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neumu
Thursday, November 27, 2014 
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Editor's note: We have activated the Neumu 44.1 kHz Archive. Use the link at the bottom of this list to access hundreds of Neumu reviews.

+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

44.1 kHz Archive



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Merzbow/Jazzkammer
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Live At Molde International Jazz Festival
Smalltown Supersound
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The latest release from Norwegian avant-electronics imprint Smalltown Supersound documents a live collaboration between the duo Jazzkammer and Japanese extreme-noise practitioner Merzbow (AKA Masami Akita). Don't let the title fool you, though: this isn't jazz in any form you know, not be-bop, not free jazz, not nu jazz. But while your preconception of Merzbow may be a screeching, hell-bent onslaught of pure noise, it's not that either. Not quite, anyway.

Not that this is pastoral, by any means. The first of the three tracks quickly builds from a lopsided shoes-in-the-dryer percussion loop into a measured, insectile fidgeting before it balloons into a triumphant collision of tones, textures and ideas. There is some jazz here, in fact — a third of the way into the first track, a piano emits a tumbling loop of slapping and finger collapse, folded into metal-style drum kicks and a frequency-beaten sample of a drum solo. Where much electronic music focuses increasingly on process, Merzbow and Jazzkammer here concern themselves primarily with sonic dynamism: the impulse of rhythm, the entropy of feedback, the unstable truce in looping chaos.

Slowly the proceedings succumb to a welling distortion; all limits pushed into the red, distinct sounds risk losing their identity and are subsumed into a wash of white noise. For the remainder of the CD, individual elements (tones, beats, even snippets of death metal) struggle to break free, like mastodons throwing desperate tusks up above the lip of the tar pit, but everything eventually is sucked back down into the morass. Ultimately, it's this tension that makes the CD so captivating, fixing all your attention on the flat, elastic breaking point that, like the raised skin of water, separates structure from total collapse.


by Philip Sherburne




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