A veteran musician in the European avant-garde, Richard Pinhas has waged war both against listeners’ expectations and against what he calls the “teknofascist” establishment for over 40 years. He founded legendary experimental unit Heldon in early-70s France, breaking ground in the combination of rock instrumentation/performance with electronics and proto-noise synth squall (the $50 Heldon LP up on the wall at your local record store is worth every cent, even if it’s a bootleg — go get it). He honed his radical politics and personal philosophies in the late 60s under Gilles Deleuze’s tutelage, and it seems like none of his ire has drained over the years: his upcoming album Desolation Row, the first release under his own name since 2010’s Metal / Crystal, finds him “Morally outraged by the corporate greed that caused Europe’s (and America’s) 21st century economic collapse, shattering the public’s (the 99%) wellbeing and undermining democracy itself.”
Say what you will about the man’s political stance; his music is as mammoth and mind-altering as always. If his recent live outings with Merzbow demonstrated a desire to collaborate with the generations of musicians he’s influenced, the avant all-star cast Pinhas assembled for Desolation Row takes that desire to the next level. Hear Oren Ambarchi’s bass-drum kicks punctuate a mire of swirling electronic noise and modular synthesis whipped up by the likes of Lasse Marhaug and Etienne Jaumet. Pinhas’s looped guitar figures chime together and fold back on themselves all Frippertronics-style, before splintering off into peals of space-shredding distortion. “Circle” sidesteps the bloat and turpor of your average cosmic synth-rock session by blurring the line between the “electronic” and the “organic” elements of the huge ensemble, allowing a series of lead voices to swell and overtake the mix in long passages of gurgling hi-fi abstraction.
Desolation Row is available now from Cuneiform Records.
Boards of Canada
“Reach for the Dead”
From Tomorrow’s Harvest, out June 11 via Warp.
_______██____ ██░░♥ _ (❀✿❀)
________ █_____ █▒ ___ (✿ ☼ ✿)
_________█ ___▓▓░▓___ (❀▐ ❀)
____█❀ _█_ ▓▓▓▒░▒▓__█_▐__▄
_____▀█▀_ ▓▓_▓▓▒░▒▓ ▀█▐_█
“Carved And Cared For”
It doesn’t matter anymore. The man on the screen. Famed? Respected? Cult Classic? His hands dictate movement as he frames his fate, embedded within a canvas of crumpled rippling, of choreographed Technicolor and pulsating flecks of butterfly dust. Where does he belong? It doesn’t matter anymore.
In a different place, where concepts are erased from context, laced across one another and pumped with manipulated compound (gossamer inks? translucent dyes?), their mingling makes the music, which makes the scene, which makes the product. A premiere? An exclusive? Tiny Mix Tapes presents “Carved And Cared For”: A starry and intrepid montage of minds that stir this lactic, karmic cocktail.
Images courtesy of Kyle Armstrong. Music by Mark Templeton.
Filmmaker Kyle Armstrong makes short, non-narrative film. His most recent short Magnetic Reconnection premiered at AFI Fest 2012 and has since been selected for SXSW Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, and the Seattle International Film Festival, among others.
Canadian sound artist Mark Templeton utilizes acoustic instruments, found sounds, and sampled material to construct textured, collage-like electronic compositions. His excellent 2013 album Jealous Heart found a well-earned place in our Eureka section after its US release back in March.
Higher Powers [mixtape]
Oh Inga, Inga [pow] /
Your voice like ginger [pow] /
My index finger [pow] /
On SoundCloud lingers [pow POW *explosion*]
Inga Copeland, the inspiration behind my forthcoming tribute album excerpted above, has just now dropped a six-track mixtape onto SoundCloud called Higher Powers. The 20-minute collection is most likely a space-clearing exercise before the release of her debut solo album, as evidenced by the date (2012) and the tracks “Faith” and “B.M.W.” which have shown up on their own in the recent past — though I don’t recall the earsplitting tones in the background/foreground of “Faith.” Stream the whole thing below, or download the whole thing right here: :o)
• Inga Copeland: https://soundcloud.com/cplnd
“She’s On Top”
Tiny Mix Tapes and Sic Alps are now BFFs. Over the coming weeks, we’re going to be premiering not one, not two, but three new videos from them, each for a track off their new She’s On Top EP. First up is the video for the half-baked, summery self-titled track. A stream-of-consciousness treatment of those old VHS tapes rotting in your basement, the clip for “She’s On Top” combines images as disparate as a Grateful Dead bear, a man taking a crowbar to his poor television set, and a girl with a lot of feelings. Here’s an idea: round up some of your friends, watch the vid, and see who can come up with the wackiest narrative. I’d like to think that the Bear is the spirit of the television set reincarnated, but that’s just me. Check out the video here:
She’s On Top is out this week on 12-inch, MP3, and FLAC via Drag City. Stay tuned for the TMT premieres of the other new Sic Alps videos.
LEWIS CARROL & THE ACADEMY
LEWIS CARROL & THE ACADEMY (who might actually be Warm Thighs/Susan Balmar/0000-A70U-0075/SLF Tapes curator/_lip/Perry Trollope/etc.) has a new one called ECUMENOPOLIS, and it’s sooooo tasty. Things start off all pillow-over-the-face, with muted noises and suffocated beats, until around 3:35, when some crisp yet drunken percussion stumbles its way through the muck, bright-eyed samples slung over its shoulder. The rest of the two-(maybe three-?)track tape continues this battle over fidelity, with obfuscated beats fighting for clarity while a plethora of samples combine to make no sense whatsoever: illogical sound play, musical nonsense, The Hunting of the Snark. I LOVE IT.
ECUMENOPOLIS is out now digitally (name your price) and on cassette, the latter of which comes with unique hand-drawn j-cards by LC&TA himself. By the way, this is all live on an SP-404 sampler. Think what he could do with an SP-555!