Nouvelles Lectures Cosmopolites — Friesengeist Part Pi - Ascendances
(Gazul GA 8686.AR, 2006, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2008-01-01For the third installment of his Friesengeist series, Julien Ash has pared things down, utilizing only four musicians to augment his own keyboards and effects; previous releases featured eight or more. This lends a very intimate atmosphere to the music, making it a kind of modern chamber music that really doesn't resemble anything else I've heard. Melancholy piano is accompanied by violin, acoustic guitar, piccolo bass, and occasional female vocals on 15 mostly low-key pieces. Electronic touches vary from subtle spice to pretty much nonexistent, leaving the players to their own devices at times, or drifting for periods of indistinct ambiance consisting of unidentifiable noise — though never harsh or grating. All in all it's very mellow and reflective, definitely more suited to Sunday morning than Saturday night, and don't even think of listening to it in your car or on the subway. So while there is nothing to get excited about here (as excitement is not the goal), there's plenty to enjoy if you're looking for some beautiful music that isn't cloying.
Related artist(s): Nouvelles Lectures Cosmopolites (NLC)
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
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more