New releases – May 2020 (1)

Songs For A Tired City – Songs For A Tired City (digital, self-released)

Indian musicians Shiv Ahuja (Eurorack synthesizer and tape loops) and Jayant Manchanda (computer with Max/MSP) composed here a minimalistic ambient album that often includes voice samples, glitches, drones, sometimes gentle beats. A music that sometimes evokes some lost radio transmissions and forgotten post-industrial soundscapes. [cdrk]


group A – Circulation (vinyl, digital, mecanica)

The Japanese duo group A comes back with a new album, such as the previous one (70 + a), while they keep their uniqueness, industrial music influences as well is 1970s-1980s minimalist electronic music spread through their compositions : tiny bits of Cabaret Voltaire, SPK or Tolerance references here and there.
This new album is also more instrumental than what they released before. [cdrk]


KMRU – Continual (digital, self-released)

Two new tracks by Kenyan artist KMRU : cinematica ambient with field recordings. [cdrk]


Kid Fourteen – Love (Side B) (digital, self-released)

Lebanese singer project led by Khodor Ellaik (ex-Beirut Scum Society) together with Karim Shams and Dani Ghassan released four tracks that didn’t make it on his latest album Love. While electronic (rock ?) Love is still strongly influenced by Suicide, three of the tracks take another direction, quieter but still deeply rooted in the 1970s. [cdrk]


Slikback – Lasakaneku / Tomo LP (vinyl, digital, Hakuna Kulala)

Kenyan artist Slikback comes back with a new LP that includes two of his previous digital releases (Lasakaneku and Tomo as you may have understood) and several more tracks.
Slikback presents a minimalist rhythmical music that contains heavy and deep bass drums, treated voice samples and electronics ; Slikback develops his own style but grabs some influences here and there from trap (on Kite) to hardcore techno (on Zuhura), some touch of gqom or heavily distorted beats and East African rhythmic structures are never far away.
If you are used to what the label SVBKVLT releases, this new LP might be of interest, this new album is less distorted and not as punchy as his collaboration with Chinese musician Hyph11E but nevertheless very interesting. [cdrk]


Dirar Kalash / Joke Lanz / Utku Tavil / Jasper Stadhouders – KALATA​(​JA) at Loophole (digital, self-released)

Intense free improv, noise jazzcore, hatever you name it, well known figures of the Berlin and international scene (Palestine, Switzerland, Turkey, the Netherlands) who really go to the extreme, take Sudden Infant‘s noises, spoken words and screams , BEEATSZ v2.0999e‘s heavy noisegrind drums, Dirar Kalash‘s noise experiments and Jasper Stadhouders‘ distorted free improv guitar, put this in a blender and here we go, all recorded at Loophole, Berlin. [cdrk]


Taku Sugimoto – DDDD (digital, self-released)

Originally released as cassette in 1985, these three tracks were composed with guitar, objects, tape. Sound experimentations, free improvisation and sometimes noise. [cdrk]


iPlayAlone – Falling rain (digital, self-released)

Thai guitarist iPlayAlone (Pengboon Don) improvises with guitar and field recordings or do the birds, frogs and insects improvise with him ? [cdrk]


AtheerSoot – Like we’re spinning in a glass Carousel (digital, self-released)

Syrian composer AtheerSoot presents two ambient tracks : Like we’re spinning in a glass Carousel where sad and slightly distorted melodies and drones let you dive into a state of trance until you suddenly wake up next to a river while Let the sea washes it all away brings you back to an eerie and melancholic place. [cdrk]


Omar Fadel Hadi – Horizon (digital, self-released)

13 minutes of relaxing ambient music by Iraqi musician Omar Fadel Hadi. [cdrk]


Asher.Zax – The Last Shall be First (cassette, digital, self-released)

Meira Asher and Eran Sachs (who is also a member of Hyperion Ensemble, Lietterschpich and more), well known politically active Israeli musicians present here an album that explores noise, industrial, experimental music with a touch of power electronics, together with Ben Riftin featured on several tracks.
The album includes L’abolition De La Croix (Antonin Artaud) and Resist my people, resist them, a text by Palestinian poet, photographer, and activist Dareen Tatour.
Asher.Zax directed their machines at the occupation and the anniversaries of: 69 years of Israeli state occupation of Palestine, day 21 of the Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike, the death of Bobby Sands who died on day 66 of his hunger strike in 1981.” [cdrk]


Yasuyuki Uesugi – I Have A Lot Of Insistence That No One Else Understands (digital, self-released)

Old school noise composed with (very) old and also new gears (such as some Japanese-built JMT synth and effect). The music is very repetitive and gives the impression to the listeners that they are visiting a factory, the sounds are not abrasive but mesmerising, sometimes close to harsh noise wall. [cdrk]


Gen Thalz – 8​=​=​=​0 {o} (digital, self-released)

Filipino composer Gen Thalz presents four tracks whose sound source are electromagnetic noises of laptop and cellphone. The result is a drone, ambient, lowcase, onkyokei album, if I may summarise it so : extreme minimalism. [cdrk]

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 – April 2020 (1)

Koko Uno – Beyinde Raks (1999 – 2009) (cassette & digital, Sitdownandance)

Koko Uno is a Turkish projects that operates in the field of electronica and other forms of danceable music, there is some kind of retro touch that reminds me of various projects such as Felix Kubin or Boards of Canada for example. This is a compilation of tracks recorded between 1999 and 2009, hence the old school vibe I suppose. [cdrk]


Edwin Lo – PALE FIRE (digital, self-released)

PALE FIRE is a two hours twelve minutes twelve seconds ambient and drone music piece made of stretched voices and other sounds by Hongkongese artist Edwin Lo. [cdrk]


Zhoobin Askarieh and Ali Sasha – Beyond Tribes (digital, Noise À Noise)

Zhoobin Askarieh is an instructor and player of native woodwind instruments and the founder-member of Pildam, a digeridoo  project from Tehran. Ali Kafashan a.k.a Ali Sasha, is a composer, arranger and dj. The Iranian duo presents two long improvised music pieces for electronics, effects and didgeridoo without falling in the cheesy or new age music trap.  [cdrk]


v.a. – Noise a Noise 20​.​1 (digital, Noise À Noise)

Iranian label Noise À Noise started to publish a series of compilations last year, here is the first one of the year 2020. As the previous ones, it mostly includes Iranian artists in the field of ambient, dark ambient, drone, electroacoustic music but also a few foreigners from Turkey and Italy. Known and less known names from the scene such as Hadi Bastani, Sohrab Motabar, Alireza Amirhajebi, Başar Ünder, Ali Taram, etc.
It includes a nice and united collection of composition, this time less eclectic, more dedicated to some specific genres than some of the previous volumes. [cdrk]


Ritesh Maharjan – resonance of empty head (digital, the nois society)

Ritesh Maharjan is a prolific musician from Kathmandu, Nepal, who explores noise music, distortion and feedback often with local folk music influences and percussiosn, that sometimes results in lo-fi industrial music pieces. [cdrk]


Takashi Masubuhi and Straytone – 2527 (digital, Zoomin’ Night)

“Takashi Masubuchi (acoustic guitar) and Staytone (modular synthesizer) are musicians based in Tokyo. Both of them are new generation involvers in post onkyo Japanese improvisation music scene, active in Ftarri, Otooto, Permian and other small, quiet, warm spaces. Takashi Masubuchi is also (one of) Permian’s runner, which is specially focus on free improvisation music. This duo has deep collboration for many years. 2527 are some selections from their 2018 recordings in Permian.” [Zoomin’ Night]


BEEATSZ v2.0999f – High Civilisation (cassette, digital, Brain Pussyfication)

Utku Tavil aka BEEATSZ v2.0999f (and other monikers) : no-input mixer circuits controlled with acoustic drums set enhanced with computer effects, voice, screams. Somehow close to noisegrind and noisecore, Utku developes his own style of distorted and fast music genre. [cdrk]


Normal Brain – Lady Maid (CD, cassette, vinyl, digital, WRWTFWW Records)

“Entirely imagined and brought to life by an inspired Yukio Fujimoto, the 6-track opus was conceived with a Korg MS-20, a Korg SQ-10, a Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-55, and…a Texas Instruments Speak & Spell! It’s elegantly minimalist, honest and witty, very playful, cleverly pop, and downright fascinating. The a-side captures the fun side of avant-garde electronica, lo-fi wave, proto-glitch, and IDM, a joyful ride beautifully interrupted by the cinematic mood switch of the b-side – a 20 minute ambient piece flirting with sci-fi, melancholy, and hints of metallic darkness.” [WRWTFWW Records]


Goh Lee Kwang – Clone37 (digital, self-released)

Malaysian composer and improviser Goh Lee Kwang publishes music on an almost daily basis. This 50 minutes composition seems pretty inspired by electronic music and contemporary classical music from the 1960s and 1970s. Very minimalistic, somehow repetitive but not entirely, rough  and melodic at the same time. [cdrk]


Darkness Of Rama – SĮeipnirr (digital, self-released)

One 22 minutes long dark psychedelic music from Singapore. [cdrk]


Jessop&Co. – Aluminium Teeth Supplements (digital, self-released)

Jessop&Co. is a duo from India that composes electronica, electroacoustic and experimental music, their new piece is a minimalistic 18 minutes track clearly inspired by academic electroacoustic music, highly recommended ! [cdrk]


Cedrik Fermont – Recordings for quarantined people and those flying to Mars (digital, Syrphe)

If you find yourself locked in a small space, whether it is because of a quarantine, or you have been jailed or you are sick and cannot move or you travel in the vacuum of space towards Mars or else, you will most likely miss the sounds of nature). [cdrk]


Azu Tiwaline – Draw Me A Silence Part. I (vinyl & digital, I.O.T Records)

Azu Tiwaline comes from the south of Tunisia, she blends electronic music with a pinch of techno and dub with Berber music and rhythms. [cdrk]


Impermanence – Melancholy of the Silent Apparition (digital, self-released)

Very hypnotic dark static drones from Thailand. [cdrk]


VAVABOND, Uneasy Chairs – VAVABOND•Uneasy Chairs (digital, self released)

Chinese electronic glitch music composer and US guitarist Uneasy Chairs remotely composed those four tracks that sometimes remind of a rougher version of Mind Fiber (VAVABOND and Li Jianhong) sometimes close to noise music with the exception of the last track that has a clear folk influence tinged with glitches and tiny noises. [cdrk]


Omar Fadel Hadi – Stillness (digital, self released)

Iraqi ambient music composer Omar Fadel Hadi is back with a new quiet piece made of dreamy drones and recordings of singing birds. [cdrk]


v.a. – HKH Cryosphere (digital, Chinabot)

“Chinabot will release their third annual compilation and 20th release, a 10-track compilation featuring contributions from countries that link the 10 major rivers to the water tower of Asia. The Hindu Kush Himalayas (HKH) encompasses an area of mountains in the eight countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan.”

The music ranges from harsh noise (the noise society, from Nepal) to electronica (Ayankoko, from France/Laos) to spooky experimental music with spoken words (Yeshi Dem, Deki Wangmo and Amanda Terry, from Bhutan and Australia), dark ambient (Tavishi, from India, who used sounds generated from the satellite data on the rate of melting of the Hindu Kush Himalayan glacier since the 1970s to make her composition হিন্ডুকুশ আগুনে জ্বলছে (Hindu Kush is on fire)), psychedelic electronic influenced by Hindustani music (Ose | ओस, from India), and more by Laughing Ears (China), Li Yilei (China), Oblique (India), Ly Trang (Vietnam), Ramsha (Pakistan) and worth to notice it, the compilation’s gender ratio is about 50/50.

 

New releases – December 2019 (1)

v.a. – VV​-​VA​-​00 (CD & digital, VV​-​VA​/٧٨-٧٧)

VV​-​VA​-​00 is the first release of VV-VA, a new Lebanese label run by Jawad Nawfal aka Munma, also known for his duo Tasjiil Moujahed. This collaboration includes a lot of his collaborations and collaborators, all based in Beirut : Mazen El Sayed (El Rass), Elyse Tabet (_Litter), Sharif Sehnaoui, Jad Atoui and Charbel Haber (Scrambled Eggs). Despite the sometimes very different scenes some of the musicians come from (from hip hop to free improv), the compilation maintains a very good unity, the tracks are for most ambient and electronica, many are instrumental, some include voices. (cdrk)


Serata Keiji – Ambiguous boundaries (digital, AMART)

Very peaceful and relaxing drone and ambient album with a pinch of field recordings ba Japanese composer Serata Keiji. (cdrk)


Normal Brain- Lady Maid (CD, cassette, vinyl, digital, WRWTFWW Records)

“Originally released in 1981 as a limited vinyl pressing of 300 copies on Agi Yuzuru’s fabled experimental label Vanity Records (R.N.A. Organism, Dada, Sympathy Nervous, Tolerance…), Lady Maid is a testament to the creativity of the early 80s’ Japanese electronic and experimental scene, encapsulating a prolific era when audio gear became affordable for musicians to explore sounds in the comfort of their home, free from studio time pressure and major label rules.” (from the labels’ page)


Miftah Bravenda – It’s Alright EP (digital, self-released)

New EP for Tangerang (a town at the outskirt of Jakarta) based Miftah Bravenda. From post-rock to electronic pop music. (cdrk)


Mise_En_Scene – -O​-​R​-​G​-​A​-​N-  (cassette & digital, Crónica)

Mise_En_Scene is an Israeli solo project active for more than a decade.
-O​-​R​-​G​-​A​-​N- is a very minimalistic meditative drone album, except for the fifth track, remixed by sound artist Adam Basanta who provides a glitch/electronica piece. (cdrk)


Sankara Future Dub Resurgence – Drawing On Ancestral Knowledge (digital, Indigenous Resistance)

Excellent industrial dub made in Uganda and the UK. The release includes four heavy bass and distorted dub tracks with political lyrics, recorded in Kampala.
Sankara Future Dub Resurgence is a trio made of Ras Isaacs (percussions), Ras Charles (dj), Kabaka labartin Klacity (vocals) featuring Indonesian guest vocalist Nina and Dhangsha aka Dr Das, Churulian (Asian Dub Foundation) (noisy electronics).
You can watch their video on Vimeo. (cdrk)


Pengboon Don – I play Alone (digital, self-released)

Pengboon Don is one of the few free improvisers in Thailand. This new release contains one improvised piece for guitar, effects and field recordings. (cdrk)


Xu Shaoyang, Fiona Lee, Livia Garcia – live at cafe oto (digital, self-released)

This live recording is a mix of jazz piano and field recordings made in Honk Kong by Fiona Lee during the demonstrations happening in 2019, a field recording collage that you can hear here. (cdrk)


Fiona Lee – Hong Kong 9 June to 12 Sep 2019 (digital, self-released)

“This track is the field recordings on the protest to No Extradition Law in Hong Kong, from 9June 2019 to 12 Sep 2019.
From the first day till now, we Hong Kong people step out to fight for our right and freedom.
This track is including around 7 days recordings during the protest.” (Fiona Lee)


4lienetic – Abstract (digital, self-released)

4lienetic is a solo project based in Mumbai, India. This new album contains six ambient tracks, mostly electronic but here and there with post-rock or classical music influences, that remind of a film score. (cdrk)


DETHOMEGA – sub singularity (digital, Acid Distribution)

Filipino electronic music composer Dethomega is back with a new album that mixes plunderphonics, ambient, post-industrial, noise electronics that reminds of some music productions from the late 1990s. (cdrk)


madamdata – 3f requiem (digital, self-released)

One long onkyokei track by Singaporean artist madamdata : filtered minimalistic high pitch tones (feedback ?). (cdrk)


Fahmi M. – Climate Change (digital, self-released)

Hyper active Indonesian composer Fahmi M. provides us here some electroacoustic tracks made with modular synth. (cdrk)


BRRR. – Gendam Sukma (part1) (digital, self-released)

BRRR. is Mahamboro, a musician from Jogjakarta, Indonesia. This one track release is inspired by Javanase culture (no gamelan in here !) and rhythmical industrial music. (cdrk)


Arcade Ghoul – Heart of a Statue (digital, self-released)

Hailing from Istanbul, Turkey, Arcade Ghoul released a ten tracks album that oscillates between post-industrial, distorted electronics, rhythmic industrial and lo-fi ambient ballads. (cdrk)


Torturing Nurse / Bobryk – Vutuv / Why (cassette & digital, ЩЫЛ)

Split between Chinese harsh noise performer Torturing Nurse and Ukrainian noise artist Bobryk. (cdrk)


Reza Solatipour – The Gate (cassette, CDr & digital, Eighth Tower Records)

Reza Solatipour is an Iranian dark ambient artist. This new album contains ten dark and cinematic tracks that include many traditional ingredients of the genre : whispering, drones, reverberated choirs, tribal rhythm deeply buried in the background, dark melodies, and so on. (cdrk)


Ecko Bazz – Kyusa Embela (digital, Hakuna Kulala)

Great hip hop made in Kampala, Uganda, Ecko Bazz teams up with UK music producer pq to deliver three dark, distorted and heavy tracks between bass music and industrial hip hop. (cdrk)


Hoshiko Yamane & Mikael Lind – Spaces In Between (CD & digital, Time Released Sound & Time Sensitive Materials)

“Hoshiko Yamane is a classically trained violinist, and a current member of the legendary band Tangerine Dream. She’s also an accomplished composer, and whether releasing and playing under her own name, or as Tukico, her unique sound often features looped strings together with Moog synths and effects.

Mikael Lind has released several albums of experimental ambiances, often drifting between either more classical Warp style electronica, or a modern classically oriented sound. Early this year, Hoshiko and Mikael decided to try to compose two tracks together, mostly out of curiosity. Thrilled by the outcome of the first two songs, they ended up finishing this entire album!” (from the label’s page)


Miki Yui – wigawiga​/​wigawigawiga (casette & digital, Hasana Editions)

“Based in Germany for the last two decades, Japan-born Miki Yui’s music is relatively small in scale but exceptionally rich in texture. She is known for her peculiar minimalistic and organic approach towards sound, balancing a delicate tiny hiss to a distant hum, quirky electronic clicks and field recordings, and sculpted it into unhurried pieces of composition with suspense and narrative tension. wigawiga/wigawigawiga was recorded live earlier this year in her Düsseldorf studio, and is a manifestation of the memory of lived events. An ever-flowing streams, constantly rise and recede, reveal then erase its own traces, fading after having appeared or being awakened, crafting a poem of abstract landscapes.” (from the label’s page)


Das B – Canopy (CD & digital, ТОПОТ)

Das B is an international project founded in 2015 in Berlin and including Lebanese free improv musician Mazen Kerbaj (trumpet), German improviser Magda Mayas (piano), Australian improvisers Mike Majkowski (double bass) and Tony Buck (percussion) well known for playing with The Necks. Excellent team for an excellent result, a perfectly crafted free improv live recording at the Konfrontationen festival in Austria.

New releases (August 2019)

Mireille Kyrou / Vox Populi! – Experimental Lineage (digital, nostalgie de la boue)

“This release is composed of the only two recorded works by musique concrète pioneer Mireille Kyrou (1931-2017), and of ‘Koro Wild’, played and composed by her son Axel Kyrou, main member of Vox Populi!”

Mireille Kyrou was born in September of 1931 in the town of Cairo. Her mother was French and her father was part of a family that migrated from Palestine to Egypt.

The only available recorded track by Mireille Kyrou is ‘Etude 1’, released on the mythical album from 1964, ‘Musique Concrète’, edited by Philips, also featuring music from giants of musique concrète, such as Pierre Schaeffer, Iannis Xenakis, or Luc Ferrari. The main sound sources for this track were a comb and a feather. (Editor’s note : the track appeared on several electroacoustic music anthologies such as Archives GRM in 2004 and Traces One in 2012)

The second track featured here, ‘Film Musique’, is unreleased, and recorded in the same environment and historical period as ‘Etude 1’. It is the soundtrack of an experimental film, which nothing seems to be known about. Although Mireille thought that the track wasn’t supposed to be listened without the film, she eventually agreed to release it.

Mireille had a peculiar love for the Vox Populi! track called ‘Koro Wild’ and insisted that it would be played at her funeral. It proved to be a strong experience, felt by all friends and members of the family attending the ceremony.
‘Koro Wild’ was recorded over a long period, 1994 to 2007, in France, Japan and Burkina Faso. All field recordings and instruments done and played by Axel Kyrou. First released on taâlem.” (taken from Axel Kyrou’s note)


Yan Jun – Feedback (CD & digital, Yan Jun / ORAL_records)

“this is one of the first works i created in my new studio in beijing.
actually my first studio in beijing.
i enjoy to stay in the room without doing anything. except some cups of tea.
i let the feedback went on. without any of my manual manipulation.
when i started with this set up back to 2007, i’d rather play it, move it, discover its possibility. nowadays i have “feedback solo” performance that i move my body instead of the instrument. in this recording neither the body of mine nor the instrument.
thanx eric mattson! thanx taku unami!

这是我在北京的新工作室做的第一批作品之一。
这是我在北京的第一个工作室。
我很享受待在这个屋子里,什么都不干,可能喝几杯茶。
我让反馈自己进行。没有做任何的干涉。
2007年开始用这套设置的时候,我演奏它、移动它、探索它的可能性。现在,我有时候会表演“反馈独奏”,我移动自己的身体,不碰设备。在这个录音里,既没有动自己的身体,也没有碰乐器。
感谢eric mattson!感谢宇波拓!” (note taken from Yan Jun’s page)


Vo Ezn – Mo​.​ar (digital, self-released)

Georgia starts to be well-known for its techno scene but Mika Motskobili aka Vo Ezn is part of a more radical concept : she experiments with sound. Mo.ar is a extract of a live performed at Heart of Noise Festival, TRAMatic ride in Innsbruck, Austria. Her musical approach reminds of musique concrète, repetitive electronic minimalism and early noise music. (cdrk)


Phubber – Phun (digital, FunctionLab)

Phubber is a young Chinese electronic music artist who studied conputer graphics in Japan – a universe that can be reflected in his often dystopian ambient and electronica : science-fiction universes and Chinese music influences that sometimes reminds me of Zaliva-D‘s work but more gentle.


Grave Blankets/Gamnad737 – Split Tape (cassette, digital, Tenzenmen)

Split release including one collaboration between Thai noise wall artist Gamnad737 and drone-noise-punk (or something like this) project Grave Blankets. Nice mix of ambient, harsh noise wall and psychedelic-noise-punk with a touch of post rock at some point. (cdrk)


Rey Sapienz – Mushoro (cassette, digital, Hakuna Kulala)

“Hailing from the Nord Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo, exiled Kampala based producer Rey Sapienz new 6 track ep continues to explore his unique style of weirdly abstracted soukous and kalindula. Fitting into a trajectory of Congolese artists who were fascinated by the possibilities of progressive electronic music of their time such as Denis Mpunga and Zazou Bikaye.

Rey breaks down traditional Congolese pop music into its constituent elements of dramatic vocals, fluid bass chords and dark and slowed down Soukous Synth melodies.” (Hakuna Kulala)


Liew Niyomkarn – The Secret of Mountains and Tropical Fruits (CD & digital, self-released)

“Inspired by a novel, The classic of mountains and the sea. The secret of mountains and tropical fruits conjures an image of a warm-cool landscape and airy atmosphere that can drive us somewhere.” (Liew Niyomkarn)

Liew presents here a softer variation of her music than makes you travel between ambient, electronica and new age. Dreamy atmosphere, electronic glitch and melodies that reminds the listener of water, khaen (a Northern Thai and Lao mouth organ), cicadas and so on. (cdrk)


Wukir Suryadi – Industrial Mutant 01 Indiestrial Mutant live concert at Semeru Alt Space (digital, self-released)

Wukir Suryadi, one half of infamous Indonesian duo Senyawa has been involved in the improvised music, noise and experimental scene for more than a decade now, inventing and building new instruments, he then creates a form of improvised music that blends distorted sounds with classical Indonesian music influences and repetitive sequences that now and then remind of doom and industrial music. (cdrk)


Wukir Suryadi – Nginguk (digital, self-released)

Second live concert release for Wukir, this time perhaps a bit more in the field of ambient rock and drone with some parts that clearly remind of Senyawa. (cdrk)


Gabber Modus Operandi – HOXXXYA (digital, SVBKVLT)

Indonesia’s Gabber Modus Operandi comes back with a powerful hardcore techno album on Shanghai-based label SVBKVLT. The release includes strong influences of happy hardcore, dangdut koplo (a variation of dangdut music that emerge in the 1990s), gamelan and rave music, each track track presents its own variation of the genre, from more melodic pieces to pure fast beat oriented hardcore techno. (cdrk)

“For this album, we owe a lot to the metal/noise scene and to the small rapidly growing rave crew in Denpasar, while at the same time a ton of influence strongly came from all the sounds blasting out from our banjar (neighborhood) community, the loudest spirits of Dangdut Koplo and Indonesian happy hardcore, to gamelan sounds and everything in between.” (Gabber Modus Operandi)


Various artists – Noise À Noise 2019​.​2 (digital, Noise À Noise)

This is the second compilation published by Iranian label Noise À Noise run by experimental musician and organiser Soheil Soheili.
Twenty carefully selected tracks, mostly composed by Iranian artists Abtin Gholampour, Owrang ft. Ghodsea, Aruman, Yellow Cream, Xerxes The Dark, XSIX, but also German-Taiwanese duo Stampf! who recently toured the country and did this Music for bycicles project, Leonie Roessler, C-drík, etc.
Glitch, dark ambient, electronica, electroacoustic, field recordings, techno and more. (cdrk)


Omar Fadel Hadi – The Destiny (digital, self-released)

Four new tracks by Iraqi artist Omar Fadel Hadi : new age, ambient with a pinch of traditional Iraqi music influence. (cdrk)


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

Due to his more than prolific, it is hard to review all Lee Kwang’s release but also hard to not at least present one or two now and then.
Operator is a noise-glitch 45 minutes piece, one of his numerous sound experiments published this month. (cdrk)


Mukta-feen – رحلة الضوء الأزرق – the Journey of the Blue Light (digital, self-released)

Palestinian artist Mukta-feen composes political ambient music that incorporates a lot of noises, field recordings, some electronics and voices.
According to Ahmad Zaghmouri, this work is a multi-layered philosophical installation exhibition. (cdrk)

 

New releases

 


Forests 森林 – Idol Collapse (vinyl, cassette, Lonely God)

“Left Hand Path presents the second full-length LP, IDOL COLLAPSE, from Forests 森林. Written by Jon Du, Kuo-Hung Tseng, and Zun Long in Taipei, Taiwan. Eight songs in 36 minutes that unfurl like a flower and expand like a mushroom cloud, designed for utter osmosis and total absorption. The helix twists; the loop is closed. The cycle begins anew”

For fan of old school industrial (metal percussions, electronics, guitar, bass, voice) with a tiny SPK and Last Dominion Lost influence, especially on the great track Non-marginal. I release not to be missed !

“Left Hand Path 推出「Forests 森林」第二張黑膠專輯「IDOL COLLAPSE」,收錄Jon Du、國宏及尊龍共同創作,總長 36 分鐘的八首曲目。想像凝視著一朵正在綻放的花,在你回神意識到時已開展成鋪天蓋地的蘑菇雲,這是張有意識地滲透聽者每一絲神經的專輯,既是捻捆的雙螺旋、閉鎖的迴圈,又在每次輪迴產出新聲。”


Pupa – Lies (cassette & digital, Ujikaji Records)

“PUPA is a cooperative of two: Jun and Zeek, names to place in action bubbles in a hypnagogic, homoerotic episode of Batman (and his Boy Wonder) starring Adam West; boys with their toys electronic, ringing the body electric.

The music on Lies has a fuzzy temporality, conjuring an electronica that could have come from 1998 as it could 2018. But if ’90s electronica – growing alongside the early days of the  internet – was a dream of the future rife with utopian possibilities, the music in Lies seems instead to commemorate a laundry list of unrealised dreams. In sound and mood, Pupa are fellow travellers with artists like Boards of Canada, The Caretaker and William Basinski. Lies moves at a ponderous pace, as if surveying the wreckage of time caused by everything that has prevented the promised technological utopia. Tape loops underscore the passing of time as uncluttered elements build with the subtlest of shifts. Tape loops re-released on tape, the Basinsking of the Titanic, repeat a lie enough times and it becomes…”


Xiang – Gateway 出入口 (digital, self-released & Prajnasonic/Atmos)

Chinese composer Xiang presents five minimalistic compositions made of vocal samples, field recordings taken in various locations in France and China, and analogue synthesizer (performed by John Richards and Max Wainwright). The result is a very beautiful cinematic composition that flirts with dark ambient (without the usual clichés), noise drones and industrial music (without current the distorted techno beats trend).


Teenage Granny – Glossolalia (The Harsh Sounds of the Internet)  (cassette & digital, Gerpfast Record)

Filipino electronic artist Teenage Granny got a physical release of her Glossolalia album previously published on her Bandcamp page,
“Glossolalia (The Harsh Sounds of the Internet) is a collection of raw sounds of random Internet data (html files, photos, text, etc). These contents have been converted, translated, and databended into audio using a variety of programs. The result is harsh and defining of our online culture and consumption. The piece shows, however, that with noise coexists sound, in which we may form our own meanings, which in turn form the rhythm of our lives. We struggle to hear through this raucous nebula but through critical subtraction and selection, our plights and intentions will be heard, whether we are speaking for ourselves, or for those without a voice. ”


Das torpedoes / Torturing nurse – Split (lathe cut & digital, foreign lands)

US project Das torpedoes, relocated in Shanghai if I understood well presents a drony, ambient, industrial piece, while Torturing Nurse presents his usual powerful harsh noise.


若潭 ruò tán – Live at L’homme Sauvage (CDr, WV Sorcerer Productions)

Chinese project 若潭 ruò tán recorded live at L’homme Sauvage Festival in France in September 2018, one long take (45 minutes) of ritual industrial, noise and dark ambient music.


Pisitakun – SOSLEEP (cassette & digital, Chinabot)

“Created shortly after the death of his father to cancer, Thai artist Pisitakun has combined traditional mourning instruments with harsh noise and techno beats, wrapping them around intimate recordings of the hospital machinery keeping his father alive during his final days.

The result is SOSLEEP, a meditation on the raw, messy chaos of grief. Opening with the sound of a Buddhist monk’s funeral chants, the record’s BMP is led by real recordings of his father heartbeat, turned into electronic blips by the hospital pulse gauge.


Eartaker – Harmonics (vinyl & digital, Bedouin Records)

Japanese trio Eartaker (Goth Trad, Die Suck, Masayuki Imanishi) presents a mixture of dark industrial electronic and doom music. Few parts of the release remind me a bit of Ichiro Tsuji’s project : Dissecting Table blended with a voice closer to the one of Rully Shabara (Senyawa). Their music unique and fantastic mixture doesn’t come as a surprise, knowing that Goth Trad has collaborated with Boris and is part of the dub and drum n bass duo Rebel Familia


Lafidki – Derichan (cassette & digital, Chinabot)

“Saphy Vong was born to Cambodian parents in a Thai refugee camp. He has lived in cities across Europe and Asia, from Paris to Phnom Penh to Riga. These experiences have seeped into his music – a vivid, high energy collision of synths, samples and off-kilter polyrhythms”
“I wanted to give a voice to ethnic minorities, indigenous people, environmental activists who’ve been killed or jailed in Cambodia. I used samples from field recordings of Cambodian tribes, made in 2015 with the help of ethnomusicologist Julien Hairon.”

The interesting result is an electronic music album that navigates between ambient, electronica and traditional music samples.


v.a. – Pop Hits Bootleg Chiptune Compilation (1984​-​2008) (digital, Indochip)

An Indonesian chiptune compilation that include covers of popular hits such as Boys don’t cry (The Cure), Creep (Radiohead), Song 2 (Blur), etc. – Yes, Indonesia, apart of hosting one of the biggest grindcore, punk or noise scene in the whole Asia also hosts a very important chiptune scene, check it out ! Featuring : Astrojo, Chips4breakfast deat. Givana, Giffari Rifki, Gyld, Little Sound Orchestra, Lonely Tunes, Luglio, Patrick Electric, Remedmatika, Shakaboyd.


33EMYBW – Golem (digital, SVBKVLT)

Sinotronic ? 33EMYBW is a member of Chinese duo Duck Fight Goose, her electronic music incorporates a lot of Chinese music elements (but no world music stereotypes !), she is part of a new generation of Chinese composers who managed to blend modern and very dynamic, rhythmical electronic music and an original Chinese influx, such as Zaliva-D, among many others.

You can also watch a video clip made by Fang Yang on Youtube.


Safira Anjani & ɟɐɥɯı ɯnɹsʎıp – Illusion (digital, self-released)

Fahmi Mursyid is a very prolific artist from Indonesia who often collaborates with other musicians, this time pianist and singer Safira Anjani. The three tracks presented in this release bring the listener to an ambient, almost eerie universe, nevertheless delicate and beautiful. You can read more about Fahmi’s work in this article : Eerie, amazing sounds from tape loops, patches – like whales in space by Peter Kirn.


Necromishka – The space between us (CD, digital, self-released)

Necromishka is an Israeli duo that operates in the field of ambient, drone and (noisy) dark folk. Expect blurry atmospheres, distorted instruments and melancholic melodies.


Miteai Narico / Synthmolación – If there was a light, it was gone (digital, No Records)

Japanese artist Miteai Narico composes ambient and drone loops that remind me of Japanese musician Aube, Synthmolación, from Paraguay plays straight in the face noise music.

Asian Music Network, an interview with DJ Sniff, by C-drík.

AMN 2016 artworks-000144010391-glpcx7-t500x500

In 1969, South Korean artist Seok Hee Kang founded the Pan Music Festival where himself and Hwang Byungki performed a piece for daegeum and tape, four years later, in 1973, the Asian Composers League was founded in Hong Kong with the aim of fostering contemporary music which uses both Western and Asian Pacific instruments.
Today in the 21st century, a new generation of composers, free improvisers, noise artists and turntablists cross the barriers again but this time in a less classical and conventional way : Far East Network (FEN), Asian Music Network, and more are reshaping the far east and south east music landscape…

19455802553_aa17d5f902_bPhoto by Kuniya Oyamada –  写真 小山田邦哉

The Asian Music Network festival 2015 took place in Tōkyō and Kyōto and was the first avant-garde festival in the region to include such a large variety of artists from east and south east Asia  : dj sniff (Hong Kong), Bin Idris (Bandung), To Die (Yogyakarta), Iman Jimbot (Bandung), Kok Siew Wai (Kuala Lumpur), Leslie Low (Singapore), Yuen Chee Wai (Singapore), Yui-Saowakhon Muangkruan (Bangkok), Nguyễn Hong Giang (Ho Chi Minh), Lương Huệ Trinh (Hanoi), Sachiko M (Tokyo), Tadashi Yonago (Osaka), Tatsuhisa Yamamoto (Tokyo), Kimiya Sato (Tokyo), Shinobu Kawai (Tokyo), Tamura Fumitake (Tokyo), KΣITO (Tokyo), Ai Watanabe (Tokyo), Ryoko Ōno (Nagoya), Ōtomo Yoshihide (Tokyo).

The 2016 festival will be held in Tōkyō, Kōbe and Kyōto, from the 5th until the 12th of February and featuring the following artists : Ōtomo Yoshihide (Tokyo), dj sniff (Hong Kong), Fiona Lee (Hong Kong), Okkyung Lee (New York), Pete TR (Bangkok), Skip Skip Ben Ben (Taipei), Natalie Alexandra Tse (Singapore), Krisna Widiathama (Yogyakarta), Son X (Hanoi), Yong Yandsen (Kuala Lumpur) and guest Japanese artists Umeda Tetsuya, True Oshiro, Takahiro Kawaguchi, Toshio Kajiwara, Doddodo, Yoko Higashino, Mizuuchi Yoshito, Katsura Mouri and more !
Feel free to listen to the following mix prepared by dj sniff that include the 2016 participants and some of their projects while reading the interview.

20094059991_73ac490eb6_bPhoto by Kuniya Oyamada –  写真 小山田邦哉

1. How did you and Yuen Chee Wai got the idea to create the pan Asian network ?

The idea originates from Ōtomo Yoshihide’s long standing work in trying to connect experimental musicians, in mainly East Asia, with Japanese musicians and the public.

Ōtomo worked extensively in Hong Kong during the early 90’s, and since early 2000’s he had been playing in China and Korea which evenly lead to his band FEN with Yan Jun, Ryu Hankil and Yuen Chee Wai. In 2005, he organised the first Asian Meeting Festival which was born out of both an optimism towards new communities enabled by the internet, and fear that it is also accelerating hate speech and xenophobia in Japan. Since my time at STEIM in Amsterdam, I was always trying to invite any Asian musician that was on tour in Europe, and Chee Wai was also active in organising events that featured Asian experimental musicians in Singapore. I moved to Hong Kong in 2012 after finding Europe being utterly dead, and wanting to tour more in Asia.

2. Do you have more logistic and financial ease and possibilities in Japan than in, let’s say Hong Kong or Singapore ?

For our project Ensembles Asia / Asian Music Network, yes, because we are funded by The Japan Foundation Asia Center (国際交流基金アジアセンター) which is a government cultural body. Ōtomo was invited to lead a new project that focussed on cultural exchange between South East Asia and Japan, and he invited me and Chee Wai. Japan also has a larger audience and generally better infrastructure than Hong Kong or Singapore, so that helps too.

19454000574_83842f32dc_bPhoto by Kuniya Oyamada –  写真 小山田邦哉

3. I noticed that step by step, some networks are being build in Asia, connecting musicians and organisers to each other : Asian Music Network, FEN, Border Movement. Seeking independence ?

It is still a challenge. Generally Asian people would rather work with people from the West for such cultural projects. It has to do with local prestige and also not wanting to be confronted with long history of dispute between neighbouring countries. For us we have to be very careful in running a project supported by Japan in Asia – scars from war don’t disappear that easily.

4. Does living in Hong Kong makes it easier for you to connect people together and travel around than when you were in Japan ?

I don’t know if it makes it easier, but it does give me an identity and edge within the scene. I haven’t lived in Japan for more than half of my life now, so I can get away with being “ignorant” to certain local conversions or political tension – that is quite convenient.

5. Would you organise the festival or some other events in other Asian countries and outside of Asia, such as FEN slowly does ?

Yes, we are trying to do this more. Our vision is that we develop programs and collaborations that take place initially in Japan, but can be brought to other cities. This is very challenging because each country has their own difficulties, but what we keep hearing is that it’s much more difficult than we think for South East Asian artists to connect with each other. We hope we can be a catalyst for new forms of collaboration within the region. Also we would like to bring these artists to Europe and North America as well. This is of course to introduce them to a wider audience but also playing in Western countries significantly helps them back home to receive recognition or funding.

19589047162_005d743b53_bPhoto by Ayane Morishita - 写真 森下綺音



Some recommendations, references and links.

Asian Music Network is part of Ensembles Asia, that also includes Asian Sound Research (a project started in 2014, directed by Japanese musician Sachiko M that focuses on sound art research, including Malaysia, Cambodia, etc.) and Ensembles Asia Orchestra (a project launched in 2014, with the mission of creating a free-form orchestra that engages with people who are not professional musicians. The project is organized by the Japan Foundation Asia Center, with musician Ōtomo Yoshihide as artistic director. Ensembles Asia Orchestra aims to uncover new and unprecedented ways of making music and connecting with people, by sharing the joy of making music and fostering communication with people from elsewhere in Asia – site in Thai, Japanese, Indonesia, Tagalog and English).
You can follow Asian Music Network 2015 on Soundcloud.
And see a few interviews and short live extracts here.

FEN (Far East Network) recently performed at the Festival All Ears in Norway. FEN is an improvised music project group made up of musicians from different parts of Asia. The quartet comprises Ōtomo Yoshihide (Japan), Ryu Hankil (South Korea), Yan Jun (China) and Yuen Chee Wai (Singapore). FEN was started by globally renowned musician Ōtomo Yoshihide and it made its debut in 2008 at MIMI Festival in Marseilles, France. Following its début, FEN has performed extensively throughout Europe and all across Asia.

Border Movement is a platform that aims to encourage interaction between the electronic music scenes of South Asia (Afghanistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan) and Germany. Border Movement tends to be more on the dance side than FEN and Asian Music Network but includes also a few sound experimentalists.

Syrphe contains a database which included more than 1500 references of artists, venues, radios, labels, magazines, networks working in the field of alternative electronic music, electro-acoustic, free improv, noise, electronica, chiptune, breakcore, industrial, ambient and more, it is regularly updated.

Some pan-Asian compilations (and beyond for one and we need more like this !).

Live at Htein Lin’s Studio / 7000 Padauk, Yangon, Myanmar, (Syrphe, 2014, digital), an compilation of live recording made in Yangon, Myanmar and featuring six artists mostly living there and coming from Asia and Europe. Free download.

Art of the Muses (Syrphe, 2012, CD and digital), an experimental music compilation featuring 10 female composers from far east Asia (Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, China, Singapore).

Beyond ignorance and borders (Syrphe, 2007, CD and digital), an African, Middle-Eastern, Asian noise and electronic compilation which includes electronic, experimental and noise artists from 21 Asian and African countries (Vietnam, Hong Kong, Mongolia, Philippines, Thailand, Israel, Taiwan, China, South Korea, Lebanon, Indonesia, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Singapore, South Africa, Laos, Tibet, Algeria, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia).

Soundtracks For Bride Of Sevenless (Auscultare Research, 1998, CD), 12 noise and sound artists from Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong.

Eternal Blue Extreme: An Asian Tribute To Derek Jarman (Somnus, 1994, CD), 9 noise, experimental and industrial artists from Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan.


If you happen to be in Berlin in early February, I (C-drík) will give a lecture during CTM festival : An introduction to electro-acoustic, noise and experimental music in Africa and Asia, 2 February, 13h, Kunstquartier Studio 1 .

My new essay Power through networking : reshaping the underground electronic and experimental music scenes in East and South East Asia will also be available in CTM Magazine to be out very soon. More info soon !

 

Feminism in electronic and experimental music, the failure of most Westerners.

art of the muses

For a few years now, I see and meet plenty of feminist enthusiasts who try to develop new networks, events, workshops, festivals dedicated to women and feminism in the often male-centric experimental and electronic music scenes, where indeed, most djs represented are men, most famous electro-acoustic composers are males, most power electronics artists are males, most famous electronica artists are males and so on and so forth.

Many of those who call themselves feminists and quite rightly scream and shout that they want more equality, more exposure and recognition and want to offer women more opportunities to access the electronic and experimental music world have for most a western-centric vision of the scene.
Never did I see them promoting female artists in the field of electronic and experimental music who come from Asia and Africa (or even Latin America). The victims of exclusion exactly behave like their oppressors and should definitely admit that their fight is a failure and will remain so unless they include all women of the various scenes (including underground rock, metal, punk, grindcore, etc.), no matter what their ethnicities, nationalities, geographic locations, social classes are.

Of course, I hear some of you fulminating against me, accusing me of disempowering them, telling me : “But we didn’t know ! We never heard about them ! How could we imagine there were women doing this music in those places !?” (sic).
It sounds to me like those men telling :”Seriously ? You know of women building modular synthesizer ? I never imagined that it would be ever possible !”
Zero difference.
This is one of the problems of the Western World, it is so much self-centred that it often lacks of imagination and curiosity (even not going so far away as Asia or Africa, how many times did I hear some being surprised that there are musicians in Sardinia or Kosovo or whatever remote village lost in the Swiss mountains who do play underground music).

Now that we live in a more and more interconnected society, to me it is some kind of pure egotism and a certain form of social racism to imagine that only women (or people in general)  in the west do compose electronic, experimental music or punk, metal, oi, you name it… In the time of the invasive internet where those who want, especially those who pretend to fight for some rights, can search, deeply, all kinds of informations using search engines, social networks, databases, music streaming services, it is a shame to see that those born in the “wrong” place still often remain excluded.

I remember women from some networks I will not name here telling that they wanted full support and promotion for women´s projects but how many of them bought or promoted the works and publications I was telling them about ? How many of them attended the concerts I organised ? Very few ! Some even decided to work in closed circles, excluding men from their networks or activities, even those who supported them from the beginning. Some gave me the feeling that they were working for their own ego, that the feminist fight was an excuse for them to clime higher and reach the peak… I may be wrong, I wish so but this is how I perceive this situation for many years.

Now to conclude this small article, here are a few CD references among many others, and following those, you´ll find a non-exhaustive list of under represented women. The CD list is only a small sample that what is currently existing, of course.

Art of the Muses (CD and digital, Syrphe, 2012, international) with Alice Hui-Sheng Chang [Taiwan], Aki Ito [Japan], Itta [South Korea], Tomoko Sauvage [Japan], Kismett [Singapore], VAVABOND [China], Pei [Taiwan], Verita Shalavita Koapaha [Indonesia], Lương Huệ Trinh [Vietnam], Lau Mun Leng [Malaysia].

Egyptian Females Experimental Music Session (CD, 100Copies, 2013, Egypt) with Asmaa Azzouz, Shorouk El Zomor, Hala Abu Shady, Jacqueline George, Nina El Gebaly, Ola Saad, Yara Mekawei, details on 100Copies.

_Litter – Newfound Grids (CD and digital, Syrphe, 2013, Lebanon)

VAVABOND – HOLOGRAM OF sea (CD and digital, C.F.I Records, 2012, China)

PEI ‎– Normality Envision (CD, Sub Jam, Kwanyin Records, 2007, Taiwan), details and extracts here.

Leila Bela – Angra Manyu (CD, Ellahy Amen Records 2003, Iran/USA), details here.

Hui-Shen Chang Alice – When She Was Asleep (Cassatte, Antifrost, 2011, Taiwan).

Okkyung Lee – Noisy Love Songs (CD, Tzadik, 2010, South Korea), details at Discogs.

And one more western oriented ones that I anyway find worth to mention (and because most feminist activists I talked to in the scene told me they never heard about it and it´s a pretty good one !) :

Women Take Back The Noise (3xCD, UBUIBI, 2006) with Michiko Kawagoe, Dark Muse, BCO Women’s Auxiliary, Passiflora, Suzanne Quincey, Ava Mendoza, Meri von KleinSmid, Analog Tara, Fe-Mail, Experiment Haywire, Hertta Lussu Ässä, Cosey Fanni Tutti, etc.

This non-exhaustive list comes from this database I´m permanently working on, this database contains more than 1500 references for Africa and Asia. I could have added more of them but sorry, my time is limited at the moment !
Note I noticed that the formatting of the list appears incorrectly but I can´t correct it for some odd reasons…)

Algeria :
Rula El Bahr Soundcloud [electronic, sound art, lives in France, see Kamekaz]

Armenia/USA :
Farhadian, Thea Site [electro-acoustic, improv, video, lives in the USA]

China :

Arrebato (Li Huihui) Tudou Douban (豆瓣) Soundcloud (1) Soundcloud (2) Bandcamp [sound art, see lllllllllllHH, Hhiña, Kazorp, Arrebato]
Chen, Audrey MySpace Discogs [sound art, improv, free jazz, lives in Germany]
Chen Yi Discogs [electro-acoustic, classical, lives in the USA ?][1984]
Pan Daijing Soundcloud Tumblr Instagram [noise, industrial, ambient]
Shenggy (Cosmic Shenggy) MySpace1 Myspace2 Rock In China Discogs [sound art, noise, minimal techno, see White]
VAVABOND (Vavabond) Site MySpace Soundcloud Discogs [sound art, ambient, noise]

Egypt :
Azzouz, Asmaa Discogs [electronic]
Bosaina Site Soundcloud Facebook [electronica, electro-pop]
El Zomor, Shorouk Discogs [electronic]
George, Jacqueline Soundcloud [electronic, sound art]
Abu Shady, Hala Youtube Vimeo [sound art, video art]
Hani, Dina Soundcloud [electronic, field recordings]
Mattar Nahla Site [electro-acoustic, classical]
Mekawei, Yara (Yara Mekawi) Blogspot, Soundcloud, Facebook, MySpace Twitter Tumblr Meetphool [electronic, electro-acoustic, audio-visual, sound installation]
Saad, Ola Soundcloud [sound art]

Hong Kong :
Lee, Fiona Site Vimeo Tumblr Jux Soundcloud [sound art, audiovisual]
Lee, Ingrid Site Discogs [sound art, modern classical, lives in the USA]

India :
Desai, Poulomi Tumblr Facebook Facebook Youtube [audio-visual, sound art, lives in the UK]
Sandunes Site Bandcamp Soundcloud Facebook Twitter Instagram [electronica]

Indonesia :
Menstrual Synthdrone (Dyah “Woro” Isaka) Soundcloud [drone, noise]
Sabrina WordPress [noise]
Sarana Soundcloud Facebook [drone, noise]
Shalavita Koapaha, Verita Bandcamp [contemporary classical]

Iran :
Bela, Leila (ليلى بلا) Site MySpace Discogs [noise, sound art, lives in the USA]
Bigdeli Shamloo, Sara Soundcloud Twitter [electronic, sound tracks, lives in France]
Hatam, Farahnaz MySpace [sound art, lives in Germany]
Pazhutan, Honey Haq Site Soundcloud [see vH+] / vent aitcH Plus (vH+, V H +p) Site Soundcloud [ambient, drone, see Honey Haq Pazhutan]

Iraq :
Nadeem, Aida (Aïda Nadeem) Site Soundcloud Twitter Tumblr Wikipedia MySpace Discogs Youtube [electronica, traditional, contemporary lives in Denmark]

Israel :
Asher, Meira Site MySpace [industrial, sound art, lives in the Netherlands]
Elyakim, Dganit MySpace [electro-acoustic, classical]
Olivero, Betty Wikipedia [electro-acoustic, classical]
Rosenbaum, Keren Facebook Discogs [electro-acoustic, jazz, classical]

Lebanon :
Andraos, Joanna Site MySpace [electronica]
Chlela, Liliane (Queen Lil) Site Soundcloud Facebook [ambient, improv, psychedelic, improv, see Hezbel Taleta]
Dally, Rhéa (Rhea Dally) Facebook Soundcloud [chip tune, breakcore, lives in South Africa]
Sehnaoui, Christine MySpace Blogspot [jazz, sound art, lives in France]
Zaven, Cynthia Soundcloud Youtube [improv, modern classical, electronic]

Malaysia :
Kok Siew Wai WordPress Youtube [improv, experimental]
Lau Mun Leng Myspace Discogs WordPress [sound art, video artist and graphic designer]

Philippines :
Barrozo, Teresa Site Soundcloud [classical, electro-acoustic]

Singapore :
Ang, Lydia Soundcloud Youtube ReverbNation [film score, ambient, new age, electro-acoustic]
Cheryl Ong & Vivian Wang Youtube [drone, industrial]
Ding, Debbie Site Soundcloud Twitter [sound art, audiovisual]
Kismett Bandcamp [sound art]
Reiki, Jean (DJ Reiki) Site Bandcamp Soundcloud Twitter Facebook Youtube Mixcloud Indabamusic [ambient, electronica]
Tara Transitory Site MySpace Discogs Facebook [electronica, ambient, sound art, see One Man Nation, lives in Spain and Asia]

South Africa :
Beckmann, Inge MySpace Discogs Facebook [electronic, contemporary]
Isadora Dustmite Junk MySpace Bandcamp Facebook [electro-acoustic, noise, sound art]
Schneider, June [electro-acoustic, multi-media installations][1971 ?]

South Korea :
Itta (있다) https://www.youtube.com/user/TxNxGxRMySpace Facebook Twitter MySpace [sound art, ambient, minimal, member of 10 and Tengger]
Okkyung Lee Site MySpace [classical, improv, sound art, lives in Germany]
Shin, Amy Soundcloud [classical, sound art, post rock, etc., USA/South Korea] – she´s an American of Korean descent who migrated to Seoul.
Ha Jane Facebook [improv, see Pika & Pikasland] – from the US I think but lives in Seoul.

Syria :
Asma Shams (شمس أسمى, Asma Ghanem) Soundcloud [sound art, ambient, lives in Palestine]

Thailand:
Liew Pichanan Niyomkarn Site Souncloud [noise, sound art]

Taiwan :
Anchih Tsai [electro-acoustic] Youtube – unfortunately, she passed away a few months ago.
Betty Apple (ßetty ∆pple, Reiki Jelly, Yi-Ping Cheng, Xiao-Biao, 瀟薄 ) Site Soundcloud Twitter MySpace Tumblr Youtube Vimeo Mixcloud Soundcloud (Reiki Jelly) Facebook [sound art, noise, electronic, techno]
Hui-Chun Lin Site MySpace [improv, sound art, classical, lives in Germany]
Hui-Shen Chang Alice Site [electronica, sound art] – she mostly experiments with her voice when she plays solo.
Kueiju Lin [classical, improv, sound art]
Lai Chi-Hsia Site Soundcloud [sound art]
Pei Site1 Site2 [minimal sound art, onkyokei, lives in Switzerland]
Pei-Yu Shi Youtube Facebook [sound art, electronic, folk, audio-visual]
Luo Chao Yun (駱昭勻) Site MySpace [traditional, classical, improv, sound art]

Tunisia :
Abdelwahed, Deena Site Tumblr Facebook Arabstazy Mixcloud [electronic]
Houaïda (Miss Machine) Soundcloud Facebook [electronica, industrial, noise pop,lives in Germany]

Turkey :
Ah! Kosmos Site Soundcloud Soundkick Facebook Twitter Instagram Last.fm [electronica]
Gürkan, Gülce Özen Site Bandcamp MySpace Soundcloud Vimeo Discogs [electro-acoustic, sound art]
Pase, Tuna MySpace Facebook Soundcloud 1 Soundcloud 2 Soundcloud 3 [electro-acoustic]

Vietnam :
Cao Lan (Cao Thanh Lan) Site [electro-acoustic, sound art, free improv, classical, see Parallel Asteroid, Swiss Army Wife, lives in Germany]
Lương Huệ Trinh (Luong Hue Trinh) Soundcloud MySpace Facebook [sound art, electro-acoustic]
Ngọc Trần Thị Kim (Ngoc Tran Thi Kim) Weebly Youtube [sound art, electro-acoustic, classical]
Nguyễn Nhung (Nguyen Nhung) Site Bandcamp [dark ambient, drone, minimal electronic, noise, electroacoustic, classical, see Sound Awakener][2007]

And a list of female composers from Latin America here, thanks to Alma for providing the link.