Indigo Mist — That the Days Go by and Never Come Again
(RareNoise RNR042, 2014, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2014-10-03
For some years now, jazz and electronics have interfaced in various ways, from the dance-oriented Blue Note remixes to the experimentation of Spring Heel Jack. I suppose you could trace the origin of this stream all the way back to the late 60s or early 70s and the work of Herbie Hancock and Sun Ra. Indigo Mist presents their own take on the confluence of jazz and modern technology, employing pretty much everything available as of 2014. But for all the technological tomfoolery, the listener could almost be listening to music from any time since the advent of free jazz. Not that this music is entirely free — the presence of titles like "In a Sentimental Mood" and "Mood Indigo" gives a hint that for all their reaching for the outer edges of sound, they have no intention of ignoring history or leaving it behind. But this band's interpretations of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn material do stray pretty far from the originals, featuring mere hints of the composed melodies backed with all manner of mood-setting sounds, be they quivering arco bass, unconventional drum sounds, or atmospheric electronics. Cuong Vu's trumpet is utilized rather sparingly, often absent or obscured for long periods, but he provides some of the album's highlights, whether swinging in a near-traditional fashion or producing less familiar tones. Richard Karpen's piano playing also runs quite a gamut, at times downright insane pounding, at other times contemplative and serene. Fans of smooth jazz need not apply, but for a less inhibited listener, Indigo Mist provides a lot of satisfaction.
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more