[207] Hear & Now - Aurora Baleare

Label: Claremont 56

Catalog#: C56LP 011
Format: Vinyl, 2LP, Album
Country: UK
Released: 2018

A1 Aurora Baleare

A2 Stella Dei Venti
B1 Salsedine
B2 Trasimeno
C1 Hirundo
C2 La Marsa
D1 Sabbia Magica
D2 Airone

Hear & Now’s story is one of friendship and a shared passion for music. It began with a chance meeting on the dancefloor at Red Zone in Perugia, one of Italy’s most legendary clubs of the 1990s. Nearly three decades on, these glassy-eyed clubbers have joined forces to deliver one of the most magical and sun-kissed albums that Claremont 56 has ever released. By the time Ricky L and Marcoradi first joined forces in the studio in 2016, both had become established producers within Italy’s vibrant deep house scene. Between them, they’d released records and remixes on such labels as Ibadan, Uomo, Reincarnation, Top Tracks, Restricted Tracks and Vega. Keen to step away from the dancefloor, they decided to simply create beautiful music for bleary-eyed after-hours sofa sessions, lazy summer afternoons and early mornings spent blinking at the rising sun. Aurora Baleare, their debut album, follows on from a fantastic double A-side 12” for Claremont 56 in February 2017. Those two tracks take pride of place amongst an eight-track selection simply brimming with evocative workouts, gentle soundscapes and noon-bright sonic bliss. While you’ll find luscious instrumental cuts designed to inspire baggy, glassy-eyed shuffling – see the mid-tempo, spine-tingling brilliance of “Salsedine”, mind-massaging “Hirundo” and dreamy slow-house treat “Sabbia Magica” – it’s the effortless brilliance of Marcoradi’s improvised guitar playing and the duo’s atmospheric approach that really catches the ear. Check, for example, the heady horizontal shuffle of “Trasimeno”, where poignant ambient chords, jazzy electric guitar solos and deep space electronics tumble down over shuffling beats and a squeezable synthesizer bassline, and the sun-down Adriatic wonder of “Stella Dei Venti”, a track so effortlessly loved-up and blissful that you might be overcome by emotion (it certainly had us daydreaming of days spent exploring the intense natural beauty of Italy’s Adriatic coast). Moments like this, where the duo’s dreamy electronics and smile-inducing melodies seemingly shimmer across the sound spectrum, can be found dotted throughout Aurora Baleare. There’s the darting digital synthesizer motifs, sparse hand percussion and ricocheting solos of “Airone”, the Italo-disco-inspired chugging positivity of “La Marsa” and the title track’s humid beachside breeze, where intertwined electronic and acoustic lead lines seemingly glimmer like rays of sunshine bouncing off the surface of a becalmed, crystal clear ocean. Their roots may be on the dancefloor, but Hear & Now are fast becoming down tempo masters. You can dance if you want to, but you may just want to hug a stranger instead.


[206] Sea Horses ‎- Listen

Label: Mandala Recordings
Catalog#: CD SH 777
Format: CD, Album
Country: UK
Released: 1991

1 Asking Heaven And Heart 4:51

2 Salute To The Sun 6:11
3 Exaltations 5:50
4 Angels Of Incidence 3:48
5 Pray 4:17
6 Satori 5:56
7 Kissing Flowers 5:34
8 For Our Emotions 3:56
9 Open Veins 1:13
10 In Sufferance 4:34
11 Confession 3:20

チベタンベル、モロッカンドラム、タブラ、シタールなどの民族楽器と淡いシンセサイザー・サウンドを織り交ぜ、哀調を帯びた幽玄なハーモニーを奏でるイギリスの男女混成フォーク・グループSea Horses(シー・ホーセズ)によるおそらく唯一のアルバム。中心メンバーは作詞・作曲担当のRichard Veal、シンセ担当のSimon Creaghan、ヴォーカル担当のJo & Liz Bromley、そして演奏面にも加わる本作のプロデューサーDave Goodman。Sex Pistolsの生みの親として知られるグッドマンがニューエイジ系グループに関わっているのは意外なことにも感じますが、80年代末にエスノ・アンビエント・プロジェクトNew Age Radioを始動後は、マルタ島メリッハで立ち上げたレーベル兼スタジオMandalaを拠点に、パートナーのKathy Manuell(元ソフトロック・グループDesignのメンバー)とともにヒーリング〜瞑想音楽に傾倒し、Healing Journeys、Internet Cafe Orchestra、Mandala Maltaといった複数の自主プロジェクトのほか、岡野弘幹やWooの作品を手掛け、グラストンベリー・フェスティバルで自家発電によるフィールドを発案したりと、心臓発作で亡くなるまでスピリチュアリティやエコロジーを掲げたインディペンデントな音楽活動に身を捧げていたようです。一見水と油のようにも見えるパンクとニューエイジ。Sex PistolsのマネージャーだったMalcolm McLarenも90年代初頭にニューエイジ・ハウスのEPをリリースしていたり、またはチルアウト・ミュージックを生んだKLFも精神的にはパンクであったり。イギリスにおける2つのカウンターカルチャーは思いのほかリンクしていたのかもしれません。

Sea Horses hail from Congleton/Macclesfield UK and released their first album in 1988 on the Mandala Label. Left to right they are Simon Creaghan, Richard Veal, Jo, ? and Liz.  They were extremely eclectic in a psychedelic folksy way.  A bit of a cross between Cocteau Twins and The Incredible String Band.  They went on to record two more albums and do a series of now legendary gigs before petering out, some say due to a difference in spiritual ideologies.  The band were produced by Dave Goodman who part financed the recording sessions along with Richard and Simon.  Shortly after they disbanded, a small miracle happened. John Squires of Stone Roses decided to call his new band 'The Seahorses'.  Richard immediately informed the music press. who gave the matter quite a bit of coverage, resulting in a lot of free publicity for both bands.  "TWO SEA HORSE TOWN" read one of the captions.  In the end after much dogged determination  from Dave and his secretary Emma Wallace Stephenson, Chris Squires brought the name for an undisclosed figure and there's 15,000 reasons why we can't tell you.  Richard, Simon and Dave each took a share to cover their losses and not long after Chris Squire's Seahorse died.



[205] Daniel Goyone - 2

Label: Label Bleu

Catalog#: LBL 6500
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: France
Released: 1986

A1 Trilogue 4:15

A2 Mer 4:33
A3 Jyogam À "M.H.S." 5:57
A4 Miniature 1 1:29
A5 Chant D'Oiseau 2:17
B1 Berimbau 5:33
B2 Octembre 2 "À Boris Vian" 6:51
B3 Danse Des Lamantins 5:33
B4 Danse 7 2:04

フランスの鍵盤奏者Daniel Goyone(ダニエル・ゴヨン)の2枚目となるリーダー作。自身の操るキーボード、シンセサイザー、ピアノのほか、ヨーロッパを代表するドラマーAndré Ceccarelli(アンドレ・チェカレリ)、Aktualaにも名を連ねる打楽器奏者Trilok Gurtu(トリロック・ガートゥ)、フレンチ・ジャズ界きってのアコーディオン奏者Richard Galliano(リシャール・ガリアーノ)、ベース奏者Marc Bertaux(マーク・ベルトー)、サクソフォン奏者Gilbert Dall'anese(ジルベール・ダラネーゼ)という名うての演奏家陣が参加。ガートゥのスキャットをフィーチャーしたA1、ガリアーノのミュゼット・アコーディオンが郷愁を誘うA2、再びガートゥの打楽器とハンドクラップが陽気なリズムを刻むA3、チェカレリの電子ドラムと煌びやかなキーボードが印象的なB1、ゴヨンのクラシカルなピアノのフレージングとアトモスフェリックなキーボードを主調としたアンビエント・ジャズA5, B3など。諸国を旅して回るように曲毎に編成・スタイルを変えながら、時にConrad SetóやEgberto Gismontiを思わせるエレクトロニクス使いと打楽器のオーガニックな響きが見事に調和したフュージョン・サウンドを全編にわたり展開しています。中でも、息を呑むほど優美で幻想的な雰囲気に包まれたB3「マナティーの踊り」はハイライトに挙げたい1曲。



[204] Ted Reichman - My Ears Are Bent

Label: Skirl Records
Catalog#: Skirl CD 002
Format: CD, Album
Country: US
Released: 2006

1 Every Man To His Own Taste 6:31

2 Peace Father 4:36
3 I Know Nothing About It 8:52
4 Nun 5:54
5 It Is Almost Sacred 3:09
6 Come To Jesus 7:24
7 My Ears Are Bent 8:21

Ted Reichman - piano, electronics, guitar, bass, percussion, pump organ 

Mary Halvorson - electric guitar 
John Hollenbeck - drums 

There is almost no accordion on My Ears Are Bent. Can you find the accordion? My Ears Are Bent is a New York record in the sense that it was partially inspired by musical traditions that I associate with New York for various, mostly non-literal, reasons: stride piano, the softer side of free jazz, downtown no-wave improvisation, dub, hip-hop. I originally named names: Nat Cole, Big Maceo, Paul Bley, DNA, Augustus Pablo. But that’s kind of gauche, right? It‘s also a New York record in the more literal sense that after a few years of somewhat nomadic existence, I was once again living in New York full-time and was re-encountering the people, places, literature, and history of the city. Marc Ribot once told me that living in the East Village was like “living in a personal mythology.” I agree. Which is one of the reasons why I left Manhattan and settled in Brooklyn, a place where one can patch together one’s own personal mythology, rather than one worn by previous generations of bohemia. That’s probably not really true on any level, but it felt nice to write it. Anyway, from the 1920’s until the 1960’s, a much better writer than me named Joseph Mitchell wrote many excellent newspaper and magazine articles on New York City and other related topics, some of which are collected in a book called “My Ears Are Bent.” It was originally published in 1938, and reissued in September 2001. Nobody I know seems to have read it, but it contains many nicely hewn observations of this city. I don’t think the music on this record has very much to do with the stories of Joseph Mitchell, except for the fact that he documented his experience of this teeming, lonely, moronic, brilliant, exalted, abject, youthful, ancient, cockeyed, sincere, sanctified, hell-bent city and in my own way, I attempted to do so as well. - Ted Reichman


[203] va The Returning Sun

Label: Zi-koo

Catalog#: LALP-1013
Format: Vinyl, 12", Compilation
Country: Japan
Released: 2000

A1 Calm - Midnight Sun 6:49

A2 Baku Tsunoda - I Want You 6:10
A3 Kama Aina - Mika Kaurismäki 3:49
B1 Mark De Clive-Lowe - Nites Like These 6:24
B2 Chari Chari - Stream 5:25
B3 Bayaka - Grass High 7:28

青森市に住んでいた頃、1年半ほど本町にあったサーフショップで働いていたことがありました。音楽好きの店長やお店に集まるお客さん達は人のよい方ばかりで、大学を中退して路頭に迷っていた一頃の自分にとって大事な心の拠り所になっていたように思います。当時レコードを買いはじめたこともあって、給料を手にしては青森のユーロヴィジョンや八戸のリミックスといったお店によくお世話になりました。とりわけリミックスは、サーフショップ宛てにファックスで頻繁に入荷リストを送ってくれて、店主と電話で話しながらブラジリアン・ハウスやフューチャー・ジャズのレコードを(レーベルもアーティスト名も分からずとも)レコメンドされるがまま購入していました。クラブ・ミュージック全般ほとんど知識のない自分でしたが、どのレコードもすごく面白く熱心に聴き込んだことを憶えています。本作「The Returning Sun」も、そんな時期にリミックスを通じて知った一枚。ロスアプソンの代表・山辺圭司氏ディレクションによる〈是空〉の発展型レーベル〈時空〉より、第一弾タイトルとしてリリースされたコンピレーション作品。〈是空〉からは前年「Nowhere Rain」という「雨」をテーマにしたアンビエントなコンピレーションがリリースされていましたが、こちらは全編「夜」がテーマとなっています。下の抜粋は、Rainstick Orchestra名義で現在まで活動し、ソロ名義ではCalm主宰のMusic ConceptionからEPをリリースしてきたバク・ツノダによる水ダウンテンポの名曲 "I Want You"。その他のトラックもエキゾチックなトリップ感と日本的な侘び寂びの情趣を感じさせる素晴らしいジャズ〜クロスオーバー揃いです。