Nâ Hawa Doumbia
Here’s a track to celebrate the Awesome Tapes From Africa blog’s transition into a record label! Brian Shimkovitz, Awesome Tapes creator, plans on reissuing some of his favorite tapes on LP, CD, and MP3 format with 50% of all profits going to the artist. According to him:
The first release is by Mali’s Nâ Hawa Doumbia, a recording the singer made in 1982, La Grande Cantatrice Malienne Vol 3. It comes out October 18 and will be distributed by SC Distribution.
It’s easy to separate ourselves from rare or obscure releases, especially when it comes to older non-American artists. Blogs often support rabid downloading with little context or consideration that we exist with these musicians in the same musical continuum, so it’s nice seeing a free-music site take an active stand in artist support, a trend that will hopefully continue.
• Awesome Tapes From Africa: http://www.awesometapes.com
Moduli TV is a pretty consistent source for inspirational videos from the synthesizer underground and beyond. This new one from Noah Wall is definitely traipsing that ‘beyond’, with monotone vocals barely pushing through stabs of electric guitar harmonies and a steady backbeat. I’ll just throw out there the flickering Berlin-era David Bowie similarities, even if it’s a somewhat lazy assessment. Whatever. Definitely look out for this guy in the future.
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo gave us the great state of California, which in the year 2011 gives us Yalls, who now offers this interesting electro funk compilation, modern style. The record in question jams two previous EPs together along with nine new tracks. I’m particularly into the weird, almost nasally vocals that drift around the edges of many of these songs, along with the varied orchestration and (most likely) MIDI flute sounds. Stream the whole album below, or pay what you want for it on bandcamp, or buy a cassette, or suck on my asshole.
“Frost’s Bitter Grip”
Thanks to Altered Zones for shedding some light on this new piece by Lawrence English, one of the last decades most prolific proponents of sound as art (sound art). You can get a taste of his upcoming LP on label/mailorder site Experimedia via this time-warped video. And I don’t just say ‘time-warped’ because its an easy critical bullshit-spewing trendy term! “Frost’s Bitter Grip” actually feels like time slowing down, or at least as if a giant orchestral movement has been chopped and screwed and blared from distance. There is a lumbering gorgeousness here, much like William Basinski’s now canonized Disintegration Loops or that super slowed down Justin Beiber track. It all brings to mind the divide between the macro and micro world, as if nature unifies all music somewhere along the spectrum of time, even if it takes our technology to reveal that point.
This is a fairly thrilling bundle of drone and electronic sludge from Andrew Felix, via I Had An Accident records. The first track particularly exposes a slow burning dynamic range, with ominous vibrating drones continuously interrupted by high register synth blasts and other strange, clanking noises. Of course, by track two the drone is interrupted by an industrial size big-beat, paving the way for a more fractured dystopian whole. Stream the full album below:
• I Had An Accident: http://ihadanaccident.tumblr.com/
“Crystalline” [directed by Michel Gondry]
Björk, who everyone used to call an “Icelandic pixie,” has released a video for “Crystalline,” the first from her forthcoming album, Biophilia. It’s directed by Michel Gondry, who was at one point penciled in to collaborate with National Geographic on a 3D film for the album (which would’ve been much cooler than this whole app business, according to every Android and non-iOS user in the world). Look out for Biophilia on September 27 via Nonesuch/One Little Indian/what.cd.
• Björk: http://bjork.com