Metropolis Metropolis

Jeff Mills composes new soundtrack album for Fritz Lang’s classic sci fi masterpiece Metropolis.

Metropolis Metropolis three vinyl set is an abbreviated version of the most recent Electronic Music soundtrack for Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927) by the Techno music producer and cultural icon Jeff Mills. Unlike his first soundtrack where tracks addressed specific segments of the film in a track listing form, which was created and released in 2001, this version is more a symbiotic mix of compositions that proposes a nuanced representation of the plot and storyline.

As an electronic symphonic music creation, Mills proposes a few interesting points in the schematics of this album. 1- the positioning and role of the listener as the soundtrack is based on the environment of the scenes, rather than pure transcription, 2 – as a storyline that takes place in the year 2000, the choice of sound elements refer to some future commonality and foresight between the genres of Classical and Electronic music – between man and machine.

And 3, in many parts of the soundtrack where sounds are played in unison. This is symbolic of the hopefulness the storyline works towards.

Creating music for Fritz Lang’s masterpiece film “Metropolis” over the many years has been and continues to be a great experience. The film is a story about “man vs man” with the help of a machine. It’s dramatic theme is as relevant now as it was when the filmed debuted in 1927. A film to enjoyed, but also noted and examined.” – Jeff Mills

TRACK LISTING

A. Jeff Mills – The Masters Of Work And Play
B. Jeff Mills – Metropolis Metropolis
C. Jeff Mills – Maria And The Impossible Dream
D. Jeff Mills – Transformation The Aftershock And Evil
E. Jeff Mills – Yoshiwara And The Players Of Chance
F. Jeff Mills – Liaisons And Complicated Affairs

Axis Records will release Metropolis Metropolis on March 3, 2023.

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Hilaire first solo album in more than a decade

For the first time in more than a decade, Paul St. Hilaire (AKA Tikiman) presents a solo album – 100% Tiki.

Over his 30-plus year career, St. Hilaire has become one of dance music’s quietly legendary figures. Born and raised in Dominica, he moved to Berlin in 1994 and has lent both his voice and his musicianship to some of the most iconic electronic music from the German capital – and beyond. Renowned for his collaborations with Moritz von Oswald and Mark Ernestus (AKA Rhythm & Sound), he has also appeared on records with Deadbeat, Rhauder, Larry Heard aka Mr. Fingers and Stereotyp (G-Stone Recordings), amongst others.

However, few know the extent of St. Hilaire’s compositional and technical mastery. From his home studio in Kreuzberg, which includes an extensive collection of vintage hardware, self-built instruments and notebooks scribbled with endless lyrics, he has created a vast archive of material spanning ambient dub, avant-jazz, lush techno and lovers rock.

Preview the album here

Tikiman Vol. 1 is a heady, downtempo tour de force of patois metaphors on education, displacement and personal vs. global histories, as is evident on slippy album opener Bedroom in My Bag: Mister, mister / Where are you going? / I’m heading for a faraway land / What are you having in the bag in your hand? / Help us to understand / He said, I’ve got my bedroom in my bag.

Overall, the album’s lyrics reflect on life between Berlin and Dominica, specifically St. Hilaire’s hometown of Grand Bay, where he has worked with various musicians famous for the island’s different genres of carnival music. St. Hilaire himself always favoured the island’s more “discrete” music, developing a sonic synergy between two different geographical strains of groove and minimalism, and combining them with foundational Caribbean mixing techniques, which provide the basis for his songwriting and distinct
baritone.

Tikiman Vol.1 offers a rare insight into St. Hilaire’s complex artistry, from the eyes-down grooves of Little Way and the guitar-heavy digi dancehall experiment Keep Safe, to the subtle hypnosis of Ten to One and the softly crashing synth waves of closer Three And A Half, evoking not only beaches but also coasts and borders. It’s a fitting expression of both the breadth of St. Hilaire’s work, as well as his history as one of the few black, Berlin-based artists who, despite remaining largely overlooked, has influenced the city’s electronic music culture since its beginnings.

TRACKLIST:

A1 Bedroom In My Bag
A2 Little Way
A3 Keep Safe
B1 Bright One
B2 The Weather Man
C1 In Fortis
C2 Ten To One
D1 In Door
D2 Three And A Half

Kynant will release Tikiman Vol. 1 on March 31st, 2023.

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Jeff Mills soundtracks Dior runway show

The Dior Men’s Fall-Winter 2023 show was held at the historic site of Giza.

At a customized science fiction influenced film set beneath the three Great Pyramids of Giza, Dior’s Top Men’s Designer Kim Jones enlist the other worldly sounds of Mills to sonically represent his new collection entitled Celestial with an intentionally symbolic selection of tracks that are considered vital classics to its genre of Electronic Music.

Jones, being well educated in Techno Music Academia understood the meaning of these tracks as he carefully applied the sound to an amazing display of 75 Star Wars-esque costume influenced looks. With the Ancient Egyptian Pyramids towering above the audience in the moody night sky, it was the future of unfolding before our very eyes.

Tracks include

The Art Of Stalking – Suburban Knight
Daphnis (Keeler’s Gap) – X-102 (Jeff Mills)*
Microbe – Jeff Mills*
A Tale From The Parallel Universe – Jeff Mills
Gamma Player – Jeff Mills*
Resolution – Jeff Mills
Step To Enchantment (Stringent Mix) – Jeff Mills
The New Arrivals – Jeff Mills*

*available on Sequence: A Retrospective Of Axis Records

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Natural Mystic

Throughout her life Brazilian singer-songwriter Joyce fought against blacklists and being sidelined from here own projects to represent her true self in her songs. Lost 1977 Joyce album with Mauricio Maestro and legendary producer Claus Ogerman released for the first time.

Not long after the dawn of her career, as a teenager in Rio de Janeiro, Joyce was declared “one of the greatest singers” by Antonio Carlos Jobim. Yet despite reputable accolades and the fact that she has since recorded over thirty acclaimed albums, Joyce never quite achieved the international recognition of the likes of Jobim, João Gilberto and Sergio Mendes, all of whom became global stars after releasing with major labels in the US.

There was a moment when it seemed Joyce might be on the cusp of an international breakthrough. While living in New York, she was approached by the great German producer Claus Ogerman. Ogerman had already played a pivotal role in the development and popularisation of Brazilian music in the 1960s, recording with some of the all-time greats like Jobim and João Gilberto, as well as North American idols like Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday and Bill Evans.

“I met him in New York City, in 1977”, recalls Joyce. “I was living and playing there, and João Palma, Brazilian drummer who used to play with Jobim, introduced me to Claus. We had an audition, he liked what we were doing and decided to produce an album with us.”

Featuring fellow Brazilian musicians Mauricio Maestro (who wrote/co-wrote four of the songs), Nana Vasconcelos and Tutty Moreno, and some of the most in-demand stateside players including Michael Brecker, Joe Farrell and Buster Williams, the recordings for Natureza took place at Columbia Studios and Ogerman produced the album, provided the arrangements and conducted the orchestra.

But mysteriously, Natureza was never released, and what should have been Joyce’s big moment never happened. As Joyce remembers, “I returned home, but Claus and I remained in contact, by letters and phone calls. He was very enthusiastic about the album and tried to hook me up with Michael Franks. He wanted me to go back to NYC in order to re-record the vocals in English with new lyrics, which I actually wasn’t too happy about. But then I got pregnant with my third child and could not leave Brazil. And little by little our contact became rare, until I lost track of him completely. And that was it. I never heard from him again.”

While Claus was known to be something of an elusive character, the album’s disappearance might also have been a result of timing. The Brazilian craze was coming to an end, making way for disco and new wave at the end of the seventies, and Ogerman struggled to find a major label interested in a new Brazilian sensation. Additionally, as Joyce mentions, it wasn’t quite finished. Ogerman wanted to add finishing touches to the mix and to record alternative English lyrics for the US and international markets – a critical artistic difference between Joyce and Ogerman.

As the military dictatorship’s grip on Brazil began to subside in the 1980s, Joyce had a handful of hits in her home county, including a tribute to her daughters ‘Clareana’, and the iconic ‘Feminina’ – an intergenerational conversation between mother and daughter about what it means to be a woman. But already a feminist pioneer, these successes were hard fought. Joyce had caused controversy as a nineteen-year-old when she became the first in Brazil to sing from the first-person feminine perspective, and the institutional sexism she faced was worsened by the dictatorship who would often censor her music. Even once the Junta was out of the way, Joyce found herself up against the male-dominated major record companies in Brazil, who sought to dictate her career and sexualise her image, before dropping her for refusing to play along.

A few years after the success of her albums Feminina and Agua E Luz in Brazil, Joyce’s music began to find its way to the UK, Europe and Japan, and Feminina and Aldeia de Ogum became classics on the underground jazz-dance scenes of the mid to late-eighties and early-nineties.

The full-length version of Feminina from the Natureza sessions was first heard on a Brazilian Jazz compilation in 1999 and Descompassadamente was licensed for a CD compiling the work of Claus Ogerman in 2002. Following these, word began to get out about an unreleased Joyce album with Claus Ogerman and the legend of Natureza grew.

Forty-five years since it was recorded, Natureza finally sees the light of day, as Joyce intended: with her own Portuguese lyrics and vocals. Featuring the fabled 11-minute version of Feminina, as well as the never before heard Coração Sonhador composed and performed by Mauricio Maestro, Natureza’s release is a landmark in Brazilian music history and represents a triumphant, if overdue victory for Joyce as an outspoken female artist who has consistently refused to bow to patriarchal pressure.

TRACKLISTING

A1. Feminina
A2. Mistérios
A3. Coração Sonhador
B1. Moreno
B2. Descompassadamente
B3. Ciclo Da Vida
B4. Pega Leve

Far Out Recordings will release Natureza on December 2th, 2022.

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Brahja is soul searching their spirit on Watermelancholia

Devin Brahja Waldman is a New York saxophonist, drummer, synthesizer player and composer who leads the group BRAHJA. Waldman has accompanied his aunt, poet Anne Waldman, since the age of ten. Waldman is a co-founding member of Radical Reversal, Diva of Deva Loka, and Notable Deaths. He has performed with Patti Smith, William Parker, Nadah El Shazly, Malcolm Mooney, Thurston Moore, Godspeed! You Black Emperor, Charles Hayward, Luke Stewart and Yoshiko Chuma. Waldman is also a member of NYC’s Heroes Are Gang Leaders (led by poet Thomas Sayers Ellis and saxophonist James Brandon Lewis), of Sam Shalabi’s Land of Kush, and of the Norwegian hardcore group MoE. As a youngster, Waldman was taken under the wing of avant-garde giant Paul Bley. Along with Anne Waldman and cousin Ambrose Bye, Waldman is a co-producer for Fast Speaking Music – a NYC poetry and music label which has released recordings with Amiri Baraka, Meredith Monk, William Parker, Laurie Anderson, Eileen Myles, CAConrad, Fred Moten, Daniel Carter, Clark Coolidge, Thurston Moore, Joanne Kyger and many others.

Watermelancholia is about the law of Karma:
a law so obvious that it often goes unspecified and ignored.
Neglecting this law invites a world of chaos.
It’s been articulated in endless ways.
Some have called it Cosmic Law or Natural Law.
Others translate it as Do No Harm.
(liner notes excerpt)

The moment the first bass note of Luke Stewart kicks in on Watermelancholia, followed by the swelling drum roll of Malick Koly and the lush leading voice of Janice Lowe you feel Devin Brahja will take you on a deep mind blowing spiritual journey.

Channeling wild seventies Impulse vibes on O.P.K or, could we say, even resonating the guts of early Art Ensemble of Chicago and the tempering spirit of Max Roach’s We Insist era: BRAHJA is soul searching their spirit on Watermelancholia.

A poetic stream of conciousness, backboned by topnotch musicians, transcending the cosmic universe, trying to find answers and musically connecting.

Watermelancholia is a meditation on healing the inner schism between the sense of self – the ego – and the innerbeing. It is about bringing the ego tojustice; putting it on trial, as it were. (liner notes excerpt) 

TRACKLISTING

1. Brahja – Watermelancholia
2. Brahja – O.P.K
3. Brahja – Sorcery of Terminology
4. Brahja – Querencia
5. Brahja – Accessibility of Soul

Devin B Waldman: compositions, mixing and production, alto saxophone, Jupiter-4 keyboard on songs 1, 2, and 4, piano on 3, drums on 4
James Brandon Lewis: tenor saxophone on songs 1, 2, 4 and 5
Janice Lowe: voice and flute on songs 1, 2 and 3
Watson: bass clarinet on all
Heru Shabaka-Ra: trumpet on songs 1, 2 and 4
Damon Hankoff: piano on songs 1, 2, 3 and 4
Alexis Marcelo: piano on song 5
Luke Stewart: acoustic bass on songs 1, 2, 3 and 5
Malick Koly: drums on songs 1, 2, 3 and 5

Cortizona Records will release Watermelancholia on December 2nd, 2022.

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Sylvian appears on New Twinkle3 album

David Sylvian reads poetry, contributes field recordings and designed the artwork for the new album by Twinkle3.

On Upon This Fleeting Dream Clive Bell’s Twinkle3 embraces medieval and 16th century Japanese poems and haiku about death and saying farewell. Twinkle3, consisting of Dave Ross and Richard Scott besides Clive Bell, expand their sonic borders to unknown territory: bringing these pithy epigrams to a new Fourth World where electro-acoustic sounds glitches into an hypnagogic, if not unconscious level of fragile beauty.

The distinctive voice of David Sylvian, who reads the English version of the poems and created field recordings and the artwork for this album, blends in the most organic way with the shakuhachi, Thai reed flutes and mouth organs played by Clive Bell.

The narrative voices of David Sylvian and Kazuko Hohki’s (Frank Chickens, Kahondo Style…) velvet timbre are the cornerstones of this compelling journey while the tangling and abstract rhythms transcending from Dave Ross’ modular synths and Richard Scott’s sampler and analogue electronics, unravel and unfold a mesmerizing universe with unknown dimensions and frequencies of a fleeting dream.

Listen to the fragments below, Sylvian can be heard on ‘Throughout the Frosty Night’ and ‘Empty Handed’.

TRACKLIST:

A1. Twinkle3 feat. David Sylvian & Kazuko Hohki – Upon This Fleeting Dream
A2. Twinkle3 feat. David Sylvian & Kazuko Hohki – I Borrow Moonlight
A3. Twinkle3 feat. David Sylvian & Kazuko Hohki – Throughout The Frosty Night
A4. Twinkle3 feat. David Sylvian & Kazuko Hohki – My Coming, My Going
A5. Twinkle3 feat. David Sylvian & Kazuko Hohki – If I leave No Trace
B1. Twinkle3 feat. David Sylvian & Kazuko Hohki – The Cicada’s Song
B2. Twinkle3 feat. David Sylvian & Kazuko Hohki – Kaite Mitari
B3. Twinkle3 feat. David Sylvian & Kazuko Hohki – Cherry Blossoms Fall
B4. Twinkle3 feat. David Sylvian & Kazuko Hohki – A Poppy Blooms
B5. Twinkle3 feat. David Sylvian & Kazuko Hohki – Empty Handed

Cortizona will release Upon This Fleeting Dream on October 28, 2022

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