Saturday, October 30, 2021

Beledo - Seriously Deep (November 16, 2021 MoonJune Records)

BELEDO is Uruguayan born, NYC based multi-instrumentalist, predominantly guitarist and pianist, who grew up in Montevideo and was a prominent player on the jazz scene in his native Uruguay, is joined by drummer Kenny Grohowski, who in addition to taking part in several MoonJune recording dates, has worked with John Zorn, John Medeski, Imperial Triumphant, as well as the most recent incarnation of Brand X. Completing the core trio for the record is bassist Tony Levin, whose stellar list of credits includes Paul Simon, John Lennon, Peter Gabriel, David Bowie and King Crimson.

The centerpiece of the album is Beledo’s arrangement of Eberhard Weber’s composition, Seriously Deep. Originally appearing on the ECM album, Silent Feet, the album and that track in particular had a huge impact on Beledo and his friend Jorge Camiruaga when they first heard it upon its release in 1978.

Lasting over 14 minutes the track, with its graceful gently unfurling melody, features Beledo on electric guitar and acoustic piano. Beledo’s high-end undulating solo is complimented by Levin’s ruminative response at the opposite end of the tonal, adding up to a beautifully balanced performance.

A different kind of emotion lies at the core of Mama D, a track dedicated to the late South African singer, Dorothy Masuka and performed here by Botswanese vocalist Kearoma Rantao. With lyrics written by Beledo that chronicles Masuka’s life from the oppression of the apartheid regime to the struggle for a more equitable existence in the modern South Africa, Rantao’s powerful performance glows like a beacon shining at the center of the track’s complex, shifting arrangements.

A very different vocal is heard on A Temple In The Valley with Italian composer and singer Boris Savoldelli adding his athletic wordless singing to a track whose wistful, bitter-sweet melody sounds like a hidden gem from the Canterbury Scene. A gorgeous song-without-words, it’s a tune you might find on an album by Hatfield And The North or Caravan.
That the album features both written and improvised music is very much the core of Beledo’s approach. “I like to make sure that the musicians have all the materials in advance and that the arrangements are already digested by the time we get to the studio. Then the improvisations will flow without stress. I tend to write everything, but it is not to box people into what’s written but in the hope that it will create a frame of infinite points that will expand the possibilities of expression. The improvisations are an aspect that takes more than a 50% of my compositions and when it comes to my guitar playing it is the aspect that I feel it allows me to express my true self,” says the guitarist.

While the core trio worked live face-to-face in the studio, COVID meant that the vocal contributions had to be done remotely. Beledo is especially pleased with the results. “Boris and Kearoma gave a 200% to their performances, sang their lines soulfully and masterfully, and they created their own arrangements such as where they overdub more than one voice. It is amazing how two people singing two different songs in different parts of the world added extra choir parts at the end of certain phrases. I’m so pleased my music inspired them in the same way.”

His writing either for instrumental or vocal settings exhibit a supple eloquence. Coasting Zone and Maggie’s Sunrise both feature Jorge Camiruaga on vibraphone, a life-long friend of Beledo who shared a passion for that Eberhard Weber Colours album back in 1978. Both of these tracks suggest reflective moods with a yearning quality redolent in their melodies and solo lines. The latter in particular enhanced by Beledo’s piano work and his guitar’s yearning quality that occasionally brings to mind Allan Holdsworth’s plangent tones.

Yet it’s a characteristic of Beledo’s finely honed approach to guitar playing that he isn’t concerned with any kind of obvious showboating or gratuitous displays of technique. Dexterous bursts of speed can be at their most engaging and exciting when they are deployed sparingly, that is, as and when the music demands it. Beledo is just as likely to be carefully crafting atmospherics as undertaking unnecessary dashes up and down the fretboard.

Good examples of this are found on Knocking Waves and Into The Spirals, two tracks that were improvised live in the studio between Beledo, Grohowski and Levin and which demonstrate his textural approach as a means of enhancing the moment, showing real empathy with the work of his colleagues.

 1. Seriously Deep 14:15
2. Mama D 07:50
3. Coasting Zone 05:07
4. Maggie's Sunrise 08:38
5. Knocking Waves 09:48
6. A Temple In The Valley 10:57
7. Into The Spirals 04:16

BELEDO - guitars, acoustic piano, synth
TONY LEVIN - upright bass, bass guitar

with special guests
JORGE CAMIRUAGA - vibraphone (1, 4)
KEAROMA RANTAO - vocals (2)

All compositions and arrangements by Beledo, except 'Seriously Deep', composed by Eberhard Weber, and 'Knocking Waves' and 'Into The Spirals', composed by Beledo, Levin, Grohowski.

Produced by Leonardo Pavkovic & Beledo.
Executive production by Leonardo Pavkovic for MoonJune Music.

Recorded by Scott Petito at NRS Studio, Catskill Village, NY, USA, on September 22 & 23, 2020. Mixed by Scott Petito & Beledo at NRS Studio on December 19 & 20, 2020 and April 30, 2021.
Mastered by Stefano Castagna at Ritmo & Blue Studio, Pozzolengo, BS, Italy, between May 14-19, 2021.
Jorge Camiruaga's vibraphone rs recorded by Rogelio Lago at Grind Sound Studio, Montevideo, Uruguay, December 2, 2020.
Vocal parts by Kearoma Rantao were recorded by Francois Arthur Titus and Prestley Metsheat at Kalakuta Heartbeat studio, Gabarone West, Botswana, on March 19, 2021.
Boris Savoldelli's vocal parts were recorded by Boris Savoldelli at Insanology Studio, Sotto Colina, BG, Italy, on April 21, 2021.

John Ghost vs Binkbeats - Black Chamber (Escape To The Sun) November 5, 2021 Sdban Records

‘Black Chamber (Escape to the Sun)’, out on Sdban Ultra, is the brand new single by John Ghost. The Belgian band had been toying around with the idea of collaborating with a different artist for some time, and decided to join forces with Frank Wienk aka Binkbeats for this track. This Dutch producer, percussionist and multi-instrumentalist previously remixed tracks by Aphex Twin, Flying Lotus and Atoms For Peace.

Norwegian producer Jørgen Træen, well-known from his earlier collaborations with Jaga Jazzist, Kaizers Orchestra, the Hubro-label and Sondre Lerche, signed on as co-producer and took care of the final mix and mastering of ‘Black Chamber (Escape to the Sun)’. Træen was also the producer of Airships Are Organisms, the internationally lauded second album by John Ghost. ‘Black Chamber (Escape to the Sun)’ is reminiscent of that album’s cinematic themes and dreamy musical atmosphere, but has a more straightforward pop-direction because of Binkbeats’ contribution. The rhythmic approach is characteristic of the Dutch percussionist, while the composition’s dark sounds interact with frivolous elements in a striking way.

Frontman Jo De Geest: “In the studio Binkbeats often works with audio design. He is particularly versatile with this and has very strong personal views on the sound design of a project. Our musical styles are a nice fit as well. As a group we also wanted to stress the productional aspects and experiment with electronic components. This collaboration with Frank worked smoothly and gave us the opportunity to approach John Ghost’s music from different angles.”

‘Black Chamber (Escape to the Sun)’ signals a new evolution. Jo De Geest was inspired by Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist, a book by Paul Kingsnorth in which he refers to a visit to the ‘Black Chamber’ in the caves of Niaux (France). The ancient animal drawings in the caves tell a sacred story about nature. Kingsnorth describes the Black Chamber as a kind of chapel in which our natural environment, so dear to us, triumphs. ‘Escape to the Sun’ refers to the ‘Space Race’ that began as an adventurous and heroic quest in the 50s, but has started to resemble an urge to flee a damaged environment that is increasingly beyond repair.

The B-side has the track 'Airships Are Organisms' from the latest John Ghost album in a Prins Thomas remix. One of Norway’s most renowned musical exports, Prins Thomas has fashioned a fresh direction for dance music. As with his peers Todd Terje, Hans-Peter Lindstrom, and some of the city’s legendary characters like the mysterious DJ Strangefruit, he has the very laid-back nature of his Oslo residence to thank for encouraging his path, one that has created a global ongoing fascination with retro-futurism and cosmic oddities. 

1. Black Chamber (Escape To The Sun)
2. Airships Are Organisms (Prins Thomas Remix)

Jean-Luc Ponty - In the Fast Lane (November 3, 2021 Vive La Musique)

Vive La Musique is proud to present the first record in a special series, celebrating legendary French musician Jean-Luc Ponty and his influence on electronic dance music.

Ponty is a prolific composer with over thirty albums to his name, exploring a wide spectrum of jazz, fused with rock, electronic music and later in his career, West African sounds. A virtuoso multi-instrumentalist, famed for being one of the pioneers of the electric violin, Ponty also experimented with synthesis, composing a number of his albums with the Synclavier - one of the first synths to link up to a computer, offering the opportunity to create and combine multiple sounds.

Originally released in 1989 on the Storytelling album, "In the Fast Lane" is a rich and vibrant composition, with Ponty's rhythmical Synclavier keys and uplifting violin melodies dancing over a driving offbeat groove. The track lit up dancefloors in the UK jazz dance movement which started in the late 80s and is one of the all-time classic tunes from the Dingwalls sessions. Championed by influential Detroit radio DJ the Electrifying Mojo, Ponty is also dearly loved in the Motor City and is cited as a key influence by many of the pioneers of the techno movement.

Vive La Musique brings this unique track to the 12" single format for the first time, beautifully remastered by Atjazz and cut loud at 45 rpm. The release also features a brilliant cover version from Opolopo. He faithfully recreates the original synth lines around a deep and jazzy house groove, producing a modern dancefloor masterpiece, which highly impressed Ponty.

The 12" is presented with stunning artwork by Michal Rafaj and linear notes written by Ponty himself, telling the story of how the track was composed and recorded as well as exclusive photographs that have never been published before.

 "With such a long career in the world of jazz and prog. rock,
it makes me very happy to discover that younger generations
of musicians from other styles of music and DJs appreciate my
work and are inspired to make their own versions.

Opolopo did a great job with my piece “In The Fast Lane”.
The feel of my original version is still there, while he highlights
some sections with a different angle. He also does a very good
keyboard solo and I really like the synth sounds he uses.”
Jean-Luc Ponty

*EU customers please note that all EU orders will be posted from within the EU to avoid any Brexit issues. 

1. In the Fast Lane (12" Remaster)
2. Opolopo - In The Fast Lane
3. Opolopo - In the Fast Lane (dub) {Digital exclusive]
4. Opolopo - In the Fast Lane (preview snippet)

Jean-Luc Ponty: 5 String violin and Synclavier-II
Baron Browne: Bass
Rayford Griffin: Drums

In-Dreamview / Triptych (October 2021)


A work or composition in three parts

This album is made up of three pieces, each in three parts

The three pieces correlate to the three panels of the triptych on the album cover (from left to right)

1. Collisions Pt.I 03:32
2. Collisions Pt.II 05:26
3. Collisions Pt.III 03:10
4. Passageways Pt.I 04:21
5. Passageways Pt.II 03:31
6. Passageways Pt.III 07:00
7. Water Caustics Pt.I 05:03
8. Water Caustics Pt.II 04:45
9. Water Caustics Pt.III 06:25

Matt Stober - electric guitar, vibraphone, glockenspiel, piano, cello, acoustic guitar, sitar guitar, auto-harp
Ben Coniguliaro - drums, percussion
Quinn Coniguliaro - bass, bass VI, percussion
Alex Verbickas - electric guitar

All tracks written by In-Dreamview
mixed, mastered, engineered, and composed by - Matt Stober
recorded September 2020 - October 2021

Paul Hartsaw & Desiring Machines - Entomology (October 2021)

1. #4'40" 04:42
2. #15'26" 15:28
3. #9'02" 09:04
4. #12'54" 12:56
5. #6'56" 06:58
6. #6'30" 06:31

Recorded at WMU studios Kalamazoo MI Summer 1998

Paul Hartsaw - soprano & tenor saxophones, piano (1&5), drums(3), aux noise&percussion
Jim Simonson - bass, koto, piano(4), inside piano(3), aux noise & percussion
Michael Caskey - drums, piano(3), aux noise

KASE - Seasons (October 30, 2021 B Side Recordings)

1. Almost Forty
2. Like We Always Do
3. Mystery Amit/Beatrice
4. Reaction to Cultural Positions
5. Skylark
6. Soundboy
7. You Never Told Me Your Dream


ALMOST 40 14:45
Trouble ensues when youngest son Jordan walks into a sudden surprise for his 40th birthday celebration.

(guest starring KLASSIK)
An accidental and impromptu encounter exposes old relationships, complicating the already sticky situation.

A mysterious and potentially benevolent figure emerges as a main player. John and Jamie take the bait. Jordan does not. A West-Coast tour is discussed. The band's mutual love of Apple products is exposed.

Deep and powerful discussions emerge surrounding the band's purpose, lineage, and future.

John receives a tip in the investigation into the potential mysterious benefactor. Promises made, but not kept. Ultimately, a dead end.

The DA gets involved, the benefactor is thrown out and overstays his welcome.

A scheme is hatched as a champagne fueled evening devolves into a blurry dream-state. The plot thickens. 

JAMIE BREIWICK, trumpet, electronics, piano
JORDAN LEE, turntables, electronics

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Jordan Lee.
All compositions by KASE, except "Beatrice" (Sam Rivers/Rivebea Music Co.), "Skylark" (Hoagy Carmichael/Frank Music Corp.), and "You Never Told Me Your Dream" (Jamie Breiwick/Jamie Breiwick Music)

Vladimir Luchansky - Transitions (October 30, 2021 577 Records)

In an experimental tour-de-force, Russian multi-instrumentalist and electronic musician Vladimir Luchansky offers an elegant and compositionally bold new album, Transitions. Performed entirely on alto saxophone, the album reflects his unique musical sensibilities as well as a deep appreciation of his instrument, the first horn he ever had and his steady companion for more than a decade. Transitions’s 5 tracks are liminal explorations, recorded on saxophone and manipulated by exploratory electronic production. Luchansky has long been thinking about transitional processes from acoustics to electronics, a transformation of sound and also a reflection of his own relationship with horn instruments.

This album, then, is also a tribute to “personal transitions, evolutions, transformations, ubiquitous personal changes—and, of course, love.” With every change, we can choose to react or to accept it—these interruptions and surrenders are reflected with the random character of sonic modifications throughout the album, compelling each piece forward with force and a curious sense of relief. Transitions will be available digitally via 577 Records on October 30, 2021.

1. Transition I
2. Transition II
3. Transition III
4. Transition IV
5. As A Whole

Vladimir Luchansky - Alto saxophone, effects

Recorded in Saint Petersburg, Russia in 2020
Mixed and mastered by Ilia Belorukov

Album design by Mark Smith

Orbit577 is part of 577 Records
Brooklyn, New York