Posts Tagged ‘psychedelic’

Echoes Goes to the Darkside

May 14, 2014

Hear an Interview with Darkside Tonight on Echoes.

Darkside @ Mountain Oasis. Photo: Diliberto

Darkside @ Mountain Oasis. Photo: Diliberto

This past October I got to see the band Darkside at the Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit.  They played before an impressively large audience in the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, considering they only had one album out, Psychic.  They’re a band that favors shadows, standing in twin cones of low, smoke filled light, delivering snarling guitar leads over throbbing electronic drums and sequences like a pong game on acid. They recalled the German band Can, with their motoric grooves and free improvisation, but brought a modern DJ sensibility to their set.  It was like a rave in a bomb shelter.  Tonight on Echoes we’ll revisit our interview with Darkside’s Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington.

Guitarist Dave Harrington has just released a solo EP,  Before This There Was One Heart But a Thousand Thoughts .

Check out their live set in Paris last year.  And turn it up.

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John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Join 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.
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TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

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Tycho’s Electronica Rock.

April 30, 2014

Tonight on Echoes Hear an Interview with Tycho’s Scott Hansen

AwakeFor most of the last decade there has been a strain of Rock music that didn’t really rock out, but instead took a more introspective and almost ambient course, often mixing guitars with electronics.  And they usually don’t have singers, at least in a conventional sense.  Explosions In the Sky, The Album Leaf, Hammock and Sigur Ros are among those groups.  Add to that list Tycho.  That’s a project put together by Scott Hansen who started out as an electronic musician but has found himself in a hybrid, Ambient Rock world.  His latest album is Awake.

For Scott Hansen, Tycho isn’t just about music. It works on a visual level as well.  “I tend to think of the project as an audio visual project,” he explains.  “The music always comes first and then I try and illustrate the kind of space that that music represents with the art work.”

Tycho’s Dive

That’s because Hansen is not only a musician, but a visual artist known as iso50. He spent many years doing commercial work as a graphic artist.  You’ve probably seen a lot of it.   “I did a bunch of snowboards and skis and I did stuff for Diesel, some poster art, all this random, all sorts of stuff,” he reveals.  “Twix, and Starburst and all sorts of like ad agency stuff back when I was doing that.”

His visual style is a mix of Bauhaus austerity (the art movement, not the band) and the elaborate San Francisco psychedelic poster art he saw in his parent’s record collection with The Doors, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Led Zeppelin.

Echoes John Diliberto & Tycho’s Scott Hansen

“That was my gateway into just kinda of understanding music to be in with the Beatles and all that stuff,” Hansen confesses.  “But also the artwork behind them and the aesthetic that was applied to all those album covers and just the style–down to the way the people dressed and everything.  That kind of informed from then on what I thought was like the architect for bands, and music and album covers and all that.  So yeah, you can see that pop up in my work a lot.”

You can hear how that work pops up in his music tonight on Echoes when we revisit our 2012 interview with Hansen when he came into Echoes to play live.

Tycho recently released a new album, Awake.  We interviewed Hansen back in 2012 when he released the last Tycho album, Dive and came into Echoes to play live.  (You can hear a track from that on our CD,Transmissions. We return to that feature tonight on Echoes.

~© 2012

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.

Sci-Fi Echoes: 10 Great Sci-Fi CDs

March 12, 2014

 Science Fiction Music Through the Ages

FP-CvrToday on Echoes, it’s a trip into the world of science fiction.  Sci-Fi literature and movies have always had an impact on a certain breed of musicians, usually the ones who were a bit tripped out and cerebral.  You’d have trouble pinning down the first Sci-Fi music.  Was it Otto Luening’s “Fantasy in Space” for flute and magnetic tape in 1952?  You could go to the early 20th century for Gustav Holst’s The Planets, but that was more about the solar system and cosmos than science fiction.  Bebe & Louis Barron’s 1956 all electronic score for Forbidden Planet should certainly be mentioned.  But the godfather of science fiction music has to be Sun Ra, whose Intergalactic, Solar Myth Discipline and Jet Set Omniverse Arkestras told tales of space with Ra himself claiming he was born on Jupiter and not Birmingham, Alabama.  “Sun Ra and his band from outer Space will entertain you’re here” went one of his lyrics as they sung about “Rocket #9 leaving for the planet Venus.”

Sci-Fi themes bust out in the 1960s with Jefferson Starship’s Blows Against the Empire, Pink Floyd’s early work like “Interstellar Overdrive” and “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun.”  But it was probably Hawkwind who took the Sci-Fi modality most to heart, spinning out psychedelic tales of inner and outer space travel, sometimes on their own, sometimes using lyrics from science fiction author Michael Moorcock.

SaucerProgressive Rock was a wellspring of Sci-Fi efforts from Yes’ optimistic “Starship Trooper” to King Crimson’s nightmarish “21st Century Schizoid Man.”  Gong created their Sci-Fi “Radio Gnome Invisible” trilogy and that carried into German space rock with Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze and others draping their electronic journey’s in Psy-Fi imagery.  Vangelis took that sound to the screen with his score for Blade Runner although I would argue that an earlier release, Albedo 0.39, was a better album with a Sci-Fi theme. 

David Bowie created the biggest Sci-Fi hit with “Space Oddity” and the first science fiction song-cycle with The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from MarsGary Numan carried that into the 1980s with Replicas with music and lyrics inspired by JG Ballard and Philip K. Dick’s dystopian nightmares.

Punk Rock wasn’t enamored of Sci-Fi imagery, although Spizzenergi had a great tune called “Where’s Captain Kirk?” But New Wave bands from  Ultravox & John Foxx to Depeche Mode embraced the more technological side of Sci-Fi.

EncounterThe 80s were awash in alien imagery from New Age to the later generation of Space music.  Steve Roach mixed mysticism and futurism on many of his albums like Traveler and On This Planet.  And Michael Stearns went full bore into space with Encounter: A Journey in the Key of Space.  Let’s not forget the label with which both these musicians were associated, Hearts of Space Records, which, especially early on, was heavily vested in the imagery of space and science fiction with albums like Kevin Braheny’s Galaxies and  Constance Demby’s Novus Magnificat: Through the Stargate.   The 90s found that imagery imbued in techno music and its stepchild, ambient music, especially with The Orb’s Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld and Future Sound of London’s Lifeforms, couching their psychedelic journeys in Sci-Fi metaphor.

BLUETECH_SPACEHOP_coverartIn the new millennium, science fiction music flows like a Matrix data stream from The Flaming Lips’ Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots to zerO One’s electro-bop songs sampling Sci-Fi dialogue.  Bluetech has always had a bit of the Sci-Fi about him. His The Divine Invasion is inspired by Philip K. Dick’s “Valis” and his new album is Space Hop Chronicles Volume 1.

We take a trip into that Sci-Fi world tonight on Echoes.  Some of these artists will be there, some won’t and many others will be. We barely scratch the surface in two hours of space epics, monsters from the id and paranoid androids.  It’s Sci-Fi Echoes tonight.

See what a lot of listeners suggested for the show on the Echoesfans page Facebook.

 10 Great Sci-Fi Albums

1 David Bowie – The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from MarsZiggy
2 Tangerine Dream – Phaedra 
3 Gary Numan – Replicas
4 Pink Floyd – A Saucerful of Secrets
5 Gong – You
6 Hawkwind – Space Ritual
7 Mike Oldfield – Songs of Distant Earth
8 Bluetech – Space Hop Chronicles Vol 1
9 Bebe & Louis Barron – Forbidden Planet
10 Radiohead OK Computer

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Mark-McGuire-Along-The-WayJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club.  Mark McGuire’s Along the Way is our March 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

LRC19-250px 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.

Guitar Splendor in Echoes Top 25

February 26, 2014

Erik Wøllo and Mark McGuire bring guitars back to Echoes Top 25

TimelinesCDcoverErik Wøllo’s February CD of the MonthTimelines,  leads Echoes Top 25It’s a brilliant recording of layered guitar dreamscapes.  Following close behind is our soon-to-be March CD of the Month, Mark McGuire’s Progressive Rock epic, Along the Way.  You’ll be hearing more about this album soon.  No fewer than seven vocal albums populate the top ten slots including Priscilla Ahn’s This is Where We Are; Warpaint‘s self-titled album; Linnea Olsson’s cello songs, Ah!; the return of Aurah with  Summon the Sky; Gem Club’s hazy In Roses and Simon Emmerson’s Fresh Handmade Sound reinvention of The Beatles on A Hard Day’s Night Treatment.  That last one, sadly, is not actually out yet.  The rebroadcast of Pure Bathing Culture’s live set boosted their return to the top 25.  See the complete list below.

ECHOES FEBRUARY TOP 25

  1. Erik WolloTimelines (Projekt Records) iTUnes
  2. Priscilla AhnThis is Where We Are (SQE Music) iTUnes
  3. Linnea OlssonAh! (Universal UK) iTUnes
  4. Mark McGuireAlong the Way (Dead Oceans) iTUnes
  5. Fresh Handmade Collective – Fresh Handmade Sound: A Hard Day’s Night Treatment (Lush)
  6. KrusseldorfFractal World (Krusseldorf) iTUnes
  7. AurahSummon the Sky (Very Music) iTUnes
  8. WarpaintWarpaint (Rough Trade Us) iTUnes
  9. Gem ClubIn Roses (Hardly Art) iTUnes
  10. Pure Bathing CultureMoon Tide (Partisan Records) iTUnes
  11. Lost in the TreesPast Life (ANTI Records) iTUnes
  12. Blow Up HollywoodBlue Sky Blond (Blow Up Hollywood) iTUnes
  13. All India RadioFall Remixes (All India Radio) iTUnes
  14. LarkenlyreMusic of the Extraordinary Voyages (Cynelic Gast Music) iTUnes
  15. Kristin HoffmannThe Human Compass (Starr Records) iTUnes
  16. Olivier LibauxUncovered Queens of the Stone Age (Music For Music Lovers) iTUnes
  17. DarksidePsychic (Matador Records) iTunes
  18. Tonight SkyTonight Sky (Tonight Sky) iTunes
  19. Juliette CommagereHuman (Aeronaut Records) iTunes
  20. Muriel AndersonNightlight Daylight (Muriel Anderson)
  21. David Helpling & Jon JenkinsFound (Spotted Peccary) iTunes
  22. BluetechSpacehop Chronicles Vol. 1 (Native State Records) iTunes
  23. James HoodCeremony (Edible Sounds) iTunes
  24. Banco de GaiaMaya (Disco Gecko Recordings) iTunes
  25. Divine MatrixHydrosphere (AD Music) iTunes

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.

LRC19-250pxTRANSMISSIONS: 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.

 

From Oblivion to Euphoria in Echoes Top 25

January 28, 2014

Two Takes on Modern Guitar Lead Echoes Top 25 for January.

Oblivion-cvrYou couldn’t get much different than the two guitar sounds at one & two in the Echoes Top 25.  You’ve got the ambient guitar orchestrations of Hammock’s Oblivion Hymns, the Echoes CD of the Month for January followed at number 2 by E4 (Instrumental)  the Americana Electronica album from Euphoria.  Those musicians are both longtime inhabitants of this list, but some newcomers include the dream pop band, Elika,  English singer-songwriter, Fink, Seattle psychedelic folkie Damien Jurado, Swedish singer and cellist Linnea Olsson and Brazilian singer and cellist Dom La Nena. See the complete listing here.

ECHOES TOP 25 for JANUARY 2013

  1. HammockOblivion Hymns (Hammock Music) iTunes
  2. EuphoriaE4 (Instrumental) (Euphoria) iTunes
  3. Tonight SkyTonight Sky (Tonight Sky) iTunes
  4. Juliette CommagereHuman (Aeronaut Records) iTunes
  5. ElikaAlways the Light (Saint Marie) iTunes
  6. FinkFink Meets the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (Ninja Tune) iTunes
  7. Bombay Dub OrchestraTales from the Grand Bazaar (Six Degrees) iTunes
  8. Damien JuradoBrothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son (Secretly Canadian) iTunes
  9. DarksidePsychic (Matador Records) iTunes
  10. David Helpling & Jon JenkinsFound (Spotted Peccary) iTunes
  11. Fresh Handmade Collective – Fresh Handmade Sound: A Hard Day’s Night Treatment (v/a) (Lush)
  12. London GrammarIf You Wait (Metal & Dust) iTunes
  13. MobyInnocents (Mute) iTunes
  14. Jeff Johnson Brian Dunning & Wendy Goodwin Winterfold (Ark Records) iTunes
  15. Linnea OlssonAh! (Universal UK)
  16. Mary Fahl Love & Gravity (Mary Fahl) iTUnes
  17. Bryan CarriganBelow Zero (Peonies Music) iTUnes
  18. zer0 0nes0nar (Waveform) iTUnes
  19. Desert DwellersNight Visions: Desert Dwellers Selected Remixes (Black Swan Sounds) iTUnes
  20. Eamonn KarranDistant Sun (Real Music) iTUnes
  21. All India RadioFall Remixes (All India Radio) iTUnes
  22. Shearwater Fellow Travelers (Sub Pop) iTUnes
  23. Adam HurstNightfall (Adam Hurst) iTUnes
  24. Matteo PalmerOut of Nothing (Matteo Palmer) iTUnes
  25. Dom La Nena Golondrina (Six Degrees) iTUnes

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.

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.

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.

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.

Where’s the Wah-Wah?: PBS Hendrix Documentary Misses the Mark

November 11, 2013

Jimi Hendrix’s solo on “’Voodoo Child,’ was like a Harley-Davidson screaming out of the sky.” –Conny Plank.

Experienced I recently posted on Facebook on the EchoesFans page about the PBS American Masters documentary, Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train a Comin’ because I found myself emotionally affected by the memories it was triggering.  Someone on Facebook wondered why I got so wistful about it and I, perhaps a little too snarkily, replied that “If you listen to the music and have the memories, you know.”  After watching the entire documentary I realized that’s actually truer than I thought.  My memory was filling in all the elements that the film left out.

The main takeaways I got from Hear My Train a Comin’ are Hendrix was a great guy, an amazing guitarist and all he wanted to do was play.  Beyond that, the American Masters documentary sheds little light on this figure who is beyond iconic.  In fact, while note inferior to the original Jimi Hendrix documentary from 1973, it is missing a few of its virtues.

AxisGatefoldThat documentary, released only three years after Hendrix’s death, had compelling interview segments with guitarists who were contemporaries of Hendrix like Eric Clapton, who was extremely touching in his reverence for Hendrix, and The Who’s Pete Townsend who had the most insightful comments on Hendrix’s arrival in London and his Monterey Pop performance.  His recollection about the discussion between him and Hendrix over who would go on last at Monterey reveals just how high Hendrix raised the bar.  But there are few of Hendrix’s guitar hero contemporaries in Hear My Train a Comin’ other Billy Gibbons of  ZZ Top and he wasn’t very illuminating. More importantly, no contemporary musicians testifying to his extraordinary influence outside of Vernon Reid and Dweezil Zappa.  Monster guitarists both,  but they couldn’t get someone with a little more weight?   So many people state that Hendrix changed music and the electric guitar, but how?

Electric-DVDHendrix’s legacy resides in the sound he got from the guitar, yet, except for several vague allusions, there’s almost no talk about how he got that sound, what it entailed, who influenced him, what his technology was.  I don’t think it’s too geeked out to want some analysis of just what Hendrix was doing to get that doomed, ominous fuzz he had on “Purple Haze,” which had never been heard before.  Hendrix didn’t invent the wah-wah pedal, but he invented the language for it and to this day, no one has played it as effectively. I would’ve loved to hear some discussion about the way Hendrix used the studio as an instrument on Axis: Bold as Love and in particular, the “C-side” of Electric Ladyland.  The BBC Classic Albums documentary:  At Last… The Beginning – The Making of Electric Ladylandgives vastly more insight into Hendrix’s music making.

Fayne Pridgeon, Hendrix’s New York City girlfriend, is reduced to repeating over and over that Hendrix was a shy and sweet guy who just wanted to play and always had his guitar with him.  But in the 1973 doc, a younger Pridgeon has joyful recollections of Hendrix’s enthusiasm for Bob Dylan, something which isn’t mentioned at all in Hear My Train a Comin’, except for Ellen McIlwaine’s memory that Hendrix adopted Dylan’s 60s hairstyle.  It’s a curious exclusion considering that Hendrix’s version of Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” is one of his best known recordings .

Hendrix-MovieAnd in a fashion all too typical in documentaries on the 60s, they blow right by the psychedelic “experience.”  There are vague references to drugs, but little talk about their impact on his music, which is immense.  It’s like not talking about the influence of Woody Guthrie on Bob Dylan or just ignoring the impact of New York City in Lou Reed’s music.

There are a few nice touches: Paul McCartney’s personal reflections about Hendrix playing “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and getting him the gig at Monterey; the radio ads for Hendrix concerts, including the one calling him the “number one Progressive Rock act in the world.”  Linda Keith had a great handle on many aspects of Hendrix’s life and music and Rolling Stone journalist David Fricke had some contextualizing perspectives.  But many opportunities were missed so that a dozen interview subjects could say Hendrix was a great guy, an amazing guitar player and he was shy.

Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train a Comin’ is an enjoyable documentary, but director Bob Smeaton missed a few too many stops along the way.  And there’s nothing as poetic as the late Conny Plank’s description above.  https://echoesblog.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/130521_stillcorners.jpg

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Innocents

ECHOES CD OF THE MONTH CLUB SPECIAL

Join or renew in the Echoes CD of the Month Club in November and you’ll get Bombay Dub Orchestra’s beautiful CD, Tales from the Grand Bazaar as a BONUS CD along with Moby’s Innocents album, our November CD of the Month selection.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.  You can do it all right here.
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Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Meditations

October 30, 2013

LOU REED: METAL MACHINE MEDITATIONS

Hear an interview with Lou Reed talking about his final album.

Lou Reed at Echoes interview 2007

Lou Reed at Echoes interview 2007

You may not think of Lou Reed, who passed away on October 27, as a meditative kind of guy, but the founding member of The Velvet Underground and purveyor of proto-punk songs created an electronic CD designed for meditation and body work, in particular, Tai Chi, of which he was a staunch devotee.  It’s called Hudson River Wind Meditations.  Who knew in 2007 that it would be his final album.  In this Echoes interview from that year, Lou Reed talked about his ambient spaces.

Lou Reed wasn’t the kind of artist you usually hear on Echoes, but his music had an impact on many of the artists you do hear on the show from Moby to Robert Rich.   Musicians who could be Reed’s great grandchildren like Tessa Murray and Greg Hughes of Still Corners are citing him.  I’ve always had mixed feelings about Lou Reed.  In the 60s, I was more inclined to the dreamy flower power of San Francisco and London than the dark, debauched undertones of New York.  I still remember writer Ralph J. Gleeson’s excoriating review of Andy Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable –  which included the Velvet Underground – when they played the original Fillmore Auditorium.   As a founder of Rolling Stone Magazine and the Monterey Jazz Festival, and early proponent of artists from Miles Davis to The Jefferson Airplane, Gleason was a hero and his review shaped a lot of my feelings about VU and Lou.

Echoes' John Diliberto & Lou Reed

Echoes’ John Diliberto & Lou Reed

But somehow, the Velvets and Lou Reed wormed themselves into my life.  My older cousin Goody enthused to me about “The Gift” making me listen to the John Cale rendered tale of the macabre concocted by Lou Reed.   I heard a charming interview with the band on some late-Sunday night AM radio show near Boston in ’67.  Drummer Mo Tucker wasn’t there because she was “at church.” You couldn’t deny the seductive, droll-Fellini charm of “Walk on The Wild Side,” and Street Hassle and The Bells were both ambitious works I reviewed at the time.  Then there was Metal Machine Music, his noise manifesto, which included a written manifesto about the future of music which I read over the air on WXPN’s Diaspar program while the music squalled in the background.  And when he started hanging with Laurie Anderson, I couldn’t deny him his props.

HudsonBut he still wasn’t an artist we’d play on Echoes until he released what has turned out to be his final album, Hudson River Wind Meditations.  It was indeed, a meditation CD, albeit one of the most minimally ambient kind.  Even that was too extreme to play on the air, but I thought, when else would I have the opportunity to interview Lou Reed?

Given his reputation for cantankerousness, I had more trepidation than I usually would.  But I had a few things I thought would engage him.  The first was commenting on the deep bass tones of the album which my woofers couldn’t really handle.  Being something of a tech geek, he loved that I commented on that aspect.  And then, it didn’t hurt that I had a picture of Laurie Anderson on an Echoes brochure I gave him.    When his manager popped in after ten minutes to cut the interview short, Reed waved him off and we talked for over an hour about noise, meditation,Tai Chi, LaMonte Young and more.

You can hear that interview here.

We’re saddened by the passing of Lou Reed, who left an indelible mark on music. And our deepest sympathies go out to his wife, artist/musician Laurie Anderson, who found her soulmate in an unlikely place.

Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Meditations.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))   http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1591795540/echoes

WorldsBeyondSign up for Echoes CD of the Month Club.  This month,  CD of the Month Club members will be getting Akara’s The World Beyond.  Follow the link to the Echoes CD of the Month Club and hear what you’ve been missing.
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Tonight on Echoes, Connections from 1967 to 2013.

October 9, 2013

60’s Psych-Progressions, 70’s Krautrock, New World Fusion
and Ambient Chamber music Tonight on Echoes.

Donovan-SunshineI must be feeling a bit nostalgic today.  I find myself going back to some of my earliest musical influences and to the early days of Echoes.  From the 1960s, I’ve got a song by Donovan, an artist who I think is an underrated influence on contemporary singer-songwriters.  His Sunshine Superman, is, song-for-song, a beautiful document of 60s tripped out psychedelia and optimism.  We’ll hear a tune from that album that looks to the darkside.  Then it’s up to 1969 and the debut from King Crimson, In the Court of the Crimson King.  Unlike the contemporary editions of this band, early Krimson could knock out a few ballads, especially when Greg Lake was singing the words of Pete Sinfield.   Moving up a decade, I’ll be dialing up some krautrock by Michael Rother from his second album, Sterntaler, with that beautiful guitar sound, the motoric drumming of Jaki Liebezeit and production from the late-Conny Plank.

FamiliarFrom the early days of Echoes, look for music by Patrick O’Hearn, a musician who has remained a signature artist on the show from day one.   Then there’s an album by Roger Eno & Kate St. John. Roger is Brian’s younger piano playing brother.  St. John played oboe in The Dream Academy.  They made an early album of ambient chamber music called The Familiar before going on to form the chamber rock group, Channel Light Vessel with Bill Nelson.  We’ll hear one of many haunting tracks from The Familiar.

MORCHEEBA-Head-Up-High-300x277But of course, this is Echoes and I have lots of new music for you.  We’ll hear from the new album by Bombay Dub Orchestra, Tales from the Grand Bazaar as they continue to be masters of eastern fusion.  Morcheeba returns with a new album,  Head Up High  featuring singer Skye Edwards,  and I have new music by Pieter Nooten.  You may remember him from Clan of Xymox, an 80s new wave band on 4AD.  He went on to record a much loved album, Sleeps with Fishes with Michael Brook.  Now he returns with a double CD of ambient chamber music, Haven.

It’s all there and more tonight on Echoes.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

WorldsBeyondSign up for Echoes CD of the Month Club.   CD of the Month Club members will be getting Akara’s The World Beyond.  Follow the link to the Echoes CD of the Month Club and see what you’ve been missing.

Choose either a one time $1000 or on-going $84 Monthly PaymentSupport Echoes by becoming a member of the Echoes Sound Circle.

Think 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 130528_EchoesEchoes with a monthly donation that will barely disturb your credit card.

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

Greatest Songs of the 21st Century… So Far: An Idiosyncratic List.

September 10, 2013

885Songs of New MilleniumThe thirteenth year of the 21st century doesn’t seem to be the right time to look back on the best of the millennium.  Those lists usually come on the decade and quarter century marks.  But I was asked to compile another Top Ten list for Echoes affiliate, WXPN in Philadelphia.  This time, the impossible assignment was picking the Top Ten Greatest Songs of the New Millennium for their 885 Greatest Songs of the New Millennium Countdown This is never an easy task but it made me think of the songs I keep coming back to, the songs that haven’t left my iPhone where music is constantly being cycled off to make room for new material.

One thing I like about this list is it takes classic rock, new wave, progressive rock and just about everything else I grew up with out of the equation.  In my 885 Best Rock Songs list I picked The Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction” as number one and wrote that “I think any of 10 tunes by The Rolling Stones could be on this list.”  On this  list, there aren’t any great new Rolling Stones tunes in this century.  Nor are there any great new Pink Floyd, The Who or Hendrix tunes to be found.   Six of my ten songs are from artists who began recording in the 2000’s

Because it is greatest “songs,” I left out instrumentals, except for one, which, in an admittedly idiosyncratic move, I made number 1.  For some reason, several of the tracks are from 2008.  It’s not much like the lists of other XPN hosts, and will certainly be nothing like the list that comes from their 885 Greatest Songs of the New Millennium Poll with listeners, but it’s my list.  Follow the link to vote for your own.  Voting ends September 16. At the bottom, I’ve got a Spotify Playlist of John Diliberto’s Top Ten Songs of the New Millennium, So Far.

JOHN DILIBERTO’S GREATEST TEN SONGS OF THE NEW MILLENIUM

1 Ulrich Schnauss “Clear Day”
StrangleyWhat a great way to start this list, a wash of white noise obliterating all that came before, then slowly a syncopated 4/4 snare groove rolls in, droning synth chords, a chilling melody and one of those classic Ulrich Schnauss choruses that hooks you on a train ride to ecstasy.  This is one of several tracks from Schnauss’ 2003 CD A Strangely Isolated Place that I could’ve picked. (See Five Best Ulrich Schnauss CDs).  Somebody should write lyrics for this. It’s waiting to be a hit.

2 Moby – Wait for Me
Wait for MeIn my review of this Echoes CD of the Month in July 2009 I wrote: “The title track is another song that seems to contemplate eternity of a lost soul.  It’s sung by Kelli Scarr, who has a fragility that breaks over the waves of Moby’s ghost rhythms, minimalist piano figure and sonic scrims.  She sings “I’m gonna ask you to look away, I lost my hands and it hurts to pray” like a half-remembered nursery rhyme, a paean to lost youth, a contemplation of the end.

It’s a heartbreaking song from an album that makes heartbreak beautiful and noble. (See Five Best Moby CDS) The video doesn’t quite fit the song, so just listen, or just watch.

3 Black Angels, “Yellow Elevator #2”
This is a song I often hit repeat on with my iPhone.  In fact, I just did again. Quoting the “Twilight Zone” theme and Pink Floyd’s “Lucifer Sam,” with Question Mark & the Mysterian’s organ, The Black Angels paint a psychedelic landscape of oblivion this song from their album, Phosphene Dream.  I usually don’t like codas, but the coda for “Yellow Elevator #2” is the most poignant theme this band has recorded.  It was great this year to hear them return it to their live performances after excising it the previous couple of tours.  Excuse me while I kiss these guys. (Review of Album & performance: http://wp.me/pgATL-14j)

Western4 Loner – “Already Numb” Is heartbreak a theme of this list?  It doesn’t get more forlorn than Loner’s song of lost innocence sung in a beautiful alto over a spare, Satie-like piano theme backed by organ.  The line that gets me every time is

“Album covers, I don’t know how.  Could move me once, but cannot now.”

It’s from his album, Western Sci-Fi which is full of beautiful chamber pop.

UNQOTSA5 Olivier Libaux “Go With the Flow” After that heartbreak, I need some joy.  “Go with the Flow” is easily one the most jubilant tracks on Olivier Libaux’s album Uncovered Queens of the Stone Age the Echoes CD of the Month in July 2013. It’s a rollicking party played over a bouncing groove, with vocals provided by Iceland’s Emiliana Torrini.  The sound effects of a cheering audience are used as a musical element that amps-up the elation in QOTSA writer Josh Homme’s story about trying for love despite it all.

Lobotomy Ses6 Alu – “Circus Cosmos”
Alu paints a soundtrack from Mr. Dark’s Pandemonium Carnival (“Something Wicked This Way Comes”).  It’s a three-ring psychosis with calliope organ spinning a tale of delirious love.  Rather than go gothic in tone, Alu’s is euphoric.  It also has an unforgettable chorus:

You are the photograph that I’ve never seen
You are my phantom, the fountain of dreams.
I’ve been living in a mortuary, my whole life long.

There’s more imagery in that one chorus than most musicians conjure for an entire CD and it’s delivered by Alu’s keening soprano with such aching and despair that I know there’s more behind this tune than Alu let on. It’s one of several great tunes from her underrated album, Lobotomy Sessions.

7 Agnes Obel – Riverside
The Danish born singer recorded a heartbreaking song about the ebb, flow and emotional turmoil of life’s currents. Obel brings her lilting, slightly slurred soprano to bear on lyrics of memory and loss.  Singing over a spare cyclical piano riff, she deftly layers her voice into plaintive harmonies that will have you swimming in her bittersweet stream.  Her debut, Philharmonics,  was the Echoes CD of the Month in January of 2012.

Gnarls-Odd-Couple8 Gnarls Barkley “Going On”
This may be the most anomalous track on this list. Gnarls Barkley made some crazed R&B that was retro-soul in its melodies, sung by Cee Lo Green, and futuristic in its arrangements from Danger Mouse.  “Crazy” is their massive hit, but I always loved this hyper-kinetic leaving song from The Odd Couple album with Cee Lo’s manic rap-inflected melody, the stop time rhythm and the gothic freak-out at the end.

Dandys-Earth9 Dandy Warhols – “The Legend of the Last of the Outlaw Truckers A.K.A. the Ballad of Sheriff Shorty”
This is a hyped-up mix of Country-Jitterbug-New Orleans Voodoo psychedelia from Earth to Dandy Warhols. Courtney Taylor-Taylor rips it up in this hipster-jiving ode to speed and trucking, “jacked up on java and nicotine.”  I can’t get it out of my head. Check out this great video and it will be embedded in your head as well.

Beck-Modern10 Beck – “Chemtrails
Beck’s “Chemtrails” from his 2008 album Modern Guilt has one of those Pachelbel-style hooks that could go on forever. The song starts as a lament and turns in to an anthem of deep despair for humanity, while still somehow maintaining hope using chemtrail conspiracy theories as a metaphor.  I saw him do a great version of it with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra at the Bowl that year and it stayed in my head thereafter despite the assholes sitting behind me. Even the pointless coda doesn’t ruin it.

John Diliberto’s 10 Best Songs of the New Millennium Spotify Playlist

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Little_Things_CoverSign up for Echoes CD of the Month Club.   CD of the Month Club members will be getting Darshan Ambient’s Little Things 10 days before its released.  Follow the link to the Echoes CD of the Month Club and see what you’ve been missing.

Choose either a one time $1000 or on-going $84 Monthly PaymentSupport Echoes by becoming a member of the Echoes Sound Circle.

Think 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. 130528_Echoes

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


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