savelife.in.ua/en/donate/ – all proceeds (from the Pusca tracks) go towards the above fund, but we encourage you to donate directly to bypass transfer fees”. Find them on Bandcamp.
And while we’re here,
And even though anything besides bands like Death Pill and Puscha seem rather futile right now, seeing as we mentioned them during that bit about Dimer, here’s a classic slice of dEUS. it feels helpless or hopeless to jsut be making art or writing about music right now.
More of this in a few days, probably, maybe, hopefully….