Listed: The One Ensemble of Daniel Padden + Carlos Giffoni
Carlos Giffoni has recently become an essential name in Brooklyn's active electronics and noise scene. His formidable improv talents have landed him gigs with everyone from Kevin Drumm to Dino Felipe to Nautical Almanac. Born in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, Giffoni toured the United States three times and Japan once with Monotract while living in Miami in the late 1990's. He moved To New York in 2001. See the Monotract site for details on Giffoni's upcoming tour of Europe, which begins May 30th. His newest CD, a collaboration with Nels Cline, Lee Ranaldo, and Thurston Moore, is set for a mid-June release.
For those in the New York area, Giffoni is playing Saturday May 17 with Nels Cline and Chris Corsano. at officeOps in Brooklyn at 9 p.m.
1. Nautical Almanac Any and all recordings. - Working with rewired electronics from sound toys, electronic lab testing equipment and homemade bliss, this is the most original band this side of the globe has produced in a very long time, and my favorite to see perform live at this point in time. But you don't have to check them out. You can continue being cool and listening to those "hip" bands trying to create clones of Boredoms' Vision Creation Newsun, or the ones manufacturing 60's psych rock rip-offs. Shame on you mr. hipster, shame on you.
2. Juan Amenabar - Amacata Electroacoustic and tape composition from Chile. Juan Amenabar was on the lead of the South American modern composer scene in the late 60's and early 70's. This is a collection of some of his works. Includes a piece called 'Klesis' based on the structure of the Fibonacci number series. This record also has the ugliest cover I've ever seen.
3. Nels Cline + Greg Bendian - Interstellar Space Revisited: The Music of John Coltrane (Atavistic) Why would you want to play everything on, perhaps, the wildest sax-drums jazz album ever made? Furthermore you want to do it using guitar and drums? Well. First of all because you can, secondly because you can add your own voice and recreate the effect that the original probably had on music listeners at the time: pure amazement. Nels' guitar playing made me realize I was better off trying to get better at playing electronics. The top had already been reached. Seeing this performed live 3 times is one of the highlights of the last 2 1/2 years living in new york city.
4. Lighting Bolt - Wonderful Rainbow (Load) -Compositions for octagonal drums and modified dual bass that destroy classification. Louder, faster, and maybe more meaningful than their previous output, this one brings memories of some of the best live sets I've seen anyone play. Falling down dozens of times in top of a drumset while getting showered in beer and sweat and being endlessly pushed around couldn't feel any better. Perfect for driving and getting speeding tickets.
5. Kevin Drumm - Sheer Hellish Miasma (Mego) Kevin Drumm's first cd, Guitar, was a masterful example on how silence can be used to contrast with interesting sounds and create unusual moods. I've seen someone get really dizzy inside a car after I played the whole thing on a recent road trip. On this one however, silence is almost nonexistent, perhaps unnecessary, is substituted with a massive wall of infinitely changing sound. Heavy.
6. The Silver Apples - Silver Apples (Kapp) Oscillator-drum duo that blew minds of hippies in the late 60's, the Silver Apples came back around 1998. They did a couple of tours and I saw them when I was attending FSU, in Tallahassee. Simeon's oscillators were loud as hell and covering the room with algorithm magic while the drum beats gave the sound an anchor that kept everything together. I've seen them twice more but that was the only time the oscillators were so loud and clear. It totally changed my view on what songs are supposed to be like. Simeon is a kick ass guy who is back to recording music after a horrifying accident, recently I found out that he did a track for some compilation, and he has tons of other projects in the oven for the near future. Listening to the track on a listening booth made me run home and put the cd in repeat/full volume mode once again.
7. Jad Fair and Jason Willet - Superfine (Public Eyesore) Completely different from other releases in which Jad has been involved. Jason Willet's instrumentation provides a completely insane and precise background to Jad's signature voice and lyrics. This is on the Public eyesore label! Watch out!
8. La Corte - Imperia (Latin World) Venezuelan bad ass hip hop crew. 'Directo de las cloacas': el DJ13, Tony Armas, Mal de Sambito, Johnny Flecha, Diego de la Vega and Apolonia tell it like it really is. Tony actually spent his teenage years in Harlem, so some of this is in half English/half Spanish. Came out in 2000, not sure what LA corte is up to nowadays. www.lacorteimperia.com.
9. Boredoms - Chocolate Synthesizer (Reprise) This cd still sounds fresher than almost anything out there after 10 years of its release. The Boredoms keep mutating and changing, leaving a path that's impossible yet extensively liberating to follow.
10. Arthur Doyle - The Songwriter (Audible Hiss) Legendary free jazz musician Arthur Doyle stayed in this Bushwick apartment for 3 days the last time he played new york city. Ask me about it sometime.
Bonus Track: Yousuke Kawamura - This Nagoya Native played two of the Monotract Japan tour last year. He uses a sawing machine that he re-wired and transformed into a midi controller. And uses it to trigger blasts of sound coming out of his laptop computer; the speed of the needle, every switch and button pushed in the sawing machine, radically change the parameters of the sound. Keep an eye/ear out for this guy, your clothes will never be safe again.
The One Ensemble of Daniel Padden
Daniel Padden is best known for his work in Volcano the Bear, whose "spacey avant chamber music" has been released by the likes of Beta-Lectam and Misra Records. Most recently, he has worked by himself as "The One Ensemble of Daniel Padden" to record a self titled solo album of loosely-structured minial folk for the revered Catsup Plate label. The One Ensemble of Daniel Padden is now available from Catsup Plate.
These records elbowed me towards further musical riches. I should probably have included Faust, Sun Ra, the first 3 Kraftwerk albums, Duke Ellington, Robert Wyatt, Coltrane, Mingus, the whole Nonesuch Explorer Series and the whole Secret Museum Of Mankind series at the very least.
1. Harry Smith Anthology of American Folk Music (Smithsonian/Folkways) - I don't know if I can say anything about this anthology that hasn't already been said, but every home should have one. I've had it for a few years now, and listened to it hundreds of times, yet it still feels like this huge untapped behemoth of the weird and dusty. And of course it's just a fraction of Harry Smith's knowledge. (Try and get a copy of American Magus - I can't even begin to explain...)
2. Holger Czukay/Rolf Dammers - Canaxis (Mute) - Beautiful, haunting and strange. Canaxis fills the room with an ethereal mimimalism. Recorded around the same time Can formed. I could have put all of Can's first 5 albums on this list. In fact I will. But I can't start talking about them because I'll get very boring.
3. Moondog - Everything and anything. - Only discovered the blind and bearded revelation that is Moondog a few years ago. Odd non-western percussive sounds, unusual time signatures, full-on orchestral heaviness, madrigals and organ fugues. Listening to Moondog makes me feel less stupid.
4. The Residents - Not Available (East Side Digital) - Just beautiful. The Residents disturb some folks, but I do find this album amazingly beautiful. Again, I could put 3 or 4 Residents albums on this list, but this is the one that really gets me. I wish I liked their artwork more.
5. Captain Beefheart - (Almost) everything. - In many ways nothing comes close to Beefheart.
6. Charlie Haden - Liberation Music Orchestra (Impulse) - A folk album of jazz music, or something. Beautiful, inspirational and chaotic at the same time. Without hearing this record you could think it was some kind of rather damp jazz fusion. The playing on it is stunning, both individually and collectively. Records really aren't made like this anymore.
7. Meredith Monk - Key (Lovely Music) - The first Meredith Monk album I ever heard. It's a lot more raw than her later albums, which are also great. It's minimal, powerful and honest. There are folks who seem to have a problem with people experimenting with their voice - its like a musical taboo. Yoko Ono had the same reaction. If the same sounds were being made with electronics or a guitar then nobody would care. Her music is very much an extended traditional music that feels grounded and joyous.
8. Eric Dolphy - Out To Lunch (Blue Note) - Everything about this record is amazing. It's supposed to be a jazz record of course, but it's so far beyond that. Dolphy's playing is so unique and alien, and the other musicians are incredible. I think Tony Williams was 17 or 18 when he played on this record, and his drumming is bizarre, drunken and inspired, and makes my friend Butchy think of penguins. I believe it was recorded straight onto 2-track. I'm running out of superlatives.
9. Art Ensemble Of Chicago - A Jackson In Your House (Affinity) - Again, I could have put any number of Art Ensemble records on this list. They combined so many different musics together without it ever sounding like parody or pastiche. Fantastic musicianship, and a very playful nature with it. As with a lot of 'experimental' or 'avant-garde' bands, I think they were very traditional in their musical outlook, and were very aware of where music came from, and how powerful and strange it could be. They were also wonderfully aware of the idea of ritual in music, which is becoming a rare thing nowadays. Another so-called 'jazz' band who were so much more.
10. The Young Tradition - Everything. - The Young Tradition were an English vocal trio around in the 60's. They sung uncommon harmonies with a powerful and strange open-throated style. Their folk songs had been passed down through generations (particularly from the Copper Family of Sussex), and included bawdy drinking songs, austere religious songs (like "The Lyke Wake Dirge") and rampant sea-shanties. I try and play "Chicken On A Raft" to as many people as i can. I can't help it. They split up because of a folk/medieval schism in the band, which is a pretty fine reason to split up.
By Dusted Magazine