Never mind the editorial bit at the top or what we said the last time, you’ve read all this already, just jump down to the music. Exact same thing again today, another five (or so) slices of musical things that can do all the talking themselves and however you slice it and of course it was the price of fish and here comes the introduction to the latest Five Music Things feature thing. 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 flying dogs out of the clouds? Is there a rhyme? Is there a reason? Was there ever a reason? What do reasons make? Five more? Snake foil? Everything must go and same as last time (and the time before that) 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 why we started this damn thing 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 really try to 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 about 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? What’s Wordsworth? Just facts and links and sounds then. Here you go, play the music, grab your five, eat your greens, go eat some art, go eat some fresh music and don’t forget whatever it was we said last time,
1: Normal Nada the Krakmaxter – Something that’s coming out on Nyege Nyege Tapes, a Kampala (Uganda) based label “exploring, producing and releasing outsider music from around the region and beyond”. The album isn’t out until mid june, there’s only one track out there right now, hear it on Bandcamp (or on the Organ Spotify playlist for May if you d othat kind of thing)
“One of the most eccentric characters to emerge from Lisbon’s musical underground, Teteu has operated under a variety of shadowy monikers including Qraqmaxter, CiclOFF, and Erre Mente. A gifted visual artist as well as a composer, he’s known for developing a philosophical mythology with his drawings, mostly using a ballpoint pen to sketch out elaborate, anime-style projects. Normal Nada is Teteu’s most enduring project, and a full eight years after the game-changing ep “Transmutação Cerebral” he has finally assembled his long-awaited debut album.
“TRIBAL PROGRESSIVE HEAVY METAL” materializes into Nada’s meta-kuduro multiverse, developed from his deep knowledge of African and Portuguese musical forms. Years ago, he was an established archivist and genre historian, sharing archival material, mixes and rips alongside his original tracks, and while his online presence has faded, his rate of production hasn’t. His tracks are rooted in Angolan kuduro and tarraxinha structures, but Normal Nada uses this only as a starting point, poetically overlaying and superimposing elements from trap, bass music, heavy metal and ambient sources to tell a story that’s personal and unique.
Listening to the album is like channel hopping through an interplanetary animated matrix, blasting off from colorful opener ‘Beautyful Caos’ with its grinding syncopation, crash-landing on the subversive ‘Batida Hard Trance 2’ that dissolves awkward European dance tropes into industrial-strength Portuguese electronix, and scuttling towards the album’s bizarre title track, that juxtaposes crunching, overdriven drones ‘n tones with kinetic kuduro rhythms. ‘Alive’ is even more cacophonous, layering machine-strength orchestral hits over militaristic, rolling 4/4 beats and unsettled subs.
Born and raised in the Republic of Guinea-Bissau in West Africa, Normal Nada migrated to Portugal at 13 and was based for many years in Lisbon’s San Antonio Dos Cavaleiros housing projects, after previously having lived in the Algarve. Teteu’s compositions are a spiked expression of Lisbon’s patchwork of batida styles, making a direct link to West Africa’s vibrant musical legacy. Now he’s returned to Guinea-Bissau and his music reflects this outstretched knowledge and energy, with a 360 degree view of the world’s complex assemblage of cultures and conflicts.
The album’s somber finale is the best representation of his philosophy, a minor-key downtempo slow-burner that could sit comfortably alongside Actress or tarraxinha pioneer DJ Znobia. Called ‘Dedicated to the Homeless’, it shines flickering neon light on the world’s unseen population, searching for hope where too many of us choose to look away.”
2: Nakibembe Embaire Group – And now that we’ve checkout one thing on Nyege Nyege , we need ot check out more, have a go on this one. Once again you can only hear one track from the album but what a track it is…
“In Nakibembe, a small village in Uganda’s Busoga kingdom (one of the country’s four remaining constitutional monarchies), locals have long reserved a communal area for musical performances and social events. In the middle of this space lies a deep pit that serves a single purpose: to amplify the embaire, an immense xylophone made up of between 15 and 25 wooden keys that stretches across the trench. Log xylophones are common throughout East Africa, but the way the music is played by the Basoga – an Eastern Bantu ethnic group – is specific and unique, with its own tuning, dances and supplemental instrumentation. Up to eight players can surround the embaire and play simultaneously, overlaying hypnotic polyrhythms while additional members of the ensemble add vocals or play shakers and drums.
Nakibembe Xylophone Group are one of the last remaining groups that perform with the embaire, and as anyone who’s caught their live performances will know, they create a complex and layered wall of sound that’s completely transfixing wherever it’s presented. The band are a regular fixture at Nyege Nyege festival, and in 2020 appeared in Berlin at the legendary Berghain nightclub alongside Jakarta-based vanguards Gabber Modus Operandi and Harsya Wahono. On the group’s debut album, they present five tracks as an ensemble and three tracks in collaboration with Indonesian trio. Heard together the music demonstrates not only the remarkable sound of Nakibembe’s own kinetic interaction, but sonic ripples that correlate with more distant forms, from Indonesia’s metallophone-led gamelan music to the heady digital processes of the sound art sphere.
Undulating eight-minute epic ‘Omukazi Iwe Ongeyengula Nguli Zna Ntyo Bwenkola’ draws us into the album, offering the perfect introduction to Basoga musical traditions. Triplet-led melodic percussive phrases provide an ever-fluxing backbone, leaving space for call-and-response vocals in Lusoga and shakers for rhythmic clarity. ‘Omulangira Mpango’ develops the scope even further, pushing up the tempo so the notes and patterns almost blur into clouds of bubbling harmony. It’s not difficult to notice how these sounds have seeped into the framework of Western experimental and electronic music, and hearing them presented without corruption only serves to confirm how rare it is to connect with the source. And when Nakibembe do correspond with outside influences, the bond is mutual and synergistic.
The group needed to work out a way to combine their techniques with GMO and Wahono’s own musical approaches, so they fitted the embaire’s keys with audio-to-MIDI triggers that allowed them to capture the instrument’s swing without drowning out the sound itself. Then, Nakibembe recorded a series of freestyle performances that would demonstrate the range of the instrument; Wahono and GMO took these recordings and the MIDI data and used digital processes to distort and shift the sounds into dangerous new places, adding vocal improvisations from GMO’s Ican Harem. The Indonesian trio wanted to explore a more minimalist approach with Nakibembe, and on ‘140’ do exactly that, slowing down the whir of embaire clunks to a crawl and adding sporadic squeals and punctuating bumps. ‘160’ is even more unexpected, losing the embaire completely and feeding the raw drum data into synthesizers that pop and squeak with the same unmistakable energy.
But it’s the final track ‘133’ that really seals the deal, opening on a sober narrative from Ican Harem that addresses the parallels between Indonesian and Ugandan folk traditions before exploding into a trance-like fusion of serpentine polyrhythms and disorienting vocals. Listening to the album is like hearing the past, present and future aligned; dance music is neither static nor bound to its contemporary apparatus, and conversation rather than colonization can stretch concepts beyond phony borders”.
3: Inflicter are from the North of England, thay’re a no messing metal-flavoured hardcore band, they’re fast, they’re intense, you might say they’re not doing anything that revolutionary but then UK Hardcore never was about being musical revolutionaries, it was always about, the energy of it all, the attitude, the right here right now sheer fuck-off-ness of it all, about being in the room, about the unity, about the knuckle dust and the the cynical smile, no one was ever meant ot be a household name and whe nthe wind blew out od one saet of sales someone else, someone like Inflicter picked it up and an with it Only one of their seven glorious songs clocks in at more than two minutes, no messing around here, straight in here, deliver it and then deliver it again, oh yes! No missing the point here. You can find their latest release as a download via Bandcamp, available at a very reasonable pay what you want price., there’s also a tape version avaiable from the ever good Noise Merchant Records people. inflicter are Mia, Tom, Jasmin and Max and together the kick up a righteous storm, a punk rock storm that Suzie The Swimmer woud most certainly have approved
4: Hard Ons have a new single, a track from the new album ‘Ripper ’23’ which, in turn, is out this week. The old guys are sounding like they’re on topform. (are we giving them a “The”? The press release does, I never did). Good to hear the long-standing Australian punk band sounding so fresh after all these years….
“Golden Robot Records is proud as punch to announce that Australian punk icons, The Hard-Ons, are back with a new single, impending album – and European tour. Golden Robot Records will release The Hard-Ons’ new album, ‘Ripper 23’, worldwide outside of Australia on 2 June. The single, “Apartment For Two”, is out 5 May. The Hard-Ons are Ray Ahn, Peter Black, Murray Ruse and new kid, You Am I vocalist and songwriter, Tim Rogers.
The new single, “Apartment For Two”, is a frenetic pop-punk blast; three delicious minutes of squealing guitars, pounding drums, pulverising bass, and sitting atop – like a semi-detached ring-pull – is Rogers’ intense ‘tude-laden vocals. A perfect slab of what constitutes The Hard-Ons, circa 2023. The song was co-written by Rogers and Black”. More details here
5: Winter At Sea – Two tracks and sixteen minutes from people involved in The Bridesmaid, ruinerr, Poly-Math, UpCDownC, Monsters Build Mean Robots and Flies Are Spies From Hell. A big sound, a thick full bodied sound, dense, instrumental and I guess if you need us to say it, then yes, a bold Post Rock thing, rich in hue, warm. Find it once more via A Cheery Wave Records or on Bandcamp
And while we’re here, some 1994 Huggy Bear and,,,,