the sky is as full as an udder : rfm on garrett wingfield & david leon, maya dunietz & tom white and various aposiopèse artisits

May 28, 2017 at 12:50 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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Garret Wingfield & David Leon – Yeah, No Thanks (Self Release)

Maya Dunietz & Tom White – Summer Crash (Singing Knives Records)

Various Artists – VIII (Aposiopèse)

 Garret Wingfeild

Garret Wingfield & David Leon – Yeah, No Thanks (Self Release) digital album only

What’s the story?  Two saxophones / four lungs all melt into buttery parps and hawks on this utterly charming disc.

Taking a total approach to warm breath Garret (in the right channel)  & David (in the left channel) squeal and honk through nine short improvisations and instant compositions running the gamut from lightly tickled to full-on brass discipline.

The mood is generally playful, veering from the knockabout ‘I’m Fromgoogle’ (sic) played on those whizzing party favours to the beautifully recorded and played ‘Tilting @pinwheels’ where the flat slaps of the keys flutter like fancy fireflies around circular riffs – comfy as a steaming cuppa and marmite on toast.

‘Middle School Me’ is pure Peppermint Patty, tough with a misunderstood heart of gold, all ending with a delicious laugh.

But melancholy also takes a seat at the table, ‘Before, then’ starts off like some Henry Cow offering with that signature hope-through-adversity sigh and ‘Trash Panda’ revels in leaving-in the awkward silence, lip-splutter and spit-valve fingerings creating delicate pale, pearls from salty grains.

Students of the horn pay attention.  These superb doodles are your new practice chops!

maya and tom

Maya Dunietz & Tom White – Summer Crash (Singing Knives Records) CD

Oustanding Quatermass freakery from these two living dovetail joints.

This damn fine recording leapt like a flea from the back of a 2016 tour with Maya Dunietz (voice/piano/harp) melting butter all over Tom White’s (reel-to-reel tape) witchcraft.

Taken as a whole, the mood of this vital disc is pastoral-unease…that strange sense of something untoward going on beneath the golden fields of ripe corn and proud wheat.  Maybe it’s the sly Elysium lyric and wordless moans that float like duck-down warmed by the bruised air?  Or could it be the gentle rush and echolalia of the handcrafted tape loops weaving a beautiful pattern of dark orange, red and pink – the twilight blush of the setting sun?

A piano picks out a decaying tune; a distracted voice mirrors it like mist.  We’re living in the last days of a torch singer, gloomy glories reflected back in knotty loops and sepia memory coils.  Floating free of gravity, ‘Everything is Soaked’ is deliciously intangible, hard to grasp but with sharp hooks that snag on the old grey matter making me hum Lear-like segments of these voice/tape hybrids at the bus stop for days to come.

A nagging, insistent riff marks the tick-tock of ‘Spare Ribs’, like a glitterbeat distilled through electricity pylons until they spark with deadly black energy.  Maya’s close-miked vocals tweak the building pressure (a storm is brewing, the sky is full as an udder) moving from gentle/foul gibberish to shrieks of fear and panic.  A disco track for the very-most-modern form of dancing practiced today.

A space opens for the delicate kora-style harp that opens ‘Josephine’.  The psychedelic ghosting of tape-wax and field recordings are so subtle and controlled I may well have dreamt them, but like the salt encrusting your margarita glass, they hold it all together with their essential bitterness.  Some of the few intelligible words on this whole disc, ‘black sail’ and ‘rain’ roll through the language shower – meanwhile a dry wooden rattle marks the end with a question, “are you ready to believe?”

Each of these three wonderful offerings leads us to into the closer ‘Summer’ a Pinteresque exploration of looming, deep restraint and intimate sonic denial.

“Some slow-motion explosion is corralled into a percussion loop while the liquid fairground slips between the cracks.  The churning motion becomes a carousel losing its tilt, dangerously swaying.  Soft and menacing vocal hoffs cheer like La Calavera Catrina, up to her armpits in the body of the piano pulling deep red tones out of the beast. A somber procession starts to wind down the hill, each villager holding the shirt-tails of their neighbor for fear of being lost in the tumbling ivory and ebony avalanche. “

Mark my words!  Summer Crash is your essential balmy evening listen; thin cheroot lit and golden sherry glass poised (pinky out).


Various Artists – VIII (Aposiopèse) digital album (wav) only

Super-double-classy compilation from the French label  – Aposiopèse.

Subtle glitch, granular fonk and ‘extracted’ field recordings are the order of the day over a generous 74 minutes.  And like all good compilations there is a gentle narrative running through these pieces – an insistence on educated listening and patience.  Buckle up tight for the ride…

  • Coppice – A central heating system comes to life; witness the impudent boiler knock. A fine-tube roar as bronzed and bright as ginger.  Hissing practiced to black belt standards.
  • Hervé Moire & Juan Pablo Espinoza – shake up a bottle of pills and record the tiny tablets bouncing around. Defiant interventions like door creaks and synth tones just about mask a coffin lid opening.  Twin players in harmony milking the dissonance teat.
  • Jean-Luc Guionnet – gooses the church organ in Verneuil  sur Avre, creating twelve hefty minutes of deep, deep, booming pressure in my lugs. I’m imagining this being played on a colourful Dub Sound System until the higher registers are explored in glorious throbbing detail.
  • Julien Beau – records his dog growl, crickets chirp and water flow in a musique concrete envelope that ladles electronic tones over the mix like hot gravy. A pleasant kick drum reminds me I’m alive in the world as the confetti gets more intense around me in the most fabulous manner.
  • Tarab – Boiling? Bubbling? The ‘soda’ of the title fights against a racquet sport (Real Tennis perhaps), high-pressure squealing and the lumber of life on the road.  The shared intimacy (make-up applied on the bus perhaps) makes this almost unbearable to check out on headphones…forever thrown into personal sonic-spaces.

“I didn’t want to be a voyeur but they made me listen!”

A notebook indeed!

  • Thomas Tilly – unprocessed field recordings of noisy bird barking like Daleks in the jungle. The rise and fall of the hollow-beaked trills become the softest siren, the calmest panic button ever.  Ear canal (left) and ear canal (right) unite in glorious chirps.
  • Tomoko Sauvage – takes a bunch of shit from the kitchen and makes music sweet enough that I darn near cried. Beautiful slopping and sonorous waterfalls wobble like fat children; hot and chubby hands held tight. Nuff said.
  • Yvan Etienne – for lovers of extended tones and horror film soundtracks. Totally blisssed-out if your idea of bliss is disturbing hallucinations, thick smears of blood in the bathroom and rusty meathooks.  Pitched somewhere between a sigh of exhaustion and the upper edge of tinnitus until a coda of suspicious farm machinery reveals the complete wake in fright

 You want?  You want!


Yeah, No Thanks Bandcamp

Singing Knives Records

Aposiopese Bandcamp




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