Grasscut — Catholic Architecture
(Ninja Tune , 2014, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2014-10-25Grasscut is the Brit duo of composer / vocalist / musician Andrew Phillips and manager / musician Marcus O’Dair. Phillips writes and produces all of the music and he is also known for his soundtracks for HBO, BBC Films, and Channel 4. O’Dair contributes keyboards and double bass and he is also a writer of Robert Wyatt’s authorized biography that will be published by Serpent’s Tail later this month. Grasscut have released two albums, with their third coming in 2015. In the past they have worked with Robert Wyatt, John Surman, the Kronos Quintet, Gazelle Twin, Seb Rochford of Polar Bear, and members of the Elysian Quartet. In anticipation of their third album, Everyone Was a Bird, Grasscut decided to release a new AA single this fall. The two songs on this single are a cover of Robert Wyatt’s “Catholic Architecture” from Dondestan and “Beacon,” an original composition. Robert Wyatt has been a significant influence on the band and their cover of “Catholic Architecture” is an improvement on the original. It is eerie and almost childlike in Phillips' orchestration. There is a definite Canterbury vibe here along with some very tasteful trumpet soloing that provides a jazzy aspect absent from Wyatt’s performance. “Beacon” continues in the same vein with some breathy vocals and its dark, almost Gothic, mood. Over the song’s four and a half minutes the music transforms from its dark electronics to live violin/fiddle and drums and builds to a wonderful climax, to presage the sound of their upcoming 2015 album.
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more
Chick Corea RIP – The sad news has reached us that Chick Corea has Returned to Forever, so to speak. The innovative keyboardist and composer died on February 9 at the age of 79. With a career that spanned from the 60s until shortly before his death, Corea touched many listeners with the incredible variety of music he produced in his lifetime. » Read more
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more
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