Thursday, November 27, 2014

THE RESTLESS DEAD & BIRD PEOPLE - Meet the Dervishes of Khartoum in a Confluence​-​of​-​the​-​Nile - FEF34

Chris Joynes: "The source recordings for this project come from around 3 hours of field recordings made in November 2004 at the weekly Sufi Dervish 'conference' that takes place every Sunday in the centre of the main cemetery in Khartoum, Sudan, which rests near the point of confluence between the White Nile and Blue Nile. 
The recordings sat gestating until spring 2008, when they were used as the basis for a Restless Dead event. On this occasion, the Restless Dead featured members of Jupiter Dogs, an improvising collective that operates as part of a small commune that has existed in East Anglia on an on-off basis for about 10 years, living on some land outside Soham. The commune is formed along religious/spiritual lines, specifically engagement with the mystic traditions of early Christianity as set out in the 1st-2nd century Gnostic Gospels discovered in Nag Hamadi in 1948, and also Islamic gnostic texts dating from around 800AD. 

This event involved playing an edited and sequenced version of the source field recordings on a loop though a small PA at Blue Arc (then based in a room above H Gees' on Mill Road in Cambridge) which the ensemble improvised along to continuously for about 7 or 8 hours, recording the results to minidisc through a single stereo mic placed in the middle of the room. This material was then shaped and edited down over the following three or four years, usually during empty periods spent in hotel rooms and airports, resulting in the 23-odd minutes of Side A. 

In 2013 this piece was sent to Feathered Coyote as a potential release, and was followed by the idea of recruiting Bird People to do a 'dub' version. However, on investigation, it was found that the 7 or 8 hours' of recordings from the Restless Dead event had been 'lost'. Since the original 2004 field recordings were still in existence, these were sent instead, and so, when Bird People went on retreat to Waidhofen/Ybbs, the field recordings were used as the starting point for their piece. There was little discussion over what would be produced, although some basic operating principles were agreed: 1. the recording should be made as part of one single event, rather than a series of 'takes' or overdubs; 2. all instruments should be wholly acoustic, although processing could take place after the event; 3. the final Bird People piece should be exactly the same length as the Restless Dead piece. The results are the 23-odd minutes of Side B."
Side One
The Restless Dead Meet the Dervishes of Khartoum in a Confluence-of-the-Nile (23:11)

Side Two
Bird People Meet the Dervishes of Khartoum in a Confluence-of-the-Nile (23:11)

Recorded, edited & produced by the Leith Hill Recordings Mobile Unit & Bird People November MMIV-April MMXIV
Khartoum, Histon, Cambridge, Asmara, Vienna, Waidhofen / Ybbs

RASTREJO - Fractura de Miramientos - FEF33

Valencia's José Guerrero is a veteran of past and present bands such as Betunizer, Jupiter Lion, Cuello, Zener, and La Orquesta del Caballo Ganador. Rastrejo is his solo vehicle to explore various experimental tangents. 

This release delivers a sort of brutally minimal lo-fi dance exotica. Think Vega and Rev jamming with Sun Ra in a sleazy Mediterranean dockland club.

Side One
1) Estucato (1:20)    2) Malgastando Pubis (4:09)
3) Mi Querida Veleta (3:09)

Side Two
1) Me Gusta (1:50)    
2) Palitroque en tu Cara (3:21)
3) Mercader de Sencillos + Ballesta sin Fisuras (4:53)

listen / buy

Recorded during June 2013 at Plataforma Continental Studio in Valencia, Spain. 

ONDNESS - Surf e Performance - FEF32

Ondness is an electronic project by Lisbon's Bruno Silva. These murky loops seem unassuming until you're drawn into a subterranean vortex of mesmerising viscosity that occasionally coalesces into off-kilter techno.

Side One
1) Baxia de Crocodilo (6:18)
2) To Covarde (7:28)

Side Two
1) Thuja (7:46)
2) Curare (9:42)

listen / buy

Mastered by Carlos Nascimento

Artwork by Sara Rafael

CHIODATA - Dymensu - FEF31

Claudio Cisterna from Santiago has released a couple of fine tapes on Metaphysical Circuits under the name Jon Claudio. 

Chiodata is a new project that combines analogue and digital synthesis and editing in a style he defines as "baroque ambient".  The constantly shifting liquid palette of sounds reflects a multitude of points along the synth continuum, from 60s electroacoustic experimentation, to 70s Kosmische and the present day explorations of OPN.

Side One
1) Infliga Theoretical (4:13)
2) Croyances (4:32)
3) Cossiva (4:18)
4) Fidesea (4:44)

Side Two
1) The Gategua (2:28)
2) Autumnal (5:13)
3) Sagamor (3:42)
4) The Agalibu (5:11)

listen / buy

All tracks by Claudio Cisterna. 
Santiago, Chile 2012-2013

Monday, August 11, 2014


Control Unit combine the volatile, spectrum-spanning vocals and synth of Silvia Kastel with the brutally focused extended techniques of guitarist Ninni Morgia. Though their style occasionally recalls Industrial and No Wave forebears such as Throbbing Gristle, Suicide and Mars, their spontaneity, urgency and sonic inventiveness place them firmly in the present. 

Of their LP The Fugitives Julian Cope wrote, "It’s like Catherine Deneuve dumped two cases of post-Repulsion psychiatric notes over Pere Ubu’s Dub Housing, lit the fuse and, ahem, stood well back". Besides such duo work, the pair have made collaborative records with Gary Smith, Factrix, Massimo, and Smegma's Ju Suk Reet Meate among others.

On Burn, the duo are joined by two alternating guest drummers for some of their most concise and direct material, enveloping you in grimy environments vivid with emotional tension and erotic distress. It's simultaneously always avant garde yet always rock'n'roll.

Side One
1) Real Close ~  (3.34)
2) Burn *  (6.58)
3) Not Now *  (5.21)

Side Two
1) Yes, Indeed ~ (4.40)
2) Sunrise *  (5.48) 
3) Domino ~  (6.53)

Control Unit are:

Silvia Kastel: voice, synth, slide whistle
Ninni Morgia: guitar, bass, percussion, slide whistle

with guests:

Marcello Magliocchi: drums & percussion on ~
Giorgio Maniglia: drums on *

Edition of 100.

AMANDA FEERY - Spells from the Ice Age - FEF29

Amanda Feery is a composer based in Ireland and the U.S. who writes for acoustic and electroacoustic ensembles, and has a particular interest in exploring vocal and folk elements. This collection of piano improvisations is her first release. In her own words:

"The improvisations on Spells from the Ice Age began from nothing - a blank canvas starved of any preconceived ideas. The idea was to work with blind intuition. I envisioned each improvisation as a performance, with an audience there with me. That way, I couldn't stop the recording if I thought the performance had errors, or lacked direction. I 'composed' against the minute hand on the wall, trying to sculpt a complete form through repetition, variation, and silence (whilst I panicked about where to go next!). I get a strange amnesiac effect when I listen back to the recordings. It's like somebody else played them".

Side One
1) Butterbean   (9:31)
2) Nocturne for the Old Raver  (7:58)
3) Scrabble You  (7:51)

Side Two
1) Tilted Slightly Out of True  (12:24)
2) The Immunity Room  (13:37)

Performed and recorded by Amanda Feery 

Mastered by Dunk Murphy 
Artwork by Barry Quinn 

Edition of 100.


"The State Pathologist Dr. John Harbison" is a familiar moniker to anyone who followed Irish news from the 1970s on. Less well known is the short-lived death metal trio that appropriated the name, featuring guitarist Andy Cunningham (who subsequently formed Wreck of the Hesperus and more recently Malthusian), drummer Niall O'Reilly (later of Haieeta) and mysterious bassist Bren. This 2002 demo was the bands only recording and still sounds impressive, full of memorable riffs and strong drumming. As it was only briefly available in physical form, we thought it worthwhile to revive the old cadaver for those of a morbid bent, with appropriately grisly new Cunningham cover art. Edition of 50.

Note: the only available audio sources of this material (particularly the second side) were less than optimum. However, mastering by John O'Brien of Irish Metal Archive yielded listenably lo-fi results. Check out his site for more Irish metal obscurities.

Side One
Veins of the Earth / Going Down (5:59)

Side Two
Prey to God (2:56)
Jungle Rot (3:21)

Guitar/Vox: Andy Cunningham 
Bass/Vox: Bren 
Drums/Percussion: Niall O’Reilly 

Recorded & originally released in 2002 

Track 1 also appeared on the Underground Movement 
comilation CD “InToxicated... Vol. 2” in 2003 

Audio exhumed & emblamed by John O’Brien in 2014