Category Archives: Music

Synths for Lunch: Tobias Freund and Max Loderbauer (Boiler Room in Stereo)

Happy 2018! I hope you have a long lunch break or better yet, the day off, because this is a long one. Totally worth the time though. Use headphones and immerse yourself in the studio with these guys, the audio is in stereo. This is an excellent piece of dark ambient from 2015, created with a load of vintage and modern gear including old Roland drums and a Buchla synth.

Here’s some text from the video description:

“The release notes for their recent collaborative album, A.R.T, perhaps unfairly characterises Tobias Freund and Max Loderbauer’s foray into dark ambient as “genre tourism.” The heady experimentalism of concept-driven recorded work from the duo’s inception in the early 2000s has seen them tackle reductionist technoid minimalism for Cadenza, craft an album of pieces composed solely with drum machines, and produce the longplayer NSI. Plays Non Standards which featured minimalist drones at the intersection of modern acoustic piano (played by Loderbauer) and electronic abstraction (as manipulated by Freund). Their acclaimed, yet infrequent, live sets have regularly skewed towards the organic and tonal qualities of the ambient aesthetic, functioning as a counterweight to the defined parameters of their celebrated output for Sähkö Recordings and Freund’s own Non Standard Productions. The relative rarity of their live performances can be attributed to the sheer amount of analog gear required to realise the specificity of their sound design, as witnessed in this live capture: a fascinating mind trip through layers of deep submersion, simmering otherworldly eeriness and industrial pulses.”

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Dialectical Imagination (Free Jazz duo)

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I’m no authority on Free-Jazz, and though I enjoy listening, I’ve never deigned to write about it. It contains many elements, and  being improvisational in nature, is wide open to interpretation, so do take a listen and explore these worlds from your perspective, recieve your own impressions.

Dialectical Imagination are a duo that consists of Eli Wallace and Rob Pumpelly. Rob also runs the label Atma Nadi and has studied under some notable artists such as Pauline Oliveros and Fred Frith while at Mills College. Eli has an MM in Jazz Composition from The New England Music Conservatory in Boston. He has also performed at the Outsound New Music Summit. Both have ties to the Bay Area, Rob being located in Oakland and Eli having grown up in El Cerrito. They have also both performed with Bay Area Free Jazzer Rent Romus.

The duo were kind enough to send me a hard copy of the latest release “The Angel and The Brute Sing Songs of Wrath” which comes as a cleverly designed usb stick housed in a cassette shell. The instrumentation consists of piano and drums/percussion. The music is top notch and expertly executed, there is obvious musicianship in this.  Themes drift from chaotic and driving frenetic rhythms, and dissonance, to light and ethereal piano guided interludes. Both musicians take turns to shine while maintaining a musical dialog. This would fit right in with any of the Free-jazz or ‘Black Classical’ music of that era. Highly enjoyable and not too challenging for those who might normally be put off by this sort of abstractness, there is an inherent flow to this.

The duo will be performing in the Bay Area, in Oakland, at The Octopus Literary Salon on Dec 26th.

Here’s an excellent set from Seattle 2016:


 

 

 

 

RIP Ralph Carney

I’m supremely sad to hear of the passing of Saxophonist Ralph Carney. Ralph played with everyone from Tom Waits to Bill Laswell and many other artists, too many to name. This is some video I shot in 2014 when Ralph sat in with Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs, who were on tour with Cheetah Chrome (Dead Boys). Cheetah joins in on Fun House halfway through this clip which is a treat in itself but Ralph is all over this. Such a fluid musician and a huge loss to the music world.