Tuesday, 15 August 2006

Guess what, a post about music

When it comes to music, I'm always in a sharing mood, it's just a pity most people are such lousy receivers. I wonder what is happening on FM radio these days. I tuned in for 15 minutes daily in the shower a while ago when my radio-on-a-rope's batteries were still working. I listened to the 4 or 5 same songs that played everytime for a few weeks and decided I'll stick to my own playlists, which at least include a wider selection of songs, more variety and less groin grabbing. My favourite playlist while driving is to shuffle the 423 songs that I've awarded 5 stars on my iPod - that's 6.4% of the 6595 songs available, which I think sends out a decent enough message that 5 stars don't come easy. When driving a rental car in Gauteng, I listen to Radio Jacaranda or whatever it's called. The other stations take themselves and their coolness so seriously that the complete ignorance of Jacaranda and the way they can mix anything into an easy listening playlist is a breath of fresh air... or possibly a nosefull of dank roadkill stench which is why it's difficult to tune away from. Like Radio 99 in Namibia - the ultimate random music machine with a touch of artificially intelligent pathos.

Some good music I'm listening to that I would recommend if you're gatvol of the usual tripe:

Current 93: Black Ships At the Sky
This is an intense album which has been widely acclaimed as a definite pinnacle in the apocalyptic folk recordings of David Tibet, the most unlikely looking man that goths like to hug. I suspect many people will find themselves listening to the repeat renditions of Idumea on the album, rather than Tibet's own contributions, but the whole album is worth at least two listens. Some reviews here and here and here.

Soundtrack to Temenos: Sainkho Namtchylak, Shelley Hirsch, Catherine Bott
I'm listening to this because of my current obsession with Tuvan throat singing and because Sainkho Namtchylak (thanks again for the tip, Cerebus) features on it, but it's probably not the most exciting one to listen to. What makes this album interesting is the range of sounds that Sainkho can produce and even with the narration I find it good working music. Some reviews and information here and here. There is, of course, Yat-Kha, Huun-Huur-Tu and Shu-De to listen to as well once you've worked your way through these tuvan singing samples. I was laughed at in my face the other day when I excitedly described throat singing to some people. As punishment, I'm now compiling a mix-cd of Tuvan artists for them.

Kokeshi Doll: Self-Titled & Pirukorui
Of all the bands on the Benten Label, Kokeshi Doll remains my favourite and both the first two albums are excellent. This is not punk-by-numbers with Japanese girls singing in the hope that it will be enough of a novelty to sell records; this is good, aggressive and original music. I was starting to despair that the band broke up after reading no news, but was very excited to see a third album is out: Tantalus Rhythm. My copy is on its way, lying on a grey metal shelf in a postal depot somewhere close to the Indian Ocean, between embarrassing postcards, final notice invoices and letters of condolence.

I am also currently relistening Sigur Ròs, Gogol Bordello and Diesel Whores, all of whom I've seen live recently. With the live performances in memory, the albums become much more interesting and multi-faceted. Aag, and then there's the usual suspects I listen to, dilligently captured by Last.FM and reflected in the list on the left.

That's my sharing for the day. Please share alike.

No comments:

Post a Comment