Sunday, May 11, 2008

free music galore

a couple of pointers.

Someone who is as eclectic as I am runs the Free Albums Galore blog. This ranges from classical through jazz to electro and electronic. Mystified is there, as are a number of recognised names. But a couple of surprises - Nine Inch Nails - their two most recent albums are free to download, and the Ghosts instrumental double disk set is still available from Internet Archives (pointed to from FaG); there are some various artists compilations of early electronica which are from the Earlabs LaboratoireClassique label that are hard to get to from the front page (some can be found if you search on 'lc'); the Piano Society has a great collection; there are some lesser know classical composers I have found and lots lots lots more - they try and do one a day.

And We7 continues to supply surprises - I am now playing Clara Rockmore's classoc album of piano and theremin versions of classics. And the latest downloads seem to be free of the advert - I am not sure what's going on as the site hasn't mentioned that. Perhaps a temporary glitch

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Hess/Tilman: Departures

Steven Hess (drums, vibraphone) and Miles Tilman (electronics) are part of Fessendon which was reviewed a couple of months ago (december). Here they work as a duo on Departures, a vinyl-only release on Other Electricities.

This is a stunning ambient album - while there are three tracks on either side they tend to flow into each other and separately identifying them is always hard: trying to see where the groove structure changes. But basically this is one that I have put on and then just allowed to wash over me until it sadly ends, trun it over and start again, or stay on the same side. Hess sets up rhythms and melodies which then get fractured looped smeared and rendered through Tilman's electronics. Sometimes you are there at the start of a sequence such as the opening asleep/awake where the percussion mutates into a hazy atmospheric wonder or the rumbling crackle, drum-kit and bells/gongs that is echoed and pattered to ambient heaven in arrivals with washes and a terminal flurry. Doppler has more beats in there amongst the electronic playfulness; percussion cascades into tonal pleasures. But within each developed and developing soundwork there are emergent percussive components, identifed elements from the analog origin. The final track, six by six, adds Michael Dahlman (no indication of what he does) for a final pulsing throbbing evolving rolling sound mystery that encompasses you.

This is the type of album that makes me pleased I have still got a player set up. It is engrossing but mysterious and mercurial, hypnotic and intense - but strangely not dark. Get a new needle for your turntable and flota away.