Tag Archives: Indie

Tape Cuts Tape – Black Mold (2013)

Tape Cuts Tape - Black Mold (2013)

Now this is a beautiful album. Tape Cuts Tape is an improv trio consisting of Eric Thielemans, multi-genre drummer, who has worked with Trevor Dunn, Lynn Cassiers, jazz vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, and Rudy Trouvé of dEUS fame.

Most improv that I have encountered is either Jazz or noise/drone, so this noisy indie ambient is a great but fantastic shock.

Throughout, the drums are the rock on which the rest is built; solid, dependable, but also inventive, driving and daring. Guitars and effects add a lot of interest, playing with the space and weaving together an aural quilt, a sound blanket in which to wrap up the beautiful vocals of Cassiers.

An absolutely fantastic album, one that should definitely not be missed.

One criticism, though it isn’t a criticism of this album, per se, is that this kind of improvised music works so much better in a live setting, where the canvas can envelop you, and you can lose yourself in the music, where minutes feel like hours, sets seem like lifetimes, and evenings feel like eternities. That, I have experienced with live improv, such as The Vibracathedral Orchestra, Damo Suzuki’s Network, Merbow, so I would hasten to recommend experience this, or music like it, in the live setting.

Favourite tracks: Black Mold, Deep Garden, Rundfunk

Spotify link: Tape Cuts Tape – Black Mold
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Unknown Mortal Orchestra – II (2013)

Unknown Mortal Orchestra - II (2013)

Unknown Mortal Orchestra come from New Zealand and the USA, formed in the wake of guitarist Ruban Nielsen’s previous noiseniks, The Mint Chicks.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra are far less in your face than The Mint Chicks; more “refined”, as it were; less noisy. Production values are high and the sound has a certain classic charm to it. More than once on this album I am reminded of late Beatles (1967-1968; Sgt Peppers and the White Album), especially with regards to the guitar, on tracks such as Get Away From The Sun, One At A Time, Monki, Faded In The Morning. In fact, I would go further to say that there is a certain 60s British psychedelia sound throughout; I hear shades of The Kinks, The Small Faces and Mannfred Mann, along with some more contemporary sounds, such as the indie blues of Gomez on So Good At Being In Trouble.

This is a great album, especially if laid-back psychedelic indie is your thing. I think it may require a few listens to really get into; but it totally feels worth it.

Favourite tracks: Get Away From The Sun, So Good At Being In Trouble, Monki

Spotify link: Unknown Mortal Orchestra – II
Sneak peak: 

Shugo Tokumaru – In Focus? (2013)

Shugo Tokumaru - In Focus (2013)

Shugo Tokumaru is a multi-instrumentalist from Japan. In Focus? is his sixth album, but the first by him that I have listened to.

There is a certain twee charm to this album which I would place somewhere between quirky indie-pop and psychedelic folk. The majority of tracks have a childlike innocence to them, with instantly catchy melodies but with a lot of added experimental, off piste diversions; there some very interesting musical interludes, as well, with glockenspiel on Gamma, what sounds like a detuned ukulele on Mubyo, what could be the theme tune to some crazy Japanese kid’s TV programme on Pah-Paka, and (possibly sequenced) guitars on Micro Guitar Music.

Most tracks are great with plenty going on to keep the ear interested; a couple of the tracks, to me, don’t live up to this standard, but I must stress that this is likely to be because, like Ord Gate, they are more lyrically focused tracks and, as they are sung in Tokumaru’s native Japanese which I don’t understand, this is my shortcoming and not his.

Overall, very enjoyable.

Favourite tracks: Call, Helictite (LeSeMoDe), Down Down

Bandcamp link: http://shugotokumarumusic.bandcamp.com/album/in-focus
Spotify link: Shugo Tokumaru – In Focus?
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