Good Music We Can Know

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Tonight in the Explorers Room: Membranophones & Idiophones, Surfer's Nightmare, Nihilist Picnic


Tonight in the Explorers Room, we'll hear percussion taxonomies (both authentically ethnographic and, I guess, pseudo-ethnographic, which is to say it'll be library music), some killer surf instrumentals, and extremely bizarre jazz imported from an alternate dimension.  It's all great – tune in, catch wave nine, and drop out.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Tonight in the Explorers Room: Fringe, Romance, Contraband, Lend Me Your Era! (An Evening with Robert Wyatt)


Tonight in the Explorers Room, we celebrate the surprise success of Corbyn in the UK – and the broader, hopefully hopeful implications that result has for left politics going forward – by spending an evening with the music of Robert Wyatt.  I probably would have done this show regardless of the electoral outcome; it's a necessary tonic in victory or defeat.

In 1972, Wyatt asked, "how long can I pretend that music's more relevant than fighting for a socialist world?"  The music resulting from that conundrum gives us an invaluable vision of socialist-informed art: not only steadfastly political, unflinchingly critical, and committed to the cause of human emancipation, but also absurdist, experimental, endlessly playful, romantic, and deeply personal. Tonight we'll hear from a variety of Wyatt's solo and collaborative projects, both political and poetic (as if the two weren't one).  Tune in and hear He of the Great Voice.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Tonight in the Explorers Room: Hingus (Breath) / Syncro (Systems)


Tonight will find us alternating between ecstatic&esoteric breathing exercises and long-form psychedelic Nigerian juju/highlife.  Process the hyperventilating insanity of the day, and prepare your mind for the action of tomorrow, with deep lungfuls of air and ears full shimmering cosmic guitars.  Join me in a room where kings and admirals are friends of the common man, and the air is always clean and holy.

HINGUS HINGUS HINGUS HINGUS SYNCRO SYNCRO SYNCRO SYNCRO

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Tonight in the Explorers Room: Lewiston, Belew, Hybrid Dub, & Radical Jewish Culture


Tonight in the Room, we'll have a great deal of variety as we pay tribute to the great music-explorer, David Lewiston (who left this world on May 29, alas); some wild and often exotic offerings, all featuring one of my favorite guitarists, the absurdly talented Adrian Belew; a wide variety of hybrid, progressive, and post-punk dub projects; and some choice tracks from Tzadik label's Radical Jewish Culture series, among other things.  Tune in, let's get wild.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Tonight in the Explorers Room: Africa is the Place and Revolution is the Dub


Tonight in the Explorers Room, we hear free jazz as it hearkens to notions of liberation in a symbolic, geographical and historical "space" such as Africa, bookending a big steamy set of dub, reggae, and deejay toasts on a variety of subjects not limited to but certainly including the aforementioned intersection of identity & Africa (also boxing, fine menswear, curfew law).  


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Tonight in the Explorers Room: Water Planet - Amazonia - Space Trip


Tonight in the Explorers Room, we'll have a lazy day show of kalimba garden music, synthi library jungles, hot world jams, and psychedelic jazz.  Tune in, get zen and then turn that zen onto a funky trip.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Tonight in the Explorers Room: Five Hour Show(!), Cluster / Moebius & Roedelius 1971-1983


Tonight in the Explorers Room, I'll be going from 7-Midnight as I fill in for The Cool Blue Flame with Little Danny.  To best make use of all that extra time, I'll be doing something I've wanted to do for some time now, but always felt I needed more than three hours to accomplish (as well as performing a follow-up to a the Neu!-themed show of a few weeks back): tackling the impressive, sprawling ouvre of Moebius and Roedelius, the duo that makes up Cluster, is 2/3 of Kluster and Harmonia, collaborated with Eno, split off into seemingly infinite, mind-blowing solo projects and collaborations, and worked extensively with supergenius Conny Plank.  In order to be able to cover any of these albums (a dizzying number of which qualify for greatest albums of their kind – or any kind, really), I've constrained myself to the period from 1971-1983.  We'll hear motorik odysseys, post-war avant garde, synthi candies, monastery garden meditations, agressively experimental noise, singularly unusual reggae appropriations, lullabies, drones, and sounds for which there are no satisfying descriptive words, all hammered out into a timeline structure that's not too far off the mark, I think. 

Tune in for the Cluster marathon, join the conversation there, keep me going through a five-hour endurance session of some of the greatest krautrock material ever made, ever. 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Cover Art: Visions Congo, Mulago Sound Studio (Discrepant)


Very pleased once again to say that I have another cover coming out for the Discrepant label, this time for a record by the Discrepant jefe, under the moniker Visions Congo.  Two sprawling sides of field recordings and synth, playing games with authenticity and immersion.  Here's the official blurb, which sums it up fairly well:

Visions Congo is yet another moniker from Discrepant’s head honcho, Gonçalo F Cardoso, taking Africa as a starting point to evoke the memories and re-imagined experiences of his 6-month stay in the region back in 2015.
Most of the recordings and compositions were done in the great lakes of Africa region of Uganda, Congo (DRC), Tanzania as well as the island of Zanzibar. Meshing impromptu in situ compositions with old dusty samples and his own field recordings is the go to modus operandi of Gonçalo F Cardoso's various monikers (ie Gonzo, Papillon), creating deep layered 'exotic/alien' soundscapes of various moods and feels. Here’s another series of surreal and augmented field recordings that try to brace the listener with fresh alien authenticity before toying very pointedly with antiquated constructs by mixing avant-garde dustbin synth music with concrete field recordings and humorous, tongue in cheek intersections - not to ‘ever’ be taken too seriously.
With a brand new art collage by US artist Evan Crankshaw. 

Check it out, man!  It's good stuff!

And also: for album art or related art&design needs, email me. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Tonight in the Explorers Room: Loops, Oneness, Soul Repetitions


Tonight in the Explorers Room we'll have a sort of laid back show as I prepare for next week, which will be a 5-hour program (likely to be focused on Cluster, Moebius & Roedelius - don't miss it).  But tonight won't be a slouch by any stretch: we'll hear from the new Antropoloops EP, some more top-notch Italian minimalism (more straightforward and less exotic than the last time around, but just as good if not better), some funky selections from Oneness of Juju (which developed out of the band Juju, is just as awesome if less militant), and a set of repetitions on a "soul" theme. And more. A very groovy night. Tune in, explore with me.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Tonight in the Explorers Room: The Laughing String, A Science Experiment


Tonight's Explorers Room, in observance of the Fine Art of Goofing Off, will explore the weird world of the incredible Laughing String.  The Laughing String can bring joy and mirth into your home; this has been proven true, with the scientific realities of our day, in this time.  Those of you who are in analysis I think will understand the function of this object: lace the string around the group, or gang of cats, or around the periphery of your body, and wind it up tight. The laughter will come, at about mid-ships.

Please join tonight in this laughing experiment, and keep in mind that it is recommended to store the string in a little plastic container when not in use.  It has a kind of radioactive electronic thing about it which gets completely dissipated.  It's a sort of in-group thing. Make it swing while you go and try to hear all the sounds while you fall out.