Helsinki (I'll Never Forgive Myself) - (3:59) 118 BPM
November - (3:03) 90 BPM
Meg - (3:53) 86 BPM
Penetration - (2:08) 91 BPM
Lapse Wine - (1:44) 154 BPM
Friends - (2:42) 142 BPM
Review: Thirteen recordings of musics entirely produced upon 4-track portastudio for your pleasure and discourse - the sole work of Mr Robert Grant of this parish.
So states the photocopy insert from the 1985 November LP on Cordelia Records. Home to R. Stevie Moore, Rimarimba recently reissued by Freedom To Spend - and label owner Alan Jenkin's The Deep Freeze Mice, Cordelia was home to a menagerie of sound collage plucked from the ether.
Included is the only release from Concept City, spreading across 13 instrumental tracks of samples and noise. The Welsh choir and robovox meets hypnotic bass of Open The Network glides to the acoustics of Jayne Andrews and Filament, before Steam amasses TV ad cassette archives. As Etruria and Lapse Wine's Durutti meets reel-to-reel to the cold wave of War, Children and wasp synth of Helsinki, Grant slowly unfolds a masterpiece.
Looped drum samples, multiple layered to tape, sped up and slowed down for phasing, the title track is a pinnacle of 80s DiY genius. 'Crossroads' multi-sampling Meg leads to the exotica 'muzak' closings of Penetration and Friends. With just 5 albums over 40 years the music of Mr Concept can be a discovery and cherished.
Review: Emotional Rescue is delighted to present a collection of works by the founding father of the modern drum movement, Glen Velez. Collated from his first 3 solo albums from 1985 to 1989, Sweet Season is a snapshot in to the pioneering composing and performance of this four-time Grammy winner. Born in 1949, of Mexican American ancestry, Velez grew up in Texas before moving to New York in 1967. Playing jazz on the drums he soon gravitated to hand drums from around the world (frame drums in particular), seeking out teachers from many different musical traditions.
Among the many instruments Velez favours are the Irish bodhran, the Brazilian pandeiro, the Arabic riq, the North African bendir and the Azerbaijani ghaval. Although these instruments are similar in construction they have their own playing techniques that open new possibilities.
Sweet Season highlights this vocabulary, mixing and adapting techniques from various cultures to develop new ones. The music, often composed as cross-cultural ensembles, has a particular fondness for polyrhythms - superimposing different meters simultaneously - while incorporating Stepping Split-tone and Central Asian Overtone singing to complete the global horizons.
This new genre of contemporary drumming has been hugely influential and seen Velez work with the likes of John Cage and Steve Reich, as well as teaching his virtuosic combinations of hand movements and finger techniques to many emerging players.
Review: The music of Chel White is celebrated in Automaton, a collection of mostly unreleased recordings from 1985 to 1991, by this innovative animator, film maker and visual artist.
Having studied music theory in grade school, White taught himself drumming and played in a new wave band until, in 1981, together with Dan Gediman, they formed the minimal wave duo Process Blue (Alternative Funk, 1985 / Dark Entries, 2018). Here their experimentation went way beyond playing drums.
His interest in industrial music, fostered in the late '70s and early '80s while working in factories as a way to put himself through college, informed his use of electronic instruments, tape manipulation, noise and unconventional percussion.
By 1985, as a now solo artist buoyed by newly affordable audio sampling technology, White tapped into his earlier teenage fascination with the art and films of both the Surrealist and Dada movements - in particular their disparate and fragmented imagery and sound - as a means to create striking new sonic palettes.
Science & Industry - a track largely influenced by Balinese monkey chanting and the consumer excess of American in the 1980's - is a clear example of "music collage". Photocopy Cha Cha, made for the short animation film Choreography for Copy Machine (Berlin International Film Festival, 1992 / Sundance Film Festival, 2001) moved his music into the realm of early multi-media.
Experimenting further, tracks like Liquid Shadows and Pensive provide minimalist moments, before the drone-like Dream #630 and Forest Song point to a future that included music video works (David Lynch/Thom Yorke).