Monday, July 07, 2008

Surgery 62

Alexander Tucker
- Custom Made (ATP/R)
Tape - Luminarium (Häpna)
Giuseppe Ielasi - August (12k)
Elephant9 - Dodovoodoo (Rune Grammofon)
Strategy - Music for Lamping (Audio Dregs)
Grouper - Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill (Type)
Various - Remixes & Parts To Be Frickeled (Shitkatapult)
Various - Audiomatique 2.0 (Audiomatique)
Vibert-Simmonds - Rodulate (Rephlex)
Various - Dubstep Allstars Vol. 6 (Mixed by Appleblim) (Tempa)
Various - Ambient Not Not Ambient (Audio Dregs)
Cloudland Canyon - Lie In Light (Kranky)
Alexander Tucker - Portal (ATP/R)

Track Listing

Alexander Tucker - Rodeo In The Sky [0:00]
Tape - Moth Wings [4:24]
Giuseppe Ielasi - 02 [8:47]
Elephant9 - Hymne [16:32]
Strategy - All Day... [21:59]
Grouper - We've All Gone to Sleep [27:37]
Lusine - Drift (Apparat Remix) [30:49]
Trentemøller - Miss You [34:09]
Vibert-Simmonds - Go To Sleep [Everything Is Alright] [37:23]
Mungos Hi-Fi - Babylon [40:58]
White Rainbow - See and The Field Feels [45:26]
Cloudland Canyon - Krautwerk [48:33]
Alexander Tucker - Energy For Dead Plants [55:19]

Listen to Surgery 62 click here

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Thisquietarmy - Unconquered

Montreal’s Eric Quach is turning his pseudonym and label into a very reliable outlet for genre-transgressive music. The label’s recent releases have included two excellent handmade EPs by Apillow (Below the Sea’s Patrick Lacharité) and the Sales Department (formerly Beef Terminal, MD Matheson). Quach’s music, released here by a Polish label, crosses boundaries where ambient guitar spills over into the world of doom/drone. Helping with the heavier lifting is guest Aidan Baker of Nadja, who adds portent to the opening track. The first four tracks work as an uninterrupted suite that undulates from the ominously shimmering hum of “Battlefield Arkestrah” through to “Warchitects,” where the drums are finally unleashed. The album’s second half lets a little more light in. “Death of Sailor” improvises watery travel around a slightly crippled guitar loop, while “The Great Escapist” features guest vocals by Meryem Yildiz, edging a too little closely to romantic metal territory, but without the synth or string section to truly wreck everything. Standout track “Mercenary Flags” imagines what Eluvium might sound like if more Jesu influence crept in. Definitely for fans of heavier ambience, Quach expertly avoids making an album from a single grey mood.


Alexander Tucker - Custom Made

Experiencing Custom Made, this little gem of a four song ep, as a burnt CD on a laptop likely isn’t the prescribed listening situation. Released in April by ATP in a, yes, “custom made” double 7” format it showcases a somewhat pared-down version of “Veins to the Sky” which later shows up on Tucker’s third full length release, Portal, as well as a new version of “Phantom Rings” from his debut. A cover of Fursaxa’s “Rodeo in the Sky” draws upon the trademark otherness of his sound that is both seemingly of ancient origin yet chronologically unbound. His self-described blues closer, “Florence Blue,” is a cochleate whirl of strings over a thumbed pulse that is equal parts Junior Kimbrough and Arthur Russell. Tucker’s sound maintains a strange familiarity despite it’s slippery signifiers, perhaps due to a tapping of something elemental outside of traditions. Could explain how he somehow fits on bills and in groups with Fuck Buttons, Sunn O)))’s Stephen O’Malley and Owen Pallett without seeming out of place.


Alexander Tucker – Portal

Wherever the titular doorway leads it’s clear that Alexander Tucker has access to something larger and stranger than a guitar with looper effects. On 2006’s Furrowed Brow he pushed at the boundaries of acoustic folk and blues, importing contemporary drone and doom experiments. But here he re-focuses that slightly disparate energy back into a harder shell of song. Openers “Poltergeists Grazing” and “Veins to the Sky” illustrate Tucker’s signature method of building elaborate structures out of layered loops, making for an ornate recasting of the one-chord blues tradition. They also showcase his increased vocal presence, albeit rendered ghostly by double tracking. The album eventually crosses streams, with “Energy for Dead Plants” turbine engine of bowed strings and eddying tones, backed by “Another World” and its oppositely stark acoustic guitar and vocal. Whether Tucker is a pan-dimensional being sent here from an alternate England where The Incredible String Band featured Tony Conrad on violin, or if he merely has visions of such a place, his continuous beaming from there is a welcome sound.