Interview with Chain Cult for MRR & news

Long time no see my loves,

Did an interview with Athens’ Chain Cult for MRR. Get the hard copy, Maximum Rocknroll #425, Oct. 2018 here. Also check out MRR‘s snazzy new website—it looks totally killer! ❤

Haven’t had time to write or upload any info for past Storm Stereo shows, as this summer has been hella busy, hectic, stressful, sad, exciting and fun all at the same time, between guests here, visiting Berlin for Atonal, losing both friends and family, and hustling to make rent. Δε θα’ρθει η ξεκούραση για τους καταραμένους.

I did, however, finally get round to the Japanese Special, which you can hear in Five Parts. Featuring minimalism, avant garde, noise, weirdo pop, hardcore and post punk, and of course D-beat and crasher crust—that last show courtesy of Bak at Scull Crasher Distro (word on the street is a new No Exit zine is in the slow works…). You can also check out new Greek punk and hardcore releases via his e-store.

Also got round to dedicating a show to the amazing women of the rebetiko sound and some other stunning women vocalists from the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s in Greece, plus another couple of your usual mixed bag shows. You can check all that out here.

Next week we return with a killer new show for the new season, chock-full of new punk, hardcore, post-punk, D-beat, metal and more from Greece, Europe, the US and UK, SEA and more, and all tracks hand-picked by Under the Demos!

Also, a handful of Greek bands have been busy and are releasing new records or going on tour, including but not limited to: new Hibernation LP, new Cold i LP, new Antimob tape, new The Cyclothymics LP, first Eraserheads demo tape, new Black Trinity LP, new Chain Cult EP and Balkan tour with Skotodini who also have a new LP, new Dirty Wombs LP and US tour, and upcoming Molisma record and mini-Greek tour.

Lastly, some good bands are coming to Athens for shows this fall, plus a couple aces I’ve got up my sleeve for 2019… So stray tuned for more info on some of that, or don’t.

With love from the armpit of Athens,

—Obsessionist

Advertisements

Storm Stereo #38: My Life is Vibration

halim el-dabh_1Happy March my loves!

We’re back with another episode of your favourite autobiographical radio show. A typical mixed bag for you this time, half-inspired by Halim el-Dabh‘s birthday and half-inspired by a Nikola Tesla quote. El-Dabh was an Egyptian-American composer, musician, teacher and ethnomusicologist whom I recently discovered, and have been in awe of his work ever since. A pioneer of tape music and early musique concrete, he very correctly realized that life is vibration, and this powerful notion—whether pertaining to life or music—really struck a chord in me (vibration pun intended). When I saw we share a birthday (he would have been 97 this Sunday, March 4), I realized I just had to pay my respects on this show.

We also get introduced to the musical mind of Charles Cohen and his project with Jeff Cain, the Ghostwriters. Cohen passed away last year and I have found his (limited recorded) output to be very moving. He didn’t really believe in recording and his music was almost all improvisational, using the incredible, rare Buchla analog synthesizer – an instrument we’ve heard on this show before played by Suzanne Ciani, among others, and which we’ll be exploring further one day.

Also new on this show is Ghédalia Tazartès, a cult French artist whose music can be as difficult as it is beautiful, and Dorothy Carter, an American musician who experimented with a number of incredible instruments, such as the hammered dulcimer, zither, psaltery, and hurdy-gurdy. Do you know any of those instruments? No, me neither, that’s why I was so intrigued! We’ll be hosting an Unusual and Rare Instruments Special in the future, so stray tuned.

If you’ve heard this show before, you know I love the eastern sound and how it differs to the western scale of music, so we travel to Lebanon and Turkey in the ’70s and ’80s, with music from Elias Rahbani, Arif Sağ , and Hülya Süer. Both these countries had fascinating musical output, be it folk, pop, psych rock, jazz, experimental classical and everything in between.

We detour via Mali and hear the duet Amadou et Mariam and their endearing track “Je Pense a Toi,” which beautifully mixes traditional musical elements with the romanticism of the French language, and listen to a manifesto of sorts (“Against”) by poet Dinos Christianopoulos, put to music by Pleasure Constitution (Σύνταγμα της Ηδονής) from Greece. We stay in Turkey for a few final minutes, by way of Romanian duo Khidja and their track “Drums of Taksim.” I may have been wrong when I said the spoken word used on this track comes from a lecture. Irrelevant of the source, however, the words are so powerful and intense, I hope it will impact you the way it impacted me.

We close it off with Burqa Boyz, about whom I could find almost zero information but who have a couple really good tapes you can hear online.

Until next week, I’ll be celebrating another year under the sun. “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” —Nikola Tesla

With love from outer space

—Obsessionist

 

SS_38 TRACKLIST

HALIM EL-DABH – My Life is Vibration
HALIM EL-DABH – Element, Being and Primeval
THE GHOSTWRITERS – Boticelli Rewind
DOROTHY CARTER – Autumn Song
ELIAS RAHBANI – I Think of You
ARIF SAG – Şu Samsunun Evleri
HÜLYA SÜER – Şeker Oğlan
GHÉDALIA TAZARTÈS – Yama Yama
AMADOU ET MARIAM – Je Pense a Toi
TO SYNDAGMA TIS IDONIS (PLEASURE CONSTITUTION) – Enandion (Against)
KHIDJA – Drums of Taksim
BURQUA BOYZ – Chunk Up the Duce (CC remix)

 

Storm Stereo #35

tonio_rubioWhat’s up dreamers?

Another show ready for your audio pleasure. We return to one-hour length, short and sweet, with more focus.

We kick in with a now-classic, almost timeless gem by Yves Tumor, a musical master of our times, truly. His whole record Serpent Music is brilliant. We keep it mellow with a sweet and charming track by Savages and something equally dreamy by Armen Miran (those vocal samples!) – a new discovery for me, who is opening me up to the world of underground Armenian electronic music. A special on the underground electronic scenes of Armenia, Georgia, and Morocco among other places will follow in the near future, so stray tuned if that’s your jam.

I’ve being a Parov Stelar fan for well over a decade and, though his swing-revival chill-out house (which many know him for) is not my cup of tea, I find what he does to be of consistent quality – plus I’m a sucker for violins and heartbreaking vocals like on “Beauty Mark.” We keep in line with my marimba obsession and listen to something from Tonio Rubio’s excellent (and only) LP Rhythms, and something by no-inroductions-needed minimalist Steve Reich, a fellow marimba-lover.

Seeing as the day of this show, January 31, was Philip Glass’ birthday, we also hear something from his Reworks album – which is an amazing compilation of reworked Glass tracks by some of the best – then transition via a brass connection and move further electronically afield into Tau City and a coming storm.

We close it all off with an all-time fave track of mine, “Do What You Want” from 2002 and some ever-enjoyable Timothy J. Fairplay.

Next week prepare for a gear-shift, as we enter the fast lane with some punk and hardcore! Until then, stay strong, fuck national pride, fight fascism!

With love from outer space

—Obsessionist

 

STORM STEREO #36

YVES TUMOR – The Feeling When You Walk Away
SAVAGES – You’re My Chocolate
ARMEN MIRAN – For Eternity
PAROV STELAR & ANDUZE- Beauty Mark
TONIO RUBIO – Dead Slow
STEVE REICH – Mallet Quarter
PHILIP GLASS – Alight Spiral Snip (Dan Deacon Rework)
THE CONNECTION MACHINE – Echoes from Tau City
HODGE – There is a Storm Coming In
JACE FROM OUTTA SPACE & CLAIRE SKY – Do What You Want
TIMOTHY J. FAIRPLAY – Messengers of Deception

Storm Stereo #34: Soundtrack Special

Screen Shot 2018-01-24 at 3.16.40 PMAll right now,

For all you boppers in the big city, this is the Soundtrack Special. Seems appropriate, as some really incredible music has been written for the big (and small) screen.

We kick it off with a retribution concept that’s dear to me, followed by the bombastic opening music to Preacher. I was thrilled when they announced that the amazing comic book series by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon would be taken to the screen, though I was initially a bit disappointed with the result. I was expecting something closer to the graphic novels, though I did eventually warm up to the series and I look forward to the next season. Cassidy for eva!

We also listen to something from the empowering cult movie Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! that made quite an impression on me when I saw it in high school. Another movie that really stuck with me was Sweet Bunch, by Nikos Nikolaidis, one of Greece’s greatest underground and experimental filmmakers. His whole filmography is deeply interesting and I highly recommend it. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas could of course not be missing from this show – I’ve been a Gonzo fan for half my life, and the soundtrack to that movie is part of the fabric of the stories he tells, whether real or parts of an unwinding drug trip.

The Craft was also one of my favourite movies growing up (Fairuza Balk was my style icon!) and I always remember that scene where the mother says, “Since I was a little girl, I’ve always wanted in life a jukebox that played nothing but Connie Francis records.” How delightful. The proverbial adult apple didnt’t fall too far from the teenage entertainment tree, and now I indulge in Good Behavior, a show about a woman called Letty Raines and her poor choices. While I can relate to some of the storyline, I mostly watch it for the (mildly fucked up) relationship Letty shares with Javier. As with Weeds, the opening music of which we hear at the end of this show, I’m drawn to good-looking South American male characters.

If you’ve ever been to New York and not seen The Warriors, then what the hell are you doing with your life? The radio scene, with Lynee Thigpen’s face only visible from the nose down, is both weirdly sensual and also a highly appropriate way of showing the power of the radio. Familiar voices without a face, trusted company in dark or lonely times, and often a guide towards the light. Though we didn’t include the blind radio producer from the epic movie Vanishing Point, he alone is reason enough to prep a second soundtrack special in the future.

Of course we also check in with classic composers like John Carpenter, John Williams and Mark Snow (obviously I’m a massive horror, Star Wars, and X-Files fan), and though admittedly we don’t delve too deep into the soundtracks of cult Italian cinema from the ’60s and ’70s, we will be dedicating a whole show to the many great composers of that time (Morricone, Alessandroni, Umiliani, Piccioni, Ortolani, etc) as their scores deserves more attention.

We also pull some tracks from television, namely, the killer new show Stranger Things (a nod to the analog age, as evidently heard in the warm sound of the synths used in the theme music) and the equally addictive The Expanse, taking place in a future time of a colonized solar system and one of the few sci-fi shows that actually takes space physics into consideration (like different gravitational forces, time warping, vacuum pressure, etc). The song we hear is “de new banga, fresh outta Eros! … Hottest beats-maker on Tycho.” On that note, if you’re into string theory and/or the interaction of multiple dimensions, I recommend the movie Interstellar (with music by Hans Zimmer of course). Lastly, we couldn’t exclude Akira and The Ghost in the Shell, two Japanese anime movies that became famous for their stunning, detail-heavy animation and their gripping music scores.

We draw to a close with a couple tracks from The Nile Hilton Incident (an excellent 2017 Egyptian movie, a must-watch for noir fans), Only Lovers Left Alive (now a classic among Jarmusch and vampire lovers alike) and Baby Driver (an unexpectedly great movie with a sort of timeless aesthetic and well-picked soundtrack).

Of course there’s lots more to listen to, from Mulatu Astatke and Philip Glass to Goblin and T. Rex, so click that Play button for two hours of cinematic brilliance. This week and moving forward we return to one-hour shows (quality trumps quantity) and we’ve got a couple guest shows in the works in preparation of a special live show, hopefully coming to Athens in April – so boppers, stay tuned!

With love from outer space,

—Obsessionist

SS_34 TRACKLIST

ALAN FORD – Nemesis (Snatch)
DAVE PORTER – Preacher main title theme
TEO USUELLI – Alla Ricerca Del Piacere Seq. 3
IGOR KANTOR, BERT SHEFTER & PAUL SAWTELL – Mysterioso Minor (Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!)
RIZ ORTOLANI – Theme from Fantasma D’amore
ANGELO BADALAMENTI – Dinner Party Pool Music (Mulholland Drive)
GIORGOS HATZINASIOS – Theme from Sweet Bunch
JOHNNY DEPP & RAY COPPER – A Drug Score Part 1 (Acid Spill) (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
CONNIE FRANCIS – Fallin (The Craft)
SEINABO SEY – Hard Time (Good Behavior)
TEO USUELLI – Alla Ricerca Del Piacere Seq. 15
LYNNE THIGPEN – All You Boppers (The Warriors)
BARRY DE VORZON – Theme from The Warriors
ZOMBIE ZOMBIE – Halloween main theme)
MICHAEL STEIN & KYLE DIXON – Stranger Things Theme (live at the ASCAP Screen Music Awards)
MARK SNOW – I Want to Believe (UNKLE remix)
JOHN CARPENTER – Theme from The Fog
CLINTON SHORTER – Eros Song (The Expanse)
TSUTOMU ŌHASHI – Kaneda’s Theme (Akira)
KENJI KAWAI – Chant 1 – Making of Cyborg (The Ghost in the Shell)
PHILIP GLASS – Mishima Closing (Mishima)
GOBLIN – Suspiria (Celesta and Bells)
KENJI KAWAI – Nightstalker (Ghost in the Shell)
RY COODER – Theme from Paris, Texas
T. REX – Cosmic Dancer (Billy Elliot)
ARIEL PINK – Baby (I Do…Until I Don’t)
LOVE – Always See Your Face (High Fidelity)
NICO – These Days (The Royal Tenenbaums)
THE VENUS IN FURS – 2HB (Velvet Goldmine)
LOUD REED – This Magic Moment (Lost Highway)
ANGELS & PETER SKELLERN – One More Kiss Dear (Blade Runner)
ANGELO BADALAMENTI – Rita Walks – Sunset Boulevard – Auth Ruth (Mulholland Drive)
BONNIE BEECHER – Come Wander With Me (The Twilight Zone)
MELINA MERKOURI – Agapi Pou Gines Dikopo Macheri (Stella)
IBTIHAL EL SERETY – Gina’s Song (The Nile Hilton Incident)
YASMINE HAMDAN – Hal (Only Lovers Left Alive)
MULATU ASTATKE – Gubèlyé (Broken Flowers)
DAVID MCCALLUM – The Edge (Baby Driver)
JOHN WILLIAMS – Binary Sunset (Star Wars IV: A New Hope)
MALVINA REYNOLDS – Little Boxes (Weeds)

Storm Stereo #33: Bowie Special

20160112-0202-2-friends-remembering-david-bowieHello my diamond dogs!

What could ever be said about the Thin White Duke that could ever be enough? Few have managed to explore music the way Bowie did, to bring to life such diverse characters and to remain artistically true to his own vision. Pushing the boundaries of his own creativity, he built up sonic worlds, whole universes even, and took us on a journey through his mind, heart and soul. By exposing his own humanity (however alien-like sometimes), he helped us explore our own internal worlds, creating music and lyrics with imaginative, playful and intelligent finesse – undoubtedly one of the most important sonic and lyrical masters of our time.

To discuss the diverse, finely tuned universe of sounds and experimentation found of every single one of his records could take up thousands of pages – from the inclusion of classical and jazz instruments (be it a single, sexy or sad sax, a booming orchestra or a quietly plucked koto) to the use of bird song, synthesizers and invented  language. His use of the English language is also spectacular, unparalleled even. Brilliantly subliminal, beautifully delicate and undeniably powerful, Bowie subtly weaves words of poetry, literature and philosophy into his verbal fascinations.

Whether it’s the existential lyrics on his anthem ‘All the Madmen,’ with its heavy guitars and loaded meaning juxtaposing the lighter sing-along ending complete which chorus claps (too good! If it doesn’t reach in a squeeze your heart maybe you don’t have one) or the obsessive yet prayer-like lyrics on his tribute to wandering cocaine hearts eager to connect with love ‘Station to Station,’ Bowie paints a picture like no other. Both these tracks, like ‘Moonage Daydream,’ with its sexy, futuristic lyrics and its inviting, daring attitude, are perfect examples of a Bowie universe in song form – and yet no two Bowie songs have ever been alike.

Screen Shot 2018-01-12 at 2.14.18 PM

When I was about 12, I got two Bowie compilation CDs, and have played them on repeat ever since. At that time electric blue was my favourite colour, and I was cutting out anything blue I found in magazines, taping the pages all around my room, making a massive, ever-growing collage of ‘blue, blue, electric blue, that’s the colour of my room”… true story. I remember ‘John I’m Only Dancing’ (along with ‘Suffragette City’) sounding like one of the most ecstatic things I’d ever heard in my life. The howling vocals, the electrifying guitar, the claps and sexy sax, that screeching, raw ending – a total banger and still one of my favourite songs of all time! Velvet Goldmine hit the silver screen about the same time and of course I was hooked.

I was enchanted and excited by every one of his personas – some closer to the heart than others but all carrying their own sound and vision that in turn uncovered a different side of my own self. His ability to wear different creative masks, then shed his skin and reinvent himself, while simultaneously framing his existence within an infinite universe of stars and possibility, giving a perspective to the concept of existence that encouraged embracing life, was a game-changer for me. Why be one thing other people want, when you can be everything you want to be? Why be one colour, when you can be a beam of light and channel a whole fucking rainbow? The collective impact of songs like ‘Starman’ and ‘Life on Mars,’ ‘Rock’n’Roll Suicide’ and ‘Velvet Goldmine,’ ‘Rebel, Rebel’ and ‘Modern Love’ literally shaped who I am today, a testament to how Bowie affected his listeners, deeply altering their perception of…well, everything.

Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 6.36.57 PM

And yet, even when Bowie is singing in a language we can’t even understand (as he does on Low), or when he delves into avant-garde territory (as he does on ‘Neuköln’ for example), whether dripping with classical influences or brimming with electronic innovation, he still creates something totally unique and soul-shattering. When it comes to composition, his influences beautifully shine through, be it Scott Walker, John Lennon, Charles Mingus, John Coltrane, John Cage, Steve Reich or Tangerine Dream.

It’s hard to single out just one Bowie record as the best because it’s hard to even compare some of them, he’s so consistently diverse. To me, however, Low, written in Berlin in an almost destroyed state, stands at the centre of his creations. His records before and after are equally impressive and impressionable, total classics I love, but Low from The Berlin Trilogy to me sounds like the ultimate sonic evolution: the highest state of his creative self-actualization, borne of a phoenix-like incineration, never to be the same again after it. Along with Heroes, Low was reworked by Philip Glass, two sublime pieces of work to say the least. Glass’ signature repetition, cyclical progression and pizzicato playing (think Glassworks) come through wonderfully in his rendition of ‘Some Are (Part 2)’.

Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 6.47.02 PM

Also on this show we hear pieces from the soundtrack Bowie did with Syuichi Sakamoto from Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, Aphex Twin remixing Glass reworking Bowie, a very dark collaboration Bowie did with Massive Attack covering ‘Nature Boy’ for the Moulin Rouge soundtrack, and (a match made in heaven) Bowie with the absolutely fabulous Pet Shop Boys on ‘Hallo Space Boy’ (I was obsessed when it came out). We basically skip everything else (because there simply wasn’t enough time!) and close it all off in the year 1997 (a good year for music), that finds Bowie pushing his electronic boundaries and delving into drum and bass (the opening to ‘Little Wonder’ could have easily fit into Prodigy’s The Fat of the Land that came out that same year).

Screen Shot 2018-01-12 at 2.13.06 PM

Until next time, ‘don’t fake it baby, lay the real thing on me. The church of man, love, is such a holy place to be.’

With love from outer space,

—Stardust Rebel

Storm Stereo #29

Screen Shot 2017-12-13 at 1.39.14 PM.pngHello friends and foes, lovers and losers

I don’t feel like saying much—though it seems I always do, even if the people I want to be listening aren’t anyway—so just a few words on last week’s show. I’m happy to include some highlights from this year’s Static Shock Weekend, which happened in the Old Smoke this past November. Its long and rich punk history aside, the UK at large has been a hotbed for some incredible bands in recent years, with scenes budding and blossoming from Brighton to London and Leeds and from Cardiff to Glasgow and Sheffield. Perhaps I’ll put together a UK special in 2018 at some point, stray tuned, send me your suggestions.

I just want to say a few words about Haram, the most poignant hardcore band in Nuke York right now – if not because of their catchy and driving hardcore music but for their potent personal-political message. Meaning forbidden in Arabic and with songs sung entirely in Arabic, Haram stand at a charged intersection, challenging but also connecting all sides of the Venn diagram they inhabit: identity, religion, punk, politics, history, perception, purpose to name but a few. After their set, I had the chance to talk for a few minutes with their singer Nader, who is originally from Lebanon. With a calm and steady voice, articulate and eloquent, he spoke to me about some of the profound and deeply human concepts that drive his lyrics: the Lebanese civil war and its atrocities, losing friends and family, having to abandon one’s home, being an immigrant in a deeply troubled and divided USA, being persecuted for racial or religious differences, the various physical and emotional by-stories that come with such an experience. His expression was so powerful and thought-provoking, I felt humbled listening to him speak. He said that trip to the UK for the festival had helped open his eyes to new perspectives and he repeated how lucky and grateful he felt to be part of such a nurturing and supportive global punk scene—something that for me highlighted the humanity us punks often try to shake off because being human usually hurts more than being a mutant freak. At the end he also said ‘thank you for giving me the space to talk about this.’ I almost teared up. And for me, that’s what punk is all about: that dense and difficult but real-as-fuck feeling, that gut-churning proof that what we do—with our music and lyrics, our show spaces and radio shows, our art and our collectives—really does speak to people, and really can change lives.

As you may have noticed, the second part of the show had a recurring Sega Bodega theme. He’s one of my favourite sound architects and producers right now (perhaps you know him from his magical Soundtrack Series on NTS radio) and he’s just self-released a mixtape with original compositions inspired by cult cinema. It’s a brilliantly perceived and executed body of work, and I liked it so much I decided to play three tracks from it, from the movies Ghost, Dogtooth and X. There’s something to be said of music that is simultaneously fierce and bold while also unafraid to be delicate and moving, drawing inspiration and strength from the dark and difficult corners of our own psyche. He recently performed some of these compositions at St Barnabas church in London and you can watch it here.

Also on this show we listen to Princess Nokia, a force to be reckoned with and a bright example of what the future of music looks like (hint: ‘bad bitches we run shit’), Delia Gonzalez, a composer whose mix of minimal keys and cosmic beats is perfect, Hiroshi Yoshimura, whose ingenious Music for Nine Postcards record was just reissued, and much more.

Next show we delve into the dark and damp world of Greek underground noise and experimental electronics, with two hours of drone, ambient, noise, harsh electronics, dark techno and much more, specially curated by Andreas Kavvadias (d E).

Until then, don’t you fuck with my energy. With bitter love from outer space,

—Obsessionist

 

STORM STEREO 29 SETLIST

DOM THOMAS – Tropicalia Dream
RAKTA – Intro
RAKTA – Atrativos Da Mentira
RATA NEGRA – Por No Estar Sola
EXIT ORDER – Mass Panic
HARAM – Not A Terrorist – ليست ارهابي
L.O.T.I.O.N. – Born in 1984
ULTRA – Porno
LIMP WRIST – Square One
NEKRA – Art School
RUNT – DWP
MONOTON – Wasser
SADE – Soldier of Love (Exotic Remix)
PRINCESS NOKIA – Brujas
FKA TWIGS – Two Weeks
POST MALONE – Rockstar
SEGA BODEGA – Ghost
SEGA BODEGA – Dogtooth
DELIA GONZALEZ – Roulette
HIROSHI YOSHIMURA – Blink
AYYA – Second Mistake
LENA PLATONOS – Thalassa
SEGA BODEGA – X
DJ RICHARD – Path of Ruin
RAÄR – Sometimes I Hear Sirens
ANTONI MAIOVVI – Revenge is Sweeter Than Wine
EMAK – Tanz In Den Himmel
LE SYNDICAT ELECTRONIQUE – Strawberry Flower
STEPHAN EICHER – Miniminiminijupe
FACTRIX – A Night to Forget
RAKTA – Outro
LIMP WRIST – In My Mind

Storm Stereo #28

Tate art ss29.jpg
Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla, Solar Catastrophe

Hello my loves,

Bringing you the first episode of Storm Stereo for InterSonik Net Radio, where you’ll be able to catch the show every Wednesday night, 22:00–00:00 (EET) on intersonik.net. I’ll also be DJ-ing some Storm Stereo faves on Saturday, December 23 at B-Side Bar, so come say hello if you’re about Athenstown.

On with the show! Included in this episode of Storm Stereo are a favourite by living inspiration Cosey Fanni Tutti, plus stellar tracks by Suzanne Cianni, Damien Dubrovnik (accidentally said Croatian Amor on air!) and Bill Kouligas, all three of whom played wicked electronic and experimental music festivals this year, such as Milano’s Terraforma, Berlin Atonal and Unsound in Kraków. PAN label-master Kouligas also recently played Plisskën Festival in Athens, as did Ethiopian jazz genius Mulatu Astatke (whom we also hear on this show) and both of them were superb, each in their own unique way – go see them if they’re coming through your town!

We also listen to a couple recent/upcoming reissues. First, an instant classic and perhaps my #1 record for 2017, Japanese instrumental minimalist Midori Takada (out on WRWTFWW Records), Solid Space, an early-’80s British duo who wrote a brilliant minimal-wave record packed with distinct and memorable gems (out on Dark Entries who are also helping with the much-anticipated Lena Platonos documentary λπ – Lambda Pi), and synth pioneer Pauline Anne Strom and her spacey synth ambient LP Trans-Millenia Music (out on RVNG Intl. Records).

Also on this show, the master Moondog because he’s always relevant, plus commanding and evocative tunes from Cameroon’s Hamad Kalkaba and Capo Verde’s Antonio Sanches, both from excellent releases (with incredible stories) on Analog Africa, a label with impressive consistency and quality to its truly original catalog.

November was a busy month, and not least because I went to London and saw great bands at Static Shock Festival (fest highlights set coming next week) and amazing modern art at Tate Modern (hello wall of Jenny Holzer wisdom!) and Everything at Once at 180 the Strand (field recordings project featuring sounds from this and other 2017 trips coming early 2018). The exhibit has been extended until December 14, I highly recommend you go and see it if you’re in London and have the chance.

So many inspiring pieces at this exhibit. Shirazeh Houshiary’s Breath, a mainly audio installation that featured Buddhist, Christian, Jewish and Islamic prayers, all played at once (one from each point of the compass, rising and falling in intensity),  in a small, almost pitch-back, square room.

Haroon Mirza’s Sonakinatography Composition III, a light installation that focuses on the sounds made by the changing electric current of the coloured lamps used, creating a beautiful and vibrant light and audio composition.

Arthur Jafa’s Love is the Message, the Message is Love, a beautiful, painful, moving, powerful (and I want to believe ultimately empowering) video collage/vision of contemporary Black America, set to Kanye West’s ‘Ultralight Beam’, that watches like a music video but speaks like a prayer.

Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla’s Solar Catastrophe (featured image), made from ‘discarded polycrystalline solar panel cells’ that reflect the light and change colour as you move around the canvas, highlighting the process of ‘greenwashing‘.

Tatsuo Miyajima’s Time Waterfall, with numbers from 1 to 9 projected onto a wall, varying sizes ‘falling’ at varying speeds, representing our passage through time.

Until next week… just be thankful for what you’ve got.

With love from outer space,

—Obsessionist

STORM STEREO 28 TRACKLIST

ULUKEN MELESE with MULATU ASTATKE – Wubit
HAMAD KALKABA – Astadjam Dada Saré
ANTONIO SANCHES – Pinta Manta
MIDORI TAKADA – Crossing
MOONDOG – Marimba Mondo 2
HALIM EL-DABH – Wire Recorder Piece
SOLID SPACE – Destination Moon
COSEY FANNI-TUTTI – Pussy Got The Cream
PAULINE ANNE STROM – Energies
SUZANNE CIANI – Paris 1971
DAMIEN DUBROVNIK – Arrow 3
BILL KOULIGAS – VXOMEG
MOONDOG – Pastoral