KATH BLOOM & LOREN CONNORS
Restless Faithful Desperate/Moonlight
Chapter Music 2CD
'Restless Faithful Desperate / Moonlight is the second of Chapter Music's double disc reissues by extraordinary early-'80s folk duo Kath Bloom and Loren Connors. Meeting in 1976 in their hometown of New Haven, CT, Kath Bloom and Loren Connors formed a creative partnership that has haunted psych-folk fans ever since, releasing six albums of fragile, avant-garde folk-blues in miniscule quantities, all of which now change hands for huge sums. At first, Kath would act out monologues while Loren played his free-form guitar, extrapolated from Mississippi Delta and Chicago blues, but gradually he and Kath's performances became more song-based. Kath began
practicing guitar among the headstones of New Haven's Grove Street cemetery, while Loren's idiosyncratic style had been developing since the 1960s. After self-releasing two limited edition live albums, the duo recorded Sing The Children Over for tiny Boston label Ambiguous Records in 1982, and then in 1983, self-released fourth album Sand In My Shoe. Early on, their albums mixed traditional folk and blues songs with a handful of Kath's vulnerable, moving originals. But by the later albums, the songs were all Kath's -- her fragile voice and subdued finger-picked guitar set against Loren's abstract playing: skittering, sometimes atonal but always intuitively supportive.
Together the duo created a sound almost impossibly emotional and haunting, unlike anything created before or since. Their last two albums Restless Faithful Desperate and Moonlight both emerged in 1984, in editions of 200-300 copies on Loren's St. Joan label. As her creativity accelerated, so Kath's songs became looser, more intuitive, with a darkening of tone and an eventual abandonment of intent to shape the music. The songs were still there, however -- Restless... contains one of her most gorgeous compositions, "Look At Me," while Moonlight includes an early version of Kath's signature tune "Come Here." After a quarter of a century, Kath Bloom and Loren Connors' incredible recordings are finally available again. The reissue includes extensive liner notes, original photos and artwork, and six bonus tracks taken from a rare 1982 compilation and an unreleased 1984 live session.'
'Austria and in particular Vienna finds itself the focus for new and creative sounds - Phlox is a fascinating imprint promising dubstep, plentiful low-end and an intoxicating blend we can only describe as neuro-garage. A new label, a new identity - and a refreshing music policy - simply that they don't actually have a music policy. Aura Anthropica is a new dubwise guise for Hans Platzgumer, sometimes known as Spezial Material's H.P.Stonji and now flourishing within the terrain of heavy low-end sounds - the bass weight and palette of 'Drummondii' prove enticing and forbidding. It's a dark and brooding bass monster - almost a scene score with synth colour touches and some edgy paint to add to the tension and the hostility. Mysterious, mystifying and very heavy, the tune is deliberately deliciously slow and deep as...GDX is Gerhard Potuznik aka GD Luxxe, an undercover exponent of the true European underground for many years, you only need to check his classic Cheap productions for ample evidence of his considerable talents. He takes control for a bubbling freestyle-friendly 2-stepper 'Want You', incorporating some tasty '99 style UKG moves - trimmed back with precision production skills and ample bouyant boogie. Shoes only admitted: no tracksuits, no trainers. Very neat indeed.'
Project Funk 12"
'Back in the late 80s Kevin 'Boy Wonder' Harper helped launch a whole new sound and a whole new scene in UK dance music with his involvement in the original Nightmares On Wax line-up. On this new 12" it's like he's been holed-up in a studio since the release of classic 'Bleep' techno tune "Dextrous" (the second ever release on Sheffield's Warp imprint), emerging to absorb a few influences from dubstep and the like along the way. With Warp celebrating their 20th birthday, and all things 'rave' having a major impact on the dancefloor right now, this EP has arrived at just the right time - check it out!'
'Setting aside Hugo's past with the Melbourne post-punk scene and the Bad Seeds in the eighties, and his solo work in the nineties with the True Spirit collective, over the last decade he has continued to release a steady stream of his songs internationally as well as releasing collaborative projects such as Dirtmusic, Sepiatone, Merola Matrix and Transfargo to an expanding global audience.
Taking its cue from the instrumental electronica of We Create Tomorrow (Reprise), the closing track of 2007's '53rd State' album, comes the new Hugo Race release 'Between Hemispheres'. This instrumental album contains no human voices - instead, raw acoustic instruments are pitted against sculpted analogue sounds in a vast organic space both dramatic and meditative, brutal yet beautiful. Here the delta blues remains - but distantly, like background radiation.
Recorded in Africa, Europe and Australia, Between Hemispheres carries references to Hugo's work with Transfargo (the instrumental 'Mil Transit' album from 2004), and the experimentalism of the True Spirit's 'Wet Dream' and 'Ambuscado'. Using the African string instruments ngoni and kora against a stark background of analogue synth, digital pulses, deep space radio signals and widescreen guitar, Race composes a dreamlike experience that echoes his own songwriting.
A trip into the glacial interstices between quantum and digital, these inter- dimensional meditations traverse the synapses between left and right sides of the brain, between thought and expression, between two oscillating magnetic poles - between hemispheres.'