Reindeer – Field Reports from the Western Lands

James Reindeer - Field Reports from the Western LandsExperimental artist James Reindeer (known simply as Reindeer) hails from south London. Field Reports from the Western Lands is officially his debut solo album, and is a conceptual sequel to the FBCabric & Reindeer release It’s Not Who You Know, It’s Whom You Know.

Field Reports from the Western Lands is multi-layered, interesting, thought-provoking, broody, powerful and complex album. Reminiscent in part to Dalek, with its heavy dark hip-hop beats and social commentary.  I’m also reminded of Tricky – not so much by the music, but the cross-pollination of sounds and textures.

With Field Reports from the Western Lands, James Reindeer leads you by the hand through a cracked, dysfunctional and dying society. His rap delivered like prophetic sermons from a renegade preacher, in perfect union with Nimrod’s sonic landscapes and hip hop induced post-rock,  interspersed with and field recordings to create a perfect and highly intoxicating, if not somewhat heavy and intense, pleasurable listening experience.

Field Reports from the Western Lands by Reindeer tracklisting:

1. Nmbrsttn01 – ’’…We Live In A World Where…’’
2. Description of a Struggle
3. Black Smoke Columns Into the Frozen Sky – Committee on the Present Danger
4. Ornaments Of Servitude – Nmbrsttn02 – [Atonalnoisefield]
5. Nmbrsttn03 – Monochrome Dream
6. fieldreportsfromthewesternlands
7. Black Helicopters Over Cnnwtz – Nmbrsttn04 – Field Dissonance
8. Children of a Lesser God – Along a Frozen Dawn
9. [Bikiniatoltonepoem] – Nmbrsttn05
10. Black Monoliths Over New Jerusalem – [apparition worship]
11. We Are Shot with Wounds Beneath a Chemical Sky…
12. There Is A Tape Recorder Inside The Sun – Nmbrsttn06
13. Fire Sermon – Wasteland
14. By the Bitter Lake We Sat Down and Wept…
15. Black Clouds Of Static Over Crydn – Nmbrsttn07 – Eyeless In Gaza
16. Eulogy Ongoing – ’’…most people were silent…’’

‘Field Reports from the Western Lands’ by experimental artist Reindeer is scheduled for release on 30 March via Anette Records.

Gold Panda ‘Your Good Times Are Just Beginning’ EP

Gold Panda
Gold Panda

After the release of his third album ‘Good Luck And Do Your Best’ in May, followed by a year of worldwide live shows, a surprise EP release (June’s ‘Kingdom’ EP) and the release of a photography book in collaboration with London-based photographer Laura Lewis, Gold Panda ends 2016 with a new EP and a headline show at London’s Oval Space on December 6th.

The ‘Your Good Times Are Just BeginningEP is released this Friday 18th November via City Slang and features remixes by Fort Romeau, John Roberts & Daisuke Tanabe.

Filmed in Norwich Arts Centre by Robbie Knox, the video was edited by and features imagery from Gold Panda’s touring visual artist Dan Tombs, who has also worked with the likes of East India Youth, Jon Hopkins and Blanck Mass and has spent the majority of this year touring with and developing the Gold Panda live show.

The ‘Your Good Times Are Just Beginning’ EP will be available as a 6 track collection both digitally and on CD and also as a limited edition 3 track 12″ featuring the key remixes. The digital and CD six-track collection is led by the elegiac, hopeful final track from his album ‘Your Good Times Are Just Beginning’, an emotional masterpiece pieced together from heart-tugging piano stabs and soulful trumpets. The song is backed up with a re-imagining of album highlight ‘Chiba Nights’ that is flipped into ‘Chiba Days’, plus three remixes of music taken from his latest LP by a talented and varied cast.

Having previously re-worked the Gold Panda track ‘Community’, Berlin-resident Fort Romeau once again takes the reigns with a gorgeous, nine-minute pulsing, percussion driven recreation of the track ‘Time Eater’ complete with ghostly synth motifs that twirl around Japanese instrumentation culminating in a frenetic release. US producer John Roberts, who himself released one of the best deep house records of the year, remixes ‘Chiba Nights’, transforming it into a thumping, acid-tinged affair that mixes space and warped electronics beautifully.

Finally, the contemplative ‘Song For A Dead Friend’ is taken on by Japanese musician Daisuke Tanabe, whose wide ranging musical influences of electronica, folk and jazz all come to bear on this track. Radically different to the two that run prior to it on the 12”, it’s more akin to the likes of Boards of Canada and Plaid, as it slowly ebbs to a wistful conclusion over three different musical phases. The final track on the ‘Your Good Times Are Just Beginning ’EP is a cover of ‘Time Eater’ by the Korean-based duo Sssigghborggg that also features the talents of Luna who performing the traditional Korean stringed instrument, gayageum on the track. The gorgeous, slightly eerie take on the original is rooted in post rock but has a unique beauty all to itself, as it unfurls to a dense, math-rock psychedelic jam.

As well as this, Gold Panda has also recently released a photography book with London-based photographer Laura Lewis entitled ‘Good Look And Do Your Best’, which is the counterpart to his highly acclaimed recent album of the same name. The pair set out to capture the rich sounds, moods and colours of suburban Japan that they had fallen so in love with during a trip in 2014, which became a catalyst for the record. It is available at selected shops and online via Bandcamp.

Gold Panda – Your Good Times Are Just Beginning digital release & CD track list:
01 Your Good Times are Just Beginning
02 Chiba Days
03 Time Eater (Fort Romeau remix)
04 Song for a Dead Friend (Daisuke Tanabe remix)
05 Chiba Nights (John Roberts remix) (link)
06 Time Eater (Ssighborggg feat. Luna re-cover)

Gold Panda – Your Good Times Are Just Beginning 12” vinyl track list:
A1 Time Eater (Fort Romeau remix)
B1 Chiba Nights (John Roberts remix) (link)
B2 Song For A Dead Friend (Daisuke Tanabe remix)

Gold Panda Live:
Nov 26th – Neon Lights Festival, Singapore SI
Dec 6th – Oval Space, London UK

 

Classical minimalism, experimental, ambient – Deer Heart by Tilman Robinson

Deer Heart by Tilman Robinson
Tilman Robinson

Deer Heart was written, recorded and meticulously pieced together at various locations in Berlin, Melbourne, the Canadian Rockies and Reykjavík’s Greenhouse Studios, and follows Tilman Robinson’s debut recording Network of Lies.

Tilman Robinson releases his second full-length album in a haze of glitch cut ups, distortion and tranquil beauty. Deer Heart is multi-layered. One minute beautiful, calm and endearing like a summer lake or snow covered forest, before sliding into darkness and shadows enveloping the listener as it pulls you from one state to another. Innocence, harsh coldness, this beautiful music plays out in black and white. Little room for colour. The music is mesmerising. At times sounding like a soundtrack to a spine-tingling Stephen King thriller; at others, more at home hanging in a gallery alongside abstract paintings, rather than boxed into any ill-fitting music category.

Like all great experimental albums, it is at times challenging. Pushing at boundaries and the simple notion of static, one dimensional forms of music.

With Deer Heart, Tilman Robinson draws from a wide range of musical influences and is intent on testing the psychological impacts of dense sound. Mixed by Valgeir Sigurðsson, best known for his work with Björk, Deer Heart finds Tilman Robinson elevating his sound into an unlikely mix of optimism and nihilism via dark sonic crevices. It is an album of depth and complexity; a record equally at home on the shelves of the most avid post-rock fan as it would in the ranks of any modern-composer collection.

Tilman Robinson is an Australian composer, producer and sound designer, creating electro-acoustic music across a range of genres including classical minimalism, improvised, experimental, electronic and ambient. Academy trained in the fields of both classical and jazz composition, his diverse output focuses on the psychological impact of sound.

One of the best albums of 2016, Deer Heart by Tilman Robinson is scheduled for release on 14 October 2016 through Hobbledehoy Record Co.

Susumu Yokota: 1961 – 2015 R.I.P.

Susumu Yokota: 1961 - 2015 R.I.P.
Susumu Yokota: 1961 - 2015 R.I.P.

In the late 1990s while on a trip collecting CDs for review, I had the good fortune of meeting Tony Morley at the Leaf Records office in Brixton. The CDs he was releasing and promoting via his promotions company No.9 PR, helped to broaden my horizons with an eclectic mix of leftfield electronic and ambient experimental music. Of the many fascinating artists he introduced me to, Burnt Friedman and the Japanese composer, Susumu Yokota stood out as something very special. That day I received two of Susumu Yokota’s albums, Magic Thread (1998) and Image (1993-98), the latter being a compilation of earlier recordings.

Susumu Yokota – A Song Produced While Floating Alone on Christmas Day from the album Love Or Die (2007)
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xvvxLoCg_Q

Though both albums made a deep impression, I wouldn’t count them among my favourites today. But there’s plenty to choose from. Yokota’s output was prolific, releasing no less than 23 studio albums under his own name and more under pseudonyms such as Anima Mundi, Ebi, Prism, Ringo, Stevia, Ying & Yang; as well as another three released simply as Yokota. He also released an album with Rothko, Distant Sounds Of Summer (2005). See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susumu_Yokota_discography

Susumu Yokota – Genshi from the album Sakura (1999)
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4GRaVnFniA

I have eight of his albums including two favourites, Sakura and Symbol. These two albums are among my favourite albums of all-time and are rarely away from the CD player whether at home or in my car. They epitomise Susumu Yokota‘s music – beautiful, serene and at times thought-provoking. His music was experimental and at times avant-garde, but always it seemed interesting.

Susumu Yokota – Kodomotachi from the album Symbol (2005)
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5ZbGLzyqcQ

A death is always sad. But when someone so talented dies at such a young age it is of course, more tragic. Susumu Yokota was just 54 years old when he died on 27th March 2015 after “a long period of medical treatment.”. In these days of instant news across global social platforms, I also found it sad that Yokota’s death wasn’t reported until several months later. But this was apparently down to his family not knowing his music contacts until recently. His family released the following message:

“It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Susumu Yokota who passed away on 27th March, 2015 at the age of 54 after a long period of medical treatment. We are deeply thankful to the people who listened to and supported Susumu’s music during his lifetime. Please accept our sincere apologies for the delay in this announcement, as we were until recently unacquainted with Susumu’s music industry contacts.”

Susumu Yokota – Saku from the album, Sakura (1999)
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRGZLh3ZQOI

His last studio album Lover, was released in 2012.

Susumu Yokota also released techno and house music and was a renowned DJ too. But it’s his experimental ambient, electronic music that I will always love and so fondly remember.

As a tribute to Susumu Yokota, The Leaf Label and Lo Recordings have joined forces to release My Energy, a six track EP featuring selected highlights from Yokota’s varied and acclaimed back catalogue, most of which were originally released on his own Skintone label. The EP is available now on Bandcamp as a ‘Pay what you want’ release with all proceeds going to Animal Refuge Kansai. Yokota was a lifelong animal lover, and the charity was chosen at his family’s request.

DOWNLOAD MY ENERGY EP HERE

Susumu Yokota: 1961 – 2015 R.I.P.

Urvanovic release debut album, Amateurs

Urvanovic - debut album, Amateurs
Urvanovic - debut album, Amateurs

Urvanovic their debut album, Amateurs, released via Survivalist on 15th June 2015.  They make beautiful music that falls somewhere between traditional folk music and indie electronica for every lo-fi song on the album, such as ‘Waterworks’ and ‘Onomatophobia’ there is an equally anthemic counterpart, whether it’s the distortion heavy and immediate album opener ‘Open Ground’ or the electro heavy ‘Bubblewrap’.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHONufNqXQ4

Urvanovic are not a band who can be easily pigeon holed, and their ability to create a noise that’s both deliciously complex and eminently listenable is a credit to their ability as musicians.  They have released a free track ‘Warren‘. The song is taken from their debut album, Amateurs, released via Survivalist on 15th June 2015.

Warren‘ begins by setting the scene with minimalist strings and a lone voice in the ether, and then the rest of the band wash over the track, creating a multifaceted sound that’s simply breathtaking.

[ad#urvanovic-warrens]

Urvanovic UK Live Dates
9th June – 13th Note w/ Panda Su & Finn LeMarinel – Glasgow
12th June – Wee Red Bar w/ Esperi & The Jellyman’s Daughter – Edinburgh
13th June – Love Music – In-store session and exclusive early Vinyl release – Glasgow

Amateurs
is released by Urvanovic via Survivalist on 15th June 2015.