Tuesday, May 27, 2008

What we did on our holidays

oystered 10: Sunlight bathed the golden glow (aug '06)

a1. the rice twins for penny and alexis (total 7/kompakt)
a2. wighnomy bros. wombat (total 7/kompakt)
a3. svalastog reconnecting joints (woodwork/rune grammofon)
a4. marsen jules la digitale pourpre (les fleurs/city centre offices)
b1. the modernist closer musik - one two three (no gravity) / mikkel metal - microho (popular songs/kompakt)
b2. bergheim 34 ding dong (farben remix) (diamenten und raketen/klang elektronik)
b3. humcrush cyborg ii (hornswoggle/rune grammofon)
b4. thomas fehlmann saft (total 7/kompakt)
c1. alva noto + ryuichi sakamoto ax mr. l. (revep/raster-noton)
c2. coh path.#1 (patherns ep/raster-post)
c3. susanna and the magical orchestra it’s a long way to the top (magical mountain/rune grammofon)
c4. ryan teague rounds (coins & crosses/type)
d1. 2 dollar egg graphit (diamenten und raketen/klang elektronik)
d2. hieroglyphic being d.o.s. (diamenten und raketen/klang elektronik)
d3. north valley subconscious orchestra napali passage (the right kind of nothing/ghostly international)
d4. scsi-9 when she said goodbye (total 7/kompakt)
d5. robert babicz sonntag (total 7/kompakt)

Another fine addition to the oystered 'Playing Catch Up' series of compilations. Rather than describe each track in detail, I think a brief overview might work better. This works as a nice compilation of compilations, as over half of the tracks come from the two seminal German techno labels, Klang Elektronik and Kompakt. A further five cuts are culled from merely two more labels that are a bit more experimental in nature, Norway's Rune Grammofon and Berlin's Raster-Noton. The remaining few odds and ends even have a cohesive feel and are quite possibly the standout cuts: Marsen Jules' track for City Centre Offices and Ryan Teague's "Rounds" for Type both have a very cinematic, neo-classical feel to them and are utterly epic in scope and completely gorgeous. The North Valley Subconscious Orchestra is a collaboration between two continually evolving musicians as well: old-school shoegaze experimentalist Brad Laner of Medicine, Electric Company fame, and new school shoegazer Christopher Willits, mostly known for his releases on the ever reliable 12k imprint, but also for his full length on Ghostly International. Not bad for the "dog days."

Friday, May 23, 2008

Throughout the dark months of april and may

oystered 09: The pink opaque (jul ’06)

a1. mark van hoen put my trust in you (touch 25/touch)
a2. ilar & hedvall cookies & milk (treacherous & deceitful/defrag sound processing)
a3. fennesz tree (touch 25/touch)
a4. jonas bering lost paradise (lost paradise/kompakt)
b. the north sea and rameses iii nightblooms written in sanskrit (night of the ankou/type)
c1. audio werner base (onandon/perlon)
c2. rosy parlane atlantis (touch 25/touch)
c3. dominik eulberg der buchdrucker (der buchdrucker/traum)
d. jasper tx so now we’re ghosts no more (so now we’re ghosts no more/kning disk gallery edition)

Kicking things off is an admittedly odd piece of work from Mark Van Hoen (Scala), sounding, to me at least, a bit like, what might have happened if The Beatles had continued into the noughts, furthering their avant-garde tendencies, pushing the envelope of what a rock band could do with electronics. Or, maybe it’s just a Lennon side project?
Anyway, back to more familiar, or rather, expected, territory with Ilar (yet again) collaborating here with someone named Hedvall, for yet another great minimal techno track. And this time round, a healthy back and forth between more minimal, beat oriented stuff and - my favorite... - more "ambient," dreamy, drifting, droney type work. Of particular note are the two longer tracks dividing the set: The North Sea & Rameses III’s track is extremely moving, reminding me of something from Stars of the Lid's Ballasted Orchestra, while the closing track from Jasper TX is an absolute killer, putting even Fennesz's barely-there "Tree" to shame.
Vinyl only cuts include “Cookies & Milk,” “Lost Paradise,” “Base” and “Der Buchdrucker.” Picture courtesy Allison, Grand Traverse Bay, West Arm.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The blossom filled streets

oystered 08: Like a daydream (jun ’06)

a1. thomas melchior & luciano solomon’s prayer (solomon’s prayer/father / cadenza)
a2. davidovitch cellophane (speicher 36/kompakt extra)
a3. dB tower of love (god’s will phone center/boogizm)
b1. anders ilar missing (ilar mix) (missing/plong!)
b2. gui boratto like you (supermayer mix) (like you/kompakt pop)
b3. phonophani farger rundt hvitt (phonophani/rune grammofon)
c1. scorch trio abakle (luggumt/rune grammofon)
c2. loren connors star of bethlehem pt. 1 (night through/family vineyard)
c3. loren connors home again (night through/family vineyard)
c4. loren connors stars (night through/family vineyard)
c5. loren connors the departing of a dream vol.4 (night through/family vineyard)
c6. loren connors star of bethlehem pt. 2 (night through/family vineyard)
c7. murcof ulysses (deathprod mix) (6-track/rune grammofon)
d1. anders ilar lakeside (organza/level records)
d2. marc leclair 236e jour (musique pour 3 femmes enceintes/mutek)

June 2006: A deep sigh of relief. Don’t get me wrong, my search for discovering great, new, “undiscovered” music will never end. But when owning a record store turns into a 24 hour, sleepless worry, it’s time to stop.
A much more manageable set this go round. Vinyl only tracks this time include “Solomon’s Prayer,” “Cellophane,” “Tower of Love,” "Missing (Ilar mix),” “Abakle” and “Lakeside.”
A little heavy on the Anders Ilar, who was hitting hard with dark, propulsive, bass-driving tracks left and right at this point. The five Loren Connors tracks are justified since they’re all pretty short and culled from a three disc anthology, Night Through, which came out only a few short months after his gorgeous Table of the Elements full-length, Sails. It’s stunning how he gets so much feeling out of such little playing, ringing every nuance out of each plucked or strummed note. You can even hear the air move in the room he records in. Subtle, subdued. Stunning.
Unfortunately dB (Daniel Bemberger), who released one full length and a slew of stunning vinyl only releases for labels such as Background and Karloff, and Marc Leclair (aka Akufen), two of my favorite click ’n’ cut ’n’ pasters, have been AWOL since June of ’06. Here’s hoping for some surprises in the near future.