American folk duo A Hawk and A Hacksaw are back with a typically earnest and cerebral approach to music-making, with their latest album, 'Forest Bathing' riffing on the Japanese tradition of healing oneself by hanging out in the woods. This 10-track record weaves together ancient instruments, woodwind melodies and magical storytelling to soothing effect.
Thor Harris: Swans’ former charismatic percussionist, and potential future governor of Texas. Chief friends are marimba player Peggy Ghorbani and multi-instrumentalist Sarah “Goat” Gautier. Their music is rooted in tonal percussion and often recalls minimalists who wrote for such instrumentation, like Reich and Riley, but also hinting at more contemporary influences, from Aphex Twin to The Necks. The many guests on this second LP include throat singer Enrique Soriah, Michael Gira. and Norwegian extended-technique vocalist Stine Janvin Motland.
Everyone’s favourite Swan has finally done what people have been long been clamouring for: a grand project of his very own devising. Thor & Friends features the beardy multi-instrumentalist leading pals from A Hawk & A Hacksaw and Deerhoof through some compositions with mallet percussion at their core. Thor & Friends augments the classic pulse of minimalism with plenty of other wonderful instrumentation too: nice one Thor.
Cüneyt Sepetçi is a master clarinetist from Istanbul. This album displays his modernised spin on tradition-steeped wedding band music, driven by Volkan Sever’s microtonal synth and two drummers playing against a drum machine, creating dense polyrhythms. It has a similar irresistible party intensity to the music of Islam Chipsy and Omar Souleyman, with the added excitement of Sepetçi’s wild solos.
Heather Trost, who, as one half of A Hawk And A Hacksaw, has hefty credentials from playing with Neutral Milk Hotel, Thor Harris, Beirut and more. Her solo work is now flourishing, with Agistri arriving on the back of a 7” and a cassette. The album is centred around the Greek island it is named for, and it's an infectious suite of stylistically-varied pop music. CD / LP on LM Dupli-Cation.
Lone Piñon are a New Mexico band who bring their musical roots fully into their contemporary work, engaging with the old Chicano folk styles of their state. Playing acoustically on guitars and fiddle and singing multi-part harmonies, their sound is a beautiful resurrection of tradition. Dias Felices is released by LM Dupli-Cation on CD and vinyl.
The Western Suite and Siesta Songs is the 2016 instrumental southwestern album by duo Naïm Amore & John Convertino. Majestic vistas and long stretches of scorching desert road are the images conjured up by the duo's finely crafted arrangements, including the famous lap-steel guitar - a defining characteristic of the country and western genre. Released as Vinyl LP and CD on the LM Dupli-Cation label.
The Dieterich & Barnes this record is attributed to is John Dieterich and Jeremy Barnes, of Deerhoof and A Hawk And A Hacksaw respectively. The Coral Casino is what happened when they spent a day improvising with the specific proviso that they try not to listen to each other. The results are strange and fun and impressively coherent! On LM Dupli-Cation.