Posts Tagged ‘Moby’

“Phaedra” at 40 in Echoes Podcast

February 21, 2014

Hear an Homage to Tangerine Dream’s Phaedra in the Echoes Podcast

Tangerine Dream circa 1974

Tangerine Dream circa 1974

On February 20th, 1974, Tangerine Dream released the album that changed electronic music for the next 40 years.  It takes its name from Greek mythology and its sound from the imaginations of Edgar Froese, Peter Baumann and Christoph Franke, the three members of Tangerine Dream at the time.  Phaedra was their fifth album, coming on the heals of Atem in 1973 and Zeit in 1972.  Both of those albums were abstract improvisations of floating sound fields.  Zeit in particular was a minimalist, Ligeti-like exploration in texture and sustain with a mixture of electronics and a cello quartet.   Phaedra had some of those elements, but on the side-long title track they were linked to sequencer grooves like rubber bands being twanged in space.  It’s the sound you hear in every retro-space band, a lot of techno and dance hits like Donna Summers’I Feel Love.”

PhaedraOn the Echoes Podcast, we celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Phaedra with commentary from several artists influenced by this recording.  Moby, Ulrich Schnauss, Mark Shreeve, Ian Boddy, Robert Rich, Steve Roach, and Alan Howarth sing Phaedra’s praises and Edgar Froese reveals the thought behind the introduction of sequencers into the band.  We’ll also hear two tracks off the album and a set of music from Tangerine Dream influenced artists.  You can trip into space on Tangerine Dream’s Phaedra in the Echoes Podcast

Five  years ago, I compiled a list of the 10 Best Tangerine Dream albums.  Phaedra is at the top of that list.  Here’s the rest.

10 Best Tangerine Dream Albums From Number Six of 20 Icons of Echoes
Bookmark and Share
On the air I said I’d pick five, but I decided to go with ten.

1-Phaedra
2-Rubycon
Phaedra and Rubycon have always been a pair for me and  that pair is half of a quartet with Ricochet and Stratosfear.   These are the signature Dream albums, the blueprint for every retro-space artist out there, the sound that influenced ambient, techno, and more.   The classic trio of Edgar Froese, Christoph Franke and Peter Baumann found the secret of rubber band sequencer patterns discovered by Tonto’s Expanding Headband 2 years earlier.  The Dream   bound them in  interlocking patterns, mellotron chords and synthesizer textures.    Phaedra is transitional, retaining some of the avant-garde Ligeti-esque texturalism from Zeit on the mellotron drenched “Mysterious Semblance at the Strands of Nightmare,” but the title track and Rubycon, an album length composition were definitive journeys into inner space.

3-Logos
Tangerine Dream was an exciting live band in the 70s and half of the 80s.  Listening to Logos, from 1982, you can hear why.  This was the Dream working with a precision and structure that earlier works didn’t have, but they were still creating in long-form with a fair amount of improvisation.  Johannes Schmoelling had been in the group for a while at this point and his influence is felt in gorgeous melodies and rhythms that have you ricocheting off your seat and between your headphone cups.  This was really the truly last live recording from the group.  Subsequent live albums would be more pre-programmed performances.

4-Zeit
It’s been called their most experimental CD, but I think it’s their most thoughtful, controlled and uncontrived album.  Playing with a cello quartet, it’s a journey of interwoven tones phasing through each other from acoustic to electric to something entirely new.  Ambient before ambient, but owing much to Gyorgy Ligeti pieces like “Atmospheres,” synths, gliss guitar, organ and “noise generators” unfold in undulating, slow motion patterns across what was a double LP.  This 1972 recording is a drone zone manifesto, and a beautifully enveloping work free of melody, rhythm and just about any other conventional music signpost.

5-Tangram
This is one of the last long-form Dream recordings.  Originally a two sided work, Tangram is a  multi-movement opus sometimes sabotaged by episodic writing, but still with some haunting themes amidst the pounding sequencers and more melodic invention than most prior Dream albums.

6-Stratosfear
Part of the classic quartet of albums, this was their most commercial release to date and the first album with real melodies.

7-Ricochet
The other album in the classic quartet.  Ricochet was their first live album, although it was all new materiel and sounds like a studio recording.  Another two-sided excursion that moves from the quietest solo piano spot to thundering sequencers from the heavens.

8-Goblins’ Club
Goblins’ Club recalls the 80’s sound of Tangerine Dream when they were just adding more aggressive rhythms and clearly defined melodies to their fanciful spacescapes.  But unlike so many of their post-Virgin releases, this 1996 albums doesn’t bludgeon you with canned synthesizer bombast.  There seems to be more exploratory fun and a more personal sound   as they drop in surreal free falls in the midst of their dramatic compositions.

9-Force Majeure
Something of an anomaly in that it features a drummer, Klaus Krieger, and gives the Dream a more fluid and aggressive sound, especially in the screaming side long title track.

10-Optical Race
I know that consensus opinion has it that the Private Music years sucked, and they did, except for Optical Race the first album they made for the label, owned by former Tangerine Dreamer, Peter Bauman.  With just Froese and Paul Haslinger, they create dense, rhythmically charged excursions that stand up to some of their best works and hold up better than albums like Le Parc.

Finally an album that should be on the list, Epsilon in Malaysian Pale, the third solo album from Edgar Froese and a Dream album by any other measure.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

TimelinesCDcoverJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club.  Erik Wøllo’s Timelines is our February CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

LRC19-250pxGIVE THEM THE GIFT OF TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

 

 

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Tangerine Dream’s “Phaedra” at 40

February 20, 2014

PhaedraOn February 20th, 1974, Tangerine Dream released the album that changed electronic music for the next 40 years.  It takes its name from Greek mythology and its sound from the imaginations of Edgar Froese, Peter Baumann and Christoph Franke, the three members of Tangerine Dream at the time.  Phaedra was their fifth album, coming on the heals of Atem in 1973 and Zeit in 1972.  Both of those albums were abstract improvisations of floating sound fields.  Zeit in particular was a minimalist, Ligeti-like exploration in texture and sustain with a mixture of electronics and a cello quartet.   Phaedra had some of those elements, but on the side-long title track they were linked to sequencer grooves like rubber bands being twanged in space.  It’s the sound you hear in every retro-space band, a lot of techno and dance hits like Donna Summers’I Feel Love.”

Tonight on Echoes, we celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Phaedra with commentary from several artists influenced by this recording.  Moby, Ulrich Schnauss, Mark Shreeve, Ian Boddy, Robert Rich, Steve Roach, and Alan Howarth sing Phaedra’s praises and Edgar Froese reveals the thought behind the introduction of sequencers into the band.  We’ll also hear two tracks off the album and a set of music from Tangerine Dream influenced artists.  You can trip into space on Tangerine Dream’s Phaedra tonight on Echoes

Five  years ago, I compiled a list of the 10 Best Tangerine Dream albums.  Phaedra is at the top of that list.  Here’s the rest.

10 Best Tangerine Dream Albums From Number Six of 20 Icons of Echoes
Bookmark and Share
On the air I said I’d pick five, but I decided to go with ten.

1-Phaedra
2-Rubycon
Phaedra and Rubycon have always been a pair for me and  that pair is half of a quartet with Ricochet and Stratosfear.   These are the signature Dream albums, the blueprint for every retro-space artist out there, the sound that influenced ambient, techno, and more.   The classic trio of Edgar Froese, Christoph Franke and Peter Baumann found the secret of rubber band sequencer patterns discovered by Tonto’s Expanding Headband 2 years earlier.  The Dream   bound them in  interlocking patterns, mellotron chords and synthesizer textures.    Phaedra is transitional, retaining some of the avant-garde Ligeti-esque texturalism from Zeit on the mellotron drenched “Mysterious Semblance at the Strands of Nightmare,” but the title track and Rubycon, an album length composition were definitive journeys into inner space.

3-Logos
Tangerine Dream was an exciting live band in the 70s and half of the 80s.  Listening to Logos, from 1982, you can hear why.  This was the Dream working with a precision and structure that earlier works didn’t have, but they were still creating in long-form with a fair amount of improvisation.  Johannes Schmoelling had been in the group for a while at this point and his influence is felt in gorgeous melodies and rhythms that have you ricocheting off your seat and between your headphone cups.  This was really the truly last live recording from the group.  Subsequent live albums would be more pre-programmed performances.

4-Zeit
It’s been called their most experimental CD, but I think it’s their most thoughtful, controlled and uncontrived album.  Playing with a cello quartet, it’s a journey of interwoven tones phasing through each other from acoustic to electric to something entirely new.  Ambient before ambient, but owing much to Gyorgy Ligeti pieces like “Atmospheres,” synths, gliss guitar, organ and “noise generators” unfold in undulating, slow motion patterns across what was a double LP.  This 1972 recording is a drone zone manifesto, and a beautifully enveloping work free of melody, rhythm and just about any other conventional music signpost.

5-Tangram
This is one of the last long-form Dream recordings.  Originally a two sided work, Tangram is a  multi-movement opus sometimes sabotaged by episodic writing, but still with some haunting themes amidst the pounding sequencers and more melodic invention than most prior Dream albums.

6-Stratosfear
Part of the classic quartet of albums, this was their most commercial release to date and the first album with real melodies.

7-Ricochet
The other album in the classic quartet.  Ricochet was their first live album, although it was all new materiel and sounds like a studio recording.  Another two-sided excursion that moves from the quietest solo piano spot to thundering sequencers from the heavens.

8-Goblins’ Club
Goblins’ Club recalls the 80’s sound of Tangerine Dream when they were just adding more aggressive rhythms and clearly defined melodies to their fanciful spacescapes.  But unlike so many of their post-Virgin releases, this 1996 albums doesn’t bludgeon you with canned synthesizer bombast.  There seems to be more exploratory fun and a more personal sound   as they drop in surreal free falls in the midst of their dramatic compositions.

9-Force Majeure
Something of an anomaly in that it features a drummer, Klaus Krieger, and gives the Dream a more fluid and aggressive sound, especially in the screaming side long title track.

10-Optical Race
I know that consensus opinion has it that the Private Music years sucked, and they did, except for Optical Race the first album they made for the label, owned by former Tangerine Dreamer, Peter Bauman.  With just Froese and Paul Haslinger, they create dense, rhythmically charged excursions that stand up to some of their best works and hold up better than albums like Le Parc.

Finally an album that should be on the list, Epsilon in Malaysian Pale, the third solo album from Edgar Froese and a Dream album by any other measure.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

TimelinesCDcoverJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club.  Erik Wøllo’s Timelines is our February CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

LRC19-250pxGIVE THEM THE GIFT OF TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

 

 

Oscillate with Silver Apples in Echoes Podcast

February 9, 2014

Hear the story of the first Electro-pop group, Silver Apples in Echoes Podcast

Silver Apples' Simeon @ MOEMS Photo: Diliberto

Silver Apples’ Simeon @ MOEMS Photo: Diliberto

Often when we produce interview features on Echoes, a lot of great material gets left on the floor due time constraints or because they are extraneous to the central story.  That’s the case with our interview with Simeon Coxe of Silver Apples.  You can hear all about this pioneering electronic pop group on Echoes, but in brief,  Silver Apples formed in 1967 and released their eponymous debut in 1968.  They had no synthesizers or electronic keyboards, just Danny Taylor on drums and Simeon on audio oscillators controlled by telegraph switches, buttons and knobs.  They were right in the center of the psychedelic 60s, opening for many of the major acts at the time and jamming with Jimi Hendrix.   Many of Simeon’s stories were too long to make the feature or didn’t fit the narrative.   But I want to share them with you here.  You can hear the tale of Silver Apples in the Echoes Podcast

Their iconic album cover was actually designed by the band:

Silver_Apples-CvrSimeon Coxe: Yeah, we cut out a silhouette of two apples, me and Danny, and a leaf, just figured, I don’t know, apples have leaves.  And made a stencil out of it and sprayed our entire hallways with it with black ink and a toothbrush.  And the record label came in and photographed that and chose one of them for the record.

Simeon says that the band broke up after they were sued by Pan American Airlines over the cover of their second album, Contact:

Simeon Coxe:  Our second record was called Contact.  I named it Contact just because of the double entendre in the word.  And the fact that old timey airplane pilots used to have someone actually crank their propellers to start the airplanes and they would yell contact, which is to make electric contact.  And we thought this electric contact and the spinning of the propeller and all that was fine.  So we wanted to do it in an airplane cockpit, and the advertising agency that had Kapp Records also had Pan Am, so it was easy for them to get them to park an airplane facing the sunset, and have us sit in the pilot’s seat while they vacuumed out the rest of the airplane and shoot that shot.  So naturally, Danny and I smuggled in some pills and pot, you know, joints to hang out on the dashboard, stuff like that.  And then to take it even further, we found a cover of an airplane crash on the back that we used on the back and super imposed me and Danny just sitting among the wreckage there, just you know, dumb hippies.

Silver-Apples-ContactAnd…everybody approved it.  I mean you don’t put an album out internationally and not have it go through all the steps of being approved.  And it was approved by Pan Am, approved by the record label, approved by the advertising agency.  And by the time it got on the shelves, some executive at Pan Am who hadn’t signed on an approval but who had had power, just freaked out and just you know, hit the fan.  They, Pan Am sued us personally, sued the record label, got an injunction from a judge to have all the records pulled off of the shelves nationally.  Got us forbidden to play the music that’s on that record, so we couldn’t promote it.  And as a matter of fact, they went so far as to in the city of New York, get the judge to allow them to confiscate our equipment to make sure we weren’t gonna play that music.  So one time when we were playing at Max’s Kansas City, fire marshals came in and taped the stage so that our stuff would be there when their equipment guy got there, and we managed when they weren’t looking, we managed to sneak my oscillators and stuff out the back door, but by the time we got back, they got Danny’s drums.  So we were out of business.  No record, no record label and no equipment.

They didn’t collect from me.  Danny and I went into hiding.  We both got hotel rooms and just kinda went into hiding.  I worked as a DJ in a nightclub for a while and I think Danny did some session work in recording studios under a different name, and we just kinda laid low.  Then eventually we just said, you know, Silver Apples is never coming back, it’s just not going to be possible, we better just go our own ways for a while and see what happens.

So Pan Am, I guess you could say they successfully shut us down, but actually Silver Apples is still in business.  I don’t think you’ll find a PanAm airplane anyway, so we survived, from my point of view.

Simeon says that Silver Apples jammed with Jimi Hendrix and actually recorded a version of “The Star Spangled Banner” with him.

Simeon Playing in the 1960s

Simeon Playing in the 1960s

Simeon Coxe: Yeah, well he and Danny were friends.  Danny played drums in his first band.  His first band was something called Jimi James and the Blue Flames.  And they worked as a house band all through the village, just a straight blues band.  And the drummer was apparently very unreliable; he’d get drunk and get lost or something.  He wouldn’t show up for days, sometimes weeks.  One time he went to detox and just stayed there for months.  And Jimi would call Danny and Danny would come drum with him.  And so when Hendrix got the opportunity to go to England and try and make something bigger for himself because he didn’t feel like it was happening in the states, but a bunch of the British musicians were saying we could make it happen, he begged Danny to come with him.  He didn’t wanna go by himself and just be there with, you know, have to pick up musicians.  He ended up with a pretty good group, but fortunately, Danny didn’t wanna go to Britain.  He just didn’t want to go and he said you know, there’s plenty of musicians around here I can work with.  And so I got him.

Silver Apples Oscillatiors Today

Silver Apples Oscillatiors Today

And so whenever Hendrix would come back into town, he’d look Danny up and see what he was doing, and so he came around the record plant.  We both were booked in the record plant simultaneously one time for months for doing our third records.  And so he’d come in and jam and we’d find, we’d find out what he was doing in his studio and jam. A lot of times we were using the same studio, his amps would be parked all around my amps.  And so we’d just, you know, when the time came, I’d leave and he’d come in, or many times it would overlap.  He would come in and sit around and drink a beer while Danny and I were working on stuff.   One time Danny and I were working on our version of “The Star Spangled Banner,” which we were gonna do at a festival in, on the 4th of July in the park in NY.  We were gonna play “The Star Spangled Banner” with my oscillators.  We thought that would be a howl; if the CIA didn’t put us in jail, it would be great.  And Hendrix came in and he heard us playing it.  And he said damn, I’m working on the same thing…I’m supposed to play an outdoor concert in a couple of months and I’m supposed to play at dawn, and I thought it would be funny to play the national anthem to make those kids all stand up and wake up, you know, before, at the crack of dawn.  [He was actually scheduled to play at night and close the festival, but rain delays pushed him into the morning.]

Simeon Coxe

Simeon Coxe

And so we got to talking about it and he was listening to how we were doing it, and he was playing along with how he  was doing it.  And Ed Kramer, who’s the engineer, had the good sense to roll the tapes.  And so we do have that.  We the version that was given to Danny, a two track mix down that was given to Danny to take home to see how he could add drums to it…all kinds of cymbal crashes for the war sounds and stuff.  And it just never happened, but we did find the tape of me on bass oscillators and Hendrix on guitar playing “The Star Spangled Banner. ” We found it in Danny’s attic when Danny and I hooked up again in the ‘90s.  And so that’s been since released on a disk called Selections, which is like a best of.  It has about 12 cuts from the first two albums and then as a bonus track, as a hidden track it’s the Hendrix session.

This video is ostensibly that recording, however, to my ears it sounds like the studio version from Hendrix’s Rainbow Bridge.

Finally, Simeon claims he never called his instrument The Simeon.

Simeon Coxe: Well, The Simeon, but I would never have done that.  That’s embarrassing to me to this day.  That was one of those record label things to try and promote something that really didn’t exist.  There was nothing that was The Simeon.  It changed every day.  Something broke and had to be replaced every day, or Danny or I would have a new idea, something that we added or subtracted to it.  It never was the same.  There was no way it could ever be manufactured or marketed in any way, but they had to do that as I was just kinda stuck with it.

I told him he should own it.

This is the stuff that was left out.  Hear what was left in with Silver Apples in the Echoes Podcast.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

TimelinesCDcoverJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club.  Erik Wøllo’s Timelines is our February CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

OR

Pick Up  TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

LRC19-250pxJoin us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

buyit

Silver Apples Plucked Tonight on Echoes

February 4, 2014

Hear the story of Silver Apples tonight on Echoes

Simeon Playing in the 1960s

Simeon Playing in the 1960s

Often when we produce interview features on Echoes, a lot of great material gets left on the floor due time constraints or because they are extraneous to the central story.  That’s the case with our interview with Simeon Coxe of Silver Apples.  You can hear all about this pioneering electronic pop group on Echoes, but in brief,  Silver Apples formed in 1967 and released their eponymous debut in 1968.  They had no synthesizers or electronic keyboards, just Danny Taylor on drums and Simeon on audio oscillators controlled by telegraph switches, buttons and knobs.  They were right in the center of the psychedelic 60s, opening for many of the major acts at the time and jamming with Jimi Hendrix.   Many of Simeon’s stories were too long to make the feature or didn’t fit the narrative.   But I want to share them with you here.  You can hear the tale of Silver Apples tonight on Echoes.

Their iconic album cover was actually designed by the band:

Silver_Apples-CvrSimeon Coxe: Yeah, we cut out a silhouette of two apples, me and Danny, and a leaf, just figured, I don’t know, apples have leaves.  And made a stencil out of it and sprayed our entire hallways with it with black ink and a toothbrush.  And the record label came in and photographed that and chose one of them for the record.

Simeon says that the band broke up after they were sued by Pan American Airlines over the cover of their second album, Contact:

Simeon Coxe:  Our second record was called Contact.  I named it Contact just because of the double entendre in the word.  And the fact that old timey airplane pilots used to have someone actually crank their propellers to start the airplanes and they would yell contact, which is to make electric contact.  And we thought this electric contact and the spinning of the propeller and all that was fine.  So we wanted to do it in an airplane cockpit, and the advertising agency that had Kapp Records also had Pan Am, so it was easy for them to get them to park an airplane facing the sunset, and have us sit in the pilot’s seat while they vacuumed out the rest of the airplane and shoot that shot.  So naturally, Danny and I smuggled in some pills and pot, you know, joints to hang out on the dashboard, stuff like that.  And then to take it even further, we found a cover of an airplane crash on the back that we used on the back and super imposed me and Danny just sitting among the wreckage there, just you know, dumb hippies.

Silver-Apples-ContactAnd…everybody approved it.  I mean you don’t put an album out internationally and not have it go through all the steps of being approved.  And it was approved by Pan Am, approved by the record label, approved by the advertising agency.  And by the time it got on the shelves, some executive at Pan Am who hadn’t signed on an approval but who had had power, just freaked out and just you know, hit the fan.  They, Pan Am sued us personally, sued the record label, got an injunction from a judge to have all the records pulled off of the shelves nationally.  Got us forbidden to play the music that’s on that record, so we couldn’t promote it.  And as a matter of fact, they went so far as to in the city of New York, get the judge to allow them to confiscate our equipment to make sure we weren’t gonna play that music.  So one time when we were playing at Max’s Kansas City, fire marshals came in and taped the stage so that our stuff would be there when their equipment guy got there, and we managed when they weren’t looking, we managed to sneak my oscillators and stuff out the back door, but by the time we got back, they got Danny’s drums.  So we were out of business.  No record, no record label and no equipment.

They didn’t collect from me.  Danny and I went into hiding.  We both got hotel rooms and just kinda went into hiding.  I worked as a DJ in a nightclub for a while and I think Danny did some session work in recording studios under a different name, and we just kinda laid low.  Then eventually we just said, you know, Silver Apples is never coming back, it’s just not going to be possible, we better just go our own ways for a while and see what happens.

So Pan Am, I guess you could say they successfully shut us down, but actually Silver Apples is still in business.  I don’t think you’ll find a PanAm airplane anyway, so we survived, from my point of view.

Simeon says that Silver Apples jammed with Jimi Hendrix and actually recorded a version of “The Star Spangled Banner” with him.

Silver Apples' Simeon @ MOEMS Photo: Diliberto

Silver Apples’ Simeon @ MOEMS Photo: Diliberto

Simeon Coxe: Yeah, well he and Danny were friends.  Danny played drums in his first band.  His first band was something called Jimi James and the Blue Flames.  And they worked as a house band all through the village, just a straight blues band.  And the drummer was apparently very unreliable; he’d get drunk and get lost or something.  He wouldn’t show up for days, sometimes weeks.  One time he went to detox and just stayed there for months.  And Jimi would call Danny and Danny would come drum with him.  And so when Hendrix got the opportunity to go to England and try and make something bigger for himself because he didn’t feel like it was happening in the states, but a bunch of the British musicians were saying we could make it happen, he begged Danny to come with him.  He didn’t wanna go by himself and just be there with, you know, have to pick up musicians.  He ended up with a pretty good group, but fortunately, Danny didn’t wanna go to Britain.  He just didn’t want to go and he said you know, there’s plenty of musicians around here I can work with.  And so I got him.

Silver Apples Oscillatiors Today

Silver Apples Oscillatiors Today

And so whenever Hendrix would come back into town, he’d look Danny up and see what he was doing, and so he came around the record plant.  We both were booked in the record plant simultaneously one time for months for doing our third records.  And so he’d come in and jam and we’d find, we’d find out what he was doing in his studio and jam. A lot of times we were using the same studio, his amps would be parked all around my amps.  And so we’d just, you know, when the time came, I’d leave and he’d come in, or many times it would overlap.  He would come in and sit around and drink a beer while Danny and I were working on stuff.   One time Danny and I were working on our version of “The Star Spangled Banner,” which we were gonna do at a festival in, on the 4th of July in the park in NY.  We were gonna play “The Star Spangled Banner” with my oscillators.  We thought that would be a howl; if the CIA didn’t put us in jail, it would be great.  And Hendrix came in and he heard us playing it.  And he said damn, I’m working on the same thing…I’m supposed to play an outdoor concert in a couple of months and I’m supposed to play at dawn, and I thought it would be funny to play the national anthem to make those kids all stand up and wake up, you know, before, at the crack of dawn.  [He was actually scheduled to play at night and close the festival, but rain delays pushed him into the morning.]

Simeon Coxe

Simeon Coxe

And so we got to talking about it and he was listening to how we were doing it, and he was playing along with how he  was doing it.  And Ed Kramer, who’s the engineer, had the good sense to roll the tapes.  And so we do have that.  We the version that was given to Danny, a two track mix down that was given to Danny to take home to see how he could add drums to it…all kinds of cymbal crashes for the war sounds and stuff.  And it just never happened, but we did find the tape of me on bass oscillators and Hendrix on guitar playing “The Star Spangled Banner. ” We found it in Danny’s attic when Danny and I hooked up again in the ‘90s.  And so that’s been since released on a disk called Selections, which is like a best of.  It has about 12 cuts from the first two albums and then as a bonus track, as a hidden track it’s the Hendrix session.

This video is ostensibly that recording, however, to my ears it sounds like the studio version from Hendrix’s Rainbow Bridge.

Finally, Simeon claims he never called his instrument The Simeon.

Simeon Coxe: Well, The Simeon, but I would never have done that.  That’s embarrassing to me to this day.  That was one of those record label things to try and promote something that really didn’t exist.  There was nothing that was The Simeon.  It changed every day.  Something broke and had to be replaced every day, or Danny or I would have a new idea, something that we added or subtracted to it.  It never was the same.  There was no way it could ever be manufactured or marketed in any way, but they had to do that as I was just kinda stuck with it.

I told him he should own it.

This is the stuff that was left out.  Hear what was left in with Silver Apples tonight on Echoes.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

TimelinesCDcoverJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club.  Erik Wøllo’s Timelines is our February CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

OR

Pick Up  TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

LRC19-250pxJoin us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Moby Talks About Innocents Tonight on Echoes

January 28, 2014

Hear Moby Interviewed Tonight on Echoes.

Innocents-250I don’t know if Moby intended it this way, but Innocents sounds like the conclusion of a trilogy, joining Wait for Me and Destroyed, his two previous albums.  As on those recordings, Moby plays the ambient song-smith, crafting odes of haunting and poignant beauty, making a music that sounds like it’s rooted in an earlier, more rustic time, except it’s electronic. The songs in this trilogy are more personally reflective than those on albums like Play, and Moby has become less reliant on sampling and more engaged in building upon a lineage of songwriters that goes back to Joni Mitchell, Nick Drake and Neil Young.

In fact, “Almost Home” would not have sounded out of place on Young’s After the Gold Rush, except of course, for the synthesizer accents and ambient effects.  Damien Jurado sings this lament in a falsetto that echoes Neil Young’s pitch-challenged charm, and Moby’s sonic landscape recalls the lonesome wails of Crazy Horse.

Moby & drum machine wall - Echoes Interview.

Moby & drum machine wall – Echoes Interview.

Jurado is among a cast of singers who appear on Innocents, many of whom wrote their own lyrics.  Cold Specks turns up on two tracks. With a  Norah Jones-like sultriness, she intones late-night reflections on “A Case for Shame.”  Non sequiturs like “Cut off your nose to spite your face, slowly send your palms away,” turned into a searing meditation on existence . Cold Specks gets a dark blues sound on “Tell Me” reinforced by Moby cutting and pasting an insistent refrain and layering her voice in this forlorn, but powerful piece.

Skylar Grey is a singer associated with Eminem and she has the ethereal, smoke-filled voice Moby favors, as evidenced by  previous singers like Kelli Scarr.  Over a slo-mo groove draped in synth pads, and against a gospel loop sample pleading to “look over yonder, the sun done gone,” Grey sings “The Last Day,” a hymn about death an a life lived without being. “You Only just discovered the sun, on the last day,” she sings with resigned regret.  It’s the only song where Moby also uses the found-vocal strategy of Play.

A life unfulfilled is a theme for many of Moby’s songs. You’ll find it in lyrics he wrote for longtime collaborator Inyang Bassey on “Don’t Love Me,” a mid-tempo electro-barrelhouse song about a woman mistreated by a lover.  It’s also in yet another of Moby’s cautionary tales about heroin, “The Perfect Life,” sung with Wayne Coyne from The Flaming Lips. The album ends with a song as bleak as any Moby has ever written: “The Dogs.”  He sings this one  himself, mourning the turns of life and what sounds like a failed relationship.

Moby could probably play a lot of these songs sitting at an acoustic piano or plucking a guitar, but that’s not his way.  These songs are spun through ghost echoes, shadow delays, draped in synthesizer pads and punctuated with disembodied sounds.  Few can do more than Moby with some simple chords of  synthesizer strings.

Innocents includes the requisite moody Moby instrumentals too. “A Long Time” is one of the few songs that harkens back to his dance roots.  There is a vocal on it, but the words are indecipherable and buried in reverb and delays, making this sound more like an instrumental track that would sit well in the EDM rave of your mind.  He should have segued it into the syncopated groove of “Saints” with Steve Sidelnyk’s march-to-Mordor drums and Inyang Bassey’s anguished shouts.

Wait for Me, Destroyed and Innocents are trilogy of elegies for Moby, looking back on his life and the people he’s lost.  A track on the deluxe edition CD is aptly called, “Everyone Is Gone.” Sadness rarely sounds as beautiful as it does with Moby.

Hear Moby interviewed tonight 1/28, on Echoes.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Oblivion-cvrJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club.  Hammock’s Oblivion Hymns is our January   CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

OR

Pick Up  TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

LRC19-250pxJoin us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

2013 Rewind: Best of Echoes 2013 Listener Poll

January 1, 2014

TimeLapseStart 2014 Off Right with a Reprise Broadcast of The Best of Echoes 2013 Listener Poll Results tonight 01/01/2014

What do you get when you take a contemporary avant-garde composer, psychedelic folkies, Indian sitarists and Japanese electronic musicians.  Apparently you get the soundscape of Echoes or at least the music listeners thought was the best aspect of that soundscape.  Listeners have voted and today we’ll hear the results of the Best of Echoes 2013.

A few comments:
Both listeners and Echoes staff picked the same number one album, Ludovico Einaudi’s In A Time Lapse, the listeners by a very wide margin.

Innocents-250Nine tracks from 25 Essential Echoes CDs for 2013 made it to the listener poll.

Five CD of the Month Picks made it to the Listener Poll (Nine made it to 25 Essential Echoes CDs)

Dead-Can-Dance-In-ConcertIt’s the 2013 Poll, but there is music on it dating back from one to forty  years: Dead Can Dance’s In Concert, essentially there 2012 #1 album, Anastasis done live, Steve Roach’s Rasa Dance, a collection with tracks dating back to the 1980s, and daftpunk-1367945965Tubular Beats, a remix of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells.

And who would’ve thought that a band who had a #2 hit single, would be on an Echoes list? We didn’t play Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” but the album it came from Random Access Memories, came in at #9.  Top Ten on Echoes has to be better than #2 on Billboard, right?


BEST OF ECHOES 2013 LISTENER POLL

  1. Ludovico Einaudi In a Time Lapse (Ponderosa Music & Art) iTunes
  2. MobyInnocents (Mute) iTunes
  3. Dead Can DanceIn Concert (PIAS America)
  4. Sigur RosKveikur (XL Recordings) Kveikur - Sigur RÛs
  5. Ulrich SchnaussA Long Way to Fall (Domino Records)
  6. Agnes ObelAventine (Pias America)
  7. David BowieThe Next Day  (Columbia)
  8. Ólafur ArnaldsFor Now I Am Winter (Mercury Classics) iTunes
  9. Daft PunkRandom Access Memory (Columbia)
  10. Bombay Dub OrchestraTales from the Grand Bazaar (Six Degrees) iTunes
  11. David Helpling & Jon JenkinsFound (Spotted Peccary) iTunes
  12. Darshan AmbientLittle Things (Spotted Peccary) iTunes
  13. Anoushka ShankarTraces of You (Deutsche Grammophon) iTunes
  14. Steve Roach Rasa Dance: The Music of Connection (Projekt)
  15. ArboreaFortress of the Sun (ESP Disk Ltd.)
  16. Kitaro Final Call (Domo Records)
  17. Boards of CanadaTomorrow’s Harvest (Warp Records)
  18. Mike OldfieldTubular Beats (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
  19. R. Carlos Nakai & Will ClipmanAwakening the Fire (Canyon Records)
  20. Tom Griesgraber & Bert LamsUnnamed Lands (Inner Knot) iTunes
  21. Mazzy StarSeasons of Your Day (Ingrooves)
  22. The Civil WarsThe Civil Wars (Sensibility Recordings) iTunes
  23. Pat MethenyThe Orchestrion Project (Nonesuch) iTunes
  24. Bill FrisellBig Sur (Sony Masterworks)
  25. Pat MethenyTap: John Zorns’s Book of Angels, Vol. 20 (Nonesuch)

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

GIVE THE GIFT OF THE ECHOES CD OF THE MONTH CLUB

FoundNine of the CDs in this list were Echoes CDs of the Month, and the other three could’ve been on this list. Join the Echoes CD of the Month Club now and you can put David Helping and Jon Jenkins’ Found under somebodies Christmas tree.  It’s our December  CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

ORLRC19-250px


GIVE THEM THE GIFT OF TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

John Diliberto’s Top 10 CDs 2013

December 30, 2013

This was one of the hardest lists ever to compile.  It’s different from 25 Essential Echoes CDs of 2013, which is our picks of the best music played on Echoes.  And it’s also different from The Best of Echoes 2013 Listener Poll results.   These are my picks from all the music I heard in what turned out to be an epic year for new music.  And in an epic year, these are the albums that rose to the top of the top for me.

Metheny-Tap-Tzadik-cvr1- Pat MethenyTap: John Zorn’s The Book of Angels, Vol. 20
Metheny takes fragmentary themes from composer John Zorn’s “Book of Angels” series and orchestrates them into expansive, electro-symphonic works.  The fact that it features some of Metheny’s most unbridled and psychedelic guitar playing in years is just a bonus.

Stories2- Rhian Sheehan –  Stories from Elsewhere
On his 7th album, Stories from Elsewhere Rhian Sheehan created one of the most sublime shadings of ambient chamber music since Harold Budd’s Pavillion of Dreams.  It’s a magical CD of soaring strings, surging rhythms, childlike music boxes and ambient expanses that sounds both familiar and timeless. It was a CD of the Month in May.

UNQOTSA-5003 – Olivier Libaux Uncovered Queens of the Stone Age
I don’t know if I could’ve gotten behind an album more than I did Olivier Libaux’s sublime covers of music by alt-metal band Queen’s of the Stone Age.  Part of the New Wave/Punk cover band Nouvelle Vague.  Libaux stepped out on his own to record the albums with singers including Emilianna Torinni and Inara George. He accomplished a melancholy re-imagining of this alt-metal band’s music. It was a CD of the Month in July.

TimeLapse4 – Ludovico Einaudi –  In a Time Lapse
In a Time Lapse is a defining album on which pianist/composer Ludovico Einaudi pulled out all the stops, synthesizing a 21st century classicism that is all-embracing in its musical influences, and all-enveloping in its emotional sweep. It was Echoes CD of the Month in March,

Innocents-2505 – Moby   Innocents
Moby completes a trilogy of atmospheric, introspective songs that began with Wait for Me and Destroyed.  A CD of the Month in NovemberInnocents is the most soothing melancholy.

Olafur-Arnalds-For-Now-I-Am-Winter-2506 – Ólafur Arnalds   For Now I Am Winter
Both sophisticated and edgy, Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds inhabits his own sonic universe, balancing emotions and mood on a laser’s edge of strings echoing out of frozen skies and electronics trawling the substrata.  For Now I Am Winter is his most mature work to date and a CD of the Month in April.

Long Way To Fall7 – Ulrich Schnauss A Long Way To Fall
A wonderfully melodic, groove driven album of synthesizer wonder as Ulrich Schnauss explores childhood memories with electronic dreams.  The title track will leave you breathless.  It was an Echoes CD of the Month in February.

WInterwell8 – Mree   Winterwell
Serene dream pop from a 19 year old musician who comes from a singer-songwriter tradition but creates Enya like choirs with her voice on this lush and powerful album.

Bleeding-Raainbow-Yeah-Right CVR9 – Bleeding Rainbow   Yeah, Right
This Philadelphia based band created a garage-rock psychedelic ecstacy that often attained the epic mixing shoegaze guitars with motoric grooves and heroic girl-group choruses from singer Sarah Everton.  I’m still trying to figure out why Savages got so much hipster attention and this album slipped away.  Play it loud and you’ll wonder why as well.

kveikur10- Sigur Ros  Kveikur
Sigur Ros kick out the jams on this album of delirious, roiling textures and Jonsi’s falsetto melodies of prayer.  This is one of the Icelandic groups more aggressive outings which is saying a lot for a band that has no restraints in their electric storm.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

GIVE THE GIFT OF THE ECHOES CD OF THE MONTH CLUB

FoundJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club.  David Helping and Jon Jenkins’ Found is our December  CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

OR

LRC19-250pxGIVE THEM THE GIFT OF TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Echoes Top 25 for December 2013

December 27, 2013

FoundHere’s the last Top 25 list for 2013.  And like our 25 Essential Echoes CDs and The Best of Echoes Listener Poll, it reveals just what a great year 2013 was.  There are seven Echoes CD of the Month picks on it including December’s selection, David Helpling & Jon Jenkins’ Found.  That’s unusual, but that’s because of the Best of show and the 12 CDs of the Month for 2013 show.  WinterfoldBut there’s a couple of CDs there that easily could’ve been CDs of the month, notably, Jeff Johnson, Brian Dunnings & Wendy Goodwin’s Winterfold, a wonderful album of atmospheric winter pastorals, Bombay Dub Orchestra’s Tales from the Grand Bazaar, a CD that get’s into a serene, ambient chamber music sound but with eastern edges and subtle dub grooves, and lamentationAzam Ali & Loga Ramin Torkian’s Lamentation of Swans, a deep dive into Persian atmospheres with a lush merging of extoci strings, throbbing percussion and synthesizer atmosphere’s all topped by the sensual wordless vocals of Azam Ali.  And next Month’s CD of teh Month is here as well, Hammock’s Oblivion Hymns. Here‘s the list.

ECHOES TOP 25 FOR DECEMBER 2013

  1. David Helpling & Jon JenkinsFound (Spotted Peccary) iTunes
  2. MobyInnocents (Mute) iTunes
  3. Jeff Johnson Brian Dunning & Wendy Goodwin Winterfold (Ark Records) iTunes
  4. Olivier LibauxUncovered Queens of the Stone Age (Music for Music Lovers) Uncovered: Queens of the Stone Age - Olivier Libaux
  5. Tonight SkyTonight Sky (Tonight Sky)
  6. Moya BrennanAn Irish Christmas (BFO Records)
  7. Ólafur ArnaldsFor Now I Am Winter (Mercury Classics) iTunes
  8. Tom Griesgraber and Bert LamsUnnamed Lands (Inner Knot) iTunes
  9. Divine MatrixHydrosphere (AD Music) iTunes
  10. Akara – The World Beyond (Merkaba Music) iTunes
  11. EuphoriaE4 (Instrumental) (Euphoria) iTunes
  12. HammockOblivion Hymns (Hammock Music) iTunes
  13. Bombay Dub OrchestraTales from the Grand Bazaar (Six Degrees) iTunes
  14. Ulrich SchnaussA Long Way to Fall (Ulrich Schnauss) iTunes
  15. Brad HoytFar Away from Every Day (Harp Guitar Music)
  16. Juliette CommagereHuman (Aeronaut Records) iTunes
  17. Ludovico Einaudi – In a Time Lapse (Ponderosa Music & Art) iTunes
  18. Azam Ali and Loga R TorkianLamentation of Swans (Terrestrial Lane Productions) iTunes
  19. Mary Fahl Love & Gravity (Mary Fahl) iTUnes
  20. EklipseElectric Air (The End) iTunes
  21. Frankie RoseHerein Wild (Fat Possum Records) iTunes
  22. Lotte KestnerThe Bluebird of Happiness (Saint Marie) iTunes
  23. The Piano GuysA Family Christmas (Portrait) iTunes
  24. Courtney BarnettA Sea of Split Peas (House Anxiety) iTunes
  25. GrailsBlack Tar Prophecies Vols 4-6 (Temporary Residence) iTunes

See 25 Essential Echoes CDs and The Best of Echoes Listener Poll

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

GIVE THE GIFT OF THE ECHOES CD OF THE MONTH CLUB

FoundJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club now and you can put David Helping and Jon Jenkins’ Found under somebodies Christmas tree.  It’s our December  CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

OR

LRC19-250px

GIVE THEM THE GIFT OF TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Best of Echoes 2013 Listener Poll

December 17, 2013

TimeLapseWhat do you get when you take a contemporary avant-garde composer, psychedelic folkies, Indian sitarists and Japanese electronic musicians.  Apparently you get the soundscape of Echoes or at least the music listeners thought was the best aspect of that soundscape.  Listeners have voted and today we’ll hear the results of the Best of Echoes 2013.

A few comments:
Both listeners and Echoes staff picked the same number one album, Ludovico Einaudi’s In A Time Lapse, the listeners by a very wide margin.

Innocents-250Nine tracks from 25 Essential Echoes CDs for 2013 made it to the listener poll.

Five CD of the Month Picks made it to the Listener Poll (Nine made it to 25 Essential Echoes CDs)

Dead-Can-Dance-In-ConcertIt’s the 2013 Poll, but there is music on it dating back from one to forty  years: Dead Can Dance’s In Concert, essentially there 2012 #1 album, Anastasis done live, Steve Roach’s Rasa Dance, a collection with tracks dating back to the 1980s, and daftpunk-1367945965Tubular Beats, a remix of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells.

And who would’ve thought that a band who had a #2 hit single, would be on an Echoes list? We didn’t play Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” but the album it came from Random Access Memories, came in at #9.  Top Ten on Echoes has to be better than #2 on Billboard, right?


BEST OF ECHOES 2013 LISTENER POLL

  1. Ludovico Einaudi In a Time Lapse (Ponderosa Music & Art) iTunes
  2. MobyInnocents (Mute) iTunes
  3. Dead Can DanceIn Concert (PIAS America)
  4. Sigur RosKveikur (XL Recordings) Kveikur - Sigur RÛs
  5. Ulrich SchnaussA Long Way to Fall (Domino Records)
  6. Agnes ObelAventine (Pias America)
  7. David BowieThe Next Day  (Columbia)
  8. Ólafur ArnaldsFor Now I Am Winter (Mercury Classics) iTunes
  9. Daft PunkRandom Access Memory (Columbia)
  10. Bombay Dub OrchestraTales from the Grand Bazaar (Six Degrees) iTunes
  11. David Helpling & Jon JenkinsFound (Spotted Peccary) iTunes
  12. Darshan AmbientLittle Things (Spotted Peccary) iTunes
  13. Anoushka ShankarTraces of You (Deutsche Grammophon) iTunes
  14. Steve Roach Rasa Dance: The Music of Connection (Projekt)
  15. ArboreaFortress of the Sun (ESP Disk Ltd.)
  16. Kitaro Final Call (Domo Records)
  17. Boards of CanadaTomorrow’s Harvest (Warp Records)
  18. Mike OldfieldTubular Beats (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
  19. R. Carlos Nakai & Will ClipmanAwakening the Fire (Canyon Records)
  20. Tom Griesgraber & Bert LamsUnnamed Lands (Inner Knot) iTunes
  21. Mazzy StarSeasons of Your Day (Ingrooves)
  22. The Civil WarsThe Civil Wars (Sensibility Recordings) iTunes
  23. Pat MethenyThe Orchestrion Project (Nonesuch) iTunes
  24. Bill FrisellBig Sur (Sony Masterworks)
  25. Pat MethenyTap: John Zorns’s Book of Angels, Vol. 20 (Nonesuch)

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

GIVE THE GIFT OF THE ECHOES CD OF THE MONTH CLUB

FoundNine of the CDs in this list were Echoes CDs of the Month, and the other three could’ve been on this list. Join the Echoes CD of the Month Club now and you can put David Helping and Jon Jenkins’ Found under somebodies Christmas tree.  It’s our December  CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

ORLRC19-250px


GIVE THEM THE GIFT OF TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

25 Essential Echoes CDs for 2013

December 13, 2013

Some years are better than others and 2013 was much better than most.  Right now, you can Vote in the Best of Echoes 2013 Listener Poll.   But, this list is different.  This is compiled by the brain trust of Echoes.  These are the CDs we played on the show in 2013 that we thought represented the best, and most innovative aspects of the Echoes soundscape in this past year.  If your favorites aren’t on here, I’m not surprised.  This was one of the most outstanding years ever for Echoes music.  A lot of the albums left off could just as well have been put on.  But we had to pick 25 so here they are. You can see a straight list at the end.

25 ESSENTIAL ECHOES CDS FOR 2013

NUMBER ONE
TimeLapseLudovico Einaudi  In a Time Lapse
Italian pianist Ludovico Einaudi is a giant in Europe but still just lapping at America’s shores.  But he swept over Echoes years ago. The Echoes CD of the Month in March, In a Time Lapse is a defining album on which Einaudi pulled out all the stops, synthesizing a 21st century classicism that is all-embracing in its musical influences, and all-enveloping in its emotional sweep.

StoriesRhian Sheehan   Stories from Elsewhere
New Zealand composer Rhian Sheehan may have created one of the most sublime shadings of ambient chamber music on his 7th album, Stories from Elsewhere.  It’s a magical CD of soaring strings, surging rhythms, childlike music boxes and ambient expanses that sounds both familiar and timeless. It was a CD of the Month in May.

UNQOTSA-500Olivier Libaux  Uncovered Queens of the Stone Age
Why this album wasn’t more popular is one of the mysteries of 2013.  I suspect that confusing branding, poor distribution and limited marketing kept this CD under the radar.  Olivier Libaux is part of the New Wave/Punk cover band Nouvelle Vague but he stepped out on his own to record an entire CD of tunes by Queens of the Stone Age.  All the high priests of hip at Pitchfork, Stereogum and Popmatters completely missed this album where Libaux, accompanied by singers including Emilianna Torinni and Inara George, accomplishes a sublime re-imagining of this alt-metal band’s music. It was a CD of the Month in July.

Innocents-250Moby   Innocents
The hipsters missed Libaux, but many called this Moby’s best album since Play.  I think it’s just a continuation of his atmospheric, introspective trilogy that began with Wait for Me and Destroyed.  A CD of the Month in NovemberInnocents is the most soothing melancholy.

Olafur-Arnalds-For-Now-I-Am-Winter-2505 Ólafur Arnalds   For Now I Am Winter
Both sophisticated and edgy, Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds inhabits his own sonic universe, balancing emotions and mood on a laser’s edge of strings echoing out of frozen skies and electronics trawling the substrata.  For Now I Am Winter is his most mature work to date and a CD of the Month in April.

Scenes from a train6  Jeff Greinke Scenes from a Train
Ambient music veteran Jeff Greinke reveals a grasp of orchestration never evident in his music before in this album of exotic chamber music with acoustic horns and strings.

AnomicJah Wobble & Marconi Union Anomic
Although Anomic only came out in early 2013, I feel like I’ve been listening to it for years.  It has that sense of the classic about it. Bassist Jah Wobble brings his deep dub bass lines to Marconi Unions haunting electronic themes.

Oblivion-cvr8 Hammock Oblivion Hymns
Following up their 2012 CD of the Year, Departure Songs, Hammock goes deeper into their ambient chamber music with children’s choirs emerging out of swirling deeply processed guitars.  It will be the first CD of the Month of 2014.

Tales9 Bombay Dub Orchestra  Tales from the Grand Bazaar
Despite the presence of reggae rhyhm legends Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare on some tracks,  this is actually the most serene and melodically driven album yet of BDO’s merging of eastern music, electronic grooves and Bollywood strings.

lamentation10 Azam Ali & Loga Torkian   Lamentation of Swans-A Journey Towards Silence
The leaders of Niyaz released a deeply intimate and personal album with Azam Ali returning to her wordless vocals in this album of slow, sensual rhythms and darkly arabesque melodies.

Long Way To Fall11 Ulrich Schnauss A Long Way To Fall
A wonderfully melodic, groove driven album of synthesizer wonder as Ulrich Schnauss explores childhood memories with electronic dreams.

Aventine12 Agnes Obel Aventine
For her sophomore album, Danish singer Agnes Obel turns in another gem of haunting chamber pop.

Zefira-Deserters13 Rachel Zeffira  The Deserters
And speaking of chamber pop, Rachel Zeffira turns her opera-trained soprano into a caressing hush; mixes circus organ with a song about suicide; and uses oboe arrangements that sound like The Left Banke’s “Pretty Ballerina.” The Deserters was the CD of the Month in June.

kveikur14 Sigur Ros  Kveikur
Sigur Ros kick out the jams on this album of delirious, roiling textures and Jonsi’s falsetto melodies of prayer.

1Impossible5 William Tyler   Impossible Truth
Tyler takes John Fahey into the 21st century, weaving fingerstyle guitar melodies that are like long epic tapes.  He’s known as an acoustic player but has lots of electric on Impossible Truth.

WorldsBeyond16 Akara  The World Beyond
With the heaven sent voice of Femke Weidema and the elaborate orchestrations of Joshua Penman, Akara creates a transglobal progressive sound that is out of this world on The World Beyond, the Echoes CD of the Month in October.

WInterwell17 Mree   Winterwell
Serene dream pop from a 19 year old singer who comes from a singer-songwriter tradition but creates Enya like choirs with her voice on this lush and powerful album.

Burnt-Belief18 Colin Edwin & Jon Durant  Burnt Belief
Timed for release on December 21, the day after the Mayan calendar stopped and the world ended, Porcupine Tree bassist Colin Edwin and prog guitarist Jon Durant unleashed this album of post progressive rock moods.  We’re still here and thankfully, so is Burnt Belief.

Found
19 David Helpling & Jon Jenkins   Found
David Helpling and Jon Jenkins’ bring an orchestral approach to electronic music, where the orchestra is completely plugged-in, the timbres otherworldly, and the percussion tracks swept in on storms.  It was a great CD of the Month to end 2013.

Winterfold20 Jeff Johnson, Brian Dunning & Wendy Goodwin  Winterfold
This trio of keyboards, flutes and violin creates a music full of snow brushed melodies and lush arrangements with a hint of Celtic aire.

Syriana21 Syriana    Road to Damascus
This record came in under the radar from Real World.  It’s an exuberant mix of music from the Middle East to Ireland with musicians from Algeria, Ireland, Jordan, UK, Palestine but with hints of surf guitar and film noir scores.

Human22 Juliette Commagere   Human
Singer Juliette Commagere creates a beautiful and introspective electronic song cycle framing her sonorous soprano with a sound that recalls 80’s synth-pop but darker.

Traces of You23 Anoushka Shankar Traces of You
With sister Norah Jones and producer/instrumentalist Nitin Sawhney, sitarist Anoushka Shankar creates a tribute to her father Ravi Shankar that continues his eclectic approach to east-west fusion.

130521_HEM24 HEM   Departure & Farewell
When you’re contemplating loss, betrayal and redemption, put on Hem’s introspective album about their own break-up and reunion with the caressing voice of Sally Ellyson.

TonightSky25 Tonight Sky Tonight Sky
Tonight Sky is Jason Holstrom and he’s taken The Beach Boys’ harmonies and sent them into electronica space on this album of songs that manage to make you feel good while still being full of dark atmospheres.  Surf’s up again.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))
See below for a Spotify playlist of songs from all 25 albums save one.

25 ESSENTIAL ECHOES CDs FOR 2013

  1. Ludovico EinaudiIn a Time Lapse (Ponderosa Music & Art) iTunes
  2. Rhian SheehanStories from Elsewhere (Darla Records) iTunes
  3. Olivier LibauxUncovered Queens of the Stone Age (Music for Music Lovers) Uncovered: Queens of the Stone Age - Olivier Libaux
  4. MobyInnocents (Mute) iTunes
  5. Ólafur ArnaldsFor Now I Am Winter (Mercury Classics) iTunes
  6. Jeff GreinkeScenes From A Train (Infectious Music)
  7. Jah Wobble & Marconi UnionAnomic (30 Hertz) Anomic - Jah Wobble & Marconi Union
  8. HammockOblivion Hymns (Hammock Music)
  9. Bombay Dub OrchestraTales from the Grand Bazaar (Six Degrees) iTunes
  10. Azam Ali and Loga R TorkianLamentation of Swans (Terrestrial Lane Productions) iTunes
  11. Ulrich SchnaussA Long Way to Fall (Domino Records)
  12. Agnes ObelAventine (Pias America)
  13. Rachel Zeffira The Deserters (Paper Bag) The Deserters - Rachel Zeffira
  14. Sigur RosKveikur (XL Recordings) Kveikur - Sigur RÛs
  15. William TylerImpossible Truth (Merge Records) iTunes
  16. Akara – The World Beyond (Merkaba Music) iTunes
  17. MreeWinterwell (Mree Music) iTunes
  18. Jon Durant and Colin EdwinBurnt Belief (Alchemy Records) iTunes
  19. David Helpling & Jon JenkinsFound (Spotted Peccary) iTunes
  20. Jeff Johnson Brian Dunning & Wendy Goodwin Winterfold (Ark Records) iTunes
  21. SyrianaThe Road to Damascus (Real World) iTunes
  22. Juliette CommagereHuman (Aeronaut Records) iTunes
  23. Anoushka ShankarTraces of You (Deutsche Grammophon) iTunes
  24. HemDeparture and Farewell (Redeye)
  25. Tonight SkyTonight Sky (Tonight Sky)

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

GIVE THE GIFT OF THE ECHOES CD OF THE MONTH CLUB

FoundNine of the CDs in this list were Echoes CDs of the Month, and the other three could’ve been on this list. Join the Echoes CD of the Month Club now and you can put David Helping and Jon Jenkins’ Found under somebodies Christmas tree.  It’s our December  CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

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GIVE THEM THE GIFT OF TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Here’s a Spotify Playlist of tracks from all 25 CDs.  Jeff Johnson, Brian Dunning & Wendy Goodwin’s Winterfold isn’t on it, so I put a previous recording by Jeff Johnson in as a placeholder.


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