This has been a tough week. There's always music.
Ruairi O'Baoighill & Luxury Mollusc
Last weekend I went to the Dublin Ghost Story Festival. It was really good. I came away with lists of writers and stories I had to investigate. I listened to this album as I read Robert Aickman's The Hospice. It perfectly matched that tale's strange, unexplained occurences, lending an air of disquieting doom.
aamin - lovin and livin and lovin and livin and lovin and livin
I listened to Ariana Grande's 'No Tears Left To Cry' this week and really felt I must have heard it before. It's a jam. I'm a fan of hers. This is a sublime piece of music, looping Grande vocals into a soothing ASMR exercise while her soaring vocals sit just below the repeated refrain. The artist requests that you "LISTEN WITH HEADPHONES PLEASE THANKS".
Cruel Diagonals - Disambiguation
I could ramble at length about Megan Mitchell, the wonderful artist behind Cruel Diagonals but instead I'll talk about the music. This album on Drawing Room is grounded in Mitchell's voice, but there are many facets to this music. There's hypnotic percussion, synths that are mutred yet angry, dark field recording and more. The mesmerising 'Render Arcane' is possibly my favourite track here, alongside 'Liminal Placement'. The latter is a journey in a track, moving from industrial grind to the faraway sounds of church organs and a lazy baroque trombone. At once haunting and comforting.
PS PLOT TWIST! Turns out it's neither an organ nor a trombone — I spoke to Megan and she informed me that it's a steel drummer playing in a darkened room and a weirdly pitched vocal. The magic of modern music!!!
TONELADA - Fanzine Chkns: "Platillos caníbal"
This was shared into my SoundCloud feed, I believe by Alina Hernández, who has the opening track on the release. It's a compilation of tracks made to go with a zine, all made from samples culled from the Tonelada vinyl collection. Big thanks to Chuck Pee for translation help here. The tracks are kind of all over the place style-wise, lots of nice rhythms, lots of electronics with the samples, which largely folk and traditional. I think.
Elements Of Life - Innocence and Inspiration
I went looking for house on Bandcamp this week, as excitable as I may be in these blurbs it can often get quite dour. So I wanted to find some bright, fun, exciting dance music. This is really special. It's a reissue of some tracks from 1994 I believe. The guys behind the release had a huge number of aliases, as was the style of the time. These tracks are lengthy, swooning jams that run from ethereal openings to chunky beats and looped wailing vocals. Then we have piano stomp, finger snaps and soft synth melodies. Hands-in-the-air stuff.
Neotnas - Qualia
Kimochi Sound is a great label that puts out gorgeous house music with wonderful, unique artwork. This release, from Russian artist Neotnas, features four tracks of lush, sensual house music. Slow grooves, dusty vocal samples, hi-hats, emotive piano lines, wonderful sax solos. Even some breaks in there. The epic 'Heavy Space Of Soul' is balanced by the short but sweet closer 'Martlet'. Someone please buy this for me.
tualba - rainy day
I listened to this lovely experiment several times in row yesterday. The artist has embarked upon a 50 day-challenge, exploring the various facets VCV Rack has to offer. This one was inspired by the weather in Portland and used the VCV Rack implementation of Rainmaker. Apparently it's very resource heavy. Anyway it's a melodically percussive track that is more than just an experiment, it's really lovely. The whole set is nice.