This short live set from Cincinnati gods Wussy at local KEXP, despite the ad drops, shows the band in a better light than Forever Sounds, their 2016 release brought down by a handful of songs beneath their high standard.
On 3 June 2016 Björk debuted Björk Digital, a virtual reality exhibit showcasing all the VR videos completed for Vulnicura thus far, including the world premiere of “Notget”, directed by Warren du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones, at Carriageworks for Vivid Sydney 2016 in Sydney, Australia. She DJ’d the opening night party  and did the same when the show traveled to Tokyo, Japan on 29 June, showing at Miraikan. During the Miraikan residency, Björk made history by featuring in the world’s first ever virtual reality live stream broadcast on YouTube. She gave a live performance of Vulnicura’s final song “Quicksand”, and the footage will be incorporated into the “Quicksand” VR experience to be released at a later date. Björk Digital is expected to tour the globe for 18 months with its next stop in Montreal. source: Wikipedia
You know you’re in for a good rant when the person delivering said rant opens with “dear little miss media.”
And when the ranter is Björk, well, buckle up.
On December 16, during a highly anticipated appearance at Houston’s second annual Day for Night music festival, the Nordic singer revealed Björk Digital, a five-room installation where attendees could walk through an art exhibit, immerse themselves in a virtual reality version of “intense footage captured from inside [Bjork’s] mouth,” and listen to a music set programmed and deejayed by the artist herself.
The scene, which saw Björk wearing a mask and deejaying from behind a screen of foliage, drew a mix of responses, ranging from positive to negative to “WTF?” from both audiences and music critics (“The crowd remained rapt and respectful but didn’t always seem to know what to do,” hedged Joey Guerra at the Houston Chronicle). And many of the negative responses also seemed baffled: Why was Bjork obscured behind so many ferns? Why didn’t she perform her own music? Was that even her behind the mask?
Björk had a few things to say in response. In a Facebook post on December 21 (as well as a shorter post on Instagram), the singer used her most recent reviews as a jumping-off point to speak out against gender biases in the music industry (as she’s occasionally done in the past). Björk dismissed critics’ flummoxed response to her DJ set, arguing that they’d held her to a different standard than male artists performing similarly experimental work
Classic from 2011:
Ensemble Topogràfic (Anna Hierro and Carlos Martorell) make use of an armband controller. Her arm positions are sent via Bluetooth LE to an iPad controlling granular synths. Aleatoric elements, along with improvisation, mean the piece won’t be the same twice.
Lesley Flanagan, singer, composer, instrument builder, sound conceptualizer, deep listener
4. How could we make sound improve our lives?
I think it’s about listening. I feel that when we take time to truly listen — to actively engage in listening to another person, to music, to sounds in nature and in cities, to all the many sounds in world around us — we give ourselves time to be present in our lives. That’s very meaningful to me.
Five Sound Questions to Lesley Flanagan – via everydaylistening.com
Diane Birch is one of my favorite singers, oh, heck, she is my current favorite singer! Her new album Nous was released earlier this year, and is on Bandcamp. (I guess we’re sort of label mates in the new fangled version of not-really-a-label label mate.) Her youtube channel is worth spending an afternoon with. She is a terrific songwriter too.
Nous is a tour de force.
I discovered her on Daryl’s House.
Her admixture of the tamber of Carole King, Carly Simon, and Dusty Springfield results in one of pop’s most beguiling voices.
Rheyne’s live jams have been featured on Tim Webb’s Discchord forever. His new Bandcamp album is tasty.
Courtney Barnett‘s Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit came out in March last year. I got to it in late April. By May it seemed to me that unless Wussy delivered something unbeatable, Barnett’s second album would rule the roost.
She write indelible songs and delivers them directly. She helps me understand the younger generation.
Avant Gardener is from 2013. Courtney is from Australia.
“Mogees transforms anything into a musical instrument.”
It is about time!
(Film by Eric Minh Swenson) Dawn of the Cold Season refers directly to Forough Farrokhzad’s collections of poems “Let us Believe in the Beginning of the Cold Season” 1974, one of the most discussed books of original writing by an Iranian literary figure. This poem is the poet’s brave admission that she has passed on from the vibrancy, beauty and joy of youth and is inescapably deteriorating into old age.
Sussan Deyhim, the Iranian-American artist (in music, word, and image,) remains vital.
Ancient soul music.
Surely, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals will put out a studio record this year.
In the meantime, I discovered the musical bookend to current favorites, Wussy, a band named Alcoa.
Wussy Official Video!
I was really happy to see the fine actress Alicia Witt take a character role in last year’s season of Justified. It wasn’t the best season of my favorite TV show, but it did bring Ms. Witt back onto my screen as the non-sociopathic sibling of a Florida crime family. She acquitted herself excellently and even got to exact revenge on her crime boss bro.
She’s a good singer/songwriter too. I recently learned this and so now can you.
Over the past week I’ve unveiled some of the music that brought me satisfaction and, often, extraordinary moments of sonic alignment–which is how great music strikes me, and, has struck me for forty-five years.
Nowadays it is clear that musical culture in the USA revolves around everybody being their own mix master. Almost all the music mentioned in the previous week’s post can be sampled via Spotify or Pandora. It can be purchased at iTunes or Amazon or GooglePlay, yet the best place to purchase it, is at the artist’s web site–where such an opportunity exists.
The following is my ordering of my very favorite releases from last year. This evaluation isn’t intended to parse artistic merit. It just serves my desire to name Wussy the album of the year, and to put their superb Attica in the company of other peerless examples of vital musical artistry.
12 ESSENTIAL RECORDINGS – 2014
1. Wussy – Attica |buy direct| ***record of the year***
2. The Swans – To Be Kind |buy direct|
3. Sam Newsome – The Straight Horn of Africa A Path to Liberation (Art of the Soprano, V2) |buy Amazon|
4. Noura Mint Seymali (Mauritania) – Tzenni |buy direct|
5. D’Angelo & The Vanguard – Black Messiah |buy Amazon|
6. Hassan Hakmoun (Morocco) – Unity |buy Amazon|
7. Tisziji Munoz – Taking You Out There! Live |buy direct|
8. Irma Thomas – Full Time Woman (The Lost Cotillion Album)
|buy Lousiana Music Factory|
9. Aya Nishina – Flora [from 2013] |buy|
10.The War On Drugs – Lost In The Dream |buy direct|
11.Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds In Country Music |buy direct|
12.FKA Twigs – LP1 |buy Amazon|
Special Mention – Archival Discovery of the Year
John Coltrane – Offering – Live at Temple University |buy Resonance Records|
Brian Eno & Karl Hyde – High Life at Warp Records
Brian Eno wins Giga-Hertz Award for contribution to electronic music
Producer and musician takes home €10,000 for his lifetime of ‘musical transgression’ at prestigious ceremony
Eno & Hyde’s High Life is, for me, one of the highlight’s of the year in electronic and experimental music. Obviously the recording contains a bounty of wonderful sound, yet what really brightened my appreciation was learning that the duo made the record in five intense days of dedicated collaborative experimentation.
This reminds me of how I work. Although Eno is more a spiritual influence over thirty years rather than a direct sonic influence, some of the rough experiments for my next records are somewhat Eno-esque in their being unfinicky, ambient, experimental outputs.
I want one. I’d settle for spending sometime in the room it’s in.
via VIMEO: Yaybahar is an electric-free, totally acoustic instrument designed by Gorkem Sen. The vibrations from the strings are transmitted via the coiled springs to the frame drums. These vibrations are turned into sound by the membranes which echo back and forth on the coiled springs. This results in an unique listening experience with an hypnotic surround sound. What you hear in this performance is captured in realtime without any additional effects and with no post audio processing.
Performence: Görkem Sen
Video: Levent Bozkurt
Video Editing: Olgu Demir
Sound Mix: Mert Aksuna
Place: Ali?ler Yurdu
Crunchy hard country rock akin to The Del-Lords or True Believers–two little known but stirring precedents for Shiloh’s updated nexus of Rolling Stones soul, Crazy Horse garage and Byrds‘ jangle.
FKA Twigs, the British singer, will soon enough enter the training academy for soon-to-be cultural icons. This follows merely from her being Robert Pattinson’s new girlfriend.
However, this isn’t the reason Pitchfork suggests it’s time to “jump on the bandwagon.” Her debut record is a great blast of UK street soul. It’s my own favorite pop record so far. I hear an audacious mix of Janelle Monae and Imogean Heap–at least this would be my rough comparison.
FKATwigs portal (on tumblr)