Chat Noir — Hyperuranion
(RareNoise RNR104, 2019, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2019-06-19
Italian electronic jazz explorers Chat Noir are back after three years with Hyperuranion, and the duo of Michele Cavillari (keyboards) and Luca Fogagnolo (bass) has expanded to a quartet with the addition of Moritz Baumgärtner (drums) and Daniel Calvi (guitar, synthesizers). The well-known trumpeter Nils Petter Molvær is also on board for four of the nine tracks. Hyperuranion finds the group ranging even further astray from traditional sounds into a realm where the “jazz” label is even more tenuous, and even existing labels for flavors of electronic music seem inadequate. At times, groups such as Supersilent, The Tronosonic Experience, and Jaga Jazzist come to mind, as well as some of Cuong Vu’s more electronic work, but I can’t think of anything that’s got the same blend of real and programmed beats with jazzy grooves and acoustic and electric instruments. Moods and textures are more important than blowing here, so solos are subtle rather than up-front, and a cool, relaxed vibe permeates the music. Which is not to say it’s without energy, just that the music isn’t in your face with aggressive sound. So call it jazz, or don’t, but it doesn’t matter. If your enjoyment of music isn’t limited by how much it conforms to established genres, Chat Noir has a chance with you. I find it’s a very attractive mix, and enjoy it a lot.
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