Tonight’s show will feature guest host Michael Vitrano, head of Buffalo-based label Desire Path Recordings.
Vitrano will take over the programming tonigh so can’t tell you as of now what we’ll be in store for, but I’m willing to bet you’ll hear a preview of his label’s upcoming release, Megrez by Nite Lite, plus some other stuff from the label’s excellent back catalog.
Show starts at 8pm on 91.3FM WBNY. Stream at WBNY.org.
Lots of new stuff to get to tonight on The Upstate Soundscape, including a song from the upcoming album The Seagull – A Song Cycle by Buffalo artists Alfred Brown and a track from Nite Lite’s Megrez, which is due out soon on Buffalo label Desire Path Recordings.
New stuff as well from Buffalo’s Ay Fast, the cae-sur-a label out of Rochester, and a collaboration between Ithaca sax player Keir Neuringer and Toronto vocalist Paul Dutton.
We’ll also preview a couple of interesting shows going on in the region, including Rochester-born Lydia Lunch in Hamilton, nu-kraut band Cave in Buffalo, and Steven Severin’s live film score to Blood of the Poet scheduled for this Sunday at the Market Arcade.
Show starts at 8pm. Tune in to 91.3FM WBNY or stream at WBNY.org
Charlemagne Palestine (Charles Martin by birth name) originally studied as a cantor, though his early compositions dealt in drones and belfry-booming carillon bells. Throughout his storied career as a minimalist, the Brooklyn-born Palestine has crafted works that sound miles away from anything typically “American.” Out on Buffalo’s Desire Path Recordings, his latest, Day of the Demons, a joint effort with sound artist and composer Janek Schaefer, continues that trend.
Beginning with a simple drone, Day of the Demons slowly blooms into a blustery composition populated with delicately pronounced vowels and subtle bell chimes. Vocal chants linger above, sporadically dipping below the drone, redoubling as a ghostly chorus. It’s a series of slow-motion atomic blasts, each new shockwave mushrooming and settling in on itself like a collapsed blanket. It’s peering into another dimension to view a choir of flaggy wraiths as the staunch mourning bell tolls of fire nips at their bottoms. All this in the twenty-minute “Raga de L’pres midi pour Aude,” which comprises Side A of the release.
Day of the Demons Eastern-influenced sounds are alive and roaming here as the beehive of melting sound never settles into the parameters of “major” or “minor” tonality. Instead, we get a slow burn of mystic rhythm and spirit, garnished with an airy vocal sheen. The voices on the recording are both Palestine’s and Schaefer’s which, when combined with a shruti box and bits of harmonica sounds, create the contemplative, meditative first side of Day of the Demons.
After those sounds rumble away, a piercing melodica enters with shaky chimes rattling all around it. This is Side B , “Fables From a Far Away Future,” which features field recordings from a street carnival nearby the Brussels studio where the pair completed the album. The jam-packed “Fables” features intermittent desk bells that keep the atmosphere playful while still mysterious — a must. The track’s full, yet not overcrowded, and its twenty minutes enable it to become a journey, a travelogue of sorts for an avant-garde mind.
People’s voices cut in and vanish quickly. Words are unimportant; sounds are everything. Spots of ominous crunch dab the song in black, then tiny bells rescue it (and us) before total cataclysm. It’s big-top sound exploration, a detour from the ornate, decorative frontispiece of life’s carousel to the gritty, anxious back alley where piles of unwon giant teddy bears fill the dumpsters. And at the end, after all the bulbs burn out and wet newspapers line the street, you stroll through the deserted tents in dawn’s purple glow, acutely aware of the pleasant peculiarity of it all.
This is what Charlemagne Palestine and Janek Schaefer have accomplished on Day of the Demons. It’s a trip, a grand shuffle and a gratifying listen. Serve with wine or, as Palestine likes to imbibe on stage, cognac and cloves. Headphones or bulbous speakers a must. Eyes closed. Enjoy.
Review by Patrick Hosken
1) Rambutan, “Trapdoor to Infinity,” Rambutan/Tidal Split (Aguirre Records)
2) Obscurer, “Shining Arbors,” (House of Alchemy)
3) Arrington de Dionyso and Thollem McDonas, “Masked Dancer,” Ten Thousand Tigers
4) Tony Conrad and Faust, “The Death of the Composer was in 1962” Outside of the Dream Syndicate
5) Charlemagne Palestine & Janek Schaefer, “Day of the Demons,” (Desire Path Recordings)
6) Jeremy Sklad, “Y’On (Rough Mix)”
7) Pholde, “Of Uncertain Aspect (excerpt)” (Ping Things)
8) Au Vol, “Lake Ontario,” Apothecary (Broken Tessitura)
10) Mpala Garoo, “Kid Island,” Ou Du Monde (Aguirre Records)
11) Noah Barker, “Sunbers, Cool, Fresh”
The Upstate Soundscape will be moving to a different time slot for the summer time. Instead of 10pm-12am on Wednesday nights, we’re moving up an hour to the 9pm-11pm timeslot, still on Wednesday nights. Big difference right?
Anyway, tonight’s show will feature new stuff from Buffalo labels Desire Path Recordings and House of Alchemy, along with a new track from Albany’s Rambutan off of Aguirre Records.
We’ll also check out some tunes from artists that will be performing in the region this weekend in both Buffalo and Hamilton.
Show starts at 9pm. Tune in at 91.3FM WBNY. Stream at WBNY.org.
1) SIGHUP, “City Passage,” City Passage (Feedback Loop Label)
2) Chapels, “I Have Tried, Part 1,” I Have Tried (House of Alchemy)
3) Mold Omen, “The Driver/The Mechanic,” Blacktop (cae-sur-a)
4) Bob Ohrum, “For Dan (Excerpt),” All Around Me (Relaxed Machinery)
5)Kyle Bobby Dunn, “Touhy’s Theme,” Ways of Meaning (Desire PAth Recordings)
6) Kyle Bobby Dunn, “In Praise of Tears”
7) throuRoof, “Feathers & Blood,” Feathers & Blood (cae-sur-a)
8) Scott Valkwitch, “In the Red,” From the Deepest Depths of a Bottomless Light (House of Alchemy)
9) All of Them Withces, “Toyotal Recall,” Breathers vs. Drivers
10) All of Them Witches, “That’s a Real Head Scratcher,” Breathers vs. Drivers
11) All of Them Witches, Tocqueville Owes Back Taxes,” Breathers vs. Drivers
12) All of Them Witches, “Party Car,” Breathers vs. Drivers
13) KBD Sonic Collective, “Native”