Armonite — The Sun Is New Each Day
(Bandcamp no#, 2016, DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2016-10-04
The Sun Is New Each Day starts with a double-bass drum blast and the first thought is, “Oh no, another prog metal clone!” But the next thing you hear is a violin backed by keyboards, and the impression changes. As the music goes on, you realize that there’s no guitar (or if you read the credits in advance, you knew it already). The overall style is amped up Romantic Classical music with few touches of Twentieth Century or later. From time to time there’s a slightly bluesy lick on the violin or a repetitive pattern on a synthesizer, but it’s always sweetly tonal, reminiscent of 80s video game music as much as anything. The percussion sounds add to this impression — although a drummer is credited (Jasper Barendregt), it sounds so precise and dry that it might well be programmed. The two proper members of Armonite, Jacopo Bigi (violin) and Paulo Fosso (keyboards), are both skilled players who avoid the trap of merely showing off their technical abilities. It’s hard to fault the compositions or performances, and my only complaint is that it sounds a bit on the sterile side, without a lot of human feeling added. I’m going to put this down to the production, which is slick and modern, but has no real atmosphere, no sense that (aside from the violin) human hands created the sounds. The lovely tune “Le Temps Qui Fait Ta Rose” provides a welcome relief, featuring only acoustic piano and overdubbed violins.
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more