On the Record is a weekly column that rounds up details about new and pending recordings of interest to the new-music community: contemporary classical music and jazz, electronic and electroacoustic music, and idioms for which no clever genre name has been coined, on CD, vinyl LP, cassette, digital-only formats… you name it.
This list of upcoming release dates is culled from press releases, Amazon and other online record stores, social-media posts, and similar resources. Dates cited correspond to U.S. release of physical recordings where applicable, and are subject to change. These listings are not comprehensive—nor could they be! To submit a forthcoming recording for consideration, email information to email@example.com.
Sounds from Elsewhere
Connoisseurs of adventurous sounds owe a debt of gratitude to Yuko Zama, whether they know it or not. A photojournalist, music critic, and record producer from Musashino, Japan, Zama has worked closely for years on releases from Erstwhile Records, the foundational Jersey City-based experimental-music label established and operated by Jon Abbey, her husband. Zama also has played a guiding role in Gravity Wave, an artful imprint devoted to music by the California-based composer and guitarist Michael Pisaro.
Recently, Zama shared the welcome news that she has established a label of her own: Elsewhere Records, set to debut in June. The imprint, which she will curate with Abbey serving as executive producer, diverges from Erstwhile chiefly because its guiding aesthetic is grounded in the classical music tradition. (One glance at view from elsewhere, the blog Zama maintains to chronicle her experiences as a concertgoer in New York City, makes her expertise in and passion for the canon evident.) Zama made her intent for Elsewhere clear with a mission statement shared on Facebook:
“The essential goal for my label is to find and release good music which touches my heart deeply with its lasting value, created by earnest devotion from the artist’s pure soul, which I believe I will want to listen to repeatedly for a very long time – just like I love to return to Schubert or Mahler or Monteverdi, or any past classics that move me over the course of many years.”
So far, Elsewhere has announced its first four recording projects. Two comprise the label’s initial offering, due on or around June 1: Blurred Music, by the duo of Biliana Voutchkova and Michael Thieke; and Musique pour le lever du jour, by Melaine Dalibert.
Voutchkova, a Bulgarian violinist and vocalist, and Thieke, a German clarinetist, are busy members of Berlin’s new-music community, performing in a wide variety of composed and improvised situations. They’re both members of the renowned Splitter Orchester, and have performed as a duo since 2012, when they recorded Already There, their debut album, for the Swiss label Flexion. As Found, their most recent joint project, adds Roy Carroll on “electro-acoustic media,” and was issued in 2017 on the Berlin-based label Sound Anatomy. Thieke, incidentally, is an Erstwhile alumnus: as a member of the quartet The Magic I.D., he played on till my breath gives out, the first release on the ErstPop sub-label.
Dalibert, a French composer and pianist, is esteemed for his interpretations of works by Gérard Pesson, Giuliano D’Angiolini, Tom Johnson, and Peter Garland, among others, and for the quiet, cool elegance of his own minimalist compositions, mathematically derived, and inspired by the work of visual artists such as the Hungarian-born French media artist Véra Molnar. His piano music has been featured on two recordings to date: Quatre pièces pour piano, self-released in 2015, and Ressac, issued by Another Timbre in 2017. Musique pour le lever du jour, a substantial work composed in 2017, was included in a recital Dalibert presented at Daniel Goode’s SoHo loft in January, one of two New York concerts coordinated by the composer and impresario Michael Vincent Waller. You can read Zama’s review of that performance, which led her to approach Dalibert about recording, here.
Upholding the high standard for packaging established by Erstwhile and Gravity Wave, both of Elsewhere’s initial releases feature covers designed by Zama (posted above this article), using original art by David Sylvian… yes, thatDavid Sylvian, the iconic former avant-pop singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, whose interest and involvement with experimental music is well established and ongoing. Earlier this month, Sylvian greeted the arrival of Elsewhere on his own Facebook page, writing of Zama: “Her unbridled passion for music and commitment to her growing roster of artists should make for an interesting evolution of a mature aesthetic given free rein and a context in which to fully express itself.”
Beyond its initial offering, Elsewhere already has announced two further projects in planning stages, both presently due to arrive in 2019. The label’s third release will be a recording of Erik Satie’s Vexations by the eloquent Dutch pianist and composer Dante Boon. Fourth in line is Reinier van Houdt Reads Bruno Duplant, a tantalizingly not at all self-explanatory project involving Van Houdt, the Dutch pianist and composer who recorded an authoritative three-disc set of Michael Pisaro’s piano music for Erstwhile, and Duplant, a French sound artist and field recorder.
For more details about these and further Elsewhere releases, watch the label’s Facebook page.
Words About the Shaman
Speaking of David Sylvian, admirers and neophytes alike can look forward to remastered versions of Plight & Premonition (1988) and Flux & Mutability (1989), his two transfixing collaborations with the late German musician Holger Czukay, to be issued together in double-vinyl and double-CD configurations June 22 on Grönland Records; details here.
This news comes hot on the heels of another eminently desirable Sylvian reissue: Dead Bees on a Cake, his 1999 solo album, released last week on white vinyl for Record Store Day 2018. The double-LP version includes four extra tracks, evidently at long last completing the album as Sylvian had always wanted it released. No word on whether this U.K.-only Record Store Day special release will be followed with a mass-market version… stay tuned.
New This Week
Arthur King – Changing Landscapes (Grand Escalante) (Dangerbird)
Elina Duni – Partir (ECM) Grouper – Grid of Points (Kranky) Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog – WRU Still Here? (Northern Spy) Mike Shiflet – Tetracosa, Volume Four (self-released; related Log article here) Tigue – Strange Paradise (New Amsterdam/NNA Tapes) Nils Vigeland/Reiko Fueting/Daniel Lippel/John Popham – “…through which the past shines…” – solo and chamber works for guitar by Nils Vigeland and Reiko Fueting (New Focus)
John Adams – Naïve and Sentimental Music; Infinite Jest – Doric String Quartet, Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Peter Oundjian (Chandos)
Architek Percussion – The Privacy of Domestic Life – works by Adam Basanta, Taylor Brook, Duncan Schouten, and Beavan Flanagan (Centrediscs) Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin – Awase (ECM) Michael Gordon – Clouded Yellow – Kronos Quartet, Young People’s Chorus of New York City/Francisco J. Nuñez (Cantaloupe Music) Michael Torke – Unconquered – Philadelphia Orchestra/Cristian Macelaru (Ecstatic)
Jean-Michel Blais – Dans la main (Arts & Crafts) Michael Blake– The Philosophy of Composition: Works for Violoncello and Piano – Friedrich Gauwerky, Daan Vandewalle (Wergo) Simone Dinnerstein & A Far Cry – Circles – concertos by Bach and Philip Glass (Orange Mountain Music)
Roman Filiú – Quarteria (Sunnyside) María Grand – Magdalena (Biophilia) Dave Holland, Evan Parker, Craig Taborn & Ches Smith – Uncharted Territories (Dare2 Records; related Log article here) Oracle Hysterical – Hecuba (National Sawdust Tracks) Steve Reich – Live/Electronic Music (Analog Spark; vinyl reissue) Lisa Steich – pietà – Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra/Gregor Mayrhofer, hand werk/Niklas Seidl, Vokalensemble Kölner Dom/Eberhard Metternich, ensemble recherche, UT insieme vocale-consonante/Lorenzo Donati (Wergo)
Ketan Bhatti – Nodding Terms – Ensemble Adapter (Col Legno)
Ketil Bjørnstad – A Suite of Poems (ECM)
Daniel Carter, William Parker & Matthew Shipp – Seraphic Light (AUM Fidelity) Ghost Ensemble – We Who Walk Again – works by Sky Macklay, Pauline Oliveros, and Ben Richter (Indexical) Dave Gisler Trio – Rabbits on the Run (Intakt) Rachel Grimes – The Doctor from India (Original Soundtrack) (Mossgrove Music)
Robert Honstein – An Economy of Means – Karl Larson, Douglas Perkins (New Focus) Okkyung Lee – Cheol-Kkot-Sae (Tzadik) Angelika Niescier with Chris Tordini and Tyshawn Sorey – The Berlin Concert (Intakt) Stephanie Richards – Fullmoon (Relative Pitch) Marc Sinan/Oğuz Büyükberber – White (ECM) Henry Threadgill Double Up Ensemble – Double Up, Plays Double Up Plus (Pi Recordings) Henry Threadgill 14 or 15 Kestra: Agg – Dirt… and More Dirt (Pi Recordings) Steve Tibbetts – Life Of (ECM) ☆ Yialmelic Frequencies – Yililok (Leaving)
Areon Flutes – No Era – works by Sahba Aminikia, Ryan Brown, and Danny Clay(Innova) ☆ Prune Bécheau – Stries ton, tripes et poils (Weighter)
Sarah Bernstein – Crazy Lights Shining (Phase Frame) The Hands Free – The Hands Free (New Amsterdam) Jenny Olivia Johnson – Sylvia Songs (Innova)
Loadbang – Old Fires Catch Old Buildings – works by Scott Wollschleger, Angélica Negrón, Taylor Brook, Paula Matthusen, William Lang, Jeffrey Gavett, and Reiko Fueting (New Focus) ☆ Matt Sargent – Ghost Music – Bill Solomon (Weighter)
☆ Cool Maritime – Sharing Waves (Leaving)
☆ Melaine Dalibert– Musique pour le lever du jour (Elsewhere)
Oneohtrix Point Never – Age Of (Warp) ☆ Biliana Voutchkova/Michael Thieke – Blurred Music (Elsewhere)
Jon Hassell – Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume One) (Ndeya; related Log article here) Colin Stetson – Hereditary (original motion picture soundtrack) (Milan) Thumbscrew – Ours (Cuneiform) Thumbscrew – Theirs (Cuneiform)
Brian Chase – Drums and Drones: Decade (Chaikin; related Log articlehere) Charlie Looker – Simple Answers (Last Things) ☆ William Parker – Voices Fall from the Sky (Centering) Aribert Reimann – L’Invisible – Rachel Harnisch, Annika Schlicht, Ronnita Miller, Seth Carico, Stephen Bronk, Thomas Blondelle, Salvador Macedo, Orchester der Deutsche Oper Berlin/Donald Runnicles (Oehms) Norbert Rodenkirchen, Robbie Lee, and James Ilgenfritz – Opalescence (Telegraph Harp)
This week in On the Record, The Necks defy expectation and categorization on 'Three,' their 21st album, new on Northern Spy. Plus dozens of listings for forthcoming releases.
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This week in On the Record: Bandcamp has responded to the current COVID-19 pandemic by waiving its fees for 24 hours, directing more money to artists and labels—here are some new and recent releases to buy today.