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Black Sea, 1967
Natalia Beylis, godblesscomputers, Intifada, Kerala Dust, Meridian Brothers, Slowdive, Talking Heads..
As I’ve remarked on the last post (if you were thinking why he is suddenly posting TOO MUCH, it clearly shows that you’ve never been reading it in the first place, tschk) I’ll aim to keep things concise and post more often, if I can manage.
Here’s a roundup of the music and writing that’s kept me busy this past week:
Mermaids, is the first album I've encountered from Irish ambient/soundscape artist Natalia Beylis. Crafted using a “CRB Elettronica Ancona” Electric Keyboard
-whatever that is- found among discarded kettles and broken down toasters at a recycling center. Rightfully sounding underwater, it’s a conceptual synth album, including family photos, field recordings and droney hypnotic goodness.
'The sounds that come from her when I play always move me like water: swimming in rivers and floating in the murk beneath the surface. When I found the cover picture of the three figures in a stack of old family photos, a confluence of the sounds and the image charged through me and the album Mermaids began to flicker into being.'
The Israel-Hamas situation has been on everyone's radar. I’ve come across some good takes on it, like this. There’s an inconceivable blindness, to what Israel has been doing in Gaza via settlers since decades, but killing civilians (ravers?) for political reasons is totally inexcusable. I’ve previously written about this album, recorded in 1987 during the first Palestinian intifada, when Palestinians were still using rocks and slings and not rockets and bombs.
I’ve also done a 60-min playlist, with music featuring music from both Jewish and Muslim traditions. I hope it offers an hour of peace and a fresh perspective.
Look, I don’t wanna come out as a “music will heal all of us” type of open-chakra hippy, as this is a humanitarian crisis of the highest order, but this is all I can do from here. Listen to it as you delve into the history of the conflict; perhaps it's a good starting point!.
I’ve been a mega-fan of Meridian Brothers since 2012’s “Desesperanza” although I’ve never been able to catch them live even once to this day. This Bogota band has been on the forefront of a modernized version of cumbia, and it single handedly unlocked that part of the world map for me. Eblis Alvarez and his co. is very prolific, experimenting with various styles, instruments, and other bands during the last decade, so dive into their back catalogue!
This is a rare cool artifact of the endless “teen-vs-dad” interactions that take place around the world; where the daughter of Slowdive’s Nick Chaplin discovers that his dad’s band is a cool band, through the validation of other teens on Tiktok. Perhaps this is about what Ted Gioia wrote about how the music got sadder these days.
BTW the new album is good, if you’re still into, waves of droney guitars - and heroin?
"Wasn’t this godblesscomputers guy an IDM artist in the past?" was my first thought, while I was shuffling my feet to a sweet 2001-The Rurals-esque deep house, which has somehow been co-opted by other producers mid-2000s, stripped off their jazzy underpinnings and turned into business deep-tech-house?
Thankfully, this is the good, soulful, human one. Amen.
I had written these guys off many years ago when the “world music / ethnic / desert house” thing that was briefly cool got colonized by the “ethnic hat wearing German DJ’s playing in Tulum villas to C-suite business cool people & models?”
I guess, either these guys got the memo in the meantime or I misjudged them in the first place. Their current sound is less 4/4 ethno house and more a cinematic blend of guitars, electro pop, and catchy male vocals. Don’t know why they haven’t released this as a single -is an obvious hit- but I can’t get “Jacob’s Gun” outta my head, maybe it’s in the works!
♩ Talking Heads’ Original Lineup on Stop Making Sense, Their Early Days, and the Future (Pitchfork)
Great panorama of the times by David Byrne and co:
Frantz: I came back on the weekend and I saw the Ramones. Maybe you were with me, David and Tina. I think you probably were. The Ramones at that stage were not clearly developed: Johnny was still wearing really tight Lurex pants, and they hadn't adopted the motorcycle jackets yet. But they were playing these really amazing songs, like “Beat on the Brat” and “Blitzkrieg Bop.” They hadn’t gotten super tight yet, and they would stop and argue with each other in the middle of a song. It was so great. I thought, this is like the perfect conceptual art piece.
And then later we saw Patti Smith, and then we saw Television, and eventually Blondie. I did feel like there was something happening.
My good friend, the Venezuelan digger Trujillo has a mix for Mixed Reviews Records. Only Bargain bin finds, nothing over $5! Expect a lot of hard to find world disco & what not.
How do you like it? shorter, to the point? less to digest? Let me know if you have a thing to say, and as always, share it with a friend of yours if you are so inclined!