Monday, November 29, 2004

Band of the day

Euphone: A two-piece instrumental outfit that thrives on experimentation, weaving expansive collages out of noise, tone and texture.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

The Ride

Original stuff

The Ride : Demo version of a rock piece written for a power trio project in 2005.

Listen

The Roots of Orchis : San Diego found-sound specialists who artfully mix incredibly diverse elements to make gentle groove music.

Read

Is the Pope an angel?

Peel autobiography

The blog of death

Delicate Rage

Court nixes lawsuit fighting copyright law

Colour bind

A cying shame

The value of voluntary simplicity

...happily ever after...

The Bible's erotic book

The Age of Healing

A letter from the future

Death & rebirth


Thursday, November 25, 2004

Pure Nusrat

NUSRAT FATEH ALI KHAN
The Ultimate Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Vol. 1, Vol, 2
(EMI)

Before he became the toast of the West and was misguidedly lured into posh studios to record meandering fusion albums with well-meaning but culturally blinkered Western musicians, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan made some seminal qawwali albums in Pakistan that presented his sublimely intense and spiritual music in its purest state.
He was already recording albums, on which he shared joint credits with his uncle Mubarak Ali Khan, for EMI in the '70s. Many of these are apparently still in print, though this pair of double-disc compilations is really all the serious listener seeking to discover the unvarnished glory and essence of Nusrat's artistry needs to bother about.
There's something engrossingly elemental and visceral about the performances on these discs, which capture Nusrat and his party in a studio atmosphere that's totally devoid of artifice (there's hardly any trace of artificial reverb or compression) that you have to re-align your technology-tainted hearing to accommodate the revealingly raw nature of the proceedings.
Allowed to perform like they would on a regular stage, the master and his supremely empathetic accompanists marvellously harness the spirit of the moment in mesmerisingly organic call-and-response patterns that celebrate the power of transcendental devotion.
The first set, featuring selections recorded between 1978 and 1982, boasts the most affecting and absorbing performances. The melancholy 'Haq Ali Ali Moula Ali' is 28-minute-plus of breathtaking soulful majesty. Nusrat's voice here is such a cogent force of power and passion that by the time the track ends, you feel like you've had an experience of the deepest, most tranformative kind.
The more celebratory tracks on the set, including 'Ek Din Mahi De Ghar' and 'Kamli Wala Mohammad', transmit a different sort of energy, though they're no less stirring.
While the recordings on the second set, dating from 1983 to 1984, sound a bit more polished, they're as direct and potent as the earlier studio takes. But the programme, featuring such almost pop-inflected pieces as 'Tere Main Ishq Nachae', 'Menoon Yaar Manawan', 'Yaad-E-Nabi Ka Gulshan', 'Saiyyo Mahi Vichhar' and 'Mera Piya Ghar AAya', is less challenging.
The more streamlined songs don't offer as much room for vocal improvisations as the tracks on the first set.
Still, the master's voice transcends the sporadic mundanity of the material, making you hang on to every rousing, sonorously stretched phrase.
This is the real deal, so be prepared to fully surrender your heart and soul to the man for four hours or so.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

JP's last show

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Softsynth demos & stirring reads

Saturday, November 20, 2004

The Blue Nile

The Blue Nile: Exquisitely crafted pop that's rich in atmosphere and the sort of melancholic romanticism that tastes like pure bliss when you're alone in your room.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Stuff...

For the ears

The Fearless Freep: Montreal-based lo-fi guitar-pop group that creates alluringly ragged, soulfully organic pop, recorded on a four-track tape machine.

For the eyes

Peter Buck interviews Rod Argent

Arafat's squalid end

Why J. M. Barrie created Peter Pan

King of the Web Pirates

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

AAS...

Band of the day

American Analog Set: Quintet from Texas that offers the perfect balance between grace and grittiness in its seamlessly-shaped but soulful pop.

Cool clicks

An entrancing ego

Fallujah 101

Bully billionaires

Dirty warriors

The real, human Zappa

Bollywood confidential


Monday, November 15, 2004

A buncha links

Saturday, November 13, 2004

It's a wrap

Finally done with the selections and mixes for 'Home Of The Knave, Land Of The Flea'. Quite happy with the way the 10 trax have shaped up, though the synthetic nature of the music is gonna limit its appeal.

Ear-weed

Durian: Named after a foul-smelling (that's subjective, of course) fruit, the band, fortunately, doesn't stink. If you're into quirky prog-rock, this is the stuff to puff.

Mind-feed

The Book of Bob

Excerpt from 'Chronicles'

Sold on Song

CD burn speed matters

Firefox's flashy debut

CNET on Mozilla Firefox 1.0


Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Artful chaos

Earload

Tom Recchion: Master of chaotica whose lush bed of effects can be a great place to be sprawled on.

Eyeload

Adventure goddesses

Captain Retro

Bush folks' career prospects

Internet heads into the super-fast lane

Monday, November 08, 2004

Smokin' music

The rains are still spoiling ambitious biking plans. And a three-day fever shows no sign of abating. Just gotta ride thru the cold I guess.

Good aural weed

Zoviet France: 'Postindustrial sonic hypnosis' by a British collective that relies on all kinds of homemade devices and found sound-objects for its expansive tone trips.

Good reads

A president, not a preacher

Fatal detraction

Download Pastor John Ashcroft to your Godpod!

The Spanish bard who's not loved at home

Crazy diamonds

English originals

A connoisseur's guide to 'Sideways'


Sunday, November 07, 2004

Just links

lisTen

Nick Parkin: British sound-collage artist whose densely atmospheric aural concoctions range from the spooky to the sublime.

Tom LoMacchio: Sparse, alluring folk-tinted confessions by a singer-songwriter drawing water from the ancient river of tradition.

leArn

25 essential books for the explorer

WG's eBay addiction

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Monsoon fury

The rains have been more ferocious than ever the last couple days. The woefully deflated bike tyres sadly remind me that I haven't had a good ride in a while.

Mould-breaking instrumental rock:

Unwed Sailor: Muscular but subtly textured instrumental rock by a band that exhibits a remarkable sense of light and shade.

Pedro the Lion: A more accessible version of American Music Club that compellingly extends the deeply subjective, sensitive rock balladeer tradition.

Cutting-edge elektrorock

Dogon: Masters of the found sound with a knack for rippling textures and impressionist audioscapes.

Just say know!

Music and the Brain

The ding-dong of doom

Wealthy nation

A crazy British plot to swing Ohio to Kerry

Video games muscle in on movies

The Other George W.


Friday, November 05, 2004

Fever season

It's fever season again. Perfect for a natural-high chaser like me. Could do without the running nose, though.

Hear this!

Tristeza: Intriguingly textured instrumental music by a San Diego band totally oblivious to trends and conventions.

Steffen Basho-Junghans The Steve Reich of steel-string guitar with more than a few nods to Leo Kottke.

Read this!

Mr. Fussy will always have Paris

Challenging Islam is risky

The dismal quackery of eco-economics

Cleaning up a messy uninstall

Building your ideal PC from scratch

Keeping hardware alive


Thursday, November 04, 2004

A band called Pele

Check out their imaginatively quirky post-rock noodlings here.

Back to the issue of sleep (or the lack of it)...

Woke up with a bad lower back from a typically short and restless snooze. That's all I need to compound the issue of not being able to get enough shuteye.

Can't complain too much about life, though. The music-making's been keeping me going, even if it's nothing more than a delusional pursuit.

Picked up the acoustic again for the first time in weeks. There's something affectingly elemental about stroking the strings of a well-made wooden instrument (Yamaha FG-433s) and creating tones that ring with beauty and brilliance.

Also, am rediscovering the joys of alternate tunings.

Link and learn:

Hardware, software, wetware

Crack babies: Medical reality or media myth?


Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Humane notes

There's really nothing more thrilling and therapeutic than music that emanates from the soul. Artists who unfailingly radiate revealing sincerity and are not afraid to let their humanity surface will have my eternal devotion and respect.

Which is why I'm such a big fan of the late Irish blues guitarist Rory Gallagher, a true legend and a sublimely frail human who deserves to be immortalised in memory.

Find of the day:

Early Day Miners: Ethereally gentle but hardly soporific space-suggesting music by a band from Indiana with a soul steeped in rural wonder.


Cool clicks :

William Gibson's blog

Coffee talk

CD burning: facts and the fiction

Gong's colourful site

Architects of perfection


Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Insomniac daze

Haven't had more than three hours of continuous sleep the last couple weeks. Eyeballs feel like they're going to pop out.

But at least the final mixes for the new synth album, 'Land Of The Knave, Home Of The Flea', are done.

Am in the process of critically multiformat-testing the 10 trax now.

Looks like the perfectly useless year-end "best of" lists are here to feed our crass desire for meaningless posssession and criminal need for soul-sapping pleasure again.

Here are among the most wickedly persuasive:

PC World's best of 2004

Times Online's travel picks

Pocket PC best software awards

Music Box best albums list