Kamelmauz-soundz at Bandcamp used to just be the net that captured sonics tossed over the rail. However, following from a brilliant idea by Dave Stafford, I’m now sticking the strays into a single recording that will continue to grow as long as I send some of my children its way.
Unity, on the other hand, collects together the strays once scatters about kamelmauz-soundz. It also is the sixth Kamelmauz recording.
Then there’s a Kamelmauz on Soundcloud, that puts there odds and ends taken from various recordings, and stuff always also available on Bandcamp, either at soundz or the main site. At Soundcloud the emphasis will be on recordings that use the iPad/IOS music-making paradigm.
At the end of last year one if the developers of the remarkable gestural synthesizer/controller/sampler Jesper Nordin invited me by email to be a featured artist on the new, redesigned Gestrument web site. I thought about it for half a nano-second and told Jesper,
Last week I learned who the other featured artists were, enabling me to figure out roughly how out of their league I was; and it is a fairly large amount out of the league of Jordan Rudess of Dream Theatre and techno master Richard Devine I be!
Today the web site was rolled out.
The Kamelmauz page features a three track video I made featuring Gestrument as sampler, Gestrument as controller, and Kamelmauz as pedal steel guitar cosmonaut. On my page are samples from Soundcloud and patches (presets) I designed. And, to my amazement the patches are also included in the new update of Gestrument.
The essay on the Kamelmauz page explains much, but I’ll add that I’ve been working with Gestrument for over a year, yet I’ve just scratched the surface. It’s such a deep instrument that I’ve focused on but a subset of its capabilities. There are lots of video demos on the new web site that show what Gestrument can do.
For the moment I’m the only sound artist using Gestrument with pedal steel guitar. Video.
Not at all incidentally, the two most recent Kamelmauz recordings solely feature Gestrument as a sound source.
is a mix of the short tracks from this:
The KamelmauzSoundcloud account is all Gestrument at the moment.
Nuru Kane, a Senegalese singer and guitarist, calls his band and musical style ‘Baye Fall Gnawa,’ or simply ‘BFG,’ referencing in one breath the religious group to which he belongs (a sub-group of the Islamic Sufi Mouride brotherhood) and a style of traditional trance music from Morocco. “Why is a Senegalese musician playing Moroccan music in France?” you might ask. via Afropop
John Tchicai – Tribal Ghost Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell - Old Yellow Moon
Sylvia Versini Orchestra – With Mary Lou in My Heart Ben Zabo – Ben Zabo Mazzy Star – Seasons of Your Day Lonnie Holley – Just Before Music Julianna Barwick – Nepenthe Lustmord – The Things That Were Janelle Monae – The Electric Lady The Band – Live at the Academy of Music Abdullah Ibrahim – Mukashi Once Upon a Time
comments: It occurs to me, thanks mostly to Harvey Pekar, that I am in my fifth decade as a jazz fanatic. The attrition of jazz masters has been slow and sure for decades. Looked at generationally, the be-bop masters have almost all expired. Last year my friend, singer Sathima Bea Benjamin died suddenly with her last great artistic summit right in front of her. Then: Stan Tracey! John Tchicai! I mention this because my listing here of favorite records, chosen from hundreds I encountered last year, is chock full of near old timers.
Corea, Brotzman, Wadada Leo Smith, were all born in 1941. Munoz, Holland, Guy, Perelman, Gonzalez, Fujii, Melford, were all born between 1946-1958. My generation.
In my muso’s world, the above are all well-known qualities. Each in their distinctive way is at the top of their artistic endeavor. If you are an older swinging moldy fogy than I am, and you’re going to buy but a single jazz record this year from last year: Roswell Rudd’s Trombone For Lovers. Feeling more ambitious but still–after so many years–not into raw experimentation, try Jane Ira Bloom’s meditative outing.
Everybody else check out the brilliant big little band record by Sylvia Versini. If you like pre-electric Gil Evans, it’s a no-brainer. Versini is really one to keep an ear on.
The Tchicai date is my favorite of the year. It’s free bop with the slippery rhythms Tchicai enjoyed rambling over.
Brotzman and Parker issued extravagant box sets drawn from their private archives. Each is essential without reservation for anybody who appreciates the gargantuan artistry and force of will at work in their decades-long quest.
Turning to the younger generation, the central reality of jazz today is that it is a global musical culture animating an intense syncreticism. This means wave after wave of fascinating music coming at the listener during our Age of Documentation.
If this year I favor the oldsters, it is probable that next year I won’t have the luxury. My attention is being pulled as it always has been pulled, toward the most daring improvised hunters and gatherers. Of the up-and-comers, none was better to me than the small ensemble post-bop offered by guitarist Mary Halvorsen and the second chapter let fly by saxophonist Matana Roberts. You wouldn’t be in a position to have an opinion on contemporary jazz if you haven’t dealt with those two records.
Single of the Year The Flaming Lips – Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds Olivia Harris & Bruce Richardson – Up On the Roof (iTunes)
This year settles it for me, as far as rock and pop goes I’m no longer going to devote a heckuva lot of time to figuring out what the kids are into. I have to surrender to the verities that brought me here, songcraft, melodious harmonies, and slide guitars. Bingo: Mazzy Star hits a homerun with their triphopamericana comeback, a record soaked in tunefulness and slide and steel guitars. Mikal Cronin may have some appeal to the much younger generation but it seems to me the markers are all pegged to the late sixties, or, alternately Mott the Hoople and Queen. My Bloody Valentine strikes again and not much has changed–a very good thing except for having to read the adjective ‘gauzy’ too many times. Vampire Weekend surprised me. ‘Goth power pop’ sez I, crudely aiming my old fogey bag o’ categories; still, a terrific record.
Then there is home base, country and country rock and folk rock and nice singing and somgs set in the real world. The best singing is found on The Civil Wars, the saddest duo in the history of rock and roll. Neko Case is also dour on her best record so far. Kacey Musgraves isn’t sad, she’s mad. Brandy Clark sings like an angel. Dawes harken back to the folk rock band America, except they are much better songwriters, players, and there’s no top forty hippie radio anymore.
Just go plunk down $1.29 for Up On the Roof. You’ll be glad you did.
The Band – Live at the Academy of Music 1971 Bill Payne‘s “Tracing Footsteps” with Dennis McNally 2013-05-17 (all shows) Grateful Dead – Dave’s Picks Vol. 7 Jimi Hendrix Experience – Miami Pop Festival (iTunes)
Bonus: best bootleg: Graham Parker & The Rumour – The Stone Pony (Asbury Park, NJ) 2013-04-19
comment: Five unreleased tracks key The Band’s Academy of Music deluxe set. Fans get something more in that this set showcases a Bob Clearmountain mix the cornerstone live date Rock of Ages and provides a nicely saturated and visceral mix of the later set in discs 3 & 4. Every year brings more remastered Grateful Dead goodies from the prime 1968-1974 era. Hendrix is God.
Little Feat keyboardist Bill Payne has been touring as a solo act and has used the opportunity to tell about the history of Little Feat. He is a natural raconteur. I hope more dates pile up on archive.org. I had to pick one. All the ‘Tracing Footsteps’ dates supply a piece of the Little Feat & Bill Payne puzzle.
comment: The reunion of Harris and Crowell fulfills expectations: it’s transcendental. On the song Back When We Were Beautiful, Emmylou evokes Edith Piaf. Aussies Finn and Kelly acoustic power pop is cheery and grown-up. Both Dan Baird and The Del Lords appropriate the attack of Sticky Fingers era Rolling Stones and deliver the old school rock and roll goods. It’s especially explosive to have The Del Lords tossing grenades again. Linda Thompson’s comeback record is full of felicitous moments and heartfelt expression–and it seems to me to be her finest hour. Guy Clark is what Bob Dylan would be if contemporary Dylan were more observant, less self-satisfied, and, consistently true to a deep artistic vision.
The Clash – Sound System The Beach Boys – 50th Anniversary Box Set
Revolutionary punk or reactionary power-pop. What floats your boat?
Experitronic is my catch-all terms for: electronica, experimental, modern classical, ambient, noise, soundscapes, drum & bass, techno, and did I mention experimental? It names the sonic space my own music making takes place in.
Growing up in rural Louisiana and then later on a farm in Missouri, Julianna Barwick was a preacher’s daughter at a church whose organ got very little use. “We would always sing a cappella,” she explained in an interview a few years ago, “And instead of instruments we would clap or sing in rhythmic rounds.” A curious kid and a bit of a loner, Barwick showed a precocious fascination with the human voice. Her hobbies included harmonizing with random sounds, making up songs about whatever she was doing at the moment, and singing long, loud notes in hollowed-out spaces like parking garages and inside the trunk of a giant tree just to see what the echo would sound like. “It sounds kinda psycho, I know,” she admitted in our interview, but sometimes “I would sing to myself and get so lost in it that I would cry.”
Actually, it doesn’t sound that crazy; it’s very easy to become lost in the music that Barwick now makes as an adult. Over the span of her career, from her imaginative 2006 debut LPSanguine up through 2011′s dazzling breakthrough The Magic Place (the name is a nod to that aforementioned giant tree trunk, where she’d unwittingly discovered reverb), Barwick’s gradually refined a process that is at once inventive and incredibly simple. She sings short, reverb-drenched, often wordless vocal fragments into a loop station (though she made the loops on the painstakingly lo-fi Sanguine using just a guitar pedal) and layers them into luminous compositions that feel like the aural equivalent of an airplane ride through a cloud. Toweringly sublime yet invitingly human, her music has an uncanny power to transform whatever space it’s played in. It can make a cramped apartment feel like a high-ceilinged cathedral, or– when she plays in one– an actual cathedral feel like a gear-cluttered basement show. -Lindsay Zoladz, Pitchfork
comment, new releases: This year it turns out the top of the list elevates lots and lots of experiments gone very very right. Ms. Barwick uses her voice and Rebekah Heller uses a bassoon, but the end result is equally gripping. The most mainstream electronica here is Darkside’s Psychic, yet Nicholas Jaar and Dave Harrington seemingly render an 80′s soundtrack as if such a thing could be built today using the audio equivalent of Photoshop. It is splendid in its imagining what a mind meld between Derrick May and Pink Floyd and Giorgio Moroder might have sounded like.
Brian Lustmord’s journey with the human voice is unique in his output of grey scale ambient, and, it provides one of the best covers of the year. Aidan Baker is prolific; releasing eleven recordings this year. Likewise, Steve Roach, now on Bandcamp, released ten recordings. In any given year, if any two musical giants do so, it is highly probable I will note where the highest peaks are located at year-end. Curran, Cohen, and Krause are all older than I am and more power to aging explorers! Special thanks to Morphosis for bringing Cohen’s spare Buchla techno back into the light of day.
The reissues travel from Lustmord’s dark ambient, to The Hafler Trio’s UK techno, to Muslimgauze’s dependable Middle-eastern industrial, to Celer’s ambient scraping. Different strokes for different folks and each is delightful in, well, unique and different ways.
King Tubby – Hometown Hi-Fi Dubplate Specials 1975-1979 (ForcedExposure) va – Goush Bedey Funk, Psychedelia Iranian Pre-Revolution Generation va – Hassaniya Music from the Western Sahara and Mauritania (Amazon)
comment: Jyotsna Srikanth’s record features her soaring Carnatic violin in a small group setting. After hearing her thrilling record, I dug around, especially on Youtube, and learned she is also an innovative auteur of musical settings. Nana and Nitin are iconic artists to me and so superb new records are easy to highlight. Whereas the enigmatic Franco-American Shehan, he–who knows 14 languages and plays 500 instruments, impressed with his warm virtuosity on hang-drum. Doara provides a fun ride through contemporary Brazilian urban music; its take-away is that I hope psychedelic hip-hop finds its way north.
Hometown Hi-Fi Dubplate Specials is the legendary King Tubby’s best compilation, so it is also essential and a cornerstone in any collection of reggae. Goush Bedey Funk begs the question of how Iranian guitarists obtained guitar pedals in the seventies. Hassa?ni?ya Music is trance music fit for closing ones eyes and breathing into the feet while lying comfortably.
1. Release lots of music,
2. Conquer your backyard.
3. Skip the middleman.
4. Work with people who ‘get it.’
6. Own your publishing.
7. Learn the skills people want to rent to you.
8. Use the internet
9. Seed interest with freebees
10. Get everybody’s name/email and give them something free in return.
11. Use your artistry to educate.
13. Have fun; if you’re not having fun you’re not fully honoring your blessed talents and good fortune.
14. Plan and Be Attentive to Lucky Moments
15. Three decade + long careers almost always require one to be healthy