Hello, welcome to Anticipating Nowhere #15.
After last weeks’ one-off special featuring music solely from the Girly Girl Musik netlabel Anticipating Nowhere returns to ‘normal’ service – whatever normal may be. This week we take in noise (I likes a bit o’ noise I does); glitch, warm-synthy-goodness, ambience, drone. And more noise.
As always, links to the tracks/albums/artists featured in this show are below the tracklist at the end of the blog. If you like what you’ve heard and can support the artists in any way, please do.
We start the show with a track from Dialect, an artist I stumbled across on Twitter. Deep, pulsing, bass sounds drive this track on with crackles, bird sounds and subtle glitches providing the perfect accompaniment. This leads straight into a track by Naujawanan Baidar, taken from the latest incredible anthology from around the world (Various Artists – Anthology of contemporary music from Middle East) on the wonderful Unexplained Sounds Group label – more pulsing, driving bass, drums and eastern horns in which to lose yourself.
Ben Nash (this release on the Aurora Borealis label) takes us from hypnotic, bass driven sounds to a beautiful, drifting journey of woodwind and strings and ghostly voices – gentle waves of sound washing over us until the pulse of drums introduces Furchick to the mix with Volta. Rumbles, clangs, mic-interference, footsteps, manipulated strings – all mixed fantastically to create a spell-binding sound. Reminiscent of travelling on an old, wooden, train through deep, dark, mysterious woodlands and countryside you can hear, but you can’t see.
Warnings sound. Are they running out of track? The engine is stoked ever higher but as sirens wail the train heads off into the distance and we head into a wall of glorious noise courtesy of Ben Glas. Each time I hear this track I can think of murmurations of starlings, swirling and weaving their pattern in the dusky skies. The birds in communion with each other, speaking a language of avian art that only they understand. As they dance in the sky they build an ever more harmonious sound. Submerged beneath the noise, a tiny songbird chirps its melody; proud, outnumbered but not unheard.
As the birds settle down for the night we jump into a Giant Unprovoked Pile On from Phil Hollins and Richard Sanderson. Sounds of the animals of the night clamour to be heard over one another through glitchy, complex, rhythmic guitar manipulations. As they settle, the sound of Richard’s melodeon ushers in the night. The dark encompasses all, the sound of electricity surging along the power lines above as the animals sleep is Swept by Edø Pistø Sømi – crackles and hums and dawn arrives with the deep, boom of wakefulness intruding upon dormant minds.
Neurons fire, we stretch, breathe, welcome the day into our lives. In the distance clouds gather, the low rumble of thunder reaches our ears bringing the storm that is Grey Guides. This track, The Thing That Took the Ball Away is taken from Beast Mask Supremacist (from the great Crow Versus Crow label). Static hum, distorted voices from broken radio signals, the groan of the unseen ‘Thing’ all add to the air of unease and menace…….
The beast leaves, Sawak jumps in: glitchiness and uncertainty follow the disquiet from before. Strings enter as the authorities try to restore calm in the wake of what has passed. The uncertainty still lingers, what just happened? Ethereal voices from loudspeakers echo out across the land – mumbled conversations return as the people return to their daily lives.
Calm is fully restored by Portland Vows. Every now and then an album comes along that hits you in the heart – each tone, note, melody, speaks to you in such a way that you must stop and just be one with what you are hearing. I’m not one for end of year lists but if I ever did one for 2019 this album (This Fragile Workforce on concretetapes) would be right up there. I always listen to the mix as I write these blogs and it has happened again – I have been sat, motionless as this song plays, completely lost in its absolute beauty. The whole album is an absolute treat for your ears and your soul.
That song and the sense of peace leads us towards the back end of the show where, as regular listeners will know (there are some of you – thank you) I like to wind things down. Red Spells Red, from their album Secret Sounds, are next on our journey of tranquillity; a beautiful, atmospheric piece of synths and processed guitar on the, new to me, Versus Records. Thanks for getting in touch guys, I look forward to discovering more of your catalogue, especially after listening to this album many times through.
Rupert Lally provides another of those tracks where the gentle beauty takes over your senses and you just need to let go and be. This is from yet another incredible release on the bibliotapes label, of music inspired by the novel Dune. Deep, warm synths and gorgeous melodies – none of the tracks are very long but they are all stunning and suit this format perfectly.
Whettman Chelmets is our penultimate guest this week (I also featured one of his tracks on the Girly Girl Musik special show). This is a lesson in making something sound simple when it is anything but. Clever stuff and an absolute delight for the ears – I need to do myself a favour and delve more into his vast catalogue of music.
Finally, we say goodbye for another show with the delightful bucolic, psychedelic sounds of Heron & Crane from their release Firesides. Congratulations on the release guys and thank you for sharing your music with me. Music this good needs to reach many, many ears.
My thanks to the artists who have already sent me music; if I haven’t featured you already, I can assure you that you will be in future shows. I plan these a few weeks in advance to give me plenty of time to listen through, rearrange, adjust, mix…….become acquainted with each one.
Thank you, as always, for listening, reading, sharing; for being part of this musical journey with me. If you ever have any comments on the show or music to share, please do get in touch. I put a lot of time and love into these shows so truly hope you enjoy them too.
Peace : Respect : Compassion
Nam Myoho Renge Kyo