The Great Order
Every time I hear one of Cory Allen’s releases, I’m always amazed that he’s not more of a household name among drone/electronica lovers. For years, he’s been releasing wonderful drone-based works on his excellentQuiet Design label, and like many of the more well-known artists that his label’s released (among them Duane Pitre, Sebastien Roux, and Alvin Lucier), his releases have frequently struck an admirable balance between academic technique and emotional resonance. His newest release, The Great Order, follows in this tradition with the unique exception of being Allen’s first release to feature exclusively acoustic instruments (all recorded live in the studio, no less). Allen created a self-organizing structure/set of rules to guide these two side-long pieces in order to achieve a near homogeneous deep-listening-esque soundworld with his ensemble. The results are pretty gorgeous and vaguely reminiscent of Duane Pitre’s latest work with its seamlessly staggered entrances and robust harmonies seemingly based off of the harmonic series. It’s an impressively ambitious composition that shows off a whole new side of Allen’s aesthetic and will hopefully nudge him further into the vocabulary of drone lovers everywhere.
The Great Order is out now via Quiet Design and you can stream excerpts of the album below.
Jerusalem in My Heart
“Koll lil-mali7ati fi al-khimar al-aswadi”
Raising up the basket to outstretched arms in a crowd within a crowd, the newborn is cast out covered in blankets, as hands gently take and pass along the vessel of comfort. Anointed with glee, the baby laughs as it rocks along, heading toward a continuous crowd. Tears of joy drench the hands passing along the basket, and marks of fingers and palms adorn its sides. Children and smaller participants within the crowed fling handfuls of Nymphaea petals into the air, raining down white upon part of the crowd carrying the infant, some landing in the basket, which are handled by tiny, fat, wrinkled hands. The baby caresses its nose unknowingly with a petal and giggles louder, followed by shouts and cries of joy within the crowd.
Twenty feet between one part of the crowd and the other is a flowing river in which hands gracefully place this basket in to cast it off. Drips of water lightly mist, spray, and splash upon the infant, and its laughing face quickly scrunches into crying. The crowd of crowds in crowds becomes breathtakingly silent, echoing cries and running water. Before reaching the other side, the basket stretches itself over a hump of water and dips vertically down and out of sight. The crowds gasp in sync. And as quickly as the newborn was stricken from vision, the basket launches itself out of the water and into the hands of the crowd on the other side in furious yells and cheers of joy. The baby composes itself and folds the blanket over its body with one hand and sucks the thumb of the other, drifting to sleep in a sea of Nymphaea petals that continuously rain down.
Jerusalem in My Heart’s Mo7it Al-Mo7it is out March 19 on Constellation Records.
In an interview with Calgary newspaper FFWD back in 2010, Mark Templeton’s music was described as “ambient music for people with short attention spans.” Although his newest release, Jealous Heart, is much too complex and rhythmic to be a proper ambient album, this description still fits. Most of the tracks on Jealous Heart are three or four minutes (the longest just breaking seven), but seem to escape any sort of time restraint or spatial limit. From Terminator-esque mech pulses, to acoustic guitar ramblings, to looping muffled horn melodies, Templeton sews together new motifs and sampled phrases so seamlessly that it feels as natural and organic as a Fahey raga.
Jealous Heart will be released in March by Under The Spire Recordings, but you can pre-order the LP from their site right now. Streaming below is an album teaser, featuring three stellar tracks from the record: “Buffalo Coulee,” “Sinking Heart,” and “Flat3.”
• Mark Templeton: http://www.fieldsawake.com
• Under The Spire: http://www.underthespire.co.uk/releases-buy/mark-templeton-jealous-heart
“Poetic Justice” ft. Drake
In case you couldn't tell, Kendrick Lamar isn’t one to prop his finely-crafted rapsterpieces against the perfunctory visual backdrops of cars, Louis Vuitton bags, and half-baked Fear and Loathing imagery. So it should come as no surprise that the video for "Poetic Justice," the Compton rapper's collaboration with Drake, continues the high-def, high-art approach he's taken with the other good kid, m.A.A.d city clips.
The rapper's latest short film tells a blood-spattered story of love, murder and revenge, a tale that, despite its glossy and cinematic finish, is realistic enough to warrant an opening disclaimer that "all characters in this visual are entirely fictional." Without giving too much away, I'll just mention that Drake a.k.a. Aubrey Graham a.k.a. Champagne Papi a.k.a. Jimmy from Degrassi picked a terrible time to make a phone call. Alas, the Janet Jackson-featuring track is not a Janet Jackson-featuring video, but sometimes we don’t get what we want. Bummer.
“In the Flood with the Flood (Father Murphy Remix)”
Italian trio Father Murphy’s 2012 album, Anyway, Your Children Will Deny It, was a towering release of grandiose pop that really transcended any sort of genre lines. It was the kind of album where, in talking about sound, you can only really highlight the scope, and Father Murphy has certainly never been one to release a bunch of pop singles and call it an album.
To add to Father Murphy’s growing legacy, New Jersey’s Aagoo Records is giving Anyway, Your Children Will Deny It the remix treatment. Handing out each of the album’s eight songs to various other noise dwellers such as Black Dice, EMA, and Sic Alps, the album receives a much different “remix” than, say, all of those HEALTH Disco remix albums. In fact, the songs, which are pretty out there to begin with, are pulled further and further outside those genre lines with each remix.
Take this Black Dice treatment, for example. The looming darkness of the original is filtered through those creepy Black Dice bass effects, and the otherwise booming lyrics are reduced to little more than an echo underneath it all. It’s the kind of outsider, undefinable mess that only Black Dice seem to be able to pull off. The result is this chugging, wobbly reconstruction buried just deep enough to allow us to still hear some semblance of that twisted Black Dice pop slashing the Father Murphy original to pieces.
Check it out below and buy the entire remix album, 8 Heretical Views (or the original, for that matter), over at Aagoo Records.
“This is the last time this song will ever be played by our hands and feet and mouths. Enjoy.”
David Graeber, talking about peoples such as the Piaroa of the Amazon, argues that it is the “egalitarian” and the “most peaceful societies which are also the most haunted, in their imaginative constructions of the cosmos, by constant spectres of perennial war.” Such communities mold these hauntings into imagined violent spaces of externality, as a contrasting tool for encouraging consensus and conviviality in their daily lived relationships.
In our own Utopian future, Etai Keshiki will provide a sonic blueprint for such summoning, as we take out the stress of shared post-work community-building onto abundant inanimate instruments, rather than onto each other. No wonder hardcore noise punks often live in harmonious communal housing co-ops: the two require each other. There are only so many house meetings about bulk food orders anyone can enjoy before needing to scream.
If this future does not suit you, feel free to flee for the hinterlands of “feel-good tuneage” and endless physical violence that exist beyond our borderless enclaves.
We await the forthcoming 7-inch to follow “Shit Off” as further evidence of this important phenomena.
• Etai Keshiki: http://etaikeshiki.bandcamp.com