On The Turntable

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    David Darling

    On The Turntable

    David Darling :: Cycles

    Released in 1982, the Manfred Eicher-produced ECM session that constitutes Cycles finds cellist David Darling joined by Steve Kuhn on piano, Collin Walcott (sitar, tabla, percussion), Jan Garbarek (saxophones), Arild Andersen on bass, and Oscar Castro-Neves on guitar. With a 46-minute runtime, the album’s seven tracks exist in a state of flow. Widescreen, ambient, transcendent.

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    Maki Asakawa

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    Maki Asakawa :: Gogo 午後

    Night music. Japanese chanteuse and composer Maki Asakawa’s career spanned three decades, experimenting with the forms of jazz, folk, blues and pop. And while adept at all of the aforementioned, the artist was at her most interesting when she worked her own hybrid of sound. And in the case of standards, she often elevated the original material to new heights in mood, tone and texture.

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    AM 4

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    AM 4 :: …And She Answered

    A power trio of different stripes. Featuring Carla Bley associate Wolfgang Puschnig on sax and flute, Uli Scherer of Vienna Art Orchestra on piano and keys, and vocalist Linda Sharrock,  AM 4 (short for “A Monastic Quartet” – perhaps a nod to Alice Coltrane’s A Monastic Trio, which featured a five-piece band) blend meditative jazz with Eastern motifs their 1989 lp …And She Answered.

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    Aqueduct Ensemble

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    Aqueduct Ensemble :: Improvisations On An Apricot

    Some beautiful/beguiling sounds. This one is kinda like a classic ECM LP that’s been chopped, screwed, glitched and dubbed out. It goes beyond being a gimmick, though – Improvisations On An Apricot is an immersive listen, filled with rich tones and enveloping ambiance. There are gentle, peaceful vibes throughout, but it never turns into sonic wallpaper; there’s something new, fresh and weird happening from moment to moment. 

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    Damien Jurado

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    Damien Jurado :: The Horizon Just Laughed.

    Jurado went on a long, strange trip and has re-emerged perhaps better than ever. His economical writing remains intact in its potency, and the subtle arrangements of piano and strings do just enough to crystallize his already immortal voice. Perhaps the spiritual awakening has only just begun.

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    Wilco

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    Wilco :: Sky Blue Sky

    Having successfully pushed the boundaries of what defines the Wilco sound on their previous two LPs, (Yankee Hotel Foxtrot / A Ghost Is Born), Jeff Tweedy and co. returned in 2007 with Sky Blue Sky. A mature album honing in on the more traditional song structures found on the group’s earlier output, the album was initially dismissed by a faction of their fanbase. Don’t make the same mistake.

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    Ditto

    On The Turntable

    Ditto :: In Human Terms

    An experimental minimalist from the Texas hill country, Charles Ditto self-released In Human Terms on his own label in 1987. He calls it “nootropic deconstructed pop minimalism,” and it slots nicely with the spacey ambient worlds of Michele Mercure, Pauline Anna Strom, and Savant. Picture round shapes floating through a light fog and you’re in the right astral territory.

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    The Necks

    On The Turntable

    The Necks :: Body

    Australian power trio — piano, drums, bass. One long, slowly unfolding composition that blooms into a full-on rock assault, before sliding back into a terse groove

Maurice Louca :: The Leper

Like his occasional collaborator, Alan Bishop’s Sun City Girls, Egyptian composer Maurice Louca synthesizes sounds from all across the globe: the American and British rock he internationalized as a youth, electronic music, free jazz, avant-garde, and shaabi, or “of the people” Egyptian pop music.

Neil Young :: Songs for Judy

Even if bootleg hunters already know this stuff backward and forward, Songs For Judy is an essential addition to the official canon. It captures Young in brilliantly loose form, rambling but righteous, a fine companion to Neil’s other recent solo acoustic ’76 vault release, Hitchhiker. An artist at his peak. Or at least one of his peaks, anyway.

A Christmas Gift For You…From Phil Spector

With his trademark Wall of Sound, Spector’s curated mix of holiday tunes pushes the limits of Christmas music—whether it’s tweaking the lyrics of “White Christmas” or writing his own in “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”. Spector, a Jew born on Christmas day, did what few were, or are, capable of doing. He made the largesse—both genuine and contrived—of Christmas even bigger.

The Rolling Stones in 1969 :: Beyond Baroque

Angelenos: Thursday, December 13, at Beyond Baroque in Venice, noted author, music historian, and friend of Aquarium Drunkard Pat Thomas will host a live Q&A discussion with Ronnie Schneider, manager of the Rolling Stones’ mythic 1969 tour — documented the classic film Gimme Shelter—about his new book Out Of Our Heads: Rolling Stones, Beatles and Me. Schneider’s career dispenses with the “Beatles or Stones” binary; he worked extensively with both.

The Lagniappe Sessions :: Skyway Man

Last year, Skyway Man aka James Wallace doubled down on his cosmic leanings and released Seen Comin’ from A Mighty Eye. Recorded primarily with the Spacebomb house band, the album presented “exquisite psychedelic pop,” and was one of our favorites for 2017. Now his Skyness is back for a Lagniappe with local Nashville desperadoes, Teddy and the Rough Riders, in tow. This cover set’s more Sahm than Wilson.

A Reflection: Vince Guaraldi Trio — A Charlie Brown Christmas

There’s loneliness and companionship, joy and despair, truth-seeking and blithe celebration, all during what’s marketed to be the most wonderful time of the year. Your interpretation of the season begets your holiday spirit, whatever version it may be — bah humbug and good tidings. It’s little surprise then that Charlie Brown’s soundtrack, as well as our own, is something just as introspective and shifting. Something like jazz.

Radiohead :: From The Basement (2011)

As the first 10 years of the new millennium crept to a close, we embarked on a series called Decade. By no means a comprehensive list, our aim was to highlight works within the zeitgeist that had left an impact. (The original master list was near quadruple in length but alas, we ran out of time.) The series concluded the morning of New Year’s Eve 2009 with what we deemed our favorite album of the decade: Radiohead’s Kid A, released October 2, 2000.

Bandcamping :: Winter 2018

Welcome to the fourth installment of our quarterly Bandcamping roundup. As a digital institution it’s hard to beat Bandcamp. It’s ridiculously easy to use, it puts money directly into artists’ (and labels’) pockets and there’s a seemingly endless amount of music to discover there — new, old and in-between. Of course, that endlessness can be a little overwhelming. Here are 10 more recommended releases – old, new and in-between.

Lola Kirke :: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview

A couple times a week, someone will come up to Lola Kirke and call her “Hai-lai,” parroting the loving mispronunciation of her Mozart in the Jungle co-star Gael García Bernal’s conductor character Rodrigo. As far as crosses to bear go, she admits it’s a fairly light one.

Speaking with Aquarium Drunkard, the actor/songwriter connected the threads between her dual disciplines.