Posts Tagged ‘New Age’

May Top 25 Echoes CDs

June 4, 2014

World Fusion, Dream Pop and Ambient Americana in Echoes Top 25 for May

Hidden Treasures-225The Echoes Top 25 for May continues a trend towards chilled out vocal music but the top three slots are held by three CD of the Month picks, one vocal, two instrumental.  Lyla Foy is a relatively new artist who used to record as Wall.  Her Mirrors the Sky album, the first under her own name, was a CD of the Month in March.  But surrounding her are two veteran Echoes artists, one of who goes back even further than the show.  Carl Weingarten’s beautiful chamber Americana journey, Life Under Stars is our current CD of the Month in June.   And leading the pack is Hans Christian’s Hidden Treasures, our May CD of the Month selection, an album of cross-cultural ecstasy.  You can read about all of those and hear tracks by following the links above.

Newcomers to the Echoes Top 25 include Stumbeleine, 9Bach, Phox, Hauschka, Ben Cosgrove and Michael Barry-Rec.  Here’s thecomplete list.

ECHOES TOP 25 FOR MAY 2014

  1. Hans ChristianHidden Treasures (Allemande Music) iTunes
  2. Lyla Foy Mirrors the Sky (Subpop Records) iTunes
  3. Carl WeingartenLife Under Stars (Mutiphase Records)
  4. Tori AmosUnrepentant Geraldines (Mercury Classics) iTunes
  5. S. CareyRange of Light (Jagjaguwar) iTunes
  6. Eno & HydeSomeday World (Warp Records) iTunes
  7. 9BachTincian (Real World) iTunes
  8. BeckMorning Phase (Capital) iTUnes
  9. v/aPassages – Framed by Nova (Ultimae)
  10. StumbleineDissolver (Monotreme Records) iTUnes
  11. Ian Boddy & Erik WolloEC12 (DiN) iTunes
  12. Thus OwlsTurning Rocks (Secret City Records) iTunes
  13. Marissa Nadler July (Sacred Bones) Uncovered: Queens of the Stone Age - Olivier Libaux
  14. Tom Kerstens’ G Plus EnsembleUtopia – (Real World) iTUnes
  15. Phox Phox (Partisan Records) iTUnes
  16. Erik Scott And the Earth Bleeds (Erik Scott) iTUnes
  17. HauschkaAbandoned City (Temporary Residence) iTUnes
  18. Michael Barry-RecContinuum (Michael Barry-Rec) iTUnes
  19. Ben CosgroveField Studies (Ben Cosgrove) iTUnes
  20. DeepernetImpossible Landscape (Spotted Peccary) iTUnes
  21. Ludovico EinaudiIn a Time Lapse (The Remixes) (Ponderosa Music & Art) iTUnes
  22. Jennifer ZulliGoddess Rising (Jennifer Zulli) iTunes
  23. Cinema 12 Cinema 12 (Cinema 12) iTUnes
  24. BluetechCosmic Dubs (Native State Records) iTUnes
  25. Sylvan EssoSylvan Esso (Partisan) iTUnes

 

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Alien Guitars

May 8, 2014

Richard Leo Johnson Returns with a Trip Even Further Out on the Limb

W203Richard Leo Johnson first came to our intention in 1999 when he released a pair of albums on Blue Note Records. He was a ferocious finger-style guitarist, taking the techniques developed by Michael Hedges and pushing them further. Then he went off into a much more rustic direction, playing old acoustic guitars and adopting character like Charlie Shoe and Vernon McAlister. He created stories around these men and inhabited them on albums like  Who Knew Charlie Shoe and The Legend of Vernon McAlister. In the process, Johnson created a wholly original music that was as dusty as a hobo camp and as avant-garde as a Frank Gehry building.

ALien-GuitarNow Johnson has returned with a new CD called Celeste that tells the tale of Vernon McAlister’s alien abduction. He plays the music on a Martin custom “alien” guitar that includes a theremin. If you know the properties and playing techniques of a theremin, I don’t see how this can work, but you can hear it tonight on Echoes.  Here he is whipping it out four years ago on 12-string.
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BleedsWe’ll also hear new music from Erik Scott, the erstwhile bassist with artists like Alice Cooper and Flo & Eddie and co-founder of the alt-rock group Sonia Dada. He’s released his second solo album, ….And the Earth Bleeds featuring his beautiful, melodic bass playing. You can hear it on Echoes tonight.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Hidden Treasures-225Join the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get  Hans Christian’s  Hidden Treasures, the May 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.

Hans Christian’s Hidden Treasures

May 5, 2014

Cellist Hans Christian creates Global Serenity with Hidden Treasures
The Echoes May CD of the Month

Hidden Treasures-225Hans Christian launches his new CD playing cello. It’s the instrument he began with studying classical repertoire and he’s done recordings with it from the purely Renaissance album, Light and Spirit, to pure solo improvisations on Sancta Camisia, and of course, looping cello on Undefended Heart. But it’s when Christian taps into his global voice that he really sings. His isn’t the classical cello of Yo-Yo Ma. With Christian, notes bend in searing arcs, fraying at the edges with resonant sound.

Together We Were

Hans Christian is less a classical musician and more a global musician. It’s something he began on his solo albums, Surrender and Phantoms in the early 1990s and perfected with Rasa, the chanting duo he had throughout the first decade of the 21st century with singer Kim Waters. Christian created lush instrumental fusions behind Waters’ serene voice, alchemy of cello with the sarangi, an Indian bowed instrument, the sitara, a mini-sitar, eastern percussion and lots of electronics.

Hans Christian playing sarangi on Echoes with Rasa.

Hans Christian playing sarangi on Echoes with Rasa.

That’s the touchstone for Christian’s new solo album, Hidden Treasures, although when I say solo, it’s more in the “solo” tradition of Mike Oldfield’s one-man orchestra than a cello recital. Christian’s orchestrations are heavenly ascensions of throbbing rhythms from a mix of percussion loops and insistent bass lines from both electronic sources and bass guitar. He loves to set up dialogs between the instruments, with sarangi and sitara answering each other on “Light Headed” and swooping cello sitting in opposition to nattering sitara on “Tashina’s Fire,” a song written for an ill friend.

Tashina’s Fire

Each track is a different landscape. On “Incessant Heart” a Tibetan chant seems to emerge out of electronica swamp music and he does it without one vocal chant or sample in sight, instead evoking that feeling with deep bass drones. Christian’s cello is given full voice on “Cathedral of Tears,” on which he solos in elegiac sadness over a bed of synthesizer pads and nature effects.

Cathedrals of Tears

With Hidden Treasures, Hans Christian creates yet another enveloping space, a new world that goes beyond the exotic, that takes you from the heart of darkness to the heart of serenity in a 21st century global symphony.

NOTE: Hans Christian’s album with Harry Manx, You Are the Music of My Silence was also a CD of the Month Pick

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Hidden Treasures-225Join the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get  Hans Christian’s  Hidden Treasures, the May 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.

Echoes Top 25 for April

April 29, 2014

Dream-pop Dominates Echoes Top Ten in April

Foy-MirrorThe year is 25% done and here’s some of the music that’s been bubbling to the top of the Echoes playlists during April.  Of course, Lyla Foy’s April CD of the MonthMirrors the Sky is number one and deservedly so.  Look for live performances and interviews with Foy in the next month or so.  She’s followed by six more singers, beginning with Thus Owls, who I happen to be listening to on-air right now doing a phenomenal live Echoes set.

It’s great to see Hiroki Okano return to Echoes with his new .jp album.  He was a fixture on the show in the mid-90s.  And Steve Roach returns to the Echoes Top Ten with Spiral Meditations.

THE ECHOES TOP 25 FOR APRIL 2014

  1. Lyla Foy Mirrors the Sky (Subpop Records) iTunes
  2. Thus OwlsTurning Rocks (Secret City Records) iTunes
  3. Marissa Nadler July (Sacred Bones) Uncovered: Queens of the Stone Age - Olivier Libaux
  4. S. CareyRange of Light (Jagjaguwar) Uncovered: Queens of the Stone Age - Olivier Libaux
  5. BeckMorning Phase (Capital) iTUnes
  6. DavidgeSlo Light (The End Records) iTunes
  7. The CapsulesThe Long Goodbye (Saint Marie Records) iTunes
  8. Hiroki Okano .jp (Hiroki Okano) iTunes
  9. Hans ChristianHidden Treasures (Allemande Music) iTunes
  10. Steve RoachSpiral Meditations (Timeroom Editions) iTunes
  11. Jennifer ZulliGoddess Rising (Jennifer Zulli) iTunes
  12. Yasmine HamdanYa Nass (Crammed Discs) iTunes
  13. Natalie Merchant Natalie Merchant (Nonesuch) iTunes
  14. Mark McGuireAlong the Way (Dead Oceans) iTUnes
  15. TychoAwake (Ghostly International) iTunes
  16. HammockChasing After Shadows, Living with the Ghosts (Deluxe Edition) (Hammock Music) iTunes
  17. Green IsacPassengers (Spotted Peccary) iTunes
  18. Ian Boddy & Erik WolloEC12 (DiN) iTunes
  19. Cinema 12 Cinema 12 (Cinema 12) iTUnes
  20. Quilt Held in Splendor (Mexican Summer) iTUnes
  21. James HoodCeremony (Edible Sounds) iTunes
  22. That That RevolvesChasing Sunshine EP (Hungry Media) iTUnes
  23. St. VincentSt. Vincent (Loma Vista) iTUnes
  24. Tom Kerstens’ G Plus EnsembleUtopia – (Real World) iTUnes
  25. Lawrence BlattEmergence (Lawrence Blatt) iTUnes

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Foy-MirrorJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get  the #1 Echoes Album for April, Lyla Foy’s Mirrors the Sky, the April 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.

Eleven Earth Day CDs

April 22, 2014

Today is Earth Day.  Tonight on Echoes we’ll celebrate with an Earth Day Soundscape, but you create your own soundscape any day with these 11 recordings that are drawn from nature.

Sonic-Seasonings1 Wendy CarlosSonic Seasonings
Released in 1972,  Sonic Seasonings was ambient before ambient was coined. Taking the form of Antonio Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons,” Carlos orchestrated four side-long soundscapes designed to be “part of the decor.” Carlos weaves gentle, often reedy synthesizer melodies through chirping birds on “Spring,” phase-shifted church organ drones across crystalline bells and wind on “Winter,” and she seems to simulate an alien space landing on “Summer,” mimicking nature with her synthesizer.

Nest2 Robert RichNest
It was close between this album and his 1989 album, Rainforest. On that album, Rich synthesized his own virtual rainforest, but on Nest he uses environmental recordings he made in Australia where he was inspired by the nesting of tree frogs there. He weaves synthesizer textures, spare piano, gongs and flutes in a slow motion dusk that floats like mist on the forest floor.

Range 3 S. CareyRange of Light
It’s hard to bring naturalistic imagery into song without sounding like John Denver, but S. Carey does it on his ethereal second album, Range of Light. The title comes from the writings of naturalist John Muir and many of the lyrics are drawn from his inspiration, even when Carey is writing gorgeous love songs to his family like “Alpenglow.”

Aquas 4 UaktiAguas da Amazonia
The collaboration of composer Philip Glass and the Brazilian new music group, Uakti, is a natural. Uakti plays instruments that are a cross between the PVC pipe percussion of The Blue Man Group and the exotic sound sculptures of the late Harry Partch. They play PVC pipe covered with skins, a wooden box with latex strings, marimbas made from glass bars and violins made from gourds. Marco António Guimaráes created these instruments and arranged them for Glass’s charming compositions inspired by Amazonian rivers.

Driftwood5 Rena JonesDriftwood
Rena Jones’ 2007 album, Driftwood, follows the life of a tree from “From Star to Seed” to “Driftwood.” It’s an entrancing album that’s as much about Jones’ translucent laptop compositions as her gifts on cello, guitar, violin and clarinet. Compositions like “Photosynthesis” and “Driftwood” have an almost classical flow as her strings and clarinet articulate Arvo Part-like lines of liquid inevitability while rhythms pulse, shudder and ping through the melodies.

Equator 6 Bernie KrauseEquator
Bernie Krause was one of the early pioneers merging electronic music and environmental sounds, most famously done on In A Wild Sanctuary by Beaver & Krause in 1970. But in the 1980s, Krause committed himself to sonic ecology, recording environments across the globe. He would orchestrate these natural sounds into compositions, sometimes purely natural sounds, other times reinforced with some gentle synthesizer underpinnings ala Sonic Seasonings. That’s what he does on Equator.

Earth-Voices7 Paul Winter Earth Voices of a Planet
The Godfather of environmental music, it’s hard to pick a CD from Paul Winter. But his 1990 album, Earth-Voices of A Planet seems a perfect merging of Winter’s chamber jazz folk sound merged with environmental sounds. Spotted owls, elephants and whales (many recorded by Mickey Houlihan) are joined by Winter’s soprano sax and musicians like Glen Velez, Rhonda Larson and Eugene Friesen in ecstatic songs like “Cathedral Forest.” Winter rises above New Age clichés for this genre.

Bali8 Jalan JalanBali
Jalan Jalan was a studio project from the Japanese Pacific Moon label. They took the sounds of Balinese gamelan and combined it with pianos, flutes, small percussion and environmental sounds into gentle refrains.  It owes much to Brian Eno’s Music for Airports, with its sense of elegiac repose and resigned melancholy, particularly tracks like “Firefly Sanctuary.” The canon form in which most of these pieces are written and the stately pace they follow make this music seem like it could go on forever, and you wish they would.

Our-Beloved-Land9 R. Carlos Nakai & Keola BeamerOur Beloved Land
In this meeting of Native flute and Hawaiian slack-key guitar, these two artists create a music born of their native landscapes. Though most of the tunes are Hawaiian in origin and largely arranged by Beamer, he lets Nakai take them out into the deepest southwest desert, tumbling them through canyon echoes and ancient chants of his own. Nakai and Beamer’s voices, despite intoning different sounds, come together as one. The rhythms, played on percussion instruments from Hawaii, the southwest and Africa are trance-like and ceremonial.

Forest10 George WinstonForest
There are no nature sounds here, but George Winston has always been great at evoking seasons and landscapes with his piano. This was his first post-seasonal CD and it found him exploring new modalities on songs like “Tamarack Pines” where Winston extracts from the minimalist canon of Steve Reich with a nod to Terry Riley’s “In C” in constructing a cyclical journey.  On “Forbidden Forest” he plays with inside-the-piano effects while “The Cradle” draws from the jazz harmonies of Larry “Khalid Yasin” Young, the late jazz organist.

On_Land11 Brian EnoAmbient 4: On Land
This is possibly the most surreal use of environmental sounds ever. Eno used nature sounds mixed with acoustic sounds and some synthesizer, but blended them using musique concrete techniques to create imaginary landscapes. Many of them are named for geographical locations, but in this sonic transubstantiation, the locations are completely in the mind, even when born from nature.

Hear An Echoes Earth Day Soundscape tonight.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Support Echoes by becoming a member of the Echoes Sound Circle.

Choose either a one time $1000 or on-going $84 Monthly PaymentThink of the great artists you love on Echoes. Think of the informative interviews and exclusive live performances. Then, think of a world without Echoes. You can make sure that never happens by becoming a member of the Echoes Sound Circle.

Echoes is a non-profit 501(c3) organization just like your local public radio station. And all donations are tax deductible. You can support Echoes with a monthly donation that will barely disturb your credit card.

Join the Echoes Sound Circle and keep the soundscapes of Echoes flowing!

Foy-MirrorJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get  Lyla Foy’s Mirrors the Sky, the April 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.

 

 

Afro Celts Simon Emmerson in Echoes Podcast

April 18, 2014

Smells Good & Sounds Good: Afro Celt’s Simon Emmerson’s Fresh Handmade Sound
Hear about it in the Echoes Podcast

Hard Days NightSimon Emmerson smells good.  Not because he’s necessarily so hygienic, but because for the last four years or so he’s been creating custom made spa soundtracks for Lush Spas.  They’re mostly in the UK,  but now they’ve opened  in the US in New York City and Philadelphia.  Spa music usually has me going more manic than serene as I plow through stacks of CDs that are generically bland at best, crass, calculated and corny at worst.  But these soundtracks for Lush Spas, released under the umbrella of Fresh Handmade Sound have Simon Emmerson’s name attached.  Just say Afro Celt Sound System and that’s all the authenticity and credentials I need.

Emmerson was a co-founder of the that band which brilliantly fused sounds and musicians from Africa, Asia, Ireland and England into an electronically brewed ecstasy.  Now he’s joined by artists like Simon Richmond, who is another Fresh Handmade Sound composer and musicians like sitarist Sheema Mukkerjee from Transglobal Underground and singers like Jackie Oates, Eliza McCarthy, Martha Tilston and Rosie Doonan to make albums that would be considered brilliant works of lush downtempo fusions, ambient music and dream-pop if they weren’t marketed as spa music with generic covers.  You can hear them talk about their music in the Echoes Podcast.

Simon Emmerson, Sheema Mukherjee, Simon Richmond on Echoes

Simon Emmerson, Sheema Mukherjee, Simon Richmond on Echoes

The Fresh Handmade Sounds recordings aren’t easy to get.  You’ll find them scattered in Lush Stores and even more scattered on-line.

Here are the ones I’d try to track down

sYNAETHESIASynaethesia
The Nightjar Orchestra is the ad hoc group put together for this album.  Besides Emmerson, it also features Richard Evans who has recorded extensively at Real World Records and worked with Peter Gabriel and Michael Brook among many others.  Synaethesia is lush, folk based and string laden with expansive, acoustic based tracks like “The Great Western.”

cache_240_240_0_100_80_SpaCD COVER The Sound BathThe Sound Bath
This one approaches ambient more than most with subtle keyboard fugues under nature sounds, the plaintive sound of Afro Celt’s N’Faly Kouyate singing and playing the kora on “Hand Bells” and Enoesque themes like “Bluethroat.”

Hard Days NightA Hard Days Night Treatment
This album shouldn’t be so good.  They take Beatles tunes from “I Want to Hold Your Hand” to “Golden Slumbers” and turn them into lysergic folk music.  In particular the array of female vocalists, from Eliza McCarthy to Jackie Oates are entrancing.  Unfortunately, this might be the hardest to get at this time.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Support Echoes by becoming a member of the Echoes Sound Circle.

Choose either a one time $1000 or on-going $84 Monthly PaymentThink of the great artists you love on Echoes. Think of the informative interviews and exclusive live performances. Then, think of a world without Echoes. You can make sure that never happens by becoming a member of the Echoes Sound Circle.

Echoes is a non-profit 501(c3) organization just like your local public radio station. And all donations are tax deductible. You can support Echoes with a monthly donation that will barely disturb your credit card.

Join the Echoes Sound Circle and keep the soundscapes of Echoes flowing!

Foy-MirrorJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get  Lyla Foy’s Mirrors the Sky, the April 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.

 

 

Chilled Cellos 2014

April 16, 2014
Rena Jones live on Echoes

Rena Jones live on Echoes

When is a cello more than a cello? When it’s played by looping cellists who turn their strings into an orchestra. Or it’s in a cello rock band with three cellos.  Or it’s sonically processed in an electronic landscape.  You’ll hear that and more with Chilled Cellos. I’ve got several loopers including Matthew Schoening Jami Sieber and the Queen of Looping Cello, Zoe Keating. She used to play in the cello rock group Rasputina.

David Darling on Echoes

David Darling on Echoes

We won’t hear any Bach preludes, but I’ve got a guy who can whip them out whenever he wants, Yo-Yo Ma.  Instead though, we’ll hear him with the Silk Road Ensemble.  Ambient Chamber Music is a perfect home for cello and we’ll hear one of the godfathers of that sound, David Darling.  His cello has 8 strings.  We’ll also hear singing cellists with Dom La Nena, Jorane and Linnea Olsson.  And they’re twofers since they loop as well.

Tune in to Echoes tonight for Chilled Cellos.


John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Support Echoes by becoming a member of the Echoes Sound Circle.

Choose either a one time $1000 or on-going $84 Monthly PaymentThink of the great artists you love on Echoes. Think of the informative interviews and exclusive live performances. Then, think of a world without Echoes. You can make sure that never happens by becoming a member of the Echoes Sound Circle.

Echoes is a non-profit 501(c3) organization just like your local public radio station. And all donations are tax deductible. You can support Echoes with a monthly donation that will barely disturb your credit card.

Join the Echoes Sound Circle and keep the soundscapes of Echoes flowing!

Foy-MirrorJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get  Lyla Foy’s Mirrors the Sky, the April 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.

 

 

An Afro Celt Drops Musical Bath Bombs

April 15, 2014
Simon Emmerson, Sheema Mukherjee, Simon Richmond on Echoes

Simon Emmerson, Sheema Mukherjee, Simon Richmond on Echoes

Simon Emmerson smells good.  Not because he’s necessarily so hygienic, but because for the last four years or so he’s been creating custom made spa soundtracks for Lush Spas.  They’re mostly in the UK,  but now they’ve opened  in the US in New York City and Philadelphia.  Spa music usually has me going more manic than serene as I plow through stacks of CDs that are generically bland at best, crass, calculated and corny at worst.  But these soundtracks for Lush Spas, released under the umbrella of Fresh Handmade Sound have Simon Emmerson’s name attached.  Just say Afro Celt Sound System and that’s all the authenticity and credentials I need.

Sheema Mukherjee on Echoes

Sheema Mukherjee on Echoes

Emmerson was a co-founder of the that band which brilliantly fused sounds and musicians from Africa, Asia, Ireland and England into an electronically brewed ecstasy.  Now he’s joined by artists like Simon Richmond, who is another Fresh Handmade Sound composer and musicians like sitarist Sheema Mukkerjee from Transglobal Underground and singers like Jackie Oates, Eliza McCarthy, Martha Tilston and Rosie Doonan to make albums that would be considered brilliant works of lush downtempo fusions, ambient music and dream-pop if they weren’t marketed as spa music with generic covers.  You can hear them talk about their music tonight on Echoes.

The Fresh Handmade Sounds recordings aren’t easy to get.  You’ll find them scattered in Lush Stores and even more scattered on-line.

Here are the ones I’d try to track down

sYNAETHESIASynaethesia
The Nightjar Orchestra is the ad hoc group put together for this album.  Besides Emmerson, it also features Richard Evans who has recorded extensively at Real World Records and worked with Peter Gabriel and Michael Brook among many others.  Synaethesia is lush, folk based and string laden with expansive, acoustic based tracks like “The Great Western.”

cache_240_240_0_100_80_SpaCD COVER The Sound BathThe Sound Bath
This one approaches ambient more than most with subtle keyboard fugues under nature sounds, the plaintive sound of Afro Celt’s N’Faly Kouyate singing and playing the kora on “Hand Bells” and Enoesque themes like “Bluethroat.”

Hard Days NightA Hard Days Night Treatment
This album shouldn’t be so good.  They take Beatles tunes from “I Want to Hold Your Hand” to “Golden Slumbers” and turn them into lysergic folk music.  In particular the array of female vocalists, from Eliza McCarthy to Jackie Oates are entrancing.  Unfortunately, this might be the hardest to get at this time.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Support Echoes by becoming a member of the Echoes Sound Circle.

Choose either a one time $1000 or on-going $84 Monthly PaymentThink of the great artists you love on Echoes. Think of the informative interviews and exclusive live performances. Then, think of a world without Echoes. You can make sure that never happens by becoming a member of the Echoes Sound Circle.

Echoes is a non-profit 501(c3) organization just like your local public radio station. And all donations are tax deductible. You can support Echoes with a monthly donation that will barely disturb your credit card.

Join the Echoes Sound Circle and keep the soundscapes of Echoes flowing!

Foy-MirrorJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get  Lyla Foy’s Mirrors the Sky, the April 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.

 

 

Natalie Merchant Giving Up Everything Video

April 11, 2014

Natalie Merchant Returns with Self-Titled Album and Haunting Video

Natalie-MerchantNatalie Merchant releases her first album of all original music this May.  Ahead of that, she’s released a simple, but powerful video for the best song on the album, “Gving Up Everything.”

 

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Foy-MirrorNo Echoes station in your area.  You can hear it online and on-demand at Echoes On-Line. Now you can go Mobile withEchoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Join the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get  Lyla Foy’s Mirrors the Sky, the April 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.

 

Steve Roach in Echoes Podcast

April 11, 2014

Steve Roach Contemplates the Contemplation of Structures from Silence in Echoes Podcast

Structures-DeluxeOver the last 25 years, Steve Roach has been one of the signature artists of Echoes.  He wrote our original theme music in 1989 and he was voted one of 20 Icons for 20 Years of Echoes.  I’ve known Roach since 1983 when I visited his small bungalow in Culver City near Los Angeles.  At the time I was recording interviews for the radio documentary, Totally Wired: Artists in Electronic Sound.  As I recall I interviewed Michael Stearns and Kevin Braheny on that same trip.  Roach had two albums out at that point, Now and Traveler.  But he unveiled his newest release, just out on cassette at the time, called Structures from Silence. It came out the next year on Fortuna and has gone on to become a classic of space, new age and ambient music.  Four years ago, I cited Structures as the number two of Five Essential Steve Roach CDs.   Now they’ve released a triple CD edition with the original album and artwork plus two contemporary CDs which have roots in the Structures from Silence aesthetic while sounding almost nothing like it.  Steve Roach remembers days of silence in the Echoes Podcast.  Here’s something that didn’t fit in the interview.

Steve Roach: This opportunity came to play at Terminal Island Prison for the inmates the prison.  So I setup in what was like a high school gymnasium or a high school auditorium in the Terminal Island Prison, and I had to go through all these layers of security check and with all the gear and inspecting everything. And finally you get in and setup, then in comes a whole completely full auditorium of inmates.  I’m playing sequencer kind of material and doing my thing at that time with all the pure analog gear.  I had a trajectory to go with and then it was going to end in a more quiet reflective place, which was where I was heading to with Structures and with that first track on Structures, “Reflections in Suspension,” so eventually that piece emerges. And it’s absolutely gentle and very quiet and really not a piece that you think you would play for inmates in a prison, you know.

Steve Roach Immersion '07 (64)And the guy that played before me, Bob Ramey was his name, at the time he had all these drum machines mounted into a big rack and he used to do these drum machine grooves for Eddie Harris, the jazz player. So when Bob was playing the guys out there were wadding up pieces of paper and throwing them at him and all that sort of thing. So I thought I’m in for it here, you know, I don’t know what’s gonna happen here, but I’m just gonna go for it.

So I played that track and ended the concert with that very gentle track, and it was amazing because it stayed quiet. I wasn’t pelted with paper balls and a lot of the the inmates came up to the stage and they were clearly vibing in the music and they were absolutely stoned [on the music].

Hear more stories about Steve Roach’s Structures from Silence in Echoes Podcast.


John Diliberto (((echoes)))

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THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

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