Domenique Dumont’s soundtrack album, People on Sunday, out this month

We’re a couple of weeks away from the release of People on Sunday, the third album from Domenique Dumont. An original soundtrack to the 1930 German silent film also known as Menschen am Sonntag, Les Hommes le Dimanche and People On Sunday,  Domenique Dumont was invited to compose the score for a special screening and live performance at the Les Arcs Film Festival in the French Alps in December 2019. About the score Dumont comments:

“Working on this score strengthened my belief that the time we currently live in, although far from perfect, might be the best time to be alive. All the bells and whistles, all the advantages that we have the opportunity to enjoy in the 21st century, are things people couldn’t have dreamt of only a hundred years ago. At the same time, we haven’t yet transformed away from our sense of humanity. As absurd and optimistic as it may sound, we are living in a utopia compared it to what came before and, perhaps, what is to come. Somehow this movie made me think of the present more than the past.”

People on Sunday is set for release on November 13th through The Leaf Label and ahead of it we can hear two wonderful tracks, ‘Sunshine in 1929’ and the title track, the latter accompanied by a video featuring excerpts from the film.

Electric Jalaba release new single ‘Cubaili Ba’

Photo: Alexis Maryon

There’s a new record on the way from London based outfit Electric Jalaba, made up of Moroccan gnawa master Simo Lagnawi, brothers Henry, Oliver, Barnaby and Nathaniel Keen and Dave De Rose. Preceding the album, Electric Jalaba have shared a new single, ‘Cubaili Ba’, a dancefloor track that marks their first release for Strut Records. The single includes an extended version from Soundspecies and a dubby deconstruction from Max Graef, “harnessing the samples and re-moulding them into a pulsing, stripped back treatment”. The new album arrives in Spring 21 but we can already dance to ‘Cubaili Ba’. Here it is.

stargaze and Qasim Naqvi release new piece Inaugural Music

Inaugural Music is the fruit of a divine collaboration between Berlin-based experimental orchestra stargaze and extraordinary percussionist and composer Qasim Naqvi, who is also one-third of longtime favourite avant-jazz band Dawn Of Midi. Eerie and riveting, Inaugural Music was written as a response to the disturbances Donald Trump’s 2016 election victory gave rise to and was just released fittingly ahead of the US election next week. Naqvi offered some insight into the piece::

“Inaugural Music was originally commissioned by stargaze for the Musica Nova Festival in Helsinki. I wrote it during the time between Donald Trump’s election victory and his inauguration – roughly from November 15th of 2016 to January of 2017. This was a deeply troubling moment in our country and the anxiety and sadness was palpable. Many people felt the ground opening under their feet. We were afraid of what was to follow, which most definitely surpassed our wildest expectations at the time. During this transitional period between presidents, writing this piece was a way to assuage a lot of life and death type fears and anxieties that were bubbling to the surface. It was like therapy for me – a coping mechanism.

Another main pillar of this work is the electronics, which were made on a Moog Model D synthesizer. I was drawn to its subtractive properties- a type of synthesis that involves the removal of certain frequencies from a complex sound, through the use of filters. This, along with many other magical properties of the Model D, became the nucleus of the work and the subsequent material for stargaze was the outgrowth. It was a kind of intermingling between complex voltage-created vibrations and the analog of instruments- acoustic sounds generated through breath and string vibration.

The premiere in Helsinki happened on February 5th of 2017 and the recording was made the following year at the Muziekcentrum van de Omroep in Hilversum, Holland. We had access to Studio 2, which is the oldest radio studio room in the Netherlands. I can’t thank stargaze enough for commissioning this piece. At the time it was my first opportunity writing for them, and since then we’ve developed a wonderful, long-standing friendship and creative partnership.”

stargaze conductor André de Ridder also commented on the piece:

“We first noted Qasim’s music through a release of his chamber work Preamble, which we wanted to perform and managed to program quite a few times. We had met when stargaze and Qasim’s band Dawn of Midi both played the same Dutch festival, Cross-Linx, I think in 2016. We exchanged emails and then it’s one of those things where we can’t quite recollect how we became good friends via quite similar interests and mutual respect for each other’s work. I was curating a festival in Helsinki, the Musica Nova Festival, where I was able to invite Qasim as composer in residence – stargaze were due to perform a concert too. For this concert we commissioned Qasim to write a piece for stargaze specifically, with the brief to create a hybrid work of electronics and live instruments, and this became ‘Inaugural Music.’ We’re so happy to have recorded this in the studio, where we were able to explore the particular sonorities that this beautiful work evokes and requires, as a dialogue of the ensemble and the sounds of the Moog and pulses that we compliment or comment on, while often being enveloped by the ambient soundscapes, too.”

Inaugural Music is a piece we want to hear again and again. Here it is.

Inaugural Music is out now on Transgressive Records

Serengeti set to release surprise album With Greg From Deerhoof tomorrow

Much to our suprise and fortune, Chicago rap experimentalist David Cohn aka Serengeti has revealed he has a new album coming out tomorrow October 29th. The record is a collaboration with Deerhoof’s drummer and composer Greg Saunier and is aptly titled With Greg from Deerhoof. In the summer of 2018, nearly a decade after they first met when Serengeti opened for Deerhoof at a Chicago show, the two were at the PEOPLE residency in Berlin and they both happened to sign up for the same slot in one of the recording studios. With nothing prepared in advance, the pair performed ‘I Got Your Password’ to a small audience, including recording engineer Jonas Verwijnen and a few other musicians. Greg got the audio recording earlier this year and sent it to Serengeti, who decided to make a full-length album. As a superb taster for With Greg From Deerhoof, Serengeti has shared two fine singles, ‘Wasps’ and ‘Première’. Take a listen now.

With Greg From Deerhoof is out on October 29th through Joyful Noise Recordings.

Daniel O’Sullivan and Richard Youngs team up for debut collaborative album, Twelve Of Hearts

2020 will end on a high with the freshly announced collaborative album that pairs two of our favourite musicians: marvelous composer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Daniel O’Sullivan and wonderful and inimitable multi-instrumentalist and improviser Richard Youngs. Entitled Twelve of Hearts, the upcoming album marks their first collaboration and was in the works for several months, with O’Sullivan based in London and Youngs based in Glasgow. The two experimental songwriters followed specific rules to compose a cycle of 12 songs based on one chord progression, that came to be called Twelve of Hearts. As Youngs pointed out, “Each song has four chords. No more. No less. They cycle without variation. They never change key“. O’Sullivan had this to say about it:

“The writing process had a geometric quality. Not too much fuss. Just a simple adherence to this method. It’s basically a grid-like structure – concrete pillars in square formation, consonant and unbending and always in a supporting role to these liquified poems and suspended songs. It’s hard and soft at the same time.”

Youngs also stated:

“We did all of the album remotely. It started when Daniel sent me a sprawling improvisation and there was a short section crying out for these four chords. Before we could help ourselves, we had stumbled on the formula – something that seemed to take us from song to song. The same four chords, harmony vocals, some ornamentation, and a lead vocal. We became really focused on it – anything that deviated got rejected. Finding variation in the predictability became quite surprising. I think it shifted some of my ideas on songwriting.”

Twelve of Hearts is set for release on December 1st through O Genesis Recordings but we can already hear the first celestial single, ‘Don’t Hang with Angels’. It comes with an accompanying video directed by Harry Miller.