Let’s dip into some music that I’m listening to while toiling away in my cosey home office. This is the latest in an ongoing blog concern that I’m calling #Worktones.
As stated in the label’s mission statement, Unexplained Sounds Group aims to ‘investigate the experimental worldwide music scene.’ This investigation includes a series of smart compilations highlighting different countries and territories — places that don’t immediately spring to mind when one thinks of ‘experimental music.’ Evidently, it’s time for that misconception to change as these releases — which include discoveries in Africa, the Balkans, and Lebanon — are uniformly exceptional. The latest is an Anthology of Contemporary Music from
Lingering in the same geographic zone, I discovered the new album by electronic producer Kalbata on the terrific Fortuna Records. Past releases I’ve sampled from Kalbata dip sonic toes in both techno and Balearic styles, revealing an eclectic ‘don’t pin me down’ attitude. This eclecticism is stretched further with Vanrock, a collaboration with Israeli ‘psychedelic afro-pop band’ Tigris. These upbeat jams deliver an exotic and rhythmic flair — sweet percussion, jazzy analog synth riffage, and low-tuned guitars over Kalbata’s electronic foundations. The fusion is fast-and-furious with the opening salvos of “
Jason Lytle was/is a member of Grandaddy (this song has always been a favorite), and he seems to be aiming for my heart with his latest solo effort. I mean, an album made with nothing but a Roland Juno synth (sounds like a 106 to me) and a guitar is bound to win me over. This is the world of Lytle’s NYLONANDJUNO, a gentle set of tunes created for an Arthur King Presents art installation. The instrumentation constraint yields loveliness, especially on the first track, “Hitch Your Wagon To A Falling Star.” It does sound like a star falling from the sky — the Juno providing the inky night and the echoed guitar representing slow-motion fireworks. It’s beautiful. The climate is subdued throughout, with the synthesizer and guitar trading the foreground on different tracks. Once again, I’m made to regret selling my Junos. (h/t danielfuzztone)