The editorial bit again and again, like some sort of crazed, no we can’t go on about sushi again, of course it was sushi and here comes the introduction that heralds the latest Five Music Things thing and whatever the hell the five music thing is actually all about. 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 better way? A cure for pulling cats out of hats? Is there a rhyme? Is there a reason? Was there ever a reason? What do reasons make? Yellow trousers? Five more, everything must go and 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 that Cowman likes so much. 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) very very picky about what we actually post on these fractured pages or what gets played on the radio or indeed what we 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 it, who needs an editorial or words or worms in general? Just facts and links then. Did consider saying something more about Cowman’s latest batch of bulpoop (he still hasn’t worked it out has he?), but no, he’s not worth it. Here you go, play the music, grab your five, eat your greens, go eat some art, go eat some dirt and don’t forget the yellow trousers, all about the t-shirts and the yellow trousers…
Here we go, five (or so) more musical things in no particular order and for no particular reason
1: O. – The latest O band, seems like one comes along every three or four years or so, this O have a full stop and a debut single on the excellent Speedy Wunderground label – “Speedy Wunderground continue their flair for finding and nurturing new talent, this time with the release of “OGO”, a debut single – and one that follows a triumphant performance at the Pitchfork Festival earlier this week – from the much-tipped South London two-piece O.”, We’ll forgive their Pitchfork blip, someone has to play the damn festival, it will be a blight on their CV that they’ll have to live with, we’d probably give the whole festival 6.2 if we’d bothered going but hey, Pitchfork, what laod of old up-themselves horse poop. Far more interesting was O.’s recent tour with prog rock heroes black midi, this particular O have been building a genuine buzz in recent times, this isn’t just another bag of hype (well it is, but for once it is deserved)
This debut single is out digitally now and physically on 13th Jan 2023 (limited 7” – 500 copies) via Speedy Wunderground.
O. are: Joseph Henwood (sax) and Tash Keary (drums), here comes the press release and more of that hype we jsut mentioned –
“Formed during the first lockdown, the duo started improvising together at home with just acoustic sax and drums before securing studio time in Peckham to start experimenting further with guitar pedals, amps and studio effects units, all pushing the limits of their two instruments – a rule put in place that everything was to be made by manipulating and layering their sax and drums alone.
A sound evolved far bigger than the sum of its parts, the dedication to live performance and the need to be in the moment extending to their thrilling, ever-shifting debut single, one which they won’t hear until you do.
‘We wrote OGO in a soundcheck in Oslo, whilst on tour supporting black midi. It had hit minus 5 outside so we started jamming something fast to try and keep our hands warm.
Playing live is a really big part of O., so we loved the Speedy Wunderground approach of recording one track in one day, holding off on major edits, and we are not even listening to the track until it’s released. It’s just the two of us on the single (as it is live) with Dan Carey and Adele Phillips helping us recreate that gig feeling in the studio.’
Despite no studio material until today, O. haven’t needed it to cause a buzz, feverish word spreading about the communal joy of their live performances alone. After a debut show at Brixton’s Windmill, the venue owner was so impressed he promised to offer them a second show there – this time in support of black midi. After going on first to an audience who had no idea who they were, they left the stage only to be approached this time by the virtuoso drummer of the band, Morgan Simpson, asking them perhaps the best question he could in that moment: “What are you doing in November? Want to come on tour with us?”
As well as cutting their teeth on a full EU tour with black midi and recent supports with the likes of Gilla Band and PVA, O. built ties to their DIY ethics further by organising regular O Zone nights at The Windmill, inviting creatives to step out of their comfort zone and try something new, culminating in a live collaboration between O. and their guest. Bridging further the gap between jazz, live improvisation and alternative music, since August 2021 they’ve hosted the eclectic likes of Wonky Logic (Steam Down, Nala Sinephro), Shunaji, Rosie Turton (Nerija), Izzy Burnham (Steam Down), Tal Janes (Waaju), Pete Wareham (Melt Yourself Down) and Edna (Goat Girl).
Produced, as ever, by the label’s own Dan Carey, “OGO” showcases more of the mercurial magic that is ever-present across the Speedy Wunderground catalogue with its B-side, “dubbO”, a further treat for listeners – a skittish, dubby remix pulled from the roots of “OGO” by Carey.
Catch O. live on the following dates: Nov 13 Kortrijk, BE – Sonic City, 17 London, UK – Peckham Audio
“About “Cécile”: It was composed from the same device elaborated in my previous album Pianoïd where I dialogue with a 2nd mechanical piano driven by a machine (a Disklavier™ and a Silent™ piano). Cecile is a ballad marked by a certain melancholy whose melody unfolds like a ritornello. Again, all the sounds of the title are generated by the two pianos with specific preparations (strings rubbed, plucked, foil on the hammers…). A way to illustrate that the possibilities offered by technology can give birth to a singular and very human emotion. With this new EP, the jazz pianist continues on his crossroads. He mixes composition, improvisation and interaction between two pianos, makes dialogue between acoustics and technology to explore the borders of jazz, contemporary music, pop and electro. Welcome to the exploratory world of Edouard Ferlet.
3: Modern Stars, a rather dark (slightly) space rock flavoured drone band from Rome, well not so much drone as a slowly moving, slowly evolving shoegazer thing, hell, who knows what it is? You got ears, you work it out, some kind of dark warm psyche rock thing from Italy. Anyway, Modern Stars have just shared their new video for “Monkey Blues” ahead of the release of their third studio album ‘Space Trips For The Masses’, that out on November 11th, hang on, that’s today, find the details via Little Cloud Records
“Modern Stars share their new video for “Monkey Blues” ahead of the release of their third studio album ‘Space Trips For The Masses’, out on November 11th, via Little Cloud Records. The syncopated and acidic composition is a key chapter in the story from their concept album, in which the protagonist is still at the beginning of his psace odissey and loses is gradually losing touch with reality, and drowning into a landscape of the mind. The video is inspired by the film “12 Monkeys” (Terry Gilliam, 1995), loosely based on the film La jetée, by Chris Marker, a 1962 French experimental short film. The film deals with the subjective nature of memories and their effect on the perception of reality. In the feature film, the protagonists are found several times having altered or false memories. In a line David Morse states: “I think, Dr. Railly, you have given your “alarmists” a bad name. Surely there is very real and very convincing data that the planet cannot survive the excesses of the human race: proliferation of atomic devices, uncontrolled breeding habits, the rape of the environment, the pollution of land, sea, and air. In this context, isn’t it obvious that “Chicken Little” represents the sane vision and that Homo Sapiens’ motto, “Let’s go shopping!” is the cry of the true lunatic?” More via Bandcamp
4: Pole – Tempus, a track taken from the new Pole album of the same name. Available on vinyl, limited edition pink vinyl and CD from 18th November via Mute. Pole, as we’ve probably said before, is Düsseldorf-native musician, producer and mastering engineer Stefan Betke, and is known “for his unique musical language oscillating between melody and avant-garde in electronic music, with audible influences from Dub and Jazz music”.
Tempus – The tense of a verb group is its form, which usually shows whether you are referring to past, present, or future time.
“Tempus exists in a unique space – the production is rich and enveloping, exuding dense yet crisp atmospherics with a striking balance between complexity and compactness throughout. On the new album, Betke explores the connections between the past, present and future (Tempus meaning “tense” in German), linking back to 2020’s Fading – an album about coping with dementia and the loss of memory over time – and his previous work, which includes the ground-breaking trilogy 1, 2 and 3. While each Pole album – his catalogue glides across ambient, dub, jazz, glitch, and electronica – is distinctly singular, the albums are part of an ongoing evolution that link as much to history as they do to the future.
The presence of dub within Betke’s idiosyncratic framework of electronic music, is a constant but on Tempus, dub takes on an additional role. The dub effect units used in Pole’s music delay sound, keeping them a step behind the present before they are released, fading away again into a foggy reverb. The pace, tone and echo of dub effects are themselves traversing the essence of past, present and future within the album. It’s also one of the most overtly jazz-leaning records in Betke’s career but given his inclination to do things originally, it’s a deconstructed, mutated and manipulated form of jazz.
Pole’s ongoing musical evolution, while retaining a relationship to previous work, means that he is already naturally building an ever-stronger bridge between the present and the past. However, the deeply innovative sounds that he continues to carve and explore, and always breaking new ground with each record, means that bridge is also being extended far into the future.
The painting on the cover, by Wolfgang Betke titled Großstadtwanderer, links into the themes explored on the album. Betke explains, “I found the whole atmosphere in this totally weird confused head with these little shimmery eyes leaking through the colours to totally fit the idea of Tempus.”
5: a-tota-so‘s latest album came out, can we say it came out screaming and kicking? Whatever we say, it came out last March, we share it here this week (after quite a bit of recent play on our Other Rock Show) simply because they are on tour at the moment, a tour that includes a show at East London’s Old Blue Last on Tuesday November 15th. All the dates and links are on the Nottingham band’s Link Tree, as are all thier links beside the most important one, the most important is of course the Bandcamp link and that is where you go to get your eager mits of a download of the album or indeed something more (is it out on vinyl?)
And well this being the 11th November, the eleventh day of the eleventh month and Sunday being Remembrance Day, we’ll just leave this thoughtful slice of 1981 from the timeless This Heat here…
And if these things interest you then, this month’s Spotify playlist is building nicely, we do build one each month now, well if you can’t beat them…