Download of the Week

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Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 11, 2016
Plainsound Glissando Modulation: Raga in just intonation for violin and double bass, Helge Slaato, violin, Frank Reinecke, double bass (NEOS, 2008).
"Like a sleepwalker, he [von Schweinitz] prods around in (sonic) space with delight, finding what he needs in these contorted sound worlds of computer-supported genesis of audible material. And with his latest compositions he now stands before the open portal of a realm in which encounters with the infinite are certain. The door is no longer ajar but agape." —Helmut Rohm
Back in 1988, while riffling through the contemporary classical racks on the 2nd floor of Tower Records, I happened upon Wolfgang von Schweinitz's Mass, which I knew nothing about. When I got back to my loft, I sat and listened and was immediately struck by this oh-so-striking work. "Holy crap!" I remember thinking.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 04, 2016
Here's the skinny on my intro to Jesu/Sun Kil Moon (Rough Trade, 2016); I read that in the song "Exodus", Sun Kil Moon's Mark Kozelek talks about Nick Cave losing his son in that tragic accident. I'd been thinking about Nick Cave, the father, so I couldn't help but run my fingers over to Tidal where they tapped in my request to play the entire album. Tidal obliged.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 26, 2016
The Complete Science Fiction Sessions (Columbia, 2000) combines the original Science Fiction LP from 1971 and the then unreleased Broken Shadows recorded at the same time: Sessions. I'd be more than happy, jubilant even, to move into this sonic world where I'd remain in wonder at its scope, funk, madness and sheer beauty.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 19, 2016
Blue As an Orange, released on Morphine Records in January 2016, is Pierre Bastien and his merry band of mechanical musicians. Bastien builds his automated orchestras from non-musical stuff, amplified Meccano parts, motors, fans, rattles, paper, and nails, turning them into automata timekeepers. Over the top, Bastien interjects his own playing on prepared trumpet, gongs, electric harpsichord, bass, drums and more adding up to a pleasantly jangly and at times jazzy journey.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 12, 2016
Art is a funny thing: Funny because what some people consider to be art, others don't. I'm not talking about value judgments of "good" or "bad", I'm talking about the mere classification as such. Of course the art doesn't care one way or another. It just is. Art also knows it may take years, decades, or more for people to come around to realizing what it is. Beauty is not "in the eye of the beholder", it hovers between the beholder and that which is beheld.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 05, 2016
"He is also an entertainment law professor and edits and scores films". So reads part of composer, arranger, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Adrian Younge's bio and that bit about film scores is relevant to our Download of the Week: Something About April II, released on Linear Labs January of this year, reads like a soundtrack from one of the most fascinating films you've never seen.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 29, 2016
Holes. I've got holes in my musical knowledge all over the place; if my body was a pitcher and you poured water into my head, you'd see thousands of tiny spouts spitting water through those holes. African Head Charge was one until I plugged it up thanks to Tidal HiFi. African Head Charge was formed in the early 1980s by percussionist Bonjo Iyabinghi Noa and developed over time into a varying cast of musical characters. The band's music, dubbed "psychedelic dub", has hit my head and heart hard.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 22, 2016
Asperity:
1 : rigor, severity

2  a : roughness of surface : unevenness; also : a tiny projection from a surface
    b : roughness of sound

3 : roughness of manner or of temper : harshness [asked with some asperity just what they were implying]

Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 15, 2016
We all know we're going to die. Most of us just don't know when. For those that do, and for those who imagine they will, change from the everyday is the order of the day. David Bowie was a beautiful soul, there are lots of them, but he was also a luminous soul of which there are not so many. We are fortunate to bath in the light of such luminous souls.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 08, 2016
I love Bob Dylan. From 1962 to 1975 he has me all in, hook, line, and sinker. After that, I lose track. Except: World Gone Wrong. World Gone Wrong, released in 1993 on Columbia, his last record to seal his decades old contract, has had me in its grips since I first heard it. We're looking at Bob his guitar and harmonica, singin' folk and blues classics. To my ears, it's classic.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 01, 2016
Dreamy, breezy and oh so easy, Erykah Badu described But You Caint Use My Phone (Mixtape), released in December on Motown Records, as "TRap & B" but I feel lots of soul as well. From the press release:
The mixtape expertly weaves Erykah Badu’s trademark soulful vocals with psychedelic soundscapes, hip-hop-inflected beats, smooth R&B, jazz, art-rock and found sounds into a new genre Erykah describes as TRap & B.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 25, 2015
We had this idea in mind that someone quite innocently would come along to a record store and see [the record] and think they would be getting 20 really good jazz/funk greats, and then they would put it on at home and they would just get decimated.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 18, 2015
Chris and Cosey have been pouring sonic tonic into amygdalae for decades. Add Nik Colk Void and we're off to the funhouse.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 11, 2015
It has admittedly taken me time to warm to Kurt Vile. With his latest record, b’lieve i’m goin down, (Matador) we're cookin'. We may as well be cousins.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 04, 2015
Back in college in Vermont I had a few, and I mean a few, cassettes in my painting studio that were on near infinite repeat including a Hank Williams compilation and Sonny Rollin's Freedom Suite. A decade or more before college back home in NJ, we had an "uncle" who wasn't my uncle who dressed up like a cowboy and sung and strummed Hank Williams' tunes and C&W classics in smoky bars. Mom took us to see him perform and I always found the bar, the smoke, and its patrons at least as interesting as Uncle Pete, who was certainly a colorful kinda guy.

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