Beyond Tape: Album Of The Week (Part B)
In 2020 I started a new one-year project:
The idea is to concentrate on albums that I always wanted to hear (in-depth). Albums that, for example, have been recommended to me by friends, that I discovered by chance or that you just need to listen to but for unknown reasons never found the time to do so.
My plan is to focus on albums that are new and undiscovered to me, those albums that are inspiring and encouraging to listen to more of the music of the artist or the genre. Exactly one album per week the whole year 2020.
The article is arranged into five parts:
Fink: Fink’s Sunday Night Blues Club, Vol. 1 (2017)
He mentioned the great artist Fink with his blues-oriented album called Fink’s Sunday Night Blues Club, Vol. 1, which is indeed a wonderful raw and rough album that I can also highly recommend.
Fin Greenall, known professionally as Fink, is an English singer, songwriter, guitarist, producer, and DJ born in Cornwall and currently based in Berlin and London. From 1997–2003 he focused on electronic music and DJ’d internationally.
Frank Zappa: Apostrophe (‘) (1974)
All right, I’ve always wanted to try and dive into the world of Frank Zappa. The thing is when I talk to Zappa fans they are usually very emotionally connected to his music and his person. There are words like non-conformity, musical virtuosity, satire of the American culture or just great lyrics.
This has always fascinated me, although I have never really experienced his music before.
There is even an annual music festival lasting several days, completely dedicated to the music of Zappa!
So some people say Frank Zappa (1940–1993) was not a musician, Frank Zappa was his own genre. He published 62 music albums during his lifetime as a composer, lyricist, songwriter, guitarist, vocalist, bandleader, conductor, producer, filmmaker.
While trying to put myself in his (musical) world, I came across this great discography overview. As suggested, I will now start with his eighteenth album Apostrophe (‘), released in March 1974, and work my way right through the blues and rock sections of the overview.
I am already very fascinated by this album, I must admit.
Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio: Live At KEXP! (2018)
I recently discovered this wonderful band from Seattle while browsing the KEXP! youtube channel. They perform this vintage soul from the 60’s and 70’s with such power and joy of expression that I was immediately captivated by them.
Andreas Söderström, Rickard Jäverling: Adelsö (2019)
Andreas Söderström and Rickard Jäverling are both big names in the scene for instrumental music in Sweden. Jäverling recently released a solo album on Höga Nord and he is also a part of Dödens Dal and Jäverling-von Euler. Söderström has released four albums as his alias ASS, Om Solen Väl Går Upp under his own name on Flora & Fauna and numerous more together with Johan Berthling (Fire Orchestra, Tape). He is also a part of the group Sjöarna.
Two guitars and field recordings. Minimal in its approach but with hidden layers beneath the surface. The album was recorded on the island of Adelsö in the middle of lake Mälaren. The water acts as both background noice and inspiration. Minimal and ambient sounding compositions with layers of natural depth. Daxophone, bass and vibraphone was added later in the studio in Årsta.
The release show for Adelsö took place at Restaurang Hjälmaren in Årsta, Stockholm. After the show Jäverling and Söderström donated the painting made for the album cover by Mats Qne Davidsson to the restaurant and you can now see it while you sit down to drink a “stor mellan”. It hangs in the north east corner above a green sofa.
Lustmord: Dark Matter (2016)
Brian Williams first made reference to Dark Matter back in 2001, and even then it was “long-delayed.” The album’s concept is still promising 15 years later: music made from recordings of deep space and cosmic activity between 1993 and 2003, collected from a variety of sources, including NASA. What does deep space sound like? It’s foreboding and impossibly huge, enveloping and empty all at once. In other words, it sounds like a Lustmord record, albeit a near-impenetrable one that makes his previous albums sound like a walk in the park.
(Full review on residentadvisor)
Brian Williams is a Welsh industrial musician, sound designer and film score composer. He is often credited for creating the dark ambient genre with albums recorded under the name Lustmord. His experimental work has been described as “not traditionally ‘musical’” with “more clearly visual aspects”.
Read this article where Lustmord discusses Three Decades of Dark Ambient Music.
Various Artists: Artificial Intelligence (1992)
Artificial Intelligence is a compilation album released via Warp on 6 July 1992. It is the first release in Warp’s Artificial Intelligence series. The album helped birth the genre that would later become known as intelligent dance music.
Warp described the new (post-rave electronic) music as electronic listening music to clarify that it was meant more for the mind than the body.
The sleevenote on the 1992 compilation said:
Are you sitting comfortably? Artificial Intelligence is for long journeys, quiet nights and club drowsy dawns. Listen with an open mind.
The series is remarkable for its inclusion of groups and individuals who would later become leaders in modern electronic music, techno, and ambient, such as Alex Paterson, Plaid, Richard D. James, Richie Hawtin, and Autechre.
Rob: Make It Fast, Make It Slow (1978)
Rob Roy Reindorf (Born in Accra in 1947 ) was an admirer of American artists Otis Reading, James Brown, Wilson Pickett and Ray Charles. He began his trade by learning the piano at a music school in Cotonou, Benin before venturing out to make what money he could by getting gigs with the movers and shakers of the Beninese music scene, namely Orchestre Poly-Rythmo and the Black Santiago. After learning the science of music composition, Rob returned to Ghana where he began to write his own songs and eventually sought the backing of a band, specifically one that had horns.
With religious overtones and a broody, slightly off-key atmosphere at points it’s certainly one of the stranger afro-funk records to come out of West Africa but with tracks like Loose up Yourself and Make it Fast, Make it Slow he nails it for sure.
Pharoah Sanders: Live In Paris (1975)
Pharoah Sanders (born 1940) is an American jazz saxophonist. A member of John Coltrane’s groups of the mid-1960s, Sanders is known for his overblowing, harmonic, and multiphonic techniques on the saxophone, as well as his use of “sheets of sound”.
He has released over 30 albums as a leader and has collaborated extensively with Leon Thomas, Alice Coltrane and Tisziji Muñoz, among others. Saxophonist Ornette Coleman described him as “probably the best tenor player in the world”.
Live In Paris (1975) captures a live performance by the Pharoah Sanders Quartet in the Grand Auditorium / Studio 104 on November 17th, 1975.
(Full review on bandcamp)
Madlib: Shades Of Blue (2003)
Madlib received a rare opportunity with unfettered access to the storied Blue Note archives and permission to use them as he wished for a remix/interpretation album released on Blue Note itself.
(Full review on allmusic.com)
Many thanks to Rory Dickenson who has introduced me to this wonderful mixture of Hip Hop, Jazz, Funk & Soul.
Move D: Kunststoff (1995)
Kunststoff, Move D’s first solo album, is a classic home-listening electronic music LP. By the time of its release, in 1995, Warp’s Artificial Intelligence series, The Orb, Biosphere and others had already expanded the potential for techno beyond the club and into the chill-out or living room. What made Kunststoff different, though, was the warmth it expressed through the Heidelberg artist’s machines, which gave the album a human quality.
(Full review on residentadvisor)
The article is arranged into five parts:
- Part A: Week 01–10
- Part B: Week 11–20 (You are here)
- Part C: Week 21–30
- Part D: Week 31–40
- Part E: Week 41–53
Enjoy listening, share this one or our other articles with your music friends. Of course, you can also write your personal inspiration in the comments section if you like. Stay curious!