Monday, December 26, 2011

Best albums of 2011

Wols - "Unframe" on Pingipung -

Pimmon - "The Oansome Orbit" on Room40 -

Janek Schaefer - "Double Exposure" on Crónica -

Francisco López - "Untitled #275" on Unsounds -

Stephan Mathieu - "A Static Place" on 12K -

Cindytalk - "Hold Everything Dear" on Editions Mego -

Zeitkratzer - "Karlheinz Stockhausen" on Zeitkratzer Records -

David Sylvian - "Died In the Wool" on Samadhisound Label -

Rehberg/Schmickler - "USA" on Pan -

Reinhold Friedl - "Eight Equidistant Pure Wave Oscillators, While Slipping Very Slowly To A Unison, Textually Spatialised On Eight Speakers, Concret, 60 Minutes" on Room40 -

Chris Watson & Marcus Davidson - "Cross-Pollination" on Touch -

BJ Nilsen & Stillupsteypa - "Big Shadow Montana" on The Helen Scarsdale Agency -

Bill Gould & Jared Blum - "The Talking Book" on Koolarrow Records -

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Best reads of 2011

'Blödmaschinen - Die Fabrikation der Stupidität' - Markus Metz & Georg Seesslen - Edition Suhrkamp.

'Crimea. The Last Crusade.' - Orlando Figes - Penguin Books Ltd London.

'Bloodlands. Europe Between Hitler and Stalin.' - Timothy Snyder - Perseus Books.

'Hemelsblauw' - Jan Lauwereyns - De Bezige Bij Amsterdam.

'Zoo van het denken' - Peter Verhelst - Prometheus Amsterdam.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Francisco López vs. Zeitkratzer

A couple of days ago I had a vision that German new music ensemble Zeitkratzer played 'untitled #231' from 'untitled (2009)', the new album of Francisco López on Baskaru. I'm convinced that they could make something spectacular of this ultradeep, spectral and multilayered sound. But just now the label Unsounds released 'untitled #275', a collaboration of López with Dutch new music man Reinier Van Houdt of the Ensemble MAE. This is fabulous as well. The two part work is based on a kind of radical reconception of the piano, see the Reinhold Friedl album 'Inside Piano' from a couple of months ago. 'Movement 1' starts with some serious rhythmical thumping on the piano. Later other orchestral sounds join in. This remains a typical López composition with loud parts and relatively silent parts, where you can only hear the musician(s) rumbling with instruments amidst some white noise. The last minutes of 'Movement 1' are particularly beautifull with a stark melody of four notes repeated endlessly and some minimalistic piano playing. In 'Movement 2' López explores and transforms the piano part in his studio to a fascinating electro-acoustic composition of 35 minutes. This is probably the best contemporary 'classical' music you will hear this year made by an electronic artist.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Francisco López - 'Untitled (2009)'

I'm a fan of Francisco López. It would take a lifetime to follow everything he produces but once in a while I pick something out. After 'köllt/kulu' here's another nice release, this time on the French label Baskaru. 'untitled (2009)' is a good starting point if you don't know López yet. It's noise but soothing, structured & organic. For this album he worked together with Phill Niblock, Rutger Zuydervelt of Machinefabriek and others. Although the sounds are derived from natural sources most of the time you can't figure out what you are hearing. Which is part of the process of course. Luckily the nicely designed innersleeve contains some references and info. Impressive and timeless stuff!