Ukab Maerd — The Waiting Room
(HC 016, 2010, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2011-06-01Spelled backwards it's Dream Baku, a shaded reference to Djam Karet's A Night for Baku CD from about eight years ago. This is an improvisational project featuring founding DK members Chuck Oken and Gayle Ellett, playing analog, digital and modular keyboard synths, guitars, percussion, effects, processing and loops. On the first three of the four lengthy tracks, the duo is joined by none other than French electronic wizard Richard Pinhas on guitar loops. The general tone throughout is ambient and dreamy, with an adventurous and introspective bent borne of dark imagery and experimentation. Elements of the 24 minute opener "The Cave" are somewhat reminiscent of the more spacious DK moments from the Suspension and Displacement era, while the second and third cuts "White Light, No Heat" and "God's Elastic Acre" evoke a feeling closer to Pinhas' Iceland, the former with a strong undercurrent of positivity that belies the darkness that permeates the weird and twisted abstractions of the latter. Surprisingly, it's the closing track "Sati and the Trainman" – the one track that doesn't feature Pinhas at all, that is most reminiscent of the characteristic looping and spiraling electronic sequences of Heldon. All taken, this is an excellent and unpredictable electronic workout that offers fresh revelations with each spin.
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more