Métron Monthly – April 2017
Our monthly feature guides you through some of the best things we’ve listened to this month and where to purchase them. Here’s a round up of new(ish) releases, some older gems and our favourite mixes for April.
Justin Walter – Unseen Forces [Kranky]
One of very few proponents of the rare wind powered analog synthesiser from the 1970s known as an Electronic Valve Instrument (EVI), Michigan based artist Justin Walter returns to Kranky for his second full length release. As with his debut, the beautiful ‘Unseen Forces’ utilises a specific creative approach that leans heavily on improvisation rather than more formal writing techniques – a strategy aligned to Walter’s education in Jazz. There’s an awful lot to admire and appreciate within all of the nine new recordings here but perhaps no greater work than the albums title track. The distant grand piano echoing out softly into space as the trumpet mourns the passing of each new moment. It is as compelling a musical moment as 2017 has offered.
To get a further glimpse into the stunning alchemy of Walters stretched and looped trumpet/EVI playing be sure to check out his recent mix for Métron which looks back at his past works including a number of brilliant unreleased gems.
Gaussian Curve – The Distance [Music from Memory]
The trio of Young Marco, Jonny Nash and Gigi Masin return as Gaussian Curve for the follow up to their wonderful 2015 LP ‘Clouds’. ‘The Distance’, released on the increasingly brilliant Music From Memory, further explores the blissed out sonic textures featured on their debut. Each track creating a rich atmosphere with three basic ingredients, minimal percussion, layers of stretched out synths and understated guitar lines. A truly beautiful and engaging collection of tracks.
Mudd & Pollard – N7 Odyssey [Claremont 56]
Paul Murphy (AKA Mudd) has been running Claremont 56 for a decade now, the London based label having just released a ten year anniversary compilation to commemorate that fine achievement. Prior to this they dropped his first full length collaboration with multi instrumentalist Pollard, featuring collaborations between the pair over the last half decade or so. The label has a strong history of releasing excellent balearic music, and the sun filled cosmic grooves at play on ‘N7 Odyssey’ are a further extension of this trend. The Claremont 56 website describes its intentions as a record label – a commitment to releasing beautiful music, with N7 Odyssey they have once again succeeded in that worthy endeavour.
Strategy – The Infinity File [Geographic North]
Strategy is the long running solo project of Portland based tape loop extraordinaire Paul Dickow. His latest release, a 6-track cassette on the always excellent Geographic North, is his final exploration of the sonic textures of tape loop experiments. Whereas creative peers Basinski and label mate Cantu-Ledesma tend to stretch loops outwards into a kind of sonic infinity, Dickow’s focus is more immediate and present. There’s strong aesthetical continuity throughout and yet no two tracks follow the same path, where ‘Occurence at the Triple Door’ takes on a FlyLo-esque almost Jazz-like quality, the rumbling drones of ‘Two Echoes’ feels like something you might open a heavy techno set with.
Roc Marciano – Rosebudd’s Revenge [Marci Enterprises]
The Long Island based rapper returns after a five year absence – ”Fans demand new work but I’m a man of few words” he states on ‘Already’, one of the many standout tracks on his fourth full length record ‘Rosebudd’s Revenge’. Oft-overlooked in the mainstream Marciano is an exceptional producer and MC, and his new release is yet another testament to that notion. Rosebudd’s Revenge is almost all Marci, as is his way, with outside voices few and far between. Dense wordplay interwoven with beautiful samples and smooth instrumentals. This effect is no more pleasantly rendered than on ‘Burkina Faso’ where piano loops roll beneath a stretch out twisted synth.
Let us know what we’ve missed and what you’ve been listening to recently.