Relentless and inventive drummer and composer Laurence Pike has dazzled us time and again for over a decade now, with numerous other projects and collaborations within the realms of electronic, jazz and post-rock. Last year saw him release his celestial debut solo album, Distant Early Warning, and the good news is a follow-up has been announced. Entitled Holy Spring, Pike´s new record arrives on May 17th through The Leaf Label.
Improvisation has been a major element of his music, and it is the heart of the creative process on the upcoming record. “The aim for my solo work,” he says, “has been to use technology to expand the sonic potential of the drum kit, without ever limiting the capacity for human expression.” He adds: “The music simply playing itself, achieving what I now understand to be, and can only describe as ‘freedom’.”
Pike has let loose the album’s first single,’ ‘Drum Chant’ , and if that is anything to go by, we just can’t wait for May to come.
Kamaal Williams aka Henry Wu released The Return last year, the first album under his own name and one of our Picks of 2019. The record was followed up in December with a 12-inch release, ‘New Heights (Visions of Aisha Malik) / Snitches Brew’, and its first track has now been paired up with an accompanying film. Williams had this to say about it:
“2019 is all about making movies; Bruce Lee was a huge inspiration growing up because he was the first Chinese guy on the big screen. I feel like music and martial arts have the same flow of energy and are respective art forms. So why not bring Wu Funk and Kung Fu together?”
The film was directed by Greg Barnes and stars Chris Tang and Jayson Wynters. Here it is.
We´re nearing the release of Matmos‘ new album Plastic Anniversary and they had already shared ‘Silicone Gel Implant’ and the title track. To get us even more excited, the pair has dropped two new cuts from the record, ‘Thermoplastic Riot Shield’ and ‘Breaking Bread’. Like the entire album, plastic is the single sound source on both tracks. The sounds on ‘Thermoplastic Riot Shield’ are extracted from a police riot shield and ‘Breaking Bread’ uses samples of smashed LPs by the 70s band with the same name at a WFMU record fair.
Matmos have also paired both tracks with accompanying videos. The band’s own M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel co-directed with David Serotte the video for ‘Thermoplastic Riot Shield’, one “that takes a perverted close up look at police equipment”, as they put it. Robert Syrett has animated the video for ‘Breaking Bread’ “into a comedic parable about ecological destruction”. Watch them below and watch out for the release of Plastic Anniversary on March 15th through Thrill Jockey.
Bella Union‘s newest offering, Modern Nature, brings together Jack Cooper (Ultimate Painting/Mazes), Will Young (BEAK>), Woods’ Aaron Neveu and Sunwatchers’ Jeff Tobias. Named after Derek Jarman’s garden diaries, Modern Nature’s first fruits come in the shape of an EP called Nature and due for release on March 22nd. The EP’s announcement comes paired with the first taste from it, the transcending ‘Supernature’, a track that grabbed our ears and soul instantly. Clocking in at nearly 12 minutes, ‘Supernature’ is the project’s “most recent recording and there seems to be some sense in people hearing that first”, as Jack Cooper puts it. Here it is.
Modern Nature will perform their first live show at London’s St Pancras Old Church on April 8th
There’s no artist out there quite like Tanya Tagaq. Listening to her music, all the more in a live context, creates each and every time a truly unique, absorbing and intense experience. Always innovating and pushing boundaries with every release she puts out, the immensely talented Inuit throat singer has announced a new 5-track EP, following 2016´s album Retribution, which was one of our 15 Picks of the year and remains an active favourite. Entitled Toothsayer, the music on the EP was originally commissioned by London´s National Maritime Museum to accompany an exhibition called Polar Winds, and features percussionist Jean Martin and electronic producer Ash Koosha. “I named this Toothsayer because I always liked the term soothsayer, to look into the future and to speak wisely,” explained Tagaq. “Teeth represent protection and hunting in nature. We are going to have to get our fists up and our teeth out to carve our way to survival in this world.” The album title is also linked to Tagaq’s first book, Split Tooth, a novel about a girl growing up in Nunavut in the 70s, blending memoir with fiction.
Ahead of the EP´s release on March 1st through Six Shooter Records, Tagaq has shared the otherworldly and compelling first single ‘Snowblind’. As the the title suggests, it “expresses the sensory experience of snowblindness, a condition that can produce colourful pulsating shapes amidst darkness,” describes the press release. “The contrast of brightness and darkness, a recurring theme in Tagaq’s work, is at once environmental, physical and emotional and political.” Listen to ‘Snowblind’ now.
Snapped Ankles had already shared their second blistering single ‘Rechargeable’, off their upcoming second album Stunning Luxury. Ahead of its release on March 1st through The Leaf Label, the London based band have shared an accompanying video. Described as “a call to harness the kinetic energy of dance to push against the rigid continuity of the daily routine”, the video keeps with the track’s theme. Take a look.