15 February 2015

The Future was, eh.. here! - The Futurist Intonumori Orchestra in Singapore 12 Feb 2015

 
I was very stoked weeks ago when I received news that Luciano Chessa was coming to Singapore with The Orchestra of Futurist Noise Intoners. After years of researching on Noise in music and Noise in the arts, the Futurists, represent to me, one of the key historical start points and opening node in a contested lineage in art and music historical discourses. Intonarumori, the sound or noise machines conceptualised and built originally by the Futurist, Luigi Russolo back in the 1910s were stuff of legend and infamy in its heyday. The orchestra toured across Europe after the First World War into the 1920s and they were received with ridicule, wild amazement and blank indifference in equal measures. The last known machines were damaged and lost by the 1930s. Luciano Chessa, the author of the only monographs on Russolo and his conceptions, Luigi Russolo: Futurist. Noise, Visual Arts, and the Occult came out in 2012. In the past, the Italian Futurists have been covered extensively in many books and articles but the foci have been either on the visual art side of things or in tandem with the other contemporary iconoclastic art movements like dada and Surrealism. Scantly a few pages or at best a chapter on the sound art/music aspect of it were published before Chessa's book. 
  
One thing hit me when I was listening to the various original Futurist pieces, recently commissioned works for the intonarumori and Futurist sound poetry. Shocking it may be, especially to those who first heard the works 100 years ago, but wth modern ears, the original pieces feel largely formalist despite Marinetti and Russolo's proclamations about the revolutionary nature of their music. The more recent commissioned ones were redolent of recent contemporary compositions with glissandi amassing across their durations. It re-affirms the fact that the avant-garde of today will be the norm of tomorrow. But this begs the question: then is there an avantgarde of today for tomorrow? It may sound a tad too pessimistic but with the premises of Simon Reynolds's book, Retromania, seemingly more real than mere cynicism as we move on after  years of its publication, it is an important point of concern and consideration for all of us.


09 December 2014

Rewind 2014

Rewind 2014 took me awhile. I have been suffering from quite a bit of current music fatigue in terms of the contemporary state of questionable creativity and innovation in the sonic arts generally for the past 12 months. The sounds which spoke to me most, ironically, for the past 3-4 months have been albums from the 1980s and 1990s. Largely music from the American underground scenes of that said era. Amphetamine Reptile and Touch & Go are the two main ones, but Boner and Trance Syndicate albums are enthralling to me as well.

Reissues have been more intriguing for me comparatively. Is it just me or is it the state of music and the sonic arts this year? Well, perhaps you might be a better judge than me...

Anyway, my top 10 releases of 2014, across both catgories are:
1. Dave Philips- Homo Animalis
1. Rudolf Eb.er- Brainnectar
3. Junko- Noise of Voice
4. Fushitsusha - Nothing Changes/No One Can Change Anything/I Am Ever-Changing/Only You Can Change Yourself
5. Swans- To Be Kind
6. Scott Walker + SunnO)))- Scoused
7. Valero Tricoli- Miseri Lares
8. Skullflower- Draconis
9. Kevin Drumm/Jason Lescalleet- The Abyss
10. The Pop Group- Cabinet of Curiosities

REISSUES-

Unwound - Rat Conspiracy & No Energy




 
Junko- Noise of Voice


 The Pop Group- Cabinet of Curiosities

Captain Beefheart- Sun Zoom Spark: 1970-1972


John Coltrane- Offering: Live At Temple University
 

13th Floor Elevators- Live Evolution Lost
 

Bobby Beausoleil- The Lucifer Rising Suite
 


Various- Tliltic Tlapoyalak: Black Twilight Circle Compilation




Pascal Comelade- Degeneration Electronics 1974-1983 & First Bel Canto
 

 Alien Brains- It's All History Now - Tape Works 1979-85




Robert Rich- Premonitions 1980-1985
 

 Techno Menses /K. Kusafuka-  Early 80's Minimal/Synth
 

Muslimgauze- Chasing The Shadow of Bryn Jones 1983-1988
 

Sunroof!- Rock Power
 

 Fushitsusha - Nothing Changes/No One Can Change Anything/I Am Ever-Changing/Only You Can Change Yourself
 
TOP RELEASES-

 Dave Philips - Homo Animalis

 

Rudolf Eb.er - Brainnectar

 

Sudden Infant - Wolfli's Nightmare
 

Skullflower- Draconis
 

Kevin Drumm/Json Lescalleet - The Abyss




Helm- The Hollow Organ


Bass Clef- Raven Yr Own Worl




 Valero Tricoli- Miseri Lares
 

 Beneath- Vobes




M.E.S.H.- Scythians

 

James Hoff- Blaster
 

Lee Gamble - Kuang
 

Lee Gamble- Koch
 

 Objekt- Flatland


Afrikan Sciences- Circuitous
 

Scott Walker + SunnO))) - Soused




Godflesh - Decline & Fall



Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire



The Bug - Angels And Devils



The Observatory - Oscilla



Chrome - Feel It Like A Scientist









Aphex Twin -Syro




Swans - To Be Kind

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