Archive for the ‘Polmo Polpo’ Category


silentlandThis is a great compilation of Constellation artists from 2004 and earlier.  What makes it so good is that 13 of the 14 songs are released here for the first time.  So it works not only as a sampler of the labels artists, it also works as a great rarities collection.

ELIZABETH ANKA VAJAGIC-“The Sky Lay Still” [stripped down version of album song].  This song starts with slow echoing guitars and Elizabeth’s voice which sounds a bit like Carla Bozulich (but cleaner).  Two minutes in, it shifts tones to an awesomely catchy section with great vocals.

DO MAKE SAY THINK-“Winter Hymn Winter Hymn Winter Hymn”   This is the entire Winter Hymn … album remixed into a 5 minute track.  I’ve often complained that I dislike remixes but this one is great.  It includes some big guitar chords, some quiet drums, some notes and maybe gives you a feel of the album, but maybe not.  The end of the track plays some very fast heavy chords and then gets sped up out of existence.

EXHAUST-“Wool Fever Dub” [from their self-released cassette]  This song has a big thumping beat and some cool echoed harmonics on the guitar. This basic song structure runs through a 3 minute instrumental with a different “chorus” and some intense drumming at the end.

HANGEDUP-“(Re)View From The Ground (remix)”  This is a very catchy, fun remix.  Noisy clattering drums and all kinds of feedback squalls keep this propulsive track moving—this is my kind of dance remix.

BLACK OX ORKESTAR-“Toyte Goyes In Shineln”  This track comes from their album Ver Tanzt? And is one of my favorite of their songs from this disc.  An Acoustic guitar and bass play a simple melody over what I assume is quiet Hebrew singing.

SACKVILLE-“This Machine”  This is an unreleased track from the band.  It is a simple downbeat folk song with a really catchy chorus.  I like Sackville a lot but haven’t mentioned their full length yet–coming soon.

SILVER MT. ZION-“Iron Bridge To Thunder Bay” This is an unreleased track from the Rusted Satellites session, it begins with squealing feedback that slowly changes pitch until the thudding drums and bass come in.  They play a rumbling rhythm underneath the otherwise noisy sounds.  After 6 minutes, the song ends in squalls of feedback until the last minute just echoes until the end.

SOFA-“String Of Lights” [from the self released cassette].  I really like Sofa and wish they’d released more music.  This song actually sounds a bit like the Black Ox Orkestar song above-a- slow broody acoustic piece, but I love the way the chorus brightens the song.

POLMO POLPO-“Dreaming (…Again)”  This track is described as “constructed of materials from the Like Hearts Swelling sessions”  It’s a pretty, upbeat song with some slide guitars and a groovy rhythm.

RE: “Slippage” [unreleased track from the Mnant sessions]  This song has clanging percussion and oscillating keyboards which make this soundscape interesting and compelling.

FLY PAN AM-“Tres Tres ‘Avant'” is an improvisation with Tim Hecker and Christof Migone.  There’s a funky bass and drums with some groovy keyboards.

1-SPEED BIKE-“Fair Warning” [ remix of “New Blue Monday” from their album].  The track starts with a person saying “Okay we’ll call this one Fair Warning.”  You can hear the music (primarily the guitar echoed) and the riff from New Order’s “Blue Monday” and then he starts reciting passages in a great Canadian accent: “heroin crop in Afghanistan is 3 times higher this year than last year because the Taliban got taken out and replaced with the Americans.”  “We don’t want funerals because people like to party too much, Capice?”  The second half of the song is a lot of swirling statics and noise with repeated notes.

FRANKIE SPARO-“See My Film” [working mix of an unreleased song].  This song has a sprinkling of guitar notes and Sparo’s mellow but rough voice singing a cool melody.  The addition of a violin melody really elevates the song.  The end is even better as he adds another vocal line and some da das making it even catchier.

GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR-“Outro” This is a live performance of a concert finale recorded in France on 14 May 2003.  This slow song opens with glockenspiel and strings–a slow, pretty melody that evolves over 7 minutes to add a bigger string section.  The last 2 minutes include a very nice violin solo that plays over the top of the rest of the band.  GYBE has never officially released a live album, so this is a good opportunity to hear what they can do live.

[READ: August 20, 2016] Land

This is a book about Anthony Gormley’s five statues on Landmark Trust Property.

The five statues in this book are life-sized cast iron sculptures installed in five Landmark Trust sites across the British Isles from May 2015 to May 2016.  Saddell Bay, Mull of Kintyre; South West Point, Lundy; Clavell Tower, Kimmeridge Bay; Martello Tower, Aldeburgh, and Lengthsman’s Cottage, Lowsonford.

The sculptures are by Antony Gormley, the photos of the sculptures are by Clare Richardson and the text is by Jeanette Winterson.  Winterson is the only person I’d heard of in this book but as soon as I flipped through the pages, I was instantly struck by the sculptures.

Gormley works with the human form in very heavy sculptural designs.  There’s another book about his work called Human that shows even more of his sculptures. (more…)

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walrus maySOUNDTRACK: POLMO POLPO-Like Hearts Swelling [CST026] (2003).

polmo“Swelling” is the operative word for this disc from Sandro Perri (who is the only person in the band).  Perri layers waves of music.
The album is comprised of drones and loops and is largely ambient in nature.   There’s five songs in 46 minutes. Opening track “Romeo Heart” builds from silence to super loud punk noise.   The 11 minute “Requiem For A Fox” introduces a kind of  underwater heartbeat pulse and detuned sounds.  By around 7 minutes the drums kick in bringing the song to a faster beat until it concludes with an acoustic guitar section and a wild slide solo at song’s end.  “Farewell” builds slowly over 5 minutes with interesting drums sounds.

At 13 minutes, “Sky Histoire” adds a tambourine, which brings in an interesting (albeit minor) percussive element that the other songs didn’t have. By the end, the song is totally intense.  It even has bells and chimes.  The final track, “Like Hearts Swelling” feels like real instruments rather than samples and keyboards.  It features Genevieve Heistek from Hangedup looping and weaving her viola.

Regardless of how great this album is (which it is), if you don;t like ambient music this is not for you.  But if you can get absorbed in the sound, it is a great collection of songs.

[READ: May 1, 2014] “Juno Pluvia”

As this story opens, the narrator, whose name is Hero, is protesting about her cousin Nile.  She tells us to forget about him because a dead body has recently washed up on the beach and that is what we should be worried about.  The man (clad in speedos and nothing else) has been dead for five years–the cold water of Lake Michigan preserved him.  And it was Nile who found him.

When she questions Nile about what he was doing when he found him, Nile says he was fishin’, which she doesn’t believe for a second.  And then she allows us to consider Nile after all: “grease incarnate…did he ever wash?”  And all the while, her mother warned her about him…to never ever get into his van.

Hero relates sadly that she was never invited.  He was never to be her first, she was never to be one of his girlfriends, who were all cross-eyed and bucktoothed anyway.

And thus, the remainder of the story focuses on what she told us to ignore–her cousin Nile. (more…)

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ny112SOUNDTRACK: SANDRO PERRI-Plays Polmo Polpo [CST042] (2006).

polmoThis EP has Sandro Perri, mastermind behind Polmo Polpo, playing previously released songs by Polmo Polpo.  Why? You may ask.  To rework them entirely, of course.  The original pieces were electronic and very textured, creatively designed that you almost forget there are songs underneath. And so Perri has brought back the songs underneath the songs, creating an acoustic soundtrack that brings out the subtlety of the originals.

And yet, that’s not exactly correct either.  Because three of these tracks appear on the Polmo Polvo release Like Hearts Swelling, in much longer versions.  In fact, “Sky Histiorie” drops from 13 to 4 minutes.  Indeed, aside from lyrics, the songs are almost unrecognizable except as kernels of ideas from the original.

This is a delicate EP, acoustic and either solo or with suitable accompaniment.  It’s not going to blow your mind, but it might get you hooked.

[READ: March 5, 2009] “Pumpkin Head”

As Hadley is waiting in her house, a pick-up truck pulls into her driveway.  She vaguely recalls asking Anton Kruppev to stop by.  And yet she is full of trepidation while the truck sits in her driveway.  As the driver gets out of the car she sees that it is in fact a large pumpkin-headed man.  The pumpkin head becomes more sinister as it gets nearer and nearer, unspeaking.  Although surely it must be Anton, for that is his truck.  Lest  you think that JCO has gotten all surreal, the pumpkin head is actually a jack -o-lantern carved out by Anton and worn on his shoulders.

Despite her obvious nervousness, Anton laughs off the joke and presents her with the very large jack-o-lantern as his gift to her. Hadley ‘s thoughts wander as Anton offers to do some work around her house.

Hadley is recently widowed and while she’s not terribly attracted to Anton, his rugged good looks and physical strength let her ponder some possibilities.   After inviting him in for a drink, she immediately regrets it.

Anton wanders around her house scrutinizing all of her things, her prizes, her memories of her husband.  And, as he drinks more, he grows more belligerent.  Belligerent about the head of his laboratory who has stolen Anton’s work (and gotten him fired in the process) and against America itself (a supposedly tolerant nation).

JCO pervades the story with tension.  Every move that Anton makes, from his initial awkwardness to his eventual drunkenness is fraught with meaning.  And yet the whole time, you get the feeling that Hadley’s just being foolish in her fear. You want her to lighten up. She knows this guys, he’s harmless, almost childlike.  But even though she doesn’t let up her guard, her worst fear comes true.

It’s available here.

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