Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mark McGuire

mark mcguire - "let us be the way we were"
from insane epic haunting ghost guitar to streams of pure crystalized infinity music. to be alone in the dark and guided by moonlight, searching until sunrise and forever. stunning music.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Litter

The Litter's debut album was disappointing in the sense that there are only a couple of songs that were not covers. However, they were one of the few garage bands to invest enough energy and imagination into their interpretations to make a cover-heavy LP worth hearing. "Action Woman" is here, and they go about tackling, and sometimes dismantling, numbers like the Small Faces' "Whatcha Gonna Do About It" and the Who's "A Legal Matter" (both of which were barely known in the U.S. at this point, incidentally). "I'm a Man," though based on the Yardbirds' version, gets into some pretty incredible feedback/distortion swirls in the closing rave-up section. Distortions has been reissued a few times, but the 1999 CD on Arf! Arf! is the one to get, as it includes two outtakes ("Hey Joe" and the 25-second, hardly worth noting "Harpsichord Sonata #1") and seven songs, mostly previously unreleased, recorded live at Chicago's Electric Theatre in August 1968. This was the music that the band played while filming a scene in Haskell Wexler's film Medium Cool (although none of the music was used in the movie), and it's in a heavier, bluesier hard-rock direction than their 1967 recordings, but still retains some of the punky spirit of the Distortions era.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Roland Appel

ROLAND APPEL gained recognition from his peers and from a growing audience of soulful deep-house of lovers thanks to the 3 EPs Dark Soldier / Changes (SK158), Unforgiven (SK168), Innersoul/New Love (SK178) that recently came out on Sonar Kollektiv. He is nevertheless no newcomer in the world of music production. He started spinning records and producing music in the early nineties. As a member of FAUNA FLASH with his long-time partner and friend CHRISTIAN PROMMER, he pushed his fame with 3 full-length albums, many 12“s, remixes and appareances on very famous labels such as Compost Records, G-Stone Recordings and !K7. Both of them also teamed up with PETER KRUDER and produced as VOOM:VOOM sublime pieces of electronica on the labels Compost and K7!. ROLAND’s career peeked up with the band he formed with RAINER TRÜBY and CHRISTIAN PROMMER – TRÜBY TRIO –, whose album Elevator music has been a great success that crossed over the german broken beats and dance music scene. With those music projects he made a name for himself, toured all around the world and played in the best clubs such as Fabric in London, Cielo in New York or Yellow in Tokyo. He also had the opportunity to be on stage at the biggest music festivals such as Roskilde festival, Sonne Mond und Sterne, Sunflower, Big Chill Festival, 10 days off and Montreux Jazz Festival. ROLAND gained a lot from all those team-projects but he also felt the need to work on his own.

Talk To Your Angel (SK188CD/Elektrish) is ROLAND APPEL’s most intimate moment to date. As he says : „It’s all very pure, from my heart and that feels sometimes strange, especially when you are used to work in teams.“ The title Talk To Your Angel also has a very personal meaning for him : „For me it’s a picture of self-reflection. When you are working alone, you sometimes wish to talk to someone, but on the other hand you don’t want to talk to a person, because you really enjoy to be alone. At this moment when you come clear with yourself, you can talk to your angel.“ The concept behind his debut album is to find a new way to combine the rules of the dance floor and the feeling of a song. ROLAND delved deep into very diverse influences from Detroit Techno, to Folk over to Soul, Disco and House and tried to bring song structures to his music. For him there are no DJ tools and floor fillers on the album. All the tracks are proper songs carrying a strong personal meaning but with a very subtle house groove that will make your heart and your body move. ROLAND produced them all in the studio of JAN KRAUSE. JAN is a member of BEANFIELD of Compost Records fame and has a long experience in sound-engineering and an impeccable musical ear. He worked for 20 years in the studio with JUERGEN KOPPERS, the legendary engineer of GIORGIO MORODER and DONNA SUMMER. Working in a place that holds so much disco-history was very inspiring for ROLAND and it helped him to focus on his aim of making timeless musical compositions. Moreover ROLAND worked on remixes for ROBYTEK (Rebirth Records), FREDO VIOLA (Because), SIAN (Simple), YELLOW SOX (Freerange), AUDISION (Mule Musiq) and 2 BANKS OF FOUR (Sonar Kollektiv) while progressing on his own solo project. It was also very inspiring for him to try and give another dancefloor perspective to the work of other artists and it really helped him to find the missing link between the vibe that people feel on the dancefloor and their inner feelings when they listen to intimate compositions of singer-songwriters.

The result is a beautiful and all-rounder album of 9 tracks unifying perfectly the feelings of a song with the energy of the dance floor. With its soothing atmospheres, dreamy layers of pads, strings and voices and its irresistible house grooves, Talk To Your Angel (SK188CD/elektrish) will satisfy the most demanding deep-house lovers. Moreover ROLAND’s debut solo album will equally please all the listeners interested in soulful music that tells you a story and that carries strong emotions through the lyrics of singer ARABA WALTON and the beautiful arrangements that he created. Talk To Your Angel (SK188CD/elektrish) includes his masterpiece Dark Soldier and his other great numbers such as Changes, Unforgiven, Inner Soul and New Love that has been charted and chosen by DENNIS FERRER for his Mixmag mix CD in UK. ROLAND new tracks like Secret, Angel and Lost Valley also cross that invisible barrier between a house track and real song through elegant strings orchestrations, intense harmonies and tight drum parts in a very nice Chicago-Detroit style.
With Talk To Your Angel (SK188CD/elektrish) you can be certain that ROLAND APPEL has been blessed by the Gods of music. Just listen to it and like JAZZANOVA and the Sonar Kollektiv crew, you will instantly fall for it and you will give ROLAND your benediction without a doubt.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Alps

Although ‚III’ might be the third album from San Francisco trio The Alps it marks their first studio-based record and a fresh direction for the psychedelic supergroup. Made up of Tarentel mainman Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, ex-Tussle member Alexis Georgopoulos (better known as ARP) and Troll member Scott Hewicker there is a deft amount of skill on display as the three rip through eight tracks of sizzling spiritual bliss. Comparisons here are easy to bring up – Popol Vuh, Ennio Morricone and Serge Gainsbourg spring to mind for starters as the band toss and tangle through thick drum breaks and reverberating sun-drenched guitar lines.
‚III’ feels like a lost soundtrack to some crumbling Italian surrealist classic with its pounding basslines and swirling synthesizers. This is visual music, inspired by the likes of Werner Herzog, Alejandro Jordorowsky and Michaelangelo Antonioni, but what results is far more than a pastiche. Rather the trio have concocted a record which while being aware of its sprawling influences is far more than the sum of its parts. The finest excesses of progressive rock and the leanest intricacies of the psychedelic folk scene have been splashed together with a distinct dusty funk overlook to produce something which is totally out of time. Free from some half baked scene or other this is the result of three musicians doing exactly what they want.
‚III’ has taken a plethora of sounds and crumbled them into something altogether beguiling. From the distant supernaturalism of ‚Trem Fantasma’ to the Terry Riley influenced bliss of ‚Pink Light’ The Alps show us that there’s more to pyschedelia than meets the eye.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Steve Hauschildt

Steve hauschildt - "rapt for liquid minister"

Still-moving loops repeat and build themselves in deep washes of aural hallucination. steve is known for his work in ohio synth-drone unit emeralds. like the other output from the emeralds crew, it is hard to believe that today’s best synth music is being made by twenty year old dudes from the cleveland suburbs, but they seriously just have it figured out. steve’s smooth and densely layered drones, heavy in kraut influence, are as huge as any of his contemporaries and as rich as his predecessors. vocal incantations reminiscent of “way their crept” era grouper place steve’s compositions on another level. deeply thoughtful and knowledgeable zones floating in and out of reality.


Though it can reasonably be argued that rap grew almost directly out of funk and its particular beat, there are a lot of overlaps with jazz, particularly the bop and post-bop eras: the uninhibited expression, the depiction of urban life, just to name two. Jazz samples have also had a large role in hip-hop, but the idea of rapping over actual live jazz wasn't truly fully realized until Gang Starr MC Guru created and released the first in his Jazzmatazz series in 1993, with guest musicians who included saxophonist Branford Marsalis (who had previously collaborated with DJ Premier and Guru for the track "Jazz Thing" on the Mo' Better Blues soundtrack), trumpeter Donald Byrd, vibraphonist Roy Ayers, guitarist Ronny Jordan, and keyboardist Lonnie Liston Smith, as well as vocalist N'Dea Davenport (also of the acid jazz group the Brand New Heavies) and French rapper MC Solaar. While Guru's rhymes can occasionally be a little weak ("Think they won't harm you? Well they might/And that ain't right, but every day is like a fight" are the lines he chooses to describe kids on the subway in Brooklyn in "Transit Ride"), he delves into a variety of subject matter, from the problems of inner-city life to his own verbal prowess to self-improvement without ever sounding too repetitive, and his well-practiced flow fits well with the overall smooth, sultry, and intelligent feel of the album. From Jordan's solo on "No Time to Play" to Ayers' vibes expertise on "Take a Look (At Yourself)" to MC Solaar's quick and syllabic rhymes on "Le Bien, le Mal," Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1 (and what turned out to be the best of the series) is a rap album for jazz fans and a jazz album for rap fans, skillful and smart, clean when it needs to be and gritty when that's more effective, helping to legitimize hip-hop to those who doubted it, and making for an altogether important release.