A curious summer

Vinyl sleeves 07.07.2023

It's not yet time for back-to-school or first-day-of-the-year resolutions. And so much the better. It's the beginning of summer - a vacation for many - when the mind becomes curious and dilettante. No reading or listening to put to good use: just free pleasure. You can finally get into that great novel you've been putting off, and have the audacity to move towards strange and beautiful music. A vinyl record every seven days: eight weeks of snooping around in search of artists that the torrent of continuous offerings throughout the year prevents us from listening to serenely. Have a great summer!

Colette Roper - Piano Pieces
First released in 1979 on the label of Swiss artist and art collector Dieter Roth, this haunting and mysterious repetitive work for piano has just been re-released this March on the Japanese label Art Into Life. We know absolutely nothing about this artist: is it a pseudonym? does she really exist? is she still alive? This recording has gradually gained a cult following, and there's no denying that a strange charm hovers around this obscure minimalist fulgurance. These four rare piano pieces form a whole of great freshness and total sincerity - quite rare in this aesthetic.

Katrina Krimsky - 1980
Classically trained American pianist Katrina Krimsky made a name for herself with her acclaimed (and still standard-setting) recordings of works by Samuel Barber andHeitor Villa-Lobos. Her encounters with contemporary figures such as Karlheinz Stockhausen, Luc Ferrari and Terry Riley opened doors to new aesthetics. In 1980, she gave a concert at the legendary Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, where she improvised a long monologue inspired by Keith Jarrett-style jazz, La Monte Young-style minimalism and the classical/contemporary hybrid inherent in her academic training. Released in February 2023 by Unseen Worlds.

Flaer - Preludes
Preludes is the name of the debut album by English multidisciplinary artist Realf Heygate, born in 1994. Released in August of this year, Preludes was Heygate's opportunity to settle down artistically, and to finally envisage a new form of expression. Recorded acoustically on piano, cello and guitar, this album smells of the English countryside and naturalist introspection. English bird lovers, this record is for you - from Odda Recordings.

Andrius Arutiunian - Seven Common Ways of Disappearing
This is strange, disturbing and quite unique music. Andrius Arutiunian, an Armenian-Lithuanian artist, was inspired by the mystical thinker Georges I. Gurdjieff and his famous enneagram. Gurdjieff and his famous enneagram to create a sound installation - commissioned by the Armenian Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2022 and the Rewire Festival in The Hague. The Enneagram is an ancient esoteric figure that Gurdjieff reintroduced to Europe at the beginning of the last century. Here, the Enneagram is transformed into a musical score. Dividing the circle into nine points, the score is for two musicians and is open-ended, indefinitely. Record available from Hallow Ground.

Jozef Dumoulin - This Body, This Life
One of the most beautiful records of the year. We remember his first solo album on Fender Rhodes released in 2014, which shook up many and made Jozef Dumoulin one of the big names on the European jazz scene. No one before him had dared to make an album centered around this instrument, so rich in sonorities and harmonies. He returns with a wider choice of instruments: Fender Rhodes (of course), piano, synthesizer, drums and (of course) lots of field recording (his children in particular). "My method was as simple as it was time-consuming: I recorded a large number of improvisations on the Fender Rhodes and a large number of improvisations on the piano. I made preselections for both recordings and then took the time to see which piano would suit which Fender Rhodes. Once I had established a number of compatible pairs, I considered that anything was permissible to turn them into self-contained, functional pieces of music. After all, I had to bring fire and water together; at least that's the impression I got." Rarely do we hear so much musical richness in an album where all musical styles rub shoulders and (finally) make us want to blow away all the aesthetic labels we like to stick to unclassifiable music. Thanks to Carton Records for opening up its catalog to such music.

Metal - Black Space, White Cloud
Originally fromSarajevo and a Belgian resident since 1989, Miaux was nurtured on psychedelic music and Krautrock by her family, who were part of the Antwerp art collective Ercola. Mia Prce - her real name - has already released several albums, but this one (released in 2017) is set to return to the forefront as its pure, authentic beauty makes it timeless. We hear soft sounds of Casio synthesizers with soothing rock-minimalist rhythms. It's like something out of a David Lynch film, where cool simplicity and smiling sadness reign supreme. At Ultra Eczema.

Svitlana Nianio - Lisova Kolekciya
Svitlana Nianio is an important figure on the Ukrainian underground scene of the 90s. Her music is a subtle blend of the traditional songs of her homeland and the sonic experimentation of that era, when synthesizers of all kinds were the instruments of choice. Of course, there's a Terry Riley influence in the keyboards, but the voice superimposed on these layers of sound (some of the treatments are reminiscent of Chassol) belongs nowhere else. This music, straddling two universes, is "deeply rooted in primitive myths, creating a world of magical realism, in which the temporal dimension and the other world constantly shift and permeate each other." To be discovered in reissue thanks to the Skire label.

François de Roubaix - From Jazz to Electro 1965-1975
Here's the record that set the whole Roubaix scene abuzz a while back. New works by one of the world's greatest film composers? No. Sadly, no. Just a sincerely opportunistic compilation - much to our delight as music lovers - of pieces composed for TV series and commercials. No great discoveries, just the pleasure of hearing an artist who knew how to play everything, mimic every style and whose melodic inspiration knew no bounds.

François Mardirossian


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