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Dick Heath View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Cuneiform Records releases for 18th September 2007
    Posted: September 14 2007 at 17:13
From Cuneiform - the last CD listed looks intriguing


AHLEUCHATISTAS – EVEN IN THE MIDST… (Rune 261)
GENRE: ROCK / AVANT-PUNK
An all-instrumental guitar/bass/drums trio whose music “resides at the
meteoric end of the tempo spectrum” [Splendid], Ahleuchatistas is in
the front ranks of a youthful musical movement fusing the energy and
attitude of punk, the power of metal, and the fractured, angular
compositions and irregular, shard-like meters of avant rock to create music
perhaps best-described as avant-punk. Favoring a clean, stripped-down sound
and a delivery devoid of pretension, and possessing super-human chops,
the trio plays short, compressed and complex polyrhythmic compositions
with unrelenting speed, unrestrained joy, and near-telepathic
precision; what Organ calls “dazzling, stripped-down yet mega-complex sonic
acrobatics.” The trio’s interplay in “controlled chaos” leaves listeners
awestruck: “…they’re astonishingly together even on passages where it
seems downright impossible to stay in sync,” [Pitchfork]. Critics have
described their music as “spiritually overseen by the likes of Robert
Fripp, Damon Che and John Zorn… recalling the restless avant-punk zeal of
End Hits-era Fugazi and the pulsingly organic hyperactivity of early
King Crimson” [Splendid], while comparing it to bands like Ruins, Massacre
(Laswell/Frith/Hayward), Lightening Bolt, Dysrhythmia, Don Caballero,
Hella, Sonna, Shellac and Upsilon Acrux. Critics variously define it as
math-rock, technical metal, speed-rock, avant-punk or
avant-progressive, while invariably recognizing Ahleuchatistas’ music as the best of
its kind. On Even In the Midst…, the band’s fourth release and second CD
on Cuneiform Records, Ahleuchatistas have further honed its unique
version of avant-punk, distilling stylistic extremes into multifaceted
sonic mosaics that assume organic form.

VINNY GOLIA, AURORA JOSEPHSON, HENRY KAISER, MIKE KENEALLY, JOE MORRIS,
DAMON SMITH, WEASEL WALTER – HEALING FORCE: THE SONGS OF ALBERT AYLER
(Rune 255)
GENRE: JAZZ / FREE JAZZ
Healing Force: The Songs of Albert Ayler is a heartfelt and joyous
tribute to, and exploration of, the vocally oriented music that saxophonist
and free jazz innovator Albert Ayler created in the last three years
of his life. Believing that Ayler’s late works were ripe with ideas that
were not fully realized at the time, nor appreciated up to the
present, world-renown improviser Henry Kaiser, a guitarist and producer with a
well-documented history of exploring sonic and geographic extremes,
put together a special project to revisit and re-explore Ayler’s songs.
He assembled an all-star septet of players from the art-punk,
brutal-prog, free-jazz, improvisational and modern jazz world, in keeping with
Ayler’s propensity to use, in his late works, larger lineups that
included established musicians from both within the jazz world as well as
outside (Blues, rock, R&B, soul). The lineup for the Healing Force project
included Vinny Golia (reeds), Aurora Josephson (voice), Henry Kaiser
(guitar), Mike Keneally (piano, guitar, voice), Joe Morris (guitar,
bass), Damon Smith (bass) and Weasel Walter (drums). These seven musicians
chose a representative sample of Ayler’s late songs: “Universal Indians”
from Love Cry; “Message from Albert,” “Thank God for Women,” “Heart
Love,” “New Generation” and “New Ghosts” from New Grass; and “Music is
the Healing Force of the Universe,” “A Man is Like a Tree” and “Oh! Love
of Life” from Music is the Healing Force of the Universe. Sharing a
desire “to send the people of earth a message of love, peace, and
spiritual understanding,” Kaiser mentioned that the group held brief
“discussions of what we might try to do with each tune” and then “essentially
let it [the music] play through us.” The result was Healing Force: The
Songs of Albert Ayler, released here by Cuneiform. It is hoped that the
performances on Healing Force: The Songs of Albert Ayler will encourage
new appreciation of this music.

RICHARD LEO JOHNSON & GREGG BENDIAN – WHO KNEW CHARLIE SHOE? (Rune
258)
GENRE: ROCK / ACOUSTIC GUITAR
“Legends aren’t often freshly minted,” said Jazz Times in its review of
guitarist Richard Leo Johnson’s last release, The Legend of Vernon
McAlister, “but Vernon McAlister may be one of them.” Indeed, since it
emerged from the hollow steel body of Johnson’s National Duolian guitar,
Johnson’s “Legend” has taken on a life of its own. Enchanted by the
sounds that emanated from the guitar’s rusted hollow, he wove a fictional
tale of its owner, sequestered himself in his attic and brought the
antique instrument to life, unleashing the sonic wonderland hidden within
the instrument, recording a solo album with only the guitar and some old
mics. The result was Johnson’s 2006 Cuneiform release, The Legend of
Vernon McAlister, an astonishing, hauntingly beautiful work of new
acoustic Americana, which served as a soundtrack, or “aural” history, to a
written “legend” of Vernon McAlister, posted on www.vernonmcalister.com.
As the legend continues, when a new fictional character, Charlie Shoe,
encounters Vernon’s guitar, “it still had the wild animals living in
it, and the trains, and the fires, and the angels, and the love, and the
trouble.” In Who Knew Charlie Shoe?, Johnson expands on the lessons,
legend and instrumentation of Vernon, working with percussionist Gregg
Bendian to reveal that music and magic reside in the everyday – in
commonplace objects and even in trash – and do not reside solely in one very
special, mysteriously inscribed, metal guitar. The new CD’s liner
notes feature the story of Charlie Shoe, Vernon’s protégé, which is
elaborated online at www.charlie-shoe.com. With Johnson adopting the persona
of Charlie Shoe and playing dime-a-dozen acoustic guitars bought off
eBay, and Bendian, aka Junk Fish, aka Jaden Barrel, playing percussion on
“stuff” ranging from lard cans, brooms, pots, washboards, attic stairs,
water and more, the duo expand on Johnson’s singular, acoustic
Americana hybrid. Together, Johnson and Bendian create music that is
simultaneously traditional and experimental, merging past with present and
avant-garde found object with folksy “swap-meet” discard.

RADIO MASSACRE INTERNATIONAL – RAIN FALLS IN GREY (Rune 256)
GENRE: ELECTRONIC / ROCK / SPACE ROCK
Rain Falls in Grey, the newest release by England’s prolific electronic
wizards, Radio Massacre International (RMI), is dedicated to the late
guitarist Syd Barrett, who died in 2006. His death “forced us to
consider what an enormous influence he was,” says RMI. Barrett made numerous
musical innovations that permanently impacted British rock during his
intense, brief musical career (1965-72), cut short when he became rock’s
first “acid casualty”. Barrett opened London’s doors to psychedelia
and progressive rock as the co-founder, lead guitarist, composer and
driving force behind Pink Floyd, England’s most popular psychedelic band,
which released multiple singles and an album under his watch. His
compositions imploded pop’s song structure – as did those of his Soft Machine
friends, who shared Pink Floyd’s stage and recorded on Barrett’s 1970
solo albums – in songs like “Interstellar Overdrive,” a “wildly
unpredictable, chemically-inspired instrumental of indeterminate length”
[Mojo] which devolved into lengthy, improvised jams influenced by free
jazz. Barrett introduced a ‘dark side’ into pop music, using edgy lyrics
and subject matter, experimenting with new, sometimes unpleasant sonic
effects, including noise, distortion, and feedback; and inventing
“glissando” guitar effects by “sliding a Zippo lighter up and down the
fret-board through an old echo box to create mysterious, otherworldly sounds.”
He popularized the use of electronic equipment alongside standard rock
instrumentation, causing Paul McCartney to praise Pink Floyd’s
integration of electronic instruments, studio techniques and rock music as the
wave of the future. Said RMI, “For those of us engaged in experimental
or space rock, the debt is enormous.” Engrossed in recording a new
album of improvised electronic music at the time of Barrett’s death, RMI
recorded several tracks as a spontaneous tribute. Later that year, while
performing at Amsterdam’s Gong Unconvention, RMI asked artist and
musician Daevid Allen – the co-founder of Soft Machine and leader of
psychedelic Gong, who acquired his own glissando guitar technique from
Barrett – to create special art work for the CD. As released here by
Cuneiform and featuring Allen’s artwork, RMI’s new CD is titled Rain Falls in
Grey after a quote from Barrett’s “Baby Lemonade”, a song RMI felt
“summed up the elegiac mood when we first reflected on his passing.” A
collection of space rock that boldly departs from RMI’s customary
all-electronic space improvisations by expanding the group’s sound with more
conventional rock instrumentation and guest musicians on reeds and electric
violin, Rain Falls in Grey serves as a “celebration of the eternal
life and energy that pioneers such as Syd Barrett give through their
music…and the sadness when they lose their way like he did.”

TIME OF ORCHIDS – NAMESAKE CAUTION (Rune 257)
GENRE: ROCK / AVANT-ROCK
The visionary, New York City-based avant-rock band Time of Orchids
creates songs that are darkly beautiful, pop-drenched sonic maelstroms,
steeped in psychedelia and infused with lush vocals. Plundering the ruins
of pop culture, the band’s music is informed as much by modern rock
(metal, industrial, post-rock, avant-progressive, new wave/no wave, pop)
as by 1960s Italian film scores and a touch of classical music. The band
members cite influences as wide-ranging as John Barry/Ennio Morricone,
Mr. Bungle, Cheer-Accident, Nirvana, Thinking Plague, The Magic Band,
Cocteau Twins, Yes, Madonna, The Spice Girls, The B-52’s, Gorecki,
Shostakovich, Shudder to Think, Primus, Police, Olivier Messiaen, Igor
Stravinsky, Dystopa, Gorguts, Kayo Dot, Swans, the spirit of Frank Zappa,
“tons of adventurous rock,” choirs, “stuff with soul and real
desperation” and much, much more… While the resulting sound is unique, Time of
Orchids share an aesthetic and approach with such other early 21st
century genre-defying avant-rock bands as Radiohead, Sleepytime Guerilla
Museum, Cheer-Accident, and the Cuneiform band Alec K. Redfearn & the
Eyesores, all of whom defy musical convention by processing multiple
subgenres of popular music to create a unique sound. On Namesake Caution, the
newest (fifth!) release and first recording for Cuneiform Records, Time
of Orchids continue to transcend the limits of genre and form by
distilling a unique sonic brew into their most stylistically mature,
cohesive, and aesthetically and emotionally potent work to date. A wedding of
dark musical imagery, sweeping sonics, angular and intricately
staggered composition, and evocative, elliptical poetry, all richly interlaced
with dream-pop vocal harmonies that meld the Beach Boys and Yes,
Namesake Caution is emotionally breathtaking and aurally intoxicating.


Edited by Dick Heath - September 14 2007 at 17:43
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 14 2007 at 17:15
Sounds great! Will try to check those outThumbs%20Up
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 14 2007 at 19:11
Ahleuchatistas and RMI are great  Thumbs%20Up
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