Epik, Didaktik, Pastoral, the brand new album from composer and guitarist extraordinaire Samuel Hällkvist, is one of the most thrilling surprises of this summer. Released last week through BoogiePost / Burning Shed, the album is a wild and wondrous ride, filled with exciting and unexpected shifts throughout its ten original compositions, and flirting with a variety of genres and influences, from jazz and country to metal and electronic. Fluent in both composition and improvisation, Hällkvist displays his staggering inventiveness, offering a bold and refreshing contemporary album, bursting with sound colours and grooves.
To bring Epik, Didaktik, Pastoral to life, Hällkvist enlisted the help of a slew of talented players, including trumpeters Yazz Ahmed, Noel Langle and Luca Calabrese, bass players Dick Lövgren and Anne Marte Eggen, Knut Finsrud on drums and Katrine Amsler on sound design and programming.
For an exhilarating taste of the album, here’s one of the album tracks, ‘100 Takter med Piano’.
Known for his membership in Portico Quartet and Szun Waves, and a range of other collaborations, multi-instrumentalist Jack Wyllie has unleashed a new collaborative project called Paradise Cinema, featuring Khadim Mbaye (saba drums) and Tons Sambe (tama drums). Paradise Cinema is also the title of their debut album, recorded in Dakar, Senegal. “I had a lot of nights in Dakar when the music around the city would go on until 6am”, described Wyllie about his experience. “I could hear this from my bed at night and it all blended together, in what felt like an early version of the record.”
Paradise Cinema will see the light of day on October 9th through Gondwana Records but we can already hear the wondrous title track. Wyllie explains the inspiration behind it:
“There are a handful of old cinemas in Dakar – these big modernist buildings dotted around the city built around independence. They’re old and derelict now, but feel to me like monuments to that period, when the city was flooded with utopian ideas about its potential futures.”
Last month Suuns unveiled a remix project that saw them invite other musicians they admire to remix ‘2020’, lifted from their 2013 album Images Du Futur. The Montreal based quartet are releasing these remixes digitally on Bandcamp on a Pay What You Can basis, with all proceeds going to the NAACP. Sharing the project in instalments, the first one featured remixes from Kelman Duran; Vive La Void; Greg Saunier; KRAMER, and Brian Case.
Now they have unveiled five new versions of ‘2020’ remixed by Welsh singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon; Chicago-based clarinetist, vocalist and composer Angel Bat Dawid; ethereal experimental artist Julianna Barwick; drummer Kristopher Bowering, and Los Angeles songwriter and multi-instrumentalist SASAMI. Take a listen to Cate Le Bon’s remix below and head over to bandcamp to hear the other remixes.
Following the recent release of his third solo album, Prophecy, Laurence Pike keeps the surprises coming by rolling out a new video for new single ‘Ember’. The video was directed again by visual artist Clemens Habicht, who explained it “is an evolution of the methodology established in previous collaborations on ‘Drum Chant’ and ‘Nero’. He added:
“The shapes in motion again resemble print making abstractions of form that visually parallel Laurence’s exploratory music. This video departs from a direct musical synchronicity of image and sound and captures another type of internal notation, using motion from an activity outside of performance that for Laurence brings a similar type of concentration without the same mastery, a meditative practice that is most likely quite addictive, possibly frustrating, and has him go into a special headspace, trusting in instinct and the process to give forth an outcome”
LA based composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Josiah Steinbrick conquered our years in 2017, with the debut album of his ensemble Banana and later that year with his first solo album. Three years on, Steinbrick is back with his second solo offering entitled Liquid / Devotion & Tongue Street Blue, due out on September 18th through Hands In The Dark and his Full Bloom imprint. The album “unfolds like a rapturous dream”, describes the press release, continuing: “Hushed laments, ecstatic rhythms, and hypnotic arrangements induce a state of reverie, where boundaries dissolve between fading memories, illusions, and the hyper-real.”
‘Full Bloom’ serves as the first magnificient taste from Liquid / Devotion & Tongue Street Blue and you can hear it below.
News of a new album from Manu Delago fills us with excitement. Following the release of Circadian, which was one of our 15 Albums Picks of 2019, the staggeringly talented Austrian percussionist and composer has announced the release of a live version of the record. Entitled Circadian Live, and slated for a September 18th release through One Little Independent Records, the upcoming album was recorded last year while touring Circadian in Europe with his ensemble. Speaking about the live album, Delago stated:
“Out of over 1000 gigs that I’ve played, this is the one programme that I wanted to make a live album of. Since being a student 10 years ago, I’ve dreamt of having my own ensemble that’s big enough to have an orchestral sound quality, but small enough to give space to individual characters and to be a tight rhythmic union. After a long journey the 9-piece Circadian Ensemble evolved, consisting of three percussionists, three wind players and three strings.
I handpicked some of my favourite musicians and tried to feature their unique style in the compositions and arrangements. On the Circadian Tour we performed 18 concerts within 21 days which were all recorded. The intense schedule gave us the opportunity to develop and improve the music on a daily basis, unlike most big orchestral productions where usually there aren’t many performances. The ensemble grew together day by day and the album to me is a symbol of togetherness.”
Circadian was inspired and informed by the concept of the body’s internal clock known as Circadian rhythms, in particular Delago’s disruption of his own sleep cycles as a busy musician collaborating and touring with the likes of Bjork, Anoushka Shankar, Poppy Ackroyd, the London Symphony Orchestra and Olafur Arnalds, amongst many others. On Circadian Live, and as the press release explains, this theme is fully explored, evolving into “an honest retelling as well as something completely of itself.”
The majestic live version of ‘Uranus’ is the first single to be unveiled from Circadian Live and it invites you to hit the play button again as soon as it concludes.