Seabuckthorn: Metallic Raindrops Falling

I’m thinking of the first word that pops in my head when I listen to Seabuckthorn’s new album ‘They Haunted Most Thickly‘, and the same word comes again and again – metal.

For an acoustic album that features a 12 string acoustic guitar and a resonator, it might be a strange word to be associated with.
It might be the open strings buzzing around with their low-end frequencies, and it might be your first encounter with the album’s vibe – its front cover. Grey waters, grey clouds, all metallic.

They Haunted Most Thickly is a beautiful album, it doesn’t sound like an instrumental guitar album, it sounds more like an album that has been created by lonely sailor on a boat, crossing the raging waters on its way to wherever. The sailor feels the boat rocking, the fear from the big sky, the little drops of water everywhere, but mainly the absolute meaningless human being facing nature.
Seabuckthorn - They Haunted Most Thickly
In a sense, it’s an ambient album, melodies are less catchy or important than the sound Seabuckthorn created. I like Greg Malcolm’s music very much, and Seabuckthorn’s album really reminded me of Malcolm’s works. Dark yet hopeful, strange yet welcoming, sounds as if it came from a distance but actually played by the guy next door.

A beautiful album that sets a relaxing, though sometimes a bit disturbed mood. I’m sure you have moments like these during the week, let this album be the soundtrack for these moments.

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Embedding The Unseen Scenes

Now this is a record I’ve been waiting to hear for some time now –  the new, second album by Greek pianist Tania Giannouli.

I first stumbled upon her music in a video art exhibition in Tel Aviv, where it was used in one of the works presented. Her style had immediatley caught my ear.
It was mysterious, cinematic, alive. It was brilliant.

Tania Giannouli - Transcrnde

The new album Transcendence (out on Rattle Records from NZ) is exciting, inspiring and one of the most beautiful records I’ve heard this year. Hey, it’s an album that inspired me enough to write about it after a long period of time that I hadn’t written here, right?

Obsession. That was the tune that first caught my ear. Tania is writing music for films, features and documentaries, dance and as I mentioned – art project. The reason I like her music so much is because I can see the scene, the actual visual scene behind the music, that in this case wasn’t written for picture.
When I heard Obsession, it sound as the main theme of a lost Almadovar film. Something between The Skin I Live In to Talk To Her. Strange, a bit disturbing, made me shrink a bit, but very beautiful.
Tania Giannouli - Transcendence

When I heard the full album, I realized there’s more to it then just the cinematic scenes embedded in the music. It was that refreshing new take on modern jazz , classical, and a correct dose of experimental minimalistic mood expression by the ensemble players.
The album is rich with sounds and colors and hides surprising moments throughout, and the arrangments are beautiful.

Everytime I hear this album it reminds me, in a most positive way, of Eberhard Weber‘s masterpiece Later That Evening. Music that gently sits on a cloud, hovering above. Not touching the earth and thus, keeping itself clean. It also brought to my mind some of the late Bernardo Sassetti works, especially his brilliant Unreal:Sidewalk Cartoon.
To me, it sounds like a lost ECM album, but by browsing around Rattle Records’ catalog, it seemed that she’s in good hands.

You can buy the album (mp3/cd) at Rattle’s website  and listen to it online below

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Alan Courtis / Aaron Moore: Bring Us Some Honest Food

The automatic mechanism in me is trying logically to analyze the music that I listen to.
Maybe it’s a relic of the time where I used to work as record store Jack Black kind of guy and all music was first categorized, analyzed, indexed, and only then – listened to with attention, if at all. It wasn’t a very musical time in my life.


So in order not to hurt the attention, I’m trying to keep the left hemisphere of the brain out and embrace signals coming from the right. And from listening for the last month or so to the new Alan Courtis / Aaron Moore album Bring Us Some Honest Food (Dancing Wayang Records) – the right hemisphere says – party on man.

And it’s an album of complexity, pushing and pulling. The music starts and stops as if it was touching an open wound of a great friend, aiming to heal but end up hurting. It’s melancholic and functions as a defective lung, works only upon certain energies that come from the brain.

The music belongs to one of the greatest invention of modern music writing – the ‘post-everything’ title. I wouldn’t be able to hum one tune, because the music is not lyrical, it doesn’t speak in musical phrases, it speaks in changing consciousness states, and in sounds who hope to capture what was there in the room at one moment in time. It’s random, it’s a living organism.

The album is now out and here’s a little taste of it.


Courtis Moore

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