The Blessing and The Curse
You Always Wonder If You’ve Missed Something
Back in the days when psychedelia was ruling the music world late Kevin Ayers wrote some of the archetypal lyrics in his Soft Machine days that can still ring true:
“It begins with a blessing, it ends with a curse
Making life easy by making it worse” (“Why Are We Sleeping?)
It can apply to so many things, including those piles of music that keep cropping up as a theme here. It is a blessing to get so much music into your life. But it always ends with a curse, since you simply cannot get through it all.
But, then, you keep coming back to them, as you always have that nagging feeling that you might be missing something good, even extraordinary. As is usually the case, good is always there, and that extraordinary is a rarity. Still, that question in the title of the Ayers’ song keeps coming up over and over again…
So, sifting through for those special things, yes, again…
Peace Flag Ensemble - Presentism
Talking about sleep and all the other night activities, Peace Flag Ensemble, “an experimental jazz collective from scattered points across Saskatchewan” as their PR goes, come up with some exquisite ethereal/ambient jazz on ‘Presentism,’ from their upcoming album ‘Noteland.’ At the same time, they show how much you can do with a trumpet, piano, upright bass, and some electronic embellishments.
Dave Keuning - Time and Fury
The Killers guitarist Dave Keuning comes up with some more day-oriented stuff on ‘Time and Fury.’ If you expect some sophisticated pop/rock, you’ll get a very positive answer in the manner of early Australian masters The Church, and latter-day, well, of course, The Killers. Although Keuning here goes more for that 80’s sound that was more underrated than it should have been.
Gavin Peller - There Is Wonder
Kramer is known for quite a few musical adventures, from Shockabilly to Bongwater, to solo work. But what remains his most shady accomplishment is discovering extra talent through his various Shimmy-Disc incarnations. Gavin Peller is yet another in that line, with a quite shimmering psych ballad in ‘There Is Wonder.’ There just as well might be.
Mabe Fratti - HACIA EL VACÍO
Mexican composer/cellist/singer Mabe Fratti, obviously has an open ear for combining post-modern classical music with electronics, ambient drones and subdued vocals with dark-hued overtones. But, on ‘Hacia El Vacio’ from her forthcoming album ‘Será que ahora podremos entendernos?’ Actually shows how well she can make such a combination work.
Tashaki Miyaki - Wasting Time
‘Wasting Time’ might be the title of this LA Trio latest single, but it goes on to prove that is no waste of time or effort if you come up with some excellent pop, usually one of the harder thing to do. You are always stuck with a formula to follow and yet you have to come up with something fresh and inventive. The do here, hopefully on their upcoming album ‘Castaway’ too.
Maston - Souvenir
Music pieces can definitely be souvenirs. One of experts in making such musical ditties was Brazilian keyboardist Walter Wanderley, who was always on the edge, turning possible kitsch into something that actually works as art. LA composer/producer Maston combines with a Swiss band L’Eclair to come up with this barely one two minute ditty that follows Wanderley’s patterns without either imitating him or producing kitsch themselves.
And still, the piles keep on growing…