There have been quite a few mediocre (‘fans only’) releases by Brian Eno in the last couple of years. The 2004 collaboration with Robert Fripp was a remarkable exception, and so is their collaboration sketches overview “Beyond Even (1996 – 2006)”.
I call this a ‘sketches overview’ because it feels like that: a collection of works that sound like good yet unfinished ideas. Which does not mean they sound like second hand outtakes that should not have been released. Most of these tracks are very beautiful indeed, and do deserve a life on their own. However some of this tracks still feel a bit outdated, even a bit mushy sometimes.
2005’s Remembranza was a remarkable release, partly because the warm organic sound that made the music feel quite different. Cosmos has the same sound detail, but it sounds less melancholic and more dark and threatening.
Of course, with a theme and title like this it’s no wonder it sounds like some retro-futuristic science-fiction movie soundtrack. Murcof sets himself a high standard, partly referring to to the great modern composers such as Pärt and Ligeti. The heavy crescendo’s will not appeal to everyone I guess: this is NOT ‘drone’ ambient – No chance to softly dream away.
Still, he’s living up to his reputation easily, settling himself firmly between the great artists of this genre.
BTW – Murcof will be headlining the Interzone Ambient Festival in Utrecht on September, 26.
It’s been quite some time since my latest post to this weblog. Holiday time, the obligatory holiday trips …I obviously had a hard time…
But the new season has a promising start:
If you live near Utrecht, Holland you should keep an eye on the following events
(and if you don’t live in Holland but are interested still, keep an ear on the FOLIO webstream as linked below):
- Interzone Ambient Festival – 29 / 30 september, Theater Kikker, Utrecht
This is a 2 day festival that has a promising line-up. Murcof will be there, probably to promote his new release: Cosmos. Other performers on saturday are Jessica Bailiff, Klimek and Shuttle 358.
Sunday will bring us a Ahornfelder showcase, with performances by Sinebag, Semuin, F.S. Blumm, Marcel Turkowsky.
Radio 6′ Folio will preview this festival on september, 4
- Tivoli De Helling programs a performance by Cluster (Dieter Moebius / Hans-Joachim Roedelius) on November, 7
Don’t know what to expect on this concert, but both Moebius and Roedelius were there to define ‘ambient’ in the time their music was called ‘Krautrock’. They partnered with Brian Eno, worked with legendary producer Conny Plank, and their 30+ years of musical output is quite difficult to survey. Again, the night before this concert, Folio will present a musical preview.
Sounds promising, doesn’t it?
Sleep Research Facility should be credited for one of the best names in ambient music. Apart from that, Kevin Doherty was also responsible for the Nostromo release a few years ago. Nostromo was based on the first minutes of sound from the first Alien movie (Nostromo was the name of the spaceship) (*), and the music was as deep as outer space. (By the way: you cannot find this release anymore by now, but Cold Spring Records has announced a re-release later this year).
In 2006, Cold Spring records has re-released a record from 1993. It only recently came to my attention, so I would not have written about it on this weblog (for it would be ‘old news’) – if it’s thematic content wouldn’t be so shocking.
John Watermann‘s album is called ‘Calcutta Gas Chamber’ – and that about says all. Story goes that the recording artist has visited India in the early 90’s and came across nightmare-ish giant gas chambers that the Indian government used for ‘population control’.
Currently, I am preparing the Folio radiobroadcast for june, 26, which will feature some work played by Hilary Jeffery.
Jeffery is an English trombone player, currently living in Amsterdam. He plays quite a lot of different line-ups: with Jimi Tenor as well as with the Kilimanjaro Dark Jazz Ensemble, to name just two.
His musical output is equally diverse, ranging from experimental improvisational jazz to quiet drones.
One of his influences is trombone player James Fulkerson (who surprisingly also lives in the Netherlands!), with whom he also studied.
‘Sistereis’ is the opposite of a ship’s maiden voyage. It’s a ship’s doomed final voyage.
“All was as it had been upon my previous visit, save that the picture which I have described as having hung at the end of his bed had been cut out of it’s frame, as with a knife, and was gone. With this last link in a strange chain of evidence I close my diary of the voyage”