Listed: cLOUDDEAD + Aero
Anticon affiliated ensembles come in many forms and create many different types of music. While Themselves are, perhaps, the flagship Anticon name, cLOUDDEAD (who actually record on Mush Records), are the most ambitious, exciting, and successful of any of the many Anticon-related projects. cLOUDDEAD (comprised of Doseone, why? and odd nosdam) released their self-titled debut - an uneven and confusingly captivating experiment in un-hop - in 2001. While it was certainly perplexing (in a good way), it was too 'out-there' for many to take seriously (i.e. lines like "Zack Taylor was underground!"). Their new album, the recently released Ten (Mush) is an album like no other (in all the best ways). Its intricate melodies and completely unsystematic approach to songwriting/song-assembling revolutionizes previous notions of hip hop's limits as a genre, taking ideas from their debut album (esoteric samples/subject matters) and combining them with lush melodies and smooth beats. Its tonal novelty would make it a perfect template for years of imitation and emulation, but fortunately its precision and perfection would seem to be unapproachable. Ten is now available on Mush Records.
1. Outkast - Atliens (Arista) - I don't know. I was gonna pick Aquemini, but I find every time I go to listen to that one, I just play Andre's verse from 'Return of the Gangsta' really fucking loud on repeat while I dance around my cottage like a fucking asshole on crank. (why?)
2. Jessica Bailiff - s/t (Kranky) - I got a real weakness for music like this... everything that I love about Flying Saucer Attack, Windy & Carl, Amp & My Bloody Valentine... big breathy vocals over slow, dreamy, droned out guitars... and there's this HOT bass solo on the second song that someone needs to loop and put a phat beat over. (odd nosdam)
3. Robert Wyatt - Cuckooland (Ryko) - o.g. Rob Murda's latest record... doing what he does best... beautiful bedroom music for a half eaten earth. (Doseone)
4. Aswad - A New Chapter of Dub (Mango) - This a fucking solid-ass dub album. This has been a favorite of mine for over ten years now... very tastefully dubbed by Mikey Dread & the Aswad dudes. For some reason I never see this record anywhere. (odd nosdam)
5. Fog - Hummer (Ninja Tune) - If God does have a list, Andrew Broeder is on it... laughter and hardcore together at last. (Doseone)
6. Silver Jews - Natural Bridge (Drag City) - I just love this one so much. It's so fucking honest and real. I've been listening to it for a couple years in heavy rotation and I just don't get tired of it. My girlfriend Anna loves this one too. (why?)
7. Mr. Dibbs - The 30th Song (Rhymesayers) - I bought this cd because of all the old 4 Ways 2 Rock shit. I forgot how dope Brad's stuff from 96, 97, 98 was. I used to bug Brad at his radio show in Cincinnati, tryin to get him to scratch on my shit, so even though Dibbs kicked me out of the 1200 Hobos (whatever though), and is/was on the Atkin's diet, he's still a huge inspiration for me and I highly recommend this collection of his best works. (odd nosdam)
8. Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works (Warp) - I like to put this on when I need to settle down... like when I'm coming down off PCP or ladybugs. It's perfect when I'm on the nod, chewing on newspaper and scratching the backs of my knees with an old chopstick. (why?)
9. Hrvatski - Swarm & Dither (Planet Mu) - Fact is, it hasn't left my coffee table since it came out. Perfect for writing Top-Ten's on a blanched blue Oakland Wednesday day... and most of what life requires. (Doseone)
10. Buck 65 - Vertex (the o.g. serving time 90 minute cassette tape) - When I met Doseone in early 98, he put me on to so much amazing, truly inspired hip-hop that I never knew existed. I met Buck in 98 and I told him that, for me, Vertex was like my 3 Feet High & Rising experience all over again... it's obvious to me when I listen to our older music how much we were all inspired by Vertex. (odd nosdam)
Aero is the solo project of apestaartje co-founder and label head Koen Holtkamp. His work has been described as "a complex synthetic recreation of something unspecifically organic, in other words, an assemblage of sound capable of transforming the listener's conception of time and space." (AG, other music) He has performed throughout Europe during 2003-4 and at several festivals including The New York Experimental Film Festival (2001) with Carston Nicolai (Noto), I-Sound, and Fennesz, The Nice On No Frame Festival with Minamo and Collin Olan at The Hideout, Chicago (2002) and as a part of a rotating ensemble who performed Nicholas Collins 'Devil's Music' at the Empty Bottle in Chicago (2002). His second album titled rises and falls was released on apestaartje in November 2003. Tape / Aero and Anderegg will be on a tour of the East Coast shorlty, and here are the dates:
*ten reasons i continue to watch and listen
1. Ernie Gehr - Along with Hollis Frampton, Michael Snow, Paul Sharits and other so called 'structuralist' filmmakers Ernie Gehr developed a new style of filmmaking in the late 60's which took predetermined and simplified forms as the main subject matter for a film. Gehr's films rarely include people focusing more on basics like exposure, light and time. His always evident hand poetically transforms each given space into an entirely new and extremely vibrant creation. Highlights include Wait his second film from 1968, a still life caught in motion literally blurring the boundaries between movement and stasis. Like watching a Gerhard Richter painting come to life.
2. Arthur Russell - World of Echo (Upside) - The duo of recently released discs are fine examples of someone pushing the limitations of there craft in a uniquely personal way but people are in for a real treat when Russels's World of Echo finally makes its way into the swell of reissues that seem to be appearing in ever-increasing succession. The link that binds both Russels disco-house productions and his avant-garde tendencies World of Echo is a heartbreaking one of a kind type of document. Focusing solely on Russel's voice and cello, both drenched in a fractured echo, the album resonates with a unique innocence not often found on records from this time period. A stunning portrait of a singular voice. Originally released on Upside in 1986 World of Echo and will be widely available on cd format very soon.
3. Tape - One of my favorite current groups. Tape is an electroacoustic trio from Sweden made up of Johan Berthling, Andreas Berthling and Tomas Hallonsten on guitars, laptop, pedals, synthesizers, harmonium, melodica, field recordings and about 10 other miscellaneous instruments. They have released two excellent discs on there own Hapna label. A seemingly effortless balance of folkish song forms and experimental texture with beautiful arrangements that accentuate every detail. Looking forward to hearing what they do in the future.
4. Shaker furniture - All practicality aside I find shaker furniture to be some of the most visually satisfying design work that I have come across. Repeating patterns, simple forms, beautiful craftsmanship what more could you need...
5. Ken Jacobs' nervous system projector performances - An elder statesman of the avant garde film community, Ken Jacobs has been making uncompromising and powerful experimental films on super 8 and 16mm for forty plus years. More recently he has dedicated a large portion of his time to refining and performing what he calls his 'nervous system projector performances'. Using what looks to be a projector with some hand made and manipulated shutters Jacobs slowly transforms shapes and colors creating truly mesmerizing three dimensional allusions. As close to magic as I have ever seen. Apparently he will be performing with Black Dice at an upcoming performance at Anthology. Not to be missed.
6. Vashti Bunyan - Just Another Diamond Day (Spinney) - Nice to see this gaining much recognition via the new psych folk revival that seems to be spreading like wildfire in these parts. Honestly one of my all time favorite records this is. Every song is a gem. After being disillusioned with the recording industry as the story goes Vashti Bunyan went off in the woods and recorded Just Another Diamond Day with some friends including members of the Incredible String Band. Though it's not that stylistically different from many other records made by her contemporaries Just Another Diamond Day is that rare sparkling glimpse into a brief period of time. Vashti's soft almost angelike voice whispers in the foreground accompanied only by minimal acoustic instrumentation. If I could only have one record perhaps this would be it.
7. Akio Suzuki - Odds & Ends (Horen) - A difficult one to put into words. Akio Suzuki is an inventor of sound making tools which he himself then manipulates often combining them with different aspects of nature such as the wind or the acoustical properties of a space. With only the fewest of ingredients he creates an amazingly organic sound-world unlike anything else. There is a wonderful playfulness to the pieces contained on Odds & Ends that rarely makes it's way into more contemporary modes of experimentation. Recorded between 1975-2001 Odds & Ends reflects an acute ear and and an extremely tranquil sense of exploration. A definite precedent to the more hands on aspects of what people refer to as 'lowercase' as well as the more scientific approach of Toshiya Tsunoda and the wrk group. Would love to see Suzuki perform live one day...
8. Ian Mathews - Southern Comfort & If You Saw Thro' My Eyes (Decca/Vertigo) - These two circular gems have been spinning constantly at the apestaartje house these last couple months. After a stint in Fairport Convention (he contributed to their first two records then subsequently split during the recording of their third and my favorite Fairportrecord Unhalfbricking) he began work on his solo career. For Mathews' first album Southern Comfort (recorded for Decca in 1969) he assembled a new band including ex-bandmates Richard Thompson and Simon Nicol as well as other notable British folkies such as Dolly Collins. More bluesy and less pretentious then Fairport, with it's slide guitar and rock rhythms Southern Comfort sounds more like it was recorded in Nashville then England. Highlights include a haunting dirge titled "the Watch" with a narrative which vaguely resembles Edgar Allen Poe's classic "The Tell-Tale Heart". For his fifth record If You Saw Thro' My Eyes (recorded for Vertigo in 1971) he assembled a new cast of performers and arrangers including Keith Tippets and Sandy Denny. Slightly more intimate and lighter then his work on Southern Comfort, If You Saw Thro' My Eyes is overflowing with lush arrangements and has a wonderful overall spaciousness. It's worth it for Keith Tippets daftly punctuated piano playing on "Never Ending" alone.
9. Phill Niblock's 6 hour winter solstice performances - I was lucky enough to attend this fantastic event for 3 years in a row. My much needed yearly head cleaning. Every year at Experimental Intermedia for the winter solstice Phil Niblock projects his films and videos while playing a selection of his own compositions for 6 hours. Densely layered drones gradually shift as performers occasionally pick up a guitar or trombone to accompany a piece often while walking around the space to incorporate different aspects of it's acoustical properties. I've certainly been to many louder concerts but Niblock achieves a certain denseness that goes beyond pure listening into somewhere altogether more physical and dare I say transcendent. One can imagine the general feeling is calm. Check it out.
10. Eliane Radigue - Adnos I-III (Table of the Elements) - While Radigue has many fine works, Adnos I-III stands out as the most focused reflection of her overall oeuvre. An elegant provocateur of classical minimalism Eliane Radigue studied with Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry for a numbers of years in the late 50's going on to later reject the 'musique concrete' aesthetic and even later become interested in Tibetan Buddhism. Recorded from 1975-83 and created with an Arp synthesizer and various filtering processes Adnos is a almost mystical blend of fluttering tones that drifts in and out of focus. Each cd features one piece ("Adnos" I-II respectively) that begins with a single tone which then slowly blossoms into slightly more complex modulations. Each successive piece reaches just a bit higher but Radigue's strength is in her restraint. The overall sound slowly transforms pulling the listener continually deeper into a new mode of listening where duration becomes incomprehensible and the slightest change seems monumental. Somewhat similar to other classical minimalists such as La Monte Young or Folke Rabe but more personal and less aggressive in nature. Beautiful 3 CD box with fancy inserts, Table of the Elements continues with their increasingly impressive packaging.
By Dusted Magazine