John Zorn – Music and Its Double (2012)

John Zorn – Music and Its Double (2012) I’m not an “expert”, actually, not even a frequent and frenetic listener of contemporary symphonic music. But Zorn it’s Zorn, my curiosity was bigger then my fear of abstract, eventually unfriendly listening. And Zorn managed to grab my attention. Still, this is quite dark, dramatic, twisted out Wagnerian feels-like music, unfriendly and probably for most nerve-racking, or at least disturbing. The violin (the cello and ultimately the soprano… 😆 ) sometimes literally split your brain in two and makes your ears bleeding, while the tension it’s tenebrous and the dissonances makes you feel like you’re trapped in a horror movie – think of the Kubrick’s “The Shining” soundtrack. The four parts of “Ceremonial Magic” definitively fits that profile and vibe. Still, the work have a huge groove and Kenny Wollesen bang his drums like crazy. Zorn’s cinematic experiences are leaving their sonic finger-prints on his symphonic adventures as well. Don’t think that the closing one-act opera, “La Machine de l’Être”, because of the vocals it’s an easier piece. It’s not.
John Zorn is not only prolific, but also fascinating, he manage to express himself in so many different ways by different musical vehicles – just like any true Magician. And there is no doubt, Zorn it’s a Magician. Read more John Zorn – Music and Its Double (2012)

Tori Amos – Night Of Hunters (2011)

Twisted and dark, Tori Amos is back. Hard or impossible to describe her gloomy universe, “Night Of Hunters” pays tribute to such renowned composers as Bach, Chopin, Debussy, Granados, Satie and Schubert and taking inspiration from their original compositions to create a new, independent work. She revealed that the work on the album began after Deutsche Grammophon approached her to write a 21st Century song cycle under the condition that it be centered around classical music themes. Regarding the album’s concept, she has described it as the exploration of “the hunter and the hunted and how both exist within us” through the story of “a woman who finds herself in the dying embers of a relationship.”
Beautiful and troubled, Tori Amos returned to her darker roots and delivered a dense and thrilling opera. Read more Tori Amos – Night Of Hunters (2011)

Planningtorock – W (2011)

Janine Rostron, Berlin based, London born, musician/conceptual-artist and record label owner, has been flirting with a wider audience via her LCD Soundsystem opening slot and become a frequent collaborator of The Knife. She’s back now with her second full-length album, “W” and her smooth, but gloomy explorations of tense rhythms and quite particular timbre keyboard, classic instruments and shady, electric and electrifying layers, floating vocals merged into her unique, sparkling sound.
Classically trained on the violin from the age of eight, Janine Rostron developed a passion for strings. That same passion can be heard in her infamous pizzicato bass styles with plucked string production blended perfectly with electric mix of barrelhouse boogie-woogie pianos, xylophone trills, honkytonk horn sleaze, bluesy growls and creepy coos. Read more Planningtorock – W (2011)

themuztard seedz

I try to convince others to collaborate, create together. It seems harder than I thought, people mostly are preoccupied with their own shit. I can’t blame anybody, the world today is a pretty fucked-up place, and well, the worst is still to come I guess. Last year I put together a set of recordings with the core of the band Oedip Piaf and some contribution from Mr. Winteller from London, that was “Badtime Stories” (you can grab it for free, by the way), a noisy, gloomy, kind of experimental album which shifting between different genres from punk to free jazz and back to rock through psychedelic whatever.
The experiment still running, I write themes, song structures and I send the tracks around, anybody interested to participate, are welcome. I wrote this theme called “The Mustard Seeds”, Mr. Winteller and the guys from Oedip Piaf have their fun with it and send me back their tracks and I mixed them into one. This is the result: Read more themuztard seedz

David Sylvian – Died In The Wool – Manafon Variations (2011)

New and not so. As you can easily deduct from its title, “Died In The Wool” are variations on David Sylvian’s 2009 release “Manafon” including collaborations with acclaimed composer Dai Fujikura, producers Jan Bang and Erik Honoré and a stellar roster of contemporary musicians and improvisers. The 50 minutes of the original “Manfon” weren’t an easy listening and “Died In The Wool” are another intercourse in the outer limits of avant-garde and experimental music, a dark and strange trip into the abstract reflections of the reality. You can listen the album at Sylvian’s official site HERE .
I was a huge fan of Japan back in the 80s and I followed Sylvian since, he never disappointing me even when he gave us some hard peaces to chew with our ears, but most, with our souls and minds. Food for thoughts, some may say, but also, food for the spirit. Read more David Sylvian – Died In The Wool – Manafon Variations (2011)

John Zorn – The Satyr’s Play – Cerberus (2011)

John “Restless” – while Zorn appears on over 400 recordings as a composer or performer – Zorn is back. After “Nova Express”, the downtown Alchemist throw in the battle a flamboyant and dynamic brass trio made of Peter Evans – Trumpet, David Taylor – Bass Trombone and Marcus Rojas – Tuba, and the explosive and colorful percussion section made of Cyro Baptista and Kenny Wollesen. Some may say that Zorn is the Devil in person, but I’m only sure of he’s one of the very few actually creative musicians of the 21st century. And well, mentioning the Devil, a Limited Edition of 666 copies have been individually signed & numbered by Zorn’s hand, and are for sale exclusively at Downtown Music Gallery and Fields Books in San Francisco for $25 [shipping extra]. 😀 Read more John Zorn – The Satyr’s Play – Cerberus (2011)

Kate Bush – Director’s Cut (2011)

I kind of miss her as I miss “Babooshka”. Her previous album, “Aerial” was released six years ago and that material was released after a 12 years gap. And well, “Director’s Cut” is a compilation consists of a revisitation/revision of selected tracks from her 1989 and 1993 albums “The Sensual World” and “The Red Shoes” and it will be available on 16 May 2011. While “Aerial” was one of Bush’s most critically acclaimed album, not surprisingly “Director’s Cut” have something from the atmosphere of its predecessor, is a multi-layered work, incorporating colorful elements of Folk, Renaissance, classical, Blues and pop music into one soft, mainly kind of intimate, nice and quiet music, but having a fresh, alive breath. Read more Kate Bush – Director’s Cut (2011)

Atlantis – Mistress of Ghosts (2011)

I still don’t get it, how it comes that some guys seems to be pretty creatives, but when it comes to choose a band name, something I believe it’s pretty important by the way, they just fuck it up or simply shitting on their self? “Atlantis” is a name used by probably half of the planet for different products, including band names. And it was already a rock band in the 70s using this name in Germany. Gilson Heitinga started writing songs under the name “Atlantis” in the winter of 2005/2006. While choosing a name he wasn’t really inspired, the songs he wrote are pretty interesting. Otherwise the name actually fits the music. Releasing the debut “Carpe Omnium” in 2007 and on the good tradition of Trent Reznor, formed a live band including Sander Bolk, Carlo Leijtens, Gido Leijtens and Marijn Slot. Singed for the Nottingham based label, Field Records and “Mistress of Ghosts” is Gilson’s second full-length album.
This is a gloomy, contorted incursion in a world made of enigmatic noises, glowing textures, delicate sounds and expressive shades. Read more Atlantis – Mistress of Ghosts (2011)

Fred Hersch Trio – Everybody’s Song But My Own (2011)

Strongly influenced by the work of Bill Evans, about Hersch critics have exclusively laudatory words, been called “a modern master”. Pianist and composer, Hersch explore the borders and beyond the Jazz for the 21st century. Intelligence and emotional involvement goes together in his work and revealing unexpected dimensions of intimacy and beautiful glows of desire for living. High lyricism and impressive turns of pulsing dynamism are meant to keep the audience attentions tight, Hersch led us through different moods and colors of the music smoothly and kindly, he’s universe it’s truly transcendent and he’s melting into one the tradition and the innovation, being  classic and modern simultaneously. Read more Fred Hersch Trio – Everybody’s Song But My Own (2011)