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June 22, 2009

Bobs; Bits, and


Feeling: New(ish) and forthcoming
Jon Hassell, Last Night the Moon Came Dropping its Clothes in the Street (ECM)

FaltyDL, To London EP (Ramp)

FaltyDL, Love Is a Liability (Planet Mu)

Floating Point, "J&W Beat" / "K&G Beat" (Planet Mu)

Sigha, "Remembrance" / "On the Ship" (Hotflush)

Untold, "Just for You" (Hotflush)

Mark Pritchard & Om'mas Keith, "Wind it Up" (Hyperdub)

Lokai, Transition (Thrill Jockey)

Pepe Bradock, Confiote de Bits (BBE)

Vladislav Delay, Tummaa (Leaf)

Feeling: Not new by any stretch of the imagination

Pal Joey, Loop-D-Loop series (Rhapsody | Beatport)
Deep house perfection from the late '80s or early '90s onward. I'd been hearing his name for a while, but never took the time to delve in; very glad I finally did. After putting together a mammoth playlist for Rhapsody (see below), I went straight to Beatport to buy 320s for DJing. Reminds me of Chez Damier, but with a New York state of mind.

Various, Burundi: Musiques Traditionelles (Ocora)
The opening chant has been driving me crazy trying to place it--turns out it was excerpted for the soundtrack to The Sheltering Sky, which is where I discovered Charles Trenet (and which also, of course, features Ryuichi Sakamoto's gloriously overblown score). I discovered this Ocora compilation floating around online, as they say; recorded in 1967 and re-issued in 1988, it seems to be out of print, but I'll be snapping up the CD if I discover otherwise. Not to get all caught up in Picasso-style primitivism, but the sounds here are as "avant-garde" as Cabaret Voltaire, Joan LaBarbara and anything in between. Stunning.

Latin Playboys, Latin Playboys (Slash)
Had forgotten all about this 1994 album, a Los Lobos side project with a surprisingly dubby, studio-as-instrument vibe (and which brings back fond memories of working the counter at Providence's In Your Ear Records back in '97). Bit of a Marc Ribot feel to the guitar? Anyway, highly recommended, and not just for Ameri/mexicana buffs.

Self-promotional corner

Hot Chip's new Bugged Out! CD features my track "The Claim"; I'm rather humbled to find myself in the company of Gas, Dandy Jack, Peverelist, International Pony/Pepe Bradock, and even Theo Parrish. Funnily enough, I'd decided I couldn't stand that track of mine, but upon hearing it in the mix, I kind of like it again. Ego: 1, Objectivity: 0. (Amazon | Beatport)

Recent Rhapsody blog posts you may have missed can all be found here; topics include FaltyDL's stunning new album Love Is a Liability, for Planet Mu; Kate Simko's Music from the Atom Smashers soundtrack (and just wait til you hear her upcoming Take You There EP); Mark Templeton's Inland; John Daly's Sea & Sky, and Gavin Russom's Black Meteoric Star. Read in greater detail about Russom's Black Meteoric Star in my Pitchfork review. I remain slightly unsure of how I ultimately feel about the record, but at least it's kept me coming back to try to figure that out, more than I can say about a lot of longplayers out there.

Finally, the concision-minded are additionally invited to follow me (acknowledging the semi-creepy, Pied Piper-esque connotations of that phrase) at twitter.com/RhapsodyDance: updated exactly as often as it need be.

June 18, 2009

Cong*rats D*ruffalo

wall collage.jpg

Long may your scare quotes run free.

June 11, 2009

Moritz von Oswald


They say to allow one day for every time zone crossed when sloughing off one's jetlag. Home now a week from my trip to Montreal, though, my clock seems subtly but permanently rejiggered. We've moved up our alarm clock from 7am to 6:30, and I'm still occasionally getting out of bed before that. But I'm wondering if inspiration flows in cycles as well. The weeks before MUTEK were a mad dash of deadlines and errands, MUTEK itself an enjoyable blur; since getting home, sleeping early and relatively stress-free, I'm having a hard time getting excited about much of anything related to music or writing. (Also, is it just me, or do the house and techno offerings of 2009 seem a little blah? Some scattered individual triumphs, or at least worthy showings, sureóbut there still seems to be precious little in the form of an overarching narrative, or even competing narratives. Where's the surprise? Whither the WTF?)

In any case, the May's labors finally bear fruit. The new issue of The Wire features my cover story on Moritz von Oswald, in which the Berlin techno icon talks about dub, Basic Channel, his mixing and mastering work with Honest Jon's, the Recomposed project with Carl Craig, and, of course, the Moritz von Oswald Trio, featuring Max Loderbauer (NSI., Chica and the Folder, Sun Electric) and Sasu Ripatti (Vladislav Delay, Luomo, Uusitalo). I highly recommend their new album, Vertical Ascent, which translates the energy of their live performances to disc in four spontaneous, evolving tracks recorded live in the studio (and mixed live as well).

It was an honor to be asked to do the piece, and a daunting undertaking, but I'm quite happy with it. Many thanks to Max, Sasu, and Honest Jon's Mark Ainley for all their help, and many, many, many thanks to Moritz, who turned out to be one of the most generous artists I've ever had the pleasure to interview.