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For the Record: June 19, 2020

Keeping tabs on new recordings of interest to the new-music community, on CD, vinyl LP, cassette, and digital-only formats—including Bandcamp sale tips and the Recording of the Week by Speaker Music.
For the Record: June 19, 2020

For the Record is a weekly round-up of new and pending recordings of interest to the new-music community: contemporary  classical music and jazz, electronic and electroacoustic music, and  idioms for which no clever genre name has been coined, on CD, vinyl LP,  cassette, digital-only formats… you name it.

This list of release  dates is culled from press releases, Amazon, Bandcamp, and other  internet stores and sources, social-media posts, and online resources  such as Discogs.  Dates cited  correspond to U.S. release of physical recordings, for the most part,  and are subject to change. (Links to Amazon, where used, do not imply  endorsement.)

After publication, these new listings will be incorporated into On the Record: The Master List, a continuously compiled and updated resource exclusively accessible to paid Night After Night subscribers, found here.

These  listings are not comprehensive—nor could they be! To submit a  forthcoming recording for consideration, email information to nightafternight@icloud.com.

Bandcamp Donates All Profits Today to NAACP

If you’re reading this column, it follows that you’re interested in recorded music… and, that being the case, you surely know that the ethical and socially conscious online-sales platform Bandcamp is having one of its sporadic sales. Already in recent weeks we’ve seen two such events, during which Bandcamp has waived fees in order to steer more profit toward artists and indie labels impacted by COVID-19 and its toll on live performance. (The next such sale arrives on Friday, July 3.)

This sale, though, is linked specifically to a different facet of our present moment: the shows of rage, defiance, resistance, and solidarity that have arisen around the globe in response to the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and an unfathomable number of other victims of police brutality, white supremacy, and a state held captive by moneyed special interests determined to maintain (or expand) an unacceptable status quo.

Accordingly, Bandcamp is donating all of its profits today – Juneteenth, the day in 1865 that slaves in Texas finally learned of the Emancipation Proclamation, which had been announced two-and-a-half years prior – to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. And many artists and labels are donating their own profits to worthy causes, as well.

Bandcamp has provided a handy list of participants offering exclusive merchandise and/or specially targeted giving today. The incredible crowd-sourced Black Bandcamp database, originally assembled for Bandcamp’s June 5 sale, now has an appealing user-friendly interface. The Night After Night post I assembled for that earlier sale included recommendations for projects that remain vital, pertinent, and timely. And here I’ll offer 10 more specific tips for items newly available today—nine briefs, followed by the newest Album of the Week. (Act fast: some titles might vanish quickly.)

clipping. - Chapter 319 (self-released)
The first voice you hear in the no-punches-pulled title track of this new EP by L.A. avant-garde hip hop crew clipping. is that of George Floyd himself, freestyling as Big Floyd alongside Houston’s iconic DJ Screw. The hammer-blow poetry of the second track, “Knees on the Ground,” was posted on SoundCloud in 2014, but feels urgently of the moment.

Jake Blount - Spider Tales (Free Dirt)
If you’ve not yet checked out this compelling collection of Black and Indigenous roots music and blues from Blount, a New England-based musical craftsman and conservator, there’s no time like the present to discover this imperative document, which simultaneously amplifies the voices and visions of queer roots artists.

Black Quantum Futurism - Waiting Time/Weighting/Wading Time: On Juneteenth, Watch Night, Freedom’s Eve, and Emancipation Day (self-released)
Evocative sound collages by Moor Mother, inspired by and meant to accompany the writing of Rasheedah Phillips. (Said writings are included, in PDF format.)

Irreversible Entanglements - Irreversible Live in Berlin (self-released)
More from Moor Mother, here with her fiery, unstoppable free-jazz contingent.

ONO - Kongo/Mercy (Whited Sepulchre)
A riveting one-sided 12-inch vinyl single from Chicago’s ahead-of-their-time post-punk contingent, exactly right on time. One of two releases prominently citing Congolese freedom fighter and statesman Patrice Lumumba.

Roland Kayn - Requiem pour Patrice Lumumba (Reiger-records-reeks)
Another powerful homage to Lumumba. Proceeds from today’s sales benefit AFRORACK, a Chicago organization that provides children and young adults of colour with access to modular synthesisers and sound-design tools.

Julius Eastman - FEMENINE (Frozen Reeds)
When it was issued on CD in 2016, this archival recording of a Julius Eastman piece recorded by the S.E.M. Ensemble in 1974 helped to fuel a resurgence of interest in Eastman’s life and work. Now it’s available digitally for the first time, and the label is donating its proceeds not just today, but throughout the month of June.

Deerhoof with Wadada Leo Smith - To Be Surrounded By Beautiful, Curious, Breathing, Laughing Flesh Is Enough (Joyful Noise)
True, this is a pre-order, so you’ll only get one track from this idiosyncratic, joyous collaboration between art-rock quartet Deerhoof and trumpet magus Smith. But it’s worth it to put profits in the hands of those who need it most… and the artists are directly their own entire share, permanently, to Black Lives Matter.

Rudy Royston - PaNOptic (Greenleaf Music)
Solo-percussion albums can be challenging prospects to anyone who’s not a drummer. But Rudy Royston – known for his deft work with J.D. Allen, Dave Douglas, and Bill Frisell, as well as his magisterial outings as a bandleader – offers a beautifully choreographed master class in sound poetry—and, in tracks like “defeRRed,” literal poetry as well. The album was recorded in December 2013, but its time is now.

Recording of the Week

Speaker Music
Photograph: speakermusic.bandcamp.com

Speaker Music
Black Nationalist Sonic Weaponry
(Planet Mu)

No deep-dive review, this—mostly because the album showed up in my Twitter feed this morning at 1 a.m., and I need to spend a lot more time with it. But Speaker Music, the electronic-music project of polymath artist, thinker, and curator DeForrest Brown Jr., is a known quantity: an envelope-pushing declaration of new Black avant-garde strength and intensity. Brown’s debut release on Planet Mu, of desire, longing, was one of 2019’s headiest pleasures, two LP sides of elegantly sculpted rhythm ’n noise.

The music on Black Nationalist Sonic Weaponry is equally detailed, demanding and deserving of close listening; the way Brown plays with the stereo field is utterly seductive. But here, as the title indicates, the tone is one of rage and defiance at the state of America’s political condition, and, simultaneously, fierce pride at the artistic triumphs of Black Americans, specifically free jazz and techno. Black poetics come to the fore: in “Amerikka’s Bay,” an astonishing opening track featuring poet Maia Sanaa; in a marvelously thoughtful PDF booklet essay that foregrounds the achievements of Amiri Baraka; and elsewhere throughout this urgently expressed project.

The complexity of Brown’s work is fundamental; there’s literally no way to give Black Nationalist Sonic Weaponry a quick spin and then summarize its contents in tidy sound bites. I’ll simply state that this itchy, uncomfortable, irresistible album is music this moment demands, both its fiery poetry and its infectious, visceral grooves. I’ll also commend you toward a brief, pithy Bandcamp review by Jes Skolnick, and an extensive, beautifully timed interview with Brown conducted by Joshua Minsoo Kim in Tone Glow, which also deals with the contents of Brown’s forthcoming book, Assembling a Black Counter Culture, due this fall from Primary Information.

If you buy only one album today, make it this one.

New This Week

Julius Eastman
Photograph: Christine Rusniak

Alva Noto - Xerrox, Vol. 4 (Noton)

Peter Brötzmann/Fred Lonberg-Holm - Memories of a Tunicate (Relative Pitch)

Dave Bryant with Charnett Moffett and Gregg Bendian - Night Visitors (self-released)

Henning Christiansen - Op. 186 Schafe statt Geigen (Henning Christiansen Archive)

Henning Christiansen - Op. 194 “Verena” Vogelzymphon (Henning Christiansen Archive)

clipping. - Chapter 319 (self-released)

George Crumb - Metamorphoses, Book 1 (Complete Crumb Edition, Vol. 19) - Marcantonio Barone (Bridge)

Arnold Dreyblatt - Star Trap (Black Truffle)

Julius Eastman - Femenine - S.E.M. Ensemble (Frozen Reeds; first digital release)

Liberty Ellman - Water Walkers (Pi Recordings)

Guðmundur Steinn Gunnarsson - Sinfónía - Fengjastrútur (Carrier)

Naila Hunter - Black Valhalla (self-released)

Irreversible Entanglements - Irreversible Live in Berlin (self-released)

A.F. Jones - Toward decarceration (self-released)

Roland Kayn - Requiem pour Patrice Lumumba (Reiger-records-reeks)

David Lang - love fail - Lorelei Ensemble/Beth Willer (Cantaloupe)

Ingrid Laubrock/Kris Davis - Blood Moon (Intakt)

ONO - Kongo/Mercy (Whited Sepulchre)

Naomi Pinnock - Lines and Spaces - performances by Quatuor Bozzini, Omar Ebrahim, London Sinfonietta/Beat Furrer, Richard Uttley, and Ensemble Adapter (Wergo)

Belinda Reynolds - Secret - Holly Nadal, David Nadal (New Focus)

Rudy Royston - PaNOptic (Greenleaf Music)

scapegoat - Threshing/Plastic - compositions by Mauricio Pauly and Santiago Díez-Fischer (New Focus)

Speaker Music - Black Nationalist Sonic Weaponry (Planet Mu)

Various artists - Building a Better Reality: A Benefit Compilation (JMY)

Mark Wastell - Like Planets [unreel] (Confront)

Omri Ziegele Tomorrow Trio - All Those Yesterdays (Intakt)

Coming Soon

Turning Jewels Into Water (L-R: Val Jeanty, Ravish Momin)
Photograph: Ed Marshall

June 28

Yannick Guédon - l'insistance des possibles - performances by Deborah Walker, Cyprien Busolini, and Yannick Guédon (Edition Wandelweiser)

Andreas Nordheim/Ole Schmidt/Chris Weinheimer - das gekochte (Edition Wandelweiser)

Ian Power - diligence - performances by Mariel Roberts and Gleb Kanasevich (Edition Wandelweiser)

James Tenney - acoustic phenomena / hymnic sounds - ensemble OPEN MUSIC Gera (Edition Wandelweiser)

Florian Wittenburg - beyond the traceries (Edition Wandelweiser)

Eric Wong - cognitive dissonance (Edition Wandelweiser)

July 3

Deerhoof with Wadada Leo Smith - To Be Surrounded By Beautiful, Curious, Breathing, Laughing Flesh Is Enough (Joyful Noise)

July 20

Henning Christiansen - Op. 41 BADET / Kom Frem For Satan / Min Døde Hest / Op. 72 Bondeføreren Knud Lavard (Henning Christiansen Archive)

Henning Christiansen - L’ESSERE UMANO ERRABANDO LA VOCA ERRABANDO (Henning Christiansen Archive)

Henning Christiansen - SAVE THE NATURE—USE FLUXUS, The Box parking lot, Los Angeles (Henning Christiansen Archive)

July 24

Thumbscrew - The Anthony Braxton Project (Cuneiform)

August 21

Roomful of Teeth - The Ascendant (New Amsterdam)

Roomful of Teeth - Just Constellations (New Amsterdam)

Turning Jewels Into Water - Our Reflection Adorned by Newly Formed Stars (FPE Records)