New releases – April 2020 (2)

Alternate African Reality – Electronic, electroacoustic and experimental music from Africa and the diaspora (2CD & digital, Syrphe)

Alternate African Reality could be seen as a drastic improvement of 30.2, a compilation released in 2012. The CD included nine artists from Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Angola, Mauritius, South Africa, Réunion and Madagascar/France. But even if I was very happy with the result, I always thought I should do a deeper research, and another issue I faced was the fact that I didn’t manage to include any women in the project.

Alternate African Reality is musically diverse, including abstract but also beat-oriented music such as ambient, electronica, electroacoustic, noise, singeli, bass music, industrial hip hop, etc.

It includes 32 artists and bands from 24 African countries and the diaspora, and last but not least, 14 women are among those vibrant musicians and composers from South Africa, Nigeria, DRC (Congo), Lesotho, Angola, Morocco, Senegal, Mauritania, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, eSwatini (Swaziland), South Sudan, Ethiopia/Somalia, Cameroon, Egypt, Mozambique, Rwanda/Belgium, Algeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Réunion, Madagascar/France, Ghana/France, Tunisia : Sukitoa o Namau, Mash, Pö, Jako Maron, Robert Machiri, Cobi van Tonder, Aurélie Nyirabikali Lierman, Shadwa Ali, Hibotep, Ibaaku, Emeka Ogbo, Chantelle Gray, Yao Bobby & Simon Grab, Catu Diosis and more ! [cdrk]


Yasuyuki Uesugi – I Deny Others Because My Heart Can’t Afford To Accept Others (digital, self-released)

Japanese artist Yasuyuki Uesugi plays some old school repetitive noise, somehow mechanical and mesmerising, listening to this album is like visiting the core of some gigantic machines. [cdrk]


Sooncrazy – Live at sanen sessions (digital, POTONG JARI)

Powerful harsh noise live session recorded at Kedampunk, in Denpasar (Bali). Not for the average tourist ! [cdrk]


SAABA – Inside out (digital, POTONG JARI)

Three tracks by Indonesian artist SAABA. The first piece’s beginning slowly starts with a dark loop on top of which layers of noise and crackles are being added step by step turning into noise, a crescendo that leads the listener where it suspected to go : a fantastic harsh noise climax. The second piece is made of  dark repetitive loops, ambient but sinister. The third piece is a classic harsh noise wall piece. [cdrk]


Dirar Kalash and David Birchall – Dynamisms (digital, al-bayān)

Palestinian composer and improviser Dirar Kalash spent several years in Europe, especially in the Netherlands and Germany to study and perform a lot of concerts, solo and with other improvisers. This album includes three tracks recorded with David Birchall (electric guitar) while Dirar, depending on the tracks improvises with electric guitars, violin, electronics or oud. Three tracks, three different atmospheres in the field of jazz, experimental and free improvised music. [cdrk]


Sharif Sehnaoui – Concave​/​Convex (digital, Sounds from the Corridor)

Well-known figure of the Lebanese free improv scene, founder of the yearly festival Irtijal together with improviser Mazen Kerbaj and the labels Al Maslakh and Annihaya, Sharif Sehnaoui recorded two new acoustic guitar pieces this month during the lockdown. [cdrk]


BEEATSZ v2.0999x – You Should Already Know Where This Is Going (minidisc & digital, self-released)

Turkish project BEEATSZ v2.0999x is hyper active as always : “recorded in Berlin, 45+ days into the block on life with logistic support of BUSS: Big & Ugly Soundsystem”, a sound system made to resist the harshest and noisiest music ever produced here.
Expect very short radical noisegrind tracks with a touch of industrial sometimes. [cdrk]


Midori Hirano – And I Am Here (digital, self-released)

Japanese artist Midori Hiran first published this album on Staaltape in 2014.
It mostly consists of short piano pieces, some mixed with field recordings from Europe and Japan and unlike some of her other releases contains almost no electronics.
Here slightly detuned piano creates intimate and ambient atmospheres, tiny postcards sent from some peaceful countrysides. [cdrk]


Sun Dawei – 現時之光 / Light From Now (digital, self-released)

Chinese composer Sun Sawei aka Sulumi presents two versions of an instrumental ambient electronica track, a bit pop, a bit melancholic. [cdrk]


Grisha Shakhnes – the lesser the water the firmer the jelly (digital, self-released)

Israeli composer Grisha Shakhnes aka Mites published three 20+ minutes pieces made of field recordings creating a minimalistic, eerie and sometimes oppressive atmosphere.
Two of the tracks have been recorded at home during the quarantine so rather than sounds of nature or urban traffic, expect more intimate sounds. [cdrk]


Li Nashao – L’intuition d’un devenir (cassette & digital, Senko Issha)

Improvised  electric guitar solo from Taiwan. Two live tracks, between dark free improv and noise, with a touch of space rock here and there. [cdrk]


Kamal Sabran – Obat Bunyi II (digital, self-released)

Malaysian composer Kamal Sabran presents the second part of his Obat Bunyi series.
Meditative ambient music where electronic and folk music blend. Malay and Indian instrumentations meet 1970s minimalistic and psychedelic music without falling deep into nostalgia or new age. Highly recommended. [cdrk]


Individual Distortion – 808acidgrind (digital, self-released)

Individual Distortion mixes various genres for years, from metal to harsh noise. This time as the album title tells it, acid music with cybergrind, hence, acidgrind as a new (?) genre. It starts with gentle acid techno that quickly becomes cybergrind. Interesting hybrid, Indonesia will never cease to surprise me ! [cdrk]


v.a. – Social Isolation (digital, Social Isolation)

“Created and compiled during the last week of March 2020, this compilation brings together the sound of artists in isolation creating music that’s reflective of our collective struggle during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Fifteen Indian ambient artists (mostly, a few tracks are rhythmical) : PhilterSoup, Corridors, Eashwar Subramanian, Coma Conscience, Swaroopa, Mallo, etc. [cdrk]


v.a. – Social Isolation II (digital, Social Isolation)

“This is the second edition of Social Isolation that was compiled during the first week of April 2020. The compilation brings together the sounds of various artists in confinement and quarantine who are creating music that’s reflective of our collective struggle during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Twenty Indian ambient artists and a pinch of ambient electronica and techno : Liquid Memoirs, Jayant Manchanda, Bidisha Das, Kaali, Manyu, Yidam and more. [cdrk]


Cenk Ergün & JACK Quartet – Sonare & Celare (digital, self-released)

D. Lippel say about this release : “Turkish-American composer Cenk Ergün writes music that achieves a hypnotic effect through masses of sound, repetition with subtle variation, and microtonality. Sonare & Celare are paired works written for the JACK Quartet that stand in opposition to one another. Sonare is mostly vigorous and loud while Celare is ethereal and soft. Despite the drastic contrasts between the two, both demonstrate Ergün’s fascination with delicate shadings of pitch and subtle shifts in phrase syntax that constantly reveal new vantage points on limited material.”
And there is nothing more to tell, this is a brilliant recording !


hashtag_blacknoise – SANS CoV​-​2 (digital, self-released)

One 27 minute piece by South African noise artist hashtag_blacknoise. Distorted vocal (I suppose a talk by Cyril Ramaphosa), distorted ambient and looped atmospheres. Perfect sound track for a dystopian sci-fi film telling about a pandemic… Oh, wait ! [cdrk]


Sulk Station – Dheere / Deewarein (digital, self-released)

Based in India, Sulk Station is a duo made of Tanvi Rao (vocals) and Rahul Giri (from Nepal, if I’m not mistaken, and living in India), their minimalist production are a mix of ambient electronica and synthpop with traces of Indian classical music. [cdrk]


Thylasine – weight  (digital, self-released)

Thylasine is a duo based in Cape Town, they play music based on cello, electric guitar, electronics and voice. They are heavily influenced by the new wave and post-punk scene from the 1980s, sometimes taking the most abrasive part of it. This new piece, between ambient and new wave is simply fantastic, sad, emotional, if I may give my humble opinion. [cdrk]


Government Alpha / scum – Live At OTOOTO Collaboration with Government Alpha (digital, self-released)

Collaboration between Japanese 1990s noisician Government Alpha and 2010s noisician scum. [cdrk]


Aragorn23 – Selected modular atmospheres vol. 2 (digital, self-released)

“As with my first volume of modular atmospheres, the pieces gathered here represent snapshots of longer sonic spaces created for inner travels.

Each track is composed using generative techniques on a modular synthesiser – once I’ve created a musical space with knobs, buttons and patch cables, I leave the system running, typically for several hours, while I sit with headphones on and allow myself to drift off.

Several of the pieces in this collection were created in the shadow of Covid-19 and the lockdown in South Africa; creating and listening to them has helped me tremendously with remaining grounded and calm. I hope you benefit from them too, in whatever way.

The final track, Lockdown, contains a rather beautiful poem by Franciscan monk, Brother Richard Hendrick. The hour-long mix was created as a soundtrack for my friend Neil’s Covid-19 virtual art exhibition, which you can read more about at 212 Productions.

This collection of music is totally free, but if you do wish to pay for it, all proceeds will be donated to local food outreach organisations that serve meals to vulnerable people.” [Aragorn23]


DJ Die Soon – Kappa Slap (vinyl & digital, Morphin Records)

Japanese beat maker DJ Die Soon join force with some great names of the Ugandan and Kenyan radical hip hop and death metal scene : Ecko Bazz, MC Yallah, Lord Spikeheart, as well as British MC Infinite Livez and Japanese MC and spoken word artist MA.
Here is finally the result of some great solo sets and collaborations performed in Jinja (Uganda) during Nyege Nyege Festival 2019 : electronic experimentations, industrial hip hop, distorted dark hop, spoken words, death metal growling, all combine to create this unique LP. [cdrk]


Don & The Multiverses – Up in the air. Suites (digital, self-released)

Don & The Multiverses is an ambient folk musician from Bangkok. This new album includes four tracks made of looped and processed electric guitar, harmonica, and sometimes distant voices. Don & The Multiverses explores ambient and drone atmosphere that could perfectly be featured in a surreal or horror film. [cdrk]


Wukir Suryadi – @home#01 (digital, self-released)

One track composed with a Thai jaw’s harp (pretty similar to the Vietnamese ones) by Indonesian instrument maker Wukir Suryadi (Senyawa). [cdrk]


Ash Koosha – FOREST (digital, self-released)

Based in London, Iranian composer Ash Koosha composed 17 electronic music pieces in the field of electronica and glitch occasionally tinged with some ambient pop and eastern melodies. [cdrk]


the nois society – Transmission (digital, self-released)

From Nepal, Ritesh Maharjan collects sounds from his daily life, experiment with them and seems to like distortion and feedback a lot. He is this time playing with wave transmissions, the result is less noisy than some of his other pieces but nevertheless interesting. [cdrk]


Menzi – Impazamo (cassette & digital, Hakuna Kulala)

Ugandan label dedicated to East African and Congolese electronic music goes down to South Africa, Durban to be precise. Durban is the centre of gqom, a very minimalistic version of kwaito, which is already a pretty minimalistic form of afrohouse, Menzi is one of its pioneers.
I often find that  many gqom artists all sound the same, partly due to the minimalistic aspect of the music but this one is an exception. All typical element of gqom are here : slow, deep, minimalistic, typical toms, voice samples but the darkness of Menzi’s music and the way he manages to turns this into a ritual is impressive and pretty unique, especially in the track GQOM Tera that features Uganda MC Ecko Bazz. [cdrk]


Aurat – Zeher (digital, self-released)

Aurat is a Pakistani-US duo whose music is deeply rooted in the 1980s post-punk scene. There new EP will make you travel in time from pure new wave (Waiting For You, Rehem, Aana) to minimal wave (Nasha), industrial (Saanp) and noise (Aaghaz). [cdrk]


Ytamo – Limited Leaf (digital, Room40)

Ytamo comes from Osaka, her music follows the tradition of minimalistic experimentations of some of the Japanese avant-garde from the 1970s and earls 1980s ( Haruomi Hosono – Coincidental Music or sometimes Phew but more gentle and perhaps a bit more gloomy), a fusion of pop, synthetic melodies, piano, minimalist and repetitive music, arrangements that seem to be out of sync but perfectly work together. [cdrk]


madam data – for Agnes Martin, six architectures in light and water (digital, self-released)

From Singapore, relocated in the USA, madam data presents six very minimalistic drone pieces : “Each piece is either the entirety or an excerpt of a long piece for modular synthesizer. Each had its beginnings in improvisation, but its details were refined over repeated recordings. Further small edits were made on a computer.”
The pieces are dedicated to and thoroughly fit her minimalistic abstract paintings. [cdrk]

New releases – November 2019

v.a. – pɹnsqɐ (digital, Absurd TRAX)

pɹnsqɐ is a compilation of remixes of previous releases of Kelvin T, ASJ, ANNA and Alexmalism published on Hong Kongese label Absurd TRAX.
The tracks mostly cover the local bass and club music genre that is developing in Hong Kong and China for many years now : beat-oriented music with a certain amount of traditional music influences. (cdrk)


Mario Swagga and DJ Silila – Mapenzi Digital (Digital Love) (vinyl & digital, Signrecords)

If you like super fast beats, this one may be for you. Mario Swagga and DJ Silila play singeli music, an electronic music genre coming from Tanzania and influenced by taarab music that sounds more like taarab on speed than anything else. It’s party music, the voice is loud, the rhythm goes up to 180bpm or more. You can get the vinyl through the label here. (cdrk)


33EMYBW – Arthropods (digital, SVBKVLT)

Based in Shanghai, 33EMYBW plays electronic music above all based on rhythms, syncopated samples, she is part of a new generation of Chinese electronic musician who develop an form of local alternative club music such as Zaliva-D, Gooooose, or Mun Sing, grabbing various influences from traditional Chinese music to ryhmical industrial,  bass music, distorted techno and, for some, breakcore.
The album includes one track featuring noise musician and free improviser Li Jianhong and remixes done by Ugandan electronic artist Don Zilla and Uruguayan electronic musician and dj Lechuga Zafiro.


Tusuk Lubang Telinga – Akan Tiba Waktunya Keruntuhan Tata Surya Dan Kumpulan Objek Benda Langit Tidak Lagi Terikat Oleh Gaya Gravitasi. (E​.​P) (digital, self-released)

Just based on the title of Tusuk Lubang Telinga’s latest EP alone, Akan Tiba Waktunya Keruntuhan Tata Surya Dan Kumpulan Objek Benda Langit Tidak Lagi Terikat Oleh Gaya Gravitasi (the time will come when the solar system collapses and everything in the sky is no longer bound by gravity), we know that this EP will take us on an catastrophic journey through space. The solar system is dying and we are powerless.

Ketika Pluto Tidak Lagi Mengorbit Matahari Secara Langsung. (when pluto no longer orbits the sun), the EP’s first track establishes the apocalyptic mood and focuses our attention with a consistent wailing from the Pluto’s barren glacial atmosphere. We can’t quite tell what is happening yet, but it fills us with dread. The cold and unforgiving drones are juxtaposed with the haunted metallic clanging from abandoned satellites crashing into the arctic surface. This ominous soundscape signals the beginning of the end.

By the time the EP transitions to the second track Terbiusnya Bumi Oleh Vaksin Bajakan. (sedate the earth with pirated vaccines) we are greeted with screams for help in the form of harsh feedback and heavy distortion. The solar system is in full collapse. The stars are falling faster and faster. We can only sit back and watch from our vantage point on Earth. Being over medicated has made us comfortable, and nothing we do can stop this attack on everything we cherish. The sky is on fire, our eyes are burning. Grab your loved ones because we are not coming out of this alive. The falling stars come crashing to Earth, it has changed the landscape and threw all the plants out of sorts. We are doomed, but can not process how bad.

Terbentuknya Lahar Mars Menyerupai Kepala Manusia Bertanduk. (mars’ lava resembles a horned human head) is a track that calms us down after the previous heavy assault. However, our moment of peace is short lived. We realize we have reached the red planet, synonymous to hell. Here the buzz sawing drone cuts through the planet, a constant reminder there is no quarter given. In the distance the demonic Martians are constantly at work making ruckus in their torturous industrial factories. Voices wail out, looking for help in a place where there is none. The sawing continues and doesn’t stop. It is pulsing through our brains and begins speeding up. We look around and feel the anxiety brought upon by this nightmarish hellscape. Is this were we went after the end of everything? The floor is lava and we can’t move. Suddenly a horned head emerges, and saws our brains us into a million tiny pieces. We are enveloped with the sawing until we only see red

For the last track Nafl Untuk Bintang Dari pertarungan Mentari Dan Rembulan. (nafl [prayer] for the stars of the sun and moon battles) we emerge from the red and are witness to the final epic battle between our Sun and Moon. Whoever wins, we lose. At first we are instructed to say a prayer. The pulsating rhythms provide us an opportunity to reflect on our last human moments. This was a wild ride, we have seen the end of our solar system. The moon tries to eclipse the sun, but it is too powerful. The Sun engulfs the Moon like a mother welcoming her forgotten child. This sets a chain reaction, and enormous solar bursts begin to explode from the Sun’s surface. All at once there is a bright light and then darkness. It is completely silent, and that is it. (Sean Stellfox)


Dominowe – SiyaThakatha (vinyl & digital, GQOM OH!)

Gqom, a South African music genre more minimalistic than kwaito (really ?), darker but still groovy, Dominowe’s repetitive sequences pushes the listeners into trance (a real trance, not techno trance),  this release differs from a lot of qgom music I heard before, with a clear house touch in the Club Killer track and a pinch of dub in the track Umzabalazo (WE BROKEN). (cdrk)


Sabiwa – DaBa (vinyl & digital, Chinabot)

Sabiwa is an audio-visual artists from Taiwan now based in Berlin, her album’s dreamy atmospheres sometimes remind a bit of Psapp or CocoRosie sometimes but more tortured. You will find many influences in her composition from electronica to sound collage, looped vocals, electroacoustic processing, glitch, ambient and a touch of industrial in the track Enigma. (cdrk)


Daniel Slabosky – Five Minutes (vinyl & digital, Uganda)

“Second E.P. for Tel Aviv / Jerusalem based producer / singer songwriter Daniel Slabosky.
Five Minute delivers 5 euphoric, dark, alienated blend of traditional folkish song writing gently synthesized with some beats added that redefine the boundaries between indie rock and electronic club music.” (from the label’s page)


Maenad & the Ravers – SUNDOWN (CD & digital, self-released)

Formed in Hong Kong in 2017, Maenad and the Ravers is Cecilia, Ming and Wing. Their music is heavily influenced by 1980s new wave and post punk but with a touch of 21st century music here and there.
The album has been produced by Cecilia Nox (the singer and keyboardist) & Eric M.Y. Chan (aka e:ch, from Macao). (cdrk)


KMRU – Variations (Installation) (digital, self-released)

Variations (Installation) is made of field recordings and looped field recordings made in three different cities, and additional electronics . It is part of a three channel sound installation that has been exhibited at Abuja Art Week (Nigeria) in November 2019 and might be presented in March 2020 Nairobi. (cdrk)


gΔitφ – Volcano Jazz (digital, equnatrecord)

Japanese noise drummer Gaitoh sounding like someone drumming on top of an active volcano. (cdrk)


Ouwan Itaru – Breath&Blood (digital, equnatrecord)

If I’m not wrong, another incarnation of Gaitoh. Feedback, noise, growls, deconstructed drums, a lot of energy in here, a work that reminds me of some of Utku Tavil‘s performances. (cdrk)


Nyctalllz – Esion 2 : Dissolve (digital, Zāl Records)

Esion 2 : Dissolve is the second album of Iranian artist Nyctalllz (aka Xerxes The Dark, etc.), the album had previously been released on Amduscias Records in 2008 and has been re-mastered. The music is often more rough than what Morego does as Xerxes The Dark ; apart of dark ambient, some tracks go into noise and ambient industrial. (cdrk)


Ma – Ama (vinyl & digital, Morphine Records)

“MA comes from the rap and hip-hop Tokyo scene, but throughout the years he evolved into a more noisy and experimental beat making. He blends ritualistic ancient Japanese lyrics and vocal methods, on music that he creates using also his voice or field recordings. The result is alienating, weird and haunting but at the same time fascinating and futuristic. MA’s Beehayden is being remixed by Sugai Ken, another outstanding artist and performer from Japan. MA made his first short live performance at Dommune Tokyo in may 2019, revealing his craft and performative side.” (from the label’s page)


Yan Jun & Bani Haykal – Rats in the bright southern sky (vinyl & digital, where is the zeitgeist ?)

A collaboration between two improvisers and poets, Chinese musician Yan Jun (no-input feedback, contact mic) and Singaporean experimentalist Bani Haykal (text, voice, coding. Voice collage, feedback, loops and glitch, minimalist music in the style of Onkyokei. (cdrk)


Hexenoise / brokenchelust (Split)  – Hexenoise / brokenchelust (Split) (digital, self-released)

Two long noisy tracks.
Hexenoise is a power electronics project from Russia, brokenchelust is a death ambient, industrial and noise project from Azerbaijan, this time featuring Queenigar. (cdrk)


Contagious Orgasm – Maschinenfest comp tracks (cassette & digital, raubbau)

Japanese electronica and post-industrial band Contagious Orgasm just published six live tracks recorded between 2001 and 2018 at the defunct Maschinenfest, a festival that took place in the Western part of Germany during twenty years.
This album is part of a collection of live recordings made by artists during the Maschinenfest. (cdrk)


Omar Fadel Hadi – Vanishing Form (digital, self-released)

Omar Fadel Hadi is an Iraqi musician based in Baghdad whose music oscillates between ambient and techno, for this release he recorded two long pieces reminding of 1990s techno, pretty minimal, a bit ethereal and without any harsh compression, Omar definitely takes the opposing view of today’s ultra loud pop music world. (cdrk)


v.a. – Noise A Noise 19​.​3 (digital, Noise À Noise)

Noise À Noise is an Iranian label that just published its third compilation this year. Each one includes a majority of Iranian artists and some foreigners but this one seems to be more dedicated to Iranian artists.
This third volume presents 20 tracks by 20 composers such as Alireza Mirhajebi, Ghodsea, Mohamad Nikpour, Ali Sasha and Zhoobin Askarieh, Parham Izadyar, Owrang, etc.
Dark ambient, electroacoustic, electronica, eerie and experimental music. (cdrk)


v.a. – Anthology Of Persian Experimental Music (digital & CD, Unexplained Sounds Group)

This compilation was published three years ago in digital format only and is now pressed on CD ; the new digital version includes four more artists who are unfortunately not present on the CD.
Many of the artists are active for years in and ourtside Iran, such as Tehransmission, Umchunga, Nyctalllz, NUM, Spectro Duo, Bicolor, and so on.
The whole CD is more dedicated to dark ambient, electronica, and drone with various influences, from Western music to Persian melodies and even includes an oriental post-rock track by Ostanes. (cdrk)


v.a. – “shelTer” (digital, Müstesna Records)

shelTer is a compilation that includes 25 artists, a lot form Turkey but international ones too in the field of techno, electronica, electro, and other rhythmic electronic genres.
The compilation has been done in order to provide financial support for creating national and international awareness about the trans murders and trans suicides in Turkey (the country has the highest rate of murders of trans people in Europe, and the ninth in the world). The benefits will be donated to “Eylül Cansın Trans Guest House” which was founded by the Istanbul LGBTI Solidarity Association and named after Eylül Cansın, a transgender person who committed suicide January 2015.
Some of the musicians included on the compilation are Houschyar, Emnre Can Swim, Tolouse Low Trax, Anatolian Weapons, Salih Topuz, Neu Verboten, Mahmet Aslan, Mekine U Teksi, Venderstrooik, Osilator, etc. (cdrk)

New releases – October 2019

Aragorn23 – Selected modular atmospheres vol. 1 (digital, self-released)

South African composer and improviser Aragorn23 presents eleven algorithmic pieces for modular synthesizer.
As the title evokes it, the music is quite ambient and relaxing, each piece developing its own little world. While some pieces would remind of late 1970s and 1980s minimalist ambient music, others sound more contemporary. (cdrk)


Various artists – These Are Our Friends Too (digital, FORWARD)

A project worth to support !
“This album is brought to you by Musicians Unite to End FGM (MUTEFGM) and Tse Tse Fly Middle East. These Are Our Friends Too is a unique album that highlights the work FORWARD does towards ending FGM (female genital mutilation). The album continues FORWARD’s These Are Our Friends project, a collection of poetry from young people from London, Bristol, Manchester and Birmingham that responds to the themes of FGM and its consequences. The first stage of the project resulted in a book of the same name that features more than thirty pieces of work, a short film made with Media Trust, and this new collaboration sees nineteen of the poems re-imagined.

Tse Tse Fly Middle East hand-picked a selection of female artists and musicians, and each one was given a spoken word recording of one of the poems read by members of the FORWARD team and poets from the book. The artists then composed and recorded a sonic background for their designated piece, with the resulting spoken word and experimental music compositions making up this new, nineteen-track set, These Are Our Friends Too.

The album features contributions from some of the foremost female proponents of noise from Egypt, Iran, Turkey, Lebanon, Serbia, Bulgaria and Sweden, as well as UK-based collaborators. And the visceral, uncompromising and unsettling tracks that result reflect the disturbing nature of female genital mutilation.” (Tse Tse Fly Middle East)


Yan Jun & Bani Haykal – Rats in the bright southern sky (vinyl & digital, whereisthezeitgeist?editing office)

These tracks were recorded at NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Residency Studio, in Singapore by prolific composer, poet and organiser Yan Jun (no-input feedback and contact microphones) and Singaporean researcher and composer Bani Haykal (text, voice and coding), then edited by Yan Jun.
The result of this collaboration is an electroacoustic music album in which voice loops and experiments navigate between waves of noises and feedbacks ; high pitched tones and incidental sonic glitches remind of some Toshimaru Nakamura‘s No​-​Input Mixing Board works while Haykal’s voice brings new elements to this form of onkyokei. (cdrk)


H.Takahashi – Sonne und Wasser (vinyl & digital, Where To Now? Records)

Dreamy minimalistic ambient music at the age of new age, tiny melodies, slow tunes made in Tokyo.
Takahashi tells : “I wanted to express the plant that was slow, quiet, powerful, and full of vitality. In an attempt to express the world of one plant, the four songs that make up this album are all based on the first one, ‘Nymphaea’… The melody, chord and tone throughout become familiar, and each change of scene is expressed by subtly changing the arrangement and development of sounds. This is intended for when you want to feel like a plant, or as an indoor soundtrack – I want the music to be played so that it decorates the plants within a room.”


Ouwan Itaru – Conceptual Works  (digital, equnatrecord)

There’s Goh Lee Kwang in Malaysia who releases zillions of tracks per month and then Ouwan Itaru in Japan who releases an insane amount of tracks too.
Free improv noise, very wild drums, guitar, distortion and noise. (cdrk)


Goh Lee Kwang – OnTheNight (digital, self-released)

Long improvisation for electronic, hypnotic, somehow noisy but not on the harsh noise side. (cdrk)


Hiroyuki Ura – Ghost Note (tape & digital, Zoomin’ Night)

If you are familiar with solo drums compositions of Morihide Sawada, this might be of interest. Track one is a half an hour solo for snare, track two for cymbal.
Both minimalistic pieces are performed gently, unlike Ryosuke Kiyasu‘s wild performances for snare. (cdrk)


Yang Haisong – Fictional film music (tape & digital, Zoomin’ Night)

Very repetitive ambient experimentation by Chinese composer Yang Haisong.
“Yang Haisong is lead singer of P.K.14, one of the top legendary indie rock bands from China, and he is also the CEO of indie rock label Maybe Mars. Beside these main roles, he also has some side projects including Dear Eloise, After Argument, Blonde Eskimo, collaboration with Xie Yugang (Wang Wen), and his tiny label Share The Obstacles. Yang is a poet, a novelist, and also a music engineer/producer. His work could be found in many Chinese rock bands’ debut album. In these two or three years, Yang involved in some film music projects, but for this cassette album, it does not belong to anyone. In the recording, Yang talks about a fictional movie as while as real life’s concealing and uncertain.” (Zoomin’ Night)


Slikback & Hyph11E – Slip B (digital, SVBKVLT)

I’ve been following parts of the bass music and rhythmic electronic scene in China for a while now and the Kenyan one for a shorter time in the recent years too. I now and then thought that musically speaking there were connections between the work of several of those artists such as Zaliva-D (China) or Slikback (Kenya) for example. And here we go. Here’s a beat-oriented collaboration between Shangainese composer and dj Hyph11E and Nairobi based composer Slikback ! (cdrk)

“SVBKVLT invited Kenyan producer Slikback to China for a 3-week tour and residency in April 2019. During these 3 weeks, Slikback performed in 5 cities (Shenzhen, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing and Beijing), spending time in the studio with artists throughout the tour. The results of these studio sessions are now being presented in the form of two EPs, to be released simultaneously across the two labels Hakuna Kulala (Uganda) and SVBKVLT (China)”


Slikback / 33EMYBW / Osheyack / Yen Tech – Slip A (digital, Hakuna Kulala)

Released at the same time than Slikback & Hyph11E – Slip B, this release features three pieces of beat and bass music by Slikback & Yen Tech, Slikback & 33EMYBW, Slikback & Osheyack. The musicians started to compose the tracks in China and then finished remotely between Nairobi and Shanghai and present a nice mix of all these artists’s styles. (cdrk)


TENGGER – Shikoku (tape & digital, self-released)

Following a pilgrimage on Shikoku island, the South Korean-Japanese project delivers us a double cassette (contact them for ordering it) that, to my knowledge, doesn’t sound to any of their previous recordings. While the duo (Itta & Marqido) performed a mix of noise and psychedelic improvised music at its very beginning (back then called 10) and dived deeper into (partly electronic) psychedelic music, this new release first four tracks are made of field recordings of people (praying at a buddhist temple ?), bells and so on, pitched in some cases ; the five other ones are very minimalistic and meditative recordings of bells (I suppose tsurigane) and silence. (cdrk)


СРАНЪ & brokenchelust – Split (digital, self-released)

СРАНЪ, a Russian punk and grindcore project from Tolyatti, Russia shares this release with noisegrind artist brokenchelust from Baku, Azerbaijan.
Expect a lot of distorted sounds. (cdrk)


Rey Sapienz – Mushoro (tape & digital, Hakuna Kulala)

While Congolese artist Rey Sapienz tends to be hip hop oriented live, his second release on the Ugandan label introduces us to a lot of instrumental pieces (but a few sung tracks are also included, sometimes more sung than rapped), slow beats with various influences from mutant dancehall to electronica. This release could be a modern version of Noir et Blanc this electronic afropop gem published in 1983 by Hector Zazou, Bony Bikaye and CY1. (cdrk)


MC Yallah x Debmaster (tape & digital, Hakuna Kulala)

Amazing collaboration between Ugandan-born, Kenyan-based MC Yallah and French distorted hip hop composer Debmaster.
Live or in the studio, MC Yallah is simply amazing, her voice, flow and energy – it is only unfortunately I don’t understand Swahili ! The release explores distorted and industrial hip hop, as well as electro hip hop and bass music, dark deep and slow but heavy beats. (cdrk)


Yao Bobby & Simon Grab – Diamonds (vinyl & digital, Lavalava Records)

Togolese -Swiss collaboration by Yao Bobby and Simon Grab who have collaborated in Togo and Switzerland for 15 years and this release is a blast : industrial hip hop and that will change your view on dancehall, feedback and no-input mixing desk, distorted bass, political lyrics sung in French, English and Ewe. And the EP includes… two remixes by Asian Dub Foundation (yes, the 1990s band) member Dhangsha aka Dr Das and Churulian (who also joins them live for the best !). (cdrk)

CTM Festival 2016 : New geographies

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Music is now more than ever integrated into the global circulation of ideas, knowledge, people and commodities. Musicians everywhere have increasing access to digital resources that revolutionize music making and distribution. Internet and telecommunications intensify exchanges across existing cultural boundaries. At the same time, extreme regional disparities continue to exist in regards to the participation of minority communities, to political freedom, possibilities for mobility and travel, or when it comes to access to entry points into the dominant music markets.

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This year CTM will include many artists from Lebanon, Turkey, Mexico,  China, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Egypt, Tunisia, etc.

CTM will also publish a magazine and some talks and lectures will happen in various places in Berlin.

I´m happy to have been invited to write an article for the magazine and give a lecture during the festival too – more about this later this month ; meanwhile you can find plenty of informations, links, music, details and buy your tickets on the CTM website.

 
Le1f [US]     OG Maco [US]     Jlin [US]      Rødhåd [DE]     Visionist [UK]     Gesloten Cirkel [INT]     Nidia Minaj [PT]     Night Lovell [CA]     Mumdance [UK]     nkisi [UK]     KABLAM [SE]     Esplendor Geométrico [ES]     Rabit [UK]     Gaika [UK]     André Bratten [NO]     Buttechno [RU]     zutzut [MX]     Baris K [TR]     Paul Marmota [MX]     Praed [LB/CH]     Slick Shoota [NO]     Hmot [RU]     Thug Entrancer [US]     Takuya Taniguchi [JP]     Why Be [INT]     Resom [DE]     Native Instrument [INT]     gamut inc [DE]     Alienata [DE]     Purpurr Purple [NO]     Charlotte Bendiks [NO]     Low 808 [RU]     Mobile Girl [DE]     Laurent Jeanneau aka Kink Gong [FR]     Beio [CN]     Disco Halal [INT] feat Moscoman, Delfonic, Autarkic & guests     Opium Hum [DE]     Tara Transitory aka One Man Nation [SG/INT]     Mikael Seifu [ET]     and more.

And special projects and commissions:      Rabih Beaini [LB] “The Red Right Hand” with Tommaso Cappellato [IT], Liz Allbee [US], Sharif Sehnaoui [LB], Sam Shalabi [CA/LB], Daniele De Santis [IT/DE], Sofia Jernberg [NO / INT], Rully Shabara [ID], Mazen Kerbaj [LB]     Iancu Dumitrescu & Ana-Maria Avram with Hyperion Ensemble featuring Stephen O’Malley [INT]     Christoph Schlingensief’s “African Twin Towers” re-played by Hanno Leichtmann & Carolin Brandl [DE]     Anna Homler & Steven Warwick – “Breadwoman” [US]     Love Cult & Alina Filippova – “Nada” [RU]     Pedro Reyes — “Disarm (Mechanized)” [MX]