Winter – Featuring Kathy Acker – Peter Gordon & David Van Tieghem
After furnishing us with a hefty vinyl pressing of Gordon’s “Symphony 5”, London’s Foom imprint dig deep into the New Yorker’s archives to turn up this previously unreleased treat. Featuring vocals from post-modernist punk poet Kathy Acker, these recordings come from Gordon’s first ever sessions with his Love of Life Orchestra partner, and fellow Arthur Russell collaborator, David Van Tieghem, dating from 1978. Peter Gordon and David Van Tieghem’s first record, Love of Life Orchestra’s “Extended Niceties”, provided a fresh perspective on dance music when it was first released in 1979. More recently, it has had an ongoing presence on playlists around the world, influencing artists such as LCD Soundsystem, Blood Orange and others. “Winter Summer” is the immediate precursor to the Love of Life Orchestra sessions and, like the aforementioned, sounds remarkably fresh. Gordon and Van Tieghem play all of the instruments and electronics, overdubbing on a 1” 8-track recorder in a small studio in a colonial era farmhouse 6 hours north of New York City.
Paris-based Agar Agar are a synth disco outfit who have recently released their debut EP, Cardan. The duo, consisting of singer Clara Cappagli and producer Armand Bultheel, specialise in an eclectic collection of synth-laden late night disco jams with a nostalgic twist.
The 2-piece shape their musical concoctions utilising a wide range of influences, drawing upon genres such as electronic to rock, garage to techno and pretty much anything in between!
First song on their new EP is titled I’m That Guy, a slow-burning, sultry array of light beats and heavy synths, all encapsulating Clara’s smooth, sizzling vocals.
Community is everything for Noah Klein. The multi-instrumentalist’s work as Cuddle Formation is best described not as a solo project, but rather an only child raised by a loving father and a broad, diverse coalition of artists. The Mutual Benefit associate’s last album, 603^, is a nod to the address of the Silent Barn, the beloved, Brooklyn-based communal arts space which doubled as his home for a time until it was engulfed by flames and floodwater in September 2015.
While Klein may not physically reside inside 603 Bushwick Avenue any more, his heart’s a diehard tenant nonetheless — and the proof’s in the music. Assembled over the past several years in various art spaces, apartments and recording studios (including the Silent Barn), the latest Cuddle Formation album, here i’ll be forever, sees Klein collaborating with an extensive roster of peers, including Emily Reo (who also helped mix the record), Jordan Lee (Mutual Benefit), Jack Greenleaf (Sharpless) and harpist Ana Caravelle. Klein calls it “a 30-minute soliloquy on transformative justice, ecocide, intentional community, chosen family and doing it together.”
Ruffle up the curtains and let the swooping bass buckle the window panes. Noga Erez in Dance While You Shoot launches music across the room that needs to have sub-woofers set to low and volume turned high – if you are intending to listen to this on the tinny output of a mobile phone, or a tablet, with or without ear-plugs – change the play back vehicle and harness a full speaker audio enabled device and revel in the collisions of tweeters and bass speakers colliding against each other as they circumnavigate the room in bellowing waves of sound.
Those who know the site well, are aware that laying next to me as I write music reviews is an elderly Pekingese by the name of Gnotti and he rarely comments on the music hurling around the room – on Dance While You Shoot – he felt the desire to join in with quizzical barks – which given that he puts up with me with my irregular hours and continual noise, infrequently passing any interest.
Austra is the recording project of Katie Stelmanis, and last we heard from her was back in 2014 when the Habitat EP dropped. Today, Austra announced a new LP titled Future Politics, which is due out in January. The full-length was born while Stelmanis’ was living in Montreal and Mexico City, and according to a press release it’s “propelled by economic and philosophical texts she was reading throughout the album’s creation.” Future Politics uses dance music, and the dancefloor, as its main source of inspiration. Per the release:
Change, Rebecca Solnit (author, activist, environmentalist and editor at Harper’s Magazine) writes, comes from “writers, scholars, public intellectuals, social activists, and participants in social media”—also “artists, club scenes, parties, teenagers, ghettoes,” says Stelmanis. “Every single person’s idea about the future is valid and relevant, especially the freaks and the queers and the outsiders.”
“Utopia” is its lead single, and the track comes accompanied by an eerie THAT GO-directed video that finds Stelmanis going about her business in an empty, futuristic home that mirrors what an iPod must look like from the inside. And that “Rainforest” speaker sure looks like an Amazon Echo parody?