Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Here come the warm jets

oystered 22 (mar. '07)

Total running time 3:39:28.
1. jasper tx a (d+a 3” CDep/self-released) (9:59)
2. gui boratto beautiful life (chromophobia CD/kompakt) (8:31)
3. axolotl forclusion (memory theatre CD/important) (8:45)
4. lcd soundsystem someone great (sound of silver CD/dfa) (6:26)
5. svarte greiner a night without harm (a night without harm MP3/type) (18:19)
6. lawrence english end game (for varying degrees of winter CD/baskaru) (7:15)
7. pole düsseldorf (steingarten CD/~scape) (4:26)
8. the field the deal (from here we go sublime CD/kompakt) (10:03)
9. burning star core the universe is designed to break your heart (blood lightning 2007 CD/no fun productions) (11:13)
10. rafael toral portable amplifier 3 (space solo 1 CD/quecksilber) (8:01)
11. andrew chalk untitled #1 (goldfall CD/faraway press) (22:50)
12. jörg burger polyform 1 (polyform 1 12”/k2) (5:56)
13. machinefabriek splinter 1 (splinters MP3/machinefabriek) (0:53)
14. jens zimmermann tranquillité (tranquillité 12”/k2) (12:19)
15. panda bear good girl/carrots (person pitch CD/paw tracks) (12:42)
16. jasper tx some things broken, some things lost (a darkness CD/lidar) (21:23)
17. low belarus (drums and guns CD/sub pop) (3:18)
18. dominik eulberg klangteppichverleger wolle (heimische gefilde edit) (heimische gefilde CD/traum schallplatten) (4:49)
19. the high llamas boing backwards (can cladders CD/drag city) (0:45)
20. machinefabriek zucht 1 (slaapzucht CD/root strata) (13:27)
21. arve henriksen glacier descent (strjon CD/rune grammofon) (7:31)
22. pantha du prince saturn strobe (this bliss CD/dial) (7:28)
23. stars of the lid the daughters of quiet minds (and their refinement of the decline 2CD/kranky) (13:22)

So this post’s centerpiece is Andrew Chalk’s “Untitled #1” from his gorgeous release, Goldfall. To me it’s a combination of Stephan Mathieu’s blurred electronica, William Basinski’s opiate A Red Score in Tile, David Sylvian’s landmark Approaching Silence and the sound of well lit and manicured Hollywood swimming pools at night. And this whole three-and-a-half hour set revolves around it. Makes me wanna get everything Andrew Chalk’s put out on his own Faraway Press imprint.
The first three tracks’ running order is meant as an homage to the Spiritualized Ladies and Gentlemen-era live show that started with their cover of Staple Singers’ calm yet building intensity of “O Happy Day” into “Clear Light/Clear Rush”’s ecstatic release and “Shine A Light”’s comforting come down. After that one-two-three knock out punch you almost thought the show was over. But it was just the beginning. So too with Jasper Tx’s scorching sunrise “A,” Gui Boratto’s euphoric “Beautiful Life” and Axolotl’s noise-lullaby, “Forclusion”–with three hours still remaining in the mix. That’s what I was aiming at anyway, somewhat successfully I think.
You might say things sort of “die at the knee” with track five, Svarte Greiner’s “A Night Without Harm,” but given the subject matter of the previous song, LCD Soundsystem’s “Someone Great,” the empty, ghostly vibe is fitting.
Things sort of start over, with Lawrence English’s winter ode, into Pole’s comeback dub and The Field’s hypnotic maximalism.
Panda Bear’s “Good Girl/Carrots” is another peak here. I refused to listen to it when it came out two years ago, amidst all the “album of the year” hype but it still sounds better than most current styles today. Person Pitch is a wild combination of The Beach Boys (you’d be forgiven if you actually thought that was Brian Wilson singing), African Highlife, Jamaican dub and European dance. This genius diamond of a record harks back to Mercury Rev’s over-the-top Boces.
The set’s closing hour-plus is meant as a slow evisceration of itself, with little signs of life along the way—Low’s sole take on electro-pop, The High Llamas’ interlude, Arve Henriksen’s falsetto vocals on “Glacier Descent, ” Pantha Du Prince’s classically tinged heartbeat techno… After listening to Stars of the Lid’s And Their Refinement of the Decline two-plus hour opus a number of times trying to single out one of its many worthy tracks, the name for the post came to me, as their droning half-melodies reminded me of summer vapor trails and Brian Eno’s own ambient work. Sorry to give it all away. I feel better. And I can’t believe there’s two consecutive posts with songs simply titled “A.” Nuts.
Oh, I don’t know if anyone’s noticed, but I’ve decided to ditch the somewhat redundant sun/nature shots. I’m not sure if I have an eye for capturing what I’m really seeing/feeling. Instead, I’m taking back covers and inside sleeve art from one of the recordingsDon’t’cha ever wish sometimes the artist would have chosen the back cover to be the front cover? Works for me because I’ve always thought back covers and sometimes inside sleeve art get neglected. Buy Cocteau Twins’ Victorialand for a perfect example of what I’m talking about.
Photo credit: inner sleeve to Arve Henriksen’s Strjon CD (Kim Hiorthøy). Previous post’s photo credit: inner sleeve from Rafael Anton Irisarri’s Daydreaming CD. Previous post’s photo credit: back cover to Reuber’s Südpol CD. Thanks!