Aug 21, 2016

Sundaze 1634

Hello, the Brits had some goldmedal to defend from the last games, Mo Farrah succeeded won the 5k in a dominant way, that's his 2nd Olympic Double (5k and 10k) to take the lead in the Olympic record books. Together with Bolt this makes this Olympicevent historic. Brazil had their moment off ecstatic release when Neymar scored the fifth and deciding penalty against Germany who had put up stiff resistance in an one all draw inside a 90.000 packed Maracana and this with a real under 23 team, unlike Brazil who relied heavily on their 3 socalled dispensation players. Female highjump was won with 1.97 cm, that's one cm less then 2 heptathletes did last week, a very poor showing then, where 37 year old Ruth Beitia of Spain became the lucky winner. Russian ladies delivered, handbal gold, as well as amazing golden performances at synchronised swimming and artistic gymnastics.

About today's artist, thanks to a prolific work ethic that puts even Damon Albarn's extensive list of side projects to shame, self-taught producer, engineer, and multi-instrumentalist Steven Wilson has gradually become one of the U.K.'s most critically acclaimed cult artists. Born in Kingston Upon Thames in London in 1967, Wilson was inspired to pursue a career in music after devouring his parents' Pink Floyd and Donna Summer records, and by the age of 12 he had already started to experiment with different guitar and recording techniques.  ... N'Joy

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After stints in several groups including psychedelic duo Altamont, prog rockers Karma, and new wave band Pride of Passion, Wilson went on to form art pop outfit No Man with vocalist Tim Bowness in 1987 and his most famous creation, Porcupine Tree, in the same year, both of which he continued to alternate between, releasing 16 albums overall from 1991 until 2009. Despite these two long-term commitments, Wilson still found the time to pursue other projects, recording material under the guise of ambient electronica act Bass Communion, Krautrock revivalists Incredible Expanding Mindfuck, and Blackfield, a collaboration with Israeli rock star Aviv Geffen, during the '90s alone.

Insurgentes Showcasing his versatility, he also became an in-demand producer, working on records by the likes of Norwegian jazz vocalist Anja Garbarek, prog metallers Orphaned Land, and former Marillion frontman Fish; a music reviewer for Rolling Stone and Classic Rock magazine; and a guest vocalist on albums by Pendulum, Dream Theater, and Jordan Rudess. From 2003, Wilson also began toying with the idea of a solo career, releasing several two-track singles featuring an original composition and a cover version (of tracks originally recorded by Alanis Morissette, ABBA, and Prince), but it wasn't until 2008 that he released his first solo album, Insurgentes, whose recording sessions also became the subject of a documentary/road movie by Danish photographer Lasse Hoile.

Grace for Drowning His sophomore outing, Grace for Drowning, a double CD consisting of two albums titled Deform to Form a Star and Like Dust I Have Cleared from My Eye, followed in 2011, the same year he embarked on his first solo tour, was asked to remix the back catalog of King Crimson, and worked with Opeth lead singer Mikael Ã…kerfeldt on an album under the name of Storm Corrosion. Get All You Deserve, an audio/video package that documented the 2011 tour (with a crack band), appeared late in 2012.

The Raven That Refused to Sing and Other StoriesWilson then began writing in earnest for his new group (which included former Miles Davis keyboardist Adam Holzman and lead guitarist Guthrie Govan). The Raven That Refused to Sing and Other Stories is a conceptual work based on a series of linked short stories written by Wilson or co-authored with Hajo Mueller. Wilson was also able to coax Alan Parsons out of semi-retirement to co-produce and engineer this set, which was released in early 2013. In October of the same year, he released the audio/video concert set Drive Home. The package featured a new animated video of the title track as well as "The Raven That Refused to Sing," two new songs, and a concert from Frankfurt during the previous tour.
Cover Version In the summer of 2014, Wilson released Cover Version, an album compiled from six singles recorded between 2003-2010 and originally issued individually on his Headphone Dust label. Each featured a pop cover on the A-side and an original on the flip; all songs were performed completely solo. In late 2014, Wilson began discussing and previewing Hand. Cannot. Erase., a concept album directly and metaphorically inspired by the real-life story of Joyce Vincent, a London woman who passed away and whose body lay undiscovered for two years surrounded by undelivered Christmas presents, despite the fact that she had many friends and acquaintances. It was issued in March of 2015. Later in the year, a double vinyl compilation of songs featuring Wilson's more accessible pop/rock material was released as Transience.

Wilson took his all-star band -- Holzman, Govan, Nick Beggs, Dave Kilminster, Craig Blundell, Marco Minnemann, Chad Wackerman, and Theo Travis on a sold-out European tour. After a short break, he and the band revisited the Handsessions, finishing four songs that had their origins there, and one from his previous album The Raven That Refused to Sing. He also re-recorded "Don't Hate Me," previously cut by Porcupine Tree in 1998. He titled the 37-minute-long album 4½, as it formed an interim release between Hand and an as yet unnamed forthcoming studio project. It was released in January of 2016 during the band's European and American tours.

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After starting with the barely there snippet "Shopping," consisting of vinyl crackle and near-inaudible soft tones, the first Bass Communion album gets down to business with Theo Travis' guest sax work on "Drugged," number one of two songs by that name on the release. The album's other temporary visitor is Robert Fripp, sampled and otherwise distorted and looped by Steven Wilson for the other "Drugged" -- otherwise, it's Wilson all the way, creating his own version of ambient music. While comparisons to the works of Eno and others are perhaps inevitable, Wilson doesn't sound like he's trying to ape anybody in particular, but merely pursuing one branch of his own varied musical ends. There's a hint of his dreamier Porcupine Tree work, but by and large Bass Communion stands well on its own. Wilson's got a good ear for introducing something new at just about the right time -- thus the ringing guitar chord that suddenly appears clearly in the first "Drugged," even as the sax and overall sonic textures sweetly bliss away. "Sleep Etc.," besides having a brilliant title, succeeds due to its combination of tropes -- individually, the bells, low crumbling rhythm (water?), and repetitive, building background drone could work as well, but together they up the ante, filling the scope of the track without cluttering it. Hints of Wilson's later work with (and inspiration by) Muslimgauze crop up most on "Orphan Coal"; besides having the most overt use of dub via abbreviated basslines and echoed vocal sounds, there's a buried, clattering rhythm reminiscent of Bryn Jones' more alien-sounding compositions. As for the Fripp-assisted "Drugged" itself, running for nearly a half-hour, it's most successful, revolving around a series of central repeated melodies and calling to mind a slightly more freeform version of Labradford's epic hush. Wherever and however the Fripp sample is used, it's used very well indeed.

Bass Communion - Bass Communion I  (flac  290mb)

01 Shopping 1:24
02 Drugged 13:32
03 Sleep Etc. 13:28
04 Orphan Coal 10:04
05 Drugged 24:55

Bass Communion - Bass Communion I   (ogg  136mb)

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Nothing really changes in the Bass Communion world for the second release under the same self-titled moniker, but the end results are still well worth it. The focus is again on stripped-down textures and careful, intriguing arrangements, though often spiked with a dark, rougher edge that suggests tension and deep undercurrents as much as meditative relaxation. In actuality almost 11 minutes long, "16 Second Swarm" demonstrates this balance effectively, with its soft central two-note melody surrounded and partially buried by fuzzy crackle, then slowly developed over the course of the track in a majestic sweep of electronic orchestration. Continuing the title series if not always the exact sound from the first album, "Drugged III" starts with a combination of synth background and plucked strings that calls to mind David Bowie and Brian Eno's "Moss Garden" from the former's album Heroes. The addition of shimmering electric guitar and low church-style organ lends the song even more intriguing beauty. There's one guest appearance as well, with the return of Theo Travis on flute and saxophone for "Wide Open Killing Field," on which he contributes minimal and mysterious notes and calls over a wash of seashore wave samples and whistling wind. As for the other songs, "Grammatic Oil" relies on a steady, snaky bass pulse and low, looming sonic murmurs to set a more than slightly disturbing atmosphere, while "Dwarf Artillery" blends teletype-reminiscent percussion with recurring bleeps and chimes. Copies also come with an extra EP that includes "A Grapefruit in the World of Park," a full collaboration with first album guest Robert Fripp, and "Snakebird," a remix of original material by the Square Root of Sub, which is not too dissimilar from Bass Communion straight up. The cover illustration, a curious abstract photograph by graphic designer Carl Glover, is worth noting as well.

Bass Communion - Bass Communion II  (flac  301mb)

Bass Communion II
01 Advert 0:58
02 16 Second Swarm 10:56
03 Grammatic Oil 10:11
04 Drugged III 17:00
05 Dwarf Artillery 7:14
06 Wide Open Killingfeld 13:01
07 A Grapefruit In The World Of Park 12:02

Bass Communion - Bass Communion II    (ogg  142mb)

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Here Wilson as Bass Communion offers a sideways peek into his work, as this album is a collection of various tracks recorded between 1995 and 1999. Unlike the apparently more thematic "official" albums, these pieces are assembled in no apparent order but still hold together as a collection. Every so often, songs suggest alternate versions or approaches to previously released material -- the plucked strings on "43553E99.01" instantly recall "Drugged III" and its use of the same, though the combination here is with heavily echoed piano. One interesting diversion comes in the form of "Three Pieces for Television," which all stay under the three-minute mark while functioning as distinct, separate compositions. As a taster for Wilson's overall aesthetic goals in Bass Communion, all succeed surprisingly well. "Grammatic Fog" doesn't quite replicate "Grammatic Oil," but it possesses a near equal amount of sheer chills and unsettling mood. Otherwise, it are the expected lengthier tunes which dominate, beginning with the very Main-reminiscent "Amphead," a rumbling shimmer and scream of feedback treated to sound like a cold chill of creeping fog. "Slut 2.1," besides having a curious title, stands out due to the use of a prominent, clear drum loop throughout, combining dub echo and depth with slow hip-hop grooves, not to mention audible snippets of sampled conversation from who knows what source. Likely Wilson held it off the other releases due to that distinct difference from pretty much all the other Bass Communion tracks. Calmer but still noticeable rhythms crop up on "Sickness," with a weird, calm jazz overtone thanks to the keyboards floating amidst the laser blips and thoroughly worked-out feedback. Regular Bass Communion collaborator Theo Travis again makes an appearance, this time on the final cut, the serene "Reformat Spiders."

Bass Communion - Bass Communion III  (flac  273mb)

01 Amphead (1997) 13:17
02 Three Pieces For Television (1999): A - Sonar 2:15
03 Three Pieces For Television (1999): B - Lina Romay 2:43
04 Three Pieces For Television (1999): C - Grammatic Fog 2:09
05 Slut 2.1 (1995) 10:02
06 43553E99.01 (1999) 14:10
07 Sickness (1996) 11:12
08 Reformat Spiders (1998) 9:39

Bass Communion - Bass Communion III    (ogg  126mb)

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Continuum is a collaborative ambient and drone music project between Bass Communion (Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree) and Dirk Serries (of Vidna Obmana and Fear Falls Burning). The project looks to expand on the artists' "collective ambition and vision, motivated by their immense passion for a wide-range of musical styles, ranging from spacious ambience to pounding doom metal."

If you thought ambient music was boring, wait till you try microscopic ambient music -- it's just like ambient only more minimal! On the other hand, if you have a taste for the subtle, the dark, and the textural, and if you don't need melodies, beats, or chord progressions to hold your attention, then you may well find yourself captivated by the latest project of Steven Wilson, who records under the names Bass Communion, Porcupine Tree, and Blackfield. For the first volume in what is planned to be a long series of recordings, all apparently titled Continuum, Wilson has teamed up with Vidna Obmana to create three 20-minute-long excursions into barely there ambience, most of it morose and deeply minimalistic. "Construct 1" is little more than a keyboard drone that changes pitch every once in a while; "Construct 2" is much more complex and multilayered, but also airy and just a bit spooky -- tone clusters and faraway echoes of twanging bass strings float around wispily before evaporating in front of your face. "Construct 3" is somewhere between the two, an almost subliminally quiet mutter that slowly grows into a dark dreamscape punctuated with the sounds of robotic crickets. The packaging is meant to be an integral part of the artistic experience: the disc comes in an oversized digipack with three postcard-like inserts, all of them illustrated by photographer and painter Lasse Hoile. Like David Thomas says: if you like this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing you'll like.

Continuum - Continuum 1  (flac  224mb)

01 Construct I 19:54
02 Construct II 21:30
03 Construct III 19:45

Continuum - Continuum 1    (ogg 127mb)

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Anonymous said...

Hi Rho X

Thank you for uploading the brilliant "Bass Communion"
his stuff is so rare.

Unfortunately, Bass Communion II (download) appears to be infected
with a Virus/Malware according to my antivirus software.

Hopefully it is a "False Positive" thought I would mention it.

Kindest regards


Rho said...

Hello Rogmur, Nothing wrong with Bass Communion II, I wonder which virus software you use.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rho

Yes, I think it was the antivirus software, I disabled part of it, all went well, (False Positive).

Thanks again for uploading the excellent Bass Communion.

Kidest regards

Rogmur : )

Peter Tron said...

great job with the bass communion, rho!

Anonymous said...

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm :)

anything with 'comparisons to eno' is a yes here!