The Harsh Noise Movement have just released a new project that has to do with their love for The Beatles but not in the way you would expect. HNM are about the experimental/avant-garde side of life, musically and otherwise and this one features different artists manipulating Beatles songs in a number of different ways, from being semi-straightforward to mashing it up beyond recognition. The title is exactly what it is: The Beatles Remix Project but don’t expect simple country or jazzy renditions of your favorites. As it states on the Bandcamp page, this consists of various experimental noise artists take The Beatles songs and turn them into glorious sonic blasts that will give a new dimension to the familiar sounds of the fab four.
The entire project is free to download but definitely use the “Name Your Price” option to show support.
For some odd reason, parts of hearing Invisible Cities (Aut) reminds mE of parts of the 1970’s film Midnight Express where some elements sound foreign yet very close by. Some of it sounds very classical and jazzy, then it gets locked into a nice funk that forces me to go “well damn, I want to stay in this place” before it drifts off into a place I’ve never been to before. If I am to judge the music based on the credits alone, it does go everywhere: double bass, electric bass, cumbus bouzuki, recorders, ewi: one is still unsure of where the music goes but you want to stay in and see where it takes you. It has that incidental feel where it is just music with the right visuals missing or perhaps this is what it is meant to be, a soundtrack to a mental eyeful.
Even after reading the liner notes which explain the theme of the songs (i.e. a series of cities, each with female names), you’ll want to hear it once more and see if you can sense what Manera tried to do with this concept, or simply listen to it based on the song titles alone. Either way, Invisible Cities is a journey to places that you’d like to see but can only imagine if you wish to do so.
While the word “vocione” means “loud voice”, the Italian duo Vocione create a voice that is strong and firm as well as bold, due to one member (Marta Raviglia) doing the singing and the other (Tony Cattano) playing the trombone but also playing the Farfisa organ when he can. Le Armi de Ares (Aut) could be a spoken word performance with musical accompaniment or it could be two creative minds being able to speak as one. They could be performing at a zoo, at a park, at a public villa or a private prison and yet wherever they would be, it would sound this bold and sharp. Some of this reminds me of an American duo from the early 90’s named Ether, where it was a voice and a musician creating something mysterious yet confident. Some of this may be childlike but they are out of childhood and forcing you to enter their world for the fake of dealing with this existence. This existence is Le Armi de Ares and you are welcome to see what colors they paint for you.
Aut Records described this album by the Berlin Soundpainting Orchestra this way:
“Led by soundpainter and pianist Hada Benedito, the Berlin Soundpainting Orchestra consists of 16 experimental musicians, improvisers and composers, all coming from different backgrounds and nationalities. Their live composed works could be described as a trip of obscure and colourful images, an expansive way of traveling among improvisation and avant-garde music beyond contemporary jazz..”
What does that exactly all mean? It’s improvisational, it’s spontaneous and like a good amount of music, it is unpredictable. The first thing I thought of was John Zorn, when he had his Cobra project and all of the musicians involved play what they had to be played by looking at cue cards with anything from numbers to symbols and gibberish, each describing what they are to do. In a way, you could say the Berlin Soundpainting Orchestra are creating their own language by what they’re seeing, or what they’re saying, or what they’re feeling. It’s fun to hear too because while it may sound like some kind of Ornette Coleman jam session, it is going somewhere if you pay attention. It is neither jazz or classical, it could easily be Pink Floyd in Atom Heart Mother mode but fans of avant-garde classical or jazz may consider that comparison an insult. Nonetheless, it is what I hear and I could only image what this would sound like in a live setting. There are two people who contribute dialogie to this album, somewhat helping the listener out from point A to point B, imagine if Laurie Anderson came into a room and decided to split herself in two. Parts of this reminded if of Andrew Poppy’s wonderful album The Beating Of Wings, as I could hear a few similarities here and there. I hope the “Orchestra” will do more albums in the years, decades, and perhaps centuries to come.
If you are to read the album credits on the back, all you would see is Silent People consisting of two people: Gianpaolo Camplese on drums and Stefano Meucci on electronics but with that said, what exactly would that entail? By saying this is on Aut Record,s you would know this is anything but tame or calm. It’s true, this music here is anything but calm but adventurous? Very much.
Silent People’s self-titled album goes in a number of places, beginning their album with a song (“Hydraulic Fracturing”) that sounds very close to Medeski, Martin & Wood’s “We Are Rolling” from their album The Dropper. Then as the album goes, I wasn’t sure if it was free jazz, basement trip hop in the vein of Antipop Consortium or some kind of Madlib side project but it’s a nice blend of the mellow to the insecure, with the listener being insecure as to where the music is going but harmonious at the most unpredictable moments. The label calls what they do electro-acoustic but even if you know what is behind that definition, it still doesn’t sound what you assume it could be and for me, that’s what makes it work. It’s a drummer just jamming on the one at times while he may get into some kind of far off playing as an electronics wizard scatters his creativity everywhere. Or it’s the other way around. It’s a nice place to find yourself to be in, if not an audacious place. I would very much like to stay in this neighborhood for awhile.
While a lot of attention is being paid to Portland, there’s more to the weirdness of Oregon than just what is going on in Bridgetown, for you may want to check out what is going on down in the city of Eugene. This is where Juice Machine, a husband/wife electronic experimental/noise duo are from, and they’ve just released an album that they couldn’t decide a title form, so it’s simply called Untitled Album. They make a mess of noise with whatever tools they have available and offer it to those willing to listen, which may be gratifying, satisfying, or maniacally nuts. I say it’s a nice blend of all three. If improvised electronics are your thing, stream and listen to this. Two tracks, one album, and it’s for free but if you’re supportive to the cause, please use the “Name Your Price” option.
From Alabama, although after hearing it, you could say it may be from anywhere imaginable, is a track by FeverHouse called “The Tourist Trap”. If you are a fan of harsh noise wall, this one goes on for 18 minutes, and it is a nice piece of meat that may deafen you or anyone listening within the vicinity. Enter at your own risk.
Insane noise sequences can be explored in a new project by This Is A Formica Table called Fuck Your Gentrification (Easy Listening For The Revolution). It is an EP with eight tracks full of explicit and experimental sounds, you’re able to hear how it is done in Leeds.
If you’re looking for a bit of organlized noise where things may not sound like they belong together (but somehow do), you may want to check out an album by Illusion Of Safety called Surrender. Released two weeks ago, they (it or he, we are still unsure but then again who is “we” considering I’m the only one who runs this site) bring together assorted sounds that merge it together digitally for the sake of wondering how it fits in together. Then again, sometimes not knowing is part of the fun, even if it means something similar to turning the radio dial and getting into something instantly, only deciding to roll down the window to enjoy the outdoors for a few minutes. That’s what Surrender is, to me, about.
Fanaticism are a brand new Australian label that have released three albums as their debut recordings, and not one of them sounds the same. The one I chose to present is from an artist named Yirat HaShem so for those who love harsh noise wall, for a bit of that extreme experimental/avant-garde beauty, you’ll want to check this out. Only two tracks are listed but each run close to half an hour. You can stream it in full but do consider buying it if it suits your fancy.