January 23, 2017

Tamara Woestenburg: The Colony

Barqoue pop made a comeback in The Netherlands when Jacco Gardner released his debut album Cabinet of Curiosities in 2013. Singer Tamara Woestenburg's 2010 EP was labeled as a jazz record when it came out,but in hindsight all the elements for her next move were already in place. Her full-length The Colony, produced by Kramer (Low, Sufjan Stevens), finds her exploring kaleidoscopic psychedelic pop in Pink-Eyed Soul, with double-tracked vocals and old school organ, Laurel Canyon folk in Take Me, triphop while riding on the NYC Subway and taking a swipe at the end of the American Dream in Declaration Of Dependence - it's doubtful that the Donald will give a fuck about a Dutch artist singing a protest song, but hey, at least she tried.

The Talking Head's cover Heaven ("a place where nothing ever happens") could well be taken as another warning sign. Woestenburg's music takes a bow at her predecessors, but she is all about here and now. She cares and like a troubadour of old she uses her music to tell tales that might seem old, but whose underlying themes honour the adage that history might repeat itself.

Jaki Liebezeit: 1938-2017

Drummer Jaki Liebezeit succumbed to pneumonia. The founding member of Krautrock pioneers Can invented the "Motorik beat", a distinctive style that made him a household new name in post-punk and post-rock circles. He started out as a free jazz player, before he became involved with the nascent German avant-garde underground in the late Sixties, a musical movement that spawned essential bands like Can, Neu! and Kraftwerk.

After Can disbanded, he collaborated with Depeche Mode, Brian Eno, and Jah Wobble. His work with Drums of Chaos should be part of the education of every serious percussionist.

January 22, 2017

moyamoya: Baracus

Post-rock noise experimentalists moyamoya are not a proflic bunch, but when they share something new they make sure it's something memorable. Their digital 45 Baracus is study of light and shade, kicking off with a bunch of static that gives way to forays into gentle guitar, industrial rock, with bass player Brennan Hamill providing a groundswell of low notes that come crashing from the speakers.

The Jacksonville, FL baaed trio that doesn't seems to care a lot about song structure, but they always find a groove that demands undivided attention. Keith William provided a remixed version, renamed Baaracus. He took the opening static from the original and sprinkled it all over the track, turned down the keyboards and the guitar.

Amanda Homi: "I’ll Drive the Car" video

Watch the new Amanda Homi video for I’ll Drive the Car, the lead single from her forthcoming new album. Th song is dedicated to empowering women worldwide. As per usual the NYC singer mixed various genres and ended up with a spicy slice of world music at its finest. Videography and makeup by Anana Kaye.

» amandahomi.com

HCTF review of Till I Reach Bombay.

January 21, 2017

A Cunning Man: Practical Applications Of Theurgy

How many Scots do you need to make a progressive black metal EP? Just one. Singer and multi-instrumentalist Ged Cartwright is A Cunning Man unleashes his love for the occult and Gothic math rock mayhem on his Practical Applications Of Theurgy EP. He cuts to the chase, spitting out his lyrics in the proud accent that will scare the shit out of the folks living south of Hadrian's Wall.

He is a sonic sculptor, creating towering walls of sound, with subtler noises hanging on for dear life. Only Gemma McCabe's additional vocals - plus her spoken word segment in Juratus & The Sulfur Psalm - offer a bit of relief. Cartwright's dark baritone is the dominant force throughout this 15 minutes of homemade horror. He goes for the gut and the throat, leaving the listener exhausted and intrigued. Demon, druid? Maybe both, but first of all he is a one-man army using his music as assault weapons.